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Countdown to CNN's GOP Debate; Donald Trump speaks in Dallas. Aired 10-11:00p ET

Aired September 14, 2015 - 22:00   ET



[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 SHOW HOST: We've got to go. We'll be back at one hour at 11 p.m. Eastern. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon starts now.

DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Everything is big in Texas, including the reception for Donald Trump tonight.




TRUMP: Amazing. Amazing! Thank you. Wow.


LEMON: Amazing show ahead, as well. This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon. Here's the $10 billion candidate speaking to a cheering crowd at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.


TRUMP: You are going to be -- if I'm elected president -- so proud of your country again.


TRUMP: You're going to remember this evening and you're going to say to your children and you're going to say to anybody else that we were part of a movement to take back our country.


TRUMP: And we will make America great again.


LEMON: Trump's next big event? Our CNN GOP debate in just two days. And guess who is going to be watching? Hillary Clinton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) Hillary Clinton, U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They're pretty much the same. They're Trumped, just without the pizzas and the hair.


LEMON: But with Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden right in her rearview mirror, how can Clinton stop her slide in the poll? Well, Donald Trump speaking for well over an hour tonight and his fans in Texas loving every minute of it. Here are some of the highlights.


TRUMP: So, the polls come out and we're really killing it. We are killing it.


TRUMP: They mentioned a little while ago, Scotty, about the silent majority. It's back. And it's not silent. I think we should call it -- maybe we should call it the noisy, the aggressive, the wanting to win, wanting to win majority.


TRUMP: We're going to have so many victories that at some point, they're just going to be coming out of your ears. Oh, I have to be careful what I say about coming out of somebody's ears. I have to be careful.


TRUMP: Nose, ears, eyes, those are the only places I'm talking about. The only. I make, like, statements because, you know, Carly is giving me a little bit of a hard time even though her poll numbers are horrible. She's the one. She was another one. She's surging. Ben is -- everybody is surging but me.

Hillary is not surging, I'll tell you that. They're not saying that.


TRUMP: They're not saying that. Thank you. Hillary is not surging. Look, I like Carly and I like Ben 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. Nobody.


TRUMP: They won't. They won't. And I made a speech in Washington the other day for the Tea Party. And your senator, too. By the way, Senator Cruz who happens to be a good guy. Good guy.


TRUMP: Now if he comes out and attacks me on Wednesday night, I will take it back immediately, OK?


LEMON: So much to unpack here. So, let's talk about Trump and our upcoming debate. CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger joins me, democratic strategist, Maria Cardona, Kevin Madden, our republican political strategist who has worked with Mitt Romney's campaign among others, he's standing outside the Reagan Library, home of this week's CNN debate in just two days,

CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson is here, as well. As I said, there is so much to unpack here. Ben, so, I'm going to start with you because it was a rock star rally in your hometown of Dallas. He had the crowd. You were there. So, give us a grade. How did Trump do?

[22:05:07] BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, they loved him and he was able to pack this place like it was a basketball game. And it one person who said to me, they go, this feels like the playoffs except it's more fun because it's about America.

And I think that's why people are really coming to these rallies. I mean, it is incredible to see that he can talk for that long, hold people's attention, say what he says because the one thing is, if you notice when I was here, I was watching the crowd, they're all wondering what is he going to say next? It's not predictable at all.

And I think that really can sum up this entire campaign. And that's why people are so fascinated with him. That's why they show up and by the thousands or tens of thousands day.

I mean, if you're they're working on Donald Trump's a campaign, you're going to love your job right now because there's no other campaign that is much fun and filling this arena as the way that he is. He puts it out on Twitter and people show up. And that's why he's leading with above 30 percent in the polls.

LEMON: And Kevin, to that point, the tickets were free, but demand was so high that some tickets -- tickets were being scalped for political event.


LEMON: He called those supporters the noisy aggressive wanting to win majority. You heard him there in the sound bite. You are not one of those.


LEMON: Is it safe to say that you're in the minority in the party right now?

MADDEN: Pretty much. Well, I mean, look, I wouldn't say the minority because I think there's about 60 percent -- there's about 60 percent of the electorate that still hasn't made up their mind and there's about another 70 percent that are actually supporting other candidates. But look, you -- I watched those scenes tonight. It had shades of Obama in 2008 when you look at the crowds and the enthusiasm and the energy that was in that room. Donald Trump has really -- he's capturing this energy of so many of his supporters right now.

