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Synagogue Holds Moment of Silence for Victims of Shooting; Shooter Attacks Yoga Class in Florida; President Trump to Campaign in Montana and Florida; Analysts Examine Controversial Midterm Campaign Ad; Interview with Texas Congressman Marc Veasey; Oprah Winfrey and Vice President Mike Pence Campaign for Gubernatorial Candidate in Georgia; Actor Alec Baldwin Charged with Assault and Harassment. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired November 3, 2018 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, the Squirrel Hill community of Pittsburgh came together to honor those victims with a pair of services, a private service for the congregation and another for all who are rallying around them. Many are making the same trip their late friends and family made last Saturday, entering the Tree of Life Synagogue to pray. Communities across the country also showing strength in numbers. Last night congregations from coast to coast held special show up for shabbat services to honor the 11 victims.
Let's begin now with CNN's Alisyn Camerota. Alisyn was inside the congregation today for a service. It's been an incredibly emotional morning and people have really shared their personal experiences with you.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Fred, it's so true. No cameras were allowed inside Beth Shalom behind me. So I will just tell you what it was like when 1,000 people filled the temple. We saw people of all denominations in there. This was of course the first shabbat service since the mass murder at the Tree of Life Synagogue. And at 9:52 a.m. on the dot they paused, all 1,000 people, for a moment of silence for one minute and 11 seconds to honor the 11 beloved members of their congregation. And that was the first time that we saw the rabbi, Jeff Myers, who has been a pillar of strength through all of this, he broke down publicly. He hung his head and he wept openly. You could hear other people sobbing throughout the temple. It was really a sad and touching moment.
Yesterday Rabbi Myers brought us back to the synagogue, the scene of the crime where this happened. And he wanted to show us what this past week has been like for him and where he is getting his strength.
RABBI JEFFREY MYERS, TREE OF LIFE SYNAGOGUE: These just showed up. We didn't put them here.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: They just organically showed up. And these are the names of the victims. MYERS: These are all the names of the victims and it just showed up. And this is an outpouring of love from countless people. I am floored by the love. I don't know where the tents came from. These weren't here yesterday.
CAMEROTA: Is that right?
MYERS: The rain is coming in. Somebody brought in tents. This is amazing.
CAMEROTA: To shelter all of these --
MYERS: This was not done by the synagogue, we didn't do this. The community did this. And I'm just amazed. Amazed.
CAMEROTA: And so what is it like for you to walk around here just six days after you ran for your life from this building?
MYERS: It was painful. It still is. It's painful. I mean, I know it's part of the grieving process, but I'm a witness. I'm a victim. I'm a survivor. And I'm also a pastor, but I'm also a human. And I stand here and I'm in pain.
CAMEROTA: Are you scared when you see this building?
MYERS: No, I'm not scared. I'm angry. How dare you defile our holy space. What made you think you could ever do that? How would you feel if someone did that to your mother's house of worship? How would you feel? And those are questions he is going to have to deal with.
CAMEROTA: But you sense anxiety and fear from the community?
MYERS: Yes. Yes, they're afraid.
CAMEROTA: They're afraid it is going to happen again.
CAMEROTA: You've been so stoical on national TV, and you have given your message of love and to tone down the hate. I just wonder, do you have moments where you breakdown or are you still on adrenaline?
MYERS: Perfect example. After the last funeral today, it was the last one, I appreciate the fact that outside, there's a side there with a contemplative garden. I just sat down there and cried like a baby. I couldn't stop. I thought the procession was waiting for me, I couldn't stop. It just came out. Couldn't stop. Because I haven't held it in me nonstop, but this is the last funeral, and every time I do one, particularly for me, when I chant the memorial prayer, it takes a piece of my soul away. And I have no more left to give. My tank is empty.
CAMEROTA: And so what do you say to your congregants who say why, how does this happen, why, how does God let this happen?
