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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Warning Signs For Democrats After Virginia Loss And Tight Race In New Jersey; Interview With Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA); Minneapolis Voters Reject Measure To Replace Police Dept. In First Major Test Of "Defund The Police" Efforts Nationwide; Video Evidence Shows A Different Person Fired A Gun In The Air Before The Teen's First Fatal Shot; One Black Juror, 11 White Jurors Seated In Trial Of Men Accused Of Murdering Ahmaud Arbery; CNN Projects: NJ Gov. Murphy Defeats GOP Challenger; U.S. Surpasses 750,000 Covid-19 Deaths; 28 Million U.S. Children Ages 5 To 11 Now Eligible For Pfizer's Covid Vaccine. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired November 03, 2021 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Now, Margaret is just getting to know her two older brothers, Nolan and Nicholas, who adore her and show it by poking and prodding her.

So keep her safe, Susie and Dave. We are also happy for you and your wonderful family.

Thanks for joining us. Anderson starts now.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. He called this moment a red alert for Democrats in more ways than one. They are clearly treating in that way after losing every major race in Virginia from the governor on down losses in formerly blue New York suburbs and a race for New Jersey Governor, which is still undecided, but wasn't expected to be so close.

Last night showed independent support for Democrats eroding with one Republican Party official telling POLITICO last night and I quote: "Democrats were renting those voters, not buying them." Also dragging the Democrats, the President underwater in the polls and a party failing to deliver on potentially popular infrastructure and social spending legislation, something the President acknowledged today.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think we should have -- it should have passed before Election Day, but I'm not sure that I would be able to have changed the number of very conservative folks who turned out in the red districts who were Trump voters, but maybe.


COOPER: More on the President and his agenda shortly, as well as analysis about what happened in Virginia. But first CNN's M.J. Lee joins us with more in the still undecided New Jersey's governor's race. The Democratic incumbent Phil Murphy narrowly leading his Republican challenger, Jack Ciattarelli.

M.J., this was certainly a lot closer than a lot of people thought.

M.J. LEE, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's absolutely right, Anderson. Certainly, a lot closer than what Phil Murphy and his campaign and Democrats had hoped to see. The latest update right now, from here, Asbury Park, New Jersey, is that the Murphy Campaign has announced just within the last hour that he plans on giving a speech tonight at around 10 o'clock in the building behind me. This is where the election night party was held last night, and this is where they had hoped to give a victory speech last night.

The reason that they are doing that is because some other outlets have called the race for Phil Murphy, but I want to be very clear that CNN has not made a call at this moment on who is going to be projected the winner of this race.

But already we are hearing in conversations we have had today with Murphy advisers and aides and other Democrats, they are doing some soul searching right now to try to figure out why this race has been so much closer than they had hoped for and had anticipated and certainly enthusiasm issues and some turnout issues are some early assessments that have come out from these Democrats that we have been speaking to simply that in some of these very highly Democratic areas, they didn't see the turnout that they had hoped.

In some of the very Republican areas, they saw a huge amount of turnout and enthusiasm for their Republican opponent, Jack Ciattarelli. Again, we should be hearing from the New Jersey Governor in the next several hours, but CNN has not yet made a call in this race yet -- Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. And what about chances for a recount?

LEE: You know, that's an interesting question, given just how close this race has been. Basically, the rule is that if a candidate has reason to think that there were errors in the counting within 17 days of Election Day, they could ask a judge to start that recount process.

However, I should be very clear that is not really where the conversation is right now. We did see a press release from Jack Ciattarelli and his campaign within the last hour or so, basically saying they believe that the race is too close to call right now, that the margin is too close. They don't think the votes are quite where they are for the race to be called. So, they are making clear that there is no kind of public concession that they are giving right now.

And as for Murphy, last night, he made very clear when he gave the speech in the building behind me, again, not a victory speech, almost an apologetic speech to the people who had gathered here saying, sorry, we can't celebrate yet. He had emphasized the importance of counting every vote. So, we'll see what his message is on that point later tonight when we hear from the Governor.

COOPER: M.J. Lee, appreciate it. Thanks.

Perspective now from Scott Rigell, former Republican congressman from Virginia; also former New Jersey Republican Governor Christine Todd Whitman.

Governor Whitman, I appreciate you joining us. Did you think this race in New Jersey would be this close? And what does that and the results in Virginia tell you?

CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: Well, first of all, I don't think anybody expected it to be this close. We expected it to be close, because traditionally Democrats even though they have a million vote, plurality of registered voters in this state, they have been lazy in the off election years. And it wasn't since my election in 1993, which was the first time an incumbent governor had been defeated in the General Election, no Democrat has won a second term.

So to that extent, Phil Murphy was bucking a trend, and it looks now as if he may be in fact the winner, Jack Ciattarelli decided that what he needed to do was to go for the very conservative -- the Trump base -- which he did extremely well and they vote. He knew they would vote. He was counting on the Democrats being less than enthusiastic about Murphy. And frankly, I just don't know whether how much work the Murphy team, not the Governor himself during the election because he campaigned very hard.


