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The Chris Wallace Show

Democratic Victories in Recent Off-Year State Elections Likely Driven by Abortion Issue; Panelists Debate Whether President Biden Should Run for Reelection in 2024 as Polls Show Him Trailing Donald Trump in Battleground States; Some Colleges and Universities Criticized for Allowing Antisemitic Hate Speech on Campus. Aired 10- 11a ET

Aired November 11, 2023 - 10:00   ET




CHRIS WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, and welcome. Once again, it's Saturday, which means I get to sit down with some smart people, to tackle the week's big stories in a different way. This hour, we're asking, with Democrats on a winning streak but the president's poll numbers really bad, should Biden still get out of the race?

Then, the GOP's abortion problem, can Republicans change their tune and win back voters on an issue they have been pushing for half a century?

And panda propaganda. We all saw D.C.'s bamboo loving bears head back to China with lots of talk about what it means for relations with Beijing. Is the panda story being over or under played?

The panel is all here and ready. So sit back, grab your coffee, and let's talk about it.

First, our Saturday starter, the Democrats Biden bind. Yes, there was good news, even great news for the president's party this week after some big election wins. But the president's week began with suggestions he consider ending his campaign for reelection. And now, he faces even more obstacles.


WALLACE: Democrats are still celebrating after big gains this week. Abortion rights won in Ohio, they held the governor's mansion in ruby red Kentucky, and took control of Virginia's state legislature. But while the White House takes a victory lap --

KAMALA HARRIS (D), VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the American people made clear that they are prepared to stand for freedom. It was a good night for democracy.

WALLACE: It's not all good news. The latest CNN poll shows Biden trailing Trump 49 percent to 45. And the president is hemorrhaging support among key voting blocks, like independents and young voters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do feel like it is a little too early. I feel like there should be an age limit on being the president.

WALLACE: And there is the recent "New York Times" poll which has Biden now losing five of the six battleground states he won in 2020.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He just has to ask himself, is this the best path?

WALLACE: But the president says he's not worried, posting to X, "Voters vote. Polls don't."


WALLACE (on camera): With me around the table, podcaster Kara Swisher, editor of "The Dispatch," and "Los Angeles Times" columnist, Jonah Goldberg, "New York Times" journalist and podcast host, Lulu Garcia- Navarro, and Reihan Salam, president of the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor of "The National Review." So Reihan, let me start with you. Are Democrats leaning too much into what the good results this week, in this election, say about 2024? Should Joe Biden still step down and not run for a second term?

REIHAN SALAM, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "NATIONAL REVIEW": I think, unfortunately, the answer is yes, and that the best time for him to have done it was January of this year, not right now. Allow Democrats to have a robust primary process, allow them to get through it, vet people who are currently unvetted. But now, look, time is running out. And I think what these results show you is that the Democratic brand has some fundamental strengths. Low propensity voters, affluent educated folks will turn out in large numbers for Democrats. But Joe Biden himself is a weakness, and this has been true since the Afghanistan pullout. This is not just this year. It's not new. It started a long time ago.


KARA SWISHER, HOST, ON WITH KARA SWISHER" AND "PIVOT" PODCASTS: No, he shouldn't. Why should he pull out? For a loser, he is winning an awful lot. And it's not just this election. It was all over the country, every election we've had, they keep winning. And you're not asking these questions about Donald Trump, who wonders around like a fatuous popinjay all the time, and you don't say he is in trial most of the campaign season, no one says should he quit? No one says that.


SWISHER: Well, OK, you, yes. But I'm just saying, it is not the same discussion that's happening.

GOLDBERG: For sure, because Donald Trump isn't the president and Joe Biden is.

SWISHER: Sure. GOLDBERG: And I completely disagree with you on this idea that he is

going around winning. The governor in Kentucky barely mentioned his name at all. The candidates running in Virginia didn't mention his name. They're trying to distance themselves from him. He is unpopular. He is very unpopular.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, "NEW YORK TIMES" JOURNALIST AND PODCAST HOST: That happens every single election season.


The incumbent often doesn't have long coattails, and the down ballot tends not to try and hitch themselves to that wagon. So I don't know why Joe Biden is getting such short shrift.

