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CNN Live Event/Special
Joe Biden Has Been Elected As 46th President; President-Elect Biden To Speak Tonight At 8 P.M. ET. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired November 07, 2020 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: So that is one of the dynamics at play. But for now, at least this is the tone that Joe Biden is trying to set. So look for Democrats to talk again about that mandate in the popular vote. As this popular vote continues to be tallied across the country, he could be surpassing 4 million, 5 million, even more than that in terms of popular votes.
And if these states hold in Georgia, Arizona, et cetera, they do believe they have a mandate. You can hear horns honking behind me here in Wilmington. I suspect there will be a lot more of that to come, Jake.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Jeff, I mean we'll see how much - assuming he is the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, we'll see how much he actually intends to work with Joe Biden. He might may have cut deals with Joe Biden Dana but let's also remember he was determined to make Barack Obama a one-term president. He did not succeed.
But he was not somebody who worked particularly well across the aisle with President Obama. We'll see how he does with President Biden.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: And we have a tweet in from Kamala Harris, now Vice President-elect Harris. And here is what she said. This is the first thing she has said since having that title. This election is about so much more than Joe Biden or me. It's about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it.
We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let's get started. And looking at the tweets here on my iPad and it's on top of a video which is, you know, from the campaign with just a series of regular Americans very diverse group.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You know, I am sitting here and I'm thinking about a little bit about four years ago and the reaction four years ago to President Trump being elected was that we need to listen to the people who elected him.
I think the lesson today is that we need to listen to the people who just elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. It is the expectation of this country, contrary to what has happened in the four years, that this - the president leads all Americans.
So that is no surprise that you would hear that from Joe Biden. But I do think that we do need to listen to the majority of Americans who voted against Donald Trump four years ago and voted for Joe Biden now that they are saying that they want decency back.
They are saying that they want, as you said, normalcy back, Dana. They want to be able to breathe again in some way. And I do think that as much as Joe Biden knows he has to reach across the aisle, I am reading this and I'm reading what he is saying in his statement, and it says effectively, we're going to go back to being - we're going to go back to decency being the norm in America, not some kind of exceptional - some exception to the norm.
TAPPER: Yes. And it takes two to tango. We'll see how much Congressional Republicans are willing to meet President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris on this field of decency and normalcy. It's not just President Trump that has been eroding norms of decency and--
PHILLIP: He's had a lot of help.
TAPPER: He's had a lot of help from a lot of people on Capitol Hill. We'll see whether or not they want to come back to planet earth and be good boys and girls and be decent and normal and adhere to facts and truth.
I would say as a journalist trying to uphold along with everyone here those norms, come on in. The water is fine. But we'll see what they're ready to do. Anderson?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Jake, work of the transition has already begun, obviously, for the Biden Campaign. David Axelrod, they have been preparing for this for multiple different possibilities.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN HISTORIAN: Yes. And, look, you know the thing is that what he does from here on in these next days and weeks are important substantively. But they're also important symbolically. Who he calls? You know, where he goes?
The issues that he highlights, the words that he uses are all going to be examined closely. And I guarantee you that a lot of thought has been given to how to orchestrate these next few days to send a strong signal about how he intends to govern? So making those calls to Mitch McConnell, making those calls to which foreign leaders are you calling.
What is the nature of those conversations? Where are the first places you choose to go? What are your first appointments? I expect you'll see very quickly first his White House staff. Probably it will be a few weeks, if he follows the pattern, certainly of the administration we were part of. It will be the end of November before we'll hear about cabinet members.
But all of them are not just substantively important but symbol symbolically important. And a lot of thought has gone into it, I'm sure.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Just to follow up on the foreign leaders. I was told during the campaign. I asked a Senior Adviser who Joe Biden is talking to, which foreign leaders he is talking to. He said we're not talking to any.
They're calling us during the campaign, but we are not. We have told them we are not going to speak with them until he's elected because they felt, given what had gone on with the Trump Campaign, Flynn, General Flynn, et cetera, that they could not do that now.
BORGER: He will clearly be reaching out to the leaders he was not able to speak with during the election.
COOPER: But the path ahead, though, it's not just - Jake was talking about Republicans on Capitol Hill. It's also Democrats. And the liberal wing of the party and people - you talked about sort of sending signals, the cabinet choices. That's going to be a battle.
AXELROD: I listened with interest to Abby talking about Kamala Harris as sort of an Ambassador to the younger voters, to the left and so on. That's a big - that's going to be an enormous pressure because you have a situation where we'll likely have a divided congress. You're going to have to make compromises.
Biden himself is more moderate than some Democrats would like. Yes, there's going to be a lot of tension that they have to navigate there. But the bigger one - the bigger one is in the country itself, I think. I think Joe Biden believes with every fiber in his body the words that he is speaking now.
I believe in those words. But it does require - Rick talked earlier about, well, there are a lot of Republicans who don't necessarily believe that he has won yet or they question whether - we've gone through presidency after presidency where half the country views the president as illegitimate. That's corrosive. And we have to find a way through that.
BORGER: And we just heard - Hillary Clinton has just tweeted. And she said voters have spoken, and they have chosen Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be our next president and vice president. It's a history- making ticket a repudiation of Trump and a new page for America. Thank you to everyone who helped makes this happen onward together.
Interesting tweet from Hillary Clinton who finally gets to say Trump has been repudiated from the woman who, of course, lost to Donald Trump. And she and Joe Biden, as you know, David, have not - you know, Joe Biden didn't get in the race last time because Hillary Clinton was in the race. He held back.
Now she's congratulating him for winning this. And also she did not become the first woman president, but now congratulating the first woman vice president.
VAN JONES, CNN HOST: Well, look. You know, there are two things that are happening. One is at the top; Biden is trying to figure out how to get the transition done? But to your point, there is a big movement that expects to be treated with respect and inclusion.
