tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC October 19, 2020 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
this, i'm very reluctant to see how far away the finish line is, and now there's something nerve-wracking about the finish line getting so close. this is when we're supposed to be able to look at it in a positive way, but it's all too tense. >> that part of a vote is cooked, and that's a really big slice of the vote. so it actually is something a little bit different in terms of when the election comes. for 30 million of us, it's already arrived. >> it's setting records everywhere on the early voting. we're going to be hearing about that later in the hour. we have jamie harrison joining us, john ossoff joining us for the fight in the united states senate, and early voting is the key to their races. >> absolutely. well done. thanks, lawrence. >> thank you, rachel.
well, until i'm voted out or until they're successful in assassinating me, i'm hoping to do what's right for the people of wichita. that's what the mayor of wichita, kansas said after a man was arrested on friday in a plot to kidnap and kill the mayor of wichita because the mayor of wichita supported a mask rule for wichita. the mayor of wichita will join us later in this hour. also joining us later in the hour are two people who can change the course of american history if they win their campaigns for the united states senate in south carolina and georgia. if the polls are correct and joe biden crushes donald trump in the election, exactly nothing on the biden legislative agenda will pass the congress and get signed into law if mitch mcconnell is still the majority leader of the united states senate. nothing. the only way to undo the legislative damage that donald trump has done is for democrats
to win control of the united states senate. democratic senate candidates jaime harrison and john ossoff will join us at the end of this hour. we know how we got here, where governors, mayors are the targets of kidnap and assassination plots over this. this is worth killing people only because donald trump is president of the united states. america is the country where this is worth killing people because donald trump is a very, very sick man who has infected the weak minds of some people with a homicidal poison that now has them wanting to kill because of this. kidnap and kill the governor of michigan. kidnap and kill the mayor of wichita. lock them up. lock them all up is how donald
trump says it himself on his campaign rally stage. history will have no doubt about how this happened to america thanks to the "new york times." "the new york times" is the best newspaper in the world and history treats it that way, even if we don't. yes, the "new york times" can be frustrating in its editorial choices of emphasis and can make mistakes, but the "new york times" is the best we have. i for one, spent years in frustration because donald trump was a liar telling lies about president obama's birth certificate and i had to wait five years to use the word lie in reporting on donald trump. "the new york times" could not bring itself to use that word until 2016 after donald trump was the republican nominee.
and had been publicly telling lies for five years to build the political momentum that became his presidential campaign. but when "the new york times" finally did use the word lie with the word trump, it appeared in a page 1 headline, and a hundred years from now historians will find and use that headline and probably won't find and use a single thing that people like me said on television. yesterday "the new york times" left a marker for history unlike anything it has ever published about a president of the united states since the "new york times" was founded in 1851. the "new york times" editorials normally occupy just a fraction of a page of the paper. some hugely important editorialists have occupied half of a page or a full page of the paper. this sunday's editorial was presented as the most important editorial in the history of the newspaper, and it occupies ten full pages of the newspaper. it is its own section of the sunday paper with a headline
page that says "lies, anger, corruption, incompetence, chaos, decay. end our national crisis. the case against donald trump by the editorial board." the "times" calls donald trump a man unworthy of the office he holds and says "it is the purpose of this special section to remind readers were mr. trump is unfit to lead the nation." it is a multi-part editorial, all of which supports the very first line highlighted in large print, "donald trump cannot solve the nation's pressing problems because he is the nation's most pressing problem." in a section of the editorial entitled "his superspreader agenda", the times writes" he's a president who muzzles credible scientists and amplifies charlatans, one who suggested on live television that uv light and bleach injections might cure people of the coronavirus, one who has refused to consistently wear face masks.
