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State of the Union
Trump Subpoenaed By January 6 Committee. Interview With Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT); Interview With Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC). Aired 9- 10a ET
Aired October 23, 2022 - 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): Two weeks' notice. Democrats test a new closing midterm message.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look what they're offering. It's mega MAGA trickle down.
TAPPER: But as voters' economic concerns grow, will they blame Democrats on Election Day? I will speak exclusively to someone with urgent advice for Democrats, independent Senator Bernie Sanders, next.
And GOP agenda. With Republicans growing more hopeful about a red wave, they are laying out plans for the potential new majority. What would a Republican takeover look like? GOP Congresswoman Nancy Mace joins me exclusively ahead.
Plus: He got served. President Trump is subpoenaed by the January 6 Committee.
REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): Let's see if he lives up to what the law requires of him.
TAPPER: Capping off a week of legal blows to the former president and his allies. Will Donald Trump comply, and what happens if he doesn't?
TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is biting our nails watching the races tighten.
We are 16 days out from the midterm elections here in the United States, and the fight for control of Congress will center on just a few key races. As early voters have already started to cast ballots. Democrats might be wondering where their summer optimism went, as poll after poll after poll shows swing voters shifting toward Republicans.
With inflation making your lives more expensive amidst fears of recession, Republicans are doing everything they can to make sure the economy and rising crime statistics in some places are what you think about as you decide who to put in power in Washington. It's a message Democrats are struggling to counter on inflation and the economy. This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says her party needs to -- quote -- "message it better."
My next guest has been sounding this alarm for months, warning Democrats that avoiding talking about the struggling economy would guarantee defeat in November. In the closing days of the campaign, he plans to cross off a battleground checklist, Oregon, Nevada, Wisconsin, Florida, Pennsylvania, presenting his own views on exactly how Democrats should be talking to voters about the economy.
And joining me now is independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who, of course, caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate.
Senator, thanks so much for joining us. So, you have been calling on Democrats to focus on the economy, not only on other issues like abortion rights or attacking Republicans. It has been months since you have been repeating this message. The election is 16 days away.
How is it going? Are you worried Democrats still haven't found the right message on the economy?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): Well, look, what I think, Jake, is, at a time when working families are struggling, having a hard time filling up their gas tanks or paying for food, paying for prescription drugs, we are living in a nation today where the richest people are doing phenomenally well.
And one of the reasons for inflation is the incredible level of corporate greed. Check out the profits of the oil companies, the drug companies, the food companies. Their sky-high profits are ripping off the American people.
And there are studies that estimate that 50 percent of inflation has to do with corporate greed. So, I think what the Democrats have got to say is, we are going to stand with working people. We're prepared to take on the drug companies. We're prepared to take on the insurance companies and create an economy that works for all of us.
Is the abortion issue important? Yes. But we have also got to focus on the struggles of working people to put food on their table.
TAPPER: Early voting has started in key states such as Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada. What are you seeing and hearing about energy among Democratic voters right now out there?
SANDERS: Well, I am worried about the level of voter turnout among young people and working people who will be voting Democratic.
And I think, again, what Democrats have got to do is contrast their economic plan with the Republicans. What are the Republicans talking about? They want to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid at a time when millions of seniors are struggling to pay their bills. Do you think that's what we should be doing?
Democrats should take that to them. Republicans -- Democrats want to have Medicare negotiate prescription drugs prices. We pay 10 times more for the same drugs that are sold in Canada. Republicans refuse to do that.
So, I think what we have got to do is contrast what a strong pro- worker Democratic position is with the corporate agenda of the Republicans.
TAPPER: But, to play devil's advocate here, if I'm a swing voter out there, a young voter, working-class voter, I -- and I hear your message, I think, but you guys control everything. Democrats control the House and the Senate and the White House. And inflation is really high. And I'm having a tough time making ends meet.
Why should I vote for you again?
SANDERS: Well, we have half the votes, exactly half the votes of the Senate and a tiny majority in the House.
And I think it's important that, when we talk about inflation, Republicans will say, well, this is Joe Biden's fault. Really? Our inflation rate is much too high. It is 8 percent. It is 10 percent in the U.K., 10 percent throughout Europe, 7 percent in Canada.
Inflation is a global problem caused, A, by the breaking of supply chains because of the pandemic, by the war in Ukraine, and, as I said, a significant part of inflation has to do with corporate greed.
What are the Republicans' response to inflation? What do they want to do? Well, maybe they want to cut wages for workers. Do they want to raise the minimum wage? No, they don't.
