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Don Lemon Tonight
Sen. Joe Manchin Is OK With Increased Deficit; All Eyes On Virginia Race; Poll Shows Shocking Data About GOP; Blue State May Possibly Turn Into Red; President Biden Apologized For His Predecessor. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired November 01, 2021 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST (on camera): DON LEMON TONIGHT with its big star, D. Lemon right now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: You're back and better than ever. How was your trip?
CUOMO: It was good. It was good to see the G20, to understand some of the concerns.
LEMON: Looking back at being out of the country and sort of having an overview of looking at America from the other side, what did you think?
CUOMO: Yes. And talking to Italians about how they see us but also seeing a lot of the echoes of what's going on there. They good a got case of rage against the machine in that society, also. And they are hungry for renegades. They don't trust the government. They're not sure about the vaccine.
But you know, they are something and this is always the trick for us, OK? At the end of the day, they don't just look alike, they have the same blood and they have culture and they have language and they have felt. And that never goes away. They're all Italian. So, they may have their disagreements and may not like each other. They may have government turnover. They may have terrible bureaucracy; they may have a lot of problems in their society --
LEMON: They're all Italians.
CUOMO: -- but they're all Italian.
LEMON: You are trying to say that, but we aren't -- we don't have that cohesion as we're all Americans?
CUOMO: What does that mean? For us it means a common sense of purpose, a collective will because we don't have the look alike, the same blood and so it's always been trickier for us. It's always been about cause. And when you mess with shared sense of purpose, it's very dangerous for us. Another thing it reminded me of is not all white people are the same.
You know, I mean, what matters to me as an Italian American is different than what will matter to a Polish American. You know, the way we see different traditions and times of the year and how we deal with certain things. You know, culture matters. Even if you're American, it's still depends on, you know, how removed you are from it and how present it is in your life in terms of your value system.
LEMON: Well that's what we've lost in the last, I think, the last five years or so is that of course, we're different. We're all different, right? And, and that is what America is supposed to be about, all different people getting together and making this experiment work and at the end of the day, all being Americans.
But when you have people especially the person in the highest office in the land dividing us on race, on political ideology, on anything that he can divide us on, then you end up with people yelling and shouting at each other at school board meetings or public or whatever it is.
And I think what we have lost in all of this is that we are all Americans and yes, we disagree but that is the way this is supposed to work. We have our disagreements. We work it out. We come together. Then we do it all over again because it's a grand experiment. I think that experiment is in trouble.
I'm glad you're back but I got to get to the breaking news because you know it's election eve.
CUOMO: I love you, D. Lemon.
LEMON: I love you, brother. I'm so glad you're back and safe and it's good to see. I'm glad you're back and your family is with you as well.
CUOMO: Don't worry, I got you a gift, or actually, Christina did.
LEMON: Yes. Of course, she's the good person in the family.
CUOMO: I know.
LEMON: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. It is election eve in America, are you ready? Are you guys ready? Election eve. This is really edge of your seat type stuff. Let me go on. OK, let me just go on.
Millions of people set to go to the polls across the country tomorrow, millions of early votes are already in and what we're learning in a matter of hours will tell us a lot about what we're going to expect in the midterms and beyond, 2022, 2024. And beyond really.
What may be the most edge of your seat race is in Virginia. That's where the Democrat there, Terry McAuliffe and the Republican Glenn Youngkin are battling for every last vote in their race for the governor's mansion. Youngkin walking a fine line distancing himself from his highest profile supporter while welcoming his voters with open arms.
OK? Distancing himself from his most high-profile supporter but then, right, not -- but then welcoming the former guy's voters. Delicate dance.
The former president calling into a tele rally for Youngkin tonight, but Youngkin didn't. He's been out on the trail all day not mentioning you know who.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN YOUNGKIN (R-VA), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: This race is neck and neck, we're coming up on the outside passing, but we got to get it done tomorrow. We got to get it done.
