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Donald Trump in Iowa; Univision Anchor Jorge Ramos Removed from Donald Trump's Press Conference; Obama Gives Biden Blessing to Run for President. Aired 10-11:00p ET
Aired August 25, 2015 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Breaking news, Donald Trump in Iowa tonight. We have all the highlights. This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon. Fireworks tonight as Univision anchor Jorge Ramos is removed from Donald Trump's press conference. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Sit down. Sit down. Go ahead.
TRUMP: No, you don't. You haven't been called.
TRUMP: Go back to Univision. Go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead. Sit down, please. You weren't called.
TRUMP: Yes, go ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Minutes later, Jorge Ramos is allowed back in and that's when the real fireworks begin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, here's the phone numbers during those relation time. He's pulled-off empty promises.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot deport 11 million on immigrants. You cannot unite citizenship to the children of this country. You cannot build that... TRUMP: Why do you say that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot do that.
TRUMP: Well, a lot of people think -- no, no. Excuse me.
TRUMP: A lot of people -- no, no. A lot of people think that that's not right that an act of Congress can do it. Now, it's possibly going to be tested in courts. But a lot of people think that if you come and you're on the other side of the border -- I'm not talking about Mexico.
Somebody on the other side of the border, a woman is getting ready to have a baby, she crosses the border for one day, has the baby all of a sudden, for the next 80 years, hopefully longer, but for the next 80 years, we have to take care of the people. I don't think this -- no, no, no. I don't think so.
TRUMP: Excuse me. Some of the great legal scholars and I know some of these television scholars, agree with you. But some of the great legal that that's not true. That if you come across -- excuse me. Just one second.
TRUMP: No, no, I am answering. If you come across for one day, one day, and you have a baby, now the baby is going to be an American citizen. There are great legal -- excuse me. There are great legal scholars, the top, that say that's absolutely wrong. It's going to be tested. OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The question is, how are you going to build a 1900-mile wall?
TRUMP: Very easy. I'm a builder. That's easy. I build buildings that are 94 --
TRUMP: Can I say what's more complicated? What's more building is building a building that's 95 stories tall. OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think it is necessary for us it's a waste of time...
TRUMP: You think so? Really? I don't think so. A lot of people don't think so.
TRUMP: I don't believe that. OK. You're right. I don't believe it. And the drugs come, I see them -- they have pictures, they have everything crawling over the fences which are, by the way, this high. I mean, you have fences that are not as tall as I am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they're coming by fence?
TRUMP: They're coming by many different ways. But the primary way they're coming is being right through, right passed our border patrols, who, by the way, are tremendous people. And they can do the job but they're told not to.
TRUMP: Here's what we're going to do. Ready? OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to bring the army?
TRUMP: Let me tell you. We're going to do it in a very humane fashion. Believe me. I have a bigger heart than you do. We're going to do it in a very humane fashion. The one thing we're going to do...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there one question you want to ask? Because we've got to move on.
TRUMP: OK. The one thing we're going to start with immediately are the gangs and the real bad ones. And you do agree there are some bad ones. Do you agree with that or do you think everyone is just perfect? No, no, I asked you a question. Do you agree with that? We have tremendous crime. We have tremendous problems. This -- I can't deal with this. Listen, we have tremendous crime. We have tremendously -- we have some very bad ones. And I think you would agree with that, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just a little.
TRUMP: OK. There are bad ones. Real bad ones. Because, you know, they looked at some of the gangs -- excuse me, they looked at some of the gangs in Baltimore. They looked at some of the gangs in Chicago. They looked even in Ferguson. They've got some rough illegal immigrants in those gangs. They're getting out.
Do you mind if I send them out? Now, if they come from Mexico, do you mind if I send them back to Mexico?
TRUMP: No, no. Do you mind if I send them back to Mexico?
TRUMP: Those people are out. They're going to be out so fast your head will spin. All right. The rest, we're going to do -- and remember, you used the word. Illegal immigrant.
TRUMP: OK. Well, you should use it because that what the definition is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they don't come as being illegal here.
[22:04:59] TRUMP: OK. Well, when they cross the border from a legal stand point, they're illegal immigrant when they don't have their papers.
TRUMP: And I want to make it possible -- and I think you'll like this -- this is the part you'll like, I want these people, the good people, I want them to come back. And I want them to get documentation and get -- so they become legal.
TRUMP: It's going to be -- you know what it's called? Management. So, you're not used to good management because you're always talking about government.
TRUMP: Government -- let me just tell you, wait, wait, wait. Government is incompetent. Guys like Bush and some others that I won't name, they're incompetent people. They don't have it. They don't have it. I agree they can't do it.