MYERS: I don't believe God lets this stuff happen. Humans have a choice. And this person made this choice. To me, God is the one I turn to when I have no strength to say God, give me strength to get through this. And that's what I do. Every moment of every day, give me strength. And somehow God does.
CAMEROTA: And all of the people that lined up here, why are they here? What do you think they're coming here to do?
MYERS: The community is just mourning. This is Pittsburgh, and this is what Pittsburgh is. We're one community, and Pittsburgh is hurting. And we're here to mourn. This is what Pittsburgh is about. That's what makes Pittsburgh such a special place.
CAMEROTA: Are you ever going back into this building?
MYERS: Yes. We're going to do whatever is the necessary work. We have to redo our sanctuary. We have to sit and figure out how and what that means and what's the best choice in terms of what to do. We'll sit and spend time and plan properly, and we will rebuild in whatever way we need to, and we'll be back.
CAMEROTA: Seeing those gun bullet holes through the door, through the glass door, that's really chilling.
MYERS: It is. It is. I walked through the sanctuary. It is a horror. It's worse than any sci-fi film because it is real, it's not phony Hollywood.
I never think I'd live to see that horror in my life. Because I face anti-Semitism before, I faced it growing up as a kid. So I never thought I would see the horror of this ever, ever.
[14:05:02] CAMEROTA: Just show me here what stands out to you. Show me when you come to look at this outpouring of the community.
MYERS: It's the sheer immensity of love. It gives me hope because it reminds me there are so many good people, and this gives me strength to say hate will never win.
CAMEROTA: So, Fred, one of the things that we've learned about Rabbi Myers over this past painful week, is that he does not shy away from frank discussions. And he had one with the 1,000 people inside the temple today. Many of them were vocal critics of his decision to welcome President Trump and the first family with open arms at the Tree of Life Synagogue. And what the rabbi said is that that's what the Bible teaches us to do, to welcome the stranger with open arms.
But he did have a message for President Trump, and he wanted him to know, he said hate speech leads to hateful actions. He told him, quote, stop the hate speech. Only love and respect, he said, can stop hate. He wanted to deliver that message directly to President Trump, and when he shared that with the congregation, the congregation broke into applause this morning.
WHITFIELD: And that's interesting, because, Alisyn, the rabbi and the president did have time for a private conversation. And immediately following the rabbi said he didn't want to divulge too much of what they talked about, but perhaps this was just selective about some of the messaging that took place between the two men speaking.
CAMEROTA: That's exactly right. And he said again today that they had more private conversation, and he wasn't going to divulge all of it. But he felt that it was really important for the 1,000 people inside here to know that he delivered that message to President Trump. Now, he says whether or not the recipient of that message hears it, that's not really up to him. But as a rabbi, it's his duty to deliver that message.
WHITFIELD: Being a messenger. All right, Alisyn Camerota, thank you so much, from Pittsburgh, really appreciate that.
So as Pittsburgh copies with that tragic synagogue massacre, we're also following another deadly shooting, this time in Florida where a gunman opened fire in a yoga studio in Tallahassee last night. The man killed two people and injuring five more before turning the gun on himself. CNN's Dianne Gallagher has been following this for us. And so I understand, Dianne, that some of the people in this yoga studio tried to take this gunman down. They fought for their lives.
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They fought back. You can only imagine. You think of yoga, you think of this tranquility and peace, and that relaxation. This is a hot yoga studio. They say when that gunman came in and opened fire, police say that the students in that class attempted to take him down, they tried to fight back. According to officers, though, by the time they got there, he had turned the gun on himself and killed himself, that is 40-year-old Scott Beierle. They're still working to figure out the connection between him and that yoga studio.