YOUNGKIN: The entire nation is watching this. Why? Why? There is only two statewide elections this year, New Jersey and Virginia and all eyes are on Virginia. The nation needs us to vote for them, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): OK. So, but as usual, you know, the former president is saying the quiet part out loud and it's so easy to do it. This is what everybody does. It's so easy but he does it as a sport saying that the news media and ads, quote, "are trying to create an impression that Glenn Youngkin and I are at odds and don't like each other. Importantly, this is not true. We get along very well together and strongly believe in many of the same policies." Which is exactly what Youngkin doesn't want voters to hear and exactly what McAuliffe is hammering at every opportunity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRY MCAULIFFE (D-VA), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I am running against, I like to say Donald Trump in khakis or sweater vests. What is he going to do with all those sweater vests at the end of this campaign? But Trump has now endorsed him for the tenth time today. Today, today Donald Trump issued two statements attacking me and endorsing Glenn Youngkin, today, two. What does that tell you? Little MAGA people not as excited as you thought.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): Well, the big news on Capitol Hill together, Democrats getting closer to votes this week on both bills topping Joe Biden's, President Joe Biden's agenda. Now, both bills, OK, despite Joe Manchin saying that he won't support these social spending bills without what he called greater clarity about it's impact on inflation and the economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): For the sake of the country, I urge the House to vote and pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Holding this bill hostage is not going to work and getting my support for the reconciliation bill. I, for one, won't support a multitrillion dollar bill without greater clarity about why Congress chooses to ignore the serious effects of inflation and debt that have on our economy and existing government programs.
More of the real details outline the framework are release, where I see are shell games, budget gimmicks that make the real cost of the so-called $1.75 trillion bill estimated to be almost twice that amount. If the full time has run out if you extend it permanently.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): OK. So, let's talk about this. A source telling CNN that Machin didn't want to get jammed into supporting something that he wasn't ready to endorse. Another source telling CNN that House Democratic leaders could move as soon as Wednesday night or Thursday to put both the social spending and the infrastructure bills on the floor for a final vote. Or for final votes.
Now there is still a possibility the timing could change but things sure sound like they're moving forward. I want you to listen, this is Pramila Jayapal today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): I think that we are ready pending some final negotiations on things we care very much about, immigration and prescription drug pricing. We know senators are still negotiating that.
Some details on childcare but those are the last pieces and once we have those, we will be happy to vote both those bills, both the infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better bill. And I'm hoping that can happen as soon tomorrow or the next day. We're ready to get this transformational change to people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): That is a big concession from the congresswoman. She's ready to vote on both bills and to trust President Biden to get Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema on board. But when it comes to trust, there is not a whole lot of it coming from honestly from Joe Manchin.
Because when I said let's talk about it. I just want to put some more substance in it besides just the sound bites. He talks about inflation; he talks about shell games and budget gimmicks. But is he right? Is he being fair? OK. Well consider this. Senator Joe Manchin is not ready to support the social spending bill, but he is fine with the infrastructure bill even though that added more than $250 billion to the deficit.
Senator Bernie Sanders pushing back at Manchin, pointing out the Congressional Budget Office estimated the infrastructure bill would add $256 billion to deficits over the next decade but Joe Manchin didn't want to talk about that tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MANU RAJU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Senator, the infrastructure bill you supported added $250 billion to the deficit according to CBO. So how do you square that with comments today about the concerns about the debt and deficit of Build Back Better bill?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): OK. That is a good question, right? He's fine with adding to the deficit for infrastructure, just not for social spending. You know, spending on universal preschool, affordable childcare, elder care, care for Americans with disabilities.
This is what's in there. And expanded child tax credit. A sweeping plan to combat the climate crisis. Exactly the kinds of things the president was elected to do as a Democrat. Things that could make life better for every American.
And Manchin's concerns about inflation, the White House saying that 17 Nobel Prize winning economists have said the bill will reduce inflation. The House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pointing out the treasury secretary Janet Yellen says it will boost the economy that tends to push inflation down, not up.
