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Manchin Retirement Fuels New Talk About 2024 Bid; Feds Probe Suspicious Letters Sent To Election Offices; Biden Announces Health Care Extension, Fraud Protections For Vets; Poll: Most Americans Confused About Tipping Rules. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired November 10, 2023 - 13:30   ET



HOPPY KERCHEVAL, HOST, METRONEWS "TALKLINE" ON WEST VIRGINA RADIO: So you know, there might be something out there for him. There might be -- there might be something that he can tap into in the next couple of months.

I think it's going to be a fascinating story as he travels the country to try to find out.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: I mean, it wasn't that long ago that I was covering Congress. You know, a decade or so ago, there were all these blue-dog Democrats in Congress. They're so endangered now.

Joe Manchin, that brand of Democrat, rural, more conservative, do you think that there is an appetite for that? Do you think it's just kind of unanswered because of the way gerrymandering is? What do you think?

KERCHEVAL: I think there is. And I know that it doesn't seem like there is because just the way the politics are, as you said, the gerrymandering, nobody is threatened in these congressional districts.

But I hear from people all the time that are frustrated, and they want to see -- they'd like to see things accomplished. We talk about the border or the economy or, you know, a million other things, that would be happy to try to get things accomplished.

Brianna, here's an interesting story -- is that Joe Manchin was instrumental in getting the Inflation Reduction Bill passed. Right? And he included in there -- his office essentially wrote a lot of the energy parts in there.

And that included billions of dollars for green energy projects. A lot of those are going to benefit West Virginia. But in West Virginia, he got heavily criticized for that. Why? Because it was seen as kowtowing to Joe Biden in a state that is deeply red.

So it's tough, it's tough out there now because it is the far left and far right that is driving the narrative.

But I still hear from people who are in this middle, I don't know how big it is, who say, look, we just want to get things done. We're not as interested in the partisan politics. And again, that brings me back to Manchin. If there is a person that

can tap into that middle, if it exists, it is a Joe Manchin or a -- a Larry Hogan or people like that.

So let's watch and see what happens because Manchin is now running to see if he's going to be running. How about that?

KEILAR: Yes. That's why it's so seismic that he said he's not running for re-election.

Hoppy, it's great to have you and your insights. Thank you so much for joining us from West Virginia.

KERCHEVAL: Brianna, it's my pleasure. Thank you very much.

KEILAR: Suspicious letters ending up at election offices in states across the country. At least one letter was containing -- did contain Fentanyl. We'll have the latest on the investigation ahead.



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Federal investigators are trying to hunt down whoever sent suspicious letters to election offices in several states. One official says their letter contained Fentanyl, and it's suspected to be in some of the others.

Georgia's secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, told CNN that another suspicious letter was discovered to be making its way through the postal system.


BRAD RAFFENSPERGER, (R), GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE: A postal official has some capabilities I guess that they don't talk about much, but somehow, they have a tracking. And based on what they saw at another location they identified there was another letter that was obviously postmarked for Georgia.


SANCHEZ: Let's bring in CNN's Josh Campbell.

Josh, what is the latest in this investigation?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: At this hour, Boris, authorities have not yet publicly identified a suspect. We know this large law enforcement is under way after these letters were received in several states, including here in California, Georgia, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Washington State.

Most of them appearing to target election officials. As you mentioned, at least one, according to state officials, testing positive for Fentanyl.

We did get a statement from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I'll read part of that.

They say, "The FBI along with our law enforcement partners responded to multiple incidents involving suspicious letters sent to ballot- counting centers and is reminding everyone to exercise care in handling mail, especially from unrecognized senders. If you see something suspicious, please contact law enforcement immediately."

So law enforcement certainly taking this very seriously, Boris.

It is important to note, just for perspective -- I was just speaking with a medical professional who specializes in Fentanyl overdoses.

We're not talking about anthrax, which is highly lethal in small quantities. Unless you ingest Fentanyl, it's not likely that that could actually lead to death, in some type of casual inhalation. So that's important to note to tamp down any hysteria.

