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tv   State of the Union With Jake Tapper and Dana Bash  CNN  October 2, 2022 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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♪ in ruin, dozens are dead and more than 800,000 still without power as hundreds of thousands are now homeless. >> it's destroyed, it's ruined, and you have to start all over again. >> but are there some areas where americans shouldn't rebuild? i'll speak with our guests about it. and upping the ante, ukraine takes back a city, one day after
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vladimir putin illegally annexes four regions. >> there's no checks on mr. putin. can the west keep him under control? plus the road to 2018, virginia becomes a battleground for one of the most competitive house races in the country. >> you look across the spectrum, the number is 218. >> i spent time in a district that could prove decisive. ♪ hello, i'm dana bash in washington where the state of our union is picking up the pieces after a devastating storm. the numbers and images are staggering. at least 67 are dead in florida, four in north carolina, more than 850,000 still in the dark this morning. hundreds of thousands now essentially refugees days after hurricane ian swept ashore and swept away life as many know it. already more than a thousand
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civilians have been rescued and evacuated according to the governor's office. we're getting a clearer view of ian's map-altering impact. entire stretches of florida's coastline are gone. once sprawling community like sanibel island, are completely shattered. homes and businesses, what they looked before on the left and what they look like now, piles of concrete rubble strewn on the beach on the right. tomorrow president biden and the first lady will travel to puerto rico severely damaged by hurricane fiona and on to florida on wednesday where estimates put the storm-related damage in the tens of billions. i want to go straight to the person leading the national recovery effort, fema administrator deanne criswell. administrator criswell, thank you for joining me. you took a tour on friday at the devastation in florida, entire communities as we just showed destroyed. how did what you saw on the ground compare to other storms that we've seen in recent years?
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>> good morning, dana. yes, i spent the last two days in florida and friday had the opportunity to travel with the governor to survey some of the impacts that we have been hearing about and that we've been seeing on the news. the impacts are devastating. the western coast of florida, many homes completely destroyed, several that are damaged, communities that are going to have a long road to recovery. we also saw homes that are still under water in the central part of florida, as ian caused intense flooding as it crossed the state. this is going to be an all-of-government response and
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recovery effort and it's going to be an all-of-society, bringing together all of our partners to help these people, to help all these families get on their road to recovery. >> do you expect the death toll to continue to rise significantly? and how long do you expect it to take for the power to be restored statewide? >> you know, unfortunately with hurricanes of this size and that have this much catastrophic damage, fatalities are always something that we think is going to be a possibility. first i'd say that we knew this and so we've pre-positioned a large amount, probably the biggest number of search and rescue assets in the state prior to landfall to make sure we could go in immediately to start those lifesaving efforts. that's what they were able to do. they were working directly for the counties, conducting search and rescues. even as much as the day before yesterday in the central part of florida where the floodwaters were continuing to rise. those teams are still there. they're now doing primary searches which means they're going house by house to make sure that we can account for everybody. while we certainly hope that we can continue to find more people alive and bring them out, we're going to support the state in their needs as we continue to go house by house and make sure everybody is accounted for.