But I'm a great manager. I know how to manage things. I hire unbelievable people. When I look at the vets, when I look at the VA -- excuse me, when I look at the VA, we spend billions of dollars and people are treated horribly. OK? Horribly. That will work great. What we're doing here will work great. And we want to get good people back in. And, also, let me just tell you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because you're not giving specifics, that's your problem.
TRUMP: I've given you specifics. I've given you -- great management and they're going to hopefully come back in very soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, that is the moment that everyone is talking about tonight. So, joining me now is Ronald Kessler, investigative reporter and author of "The First Family Detail." Also, Kayleigh McEnany, editor of Political Prospect, republican strategist Brett O'Donnell who is an advisor to Senator Lindsey Graham; and former Congressman Connie Mack who supports Jeb Bush.
So, I just want to get this moment in the exchange in here. Just your reaction to that and then we'll move on. First, Ronald?
RONALD KESSLER, "THE FIRST FAMILY DEAL" AUTHOR: Well, above all, Donald comes across as likable. And he talks in the vernacular, the words that people understand. But I like to go behind the scenes. And what I've found, knowing him since 1988, going down to his club and home Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach with my wife Pam on his plane, spending a weekend with him knowing him ever since what he's doing with this people.
Is that behind the scenes, he's very different from what you see in TV. His top aide, you know, a reporter told me there are two Donald Trumps. One is the outrageous, one who makes provocative comments to get attention to his brand and now to his campaign. And the other one is the real Donald who is a very savvy businessman. It doesn't act wild...
LEMON: But just moment, Ronald, we can talk more about him, but just what do you make of this moment between him and Jorge Ramos?
KESSLER: I think it's a plus for Donald. He comes across as commanding, the way Ronald Reagan did in the press conference that you saw earlier.
LEMON: OK. All right, Kayleigh?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, POLITICAL PROSPECT EDITOR: Donald Trump prevailed in that exchange. Look, Jorge Ramos fails to understand a very basic point that Donald Trump forced him to acknowledge, which is we have illegal immigrants in this country. It's the minority, as Donald Trump admitted. But we have some dangerous illegal immigrants in this country that have to leave. That when they are deported, they have to stay abroad.
MCENANY: He's force Jorge Ramos to acknowledge that.
BRETT O'DONNELL, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think for a republican primary voter, especially the ones that Donald Trump is trying to appeal to, this was a big win for him tonight. It shows him being strong, fighting the liberal media and coming out on top. I mean, the exchange really went Donald Trump's way.
Now, whether or not that's good for the general election, I think, is another question given his stance on immigration and against Hispanics. I think that he continues to do himself damage there.
CONNIE MACK, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: So, you know, I think most people would look at that and say, oh, this is a press guy going after someone. And so, they kind of like that mix-up when a politician or someone running for office gives it back to him. The problem is, with Donald Trump, is you have to look at it in the -- you know, with the proper backdrop.
LEMON: But just that moment, as an observer.
MACK: No, no, no. Because you can't look at it just as a moment.
LEMON: That's kind of, Connie, that's how most people are looking at. I understand that. But if you're watching that moment on television, I'm just asking you what you think of the moment and then we can go on and discuss more nuances. But just that moment between Jorge Ramos and Donald Trump.
MACK: So, All right. Then I think Donald Trump looked like he won that exchange. But he did have control of the mic.
LEMON: OK. So, Connie, let's move on now and let's get more nuance. You said that Trump would be done after the first GOP debate after he wouldn't rule out a third party candidacy. He's not only still in this race, but he's at the top of every poll. So, how are you thinking these days?
MACK: I still think he's done. You know the term jumping the shark. I think he's jumped at the shark. I think he's done. I think he's fired. Whatever provocative language people want to use. Unfortunately, there's a lot of -- there's a lot of pent up anger out there. And people might say they're going to support Donald Trump, they're not going to vote for Donald Trump.
They're not going to vote for a bully. They're not going to vote for someone who's going to go to the White House and scream and yell and call people names. Treat people not with dignity. This is not what the President of the United States is about. They're not going to support a guy like that.
[22:10:08] LEMON: OK. So, then -- go ahead. Who want to give -- was that...
MCENANY: But, Don.
KESSLER: I think it's just the opposite. Because he comes across as someone who would instill fear in other countries, because he is so commanding and strong. And also, someone who would reassure businesses that they're not going to be overregulated so they could expand. They can hire more workers, so that these broad...
MACK: That is not true. That is not what he says to other businesses is because if you don't like it, I'll sue you. This is not a -- this is not a blank forum the public.
KESSLER: Well, you know, he didn't make $10 billion by being an idiot, you know.
LEMON: Let Ronald finish. Let Ronald finish.
