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Don Lemon Tonight

CNN Projects NJ Dem Gov. Phil Murphy Wins Reelection; Minneapolis Voters Reject Police Department Overhaul After Floyd Murder; Wake-Up Call for Dems, Their Party Rocked by Electoral Losses; Eric Adams Elected as New York City's Second Black Mayor; Lawyer Says Deadly Shooting on "Rust" Set Could Have Been Sabotage. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired November 03, 2021 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: So, here's our breaking news tonight. CNN is New Jersey's Democratic Governor Phil Murphy wins reelection, beating Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli in a race that no one ever expected to be as tight as it was.

Democrats pointing fingers at each other after their shellacking in the off-year election. Will they learn from their mistakes and try to head off a bloodbath in next year's crucial midterms? Some answers from a Pennsylvania Democrat who represents a swing district and could be vulnerable in 2022. You're going to hear from her.

And a shocking and entirely unproven new theory about what may have happened on the set of Alec Baldwin's movie "Rust," leading to the shooting death of the cinematographer. The allegation, sabotage.

Lots to discuss. in this hour. I want to bring in now CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers and Republican strategist Liam Donovan. Good evening to both of you. Good to see you. I hope you got some sleep, Bakari, because I still haven't been caught up after being on the air until 4:00 a.m. Liam, you're a lucky man. I'm sure you got some sleep last night.

LIAM DONOVAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I have a two-month-old right here --

LEMON (on camera): Oh, you probably got less sleep than us then. Okay. So, listen, Bakari, Governor Murphy tonight celebrating the narrowest of wins. So, take a listen to his message.


GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): 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. And so importantly forward with a deeper sense of fairness and the 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. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON (on camera): So, you know, even Murphy admitted, Bakari, that his people didn't show up yesterday. But he was able to pull off a win unlike McAuliffe couldn't pull off a win. Do you think that 2021 election will be a wake-up call for your party?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I hope it is. I mean, it needs to be. There have been a lot of us who have been saying that Democrats need to wake up for a long period of time. I mean, the parlor games that are being played in the democratic club in Washington, D.C., the shell games that Sinema and Manchin are playing with progressives, all of that is just utter B.S. that doesn't serve the American people. And it doesn't do anything to drive your voters out to the polls.

I mean, Murphy won the election. And let me tell you, as somebody who has run elections and won and lost them, it's much better to win and then lose them no matter how much you win them by. So, he was really good tonight, he was short, but he talked about moving the country forward. And right now, the Democratic Party is paralyzed.

Look, this is -- and I said it last night. I'll say it again. This isn't about progressive versus moderate. This is about the fact the Democrats can't get anything done. And yes, I know about shots in arms, I know about stimulus packages, I don't want you feeding me that on Twitter. I want actually something done right now that effectuates change in people's lives.

And right now, we're bogged down and act like we can't lead this country when we have the White House, the House, and the Senate. And that is very difficult for any state candidate to win in a nationalized election.

LEMON: Many Democrats, Liam, are pointing to all the talk of critical race theory and the culture wars as the reason why Youngkin won. But wasn't it much more than that? Parents were angry about their kids being out of school for so long and, you know, how all of that was handled. There were a number of things.

DONOVAN: Yeah, to your point, Don, I think CRT is something you can pick out and talk about at length, but I think this is, you know, it's a nebulous term that (INAUDIBLE) for all kinds of other frustrations.

You know, I'm a Northern Virginia parent. We kept our kids switch schools for that reason. All kinds of frustration. And this is something that tapped into it. I think it captured (INAUDIBLE) a lot of things that were going out there in the electorate.

But I think it is not just about CRT. Even in New Jersey, they weren't talking about CRT. They're talking about property taxes. The uniform shift across the country, across the states was there. If you had an "R" next to your name last night, you're in pretty good shape. So, I think everybody can come away with lessons of what went right, what went wrong. It's really easy to do that. But I think at the end of the day, the fact that the president is not overly popular right now, there's still a year to get that back up. But if things don't change within the next, you know, 12 months, it's going to be real trouble for Democrats in the midterms.

