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Biggest U.S. Primary Election Night So Far This Year; Pennsylvania Republican Senate Race Too Close To Call; CNN Projects Fetterman Wins Pennsylvania Dem. Senate Race; America's Choice 2022; Biden Mourns Buffalo Shooting Victims; Hunger Crisis in Afghanistan; Taliban Takover. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired May 18, 2022 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. You are watching Election Night in America. CNN special coverage of the midterm primaries, and I'm Rosemary Church. Well, this is the biggest election night in the U.S. so far this year. These five states are holding primaries, some of which have been filled with twists and turns.
The results of these elections will decide which candidates appear on state ballots in the November midterm. And those results in turn will determine whether Democrats lose their slim majorities in the House and Senate. Tonight's votes while local are also considered a referendum on the performance of U.S. President Joe Biden and the lingering power of former President Donald Trump.
Will the marquee race of the night of the Republican Senate showdown in the swing state of Pennsylvania, which is going right down to the wire. Trump's pick T.V. Dr. Mehmet Oz was deemed the front runner in what became a three way contest. Oz is now neck and neck with pro business Republican Dave McCormick, and this race is still too close to call. Surging long shot conservative Kathy Barnette appears to be out of contention at this point.
In the Democratic battle for U.S. Senate, John Fetterman will get the nomination despite being in the hospital since last week. The lieutenant governor had a stroke and underwent surgery to install a pacemaker with a defibrillator. But it's that expensive Republican Senate showdown that's capturing the most attention in Pennsylvania. The two leading candidates address their supporters earlier. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE MCCORMICK, PENNSYLVANIA CANDIDATE FOR U.S. SENATE: Unfortunately, we're not going to have resolution tonight. But we can see the path ahead. We can see victory ahead. And it's all because of you.
MEHMET OZ, PENNSYLANIA REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR U.S. SENATE: We are making a ferocious charge. But what is this close, what else would you expect? Everything about this campaign has been tight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And CNN's Kristen Holmes picks up the story from Pittsburgh.
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now while the McCormick campaign watch that margin between he and Mehmet Oz grow smaller and smaller tonight. They tell me that they are still cautiously optimistic. They liked the way the map is trending. They told me that in areas that they thought that Oz would do better, they're actually over performing in areas they thought they do well, they were doing just about as well as they thought.
And in areas where Oz is doing well, it was things that they had anticipated, given the fact that that area is Trump country. They're looking at these mail-in ballots and they still feel like they are going to take this race. But again, it is a razor thin margin and it looks like it could be anyone's game. Kristen Holmes at McCormick headquarters in Pittsburgh.
CHURCH: And now to CNN's Jeff Zeleny reporting from Oz campaign headquarters in Newtown, Pennsylvania.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: In the critical suburbs outside of Philadelphia, Dr. Mehmet Oz came out in the final minutes of Election Day and said this race would go forward. There are critical votes to be counted largely here in Bucks County and other suburban areas of Philadelphia as well as other pockets across the state. This race of course too close to call Election Day could become election week and a hard-fought battle between Dr. Oz and David McCormick. But Dr. Oz projected optimism and confidence as he addressed supporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OZ: We're not going to have a result tonight. When all the votes are tallied, I am confident we will win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: And Dr. Oz also thanked his political patron former President Donald Trump who of course his endorsement pulled him to the finish line, if not over the finish line. That will be seen in the next day, perhaps the coming days. Kathy Barnette, the third candidate who was really surging over the last week or so no longer in contention as a winner but her support in some of these counties could be key in the fight against Oz and McCormick.
So this race is largely ending as it began in a vicious two-men battle between Oz and McCormick. Some $70 million spent in the Senate race here in Pennsylvania. That now is headed into overtime. Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Newtown, Pennsylvania.
CHURCH: And I want to bring in CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Alice Stewart in New York and Democratic strategist Caroline Heldman in Los Angeles. Welcome to both.
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hi, Rosemary. Great to be here.
CAROLINE HELDMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Great to be here.
