The latest on the 2020 election and SCOTUS battle

By Melissa Macaya and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:07 p.m. ET, October 1, 2020
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9:23 a.m. ET, October 1, 2020

Harris talks debate prep and personal childhood memories on Hillary Clinton’s podcast

From CNN’s Jasmine Wright

A young Harris is seen with her mother, Shyamala, in this photo that was posted on Harris' Facebook page in March 2017. 
A young Harris is seen with her mother, Shyamala, in this photo that was posted on Harris' Facebook page in March 2017.  from Facebook/Kamala Harris

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris joined former democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s new podcast “You and Me Both” for a lengthy discussion on a myriad of topics.

On debate preparations, Harris described the difference she sees in her duty going up against vice president Mike Pence in comparison to her goal during primary debates. Harris was light on actual preparation details.

“This time it will be about, you know, requiring some level of knowledge, if not mastery, of Joe's record, the vice president, Mike Pence's record, Trump's record and then, of course, defending my own record,” she said. “But I guess the biggest thing, just to be candid with you, is to be prepared for what is, I think, very likely to be a series of untruths.”

Clinton warned Harris to be prepared for Pence attempts to diminish her as a woman and put her “in a box.”

“It's, on some levels, surreal in terms of it all,” Harris responded. “And I don't necessarily want to be the fact checker at the same time, you know, depending on how far he goes with whatever he does. You know, he's going to have to be accountable for what he says.”

Harris talked a lot about the influence her mother had on her life, as she typically does, telling stories about how driven and passionate she was about science and nodding to the distant turmoil from before her selection saying of her mom with a laugh “no lack of ambition there.”

“Her specialty was breast cancer, and, you know, before I was probably aware of it, I was hearing her passion for the importance of women receiving dignity in the health care system,” Harris said of her mom.

Then she began to tell a story of when she came home angry one night after a mastectomy was performed and someone was just walking around with a woman’s breast on a metal tray. 

“My mother was raging mad because it gets to the point about the dignity of women,” Harris said, then giving audiences a verbal graphic warning for the next part of what her mom said.

“She said, "Do you think that they would have walked around with a man's — you know what—” [laughs] "without at least giving it the dignity of putting something over it or doing…” Right?” Harris said.

And Harris confirmed that she has now become her mother, when asked by Clinton if she can hear her when she speaks to her husband on cleaning up after himself or teaching him to cook or to her step children.

Throughout the interview the pair traded compliments, Clinton talked about her love for Harris’ sister Maya who was a senior advisor on her 2016 campaign, and when talking about her trajectory in comparison to her mother’s— a breast cancer researcher to a VP nominee— in light of the passing of RBG, Harris thanked Clinton for all the encouragement, warmth, support and barrier breaking she provided.

9:22 a.m. ET, October 1, 2020

Biden campaign had best fundraising day of the entire 2020 race after debate

From CNN’s Sarah Mucha

Olivier Douliery/Pool/Getty Images
Olivier Douliery/Pool/Getty Images

The Biden campaign raised $21.5 million online Wednesday following Tuesday night’s debate, making it their best fundraising day of the 2020 race, a campaign aide confirms to CNN. 

This comes as the campaign raised $10 million between 9 p.m. and 12 a.m. during and after last night’s presidential debate, making their sum for just over one day over $31 million. 

The New York Times was first to report. 

9:33 a.m. ET, October 1, 2020

Trump's Supreme Court nominee garners praise from GOP senators during Capitol Hill visit

From CNN's Paul LeBlanc

Susan Walsh/AP/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Susan Walsh/AP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, garnered high praise from Republican senators during a visit to Capitol Hill on Tuesday as the party finalizes plans for a quick confirmation process ahead of the November presidential election. She will be meeting with just GOP senators today for the third straight day.

Barrett met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell before a slate of meetings with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham and a number of GOP lawmakers on the panel, including Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Rick Scott of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas, John Thune of South Dakota and Mike Lee of Utah.

McConnell —who was joined by White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Vice President Mike Pence in his meeting with Barrett — told reporters he was glad to have Trump's nominee at the Capitol "to get the process started" and said he left his meeting with her "even more convinced" that she's the right choice for the high court.

"I left our discussion even more convinced that President Trump has nominated exactly the kind of outstanding person whom the American people deserve to have on their highest court," the Kentucky Republican said, adding that "this nominee could not be more fully qualified to serve on the Supreme Court."

That message was echoed by Grassley before he even met with Barrett on Tuesday, telling reporters that she has "a good chance of getting my vote for the United States Senate."