And in many ways, when he talks about his poll numbers and how they're winning and they're going to be victorious and they're going to make America great again, it's a little bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy.

His supporters start to feel great about supporting Donald Trump. So, I mean, that's why when you look at the last CNN poll that said, who do you think is going to win the nomination? And 51 percent said Trump.

Like, right now, a lot of republican voters when it comes to Donald Trump, they don't see an end in sitght. A large part of that has to do with the fact that none of these other candidates right now are sort of matching the excitement that Donald Trump is.

Somebody has got to step up if they think they're going to be able to take the party in a different direction.

LEMON: Let's talk about this a little more because the last time we saw big rallies like this. I mean, Bernie Sanders is pulling a lot of folks. But do you remember when President Obama...


LEMON: ... and candidate Obama, I mean, have a huge rallies in 2008 for the 2008 election. What is Donald Trump tapping into? For President Obama, it was hope and change. What about him?

MADDEN: Well, I think first it's that he is not a cookie cutter candidate. I think there's a certain sliver of the republican electorate right now that wants somebody who is a fighter, wants somebody who is confrontational.

But more than anything, they're tired of the sort of polished blow- dried politicians that we've nominated in the past. And so, Donald Trump being a dramatic departure from that is a lot voters are finding that worthy of support.

LEMON: Gloria, I want to play another sound bite for you and then we'll chat. Here it is.


TRUMP: It's Ben Carson. He's a nice man. I think he's in second place. At 11 or 12 percent. Now, I'm at 40 percent, and it's actually 41 percent, but they don't want to say that. They don't want to give me the little benefit of a couple of -- you know, if I'm 40.9, they'll say I'm at 40. Do you understand that?

So, Ben Carson, good guy. I think he's 11 or 12 and they're saying Carson -- here is the headline. Carson surging. What about me? Where is my name? I'm at 40. Where is my name? It's unbelievable. Do you know where my name is?


TRUMP: They don't know where my name is, either. By the way, can you see in the back they have the best view. Can you see it's really my hair?


LEMON: Gloria, to Ben Ferguson's point, you don't know what he's going to say. It's part rambling. It's part stream of consciousness, but still it's so effective. How do the other candidates top that?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, they don't. I mean, he is Trump. What about me? What other candidate are you going to hear say, what about me or I gave up the "Apprentice" to run for president, right? I mean, that was also a part of the speech.

You can't top Donald Trump. I mean, what they're trying to do and not having a lot of success at it, quite frankly, is they're trying to attack him from the right saying he's not a real republican, he's not conservative.

And I think those are all valid points if you're a conservative republican. But the thing about Donald Trump is that he's not an ideology, he's not a plan, he's in a big idea. And the big idea of Donald Trump is that I'm not like any of you, I'm an outsider and, by the way, nothing succeeds like success.

[22:10:06] And I've had success and that's going to rub off on you and the rest of the country. So, for the other candidates, it's like punching Jell-O. I mean, they just don't know how to do it. It's really hard.

LEMON: Yes. And you're -- go ahead, Ben, quickly. I need to get Maria in. Go ahead.

FERGUSON: Now, one of the things is like, when you watched this tonight, when I was sitting here, it's this us against the world was where he got his biggest applause. It's everyone is against us, no one is covering us fairly. No one likes us. Look at the media, he got everybody to boo with the media in the crowd and they love it. He's like how did you realize the media.

BORGER: That's not hard.

FERGUSON: Yes, exactly.

MADDEN: And, Ben, and he -- yes.

FERGUSON: The underdog.

MADDEN: And he ended the campaign rally with the song, with...

LEMON: Go ahead, Kevin.

MADDEN: Yes. He ended up the campaign with the song by twisted sister "We're not going to take it."

LEMON: Yes, we're not going to take it.

MADDEN: ... and the place was, you know, they're on their feet. I mean, that's an ad summary of this campaign sentiment.

LEMON: Maria, go ahead.

MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: And here I think is where the other candidates could take advantage, not in terms of going at him, you know, mono a mono because they will lose. You can't, you know, out trump Trump. But look at where the setting is of where this debate is going to take place.

It's at the Reagan Library. Reagan focused on optimism. He focused on lifting people up. There's a great quote that he talked about, "The shining city on a hill. This city had a door and the door was going to welcome anyone with the heart and the will to get there."

That is so different than the rhetoric that Donald Trump and, frankly, a lot of the republicans are using. But if other candidates can focus on their policy description, and focus on something that -- given voters something optimistic as opposed to playing to the lowest common denominator of angst and fear and pessimism, then I think maybe they can start differentiating themselves from Donald Trump and the rest of the pack.

