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State of the Union
Interview With Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA); Interview With Biden Campaign Senior Adviser Anita Dunn; Interview With Sen. Rick Scott (R- FL); Interview With Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI); Interview With Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA); Interview With Gov. Tony Evers (D-WI). Aired 9-10a ET
Aired November 01, 2020 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST (voice-over): Last chance. With Election Day 48 hours away, candidates make their final pitches in crucial swing states.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You are so lucky that I'm your president.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can put an end to a presidency that has failed to protect this nation.
TAPPER: As Joe Biden tries to maintain his lead, can President Trump convince voters to give him four more years?
I will speak with Biden campaign senior adviser Anita Dunn and Trump supporter former Florida Governor Rick Scott next.
And blue wall? As coronavirus hits the country harder than ever, Joe Biden tries to reclaim the states that turned for Trump.
BIDEN: It's time for Donald Trump to pack his bags and go home.
TAPPER: Can he rebuild that blue wall that crumbled in 2016? A special joint interview with the governors of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin next.
Plus: the magic number. As the pandemic changes the way America votes and early voting reaches record highs, what are the paths to victory and 270 electoral votes for each candidate? And how will election night go?
TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is on the edge of our seat.
After years of campaigning, it all comes down to the next two days, Election Day itself now 48 hours away. And both campaigns are using that time to make last-minute swings through battleground states. A series of new polls out show Joe Biden leading in Michigan and
Wisconsin, with a slight lead in Pennsylvania, within the margin of error, and extremely tight races in Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona, where there is no clear leader.
Make no mistake, this is anyone's race right now. Both Trump and Biden have clear paths to 270 electoral votes.
Casting a shadow on the election, the reality of the coronavirus pandemic, which is surging across the country, new cases hitting a record in nearly 100,000 new cases just on Friday.
Still, President Trump continues to downplay the pandemic, and the White House is once again attacking the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who warned in a new interview with "The Washington Post" that the United States is in for a -- quote -- "whole lot of hurt" and -- quote -- "You could not be positioned more poorly."
This as the president's chosen adviser on the Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Scott Atlas, who is not an expert on infectious diseases, mocked Dr. Fauci on Twitter and gave an interview to R.T., the Kremlin- controlled propaganda network.
We invited the White House to provide a guest for the show this morning. They declined. They pointed us to the Trump campaign. The Trump campaign offered us their national press secretary, Hogan Gidley, whom we accepted. Then they rescinded the offer and offered senior adviser to the campaign David Bossie, whom we also accepted.
They confirmed he would be here. Then they pulled him with no explanation, refusing to provide anyone else.
Joining me now is one of Vice President Biden's closest and most trusted advisers, also a senior adviser to the campaign, Anita Dunn.
Anita, thanks so much for joining us.
So, in the last two weeks, President Trump has held almost twice as many public campaign events as Biden has. We saw a massive crowd turn out last night for President Trump in Butler County, Pennsylvania. That's a must-win state for you, Pennsylvania.
Biden told his supporters this week -- quote -- "Don't wake up on November 4 wishing you had done more."
Are you confident that he won't wake up after the election wishing he had done more?
ANITA DUNN, BIDEN CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: First of all, thanks for having me on. It's always great to see you or talk to you.
I think that, if you look at our campaign, if you look at what we have got going on this weekend, if you look at what we have done since March, what Vice President Biden has done is basically why he's gotten in this race. He showed people what a responsible president does and how a
responsible president acts. When he got in this race April 2019, he said he was running to restore the soul of the nation, to rebuild the backbone of the nation, the middle class, and to unite the nation.
And what his message has been this final weekend, his message and everybody else's message has been he's going to be a president not for red America or for blue America, but for all of America.
And so he's got an active schedule. Dr. Biden's got an active schedule. Senator Harris has an active schedule. We have -- President Obama's out campaigning for us. We have people across the board campaigning for us in states all across the country.
People that ran against Vice President Biden in the primaries are out in force this weekend. I think everybody is not -- is not leaving anything to chance.
We're going to work hard. We're going to work until the polls close. We're going to get every vote we can.
TAPPER: Is President Trump going to lose? Is Vice President Biden going to win?
DUNN: Well, you know, I'm not in the prediction business. I will leave that to all of you. But we feel confident about where we are. And we feel very confident about our pathways to victory.
You know, usually, at this point in a campaign, the number of states where you're competing tends to shrink, that the closer you get to an election, the smaller the number.