SALAM: This is great for Republicans, by the way. Have at it. Have him run again. But the truth is that this is unique. When you look at Barack Obama, his polling was much, much stronger during his first term, even when things were dicey, it was in response to news events. With president Biden, this has been weakness from the very first year of his presidency.

WALLACE: Let's take a moment to actually put some numbers on the screen. And they're not good for Biden. In the latest CNN poll, only 25 percent of Americans say Biden has the stamina and sharpness to be president, 72 percent say things are going badly. So I guess the question, Kara, is do Democrats have the right message but the wrong messenger?

SWISHER: I don't think so. I think they will come home in the end, because they will be faced Trump, who will be pontificating and yelling and saying crazy things. He will be in trials. He could be convicted. There's so much between now and then that I think this is the same thing that happened when Biden was in the primary. Remember, he wasn't ever going to win. And everyone was in love with Beto. And this guy can't win. He's a loser, and then he won. And so I just, like, I have to say, I agree with him. Polls don't vote, voters vote.

GOLDBERG: I think there is a lot of truth to that. I think the key for Biden is that the anti-Trump coalition is much larger than the pro- Biden coalition.


GOLDBERG: But we have a collective action problem in this country. We have two candidates who are so unpopular, much like in 2016, each has a chance to lose to the other. And 70 percent of Americans depending on the polls you look at, somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of Americans, don't want to vote for either of these people. But both parties are so weak, and in part I think Joe Biden made a terrible mistake with his running mate, that it is impossible for him to step down and find somebody to replace him. And so the only way that Biden will be able to win is by doing what he suggests, which I think is probably what will happen. I still think Trump will probably lose, but is to run all about catastrophizing about a Donald Trump president and not much touting how great Joe Biden is. SALAM: And by the way, let's see what happens when Joe Manchin gets in

the race. Let's see what happens when you have other independent candidates who could peel votes away from Joe Biden.

WALLACE: Let's talk about that, because, as if Biden didn't have enough problems, Joe Manchin made an announcement this week that sure sounded like he was at least opening the door to the possibility of an independent run for president. Take a look.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN, (D-WV): I will not be run can for reelection to the United States Senate, but what I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together.


WALLACE: So I hear a lot of talk, Lulu, in this group, if I have it correct, not a lot of enthusiasm for Trump, in fact, real concern, I know on your part, very deep unhappiness at the prospect of four more years prospect in the Oval Office, but also concern about Biden. What's wrong with the unity ticket? Why shouldn't we all sit there and say, that's what we need?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Who is Joe Manchin's constituency here? I don't know any Democrats that love Joe Manchin considering what happened in the last two to four years when he held things hostage. And I don't know any Republicans that love Joe Manchin who think, gee, this is a man that I want to see become the president of the United States. We're in a highly polarized country where people have very strong beliefs, and this mythical middle that he is supposedly trying to appeal to just doesn't exist in the way that he thinks it does. I think he's dead in the water.

SALAM: Joe Biden's only hope is appealing to that mythical middle. If he is trading off some of the young progressives who are agitating on the war in Israel in favor of a more pro-Hamas position, he is going to go down, down, down. What he needs to try to try to get the suburban moderates who have been saving Democrats time and again partly because of the abortion issue. I think that that is his only way out.

WALLACE: So let's posit. Let's say Joe Manchin does run on the No Labels ticket. You have also got Robert F. Kennedy Jr. You've also got Cornel West. Jill Stein just announced this week she is going to run as a Green Party candidate. You put Trump and Biden and now four lesser party tickets, candidates on, what does that mean?

SWISHER: It makes it a mess. This is more important, all these other people, because people do want a choice. But I do think it will come down to a Biden-Trump choice for people. And once they are reminded of Trump again, he's been very quiet, even though he has been very loud for the media, but for most people, they are not really paying attention to his antics in court. When he comes back, people will be like oh, that guy. No, not that guy again. And I think Biden will win maybe not by acclamation but by "not that guy".


GOLDBERG: Again, I agree with the analysis, but the multi-candidate thing messes everything up because Joe Biden in 2020 won the Electoral College by 43,000 votes. If it had gone the other way, he would have lost it.

WALLACE: You're talking about individual states.

