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CNN Tonight

GOP Supports Herschel Walker No Matter What; Kevin McCarthy Defends Donald Trump; Breonna's Family Can't Get Over With Pain; Crime Is A Huge Issue In The Midterms; Americans Facing Mental Health Crisis. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired October 10, 2022 - 22:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: His parents say he's sad. He can't do everything his classmates can, but say his spirit, his soul, and his Cooper ness remain. We wish him and his family the best.

The news continues. I want to turn things over to give a warm welcome to Laura Coates and Alisyn Camerota for CNN TONIGHT and their debut program. Laura, Alisyn, take it away.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Anderson, thank you so much. Good evening, everyone. I'm Alisyn Camerota.

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: And I'm Laura Coates. And this is CNN TONIGHT.

And we're going to keep the conversation going every night from 10 to midnight. And we've got a lot of smart folks here to do just that with us tonight. And you know, you as viewers actually can be a part of the program as well. You can join us. Give us your tweets, your comments, and actually have them read on air at times as well. Join the conversation.

CAMEROTA: You can then ask us direct questions, which I shudder to think what those would be.

COATES: What could possibly go wrong? What could possibly be the issue with that?

CAMEROTA: We're going to try it tonight. So, we'll be here with our panelists from across the political spectrum through the midterm elections, and there's a lot to get to on that front tonight.

So, let's start with hypocrisy or abortion or hypocrisy and abortions since they seem to be going hand in hand. So-called pro-life Republicans seem to have forgotten their vehement anti-abortion pro family stance when it comes to their candidate for Georgia Senate Herschel Walker.

As you know, Walker allegedly paid for his ex-girlfriend to have an abortion. She's provided various pieces of evidence to the press. This, despite the fact that Walker claimed not to know the woman. More importantly, Walker wants to ban abortion for everyone else if he

makes it to the Senate with no exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother.

COATES: But you know, that's not even the whole story because that woman is actually told New York Times that Herschel Walker actually asked her to have a second abortion.

Now she refused and she gave birth to what is now a 10-year-old son. And if you think Herschel Walker fellow Republicans couldn't possibly, I mean, couldn't possibly back him after all of that. Well, you'd be mistaken.


KRISTEN WELKER, HOST, NBC: But Congressman, let me ask you, let me ask you this though, Congressman, by supporting Herschel Walker, given these allegations is the GOP, are you sending a message that Republicans are willing to win at all costs?

REP. DON BACON (R-NE): Well, I think people make mistakes and if people acknowledge them and ask for forgiveness, none of us are perfect.


COATES: that's fascinating. He makes mistakes.

CAMEROTA: He's not the only one. There are all sorts of Republicans, as you alluded to, who say he makes mistakes. He's asked for forgiveness. What's the problem? It was 2009.

I mean, it's so different than what they were saying. You know, when you hear them talk about a national abortion ban say.

COATES: Yes. Well, I mean, it's not just the idea and just be clear, not the substance that they're talking about either, whether it happened or not. If the idea of the lie, is that the mistake that was made that they're talking about? And everyone does that. Is that the problem?

Well, let's talk about it with our panelists tonight because we've got Democrat strategist, Paul Begala, Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, and former Republican Congresswoman Mia Love.

Glad that they're all here to talk about this. What's your thought? I'm looking at Georgia over here. I got to know how is this playing in Georgia?

LT. GOV. GEOFF DUNCAN (D-GA): Well, it's certainly a tough time to be a Republican in Georgia. This should be a layup for us. We should have two Republican U.S. senators, but unfortunately, we lost in the runoff. And now we're faced with a situation where certainly it feels like Herschel Walker is way behind and falling even further behind.

I think we've got to get to a point where we, we stop translating honesty for weakness. And I think once, once we figure out that we can be honest and still be strong, I think we'll be better as a party.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I'm so confused about where Republicans are with abortion right now. Is it that it's OK if you like the candidate? It's only -- you're only against abortion if it's a Democrat who gets the abortion? I'm so confused by all the people who are lining up to support Herschel Walker.

MIA LOVE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's just politics again, at its worst. So let me give you, here's my perspective. My perspective of it is this. I mean, when I was growing -- when I was in high school, I wasn't as pro-life as I am today. It took me -- my -- into my adulthood to realize how incredibly precious life is.

And it's a miracle. If he, if Herschel would stand up and say, you know I did -- he, it's not taking accountability. It's what really is bugging me. It's also the loss of life that is bugging me.

CAMEROTA: But if he said, OK, yes, I did this. I paid for an abortion, then you would support him?

LOVE: I haven't. I actually haven't put my -- I haven't supported him before this or after this.


CAMEROTA: No, but would you. I'm saying is that, that's what you're saying, that if he were honest about this, you would then support him or not support him as somebody who's very pro-life you're saying?