Manchin says he needs more time to consider the social spending bill. But the House ways and means committee chair Richard Neal isn't buying that. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RICHARD NEAL (D-MA): I don't know how you can make the argument of slowing down a piece of legislation that's been out there for more than two and a half months from the ways and means committee. The argument that you don't know what's in the bill at this stage, I could do it in verse and rhyme.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): So, if both bills pass the House it's going to be cards of the table for Joe Manchin. Congresswoman Cori Bush on fire tonight saying that Joe Manchin does not get to dictate the future of our country. Joe Manchin's opposition to the Build Back Better Act is anti- black, anti-child, anti-woman and anti-immigrant. That is from Representative Cori Bush.
But while his party is still squabbling over his agenda that includes that massive investment and fighting the climate crisis, President Joe Biden in an extraordinary moment at the U.N. climate summit apologized for the United States walking away from the Paris climate accord.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I guess I shouldn't apologize but I do apologize for the fact that the United States in the last administration pulled out of the Paris Accords and put us sort of behind the eight ball a little bit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): That is not something you hear every day. It really isn't. One American president apologizing for another American president in front of a room full of world leaders. President Biden unannounced, excuse me, President Biden announced, excuse me, the U.S. would rejoin the Paris Accords hours after he was sworn into office in January.
Meanwhile, here at home staggering new revelations about the January 6th incident, the insurrection and just how close we came to a coup. The Washington Post reporting the then president was glued to the TV while lawmakers were under attack refusing for 187 minutes to do or say anything to stop the assault on our democracy.
The Post reporting that at the exact moment Mike Pence and his family were being menace by rioters chanting hang Mike Pence, the then president was tweeting an attack on his own vice president claiming he didn't have the courage to do what had to be done. Do what should have been done.
And that is exactly why it matters that the January 6th committee digs deeply, very deep into what happened that day. This is exactly why it matters that they and all of us do what it takes to protect our democracy. And the most sacred right as Americans. The right to vote in free and fair elections on the very eve of election day, let's remember that. We all must do what is right to protect our right to vote. Free and fair elections.
We're just hours away from voters going to the polls in what may be the hottest race in the country, Virginia's race for governor. Wait until you hear the latest predictions, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNGKIN: Thirty-six hours -- hang out, 36 hours to get our Virginia moving the right direction. Thirty-six hours to reject Terry McAuliffe.
MCAULIFFE: Sleep when you're dead. We've got 24 hours to bring this baby home and keep Virginia moving blue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): All right. Take a look at your screen now, there it is live. Glenn Youngkin just taken to the stage. He has a rally in Leesburg, Virginia. As I said, this is going to be close, a nail biter, edge of your seat. We will be covering it all tomorrow evening. I will be here with you in the evening until the wee hours, until this comes to -- until we know.
So, the polls open in just hours on election day in that state. Again, there you saw Glenn Youngkin taking to the stage. The governor's race there looking closer than close.
So, let's get to the analysis, shall we? Larry Sabato is the director for the Center of Politics for the University of Virginia. He knows Virginia like no one else. And Mark McKinnon is a former advisor to George W. Bush and John McCain and executive producer of The Circus on Showtime. I enjoyed every minute of that this weekend. So, he knows his business like everybody else meaning the business of politics.
So, gentlemen, good evening. Larry, I'm going to get right to you. Tomorrow at this time, we're going to be counting the votes. Give us your prediction of your famous crystal ball. What does it say?
LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Well, we have as it leans Democrat, meaning to McAuliffe since the spring but we tilted it to the Republicans although we still think it's very close and competitive and the McAuliffe campaign gave me 14,000 statistics to prove that this evening.
So, I'd say it's very close and competitive. It really boils down to what kind of lead Terry McAuliffe has in the early vote that will be released first, that is the 1.1 to 1.2 million people who voted in person early or by mail starting September 17th and ending on Saturday.
