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Hurricane Warning Issued For Florida's East Coast; Florida Warns Justice Dept. Against Use Of Federal Election Monitors; Control Of Congress At Stake As Voters Head To Polls. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired November 08, 2022 - 11:30   ET



ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: A lot of it -- of voter enthusiasm in the Peach State, in fact, this is the early vote. This was all before today. Two and a half million pre-election ballots were cast. That's a jump of 21 percent from 2018. This morning, Georgia election official Gabe Sterling is giving us updates on the wait times and he says wait times continue to fall. He says they have an average of two-minute wait times right now statewide. He says poll workers are doing a great job. So far, so good, Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, it is. Ana, thanks very much. Appreciate it. A hurricane warning now in effect for parts of Florida, up next, we'll have the latest in the path of Tropical Storm Nicole.



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Hurricane warnings now issued for Florida's east coast as Tropical Storm Nicole strengthens in the Atlantic. CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers is standing by, tracking the storm. What do you see, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: A lot of moving parts, Alisyn, and not just Nicole itself, but some of the damage that occurred from Ian will be getting in the way of this as well. Let's get right to it. The storm is up to 50 miles per hour. It's not a tropical storm now. It was subtropical, which means it's a little bit cold inside. Now it's warm. Now it's growing. Now it's beginning to gather strength. And that's why hurricane warnings are all the way from the Volusia-Flagler line all the way down to Boca.

This will be a storm coming on shore at 75 maybe a few miles per hour higher than that. And that doesn't sound like a lot. But what happened here was that when the storm rolled through, and it's going to roll through the area that was damaged earlier in the year by Ian. Ian took an awful lot of sand off the east coast. And we know what it did to the west coast.

But an awful, Alisyn, that didn't get covered. There was no news coverage of this, but the beaches are gone. And now another storm system is going to try to pack a three to five-foot storm surge on top of those dunes that are gone, the beaches that are gone, the sands that are washed out to sea. This could cause some significant storm surge flooding there across the East Coast, even though it's only a Category one.

Obviously, Florida doesn't need any more rain, they're going to get about two or three inches here, and that's already still flooding from Ian. But back up to the north -- farther to the north. This is where the rain is going to stretch out and will do some good. The problem is by the time the storm is here, it's going to be doing 50 or 60 miles per hour. And there are still trees with leaves, not all the leaves but still some, that could bring down powerlines, could bring down trees and branches and all the like so, so many things going on here from storm surge flooding to wind damage all the way up even in toward New England, and of course, the flooding that's already going on in some of these rivers like the St. Johns River still in some spots out of its bank and more rain is coming.

CAMEROTA: Really helpful, Chad, to have all of those warnings and to understand what's going on there. Thank you.

MYERS: A lot. Good luck.

CAMEROTA: All right. Meanwhile, also in Florida, the state is warning the Justice Department about the use of federal election monitors inside polling places. What is Florida's objection? We have new CNN reporting next.



CAMEROTA: OK, just moments ago, former President Donald Trump just cast his ballot in Palm Beach, Florida. And here's what he said afterwards.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hopefully, the right thing will happen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you still -- are you still the king-maker of the Republican Party? Will your candidate win?

TRUMP: I hope so. I think we have great candidates. I think they're great candidates. I really think it's been a brilliant campaign.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, if the Republicans win, what is the first order of business you hope that Republicans will accomplish?

TRUMP: I think, number one is going to be crime, it's going to be keeping your taxes low, we gave the biggest tax cut in history, we gave the biggest regulations on tax (INAUDIBLE). You know, the Democrats want to raise that all up, we want to keep the taxes low. I think you have to close up the border, and you have to do it quickly.

There could be the biggest immigration coming to our country and our country is being destroyed, so that'll happen, that will absolutely happen. But you have to fight crime, you have to fight to keep our taxes low, and you have to do something about the border, and it has to be done now.


TRUMP: What are you saying?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you trying -- are you considering a run again, a big announcement, you're teasing.

TRUMP: I think Tuesday will be a very exciting day for a lot of people and I look forward to seeing you in Mar-a-Lago.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you vote for Governor DeSantis?

TRUMP: As our country is governed, we have -- it's lost its way, it's lost its confidence, it's got very bad. Thank you all.



CAMEROTA: He did not answer when asked if he voted for Governor Ron DeSantis, who, as you'll remember, he called the name, he designated with a nickname a couple of days ago, but he didn't answer that question.

Also, in Florida, federal election monitors are being told that they are not allowed inside polling places under state law, pushing back on the Justice Department's plans to monitor some of the state's elections. CNN's Ana Cabrera has details from the voting desk, what are they saying?

CABRERA: Well, state officials in Florida are saying it would be counterproductive that it could potentially undermine confidence in the election if these federal monitors were to come into polling places. Now, Florida has not been singled out here by the DOJ.

We know the Justice Department had planned to send elections monitors to 24 states including three counties specifically in Florida and those counties were Broward, Miami Dade, and Palm Beach. And this practice to send federal monitors to certain jurisdictions dates back decades, we're told. Florida officials say they are instead going to send their own monitors from the state to these three jurisdictions to ensure no interference with the voting process, their words.