GOLDBERG: Three states that tipped it in the Electoral College by 43,000 votes spread across them. In 2016, it was 78,000 votes that got Trump in office. If you're talking about Robert Kennedy and Cornel West, all these guys, one or two percentage points in some of these places --

WALLACE: But do you think it necessarily means that it helps Trump and hurts Biden?

GOLDBERG: I think Robert Kennedy hurts Trump because it's the anti- vaxxer freaked out coalition. But I think Manchin probably hurts Biden.

WALLACE: So you're not sure who all these multi candidates would have an impact.

GOLDBERG: Oh, no --

WALLACE: Let me just say. I checked into it today. In 2016, Jill stein, hardly a household name, her vote total in three minor states called Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, was the difference, more than the difference between Trump and Hillary Clinton. So it really can make a difference.

Republicans face their own problems. Up next, the GOP tries to figure out its abortion dilemma. Is 15 weeks the answer for a party that spent decades wanting zero?

Then, the war between Hamas and Israel has sparked a growing debate here at home. Where do we draw the line between hate speech and free speech?

And later, the new "it" time for dinner reservations. Find out who on the panel is snagging those hot 5:00 p.m. time slots.



WALLACE: For 50 years, Republicans tried to reverse a constitutional right to abortion. And last year, they got their wish when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. But since then, there has been nothing but bad news at the polls for the GOP. And now, it's clearer than ever, if they don't make a change, their long-sought policy success may come at a hefty political price.


WALLACE: A scramble inside the Republican Party now playing out in public.

SEN. TIM SCOTT, (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need a 15-week federal limit.

WALLACE: What to do about abortion, what laws to pass, and how to message it to voters. Some want to play to the pro-life part.

GOV. RON DESANTIS, (R) FLORIDA: We are better off when we can promote a culture of life.

WALLACE: While others look to track, or at least not alienate, more moderate voters.

NIKKI HALEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As much as I'm pro-life, I don't judge anyone for being pro-choice.

WALLACE: New urgency this week after Ohio voters added abortion rights to the state constitution.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Winning was our only option. And we did it together.


WALLACE: The Republican-winning buckeye state becoming the seventh to vote to allow abortions since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. In Virginia, Republican Governor Youngkin tried to find a middle ground, pushing for a 15-week abortion limit.

GOV. GLENN YOUNGKIN, (R) VIRGINIA: This is a choice between no limits and reasonable limits.

WALLACE: But Democrats making abortion their key issue ended up taking control of both houses of the state legislature.


WALLACE (on camera): So Jonah, what do Republicans do about abortion?

GOLDBERG: It takes time to teach a dog to drive a car. Once they catch it, they don't necessarily know what to do immediately. Look, I think, personally, I think that this sorting out in the states is a good thing, right? As someone who is opposed to Roe v. Wade and was glad it was overturned, I actually believe that the federalism thing was the right answer to it. But it is going to take time. And right now, I think the GOP is in a hot mess because none of them have any muscle memory or any experience or any preparation for how to talk about an issue that they have been pushing for a very, very long time, and they're going to have to learn it is going to take a while.

WALLACE: Lulu, how big of a problem do Republicans have with abortion now that they have finally gotten Roe v. Wade overturned after 50-plus years? And is there any way that they can tamp down the backlash for Republicans?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I find myself agreeing with Jonah, which is interesting, because the fact of the matter is, is that they got what they wanted, they had planned for it, and now, they are in this terrible conundrum where the states, it has gone to the states. They're always talking about states' rights, and in state after state they're losing in these referendums. And now you're seeing people like Ron DeSantis, people like Rick Santorum saying, these referendums are terrible ideas. The voters, they don't know what they really want. We really shouldn't let them decide such an important issue like this.

And so it is, I think, such a cynical ploy. After getting what they wanted with Roe v. Wade, it was overturned, and now we're seeing precisely this, the states are saying what they want, people are deciding, and here we have this results.

WALLACE: Reihan, as I mentioned it in the piece, Virginia Governor Youngkin clearly thought that he had hit the sweet spot with his idea of a 15-week limit, and he had some reason to think so -- 93 percent of abortions are performed by 13 weeks. And by 15 weeks, the fetus is the size of an apple. But what Youngkin kept calling, a, quote, reasonable solution, turned out to be a real political loser. And my question is why.

