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Donald Trumps Speaks to Thousands in Dallas; Trump Policy Adviser Speaks Out; Ben Carson Rising in Polls; Clinton's Support Among Women; Untrustworthiness Behind Clinton's Decline Among Women; California Wildfires Burn Hundreds of Homes. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired September 14, 2015 - 21:00   ET



[21:00:12] ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 HOST: Good evening. 9:00 P.M. in New York, 8:00 P.M in Dallas, where just a short time ago, Donald Trump finished speaking to what appeared to be a packed American Airlines Center in Dallas, which is home to the NBA Mavericks and its billionaire owner Mark Cuban. Mr. Trump name checked him tonight and what has become his trademark off the cuff style. A big night for him, a big hour ahead for us including conversation with his rival, Dr. Ben Carson which you'll hear shortly. A previous well of Wednesday CNN Republican Debate from the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Southern California, I'm joined by one of the people who will be asking the questions, but first our sample of Donald Trump tonight.


DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have a little debate coming up on Wednesday. And I hear my I know -- let's call them opponents can we call them opponents, we're allowed to that, right? We can have so many victories that -- at some point, that just going to be coming out of your ears. Well, I have to be careful what I say about coming out of somebody's ears. I have to be careful. Nose, ears, eyes, those are the only places I'm talking about.

The debate, I hear they're all going after me, whatever, whatever. So Ben Carson good guy, I think he is 11 or 12, and they're saying, Carson -- here's the headline, Carson surging. I said what about me, where's my name? I'm at 40, where's my name? It's unbelievable, you know, when a politician, all talk, no action, politician runs, what do they give up? They give up nothing, they run, you know what, they run, they lose, they win, they don't care. All they want to do is be reelected or run again if they fail, right?

With me, it's a whole big deal, it's a whole big deal and, you know, I'm self-funding my campaign. I'm not taking all of this blood money, I'm not doing it. Unless I win it's been a waste of time for me folks I'll be honest with you, and a total waste of time. And I like many of the people that I'm running against, I mean, many of these people are terrific people. But nobody is going to be able to do the job that I'm going to do. I have tremendous energy, tremendous, to a point where it's almost ridiculous when you think about. I was the ultimate sort of insider. I put up money, they loved me. And I just saw backstage some of the families who were decimated, their families were decimated, their sons, their daughters killed by illegal immigrants. Many of these gang members are illegal immigrants, they're rough dudes. They will be out of here so freaking fast. We will make America great again. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


COOPER: Donald Trump speaking to about 18,000 or at least 18,000 people in Dallas tonight. CNN Sarah Murray is in Dallas, she joins us now. To see that large of a crowd as we said, at least 18,000 people, what were you hearing from the people you were talking to there? What got the biggest applause lines?

SARAH MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, before the event started, I talked to a number of people and this one word kept coming up and it was immigration and Donald Trump gave them exactly what they wanted tonight. He said we need to put an end to illegal immigration, which got him a standing ovation here. He also said that he would put an end to sanctuary cities, cities when they do like undocumented immigrants can sort of run free. This was a huge, huge applause line for this crowd here in Dallas as you know, this is a very red state. A lot of very conservative republicans, a border state and for a lot of people, this is exactly what they wanted to hear from Donald Trump tonight.

COOPER: And did people talk about the debate, did they -- did Trump talk about the debate tonight?

MURRAY: You know, when you hear him talk about the debate and sort of expectations management going in, he says look, I know everyone is going to be coming after me, whatever. If Donald Trump is worried about this in anyway, he's certainly not showing it. He's going to be at the center of the stage of that CNN Debate and as we know, a number of his rivals, especially people like Jeb Bush are really sick and tired of Donald Trump and they do plan to be pretty tough with him on this debate. He seems like he's ready to be in the line of fire.

COOPER: Yeah, it's going to be an incredible debate to watch. Sarah Murray, thank you very much.

A month ago, Sam Clovis was working for Rick Perry, he is now a senior advisor to Donald Trump and his deep experience running campaigns in Iowa. We spoke shortly before tonight's event.


COOPER: So Mr. Clovis in the last debate, Donald Trump said he didn't prep for, he said he didn't cram or study policy leading up to it, are things any different this time around?

[21:05:03] SAM CLOVIS, SENIOR ADVISER TO DONALD TRUMP: Well, I have to find out and this is -- I've only been with the campaign about two and a half weeks and have the opportunity here. We've been sending him material to get prepared and I know that Mr. Trump is working hard at preparing for this debate. This is a very substantive subject matter when we're talking about national defense and foreign policy and those areas and I think this is something that the, you know, hopefully we'll be able to keep on task and we'll have a great debate.

