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State of the Union

Interview With Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD); Interview With Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY); Interview With Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI); Interview With Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Aired 9-10a ET

Aired November 13, 2022 - 09:00   ET




DANA BASH, CNN HOST (voice-over): In the balance. Democrats smash expectations,keeping the Senate, control of the U.S. House still up for grabs.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Going to be perilously close. We can win it.

BASH: The state of play with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

And blue wall. Democrats score major wins in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): We are feeling damn good.

JOSH SHAPIRO (D), PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR-ELECT: I am so proud to be of Pennsylvania.

BASH: Are these governors the future of their party? I will speak to the just-reelected Michigan governor, Gretchen Whitmer, and Pennsylvania governor-elect Josh Shapiro ahead.

Plus: blame game. Donald Trump set to push ahead with his special announcement, as the Republican Party points fingers after disappointing midterm losses. Will the GOP rally around Trump or move on?

The outgoing Republican governor of Maryland and potential Trump challenger, Larry Hogan, joins me in moments.


BASH: Hello. I'm Dana Bash in Washington, where the state of our union is still counting the votes.

We are closing out an extraordinary week in American politics, with plenty still to be decided. Late last night, Democrats learned that they will keep control of the U.S. Senate, after Catherine Cortez Masto held off her Republican challenger in Nevada, and Democrats have the potential to win one more seat with the Georgia run-off in that state next month. In the House, control is still up for grabs with 20 races yet to be

called. Republicans must win seven seats to take control, while Democrats need 14.

That Democrats have a chance to keep the House at all is sending shockwaves through the GOP, which had expected so much more winning, their disappointing results fueling a fight over who gets to lead their party in the House, the Senate and into 2024.

As we wait for the votes to be counted, I will speak with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and get her take on what it's going to take for control of the House, when it is so close right now.

But we begin with huge victories for Democrats in key governor's races, as the party rebuilds its swing state blue wall, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all states that went for Trump in 2016, now breaking blue.

Let's talk to two of those Democratic governors who beat their opponents with sweeping double-digit margins about how they did it and what it means.

Let's begin with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who achieved a truly historic victory, beating her Republican opponent by more than 10 percentage points.

Thank you so much. Congratulations, Governor.

WHITMER: Thank you.

BASH: So, Democrats will now not only keep the governor's office, but also control both chambers in your Michigan legislature, first time that's happened in almost 40 years.

What takeaways do you have for national Democrats about your win in Michigan?

WHITMER: Well, I can tell you, we stayed focused on the fundamentals, right, whether it's fixing the damn roads, or making sure our kids are getting back on track after an incredible disruption in their learning, or just simply solving problems and being honest with the people.

A governor can't fix global inflation, but what we can do is take actions to keep more money in people's pockets, protect our right to make our own decisions about our bodies. And all of this was squarely front and center for a lot of Michigan voters. And I suspect that's probably true for voters across the country.

BASH: You have been fighting for abortion rights in Michigan since even before the Dobbs decision.

You won women by 26 points. And, just by comparison, Hillary Clinton won them by 11 points during her presidential run. So, when it comes to independents, I want you to look at that as well. Our viewers should look at it. Hillary Clinton lost those independence by 16. You won them by 13.

How big of a factor was the issue of abortion in those victories?

WHITMER: I think it was a factor.

I mean, there's -- we haven't done this in Michigan but four times over the last 130 years. This was a massive turn of events. And I think part of it was, Democrats were fighting to solve problems, make people's lives better, but also protect our ability to make our own decisions about our bodies.

These are fundamental, core issues, if we're going to design our lives and make our decisions around our families. That is, without question, an economic decision as well. I know a lot of folks kind of wanted to say, should we talk about the economy or abortion?

But the fact of the matter is, the ability to decide when and whether to have a child is the biggest economic decision a woman will make over the course of her lifetime. And that's why we kept that front and center too.

BASH: I'm speaking with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shortly.


Her husband, of course, was attacked after a conspiracy theorist came into their San Francisco home. Five men were convicted in a plot to kidnap you.

Do you think this election was in any way a repudiation of political violence?

WHITMER: You know, I would like to think so.

I will be honest with you. My opponent was a conspiracy theorist, and she would regularly stoke politically violent rhetoric, undermine institutions. Whether it is aimed at me or it is aimed at a Republican congressman like Fred Upton or Peter Meijer here in Michigan, it's unacceptable.

