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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Source: Senate Dems Hope To See Framework Of Social Spending Bill By Tomorrow; Biden Taps GOP Secretary Of State To Top Election Security Role; FDA Advisers Vote To Recommend Pfizer Vaccine For Five To 11-Year- Old Kids; New Concerns About Possible Natural Gas Shortage; Award-Winning Novel "Beloved" Becomes An Issue In VA Gov's Race; McAuliffe, Youngkin In Dead Heat One Week From VA Gov. Election; Nor'easter Sparks High Wind And Flooding Rain. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired October 26, 2021 - 17:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

This hour, a key FDA panel just voted to recommend Pfizer's vaccine for kids ages five to 11. So what happens next and what might this mean for the pandemic?

Plus, flash flooding and water rescues as a nor'easter slams the East Coast of the United States. The danger zones ahead.

And leading this hour, the clock is ticking before President Biden leaves for his foreign trip. And Democrats are hoping to get some movement on two major pieces of the President's agenda before Air Force One takes off.

A source tells CNN, despite four to five issues still unresolved Democratic leaders in the Senate hope to have a framework of a deal by tomorrow.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins is over at the White House where Biden looked to work out some of those issues with a group of key House Democrats.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Democrats desperately searching for a compromise.

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL), CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: That's anxious time here on Capitol Hill.

COLLINS (voice-over): Lawmakers huddling with senior White House staff amid intense pressure to cut a deal on President Biden's plan to reshape the social safety net and fight climate change.

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC), MAJORITY WHIP: When you unite it doesn't necessarily mean that you're anonymous.

COLLINS (voice-over): But there are still critical disputes among Democrats over the size and scope of the plan.

REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D-CA): We will not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

COLLINS (voice-over): Senator Joe Manchin still advocating for a $1.5 trillion price tag as other Democrats try to nudge him higher.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I think in good faith, you have to keep all options open or you're not being fair with the other side. I think 1.5 was more than fair.

COLLINS (voice-over): Manchin is among the moderates who has pushed back on key climate provisions and efforts to significantly expand Medicare, which Senator Bernie Sanders said today is a nonstarter.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): And serious reconciliation bill must include expanding Medicare to cover dental, hearing aids and eyeglasses.

COLLINS (voice-over): Democrats are also still trying to come to an agreement on how to pay for the plan, proposing a billionaires tax that would target the wealth of the richest Americans.

JANET YELLEN, TREASURY SECRETARY: It would help get at capital gains, which are an extraordinarily large part of the incomes of the wealthiest individuals.

COLLINS (voice-over): As more priorities are being slashed or scaled back, progressive members have become increasingly unhappy as the White House argues this is the only option.

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: These are all components of what the President ran on, and what he promised, and they all would make -- have a huge impact on people's lives across the country. So do you want to be a part of that or do you want to be a part of nothing? Because those are the alternatives.

COLLINS (voice-over): Progressives are still pushing for the social spending package to move in tandem with the hard infrastructure bill.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): It's important that we keep the pieces moving together. That's what's critical here.

COLLINS (voice-over): But moderates say it's time to vote.

REP. JOSH GOTTHEIMER (D-NJ), CO-CHAIR, PROBLEM SOLVERS CAUCUS: We've got a vote on the bipartisan bill this week. There's no reason to hold it up anymore.

COLLINS (voice-over): The White House already lowering expectations if a deal isn't reached by the time Biden departs for an international climate conference this week.

JAKE SULLIVAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I think you've got a sophisticated set of world leaders who understand politics in their own country and understand American democracy. (END VIDEO TAPE)

COLLINS: Now, Jake, Democratic leaders are hoping to get an agreement on a framework by the end of the day tomorrow. Of course, that would just be hours away from President Biden's departure for Europe, which is currently scheduled for Thursday morning.

But they still have about four to five issues that they have not come to an agreement on. That's Medicare, Medicaid, paid family leave, of course, which we know is gone from 12 weeks to four weeks, immigration, and of course, taxes, and how they're going to pay for all of it.

TAPPER: All right, Kaitlan Collins at the White House, thanks so much.

Let's bring in Democratic Congresswoman Veronica Escobar of Texas. She's a Deputy Whip with the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Congresswoman, good to see you again.

So you were among House Democrats who met with President Biden and Vice President Harris today at the White House. After hearing from him and from Speaker Pelosi earlier today, what's your read on where negotiations stand? There's an agreement on this larger Build Back Better Act, is it still likely by the end of the week?

REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR (D-TX): Jake, thanks so much for having me on.

And my view is we are moving toward a win, and it will be an incredible win for American families. It will help the economy work for everyone, not just a handful of folks. And it will ensure that we continue down a trajectory where there's more equity. Where are we on it? The pieces are still moving.

And one thing that I think is really important to note, you know, it took the bipartisan infrastructure framework process a few months, and I know that we are all eager. I am as eager as anyone else to get to a deal.

Do I think it will happen this week? You know, we've got to see the actual legislative piece or the language. We need to see the details. And until we see those details, there really is not a deal yet. But those conversations are ongoing and I'm feeling very optimistic.

TAPPER: So after meeting with your Progressive Caucus Chair, Pramila Jayapal this afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that a framework agreement on the Build Back Better spending package should be enough for Congress to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill.


Democratic Congresswoman Cori Bush of Missouri responded on Twitter saying, quote, "It's not enough for me. And there are more of us."

Is there possibly going to be a rebellion of progressive so that infrastructure bill will not pass before Biden goes to Glasgow? ESCOBAR: Here's the thing, Jake, we have to have details. And we don't have an agreement yet. We don't have those details yet. What we do still have our dozens of members, not just Progressive Caucus members. I mean, I've spoken with folks outside of the Progressive Caucus who want to see those two bills move in tandem.

If we reach an agreement, then I think we should announce that and we should come together in the Rose Garden, or in front of the White House, or wherever to announce that so that the President has those details with him as he heads to COP26. But until that point, we are still negotiating. And there are still dozens of members who want to see both those bills move in tandem.

TAPPER: There is this argument that if Biden is not able to go to Glasgow with this bipartisan infrastructure bill, that you're willing to vote for, but you just want to vote for it in tandem with the Build Back Better Act, and I understand the idea of leveraging all. But if Biden can't go there, the White House or allies of it say that weakens the hands of the United States to push other countries to address climate change.

I know climate change is an issue you care a great deal about. Is it possible that progressives in demanding that these two bills be voted on at the same time, actually harm Biden's ability to push other countries to commit to meaningful climate change efforts?

ESCOBAR: Jake, here's what I know, the progressives and House Democrats, all of us, have been willing to compromise. All of us have come to the table. All of us have said that we will vote for the infrastructure package, but we need the details and an agreement, or at least dozens of us need the details and an agreement before we can vote on infrastructure, that includes climate.

I understand that there is not yet an agreement on climate. And so, that question that you pose really should be posed to the two senators who are in the middle of all of this who are wanting to see changes to those provisions, because we've been at the table and we'll remain at the table.

We want the President to be successful. This is his bill. He has said he wrote it. He gave it to the Congress. It's Congress's obligation to make the President successful.

Progressives are not standing in the way of that. There's two senators who should be asked about what they're willing to do in order to make sure that the President's agenda is successful.

TAPPER: Senator Manchin is defending again why he thinks some of the climate and clean energy provisions are unnecessary. Take a listen.


MANCHIN: I'm not going to pay taxpayer dollars and give it to a publicly traded utility $150 billion to do something they're going to do anyway. And they say, well, Manchin scuttled the plan. I haven't scuttled the plan, I basically come to reality. Why would you do that? (END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: What's your response?

ESCOBAR: My question is, then how do we get to our climate goals by 2030? Let's work together on finding a solution that gets us there. I am far more interested in looking for ways that we accomplish what should be a unified goal, a vision that we all have for a clean planet, a planet that we can pass on to the next generation, a planet we can live on.

How do we achieve those goals, Senator Manchin? Because we're willing to work together. Tell us how we get there together.

TAPPER: Democratic Congresswoman Veronica Escobar of Texas, good to see you again. Thanks so much for coming on.

ESCOBAR: Good to see you, too. Thanks.

TAPPER: Coming up, public servants now facing threats to their lives because of their efforts to carry out free and fair elections.

Plus, concerns that a new shortage could spark even more inflation problems. That's ahead.



TAPPER: In our politics lead, today the Biden administration tapped a Republican Secretary of State to a key election security role at the Department of Homeland Security, her name is Kim Wyman in this Washington State's top election official. She stood up to former President Trump. Slamming Trump's big lie rhetoric, saying it undermines U.S. democracy, and later criticizing that sham Arizona audit as, quote, "political theater."