This campaign has been very different. As we have gotten closer to the election, we have actually expanded the number of states where we think we're competitive, and where we're putting resources, and where the vice president, where Senator Harris and where everybody else are campaigning, so.
For example, states like Georgia, which I think most people didn't see as competitive even a month ago, are now states where you're going to be seeing -- where you have seen Senator Harris, where you're going to be seeing people this last weekend. and where we think that we have a real shot to win.
Senator Harris was in Texas on Friday. When was the last time a Democrat campaigned in Texas in the last week of a presidential election? We're campaigning in states that haven't been competitive for decades.
We have expanded the map. And we feel very good about our pathways to victory.
TAPPER: It looks like, in many ways, it's all coming down to the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Trump was there yesterday. He drew massive...
DUNN: A state you know well.
TAPPER: I know it very well. And it's a commonwealth, I will remind you.
DUNN: You know it very well. Yes.
TAPPER: Drawing massive crowds -- Trump drew massive crowds.
Biden will be there all day today and tomorrow.
I want to play something that Biden said at the last debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Would he close down the oil industry?
KRISTEN WELKER, MODERATOR: It falls...
TRUMP: Would you close down the oil industry?
BIDEN: By the way, I have a transition from the old industry, yes.
TRUMP: Oh, that's a big statement.
BIDEN: I will transition. It is a big statement.
TRUMP: That's a big statement.
BIDEN: Because I would stop.
WELKER: Why would you do that?
BIDEN: Because the oil industry pollutes significantly.
TRUMP: Oh, I see. OK.
BIDEN: Here's the deal.
TRUMP: That's a big statement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Now, President Trump has been attacking Biden on this issue since those comments with real vehemence. He signed an executive order yesterday that the president claims is focused on protecting fracking and energy jobs.
Do you think these attacks are having an effect in helping President Trump boost support in Pennsylvania, where there is a part of the economy that relies on fracking?
DUNN: I think President Trump's claim that Vice President Biden is going to eliminate fracking has been one of the most fact-check claimed -- claims of this entire election, and, not surprisingly for a claim from President Trump, has been rated false by everyone who has looked at it.
That is not what he said, certainly not what he believes. And it has been his position all along throughout this campaign that he -- that he's not going to abolish fracking.
But there's a bigger picture here, Jake. And you and I both know what it is, which is that President Trump is frantic to change the subject any way he can from his failure to lead this country during the worst public health and economic emergency we have had in this country for decades.
And, of course, that is the coronavirus. This weekend, we saw the country hitting new heights of new cases here. Deaths are rising again. And this is a president who doesn't want to talk about what we need to do to get it under control, so we can get our economy open again.
It's been the biggest fault line in this race since the crisis began in March. It continues to be.
And one of the striking things about those Big crowds, of course, is that there's no governor in this country who thinks that's a good idea, right? Those are events that have the potential to be super- spreader events. And President Trump once again demonstrates that he is willing to put communities, first responders, the people who have to be on the front lines, at risk for his political gains.
And that is something Vice President Biden's never been willing to do.
So, yes, there's a real difference in the kinds of events they're doing, because Joe Biden is showing people what a president would be doing at a time like this in the middle of a crisis.
TAPPER: Anita, according to Bloomberg News, some officials in the Biden team, largely people of color, have been urging campaign leadership to spend more in order to bolster minority turnout. But they felt their proposals were largely ignored.
Are you worried that Biden is underperforming and will underperform with black and Latino voters?
DUNN: Jake, there's never been a Democratic presidential campaign, or I'm sure a Republican either, that has spent more on reaching out to communities of color.
When we went on television, when this campaign went on television for the general election in the middle of the summer, we had a significant buy for African-Americans and for Latinos as part of that initial bite. And we have never let up.
And the reason why is because this campaign and Joe Biden don't see these communities as ones that you just go to at the end and try to just get out the vote. He believes in engagement. He wants to engage. He wants to build support with those -- with communities as part of a broad coalition that he's built for this election.
So, I think the campaign feels like we have spent more money than any campaign ever has. And we're continuing to be out there working for every last vote.
TAPPER: As of Friday, more than 91 million Americans had already cast their ballots. Of those pre-election votes, 44 percent were from Democrats, 31 percent from Republicans.
What kind of turnout do you expect to see from Biden supporters and Democrats on Election Day? Are you concerned that, because, disproportionally, so many Democrats are voting early, you won't have a big turnout on Election Day for Biden?
DUNN: Well, a vote is a vote, whether it's an early vote or an Election Day vote.