LEMON: Plenty more to talk about. When we come right back...

CARDONA: But, you know...

LEMON: Stand by, Gloria. I'll get you on the other side of the break.


LEMON: Trump's fans inside the American Airlines Center loving what he said to say. Outside the arena, it was a different story. What the protesters want from Donald Trump.

Plus, Hillary Clinton's latest polls rattling democrats. Can she turn this thing around?


LEMON: The countdown is on to CNN's debate Wednesday night. And Donald Trump warms up by firing up thousands of supporters tonight in Dallas. I want you to listen to what he says about the big issue, and that's immigration.


TRUMP: It's a massive problem. We have to stop illegal immigration. We have to do it.

(APPLAUSE) TRUMP: We have to do it. Have to do it. And I don't mean to be disrespectful, but when a man has a problem and he's got his wife or his girlfriend and they move her over to the border for one day, has the baby on the other side of the border, our side, now that baby is a citizen of our country for however long the baby lives. Hopefully a long -- it's wrong. It's wrong.


TRUMP: And by the way, by the way, the law doesn't call that. That's not what the law says. And people are finding out now that I'm right. We didn't say that somebody could be pregnant for nine months, come across the border, have a baby and now it's ours and we have to take care of the baby forever. It doesn't say that. It does not say it.


LEMON: Gloria Borger is back with me, Maria Cardona as well, Kevin Madden and Ben Ferguson. So, you know, the point Donald Trump always makes when he is questioned about his lack of policy specifics, is that if it wasn't for him, that we wouldn't be talking about an issue, it wouldn't be an issue in this campaign. Maria.

CARDONA: That's just not true, though, Don. I mean, we've receive how the immigration issue has been a huge issue in the past several presidential campaigns and, in fact, it has been a huge problem for the GOP in 2008 and in 2012.

Because Like Donald Trump, they went way to the right. They went way to the extreme. You know, I just talked to John McCain who did a 180 on the legislation that has his own name on it. Mitt Romney talked about deportation.


LEMON: Let me ask you guys this, any of you, did you -- you heard the speech tonight, right? Did you hear the cheers and he applause he got when he mentioned immigration and building a wall and people are saying, USA, USA, USA, and screaming. I have never heard anyone rally around in the Republican Party rally around the immigration issue like that. Have you?

CARDONA: But, Don, those are the same kinds of shouts that happened during the GOP in 2012. That is what Mitt Romney go so to the right where he couldn't go back to the center during the general election. And you know what, as a democrat, I should stop saying this because I actually hope the GOP continues to do that.

LEMON: Ben, go ahead, Ben.

FERGUSON: Look, I think the reason why people cheer for this is because it's his mantra of blunt talk and he says, no one else has the guts to do it. I'm the guy when I get there, I'm going to do everything that I'm telling you tonight in broad terms I'm going to do and you're going to love me and you're going to love America and America is going to be great again. And if he said it once tonight, he said it 20 times. I'm tired of

being P.C. I'm tired of America being P.C. I'm tired of us apologizing for being great. He kept saying that. And with his woollies, he's willing to double and triple and quadruple down on it because he thinks that's what America wants to hear, and it filled up a pretty big arena tonight compare to other GOP candidates out there.

LEMON: Kevin, there were people outside, though, with a rally saying dump Trump. So, there were a lot of people outside who were upset by this.

FERGUSON: Yes. Small.

MADDEN: Yes. And I think they were probably outnumbered by about 12,000 to 1.

LEMON: But do you worry when a new poll says that 70 percent of Latinos find Trump offensive? Do you worry about that?

MADDEN: I absolutely do. Look, Ben is absolutely right. He has a very accurate diagnosis on an issue that is absolutely animating a lot of grassroots conservatives.

But one of the big problems is that as a party, as a party of ideas when you define yourself only by what you're against and not enough about what you're for, it becomes a problem with expanding that party's appeal.

[22:20:10] A republican, a candidate for a president in 2016 will not win the White House with at least 40 -- without at least 40 percent of the Hispanic/Latino vote.

CARDONA: Right. Yes.

MADDEN: So, unless we go out there and start winning and start persuading these voters to look differently at our party, we're not going to win the White House. So, I think the other candidates now have a challenge before them which is how dothey talk about an issue of enforcement, which is absolutely important.

