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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Hurricane Patricia Hits Mexico; Donald Trump Drops In Iowa poll; Bill Clinton on Campaign Trail for Hillary; Hillary Clinton's Back on Campaign Trail; U.S. Army Joshua Wheeler Dies Saving Hostages from ISIS in Iraq; Anthony Bourdain Presents Ethiopian Cuisine. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 23, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:04] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. The breaking news tonight is stark, simple and serious, the most powerful hurricane ever recorded is coming ashore. Early yesterday morning, Patricia was just a tropical storm. Since then, it has grown into a monster targeting the west coast of Mexico, part of a deadly storm system that could also dump nearly two feet of rain on Texas.
CNN's Martin Savidge is in Puerto Vallarta. I spoke to him short time ago.
COOPER: Martin, what can you tell us?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the conditions here may not seem as bad as you would expect. But you have to remember, it is still early going in the storm that just is proving to be incredible in its intensity.
Right now here it's primarily a rain event. The evacuations have been going on ever since yesterday afternoon. That's the big thing. They haven't had a lot of time to prepare. The winds right now, very low. We haven't seen the sign of storm surge, but the rains are continuing to grow. There is some minor street flooding.
And this is the thing. This storm appears to be headed into land just south of Puerto Vallarta. If that's true, it would spare this particular city greatly. That would stop a potential human disaster of a magnitude you don't even want to think about. But this storm is going somewhere. And wherever it goes, it is going to be like a major tornado 20 miles wide. They are hoping here that the conditions are not going to turn into anything like that. But they are still holding their breath. And because this is such a jewel for so many people and tourists, it's going to be a long and anxious night, Anderson.
COOPER: And they said they just started evacuations yesterday. I mean, how are those evacuations going? Obviously, as you said, it's a huge tourist vacation spot.
SAVIDGE: Yes, it is. And it was complicated by the fact that number one, you had to shut the airport down. So you really didn't have a lot of time for people to say let's book a flight and let's get out of here.
What they decided to do is that rather than shelter people here where it could have been far too dangerous, they decided to bring in as many buses as they could and transport people to other places like (INAUDIBLE), gets you away from the water, gets you into another major city where you can house people and most importantly gets you away from the devastating storm potential.
We saw a lot of that going on. The other thing we saw as were coming in was it looked like they were trying to preplace earth moving equipment. They will need it to keep the roads open to get the first responders in - Anderson.
COOPER: Martin Savidge, thanks.
Heather Vaughan is American. She is from (INAUDIBLE), North Carolina. She is stranded with her husband in a hotel in Punta Mita (ph), Mexico. They have been celebrating their 12th wedding anniversary. Far away to do it. Heather joins us now.
Heather, how are you holding up?
HEATHER VAUGHAN, STUCK AT HOTEL DURING STORM: You know, I'm doing pretty well. This morning I was really upset. I don't want to get emotional now but I was really upset just worrying about, you know, what was going to happen with our little girl that is in North Carolina, but now we're pretty comfortable. We're confident the storm is going to hit south of us, so we'll probably get some outer bands that will probably be a category one severe tropical storm. It's projected to hit in about one hour is what we were told by the hotel management. So it's heavy rain here at this point, 15-foot surge just as far as outside.
Not any significant wind, but again, we're all kind of crammed in here. They got us in this room together they feel like is the safest place at the four seasons. They were concerned about another room, they were concerned the roof would get ripped off, but that's why right now we're kind of all in here. You cans see behind me. There is lots of people. I have a motley crew here with me, people from Tennessee, New Jersey, West Virginia, California, all over the U.S.
COOPER: When you heard the storm was coming, I mean, what obviously put a big damper probably is the wrong use of phrase on your vacation, on your celebration, but did you think about trying to get out?
VAUGHAN: Well, we were thinking about that and I mean, really, Anderson, I just found out about the storm yesterday. I mean, I'm a little bit of news hound but I haven't been checking my phone or twitter a lot since I have been here. But a friend of mine said have you heard about this storm, Patricia, and I just kind of laughed it off. But I asked people in Spanish and they didn't seem to be really concerned about it. And finally, my friend kept, you know, talking to me about it and she was really nervous so I asked someone else in Spanish and showed him the map and he really got concerned at that point. I just don't think they had been paying a lot of attention, so maybe that might have been a disconnect as far as communication. But after we really started taking the initiative to find out and being proactive, we really started receiving communication. And at that point, to be honest with you, it was too late.