LEMON: Bakari, I want to play something and get you to respond. This is Democratic Senator Doug Jones, what he said about the election losses.


DOUG JONES, FORMER ALABAMA SENATOR: This is an old playbook for Democrats. They don't go where people are sometimes.


And they win elections and then they're going to turn right round and lose elections. I think Democrats have to take a very serious look at who they're really talking to.


LEMON (on camera): Okay. So, listen. You said this is not about, you know, progressives versus moderates or whatever, but, I mean, is he right, has the Democratic Party moved too far to the left?

SELLERS: I mean, that's not what he talked about. He wasn't talking about the shades of Democrat. He was talking about the fact that regardless of what shades you are, regardless of what wing you are, you have to meet voters where they are. And he's so right. I mean, we are giving up on suburban white women, we are giving up on rural voters, we are not going to where voters are

And to the critical race theory point, look, critical race theory is (INAUDIBLE) water. You know, it's trafficking in that undercurrent or using racism as a political currency to boost your turnout amongst a certain group.

But the fact is when you don't know how to talk about race, Democrats, then Republicans will fill that void. And what happened yesterday in Virginia was that we didn't give, particularly Black voters, a reason to come out in numbers that would have pushed or been able to offset the numbers.

LEMON: But also independents as well. You didn't give independents a reason to come out as well.

SELLERS: Well, that is the larger point. And so, when I say that Democrats have to do something, it's the same thing that was echoed today by Tim Kaine. It's the same thing that was echoed today by James Clyburn. It's the same thing that kind of (INAUDIBLE) was echoed by Joe Manchin.

But still today we had a vote where we actually weren't able to pass voting rights reform. And the White House came out and said the soul of the nation is at stake or something blah, blah, blah, and didn't mention filibuster one time.

So, people are out here thirsting for something and Democrats are like, well, you know, we are going to hang out together, we are going to talk about the soul of the nation, we are going to do these little games, we are going to give these press conferences and maybe people will vote for us, going to cheer for us, and it is not happening.

LEMON: Liam, listen. Republicans maybe eyeing Youngkin's playbook of keeping Donald Trump at a distance. You think that's going to work going forward because we know Donald Trump is going to be running his mouth and the data shows that suburban women do not like him?

DONOVAN: Yeah, that's right. You know, the president showed some interesting uncharacteristic restraint in staying out of this until the very end. I think his press releases, you know, aren't getting the same reach they might have before. Is that something that is going to continue into next year? You know, I think the fact that he doesn't have the same platform is something that's really beneficial to Republicans.

Frankly, it's beneficial to his fortunes. He's his own worst enemy in a lot of ways. And so, it is going to be difficult for him to maintain the same holder of the new cycle that he enjoyed in the past. You know, I don't think Republicans will be that fortunate.

But I do think Youngkin did a good job of keeping that arms-length distance but also, you know, connecting with people, not antagonizing the president, not antagonizing his voters. He was able to kind of, you know, unite the clans (ph) in a way that, again, in a uniform way across the state, in rural areas and the suburbs. He was able to outperform Donald Trump by 10 to 15 points. And those results bode (ph) forward in other states and another races could really pay dividends for Republicans.

LEMON: Liam, Bakari, thank you. I appreciate it. Both of you, gentlemen, go get some sleep. You both have young kids, by the way. Bakari --

SELLERS: Go to bed.

LEMON: Yes. Go to bed. Thank you. I want to turn now to presidential historian Jon Meacham. He occasionally advises President Biden and is the writer and the narrator of the "It Was Said" podcast. Jon, I'm so glad that you're here. Help us make sense of this.


LEMON: What is going -- good evening to you. What's going on here?

