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Trump Disparages Military While Denying Reports Of Disparaging Military; Trump Brags About Crowd Size In COVID-19 Era At Rally Where Many Crammed Together Without Masks; Trump Escalates Culture Wars And Targets Diversity Training In Overture To White Supporters. Aired 9- 10p ET

Aired September 8, 2020 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: News continues right now. Want to hand it over to Chris for CUOMO PRIME TIME. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST, CUOMO PRIME TIME: Anderson, good to see you, and thank you.

I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME.

And welcome back, right? Labor Day has passed. The summer season is officially gone, and school is back in session. No. No it isn't, right? Not in too many places. A major failing by our leaders!

I'm going to talk a lot about the election tonight. We're eight weeks out. But let's just talk about what matters most, OK? Our families. Parents are burdened. And the people that we say we want to do the most and the best for our kids are getting screwed.

And yet, the failure to control cases, to push for rapid testing, that's the key, so we can best monitor cases in close to real-time, and then get resources where they're needed. Still don't have it, eight weeks until the election, but eight months into this pandemic. Now, that matters. That matters.

Who lies, who doesn't lie, what are they promising, what are they not promising, who's worse, me or somebody on some other network, all of that is noise. That's politics.

This matters. You know it in your own house. I know it in mine.

And that failure, our President, and his Administration, and yes, your governors, your local leaders, they must own it. Too many of our kids, at public and private schools, are not where they belong, school.

Home and life and work disrupted. Households will be jeopardized, financially and emotionally compromised. And I don't see how kids that started off a little behind won't fall further behind. You know they're not getting the same remote resources.

And even if you do get all the remote resources, if you're one of the lucky ones, you're still not lucky. A lot of plans that we have for our kids may change. This is reality. And yes, we should focus on it, eight weeks out from Election Day.

What is the answer? Why Mr. Trump? Why did our schools have to go back like this? "Well, I told them to go back." Yes, but you knew they couldn't without the testing. Why didn't you give them the testing?

And what about you, Mr. Biden? What would you do? You're going to be in here, November, win, if you win, January, you're in, now what? We're still in the thick of it.

What are the first five things you'll do that'll help us, if we're anywhere near the FLUVID, Flu plus COVID problems that we anticipate. What will you do differently?

The dead, the sick, the long-haul syndrome, you're going to hear more and more about, even after mild cases, all of it is going to matter in people's assessment of this pandemic, and how this President and their other leaders failed them or helped fix for them.

But that even our kids didn't muster anything better than self- interest from this President, it has to matter. Now, you're not hearing a lot of what I just said, right? I mean you're hearing it now, but you're not hearing it from too many people, why?

Well because it is easier to make this about what is more obvious. "Trump is a fool. He says foolish things. He calls people liars when he can't even spell the word. He lies more than anyone either of us have probably ever seen in any major political situation. He pits people against one another in ways that are obvious and ugly."

That Atlantic story about Trump reportedly maligning wounded veterans as "Losers," an allegation he defends by trashing the people he says he didn't trash, the military.

Here, listen to him.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I'm not saying the military is in love with me. The soldiers are.

The top people in the Pentagon probably aren't because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs, and make the planes and make everything else, stay happy.


CUOMO: Well the companies you made to - meant to take care of? That you cut deals for? The Commander-in-Chief is going to badmouth the Generals that that's a good answer? That's proof that you didn't malign the military?

But does it matter? No. He encouraged some reporters to take their masks off, and bragged about his maskless crowds tonight in North Carolina.

Here it is. Here is the proof. Don't believe me.


TRUMP: --thousand people here tonight that's almost--


TRUMP: Because of China, the arenas aren't working out too well, right? You can't really do that anymore for a while. But we are rounding the turn.

I really believe that these crowds are bigger than they were four years ago, it's pretty amazing.




CUOMO: It's not true. Yes. I mean you can take your mask off, no wonder Coronavirus hasn't magically disappeared. You keep telling people to take off one of the best forms of protection we have, and you do it because you think it serves your self-interest.

And you know who else knows it? A lot of his supporters. They know everyone who comes in contact with this President has to be tested, but he hasn't made that available for the rest of us. You know it.

Now, he wants you to forget he denied the pandemic, and refused to do the kind of testing mandate that only he can muster, and he wants to sell you a new magic solution.


TRUMP: So, we're going to have a vaccine very soon, maybe even before a very special date.


CUOMO: Now, is he pushing them to get it soon before the election? Of course! Is that wrong? Maybe, but it's politics. Now, do we know that this vaccine is going to work? I hope so. Is there enough for all of us? Almost certainly not.

Be good to have a vaccine, I guess, as long as it works, and people are willing to take it.

These are all really damning things I just showed you, but none of it will decide this election. Why? Because even though just a fraction of that behavior would all but end Biden, or any of us, in people positions like me, by the way.

