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CNN Tonight

Dueling Panels Talk About Red Wave; Elon Musk Completes $44B Deal To Buy Twitter; Trump Lawyers And DOJ Meet In Secret Hearing On Mar-a-Lago Probe; Is It Still "The Economy, Stupid?"; Is A 7-Decade Streak About To Be Broken In The World Series? Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired October 27, 2022 - 23:00   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: With the midterms looming, pundits think there could be a red wave coming and it could be big.

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: So, let's talk about that red wave with our panelists. I got a question about what could possibly happening next. Our dueling panelists are back. And joining me now here back with me, Ramesh Ponnuru, Ashley Allison, and David Swerdlick.

Look, the clock is going to start in a second. We are going to duel it out. Number one, really quick, do you think the red wave is coming? I know red winter is coming. Is red wave coming? What do you think?


COATES: What do you?


COATES: Well, we had yes, no, maybe, so. Listen, if that were to happen, if it does happen or if it doesn't or maybe so, what about the impact of Twitter now? I mean, it was such a big part in terms of the ability of the former president to speak. If he is allowed back on the platform, what impact will it have?

RAMESH PONNURU, EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW: Look, I don't think it's going to have any impact on this coming election, but I think it could have a lot to do with Trump's own future, and I think it could work at a different way than people think because Trump could end up reminding people what they dislike about him --


PONNURU: -- and why his popularity was so low as president.

COATES: Do you want him back on Twitter?

ALLISON: Absolutely not. If that for our democracy, I think if he's on before the midterms, it's good for Dems.

COATES: Really?

ALLISON: I think if he gets on after the midterms, I don't think he becomes the Republican nominee in 2024.

COATES: What do you think?

SWERDLICK: He won't be able to resist the tens of millions of followers he will be able to access again. But, like you all are saying, it's going to eventually remind people of all the chaos and all the, you know, just sort of the (INAUDIBLE) that he created politically and it's not going to help him.

COATES: But you think he should be back on Twitter, you think?

SWERDLICK: I think that free speech is whatever the owner of Twitter wants it to be. Elon Musk spent 44 billion. He could let the president back on if he wants. That's why you buy Twitter. I think I would just like us to get to a point where we understand the difference between the First Amendment and what a private company can do. If we can get to an understanding of that, sure.

PONNURU: I hope we can also understand that there is no Twitter in real life. Twitter matters, but we always have to be mindful that it is not representative of the country. Most people are not on it and the people who are most on it are wildly unlike normal people like me.

COATES: And they're anonymous, right? They're also being able to hide behind it. They don't get to have the same focus and attention and accountability.

ALLISON: Look, Twitter is not a real life, but what it also was the match that started to flame that led to January 6th, and that is a dangerous place I don't ever want our country to go back to. I understand a free speech versus the platform, but it's dangerous and should never be let on.

COATES: Well, the idea, of course, to your point, is the First Amendment relates to what the government can and cannot do. It is a private company. So, it's a little bit of a misnomer to talk about the First Amendment. But colloquially speaking, we are talking about free speech.

But the question is, why do you think that Democrats would actually be benefited by his presence? What would the Republicans will think about his return?

ALLISON: When you are see Donald Trump and then you are reminded of the candidates that are asking him to support you, you then say, wait a minute, if I'm independent, undecided voter, I remember now, I don't want that, I don't want that in my Senate, I don't want that in my governor's mansion, and so I think that's that fares well for Democrats.

Republicans, I think you have infighting immediately once he's on Twitter and starts calling people names and poking at individuals if he doesn't feel like they are cheering him on enough. That is also good for Democrats.

COATES: And if you are Republican, you have to be able to address these points. It will be the reminder of the microphone chasing you down the hall.


Hey, there was a tweet, what do you think about this? That was a cause of concern for many Republicans.

PONNURU: Former President Trump has had an influence even while he has been off Twitter. But there hasn't been that same focus on getting individual Republican politicians on the record about every single thing that Trump has said. And Twitter for good or ill does have that effect.

SWERDLICK: If you are a Republican who is thinking about running for president in 2024, Governor Youngkin, Governor DeSantis, Governor Haley, you've got to have a strategy now --


SWERDLICK: -- for how you're going to address President Trump in any format, but especially when he tweets about you, right? (INAUDIBLE) Glenn Youngkin (INAUDIBLE).


