MetroFocus: October 20, 2022

“Till” tells the heartbreaking true story of the 1955 kidnapping, torture, and lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till, through the eyes of his mother Mamie Till-Mobley.  Mamie’s decision to hold an open casket funeral for her son, forcing the world to see the abuse he endured, was a major moment in Civil Rights history.  New evidence has emerged in the Emmett Till case as recently as this year, but no one has ever been convicted for his murder.  Joining us to discuss the film is Keith Beauchamp, a producer and co-writer of “Till,” who also directed a documentary on Emmett Till and founded Till Freedom Come Productions, a company devoted to socially significant projects that can both teach and entertain.

The crucial midterm elections are just days away and one key race that could determine the balance of power in Washington, DC is across the river in New Jersey’s Seventh Congressional District.  Tom Kean Jr., a former Republican state senator is facing off against incumbent Democratic Congressman Tom Malinowski in a rematch of their 2020 contest.  State of Affairs host Steve Adubato recently spoke with Malinowski about the election, and he also had an exclusive interview with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy about some of the most pressing issues facing the Garden State and the nation.  Adubato joins us tonight to discuss his sit-down with the governor and the critical congressional race.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT, THE MURDER OF EMMETT TILL TOLD THROUGH THE EYES OF HIS GRIEVING MOTHER.

HOW SHE DEMONSTRATED THAT WHAT HAPPENS TO ANY OF US ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD BETTER BE THE BUSINESS OF ALL OF US.

> THEN, THE GARDEN STATE ELECTION SHOWDOWN THAT COULD DETERMINE THE BALANCE OF POWER IN CONGRESS.

'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪♪

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS,' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY --

> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

ON AUGUST 28, 1955, EMMETT TILL, A 14-YEAR-OLD AFRICAN AMERICAN BOY FROM CHICAGO WAS KIDNAPPED, TORTURED AND MURDERED SIMPLY FOR BEING ACCUSED OF WHISTLING AT A WHITE WOMAN IN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI.

EMMETT TILL'S MURDER AND THE DECISION BY HIS MOTHER, MAMIE TILL-MOBLEY, TO HOLD AN OPEN-CASKET FUNERAL BROUGHT AN INVIGORATED FOCUS TO THE FIGHT FOR CIVIL RIGHTS IN THE UNITED STATES DUE TO THE FACT THAT TILL'S MURDERS WERE NEVER CONVICTED.

EVEN AS NEW EVIDENCE CONTINUES TO EMERGE, NO ONE HAS YET BEEN HELD REALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR EMT EMMETT TILL'S MURDER, AND HIS FAMILY CONTINUES TO SEEK JUSTICE.

A NEW MOVIE CALLED 'TILL', TELLS THE STORY OF THE BRUTAL ATTACK ON TILL AND ITS AFTERMATH THROUGH THE EYES OF HIS MOTHER.

HERE'S A QUICK PREVIEW.

THE FIRST THING I NOTICED WHEN I BECAME A MOTHER WAS THAT MY HANDS WERE BUSY ALL THE TIME.

MY HAND NEW HIM WITH MY EYES CLOSED, JUST LIKE I'D KNOW HIS LAUGHTER IN A CROWDED ROOM.

IT'S THE SAME THING WHEN YOU KNOW ALL OF SOMEONE.

THIS WAS MY BOY.

EMMETT TILL.

THE BODY OF EMMETT LOUIS TILL HAS BEEN FOUND DEAD.

CAN I AT LEAST JUST FIX HIM UP A BIT?

NO.

THEY HAVE TO SEE IT FOR THEMSELVES.

YOU TELL ME, MAMIE, HOW IS RISKING YOUR LIFE GOING HELP BO?

THOSE PICTURES OF YOUR SON CHANGED PEOPLE'S LIVES.

I CAN'T LOOK, MAMIE.

WE HAVE TO.

THE LYNCHING OF MY SON HAS SHOWN ME THAT WHAT HAPPENS TO ANY OF US, ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD -- HAD BETTER BE THE BUSINESS OF US ALL.

JOINING US NOW TO DISCUSS THIS FILM AND HIS LIFE LONG PURSUIT OF JUSTICE FOR EMMETT TILL IS KEITH BEAUCHAMP.

KEITH IS THE COWRITER AND PRODUCER OF 'TILL' AND THE FOUNDER OF 'TILL FREEDOM COMES PRODUCTIONS.

WELCOME.

WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE YOU WITH US.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME.

I WANT TO GET TO THIS FILM IN JUST A MOMENT.

BUT I'M VERY CURIOUS ABOUT THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE ESSENTIALLY DEVOTED MUCH OF OUR ADULT LIFE TO PURSUIT OF JUSTICE FOR EMMETT TILL.