I don't know - know if you've noticed, but they're coming after us a lot now too. Why? Why do POTUS and his puppets over on Fox state TV keep trashing all the other players, often without basis? Because they know they have to keep the bar as low as possible. That's

why someone who knows they are guilty of what they accuse somebody else of still does it, because they don't care if you think they're crap.

They're banking on you thinking that we're all crap. And maybe in some way, we are. We're all flawed. Nobody's really better than anybody else. You are only what you do, at the end of the day, not what you say.

But specifically, to Trump, you need to understand this eight weeks out. It's the most valuable part of the show because I know it's right.

The base, Trump supporters, they're not going to abandon him. You're not going to win their votes, why? Several reasons.

The Right is more about winning than the Left. They get in line. They are dogs, not cats. They do what they're told to do. But it's bigger than that. It's not just about Party.

Not even legitimate charges like the ones that I just listed and many, many, many more that these real failings matter. Here's why.


TRUMP: And you know Mexico is paying for the wall, just so you understand. They don't say that.

Remember I used to say, "Who's going to pay for it?" They'd say "Mexico." Right, that's right.


CUOMO: That's a lie. He knows it's a lie. And I believe - you see the faces of the people behind him? "Yes, yes, yes." They know it's a lie too. But they laugh, why? Because they're not going to abandon him.

Two reasons. One, the Party, one, now two more, not because they're bigots. That is not a winning strategy, and it's really not fair. Do bigots have a strong affinity to Trump? Yes. But I argue to you, many of his supporters are likely not that.

Moreover, they know he is all of the bad things you say he is. His own family says it. So - his own staff say it. They used to back other people and say he was the worst piece of garbage they've ever seen. One of his biggest supporters said he was destined for damnation. Heavy stuff!

So, why? Truth doesn't hurt Trump. The base doesn't expect truth from politics or politicians. So, they don't expect it from him, even if he's worse. He banks on that. So, he keeps trashing everyone and everything to lower the bar, make everybody garbage, then he doesn't stink as badly.

Many of Trump's supporters support Trump despite Trump. Again, many Trump supporters support Trump despite Trump. They are not for him. "Yay! I love the lies! I love the crudeness! I love the indecency!"


They support him despite him because they are more afraid of what could replace him. And that is the battleground of this election, "Which is the least bad choice. Who scares me worse?"

What are you up against as somebody on the other side of Trump? People are frustrated with this process, and the insiders, they're scared by the violence in cities. I know 93 percent of protests are non-violent. But they see the other 7 percent, and it's more than enough.

They are struggling too. They are poor. They are desperate. And they don't see how they should be blamed as privileged, nor being racist, for resisting the violence or the idea that being White is an automatic pass to prosperity. They do not feel privileged. They feel desperate.

And Trump tells them "You're right. But the Left hates you. They hate you."

You know how I know they say that? Because they've sent me emails saying exactly that, to Trump supporters, "The Left hates you. Islam hates you. The illegals hate you." That's what he says. And it works. All the people in the processes, that people are afraid of he says "You should be."

He represents more of the things that bother them than any politician in modern history. So, why support him? Because he says what they fear. They support him because they're scared of these other things more than they are impressed by any of his failings.

"Yes, I get it about Trump. You bash him all the time with the lies. I get it. I get it. But they all lie.

And I'm more worried about you guys wanting to tear down the Founding Fathers, forget about Christmas, not let me say anything you disagree with, not let my kids go to school, because everybody's got to check a diversity box, not pay me what I want to be paid.

I can't get ahead because you got to hire somebody who checks some diversity box. And I'm scared."

What do you offer those people Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, because that is the battleground.

Trump scares them. Fear is powerful. Demagogues are effective. The election that he wants to win, he's trying to sabotage, why? Fear, even if it means discouraging the people that he needs to vote to vote remotely. Listen to him.


TRUMP: These elections will be fraudulent. They'll be fixed. They'll be rigged.


CUOMO: How does he know? There is no proof. We have never seen anything like that, but it sounds scary. Now, I think this one's a bad play for him. I think Trump has made two bad plays.

One, put your arms around rapid testing, there's still time, say you're going to own it. We could get to a better place before the election. Ramp it up, the Emergency Production Act, give people the capital say "I'll give you an output contract."

And don't tell me not to say things that would help Trump. I want to help us. I want to get my kids back in school full-time, and you do too. We're not doing what we can to get through this pandemic. And the longer it drains - it drags, more sick, more dead, more long-haul COVID that will last for years.

So, that is where we are. That's the state of play. Now, am I right or am I crazy? Let's bring in David Gregory, Political Analyst Extraordinaire.

You had to sit through 13 minutes of it, does any of it resonate? And before you answer, God bless you, your wife, the kids, I hope everybody's healthy, and figuring out the new normal.


