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Caravan Is About 900 Miles From U.S. Border; Oprah Winfrey Campaigns with Stacey Abrams in Georgia. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired November 1, 2018 - 12:30   ET

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


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[12:30:50] JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back.

Listen to the president these days. You get the impression the caravan of criminals is about to invade America. He's ordering troops to the borders. Surprising the Pentagon yesterday by saying plans to send 5,000 could triple to 15,000. The president wants you to be scared.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They got a lot of rough people in those caravans. They are not angels. They are not.

We're tougher than anybody. We're tougher than any force. And we're probably going to have to be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

A few pesky things we call facts here. Mexican authorities say the caravan consisting about 5,000 to 6,000 people. CNN and CNN Espanol correspondents who visited with the caravan report many of those walking north are women and children. And right now, they-re roughly 900 miles from the border.

Specifically, the caravan has just left the city of Juchitan in the state of Oaxaca. They're headed to Matias Romero. How far from the border is that? That's not right on the U.S.-Mexico border. Trying to figure out yourself, imagine walking from New York to Davenport, Iowa or from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon.

The invasion, if you are inclined to accept the president's label is hardly imminent. And yet this is how he operates. He likes the crisis mentality. It's about to happen any second now and it's bad for you.

ELIANA JOHNSON, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, POLITICO: I think that's the way the president keeps these issues in the news. And what's so interesting to me, John, you played a couple of segments ago, some clips from a focus group of women. And they said that they do believe the president is exaggerating and scare mongering, and nonetheless, they don't want this caravan to come into the U.S. You know, they agree with the president on a much more discreet fundamental issue. And I do think that's how the president succeeds. They appreciate his show of strength even though they're acutely aware of the strategy that he is using.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's exactly right. People who are at home watching this in Texas, Alabama, wherever, they believe this. They see these images of the caravan and they know that the president is prone to exaggeration. That's why you also hear from his supports, we don't like his tweets but we like what he's doing.

They actually believe it. They do believe this caravan is making its way. The president can (INAUDIBLE) to the fact and get away with it in this situation which is why people -- whenever he makes these comments, he's going to send 15,000 troops to the border, you have to really fact check the president because whatever he's saying, you know, that messaging really does get through to his supporters.

KING: To that point about the president and truth telling. It's clear to anybody, Trump supporter, Trump critic, the president has many casual relationship with the truth. Again, you see here sometimes, it deserves a purpose. He does it on purpose.

ABC's John Karl asked the president about this yesterday. Do you think you're a truth teller?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Well, I try. I mean, I do try. I think you try, too. You say things about me that are not necessarily correct. I do try, and I always want to tell the truth.

When I can, I tell the truth. I mean, sometimes it turns out to be where something happens it's difference or there's a change, but I always like to be truthful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Let's just put that to the test just in the context of the campaign. The president a couple of weeks ago told people on the trail there's going to be another tax cut, a middle class tax cut and we're going to get it done before the election. Not happening.

The president says, we talked about this earlier, he wants to sign an executive order taking away the right to birthright citizenship. Meaning even if you're in this country even if you're here illegally, if you have a child, that child is a U.S. citizen. The president says he wants to take that away.

Do it, we'll talk about it. Do it, sign the order.

The president says Republicans will protect pre-existing conditions. He says that at every rally stop. His administration tried to completely repeal ObamaCare. Attorneys general are suing to take away those protections and the administration has passed regulations allowing insurance companies to sell more bare bones plans that don't have those protections. That's not being truthful.

TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, BLOOMBERG: Yes, the president is keeping a lot of fact checkers employed and he's been doing that since he, you know, first started running for office. I think he understands that just getting issues in the public debate and the public sphere were down to his benefit if that's -- if those were the issues that he wants people to be talking about.

So if you go back to the poll that we just -- that you just released looking at Florida voters. If you look at voters who have -- or immigration as their top issue, there's a huge split where they're most likely to vote for Governor Scott, the Republican.

[12:35:05] For those who have healthcare as their top issue, it's like a 78 percent split where they're going for --

KING: We're going to pause the conversation because there are stars out on the campaign trail. Today, some of them are politicians and some of them not. Oprah is in Marietta, Georgia just outside of Atlanta campaigning for Stacey Abrams. She's the Democratic candidate for governor.

