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State of the Race with Kasie Hunt
Key Races Today in Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky and Mississippi; Voters at the Polls in Virginia, Legislature up for Grabs; Virginia Elections Huge Test for GOP Star Glenn Youngkin; Today's Election Day Across the U.S.; Netanyahu: Israel will have the "Overall Security Responsibility" in Gaza for "Indefinite Period" after War; One More Thing. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired November 07, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KASIE HUNT, CNN HOST, STATE OF THE RACE: It's Election Day and what we could learn today could offer a glimpse of what's ahead in 2024. We are
live in Virginia where control of legislators at stake, eyes on to Governor's races in the south Kentucky and Mississippi voting on that today
and abortion rights on the ballot in Ohio. I'll talk to Greg Landsman. He's a Democratic Congressman from Ohio.
Hello, everyone. I'm Kasie Hunt to our viewers watching in the United States and around the world. It is 11 am here in Washington. It is Tuesday,
November 7th. That is the first Tuesday in November, which means polls are open now. We have one day until the next Republican Presidential Debate 363
days until the big Election Day. This is today's "State of the Race".
Hear the election music because voters are voting polls open in several States for off your elections that could give us critical insight into how
the American people feel less than one year ahead of the 2024 presidential election. A key test is in Ohio where voters will decide whether to
enshrine abortion rights in the state's constitution.
That's also a big issue in purple, Virginia where state -- where control of the state legislature is up for grabs if Republicans hold state House, flip
the state Senate they could pass Governor Glenn Youngkin's 15 week abortion bill in the last state in the south where abortion is currently
There is also a tight Governor's race in ruby red Kentucky with both Democrat Andy Beshear and Republican Daniel Cameron considered rising stars
with bright futures in national politics. And in Mississippi Republican Governor Tate Reeves is all shook up by a challenge from Democrat Brandon
Presley. Maybe it's because he's the second cousin of the king himself.
Way to start that off. Let's dive it all into all of it with today's panel, Republican Lanhee Chen, Former Public Policy Director for Mitt Romney, CNN
Political Commentator, Karen Finney, also a Democratic Strategist and the Editor and Publisher of Inside Elections Nathan Gonzales. Thank you guys
all for being here, I love an Election Day. It's always --
NATHAN GONZALES, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER, INSIDE ELECTIONS: An Elvis --
HUNT: An Elvis, right? I mean what more do you ask for those two things together. Nathan, let me start with you. Because you know your job is to be
absorbing all of this data day in day out helping us understand what you think is going to happen. What are you watching for tonight?
GONZALES: I think the marquee race is a race in Kentucky between Daniel Cameron and Andy Beshear. And it's not just that the Governor of Kentucky
is the most important office in the land. It's that the lessons that are being learned out of that race out of the race in Virginia are going to
translate in 2024.
Specific on abortion and access to abortion Democrats have been attacking Daniel Cameron on abortion and being too restrictive. Same things are
happening in the ads that we all see in the Virginia races. And so if Andy Beshear is able to win in a state like Kentucky, that would be a good sign
If Democrats able to do maybe better than expected in the Virginia assembly races, then I think that will embolden Democrats to run even more on
abortion, abortion access when we get to next year's even bigger set of elections.
HUNT: Karen, what are you looking for?
KAREN FINNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, same. I mean, I think how abortion plays out and as well, as you know, so in Virginia, they're trying
kind of the Republicans of trying a little bit of a different, kinder, gentler messaging around abortion is Nikki Haley actually suggested in one
of the debates.
That would be interesting to see if that works. Does that bring back suburban white women voters to the Republican Party who has pretty much
shown up for measures across the country in support of abortion rights? So that'll be interesting to watch.
The other thing in Mississippi that will be interesting is to see how African American turnout is because this is the first election where
they've actually gotten rid of a Jim Crow era law that actually made diluted basically the impact of the black vote.
Why is that important? Because if black voters turnout in big numbers, and they make the difference, that is a powerful argument and 2024 to say your
vote made the difference. That is why we need you to turn out and that's a key thing for 2024 is going to be turnout.
HUNT: The one thing I will say and Lanhee, I want to get your kind of broad takeaways in a second. But I want to pick up on what she's saying here
about black voters. Kamala Harris was on you know, his kind of tour doing some a tour of some black media outlets to try to gin up black turnout.
One of the things that really stood out to me in that polling that we got over the weekend from "The New York Times" were the troubling -- is support
for Democrats softening among voters of color in a significant way? You're the Republican at the table. How -- like what do you think is going on
LANHEE CHEN, FORMER MITT ROMNEY PUBLIC POLICY DIRECTOR: Well I think it's a question of support it's also a question of energy right?
We usually look at intensity in elections. And that is the thing that determines, you know, how a voting bloc is going to behave in terms of
thinking about support for one candidate another. And I think, as we look ahead to 2024, the big concern for the Biden campaign will be is that
intensity of interest going to be there with the African American electorate?