We don't want illegal immigration. But also in a way that's welcoming so that we can grow our economy and we can be a great aspirational nation.

LEMON: OK. Go ahead, Gloria.

MADDEN: So, that's the big challenge for the other candidates.

BORGER: You know, I mean, Kevin, you know this better than I do because you worked for Mitt Romney. But after the election, Romney himself said to me, look, our party needs to win the Hispanic voters. He got, what, 27 percent? And, you know, needed a lot more.


FERGUSON: Right. BORGER: And Donald Trump has such a high unfavorable with Hispanics, it's just -- you know, it's not going to happen for Donald Trump. The Republican Party right now is a congressional party. If it wants to make the shift and become a presidential party again, it has to appeal to a different demographic and that has to include Hispanic votes.

LEMON: Can he go -- Gloria, can you turn all of those people who were there in the crowd, can you turn those into caucus voters?

BORGRER: Well, you know, that's the big question.

LEMON: I mean, Texas is a big state.

MADDEN: That's a great question. Great question.

BORGER: You know, that's the key question here, Don. And you're hitting on it, which is all the people say who were in Dallas, those were people who came out to see Donald Trump. He's a celebrity. They're interested in his ideas, they're interested in him.

The question is, who is going to participate in the caucuses? Who is going to participate in the primaries? And right now, we don't do a really good job of polling likely voters because, quite frankly, it's very expensive to poll likely voters at this point. The closer you get to the election, you'll do it.

LEMON: Go ahead.

FERGUSON: Well, to Gloria's point, there is two things here. One, you had a lot of people here tonight that had never gone to a political function in their entire lives who feel inspired by Donald Trump.

I think what -- I talked to someone that is very close to Trump's campaign. They said we're not worried about all these how many people don't like us because we're finding enough new people that not just like us, that love us, that we think we can make up these numbers.


BORGER: Will they vote?

FERGUSON: I don't think the campaign is concerned at all about 70 percent negative with Hispanics, because I think they think they found enough people to Trump that number, no pun intended.

CARDONA: Well, I don't...


LEMON: All right. That's going to be...

BORGER: But will that bring him, you know...

CARDONA: ... think looking at that or looking at the reality of what is facing the Republican Party.

LEMON: All right. We'll continue. Kevin, you wanted to jump in?

MADDEN: No. I just wanted to say, look, in order to get people to a gymnasium in a cold winter night in Iowa, you need enthusiasm.

CARDONA: Exactly.

MADDEN: They had that part.

BORGER: Right.

MADDEN: It will be interesting to see whether or not they can build the infrastructure to just keep them there.

CARDONA: It's window shopping time. When you window shop you can look at the gaudiest thing, but when it's time to pay you'll never know.

LEMON: Yes. All right. Thank you very much.

FERGUSON: A few months away.

LEMON: Great discussion. Thank you, all of you. I appreciate it.


CARDONA: Thank you.


MADDEN: Thanks.

LEMON: Another billionaire businessman says that if he throws his hat into the ring, he'll crush Donald Trump. That's next.


BOLTON: Less than 48 hours to go until CNN hosts a second republican debate and the anticipation is growing.

Joining me now is Sean Spicer, communications director of the Republican National Committee. Sean, I'm going to say this. I don't know if you're like -- are you fired up, ready to go?


LEMON: That was an Obama back in the day.

SPICER: That's even the thing in 2008. Hey, you know what? And it worked. So, if that's what it takes, I'm on board. I'm excited. I hope we get a huge number tomorrow night or Wednesday night, rather.

I think this is going to be a phenomenal debate. The shots that I see of the Reagan Library look unbelievable. I think the excitement and enthusiasm around the country is going to be great.

LEMON: But, you know, the tone, quite honestly, Sean, of this race has been pretty intense since Labor Day. Candidates ramping up their attacks on each other. Do you expect to see that come across on the stage on Wednesday?

SPICER: Well, I really hope that in the shadow of Air Force 1 and in the Reagan Library, that people choose to invoke Reagan's 11th Commandment, that they talk about what they want to do and where they want to go, or hopefully focus their jabs at Hillary Clinton and not at each other.

I get that primaries are tough. That's where you distinguish yourself from one another. That's part of the process. But the more that we can stay focused on the democrats, the more that we can focus on the candidates telling their story and their vision, I think that's much better for the party.

LEMON: OK. There are lot of -- there are going to be a lot of people up on that stage. It's a really crowded field, 11 candidates. Do you think that there are too many candidates?