But nevertheless, if you are an election worker out there, certainly you are in fear with these letters targeting your workplace.

Which is why I expect we will see very serious charges if and when this person is taken into custody, both for interstate threats sent through the mail, but also targeting the U.S. electoral process -- Boris?

SANCHEZ: Josh, you've worked cases like this before. What's the process like to track a suspicious, dangerous piece of mail in the system?

CAMPBELL: You know, the public often credits the FBI with solving these big cases. The fact of the matter is they take -- involve multiple agencies, including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

I worked with them in my cases and I was shocked by the sophistication, the ability to track a piece of mail through the system, down to the box that that letter was sent in.

And they can look at batches to identify if there are other letters that are similar.

A lot of really sophisticated work going on behind the scenes right now -- Boris?

SANCHEZ: Yes, I look forward to seeing some results in this investigation.


SANCHEZ: Hopefully, they get down to the bottom of it.

Josh Campbell, thank you so much for the reporting.


Up next, President Biden will mark Veterans Day with new actions to protect former service members. We have the details in just moments. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: Tomorrow, the nation honors Veterans Day and the country's service men and women. President Biden marking the occasion today by announcing an expansion of V.A. health care and protections for veterans against scams and against fraud.

CNN senior White House correspondent, M.J. Lee, is here to detail the specific changes coming.

Because this is actually a population that is targeted so often. I think a lot of people don't realize that, M.J. Tell us what's coming.

M.J. LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brianna, no public events for President Biden today. But tomorrow he is expected to spend some time at Arlington National Cemetery to mark Veterans Day.


But in the meantime, as you said, the White House is announcing a series of measures and programs that are aimed at giving veterans access to expanded health care and to try to protect them from scams and frauds.

A couple of noteworthy items from this announcement that came out from the White House, World War II veterans would now be eligible for zero- cost health care. That includes under the Department of Veterans Affairs access to nursing home care.

There is also the V.A. now covering health care costs related to Parkinson's disease. The eligibility timeline for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits would be pulled up.

And there's a new commission that is being created to help veterans dealing with fraud and scams.

All of this, as you said, is a part of sort of the ongoing efforts that we have seen from the administration to make sure that veterans can get better care and better access to health care.

You'll recall what a big deal it was for this White House and for this president to sign into law the bipartisan burn pits veterans victims bill.

This was something that was, as you know, particularly personally sensitive for the president because he has said that he believes his latest son, Beau Biden, had gotten brain cancer because of his exposure to burn pits in Iraq -- Brianna?

KEILAR: Yes. V.A. claims up almost 40 percent this last fiscal year. It's just a huge record that we're seeing. Something to think about this Veterans Day weekend.

M.J., thank you so much for that report from the White House. And ahead, you know, tipping, it is a touchy subject these days.

Should you tip your barista? What about your taxi driver? How much do you tip? We've got some new polling on this tipping dilemma, ahead.



SANCHEZ: It's the question you ask seemingly every time you buy anything nowadays -- to tip or not to tip?

KEILAR: That's right. A new poll shows 72 percent of U.S. adults say they're actually expected to tip in more places than they were just five years ago. And they're confused about this. Many don't know when or how much they should be tipping.

SANCHEZ: And it's being handled sometimes in awkward ways --


SANCHEZ: -- to being honest.

Here to break it down for us is CNN consumer reporter, Nathaniel Meyersohn.

Hey, Nathaniel.

NATHANIEL MEYERSOHN, CNN CONSUMER REPORTER: Hey, Boris. We've been waiting for some tipping data, and we finally have it. So about 34 percent of people say that tipping is easy. And 75 percent say that the tipping is hard.

People really do not like these touch screens that businesses are putting in front of them when we're paying with credit cards. They've replaced the old tip jars.

And 40 percent of people are opposed to businesses doing this. And then just 24 percent are in favor. The rest don't have an opinion, which is surprising because it feels like everybody has a strong opinion about this.

KEILAR: OK. So they don't love that. They don't love the little screen that gets turned around. We found, from Vanessa Yurkevich, people don't actually know if you tipped or not. So that's kind of interesting.