COOPER: Wow, so that's interesting. So there wasn't a big buildup to this on the ground where you were?
VAUGHAN: No, we were told, you know, we'll be fine. They haven't had a big storm since here. I don't think since 1949, a huge significant hurricane. And so everyone was kind of brushing it off like we don't, you know, we don't get bad storms here, we're fine where we are. We will be safe. What they said to me was don't worry, it will be fine in Spanish.
[20:05:03] COOPER: So by then, it was too late for you to leave. Do you know - I mean, do they have a generator? Do they have generators there in case - I mean, it seems like, you know, good chance the power will go out?
VAUGHAN: We do have generators here. They are saying that the generators can last for up to eight days at least and they have enough water for 11 days, I believe. So we are just kind of preparing for that. You know, I tip my hat to the staff here. They probably have their own families they want to be with but are here with us. They are trying to take care of us by providing food and providing water. They even have movies playing for the kids that are here. And, there's been several pets here. I've seen several dogs they have been taking care of and just, you know, catering to, as well.
COOPER: Well, Heather, you're in a good place it seems like. And I wish you the best. And we'll check in with you on the other side of this thing.
Thank you so much, Heather.
VAUGHAN: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: Storm chaser Reed Timmer is, as you might imagine, doing the opposite of what ordinary civilians are being told to do. He's not getting out of the way of this.
What are you seeing where you are in Texas?
REED TIMMER, STORM CHASER: I'm seeing incredibly heavy rain here and, of course, about 200 yards up the road. But there are vehicles that are stranded and two to three feet of water. I'm on some higher ground looking down at that right now. The creeks are overflowing banks. It's really bad here and keeps coming down, too. Just gotten heavier the last five minutes or so as storms go over the same area over and over again.
COOPER: And almost all of Texas are under a flood watch with torrential downpours through the weekend, I understand with some areas getting 15 inches of rain, right?
TIMMER: Easily. I mean, we had two to three inches per an hour here in (INAUDIBLE). There are still coming down really hard and it has been raining for the past several hours at that rate. So I wouldn't be surprised if we're closing in on ten inches here in Texas. And after this I'm going to head back down towards Houston as the tropical moisture starts getting entrained into the upper level low. It is like there could even be more rain fall rates down in the southern part of the state. But for tonight, it looks like the Metroplex down to Waco up to, of course, (INAUDIBLE) are just going to get hammered by this plume of moistures streaming into the area.
COOPER: This storm that's - I mean, hitting in Mexico, I mean, have you ever seen anything like this?
TIMMER: I haven't. And I don't think anybody has, at least, in the northeast pacific base and any Atlantic base. It kind of remind me of hurricane Wilma back in 2005 where it rapidly intensified and had a pinhole eye that was two miles across. And this has that seem, you know, (INAUDIBLE). It is almost like an F-5 tornado, you know, a three-mile wide tornado except wider and moving much slower. So the same areas are just getting hammered by 200-plus mile per hour winds. And you have storm surge and also landslides.
And two days ago, I almost went down with my friend to Antonia (ph) to chase the storm, but we thought it would go a little bit north of there. And there is one road between (INAUDIBLE), if you're on that road, it's likely going to get washed out to sea. And I want, you know, to live to chase many more storms so it's a good thing I'm not down there because I would be scared to death with this one.
COOPER: Well, if it scared you, that well tell us something.
Reed, thank you very much. Reed Timmer, appreciate it.
I want to get the very latest now on how the coming hours are expected to unfold.
Jennifer Gray is in the weather center tracking it all - Jennifer.
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Anderson, this just made landfall less than an hour ago south of Puerto Vallarta. And this packed winds of 165 miles per hour as it came on shore, a category five storm, strongest storm to ever make landfall recorded history in the western hemisphere moving to the north, northeast at 15 miles per hour, still containing gusts of 235 miles per hour, so still, very, very powerful.