MACK: But he has filed for bankruptcy what? Four times? So, I mean, I don't know that you can just say just because he's got a lot of money doesn't mean he knows how he got it.
LEMON: But, listen, I want to say that I didn't have enough time with deal in to get in because I had to get to the top of the show. I have to hit certain marks and times. So, I hope people at home understand that.
But, also, Donald Trump has said repeatedly that filing for bankruptcy was a tool in business that he used that many people used and it should not be looked upon as something that is negative. I don't know, I'm -- listen, I'm not a business person...
LEMON: ... but go on and discuss.
MACK: That works for Donald. But it doesn't work for everybody else.
LEMON: Go ahead, Kayleigh.
MACK: You can't make up the rules as you go.
LEMON: Go ahead, Kayleigh.
MCENANY: I think in talking act his bankruptcies he's entirely missing the point. Donald Trump is hitting into the passion of the everyday American who is sitting at home and they're sick of the divisiveness around the country. We want to be a unified America.
When Donald Trump ended his speech today and said the American dream is failing and I want to bring it back, he is reaching into the heart of what everyone in this country cares about. It's not his bankruptcies. It's the passion that he brings to the state.
LEMON: Hey, Brett, let me ask you -- go ahead. Go ahead, Brett. So, I want to talk about the fact that Same Clovis, who just stepped down as Rick Perry's staff guy in Iowa, introduced Donald Trump, joined his campaign. What do you read into that?
O'DONNELL: Well, what I read into it is Donald Trump is spending lots of money to get the kind of staff that he needs to run a traditional, credible campaign in the early states. But, you know what, Donald Trump is going to keep going until -- you know, I don't think that he is finished.
I always think he'll have a certain amount of support. But --he, what will finish him is when a credible candidate, in the republican field, stands up and takes him on and calls him out on some of these issues. You know, for instance, Lindsey Graham...
LEMON: So, who is that? That's not Jeb Bush? Jeb Bush have been going -- Jeb Bush is not a credible candidate?
O'DONNELL: Well, I think he is a credible candidate. And I think Jeb Bush had started to do the right thing this week, which is to call Donald Trump out on his plans. To say, look, what you're proposing is incredible.
We all share the same frustration. I totally agree with Kayleigh that Donald Trump is tapping in to a frustration that's out there. Bernie Sanders is doing that. That's why Hillary Clinton is not doing as well as expected. People are very frustrated.
But if Jeb Bush or Lindsey Graham or another candidate is able to stand up and sees the moment and say, look, I get it. I get that we're frustrated with the immigration system. But this guy is a phony and here's a credible plan that could actually work.
LEMON: OK. All right. Everyone stay with me. When we come right back, Donald Trump feuding with everybody from Jorge Ramos, to Megyn Kelly, and Jeb Bush. But is he telling voters exactly what they want to hear? And is it working?
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Do you know Jeb never uses his last name? Why? Because he's ashamed of him. Why? If I were Marco, but, in particular, if I was Jeb, I wouldn't say Marco was a good friend of mine. Marco did something that he wasn't supposed to do. He run -- I've never said this before. And I've watched these two guys and they're hugging and kissing and they're holding each other. Very much like actually Chris Christie did with the president. Very much.
TRUMP: I'm only kidding.
TRUMP: No, but they're hugging and they're kissing. They're hugging and they're kissing and they're proclaiming their great, deep love for each other. And I'm saying politicians, all talk, no action, it's all bull. We got to stop. We need people that are going to take us to the promise land.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, back with me now is Ronald Kessler, Kayleigh McEnany, Brett O'Donnell, and Connie Mack. So, Connie, you're a supporter of Donald Trump. He's talking about Jeb Bush.
LEMON: Jeb Bush is not even -- you're a supporter of Jeb Bush, excuse me. So, the question is Jeb Bush is not even close to Donald Trump in the polls. Why is Donald Trump punching down?
MACK: You know, because he probably knows that he's on the wrong side of this, as well. If he's smart, he knows it. You know, I just -- I think he just flailing at anything and anything that gets him attention, he'll do it. And if he gets to call out Jeb, and that gets him attention and he's willing to do it. He's not a serious candidate. It's all about the show. He's a
promoter. He doesn't have any real ideas and the ideas he has now weren't the real ideas that he had even five years ago. This is a guy that doesn't know where he stands, doesn't know what he believes in. He's out there spilling all of these things. He can't win in a general election.
LEMON: But then...
MACK: He's not going to win the primary. It is August, it is August, the year before this whole election. And, you know...
LEMON: But, Connie, I've got to ask you this. Connie, many people -- most people would not even be discussing Jeb Bush if Donald Trump, quite honestly, was not attacking him, was not going after him. So, my question again is, why is he focused on Jeb Bush?
