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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Close Presidential Elections Count; Demonstrations in Philadelphia; Race Narrows Again; Vote Counting Continues in Arizona. Aired 9:30-10a

Aired November 5, 2020 - 09:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[09:30:00]

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Gridlock but it does spell very tough -- very tough to govern successfully. And -- and, let's face it, even the Democrats are confident about -- now about taking the White House.

The reality is daunting. It may be an apparent victory. Because if you have Mitch McConnell -- I know John just said, he does have a record of working with Joe Biden. But, nonetheless, Mitch McConnell is going to be a -- and the Republicans in the Senate be a blocking force.

At the same time, you know, the Supreme Court is taken and then Joe Biden's going to have all this pressure from his left with AOC, the squad and others. But he's going to be under a lot of cross-pressure to deliver on the progressive agenda, the very thing that Mitch McConnell is going to try to block. So you can see that's difficult.

And then on top of that, (INAUDIBLE), something we haven't had in a long, long time is a president who is leaving office who may be a continuing force in American politics. Remember that what happened here with Trump, he got 65 million votes, 65 million votes, 5 million more than he had last time.

So -- and he -- he -- he is -- every indication has been he wants to be a continuing force. People come down to Mar-a-Lago to kiss his ring and that sort of thing. He could be -- this will be tough. Joe Biden is the right person to be negotiating this, to navigate this, but it will be tough.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: I mean if Democrats thought that Donald Trump was going away, even if he were to lose, they probably have another thing coming.

GERGEN: Right.

CAMEROTA: And so, Jamie, what about that question that John Berman just posed and David picked up on, do we know how Mitch McConnell and Joe Biden get along? Because we all remember 2008 when Mitch McConnell famously said that his single most important objective was to block Obama's agenda and make him a one-person president. Does that same sentiment extend to Joe Biden?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: So they do get -- let's say -- put it this way, they have gotten along in the past. And I think to David's point, though, there is -- both parties have to come to terms with how divided the country is.

Democrats have to come to terms with that huge number of votes that Donald Trump just got despite the fact that I would say he mishandled -- mishandled coronavirus, despite the fact he has a tenuous relationship with norms and the truth.

And Republicans are going to have to come to terms with exactly what David just said, and that is, I don't think Donald Trump is going anyplace and do they want to try to wrestle the party back from him? Can they do it? He does not want to leave the spotlight if he loses. I don't think he will.

I talked to two people who have worked very closely with him and they both said to me, don't be surprised if he says or teases that he might run again in 2024 if he loses. So the Republican Party is going to have to deal with that as well as Joe Biden if he wins.

CAMEROTA: Really interesting reporting, Jamie.

David, I want to pick up on what you just said about how Joe Biden is going to have to negotiate the left side of his party, the progressive wing.

GERGEN: Yes.

CAMEROTA: But this race was so much tighter than pundits predicted, than polls predicted. And so doesn't that send the message to Joe Biden that he has to lead from the middle?

GERGEN: I -- yes, I believe that his -- the pressure -- I think he's going to be under cross-pressure. I think he does need to lead more from the middle and have cabinet members that reflect more from the middle. But, after all, the progressive wing of the party, you know, supported him through this campaign. They kept their mouths shut.

It wasn't the Bernie Sanders of four years ago that Hillary thought may have cost him the presidency. In fact, Bernie Sanders was out there complaining, Elizabeth Warren has been campaigning for him, AOC has been campaigning for him. They brought out a lot of young voters, you know, this avalanche of people who voted early, a lot of them were young, inspired by these progressives.

So if you're sitting there in the White House, you have to pay serious attention to it. It -- they -- they are the future of the party, no doubt. So it -- I think he has to navigate between. How he does that, I'm not sure.

He needs probably to build up his own relationship with the American people so that he comes into any negotiation with a lot of stature and a lot of people pulling for him. In other words, if he can restore trust in the White House and people think, we finally have a leader that we enjoy working with, that could give him some additional leverage because he's going to need it.