This is going to start racing off to the north in the coming hours and it is going to weaken considerably. It is going to bring a lot of rainfall across this mountainous terrain and what Reed was talking about when you have terrain like this, a lot of mountains, we are going to see the possibility of landslides. And so, that's going to be the concern over the next day or so. It is going to be downgraded to a tropical storm as we get into Saturday morning so quickly racing off to the north. So it is going to -- the winds are going to die down but it's still going to hold a lot of moisture. The rain is going to be coming. So we will see 10 to 20 inches of rain and isolated amounts along the coast, six to ten inches of course, some of those villages could see more especially with the mountainous terrain and rain coming down the mountains and also that storm surge that's pushing in with this powerful storm.
So here is the visible water vapor satellite. We are seeing that plume of moisture being sucked into the south. And we are going to continue to see possible flooding rains across Texas.
Let me show you on the floor what I'm talking about, this flooding story. First, I want to touch on the Mexico aspect of it. You can get a closer look at the terrain. You have storm surge pushing in. You have rain washing down from the mountains so that's where we'll get incredible rainfall rates and we're also going to see the flash flooding and those possible landslides.
What we're dealing with the in south, we have moisture coming in from this storm. We have gulf moisture. We also have an upper level low. All of these ingredients are going to come together. We are going to continue to see massive flooding across Texas. When it's all said and done, places like Houston could have seen about 15 inches of rain over the course of this entire event - Anderson.
[20:10:27] COOPER: Jennifer, thanks.
Just ahead, big news when it comes to Donald Trump's campaign, two new polls with one big surprise, mainly he's not number one. His reaction when we come back.
And later, what we're learning about the hostage rescue that crossed American soldier hi life and saved dozens of people from being slaughtered by ISIS.
[20:14:31] COOPER: A seismic shift in presidential politics now the fact that Democrat Lincoln Chafee dropped out of the race, which he did today and said involve Donald Trump. He, as you know, is famous for talking about his poll numbers and talking about why he enjoys talking about them so much.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I say to people when they always say you love to mention the polls, nobody does because they are losing. They are not stupid people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That was earlier this week in Iowa. Today though, same state, different story. He is not leading the polls. In fact, he is trailing in a pair of them. In the latest Des Moines Register Bloomberg politics survey shows Ben Carson ahead 28 percent to Donald Trump's 19. That's on top of yesterday's Quinnipiac poll with Carson ahead by eight. Mr. Trump is campaigning today in Florida where he sat down a short time ago with "THE LEAD's" Jake Tapper.
[20:15:15] JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: So, some surprising news out of Iowa where in two polls Dr. Ben Carson pulled ahead, one by eight points and one by nine. What's your message to Iowans, why should they vote for you and not Dr. Carson?
TRUMP: Well, first of all, I was really surprised to see it because three nights ago I was in Iowa. We had a pact. We had 4,000 people and it was a love fest. And I've done really well with evangelicals and with the tea party and everything. And I just don't understand the number. But you know what? I accept the number. It means I have to work a little bit harder in Iowa.
I think it's just the same. I mean, I'm going to make our country great again. We are going to do trade packs that are incredible instead of like incompetent because what we have right now with China, with Japan, with everybody is just incredible and nobody can do, nobody is going to be able to do what I do in terms of making our country wealthy again so we can do all the things we want to do including the military and the vets and taking care of people.
So I'm just going to have to work a little bit harder in Iowa. I was very surprised to see the numbers. You know, I had a lead and sort of flip-flopped a bit with Ben Carson. And I like Ben but he cannot do with trade like I do with trade. He can't do with a lot of things like I do. So we will just have to see what happens.
TAPPER: Well, you guys disagree, you two disagree on a number of issues, immigration is one of them. Are you going to start contrasting your position with his more?
TRUMP: Well, I think so. I mean, you just bring up one. He is very, very weak on immigration and I'm very strong on immigration. And I feel, you know, when I made the announcement, I took a lot of heat and everybody found out I was right, with Kate, beautiful Kate in San Francisco being killed by somebody that just walked into the country at least five times, they say five but there is probably much more than that and the veteran, a 66-year-old woman raped and killed in California three weeks ago and just by an illegal immigrant again and so much. I mean, this is so much.
And I brought it up and Ben Carson is very, very weak on immigration. He believes in amnesty strongly. He believes on citizenship, I mean, he is going to give citizen ship to people that here illegally. We can't do that. And you know, we disagree on things also. But I think the big thing also is he is just not going to be able to do deals with China, to do deals with Japan. These countries are all ripping us like nobody has ever ripped us before.