It has to be for the President, I think be successful now. There's been some discussion about whether Donald Trump has managed to peel away some
support, particularly amongst African American men from Democrats? I think there's probably something to that, but whether they stay with him or not.
That's the big question.
FINNEY: Well, it's that and I'll tell you in 2022, one of the things we saw among voters of color was does my vote even matter? So it wasn't just
here's the candidate we want you to vote for, but we got to get you out to vote.
FINNEY: And so that's why I think it'll be interesting. I think that's why your stock, Kamala Harris out there, trying to get this numbers --
GONZALES: I mean we still have an election that's still focused on the economy. And sometimes we think that minority voters care about some sort
of other issues, not whatever what else is focused on. If the economy is struggling, or people feel like the economy is struggling, that's not just
with white voters, that's with minority voters as well.
And President Biden is the incumbent. He is bearing more responsibility for the state of the country right now. And that's kind of making things a
little bit more difficult for him.
HUNT: Karen, do you think I mean, the movement, especially among black men? Do you think it has to do with Trump the person at all like, if it's
another Republican, does that go away? Or is it about economic issues?
FINNEY: No, I think there's something about Trump the person. There's something about the research that I've seen the machismo the sort of a Sam,
you know, this sort of outsider thing that he tries to do. And look, I think the other piece of it is, you know, we've got to do a better job in
our party and not taking voters of color for granted.
I mean, I think we did a good job in 2022, starting early the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign
Committee. The campaign is doing it now the President's campaign. And I hope when they looked at that poll over the weekend, they said we got to
triple down on making sure we are directly communicating with black and brown voters because they are interested, potentially and open to voting
for Trump. Again, I think it's more of black men than black women. But there is something there.
CHEN: Well, I think this observation about the economy is a really important one, because I do think that the challenge that the Biden
campaign will have. And we're going to see maybe a snapshot of this today, which is how do people feel about the economy, and particularly amongst
voters of color, black and brown voters?
There is I think, a concern about how the economy has impacted them? Inflation has disproportionately affected those communities. And I think
that will be a challenge because this economy, it's interesting, because the numbers suggest the economy is not doing too poorly. But people don't
feel that way.
CHEN: People feel like the economy is letting them down. And they directly associate that with President.
FINNEY: But I just want to point out one thing, because again, when you do research in communities of color, the way people experience the economy is
very different. For women, a reproductive right is an economic issue, actually.
HUNT: Yes, 100 percent.
FINNEY: For black and brown voters racism is an economic issue, because if I am feeling the scourge of racism, I'm feeling like I'm not getting a fair
chance at work. I'm not getting those promotions. I'm not getting fair pay. So we have to recognize that we all look at that issue from a very
HUNT: Well, like my house isn't appraising high enough.
HUNT: So I can't get a loan that's high enough to pay for it et cetera. Let's talk for a second about what's going on in Virginia? And Lanhee, I
want to start with you on this kind of as the Republican because and we're going to talk all about Glenn Youngkin in our next block and exactly on him
and his personality.
But in terms of the issue, he has taken this 15 week abortion ban and basically said this is a softer, gentler Republican Party. And he has
really tried to sell that to voters, which is a little different from, you know, other Republicans that just try not to talk about it. Right, just
talk about crime.
And I think we're going to be able to put some live pictures of Glenn Youngkin up campaigning, there he is. He's been all over the state this
morning talking to voters. Do you think this kinder, gentler thing is going to work on the issue of abortion?
CHEN: Well look, the other attack didn't work, right, which is basically to say, we're either not going to talk about it, or we're going to be behind
policies that I think the vast majority of Americans actually probably don't want, right?
So I think his approach if anything else is novel, in the sense that he is going to take a proactive view, and I tend to think that works better than
being defensive. So I actually think that his approach is a good one. We'll see if there's proof in the pudding when the electoral results come out
HUNT: Right. I mean, Karen, how do you think this balance between you know we have him talking about -- Glenn Youngkin talking about abortion, then
there's you add that on top of issues that, you know, voters tell us that Republicans went on crime, immigration --
HUNT: -- some other things. How do you think that breaks down in Virginia today?
FINNEY: I think it's -- it is going to be about two things. Number one, the power of Glenn Youngkin, which we'll talk about just as someone who can
turn voters out sort of can he really bring you know because people know this is about whether or not he's going to have control.
Secondly, reproductive rights absolutely. Again because they've made it in many of these races about if Youngkin gets control of the legislature,
you're going to get a 15 week ban. And so I think that's a very front of mind question for voters going to the polls.
GONZALES: Because a 15 week ban is a lot more popular with the American people than any than then -- you know week of the heartbeat bills or other.
So but then in the context of the Republican Party, our Republican voters willing to give Glenn Youngkin some ground on a 15 week ban.