Before he killed himself, he shot six people. He pistol whipped another. Two of those people died, 21-year-old Maura Binkley and 61- year-old Nancy Van Vessem, both associated with Florida State University which is located right there in Tallahassee. Nancy Van Vessem, a doctor, well-respected in the community. We have seen a hospice speak out about how wonderful she was for them and what a pleasure she was to be around, the university as well. And Maura, again, a student there, her sorority, Tri Delta, I just want to read real quick something they wrote on their Facebook. They said, as a leader in the chapter, Maura embodied the Tri Delta woman, brave, bold, and kind.
WHITFIELD: Wow. I know this has touched and shocked so many in the community, and really in a state that has been dealing with so much in this past year in terms of mass shootings, from Parkland to Orlando more than a year ago, and then of course earlier this year, Jacksonville. So all of this taking place while you've got these campaigns that are in full speed right now, just days ahead of the midterms. How do these candidates handle it?
GALLAGHER: So the fact that this happened in it Tallahassee I think provided -- made it even more serious, because Andrew Gillum is the mayor of Tallahassee. He's running as the Democratic candidate to be governor. Of course, Rick Scott is the governor. His governor's mansion is located there in Tallahassee as well. He's running as a Republican nominee to be senator. Both of them went immediately to Tallahassee, pausing campaign activities at that point. Andrew Gillum was at a show up for shabbat service in south Florida when he got word of the shooting and came out there. He did go back into his campaign mode a little bit ago, and he said after speaking to some of the victims in the hospital, both Rick Scott and Andrew Gillum went together last night to do that, he said that one woman was shot nine different times.
[14:10:04] Another woman had a bullet that went straight through her body. And he said that one of them pulled him aside and said, you've got to do something about this gun violence. Again, that was today back on the campaign trail.
Rick Scott had events that were scheduled this morning, but he has not attended those, so it appears that he is still, at least, abstaining from that right now, working on this. Again, they do not know what connected him to this yoga studio, so law enforcement, FBI agents, local and state are still investigating, working this through. And you have two people who remain in the hospital right now.
WHITFIELD: Keep us posted on the investigation. Thank you so much, Dianne Gallagher.
Coming up, President Trump isn't slowing down. With just three days now until midterms, he's crisscrossing the country, stumping in Montana and Florida today. Live pictures out of Belgrade, Montana, just outside of Bozeman. You see the sizable crowd there. They are awaiting the arrival of the president. Live reports, coming up.
[14:15:04] WHITFIELD: Live pictures right now. There you see live pictures of Air Force One arriving there in Belgrade, Montana. You see the crowd there awaiting the arrival for the president to stump there in Montana. He is crisscrossing the country in the run-up, just three days away from midterm elections. And of course, we'll be listening to the president's comments.
Intense stumping overall for major parties by the sitting president and his predecessor. It's an unprecedented matchup involving President Trump and former president Barack Obama on the campaign trail. Last night Trump boasting less about the economy and ramping up the attacks about the migrant caravan heading north through Mexico.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Democrats want to invite caravan after caravan. Republicans want strong borders, no drugs, no gangs. And we want no caravans, thank you.
I think they overplayed their hand on this one, folks, because between Justice Kavanaugh and the caravans, you people are energized.
(END VIDEO CLIP) WHITFIELD: The president in Montana, as you just saw, with Air Force One, landing where Democratic Senator Jon Tester is neck and neck with Republican Matt Rosendale. CNN senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny is at the rally there in Belgrade. The president has said he loves airports, he loves and hangars because it's just easy landing, and then the crowd is there, and then he picks up and moves on to the next location. But what is likely the message there in Belgrade?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, you're seeing the Trump show here live. Air Force One just landed here. This is exactly what his supporters are seeing. As you said, he likes to do this. It's why he's flying all over the country. But this is the fourth time that President Trump has visited Montana since July. That underscores how important he believes this Senate race is. He is taking it as one of his personal goals of this midterm election season to try and defeat Jon Tester.
Of course, Democratic Senator Jon Tester running for his third term in the U.S. Senate, facing incredible challenges here largely because President Trump has decided to engage so much in this race. Montanans have never seen a U.S. president visit so often that President Trump has.
