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Heritage Forum Wrapping Up; Trump Skips South Carolina Event; Trump's Muslim Fallout; Heritage Forum Wraps Up; Trump Doesn't Challenge Anti-Muslim Questioner; President On Faith; Trump Under Fire; Zakaria: This Deal Is Pretty Good; Kasich In Hot Water; Trump To Attend High School Homecoming

Aired September 18, 2015 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: That does it for us. Thanks very much for watching. Escape Claws on the Ridiculist. That does it for us. Thanks very much for watching. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon starts now.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: A major GOP Forum just about to wrap up in South Carolina tonight. You could see Chris Christie on stage speaking now and all the candidates are there with one big exception though.

This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon. Donald Trump rarely misses a chance to speak to potential voters but the last time he faced an audience, this happened.


UNIDENTIFED MALE: We (inaudible) problem in this country, it's called Muslims. We know our current president is one.


UNIDENTIFED MALE: You know, he's not even an American.

TRUMP: We need this question. This is first question.


LEMON: And the fallout is not over yet.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He should have from the beginning repudiated that kind of rhetoric, that level of hatefulness in a questioner in an audience that he was appearing before.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Is anybody really surprised this happened at a Donald Trump rally?

BEN CARSON, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the best birthday present is I heard Donald Trump had dropped out. Wait a minute. That was just for today.


LEMON: So let's begin with the candidates' forum just wrapping up in Greenville, South Carolina tonight.

Joining me now is Dan Holler, communications director of Heritage Action For America. Good evening, sir, I appreciate you joining us. I know it's a busy time for you. I want to get to the elephant that that's not in the room right now and that is Donald Trump. He bailed on your event because of a business transaction the day after controversial remarks about the president. And he has yet to respond directly. Are you buying that?

DAN HOLLER, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, HERITAGE ACTION FOR AMERICA: Well we came down to South Carolina tonight have a policy discussion. And we had 10 great candidates on stage and we had a great policy discussion with those candidates in front of thousands of voters.

So that's what we're focused on. Candidates are going to do what they're going do. But tonight I think we really moved the ball forward in terms of shifting the Republican nominating process to a policy oriented process.

LEMON: So you're not disappointed that -- are you disappointed in anyway that Donald Trump didn't show up?

HOLLER: We would love to have Mr. Trump on stage. We think it would have been a good back and forth about subset policy issues and we think the voters here in South Carolina would have appreciated that. And hopefully they get a chance to have that in our action with them soon.

LEMON: Mr. Holler, South Carolina is an early primary state, what this has -- was this is a missed opportunity I wonder for Donald Trump not being there. Was this a way to avoid tough questions at your event, do you believe?

HOLLER: I mean that's a question better asked to the Trump campaign. I mean the folks who are down here have enjoyed the policy back and fort. They enjoyed getting to interact with voters here in South Carolina. And again I think tonight's forum is the most substantive thing so far in the Republican nominating process and it's gone a long way in helping voters down here in South Carolina and all across the country, frankly to figure out, who the next Republican nominee should be.

LEMON: Your group Heritage Forum is a conservative group -- very conservative group. Some of the candidates like Jeb Bush, like Bobby Jindal, and others are saying that Donald Trump is actually a liberal. He's friends with Hillary and Bill Clinton, previously pro-choice, pro universal health care. Is he conservative enough for your members?

HOLLER: When -- that's one of the questions that I think a lot of folks have is they want to see all the candidates talk about policy. They want to see all the candidates lay out their future for this nation. And tonight was the big part in doing that. So the 10 candidates who were here on our stage tonight, they took a big step forward and I think the voters appreciated the kind of dialogue that we had.

LEMON: Why do you think these political outsiders, these candidates with zero political experience or Washington experience, why are they so appealing to voters right now Mr. Holler?

HOLLER: That's because the Republican party voter doesn't like the leadership of the Republican Party. All you have to do is look at the Republican Party leadership in Congress whether it's John Boehner or Mitch McConnell. And they're not fighting for the issues that conservative voters want. They look at at Washington, they look in Congress and they say they get let down every single time.

So it shouldn't be any surprise whether it's Donald Trump, whether it's Ben Carson, whether it's Carly Fiorina that conservative primary voters are looking a new candidate a new source of energy and a change in the Republican Party.

LEMON: I want to put out some polling numbers for our viewers and I want to ask you about this, about a recent Pew Poll. They found that 32 percent have a favorable view of the Republican Party, the lowest since 1993. And the survey actually found that the biggest drop in GOP favorability numbers is among Republicans dropping 18 percent. Is the somber of Trump and the language that we're hearing hurting the GOP brand?

HOLLER: No, it's the exact opposite. The reason the Republican Party voter doesn't like the Republican Party is because the Republican Party is not fighting for what the rest of the Republican Party supposed to stand for. What you're seeing from folks in the campaign trail is an effort to get back to the big hopeful optimistic vision that the Republican Party used to put forward.

[21:05:04] Right now, they see a Republican Party that's tainted by Washington. That's too happy to go along, to get along and that's why the Republican Party voters don't like the Republican Party, it's not because they're frustrated with conservatives, they want more conservatives in the party.