And my heart goes out to the Pelosi family. I think that this is a moment where good people need to call this out and say we will not tolerate this in this country. And perhaps part of that message was sent this election.

BASH: Your state of Michigan is really a true swing state. It flipped back and forth from red to blue over the last decade.

Trump won it in 2016, Biden in 2020. You just had a big reelection this week. What is the secret to keeping Michigan blue going forward in 2024?

WHITMER: You know, I really think that this was an affirmation of the agenda that we have been driving here for four years.

I have had a very challenging legislature to work with at times. And yet, despite that, we're bringing supply chains home, making semiconductors in Michigan. We have expanded the auto industry, E.V.s and batteries. I mean, these are the core issues. If you want a good quality of life, a great job is fundamental to that.

And so staying focused on those fundamentals, I think, was really important. I am a Democrat. I'm proud to be. I also am smart enough to know I will work with anybody who actually wants to roll up their sleeves and solve problems. And so just because we now control all branches of government in Michigan doesn't mean that I will change my tactics.

There's a seat at the table for anyone who's serious about solving problems and building the Michigan that ensures generations can thrive.

BASH: President Biden has said that it's his intention to run again for president in 2024. He's going to make that decision early next year.

How do you think the strong midterm results for the president should impact his decision?

WHITMER: You know, I can just tell you this. He has said he intends to run, and he will have my support. I have pledged that to him. I think he's delivered on a lot of really important fronts for the American people.

All the decisions that he will be making in the coming weeks and months, I can't get into his head, but I can just say, should he run, he will have my support. And that's what he's indicated, so he's got it.

BASH: Are you interested in running for president if he doesn't run, or, if he does, waiting until 2028?

WHITMER: You know what, Dana? I just won a double-digit victory, getting the dream job that I have had for the last four years, even in the hardest times.

I feel really lucky to be the governor of Michigan. I have lived here my whole life. And this is where my focus is for the next four years. I'm going to make Michigan an even stronger place, where people come to for opportunity. And that's my whole focus.

BASH: I somehow suspected you would say that.

But thank you so much, and congratulations, Governor.


BASH: Appreciate it.

WHITMER: Thank you. Thank you.

BASH: And let's go now to Pennsylvania, governor-elect Democrat Josh Shapiro, who beat his Trump-backed opponent by 14 percentage points. Congratulations to you, governor-elect. I appreciate you joining us

this morning.

SHAPIRO: Thank you.

BASH: In 2020, Joe Biden won the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by less than 2 percentage points. You just won the governor's race by 14 percentage points. You outperformed the president in every county there.

What changed?

SHAPIRO: Well, look, we went everywhere.

We showed up in rural, urban, suburban communities, engaged voters across the board, no matter their party label, reached out to constituencies that, quite frankly, had been ignored for some time, from Latino voters to Gen Z.

And we built a coalition around getting stuff done for people, focusing on the things that mattered most, from making sure we delivered a quality education for every child, bringing vo-tech back to our classrooms, putting a mental health counselor in every school, investing in public safety, hiring more police because people have a right to be safe and feel safe, growing our economy and giving people a shot, and, of course, making sure we protect real freedom, whether it's the right to vote or the right to make decisions over your own body.

Those were universal things that were well received in rural, urban, suburban communities, Republicans and Democrats and independents alike. And we took the same message all across Pennsylvania and won in places where Democrats really had never won before.

BASH: You keep talking about rural, urban and suburban.

And it's so interesting because -- well, you know this -- Democrats are increasingly a coastal party and have had trouble with particularly the rural voters and working-class voters, who used to be the core of the Democratic Party.


What is your message to other Democrats on how to reach those who they have lost and be competitive in rural America in particular?

SHAPIRO: Well, look, I can just tell you what we did.

We showed up. And we treated people with respect. And we spoke to them about practical things that would make their lives better. We ignored the noise coming out of Washington, D.C., and instead focused on the good people of Washington County, Pennsylvania.

I think it's just a matter of showing up, treating people with respect, and showing them how you're going to make their lives better, helping them understand how you can actually build a bridge between the parties to kind of take down the temperature and get real things done.

BASH: Your Republican opponent, Doug Mastriano, still has not conceded the race five days after CNN projected that you are the winner.

Are you still waiting for a phone call? What's your message to him?

SHAPIRO: I mean, who cares if he calls, right? He doesn't get to pick the winner.The people pick the winner.

And in a resounding way, they made clear that they wanted me to lead this commonwealth forward. We had an historic win, more votes than any gubernatorial candidate in history. So I could care less if the guy calls me.