But in the past four years, how much time they spent and got him down to the various or out to the various counties to help the local elections, because that's so important here in the State of New Jersey, because it's all about getting out the vote.

And I think the message to both, if Jack Ciattarelli doesn't win, it's a sign that, you know, going for just the Trump base isn't going to be enough because he wouldn't have gotten those moderate Republicans who have left the Republican Party. I mean, that's why for the first time in our history, 50 percent of registered voters are unaffiliated and the same message is kind of true in Virginia.

COOPER: Yes. Congressman, I mean, have Republicans found a winning formula in the post Trump era, at least in Virginia? Or are these results more because Democrats are so split and didn't deliver anything in Congress that could have energized voters?

SCOTT RIGELL, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Well, credit first goes to Glenn Youngkin. He is likable. He is smart. He ran a great campaign. And I think rank choice voting, which hasn't gotten a lot of discussion has helped with that. That is Virginians nominated an authentically conservative candidate, but one who didn't frighten Independents and moderate Democrats. So, I think that's a message that ought to be said.

COOPER: He didn't have to go through the primary process that a lot of other Republicans have to go through. RIGELL: Well, that's correct, and I think that that process -- I was

actually stunned as a former Republican congressman, you know, that Glenn Youngkin prevailed and Winsome Sears and Jason Miyares. It was a strong, diverse ticket. I was thrilled with it.

I didn't know that they would go all the way to the finish line, but they did. So, I think it bodes well for Republicans nationwide, but it's not a ticket -- just a clear ticket to victory. I think that lessons learned like President -- the ex-President Donald Trump not physically come into Virginia -- I think that helped Glenn Youngkin and the whole ticket.

So I think that's a lesson -- I don't know that the foreign President will get that. I think he would help most Republicans if he'd stay home at Mar-a-Lago, but I don't think he will. He's a narcissist.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, Governor Whitman, it was kind of a unique situation for Glenn Youngkin because he again, he didn't have to run in a primary against very, very far right, you know, Trumpians. He didn't have to play that game.

I mean, if the former President does enter this race as President, which certainly seems a good chance he's going to do that, is the Youngkin model going to hold?

WHITMAN: Well, I think the Democrats -- or the Republicans, excuse me have to be very concerned if Donald Trump decides he wants to be the nominee, because frankly, right now, he controls the party apparatus and he could be that person.

But he is so divisive, that I think Youngkin showed that the way to win is to walk that fine line between appealing to some of the issues that are critically important to the public that are the "Trump issues" quote-unquote, but not embracing Trump himself, and some of that rhetoric, the undermining of the rule of law and respect for the Constitution.

Youngkin embodied those things at the same time that he did talk about critical race theory and other things that really matter to people in their homes. Whether it's true or not, I mean, we know that there's no critical race theory being taught in Virginia, but people care about those issues.

And when you have McAuliffe saying that parents shouldn't have a role in telling teachers what they should teach, that really set people off. And you combine that with the fact that Democrats seem to have a very hard time in governing out of Washington and that's not helpful at all to the Democrats. They've got to be concerned about that.

COOPER: Congressman, I mean, you know, people have talked about rebuilding a center in the Republican Party, but frankly, in both parties -- but is either party really interested in that? I mean, all the red meat is for the base, all the fundraising and the attention comes with, you know, going to the far left or to the far right, and certainly again in primary races that seems to be the game one has to play. RIGELL: That's really unfortunate and hyper redistricting has been a

big cause of this. I'm a big advocate for reform and how we actually set our congressional lines. I'm convinced that this may sound a little bizarre, but I'm convinced we're not as polarized as we seem to be at literally the polls, because there is a rational middle out there. I think it was reflected in the vote in Virginia.

I think Democrats they ran too far too fast, too left on too many issues. When you make statements like defund the police and the McAuliffe gaffe of saying that parents don't really have a place for direct engagement in how their children are taught, that sounds really bizarre to the rational middle.


So I think, candidates if they can be elevated through the primary process who are, you know, center right or even center left, I'd rather see a center right candidate prevail, but center right candidates can win. It's just a matter of getting the right candidates elevated in the primaries.

COOPER: Governor Whitman, I want to read a quote that you've said in an op-ed recently. You wrote -- you co-wrote in "The New York Times" saying, " ... concerned conservatives must join forces with Democrats in the most essential near-term imperative, blocking Republican leaders from regaining control of the House of Representatives." Can you just explain that? And do you think Democrats are in place to really pull that off?

WHITMAN: Sure. I mean, what we were saying and Miles Taylor and in that op-ed, is if I can -- if a Republican has a choice between a far- right Republican and a moderate Democrat to vote Democrat, and for the Democrats, if they have a far-left Democrat versus a centrist Republican vote for the Republican, because I agree with the Congressman, we do better when we have a center left and center right party. That's the way the country really works.

And for the first time in our history, as I said, 50 percent of registered voters today are registered as independent or unaffiliated. Now, that gives you 25 percent Democrat and 25 percent Republican and that isn't even accurate because the Democrats have better registration than the Republicans.

