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tv   CNN Tonight with Don Lemon  CNN  October 21, 2020 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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be in a boardroom or business meeting and be manexplained when your idea is better and you're smarter than the men in the room. these black men think if i get the money and capital i'll be treated equally. they're in for a rude awakening, that's not how it works and women, especially black women, know that. these men are being bamboozled and played by the trump folks. i think it will not sway but motivate some black men to get to the polls. listen, president obama is very popular among all demographics except for the folks who hate him because they're strong trump supporters. but women who we call the church hat ladies, my mom, my aunts, my sisters, my young nieces, yeah, if it's not for barack obama,
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it's certainly michelle obama, trust. >> and do you think that the poll for biden with those who love obama is stronger than it was for clinton? >> oh, yeah. this is not 2016 anymore. look at likability, in the '16 election we were saying these are the two most unliked candidates in modern history and it was true. unfavorability rating very high, favorability ratings very low. so yeah. joe biden is not hillary clinton, he's pretty much universally liked, like a warm sweater. republicans or trump supporters will say it's mr. rogers and make fun of him on "snl" but that's what many americans want at this point given the histrionics. >> and since when is mr. rogers a bad thing? >> i love him.
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>> who would have thought on night with breaking news you're taking on tonight that iran is behind the emails from the proud boys trying to scare voters that their efforts and russia's efforts would not be as powerful as our own president to shake confidence in our election. >> let me say this. um in these times i think we have to approach the news and information like that with more skepticism than ever. doesn't mean it's not true, but i just think that anything that happens -- was it you or someone, someone very politically minded person said if there's new information or some sort of sandal thcandal th happens in last two weeks of election, you need to be skeptical of it because you don't know what's behind it. i'm skeptical of this information, not saying it's not true but christopher wray's hand
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could have been forced. >> radcliff was saying they're out to get trump also, happened to be the same night that obama -- just saying it for you don. >> to think could get address and phone number and send letter and email, it's not hard to do. >> but it's scary to get the message from group of proud boys. >> scary for some of the folks at home. most would look at that, really? i know that's bs. i would laugh at it, not think it's real. someone tell me i must vote for someone else? come on, really? not going to do that. same people who email me, say give me your social security number, i have money to mail you back. >> i still haven't gotten the money. >> there you go, it's not real. >> oh! >> over the last four years what have we been talking about?
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russians, chinese, iran, election interference. what is the big revelation? >> the president is doing it worse. big show coming up. d. lemon, i love you. >> sometimes i love you, not all the time. i'm don lemon following multiple huge breaking news stories at this hour. 13 days before election day, hastily called press conference reveals election interference and former president obama takes aim at president and this time it's personal. >> he hasn't shown any interest in doing the work, helping anybody but himself and his friends or treating the presidency like a reality show that he can use to get attention. and by the way, even then his tv ratings are down, so you know that upsets him. [ honking sounds ] >> but the thing is this is not
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a reality show, this is reality. and the rest of us have had to live with the consequences of him proving himself incapable of taking the job seriously. at least 220,000 americans have died. >> just as much as it's political, helping his former vice president joe biden defeat donald trump, remember president barack obama is 0-1 as campaign surrogate against donald trump who built his political career on the racist birther lie against barack obama that he wasn't born in this country. president obama asking you to consider the man running for office this time, joe biden. >> i can tell you this, joe biden would never call the men and women of our military suckers or losers. who does that? why are folks making excuses for
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that? that's just him. no, it's -- no! there are consequences to these actions. they embolden other people to be cruel and divisive. and racist. and it frays the fabric of our society. and it affects how our children see things. and it affects the ways that our families get along. it affects how the world looks at america. that behavior matters. character matters. >> so this is what i was just talking about with chris. literally minutes after that barn burner of a speech wraps up, after president obama tears
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president trump to shreds in a key swing state in front of a large television audience. speech that finished at 6:30 p.m. fbi director, director of the president's -- political appointee of the president rather than intelligence professional, announces at 6:50 p.m. a hastily scheduled press conference where they took no questions but revealed both iran and russia have obtained u.s. voter registration in effort to interfere in our election, including iran posing as far right proud boys to send emails to voters. >> we have confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by iran and separately by russia. this data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate
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false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos and undermine your confidence in american democracy. to that end we've already seen iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage president trump. >> that raises a lot of unanswered questions, timing just being one of them. we're going to get into all of that tonight. what motivation does the dni have releasing this now and framing it the way he has? cnn has learned that emails were sent to voters in multiple states claiming to be from the proud boys saying you must vote for trump on election day or we will come after you.