COATES: I'll tell you, well, just for everyone's sake, he's not back on. This is just perspective but midterm election is 12 days away.



CAMEROTA: Well done, yes. Well done.

COATES: What a panel!

CAMEROTA: All right, our panel is ready for this dual. Please set the clock.


CAMEROTA: Okay, there we go. We are back here with Tara Palmeri, senior political correspondent for "Puck," also Bill Kristol, editor- at-large at "The Bulwark," and journalist Mara S. Campo. Great to have all of you, guys. Okay, let's squash their panel! And to do that, we have to make some bold predictions, panel. Okay, is a red wave coming?

TARA PALMERI, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, PUCK: No, I don't think so. I think it's going to be a nail-biter. I think all of these races are going to be really close. That's why you are seeing so much polling within the margin of error. I think on both sides, what I think is happening is that you have Democrats, you have women, they're coming out, some of them are still charged up about Roe, but you have a lot of independent voters who are thinking about pocketbook issues and who are probably going to be most impacted about what is happening within the last two weeks before the election which is right now.

And a lot of people are not feeling very good about the economy, crime that Republicans are really seizing on.

CAMEROTA: Okay, so why is it not a right away?

PALMERI: I don't think it's a wave unless it's a washout. I think that some of these states, you are going to see Democrats perform like you are seeing in Ohio right now. The fact that Fetterman is still not polling -- his polling -- I think he had a poll. He is six points ahead of Oz as of this week CNN had a poll.

I think that the Republicans should be way further ahead of them in these polls. We are seeing these are so close.

CAMEROTA: But if not a red wave, what it is going to look like? I mean, the Republicans take the House and the Democrats take the Senate? What are you predicting?

PALMERI: I think that definitely the Republicans will take the House. But is it going to be 15 seats or is it going to be 30 seats? I think it'll be more like 15 states.

I think in the Senate, there is going to be probably a recount in Georgia because either Raphael Warnock or Herschel Walker is going to get more than 50% of the votes. Probably not. That's what's required to win. You might see a recount. I think you are going to see a lot of elections not decided on election night. So, I think that the Senate is still split.

CAMEROTA: Get comfortable, everybody. It's going to take a while to get results. Bill, red wave?

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE BULWARK: No, no red wave. I just think people are widely overestimating it now. I think Democrats hold the Senate. I think they would gain states, one or two seats in the Senate. Probably lose the House, but no surprise. Somehow, districts.

There is "The New York Times" poll tonight showing Democrats outperforming where Biden was in three out of the four districts they polled. They polled each individual district.

What I have seen personally a struggle around the country, one in Kansas, one in Nevada, one in New Mexico, one in Pennsylvania actually. Now, these polls, you got to take -- I mean, polls are complicated and difficult, and we don't know who is going to turn out. If young people turn out, Democrats do well. If young people don't turn out, Republicans do well. But no wave in the sense of a massive repudiation. I don't think -- it'll be the normal reaction against the party in power but not even that much of it.

CAMEROTA: Okay. Mara?

MARA S. CAMPO, JOURNALIST: I think it all depends on your expectation and your definition of a red wave. And so, what it is going to come down to, what I think a big factor right now that none of us can factor in is early voting. We've already seen 12 million people cast their votes. So, they are not being influenced by any of what's happening in these last few years.

CAMEROTA: And generally, that's Democrats?

CAMPO: Exactly. And so, I think it's very hard to make these predictions, and we have learned, the last few elections have taught us anything, it's hard to really trust these polls and to rely on them. I mean, there was a time where we all treated polls like gospel, and I think we learned our lesson about that.

So, I think it's very hard to make these predictions when we have these two factors at play now and the increasing sense from a lot of people that the polls are unreliable. Also, the impact of the early voting.

So, for the next two weeks, people are going to be continuing voting As Tara pointed out, we may not know on election night or for a few days after what the impact is going to be.

But I do think that there is the possibility of seeing some surprises. Outside of Congress, I think we can see a lot of surprises in the gubernatorial races. Here in New York, we might see the first Republican being elected to governor in 20 years, and not just any Republican but a really far-right Trump loyalist. So, there could be a few surprises.