LOVE: I would -- I would consider, consider it. I might, I might consider it, but here's what's really interesting. Let's call it -- let's call it both ways. Democrats don't believe he's actually done anything wrong here when it comes to paying for his --


CAMEROTA: that's not true. They believe that --

LOVE: -- girlfriend to have.

CAMEROTA: -- that everybody should have a choice.

LOVE: Hang on. Let me finish, let finish. They're using this --



COATES: I want to -- I want to get the point, Mia.

LOVE: They're using this -- they're using this --

COATES: I want to get your statement, but one thing before we get into the whataboutism. I just want to be clear on one thing. You're -- are you suggesting and I want to hear from everyone here on the panel as well, especially you, Paul, on this issue, because are you saying that it's the Democrats don't think the issue really is whether he paid for an abortion or not?

It's that they're just trying to use it against him. But if that's true, why is the lie not enough? You just said the honesty is not a weakness. What do you think about that?

LOVE: Well, I think I -- we don't expect members of Congress or leaders to be perfect. We do expect them to be honest. We do expect and that's what I'm talking about. I don't -- I don't -- I haven't heard him say anything about this. He's got a son that is saying you've been in absentee father, stand up and say --


CAMEROTA: Well, he has three times that he's just --

LOVE: I just --

CAMEROTA: -- recently acknowledged. But Mia, just one last thing on this. You're saying that even though you're very pro-life.

LOVE: Yes.

CAMEROTA: You would consider supporting him even knowing what you know about his background.

LOVE: If he has said, if he -- if -- I -- I'm leaving room for some explanation. I'm leaving room for somebody to stand up and say, this is what happened. This is what I did, and I take accountability for it. I'm going to stand up.

COATES: Is it part of this a calendar or is it accountability? Because a part of me says, look, you're five weeks out from the midterm elections.

I wonder if Herschel Walker for Republicans would be the serious candidate that they want him to be in Georgia if we were to say five months out and there were other contenders. Is it part of this and the idea of the accountability is like, look, if Republicans don't support Herschel Walker at this point, are you giving the race at that point in time then to Raphael Warnock the senator right now? Is that their issue?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think they're going to lose the race and they're going to lose something more important, their integrity. A political party has to draw the lines somewhere. OK. My Democrats booted Al Franken out of the Senate for almost nothing compared to what Herschel Walker's accused of.

They helped kick Andrew Cuomo out of the governor's office for more serious than what Franken was accused of, but much less than Herschel. So, but we know there is --


COATES: I'm sorry, Paul. They're accusing and they're talking about my home state of Minnesota this. I hate to jump in. But they're talking about, you said, what is -- what is the equivalent you're drawing. Al Franken accused of being --


BEGALA: He's accused of --

COATES: -- inappropriate behaviour and then the idea of paying for an abortion. You're equating those two?

BEGALA: Well, he's alleged to have held a gun to his ex-wife's head.


COATES: that's your point. OK.

BEGALA: His ex-wife says that. And he's accused of following children outside of wedlock that he has not been a father for. And he's accused by his own son of making them move six times in six months while because he was threatening their safety and he's accused of paying for an abortion for a woman, not his wife who he impregnated.

That's pretty serious stuff for Republicans, for anybody but for Republicans. But there -- this is the thing that bothers me. There is a red line for Republicans.

CAMEROTA: What is it?

BEGALA: Criticizing Donald Trump. Ask Geoff Duncan. Ask Mia love. Ask Liz Chaney. Ask Adam Kinzinger.


BEGALA: Ask Jeff Flake. Ask -- ask Bob Corker. These are all really talented Republicans. I don't agree with them all on almost any issues, but they're people of integrity. But they crossed the red line for the Republicans. Thou shall not criticize the dear leader. That's how a party loses its soul.

CAMEROTA: Your thoughts, Geoff?

DUNCAN: And that goes back to the opening comment about honesty is not weakness.

BEGALA: Right.

DUNCAN: If you're a Republican and you're honest that Donald Trump does not deserve to be the president of the United States anymore, if you're honest and say that January 6th was a horrible day, and there's no explanation for it. If you're a Democrat and you say that Joe Biden is not fit for office, if you're a Democrat and say that this tuition waiver is a good idea. You've got to be honest. And that's, there's not enough honest people around the -- around the system right now.

LOVE: I'm OK with honesty.

DUNCAN: And to me --


LOVE: Because my kids can --

COATES: And now you're not in Congress though, Mia.

LOVE: -- I can look my kids in the eye.

COATES: that's, I mean, I wonder exactly --


LOVE: I've always been OK. I've always been OK with honesty and I, at quite a large cost to the race. I went after the former president because I felt like I needed to be an example to my children.

CAMEROTA: But Lieutenant Governor, are you surprised by when you hear Congressman Don Bacon, when you hear Senator, you know, Rick Scott and Tom Cotton come out and say that they still support Herschel Walker.