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ratcliff didn't say how this harms the trump. earned the wrath by saying russian election interference is real, wray saying this. >> we are not going to tolerate foreign interference in our elections or any criminal activity that threatens the sav sanctity of your vote or undermines public confidence in outcome of the election. when we see indications of foreign interference we're going to aggressively investigate and work with partners to take action. >> hastily called press conference comes on the biggest night yet on the campaign trail, with just 13 days to go until election day. less than 24 hours until the scheduled final presidential debate. with the coronavirus death toll in this country over 221,000,
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former president slamming trump for ignoring the pandemic playbook the obama administration literal left behind for them. >> we literally left this white house a pandemic playbook that would have shown them how to respond before the virus reached our shore. they probably used it to, i don't know, prop up a wobbly table somewhere, we don't know where that playbook went. a month into this pandemic, cases are rising again across this country. donald trump isn't suddenly going to protect all of us, he can't even take the basic steps to protect himself. >> ooh, that was a burn. i think i missed that one earlier. yet president trump would like you to know he doesn't care at all about former president barack obama. not at all. >> somebody said, sir, maybe
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this isn't -- president obama's campaigning for sleepy joe biden. and i said huh, that's good and bad news. are you saying good for bad? i guess it's bad. no it's good. nobody campaigned harder for kroo crooked hillary clinton. >> i'm sure you've watched me before and said what is going on with the makeup. but he's orange, never seen him that color, what is happening? you haven't noticed that? it's very, very odd. okay. anyway. had to say that. just look. all that as the coronavirus is surging all across this country, not one single state trending in right direction. cases rising in 26 states and holding steady in 24. more than 221,000 americans are
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dead, yet the president says he wouldn't do anything differently. >> with covid, is there anything you think you could have done differently, if you had mulligan or do-over on one aspect, what would it be? >> not much. it's all over the world, you have a lot of great leaders, smart people. it's all over the world. >> not much. as our dr. sanjay gupta says, it's absurd that our president is saying best he could do is be worst in the world. we're best at being worst? i don't know. maybe, these are just a few suggestions. take notes if you're watching, mr. president. maybe he might want a do-over on saying injecting disinfectant or using a powerful light would kill the virus. maybe. >> i said supposing you brought the light inside the body, which
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you can do either through the skin or in some other way, and i think you said you're going to test that too, sounds interesting. then i see the disinfectant knocks it out in a minute. one minute. >> okay. maybe he might have second thoughts about refusing to wear a mask because he didn't want to be seen in one in front of presidents, prime ministers and quote dictators, or repeatedly saying the virus would disappear like a miracle. >> i think wearing the face mask as i greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, i don't know, somehow i don't see it for myself. >> he sure didn't, did he? maybe he could rethink saying this. >> people were saying maybe we shouldn't do anything, just ride it. they say ride it like a cowboy.
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just ride it, ride that sucker right through. >> so maybe he might want a do-over on saying this about more than 221,000 dead americans. >> they are dying, that's true, and it is what it is. >> it is what it is. that's why he is where he is tonight. fighting for his political life with just 13 days to go until election day. you know, we are certainly learning that president barack obama will head to florida, going to keep on the campaign trail, head to florida on saturday to campaign for biden in a state that is a must-win for president trump. i'm going to speak with former obama administration official about the strategy behind the
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president's speech. we've got much more to come in all breaking news tonight, including the hastily announced press conference to announce russia and iran have interfered in our election. lots of unanswered questions and evan perez and josh campbell are here to break it down after the break. stock slices.