LEMON: Dan Holler, thank you very much. You can see Chris Christie still on stage speaking behind you. You guys aren't done yet. I appreciate you coming on CNN this Friday evening.

HOLLER: Thanks a lot. I appreciate it.

LEMON: Thank you. I want to bring in now Bob Beckel, Columnist for USA Today and Kayleigh McEnany, Editor at Political Prospect and Jeffrey Lord, Political Director in the Reagan White House. It's good to have all of you here. Mr. Lord is not in studio.


LEMON: I welcome you guys at the studio for the time. It's good to see you. KAYLEIGH MCENANY, EDITOR, POLITICAL PROSPECT: Great.

LEMON: So, we'll going to start with you. You just heard from...


LEMON: Yeah.

BECKEL: You, too.

LEMON: And we just heard from the communications first and foremost Heritage Forum about Donald Trump skipping out -- skipping the event. Would you have liked to seen him there and making his case?

MCENANY: Sure. I would have like to see him there. I think he brings a lot to the table. I think he has a lot of substance. I certainly don't think that that's the reason that he skipped his debate. Nonetheless, I trust Donald Trump when he says he has a business transaction that he was conducting. And look, I'd rather my candidate be conducting a business transaction than planning how they're going to circumvent a potential criminal prosecution for an e- mail scandal.

So, you know, what, I'm proud of Donald Trump. I wish he was there, but I trust him at it and take him at his word for why he was gone.

LEMON: Do you think -- do you take him at his word or about the business transaction?

BECKEL: Well, first of all, who you're trenched about an e-mail scandal? Listen, Donald Trump did not want to be there today because this is a policy forum, right? Now, every time -- did you hear that answer -- the controversial answer with the about the Muslim things. And well, when I get in, we're going to check everything out. We're going to look here, we're going to look there. I have yet to hear anything from Trump that is a serious policy proposal except for his friends around Mexico (inaudible) by the way if anybody wants to join me.

The -- and Trump is not a policy guy. Where he does very well is off the cap and taking people on this and he said I'm going to take (inaudible).

MCENANY: But Trump put out two viable policy position papers on immigration, on the second amendment today.

BECKEL: That today.

MCENANY: Yes, he has a lot of substance.

LEMON: He says he has put out...


LEMON: ... on those issues, but as far as answering directly to audiences to debate moderators, there -- I mean, you have to admit there has not going to lot of substance.

MCENANY: He knows he is speaking to the American people and he's telling the American people what its broad policy goals are and I think that's important.

LEMON: OK. Let's play, you know, you said he is good off the cap.

BECKEL: Right.

LEMON: Let's figure out whether he was good off the cap last night when this happened. Let's play the entire thing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We (inaudible) problem in this country. It's called Muslims. We know our current President is one.

TRUMP: Right.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: You know, he's not even an American.

TRUMP: We need this question. This is the first question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That's my question. When can we get rid of them?

TRUMP: We're going to be looking at a lot of different thing. You know, a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We're going to be looking to that and plenty of other things.


LEMON: All right. Before it gets to Jeff, just you, Bob, I want to ask you some of the folks behind him if you look at it and you can roll. You don't have to play the sound of. That some of the -- they're making faces like, Oh, my goodness, not everyone in this crowd agrees with that. Do you think that he needs to get out and address this controversy right now on the campaign trail?

BECKEL: No, I don't at all. And I'll tell you a lot of people -- I am not sure just in Republican Party is all against Muslim. It's not, but there are a -- there is a several of them that in fact does believe this stuff. I mean look at your own polls, 48 percent of Republicans believed he's a Muslim. So why should Donald Trump right of his way to try to disallow people that are just abused (ph) people. He's going to Iowa where if he had stood up for Barack Obama last night, he'll going to help him. That's pure politics.

LEMON: Jeffrey, I mean, you cannot -- 43 percent and it's -- Donald Trump is a very bright man. And he can handle himself in front of a crowd. He did not refute that guy statement last night. And he did respond to part of the question in the middle where he said, the guy said the President, he's not a citizen or he's a Muslim. And Donald Trump says "Right," but then he's saying, you know, I don't -- I didn't hear part of the question.

LORD: You know, Don, I've not heard this for the fifth or sixth time and every time I hear it, it's very interesting to listen to the inflections there. In the very beginning, Donald Trump and his part I've seen several times, he effectively is -- I mean not literally got effectively rolling his eyes. You know, like, oh, yeah, we really need this question.

LEMON: I don't disagree with you on that.

LORD: (Inaudible) seen the guy -- what?

LEMON: I said, I don't disagree with you on that.

LORD: Yeah. OK, OK. So then, the guy makes his statement and he says, right, you know, trying to figure out where he's going then the guy gets into this training camp business. And to be perfectly candid, you know, listen to this yet again. I have no idea what he's talking about with training camps. Does he need training camps in the Middle East?