When they just morally think it should be, you know, zero consumption. And so Youngkin is in a tough spot, but we're going to -- let's explore that
HUNT: All right. Coming up here, we've got much more on this a closer look at the elections in Virginia, which we've just been digging into. How those
results could offer clues to 2024? But what I really want to talk about whether it's going to nudge another Republican into the Presidential Race
that's coming up next.
HUNT: Welcome back. It's the ultimate bellwether Virginia a southern conservative state turned purple by the suburbs and excerpts outside
Washington D.C. And today, voters there will give us a critical snapshot of how the American public is feeling just one year from the 2024 presidential
It's all on the line for Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin. He swept to power championing Parents Rights a year after Biden won the Presidency.
Youngkin has been campaigning on his proposed 15 week abortion ban which could pass if Republicans keep control of the state House and win back the
Senate from Democrats.
The race is so close. It could easily go either way. Youngkin himself is not on the ballot but his political future depends on what happens tonight,
some Republican donors clamoring for him to jump into the presidential race against Donald Trump. Will he? CNN's Jessica Dean joins us from Richmond,
Virginia with more. Jessica, great to see you! What have we seen from Youngkin today?
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've seen him all across Virginia in the lead up to today and also this morning. And just a
little bit ago he was at one of his last stops. And Kasie, you hit the nail on the head there. He's not on the ballot.
But so much of his future and his juice within the Republican Party relies on what happens tonight? Is he going to be able to successfully flip the
Senate? You know, he's leading the charge here, as I mentioned, been on the campaign trail, and it's really about selling his message.
He keeps saying to voters, just give me a full slate of Republican lawmakers and I can get this agenda achieved. So he's asking for that. And
so the question is will voters go there with him just the state of play for everybody watching to remind you, Republicans currently hold the House here
Democrats hold the Senate and that's where they've been able to block some of Youngkin's agenda as he's tried to move forward. Chiefly among that he
has proposed 15 week abortion ban. And he is really pitched that to voters as a more moderate play -- a moderate ban than some of the heartbeat bills
the six week bills that we've seen in Florida and Iowa and other states.
It's worth noting that because the Senate Democrats stopped that legislation that Virginia is the only southern state that has not seen
further restrictions on abortion, since Roe Versus Wade was overturned in 2022.
So while he may not be directly on the ballot, there are so much of a proxy battle playing out here in Virginia, both for him personally and his
future. But also Kasie, as you well know, on the issue of abortion and reproductive rights and how much of an issue that's going to be as we go
into 2024 of course, about a year ago, during those midterms in 2022, it proved to be such a big force for Democrats?
They really benefited so much from that, and they kept the Senate. And so we're just looking to see kind of how this all plays out? Worth noting
also, that oftentimes we see what happened here in Virginia and these off year elections as corollaries to what happens the next year in these
federal elections in 2019.
The Democrats flip the House and Senate we saw Joe Biden win the seat by 10 points in 2021. The Republicans pulled back the House won the House. And of
course, in 2022, we saw Republicans on the Hill take back the House as well. So it will be very interesting to see how this all plays out tonight,
HUNT: Canary in the coal mine, so to speak, just kidding. Thank you very much for that report. And we are back with today's panel. So the thing I do
want to talk about here, Lanhee, is the bubble, the Republican bubble for Glenn Youngkin.
Obviously he needs to -- he himself has said that he wants to perform well, with Republicans in these state legislative elections before he would
consider taking on a bigger platform. There are a lot of people out there clamoring for him to take on Donald Trump. In many ways it's too late
because he's already missed a couple of critical ballot test deadlines. But the interest is there nonetheless?
CHEN: The interest is there. I mean, I think this is more about the Youngkin pathway than Youngkin himself, if that makes sense. In other
words, some of this messaging that he's deploying, and really in an effort to win back suburban voters in the suburbs and exurbs of Northern Virginia,
for example that might be messaging that could be helpful to other Republicans next year.
But the concept of a Youngkin himself being a candidate for the presidency, there just isn't a mechanism in the Republican Party in the Republican
primary rules where he can sort of parachute in, in the same way that let's say a Democrat might be able to because of the structure of their primary
process being different, and enabling that maybe a little more easily than the Republican process would.
So I'm skeptical about this notion that he can be the knight in shining armor who comes to save their shining.
HUNT: Really -- shining --
CHEN: But I really do think that who he is and the way he deploys his message and the way he talks about these things that can be illustrative
for races going forward.
GONZALES: I think skeptical. You're being kind. I think --
HUNT: You're shaking your head as we are talking about --
GONZALES: -- is not taking place in a vacuum, right? Let's say Glenn -- let's say Republicans have a great night tonight. And everyone's talking
about Glenn Youngkin. We still have to in the context of the Republican primary, Nikki Haley is not going to just step aside. Oh, Glenn Youngkin.
I've been running in this race. I'm out.
