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tv   Wolf  CNN  November 5, 2014 10:00am-11:01am PST

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next drawing is friday. but it's just worth a paltry jackpot at about $15 million. the guy who buys our lottery pool tickets isn't here today. just saying. happy day after election, everybody. my colleague, wolf, starts right now. right now, republicans are celebrating their big wins from last night. the gop taking over both houses of congress. and that means president obama is going to need to find a way to work with these republicans. the president right now is preparing his response to the american people, a response you will see here live. that's coming up in our next hour. hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. 6:00 p.m. in london. 7:00 p.m. in paris. 8:00 p.m. in jerusalem. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. we begin with a new political landscape here in washington and across the united states.
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a republican tidal wave gives the republicans full control of the u.s. congress. they needed a net gain of six seats to take the senate from the democrats. they got at least seven, giving them 52 seats. three races are still undecided. virginia, louisiana, where there will be a runoff, and alaska. republicans also made significant gains in the house of representatives. cnn projects they will have at least 243 seats, that's their biggest majority in the house of representatives since world war ii. so what happens now? what does all this mean for the republicans and the last two years of the obama presidency? the cover of "the new york daily news," the front page features a picture of the president with the capture "his hope turns to nope." we'll hear from the president as i said in the next hour, he's holding a news conference at the white house. that starts at 2:50 p.m. eastern. live coverage coming up here on cnn in the next hour. we'll also hear from the man
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who's expected to become the next senate majority leader, senator mitch mcconnell. he has his own news conference right at the top of the next hour, 2:00 p.m. eastern. we'll have live coverage of that as well. last night, mcconnell said the republican victories represent a significant turning point. >> tonight turns a corner, and the future i see is a bright one. americans have seen that what the current crowd in washington is offering is making us weaker both at home and abroad. they have had enough. >> republicans also scored major victories in governors races. embattled governors in incumbent states were reelected. illinois, maryland and
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massachusetts, states that president obama won two years ago elected republican governors. let's get some perspective on all of this. the republican surge in these, the 2014 midterms. mike pence, the governor of indiana, former republican congressman. some say he might be a republican presidential candidate going forward towards 2016. i'll ask him about that later. governor, thanks very much for joining me. you used to be a congressman. let's talk a little bit about what you want to hear from the president of the united states. he's going to be addressing the american public from the east room at the white house at this news conference in the next hour. what's the most important thing you'd like to hear from president obama? >> i hope we hear that the president got the message. that the american people have been disappointed with the direction of our country at home and abroad and that he's prepared to roll his sleeves up with a new republican majority in the senate and a wider republican majority in the house and work in ways to get this
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economy moving again. i also hope that he looks at 31 republican governors and recognizes that the american people are giving a great affirmation to republican leadership at the state level and looks for more ways to work with this congress to give states like indiana and all the other states around the country more freedom, more flexibility to craft solutions at the state level that will work for the people of each of those jurisdictions. >> you believe republicans in the congress and republican governors like yourself will be able to work with this president during his final two years looking ahead to 2016. >> well, i was there when we won the house back in 2010. our hope was that we saw a movement in the white house then. it didn't come to fruition. but i hope the president got the message. he said before this election that he wasn't on the ballot but his agenda was. and i think the people here in indiana, people all over america
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agreed with him. his agenda was on the ballot, and the american people sendt a resounding message for change in the policies that have caused the slowest recovery in recent memory. and also i think they want to see washington start to work together, also start to work in more effective partnerships with our states to craft solutions that will get this economy moving again and really restore america's place in the world. >> what will it say to you if the president in the coming weeks, as he's promised to do, takes unilateral actions, executive orders, going around congress to go ahead and provide a change to the illegal immigration status of millions of people living in the united states? >> well, i think millions of americans would be profoundly disappointed if the president got out his phone and his pen and acted in any unilateral way in the wake of yesterday's incredible election. the american people have sent a