WHAT WAS IT ABOUT HIS STORY AND YOUR OWN STORY THAT SO INTERESTED YOU AND INSPIRED YOU?

WELL, THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

I HOPE WE HAVE A LITTLE TIME TO SPEAK ON THIS.

WELL, MY INTRODUCTION TO HIM EMMETT TILL HAPPENED WHEN I WAS 10 YEARS OLD.

I WAS IN MY PARENTS' STUDY.

I GREW UP IN BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA.

AND I CAME ACROSS A 'JET' MAGAZINE THAT MY FAMILY KEPT OVER THE YEARS.

AND AS I OPENED THE PAGE, OF COURSE ON ONE SIDE OF THE PAGE THERE'S THIS ANGELIC FACE OF A LITTLE BOY, SORT OF A MIRROR IMAGE OF MYSELF AT THE TIME, AND THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FACE WAS THIS HORRIFIC FACE OF A MONSTER, AND I COULD NOT WRAP MY HEAD AROUND WHAT I WAS ACTUALLY LOOKING AT.

I RECALL MY MOTHER COMING IN AS SHE LOOKS OVER MY SHOULDER, FINDS OUT THAT I DISCOVERED THE PHOTOGRAPH OF EMMETT TILL AND SHE LOOKS AT MY FATHER.

HE COMES IN.

THEY BOTH LOOK AT EACH OTHER, AND SAY, IT'S TIME TELL HIM THE STORY.

THROUGHOUT MY LIFE, THE NAME EMMETT TILL KEPT RESURFACING WHEN I GOT INTO HIGH SCHOOL.

I WAS INTERRACIALLY DATING.

THE FIRST THING MY PARENTS WOULD TELL ME WHEN I LEFT THE HOUSE OF THE NIGHT WAS, KEITH, DON'T LET WHAT HAPPENED TO EMMETT TILL HAPPEN TO YOU.

IT WASN'T UNTIL TWO WEEK BEFORE MY HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION I WOULD HAVE TO SAY I HAD MY REAL FIRST RUN-IN WITH RACISM, AND THAT WAS WHEN I WAS ASSAULTED BY AN UNDERCOVER POLICE OFFICER FOR DANCING WITH A WHITE CLASSMATE OF MINE, AND THAT'S WHAT SPURRED ME TO WANTING TO FIGHT INJUSTICE.

I FELT THE ONLY WAY THAT COULD BE POSSIBLE, IF I BECAME A PART OF THAT SYSTEM.

SO I BEGAN TO STUDY CRIMINAL JUSTICE AT SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY OF BATON ROUGE IN THE HOPE OF BECOMING A CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY.

BUT THEN MY JUNIOR YEAR OF COLLEGE I WAS INTRODUCED TO FILMMAKING BY MY CHILDHOOD FRIENDS.

AND SO THAT'S HOW MY INTRODUCTION AND JOURNEY TO FIGHT FOR EMMETT TILL STARTED, BECAUSE IT WAS AT A COMPANY MEETING.

I WAS ASKED IF THERE WAS A FILM THAT I WOULD WANT TO TELL, A STORY THAT I WANTED TO TELL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

AND OF COURSE EMMETT TILL WAS FOREMOST IN MY MIND.

AGAIN, BEFORE I GET TO THE THEATERICAL FILM, I MENTION YOUR LIFE HAS BEEN FOR JUSTICE OF EMMETT TILL.

BACK IN 15, A LITTLE BIT MORE YEARS AGO, YOU CREATED A FILM, A DOCUMENTARY CALLED 'THE UNTOLD I HAVE BEEN TEACHING AN UNDERGRADUATE SEMINAR FOR 15 YEARS NOW.

WE STUDY EMMETT TILL.

IT'S ONE OF THE TRIAL WES STUDY, AND MY STUDENTS WALKED THAT DOCUMENTARY.

AWARD WINNING, MARVELOUS STORY TELLING.

SO MY QUESTION TO YOU IS, WHY DID YOU DECIDE NOW TO CONTINUE THIS JOURNEY, CONTINUE THIS JOURNEY OF STORY TELLING, AND TELL EMMETT TILL'S STORY, BUT IN A THEATERICAL SCRIPTED FILM?

I HAVE TO SAY, WHEN I FIRST BEGUN MY JOURNEY TO TELL THE STORY, IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A FEATURE FILM FIRST.

IT ONLY BECAME A DOCUMENTARY BECAUSE I HAD WRITTEN A SCRIPT EARLY ON, EARLY 1995, AND IT WAS OPTIONED OFF BY PRODUCERS WHO WORKED ALONGSIDE OF SHOW TIME.