So, I think it is important to take the attack to the Republicans. What do they want to do, other than complain? But bottom line is, you cannot cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which is what they want to do. We have got to lower prescription drug costs, which is not what they want to do.
TAPPER: A lot of fears out there that a recession is coming, and President Biden even told me at the White House last week that he thinks a slight recession is possible. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Should the American people prepare for a recession?
I don't think there will be a recession. If it is, it'll be a very slight recession. That is, we will move down slightly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Do you think the U.S. is headed for a recession? And is there anything that can be done to stop it? SANDERS: Well, I think what we certainly don't want to see is a Fed
raising interest rates right now, which would result in more unemployment and lower wages.
Here is the reality. You ask, Jake, why people are upset, why young people are upset, working-class people are upset. And the answer is pretty simple. For the last 50 years in this country, real wages are -- have not gone up. That's a reason to be upset.
Meanwhile, you got three people on top who own more wealth than the bottom half of American society. So, working people all over this country are saying, you know what? We are sick and tired of seeing all of the wealth, all of the income going to the people on top. Help us out.
Why are we the only country on Earth not to guarantee health care to all people? Why do we pay the highest prices for prescription drugs? Why do we have a minimum wage today -- Republicans don't want to raise it; $7.25 an hour? That is a starvation wage. Why do kids leave school deeply in debt?
SANDERS: So, we need an aggressive government that says, we're on your side, not on the side of the billionaires.
TAPPER: But do you think a recession is coming?
SANDERS: Hard to say. I think, if we do the right things, we can protect the working class of this country.
TAPPER: Some Democrats are calling to abolish the debt ceiling altogether, after House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, poised to become the next speaker, threatened to use it as leverage for further spending cuts if Republicans win back the House.
Take a listen to President Biden and Treasury Secretary Yellen, who have different views on how to move forward on the debt ceiling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANET YELLEN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: I think it's become increasingly damaging to America to have a debt ceiling.
QUESTION: Do you support the permanent repeal of the debt ceiling, sir?
BIDEN: You mean just say we don't have a debt limit?
QUESTION: No debt limit.
BIDEN: No. That would be responsible.
(END VIDEO CLIP) TAPPER: You are the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. Do you side with President Biden, or is Secretary Yellen right; it's time to get rid of the debt ceiling?
SANDERS: Look, what I side with, you have to increase the debt ceiling.
But what Republicans are basically doing -- and I hope everybody understands this -- they are saying look, we are prepared to let the United States default on its debt, not raise the debt ceiling, unless -- you talk about making cuts.
You know what they're talking about? Cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Is that irresponsible? It is absolutely irresponsible. You don't use the debt ceiling to do that.
TAPPER: So, you side with President Biden on this. You raise the debt ceiling, but you keep it?
SANDERS: Yes. Yes.
President Biden said on Friday he believes crime is a real issue in the 2022 campaign. Overall, violent crime is up in some major cities in 2022, such as New York, Seattle, Los Angeles. One recent poll puts higher crime rates second, only below inflation, on the list of top issues concerning voters.
Are you worried the Democrats are missing a major undercurrent here? How should Democrats be talking about crime?
SANDERS: Crime is a real issue. Violence is a real issue.
And I will tell you something. I go all over the state of Vermont. This drug problem, and the addiction to drugs, and the violence the drug causes is a huge problem all over this country. So, we have got to focus in a smart way, not in a way that foments fear.
But how do you deal with the growing addiction? How do you deal with the opioid crisis? And that means making investment in our young people, in good education, in good job training, and making sure that we have good law enforcement doing the right job all over this country.
TAPPER: So, a more holistic approach, but do you think that would be resonant with voters, who a lot of them are just scared about going into cities or anywhere? They're afraid to leave their homes in some cases.
SANDERS: Well, what need to do is have a -- it is a problem. And we need to have a sensible problem that actually works.
And that's what we have got to work on. TAPPER: All right, Senator Bernie Sanders, always good to hear you.
Thank you so much. Appreciate your time.
SANDERS: Thank you.
TAPPER: What are Republicans' plans if they retake the House of Representatives? We got a better idea this week.
We are going to talk to Congresswoman Nancy Mace about the Republican agenda. That's next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.
Voters give their midterm verdict in 16 days.
And many are now saying that their top concerns are the state of the economy and crime, both issues that look like they might help Republican candidates on Election Day. This week, we got an important glimpse at the House Republicans' agenda if they ride a red wave back into power.
And joining me now to talk about the GOP agenda is GOP Congresswoman Nancy Mace of South Carolina.
Congresswoman, thanks so much for joining us.