I think it's been clear from the beginning of this general election that a lot of our supporters were going to vote by mail, were going to early-vote, were going to vote safely and early. That's been our campaign message, is encouraging people to vote early.
But that vote counts just as much as an Election Day vote. We would anticipate that President Trump would have a real outpouring on Election Day, because that's been his message to his voters, is to come out on Election Day.
But there are also states where there isn't a strong culture of vote- by-mail or early, where we are going to see a lot of our supporters out on Election Day too.
And our message is simple. If you have already voted, great. If you haven't voted, and you're not sure exactly how to vote, go to IWillVote.com. It'll tell you how to get it done. But vote.
And that is what you're seeing, Jake, in record numbers across this country. We have never seen an early vote like this. We're looking potentially at a turnout that will break all records. And it's because people want change.
They do not want four more years of Donald Trump. They want a leader who's going to unite this country, who's going to get the coronavirus under control, so that we can reopen this economy and we can build it back better.
TAPPER: There are obvious differences between...
DUNN: And that's Joe Biden.
TAPPER: There are obvious differences between the Democratic candidates and their campaigns in 2020 and 2016.
But both candidates, both Biden and Hillary Clinton four years ago, held sizable leads and cash advantages over Trump. And, obviously, that was not enough last time.
What mistakes did the Clinton campaign make in 2016 that you have learned from and you're trying to make sure not to repeat?
DUNN: Though two very different elections.
In 2016, Donald Trump wasn't an incumbent who had failed miserably at the biggest test any president can have: How do you perform in a crisis?
He was an outsider. He had no record. He was a -- he was a much easier vote for people to cast than he is this time.
So, I'm not going to go back and second-guess the Clinton campaign. What I can say is that this is a totally different situation. We have a president who, at the end of his four years, will become the first president in decades who has lost a net number of jobs in the four years he's been president.
He has failed the biggest test any president can, which is, how do you deal with a crisis? He has divided this country in a way that presidents simply haven't done in the past, pitted one group against another group, saying to Democratic states, Democratic governors he's going to withhold aid if they criticize him.
That's simply not what people want in a precedent. People are tired after four years of the chaos and the incompetence, and they're ready for a leader, they're ready for Joe Biden, who they know. And they know that he's going to be serious about governing, about fixing the problems, about getting coronavirus under control, and bringing this country back together.
TAPPER: Anita, last question.
We're 48 hours out from election night. What are you focusing on? What's the thing keeping you up at night in this final stretch?
DUNN: The thing keeping me up is the same thing keeping people up on both sides, I'm sure, which is, how do we get out the vote? How do we make sure that we get out every single vote we can between now and when the polls close?
And then how do we make sure all the votes get counted and a winner gets called?
So, at this point in the campaign, Jake, it's all up to those amazing people who are the field staff, and who are out there making sure people can vote, and to our lawyers and our poll watchers to make sure there are no impediments.
So, same thing on both sides. We want to get our people out to vote.
TAPPER: Quick, quick question for you. What are the odds that we actually know who the next president is on election night or early that morning? DUNN: Listen, I'm not an oddsmaker, but I think there's a reasonable
chance that we're going to be able to know who the president is at some point maybe early on November 4, maybe midday on November 4.
But a lot of the early states that are battleground states, especially in the Sunbelt, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, are states that have been -- that tend to get their votes counted on election night.
I think we will get some sort of indicator what kind of night it's going to be from those three states. We will see. Obviously, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin may be slower. Pennsylvania most certainly will be slower. But we will be able to get a sense of what kind of night it's going to be.
But I would say, North Carolina closes at 7:30. It's the first of the big battleground that closes. Georgia, Florida, they're all going to get their votes counted probably by the early hours of November 4, and we will have a sense by then how this is trending.
TAPPER: All right, Anita Dunn, thank you so much. Appreciate your time.
DUNN: Thank you for having me, Jake.
TAPPER: Joe Biden says, if Florida goes blue, it's over. But will enough Trump supporters flood the polls Tuesday in Florida to keep the biggest swing state red?
Florida Senator and former Governor Rick Scott joins me next.
Plus: Can Joe Biden win back the three states that gave President Trump the White House in 2016? We will talk to the governors of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin in moments.
TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.
A man who also used to speak to you every Sunday morning, the late, great Tim Russert, once said, Florida, Florida, Florida.
And we again look South to the largest swing state in the country and its 29 electoral votes. And with the race tightening there in the closing hours, one powerful Trump ally is trying to help him close there again.