SALAM: I will say that Virginia is a state that has been trending blue for a long time. And when you look at the actual result here, it is not that far off from the 2021 result. If this was not an off-year election, maybe the outcome would be different.

What I will say bigger picture is that when you look at other democracies, for example, in western Europe, where they worked out the question of abortion regulation through the give and take of politics, what you wound up with were abortion restrictions tighter than the Roe v. Wade regime but looser than what a lot of Republicans are seeking right now.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: People don't like to have their rights taken away from them.

SWISHER: That's correct.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: People don't like it. And I don't understand why Republicans don't understand that. They don't like to have books burned. They don't like to have things banned. They don't like to have their transgender rights restricted. These are not winning issues.

SALAM: People in France also don't like their rights taken away from them, and they landed in a more reasonable place than Roe v. Wade had us, a way that, as Jonah said before, you allow --

WALLACE: How many weeks in France?

SALAM: So it's about, in most of western Europe, it has been between 20 and 24 weeks. So it's a bit more permissive than what Glenn Youngkin proposed.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Then 15 weeks --

SALAM: But the 15 weeks would be broadly popular, but it is going to have to happen state by state.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's not broadly popular.

SWISHER: No number. Anyone who is talking with numbers doesn't understand the issue whatsoever. There are no numbers they want to be told. Most abortions do happen -- people do not want to be legislated at by Glenn Youngkin for sure, and they don't want to be talked down to, mostly by men, about when and where they should have their medical needs met. Women should decide this with their doctors. Nobody is having these late term abortions that Republicans fantasize about. What is happening is that women want to make the decision. They're not going to irresponsibly make. They don't want to be told about it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I had an abortion. I have talked about it publicly. It wasn't something that I wanted to have, it wasn't something that any woman said, I would love to go and have an abortion. The fact of the matter is, is that this has been put to the people in many states now, and what you are seeing over and over again, it is driving women to the polls, because women know what they need.

SALAM: Which is the way it should have happened.

GOLDBERG: It's also, to get Reihan's back on this, Reihan's position is essentially Ruth Bader Ginsburg's position in her criticism of Roe, that Roe short-circuited the national democratic position of coming to a position on abortion in this country and created the pro-life movement. And I think it is an interesting counterfactual if there had about two proposed constitutional amendments in Ohio, one, the one that was there, issue one, and the one that basically reflected Youngkin's position, it is no way obvious to me that the Youngkin position of 15-week on a thing wouldn't have won. There is a large amount of support for some sort of middle of the road view --

WALLACE: Talking about counterfactual, I have to say, President Trump seems to agree with Kara and Lulu. Here is what Trump says. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you sign federal legislation that would ban abortion at 15 weeks?

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: No. Let me tell you what I would do. I am going to come together with all of the groups, and we're going to have something that is acceptable. I would sit down with both sides and I'd negotiate something, and we will end up with peace on that issue for the first time in 52 years.


WALLACE: So, Kara -- SWISHER: I often agree with Donald Trump.

WALLACE: I was going to say, he and, in a more elegant way, Nikki Haley, were really saying the same thing, which is we aren't going to pinned down a number, because people --

SWISHER: The minute you talk about numbers, especially to women voters, you have lost the narrative. They want this right. They don't want to be told what to do. And they will make responsible decisions.

SALAM: And saying there are no female pro-life voters. There's a very large number of opinions who are quite similar.

SWISHER: Absolutely. And they lost. And they lose.

SALAM: That's true. But also, guess what. People learn over time. Activists learn, they change their tactics, they change their strategies, and this is going to be a long process.

WALLACE: Reihan, one quick question.

SALAM: Please.

WALLACE: I don't understand the pro-life movement, which for years has been saying zero, abortion is murder, why are people now saying, well, I can accept 15 weeks?

SALAM: That's not quite right, Chris, because when you look at pro- life movement, politically there often was an emphasis on late term abortions, sex selective abortions.

WALLACE: Abortion is murder, I saw all the demonstrations.

SALAM: That's absolutely true. But the --

WALLACE: So why are they accepting 15 weeks?

SALAM: Well, look, it's because of political reality, or recognizing that they wanted it in the cut and thrust of democratic politics. That's where it is right now. That's painful right now, but people are learning, and the movement has to grow. If you are going to create a culture of life, it has to happen by persuading people.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I just don't think they trust people on the right to say it's going to be 15 weeks and then they're not going to try and move the goal posts, and say, you know what, it's 10, oh, no, it's five.