even as the virus spread through his inner circle and assaulted his immune system. he's a president who has lied again and again about the severity of threats that the country is now facing, even as reams of evidence make those threats plain. dr. anthony fauci is one of those who the president muzzles and is by far the most popular person in the presidential campaign. 68% of americans now trust what dr. fauci says about the coronavirus. 40% trust donald trump in a poll that was taken weeks before donald trump got coronavirus. that's the most recent polling we have on that question. and today after first using anthony fauci out of context in a trump campaign ad, which dr. fauci objected to, donald trump has now decided to run against anthony fauci and attack joe biden for doing what 68% of
americans now trust anthony fauci. >> he wants to listen to dr. fauci. he wants to listen to dr. fauci. >> he wants to listen to dr. fauci, just like 68% of americans. that's what donald trump has decided to campaign against. in a phone call with his campaign today that reporters were allowed to listen to, donald trump lied about the size of his rallies. of course. he called dr. fauci an idiot and a disaster. and donald trump explained why he is afraid to fire dr. fauci. >> every time he goes on television, there's always a bomb, but there's a bigger bomb if you fire him. fauci's a disaster. >> last night dr. fauci did go on television, on "60 minutes" and explained the reason you've never seen him as a guest on this program is the white house controls when, where and how he can speak with the news media. here is the bomb the president
didn't like about dr. fauci going on television last night. >> were you surprised that president donald trump got sick? >> absolutely not. i was worried he was going to get sick when i saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded, no separation between people and almost nobody wearing a mask. when i saw that on tv, i said, oh my goodness, nothing good can come out of that. that's got to be a problem. and sure enough it turned out to be a super spreader event. >> the "new york times" reports the national trajectory is only worsening. wisconsin has opened a field hospital. north dakota, which not long ago had relatively few cases, now has the most per capita in the country. and across the rural west, states like alaska, wyoming and montana, that had long escaped the worst of the pandemic have seen new cases soar to alarming new records.
as of tonight, there have been 8,247,268 reported cases of coronavirus in the united states. as of tonight the united states has suffered 221,272 deaths from the coronavirus. but donald trump is tired of people getting infected and tired of people dying from the coronavirus, and he believes the solution is to just stop talking about it. >> they're getting tired of the pandemic, aren't they? getting tired of the pandemic. you turn on cnn, that's all they cover, covid, covid, pandemic, covid. you know why? they're trying to talk everybody out of voting. people aren't buying it, cnn, you dumb bastards. they're not buying it. that's all they talk about. >> and this is that moment in the program when we pause to consider what mike pence and rush limbaugh and the fox propagandists would be saying
tonight if barack obama ever used language like that or if kamala harris ever used language like that. here's what joe biden did say: "mr. president, you are right about one thing, the american people are tired. they're tired of your lies about this virus. they're tired of watching more americans die and more people lose their jobs because you refuse to take this pandemic seriously. now more than ever we need a leader to bring us together, put a plan in place and beat this virus, but you have proven yourself yet again to be incapable of doing that." leading off our discussion tonight, dr. vin gupta, pulmonologist at the university of washington medical center, an msnbc medical contributor, and olivia troye is with us. she served as a senior staff member of the white house coronavirus task force and a homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to vice president mike pence. and olivia troye, let me get
with you and your reaction to the president now finally coming right out and saying very specifically anthony fauci is a disaster and at the same time letting it become public that he is afraid to fire him. >> well, i think you're seeing publicly what i saw behind the scenes for several months. and i know that there were times when he wanted to fire dr. fauci and everyone else on that task for telling the truth. he knew it would backfire. what you're seeing is the president's plain desperation because he knows he's on the losing end and he's on the downward trajectory. so what does he do? he doubles down. when people tell the truth and it's not the truth that donald trump wants you to hear, he fires back at them, and that's exactly what he's doing today with dr. fauci. >> when you were on the task force, was it at the point where dr. fauci was getting death threats? was that something you would
know about? >> yes, i remember that clearly because that is when we got him a driver, and this has been going on for months. this is not new. and every time the president uses his rhetoric and he calls people out, we've seen that with other leaders across our country, this is what happens. it threatens their lives and the lives of their family. >> dr. gupta, i want to take a look as we speak about this polling on trusting dr. fauci. in april of 2020 it was at 78% trust dr. fauci. donald trump's attacks have pulled that down 10% now to the most recent one in september, but still at 68%, which is much higher than donald trump could ever dream of polling. but what is it like for you as a medical professional, public health professional, watching
the leading expert on this coronavirus attacked by the president of the united states, pushing down his credibility but still very strong credibility while people take chances with their lives because of the way the president discusses this? >> good evening, lawrence. you know, it's frightening. it's been frightening for eight months, part of the role i view me and my colleagues, our role which dr. fauci cannot necessarily speak clearly about all the time because his role has been complicated by the president. listen, today was a big day and that should scare us all across the country. i'm not trying to fear monger, i'm just trying to tell the facts. south dakota and its hospital -- its icus are under surge. they don't have enough icu providers. so an apolitical body in partnership with stanford
released a call for ic providers, nurses and respiratory therapists to volunteer to come to south dakota. something similar is happening in wisconsin. lawrence, what's happening in these places, especially south dakota, we're seeing it again in florida with the opening of any restrictions on indoor dining. it's a pseudo herd immunity strategy. let's not do anything. let's not encourage masks, let's let people go back to their normal lives and try to not do anything and justify it under this shroud of normalcy thinking everything will be okay and lull the american people to sleep. our own institute suggests if we try to pursue a herd immunity strategy, 60% of the population seeing covid-19, 1.2 million americans will die, will lose their lives. we're seeing it happen in the plains states.
