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Don Lemon Tonight
Governor Phil Murphy Win A Second Term; Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) Was Interviewed About Their Party's Reaction; Governor Murphy Express His Gratitude To New Jersey; Kyle Rittenhouse Could Face A Life Sentence. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired November 03, 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): Thank you for watching. The big show, DON LEMON TONIGHT with its big star, D. Lemon right now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: I want to show we got the breaking news, but this is a what we're waiting for. Because it's a little bit late running behind, that's what we're looking at Asbury Park, New Jersey. You know what that is, and you see, there we are, up on screen. We're waiting for the governor of New Jersey who we have just -- have just projected the winner, Phil Murphy there in New Jersey over Jack Ciattarelli. And Chris, we were on the sir last night talking about this, as well as running down everything that is happening. Again, we'll watch that for you and we'll continue with it.
CUOMO: So, we're watching them --
CUOMO: -- watching us.
LEMON: Watching us. Watching them.
CUOMO: Watching them.
LEMON: This was a lot closer than Democrats and Phil Murphy and Democrats expected.
CUOMO: Absolutely, and we'll see how the governor explains that. We'll see if he spins it because he's got a little good news, not just that he won, obviously, but Democrats don't get consecutive terms in New Jersey as governor very often. He hasn't done it in a long -- hasn't happened in like 20 plus years, but this situation is all about why, and the immutable laws of politics that Democrats ignored, which are people care about what matters closest to home. When they give you a mandate to do something, you better do it.
LEMON: Got to do it.
CUOMO: And if you are explaining, you are losing.
LEMON: You are losing.
CUOMO: And they have to talk the talk. They have to talk it consistently.
CUOMO: And when given the opportunity, they have to walk the walk.
LEMON: Listen, I spoke with you about this on The Handoff today and also, I saw the top of your show. Look, everyone is -- well, smart, I knew it. You and I have been talking about this, about the messaging for Democrats that went off, you know, on Democrats and The Handoff not long ago saying that they were weak, that they weren't using the bully pulpit, that people didn't know what they were doing.
I said the president was holding events at two o'clock in the afternoon when people were in traffic. This is just what we said on The Handoff, so this was -- and that in Virginia, the opponent, the Republican guy was -- that he was probably going to win, the momentum was going in his direction.
You were talking about it with Harry Enten and with others, Glenn Youngkin. So, look, not a complete surprise to us, but I think it was -- I really do think that Democrats didn't see the forest through the trees. And I'm not exactly sure if they do now. It should be a wake-up call for them, but I'm not exactly sure it is wake-up call for them, I mean, that they know about. It should be. But there certainly is a lesson in it for them.
CUOMO: There's a lot of lessons. There's lessons about where the country is. I don't think that it's anything new. I don't think they got the mood wrong.
CUOMO: It's just about whether or not you choose to match the mood and, look, this is a center, center left country. It is not Twitter, OK, and the tactics that work on social media rarely work at the polls. Look at 2018, OK. And yes, look, it's not shocking that Democrats aren't doing great in elections following the presidential election in a first term incumbent.
It happens, and the midterms traditionally go against --
CUOMO: -- the party that are in power. But in 2018 with Trump, they are all about the caravan and the brown menace, and the Democrats were about healthcare costs and they crushed that culture war, you know, fougasse fear battle. That's the lesson, they forgot it, and it burned them. But the good news for the Democrats is these weren't the midterms.
LEMON: These weren't the midterms, and they still are have time. But if you have people -- and I saw Democrats coming on tonight denying the reality, then it is, this will portend bad news for the midterms. I'm going to get to the breaking news, sir. I love you. I'll see you
later. All right?
CUOMO: D. Lemon, make your witness.
LEMON: Thank you, sir.
CUOMO: It's a big night.
LEMON: Thank you, sir. We're going to get to the breaking news.
This is DON LEMON TONIGHT.
And we were showing you pictures of Asbury Park, New Jersey. That is our breaking news tonight. We're waiting the Governor Phil Murphy elected to another term there.
That is our breaking news tonight on the election that shocked just about everybody.
CNN is projecting now that the Democratic incumbent Governor Phil Murphy has defeated the Republican Jack Ciattarelli in the race for governor in New Jersey. A whole lot closer than anyone would have predicted, especially the Phil Murphy folks.
We're waiting the governor's victory speech there in Asbury Park, expected to start in any moment now. We're going to bring that to you live, and we're going to bring it, again, as it happens. You'll see it on the small screen there. You see folks are excited. They are ready for Governor Phil Murphy to come in and make his acceptance or winning speech.
But this was a race that, you know, up until the last minute looked like smooth sailing for the Democrat until it turned into a political hand to hand combat.
But in the wake of the election night that rocked the Democratic Party, what we have got tonight is the anatomy really of a Democratic meltdown, a complete and total meltdown. The party that holds the House, holds the Senate, holds the White House, apparently unable to get out of its own way, and you're seeing the results at the ballot box.
