tv Politics Nation MSNBC October 17, 2020 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
"politicsnation." tonight's lead, captive audience. i want you to take in this scene tonight, folks. a live look at michigan when president trump supporters are waiting for him to take the stage any-minute for a campaign speech on, quote, supporting the american way of life. last night the president was in georgia where this was the scene earlier this week in atlanta. as predicted, voters forced to wait hours to cast their ballots. but note the overwhelming number of people of color because that's the tell of where we are with just 17 days until the presidential election. on the left for irony, you have trump supporters willing and able to risk their lives with ease and not to prop up principle or even party, but a
person, one who now feels the pain of the more than 8 million americans that have suffered from covid-19, or so he says after contracting the virus himself. on the right, you have voters in a predominantly black cosmopolitan district struggling to exercise their rights amid mass disenfranchisement. these are also the voters bearing the disproportionate brunt of covid-19, doing no small part to the reopening of their state at the president's encouragement. but guess who had to wait longer? we don't have to do much to unpack the president's psychology at this point, facing what many have cast as a historic deficit and agate polling among key demographics with two and a half weeks left. of course this president is willing to endanger himself and
others to stay in power for several reasons. no, it's the psychological of his supporters that will continue to shape the nation regardless of whether he's in office. supporters like the more than two dozen white supremacists arrested for allegedly targeting the governor of michigan, where the president is tonight. so of course that's where we'll begin. joining me now is congressman from michigan democratic dan kildee. you're in a state that we saw actual people that were planning to put explosives in your state capitol building and kidnap your governor and possibly even worse. and yet, the president has come there tonight rallying and trying to deal with attacking his opponents with all kinds of
statements, but has not forthright by name criticized or attacked some of the very groups that encourage and work along the areas that these people were arrested for in michigan. how do you and the people of michigan and the voters of michigan respond to this? >> well, it's a good question, reverend. our real response is going to come in the form of people voting in unprecedented numbers. i was out today in flint and saginaw. there's an enthusiasm there, really, a need for people to express themselves with their right to vote. this president has to take responsibility for the fact that his language, the fact that he's unwilling to denounce these white supremacists, unwilling to denounce these conspiracyists like qanon, denouncing support
from former klan leaders. donald trump wants to align with those people because they align with him. and he thinks somehow he can sneak past us. you know, time is up, reverend. time is up and the voters are going to be the ones to decide. >> now, as of the end of yesterday, 1.4 million mail ballots have been returned in your state a return rate of nearly 50%. is that a good sign? >> it's a very good sign. we have 8 million or so registered voters. we have almost 1.4 million votes that came in already. we have more than two weeks until the election. we have people out -- passing out literature and signs. the enthusiasm we see is in the form of people being able to vote. the good news for people in michigan, reverend, is that in
2018 we changed our law. we allow people now to vote by absentee ballot starting several weeks before the election. so they can go into the polling place today. they can go in any day of the week and cast their ballot, and we're seeing them do that in numbers like we've never seen before. people are anxious to have their voices heard. i think it's a very good sign. >> to understand what's going on in michigan, the latest scene college "new york times" poll of your home state has joe biden up eight points over president trump, 48% to 40%. but your state seems to be suffering uniquely from rather-right violence. between this plot to kidnap your governor and the clashes around the lockdown earlier this year, does president trump's presence there tonight inflame tensions and do you think he's counting on that? and how do you counter that on the other side of this? >> i think you've hit on a very
good point. he does intend to inflame those divisions have it's his clear belief that somehow he can get an electoral college majority if he friengts peopghtens people f. i think when people see him use those terms rngsz those dog whistle terms, the responds i'm seeing now is even more resolved to make sure we not only cast our votes, but people are calling family members, they're having those difficult conversations with the one member of the family that they know probably hasn't voted to make sure they do. i think the president is in some quick sand now. the more he struggles, the more i think he's going to continue to fall. having said that, we take absolutely nothing for granted. there's just far too much at stake to take anything for granted. so we're going to see this through. we're going to work right until