If he has a big enough lead, then he can survive what's likely to be a Youngkin wave on election day, Republicans are more inclined to vote on election day. If he doesn't have that long a lead, then sometime around, I don't know, 11, just to pick a time, Youngkin could go ahead, McAuliffe to stay.
LEMON: Let's talk, Mark, after -- listen, after watching The Circus this weekend I learned a lot and they talked a lot about Biden and what Democrats are doing in Washington and you interviewed some of those Democrats.
Look, this is Biden's approval rating, CNN polls and his approval rating of 42 percent. How big a factor is this president and his stalled agenda and all that, the polls, how big a factor is that in Virginia for voters there?
MARK MCKINNON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, not helpful, obviously. But I think the thing Youngkin has done really well is localize the election, not nationalize. McAuliffe has tried to nationalize it and make it all about Trump.
And what Youngkin has done is really, you know, artful job of keeping Trump at arm's length. He's motivating the base, at the same time he's not -- he's not hugging Trump closely enough so he's attracting support from independent and soft and sort Democrats -- conservative Democrats.
And he's doing it because he's -- there is an anxiety among voters particularly about schools and he's really tapped that anxiety. You know, some of it is about critical race theory and targeted messaging and more broadly, it's about mask mandates and vaccines.
But he's really tapped into that and has done it. And if he wins, this is going to be a road map for Republicans on how they run. And the interesting thing is he's done it by keeping Trump at arm's length --
MCKINNON: -- while McAuliffe is trying to hug him up.
LEMON: As my -- as my grandmother and my mom would say, there are certain people you treat with a long handle spoon, right?
MCKINNON: A really long handle.
LEMON: Yes. You know, old cooking thing is. You stir the gumbo with a long handle spoon because you don't want to touch it because it's hot, but you need to do it. And I think he's doing very well by doing that.
I got to ask you, Larry, let's talk about this voter turnout again. Right. You said that, you know, that Democrats may have banked a lot of early votes but both campaigns are saying that they think the turnout could top three million voters in total. That is a big number. I mean, both camps are taking it as a positive sign. What do you think about that?
SABATO: Well, it means there's a lot of attention and interest in and excitement about this race, you know, partly, Don, because every news channel has been covering this about every hour and that does have an impact over time. But of course, what really matters is which combination of voters are showing up?
This is the real advantage that Youngkin has. The fact that Republicans have been charged up, they're angry at Biden, they're angry at the congressional Democrats. They're angry that Trump lost. They're angry about education and some of the issues that were just mentioned there but I also think the Democrats may be getting more interested right at the end.
They're certainly trying to do it. Whether they can do it or not we'll find out tomorrow but, you know, Trump was back at it today. There is long and incredibly enthusiastic endorsement of Youngkin. While saying truly horrible things that I won't repeat about Terry McAuliffe.
So, it's hard to separate from Youngkin. Yes, they never appeared together but Trump has endorsed Youngkin seven or eight times and a couple times just very recently like today.
LEMON: Yes. It's interesting. I mean, the more I think about it because, Mark, basically what he's saying is I think this is a question for more broadly for all Republicans, especially those who are running, right, who want to stay in office. What does it say that, you know, that Youngkin is saying I want your voters, but I don't want you? Do you know what I'm saying, Mark?
MCKINNON: Yes, I know exactly what you're saying, and I think that's why I'm saying this is a potential road map for future. The problem for Republicans more broadly is that they've got Trump on the windshield when he should be in the rearview mirror.
MCKINNON: I mean, they've got a lot of advantages right now as they typically do going into the midterms. The only drag on them right now is Donald Trump and that's why Youngkin is showing the way forward, he's like get Trump behind us and let's find a new roadmap forward.
LEMON: Well, Youngkin tonight, I mean, excuse me, McAuliffe said that Youngkin, Mark, was doing an event with Trump which is not true. Are Democrats putting way too much stock in this anti-Trump moment? Is that enough to win when he's really not on the ballot?