WALLACE: All right, I'm glad we settled that one.

After a quick break, a growing debate that is spreading from colleges to the campaign trail.


SEN. TIM SCOTT, (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Any campus that allows for antisemitism and hate, you should lose your federal funding today.


WALLACE: But how do you decide what's hate speech and what's free speech? Our group tackles a tough subject.



WALLACE: As we watch the brutal fighting in the Middle East, the reaction here at home, especially on college campuses, has sparked a fierce debate about speech. Students protesting Israel's offensive in Gaza, some siding with Hamas, some with Palestinians caught in the middle, and others blurring the lines between both. There are also demonstrations against Muslims. What university leaders should do about the protests is now an issue in the presidential race.


GOV. RON DESANTIS, (R) FLORIDA: Joe Biden should have the Department of Justice on these college campuses and holding the universities accountable for civil rights violations. When you have -- you should have money going to these places.

NIKKI HALEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If the KKK were doing this, every college president would be up in arms. This is no different. You should treat it exactly the same.


WALLACE: Lulu, how do we distinguish between hate speech and free speech?


Obviously physically threatening somebody even with words is over the line, but let me take the case of George Washington University here in D.C. Someone projected these images on the library, "Free Palestine from the River to the Sea," and "Glory to Our Martyrs." Is that hate speech?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It is, I think, one of the thorniest issues right now on college campuses. I have really been struggling with this as I have been seeing what has been happening on college campuses. So I actually spoke to a friend of mine who is a dean at a very prestigious and elite university, and he said that he has never seen it as bad as it is. He said the universities are pretty much being ripped apart by this. And they are not used to having to litigate speech. The idea of universities, as people can come together and debate things, and not decide who should be saying what and when. And so I think this is a very, very contentious issue --

WALLACE: I am going to pick -- go ahead. I'm sorry.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All I will say about particular -- my idea, generally speaking, about what is acceptable and unacceptable, is this. If you are going and projecting words that you know are going to be hurtful on the side of a synagogue, that to me is an act of hate speech. If you are going and saying, "Free Palestine" and you're doing that on a synagogue, that to me is antisemitism. If you are standing on the street and saying, I believe that Palestine should be free as part of a protest, that is not hate speech. And so everyone does have a right to say and hold the belief that they have.

WALLACE: The only Palestinian member of Congress used the same phrase that was projected up on that library wall at G.W., "From the river to the sea," and it led to calls for her to be censured by House representatives. Take a look.


REP. RICH MCCORMICK, (R-GA): Rashida Tlaib has the right to spew antisemitic vitriol and the destruction of the Jewish state. But the House of Representatives also has the right to make it clear that her hate speech does not reflect the opinion of the chamber.

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB, (D-MI): I can't believe I have to say this, but Palestinian people are not disposable.


WALLACE: Kara, as it turned out, the House, including 22 Democrats, voted to censure Tlaib for that statement. Were they right?

SWISHER: I think they were. What was really interesting to me is to watch it on the other side, having covered this for so long and what was hate speech and what was free speech, is the very people who said free speech all the time no matter what are suddenly gotten real woke here about what people should and shouldn't say. That said, I am going to stay consistent. What she was doing, to me, was hate speech. She knew just what she was doing. She knew just what the impact was, and she should have gotten censured.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I don't think that's fair. I don't think that's fair, Kara. I don't think that's fair, and I will tell you why. The history of that particular phrase, it's understood in different ways by different people.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: And so yes, Hamas has used it, and when Hamas uses it, of course, it is hate speech.

SWISHER: But she --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But that phrase, it was also used in the Likud charter.

WALLACE: Let kara speak.

SWISHER: In this hot environment, she knew just what she was doing.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I don't want to debate her. I don't want to debate with her.

GOLDBERG: You used -- if I borrowed a neo-Nazi or KKK slogan and shouted it, and say that's not what -- I don't mean it the way they use it, people would immediately take offense.