And I have been - I agree with a lot of what you've said, Chris, and you and I are in the same boat. We both have teenage kids and younger, who are beginning school at home remotely. And we have a lot of resources and a lot of privilege to be able to get through that, and it's still hard. So, it's not just--

CUOMO: And your son's a real ballplayer.

GREGORY: --just a difficult time.

CUOMO: Your son could have a real future as a ballplayer. Now, all the seasons are screwed up.


CUOMO: And some kids in the country will be able to play. And he won't be able to play as much. I mean there are a lot of different reverberations. Continue.

GREGORY: Yes. I mean and so this is real for a lot of people.

And what's unfortunate is that we're in the middle of a toxic political conversation, that's as much about who we are in the social fabric of the country and a lot more than about real policy, about the real direction of the country. And look, a lot of things that we can dissect.

But so much of how we think about politics is about team sports. How did my team do today? How did Team Trump do today? How did Team Biden do today? How did the Conservatives versus the Liberals do?


And that's what's playing out. And it plays out in media all the time. And it's very difficult to get beyond that.

So, I think, we have to remember some very foundational things to me that I think voters look at all this, to the extent that they pay attention to the complete list of the things that you're talking about.

They still want to know, "What's the temperament of the person I want to put in the job? Can I trust them if planes go into the World Trade Center, the Freedom Tower? In a real crisis, do they have the temperament for the job?

Are they competent? Are they up for it? During a pandemic, can they manage the response, and what's the future of my job and my well-being and my ability to provide for my family?"

These are the real questions, and that's what Trump's going to be evaluated on. And, to your point, I think it's been unusual in this campaign so far that we focus so much on Trump.

And what Trump has done, I think, pretty well, in the past month or so, he's made it what he wants, which is a referendum, which is "You may not like me, but look at the other guy. You may not like me, but forget about me, look at the Left. Don't even look at the other guy. Look at the Left. What about those people? What are they going to do to you?"

That's the - that's the battleground he wants to fight.

CUOMO: How do you - and so, for Biden, and I think, frankly, for the media, I think the best service to the audience is not pointing out what's obvious about Trump by now, if you need me to tell you that the guy lies, and that he can't even spell the word, you haven't been paying attention.

Is the best service, "Well what's better than him?" Why shouldn't his supporters be so afraid of Biden/The Left as an alternative?

GREGORY: I think it's a question. And I think - I saw a T-shirt at this North Carolina rally today, a guy, shirt on that says "The Left will" or "Liberals won't bully me."

And guess what? Whether you agree with that or not, there's a lot of people who feel that way. They feel aggrieved. They feel like their voice doesn't count.

Now, by the way, if you have a dissenting voice against President Trump, your voice doesn't count either, because he'll cancel you, as soon as he says the Left will. So, we want to underline that hypocrisy.

But people do feel like they can't speak out, whether it's at work, whether it's online, whether it's in their school, or in a meeting with other parents at their school, people do really feel this way.

And so, I think Biden has benefited, I think, by being "In the bunker," because I think the more he was underground, the more focus was on Trump. I think he had a good Convention.

But I think he comes into this fall, I think, a bit flat-footed on the violence out in Portland and other places. I think when he came out to condemn looting, and so forth, I don't think he was strong enough.

And I think Trump is exploiting this idea of law and order. It's a very old trick to scare suburbanites into thinking that the Left and people of color are somehow coming after you, and that the rioters are coming after you. That's not the case, but that's what he's trying to use.

And I thought that Biden was slow to condemn that. And I think, Biden, to your point, now he has to step forward and says, "This is what leadership looks like during a pandemic," because this is complicated, right?

And we can go - we can go through the whole list of how the Trump Administration failed to better respond to the pandemic. But it's still complicated, getting back to school is complicated.

CUOMO: Schools are killer--

GREGORY: And just because President Trump said that schools should reopen doesn't mean he was wrong.

CUOMO: Schools - schools are killer--

GREGORY: Because he didn't have a plan to do it.

CUOMO: Schools are killer because it's going to hurt too many people, too many different ways.


CUOMO: And people in politics are looking to blame.

GREGORY: Well look at the colleges.

CUOMO: Look at the colleges.

GREGORY: Look at the colleges. All you need to know is that kids who don't care about following the rules are getting together, and partying in a dorm, and there's an outbreak.

CUOMO: Right.

GREGORY: So, that's all you need to know about the virus, is that we can't--

CUOMO: Also known--

GREGORY: --go back to doing that. CUOMO: --as kids. So, and all these people, "All those kids and you know," no, no, no, no, no. Kids are going to do what they're going to do.


CUOMO: You got to put parameters around them. They need - they need posts. And they're not giving them.

And we know that they can't test. And people don't like to blame themselves, or their kids, for their own problems. And there's only one way to point. If we had the rapid testing, it would be differently.