CNN's Sean Lyngaas was first to report the pick (ph). He joins us now.

And Sean, what does this tell us about the Biden administration's efforts to secure elections?

SEAN LYNGAAS, CNN CYBERSECURITY REPORTER: Well, Jake, it tells us that they're trying to go about nonpartisan way. Kim Wyman is respected on both sides of the aisle for telling truth to power for her election security experience on the ground in Washington for nearly a decade in Thurston County. And so, it says that they're trying to get someone who understands how elections work, and doesn't care about politics and wants to be able to work with both Republicans and Democrats to ramp up election security efforts.

TAPPER: And how are other elected officials reacting?

LYNGAAS: Well, there's been praise from a number of officials, the National Association of State Election Directors praise the pick as nonpartisan and interested in getting the facts right on elections. I think the other positive news has been in terms of, you know, both Republican and Democrat election officials have signaled that they're behind this pick. So, there's none (ph).


TAPPER: All right. Nice.

CNN's Sean Lyngaas, thanks so much.

As Trump and his minions continue to try to undermine confidence in elections, possibly preparing to overturn another election in 2024. State and local election officials have been thrust into the national spotlight. And as CNN's Sara Murray reports for us now, they and their families have been intimidated and threatened and even terrorized.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am a hunter, and I think you should be haunted.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That message for Arizona's Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, just one of several threatening vitriolic voicemails shared exclusively with CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to say Katie Hobbs, pain is common. There is no place to hide, your elections were a fraud.

MURRAY (voice-over): Nearly a year after the 2020 presidential contest, election officials accustomed to the bureaucratic and largely uncontroversial task of administering elections are still grappling with hateful messages. And in some cases, even death threats.

JENA GRISWOLD (D), COLORADO SECRETARY OF STATE: These are things like I see, I'm watching you sleep, I know where you live, posting my address. Telling me repeatedly how they're going to kill me. So yes, this is not policy disagreements.

MURRAY (voice-over): Most of the threats aimed at Democrat Jena Griswold, the Colorado Secretary of State were posted online to a personal and public social media accounts or sent via email.

And when it comes to female officials, the attacks are particularly vile. "I'm really jonesing to see your purple face after you've been hanged," one e-mail says. Another message says, "The dog is going to be wondering where you went, and your husband will have to tell it that you were hung for treason."

GRISWOLD: I think it is partially gendered, predominantly Democratic women secretaries of state are getting the brunt of it. But it's not exclusively to Democrats or women.


MURRAY (voice-over): In Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger face threats as well, after standing up to former President Trump's baseless claims of fraud. But among the most disturbing, were those directed at members of his family.

RAFFENSPERGER: I'm sending your wife that you met in high school, sending your wife sexualized text and all that other kind of insulting garbage, and then breaking into your daughter-in-law's, you know, townhouse and leaving the lights on and you know that they were there, and then drive them by our house. And so, those kind of things are, you know, stuff that you notice. You do look over your shoulder. And that was all just ginned up all by lies, and all by people that were stirring the pot.

MURRAY (voice-over): Across the U.S. and across political parties, election officials continue to be falsely accused of mishandling and rigging the 2020 election. There are fears the threats will increase into next year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I guess if you count all the fraudulent votes --

MURRAY (voice-over): As some Republicans spin up doubts about the midterms and spout conspiracies as a central plank of their campaigns.

MATT MASTERSON, FORMER SENIOR CYBERSECURITY ADVISER: Local election officials are going to leave and then that opens the door to adding more political actors less professional, more political actors into the election space, which again, is incredibly dangerous.

MURRAY (voice-over): A report in 2021 from the Brennan Center for Justice found that roughly one in six election workers surveyed received threats of violence, while almost one in three said they feel unsafe because of their job.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department and the FBI formed a task force to address the rise in threats against election officials. But Griswold tell CNN she has yet to see action.

GRISWOLD: The FBI says they are not monitoring the threats. I don't believe at this point the DOJ has prosecuted any of the threats. So the response has not been sufficient.


MURRAY: Now John Keller, who is the Justice Department official who's overseeing this task force tells CNN that these are the kinds of threats that used to be dealt with on a state or local level. He says this is changing rapidly in response to the surge in threats nationwide since last election cycle. The Justice Department is now supplementing state and local efforts with resources, national coordination, training and intelligence. Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Sara Murray, thank you so much.

