Return to Transcripts main page

CNN This Morning

J.D. Vance and Tim Ryan Battle For Ohio Senate Seat; In Michigan's Governor's race, Gov. Whitmer Faces GOP's Dixon; $1.9 Billion Powerball Drawing Delayed Due To "Security Protocols." Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired November 08, 2022 - 05:30   ET




DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: So, inflation is soaring and the U.S. is staring down a possible recession. Today's midterm elections may come down to a familiar truism of American politics coined by James Carville -- "It's the economy, stupid."


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They're strangling Ohio families with soaring prices and crippling inflation.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Since I came to office we've created 10 million new jobs, 3.75 percent unemployment.

MEHMET OZ, (R) PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: And you've got, amazingly, seniors who are saying their Social Security checks -- they just don't stretch far enough anymore with runaway inflation.

LT. GOV. JOHN FETTERMAN, (D) PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: I think it's also really critical that our next senator really understands inflation. Inflation is a tax on working people.


LEMON: Joining us now is CNN's chief business correspondent Christine Romans. Good morning.


LEMON: So we hear all the rhetoric around --

ROMANS: Right.

LEMON: -- what's happening with the economy, inflation, a looming recession, and so forth. That's the rhetoric around it. Give us the facts -- just the facts.

ROMANS: You know, I think it's a mixed picture in the U.S. economy but you have some headline numbers that are really dangerous for the party in power, and that is inflation running at a 40-year high. I mean, you just haven't had a midterm election with inflation like this since the Carter administration or the early days of the -- of the Reagan administration. So it's just a situation we haven't seen --


ROMANS: -- in our lifetimes, really -- or remember in our lifetimes, at least.

HARLOW: One of the points that the Biden administration consistently makes on this is hey, the U.S. -- we're sort of in the middle of the pack --

ROMANS: Right.

HARLOW: -- in terms of OECD countries, right --

ROMANS: Right.

HARLOW: -- developed economies. But when you look at the numbers, right now, you still have a lot of big economies with lower inflation than the U.S. Brazil, China, Canada, India, Japan, France -- they are lower --


HARLOW: -- so --

ROMANS: The U.K. is worse. The EU as a whole is worse. It is a global picture of the inflation problems of global problem, but that doesn't really -- it's just not resonating with people. When people are seeing their household budgets dented every week, they -- to hear that oh well, the U.K. has a problem too and this is a global situation, it just doesn't -- it just is not resonating with people.


You know, he's right. You heard the president say 10 million jobs have been created -- 4.1 million jobs created this year. And I have a chart showing that job creation this year is twice what it was in any pre- pandemic year. Donald Trump never saw a year like we've seen for job creation.

But people consistently don't feel good about the economy, so when they try to trumpet the good news -- and there is some -- it just -- it just falls on deaf ears.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, because you can't tell people hey, it's actually way better than you're feeling like it is. And that's been a struggle when you talk to White House officials --


COLLINS: -- that I speak to almost every day. They say that is their greatest issue going into the midterm elections.

But one thing President Biden also says is I'm relying on the Federal Reserve to deal --


COLLINS: -- with the inflation issue. It's up to them however they best see fit.

But talk to us about the cost of the Fed's war on inflation because that is what voters are feeling when they're making their decisions today.

ROMANS: And so, the problem is the medicine to cure the patient, which is inflation -- the medicine tastes terrible and hurts, too.


ROMANS: You've got a stock market -- this is the second-worst year in -- for president -- in the stock market since Jimmy Carter, right? Probably the worst year for stocks since 2008. So you're 401(k) -- your retirement is down a little bit this year.

You've also got home prices now that are going to be capped -- but guess what -- by these huge mortgage rates. So it's harder to buy a home. And then the grocery bill is still high.

So, credit card rates -- can I just mention that credit card rates -- the average credit card rate is now 19 percent APR.



ROMANS: Keeping money -- if you can't pay off your credit card bill you are getting killed out there right now. And store credit cards, 29 percent.


ROMANS: My advice for the holiday season is don't put it on a store credit card if you can't pay it off right away because --

LEMON: That's a blinking red light right there --


LEMON: -- because you get in that wheel --

ROMANS: Absolutely.

COLLINS: And that's what everyone does, right, with the holidays.

ROMANS: Absolutely. That's what higher rates mean. And so, people are kind of caught in that, too.


ROMANS: But I will say that household balance sheets are much better today than they were in 2008.

HARLOW: Because they saved up a lot in the COVID and stimulus.

ROMANS: Because they saved up during COVID -- yes. And people were home for a year and a half.


ROMANS: So now they're spending money like crazy on, what, travel,

HARLOW: Flying, eating.

ROMANS: -- going out, entertainment.



LEMON: There's a disconnect. Tell me. I don't know --

ROMANS: It is -- right.