DUNCAN: No, because I, you know, I got broken in by listening to folks talk about Donald Trump in public settings and then in private settings would put their arm around you and say, hey, thanks for doing the right thing. I'll get there eventually. I hope my district warms up to this idea of being honest.

But look, we're in a healing process and unfortunately, Herschel Walker and other races like this in the Republican Party, this is part of this horrible process of us taking our medicine, right?

We're going to have a gravitational pull back to real leaders that grasp honesty. But you know, Herschel Walker is losing, yes, because of all this baggage that he's having to explain. But he's also losing because he's not talking about all the things that do matter to Georgians.

Brian Kemp has got a seven to 10-point lead on Stacey Abrams because he's actually talking about real problems that real people are scared about. Inflation, you know, all of the issues in Europe, fuel costs, mortgage rates, you name it, he's talking about it. Herschel Walker is not.

CAMEROTA: OK, everybody, stick around if you would. We have a lot more to talk about and we want to hear from you, also, as we were talking about earlier, on everything from Herschel Walker to Kanye West's anti-Semitic comments and anything else you want to say to Laura and me.


Within reason, you can tweet us. I'm already putting the breaks on this.


COATES: Can you underscore that within reason.

CAMEROTA: Within reason. And you can ask us questions within reason. Tweet us @alisyncamerota and @thelauracoates.

COATES: And when we come back, Kevin McCarthy caught on tape telling two police officers who risk their lives defending the capitol where he works on January 6th, and the mother of a third who died after the riot, that the then president had no idea what his supporters were doing while they were beating police and hunting lawmakers in the halls. And just wait till you hear who got him on tape saying that.


CAMEROTA: A new January 6th committee hearing happens this week just as we hear secretly recorded audio from a private meeting in June, 2021 between House minority leader Kevin McCarthy and two police officers who risked their lives defending the capital on January 6th, along with the mother of a third police officer who died after the riot.


So, McCarthy insists to them that then President Trump had no idea his own supporters were carrying out the attack. This audio was recorded by Michael Fanone, one of the police officers grievously injured, trying to defend the capitol.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: When I called him, he wasn't watching the TV.

UNKNOWN: He knew what was going on. He knew what was going on. People were fighting for hours and hours and hours. You know, this. You know, doesn't make any sense to me.

MCCARTHY: I'm just telling from my phone call. I don't know that he did know that.


CAMEROTA: CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig joins us now. And Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan is back with us, along with former Republican Congresswoman Mia Love.

Congresswoman, I know you had an exchange with Kevin McCarthy today, I believe. And so, what did he say?

LOVE: He said it's true that when he called the president, the president didn't know. And I remember actually Jaime Herrera Beutler, former -- or Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler saying she overheard the conversation and it got pretty heated where McCarthy said, who the F do you think you are?

So, it's not -- I believe that the president was watching TV because that's what he did. He would watch TV and he would watch all of these things. Is it -- it's not hard for me to think that the president actually didn't tell McCarthy the truth. He probably said, I don't know. I don't know what's going on. COATES: But the point is, though, but you're -- are you saying that

McCarthy believed what Trump had to say, and then relayed that to Brian Sicknick's mother that the president was not watching television. I mean, was there anyone in the world who was not watching what was going on to January 6th. I mean, that -- did he say that today that he thought that was accurate?

LOVE: He didn't think he was explaining to the president what was going on. He was saying, hey, they're breaking in. But I -- but remember, first of all, Kevin has no reason to lie to me. He's a good friend of mine. He has no reason to lie to me, but remember, he's part of the branch of government that was being attacked.

January 6th was an attack from one branch of government to another, and he was part of that.


COATES: Did he know you were coming on CNN TONIGHT? Is that why he would've said, hey, I mean, I'm not trying to be funny about it. I mean, think about the idea, there's no reason that Kevin McCarthy would have to lie about knowing that the president --


LOVE: Here's the other thing.

COATES: -- was watching TV and he's being recorded.

LOVE: And he said the same thing behind closed doors as he did in the open.

CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, as we know, President Trump often has his own narrative and he says whatever he wants to at that moment. But there, as you know, Lieutenant Governor, there have been, I think probably five people who have testified to the January 6th committee that he was watching television that day.

DUNCAN: Yes. Make no mistake about it, Donald Trump was watching television. He had his feet kicked up on his desk and he probably was enjoying for a period of time what he was seeing.

CAMEROTA: In fact, those are the reports.

DUNCAN: Until his inner circle got to and finally convinced him that he needed to go out in the Rose Garden and give a 92nd speech that was halfhearted and tried to kind of, sort of convince America to calm down.

Kevin McCarthy also, he did the math. For about seven days he got it right. And then he did the math and said, I'm going to fall in line with the -- with the -- with the president so I can become the next speaker of the house instead of being honest with America.

COATES: Or with the mother of Brian Sicknick. I mean, she was giving pushback, right? LOVE: Yes.

