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Arizona, Nevada Rush To Count Votes With Senate In Balance; Dueling Rallies Mark Launch Of Georgia Senate Runoff; CNN Team In Newly Liberated Ukrainian Town, Residents Elated. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired November 11, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks so much, Jim.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks to all of you for joining us today. I'm Erica Hill. Thank you to the millions of men and women who have served this country, especially those in my own family. We so appreciate your sacrifices.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Mine as well. To all of you, I'm Jim Sciutto. AT THIS HOUR with Kate Bolduan starts right now.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, I'm Kate Bolduan. It has been three days but who is counting since Election Day, and we still do not know which party will control Congress. Here's where things stand right now in terms of the balance of power. In the Senate Republicans hold 49 seats at the moment Democrats with 48. As we know, you need 50 plus one to have a full majority. And to the outstanding races that could decide it all, in Arizona first, Democratic Senator Mark Kelly, he leads his Republican challenger Blake Masters by more than 5 percentage points at this moment. In Nevada Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is nearly trailing her Republican challenger Adam Laxalt. But we do know in both of these races, both of these states, there are still many votes yet to be counted. So we need to watch this closely.
In the House Republicans need just seven seats now to win the majority. And there are 26 House races are yet to be called. Former President Donald Trump after facing some real blame for the red wave that never came about, he is now lashing out against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. And of course a potential preview of a 2024 presidential matchup. It comes amid growing calls inside the Republican Party to make major moves away from the former president after these midterm results. We have it all covered for you this hour. Let's begin with the one, the only John Berman for more on the key races of what is outstanding. What -- where are we?
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, you know, it's fun Friday, Kate, which means math Friday, math Friday. Let's start with Nevada, where Adam Laxalt the Republican is in the lead by about 9,000 votes over the Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto. Yesterday, the margin was 15,000 for Laxalt. So it is shrinking or it shrank I should say overnight. Why because there were votes counted and processed in Washoe County, which is a swing county in the state. There were 18,000 votes counted there, 18k, let's write that down, won about 60 percent for Catherine Cortez Masto that allowed her to close some of the gap there.
And then you'll look here in Clark County, there were 12,000 votes counted there, 12,000 votes and she won about 61 percent, the Democrat did, allowed her to close more even there. The reason I'm giving you these percentages, is we have about 57,000 votes remaining from Clark County, 22,000 from Washoe, if she continues to win 60 to 61 percent of them. That might be enough for her to overtake Adam Laxalt. We are watching that very closely. Needless to say more votes will be processed by tonight in Arizona.
You can see Mark Kelly, the Democrat ahead by 115,000 votes he has grown that lead from about 95,000 yesterday. There were votes reported from Maricopa County also Pima County down here. There are some 540,000 votes left account in Arizona including in Maricopa County 290,000 votes that were handed in. Mail ballots that were walked in --
BOLDUAN: -- only because we need to head to Washington right now, or head to Washington right now because the Vice President is taking part in the wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown. Let's listen in everyone.
All right, Vice President Harris, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, joining the First Lady Jill Biden at Arlington National Cemetery for this, for the National Veterans Day observance to honor those who have served in the U.S. armed forces. The Vice President taking part in the wreath laying, we'll be bringing you her remarks live and she'll be speaking a little later in the program. We'll be bringing those to you in honor of this Friday, this Veterans Day, much more to come on that as we will be watching that and honoring and paying honor to those who have served in the armed forces. We will turn back to right now our continuing coverage of the midterm elections.
We're going to pick up where John Berman was leaving, where John Berman left off, which is focusing in on the state of Arizona. Let's go to Arizona where election officials are right now asking for patience, continued patience as the vote continues to come in. Josh Campbell is live in Phoenix with the very latest for us. So Josh, we're talking tight margins right now between these key candidates. And as John was pointing out hundreds of thousands of votes left account, right?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And continuing with John Berman's math Friday, we're talking about over a half a million votes to be counted here in the state of Arizona that includes 340,000 votes, where I am now in the most populous county in the state. That's Maricopa County. Now here's something to focus on. I know we're throwing a lot of numbers that you but that's what this is all coming down to particularly the 290,000 votes that were cast. They were vote by mail ballots, but were actually physically handed in on Election Day. Now we've heard a number of reasons why people decided to do that. Perhaps they didn't make up their mind until the last possible minute. Maybe they thought it was more secure to actually hand their ballot to an election worker. But this is key because those have to be voted differently. They require or process differently. They require signature verification, they require voter verification. And we will be looking at those 290,000 as that tranche is released to see if we can discern any patterns. Do we see it going more Republican? Do we see it going more Democrat?
