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Inside Politics

Rare November Hurricane Makes Landfall In Florida; Georgia Senate Race Heads To Runoff, Could Decide Senate; Biden Heads To Egypt Tonight For Un Climate Summit. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired November 10, 2022 - 12:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Over 300,000 customers are without power in Florida after a rare November hurricane made landfall this morning. Nicole now a tropical storm is still hitting the state with heavy rain, big winds. Leyla Santiago is back with us live in Florida. Leyla, what are you seeing now?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, last time I checked in with you I was in South Daytona. We are now on Daytona Beach and take a look at the big problem here which is flooding. What you're going to see up in the distance is the International Speedway Bridge, which has been shut off. And so there is no access to that barrier island here in Daytona Beach. That's an area that by the way, still being evacuated where the county has told us there are dozens of building -- buildings that have been deemed unsafe. And they're correlating that to coastal erosion.

So let's walk down here and show you sort of another angle. So you can see the problem when it comes to the flooding down here. Not only closing down roads, washing out roads, and closing bridges but take a look down on this side, you can see just by that car there how high the water is. I spoke to one gentleman who said he left here this morning. He just checked on his business which is on this street and he has two feet of water inside. So a lot of flooding that we're seeing here. And one other pretty big update that just came in as well announced that the death toll now associated with tropical storm, Nicole, they have reported two deaths as a result. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Leyla, thank you so much for that update. We will stick close to this. Let's turn now to the economy though, U.S. stocks way up at this hour after inflation report was better than expected. It shows inflation easing from that four decade high we've been tracking for so long now. Well, the Federal Reserve is still working on trying to tame stubborn inflation. Matt Egan is back with us with more on this. Matt, how big of a deal is this report?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Kate, this is a big deal. I mean, inflation isn't gone, but it is cooling off. It's cooling off more so than people expected. One of the interesting things out of this report is that core inflation which strips out food and energy that actually unexpectedly got cut in half month over month in October. That was significant year over year, 7.7 percent increase in prices. That is not good, but everything is relative.

This is a nine month low and it is big improvement from June when we saw consumer prices go up by more than 9 percent. We saw outright price declines month over month in October for apparel, airfare, used cars, fresh fruit, and Moody's economist Mark Zandi told me that he thinks that today's reports suggest that even though inflation is still painfully high, it is quote, definitively moderating.

And Zandi says as long as oil prices don't go crazy, or China doesn't resort to really extreme lockdowns, then he thinks that inflation should be quote, much lower a year from now, which would obviously be great news. Now Wall Street is loving this. The second that this report came out, we saw stock futures skyrocket. Dow up by about 800 points around 3 percent. The S&P 500 up 4 percent. The NASDAQ is spiking 6 percent. You don't see that every day, this would be the best day for Wall Street in over two years.

The hope is that all of this gives the Fed a reason to stop slamming the brakes on the economy. These massive interest rate hikes are raising the risk of a recession. They're also raising borrowing costs. Yesterday we learn that credit card rates hit record highs, mortgage rates today, we learned are back above 7 percent at a 20 year high. So hopefully this inflation report gives the Fed a reason to stop with the rate hikes.

BOLDUAN: All right, it's good to see you Matt, thank you. I really appreciate it.


So voters in Georgia facing another huge and consequential runoff next month, will Biden and Trump campaign there to try to boost their Senate candidates? Do the candidates want them to? We'll discuss that next.


BOLDUAN: The Senate race in Georgia heading to a runoff after Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger Herschel Walker, they failed at both of them either of them to get over 50 percent of the vote. What this means is Georgia voters will have to return to the polls next month to pick the winner. And in a very real case of deja vu, this race could decide which party takes the Senate Majority.

Joining me now for more on this is Patricia Murphy. She's a political reporter for the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution." It's good to see you. Georgia voters have become quite familiar with runoffs in recent time for sure. What are the lessons learned from last year's run off and what do you think it means for this one?

PATRICIA MURPHY, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: Well, our runoff that we had in 2021 was totally unprecedented. It was a nine week slog relief for two of our U.S. senators who were Republicans at the time running against Democratic challengers and with Donald Trump who had just lost in 2020 coming down and making himself at near constant presence in Georgia, right before the 2021 elections.


Obviously, both of those Republicans lost. Donald Trump had a big rally the night before those two runoffs, and talked mostly about himself and talked about how he was going to primary Governor Brian Kemp, because he was super mad at him as well as Brad Raffensperger.