But that tells you, that's where the majority of the American people are and I'm fully supportive of the rank choice voting. And in the first tranche, I mean, I guess we don't call them primaries anymore if you have those, but they are, because that forces candidates to talk to that middle ground rather than allowing themselves to be driven by the fear that at primary, they're going to be attacked if they're a Democrat from the far left and Republican from the far right and that's all they appeal to.

And for Congress, then after that, they don't have to worry about the General Election in talking to the middle because it's all over because the districts have been drawn in such a way that they are totally safe. There is a lot we can do as Americans. We have the ability to affect

these kinds of decisions and people need to get engaged in their various states to call for that kind of reform.

COOPER: Governor Whitman, really fascinating and Congressman Scott Rigell, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

Coming up next, how Democrats at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue reacting to the Republican resurgence. Also progress check on the still unaccomplished legislative agenda that maybe would have made a difference.

Later, we'll ask the surgeon general about the newly approved COVID vaccine for young children, but also about the grim milestone we just reached, 750,000 deaths -- three quarters of a million American lives lost since this whole nightmare began.



COOPER: You heard President Biden at the top of the program acknowledging the passing legislation that people say they might -- they want -- that they actually want might have helped yesterday at the polls.

Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger, a moderate Democrat from Virginia spoke to that notion, but also reminded the President that many who voted for him simply wanted normalcy, not grand ambitions. She told "The New York Times," quote: "Nobody elected to be FDR. They elected him to be normal and stop the chaos."

CNN's Jeff Zeleny joins us now from the White House. What is the mood inside the White House tonight?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN U.S. CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a year after Joe Biden was elected President, this Republican resurgence really has shaken Democrats here at the White House, and indeed, all across Washington and on Capitol Hill.

They know that this moment is not good. They know it has been a very rough summer, a very rough fall. But one aide told me today, we must proceed forward. The best antidote to all of this is passing this legislation.

But the reality is, the exit polls in Virginia last evening showed that President Biden is underwater. His disapproval rating 54 percent; approval rating 45 percent, not far off from former President Donald Trump. So that was a bit of, you know, a wake-up call here.

But there is a sense that if they get this legislation passed, that turns a corner, they believe. COVID is turning a corner, but really, all of these challenges have added up to a pretty dark mood here. Ironically, today was Election Day a year ago and a resurgence from Republicans was not what anyone was expecting.

COOPER: What did President Biden say when he was asked about his message to voters in light of last night's results?

ZELENY: We talked to him for a while this afternoon, when he was making a vaccine announcement, and he said, look, I know that there is public and you know, the American people are frustrated with Washington, that they have not gotten anything done. He understands that, you know, that Congress must act. But the question really is, what are they doing about it?

But there are signs of a bit of fresh sense of urgency after the results, certainly losing in Virginia, and this exceptionally close race in New Jersey, which actually has alarmed the Democrats even more. So, the question is, can they get a vote on one of the bills this week? And then can they turn a corner? So he basically is saying, I feel, you know, the pains of the American people.

He acknowledged inflation, he acknowledged, you know, worries among schools, among parents, but the reality is the President didn't have much soul searching today after this really, a deafening Democratic defeat here. They know they have to pass the bills, and largely it's out of his control, it is up to Congress. We'll see if they do it.

COOPER: Jeff Zeleny, appreciate it. Thanks.

Given the non-delivery of policy that people tell pollsters they like by and large and the inter-party recriminations over it, now is a good time to talk to our next guest, Washington Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Congresswoman Jayapal, you saw what happened last night. Do you take any blame in this?

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Anderson, it's good to see you. Look, I think that the whole issue that we see for voters last night is, people do need help from us and that's what we've been working to do with the President's Build Back Better agenda. It is really transformational, and I think the cries for help in the midst of an economy that was handed in tatters to the President, that we have actually worked to fix since we've come into power in the House, the Senate, and the White House.

We cut child poverty in half. We got shots and arms. We got money to small businesses. But obviously Anderson, this was a two-year pandemic that the Republican Party did not take seriously, and we're still climbing out of it.


But I mean, there is no doubt about --

COOPER: Right, but you're saying -- people last night were saying that they need help. It doesn't seem like they're asking you, progressive Democrats for help. It seems like they're asking now Republicans for help, even though you say Republicans botched the vaccine rollout. I mean, Republicans did well last night.

JAYAPAL: They did, and I think part of that is, you know, look, we have to pay attention to local politics, and I think that Democrats are the party of parents, not Republicans. We are the ones that are looking to pass universal childcare and universal pre-K, to cut prescription drug costs. And as soon as we get that done, I think people will see that, and we'll be able to, you know, really show people that we have their backs.

I mean, the timing of this was obviously awkward, but I really believe that this is what happens in many elections, when you have one party take over three in off year elections. This is not abnormal. And I think that we will get through the next -- you know, this doesn't mean anything for the midterms. That's not to say we shouldn't take it seriously. We absolutely should, but I think we have --

COOPER: You don't think this means anything for the midterms?