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deafening message that they want change. i think they want to see us refocus our national government and state governments around the country on the kind of policies that will create jobs and opportunities, expand educational opportunities, improve our infrastructure. we can work together on all of those things at the national level and here at the state level. but if the president wants to begin to act unilaterally, that's just going to send us into one more season of gridlock and acrimony in washington, d.c., which, again, i have to -- 31 republican governors and electing republican governors, as you mentioned earlier, in places like illinois and massachusetts and maryland, all should send a message to this administration that the american people are endorsing commonsense republican leadership at the state level and there's a real opportunity here not just to shrink the national government but to send back to the states all over this country the resources and flexibility to
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craft solutions that will work in each and every one of their states. >> are you thinking of running for the republican presidential nomination? >> today really is about all these great candidates. and i want to give great credit to our great team here in indiana. we had a great victory. three outstanding women leading our ticket here. wider majorities in our legislature. i'm also grateful to have been a small part of standing with a number of our candidates around the country running for election and reelection as governor. for my part, i'm going to stay focused on the state of indiana, stay focused on keeping indiana in the forefront of growth. >> you're not ruling it out, though, right? >> well, my focus is here in indiana. we've seen unemployment drop from over 8% to 5.7% now. we're recognized the national leader in education innovation. we have the results to approve it. with the upcoming session of the
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general assembly, the opportunity we have with renewed majorities in the hoosier state and with a great statewide team reelected is to continue to keep indiana in the forefront of now a part of the country here in the midwest that has republican governors from illinois, wisconsin, michigan, ohio and we intend to continue to lead that pack. >> we'll leave it on that note. governor pence, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. mitch mcconnell is expected to speak right at the top of the hour, 2:00 p.m. eastern. the president is expected to start speaking at around 2:50 p.m., eastern. he's got a news conference in the next hour. you'll see both of them live right here on cnn. after his party's miserable showing, what does the president need to say to the american people when he speaks? in that opening statement at the news conference in our next hour, we'll ask our panel of experts. we'll also talk with democratic congressman charlie rangel who's seen congress change hands plenty of times in his 40-plus years in the u.s. congress.
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this is humira at work and less saturated fat? it's eb. eggland's best. better eggs. it's eb. the democrats really took it on the chin last night, losing control of the u.s. senate, losing ground in the house of representatives at the same time. joining us now from new york, the longtime new york democratic congressman charlie rangel. thanks very much for joining us. >> good to be back with you, wolf. >> you won your district handily last night. you got about 87% of the vote, new york's 13th district setting up for you a 23rd term in the house of representatives. but so many of your fellow democrats, they did really, really badly. why did the democrats do so poorly in these senate races, these governor races and these house races?
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>> i really think the american people were fed up. one great thing about our constitution is that when constituents get fed up with incumbents for doing nothing, they don't pull them out of office and shoot them. they just vote them out. they don't have to give any reasoning for it. and i think the frustration of seeing the gridlock and the fact that they have not really enjoyed the benefits of an improved economy, and the fact that just saying no is very popular. they had a target called obama and they didn't deal with the issues. they just dealt with the frustrations. now comes 2016. they have to come up with more than "just say no". >> the democrats lost in really a lot of these so-called blue or democratic states, governors races, as we pointed out in maryland, massachusetts, illinois, states the president went -- he campaigned for those democratic candidates. and the voters said, we don't want you. why?
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>> i don't think they wanted government. i don't think they wanted incumbents. i don't think that they were bothering as to whether it was republicanis or democrats. they just want to see something positive come out of washington. and many good people, republicans and democrats, just went out with the wash. when people get frustrated and tired and don't believe the future includes them. but on the issues that america is concerned about, the republicans have stopped that, whether we talk about health care, minimum wage, decent housi housing, the infrastructure -- all the things that america needs and we're moving forward on were never an issue and were democratic laws. and there's not one republican out there that can say what they want to do for the next presidency. they don't have a candidate. >> i want to give you a chance, congressman. we've known each other for a long time.