COOPER: So how does that work? So you prepare sort of what, policy papers or just background research that you send?

CLOVIS: A little bit of everything. I have a pretty eclectic good background and there's more than just me, there are a whole team of people that are working to work on the preparation and materials for this debate and we're processing those. We have a -- still have a few days to go and we're still processing that material. So I know it's getting to Mr. Trump and I know that his -- he'll be well prepared when we go on stage Wednesday night.

COOPER: You know, obviously in past debates with other candidates, sometimes there's been an issue of kind of too much documentation and not letting the person be themselves and I read that a Trump campaign headquarters, there's a white board which says, "Let Trump be Trump" which is a rule for staffers to follow. That clearly is word for him thus far, is that you believe the strategy moving forward for this debate? Let Trump be Trump?

CLOVIS: Oh absolutely. I think what we do as we present the material, we boil it down to his essentials, let him absorb and take out of it what he needs and what he wants and then let Mr. Trump be Mr. Trump. I think that is the best strategy in the world for us. Look what is -- look how it's working so far, Anderson.

COOPER: When it comes to policy specifics, I mean Trump tends to talk in very broad terms, build a wall, he'll, you know, 11 million...

CLOVIS: Right.

COOPER: ... undocumented immigrants will have to leave and then they come back the good ones, he'll take over Iraq's oil fields, he'll take the oil, just because he says something can be done doesn't actually mean it can be done. He lays out these ideas without, you know, detailed implementation plans. As a policy advisor, does he need -- do you believe he needs to explain how he'll implement these ideas or not?

CLOVIS: I think that will take care of itself. The campaign will morph, it will adjust, will adapt as things go on. Right now we're staying ahead of everybody. We're staying ahead of the game and I think that's what's working as we go forward. We'll make those adjustments that are needed to be made and I think it will -- the big thing for us is to go out here and let's win Iowa. Let's win New Hampshire, let's win South Carolina. Let's go out here and to start to run the table and I think once we start doing that, you know, people are going to start paying attention to this.

This is a lot different. You can't put this campaign or frankly this election cycle into a template and I think that's what a lot of people have been trying to do, they've been trying to fit the data into their template and that's not working because this is not like anything we've seen.

Mr. Trump and Dr. Carson have 53 percent of the republicans responding to them. Two people and they're not -- neither one of them are traditional candidates. Mr. Trump is leading nationwide. He's a got 13-point lead and is up big time in all the states. So this -- what does that tell you? It tells you that something is going on this cycle that's quite different than anything else and I think everybody that tries to push this back into a box, push this back into a classic template, they're making a huge mistake because that means they're in denial, they're not paying attention and they're not looking at what's going on with the American people.

COOPER: It is fascinating. Sam Clovis, I appreciate you being with us, thanks.

CLOVIS: Thanks. Thanks Anderson. Thanks for having me on.


COOPER: Coming up next, Donald Trump says he is killing it in the polls, the question is how much do polls predict so early in the race. FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver, one of the best in the numbers racket joins us next, so does Dr. Ben Carson. We'll also going to preview of Wednesday's Reagan Library Debate with one of the panel members, we'll be talking with the candidates, that and more when we continue.


[21:12:42] COOPER: You might have noticed, we talked a bit about polls around here, so does Donald Trump, so do all kinds of candidates whether they're gaining or boasting or slipping and complaining. For better or worse, polling drives the conversation right now and a new conversation started comes out pretty much daily.

Our next guest made his reputation by picking the right polling data and using it much more -- well to make much more accurate predictions, extremely accurate predictions. Nate Silver, joins us tonight to talk about what the numbers can and can't say right now about the state of the race.

So it's really fascinating because you put the chance of Donald Trump or Ben Carson actually getting the GOP nomination and put it around 5 percent.

NATE SILVER, FIVETHIRTYEIGHT: Maybe about 5 percent each, somewhere around there.

COOPER: Why so low?

SILVER: So there are couple things to think about. One is that if you look back at history, you've never seen candidates like Donald Trump certainly or Ben Carson win a party nomination. And secondly, if you look at the polling, a lot of times a candidate who is leading the polls now mid-September didn't win the nomination, didn't even come close. So if you look four years ago, Rick Perry was in the midst of a surge right now. Eight years ago on the democratic side, you had Howard Dean or 12 years ago rather, Howard Dean was surging, Hillary Clinton was still away ahead of Barack Obama in 2008. Rudy Giuliani was leading the polls in 2008. I think people, there's so much interest in this election, in this campaign, people forget that polls five months before Iowa historically have told you very, very little.