What matters is the people chose me, and I look forward to getting to work for them in January.

BASH: When you become governor, you probably should consider collecting taxes from President Biden, because he spent so much time in Pennsylvania leading up to the election.


BASH: You embraced him. You had him campaign with you. Other Democrats around the country kept their distance from him.

What did you see that they didn't?

SHAPIRO: Well, look, I thought it was important to get everybody out to the polls, to make sure people understood the magnitude of what was on the ballot.

I mean, democracy literally hung in the balance. And so the fact that the president wanted to come here and rally folks to get them out to vote was great. But the bottom line is, we focused on Pennsylvania issues.We focused on the needs of Pennsylvanians. We focused on bringing Republicans, Democrats, independents together around my vision for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, not someone else's vision.

That's what we focused on. And that's ultimately what carried the day here in Pennsylvania.

BASH: OK, so I know that you haven't even begun your term. You were just elected.

But you know your name is already being mentioned in some circles as a potential future presidential contender. Do you have any ambition to be the first Jewish president of the United States?

SHAPIRO: No, Dana, I have an ambition to get a little bit of sleep...


SHAPIRO: ... to reintroduce myself to my kids, and then to serve the good people of Pennsylvania as their governor. That is all I'm focused on. And that's all I want to do.

BASH: Fair point.

Well, congratulations. Thank you so much for joining us this morning.

SHAPIRO: Thanks, Dana.

BASH: And does Speaker Nancy Pelosi think Democrats can still take the House? We will talk about that and more when she joins us ahead.

And a GOP governor in a blue state, Maryland's Larry Hogan, on the message voters just sent his party -- next.



BASH: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.

It may be days before all the votes are counted, but Republicans are already pointing fingers at one another, with GOP lawmakers in both the House and the Senate criticizing their leadership for failing to meet expectations, just as former President Trump teases a special announcement next week.

Here with me now, a Republican governor who's led a blue state, Maryland, since 2015, Larry Hogan.

Governor, thank you so much for joining me.

GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R-MD): Good morning.

BASH: You have kind of been on an island -- maybe a few others are with you -- as a Republican warning against GOP extremism and specifically election denialism.

How do you interpret the results?

HOGAN: Well, yes, I have been talking about this for years. And it seemed as if I was the only one talking about it. But, today, there are a whole lot more people talking about it.

And the way I would interpret it, look, this was -- this should have been a huge red wave. It should have been one of the biggest red waves we have ever had, because President Biden's approval rating was so low, one of the lowest historically. More than 70 percent of people thought the country was going in the wrong direction.

And yet we still didn't perform. And I think commonsense conservatives that focused on talking about issues people cared about, like the economy and crime and education, they did win. But people who tried to relitigate the 2020 election and focused on conspiracy theories and talked about things the voters didn't care about, they were almost universally rejected.

And I think it's basically the third election in a row that Donald Trump has cost us the race. And it's like three strikes, you're out.

BASH: Well, do you think that's true?

Because we have heard that after one strike and two strikes, to keep your analogy going.

HOGAN: Well, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.

And Donald Trump kept saying, we're going to be winning so much, we will get tired of winning. I'm tired of losing. I mean, that's all he's done.

BASH: So, you don't think that this is just a blip, and that Republicans will return to being -- well, it's kind of still the party of Trump, but embracing the party of Trump? You think this time is different?

HOGAN: You know, if you lose over and over again to what's really not that great of a team, you have got to reassess, is it time to rebuild?

And you have to go back and think, how do we have a more hopeful, positive vision? How do we appeal to a broader group of voters? Because we -- in some cases, we fired up the base, but we turned off wide swathes of swing voters. And that's why we didn't perform.

BASH: Former President Trump is teasing a very big announcement on Tuesday night.

HOGAN: Huge.


BASH: He could announce his 2024 bid to run for president again.

What do you think will happen if he does?

HOGAN: Well, there's no question he's still the 800-pound gorilla.

And it's still a battle. It's going to continue for the next two years. I would just say that we're two years out from the next election, and we're just trying to -- the dust is settling from this one.


I think it'd be a mistake. As I mentioned, Trump's cost us the last three elections. And I don't want to see it happen a fourth time.

BASH: Could he cost by -- if he does announce, could he cost Republicans to run-off in Georgia?