COATES: Elie, in that moment to say, basically, I called B.S. here. He was watching it. He was watching it. Can these words come back to harm, if you heard this, what goes through your mind? I know the prosecutor in you is --

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Kevin McCarthy is being as crafty as ever in that conversation that we just heard with relative Brian Sicknick. He says, well, at the moment I called Donald Trump. He wasn't watching TV. First of all, how would you know that? You can't see, right? I don't think this was a facetime.

Second of all, let's remember why Kevin McCarthy called Donald Trump. He said, we're under siege here at the capitol. You need to call all four people.

LOVE: He was telling him.

HONIG: Yes. And whenever you're talking about Kevin McCarthy, you have to say, which Kevin McCarthy are we talking about, as Lieutenant Governor said. Kevin McCarthy 1.0 was honest. He had that conversation with Trump. He said, call your people off. He said Trump is responsible. He said Trump told me he was responsible.

Unfortunately, that iteration of Kevin McCarthy lasted about a week or so. He then goes down to Mar-a-Lago, a couple weeks later, kisses the ring, and he comes out of it. Kevin McCarthy aspiring future speaker of the house. He has no credibility in my view. All due respect to whatever he may have texted you today, he's in cover up mode. He's in image reparation.


LOVE: It is just not hard for me to believe that the president was lying to him. There was one point, again, there was part of the conversation that was overheard where they thought, he said, well, maybe, maybe you should be a little bit more upset too.

CAMEROTA: Well, who said that?

HONIG: Trump said that to McCarthy.

LOVE: Or --

COATES: Well, I think --


LOVE: Or Trump said, maybe, maybe you.


LOVE: Should be a little bit more upset. So, he's like, who do you think you are.

HONIG: Right.

COATES: Well, I think we all believe that -- I think we're saying something similar in that, no one believed that Donald Trump was not watching television. The point I think of that particular revelation was that even in spite of knowing that he relayed to somebody in defense mode of the president of the United States that no, no, no, he wasn't doing that --


CAMEROTA: To grieving mother. I mean, --

COATES: And to you -- a grieving mother who wasn't buying it anyway.



COATES: And so, when you look at this and think about all the people who have been in that same mode of, I know the -- you mentioned the last segment. I know the truth in private, I'm going to tell you that. And in public I have a different viewpoint.

I mean, just how systemic is this to this day in the Republican Party, as you've seen in places like Georgia and others.

DUNCAN: Well, one, this is a politics problem, both parties --

COATES: Politics. Yes.

DUNCAN: You know, these are leaders of congressional caucuses that if he was listening to the President but didn't believe him, he should have relayed that to a grieving family. He should have been honest and authentic with them instead of trying to spread something out there to help Donald Trump continue his political career.

I just, I genuinely don't think anybody in America actually thinks Donald Trump didn't know what was going on.


HONIG: Let me just ask if I can.

DUNCAN: It's disingenuous.

HONIG: It's a politics problem, but it's also a legal problem and a prosecution problem because if Kevin McCarthy were to tell it straight, he's a crucial witness. He's the only person to this date who has ever said, Donald Trump said to me. He acknowledged that he, Donald Trump had some responsibility. Laura, you know that you would circle that person and say, that's witness one.

But guess what Kevin McCarthy has done since then? He got subpoenaed by Congress. What did he do? Completely ignored it. Never got held in contempt. And he's completely changed his story. He's poisoned himself as a witness. He's undermining the effort to prosecute Donald Trump. CAMEROTA: And last, Lieutenant Governor, how much do you think that

this upcoming hearing, and they have all had some level of bombshells, this upcoming January 6th hearing on Thursday, how much do you think that it will play into the midterms?

DUNCAN: Well, I think it will. I mean, the January 6th hearings up to this point of have out punted what I -- what my expectations were. I mean, it's been very fact-finding very on point.

LOVE: And shocking.

DUNCAN: And shocking to see some of this stuff. Just the raw, I mean, we felt it in Georgia. I mean, just the phone calls, the granular level of sitting at a small room of legislator, state level legislators and seeing them people get up and talk to a sitting president just to try to coerce me into having a special session or some other action.

I mean, this is a granular level that was getting played and it's, it's painful to think that our government got to that point.

COATES: Well, we'll see because Thursday, you're right, is the time we're going to have yet another hearing, but it's also been a couple months since we heard the last one. The question will be whether there is a sustained interest at this point this coming Thursday for the midterm elections.

Elie, thank you so much. Everybody else, stick around.

Next, I'm speaking with the one and only Jada Pinkett Smith. We're talking about her interview with Breonna Taylor's family. I can't wait for this conversation, next.



COATES: Our next guest tonight wants to shine a light on a tragedy that really reminds us all to say her name. Breonna Taylor was killed within months of both George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. Yet the only person to serve time for her killing was her boyfriend Kenny, who fired officers as they broke into their home while the two lay in bed, believing that they were intruders, not officers.