We will see if that actually results into a win on Tuesday. Despite the excitement here, again, you can see the crowd cheering as he's about to step off Air Force One. Most people here have already voted. More than two-thirds of Montana voters have already mailed in their ballots. So these rallies certainly drive attention and the president is trying to get any Trump supporters who voted for him in 2016 to come out and vote if they have not already done so.
As the president tries to nationalize this race, talking about Judge Kavanaugh, talking about immigration, Jon Tester, other Democrats are trying to localize this race, talking about health care, talking about access to public lands. So we will see which argument wins out.
But Fredricka, watch Tuesday night to see if Jon Tester wins or loses. It will largely depend on the president's strength, and it will determine if he has the ability to do something that other presidents have not, and that is encourage voters to go to the polls for someone other than themselves. So a very close race here, as well as other Senate races across the country. The president travels from here to Florida, and then he continues campaigning tomorrow and Monday, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Jeff Zeleny, thank you so much. We'll continue to watch there, the president's Air Force One landing there in Belgrade, Montana. We'll monitor his comments.
Meantime President Trump will finish the day with a rally this evening in Pensacola, Florida, a state where there is a bitter battle to win the gubernatorial seat. Democrat Andrew Gillum is neck and neck with Republican Ron DeSantis. CNN White House correspondent Boris Sanchez is in Pensacola, one of the next stops for the president once he leaves Montana. So Boris, Floridians saw Obama yesterday who was really trying to set
the record straight and also encourage the vote, people to get out and vote. And now Trump will be right on his heels. And Pence, the vice president, will also be there. What is the likely message?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Fred. We'll likely here the president reiterate what he has said before on the trail, talking about confirming Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, fighting caravans, fighting Democrats, fighting the press, all those lines that energize his supporters. And it's not a surprise that he's coming to Pensacola so close to election day here in the Florida panhandle, a place that helped secure President Trump, the state of Florida, in the 2016 election. And his eyes will certainly be attached to that gubernatorial race you mentioned between Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum.
[14:20:02] In a lot of ways it encapsulates the broader picture of where these two parties stand now. Specifically with DeSantis, he is somebody who was an underdog in the primary fight. He faced a Republican establishment figure in Andrew Putnam who he ultimately beat by following the Trump playbook with that now that infamous commercial of one of his children building a toy wall.
On the other side, Andrew Gillum could be seen as potentially the kind of candidate that the Democrats may want to run in 2020. He's very much a Bernie Sanders style progressive, somebody who they believe could bring out the minority vote and the Latinos and African- Americans and young people. If he can succeed in Florida, it will give Democrats a lot of confidence moving forward to 2020 and potentially capturing the state's 29 electoral votes.
Right now both candidates are neck and neck with DeSantis squeezing in some late momentum among independents and Republicans. Let's not forget that the president recently has been bashing the Tallahassee mayor in Gillum, calling him a thief, suggesting that he has ties to an FBI investigation. That potentially could play in on Tuesday's vote. And we know the president will be watching, Fred, because he's often called Florida his second home.
WHITFIELD: All right, Boris Sanchez there in Pensacola, we'll be checking in with you, thanks so much.
So President Trump not only ramping up his rhetoric on the campaign trail but also in campaign ads as he tries to sway the election to Republicans. Here is one of his more controversial ads, where he tries to make the case that the election is a choice between what he says is jobs, not mobs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lowest unemployment rate since December of 1969. The American core economy is on fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's on fire like it was in the '60s.
REP. MAXINE WATERS, (D) CALIFORNIA: And you push back on them, and you tell them they're not welcome.
ERIC HOLDER, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: They go low, we kick them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: With me now, Dave Jacobson, a Democratic strategist. Also with me, John Thomas, a Republican consultant. Thanks, good to see both of you. OK, so that ad among others really raising a whole lot of eyebrows. John, we heard from President Obama yesterday who said this fearmongering is not acceptable, and it's not American, says Obama. But might it also be effective to secure the votes that Trump is hoping to do?