He's a Republican senator from Florida and the state's former two-term governor, Rick Scott.
Senator Scott, good to see you. Thanks for joining us.
We're now just 48 hours from Election Day. It's been almost 100 years since a Republican won the White House without your state. And it's hard to imagine a path to 270 for President Trump without it.
In 2000, it took 36 days to learn the winner. Do you think we're going to know who won Florida on election night?
SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): I sure hope so.
Look, I -- my goal is to get everybody out to vote that has a right to vote. We don't want any fraud. I'm clearly supporting President Trump. I put up an ad to talk about the radical plan the Democrats have.
But it's really the -- well, I think both sides are doing the same thing. You got to get your vote out now. That's -- I have had three statewide races, and there -- this is a 50/50 state. And you got to get your voters out to vote.
And the Democrats don't seem to have any grassroots in Florida. It doesn't make sense to me.
TAPPER: One of the ways that you won your Senate race in 2018 was through direct appeals to the diverse Latino community in your state, especially Cuban Americans in Miami-Dade.
But there are other groups, including more Democrat-leaning Puerto Ricans in the I-4 Corridor.
Where do you see Biden and Trump in competition for these crucial voters in Florida?
SCOTT: Well, I think -- I think what's -- what's helped Trump this time is, he's held the Castro regime accountable. And Obama/Biden didn't.
He's been aggressive on trying to get Maduro to leave power in Venezuela. He's been opposed to Ortega in Nicaragua. And the O'Biden, Obama -- the Biden and Obama administration weren't. So, I think that's going to help him.
I think that a lot of people believe that it took time, but the work on Puerto Rico has paid off. And I think Hispanics are like everyone else in my state. They care about jobs. And I think most people realize that President Trump's going to be better for jobs than Joe Biden will be.
And we have got a lot of people that don't want a big tax increase. There's a lot of people, as you know, Jake, they come down here because they don't like high taxes. And Biden's tax increase, the biggest, I think, in the history of the country, is not going to go over well here.
So, I think those are the reasons why President Trump is doing well with Hispanics, but is also doing well with everybody.
TAPPER: According to "The New York Times" -- quote -- "Trump advisers said their best hope was if the president wins Ohio, and Florida is too close to call early in the night, depriving Mr. Biden the swift victory and giving Mr. Trump the room to undermine the validity of uncounted mail-in ballots in the days after" -- unquote.
Obviously, only valid ballots should count, but is that really the strategy, attack legitimate ballots that have not been counted? I mean, a lot of people in Florida voted vote-by-mail or early.
SCOTT: Right. We have a lot.
TAPPER: I assume you want all of the ballots to count, right?
SCOTT: Yes, I mean, that -- first off, I think we all want -- we want to know the results that night.
I did a -- I put a bill out that would have national standards for mail-in ballots. It works in Florida. You can vote here by mail-in. You got to get your mail -- you got to get your vote in, right? You can't wait until after Election Day. You can do early and you can do Election Day.
So -- but if you're going to do by mail, you got to get your vote in early. And you can check in Florida. You can check to say -- make sure it got in, make sure they accepted your signature, that -- that -- so, all those things.
So, I want people to vote. I hope we find out election night. I hope it's -- it's not a fight.
Jake, you remember, after my election in 2018, the Democrat attorney came down and said, I don't care what the -- what happened here. We're going to win this election.
That shouldn't be happening. This should not be dealt with through the court system. It should be because people will legitimately -- you vote. Go get your vote in. If you believe in -- whatever -- whoever you believe in, go vote, and make sure your ballot is in on time.
TAPPER: And I'm sure you would agree that all valid ballots that have gotten there on time, according to the state law, should be counted.
Let's turn to coronavirus. You said this week that...
SCOTT: Oh, absolutely.
TAPPER: You said this week that -- quote -- "We haven't beaten it," which is accurate.
SCOTT: No, we haven't.
TAPPER: President Trump has been saying that we're -- quote -- "rounding" -- right -- that we're -- quote -- "rounding the corner."
That's not true. We just hit more than 99,000 new cases in one day.
Do you agree that, no matter who wins on Tuesday, there needs to be a more aggressive federal response to contain the pandemic?
SCOTT: You know, well, first off, we haven't beat it. I think let's all agree on that.
I think we have to -- all of us, all of us need to wear masks. We need social distance. I think -- I think that the FDA -- I think Steve Hahn at the FDA has done a great job working on therapeutics. I think we have made a lot of progress there.