MEACHAM: Look, we are having a conversation that is rational and grounded and part of a familiar vernacular of politics, off-year election signaled this heading into the midterms, suburban voters do this, suburban voters to that. It's a totally normal conversation.

However, this is a totally abnormal time. We have to remember that as a country, I'm not saying this as a partisan, I'm not a Democrat, I'm not a Republican, I'm just saying this as a citizen, take my opinion. We live in an era in which the former president of the United States continues to say that the Constitution should not have been followed when his own faith was on the ballot.

We had an insurrection in this country 10 months ago. And everything we can think of that we value, which is to say constitutional order, give and take of democracy, seeing each other as neighbors and not as adversaries, the things that actually make a democracy for all of its failings and all of its imperfections work, those things are still at risk.


And so, the question about what does this mean for Biden, is he up, is he down, you know, no, it was a bad week. I mean, politics is about winning in many ways. And the Democrats didn't win a big one. They barely won one in New Jersey. Absolutely. Totally get it --

LEMON: Do you think that -- so, do you think that all the pundits and every -- do you think they're being hyperbolic? Are they overanalyzing it? Is this really an inflection in this presidency? Is he up to -- you know what I'm saying?

MEACHAM: Yeah. Look, I'm Mr. Hyperbole, so I judge not lest I be judged. But yeah, absolutely. I mean, this -- we're looking at a set of data, largely in isolation, I think. Look at the set of data, but take a step back and look at this as a five -- in a 5 to 10-year window in that frame. And what does it tell?

It tells you, I believe, that President Biden's success as a president matters to the country. And again, I say that not as a partisan. I say that as someone who just believes, fundamentally, that we haven't come up with a better system yet. This is the one we've got.

And unity, as I define it, is about commonly accepting the rules of the road. So, if you lose, you get back in the arena and you try to win. And you try to obey a social contract, which is that you give a little so you can take some.

LEMON: Yeah.

MEACHAM: And the fact that I have to lay this out and talk about John Locke and Thomas Hobbes and all of this is a sign, I think, that we're in a fundamental struggle for -- over the question, do we want a democracy or do we want an oligarchy and a kind of one party will to power rule?

LEMON: It scares me to answer that question. Listen, I just want to tell you, Jon, your picture is frozen. We can hear you loud and clear. So, we will just pretend that this an old-fashioned phone interview that we're doing with Jon Meacham. Historian Jon Meacham is speaking. His signal has frozen. As you know, in pandemic days, we deal with this thing.

So, Jon, let me ask you. Biden has been acting as the peacemaker in the party, trying to get the different factions to compromise and work together. We all remember -- look, it's not working. We all remember what happened in the first term of the Obama administration. The Republicans didn't want to work with him. Same thing seems to be happening with Biden. Should he learn from that or should he change tactics? This kumbaya is just not going to work in the climate that we're in.

MEACHAM: How is he kumbaya?

LEMON: Well, he is saying, we want to work together, no one wants to work with him. He is saying, we got to get this done, I want to work with this person, I'm trying to convince this person, I'm trying to cuddle this person. It doesn't seem that being the nice guy who can bring everyone together is helping to get his agenda across the finish line.

MEACHAM: There is no alternative, Don. The Republicans have checked out. There is no question about getting a republican vote on this domestic program, which is about something that we may look at as a generational achievement.

If Joe Biden passes universal pre-kindergarten, this may become part of the fabric of the country in a way and -- you know, I do think there is an issue that the administration has not talked as much about the specifics of the programming as they have -- as the price tag has become dominant.

But he doesn't have any alternative. He has to deal with the senator from West Virginia and the senator from Arizona. I had an old seventh- grade history teacher who said that if (INAUDIBLE) were candy and nuts, we'd all have a merry Christmas. You know, if it were 60-40, if it were 55-45 for the democratic majority, then things could be different.

LEMON: Yeah. By the way, your picture is back. He does, though, Jon. He has the bully pulpit. He can be out there every single night selling and quite frankly, as his predecessors have done, shaming, strong arming, convincing, putting pressure upon. But we don't see any of that.

