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New Jersey Democratic Governor Phil Murphy Narrowly Wins Reelection; Employers across U.S. Having Trouble Finding Workers to Fill Positions; Former Trump Economic Adviser Discusses Causes for Inflation in U.S.; Only a Fraction of Violent Incidents on Planes are Investigated; Ex-NFL Star Driving More than 150 MPH Before Fatal DUI Crash; Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is Interviewed About the Infrastructure Deal. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired November 04, 2021 - 08:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[08:00:00]

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Which means that most of the votes still to come in is from these areas, including places like Hudson County, New Jersey, where Phil Murphy has 73 percent of the vote, just 81 percent n. Essex nearby there were Newark is, the biggest urban county, Murphy is at 73 percent, just 84 percent in. So you can expect over the next couple of days as they get more of the mail vote counted and it grows, that his margin will grow.

Again, a win is a win. Democrats are thrilled about that. What they're not so thrilled about here is the margins. Let me show you. Again, 35,000, about 1.4 percent. I want to compare that to Joe Biden's win, just one year ago, it's not like this was that long ago. Let's go back, let's look at the presidential race there. And you can see Joe Biden had 725,000 vote margin. That's a lot different than 35,000. And the margin in percent terms, I think I'm bad at math, 15.8 percent. So that's big. That's big. You're talking about a huge swing in just one year.

Where is that swing? Let's go back to the governor's race here. You see Phil Murphy's margin again. Let's look at the counties that Joe Biden won that Phil Murphy didn't. There are four counties. You see them here in red, that Biden won that Phil Murphy lost. Let's look at the vote swings there. You see Jack Ciattarelli, the Republican, winning Morris County by 14 points. That's pretty healthy. Joe Biden won it by four points. So that's a 16-point flip. Let's look at another one. Down here in the south, blue collar areas of New Jersey, some pretty big swings. This is Atlantic County, Jack Ciattarelli won that by 12 points. Joe Biden won it by six. So an 18-point swing there in the blue collar, now Republican counties.

And I want to look at one of the counties that Phil Murphy did manage to win, Bergen County, right outside New York City. You can see Joe -- Phil Murphy's margin there is five points, won it by five points. But President Biden won it by 16 points. So even in some of these more Democratic counties, pretty big swings there. So, yes, a win is a win for Phil Murphy. He will be governor for four more years. But you can see how there have been big changes in one year, Brianna. BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, very dramatic. Berman, thank you for

that.

So one of the top issues for voters was the economy. And one of the central questions is where have all the workers gone? Employers across the country are scrambling to find people to fill open jobs. CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans is with us now. I talk, sometimes, to business owners, and I've noticed, like, their hours are shorter. And you ask them why, and it's because they can't find workers.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right. They've had to get really creative, and they're really pulling their hair out. You've heard it called the great resignation, Brianna. We know that Americans are -- they're quitting their jobs in record numbers, millions since this spring, 3 million in June and July. In August, another 4.3 million workers simply quit.

So where are they going? They're starting new businesses, believe it or not. More than 4.3 million new business applications so far this year alone. That's up 24 percent from last year. That the biggest spike of new business creation on record. Millions of Americans are taking care of their family. Nearly 5 million people are not working because they're taking care of kids, 3 million are concerned about getting or spreading the virus. And millions, Brianna, are retiring. They're afraid of the virus and they've got record high stocks and home equity to buoy them. The share of retirees in the working population is almost 20 percent, that's the highest since 2005.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NELA RICHARDSON, CHIEF ECONOMIST, ADP: Some of them have retired. Some of them are still in the workforce and they're not getting hired, Christine. I think that's a bit overlooked. Some of them are sitting out because they're waiting to see how the pandemic evolves. Some are waiting as long as they possibly can to go back to the jobs that they had to leave, for good reason. They weren't probably the greatest, most fulfilling jobs to begin with. And so to find the workers means to reshape the workforce.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Yes, and ultimately workers are demanding more out of their job than just the paycheck. It's why we're seeing so much job hopping among the employed, especially in finance and information and professional business services, where work from home policies and higher wages are luring in workers and causing them to hop from one job to the other. Wages are rising for low wage industries too, but inflation is rising just as fast there.

A welcome development, Brianna, this week, payroll processor ADP showed 571,000 jobs created in the private sector last month. The official government jobs number, of course, is tomorrow morning. The forecast there, Brianna, 385,000 jobs added back. But this has really been the new landscape for workers. And you heard Larry Summers say to you last hour, it used to be workers are looking for jobs. Now jobs are looking for workers.

KEILAR: Yes, they certainly are. Christine, thank you so much for explaining that.

