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CNN This Morning

Senate Races in Arizona and Nevada Still Too Close to Call; Georgia Senate Race Going to Runoff; "New York Times" Columnist Thomas Friedman Interviewed on Success of Democratic Process in America after Midterm Elections; Defeated Dem Says AOC "Nowhere To Be Found" During Races; CNN's Chris Wallace Speaks With Ocasio-Cortez About Threats, Rhetoric; Whoopi Goldberg Tells Story Of Emmett Till, Mother In Movie. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired November 11, 2022 - 08:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Those who have sacrificed. Because of you we get to vote in free and fair elections. And now we get to figure who won in these free and fair elections that just happened. Control of Congress still undecided this morning with more than a half-a-million votes left to be counted.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Let's take a look at Arizona, the Senate race there. Democrat Mark Kelly has widened his lead this morning over Republican candidate Blake Masters. As many as 350,000 ballots, though, still need to be tabulated in Maricopa County alone. And to Nevada where Democrat Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is closing the gap on her Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, a Trump-backed candidate. If either party wins both Nevada and Arizona, they control the Senate.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: But if the parties split Arizona and Nevada, the Georgia Senate race is going to decide the balance of power in a runoff next month. Most of you may be moving on from Election Day, not so in Georgia where it seems a bit like Groundhog Day. The state is entering its third runoff contest in less than two years. Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock are already back on the campaign trail with these messages.


HERSCHEL WALKER, (R-GA) U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: He's thinking he's going to win. We need to prov get him wrong and let him get out of that office.

SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): I'm going to need you to stick with me for four more weeks. Can we do that?



HARLOW: Four more weeks, you heard it. But first, John Berman is here with the numbers at the magic wall. Let's do Senate, obviously. Let's start with Arizona.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Arizona, OK, here we go. So Mark Kelly now leads by 115,000 votes. There were some new votes tabulated and reported last night from Maricopa County, 78,000 new votes there, 78,000 new votes there, of which Mark Kelly, the Democrat, won 55 percent. Now, what's interesting about this, and what I want to talk about as we think about what's going forward. We think there are about 340,000 votes left to count for Maricopa County alone, 290,000 of them are votes that were handed in on Election Day, mail ballots that were handed in on Election Day. Those tend to behave more like Election Day votes in Arizona, at least they did two years ago.

HARLOW: Which means?

BERMAN: They tend to skew more Republican. At least they did two years ago. That's what we saw two years ago. The question is how much more Republican this time for that huge batch of 290,000 votes? And will it be enough for Blake Masters to overtake Mark Kelly? He would have to win by enormous margins on that 290,000 vote total there. But that's the situation in Arizona. We think there's 540,000 votes left overall. One thing to think about as the target, he would need to win 60 percent or more of the remaining votes in order to take Mark Kelly. Democrats feeling good. It's not over, but they're feeling good there.

Nevada right now, The Republican Adam Laxalt is still ahead by 9,000, but his lead shrunk overnight. Also, there were new votes reported from Clark County, home of Las Vegas that makes up nearly 75 percent of the state. There were 12,000 votes reported in Clark County of which the incumbent Democratic Catherine Cortez Masto, she won 61 percent of that. A little bit of a similar situation -- I should put thousand there. It's not just 12. It's 12,000. A similar situation up in Washoe County where there was roughly 18,000 votes counted last night, and of those Catherine Cortez Masto, she won 60 percent.

Now, the reason I put those messages up there, of the remaining vote, and CNN thinks there is roughly 95,000 -- there are roughly 95,000 votes left, 95k votes left here. If Catherine Cortez Masto won 60 percent of that -- that would give her the lead. Will they win 60 percent of it? I don't know.

HARLOW: When will we know?

BERMAN: We will know soon. Of their 22,000 votes that Washoe County, CNN just reported a long time ago -- short time ago -- 22,000 votes from Washoe County, which should be counted and reported by tonight. That could give her an additional 4,000 to 5,000 votes, Catherine Cortez Masto, if it behaves like it has been. Then it's getting even closer. Then we've got about 50,000 votes left from Clark County to count. So, you could see how this could close. Is there enough room for her to make up the difference? We'll have to wait and see.

HARLOW: Do you have to work all weekend at this wall?

BERMAN: No, I can't. I actually had to take tomorrow off. So thank you. Thank you for reporting that on national television.

HARLOW: John Berman, thank you.

LEMON: Thank you, John. Thank you, Poppy, appreciate that.

Did America dodge an arrow on Election Day? "New York Times" columnist Thomas Friedman, well, he writes, "Tuesday's election really was the most important test since the Civil War of whether the engine of our constitutional system, our ability to peaceably and legitimately transfer power remains intact. And it looks to come through a little dinged, but OK."