A key step in the fight against COVID, the FDA vaccine committee now recommending Pfizer's vaccine for kids five to 11. That's next.



TAPPER: Breaking news in our health lead, a critical step in the fight against COVID, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Advisory Committee voted in favor of recommending emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine for kids' ages five to 11. The drug maker says its vaccine is 90 percent effective against any symptomatic COVID for that age group. And now the vaccine might be available to some 28 million children in just weeks.

Joining me now Dr. Dimitri Christakis, he's the Director for the Center for Child Health Behavior and Development at Seattle Children's Hospital. He's also the editor-in-chief of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Pediatrics.

Doc, it's good to see you. The White House already talking about their rollout plan to get kids five to 11 vaccinated once it's fully approved, and they're planning to lean into individual pediatricians as opposed to CVS. Is that the best way to get lots of kids vaccinated at once?

DR. DIMITRI CHRISTAKIS, DIR. CENTER FOR CHILD HEALTH BEHAVIOR AND DEVELOPMENT, SEATTLE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: Well, I think so. I mean, I think pediatricians are a key part of this, but I actually would like to see it done through schools with the support a pediatricians in their offices. And I say that because a schools are, for force, conveniently located for families. But more importantly, it creates kind of a, if you will, a social contagion effect, right?

One of the things we know is that people are more likely to get the vaccine if they see other people or no other people that have gotten it. So I think it'd be great to do it through schools so that families would see other people, their children's playmates, their neighbors getting the vaccine and increase the likelihood that they'll get it. Because right now what we've seen in the older children is only 50 percent of eligible children have gotten vaccinated, and of course, about 70 percent of eligible adults have. We need to get those numbers up.


TAPPER: Right. And I guess that's the question though, given that only about half of kids aged 12 to 15 years old are now fully vaccinated, even though that's been OK for months. Millions more remain unprotected. Are you worried that not enough kids ages' five to 11 are going to get vaccinated to make a meaningful difference because of parental resistance?

CHRISTAKIS: Yes. You know, I think one way of framing this for parents is thinking about other childhood vaccines, OK? The most -- one of the most recent ones is the chickenpox ones. And the truth is fewer children died of chickenpox each year than if died of COVID, way fewer died.

But we developed a vaccine for chickenpox, and in many cases in many schools, we mandate it. Why? Because children, even though they don't die, they get sick with chickenpox, they miss school because of chickenpox, their parents miss work because their children have chickenpox, and some unvaccinated elderly adults who are susceptible to chickenpox get it and die. So, that's a good example of why immunizing children, even for diseases that aren't severe for them, make a difference.

And the truth is, a side effect profile of the varicella vaccine from what we know is way worse than from the mRNA COVID vaccines for Children. So, I think we've gotten -- we've politicize this vaccine too much and we don't put it in the context of other vaccines that we readily accept for our children for less compelling reasons, frankly.

TAPPER: Do you think schools, once the vaccine is -- has been OK, not just under emergency use authorization but regular authorization, do you think schools should mandate the COVID vaccine the way that states mandate in different -- every state has different mandates, but states mandate, chickenpox vaccine, mumps, measles, rubella, et cetera, et cetera?

CHRISTAKIS: Yes. I think once it's FDA approved, there's no reason for it to be treated differently than any other vaccine.

And you know, here's the interesting thing, Jake, the states with the highest immunization rates for other vaccines for children have -- are states that have mandates for school entry and virtually no exceptions. So Alabama and Mississippi have fantastic vaccination rates for their children, and they have the worst vaccination rates for COVID for adults and for children.

This vaccine needs to be treated the same way. And once it's FDA approved, which means that it has the full confidence of our experts, scientists, and the federal government, we should treat it the way we treat all other vaccines.

You know, let's talk about Colin Powell for a minute, OK? An American hero, a proud Republican, an immigrant who was twice vaccinated, elderly cancer patient with Parkinson's disease, he had multiple risk factors, including being immunosuppressed, he got COVID in spite of having done everything he could to protect himself from it. We don't know, at least I don't know how he got it, but it's entirely possible that there was a child somewhere in the vector of spread that got the disease to him.

We have to do everything we can to break the cycle of transmission, not just because of the deaths we prevent today, equally important --


CHRISTAKIS: -- preventing the evolution of new migrants, you know, which -- mutations, which someday may prove to be -- which may prove to circumvent the vaccine we have and we'll be back to square zero.