HOGAN: No question about that. I mean, that's not as consequential now. We still would like to win Georgia, but we're not going to win back the Senate as a result. And that's Donald Trump's fault.

BASH: I have to ask you about something that he posted on his social media Web site, TRUTH Social.

He used a racist comment to lash out at another potential 2024 competitor, your fellow Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin.

He wrote: "Young Kin, separating his last name, now, that's an interesting take. Sounds Chinese, doesn't it? In Virginia, couldn't have one without me."

Your wife and children are Korean Americans. You have made a point of fighting against Asian American hate as governor. What's your reaction to that?

HOGAN: Well, it was definitely distasteful and inappropriate, not only because I don't think my friend Glenn Youngkin deserve to be attacked like that, but it was also -- I mean, it's Asian hate against a white governor, and making fun of Asians.

And he didn't even have his nationalities, right, because Young Kin would be Korean, as opposed to Chinese. But it's just more of the same from Donald Trump, insults and attacks. And that's one of the reasons why the party is in such bad shape.

BASH: Is it racist?

HOGAN: It is racist.

BASH: One Republican who had an unequivocally strong election night was another one of your fellow Republican governors, Ron DeSantis in Florida.

A growing number of Republicans who feel similarly to you about Trump, saying, we have to move ahead, are saying, well, maybe Ron DeSantis is our guy. Would he make a good president?

HOGAN: Well, he certainly had a great night the other night in Florida. It was a big win for Ron DeSantis.

Florida is becoming more and more red as a result of -- I think there are 600,000 new Republicans in Florida because they're -- it's kind of flight out of blue states into Florida. It was a -- he did a great job picking up Hispanic voters in Miami and South Florida, which is kind of what we did in our last race. We won Hispanics.

But it was a good night for him. And he's certainly one of the important voices for the party.

BASH: It's no secret that you are considering running in 2024. What is your status now? Will you run?

HOGAN: Well, I will tell you what I'm doing.

I will be heading down to Florida tomorrow with all my fellow governors. We're all going to talk about what happened. And we're going to welcome a couple of new governors. And then I will be flying out. I'm going to do a thing with RJC. I will be on stage with Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo. And, at the end of the month, I'm going to have a big thing in

Annapolis, a summit. We're going to be bringing people from all around the country, and I'm going to have a big celebration of our eight years of success.

And we will -- we're going to take a look. I still have to do my day job until January 18. And then I got...

BASH: Well, you can walk and chew gum at the same time.

HOGAN: Yes, that's true. I will be freed up and unleashed.


BASH: And will you un -- will you be unleashed towards a 2024 run?

HOGAN: I think there's probably -- I have been saying since 2020 that we have to get back to a party that appeals to more people, that can win in tough places, like I have done in Maryland. And I think that lane is much wider now than it was a week ago.

BASH: One quick question before I let you go.

Kevin McCarthy is working the phones. He wants to be speaker if Republicans do take the House. Should he be?

HOGAN: You know, I think most Americans aren't paying much attention to palace intrigue and what's going on.

I know, it's the focus of everybody here.

BASH: Well, it's a constitutional position. It's a big deal.

HOGAN: But most people -- the inner battle about who might be in charge, look, I think the people on the far right really lost this election, and now they want to try to take that over.

But it's going to be a very slim margin. Kevin McCarthy's got work to do. There's no question about that.

BASH: Governor Larry Hogan, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

HOGAN: Thank you.

BASH: Nice to see you.

Too close to call. The battle for the House is still undecided.

Next, we will talk to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We will talk about whether or not she will still have that title come January.

Stay with us.



BASH: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.

We still do not know which party is going to control the House of Representatives, as Western states continue to count votes.

Let's go now to a woman who knows that part of the country extremely well, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat of California.

Thank you so much for joining me this morning, Madam Speaker.

I want to, of course, ask about all of -- everything having to do with the election, but I want to start by asking you about your husband, Paul. How is he doing?

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Well, thank you for asking. Good morning.

Each day takes us closer to recovery. It's a long haul, but he's doing well, comforted by the good wishes and especially the prayers of so many people throughout the country. We thank them all for that and, again, so many who said, I'm going to be sure to vote because this has gone too far.

But, anyway, I -- he is surrounded by our children and grandchildren and the rest. And the doctors say a little less activity, a little more rest. But thank you.

BASH: Let me ask you about the fact that right now, as we speak, the Democrats need 14 seats to win control, Republicans need seven.

Half of the 20 seats are outstanding. Many of them -- half of them, I should say, are in your home state of California. Will Democrats keep the House?