[21:10:00] Or does he mean places like Islamberg in upstate New York with some, you know, this is controversial places in America that are seen as, you know, possibly Muslim training -- I mean, I have no idea what the guy was saying.

Clearly, Trump didn't either so he's answer was sort of beg like, well we'll be looking into this...

LEMON: Well, he had the microphone. Could they have just said...

LORD: I mean I just don't think this....

LEMON: ... you know, you said well you can you explain your question or is very easily -- easy to say, if he did not want to...

LORD: I mean.

LEMON: ... if he didn't want to be engage or involved in that, all you have to do is say, "I'm not going to dignified that question with an answer." You can have move on.

LORD: Well yeah you see got Don the thing here is, everybody is trying to retreat did this is the precisely the kind of manufactured media controversy. That and as all over the place that is done all of the time, it when President Obama...

LEMON: Can you explain to me what is manufactured about this when it happened live its on video tape, your asking people...

LORD: Sure.

LEMON: ... to not believed that it is...

LORD: What where sure because Don is up...

LEMON: ... in their eyes?

LORD: The sub PAC's here of all of this and believed me this is being pick up by conservatives across the land, the sub PAC's here is that Donald Trump is a bigot, he's not a bigot, if he were a bigot I wouldn't be here Don, that's not what the guy is all about, that's not what the guy is all about.

LEMON: But the question -- no, no I don't think that...

LORD: ... so.

LEMON: ... people are saying that he is a bigot, he allowed a bigot.

LORD: Well their saying because he (inaudible)...

LEMON: He get away on national television at a form with something that is completely untrue and that reeks of Islamophobia and racism. He allowed that to happen the same thing happen a very similar thing...

LORD: No, no, no...

LEMON: ... is done it came back in 2000...

LORD: ... Don he did it.

LEMON: ... and John McCain step the woman straight in a way that...

MCENANY: But those.

LEMON: ... it should be set.

MCENANY: Those are arguably the reasons he should have concern this...

LORD: Don why are we...

MCENANY: ... into the territorial together, it was there were a racist undertones that question so why even get involved and that kind of dialogue when your above that your presidential candidate, and also to point out in 2008 when Hillary Clinton was as the...

LEMON: Kelly you have to say why get involved in it, the reason you get involved is because you see 43 percent of conservatives, the Republicans believed that the president is a Muslim that's why you get involved and if you tell them that that is not the truth. The person you has been shown...

LORD: But Don, Don, Don what is wrong being Muslim...

LEMON: ... that he is a Christian.

LORD: ... what's wrong being a Muslim?

LEMON: There's nothing wrong with it. That's the whole point of it.


LEMON: There's absolutely nothing wrong with being a Muslim.

LORD: Why is that a Muslim?

LEMON: But there are -- he also said that he wasn't an American and that we need to get rid of Muslims, we need to get rid of them, that is a highly charge racist and dangerous statement.

LORD: No. Don, Don...

MCENANY: They not Donald Trump's plate to defend the president's reputation or what he is or as not, that's the president (inaudible).

LEMON: We are, but it is -- but is Donald Trump place as a leader to tell people the truth and he doesn't have to defend the president...

LORD: Then why was he saying...

LEMON: ... by saying -- hang on by saying the president...

LORD: ... why wasn't?

LEMON: ... is not a Muslim or the president is a Christian, your not defending the president your just giving a truthful rebottle.

LORD: Why, why are we applying the same standard top Barack Obama when he spend 20 years in the fuse (ph) and listen to me here, carefully. I'm a member that same United Church of Christ Denomination. The members run the church they have the ability to fire the minister, Barack Obama examine that (inaudible) listen to anti-Semantics sermons for 20 years and he never said anything, he didn't...

LEMON: He responded to it a number of times, he responded to it a number of time.

LORD: No, Don he sat...

LEMON: In 2008.

LORD: ... for 20 years, he didn't fire the guy. He could have fire the guy, he didn't do it.


LORD: He didn't act.


LORD: But.

LORD: Is all the same standard...

LEMON: He has...

LORD: ... he has all (inaudible).

LEMON: ... but he has addressed the issue, he explained why he was there and that he did not see it here or see any of those statements, he has addressed the issue a number of times and he repudiated the statements in left and right. Donald Trump has not done that.

LORD: Yeah because he was going to lose votes if he didn't do it.

LEMON: Let's listen.

LORD: What about when he is not being watched...

LEMON: Let's play this -- let's play...

LORD: Why are going to that.

LEMON: ... I want you to listen to this, this is back in 2008, this is him responding to that, listen.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Now, I've already denounced the comments that had appeared in these previous sermons, as I said I have not heard them before. But when he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions as the U.S. government somehow being involved in AIDS, when he suggests that Minister Farrakhan somehow represents one of the greatest voices of the 20th and 21st century, when he equates the United States wartime efforts with terrorism, then there are no excuses. They offend me. They rightly offend all Americans. And they should be denounced. And that's what I'm doing very clearly and unequivocally here today.


LEMON: So he denounced the statements, whether you want to believed him or not?

LORD: Don...

LEMON: And so since he is saying that it is not what he thought, shouldn't we hear that same sort of thing from Donald Trump...