TAPPER: Yes. Dr. Dimitri Christakis, thank you so much. Appreciate your time today.

One week from today, a key race that could give us a clue about what the midterm elections in 2022 might look like. We'll discuss next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


TAPPER: In our money lead, a source tells me there are growing concerns in Washington about a possible natural gas shortage later this year that could theoretically sends prices through the roof right as temperatures plunge. A natural gas shortage could make inflation even worse, prices are already up for groceries, gas for cars, furniture and more. Now Biden's Agriculture Department estimates that meat poultry and fish prices could rise as much as 5.5 percent this year.

Let's bring in CNN's Matt Egan. Matt, how severe might in natural gas shortage get it and how quickly.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Jake, we're really at the mercy of Mother Nature here. If it's an extremely cold winter, Americans are going to be forced to crank up the heat. And that will drive down below normal U.S. natural gas supplies. Now the risk is that if it is very cold, we could see natural gas prices really spike, some analysts think they could actually double from current levels.

I want to show you just how much natural gas prices already up, though. They're already up 130 percent this year alone. And the federal government is forecasting that U.S. households that use natural gas for heating are going to spend an average of $746 on heating this winter. That's 30 percent more than last year. And we've seen natural gas prices spike even more in Europe and in Asia. It's gotten to the point where factories have had to shut down because they can't pay the gas bill.

Now the good news is that analysts that I talked to don't think we're going to run out of gas here. That's because the United States is the largest gas producer on the planet. But even if we don't run out, it doesn't mean Americans are not going to be facing energy sticker shock. We're talking about seven year highs for gasoline prices, home heating costs on the rise. All of this is adding to the cost of living for everyday Americans, Jake.

TAPPER: And Matt, can the Biden administration do anything to prevent this?

EGAN: You know, Jake, there are no easy fixes here. There's no magic wand. Unfortunately, there's no strategic reserve of natural gas. There's no OPEC to call to beg to produce more. In many ways, the United States is the Saudi Arabia of the natural gas world.

If you ask the energy industry, they would say, well, the White House could cut environmental regulation and maybe that would help. And it could maybe for next winter but that would take some time and it's not going to happen because President Biden ran on such an aggressive climate agenda.


Listen, Jake, no one said the energy transition would be easy.

TAPPER: All right, Matt Egan, thank you so much.

Topping our politics lead this hour, President Biden heads to Arlington, Virginia in just a few hours to stump for Democrat Terry McAuliffe as the neck and neck governor's race enters its final week. This is the Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin's campaign releases a new ad targeting McAuliffe on education again. This feature is a Virginia parent named Laura Murphy, who had this story about a book her child brought home from school. Take a look.


LAURA MURPHY, FAIRFAX COUNTY MOTHER: And my son showed me his reading assignment, my heart sunk. It was some of the most explicit material you can imagine. They passed bills requiring schools to notify parents when explicit content was assigned. But then Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed it twice. He doesn't think parents should have a say. He said that. He shut us out.


TAPPER: Now, what Murphy and Glenn Youngkin don't tell you in that ad is that her son was a high school senior. And the book that she wanted banned was Toni Morrison's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, "Beloved."

CNN, Eva McKend joins us now live. And Eva, why is Youngkin deploying this ad now, and how is the McAuliffe campaign responding?

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, Jake Youngkin is deploying this ad now because it's clear the campaign believes that they've landed on a message that they think is working. I met these Youngkin rallies. And it's largely made up of parents and grandparents that are ticked off with their local school boards, angry about mask mandates, angry about the potential for vaccine mandates, don't like how the history of racism and the way the impact of racism is taught in Virginia public schools.

And by saying parents matter, he's able to, under an umbrella, get it all of those issues. And so that is why they continue to use this strategy. Now, in terms of this episode, you know, "Beloved," an important book in American history --


MCKEND: -- tells -- actually is based on a true story, right? Tells the history that the hiring (ph) history of slavery in our country depicts a mother who kills her daughter so that she can shield her from the brutality of slavery. It's an uncomfortable reality, but it's what happened in this country.

And so McAuliffe saying that this is illustrative of a racist dog whistle. But the Youngkin campaign pushing back on that saying it's not about this book, in particular, it's about this overarching message that parents should have input. TAPPER: Well, right. OK, let's broaden this out. I mean, yes, of course, parents should have input and this is an issue where Glenn Youngkin has found traction, but at the same time, this ad specifically is about the book, "Beloved."