Here is what we see. At two o'clock in the afternoon, he comes out, gives a speech. For the most part, that is in a teleprompter. He reads it and then he goes away. We don't see the vice president. People are saying to me and I'm sure they're saying it to you, where is the vice president? Where is Joe Biden? Where are the Democrats? What are they doing?

We don't know. Maybe they became used to the former guy, as the president calls him, being out there every day. Obama certainly was more present than this particular president. I think people have concerns about is he up to the moment. Does he realize the moment that he is in? This is no longer the time when he was vice president nor it is the time when he was a senator. Things are quite different now.


MEACHAM: Yeah. My opinion for what it's worth is that, of course, he's up to this moment. The country needs to be up to it with him. It's not just him on trial. It's the rest of us. The tactics of it, we can argue about endlessly. And success has a thousand fathers and defeat is an orphan. But he hasn't gotten defeated yet.

LEMON: Right.

MEACHAM: And so, I just think he's governing in this incredibly difficult moment, harder than Obama, harder than -- we are as polarized as we were in 1850s, right? And we know how that decade turned out. Because what are the similarities? You have an implacable opposition that does not simply disagree on the merits of an issue and does not see politics as a mediation of differences, but has a fundamentally different vision of reality and of the Constitution itself.

And so, this is an incredibly polarized moment. And, you know, as Lincoln said, you know, as our cases new, we have to think anew, and act anew. And I think I know that the president is working incredibly hard to try to govern in what is an incredibly difficult moment.

LEMON: Yeah.

MEACHAM: And I would say, for everybody out there who is watching you and interested in all this, if you feel strongly that there are things in these bills you want, speak up. Incentivize. Make it clear to legislators that they are not going to get punished if they do something that actually requires, God help us, a little bit of compromise. One of the things we've lost is that you used to be able to give the other side a voter to and that's incredibly difficult now.

LEMON: Yeah. Well, as always, your points are very salient. You are a brilliant man. Listen, I love hearing from you. I love having these conversations. Of course, we all respect the president. We should. But things -- You got to ask. Is he up for the challenge in this time? Is he the man for the moment? That's why everybody voted for him.

MEACHAM: I think the real question is, are we up to democracy? I don't think Biden is on trial here. I think we are. I really --

LEMON: That is a very good question. And the question my producers have is, why aren't you moving on because we got to get the break in? Jon Meacham, thank you, sir. See you next time. I appreciate it.

So, it is the most drastic policing reform proposal to hit the polls and it failed. We're going to talk about defunding the police after this.



LEMON: So, voters are sending a message about policing in America. Retired police captain and Democrat Eric Adams elected as the new mayor of New York City. Also, former Brooklyn Borough president. And in Minneapolis, 56 percent of voters rejecting a major overhaul of policing. So, joining me now to discuss is Sondra Samuels. She is the president and CEO of Northside Achievement Zone in Minneapolis. Sondra, good to see you. Thank you so much. I don't have a lot of time, so let's get to it.

I want to break down what Minneapolis rejected last night. The ballot measure would have replaced the police department with the Department of Public Safety, remove the requirement to employ a minimum number of officers and split oversight between the mayor and city council. This is inspired by George Floyd's murder but failed. Why?

SONDRA SAMUELS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NORTHSIDE ACHIEVEMENT ZONE: Well, it failed because it wasn't either or and it wasn't a both hand approach. It failed because there was no plan attached with it. It failed because the sole purpose of this was defunding and eliminating the police.

Last year, nine council members stood on a stage that had (INAUDIBLE) on CNN. They had a big defund the police and they moved since then to do that. This move to change the charter of amendment (ph) would've done that and our city, our democratic city, resoundingly said, we've got to do both, we've got to reform police because it is egregious and it is heinous and we can't have another George Floyd murder.

And we have to protect the 83 percent of Black people who are being murdered and maimed and shot at in this city right now. Eight out of 10 people shot and killed, Don, are Black. And so, black lives matter.

