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Republicans Vow Policy Changes, Probes If They Control Congress; Phillies And Astros All Set For The World Series; Banks: "Nobody Wants Lindsey Graham Or Clarence Thomas In Their Doctor's Office With Them" When Deciding On Abortion. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired October 27, 2022 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: McGuire says he, and Easton, are looking forward to the visit. Quite making new memories as a family.

The news continues. Jake Tapper and CNN TONIGHT starts now.


Election Day is only 12 days away. But many Democratic officials seem to believe, barring some major seismic event, control of the House of Representatives, is all but gone.

Democrats can feel the House seats, slipping through their fingers, as some experts, project Republicans could pick up maybe even 30 seats. And they only need five to win back the majority!

Some in the Democratic Party are already performing pre-autopsies.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, sometimes, people just want to not feel as if they are walking on eggshells. And - and they want some acknowledgement that life is messy.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): I am worried about the level of voter turnout, among young people, and working people, who will be voting, Democratic. And I think, again, what Democrats have got to do is contrast their economic plan with the Republicans.


TAPPER: Tonight, we look into the crystal ball, to see what a Republican-led House of Representatives might actually look like.

The House GOP sees these pending election results, as a repudiation of where President Biden and Democrats are currently leading the country. And that is part of what is driving their legislative agenda.

It's important to note that the party that runs the House typically engages in two types of legislation. One is built purely around messaging, and firing up the base. Democrats, for instance, did that with sweeping gun reform measures, even though they knew the bill they passed, wouldn't even get 50 votes, in the Senate, let alone 60.

The other kind of legislation is actual legislating. Last month, House Republicans laid out their legislative priorities, calling it their "Commitment to America." So, let's break it down, and try to figure out, exactly, what the Republicans will try to do.

A big focus, obviously, will be the economy. Republicans are vowing to repeal the $80 billion, currently set aside, at least partly, for new IRS agents, in the bill that the Democrats called the Inflation Reduction Act.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): But on that very first day that we're sworn in, you'll see that it all changes, because, on our very first bill, we're going to repeal 87,000 IRS agents.


TAPPER: According to "The Washington Post," Republicans also want to extend Trump's tax cuts, which are set to expire in 2025.

Another big agenda item is combating crime, not just boosting funding, to hire more Police, but demanding transparency, from prosecutors, and district attorneys, who are, in the views of House Republicans, too lenient, when it comes to prosecutions, or plea deals.

Republicans also want to reimpose Trump-era border restrictions, to stem the flow of migrants, coming from Mexico.

There's also what they call, a "Parent's Bill of Rights," taking a page from the playbook of Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, who was elected, last year, in Virginia, a state that Joe Biden won by 10 points, partially by appealing to parents, frustrations, with remote- learning and masking in schools.


GOV. GLENN YOUNGKIN (R-VA): We're going to go to work, in order to protect parents' rights, and to make sure that there's transparency, to make sure that parents are fully informed, and that parents make these most important decisions, in conjunction, with their child, not a bureaucrat, or politician.


TAPPER: Potentially politically potent for parents. We'll see how it translates on the federal level, of course.

Another big responsibility for Congress, the legislative branch, is supposed to be oversight, of the White House, or the Executive branch. Now, we tend not to see much of that when the party controlling Congress also controls the White House.

And from Republicans' perspective, as Congressman Michael Cloud of Texas, told "Politico," quote, "It's not something where we're having to drum up, 'OK, what are we going to do?' It's more of a limiting factor of, we only have 50 weeks a year," unquote.

So, what's at the top of Republicans' list for oversight? The border, and crime, and according to the likely next chair of the House Oversight Committee, Congressman James Comer of Kentucky, this.


REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): The whole reason we're investigating Hunter Biden is because we know that he's a national security threat, and we fear that he has compromised Joe Biden.



TAPPER: What else? Well, in the hours after the news broke, of the FBI search, for classified documents, in President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted, quote, "When Republicans take back the House, we will conduct immediate oversight of this department, follow the facts, and leave no stone unturned. Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear your calendar," unquote.

General Garland will undoubtedly run into a familiar face, in the halls of the Capitol, Dr. Anthony Fauci, even post-retirement. Because, Republicans have pledged to investigate the origins of COVID, and the federal government's handling of the epidemic.


SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): Unless Dr. Fauci decides to seek asylum, in some foreign country, whose Powerball jackpot is 287 chickens and a goat, and therefore, which won't enforce a subpoena, from the United States Congress, then Dr. Fauci, retirement or not, is going to be spending, a lot of time, in front of a congressional committee, and committees, if Republicans take back control.


TAPPER: Dammit! You know, my Powerball had 287 chickens and a turtle!

Anyway, Dr. Fauci has said that is fine with him. But?


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I'd be happy to cooperate, so long as we make it something that is a dignified oversight, which it should be, and not just bringing up ridiculous things, and attacking my character. That's not oversight.


TAPPER: Nothing says dignified, like the U.S. Congress!

In addition, the likely next Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Michael McCaul of Texas, has made it clear he wants to investigate the U.S. withdrawal, from Afghanistan.

McCaul said in a statement, to CNN, this evening, quote, "We will also continue to demand answers to why the withdrawal from Afghanistan was such a disaster. The American people deserve transparency from this administration, especially when it comes to national security, and we will work to deliver that to them," unquote.

But investigating, that's not the only I-word you should expect to hear a lot more of in 2023. Another I-word being thrown around, by some Republicans, mostly in the MAGA wing, is impeachment.

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, of Georgia, introduced Articles of Impeachment, against President Biden, on his first full day in the White House, for abuse of power, for Hunter's foreign dealings.

Yesterday, she offered this helpful advice, for the President, on how to prepare for GOP House control.


REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): They should advise him to consider resigning, because there's a lot coming, for Joe Biden. Not only Joe Biden, but Hunter Biden, and other people linked with them.


TAPPER: I don't think President Biden is on board with that. And, as of now, it doesn't seem like Republican leaders are at least fully on board, with the idea of impeaching President Biden.

Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy said this, last month.


MCCARTHY: We just went through four years of watching a political impeachment.

We will uphold the law. We will not play politics with it. But we'll do whatever in the nature that the rules and facts take us to.


TAPPER: Last week, when asked, by "Punchbowl News," if anyone in the Biden administration had actions that rose to the level of impeachment, McCarthy said quote, "I don't see it before me right now," unquote.

But McCarthy is going to have to deal with this MAGA wing. And I'll get to that in a second.

Biden's not the only one, whom Republicans are talking about, impeaching, we should note.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): I think one of the very first priorities, of the new Republican Congress, should be to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas.

I think laying out the facts, before the American people, in a trial, early next year, is incredibly important.


TAPPER: That's Republican senator, Ted Cruz, talking about Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas.

Senior Republican sources, told CNN, earlier this month that Mayorkas has become their number one target, for impeachment, given the crisis, at the southern border, and that it is a matter of when not if that Republicans start the impeachment proceedings, which Dana Bash asked Mayorkas about, earlier this year.


ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: I am incredibly proud to work with 250,000 dedicated and talented personnel, and I look forward to continuing to do so.


MAYORKAS: I am not.


TAPPER: He wasn't concerned six months ago. I wonder if he feels differently now, less than two weeks out, from the election.

Several Democratic committee chairs, became household names, during the Trump years. Some of their Republican successors, during the Biden years, could include Republican congressman, Mike Turner, of Ohio, on the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman Mike Rogers of Alabama is poised to take over the House Armed Services Committee.

And meet your likely new Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jim Jordan of Ohio.


REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): I don't know how you can ever convince me that President Trump didn't actually win this thing, based on all the things you see.


TAPPER: The election lies, you just heard from Jim Jordan, are significant.


Because, the likely next Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, will be quite different, from the previous two Republican Speakers, when it comes to dealing with this far-right extreme, in the House GOP Caucus.

House Speaker, John Boehner, viewed them with disdain.


JOHN BOEHNER, (R) FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: Listen, I'm a conservative Republican, all right? So is Liz Cheney. We're just not crazy. And, you know, people in the media want to talk about these people being on the right. They're on - they're in the crazy car, all right? That's got nothing to do with being conservative.


TAPPER: House Speaker Paul Ryan dealt with what was called, the Crazy Caucus, at arm's length.