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>> incredibly harrowing work. you said on this show previously that powerful storms like the one we're talking about are, quote, going to be our new normal, calling climate change, quote, the crisis of our generation. ways -- was eyang worse because of the climate crisis? >> you know, we have seen and i have said that we're seeing an increase in the number of storms and in the intensity of the storms. we've also heard from the national hurricane center these storms are going to bring more rain with them. that's what we've seen in the last few storms. we're going to have a lot of time in the days to come to understand what contributed to the intensity of this storm. what i'd say right now is we are very focused on the impacts, regardless of what caused it. we want to focus on those people that were in the storm's path and make sure we're getting them the help they need. >> part of getting them the help they need is the question of where these people, many of whom
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are simply homeless, and where they're going to live. as you said, it could cost tens of billions of dollars. the areas we're seeing some of these devastating images are along a shore that is totally destroyed. have we reached a point where it might be safer and less costly to relocate people rather than spending all those billions of dollars to rebuild places that could get destroyed again? >> i think the important thing, dana, is that people need to understand what their potential risk can be, whether it's along the coast or whether it's inland along a riverbed or even in tornado alley. people need to understand what their risk is, and we need to make sure as we rebuild, we're at least rebuilding with the current building codes that are going to protect and reduce the impacts of these storms. we could see some new construction that withheld very well in some parts of the state, but certainly parts that were destroyed. it takes a combination of things, and people need to make
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informed decisions about what their risk is and if they choose to rebuild there, making sure they do it in a way that's going to reduce their threat. >> and part of understanding risk is understanding whether or not you need flood insurance. only about 18% of people living in the counties under evacuation have that insurance. those decisions are often based on fema's flood zone maps. according to the non-profit first street foundation, more than 186,000 homes at risk of flooding aren't included in your maps. i understand, we've talked about this. you said you're updating the maps, it takes time. the storm leaves countless floridians in financial ruin. what's the holdup? >> so our flood maps address a very specific type of flooding. but what i would say, dana, is that people need to understand in certain areas we require flood insurance. everybody has the ability to purchase flood insurance. if you live near water or where
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it rains, it can certainly flood. we have seen that in multiple storms this year. so, again, going back to people understanding what their potential risk is and just because you're not required to buy flood insurance doesn't mean that you don't have the option to buy it. it is certainly your best defense to help protect your property in the aftermath of any of these storms. >> you're saying regardless of what your maps say, if you live near water -- anywhere near water, you should buy flood insurance? >> i think anybody who lives near water should certainly purchase flood insurance because it's your number one tool to help protect your family and your home after the storm. >> fema administrator deanne criswell, thank you for your time. appreciate it. good luck over the next weeks to come. florida's republican senators rick scott and marco rubio are urging congress for more money to rebuild their state. what will it take and when will they get it? they're going to both join me ahead.
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plus, hurricane ian pushes governor ron desantis away from the political and towards the practical. how is the potential 2024 contender navigating what may be his biggest test yet? stay with us. my name is joshua florence, and one thing i learned being a firefighter is plan ahead. you don't know what you're getting into, but at the end of the day, you know you have a team behind you that can help you. not having to worry about the future makes it possible to make the present as best as it can be for everybody.
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like a horror movie. the scariest thing in their lives. like a horror movie. the scariest thing in their lives. people trapped in ian's path describe an ordeal like no other. >> can we get some help down here? you know, would that be too much to ask? look around here. there's nothing. we have no power, no phone service, nothing. so we'd just like a little help, i'd like a little help to get my home back in shape because i have nowhere to go. >> joining me now from the emergency operations center in
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naples, republican senator from florida rick scott who is also the state's governor. senator, thank you so much for joining me. you have led florida through storms like this for years both as governor and as senator. is this the worst you've ever seen? >> i've seen -- this is really bad. probably mexico beach with michael was horrible because nine foot of storm surge. this was actually even higher. in sanibel, pine island, fort myers beach. i watched what happened with storm surge down the keys with irma. it just pulls everything out. you just heard about the individual -- that's how people feel. one, they're alive, that's the positive. unfortunately we've lost a lot of people in this storm and your heart goes out to them. people that have gone through this, they have nothing. their home is gone. the power is not on. they don't have water. they need help. so i know everybody is working hard. i've been touring the areas,