LEMON: Yeah.

SAMUELS: They need to matter no matter who kills you.

LEMON: You have been an active member of the community of Minneapolis working towards public health and safety for many years. And I know that you are against the measure, even sued over it, and have sued the city to increase police levels where you live.


LEMON: But you still want reform, as you have been saying. So, you said, and approach. What should that be if not this?

SAMUELS: Well, what it should be is where we actually talk to our community. Across Minneapolis, it never happened, Don. Our political action committee that was funded by millions of dollars, while the whole defund movement from cross the country came up with the language. The citizens of the city never got asked what did we want in terms of public safety. So, the and is again reform, transparency and changes to the police culture. And our African-American police chief and mayor have been doing that. No more warrior-style policing.

LEMON: Can I ask you something really quickly?


LEMON: Did that -- because I have to go here. I'm sorry about that. We had the breaking news. Did that defund slogan hurt your efforts?

SAMUELS: Didn't hurt our efforts?

LEMON: Yeah, did it hurt efforts for reform? Did it hurt to get people --


SAMUELS: It did because it took the focus off of both end (ph) that we can actually reform policing because we need police, but good police. And that's what Black folks say. And it took its eye off of all of the 30 children who have been murdered in the city before.

Never before in my time of living on the northside, Don, has it been so much violence and crime against Black people. And it took our eye off of that. I am so happy that the city came together and sent a resounding note, a democratic city like many other democratic cities that are reforming and refunding.

LEMON: Sondra Samuels, thank you. We'll have you back. I love having this conversation with you. I appreciate it. Be well.

SAMUELS: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Thank you. Thank you. People don't care about the back and forth on Capitol Hill. People care about the economy. They care about high gas prices, expensive groceries, crimes and concerns about the rights of parents to have a say in what's taught in schools. But are Democrats listening?



LEMON: A wake-up call for Democrats across the country with their party rocked by electoral losses. But with midterms just around the corner, will vulnerable Democrats have any wins to show their voters?

My next guest is up for reelection in a swing state in Pennsylvania, and that is Congresswoman Susan Wild. She joins me now. Congresswoman, I appreciate you joining us. Thank you so much.

REP. SUSAN WILD (D-PA): My pleasure, Don. Thank you so much.

LEMON: It was a long night for everyone involved. There is a lot of finger-pointing going on right now. Where do you think the blame lies for Democrats' losses last night and how does your party rebound from this?

WILD: So, I don't really see the point in assigning blame. First of all, I don't know where the blame would lie. I'm a big believer that the individual candidates are very much the masters of their own destiny, myself included, every member that I serve with. It is up to us to win our races. I just don't see a whole lot of point in pointing fingers or trying to assign blame. I think where we go from here is exactly where I was intending to go over the coming year, which is continuing to work incredibly hard for my district. And quite honestly, touting the many successes that we as a party have had and that I have had and taking things home and delivering them for my district.

LEMON: So, no blame, but is there a lesson in it from last night? I mean, it was, you know, overwhelmingly. There seems to be concern from the Democratic Party. Are they at least or should be concerned when you look at what happened in Virginia and how close New Jersey was or is? What do you think? Is there a lesson in it?

WILD: The only thing I would say about that is I think voters are really looking for relatable candidates. I think they're looking for people who have had the kinds of life experiences they have who can relate to the experiences that they're currently going through and their problems.

And I'm not sure that that bill was filled either with Governor Murphy who won reelection or with former Governor McAuliffe. I think that that's the lesson to be learned, is make sure that we are running candidates who fit their district.

LEMON: Yeah. Listen. Honestly, voters have been watching all the dysfunction, the squabbling among Democrats in Washington trying to pass this infrastructure bill and trying to expand social programs. Was it a mistake to tie the two together?

WILD: So, Don, I don't think you've seen the floor speech I gave a couple days ago on this. I don't see it as highly dysfunctional. I think what we've been doing is legislating.