>> "the washington post" is reporting on the dissension inside the task force because of his position on this. it says atlas shot down attempts to expand testing. he openly feuded with other doctors on the coronavirus task force and he advanced fringe theories such as social distancing and mask wearing were meaningless and would not have changed the course of the virus in several hard-hit areas and advocated allowing infections to spread naturally among most of the population while protecting the most vulnerable and those in nursing homes until the united states reaches herd many immunity, which would cause excess deaths. olivia troye what was your experience on working inside the task force on trying to come to agreements and how has that changed with dr. atlas involved? >> we're aware that there have been heated discussions in the
task force now that he's there. it's known that he is sort of the overshadowing voice unfortunately, and i am aware that the doctors on the task force are pretty much in agreement that he is basically subscribing to these false theories. and he has the ear, unfortunately, of the president. and the president will listen to him because he knows that he can refer to him as the doctor on the task force and use that title for him, fully knowing that he is perpetuating these narratives that are just, quite frankly, not accurate. >> olivia troye and dr. vin gupta, thank you both for starting us off tonight. we have arrests in a plot to kidnap michigan governor gretchen whitmore, but that hasn't stopped president donald trump from keep trying by saying "lock her up."
police have arrested a man in planning to kidnap the mayor of wichita because he supports wearing masks. the mayor of wichita will join us next. we can't always keep our distance. but we can still help protect each other this flu season by getting vaccinated. if you're 65 or older, get the superior flu protection of fluzone high-dose quadrivalent. it's the only 65+ flu vaccine with four times the standard dose. and it's free with medicare part b. fluzone high-dose quadrivalent isn't for people who've had a severe allergic reaction to any flu vaccine or vaccine component, including eggs or egg products. tell your health care professional if you've ever experienced severe muscle weakness after receiving a flu shot. people with weakened immune systems, including those receiving therapies that suppress the immune system, may experience lower immune responses. vaccination may not protect everyone. side effects include pain, redness, and/or swelling where you got the shot,
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once an avid runner, at 79 dr. fauci now power walks, flanked by federal agents. >> what's that all about? >> that's sad, the very fact that a public health message to save lives triggers such venom and animosity to me that it results in real and credible threats to my life and my safety, but it bothers me less than the hassling of my wife and my children. >> they've been threatened? >> yeah. i mean, like give me a break. >> reporter: have there been death threats against you and your family? >> no, just me. but harassment against the rest of the family.