CAMEROTA: Mara, are you also thinking the conventional wisdom, the House stays Republican, the Senate stays Democrats?

CAMPO: I think that because as you pointed out, conventional wisdom, right? That's what we keep hearing and keep hearing and keep hearing. But what did we keep hearing before 2016?

CAMEROTA: Two seconds, come on.

KRISTOL: I totally agree with that.


CAMEROTA: Okay. There you go. Perfect timing, guys.

KRISTOL: That was impressing!


I feel bad for those guys.

CAMEROTA: I know. I know. Laura, I'm sorry, but our panel is so fantastic!

COATES: Well, I don't know. They say that you are only as depressed as the color you are wearing. And you see I'm bright yellow. So, I'm pretty happy. Here comes the sunshine everywhere!

CAMEROTA: You love it, all right.

COATES: It is a navy but it has got a white piping. In other words, a silver lining. Better luck next time, guys!


CAMEROTA: You guys did well also!

COATES: Of course, we did!

CAMEROTA: Everyone is good! We want to know what you all think. Will there be a red wave? If so, what then? Tweet us at @thelauracoates and @alisyncamerota, CNNSoundOff.



COATES: A secret hearing held today in the Mar-a-Lago probe with the former President Trump's lawyers and the Justice Department. Though behind closed doors, CNN has learned that this hearing was related at least in part with DOJ's ongoing demands to make sure that all the documents marked classified had been returned to federal government.

Back with, me Ramesh Ponnuru and Ashley Allison, and joining us, former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman, who is also the host of the great podcast "Talking Feds."

Harry, you know, what do you make of this? The idea that the closed -- sealed proceeding, normally they're in New York or in Florida. Why are they here? What does that tell you?

HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Right. So, because it is a sealed proceeding, it tells me that it has got to do with a grand jury. There is a grand jury here, but pretty big news because it's the Florida team that has always been down in Florida that was going in front of the chief judge today.

What does that tell me? They are positioning themselves a little more to bring an adventure (ph) prosecution against Trump if they bring in from Mar-a-Lago in D.C., which is advantageous to DOJ for many reasons.

COATES: Why? Because of the jury pool?

LITMAN: That's a big, big start, it's the jury pool, especially problems down in Florida. Will they run into Judge Cannon down in Florida? They have, you know, certain expertise in D.C. and they could be leading with the notion of the national security, you know, losses and deprivation. But, basically, jury pool is the big one.

COATES: I mean, when you look at this lawsuit, we still have not heard about the resolution with the special master appointed to overlook all these documents. Did this tell you that there is an eye towards working it out when they're behind closed doors or an eye towards (INAUDIBLE)? The judge says, I need a scheduling order, let's get it down now. I mean, there is such interest in this case, the only way to keep it under the radar is sealed?

LITMAN: I don't think it's that. I think it really is because grand jury proceedings are supposed to be secret. My best guess, first of all, the dearie point (ph), you are really right and in sort of three or four different ways, the executive privilege kind of bogus claim that Trump (INAUDIBLE) sort of bearing down on him.

But here, I actually think -- I don't think it is a search warrant, because if they (INAUDIBLE), they would have just taken the documents. I don't think it's just nice talk. I think it's a subpoena, maybe even the original March 11th subpoena.

So, I think DOJ served a subpoena and Trump has some beef that he's trying to raise with Judge Howell. This is sort of -- this is tea leaf reading, but that's the, you know, the tea leaves in D.C., and that's what they are fighting about. If he loses, that means that the subpoena come in.

The original subpoena said, give us everything from everywhere. And remember, DOJ suspects but doesn't seem to have enough to rise to probable cause that he still has some. They could be saying he didn't comply fully with that subpoena and let's talk about it, but in a secrecy just because it is a grand jury-issued subpoena, technically.

COATES: I'll tell you, when you hear subpoena, you can't help but think about the January 6 subpoenas. Well, that was, you know, issued to the former president of the United States. It was on the backdrop of the January 6 Committee and the notion that democracy being in peril was a clear and present danger.

You wonder how this plays politically because you do have the overwhelming discussion and talking point from at least the Trump team of this is yet another attack, political witch hunt, et cetera. How does this play, do you think? Because this is in part based obviously on Mar-a-Lago but would voters conflate this with say the January 6 or so many other things? What do you think?