We've heard some Republicans urging their supporters to vote by that method. So we can learn a lot as we get these results today and possibly throughout the weekend. And of course, this is all coming as election officials here continue to deal with these conspiracy theories saying that perhaps there's mischief by as with a lot -- length of time it takes to actually count these votes. Election officials saying that that's nonsense, they're going through the process. It's a rigorous process. It's a secure process. They just need to count the votes, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Josh, stick close, let's see what's happening there all throughout the morning.
Let's go to Nevada now, Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto trailing her opponent, but many more votes still to be counted just like as we were discussing with Josh in Arizona, Rosa Flores in Las Vegas for us again with the very latest. Rosa, I believe the last time I saw the numbers, it was about 95,000 ballots that need to be counted. But you tell me, where are these located and where do things stand?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know you're absolutely right, there's about 95,000 ballots that we know of, and they're mostly in three counties. Let me take you through this, Kate, because most of them are in Clark County here where I am a Democratic stronghold. The culinary union here in this county had a very strong ground game for the Democrats. They knocked on more than 1 million doors. Here, we know according to the clerk registrar, that there are more than 50,000 ballots that were from drop boxes on Election Day and also mail ballots.
There's another tranche of more than 7,000 that need to be cured and more than 5,000 provisional ballots, that's more than 62,000 total right there. And then Douglas County, this is a rural county, a GOP stronghold, that we know the Laxalt had a very strong ground game in the rural counties. There are about 7,000 ballots there. And then Roscoe County this is a Northwest Nevada, a swing County, there are more than 22,000 ballots there.
And Kate, I should add that we learned from the Nevada secretary of state that the results will be updated in about an hour. So we'll be monitoring. It'll be your show. You'll see it here first.
BOLDUAN: Yes, right, we'll come right to you, Rosa, thank you so much for being all on top of it. Thank you very, very much. Let's go to Georgia now, obviously another state we are watching closely because that Senate runoff campaign is very much underway as we speak even though voters there I mean, they won't be heading to the polls for another month. But that is a short amount of time to pull off a run off. Democratic senator Raphael Warnock, Republican Herschel Walker holding dueling rallies on Thursday as they kick into high gear once again. Eva McKend live in Atlanta. Eva, you're covering another campaign so quickly, what are the core arguments that they're already laying out? Is there really restarting this campaign again?
EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Yes, Kate, these arguments are really starting to come into focus here. Senator Warnock arguing that Herschel Walker is ill prepared for the United States Senate appointing to a comment Walker made at the one and only debate that they held where Walker suggested that diabetics essentially just needed to eat right. He says that this underscores that he's just not ready.
Meanwhile, for Walker's part, he argues that Senator Warnock is too closely aligned to President Biden repeating much of what we heard during the general election. What is clear, though, is that these two were long, speaking very differently about the potential for a possible run off. Warnock always warning his supporters, Walker a lot more confident, but take a listen to how they're both speaking about this now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HERSCHEL WALKER (R-GA), SENATE CANDIDATE: He was dying to go into overtime, because you watch what he was saying, we got to go into runoff. And I was saying, no, I want to beat you out, right. And if he wants to go into runoff with me, I'm saying, you bring it homes. You bring it because I was built for this.
SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): You have to admit that I did warn you all that we might be spending Thanksgiving together. And here we are. So I'm going to need you to stick with me for four more weeks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKEND: So when you speak to Georgians, they say that they are sick and tired of seeing these ads. Tough news for them, Kate, they're going to see a lot more of them millions of dollars pumped into this state for those ads in the last four weeks here. Kate?
BOLDUAN: It's good to see you, Eva. Thanks for the update. Joining me now for more on this is CNN's Chris Wallace, the host of Who's Talking to Chris Wallace, it's good to see you, Chris. What is -- what is Chris's take today? What do you what do you think of where we are in the moment?
CHRIS WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR, "WHO'S TALKING TO CHRIS WALLACE?": Well, obviously, we're still in those real nail biter races in Nevada, for governor and senator and the same in Arizona. And of course, we're going to have a runoff in Georgia. Look, if you were to look at this whole thing, there's no question that you would say that the Democrats had a relatively good midterm night and the Republicans had a relatively bad midterm night, having said that, when Congress comes back in early January, people aren't going to care about relative margins, they're going to care about who's in control of the House, who's in control of the Senate. And both of those are up for grabs. More likely than not Republicans will control the House, Senate, obviously very much up for grabs.
But in the end, that's where the rubber hits the road, who is the majority leader? Who's in the majority? Who's in the minority? And who does Joe Biden have to deal with for the last two years of this term?