Or Ron DeSantis like, oh, fine, Glen Youngkin here you go. Here's the red carpet. It's just not going to happen. And so you have the same dynamic of
multiple candidates who are not Donald Trump, dividing up a similar smaller portion of the pie, and then Trump just skates along with, you know, 50 ish
percent of the vote.
FINNEY: But it also if you think about the future of Glenn Youngkin? I mean, this really is as Jessica was saying this is about does he have the
juice right in his state? Because he has really put himself out there and so if he doesn't have a good night that he's going to have egg on his face.
Pick your metaphor that you want. With regard to reproductive rights, though, I do want to say the reproductive rights organizations in Virginia
are very good at what they do. And remember trans-vaginal ultrasound not too long ago, I'm old enough to remember that.
And the way the debate has changed even since then, where a majority of voters say Roe V. Wade should be the standard. And that means a woman
should decide with her doctor, I don't want to decide is it six weeks 15 voters shouldn't know that. Governor -- government shouldn't make that
And for a lot of suburban women in particular, once Roe V. Wade fell, the idea that you could have a national ban on abortion and the idea that it
could start in your state that is a very real fear for a lot of women. So I would not undercut the strength of that messaging, that even though yes,
they're trying this kinder, gentler 15 weeks, it just -- it may not work.
GONZALES: Remember Youngkin won pre-Dobbs, right? He won the 2020 election.
FINNEY: That's true.
GONZALES: -- three months after our exit from Afghanistan, sort of at the height of the school board, parent's rights, issues like this, that was --
HUNT: It was really a very moment everything turned on Joe Biden.
GONZALES: And it looked like there was going to be a red wave, red tsunami until the Dobbs decision, subsequent action by other state legislatures to
restrict access to abortion. And then so you don't get he's doing a good job of keeping himself out there. And we'll see what happens, and then put
into different -- it's a different time.
HUNT: I want to show everybody just so you can kind of hear it from Youngkin himself. This was him talking about abortion this morning. So you
can get a sense when we -- we've been describing this as like a kinder, gentler ban, I think listening to how he actually frames it is important,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN YOUNGKIN, VIRGINIA GOVERNOR: We've been very, very clear about I think one of the tough topics in Virginia in America, which is abortion.
And what the other side has been saying is simply not true. We're very clear, I will support one bill, one bill that will protect life at 15
weeks, a bill that will have exceptions for rape and incest and when the life of the mother is at risk.
That's the bill we'll do. And anything anybody else says is an absolute lie. And to call it a ban is such a mistruth and disinformation. And they
should all be ashamed of what they've said over this campaign, because none of it has been true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: So that is a man on defense on this issue, don't you think, Karen?
FINNEY: Yes, 1,000 percent. And I'll tell you why. In this contest, or in some of the individual races, the language that people have used, not --
Governor is talking about 15. And he's clear, but you know, you can't always control your candidates.
HUNT: No, can --
FINNEY: And some of the candidates have really gummed up the language. And so they're trying to recapture the narrative to say it's 15. It's not a
ban. But again to some people, that still sounds like a ban, and some of their candidates have been more extreme.
And some have tried to just not talk about it or not saying anything, because they don't want to admit where they really stand thinking that
that's going to be the way that win. So again, there's been a real back and forth in Virginia about what's fact what's fiction?
CHEN: I think the key question will and we'll decide the city on the night we'll figure it out, right is these races are all nationalized now.
CHEN: Are we talking, so notwithstanding whether this is a 15 week formulation, or whatever they might do in Virginia. The question really is
around is this going to be a race about abortion rights or about Biden? OK, because if the Democrats do not do well tonight, it will be -- it will have
been about Joe Biden I think.
It will have been about the relative unpopularity of the President. And the fact that most Democrats are not interested in being associated with Biden
right now. And I think that has been another element of what we've seen in Virginia is that Democrats have not wanted to be associated with Joe Biden,
in Mississippi, in Kentucky, you see it all over the country, that Democrats are trying to run their own races.
They're trying to run their own races on issues like reproductive rights, where they feel like they have the strong hand. They're not running on Joe
Biden. So if Democrats are not successful tonight, I do think it is going to be an indictment of this President very difficult going into this
election year actually.
HUNT: And I think that that if that's what happens, that is going to be the thing that kind of helps grow this Youngkin for President Bubble --
HUNT: -- because it will demonstrate that Biden is so toxic that even people's feelings about abortion rights cannot overcome. I do want to show
everybody this is obviously a question Youngkin himself is getting asked. So this is what he had to say dodging about this earlier, take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Governor has been out on the campaign trail, and if you think about 2024 at all?
YOUNGKIN: No, it makes me think about 2023. And today is the day that we get voters out across the entire Commonwealth. And they cast -- they cast
their vote and exercise the most important right we have as Virginians and Americans, and that's to elect our leaders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: So he's got about 12 hours left for that answer to continue to hold up as a dodge, Karen.