CHURCH: So, this was the biggest primary night so far this year and many watched for the winners and losers to learn who would end up on the ballot for the midterms of course. And many also wanted to assess Donald Trump's power as kingmaker. So, let's start with the race that's too close to call and the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary where Trump endorsed candidates celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz is locked in this tight race with Dave McCormick.
Right-wing activist Kathy Barnette is trailing but clearly played a critical role here. Taking votes away from Oz who she accused of being a liberal. So Alice, what is your reading of where this is going and how nervous would Trump be right now?
STEWART: Look, it's important to keep in mind Pennsylvania is a very purple state which -- it's very -- in the middle in terms of Republican and Democrat. Donald Trump lost this state in 2020. So, that says a lot about his way as we head into the general election. Here's my concern, Rosemary, is that Republicans need to spend more time focusing on candidates that can win in the general election, more moderate Republican candidates as opposed to Trump Republican candidates.
And that's my fear with what we're seeing with someone like Oz or even Barnette being too far to the right, because what's going to happen is the concern is how are they going to pivot? How are they going to come appeal to independents and undecided voters of Pennsylvania as we head into the general election? As you said, this is very tight. I don't anticipate having a Republican nominee named for a several days because there -- I expect there to be recounts, there should be challenges of this.
But as it stands right now, I feel as a rational Republican, we would be in much better spot with someone who's a little bit more conservative or moderate as Republican. Someone like McCormick as opposed to oz as we head into the general election.
CHURCH: Of course it could go either way at this point. So Caroline, whichever GOP candidate wins, Oz or McCormick, they will go up against Democrat John Fetterman who easily won his primary race but of course had a pacemaker implanted Tuesday after suffering a stroke on Friday. How will Fetterman likely fare up against either one of these two GOP candidates in the defendant midterms do you think?
HELDMAN: Well, I very much agree with Alice that the GOP needs to choose a candidate that is more centrist and McCormick would certainly be that candidate, but boy did they dodged a bullet with Kathy Barnette. She would have been way out of step with the purple voters and the state of Pennsylvania. And I think in the general election, which of course is eight months away, who knows how this health issue will play out.
But John Fetterman is a very popular candidate. He's a populist candidate, he's somehow managed to maintain authenticity and run as an outsider, even though he's lieutenant governor. This is somebody who supports background checks, which about 90 percent of Americans do. He also supports legalizing marijuana. So, he's got a, you know, which about 60 percent of Americans support.
So, he has, you know, a really interesting approach. I think it's going to be a very tight race either way, given that this really is a purple state, as that was pointed out, you know, Trump wins in 2016 and loses in 2020, both by very small margins. So, it's really anyone's race heading into November.
CHURCH: All right. Of course, so we have a lot to cover. So, I want my panel just to stand by for a moment. We'll come back to you in just a tick. So, the Trump-backed Republican nominee, the Pennsylvania Governor will be Doug Mastriano. The state senator is a champion of the Big Lie that the 2020 presidential election was rigged. And if Mastriano becomes governor in November, he will have control over the state's electors and the 2024 presidential election.
His Democratic opponent has already called him a dangerous extremist who would restrict the vote and spread conspiracy theories. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOUG MASTRIANO, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR: They like to call people who stand on the constitution far right and extreme. I repudiate that. That is crap. That is absolutely not true. Actually, their party which the media stands for and advocates for they've gone extreme. So, on day one, any mandates are gone. On day one, any JAD for job requirements are gone. On day one, CRT is over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: CRT of course stands for critical race theory which focuses on historical patterns of racism and how they affect minority. So, let's go back to our panel now on this.
CHURCH: And, you know, this was a big win for Donald Trump in Pennsylvania's GOP governor's race with his pick Doug Mastriano we just heard they're coming out on top. But Alice, could Mastriano end up being more of a liability for Republicans in the end with the support of Trump's big election lie and all his other extreme right views when he goes up against Democrat Josh Shapiro in November?
