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Mortgage Rates Top 7%, Hitting Highest Level Since 2002; Brazil Votes For President Sunday In Polarizing Election; Florida First Responders Build Bunk Beds For Families In Need. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired October 28, 2022 - 07:30   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: There are currently no credible threats to New York City polling sites, candidates, or poll workers. But the NYPD's intelligence department warns they'd be priority targets for, quote, "malicious actors."

With us now, Andrew McCabe, CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former deputy director of the FBI.

So tell us what exactly this means -- elevated vigilance -- and why the department is doing this.

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST, FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR, FBI: You know, Brianna, the first step in trying to secure anyone against a potential threat is to increase people's kind of see something, say something instinct, right?

So to get people thinking about security, to get people aware of their surroundings, to be aware of people or activities in or near, in this case, polling facilities that might be indicators of potential problems or violence. So that's I think the highest-level theme that the NYPD is looking for here.

KEILAR: So the bulletin here reads in part, "Malicious actors, particularly racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists and anti-government and anti-authority violence extremists, will continue to prioritize the targeting of political rallies, voting sites, poll workers, and election officials."

MCCABE: That's right. That's right.

So we know that grievance is the thing that motivates many domestic violent extremists, and a lot of that grievance is still focused on our political processes and our political system. We have -- it is -- it's unfortunate to say, but we have many political leaders and people running for political office who continue to fan the flames of that grievance about the political system. We know there's no evidence or facts to base that upon but nevertheless it's still a common theme.

And now as we approach the election, those concerns, those angers, that frustration could very well become a flash point on or near our Election Day. KEILAR: So then, what is the typical response from law enforcement here?

MCCABE: You know, the typical response is you flood the zone. You want to take any of -- any of these locations that you think might be places of potential violence and have an overwhelming presence of police officers. We use barricades. We use large fencing and things like that.

These are just things you cannot do to polling places. I think there were over 230,000 polling places used in 2018, so you can see how diffuse this potential target set is. And these need to be places where people are comfortable coming, expressing themselves -- obviously, submitting their ballots. That's hard to do when you've -- when you've turned it into a military-looking display.

KEILAR: It's such a different atmosphere. I think of going as a kid when my parents would vote. It was like at the church around the corner.


KEILAR: It was so low-key and pretty boring, to be honest.


KEILAR: And now, there's this atmosphere of what could happen. Have you ever seen in your years in law enforcement an atmosphere like this?

MCCABE: Not at all. Not at all. I mean, we've always had issues in this country with domestic extremists but this convergence of extremism and the potential for political violence -- it's something that I think my former colleagues at the FBI and law enforcement across the country, really, is dealing with for the first time.

KEILAR: All right, really putting it in perspective there. Andy, thank you so much.


KEILAR: Fourteen million early ballots have already been cast for the upcoming midterm elections. Who stands to benefit from the early turnout ahead.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: And mortgage rates rising to the highest level in two decades just as a new inflation report is coming out this morning.



KEILAR: Some pretty disappointing news if you are in the market for a new home. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaging -- average reaching seven percent. That is the highest that it's been since 2002. So if you're looking to get a mortgage it will become more expensive and you won't be able to borrow as much.

Let's talk about all of this with Bess Freedman. She is the CEO of Brown Harris Stevens, a real estate company with 3,000 agents in Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Bess, thank you so much for being with us.

I mean, this is a big deal. Let's start with homebuyers. How concerning is this?

BESS FREEDMAN, CEO, BROWN HARRIS STEVENS: It's concerning. We're worried about it. And I think next week we're going to see the Fed raise rates again.

And look, historically, rates are still low, but people have very short memories and they're thinking about last year or what was, so there's less affordability for buyers.

But a mortgage friend of mine told me buyers should look at what they can afford each month and try to back into it because there's other products. They can do interest only. There's different things out there.

But yes, rates going up is not great news for buyers right now.

MARQUARDT: What are the concerns for sellers?

FREEDMAN: Yes. I mean, sellers -- I call this the great capitulation. Sellers need to bring their prices down. Because, as you know, during the pandemic demand was crazy in certain areas. And so, that brought prices up and supply shrunk.

And today, we have the inverse. Now we need prices to come down so that we can get demand -- supply and demand working well together and get the market moving.

KEILAR: So, the Fed is expected here to raise interest rates for the fourth time next week, which obviously would send mortgage rates even higher.

How much more challenging is that going to make the housing market?

FREEDMAN: It makes it -- I mean, Brianna, it makes it much more challenging. There's a lot of ambiguity in the market. We're seeing -- you know, inflation needs to come down and we're hoping that rates going up will help bring inflation down. But this creates a little bit of fear and concern, and markets react to that.

And so, this is not good news for housing but this is kind of what place we're in right now. It's a shifting landscape. And last year was a great market. This year we're trying to reconcile all of that.

MARQUARDT: So what advice are you giving, Bess, to people who are out there -- buyers who are out there on the market looking to buy another home?

FREEDMAN: Yes. I'm telling them they can really negotiate right now. They are in the driver's seat. It is a buyer's market. We're in a bear market.