AND THEY SAT ON THE PROJECT.

I NEVER HAD CONTROL OVER IT.

SO THREE YEARS, I HAD NO CONTROL OF MY OWN WORK.

AND SO WITH THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF MOTHER MOBLEY, EMMETT TILL'S NOBODY, WHO I MET ALONG THIS JOURNEY, OF COURSE, SHE ENCOURAGED ME TO PRODUCE THE DOCUMENTARY IN HOPES WE COULD USE THAT AS A STEPPINGSTONE TO BRING AWARENESS OF THE TILL CASE IN HOPES THAT IT WOULD LEAD TO GETTING JUSTICE.

AND YOU KNOW, I'M JUST THINKING ABOUT IT, BECAUSE IT'S JUST AMAZING HOW GOOD WORKS IN MANY WAYS.

BECAUSE I DID NOT KNOW WHAT WE WOULD ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISH ALONG THIS JOURNEY.

I WAS A YOUNG MAN.

I WAS TRYING TO FIND MY WHAT I IN SOCIETY AND MY NICHE IN SOCIETY.

BUT WITH THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF MOTHER MOBLEY, EMMETT TILL'S MOTHER, WE PRODUCED THIS DOCUMENTARY AND IT LED TO THE RE-OPENING OF THE CASE IN 2005.

I CONSIDER MYSELF AN UNINTENTIONAL FILM MAKER.

I DIDN'T GO TO SCHOOL FOR THIS, BUT ALONG THE WAY I WAS ABLE TO LEARN THAT FILMMAKING IS MY ACTIVISM TOOL THANKS TO MOTHER MOBLEY.

YOU MENTION HER AND THE ROLE, OBVIOUSLY, THAT SHE PLAYED IN THIS, IN OPENING UP THIS STORY, LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY.

YOU OPEN CASKET.

YOU MENTION, IF PEOPLE HAVE NOT SEEN THE PHOTOGRAPH OF THE FACE, IT'S UNRECOGNIZABLE AS A HUMAN BEING, MUCH LESS A 14-YEAR-OLD BOY.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE FOR THIS FILM TO TELL THE STORY THROUGH THE PRISM, IF YOU WILL, OF HIS MOTHER?

THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

I MEAN, OVER THE YEARS WE'VE WRITTEN THIS FILM IN SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS, BUT ULTIMATELY I WANTED PEOPLE TO HAVE THE SAME EXPERIENCE THAT I HAD WHEN I MET EMMETT TILL'S MOTHER.

SHE'S PROBABLY THE MOST PROLIFIC PERSON I WOULD EVER MEET IN MY LIFETIME, AND I WANTED PEOPLE TO HAVE THAT EXPERIENCE, THAT BURST OF INSPIRATION WHEN I MET HER AND HOW SHE SPOKE TO ME.

AND WHEN SHE SPOKE TO ME, HER WORDS MOVED MY SOUL.

AND SO I JUST FIGURED TELLING THE STORY FROM A MOTHER'S PERSPECTIVE AND SHOWING HER RELATIONSHIP WITH HER SON -- I'M A MAMA'S BOY, SO THAT'S -- YOU KNOW, I'M A LITTLE BIASSED IN THE TELLING OF THIS STORY.

SO BEING ABLE TO TELL THIS STORY TO RESURRECT MY NICHE, THAT WAS SOMETHING I WANTED TO DO AND I WANTED THAT TO BE TRANSFERRED TO EVERYONE WHO SEES THE STORY.

I WANTED THEM TO HAVE THAT SAME EXPERIENCE THAT I HAD WHEN I FIRST MET MOTHER MOBLEY.

DID YOU FIND, AS YOU WERE PUTTING THIS FILM TOGETHER AND BRINGING IN ACTORS -- AND YOU HAVE SOME WONDERFUL ACTORS.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG IS IN THERE.

ABSOLUTELY.

THE CAST IS MARVELOUS.

DID YOU FIND THIS WAS SORT OF A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY FOR SO MANY OF THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MAKING THE GAME ALSO?

I WOULD HAVE TO SAY YES.

YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THIS.

FOR 67 YEARS, MANY HAVE TRIED TO PRODUCE A FILM ON TILL AND WERE NOT SUCCESSFUL, UNFORTUNATELY.

HAS A LOT TO DO WITH THE TIMING, HAS A LOT TO DO WITH THE STORY ITSELF, BECAUSE IT DEALT WITH THE SEX AND RACE ISSUE, OR IT DEALS WITH THE SEX AND RACE ISSUE, A PROBLEM WE STILL HAVE TODAY TALKING ABOUT IN THE PUBLIC FORUM.

AND SO MANY TRIED.

MOTHER MOBLEY TRIED.

