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Virginia GOP Congressional Primary Too Early To Call; Remembering Legendary Baseball Great Willie Mays; Extreme Heat In The East; Wildfires In California & New Mexico. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired June 19, 2024 - 05:00   ET



MANU RAJU, CNN ANCHOR: It's Wednesday, June 19th.

Right now on CNN THIS MORNING:

The heated primary in Virginia's House District 5 too early to call this morning, but that did not stop one candidate from declaring victory.

Plus, more evacuations this morning in New Mexico as a wildfire burns out of control.

And this --


SPORTS ANCHOR: Mays sent another one, tell it, bye, bye, baby. Aaron doesn't even move. It's going far to the centerfield bleacher. Willie Mays --


RAJU: The legendary Willie Mays passing away at the age of 93, how baseball is remembering the "Say Hey Kid".


RAJU: It's 5:00 a.m. here in Washington and here's a live look at Capitol Hill.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Manu Raju, in for Kasie Hunt. It is so great to be with you this morning.

And the fierce Republican primary battle in Virginia's fifth congressional district is spilling into another day. Polls closed last night in the race between Congressman Bob Good and Trump-endorsed challenger John McGuire, with credibly tight margin and votes still being counted. The race is too early to call. But that did not stop one candidate from declaring victory.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN MCGUIRE (R), VIRGINIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Ladies and gentlemen, the votes are in, and the people have spoken. It is an honor to be your Republican nominee for the fifth congressional district.


RAJU: With the margin of less than 400 votes, Good isn't giving up hope, posting this to social media, quote: The entire D.C. swamp was aligned against us with over $10 million in attack ads. But with your help, we were able to make this race too close to call.

So if the margin is stays this narrow, a second place finisher could call for a recount.

Joining me now is Julia Manchester, who is the national political reporter for "The Hill" newspaper.

So nice for you to be here that -- early this morning. Thanks for coming.


RAJU: So, you know, this is a house race. Some people may say, okay, this is relegated to one district in rural Virginia. Why -- what is the significance here? It's really the -- but it's a bigger, larger battle within the GOP about tactics and about ideology and revenge politics, too, for the former president.

MANCHESTER: Absolutely. Revenge politics for the former president and former Speaker Kevin McCarthy. You know, the knives are certainly out for Bob Good in this district. And, you know, Manu, going into this election night, I think a lot of us were predicting a blow out for John McGuire, a lot of the internal polling showed McGuire up ten points or so over Bob Good, but it's, in fact, too close to call.

So I think regardless of who wins, because it's so close, Bob Good in a way did outperform expectations. And if you're Donald Trump or Kevin McCarthy, you know, maybe you're not feeling as good.

RAJU: Yes, pun intended.

MANCHESTER: Yes, I didn't think about that.

RAJU: Maybe not intended this early morning.

But just to remind viewers about what Bob Good has, why he's generated so much anger and criticism within his own party. He's leader of the House Freedom Caucus, which is one of the hard groups in the House GOP. They have gone after their leadership. In fact, Good was one of eight Republicans to vote to oust Kevin McCarthy and lead to this unprecedented situation that we saw last fall.

OK, that was one area which has generated a lot of criticism from his own conference and his own party. But he also endorsed Ron DeSantis in the Republican primary, presidential primary. And then something Donald Trump has not forgotten either. They've -- the fact that he endorsed Ron DeSantis.

But you make a good point because there was this is the most its expensive house primary in the country right now and Good, despite Donald Trump saying he stabbed me in the back, he stabbed me in the back, repeatedly going after him, Good is very close.

We'll see. If there's a recount, we'll see if something changes. Maybe it won't but it shows you the power of incumbency at the end of the day as well.

MANCHESTER: Absolutely. We know that Bob Good was continuing to tie himself to Trump despite very much getting pushback from Trump. You know, he was with the Republican --

RAJU: His signs say Good Trump.


RAJU: Even though Trump didn't endorse him.

MANCHESTER: Exactly. And Trump even sent his campaign a cease-and- desist letter.


And we saw that the Good campaign continued to tie himself to Trump. But look, I mean -- this entire district, it's fascinating because this was the first time Bob Good technically had an official primary.

He had won in conventions in Virginia before this, and the district had been slightly redrawn. Redrawn in a way that may be including more of the Richmond suburbs, maybe that could have benefited John McGuire, but it turns out -- I mean, I'm thinking, you know, looking at turnout, maybe the Republicans -- Bob Good certainly drew up the margins in rural parts of the district, which certainly helped him.