A Republican sweep in Virginia, the governor there, lieutenant governor and the attorney general, and a down to the wire battle for every last vote in New Jersey. But the signs were all there as I was saying to Chris. The signs of a meltdown, COVID anger, Democratic infighting and ineptitude, misunderstanding of what suburban voters really care about like education.
The lesson Democrats should take from this election, voters are speaking loud and clear. People don't care about the back and forth on Capitol Hill. They don't care much about the sausage making. They want to see things done. They care about the sluggish economy, they care about high gas prices,
they care about expensive groceries, about crime, about the supply chain. Concerns about the rights of parents, what they have to say about their kids, what their kids are being taught in schools, whether you believe it or not, but that's a real concern, whether some of that was built on misinformation still a real concern.
Not to mention what seems to be a never-ending pandemic four months after the president declared that it would be over by July, that's what people care about right now.
And again, we're waiting on Governor Phil Murphy to step up to the podium.
So I want to bring in now some folks who were there, some folks who were there, M.J., as a matter of fact who was there last night. She's there again tonight at the headquarters in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
Good evening to you once again, M.J. CNN is now calling New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy that he is winning. He's about to give his victory speech. What are you hearing from the campaign at this moment?
M.J. LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Don, this campaign has been waiting for a while, even those close to the governor, they weren't sure if they would even be getting this call today, and now that the call has come, they announced a couple of hours ago that he would in fact be giving a victory speech in the venue where he hoped to be giving a victory speech last night.
So, in terms of exactly what the governor will say, I think it's safe to assume that there were at least will be some kind of acknowledgement that this was a speech that he hoped to celebrate with last night, and that it is coming later than they had expected.
I also think it's important to think about sort of the big themes running through the governor's campaign. He essentially won, was asking the people of New Jersey to give him another term that he feels like he has gotten the state to a good place on things like COVID, the economic recession, and that if people were basically happy with the job that he had been doing, they should give him four more years.
The other thing I think, too, is the campaign that he ran against his opponent, Jack Ciattarelli essentially just tying him to Donald Trump, calling him a part of Trump -- the Trump team. He said often that voting for Ciattarelli would be akin to voting for Donald Trump and sort of taking New Jersey back to the battle Trump days, that's what one adviser said to me yesterday.
So essentially, I think there will be some acknowledgment that he believes that the race being called for him today shows that more people in New Jersey thought that he would be the better choice to lead the state than his opponent Jack Ciattarelli.
The one other thing that I think we are looking for that I think will be really interesting to see to see if he brings up in any way are the things that are going on in Washington. You know, the campaign has tried to sort of downplay how much they needed and wanted there to be progress in terms of President Biden's agenda in Washington.
But look, with this race being closer than Democrats had hoped, I think there are going to be a lot of questions going forward about whether good news coming out of Washington could have helped Democratic candidates including the governor here.
LEMON: All right, M.J. Lee, we'll get back to you when we get word of the governor when he gets close.
I want to bring in now our senior CNN -- senior commentator, John Kasich, the former mayor of New Orleans as well, Mitch Landrieu.
Gentlemen, good evening. You guys know how this is. You guys are often late, we have to fill time until you can get to the podium to give your victory speeches or your concession speeches and we're waiting for Phil Murphy to do the same as we have projected him to remain the governor of New Jersey.
Good evening to both of you.
John, you know, it's really a tight race in New Jersey. No one saw that coming. Murphy is declaring victory tonight, but this has, you know, it has to have Republicans excited for their chances going forward to have come this close. Look, maybe it's what the future holds or maybe it's just a race or two races. Who knows, but what do you think of that?
JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all, Don, I listened to your opening, and I can't disagree with any of it. You and I often disagree, but we didn't disagree on this tonight. And New Jersey is kind of shocking to me, but you know, Virginia is also something we just can't write that off as well.
Look, I think what's happened is the Republicans have greater intensity. The Democrats have -- they've been lethargic. I don't know much about New Jersey, but I can tell you that what I've read about Virginia is Terry McAuliffe, a good man, he had very, very poor turnouts at his rally.
The other guy, Youngkin, people were going crazy there, they were enthusiastic, intensity really matters. And I think you hit the nail on the head when you talk about the kind of issues that people really do care about. And I think had the Democrats gotten together past the infrastructure bill, things would have been better in both of these states had they passed that.
But now it's all jumbled up, and you said the word. You said it. It was very, very good, the word sausage. People in America don't want sausage being -- you know, watching it being made when it comes to legislation.
LEMON: Even though that's important. I mean, that's how you get it done, that's what legislating is. But usually --
LEMON: -- people want to see results. Mayor Landrieu, can I get your take on what's happening in New Jersey as we're waiting for Phil Murphy, and then we'll talk about what John, I'll get you to respond to what John said.
MITCH LANDRIEU, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I know, first of all, I'm glad that the governor won. And it's the first time that a Democrat is being reelected in 40 years, and that's really nice. But I agree with you and I agree with Governor Kasich that, you know, the challenge in America right now is we're going through a very, very tough time, we've had a tough couple of years.
