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McCarthy: Rep. Greene Will Get Committee Positions If GOP Takes House; Trump Mocks DeSantis At PA Rally: "Ron DeSanctimonious"; Races To Watch On Election Night. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired November 07, 2022 - 12:30   ET



JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Listen to this part about the question for me really is how long of a leash to Speaker McCarthy if that is the case have when the Democrats kicked Marjorie Taylor Greene off the Committees. Kevin McCarthy says, she'll be back.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Marjorie Greene is she was going to get reelected, she's going to have committees to set it off.


MCCARTHY: She's going to have committees to serve on just like every other member. And every other member goes through a steering committee, looking at the best places to serve.

ZANONA: You have no red lines in terms of which committee assignments she could get?

MCCARTHY: No, she can put through the committee she wants, just like any other member in our conference that gets elected.


ALEXANDER (voice-over):

KING: Matter of fact, will be there, but he's got a complicated job if he wins the majority.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And of course, the margins matter, the bigger majority of the presumably the easier would get a very narrow majority the harder it would get give the people like Marjorie Taylor Greene more say over what he does. You asked about how long of a leash she will have, it really will determine how quickly they had to pass legislation that must be passed. Yes, they can do a lot of messaging those -- they will do about the border about IRS, other issues that will pass the House, have no chance to pass in the Senate, even if Republicans are in control because of the 60 vote threshold of the Senate and, of course, the president in the White House who's a Democrat. But what about raising the national debt limit and extending government funding? How early does McCarthy concede on some of those issues to Democrats? Or does he dig in and get what he wants? At the end of the day, does it lead to the possibility of a shutdown or a debt default? How does he come out on the other end of those fights? That will determine how much standing he has within his conference at the end of the day.

KING: Ronald Reagan lost the House. People thought he was done. He won 49 states in this next election. Bill Clinton lost the house, Barack Obama lost the house. They went on to win reelection. Donald Trump lost the House and he did not. One of the big policy debates, Americans are used to divided government. One of the big policy debates will be Ukraine, not a majority of House Republicans, but a vocal group of House Republicans follow the Tucker Carlson model, which is somehow that Vladimir Putin is a good guy here. Kevin McCarthy says that's not him.


MCCARTHY: I'm very supportive of Ukraine. No, that means, no blank checks for anything. It means no blank checks for any other policy. I think there has to be accountability brought forth. You always need not a blank check but make sure the resources are going to where as needed. And make sure that Congress and the Senate have the ability to debate it openly.


KING: Caution, caution. He's saying Ukraine will get money but.

LEIGH ANN CALDWELL, EARLY 202 CO-AUTHOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: Right. And that's the question. So, you know, his members are going to put demands on this money. Is this money also going to be to have to include money to secure the border is it going to have to be some sort of audit of the Defense Department, whatever it is that his members are going to want, it's going to make it intimately more difficult for it to pass the Senate to have get signed into law by the President. So even though he's saying not saying no more money for Ukraine, it can just be a very complicated path in order to pass this legislation.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: No question about it. I think of all the topics that you mentioned, and these are going to be really important, consequential challenges from the debt ceiling to Ukraine to others. Ukraine might be the easiest, even though it will be complicated and messy, he's clearly walking right in the middle of the Tucker Carlson wing and the -- just give Ukraine as much money as they want wing of his own party I'm talking about by saying, we'll attach some strings and basically direct it.

The debt ceiling is going to be the first thing that we're all going to be talking about, because this is a huge issue. Is the United States going to default on its debt? Well, for, you know, many years during the Trump White House, they racked up a lot of debt in American government. And now you're seeing much more of a turn among Republicans toward over, we have big spending during the Biden years. Well, the money, forgive me, but their money is going to have to be put where their mouth is on the question of the debt ceiling. KING: Republicans get much more fiscal conservative when there's a Democratic president, it's just the funny thing, a coincidence. How much are they prepared for this at the Biden White House in terms of investigations, in terms of negotiations, in the sense that I know the public line is we think we're going to hold the house, we think we're going to hold the Senate. But they have to prepare for the alternative.