SHE TRIED IN 1955 AND EVEN 1966 TO TELL THIS STORY ON THE BIG SCREEN.

OF COURSE IT WAS A CHALLENGE BEING ABLE TO WRITE SOMETHING LIKE THIS AND GETTING SOMEONE TO GREEN LIGHT A PROJECT LIKE THIS AFTER SO MANY YEARS.

SO IT WAS DEFINITELY A CHALLENGE FOR ALL OF US WHO WERE INVOLVED, BUT EVERYONE CAME ON BOARD WITH THEIR 'A' GAME, AND THEY WERE READY TO COMMIT TO TELLING THE STORY.

AND IT WAS JUST WONDERFUL TO HAVE LIKE MINDED PEOPLE APART OF THIS PROJECT, BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, IT'S SOMETHING SPIRITUAL HAPPENING HERE.

IT WAS JUST SOMETHING SPIRITUAL AND MAGICAL ON SET THAT WAS OCCURRING.

AND SO I JUST, YOU KNOW, LIKE TO TIP MY HATS OFF TO ALL WHO WERE INVOLVED, BECAUSE I COULD HAVE NEVER THOUGHT IN A MILLION YEARS THAT ANOTHER PART OF MY DREAM -- AND MY PROMISE FULFILLED TO MOTHER MOBLEY WOULD ACTUALLY TAKE PLACE NOW.

THE STORY IS SO COMPELLING.

FOLKS MIGHT KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT IT AFTER THEY SEE THIS FILM.

THEY'LL KNOW MUCH MORE, SOME THINGS I'M NOT GIVING AWAY, BUT AS I SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION, HIS KILLERS, WHO HAD CONFESSED TO KIDNAPPING HIM BUT SAID, OH, WE DIDN'T KILL HIM, AND WHO SUBSEQUENTLY AFTER THEY'RE FOUND NOT GUILTY GET PAID FOR AN INTERVIEW FOR A MAGAZINE AND CANDIDLY ADMIT THEY MURDERED HIM.

NEVER FACED ANY JUSTICE HERE.

SO THE STORY -- PEOPLE ARE GOING TO LEARN THINGS THEY DIDN'T LEARN BEFORE.

BUT I GUESS MY QUESTION TO YOU HERE IS THIS -- YOU AND I COULD TALK FOR HOURS.

BUT MY LAST QUESTION, GOT ABOUT A MINUTE AND A HALF, WHAT DO YOU WANT THE PEOPLE WHO WATCH THIS FILM TO TAKE AWAY FROM IT?

I WANT PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS NOT JUST A MOVIE.

IT'S A MOVEMENT.

IT'S A MOVEMENT TO RECONCILE OUR PAST IN MANY WAYS.

AS YOU STATED, THERE WAS NEVER JUSTICE FOR EMMETT TILL, AND THAT'S SOMETHING WE CONTINUE THE FIGHT FOR EVEN TODAY.

AND IF WE ARGUABLY SAY THAT THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT WAS THE GREATEST MOVEMENT EVER PRODUCED BY CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY, A MOVEMENT WE CONTINUE TO LONG MORE EVEN DO THIS DAY IN TIME, YOU MUST GO BACK AND UNDERSTAND THE STORY OF EMMETT LOUIS TILL BE THE COURAGEOUS ACTIONS OF HIS DEAR MOTHER TO UNDERSTAND WE MUST DO AS A PEOPLE COLLECTIVELY AROUND THIS COUNTRY TO SEE A -- TO HELP MAKE A NEW MOVEMENT TAKE PLACE.

AND THAT'S WHAT WE NEED IN THIS COUNTRY, BECAUSE AS YOU CAN SEE, WE'RE STILL FIGHTING THOSE SAME SOCIAL ILLS OF OUR PAST.

INTERESTING THAT INVARIABLY, THE REACTIONS OF MY STUDENTS WHEN THEY LEARN THIS STORY IS, HOW COULD THIS POSSIBLY HAVE HAPPENED?

AND I THINK MUCH OF YOUR WORK, THE DOCUMENTARY, THE FILM NOW, 'TILL', HOPES TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION, BUT MORE IMPORTANT, HELPS TO MOVE US FORWARD IN AN IMPORTANT DIRECTION.

EMMETT TILL, AS YOU KNOW, OFTEN REFERRED TO AS THE SACRIFICIAL LAMB OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.

CAN FILM 'TILL' IS A POWERFUL AND EVOKETIVE FILM.

THANKS FOR SPENDING TIME.

KEITH BEAUCHAMP, SOMEONE WHO'S LIED THEIR LIFE IN PURSUIT OF JUSTICE FOR EMT EM.

TAKE CARE NOW.

> WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

WE'RE JUST DAYS AWAY FROM THE CRUCIAL MIDTERM ELECTIONS IN ONE KEY RACE THAT COULD VERY WELL DETERMINE THE BALANCE OF POWER IN WASHINGTON IS RIGHT ACROSS THE RIVER IN NEW JERSEY'S SEVENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT.

TOM KEAN JR. IS FACING OFF AGAINST INCUMBENT TOM MALINOWSKI IN A REMATCH OF THEIR 2020 CONTEST.

STEED ADUBATO RECENTLY SPOKE WITH MALINOWSKI ABOUT THAT ELECTION.

HE ALSO HAD AN EXCLUSIVE HALF HOUR CONVERSATION WITH NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR PHIL MURPHY ABOUT SOME.

MOST PRESSING ISSUES FACING THE GARDEN STATE.

HE JOINS US TO DISCUSS THE GOVERNOR'S INTERVIEW AND THAT CRITICAL CONGRESSIONAL RACE.

STEVE, WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM.

ALWAYS A PLEASURE.

WE DEFINITELY WANT TO GET TO THE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT RACE, AND WE WILL.

BUT FIRST LET'S TALK ABOUT THE EXCLUSIVE HALF HOUR WITH THE GOVERNOR.

IN 20 SECONDS OR LESS, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY WAS THE MAJOR HEADLINE OF THAT CONVERSATION?

THE GOVERNOR'S PROUD OF HIMSELF, PROUD OF THE RECORD, PROUD OF WHAT HE BELIEVES HE BE THE LEGISLATURE, THE DEMOCRATS IN THE LEGISLATURE ARE GOING ON PROPERTY TAXES.

HE DIDN'T APOLOGIZE FOR ANY MISTAKES ANYONE MAY HAVE PERCEIVED HE MADE DURING COVID --

PROUD, AND NO APOLOGIES, THAT'S THE HEADLINE.

RAF, YOU'RE ALWAYS VERY GOOD AT GETTING ME TO THE POINT.

NO APOLOGIES, YOU'RE RIGHT.

LISTEN, YOU COVERED A LOT OF TERRITORY IN THAT INTERVIEW.

TALKED ABOUT A LOT OF ISSUES WE WON'T BE ABLE TO GET TO BECAUSE OF THE CONSTRAINTS OF TIME, SO LET ME GET TO A COUPLE OF THEM.

YOU STARTED OFF, EARLY IN THE INTERVIEW YOU ASK HIM ABOUT HIS RELATIVELY NARROW RE-ELECTION VICTORY OVER THE REPUBLICAN LAST YEAR.

WHY IT ENDED UP BEING SO CLOSE WHEN NEW JERSEY IS SUCH A HEAVY DEMOCRATIC STATE.

WHAT WAS HIS RESPONSE?

NO APOLOGIES.

NO, SERIOUSLY, RAF, HE JUST SAID, LISTEN, TOUGH TIMES, COVID.

PEOPLE ARE FRUSTRATED WITH.GOV HE'S IN OFFICE.

HE'S THE INCUMBENT.

HE CATCHES THE BRUNT OF IT.

HE FEELS WHETHER IT WAS 1,000 VOTES, 10,000 VOTES, 100,000 VOTES, HE BELIEVES A VICTORY IS A VICTORY.

HE'S CONFIDENT ABOUT HIMSELF NOT JUST IN THE STATE BUT POTENTIALLY SOMETHING BIGGER THAN THAT.

YEAH, YOU TALKED ABOUT HIM, AND HE DODGED IT.

ONE OF THE THINGS HE SAID IN RESPONSE TO THAT QUESTION FROM YOU, PERHAPS -- HE WAS ALWAYS FOCUSED ON AFFORDABILITY, BUT MAYBE IT DIDN'T GET THROUGH TO MANY VOTERS, SO HE'S REDOUBLING HIS EFFORTS TO MAKE SURE NEW JERSEY IS AFFORDABLE NOW IN HIS SECOND TERM.

GIVE US QUICKLY SOME OF THE THINGS HE'S GOING TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

THE BIGGEST ONE IS THE ANCHOR PROPERTY TAX PROGRAM, WHERE PROPERTY TAX REBATES ARE PROVIDED BY THE STATE TO NOT JUST HOMEOWNERS AT A CERTAIN LEVEL OF INCOME, CAN'T BE ABOVE IT, BUT ALSO RENTERS, WHICH IS A SIGNIFICANT INITIATIVE.

THE FACT IS, IN MANY PEOPLE'S MINDS, EVERY -- YOU LOOK AT, THE MAJORITY OF NEW JERSEYANS BELIEVE THE STATE IS LESS AND LESS AFFORDABLE.