JOHN THOMAS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It might be effective, and that's the business that Dave and I are in is making sure that we win elections. And at this point, honestly, television advertising has a very limited impact unless it's shocking, grabs attention. And Trump is going back to the classics that got him elected through a primary in 2016 and elected in a general election, and that is immigration is the number one issue in the Republican electorate, and of course, reminding Republicans of how they're better off economically.
And Fredricka, I think that's what it's going to take is Trump not just at these rallies making that case, but throttling his base to say, you have to vote, there is something actually at stake, and just don't just be complacent.
WHITFIELD: So Dave, different messages about a lot at stake. And fear, or trying to imply that choosing one might elicit mob behavior. Is it at all -- is the message at all costs whatever it takes to get your vote?
DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. It's like, do the ends justify the means. That ad purely underscores the political terrorism that Donald Trump has incited. That is precisely why that kind of rhetoric and behavior that you see in that ad is why there were pipe bombs that were sent to Donald Trump's enemies, to news outlets. It's reflective of his divide and conquer, scorched earth campaign that stokes fear and paranoia and anxiety across this country. And it's clearly not working because the polls show he's going to lose the House, there's an enormous tsunami-like blue wave coming. And at this point he's just trying to hold the Senate.
WHITFIELD: So John, how do you defend that, really, because you look at that ad, or at least some of those images, and that's not the hope, that's not the inspiration of America that you would hope would get out the vote.
THOMAS: Well, you have to make the case. You have to make the contrast in campaign messaging, Fredricka. I think all of the clips that he put in that last ad that you showed are actually real life scenarios. A clip of Maxine Waters saying you push back, the economic story is a real one. So this is -- you have to convince voters, particularly your base, that there is something that will be lost.
WHITFIELD: But there is no context. There isn't any context. And so it really is just imagery that frightens people.
[14:25:02] THOMAS: Well, look, we use contrast and fear all the time to persuade voters, both Democrats and Republicans do that. I think in the 30-second spot, you can't have an academic dialogue about public policy. But you can remind voters of events, very iconic events, like the Maxine Waters -- that people have already seen but might have forgotten about. I think that's what he's trying to do in the advertising.
WHITFIELD: Interesting. OK, so Dave, let's contrast the president's message with former president Barack Obama in Florida.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: In the closing weeks of this election we have seen repeated attempt to divide us with rhetoric designed to make us angry and make us fearful. It's designed to exploit our history of racial and ethnic and religious division, that pits us against one another to make us believe that order will somehow be restored if it just weren't for those folks who don't look like we look, or don't love like we love, or pray like we do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So, Dave, does that exemplify -- intellectual arguments can be made in 30 seconds, whether you are stumping and you're on a platform, or whether you are on a campaign ad. You can do that in 30 seconds.
JACOBSON: You absolutely can. As an ad maker who runs a campaign firm, we do that every day for our candidates.
Look, Fred, the reality is President Obama versus President Trump is reflective of a past microcosm that we saw in 2017 with the gubernatorial race between Ralph Northam and Ed Gillespie. Ed Gillespie ran a campaign as a Republican just like Donald Trump is running today, exploiting racial tensions, engaging in fearmongering, trying to divide the state of Virginia. And you know what happened, Ralph Northam won by a whopping nine points. He won with women, suburban women, he won with African-Americans, he won with young people overwhelmingly. And that is why we're seeing in poll after poll Democrats are poised to take the House, and are also leading in key battleground states like Arizona and Nevada. Democrats Kyrsten Sinema and Jacky Rosen are both leading their Republicans.
THOMAS: Look, here is the issue. This is the issue. The last year and a half since Trump has been president, it has not been a positive message. It's been a resist message, a negative message. Every single policy proposal that the Republicans and Donald Trump has made, whether it was health care or tax reform, the Democrats' message is negative, you are going to die if this goes through. Just to think that all of a sudden Democrats are not making this positive.