JAYAPAL: Well, I just think we have to take it seriously, but it shouldn't be projected to be a loss for the midterms. What we have to do is turn the ship by passing these two bills, and I think there is increased urgency to do just that.

There is real unity in the Democratic Caucus around passing both the Build Back Better Act and the infrastructure bill, and I hope to be able to do that this week.

COOPER: When you look at sort of, you know, the law enforcement candidacy of Eric Adams, victorious Democrat in in New York, measures to change the police department in Minneapolis failing, Democratic Socialist winning the Democratic primary in Buffalo, but then losing to the former Democratic mayor in a write-in. I mean, has Democratic Party gone too far left? I mean, part of your caucus? Is it -- is that where the country really is?

JAYAPAL: We are -- we have been working to pass the President's Build Back Better agenda. This is not some far left agenda. This is the President's agenda that he came down to Capitol Hill and unveiled to us in February, and we're so proud of his leadership. He has been doing a phenomenal job with really bad hand.

And there are progressive candidates that have won in many cities across the country, including in Boston and Cincinnati. We're so proud of those first, but I think that this is really important to understand. We have been working to pass the President's agenda. And the Democratic Party as a whole, we have differences, it is true. And people say we've been negotiating for a long time.

But let me be clear, Anderson, the real negotiation on Build Back Better really only started about four weeks ago. It's barely been anything, but it happens to fall in this time, where, you know, we did have elections. And of course, we have the natural backlash of a cycle.

So I would just say to everybody, focus on the fact that we are going to pass two transformational bills that are going to change people's lives. And it's really important that we think about it as you know, how do people wake up in the morning and feel differently about their livelihoods and their opportunities? It's because they finally have childcare? They only have pre-K, all of those things.

COOPER: But what does it say -- what does it say that you're going to pass -- you know, you say you're going to pass these two transformational bills, and there's going to be a lot of things that a lot of people are going to like and really -- and need. That very well may be true, but it still doesn't seem that it's going to make them like Democrats.

I mean, is there some sort of -- I mean, maybe I'm completely overstating this, but I mean, you would think if people saw, oh, well, that's coming down the pike. And yes, it hasn't happened yet. But it's going to happen and gosh, that's a great thing. They would vote -- they would have gone better for Democrats last night. It doesn't seem like it, it didn't seem like -- in fact, it was kind of a resounding slap in the face to Democrats.

JAYAPAL: Well, I don't think that's true. I think we're going to win New Jersey, and I think that in Virginia, it was a challenging thing, because, you know, I think we cannot run on just tying Trump to Republicans. I think that people want to forget about Trump because he was so chaotic and so destructive.

And so I think what we have to do is we have to run on local issues. We have to acknowledge people's pain, and we have to show that we've delivered, and I believe that that will bring people back. It will also raise enthusiasm within our base, and I think we will turn things around. And again, this is not unusual for this to happen in an off year. That's what happened.

COOPER: So you're not freaking out. Overall, you're not freaking out.

JAYAPAL: Right. That's right, Anderson.


COOPER: Did you have any little freak out last night? Was there a little freak out last night? And then like, you woke up and like, oh, god -- or is that not your style?

JAYAPAL: Well, look, there's always -- of course, I want the results to be different, right? But I think that this is a difficult time for our country. We literally had to fight off a coup attempt on January 6th, Anderson. We still have people who believe that the President Biden is not actually legitimately elected.

So let's just put things in perspective. We are coming out of a really difficult time. We will make it through. I have faith in the American democracy.

I have faith in Joe Biden and I have faith in Democrats to deliver both of these bills.

COOPER: Congresswoman Jayapal, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

JAYAPAL: Thank you, Anderson. COOPER: A protest called to defund police was dealt a ballot box blow

last night when the City of Minneapolis, the place where George Floyd was killed, voted to reject an effort that would have overhauled the police department.

And take a look at how that result could serve perhaps as a bellwether and a warning.


COOPER: Voters weighed in on policing on Election Day in very different ways.

In New York City, they elected Democrat Eric Adams as their new Mayor. The retired NYPD Police Captain ran on a law and order platform. Today, he outlined ways he plans to keep the city safe.

And meanwhile, in Minneapolis, where a police officer killed George Floyd last year, voters have projected a ballot measure calling for an overhaul the city's police department which could have implications nationwide.


CNN's Ryan Young has more.


RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The calls for reform are unrelenting as protests spread across the nation in the wake of outrage over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police.

Black Lives Matter and Defund The Police became rallying cries for millions protesting police brutality. In Minneapolis, there were calls to dismantle the police department entirely.


YOUNG (voice-over): But the actual specifics of the funding or even dismantling by reducing police budgets, or reallocating money to other police services have been less clear.

CHUCK WEXLER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, POLICE EXECUTIVE RESEARCH FORUM: Minneapolis was thinking of doing was simply dissolving it and creating something no one really understood.

YOUNG (voice-over): On Tuesday, Minneapolis voters rejected a ballot measure to overhaul policing that would replace the police department with the Department of Public Safety and eliminate a requirement to employ a minimum number of police officers tied to the population there.