KEILAR: But, Nathaniel, what do people say the standard tip is at a restaurant?

MEYERSOHN: This is the age-old question, how much to tip at a sit-down restaurant? And most Americans are tipping 15 percent or less. And 57 percent say 15 percent or less, about 20 percent of people are tipping 20 percent or more.

And it breaks down by age. Younger folks tend to tip a little bit more than older people.

SANCHEZ: Wow. That is kind of surprising.

KEILAR: That's low.

SANCHEZ: Feels low.

KEILAR: That's very low.


KEILAR: Now I have to make up for that --


KEILAR: -- the 15 percent- and 12 percent-ers.

SANCHEZ: Nathaniel, how often do people tip for other services?

MEYERSOHN: So strong majorities of people are tipping when they get a haircut, for food delivery, when they get a taxi or an Uber.

Lot more people are being asked to tip when they get coffee, but just about 25 percent of people are tipping when they get coffee.

And also people are being asked to tip now when they get fast food, go to Chipotle, Sweet Green. Just 12 percent of people are tipping there.

KEILAR: That is really interesting.

OK. With us now, to bring into the conversation, is the CEO of Her Money Media and the author of "How to Money," Kathyrn Tuggle, with us.

Kathryn, thank you so much for being with us.

You know, I find that, at restaurants, when you get the receipt at the end, they have that suggested tip based on like 18 percent.

Now I realize why they put that. It's because there's a lot of people putting 12 or 15 here. I might go more, like higher than the percentage amount they're suggesting.

But when there's this suggested 18 percent or 20 percent tip on coffee, that might be a buck. It feels a little weird. Why is that?

KATHRYN TUGGLE, CCO, HER MONEY MEDIA & AUTHOR: Yes. Look, I bought a bottle of water the other day, and I got asked to tip. This was a bottle of water that I walked and retrieved out of the case myself and brought up to the register. So there are certain situations that I think nobody is tipping.

But we have that digital pressure right in front of us. Right? It's a paralyzing feeling when we get to the counter, we're presented with options for immediate digital tipping, where tipping's just in your face. And as soon as you're offered that option to tip on the monitor, there

is a worry that the person across from you will immediately know if you've tipped. Frankly, it's made everything super awkward.


SANCHEZ: Yes. I feel that awkwardness at times --


SANCHEZ: -- even when I'm trying to be generous.

KEILAR: That's right.

SANCHEZ: I want to get to the poll that Nathaniel was talking about. It found most people say the main factor when considering tipping is service. Would you say that the peoples' standards are now much higher when it comes to service?

TUGGLE: I think it depend on the service, right? I think maybe if you're talking about a barista and there's a 10 percent option, I think that, you know, if that person has smiled at us and welcomed us, then maybe we're going to go for that 10 percent.

But when you start talking about bigger tips, when you start talking about 20 percent or 30 percent tips -- or a nanny who, you know, the typical tip for a nanny is a week's salary. Or a doorman. The typical tip for a doorman is $200.

I think that good service really does come into play when we are talking about really a substantive investment of someone's annual tipping budget.

KEILAR: How do you think the pandemic affected people's tipping behavior and mindset?

TUGGLE: I think it's twofold really. Right? First of all, we have inflation, which has made everything more expensive for the consumer. So we don't always have it in our budget to tip all the time. But we shouldn't feel bad about that.

The other thing is that we're living with the knowledge that the people and the service industry are struggling, too. Right? So this is what has made it so tricky.

And then I think, for a bit there, right after the pandemic, we were all so excited to be out of the house, so excited to be shopping again and doing things again, that maybe we were tipping more.

So you know, I think this year, with the holiday season, I think we might see people tipping less overall just because what we're hearing is that budgets are really, really tight for everybody.

KEILAR: That's interesting. All right. Some bad news, quite frankly, for folks out there in service industries.

Kathryn, thank you for being with us. We do appreciate it.

TUGGLE: Thank you.

KEILAR: And stay with CNN. We'll be right back.