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Voting Delayed in Pennsylvania; Manhunt for Ambush Shooter in Los Angeles; Georgia Deputy Fired Over Beating; New 2020 Presidential Polls; NFL Social Justice Demonstrations. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired September 14, 2020 - 06:30   ET



TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Information about mail-in voting and sort of not putting it in this all-hands-on-deck effort to make mail-in voting and alternative forms of voting safe and easy for people. So a lot of these states are on their own and they're trying to work this out in record time and trying to put up a new system to get people to be able to vote before the November election without having to risk their health.

So it is a little bit of a messy process, but hopefully over the next seven weeks all of these states will be able to kind of work out these kinks and work out these lawsuits and get the ballots of people who want to vote by mail and allow for safe voting for people who want to vote in person, whether early or on Election Day.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It's not that it's playing into his narrative, he's creating this narrative, which is largely untrue, that mail-in voting it's unsafe and there isn't a process here that can work.

And, by and large, it's the president's lawyers who are slowing down and mucking up the process around the country, fighting things like ballot drop boxes, which states that do it will tell you make things much simpler.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: But these lawsuits here in Pennsylvania are different.

BERMAN: This is a -- this is a lawsuit that is slightly different, but we've seen the same thing in Wisconsin also where you have largely Republicans fighting to get Green Party candidates on the ballot to siphon away Democratic votes. The record here is important in terms of what Republicans and the president's team have done. And if they're trying to win, I mean they, you know, they're -- they're trying to win.

But we have to be clear here, that the president's trying to create a narrative that it doesn't work, instead of trying to make it work here. And I think we need to be careful about what we say about it or how we depict what's going on around the country. Toluse, we just had Dr. Peter Hotez on moments ago, who had an

interesting framing about how the president's campaigning on coronavirus now. He's campaigning against the science of coronavirus, physically campaigning against the science of coronavirus. The science says, don't hold indoor rallies. The president is. And he's flouting these restrictions.

And what's interesting to me about this is he's leaning into it. So, clearly, he thinks this is helping him. But when you look at public opinion on how he's dealt with coronavirus, it's very low. There's a brand-new ABC News/IPOSO poll out over the weekend where his approval on coronavirus is 35 percent. It's 35 percent. So I don't know what he thinks he's getting politically, let alone the negligent homicide factor that Dr. Jonathan Reiner (ph) said about the people he's putting in the room here.

OLORUNNIPA: Yes, there will always be a small minority of people who believe anything the president says, even if it contradicts the evidence. So they'll believe that the virus is sort of a hoax or is just sort of made up and is not actually having the impact that it is. But for the vast majority of Americans, they can see the numbers, they can see the evidence, they can probably realize that people within their own social circle have been impacted by this virus, whether in their health or in their pockets. And, for that reason, you know, the president is getting very low marks from the public for this. They realize that the United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population, more than 20 percent of the world's death, and it's just clear that we have not handled this as well as other places across the globe.

So it's pretty clear from the polling and from everything else we see that the vast majority of Americans disapprove of the way the president handled this. They don't think the president should have downplayed this. They saw that he was downplaying this with their own eyes before they heard on the tape the president telling Bob Woodward that he liked to downplay the virus and he continues to like to downplay the virus. And for most Americans, that just doesn't cut it. Americans want the president to level with them, to tell them what they need to know, to protect them from these types of things. That's the number one job of the president, to protect the country. And the vast majority of Americans think that this president failed in that effort.

CAMEROTA: Last night we heard more from Bob Woodward. Basically, we knew, we found out last week, much to everyone's, you know, grave disappointment, that the president knew by at least February 7th that the virus was airborne and that it was going to be five times more deadly than the seasonal flu, though he said the opposite out loud.

So, last night, Bob Woodward said that he even had an example earlier on January 28th of just how catastrophic this would look in this country. So listen to this moment.