But I want to push back a little bit. It's not to push back, your point about how people who are very pro free speech are now getting woke. I see it from the other angle. I see a lot of woke people all of a sudden saying they're for free speech. And my problem with the campus stuff, is I am all in favor of free speech. I think a lot of the talk about hate crimes has been idiotic over the last decade, all this stuff about triggering and coming up with all these new words and policing, language policing.

But if you have one policy which says misgendering is a hate crime, but "gas the Jews" is free speech, then it's the universities that have an antisemitic double standard where they have one set of language, they have one standard that anything that causes harm, anything that is triggering for all of the other identity politics groups is outrageous and verboten.

SALAM: There are Jewish students and Jewish studies classes who are having to hold their classes at undisclosed locations. There are essentially riots. There are threats of intimidation, threats of violence. This is a serious, serious problem. And we need to crack down on it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But Reihan, no one is disagreeing with you.


WALLACE: That's nonnegotiable. Everyone would agree that any kind of physical threat is over the line. I will say, though, I do question the fact that we have heard of microaggressions, and we have heard where people say the mildest things and they're in terrible trouble at a university because they are taking about race or gender.

SWISHER: It should be consistent. This is what these donors are saying, whether it's Bill Ackman or Marc Rowan, who is the head of Apollo, in these letters, it is not consistently applied. But it absolutely should be consistently applied. But universities should be able to make a distinction between hate speech and free speech.


SALAM: I also think, by the way, that Rashida Tlaib, I think there is a reasonable place for expelling her from Congress, OK. Because, look, Paul Gosar was censured for sharing an idiotic and gross meme about him slaying AOC and Joe Biden, OK. Some of those Democrats who have become overnight free speech warriors here suddenly decided that that was entirely reasonable and appropriate, yet here you have Rashida Tlaib, it's not just about that one statement. It is also about spreading a blood libel about the IDF deliberately targeting civilian hospitals.

SWISHER: I don't know why you're yelling at me, because -- SALAM: This is --

WALLACE: She's agreeing with you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And I want to be clear where I stand, where I stand on Rashida Tlaib, which is to say I actually don't think anyone should have been censured because I think the censure is really, the bar is very, very high --

SALAM: -- say that about Paul Gosar --

SWISHER: Well, let me give an example. Years ago, I did an interview with Mark Zuckerberg. And he actually said to me that holocaust deniers don't need to lie. I was like, oh, they do, sir, and I can't believe you're making the decision, it has been two years, to kick them off this platform. I am fully down with kicking people off of things. So that's not the issue. And I think she should be censured, she should have been.

WALLACE: All right, we settled that one, too.


WALLACE: Up next, we're going to change the mood here. I know it is only our second show, but things are about to get personal.



WALLACE: While we weigh in on the big issues each week, we don't want to ignore other stories that are good talkers. So once again, it's time to ask our gang here, yea or nay. We have even come up with a theme today -- dating, dinner, and a movie.


WALLACE: First up, there's talk Elon Musk wants to turn X into an everything app, including a dating site. Some are calling it a "Twinder" and it could appear sometime next year. So Lulu, yea or nay on dating on --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Absolutely nay. I can't imagine a worse idea than finding someone that I would want to date on X. Perhaps it might be a great place for the incel community, but I don't think that that is something that I particularly are going to go on to find the love of my life. I'm also married. I'm sure my husband will be very happy to hear that.


WALLACE: This is a hypothetical.

Reihan, Elon Musk has been a trailblazer, been a trailblazer on electric vehicles, on private space travel. Why not trust your dating life to his site? SALAM: There are a lot of very lonely enraged people out in social

media land who could use a loved one, and so have at it.

WALLACE: Kara, X is now worth less than half what Elon Musk paid for, it right?

SWISHER: Yes, even less.

WALLACE: So would this add value to -- it may not help your personal life, but will it help his bottom line?

SWISHER: No, no. Facebook has a dating service. You remember that? No, you don't. Peter Thiel had a dating service. You remember that? No, you don't. This is going to be a disaster.

WALLACE: We've got to back to our date. Now when it comes to planning your date, is 5:00 p.m. the new 8:00 p.m.? New research shows Americans are making their dinner reservations earlier than ever, and booking a table for 5:00 p.m. is more popular now than it has been in years. Kara, 5:00 p.m. for dinner?

SWISHER: Love it. I have toddlers. Sounds great to me.


