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Fetterman: Stroke Changed Everything, But Still Able To Serve; "Murder, She Wrote" Star Angela Landsbury Dies At 96; Biden Working On Plan To Manage Flow Of Venezuelan Migrants. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired October 12, 2022 - 07:30   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: The woman remains anonymous but says she is the mother of Walker's 10-year-old son after refusing to end the pregnancy.

CNN has not independently confirmed the woman's allegations about the abortion and has reached out to the Walker campaign for comment.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman said he used closed-captioning -- or uses closed-captioning to understand people in conversations. This, after a stroke he suffered in May that has left him with lingering symptoms.

In a new interview, Fetterman insists he is still fit to serve as senator.

Joining us now, CNN congressional correspondent Jessica Dean, who is in Philadelphia. Jessica, this was Fetterman's first real one-on-one interview after he came back to the campaign trail. What did he say about his health and recovery?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he said that this stroke has really changed everything, John. And we know that he's been using closed-captioning since this summer in a lot of interviews, so that is something he's been doing. He's also been on the road for rallies. After August, he returned to the campaign trail.

And he has a kind of -- you can notice it in his speech patterns. But he says it's an auditory issue. That he is focused on the work ahead.

I'll let you listen to a clip for yourself.


LT. GOV. JOHN FETTERMAN, (D) PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: Everything about it has changed -- basically, having a conversation with your wife to having a conversation with your children. I'll hear someone speaking but sometimes it will be -- it will be precise on what exactly that they're saying. To be precise, I use captioning. So that's really the -- that's the major challenge.

And every now and then I will miss a word -- every now and then -- or sometimes I'll maybe mush two words together. But as long as I have captioning, I'm able to understand exactly what's being asked. But even after the stroke -- immediately after that, I was able to read everything and I haven't lost any memories or anything like that. It's just really the lingering issue that I have.

I feel like we have been very transparent in a lot of different ways -- when our doctor has already given a letter saying that I'm able to serve and to be running.

DASHA BURNS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I mean, respectfully, that letter from your physician -- that was six months ago. Don't voters deserve to know your status now?

FETTERMAN: Being on -- in front of thousands and thousands of people and having interviews and getting around all across Pennsylvania -- that gives everybody -- and the voters decide if they think that it's really the issue.


DEAN: Again, that stroke happening right on the eve of May's primary here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, John.

And as we have seen Fetterman return to the campaign trail, this is what we have seen. And he has talked a lot about it. We have also seen him kind of pause when he is looking for a word -- things like that. But this is very much what we've seen as he's been traveling around Pennsylvania.

BERMAN: For weeks, until Election Day.

Now, Jessica, how is this playing into voters' decisions? What have you seen along that front?

DEAN: Well, we're, clearly, in Philadelphia right now. We've been working on a story that's going to air later today focused on Black voters in Philadelphia and who they're supporting. How they feel about John Fetterman. Of course, Black voters, a very key constituency in the Democratic base and especially so here in a very swing -- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where any Democrat needs major Black turnout in the city of Philadelphia to win statewide.

So we've been talking with voters here about what they think. And I'll be honest with you -- again, this is anecdotal. But we've been talking with voters here and that has not come up. They are very focused on the issues. They are very focused on who is going to control the Senate. They are really looking at the bigger picture here.

And that's the same for Republican voters that we spoke to in more conservative counties a couple of weeks ago. Everyone here that we're talking to seems to be very focused on who will control the Senate because again, this is an open Senate seat here in Pennsylvania. And with some very close races all across the country, it could very well determine who will control the Senate in the final two years of President Biden's first term in office. So, very critical there.

And one statistical piece of data. A September poll by CBS News, John -- 59 percent of registered voters here in Pennsylvania saying that Fetterman is healthy enough to serve.

BERMAN: Jessica Dean, great to have you on the ground in the Commonwealth.

(Horns blowing)

They're honking in support of you. We'll see you later today, Jessica.

DEAN: Yes, they are. Thanks.

KEILAR: All right, let's discuss with CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

So, Sanjay, Fetterman is saying he's using closed-captioning to help him understand what he's hearing since he does sometimes miss words or he mushes them together since he had a stroke.

What do you think about his technique?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's really interesting, first of all. Candidates are not required to release their medical records, but in this case, we don't have any medical records. That would give us a lot more insight, obviously.

But what he seems to be doing is interesting in terms of trying to compensate for some of these speech abnormalities -- these processing abnormalities.


Let me show you here on the -- on this brain model. It's really fascinating if you think about how speech works. When we -- when we say speech, we typically mean someone's ability to express themselves through spoken word, through written word, but also to receive speech through written word or spoken word.

