Return to Transcripts main page

CNN This Morning

Bill Gates is Interviewed about Maricopa County Voting; Midterms Give Clues about 2024; DeSantis Scores Big Win; Tim Ryan Concedes Election. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 09, 2022 - 08:30   ET



BILL GATES, CHAIR, MARICOPA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: Election votes have been counted. We've had a little bit - somewhere around 210,000 or so. But those 17,000 have yet to be counted. And we will be starting that process today.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, 17,000 Election Day votes, in-person Election Day votes, as distinct from mail ballots?

GATES: That's right. So, we have about 90,000 mail ballots. These are ones that came in after Friday but before yesterday. Those are yet to be counted. And then also we don't know how many mail-ins mail-ins came in yesterday. So, in other words, under Arizona law, our resident can take a mail-in ballot and drop it off on Election Day.

We do believe estimates, probably about 200,000 more. We will know by about mid-morning today, and we'll be able to report an exact number.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: You said after Friday but before yesterday. Does that change any of the calculations that you're making here?

BERMAN: No. But it does give us a breakdown of the votes. So, 17,000 in-person votes left to be counted, in-person Election Day votes to be counted in Maricopa County. About 90,000 mail-in ballots that were received by Friday. And then a certain number, and I'm not sure I fully understood, 200,000, that arrived between yesterday.

GATES: Yes, we don't -

BERMAN: You don't know that.

GATES: Yes, roughly, again, those are all - those all came in late last night from our different locations. They're at the central tabulation center. But like I said, we'll have firmer numbers mid- morning today.

LEMON: Can I ask you about -- because - because of that technical issue, there was this lawsuit to keep the polls open an extra three hours. A judge denying this request that the polls close -- close on time there - or to be - to be extended.

So, what do you say those who are using -- because there are people, you know, even the candidates who are using this to try to cast doubt on the integrity of the voting process there?

GATES: Well, again, we've been dealing with that here for a couple of years. A lot of misinformation out there that we've had to address.

Here's the bottom line. We apologize for the inconvenience that people had to deal with yesterday. We certainly did not want to have that happen.

But this -- what happened yesterday should not be used to question the integrity of the election. Again, everyone who was checked in who showed up with a valid ID had the opportunity to vote and those vote are going to count. The 17,000 or so that I mentioned to you that didn't go through the tabulator at the vote center, they have been secure since they were placed in that box three (ph). They were transported by a bipartisan board, Republican and Democrat, down to the central count facility. And like I said, today we will start the process of counting those at the central count facility where all of our early ballots are.

And, by the way, in a majority of Arizona counties, day-of election votes are counted just that way. They're counted at the central count facility, not out on site at the vote center.

LEMON: From the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Bill Gates there.

Thank you very much. We really appreciate that.

GATES: Thank you.

LEMON: So, John, it's interesting to see how many votes -- that's a lot of votes out.


LEMON: And you said - but you said it doesn't really change the calculation?

BERMAN: I know it's hard to tell. So, you have 17,000 Election Day. I'll put - I'll put Election Day. That's what ED stands for her in this case, Don. Let's do 90,000 - 90,000 mail that will arrive by Friday. And then another number that was indetermined, right? Undetermined. He said it could be, I think, as much as 200,000 of people who walk them in or arrived yesterday. So, just don't know. I mean I will tell you here, you would think this 17,000 votes Election Day favors Republicans. You would you think this 90,000 mail that arrived by Friday favors Democrats.

LEMON: Favors Democrats.

BERMAN: And then that remaining number, which we don't have a hard grasp on yet, who knows.

LEMON: All right, John Berman, thank you very much.

In the meantime, Governor Ron DeSantis cruising to re-election over Charlie Crist. What his victory now means for the political future and several potential 2024 rivals.




GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Florida was a refuge of sanity when the world went mad. We stood as the citadel of freedom for people across this country and indeed across the world.

We will never, ever surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die!


LEMON: OK, everyone, Don Lemon here.

The 2022 midterms may be giving us a big clue about the 2024 Republicans presidential primary. The perfect person to talk to about that, Harry Enten, at the battleground desk.