Well, the perfect person to talk about this is the author of, now, "Thank You for Being Late," Mr. Tom Friedman. Tom, thank you, appreciate you joining us. Good morning to you.

TOM FRIEDMAN, AUTHOR, THANK YOU FOR BEING LATE": Happy to be with you guys, Don. Congratulations on the show.

LEMON: Thank you, I really appreciate it. Listen, I'm used to talking to you at night, and now I'm talking to you day side. Let's see if we can have the same conversation, sort of conversation here, because you also write, "Given the unprecedented degree to which election denialism was elevated and the midterms and the way several big-name Trump imitating knuckleheads who made denialism central to their campaigns got their clocks cleaned, we may have just dodged one of the biggest arrows ever aimed at heart of our democracy." How do you think we dodged this arrow?

FRIEDMAN: Don, the point, of course, is that what makes our democracy unique, any democracy, has been our ability for almost 250 years peacefully and legitimately transfer power. That's the core of our democracy. We did that in this election, I think now it's pretty clear. After two years of a defeated president and many in his party, claiming the last election was a fraud, and the fact that, in so many states, where even candidates who implied that Trump nonsense were on the ballot, that they were rejected. And Republicans who didn't find that conspiracy theory were rewarded. That was the American people saying to Trump, take your election denialism and shove it. We are going to vote, and we trust our neighbors and our voting officials to count the ballots fairly. That's a huge win for democracy.

LEMON: But there's still a lot of election deniers, especially state elections, right? And they're going to be in charge of deciding who wins and who does not. Including four election deniers elected to be in charge of state elections, secretary of state, et cetera. So, do we really dodge an arrow?

FRIEDMAN: Yes, no doubt those people are out there. But ask yourself this, Don, have you heard Trump saying that Oz lost, his guy in Pennsylvania, he lost illegitimately? You haven't heard Trump saying this election was illegitimate. You know why? Because he actually doesn't care about anybody else except himself.

COLLINS: Yes, because he's not on the ballot. FRIEDMAN: Yes, and he's not on the ballot, so he's doesn't actually

care. He's not out there propagating this nonsense. And you have to step back. Don, I get a little emotional when I vote. I went over to my local elementary school. You go in there. There's some young people, mostly retirees monitoring the ballots, conducting the elections. And you look around and say these are the people, these are the great conspiracists you talked about? Shame on you, shame on you that in the middle of a pandemic, you perpetrated this lie of election denialism on our whole country. You took us through this whole thing. Now we have this election, you don't say boo, of course, because you're not on the ballot. Shame on you, you terrible man, what you put our country through.

HARLOW: I loved this column so much, and I'm really glad you agreed to come on. I was hopeful reading it, and a little more hope tell, Tom, than you've been -- I think you've done a really good job of taking us back to even your cover of the war in Lebanon in talking about what's at risk and how democracy is not guaranteed. But as we watch Biden go to the G-20 and meet with President Xi of China, you remind us of what Xi told Biden, right, about democracy. And I think we have that sound so we can remind our viewers. Let's play it.


JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He called me to congratulate me on election night. He said to me what he said many times before. He said democracies cannot be sustained in the 21st century. Autocracies will run the world. Why? Things are changing so rapidly. Democracies are a consensus, and it takes time. And you don't have the time. He's wrong.


HARLOW: It's really the battle of these two ideas as these two men meet.

FRIEDMAN: That's beautiful that you found that sound bite, Poppy. And that's the point. It's why Putin and Xi were always voting Trump, for two reasons. One, they knew that if he or his people were reelected, they'll keep our country in chaos, undermining in their own self- inflicted way our own democracy. And the more our democracy, our inability to transfer power legitimately is in peril, the more their refusal to transfer power legitimately is in peril in Russia and China.


So, they love to see us in chaos because then they can point to their own people, that's what you get when you have democracy. And neither Putin nor Xi can feel very comfortable this morning. And how about adapting and being flexible? Xi playing whack-a-mole with a pandemic, shutting down cities with 300 million people. That's what happens when you can't transfer power legitimately when people can't question authority. So --

COLLINS: Well, Tom -- FRIEDMAN: -- I think democracy had a good day.

COLLINS: On that note, President Biden is about to go meet with President Xi for the first time since Biden took office. The pandemic thwarted them meeting sooner. And we've been hearing from officials in recent days about what they expect to come out of that meeting. What do you think are things that Biden must bring up with the Chinese president when she sit down face-to-face?