We're learning more about details about an alleged coverup by the officers that were involved in this will, shall we say, problematic search warrant, which at the very core and heart of this case.

And in a new episode for Red Table Talk, Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow and mother Adrienne sat down with Breonna's family to allow them in a world of narratives to tell their own story.


ADRIENNE BANFIELD-NORRIS, JADA PINKETT SMITH'S MOTHER: When did you find out that Breanna had passed? TAMIKA PALMER, BREONNA TAYLOR'S MOTHER: It wasn't until about 11.30



PALMER: And mind you, we had been out there since 1 a.m. The detective comes back over and says, it won't be much longer that we'll be able to get in there. And so, by this time I'm pissed, like I'm screaming at him like, why won't you tell me where Breonna is? I need to know where Breanna is. And he just looks at me and says, well, ma'am, she's still in the apartment. And so, I, I knew what that meant. I knew what it meant. He never said it, but I knew.

JADA PINKETT SMITH, HOST, RED TABLE TALK: So, they never took her to the hospital.

PALMER: They never even attempted to help her.


COATES: Can you imagine this? Jada Pinkett Smith joins me now. Jada, it's good to see you, but there's been a lot going on. How are you doing?

SMITH: I'm doing fantastic. How are you?

COATES: I'm doing good. It's good to see you. It was good to see you for this episode of Red Table Talk as well. And you know, this has been something I've been talking a lot about on air, what happened to her, and this has been very near and dear to your heart, and you have been holding that magnifying glass on top of this story.

Why is this so important to you for this story to be told and shared?

SMITH: Well, you know, I believe that, you know, Breonna represents so many women who have died by the hands of police or have been abused in at, you know, in some way. And I feel like, Breonna is probably, it is the first case to get the spotlight that that is -- that it has gotten.

And you know, I also believe, you know, we really want at some point to have justice for her murder. You know, and so this is a story that I think is, you know, deeply important to keep talking about.

COATES: You know, we often talk about, say her name and what that means, and you mentioned the idea of it being something so important to women more broadly, but you're sitting at a table, three generations on a topic that frankly is multi-generational sadly.


I wonder for all of you do, do you see this differently? Your daughter, your mother, yourself, you're having. I wonder when you think about what message and the legacy of Breonna Taylor, what do you think lies ahead here? SMITH: I mean, what I'm hoping lies ahead is more awareness, and with that awareness change. That's what I'm hoping for, which is why, you know, we believe as a family it's important to, you know, keep telling this story. And it's really honestly, I was really shocked at, you know, I thought that I really knew what had happened that night.

But to hear, Kenny's testimony and to have him there with Tamika and her sister and to hear them all talk about what actually happened, it was so deeply devastating and it just gave me more insight and more information around what actually happened that night, you know, to actually hear the story, from these three points of views. You know, hold in such a concise way. It was just, it was heartbreaking.

COATES: It's so powerful the way you described it, Jada, because when you think about, so many people have heard about this story, right? We've heard about it in the news or cases like it, you think you know, and then you realize, but for conversations like the ones that need to be had with the people who it most impacts most directly, although this broadly impacts all of us.

The idea of sitting as you were as a mother, as a woman --


COATES: -- as somebody who's sitting next to your own daughter, --


COATES: -- watching a mother, describe what that was like, watching the boyfriend describe that he had gone to jail in that moment, that was really compelling. It must have been very difficult in many respects to feel like you were learning it in that moment.

SMITH: It was. It was really difficult and I think, you know, as a mother and sitting there with my daughter Willow and just, you know, imagining a circumstance like that with my child. It was, you know, and, you know, none of us are exempt honestly. You know, and, you know, it was really -- it was very difficult. It was probably one of the hardest Red Tables that we've done.

COATES: You know, you think about how so often we talk about the conversation that we have with our children and not necessarily the conversation --

SMITH: Right.

COATES: -- about what has happened. We give the warning conversations at times. We have the kitchen table sort of discussions everyone is talking about all across the spectrum, all across the nation, what really matters and what's going to be most impactful to you and your community.

And then there's the, the lesson that is, that comes from those intimate conversations. And it's so important as you articulated, to not just have the media narrative on what is reported, but to really go to the source. SMITH: Right.

COATES: And that's one of the things I think you're trying to accomplish in the setting that you are, to have those moments, to have those lean-ins that not everyone gets to have over the course of just trying to keep pace with the news.

SMITH: Absolutely. You know, and I think that, you know, specifically for Tamika, I wanted to -- Breonna's mother, I wanted to give her an opportunity to really have enough time, you know. I mean, the, the show is, is almost like 45 minutes. I wanted to give her enough time so that she could actually have the story told, you know, for Kenny as well, and, and for, Breonna's sister. And because, you know, you get to tell your story in, you know, five, 10 minutes at the most, you know.