Harry, we've talked a lot about Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis. He had a big win last night. Where does he play come 2024, you think?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Well, I mean, look, let's start off with the fact that, obviously, the big elephant in the room is Donald Trump. And I think there are a lot of Republican voters who are going to be second guessing whether or not he should be their standard bearer come 2024. Why? Take a look at this exit poll that we did nationally. Look at - this is the favorable opinions. Look at how many voters had only a favorable opinion of Donald Trump, 38 percent. You add it with the Biden and Trump, just 39 percent of voters nationally had a favorable opinion of Donald Trump.

Now, I want to notice that 18 percent of the neither Biden nor Trump number at the bottom of your screen. Take a look at how they decided to vote this election. They went for Republican candidates for the House, but only by a 17-point margin. These are voters who had an unfavorable view of Joe Biden, yet they still went only Republican by 17 points. And it's because Donald Trump kept these voters going - from going overwhelmingly towards the Democratic Party.

Now, let's look at Ron DeSantis. Let's look at his approval rating in the state of Florida. Look at this, a 58 percent approval rating in the state of Florida. That is much more popular than Donald Trump was nationally.


Now, looking ahead to 2024, the idea, OK, in Florida, do you want Ron DeSantis to run for president? You can see it's a pretty close match here, 45 percent say yes. Yes, the majority, 53 percent, said no, but compare that to Donald Trump among Floridians because, remember, Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis both live in the state of Florida. Look at how many Floridians want Donald Trump to run for president in 2024. Just 33 percent. So, in the state that knows Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump well, Ron DeSantis is the choice for 2024. And I - I'll tell you this much, Don, given that large victory he had last night, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of Republicans nationally start feeling the same way.

LEMON: And didn't Donald Trump give up his New York citizenship to become a Florida -- residency to become a Florida resident?

ENTEN: He did. He did.

LEMON: There you go.

ENTEN: And it turns out Floridians might not necessarily want him. Maybe they'll send him back to New York.

LEMON: Harry, thank you very much.

Poppy, that tees up - there's a lot that you can chew on when it comes to that.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: What you're going to hear next might blow your socks off because it blew mine off. Let's just - look -- pull up "The New York Post," guys, if we can, in the control room, "DeFuture," OK.

LEMON: Oh, yes.

HARLOW: This is "The New York Post."

LEMON: Oh, someone's not going to like that.

HARLOW: And - well, now I want you to listen to Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen. We just heard DeSantis say, Florida -- when Florida was a refuge when the world went mad, and you say --


HARLOW: You said it!

ROSEN: I said, you know, I was in Florida then a bit. It was kind of true. Like, there was -- it was kind of a refuge.

But, look, look, Ron DeSantis would be a terrible president. I'm not for him for president. I think there is a little bit of a rethinking about how the country handled Covid. Were schools kept closed to long? Were businesses closed too long? That is actually legitimate and a lot of Democrats and Republicans -- just a non-partisan issue that we should think about for the next pandemic. But, look, what's going to happen is --

HARLOW: You're just full of the surprises this week, Hilary.

ROSEN: Donald Trump is going to announce he's going to run for president. Democrats -- we're going to sit back and enjoy this fight between the two of them. And I have to say, you know, given - given the election results, Joe Biden, the -- you know, the happy warrior, you know, despite the headwinds, despite his approval rating, he's going to find new found energy in being the Donald Trump foe again.

HARLOW: Right.

ROSEN: And, you know, that's going to be interesting as well.

HARLOW: Or the DeSantis foe. We'll see where this goes.

You - you worked for Trump. You worked in the Trump White House. You left on January 6th. Is DeSantis "DeFuture"?

SARAH MATTHEWS, FORMER DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY UNDER PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think so. I mean, you look at the huge night he had, I think that should send a massive signal to the Republican Party that -- and show what he's capable of. I mean Donald Trump, we saw in that one poll, that Floridians don't want to see him run in 2024. But DeSantis is someone who potentially could be a formidable opponent for, you know, Joe Biden, if he runs again in 2024. And I think that DeSantis has a good message on Covid, as we are saying, that, you know, he kept Florida free and wasn't about lockdowns. And that's something that he can push, whereas he can say, Trump listened to the bureaucrats in Washington, like Dr. Fauci, who wanted this country locked down.

HARLOW: So, what about, Tom, for never Trump former conservative turned independents?