So, "The Washington Post" has a new editorial this weekend. It is interesting. It has some criticism for President Biden on the economy. They also propose a few steps he could take to help reduce inflation.
One of them is lifting some of the Trump tariffs against China. Would you support doing that to help lower prices for the American people?
REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): Well, I actually proposed a bill when we had the baby formula shortage that would lift tariffs all over the world on baby formula imports, no matter where they were coming from.
I think that tariffs can be utilized when we're negotiating different deals or trade deals with other countries, but, at the end of the day, it is an increased cost on the consumer. And that is one example where I worked actively to try to bring prices down and bring greater inventory when that issue happened.
And that is a place where you can see some benefit.
TAPPER: So, what about lifting them more broadly? There are a lot of Trump tariffs. And I have seen estimates saying that it adds about $500 to $1,000 per family in this country.
That's just one estimate, but it would help alleviate some of the inflation. Would you lift all of them? MACE: Yes, I do agree with that. Lifting tariffs makes the costs of
goods cheaper for every American.
But one of the other things we have to look at -- and it cannot be ignored -- is government spending. Now, for decades, both Republicans and Democrats alike have had issues with increasing the deficit and deficit spending. We have got to look at our government spending.
We need to look at, more broadly, the supply chain and incentivizing companies to perhaps get out of China and come back to North America, the United States, Central and South America, a little bit closer here. So, the price of shipping goods and manufacturing goods, if we can get those prices down and make the supply chain more efficient, that is one way.
Another thing that we have to address are taxes in this country. The infrastructure bill last year, there were 42 new taxes. And so all these things contribute to the rise in inflation. And, of course, Congress can't control the Fed, but when you print trillions and trillions of dollars every single year, again, that is just another factor into issues that increase inflation.
TAPPER: Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy suggested that, if your party wins back the House, he would refuse to lift the debt limit unless Democrats in the White House agree to spending cuts.
Are you on board with that plan? Are you willing to risk the U.S. defaulting on its debt as leverage to impose these spending cuts?
MACE: I support that strategy, because, look, at the end of the day, when COVID-19 happened, you had the federal government and state governments too literally shut companies down.
Businesses had to make tough decisions about how they were going to keep their doors open. And the federal government just kept getting record revenue year over year and hasn't had to make those tough decisions.
And I can tell you, I sit on the Oversight Committee, where we look at waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal agency level, and there is waste in every single agency. I was happy to see there were 44 people charged with a crime of defrauding the government over $250 million over PPP funds.
But that everywhere. It is broad. It's in every agency. We can find ways to be more responsible with our spending, just like we forced companies and businesses to during COVID. So, that's one of the ways that I would approach it.
TAPPER: But isn't the way to do that through legislating, through meeting with leaders of the Senate, whoever is in charge of that party, meeting with people in the White House and coming up with a way to reduce spending or at least to reduce the rate that spending is going up, instead of potentially defaulting, which we have seen it happen.
It wreaks havoc on the economy and hurts working people, among others.
MACE: Well, we have seen Republicans for a year-and-a-half now talk about more responsible spending, looking at the deficit spending in these bills that have been passed talking about how we can move this country forward.
And we have been shut out. I know, when we did the infrastructure bill on the House side anyway, last year, every Republican was shut out of being part of that discussion, not a single amendment. And I had a couple of nonpartisan amendments, for example.
So, Republicans have tried to work with, reach across the aisle, and have been shut out of many of those conversations. And so I think that is a way to negotiate moving forward. But we have to get serious about it. And I filed a bill earlier this year that would balance the budget in about five years, looking at making spending cuts about 5 cents for every future dollar the future government spent.
If we made those cuts across every agency, you could balance the budget in five years. That is responsible. It's reasonable. And it gives the federal government a time frame, five years, to be able to do that. And that seems very normal.
If we could do that, then we wouldn't need to threaten -- use the threat of the debt ceiling as a negotiating tool.
TAPPER: Right. Well, you're in the minority now. I'm talking about, if you are in the majority. You are going to have a little bit more clout.
But let's move on, because Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy also seemed to cast doubt on whether a Republican-controlled House would continue to help Ukraine push back against its Russian invasion.
He told Punchbowl News this week -- quote -- "I think people are going to be sitting in a recession, and they're not going to write a blank check to Ukraine. They just won't do it. Ukraine is important. But, at the same time, it can't be the only thing they do and it can't be a blank check."
So, I know you traveled to Ukraine during the war. You promised to support their efforts to beat back the Russian invasion as long as Ukrainians are willing to fight.
Are you worried about what Kevin McCarthy said about Ukraine aid?