And for a story like this, you really need more time so that there were so many details that got explained, that she just wouldn't have had the opportunity and any producer wouldn't have had the opportunity to have all those details illuminated. And so, we really were grateful to be able to, you know, have a platform for her where she could do that.

COATES: You know, and you use the platform to do that, the idea of giving that space and giving that opportunity, because you don't have to be doing this. You, it's something that's very close and personal to you. And I wonder if you can just reflect on what -- what is -- what motivates you to use that platform in that way.


SMITH: You know, the, the one thing that, you know, I've always told my kids, I'm like, use your voice and use your platforms to help the voices of those that aren't heard, you know. And you know, people like to pay a lot of attention to celebrities and what's happening to us, but honestly in the scope of what's going on in the world, usually what's going on with us is not that important. Right?

And so, I mean, of course our art and what have you, but, you know, being able to use, you know, the attention and the spotlights that are put on us to actually flow power to others, to just give them an opportunity for their stories that, you know, there's a lot going on in the world today. A lot of people that need help and a lot of people that needs to be heard.

So that -- that's one of the pleasures that we get out of having the Red Table. And of course, as a family, it's given us an opportunity to be heard and have control of our narrative as well.

COATES: Important. You -- people want to hear from you, Jada Pinkett Smith, and you used it to let someone else's story be told. I appreciate it.

SMITH: Thank you, Laura. And thank you so much for being part of the show. You brought so much education. I learned so much from you, so thank you so much. COATES: Well, hopefully next time we can have like about something fun as opposed to what's necessary, which can be the same thing sometimes. Jada Pinkett Smith, everyone. Thank you so much.

SMITH: Thank you, Laura.

COATES: You know, it's important --


CAMEROTA: Really interesting to hear from her there.


CAMEROTA: And also, I mean, I just want a second what she said and what I think you were saying. Just when you think you've heard the most gut wrenching.


CAMEROTA: The most gut-wrenching qualities of this horrible story. No, there's more. There's more to hear from her mother --


CAMEROTA: -- and to hear how she had to stay out for hours and not know where her daughter was, which I didn't know that detail.

COATES: I mean, well, we get caught up in the news, which is why I think it's so important to share a story like this because you know, we talk about the facts and it can sometimes come off as sterile and very dragnet, just the facts.

When you realize that there are human beings behind a hash tag, behind the stories, behind the conversations around reform and other areas to hear it, it's a reminder. And she said, no one is exempt. And that's why I think we have to keep on these stories.

CAMEROTA: Yes. But I also think it was really interesting that Breonna Taylor's family chose to go on Red Table Talk.


CAMEROTA: I mean, that's not CNN.


CAMEROTA: that's different. But obviously they felt that that was a place where they could get her story out, which I think is really interesting. And obviously, of course, Jada Pinkett Smith has had her own tumultuous year, and I guess she has said that she'll talk about that when she's ready.

COATES: Well, she's actually used her voice for when she thinks it's necessary. And here it was Breonna Taylor, and I'm glad to see it. CAMEROTA: OK, so listen to this. Next, crime is obviously a big issue

in the midterms, and each party is fighting over which one is tougher on crime. But one Republican senator took his attack line way over the line.


SEN. TOMMY TUBERVILLE (R-AL): They think the people that do the crime are all dead. Bullshit. They're not all dead.




COATES: You know, we're back now. We've got our panel with us still. Paul Begala, Mia Love, and Geoff Duncan. Of course, Alisyn and I are here.

And you know, thinking about what we've been hearing, I mean, it's hard to think about things in the vacuum, right? We're five weeks away from a midterm election. We talk about issues related to even law enforcement. A whole host of things comes up.

Whether it's the FBI and Mar-a-Lago or conversations around mistrust or progressive prosecutors. What -- soft on crime, it's all there. I wonder what your reactions are.

BEGALA: Crime is an issue. And in my party, you know, there's sort of three approaches. One, the far left says defund the police. It's a disaster. Politically, I think substantively, we want to reform the police, but defund the police is a catastrophe.

Two, a lot of them are just hiding. Just cut and run. I don't want to talk about crime. I'm going to talk about abortion rights. I'm going to talk about healthcare.


COATES: Democrats doing that.

BEGALA: Democrats in my party. There's a third approach, which is deal with it. Address it. I think Democrats are better on crime. Catherine Cortez Masto, former prosecutor, is running for her life in her Senate race in Nevada. She's running ads with endorsements from cops, including the Republican sheriff of Washoe County, which is Reno.

You know, Joe Biden has actually been quite good on this. Val Demings, the former police chief is running for Senate in Florida. She's not afraid of being strong on crime. I think the formula for Democrats is pretty simple. More cops, fewer guns.

Now the cops got to be in community policing. They got to be disciplined, they got to be trained. But that's, you know, the far left doesn't want to hear more cops. The far right doesn't want to hear fewer guns. Suggests to me about 80 percent of the country is open to that message, but too few Democrats have the guts to run on.