PELOSI: Well, we will see when the people have finished speaking and the votes have been counted as cast.


I'm very proud of our Democratic candidates, both the incumbents seeking reelection, and our red to blue, our challengers. They never took any guidance from those who would say, this is over, Democrats can't win because history says.

That conventional wisdom was conventional, and it certainly wasn't wisdom. And they knew their purpose. They knew why they were running, to protect our democracy, save our planet, protect our values and the rest. And they did not heed any guidance of, you should change your message. They knew their districts. They related to their constituents. And they have produced a great result.

Who would have thought two months ago that this red wave would turn into a little tiny trickle, if that at all? But we never believed that. We believed. I think believing is one of the most important pieces of -- believe. They believed in themselves. They believed in our country. They believed in our plan, their plan to win. BASH: Madam Speaker...

PELOSI: So, we will see.

BASH: ... you said that they knew their districts.

You know all the districts...


BASH: ... especially when it comes to the votes still out in California.

I mean, how -- where are you right now? How confident are you about potentially keeping control of the House?

PELOSI: Well, our purpose, my purpose in all of this is to, first and foremost, protect our incumbents. And that is what we have done in California.

And we -- where we had seen opportunity to grow our majority, that has been our priority, both in California and elsewhere. We're disappointed as to what happened in New York, because that is a setback, in terms of our calculations before. But we will see.

There are so many votes still out. I have said this is like the Olympics. Half-a-second, you can be gold, silver, bronze, or honored to be an Olympian. So, we will see where this takes us.

But I think you see a path to the future that is much brighter than what was predicted by the punditry and those who want us to change our message.

BASH: You mentioned New York. In fact, four of your losses came from a very, very blue state in New York, including your colleague Sean Patrick Maloney, your fellow leader.


BASH: It might make the difference between winning and losing control.

PELOSI: That's right.

Well, let me first say, Sean Patrick Maloney did an outstanding job as the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He and the team that he assembled deserve a great deal of credit for keeping us with a path. I'm sorry about his loss. It's a big loss to the Congress and the country.

But I do want to salute President Biden for his campaigning, President Obama, all of it raising the urgency of the election and the awareness that people must vote, and that they shouldn't listen to those who say this is a foregone conclusion because of history, but it's about the future, and get out there and vote.

BASH: What happened in New York? What do you think?

PELOSI: Well, I think -- here's what I always say, as a former chair of the California Democratic Party.

You have to take every district at a time. You cannot make sweeping overviews the day after the election or within the time of awaiting the count, just every district at a time. Our message, people over politics, lower cost, bigger paychecks, safer community, served us well in the rest of the country.

Every race has to be analyzed about what happened in that race, if you really are going to learn anything, rather than draw a conclusion. In the course of the campaigns, when people would ask me about a particular race, I will say, I don't know. I haven't been on the ground there.

BASH: Right.

PELOSI: I have been on the ground or many of the races. And so I was confident.

But it was interesting to me that people would talk about these races who didn't really know what they were talking about. And I think the results have -- are evidence of that.

We're still alive. But, again, the races are close, and we just -- we don't pray for a victory. I was -- I grew up in a political family. You don't pray for the victory, but you pray that God's will, will be done. And, on that Sunday, that's what we pray -- on this Sunday.

BASH: Madam Speaker, you alluded to this when I asked about your husband, but I just want to ask specifically and kind of point blank about the fact that there has been such extremism, such political violence.

And what happened to your husband was horrific. Do you think that that had an impact on voters as they cast their ballots?

PELOSI: I don't -- I know that what people tell me. That's anecdotal.


And we always say that the plural of anecdote is not data, necessarily, but it is a trend in what I'm hearing. But it wasn't just the attack. It was the Republican reaction to it, which was disgraceful.

And that I think, really -- the attack is horrible. I mean, imagine what -- how I feel, as was the one who was the target, and my husband paying the price, and the traumatic effect on our family. But that trauma is intensified by the ridiculous, disrespectful attitude that the Republicans -- and there's no -- nobody disassociating themselves from the horrible response that they gave to it.

BASH: Do you think that turned...

PELOSI: I don't want to go further into that.

BASH: That turned voters off?

PELOSI: They tell me so.

BASH: You have talked about the need for a vibrant Republican Party.


BASH: House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, he's working the phones, probably as we speak, trying to firm up the votes he needs to become speaker, if Republicans do in fact take the House.