8:00 p.m. on election day. >> don't take granted for granted. i might tell people we're looking at the bottom of the screen, that's actual shots of people in michigan waiting on the president whose plane just pulled up. you might note that many of them, congressman, have no face masks on, none. so not only are we dealing with the danger of inciting further terrorist militia groups, we're talking about exposing people to danger, not even taking basic risks that his own health experts have said are necessary and to be encouraged. >> it's really irresponsible what he's doing. the average number of daily cases is back up almost to the number that it was in april here in michigan. we are seeing that second wave. and the idea that the president
would come into michigan and potentially expose people. those people at the airport, they think that it's up to them to decide for themselves whether or not they put themselves at risk. that's not how it works. when they leave that airport and go to the grocery store or go into work, or church or wherever it might be, they take whatever virus they may collect with them. so the whole idea here is we protect one another, and it's just incredible to see a president who is so blind or ignorant to that fact that he's willing to put his supporters and others at risk in order to advance his own narrow political interests. it's his whole -- it's basically the way he's lived his whole life and his whole career. but you would think in the moment where hundreds of thousands of americans have died that could somehow get an ounce of empathy for those
individuals. apparently not. >> well, you would think would he and himself and his wife and son also having been found to be positive in terms of a covid-19 test, it would get to him even if he didn't care about hours. congressman dan kildee, thank you for being with us. republican brendan buck and tima omara. when we look at the fact that we are seeing these -- i mean, totally above and beyond expectations in terms of early voting, what does that say to you? because we have new numbers from axios on where black america stands with two weeks to go. some quick points. 74% of black americans say they're certain to vote, already have. 57% are concerned about whether
their own votes will actually be counted. and most concerned of any demographics are the blacks. 29% are very concerned about voter suppression in their home states, roughly twice the rate of any other group. so we have over 70% of blacks saying they will vote, but a large part of them worried about their votes being counted and a large part of the black american voters saying they are concerned about voter suppression in their state. how does this hit you? how does this reflect where we are in american politics right now? >> yeah, it hits me as it's not surprising. i mean, i talked to my parents who are regular voters. they live in an area where there's less challenging to cast their votes, but for the first time this year, certainly making sure -- eballots -- what does
that look like, the process, made it a lot easier for people to vote overall in general. so with that being said, these numbers are the most fascinating i've ever seen because, as you said, about four years ago around this time only 6 million people had voted early. when we dig down into the numbers, we're looking at two interesting bits. those two particular voter groups have a lot of black american voters. it's infrequent voters and first-time voters. first-time voters who didn't vote in 2016, casting their vote for the first time, that neurological is up two times what it was in 2016, and that's a lot of black voters, that's a lot of people who are out there who are likely coming out because they didn't come out in 2016. the second group is the infrequent voter. this is a group i've worked in
my own consulting with the biden campaign. they're made up of black voters that tend to be -- when they do, they're packing their votes for the democrat . that number has quadrupled. they're casting their vote at four times the rate. >> absolutely. >> the democratic ticket overall. >> now, brendan, earlier this week sitting nebraska gop senator ben sasse publicly repudiated the president in a way that we really haven't seen from a senate republican until now. take a listen. >> i'm now looking at the possibility of a republican blood bath in the senate, and that's why i've never been on the trump train. >> to hear a sitting republican senator say the possibility of a
blood bath, how do you respond to that? are we going to see more senators moon walking away from the president in the next two weeks? >> i want to correct you a little bit. i don't think he thought that was going to be public. i don't think that was intentional for everybody to hear that. look, i think what he's saying is what basically every republican i talk to right now says, that the president is in big trouble, not only is he likely to lose, he's likely to drag down senate republicans with him. they're concerned about being able to pivot to a message that says, look, there may be a democratic house, a democratic white house, you need a republican senate to be a check on the president. the president has had so many opportunities as incumbent and has squandered basically all of them. he ceded the fundraising to joe biden. he can't figure out how to pass critical legislation like for covid, and so with two and a half weeks to go, things look