MACK: Because he knows that Jeb Bush is the threat. He knows that Jeb Bush has the brain and has the ideas that people are going to be attracted to. And the only way a bully can win in those fights is to try to keep you down.
MACK: And so, he wants to...
KESSLER: But, can I just say something here?
MACK: He's not -- he's not exclusively focused on...
LEMON: Go ahead, Ronald. Go ahead, Ronald.
KESSLER: You know, I really got into what Donald is all about. Not words that are uttered, not campaign speeches, but what, you know, how did he build his business. How does he treat his employees. What is he all about. And what I found was that he is a very savvy businessman.
[22:20:07] I sat in on his meetings with architects, lawyers, he would actually take a felt pen and draw where he wants a particular outcome to be. I went out to his golf course he was building, he would choose the color of rock.
LEMON: What's your point, though?
KESSLER: You know, I'm saying that he is someone who is very competent who could be president and do a good job. And that's why he's been so successful.
MACK: Because he can draw on plans and pick a color?
KESSLER: And someone who treats his employees very well.
KESSLER: You know, Hillary Clinton is so nasty to her secret service agents on her detail that being assigned to her detail is considered a form of punishment. That's in my book, "The First Family Detail."
In contrast, Donald when his butler in Palm Beach had a heart attack he visited him in the hospital, insisted that he stayed to Mar-A-Lago to recuperate, that is -- and also, makes a point that he accepts Jews and blacks at his club Mar-A-Lago, whereas some Palm Beach clubs, to this day, do not accept blacks.
LEMON: OK. Onto Kayleigh now. Kayleigh, the attacks didn't end there. I want you to watch. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think Jeb is a nice person. He's very low-energy. I'm not used to that kind of a person.
TRUMP: I'm just not used to it. I'm used to, you know, dealing with killers. People that go rah-rah, I mean, you know, negotiating with Japan. Negotiating with China. When these people walk in the room, they don't say, oh, hello, how's the weather? It's so beautiful outside? This is so lovely. How are the Yankees doing? Oh, they are doing wonderful. Great.
They say, we want deal. He'd jump out of the seat. But I watched. By the way, before I say this, who would you rather have negotiating against China? Against Iran? What a deal that is. OK. You talk about incompetent people. Against anybody. Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton or Trump?
TRUMP: I think so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Kayleigh, who does all of this help? Does it help Trump, or does it help Bush, or who does it help?
MCENANY: It doesn't help but Trump, you know, if anything, it brings Bush's name into the discussion. And I think you posed an excellent question when you asked why is Donald Trump punching down.
Look, Donald Trump needs to realize he's hit into the passion of the everyday American. But he doesn't serve himself well by attacking GOP candidates. It's a clear violation of Reagan's 11th commandment, "Thou shall not attack a fellow republican."
It's not helpful. You know, we saw him viciously attack Megyn Kelly. Again, not helpful. Donald Trump needs to step back and control himself. He has this pre-disposition of attacking anyone who attacks him. And he needs to step back and realize where he's at and that he has to dial in that part of his personality.
LEMON: Brett, you know...
O'DONNELL: The people who are the happiest over what Donald Trump is doing right now are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Because they are getting a free pass. Tonight, you've spent hours talking about Donald Trump and Jorge Ramos when, instead, we could have been talking about Hillary Clinton and her e-mails and that scandal, and about Iran deal.
But, instead, we focused on a four-minute exchange between Jorge Ramos and Donald Trump because it's great television. Those are the people who are celebrating.
LEMON: Well, listen, I'm not going to say that you're at all wrong. But if you really want to watch, if you're really paying attention to what's going on, Jorge Ramos, who is Hispanic -- Jorge Ramos, excuse me, pardon me for that. Jorge Ramos who is Hispanic, goes to a press conference. He asks a question, Donald Trump says, I did not call on you. It's really sort of microcosm of what's happening with the entire immigration debate.
I want you to wait your turn. No, I have the right to ask this question. No, I want you to get out. And then as Donald Trump says, but I'll allow the good people to come back in. I mean, think about it. So, it's not just because it's good television. Think about the analogy that's happening here. It's exactly what the immigration debate is how Donald Trump is portraying the immigration debate in this country. It's not just good television.
O'DONNELL: I agree with that. But it's not -- I don't think it rises to the level of covering everything else. Every other issue. I mean, there are other issues to be talking about. And, quite frankly, Donald Trump needs to be talking about those issues. He needs to be focused on the democrats and how he's going to take them on. Rather than taking on the republicans.
He takes on republicans more than he takes on democrats on a certain point. I mean, this is free advice to Donald Trump. At a certain point, primary voters are going, you know, we're looking for the person who's going to be the captain of our team. Not the person who kills all the players.