I think people are angry, they're frustrated. They're certainly uncertain, and they're very impatient. And some races are nationalized. And I think both of these governor's races were to a certain extent, notwithstanding that the people in the state are really interested in pocketbook issues.
And they elected the Democrats to get something done. And the fact to the matter is that we haven't gotten it done yet. Now that's the bad news, but the message was given last night, and it would be really too bad if the Democrats did not hear it.
The good news is, they can do something about it, and they have the time to right the ship if they do it the right way. So, get out of the sausage making, get back to the table, get the deal done. Everybody is within, you know, talking distance from each other.
And if they get it done and start explaining to the American people what they pass is going to help them in their homes with all their expenses, with child care, all of the things that are in that bill, they have a chance to actually do better in the midterms. So, I don't think it's a fait accompli. And I think last night sent a very big message and I hope they heard it.
LEMON: Mitch, let me ask you, OK. So, you've heard me and I've talked to you about this before, you've heard me on the air talking about Democrats and what would happen, and look, we saw it happen last night, what happened.
I have watched the Democrats and listened to them today, and I'm not sure unless they're just putting on a good face, right and just saying, it's not a big deal. This is getting it done or whatever. But that's not what the American people feel.
They may feel like it's not a big deal, they may feel like this is how it's done, but that's not what the American people feel. And it's showing up in the polling. And even today the President of the United States says that, you know, OK, voters want to get things done, but he appeared to be side stepping, not taking it seriously as one would think that he would.
LANDRIEU: Well, I saw his comments and you know I have a great regard for the president.
LEMON: Of course.
LANDRIEU: But I would have hoped that he would be more impassioned than he was today. And you know, the Democrats can ignore what happened last night, or they can take it as a gift and a message to kind of get it right. Because the good news is last night was the not the midterm.
John knows this. If you gave me a year, you know, and you gave me a lot of money, and you gave me the ability to help people and I took that, I had a better chance of winning than if you ignored it and didn't do that.
And so, the American people elected us to get stuff done, and they expect us to get stuff done. And the good news is the Democrats have a lot of things on their plate right now that can actually answer that call, and they ought to take advantage of and pass both of those bills sooner rather than later, and then start stop talking about the number and start talking about the things that are going to help the American people and I think that's going to benefit them tremendously.
LEMON: John, ignore at your own peril?
KASICH: Absolutely. Look, Mitch is really smart. He's one of the best polls. I think that had they passed the infrastructure bill which they ought to pass, everybody's for highways and bridges and airports and all that, Don. I would disagree, Mitch, a little bit with the big package. Because I think people are a little wary now of more taxes and bigger government.
Had I done this where I've been in charge of telling them how to do it, I would have broken it up into pieces. There's too many -- nobody knows what's in this bill, and when you combine it with the taxes that are in there, I'm not sure it's going to help them that much.
The infrastructure bill will help them, but the other bill, you know, look, when you think about it, Joe Biden was elected to bring the country together, which he did on the infrastructure bill. But they couldn't move it.
They didn't elect Bernie Sanders, and this big bill with all the taxes in it, if they break it out and explain it, it's a lot better. But package -- passing everything in that big package, I think it's a hard time for them to explain it all, and I tell you, I still don't see that the Democrats getting fired up about stuff, and I see the Republicans fired up about --
LEMON: Urgency. Urgency.
KASICH: -- unfortunately, a whole lot about being against.
LEMON: There doesn't seem to be the urgency there that is needed in the moment. So, listen, I want to play this. This is from Joe Manchin and Richard Blumenthal. Let's vote -- because the president is saying the voters want to see something done in Washington.
But then on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue, Democrats are split. Play this, please.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I just think that the message is really saying if we're going to do something, let's take time and do it right. Let's make sure that people know what's in it.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): Congress has to deliver, window's closing, we have no more time. We need to get it done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): Do -- go ahead.
LANDRIEU: Can I -- I want to answer my good friend John on this issue. He's not wrong about that, but remember, the Bernie Sanders plan was $6 trillion. The Joe Biden plan was 3.5 trillion, and now this number is not going to be above 1.75.
Having said that, the things that are in this bill, governor, people are really popular. I mean, they're polling above 65 percent, whether it's helping parents taking care of their kids or their elderly parents when they're sick or access to health care or all the other things that are in it that make sense.
So, this is not some kind of far reaching bill. And when you think about, and I agree with you by the way about the infrastructure bill. Everybody in America knows what it's like to drive on a bad road. They need bridges, they need highways, they need airports. They need trains that run on time, and clearly, every president in the last 25 years has tried to get that done. So that's a home run.
And I don't see a big difference between what Senator Blumenthal and Senator Manchin said. Take some time, you know, as my grandmother said, you know, God give me patience, but could we please hurry the hell up. It's one of those kinds of things, you understand what I'm saying?
LEMON: I get you. But I got a lot of those sayings.