terrible. republicans are very concerned. the polling i've seen is really bad and really the only risk, i think, for democrats at this point is that complacency you were talking about before. >> you know, tima, when brendan was talking about the democratic candidate joe biden has outpaced him in fundraising, him being president trump, that former vice president joe biden has outpaced him in many things, even when they had the simultaneous town halls the other night, that's something more people watched biden than the entertainer, mr. trump. i know that hurt him as much as anything. the act is dry. here's not even drawing audiences that he thought that he would always draw in terms of being able to get higher ratings than anyone when he goes on, especially when you're dealing faceup two networks at the same
time. >> yeah, absolutely. he's feeling it in fundraising. he's feeling it in the polling numbers. a recent report i saw said his campaign manager is basically advising to prepare for the loss on election night. with 2016 not too far away in our minds of what happened, you know, certainly, if you're in front of the polling numbers -- [ inaudible ] 100,000 people attended online friday night at 9:00, and 50% of those people were first-time donors to the campaign. this is -- [ inaudible ] and the democratic advantage stays high, it's going to be an interesting election week -- election night for the trump campaign for sure. >> is the senate in as much
trouble, brendan, in key states than they are in many areas? you think that they will hold on to some of the incumbent senate seats that republicans now hold? >> well, senate is definitely still in play. i don't think the senate is lost. there's a pickup opportunity in alabama with jones. but the problem is the math has gotten really big. and we're having to defend seats in places we never thought we would have to, like south carolina having to spend a lot of money there to save lindsey graham. montana, alaska now seems to be on the board. and so we're having to spread relatively finite resources far. it's going to come down to one or two votes could ultimately decide the senate. but i definitely don't think it's lost at this point. there are a few senators who may differentiate themselves just enough to hold on. >> thank you, brendan and tima. some breaking news. president trump is holding an election rally in michigan. let's listen in for a couple of
minutes. >> they're supposed to say please come in. they don't like to say it. minneapolis, they said it. we went in and, boy, did that take about, what, 30 minutes to solve that problem. [ cheers ] and that's why -- and that's why we're going to win minnesota. hasn't been won since 1972 by a republican. we're going to win minnesota. of course having people like omar doesn't hurt either. omar, ilhan omar. she doesn't love our country too much, i don't think so. they crave power and god help us if they ever did get it. god help us. i can tell you that. you just have to look all over the world at different places. god help us. this election day, the people of michigan must stop these anti-american rad calls by issuing joe biden a defeat at the ballot box. by the way, it seems to be
happening. [ cheers ] seems to be happening. i don't want to speak too early, but you know there's a big story out right now. do you know that? you know about it i'm going to? we're supposed to be way behind until election day when all the republicans go and you're going to have a red wave like you've never seen before. [ cheers ] teen fake news media saying that we're going to have a wave like you've never seen before. but we're supposed to be way behind for the first few days. it just came out, we're leading. [ cheers ] early voting. but let's not talk about it. you know what they call that? and early, maybe, signal, maybe? who knows? there's a lot of concern going on out there. this sounds a little bit like four years ago, but this should be much bigger because we've done everything we said and
more. we've done it all. in your case, we brought your plants back. you remember 12 years ago or so, i got man of the year in michigan. i said, well, that's nice. so i came to michigan. and i made this speech, like, why are you allowing them to take your automobile business, your car-making business? why are you allowing them to take it to mexico and canada and every place else? >> this was president trump speaking at a campaign event in michigan. just listening to him for two minutes, he already attacks congresswoman ilhan omar twice. coming up, president trump has something very real to be afraid of as we get closer to halloween. i'll explain. but first, my colleague richard lui with today's top news stories. richard? good afternoon, rev. here's some of the stories we're watching for you this hour. red flag weather warnings issued in northern california for potential wildfires. nearly half of the western u.s. is gripped by hot, dry weather
right now. the climate prediction center saying this is the most widespread drought in the u.s. since 2013. extremely dry weather has super charged fires there on the west this year. covid-19 is surging again in 17 states, several in the midwest. minnesota reported more than 1,000 cases for the sixth straight day. wisconsin saw a 25% increase compared to two weeks ago as well. cases all across the united states now above 8 million. the death toll over 220,000. more "politicsnation" with reverend al sharpton right after the break. gy. the only fda-approved, once-daily 3 in 1 copd treatment. ♪ trelegy ♪ the power of 1 2 3 ♪ trelegy ♪ 1 2 3 ♪ trelegy with trelegy and the power of 1, 2, 3, i'm breathing better. trelegy works 3 ways to open airways, keep them open, and reduce inflammation for 24 hours of better breathing.