"I usually don't say that until everything's over, but Judge Barrett has quite a record to go on," he said.

The Capitol Hill visit takes place just days after Trump nominated Barrett to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and underscores the speed with which GOP lawmakers have rallied behind her as they push to cement a 6-3 conservative tilt on the high court. Barrett was appointed by Trump to the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017 and advocates on the right have backed her nomination because of her writings on faith and the law.

2:36 p.m. ET, October 1, 2020

Commission on Presidential Debates "carefully considering" the changes to debate format

From CNN's Kate Sullivan and Sarah Mucha

Matthew Hatcher/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Matthew Hatcher/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates said Wednesday it would be making changes to the format of the remaining presidential debates after the first debate between Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Trump devolved into a chaotic disaster the night before.

"The Commission on Presidential Debates sponsors televised debates for the benefit of the American electorate. Last night's debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues," a statement from the CPD reads.

The CPD did not specify what changes were being considered or would be adopted, but said it would be "carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly."

During the contentious 90-minute debate, Trump frequently interrupted and heckled Biden, ignoring repeated pleas from the debate moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News, for Trump to stick to his allotted time. The debate was marked by frequent incoherent cross talk, and at one point, an exasperated Biden told the President, "Will you shut up, man?" 

The CPD said it was "grateful to Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night's debate," and said that it "intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates."

Biden said Wednesday he hopes the CPD will find a way to control the amount of interruptions at future debates, and said the way Trump conducted himself at the debate was a "national embarrassment."

Here's what you need to know about US presidential debates

9:32 a.m. ET, October 1, 2020

Barrett to meet with just GOP senators for the third straight day

From CNN's Manu Raju and Paul LeBlanc

Manuel Balce Ceneta/Pool/AP
Manuel Balce Ceneta/Pool/AP

President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett has been meeting with Republican senators on Capitol Hill this week as the party finalizes plans for a quick confirmation process.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said the committee will approve  Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court on October 22, setting up a full Senate vote to send her to the high court by the end of the month. Confirmation hearings will begin Oct. 12, Graham said.

Here is who she is meeting with today:

  • 9:00 a.m.  Sen. Daines  
  • 9:30 a.m.  Sen. Sasse   
  • 10:30 a.m. Sen. Ernst   
  • 11:00 a.m. Sen. Wicker 
  • 11:30 a.m. Sen. Blackburn      
  • 12:00 p.m. Sen. Hoeven  
  • 2:00 p.m.   Sen. Moran  
  • 2:30 p.m.   Sen. Hawley 
  • 3:30 p.m.   Sen. Cramer 
  • 4:15 p.m.   Sen. Fischer  

Earlier this week, Barrett met with met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell before a slate of meetings with Graham and a number of GOP lawmakers on the panel, including Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Rick Scott of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas, John Thune of South Dakota and Mike Lee of Utah.

9:34 a.m. ET, October 1, 2020

Biden and Harris don't want to talk about changes to the Supreme Court

From CNN's Dan Merica

Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris made it clear on Tuesday night that they don't want to talk about changes to the Supreme Court, including expanding the current nine-justice bench.

Asked directly at the first presidential debate if he supported "packing the court" in response to President Donald Trump possibly confirming a third Supreme Court justice before the election, Biden openly acknowledged he was dodging the question, saying "Whatever position I take on that, that'll become the issue."

Trump seized on the comment, asking Biden repeatedly if he was "going to pack the court," leading Biden to say, "I'm not going to answer the question."

Biden's running mate, Harris, also dodged the query in an interview after the debate.

"We are 35 days away from an election ... probably the most important election of our lifetime and our children's lifetime, and there is nothing about these next 35 days that Joe or I will take for granted," Harris told CNN's Jake Tapper. "The focus right now is on reminding people that we have this election that is very much in play ... we are in the midst of an election."

Harris added that she and Biden would "deal with that later."

The exchanges highlighted the difference between the Democratic ticket and some on the left of the party who have been invigorated by calls for sweeping change in the face of another Supreme Court pick by Trump.

Most on the left didn't expect Biden to be the leader of their cause, but Tuesday's exchange highlighted the extent to which they wanted to avoid making it a topic of discussion before the election and instead focus on what the Supreme Court fight could mean for the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Top Democratic operatives to powerful elected officials have responded to the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Trump's decision to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to replace her by pledging that "everything is on the table" as a way to change the Supreme Court and Senate.

Read more here.