MCKINNON: A hundred percent great point, Don. I mean, the fact is Democrats need to have, to articulate a vision for the future and for the anxiety that people are feeling right now. And that's what Youngkin is tapping into.
I mean, all the McAuliffe is doing is saying this is about Trump and voters are saying, well, you know, I've got some concerns about my schools, my neighborhoods, what's going on around me and Youngkin has done a really good job of taking the Tip O'Neill playbook by saying you know what, all politics is local.
LEMON: I mean, Larry, listen, Youngkin has really hammered home that parental rights and education issues that have a lot of voters fired up. In fact, tonight his last rally before the election day, he called it a parents' matter rally. You say all this is where all the momentum is. I think you're agreeing with Mark with this, right?
SABATO: Yes, I'm agreeing except that we need to define parents better. Republican parents. Republican leaning independent parents. It's a matter of maximizing their turnout. He's not winning many Biden voters. Some of them aren't voting because they're disillusioned about Biden and disillusioned about the congressional Democrats.
But that's different than attracting a big percentage of Biden voters. This -- these are Republican issues and Youngkin is attracting Republican turnouts that are very large compared to what we've seen in other governor's races.
LEMON: Yes. Well, we will know tomorrow night about this time, maybe. Close to this time. We'll know something by the end of the night. I enjoy having this conversation with you guys. Thank you very much. I'll see you soon. Probably tomorrow.
MCKINNON: Kick it.
LEMON: Thank you. Kick it.
SABATO: Good night.
LEMON: We've got a lot more on tomorrow's elections. It's not just Virginia. We're going to tell you what other elections that you got to keep your eye on. That is next.
LEMON (on camera): So, in addition to the governor's race in Virginia, voters in several major Democratic cities are heading to the polls to cast their ballots in mayoral races. Five to keep an eye on. OK? Are you ready? Minnesota, Boston, Buffalo, New York City and Atlanta. Now, the races are a bellwether for where the Democratic Party stands on several critical issues including policing.
So, joining me now is CNN senior political analyst, John Avlon. John, good evening, sir.
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Good evening.
LEMON: So, all of this stuff that we talked about over the last couple years, policing, everything, it's all coming together tomorrow night. So, I want to start, let's start with Minneapolis because we know what happened over there. There's a huge debate over the future of policing in the wake of George Floyd's murder in addition to the mayoral race.
And then there is an amendment on the ballot that could end up replacing the city's police department with a department of public safety. Is Minneapolis putting defund the police to a vote? Is that what this is or am I wrong?
AVLON: I mean, basically, yes, but I think highlights what a disastrous slogan defund the police has been. Because if you dig beneath the surface folks say look, that's not really what it means. Here is what the amendment would do. It would take the police department out of the city charter and replace it with a department of public safety but it would also remove the requirement to hire a certain number of officers at a time when violent crime is sparking in Minneapolis and it would split authority for the police department between the mayor and city council.
So, it's not literally defunding the police but it is putting a lot of those ideas into place at a time when crime is spiking. And incumber Mayor Jacob Frey is really fighting for his political life against 16 challengers right now.
LEMON: Wow. OK. That one is going to be the one to watch. All right. Let's talk about races in Atlanta and New York. That's where the candidates are focusing on how to address spikes in violent crime. Eric Adams here in New York has run a very tough on crime campaign. Is public safety one of the biggest issues voters are looking at right now. You just talked about Minneapolis, you talked about crime and what issues it would face without an office of public safety. But what about here?
AVLON: A hundred percent. In New York City, you know, safest big city in the country decades of crime decline, really seeing an uptick in recent years. And so, Eric Adams ran a centrist campaign he was going to be tough on crime but also tough on police abusive power.