SPICER: Oh, God, no. Absolutely not. I mean, I think when you look at these people, right? And you talk about the level of qualifications and accomplishment that each one of them brings in a unique way, those who have been in Washington, those who have been outside of Washington, those who have governors, those who have senators, that's awesome.

When you look at the number, Don, of the first debate, we hit 30 million people. I was walking around, I talked to people that were in London that said, I actually got up early to watch that debate.

I talked to people that were in sports bars that said we asked everyone if they could turn the channel from ESPN to Fox for that night. I hope that we have the same reaction.

LEMON: I want to play this real quick. Much more to get to, but I want to play this. This is Hillary Clinton today talking about the debate at Donald Trump.


CLINTON: I, you know, obviously watch it and watch how each of the republicans is out of touch and out of date and what they're saying and keep track of that because, clearly, their front-runner gets most of the attention, but there's not any real difference in where they would take the country on so many of the important issues.


LEMON: What's your reaction?

SPICER: I think it's kind of hysterical listening to Hillary Clinton lecture people about the direction they want to take the country and honesty.

[22:30:00] I mean, look at the polls that came out today. She's getting crushed now, not only by both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders who is now leading her in Iowa and done even with New Hampshire. But her trust factor has plummeted like a rock. And the biggest group

that she's losing with is women. It's phenomenal. I mean, she has lost, in the last month and a half, something like 30 points with women and that's the one group that she's really targeting hard.

The more people learn about Hillary Clinton, the less they like her.


SPICER: When she left the Department of State, she had a mid -- an approval rating in the mid 60's. It's now in the, you know, the high 30's.


SPICER: The more she talks, the better for us.

LEMON: OK. Let's move on now and talk about Jeb Bush. He has a new ad out in which he speaks Spanish.




LEMON: So, Donald Trump had said Jeb Bush should speak English and not Spanish when campaigning. New poll numbers show that some of Trump's comments about Mexican immigrants may have hurt your party's caucus with the Spanish voters. There it is up in the screen, 65 percent of Latino say Trump hurts that. Are you worried about that long-term damage?

SPICER: Well, obviously, as the primary goes -- we go through this primary, each candidate got to decide their own tactics, how they're going to reach out to different groups. But one thing I'll say, whether it's Donald Trump or Jeb Bush, I think everyone in our party understand that the Hispanic population is an increasingly -- it's a growing population. It's one that we need to do better in.

It's when Reince Priebus, my boss and the chairman of the party, has made tremendous efforts to reach out to put people in those communities to build bridges with the Republican Party. And it is clearly in a very, very important voting block as we head into the general election next year.

LEMON: OK. Sean, Mark Cuban e-mailed CNBC today saying he would crush Hillary and Donald Trump. Would you welcome him into the race?

SPICER: Well, I'm not going to upset Mark Cuban. I'm a big fan of "Shark Tank." But I don't think that he's going to jump into the race. I don't think he's a republican. I think I'm happy with the 16 that will be on the stage on Wednesday night.

LEMON: Thank you, Sean.

SPICER: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Coming up, more bad news for Hillary Clinton. Can she stop her slide in the polls? And can she hold off Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden?


LEMON: Hillary Clinton is still leading the democratic field nationally, but her challengers are gaining on her, definitely not good news for the candidate.

So, let's talked about it with our David Brock, founder of Media Matters for America and author of "Killing the Messenger." And republican strategist, Mercedes Schlapp also here with us this evening.

Good evening to both of you. Mercedes, you first. Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush suffering from the same problem, plunging favorability ratings. Hillary is down to 42 percent from 62 percent. Jeb is down to 8 percent from 21 percent. Is there anything else anything they can do to turn these numbers around?

MERCEDES SCHLAPP, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, you know, you have to take them separately, I think. For Hillary Clinton, obviously, the e- mail scandal, the FBI investigations, the sort of drip, drip, drip on her e-mails have really been -- have really hit her campaign very hard.

And the fact that it took her so long to apologize and then she gave sort of this insincere apology. You know, I think it really had a very negative impact on her campaign as we've seen in these poll numbers, especially among women that are really having a hard time feeling that they can actually trust her.

Now, again, that can all change, as we know in this very insane campaign season. With Jeb Bush, it's a different story there. We have, obviously, the rise of, you know, the entertainer, Donald Trump coming in and sweeping through.

And Jeb Bush has had a much harder time breaking through with his message and kind of he's kept himself a little more expressive.

LEMON: But Mercedes, he's even -- he's even trailing Ben Carson. And so, it's not just -- yes.