Hopefully, we're making a lot of progress on the vaccine. But we still have a lot of work to do, and especially work to do on testing. We have got to get more testing out there for the private sector. We have got to get -- and we got to get more information.
And one thing that I have never noticed is why we don't have more information out. Now, most of the information is accumulated at the state level on health care. So, I just think -- I just think we got to get more information out there, so people can make good, informed decisions.
That's what I tried to do as governor when I had hurricanes or when I had the Zika health care crisis. Give people information, they will make good decisions.
TAPPER: Does it -- does it bother you when the president holds these rallies, and people are not wearing masks, and people are not social distancing, not as a political matter, but as a public health matter?
These are your own constituents, your own citizens who are not abiding by health protocols.
SCOTT: Jake, everybody's got to take this seriously. You should wear your mask, you should social distance.
But it's your responsibility to make these decisions for yourself. And there's a way to do these things safely. And that's what my expectation is, every American does that.
But it's part of all of us. Everybody has got to take this -- I mean, take it seriously. I mean, it's about your -- it's not just about your parents. It could be about your spouse. You know, we -- we have got to -- we haven't beaten this yet.
Now, I mean, look, the positive is, we do have -- we're way better on therapeutics now. We are -- we have made progress. We have made progress on testing. But we're still not where we need to be yet. And I -- and I want to be very -- I want people to really think about, how do we get more businesses these rapid tests, so we can get these businesses open faster?
TAPPER: Last question, sir.
The end of the 2020 election will also mean the beginning of the 2024 campaign season. Are you thinking about running for president in 2024?
SCOTT: No. And, by the way, we -- think about it. We have got -- I'm going to work my tail off to get President Trump elected. And that's what everybody ought to be focused on. And then everybody ought to be focused on doing the jobs that they have.
And my job is a U.S. senator for the -- represent the state of Florida the best I can.
TAPPER: So, you're ruling it out, or you're just not thinking about it right now?
SCOTT: I'm not focused on it.
Jake, I'm going to -- I'm going to continue to focus on, how do I -- we have got to build this economy. We have got to figure out how we can live within our means. We have got to build the better relationships with Latin America. We have got to hold people like Xi in China accountable.
We have got to do -- we have got a lot of work to do, and I have got a -- I like my job as a U.S. senator. And that's what I'm going to focus on.
TAPPER: All right, Senator Scott, good to see you again. Stay healthy.
SCOTT: Nice seeing you, Jake. All right, bye-bye.
TAPPER: This time around, it's Joe Biden hoping to build that wall, the blue wall, that is, of Midwestern states and Pennsylvania that could send him to the White House.
The governors from each of those states, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, all are going to join me for a joint exclusive interview.
TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.
We haven't heard this much about Scranton, Pennsylvania, since "The Office" went off the air.
But from Scranton to Motown to Milwaukee, the battle for the White House, as evidenced by the candidates' campaign stops, is focusing quite a bit on three states that President Trump won by less than a percentage point in 2016 and that Biden is trying to win back on Tuesday.
Joining me now for an exclusive joint interview, the Democratic governors of each of these states, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Tom Wolf from the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Tony Evers of Wisconsin. Apologize for my pro-Pennsylvania bias in those introductions.
All three of your states, Governors, flipped from President Obama in 2012 to President Trump in 2016. Joe Biden's trying to rebuild this blue wall.
Governor Evers, where do you have the race in Wisconsin right now?
GOV. TONY EVERS (D-WI): Oh,we feel very good about Joe's -- Joe's chances.
The state -- the state party has done a great job of getting out organizers. And we have teams all across the state making calls. And I think we're in real good shape. We take nothing for granted, but Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the right candidates at the right time.
They're empathetic. They care about people. And Joe was here in 2018, helped me get elected. So, he's -- they're known quantities. And I think that people of Wisconsin are going to respond, respond in a good way.
TAPPER: Governor Wolf, President Trump gathered quite a crowd in Pennsylvania last night.
Your lieutenant governor tweeted yesterday: "The president is popular in Pennsylvania. I don't care what the polls say."
What do you think? How close is it going to be? Could Trump win Pennsylvania?
GOV. TOM WOLF (D-PA): Anything's possible, but I think Joe Biden's going to win.
Things are different now. They just feel different than they did back in 2016. There were -- and, actually, your former -- your schoolmate Attorney General Shapiro actually said the same thing, that there are a lot of Biden signs all over places that there never were Hillary signs back in 2016.