PAUL RYAN, (R) FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal, of one personality, or of second-rate imitations, then we're not going anywhere.


TAPPER: Well, we'll see. This wing of the party, the MAGA Caucus, will be bigger and stronger than ever in 2023. And Kevin McCarthy will need their support, to become, and then to stay, Speaker. Hence, inviting, Marjorie Taylor Greene, to sit right behind him, as he unveiled the "Commitment to America."

Greene told "The New York Times Magazine" that if McCarthy does not give her a lot of power, and leeway, the Republican base is, quote, "Going to be very unhappy about it. I think that's the best way to read that. And that's not in any way a threat at all. I just think that's reality," unquote.

Now, Democrats stripped the committee assignments, from Marjorie Taylor Greene, and from another Republican, who had espoused violent extreme views, Congressman Paul Gosar, both of whom also appeared, by the way, at a white supremacist convention.

What will happen to them in 2023?


MCCARTHY: They'll have committees. The committee assignment they have now, they may have other committee assignments. They may have better committee assignments.


TAPPER: This is no small issue, because how Kevin McCarthy handles extremism, in his ranks, could impact the success, of his Speakership.

At the end of the day, McCarthy is going to be walking a precarious tightrope. He will be challenged, constantly, to choose between delivering on a conservative agenda, or supporting the wild lies and conspiracy theories of the movement that Donald Trump unleashed.

Now, House Republicans say that they will recapture the House, and it will be because the country is rejecting the status quo, on the economy, and crime, immigration, education and more. But a Speaker McCarthy will also be pressured, by Trump, and others, to address issues that are not based in fact. What will Kevin McCarthy do?

I often think about the time, in March 2021, when CNN's own Manu Raju, challenged McCarthy, to explain his votes, to disenfranchise the voters, of Pennsylvania, and Arizona, on January 6, after the bloody riot, based on the lies that incited that crowd.

Here's McCarthy's defense, in part.


MCCARTHY: If Arizona and Pennsylvania were removed in Electoral College, would President Biden's number lower between - lower below 270?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, but Donald Trump said that the House could vote--

MCCARTHY: OK. The answer is no.

RAJU: --the Congress could have overturned the election that day.

MCCARTHY: But wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, I'm not Donald Trump. So you're asking me the question. I'm answering your question.

RAJU: You supported this effort, did you not?

MCCARTHY: Let me answer your question, since you asked me. Let me follow through. So you gave a premise that's not true.

RAJU: Donald Trump tried to overturn the results in Congress, and you supported that effort.

MCCARTHY: Well, now you're saying something that's not true. So, let me answer your question and show you how your premise is not true.


TAPPER: If you listened closely, McCarthy is claiming that he did not actually vote, to overturn the election, because he only supported throwing out the votes, of two States, and that alone would not have actually been enough to flip the election from Biden to Trump.

This was McCarthy's attempt to appease the MAGA madness, while also simultaneously being a responsible leader. And it's difficult to achieve, perhaps impossible. And it will be a task that will be far more difficult, with the mighty powers, of the Speaker of the House, instead of as Leader of the Minority. We hope the next Speaker chooses wisely!

In a moment, an influential voice, on the House GOP, will join us. Congressman Dan Crenshaw from Texas is hoping to become the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, if his party wins back control of Congress, and he wins reelection, in 12 days. First order of business, if achieved? We'll ask him, next.



TAPPER: In less than two weeks, the balance of power, in Congress, should see a major shift, with Republicans in control of the agenda, on the House floor.

For insight, into what a Republican-led chamber could look like, let's bring in Texas Republican congressman, Dan Crenshaw, who joins us now.

Congressman, thanks so much for joining us.


TAPPER: So, on day one, would-be Speaker McCarthy says Republicans will repeal the $80 billion that would fund 87,000 new IRS agents. I know you support that. But you almost certainly will not have 60 votes, in the Senate, to support such a thing.

So, I guess, one of the questions I have is what do you prefer your party, to prioritize, should you take over the House? Legislation that, ultimately can pass the Senate and become law? Or, legislation that is appealing to the base? Because that's going to be a real push and pull.

CRENSHAW: Yes. And Jake, like you said, in your monologue, there's two tracks.