You know, fast forward nearly two years and we have Donald Trump still angry with Brian Kemp. But Brian Kemp is the most popular Republican here in the state. He won by a lot on Tuesday night. And so the big question is, will Herschel Walker who is up in this runoff, will he bring Donald Trump in for him or continue to keep them away as that Walker campaign has done it? It did not help win a runoff in 2021. And it doesn't look like it would help in 2022.

BOLDUAN: You mentioned Kemp. I mean, not having the popular Republican governor on the ballot? What do you think that does for Herschel Walker now in the runoff?

MURPHY: Yes, I think it's a problem. There was a lot of hope among Republicans, that Governor Kemp would finish by such a huge margin over 50 percent that he could drag Herschel Walker over that finish line. There are a number of Georgia voters, Republicans, who voted for Governor Brian Kemp, who did not vote for Herschel Walker. But the governor has a huge ground game. He built up his own ground game outside of the Republican Party apparatus, turned on that switch, got all of his voters out to the polls, which he said would help all of the other Republicans on the ballot that helped everyone except Herschel Walker win without a runoff.

Now when Walker is out there by himself on Election Day in that runoff, he's going to need that kind of ground game that Governor Brian Kemp was able to flip on, but it won't be Kemp's operation anymore. So that was a big boost for every other Republican on the ticket. It wasn't enough to get Walker over the finish line, though. And so he's going to need to go back to the drawing board. But it will hurt him absolutely that Governor Kemp isn't on the ticket with him to help him get over the line.

BOLDUAN: And Patricia there's already so much money pouring into Georgia now with a runoff underway, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced $7 million field organizing investment to boost Warnock. An anti-abortion group announced that it's going to spend at least a million dollars in the race to attack Warnock's position on abortion. What is the money game going to look like here?

MURPHY: So I can tell you so far in the Senate race, Raphael Warnock outspent Herschel Walker by more than $16 million and still ended up tied with Herschel Walker. So there is a point at which all the money you throw at this race isn't going to make sure that you have won. We have more than $500 million coming into the state for those runoffs in 2021. Eventually, all those ads just canceled each other out, people stop paying attention. But if the money goes into a ground game, if the money goes into delivering those voters to the polls, which you really have to win a runoff because people just aren't paying attention the same way then that's money well spent, but in terms of all of the money flooding in for an air war that tends to start to just get completely tuned out. They need that money on the ground Herschel Walker especially needs that money on the ground because that was an operation that Kemp had stood up before.

BOLDUAN: Yes, it's great to see Patricia, thank you so much.


Coming up next for us, exclusive new CNN reporting on what the United States observed Russia doing that has national security officials concerned, details and a live report next.


BOLDUAN: Now two exclusive CNN reporting, the United States observe the Russian Navy preparing for a possible test of a new nuclear power torpedo, a successful launch could inflame an already volatile situation, of course between the United States and Russia. My colleague, Jim Sciutto, has this new reporting. And he joins me now from Washington. Jim, why is this so concerning to national security officials here?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, to begin, it's just a fearsome weapon. It's described as a torpedo, it's really an underwater drone, its nuclear powered. So it has in effect, a limitless range around the world. It's huge, as you can see there. It's designed to go off the coast of an adversary country of an adversary city, lie and wait there and if ordered launch, potentially a nuclear attack, so that so this is a fearsome offensive weapon. The U.S. was watching these naval exercises just north of Russia, in the Arctic sea very closely to see if it's come along so far, that they're able to give it a real life test in effect.

There were clearly preparations for doing that. They had a submarine in these exercises, designed to carry this very weapon. But in the end, those ships left the Arctic sea last week without carrying out the test. And the U.S. believes it's possible they ran into technical difficulties doing so also because of the nature of where that is in the world that ISIS over this time of year, so the window was limited. But bigger picture is well, Kate, you and I've talked about this and others that concern that Russia that Vladimir Putin wanted to make as a step, a threat to the world, in effect to show the power of his weapons. And this was one of those potential test, one of those potential demonstrations here. And that's why the U.S. is watching this so closely.

BOLDUAN: Yes, as they showed, great reporting, Jim. Thank you so much for bringing it to us. I really appreciate it.

So tonight President Biden is departing for a big overseas trip heading to Egypt for the United Nations Climate Conference. One thing on the agenda, the suspended climate talks between the U.S. and China. David McKenzie is live in Egypt for us. He joins us now, David, how important are these talks, really to the overall global effort to try to make progress in tackling the climate crisis?


