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Democrat Katie Hobbs Holds Narrow Lead Over Trump Ally Kari Lake; Hurricane Nicole Hits Florida Overnight; Progressives Secure Some Big Wins in Midterms; President Biden Declares a Good Day for Democrats After Midterms. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired November 10, 2022 - 07:30   ET



RUBY CRAMER, NATIONAL POLITICAL ENTERPRISE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: It took a while but she did eventually won, and when she came out in front of cameras the next day to announce her victory, she said we won because we outvoted the fraud. So it's always been a part of her story and I think it will sort of be there no matter what.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Does she exist without the invention -- she invents enemies, she looks for moments, it's about a spectacle and stunts. And so without that, does she exist? And she's managed to co- op the people of Arizona into believing I think something that she's actually not. Right? You know, it's invented, right? It's an act.

CRAMER: It's very well-executed performance art.

LEMON: Right.

CRAMER: And I think the question of whether or not she genuinely --

LEMON: You're so smart. You are exactly right. Go on.

CRAMER: Whether or not she actually believes it, and a lot of Republicans have looked at this race from the beginning that she's sort of emerged and took on a very well-funded primary opponent, won that race when nobody thought she could. One question they were asking was, is this genuine, does she really believe all this stuff, does she really think all reporters are part of a corrupt, immoral system?

I think no matter what that question is irrelevant because whether or not she believes it, that is how she will govern.

LEMON: It's working. And it's working for her.

CRAMER: And I think it's a lesson that she learned from President Trump, right. A former pro-choice Democrat who's sort of remade himself in the image of a conservative icon.



COLLINS: Fantastic reporting.

CRAMER: Thank you.

COLLINS: We'll have you back on to talk about Kari Lake as well.

LEMON: Thanks, Ruby.

COLLINS: Meanwhile, Hurricane Nicole has been downgraded now to a tropical storm. Florida is still bracing, though, more flooding, more tornados. We have a live report from Florida. That's next.



COLLINS: Strong winds and surging waves along Florida's East Coast as Hurricane Nicole made landfall overnight. The system has now weakened to a tropical storm but of course we are still seeing the effects of it. So we have CNN's Leyla Santiago live in the Indialantic, Florida, for CNN this morning.

Leyla, what conditions are you seeing? Clearly we can see that you're standing in a lot of wind but what are you actually seeing on the ground.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, since we last spoke, Kaitlan, we've move further south. So let me show you what I'm seeing right now. I'll take you straight to those traffic lights so that you can see power is out and that wind is still moving the traffic lights, moving the trees, so wind gusts still very powerful. Still moving street signs. And I want to show you right behind me you can see that this is closed off, that would be because that's a downed power line which is what officials will definitely be working today as they do the damage assessment.

So let's take a walk. Let's go see what the beach looks like here in Indialantic. You can see that water still remains pretty aggressive coming in, still pounding the beach area here. And listen, you know, something that's interesting to note is the timing here on two fronts. One, the hour. We're coming up on -- well, it is 7:30. And in about an hour you're going to see high tide, which officials tell me is a major concern right now because while storm surge may be down, water levels remain high and we could actually see pretty high levels with high tide coming in.

So the idea that this is over by any means is far from the case right now. And again, I cannot let this go without pointing out that we are just six weeks out of Hurricane Ian. So this coastline is going to be very different given that they were vulnerable because of coastal erosion after Hurricane Ian and then now Nicole continues to pound the area -- Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Yes. So many of the dunes had already been wiped out by the damage from that storm, Leyla.

SANTIAGO: Right. COLLINS: What about Brevard County officials? What are they saying

that they're watching and is really their biggest concern this morning?

SANTIAGO: Right. So I spoke to them since the last time we spoke, so just in the last 10, 15 minutes. Their big concern right now is making sure that everyone stays home. Not having people come out and about, because this is not over yet. We're still seeing the impacts of, as I mentioned, beach erosion just further north, Volusia County. Deemed dozens of buildings unsafe, directly correlated to that beach erosion. Structures teetering right on the edge.

We're seeing impacts with the airports, flights. More than 1200 flights cancelled because of Tropical Storm Nicole this morning. So officials in Brevard County and throughout Florida making a big deal about this being far from over.

Take a look. You can see the water coming in where we are right now. This is the first time we've seen it this morning anyway since we've been here come up to this area. So again, making the point that those wind gusts remain, the water levels, we expect to really come up over the next hour with high tide being right around 8:30 in this area.