WHITFIELD: John, the Republicans have the majority in the House and the Senate.
THOMAS: I understand that. But what I'm saying is the Democrats are not running on a hope and change platform. They're running a resist and a mob platform. So to basically sit on the high ground and say Democrats are making an Obama positive argument isn't the case.
WHITFIELD: It was the president who brought up the mob stuff. Oh, boy.
JACOBSON: Right, Democrats are running on protecting people with preexisting conditions, for expanding access to health care, to lower costs, to pass comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship that protects Dreamers. Those are what Democrats are running on. Donald Trump, on the other hand, is running a scorched earth campaign.
WHITFIELD: We'll leave it there for now. John Thomas, Dave Jacobson, see you soon, three days to go, 72-ish hours before Election Day, give or take a couple of hours.
Don't miss a special pre-election edition of CNN prime time tomorrow night starting with ANDERSON COOPER 360, followed by CUOMO PRIME TIME and CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon. It all starts tomorrow evening, 7:00 eastern. But first you're going to see Victor and Christie from D.C. talking politics, and I'll be in D.C. as well tomorrow throughout the afternoon. We'll be right back.
WHITFIELD: Welcome back. The immigration debate is playing out in elections across the country, but maybe none more than in the state of Texas, a state which shares a 1,200-mile border with Mexico. President Trump's anti-immigration stance has become his driving message as he campaigns across the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These caravans and illegal migrants are drawn to our country by Democrat-backed laws and leftwing judicial rulings. We're getting rulings that are so ridiculous, so bad, that writing the laws, can't do that, collectively known as, as an example, catch and release. It's a disgrace that we have to put up with it.
These policies lead to the release of illegal aliens into our communities after they've been apprehended. But we're not releasing anymore. Big change, as of a couple of days ago. We're going to no longer release. We're going to catch. We're not going to release.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, here with me right now, Texas Democrat and member of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Marc Veasey. Good to see you, congressman. So you are running for reelection in Texas' 33rd district. So do you see immigration as a major concern as you stump, as you talk to voters? REP. MARC VEASEY, (D) TEXAS: Immigration has always been a concern
here, of course with us being a border state, and the Dallas-Ft. Worth economy being -- immigration being such a crucial part of the Dallas- Ft. Worth economy. Immigration has boosted our economy. It's actually helped us in job growth. And so it's a big concern that people ask me about all the time.
[14:35:03] And I have families that live here in north Texas that I represent that they fear deportation. It's a very big issue. And not only that, the businesses, local businesses will tell you that we don't have the workforce that we need, that without immigrants then we're lost, and our economy actually suffers.
And so what I think the president needs to do, instead of all of this rhetoric and all of these political stunts and what have you that he's talking about, if he's serious about doing something about immigration and caravans, what he needs to do is bring Congress back, tell us to come back, and write and pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill now. That's the real solution.
The military and all these other things that he's talking about is completely ridiculous and just, again, just a political stunt. If he's serious about doing something about this, bring us back and ask us to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. The business community wants it. Groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the immigrant groups and families like I just talked about that I represent, they want to see a bill passed. So let's get something done and stop all this talking.
WHITFIELD: So what are you hearing, what are your constituents hearing, when the president uses language like "invaders" or the caravan is threatening our borders, that U.S. troops need to be on the border, and by the way, reportedly the Pentagon says no to the use of U.S. troops to enforce domestic law. However, we have seen that there are troops that have arrived on the border, as the president promised, to help install barricades and assist with security. Translation, when you see these images, when your constituents see the images, when they hear the language the president has been using, what do you discern? What do your constituents discern in all of this?