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: OK, critical both the U.S. and China, the world's two biggest emitters, they need to talk to provide leadership to other countries like here at these climate meetings to toe the line, to get to where we need to get to avoid the climate crisis. I also spoke to Secretary Kerry, the climate envoy of President Biden, and I asked him about this new initiative by the U.S. to use carbon credits to offset the companies around the world. He says, despite the criticism, it's important to have the funding out there, take a listen.


JOHN KERRY, SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY FOR CLIMATE: Once the rules get fully worked out, and everybody's in a comfort place, hopefully this will be implemented because we desperately need the money. There is not enough money in any country in the world to actually solve this problem. It takes trillions and no government that I know of is ready to put trillions into this on an annual basis. That's what the scientists and the U.N. finance reports say we must do, 2.5 to 4.5 trillion every year for the next 30 years.


MCKENZIE: There's still no formal talks between China and the U.S. But I expect that will stay that way, Kate, until perhaps next week, when Biden is due to meet Xi Jinping at the G20 meetings. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Yes, the first face to face encounter in person since President Biden took office. It's good to see you, David. Thank you very much. So this just into CNN, federal authorities have arrested an 18-year-old in New Jersey for allegedly threatening to attack a synagogue. You remember this comes just days ago was that the FBI made a very big and bold alert to the public about a broad threat to synagogues throughout the state. Jessica Schneider is live in Washington with more detail on this. Jessica, what are you picking up?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, the U.S. attorney in New Jersey just announcing this, just announcing that they have in fact arrested an 18-year-old New Jersey man. He's now charged for making threats against Jewish people and threatening to attack a synagogue. And as you mentioned, really, this all materialized last week, when the FBI really sent out an alarming tweet. They said in that tweet that they had received credible information about a broad threat to synagogues in New Jersey.

Our team at the time noted there was no specific target or timing mentioned. But that this tweet was prompted, in fact by an online posting with an anti-Semitic comments in a forum that was frequented by extremists. And at the time last week, authorities were especially alarmed because the posting was written as if the attack on a synagogue had already occurred, which it had not. But now there is one suspect under arrest for allegedly posting what authorities are now calling a manifesto where he allegedly spewed hatred, and he threatened to attack a synagogue. Now this 18-year-old that was arrested his name is Omar Alkattoul. He was arrested and interviewed by authorities. And now we're told he's been voluntarily transferred to a hospital for examination.

But Kate, at the hospital the complaint actually says that he told an employee that he had been communicating with someone on social media, he believed to be affiliated with al Qaeda. And he told them about these alleged plans to essentially blow up a synagogue but this suspect now in custody, and facing that one count of transmitting a threat. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Jessica, thank you for bringing the update. Appreciate it.

So President Biden, he is suggesting that Elon Musk's relationship with other countries is quote, worthy of being looked at after the billionaire's purchase of Twitter and maybe his activity on Twitter. Oliver Darcy joins me now with much more on this. Oliver, what are the concerns here? President Biden was asked about it at his press conference. And his answer is getting a lot of attention.

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Yes, a remarkable thing for the President to say, right, that the world's richest man, his relationships with other countries is worth looking into. But he's not the only one saying this, Kate. Last month, Senator Chris Murphy, he actually wrote Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. And he asked the same. He asked the Treasury Department to review Musk's relationships with other countries, particularly because of some investments from foreign governments into Twitter.

So Chris Murphy, he said, given Twitter's critical role in public communication, I am concerned by the potential influence of the government of Saudi Arabia. As you know, the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States has the responsibility to review transactions that could result in American business being controlled by a foreign person, and then it goes on. Whether this amounts to anything, we're not really sure.

BOLDUAN: That's what I was going to ask you. What is the next step? What are you looking in? What are you looking for?

DARCY: Yes, well, the Treasury Department is not going to comment on this. And so we're not really sure where this is or whether it's going anywhere serious but there are these calls for the U.S. government to examine these relationships Musk has with other countries, specifically because he now controls Twitter, which is a hugely important communications platform here in the United States.


BOLDUAN: Absolutely. It's good to see you. Thank you so much, Oliver.

DARCY: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. Thank you. And thank you all so much for joining us. I'm Kate Bolduan. CNN NEWSROOM with Ana Cabrera is next.