WALLACE: Jonah, experts say it is not a question of having small kids, that it's good for health that you limit your caloric intake, a longer time between dinner and when go to bed. So whether for health reasons or because you're an old fogey like this one --


SWISHER: Young fogey.

WALLACE: A young fogey. Dinner at 5:00?

GOLDBERG: I'm all in favor of it. I think this is a sign of one of the things that has changed since COVID, of people having more bespoke life schedules. And as long as they're having dinner with somebody else and not eating alone, I think it's great.

WALLACE: That is definitely part of the date.

Now that you've had dinner, it is time for a movie. This is a big date, remember. The holiday classic "Elf" starring Will Ferrell is turning 20 years ago, and to celebrate, Warner Brothers Discovery, which is CNN's parent company, is bringing the movie back to the theaters for the holiday season. Here is a taste of what you will see.


WILL FERRELL, ACTOR: Don't tell them what you want. He's a liar.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let the kid talk.

FERRELL: You disgust me. How can you live with yourself? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just cool it, zippy.

FERRELL: You sit on a throne of lies.


WALLACE: Lulu, yea or nay to see "Elf" over the holidays.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Nay. I've never seen it. I'll never see it. "Love Actually" the best holiday movie. Bite me. That's it.


WALLACE: So you remind me of another Christmas character, the Grinch. That was really kind of mean.

Kara, is "Elf" on your holiday docket?

SWISHER: "Elf" is genius, it is absolute genius. Almost every Will Ferrell movie is. "Talladega Nights", all of them. Yes.

WALLACE: She's never going to see it, and it's genius.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Me and Kara are on the opposite side of things now.


WALLACE: Is something wrong with her? In the second week of the show, there is something wrong with her?



WALLACE: Very quickly, around the table here, favorite movie "Love Actually"?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: "Love Actually."

WALLACE: There is a right or wrong answer here?

SWISHER: "Gladiator," obviously.

WALLACE: That's a holiday movie?

SWISHER: Yes, for me, it is.


GOLDBERG: Obviously, the Christmas classic is "Die Hard."

WALLACE: Another cheery movie.

SWISHER: Good one.

SALAM: The first movie I ever saw in theaters, "Gremlins," beautiful Christmas movie. Beautiful, beautiful, sweet loveable --


WALLACE: Let me just say that there is only one right answer. Lulu came up with it, "Love Actually," the greatest holiday movie.

Coming up, our panelists, "Gladiator"? Our panel hits me with their best shot predicting what will be news before it's in the news.

Plus, you couldn't miss those three pandas this week being sent from D.C. back to China. But you may have missed another part of the story.


"Over/Under," when we come right back.



WALLACE: It's time for "Over/Under," where we discuss the chances something is going to happen, or debate whether a story has been overplayed or underplayed. This week, it's those giant pandas going home. On Wednesday, it was hard to escape video of three pandas leaving the National Zoo here in Washington to board a plane called the Panda Express back to China. Officials say their departure was always planned, but some foreign policy mandarins blame frayed relations between the two countries for why the pandas' stay at the zoo here wasn't renewed.


And that's only part of the story. Earlier this year, there was serious backlash in China when the government there released photos of Ya-Ya, a giant panda at the Memphis Zoo which allegedly showed her to be malnourished. Some compared her treatment to America's bullying of China. Meanwhile, Chinese state media posted pictures of two pandas at Russia's Moscow Zoo who they said looked energetic and well cared for.

When we return, will the pandas ever come back? The panel gives us their "Over/Under" on all of the panda-monium.

I interviewed a panda once. Their hair is very --



WALLACE: There are now only four Chinese pandas left in the U.S., all at the Atlanta Zoo, and they're expected to be sent home next year, ending an exchange program that has been in effect since the Nixon administration. So is all of this being overplayed or underplayed? Jonah, how much do you care about the pandas and panda diplomacy?

GOLDBERG: I like pandas. They're easy on the eyes. They're too cute to survive in the wild. But panda diplomacy is sort of a dead letter, I don't know what we got out of it in the first place, and frankly, I would love to see some tough diplomacy where we said you can have them back when you release, say, Jimmy Lai or some of other the political prisoners.

WALLACE: Really, panda for protester?

GOLDBERG: Yes, why not?

