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At This Hour
Oz & Fetterman Make Last-Minute Pitch To Pennsylvania Voters; Walker, Warnock In Dead Heat For Georgia Senate Seat; Elon Musk Weighs In On Midterm Elections In String Of Tweets. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired November 07, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. AT THIS HOUR, we are in the homestretch. Today is the final day of campaigning before votes start getting counted. Candidates across the country are out in force, as they should be, of course getting their final FaceTime with voters their final opportunity to lock in any wavering votes, the mood understandably tense with so many razor tight races and so much on the line.
Republicans are growing increasingly confident they'll make major gains in Congress and in governor's mansions across the country. The current and former presidents back on the trail again to try to boost turnout. President Biden will be campaigning for Democratic candidates in Maryland today, former President Trump will be in Ohio for a rally for the Republican Senate candidate there.
And another sign of just how focused in voters are on this midterm. More than 40 million Americans in 47 states have already cast their ballots in early voting. And when all the votes are counted, we could see record turnout for this election. We want to cover all of the key races for you this hour. Let's start in Pennsylvania. Jessica Dean is there. Jessica, this one is definitely down to the wire.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is, Kate. This is a very tight race by all indications. It's also the most expensive Senate race in the country, some $146 million in ad spent between Labor Day and now so you can imagine just how flooded the T.V. airwaves are with the ads as we're now just less than 24 hours away from Election Day.
DEAN (voice-over): After months of campaigning.
DR. MEHMET OZ (R-PA), SENATE CANDIDATE: I believe that we are the land of opportunity. Tell them that we are the land of plenty. And tell them that I will bring change to Washington.
LT. GOV. JOHN FETTERMAN (D-PA), SENATE CANDIDATE: You know I'm running to serve Pennsylvania. Oz is running to use Pennsylvania.
DEAN (voice-over): And tens of millions of dollars in ads.
FETTERMAN: I got knocked down but I got back tough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Oz knows we can work together.
DEAN (voice-over): The hotly contested closely watched Pennsylvania Senate race is closing out its final hours. Democratic nominee John Fetterman who suffered a stroke in May, framing his closing argument as a stark choice between himself and Republican challenger Mehmet Oz.
FETTERMAN: I've spent my career fighting for people. Oz spent his life taking advantage of people making himself rich. I've taken on the powerful, been different. Oz will only work for himself in Washington.
DEAN (voice-over): While Oz who's endorsed by former President Donald Trump has pitched himself as an independent voice.
OZ: Politicians point fingers, doctors solve problems, together will stand up to extremism on both sides and bring balance to Washington.
DEAN (voice-over): In a sure sign of just how critical this race is to both parties. Three presidents hit the trail in the Commonwealth over the weekend. President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama rallying voters in Democratic strongholds.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Listen, this isn't a joke about Dr. Oz and all these quack remedies he's pushed on T.V. But it matters. It says something about his character. If somebody is willing to peddle snake oil to make a buck, then he's probably willing to sell snake oil to get elected.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know Pennsylvania well. And John Fetterman is Pennsylvania. He is Pennsylvania.
DEAN (voice-over): And former President Donald Trump appearing in Latrobe, Pennsylvania to boost Republican candidates. Oz briefly appeared on stage with Trump, even as the celebrity Doctor continued to position himself as a moderate.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Pennsylvania desperately needs Dr. Oz and the U.S. Senate. He could very well be the tie breaking vote as I said.
DEAN (voice-over): Inflation, crime, abortion rights, threats to democracy. These are some of the issues driving this race. It'll be the decision of Pennsylvania voters whether it will be for Oz.
SARAH BARRETT, PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: I feel like he cares about people, I felt that watching the show I feel it now.
DEAN (voice-over): Or Fetterman.
MICHELLE SCHOFIELD, PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: I decided a long time ago because I was voting for John Fetterman. But again this election is so much bigger than just Fetterman.
DEAN: Both of the candidates will continue campaigning today in this final sprint, Kate. And then relocate to really where their home bases will be for Election Day. For Fetterman that's going to be here in the Pittsburgh area. For Oz that's going to be just outside Philadelphia in the suburbs there. And just something for all of us to be aware of, it takes time to count votes in Pennsylvania because of the laws they have in the books and how they process them all. And with a really tight race like this could be we may not know for a while, so just everyone prepare for that in the coming days, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And John Fetterman's campaign even putting that out, patients, patients, it will take a little while because of the way the laws are written in Pennsylvania. It's good to see you Jessica. Thank you.