LELI FATEHI, CAMPAIGN MANAGER, ALL OF MPLS: There is a demand for change and for even, you know, major change, but it can't just be a political slogan. YOUNG (voice-over): More than 56% of voters in Minneapolis said no to the question to bid on the ballot.

JANAE BATES, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, YES 4 MINNEAPOLIS: We're not anti-police. It's about people being safe, and whole and healthy. And, you know, it is unfortunate that a handful of folks have really weaponized something that that really shouldn't be has made something controversial.

YOUNG (voice-over): The outrage had reached a boiling point over George Floyd's murder seems now to be taking a backburner to concerns about public safety. Across the country, anxiety over increasing gun violence has been diminishing, the protest movement and efforts to fundamentally change the role of police.

JACOB FREY (D) MAYOR, MINNEAPOLIS: Yes, we have our work cut out for us at the city cops need to get paid more and fired more, we need to make sure that we're incentivizing the best possible most skilled and professional individuals that have deep seated connections with their community.


YOUNG (voice-over): The Minneapolis ballot initiative was a first major electoral test of reform since the murder of George Floyd and the ramifications of the initiatives the feet are resonating nationwide.

WEXLER: And I think what you saw is the American people say we want to change in the police. Or maybe that means increasing investing and developing, not taking away.

YOUNG (voice-over): But reformers despite Tuesday's defeat continue to demand change.

RASHAD ROBINSON, SPOKESPERSON, COLOR OF CHANGE PAC: Anyone who recognizes how social movements work, recognize that movements lose until they win.

YOUNG (voice-over): Ryan Young, CNN Atlanta, Georgia.


COOPER: Ryan Young, thanks.

Joining us now CNN political commentator Michael Smerconish, host of "SMERCONISH" Saturday mornings here on CNN, and host Michael Smerconish program on Sirius XM.

How big a setback Michael is that Minneapolis vote for, you know, the most progressive a progressive Democrats who actually want to defund police.

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST, SMERCONISH: I think it's a huge defeat for advocates of so-called police reform. If you can't get it done, where George Floyd was killed, were you going to be able to get it done? It's a terrible messaging issue isn't tight. It's a terrible messaging issue insofar as defunding the police. Anderson, that sounds like some kind of an altruistic goal that you have for somebody else's neighborhood, not yours. And yet, I think there's merit to the idea that's being advanced.

We had a case in Philadelphia, one year ago right now, Walter Wallace, 27 year old, young African-American, history of mental health issues wielding a knife, police arrived, they don't have tasers, gunshot fired, he's dead. This whole movement is about equipping them better to make sure that there's somebody else along for that ride, who can de escalate the situation? That sounds perfectly reasonable. But that's not defunding the police. They better bring in Frank Luntz and give it a new name.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, it always seemed like a slogan, which, you know, I guess it was born in the streets during protests, and it's attention grabbing, and I guess that's what activist one for slogans. But it really does more damage, or it seems to have done far more damage, you know, to Democrats, and even Democrats, most of whom don't actually support it. There are very few Democratic candidates, you know, major Democratic candidates who have actually said, oh, yes, I would wear I'm running on defunding police.

SMERCONISH: It requires explanation, and I don't know that most folks have patience for the soundbite that's necessary to fully flesh out exactly what you're describing. You're not saying that you want different -- a lower level of law enforcement. What you're saying is you want a different allocation of resources. But it needs new messaging, or it will never fly and if it couldn't fly in Minneapolis I don't see a prospect of being successful elsewhere.


COOPER: It's also fascinating the New York City has elected, you know, Eric Adams as Mayor, Democrat and a lot of emphasis on law enforcement. He's a retired New York Police Department police captain, he actually joined the force after being brutalized by police. And he's a story he's told publicly, in order to try to reform it from within. Are there national lessons to take away from his victory?

SMERCONISH: It's hard to say because of the registration edge in New York City, which so benefits Democratic candidates, if it had been in a different location, maybe you'd be able to say that there's a blue book in there for other candidates. You point out he really didn't run as someone with a tradition of being very tough on crime law enforcement himself, but rather somebody who got into the business because he had experienced, you know, police misconduct.

So and he's also very difficult, I think, to pigeonhole and to label. So I frankly don't know what to make of Eric Adams that could apply elsewhere.

COOPER: You know, I talked to Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal earlier, she said that, you know, what happened last night in ballot boxes is not indicative of what may happen or it's not going to definitely predict what's going to happen in the midterms. How much trouble do you think Democrats are in for midterms?

SMERCONISH: I think they're in a heap of trouble and with no disrespect to the congresswoman, I think it's in large measure due to this budget battle that continues in Washington. Joe Biden, President Biden, as I've said repeatedly, should have been given the win a long time ago, should have had that $1.2 trillion infrastructure as a notch in his belt. It was passed in the Senate with the assistance of 90 Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, and yet the Dems just cannot get their House in order they've got to pass that bill come back and fight another day for what she would like to say.