And let me just say if -- I'll get to your question in one second. But if we were trying to put together a transformative bill like this and we just rushed it through and didn't read it and edit it and review it and go, you know, some of it falls by the wayside on the cutting room floor, some new things get put in later, if we can go through that process, people would be criticizing us for rushing this through.

LEMON: Congresswoman, I understand that. I understand that. Yes, I did see your floor speech. But with all due respect, you may not see it that way. But the voters certainly do and the polling shows that. And the results of the election last night also show that, that people are concerned about the dysfunction.

They think you can't get anything done. They don't really care about the sausage making. They don't see it that way. They just see it as dysfunctional and that you guys haven't gotten anything done.

WILD: Well, I don't think that's true. But it may be that we're not very good at reminding people that we got the American Rescue Plan through and you can bet that when these bills get through, people are going to know about them. People are going to know about the difference in their lives not only because we're going to be messaging about it but because they're going to feel the impact. And so, with all due respect, I don't think this -- you know, it's not us putting the sausage making up on display. In many cases, it is mainstream media doing so. A lot of people have quite frankly checked out of the sausage making process and want to know what it's going to look like at the end.

Having said that, yeah, some elections were lost last night, but I don't think that it has a whole lot to do with what Congress has done over the past few months as we have been working incredibly hard to bring about a very important bill.

LEMON: Okay. Fair enough. Let's talk about what the House speaker did today. The House speaker put family leave back into the "build back better" bill.


Help us understand that. What is the rationale behind that?

WILD: Well, that's kind of the process I was just talking about. There was a great deal of concern when family leave was taken out of the bill. We have heard from constituents everywhere about how important family leave is to them, whether it's because they've had a child, because somebody in their family is sick, because an elderly relative needs their assistance.

And we are one of the only countries in the world, only highly- developed countries, that doesn't have some sort of family leave. And so, when it was left out of the bill, a number of my colleagues stepped up and started calling for it. And that was all based on what we were hearing from constituents, absolute dismay that it wasn't in. And so, this is what I'm talking about. This is what we do. We put things forward and then we start hearing from people and we modify things. We edit it.

LEMON: Representative, best of luck. We appreciate you joining us.

WILD: Thank you. Thank you so much.

LEMON: He'll be the second Black man to hold the job. Former Police Captain Eric Adams elected as New York City mayor. We're going to take a closer look at him next.




LEMON: On January 1st, New York City gets a new mayor. He is 61-year- older Eric Adams, a retired police captain who become the city's second Black chief executive. Adams is a born and bred New Yorker whose message to voters' concern about rising crime is that public safety is key to prosperity in the city.

Tonight, CNN's chief political analyst Gloria Borger looks at the journey Adams has taken to get to city hall.


GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): For Eric Adams, it has been a long and deliberate trek from his childhood home in blue collar Queens to Gracie Mansion.

ERIC ADAMS, MAYOR-ELECT OF NEW YORK CITY: Right here was Ms. Brown. I used to run her papers.

BORGER (voice-over): Not anymore.

(On camera): How long have you wanted to be mayor? Is this the job you always dreamed of?

ADAMS: Not always dreamed of but it happened 24 years ago.

BORGER (voice-over): When a mentor gave him advice about climbing the political ladder, he took it.

ADAMS: He said, if you want to be mayor, here are four things that you need to do.

BORGER (voice-over): So, he got a master's degree and joined the police department, became a state senator, then Brooklyn Borough president.

ADAMS: So, I'm on queue. Exactly what I'm supposed to do.

I'm the mayor.

BORGER (voice-over): What exactly happens next is anyone's guess.

ADAMS: I'm involved in as a man. I'm involved in as a dad. I'm going to evolve if I'm the mayor of the city of New York.

BORGER (voice-over): All guided by a personal anthem.


BORGER (voice-over): Frank Sinatra's "My Way."