In this case, he seems to have some difficulties -- and this is usually the area of the brain that's affected -- the left side of the brain over here -- with his ability to understand speech. So, a reporter says something and he has a --

(audio difficulty)

BERMAN: Our brain having a hard time processing --


BERMAN: -- what Sanjay is saying there. Sanjay -- we lost Sanjay's connection. We will get that connection back up and try to finish this conversation with him.

But the issue that Sanjay's talking about -- auditory issues. John Fetterman says he has problems hearing things and understanding them. But clearly, seeing them and processing it is different, which is why he's asking for interviews to have closed-captioning so he can read the questions in real time. Because seeing them, for him, is different than just hearing it.

KEILAR: Yes, not a comprehension issue, he's saying, which is significant.

Tom Brady is speaking out in a new podcast about his mental health and personal struggles after reports that he and his wife, Gisele Bundchen, have hired divorce attorneys.

BERMAN: And, Angela Landsbury, star of stage and screen -- what a life. We're going to look back at her remarkable career, next.


ANGELA LANDSBURY, ACTRESS, SINGER: Singing "Beauty and the Beast."





Clip from Walt Disney Pictures "Bedknobs and Broomsticks."


KEILAR: That was Angela Landsbury in the 1971 film "Bedknobs and Broomsticks."

This morning, we are remembering the legendary star of stage and screen who died Tuesday at her home in Los Angeles just five days shy of her 97th birthday.

She was a movie star by the time she was a teenager, earning her first Oscar nomination in her first film, 1944's "Gaslight." Her second nomination came the following year, and her third, nearly 20 years later.


Clip from M.C. Productions "The Manchurian Candidate."


KEILAR: Her role in "The Manchurian Candidate," in which she played a mother who betrays her son and her country, established Landsbury's reputation as a character actress.


Clip from Walt Disney Pictures "Beauty and the Beast."


BERMAN: That's right -- that's her voice -- Mrs. Potts in "Beauty and the Beast."

Now -- and on T.V., of course, there was this.


Clip from NBCUniversal Television Distribution "MURDER, SHE WROTE."


BERMAN: The pride of Maine. She played novelist and amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher in "MURDER, SHE WROTE" on T.V. for 12 years.

So after all this, how did Angela Landsbury want to be remembered? Well, she gave this interview more than a decade ago to only be released upon her death -- listen.


REPORTER: What would you like your legacy to be?

LANDSBURY: That through my acting, I enabled people to get out of their own lives and to be allowed to be transported into other areas of life that they otherwise would never have. I'd love to be able to feel that I enabled people to do that. Life is so hard for so many people.


BERMAN: I mean, she did -- the thing that's so amazing about her career is if you told a kid who only knew her from Mrs. Potts or someone who grew up watching her on "MURDER, SHE WROTE" that she was the most diabolical villain, like, ever in "The Manchurian Candidate," they would never believe you because she was so good. So much range.

KEILAR: Yes, she did. She really took us away, I think.

I mean, I remember when I used to visit my grandparents, it wasn't just visiting Gran and Gramps. I was basically also visiting Jessica Fletcher, too. I watched her all the time. I probably watched every episode of "MURDER, SHE WROTE." I just -- I loved her and I'm so glad that she lived a long, beautiful life.

BERMAN: All right.

So after reports that he and his wife have both independently retained divorce lawyers, Tom Brady is speaking out about his mental health and personal struggles in his podcast Let's Go. When asked how he takes care of himself in both his personal and professional lives, Brady acknowledged he's going through a lot -- listen.


TOM BRADY, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS QUARTERBACK: I think you realize that there's a lot, especially in today's day and age, with how fast things are happening in life for all of us and the amount of responsibilities we have. And also, I think there's part of us that are held to a certain

standard that we're almost inhuman. We're -- you know, you hear this a lot from people that say you know, I'm only human, or I don't -- we are only human. We're not inhuman and we're not immune to a lot of the things that just life brings us.

So, we're not robots. You wake up every day trying to do the best you can do and understanding that life has its stresses and to deal with them with a great support system. And understanding and having some introspective in your life where you can look at yourself and say where do I need to commit my time and energy to. And how can I lessen some of the stress and lessen the burden on me so that I can be good for people around me.


So, those are all different things that you work at. I worked at them when I was 20. There was a lot of things that I was going through at 20. There was a lot of things I was going through in my 30s. There's things I'm going through in my 40s.

And it's life and you learn to grow up and you learn to deal with life. And that's what -- that's what this -- that's what we're all trying to do and we're trying to do it the best way we can.


BERMAN: You know, Tom Brady has always been open about mental health and the need to address mental health.