>> dr. fauci's live is being threatened because donald trump has made it increasingly clear that he doesn't like what dr. fauci says about wearing masks and social distancing and what we have to do to control the spread of the coronavirus. donald trump knows that dr. fauci has been facing death threats for a long time now, and he knows calling dr. fauci an idiot and disaster today will probably increase the intensity of the death threats. and donald trump knows when he participated in a chant of "lock her up" on saturday, that the life of gretchen whitmore -- put is everyone more at risk. a dozen man were planning to do. her in more danger, which is what people were planning to do, kidnap and execute her. >> it's disturbing ten days after a plot to kidnap, put me
on trial and execute me, ten days after that was uncovered, the president is at it again and inspiring and incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism. it is wrong. it's got to end. it is dangerous. not just for me and my family, but for public servants everywhere who are doing their jobs and trying to protect their fellow americans. >> on friday, wichita police arrested a 59-year-old man on suspicion of threatening to kidnap and kill the mayor of wichita because the mayor supports wearing masks to combat the spread of coronavirus. and joining us now is the mayor of wichita, kansas, brandon whipple. mr. mayor, thank you very much for joining us tonight. what can you tell us about this case as it's developed so far? >> so far we've learned about this gentleman, it seems he is
someone who might be in a deep rabbit hole of conspiracy not just about myself but also government in general. >> and, you know, i've been reading about the case today and i know you supported a mask rule for the city of wichita in july, but it's not clear to me that it ever actually went into effect. what is the actual status of rules involving masks in wichita? >> oh, it went into effect. wichita right now is beating almost all comparable cities in our region when it comes to lowering the spread of covid, not only -- because wichitaans get it. if you give them the right information, they'll do it. and we want to get back to normal. the way we get back to normal
and simulate the economy is to wear masks so we can lower the spread. >> when did you first discover that this alleged plot? >> so i got alerted by -- there's an officer who i don't see much but he's supposed to protect me if i'm going into any type of situations. he called me and told me that there was a death threat. i'll tell you, those death threats i get are kind of goofy. they're not things i take too seriously except when the detective called me and read me the text messages. i could tell it was a pretty well thought out plan. it was text messages, which meant the person wasn't just trying to get cred on social media and the person wasn't just venting. they were actually looking for
my address is what i think made this stick out worse than some of the threats i've had in the past that really have been by people who i'm not sure could have pulled them off. >> have you increased your security protection? >> yes. so i have kids. i have three boys under the age of 7, and i don't live in a gated community. i was a state legislator. everyone knows where i live so it's pretty easy to find us. we have a great police chief and the best men and women protecting my community. my house is under surveillance right now with our -- to ensure that some copycat folks can't come and try to follow through with this plan. >> and what happens to you personally when you're walking down the street? do people come up to you and kind of angrily yell at you about this?
>> no. no. wichita is the greatest community in the world, right. so most of the time i'm shocked when people recognize me and when they come up and talk to me. even if we disagree, it's a civil disagreement. this person really i would describe more on the fringe, as someone who although these anti-mask people -- these anti-government people are allowed, a lot of times they're in the minority. they're just a small voice in a crowd of common sense. so overall myself, my wife, my kids, we're treated like neighbors because, as i said, wichita is the best community in the world. brandon whipple, the mayor of wichita, kansas. i'm very sorry that you and your family have had to go through this. thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> early voting is setting new records all over the country. after this break, we'll take a look at what is driving the surge in early voting with
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feeling better? i'm speechless. thanks for the apoquel. aw...that's what friends are for. ask your veterinarian for apoquel next to you, apoquel is a dog's best friend. proposition 16 takes on discrimination. some women make as little as 42% of what a man makes. voting yes on prop 16 helps us fix that. it's supported by leaders like kamala harris and opposed by those who have always opposed equality. we either fall from grace or we rise.
together. proposition 16 provides equal opportunities, levelling the playing field for all of us. vote yes on prop 16. early voting continues to surge around the country with only 15 days left before election day. more than 30 million people have already cast their ballots. at this point four years ago, only 5.9 million votes had been cast. early in-person voting started today in florida and colorado. politico reports florida is the latest state to break a first day in-person record with more than 350,000 ballots cast today. here is senator kamala harris campaigning in florida today. >> justice is on the ballot in 2020, economic justice is on the ballot in 2020. criminal justice reform is on
the ballot in 2020. reproductive justice is on the ballot in 2020. climate justice is on the ballot in 2020. we know what we have at stake and we know our power and that's why we will vote every day until election day and get this thing done! >> "the washington post" reports two weeks before election day black americans have voted in striking numbers, helping to drive historic levels of early voting, as mail-in ballots have flooded election facilities. latasha, what do you see happening that we haven't seen before? and then i want to talk to you about some specific states. >> so over the last 20 days we've been traveling throughout the country, particularly in key states, and what we've been seeing is an enormous turnout.