MACE: And, look, I supported Ukraine aid early on when it happened. I did travel to the border.
But Bloomberg last week -- and this is an issue we have to reconcile -- Bloomberg said last week that we are going to be -- we're going to have a recession. It is 100 percent guaranteed. We saw Jamie Dimon warn on a recession in the next six to nine months. And if we keep -- keep writing these blank checks to other countries,
if we increase the deficit spending or government spending any more than we already have we're going to -- we are going to exacerbate the situation. But make no mistake. Ukraine is very important, not only to the United States economy, but to countries all around the world.
And so there is going to have to be some sort of balance. You look at the rare earth minerals in Ukraine, from neon and palladium, to the food security issues that may be on the horizon with wheat and barley, in particular, the lumber and timber that they produce, or the nuclear assets that Russia is after.
It is something that we're going to have to find balance on next year.
TAPPER: Don't you think a comment like the one Kevin McCarthy made, don't you think Vladimir Putin just hears that and he says, well, this guy is probably going to be the next speaker; I just have to stick it out until Republicans take over the House, so I'm going to just keep fighting, fighting, fighting?
Republicans are going to end U.S. support or lessen U.S. support for Ukraine. And don't you think it sends a signal like that, or at least risks sending that signal?
MACE: Well, I do think Vladimir Putin is -- has lost his marbles. I think he is willing to raise the stakes in any way, shape, or form to cause destruction, not only for Ukraine, but other countries.
He's now building alliances with China and Iran. That is not good for the United States of America either. And we have to project strength on the world stage. I can tell you, when I was overseas both in Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific region last year, that, when we have the kind of division we have in our country today -- and that is politically especially -- we look weak on the world stage.
And I think one of the reasons Vladimir Putin feels emboldened isn't because of what Republicans are saying they may or may not do. It is because of months, a year-and-a-half, two years now, more than that, even, but the divisions that we have and unwilling to work together on some of these issues and just the fighting.
It makes us look weak on the world stage. And that is something that I am urging both sides to work on, no matter who is in the majority after November. And I do believe Republicans will be in the majority. And we're looking at a potential 53-seat majority in the Senate now.
TAPPER: You have said that there is pressure on Republicans to vote to impeach President Biden or to vote to impeach top Biden Cabinet officials.
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik suggested impeachment was on the table in a "New York Post" interview this week. Do you think President Biden has committed any impeachable offenses?
MACE: That is something that would have to be investigated. I am not interested in playing tit for tat. I am not interested in retaliation. Impeachment has been weaponized over the years. And we have seen that.
I really want us to be focused on the economy, on tackling inflation with responsible policy. We also need to look at crime and immigration. We have had 4.2 million illegal immigrants cross the border illegally at the Southern border since Biden was sworn into office.
We have got fentanyl racing across every street in America. In fact, there was enough fentanyl discovered in South Carolina two weeks ago to kill one million people. And so we have got to get very serious about those issues. And that is where I believe our focus should be when Republicans are in the majority.
TAPPER: All right, Congresswoman Nancy Mace of South Carolina, thanks so much for spending time with us today. Appreciate it.
MACE: Thank you.
TAPPER: The Senate balance of power could come down to just a few states. Might Democrats lose all of them?
We will ask our panel about that and the races they are watching. That's next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: How are you feeling about the election in general?
BIDEN: I'm feeling good.
QUESTION: You're feeling good?
BIDEN: It's been back and forth, with them ahead, us ahead, them ahead, back and forth.
And the polls have been all over the place. I think that we're going to see one more shift back to our side the closing days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: I guess we will see.
Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.
Some midterm optimism there from President Biden.
Our panel is with us to discuss.
Let's take a look at the polls the president was talking about there, because these are the generic battle -- ballot polls. Three recent ones show Republicans pulling ahead of Democrats on the generic ballot. There is the Monmouth poll that has Republicans up 50 to 44, CBS/YouGov, Republicans up. "New York Times"/Siena has Republicans up 49 to 45.
And we know, Karen Finney...
KAREN FINNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.
TAPPER: ... that these polls historically undercount Republicans. Generally, Democrats only feel comfortable into Election Day if they are up six to eight points on the generic. And here you are down three to 5 on the generic.
Can't be feeling good.
FINNEY: I am feeling good.
TAPPER: You are?
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, come on.
FINNEY: I am feeling good. Yes, I am, for many reasons.
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I like the positivity.
FINNEY: For many reasons.
I will tell you what these polls don't show, right? What we know is it is not just about who you're going to vote for. It is, are you going to vote, and what are the issues motivating you?