TOM NICHOLS, STAFF WRITER, "THE ATLANTIC": Well, I think we're all making an assumption that Donald Trump can be pushed out of the way a little more easily than he's going to be pushed out of the way. This begins a lot of knife-fighting in the party because so many people in the Republican Party invested in him as a cult of personality. It's hard to back up from that to say, well, now I no longer support the president. We heard the lieutenant governor of Georgia say it's time to get past Trump. Well, good luck with that. Donald Trump's entire political life is that people can't get past it.

HARLOW: But didn't voters just get past Trump, a lot of them, tonight?

NICHOLS: Well, we -- I think that remains to be seen, especially within.

ROSEN: A primary is different than a general.



ROSEN: And so, you know, he - he prevailed in the primary a lot, just not in the general.

HARLOW: Yes, that's a good point.


MICHAEL LAROSA, FORMER BIDEN-HARRIS CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: For somebody who hates the - who hates - HARLOW: Who worked in the Biden White House.


And I would say, this is the third time I've seen Joe Biden defy political gravity. An improbable comeback in the primary. Unseating an incumbent - an incumbent president, which is very hard to do. And last night, you know, Kevin McCarthy, a year ago, said they were going to win 60 seats in the House. That's not --

HARLOW: Then he said 20 to our Melanie Zanona a few days ago.

LAROSA: There you go. The goalpost keeps changing.


LAROSA: But what I would also say is that Republicans have to make a choice. And I think DeSantis is offering that choice, but do they want to follow Donald Trump down another path of losing them the House, losing them the Senate, maybe twice, losing them the White House.

ROSEN: But DeSantis plays into that, too. And I think Democrats will have a message. Because, look, I think the big unknown story -- untold story right now is how women came through and this abortion question.


It really mattered to voters. It was a big issue in the House. Exit polls showed that people wanted to vote on the economy but often voted on abortion and other things. And, you know, that is going to matter because that is what a president is in charge of. You know, Supreme Court appointment. This still matters. And I do think that that will push back. And I think that that helps us in -- it's important. That's where we have to focus.

HARLOW: You guys have been great. Thanks for a long - a long night. It made it easier being by your side.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: I know, we miss you over here in the studio, Poppy.

HARLOW: Right? I miss you. She's down the hall, by the way. I'm going to come give you a hug right after this.

COLLINS: We don't like -

LEMON: What about me?

COLLINS: The three of us don't like being separated this long.

HARLOW: I miss Don too. I miss Don too. (INAUDIBLE)

COLLINS: All right. Well, we are still also watching to see, you know, the Senate race in Ohio was decided overnight. We're waiting on a few others. But we did see that JD Vance, the Republican author and venture capitalist, did win that seat there. He defeating Democrat Tim Ryan by nearly 7 points. Ryan did make a point about democracy, though, in his concession.


REP. TIM RYAN (D), FORMER OHIO SENATE CANDIDATE: I have the privilege to concede this race to JD Vance, because the way this country operates is that when you lose an election, you concede, and you respect - you respect the will of the people, right? We can't have a system where if you win, it's a legitimate election, and if you lose, someone stole it.


COLLINS: Tim Ryan going out of his way to make that point, saying he had the privilege to concede this race. It's sad that that is kind of where things are that you have to actually watch for these concession speeches now, but what do you make of that?

NIA MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No, I mean, I think it is sad. This used to be the norm among candidates that they would come out and they would concede, whether they were presidential candidates or candidates for dog catcher. And now we have this, I think, Republican chattering class that likes to sew all sorts of doubt into final results. We, of course, saw that around 2020. We'll continue to see that.

One question is whether or not Donald Trump starts to do that with these elections that we've seen, you know, over the past day or so. Like, does he start to sew doubt because he wants to take credit, he wants to act like everything, you know, is rigged. So, we'll see what happens. But good on Tim Ryan. And, of course, he was going to do that.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Of course, he was. And look, I think we should say, this is still normal. You know, democracy depends upon people acknowledging losses. And that's what Tim Ryan did. And that's what most people do. It's the extremists, the election deniers are the outliers. And one of the takeaways last night is that most of them lost when they were at the top of their ticket, right? You know, we still have to see what happened in Arizona.

You know, also should be said that Tim Ryan ran a really good race. Mike DeWine won the state by almost a million votes and there were almost a half -- 400,000 folks who split their tickets and voted for Tim Ryan.