we were in houston on the first day of early voting last monday. they broke records. everywhere we've been going, they've been breaking records. alabama on saturday they had the largest amount of early votes ever, particularly since it was an in-person absentee. and the same thing in georgia and north carolina. we've been seeing overperformance. even when you look at north carolina, south carolina and georgia, african-american voters have been overperforming. and so as we're out in the community talking to people, you know, i think what trump attempted to do in terms of this voter suppression in fact, i think it's backfiring on the republican party. it's become a lightning rod for black voters who have been determined to get out and vote. and so we're seeing record breaking numbers in early voting right now. >> we're going to have after you jaime harris and jon ossoff.
running in georgia. what does jon ossoff have to do in the closing days to win that race, and what does jaime harrison have to do in south carolina to win that race? >> i think they have to continue to get people to vote early and solidify the base. we're seeing african-american voters actually overperform, outperform their counterparts. we continue to need to drive home the message, we need to make an investment in those coming out. we need to see a higher turnout, make an investment. we need to see more radio, a message being able to affirm that what is happening is that people are coming out in record numbers. and we also need to see some protection. it's interesting even what you're showing right now. that's my polling site, personal polling site in atlanta, georgia. it's hours. that line goes all the way down the highway. so black voters are showing up. i think it's really important to really be able to ignite in this space a supporting black voters but also to prevent voter suppression.
what we're seeing right now in albany, georgia, we had our teams providing comfort of water and snacks for voters. so now we've been told we have to stand 150 feet away, even though we don't have any campaign material, nonpartisan and no candidate. it's really important for those candidates to speak directly to black voters, that they're going to be a champion against voter suppression, and that they're literally investing in those investing in them. >> there's one word you said in there that interested me. you mentioned radio. is radio more effective in voter turnout? >> well, we found in the black communities that radio is significantly more effective than tv. a lot of the messages even as we're talking to people, we ask where they're getting their information. it's the most visible events where people are out in the community and then radio worked. so those messages, what we know in florida is the trump campaign has been flooding the radio, the
airwaves with radio campaigns. i think what he has underestimated -- he put a lot of doubt in the mail-in process and absentee process and he grossly underestimated how black voters would respond. he made black voters that much more determined to get out and vote. we're seeing higher numbers of in-person voting and that results from the confusion and chaos that he tried to create around absentee mail-in vote. >> latasha brown, thank you for joining us once again tonight. we always appreciate it. >> thank you for having me, lawrence. >> coming up, the race to flip the united states senate. up next, jaime harrison running against senator lindsey graham in south carolina, followed by jon ossoff, who is running for senate in georgia. remember, if the democrats do not control the united states senate next year, the democratic agenda does not have a chance in congress.
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priceline. every trip is a big deal. south carolina has set a record for early voting this year, and today jaime harrison, democratic candidate for senate running against lindsey graham voted early in person. the senate confirmation hearing for donald trump's nominee for the supreme court seems to have helped senator graham. he got three days of wall-to-wall cable tv coverage on his role as chairman of the committee conducting those hearings and the latest the "new york times" poll taken during the hearings, shows lindsey graham at 46 to jaime harrison's 40. that's a very bad polling for an incumbent senator. the general rule is they are in great danger if they poll below 50%. before the confirmation hearings began, lindsey graham said this while campaigning in south carolina.