FINNEY: And a lot of these polls focused on one or two issues, but they don't tell us the intensity with which people feel about candidates and issues.
What I'm seeing in the polls I'm looking at is heavy intensity around, yes, economic concerns, but also, for a lot of women, reproductive freedom, for a lot of black voters protecting voting rights, fears about increase in racism in this country.
Those are the kinds of issues that will motivate and mobilize people to the polls that don't show up in these generic types of polling.
TAPPER: What about you, David? I know you're plugged in with a lot of Republicans all over the country.
URBAN: Yes, listen, I -- that is what Karen has to say. I love Karen, right? If I was in her spot, that's what I'd say too, right? You kind of put the best spin on it, just like the president is like, we're doing great. We're going to come back. Put your Victrola on and -- a record, and sit back.
Look, the fact of the matter is, the economy is terrible. The president's numbers are in the tank. Gas prices are still very high. These pocketbook issues that people vote around, that they talk about at their kitchen tables, the crime, you hear this everywhere you go, whether it is Arizona, Oregon, Washington state, or Philadelphia.
Crime is very, very high on these lists.
URBAN: So -- and people, they are going to vote on those things. That's what they're going to vote on. And Republicans tend to do very well on those issues.
TAPPER: So, a few weeks ago, a lot of Democrats were feeling good they could break the midterms curse.
Then the economy -- the economy is a mixed bag. We should acknowledge inflation is high, but joblessness is low. And wages are actually up. But, still, the inflation numbers are brutal.
One Democratic strategist told Politico: I think we peaked a little early.
What do you think?
ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that we're going to see across states that folks aren't going to vote by party line.
You might have a governor win on a Republican and then the Democratic senator win. And so I actually feel like, coming out of COVID, we need to campaign in a different way, and it's who can meet the moment around how young voters are receiving information, around how seniors are receiving information, and around how swing voters are receiving information.
I also think it is not just the economy or Roe. It's a -- Roe is an economic issue.
FINNEY: That's right.
ALLISON: And people are going to be -- you want to look at people with complexity.
And this should be an opportunity to really learn how voters are engaging with our democracy. I also think we are going to see skyrocket turnout. And it is exciting for someone who works in politics that people care about how they're living in their everyday lives. So, I don't think I think it's going to be -- I think we're going to split 50/50, better than we thought probably a year ago, maybe not as great as we thought three weeks ago.
TAPPER: And what do you think, Alyssa? What are you hearing?
FARAH GRIFFIN: I mean, look, it is the economy, stupid. That is frankly what it comes down to; 70 percent say that it is the economy. Crime is slightly behind.
But I think Democrats fell into a classic midterms trap of, a lot of their messaging is against Republicans. It's, well, you can't vote for Republicans because of X, Y, and Z. And then it is touting backward- looking things, like, well, we did CHIPS, we did the in...
FARAH GRIFFIN: Infrastructure.
But that doesn't change the fact the average American family lost $6,000 in buying power last year in this economy. It is traditionally a referendum on the party in power, which means it favors Republicans, frankly, even in a cycle where I admit we don't have the strongest candidates.
But when you're heading into a recession and when you're seeing the economy where it is, it is going to come down in our favor.
FINNEY: Can I just add this, though? Literally, what I would like to see every Democrat point out over the next couple weeks is that, whereas Joe Biden and Democrats are trying to put money into your pocket -- let's just take student debt -- you literally have Republican governors trying to take that money back out of your pocket.
You also have...
URBAN: But, Karen, where does the money come from? It comes from somebody else's pocket.
FINNEY: You have -- you also have Republicans saying, talking about things like -- we just were talking about this -- cuts to Medicare.
They have already said they're going to overturn the Inflation Reduction Act, which means higher prescription drug costs, higher insulin prices.
FINNEY: Which means that it is going to be -- Republicans are going to increase your costs at a time when we're dealing with inflation. Democrats have actually been trying to lower your costs.
FARAH GRIFFIN: But there is a reason Democrats aren't running on some of the latest COVID relief that they did, because they know it contributed to inflation.
FARAH GRIFFIN: So, there is over a trillion dollars they could and should be touting, except Americans are sophisticated enough to this -- to know this actually put us into the...
URBAN: Money is not free. Money is not free. (CROSSTALK)
ALLISON: Republicans voted against it. And now they're in their districts saying, look, like, what I did for you.
FINNEY: Take this check.
ALLISON: But, if they take power, they will not do this from you. It will come out of your pocket.
TAPPER: So, I wonder to know, what is one race that you're each looking at?