It's important to note, Alisyn, the state didn't object to federal monitors in 2020 when then-President Trump's DOJ monitored six Florida counties. So we're going to continue to keep an eye on this developing situation but right now, those federal monitors, we understand are not going inside those particular polling places.

CAMEROTA: OK, it sounds like a fluid situation. Please keep us posted, Ana, thank you for that news.

Meanwhile, President Biden gave a blunt assessment of the next two years in his closing pitch in Maryland last night. He also talked about Democrats' chances to hold on to Congress.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, we face an inflection point. One of those moments comes down every three or four generations. We know in our bones that our democracy is at risk and we know that this is your moment to defend it. I think it's going to be tough. I think we can. I think we win the Senate. I think the House is (INAUDIBLE).


CAMEROTA: OK, now according to new CNN reporting, President Biden is preparing for a "horrible two years if Democrats lose the House and the Senate." Let's bring back our CNN political commentators. We have Abdul El-Sayed, S.E. Cupp, former Congressman Charlie Dent, and Karen Finney.

OK, so that was interesting. You heard both President Biden's closing argument about democracy and you heard Donald Trump who is not running for -- I mean, at the moment, we think running for anything, but he gave his closing argument that was about crime, taxes, and the border. And I believe you thought that that was effective?

DR. ABDUL EL-SAYED, EPIDEMIOLOGIST & FORMER DETROIT HEALTH COMMISSIONER: Well, it is their closing argument and he was entirely on message. I will say that Democrats, we've sort of swerved around a number of different closing arguments. You -- we wanted to close on abortion, swerved to democracy, and then we kind of whiffed on the economy, which is frustrating because there's so much that Democrats can talk about when it comes to the economy.

You have a Republican Party that wants to mention inflation, but doesn't really want to address it. Whereas if you look at the Inflation Reduction Act, you look at the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, you look at student loan forgiveness, you've got a lot to close on there that is frankly economic.

And the question here is not just who's going to handle inflation. Because this is an international question. The question is who is going to protect you from the economic insecurity of inflation? And Democrats are doing that work while Republicans are just talking about it so that they can go fight a cultural war.

CAMEROTA: Your thoughts, S.E.?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Republicans were just much more I think craven but also disciplined in this cycle, right? In the primaries, they did a bunch of nonsense that would gin up their base, they talked about abortion bans, and book bans, and rigged elections. And then very smartly, they pivoted to crime and the economy. And were very disciplined, I think, through the rest of the general election, really hammering that. They put -- they kind of put the crazy to bed for a little bit in hopes that people forgot about it.

Democrats, to your point, have really not had what seems like a plan. They wanted to ride the Roe wave, which I get. They wanted to throw democracy in there is like looming over all of this. I get that, too. They didn't really deal much with the economy and they didn't deal at all with crime, except to say it was a Republican invention. I don't think they made the most of this opportunity.

And look, we can't overstate. Republicans were probably going to win, right, just historically. But I don't think Democrats did the best job at closing the gap.

KAREN FINNEY, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER & SPOKESPERSON, HILLARY FOR AMERICA 2016: I see you looking to me. I knew you would be chopping on the bit.

CUPP: They were for you, right, Karen?

FINNEY: I think -- look, I think our candidates actually on a case-by- case basis did an excellent job when it came to Roe v. Wade, galvanizing the support.

CUPP: Yes.

FINNEY: And the fact that that actually was such a shock to the system, it made a lot of people pay attention in a way they may not have been previously, right?

CUPP: For sure.

FINNEY: Because we've been saying for a while this could happen. And I just don't think people believed it until they saw it. Then I think -- I do think our candidates have done a good job talking about the economy. I think they're -- I agree with a bill that there's more we could have talked about in terms of the content, I will say. I've done work with the Congressional Black Caucus PAC and a number of other organizations, all of our ads talk about, here's what you got for your vote, there's more to do, here's what we -- here's what we still need to get done. Because we found that was a very effective formula.

The last thing I would say the one point that I would make in a closing argument is that remember, stable economies flourish in a stable democracy. I would make the connection between a good economy and democracy.

CAMEROTA: And truly aside from the messaging, what will the next two years in America look like if Republicans win back the House and the Senate?

CHARLIE DENT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ASPEN INSTITUTE CONGRESSIONAL PROGRAM: Oh, there's going to be a lot of stalemate and gridlock. We're going to see some crises. There'll be a debt ceiling battle Royale. There'll be all sorts of difficulties trying to keep the government funded. You know, we'll have these usual continuing resolution fights and omnibus battles. The governing -- I would say the governing center of the Congress has diminished even more on both sides of the aisle. There are going to be fewer people there who have the capacity to enter into compromise agreements and vote for them.


And you know I think Kevin McCarthy is going to have his hands full. You know I remember what happened after the 2010 election. And you know Boehner had a group of about 40 guys who wanted to take his legs out from under him every single day. And just -- and they would use their leverage to try to force him more conservative or in this case a more MAGA agenda that has no chance of passing the Senate. There'll be a lot of internal circular firing squads going on within the House GOP conference so the Senate is going to put the deals together.