COOPER: Joining us now, CNN political commentators, Jeffrey Lord, Ana Navarro, and Amanda Carpenter. Jeffrey is a Trump supporter, former Reagan White House political director. Ana is a Jeb Bush supporter and close friend of Marco Rubio and Amanda is a conservative writer and former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz.
So Jeffrey, you heard what Trump said to Jake Tapper, surprised about the polls and thinks he's going to have to or want to start to contrast himself to Ben Carson. How tough do you think he will be on ben Carson because obviously ben Carson's demeanor is different than other candidates and he's viewed as an outsider and among evangelicals, a tremendous store of goodwill?
JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Right. Right. Well, first of all, this is what you do in primaries and caucuses. I mean, we can go back - I mean, just to 2008 and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. We're going at each other hammering ton and she wound up as his secretary of state. So this is a long history. This is how it works. That's what he should be doing.
I spoke to somebody in Iowa just yesterday and they told me that in terms of evangelicals, that you know, as I've been saying, they are not stick figures and this person close to the movement in Iowa said that their primary concern is not evangelical Christianity per see but its illegal immigration. And right there is a big difference between Ben Carson and Donald Trump. So I do expect he'll do this. This is what he should do. This is what campaigns are all about.
COOPER: Amanda, do you see that, as well? I mean, one poll is an out liar and two polls, you know, not so much. How worried do you think Donald Trump should be? And we should point out, you know, he is in second place. He is not like he's at the bottom of the pact there or something like that.
AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR SEN. TED CRUZ: Sure. It certainly got his attention. I think Jeffrey is right that illegal immigration is a huge issue in Iowa. It is what is killing Jeb Bush right now according to this new Des Moines Register poll.
But you know, we have to look at what changed in Iowa for Donald Trump because we see his numbers dropping in two polls in Iowa, but he is maintaining his lead nationally. And so, I started to look into that. And the thing that is different is that the club for growth started airing negative ads against Donald Trump over the last month in Iowa. They are hitting him on his form early liberal positions particularly when it comes to healthcare, taxes and a single add on imminent domain that is resonating with conservative voters in Iowa. So I think you're seeing Donald Trump being hit from the conservative side on this and it is having dramatic effect in Iowa in one month's time.
[20:20:01] COOPER: That's interesting.
Ana, I mean, under what circumstances do you see, you know, nearly majority of Iowa voters, because that's what you get when you combine Carson and Trump supporters changing their mind from caucus day and saying we don't actually want on outsider. We want an establishment candidate. It seems increasingly unlikely, doesn't it?
ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think you are going to see a lot more activity going on in Iowa. One of the interesting thing that Donald Trump says in this interview is that he has to work harder. He has done a lot through his celebrity status. He's done a lot through the media and he has done some large events. But in places like Iowa, like New Hampshire, retail politics matters. Shaking people's hands, sitting with them, learning their names, answering their questions in a closed space. And I think he might want to do more of that. We have still several months to go. There are many debates that are still left and they have been making a difference and I think we're going to see one next week that may again make a difference. And, you know, there's a lot still to happen but certainly the window is closing.
COOPER: Jeffrey, I mean, does Donald Trump need to, I mean one, the worst thing he can do is suddenly start, you know, recalibrating everything because obviously what he's done up to now has gotten hill this far. But that being said, does he need to, you know, put more meat on the bone and flush out more detailed positions because --?
LORD: I'm sure --
COOPER: In listening to the speech, it is now sort of the same thing over and over again.
LORD: Yes, well that's what they used to call in the Reagan day the speech capital S and that was the same accusation Reagan gave the speech no matter where he was and some of us there used to think he did it in his sleep. So that's not all that abnormal.
COOPER: A stump speech. Everyone has one.
LORD: I think he will be having more meat on the bones as you say -- right, everybody has one. And one other thing here. We are starting to edge into that, you know, politically sort of difficult period of the year known as the holidays. I mean, we're about a month away from Thanks Giving and then there is Christmas. I think we have the CNN debate on December 15th.
But the fact of the matter is that the nation's attention span begins to shift to things like Turkey and Christmas shopping. And politics begins to take a second, third and fourth place here and that correspondently becomes difficult for candidates of any stripe to get through.