He talked about going through things when he was 20. When he went away to college he and his father both had a hard time being separated. He's from California. He went to Michigan. Being that far apart was really hard on both of them and they both worked to get through that time.

So again, this is something that Brady has been comfortable discussing and dealing with for a long time.

KEILAR: Yes, and it's good to hear. I don't know -- I just -- I'm sad. I'm sad, Berman. Aren't you sad?

BERMAN: Like I said, these -- things happen. We don't know, really, what's happening --

KEILAR: We don't know but --

BERMAN: -- inside their marriage. And you want them both to be well and you want the kids to be happy. That's the most you can ask for.

KEILAR: Exactly, yes.

Coming up, we have more from CNN's exclusive sit-down with President Biden. Hear what he says about Russia's nuclear threat in Ukraine, ahead. BERMAN: Hundreds of Republicans and Democrats reaching across the aisle and endorsing members of the other party. What is driving this trend? A reality check ahead.



KEILAR: This morning, the Biden administration is considering a new program to manage the surge of Venezuelan migrants similar to the one for Ukrainians. It would allow Venezuelans to have a sponsor inside the U.S., to arrive at an official port of entry, and not be turned away in an effort to discourage them from crossing the southern border illegally.

CNN's Priscilla Alvarez is joining us now. Priscilla, how does the administration plan to manage this flow of Venezuelan migrants?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN REPORTER: So, simply put, they want them to apply to come to the United States and be approved. They also have to show they have a tie to the United States -- they have a family member. And then, fly into a port of entry in the United States, like an airport, for example.

That's very similar to what the administration did for Ukrainians. And the reason that the administration took that approach with Ukrainians is to avoid them coming to the U.S.-Mexico border. And that's really what the administration wants to do here.

And the reason it's so urgent, Brianna, is because there are more than six million Venezuelans who have fled that country because of deteriorating conditions. They have moved about South America. Many have come to the U.S.-Mexico border as conditions in South America were exacerbated by the pandemic. And now, we're seeing more than 1,000 a day or just around 1,000 a day at the U.S.-Mexico border.

So this is a plan that they're considering to really discourage people from unlawfully crossing the border and specifically, Venezuelans.

KEILAR: Tell us about criticism of this plan.

ALVAREZ: So, the biggest criticism at this moment from immigration advocates is that Mexico is considering, or at least is willing to take Venezuelans under Title 42. That's an authority we've talked about quite a bit, which allows authorities to turn people away. It's a Trump-era pandemic emergency restriction and up to now, Venezuelans have not been subject to that. Now Mexico is saying they're willing to take them.

And so, advocates say this is an authority that should not be used for anyone and especially, Venezuelans. So that's where the pushback is right now. Again, it's a plan under consideration. We're still waiting to see if it gets finalized and then we'll see how those details get responses.

KEILAR: All right, we'll be watching this. Priscilla, thank you so much for that.

BERMAN: As we get closer to the midterms, a surprising number of politicians reaching across the aisle to endorse candidates from the other party. So, what's behind this and what impact might it have?

John Avlon with a reality check.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: We live in hyperpartisan times and it's no secret that polarization is at the core of our crisis in democracy. All politics seems to be about playing to the base rather than reaching out to win over the reasonable edge of the opposition. It's gotten so bad that some politicos don't even believe swing voters exist anymore, but that's exactly why it's important to note and why people endorse candidates across party lines. It takes courage.

And the good news is that we've actually seen a lot of cross-aisle action in this year's midterms with three prominent announcements coming just yesterday.

Now, at the top of the list if Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, a member of the January 6 Committee who released a dozen endorsements for pro-democracy candidates that included six Democrats -- Arizona and Pennsylvania's governor -- candidates for governor, as well as Secretary of State nominees in Michigan, Nevada, Arizona, and Minnesota, and Independent candidates like Utah's Evan McMullen. OK, you say -- Kinzinger's not exactly a Republican in good standing -- fair enough.

But perhaps less expected was yesterday's announcement by the first lady of Nebraska, Susanne Shore, wife of Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, that she was endorsing a Democrat for the state's first congressional seat.

Now, rounding out the day came an announcement from former Democratic congresswoman and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard that she was leaving her party altogether, accusing it of being controlled by, quote, "an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness." And she's just one of many Americans who switched their party affiliation ahead of the midterms.

Now, any one of these cases could be dismissed as an outlier, but this is happening more than you might think and in places you might not expect.

Now, take Kansas, where the Democratic governor of that deep-red state, Laura Kelly, announced endorsements for more than 160 Republicans -- 160 -- including two former GOP governors and a former Republican senator.