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i've been talking with sheriffs, first responders. i know fema is here, the state is here. everyone is helping. there's a lot of need right now, a lot of need especially in places like lee, the ft. myers area. i was in kissimmee yesterday and there's areas you never think would flood that have flooded. i feel sorry for people. >> you mentioned lee county. almost half of the deaths reported so far in florida occurred in lee county where the hurricane made landfall wednesday afternoon. lee county didn't issue evacuation orders until tuesday afternoon. that was less than 24 hours before landfall. "the new york times" is reporting that there were delays in issuing that order. that's an apparent violation of their own policies for when to issue evacuation orders. did lee county fail to follow their own guidelines for when to evacuate, and did that delay cost lives? >> well, first off, every life
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is important. when i was governor, my goal was nobody died. we can rebuild anything. i don't want anybody to die. i think once we get through this and we do an assessment -- what i always try to do as governor is say, okay, what did we learn in each of these? i have four hurricanes, flooding from different hurricanes. as we go through we find out, is there things we can do better -- >> what we're learning, in fact, my colleagues have reviewed lee county's own emergency plan. what it calls for is an initial evacuation if there's even a 10% chance of a storming surge 6 feet or higher. again, the times is reporting
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that those criteria were met as early as sunday based on the national hurricane center models but the evacuation order wasn't issued on tuesday. this is something we're learning now. was that a mistake, especially given the death toll in lee county? >> i think the way you have to look at it is every loss of life, you have to say to yourself, what could you do differently next time so it never happens again? >> should that have been done differently? >> unfortunately, we can't bring people back. we're looking to find out. i want to know. the issues i had as governor is, trying to say what did i learn to try to make sure we don't lose a life? i think that everybody in every one of these emergency operations centers has to say to themselves, okay, what do we do to make sure we don't lose a life and what can we do for mitigation? it's something we have to look at. >> one other question in this, the lee county commissioner said on cnn that it was because, quote, people got complacent, and that as far as he was concerned, they had plenty of time to evacuate. is that the leadership you're looking for? it sounds like he's passing the buck on to the people who were the victims. >> well, i tell everybody, you're always responsible for your own safety. what i try to do as governor is
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try to tell people what their risks were and get people to think about, this is not just your life, it's your family's life. don't put first responders in harm's way. >> but they didn't get an evacuation order. >> i know, i mean, i think it's something we have to look at to see why it didn't happen. what you have to look at is how fast -- even if you do it, how fast can you get people out of some of these places because of just the road structure and things like that. it's something i thought about quite a bit. when i was governor, actually how fast can you get people -- once you get the evacuation notice, how fast can you get them out? you have to think that way when you do it. you have to backtrack. >> certainly a lot harder when they only have a few hours as opposed to doing the evacuation order earlier as is the lee county protocol. i want to ask you about how your successor, governor desantis, is doing. you've talked a lot in this interview about managing emergency responses.
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it's historically been a key test for governors. you, yourself, faced four major hurricanes when you were governor. what do you make of the job governor desantis is doing so far? >> well, i've been in collier, lee, sarasota, charlotte and osceola counties. here's what i'm seeing. i'm seeing the sheriff's departments are working their butts off, fire rescue, red cross is there, emergency management teams are there, fema has come in. i know everybody is working really hard. so everything i'm seeing is people are working their butts off. i'm scared to death that people haven't been rescued yet because there's still -- as of this morning there's still people to go. what i'm seeing is everybody is working their tail off. >> is that because of governor desantis' leadership? >> it takes everybody. it takes federal, state and local leadership to get this done.
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i'm appreciative that everybody cares about all these people and appreciate that everybody is working hard. >> senator, i know you're understandably very focused on what is happening in your state of florida. i have to ask you about what appears to be a threat by former president trump against your colleague, senate republican leader mitch mcconnell. trump said, quote, he has a death wish for supporting democratic-sponsored bills. he also mocked mcconnell's wife and his own former transportation secretary elaine chao as, quote, china loving and cocoa chao. you're a member of senate gop leadership. are you okay with this? >> well, i can never talk about -- respond to why anybody says what they say. the way i looked at it, i think what the president is saying is there's been a lot of money spent over the last two years.
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we've got to make sure we don't keep caving to democrats, causing unbelievable inflation and more and more debt. as you know, the president likes to give people nicknames. you can ask him how he came up with the nickname. i'm sure he has a nickname for me. here is what i know. we've got to watch how we spend our money. we've got to stop this inflation and i don't condone violence and i hope no one else condones violence. >> nicknames are one thing, but this appears racist. is that okay? >> it's never, ever okay to be a racist. i think you always have to be careful if you're in the public eye with how you say things. you want to make sure you're inclusive. you want to make sure -- yesterday the neighborhood i was in we had people probably from ten countries that lived there. that's what's great about this country. i know what i try to do is make everybody -- everybody, especially all their kids believe they have hope and live the dream of this country. i hope no one is racist.