LORD: Don, where was he for 20 years.

LEMON: Your going back...

LORD: I cannot (inaudible)...

LEMON: ... and your going back in your relegating history, so for 20 years he explained...

LORD: What.

LEMON: ... in that statement that he didn't hear them and that is wrong.

LORD: Right.

LEMON: So then what more would you have him do?

LORD: Well, why didn't he get him fired at the time.

BECKEL: Because Jeffrey, I'll tell you why.

LORD: He had some power as a member of his church.


LORD: He has that power.

BECKEL: There's a big diff the station here with John McCain did in 2008 where Barack Obama did McCain did his when he defended Obama in a general election. He was trying to get more toward the center. Barack Obama was not about to take him along was popular religious leaders in that area where because he was depending on black votes, I' m not being overly cynical here but I tell you I don't understand why Trump passed to you said I don't understand what's up to Trump to somehow bail this in out when he's going to Iowa where there is a general settlement that that's true, now, you know, it would be the right thing to do, Don is right, I mean would be a leadership thing to do but why -- but Donald Trump is not known to do things like that.

MCENANY: And it's not Donald Trump's job to please anything since when do that his job, he's running for president, he someone in the audience said something its not he's job to be rate his supporter, that's not his job, simply not his job.

LEMON: It's not the rating someone to give them like a truthful response.

MCENANY: No one knows what...

LEMON: And you said...

MCENANY: ... only Barack Obama knows Barack Obama...

LEMON: ... if you said something false...

MCENANY: ... state no one else.

LEMON: ... in the show and I clarify it, I'm not berating you I'm simply setting the record straight...

LORD: Right.

LEMON: ... and as a leader Donald Trump should be able to set the record straight. Standby we're going to stick with the subject. I have to get to a break but I promise when we come right back, we'll continue this conversation. Don't go away


LEMON: In South Carolina tonight on Donald Trump's GOP rivals refuse to criticize him over that anti-Muslim question. Back with me now Bob Beckel, Kayleigh McEnany and Jeffrey Lord. Jeffrey I didn't mean to cut-off. What do you want say?

LORD: That's OK. I get it, yeah.

LEMON: Yeah.

LORD: No, no, no I thought -- it just -- I just think that this is a matter or no, you know, countless examples of mediate quote, unquote "fire storms" and that are put out there and, you know, regular folks as Chris Christie, you know, his comments the other night was right about one thing. Regular folks out there are struggling with their jobs, the economy that kind of thing. They look at this kind of situations over something like this and they think it's ridiculous.

They think it's ridiculous that all the kind of folks like me are sitting here making big deals about this when in fact they are face in a real hard time and they want to know. What are you going to do about the job?

BECKEL: Let me make a point. Think about the last time in the summer before presidential race. There was any excitement about anything and you can't blame the news media when Donald shows up and all the sudden, it's a big story otherwise it's going to dull summer. So it's not -- you can sort to lay it on them.

LEMON: And I think regardless of who if it was at anybody's form and those comments were made and it was handled that way. I think we would still -- we would be talking about this not just because it is Donald Trump and there's nothing wrong with discussing, that's how we learn, right? That's how we get...

LORD: No, no, no, I'm not oppose to discussion...

LEMON: Yeah.

LORD: ... I'm all for it, let's go.

LEMON: I mean, because you guys with Donald Trump, if you're not going to be thin skinned then you take the criticism and respond to it and we all move on. So listen...

LORD: That's right...

LEMON: Jeffrey...

LORD: He'll be out there, you know, he is a front runner. I mean, he's going to be out there. He's now like, you know, his in hiding.

LEMON: Yeah, and he's welcome to here anytime and talk about it. So listen, a lot of people agree with you, the candidates agree with you that, you know, much has been made of a lot of this. It proves Rick Santorum refusing the criticize Trump over the anti-Muslim question or Ted Cruz is Obama's faith is between him and his god. Here's Rick Santorum.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe President Obama is a Muslim, Senator?

RICK SANTORUM, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The president says he's a Christian.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is its up?

SANTORUM: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm not play in this game if you guys want to play. President can still defend himself, he doesn't need Rick Santorum to defend him. He's got you doing that very, very well so cut it out.


LEMON: Is it a game Bob, what he means to it?

BECKEL: Well, I mean, you know, Santorum who are just for honesty, he's an old of friend mine and I predicted he was going to win Iowa about a year and a half, I know that was crazy but, you know, what he is doing here is that nobody wants to touch the subject because they keep looking at the polls and why -- then I'm going to stand up if there is Trump like said of there and say, this is a better thing to say certainly Rick Santorum is not going to do it. So I think it's a way. They put it back in you guys and say other president make a big deal out of it they walk out of it.

LEMON: Yeah, it's very easy to blame to me.


MCENANY: I mean, I go back to what Hillary Clinton said in 2008 when she was asked the same question. Yes, she did say categorically Obama is not a Muslim as far as I know, to me that qualification is almost worse because you're suggesting not -- as far as you know he's not a Muslim but maybe there's something I don't know. You're reserving that potential or as Donald Trump, he just said nothing. He stayed away from the question.