FINNEY: Yes. I mean, here's the thing. The question I think is, let's say he does well tonight. I mean, we all know that I'm just thinking about
today. OK fine, but tomorrow the question becomes would the Republican Party try to find a way to change the rules to let him actually enter the
Would there be the pressure of that? Would there --
CHEN: No constituency.
HUNT: I mean the RNC has not shown its willingness to do that, I want to say.
CHEN: I mean, I think there's a donor constituency for it. But I don't know about --
HUNT: But as we've known, donors are not so great at picking the best places necessarily. They don't like they think they know more, because they
know in their lives, they've done really well. But like then they tried to do politics.
GONZALES: In non-abortion, Trump has already tried to stick out a more moderate tone. I mean, he talked about the heartbeat bills being terrible.
HUNT: Well, the New York -- the Former New York Democrat is out there.
GONZALES: -- trying to say terrible, terrible. This is terrible politics. And so Youngkin wouldn't even be the only one, you know, in the race on
with that, you know, sort of more moderate stance on non-abortion within the realm of the Republican Party.
HUNT: Yes. I mean, it's obviously true that Trump the person who existed in public life for however many decades before -- before he became President
of the United States was in a much different spot on abortion than the guy who stacked the Supreme Court with conservatives.
CHEN: On many different issues.
HUNT: Yes, right. But then of course, they overturned Roe V. Wade. OK. This has been a great conversation, guys. I can't wait to talk about all this
tomorrow. And we actually had some real answers. As we've been talking about there's also a major test for abortion rights on the ballot in the
Buckeye State today.
I should ban the words Buckeye State. I'm a Michigander over here. Go Blue no Buckeyes. Ohio Democratic Congressman Greg Landsman, I hope you'll
forgive me for that. He joins me next to discuss.
HUNT: All right. Welcome back to "State of the Race". I'm Kasie Hunt live in Washington. Today is Election Day across America. We're keeping an eye
on -- close eye on four states, Virginia, Mississippi, Kentucky and Ohio. Virginia voters set to decide control of the entire state legislature in
the future of abortion rights in the South.
There's a possibly closer than expected Governor's race in Ruby Red Mississippi, with Elvis's his cousin on the ballot. In Kentucky the
Democratic Governor faces off with a Republican rising star to keep his seat they both have big national ambitions.
And in Ohio, voters will determine whether abortion should be enshrined into their state constitution. Joining me now is Congressman Greg Landsman;
he is a Democrat from Ohio. Congressman, thank you so much for being here.
REP. GREG LANDSMAN (D-OH): Thank you for having me here.
HUNT: And I don't know if you're a buckeye. So forgive my date my earlier days against Buckeyes.
LANDSMAN: That's fine, I love that.
HUNT: So let's start seriously with what issue one, right? So the signs all over Ohio say no on one or yes on one. And that's about putting a
protection in the state constitution for abortion rights up to the point of viability. You've been on the ground. What is your sense of where the state
is on this right now?
LANDSMAN: So I think it's going to pass it has to pass. And you know Ohioans care about freedom. And they care about democracy. We had an issue
one in August, which was an attempt by politicians in Columbus to increase the threshold for a ballot measure from 50 percent, which is democratic to
60 percent as a way of making it harder for people to go to the ballot as citizens. And Ohioans rejected that 58, 57.3.
HUNT: If the margin was striking.
LANDSMAN: Yes, huge. 14 points, 28 points in my district, and it's a swing district. This is a similar attempt in the sense that you have politicians
who have said hey, we're going to get in the middle of medical decisions between women, girls and their doctors and their families.
And issue one this time is a way of saying no, we're going to remove politicians from these decisions and give that right, that freedom back to
women and girls.
HUNT: Yes. Do you think I mean, what should we -- what should we take away from this if, in fact, abortion rights advocates went out here? Is that
going to say something bigger about the way Ohio is trending to or away from the Democratic Party? Or is this a pretty limited test of one specific
LANDSMAN: So I think it will say something significant about Ohio. But also where the country is on the ground, in Town Hall after Town Hall meeting
after meeting, what I hear, and this has been several years. It's not just the last couple of months is that people are very worried about democracy -
- very worried about freedom, and very, very worried about the economy and how broken it is that everyone is working really hard.
And it's harder to make ends meet. And you got this the super wealthy and the super powerful. And so my sense is, is that this will be another
example, where people said hey democracy, freedom and keeping Ohio economically competitive really does matter. And we want Ohio to be a fully
HUNT: So let's talk for a second about the President, because there was some rough polling for him over the weekend in battleground states.
Obviously, Ohio has trended red and is not, you know included typically anymore as a presidential battleground. But the election is going to be won
or lost in the Midwest.
And there are a lot of characteristics in Ohio that you share with Michigan and Wisconsin and other places where the President is struggling. What is
your message to the Biden campaign? What would you say to them about what they should be doing differently because clearly, something's not working?