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clarify controversial remarks you said at a governor cuomo rally in new york last week. you said, and i'll read it specifically -- some of them, referring to republicans out there, believe that slavery isn't over and that they won the civil war. what did you mean by that? >> i meant that -- they used to call themselves -- slave-holding states. they've been frustrated with the emancipation proclamation. they became republicans, then tea party people. these are the people that are trying to frustrate people from voting, changing the voting rights that we fought so hard for. and all i'm saying is, if you want to challenge the statistics, find out where the slave-holding states are, find out where the tea party is. and i'm just saying that it's unfortunate america doesn't deal with the problem of racism.
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but until we acknowledge that it exists and fight hard to eradicate it, then we still have to be frustrated by people. they all come from the south and they all have these feelings about superiority and that's true whether you're picking cotton or you're president of the united states. >> you're doubling down on those remarks -- you're not walking away from them? as you know, they caused quite a stir, raising the specter of racism out there. i want to point out to you, an african-american republican was elected, the united states senator in south carolina, tim scott. >> we're not talking about america. we're not talking about the advancements that we've made, a black president, the explosive number of african-american and others that are now in the congress -- we're talking about a cancer that we have in the united states of america. america knows who they are. they know how they feel. and we're talking about dealing with them.
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and quite frankly, the healthiest thing that can happen to this republican majority is that they don't have to have the tail wagging the dog. they don't need the tea party. and maybe, just maybe, in getting ready for 2016, they can start dealing with the issue that americans are concerned about in terms of creating the jobs, improving the infrastructure, education, research, development, livable wages. and they don't have to deal with those handful of people and we all know who they are and where they're from. so maybe slavery was the wrong word. but racial superiority, unfortunately, is a disease that a handful of people have. and they were holding back the republican majority in the house of representatives. maybe now that republican leadership doesn't need them, they can go along with people who want to improve the quality of life for all americans and not those who just look like them. >> you want to name any names?
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>> no. listen, the whole world knows who they are and certainly americans do. and certainly speaker boehner does. and we have to have immigration that's based on what's good for the country, not good for people who come just from europe. so all of these things, we have an opportunity to change. and we don't have obama to kick around anymore. he does have the veto. but i think what he wants to do is to make certain that we find a level playing field where we can be productive, not as republicans and democrats, but as americans. and the republicans have an opportunity now to say something positive about something, whether it's immigration, infrastructure, education, minimum wage. they haven't done a thing except take advantage of the frustrations that american voters rightfully have. >> charlie rangel speaking his mind as he always does, thanks very much for joining us. i will point out, there aren't a
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lot of people who believe in slavery in a lot of these states like maryland or massachusetts or illinois where the republicans won the governors races. so it sort of suggests maybe there are some racist elements out there and all of us know there are some. but to blame the republican wins on these -- >> i'm not blaming the republicans. and thank god for the progress we've made. but there are people that still carry the confederate flag in memory of those who lost. and they refuse to believe it. and everyone knows, it has nothing to do but with a small group of people that a lot of people -- sounds like we're going in that direction -- are afraid to talk about it. they're in america and they are responsible for holding back a lot of progress that we should have been making in the immigration law 10, 20 years ago. and we're not doing it because of the attitudes about a certain
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number of people as to how they see the complexion of the united states changing. some of them have said that, that we're losing our country as we know it. and you and i know exactly what they mean. they're not the same shade of the people that was here when the pilgrims came. >> charlie rangel, thanks very much for joining us. we'll continue our conversation. >> i hope so. >> thank you. still ahead, tough talk or conciliation? we'll talk about what president obama needs to say, what tone he needs to take when he speaks other than this american people. that's coming up in the next hour. you'll see it live right here on cnn. alright guys. the usual. double wings, extra ranch. we need to do something different. callahan's? ehh, i mean get away, like, away away. road trip? double wings, extra ranch. feels good to mix it up. the all-new, fuel-efficient
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president obama is now facing a political landscape entirely new to him, one with republicans controlling not one but both houses of congress. here to discuss the impact of this gop tidal wave, our senior political analyst david gergen and ron brownstein. thanks very much for coming in. david, what's the most important thing the president of the united states needs to say right at the top of his news conference coming up in the next hour? >> he got whooped. and it was a tough one. big night for the republicans, bigger than expected. but i think the critical issue is not only what he says but what he does. we heard from jim acosta that there was a pugnacious tone at the white house, combative. ant "new york times" peter baker reports this morning the president is frustrated. he said he was basically kept on the sidelines by other democrats. he doesn't think it's about him. i think if that's his tone and his attitude, i think he's going to have trouble down the road.