KASICH: Don, just let me --
LEMON: Hang on, John. I'm going to update our viewers. I'm going to let you talk. So that small -- the small screen you see there, that is a live shot of Asbury Park, New Jersey, and we're waiting for the governor there, Governor Phil Murphy. He won another term, and we're waiting for his victory speech as I speak with John Kasich and Mitch Landrieu here.
KASICH: Mitch, here's the thing. People are always for those things until they realize they have to pay for them, so let's just take Medicare. You know it, I know it, and many Americans know that it's kind of rickety rackety, now they want to add benefits to it.
Or if you take the child tax credit, if they had broken that out and worked with the Republicans which is what Biden promised to do, if he had worked with the Republicans and taken pieces of this, and that's -- I don't think they're going to do that. I think they're going to jam this thing through. It isn't going to be fully paid for. And I'm not sure it's going to revive them.
LEMON: So that --
KASICH: But I --
LANDRIEU: But John -- but John, the real world --
LEMON: To that point -- to that point, Mitch, let me just say it because I think this will help make your point or I don't know, I'm not sure. Virginia Democratic Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger spoke to the New York Times about the president's agenda. And this is what she said, and I quote.
"Nobody elected him to be FDR. They elected him to be normal and stop the chaos." And wondering is the president too focused on these bills, is he trying to do too much? Is it too big of a goal and people just want some normalcy? Go on.
LANDRIEU: Well, I would -- John, I would normally agree with you, if we had a Republican Party that was operating in good faith, now I don't want to put you in a bad situation, but you know this as well as I do.
KASICH: You can.
LANDRIEU: That many of the Republicans have said, hell, no, we're not helping him, not anytime, not anyhow, not no way. So, they're not negotiating. So, it's very difficult to negotiate with people that just don't want to show up, who are just interested in your demise and not interested in the future of the country.
Now you know that they're guilty of at least half of what I said. I think they're guilty of all of it. You can take the halfway point if you want. And so that's what argues in favor of just going forward. Now listen.
LANDRIEU: Joe Manchin has tried to negotiate really hard. He's negotiated with the progressives, and they're in the middle of a battle. But this entire time, every one of the Republicans, many of whom who voted for some of the stuff before said no.
And by the way, the reason you know it's true is because today when the Voting Rights Act bill came up with many of them who voted for it before, they were no on that too.
LEMON: All right.
LANDRIEU: So how do you negotiate with somebody --
LANDRIEU: -- that won't talk to you and show up for dinner when you invite them.
LEMON: Quick, quick please, John. OK? Because I got to get to the speech on time.
KASICH: Look, here's -- well, the answer to that is really -- OK. The only thing I can tell you is the progressives have a lock hold on the Democratic Party. The fact is if Republicans would -- in the House would not have supported Biden's bill on infrastructure, then Biden goes around the country and he blames them all, and he shows some passion and he shows some determination to get things done.
Sometimes -- and you know this, Mitch -- sometimes when you lose a vote or you lose something, you actually win if you stand strong, and I think he should call the Republicans out for the fact that sometimes they don't want to cooperate.
But on infrastructure, they initially did. He should have forced the vote over in the House.
LEMON: All right.
KASICH: Let's move forward, let's see what happens.
LEMON: Thank you, gentlemen.
LANDRIEU: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: Very good conversation.
LEMON: I appreciate having you. We may have to get back to you after we hear --
KASICH: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: -- the governor's speech. I will see you soon. You see them there rallying up the crowd in Asbury Park, New Jersey, as we await Phil Murphy to make his victory speech.
So, we will move on. We'll get back to that live for you. He is working on protecting democracy in the wake of the January 6th insurrection, but will it all be for nothing if his party vote is voted out of office.
Congressman Adam Schiff, there he is, after the break.
LEMON (on camera): All right. And we are back now live, and there you see the Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey Sheila Oliver speaking ahead of Phil Murphy who is going to come out and give his victory speech in just a moment. So, Asbury Park, New Jersey, Phil Murphy set to give a victory speech after winning reelection.
But we'll get to that. But his victory was really much closer than expected. Democrats are trying to make sense of Tuesday's election results and what went wrong. There's a lot of finger pointing going on. But will they be able to stop the infighting, show voters that they can actually govern for the midterms.
So, joining me now, the leader, a leader, I should say in the Democratic Party, and that is Congressman Adam Schiff of California. He is the chair of the intelligence committee and a member of the House select chi investigating the January 6th insurrection.
Thank you, Congressman. I appreciate you taking the time this evening.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Good to be with you.
LEMON: So, what, you know, we saw what voters said that they care about most in last night's election. They're worried about the economy, they're worried about education, taxes, you're one of the leaders in the party as I said in Congress. Why isn't your party focusing on these issues that people care about and meeting them where they are?
SCHIFF: Well, we are focused on it, indeed, the Build Back Better legislation, the infrastructure bill and the rest of the plan we already passed will be the most significant investment economically in the American people since the new deal.
We didn't get those last two bills done, the Build Back Better Act and the infrastructure bill. We should have gotten it done by now, we haven't and that's on us.