And he can speak with some credibility as a former retired captain. Curtis Sliwa were the Republican running also saying he's going to be tough on crime. So this is really an area where he was able to out flank a lot of Democrats to his left, Eric Adams, and he looks in a seven t one Democratic city in a poll position heading into tomorrow's vote, not in small part because he has been promised to bring crime down and bring businesses back to the city after the coup.
LEMON: But crime is up and then now it's going back down. Is that correct?
AVLON: But I mean, last year's numbers, because we obviously don't have the totals were very high compared to -- they're still far lower than they were in the 1990s.
AVLON: Just a reality check.
LEMON: I lived here in the 1990s.
LEMON: So, look, when I see all the pictures, I happen to be watching the, you know, a conservative channel because it was the only option. So, I'm watching, and I was like wow, New York City looks like a hell hole there --
LEMON: -- but I live in New York and walk around every single day and I mean, it does not resemble what is -- you know.
AVLON: Well, you know, sometimes political perceptions are very little to do with reality. But you can't fake or shade shootings and murders and in New York and in Atlanta, they have been spiking. You know, you may see this short-term declines but it's an issue that's back on the front people's minds and public safety is fundamental to people's quality of life. If you don't have that, everything else falls apart.
[22:34:56] LEMON: Absolutely. Very true. Listen, during the pandemic it was the crime was terrible. I'll get to Atlanta. Can we take that down. I'm not done with this part yet. So, thank you very much.
So when -- you know, during COVID, during 2020 it was high. As you said, it's going back down and it is still not great and also, I know people who were mugged and hadn't been mugged in -- hadn't been mugged in decades. So, it's something that's very important to the people here in New York but I had been watching something like New York City does not look like the hell hole that they're portraying it to be.
AVLON: No, we're far from escaped from New York for us.
LEMON: Yes. OK. So, let's -- so let's talk about Atlanta. Let's put the Atlanta map up right now because, you know, you have Eric Adams who is a moderate there and then you have this incredibly contentious race that's happening in Atlanta there.
Kasim Reed is back once the mayor, and then you have all these other folks who are on the ticket, as well. What do you know about this?
AVLON: Well, look. You know, Keisha Lance Bottoms is declining to run for reelection in part because of the combination of COVID and crime. Kasim Reed, former two-term mayor of Atlanta trying to mount a big comeback. One of his big contenders, competitor is the president of the city council.
Atlanta a major American city in the World Series now but there is a lot of divisions in that city hat have been bubbling up, so it's a tough job. It's going to be a tough fought race and whoever -- if they don't -- any one candidate doesn't clear 50 percent, this one is going into a run off at the end of the month.
LEMON: OK, now Buffalo. There is an incredibly intense race happening there that could result in the first socialist mayor of a major American city in more six decades. A lot of big name progressives have endorsed Democratic socialists candidates. India Walton over incumbent Mayor Byron Brown. What do we watch for this?
AVLON: This is a fascinating race. Right? Because it is being seen by Democratic progressives and socialists as a bellwether. You know, Ms. Walton really blew the doors off the fourth-term Mayor Brown in a low turnout Democratic primary, but he is mounting a comeback in the general election as a ride-in candidate.
Now that sounds like a mission impossible. Lisa Murkowski pulled it off in the Senate in the last few decades ago but the issue will be if there is a general election turnout, does it counterweight the momentum she had on the progressive side of the aisle?
As you say, no socialist mayor of a major American city in six decades, apologies to Bernie Sanders in Burlington who did fit that move. Apparently, Burlington not quite hitting that demographic threshold.
LEMON: Mr. Avlon, when you look at all these races, there is a lot that we learn about where the country is tomorrow. Right? Do you think it's going to help the Democratic Party get on the same page in terms of their messaging?
Because you know, I've been critical as a lot of people about Democrats and the messaging and I think they've got the point now, but I don't know if they can manage to pull it together. What do you think tomorrow will present?
AVLON: Well, the results will tell a lot. Now here is the deal. What I think people misunderstand about major American cities that are predominantly Democrat is that they are not a stereotypical liberal as people who live outside those cities may think.