COOPER: And why is that? Is it just people aren't telling the truth in the polls, are they just haven't made up their minds?

SILVER: Well, first of all, if you're a primary voter, then you have a lot of shopping to do. It's not a general election where you have two main choices and you're going to decide with the party label most of the time. They're going to kind of kick the tires on many different candidates, maybe candidates like Donald Trump who stand out, represent something new and different kind of a shiny object. If you have 16 things to pick from, you might pick that shiny object at the dealer lot.

It's different when it gets down to someone who's been campaigning and they've knocked on your door, a lot of time you talk with your friends and your neighbors. As much interest as there is in the campaign right now, it's going to be probably about five times higher by the time we get to January and February and so people are about 20 percent of their way to their decision-making process.

COOPER: So, for -- your message is for establishment candidates that you believe it's still most likely that it's going to be an establishment candidate who's going to get the nomination.

[21:15:03] SILVER: Probably, I mean I think you haven't really had the establishment consolidate behind any one candidate. And if I were a Marco Rubio or a Jeb Bush, or a Scott Walker or Chris Christie trying to play the long game or Kasich, certainly the fact that you have this kind of power vacuum on the GOP side and you haven't had people close fully support behind just one alternative makes Trump's job a lot easier, but still, it's the establishment's game. You're playing on their turf. They control all sorts of things from delegate selection process to -- remember what happened to Newt Gingrich for example four years ago where he was leading in the polls and the kind of nuked him with, you know, millions of dollars and negative advertising that was coordinated against him.

The biggest problem for Trump is that he's not really a Republican. Some columnist on National Review used the phrase possible takeover. He's running as a Republican and he has some positions in common with them, but, you know, a lot of things might square more with what independent or democratic voters think instead. It's really establishment on republican side. It's a very dangerous precedent to set.

COOPER: How much of the Trump numbers do you think are driven by name recognition, celebrity, just he's the shiny object and the most loudest, most interesting, you know, kind of voice right now.

SILVER: So, the best I can figure is kind of combining two different things. We saw candidates in 2011 like Herman Cane or Gingrich who have this temporary surge. You've also had factional candidates that were getting 20 percent of the vote like Pat Buchanan or something like that or Rand Paul. I think he might be both those combined and so that's when kind of the surge wears off. There are some people who jumped on the bandwagon and say this guy is a winner, look at the polls and now he's beating Hillary.

When that wears off, I think it might not go to zero. He might still have 20 percent of folks say, you know, he's really different than anyone else in the field and I like that, maybe I'm a republican who doesn't like immigration, but you know, I like my Social Security and my Medicare and I want tax to be higher on the rich. There are voters out there with that portfolio that will vote in the republican primaries. But I do think some of it is a bandwagon effect.

COOPER: It's fascinating. Nate, thank you so much.

SILVER: Thank you.

COOPER: Nate Silver, now you heard him say it, it is early and we're already seeing candidates dropping out of the race. We're seeing the Clinton and Bush campaigns having to reissue supporters. That one poll or another doesn't mean their campaigns are on the ropes.

Let's get some perspective now from our panel, Conservative Radio Talk Show Host Hugh Hewitt who'll be questioning the candidates Wednesday night at the Reagan Library here on CNN. Also CNN Political Commentator Ana Navarro who supports Jeb Bush, who's a close friend of Marco Rubio. With us as well tonight, CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

So Hugh, great to have you on the program. I don't know if you're nervous or excited or exhausted or what already, but obviously, Nate Silver has a lot of historical data to base his predictions on. This -- I mean, does this primary season, does it defy historical data somehow?

HUGH HEWITT, HOST, THE HUGH HEWITT SHOW: I think it does and I think I also look at the last four elections that pollsters were interested in. Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour Party leadership. No one saw that coming. David Cameron won the British election. No one saw that coming. Benjamin Netanyahu winning out the right majority in Israel, no one saw that coming. And the republicans crushed it in 2014, no one saw that coming.

And so I realized that Nate probably got the best record of anyone when it comes to polling, but this is new territory. And I like to say the first debate was a lot like the first episode of "Downtown Abbey" where we were introduced to everyone. I think this is going to be a little bit more like the "Game of Thrones" and maybe even the "Red Wedding" episode of that. This is going to be very interesting to watch.