One is the idealized version. "OK, this is - if we were kings, for a day, this is what the law would be." And I'd actually think that plays an important role. You've got to show people what you stand for.

And then, there's the things that you can actually negotiate through, and that's largely through mezzanine (ph) bills, like the budget process. Now, repealing funding, for IRS agents, in the budget? That actually, I think, is doable, within the budget process itself.

If I were to give you at least two priorities that I would certainly like to focus on, and I think there's broad consensus? It's our energy sector, and it's our border. And overall, it's a theme of security.

Look, it's energy security, reliable energy, that has a predictable price, for the rest of the year. It's economic and financial security. So, generally lower taxes and less strangulatory regulations, from the government, that reduce investment.

Again, just the basics, here, securing our freedoms, securing our parents' rights, to go to school board meetings, and protest, or at least get a clearer idea of what the curriculum is.

And so - and border security, of course, I mean, you've got fentanyl coming across, in droves, and it's killing almost 80,000 Americans a year. That's just fentanyl. Now, that's a bipartisan issue. It's got to be. I mean, that's a unifying issue. This is a common enemy that we've got to focus on. I think every American should know the names of these guys, who run these cartels that are poisoning our kids.


CRENSHAW: It's the number one cause of death for young adults.

TAPPER: One of the first orders of business, of course, for the next Congress, will be to raise the debt ceiling, and to avoid a government shutdown. It's easy to be in the minority, and vote in a way that will appease your base, or please your base.

But if House Republicans take over, you guys are in charge, of keeping the government running, you guys will be in charge of keeping the government funded, and to increase the debt ceiling. Do you think that there are going to be enough Republicans ready to govern?

CRENSHAW: I think so. Look, obviously you got some, who will vote no, no matter what. And look, we're well aware of that fact. It is time to govern. And you do have to gather around the votes.

Those two points, so that, refunding the government, and to avoid a government shutdown, and the debt ceiling vote? Those are both points that look, they're difficult political times. Nobody likes them. But they are necessary evils in a sense, because it's the only time that you can actually negotiate ways, to get our budget under control.

We have to all agree on this that a fiscal cliff is near. And it's difficult to predict when that happens. But we've spent a lot of money, in these last couple of years. And getting our budget under control, getting our debt-to-GDP ratio under control has got to be a priority.

TAPPER: So, one of the things that I look back, at the last Congress, and I think there are a lot of people, in this country, who look and say, "We want people to work together. We want Democrats and Republicans to work together."

And so, they were happy about the CHIP Act, they were - CHIPS Act. They were happy about the infrastructure bill. They were happy about the bill that Senator Cornyn worked on, after the tragedy, at Uvalde, because they want compromise.

You talked about the Fentanyl crisis, a huge problem in this country. One of the areas, where there's always real difference, between Democrats and Republicans, is Republicans want to focus on border security, and Democrats want to focus on treatments, and some of the root causes, for dependency.

And I'm just wondering, is there a willingness - will there be a willingness, assuming you take over, the Republicans take over? And you're running for Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. If you take over in that position, if you win that role, is there a willingness to, even if you don't want to work with the Democrats, in the House, to reach out to the Democrats, in the Senate, whose votes you're going to need? You know what I mean?

CRENSHAW: We will definitely be the first ones to try that. I will do whatever it takes, to secure our border. And it's been difficult working with Democrats on this issue.

And I got to say, Democrat politicians, we should be specific, in how we say that. Because, you talk to Democrats, in Texas, they want the border secure. South Texas is turning red. Going to, I think, vote in some Republican candidates, just because of the border crisis.

So, this is a Democrat-politician issue, for some reason. And yes, they do give these slippery arguments about "Well, we want to address root causes. We can't just, you know, it's not humane to secure the border."

Well, it's not humane to let everyone cut the line, when there's millions of people trying to do it the right way. It's not humane, when Border Patrol is fishing dead bodies, out of the river. It's not humane, with all this human smuggling. It's not humane when the cartels are enriched by this crisis, facilitating it, and pushing fentanyl, across.

And so, it's just got to be bipartisan. And enough has got to be enough.