I want to get your reaction to a tweet from our colleague, Laura Coates. She said, "I find it so odd that anyone could think it is possible to teach the truth about slavery in America, and leave out the barbaric misogynistic, racist and cruel parts. That's not education, that's selective amnesia." And yet this education issue, writ large, maybe not in the specifics, it seems to be winning -- a winning issue for Glenn Youngkin.

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, REPUBLICANS STRATEGIST & POLLSTER: Well, and I think a reason why it has been a winning issue is for exactly what you've said, which is that it's an umbrella that there are a lot of different ways that people can be frustrated with their local schools. And so a problem Republicans have faced in recent years is how do you have a message that can unify your base with a suburban voters that used to be somewhat reliably a piece of the Republican coalition, but if drifted away, especially during the Trump years.

And with a message that focuses on education writ large, you can have something that is firing up your base that Republican voters in Virginia are really upset about, but that also suburban parents might be frustrated with to, again, whether it's around COVID, curriculum or something else. But the other thing that we can't forget is that education is not the only issue in this race. It's the one that's got the most sort of heat around it. But the economy is a big factor too.

Youngkin made a piece of his campaign talking about getting rid of the grocery tax, et cetera. And whether it's things like the rising cost of living and the sort of mediocre economy we're living through, that has taken the wind out of Democrats sails in terms of the national environment. That's another reason why Youngkin is doing better than expected.

TAPPER: And Maria, Democrats are worried, they're worried about this race. Glenn Youngkin has done -- he's over performed, and I think it's fair to say Terry McAuliffe, we haven't seen the results yet.


TAPPER: But in terms of his performance on the stump (ph) has disappointed a lot of his colleagues.

CARDONA: Jake, the only way to win races is if you run scared. They should be scared, they should be worried and they are worried. I'm nervous. I am cautiously very nervously optimistic that I think McAuliffe will eke out a win, but it's either Glenn Youngkin has peaked at the right time and hell he got to win or he didn't peak early enough. And Terry McAuliffe will eke out a win.

But I think all of these issues that you talked about, I think are critical. With this ad though, I think Youngkin completely misses the mark because it has given the opportunity for the McAuliffe campaign to talk about some of the extremist policies that the McAuliffe campaign has been wanting to tie Youngkin to from the very beginning, calling him a Trump candidate in moderates clothing, gives them the opening and the opportunity to talk about book banning, which, you know, if you want to look at what the overall messaging is, for voters in Virginia, I think that is something that will excite the base, but I don't think it's something that will excite, you know, moderate women, suburban mothers that kind of thing.


TAPPER: I guess that's the question, right, Olivier, because if you are, let's say, a PTA parent, and you see this ad, you think, I don't like Terry McAuliffe's position on this. But then you find out, oh, wait, they're talking about Toni Morrison's "Beloved?"


TAPPER: That seems a bit much.

KNOX: Right. But one of the really important things that we've talked about in this opening segment is what's on the either side, which is it's built on existing resentment about the way school boards had handled masks, and virtual learning and in-person learning, and basically, how they've managed the pandemic. That store of resentment is basically a powder keg and something like this is the spark, or at least that's what Glenn Youngkin's campaign hopes it is.

I don't know how much the fact checking is going to sway individual voters. You know, you've seen Glenn Youngkin also say that when the FBI pays attention to parents making threats of violence --

TAPPER: Right.

KNOX: -- in school board members, that's somehow stalking all parents.

TAPPER: Right.

KNOX: So I don't know that the fact that he's going to be there, but the resentment is there. It's been there for months and months and months. And what Youngkin has done well is tap into that. Democrats should be worried. But the history of gubernatorials in Virginia favors Youngkin.


KNOX: They --

CARDONA: That's right.

KNOX: -- the party that doesn't hold the White House usually loses this.


KNOX: So if Democrats eke out a 1 percent -- 1. percent who's going to win --


KNOX: -- they're going to do a dance.

ANDERSON: In some ways, it's almost great for Democrats that so many of these polls have come out in the last few weeks showing this scarily close race.

CARDONA: I think that's right.

ANDERSON: Because, you know, in California, you had the Gavin Newsom recall and Democrats got the warning and just enough time, hey, you actually need to fire up your people.

TAPPER: Yes, don't be complacent. Right.

ANDERSON: Don't be complacent.