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if he's more conciliatory and means it and works on it, it takes two to tango -- >> if he goes through this executive order unilateral action and deals with immigration reform simply by signing some piece of paper rather than seeking legislation through congress, what will be the impact of that during his final two years in office, ron? >> it will be explosive, wolf. from their point of view, they have tried on legislation and it is difficult to imagine this republican congress with every republican senator who was elected opposing a pathway to citizenship, all the new republican senators ultimately ending up in a place of immigration that he can accept. this is a crossroads choice. if he doesn't do this, he will deeply alienate his base which they need for 2016. and i think will also frustrate him after he's felt he's given republicans many chances to do this. but if he does do it, it will provoke a lot of confrontation and set a very combative tone for the final two years.
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>> do you think he'll do it? he made a commitment that he would do it even without legislation, david, what do you think? >> i think when you say that your agenda is at stake in the elections and then you get rejected this way, you need to go back and look at your agenda. >> he walks away from that? >> he's got a window -- >> he drew a red line on immigration, unilateral action, executive order. >> he did. but the people have spoken in a fairly loud voice. and he himself said his agenda was on the table in this election. i think it opens a window to say, look, i'm willing to try this one more time with you. if you don't do it, i'm doing it unilaterally. >> what's surprising to a lot of us, ron, i assume to you as well, it wasn't necessarily all that surprising that republicans are in the majority in the senate but in those democratic states, republicans were elected governor -- not talking about midwestern state like indiana. but maryland, massachusetts and the president's home state of
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illinois, republicans won the governor contests. >> yeah, a receding tide sinks all boats, i guess, to use the analogy. we saw some of that in 2010 when republicans won governorships in wisconsin, illinois and pennsylvania. governorships are somewhat more insulated. but the reality is these elections are increasingly nationalized quasiparliamentary elections. the views about the president drive the results everywhere. if you look at the national exit polls, 44% of the voters approved of his performance. 87% of those voters voted democratic for the house. 55% disapproved. 83% of those voted republican for the house. whether democratic candidates invited him into the state or not or campaigned with him or not, he was on the ballot with them. that's the reality. if the party does not find a better way to explain and justify what they've done under his tenure by 2016, it is going to be a powerful undertow again. you can't reach back to the
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clinton years. you have to find an explanation and convince more americans that there have been benefits for them through the obama presidency. >> when they lost the house, the democrats in 2010, the president used the word shellacking. we'll see what word he uses today. thanks very much to both of you. the republican big guns came out blazing on cnn today following last night's elections. >> people are so tired of the gridlock and the ugliness in washington. they want to see things get done. >> this was not only a repudiation of the president but a repudiation of hillary clinton. >> whoever you believe, the president certainly will have a lot of work to do to try to work with that new republican majority in the house and senate. how does that affect the outcome in 2016? the next race for the white house. we'll look ahead. i didn't think i'd have a heart attack. but i did. i'm mike, and i'm very much alive. now my doctor recommends a bayer aspirin regimen to help prevent another heart attack. be sure to talk to your doctor
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uh,synergy? datafication! gamification! university of phoenix has had alumni at every fortune 100 company... we can help open the door to your future. go to to get started today. welcome back to how viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer reporting from washington. both the new jersey governor chris christie and the kentucky senator rand paul, they campaigned hard for so many of the republican candidates who emerged as winners last night. never short on words, they spoke to cnn earlier today about what the victory means. >> i think that they've seen republican leadership in other states and it's been enormously effective. we had a lot of folks last night who said a lot of republican incumbents were going to lose. rick scott won in florida.