CUOMO: Now, there's something else that you introduced to me that I think is a little bit of a dicey play because if you want to bash the institutions, I think that's always fertile ground in politics.

But David pointed out to me, and I want your take on this, David will deliver why he thinks it mattered enough to talk to me about it.

But the DoJ is now arguably working exclusively as Trump's personal attorney in the E. Jean Carroll case, OK? It's one of the many allegations of real sexual harassment, real sexual assault. Forget about harassment. Assault!

Now, the papers that you're seeing there, is the DoJ argues that Trump was acting within the scope of his job, as President, when he said that Carroll lied about the alleged rape, so they want to defend it.


Now, remember, this case won't die. It keeps winning challenges in state court. No coincidence that the DoJ now picks it up. Very controversial move! Chance it backfires? Or is it more just "Trump sucks but?"

GREGORY: Right. Well but I - but it speaks to a level of desperation. I mean here you have a President and a presidential campaign, who are very much one and the same, they usually are, but his is even more so, who's lashing out.

He's like the PR department, and wants to respond to everything in real-time, right away. And he has power at his disposal. And his Justice Department is acting very much as his own personal law firm and you see it again.

Again, a case that was showing signs of success in the state courts, now DoJ moves to dismiss it, and take over jurisdiction. We've seen this in other cases. You saw it in the Michael Flynn case as well, to dismiss those charges.

Again, I think that strikes people who are paying attention. They might like Trump. They may forgive some of his other behavior, maybe they don't love it, but they'll compartmentalize.

This smacks of corruption. This smacks of incompetence. This smacks of abuse. People don't like that in their president.

And yes, if you want to go on, and say, "Oh, the media is exaggerating, or this was a false claim," there are those people who believe that, and they'll make a determination.

But what I'm saying is I think some of these things are bad place, because I go back to where I've started. If you think the President is not up for the job, if you think the President is incompetent, or you think the President is corrupt, you've got a problem--

CUOMO: Right.

GREGORY: --pulling out a second time. I think that's the reality. I think it hurt President Bush after Iraq and after Katrina. And I think we saw with President Carter. It's an issue, and it sometimes can be much more of a gut-level feeling--

CUOMO: Right.

GREGORY: --than micro groups. You said, "Oh, veterans aren't going to vote for him now because of this Atlantic piece," well we don't know if that's the case. It could be. And it could be other people who don't like seeing the military disrespected.

CUOMO: Right. I got to tell you.

GREGORY: Who just don't like--

CUOMO: I don't like his defense. I don't like his defense of "The military sucks. All the Generals are against me anyway."


CUOMO: As Commander-in-Chief, you say that about the guys that you're supposed to lead? And that's your defense against an allegation that you said bad things about the military? I don't know.


CUOMO: Look, you got to swallow a lot to back Trump. If you don't believe in our institutions, if you think they're shady, well he's now using one in a really shady way.


CUOMO: But again, I really believe the litmus test is, "I don't care about Trump. I'm for him despite him because I am more scared of the alternative." Can Biden and Harris assuage that fear? If not, they lose.

GREGORY: And I think--

CUOMO: The winner-- GREGORY: --I think it's such an important question because I'm sure you've talked to people professionally/personally, and I've done the same, who express that very sentiment.

They're not in the bag for Trump. Maybe they're conservatives. Maybe they care about judges. Maybe they're worried about taxes. There's aspects of their own lives that they'll - that they'll zero in on.

And there's too many people on the Left, who are dripping with hatred for Trump, who can't understand how people could still support him, despite some of his conduct.

And yet, we've seen, that people will compartmentalize about their political support for people, even if there's bad behavior.

CUOMO: They have. Look, they have an understandably low bar of expectations. And you can never underestimate that in politics.

David Gregory, and you, cannot be overestimated in terms of your value to the audience. I love you, and I need you.

GREGORY: Thanks bud.

CUOMO: Thank you for working early and late.

GREGORY: Thanks.

CUOMO: Be well.

All right, Post-Labor Day now, fall is soon upon us, but we cannot keep falling back. We have to do the work to get out of COVID.

Yes, it will eventually burn through all of us, and become a lesser order issue. But do you really want to pay that price, especially with what we're learning about all these long-haul symptoms?

Got to keep bringing on voices, who personally know the reality. We must avoid the plight of those who thought they were better, but now they are as bad or worse.

The reality, people living it, studying it, next.









CUOMO: As you know, there were a lot of people across the country that couldn't get a COVID-19 test during the height of the pandemic or even really now, right?

And later, tested negative for the antibodies. And yet, half a year later, they're exhibiting many of the classic long-hauler symptoms, extreme fatigue, brain fog, cardiovascular issues, hair loss.

And, by the way, just to be clear, there are many of us who knew they had COVID, know they have the antibodies, and also have these types of symptoms, even after the original virus seemed to go away.