COOPER: Wow, it's going to be the "Red Wedding" episode, that's definitely tuning in. So, Ana, the idea that Nate talks about that Donald Trump could be a combination of both a flavor of the month or a surge candidate and a factional candidate, what is your thought on that?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think he is a combination of so many factors, Anderson. Most definitely, part of it is that he is tapping into voter and voter frustration with the dysfunction in Washington. Part of it is that he has tapped into some of the concerns regarding immigration and he, you know, really blown that up.

Part of it is -- and he's a celebrity, that people know him. He's got name ID. And part of it is that he's got limitless money. He can parachute, you know, not parachute, helicopter into campaign events and helicopter out. He can do all sorts of things that other candidates at this time cannot do.

COOPER: Gloria, I mean recently Nate on his FiveThirtyEight blog compared the two plus months that Trump has led over the summer to leading for just two weeks a bit later in the campaign when there are more debates and primaries happening.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, look, I think that it is early. I agree with Nate there. Look, Trump is unlike anyone we have ever seen. Trump is an idea. He's not an ideology. He doesn't have a plan. I'm not even sure he is a conservative republican as lots of he republicans will tell you.

[21:20:06] But he's an idea and people like it in the Republican Party because he's an outsider. He speaks through to power. He's a success. He wants to make America great again.

I think the closer you get to an election, you stop the window shopping, you start giving the candidate more scrutiny. I think voters do that and then you start discovering who actually will be participating in the election. Are those people who showed up in Dallas tonight participants or do they just want to go out and see Donald Trump or can he make them become participants? We don't know the answer to those questions yet.

COOPER: Hugh, I want to get to something that Sam Clovis, the senior adviser in Donald Trump who used to be working for Rick Perry said before the break on the program, he said there's a sign up in their campaign office that said, "Let Trump be Trump." Do you expect that to be the case Wednesday night as debate? I mean, I can't imagine that you expect there will be suddenly a different kind of Donald Trump on that stage.

HEWITT: No, I'd be very surprised. He's a very practiced, very talented entertainer. He said that himself as well as being in a incredibly successful businessman. He's had the most television training of any candidate in the modern political era. Eleven seasons of sitting in chairs like this trying to deliver and actually successfully delivering killer lines and lots of dramatic moments. He's a highly-skilled television professional. So he's not going to change that.

I think the others might up their game significantly and look for opportunities to display their strength and the way that he can display his strength and so I don't look for him to change very much and I don't envy Jake who's very, very good at this. I don't envy him the job of making sure that everyone stays in their lane and gets there at-bats because it's going to be quite the circus, quite the wild ride.

COOPER: And I mean for Carly Fiorina, it's a very important night. It is the first time she's going to be on that main stage in a main primetime debate. She was in the kind of runner up debate earlier on Fox and obviously, Trump has said some very derogatory things about her, which he claims he didn't really mean. He wasn't talking about her face, he claims he was talking about her persona which is, you know, hard to believe. How do you expect that to play out on him debating a woman for the first time? If you're Carly Fiorina, do you go after Donald Trump? Do you use humor? How do you handle that?

NAVARRO: I think Carly Fiorina has shown to be a very effective counterpuncher herself. She does it with class. She does it with poise. She does it without raising her voice, without losing her cool and she's very effective, cuts through like a knife. So I think Carly can find a way to do it, much like the ad that her Super PAC put out today where she talks about the pride in her face and, you know, now we know who Donald Trump is and I think if there's anything you can count on is that Trump is consistent. All his speeches are the same. All, you know, his lines are the same and every time he's out there, he's Trump. He's not going to come out here on Wednesday night and be Mr. Rogers all of a sudden. It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. And I think Carly is going to be prepared to hit back and frankly, I think she can get the better of him on this.

COOPER: Gloria, what are you going to be looking for on Wednesday night from that debate?

BORGER: I'm going to -- I'm very interested to see how Trump deals with Ben Carson. You know, there's another candidate having a surge out there and it's Carson. Carson is the complete opposite of Donald Trump. He's calm. He's -- as Trump would say, low energy, right? And Trump keeps saying, you know, I think Ben Carson is a nice guy, which is damning with faint praise, right? And it will be interesting to see if he goes after Carson in any way because Carson right now is the only -- a threat to him out there.

The other thing I want to see is what Jeb Bush does. Does Jeb Bush continue to attack Donald Trump and hasn't done anyone else any good? Do the other candidates allow Jeb to take on Trump for them? And Scott Walker, what does he do? He was the favorite in Iowa.


BOGER: He's nowhere now. He's in single digits. He needs to shine at this debate.

COOPER: A lot to watch for. Hugh Hewitt, great to have you on, Ana Navarro, Gloria Borger thank you.