ANDERSON: It's almost as though for Democrats in Virginia, they've gotten that message now, hey, you can't be complacent. But did they get it in enough?

TAPPER: So Eva, you go to these Youngkin rallies, and I can totally see how a very activated base of people who resent their local school boards, would be engaged by the Youngkin campaign. He's speaking right to them about, as you note, these umbrella concerns. Is that enough, though? Is that enough voters?


TAPPER: I don't know if these rallies are in Northern Virginia, where I think it's pretty fair to say the race will be won or lost. Terry McAuliffe has to really over perform there.

MCKEND: Right. That's where a lot of the votes will come from. You know, it's -- that's the big question, Jake. It's not clear. It's not clear if this parents matter, push is really going to resignate with a large amount of Virginians. It's clearly resonating with the base. But the big test is, is he going to peel off? Is he going to be able to peel off some of those voters that voted for President Biden?

TAPPER: And this is another issue -- we don't have to get into the details of it because kids are involved -- but having to do with a sexual assault in Loudoun County School, a horrible incident. But I was reading about it because the judge just issued an order against one of the kids involved here. I was reading about it and thinking, well, this is very local. And then I was thinking this is very local and so as the governor's race.


TAPPER: So as the governor's race that can actually a parent can identify with something that happens in a local school, maybe even more so than an education initiatives.

CARDONA: And that's right. And again, I think that is why the McAuliffe campaign should be worried because of this. Glenn Youngkin has certainly hit a nerve. But I think to your point, is it going -- is this something that is going to activate different voters, or are they the people that would have normally voted for Youngkin anyway.

I think the economy is also very critical. When Terry McAuliffe was at a rally with Latino voters, he focused really locally and forcefully on the economy, which I think was a smart thing. He talks about how he wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Glenn Youngkin does not want to do that. We just passed Latina Pay Day -- Latina Equal Pay Day, which means that in 23 months, a Latina makes the same amount of money as a -- her counterpart that is a white male. Those are the kinds of issues that really resonate with the kinds of voters that McAuliffe absolutely needs to get out if he's going to eke out a win.

TAPPER: And then there are the social issues because Youngkin did an interview with the Associated Press, where he basically said his faith does not support same sex marriage. But as governor, he, you know, he would obviously uphold the law. And the LGBTQ groups are out there saying, Glenn Youngkin doesn't support same sex marriage, which has been the law of the land. And kind of, I mean, he said he -- I guess he doesn't emotionally support it, but he doesn't want to like get rid of it.

KNOX: Sure. I think you've also seen the McAuliffe campaign go after Youngkin on abortion, right? So there are these sort of traditional hot button social issues on the left.


The abortion issue supercharged now because what's happening at the Supreme Court, what's happening in Texas and elsewhere. But I also want to touch on that with one thing. The one data point I really, really want after this election is what proportion of voters blamed Biden/McAuliffe for inflation. Because really, there are very few issues that hit home more than like, God, you know, I filled up my car today and it was like $50 more than it was --

TAPPER: Right.

KNOX: -- when I filled it up last year, never mind that the pandemic, you know, froze us all in place. You know, there was headlines about Thanksgiving, being maybe the most expensive Thanksgiving of all time. What proportion of voters are saying, oh, you know, this is a global phenomenon, I saw that piece on the BBC, it said that no fuel is out of control in France and Britain or whatever. And how many are like, no, no, no, this is about the Biden economy.

MCKEND: Yes, that's not lost on Terry McAuliffe at all. He has -- he's continually implored Democrats in Congress to get their act together. He wanted to be able to run on --

TAPPER: Right. The infrastructure bill.

MCKEND: -- Democratic accomplishments, yes, some policy victories and he hasn't been able to and he's expressed that frustration time and time again on the trail.

CARDONA: And I guarantee you that tonight when Joe Biden is there with Terry McAuliffe, they're going to bring up all of these economic kitchen table issues, but they are also going to bring up this issue of tying Trump to Glenn Youngkin --


CARDONA: -- calling him kind of a sleeper candidate, right? If he gets elected, he will --

TAPPER: Trump and khakis I think they call them, right?

CARDONA: There you go. And the fact that today, right, there was the trial of the people that committed all of those, you know, the murder and the march in Charlottesville. I bet you they're going to tie those two together. Let's not forget that Joe Biden started his campaign talking about Charlottesville and the soul of America.