COOPER: Amanda --
LORD: Then January, it picks up.
COOPER: Amanda, Ben Carson, whether people like what he says or not, I mean, his demeanor, you know, is certainly mild and that complicates how Trump can go after him, doesn't it or does it?
CARPENTER: Yes. But I think that is what it is appealing with him by a lot of people. They like his cool, calm, collected demeanor even though it is kind of unsettling to some because he never really seems to get excited at times. But it will be really interesting to see how he handles a front-runner status. You know, Donald Trump, I believe, is going down in the polls in Iowa because he was subject to criticism from the conservative side.
Ben Carson, you know, is going to come under that same kind of scrutiny at some point in time. There is an open question of whether he referred women for abortion in his medical capacity as a doctor. His concerns among Iowa voters about how he approaches foreign policy. He really needs to develop positions on that, come out and say what he has done in the past and where he wants to go in the future in regards to foreign policy which, you know, it is an everybody's minds right now because of Clinton's long testimony about Benghazi yesterday.
COOPER: Ana, just briefly, I got to ask you about the news today that Jeb Bush is cutting campaign salaries, you know, certainly not confidence-inspiring optics for campaign that was a fund raising jogger-knot at one point.
NAVARRO: And you know, what as a donor to that campaign, as a supporter of Jeb Bush, I'm overjoyed to hear that news. You got to make course corrections. The bottom line is the political see scenario we are facing in 2016 is very different to what any of us expected. So you know, effective campaigns have to tweak their strategy and their plan in order to navigate the political terrain in front of them. I am glad this is being done and that the focus is going into the early states and less so in headquarters.
COOPER: All right. Ana Navarro, Amanda Carpenter and Jeffrey Lord, always good to have you on. Thank you, guys.
Coming up next, we are going to dig deeper into the evangelical factor that Jeffrey talked about. Could it drag Donald Trump down, his numbers down in Iowa? And we are going to look closer his efforts to court religious conservatives. The question is, are the faithful convinced of his sincerity?
Plus, Hillary Clinton's big week. She is driving away a positive momentum after her debate performance and yesterday's Benghazi hearing. We will dig deeper on that, as well.
[20:28:19] COOPER: We talked about Iowa before the break and the two leading Republicans, Donald Trump and Ben Carson now slugging it out there. It is not a no smoke part contest to win over evangelical Christian voters who become a main state of conservative politics, the Hawk eye (ph) state.
Yesterday's Quinnipiac polling shows Dr. Carson with a serious advantage, 36-17 over Donald Trump among white evangelicals. And with that in mind, the billionaire who until recently has never been seen as specially devote, at least not publicly, has been calling attention to his faith claiming the bible is his favorite book in taking part in moment like this one this last month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We stand over and pray for the next president of the United States. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Only two nations that have ever been a relationship with God or Israel and United States of America. Father God, you bring this man into the oval office, I speak your blessing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Prayer service in Donald Trump's office, a lot of laying on hands, including from Jews for Jesus rabbi at a gathering of evangelists and other influential evangelicals. The question is how such demonstrations and proclamation of faith are being received by conservative Christian voters?
Joining us, David Brody, chief political correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network. Also Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist convention ethics commission and author of "onward, engaging the culture without losing the gospel."
Doctor Moore, always a pleasure. You've long been skeptical of Donald Trump. We have talked about in this broadcast. And the strength of any support he may have in the evangelical community. I'm wondering how you feel about the new numbers out of Iowa.
RUSSELL MOORE, PRESIDENT, SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION ETHICS COMMISSION: Well, I'm not really surprised by that not only because of declining support among evangelicals in Iowa for Donald Trump, but also because of the support for Ben Carson.
[20:30:01] I think both of those things are predictable. I'm somewhat surprised that there is not more of a surge for Ted Cruz among that activist wing in Iowa, but I think there is time for that to happen. But it doesn't surprise me at all.
COOPER: It doesn't surprise you based on Trump's past comments or just what you have felt all along?