And look, this is why I think it's actually important for us to also talk about the cartels. I mean, this is a common enemy, all right? This is a common enemy that is lacing street drugs, with poison, and killing nearly 80,000 Americans a year. We should be funding a task force that directly targets this. Why aren't we seeing big arrests for--


CRENSHAW: --for these cartel members that are not only pushing fentanyl across, but actively facilitating the border crisis? They have every one of those people pay them, like 300 bucks, before they cross the river.

TAPPER: Yes. I know--

CRENSHAW: This is an active violation of our state sovereignty and national security.

TAPPER: I hear you. But I have to say something you just said doesn't fill me with confidence, about the effort, to find common ground, because you refer to Democrats, talking about root causes, of dependency issues, as slippery arguments.

And, I have to say, knowing a little bit about the fentanyl crisis, and the opioid crisis, I don't know that it's a slippery crisis maybe - a slippery argument. I mean, I think, maybe you disagree with their approach to border security, et cetera. But I think that that is part of the situation.

And in fact, if you look at President Trump's Task Force, run by Chris Christie and Kellyanne Conway, talking about opioids, they talked a lot about root causes, for drug dependency, as well. It's not a couple - I understand that that you are focused on the security.

CRENSHAW: Yes. I think we're talking about two different things.


CRENSHAW: No, no, we're talking about two different things. When I - when I was taught - referring to their arguments, about root causes, what they're often referring to is root causes, in Guatemala, root causes, in Honduras, which is incredibly difficult for us to solve, OK?

So but - but I totally agree, with tackling the fentanyl crisis, at all angles, including root causes. There's actually very little disagreement there. There's been a lot of bipartisan legislation, in fact, on dealing with opioids, at the treatment level.

But, again, the Fentanyl crisis is a little different than opioids. And actually I distinguish between these two things. Because, people are addicted to opioids, they know they're taking opioids. They know they're taking heroin. What they might not know is that somebody laced fentanyl, in some back-alley lab, into that heroin, or into that cocaine, or into that Adderall. That is poisoning.


CRENSHAW: And this is a - this has got to be a unifying call, for Americans, to say, look, there's a couple organizations that are directly responsible for this. They're right on the southern side of our border. They're well-armed. They're well-funded. And we don't even talk about them, like they're an enemy of the state. This has got to be unifying.

TAPPER: Yes, no, and we've covered the Fentanyl crisis. And as you probably know, your former colleague, Congressman Ted Deutch lost a nephew too, and a kid that thought he was just taking some over-the- counter fine supplement, and it had fentanyl in it. Horrible, horrible tragedy, and too common!

Congressman Dan Crenshaw, thank you so much. Perhaps, next time I see you, I'll be calling you, Mr. Chairman. We'll see. Thanks for joining us this evening.

CRENSHAW: Hope so. Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: 13 years is a long time to wait, so is frankly one more day. But, tomorrow night, my beloved Phillies, will be finally be back at the World Series, making the magic happen.

Who better to preview their matchup, against the Astros, than sports broadcasting legend, Bob Costas? He'll explain why this has been called one of baseball's biggest mismatches, in more than 100 years. But I have more for you on that. That's coming up.



TAPPER: For this next story, I am quite biased. I'm not going to pretend otherwise. Tomorrow night, my scrappy Philadelphia Phillies play in Game 1, of the World Series, against the Houston Astros, who cheated, as you might remember, to win the World Series, a few years ago.

Now, I could talk about the sports history between the two cities, if I wanted to, from the 1980 National League Championship Series, which Philadelphia won, and went on to win the World Series that year, or how the Eagles were 6 and 0, against the old Houston Oilers, and have never lost to the Texans.

I could point out how Moses Malone left the Rockets in a trade to the Sixers, and immediately won an NBA title, in the - I think it was '83.

I could talk about the last time, an underdog Philadelphia team, faced off against a powerhouse club, with a record of cheating. That of course was the 2018 Super Bowl, when the Eagles trounced the Patriots.

But since I clearly cannot be objective here, I thought I would bring in a guy, who knows a thing or two about sports. His name is Bob Costas. I'm not sure if you've heard of him! He's here to help me out.

So Bob, thanks for joining us.


TAPPER: Every World Series is full of storylines. What is the one you're watching the closest, this year, in the World Series?