CAMEROTA: Well, if --

GANGEL: Alisyn, could I --

CAMEROTA: Yes, please, Jamie.

GANGEL: Could I just add one quick word, coronavirus.

GERGEN: Yes.

GANGEL: This is -- he is -- if he wins, this is not a usual year he's going into. And I think some of the pressure, political pressure, will be lessened by the fact that there's going to be one objective and that's, you know, getting control of COVID.

[09:35:10]

CAMEROTA: Really interesting and first we have to count all the votes.

GANGEL: Right.

CAMEROTA: So, Jamie, thank you very much.

GERGEN: Yes.

CAMEROTA: David Gergen, thank you very much.

Let's go back to John Berman.

GERGEN: Thank you.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thanks so much, Alisyn.

We are starting to see demonstrations in Philadelphia. The one you see behind me is people encouraging the counting of the vote. Which is happening. Because that's democracy.

We'll take you to the ground and give you an update on where that vote stands, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:40:05]

BERMAN: All right, John Berman back with our special live coverage. Take my word for it, Donald Trump's lead in Pennsylvania just dropped again by about 7,000 votes. His lead has shrunk to 135,000. It was more than 160,000 about an hour and a half ago.

We have seen protests, demonstrations, in several cities so far, including Philadelphia. There is one building there this morning.

CNN correspondent Shimon Prokupecz watching this for us.

Shimon, who is protesting there? Exactly what are you seeing? SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So you have both sides here, John, this morning. To my right side here you have Trump supporters who, as you can see, they have signs that say voting ends on Election Day. And then we have signs that say count legal votes. All -- sort of channeling a lot from what we're hearing from the president's legal team.

And then on the other side you have the Biden supporters. And as you can see with them it's been mostly a party atmosphere. The deejay has been playing since about 8:00 this morning. And they're just standing around, dancing. It's been peaceful. The Trump supporters have just been standing here quietly holding their signs. And, obviously, everyone awaits to see what Philadelphia and what Pennsylvania here does.

We're outside the convention center where the vote -- the counting of the votes is taking place. And as we've been reporting, there's about 140,000 ballots that are being counted here behind us. And that is why, John, so many of the people that we see here have gathered here this morning.

BERMAN: Yes, they're watching the count along with all of us. They have a bit of a rooting interest in which way it goes, to be sure.

Shimon Prokupecz, it's great that it's still peaceful. Please keep us posted.

All right, we're watching the vote come in. It keeps on changing. Every ten minutes or so we get a new batch of votes. What's the very latest from Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona.

Back to the magic wall, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:46:24]

BERMAN: The counting is on in several key states. We are seeing the numbers change.

Let's go right to the magic wall. Phil Mattingly, let's start with Pennsylvania.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, let's pull up Pennsylvania because, as you noted, that number was at about 161,000 I think when we started the night -- or the morning. I'm losing time track again. Right now it's at 135,000. Why is that happening? Exactly how we laid out this was going to occur. It's starting to occur.

First, we had vote come in, in Philadelphia County, biggest county in the state, 12 percent of the population comes from right here. Now at 81 percent. That number is going up. That number is starting to go up.

What we are planning -- what we expect to see, based on what we've heard on the ground, and based on how things have been going, not just in Philadelphia County but around, it's -- that's going to tick up to about 80 percent, maybe 81 percent. And that top line number could go up as high as 575,000, maybe 600,000. We'll wait and see. We know it's outstanding. We'll wait and see.

What else came in? You remember, Bucks County, swingiest of the swing counties. That was red last time around. It is now blue. Joe Biden has taken the lead, 177,000 votes to 173,000 votes for Donald Trump. And we know there is now 29,000 votes outstanding in Bucks County. All vote by mail. Vote by mail going heavily towards Joe Biden. The expectation is this will tick up a little bit as well.

BERMAN: The numbers matter most here, but that's a thematic change that's very important to the Democrats this morning also, the idea that Bucks County flipped blue.