BOB WOODWARD, AUTHOR, "RAGE": Pottinger (ph) said his contacts in China told him, this is going to be like the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic that killed 675,000 people in this country. It was a stunning moment in the Trump presidency and I think in American history because he then went on to publicly dismiss the virus and he knew that this was a pandemic coming.

SCOTT PELLEY: And this is January 28th?



CAMEROTA: Oh, January 28th. So that deputy national security adviser said, it's going to look like the devastating Spanish Flu of 675,000 people killed.


I mean that's -- that's information that could have been useful in January and February and March.

OLORUNNIPA: Yes, the president took some steps, banning travel from China, or at least restricting some travel from China. But in terms of his public posture, it was very clear that he made it seem like this was not a problem, that people did not need to make any changes to their lives, people did not need to worry. He was trying to protect the stock market. He says he was trying to keep people from panicking. But that was a crucial moment when the president could have sort of raised the national conscientious about this virus and said, we need to be all hands on deck, we need to defeat this virus as a country. Democrats, Republicans, independents, let's all come together, follow the science and crush the virus and not allow it to spread within the country.

We've seen other world leaders do this in places like New Zealand and President Trump was just unwilling to do that. He downplayed the virus for weeks. And even now he continues to sort of make it seem like it's in the rearview mirror, even as we continue to see hundreds of people dying on a daily basis.

So the president had a clear political strategy for the virus. He did not have a scientific strategy. And the country seems to be paying a price six months later for the fact that he did not go out and tell the country that this could be another Spanish Flu and that everyone should hunker down and make sure that they take the right precautions. Instead, he said, the virus was going to go away. It was just like the flu and everything was going to be fine.

BERMAN: All right, Toluse, thank you very much. We'll talk to you again very soon.

We have shocking video this morning. Two Los Angeles sheriff's deputies ambushed by a gunman. We have the very latest on the search for the suspect, next.



BERMAN: This morning, two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies critically hurt in an ambush shooting are out of surgery and expected to survive. Surveillance video captured the suspect walking up to the police vehicle, opening fire, then running away.

CNN's Josh Campbell live in Lynwood, California.

What's the latest on the search, the manhunt here, Josh?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning to you, John.

As you look at that CCTV footage of this incident, it's hard to conclude that this was anything but the attempted cold-blooded murder of two law enforcement officers here in Los Angeles. You see a patrol vehicle outside the metro station. A man walks towards the vehicle, appears to be passing by, stops, and then starts firing into the passenger side before fleeing. That incident leaving those two deputies in the vehicle seriously injured.

As you mentioned, this manhunt is still underway. A massive manhunt. As of this point, authorities have not indicated whether they have any leads. However, they have issued a reward for $100,000, asking the public for any information that can lead to this person's arrest.

Now, after this shooting, we heard from countless officials here in California, coming out, publicly condemning the shooting. Officials in Washington also taking note. President Trump weighing in last night.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A man shot at stone cold, short range, right through a window. And we're looking for him. We're looking for that person, him, we think. And when we find that person, we've got to get much faster with our courts and we've got to get much tougher with our sentencing. And we have to come out very, very strongly. We have to find that person.


CAMPBELL: Now, the president -- the president making liberal use of the word "we" there. It's important to note that this is not an effort that's led by the federal government. The feds have offered assistance, but this is being run by local officials and any potential prosecution wouldn't be handled by the Trump administration, but likely by local prosecutors here in the Los Angeles area.

Finally, on the condition of those deputies, they are behind me here at this hospital in Lynwood. We got some good news last night. They are out of surgery. The sheriff saying that they are expected to pull through.

But just a very chilling incident. Yet another reminder that these thousands of law enforcement officers around the country that put on that uniform every day, they never know what kind of danger might await. Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely, Josh, and we pray for their recovery this morning. Thank you very much.

Also, a sheriff's deputy in Georgia fired for using excessive force after video showed him repeatedly punching a black man who was already pinned to the ground.

CNN's Dianne Gallagher is live in Clayton County, Georgia, with more.