SCHLAPP: Well, again, why? Because, Don, we're dealing with such a different political animal right now. We're dealing with the fact that the GOP voters are so upset at the Washington establishment.


SCHLAPP: At Washington period. And they want one that comes up from outside.


LEMON: But 8 percent of republican voters only have a favorable opinion of him, how can he win?

SCHLAPP: Oh, you know, I think Jeb Bush and the campaign, they're definitely -- you know, they're doing what they can to build their grassroots structure...


SCHLAPP: ... in place in all these different states. With that being said, they know this is for the long haul. They've got several months to try to make this play for these more moderate voters as well as for the conservatives. It's going to be a hard battle for Jeb, and Jeb knew that from the beginning going into this race.

LEMON: I wonder, though, I mean, at this point if -- because everyone said it's going to be another Clinton-Bush matchup. But it might be be if you look at the numbers from this point.

And to that point, David, the ABC News Washington post poll has Hillary at 42 percent, Sanders at 24 percent, Joe Biden at 21 percent. Joe Biden hasn't even said if he's going to enter the race. I want you to listen to what Peggy Noonan said on "Face the Nation" about Joe Biden this weekend.


PEGGY NOONAN, WALL STREET JOURNAL COLUMNIST: To me, this all just starting to feel like 2008 again, the inevitable candidate starts to look evitable. And I think if Biden got in, I must tell you, I think within two or three days, he would be up 20 points. So, I think he would be such a serious contender.


LEMON: I got to tell you, I was watching this kind of in bed half sleep and I turned and look at the television like that and I was like, you know what? She has a point. I mean, would Biden be a game changer?

DAVID BROCK, "KILLING THE MESSENGER" AUTHOR: He might be and he certainly would be a serious contender. But you have to say what, you know, what some republican pundits are saying about this with a grain of salt. Because it has been part of the republican playbook all along, to create the conditions through some of these fake scandals as I explain in my book.

[22:40:06] SCHLAPP: Fake scandals?

BROCK: For a serious primary challenge to emerge. But let's go back to your question about what can be done and let me tell you what I think is going to happen. One, you know, look, we know that August is cruel at the front runners and to eventual winners.

And you look at Howard Dean or John Kerry or you look at Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. So, this is the season for this one. But two, I think really importantly, Secretary Clinton last week she took responsibility for her part in this. She said she was sorry. People are seeing what these e-mails are, the more that they come out,

how benign they are that we're learning that she likes skimmed milk in her tea and tells aides to kept pack warm socks.

And, three, and it's really underreported, but last week, the Justice Department made a legal filing about this and they said everything that was done here was proper and appropriate it was legal including the fact that every government employee gets to make a decision about what's work related e-mail and what's personal e-mail...


LEMON: You're not saying that this e-mail thing is a good thing for her?

BROCK: Oh, no, no. I'm saying we're going to take it off the table because the Justice Department said that the deletion of the e-mail...

SCHLAPP: It's not off the table. Once you have an investigation, David, it's not off the table.

BROCK: Hold on. Can I just say something here? The deletion of the e- mail was appropriate. So, that's another taken off the table.


SCHLAPP: There's five months of...

BROCK: Now, secondly...

SCHLAPP: David, did you hear today that there's five months...

LEMON: Let her get in.

BROCK: I mean, secondly, once that's off the table, Hillary Clinton has been out there laying out really concrete plans to move the country forward, but that's been blocked to a certain extent by all the coverage of the e-mail.


BROCK: Three, we're going to see a democratic debate and we're going to see Hillary Clinton testify on Capitol Hill and those are going to be game changers because people are going to see on that stage a contrast, and they're going to see somebody they want as their next president.

LEMON: Mercedes, go ahead.

SCHLAPP: Well, you know, I think first of all, if -- I do believe that for the Clinton campaign, the Biden factor is important. Because of the fact that there is a sort of, authenticity that comes with Biden. It's the likability factor. This is something that Hillary Clinton lacks.

So, that is why she's in a process right now of reinventing herself as a candidate. She's trying to be more humorous, trying to connect with these voters which she's had a very hard time doing.

And so, I think Biden going into the race can definitely change things up. This is something that, again, I think democrats are looking for. That's why you're seeing many of these liberal democrats in these early states like Iowa, New Hampshire, saying I'm not trusting Hillary Clinton. I feel more comfortable going with a Bernie Sanders, who is a socialist.