WALLACE: Lulu, are you over or under the pandas, the return of the pandas, the panda diplomacy, all of it?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I agree with Jonah, and I'll also say that I like pandas. I feel like I need to state that very categorically, I think they're cute. My daughter likes pandas. They're a little boring to watch, they just kind of chew on bamboo. But I think this whole thing about panda diplomacy never really existed. Pandas don't, I think, make the Chinese Communist Party any more fuzzy and warm. I don't think it makes the American people love them more. I think the approval rating of China at the moment in the United States is something like 15 to 20 percent. So I think it is all a little bit ridiculous.

WALLACE: That's a lot of thoughts about pandas.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: I have a lot of thoughts about pandas.

WALLACE: As it turns out, Biden and Xi are going to meet at the AIPAC Summit next week in San Francisco. Are you going to be waiting to see whether they can make a deal to keep or even bring back some pandas?

SALAM: Here is how Biden wins reelection, Chris. He does it by saying that, look, there are a number of pandas who were born on American soil, who are then returned to the Chinese. Those, as far as I'm concerned, are 100 percent American pandas who belong in American communities today. Get it done, Joe.

WALLACE: So they're anchor pandas.

SALAM: Exactly. Get it done, Joe.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I like that.

GOLDBERG: To serve panda --

SWISHER: I like to eat Panda Express when I'm watching "Gladiator." That's my --

WALLACE: I don't know that people heard this. You said they should serve panda?

GOLDBERG: Stick it to the Chinese.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Whoa, whoa, whoa. WALLACE: Finally panel, it's time for your special takes on what is

happening, where predictions what we should be looking out for. So hit me with your best shot. Kara?

SWISHER: ChatGPT made a lot of announcements this week, especially about this platform, sort of moving into the app store of the situation. Sam Altman was very Steve Jobs like. Really important shifts happening where these things are becoming, there were chatbots. They're not becoming do-bots. And it'll be by the creativity people who make them. It's a very important move for this company, and for all of generative A.I. as these things will act on your behalf, have more information about you, and they can do everything from making dinner reservations to coordinating schedules to doing complex negotiations for you.

WALLACE: Is it going to make it easier to do deepfakes if it gets sent out to everyone?

SWISHER: Well, that's the worry is that they have this much information about you. But you will be relying on these, just the way, it's just a super-sized Internet, and it is a very important development.

WALLACE: Reihan, what's on your mind?

SALAM: One Republican is going to help thread the needle on the abortion issue. I think, like it or not, it's going to be Donald Trump. He is someone who has such a deep, tight connection with the conservative base that he can get away with helping folks move to a more politically sustainable place.

GOLDBERG: Maybe he will use the A.I. app to figure out what the compromise is.

SALAM: There you go.

WALLACE: Lulu, best shot.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: My best shot is if you didn't care about climate change, you should now, because wine production is at a 60-year low because of climate change. And I have to say, that has me reaching for my cabernet.

WALLACE: Well, it's interesting, because I just saw recently that the weather is getting too warm in the vineyards of France, and that now the prime location to grow wine in Europe, England. So we'll all be going for English wine.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: English wine and Virginia wine, that's what you're seeing here in the United States as well.

WALLACE: And the panda eater?


GOLDBERG: Two-fold. One, we're going to see a lot of stories about the flocking of big donors to Nikki Haley next week. And an intensification of talk about Tim Scott dropping out soon.

WALLACE: Why, first of all, the move to Nikki Haley?

WALLACE: Because I think her performance in the debate was geared for attracting a lot of big donor money. There is a lot of big donor money that says Tim Scott can't win, that Chris Christie can't win. They don't want to give it to Ron DeSantis, and Ron DeSantis is not going to drop out. And Tim Scott, he's just not been able to figure out an explanation for why he's running for president. Great guy, but just hasn't been able to --

WALLACE: Do you see, in 20 seconds, any way that Trump doesn't get the nomination?

GOLDBERG: I think it's possible, but I wouldn't bet anything of great value on it.

WALLACE: Not even a panda.

GOLDBERG: I said anything of great value.


WALLACE: Thank you all very much for being here once again. Thank you for spending part of your Sunday -- Saturday morning with us. We'll see you back here next week. And "THE AMANPOUR HOUR" is up right now here on CNN.