COOPER: Yes, Michael Smerconish always good talk to you. Thank you.

Up next, what new video reveals about the (INAUDIBLE) how shot and killed two men and injured another during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Take you to the trial.



COOPER: Graphic videos took center stage during the trial Kyle Rittenhouse. The videos played in court show that a different person fired a gunshot in the air seconds before the teenager fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum in Kenosha, Wisconsin last August.

That CNN's Adrienne Broaddus brought us reports even though both sides agree that Rittenhouse didn't shoot first they have drastically different views on why he shot and killed Rosenbaum. I want to warn you that some of the video in the report is graphic.


ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Kyle Rittenhouse looked on prosecutors played video after video of the gunshots that started a night of horror. First, a single shot. Then seven more. The shooting and what happens next have Rittenhouse facing life in prison for the worst of five felonies. First degree intentional homicide. Both sides agree, Joseph Rosenbaum was the first Rittenhouse killed but the defense jumping in to make clear their client didn't fire the first shot heard on the video.


MARK RICHARDS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: There was a first shot which was that Mr. Rittenhouse is shot.

BROADDUS (voice-over): Instead all sides agree a third person fire that first shot. The defense questioning an eyewitness who live streamed the incident to make its point that Rittenhouse was not an aggressor.

CHIRAFISI: You described Rosenbaum is acting erratic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's from all of the moments that I was around that he can notice. Yes. CHIRAFISI: You describe Rosenbaum as erratic and if this is fair, and Rittenhouse is chain smoking. Yes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I suppose you could say nervous I guess would be a fair way to say it.

BROADDUS (voice-over): But prosecutors say this grainy FBI aerial surveillance video will show Rittenhouse it did move toward Rosenbaum while the defense says it shows Rosenbaum hid behind cars before chasing Rittenhouse who opened fire. The most graphic of the video showing the moment Rosenbaum was shot four times. And shortly after when he was carried by bystanders and driven away, a detective confirming Rosenbaum was unarmed.



HOWARD: No knife.


HOWARD: No bat.


HOWARD: No club.


BROADDUS (voice-over): Rittenhouse, who has pleaded not guilty appear to look down during some of the most dramatic video, which included the moment he shot two more people. Killing 26-year-old Anthony Huber and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz. The case appears to rest on each side's portrayal of Rittenhouse's intent. The prosecution saying an opening statements that Rittenhouse acted as a vigilante igniting fear in a crowd after shooting an unarmed man.

THOMAS BINGER, ASST. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, KENOSHA COUNTY: As he's running word spreads from the crowd on the street, that there is an active shooter running through the area. And the citizens their attempt to stop him.

BROADDUS (voice-over): Rittenhouse's attorneys argue self-defense and that he only fired his rifle after he was attacked.

RICHARDS: The other individuals who didn't see that shooting attacked him in the street like an animal.

BROADDUS (voice-over): Outside of testimony, Judge Bruce Schrader is in the spotlight for his unusual style.

BRUCE SCHRADER, JUDGE: Good thing we have the Jeopardy game for us to practice.

BROADDUS (voice-over): Playing Jeopardy with jurors during courtroom downtime and referencing the Bible during a hearsay objection in court.

SCHRADER: And this is actually referred to in the in the Bible, St. Paul when he was put on trial.


BROADDUS: And Anderson today we also learned Kyle Rittenhouse didn't fire the first shot. The defense will likely use this to create a sense of chaos that this shot fired by another person heightened the threat level. But by contrast, the prosecution also showed video of Kyle Rittenhouse speaking to a reporter telling that person he was ready to run it toward trouble and render medical aid if needed. This is all going to come down to whether or not jurors believe Kyle Rittenhouse was attacked or whether he escalated the situation by firing on unarmed men who potentially saw Rittenhouse as a threat. Anderson.

COOPER: Adrienne Broaddus, I appreciate it. Thank you.


Now to break news in the trial the men accused and another controversial shooting the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. You may remember that Arbery 25-year-old black man was shot and killed while out for a jog and his Brunswick Georgia neighborhood in February of 2020. His death sparked national outrage after video of the shooting was released to the public.

Tonight, after a long contentious process a jury consisting of 11 white members, only one black member has been selected to decide the fate of the man accused of his murder.

CNN's Martin Savidge joins us now from Brunswick with the latest. So, what can you tell us about the jury selection in this case?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, this has always been a racially charged case, you got three men white who are charged with murdering a black man. And now the result of jury selection after two and a half weeks is a jury that has 11 white members and only one African-American. The moment that result was known Linda Dunikoski, the Assistant District Attorney jumped up filed a motion with the court and essentially challenged the court saying, look, it was the contention of the prosecution that the defense had literally struck a number of African-American potential jurors from serving on that jury simply because they were African-American. She pointed out at the beginning of the day, we had a jury pool of 64, of which a quarter she said were African-American. Yet at the end of the day after all the strikes and the defense team had far more strikes than the state did.