Deborah Copaken is one of them. She joins us now along with Dr. William Li, who is studying long-haulers.

It's good to see you both.

And Deborah, now that I see your face, yes, I do remember that we were in the same - at the same wedding, in the same place, and that's not COVID brain.


CUOMO: I'm just old.

COPAKEN: I can tell you exactly how long ago it was, because I was pregnant with my daughter, and she's now 23, so 23 years ago.

CUOMO: Well it is good to see you. I'm glad that the family has grown, and I am sorry that we're meeting again this way.

Deborah's also a former ABC journalist, so she knows how to understand a situation in context.

Dr. Li is recurring. I'm working with him privately. I'm working with him professionally. He's doing the research and he's figuring out what's working and what isn't. And these conversations help him as well.

So, Deborah?


CUOMO: Debrief?

COPAKEN: Debrief.

So, I got sick on March 18th, and so did my partner, and my younger son.


My older two were - one of them was in the Peace Corps and the other one was in the - working with Syrian refugees. So, it was just the three of us in our home. And all of us got sick. My younger son had fever and diarrhea. My partner was just extremely fatigue.

And I was the one that couldn't breathe at all. And I'm talking at all for about a week, where I felt like a fish flopping on shore. My symptoms lasted the breathing, I didn't breathe normally until August of this year. I was on a QVAR inhaler twice daily, a steroid inhaler.

During the weeks of sickness, I was on a nebulizer to breathe, before they were - we were told that we could turn over and that would help breathing. I figured that out on my own. I just kept tossing and turning until I could breathe correctly.

And then, I would say, by July or August, I was feeling OK, but I had this racing heart. And I'm a biker. I do yoga. I walk. I do exercise all the time. And when I would go up hills, on my bike, I would have to stop, because I felt like I was going to pass out.

And I also live on a fourth floor walkup. And so, every time I come home, I literally have to lie down on every landing, stick my feet up in the air or my heart rate goes to 147, sometimes as high as a 170.

CUOMO: What does your heart exam say?

COPAKEN: So, I went to a cardiologist because my cousin, Emily Wessler, is a cardiologist at Stanford. She said you got to go see a cardiologist. And the cardiologist I saw at NYU Langone said I have POTS.


COPAKEN: I didn't - I heard of POTS before, because one of my son's friends has it, but it's Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.

What it means is this. When you stand up, which everybody does who is human, and this is how we all stand on two feet, blood automatically pulls in your pelvis and your legs. Now that's normal.

With POTS, it rushes there, goes away from the brain, away from the heart area, the heart thinks, "Oh, no, oh, no, emergency," and it beats too hard. And therefore, I feel like I'm going to pass out, and I often do pass out. In fact, I have a - I had a dinger on my head from bumping into the shower.

CUOMO: Any fix?

COPAKEN: Gatorade and Spanx. You have to drink a lot of electrolytes. You have to wear compressions. I mean Spanx is probably not even enough pressure. You have to have real compression socks, compression pants, too hot to wear right now in the summer months.

CUOMO: Right.

COPAKEN: But I'm going to go get some. Coconut water.


COPAKEN: And there's a protocol called the CHOP Protocol or the Levine Protocol, where - and it's called the Dallas Protocol as well, where it's you have to go on a recumbent exercise bike, swim or rowing machine, all of which were - are unavailable to me during a pandemic so, so much for that.

CUOMO: And then they'll say ultimately "And time," because they believe it's virally induced, and that the body wants it makes its way through. We'll do it. All right, so that was perfect, as expected. Thank you.

COPAKEN: Thanks.

CUOMO: Now, Dr. Li, had you heard of the manifestation of POTS from post-COVID? Because, again, Deborah has no business having POTS, everything she does in her life is counter-indicative to having POTS. Now she has it.


And Deborah, you were telling a story that is actually the next piece of this puzzle, this 1,000-piece puzzle that we're calling Long-Hauler Syndrome.

I heard of POTS before, of course, as a - as a medical doctor. But we're only now starting to realize that this is actually happening, maybe more commonly than we think, in people who have recovered from COVID.

And Deborah, you're like many other people that, in March, it was not easy to get a test, so you didn't even know that you didn't had - have a confirmation you had COVID, and then if you had antibodies, and you didn't have them, it became really difficult. You're outside of the - outside of the box, and yet you have post-COVID syndrome.

And what we understand about POTS, it's a combination of your heart, your blood vessels and your nerves, the automatic nerves that reset the fluid column in your body. Think about an astronaut floating around.

Your body is desperately trying to figure out how to get enough blood to your brain. If you lay flat, and you sit suddenly, you get that head rush. You're getting that head rush just by actually walking, standing up and walking up steps. There is something going on in the blood vessels. There is something going in the nerves.