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: As I said, I wasn't asked, I just called Stacey up three days ago. Yes. I didn't even know her (INAUDIBLE), you know Stacey Abrams.

(INAUDIBLE) somebody said I know Stacey Abrams. I have her cell number. I said, just give it to me. I'm calling her right now

So I called Stacey Abrams and I said, Stacey, this is Oprah. You know what she said? She said, girl, let me pull over to the side of the road.

That's a good thing. You should not be talking on your cell phone when you're driving. And I told her that I wanted to come to Georgia and lend my support. She said that'd be all right. That would be just fine.

And I told her, here's why I want to come because I have been reading about you. I have been reading about you in the Atlanta Journal, I've been reading about in the Time magazine, I've been reading about in the New York Times. And I've been watching you and I have been seeing how you handle yourself.

I have been watching you in the midst of the onslaught of haters. And vitriol that's thrown against you. I have been watching you and you just keep coming. And not only that you have people coming on, you keep standing, you keep standing strong for the values that matter to me and the values that matter to Georgians all over this state.

So I'm here today because Stacey Abrams cares about the things that matter. She cares about Medicaid expansion. Keeping families together. Environmental protection for our children so that they'll have clean water and won't be wearing oxygen masks 10 years from now.

She cares about common sense gun control. We are not going to take the guns from the people. We know people want to hunt in Georgia, but since when have we lost common sense from common sense? Common sense gun control.

She cares about affordable housing, she cares about criminal justice to protect our communities and create jobs. So the reason I am a registered independent is because I believe that everybody should have the right to vote their values and vote your conscious, regardless of the party. I tell you, I have voted Republican and I have voted Democrat. And each time I'm voting, I voted for the people who I felt represented my values.

So Stacey Abrams' values are in alignment with the consciousness of which our democracy has been founded. The very foundation of our democracy is to think about other people. To live our life in service. Democracy is not just about our individual rights and concerns and our individual protections, but rather it lives and thrives in making sure that everybody is lifted by the community.

Today's line is not just what I want or what I need or what's going to fill my pocket book, but recognizing that what is good for everybody is good for us. Stacey Abrams gets that. She gets that. She understands and she will serve the underserved of the state of Georgia.

[12:40:01] You see, here's the truth. All of us may have been unequal, but (INAUDIBLE). If you woke just a little bit, you got sense enough to know that everybody is not treated equally. Reality is this. Reality is, we see injustices big and small all-around us, every single day of our lives. And I know it's easy for a lot of people to feel that you have no power against those injustices.

But this is what I'm here to tell you. This land was made for you and me. This land was made for you and me. That's not just a song, that's the truth.

And I will tell you, I will tell you that we are not powerless. Every single one of us, every single one of us has the same power at the polls. And every single one of us has something that, if done in numbers too big to tamper with, cannot be suppressed and cannot be denied. As our civil rights predecessors used to say, we shall not be ruled.

So every single one of us has the same power at the polls. We have the ability to go into a tiny booth or (INAUDIBLE) is not even a booth just a little stand, and every one of us, regardless of the color of our skin, it doesn't matter when you're there at the polls, where the God we pray to, it doesn't matter who we choose to love. Whether or not we graduated high school or went to college or how much money you have in the bank or whether or not you have a pre-existing condition or whether you're elderly or whether you're not. Whether you're developmentally disabled. Doesn't matter at the polls. We are all equal in power.

So on November 6th, you all hear -- you already got it. You got it. So now your job is to go out and let everybody else know how to get it. That you make your voice heard on November 6th. We have this incredible opportunity to make history. We have our inalienable right to vote because the place where we are all equal is, where is it? It's at the polls!

And I'm here today because I know you know that. But I just came to remind you of the power. I'm here because I want you to remind others of the power. And I want to make it very clear to all the press, everybody. I'm not here because I'm making a grandstand because I'm thinking about running myself. I don't want to run, OK? I don't want to test any waters.

I'm not trying to test any waters. I don't want to go in those waters. I'm here today because of Stacey Abrams. I'm here today and I'm here today because of the men and because of the women who were lynched, who were humiliated, who were discriminated against, who were suppressed, who were repressed and oppressed for the right for the equality at the polls, and I want you to know that their blood has seeped into my DNA and I refuse to let their sacrifices be in vain. I refuse.