I'm talking about the left and the grassroots. People that you see out here. This was the avengers versus Thanos. This was not just a Mano-e- Mano (ph) kind of situation. You had every grassroots organization standing up and so groups like Magenta (ph), Lucha, Mi Familia Vota, Maria Teresa Kumar and her organization. That's the Latino grassroots. They expect to be having a seat at the table.
You see that little blue dot in Arizona. Those are Native American reservations. The Native American community played a tremendous role. The native organizers alliance in Tribal Council the - these is groups that expect to be treated with respect because they are responsible for the victory.
And then also, you know, the African-American community turned out. And you have a new infrastructure in the black community. Color of change.org which I helped to start a long time ago has become a superpower. And also by the way defending this victory, Anita Gupta from the leadership - they are defending this victory right now in the court.
So you have a massive movement around Biden that's going to want to be respected and seen and included. Not just left, but bottom up. And I think part of what has to happen is the bottom-up inclusion from the left does not have to come at the expense of bottom-up inclusion from working folks and Trump country. Those things can go side by side.
COOPER: When it comes to cabinet selections, there had been talk about those Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren has - did they want to be on the cabinet? That's something which - how much control do Senate Republicans, Mitch McConnell, have over that, do you think?
RICK SANTORUM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Traditionally, although that changed in the last four years, but traditionally, the Senate gives the president the cabinet he wants unless there's a person that is clearly unqualified or has ethical problems or other things.
SANTORUM: So I think Mitch McConnell and the Republicans will give the president the cabinet he wants. So I don't think that's going to be a big issue. Can I just make one point? Everybody is talking about unity. I think Americans clearly would love to see this country a little bit more divided.
But everyone seems to think that unity is accomplished by tone. That, you know, if you just are nicer and if you don't say nice - you aren't mean to people, somehow you'll unify the country. That's not enough. I mean, I'm not saying that's not a good thing. It is a good thing and you've heard me criticize the president for his tone.
Tone is important. But I will tell you, in my opinion, what will be the biggest determiner is whether Joe Biden will be able to accomplish unity is the State of Georgia. Because the State of Georgia in the next two months is going to go through an election process that will determine who controls the United States Senate. And if one or two Republicans get elected from the State of Georgia, Joe Biden has a much greater chance of unity because he'll be forced to work together with--
BORGER: I agree with you. I agree with you on that.
SANTORUM: If Georgia for some reason elects two Democratic Senators, you'll see the left, and Van has every right to say they were the ones who have the energy, they were the ones who deserve it, but they're going to be pushing for D.C. statehood. They're going to be pushing for packing the court. They're going to be pushing for Puerto Rican statehood.
You're going to see a big tax increase. You're going to see things that will not unify the country that Joe Biden is going to have to push for if he has the means to do it. So Georgia, you are on my mind. And so I am hopeful that the State of Georgia will do the right thing and provide an opportunity for unity.
BORGER: Can we just say something about these pictures we're looking at? It's kind of remarkable these people are--
COOPER: It's interesting. Obviously, any - any election there's going to be people very happy and there is going to be people who are not very happy. We're certainly seeing people who are very happy coming out in the streets in Washington, D.C., by the White House.
The sense of relief that you sort of get from a lot of people who are coming out is particularly interesting. Sort of, I guess it's a hope of a change in tone and obviously policies as well.
AXELROD: We've had - go ahead.
BORGER: I think policy is going to be hugely important, but tone, I think. And Van talked about this so eloquently earlier is the sort of sense of exhaustion and not having to wake up every day wondering what's going to happen because something has been tweeted that's so divisive. That somebody has been called a name.
You know, this president has been calling Joe Biden all kinds of names throughout this. And that was sort of something you got used to in a way. And there was so much coming at people every day that what you may be seeing there is some sort of steam coming out of the tea pot.
JONES: I just want to say - go ahead.
SANTORUM: Just want to make one point.
JONES: That's the point I want to talk.
SANTORUM: You are speaking for people who - I hate to say it is the elites in our culture.
JONES: Oh, please don't say that. I shouldn't have let you talk. Can I say something? I want to brag on these people for one second if you don't mind Senator. SANTORUM: Let me just make a real quick one.
SANTORUM: When you talk about the president and how tough he is. You are talking to people who are - who watch CNN, who watch the news--
JONES: It's not true.
SANTORUM: Most people are living their lives. They aren't really paying attention.
JONES: That's not true.
BORGER: But he lost by 4 million votes.
SANTORUM: The tone is not important to them. Policies that affect their lives are--
BORGER: Of course.
TAPPER: Let Van talk.
JONES: I'm going to talk. I don't like that, and I think we're going in the wrong direction. The tone mattered to my children, and my children are not elite. Listen, the big mistake the Trump Administration made for all the good that they did on criminal justice and opportunity zones and other stuff that I was proud of them for is that they failed to understand that, yes; actions speak louder than words if you are a normal person.
When you are the President of the United States, your words speak louder than your actions. His words every day made America a nastier place and more toxic place. What you are seeing here is, this is not just coming for today.
The politics of joy, joy as a weapon, of groups like cultural groups who were going to the polls with music. They were going to the polls with entertainment. And this was a part of the resistance a beautiful part of the resistance.
So I just want to say that there are a couple of things to get us to unity. Tone is very, very important because when people just get smashed upside the head they can't think clearly. So that's got go away.
And then on the policy part, I think that anti-poverty, I think that criminal justice, mental health, addiction, infrastructure, family leave. There are economic policies that can bring us together. There's going to be some cultural war stuff that pulls us apart but I think we have a responsibility to put forward those economic ideas and support this president. [12:15:00]
COOPER: David, do you expect to hear from Joe Biden today?
AXELROD: Yes, well, Jeff said we won't hear from him until this evening when he speaks. And that's probably appropriate. You know, I think the reason they sent the messages out they did was as a placeholder until he speaks to the country.