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reich snyder won in michigan. scott walker won in wisconsin. they like governors who get things done. if you get things done, if voters rewarded you. >> i think last night in kentucky we had a huge victory. particularly in kentucky, iowa, arkansas, this was not only a repudiation of the president but i think really a repudiation of hillary clinton. everybody thought, hey, i'm going to be a clinton democrat. turns out that's not so popular in a lot of states either. and trying to separate this into obama democrats and clinton democrats wasn't a very successful strategy for the democrats yesterday. >> both governor christie and senator paul were on cnn's "new day" this morning. and senator paul even posted a photo album of sort of hillary clinton campaigning with candidates who lost. his hashtag, hillary's losers. joining us is larry sabato. thanks very much for joining us.
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how do you think the defeat that the democrats suffered last night -- it was pretty widespread, as you know, will impact hillary clinton and her ambition maybe of becoming the president of the united states? >> wolf, the clintons have always been very good at turning negatives into positives. and the negative for them is not only did the democrats lose, rather badly, but the clintons themselves campaigned for loads of candidates who went down in flames, including in places where they're supposed to be influential, like arkansas and kentucky. but i can easily imagine that within days if not weeks, hillary clinton when she finally decides to make public what we all know is going to happen, will say, look, the republicans are in charge of the house and the senate. it may very well not change after 2016. look at all of the, quote, extreme, unquote, things they're doing to do, you need me to stop
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them. i'm the only thing standing between you and their far-right measures to do x, y and z. >> in your state of virginia right now, we still have not projected the winner. the incumbent democratic governor mark warner slightly ahead of ed gillespie. who's going to win that race when all the votes are counted? >> i think warner will emerge the winner. i think privately most people admit that looking at where the handful of votes that haven't been reported are from. and he's well up. 10,000, 12,000 votes doesn't sound like much until you go looking for them. often in virginia, the canvasses turn up more democratic votes than republican votes again, because of the large localities that readjust their figures. but, look, that was a tremendous embarrassment for mark warner. there's just no two ways about it.
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the surveys in virginia were dead wrong as they were in georgia and kentucky and lots of other places around the country. and i think they lulled warner and everybody else into a false security that he was, in fact, handily winning reelection. he turned out to be very vulnerable in the purple state of virginia in a classic sixth-year itch election that had a bit of a wave attached. >> you predicted the republicans would be the decisive majority in the u.s. senate. and you were right in your predictions. larry sabato, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. we're waiting for senator mitch mcconnell to hold a news conference. he was elected to his sixth term in the u.s. senate yesterday. he's already told one news outlet what his top priority will be. stay with us. you might be surprised to hear what he has to say. that news conference coming up right at the top of the hour. he's expected to be the next senate majority leader.