POST COVID, INFLATION, LESS AFFORDABLE.

HIGH INCOME TAX.

AFFORDABILITY.

THE GOVERNOR'S DOING CERTAIN THINGS BUT THE REALITY IS A LOFT PEOPLE BELIEVE THE STATE IS JUST NOT AFFORDABLE.

YOU ALSO SPOKE TO HIM ABOUT THE CRISIS ON OUR SOUTHERN BOARD WE ARE 2 MILLION UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS CROSSING INTO THIS COUNTRY IN THIS FISCAL YEAR ALONE.

SPECIFICALLY YOU ASKED HIM ABOUT THE UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS THAT TEXAS GOVERNOR ABBOTT AND FLORIDA GOVERNOR DeSANTIS HAVE BEEN BUSSING TO SANCTUARY CITY AND STATES.

FROM THEIR RESPECTI STATES.

HOW DID HE RESPOND TO THAT?

IT'S ONE THING FOR ME TO CHARACTERIZE, IT'S QUITE ANOTHER TO HEAR EXACTLY WHAT THE GOVERNOR SAID ON THAT QUESTION, AND HERE IT IS.

I THINK IT'S DESPICABLE TO USE HUMAN BEINGS, PARTICULARLY HUMAN BEINGS WHO ARE FLEEING A DESPERATE SITUATION AS IT IS IN VENEZUELA, TO USE THEM AS PAWNS.

WE HAVE AN IMMIGRATION CRISIS IN OUR COUNTRY THAT'S BEEN BUILDING A LONG TIME, AND WE NEED TO GET AROUND A BIPARTISAN TABLE AND FIGURE IT OUT.

LISTEN TO THAT.

IT'S CLEAR THAT HE'S EQUALLY SINCERE ABOUT HIS CONDEMNATION OF THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS, WHAT THEY'RE DOING, AND ABOUT HIS DESIRE TO HAVE A BIPARTISAN SOLUTION TO THIS CRISIS.

SO IT MADE ME WONDER, IS THAT HOW HE HAS BEEN GOVERNING NEW JERSEY IN A BIPARTISAN SPIRIT?

AGAIN, THE GOVERNOR WOULD ARGUE, RAF, HE BELIEVES HE'S TRIED TO REACH OUT TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, BUT VAST MAJORITY OF INITIATIVES ARE PASSED WITH DEMOCRAT YOU CAN VOTES.

THE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP HAS NOT BEEN WITH THE GOVERNOR ON A RANGE OF INITIATIVES.

THEY BELIEVE HIS POLICIES ARE WRONG, HIS FISCAL POLICIES ARE WRONG, HIS TAX POLICIES ARE WRONG.

SO THE TRUTH IS, HE BELIEVES -- AND I BELIEVE PERCEPTION WISE IN TERMS -- HE'S TRYING TO BE REACHING OUT TO REPUBLICANS, BUT IT'S BEING DONE WITH DEMOCRATS IN 90-PLUS PERCENT OF THE CASES.

IN MOST OF THE CASES THEY DON'T NEED THE REPUBLICAN.

NEW YORK THEY HAVE THE MAJORITY.

YOU ALSO SPOKE TO THE GOVERNOR ABOUT THE FALLOUT FOLLOWING THE SUPREME COURT STRIKING DOWN ROE V. WADE AND THE DOBBS DECISION.

WHAT HAS HE BEEN DOING OR WHAT HAS HE DONE ABOUT REPRODUCTION RIGHTS IN THE STATE?

THE BIGGEST ISSUE, AND WE'LL GO TO THAT CLIP IN JUST A SECOND, THE BIGGEST ISSUE IS THE CODIFICATION OF ROE VS. WADE.

IT WAS DONE IN ANTICIPATION OF WHAT THE SUPREME COURT WAS LIKELY TO DO IN TERMS OF OVERTURNING ROE, BUT THIS IS WHAT THE GOVERNOR SAID IN RESPONSE TO MY QUESTION ON ABORTION.

BEFORE IT CAME DOWN I CODIFIED SIGNING A BILL IN JANUARY OF THIS YEAR THAT PROTECTED A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO ABORTION, SO THAT, THANK GOD, IS DONE.

BEFORE THAT, PRIOR TO THAT BILL, ALL OF THE PROTECTIONS AND FREEDOMS WERE BASED ON CASE LAW, ALL OF WHICH ARE IN TURN BASED ON ROE VS. WADE.

SO THAT WOULD HAVE GONE AWAY IMMEDIATELY IN NEW JERSEY.

THAT'S NOT THE CASE.

SO PLEASE, GOD, WE'RE STANDING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY.