And I'm here today -- don't let nobody turn you around! You can't let their sacrifices be in vain. I'm here today because like a lot of young people, I didn't take voting seriously until around my mid 20s. Around my mid 20s, I had the privilege of hearing Reverend Otis Moss Jr. who's a preacher. You all know him? A preacher.

A preacher in Cleveland, Ohio. And I heard him tell the story of his father, of Otis Moss Sr. who right here in Georgia's true county got up in the morning and put on his only suit and his best tie.

[12:45:09] And he walked six miles to the voting poll location he was told to go to in the grange. And when he got there after walking six miles in his good suit and tie, they said boy, you're at the wrong place. You're at the wrong place. You need to go to Mountville.

So he walked another six miles to Mountville and when he got there, they said boy, you at the wrong place. You need to go to the Rosemont school. And I picture him walking from dawn to dusk in his suit, his feet tired, getting to the Rosemont school and they said boy, you're too late. The polls are closed. And he never had a chance to vote.

By the time the next election came around, he had died. So when I go to the polls and I cast my ballot, I cast it for a man I never knew. I cast it for Otis Moss Sr. who walked 18 miles one day just for the chance to vote. And when I go into the polls, I cast the vote for my grandmother Hattie Mae Lee who died in 1963 before the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and never had a chance to vote. I vote for her.

And when I stand in the polls, I do what Maya Angelou said, I come as one but I stand as 10,000 for all those who pave the way that we might have the right to vote. And for anybody here who has an ancestor who didn't have the right to vote and you are choosing not to vote, wherever you are in this state, in this country, you are dishonoring your family. You are disrespecting and disregarding their legacy. Their suffering and their dreams when you don't vote.

So, honor your legacy. Honor your legacy. Honor your right to citizenship in this which is the greatest country in the world. The greatest country in the world. And the right to vote is like the crown we all get to wear.

Maya used to say, baby, your crown has been paid for so put it on your head and wear it. For your crown has been paid for. The right to vote is your crown.

So, this is a tight race here in Georgia. This is tight. And there are tight races all over this country that depend on all of us giving honor to our greatest Democratic right and privilege. So let your vote make a difference, let your vote count, and let your vote speak for you.

If you're a woman, let me just talk to the women for a moment. If you're a woman, you need to recognize, it hasn't even been 100 years since we even had the right to vote. Since we were considered a piece of property. You couldn't even own a piece of property. I love land so much and I think if I was born at the turn of the century, 20th century, I wouldn't even have the right to own the land without your father or your husband saying it was so.

You didn't have the right to even take care of yourself. So you didn't have a voice and now we do. We as women people, we as women people need to stand united and vote our values. Vote your values. Vote your conscious.

All this noise, all the noise you just can't get away from it. You turn on the T.V., on the -- it's so much noise and crazy talk. All the vitriol in the ads, you know what, they are designed to confuse and confound you with fear. That's why they are done.

They're designed to confound you with fear. They are not designed for people with discernment. Women people, we have discernment.

And when you know the right thing and you can feel it, you can feel what is the right thing to do, you can't be influenced by propaganda and fear. So now is the time for discernment.

[12:50:01] And only when we unite as sisters. And I don't just mean sistas. I mean, sisters, black sisters. brown sisters. white sisters. Asian sisters. LGBTQ sisters.

When we all unite, I know for sure a change is going to come. So I'm here today to support a change maker. She is a woman who dared believe that she could change the state of Georgia. And that she is dynamic, she is so inspired and inspiring. She is bold. She's bold. She's bold. And bodacious. She's a Georgia warrior woman.

Ladies and gentlemen, Stacey Abrams!

KING: All right, Oprah Winfrey. She doesn't need her last name. It's Oprah in Marietta, Georgia. Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor, a woman trying to make history. She will be the nation's first female African-American governor if she wins what is now a very, very tight race heading into the final five days in the state of Georgia. Oprah down there trying to generate a turnout and we bring it back into the room.

She's an independent, she's there to campaign for a Democrat. I bet a lot of Republicans who are watching that saying, I wish we had an Oprah. Whatever your politics are at home, just in terms of how effective, she knows the needs in this race. Number one, she's in the suburbs, not Atlanta proper. Number two, she says, African-Americans, get out, don't disrespect your family heritage. When you couldn't vote, get out and vote.