STEWART: I am afraid I think you will be a liability. He is too extreme, he is too far to the right. People in Pennsylvania and most people in this country do not like when people are running for office saying that the election process is not valid. And there is rigged elections. People don't like that. And this is one of the cornerstone of his campaign. And that's not going to fare well with people across the state of Pennsylvania.
And conversely, he's running against a candidate Josh Shapiro who is well liked in the state. And he does appeal to people across Pennsylvania. So, this is going to be a very interesting race to watch. I think Mastriano was Republicans' worst fear as the winner tonight. And unfortunately, that came true. He's going to have a very difficult time, if not impossible time switching to a more moderate candidate and appealing to a broader electorate and Pennsylvania.
So, time will tell how this plays out. But this is going to be a race that's going to be in my view, difficult for the Republican candidate.
CHURCH: Right. And Caroline, the worry, of course, for Democrats is that if Mastriano wins in November against Josh Shapiro and becomes the governor of Pennsylvania, he would have control over the state's electors and the 2024 presidential election. How much do you worry that he would try to alter the outcome if he were to be governor?
HELDMAN: Well, this is a man who led the effort to overturn the election in Pennsylvania, a free and fair election. This is a man who was at the violent insurrection on January 6. He says that he left before the violence began, but I bet a lot of information is going to come out about his participation now that he has advanced to the general election. I think that his winning the Republican primary is really a gift to Democrats.
Again, this is a purple state. And, you know, Trump endorsing him because he advanced The Big Lie. It's exactly the reason why I think he has a political liability for the Republicans in the state. And Pennsylvania is a really important state. You can't win the Electoral College without Pennsylvania. So, election integrity is going to be an issue that a lot of voters will prioritize in November.
And if they're choosing, you know, who supports the big lie versus who's going to protect elections, they're going to vote Josh Shapiro -- they're going to vote for the Democratic candidate.
CHURCH: All right. And I'll come back to my panel in just a moment. North Carolina, Congressman Madison Cawthorn has lost his reelection bid. The freshman Republican lawmaker conceded the primary to his opponent State Senator Chuck Edwards. Once thought of as a rising star Cawthorn repeatedly found himself mired in scandal and controversy. Voters don't appear to have followed former President Donald Trump's urging to give Cawthorn a second chance.
So let's take a closer look at this. I'm going to bring my panel back up. So, not great news for Donald Trump in that North Carolina House primary with his endorsed candidate Madison Cawthorn conceding to Chuck Edwards pretty early in the night, actually, after Republicans turned on Cawthorn in response to his very long list of embarrassing missteps. But Trump doubled down on his support for Cawthorn, didn't he?
Even calling on voters and the party to give him a second chance. So, he shares in this big loss, doesn't he, Alice? To you first. STEWART: He does. And I think he had a second chance and a third chance and a fourth chance and many. However, he continued to make the same mistakes, make embarrassing statements, make awful claims about his colleagues and on the Hill that they invited him to orgies and they did drugs and that right there, got him on the wrong side of his colleagues. And that is never a place you want to be.
He had colleagues in North Carolina, urging for him to be removed from his current seat and campaigning vehemently against him as an incumbent. That's a very difficult spot to be in. And not only that, he really frustrated his own constituents. He had run in one district in North Carolina then jumped to another district that he felt would be more politically advantageous to him and then came back to another district.
So, a lot of constituents felt as though he turned his back on them to -- for his own political benefit. And those are all factors that I've think played into why he didn't win.
STEWART: Look, he's young, he will soon learn the error of his ways. I think we have not seen the last of Madison Cawthorn. But he does need to go away and try and in my view grow up a little bit before he does decide to come back.
CHURCH: He certainly learned a lot of lessons Tuesday night, if not before. So, Caroline, what is your response to the hit Trump's endorsement power took from this law specifically?
HELDMAN: Well, it's interesting, you know, Trump likes to jump in on races late and endorsed candidates he thinks is going to -- are going to win. So, his record is a winning record. But you know it depends upon the race. It's hard to say what his influences with Madison Cawthorn. You know, this is a cautionary tale of what happens when you're out of step with your party in terms of temperament.
And also out of your -- out of step with your party in terms of policy. This is a man who went to Congress. As Alice pointed out he disrespected elders in the party. He also went against the party line. This is a man who, you know, have multiple allegations of sexual violence. He twice tried to take a gun to a plane. This is a man who gets pulled over. Has a, you know, a license that's out of date, just a constant series of scandals.
But how do we know about this? And how do we know about the right near the end of the election? This was the Republican Party teaching the party a lesson about what happens when you step out of line. And this is what the parties do. It's not specific to Republicans, but boy, what an ugly flame out. I've never seen anything like it. How to -- how to ruin your political career in two years.
CHURCH: Yes. That has been extraordinary to watch. No doubt about it. Caroline Heldman, Alice Stewart, many thanks to you both for joining us. Appreciate it.
HELDMAN: Thank you, Rosemary.
CHURCH: And our election night coverage of the U.S. midterm primaries resumes in just a moment.
Plus, after months of brutal fighting. The battle for the Ukrainian city of Mariupol is nearing its end. But in order to take the city Russian forces have to destroy it. We will have the latest on the other side of the break. Stay with us.
CHURCH: More now on our top story. U.S. midterm election primaries. The critical Republican primary in Pennsylvania, the Senate is still too close to call. Trump-backed celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz is facing off against former hedge fund CEO David McCormick and conservative activist Kathy Barnette. Both Oz and McCormick addressed their supporters earlier with each of them predicting victory once all the votes are counted.
CNN Senior Data Reporter Harry Enten has more now on why the race between McCormick and Oz remains so very close.
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: There's a real difference that we have seen between the early vote and then the Election Day vote. If in fact there is still some absentee ballots to be counted, what you saw early on the evening was essentially that Oz was trailing in that race. He caught up as we went on. So, McCormick was doing better in that early vote. If there is still a lot of that vote left. Yes, we're seeing some squeezing right now.
Yes, it is too close to call. But the fact is David McCormick has led at every single point in this evening. You'd rather be him than Mehmet Oz. But again, there's a reason why we haven't called. This thing as tight as a tick. It's ridiculously close.
CHURCH: And we will have much more on the primaries in just a few minutes when I'll be joined by our senior political analyst, Ron Brownstein.
Well, Ukraine's decision to end its combat mission in Mariupol effectively cedes control of the city to Russian troops. It's a strategic win for Russia but one that came at a staggeringly high cost to Ukrainian civilians. CNN's Ivan Watson has our report.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A patriotic Ukrainian hymn echoes from beneath Mariupol. Here we go into the battle of life they sing. Hard and durable, unbreakable as granite. These were the final few Ukrainian defenders left battling the Russian war machine in a sprawling steelworks. Rock hard resolve was needed, because above their heads has been described as Hell on Earth.
Two and a half months ago, President Putin announced a so-called special military operation. Russia had loomed over Mariupol since 2014. The constant fear of a Russian invasion was part of everyday life. CNN was in the city the day the war began.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: We spoke with one woman who has been trying banks all across town, she said her kids are waiting in the car. She wants to leave with her family.
WATSON: At ATMs, residents lined up for hours for cash. Meanwhile, Ukraine mobilized for the coming onslaught. As Russia lead siege images were slow to trickle out. But gradually, the world learned of horrors, crude burials for fallen bystanders. Satellite images showed destroyed residential areas, the ferocious aerial assault.
And then this. A huge bombing at the maternity unit. People carrying pregnant women from the building. This image beamed around the world a mother and unborn baby who would later die. President Zelenskyy called it genocide.
Russia on the other hand, denied it bombed the building at all, and called it a staged provocation. This theater was a cultural symbol of Mariupol located right in the heart of the city. Serving as a safe haven for women and children trapped by the bombardment. In an effort to keep themselves safe from above, they wrote the Russian word for children. Deti on the ground.
WATSON: But the indiscriminate nature of Russia's war unleashed another unspeakable try tragedy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We run in but Russians bombed it. So we run in from the theater and bombs was like these, these, these.
WATSON: Ukrainian officials later said that at least 300 people died in the airstrike. But it has been at this imposing steel plant Azovstal, 11 square kilometers of pipes, tunnels and chimney stacks where Mariupol's final resolve was forged.
Soldiers and hundreds of civilians including at least 30 children crammed together deep underground as Russian forces hounded the facility. President Putin urged his defense minister to seal off the site.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): Close off the industrial site so that not even a fly can escape.
WATSON: These recorded messages provided updates from beneath the surface, and the vow that surrender is not an option.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And surrender for us is unacceptable because we cannot grant such a big gift to the enemy.
WATSON: Multiple failed humanitarian corridors meant that only around 100 civilians were able to escape. Those that did found comfort in the arms of relatives. Anna was reunited with her brother. Her Azovstal ordeal may be over. But emotional scars remain.
ANNA, AZOVSTAL EVACUEE: Now when there are lots of noise I have like a reflex to hide myself, you know.
WATSON: During the final days of resistance in Mariupol, Russian bombardment of Azovstal intensified from the skies, the sea and the land. Two fighters in the plant married but she was widowed three days later. At last the bombing stuck. The hundreds of defenders still clinging on walked or were carried out into Russian custody. The fall of Mariupol, a watershed moment in this war. The fury rot on the city is textbook Putin.
And the list of cities he has flattened continues to grow. Grozny, Aleppo, and now Mariupol.
Ivan Watson, CNN.
CHURCH: Our election night coverage of the U.S. midterm primaries resumes in just a moment.
Coming up. We will have the latest on key races to watch and how they might shape control of Congress. Those stories and more when we return.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE MCCORMICK, PENNSYLVANIA REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR U.S. SENATE: We love you. We're going to take back the State. We're going to take back this country. And it's because of you.
MEHMET OZ, PENNSYLVANIA REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR U.S. SENATE: When all the votes are tallied, I am confident we will win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Well, what is probably the tightest primary race in the U.S. right now is between those two men you just heard from, former hedge fund executive Dave McCormick trails TV, Dr. Mehmet Oz, by less than 3000 votes in the Pennsylvania Republican race for U.S. Senate. Oz is backed by Former President Donald Trump.
Now, whichever Republican wins, they will face Democrat, John Fetterman, Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor in November's general election. So, a CNN senior political analyst, Ron Brownstein, he's going to join me now from Los Angeles. And we'll take a closer look at all of this.
Always great to have you with us.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST AND SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: Hey, Rosemary. Good to be here.
CHURCH: So, let's start with that very tight race in the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary with Trump-endorsed candidate Mehmet Oz, fighting for the lead against Dave McCormick. Whoever wins, of course, will go up against Democrat John Fetterman, who enjoyed an easy win despite his health issues.
CHURCH: How do expect this to play out? And what could it mean for November, do you think?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, several points. First, this is an absolutely indispensable race for Democrats in November. You know, mid-term elections for American history are tough for the party holding the White House are especially tough when the president's approval rating is depressed as Joe Biden's is now. And that means Democrats are going to be on the defensive in most places in November. They have four senate incumbents who are facing very tough races in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire, and potentially even Colorado.
In this environment, Rosemary, it's hard to imagine they're going to win all of those races, which means, if they have any real chance of holding the Senate, it will require them to win Pennsylvania. Which is their best chance to pick up a seat now held by Republicans Pat Toomey, the incumbent Republican is retiring. This is going to be a close race. As I think Alice said before in an earlier segment.
You know, Pennsylvania is a very close State. And against either McCormick or Oz, it is going to -- I think, be a close contest. But most Democrats think that they probably have a better chance of beating OZ, who is vulnerable on a lot of different fronts. Including being kind of a carpetbagger, coming back to the States, flip-flopping on a lot of issues. McCormick might be tougher as a general election candidate.