Or Pennsylvania, where at least 17 prominent Republicans have endorsed the Democratic A.G. Josh Shapiro for governor over GOP nominee Doug Mastriano, an election-denying state senator who was outside the Capitol on January 6.

Those Republicans crossing party lines include a former congressman, Charlie Dent; former speaker of the Pennsylvania State House, Denny O'Brien; and Michael Chertoff, who was secretary of Homeland Security under President Bush.


Over in Arizona, the Democrat slate led by gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs and Sen. Mark Kelly has been highlighting endorsements from McCain-era Republicans, while Liz Cheney declared that she'd vote Democrat this cycle if she lived in Arizona.

But there are other states with cross-party endorsements I could mention, from Oklahoma to Ohio, to New York where a Republican nominee is touting Democratic endorsees.

But if you take a step back you can see one of the main themes of these cross-party endorsements is old-school center-right Republicans standing up to Trumpist election deniers who have taken over the base of their party. So to that extent, it's a principal protest vote.

But, yes, swing voters and ticket-splitter still exist, and even if they're on the margins, it could make all the difference in a close race. Look no further than the results of the 2020 election, right, where swing voters boosted Joe Biden in swing states, specifically, white, college-educated voters in the suburbs. But ticket-splitters even helped Biden win Georgia.

But midterm elections bring out a different cut of the electorate than presidential years.

And The Economist has said that, quote, "The average swing voter this year is a young Hispanic male without a college education who lives in a city and who considers himself to be a moderate." That's a very different deal and more of a jump ball than hyperpartisans might like.

But in a political world that seems remorselessly divided between hardcore Republicans and Democrats, the presence of politicians who are still willing to vote for the person and not the party is a hopeful sign. It's not the easy thing to do given the suffocating reality of the partisan economy, but it's the right thing to do, and that's always worth honoring.

And that's your reality check.

BERMAN: John Avlon, thank you very much for that.

KEILAR: All right, let's bring in Dr. Sanjay Gupta. We fixed the satellite, Sanjay, so we have you back with us.

You were actually -- you were explaining to us how Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman's stroke recovery -- how after he revealed he used closed-captioning to understand conversations, there's been some discussion about this.

Can you talk to us a little bit more about how this works?

GUPTA: Yes. I mean, first of all, speaking -- this is a pretty serious stroke. It's certainly one that he can recover from but it's serious no doubt. Based on what we've heard -- again, they haven't released these medical records but a lot of people can see a little bit what's going on here.

Let me show you this. I just find this really fascinating. Again, when we talk about speech the idea that speech really is your ability to express yourself through spoken and written word, but also to receive speech. And that's typically done on the left side of the brain over here.

What is interesting about Fetterman is that his ability to understand speech seems to be affected -- his processing of those sounds. So he is relying on what's back here -- which is your visual areas of your brain -- instead to basically read the words and then be able to respond.

I watched a lot of that interview that he did and he responds pretty quickly once he reads the words. Sometimes he has difficulty saying the words which, again, would be a part of the -- part of the brain up here that's likely affected.

It was May 13 when he had this stroke and again, it sounds like it was a serious stroke. They had to go in there with a device and actually pull out the clot -- the blood clot that was causing a blockage in one of the blood vessels.

It's been almost five months, I guess, since his stroke. Typically, people will and can recover for some time after a stroke like this. In fact, they use all these different scales to sort of measure this sort of thing. And one of the things they use in the world of neurology is a Modified Rankin Scale, trying to figure out how disabled somebody is by this.

And he seems to be getting along OK physically, but it's really his speech that's most adversely affected. Depending where you are -- and he might be sort of orange-red on this Modified Rankin Scale -- you can, over time, start to go and improve your -- and have a good recovery, but it can take a while. Six months is sort of the benchmark that people often say. Again, he's five months. But people can still have recovery up to 18 months later.

BERMAN: Yes. Just on that point, Sanjay -- so he's five months into it, we heard him, but there is a chance that it could get better as time goes on?

GUPTA: Yes. I mean, that is typically the case. Again, those first six months are usually when you're trying to see how much of a recovery someone is likely to happen. If they have a lot of recovery early, then their endpoint is likely to be better. If they're recovering more slowly or early, their endpoint is probably not as good.

So he does seem to be recovering. And again, we don't know because we haven't seen the medical records and he was off the campaign trail for a period of time. So, I would not minimize the seriousness of this by any means, but the idea that someone can still recover -- that's very much a possibility.

BERMAN: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, great to have you back on this important subject. Thank you very much.

GUPTA: You bet. Thank you.

BERMAN: And NEW DAY continues right now.

KEILAR: Dueling speeches this morning amid revenge strikes from Russia.

I'm Brianna Keilar with John Berman.