And just last week, researchers actually took a look at the heart, and found out that COVID virus, the Coronavirus, actually can shred heart muscle cells growing in a dish.

And so, this is really a diabolical virus. And the more we actually learn about it, the more we realize we need to get on top of this, so we don't have a second epidemic of these post-COVID problems.


CUOMO: With consent of Copaken and Li, I will put you two together on a text thread, so you can continue the conversation, see what he knows, that may help, may not help. And what you can avoid is really almost as important as what to do in our kind of situation.

And Deborah, you know I'm going to be a resource. I'm hearing and learning things all the time. I'm in contact with Dr. Li and many others. So, thank you for sharing. These are not the kinds of conversations--

COPAKEN: Thank you.

CUOMO: --we want to be having. But we have to have them because the idea that this just goes away is just increasingly not true. God bless, and be well, Deb. I'll be in touch. Dr. Li, as always, thank you.

COPAKEN: Thanks.

LI: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, big question, when you look at the race in context is why is it so close with so many bad things going on, on the incumbent's watch? All right, I gave you an argument for it at the top of the show.

Well what can we show in the numbers? The Wizard of Odds has fresh insight on tightening poll numbers, next.









CUOMO: Harry Enten, the Wizard of Odds comes to join us now to give you a statistical reality of what we have long-argued on this show, and by "We," I mean me, not Harry, is a tighter race than the polls were suggesting.

Two reasons, one, popular vote doesn't matter. It's about the states that matter, and the counties that matter, and the dynamics that affect the same.

Yes, young Harry, I'm glad you agree. State of play in the swing states, continue.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER & ANALYST: Yes, I mean, look, putting aside your giant ego, let's just take a look at the polls right now, in the swing states--


ENTEN: --versus nationally, OK? And I think this tells the story, which is nationally, what you see is that Joe Biden is ahead by 8 percentage points.

But if you look at the swing states, you see all of them, the six closest states from 2016, Biden's lead is less. But he is still up in them, Chris, he is still up in them, including in the State of Florida.

CUOMO: Almost within the margin of error in all of them.

And most of all, Florida, last time you came on the show, you had Florida somewhere around 8 to 12 for Biden, and I said that sounds crazy. And you said, "Boy, if he's up that much in Florida, and it holds," yes, it didn't hold.

ENTEN: The only thing that's crazy is your recollection. But I think that this is the key point here.

And that is if you look at what I call the tipping-point State, OK, that is the State that contains the median electoral vote plus one. What is the margin in that State right now? That State is Arizona, and the margin in there is plus 5 for Biden.

And so, what you see essentially is this 3-point gap, right, between what the popular vote says, and where the Electoral College sort of deciding vote is at this particular point.

CUOMO: All right, let's--

ENTEN: So, yes, the race is closer than you think, but Biden still has an edge.

CUOMO: No, the race is closer than you think. It's not closer than I think. I think it's a dead-even thing, and I think that Biden and Kamala Harris have to figure out a way to counter what the President is offering, because fear sells in a scary environment, which is what we're in.

And let's tick through that three different ways. One, the Electoral College, give me a quick take on how Trump is over-performing there.

ENTEN: Yes, I mean, look, he's over-performing there exactly the way that we're talking about right now, right, which is that in the states that matter, what you see is that Biden is over-performing.

But here's the key nugget, which sort of, I think, gets your whole point of, that you were talking about earlier, fear and perhaps driving up White resentment right, and trying to scare older folks.

Right now, at this point, we're not actually seeing that in the polls. We're not seeing that in the polls. What we're actually seeing is that Joe Biden is over-performing with seniors. He's over-performing with White voters. And--

CUOMO: But it's where, it's where, and it's - and it's why. So, we did "Where." Thank you.

Now, "Why?" Law and order talk, people say, "Oh, come on, that's the old scare tactic." But they're scary times. Pandemic, even if he's responsible for botching the response, scary. Violence in the streets, even if it's a small percentage, scary.

These are scary things. Law and order sells in scary times. What are you seeing in the numbers?

ENTEN: I mean, sometimes, it sells in scary times. But the fact is, if you look at the polling, and you look at White voters, you look at senior citizens, you do see that Biden is actually doing significantly better than Hillary Clinton did.

But you can also look at the law and order polling, which suggests that Joe Biden is winning on that issue, or at least keeping Trump's edge to a very small margin. And more than that, on the list of important issues, law and order is not resonating.

I know you're talking about it, but the polls indicate that that's not the case. That is not the reason if you want to argue Trump's closing that he is. The reasons he's probably closing are two-fold.

Number one, obviously the Coronavirus pandemic, although is still bad, but cases aren't as bad as they were early in the summer.

And then the second thing is that if you take a look at the economic indices, and you sort of put them all together, into one giant one, it's not as bad as I think a lot of people think it is.