So another state that couldn't determine control the Senate is Georgia. Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker are on the campaign trail today. This race is also about as tight as it gets and unique to the state a possible runoff hangs in the distance more than 2.5 million Georgians have already cast their ballots an early voting record for that state. Even McKend, live in Atlanta for us. Eva, what's the final pitch that you're hearing there?
EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, Kate central to Senator Warnock's argument for reelection is that ultimately he has a record of working with Republicans if it benefits Georgians. Notably, he spoke over the weekend in his hometown of Savannah, and he recalled the legacy of the late Senator Johnny Isakson, a longtime Republican here. And he is sort of trying to fashion himself in the style of an Isakson and that sort of tells you all you need to know about how Warnock wants to be seen in this state and run his campaign.
He has furthered argue that former NFL player Herschel Walker is not fit to serve in the United States Senate. For Walker's part, Walker, routinely on the trail calls Warnock a wolf in sheep's clothing, saying that Warnock is principally concerned with Washington Democrats and extending President Biden's agenda, namely his economic agenda and not every day Georgians. Take a listen to how they have made these arguments as they've crisscrossed the state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): You should ask yourself if the person you're voting for has actually demonstrated any interest in the subject matter. And you can tell if you listen to him talk. And I think character matters.
HERSCHEL WALKER (R-GA), SENATE CANDIDATE: People going to ask me why I'm running. I'm running because I'm sick and tired of this. And right now, I want Raphael Warnock to know, don't let that door hit you in the backside as you walk out and the people are offered, that's what you got to do, it's time for you to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKEND: So Walker will appear in Kennesaw tonight notably not with Governor Brian Kemp, the incumbent governor in a rematch contests with Democrat Stacey Abrams. They'll hold separate events. Meanwhile, Senator Warnock is going to be in Columbus and Macon today. Kate?
BOLDUAN: Eva, thank you so much. Joining me now for more on this is CNN, chief political analyst Gloria Borgia and CNN political commentator, Errol Louis, he is the political anchor for Spectrum News. Guys, let's get to it. Gloria, we've got two of -- there are many, there are, of course, more key races, every single one of them matters, especially when we're talking about control the Senate because they only need one.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: One, yes.
BOLDUAN: But what is your big thought and your big question on this final day of campaigning?
BORGER: Well, it's people or candidates are talking past each other. And voters are just satisfied. On the one hand, they have the sense, yes, Republicans may be threatening democracy. But on the other hand, Democrats are elite, and they don't understand my problems. And so they're not, you know, they're not particularly thrilled with either party. And they're worried. And I think there are a lot of voters who are trying to figure out do I split my ballot? Do I vote one Republican, one Democrat, because I don't like the candidates. There's a cauldron here.
BOLDUAN: Because Georgia and Pennsylvania, both examples of where ballots but it could be a real factor were.
BORGER: It could be. It could be a real factor, because, for example, in Georgia, you have a very popular Republican governor. And then you have Herschel Walker on the same ticket. So do people do straight tickets or is there a Kemp-Warnock situation going on where you vote for Kemp for governor, same thing in Pennsylvania, as you point out, so it's a, you know, you have Mastriano running as a Republican, for governor, very unpopular, what does that do to Oz?
BOLDUAN: Yes. And you're also -- and you definitely see, Errol, in those races, as Eva was just pointing out, you have Brian Kemp and Herschel Walker campaigning today, not campaigning together.
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, that's exactly right. I'm not sure I would want to campaign with Herschel Walker if I were Brian Kemp. Because if your claim to the voters if your argument to the voters is that you're competent, you're a good manager and you can run the state. Having Herschel Walker standing next to you kind of undermines that argument all the way through.
You know Herschel Walker himself in some ways it's almost like a political science experiment come to life. Will people simply vote on a party line even for somebody who is clearly unfit and unqualified, it's a really interesting kind of a situation down there.