At the end of the day, we end up with a jury that has 11 whites and only one African-American. The defense team vehemently pushed back. They said no, race had nothing to do with it. It was because these African-Americans had answered a questionnaire the way they did or responded in court to individual questioning as they were. The judge basically said, look, I agree with the state here. We do believe that you rejected some of these people because they were African-American. But he also said there's not much I can do under the law. It stands 11 whites, one African-American on this jury. Anderson.

COOPER: Martin Savidge, I appreciate it. Thank you.

We have more breaking news now in the election that was too close to call until now. CNN is just projected winner in the New Jersey governor's race. He is the Democratic incumbent Phil Murphy, Governor Murphy on his way to narrowly edging out his Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli.

Joining us now CNN political director, David Chalian. David, no one really thought this race was going to be this close.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, no, I spoke to a Republican operative last week. And they said, hey, it may be a shocker at sort of high single digits. But you're looking at a one point race right here. Now, I will note this Murphy lead Anderson could grow. A lot of the outstanding vote, I think we have 87% of the estimated vote in, that remaining 13% or so of the vote. There are a lot of Democratic heavy areas. So that could pad he may end up being in the mid single digits. But this was a state Joe Biden won by 16 percentage points just one year ago.

So the fact that the race is this close speaks to this national political environment that we've been talking about, which is where the President's low numbers, the inaction in Congress, and the Democrats sort of uncertain about how best to appeal to voters on their agenda right now equals this kind of dramatic finish in a blue state. Obviously, good news for the Democrat that they won. But that's about all the all you can say is good news in here. Everything else inside this race and Virginia and what we saw, it was a terrific day for Republicans and a lot of lessons to be learned for Democrats.

COOPER: Yes. David Chalian, stay with us, because I want to go -- I want to bring in MJ Lee, who's at Asbury Park, New Jersey, at Ed Murphy headquarters.

He's going to be speaking obviously soon I assumed.

MJ LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He has Anderson, the campaign announced within the last hour or so that he is going to be making a victory speech in this room at around 10 o'clock or so. The fact that this was the room where the campaign had had their election night party last night, and this is the room where he had hoped to make a victory speech again last night, that obviously didn't happen. The governor ended up coming here last night and actually apologizing to the folks who had gathered here to say, sorry, the counting continues. I'm sorry that we can't celebrate yet. But he did say he felt confident that once the votes were counted, that things would look in their favor.

And now we know that this race CNN is calling for Phil Murphy, I think we should just take a moment to talk about the significance of this race too as we have been talking about this is the first time that a Democratic governor is being reelected in New Jersey in over four decades. So this is quite an accomplishment in and of itself.

[20:49:58] And we should just talk about the kinds of campaign that he ran. This is of course a governor who led the state of New Jersey through a deadly pandemic and economic recession. And in the end, the message that we saw from him was essentially, give me another four years, grade me on the job that I did over the last four years. And I promise you that what I am able to offer is going to be better than what my Republican opponent Jack Ciattarelli is offering.

And I do think Anderson, just another thing that's important to note, on the Republican side of this, there are going to be questions about how you run as a Republican candidate in the sort of post Trump era. Ciattarelli, of course, has had to have a fine sort of balancing act, figuring out how do you sort of win over the Trump base without alienating others who are turned off by the former president. Anderson,

COOPER: And David Chalian, what sort of a campaign did Ciattarelli run as compared to the candidate in the Commonwealth of Virginia?

CHALIAN: Yes, Jack Ciattarelli was a little more bold in his embrace of the Trump wing of the party. But as MJ was just saying, well, Governor Murphy did what we saw some of what Terry McAuliffe didn't try to indicate that Ciattarelli would be sort of a Trump act like. It wasn't the thrust of his message. Of course, he is the incumbent, he just was leaving the state through COVID. So there was a lot more about that notion of here's what I did. Here's my record. And, of course, taxes is always a major issue in New Jersey, a high tax state. And so, Ciattarelli was running on that as well.

But he early throughout the beginning phases of his candidacy was really courting that Trump wing and that Trump rhetoric quite aggressively to MJ's point, which, which may have kept some independents at bay and turned off some voters here.

But Anderson, --


CHALIAN: -- just remember, if you're a Democrat, looking at 2022, and you're a member of Congress, if you're sitting in a district, that Joe Biden won by 10 points, well, last night, you're worried that's not so safe. Now, you're looking at a district, let's say you're running in a state that Joe Biden won by 16 or 20 points, you're saying, I have a whole new race ahead of me in this political environment, and I better buckle up for it.

COOPER: Yes. David Chalian, appreciate it, MJ Lee as well. Thank you.

It's a busy night there more breaking news. It's somber, the U.S. death toll from COVID now top 750,000 people that's three quarters of a million lives lost, that comes on the same day. We also saw a major step in the fight against the pandemic, the first of 28 million American children ages five to 11 are getting the Pfizer vaccine. That's after the CDC back the recommendation from its Advisory Committee.

Joining us for more on the development is the U.S. Surgeon General. Dr. Vivek Murthy. Dr. Murthy, thanks so much for being with us.