LEMON: -- what's up with that. But I wonder if there's any sugar when you said that it's the medicine that -- I wonder if there's some sugar that'll make this medicine go down.

HARLOW: Don's looking for some sweet -- sugar --

LEMON: I am.

HARLOW: -- good news this morning.

ROMANS: I need some Def Leppard going out of here.

HARLOW: They play -- they play us into commercial when we're late.

LEMON: They're like stop talking.

Thank you, Christine Romans.

ROMANS: Shut up.

COLLINS: Thank you.

LEMON: We appreciate it.

Up next --

COLLINS: All right, up next, local reporters in Ohio and Michigan are going to join CNN THIS MORNING live. We'll tell you what they're talking about and what they're watching today as voters are going to be heading to the polls, as they've been on the ground covering these races closely.




J.D. VANCE, (R) OHIO SENATE CANDIDATE: Well, the president said it well. We've got to get out there and run up the score on these guys because we need to win and we need to win big and take our country back.

TIM RYAN, (D), OHIO SENATE CANDIDATE: And that's why these elections are so important, especially when you're taking on such an extreme group of people who are trying to hijack it and jam their ideology down the throats of everybody else in the country.


COLLINS: Those are the closing arguments from the Senate candidates in Ohio. Polls are going to open there in about 45 minutes. J.D. Vance and Tim Ryan making their final pitch to voters as former President Trump was in the state.

It's the seat left open by Republican Sen. Rob Portman, one of the most closely-watched races in the country. Trump, obviously, has been campaigning for J.D. Vance while Ryan has been running this aggressive campaign in a state where the GOP has dominated in recent years.

So joining us now to talk about what we should expect today is Statehouse News bureau chief for Ohio Public Radio and Television, Karen Kasler. Karen, thanks so much for being here.

And I know you've been watching all of this so closely. What have you heard from voters in the closing days as these polls are set to open in about 45 minutes from now?

KAREN KASLER, STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU CHIEF, OHIO PUBLIC RADIO AND TELEVISION (via Webex by Cisco): Well, the issue continues to be the economy. I think it's been that way through this whole campaign though, of course, there was a blip this summer where Democrats really gained some ground with the Dobbs decision overturning the right to abortion. But that economy issue and gas prices -- that's what you keep hearing from voters.

And I think it shows in the way that Tim Ryan has been campaigning. He's really been chasing those moderate voters, those frustrated Trump voters, trying to lure them over rather than really focusing on the Democratic voters that are his base.

HARLOW: Karen, obviously, this -- that's such a significant race -- the Senate race in Ohio. But you're there -- you're on the ground. You're covering all the races.

And you're really focused on also these three races for three judges for the State Supreme Court because of the huge say that it will have on the issue of abortion, right -- on that 6-week abortion ban. And also on these gerrymandered maps that the federal court said Ohio had to use in this election, but the State Supreme Court will have the ultimate say. KASLER: Yes, this is an unusual year to have all three of those --

three of seven justices on the ballot, including the chief justice. And this is also the first year that Ohio voters will see party affiliation on the November ballot. These judges -- these justices ran in partisan primaries but this time, they'll be identified as partisan Republican or Democrat on the fall ballot.


And so, yes, you're right. Those two issues of the 6-week abortion ban -- one of the strictest in the country, currently on hold in Ohio -- will come before the Ohio Supreme Court at some point.

And then we get to start the whole redistricting process all over again because we are using maps that were ruled unconstitutionally gerrymandered by the Ohio Supreme Court. So after this election, that process begins again. If the court changes, then maybe the ruling on those maps being unconstitutionally gerrymandered could change.

COLLINS: Yes. It's a big, big topic. The same thing is happening in my home state of Alabama.

Karen, I know you're going to be busy today, so thanks for taking some time to join us.

KASLER: It's great to talk to you -- thanks.

HARLOW: All right, let's go to Michigan where voters will decide the much-watched governor's race between Democratic incumbent Gretchen Whitmer and Republican challenger Tudor Dixon. Voters will also pick their next secretary of state, fill a number of house seats, and vote on a ballot measure that could guarantee the right to abortion.

Joining us now, government and politics reporter for the Detroit Free Press, Dave Boucher. It's good to have you.

What are you hearing and seeing on the ground from voters that you don't think is getting enough attention in the national -- on the national stage about these races?

DAVE BOUCHER, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS REPORTER, DETROIT FREE PRESS (via Skype): Well, we've definitely also heard about inflation and gas prices, but there's a difference between what voters are concerned about and what's actually driving them to vote for a particular candidate.

In our most recent poll, voters said inflation and the economy were the number one issue, but the number one issue driving their vote on the governor's race was abortion.