TAPPER: Yes. Thanks to all of you. Appreciate it. And welcome to you. It's good to have you here.

MCKEND: Thank you.

TAPPER: A major storm slamming the Northeast sparking extreme winds, flash flooding, even some water rescues, that's next.



TAPPER: In our national lead, New York and New Jersey under a state of emergency as a powerful October nor'easter slams much of the east coast. The rapidly intensifying storm bringing extreme wind and heavy rain to the region, a region still recovering from the severe flooding from Hurricane Ida in September. In New Jersey, emergency workers have rescued more than a dozen people already. A dozen people trapped by the floodwaters amid life threatening flash flooding.

Tornadoes brought by the storm have already sliced through parts of Missouri and Illinois and out west. California is grappling with the aftermath of another extreme weather hazard and historic bomb cyclone that shattered rainfall records.

Tom Sater is in the CNN Weather Center tracking all of these for us. Tom, 35 million Americans in the Northeast under flood watch from the storm right now, what should we expect?

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, the pressure is dropping, Jake, so it means the storm is getting stronger. It's really just organizing. You mentioned the term bomb cyclone, that's when the pressure drops rapidly in a 24-hour period. In fact, when these series of storms have moved into the West Coast, they were bombing out the lowest pressure ever recorded off the coast of Washington State.

Now we're having this bomb out on the East Coast. First nor'easter of the year, the area of low pressure on the border of Pennsylvania, New York. This is the one that plowed through the Midwest, spawning over a dozen tornadoes. If there's any good news here, so it's a couple of things. We do have a dry slide here now over New York City to Newark already picking up 3, 4 inches of rainfall. But we've had the surge across central Long Island all the way up into Upstate New York.

So therefore, the training of rain, the showers and storms moving through the areas dropping a lot of rain. You see on red, this is where we're having to flash flood warnings. They've been making their way off toward the Northwest as the rain moves through. Numerous water rescues, as you mentioned there.

But because the storm is strengthening, the winds are going to get stronger and they're going to broaden outward. You can see where some of the heavier rainfall has been. And just to give you a few totals here, we'll start with Central Park with just almost 3 inches of rainfall, just, you know, two and three quarters. But Brooklyn is over 4 inches then you got almost 4.5 parts of New Jersey.

This is just the beginning. Because the storm is strengthened, it's got a lot of moisture to work with, it's not rare to have a nor'easter in the month of October. If you recall Superstorm Sandy, that was an October storm. Remember the movie, "The Perfect Storm" with George Clooney, that's based on a true October event.

Wind warnings really for areas of Rhode Island, Connecticut and Cape Cod. We've already seen the winds pick up as we mentioned yesterday with you over 40, even 50, 60 mile per hour winds. Some gusts could get up to hurricane strength and that would be your new Cape Cod, Nantucket and it points to the north coastal areas of Maine.

So, power outages, not many yet, about 10,000. Power companies are forecasting could be over 100,000. The storm strengthens more overnight tonight. Then we'll watch a severe weather threat in the Midwest this evening from the next storm that is plowing in from the west coast.

Tornadoes, parts of Texas and toward Oklahoma this evening. Hang in there, a lot of leaves on the trees, could have severe power outages in some communities.

TAPPER: All right. Tom Sater, thank you so much.

Coming up next, an effort to expunge the record of a black woman who had refused to give up her seat on a bus. And I'm not talking about Rosa Parks. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our buried lead -- that's what we call stories we think are not getting enough attention -- a civil rights pioneers fight to have an unjust conviction expunged. She was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus to a white person in Montgomery, Alabama.

You might think you know this story, but I'm not talking about Rosa Parks. This woman's name is Claudette Colvin. Her act of disobedience when she was just 15 years old against racist segregation laws, partly inspired Parks to take her more famous action nine months later.

Speaking outside the courtroom where she filed her request this afternoon, Colvin remembered that fateful day.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. All right.

COLVIN: And my mindset was on the hero, the women, especially when Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman.


COLVIN: So I was not going to move I think.


COLVIN: I've told them that history had me glued to the seat.


TAPPER: Colvin's attorneys say she's seeking the expungement now because of a planned move out of state. Give her the expungement for God's sake.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the TikTok at JakeTapper. You can tweet the show at TheLeadCNN. Our coverage continues right now with one Mr. Wolf Blitzer right next door in "THE SITUATION ROOM." Thank you for watching. I'll see you tomorrow.