And I think they can negotiate really well and they can -- they have a lot to choose from. There's ample supply in certain areas. And so, they should look at this as an opportunity market for them.


And sellers -- the big news for them is that they have to bring prices down so that buyers feel like they can negotiate and work and get a deal done. And so, there's still a lot of opportunity out there. It is not the end of the world.

KEILAR: So, Bess, if people are buying a home should they assume that they're going to be able to refinance in a few years, or they shouldn't make that assumption?

FREEDMAN: I mean, I wish I had the answer to that. I hope that they can. I think -- you know, nobody knows. We hope that rates don't tick up to the double digits like they did 30 years ago, 40 years ago. But I'm hoping that -- after a year or so, we hope that the rates will come down a little bit, inflation will come down, and the market will be in a better place.

But right now there's a bit of fear in the market and so I think people are waiting to see what happens. Plus, we have the midterms coming up. That creates a lot of anxiety. People want to see what's going to happen. Uncertainty is not a friend of any market.

KEILAR: Bess, it is great to have you. Thank you so, so much for being with us. We do appreciate it.

FREEDMAN: Thanks, Brianna. Have a good weekend, guys.

KEILAR: So ahead, Brazil is voting for a new president this weekend. The election is being described as the most important in the country's democratic history. We're live from Sao Paulo, next.

MARQUARDT: And the top Democrat in the Senate caught on a hot mic. The race that has him most concerned.



MARQUARDT: Brazilians hit the polls again on Sunday to pick their president. The runoff election really couldn't be more polarizing and the choices could not be more different. The incumbent, Jair Bolsonaro, is known as the Trump of the Tropics. And he is facing off against challenger left-wing former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, often simply known as Lula.

CNN's Paula Newton is in Sao Paulo with more on the issues shaping this very tight race -- Paula.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Alex. It's been fascinating to be back here to see these issues for ourselves. This is an incredibly divided electorate, as you were saying.

And Bolsonaro, the current president, has been trying to get mileage out of those culture wars. I know what you're thinking. This sounds incredibly familiar, right?

These issues, though, will be front and center as Brazilians take to the polls on Sunday -- listen.


NEWTON (voice-over): Millions more in Brazil now are armed and ready. Ready to load, aim, and fire. Gun ownership -- who can own them, and why people need them has become an election issue.

And it's the president himself, Jair Bolsonaro, who wants more Brazilians to bear arms. He has loosened strict gun ownership laws and made promises of more gun rights to come.

NEWTON (on camera): Win or lose, Bolsonaro's armed masses aren't going anywhere.

NEWTON (voice-over): One of the owners of this gun club tells us Bolsonaro is the best gun salesman he's ever had.

DANIEL PAZZINI, SAO PAULO GUN CLUB OWNER (through translator): He basically did free advertising, encouraging people to buy guns and defend themselves that way.

NEWTON (voice-over): Daniel Pazzini tells me he believes Bolsonaro's opponent, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, may try to crack down on gun ownership if he wins. He doubts it will work but like most gun owners, he's not chancing it. He's voting for Bolsonaro.

Many devout evangelicals, too, are faithful to God and Bolsonaro. Pastor Odilon Santos says it is his right to take the stand on politics and influence others in his battle against abortion, gay rights, and drug legalization.

PASTOR ODILON SANTOS, SAO PAULO (through translator): Our current president has an agenda aimed at protecting all of that -- those principles which are a rule of faith in our practice.

NEWTON (voice-over): As for Lula, he doesn't trust him even though he wrote an open letter to evangelicals saying he wouldn't touch religious freedom.

SANTOS (through translator): His very public stance is that he will regulate not just the church but a lot of things, including the media and social media.

NEWTON (voice-over): To be clear, Lula has never said he will restrict media, guns, or religious freedom.

Which brings us to the issue of misinformation as presidential supporters at this rally claim Lula will separate Brazilians from their creator. They accuse judges and bureaucrats of shutting down free speech with new regulations aimed at stopping the spread of false information.

Bolsonaro's son tells us his father is defending freedom and will fight what he calls censorship.

EDUARDO BOLSONARO, LAWMAKER AND PRESIDENT BOLSONARO'S SON: It's unbelievable. They just say this is fake news, this is anti- democratic. They actually arrest you.

NEWTON (voice-over): Lula, meantime, campaigns on reversing Bolsonaro's influence on social issues, which he says have ruined Brazil. "Believe me," he says, "we are going to revive this country."

In this tight presidential runoff, it has been a ballot box trifecta -- guns, God, and so-called fake news. Where voters stand on each contentious will shape this country's future.


NEWTON: And so, the presidential candidates face off in a debate this evening. Good luck to the fact-checkers on that one. Obviously, disinformation top of mind.

But I have to say, Alex, this is an incredibly consequential election not just because this is a large, diverse democracy and it matters, but what happens in environmental policy here as well in Brazil will affect us all in the years to come -- Alex.


MARQUARDT: Guns, God, and fake news -- remarkable parallels with U.S. politics.