And there is a strong pragmatic streak. The Democratic Party is now divided between self-identified liberals and moderates. Republican Party moderates are vanishing breed. But these elections locally will test the notion that all politics are local, it will remind folks that you can't take rising crime for granted or dismissive of something -- some other kind of concern.
AVLON: And that, you know, as Fiorello La Guardia said, there is no Democrat, Republican or socialist way to clean the streets. This is about getting things done. And whatever the results are, the message it should send to Washington is get things done for people and they will respond. If you side and stay divided, a lot of them will stay out.
LEMON: Amen. Crime as we talked about here in New York City, that is the number one thing that they need to get and the economy, but people want to be safe and so right on. Thank you very much for that. John, I know what John is going to be watching tomorrow night, what he's going to be doing.
AVLON: I'm going to be with you.
LEMON: So, make sure you watch us. CNN coverage election night in America starting tomorrow at 6 p.m. Eastern Time and I'm going to be right here way into the night with the results as they come in. You don't want to miss it.
So up next, the incredible number of Americans who say violence is justified to quote, "save the country." Stay with us.
LEMON (on camera): OK. So, I want you to take a look at this. OK? This is a poll that shows 30 percent of Americans say that this statement is true quote. Thirty percent. Quote, "because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country." Thirty percent of Republicans say that's true right now.
The set coming from a poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute. And that group's CEO, Robert Jones joins me now. He's also the author of "White Too Long" The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity." Mr. Jones, we're happy to have you here. Thank you very much. I appreciate you joining tonight.
ROBERT JONES, CEO, PUBLIC RELIGION RESEARCH INSTITUTE: Thanks for having me.
LEMON: Look, I found this disturbing.
LEMON: As I said, the poll shows 30 percent of Americans believe in violence is justified in order to save the country. I mean, what's the threat that they think that they're saving America from?
JONES: Yes, well, we have a couple other clues actually in the poll itself and you're right. It's deeply troubling. I mean, you can say that as someone who has been doing social science surveys for a couple decades now and when you see a finding like this, I mean, it is alarming and something we should be paying attention to.
The clues that we have in the poll about what this is really about is tightly linked to the belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump and in fact, among that group --
LEMON: Let me put that up for you.
LEMON: Sixty-eight percent of Republicans think the election was stolen from Trump even though it's been proven over and over to be false. So, go on.
JONES: Yes, and among that group the proportion of that group that believes violence maybe justified is four in 10, not three in 10.
JONES: Right? So, it actually jumps since linked to that. And what we know about that is well, you know, save the country from what? From who? Right? Is the question that gets begged here. And we -- in the survey we asked another question that's highly correlated to this, and we asked about whether the country has changed for the better or worse since the 1950s.
And that question actually divides the country in half with about two- thirds of Republicans saying it changed for the worst since the 1950s and about two-thirds of Democrats saying it's changed for the better since the 1950s. And so, you combine that with, you know, the make America great again,
right, that backward looking again rhetoric and the picture comes together pretty clearly. I mean, really as a kind of 1950s America and (Inaudible) say where white Christian conservatives, white Christians held sway in the country and that's the group that now makes up two- thirds of the American base.
LEMON: Wow. They keep proving what -- OK. Let's just move on. I think it's obvious. So, you break down the Republicans who believe that the election was stolen into their TV habits. OK. This is very interesting. Everyone pay attention.
Eighty-two percent of Republicans who watch Fox News believe the big lie. Then there is believe it or not, even further right-wing outlets like OAN and Newsmax and for those, 97 percent of their viewers believe it. I mean, I want you to look at some of the lies that they're being fed on these networks, lies. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER U.S. SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: You have a grown up of corrupt people who have absolute contempt for the American people who believe that we're so spineless, so cowardly, so unwilling to stand up for ourselves that they can steal the presidency.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS: It is a national disgrace how some states have handled this election.