RAJU: I want to turn to talking about immigration because, obviously, yesterday, the president taking a big move, is dominating the headlines today, even here, the lead story in "The New York Times" this morning, Biden initiative of immigration shows 500,000. So that's U.S. people who are married, spouses undocumented. This could legalize people in this situation. We'll see if it may get challenged in court.

But it's an interesting decision. Just some reaction from some members of Congress in the aftermath of this move.


REP. ADRIANO ESPAILLAT (D-NY): I think this action balances that out. It says that border protection is important, but that the spouses of U.S. citizens and their children that have been here for over ten years also deserve to work.

SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R-LA): So I think all these are both him trying to have his cake and eat it, too. And in the one sense, saying he's going to shut the border down, but another sense, reassuring his progressive outfit that he's still going to be sensitive to letting people in.


RAJU: So, two things here, because one, he put out that executive order from earlier in the month to turn away migrants at the border. Here though, doing something that the appease folks on the left.

MANCHESTER: Right. This is exactly an example of what Biden has been dealing with when it comes to progressives. I mean, we've seen him polling not so well on the border, including in many very critical swing states on this issue. So, we saw last week he come out with that executive action, a lot of Republicans sort of just brush it aside, calling it political rhetoric, et cetera.

However, it is a way for Biden to say, look, this is what I did on the border, but at the same time, you had progressives on Capitol Hill pushing back against this and we know that Biden's already in hot water with progressives, particularly on the Israel-Gaza war and some other issues.

So he had to find this balancing act. And right now, I think it's just impossible for him on this issue, or quite frankly many other issues to please everyone.

RAJU: Yeah. Speaking of balancing, I was talking to some of them vulnerable Democratic senators yesterday. I asked them, Bob Casey and Sherrod Brown, about whether they support this, president's action yesterday.


SEN. BOB CASEY (D-PA): What would have been better if we got Republicans to support the bipartisan deal with the -- dealt with both asylum but also give us new resources to stop fentanyl at the border with new technology.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): The good ideas that Congress finally passed the bipartisan border bill to secure the border and to pass an immigration bill and presence of both parties have failed, and I'm hopeful that we do that and make a real difference.

RAJU: But it's on, he's moving in an executive action.

BROWN: I didn't know enough about this, yeah.


RAJU: He said he didn't know enough about this.

It's interesting. They're not necessarily coming out and rushing and embracing this.

MANCHESTER: Right. RAJU: Or leaning on the bipartisan border deal that Donald Trump and Republicans killed, and was much more conservative, not necessarily embracing something that the left is very happy.

MANCHESTER: Right, right. And I think you're going to -- you're going to continue to hear these Democrats, vulnerable Democrats sort of use that line and you've seen the White House say, look, this is ultimately on Congress. Congress needs to come up with the legislation solution, legislative solution for the issue on the southern border.

So I think you're going to continue to hear these vulnerable Democrats push that talking point. When it comes to these actions from Biden, though, walking a very fine line, not wanting to push away some of those swing voters in their states.

RAJU: All right. We'll see how this all plays out.

Julia Manchester, thank you for that.

And up next, thousands of acres burned, homes and businesses destroyed as a wildfire in New Mexico spreads.

Plus, from the Mickey Mouse Club to a jail cell, latest on Justin Timberlake arrested and charged with DWI.

And mourning a legend. A look at the legacy left behind by the great Willie Mays.


RAJU: A live look at Oracle Park in San Francisco as the Giants and the nation worn baseball great Willie Mays who died yesterday. The team announced his death on social media, followed by a statement from Mays' son who says he passed peacefully among loved ones.

CNN's Andy Scholes takes a look back on his iconic career, and legacy.


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR (voice-over): From the time he set foot in the Major Leagues, as a 20-year-old rookie for the New York Giants, in 1951, to his last days with the Mets, 22 years later, no one played like Willie Mays.

Born in Alabama, he earned the nickname the "Say Hey Kid" for his enthusiasm towards baseball. He played in 24 All-Star Games, was twice voted National League MVP, and slammed 660 homeruns to rank sixth on the All-Time list.

WILLIE MAYS, MLB HALL OF FAMER: When I got through the first hit off a one Spahn, New York was like my family. They embraced me, like my mother and dad says. And my dad says, when you go to New York, and if they slap you, you turn the other cheek, because if you don't, they're going to shoot you.



SCHOLES: Mays was as dominant in the field as he was at the plate, winning 12 Gold Gloves.