I do tend to agree with President Biden. I don't think it would have changed the result in Virginia, but we came close to losing in New Jersey. Thank goodness we didn't, and could have been decisive there. So, that's on us. We need to get it done, and when we do and I'm confident we will, it will give us something really powerful to run on in the midterms.
That is we'll help people pay for their prescription drugs. We will help seniors with their hearing issues and we will help with the early childhood education, with college expenses, we will help address climate change, all of which is enormously popular with the American people and will give us the powerful agenda.
LEMON: Well, Congressman, I think I see the Murphy family on stage. We may have -- I may have to go there -- yes, that's his family. His family is speaking so as soon as the family finishes speaking, the governor will come out. We'll get to it.
Let's finish up with the congressman until I see him. So, Congressman, listen, with all due respect I've heard that from Democrats, from you, from the House speaker from the Democrats I've had on. And even today, I know it's your job. You have to put the happy face on it, right? The best spin on this as possible, and you know, I don't mean that in a derogatory way.
But it has to give you consternation when we see how close we came. We're waiting for New Jersey -- the New Jersey to come. It has to give Democrats some consternation about what the heck is going on here? What are we doing wrong?
SCHIFF: Well, listen, I wish we had a big victory in Virginia. I'm glad we have the victory in New Jersey. Actually, by pulling off the victory in New Jersey, that cut against the tradition of losing New Jersey in the governor's race in the first term of a new president, which is a tradition going back to George Herbert Walker Bush and every president in between.
But look, I don't sugar coat it. We should have gotten these two big bills done and we didn't. We're going to get them done in the very near future, and it's going to be important for us to make the case to the American people that we're addressing their economic needs, that we're helping them right where they live in very concrete terms.
That's what this -- these bills do, but they're not done yet, and we need to get it across the finish line.
LEMON: Why should voters believe that you can protect democracy and shore up voting rights if it is proving so hard to pass something like infrastructure?
SCHIFF: Well, look, people need to recognize the reason it's so difficult for us to protect voting rights is Republicans are uniformly against it, so you can go with a party that is hostile to voting rights that disenfranchises people all the around the country, that is pushing a big line to undermine democracy, if you're for that, then that's what the Republican Party is.
SCHIFF: The Democratic Party is fighting that, but it's hard when we have a 50/50 majority in the Senate and can't lose a single vote. That's the challenge. I think the answer is expand the Democratic majority in the Senate, preserve the Democratic majority in the House, and then we don't have to come down to every single senator on every single vote.
LEMON: So, as I mentioned you're on the select committee. Let's talk about something that's happening. Trump's lawyers are fighting your committee's efforts to get some 700 documents related to January 6th including handwritten notes, visitor's logs, call records.
He has until November 12th to get a court order to stop their release, if this doesn't go your way, what does that mean for your ability to hold Trump accountable for the events of that day?
SCHIFF: Well, there are two things. There's a civil litigation that you mentioned, and if it doesn't go our way, it means further delay. I think it will go our way because the merits are so strongly with us. There is really no executive privilege claim here, and the determiner of that privilege is the existing president, Joe Biden, who has said I'm not asserting executive privilege.
I think Donald Trump knows he's going to lose, but is hoping to delay just as he did for four years when he said I want to stone wall all subpoenas. But in terms of witnesses, the Justice Department is now in a position to prosecute Steve Bannon. That could happen much more quickly than the civil litigation, and if they move forward as I expect they will, that will have a real focusing effect on other witnesses who will not want to be prosecuted for refusing to follow their lawful duty when they're subpoenaed.
So we're going to get answers, all of us Democrats and Republicans on this committee are working with haste and we're going to make sure we get the job done and we expose everything that went into January 6th, all of those who were responsible, all those who played a role in it, and what we need to do to protect the country going forward.
LEMON: All right, Congressman Adam Schiff, thank you very much. Your timing is impeccable. Thank you very much.
Listen, we want to get back now to Asbury Park, New Jersey, the first lady of the great state of New Jersey is on the stage introducing her husband, right now at the moment he's about to take the stage.
UNKNOWN: Phil Murphy!
LEMON: So, there you go, Phil Murphy taking the stage in Asbury Park, New Jersey. We've got our correspondent there, M.J. Lee, she's at the event. M.J., talk to me as we are waiting for the governor of New Jersey to take the stage now.
Everyone thought that this was going to happen last night. I would imagine there was a much bigger crowd there last night, but they managed to somehow get folks in the room, and here we are tonight as he is taking, I guess a victory lap with a much closer win than he would have hoped for.
LEE: Yes, that's right. This was a victory speech that Governor Murphy hoped to deliver last night. And it's basically happening on delay. This delay is a clear sign that this race ended up being much, much closer than the Murphy campaign and other Democrats had hoped, but regardless of the fact that this race was closer than they had anticipated, it is still going to be a victory speech because CNN and others have finally called the race for Governor Murphy. And as we were talking about earlier in the show, I think he's going to make the case for why he believes the people of New Jersey decided to give him a second term, and let's just remind people of the significance of that and the history of New Jersey.