Whether or not Donald Trump is as Hugh mentioned, the flavor of the month, he clearly is flavor of the night for some 18,000 or so supporters in Dallas or curious or people who just came out to see him. 360's Gary Tuchman spoke earlier with some of them.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Seventy five-year-old Carol Kohankie voted in her first presidential election in 1964, but she's never been as enthusiastic about the presidential candidate as she is about Donald Trump and that's why she showed up incredibly early waiting in the hot sun to see him.

[21:25:00] You came about 10 hours early to see Donald Trump. Have you ever waited in a line this long in your life?

CAROL KOHANKIE, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Once when I was 22 to see the queen of England with the king of Norway in Amber Scotland, I was on a travel grant. I've not done it since.

TUCHMAN: Hundreds of Trump supporters joined Carol hours early so they could get good seats. People like Gene Lisco (ph) and his son Robbie.

GENE LISCO (?), TRUMP SUPPORTER: He's a man and this country needs a man to run it, you know, I mean he speaks the truth.

TUCHMAN: And people like John Roles (ph). Before he announced his decision to run, who did you want for president?

JOHN ROLES (?), TRUMP SUPPORTER: Previously, we probably were looking at Rubio.

TUCHMAN: And what happened to Rubio in your mind?

ROLES(?): Donald came out and just -- we liked his message better.

TUCHMAN: This 18,500 seat arena is the home to basketball's Dallas Mavericks and Hockey's Dallas Stars. It's also a busy concert venue but never before has a billionaire real estate tycoon, former reality show host who wants to be leader of the free world been an headliner here. This is a mega event and whether you think that's a good idea or not might have a lot to do with how you feel about Donald Trump. The people here overwhelmingly think it's good.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not fired, he's hired.

TUCHMAN: To add to the festive atmosphere, one-wheeled Trump supporters rolled up. Are you supporting (inaudible)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, there he go, yeah I guess so. Big wheels for Trump.

TUCHMAN: Lisa Shed brought her 15-year-old son. So some of the stuff that Trump says bothers you?


TUCHMAN: But you're still supporting him for president?

SHED: I am supporting him for president because I think he'll turn this country around here.

TUCHMAN: But you like him to be more kind to certain people?

SHED: Yes, I do.

TUCHMAN: Who were those people you think he needs to be more kind?


TUCHMAN: What do you think about what he's -- has said about certain women?

KOHANKIE: I'm not happy with him with that but I'm not going to be able to change his spot and nobody is perfect.

TUCHMAN: So you're willing to forgive that?

KOHANKIE: Yes. Yeah.

TUCHMAN: And you will support him for president?


TUCHMAN: Unequivocal?


TUCHMAN: And after hours of waiting, Carol is one of the first let inside the stadium to see her candidate for president. Gary Tuchman, CNN. Dallas.


COOPER: Well, just ahead, the author of a thought-provoking piece titled "Why Are Women Ditching Hillary" is here and I asked my conversation of Dr. Ben Carson who is rising in the polls but not raising his voice.


[21:31:21] COOPER: As we have mentioned, less than 48 hours to go until the CNN Republican Presidential Debate. Trump is leading the polls. Dr. Ben Carson has been gaining some momentum. A new Washington Post to ABC News poll has Trump with 33 percent among likely republican voters to Carson's 20 percent. That's a 14-point jump for Carson just since July and in a Monmouth University poll in the key state of New Hampshire, Trump is running at 28 percent, Carson is 17 and has risen 12 percentage points since the last Monmouth poll in New Hampshire also in July. I spoke with Dr. Carson earlier today. Here's part of our conversation edited for time. You can watch the entire interview

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: So Dr. Carson welcome. We're 48 hours now from the CNN Debate. You benefited greatly from the Fox debate. You're pulling a strong second for a number of candidates. This debate may be make or break. I'm wondering if you anticipate more candidates coming after you and also Donald Trump?

BEN CARSON, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yeah, I would imagine they probably will although, you know, I hope that we will focus more on the issues and what our visions is what the solutions are but, you know, sometimes it's hard to resist.

COOPER: So do you prepare for something like that or because you've been very careful and you, you know, you've made comments about Donald Trump and that you walked back and you apologized for, you do -- said you don't want to be dragged into that kind of thing. How do you prepare for this upcoming debate?

CARSON: I just prepare by talking to people, talking to my various advisors in different areas about the different kinds of things that are likely to come up, and of course, in the preceding weeks, you know, I did a lot of town hall meetings and I don't screen the questions. So I get to hear pretty much everything that Americans are concerned about and that's very helpful to me.