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dad,thank you mom for said this oftprotecting my thank you for being my hero and my dad. military families are uniquely thankful for many things, the legacy of usaa auto insurance could be one of them. if you're a current or former military member or their family, get an auto insurance quote and see why 92% of our members plan to stay for life. it's a call to president obama that he's going to have to start working with republicans to get things done. and i think obviously with the republican majority in the senate, he's going to have no other option than to work with republicans to get things done. well, he should have been doing that for the past five years and he hasn't been. and i think the american people are sick and tired of it. >> that's the republican national committee chairman reince priebus setting the tone
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after the very, very big republican party wins last night. starting in early january, republicans will control both houses of congress. they will be able to set a lot of the agenda. joining us now, our cnn political commentator ana navarro and cnn contributor, the former obama special adviser, van jones. thanks very much for joining us. i keep asking people what they want to hear from the president when he starts speaking, what do you want to hear? >> graciousness. i actually want to hear both president obama and mitch mcconnell be gracious. i think you need to be gracious in defeat and admit defeat. not deny it. you need to be gracious in victory. both of them need to be gracious and classy today. >> four years ago when the democrats lost the house of representatives, he had that news conference and said the democrats suffered shellacking. that was the word he used.
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just tweeted about that yesterday and today. is there another word he should use today? >> devastating, humiliating, crushing defeat. this is a horrible day for democrats. it's weird because people did vote on our issues in the right way, whether it's choice, marijuana, criminal justice. but they didn't vote for our candidates. he's going to have to cough up that furball. >> what happened to the obama brand, especially with young people, they went out and voted historically in 2008. >> and '12. >> women, minorities. all of a sudden, there were a lot of people who didn't show up at the polls yesterday. >> we have a boom bust coalition. on election years where it's a national election, presidential election, we have an undefeatable blue wall. david gergen wrote a great piece about it. but you can't governor with a coalition that's big only every four years. you have to be consistent. we did not give young people in particular a reason to come to the polls. we didn't nationalize on student debt or nationalize on
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infrastructure and jobs. we didn't nationalize this election on issues. >> i've been thinking a lot about this. we're being seen not only in the united states but around the world. foreign leaders, friendly foreign leaders and enemies of the united states, they see a president who clearly has been weakened. he's going to asia next week. he'll will in china next week. he's going to have to deal with a lot of tough issues over the next two years, but a lot of these foreign leaders will see a weakened president and they say, this is an opportunity to try to take advantage of the united states. >> well, i hope none of those asian leaders get him to campaign for them because they may lose. i think it's a good place for him to go right now on a foreign trip and go do what he's got to be, which is commander in chief and continue being the chief diplomat of the united states. the bottom line is he's still got two years. there's a lot he can do in two years if he chooses to.
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and if the dynamics work for him, he has to set the tone and make sure the message he's continuing to send is, i'm going to continue on foreign and domestic priorities and make it happen. if he doesn't send that message, put a fork in him, he's done. >> i think that there are ways forward on a bipartisan basis. here's the thing. when you talk about -- when you look at what the actual republicans voted for, republicans voted for minimum wage increases -- >> if he goes and unilaterally changes the illegal immigration laws in the united states going around congress -- you heard governor mike pence of indiana say that would be poking the new leadership of congress right in the eye. >> what you're bringing up is not inconsistent with what republicans have been saying. what republicans have been saying is, minimum wage should be set by the states. it should be something -- as you know, it's not a federalist issue. it should be a state issue because different states have different dynamics and they know
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what's there -- >> should he walk away from that pledge to sign an executive order and really -- if he does that, you know how's going to irritate the republicans. >> here's the thing. this president made a promise and pledge to the latino community that he was going to stop devastating latino families, stop ripping moms away from their children. that he was going to take a step back from the kinds of horrific enforcement that's angered the latino base. he has to deliver on that promise. if the republicans are concerned, they should sit down and come up with a way forward. but if republicans continue to step away from their responsibility, this president has to lead. if this president thinks he's going to walk away from the latino community and not fulfill that promise, he's wrong. >> he's stepped away from those promises the last seven years. those are old promises not fulfilled. >> this is going to be a critical issue. i know it will come up in the news conference.