[08:05:00]

Joining me now is the former chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, President Trump's Council of Economic Advisers Kevin Hassett with us, a new book out called "The Drift, Stopping America's Slide to Socialism." OK, Kevin, first off --

KEVIN HASSETT, FORMER TRUMP ECONOMIC ADVISER: Hi, good morning to you.

KEILAR: Good morning to you. What is driving this labor shortage from where you see it?

HASSETT: I thought that report was very well done. In the beginning, I think there were a lot of people saying maybe it's because of expanded unemployment benefits, but it is a much more complicated story than that. I think that really what happened a lot is people stayed home, and then they found that they could somehow manage that. And I think it is right that with record high equity and house prices that people have decided, especially older people that are close to retirement, why should I go back into the workforce right now when I've learned how comfortable it is. Maybe they've learned that time with their family is worth a lot more than they thought.

The supply chain thing is actually interestingly related to it because a disproportionate share of, like, truckers and stevedores, longshoremen, are people who are kind of older and closer to retirement and have maybe decided not to show up. And so there really are massive shortages of workers in the supply chain, especially truck drivers and people who work at ports.

KEILAR: And so on this issue we have been hearing how it affects people, just when you're grocery shopping. We all feel it. We feel it at the gas pump. How concerned are you about inflation? And I should mention what Larry Summers just said. He thinks this is going to go on for another six to nine months, maybe longer. Do you agree with that?

HASSETT: Yes, I think -- Larry and I have been in agreement. Usually we don't agree, but we've been in agreement. I think I tread pretty much above him on inflation this year. The fact is a lot of it will depend on what happens with legislation this year, because the story of inflation always and everywhere is that if you throw lots of money at demand, and then we don't have enough supply to meet that demand, then prices go up. And so if the Biden administration does really lift taxes on small business, they're proposing having the highest marginal tax rate in the developed world, the highest in the OECD, a big corporate tax increase, if that stuff gets through, then you'll be pushing supply down at the same time that you're cutting checks to people to push demand up.

And that backdrop, I think, is the most inflationary that we have seen really all the way back to the 70s. and I wouldn't be surprised if the four or five percent inflation we're seeing now were to even double next year if those policies pass.

KEILAR: Do you see this also, though, as a recession of the -- pardon me, an extension of the inflation of the Trump years?

HASSETT: Well, inflation really accelerated this year. I think that what really happened is that, remember, I was back at the White House helping to design the pandemic relief, and I think that the pandemic relief was super important, but what we did, we went up as White House people to the Hill and we talked to Democrats and we said, this COVID thing is developing quickly. We're not exactly sure how long we're going to have to be shut down, what the negative economic is going to be. We passed four, depending on how you count, five stimulus bills a little bit at a time that were right sized for the amount of time that we needed to buy. I think I probably even was on your show saying we're building a bridge to the other side, if you remember that when I was out in front of the White House.

So I think the mistake that President Biden's team made is that they came in, and remember all those things President Trump passed with unanimous consent up on Capitol Hill, and so despite the fact that everybody had bad feelings, that there were impeachments coming and everything, they actually had 98 votes in the Senate for stimulus bills. Biden comes in, and instead of following that playbook, just passes this really, really massive stimulus that they designed at a time when there were 250,000 COVID cases a day. And of course before the Delta variant, that dropped down to about 50,000 by the time they passed the bill. And so they ended up with a bill that was way, way too large. And I think that that's the main cause of inflation, the reason why it took off. You remember, GDP --

KEILAR: But it's also, it is also, Kevin --

HASSETT: -- in the previous year was about right.

KEILAR: Sorry, what did you say about GDP?

HASSETT: It leveled off. So all the stimulus was right sized. All the stimulus was about right sized right before President Biden came in, in the sense that after the biggest decline in GDP since the Great Depression, GDP was about flat in 2020. And so you could have for sure had a little bit more stimulus, but they threw way too much at it.

And in January their number looked good --

KEILAR: But, Kevin, GDP growth --

HASSETT: -- but by the time in March when they passed it was too big.

KEILAR: You know GDP growth was pretty blah in the Trump administration before the pandemic. And you saw what the Fed was doing with interest rates. So you also have these other elements going on. And there was inflation because of the COVID relief package, and we have seen a continuation of that.

HASSETT: Well, the inflation really accelerated this year. And indeed, at the beginning of the year when I was out on TV saying that there is going to be a lot of inflation this year, especially after the Biden stimulus, I took a lot of criticism for that. And so I think that the solution is to try to get back to normal as quickly as possible, and to not try to throw so much demand at the economy if we're going to at the same time constrain supply. If you do that, then you're going to get more inflation.

[08:10:10]

But as Larry suggested, there is a way out, and the way out is to sort of -- as the Fed is tapering its bond purchases for the federal government to taper its stimulus.

KEILAR: You are actually, Kevin, talking to us from West Palm Beach. You were at an event last night at Mar-a-Lago where former President Trump spoke. What did he say?