COOPER: I know you've said in recent day that you're not interested in a feud with Donald Trump and as I said you questioned his authenticity of faith and you apologized for that and I'm not trying to provoke a fight but he is now saying that you don't have the business experience or really any experience other than being what he calls an OK doctor. I mean, just factually speaking, everybody says you are not just an OK doctor, that you are an extraordinary doctor but beyond that, do you worry about a lack of experience?

CARSON: No, because I think everybody has different kinds of experiences and, you know, it's human nature to think that whatever you do is the greatest thing and provides everybody with their Messiah. I don't have that complex quite frankly.

COOPER: When people look at your campaign, Donald Trump, even Bernie Sanders, they all sort of say that there's something in common in that you could all be viewed as outsiders as not sort of in the, you know, in the political class, although Bernie Sanders certainly has been in Washington a long time. Do you think there is something to that? Do you sense that out on the campaign trail that that is part of the draw for you?

CARSON: Well, there is no question that that's part of it and, you know, if it weren't for that, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be doing this at all. But that was one of the reasons that there were so many people clamoring for me to do this and that's why the draft movement started. Had it not been for that, I certainly would not be doing this.

COOPER: After the 2012 election, the RNC. did an -- I don't know, if autopsy is the right word, but they did an evaluation basically trying to figure out why they lost in the presidential race and one of the key findings was that they believe the Republican Party needed to do better with Latino voters, needed to reach out in a more effective way if they want to win.

[21:35:01] Donald Trump now has an 82 percent un-favorability rating among Latinos and the democrats are trying to paint the entire GOP as the party of Donald Trump. Can the GOP win with those kinds of numbers?

CARSON: Well, I hope that all members of the GOP wouldn't have similar numbers but there is no question that the GOP needs to reach out to minority communities and needs to talk about the philosophy of the GOP, which is extending ladders to help people climb out of the level of dependency and become part of the fabric of America. And the things that we will do in order to facilitate that climb.

COOPER: Is that enough though? I mean, to reach out to people who feel underrepresented, who feel that their voices, their lives don't matter, is it enough to say we're the party that will help you move up the ladder?


COOPER: Or do you need to acknowledge, you know, inherent problems and one of the things Bernie Sanders in his response was he talked about, you know, sort of structural problems of race in this country.

CARSON: I'm in no way denying that there aren't some structural problems that need to be dealt with, but they're not going to be dealt with unless you are amongst the people, unless you are talking to them, unless you are sitting down and listening to them. You know, this is supposed to be a country that is of, for and by the people. I don't know how that can happen if you don't spend time listening to the people.

COOPER: Dr. Carson, it's a pleasure to talk to you. I appreciate you to be here.

CARSON: Always a pleasure, thank you.


COOPER: Well, coming up Hillary Clinton support among women is slowly waning. We'll look at the numbers and talk about why, next.


[21:40:46] COOPER: At an event in Iowa, Hillary Clinton today said she had been in and around enough campaigns to know there's an ebb and flow in the polls, it's not a straight shot. Well, she's certainly right about that. There has been ebb and flow in just the past few months and a poll -- as polls show, Bernie Sanders gaining support and Clinton support declining among women. Tom Foreman joins me with a closer look at numbers, Tom what can you tell us?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hillary Clinton is still Anderson the pick for democratic women out there. They still like her more than the other candidates, if you look at the numbers here, 41 percent in favor of her, but you look at Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden down here, at 22 and 21 percent. If you add those numbers up collectively, they go to 43 percent, meaning that now more democrats want someone other than Hillary Clinton than want Hillary Clinton, even though they're divided between other candidates.

This is a huge change. If you move along the way here to August, look at the numbers here, 52 percent wanted her back then, a clear majority. Go to July, it gets even bigger down here, 65 percent wanted her and before that, 66 percent. You see the trend here. This was considered a locked constituency for her by many of her fans and yet the line has gone down and down and down. This is something no candidate wants to see, Anderson.

COOPER: Yeah, and so much of her bids seem predicated on the idea that she would have this ground swell support from women.

FOREMAN: Yeah, so much of her was based on that and now you have to say why, why have they gone away. There is no silver bullet single answer, but this clearly has something to do with it. It's this question of trustworthiness, which the Clinton people hate but keeps hanging over the campaign. We asked all the women in this poll, was Clinton wrong to use her personal e-mail for government business and look at this, 50 percent of the women said yes, she was wrong, only 45 percent seemed to not see that as a problem. Does this mean that the people have turned away from her are going to turn to the republicans? No, it does not suggest that. What it does suggest according to this poll is that these people may not show up on election day at all if they've given up on Hillary Clinton. Either way, bad news for her, Anderson?