And we will start with you, Alyssa. What's a race that you're -- that you're watching?
FARAH GRIFFIN: I'm intrigued by Ohio. Listen, I think...
TAPPER: The Senate race in Ohio?
FARAH GRIFFIN: The Senate race in Ohio. I think J.D. Vance is going to pull it off. But I think it's fascinating that Tim Ryan, a Democrat, a consummate moderate, is polling within the margin of error in what is a deep red state. This is one that Trump didn't even -- we didn't put even a lot of effort into Ohio, because we knew that Trump was going to win it.
But Tim Ryan is running away from Pelosi, and he's running away from Biden. He's making it very much focused on issues specific to the state. He is tackling crime. He is talking about the economy. So, I think it's kind of a lesson in how to run in a red state as a Democrat.
And, again, this is a state that keeps electing Sherrod Brown, so it's not out of the realm of possibility Tim Ryan could pull it off. And I do think voters think J.D. Vance is a bit of a fraud.
ALLISON: I mean, my home state, Ohio, so I'm also tracking that very closely, but...
FARAH GRIFFIN: Sorry I stole that.
ALLISON: That's OK. That's OK.
ALLISON: I'm looking at Florida, not because I think that Dems...
TAPPER: Which? The...
ALLISON: Both, actually.
TAPPER: Governor and Senate?
ALLISON: Governor and Senate, not because I think Chris will be able to pull it out over DeSantis.
TAPPER: Crist, who is challenging Ron DeSantis, the governor.
ALLISON: But I'm looking at the Senate race also, because...
TAPPER: Val Demings against Marco Rubio.
ALLISON: Val Demings vs. Rubio, because can the candidates build the proper coalition?
Republicans have a strong base there. Dems need to be able to get seniors and talking about how Republicans would raise prescription drug prices, Latino voters, which is a huge -- it's all about demographic change.
So, I don't think -- I wish -- the polling doesn't look great for Val Demings. But she's a strong candidate. And how you can win in states that are turning red, I think, is a lesson for...
TAPPER: We need to do in the next two quickly. Sorry.
So, I will just say two quick ones. Bolduc, right, in New Hampshire, the Maggie Hassan race, very big. There's a lot of subtext there with Mitch McConnell and Bolduc and the Senate Leadership Fund. And then also, again, I will say don't sleep on Tiffany Smiley, Scott and Tiffany Smiley, personal friends.
I think she's run an incredible race.
TAPPER: Washington state against Patty Murray.
URBAN: Washington state. If she wins, it's going to be -- it's going to be a big blowout for Republicans.
FINNEY: Georgia, Brian Kemp vs. Stacey Abrams, the rematch.
I have been watching how Brian Kemp has actually been able to avoid the extremism label. He's getting sort of credit for 2020, actually doing his job, and not breaking the law for Trump. At the same time, a federal judge just ruled several weeks ago that, actually, the laws in Georgia do place severe burdens on voters, but the federal judge also said he felt hamstrung by the Supreme Court decision in Brnovich.
So, whereas they acknowledge that the law -- the voting laws in Georgia are restrictive -- we just saw actually stories yesterday of people finding problems, black Americans, at the polls being challenged. At the same time, Kemp seems to be getting a pass on it.
TAPPER: All right.
FARAH GRIFFIN: But record early turnout so far in Georgia, which is interesting. FINNEY: Yes.
TAPPER: Everyone, stick around. We got a lot more to talk about.
Former President Trump has offered to testify many, many times in the past. He's got another chance to make good on it. That's next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Would you be willing to speak under oath to give you version of those events?
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One hundred percent.
QUESTION: Are you going to talk to Mueller?
TRUMP: I'm looking forward to it, actually.
Well, I would do it under oath, yes.
QUESTION: Mr. President, would you still like to testify to special counsel Robert Mueller, sir?
TRUMP: Thank you. Sure, I would like to.
QUESTION: You would?
TRUMP: I would love to speak. I would love to go, nothing I want to do more.
I have always wanted to do an interview.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: He says he wants to do it. And he never does it, at advice of counsel.
Let's talk about this with our panel.
So, on Friday, the January 6 Committee officially subpoenaed Donald Trump to testify and produce documents for their investigation, saying he was -- quote -- "at the center of the first and only effort by any U.S. president to overturn an election."
So, does he testify?
URBAN: Yes, listen, I can tell you all those statements that he made, he actually wanted to go and participate.
(LAUGHTER) URBAN: And I know, at the advice of counsel, the White House counsel, and everyone working on those impeachments and all those different investigations, basically chained him to the desk, wouldn't let him go.