So, as you noted, there's also a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to an abortion in the state constitution in Michigan, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has really tied her fate to that. Polling has showed that both that constitutional amendment is probably going to pass and that Gov. Whitmer is sitting in a relatively strong position heading into Election Day. HARLOW: But what I -- what I brought up earlier that I think is really interesting, Dave, though, is the fact that there are some voters that our folks are talking to -- Dana Bash was just there talking to a voter who said well, I voted for the ballot initiative to protect an abortion right, but because that was on there I felt free to vote for Tudor Dixon who does not support that -- which I found fascinating. And that's probably true of more than just one voter, no?

BOUCHER: Sure, it could be. We've seen in our crosstabs that there's a little bit of that going on. It's happening more in other races where voters don't know quite as much about the Republican candidate for attorney general, for example, who might have a significant role in enforcing any ban if the constitutional proposal fails.

But overall, we're seeing a pretty strong correlation between Democratic candidates and people who support this constitutional amendment.

HARLOW: All right, good to have you. Thank you very much.

LEMON: Thank you, Dave.

New this morning, last night's Powerball drawing -- did you get it -- your ticket?

COLLINS: I didn't buy a ticket.

HARLOW: No, no, but we have time I guess.

LEMON: It was delayed.


LEMON: That's just where I was going, Poppy. We'll tell you why, next.



HARLOW: So you guys know what this is, right?

COLLINS: It's not an omen for Election Day.

LEMON: (Singing) Nothing I can say, total eclipse of the heart.

HARLOW: I may have gotten 12 text messages from my mother about well, honey, since you have to be up, make sure you don't miss the eclipse.

COLLINS: But what's funny is that we're on set so we can't see it, so we're watching that on the camera, of course -- there you see.

HARLOW: Exactly. Sorry, mom.

LEMON: Is there an outdoors out there? We haven't left this studio and we won't for a while. COLLINS: All right -- and maybe it's an omen for what happened last

night -- you know, this lottery issue. This is something that my dad --

HARLOW: Oh, yes.

COLLINS: -- is not going to be pleased with.

A technical problem delayed that gigantic $1.9 billion Powerball drawing.


COLLINS: The California Lottery announced late Monday night it had to delay the drawing because officials need more time to complete the security protocols.

CNN's Martin Savidge is live in Atlanta. I don't know if you've bought any Powerball tickets, Martin, but what is happening with this, and what exactly are the security protocols that broke down here?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, first of all, I did see that moon and it did portend badly. We know what it's all about with the Powerball.

You know, I have heard of flights being delayed, I've heard of trains being delayed. I've even heard of court cases being delayed. But this is a new one on me. I've never heard of the Powerball being delayed.

And as you point out, Kaitlan, it's security protocols, which is a very mysterious realm because lottery officials are fanatical when it comes to their security protocols.

Here's what we know. The lottery -- the Powerball is sold in at least 45 different states, plus the District of Columbia, plus Puerto Rico, plus the U.S. Virgin Islands. And in all of those independent lottery associations, they have to follow very strict security protocols. And they've got to tabulate and they've got to turn in their returns, and essentially, everything has to go perfectly. Somewhere along the lines last night it has not gone so.

Now, quite frankly, with close to $2 billion on the line, it's not exactly a good look and we're still waiting to find out when this drawing is going to take place. Lottery officials do expect that it will take place today -- they just can say exactly what time it is going to take place.

And we should point out the good news is if you bought a ticket, you haven't lost. The bad news is you just don't know if you're going to win. And by the way, if you're hoping that you can still rush out and go buy a ticket, I believe that train has already left the station.

LEMON: That was --

HARLOW: That was our question.

LEMON: Thank you. That was our --


LEMON: -- clarification we needed. So you can't go buy a ticket now and --

SAVIDGE: I would not try to do that. Things are already on edge in the Lottery Bureau these days. They don't need a last-minute rush of people coming in.

The Mega Millions -- you can buy a ticket for that tonight. Who knows? They might hold the drawings back-to-back.

LEMON: Thanks, Marty.

COLLINS: Martin Savidge, thank you.

HARLOW: All right. Next, we'll go live to several states where polls are just minutes away from opening.

LEMON: And the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, opening up for the first time about the attack on her husband. What she said exclusively to CNN.



REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): For me, this is really the hard part because Paul was not the target and he's the one who is paying the price.



LEMON: Wait a minute -- where's the election music? Dom, dom, dom- dom-dom. Similar but not the same.

COLLINS: We've got hours for it (PH).

HARLOW: This is the morning music.

LEMON: So, listen, we are a little bit punch-drunk (PH) because we've been already on the air for two hours.

HARLOW: But we have McDonald's coming because you ordered us breakfast.

LEMON: Yes. Calories don't count on Election Day.

It is Election Day in America. Good morning, everyone. So happy that you could join us this morning. Again, we have been here for two hours. There's a lot to get to this morning.