COOPER: Tom, thanks very much.

Well, joining me now is Daily Beast columnist, Patricia Murphy who has written a post titled "Why are Women Ditching Hillary" and CNN political commentator and democratic strategist Paul Begala who is co- chair of a pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC and was an advisor of President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. So Paul, Clinton's poll numbers, I mean, with democratic women voters 71 percent in July, 42 percent now, what is going on?

PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGEIST: Well first that's the heart of her base and so, you know because of my Super PAC job, I can't talk to her campaign headquarters, but I bet you a nickel. They're taking this very seriously. That is the heart of her base, now some of it, she was never going to stay at 71, you have to return to earth that was kind of a sugar rush. She's been in the job as secretary of state, which is a political. But still you have to take it seriously.

Here's what's going on. Foreman's reporting is exactly right, yes, people it's a 50/50 thing, was it wrong to use private e-mail, that's not the kind of thing that tanks a candidacy and in fact, 75 percent of democrats in the Quinnipiac polls in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, all, 75 percent. So the issue is not important to them. So why is this happening? So what the economists call opportunity cost, right? She has not been able to get through on these really, I think, I'm bias, I love her, she's really smart policy proposals that she put out today.

She had a big conversation, a big policy proposal about sexual assault and especially on campuses, finally important issue to Hillary, didn't get any air time. Well, that's because this other stuff is crowding her out. Same thing with her plan on college affordability or really I think wonderful plan on trying to clean up dirty money in politics, including I hope shutting down Super PACs like mine. This is the problem. It's the e-mail controversy and of course the Trumpgasm has been crowding out Hillary's ability to connect where she's strongest, which is on policy and she's got time. But if I were running her campaign, we would take this very seriously.

COOPER: Very seriously, yeah, and Patricia I mean your piece, you talk about her campaigning targeting women recently, the New Hampshire Women for Hillary event, her appearance on Ellen last week, the campaign's online stores, newly stocked merchandise, aim toward woman, I mean the campaign is definitely engaged in a very hard sell to women right now.

[21:45:02] PATRICIA MURPHY, THE DAILY BEAST, COLUMNIST: They're engaged in a hard sell to women and they really have been from the very start and Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign, she tried to be more just a woman who is running for president. Her campaign this time around looked at the results last time and said, you know what, we need to take advantage of this opportunity, you could be the first female president, let's go after women let's make democratic women your base. So they've been doing it all along the last couple of week. We've seen them really double down because of these poll numbers. These poll numbers are a disaster for Hillary Clinton because these are the women who she needs to bring along with her. That's her base if she's going to even have a chance in a general election, let alone in a primary election.

I agree to a certain extent that there's an opportunity cost that women aren't hearing these messages, women I've spoken to who have left Hillary Clinton and gone for Bernie Sanders instead said they also don't trust her to live up to the promises she's making. I asked a woman who used to be a Hillary supporter, why aren't you supporting her anymore, she said, you know, the older I get, the easier it is for me to tell when somebody is lying to me. And to me that is just, I don't know how you turn that around if you're the Hillary Clinton campaign right now.

COOPER: Paul, I mean in 2008, I think Clinton won barely 50 percent of the women's votes in the primaries against Obama, there was the divide where older women voters connected with...

BEGALA: Right.

COOPER: ... Clinton, while the younger generation connected with Obama, it's not exactly like this is a new issue, I mean, people thought she would have gotten a lot more support from women then as well.

BEGALA: Well, that's true. Of course, she's running against Barack Obama, and no disrespect to anybody else in the field, including Hillary, but none of them have the kind of gifts as a politician that Barack Obama has. But she's got to make that connection. Again, if I were coaching her, I'd hate to say this, she would hate this, watch Donald Trump, you've interviewed him, Anderson. You ask Trump a question and yeah, sometimes he answers, sometimes he doesn't. He talks about what he wants to talk about.

COOPER: Right.

BEGALA: Right, so if you ask Hillary about the e-mail on Hillary, look it was a mistake, I didn't break any rules or laws but it was a mistake I'm sorry that I did it and here's what I'm most sorry about, it has blocked me from talking about my plans to tackle addiction. How many moms I've talked to whose sons have gone to prison for no crime other than being an addict or my plans to make college affordable or my plans to combat sexual assault, that's why this e- mail thing has been so bad. In other words, stop talking about the e- mail per se and talk about these ideas. That's what animates her campaign. She is not, you know, a natural born politician by any stretch. She is a policy wonk, who wants to actually enact these laws.