As somebody who has been speaker for a combined eight years, do you think Kevin McCarthy has what it takes to be speaker of the House?

PELOSI: Well, let's just get through the election, OK? They haven't won yet. They have been measuring for draperies. They have been putting forth an agenda.

They haven't won it yet. Let's -- after we -- after the election is concluded, depending on who is in the majority, there will be judgments made within their own party, in our own parties, as to how we go forward. It's not up to me to make any evaluation of what their possibilities are.

BASH: Well, you are uniquely qualified to understand what it takes to be speaker of the House.

PELOSI: Yes, I do. I do. I...

BASH: Does he have it?


PELOSI: Well, why would I make a judgment about something that may or may not ever happen? No, I don't think he has it. But that's up to his own people to make a decision as to how they want to be led or otherwise.

What is important, though, is that this election has been a victory for the people, for the candidates who had the courage to run in the face of any predictions, for the grassroots people, VIPs, our volunteers in politics, knocking on millions of doors to get out the vote.

Don't ever underestimate. Now, see, I'm a former party chair, so I'm own the ground. You have to own the ground. And owning the ground took us to the place that we are now, much closer to victory than anyone would have predicted.

And, of course, our president, President Biden, and President Obama being out there to make people aware of the importance of this election, and that the prospects were that we could win to offset some of the punditry that were wedded to the past, when we're -- that we know elections are about the future. But I don't -- I don't really get into Republican Caucus politics.

That's up to them. But, nonetheless, we still think we have a chance to win this. But nobody would have ever expected that we would be this close. Well, we expected it, but the, shall we say, conventional wisdom, however conventional it was or how unwise it was.

But let me just salute the Senate. This is so -- such a cause for celebration. Chuck Schumer was so correct when he said it was a victory for the people and for the country. I personally know that it's a joy to Harry Reid, wherever -- in heaven, as he is, that his state came through with the victory that gave us the majority in the Senate.

BASH: Madam Speaker, you told my colleague Anderson Cooper that your decision about whether to stay in the House leadership will be affected by the attack on your husband, Paul.


BASH: As a human, anybody could understand that comment to mean that you're a wife who is dealing with trauma in your family after that unbelievable attack.


BASH: Another way to look at it, as somebody who's covered you for a long time, is that maybe you're emboldened and you feel more of a responsibility to stay.

Which is it?

PELOSI: Well, the fact is, any decision to run is about family and also my colleagues.

And what we want to do is go forward in a very unified way, as we go forward to prepare for the Congress at hand and then, after some respite, get ready for the next election.

I don't want to be -- I don't -- I say to the members, recreate and re-create are the same word. We -- people have to recreate. They have to rest. They have to get ready. But, nonetheless, a great deal is at stake, because we will be in a presidential election.


So, my decision will then be rooted in what -- the wishes of my family and the wishes of my caucus. But none of it will be very much considered until we see what the outcome of all of this is.

BASH: And.

PELOSI: But there are all kinds of ways to exert influence.

I mean, just -- speaker has awesome power, but I will always have influence.

BASH: Do you intend to make your decision by the time the leadership elections are scheduled to take place, which is November 30?

PELOSI: Yes. Yes, that -- we have -- we have a couple more weeks before. Just -- we have a couple more weeks.

BASH: But you will make a decision before that?

PELOSI: Of course.

Well, you know what? I'm not asking anybody for everything. People are campaigning. And that's a beautiful thing. And I'm not asking anyone for anything. My members are asking me to consider doing that. But, again, let's just get through the election.

BASH: Your members are asking you to continue running again?

PELOSI: There are only so many hours a day, only so many hours in the day.

And we are so completely focused on our political time, our official time, on making sure that we win and prepare for the lame-duck, whether it's debt ceiling, or whether it's other legislation that is necessary for the people as we go forward.

So, I have a day job.


BASH: Yes, you do.

PELOSI: And I do.

And, again, part of it is to be the political leader and to get us the best possible victory, and then not worrying about my future, but for the future of -- for the American people.

BASH: Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House, appreciate you coming on.

PELOSI: My pleasure. Thank you. Good morning.

BASH: Thank you.

And if Democrats do not take the House or keep the House, it could be thanks to a poor showing in New York, of all places, which I just discussed with the House speaker.

A New York Democratic congressman who lost his primary there joins our panel next.




QUESTION: Are you still confident that Democrats could keep the race?