COSTAS: Well, Dusty Baker is the storyline. And, in fairness, and I realized, you have a little fun with your hyper-partisanship, for Philadelphia teams, which you're entitled to.

But once the sanctions came down, the Astros weren't able to use any nefarious tactics. And they made it as far as the ALCS six straight years, and they've been in the World Series, four out of six. So, we can't attribute that to banging on trash cans. This year's Astro team won 106 games. They blitzed through the postseason so far, at 7 and 0. They are a really good team.

Dusty Baker will likely make the Hall of Fame as a manager. Plus, he was a very good player, and he's a beloved figure, 73-years-old, kind of a wise man, to the game, wonderful storyteller. The only thing he doesn't have, on his resume, is a World Series championship. He's been to the World Series, but he hasn't won it. So, his pursuit of that one thing is a storyline.

But the Phillies are also a storyline. They won only 87 games. In the expanded playoffs, there are now 12 teams, playing in October. And only one, the Rays, who won 86 games, had a lesser record than the Phillies.

But a pennant race is a 162-game challenge. But the postseason now has become a tournament. And in a tournament, it's which team gets hot, and stays hot. And the Phillies are not the team that won 87 games, during the regular season, and was the sixth playoff qualifier in the National League.

Right now, they're playing terrific baseball. And they've got Nola and Wheeler set up. Of course, they'll face Verlander and Valdez, so that might be a push. But in any case, they're playing their best baseball. And if they can get out of Houston, the first two games with a split, they come back to Citizens Bank Park, for Games 3, 4 and 4, the place will be crazy and who knows what might happen.

TAPPER: Yes. I was there, when they won the National League Championship. It is crazy. The City of Philadelphia becomes the player on the team.

On paper, Sports WAGs note that this is a mismatch. Obviously, the Astros won 19 more regular season games than the Phillies. This is the biggest differential in 116 years. The Astros also, as you note, they have not lost once, in the postseason.


Now, I want to go back, to that 116 years ago, because that precedent is when the underdog White Sox beat the favored Cubs.


TAPPER: So, as you acknowledge, it's not all, about what's on paper.

COSTAS: Yes. Well that team, the Cubs, won 116 games, in a 154-game season. In 1954, the then-Cleveland Indians were 111 and 43. And Willie Mays on the New York Giants swept them, four straight, in the World Series.

And we've had teams like the 87 Twins, who did not have an imposing record, but beat the Cardinals in the World Series. The Cardinals themselves, in 2006, snuck into the playoffs, got hot, at the right time, and won the World Series. The Seattle Mariners won 116 games, in 2001, and didn't even make it to the World Series.

That's kind of the nature of baseball. Are there upsets in every sport? Sure. But in a short series, in baseball, just the nature of the sport makes it more likely that the team that appears to be the lesser team, on paper, has a better chance, not a better chance, to win, but a better chance, if they played a 100 games, not a better chance to win, but a decent chance to win, a best out of five or a best out of seven.

TAPPER: So Bob, stick around, because I have more questions for you. Not about baseball. You're going to--


TAPPER: You're going to stick with us.


TAPPER: We're going to talk about the NFL's new Concussion Protocol, and what more can be done to keep players safe. I say this because my son just took up tackle football. He's 13. That's next.



TAPPER: Frankly, I could talk, with Bob Costas, about baseball, for like eight hours. But we're also in the heart of football season. For the next 27 straight days, you can watch a football game, whether college, or the NFL, every single day, until right before Thanksgiving. That is a Christmas gift, for Bob Costas.

So, thank you so much for sticking around, Bob.

So, I want to ask you. It's been a couple weeks, since the NFL put their new Concussion Protocols into effect. As a parent of a football player, my boy, my 13-year-old, is now playing tackle football. He's in seventh grade.

Do you think we're still taking baby steps, when it comes to head injuries?

COSTAS: Well, I think there have been significant steps taken. There used to be denial. The NFL treated it the way the cigarette companies treated the connection between cigarettes, and lung cancer, for a long time. They denied there was any connection between football and CTE. Now, they openly acknowledge it, and they do everything they can, within the nature of the game, equipment changes, the protocols put in place, et cetera.

But as someone once said, "The biggest problem with football is football." It's the very nature of the game. Injuries in other sports are by and large, incidental, although obviously they happen. In football, it's just fundamental. It's a contact sport, on every single play.