COLLINS: Yes. Leyla Santiago, I know you're watching it closely. Please be careful in this next hour as that high tide is coming in.

SANTIAGO: You bet.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Ahead for us, we talked about -- a lot about the future of the Republican Party this morning, right, after the surprising midterm results but what about the future of the Democratic Party? Is the party more liberal, is its center a little more left than we thought? We'll talk about it ahead.



LEMON: So Democrats outperformed expectations all across the country and some key results suggest Tuesday was a good night for progressives in particular.

Turn now to our senior data report Harry data Enten who is at the battleground desk for us.

Good morning to you, Harry.


LEMON: So where do progressives score these wins?

ENTEN: I mean, across the country but we'll zoom in on a few races to start off. Let's start off in Pennsylvania, right, the Senate race there. John Fetterman easily defeating Mehmet Oz who went after Fetterman over his record on crime. Remember, Fetterman is someone who ran as a progressive in the 2016 Democrat senatorial primary in Pennsylvania, wasn't successful. Got through the primary this time around and look at that margin, nearly a four-point margin. That may go over four points once we get all the votes in. A clear win there.

Let's also stick in the state of Pennsylvania. We'll go to a congressional race right around the Pittsburgh area. And what do we see there? We see Summer Lee, who there was a lot of last-minutes doubts, you know, this is a very Democratic district, could she hold on? She was the progressive, a tight primary race. But look at that result. A clear win there, a double-digit win. It turns out all that last-minute bedwetting wasn't really -- didn't really affect things. She won easily.

We'll go down to Texas now, right. Now this is a district right around Austin and it's a very progressive district but it's also about replacing folks who, you know, getting more progressives in these very liberal areas to start off with. And Greg Casar, look at that margin, 45 points, easy win there.


And so this is also about filling these Democratic districts with more progressive members, like we saw in New York with Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez replacing a more moderate member. But it was -- forget the candidates for a second. Let's also talk about ballot measures, right. Abortion was on the ballot throughout the country in a number of different states. We'll go to Kentucky, no was the no constitutional right to an abortion, so no was the pro-abortion rights side winning by nearly 5 percentage points so even in a state like Kentucky if abortion rights is winning there, then you know the country is really on the side of abortion rights.

And finally, I want to take a look at our exit poll because we had an interesting question there about immigration, right. Republicans have been running on immigration, a hard line on immigration. And we asked in our exit poll, immigrants today to the U.S., do they do more to help or hurt the country? Well, according to our exit poll, the majority of Americans said they do more to help the country than hurt the country. which I think gives you an indication at least on two important issues, abortion and immigration, maybe folks are a little bit more liberal than we give them credit for -- Don.

LEMON: Interesting. Very interesting. Thank you, Harry. Appreciate it.

So joining us now with more on the Democrats, what happened, CNN political commentators Bakari Sellers and Paul Begala.

Good evening. I mean, good morning.


LEMON: Good evening. Seven straight hours, I still -- I need more sleep, as you know. I'm so glad you guys are here. Can we move this forward? The election is behind us, the results are still -- just ahead of us. But can we move this forward? Because it doesn't feel -- well, it does almost feel like a second term pivot for this president, even though it is a midterm, right. And I think he can learn from what happened with Bill Clinton. Seeing President Biden speaking to reporters yesterday and saying, hey, look, I want to work with everybody. This isn't as bad as -- so what happen -- now what? Now what?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Now he has to. We still don't know. This is what's amazing. Whether the House or the Senate is going to be his party or the opposite. Or if the two will split. That's kind of amazing. And in that sense it's a win for the Democrats. Right? We talked about this before. Every single midterm this century we have flipped either the House or the Senate or both.

This is a time of great churn. And they're not churning. In other words, Biden does have things on the right track. He said that yesterday and I think he surprised Zeke Miller when Zeke asked him that question. He said, yes, I like what I've been doing. And I think Democrats responded to that. So you're doggone right. And the thing is Harry is right, a lot of progressives won, a lot of moderate Democrats won, too. Right?

Mikie Sherrill in New Jersey and Josh Gottheimer in New Jersey, Abigail Spanberger, Henry Cuellar, Colin Allred, a lot of good moderates won, too. This is something I don't often say. The Democrats are united, I'm not used to that. You'd much rather go to Thanksgiving dinner at your Democratic uncle's house than at your Republican aunt's house. You know, it's much more united part.