O'DONNELL: And so, I think that, you know, Donald Trump would serve himself well by focusing his attention on Hillary Clinton.
[22:25:02] LEMON: Well, this is what we're going to see. Thank you, guys. I appreciate you joining us here on CNN Tonight. You know, there's never been a candidate quite like Donald Trump of what his secret of his appeal to voters. I'm going to ask the New York Times, Frank Bruni. That's next.
[00:05:13] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Sit down. Sit down. Go ahead.
TRUMP: No, you don't, you haven't been called.
TRUMP: Go back to Univision. Go ahead.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot deport 11 million people. You cannot even make a nice...
TRUMP: Sit down, please. You weren't called.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I'd like to ask that question.
TRUMP: Yes, go ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Here to weigh in now is a columnist from the New York Times, Frank Bruni.
FRANK BRUNI, NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: Hi, Don.
[22:30:00] LEMON: What do you make of that?
BRUNI: I found that...
LEMON: You covered lots of this.
BRUNI: I found that whole exchange, Don, we were talking about this a little bit you and I and the go back to Univision.
BRUNI: I mean, you could have substituted Mexico.
BRUNI: Go back to Mexico. I mean, every aspect of that exchange works on the level of Al Gore. It was like he was talking to an immigrant who hadn't been invited to the country.
LEMON: Wait your turn. Wait your turn. You haven't been called yet. BRUNI: I haven't called on you.
BRUNI: Get in your place. The other thing that I kept thinking watching it was he is such a damn bully. And when people talk about him being candid, him being strong, you can be candid and strong without being crude, rude and a bully. And that's the mystery to me why Donald Trump is playing as well the others.
LEMON: So, as someone who has covered, you know these types of press conferences before, should one wait one's turn? I sit rude to jump in and...
BRUNI: We've seen this a million times. I mean, it's -- is it rude to jump in? It's not the best thing in the world, but it's happen a million times in their various ways, for the person (inaudible) to handle it. You can handle with decidedly more grace than Donald Trump did. But Donald Trump isn't selling grace. He's selling aggressiveness.
BRUNI: And people are buying it. So I think tonight's exchange is going to work out really well for him.
LEMON: It all depends on your perspective, right? How you see it.
LEMON: Because Hispanic voters may see it a completely different way. If you read -- if you're reading what people are saying about it, some people, you know, "He should have waited his turn. He was out of line." But Hispanic voters may see it differently. How might we play with them?
BRUNI: I don't know. We've seen a lot of aggressive reporters who don't wait their turn, you know.
BRUNI: And it doesn't kind of end up being discussed in terms of ethnicity and race and all of that. I just -- I go back to the fact that there are various ways Donald Trump could have handled that. I mean, he could have said, "Listen, a lot of people here want to ask questions, I didn't call on you, I'll be happy to answer your question later, but please don't interrupt anybody else." He could do it that way. He's strong. He gets his point across. He's not being assaulting.
LEMON: OK, let's talk about your new column, right? Because here's the top of new column that says, "Let me get this straight. I want the administration blessing the most (inaudible) Christians in America. I should marry three times. Do a queasy making amount of sexual boasting, verbally degrade women, talk trash about pretty much everyone else while I'm at it, encourage gamblers to hemorrhage their savings in casinos, bury my name and crow incessantly about how much I've amassed." Seemed to work for Donald Trump, all of these...
BRUNI: He is. He is according to polls, not just the preferred candidate of all republican voters. When you break it down into sub- sets, he is the preferred candidate of the evangelical Christians. That makes no sense because I've just described Donald Trump's life for you. And how that can be an admirably thing to the religious life. It's just crazy. And that's just a microcosm of the craziness of this whole campaign.
LEMON: But what makes a religious right and evangelical stand behind him? According to at least polling, what makes them stand behind him?
BRUNI: I think part of the answer to that goes back, if you go back to 2012, he went to Liberty University and Jerry Fowler introduce him and said, "This is the man we should credit for making Obama show us his birth certificate." The religious right does not like Barack Obama. Anyone who stepped forward is the grand slayer. An enemy of Barack Obama is popular with them. That's a big part of it.
LEMON: You had -- you've got Mike Huckabee, you -- a former evangelical pastor. You've got Ted Cruz, you've got Scott Walker. How -- what in the world is going on?
BRUNI: You know...
LEMON: How do you explain that Frank Bruni?
BRUNI: That's going to be the tag line of this whole campaign. Donald Trump projects utter certainty in a world that has a craving for that in a country. That craves that more than even we thought. He projects utter candor at a time when people are even more fed up with the artificiality of politics than we realize there were. He's teaching us a lot about the American mood in the electorate, but what's scary is he's not an answer to any of our problems. And maybe he'll stay where he is the polls, he's at the ceiling, maybe he'll fall back. I don't think he gets the nomination, but people who are treating him with any degree of seriousness as a solution to the country's problems are deluding themselves.