AYESHA RASCOE, NPR HOST, "WEEKEND EDITION SUNDAY" AND "UP FIRST": I mean I think they have to be getting ready for how they're going to deal with how they're going to do these negotiations. You know, when it comes to the debt ceiling, you're going to have the economy is in a very different place right now. So when you start playing around with things like that, you're really putting things at risk, and they're going to have to be prepared for investigations, they're going to be investigated, everything, get their documents ready, they're going to have to figure out their strategy for how they're going to pass things along, and how they're going to fight.


KING: Up next for us, we continue this conversation. Donald Trump not on the midterm ballot, but he is gearing up for 2024 and making clear his voice will be heard and will be loud if Republicans take control of one or both chambers of Congress.


KING: Donald Trump's midterm campaigning comes to a close tonight in Ohio and with it, get this it, a possible 2024 presidential announcement. Sources telling CNN, the former president may announce his 2024 presidential bid tonight on the eve of the midterm elections. Trump spent the weekend visiting Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Florida talking way more about himself than about Republicans on the ballot this year, that includes constantly reminding other Republicans of his influence that message directed not only at GOP leaders who might soon have a lot of power in Congress, but also at Republicans debating whether to challenge Trump for the 2024 nomination.

Our reporters back at the table. On Friday, we were talking about people around Trump said he might announce as early as November 14th, why would he do it tonight in Ohio before the midterm vote is even counted.

BASH: He is chomping at the bid. He's chomping at the bid to get out there and to make it official and most importantly in the short term, he's doing it for two reasons. One is to take credit and to sort of ride the wave even if it's just the house in the in the sort of immediate hours tomorrow to ride the wave of what he believes will be win in the House and claim credit because he'll say that he endorsed a lot of the candidates who won.


Also, he's seeing a lot of his potential opponent opponents, Republican opponents out on the campaign trail, nevermind DeSantis, but he's seeing Nikki Haley out there. He's seeing, you know, Chris Sununu out there. He's seeing Mike Pence readying a book tour as soon as next week or the week after, and he wants to get ahead of all that.

KING: Right. Mike Pompeo is another one out there. Just yesterday, Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican Senator, we can show you the headline decided he's not going to run in 2024. I view that as making a conscious decision at the age of 45 to avoid the human chainsaw that got Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz in the last presidential campaign, his decision wait it out, wait it out and see what happens. But you mentioned Ron DeSantis. Trump did not do this in Florida. He was more polite. He said reelect Marco Rubio, reelect your Governor Ron DeSantis. But when he was in Pennsylvania, it is clear, he has rivals on his mind.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're winning big, big, big in the Republican Party for the nomination like nobody has ever seen before. Let's say there it is, Trump at 71, Ron DeSanctimonious at 10 percent, Mike Pence at s7. Oh, Mike's doing better than I thought.


KING: It worked for him in 2016 to just disparage in sometimes called in kind of savage ways his rivals, does that sell again?

RASCOE: I mean, I think he -- that's his game plan. That's what he does, right. I do think Ron DeSanctimonious is not a great nickname. I think it shows that Ron DeSantis is in his head a little too much because the sanctimonious, really, that's not good.

BASH: It's six syllables. That's a lot.

RASCOE: It is a lot. I think it just shows that Ron DeSantis is really in Trump's head and like he's overthinking it. And I think when you -- but the fact that Ron got the nickname shows that, you know, he's the one who's really on Trump's mind.

CALDWELL: But DeSantis is also a very popular Republican conservative governor. And, you know, he got -- Trump got a lot of criticism. We were talking about this before. He got a lot of criticism after he did that. So is this going to turn off some of his Republican base who may not, who might want something new?