So what happened, Dianne?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Alisyn, look, the attorney for that man, Roderick Walker, says that being fired isn't enough. They want that deputy charged as well as the other deputy seen in that disturbing video to be fired and charged and for the sheriff to step down. Protesters were out here in Clayton County on Sunday demanding the same.

Now, they sheriff's office hasn't really told anybody what happened on Friday night. That video is all we've had to go off of. And according to the attorney for Roderick Walker, he had rented -- excuse me, he had hired a car to take his family back from a rental service, meaning his girlfriend and his child were in that vehicle, watching as this happened.

The deputy pulled that car over for a taillight violation, and then asked Roderick Walker, the passenger, for his ID. He didn't have it on him at the time. He questioned the deputy, according to the attorney, as to why they were even asking him since he was a passenger, and from that point they say the deputy asked him to get out of the car and it escalated to what we see on video.

Again, the sheriff's office hasn't told us what happened. They did fire that deputy. But, look, Roderick Walker is still here in jail in Clayton County. And according to the sheriff, that's because of an unrelated felony warrant that had nothing to do with what happened that night. But his attorney says, look, he shouldn't have been in jail in the first place. We want him out. They're going to talk to the district attorney today hopefully, according to that attorney, Alisyn, to see if they can get him out and also discuss potentially criminal charges dealing with this case.

CAMEROTA: OK, Dianne, please keep us posted. Thank you very much for that report.

So a flurry of new polls in the final stretch of the 2020 election. Harry Enten is going to tell us what they mean, next.



BERMAN: So, as of this moment, we're 50 days away from Election Day. We have a bunch of new polling out over the weekend and this morning that shows where things stand. And some new signs behind the numbers that you're going to want to see.

Joining me now, CNN senior politics writer and analyst Harry Enten.

Mr. Enten, thank you for being with us this morning.

There are signs of tightening in the polls this morning, although I suppose it depends on what date you are saying we are tightening from.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICS WRITER AND ANALYST: Yes, I would say that's exactly right. I mean you could take a look at the national polling averages now, take a look at where they were two months ago, and then take a look at where they were four months ago. And what you see essentially is that back in July, Joe Biden had about a ten-point lead. He was at 50 percent. The president was at 40 percent. Now Biden is still at that 50 percent mark, but Trump has climbed back to 43 percent.

But what's key is, if you look back at May, right, we're not really seeing a lot of change from the polls in May. Of course, you will recall, that's when George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis. And there did seem that there was an initial boost, or at least a degradation, of Trump support. But it does seem he's climbed back up after that.


BERMAN: I can -- I'm struck by the fact that you also see Joe Biden consistently at that 50 percent mark or higher, at 51 or 52, which is very different than where Hillary Clinton was four years ago, even when she was leading. Compare the two.

ENTEN: Yes, I think that's exactly right. I mean, look, where Hillary Clinton was at this point in mid-September, what you see is, she only had a 2-point lead. And she was all the way down at 42 percent. Now Joe Biden has a 7-point lead and it's very key. He's at that 50 percent mark. And what that essentially means, if the president wants to close, he's going to have to pull from that undecided third party column, and that's a much smaller percentage of the vote than it was four years ago at this point where it was nearly 20 percent. And I think that is arguably the biggest difference between the polls back four years ago and the polls now is Trump had this ability that he could tap into this undecided or third party vote that he, simply put, does not have this year.

BERMAN: Yes, keep this up for one second here because that 18 percent undecided four years ago, that's a huge difference with now. Just a huge difference. There aren't that -- isn't that well of people out there that may be persuadable or as easily persuadable.

There's some other differences, too, between how the public perceives Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton.

ENTEN: Yes, exactly right. And I think this is also a key nugget, which was, you know, we've always spoken about the lesser of two evils vote back in 2016, where Trump won overwhelmingly among those who liked neither of the major party candidates. But this particular year, look at Joe Biden's favorable rating. It's actually above his unfavorable rating compared to Clinton four years ago, who was very much unpopular. So this year, all Joe Biden really needs to do is just win the voters who like him, and if he does so, he will almost certainly or very probably win this election. So you don't really have to worry about that lesser of two evils votes, or at least Joe Biden doesn't, like he -- like Hillary Clinton did four years ago.