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i hope no one says anything that's inappropriate. i'm going to do everything i can. >> senator, thank you. again, that was so beyond the pale that i really, as a member of the leadership i had to ask you about it. you are again, understandably focused on the devastation if your home state. good luck over the next days and weeks to come. >> yeah. pray for our state. >> thank you. nowhere to run. russia is forced to retreat from a strategic city as vladimir putin escalates nuclear threats. are they credible? florida senator and top republican intel member marco rubio will join me. ur dishes? you could be using the wrong detergent. and wasting up to 20 gallons of water. skip the rinse with finish quantum. its activelift technology provides an unbeatable clean on 24 hour dried-on stains. skip the rinse with finish to save our water.
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welcome back t dramatic images when ukrainian troops raised the flag over the city of liman. this one day after putin issued his latest threats. lloyd austin is now speaking about the threats. >> there's no checks on mr. pewing. n mr. putin, just as he made the irresponsible decision to invade ukraine. he could make another decision, but i don't see anything right now that would lead me to believe that putin, just as he made the irresponsible decision to invade ukraine. he could make another decision, but i don't see anything right now that would lead me to believe that he has made such a decision. >> here with me now, the vice chair of the senate intelligence committee, member of the foreign relations committee republican senator marco rubio of florida. we have a lot to get to, senator.
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of course, i want to start with the destruction in your home state after hurricane ian. president biden said this week that the federal government has given the governor everything he needs and everything he's asked for in terms of emergency response. is that what you're seeing, or is there more that florida needs from the federal government? >> well, there will be more. good morning. thank you for covering this. there will be more that's needed. as usual and always fema has been a great partner. the biden administration has responded as they said. there's no complaints there. these are professionals. i think in times like this people realize that it's not about politics, it shouldn't be. that's the way it's always been. that was our expectation. the answer is yes. we'll know what those needs are in the long term as well. there are people with no homes to return to now or in the near future. they'll be eligible for emergency assistance. we're still in the search and rescue process. those i think now begins the
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recovery efforts. and then begins the process of rebuilding to the extent possible which will take years. fort myers beach, sanibel, they'll never look the same again. these communities have basically been wiped out. so now it will be about the long term. >> the long term in that some of these communities may never fully recover? >> well, they'll recover, they just won't be the same. if you talk about, for example, fort myers beach, this is like a slice of old florida. it was still a place where a lot of families would go and create memories, my own family included on places like sanibel years ago. i think it's the first beach my daughter, who is now 22, ever went to with us. a lot of families around florida made memories on those places. they will be rebuilt. you can't rebuild old florida. some of the places who have been there for so long is just gone. >> ian isn't the only recent hurricane causing major problems it's been two weeks since hurricane fiona hit puerto rico. almost 150,000 people still don't have power. tens of thousands don't have
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clean drinking water. how do we make sure puerto rico isn't left behind again? and, ultimately, do you think puerto rico should become a state so it can be more resilient in having infrastructures for this? >> let me answer the second question first. i have long believed the people of puerto rico should be given the opportunity to vote for statehood. i think many think 50/50 thoughts there. i think statehood support has grown. they certainly have the right to have that vote. these are american citizens. i think on a per capita basis, puerto ricans serve in the service more than any other. part of the challenge with puerto rico, unlike a continuous state, the mutual aid is difficult. you have to send it there. as you pointed out close to 200,000 people still with no power. they seem to be in a better position to respond this time around, because there were pre-positioned assets, because
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part of 9 grid had been able to be rebuilt since the last storm. i have personal friends in puerto rico who in some parts of the island have gone about their lives. they have moved on, but there are still close to 200,000 people without power. as you said, probably 170,000 have no access to clean drinking water. i don't expect they'll be left behind. i think the president will be traveling there early next week as well. we'll everything we can, we always have, to support puerto rico now in the recovery after yet another devastating storm. >> senator, you wrote a letter friday to the senate appropriations committee asking for disaster relief dollars for desperately needed resources to rebuild florida communities. after hurricane sandy hit northeastern states in 2012, you voted no on the $50 billion relief package. i know you supported a smaller version. why should other senators vote for relief for your state when you didn't vote for a package to help theirs? >> oh, i've always voted for hurricane and disaster relief.