VEASEY: People are frustrated, because, again, people know that this is the president and him trying to pull political stunts, that he's trying to stoke his base, he's trying to get them triggered. We saw that with the racist video that was released earlier of the guy in the courtroom. It was a Willie Horton-esque type ad. Everyone knows that, and people are actually sick and tired of it. I think that the one thing that the American public has stated over and over, and what I'm hearing from people here in Dallas-Ft. Worth, is that we want Republicans and Democrats to work together to pass the solution, to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill and get something done.
We're tired of the politics. We're tired of the talk. We want to see something done. Trying to make people not like their neighbors and pit person against person, this sort of us-versus-them type of America that Trump is trying to create with these videos and his rhetoric is not getting us anywhere. That's what I'm hearing over and over. WHITFIELD: But then finally, do you believe that where you stand on
immigration, not just you, as you run again to secure your seat, but others who are running, where one stands on immigration, is that going to dictate the outcome of this race? Because the president is spending, putting most of his capital in the issue of immigration and not the economy. And will the same be seen in your race and others in terms of where you stand on immigration and whether it will secure your reelection or not?
VEASEY: I think that the president has done and said so many things, whether it's immigration or things that are dealing with a host of other topics that are so bizarre, so inflammatory, filled with lunacy, that people want a new Congress that's going to push back against a lot of things that they've heard over the last two years and that we're going to -- Democrats, I believe, will take back the House. And I think people are going to take all of this into consideration, all of the things that they've seen, and that it's going to be a good night for Democrats because of that.
And I hope the president realizes what he's done. He has absolutely hurt his party with just the crazy things that he's said and done and with the just ridiculous tweets that we've read over the last two years. It's out of control. And it needs to stop.
WHITFIELD: Congressman Marc Veasey, thank you so much, appreciate it. We have invited Republicans to join us on the air in this push toward midterms, but thus far we have not received any yeses.
Still ahead, lots of stars are hitting the campaign trail in the peach state. The hotly contested Georgia governor's race is attracting some big names from Hollywood and Washington. A look at where things stand today, coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Polls show the race for governor of Georgia is about as close as it can get. And it's attracting national attention. President Trump visits Georgia tomorrow to campaign for Republican candidate Brian Kemp. And Democrat Stacey Abrams has some big names supporting her bid to become the nation's first African-American female governor. CNN's Kaylee Hartung reports on the state of the race.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: This Tuesday, I believe, may be the most important election of our lifetime.
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the final days of Georgia's contentious governor's race.
MIKE PENCE, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: I'm kind of a big deal too.
HARTUNG: The leading candidates bringing unprecedented star power to the state.
OPRAH WINFREY, MEDIA MOGUL: I've been watching what's been going on down here.
WINFREY: You all about to make some history down here.
[14:45:00] HARTUNG: Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp are deadlocked in the polls. Early voting ended Friday with a record number of ballots cast, more than double the amount at the same point in the last midterm election.
JANET LEE, GEORGIA VOTER: I'm very, very excited that we are getting the national attention that we're getting, because I hope that it is actually encouraging the local people to be involved.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have my vote shirt on and I'm going to do it today.
HARTUNG: With few undecided voters left, these big names continued the campaign-long mission, appeal to the candidates' polarized bases.
PENCE: Let me make you a promise. With President Trump in the White House and Brian Kemp in the statehouse, we will never abolish ICE.
OBAMA: You can't think there's anything proper about ripping immigrant children from their mother's bosoms at the border.
HARTUNG: Georgia's race has garnered national attention over claims that Kemp is suppressing voter access, putting more than 50,000 registrations on hold in his capacity as secretary of state. Kemp's office says the registrants, nearly 70 percent of whom are African- American, will be able to vote if they bring the proper I.D. But still, voting rights, a battle cry for Abrams supporters.
WINFREY: Every single one of us has something that if done in numbers too big to tamper with --
WINFREY: -- cannot be suppressed and cannot be denied.
HARTUNG: Vice president pence leaning on familiar lines of attack from Kemp ads that say Abrams is out of touch with Georgia.