URBAN: He is not encumbered by those people this time, right? They are not working for him.
And so I think there's nothing more that he'd like to do than go to the January 6 Committee and testify. It'd be the best TV you would see. Stay tuned.
TAPPER: But I have to say, why is it that the lawyers told him not to testify previously?
FINNEY: Because they know he will say crazy. That's why. I mean, let's be honest, like, because -- I mean, that's the thing in watching that.
I can imagine being a staffer watching him say, I'd love to, I'd love to, thinking, thank God it'll never happen, because, I mean, look at what he's already done earlier this year, plead the Fifth, plead the Fifth, plead the Fifth.
He's not going to answer questions.
FARAH GRIFFIN: Having staffed him through some horrifying interviews -- I was there for the Jonathan Swan. Just we all remember that interview around COVID.
This would be such a mistake for him to testify, but he would be under oath, presumably. He would -- he would inevitably perjure himself five ways to Sunday if he were to go under oath. I think he loves the spotlight and the cameras and controlling the narrative and espousing conspiracy theories.
But any lawyer even worth their salt would never put him up for this.
TAPPER: But he has different lawyers.
FARAH GRIFFIN: Yes.
ALLISON: He does.
URBAN: That's my point. That's my point.
TAPPER: Maybe not...
ALLISON: I think he will either confess to something he doesn't realize is an actual crime, or he will perjure himself.
TAPPER: But you think he's going to testify?
ALLISON: One plot twist.
If Republicans take the House and do some type of jujitsu on the January 6 Committee and give him a platform to say whatever he wants, however he wants, that actually could work in his favor, which is quite dangerous.
FINNEY: But I do think part of the danger here is that it reminds me -- it is not good for Republican candidates that, between now and the Election Day, we're going to get story after story after story about Donald Trump, because the more they have to defend Trump, the less they are able to be on offense on the issues they want to be on.
And, on that note, this subpoena caps off a pretty extraordinary week for Donald Trump...
TAPPER: ... summed up by "The New York Times"' Peter Baker in this tweet.
This was his week. He was subpoenaed regarding allegations of insurrection. He was found by a judge to have signed a false statement. That's referring to Georgia. He was deposed on an allegation of rape. That's in the defamation case from Jean Carroll.
Bannon, his former top aide, was sentenced to four months in prison for defying a subpoena. Tom Barrack, one of his former top aides and advisers, is on trial. Lindsey Graham was ordered to testify. And the Trump Organization fraud trial is going to start this week. That's just one week in Trump land, Alyssa, one week.
FARAH GRIFFIN: My only message is, we don't have to do this again.
There are credible Republicans who want to run for president, who will run for president. The notion that the GOP would even humor nominating him again is just absurd at this point. He -- I mean, he could very well be indicted.
Let's look to some new blood.
URBAN: Right, but, remember, the GOP is made up of people, right? It's not this amorphous organization...
FARAH GRIFFIN: Right.
URBAN: ... that does -- has this -- it's made of people, people across America, right, who love Donald Trump. And they're still going to vote. People show up at rallies, right?
URBAN: And they show up in droves. They -- we watch different clips.
FARAH GRIFFIN: Though the rally numbers are dwindling.
URBAN: Yes, but they're still -- as long as 30 percent of the Republican base loves Donald Trump, in a crowded primary, he will emerge the victor.
ALLISON: I mean, I guess I just have to say it's not just the people. It's the elected officials also who want him to come stump.
ALLISON: So, I have said this until I'm blue in the face at this point.
ALLISON: But, like, where's the leadership?
If we want -- if you want new blood in your party, you have to tell...
URBAN: But those people are responsive to those base, right?
So, just like in your party, you don't lose to somebody -- you don't lose to a Blue dog Democrat. You lose to a progressive Democrat. In the Republican Party, you don't lose to someone who's a moderate. You don't lose the Nancy Mace. You lose to a Marjorie Taylor Greene, right?
That's who you -- that's how the parties work, right?
FINNEY: But, to Alyssa's point, there are now -- so, if a third of voters are following Trump, I mean, you have plenty of candidates who basically won their primaries because of their allegiance to Trump.
And that's another argument to make to voters. It is a reminder of the chaos, the drama, the conspiracy theories, the mind-bending reality.
FINNEY: And it's a sense of, is that -- do you want that person in office?
FARAH GRIFFIN: Can we move beyond it? FINNEY: Can we move beyond it?
TAPPER: Can I just say -- I want you to listen to this truly deranged ad from a Republican candidate for Nevada secretary of state, because this gives you not just an idea of where the base is, because this guy could win, but also what the potential future of democracy is.