LANDSMAN: Yes. I mean, part of it to me is continuing to talk about the big issues that matter most to people and how we have to save our democracy. We
have to strengthen our democracy and having real clarity on that. And the same with restoring freedoms and the same with fixing this broken economy
and appreciating that people are really frustrated.
HUNT: On that point is Bidenomics a good way to sell that?
LANDSMAN: Yes. I don't know if it's a good way.
HUNT: Don't think an economy, people don't trust.
LANDSMAN: I think the policy behind it makes sense. I mean, when I think the President should do more of is say hey, this economy has been broken
for decades. The super wealthy have had way more power. And as a result, they're getting wealthier. And the American middle class, despite many,
many efforts by this administration and the previous Congress, they continue to struggle.
And you know we have to finish the job and continue to work to fix this broken economy. I will say part of the issue is that the campaign really
hasn't started yet, right? So you have one person, the President who's on the stage, and he has not been joined by Donald Trump yet.
And so I think the more Donald Trump spends time in front of American voters, the more they'll realize this is a very dangerous person who is
going to destroy our democracy, continue to take freedoms away from us, and he will continue to exacerbate the economic problems that Americans face.
HUNT: Fair enough. I want to change gears a little bit because you obviously are wearing the flag of Israel entwined with the U.S. flag on
your lapel. You recently had to cancel an event in your district because of threats against you as a Jewish person. Can you just talk a little bit
about how that feels that that's the reality of America in 2023?
LANDSMAN: Yes just to clarify, there weren't specific threats to me. It was a combination of national threats against use local chatter and law
enforcement locally saying hey, there's too much rhetoric here for us to recommend anything other than canceling it. And so you know it was
frustrating, I will say, I feel less safer than -- than I have.
And the rise of anti-Semitism is very scary. The rise of Islamophobia is very scary. Jews and Muslims in my district I spent a lot of time with
both. They are scared, they are stressed. They are anxious. They are mourning and they feel unseen.
And so you know I want to be somebody who you know brings folks together on this issue because ultimately, if we're divided Hamas wins. And we can't
have Hamas win this thing. We have got to end Hamas's rain and make sure that Israel is secured, and that the Palestinians in Gaza get their
HUNT: So one of your colleagues Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, she appeared and I want to show everyone what she said. And it was extraordinarily critical
of President Biden and his approach here. Take a look at some of what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will remember, in 2024.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: Calling for a ceasefire, but she also was filmed chanting from the river to the sea, which many in Israel view as a call to eliminate Israel
from the face of the globe. What do you say to Rashida Tlaib?
LANDSMAN: So I talk privately to Rashida on a regular basis. I tried to be empathetic. She's Palestinian. Her grandmother lives in the West Bank. She
is hurting. And I think it's really important for us to show empathy and grace.
The river to the sea language is not just something that folks in Israel have an opinion, but it is. It means getting rid of Israel, eliminating the
State of Israel and killing or removing Jews. And there's no other meaning to the river you know in terms of what somebody is trying to communicate.
Now, some people may misunderstand it.
But we have to be clear, this is incredibly dangerous. It means no more Israel. It means that if you're Jewish and you're there, you're either
going to be removed or you're going to be killed. And it is a one-state solution ideology. It is terrible. It's dangerous.
I am a two-state solution person so our most Americans a state, a Jewish state in Israel that is safe and secure and a legitimate governing
authority in Gaza and the West Bank so that the Palestinians can have their nation too.
HUNT: Will you vote later today to censure Rashida Tlaib to what she said? You don't know.
LANDSMAN: I don't know yet. I mean, it's -- I'm being honest. I don't know. It's hard because on one hand, it is absolutely dangerous rhetoric. And it
scares me as a Jew, I am. And as an American I mean, our security if this continues to devolve our national security I mean people more and more
people are going to be killed. It's awful.
And at the same time that it is freedom of speech. There's a line though there's a line when it's -- it is yelling fire in a movie theater, people
are going to get hurt. And so I am going to spend the day talking to friends and family and others and make a decision when the vote arrives,
whether it's this afternoon or tonight.
HUNT: Do you think your leaders are going to be trying to get you to vote one way or the other on the floor?
LANDSMAN: I don't know. I'm not sure yet. I mean, I think I know that the leadership knows that this is incredibly personal. For me, they also know
I'm a very independent person. And so I make up my mind based on what I think is best for the first district in Ohio, the people I represent. And
I'm a person of faith. So you know I think about it in the context of my relationship with God and what is best.
HUNT: Do you think Rashida Tlaib is anti-Semitic?
LANDSMAN: I don't know. I think anti-Semitism is something that people need to really sit with at the moment and understand that it's -- it does not
just hate Jews. It is also ascribing to Jews the things we hate most about society, that's the history of anti-Semitism and that's where things really
fall off the rails.
And you're seeing that now which is to say you know people are like well, you know, the Jews in Israel, they are colonizers. They are occupiers. They
are racist. They are fascists. They are genocidal. This is very, very scary. And all of those things are not true, but it is what sort of spirals
out of control and gets to a point where anti-Semitism is going to get Jews killed.