LEMON: But she has said clearly that he is a Christian and that she doesn't believe that he is a Muslim and that he was born in United States.

MCENANY: She's been a democrat primary now.

LEMON: Yes, but she is that you -- go ahead.

LORD: Don, I'm just -- I am your basic allegations here, right. I am not a Muslim, I'm no authority on it and I'm asking that question that I've done a research on this is it true that someone know that if you are the child of a Muslim father that you are considered a Muslim? Is that true?

LEMON: Oh my gosh. OK, listen, again I would say -- if you guys want to work on that, you can. I won't even dignify that...

LORD: I'm asking the question because you're asking why the perception, right? His grandfather which he criticize his grandfather was a Muslim which makes in return his father and himself a Muslim and not exactly...


LEMON: ... because I could be born Jewish or Muslim or whatever and if I decide one day that I want to be a Christian...

LORD: Correct.

LEMON: ... as an American...

LORD: I agree with you.

LEMON: ... then I am a Christian. OK, so listen I have something new that I want to show you. This is Jeb Bush responding toning in Michigan.


JEB BUSH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Barack Obama is a talented man and by the way he is American, he's a Christian. His problem isn't the fact that he was born here or that he says what us faith is his problem is if he's a progressive liberal that tears down anybody that disagrees with it.


LEMON: Discuss Kayleigh.

MCENANY: That's a powerful statement.

[21:25:00] Look, he got to the brand of what the selection about that Obama is a progressive and look, that's what we need to be focus on. We certainly don't need a focus on a state. I didn't know than excellent response from Jeb Bush.

LEMON: He is basically saying what John McCain's saying.

LORD: For once, I agree with Jeb Bush.

BECKEL: Yeah, and not only that. Bush has woke it up for last week but not only that Bush is like can get any of those people who believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim, he's not going to get those votes and he's exactly right to stand up and say what he said.

LEMON: I cannot believe that so many people still believe that, it is just unfathomable.

BECKEL: I tell you go, go with this. (CROSSTALK)

LEMON: It shows you that people believe, you can put the facts right in front of them and people are going to believe where they want to believe it doesn't matter. Thank you guys. Thank you, appreciated.

Donald Trump...


LEMON: ... thank you very much Jeffrey. Level some accusations and some very tough talk at leaders around the world. Many are listening so what do they think of him? We're going to find out next.


LEMON: Donald Trump's absence from the campaign trail is glaring but his handling of an anti-Muslim question kept him in the headlines today. Here's that exchange again.


UNIDENTIFED MALE: We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims.

[21:30:00] We know our current president is one.

TRUMP: Right.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: You know he's not even an American.

TRUMP: We need this question. This is the first question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But anyway, we have training camps growing where they to kill us. That's my question, when can we get rid of them?


LEMON: Joining me now is Fareed Zakaria host of Fareed Zakaria GPS, hello sir. What's your take on his response to that man's question?

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: Well it's telling, look that's three things the guys said they were wrong. You pointed out earlier Don that, you know, that he says, "The problem in America is Muslims. We know the president is a Muslim and we now that he is not an American." All three are wrong, obnoxious and boarder on racism.

The fact that Trump wouldn't take this on it, it tells you something which is I think he's a smart a guy, he knows that he is profiting from and encouraging some very dark forces within the Republican base and he's happy to profit from it which is a very unfortunate thing.

LEMON: His spokesman, spokespeople not -- you haven't heard directly from him has said that he did not hear the question.

ZAKARIA: OK, so this is the first question in a question and answer session. Don, you've done Q and A, I've done Q and A. It is -- one doesn't even know how to begin. How could you not have heard that the first question in the question and answer session when the guy is directly looking at you. All one has choose watch the tape. If Donald Trump didn't hear the question either there's something wrong with his ears or there is something wrong with what's between the ears because it's impossible for that to be the case.

LEMON: Well, because he said that the president, you know, I think he said the president, "We have a problem in this country and its Muslims." And he said the president -- our current president in this one and you hear Donald Trump saying it right.


LEMON: And then he goes on to finish and he said, you know, this we need this for the first question so...

ZAKARIA: And we know that Trump spend many, many months encouraging the falls of -- that Obama was not an American.

LEMON: How is he viewed by world leaders?



ZAKARIA: Oh I think I was in Europe, in three countries last week, they generally think this is a joke and that there's no way could actually happen so they're not spending a lot of time thinking about it and I think this view with us part the kind of carnival of American politics. I don't they've gone it really focusing on the fact that, you know, he still continue to lead in the polls and that they assume it will blow away.

LEMON: OK, so he saw himself as a best leader to negotiate with, you know, with the world community with other leaders because he sees everybody is killing us, every -- let just look at one of his favorite speech lines.


TRUMP: You look at trade packs, China eating our lunch. Japan like we're children. Mexico both in trade and at the boarder what they doing to us is terrible.