HASSETT: Oh, he's actually speaking tonight. So you got a little bit of bad reporting on that. But he was around Mar-a-Lago last night.

KEILAR: Did you get to talk to him?

HASSETT: I'll talk about President Trump some other time. But the American First Policy Institute is having a really big gala event, a black tie dinner tonight. President Trump is going to be speaking really for the first time after the big election. And I think everybody is sitting back and waiting to see what he has to say. It's a massive event. Hundreds of Republicans from all over the country are coming, including senators and elected officials from all walks of life.

KEILAR: Is he accepting, since you did see him -- is he accepting the results of the Virginia election?

HASSETT: I think he's already congratulated Youngkin. There is no reason to question --

KEILAR: Does he have any -- does he have any complaints about the Virginia election, seeing as the candidate distanced himself from Trump to a pretty significant degree, and it worked?

HASSETT: I think that if you look at the numbers in Virginia, that Youngkin outperformed President Trump in parts where people really, really still love Trump. When you drive around southwestern Virginia, you see Trump signs everywhere. So I think that Youngkin found the magic mix where he got the suburban people, a lot of them government employees for goodness sake who live up around D.C. to split the vote a lot more than happened during the election. And then he was able to keep the Trump wave in the rural counties. And so congratulations to Glenn Youngkin. He really ran a brilliant campaign.

But I think that it's important to remember that Terry McAuliffe was running against a lot of negative forces, the sort of really terrible events in Loudoun County in the school meetings, and the Biden, Afghanistan debacle. There are so many things that have gone wrong this year that any incumbent would have some trouble. And the fact that McAuliffe made it so close I think is interesting in the sense that it shows that Democrats are really loyal to Democrats even when they're in quite a bad year.

KEILAR: Yes. Look, we see a lot of that on both sides. But certainly, there was quite a shift that is, I think, very eye opening for both Democrats and for Republicans.

Kevin, thank you so much. And please report back to us after this big event tonight.

youngkin I'm sure you'll see some clips. There are going to be a lot of cameras there.

KEILAR: We're interested in the behind-the-scenes stuff, Kevin. You did not deliver on that, I have to say. But thank you. Thank you for coming on this morning. Appreciate it.

So coming up, what is going on here between Democrats on the Senate floor? What is that? One of the lawmakers at the receiving end of that tense finger point is Senator Joe Manchin. He's going to join us live.

Plus, bad behavior in the skies, CNN has exclusive reporting on just how prevalent it is, and a new tactic that the TSA is about to deploy.

BERMAN: And Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers earlier this year said, yes, he had been immunized against COVID. Turns out he's reportedly not vaccinated, and now he has tested positive. What's going on here?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:17:16]

KEILAR: Just in to CNN, some new details about the significant challenge that is facing the FAA and handling unruly airline passengers. Out of the nearly 5,000 violent incidents, only 227 enforcement actions were initiated and just 37 sent to the Justice Department.

CNN's Pete Muntean joins me now.

And I will say this makes no sense to me.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's actually a bit of good news here, Brianna, because the FAA cannot press criminal charges. It can only assess civil fines, but it can refer the cases to the department of justice to ultimately charge these unruly passengers.

These 37 cases are maybe the most extreme we have seen so far, according to the FAA. It says in a new PSA you're seeing for the first time on CNN, you're going to see the letter that somebody would get if they're fined by the FAA and this case was ultimately referred to the FAA.

I've been seeing these PSAs since the start of this issue, this is maybe the most powerful yet.

(NEW PSA BY FAA)

MUNTEAN: The goal here is to make sure these jerks on planes face prison time. This highlights the issue that in many cases, many of these unruly passengers just walk free. They don't ultimately end up in the hands of law enforcement.

There is a bit of a shift in tide there. I'll get to that in a second. And the head of the FAA said yesterday to a Senate hearing that he is trying to close the gaps on this issue. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE DICKSON, FAA ADMINISTRATOR: I think we're making good progress, but there is certainly more to be done. And it really does require the cooperation of all those private sector stake holders and including the airports as well as the various aspects of the federal government, FAA, TSA and DOJ, and we'll continue to stay focused on that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MUNTEAN: So there may be a bit of a start of a shift here in that incident last week that the American Airlines CEO called one of the most horrible cases of unruly passengers in the airline's history where a passenger allegedly punched a flight attendant in the face, federal investigators did meet that passenger at the gate and, Brianna, he could face up to 20 years in prison because of that. So maybe a bit of a shift we're seeing happening now.

KEILAR: Shouldn't at a certain point an unruly passenger be banned from flying, period, instead of just from one airline or even for a finite amount of time, something that sends the message home?

[08:20:10]

MUNTEAN: Well, airlines in many cases are banning these passengers. But the issue is there is not much communication airline to airline. They keep that information on passengers relatively close to the vest. So somebody could get banned from one airline and then fly on a different airline.