FRIEDMAN: Well, Kaitlan, it's a very important question. I consider U.S.-China relations the most important foreign relations we have right now. And they're not stable. They're not healthy. And we need to find a way to build bridges with China, where possible, and draw red lines where necessary. I don't want to be in a cold war with China. That's not good for us. That's not good for the world, not good for the world economy. It would make me actually much more relieved, Kaitlan, if Biden and Xi had a phone call every two weeks. Hey, this is what's bothering me, this is what's bothering you, because U.S.- China relations are really the core of the stability of the world over the last 40 years, and economic prosperity, the absence of great power conflicts.

And we need to find a way to collaborate with them as much as possible, stand up to them where necessary. I'm glad this meeting is happening. We're not going to agree that their system or our system is superior. But we can and must work together, because we are the real one country, two systems, the U.S. and China. And we need to find a way to work together.

LEMON: Yes, I think it's optimistic, but it's maybe a little overly optimistic, but I actually think it's a really good idea to speak every two weeks as that's when you get things accomplished when you actually sit down and have conversations with people.


LEMON: Thomas Friedman, thank you so much, appreciate you joining us. Have a great weekend.

FRIEDMAN: Great to be with you guys. Thanks.

LEMON: Thank you.

COLLINS: The powerful Democratic campaign chair who was defeated Tuesday night by a Republican is now blasting fellow Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. We'll talk to Chris Wallace who actually just sat down with AOC.

LEMON: Plus, my conversation with the one and only Whoopi Goldberg, it says in the prompter "Whoopi Goldberg," but Whoopi is all you really need to say, right, who spent more than 20 years trying to get her new movie about Emmett Till made.


LEMON: Is it fair to call it a labor of love? WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE FIVE": Yes.

LEMON: Then why is it so important, do you think?




KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez is blaming New York State's Democratic Party leadership in part and quote, pure moderate politics for the poor showing that the state had on election night. Outgoing New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, who was defeated on Tuesday night by a Republican, criticized her in response, telling the New York Times, AOC had almost nothing to do with what turned out to be a historic defense of our majority. Didn't pay a dollar of dues. Didn't do anything for our frontline candidates except give them money when they didn't want it from her. She responded on Twitter last night saying in part, many moderate Dems plus leaders made it clear that progressive help was not welcome or wanted for them to blame us for respecting their approach in their districts is laughable.

Joining us now is Chris Wallace, the CNN anchor and host of "WHO IS TALKING TO CHRIS WALLACE?" Chris, seeing this back and forth is really remarkable between the two of them. And the blame casting from each side on this. What do you make of it because I know you just spoke with AOC recently?

CHRIS WALLACE, CNN HOST: Yes. Well, I did. I spoke to her yesterday. And she's one of my guests on "WHO'S TALKING TO CHRIS WALLACE?", which is on HBO Max now, will be on CNN on Sunday. And, you know, there were a lot of places, because we talked about this, where she endorsed candidates or spoke positively about candidates. Tim Ryan running for the Senate in Ohio, said I didn't seek that endorsement, it's not helpful. Mandela Barnes running in Wisconsin, said, I'm not running to be part of the squad. Now, both of them lost. But the point she was making is, look, if candidates for their -- for their particular campaigns didn't want my support, felt it was going to be less helpful than more helpful. She said, that's fine. We all run our own campaigns.

COLLINS: Chris, let's play for our viewers just a little clip that was really, really stood out to us from your interview with her. Because you talked to her, obviously, yesterday in the wake of that horrible attack on the Speaker's husband, Paul Pelosi. And you talked about extremism and threats and concern. Here it is.


WALLACE: Do people want both parties to move from the fringes from the extremes back to the center?

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): I think a lot of people in this country may say yes, but it's important for us to dig into the substance of what that actually means. As someone who is often, I think, characterized as extreme, I, of course, would object to that. I do not believe that I am as extreme in the way that Marjorie Taylor Greene on the Republican side is extreme. The idea that there is an equating of believing in someone who believes in guaranteed universal health care in the United States was someone who believes that undocumented people should incur physical harm, are somehow in the same level of extreme, is something that I would object to.


COLLINS: What do you make of that answer, Chris?

WALLACE: Well, what I make of it, now because I was asking her, is there going to be a course correction? And do you feel that you need to make a course correction? And the answer is absolutely not. When I asked her about specific policies, for instance, inflation. I said, you know, a lot of Republicans saying it was a big issue in the campaign, that there would need to be less government spending. Her ideas to take it from the Democratic socialist's point of view which is that corporations are price gouging, that they're making windfall profits, and the government needs to move against them.


Now, if you get a Republican House -- not set yet, but if you get a Republican House, that's not going to happen. But clearly, her feeling is that as a Progressive, she still believes after this very, very close election, that her -- she's going to go full speed ahead with her Progressive idea.