And then sisters. She said not sistas. Sisters. White sisters, Asian sisters, brown sisters, Latino sisters, LGBT sisters, women vote. Though the suburban vote, the women vote, the African-American vote will answer the question, can Stacey Abrams make history?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. She basically just laid out the coalition. Stacey Abrams needs to win. And you're talking about where she is right now. She's in Marietta, Georgia, that's Cobb County, that's not Fulton, that's not -- obviously Stacey Abrams (INAUDIBLE) to come out in a big way. But her ability to also get Cobb, Gwinnett, DeKalb as well where you get those suburban voters as well obviously pretty decently large minority communities in those counties as well.

But that's the game. They've talked about going in and picking out voters in red counties and areas that traditionally vote Republican. If you want to win statewide in Georgia, if Stacey Abrams wants to win, she needs to roll up huge votes in those four counties. Oprah is delivering the message that her campaign has been trying to spread over the course of the last couple months and doing it in a big way that's being amplified obviously by us and I assume many others.

JOHNSON: Yes. You know, in 2016, Donald Trump had some distinct advantages which are, he had enormous name recognition and celebrity appeal and he was able to pull some historically Democratic voters into the Republican Party. That's what somebody like Oprah could inject into this Georgia governor's race with the celebrity appeal, name recognition, and she's an independent. Somebody who hasn't historically associated herself with a political candidate and she could be a real boost to this Democratic gubernatorial candidate in a race that's extremely close.

COLLINS: Well, and you say, everyone wants an Oprah, of course everyone wants an Oprah. But the next best thing they're getting is Donald Trump going to Georgia on Sunday to also try to what she's doing right there. Essentially turn out the base.

KING: Yes. And the question for me, it's a great point. President Trump is the singular star of the Republican Party. Now his vice president is there in Georgia as well today trying to help Brian Kemp, the secretary of state who's the Republican candidate for governor.

Again, this is not about finding new voters, this is about turning people out if you can early vote, getting them out. The president is a singular figure. Here's my question, the president has not tried very hard to reach across to create a broader coalition. He operates very much within the boundaries of his 2016 coalition. She's trying to deliver more of a cross over message there saying I'm an independent, I have voted Republican, in this case I'm voting for this Democrat. I guess that's the test, right. Who has more appeal.

OLORUNNIPA: Yes. And that's why she was successful for 25 years on daytime television, it's because she was able to build that coalition of suburban voters, suburban women of all different races and backgrounds. And that's who she is appealing to.

We've seen President Trump repel a lot of those types of voters and a lot of those voters are leaving the Republican Party, are voting against President Trump's candidates in part because they don't like the divisive nature, they don't like the types of rallies that he does where he is calling people names, calling Stormy Daniels horse face. We saw a very different type of message from Oprah which is much more uplifting, much more inclusive, directing -- her message is directly to a number of different women who are gettable in this race in part because Stacey Abrams is also making that kind of message as well.

KING: And fascinating. This one of many, neck and neck governor's races. Florida is several in the Midwest. We live in Washington, we focus a lot on the House and the Senate. These governor's races are going to have such a huge impact (INAUDIBLE) on 2020 and then be on post-2020 redistricting. And possibly if you look at Florida and you look at Georgia on the question, is it safe to run as a Democrat in the south again because a lot of Democrats, especially white Democrat -- white aspiring white politicians in the south say I have to be a Republican.

[12:55:10] The question, will this change that?

MATTINGLY: Look, I think that's -- this is an excellent petri dish. It's an excellent petri dish to see if in a midterm election, Democrats can actually get their voters to turn out for the first time. And it's a petri dish both for 2020 and what's going to forward in terms of what the make up of the Democrats.

Big question. Is this a realignment of American politics that we've seen that lines up before Donald Trump is? Lines before a newer Democratic Party could be. We'll see the answer in a couple of days.

KING: And I apologize for you guys coming all the way in here and I have to go to some live event. Sorry, it's Oprah.

Thanks for joining us in the INSIDE POLITICS. Be back here at this time tomorrow. That'll be four days out. Don't go anywhere though. Wolf starts after a quick break.

Have a great day.

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