PONNURU: Well, I think a lot depends on how it shakes out in court.


PONNURU: I think that there is a fair amount of likelihood that a lot of people will jumble a lot of these things together. I think that sometimes it could be a little hard to keep track of what's going on in Florida, what's going on in Georgia.

COATES: In New York.

PONNURU: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And Washington D.C. as well. I don't think -- going to what we were talking about earlier, I don't think it has a big effect on this midterm elections. But certainly, if we have more documents produced because of a subpoena and that this affects how we look at this case, what kind of defense Trump can really provide for himself, then I think it can have affects down the line.

COATES: That's the part, you know, Ashley, the overwhelming question overarching is always, why do we still have it? Why do you fight so hard to keep them? And it puts Republicans, frankly, who are in some respects trying to focus on this election and 2024, and maybe to extend a tent for poll, maybe to extend the embrace, to have to keep addressing that question that is out there. It's a difficult one to resolve if you are the Republicans.

ALLISON: Trump is like the ghost of legal problems past, present, and future.


ALLISON: And I don't mean to make light of it, but it just Groundhog Day over and over with him and his legal issues.


COATES: By the way, great Bill Murray movies, "Scrooged" and "Groundhog Day." I saw what you did there.

ALLISON: I was trying my best!

COATES: It is beautiful. Keep going!

ALLISON: The other thing I would just say, I don't think it actually plays a deciding factor in the midterm elections. I appreciate DOJ's measured approach and making sure that they cross every T and dot every I. But look, I don't trust Donald Trump. We've already seen that he has confidential documents in his possession.

I'm ready for them to go hard and fast here because, again, it's not about the politics of it. There are issues of national security that won't just affect democrats, they'll also affect Republicans. And I think -- I'm really looking for DOJ to strike a harder tone on this case right now.

COATES: You have been a U.S. attorney. You know that, frankly, there is the prudence versus the patience of the American public and the court of public opinion. Many people are still trying to recover from the Mueller years of expectations, that this is going to happen right now and what's going to happen and the target of one. How do you see it in terms of what Ashley has expressed, that impatience?

LITMAN: Well, first, Ashley's point is excellent because remember, we have been told that DOJ suspects, not just that he hasn't given it all up, but that he has important national security documents. Imagine after what, number five or six of excuses, if the last thing that is coughed up is of significant national security implication, for one, they will have to get it (INAUDIBLE) if he looks terrible.

I think that with every move, you know, it's funny, like Twitter or whatever, maybe I shouldn't talk about Twitter tonight, but it seems that there are a lot -- it seems even if we are divided in this country between people are saying come on, what is going to happen, et cetera, my sense is in these last two or three weeks, there is a lot of actions on a lot of fronts putting a lot of heat on Donald Trump.

And DOJ generally does things without announcing it unless Trump forces them to and leads (INAUDIBLE). But it feels to me like they are really moving aggressively on many fronts, including in particular Mar-a-Lago and the grand jury. When they put Kash Patel in a couple weeks ago, we learned that --

COATES: In a number of times.

LITMAN: Yes, he did.

COATES: He was somebody who says to -- he (INAUDIBLE) to actually have the documents post-presidency in some respects?

LITMAN: He could've been but he is also the guy who said, oh, he magically declassified it. But what it said to me as a prosecutor, you may have had the same instinct, they are thinking about Trump, they want him in to tell his story now. So, I don't know. I think that there is a pretty rapid movement by DOJ standards, which can be glacial just in this last month.

COATES: I mean, bureaucrats not known for their experience. But, you know what? A lot is taking place. Thank you so much!

Alisyn, when you think about this, I mean, there's a lot to keep straight, there's a lot to try to understand and to sort of have this flowchart of all of the relevant matters, and I wonder to what extent, for an eye towards not 12 days from now but 2024, the exhaustion politically, even with his own party.

CAMEROTA: Oh, well, I mean, also in terms of the political implications. Isn't Donald Trump impervious to this? Haven't we seen that his ardent supporters think that these are sort of he is being persecuted with all of these different investigations.

So, I'm not sure that there are political implications, but there are legal implications as Harry and everybody else on your panel just pointed out. And when I hear top secret documents in a secret hearing, my ears perked up! So, we will look forward to hearing what all of that was about.