COATES: Is it, do you think the issue in part is, you know, when the Dobbs decision came out, right, I mean, that was political landmines everywhere. Do you think that Democrats thought that would be enough to have a sustaining, galvanizing crime for people to go out to the polls and they'd be able to, in a way, not, not coast on crime, I don't mean that because no one can coast on crime, but be able to bank on voters being so reactive to that, that they could not have the priority of crime. What do you guys think?

DUNCAN: I don't think you can win an election on just one issue. I think obviously, there's multiple issues that, that different -- different states have to face. But let's take the crime. I think there's two buckets that elect -- that elected officials sit in. There's those that want to just pontificate and politicize crime, and there's those that actually want to do something about it, right?

Paul, I believe you're spot on when you say defund the police was probably the worst thing the Democrats came up with in decades, and they're going to take decades to unwind it. But Republicans, what if I told you there was a state that created a $60 million tax credit that bipartisan unanimously approved in their legislature to allow law enforcement officers to get paid more, hired better, or hired more and, and buy more equipment.


CAMEROTA: You're not going to say Georgia, are you?

DUNCAN: Georgia did it in 2022. In the midst of all the chaos going on in Georgia, we bipartisan unanimously passed a bill because we wanted to work today.

CAMEROTA: And I had a question about that. Do you think that crime is one of the top priorities for Georgia voters right now that will drive them to the polls in five weeks?

DUNCAN: I watched Atlanta singlehandedly fall apart in a matter of nights when we made this -- when the Democratic administration in the city of Atlanta made this notion that defunding the police was going to be the operating standard, over 500 police officers melted away to the suburbs almost immediately.

They weren't being supported. It's going to take a decade plus to bring those officers back and to take that crime back off the streets.

COATES: But you know, you think about -- you're saying Democrats, I know we all paint things in broad stroke. But the Democrat, the president of the United States, Joe Biden is not in support of defund the police.

BEGALA: Right.

COATES: He's been very adamant about that. My own home state of Minnesota, you know, it was a city council talking about the issue, but it wasn't as broadly felt among every voter. As you know, the admissions failed. So, I wonder, is that part of a talking point in the sense of this is what Democrats want to do as a slogan, as opposed to addressing crime? Because both can't necessarily be true.

DUNCAN: Crime is local. To deal with crime you got to deal with that on the local level. I don't think you can make any sort of -- sort of federal. You can talk about it --


LOVE: And the problem is --

DUNCAN: -- and pontificate about it.

LOVE: It's being politicized instead of actually being fixed. I'm listening to Paul with all of these different ideas of how we actually fix the problem and save lives.

When I was a mayor, we decided that police officers, we were going to start a police department and we needed our police officers to live in the community, to actually go to church, go to the parks, go to the same grocery store. Yet when a -- when somebody, like a police officer has power over people, has a weapon, they have to, when they're policing somebody, they need to picture that person.

It's a person. that's -- it could be their own mother. It could be their own


LOVE: -- brother.

CAMEROTA: And the best to do.

LOVE: -- their own child.


LOVE: But you, I want young black men to have the opportunity to be police officers in their own communities so they can look at somebody that lives in their community and says, you know, I want to help you. Tommy, you need to go home. I'm going to take you. I know your mama. I know your --


COATES: Well, here's for one thing, Mia. I don't want to cut you off, but this is one of the issues I have with the Tuberville clip we played in part, right, which is the idea of the conflation of crime with black people and the reparations aspect of it.

And I think too often part of the -- part of an argument that is failing collectively our country is this notion that when we're talking about being tough on crime, we automatically, and this is not entirely what you were doing, I'm not saying that. We're being tough on a crime. The conversation is about making sure black people see themselves in officers in the community.

BEGALA: Right.

COATES: When a whole host of crimes are not committed by people of color broadly, just look at this personality of it. So why is the message always going back for Democratic strategists to the notion of crime and the intersection of race exclusively? Why isn't it more broad?

BEGALA: Well, it needs to be more broad. The majority of criminals in this country are while.

CAMEROTA: Tommy Tuberville.

BEGALA: Do you ever hear that? Do you ever hear that? By the way, Tommy Tuberville helps run a state, Alabama, that has the fourth highest murder rate of all 50 states. He needs to shut the hell up with his racist stuff and go home and fight crime for real?

CAMEROTA: Honestly, I'm even reluctant to play what he said because it's so odious and --


LOVE: And listen to it over and over again --


LOVE: And I kept think, who was they? Who was he talking about? He just --


DUNCAN: I was confused. I listened to it three or four times today.

CAMEROTA: Yes. It's incomprehensible.

DUNCAN: I was just confused as to what point he was trying to make. And I think an interesting. Somebody to walk up to you and rob you and ask you if you're a Democrat or Republican.