HUNT: All right, very thoughtful. Congressman Landsman, thank you very much for being here today. I really appreciate it. All right, we'll be right
HUNT: All right, these are striking live pictures from Tel Aviv, Israel. Israelis are holding a candlelit vigil to commemorate the victims of the
October 7th attacks because one month has passed since 1400 people Israelis were killed others kidnapped taken hostage, most of them still being held
by Hamas in Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meanwhile says that Israel will have in his words the overall security responsibility in Gaza after the war
with Hamas ends that raises big questions for the future. Of course the war is far from over as of now. Israeli troops continue to close in on Gaza
City in the north while mediators tried to negotiate the release of hundreds of hostages still in the enclave.
Jeremy Diamond joins us live now from Southern Israel. Jeremy these words from Benjamin Netanyahu obviously ricocheting around the world as people
try to grapple with what this means. What's the latest from there?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, no question about it, Kasie. There have been big questions as Israel has pursued its military campaign against
Hamas about what comes next. What comes after the war if indeed Israel is able to achieve its goal of eliminating Hamas and removing it as the
sovereign power in Gaza?
And today the -- or last night rather, the Israeli Prime Minister offering the first indications of that stopping short of saying that Israel will
reoccupy the Gaza Strip fully but saying that Israel will retain a security control over the Gaza Strip for an "Indefinite period of time".
And today, the Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant adding a little bit of meat to the bone on that issue as well, saying that Israel will "Retain complete
freedom of action to respond to any situation in the Gaza Strip", now to me that sounds like a very similar situation to the one that Israel has in
parts of the West Bank where they are able to carry out raids inside to arrest suspected terrorists and also to coordinate security issues with the
power in the West bank's case the Palestinian Authority.
We will see if that is the same situation in the Gaza Strip. What we also heard from the Israeli Prime Minister was on this notion of a humanitarian
pause or a humanitarian ceasefire day after the U.S. Secretary of State came to Israel and was in the region pushing for a humanitarian pause in
Initially, the Israeli Prime Minister and his war cabinet is rejecting that idea out of hand. But last night, the Israeli Prime Minister now saying
that while he rejects the idea of a ceasefire until the hostages are released, he is now saying that he is open to "Tactical little pauses"
which may be the way for the Israeli Prime Minister to kind of wiggle himself out of this no ceasefire position and try and accommodate the
American push for some kind of a humanitarian pause in the fighting.
Meanwhile though, it is very clear that Israel is pursuing its military campaign inside of Gaza after hearing for days now that Israel was
encircling Gaza City cutting off northern Gaza from the Southern part of the Gaza Strip.
Today, the Commander of Israel's Southern Command, General Finkelstein saying "The IDF is fighting in the heart of Gaza City" making clear that
Israeli troops are operating in significant areas of Gaza. Last night there were reports that Israel was operating near Kids Hospital (ph) in Gaza
And so it appears that amid these calls international calls for a ceasefire Israel, at least for its part is very much pressing forward with its
military campaign and going deeper into Hamas's stronghold of Gaza City, Kasie?
HUNT: Alright, Jeremy Diamond for us in Israel. Thanks very much, sir. I really appreciate your reporting. And we're going to welcome back our
panel. Karen Finney still with us, Lanhee Chen still with us and joining us CNN Global Affairs Analyst Kimberly Dozier.
You know before we dig into Netanyahu's comments, I want to ask you, Karen Finney about what we just heard from Congressman Greg Landsman. Because I
was pretty struck by you know I mean honestly I've been you know covering politics for a decade and a half.
It's very rare to get such an honest answer from someone about a very difficult political question, you know he just kind of looked at the
audience and said you know I don't know what I'm going to do here. This question about Rashida Tlaib one is, it's very emotional and difficult.
What did you make of what he said, and how this is playing out among Democrats?
FINNEY: Yes. You know, I really I agree with you completely. I really appreciated that also, when he was talking about the experience the very
real experience of Muslims and Jews in his district and the people that he's been talking to and the pain and the anxiety and the fear. And I think
that's very real across our country.
I think many of us were if -- even if we're not Jewish, or Muslim are looking at what's happening just with a lot of pain and grief. And so I
think many members across the Democratic Party today will be really searching their hearts and their souls for what's the right answer.
Because I think there is a lot of compassion for Congresswoman Tlaib, who does have a very different lived experience as someone who has a
grandmother in Palestine, who is Palestinian, but also recognizing the horror of what happened in Israel.
And I think you know Kasie, I think part of this is being is what's being played out diplomatically, right? There are not a lot of good options here
because as we're seeing the wreckage in Gaza, and the toll that it's taking on innocent lives is making it increasingly difficult on a diplomatic level
as well. So I think you're going to see a lot of members really grappling with what to do today.