COOPER: You know, Patricia, to Paul's point, I mean it does seem like she follows a lot of other people's advice and I mean, with Donald Trump, it seems like he's not following other people's advice. This is inherently what his character is like and I mean I guess it comes down to that authenticity issue.

MURPHY: I think she has a big authenticity issue. If people who know her say she's wonderful, she's lovely, I'm sure Paul Begala would say that they love Hillary Clinton, people who know her. That is not coming across from Hillary Clinton even when she said she's sorry, it doesn't really feel like she's sorry. It seems like somebody put a gun to her and said listen, you need to say you're sorry, and that's exactly how it feels. It doesn't feel truthful, it doesn't feel honest.

I think Hillary Clinton would love to run against Donald Trump, that Clinton campaign tells me listen, let us get to a general election, let us run against a republican, we don't want the conversation to be, do you like Hillary Clinton as a person, as don't you think Hillary would be a better president than Donald Trump? The problem is she going to get to a general election? I didn't think would be asking that question right now but her numbers with women are going down so far, so fast they've got to be very worried at this point.

COOPER: Patricia, it's good to have you on, thank you very much.

MURPHY: Thank you.

COOPER: Paul Begala, always.

Just ahead the latest on a fierce battle in California where raging wildfires are forcing thousands to flee their homes, the flames to reach safety at least one person has died, hundreds of homes have been lost. We're live on the frontline.


[21:52:34] COOPER: I want to show you what thousands of people in California are up against right now. The people in this car shot video as they raced to escape major wildfires burning in the state. Can you imagine being in that vehicle? Unbelievable, fleeing their home behind thousands of firefighters are battling the blazes. Four were injured over the weekend doing just that. At least one person, a civilian has died, hundreds of homes have been lost. Stephanie Elam has the latest.


TAMMY MOORE, LOST HOME IN WILDFIRE: I want to say 20, 25 homes from what I understand are gone.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's one thing to hear your neighborhood was burned down by a wildfire.

MOORE: My house is up here to the left or was.

ELAM: It's another thing to see it.

MOORE: One of the cars. There's nothing there.

ELAM: Tammy Moore was working Saturday night when the valley fire exploded, devastating the communities of Middletown and Cobb. The people in these small, rural towns had to scramble to get out safely. Moore has owned this home for 15 years. It's where she and her ex- husband chose to raise their daughter. The burnt out swing a totem to years gone by.

What is it like to actually see it with your own eyes?

MOORE: It's so much worse than I thought. Even though I expected it to be bad, I didn't expect to see everything gone.

I wouldn't want to come back. I don't want to rebuild here. After seeing everything like this, maybe other people would feel differently, I don't. I feel like this is - there should be like a zombie coming out from the tree.

ELAM: What comes next?

MOORE: What's next? I don't know. Tomorrow.

ELAM: The fire didn't discriminate taking out home after home, car after car, but yet it was still selective, in Middletown, sparing a fence here, a handcrafted wooded chair there.

What turn to your house?

BRANDON DAWSON, MIDDLETOWN RESIDENT: That one and I just build to stand right here. Oh, my god.

ELAM: Brandon Dawson's mother bought this home 23 years ago when he was just six years old. He and his family had warning that the flames were coming and so they grabbed as many personal items as they could, but there were still some things that just didn't fit in their cars. Dawson's mother hoped this cast iron tub would protect a few more memories.

DAWSON: She put the track in there, covered it with blanket -- wet blankets and tried to hope for the best and not looking good.

ELAM: I know you saw a picture. I know you saw it on TV, but to actually stand here now.

[21:55:04] DAWSON: I'm devastated.

ELAM: And yet the valley fires spare one keepsake, a sign over the front entrance that reads, "This is where I belong."

DAWSON: When we come home, I mean this is our sanctuary.

ELAM: Are you going to take that to your mom?

DAWSON: I'm totally taking this with me. Yep. It's coming with me.


COOPER: Hard to imagine. Stephanie Elam joins us now from Middletown, California. I mean, how are these families doing now? Do they have somewhere else to live?

ELAM: Right now, Anderson, they are living at the Napa County fairgrounds, basically a tent city at this point like a bunch of other people throughout the region. There are thousands of people who have been displaced by this fire, so they're sleeping outside with lots of resources, tents, blankets, shirts, clothes, what they need, but still, no homes because, for many of these people, it's going to be a long time before they're able to get back.

COOPER: Just awful. Stephanie, thanks very much for the report and we'll be right back.