DUNCAN: Or care about your race. If they do, it's a hate crime. And in Georgia you get -- there's -- there's an even stiffer penalty for it.

LOVE: Yes.

DUNCAN: People are -- crime is crime and we need to work together in a bipartisan manner to solve --


LOVE: Crime is an issue.

DUNCAN: -- solve the issue

BEGALA: Democrats have to have the courage to lean into it and not listen to Republican talking points. They all say, the cities are, guess what. Kevin McCarthy is from Bakersfield, California, its murder rate is twice the murder rate of San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi's hometown.

CAMEROTA: And who should be saying that?

BEGALA: I should. Nancy Pelosi should. Every Democrat should. By the way, Lexington, Kentucky in Mitch McConnell's home state, twice the murder rate of New York City where we're sitting right now per capita. Why are Democrats leaning into it? They shouldn't be afraid. No one was --


COATES: Is there -- is there a reason, I mean, answer the question. Is there a reason? I mean, I know it's rhetorical. But why isn't that brought up? Is it because it's not a winning? Does it feel like a tit- for-tat failed whataboutism? Is that why it's not being said? Because I think people don't, they don't know those statistics. They don't know that data point.

BEGALA: I think that that too, too many Democrats are too elitist and not in touch with people on the streets. Well, who Bill Clinton used to call walking around folks. OK. In Minneapolis, the African American wards rejected defunding the police way more than the white wards did.

Why don't elites know that? Because a bunch of white elites, it just kind of, you know, I'm sorry, I love my party, but there's too many people in the faculty lounge, too few people on the factory floor, right?


I think my elites got to get back in touch with those walking around folks. By the way, I will give him credits. Joe Biden has always been one of those guys. He has great credibility in the communities because he's actually walked the walk.

COATES: Easy for a man to walk around in five-inch heels.

CAMEROTA: And let's be honest, President Biden takes the train. He doesn't actually walk. He takes the Amtrak every day. that's what he does.

COATES: Back and forth.

CAMEROTA: Yes, exactly.

LOVE: But I mean, we're, I mean, just --

CAMEROTA: Yes, quickly.

LOVE: Just yesterday, I mean, Lee Zeldin, who's running for governor in New York, actually had a scare at his own home, and he says the crime has actually hit our front porch and his two kids ran upstairs, locked themselves in the bathroom.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I mean, it's scary, but when you look at the stats --


LOVE: It's really scary.

CAMEROTA: -- the issue is that at burglary is up, but violent crime in a place like New York is down, but you don't have that feeling. So, the people you know, when you're riding the subway and everything, there's a feeling that crime is up and it does take people to spell it out the way you did, Paul. You're always good at. Thank you so much for all of that.

LOVE: Stop politicizing it and do something.

DUNCAN: Just look at facts. Look at data.

CAMEROTA: OK, friends, thank you very much. We have a lot more to talk about tonight. We want to know what you think also want everything from crime to Herschel Walker to Kanye's Twitter account being locked over an anti-Semitic tweet.

We haven't even gotten to that story yet, and anything else that's on your mind tonight, you can tweet us at Alisyn Camerota and at the Laura Coates.

All right. Also next, it's World Mental Health Day, and we'll talk to you about what you can do. It's like your mental health toolkit and it's easy stuff to do. We'll talk about that when we come back.



CAMEROTA: Tonight, we're marking World Mental Health Day aimed at raising awareness of mental health issues and providing people with information to find the help that they may need. So mental health, of course, is on everyone's mind after the very challenging two years that we've just had.

COATES: I mean, it's absolutely true. In recent CNN and Kaiser Family Foundation survey found, Alisyn, one in five Americans have experienced a mental health challenge recently. And also, 90 percent of people surveyed in the side of the country is in a mental health crisis.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I was surprised at how high that might --

COATES: Ninety percent.


COATES: I mean, what can you do to take care of yourself or maybe to help a loved one?

CAMEROTA: There are some simple mental health tips that we'll share with you. So, exercise. Get enough sleep. Everybody feels better after they have enough sleep. Have a healthy diet. Practice gratitude. This is a really good one. I do think that a gratitude journal does really help your mental health. It sounds corny, but it really does.

And then check in with your friends. Make sure they're OK and practice random acts of kindness. That's from the National Institute of Mental Health.

COATES: It's so important to think about that, but also, we don't want anyone to think that we are downplaying or think that all things can be solved with a couple of tips.

Everyone needs to know what's best for them and reach out for the help that you need. It's not enough just to simply give the number we're going to give. Make sure we're connected as a society with people as well, and you never know what someone else is going through. The suicide and crisis lifeline, dial 988 or chat at 988 It's really important.

CAMEROTA: OK. Meanwhile, it's debate night. Tim Ryan is facing off with J.D. Vance and things have gotten testy. We're going to explain all of that right after this.

COATES: The testy part?