BIDEN: I'm confident they could, yes. Whether they will -- look, it's an outside -- it's a stretch. Everything has to fall our way.

I'm predicting that, as I have said all along, it would be perilously close. We can win it. Whether we're going to win it remains to be seen.


BASH: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.

President Biden talking about the race for the House after Democrats claimed control of the Senate last night.

My panel joins me now. We're all certainly wide awake and not tired after this week at all.


BASH: Brad Todd, you are a Republican strategist. You worked on pretty much all of the big Senate races.

BRAD TODD, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Most of them on the outside, yes.

BASH: For the Republicans.

TODD: For the Republicans.

BASH: What happened?

TODD: Well, certainly, it's -- it wasn't the night we thought we were going to get.

And if you look at most of the polling late, most of the races were within one or two points. We felt like the undecided voters who were -- disapproved of Joe Biden and thought the economy was most important, we thought they'd break us. And I don't think they did.

I think we got what we polled. So we lost most of them by one or two points.

BASH: Why?

TODD: Well, I think it'd be a mistake to oversimplify it.

I think, first off, our primary voters have got to be a little bit more pragmatic in their choices. Our donors have to step up. In five of the seven top Senate races, we got outspent 2-1. Our leaders in Washington have to be a lot clearer. There was resistance among a lot of Republican leaders in Washington to issuing a policy agenda that voters could endorse.

That's mistake. We can't do that again. So, I think we also have to change some of our campaign tactics. Democrats turned Republican candidates upside down in the summer, and they beat us in the mail and early vote. We can't that -- either of those happen again.

BASH: S.E.? S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I like the way you put it. Primary voters need to be more pragmatic in their choices.


CUPP: That's another way of saying that candidate quality matters, right?

Mitch McConnell knew this. Donald Trump said, no, it doesn't. And I think that's absolutely true.

Look, I think voters were split. There were four buckets, right? You have got crime and the economy over on the left. You had Roe and democracy -- sorry -- on the left -- and Roe and democracy on the left. And it was always going to be where -- where do these voters come down in these four buckets?

And I think the answer is all of the above. All of the above mattered to a lot of people. Crime and the economy mattered. And pretending that crime was a Republican invention did not work for Democrats where they tried that.

But democracy mattered too, and so did Roe. People thought Roe maybe peaked too soon for Democrats. I think it actually carried a lot of Democratic turnout.

KAREN FINNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is a really important point, because sexism, I think, played a role in how people were looking at the data, as someone who had been part of NARAL Pro-Choice America for 10 years.

And for months, we were seeing in the data that it was not a situation where women were just going to be angry, and then go sit down and worry about the cost of eggs, right? This was a tectonic cultural shift, and young voters, how they felt it, as an affront to how they see themselves as human beings in a democracy.

For women, again, it was taking away a right that many of us have had our whole lives, but also that it was a gateway to other rights potentially being taken away and a real understanding, and that plays with democracy.

The other couple things I will say, when we talk about economy, I said this on the show two weeks ago. It's not just -- you can't just look at how voters rank. It's the intensity. We were seeing voters that had the same intensity around economy as they did -- for black voters, protecting voting rights, for women, Roe v. Wade.


I also want to give my party tremendous credit for early investment in black and brown voters and in the ground game. It is something that -- as you know, I worked for Howard Dean at the DNC -- we have been calling for, for a very long time. I want us to learn the lesson. It worked. It's not just that the Republicans lost. Democrats actually actively won. BASH: For sure.


TODD: I want to say, CNN's exit poll says Republicans got 13 percent of black voters. That's about 6 or 7 percent more than we got four years ago. It says we got 40 percent Hispanic voters, also a historic high, 34 percent of Jewish voters, also a historic high, 40 percent of Asian voters, more than we have had in a generation.

Republicans' tent got a lot more diverse this time. Democrats outcampaigned us in the districts that mattered.


BASH: I just want to -- sorry -- I just want to get Congressman Mondaire Jones in.

As I do, I just want to -- because the House has not yet called and we need to be saying that over again. This is still very dynamic, 20 uncalled races right now. And if Democrats can get 14 of those, they keep the House.


BASH: On that note, you are a Democrat from New York, and you lost a primary. The map was a little bit messed up. I think that's probably an understatement.

You tweeted the word "Yikes" after the man who else did you from your seat, the Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, who happens to be the DCCC chair, lost his race.

Did your home state -- did your home state Democrats kind of screw this up for the national party?