I've been saying China is taking our jobs, our money, our base, our manufacturing, I just told the press and we owe them -- think of it, they taken on money in our jobs, or manufacturing it up but they taken everything. So one of the greatest steps in the history of the world what they take it out over our country.


LEMON: So China, Japan, and Mexico he says eating our lunch, killing us. You say it's the exact opposite. ZAKARIAL: Well it's astonishing. If you look at the United States today, we are growing twice as fast as Europe. We are growing four times as fast as Japan. He speaks to weird moment to make this accusation. There's a part of this issue is almost like a 1980s time work. You know, Trump wrote "The Art of the Deal" in 1987. It was published in 87 that was when people thought Japan was eating our lunch and its super smart leader was somehow waiting.

For the last 20 years Japan has been the foster child for political paralysis and stagnation. The Mexican economy is literally falling off a cliff because of declining oil prices and China has just gone through the most embarrassing two months of really the last 30 years where they spend $400 billion trying to unsuccessfully prop up the stock market and the currency. So you kind of one day as you reading the business section of the newspaper.

LEMON: Let me read this because you're talking about this. You said, last quarter of the U. S. economy grew at a 3.7 percent quote, "annual growth now is almost twice that of Europe and four times out of Japan. Unemployment is at 5.1 percent, the lowest since seven years. The deficit as a preceded in growth domestic product, 2.8 percent in 2014 is at its lowest since 2007." Those are great number, its great numbers for the economy, for businesses but are working people -- are working American feeling that?

ZAKARIAL: No, they're not and that is a real problem and it's a long term problem, let's be honest. Middle class wages in this country have been stagnant for about 20 years and you have had this phenomenon with companies are able to do more with less partly because of coordination (ph) in technology, partly because of outsourcing and that's a real problem and we've got to figure out what the right answer is on.

[21:35:02] President Obama has been trying with, you know, return of manufacturing, community colleges, more technical education, all those kind of things but that's a problem that's been growing on for 20 or 30 years.

LEMON: Our leaders are stupid. We are seen as patches around the world. How -- do others view us that way?

ZAKARIAL: So I was in Europe and I was talking to -- actually a number of business people and a several of them, in fact I would say almost all of the one I talked to would -- at some point the other -- are the other raise this for a question, their great concern is that America has become so dominant in technology, all the big technology firms in the world at American in entertainment, in finance, all the big banks in the world are now American. We have come out of the 2008 crisis better than any country in the world. Their concern is too much American dominance and power. So again, essentially the opposite of what Trump has saying.

LEMON: Let's talk about Iran now. You've seen the debate. The candidates -- almost all of them say they want to rip this deal of this Iran deal up on the first day. Do you have concerns about this deal? ZAKARIA: You know, look any deal -- this is a human creation. It's not perfect. They could have their flaws and it could have been better it. You never get everything you want but if you look at it from the point of view historically, this kinds of deals, this is the most detailed, the most comprehensive in nuclear or at a deal that has ever been negotiated. It has the most checks. It has the most requirements on the Iranians. It has snap back sanctions for the first time ever.

So no, I mean, I look, I think that as human creations go this deal is pretty good. Of course it has to be enforced well but that's true of any deal. I think on the whole it's a very solid diplomatic achievement.

LEMON: Fareed Zakaria, Fareed Zakaria GPS., Sunday mornings...

ZAKARIA: Thank you so much.

LEMON: ... right here on CNN and then again on Sunday afternoon. Thank you.

ZAKARIA: Pleasure.

LEMON: Up next, the second presidential candidate under fire this one for what he says about Latino oh Latino housekeeper.

Also tonight CNN's Republican president debate in it's entire. You can judge for yourself what the candidate have to say that begins at 10:00 P.M. from Eastern right after this broadcast.



LEMON: First Donald Trump and now second presidential candidate under fire, let's discuss the Dean Obeidallah, columnist for The Daily Beast and a CNN political -- and CNN political commentators, Marc Lamont Hill and Ben Ferguson. Happy Friday, gentlemen.



LEMON: Ben, do you think it is fair to, you know, suggest that Donald Trump shouldn't have handled that question better, is that fair?

FERGUSON: Yes, because, you know, anytime you give a live might to somebody in the audience, when you're on a campaign trail that you might have to smack somebody down if they said in something and appropriate. You also note, there's a good chance their going to be dealing when it come in there, truly just to mess with you, so your always ready for that as part of a candidate. I know that even when I been around few are running for Congress or city council for goodness sake. So for him to say is campaign to say that he didn't hear the guy that maybe the lamest response I've ever heard, he should have immediately corrected him, he could even said, hey man I was with you a year ago or four years ago, but I even saw the (inaudible) get moved on, but this was one of those instances where Donald Trump could have done the right thing and yet he chose not to and then he lies about saying I couldn't hear the guy. He was responding...

LEMON: OK, all right.

FERGUSON: ... for guy for goodness sake.

LEMON: All right, so let's listen to your point that he was responding. I want everyone at home to stop what your doing and pay attention, everyone pay attention and then you -- you can decide for yourself, so here it is again.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We (inaudible) problem in this country, it's called Muslims, we know our current president is one.