LEMON: Is it an inflection point?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But, I, you know, I have to push back on a lot of people who say, well, now how is he going to govern with a Republican majority in the House and then, you know, an evenly divided Senate? And I say, well, you forget that all of his major accomplishments, you had COVID relief, you had infrastructure, you had the Inflation Reduction Act, those were all bipartisan. So this is --

BEGALA: And the gun bill. He even got Republicans.

SELLERS: This is not something new to him. This does not mean that government is going to slog to some type of halt. Because this president has actually said some things that many of us looked side eyed at him about. The first was that Republicans were going to break their MAGA fever. And everybody was like, men, these Republicans I think -- they're crazy, this ain't going to happen. And what are they doing now, talking about divorcing Donald Trump. He said that he could get Congress and D.C. back to bipartisanship.

And all of his major accomplishments have been bipartisan. And so, you know, when asked what is he going to change? I think the correct answer is nothing because the country responded to him in a way that they haven't responded to any president in history.

LEMON: That's a weird thing. All the, you know, criticism that the president got, you know, is he too old, is he trying too hard with this bipartisanship? You know, this is a Senate and a Congress that years ago that he worked with and it's not the same anymore. But he's getting stuff done.

SELLERS: And I think we have to -- and Democrats around the country, one of the things that's fascinating is you have someone who's 80 years old and what he was able to do yesterday with young voters. We haven't really specifically dug into the numbers yet because votes are still coming in, but what we do know is that voters between the ages of 18 and 35 came out in extraordinary numbers. And what they did not come out for was Donald Trump's Republican Party.

COLLINS: Well, and look at two steps that President Biden took recently, which came to student loans and marijuana usage. And the big steps coming from the White House, those were two things that were aimed at appealing to young voters. And the White House, there's a reason they did it right before the midterms. When he got asked about running in 2024, I feel like the calculus changed overnight, even from what we are hearing from Democrats, he still is not ready to go out there and say, he's running. What do you make of that response?

BEGALA: I thought it was a tiny crack in the door but he's running. I know he hasn't talked to me about it but I think he's running. But you got to leave a tiny crack in case he changed his mind, or things changed, or the family -- I notice the first lady was sitting at that press conference and he looked over at her, we're going to go away and have a family meeting.


But why wouldn't he? I know he's old and a lot of people tired, blah, blah. But he has done more in two years than a guy half his age could do in four. And so, you know, like the kids say in supports, score board. Look what he's done.

LEMON: That's a good question, though. Why wouldn't he?

BEGALA: Right.

LEMON: Why wouldn't he?

BEGALA: You have to ask somebody else. I mean, I think he's doing a great job. I'm kind of a Biden guy. I like what he's doing. We have seen a lot of emerging new stars in the Democratic Party in this election.

SELLERS: The question why wouldn't he is because of the toil of the campaign. And we have to remember that in 2020 Joe Biden won an abbreviated campaign because of COVID. And so he wasn't in every diner in Iowa. He didn't have to go to every super SEC Tuesday state. I mean, the campaign is a monster in itself. And the question, I'm not saying that he can't do it. The question he has to answer is, does he want to go through that and go through, you know, primary debates because he's going to be primaried. That's a fact. We're new aged Democrats. Now I'm going to support him in that primary but he's going to be --

COLLINS: You think he's going to get primaried?

SELLERS: Of course.

COLLINS: By whom?

BEGALA: By a serious candidate?

SELLERS: Did Hillary Clinton get primaried?

COLLINS: But she wasn't an incumbent president.


SELLERS: It doesn't necessarily matter is the candidate is serious or not. There's going to be somebody.

BEGALA: Barack Obama didn't get primaries. Bill Clinton didn't get primaried.

SELLERS: There's going to be somebody -- this is not Bill Clinton or Barack Obama's Democratic Party anymore. I wish it was. There are a lot of us who are going to support Joe Biden. Let's be sure we could --

COLLINS: But who would primary him?

SELLERS: I feel firm in the belief that he'll get primaried from the left. There'll be somebody from the left who says that he did not --

LEMON: Maybe a more progressive --

SELLERS: Maybe a more progressive. And the problem is you have to deal with that. You have to deal with that in a Democratic primary. You have to run the race. You have to do the debates and that takes a toll on you to bring up my larger theme.