HUNT: Right. So Kimberly Dozier, I want to show everybody briefly we paraphrase what Benjamin Netanyahu had to say to ABC. And we also have an
administration response to that. I want to show everyone first what Netanyahu had to say, and then how John Kirby responded on "CNN This
Morning". Take a look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I think Israel for an indefinite period will have the overall security responsibility because
we've seen what happens when we don't have it.
JOHN KIRBY, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL'S COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION: Well, the President still believes that a reoccupation of
Gaza by Israeli forces is not good. It's not good for Israel, not good for the Israeli people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: So Kimberly, can you help us understand you know where this goes from here, because this is a pretty significant statement from Netanyahu.
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, what Israel is facing is that you break it, you bought it syndrome. There isn't a plan so far for a
day after for a way for them to withdraw because so far the Palestinian authority has refused. The international community is still stuck on the --
we're furious at Israel for bombing Gaza so heavily.
So the other thing is nobody really wants to volunteer for a possible multinational force to patrol Gaza because after this fight, a Hamas
insurgency is certain to rise. So whoever tries to maintain security is going to be facing a pretty well entrenched and well trained fighting force
for year's decades to come. Israel's left holding that at this point, what else can they do except say they'll hold security until someone else steps
HUNT: Yes. So Lanhee Chen I mean many of our viewers who've met you understand you are in politics, but you really are a policy guy at heart.
And this is what you did for Republican presidential campaigns. And I know you've spent a lot of time thinking about these thorny challenges.
I mean, when you hear what Kim laid out there in terms of the challenges for Israel going forward I mean what are the options for the Israelis? And
what are the options for the Americans in dealing with this?
CHEN: Well I think Kasie, that's the really significant question probably for a lot of viewers in the United States which is what does this mean for
future presidential administrations in terms of the level and nature of involvement in a region that has frankly been very, very troubled for some
period of time?
And I think, as you look at the increasing populist sentiment in the United States, the increasing sentiment away from engagement and involvement
around the world, it is going to be a big challenge for not just this administration, but for ones to come as well in terms of how they engage,
whether diplomatically, militarily or otherwise?
HUNT: Right. All right, Kim Dozier, thank you very much for being with us however briefly on this Election Day, I really appreciate it. And coming up
my panel rejoins us with "One More Thing". Don't go anywhere.
HUNT: Welcome back to "State of the Race". My panel rejoins me, because before we go, we always want to ask for "One More Thing" and -- you know
we're all looking ahead to the election. But let's talk about campaign trail Washington, what you're watching for in the coming days. 30 seconds,
CHEN: Not quite Washington not quite campaign trail but the APAC Summit next week.
HUNT: That's a great one.
CHEN: A big gathering in San Francisco where I live. The meeting between President Biden and Xi Jinping of China this is going to be a significant
event, not just in terms of global economics and global diplomacy, but in terms of politics. How does the President engage with a leader with whom he
called a -- he called him a dictators had a frosty relationship at times.
But this is the single most important geopolitical issue not just this year, but of the decade to come. So I'm eagerly watching how that meeting
goes off next time.
HUNT: Yes and it's going to be a huge issue in the Presidential and House and Senate campaigns this year, Karen?
FINNEY: So "Washington Post" had a story that with this avalanche of news didn't actually get a lot of attention. This is this idea of this plan 2025
that the Trump team seems to be working on.
HUNT: I did read about this. I'm glad you're bringing this up.
FINNEY: Yes. And apparently it is looking ahead to 2025 assuming that he wins. What his plans would be some of which would be literally figuring out
how to take over the Department of Justice to be able to "Investigate" people like General Kelly, people like anyone who perhaps has spoken their
I'm assuming actually Mitt Romney will probably get on that list pretty quickly. And it's -- but it's -- quite frightening and it does, it's
relevant to 2024 because we want to see what else is Donald Trump going to start talking about in terms of what he plans to do? And then when you have
that direct contrast how does that play out?
HUNT: Nathan, what are you looking for?
GONZALES: I'm watching Montana, Democratic Senator Jon Tester is already on the air with a 6 second ad since he's up for reelection. We're also waiting
to see whether Congressman Matt Rosendale gets into the race that would create another Republican primary. Rosendale already lost the tester
He's not a great fundraiser. Republicans are trying to get someone else. Tim Sheehy is the other candidate, so a lot of moving parts of Montana
Rosendale, whether he announces or not as the next best thing to watch.
HUNT: Yes, for sure. And of course, I will be here on CNN watching the election all night long with our primetime coverage. And as we've talked so
much about, I'm going to spend the next couple of days watching what happens with Glenn Youngkin, because certainly there are going to be a lot
of Republican donors who are going to have a lot of opinions about it in the coming days.
Thank you all for being with us today. I'm Kasie Hunt. That's the "State of the Race" for today, Tuesday, November 7th. You can always follow me on
Instagram and on the platform formerly known as Twitter. Don't go anywhere. "One World" is up next.