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>> here's our breaking news, with only 13 days to go until election day, director of national intelligence in a hastily arranged press conference saying tonight russia and iran are interfering in the election, glossing over the russia part and accusing iran as posing as far right group the proud boys and sending intimidating emails to voters. mr. perez and mr. campbell. good evening, gentlemen. thank i so much. evan, what is going on here, why did they announce this tonight in this manner at this time? >> don, i hear your skepticism but it is something, talking to people in the intelligence community last couple of hours,
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appea appears this is something they're very concerned about. a couple of weeks out from the election and it is indicator of how concerned they are about the activity from some of the countries including russia, iran and china. and what could happen in coming weeks. of course the whole setup is that the president has been the one trying to undermine some of the faith that people have, faith that people have in integrity of the system. appears these intelligence agencies from these countries are taking advantage of what the president has laid out. this in particular, the iran case, according to officials tonight, it is the case that these emails were being sent by iranians. it was intimidating and threatening people if they did not vote for trump would come after them. appears this data was stolen from some of the state systems.
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raises a lot of concern. we don't know what russiaens ar going to do with the data, they have the same information. they haven't done anything about it yet, that's why concerned about it. >> stolen from the system or publicly available data? addresses and emails is publicly available -- you don't need sophisticatedvati sophisticat sophisticated operation to get emails and addresses and names. >> i hear that skepticism as well. some of the states saying they have no indication of intrusion. in recent days we have alerts gone out from the fbi, from intelligence agencies alerting the states they were indications there were intrusions of systems and warning them to patch their systems. that's a warning that was issued in recent days. does appear there was legitimate
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concern some of the systems were not as secure. again, bottom line is your vote is safe, none of the intrusions could get you to change your vote or affect the vote count but there are problems that need to be fixed to make sure people are not losing faith come election day. >> okay. so listen. got a bunch of questions for josh. but play again part of what director of national intelligence john ratcliffe said tonight. >> we've already seen iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage president trump. >> okay. cnn has obtained the emails sent to voters in multiple states. one read -- you will vote for trump on election day or we will come after you. listen, how is that intimidating
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and not a spoof? and how is this damaging to trump? >> there are a lot of questions there. what we got was attribution as the intelligence community calls it, attributing efforts to particular nation-state but not a lot of information about the why. but a snippet from the director saying this was designed to hurt president trump. problem with the iranian issue, if you play it out logically and risk running a deductive fallacy, he's saying that iranians knew they were going to get caught and that would expose this as proud boys being set up as victims here. which -- that's a jump in logic that requires a couple of steps. basically we don't know, don, don't have a lot of information. what he did not say, dni didn't
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mention russia issue. going back to 2016, intelligence community had assessed that russia was working to help president donald trump. here the dni talking about iran and victim being president trump, talking about russia but not mentioning that was designed to hurt vice president joe biden. what we saw today don is precisely what the intelligence community is expected to do when you see operation. way to mitigate the threats it inoculate the public. getting emails they don't know what they are, incumbent to inoculate them, describe what this is, what this isn't. that part they did by the book. >> i agree with you 100%. skepticism not for wray, he's a straight shooter. but ratcliff. essentially would think two different press conferences. wray is saying your vote is
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safe, feel confident your vote will get counted, even with mail. then ratcliff gie giving anothe thing. i have to run, tell me quickly. could they have put out press release and have the media give the information? you might have gotten emails, pay no attention to the emails behind the closet, man behind the curtain? just seems odd. >> timing and method is question. and at fbi headquarters, raises questions about putting the fbi good housekeeping stamp of approval on this. director wray was public service and dni ratcliffe is getting into the weeds. this is why folks are right to be skeptical is the dni's history. he's raised eyebrows by some of his actions, selectively declassifying some information.