So, again, I think it says a lot about where the Democratic Party is at this point. With that being said, Hillary Clinton obviously remains still very strong in these other states where she's built out her grassroots structures, where she has a lot of money.

And you know, again, she'll be very difficult to beat. But the only one that's going to bet her is herself because of the mere fact that she has been involved with these investigations going on, where there has been classified e-mails and the mere fact...

BROCK: No, there hasn't.

SCHLAPP: ... that she has made a major mistake.

BROCK: There hasn't been classified e-mails.


SCHLAPP: According to the government inspectors, they has some, David.

LEMON: All right. We'll continue this conversation.

BROCK: Well, now, let's talk about Jeb Bush and the crisis in the Republican Party.

LEMON: We'll have to continue this conversation but we're out of time, David. Sorry about that. And I want to say David's new book, it's called "Killing the Messenger," described CNN's Jeff Zeleny has a scolding love letter to democrats out now. Make sure you pick it up. Thanks to both of you. I appreciate it.

Coming up, Donald Trump goes from reality star to GOP star. And now Arnold Schwarzenegger is making the reverse trip. We're going to tell you why, next.


BOLTON: So, how about this? You can't write this up. The GOP front- runner is a former reality television star. His TV replacement is a former governor. In this election turning in -- is this election turning into one big reality TV show? So, let's talk about it.

Dylan Byer, CNN's new senior reporter for media and politics. Welcome to the network, sir.

DYLAN BYERS, CNN MEDIA & POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Thank you for having me. LEMON: Brian Stelter, CNN's senior media correspondent and host of

Reliable Sources, and Buck Sexton, CNN political commentator. OK. Good to have you all here as a matter of fact.

So, Dylan, you first. NBC announced today that Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to fill the slot left by Donald Trump and he's going to be the next host of "Celebrity Apprentice." Arnold is, of course, the former governor of California and he's a huge movie star, as well. What in the world is going on here?

BYERS: Well, what's going on is the sort of blending of politics and entertainment that's been happening for a very long time. You could argue it's been happening since Nixon debated JFK back in 1960.

But what we're seeing now is it's really coming to ahead where the line between politics and media politics and entertainment sort of doesn't really -- almost doesn't exist anymore. And that explains Donald Trump's rise in the polls and it explains the way that, you know, entertainers can go into politics and politicians can go into entertainment.

And that is so much more true now than it even was when Reagan ran back in the '80s. And, you know, that just might be the new reality we're dealing with in politics and in entertainment.

LEMON: All right. I'm glad you see that because I'm going to ask Buck to follow up on that. Donald Trump feels a long list of celebrities, some of who Dylan mentioned. Turned politician Ronald Reagan, Jessie Ventura, Arnold Schwarzenegger. How do more serious traditional candidates compete in this?

BUCK SEXTON, THE BLAZE NATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Well, it's obviously hard in a situation where you have somebody who has the kind of the national notoriety that Donald Trump has. But quite honestly, I think you're going to see some comparisons drawn between not just from the possibility of Trump being somebody who -- yes, people bring up, for example, Trump brings up that he's Reagan-like. He'll say that he's Reagan-like in some capacity.

But, now that Schwarzenegger is taking his former job, yes, the gubernator as he was known, was governor of California just like Reagan was. He wasn't a very successful one, however. I think people have seen in times in the past where people who were very well known celebrities.

In fact, kind of really fell on their faces when you look at what they're able to do when they're in office. Governor Ventura, I don't think anybody is going to remember that too fondly and what he did afterwards I think is also problematic.

So, really in that regard, Reagan is kind of the exception. And he's of course a very big one. And that's why Trump has been saying that he's a candidate that sort of resembles Reagan in some respect.

But for the other candidates Donald we're seeing is that it's really hard to deal with the fact that Trump is taking so much of the media oxygen out of the room. It's not just the media is covering him. He does better with the time that he has and, therefore, gets more coverage on top of that. He's just interesting.

[22:50:03] I just watched his whole press conference, which is really a one-man show. It really wasn't much of a...


LEMON: OK. Stand up. It's like a stand-up routine, right? Because he doesn't use a teleprompter. But, you know, he talked tonight, since you mentioned that, about the costs for him entering the race. Here it is.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I lose a lot. Not only -- I don't do the "Apprentice" and get paid a fortune. It's also I lose opportunity, all these deals. I have a deal in China. I have deals all over the place that I could do. Boo, boo, but it's true. It's like picking up a check. It's like picking up a check. But I give up a lot.