COATES: It's almost like you are a journalist, so curious, like wait a second, what can I hear about? Is that a secret? Tell me more about that. Well, it's a fair point.

And we have more to come. You know what they say, Alisyn, this is not directed to you or anyone. It's James Carville saying, it's the economy, stupid, right? Let's put aside that whole stupid part for a second. The question, will pocketbook issues decide the elections in just, how many days?


COATES: I'm keeping tabs.

CAMEROTA: Twelve days.

COATES: Twelve days. Brilliant!




COATES: Its' the economy, stupid. Democrats. Not you. Not you. Don't call me (INAUDIBLE). I love that. When the Democrats and President Biden have some pretty good news to share, well, GDP, for example, falling gas prices.

CAMEROTA: Yes. But there is also bad news because they have not been able to overcome, of course, high inflation or looming recession fears and, of course, skyrocketing mortgage rates. Today, over 7% for the first time since 2002.

COATES: I mean, it's pretty unbelievable. Just thinking about that number. It went up, I think, every week since August. And then you got the idea of how much it takes to even have a mortgage. If you have 20% down, if you get an excellent credit rating, that already takes out a lot of people from even the running, and you combine that. It's pretty unbelievable! It's sad.

CAMEROTA: It's hard. I mean, it's hard for a lot of people, obviously, so they're up against all these headwinds.

COATES: (INAUDIBLE) the rent is too damn high. Even the mortgage is too damn. Let us talk about that. We are back now with Ramesh Ponnuru and Ashley Allison. And also joining me now, CNN senior political writer and analyst, that was the laugh you heard, it was wonderful, it is Harry Enten. Welcome back! How are you?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER AND ANALYST: I'm doing okay, I feel like I've joined a big party here though I missed the Dueling Banjos earlier. So, you know, but we'll get into it!

COATES: (INAUDIBLE) do right now?


ENTEN: I actually play the saxophone. I'm more of a wood winds-type of guy than I am --

COATES: A Kenny G among us. Who knew?

ALLISON: I love it! COATES: Who doesn't? Okay, we are done. Let's get back to Alisyn now. I'm just kidding. Seriously, what is the biggest thing facing people? It's the economy, stupid. Is that right?

ENTEN: That is right. I mean, sometimes, it's not, but in this particular election, it's right nationally, it's right in the key Senate swing states. You know, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, what is a top issue, according to voters? It's the economy or inflation.

So, unlike perhaps any other midterm, you know, presidential years are often about the economy. Midterms can really vary. But this year, it is absolutely about the economy and inflation. No doubt about it!

COATES: And so, if you're the Republicans or Democrats, are you doing enough to message that? Are you capitalizing on this? If it's a number one issue, a lot made about the November (ph) comments, et cetera. But that is it. Are Democrats doing enough to sustain the majority?

ALLISON: I think you have to be sensitive to voters' real life, everyday challenges of putting food on the table and making rent. But I think you draw the contrast that Democrats are doing things to try and improve the quality of our life, they are trying to lower prescription drugs, they are trying to give you relief, whereas Republicans want to cut taxes for corporations that are doing price gouging right now.

And if you can really walk that line and say, we are doing as much as we can and we will continue to fight for you, I think that it aligns with people. I know that it's an important issue, but I still don't think that is the only issue voters are going to vote on this.

COATES: But it's also where -- I mean, first of all, economy and inflation, huge umbrella topic. People think about what's tangible. I know how much it cost me to put gas in my tank, and this is a sustained problem for people, gas prices. Where are things shaping up now?

ENTEN: Well, I mean, if you look at gas prices, right, it really depends on what state you are kind of looking at and when you are kind of measuring from, which makes it kind of interesting.

You know, in Georgia, for example, I believe that gas prices are actually down a little bit from where they were a year ago. But in some places, what you see, especially out west, is that gas prices are up upwards of 20% of where they were a year ago.

And perhaps it's not so surprising that perhaps the best republican pick up opportunity is in fact in the state of Nevada, where gas prices are well up over 20%.