But I just wanted to - to Rick's point, I think you're wrong about this. I think there were some portion of people who agreed with Donald Trump on policy but simply couldn't tolerate the way he behaved and the way he treated people.
Gloria used the word exhaustion. I heard that word out in focus groups and I just heard it used so often. It was a chore because you had to wake up every day wondering about the tweet or the tantrum or the fight that was going to happen that day.
And it was wearing on people, and even some people who are inclined to support Donald Trump on policy just could not tolerate it.
SANTORUM: I agree with that. I'm not arguing with that. I talk about that a lot here. I guess--
JONES: But it wasn't just the elites. I always say you got people who are working in restaurants, who were working in hair salons who - the tone would affect them. It would come into their lives, not just the elites.
SANTORUM: My point is the vast majority of Americans don't wake up every day listening to what the president has to say. That's my point.
JONES: It was inescapable.
SANTORUM: The people here represented on this panel, we listen to the president every day and we're skewed by that because most Americans don't. And I am just saying, most Americans are much more concerned - not that they like what the president is saying. I'm not saying they like what the president was saying. But I'm saying that they are less concerned about that than they are about the policies.
COOPER: Just in terms of what you expect to see happening today from Biden, from Kamala Harris.
BORGER: I think that they have gotten a head start. They've been involved in transition work for quite some time. I don't know whether he's going to announce who is going to be in his - oh, I just am hearing from somebody on the campaign hold on.
I'd asked about what they were going to do on the transition. I was told, kind of excited right now. We'll get back to you. I think Biden knows on his major positions, national security adviser, who he's going to appoint. COOPER: It's also a remarkable moment. Just to the sentiment about the person you're talking to on the campaign expressed. For a campaign which really was not a campaign in any traditional sense that you're used to and was also such a gamble in terms of choosing not to have--
BORGER: How they behave.
COOPER: --people going out knocking door to door and not to have the candidate out there and to see President Trump out there and still resist that.
AXELROD: It goes further back than that. I think it goes to the beginning of the campaign. They had an inspiration. And their inspiration was that the country wanted what Biden offered. The country wanted to be healed. They wanted to essentially fire Donald Trump.
That he was the counterpoint to that. That was right. And many of us sat on this panel and other panels over the primary campaigns when he was in some degree of distress wondering if it would happen because he wasn't the perfect candidate for the emerging Democratic electorate. And it wasn't clear he could survive that.
What became clear in the general election and particularly when the virus struck was that those qualities of Biden were most resonant and the decision not to do the rallies and the decision - I think they paid some price for it actually but the symbolism of not doing it. The symbolism of him treating it seriously, I think, ultimately netted out for them.
BORGER: And don't forget one of Biden's top advisers is Ron Klain who was the EBOLA Czar. Ron Klain could well be the next Chief of Staff. And they were getting their guidance not only from doctors but from Ron who had been through an awful lot of this with infectious disease. And I think it was a risk, but it also provided this different view from Donald Trump that people could watch.
And I think that became important because Biden was listening to science and Donald Trump was listening to, I don't know, Scott Atlas? I have no idea.
COOPER: Let's go back to Jake in Washington.
TAPPER: Thanks, Anderson. We're just watching the scenes of celebration in cities throughout the country. This is Washington, D.C., right now. And I think it has to be said, a lot of this is relief. A lot of this is not, oh, great, now the minimum wage will go up to $15 an hour, which is probably won't because Republicans still control the Senate.
A lot of this is not necessarily about the Green New Deal. A lot of this is, I don't have a - I'm not going to have a president much longer who dislikes immigrants or says things that are racist.
PHILLIP: Or doesn't believe in science.
COOPER: Who doesn't believe in science or isn't doing everything he can do to try to protect us from the virus.
PHILLIP: Look at all of these young people. They are in the streets. We were just showing what is now Black Lives Matter plaza? We are watching the continuation of what began over the summer of an enormous amount of activism in this country showing up in these very same places with some of these very same people who came out to say, we want things to change.
And there's been so much talk about whether there is enthusiasm for Joe Biden or more enthusiasm for Donald Trump. What you are seeing is, yes, relief, but enthusiasm for a new day a change. And a change particularly for young people who, you know, it's not as Rick Santorum would say, just about tone.
They do care about policy. They do believe in science. And they do believe that climate change is an important thing. They do believe that systemic racism exists. That is about policy and I think that's why you're seeing them on the streets.
BASH: It's like a pressure valve is being released slowly across these cities. And I say cities on purpose because this is where this is happening in the largely Democratic places. But I think Senator Santorum has done us a tremendous service in walking us through what's going on particularly among Republicans in Pennsylvania where he - a place he knows so well.
But these are not elites. It's not about being elite or not elite. This is about - this is about a particular feeling of yearning for normalcy and for a lot of people about their children and wanting their children to feel good with having the president as a role model.
TAPPER: And I want to say we need to as we watch these scenes of celebration - we're also seeing people wearing masks and mostly wearing masks. They are not socially distancing. I hate to be a scold here.
But we just had the highest day of infections in the United States, I believe, yesterday been 125,000 Americans with new Coronavirus infections. That was the third straight day more than 100,000 infections. It's good to see people wearing masks, although for some of them they are slipping off their face. People also need to socially distance themselves and the masks are significant, though. They are the thing that doctors say is the most important.
BASH: But I can see Sanjay Gupta having a lot of heartburn right now.
TAPPER: Yes, there are a lot of public health officials watching this right now and feeling concerned because of the crowds. But, again, at least they are wearing masks. It also underscores another reason why people are happy with this victory is because President Trump surrendered to the virus.
I mean, like he - we praised him on the show for "Operation Warp Speed" looking for a vaccine and for the sped-up approval process when it comes to therapeutics. But when it came to trying to control the infection, he gave up. And he led the charge against it.
And you were talking about all the people who are out there for policy reasons, they want criminal justice reform. They want the Green New Deal or at least some effort to combat climate change. I don't disagree with that at all.
