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CNN "Erin Burnett Outfront" - Transcript: Interview with Senator Amy Klobuchar

Interview

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BURNETT: Wow. But pretty incredible that we may know earlier, depending on how this map plays out. You could know it early and it could take days, giving us that wide range.

All right. Drew, thank you.

I want to go now to the Democratic senator from Minnesota, former presidential candidate, Amy Klobuchar.

Good to talk to you, Senator.

So, you have just returned from campaigning --

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): Great, Erin. Thanks.

BURNETT: -- for Joe Biden in Florida.

KLOBUCHAR: Uh-huh.

BURNETT: So what Drew is seeing I'm sure is much of what you saw, as well.

Who do you really think has the edge right now? The state is marked a full toss-up.

KLOBUCHAR: You see Joe Biden surging ahead in a number of polls. And I was in Tampa, I was in Sarasota, and I was in Ft. Myers. And people were pretty excited.

And I was smiling as I listened to your correspondent talk about the people voting. They're voting in droves. Seventy-five million people have already voted across the nation, Erin. They are excited.

And I think that bodes very well for Joe Biden, because Donald Trump, you know, he's coming back to my state again. And Joe Biden is leading by double digits. We take nothing for granted.

But the excitement in the Midwest right now is palpable, 1.5 million people having voted in Wisconsin. People who voted for Trump before or stayed at home in the Midwest are suddenly saying, wow, I can't even see my mom at Thanksgiving, because she's got to keep herself safe and isolated.

I've got to teach my first grader how to run the mute button to go to school. People realize that he has mismanaged this crisis and they want someone who's got competence and compassion in the White House.

BURNETT: So, earlier this week, both President Trump and Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh suggested it is improper, Senator, to allow mail-in ballots received after Election Day. So, as part of a majority decision to block Wisconsin from extending its deadline for mail-in ballots, right, so that if they were mailed before election but receive after, they could count them. They're not allowed to do that now. Kavanaugh wrote in his ruling there, quote: States want to avoid the chaos and suspicion of impropriety that can ensue if thousands of absentee ballots flow in after Election Day and potentially flip the results of an election.

President Trump then, Senator, took this concept of impropriety further and more specifically.

[19:40:00]

Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Now they say we'd like to get the ballots and maybe get them within a few days of the election, and we'll take ten days to count them up. Oh, good, let's let the whole world wait while you count the ballots. You know what happens while they're counting them? They're dumping more ballots in there, OK?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: What's your response to that? He's saying they would be dumping more ballots in to flip results.

KLOBUCHAR: I guess he needs to talk to the people in Utah and the people in Kansas. There's a number of redder states, although we're going to win that Senate race in Kansas, that actually do the same thing.

Twenty-one states, Erin, 21 states count the ballots after the -- their due date is Election Day. It has to be postmarked by Election Day, so they're counting them afterwards.

Our military, so many of their ballots are postmarked by Election Day, and they're counted afterward. So I have no idea why he would say this.

And most I would say, Bernie and I did a statement together on this because we found it so chilling that Justice Kavanaugh, in his own opinion, his dissent, would actually -- or opinion that he joined in, in the concurrence with the Wisconsin case, would actually say the same thing, when he knows very well from being a lawyer in the Bush v. Gore case that, in fact, votes must be counted.

You can't flip a result when you don't know a result. A result comes when all ballots are counted.

BURNETT: So, let me ask you about Amy Coney Barrett, the justice, because, you know, the Supreme Court tonight said it would leave in place the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision. That decision would allow ballots received up to three days after the election to be counted, even if there is no legible postmark. This was a victory for Democrats.

The justices are deadlocked 4-4 in the case, OK? So, the way that could have been broken would have been Justice Amy Coney Barrett. But she did not participate in it --

KLOBUCHAR: Exactly.

BURNETT: -- because of the need for a, quote, prompt resolution, said she didn't have the time to fully review the fillings.

I know that you and other Democrats have been calling her out, trying to have her to recuse on election-related cases, she has refused to do so thus far. But isn't that what she basically just did, and she just do what you want?

KLOBUCHAR: No, no, she wanted to recuse, she would actually say she was recusing. And in this case, I suppose we still leave it open. But she basically said she didn't have time to review it. That makes it sound like if she had time she would have weighed in.

So, of course, that's concerning to me, because she wouldn't answer my basic questions, even about a statue on the books on voter intimidation.

I do want to make one thing clear, though, Erin, and that is that there are local officials all over this country, Democrat and Republican, that are simply doing their jobs, processing these ballots, very clear that as your earlier guest said, some states we're not going to know the result on election night. And that's okay.

We don't want to feed into this Trump hysteria on that point. But many states we may know, and if the polls hold up and if people vote like I think they're doing, we may well know the results on election night. But I don't think people should be concerned if local officials are still counting. Twenty-one of them, they have to count afterward.

BURNETT: OK. Thank you very much, Senator Klobuchar. I appreciate your time tonight.

KLOBUCHAR: It's great to be on, Erin. Thank you.

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