BOLDUAN: That's a great point, you know, a win is a win, no matter how tight the margin is in the end. I mean, that is exactly what it's going to look like in January. But with the red wave, not happening in the way that Republicans and many others it expected. More and more Republicans are now coming out to say that the party needs to move away from the former President Donald Trump in a significant way, including the Republican Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. I want to play for everyone what she said when asked if she could support Trump in 2024, after everything that you and I just discussed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GOV. WINSOME EARLE-SEARS (R-VA): I could not support him. I just couldn't because we have seen, for example, in those states where he has endorsed the candidates. In fact, Republicans on the same ticket, who he did not endorse overperformed whereas his candidates totally underperform by as much as 10 points. We have a clear mission, and it is time to move on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: What do you think of this, Chris, not just in what Sears is saying but the fact that more and more Republicans are ready to say what has been talked about quietly, but very much publicly now.
WALLACE: You know, one of the things that strikes me about that comment from Lieutenant Governor Sears is Donald Trump helped incite the insurrection on January 6th. He has been talking, spreading election lies for the last two years. But why is she and why are other Republicans breaking with them? Because Republican candidates underperformed by 10 points this week. And you know, in the end, that's what it's all about it seems for the Republican Party, it's not a matter of principle. It's not a matter of the truth. It's a matter of who's a winner, and who's a loser.
And right now, for instance, Ron DeSantis, who won a landslide, a 20 point victory in Virginia looks very much like a winner. And Donald Trump who backed a number of candidates who as Lieutenant Governor Sears said underperformed looks kind of like a loser. And for a guy who has based his whole persona on, you know, where you're going to be -- we're going to win so often you're going to get tired of winning. I think some Republicans are getting tired of losing. BOLDUAN: Yes. So then on the Democratic side, you have a new interview with progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and you asked her a key question that Democrats need to face after the midterms. And she -- let me play this and then and then get your take.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Do people want both parties to move from the fringes from the extremes back to the center?
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): I think a lot of people in this country may say yes, but it's important for us to dig into the substance of what that actually means. As someone who is often, I think, characterized as extreme, I, of course, would object to that. I do not believe that I am as extreme in the way that Marjorie Taylor Greene on the Republican side is extreme.
The idea that there is an equating of believing in someone who believes in guaranteed universal health care in the United States was someone who believes that undocumented people should incur physical harm, are somehow in the same level of extreme is something that I would object to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Chris, she does not seem to think or at least is not saying publicly that there needs to be a course correction in terms of the Democratic Party, which is interesting.
WALLACE: No, it is interesting, and she absolutely does not think that there should be a course correction. I talked to her about the fact that even Republicans said she'd moved too far to the left. Some Democrats who kept their distance from her in the campaign thought she'd moved too far to the left. But for instance, on the issue of inflation, where some people are saying, well, look, we need less government spending that that stoked demand over supply. She says, no, we need to go after corporations that has been price gouging. There been windfall profits.
So she's not talking about cutting back on social programs. She's talking from a Democratic socialist point of view, about full speed ahead on trying to rejigger our American economy and our American marketplace.
BOLDUAN: So interesting conversation, much more can be seen on your show this weekend. It's great to see you Chris, thank you. And you can catch who's talking to Chris Wallace Sunday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
So a major defeat for Russia as Ukrainian troops retake control of a key southern city. You've got to see the video coming up from there right now. The very latest in the war in Ukraine that's next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [11:21:28]
BOLDUAN: Ukrainian troops entering the key city of Kherson. Just look at that, residents taking to the streets to celebrate. And there's quite a bit to celebrate because what you're looking at here is Kherson Square people seen raising Ukrainian flag in the city center, as this is a big defeat for Putin's military. Nic Robertson was one of the first journalists to witness Ukrainian celebrating this freedom from Russian occupation. He filed this report for us just a short time ago.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's quite incredible. Everyone is telling us we are the first reporters here. Literally the Ukrainian troops only arrived here yesterday and liberated the town. The Russians left two days before as you drive into the town here, everyone's waving. Everyone's happy. People I talked to here have horror stories to tell about their treatment by the Russians, particularly over the last few days. I'll give you an idea of what you're seeing behind me. You see a couple of young teenagers here with Ukrainian flags on their shoulders. They were the first to raise the flag when the Russians left even before the troops arrived, so sort of a pre-liberation by teenagers here.
And they tell us that a month ago somebody had been shot here, shot and killed for raising a Ukrainian flag. And in the middle of the crowd here, everyone is gathered was sort of in the center of the town outside the administrative buildings here. That's the Regional Governor. He's just visiting here. He's just arrived in the last few minutes. He's explaining to people how they're going to get support from the Ukrainian government in the coming days, that they're going to be bringing humanitarian aid, supplies, and support into the town here.
But the situation for people here is really difficult. There's no electricity, there's no gas. So they've had a very difficult time just in terms of surviving under the Russians. But what's happened in this town over the past few days as the Russians the past couple of weeks, as the Russians knew that they were going to pull out there was widespread looting, vehicles looted. We've been to the bank here, it's completely ransacked and looted. The police station here were told was used as a base of torture that people would be taken in here and tortured.