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for our international viewers and our viewers in north america, i'll be anchoring cnn's special coverage as we get ready to hear first from the new republican leader in the u.s. senate, expected to be the majority leader, mitch mcconnell. he's going to be speaking at the top of the hour. and then later in the next hour, president obama begins with an opening statement that has a full-scale news conference in the east room of the white house. we'll have live coverage coming up here on cnn. our coverage continues right after this short break. ♪ there it is... this is where i met your grandpa. right under this tree. ♪ (man) some things are worth holding onto. they're hugging the tree. (man) that's why we got a subaru. or was it that tree? (man) introducing the all-new subaru outback. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer reporting from washington. any minute now the man expected to become the next senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell of kentucky, he'll talk about the gop's victory. a huge victory in the midterm election s here in the united states last night. right after that president obama set to respond to what is widely seen as a major defeat handed to his democratic party. a sea change up on capitol hill as republicans now take charge not only of the house of representatives but also the u.s. senate snatching the senate from the democrats and expanding i should point out the republican's grip on the house of representatives. this is what the balance of
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power in the u.s. senate looked like before the election with democrats firmly in control. there you see it right there. 53 democrats, two independents who vote with democrats, 45 republicans. here's where it stands right now. democrats are shuffled to the back seat and republicans in charge. the republicans picked up seven seats so far at least in the senate. more potentially on the way. and gains in at least 14 of the house giving republicans their largest majority in the house of representatives since world war ii. and with several races still too close to call, the house could end up with its largest republican majority since herbert hoover was president of the united states. in addition, the number of republican governors increased by four with republicans taking the top office in even reliably democratic states that voted overwhelmingly for president obama just two years ago. let's point out republicans won in maryland, massachusetts, and illinois. the president's home state.
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we have a team of the best analysts and reporters standing by. our chief washington correspondent jake tapper is here. our chief political analyst, gloria borger, our cnn commentators are here as well. up on capitol hill, dana bash. let's start with you, jake. give us your analysis right now. a, what we're likely to hear from mitch mcconnell and then a few minutes later what we're likely to hear from the president of the united states. >> i think you're going to hear a conciliatory tone and mitch mcconnell talking about wanting to work with president obama and working with democrats in the senate. make no mistake. republicans feel as though they were handed this and they have a mandate that they were elected to stop some of the obama administration's policies, to show leadership where they feel president obama has not shown leadership especially when it comes to the economy. so while i do think it's going to be an expression of a desire to work together, it's also
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going to be an expression of clear republican imperatives and republican principles. >> there will be some danger points very, very quickly if the president goes ahead and use his pen to sign executive orders that will deeply irritate the congress, the republican led house and senate. >> they're talking about that right now, wolf. obviously if the president were to sign an executive action that was all encompassing, that it would be like sticking his thumb in the eyes of a bunch of republicans who ran against immigration reform. i think the discussion that's going on inside the white house is while they're clearly going to extend an olive branch because they have no other choice but to do so but they have to decide in what order they decide to do things. do they do immigration now? do they try to get something done on taxes or infrastructure first and then do what they wanted to do on immigration?