So, we - we - that's why the election denialism is so outside democratic norms that it needs to be called out. And we need to track each one who says, yes, they'll accept the results if they win and no they won't if they lose because it's uniquely dangerous to democracy. And I think the fact that Democrats narrowly won independent voters last night, which is so outside the norm for midterm elections, speaks to them saying, this kind of extremism is too much. This is to dangerous. This is destabilizing to who we are. So I think why moderates -- moderates also went to Democrats. So it's a -- a lot of election deniers will win lower - lower state - lower ballots, but the top of the ticket having a bad night I think is a repudiation of Donald Trump and the kind of extremism that election denialism represents.

COLLINS: Another thing to note about concessions, though, is Stacey Abrams, obviously, famously did not concede her last race to Brian Kemp.


COLLINS: She did concede last night.

When it comes to what we heard from JD Vance, opposite Tim Ryan in Ohio, he thanked a lot of people, dozens of people. One of them noticeably was not former President Trump, who, of course, backed him.

HENDERSON: Yes, listen, he is a senator because Donald Trump backed him in that primary. And you can see him possibly already trying to form his own identity, that, you know, form some distance between him and Donald Trump.


HENDERSON: Good luck with that. And, listen, I think, in the coming days, we've got to see what Donald Trump does. I think sort of the battle between him and Ron DeSantis, "DeFuture," is going to be very interesting. I mean he's already sort of warning shots saying, like, this is going to be bad for DeSantis if he runs.

COLLINS: Well, and -

HENDERSON: And he knows stuff about DeSantis that he's going to reveal.

COLLINS: We're out of time.


COLLINS: But it's just interesting also to see, you know, what other Republicans say about how that -- the effect that he has -- still has on this party. Both of you, thank you for spending so many hours here with me this morning.

HENDERSON: Yes, this is a great forum (ph).

COLLINS: I really enjoyed it. No one I'd rather sit next to.

AVLON: Me too (ph).

COLLINS: So, we still have four Senate races, though, determining the balance of power.


The votes are still coming in. They are still being counted. We have the latest as CNN's special coverage continues.

We're going to take a short break. Don't go anywhere.


HARLOW: Well, my friends came back.


Do you know what polls really matter?


LEMON: The ones on election night. That's what really matters. The voters that --

HARLOW: Oh, yes. The non-polls. The votes.

LEMON: Yes. When you go to the polls and you actually vote, that's what really matters. We can sit around, the pundits can say what they want and they can do what they want and this politician can say that and that's fine. The people have their say and the people have spoken. The votes are still being counted, but it wasn't what many people thought it was going to be.

HARLOW: Where's the wave?

COLLINS: Yes. It shows you the American people can always surprise you. You always have to see what the issues are, listen to what people are saying.

You know, abortion did kept Democrats in this fight.


COLLINS: Inflation, the economy, though, did still show up as a really big issue.

We're not done yet. We still have to make sure -- to figure out who is in control of the Senate, who is in control of the House.


HARLOW: I think -

LEMON: This going to go to December?


HARLOW: I think I'm - I'm going to - we are going to be there every morning, along with people telling what's going on.

But I think what I'm left with is two things, abortion was a bigger issue than the polls were saying, that's for sure, and the economy. It's the economy, stupid. It was in '92. It's now. But now it's on the people that are elected to solve for folks and to come up with solutions on the economy and to actually do things that they promised.

LEMON: You know -- do you know what was on the ballot -


LEMON: And people said it was a bad message from - from Joe Biden and the Democrats? Democracy really was on the ballot.

HARLOW: Oh, that's such a good point. It was.

LEMON: Especially if you look at what happened with election deniers and -- still some votes to be counted around the country. For the most part, they did not fare well. And people I think were more concerned - as I said, the economy is always important, but what's I think more important is reality for people because the economy goes up and down. Prices go up and down.

COLLINS: That's -

HARLOW: Final thought.

COLLINS: The Georgia lieutenant governor, Jeff Duncan, too, talking about candidate quality really does matter.

HARLOW: It absolutely does.

COLLINS: He said Mitch McConnell was right.


HARLOW: All right.

LEMON: Thank you so much, everyone.


LEMON: Really appreciate you joining us.

We're going to be back here. I'm not sure when. Sometime overnight. In the morning hours. In a few hours.

HARLOW: We're going to be back in a few hours.

LEMON: So, make sure you stay tuned, though, because CNN's special coverage continues with our colleague, Anderson Cooper, next.

COLLINS: Seven hours, Don.