LEMON: Let's get some critics (ph). My last guest -- one of my last guests who said, "We could have been talking about Hillary Clinton. We could have been talking about the other sides." So let's talk about the other side.
LEMON: Let's talk about Joe Biden now.
LEMON: The president -- according to my colleague, (inaudible). The President of the United States Barack Obama, giving his blessing to the Vice President Joe Biden 2016 bid. How important was this? BRUNI: Well, I mean, you have to know that someone's not going to be working against you behind the scenes. I think there are still a lot of unanswered questions here. I don't know for a fact, I would not be surprised if Joe Biden doesn't end up running. He has to seen the serious about it and he has to send this many signals out there to find out what the landscape really going to be like for him. He may not still follow through with it. I also think he probably always had this idea in the back of his pocket. You know watching Hillary, if she seems to falter. And so I don't think this is a late blooming idea. And I also don't think it's a done deal.
LEMON: Don't you think it's -- you don't think it's a little late in the game if he gets in?
BRUNI: Oh, it's late in the game to get in. I don't think it's a blooming idea. I think he's -- I think he never let go of this possibility.
[22:35:00] LEMON: Do you think that is a speculation about a Biden bid, does that make Hillary run harder and you know, maybe get out there and talk more and stay with the conversation rather than just watching her opponents go at each other?
BRUNI: I think she's losing a little sleep. I think she's probably spending a lot of time as her staff figuring out that...
BRUNI: Sure. I mean, this is a scary thing. This changes the nature of the campaign. If he gets in the race, and she's still gets the nomination, I think she will get the nomination, one big potential upside for her is she will seem to have won something real. You know, she had real competition. It was a real fight. And she will, in some ways, look like the stronger nominee because of that. So there is a potential upside of between this point and that point, you know is a lot of delicate work. How do you run against a fellow former member of the administration?
LEMON: We love having you here. Thank you for showing up.
BRUNI: Thanks for having me.
LEMON: We appreciate it.
LEMON: We appreciate it.
Coming up, Donald Trump blasts his GOP rivals tonight in Iowa, but what about the democrats? Who is best to take him on? Is it Hillary Clinton as we've been talking about? Is it Joe Biden? We'll discuss more.
[22:40:00] LEMON: Donald Trump is mowing down his republican candidates rivals, as should say, but what about the democrats? Who is the best bet to take on the $10 billion candidate? Hillary Clinton? Joe Biden? Could be Bernie Sanders, who is it? Joining me now is Jamal Simmons, democratic strategist and Lanny Davis, White House special counsel during Bill Clinton's administration. Good evening, gentlemen. Lanny Davis, you're first. A source tells CNN (inaudible) that President Obama has given Joe Biden his blessing to run for the White House. You say that you would welcome Joe Biden into this race. Why?
LANNY DAVIS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SPECIAL COUNSEL: Absolutely. And first of all, the president giving a blessing is not an endorsement. I know he'll be neutral. He gave his blessing. I believe encouragement to secretary of state Clinton who serves him loyally and he should give Joe Biden his blessings. Joe Biden is a great man, qualified to be president. I believe that he will enter the race, and I'm guessing that will happen. And that Hillary Clinton will be our nominee and she will be a more formidable nominee because Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will run a great campaign and there will be a formidable and important debate...
LEMON: But it won't be the first time...
DAVIS: Clinton will be nominated.
LEMON: You're saying that you believe that he will run, but it wouldn't be the first time. And he did fail, so why did he fail the last time?
DAVIS: Well, I don't remember Joe Biden being a particularly powerful candidate in 2008. Of course, my preferred candidate lost to Jamal's candidate Barack Obama, and it was a great campaign. Joe Biden has been vice president for eight years. I don't believe he has an issue to run on that is a lot different than either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.
DAVIS: So the absence of a rationale, while we have the chance to elect the first female president, will be a legitimate question people will ask him. But I think he's a great man, and I think it will be a great campaign if he enters.
LEMON: So Jamal, is he a viable candidate? Do you think that it could it be, it too hard for him to catch up at this point?
JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: You know it's a little bit late. Is he a viable candidate? Absolutely. He is -- as Lanny just said he's sitting vice president. He's been around. He's been in the Senate. People know him, but people also really, really like Joe Biden. I've been running this sort of informal focus groups, talking to people and I was down in North Carolina this weekend with a bunch of friends and people just have a fondness for Joe Biden. They just like him. I think -- Lanny is right on this issue. There isn't really an issue disparity between lots of the democrats. The question is really about style and where they come from. And I think Joe Biden presents people with this opportunity to kind of, you know, be with this guy that they like. He's with the president. He's not trying to distance himself from the president. He's going to run on the record. All those things...