And the sub-concussive hits, especially the linemen? Linemen collide on every play. That doesn't result in a diagnosable concussion. But there are sub-concussive hits, on almost every play. And cumulatively, that takes a toll.

So, the very nature of the game, as exciting as it is, as interesting as it is, with all of its strategies, and the generational connections, and all the excitement, and in college sports, the campus atmosphere and all that stuff? That's undeniable. But so too, is the very nature of the game. TAPPER: Yes. No, it's true. Some 2 million kids play youth and high school football. Neurosurgeons tell us, the real risk is, as you note, from the cumulative hits, to the head, whether or not they're concussive.


TAPPER: You've been vocal, in your criticism, of the NFL. They have, of course, a financial incentive, to keep star players, on the field. Why do you think it is at lower levels of the game, have been slower to change?

COSTAS: Well, they may not have the resources, to bring the medical personnel to bear, and to bring experts to bear.

But the research shows that the earlier you start playing, and if you continue to play, you start playing at a pee-wee level, and then right on through high school, and then into college, the earlier you start, therefore, the longer you play, the greater your chance of having some sort of lasting damage, somewhere down the road. It's just a fact.

TAPPER: We had - my wife and I had dinner, with a family, whose son plays lacrosse. And he had a concussion. And they recommended this thing called a Q-Collar. I'm not sure you've heard of it. But it's this thing. It kind of pinches your neck.

COSTAS: I haven't.

TAPPER: And supposedly, it uses the technology that woodpeckers use, in terms of just like an extra degree of protection, for the brain. But you haven't heard of it?

COSTAS: No, but just I'm not an expert in either area. But a woodpecker must by nature have something within its - within its skull that allows it to just, peck away, constantly. I guess we can't even keep track of how many times because it moves in such a blurring rate of speed. But their brains or their heads or skulls are constructed differently than a human, so.


COSTAS: But I get the - I get the concept that maybe--

TAPPER: I mean, as my people said--

COSTAS: --maybe we can apply some of that to a human.

TAPPER: As my people often say, it couldn't hurt.

Bob Costas, thank you so much.


TAPPER: It's always - it's always good to see you.

There's a new film, out tomorrow. It's set in 1960s America. And yet it's still, even though it was set in the 60s, it couldn't be more topical.

One of the stars, of the film, and the film is called "Call Jane," is about to join us. The movie depicts the fight for safe abortions, in the pre Roe v. Wade era. It was filmed before we ended up in a post Roe v. Wade, era.

Actress, and director, and superstar Elizabeth Banks, is here. That's next.



TAPPER: For millions of Americans, it is one of the most important issues, motivating them to vote, in the midterm elections, abortion, which is now fully or partially banned in 15 States. Activist networks are now beginning to pop up, around the country, with the goal of helping women, in those States, get access to abortion.

This is not the first time the U.S. has seen that type of movement. In fact, there is a film that comes out tomorrow about what life was like pre Roe v. Wade. It stars Elizabeth Banks, and Sigourney Weaver. The movie was in fact conceived, written and filmed before the federal law that Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court precedent, was overturned.

This film is called "Call Jane." It's about what was the Jane Collective, a real-life underground operation, in Chicago that's facilitated more than 10,000 abortions, in that city, between 1965 and 1973.

Elizabeth Banks plays Joy, a conservative suburban housewife, whose pregnancy threatens her life, because of a heart condition. Joy is eventually helped by the Jane Collective, in her darkest hour. Here's a clip.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some women get the chills, afterward. But it passes quickly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, this is for your cramps.



GRIFFIN: So, which one of you is Jane?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Virginia started it.

VIRGINIA: Help yourself.


I didn't mean to. A friend called. I found her a safe doctor. And then, her friend called. And then, her friend's friend. Then, here we are.


TAPPER: And Elizabeth Banks joins us now.

Elizabeth, congratulations on the movie. You - I know you a little bit, and I know that that's not you. And so, I was very taken, with how powerful the acting was.

The movie is about pre Roe v. Wade America, where women and girls cannot get legal abortions, even in a progressive city, like Chicago. Now, of course, we are actually in post Roe v. Wade America. So, it's more relevant than ever.