Now, 28 million children can receive the vaccine, about 94% of the U.S. population is eligible to be vaccinated. Do you think having this many more people eligible will move the US from the pandemic to the endemic stage of the fight?

VIVEK MURTHY, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: Well, Anderson, this is certainly a big step in that direction. You know, the 28 million more people who are eligible means 28 million people who can be protected against COVID. Many more parents around the country, who can take a sigh of relief, knowing that there's now protection available for their kids. You know, I'm in that age group as well, I have a five-year-old at home, and wife and I have been waiting for this day. And so, this is certainly an important milestone for us.

And people should know that the data for the vaccine was really carefully considered by the FDA and the CDC, they look really thoughtfully and carefully and rigorously at both the efficacy data does this actually work, as well as the safety data. Is it safe for our kids? And on both counts, they came out feeling strongly that this vaccine should be recommended for kids five through 11.

COOPER: And I hope it's not too personal. Or would you -- are you getting your five-year-old vaccinated? And what do you say to parents who may still be weary?

MURTHY: Well, yes, Anderson, I am actually going to be getting my five-year-old vaccinated with my wife, we are both very excited for this moment. But listen, I know that parents out there have questions, and I think it's very reasonable for them to have questions they want to get answered. And we should work hard to answer their questions. It's one of the reasons why Anderson we've been spending a number of weeks and months building a national outreach initiative, mobilizing everyone from local doctors, to faith leaders, to teachers and school administrators to make sure that parents can get answers that are accurate and scientific, from sources they trust.

But Anderson, here's what I would say to parents who are wondering if they should get their kids vaccinated. I'd say number one, the safety of our kids is the most important thing in the world. That's true for all of us as parents, but here's what I'd consider, number one, the vaccine is highly effective more than 90% effective protecting our kids. Number two, the side effect profile was really good, was similar to what you see in adults were most common side effects, some pain and swelling in the arm. Some experience fatigue and headache, but those usually went away within a couple of days. And kids were left with protection.


And finally just consider this, there's a lot of misinformation that is floating around about COVID and parents should expect that they may be hit with a lot of misinformation in the coming days on social media and other channels. Make sure you get your questions answered from credible sources like your doctor, like your local children's hospital, the CDC, that's absolutely essential. COOPER: Yes, I mean, that's inevitable that as you said, parents are going to get inundated with stuff online, misinformation and the like. There's so much of that floating out there. The CDC estimates think that about 38% of children ages five to 11 have been infected with COVID, a CDC researcher said yesterday that many cases in children are going undetected. If a child has already had COVID, how important is it for them to still be vaccinated?

MURTHY: This is a really important question Anderson. Here's what we know, we know that in general, when you get infected with a virus COVID or another one, your body develops some protection against an extra infection. But what we don't know enough about is how durable that protection is. What we've seen when we look at other populations is that there's been some variation in protection against after infection, depending on age, depending on the severity of illness.

And so, we aren't as confident in the quality and durability of protection that people get after infection, which is why we're relying in still recommending vaccines as a mainstay protection. Vaccines, on the other hand, have been heavily studied. We understand what kind of protection they render. And again, in the case of children's vaccines, five to 11, 90% protection is what the vaccines afforded. That's really very good.

And again, if you can, if you're a parent out there, you're thinking, how can I reduce your risk to my kids are in this time of Delta swirling. During a time where we've seen Anderson 1.9 million children in the five to 11 age group getting infected, we've seen over 8,000 hospitalized, more than 2,000 with multi-inflammatory systemic syndrome. We've seen a number of kids who have struggled with long COVID. If you want to reduce those risks, it turns out getting vaccinated is a powerful pathway to protecting your kids.

COOPER: Dr. Murthy, I really appreciate your time tonight. I should point out also that 750,000 people have died from this -- I actually start from Dr. Murthy, I'm wondering just on this milestone, the horrific milestone. What do you think of that number? How many of those deaths were did not -- should not have happened given our or knowledge or capabilities?

MURTHY: Well, Anderson, there's nothing more heartbreaking than hearing that number 750,000 plus lives loss. These are our brothers and sisters, family members and friends. You know, I've lost members of my own family, many other people have as well. It's a tragedy, an absolute tragedy. And sadly, hundreds of thousands of these lives could have been saved if we had been able to get more people vaccinated. But we should also remember is that many thousands of lives were saved because 190 million people are fully vaccinated right now.

So, you know, I think about the family members that I've lost Anderson and they inspire me to make sure that other people can get protected by vaccination, because the people that I lost my loved ones, they died prior to a vaccine being available. And gosh, I so wish that they had lived to see a vaccine because I feel pretty confident they would have gotten it. They didn't have that opportunity. Today, many people do, which is why I'm doing everything I can certainly to make sure that folks understand the facts about the vaccines, know that they can save lives. And we want many as many people as possible to be protected from this virus.

COOPER: Yes, Surgeon General Murthy, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

MURTHY: All right. Thanks, Anderson. Take care.

COOPER: We'll be right back.



COOPER: Busy night. The news continues. Let's hand over Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris.