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CNN This Morning
CNN Speak to Voters Across the Country about their Concerns; President Biden Campaigns for Democratic Candidates Facing 2020 Election Deniers in Midterm Elections; Package Containing White Powder Sent to Campaign Office of Arizona Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake; Interviews Released of People Who Deny Violence Occurred During Protests on January 6th, 2020. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired November 07, 2022 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I forget -- it's 8:00.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: It's 8:00.
LEMON: This is early for me. Good morning, everyone.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The show goes by quickly when you have this much news.
LEMON: Don Lemon here, Poppy Harlow, Kaitlan Collins. Monday, November 7th, election eve. Excited? No?
COLLINS: I'm excited.
LEMON: A lot to get to this morning. One more day for the candidates to make their closing arguments before the people decide. We will hear from voters across the country today to see what is on their mind.
HARLOW: Also, some very troubling developments over the weekend. Suspicious white powder sent to Kari Lake's campaign headquarters in Arizona and opened by one of her staffers. Now the Arizona Republican is speaking out.
And industries across America are laying off workers in a very uncertain economy. We'll tell you how airlines are responding to the volatility, especially with the holidays coming. We have got the CEO of Delta Airlines in this hour. LEMON: Big news today, of course. Political, an election focus, but
first, the final days of the campaign trail, we're going to talk about that. President Biden stumping for Democrats who have one notable thing in common. They are all taking on Republican opponents who are known election deniers and skeptics. But some Democrats are warning that Biden and the party's focus on democracy being at stake could be costly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILARY ROSEN, DEMOCRACY STRATEGIST: And I think we're going to have a bad night, and this conversation is not going to have much impact on Tuesday, but I hope it has an impact going forward, because when voters tell you over and over and over again that they care mostly about the economy, listen to them. Stop talking about democracy being at stake. Democracy is at stake because people are fighting so much about what elections mean. Voters have told us what they wanted to hear, and I don't think Democrats have really delivered this cycle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: That's a very important message coming from Hilary Rosen there. Let's get live to CNN's M.J. Lee at the White House. Good morning to you, M.J. The question is, are Democrats listening, and if they are, is it already too late?
M.J. LEE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Don, it's really interesting. If you map out the president's final three days of campaign traveling ahead of Election Day, you see that he is stumping for Democratic candidates who are running against election deniers and skeptics, whether it's in Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania, Lee Zeldin in New York, or Dan Cox in Maryland, these are candidates that span the range of having openly spread lies and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election or raised questions about the election results last time around.
And Democrats would say this just simply shows just how many Republican election deniers are on the ballot this cycle. But Don, you're right that there is such a serious question right now about the strategy of the president focusing in the last final stretch on the issue of election denialism and integrity when you heard there Hilary Rosen saying over the weekend, we know that voters right now overwhelmingly care about the issue of the economy and inflation. So really, is it a mistake to focus on these other issues when we know that is the number one overwhelming issue for voters right now? We're about to find out the answer to that question, of course, tomorrow.
LEMON: Right on. The final stop, Maryland. What's the thinking there? Final stop for the president.
LEE: Part of it is symbolic. This is the state where the president kicked off his midterms campaigning earlier this summer in Maryland. It is also just trying to end on a high note, right. Democrats feel really good that Wes Moore is going to win that gubernatorial race, meaning that this is a state where the governor's mansion is going to go from red to blue if everything goes their way. I think one thing that we are seeing in the president's final travels
is that, yes, he is the leader of the party, but there is sort of a limit to how much he can help politically right now, and a limit to the appetite for people that want his help. So much of that, I think again, comes back to the issue of the economy and the political reality that when the economy is in bad shape, the president is often the person who really gets the blame.
LEMON: M.J. Lee at the White House this morning, thank you, M.J.
HARLOW: M.J. just mentioned gubernatorial races across the country. And in the governor's race in Arizona, Democrat Katie Hobbs has been crisscrossing the state in a final push to try to make sure she gets moderates votes while Republican candidate Kari Lake is finishing up with a Trumpian message. Our Kyung Lah has been covering this for quite a while. It comes down to tomorrow. You're in Phoenix. What can you tell us this morning?
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, is it already over, Poppy? Good morning. What we are definitely seeing from these two women who want to be Arizona's governor is that they are going to push until the very, very end. We're seeing Democrat Katie Hobbs hold three rallies today. And she's closing on that message, trying to really zoom in on the moderates, because that is where the campaign believes that the battle is truly happening. A third of the voters are independents in this state. So what Katie Hobbs is saying is that message of what she's calling sanity over chaos, leaning in on democracy as well as abortion rights.
Kari Lake, on the other hand, the Republican, is taking a different turn. Last night at her event, I was there. We definitely felt a different tone. She invited Steve Bannon to the stage. She also campaigned with election liar Ric Grenell, definitely taking a turn, returning to the MAGA roots which led to her original rise. She is closing, again, on the economy as well as border issues, but also definitely hitting that rightwing element, hoping to really energize them on Election Day. Kaitlan?
COLLINS: That's what she's been doing. But also, I want to know what Kari Lake said overnight, because she spoke out about this package that she said contained white powder, was sent to her campaign office, opened by a staffer. What's the latest update on that?
LAH: What we do know is that the FBI is investigating. They don't know where it came from, or at least not saying anything. But that staffer did open it in the office. It did lead to a closure of the office as well as the entire block for about seven hours overnight. But what we do know is that Kari Lake says that she's not going to focus on this as her closing message. She did, though, touch on this in talking to reporters. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARI LAKE, (R) ARIZONA GUBERNATORIAL NOMINEE: We're in dangerous times. This is not the first time we've been threatened. It's wrong that this is happening, and we're going to track these people down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: One thing to note is that misinformation, anger, hatred, threats, that has been the undercurrent of much of Arizona politics in the last couple of years. It is something that is certainly rearing its head in these final hours. And one thing to note, it is having an impact on the ground. All law enforcement in Maricopa County has been instructed to cancel personal time, no vacation, as voters head to the polls Kaitlan.
COLLINS: Wow. Kyung Lah, thank you.
Also, in the lead-up to tomorrow's midterms, 2020 election lies are still a huge issue, especially in the battleground states where the lies are not so funny. Our next guest, "The Daily Show's" Jordan Klepper has been speaking to voters. This is what they've said to him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The most beautiful thing I ever saw, thousands, maybe a million people gathered, so quiet. It was a peaceful rally.
JORDAN KLEPPER, CONTRIBUTOR, "THE DAILY SHOW": January 6th?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: January 6th.
KLEPPER: Birds chirping, police officers screaming?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I saw them sitting around waiting for the president.
KLEPPER: Some of them were attacked that day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were?
KLEPPER: Did you not see the videos?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I couldn't watch it.
KLEPPER: You couldn't watch it? Why is that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When we went home and we were at home watching on TV what happened, I said turn that off. That is not what happened today.
KLEPPER: You didn't see any violence?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
KLEPPER: But to be clear, when it was no television, violent images, you turned it off.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I turned it off, because it wasn't true. It wasn't an accurate depiction of what was going on that day.
KLEPPER: What was it. Was it magic CGI George Lucas?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, yes, could be. I don't know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: And "The Daily Show's" Jordan Klepper joins us now.
LEMON: Turn it off, that's not what happened that day? We were watching it live. It was playing out.
KLEPPER: It was playing. I think she was a great example of what she saw was peaceful. I don't doubt that, that there were points of the day that were peaceful from her perspective. But when confronted with information that could change her mind, she turned it off. That's it in a nutshell.
HARLOW: You don't see what happens if you turn it off and don't watch it.
KLEPPER: Yes, yes. We've been taught you can live in your own bubble if you choose to. And I think she was getting information that she didn't like, and so she had ability to retain that image. And that's the image she's going to vote with.
HARLOW: I love this. Your team did an extraordinary job. It's a lot of work to go to all these states, all these events, get these people to talk to you, by the way. They did. But what was stunning for me, and she's just an example of it, is how many people still believe these election lies that are so dangerous. And there are Republicans in office who are shooting it down, but there are also Republicans running like Ron Johnson in Wisconsin who are perpetuating them still up ahead of tomorrow. How dangerous do you think that is for these people who have these beliefs not to have them corrected by some in their own party?
KLEPPER: I think the adults in the room are acting like children. And so I think you can craft your own reality, and I think -- I expected to go out there and talk about what happened the last election, whether they accepted that. What I was surprised was how many people aren't accepting what's going to happen in the next election. And so when you have adults who are like, you don't need to believe what happened with Biden-Trump. And they're like, well, what should I believe about what's going to happen in a week, what's going to happen tomorrow? And already folks told me I'm not going to believe it if I don't like it. And so I think --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I don't like it.
KLEPPER: If I don't like it. If I don't get what I want, I don't have to accept it. So a lot of people are going to be happy tomorrow because they won't lose because that's what they choose to accept it.
LEMON: I'm sure people say, they have, I'm sure, Jordan is making fun of these people. But what you're doing is just asking them questions and they're answering on their own. Do you feel -- I don't know if it's sorry -- how do you feel about the people who are answering you? Because they are adults, but they're being co-opted by, as you said, people in the room that are adults but acting like children.
KLEPPER: I understand people want to be a part of a movement. They want a community. They want a sense of meaning. You go to a lot of these events, and you have politicians who give them a sense of a meaning. They tell them they're a patriot. They tell them to fight. They're follow those marching orders, and they're around likeminded people. I understand that. I empathize with wanting to be a part of those things. But I think it's scary because it's being manipulated by people who should know better. And so all I'm doing when I'm going out there is trying to get a lay of the land, what do you actually believe? What is sinking in? At these events, their own reality that they've created, it's not sinking in --
LEMON: Is there anything you can do or say, any sort of facts, if you show them the video -- that one woman said I'm not even going to watch it live on TV even though you can see the reality. Is there anything --
KLEPPER: Facts move slow, B.S. moves a lot faster. I think it's family members have the best shot at it.
COLLINS: How overwhelming is it when you're on the ground and you talk to these people who believe it?
KLEPPER: It's exhausting. I'm constantly surprised by how far these narratives change and move. I go there with one expectation. I went to one expected to talk about Roe v. Wade, and within minutes I'm talking to older women in Wisconsin who are talking about JFK Junior being alive and the vice president. So that, as a comedian, it's shocking and humorous at times. But I think the exhaustion comes from just how quickly we move with our wishful thinking.
COLLINS: Jordan, thank you for this. It's funny, and I know that's the point of this, but it's so disturbing.
HARLOW: It's so eye-opening.
LEMON: It's actually very eye-opening because --
COLLINS: It is really eye-opening --
LEMON: because through humor, there's a lot of truth there, and I think it's easier for people to digest, sometimes. Thank you. It's good to see you.
KLEPPER: Good to see you.
COLLINS: And Jordan's midterm election special is available on "The Daily Show's" YouTube channel and other BOD platforms. HARLOW: I'm going to watch it. It is eye-opening, to say the least.
Be sure to tune in tomorrow, though, right here for our special coverage of the election. It all begins at 4:00 eastern and goes all night.
LEMON: And straight ahead, we're going to hear from more voters all across the country on their biggest concerns in the midterms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think there should be a lot more focus on working class people. It seems like we always get left behind for either the high or the low.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The power of America is in your hands.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The fundamental rights are on the ballot. Democracy itself is on the ballot. The stakes are high.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: All right, you've got two Presidents out there one current and one former, President Biden and former President Barack Obama urging Democrats over the weekend that the soul of the nation is on the ballot tomorrow. It's just one of the storylines to watch this week.
John Avlon joins us to discuss. The question is: Will that message resonate? Right?
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: That is one of many questions. Look, let's just get real about the dynamics behind these midterms. There's a physics behind the pendulum swing in Midterm Elections, and this stat really captures it.
When Presidents are below 50 percent, in their Midterm Election, they tend to lose an average of 46 seats since 1982, forty-six seats. So you can see Reagan, Clinton, Obama, Trump, Biden in that category, unclear how many, but that's a benchmark to keep in mind.
The other thing is the expanse of the map. You know, we're focused a lot on these too close to call Senate races and they are tight as a tick. But the map is bigger, right?
You saw Joe Biden campaigning in New York State, right? That's a sign of Democrats on defense. Let's be real about that. LEMON: Yes, in New York State.
AVLON: In New York State. In Oregon, Republicans are trying to get a pickup. Who thought that was possible?
At the same time, in recent weeks, polls have shown Republican Senate seats closer than should be expected. In some States, people didn't expect to be battleground.
Now this could all revert to the mean, but it shows just how chaotic and noisy the map is this year.
LEMON: Yes, but listen, this show just how interested people are.
AVLON: That's right.
LEMON: If you look at early voting.
AVLON: That's it.
LEMON: I mean, I voted early, and as you know, sort of gave my impression. It was packed.
LEMON: I was surprised at how many, but are Democrats into some messaging? Are they winning?
AVLON: Let's take a look at the early vote.
LEMON: Do we know if it's going to favor Democrats or Republicans?
AVLON: Traditionally, early vote favors Republicans, day of favors Democrats, but Republicans, but this is a different deal. First of all, just look at the numbers, right? Forty million votes cast early in 47 States.
Now this has already exceeded the early vote total in 2018, which was the highest turnout we've seen in Midterms in recent memory. So, that's a very big deal. Engagement is high, interest is high.
But Democrats have real concerns about whether for example, young people are going to show up.
LEMON: Yes, yes, yes.
AVLON: You know, one of the stereotypes is young people don't vote.
Well, you take a look at why and Midterms, you see that right? It's 19, 20, 21. In 2018, it spikes to 32. Are they going to be able to keep that? The other thing is the Hispanic vote, 54 percent of Hispanic voters are Independents. There's been erosion towards Republicans. Well, how is that going to play out? How does that change the math and the map in American politics?
LEMON: Yes. Messaging and issues are similar because, you know, Republicans are focusing on crime and they're focusing on inflation; Democrats are abortion now starting to get the message.
AVLON: That's right.
LEMON: You listen to Hilary Rosen and others, about the economy about them. So, what are the key issues they are going to be focused on?
AVLON: All right look, as you know, Democrats have been really trying to focus on abortion as a national issue, riding a wave of enthusiasm post Dobbs, but just keep in mind, there are ballot initiatives in five States where abortion is going to be on the ballot. Now, only one of these is considered a swing State, Michigan.
AVLON: But that's important to remember. You've got initiatives that can drive traffic. The other thing is this democracy argument.
Now known, Hilary Rosen, I think called out Democrats rightly by saying, look, folks are talking about the economy and crime, talk about economy and the crime.
But the backdrop is this threat to democracy because of election deniers, and this is just an important step to keep in mind. Twenty- two candidates for Governor, 12 candidates for Secretary of State who oversee elections, 10 candidates for Attorney General.
So I think one of our challenges for folks is going to be to really track this. How many of them?
LEMON: That's fascinating.
AVLON: It is, right? So how many of these cats are going to say, if they win the election is legitimate, but if they lose, it's not legitimate. That's one of the things we've got to track going forward because we have to restore faith in our democracy, especially in the face of baseless lies.
LEMON: All right, John. Are you ready?
AVLON: Let's do it.
LEMON: Are you strong?
AVLON: Game day.
LEMON: You seem caffeinated this morning.
AVLON: I am, man.
LEMON: Yes. We better get ready.
All right, thank you, John Avlon. Appreciate that.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Don only gets half a cup of coffee. That is the rule, John Avlon, on this program. So don't give him anymore. Thank you guys very much.
Coming up, have Democrats just missed the mark on messaging, especially on the economy. Next, we're going to take into the battleground States. You can hear from the voters yourself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON FEKETE, VIRGINIA VOTER: I grew up with a union household. My dad was a Teamster for 30 years, voted Democrat, but they're completely out of touch with what every day Americans want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: It is less than 24 hours until the Midterms, so many people, 40 million people already voting now, early voting -- from inflation to abortion rights, our Dana Bash spoke to voters across the country about what they really care about. Watch.
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR AND POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Michigan's State Fair Labor Day weekend, the start of the sprint toward Election Day, and our travels to five pivotal Midterm States this fall.
The common thread we heard from voters across the country, frustration and fears about rising prices.
AMANDA CLEAVER, MICHIGAN VOTER: I drive a truck and it does not get very good gas mileage, and I actually had to quit my last job because I couldn't afford to drive all the way out there.
GREG STEYER, OHIO VOTER: Why is the price of gasoline where it is today? You can't just overlook that issue.
JOSEPH SAN CLEMENTE, VIRGINIA VOTER: Vegetables have gone up 20 to 30 percent. Growers locally in the farms and not carrying things they did last year because people don't have the money.
DAVE DENT, ARIZONA VOTER: And inflation, they say it's eight percent, but if you're in the construction industry, it's like 30 percent.
MARIA MELGOZA, NEVADA VOTER (through translator): Food is high. Gas is high. Rent is high.
BASH (voice over): We heard from many discontented voters, especially among the working class and in rural areas, those who feel forgotten by politicians in Washington.
FEKETE: I came up in a union household. My dad was a Teamster for 30 years, voted Democrat, but they're completely out of touch with what every day Americans want. JOE STALLBAUM, OHIO VOTER: I think there should be a lot more focus
on working class people. It seems like we always get left behind for either the high or the low.
BASH (voice over): Then there's the issue of abortion.
(CROWD chanting "Abortion is a Human Right.")
BASH (voice over): Maybe not the main driver for all voters we talked to, but it is one motivating factor.
KRISTINA LODOVISI, MICHIGAN VOTER: We need to elect legislators all across the country who are going to protect women's health rights.
BASH: What's most important to you with this election?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really, it's abortion rights, I think for me, and just making sure that women have the choice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think there is a high possibility we may see something like Kansas. I think a lot of women aren't ready to go way out in public and wave signs and do the whole bit, but they're going to come to the voting booth and they are going to vote their conscience.
DICK ROSSELL, MICHIGAN VOTER: I want to stay in front of the judge --
BASH (voice over): Dick Rossell, a Republican leaning voter in Michigan told us in early September that he was reluctant to vote for GOP gubernatorial candidate, Tudor Dixon because of her staunch opposition to abortion.
ROSSELL: But I think there are times when women's lives are in danger and when there's extenuating circumstances that it has to happen.
BASH (on camera): Are you ready?
BASH (voice over): We checked back with him and learned he already voted for Republican, Tudor Dixon, but also voted for a ballot initiative allowing abortions in Michigan.
When we talked Labor Day weekend, you were undecided? What made you decide.
ROSSELL: The abortion initiative that they put on the ballot.
BASH: Did you vote for that ballot initiative?
ROSSELL: I did.
BASH: And would you have felt comfortable voting for Tudor Dixon if that didn't exist?
ROSSELL: No. I was having a problem with that.
BASH: Because Democrats think that by putting that on the on the ballot, it's going to help Democratic candidates. It did the opposite with you.
ROSSELL: Yes, I think it did with a lot of people.
BASH (voice over): In our travels, we did speak with voters who do not blame Democrats for tough times.
BASH (on camera): How do you think Joe Biden is doing?
CRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ, VIRGINIA VOTER: I think he's doing the best he can with the tools he has.
BASH: You've already voted.
AGNES WILSON, NEVADA VOTER: Yes.
BASH: Who did you vote for?
BASH: How come?
WILSON: Because I just -- well, I think that they're going to do a good job.
BASH (voice over): School crossing guards in Nevada, Agnes Wilson and James Kieffer differ on that. He is disgusted with both parties.
BASH (on camera): Are you going to vote this year?
JAMES KIEFFER, NEVADA VOTER: I don't so.
BASH: Why not?
KIEFFER: Because they're not talking about what they're going to do. All they're talking about is slandering each other about how much money they're making.
BASH (voice over): A missed opportunity for Democrats and Republicans in a State like Nevada where every vote will likely matter in a neck and neck Senate race that could determine who controls Washington.
Agnes Wilson says she gets that.
BASH (on camera): Do you think your vote matters?
BASH: That's a good thing.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Dana Bash speaking with voters on the ground, including those school crossing guards. I love that.
LEMON: I liked that.
HARLOW: That was Kaitlan's favorite part. We love that piece, Dana.
COLLINS: Dana, thank you for that.
Van Jones is going to join us next.
LEMON: Van Jones.
COLLINS: He'll react to what these voters are saying, which race he thinks is going to determine how Democrats will do tomorrow night.
LEMON: The studio is not big enough for the both of us, Van Jones.