IS THE CODIFYING OF ABORTION RIGHTS IN NEW JERSEY, DOES IT MEAN AT ANY POINT IN A WOMAN'S PREGNANCY, ALL NINE MONTHS?

IT DOES.

JUST ABOUT EVERY POLL TAKEN OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS SHOWS THAT A SIGNIFICANT MAJORITY OF AMERICANS -- CURRENTLY IT'S ABOUT 60% PLUS -- SUPPORT LEGAL ABORTION DURING THE FIRST TRIMESTER.

BUT THAT THAT SUPPORT BEGINS TO DECLINE FOR ABORTION IN THE SECOND SEMESTER.

AND ACCORDING TO A VERY RECENT A.P. POLL, IT GOES DOWN 20% IN THE THIRD TRIMESTER.

I ASK THIS BECAUSE THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS SO MANY DEMOCRATS ARE RELUCTANT TO TALK ABOUT THAT, THAT MOSTLY WHAT YOU'RE SUPPORTING, AS YOU SAID IN YOUR FOLLOW-UP QUESTION LEADS TO ABORTION UP TO BIRTH.

THAT'S RIGHT.

I JUST SAW ON CNN DANA BASH INTERVIEWING THE DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE KATIE HBOS ABOUT THIS VERY THING, AND KATIE HOBBS WOULD NOT IN TEN MINUTES VERIFY THAT WAS HER POSITION.

BUT THE GOVERNOR SAID UNAMBIGUOUSLY, YES.

DID THAT SURPRISE YOU?

WE HAVE BEEN DOING THIS YEARS AND INTERVIEWED LOTS OF GOVERNORS IN STATES IN THE REGION, NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY.

I'LL SAY THIS, I WAS STUNNED THAT THE GOVERNOR OUTRIGHT SAID, ABSOLUTELY TO FULL TERM -- NO EXCEPT -- THAT'S IT.

I'M SITTING THERE GOING, DID HE REALLY MEAN TO SAY THAT?

I BELIEVE HE BELIEVES IT, RAF.

HE SAID IT.

HIS OFFICE DIDN'T CALL AND SAY, WE'RE GOING TO PUT OUT A RETRACTION.

SO THE GOVERNOR SAID IT.

IT'S OUT THERE.

YOU'RE ONE OF THE FEW WHO FOLLOWS UP WITH THAT QUESTION.

DANA BASH WAS ONE.

I HAVEN'T SEEN THAT QUESTION BEING ASKED MUCH OF DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES.

LET'S TURN NOW TO THE CONGRESSIONAL RACE BETWEEN TOM KEAN JR. AND TOM MALINOWSKI, WHICH AS I SAID, BY ALL ACCOUNTS, IT'S A BELLWETHER RACE.

MIGHT DETERMINE WHO'S IN CONTROL OF THE HOUSE THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS AT LEAST.

WHAT ARE THE ISSUES AND UNIQUE PARTICULARITIES OF THIS RACE?

THE BIGGEST ONE -- JOURNALISTICALLY, YOU AND I, I BELIEVE WE'RE ON THE SAME PLACE AS THIS.

FOR 25, 30 YEARS, WE'VE INTERVIEWED CANDIDATES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE.

NO SNARKINESS, NO NAME CALLING.

THAT'S WHAT WE WANTED TO DO HERE.

I CALLED SENATOR KEAN PERSONALLY.

OUR STAFF REACHED OUT FOR HIS CAMPAIGN.

OUR PRODUCERS DID.

THEY DIDN'T EVEN SAY NO, RAF.

THEY JUST DIDN'T RESPOND.

THREE OR FOUR TIMES THROUGHOUT THE HALF HOUR.

I HAD TO -- EXCUSE ME, ONLY GAVE 15 MINUTES TO TOM MALINOWSKI.

KEAN WOULDN'T SHOW UP, DIDN'T TURN IT DOWN KOIG.

HE HASN'T BEEN DOING IT FOR THE LOCAL MEDIA ACROSS THE BOARD.

HIS PEOPLE RESPONDED.

THEY ADMITTED IT, BUT THEY'RE SAYING THAT'S BECAUSE THE LOCAL MEDIA ONLY SEEMS TO BE INTERESTED IN ASKING HIM ABOUT ABORTION AND ABOUT TRUMP/JANUARY 6th.

AND QUITE FRANKLY, I MEAN, THERE'S SOMETHING TO THAT.

AND HE IS CORRECT TO THE POINT WHERE HE SAYS, WHAT CONCERNS AMERICANS AND HIS CONSTITUENTS, I GUESS, IS THE ECONOMY, INFLATION, AND CRIME.