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it is right for the intelligence community to inoculate the public and mitigate the threats but former politician out there will raise questions about whether it's above board. >> 100%. josh, thank you. evan will be back later. he has new reporting. thank you both. stay with us, more breaking news, president obama stumping for joe biden, making case that president trump inherited good things from his administration and he squandered them. i'll speak with someone who worked in obama white house, former press secretary, there he is, jake harney, next. you are so fast! i discovered a new land! with magical creatures! was it under the porch? yup! ugh. i'll never see everything she sees. that's why we use new tide hygienic clean. it gets between fibers to remove visible and invisible dirt.
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the former president barack obama on fire tonight, delivering a full-throated, blistering rebuke of president trump's four years in office.
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speaking in philadelphia, first stump speech for the biden/harris campaign, just 13 days to go until election day. >> look, i get this president wants full credit for the economy he inherited, and zero blame for the pandemic that he ignored. but you know what, the job doesn't work that way. tweeting at the television doesn't fix things. making stuff up doesn't make people's lives better. you got to have a plan. you've got to put in the work. >> so i want to bring in jay carney, former white house press secretary for president obama and former director of communications for vice president joe biden. you doing okay? >> great. thanks for having me. >> it's not typical for a president to attack successor tonight but he was firing.
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why was it important? >> first of all, so great to see him and hear him on the campaign trail. he would have been out earlier had there not been the pandemic and more often i think he will be able to be out. he's still wildly popular, in many ways more than he's ever been, within the democratic party and broadly within the general electorate. he can move voters. he's a persuasive figure. he is a reminder of what normalcy looks like. what a government that works hard to implement policies they believe are the right things for the american people. and goes about their business without creating a lot of chaos and undermining institutions and attacking their critics personally. so i think it's nice to see him out there. i know the vice president biden
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appreciates it. their relationship is stronger than ever and it's great to see. >> so i got to ask you, it was interesting to see the former president out on the sidewalk in philadelphia with a bullhorn, right? and he said listen, caveat that he gave there, i didn't expect this president to carry out my policies or my agenda. so when people say it's personal for this president, do you think it's personal for him as well as a duty he sees duty here? >> it's personal in the sense he's a citizen. i know for a fact that when he left office he fully intended to stay on the sidelines, the way that president george w. bush did when he took office, and the way that former presidents tend to do. and he held his tongue for a very long time. but what he sees i think is what so many see, which that the
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current situation in our politics is undermining the foundations of our democracy, tearing at the fabric that holds us together as a nation and he's riled up about it and worried about it. and he feels, i think -- i know that trump re-election victory and four more years would he believes undermine america to the point where it would be very hard to turn back, regain our stature in the world, restore civility in our politics, and to, you know, provide the kind of benefits to the american people like health care and a living wage that i think he believes joe biden can deliver. >> speaking of joe biden, listen, poll after poll you see joe biden is the candidate that people believe can unite the country. just want to put up a poll here.
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biden is ahead 10% in pennsylvania, no clear leader in florida, it's amazing that florida is competitive right now and other states as well. but the big theme from the former president tonight was voting. told democrats, do not get complacent, do not get lazy. how many complacent democrats do you know? >> well, i fear if there's one out there, there's one too many. only because a poll two weeks out from election day doesn't win anything. we have too much experience where polls are off just enough to change the outcome off election -- not change it but incorrectly predict the outcome of an election. every damn vote counts. that's just true for anybody who is a citizen and believes in this country and wants to participate in our democracy, no matter whom they vote for.
