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Midterm Elections on Tuesday - Republicans Selling Hope or Fear?; Shooting in Pittsburgh Synagogue Leaves 11 Dead; Large Early Voting Turnout Recorded; Roger Stone's Admissions May Change Course of Mueller's Investigation; Sayoc Transferred to New York to Face Five Federal Charges; Vote for CNN's Hero of the Year is Underway. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired November 2, 2018 - 11:30   ET


DAVID AXELROD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The reality is that the equities that these young people and all of us care about are affected by decisions that Congress makes and so it is significant.


But, look as I said, I think they are more engaged and there will be a larger turnout among millennials. The president has done a good job with his -- all of his histrionics in engaging his own base, which was very -- which was slumbering before he started on his fear tour. But we're about to find out what the limits of that are and whether you can actually jump the shark and discourage people who might be willing to vote for Republican candidates but are uncomfortable with the tactics that you employ.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN: So this week, a new "Ax Files" is up. You sit down with former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Among the things you talk about gets to this fear conversation is immigration. Listen to this for our viewers.


ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, FORMER REPUBLICAN CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: To me, it's more important to get the job done rather than to worry about is there a caravan or not. If immigration reforms ...


SCHWARZENEGGER: ... if they secure the border ...


SCHWARZENEGGER: ... and also deal with the people that are actually here, the law-abiding citizens ...


SCHWARZENEGGER: ... and bring them into our system officially and make them be part of and grant them to stay here. If that is worked out, Democrats and Republicans, then we wouldn't have any of these problems. (END VIDEO)

BOLDUAN: You actually hear that from a lot of Americans but what you get from politicians, David, is abolish I.C.E. on the far left and birthright citizenship from the right, from the president right now. Do you think Schwarzenegger is being, I don't know, slightly naive that this would ever be possible.

AXELROD: Well it's important to stress that here's a former politician, and the fact is he himself acknowledges that he wouldn't win a Republican primary because his views on immigration reform are out of the mainstream of the Republican Party right now. Donald trump represents the mainstream thought on that issue. And so it really is a measure of where the Republican Party is right now that Schwarzenegger, and he also talked about globalism and the importance of globalism. That's not the language of the Republican Party in the era of Trump. So you know, what Trump has said to Republicans like Schwarzenegger is hasta la vista, baby, you're not part of this anymore.

BOLDUAN: Great to see you, David. You'll have to have the last word when you end like that.

AXELROD: Nice to see you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much. Catch more of David's interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger, tomorrow night. "The Ax Files" airs 7:00 Eastern Saturday on CNN.

Coming up for us, the man accused of sending more than a dozen pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and also to CNN just got out of court. What's the latest? That's next.



BOLDUAN: Just in, the Florida man accused of sending more than a dozen pipe bombs to prominent Democrats, liberal critics of the president, and also to CNN, will be facing charges in New York. He left his detention hearing in Miami just a short time ago. CNN's Rosa Flores was there for it all. Rosa, what happened?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, this was a very short hearing. Two outcomes in essence that Sayoc will be transferred to New York to face those five federal criminal charges and that his bond hearing will be there as well. During a press conference after the short hearing, his attorney said that they will no longer be representing him, the attorneys here in Miami, that is. That the public defender in New York will now take over and they also mentioned that a letter that was written by the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York that was sent to the court, weighed their options as to whether to fight to keep Sayoc here in Miami or not. And that is because of the evidence that the U.S. attorney shared in that letter.

Some of that evidence, the metadata that was recovered by the FBI, the searches that Sayoc did on his computer and on his cell phone, the mailing labels that were found on that computer, and Kate, probably the most disturbing part of evidence that we learned from this letter is that investigators found shards of glass inside that pipe bomb and in the note from the U.S. attorney who wrote this letter, saying that was probably to impose most harm. So again, two outcomes here: Sayoc is being transferred to New York and his bond hearing will be held there. We don't know exactly when the transfer is going to happen. Kate.

BOLDUAN: There's also new body cam video that's been released of a police encounter with him. What happened there?

FLORES: You know, it was an encounter from back in September with Boca police. It was very friendly. The police officers asked him for his I.D. The police officers noticed the stickers on the van, the stickers we have seen, of course, and then they asked him this. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Yeah, I guess you're a Trump supporter, is that what it is?