CAMEROTA: Go ahead.

FINNEY: I think there's also having lived through the Clinton years. Yes, I was in kindergarten back then, of course. You know, where Republicans greatly overreach, they were chomping at the bit, they got control of Congress, and then they overreached in a way that it sort of backlash and help Clinton -- President Clinton.

When you have Jim Jordan talking about investigating the FBI when you have the list of investigations, they are chomping at the bit to go after Hunter Biden, I just don't think the American people are going to stand for that because what it's going to reveal is something that I think we know, which is for them, it's going to be about power and ideology, not about delivering for the American people. And I do think that's going to have a clash.

EL-SAYED: Just to pick up on what both of you are saying. It's about to be silly season if Republicans take the House, honestly, I mean, using impeachment as a political tool in ways that is unjustifiable, fighting culture wars in ways that empower folks like Marjorie Taylor Greene, that's going to be what Congress looks like if Republicans take power. And I worry a lot about what that means for people's trust in democracy, their understanding of what our government looks like. I'm really scared about what that will look like.

CUPP: And I think sadly, there are a lot of people who are here for that. That like the politics of revenge that comes from the MAGA wing and then we're -- the cruelty is the point and are looking forward to exacting a revenge for the perceived, you know, slights that they've suffered in the last years.

CAMEROTA: It's also (INAUDIBLE) policy.


CAMEROTA: I mean, it frankly, like, lights up more of you're -- you know dopamine centers than policy does. (CROSSTALK)

DENT: This transfer for Kevin McCarthy and the Republican leadership is they're going to have to manage expectations, and you're going to have to -- there's going to have to be an adult in the room to tell that extreme MAGA wing, no, you can't do this. If you do this, this will be the cost.

EL-SAYED: Charlie, they must.

CUPP: Wait, but why, Charlie? Why does -- why does someone have to tell -- I wish. Why does someone have to tell the extreme MAGA-wing no? What will happen if they don't?

DENT: If they don't, well then you get led by them. You don't want them to drive --


EL-SAYED: All adults in the room have left.

DENT: No, but it won't --

EL-SAYED: Like -- look, this is the problem.


DENT: The Senate -- we got something called the United States Senate -- the United States Senate. You need 60 votes you know to do a bathroom break over there. And you're not going to get it so they want to have some wild bill they want to pass out of the House, go to the Senate. It's going nowhere.

EL-SAYED: Right.

DENT: So --


DENT: If it's all about messaging -- if it's all about messaging, well then go have at it.

CUPP: I think it is. That's my concern, yes.

CAMEROTA: Guys, we have to leave it there. And I also should mention that off camera, at least the -- off the part that we heard, former President Trump did say that he voted for Ron DeSantis today so we couldn't hear that part, but I'm told from people on the ground that that is what he said.

EL-SAYED: That is a lie.

CAMEROTA: Yes, it could -- he said it -- he said it quietly. Thank you all very much.

OK, we finally know the winning Powerball numbers after a very long delay overnight. Is there a winner? We had the latest next.



CAMEROTA: The winning numbers for the record-breaking $2 billion Powerball drawing are in. They were drawn this morning after an hours- long delay overnight. CNN's Martin Savidge joins me now. So, Martin, is there a winner at this hour?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let me start with the most important news, which is I didn't win.


SAVIDGE: Beyond that, no, we don't know. And many people may be going well, how come we don't know? And the answer to that is normally when these numbers are drawn, which is about 10:59 Eastern Time, what happens is people would check their tickets before they go to bed, and then they wake up in the morning and find out hey, did somebody else win or not? That usually transpires over several hours, but because the drawing actually occurred at 8:57 due to the delay this morning, that's why people are on edge wondering well if I didn't win, did somebody else win? We just don't have those numbers as yet.

As to what delayed everything, it's a security protocol. We still haven't been given the specifics as to who had this problem. And what I mean by that is that the lottery is not a monolithic entity. It's made up of all these different sorts of associations of lotteries from 45 different states plus the District of Columbia, and on and on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. So, somebody had a problem. Was it that they were overwhelmed simply because they sold so many tickets and the interest was so high? We don't know that. Or was it something else, something more sinister?

I mean, $2 billion on the line, by the way, the total jackpot, actually came -- actually came out to $2.04 billion. I hope somebody out there has wanted it and they will do a world of good with it. Otherwise, if they haven't, we'll do this all again.

CAMEROTA: Right. But, Martin, as you and I have discussed, it has already rolled over what, 40 times, 41 times?

SAVIDGE: 41, yes. So --

CAMEROTA: OK, so -- I mean, it's just getting -- it's getting frustrating for people who are playing.

SAVIDGE: Right. And I often thought, oh, come on. Surely every number combination must be covered now. But the truth is no. You know, they changed the lottery numbers a little while ago, and the answer is 292 million to one that you're going to get the right combo, so we may not have a winner. We'll see. I'll let you know as soon as I hear.

CAMEROTA: Please do. I'm going to check my numbers, though. I suspect it will be futile. But thank you very much, Martin. SAVIDGE: You're welcome.