>> if you're a young african-american, an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state. you just need to be conservative, not liberal. >> joining us now is jaime harrison, the democratic candidate for senate in south carolina. i want to get your reaction to what we just heard senator graham say. if you're a young african american, you can go anywhere in this state, you just need to be conservative, not liberal. >> lawrence, it's ridiculous. lindsey graham's been in washington, d.c. for 25 years. he represents a state where almost a third of the state who live here are folks of color, most of them african-american. so you would think that a senator would try to bring all of his or her constituents together and not separate them, but that's not the first time we've heard these type of divisive things from lindsey graham. it's what we expect at this point and time, and it's the reason why it's time for him to
come home. >> how big is the undecided at this point in south carolina? how many people are available for persuasion? >> i think it's about 5% of the electorate, lawrence. you know, you talked about the "new york times" poll that just came out. there was another poll that came out as well that showed us within one and then a one plus one. so this is a turnout election. this election will be determined by which side can get their voters to the polls. and i'm very, very heartened by what i saw today when i went to vote with my sons and my wife. i'm heartened by what we're doing. but at the same time, lawrence, mitch mcconnell is also very observant of what's going on here. we have just learned that now the past two and a half, three weeks mitch mcconnell and lindsey graham's super pac have put $20 million into this race. so whatever advantage we had now has disappeared. that's why we're telling folks,
we got to run through this, tapes, continue to go to jaimeharrison.com and support our efforts. lindsey knows he's in trouble. we need to make sure we can permanently send him home and we'll do that november 3rd. >> we just heard latasha brown say radio is very effective in connecting to black voters in particular at this turnout point in the campaign. are you confident that you and the democratic party in south carolina have all the resources you need to communicate with the voters you need to communicate to to get them to the polls?
>> we still need to continue to push, lawrence. we poured millions of dollars into radio to get our message out, into digital tv, but what the latest projections are that lindsey graham and the super pacs will outspend us by $6 million in the last two weeks of the campaign. we cannot let up, we have to keep going forward. that's where we are and i'm sure jon ossoff and so many in the south, we have to get the resources to pull these out and we can do it. >> what about republican attempts to discourage voting in south carolina? what are you doing in the face of that? >> well, i -- the state party along with the dsec and so many other entities and our campaign have built a robust voter
but we are encouraged. we know that we're going to do everything to make sure that every voter in south carolina who is eligible to vote gets the opportunity to do so. so they can feel free to go to the polls. if they have any problems, just give us a call and we'll make sure that we dispatch attorneys to help take care of it. >> what is your closing argument to voters who think they've already heard everything there is to say about this race in south carolina? >> well, lawrence, you know, the contrast is very clear. lindsey graham is trying to scare people to vote for him. i'm trying to inspire people to support me. i'm talking about hope and rebuilding and revitalizing communities across the state of south carolina. lindsey graham is trying to scare people. he's talking about chaos and riots and those type of things. it's sad when somebody's been in washington, d.c. for 25 years and they can't run on their record. they can't talk about the things they've been able to achieve and do. that's because -- i know why he's now opposed to a senator in d.c. because he is the senator from d.c. he's forgotten the people of south carolina and only cares about the political games in washington. >> jaime harrison, democratic candidate for senate in south
carolina, thank you very much for joining us once again tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. take care. >> thank you. >> and when we come back, jon ossoff, who is trying to help a candidate pick up a senate seat in georgia who is now accused of a racial remark about vice presidential candidate kamala harris. to higher levels of cleanliness. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ the expertise that helps keep hospitals clean, is helping keep businesses clean too. look for the ecolab science certified seal.
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republican senator david perdue says he's not a racist, he's just not good at pronouncing senator kamala harris' name. a name that senator perdue has heard thousands of times pronounced correctly in the united states senate in the last 4 years. the georgia senators staff put out this statement saying senator perdue simply mispronounced senator harris' name and he didn't mean anything by it. keep in mind senator perdue has had 4 years to learn how to pronounce the name of the junior senator from california who
serves on the budget committee with him. >> the most insidious thing chuck schumer and bernie and elizabeth or kamala or kamala,mla,mla, i don't know. whatever. >> the candidate running against perdue says that was, quote, vile race baiting trash. joining us now is the candidate for u.s. senate in georgia. thank you very much for joining us tonight, and i want to go first to what we just heard senator perdue say. that was at a trump rally i believe. what do you think he was trying to communicate to georgia voters with that? >> hey, lawrence. thanks for having me. great to see you. this is the politics of fear and division at a moment when our country desperately needs leaders who unify us to confront covid-19, to rebuild our economy and to restore faith in government.
senator perdue has nothing to run on but widespread disease and mass unemployment. he was too busy adjusting his own stock portfolio, buying up shares in manufacturers of medical equipment and vaccines to prepare our country for covid-19. while he told us this disease was no deadlier than the flu. he doesn't want to talk about that, so what he does is mock the heritage of his political adversaries. it's schoolyard insults. it's bullying, it's divisive, exactly the opposite of what the country needs right now. >> it also apparently is an incumbent senator running scared because according to the latest poll, quinnipiac poll of georgia, we see jon ossoff running at 51% to incumbent david perdue running at 45%. that is a mirror of the biden numbers in florida -- i'm sorry, in georgia in exactly the same poll. the numbers are just about the same for joe biden.