So, we have been asking the head of the Department of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, about this, whether or not there should be a federal ban list, he said that is something that should be on the table but no commitment fully on that.

KEILAR: He was very squishy the other day when I asked him about it.

All right. Pete, thank you so much.

BERMAN: Details on the deadly car crash involving former NFL player Henry Ruggs. The victim has been identified as 23-year-old Tina Tintor and her dog Maxi. Prosecutors say Ruggs was driving more than 150 miles per hour before the fatal crash.

CNN's Coy Wire has more on this story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: John, Brianna, Las Vegas police say former raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs was driving 156 miles per hour with a blood alcohol content twice Nevada's legal limit before a fiery crash Tuesday morning that left a 23-year-old woman dead. Ruggs made his initial court appearance yesterday on felony charges of DUI resulting in death and reckless driving.

If convicted, he can face up to 26 years in prison. Raiders interim head coach spoke about Ruggs hours after he was cut by the team.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His terrible lapse in judgment, the most horrific kind, something that he'll have to live with the rest of his life. The gravity of the situation is not lost on anyone here and we understand and respect the loss of life.

WIRE: The judge set bail at $150,000 under the condition that Ruggs wears a monitoring device and surrenders his passport.

Back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: All right. Coy Wire, thank you for that.

A new and controversial theory about why Alec Baldwin's gun contained a live bullet.

KEILAR: And we have brand-new audio of the moments that police found missing 4-year-old Cleo Smith 18 days after she vanished from her parents' campsite.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:26:16]

BERMAN: Democratic lawmakers concerned about 2022 after defeats in multiple races in Tuesday's elections. One of the issues they're pointing to, inaction on two key bills critical to Biden's legislative agenda, $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $1.75 trillion social agenda bill.

Joining us now is a key lawmaker in negotiations on those bills, Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat from West Virginia.

Senator Manchin, always a pleasure to have you on.

What lesson do you think Democrats should take from the election results yesterday?

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Well, John, first of all, it's always good to be on with you and Brianna.

And about the election on Tuesday, the takeaway I have, John, is the country is extremely divided. When you have two blue -- blue states that come down after 2 million votes have been cast and you're down within 100, 200 in separation, and it looks like Governor Murphy is going to win in New Jersey, and my friend Terry McAuliffe was not as fortunate in Virginia, and there's just a change.

And people are basically saying, come together, work together, and if you can't, we're going to keep shaking things up. And they're shaking them up at the polls.

BERMAN: One of the things that President Biden says may have had an impact in Virginia at least was the failure to pass these two large bills. What responsibility do you feel that you have in that?

MANCHIN: Here's the thing, John. There is two bills, let me tell -- and there'd be two different bills. But basically, we have a China compete, you seek a USICA bill, $250 billion for this country to basically get up and compete as we always have. The innovation, the research and development, that's been sitting in the House for quite some time. We passed it with 90 votes in the Senate, Democrats and Republicans working together.

We passed an infrastructure bill which has been over in the House for over I think a couple of months now and it is $1.2 trillion, and nothing has been done for deferred maintenance in the country for three -- 30 years, three decades. And this is the first time.

Those would have helped tremendously showing that together we can. Now we have a reconciliation bill which is only a partisan bill, by our Democratic Party, and that's holding up the other bills that were bipartisan.

That's the problem we have. And there has to be some good faith and we all work together.

But if you're wanting someone to agree that I'll sign off on everything you want and it will be the way that it will come -- and if I do that, you'll pass the other two, John, that's not the way democracy works. It's not the way that Congress has ever worked in my eyes. It's not the way we're supposed to work.

BERMAN: So, your hands are clean, do you think, in these election results?

MANCHIN: Oh, no -- John, we can all do more. All of us can do a lot more. I'm reaching out to everybody I can on both sides of the aisle, talking to them.

They know exactly where I stand. The problem is, John, we're divided. There is 50/50 in the House -- I mean in the Senate. How many times does that happen? A complete split, not that many times in history.

So we don't have the numbers that FDA had or Lyndon Baines Johnson had in order to get some major legislation done. We don't have those.

So we have to come to realization what we have and deal in good faith that we can do at least something, and I have been very, very straightforward that pre-K is great, we should do it, 3 and 4-year- olds. I started when I was governor and expanded it, just the 4-year- old program in my state of West Virginia. But I think that would be wonderful.

Child care, I think that's very, very needed because it helps people go to work and other children. I think basically in-home services, in- home care is something that would be very helpful for people that want the dignity and respect to live in their home as they grow older with a little assistance.

There is a lot of things we agree on. But to throw everything under the sun, and major policy changes, John, in a bill that no one participates except one party --

[08:30:00]