And the fact that in some polls, he has a slight lead really tells you that there's quite a lot of partisanship, again, that has nothing to do with the actual operation of government. When people just as Gloria says, when people are really upset, I had an encounter at the gas pump just this morning, I had to fill up. It's a bitter experience. And if you in your mind as a voter decide that the people in charge are responsible for my monetary discomfort this morning, then yes, they go out and they vote in the other direction. And that's really what it comes down to in Georgia and a lot of other states as well.
BOLDUAN: Gloria I want to play, talk about the momentum shifts and where it's shifting, Republicans seem increasingly confident about their chances of taking at least one majority in the Congress, I want to play two takes from two Democrats, one an elected Democratic senator and another Democratic strategist, listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): The reality is we're bucking what our usual trends. And I think we're bucking them because folks know, at the end of the day, do they want to go back to the sort of Donald Trump politics that divided our nation. I think that this is a tough election season. It's a midterm election. But I still see a pathway for us to maintain control of the Senate.
HILARY ROSEN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: We did not listen to voters in this election. And I think we're going to have a bad night. Because when voters tell you over and over and over again, that they care mostly about the economy. Listen to them. Stop talking about democracy being at stake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: There will be plenty, as there always are post mortems after an election, but what do you see in this?
BORGER: There are pre mortems.
BOLDUAN: I guess there's a new thing. What do you see in this?
BORGER: Well, Cory Booker is trying to put the best spin on it that he possibly can. Hillary Rosen is being very honest with what she sees going out there, I mean, going on out there. The question that I have is have Democrats botched this so badly, that they're going to lose women in the suburbs, even after the Dobbs Supreme Court decision?
Are they going to lose black voters and a percentage of black voters and Hispanic voters who are really concerned about crime? So I think there's going to be a lot of going back on the couch here, trying to figure out if this does turn out to be badly for the for the Democrats, how they missed it, and how they kind of put all their eggs in the basket on abortion after the Dobbs decision, and then didn't really focus on the economy. It's a difficult argument to make as Cory Booker says, it's sort of
like saying, OK, we're the guys who got you in the ditch, but trust us, we're going to get you out of the ditch. It's difficult, but they could have done a better job.
BOLDUAN: Because as we say, over and over, you know, if reality is even if the economy was heading this direction, from administrations past as well, when you are in office, you take credit, and you also are blamed.
BORGER: You know, that old saying when you're explaining in politics forget it.
BOLDUAN: Exactly. Errol, I've got to ask you about in the midst of all this, there's early signs of a Republican battle ahead between none other than Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. They had dueling political rallies this weekend. New name calling already setting in. The fact that they are going to be rivals come a Republican primary for 2024 may not be surprising, but Trump's starting this four days out of the midterm election with a Republican governor. What now?
LOUIS: Yes, well, Donald Trump doesn't wait for anybody else's schedule. Donald Trump does what is best for Donald Trump, when he chooses to do it. It's going to be a bloodbath, down there in Florida. DeSantis has some momentum, a whole lot of money and some popularity nationwide. If he does, in fact decide to take on Donald Trump head on, it's going to be very, very ugly, you know, and I don't, frankly, I don't see any way that they can make an alliance.
I mean, you know, Donald Trump, whether he actually is a candidate or just wants to be a kingmaker, waiting in the back and pulling the strings of the Republican Party does not look for allies. He doesn't look for partners. He looks for followers, he looks for people to come and basically kiss his buttons. He himself has said, if Ron DeSantis isn't ready to do that, then they're going to have a real falling out. Democrats should be praying for this, since it would enable them I think to sort of get their 2024 ducks in a row much more easily if there is a sort of a bloodbath on the Republican side, but all signs are pointing toward just such an outcome.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. It's great to see you guys. First, let's see what happens tomorrow. It's good to see you Errol, great to see you Gloria, thank you both so much. You can join CNN for our special election night coverage starting tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. Eastern, I'll be in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, bringing you all of the action from there.
So after lying off half of its workforce, now Twitter is reportedly asking some employees to come back, that's next.
BOLDUAN: The parent company of Facebook and Instagram is reportedly about to fire thousands of employees. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company is preparing to notify staff of large scale layoffs this week, possibly as soon as Wednesday. It would be the biggest reduction since the social media giant got its start 18 years ago and it also comes of course on the heels of massive Twitter layoffs on Friday. But that's not what the new owner of Twitter is focusing on this morning, Elon Musk instead weighing in on the midterm election. Oliver Darcy is watching this he's joining me now. Oliver, what is Elon Musk doing here?
OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Elon Musk is recommending people vote Republican tomorrow, that's what he's doing. He just put out this tweet, Kate. He says, I'll read it to you, he says to independent minded voters shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties. Therefore I recommend voting for a Republican Congress. Given that the presidency is Democratic. And he goes on to say the independent voters are the ones who actually decide who is in charge.
This comes after another chaotic weekend over at the social media giant Elon Musk has been tweeting quite a bit and setting policy. They delayed the blue checkmark project that he wants to roll out where you can pay dollars to get that blue checkmark. He has permanently suspended Kathy Griffin who was impersonating him on the on the platform using her blue checkmarks in person his account and now we're getting word through reports. Bloomberg is reporting that they are trying to rehire some of the people that they laid off on Friday in those mass layoffs. So another just chaotic weekend over that company and this is what he's doing.
BOLDUAN: Yes, chaotic weekend. And then it starts today. And now Meta may be joining with these reports that big layoffs could be going there./ Oliver, it's great to see you. Thank you so much.
DARCY: Thank you. And so unfortunately sites like Twitter are the perfect platforms for spreading conspiracy theories on and around Election Day, the next 48 hours is going to bring a huge amount of traffic to the site. And that also could mean a new big push to confuse ,distract, and frankly scare people through the spread of misinformation and disinformation. Here's Donie O'Sullivan on what to expect.
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kate, lots of uncertainty as we head into Election Day tomorrow. But one thing is for sure, we are going to see a tidal wave of misinformation across social media, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, in your family WhatsApp groups. So I think tomorrow of all days, be mindful of what you see on social media. Take a breath. What we have seen from covering these campaigns and election days on social media over the past few cycles is it's the same type of misinformation that goes viral, many election days.
And many times it is designed to deliberately mislead, designed to deliberately undermine our confidence in the election process. I want to show you this example from 2020. It's a reported to be a shocking video of ballots cast for Donald Trump being burned. It was viewed millions of times on election week 2020. It was even shared by the den President son, Eric Trump, saying look, this is proof of all this fraud in this election. It turned out to be totally bogus. You can read the fact check on CNN.com, multiple other outlets who totally bogus.
But, yes, that went viral on election week. And it played into this narrative that the elections are totally fraudulent. So just be very mindful of what you see on social media platforms, especially over the next few days. Kate?
BOLDUAN: It's a good reminder even past the next few days. Thank you, Donie, I really appreciate it. So an exclusive interview with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy making big plans and big predictions for the election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), MINORITY LEADER: I think anywhere over 20 is a red wave.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: In a sign of growing confidence in the midterms, Republicans are already making plans and making them public for where their first targets will be if they win majorities. CNN's Melanie Zanona sat down with the top Republican in the House, Kevin McCarthy for an exclusive interview about his plans, his targets, and his hopes of becoming the next Speaker of the House. A powerful position that as you will remember has evaded him before. Melanie is in McAllen, Texas with her exclusive reporting. So Melanie, what is McCarthy saying now?
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, I pressed McCarthy on what are his plans for just addressing these issues that have become so central in Republicans pitch to voters, and he said they are going to try to tackle issues like inflation, crime, the border, some of the proposals he listed was providing more grants to police officers reinstituting the Remain in Mexico Policy and making America more energy independent. But most of these bills are going to be messaging endeavors because they're going to be unable to overcome the President's veto or the 60-60 vote threshold in the Senate.
However, there are going to be things that McCarthy is going to have to deal with a speaker and that includes raising the nation's borrowing limit. McCarthy told me that Republicans are going to demand spending cuts in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling, risking a very potential disastrous fiscal showdown. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCARTHY: If you're going to give a person a higher limit, when you first say you should change your behavior, so you just don't keep raising it all the time, I think we need to look at where the waste, the fraud, and abuse. I mean, Washington has so much wasteful spending, we can curve that. And that's what we should start looking at from day one. You shouldn't just say, oh, I'm going to let you keep spending money. No household would do that.
ZANONA: Republicans did raise the debt ceiling under Trump.
MCCARTHY: And the Democrats when they took over a one party control, went and spent $10 trillion that got us into this problem, got us inflation, hit another debt ceiling, you want to continue that same pattern?
(END VIDEO CLIP)