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i've even voted for it without pay-fors. what i didn't vote for in sandy, they included a roof for a museum in washington, d.c., for fisheries in alaska. it had been loaded up with things that had nothing to do with disaster relief. i would never put out there we should use a disaster relief package for florida as a way to pay for other things people want around the country. i think that's the key. in sandy, unfortunately, they loaded it up, they readily did, with a bunch of things that had nothing to do with sandy. i voted for every disaster relief package especially that's clean. and i'll continue to do so. when it comes to florida, we'll do that again and make sure the package is clean and doesn't have stuff for other people in there. >> i read the congressional research report. it sounds like that roof actually was damaged by the hurricane, and what happened in alaska was the result of another disaster, but in any event, my question is about the future.
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are you telling me that if hurricane ian relief contains anything that smells like pork, you'll vote no? >> sure. i'll fight against it having pork in it. that's the key. we shouldn't have that in there. it undermines the ability to come back and do this in the future. here is what happens and people need to understand this, it's possible to do it without loading it with these other things. otherwise you'll have people in the senate and the house that will vote against disaster relief because they view these disaster relief bills as ways for other people to get their pork and pet projects done. it undermines the ability to go back and do it again in the future. i have consistently voted for disaster relief for all parts of this country -- i've never even insisted on it being paid for -- like some people do, like where they want cuts some other parts of the budget. we shouldn't place around with this for voting for relief after key events without using it as a vehicle or mechanism for people to load it up for suv that's unrelated to the storm. senator, i want to turn to
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subjects under your purview on the intelligence committee, and, of course, a member of the foreign relations committee. big, big developments with russia. president zelenskyy said overnight the key city of liman has been liberated. do you think ukraine is on a viable path to regain the territory it's lost and ultimately win the war? >> i think they're on a key path to regain a lot of territory. i can't tell you exactly from a tactical perspective how much they'll regain. i think the bigger issue here is there really is no way for russia and putin to win this war or any of their objectives. putin is down to two choices here. number one, they can design defensive lines and say here is where we're going to draw some lines and this is the territory we'll try to hold on to and concentrate forces in that regard, and take a couple years to retrofit their forces. or, b, they can retreat and continue to lose territory.
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they certainly don't have offensive capability right now. the worry becomes the unpredictability of what putin does in a situation like that. if he decides that, for example, the nato arming and the european arming and the u.s. arming is causing him not to just lose his war and undermine his grip on power, but in fact perhaps threatening his own forces inside of russia, i think it's quite possible that he could end up striking some of these distribution places where these supplies are coming through including inside poland. a lot of talk about nuclear, but the thing i worry about is a russian attack inside nato territory, for example, aiming at the airport in poland or some other distribution point. >> would nato have to respond? >> i think it would depend on the nature of the strike and how the other allies within nato would respond. there certainly would be an attack on one. so, therefore, certainly nato will have to respond to it. how it will respond, i think a lot will depend on the nature of the attack and the scale and scope of it. i think that's really the biggest fear i have right now, is he would conduct an attack against a nato supply center --
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inside of a place like poland. that would certainly raise the specter of a direct russian attack against a nato ally. >> you mentioned you're more worried of that than him potentially using any nuclear weapons. several biden officials, saying that they haven't seen evidence that poulin will imminently use a nuclear weapon. as the top republican on the intelligence committee, is that what you're seeing as well? >> well, i wouldn't comment on what they're seeing or not seeing. i'm not saying the risk of him detonating a nuclear device as a demonstration is zero. i think the risk is higher today than it was a month ago. if you walk down the escalation path, before he gets to that point, there's probably something he would do intermediate which would probably be, for example -- what's the purpose of a tactical nuclear weapon detonated for demonstration purposes? it's to send a message.