CUOMO: Harry Enten, I love you, you're smart, you help the audience, you make us better, and I appreciate it. Be well, brother.

ENTEN: Be well. And I just want to say, you sent a very nice text message to me this weekend, and the person we were talking about, he would have really liked you. And I just want to say, you're a really good guy.

And I know you come across sometimes, on air, as something, but in person, in the interpersonal, you are great, and you're also great on air, but you're a different guy there, and I like you both ways.

CUOMO: Thank you very much, Harry. "On air, you come across as something," ladies and gentlemen, Harry Enten. Have a good night.

ENTEN: You too buddy.

CUOMO: All right, we'll be right back.









CUOMO: President Trump is banning federal agencies from holding racial sensitivity training, calling it anti-American propaganda. He's also threatening to defund schools that use curriculum from The New York Times' 1619 Project.

We'll talk about what that is and what it means. Well why is it a good move? Let's discuss with Rick Santorum.

Good to see you, hope the family is well.


CUOMO: DHS assesses White Supremacy to be the most lethal threat to the United States. In 2018, only 8 percent of high school seniors surveyed can identify slavery as the central cause of the Civil War.

You mix ignorance and arrogance, you get a dangerous combination. Why wouldn't we want to train people to understand that systemically these kinds of cultural ignorance and cultural biases can make a difference and to just be careful about it?


SANTORUM: Well because that's not what this is doing. I mean these are - the 1619 Project, and these "Diversity" or "Sensitivity trainings" are really indoctrination sessions that in more than one way really divide us, I mean, and tends to focus--

CUOMO: Along what line?

SANTORUM: Well it's just - it's solely focused on dividing about race. I mean to quote Nelson Mandela--

CUOMO: How is it dividing? Help me understand, Rick?

SANTORUM: Well it--

CUOMO: How does it divide about race by telling you--

SANTORUM: Because - because it - because it--

CUOMO: --"Be careful. We fought a war"--

SANTORUM: --it's not what it's--

CUOMO: --"over slavery."

SANTORUM: Yes. But that's not what the memo says. The memo says that we shouldn't divide people by race, and say that because you're White, you're privileged. And because you're - because you're White, you should - you're guilty of certain things.

I mean, if you read the memo, and that's what the President was referring to, it's saying that these courses that are - that are basically divisive courses that talk about the centrality of race having to do with sort of everything, it's--

CUOMO: All right, but I get your argument.

SANTORUM: --really the problem here. And--

CUOMO: I get your argument.

SANTORUM: --I don't think anybody with an ounce of (ph) sensitivity and learning history, and certainly the every valid historian has said the 1619 Project is historically invalid. I think we're all for learning the valid history--

CUOMO: No, no, hold on, hold on a second. All right, hold.


CUOMO: OK. My turn. Every respectable historian has not said that about the 1619 Project.

I did not do the 1619 Project. I have no connection to the 1619 Project. But in looking at what its formation was about, which is making sure that people understand the role of slavery in this history, and in the war.

SANTORUM: It says that America was born on as a racist country. And they fought the Revolution over slavery. I mean that's just--

CUOMO: They - hold on.

SANTORUM: --completely wrong.

CUOMO: They did fight the Revolution over slavery. You and your people weren't here. Me and my people weren't here. They fought--

SANTORUM: We fought the Civil War over slavery. We didn't fight the Revolution over slavery.

CUOMO: Right. But the Civil War was about slavery. And you only have--

SANTORUM: Yes. But that's not what she said. She said that - the 1619 Project says the Revolutionary War was fought over slavery. I mean it's absurd. It is ahistorical.

CUOMO: All right. Even if you think it goes too far-- SANTORUM: And it's their - yes, I think it--


CUOMO: --even if you think it goes too far, how does the solution not go too far? Fine, you don't like the 1619 Project? You can't go back to the Revolution? Just stick with the Civil War? Fine, there's your tweak.

Sensitivity training, we have systemic inequality. You know it. I know it. I could quote you facts all night long. You don't want to hear them because you don't want to defend them.

The President won't even say it exists. How is that alone not a prima facie case to have the training?

SANTORUM: Here's what I would say, with respect to training, I'd be for training to let people, who have thoughts and concerns, whether they are liberal or conservative, or Black or White that people have the right to air those concerns and to feel comfortable doing so.

But these are - these are prescriptive. These are telling you how to think. These are - the reason that people are objecting and whistleblowing on these is because they are - they're pushing an agenda. That's the problem.

If it was simply to say, "Look, we have - we should be sensitive and we should be listening to different points of views, and we shouldn't be making these presumptions that because you are White, you're privileged, and it's because if you're White, you're racist."

CUOMO: But that's not what the training is.

SANTORUM: But that - but that's what the memo says.

CUOMO: That is a scare tactic. That's the divisive thing.