MARIA BARTIROMO, ANCHOR, FOX BUSINESS: We cannot allow America's election to be corrupted. We cannot.
JEANINE PIRRO, HOST, FOX NEWS: Stop letting people tell you that we don't have the evidence because we do. And this is only going to continue. This fraud will continue and America will be doomed for the next 20 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): OK. So, there is no evidence. It has been proven not to be true over and over and over again by Republican election officials. Fox -- and Supreme Court. Fox, OAN, they're not going to quit the big lie any time soon so where does this lead us?
JONES: Well, nowhere good. You know, I think that what we're seeing in the data is the effectiveness and the result of that message over and over and over again. Right? And that coalesces and it's actually believed.
I mean, it's stunning to see in a poll 97 percent of any subgroup believing anything. Right? That's an extraordinary high number and yet for those viewers of like One American News and Newsmax nearly unanimous believing that the election was stolen.
But again, I think, you know, it's notable that there are kind of two big lies here. Like one is about the election but the bigger lie, right, behind all of that is that the country has been stolen from them. And so once you've spent four years, five if you count the campaign of the Trump years telling people that their country has been stolen from them, it's only a small step to say that the election was stolen and something much bigger than that has been stolen from them and I think that really did see the ground for these views.
LEMON: It's really frightening. I mean, do you think that this came out of the Trump presidency or was it here already? I mean, would we be seeing people believing in all of these lies and all of this craziness if it were not for him?
JONES: You know, it really did get ramped up. I mean, I should there is a longer rhetoric here. The Republican southern strategy, right, it began really around the civil rights era and post-civil rights was all about telling disgruntled white Americans that their country was being stolen from them and this is really in some ways a kind of new chapter of that long assorted history. It did get robbed up, I think in the Trump years.
One thing that really changed though, is that the country has changed. So during the Barack Obama presidency, for example, the country actually went from demographically speaking being a majority white Christian country, it was 54 percent white and Christian in 2008 to being one that is no longer a majority white Christian country.
It's 44 percent white and Christian today and I think that reality setting in has led to a kind of identity crisis among many conservative white Christians where absent legal methods to kind of roll back the clock, there is a kind of desperation that every anti- Democratic, you know, reach for other means that when Democratic processes have failed.
LEMON: There is something I read about in a book called the last gasp of white supremacy and what you're talking about and I believe that to be so and the desperation as you call it.
Let put up Robert's book again. Robert P. Jones, thank you very much. I appreciate that. His book is -- I want to make sure that we get it in there. It's called "White Too Long" by Robert P. Jones. "The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity." Thank you, sir. Fascinating what you've found.
JONES: Thanks so much.
LEMON: I appreciate you joining us. Best of luck to you.
JONES: Happy to be here.
LEMON: Yes, you, too.
President Biden apologizing on the world stage for take this, something the former president did.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON (on camera): Take this. The President of the United States
apologizing for the actions of his predecessor on the world stage. Here is what President Biden said to the biggest, at the biggest climate summit in years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I guess I should apologize, and I do apologize for the fact that the United States in the last administration pulled out of the Paris Accords and put us behind the eight ball a little bit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): So, Biden is one of the many world leaders warning that our planet is in peril.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It's one minute to midnight on that doomsday clock and we need to act now. If we don't get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow.
ANTONIO GUTERRES, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS: Enough of killing ourselves with carbon. Enough of treating nature like a like a toilet. Enough of burning and drilling and mining our way deeper. We are digging our own graves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): So, President Biden pledging that the U.S. one of the biggest carbon emitters will lead the way, taking serious action on climate change. But the reality is, it is unclear what he will actually be able to get through Congress. And there were some notable no-shows at the global climate summit, including China's Xi Jinping and Russia's Vladimir Putin.
Up next, it's election night in America, almost. What to look for in tomorrow's big elections. We are going to give you the rundown after this.