But I think sometimes it's also just more basic. The number one job of a president is to protect the American people when it comes to the Coronavirus, the president failed. It's not the job of the President of the United States to necessarily unite the American people. It would be nice if that was a job.
That certainly is what Joe Biden thinks his job is. Donald Trump thought his job was to divide and conquer. After George Floyd was killed, murdered by police, there was a moment there where it looked like President Trump got it. That moment quickly disappeared, and he was back to re-tweeting smears of a dead man, smears of George Floyd.
And I think that's also part of it. Look, people can be out there celebrating for any number of reasons but like we have - we're in the middle of a pandemic. We're in the middle of a time of racial justice and reconciliation. And the president didn't lead and these people want someone who will. And whether or not that's Joe Biden, they know it wasn't going to be Donald Trump.
BASH: And the fact that you rightly pointed out that what we're seeing isn't the safest thing in the world for people to be out there. It is great that they're wearing masks but the fact that we are seeing people in 2020 in the streets almost all masked is such a stark illustration of the task that Joe Biden has ahead of him.
BASH: That, yes, he has been preparing. He has been getting briefings, even this week as he waited for the results of this election. One reason he ultimately won the presidency, I firmly believe, is because he actually has the experience of doing things like this.
Of taking the government and all of the parts of the government and using it to create a program and a plan to address this thing in a way that frankly, yes, President Trump was on it on the therapeutics has been on it pushing for vaccines. And Joe Biden and the American people are likely going to benefit from that.
But the fact that the president refused to wear, refuse to tell people to do so while we wait for those remedies is something that we'll never get back and a lot of lives too we'll never get back.
TAPPER: Not just refused to lead the charge against it. He held super spreader events all over the country.
PHILLIP: Yes, I mean, I think this is going to be a transition like no other we've seen in this country. Not just because of what President Trump may or may not do but because we're entering a phase in this country where the virus is surging.
And people are looking for direction and will Joe Biden step into that gap, and if he will how will he do it I think is going to be such a big question for him? But I do want to raise one thing that is coming up here.
TAPPER: Can I take one second to acknowledge that Philadelphia is--
PHILLIP: Your people are in the street.
BASH: Jake, are you from Philadelphia?
PHILLIP: Jake's people are on the screen right now.
TAPPER: They're very happy.
PHILLIP: I do want to bring up one thing little bit on a lighter note, but no less important as we talk about how different this is going to be the next four years? Kamala Harris' husband, Doug Emhoff just tweeted out a photo of the two of them. This is happening Saturday midday so they're in casual clothes going about their lives. But he is now about to be the first, second husband of the United States. Second gentleman of the United States I don't know what you want to call it?
TAPPER: Second dude.
PHILLIP: Second dude of the United States. But their family, I think, is such an interesting thing. Kamala Harris is a biracial woman married to a white Jewish man. They have a blended family of stepchildren. This is going to be different in a lot of ways, but just the Harris/Emhoff family is, I think, something really extraordinary that this country has not seen. But it will reflect a real reality for so many Americans who are blended families, biracial in many ways. You are seeing a little bit of that here.
BASH: And I actually when I interviewed the now vice president-elect last month, I think it was we talked about that. About the fact that she is a stepmother and she came into her stepchildren's life midstream. They were a teenager which is not easy; it is not easy to do and has established a relationship with them.
And also with her husband's first wife which is a modern family which is actually happening more across the country than people realize. And that representation is going to be happening at the highest office in the land. And people relate to their leaders, not just on a policy level. Not just in terms of character but also on kind of an emotional level. And that is a new phenomenon that people will be able to see.
TAPPER: Can I just say one more thing about Senator Kamala Harris. And people can have policy disagreements with her, political disagreements with her, whatever, that's all fair game. There was an attempt by a lot of people on the right to smear her personally, to go after her personal life, to use the vilest, misogynist, sexist tropes and words to attack her.
People like Rush Limbaugh. I mean plenty of Republicans out there, Republican officials and Republican Party operatives. Just the most disgusting and sexist smears that - which are, I know you guys are not unused to that sort of attack because you're prominent females in an era of social media, but it's absolutely time for the United States of America to stop that crap and the American people ignored it. It looks like at least in terms of the election results. But it is time for that to go.
BASH: This is going to sound so, you know, maybe you'll be surprised by this, but I have been dying to say this.
You know what I loved about 2020 and watching all these women run? You know, what we didn't hear anything about? We didn't hear anything about what they were wearing. Nothing. It's all we heard about with Hillary Clinton. And it was nothing about it. It was about what they were saying and what they believe. And that is very refreshing.
TAPPER: There's some people talked about her sneakers.
PHILLIP: The sneaker, yes.
BASH: Well, but that's --
PHILLIP: The sneakers that kind of a (INAUDIBLE).
BASH: That was kind of a thing that, frankly, she rejected.
BASH: You're right, but, you know, it didn't define --
BASH: -- what they were.
PHILLIP: And I think she, you know, I think she is in control of that part of her narrative. If she wants to wear interesting sneakers, she can, and it's fine. But I do think --
TAPPER: But Biden's aviators.
PHILLIP: Right. It's like Biden's aviators. I mean, I do think -- or Hillary Clinton's pantsuits to a certain extent. She would -- she was able to sort of take something that had been used against her and turn it into something that she defined for herself. But, Jake, you're so right, that in this country, we have gotten so normalized to sexism just being a thing that we just have to internalize and accept. And that, you know, we accept that the electorate, to some extent, is going to hold women to a different standard, even holding black women to a different standard. We don't have to accept that.
Other developed countries in the world have elected at women leaders at the highest levels, and we are behind the curve. And I do think that we should acknowledge that this is one step in the right direction. But we have a long way to go on. BASH: And when Joe Biden makes his first address to Congress generally when a president-elect speaks, it's not a State of the Union, it's an address, but it's the same imagery. You're going to see Joe Biden, and you're going to have two women behind him for the first time in history. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and the Vice President Kamala Harris.