KING: Right. You want to be the leader of the party, it's your job to support candidates on the ballot, even sometimes hold your breath or hold your tongue for a day or two for just for a day or two or a week or two. The interesting part to me is that I would say no 2024 conversation until after we count the 2022 votes except for what Donald Trump is trying to do. He's not just telling the 2024 rivals, I'm here, I can win. I will call you Ron DeSanctimonious. He's telling Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell I'm back. And so no matter what happens in this election, whatever you're doing from here on end, I'm going to be watching you including listen to this about remember, he lost the last election. His supporters on the United States Capitol, Trump says reelect me, maybe I'll pardon them.


TRUMP: The FBI and the Justice Department have become vicious monsters controlled by radical left scoundrels, lawyers and the media. This egregious abuse of the law is going to produce a backlash, the likes of which nobody has ever seen before.

If I run and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6th fairly. And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons.


KING: They attack the United States government, the symbol of its power, the United States Capitol, they wanted to hang the vice president of the united states. They were trying to find and kill the Speaker of the House of Representatives and they beat police officer.

RAJU: I mean, it's pretty remarkable to see the way that Trump has gone from initially distancing himself from January 6th to essentially full on embracing what happened on January 6th, and how different his approach is to most Republican leaders in Washington. Kevin McCarthy wants nothing to do with them, just want to talk about January 6th at all. Neither is Mitch McConnell, even as Mitch McConnell blamed Donald Trump for causing the violence on that day. You asked McConnell about it. He says I've already spoken about this subject. He will not talk about this. Again, Donald Trump much different but it just shows you if and when he decides to run, once again, what he says and what he does, will put Republicans in a difficult spot even when they're -- if they're in power after Tuesday.

KING: We'll watch the rally tonight to see if that's just a teaser if that's actually going to happen.


Up next, back to 2022, races, our reporters are watching closely for early election night clues of your midterm verdict.


KING: We start counting votes filling in this map tomorrow night but it could be days perhaps even longer before we know the final midterm results and there's absolutely nothing nefarious about that. It takes time to count votes. And in close races, there might be recounts to double check not to mention the possibility of a runoff election in Georgia a month from now. But we will, yes we will, get some critical early clues tomorrow night.

Let's just look at the house you see 435 elections. Let me just pop up here so you can see it. The races we identify as competitive seats. As I noted there are 82 of them in all. Democrats on defense and 57 of the 82 that tells you about the steep, so what's going to happen, let me move the map over a little bit, let me stretch it out a little bit. The polls close earliest in the East Coast obviously. We are going to get some very early clues. Here's what I'm going to look at. Then we'll bring in our great reporters. Number one two Democratic seats in New Hampshire, two incumbents if they can hold on Democrats might be having an OK night if they get wiped out early that might tell you Republicans are not only going to win the House, but maybe on the way to a big night. That's New Hampshire.


Then for me, we come down to Pennsylvania, and you pop up here, there are three Democratic seats here, one west of Pittsburgh, and two hear. I visited this district earlier Matt Cartwright in the Eighth District. Susan Wild in the seventh district, these are Democratic incumbents. Again, they are fighting to hold on. If they can hold on, maybe there's no big Republican way. Maybe it's a ripple. Maybe the Democrats can defy history. So New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, those are two of the races I'll be watching early tomorrow night.

Let me bring up another one right now. And Dana Bash, there are three Democratic incumbents in Virginia. We're watching closely in competitive races. You have spent a lot of time thinking about this race, the second district, Elaine Luria versus Republican Jane Higgins. Elaine Luria is the Democratic incumbent prominent member of the January 6th Committee, and she's on her heels.

BASH: We're going to be looking at that. I'm particularly going to be so interested to see what happens in what we call Virginia two, the second district there. And part of the reason is because just the logistics of it, the polls close at 7 o'clock in Virginia. They tend to count relatively quickly in Virginia. And so we might know earlier, though, in 2020 it took a lot longer in that district. But also in 2018, Elaine Luria was one of the majority makers. She was one of the main reasons why Democrats took over and took over so big in the United States House of Representatives, and it's also a district that has gone back and forth back and forth so many times. She actually told me point blank, I think my district is 218. So she's even putting that kind of pressure on herself.