Paula Newton, thank you so much for that report. This will be a fascinating race on Sunday.

Now, President Barack Obama has already released a series of ads in key battleground states to help struggling Democratic candidates, but today he hits the campaign train in person. Will it give Democrats the boost that they need?

KEILAR: And more than 100 first responders in Florida going beyond the call of duty on their day off. What they did to help families and children in need.


KEILAR: First responders in Tallahassee, Florida coming together and going beyond the call of duty to help children and families in need.

CNN's Ryan Young has the story.



RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here in Tallahassee, home of the Florida State Seminoles, it's not uncommon to spend autumn Saturdays in a parking lot.


YOUNG (voice-over): What makes this particular Saturday gathering a little strange is that there is no tailgate. These folks are not here for a football game. Great causes, it seems, can make for strange and, in this case, noble bedfellows.

CARL CRAIG, "SLEEP IN HEAVENLY PEACE": So let's build some bunk beds. Appreciate you.

YOUNG (voice-over): More than 100 officers, sheriff's deputies, firefighters, and EMS workers volunteering on their day off to build bunk beds for Tallahassee's families in need.

CHIEF LAWRENCE REVELL, TALLAHASSEE POLICE: There are families within our community that don't have everything that we have and that we take for granted.

CRAIG: You guys are going to help us measure the wood, cut the wood, sand it, stain it, assemble it.

YOUNG (voice-over): The group behind today's build, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, was founded 10 years ago in an Idaho garage. Today, they have chapters in dozens of states and have built, assembled, and delivered more than 140,000 bunk beds. The labor is all voluntary -- the lion's share of them first responders.

CRAIG: And we definitely appreciate how you, as first responders, affect us and help us in the community. You protect us. You keep us safe. You take care of us. And today, you guys are going above and beyond.

BATTALION CHIEF TROY ANZALONE, TALLAHASSEE FIRE DEPARTMENT: You know, the job throws a lot of unfortunate events at us through our careers and we see a lot of emergency scenes. So these kind of opportunities in our community, which we do a lot more than this -- but it's rewarding.

ASSISTANT SHERIFF STEVE HARRELSON, LEON COUNTY: Part of being a first responder is not just doing the job but giving back to the community on our off time as well. It's something we do all the time.

YOUNG (voice-over): On this particular Saturday, two sets of bunks will be built for the Smith family. The four children ranging from six to 13 have been sleeping on mattresses on the floor.


YOUNG (voice-over): For Sleep in Heavenly Peace's Tallahassee chapter, one of these bunks marks the 1,000th that was built, delivered, and assembled by local first responders.

CRAIG: You think it's just a bed but it's just a bed that you guys created. You're touching somebody's lives. And today is going to be a really special event. YOUNG (voice-over): As rewarding as the volunteer work is itself, it also serves to bridge divides in their community.

REVELL: Although we do the job every day, this allows us to build those positive relationships. Because most of the time when we respond, we're responding to calls for service. Things aren't going well or they wouldn't be calling us. This gives us an opportunity to interact with our community, to help our community, and to show our community that we're just like everybody else.

YOUNG (voice-over): Ryan Young, CNN, Tallahassee, Florida.


KEILAR: That's so great, and thank you to Ryan for that report.

NEW DAY continues right now.

Democrats deploying Biden and Obama with less than two weeks until the midterms.

Good morning to viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. It is Friday, October 28. I'm Brianna Keilar with Alex Marquardt. Great to have you here.

MARQUARDT: So nice to be back with you.

KEILAR: John Berman is off this morning.

And we are beginning with President Biden and former President Obama storming the campaign trail trying to help Democrats with a boost here in these critical races here.

President Biden heading to Philadelphia today for a rare joint appearance with Vice President Kamala Harris to stump for Pennsylvania candidate for governor Josh Shapiro and Senate candidate John Fetterman.

MARQUARDT: Meanwhile, today in Georgia, former President Barack Obama will be in Atlanta rallying for Stacey Abrams, who is running for governor, and Rev. Raphael Warnock, who is trying to keep his seat in the U.S. Senate. Democrats getting nervous as Warnock's race against Herschel Walker is essentially tied despite Walker's current wave of controversy.

The Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, was also caught in a hot mic moment -- quite revealing -- remaining hopeful for Pennsylvania but expressing concerns over Georgia. Take a listen.


CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): The state where we're going downhill is Georgia. It's hard to believe that they will go for Herschel Walker.


MARQUARDT: Let's get straight to CNN's Jeff Zeleny live in Atlanta with the latest. Jeff, a very tight race down there.


You could hear the concern there and see the concern from Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer. And that reflects what Democrats here in Georgia are saying as well. They are concerned about this Senate race and so many other places across the country. That is exactly why former President Barack Obama is beginning his final weeklong push here in Georgia tonight, trying to rally Democrats and push them to the polls.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have the power to change America.

ZELENY (voice-over): Barack Obama is heading back to the campaign trail, firing up Democrats in the final push of the fall election.

OBAMA: Hello, Atlanta.