TAPPER: Yes. And that's a step forward. But we do also need --
BASH: A woman.
TAPPER: -- at some point, a woman at that podium --
BASH: You said it, I'm glad you made that point.
TAPPER: We'll get there at some -- whatever the party, we'll get there at some point.
Let's go back to Wilmington, Delaware, where Jeff Zeleny reports on the Biden campaign for us. Jeff, what's the latest?
ZELENY: Jake, we are getting worried that the Joe Biden, President- Elect of the United States will be addressing the country tonight at 8:00 p.m. here from Wilmington in the -- on the stage that we've seen all week long. And it's going to be a celebration, I'm told, complete with fireworks and a light show and a drive-in rally that we have seen. So that will be tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time here in Wilmington, I'm told.
And it's unclear if we will see Mr. Biden before then. We do not expect to hear him speak before then. But we are getting word that he is fielding phone calls from friends, allies and his soon to be new Vice President Senator Kamala Harris. She tweeted out a video just a few moments ago that talks about -- it shows her on the phone with him. And she said we did it, Joe, we did it, Joe, you're going to be the next President of the United States. So that is something that, you know, was a moment of history as well.
And for the first campaign that I can recall coming on social media, on Twitter sharing that as we can see right there, in casual clothes, as Abby was saying earlier, Senator Harris was out with her husband for a morning walk as they often do, and giving him that phone call there. And, Jake, has we see cheering and, you know, signs of elation from Democrats at least, and maybe some independence across the country, we're also hearing those horns honking here in Wilmington, and a crowd has gathered here as well.
A bit of history in Wilmington, as well. Jake, it was 48 years ago today, this very day, November 7th, 1972, when Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was elected to the Senate for the first time, he was not expected to win that race. It was an uphill battle, he won by some 3,000 votes or so. So, 48 years ago today, of course, he is elected or named the President-elect projected that today, so a bit of history there as well.
A few other things I am told, again, his victory speech has been written for tonight. Of course, they've had several days to work on it. And we know what his message is. His message is clear about unifying the country, saying it's not a time for anger, but he also will give voice to the mandate that he does believe he has because of the popular vote. And because of the, you know, he will have received more votes than any other president in the history of the United States. So that is something that he will be leaning into as he gives that speech tonight.
But Jake, otherwise, I have to say, it is, you know, a moment of the jubilation here from Biden's supporters. They have been expecting this. But when it finally arrived, it certainly was something, you know, which was taken with much appreciation. Campaign manager Jen O'Malley, who is a rare woman campaign manager, I believe only the second woman to have a winning presidential campaign. Of course, Kellyanne Conway was for President Trump four years ago.
She was out for a run this morning when she heard the news. Her mother called her and said CNN is projected Joe Biden as the winner of the presidency. She was coming into the hotel, you can see behind me here, she said she was ecstatic over this about running this, winning campaign during a time of a pandemic when many questioned the Biden campaigns approach here to going all virtual. So that is just a bit of color here from Wilmington, Jake.
TAPPER: So the last two presidents have been elected with female campaign managers, maybe something for politicians --
TAPPER: -- to think about. Kellyanne Conway and now Jen O'Malley Dillon. This is a different story going on right now at the White House.
So, let's go to Jim Acosta, where President Trump --
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
TAPPER: -- is -- I don't know if he's heard the news yet. Last, I heard he was out golfing, Jim?
ACOSTA: Yes, Jake, I can tell you standing here on the White House grounds right now, we can hear the cheers coming from outside the White House grounds in all directions. And the President is not here right now to listen to those cheers. He's out on the golf course right now. You're looking at some what we believe to be some live pictures of the Trump golf course out in Virginia. He's out there today.
But I can tell you, the President has reacted, people inside the campaign have reacted and what we're hearing, first of all, the President is saying in a statement, we're not going to read it to you because it's full of false information. But the President is saying in a statement, he's not going to accept the results of this election right now that the legal challenges are going to proceed starting on Monday. But I've talked to sources inside and outside the campaign and they say don't expect the President to accept the reality of this anytime soon. Don't expect him to concede this race.
And just as we heard the President complain about fake news and fake polls while he was running for re-election, he's now complaining about fake election results. And he is, in fact, the one spreading fake news right now. But, Jake, no further reaction from the resident or the campaign at this point, but I could just tell you standing here on the White House grounds, it's an extraordinary thing to listen to the cheers and the jubilation coming in from all directions. It's not just Black Lives Matter Plaza, it's coming from 17th Street on the west side of the White House grounds, 15th Street on the east side of the White House grounds.
Jake, you know this territory very well. It is not often in the nation's capital when you hear these kinds of cheers, just erupting from all sides of the White House. And it's an extraordinary thing. And, obviously, the cheers are not for the 45th President, therefore, the 46th President, Jake?
TAPPER: All right, Jim Acosta at the White House, keeping an eye on things there, even while President Trump is out golfing. Thanks so much for that.
It is kind of, I have to say, I mean, nobody knew when the call was going to happen. But we certainly have been leaning into the idea for a bit now that we were going to make this projection this morning. We thought that the ballots were going to come in and we want it to be clear.
It is, I don't know, symbolic that President Trump who has golf more than I think any president in modern American history as President, despite saying when Barack Obama did it, that he would never do such a thing that he's out golfing. He's certainly entitled to get some fresh air and exercise as it were. But here's Atlanta, oh, boy. They're --
PHILLIP: Electric slide.
TAPPER: That city's -- it's going to be off the hook in Atlanta tonight.