He is about to be the first Democratic governor of New Jersey to be reelected for the first time in more than four decades. So that's certainly an accomplishment that the campaign feels very good about.
And look, this is a governor who led his state through the COVID pandemic, through an economic recession, and at the end of the day, his biggest argument to the people of New Jersey was if you feel good about what I did over the last four years, do give me another four years because what I am able to deliver for you is going to be certainly better than what my opponent --
LEMON: And it's perfect, M.J. that we say four more years because the crowd is screaming four more years, and there is Phil Murphy. Let's listen in.
GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): You know, we just had the most New Jersey experience. I was on my way someplace, and it took us longer to get there than we planned. As a matter of fact, some might say it took 44 years to get here.
MURPHY: That's right. I am humbled to be the first Democratic governor reelected to the great state of New Jersey since my dear friend the late Governor Brendan Byrne did this in 1977.
MURPHY: Thank you, New Jersey!
MURPHY: Thank you for putting your trust in our team for another four years. Thank you for saying we need to keep moving forward on our shared journey to a stronger and fairer New Jersey.
In New Jersey, we know how to make forward work from the middle out and the bottom up, and we know how to move forward and accomplish big things. We are a national leader in raising the minimum wage.
MURPHY: In making millionaires pay their fair share to give working families and the middle class a break.
MURPHY: In education with the number one public school system in America. In defending women's health and funding Planned Parenthood. (APPLAUSE)
MURPHY: In protecting the Affordable Care Act to make health care overall more affordable.
MURPHY: In making child care more available and more affordable.
MURPHY: In making a college education more affordable.
MURPHY: In expanding paid family leave and pre-K unlike any other state in America, in securing our democracy by expanding voting rights.
MURPHY: In proudly being the quintessential pro-union state in the United States of America.
MURPHY: In creating a clean energy economy with good jobs. We lead in common sense gun safety --
MURPHY: -- and in recovering from the awful scourge of COVID by following science. And in rebuilding from COVID by bringing people together and helping small businesses get back on their feet. And by always remembering every single soul taken by this pandemic.
If you want to know what the future looks like, folks, come to New Jersey.
MURPHY: If you want to understand where America is heading, look to New Jersey.
MURPHY: And if you want to be governor of all of New Jersey, you must listen to all of New Jersey.
MURPHY: And New Jersey, I hear you. So tonight, I renew my promise to you, whether you voted for me or not to work every single day of the next four years to keep moving us forward. Forward with renewed optimism to ensure greater opportunities for all the 9.3 million who call the garden state their home.
MURPHY: And so importantly forward with a deeper sense of fairness and a commitment to equity, forward by rejecting the divisiveness and chaos that permeate too much of our politics. In short, forward living up to our Jersey values.
MURPHY: And to everyone who made tonight possible, a rocking Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, Democratic State Chair Leroy Jones, Vice Chair Peg Schaffer, our incredible campaign team led by Molly Bonato (Ph) and Jackie Burns (Ph).
To the thousands of volunteers who knocked on doors and made phone calls, to our brothers and sisters in organized labor who stood tall in support of us and our mission.
Everybody, thank you all so very much, and most importantly, I thank my family, many of whom are with us here tonight. I got two sisters, a sister-in-law, a brother-in-law and a pass full of nieces and nephews.
But I also want to especially thank the chair of our campaign, the finance chair of our campaign and New Jersey's all-time greatest first lady, Tammy Murphy.
MURPHY: And the four -- and the four most important things that Tammy and I have ever accomplished, Josh, Emma, Charlie, and Sam Murphy, we love you guys so much.
MURPHY: So, before I close, I want to go back to where we started with my dear and late friend Brendan Byrne who was, as I said, the last Democrat to be elected to a second term all the way back in 1977.
In his second inaugural address, Governor Byrne concluded by noting, and I quote the governor. "We shall be judged in the long run not by how we fared in elections but by what we did as an administration," and these are the words -- amen -- these are the words that Sheila and I and our team and each and every single one of us have lived every single day the past four years and will live by every day for the next four years as we continue the work to make New Jersey stronger and ever fairer.
MURPHY: And those words will always remind us to always, always, always keep moving forward. Again, thanks to each and every one of you. May God bless you all and may God continue to bless the great state of New Jersey and the United States of America!
LEMON: The great state of New Jersey, the garden state and Phil Murphy is once again the governor. He has been reelected giving his victory speech tonight. You can see how happy he is, how excited he's talking to his kids or shaking hands with his kids and his wife.
Also, really paying homage to Brendan Byrne, the previous, the first -- the last Democrat to be elected -- the first Democrat, I should say to be reelected as governor since 1977, Phil Murphy will be since Brendan Byrne.
I want to bring in now M.J. Lee and our senior legal analyst, political analyst Ron Brownstein as well. So M.J., you know, I interrupted you because he was coming up on stage. But again, this was to be expected last night. He thought he would do it earlier in the evening. He had to come out and say, look, not a concession speech, every vote needs to be counted, but we're expecting to win, and here we are one night later, but yet still a win is a win.