TRUMP: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, he's not even an American...

TRUMP: We need this question. This is the first question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But anyway we have training camps, growing where they want to kill us. That's my question. When can we get rid of them?

TRUMP: We're going to be looking to a lot of different things.


LEMON: So his campaign says he did not hear that question about the president, are you surprised that we haven't heard from Trump on this, first Ben just quickly and move on to the rest of the panel.

FERGUSON: No and, you know, what this seems to be his mantra, "I'm not going to apologize for anything so," I think his campaign would other just lie on his back and be honest that "yeah, I heard it and didn't know how to handle it or didn't want to handle or didn't want to correct the man which is beyond, I understand the logic behind it.

LEMON: Is it -- do you OK, Dean its hard do think that they lied, do you think that his, his campaign lie Dean?

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, THE DAILY BEAST, COLUMNIST: So I think they lied, I think that the audience behind them all nodded their head and (inaudible), they heard it. If Donald Trump was concern as a politician about a supporter, saying something he didn't even hear the question he was saying, I'm sorry I didn't hear you. So even you care about what people say or you just use him as props for your campaign. In this case I think Donald Trump heard him, and I think it really showed people that Donald Trump won't stand up to bigotries since he's going to stand the value of Vladimir Putin and leaders around the world, but he won't step to a bigot 10 feet away from his face and that's a question of character, forget Muslim or not.

LEMON: Yeah.

OBEIDALLAH: A question of character, are you going to be a leader and stand up in front of a crowd that overwhelming the according to polls believes Obama is a Muslim and there's a problem with Muslims or you going to stand up and say, you know, this is wrong and this is America, we're not going to look you differently because their religion and you heard the question, there's a problem...

LEMON: But he said.

OBEIDALLAH: ... with Muslims that's the first part, that I'm a Muslim, that's the part that offends me more than the Obama (inaudible)...


OBEIDALLAH: ... we have a problem and it's a Muslim, I so I'm a problem to this country because of my faith that's what that man said and Donald Trump had no problem see he go, we'll get a look into it, really.

LEMON: OK, so listen that he has said -- he has said that he didn't hear and he's going to appear on CNN, so until I'll take him in his word so I hear what he has to say about it further, OK.

So let's move on, Marc I want to talk about John Kasich gone to some hot water today, at really talking about Latino's, here it is.


JOHN KASICH, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They are great, they're God-fearing, hardworking folks. And lot of them do jobs that they're willing to do and that's why in the hotel you leave a little tip, you know, when they -- this lady wrote, you know, in my hotel there in L.A.

[21:45:01] She wrote this note, it said "I really want you to know that I care about your stay." That is just is that just the great the greatest thing. We can learn a lot and she's Hispanic and I because I didn't know what it's the time but I met her in the hallway ask her if I can get little bit more soap.


LEMON: Sorry, to Marc I mean we has actually trying to be supportive there.

HILL: Well that's the crazy thing that, you know, I don't think he has bad intentions I mean when I was in with Donald Trump did I say, OK this is someone who lacks character, this is someone who at best in different to the attacks on other people, John Kasich was a nice guy I've known him for many years and I find him to consistently be weird and awkward and somewhat uniformed on issues of race and this case he was trying to offer an example well Latino's have to offer America and the best example he can come up with was the woman he asked for soap in the hotel will reflect a narrow vision of Latino's are and what contributions Latino's make to this country.

He didn't pick Sonia Sotomayor who was, you know, is on Supreme Court I mean all the people we can -- you can have pick, you know, he pick the woman and there's something his dignity no work I mean be clear about it, there's something wrong with being a maid, there's something wrong with working in the housekeeping, but it reflects a very narrow idea that he has so that many people on the right unfortunately has about Latinos...

FERGUSON: See I don't -- I...

LEMON: Quickly Ben I want to move on.

FERGUSON: I give a big pass on this one for one reason, if your very been around John Kasich, he's a really nice guy, I think this was an awkward moment where he was trying to explain something that people in politics in both sides aisles have been saying for a long time, they're saying that illegal immigrants do jobs many Americans don't want to do necessarily, he was trying to say they're hardworking, they're kind people, they want to make a living.

And I actually kind of a little bit bad for him, because I think he was trying to praise her as an individual saying, who takes a time to write a note to someone staying in a hotel, unfortunately it came across and the way that obviously many people saw this, are you kidding me...

LEMON: Yeah.

FERGUSON: ... I don't think he had any will on this issue at all, and I think he was just trying to point out an average person...

LEMON: I think that.

FERGUSON: ... trying to make her job better than it was.

LEMON: I think that he probably learns something in that.

HILL: But good intentions are enough, but I think...

OBEIDALLAH: No sure he was he weren't so sure.

LEMON: I agree, but I think he probably learn something to that moment...

FERGUSON: That's for sure, and he needs some Latino friends I think Don.

LEMON: Yeah. OBEIDALLAH: I think he knows no Latinos...

LEMON: All right let's talk about something that's happening in Ben's home state of Texas, it's -- it been in the news a lot this week, I want your...