TWO BIG POLLS RECENTLY -- YOU KNOW, THE 'TIMES' SIENNA POLL AND THE HARRIS/HARVARD POLL BOTH SAY THAT AND THAT ABORTION IS DECLINING IN INTEREST AND NOBODY'S INTERESTED IN JANUARY 6th.

SO DOESN'T HE HAVE A POINT THERE?

NO.

AND HERE'S WHY.

BECAUSE, RAF, YOU AND I UNDERSTAND MOST OF US IN PUBLIC BROADCASTING UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF THE IMMEDIATE YAM IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT TOM KEAN THINKS WILL GIVE HIM AN ADVANTAGE.

YES, TRUTHFULLY, THE MORE INTERACTION, THE MORE INTERVIEWS WITH MEDIA WHO ARE SERIOUS, HE CAN MAKE A MISTAKE, SAY SOMETHING HE DOESN'T WANT THE SAY.

HE'S RUNNING A BUNKER MENTALITY CAMPAIGN.

IT MAY WIN.

HERE'S THE THING, JANUARY 6th DOES MATTER.

THAT'S NOT AN OPINION.

IT MATTERS.

WHAT'S THE OTHER SIDE?

THE POINT IS HE NEEDED TO EXPLAIN --

YOU MEAN IT MATTERS AS AN ISSUE, EVEN THOUGH IT MAY NOT MATTER TO VOTERS.

RAF, AS JOURNALISTS, WE HAVE TO STAY ON THAT ISSUE.

EVEN IF PEOPLE SAY, I'M TIRED OF HEARING IT.

THAT'S LIKE PEOPLE SAYING I'M TIRE OFFEND HEARING COVID.

WE NEED TO CREATE GREATER PUBLIC AWARENESS.

WE NEED PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND JANUARY 6th MATTERS TO DEMOCRACY.

KEAN SAID NOTHING ON IT.

I WANT TO ASK HIM ABOUT THAT.

IS THAT BECAUSE WE'RE THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE?

YOU ASKED CONGRESSMAN MALINOWSKI ABOUT THE ECONOMY AND INFLATION AS WELL.

LET ME MOVE ON, BECAUSE TOM KEAN HAS DEBATED CONGRESSMAN MALINOWSKI, FACE-TO-FACE AT LEAST ONCE.

IN THE FACE-TO-FACE DEBATE, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE ACCUSE HIM OF TRYING TO DODGE THE ABORTION QUESTION.

HE DID SPECIFY WHERE HE STOOD ON ABORTION.

HE SAID, QUOTE, I'M PRO-CHOICE.

THAT'S VERY CLEAR.

I LIKE MOST NEW JERSEYANS -- AS WE SAID EARLIER THAT'S LIKE MOST AMERICAN STANDARDS.

NOT THE CASE IN THE SEVENTH DISTRICT.

HERE'S THE PROBLEM, RAF.

TOM KEAN CAN SPEAK FOR HIMSELF IF HE CHOOSES.

YOU AND I TRIED TO GET HIM A DOZEN TIMES WHEN HE WAS IN THE STATE SENATE.

THE PROBLEM IS THERE WAS A VOTE THAT CAME UP IN THE STATE SENATE BEFORE HE LEFT THE LEGISLATURE, AND THE VOTE WAS TO CODIFY ROE VS. WADE.

YEAH, BUT HE SAYS HE VOTED AGAINST THAT BECAUSE HE DIDN'T WANT TO NO RESTRICTIONS UP TO BIRTH.

ANY WAY, WE GOT 30 SECONDS LEFT, IF YOU COULD WRAP THAT UP QUICKLY.

BOTTOM LINE IS HE DIDN'T CLARIFY IT.

HE DIDN'T MAKE IT CLEAR WHY HE DID WHAT HE DID.

HE JUST DIDN'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.

THAT'S HIS RIGHT, BUT IT'S OUR RIGHT AS JOURNALISTS TO PRESS WITH QUESTIONS THAT SHOULD MATTER TO PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY HAVE IMPACT.

REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS.

LAST QUESTION.

-- WHAT IS YOUR PREDICTION?

WHO WINS IN DISTRICT 7?

IN PUBLIC BROADCASTING WE TRY NOT TO DO THAT.

I'M GOING ASK YOU.

OF COURSE YOU'RE GOING ASK ME.

WE HAVE BEEN TOGETHER TOO LONG.

IN FIVE SECONDS.

I BELIEVE MALINOWSKI WON BY A THOUSAND VOTES THIS TIME.

IT'S TOM KEAN'S RACE TO LOSE BECAUSE OF REDISTRICTING.

HE SHOULD WIN THIS RACE.

THANKS, MAN.

YOU GOT IT.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

©2022 WNET. All Rights Reserved. 825 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10019

WNET is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Tax ID: 26-2810489