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harris: this election is about and i building this country and we're here for you. back better. and that's what joe and i will do. we'll create millions of jobs, bring back critical supply chains so the future is made in america. build on the affordable care act. offer caregivers the dignity, the respect, and the pay they deserve. we have a chance to choose a better future for our country.
talk about the kind of full-bodied, shivering inducing, all encompassing terror you feel whenever you see this man. because while most americans look to president obama as the last example of solid leadership in the oval office, you, mr. trump, always have been absolutely terrified of your predecessor. with president obama jumping into the race with both feet on behalf of your rival, joe biden, you're right to be afraid because while you might think you've mastered twitter, your predecessor has tens of millions more followers than you. and president obama isn't going to limit his involvement to 240 character tweets. because of your botched pandemic response, a lot of remaining campaign events must take place online, giving obama home-court
advantage. perhaps you've forgotten as i mentioned you were busy spreading a racist conspiracy theory at the time. but president trump was the first modern president to leverage the internet to win an election. and this time around his official endorsement video for joe biden has racked up more than 26 million views and raised millions of dollars. meanwhile on snapchat, alone, obama's voter message got 70 million, generating at least 20,000 new registrations, and he's just getting started. that's bad news for you, mr. president, because while your approval rating is under water, as usual, a recent survey proved that barack obama is the most admired man in the world, far and away beating you in every single country except one,
russia. even there you came in a distant 16th. while you will continue to host bigger rallies than obama or behind, that's due to your complete disregard for the safety and lives of your own supporters. but let me remind you that in non-pandemic times, barack obama has always been able to command a bigger crowd than you. so while the previous president will spend this october doing mostly virtual campaigning on behalf of his friend, former wing man and current presidential front-runner, joe biden, i hope you take it all in the spirit of the season. be afraid, mr. president. be very, very afraid. we'll be right back. with the ninja foodi smart xl grill. just pick your protein, select your doneness, and let the grill monitor your food. it also turns into an air fryer. bring outdoor grilling flavors indoors with the grill that grills for you.
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protect candidates and voters from covid, it can also expose them to vile hate and abuse. that's what happened to congresswoman joanna hayes of connecticut, whose zoom town hall was interrupted this week by people posting racial slurs and playing offensive music while she was trying to safely connect with her constituents. representative hayes is joining me now. she is the first black congresswoman in the state of connecticut's history. congresswoman hayes, thank you for being with me this evening. let me start by saying in your blog post about the incident, you wrote, quote, the only way we can cut the cancer of racism out of our communities is by calling it out when we see it and raising our collective voices to get rid of it. what will you do next?
>> well, thank you. and yes, i wrote that op-ed because i was frustrated because we're expected to take it on the chin and pretend it never happened. i've heard at other times when things like this happen, you don't want to give more oxygen to it, you don't want the trolls to have the energy they desire. but not talking about it also contributes to the problem because it's happening right in front of our faces and right in our communities. and it's not -- it can't just be the people who are attacked by this visceral types of things that are the only ones who are standing up. i think everybody has to take some responsibility and call it out when they see it and say, no, i'm not going to sit by and allow this to happen here. >> now, the fbi has gone on the record with the fact that white supremacists threats make up the majority of domestic terrorism threats. have you been in contact with the federal law enforcement regarding this incident? >> yes, i have.
i've been in contact with both zoom and capital police and fbi. i don't think this was a zoom security issue. i know there are much larger internet platform issues, and there's some work that needs to be done and i've been working with zoom on that but where is people registered for the meeting, we invited them in. i didn't mute anyone because i wanted people to be able to engage in a dialogue, even people who were critical of me. i wanted them to be able to ask their questions and give me the opportunity to answer them. this is indicative of a much larger systemic racism problem, and the fact that these people are emboldened and are figuring out a different way to spew their hate. >> zoombombing has been a documented problem for months with classrooms, places of worship. this is not a connecticut problem. this has happened all over the country. what do you feel can be done
about it? >> we have to -- i mean, you can't legislate hate, but we have to make sure people are held accountable for these crimes. we can make sure our leaders don't uplift or embolden this type of behavior. we can make sure that people who commit these types of crimes are prosecuted and held accountable for their actions. and we can, you know, change systemic structures so that we create communities where people from diverse backgrounds are welcome. i mean, we can't legislate hate. we can't make it okay for them to attack or discriminate against their neighbors either. >> one of the things that i think was good if some good could come out of a situation like yours and your town hall and other situations around the country, is we are seeing a large number of whites and others that have expressed public outrage, as we've seen in the george floyd movement and you've noted that.