But Fetterman is such an unusual profile. A kind of a blue-collar, populous, a big guy that -- he -- the matchups are harder to predict with him than they might be with a more conventional candidate.
CHURCH: Yes, understood. And, Ron, the GOP primary races offer an opportunity, of course, to assess that Trump's endorsement power.
CHURCH: And we saw the former president enjoy a big win in Pennsylvania's GOP governor's primary race where Doug Mastriano came out on top. But will Mastriano's extreme right-wing views and, of course, his support of Trump's big election lie help or hinder him in November when he goes up against Democrat Josh Shapiro? What do you think?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, yes. Well, first of all, I think that the issue of who Trump endorsed is probably less revealing of where the Republican Party is going than the question of which candidates endorse Trump, right. I mean, Trump's own personal scorecard tonight was kind of mixed. Mastriano won the governor primary in Pennsylvania. His candidate won the senate primary in North Carolina. But he did -- his preferred candidate did not oust the incumbent governor in Idaho. And, obviously, as we're seeing in the Pennsylvania senate race is a photo finish toss-up.
Yet, what I think is more revealing is how many candidates tried to wrap themselves in the mantel of Trump. Even David McCormick, who is now in this neck and neck race with Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Trump called him a liberal Wall Street Republican. And yesterday he went on Breitbart Radio, which is a conservative website, and spent half an hour praising President Trump. Describing himself, essentially, as a warrior for the American first agenda. And promising to go to Washington to uphold that.
I mean, that's what, I think, what we are seeing is that the Trump wing of the party is clearly the dominant wing in these primaries as it was in Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. But one impact of that is your question about Mastriano. This is a very good environment for Republicans. There are going to be Trump-endorsed candidates who are going to win in November. But it's also possible that the people he had picked will be too extreme even for this climate and this environment.
There's that risk in Georgia. There's that risk in Arizona. And there's certainly that risk in Pennsylvania with Mastriano who's not only an election denier and someone who wants to repeal the State Law. Allowing mail balloting on the demand. He's a candidate who wants to ban abortions at six weeks without exception for rape and incest. And that is a, I think, a very tough proposition to sell in a truly purple State like Pennsylvania.
CHURCH: Yes, good point. And bad news of course for Donald Trump in the North Carolina GOP house primary race --
CHURCH: -- where he's endorsed-candidate Madison Cawthorn lost to Chuck Edwards due to a very long list of embarrassing missteps. Why do you think Trump doubled down on his support for Cawthorn? Even calling for him to be given a second chance? And how does all of this reflect back on Trump?
BROWNSTEIN: Yes, look, I think Trump -- you know, Trump's choices are idiosyncratic and based on his sense of personal loyalty to him. Plus, he definitely has an affinity for celebrity. I mean, why did he pick Oz in Pennsylvania as someone who is, you know, until recently expressed liberal views on a whole lot of social issues that are important to the Trump base.
I think, you know, Trumpism -- for Trump, loyalty is a one-way street. And candidates who he thinks are loyal to him, he is going to endorse. He is not really about maximizing the party's chances in November. He is about maximizing his personal control over the party. And I think, you know, that part that can get lost in all of this is, is that whatever happens to Trump's personal influence, the value of his personal stamp of approval in the party, Trumpism is consolidating its advantage among Republicans -- in the Republican primary electorate in this season.
You see the remnants of the conservative opposition to Trump. Essentially, Sarah Longwell, one of the leaders that tweeted the other day, you know, I used to think that the party could be wane from Trump or he could be excised from the party. I no longer believe that. It's metastasized across the party.
Trumpism is here to stay in the Republican Party. That is big implications for the competition with Democrats. It also has big implications for small D American democracy since so many of the candidates he is endorsing are essentially, not only election deniers in terms of 2020, but threatening to undermine the election of 2024.
CHURCH: Ron Brownstein, always great to get your analysis. Many thanks.
BROWNSTEIN: Thanks for having me.