JONES: Redistricting in New York was an incompetent disaster. And it started, by the way, like many of the recent horrible things in New York, with a guy by the name of Andrew Cuomo, who...

FINNEY: Preach.


JONES: A lot of folks don't know that the reason we lost a congressional seat in New York state is because 89 more people did not complete the census.

The governor at the time could have dispersed funds that the legislature had allocated for purposes of census completion.

BASH: So, this is Andrew Cuomo's fault?

JONES: And then it's -- because it's also the fault of federal and state legislators in New York, and then the legislature, which could have made their independent redistricting commission's consensus- building more efficient did not put money behind his own ballot referendum that would have accomplished that, because they always intended to overrule the independent redistricting commission with their supermajority vote.

And, as a result, you have had the chair of the DCCC, in coordination with Democratic leaders in Albany, pushed through an aggressive gerrymander that the court of appeals struck down as blatantly illegal. And, as a result, you have the nightmare scenario where you have the House majority now being deprived to Democrats potentially because of New York, a deeply blue states did.

BASH: You're clearly upset, as a New Yorker.


JONES: Can I also say something else?

BASH: Yes.

JONES: If you care about the economy, as many Democratic voters and independent voters do, you also voted for Democratic candidates this cycle.

I mean, I have watched so many of my Republican colleagues, almost to a person, vote against lowering costs for working families. We just passed the Inflation Reduction Act in August, for example, which will lower the cost of prescription drugs. Not a single Republican voted for it. We were able to run on that.

They didn't vote for the American Rescue Plan. Only a dozen of them voted for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which is creating millions of good-paying jobs in districts around the country. So we were able to vote -- we were able to talk about how we are working to lower costs and address inflation, whereas folks like Rick Scott and others in the party, they wanted to talk about inflation without articulating a plan.

And then, when we got Rick Scott's plan, it turns out that he wanted to lower taxes for really wealthy people and cut Medicare and Social Security.

BASH: S.E., as a Republican -- are you still a Republican?

CUPP: You can call me a conservative.


BASH: OK. As a conservative, what do you think about that?


CUPP: Well, listen, Democrats, I think, did the right thing.

I know they got pooh-poohed a lot for focusing on democracy, this very nebulous idea. But it was important, and it was important that they talked about it. I think that was effective. But it was also important that they talk about the economy. And it's

tough for Democrats, because a lot of what Joe Biden has done won't be felt by voters for years and years and years. It's not like he put a check in the mail. And that's hard to communicate, but they did a good enough job that they kept the Senate and might win the House.


FINNEY: But you also had Republicans, some of whom even have worked on bipartisan legislation, who refused to even run on that.

And I do want to give props to the vice president, because she was out there campaigning several days a week, keeping reproductive freedom at the forefront, which, for many families, is actually an economic issue.

BASH: I have to, before we run out of time, look ahead to this special announcement, as he's calling it...


BASH: ... that Donald Trump is going to make on Tuesday.

Brad, you have worked for several Republican candidates. You have worked in Republican politics for a long time. Would a Trump announcement be good for the party?


TODD: There's only one announcement that would be good for the party Tuesday night, and that is him encouraging every Republican to donate Herschel Walker in Georgia.

The voters are not ready for 2024; 2022's elections are not over. And every Republican American, no matter whether they're a former president or a former dogcatcher, needs to be focused on helping Herschel Walker win in Georgia.

BASH: Would that hurt him?

TODD: Every Republican needs to pitch in. This is time for every Republican to pitch in.

BASH: No, but would it divert attention?

TODD: I hope the former president asks his fellow Republicans to donate. That's what I hope he does.


BASH: Yes.

FINNEY: Having done the Georgia special election in 2021, absolutely.

Donald Trump...

CUPP: But diverting attention is what he's good at. That's what he wants.

TODD: He's going to make an announcement, no matter what you want.

CUPP: He's first. It's not America first. It's Trump first always.


FINNEY: But if voters in Georgia think that Donald Trump is going to be running Herschel Walker in the Senate, they're not going to vote for...


TODD: Well, he's not. Preposterous. He's not going to be. Everybody -- nobody thinks that.

BASH: All right, Guys, we're out of -- we're out of time.

Great discussion. Thank you so much for coming in. Appreciate it.

And tune in on Wednesday, when my co-anchor, Jake Tapper, hosts a town hall with former Vice President Mike Pence. That's at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Thank you so much for spending your Sunday morning with us.

Fareed Zakaria picks up next.