BERMAN: All right, Harry, let's go to college. And by that I mean the Electoral College. Where do we stand this morning with the EC?

ENTEN: Yes. So I think that, you know, look, everyone acknowledges -- we've spoken about this oftentimes, right -- that Joe Biden's position in the Electoral College is not nearly as strong as it is in the national polls. And you see this here, right? His lead in the six closest swing states that Donald Trump won four years ago are either tied or smaller than his lead is nationally. Of course the key nugget here is, he's still ahead in all of those with those leads ranging from anywhere from 1 to 7 percentage points.

That being said, John, that being said, if you look at the Electoral College map, and you essentially say, you know what, we're only going to give Joe Biden those states where his lead has been five -- at least five points in both August and September, he still gets a majority in the Electoral College. It's close, but he still gets that majority of 279.

So the best way to describe this race in all honesty at this point, it's certainly lean Biden. If election were held today, it would be likely Biden. But with still 50 days to go, we're going to have to wait and see if anything really changes over those final 50 days.

BERMAN: Harry, I -- Florida's a big deal and I watched two football games with Florida teams yesterday, the Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Bucs. I saw Joe Biden ads in football games on healthcare. Interesting, no?

ENTEN: Very interesting. You know, if you look at that map right there, and you look at the slide before it, you'll see that Biden does hold an advantage in Florida, but it's small. It's small. it's only about three points. And we have seen some tightening there. And the thing -- the reason he's targeting seniors, a big reason why is he's doing very well with them. He would be the first Democrat in a generation to win seniors if the election were held today and, of course, they make up a disproportionate share in Florida, as compared to the nation as a whole.

BERMAN: Harry Enten, thank you very much for being with us this morning, as always. We'll talk to you again soon.

ENTEN: Thank you, my friend.

BERMAN: All right, an epic and historic finish at the U.S. Open men's final. We will bring you the finish in this roller-coaster match, next.



CAMEROTA: The fight for social justice front and center on the first Sunday of the NFL season. And an epic finish to the U.S. Open men's championship match.

Andy Scholes has it all for us. He's live in Jacksonville with the "Bleacher Report."

Hi, Andy.


So as a part of the NFL's new social justice initiative, they're allowing players to wear messages on their helmets, they're encouraging people to vote, and is -- in week one, they're playing both the songs "Lift Every Voice and Sing," which is the black national anthem, and "The Star Spangled Banner" before games. And teams were really split on how they handled those anthems. Eight teams remaining in the locker room for those songs yesterday. Other teams saw players taking a knee, raising a fist and locking arms.

Here in Jacksonville, all the Colts players locked arms together with one person taking a knee. That was head coach Frank Reich.


FRANK REICH, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS HEAD COACH: We thought it was a unique way to express what needs to be done. You know, where someone like myself, a white leader, would kneel out of a posture, not, as the statement said, not out of defiance, but out of humility to acknowledge that some work needs to be done, that we can't leave things the way they are.


SCHOLES: Now, George Floyd's family, meanwhile, was on hand at the Vikings game yesterday. The team honoring Floyd before the game with a video tribute and then by not blowing that Vikings horn like they normally do.

All right, and, finally, history at the men's final at the U.S. Open yesterday. Austrian Dominic Thiem with an epic comeback against Alex Zverev, becoming the first man in 71 years to lose the first two sets in the final round and then win the next three to win the tournament. First major for the 27-year-old. It's the first time since 2016 that one of the big three, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic didn't win. They'd won the last 13 grand slams. So congratulations to Thiem.


And, Alisyn, here in Jacksonville, this is the only game on Sunday that allowed fans. They had just over 14,000 in the stadium. They all had to wear masks. I was in there. They were following protocols.