CHURCH: And still to come, U.S. President Joe Biden tries to comfort those who lost loved ones in the racially motivated shooting in Buffalo. More on his visit, just ahead.
CAMERON BARR, FOUND AND CEO, CRAFT & TAILORED: The Tag Heuer Monaco is one of the most iconic designs to have ever come from the Tag Heuer brand. And matter of fact, Heuer was the parent brand before it was bought and ultimately became Tag Heuer in the later part of the 1980s.
The Monaco is very interesting because it's a timepiece that is closely associated with racing. And as well as the actor Steve McQueen who wore a Monaco in the 1971 race in Dome Le Mans. The earliest Monaco is a reference called the 1133. And specifically, Steve McQueen wore the 1133B and the B stands for blue. So, the Monaco, at least the one that McQueen wore is a blue dial. The watch itself is very iconic but it's also striking from the perspective of design but also functionality.
CHURCH: An emotional day in Buffalo, New York where U.S. President Joe Biden met with grief-stricken families days after 10 people were killed in a hate-fueled race shooting. Mr. Biden, and the first lady, paying their respects and leaving flowers for the victims of Saturday's shooting at a supermarket. Targeted, police say, because it was in a predominantly black neighborhood. The President called the mass shooting an act of domestic terrorism and condemned the racist ideology of the suspected shooter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: Jill and I bring you this message from deep in our Nation's soul. In America, evil will not win. I promise you. Hate will not prevail. And white supremacy will not have the last word. White supremacy is a poison. It's a poison.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Those comments coming as we learned troubling new details about the 18-year-old suspected shooter. He legally obtained an AR-15 style rifle, believed to be the same weapon he described modifying in a racist statement posted online before the attack.
Law enforcement officials say there appear to be no red flags that would have prevented him from obtaining the three guns found in his possession. And in a statement to CNN, the communication service discord said, the suspect made his online chat logs visible to some people about 30 minutes before the shooting began.
Well, still to come, imagine offering to sell your child to avoid starvation? CNN's Christiane Amanpour reports on a dire situation in Afghanistan where extreme poverty and hunger threaten millions.
ALEXANDER HOLMES, CEO, MONEYGRAM INTERNATIONAL: It is actually very complicated to move money around the world. A few companies can do it at scale. A few companies can do it in a number of countries that we do it. And so, these companies, they come together like MoneyGram and like our competitors do really provide a very unique service. And that is to instantly move money, get funds from the United States to Mexico literally in sub-seconds. For the ability to take $350 that you worked hard to earn and get it back to your mother so that she can pick it up in Mexico, use it for food, you know, and health care, housing is actually a very unique service.
If you're from many of the countries Mexico, Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan some of the largest received markets in the world is absolutely critical to the lives aligned with those consumers in those countries. But many people don't appreciate that. It's not the life that you live then it's not something that you really ever -- really get involved in.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, it has been nine months since America's withdrawal from Afghanistan. And a new Pentagon report warns Isis-K remains a threat, ramping up attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But hunger and crippling poverty also threatened millions of Afghans. Our Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour recently traveled to Kabul, and she reports now from a country reeling under economic collapse.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (voiceover): Under a scorching sun, standing patiently for hours in organized lines, hundreds of newly poor Afghans wait for their monthly hand out. Men on one side, women on the other. Here, the UN's World Food Programme is delivering cash assistance, the equivalent of $43 per family. Khalid Ahmadzai is the coordinator. He says he seen the need explode. And right from the start, the stories are dire.
KHALID AHMADZAI, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME COOPERATING PARTNER: A few days ago, one woman came -- woman come to me and she told me that, I want to give you my son, buy 16,000 afghani. Just give me the afghani. And he was -- she was really crying. And that was the worst feeling that I had in my life.
AMANPOUR (on camera): Are you serious?
AHMADZAI: Yes, this is a serious thing that we had at distribution at the first day. So, the hunger is too much high here.
AMANPOUR (on camera): You know, we've heard those stories. But I've never heard it --
AMANPOUR (on camera): -- from somebody who's actually seen it.
AHMADZAI: Yes, yes, yes. I have seen it. It is too much and it hurts me a lot.
AMANPOUR (voiceover): Everyone we met is hurting. According to the International Rescue Committee, almost half the population of Afghanistan lives on less than one meal a day. And the UN says nearly nine million people risk famine-like conditions. Farishta (ph) has five kids.
AMANPOUR (on camera): And how many meals per day can you eat?
When you don't have money, she tells us, when you don't have a job. You don't have income. Would you be able to eat proper food when there is no work?
Khatima (ph) is a widow.
They should let us work because we have to become the man of the family so we can find bread for the children. None of my six kids have shoes. And with 3,000 afghanis, what will I be able to do in six months' time?
AMANPOUR (on camera): You just want work?
AMANPOUR (voiceover): I have to work, she says.
At this WFP Distribution site in Kabul, you do see women working. And women mostly with their faces uncovered. Outside, Taliban slogans plastered over the blast walls towered victory of the Americans. And claim to be of the people, for the people. But while security has improved since they took over, the country is facing economic collapse. And that shows up all over the tiny bodies we see at the Indira Gandhi Children's Hospital. It's the biggest in Afghanistan. Now heaving under the extra weight. Dr. Mohammed Yaqob Sharafat tells us that 20 to 30 percent of the babies in this neonatal ward are malnourished. Suddenly, he rushes to the side of one who stopped breathing. For five minutes we watched him pump his heart until he comes back to life. But for how long? Even in the womb, the decks are stacked against them.
DR. MOHAMMED YAQOB SHARAFAT, INDIRA GANDHI INSTITUTE OF CHILD HEALTH: From one side, the mothers are not getting well nutrition. So --
AMANPOUR (on camera): Wow, so it's a triple whammy. The mothers aren't nourished enough.
DR. SHARAFAT: Yes.
AMANPOUR (on camera): The economy is bad.
DR. SHARAFAT: Bad.
AMANPOUR (on camera): They have too many children --
DR. SHARAFAT: Children.
AMANPOUR (on camera): -- and they're overworking themselves.
DR. SHARAFAT: Put all these factors together, make the situation to -- they give birth to premature babies.
AMANPOUR (voiceover): Because they're under sanctions, the Taliban is struggling to pay salaries. So, the International Committee of the Red Cross, pays all the doctors and nurses at this hospital and at 32 others across the country. That's about 10,00 health workers in all.
AMANPOUR (on camera): Look at this child. He's two and a half years old.
AMANPOUR (voiceover): His name is Muhammad. He's malnourished.
AMANPOUR (on camera): How much food is she able to give her child at home? Why does he look like this?
AMANPOUR (voiceover): His mother says, she's had nothing but breastmilk to feed him. But now, can't afford enough to eat to keep producing even that.
It's the same for Shazia. Her seven-month-old baby has severe pneumonia. But at least she gets fed here at the hospital so that she can breastfeed her daughter.
Back home, we don't have this kind of food, unfortunately, she says. If we have food for lunch, we don't have anything for dinner.
AMANPOUR (on camera): While we're here, the electricity's gone out. AMANPOUR (voiceover): It happens all the time, the director tells us.
We watch a doctor carry on by the light of a mobile phone until the electricity comes back. We end this day in the tiniest dwellings amongst the poorest of Kabul's pore. Wali Ullah (ph) and Basmina (ph) have six children. While she prepares their meal of eggs, two small bowls of beans, and two flatbreads. The eight and 10-year-old are out scavenging waste paper to sell and polishing shoes. It's their only income since Wali Ullah injured his back and can no longer work as a laborer. He tells us their 10-month-old baby is malnourished. I always worry and stress about this, says Basmina. But she tells her kids, God will be kind to us one day.
Christiane Amanpour, CNN, Kabul, Afghanistan.
CHURCH: And thank you so much for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Our special election night in America coverage continues after this short break. You're watching CNN.