In Game one of the 1954 World Series, his over-the-shoulder catch was considered the key point in the Giants' shocking sweep of the Indians, and has gone down in history, as one of the game's most memorable catches.

MAYS: People talk about the Catch, and I don't understand why because I didn't win anything, so then just cannot (ph) catch a ball. But when you find stuff like that, and it was furious, they had to pick a highlight, and they picked the, I guess, that one for the highlight.

SCHOLES: In 1958, Mays made the move out West with the Giants and batted a career high 347. Seven years later, Mays had one of his best seasons, clubbing 52 homeruns, winning his second MVP award.

During the 1972 season, the 41-year-old was dealt back to New York, to play for the Mets. And what became the last at-bat of his career, Mays hit a game-winning single in the 12th inning of game two of the 1973 World Series, putting an exclamation point on a one-of-a-kind career.

But perhaps even greater than his performance, on the field, was the legacy he left off it. Playing his first Major League game, just four years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier, Mays helped to carry the torch for future Black baseball players and athletes. And he inspired his community for generations to come.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A few years ago, Willie rode with me on Air Force One. I told him then what I'll tell all of you now. It's because of giants like Willie that someone like me could even think about running for president.





RAJU: Record-breaking heat expected from Indiana to Maine today, while two fast-moving wildfires burn through 20,000 acres in southern New Mexico, damaging about 1,400 of structures.

At least one person has died and about 8,000 have evacuated.


MARTHA STAB, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & PR, ENMU: It is just so sad to see so many people displaced. This is a huge devastation to Ruidoso.


RAJU: Crews in California making some progress with a pair of wildfires, thanks to cooling temperatures. Los Angeles County's Post Fire is now 31 percent contained and another just north of Sacramento, about 15 percent contained.

Meteorologist Elisa Rafah tracking it all for us.

So, Elisa, how bad is it going to be?

ELISA RAFFA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: We're looking at some images that just show the scope of some of these fires. Looks like we could get some rain in the next coming days, but I mean -- I mean, look at this. And, you know, all of the smoke and flames parts of southern New Mexico are in some of the highest levels of drought extreme. There's some little bit of exceptional drought there just south of where some of these fires are.

So that means that there's fuel on the ground, with all of the dry things, plant, things like that, that's just fuel for some of these growing fires, so big that we could even see some of that smoke there from satellites, from space. So, just incredible some of the scope of this.

Fires also raging in parts of California overnight. Those again continuing, watching two, one outside of Los Angeles, and then one in northern California as well.

Plus, this heat dome. We've got this area of high pressure that continues to slide east. And what that does is it's a dry sinking air just trapped all of that heat and it can last for several days and it will.

We're looking at more than 82 percent of the U.S., 260 million people will have a temperature of 90 degrees or hotter in the coming days. And this is including places well into New England like places in Maine.

Yesterday, we broke so many records, 95 degrees, that record, daily high temperature in Hartford, Connecticut. A couple of more records fell in parts of a Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, as well.

As we go through the day today, we're going to be watching Caribou closely. They are forecast it 96 degrees, which would be their hottest this temperature ever, period, incredible. We'll have temperatures both on the daytime highs and overnight lows, plenty of records, falling 150 or more in the next couple of days.

Here's a look at the heat alerts, excessive heat warnings in effect for parts of Maine, that's something you definitely don't see this early in the season -- Manu.

RAJU: Yeah, it's only June, so, so brutal.

All right. Elisa Raffa, thanks for that.

And it's 23 minutes past the hours, so here's your morning roundup.

Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Morris resigning after allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a 12-year-old. Morris admitted to it in the '80s, but at the time described as a, quote, young lady. But her age was just revealed this week.

A lifeline for Senator Bob Menendez in his federal corruption trial. Philip Sellinger, now the U.S. attorney for New Jersey, testifying that the senator never asked him to influence an ongoing case. Sellinger previously told the court, Menendez asked him to, quote, look carefully in an investigation into one of his co-defendants.

A Russian court sentencing U.S. Staff Sergeant Gordon Black to three years and nine months in prison on charges of theft and threatening murder. Black's lawyer says he plans to appeal hi, there had any day now the Supreme Court could weigh in and Donald Trumps claim of absolute immunity.


Plus, Putin and Kim embracing in North Korea. Their deepening ties a real concern for the West.


RAJU: All right, 5:29 a.m. here in Washington and here's a live look at the White House.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Manu Raju, in for Kasie Hunt. It's great to be with you.

Now, the Supreme Courts ruling of Donald Trump's push for total..