So, I think Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are going to do quite well in Pennsylvania.
TAPPER: Governor Whitmer, yes or no, is the blue wall back? Is Biden going to win Michigan?
GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): Well, I know this, Jake.
My predecessor, a Republican governor, has endorsed Joe Biden in Michigan. I think it's because we all know that the Trump administration inability to get their arms around COVID has cost us our livelihoods and too many people their lives.
And so this is a moment where we really need a leader who can bring us together as a nation, to unify us, to get our arms around COVID, and get us back to work.
And I think that's why Joe Biden not just appeals to Democrats, but to independents and to some Republicans.
TAPPER: Governor Whitmer, Michigan officials cannot start processing all the early ballots until on or just before Election Day itself, depending on the part of the state, which could make the early Election Day votes skew far more in favor of Trump.
Are you concerned at all that President Trump might prematurely declare victory based on that? And when do you think we will know who won Michigan?
WHITMER: Well, I think that's a very real possibility.
And that's why we are trying to make sure that everyone in the press understands the volume of votes that are coming in is like nothing we have ever seen before. And it is going to take time to count.
And it's more important that we get a count that is accurate than account that is fast and might not be accurate. And that's why we will continue to keep you posted. We will be very transparent and give you regular updates. But we want to get this count right.
TAPPER: Governor Evers, President Trump is holding a rally in your home state of Wisconsin later tonight.
Hospitalizations in Wisconsin are on the rise. You saw a record high new coronavirus cases this week.
I want you to take a listen to what President Trump said on Friday, when he was in Wisconsin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I mean, you guys are already in a lockdown, so you -- you might not notice it as much.
Hey, Governor, you got to open up your state here. You got to open it up.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Governor Evers, what's your response to the president?
EVERS: Well, my response is, we are in the middle of a pandemic. We have hot spots all across the state. People are dying at high numbers.
And then Trump is up in Green Bay at the same time talking about the fact that the doctors are trying -- they're playing a game on this, or they're identifying people as COVID-19 deaths, when they're not, just so they can make money.
Honest to God, it's just breathtaking. We're in a very difficult situation here. We should be pulling together, instead of pushing apart. And that's, frankly, why I believe Joe Biden is going to win.
The Republicans at the state level, they have pushed back on everything that I have tried to do. And we have a president that believes that the doctors are at fault, they're -- they're messing with the numbers. And he believes that it's over.
It ain't over, 2,000 deaths. We have hospitalizations going through the roof. We had to open up an alternative care facility.
So, whether it's local Republicans or leadership at the top, they helped create this, and we need their help. We absolutely need somebody that understands that this is an issue, it's a thing, people are dying. We need to have that conversation right from the top.
TAPPER: Governor Evers, are you considering imposing another lockdown?
And our lockdowns were -- were pretty minor. And the Republicans took whatever -- when we did Safer at Home, the Republicans couldn't wait to get to our conservative Supreme Court to knock them down.
So, no, I'm not considering a lockdown. We just -- we need to do the basic things in Wisconsin. And, frankly, some people aren't doing them because they're listening to Donald Trump, wear a mask, stay socially distant, all the stuff that we know works.
And now we -- we're in this middle of a mess here. We just have to have consistent language. People aren't going to go spend money if they're afraid, if they don't have confidence in their health. That is -- that is the basic issue here. It's not whether doctors are making more money or not. That is just -- that is a such a stupid thing to say.
TAPPER: Governor Wolf, we know that we might not know the winner of Pennsylvania until Wednesday or Thursday because of all of those mail- in ballots. And, by law, you can't start counting until Election Day morning.
"The Washington Post" says that the Trump campaign asked for sensitive Pennsylvania ballot information, such as the names of officials who transport ballots and locations where ballots are stored.
Why were they requesting that information?
WOLF: I think it's part of a general strategy of trying to game the system.
Listen, this is a democracy. And all of us in public service have two roles. We have to promote our policies and preferred legislation and ideas, and that's important. But all of us, Republicans and Democrats, independents, we're all stewards of the grand democratic tradition, and we got to make this system work.
The miracle of our democracy is that we can disagree, we can oppose each other for office, but that we do this in a rational manner. And that's what we have got to remember. That's what this election is about. And that's why it's important.
TAPPER: Governor Wolf, ballots that are postmarked by November 3 and arrive within three days after Election Day are going to be kept separate from all the other ballots, pending likely litigation over whether or not they should be counted.