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i think if he believes this arming of ukraine is what's causing him to lose this war and potentially his position of power, he may strike one of these logistical points, and that logistical point may not be inside of ukraine. to me that is the area i focus on the most because it has a tactical aspect to it. i think he probably views it as less escalatory. nato may not. >> absolutely. talking about escalatory, the stunning new leaks in the nord stream pipelines, western officials say they were likely caused by underwater explosions. president biden called it a deliberate attack of sabotage. does the u.s. have evidence that russia is responsible? >> i'm not going to comment on whatever intelligence products they have produced or had. i think logic and common sense will tell you these things don't blow up on their own. someone has to know what the vulnerabilities are and have the capability to do it. so there's only a handful of
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countries to do that. i'm not a fan of the chinese communist party. it's clear someone did this. the only people in the region who had the motive and the capability to do it are russian or russian forces. to me it's not an intelligence matter at this point, it's a common sense matter. >> senator, we're pretty much out of time. i have to ask you about venezuela, seven americans wrong le detained there are coming home in a prisoner swap. the u.s. released two prisoners in exchange for those seven. you're not happy with this decision. the white house admits it was tough. >> the two venezuelans released are nephews of maduro who are convicted drug dealers. they were put in jail after being convicted, after a fair trial in the united states. the seven americans were hostages. here is my problem with it. that has now put a price tag on americans. every time you do these deals -- i wanted those people released as much as anybody. but every time you do this,
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now others know i can take americans, i can hold them until i need something as a bargaining chip. what that has done is now september a message to tie r ranrants and dictators all over the world to trump up charges and arrest americans because when the time comes we'll be able to exchange them. i think seven innocent american hostages for two convicted drug dealers, who happens to be nephews of maduro, unfortunately puts americans all over the world in danger. >> senator marco rubio. thank you so much. >> thank you. former president obama is raising the stakes on november's election in brand-new comments. why he says it's not a normal election. our panel is here. we're going to talk about that and much more ahead. when it does, aspen dental is here for you. we offer the custom dental treatments you need, all under one roof, right nearby. so we can bring more life to your smile... and more smile to your life... affordably. new patients without insurance can get a free complete exam and x-rays,
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people are fighting for their lives, where their whole livelihood is at stake, when people are fighting for their lives, where their whole livelihood is at stake, when they've lost everything, if you can't put politics aside for that, you're not going to be able to. >> at times like these americans come together. they put aside politics. they put aside division, and they come together to help each other. welcome back to "state of the union." those are very, very nice things to hear from two leaders who need to come together to deal with a major crisis. they say it's not political. but let's talk to our panel. when it comes down to it, particularly when you're looking at a governor of a state whose leadership is under the microscope, who is thinking about running for president in 2024, it's all political, right? we know that. i want to ask about ron desantis. i'll start with you, welcome to
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the panel. how do you think he's doing with regard to the very obvious 2024 aspirations he has? >> clearly he wants this to be his commander-in-chief moment. he's standing at the command center, letting people know he's in charge of things. ron desantis defined himself through the culture wars. his pitch for 2024 is i can give you everything you like about donald trump but still a competent government. i think that's what he's trying to prove here, i will fight for the culture war, but i'm not a clown. i can get things done. he's projecting a level of confidence that republicans can have comfort with, if donald trump is not the nominee. >> i think you're right. i want to put politics aside. if you saw those images this week, your heart breaks. how do you start over along the whole coastline? i think it matters what you did before the storm hit and what you will do after the storm and recovery has really come. i think that people -- this moment will be remembered, but i don't think it will be enough to
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take them to the point where it's his commander-in-chief moment. he's done some pretty nasty things to people in his state, and that the spill over the state lines when he needs to actually win the american popular vote. >> one of the things we notice is he's very, very on it when it comes to details and the data and the mechanics. we haven't seen him, haven't been able to find any footage of him out with the people which is just a different approach. >> that's right. you haven't seen this empathetic governor going out and hugging people. i think that's what you'll see from president biden. he won't be in puerto rico throwing paper towels. he's going to be out there talking to families about how he can help them. i think what's interesting about governor desantis, it will be interesting to see president biden and desantis together in florida and they'll put their political differences aside. in your earlier interview, it will be interesting to see if other republicans praise governor desantis. knowing that he wants to run in 2024.