LEE: Yes, you know, this was a victory speech not just about the fact that he ultimately ended up winning this race, but it was a victory speech that really touched on all of his accomplishments that he sees as being important to his victory, the work that he has done in the state of New Jersey on paid family leave, for example, on raising the minimum wage related to the Affordable Care Act creating a clean energy jobs.
He clearly wanted to use this moment to say, look, here is everything that I have worked hard on over the last four years and that's sort of a road map of everything that I want to continue doing for the people of New Jersey going forward.
I thought the tone of his speech, Don, was pretty interesting, particularly when he talked about bringing together. Clearly, what last night showed was that there are some very partisan dynamics that are running across this country.
And when I have spoken with Murphy advisories over the last day or two, they have said, look, one of the reasons that this race ended up being closer than we had hoped is because on the other side of the race there are people who are angry about things like vaccine mandates, mask mandates and those people were animated and ultimately ended up showing up for his Republican opponent Jack Ciattarelli.
So while his message is one about bringing people together, bringing people together of different opinions, Democrats are going to have to very much contend with the fact that there are people across the country who are frustrated, who are angry, particularly after the last year and a half that we have had with the pandemic, and that, I think, is going to be such a big part of the soul searching that is going to happen across the Democratic Party after last night, Don.
LEMON: Yes. Ron Brownstein, listen, obviously Phil Murphy is excited, you know, of course there's excitement there, but there's also the sentiment of my goodness going on.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. LEMON: Am I correct?
BROWNSTEIN: On the shore everything is all right by the skin of your teeth. Look, you know, I was --
LEMON: It's the music at the event, Ron, don't be alarmed.
BROWNSTEIN: You know, it's the -- New Jersey, I think, even more than Virginia just underscores how really all politics is national now. Turn Tip O'Neill on his head. I mean, this was -- this was not an election that had kind of the clear sharp debate of cutting edge that Virginia had over parental rights and Glenn Youngkin's ability to kind of use a whole bunch of education issues to put McAuliffe under the --
I mean, this is really a reflection of the fact that in off-year elections, the party of the White House is more motivated and when the president's approval rating is weak, that problem is compounded.
I was struck how much -- when he laid out his priorities in that speech, how much it aligned with what the core elements of what Democrats are trying to do in the reconciliation bill, universal pre- K, paid family leave, controlling health care and college costs, creating clean energy jobs.
And it's a reminder how much of the party is unified around this agenda and that we are really, you know, watching literally in several cases one senator say, no to essentially the entire rest of the party, and just one last thought on that, Don.
I mean, one clear message, one clear message for the Americans as M.J. was talking about, you know, people who are angry with the party in the White House, they are kind of coming out in big numbers.
I mean, in Virginia, Glenn Youngkin got 550,000 more votes than they did four years ago, and the question really has to be for Democrats who had a decent turnout is whether they're going to be able to match that surge, and part of that has to be delivering on more of the agenda that they ran on, that they promised people that they would achieve if they gave them unified control of Washington, they have it. Now they have to deliver.
LEMON: Ron Brownstein, we appreciate it very much. Thank you very much, M.J. Lee there in Asbury Park, New Jersey. As you can -- as you saw earlier, a victory speech, a very rousing victory speech, short and sweet, giving out his accomplishments. Phil Murphy the governor of New Jersey. Thanks to both of you. We appreciate it.
We also have other news beyond the political realm. This one has a political trench to it, though, as well. This young man is facing the possibility of life in prison. I'm talking about Kyle Rittenhouse. He is on trial for killing two people and wounding another during protests.
We're going to go inside of the courtroom for some very interesting testimony and courtroom things that are going on, right? Next.
LEMON (on camera): Graphic videos played for the jury today in the Kyle -- in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He faces seven charges including intentional homicide in the shooting deaths of two men and the wounding of another during civil unrest in the city in August of 2020 after a Kenosha police officer shot a black man in the back.
Now, defense attorneys don't dispute that Rittenhouse fired fatal shots arguing instead that he acted in self-defense.
We have more tonight from CNN's Adrienne Broaddus. And again, a warning, some of the video you're about to see is graphic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As Kyle Rittenhouse looked on, prosecutors played video after video of the gunshots that started a night of horror. First, a single shot. Then seven more. The shooting and what happen next have Rittenhouse facing life in prison for the worst of five felonies, first-degree intentional homicide.
Both sides agree Joseph Rosenbaum was the first Rittenhouse killed but the defense jumping in to make clear their client didn't fire the first shot heard on the video.
UNKNOWN: Mr. Washington.
MARK RICHARDS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: There was a first shot, which was not Mr. Rittenhouse's shot.
BROADDUS: Instead, all sides agree a third person fired the first shot. The defense questioning an eyewitness who live streamed the incident to make its point that Rittenhouse was not an aggressor.
COREY CHIRAFISI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You described that Rosenbaum is acting erratic.
KOERRI WASHINGTON, LIVESTREAMED DURING SHOOTING: From all of the moment around that you can notice, yes.