LEMON: But Jamal...
SIMMONS: Secretary Clinton...
LEMON: Let's put this up there, though, on the Joe Biden tip because that CNN/ORC poll. Here's what it shows, 53 percent of Americans have been unfavorable view of Hillary Clinton, while 44 percent have unfavorable view of Joe Biden. So that doesn't surprise you, does it?
SIMMONS: No. I think that there's a -- Joe Biden hasn't really been in the political fray, the same way secretary Clinton has for most of the last year. We know that the Clintons get beaten up in politics all the time. And people how to like care left over (ph) feelings that come back against the Clintons. She -- I'll tell you this, Joe Biden needs to run for the number one reason it will make democrats more animated. I -- the fact that the only story you talked about tonight other than this one is about Trump. And now we're going to have a story about democrats and it's only because Joe Biden is considering, getting in the race. I think that's a good thing for democrats. It will help us get organized. Get people energized and out there. And I will do not want to wait until April of next year or March of next year to find out whether or not democrats are really excited about Hillary Clinton. I want them to get excited about her now, as she going to be the nominee.
LEMON: Here's what the Iowa poll, you can weigh in after this. Here's with the Iowa poll shows, OK, Lanny? And it says, Iowa -- Suffolk University poll -- Iowa Suffolk University poll and it was taken on August 20th to 24, and it shows that Hillary Clinton, right? She's leading by a lot, 54 percent. Bernie Sanders, 20 percent. Joe Biden, 11, if he would decide to get in this race. Could a Biden-Clinton face off as Jamal said? And I think you said it, as well, energize the party?
DAVIS: Yes, but look at those numbers. Joe Biden is a hundred percent known, name identification. He's running behind Bernie Sanders with eight years as vice president. And if you have not seen, as I have out in Iowa and elsewhere around the country, the fervor, the enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton, 18 million votes later after she lost to Barack Obama, she's built a following that is more than women who want the first woman president to make history, the way we made history in 2008. She has enthusiasm. She has organization, and those numbers, everyone needs to remember, that Gallup issued favorable among democrats. Eight out of 10, close to eight out of 10 democrats who nominate the next nominee have favorable impression of Hillary Clinton.
[22:45:07] LEMON: But does Joe Biden animate...
DAVIS: Popular among democrats. Don't forget that.
LEMON: But does Biden animate or energize a different part of a democratic electorate than does Hillary Clinton? Jamal? DAVIS: Possibly, he certainly energizes me as a great man and as a nice man. I've known him for a long time.
DAVIS: But on what does he energize? I don't know the answer to that.
SIMMONS: On one point I disagree with this. And maybe this is just anecdotal, but I got to tell you. I have not really found a lot of people under the age of 40 who are that enthusiastic about this democratic campaign so far.
SIMMONS: And that's what makes me nervous. That he needs...
LEMON: That was a difference with last -- last time.
DAVIS: Have you talked to young college women on campuses.
SIMMONS: Absolutely. I have. I have.
SIMMONS: And I've got to tell you, I haven't seen it yet. And let me just tell you this, let me say this. What Barack Obama did today, when Barack -- or yesterday, I don't remember was. When Barack -- when John Earnest said today, when he said that the president of the United States is he thinks that Joe Biden was a great decision, that is going to open the door for African-American voters to take a look at Joe Biden and to take a look at Hillary Clinton.
SIMMONS: And I think, I think we may see some tick up in African- American voters coming around to Joe Biden because he stand -- he's been standing with the president for the last few years.
LEMON: The question would be to both of you and I've got to run here, but where does the money go if Biden does get in? Does it go to Biden or does it go to Hillary?
DAVIS: Hillary has money.
LEMON: All right.
DAVIS: And he's got backers and so does Hillary...
LEMON: I've got to run, Lanny.
DAVIS: But African- Americans that Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton in their record are overwhelmingly right now and the issues she's been speaking to...
SIMMONS: But Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton isn't the same person.
DAVIS: We'll see how it goes to the polls.
LEMON: Just go to the polls to vote. We'll be right back. I've got to go. Sorry, guys. We'll be back.
[22:46:48] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: So millions of people exposed in the Ashley Madison hack, but some of them may be paying a much higher price than anybody thought. Joining me now is Dr. Drew Pinsky, the host of the new Dr. Drew on HLN. It's always a pleasure to have you. You have some important information for us on the numbers subjects. So let's talk about this Ashley Madison thing. First, 32 million names...
DR. DREW PINSKY, DR. DREW SHOW HOST: Right.