and i think we ought to be very open about that. we need that, and i think that even brings more of a coming together in the country that we need to stand against bigotry, anti-semitism and that's been brought by a lot of your white constituents and others around connecticut. >> absolutely, reverend al. i could have never imagined the outpouring of support, of outrage, of collective activism that i saw following this. people were happy that i spoke to candidly and open about the incident, but also motivated. it was almost like they received a mandate for -- we have to do your part as, you know, the white members of this community to make sure that this doesn't happen here, to call it out when we see it. and that wasn't not just in my state and district, but nationally. i heard from so many other people who said i've experienced
the same thing, and you just become numb to it. you take it on the chin and keep going. we have to fix this. i couldn't be more proud of my district. people from all over the district, actually, even some republican leaders reached out and said while we may disagree on policy, on this we agree, and this is not okay. whatever we can do collectively to work with you. just on the other side of this election, we have a lot of healing to do. we have to welcome people back sbootd into t into the conversation but we won't do that by denying when it happens. when we to have critical conversations about, okay, now how do we fix it and close the gaps? >> all right, congresswoman hayes, thank you being with us again. >> thank you. coming up, voters in georgia waiting up to eight hours to cast their ballots this week. we'll talk about the state of
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cases, people waiting up to eight hours to cast their ballot. a technical glitch in georgia's voter check-in system has been attributed to the slowdown of long lines according to georgia secretary of state's office. 128,000 people statewide went to the polls on monday alone, shattering its first day of early voting record. as of friday, already more than 1.3 million georgians have voted, with turnout only expected to increase leading up to election day. how will voters, especially voters of color, feel confident that their ability to vote won't be obstructed? joining me now is jon ossoff, democratic candidate for senate in georgia. mr. ossoff, thank you for being with me this evening. >> thank you, reverend al. good afternoon. >> during the georgia primary, polling places located in
predominantly black neighborhoods had an average waiting time of 51 minutes. whereas polling places located in predominantly white neighborhoods had an average wait time of six minutes. what will you do if elected to prevent this disenfranchisement of black voters in georgia? >> reverend, this has been rightly referred to by folks like reverend basher as james crow esquire. this is a story as old as the south. this is the new poll tax. this is new literacy test. this is why we need a new voting rights act. my first experience or exposure or training in public service was working for congressman john lewis. and representing georgia in the senate i will champion voting rights legislation, not just to fully restore the voting rights act, but to strengthen it and to make voters suppression a federal crime. >> now, as you know about six weeks ago we had a couple hundred thousand people march in washington. one of the things we pushed for
was the passing of the john lewis voting rights act, which would really deal with the fact that they took out section 4 of the voting rights act and weakened it. in fact, i was there to hear the oral arguments when martin luther king iii and john lewis was sitting across from us. that was the height of hypocrisy, your former boss who passed, all these statements of praising him, honoring him, rightfully so, but they're not doing what he stood for. same people that were giving lip service to him would not stand up for what you talked about, strengthening the voting rights act that he shed blood for. >> that's exactly right. folks like am i opponent, senator david purdue, he issued a flowery statement to honor congressman lewis on his passing. but he's blocking voting rights legislation that would truly
honor congressman lewis' legacy and empower the people of the state to vote. and voter suppression is about suppressing the ability of the people and particularly black people in the south to demand housing, health care, criminal justice reform. this is about silencing people and preventing them from participating in our democracy. but the inspiring thing, reverend, that georgians are turning out in record numbers. when people are aware that there are officials trying to silence them and suppress their vote, the people are galvanized in their determination to defend those rights by exercising them and to elect public servants who will strengthen voting rights laws and put an end to voter suppression. >> you mentioned your opponent. last night your opponent in the senate race, republican incumbent david purdue spoke at a trump rally in georgia and mocked senator kamala harris. listen to this. >> the most insidious thing that