So, it really just kind of depends. I think that's kind of what we all go through. If we have a car, we are always looking for that gas station, you know, down the road that maybe is a few cents a little bit less or go over the George Washington Bridge as my mother might do and fill up in New Jersey where oftentimes you find cheaper gas prices than in New York.

COATES: (INAUDIBLE) New Jersey, too, right?

PONNURU: Whether or not you want it.


PONNURU: But it is not just gas. It is groceries as well. And while I don't think the Democrats have been particularly good at messaging on this, I'm also not sure that there is a message that works. I think when people's paychecks are not keeping up with their bills, they are going to be unhappy. They are going to reach that conclusion on their own. They are going to be unhappy with the party in power.

When you can also say that the Democrats underestimated the problem, contributed to the problem, and then decided to re-package everything they were already for as a solution to the problem, I think that that creates a real dilemma for the party in power.

COATES: That's an important point because you can say that, we are not in a recession, but if people feel like there are problems, if they feel like the rental prices given the mortgages and cost of food, I mean, this are what people are looking and feeling. If politics is about that, what do you do?

ENTEN: I mean, I don't know exactly what you do because the people can feel it, right? We are talking about mortgages. A lot people pay rent. I know. I pay rent and I know my rent is -- they want to add 25% raise from last year.

If you look at some of the major metropolitan areas where these key Senate races are occurring, you know, if you in fact go back out west, you are seeing these huge rises. We are seeing these rises and rents all over the place. In some cases, we are seeing these rises upwards of 20, 25% in these key battleground states.

But again, it hits different places differently, and I think that's what's so interesting about this midterm election. I wouldn't be surprised if the wave hits differently in the southeast versus the northeast versus the southwest. We can have one of these instances where yes, we are living in a nationalized era, but maybe things will just break a little bit differently in certain parts of the country.

COATES: That's the point you raised earlier, too, about the difference.

ALLISON: Yeah, I think even within a state, you may say, I want the leader of my state to be from this party, but I want the person who's going to make a critical choice on Roe v. Wade to be of this party. And so, I think it will be this midterm where you see states splitting on party line.

I also think that we have been talking about how we people need to campaign. One thing that doesn't change is candidates need to be in front of voters and letting them know that you can trust me to protect you and try and improve the quality of your life. That is better than any political ad can ever be.

COATES: You know, you got a point there. Alisyn, I mean, I like candidate who know the price of a gallon of milk.


It seems like you are in touch if you do.



COATES: Well, you know, I like a little bit of a veggie tray myself.

CAMEROTA: Me, too.

COATES: Blue cheese.

CAMEROTA: I don't know what you call it as long as it is still a cheese.


CAMEROTA: But I do agree with Ramesh who is saying that, what can Democrats really do or say about this? There is only so much really you can control. So, what can they say? And by the way, if Republicans -- if there is a red wave and Republicans are swept in, are they going to be able to solve all the economic -- the global economic problems overnight? You know, that's what voters are betting on.

COATES: Well, that's why, you know, no matter what happens in the election, no one can be too small. They got to do it all over again in two years. Good answer to that question.

CAMEROTA: Exactly. Meanwhile, a seven-decade streak is about to be broken in the World Series. We're going to explain what it is, next.




CAMEROTA: So, the World Series gets underway tomorrow night between the Phillies and the Astros. But when the players take the field, there will be not any U.S.-born Black players among them. Here is how the Astros manager, Dusty baker, feels about it.


DUSTY BAKER, MANAGER OF HOUSTON ASTROS: Well, I don't think that's something that baseball, you know, should really be proud of. You know? Because it's -- it looks bad. It lets people know that -- you know, it didn't take a year or even a decade to get to this point.

But there is help on the way. You can tell by the number of African- American number one draft choices. The academies are producing players. So, hopefully, in the near future, we won't have to talk about this anymore or even be in this situation.


CAMEROTA: So, he was responding there to this new analysis from the "Associated Press" that finds, as we said, there is not a single American-born Black player expected to be on the field for either team. And it's the first time that has happened since 1950, seven decades ago.

We are back with Tara Palmeri, Cari Champion, and Bill Kristol. Cari, is this an anomaly this year or is Major League Baseball doing something wrong?

CARI CHAMPION, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I don't think it's an anomaly. I think that now that we have a World Series that will be on such a huge stage. People can see a big problem that baseball has had for many, many years. That has been talked about for many, many years. Baseball, in large part, iS considered a suburban white sport.