OBEIDALLAH: It's time.

LEMON: ... respond, Ahmed Muhammad and his clock, Ben you first its your home state/

FERGUSON: Look at people that have been around here that have seen this, they're not buying it, mainly because his father is in the news all the time he goes back today is run president there twice and also..

LEMON: Do not buy there was a clock?

FERGUSON: ... I think he (inaudible) quickly. No, no they're not buying this whole story, they think that first of all he didn't build a clock, many engineers have been coming out here and saying, he took a clock apart, put it in a case, took it to school and then we have this fight his dad knows how to deal with them -- with the media, he's been a central focal point here locally...

LEMON: Dean, go Dean.

FERGUSON: ... of all of this issue.

OBEIDALLAH: So your good is not..


OBEIDALLAH: Are you kidding me?

LEMON: Go ahead, Dean.

OBEIDALLAH: He's a 14 year old kid...

FERGUSON: I'm not kidding you.

OBEIDALLAH: So I understand people in the right I've seen (inaudible), I've seen Islamophobes, hey this is a contrite (ph) or this young men, I spoke to family representative yesterday should be on my radio show tomorrow, you know, who wanted to do something, who want to show off to his teachers because his name is Ahmed Muhammad, and he built something he gets arrested. If it scary, if something wrong, sure you can confiscate it.

LEMON: Make a Dean, make a point.

FERGUSON: I'm not saying.

OBEIDALLAH: Look an example.

FERGUSON: We'll put this clear, he shouldn't been arrested I should never...


OBEIDALLAH: And that's the real issue.

LEMON: That's your last words, he should have not been arrested.

FERGUSON: That's it, yes, right, but look it this down...

LEMON: I'm sorry I'm out of time, thank you very much.


LEMON: When we come right back a high school in Iowa is about to be international spell like Donald Trump its extending their home coming festivities, do not tomorrow night. A teacher and student tell me why next.



LEMON: Donald Trump's next campaign event is somewhat of a surprise. He will be a special guest at tomorrow's homecoming festivities at Urbandale High School in Iowa. The GOP front runner accepted an invitation to attend. Here's how the students got the news.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're pleased to tell you that (inaudible) announces our (inaudible) 7:00 on Saturday night Donald Trump will be at the Urbandale High School.


LEMON: Joining me now is Anne La Pietra, a social studies teacher at Urbandale High and students Emma Kohls, and Bridget Dougherty.

Hi. How are you guys doing?


LEMON: Good. In unison and stereo (ph). So, Anne, let's start with you. I understand that you're the mastermind behind this. Tell me how this all began.

ANNE LA PIETRA, SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER, URBANDALE HIGH SCHOOL: Well, honestly, it really started as a joke in class and I just in my case. Would it be fun if we had a presidential candidate here and the students like, oh, yeah, of course, that'll be fun and they started tweeting candidates and then it kind of just exploded from there and then became a real thing that we spread to all the seniors in the whole school and it took off like wildfire.

LEMON: And you look like you could be a student as well. I was like... LA PIETRA: I know. I guess it'll time (ph) that's why I wear the shirt that says educator.

LEMON: Educator. So that people would know.

LA PIETRA: It's like so you'd know.

LEMON: OK. So, Bridget...


LEMON: You used a hash tag uhspresidentdonaldtrump and you tweeted this. You said, looking forward to meeting the students of Urbandale High School -- he did that's Trump's tweet - Urbandale High School tomorrow.

Bernie Sanders responded and he said, "Dear Urbandale High School students or H.S. students, sorry, I can't make the hash tag uhspresident. Hope you have a fun time - you have fun at homecoming and I'd love to visit your school soon."

Were you surprised by this response, Bridget? Both those responses.

DOUGHERTY: We're also excited. We had no idea it would take off the way it did. Firstly, we were shock that Donald came and then we started thinking well if Donald came, it'll get attention from the other presidential candidates and as it did after Bernie tweeted that we are extremely excited.


LEMON: All right. Now, on to Emma, when you first heard about this idea, I mean, what did you think? Were you excited to participate right away?

EMMA KOHLS, STUDENT, URBANDALE HIGH SCHOOL: I was. I was kind of like skeptical about it like I didn't really know if it was going to work. But I participated in it in anyway everybody else doing it and figured well we don't have to lost and we could try and we did and it was a lot of fun so.

LEMON: Were you this interested in politics before this your self?

KOHLS: Not really, no. I didn't. I just going to -- it was a class I had to take.

LA PIETRA: Very interested now though..

LEMON: Yeah.

KOHLS: Yeah.


KOHL: Yeah.

LEMON: I understand though and a lot of kids had a particular question and that was will Donald Trump bring his...

DOUGHERTY: Helicopter.

LEMON: Yeah.

LA PIERTA: Well, I know someone drew a landing pad, a bull's eye in the parking lot somewhere that Trump land here. Yeah.

LEMON: Well, good luck, everyone.

LA PIERTA: We're hoping.

LEMON: Yeah. We hope so to for you. Thank you, guys. We'll be right back.