SANTORUM: But - no, no, they're actually--

CUOMO: Rick, Rick, this President is saying--

SANTORUM: --there's - there's plenty of information out there.

CUOMO: Rick?

SANTORUM: There's plenty of information out there that these types of training sessions are occurring.

CUOMO: Rick, but you're generalizing.

SANTORUM: In various branches of our government.

CUOMO: I'm dealing with the specific.

The specific problem is our President says there is no such thing as systematic inequality, and the Blacks are going to come to your neighborhood with their crazy White friends, and they're going to destroy your houses, and they're going to take away the suburbs.

And you're going to say, in my crystal ball, "Yes, well I don't like that he says it that way, but this goes too far too."


CUOMO: Training people that slavery and systemic oppression has affected our institutions is the truth. Why shouldn't we educate people about that?

SANTORUM: Because here's what I would say. I think that to simply focus on that, and make the presumption that because you are - because you're White, you're privileged, and because you're White, you're racist--

CUOMO: That's not the point of the training. They don't they--

SANTORUM: That is what the memo is saying--

CUOMO: Rick? Rick? Rick?

SANTORUM: --you can train on.

CUOMO: The memo does not say "Here's what we want people to know. You're White, you're bad, you're privileged, and you're to blame for every bad thing that happen to Black people, now go home and say you're sorry." That's not the point of it. It's "Be open."

SANTORUM: But that's what the memo says, Chris.

CUOMO: It's not what the memo says.

SANTORUM: That's what that President Trump is saying.

CUOMO: Rick?

SANTORUM: I have read the memo. Read it.

CUOMO: So have I. I've read the memo.

SANTORUM: It's says. It's says exactly that.

CUOMO: No, it says it as an aspect of opening an aperture of understanding how our experiences are different.

SANTORUM: No one is opposed--

CUOMO: And you know it's true.

SANTORUM: No one is opposed to having the discussion.

CUOMO: The President is opposed.

SANTORUM: But we oppose--

CUOMO: The President is opposed. Rick? SANTORUM: --we oppose - we oppose the indoctrination that's going on.

CUOMO: The President says systemic inequality doesn't exist. Do you agree with that?


SANTORUM: Do I think there is racist - racists in this country? Yes.

CUOMO: Systemic inequality.

SANTORUM: Do I think that that systemic inequality, I--

CUOMO: We don't lend the same way.


CUOMO: We don't educate the same way. We don't punish the same way. We don't hire the same way.

SANTORUM: Yes. I would say that we are an imperfect society.

CUOMO: No. That is true what I just said.

SANTORUM: And-- and that--

CUOMO: Do you agree with what I just said?

SANTORUM: I would say that we are an imperfect society and we can approve on all of those counts.

CUOMO: Why won't you just say you agree with what I just said?

SANTORUM: Well I said we can--

CUOMO: Why qualify it?

SANTORUM: Yes. I agree that we can improve.

CUOMO: All right, fine.

SANTORUM: On all those counts.

CUOMO: Then say--

SANTORUM: But - but today--

CUOMO: --the President is wrong to deny that.

SANTORUM: --the situation is anywhere near as what it was 50 years ago.

CUOMO: It's not about whether it's the same.

SANTORUM: I think we need to look at the progress we've made.

CUOMO: It's about it not being where it could be, and this President says we don't even have a problem.

SANTORUM: And the question is how do we--

CUOMO: And you won't say he's wrong. If you agree with me--

SANTORUM: No, I would--

CUOMO: --but you won't say he's wrong, what does that make you?

SANTORUM: I will say that the memo that he is endorsing is not what you're suggesting it is. It's saying that the - saying that these types--

CUOMO: It's not about the memo. You guys won't even admit we have a problem. And you say the prescription goes too far.

SANTORUM: I just admitted that we have a problem.

CUOMO: What do you care about the prescription or the medicine?

SANTORUM: But I don't think--

CUOMO: You won't even admit the illness.

SANTORUM: I think - I think the remedy that's being proposed by some is worse than the illness, this idea of dividing people by race, and calling people because you're White that you have privilege--

CUOMO: Nobody's going to try to divide by race. They're trying to open people's eyes--

SANTORUM: Well of course they are.

CUOMO: --to why we have different experiences. But here's the bigger problem, Rick.

SANTORUM: I'm all for that.

CUOMO: And we talked about this before. Then you've got to start telling this President he's wrong to deny the existence - to deny the existence of systematic inequality. You've got to start saying he's wrong, Rick, because you guys keep coddling him, and it keeps getting worse. I got to jump. You are always welcome here to take it to the next level.

SANTORUM: Thanks. You got it.

CUOMO: And you know we do it in a spirited decency.

SANTORUM: And I appreciate it.

CUOMO: I'm not him. You're not him. I'm not going to run you down to make a point. You won't do that either. Be well.

SANTORUM: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, we'll be right back.