Did you have a feeling Roe v. Wade would be overturned when you agreed to make this film?

ELIZABETH BANKS, ACTRESS: Whatever the motivations were, for making the movie, three and a half years ago, when I first signed on there, the film has taken on such an incredible urgency, in this moment in time.

And, it's a real reflection, of the world pre-Roe, in which abortions were not safe and legal. And so, they put so many women's lives in danger. So many women were in desperate situations. And that is the America that we are looking at, right now, especially at least in half of the States, and if the GOP had their way, everywhere.

TAPPER: Right. So, I mean, you can't watch this film, which deals with women, and girls, having this secretive network, where they - where you're supposed to call Jane, and then you get hooked up with a bunch of individuals.


TAPPER: Without thinking like, this might actually not just be the future. This might be the present right now.

BANKS: It is the present, right now, for so many women, especially in States like Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama. This is where abortion funds come into play, where The Brigid Alliance comes into play.

These are organizations right now that are helping women, access abortion care, in States, where it remains safe and legal, helping women pay for child care, travel expenses. It's a real economic injustice, forced birth. And I think we can't remind voters enough about the economic realities of forced birth.

Every woman, the majority of women, who access abortion care, in America are already moms. So, they're already very well aware of what abortion, physically - or sorry, what pregnancy physically means, to them, and what raising children means. And these are women, who are making family plans. And, I think, it's such an economic issue, for so many people, the expense of raising kids.

TAPPER: One of the most moving scenes, and striking scenes, in the film--


TAPPER: --is when Joy Griffin, and her husband, played by Chris Messina, go before this Board. And this board, all-male Board, debate, discuss, vote, on whether or not they're going to allow her, to terminate her pregnancy, which as I said, could kill her. And the Board acts as if she's not - she's not even sitting there.

Tell me about filming that scene.

BANKS: Yes. It's, I think, so many women can relate, to the notion, right now, of feeling like the decision, when and with whom, and if, to have kids, is no longer their own. I mean, that is the case for women, in whatever - more than a dozen States, right now, in America.

And I think that, nobody wants Lindsey Graham or Clarence Thomas in their doctor's office with them when they're making this decision. But that's where we're at right now, a group of - a small group of politicians, making decisions, for millions and millions of American women, and families, and parents.

And it's - it was that feeling, that oppressive feeling of not being in control, of my own destiny, once - especially now that Dobbs has happened, but that really made that scene feel real to me.

TAPPER: So, you're obviously a supporter of abortion rights, and you're very passionate about it. Do you think this film is for people, who agree with you, on abortion rights? Is it for people, in the middle of the road? Is it people, who might even disagree with you? Who do you see as the audience?

BANKS: It's a really entertaining film, Jake. I know that you saw it. I bet you laughed. And we really felt like the character--

TAPPER: There's some funny moments, definitely.

BANKS: Thank you.

We really felt like the character of "Joy," was almost an invitation to women. She's very relatable. She's a woman, who never thinks she's going to have to walk the path that she does. She never thinks she'll need to access abortion healthcare in her life, and is pretty judgmental of people who do.


But once she needs that care, and meets the Janes, her sense of empathy, for people, who have to walk that walk, her sense of care, for what that means, really comes alive. And I think, if anything, I want, anybody who sees the film, to take away from it, a greater sense of empathy, for a path that they may never walk.

TAPPER: All right, well, you're great in this new film, "Call Jane."

Elizabeth Banks, good to see you. Thanks so much for joining us.

BANKS: Thank you, Jake. Thanks for having me.

TAPPER: And we'll be right back.


TAPPER: Thank you so much, for joining me, tonight. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the TikTok, @jaketapper.

Tomorrow, we're going to have two big guests. Dr. Anthony Fauci. He's winding down his extraordinary government service. We're going to talk about guidance, from health officials, being politicized, and much more. We're also going to talk to the actor, F. Murray Abraham, who is among his most recent credits, in the new season of "The White Lotus." That's tomorrow night, at 9 PM Eastern.

Our coverage now continues with the wonderful, wonderful, wonderful Laura Coates, and the awesome, totally awesome, Alisyn Camerota.

Those are movie lines. I don't know if - I don't know if you know what movies those are from.