HARLOW: How significant, Paul, do you think it is that independents broke for Democrats in a midterm like this, defying history?

BEGALA: It's a changed election. It could have happened.

HARLOW: Yes. I don't think people are talking about that enough and how incredible it is.

BEGALA: It's unbelievable. There's only two messages in politics ever, just like in life. Stay the course or time for a change. That's kind of it. That's it. This is a third option. It's like enough. Enough with -- as we Catholics say, enough with the (INAUDIBLE), right, enough with the craziness. You know? And I think for the first time ever we're seeing a brake pedal against a party that's out of power. Now Justice Alito had a lot of that because he does have power. The Supreme Court did take away the woman's right to choose. But other wise they're just looking at potential abuse and saying, whoa, whoa, stop, enough. That's a really amazing thing. I've never seen that before.

HARLOW: Yes. LEMON: Paul says he's seeing a united Democratic Party for the first

time in a while. I'm wondering, are Democrats feeling like, you know, walking a little taller and a little prouder since what happened?

SELLERS: No doubt. One of the things that we're beginning to do is share our story. I mean, like people ask the question, what are some of the highlights that you saw from Tuesday night? I mean, while, you know, news stations around the country are gloating over what Ron DeSantis did in Florida, I'm like wait, whoa, whoa, did you see Big Gretch in Michigan? They flipped both the House and the Senate. You know, she won a resounding race against an election denier? I mean, Gretchen Whitmer is a superstar and she won a swing state, so let's actually talk about her with the same energy that we put behind Ron DeSantis.

Look at Kamala Harris. She went around the country for the last three months in places that were extremely tight and we pulled out those races. I mean, we had young people who are doing great things. Jevin Hodge in Arizona running a very close race right now. We have -- and then I have to give a shout out to my guy this morning, Wes Moore.

LEMON: Wes Moore.

SELLERS: Wes Moore, I mean --

LEMON: I knew that's where you were going.

SELLERS: I mean, Wes Moore is just my guy. I mean --

LEMON: Did you see Wes Moore get up on the stage and he gave that little like, I'm here?

SELLERS: You know, as the kids say -- Paul, you're a little closer to the kids than I am but he is him. Right?

LEMON: Yes. Yes.

SELLERS: He is him. He is a superstar, he's somebody who's going to govern very well in Maryland. And so we had a good night. And yes, we're walking taller because the country responded.

BEGALA: Wait, the president needs to know that if he decides to retire, he's got a lot of rising stars, by the way. Josh Shapiro, Maura Healey, you mentioned Governor Whitmer, Governor-elect Moore. These are really impressive people coming up, not just the 17 who ran against him last time, a lot of new talent.

SELLERS: But let me just say this for the Twitter, Biden 2024.

BEGALA: There you go.

HARLOW: All right. Bakari, thank you. Paul, thank you very much.

COLLINS: Thank you both.

HARLOW: This morning the races in Arizona still too close to call. We're going to speak live with the election official in Maricopa County on the status of 400,000 ballots.

COLLINS: And he beat the Democrat in charge of getting other Democrats elected, something that has not happened in 40 years. We will talk to New York's newly congressman, Republican Mike Lawler. He'll tell us how he did it.

LEMON: He came back?



LEMON: Hello, and good morning, everyone. Look how much energy we have on this Thursday, November 10th. Excited to be here?

HARLOW: So excited.

COLLINS: Fueled by the magic wall.


LEMON: Hurry up and wait. That is what's happening right now. That is the post-election theme for the 2020 midterms. The balance of power remains undecided in the Senate with votes still being counted in Nevada, in Arizona and Georgia is preparing for a runoff.

HARLOW: That's right. The House is also up in the air still this morning. Republicans need nine more seats to take control but the red wave they were hoping for was more like a ripple, but not here in New York. This is fascinating. We're going to speak coming up this hour with the Republican who managed to knock off a Democratic campaign chief, the DCCC chief, in a deep blue state.

COLLINS: And President Biden weighing in on it all, coming out not the way they expected yesterday to face the press after the midterm elections. He says he's ready to compromise with the Republicans but he is highlighting he still has that veto pen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This election season, the American people made it clear. They don't want every day going forward to be a constant political battle.


COLLINS: So where do Republicans and Democrats come together after that election?