COLLINS: Yes, her response also -- so, what -- she really had like this huge tweet thread last night, she also said, as for him, not seeing me -- as he referenced him not seeing her on the campaign trail. She said, perhaps it's because he is a party leader chose not to see nor value prominent members of his party for years. And talking about whether the powerful people in her party like it or not, they're going to continue to try to turn out voters.

WALLACE: Well, you know, Sean Patrick Maloney, in a pretty good night for Democrats, was one of the rare, real defeats. This is the guy who is the head of what's called the DCCC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He is the head -- the House campaign chair, he was the person in charge of helping Democrats got elected. Because of a redistricting thing, he ended up pushing another one of his Democratic incumbent colleagues out of his district. He ran in that district, and he became the first House campaign chair to be defeated by the other party since 1980. So, I have to say, and I like Congressman Maloney, but there's a fair measure of sour grapes in anything he says today.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I'm just watching reading this, and I thought it was a pretty civil disagreement. And isn't this what politician should be doing? Even if they're in their own party, they should be debating issues. They were debating issues. I don't really see any harm in it.

WALLACE: You're talking about Maloney and AOC? LEMON: Yes. And AOC, yes. I didn't see any name calling.

WALLACE: Well -- and they have -- because a little -- there's a little finger pointing, which is kind of pointless, where he's saying she should have given more money, she should --

LEMON: I don't disagree with that but --


WALLACE: I promise you --

LEMON: But the good back and forth is what they shouldn't be doing. That's what -- they should be discussing ideas and policy. And did you go too far? And that's kind of -- that's the game, isn't it?

WALLACE: I'm not sure, after you lost, whether you should blame your loss on somebody else, who was nowhere in your district. And I promise you, Congressman Maloney was not asking AOC to come into his district in the Hudson Valley, and support him more. That's the last thing he was asking for on November 7th.

LEMON: All right. Thanks, Chris.

COLLINS: Chris Wallace --

WALLACE: See you guys.

COLLINS: -- can't wait to watch that interview with Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez, the Progressive Democratic Congresswoman on Sunday night. We'll be watching it closely. Thanks for joining us this morning.

All right. An underwater secret now revealed after 36 years. We'll tell you how a search team found a piece of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

LEMON: And one-on-one with Whoopi Goldberg. She is a producer and star of a new movie about the lynching of black teen Emmett Till in the 1950s. She says that his story still resonates to this day.


WHOOPI GOLDBERG, PRODUCER AND ACTRESS: You are not human to somebody else. They can come take your kids and kill them, and not think twice about it.




LEMON: So, the new movie "Till" tells a true story of the lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955, through the eyes of his mother, Mamie Till Mobley. Take a look.


GOLDBERG: What's wrong, Mamie?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've never been apart this long.

GOLDBERG: He's just going to see his cousins. It's not a bad thing for him to know where he come from.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chicago is all he needs to know. I don't want him seeing himself the way those people are seeing down.

GOLDBERG: Those people like me.


LEMON: Well, that's the legendary Whoopi Goldberg, who also produced and acts in the film. And I had a chance to talk with her about that and much more.


LEMON: And over a decade you've been wanting to do this. And then, finally.

GOLDBERG: Then we were able to get the financing, finally. You know, I -- people said, you know, oh, who wants to see that? Nobody wants to see that again. And it's like, you have to whisper to people, you've never seen it before. People think they know the story. Black folks know the story. Not a lot of black women know it because they didn't have to. But young black men who were my brother's age all knew the story because that was the caution. Don't let -- what happened to Emmett Till happen to you down there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just wanted to go on vacation and have fun with his cousins. But if my son could just get his feet back onto the Chicago soil, he'd be one happy kid.

LEMON: Is it fair to call it a labor of love?


LEMON: Then why is it so important, you think?

GOLDBERG: Because if you deal with racism, if we're talking about racism, you have to know what it actually looks like. What can happen because of it. A young, ordinary young man, young black man went down to Mississippi and lost his life because he whistled at a white woman. When you are not human to somebody else, they can come take your kids and kill them and not think twice about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Emmett Louis Till has been found dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I please just fix him up a bit?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, they have to see it for themselves. LEMON: This is -- I was watching, I was like, this is an ode to Mamie

Till. This is an ode to her because I think we heard about her strength. But you see it there. Everyone is saying, you can't go there. You're risking your life. You're never going to get a couple of white men convicted in Money, Mississippi in the 1950s. And she said, it doesn't matter. I have to show up for my son.


LEMON: But in that process, she showed up for the world.

GOLDBERG: For the world. And it's important that everybody understand that this was done for us all. She showed her son's body for everybody because she recognized that this could happen to anyone if we don't get on top of it.