FLORES: Again, it was a short conversation. It was very friendly. Now, from that vantage point, you could see that the officers were able to see inside the van. Now, here's a very interesting point, Kate, because that interaction happened in September. According to authorities, Sayoc allegedly started planning this in July and we've also learned that he made some of the pipe bombs allegedly inside the van. Now, here's a very interesting inside the van. Now, here's a very interesting point, Kate, because that interaction happened in September. According to authorities, Sayoc allegedly started planning this in July, and we have also learned that he made some of the pipe bombs allegedly inside that van.


But of course, these police officers didn't ask to look inside the van.

BOLDUAN: OK, anyway no suggestion they would have reason to be asking to look inside the van from that brief encounter that we saw, that innocuous encounter. Great to see you. Thank you Rosa; I appreciate it.

Coming up, President Trump, Vice President Pence, both heading to Indiana tonight as Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly is in the fight of his life to hold on to his seat -- a Democrat that actually supports Trump's border wall, who rails against the liberal left. That's next.


All eyes on Indiana today. Tonight, President Trump heading there for a rally with Vice President Pence in Indianapolis to try to boost Republican candidate for Senate Mike Braun, this while the Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly is in the fight of his career right now to try to hold on to his seat and in doing so, try and hold on to Democratic hopes of making gains in the Senate this election. This is a state, remember, that President Trump won by nearly 20 points in 2016. Joining me right now, someone who knows something about the greatest state in the union, I say very biasly, as a Hoosier. The Democratic mayor himself, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Thank you for coming in Mayor Pete.


BOLDUAN: As you are well known.

BUTTIGIEG: Thanks for saying Hoosier. I'm still trying to coach journalists sometimes that Indianan isn't a word, we're Hoosiers.

BOLDUAN: Well then you shouldn't take to those reporters. I'm just going to say that because that's offensive. So Senator Joe Donnelly, he is one of the Democrats, really most targeted right now by Republicans this cycle. The latest polling that's out is that it's a tight race. Donnelly is up, but right now, it's right at the margin of error is what I'm seeing. Do you think Donnelly has this locked in right now?

BUTTIGIEG: I think he's going to win, but I also think it's going to be very close. I definitely wouldn't use words like locked in. People in the state of Indiana know Joe Donnelly. They know he's an independent thinker who really focuses on working for us, not working for a party. But it's also a very conservative state. I will say the fact that you have to have a sitting Republican president come to this state twice in four days just to give the Republican Senate nominee a chance at winning, tells you about the overall climate that we're in, and I think signals a real tailwind for Democratic candidates like Joe Donnelly. It's going to be neck and neck, and the most important thing is people who support him vote.

BOLDUAN: The president is going there tonight to campaign for Mike Braun. I want to play you some of what the president said last night at another rally.


TRUMP: If you don't want America to be overrun by masses of illegal aliens and giant caravans, you better vote Republican.


BOLDUAN: And that is a tiny taste of the attacks that the president threw at Democrats last night. If that's what he throws out tonight, in your state, what do you say?

BUTTIGIEG: I say we're not stupid. You know, this is an effort to distract us from the issues that really face us every day. This is a state that has really been hit in a lot of ways by the economic ups and downs over the years. We care about people who are focused on the economy. This is a state where so many people rely on the protections for coverage with pre-existing conditions that the Republican Senate nominee here wants to strip away.

You know, at the end of the day, these bread and butter issues, I think, are going to be most important for voters, and this idea of terrorizing us, that we're about to be overrun by some hoard of people, I mean we're smarter than that and I think it's just an effort to really tie up all of our attention because they know that this issue, it used to be a winning issue for them. It used to be attacking the Affordable Care Act was what Republicans talked about all the time. Now that Americans have had a chance to see how it works, we don't want it taken away and they want to talk about anything but health care.

BOLDUAN: You mentioned the economy. Out today, strong economic numbers. October jobs report just out this morning; 250,000 jobs added, wages are up, unemployment holding at 3.7 percent. That's good news, and that's under this president. Do you give the president credit here?

BUTTIGIEG: Look, the president has managed not to end the economic recovery that began under President Obama. Yeah, the numbers are good. They're good unemployment numbers and good numbers in some other areas, but obviously those numbers don't tell you the whole story because we had great numbers on things like unemployment in 2016, and we still had an election that most people described the result as an economic anxiety election. So how do you have an economic anxiety election when there's pretty much full employment?