BASH: So speaking of President Trump, I've been thinking about this, you know, for the past four days, as we've been getting to this point, and as it's becoming more clear that Donald Trump would be defeated in this election. And that what I was thinking about in that -- is that in my 20 years covering presidential campaigns, the moment that stands out the most to me that I will remember forever, was being in Phoenix on November 5th, 2008, when John McCain gave his concession speech which was the best political speech I'd ever heard.
And the reason why it was so powerful is because he said, I urge all Americans who supported me to join me not in just congratulating him, meaning President Obama, but offering our next president, our goodwill and earnest effort to find ways to come together.
BASH: That was a remarkable moment. And it is not a moment I don't think any of us imagined that we will see. Let's hope. Hope springs eternal. But I don't think any of us is holding our breath --
BASH: -- waiting for anything close to that, which is -- this was extraordinary, but it is more typical to hear even four years ago, Hillary Clinton gave a gracious acceptance -- concession speech.
PHILLIP: Yes. That, I'll say it again, in this country, the expectation is that what John -- John McCain did that because he knew that that would be written in the history books about him. So, you know, your move, Donald Trump about what you do, but I have to say, the President being on the golf course right now, I can't-- I only imagine that this is sort of staff trying to give him a stress relief valve, right? You know, this is where he goes when they need him to be a little bit away from what's happening, a little bit away from what is playing out, literally right outside the White House.
There are people in the streets outside of the White House that he would be able to hear if he were in that building.
PHILLIP: Now he is on a golf course. And it's because his staff, probably, want to facilitate the President being a little bit away from bad news. But at some point, he's going to have to confront this moment. This is where the rubber meets the road, I think in the history books. Where do you -- when you're a president, it's how you act as president, but it's also what you do when your time is up. Going all the way back to George Washington. When your time is up, do you walk away gracefully, or do you try to hang on to power? And now is President Trump's moment.
BASH: And that's just not how Donald Trump was brought up. He was brought up by a father who told him that you're either a fighter or you're a loser, and there's no one in between. And today, he is a loser by definition. He is not going to go on for another term at the White House.
One thing I will say is I've been communicating with some people who are familiar with discussions going on in and around him. We talked earlier about the process.
BASH: They think they have to get him through. And I was told that process is in motion. How long that process is going to take is the big question.
TAPPER: Look, it's not easy --
BASH: No, it's not.
TAPPER: -- to lose a presidential election.
BASH: And to lose the White House.
TAPPER: Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton or John McCain would talk about it. He said, he's -- you know, after he lost, he said, I slept like a baby. I woke up every hour and crying. But not to be callous about it, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what he puts is the country -- or what he tries to put the country through. And whether or not his minions, his lawyers or start filing more frivolous lawsuits or whatever, it's over.
The Trump era is over. Now, maybe -- he'll remain as a force in Republican politics. We'll see. But his presidency is coming to a close. Anderson?
COOPER: Jake, thanks very much. I want to talk with former governor of Ohio, John Kasich, who is joining us. Governor, you supported Joe Biden, your thoughts on his victory, President-Elect Biden?
JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, Anderson, there's not been a Republican over the last four years that did more to say that he was not -- the Trump was not doing a good job. Remember, I didn't go to the convention, the Republican convention. And then I spoke at the Democratic Convention and I've been very vocal about this.
But I want to be clear, now is the time for Democrats. And I believe Joe Biden will do this to begin to listen to what the other half the country has had to say. I think that the other half of the country in many respects has felt as though they have not been listened to. They feel stuck economically. And it's going to be up to the Democrats to listen, things like perhaps improving the earned income tax credit for working families to think about what we can do to fix their schools, to think about what we can do to give them access to the internet. There's so many things that can be done to talk to that part of the country.
And, remember, this is broken down sort of, Anderson, as an urban and country division. And it isn't good enough to just declare great victory. And I'm very pleased that Biden's won. I put everything I had on the line in -- well, not everything, but a lot of things on the line to do this. I'm pleased he's there. He needs to be a unifier. But we have to listen to what those folks, those Republicans all across this country has had to say.
And, frankly, those Republicans have to understand what Democrats want to do. Because if they want to improve health care, that doesn't mean they want Medicare for all. There is no socialism in Joe Biden. If all sides can begin to really listen and think, this country can be healed, in my opinion.
COOPER: You know, both being a governor, you know Washington well, do you think that's possible? I mean, everybody always talks about healing about coming together at election time. And, obviously, you know, this day, the next day, you know --
KASICH: Anderson --
COOPER: -- reality sets in.
KASICH: The best thing that's happened to Joe Biden is the fact that the United States Senate is either going to be Republican or very close. And it will allow Joe Biden to do what he does best. It allows him to govern as a moderate. It allows him to do the things that I've always hoped he can do. And the far left can push him as hard as they want.
And, frankly, the Democrats have to make it clear to the far left, that they almost cost him this election, that people in this country are basically center, center right, center left. They're not far left, and they're also not far right. And we got to hope that the far right will act responsibly now that this election is over. But do I think it's possible that you can get something done on climate? Yes.
Is it going to be, you know, some New Green Deal? Of course not, but there's reasonable things that can be done. What can be done with taxes? OK, if you're going to focus on any sort of a tax cut, it ought to be for the middle and the lower income people in this country.
Are the things that can be done with infrastructure? For sure. But making sure broadband is available to everyone. I think those things can happen. Are there going to be fights? But, yes, there's probably going to be fights, but you will have incremental steps. And I've always said that this election in 2020 was not a big vote on ideology.
This is sort of getting back to normal. The big debate will come in 2024. But that's a long way off.
KASICH: Today is the day that Biden has been declared as President.
COOPER: Well, Governor Kasich, what was it about Joe Biden that made you felt he was the person for this moment?
KASICH: Well, I've known him a long time. And, you know, just a couple years ago, he and I sat on the stage, he invited me to the University of Delaware. And we had a, I don't know, a couple our time together, speaking publicly and spend a lot of time privately and one of my dear friends was John McCain, who was one of his best friends. And I know what the guy's all about.