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i don't believe those polls. not because i doubt the polling is more refined and better than 2016 but because it's imperfect science. >> snapshot of what's happening right now. >> and as likely to tighten as widen, and i think it's imperative that folks don't just, you know, take comfort in seeing predictions of outcome they prefer. they have to go out and do their -- take their responsibility seriously, cast their ballot. >> if you speak to or see the former president, tell him would be a great guest on this show, would love having him. just like i love having you. >> it's a great pleasure. thanks for having me. >> maybe i'll talk to you before the election. stay with us, we're going to keep bringing you latest on all of this as we get it. g,
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former president barack obama not holding back tonight in his takedown of donald trump's presidency and heartfelt call for americans to put joe biden in the white house. reaching out to working people in pennsylvania who might be struggling economically, reminding them of the "new york times" report that trump, a rich businessman, has paid almost nothing in taxes. >> if you only pay $750 in taxes, then maybe, maybe might not know what working people are going through here in pennsylvania. we cannot afford four more years of this, philadelphia. but the good news is, right now you can choose change. right now you can vote for my friend joe biden. and his running mate, kamala
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harris. as the next president and vice president of the united states of america. >> i want to bring in cnn senior political reporter nia-malika henderson and white house correspondent john hardwood. president obama was blistering tonight, brought up trump's failure on the coronavirus, tax returns, crazy tweets. do you think the timing of the first campaign speech was any accident, right before the last debate, likely to get underneath president trump's skin. >> it already has, he was in north carolina rally after the speak referring to him as barack hussein obama and saying his inauguration crowd was bigger than obama's, which it definitely wasn't. president has an ability to
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reach a broad swath of voters. but most important thing i think he did tonight was not triggering trump for the debate tomorrow, which he will, but encouraging marginal voters, younger voters of color especially, telling them it's not hopeless, not going to solve everything overnight but we can make things better and that's reason to go vote. hillary clinton had a drop-off from president obama's turnout levels in philadelphia, milwaukee, detroit, helped tip the election to donald trump. that's where i think the president can be especially useful to the biden campaign. >> nia, i want to play more, then we'll talk. here it is. >> and with joe and kamala at the helm, you're not going to have to think about the crazy things they said every day. and that's worth a lot. you're not going to have to argue about them every day.
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it just won't be so exhausting. you might be able to have a thanksgiving dinner without having an argument. you'll be able to go about your lives knowing that the president is not going to retweet conspiracy theories about secret cabals running the world or that navy seals didn't actually kill bin laden. think about that, president of the united states retweeted that. >> where is that world he's talking about? i want to go to there. nia, were you expecting obama to go in like that? >> no. the phrase i kept thinking of as i was listening to his speech, reading someone for -- that's what he was doing.
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chapters and verse, receipts about conspiracy theories. essentially called him america's crazy uncle who has all this power and using it to divide people along racial lines. a meticulously crafted speech, delivered in conversational way, almost as if you run into barack obama at church or barber shop or wherever and he was just riffing off the top of his head, really not only tearing down this president but also building up joe biden. that was obviously part of it too. in that clip you played, a big part of it. also the populist message, donald trump cares about himself, joe biden cares about you. you know joe biden and joe biden knows you, that's very important to folks in pennsylvania, biden is from scranton, also important message more broadly. >> he's making the point that the way the president, this
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current president, president trump treats the presidency with all the conspiracies and way he raises the blood pressure of the entire country, that it is not normal. >> right. and that it is exhausting. that's one of the points he was making. this is just tiresome and dangerous too for the president to traffic in such conspiracy theories. >> thank you both. appreciate it. bred for filth, i was thinking bearing thing. made me laugh. thank you both. mitt romney telling cnn he didn't vote for president trump. my next guest used to be chair of the rnc, and he's backing biden. uh, honey? isn't that the dog's towel? hey, me towel su towel.