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so i think that's what people should watch. it's interesting. you're right governor desantis is very tactical. he wants to get funding in and he will talk about what he's doing, but he's not going to be out there trying to embrace people and trying to tell them, listen, i am here to fix this. >> he's not a charismatic leader, spending time with him around the hill. he's a lot of things, but not someone who is going to put his arm around you and make you feel better. he doesn't have that emotional connection. but that doesn't mean you can't be a different type of leader. that's what you're saying, i think. speaking of leaders, this is something i asked of rick scott, as a member of the republican leadership along with mitch mcconnell, something that donald trump said on his social media network about mitch mcconnell. he said -- donald trump said, he has a death wish. must immediately seek help and advise from -- i think he meant advice, advice from his china
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loving hive coco cha:. chao. this is a former president saying such things about a republican leader and his wife. >> yeah. it's hard to know where to start, with the assassination instructions or the blatant racism. if you read that whole thing out loud, if you were on the street and heard someone muttering that on a street corner, you wouldn't say, hmm, let's hand this person the presidency or the republican nomination for president. you'd say call 911 because it sounds like an unhinged, deranged person is on the loose and out on the street and may be a danger to themselves and others. it's outrageous, beyond the pale. every republican ought to be able to say so. it's not good for the party. it's not good for him. at the may -- on the right, right now, it is really in vogue to pass around clips of joe biden looking like he's confused or sort of out of it, whatever. you tell me that doesn't sound like deranged, unhinged, confused, whatever. it's the same. if you want to say these things about joe biden, look at donald
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trump's words right now and tell me this guy sounds like he's got his stuff together. he's got it together. >> are you satisfied with what rick scott there? >> no. i don't know if he was unprepared or hadn't seen it, but there's something very easy about this and what's easy is to say this is nod good, not helpful, not good politically, not good personally. it's not good for the party, not good for the country. it's not becoming for someone who wants to have the job again. >> i do wonder what happens when he starts doing campaigning again in this midterm cycle. what does this say about the candidates that want him to still come and stump for him to win? what does that say about the party? i think you have to either be consistent and say this is not who i want to align with, but the next day say i want your help to get me votes, to say no, we want you out of our party. >> he was with tudor dixon the republican candidate for governor in michigan last night. >> who is struggling and i think she's trying to do whatever she can to turn out the base. i think rick scott's comments speak volumes.
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he couldn't find a way to call out a death threat of his colleague. >> you think it was a death thread? >> it was in all caps. read it. >> it speaks so much volume that rick scott can't condemn that, because he knows that people still love donald trump. until that changes, you're going to see republicans unwilling to fully step away from him. >> this has been since trump was the president of the united states, the republican party will not speak out against him. this is a constant trend. even though he's left office appeared is a citizen, he goes out and says something. the rep party can't stand up. this is who the nominee will be in 2024 likely, and the leader of the republican party. >> should republicans follow your playbook? if you were on the ballot.
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>> well, look, everybody has to run their own race. for 2024, look, he's lost the national popular vote twice. he's never gotten more votes than a democrat in his entire life. it is unlikely that he would get more votes in 2024. if we want to plunge the party and the country into chaos again with this kind of rhetoric and this -- that's what is great about desantis here. just to pivot back to where we started, this is a guy who is doing the things that republicans like, but at the same time, exhibiting what it might look like to have a competent government operator at the same time. you're not going to get that out of somebody with that some kind of deranged rhetoric. >> before we get to 2024, we have midterm elections in just about a month from now. i mentioned this before. the former democratic president, barack obama, he was speaking at a fund-raiser, our colleague got this reporting where he talked about the fact that there's a lot of mischief that can be done
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with the house republican majority, that this is not a normal election, at something who worked in a house republican majority, very different times until the end. what do you make of that? is he right? >> i think he wants to create a choice. that's what democrats have been trying to do. if it's republicans with -- who's in charge -- usually a midterm election is a referendum on who is in charge. that's what republicans want. they want to talk about the economy and crime. there's all kinds of cultural issues going on, but republicans who are going to be successful are focusing on those three issues. and democrats have put all of their eggs in the abortion basket. that is the only issue that they are running on right now. so they want to create a choice, is this election about abortion or the economy? >> ten seconds. >> we also want to save our democracy. and two thirds of the folks who have
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won republican primaries are election deniers. that's what my former boss was referring to, as well. >> that was impressive. thanks, everybody. an important discussion. up next, our visit to the tidewater region of virginia. one of the most competitive areas in the country. what issues are shaping how people vote in a race that could decide control of congress? our deep dive, next.