How likely do you think it is that Pennsylvania will come down to those ballots that arrive after Election Day?
WOLF: Well, look, first of all, Jake, let me -- let me correct something.
You said we can't start counting until the morning of Election Day. Actually, we can't start counting election results in Pennsylvania until the polls close at 8:00 p.m.
TAPPER: Oh, I apologize.
WOLF: We can start pre-canvassing the mail-in ballots on -- 7:00 a.m.
But the -- I think the effort to -- we are going to segregate ballots that come in after -- between election night and November 5, Friday. But -- or is that the 6th?
But we're going to really do what the Supreme Court -- there's a lot of noise out there. Pennsylvania has always taken a week, for example, to count military ballots to come in. I'm not sure what the Supreme Court is going to say about that.
If they say we have to have all the ballots counted that came in by the night of the election, then that's going to disenfranchise all those folks who are serving us overseas and have military absentee ballots.
And I don't -- I don't see how you can do that. So, we are segregating them. The Supreme Court has given Pennsylvania three days to allow ballots to come in after Election Day.
But the message to Pennsylvanians is, if you're voting by mail, if you're voting with an absentee ballot, get it in by election night.
TAPPER: Yes, hand-deliver to an election center. Don't mail it.
TAPPER: Governor Whitmer, you're co-chair of Joe Biden's campaign.
Joe Biden has made 10 trips to Pennsylvania since the convention, compared to just four visits to Michigan. Do you think the former vice president should have spent more time in Michigan?
WHITMER: You know what? I applaud the kind of campaign that Joe Biden has been running. It is one that is centered around the science, taking COVID-19 seriously, but also showing up.
And I think that's what the American people want. They want leadership that does what they're encouraging others to do, that is consistent and accurate about medical information, that shows that we care about all Americans.
We are -- it's been four years of a presidency that is a president for whomever agrees with him. We need a president who's going to be a president for all Americans, not look at states based on the color coding of a map, but understand that they are the leader for everyone in this country.
I'm grateful that Joe Biden and Barack Obama were here yesterday. I had the opportunity to spend some time with them. People are excited. But it's also important for us to remind people, going to a rally, whether it was a Black Lives march event, or it was an immigration rally, or it was a women's march, that's one way of being active.
But another thing that is so important is, it has to translate into votes. And that's why we want to encourage Michiganders to show up today or tomorrow or Tuesday, if you need to. But get your vote in. Every vote matters. And these elections could get decided on small margins.
TAPPER: Governor Evers, one of the main reasons Trump won in 2016 was his appeal among white working-class voters.
Has Biden done a better job reaching out to those voters in Wisconsin than Hillary Clinton did?
EVERS: Well, he's certainly done a good job.
The -- and it's around issues, some basic issues, making sure that we have good health care, making sure that the infrastructure of this country, and, in particular, Wisconsin is strong. So, yes, I think he's made a great -- a great effort.
And people in Wisconsin are pretty pragmatic. They just -- they just want to make sure things, health care, infrastructure, education, is all -- is all in a good place. And Joe Biden focuses on that and focuses on it in a way that he -- people understand that he's uniting people, rather than dividing people.
So, no, I think he's done a great job. He's been to -- he's been to Wisconsin. And we have got -- the party, the local party, the state party has really picked up too. This is a different -- this is a different election, and I think we're going to be successful.
TAPPER: Governor Wolf, President Trump recently accused you of trying to make it more difficult for him to have a rally venue in Pennsylvania.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And I will remember it, Tom. I'm going to remember it, Tom.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: Hello, Mr. President, this is Governor Wolf. I need help. I need help.
You know what? These people are bad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: The most amazing thing about that clip is Pennsylvanians cheering the idea of the president of the United States threatening to withhold federal or any other assistance to Pennsylvanians because he wouldn't help his reelection campaign.
What's your reaction to that?
WOLF: Well, two things.
First of all, I'm grateful that he called me Tom, rather than a nickname.
WOLF: But the second thing is the point you just made.
And that is that this is not about me. This is not about Donald Trump. If Pennsylvania is in trouble, and whoever the governor is asks for help, and the president of the United States decides, because of personal pique, that he's not going to give it, that hurts 13 million Pennsylvanians. That's a bad thing.
TAPPER: Governor Evers, a lot of cities right now are preparing for unrest, given whatever happens with the election. Here in Washington, D.C., a bunch of storefronts are being boarded up.
Are you expecting unrest in Wisconsin, and who from? Is it from people upset who are on the left, people upset who are on the right? Why are these preparations being taken?