You know, when a politician, all talk and 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 re-elected 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. Not doing it.


LEMON: So, Brian, how much has he really given up by running?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Well, two months ago or three months ago he enters the race. Two months ago, everyone thought it was brands in shambles, he's lost all these sponsors like Macy's and NBC.

Now, we look around and think that his brand has been bolstered, that he has more power than ever no matter what happens three months down the line from now. I think what we can all recognize now is that his 10 years on NBC was incredibly valuable practice in front of these cameras as an actor, as a star, and he's using those talents now in the presidential race that no other candidate quite has.

But let's also keep in mind, in 2007, 2008, the knock against then candidate Barack Obama was that he was too much of a celebrity, that he had star power. That was the conservative critique of Obama among others of course.

We are seeing a version of that with Trump, a very different version, but another example of a reality show campaign.

LEMON: Mark Cuban said he would crush both Hillary and Trump. And you heard that Trump -- what Sean Spicer said... STELTER: Yes.

LEMON: But is there room for another billionaire businessman turned reality show turned politician in this race?


STELTER: I'm sure some billionaire think there is. You know, there been fantasies about Michael Bloomberg. There's been fantasies about Howard Schult, the Starbucks CEO getting into the race. I talked to Cuban today. He says he has no intentions of actually running. But his point is that Clinton is weak and the republicans are all weak.

He believes any democrat besides Clinton that gets into the race will win, whether that's him or Michael Bloomberg. He didn't mention Biden but his point was there is room for more candidates.

STELTER: Cuban would beat Hillary. And not just because I'm a "Shark Tank" fan. he actually would beat Hillary if he got in the race tomorrow.

LEMON: All right. Stand by. I want to play this because I thought it was a great moment. This is Friday night. Trump may made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.


JIMMY FALLON, THE TONIGHT SHOW HOST: OK. Interview time. Question one, are you ready for the republican debate next week?

TRUMP: You know, the truth is, I'm always ready. It's really going to be a big debate, but I'm always ready.

FALLON: It's not big, it's huge! Huge, huge, huge, huge, huge!



LEMON: So, the ratings were huge, but when does it have to turn into policy?

BYERS: Well, that's a great question. I mean, I think the danger with something, you know, a skit like that is at a certain point, Trump is at -- you know, running the risk of jumping the shark.

And, you know, we've said that Trump has jumped the shark at least a dozen times before and his poll numbers only go up. But at a certain point, you know, what voters are now looking for is to see what Trump's actual policy proposals are because they're getting sort of familiar with the routine.

So, obviously, that's what he's going to have to bring out in Wednesday night's debate.

(CROSSTALK) LEMON: And we'll hear about it Wednesday. As you said, just gave me a

great tease.

SEXTON: It's the man in the mirror mazes.

LEMON: A great segue. I have to run, Brian. I got to run, Buck.

SEXTON: He's tapping the mirrors at this point.

LEMON: Wednesday night.

SEXTON: It's sort of mild wild.

LEMON: Tune in here. Thank you, guys. We'll be right back.


LEMON: Nearly 30 percent of American parents can't even afford diapers. This week's CNN Hero is trying to help her fellow moms. Meet Karin Cannon.


KARIN CANNON, CNN HEROES CANDIDATE: As a single mother, providing for my children is a struggle. Diapers are super expensive. Making sure that my children have everything and wanting to provide for them. It really does cause anxiety.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a very challenging expense. Diapers are not covered by food stamps. They're not covered by other social service programs. When I had my first child, I was amazed how hard it was to care for a newborn.

It's emotionally very exhausting. It's physically very exhausting. One thing was started to ease up, I wanted to help other moms. I started calling organizations. And I heard over and over again, we need diapers.

I was heartbroken because I started thinking about how difficult it would be to be that mom who didn't have the diapers.

We have donated nearly two million diapers to families in the D.C. area. We partner with organizations who are helping families.

A lot of other families are at a breaking point. We're using diapers in a way to have them engage with social services for their other needs. Let them know that there is a network there that's going to help them and support them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it the diapers today?

CANNON: Yes. Receiving diapers means that there's one less thing I have to worry about. It allows me to put more money towards other things that are beneficial for my children. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Knowing that we're able to help moms at a

critical point in their life and being able to bring them a little bit of a relief is huge. I want them to have everything they need to thrive.


[23:00:03] LEMON: To learn more, go to That's it for us tonight. See you back here tonight night. I'm Don Lemon. AC360 right now.