And he's -- he is -- when I say a throwback, I don't mean old, I mean a return to the fact that we need to communicate, we need to be patient, we don't need to demonize our opponents, figure out a way to see the best in them. That's what I did throughout my entire career. And I resonate because I know that's what Joe has done.
So, I think actually, he's in a better position today, because being pulled from the left isn't going to work. They will not get those things done. And that Congresswoman from Virginia, warn the Democrats, you want to talk about defunding the police, you'll have no support. And I think this is an opportunity for Biden to talk about, you know, the center right and the center left of this country and what can be achieved. Because we have enormous problems with debt, Social Security, Medicare, health care, little steps, little steps.
COOPER: You know, this campaign was unlike, obviously, any we have seen before the turnout was unlike any we have seen before as well. When -- did you worry that, you know, the decisions that the Biden- Harris ticket made to keep him somewhat, you know, to keep him off the trail, to not have large crowds gathering, to not be knocking on doors for, you know, for months as the other campaign was doing? Did you worry that that might make it impossible for him to get elected?
KASICH: Well, I felt that age was a factor. And I know there are some people who voted for Donald Trump because they were worried about Biden's age. But what I was more concerned about, Anderson, was the fact that they did not come out early and talk about the violence in the cities, they waited too long on that. They did not, in clear terms, reject really clear terms that defunding of the police and very clearly say, are you kidding me? I'm an American, I don't favor socialism.
If there had been more strength than that, I think that perhaps he would have done better. But look, he's won. And, you know, it makes all the difference in the world when they put a W behind you, but he's probably learned from this.
One other thing, one Democrat told me, at some point, if they'd have been more clear in rejecting the hard left, they would have appealed more to Americans who I believe essentially live in the middle. That's where Americans are. And, by the way, you can't take care of one group over another.
If you're going to cut taxes for those at the top, you've got to make sure that those who are the hard-working people in the middle and the bottom, that they get relief. There has to be a balanced program where everybody feels as though they can be included, Anderson. That is what successes in politics. And forget the popularity and all the part -- what party you belong to. Do what makes sense.
COOPER: Governor Kasich, appreciate your time.
Van, I heard --
KASICH: Thanks for letting me on with you, Anderson.
COOPER: Appreciate it, as always. I heard you sort of agreeing with the Governor when talking about reaching out to Republicans or listening to Republican.
VAN JONES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, I spent the past four years, you know, trying to find some kind of common ground. There's some stuffs that's going to be battleground issues. You're talking about, you know, immigrant rights and religious freedom for Muslims.
Those are battleground issues, and we can't give an inch on that. But there's been some common ground issues, whether you're talking about addiction and the opioid crisis, whether you're talking about opportunity zones, anti-poverty, whether you're talking about criminal justice, where I thought there was more room for us to work together, than people were recognizing.
I think that the grace that, frankly, had not been shown the past four years, we need to start showing right now. We know what it feels like the president is not on your side and to want the president to send you some signals. There's a danger that we might start saying, well don't send a signal to those guys, they were mean to us. I don't want us to become what we're fighting. I don't want us to feed what we're fighting. I believe that Joe Biden is correct.
If we reset this conversation, there is common ground that you got people who were -- you got a bunch of older, white heterosexual guys who are some of the best people in the country. They know a trade, they raised a family, they started a business.
We need those guys helped rebuild this country. And they need to know that we respect them. They voted against us, that's fine. Vote against us again, but we need you. We need you to help us rebuild this country, they got kids in this country who need your example.
We start talking that way. I think we can get past on some of these fears. And if we don't, we're going to be in another loop, in another loop, in another loop.
COOPER: I'm just want to -- Gloria or Axe, when you see the -- these pictures, what do you think.
BORGER: I think it's remarkable. I think that, again, it's like the steam has gone out of the teapot, and people are just -- those people are relieved. I think the challenges are obvious. We've all been talking about the challenges. But one thing is that, they believe that Joe Biden can change things, can change the way they feel, and the way life is.
And another thing I want to say, given all the -- we've been talking about, will it be able to work with the Republicans, will it be able to work with the liberals. So, the difference with Joe Biden is that when he tells you something, he is telling you the truth. And I know, Rick, that you know Biden and he can talk a lot and get on people's nerves and all the rest, and you can talk about that.
But he's a man who's devoted his life to public service. And he is a man who was known as somebody who told you the truth, when he was dealing with you. And that matters.
AXELROD: Well, he calls himself a transitional president.
AXELROD: And the question is, will it be a transition from an era of compromise? And good faith compromiser will be a transition from that era to an era of zero-sum politics. I totally embrace what you said, Van. But, you know, what we have seen is a pension to weaponize our differences rather than search for common ground.
AXELROD: And the political rewards have been there in the particular -- in the in the parties for that. You know, you can't, in a democracy, get -- ever get 100 percent of what you want. And the question is, are you willing to take 80 or are you not going to take 80? And are you going to make the differences, you know, exploit the differences for your own political profit? Or are you going to come together? And we'll see. I mean, that's -- certainly Biden believes that you, you know, in the first.
COOPER: It's also -- so, I mean, just -- again, we've just come through a campaign where on the Democratic side, you did not see large gatherings of people.
COOPER: Obviously, during the protests this summer, there were large gatherings of people in the streets. But to see these crowds this morning, the diversity of the crowds, a lot of mask wearing, which is certainly a good thing, obviously, not social distancing. And, you know, over the last several days, there hasn't been because we've had this election but, you know, it bears repeating, if we were in the midst of a extremely --
AXELROD: Well, this country has been a pressure cooker --
AXELROD: -- for the last four years. Donald Trump has had his hand on that dial. And this is a sense of relief there.
JONES: And the great thing about it is, it's coming out in joy. And I use that word joy over and over again, because that's a word in the movement that the young people is -- there's Adrienne Maree Brown, is this young kind of Instagram star has been talking about this politics of joy. And these artists have been going out, remember all those long lines and bringing the pizza, they're also bringing music, they're bringing dance, all these means and stuff.