LEMON: People all over the country Dr. Drew...
LEMON: What is so appealing about this website?
PINSKY: Well, people who wanted to cheat could go there and cheat. What's really appealing is not so much what's appealing about the website, but what is so appealing to those of us who feel somehow moralistically satisfied than these people who are really crapping on their vows. Let's face it, are coming to justice in some sort of way. The problem is they were not doing anything illegal. The website was not illegal. These hackers have done something patently illegal.
LEMON: It's their business.
PINSKY: So an illegal action has brought this thing to light, and we shouldn't gloat over that.
LEMON: Yeah, and it's their business, as you've said. We've already seen those some high profile names. It's possible more are going to be revealed. A Florida state attorney Jeff Ashton said, Dr. Drew, that admits that he signed up for the website, that he regrets his affiliation with the sites and says no laws have been broken. Josh Duggar, I'm sure you've been reported issued a statement saying he's the biggest hypocrite ever. What does that say about our society?
PINSKY: Well, I mean, what does it say about the state and health of marriage, really. But the (inaudible) I've got to comment. I said back when it became revealed that he was touching with his sisters and his sisters were allowed to come to his defense. When we were dealing with a kid it was, had something very wrong. There was probably a sex tape or something. Something really needed a medical evaluation or a medical treatment. And now, low and behold, here it is. It's going. It's continued on and it will continue until it's treated. The really despicable piece though is that he allowed the victims to stand up on his behalf, his own sisters. And that for me is just an excusable.
LEMON: You did. And you said that on this program. And so I have to give you credit for that. This was not a victimless crime. One police catch him at San Antonio, allegedly killed himself after the information was released.
LEMON: And probably police are investigating two other suicides. Well, this is pretty extreme, though.
PINSKY: That's right. And I talked to one of our attorneys tonight. I asked him, can we hold the hackers accountable for these deaths? I mean, there is a direct relationship between illegal actions, the hacking of this website. People's lives being destroyed and somebody dying, but the attorney said, no. There really is -- probably not much can be done. There will however, be action taken against the site and the site owner's for having not keeping the material confidential that they had promised to do so.
LEMON: OK. I want to change subjects because I think you're doing something that's very important. You have a two-night special looking at issues facing the transgender, the transgender community. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just because Caitlyn Jenner isn't your hero, she's someone. Someone who...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason I did not come out or transition in India was because my family will be there and that would mean that they would have me killed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were in the military, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was in the military.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were in the navy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that's when I start my -- slowly started my transition.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Studio audiences also comprised of entirely of transgender advocates and notable voices.
LEMON: Why did you decide to do the show?
PINSKY: It was not just transgender advocates. It was all transgender individual, some of them were advocates. We did the show because we know we've been covering Caitlyn Jenner until this becomes a topic of conversation in this country. We were having transgender individuals in our show and help us to sort of understand and tackle. Mostly, we're looking at whether Caitlyn had done the appropriate thing, but being so public and where she is the role model for the transgender community. After a while, we thought, you know we really need to get deeper into this topic. We -- there's so much we don't -- I don't understand about it. And I want to be an ally, I want to get. So we dedicated two nights to the stories of people with this phenomenon, with this struggling with these issues. And I got to tell you something like, any human phenomenon, when there are special considerations, special conditions, it exposes just the human element. Exposes so much...
LEMON: And a lot of pain.
PINSKY: And I guarantee you'll be touched.
PINSKY: A lot of pain, but I'll you what the pain was, it was in the transgender women of color. That's what we do, we dedicate (inaudible) to that and that was very specially touching.
LEMON: Can I say this because if you watch the show, I have watched the show, you know, Caitlyn Jenner has caused a fire storm. She's taken it head on. But also, do you think it's fair for her that she is representative of the entire transgender community. Can you just be Caitlyn? That's a lot of pressure to put on one person.
[22:55:06] PINSKY: That is absolutely a great point. And the fact is she may have real serious trouble once the white hot light all excitement of what's going on with her starts to wear off. She still has to contend with all of the other phenomena that the transgender people have to deal with, which are not so pleasant sometimes. And you see some hence that, in terms of dealing with her family in this particular -- they call me Kate (ph).
PINSKY: The point is, though, if she's got us talking it and ultimately, we have a great special because of it and I think we're very proud of it.
LEMON: All right, I've got to go. Dr. Drew, thank you. We will be watching on HLN. Dr. Drew examines the issue facing transgender Americans and a two night special event, that's tomorrow and Thursday night at 9:00 HLN's the new Dr. Drew. Thank you, Dr. Drew again, we'll be back everyone.
[23:00:01] LEMON: That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. See you back here tomorrow night. AC360 starts right now.