PENCE: I got a message for all of Stacey Abrams' liberal Hollywood friends. This ain't Hollywood. This is Georgia.
HARTUNG: What's notable is not just who is delivering these pointed messages but where. Abrams' surrogates in the metro Atlanta area where they hope to motivate first time and minority voters, while team Kemp focuses on more rural areas of the state, eyeing the same path to victory that President Trump took to win it in 2016.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She is not qualified.
HARTUNG: Trump has voiced his opinion on this race from afar. Sunday, he'll do it on peach state soil.
Kaylee Hartung, CNN, Atlanta.
WHITFIELD: And we'll be right back.
[14:51:38] WHITFIELD: A check on our top stories right now, an American servicemember has been killed during an apparent insider attack in Afghanistan. Another U.S. servicemember was wounded in the attack in the capital of Kabul. According to the U.S.-backed coalition, reports indicate that attacker was a member of the Afghan national defense and security forces who was immediately killed by other Afghan forces.
And a Brooklyn man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime for anti-Semitic messages found in a New York synagogue on Thursday. James Polite is also charged with criminal mischief and making graffiti. Police say the messages were on four floors of the Union Temple in Brooklyn. Mayor Bill de Blasio calls the incident deeply disturbing to all New Yorkers.
And actor Alec Baldwin has had another run-in with the law. CNN's Polo Sandoval has more.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Actor Alec Baldwin stayed quiet as he walked out of a New York City police precinct Friday. The actor, largely known for his recurring "SNL" portrayal of President Trump was charged with assault and harassment. NYPD alleging Baldwin punched a 49-year-old man during a fight over a parking spot. This isn't the first time Baldwin finds himself in trouble with the law or making headlines. In 2014, Baldwin was arrested for bike riding on the wrong side of the road. The short-tempered actor has also been seen getting into scuffles with paparazzi. Back in 2007 Baldwin was heard on a voicemail recording yelling insults at then wife Kim Basinger and their daughter.
ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: You are a rude, thoughtless little pig. I don't give a damn that you're 12-years-old or 11-years-old or that you're a child.
SANDOVAL: Baldwin's behavior has attracted criticism from conservatives. On Twitter former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee took a sarcastic jab at Baldwin. The president's son, Don Jr., calling Baldwin a piece of garbage. Earlier this year the president called Baldwin's impersonation of him terrible and agony inducing. This time, though, more measured response from the White House south lawn. DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Who was arrested?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alec Baldwin.
TRUMP: I wish him luck.
SANDOVAL: Friday evening, Baldwin took to Twitter denying the allegations, calling them false. The actor wrote, "I realize that it has become a sport to tag people with as many negative charges and defaming allegations as possible for the purposes of click-bait entertainment. Fortunately, no matter how reverberating the echoes, it doesn't make the statements true."
Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.
WHITFIELD: Thanks for joining me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. The news continues with Ana Cabrera after this short break. But first, this week's Turning Points.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The lowest point in my life, 19-years-old, 85 pounds. I first had some issues with one of my legs when I was 13- years-old. When I graduated high school in 1997, those pains were still there. I was diagnosed with a bone tumor in my right lower leg. During a workup it was found that I also had ovarian cancer.
I had an amputation in March of 1998. I wanted to be able to exercise again, but running was not an option. The prosthetics just were not as advanced. Now close to 10 years post amputation, they're like, yes, at this point we will build you a running prosthetic.
[14:55:00] I have completed 21 half marathons, a full marathon, and right now I'm in the process of training for the half Ironman. So I walked on a prosthetic, then I swim without a prosthetic. I put on a cycling prosthetic afterward, and then I change into a running prosthetic.
In the middle of treatment, I became very interested in imaging, particularly in CT scans. I decided I want to go to school to do what they do. I manage a clinic that sees about 125 patients a day. I have plenty of scars. But that pushes me every day to give more, because I had the chance to survive.