They've created a basis of a positive culture. And so, I think that that's good. And, again, so you got to look for the good, look for the positive, look for the hopeful. These are hope -- they're not out there mad, they're not out there -- they're out there celebrating democracy. Let's build with those people and people right now who are mourning, make sure they know they've got to play -- if you want, come out to the party, come out to the party. This is about America, not about versus Trump, it's about America.
BORGER: I'm sure Joe Biden love seeing this. But it wouldn't surprise me if he also told everyone, you know what, celebrate --
COOPER: Yes. BORGER: -- apart rather than together right now because --
COOPER: The social distancing.
BORGER: -- because of the pandemic, because of the pandemic. I think that --
BORGER: -- you know, that has been his message. And these are people who clearly want to celebrate, and they are masked, I'm saying but --
BORGER: -- you know, who knows? They're close together. But there is a celebration going on. Change sometimes brings that out in you. And I think -- look, if Donald Trump has won, his supporters would probably be celebrating too. I'm not, you know, I'm not saying that this belongs to one side or another, but --
COOPER: Yes, there would be the same sense of relief.
COOPER: -- of his supporters and the same --
COOPER: -- the sense of -- but, no, more possibilities.
JONES: They'll be more trucks, because they have the trucks in the Caribbean stuff like that. But, like, I just think, you know, so many people work so hard. Again, this particular -- the way that the Biden campaign function really let a lot of people just kind of do their own thing. It wasn't a super top down thing.
You had Biden, there was a circle around him moving him forward. But in a pandemic, you couldn't do it the normal way. So people just started creating their own stuff. There's a campaign called with love that I was a part with. People just made make their own ads.
AXELROD: Can I just make one point on this? Jen O'Malley Dillon, the manager of this campaign came in after the primary, could not meet with her staff, could not meet with her candidate, had to organize in the midst of pandemic, take a campaign that was underfunded and under organized and turn it into a winning campaign and did a remarkable job. First woman I think who's ever managed a winning presidential race, did a remarkable job in transforming this campaign under the most difficult circumstances any manager has ever faced.
BORGER: Kellyanne Conway, I mean.
AXELROD: And we -- oh, that's right, Kellyanne Conway.
AXELROD: My apologies. But, I mean, this task was just so prodigious. And it needs to be said, what she and the entire team did to take the campaign from where it was in the primary to where it is today, a winning campaign.
JONES: And you can --
AXELROD: Remarkable accomplishment.
JONES: And you can't forget, too, the -- in the primary, he was going down. As I said, he went from being a joke to a juggernaut. So, you got to give some credit to Clyburn.
BORGER: A lot of credit.
JONES: And Clyburn said, hey, guys, some credit?
BORGER: Some credit?
SANTORUM: But, obviously, I'm taking Jim out to lunch. Jim Clyburn.
JONES: But Jim Clyburn reached out and said, look, this is our guy, let's get around this guy. But that meant that from the very beginning, the campaign was a little bit different than a normal president winning primary campaign. And it just brought that spirit of ordinary people in.
BORGER: And they stayed on message. You know, they didn't sort of, you know, go after every bright, shiny object, go after every tweet, they just kind of stayed on their message. They talked about COVID. They talked about health care, even when it came to the Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court nominee, they stuck to what they knew --
JONES: Message discipline from Joe Biden.
BORGER: Message discipline from Joe Biden. Think about that.
AXELROD: Yes, we should also talk about -- I mean, this is probably in politic to say, but the fact is, there are a lot of people who were nervous. I wrote about what the campaign needed to be doing during the pandemic, because if the President had seized the platform, and led the country through this pandemic in a way that broadened his base, that could be a problem. But what really happened was Biden was relatively quiet for many months, and the President had the stage to himself. That turned out to be a plus for Biden.
COOPER: Let's go back to Jake in D.C. Jake?
TAPPER: All right, Anderson. The congratulations are starting to come from not just prominent Democrats, but prominent Republicans. We heard from former Ohio Governor John Kasich, obviously, a few minutes ago on our air. Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida and who ran for president and lost in the primaries to Donald Trump writes congratulations to President-Elect Biden. "I have prayed for our President most of my adult life. I will be praying for you and your success. Now is the time to heal deep wounds. Many are counting on you to lead the way."
A lovely statement from Jeb Bush. It'd be nice if we heard similar from current Republican officeholders, not just former, but it is a nice thing to hear.
BASH: Yes. I mean, I don't know if you caught this as you read it. The second line, I prayed for our President most of my adult life.
TAPPER: Well, I'm sure he prayed for --
BASH: The entire adult life.
TAPPER: I'm sure he prayed for Donald Trump as well.
BASH: He --yes.
TAPPER: There was no love lost there.
BASH: Yes, exactly. Exactly. And listen and listen. Obviously, the goal of this tweet was to lead by example, and to show what class looks like which is, frankly, how the Bush's have historically seen this. His father, George H. W. Bush was the last one-term president. There is no love lost. But that is somebody who is trying to kind of, you know, shout from the rooftops, please follow. I'm interested to see when and if his brother, the former president, does something similar.
TAPPER: He will.
PHILLIP: Yes, he will.
BASH: I'm curious about when.
PHILLIP: Yes. And, I mean, I think a lot of Republicans, let's be honest, probably feel exactly the same way as Jeb Bush does. I don't agree with all of Joe Biden's policies but, you know, I think Bush is saying here in this tweet, I think you can do the job. And, you know -- and frankly, I'm OK with you doing the job.
And I wouldn't be surprised if there were many sitting Republicans in the United States Senate who are looking at the situation and they're saying, you know, it's -- the chances of us holding on to the Senate are pretty good. They like that. They like having control the reins of the pace of the judiciary, they like having a break valve for the Congress in general.