Well, what it tells you is there's a lot more to the story. People are worried about their future, even if they have a job. It may not be paying what it should, and even if it is, there's so many questions about whether there's job security, not to mention concerns like health care that even if you have a job, you are going to be afraid of losing it or unable to leave it to start your own business if you don't know where you are going to get coverage for things like preexisting conditions, top line numbers, stock markets, that's not the whole story.

BOLDUAN: So I'll take that as he gets credit somewhat?

BUTTIGIEG: Yes, he managed not to end the Obama economic recovery. I guess if we want to say that's an achievement, great but I think that's a pretty low bar. One president got unemployment from 10, 11, 12 down to 5. Another managed to see it go from five to four. OK, but again the economy is not working for everybody and some of these stock market rallies and things like this won't go on forever, we have to look at the bigger picture of whether Americans, especially here in the industrial Midwest are experiencing true economic security.


BOLDUAN: Mayor Pete Buttigieg, thank you for coming in. I really appreciate it.

BUTTIGIEG: Great to be with you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. Say hi to my home state for me, thank you.

Coming up for us - oh a programming note real quick. A CNN Special Report, "Democracy in Peril, The War on Voting Rights," that airs tonight. CNN's Kyung Lah, she takes a deep dive into the battles over voter access across the country. That's at 11:00 Eastern tonight on CNN.

Still coming up for us, fear over jobs, President Trump's mid-term message mainly focused on stoking immigration fears even as the economy as we just talked about continues to post strong numbers. Details on that juxtaposition ahead.


BOLDUAN: Time for one of this year's top 10 "CNN Heroes." A doctor in Peru saw people sleeping on the hospital floors after traveling to the capital to get medical care for their severely ill children. So he did something about it.


RICARDO PUN-CHONG, ONE OF CNN'S TOP 10 HEROES: The journey is very difficult. They come here and it's very expensive to stay here. They don't have enough money to continue their treatments. Sometimes families, they have to sell everything they have. They feel helpless so I decided to open a free shelter to help sick kids and their moms. They can stay in our long as they need. I want them to know they are not alone.


BOLDUAN: He's now helped more than 900 families with sick children. Go to please to vote for him or any of your favorite Top Ten Heroes for CNN's Hero of the Year. We'll be right back.


BOLDUAN: Visitation services are under way for 97-year-old Rose Mallinger of Pittsburgh. She will be laid to rest this afternoon. This marks the last of the funerals of the victims for the horrific synagogue shooting. CNN's Jean Casarez has been on the ground covering this tragedy in Pittsburgh all week she's there still. Jean, tell us about this remarkable woman.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Remarkable is the word; 97 years old and she was at the service last Saturday right behind me in the Tree of Life Synagogue with her daughter sitting right next to her when the gunman started shooting and Rose was a victim. Her daughter was injured in the attack. Rose was the matriarch of her family. Her family and friends tell CNN that she was the one who continued to prepare the traditional family holiday recipes for all of the high holy days. She was the mother, of course of three and grandmother of five and a great grandmother. When she was working, she was the school secretary. So she was the one the children would come to get hugged. She was the who knew everything. She was the one that had all the information. Her family and friends said she should have been able to live so many more years, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Tonight also begins the first Shabbat since the killings. There is a nationwide campaign under way, Jean, to use the moment to bring people of all faiths together. What are you hearing about it?

CASAREZ: That is right. Sundown tonight begins the Jewish Sabbath, and around the country it is the global effort, grass roots to go visit your synagogue this weekend. Encouraging all Americans to do that and to fight hate and promote love and promote unity. It is something that gained traction on social media, but it is "Show up for Shabbat," that is what the encouragement is doing this weekend to everyone.

BOLDUAN: Jean, thank you so much. Thank you for being there in this horrible moment but one that we're showing the true heart of that community coming together. I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

JEAN CASAREZ: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Of course Jean. Before I go, I want to share this with you. It struck a lot of people today. Today in honor of all of the victims, "The Pittsburgh Gazette" front page, begins with, you see right there, the first words of the Jewish Mourner's prayer, the Kaddish, such a moving tribute to these people, to this community after this deadliest attack against Jews in American history.

Rose Mallinger and all of the victims, all 11 victims right there. May they rest in peace and may their memory be a blessing. Thanks so much for joining us.