it shows joe biden running at 51%, donald trump at 44%. virtually identical to the way you're polling. the average polling in your state shows you in a tie with david perdue. you 45, david perdue at 46. there's no poll that doesn't look bad for an incumbent running for re-election in georgia. >> well, lawrence, as you know stacey abrams only missed in that governors race two years ago by 50,000 votes. we've added nearly 800,000 new voters to the rolls here since then. georgia becomes younger and more diverse by the hour. and georgians like all americans are standing up right now to elect leaders who unify us, who inspire us, who will heal the wounds of these last 4 years so that we can solve problems. we're in the middle of a crisis, a public health emergency that's killed nearly a quarter of a million people.
and my opponent is up on stage with an opportunity to address the state and the nation and provide some hope and am guidance and to speak about the path forward. he wastes his time, his platform and his office with this kind of nonsense. it's why his campaign is spiraling. he's wildly out of touch with the people of this state. but i need help overcoming voter suppression here. lawrence, turnout is through the roof but the lines especially for black voters are 8 or 10 hours long. and people can contribute to our voter protection effort at electjon.com. >> what is the single most important issue you'll be discussing with voters in the closing days of this campaign? >> well, unquestionably it's our health. and what that means is two fold. first of all it means we need to empower public health experts and medical experts to lead us out of this pandemic. my wife is an ob/gyn doctor here in atlanta. the doctors and nurses and epidemiologists have been doing
their jobs. it's politicians like david perdue that failed us. and we need to make sure every single family can afford health care. even in the middle of this pandemic he's trying to destroy protections for pre-existing conditions. the corrupt influence in washington. he is the embodiment of everything wrong with our politics right now. division, fear and corruption. and georgia has had enough. >> what do you think is going to make the difference when the votes are finally counted here? is this going to be what you're able to do on turnout versus what the republican party is able to do on turnout? >> look, a lot of this is going to come down to whether or not we can protect and expand ballot access. there are black voters here in georgia who are being made to wait 12 hours in line to vote early. i got my start in public service
working for congressman john lewis, a man who had his skull fractured marching for voting rights 55 years ago. that there are still voters in this country that use their authority to disenfranchise people is deeply wrong. we need a new voting rights act. i'm asking people across the country to log onto electjon.com and help us do that so we can win this race, restore decency to government and protect voting rights. >> what are we seeing in the day to day behavior on early voting? are people getting discouraged by those lines, or are those lines reappearing every day? >> that's the inspiring thing, lawrence. is that the people are undeterred by the obstacles put in their path to vote. when people become aware that someone is trying to take away their sacred hard fought rights we are only galvanized in our determination to exercise those rights, and in so doing to defend those rights.
and it is so inspiring to see people standing in line persisting to cast their ballot. >> jon ossoff, democratic candidate for united states senate in georgia. thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> jon ossoff, get tonight's "last word." "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. >> good evening once again. 15 days now until the presidential election two weeks from tomorrow. and three days until the final scheduled presidential debate. just a few hours ago the presidential debate commission announced new rules. a candidate's microphone will be muted while their opponent delivers their initial two-minute answers to each debate topic. mikes will be on during the so-called open discussion
segments of the debate. with two weeks to go now the president today seemed to be campaigning against dr. anthony fauci. it started this morning with the president on a conference call to his campaign headquarters that journalists were on as well. >> people are tired of covid. i have the biggest rallies i've ever had. and we have covid. people are saying whatever, just leave us alone. they're tired of it. people are tired of hearing fauci and all these idiots, these people -- these people that have gotten it wrong. fauci's a nice guy. he's been here for 500 years. every time he goes on television there's always a bomb, but there's a bigger bomb if you fire him. but fauci is a disaster. >> the president's dismissal of the pandemic comes as a third spike of coronavirus now threatens our country. at least 38 of our 50 states report rising infections.
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