CHIRAFISI: You describe Rosenbaum as erratic and if this is fair, and Rittenhouse as chain-smoking, yes?
WASHINGTON: I suppose you could say nervous, I guess, would be a fair way to say it.
BROADDUS: But prosecutors say this grainy FBI aerial surveillance video will show Rittenhouse did move toward Rosenbaum while the defense says it shows Rosenbaum hid behind cars before chasing Rittenhouse who open fire. The most graphic of the video showing the moment Rosenbaum was shot four times. And shortly after when he was carried by bystanders and driven away. A
detective confirming Rosenbaum was unarmed.
THOMAS BINGER, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, KENOSHA COUNTY: So, no gun?
MARTIN HOWARD, DETECTIVE, KENOSHA POLICE DEPARTMENT: No.
BINGER: No knife?
BINGER: No bat?
BINGER: No club?
BROADDUS: Rittenhouse who has pleaded not guilty appeared to look down during some of the most dramatic video that included the moment he shot two more people.
Killing 26-year-old Anthony Huber and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz. The case appears to rest on each side's portrayal of Rittenhouse's intent. The prosecution saying in opening statements that Rittenhouse acted as a vigilante, igniting fear in a crowd after shooting an unarmed man.
THOMAS BINGER, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, KENOSHA COUNTY: As he's running, word spreads from the crowd on the street that there is an active shooter running through the area and the citizens their attempt to stop him.
BROADDUS: Rittenhouse's attorneys argue self-defense and that he only fired his rifle after he was attacked.
RICHARDS: The other individuals who didn't see that shooting attacked him in the street like an animal.
BROADDUS: Outside of testimony, Judge Bruce Schroeder in the spotlight for his unusual style.
BRUCE SCHROEDER, JUDGE, KENOSHA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, WISCONSIN: Good thing we have the jeopardy game for us to practice.
BROADDUS: Playing jeopardy with jurors during courtroom down time and referencing the bible during a hearsay objection in court.
SCHROEDER: This is actually referred to in the bible, St. Paul when he was put on trial.
BROADDUS: Adrienne Broaddus, CNN, Kenosha, Wisconsin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): OK. Adrienne Broaddus, thank you very much. I want to bring in now CNN senior legal analyst, Elie Honig.
Elie, thank you so much. Good evening to you. So, I want to start with the video that jurors saw that shows another person firing a gunshot in the air just seconds before Rittenhouse fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum. Rittenhouse's legal team clearly trying to use that in their self-defense argument. Do you think that will be effective?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It could be, Don. So, the key concept here is reasonableness. Was Kyle Rittenhouse in reasonable belief that his life was in immediate danger? If so, under Wisconsin self-defense law he was entitled to use lethal force to shoot somebody.
Look, it's better for Kyle Rittenhouse's defense that somebody else fired the first shot than he did. And I think the argument that you could see from Rittenhouse's defense team is he didn't know where that shot come from, he was reasonable in concluding that the person who was chasing him fired that shot. Therefore, he was reasonable in turning around and returning fire.
That could be one of the self-defense arguments that you hear. And an important thing to keep in mind, under Wisconsin law self-defense is a difficult defense for prosecutors and it's easier for the defendant than in other states.
In the majority of states if a defendant argues self-defense, all he has to do is show that his actions were reasonable but in Wisconsin, the prosecution has to show beyond a reasonable doubt it was unreasonable. So, this is going to be a tough one for prosecutors.
LEMON: Just real quick before -- he was -- wasn't he not old enough to legally own a gun or carry a gun?
HONIG: Correct, yes, he was 17 years old. Yes.
LEMON: OK. All right. So, there is a lot of video shown today was graphic. It was hard to watch. How does seeing something like that weigh on a juror's mind?
HONIG: You know, don, it's a key challenge that a jury has -- the jury will be told and has been told. You are to take all the emotion out of this. You are to take the politics out of this, you are to make a cold, rational decision about reasonableness.
And to your point about the age, Don, that will be an important point that the prosecution will make. First of all, one of the charges, one of the lesser charges against Rittenhouse here is that he was unlawfully as a minor in possession of a firearm. He's inarguably essentially guilty of that. There is some defense that there is some hunting law that would allow him to hold a gun. I don't think that's going anywhere.
But there is an important provocation case. If the prosecution can show that Kyle Rittenhouse created the dangerous scenario, then his self-defense claim will fail. So, prosecutors are going to argue, here you have this kid he illegally gets a gun and has someone else buy it for him, he crosses a state line and drives 30 minutes into Kenosha and then he patrols the streets.
And as they've argued to the jury, there were hundreds of people there that night, only one person shot anybody and that was Kyle Rittenhouse and he shot three people and he killed two of them.
LEMON: Eli Honig, thank you. I appreciate it.
HONIG: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: This is our breaking news tonight. The incumbent Democratic mayor -- Democratic Governor, excuse me, Phil Murphy scraping by to win in New Jersey again after a harsh night for his party. More on that, stay with us.