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what matters most to voters just 37 days away from midterms? we we said to virginia's 2nd congressional districts to find out.
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it's one of the swingiest swing districts in the country where the outcome may decide whether the democrats keep control of the house after november. early voting is underway in virginia, and democrat elaine lauria is out campaigning. her race here in the virginia tidewater area is one of the most closely watched in the country. >> you look across the spectrum in the country, this is number 218. >> meaning if you win or lose, it could determine whether or not democrats have control of the house. that's a lot of pressure. >> i spent 20 years in the navy. i'm used to operating in a high pressure environment. >> reporter: she's a retired naval commander. she's also a veteran of two intense political campaigns. her first win in 2018 helped deliver democrats their house majority. this year, her republican challenger is also a navy veteran, a pilot, nurse, and now state senator. she mostly communicates publicly with voters through paid ads.
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>> driving inflation down. sew groceries cost less. >> that message is resonating with voters like jason. what's drive your vote is this? >> this. this was $127 and a year and a half ago it would been $75. >> he feels let down by democrats in washington. >> i'm a staunch independent. but it's been going one direction lately, because they don't care about me. >> gas prices are absurd. >> but ryan says democrats are not to blame for the struggling economy. he's supporting luria. >> i don't care who is president, gas prices are going to be expensive. it's just the way it is right now. >> her team declined an interview, offering us the areas where she'll be campaigning. they offered us the virginia attorney general instead. >> a lot of people, they don't think washington is focused on the right priorities and spending too much money. >> why is inflation elaine luria's fault? >> she's voted with nancy pelosi over 98% of the time.
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>> announcer: she only sees pelosi and biden. >> the ads link luria to democrats running washington. voters we met in virginia beach are watching. >> one commercial that i saw, she stood up there and said what a great job, regardless of your party, where we are now is not comfortable for anyone. >> this is one of the few true swing districts left in a largely gerrymandered house. it's gone back and forth between parties four times since 2000. the democratic bandy walks the finest of lines. >> i think this administration has accomplished a lot. we have shots in arms, the kids been back to school. the economy is out of the pandemic. i don't support everything. i think he's not doing enough for defense. >> she's a member of the committee investigating january 6th. >> president trump has never -- publicly acknowledge --
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>> which she thought could be a negative but now thinks it's a political plus. >> the number one thing people say is thank you for your work on the committee. people do understand what a threat this is to our democracy. >> a lot of voters appreciate her service on that, her service in general. but they also want to see her being focused on what's impacting their pocketbook every day. that's inflation. january 6th committee is not impacting their pocketbook. >> like other democrats across the country, luria is banking of the another issue driving voters to the polls, abortion. >> announcer: when roe v. wade was overturned, jen higgins applauded the decision. >> higgins responded -- >> i couldn't tell you what she is believes. >> you don't believe her? >> i don't believe anything this
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woman says. she just says whatever she thinks she needs to say to get elected. that changes every other week. >> reporter: luria's well-funded campaign paints her gop opponent as an extremist. >> extremist? that's a new one. >> extremist is still a dirty world in this purple district, which likely again determine which party controls congress. >> thanks so much for spending your sunday morning with us. fareed zakaria starts now with a brand new interview with defense secretary lloyd austin. this is "gps," the global public square. welcome to you from around the united states and the world. i'm fareed zakaria coming to you from new york. today on the program, u.s. defense secretary lloyd austin joins me exclusively


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