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make no mistake about it. nobody is saying that suddenly people are going to get together and write poetry together about immigration reform. that just is not going to happen before the next election. >> as we wait to hear from mitch mcconnell, we widely expect him to be the new majority leader in the u.s. senate although when i interviewed senator ted cruz, the republican of texas last night, i asked him a couple times will you support mitch mcconnell as the new majority leader and he refused to say he would. he didn't say he wouldn't. republicans will get together and talk about it. how divided are the republicans right now in the united states senate as far as mitch mcconnell being their leader? >> i think they are a lot less divided than an interview with ted cruz would have you believe frankly. that's ted cruz being ted cruz. that's vintage ted cruz. it's part of his persona and profile to be a thorn on the side of the institution and the establishment. so that's very typical of ted
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cruz. i do think president obama and republicans are between a rock and a hard place when this comes to this executive immigration action particularly president obama. he's under tremendous pressure from latinos from immigration advocates and from his progressive base. he's been making promises on immigration since he was campaigning as senator barack obama in 2007 and time and time again groups have heard it's not your turn and for political reasons you have to wait and many are done waiting but you have republicans, some who have a genuine desire to work on immigration, but it will poison the well when you have people like lindsey graham, marco rubio and john mccain authors of the bipartisan agreement in the senate on immigration sending him a letter saying really think about it and this will have consequences. it's a difficult place. >> let me go to dana bash on capitol hill. you cover all of these men and women in the united states senate and house of representatives. set the scene what we're about
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to hear right now from mitch mcconnell. >> you know, mitch mcconnell is an interesting character. he is somebody who is going to be introduced much more to the american people than they ever have seen him before. to those of us who cover him in congress, we have seen the way he operates for some time and it will probably be illustrated in this press conference. he's known as somebody who is one of the most, if not the most, strategic politicians in washington. i think democrats and republicans alike will say that. he's somebody who plans so many steps ahead and for this being the majority leaders he's been planning for for years. he thought possibly he would get this job four years ago and then it didn't happen. two years ago they had a crop of republican candidates who couldn't perform and couldn't get elected. now he finally got the prize that he's wanted forever. he's one of the few senators who doesn't look in the mirror and say i want to be president.
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he joked about that with me when i was in kentucky. he has a clear idea of how he wants to do it. he wants to return the senate to regular order. that sounds like process. to explain it in layman's terms, he wants it to work the way the founders said. he wants everything to go through committees where things tend to work in a much more bipartisan way and to try to bring those things to the floor. whether he can get that done, who knows. at least he definitely has a plan and we're going to hear at least a little bit about it when he speaks shortly. >> let me bring s.e. cupp into this conversation. is it a done deal he'll be majority leader in the senate? >> ted cruz never misses an opportunity to try to separate himself from the pact. i think there's a consensus that
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mitch mcconnell deserves this and will be good at this. to something that jake said earlier, i think he's right that it's really easy to see what happened last night as a mandate for republicans, but i don't think that's true. i'm hoping that mitch mcconnell comes out and celebrates a hard fought victory especially in his own case in his own state but also acknowledges the fact that this was a rejection of barack obama's my way or the highway attitude and it doesn't make much sense for republicans to come in with a my way or the highway attitude in the face of rejection. >> we just lost s.e. we'll reconnect with her. van jones, what about that? she's making a point you hear a lot that the president really hasn't reached out during these first six years and tried to cultivate not only republicans but even a lot of democrats up on capitol hill inviting them to the white house and watching a movie and having dinner.
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he hasn't gone to the bill clinton playbook in trying to establish that personal rapport with a lot of members of congress. >> that is something that's said about him often when he does do it, it's overlooked or seen as political. i think more important than the personal touches, he has reached out on the policy side. there have been many, many times he put forward ideas that were republican, infrastructure, tax breaks for small businesses and was rejected because you had a strategy on the part of the republicans to really try to say no to him on everything. now we do have a chance for a reset and there are issues on which we can work together well. criminal justice reform is something that rand paul and eric holder agree on. that's an issue. infrastructure. if you look at the way the republicans voted, they actually voted for things like minimum wage. they voted for things like marijuana laws. so there is common ground that i think we can get to but i think the idea that the gridlock was created by obama not wanting to reach out as a progressive
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democrat, that's never been our critique of president obama. he's been trying to reach out. our concern is that republicans ran against gridlock that they created. they may have been rewarded for that. we hope they learn the right lessons too. >> david gergen, there is plenty of gridlock in washington. there's a new dynamic going on. republicans the majority in the house and senate. two years left for president obama in the white house. is there a moment here -- you worked for four u.s. presidents, democratic presidents, republican presidents, is there a moment to break that gridlock or is it sort of a done deal that the gridlock will continue the final two years? >> all of the newspapers today are reporting that we're going to be more mired in gridlock, but i do think there will be a moment. it will be brief and it has to be well used. one element we left out of the conversation so far here is the president also has to workh