chuck schumer and joe biden are trying to purpose trait and bernie and elizabeth and kamala or kamala or kamala, kamala mama, mama, i don't know. >> now, clearly the senator had no problem pronouncing anyone else's name, all of whom are white, before he got to senator harris, who he works with in the senate and clearly knows her name. your response? >> this is performative bigotry. he never would have done that to a white colleague or to a male colleague and everybody knows it. he doesn't want to talk about the fact that hundreds of thousands of americans have died amidst the gross negligence of the trump administration's response to this pandemic, enabled by senators like him. he doesn't want to talk about the fact that he's trying to take health care protections away from people in the middle of a pandemic. he has nothing to run on but disease and recession. and so he stoops to schoolyard insults and belittling people
for their heritage. this is what's wrong with american politics today. my mother came to this country because she believed in out of many, one. that celebrated diversity. what donald trump is doing to the republican party and to the united states is fundamentally wrong. we need healing and unifying leadership to confront the challenges of our time. senator purdue is wildly out of step with the people of this state. it's why he's going to lose in november. >> your state has its fair share of voter suppression issues. georgia's last governor race in 2018 came under scrutiny after brian kemp, then secretary of state, oversaw his own election for governor. georgia has also been involved in multiple lawsuits from purging thousands of voter registrations from their database to closing early poll locations. do you believe georgia is currently capable of holding
free and fair elections? >> i believe that we are exchange of overcoming voter suppression and winning this race. reverend al, this is the closest u.s. senate race in the country. as you pointed out, stacy only lost by 55,000 votes two years ago. we've added 800,000 new voters to the rolls since then. georgia becomes younger and more diverse by the day. there's a reason mitch mcconnell is spending more money against me than any other democratic challenger in the country. but i need help to protect the franchise here. i need, folks, to go to electjon.com and contribute so we can protect ballot access, we can ensure that every single georgian can cast their vote, exercise their democratic right, and win this election. >> all right. senate candidate jon ossoff, thank you for being with us. up next, my final thoughts. stay with us. we can't always keep our distance. but we can still help protect each other this flu season
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as i stated earlier in this program, polls have shown us that over 70% of african americans say they intend to vote this year. some already are voting. and a large chunk are saying they are concern ed that their votes will not be counted. and a very large part of them said they are afraid of voter suppression. i'm concerned about that. i'm concerned that because of justified question of voter suppression and justified question making sure our votes are counted that we use this as an excuse not to vote. not only black americans, but all americans. we must go out in numbers that they cannot in any way try and undercount and not deal with the overwhelming outpouring. we must remember the fear we
have is nothing compared to the fear that many had to overcome to get us the right to vote. people that were killed. people that were bloodied and beaten. and just today, i've spent many day, but today i did a virtual speech for the ak chapter in tallahassee. and i'm continuing to do that all over the country. telling people we must come out and vote like the ak is saying in florida. stroll to the polls. stroll, walk, run, whatever you need to do. in the middle of a pandemic that could have been dealt with differently, in the middle of a supreme court seat that i feel was being hijacked because of the inconsistency of 2016, it's time for us to do what i wrote about, rise up. i have the book out "rise up:
confronting a country at the crossroads." we're at a crossroads. we cannot afford for anyone to not be at their post. not only for those that paid a price for us, but stand up for those of us today that is suffering in a shaken economy in the midst of a pandemic and a president who seems not to get it. and we are in a crisis, and we need competence and integrity. i'll be right back. elievers incg voltaren have one thing in common none are proven stronger or more effective against pain than salonpas patch large there's surprising power in this patch salonpas dependable, powerful relief. hisamitsu. let's be honest. quitting smoking is hard. like, quitting every monday hard. quitting feels so big. so try making it smaller, and you'll be surprised at how easily starting small can lead to something big. start stopping with nicorette.
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that does it for me. thanks for watching. and by the way, you can now hear "politicsnation" and the latest breaking news from all of your favorite msnbc hosts by listening to msnbc live on tunein. go to tunein.com/msnbc2020 to listen commercial free with tunein premium. i'll see you back here tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. eastern. up next, my colleague, alicia menendez picks up our news coverage. >> thank you, reverend sharpton. and hello to all of you at home. i'm alicia menendez in miami, florida tonight. a state critical to the 2020 election already under way. in this final stretch, the president is on a battleground blitz. first to michigan. next hour wisconsi