MATTINGLY: Yes, because if you go back -- look, Bucks County, again, quintessential swing district.

BERMAN: Yes.

MATTINGLY: Republican represents it in the House right now, but 2016, Hillary Clinton narrowly won it, narrowly won it. Right now, Joe Biden narrowly leading.

BERMAN: Narrow (ph) stretch.

MATTINGLY: And it's going to stretch a little bit more. And what it shows you, like it's shown throughout the course of the state, Joe Biden's margin is going to be a little bit better. And his strongholds and (ph) Hillary Clinton is, and it's going to keep Donald Trump down where Donald Trump traditionally leads.

BERMAN: Let me -- let's look, if we can --

MATTINGLY: Yes.

BERMAN: At how things have changed. Again, because I think people see 135,000 and they say that's still a large margin, but it's so much smaller than it was yesterday morning.

MATTINGLY: Yes, and it's really important to point out why this is happening, how this is happening. We've talked about it a couple of times. But, look, I'll take you back.

We'll take you back to midnight on November 4th. Midnight, clock struck midnight after election night, Donald Trump, look at the margins, 56 percent to 41 percent, 548,000 votes ahead. Why? Why? Because what Pennsylvania was counting first was Election Day vote. What Donald Trump and his team did on Election Day was blow turnout out of the water and run up a big number.

Now, watch as this starts to move around. What happened at 2:00 a.m.? Donald Trump up 709,000 votes. People were looking at Pennsylvania, didn't understand what was going on, and thinking, this is over. This may be over. We don't even know, 56.5 percent to 42 percent. Now watch. 10:00 a.m. November 4th, 10:00 a.m. yesterday, 589,000 votes. 3:00 p.m., 435,000 votes, 6:00 p.m., 276,000 votes, 9:00 p.m., 195,000 votes.

Where are we right now, 135,000 votes. Vote by mail is being counted. It is moving heavily Democratic, as it did in Michigan and Wisconsin. Joe Biden is catching up. Does he have enough outstanding vote to catch up and overtake? The answer is yes. Will it happen? We'll have to wait and see how the vote comes in.

BERMAN: People need to also take a step back and think about how they perceive a state depending on how it counts. What if all the early vote had been counted first? We'd be talking about a large Joe Biden lead that's shrinking this morning. It changes your perception when they count. It's changing the margins. We're watching it very closely.

[09:50:00]

We're going to talk about Arizona, where the reserve is happening. Donald Trump is closing the gap there. We're going to talk about whether or not he has the votes to close it and maybe overtake Joe Biden, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: The U.S. election still hangs in the balance. The state of Arizona still very much in play. Joe Biden's lead there has shrunk. It is now less than 70,000 votes.

Let's go to CNN's Stephanie Elam, live in Phoenix.

Stephanie, what are you seeing? What are you hearing?

[09:55:00]

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, just because people wanted it to be tighter, just so more nails could be bitten here.

If you take a look at this, John, what we are seeing, after we got those two tranches of ballots that were counted last night here in Maricopa. And why it matters what Maricopa County does is because this is the most populous state -- county in the state. So that is why people are paying attention to the fact that Biden's lead over Donald Trump here now shrinking down by 10,000 votes in the last group -- the numbers that we saw here.

So taking a look at the state, as a whole, the state is saying that they have some 450,000 votes that still need to be counted and then here in Maricopa County there's about 300,000 of those votes that still need to be tabulated. These are ones that were probably dropped off on Election Day that had been filled out. So that is going to take some more time.

So we expect to see more of these numbers this evening. But, still, for a lot of people watching what's happening here for these 11 electoral votes, it's still getting tighter, not wider. And that is why a lot of people are very much keeping their eyes right here, John.

BERMAN: Stephanie Elam in Phoenix for us. Four years to grow back those fingernails. We can start in a day or two. Thanks so much for being with us, Stephanie.

Moments from now election officials in Georgia, they hold a news conference. And 18,000 votes separate the two candidates, getting more narrow by the minute. Stand by for more information.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)