ADAMS: It's just Eric Adams all the way, you know. I'm sure you knew that I bit off more than I can chew.

BORGER (voice-over): And you play it a lot?

ADAMS: All the time. Every day. Whenever I'm feeling as though I hit an obstacle, I throw on "My Way."

BORGER (voice-over): His way has always been unconventional.

ADAMS (voice-over): This is not a fashion trend.

BORGER (voice-over): Taking on saggy pants in 2010 or teaching parents where to search for their kids' drugs.

ADAMS (voice-over): Could be just a baby-doll but also it could be a place where you could secrete or hide drugs.

BORGER (voice-over): Adams has never shied away from the spotlight.

ERROL LOUIS, POLITICAL ANCHOR, SPECTRUM NEWS NY1: I remember working on a story in Brooklyn. He was a state senator at the time. And in the trunk of his car was a podium so that he could hold a press conference any time at any place that looks somewhat efficient.

BORGER (voice-over): The Eric Adams story begins here at Precinct 103 in Jamaica, Queens. In 1975, he says he and his brother were arrested for criminal trespass into the home of a go-go dancer.

ADAMS: They took us downstairs to the lower level and they kicked us repeatedly in our groin.

BORGER (voice-over): The incident stayed with him and Adams later joined the police department on a mission to reform it.

ADAMS: Questions must be answered.

BORGER (voice-over): Focusing on racial discrimination. At age 61, Adams' belief in the power of his own life story became his campaign's main message.

ADAMS: I wanted to be felt. I wanted to tell New Yorkers different parts of my life, what it was like to be arrested, what was it like to live on the verge of homelessness.

The people you represent was me.

So, I wanted to really show them that their fears are my fears and their worries are my worries.

BORGER (voice-over): But how does this personal history, no matter how compelling, translate into governing?

(On camera): People are worried about crime in the streets. They're worried their real estate is out of control. There is not enough low- income housing in the city. You name it. So, what is your plan of action?

ADAMS: Foundation is safety. We can talk about all the other pieces, but we have to be safe. If we're not safe, tourism is not going to return. No business is going to stay if the employees can't ride our subway systems to get to their office space.

BORGER (on camera): So, how do you do that?

ADAMS: Well, you start to make sure you hit reset with the police department. You go to the precincts, talk to my offices, and let them know I have your backs. I'm going to be there for you. But darn it, if you don't understand the nobility of public protection, you can't serve in my department.

BORGER (voice-over): He says reform the police, don't defund them. Reduce homelessness by repurposing empty hotels.


Reimagine school lunches that focus on healthy veggies as he did, becoming vegan when diagnosed with severe diabetes five years ago. You have said you're going to be misunderstood.


BORGER (voice-over): Why?

ADAMS: I'm going to be a broccoli mayor. You're not going to like it when you eat it, but long term, you're going to see the benefits of it.

LOUIS: Only by New York City standards could you possibly call Eric Adams a centrist or a moderate. It might be more accurate to say that he's a realist.

BORGER (voice-over): He seems allergic to the activist left in his own party, presenting himself as both pro-business and pro-union, helping the poor without driving out the wealthy.

ADAMS: In this city, we have 8.8 million people. Only 65,000 paid 51% of our income taxes. If we lose those 65,000 because they feel unsafe or because we don't believe that they are part of our ecosystem, you know what happens? We lose funding for our exams. We lose funding for our Broadway.

I'm proud to be a resident of Bed-Stuy.

BORGER (voice-over): Adams himself faced questions about whether he even lived in the city or in New Jersey.

ADAMS: People know I'm from Brooklyn. I love being in Brooklyn.

BORGER (voice-over): And over the years, he has been dogged by ethics complaints, which he answers with derision.

ADAMS: I like to always say I'm a lion, and lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.

BORGER (voice-over): The "Times" did an investigation that said that your fundraising efforts pushed the boundaries of campaign finance and ethics laws.