RAJU: Yes. And there have been a number of districts like that, too. You mentioned majority makers. One of them also is Tom Malinowski of Jersey. I was out there with him just a couple of weeks ago. He had a similar argument, too. He said, we cannot hold the house without this district. This spans into the New York suburbs. It also goes into more rural districts. It was more of a Democratic district, even though Tom Malinowski beat the same opponent, Thomas Kean Jr. by just 1.2 years ago, that was a district at the time that Democrats, Joe Biden carried by about 10 points.

Now, after redistricting, Joe Biden carried that same new district by about three points. So it is now more favored for Republicans, but it's somehow for Republicans, even though it is still Democratic leaning, if somehow Malinowski were able to hold on to that district, perhaps not as big of a wave, perhaps a rip of sorts, but still Malinowski very much the underdog heading in --

KING: Right. And if you look at the map, just from Virginia, north to Maine, if you will, the eastern seaboard up, there are 21 competitive districts, 17 of them are being defended by Democrats. So as those results come in to the 8 o'clock hour, the 9 o'clock hour, you get a pretty good sense, right? Are these Democrats fighting to hang on? Or are we seeing them get wiped out? Manu you were just talking about Malinowski here, Luria is down here. Ayesha, this is Abigail Spanberger's district right there, again, another member of the 2018 class.

RASCOE: Who she came in on that way, you know, she worked at the CIA, she's one of those more moderate, you know, Democrats who's trying to say we have to be a broader party, we have to, you know, reach out, you know, be bipartisan. And so, you know, it will be a real, something I will watch for to see if she will be able to hold on, or is this a, you know, an example where she came in on a way is she going to get knocked out by the red wave, you know.

BASH: It's pretty incredible that Republican -- the path to the majority, perhaps for Republicans is through New England. This is a region of the country that Republicans have not been well represented for years. Susan Collins is currently the only Republican representing Congress, that House or the Senate in New England. I'm looking for another New England seat, Connecticut 5. This is Johanna Hayes against Logan, who's a Republican. He's a horrible fundraiser. But he is doing extremely well against Johanna Hayes in a district that has been -- this was Chris Murphy's old district. This is Sandy Hook's district. And this is a district that Biden won by more than 10 points.

RAJU: And this is challenge really for Democrats. They are battling so many areas all across the country deep into their part, deep into Democratic very blue terrain or seats. They did not think they had to defend like Sean Patrick Maloney seat the Democratic campaign chairman in the house in New York suburbs seat. At the beginning, they thought they have been able to hold that seat. But now there's been a ton of money spent. It is a true tossup. And if you were to go down, you lose a Democratic leader, Republican pickup in New York, that would be a huge victory and probably signal that Republicans are going to pick up the House although we may not know that outcome of that race for some time, because New York takes some time.

KING: Right. But you mentioned New York, so I just -- there's a half dozen districts there. Maloney's is in here. You mentioned the Connecticut district over here. We just talked about, this is suburb west of Pittsburgh. This is the northern Virginia suburbs. This is suburbs down here by Virginia Beach. It's a common theme as you go through this that these house -- the competitive races a lot of them are in the suburbs. And guess what, that will determine in the states that also have big Senate and governor's races, voila.


BASH: Yes. The -- it's really pretty much historically the competitive seats have been in the suburbs because that's where more independent minded voters live. And that's when -- those are people who tend to change their mind.

KING: Right. They made Pelosi speaker. They made Joe Biden president now we're going to see what they think. Tomorrow we count the votes and tonight, you don't want to miss this, the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined CNN's Anderson Cooper and her first sit down interview since her husband Paul was attacked in their San Francisco home. Tune in for that 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Thanks for your time today in INSIDE POLITICS. We'll see you tomorrow for our special election coverage. Ana Cabrera picks up our coverage after a quick break. Have a good day.