And if they want to extract more information, then they would take them there, 45 kilometers on to Kherson. I spoke to a young girl here and I'm telling you a lot of things here because everybody wants to talk, everyone you speak to at the roadside here wants to talk. This young lady 15 years old, she told me her mother confirmed her story, that in the past, over the last few days of the Russians being here, she was taken away, kidnapped, a hood put over her head. She told her she was afraid of being raped. She was only released yesterday.
This is a town that is only just now getting to grips with the idea of liberation of what it means to be free of what it means not to have Russian rule here. And I think people are in all of it, we've seen people on the streets, meeting friends they haven't seen for a long time hugging each other in tears. But I think also there's a sense of OK, what's going to happen now?
BOLDUAN: Yes, Nic Robertson, filing that report that contrast of like the celebration in the streets and also, as he said, coming to grips with what they've lived through, been through and now their new reality is just remarkable.
Also happening right now President Biden on the world stage once again speaking moments ago, at the UN's climate summit in Egypt, the president touting his administration's efforts to combat the climate crisis and laying out what he sees is at stake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The climate crisis is about human security, economic security, environmental security, national security, and the very life of the planet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Joining me right now is CNN's chief climate correspondent Bill Weir and global affairs analyst, Susan Glasser, she's a staff writer with The New Yorker, of course. Bill, what did you think of the President's remarks that we just heard?
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: This was a high wire act, you know, especially since the way the world has changed just since Glasgow, the energy crisis through the war we just saw there as well is shaking everything up the appetite to move beyond oil and gas is dried up in some countries, even like Costa Rica back away from those pledges. But he went there to be adamant about we're meeting our goals. And we are kicking in. We are picking up the check, the moral check from developing countries that are suffering the brunt of the pollution that much of which we caused historically, pledged $11 billion a year by 2024 for those developing nations.
The Inflation Reduction Act will get us most of the way to the pledges that he's talking about. But so much has to happen in terms of clean tech. And what's happening in China now is breaking that down, those supply chains.
BOLDUAN: I do want to ask you about that. But first, Susan, let me bring you in on this because part of all this is heading to G -- he's heading to the G20 after he is in Egypt, and just the images coming out of Ukraine right now, this is clearly a really important moment and going to be a huge topic during this week long trip for the President. What do you make of the Ukrainian advances in Kherson that we're seeing? This seems -- it seems both strategically and symbolically significant in this long war?
SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Absolutely, of course, it's really powerful to see, you know what it's like to be liberated from the Russians. It certainly gives the lie to the Russian propaganda in this war, when you see how much Ukraine is not only fought for its independence, the very existence, but how its citizens are, you know, overwhelmed with joy to be freed from Russia. And I, you know, I think of what we've seen before, as the Russians have been pushed back elsewhere in Ukraine. And I worry that we will hear more about atrocities and war crimes and, you know, torture and beatings.
But at the same time, it is strategically important to, first of all, on the international stage, it is a reaffirmation of Biden's strategy, the time when he's heading in to a crucial meeting with the leader of China. So I think it will give more impetus to the coalition supporting Ukraine.
BOLDUAN: Bill, let's talk more about picking up what we're talking about, as well as the kind of it's part of this entire week long trip that the President's going on first focusing on climate and then he's going to be focusing on, well, Ukraine is going to be a huge topic as he heads to G20. You were talking about China? Can you talk -- what it -- how important critical is the cooperation between the United States and China to really make any real progress on the global -- in the global level and the global efforts to tackle climate change? And also how tricky maybe is the right word is that really -- is the cooperation?
WEIR: So the price of solar went down by 90 percent over a decade. And the reason that it's now cheaper than oil and gas is Chinese manufacturing, the economies of scale, all those factories. Now between Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan and the semiconductor trade war, it's dicer than ever. And President Xi in his last speech, when he was reelected, gave these signals that maybe the era of U.S. cooperation as their biggest customer may be over which means the president interesting before he meets with Xi on Monday in Bali, he's going to meet with other South Asian nations, maybe the supply chain shifts to places like Vietnam.
Now that takes time and we don't have a lot of time every year, every 10th of a degree that it goes up. It really matters. So the urgency is there. But if the two biggest boys on the playground, China and the U.S. aren't working together on this, you can't expect the developing countries to get all excited.
BOLDUAN: Or be able to do much. Exactly. All right, there's -- stick around, we're going to talk more next hour because there's many more questions about what -- how to tackle the big problems. Thank you, Bill. Thank you so much, Susan.
So Donald Trump, he is attacking one of his party's most popular governors, Ron DeSantis. Is this a preview that we're seeing this back and forth the name calling and whatever else it's going to turn into, is this a preview of 2024? We'll discuss.