Let's run that ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: George Soros is helping to elect anti-American politicians, and these same politicians keep winning reelection.
How's that possible? It's not. Elections have consequences. And rigged elections have catastrophic consequences. Help save America. Vote for Jim Marchant for secretary of state. It's time to take our elections back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: So, just to be clear, not only is that ad trafficking, dabbling in antisemitism; it's nuts.
The idea, Alyssa -- and I know you don't support it. I'm coming to you because you're a former Trump official. The idea that Democrats are only being reelected in solidly blue Democratic districts because George Soros is paying for election fraud is crazy.
That guy is the nominee for secretary of state in Nevada. He's -- the fringe is now mainstream in your party.
FARAH GRIFFIN: Well, and this goes to your point that that's on the elected officials, and not the Donald Trumps, but the many people who benefit from the boost of Trump that won't just call a spade a spade and say, the election was not stolen.
FARAH GRIFFIN: These lies of fraud and allegations in "2000 Mules" were -- are absurd. They're beneath us as a country.
I put the onus on them, to be honest. I have been saying it from the second Joe Biden won the election.
FARAH GRIFFIN: But not enough people are. They try to dabble. You can't have it both ways.
URBAN: But -- but, again, right, these people are elected by that base, right?
Those -- they're being... (CROSSTALK)
ALLISON: But you said 30 percent. What about the 70 percent of your party?
TAPPER: They're scared.
FINNEY: They are scared.
URBAN: The 70 percent don't make it through, because there are primaries that have 14 people, right, just like, Pennsylvania, this is how right the governor, the current governor nominee in Pennsylvania, there was a crowded primary.
URBAN: Right? If there were two people, just like in '24 -- listen, if '24...
FINNEY: But that's the danger to democracy, David. That's what we're trying to say.
FARAH GRIFFIN: And let's change up the Republican coalition, then.
URBAN: But it is democracy. It is democracy.
FARAH GRIFFIN: Yes.
URBAN: It is democracy. That's how it works.
TAPPER: Thanks, one and all, for the time being.
URBAN: It's messy.
TAPPER: Let's -- thanks, one and all, for being here.
And we do want to welcome a new member of the CNN family, Dorothea Quinn Cadigan, the daughter of CNN senior producer Will Cadigan and his wife, Kate (ph).
TAPPER: Mother and daughter are doing great.
Will, we're so happy for you. We're so proud of you. Congratulations. She is -- oh, look at that. Look at -- she -- look, a little...
TAPPER: Coming up: one man's 1,700-mile mission for his brothers in arms, we're going to tell you about that next.
TAPPER: A retired U.S. colonel who served in Afghanistan tells me that his unit as of now has lost more soldiers to suicide and to overdoses than they did to Taliban insurgents.
And he's trying to do something about it. Hours ago, U.S. Army Colonel Chris Kolenda finished a 1,700-mile bike ride across the United States. He visited the grave sites and the grieving families of six members of his unit, all of whom were killed in action in Afghanistan in 2007.
Kolenda began in Spalding, Nebraska, where Private 1st Class Chris Pfeifer is laid to rest. And then he headed east to honor Sergeant Adrian Hike, Specialist Jacob Lowell, Staff Sergeant Ryan Fritsche, Captain Dave Boris, and, finally, Major Tom Bostick, who's buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
I wrote about Kolenda, plus Pfeifer, Lowell, Fritsche, and Bostick, in "The Outpost," my book about the dangerous and deadly combat Outpost Keating.
This ride is about more than just honoring Kolenda's fallen soldiers, however, as important as that is. Kolenda is using it to raise awareness and financial support for the countless soldiers living with post-traumatic stress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COL. CHRIS KOLENDA (RET.), U.S. ARMY: I want people to know our six fallen heroes as flesh-and-blood human beings, and not only as names etched in granite.
I want to -- I want to -- our 800 had my back for 15 months. A lot of them are struggling. A lot of them are struggling with post-traumatic stress. They are struggling to find new belonging. I can't do it alone. So that's why we created the Saber Six Foundation, as a way to both honor the dead, honor our fallen, but support our living.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Kolenda has so far raised $75,000 and counting. I have donated. If you can afford to, please visit HonorRide.us, HonorRide.us. And even if you cannot afford to do so, please have a thought, if you could today, for the families of Pfeifer, Hike, Lowell, Fritsche, Boris, and Bostick. Those families, they miss their sons and husbands and brothers and daddies very much.
Thank you for spending your Sunday morning with us.
Fareed Zakaria is next.