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so some republicans walking away from president trump. today the president's 2012 nominee, mitt romney, is the latest to break with trump. romney put it simply, telling cnn on capitol hill today, i did not vote for president trump. charlie baker made the same decision, a spokesman saying a governor cannot support donald trump for president and is focused on seeing massachusetts through the pandemic. he'll leave the election analysis to the pundits. and yesterday michael steel announced he'll be voting -- he will be voting for joe biden. he's also a senior adviser to the lincoln project, and guess what. he is here with me live now. good to see you, sir. you doing okay? >> i'm doing well, don, doing really well. >> when did you reach a breaking
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point with this president and decide to vote for joe biden, michael? >> 2016. that was the breaking point. i didn't vote for him in '16. but i think, you know, look, not to make light of the seriousness of the decision, it was a very hard decision to make. i understand my role inside the party and what i've done on behalf of the party over a long time. but you get to a point, don, where it's about the country, man. it's not about the politics anymore. it's not about the partisanship. it's not about a piece of legislation. when you see the wholesale deconstruction of the very tenets of our founding around this idea of democracy and checks and balances and a president who looks the american people in the eye and says i can do whatever i want. you can't stop me. and my response is, oh yeah, we can. we can vote you out, and we will. so, for me, it was a very
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important moment. and i wanted to share it with the country. i could have kept it to myself, but i watched my party also walk away from the responsibility it had to govern and to lead and to push back against, oh, yeah, there are fine people on both sides, or to push back against putting kids in cages or to push back against this idea that putin is actually a friend of the u.s. just from domestic to foreign policy to what we saw play out in lafayette square to what we've seen just recently with covid-19, his own -- his own battle with covid-19, dismissed about it. the first lady is at home right now battling covid-19 -- >> not on the campaign trail because she still has a lingering cough from it. and his son had it well. we wish them well. what you're saying is the truth. when you hear other republicans say they will not vote for trump but they don't say that they're going to vote for biden, do you
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think they're doing enough? >> you know, that's actually -- that's a personal decision. and i respect them for it. look, i get it. not everyone can cross the rubicon like i did. you know? i know what that means, and i know what it says. and i'm not going to judge someone else's walk. they have their reasons and their rationale for saying, look, i'm just not voting for the president. i'll vote for someone else. and that's fine. they'll write someone's name in. whatever. and i understand that. so i'm not going to judge it. where i'd like to see the action is, okay, that's your vote. i get that. but can you also share with us why you're not doing it? can you just put on the record officially the problems that we see every day, that we've come to realize every day with this leadership, the handling of covid-19, the flatlining of the economy, the lack of concern about race and policing in this country. all these things matter to americans. can you at least speak to that?
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okay, we get it. you're not voting for trump. but can you at least speak to that to give the rest of us clarity and reinforcement? >> i've got to ask you because steve bannon has said if trump loses 3% to 4% of the establishment republicans, it could sink him. what are your polls and research showing you? are there that many of you right now, enough to sink him, 3% to 4%? >> yeah, that's always been the great fallacy that, you know, the republican party was just awash with trumpism. that is not the case. it still references a very small portion of rank and file republicans inside the party. and you see that now as more and more, particularly in suburban america, even among white men which was a big part of the support and the base that the president had, some peeling off there. so, the reality of it is the
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impact of covid more than anything else has put a spotlight on leadership and has put a spotlight on character. and so a lot of folks realize, yeah, it kind of matters who's behind the resolute desk in making big decisions that impact my job, my family, my community, my health. and so it matters. so, for a lot of those republicans, it's just kind of nice to see more and more of them coming out, speaking to that inside/outside the administration. and i think that will be more over the next few weeks. so, yeah, it's a problem. it's a bleed in the rank and file for trump because he's got to make that vote up somewhere, don. >> yeah. >> you lose a voter, you've got to find two. >> all right. >> and that's typically how we do it in this game. >> this is how we do it. >> this is how we do it. >> i've got to get to the top of the next hour. michael, thank you. it's a pleasure seeing you. thank you for coming on. you be well, okay? >> i will. and i want to let folks know lincoln project is hosting a
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town hall, an african-american voter town hall this monday. go to lincoln project website to get more details. it's going to be a great discussion. appreciate you bro. breaking news tonight, the director of national intelligence announcing russia and iran have interfered in our election. stay with us for the latest. congestion anty with vicks sinex saline nasal mist. for drug free relief that works fast. vicks sinex. instantly clear everyday congestion. after a cool summer swim... the lake you found... and the day pretends like it's not going to end... that's pure gold. ♪
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