EVERS: Well, certainly, the tension is high all across the country.
But I will say that, in Wisconsin, I don't -- I think this is going to be a very safe and thoughtful election. I -- are we prepared for any possible unrest? Absolutely. We have done our homework. We have done -- we have things in place.
I think Election Day is going to go well. The weather is going to be good here in Wisconsin. People are -- people have voted at historic numbers already. And they will have -- we will have a good turnout on Election Day.
As Gretchen Whitmer said, and Tom Wolf also, it's going to take a while to count these ballots. So, people need to be -- relax, and it may take a day or so longer than it usually does.
But, at the end of the day, I think it's going to be a good election, and people will remember this as one that we fought hard, we had a good win.
TAPPER: Governor Whitmer, we know, obviously, about the recent alleged plot to kidnap you.
A Michigan court recently struck down an order that banned open carry of firearms at polling places on Election Day. How worried are you about the potential for violence on or around Election Day? And, if so, who are you worried about?
WHITMER: Well, I think, as Governor Evers just said, it is all of our jobs to take very seriously the efforts to make sure that people can go in and cast their votes, that it's convenient, and that they feel safe and secure in doing that.
And we have plenty of laws on the books that make it illegal to intimidate a voter as they go into cast this most important part of acting in our democracy. And we take it very seriously. And we're going to make sure that we keep people safe.
TAPPER: All right, Governors Evers, Wolf, Whitmer, thank you so much. Really nice to have you.
And hoping for peaceful and successful Election Days for all three of you and your great states and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Both Biden and Trump are using the final hours of the campaign to scramble for any last-minute votes in the key states, but 48 hours out, who has a better path to victory?
CNN's political director, David Chalian, will break it down for us next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.
President Trump hustling with two days to go until Election Day to try and retrace his 2016 path to the White House, while Joe Biden is trying to rebuild that blue wall.
CNN political director David Chalian is here for us.
David, Biden is spending today and tomorrow campaigning in Pennsylvania. Is that state a must-win for him, that commonwealth?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I wouldn't call it a must-win, but it certainly complicates his path to the presidency if he doesn't win it, Jake. Let me show you why.
This is that 2016 map you were just talking about. And those three governors that you just talked to, look what happens if Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin go back to being blue. That's really all Joe Biden needs to do to become president.
And let me just show you why his campaign thinks that may be the easiest path for them. Take a look at our brand-new state polls that came out yesterday. I'm going to draw a line here, Arizona, North Carolina more narrow in the Sunbelt for that Biden edge than Wisconsin and Michigan, where the former vice president clearly has a lead.
So, they see rebuilding the blue wall as a critical part of that path, Jake. This is taking all of our lean states and our toss-up states, making them yellow, and I can show you what Joe Biden has to do. He has to hold the Clinton states, like Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, and New Hampshire.
And then it is back to that blue wall that they believe is their easiest path here, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
But, as you know, he is competitive in a lot of these other toss-up states. So there are multiple paths that Joe Biden can take to the presidency. That just may be the easiest one for him.
TAPPER: And President Trump is traveling to five battleground states today.
Tell us what you see his path is to 270 electoral votes.
CHALIAN: So, his path, I think, starts with holding all those sort of Sunbelt, more reliably Republican states, so making sure Arizona stays in his camp, making sure Texas does not leave the Republican fold. That would be devastating, Florida critical for Donald Trump to keep in his column, Georgia, North Carolina.
We saw a good poll for the president out of Iowa last night out of "The Des Moines Register." Hold on to that. Hold on to Ohio, OK? And I'm going to give him here the congressional district in Maine. He won it last time around. And I'm going to give him this congressional district here in Nebraska. He also won that last time around.
That only gets him to 260. So, the key for the remainder of Donald Trump's path is, of course, to go back to where he had that narrow success. You just spoke to those three governors. And if he were to do all of this and then flip Pennsylvania, Donald Trump would remain president.
He could do it with Pennsylvania alone. He could lose Michigan and Wisconsin, Jake. But, again, he is in a position now where he has to hold on to all those reliably Republican states that have been Republican cycle after cycle for the most part, but he still needs to dig into some more traditionally Democratic territory that he won ever so narrowly four years ago, Jake.
TAPPER: All right, David Chalian, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
TAPPER: Don't go anywhere. A special second hour of STATE OF THE UNION is coming up.
Has the Biden campaign done what they need to do to win back the White House? Biden supporter and former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is live in minutes.