ADAMS: They have their opinion, and I have my opinion. And I'm going to let people know how I feel all the time. No silent suffering for me.

BORGER (voice-over): Adams glides easily between New York's boroughs, the wealth of the nearby Hamptons, and the nightlife in the city that never sleeps to the joy of photographers and his opponents.

CURTIS SLIWA, CANDIDATE FOR NYC MAYOR: Eric Adams is with the elites in the suites, the TikTok girls, trying to sort of live up to the Kardashians at Club Zero. Come on, Eric. Come back. Come back to the streets and the subways.

ADAMS: I am the American dream.

BORGER (voice-over): Back on the street where he grew up, as he thinks about running the city, he also thinks of his mom who worried about him as he struggled with undiagnosed dyslexia.

ADAMS: She always say, you know, I just pray for you. In all of my children, you know, I just pray the hardest for you.

BORGER (voice-over): She died earlier this year, leaving behind her well-worn and annotated bible.

ADAMS: It almost become an anchor because there were days that we had nothing but prayer. This is the bible that I'm going to place my hands on when I'm sworn in.

BORGER (on camera): Adams becomes mayor after beating a slew of more progressive Democrats in the New York primary. But given the disappointments for Democrats last night, Don, Adams's playbook could well become a template for a party searching for success in 2022. Back to you.


LEMON (on camera): A bombshell allegations over the fatal shooting on the set of Alec Baldwin's movie. The lawyers for the film's armorer suggesting it could have been sabotage.



LEMON: Tonight, a shocking, new, and entirely unproven theory about what may have happened on the set of Alec Baldwin's movie, "Rust," leading to the shooting death of the film's cinematographer.

A lawyer for Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the movie's armorer who was in charge of handling of the weapons, alleging it may be a case of sabotage by someone on set who was disgruntled.

Here is CNN's Nick Watt.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The armorer on the set of "Rust" is in the spotlight. Her lawyer now claims this could have been sabotage.

JASON BOWLES, ATTORNEY FOR HANNAH GUTIERREZ REED: There was a box of dummy rounds and the box was labeled dummy. She loaded rounds from that box into the handgun.

WATT (voice-over): But, of course, we now know the round was live, fired by Alec Baldwin, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. BOWLES: We are assuming somebody put the live around in that box. I believe that somebody who would do that would want to sabotage the set, want to prove a point, want to say that they're disgruntled, they're unhappy.

WATT (voice-over): No comment on that theory from the sheriff's office. Meantime, a crew member who resigned the day before Hutchins died is talking.

LANE LUPER, FIRST CAMERA ASSISTANT, "RUST": I think with "Rust," it was a perfect storm of, you know, the armorer, the assistant director, the culture that was on set, the rushing.

WATT (voice-over): When he quit, Lane Luper sent an email to producers. During the filming of gunfights on this job, things are often played very fast and loose, he wrote. So far, there have been two accidental weapons discharges.

Luper also lambasted lacks COVID restrictions and a lack of nearby hotel accommodation for crew.

LUPER: And specifically, gun safety, a lack of rehearsals, a lack of preparing the crew for what we are doing that day.

WATT (voice-over): Mr. Luper's allegations around budget and safety are patently false, say "Rust" producers. It is truly awful to see some using this tragedy for personal gain.

Baldwin, producer and star, says he can't comment on the investigation, but shared what looked like comments from the film's costume designer with the instruction, read this. It reads, in part, the story being spun of us being overworked and surrounded by unsafe, chaotic conditions is B.S.


Now, we were unable to reach that costume designer for comment, but we have read another resignation email from another crew member who says, I also feel anxious on set. He went on to say that the assistant director rushes so quickly that perhaps hasn't even had the chance to bring earplugs and he rolls and the actors fire anyway.

This has become a bit of a he said, she said phase of this situation. We are still waiting for the sheriff's incident report, which might shed a little bit more light. Don?


LEMON (on camera): Nick Watt, thank you very much.

And thank you for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.