For many different reasons, you hear Dusty mentioned the academy. We all know that every Major League Baseball team has an academy in the Dominican Republic, and that is where they are getting most of their players.

Long ago, and I shared this story with Bill, I used to host a show and I remember Gary Sheffield, former baseball player, World Series champion from the Florida Marlins at the time, said, baseball, you will see, will no longer have any American-born Black players. That is just a fact.

He said, because of the way in which the baseball teams are going to grab these players from the Dominican Republic and they can train them for a fraction of the cost. And a lot of it has to do with how you recruit and what you are looking for. Now, I know in some areas, especially impoverished areas, you don't have baseball fields. So, you're not trying to recruit players from there.

And then also, just on a very basic level, I take a Russell Wilson, if you will, or Kyler Murray, both quarterbacks in the National Football League who had opportunities to play in the majors and they decided not to.

It was this promise that baseball does. It's very difficult. Go to college, go to the minors, and then maybe you'll make it to the majors. And some people can't really wait that long, especially if you come from a culture and a community that wants that payday, if you will, that wants to get that immediate reward. These players can't wait for that promise.

It is also not conducive for their lifestyle. You want to go and you want to play with people who look like you, who make you feel familiar, who make you feel comfortable. It's just that simple.

CAMEROTA: And the demographics are interesting. So, the MLB players' demographics, 62% white, 28.5% Hispanic, Black 7.2%, Asian 1.9%. And Bill, we were talking in mid-break about how this is the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson. And it's just -- you know, it's really notable that after 50 years, there aren't going to be any U.S. Black players in the World Series.

KRISTOL: Yeah, we were talking about Jackie Robinson up here in New York. He was such a figure in the 60s. If you are interested in politics and baseball, which are the only two things that I was interest in when I was in middle school and high school, he was a great -- liberal Republican.

I think he was a Rockefeller delegate at the 1964 convention ang got booed when he tried to rebuke the Goldwater delegates for their extremism. So, I admire him as a political figure and, of course, baseball figure.

Dusty Baker is a manager, that's good. Former Frank Robinson is the first Black manager, that's great. That's like 1970s, that's late. So, Baker is a wonderful character. So, maybe that makes up for the tiny bit.

CAMEROTA: As Cari was saying, there will be diverse players. It is not going to be -- there is not a wash and white faces, but it is different if there aren't U.S.-born Black players.


PALMERI: I am not a big sports aficionado, but I do know that young people tend to look up to up to these players. They have their cards. They learn about their hometowns where they are from. They want to know about them. And when they don't see people who are like them, I can see why this wouldn't encourage other young Black men to want to play baseball because they don't recognize these people as having the same background as them.

So, it is something that they need to work on to recruit, to make sure that it's not just about the ethnicity because some of these players are Afro-Hispanic, coming from the Dominican Republic. It's about sharing the same culture that they have and the same background and being American. So, it's going to be hard for them to keep recruiting unless they start bringing these people in.

CAMEROTA: And he was just saying, standby, like there is more in the pipeline. Does that how to interpret what he was saying?

CHAMPION: Dusty was saying that he thinks that it will change. He thinks that there will be more of a concerted effort. I know that the commissioner has talked about it. This has a been long thought-out discussion about what is happening.

But the promise of standby, there should be more, I don't see that changing anytime soon. In fact, I see it getting worse. That's what I would say. I don't know of an opportunity in which Major League Baseball, really, in my mind, what I see with players, going out to look for players that are Black, Black players that lives in these communities that don't feel like they are seen. And as you mentioned, it is just that simple. I can't look up to you. So, what? I can't see it. If I only see it in football, if I only see it in basketball, if I see it -- there are sports in which that they feel recruitment, they feel seen, they feel nurtured, they feel taken care of.

Bill, you said something really important during the break when we were talking. You were like, it's a white suburban sport in large part because you -- that's how it is successful. That's how these players are nurtured. And unfortunately, in these areas, you just don't get an opportunity to see it. And they have basketball courts, right? They can play football.

CAMEROTA: Well, for sure. In some way, are you saying -- well, I don't know if you are saying this, but it is self-selecting --

CHAMPION: Absolutely.

CAMEROTA: -- because these kids are saying, you're saying, it's easier for me if I go play football.

CHAMPION: And the reward is sooner. Baseball is a delayed promise. It is tough. It is not a guarantee. The money isn't there. We want to keep you in if you really do love it.

You know, if anyone is family with certain quarterbacks, most of them are dual-sport athletes, right? I think about Colin Kaepernick. He talked about it in his series. He said, I just didn't feel welcomed. I had an opportunity to play baseball. My parents nurtured it, and I did it for so long. But I decided that in high school, I'm going to actually stick with football because it does not feel welcoming, it does not feel familiar to me, and that has a lot to do with it.

KRISTOL: The other side of it, it sounds like a goofy liberal, which I'm increasingly becoming, I guess, with the influence of (INAUDIBLE) in that direction. But as a kid in the 60s, I watched baseball, I watched (INAUDIBLE), I watched Mickey Mantle, I watched Bob Gibson, I watched (INAUDIBLE), and there is something healthy about admiring national athletes.

I admired them too much. I didn't think about all the other sides of their character, but of all races, of all backgrounds and ethnicities and rural kids from Oklahoma, Blacks, inner cities, and now some of the Hispanic players.

So, yeah, there are some -- it's not the biggest -- you can't manufacture it exactly but it is nice if you have that sense of --

CAMEROTA: Well, can you manufacture -- what should the MLB do?

CHAMPION: I think you can manufacture it. I think the same way that they built these academies in the Dominican Republic, I think you can also do something here stateside. That is what Dusty alluded to.

KRISTOL: Are you (INAUDIBLE) interested with Dusty or are you two --


KRISTOL: I'm so impressed by this. Wow, you and Dusty. Are you having a drink right after --

CHAMPION: Dusty and I go way back there. Don't be jealous. I feel like you might be jealous.

KRISTOL: I am jealous. Mr. Baker to me. But that's okay.

CHAMPION: No. Dusty Baker makes a really good point. He believes that they are doing academies here and they are trying to actually go out and recruit players. But this is a business. I have to say, if you can get 10 really great players from the DR versus the same exact price to get one good player here in the state, you can go to the DR. It is just that simple.

And there is also something, and this is what I hear from players, I cannot speak, but from Black players, they are saying that there is a sense of community for the players that are white and for the players that are from the Dominican Republic that just is not there for the Black players that are born here.

And that makes it difficult. I don't know about you. Don't you like to work with people you like?


CHAMPION: I mean, doesn't it feel --

CAMEROTA: Of course, of course, there is a reason we feel tribal.

CHAMPION: And I, while just meeting you, decide that I like you and I want to work with you all the time. You know what I mean?


KRISTOL: You can change your mind. You can change your mind. First impression can be very misleading.

CAMEROTA: Laura, we are great friends here.

COATES: What a beautiful sight. A beautiful sight. But you know what? Speaking of accessibility, do you realize that it is like $3,200 for an average home game ticket to the World Series?


I mean, talk about accessibility, enough said. You want to see these games?

CAMEROTA: My, gosh.

COATES: They are $1,500 to $3,200 and that is the cheaper seats? Come on. do better, baseball.

CAMEROTA: Wow! COATES: Look, everyone, do better by talking to us on social media as well. It is time for you all to sound off. We will read you tweets, coming up next.


COATES: All right, it is social media time. Alisyn, what do you got for us in the world of Twitter?

CAMEROTA: Okay, let us see, this is about the Elon Musk acquisition of Twitter. Elon Musk is just opening the door for another platform. I don't know what that means, but okay.


COATES: Another one says, actually, the only thing celebrity political endorsements do for me is either solidify my impression of the person - good or bad. That is interesting.

CAMEROTA: Okay, Rick. This is celebrity endorsement in exchange for food.


CAMEROTA: Okay. Nope. But it does sway some people if they gave me doughnuts.

COATES: That's something I like. I get that. I understand that. That make sense to me in this moment. Listen, everyone, you know where to find us always, @alisyncamerota and @thelauracoates. You can always join the conversation night after night. Use that hashtag CNNSoundOff and always be a part of it.

CAMEROTA: Okay, everybody, thanks so much for watching tonight.

COATES: Our coverage is going to continue.