MOORE: Well, because of the way that Donald Trump is running the most intentionally secular campaign that I think we've seen since perhaps Howard Dean. This is someone who is in his outreach to evangelicals tends to be reaching out to the fringe of evangelicals meeting with - as in the video clip that you just showed with prosperity gospel teachers on television that would be seen by most evangelicals in this country as heretics, and not seriously as leaders. Along with just the personal pride and hubris that is certainly very entertaining to watch. But most evangelicals have seen all along humility as being a crucial aspect of leadership, but I think that's one of the reasons why Iowa evangelicals are standing with Ben Carson right now over Donald Trump. I think there are other candidates that are very attractive to evangelicals around the country. I think Marco Rubio has a real shot at winning over evangelicals. Ted Cruz is also doing quite a bit of outreach to evangelicals, but it doesn't surprise me at all.
COOPER: David, I mean you've interviewed Donald Trump many times. You said there was the potential for him to make roads with evangelicals, what do you make of his numbers now and of what Dr. Moore said?
DAVID BRODY, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CBN: Well, I still think there is opportunities to make in rows with evangelicals as it relates to Donald Trump. Not there is any question about it. Look, let's be honest here, Anderson, every time the pundits want to write off Donald Trump, they have to take a moment because there is some egg on their face and this has happened time and time again. You look at some of these polls in Iowa, 28-19 percent roughly, I mean there is a couple of different polls and then factor in the margin of error, but look, Donald Trump still placing relatively well in Iowa. Think about this for a moment, Anderson. Would anybody have thought of Donald Trump as a possible top three finisher in Iowa? Then he goes to New Hampshire where he's stronger at that point, much stronger than Iowa and then all of a sudden into Florida where he's doing very well leading and the CES primaries where he's.
So the point is, is that there is a road here for him, but he's got to play it better with evangelicals and the way to do that quite frankly, Anderson, is to talk about a couple of key issues real quick. Shutting down radical mosques, I think, is a winner for him or quite frankly, any other candidate that talks about it. Evangelicals will perk up their ears at that and talking a lot about Israel. Two key components here.
COOPER: Dr. Moore, do you think there is a way for Donald Trump to make in roads with evangelicals or because of those other issues you've talked about it's not something that's really a lane for him?
MOORE: Well, I think he would have to talk about several things, and one of those would be the issues to speak to religious liberty concerns. He's given very ambiguous statements about Planned Parenthood and the right to life and so forth, talked about appointing very, very liberal people as models for the Supreme Court. That needs to be addressed. Questions of personal character. I mean we have someone who is leading a casino industry that as evangelicals believe is predatory and immoral, and then you have to have someone who is able to connect with specific concerns that evangelicals have. And I just don't think that has happened yet.
COOPER: Russell Moore, always good to have you on. David Brody, as well. Gentlemen, thank you so much. Up next, Hillary Clinton's long awaited Benghazi testimony, it's over and instead of dragging her down, it seems to her supporters at least to be doing the opposite.
Also, Bill Clinton heading to Iowa this weekend to take a more active role in the campaign. Why it may not have been the easiest decision for the Clinton campaign to make?
COOPER: Hillary Clinton was back on the campaign trail today clearly in good spirits taking what for her supporters would seem like a victory lap after her marathon testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
HILLARY CLINTON (D) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's been quite a week, hasn't it?
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, thank you-all so much. I am absolutely delighted to be here as some of you may know, I had a pretty long day yesterday.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Mrs. Clinton testified for roughly nine hours yesterday, feeling often hostile questions from the seven Republicans on the panel. She didn't lose her cool even when committee members had some very tough questions for her. Her testimony came a day after Joe Biden said he decided not to run for president, decision he made after Clinton's strong debate performance. Today Lincoln Chafee dropped out of the race saying Clinton's good week was part of the reason. Dana Bash joins me now. So, I mean, this has been quite a couple of days for Hillary Clinton, certainly her supporters see it that way. What's the reaction on the Hill to yesterday's testimony?
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's funny, Anderson. Democrats when this select committee was being considered really pushed back on it saying that they might boycott it from the beginning and I've spoken to a lot of Democrats today saying thank goodness we didn't boycott it because who knew politically it would be such a positive for Hillary Clinton and even Republicans now, Republican sources were telling me today and members telling me today that they got their you know what's kicked last night politically.
So, I think, you know, by and large, when you have even Republicans saying it was not a good night for Republicans and a good night for Hillary Clinton, it tells you something.
COOPER: This was for her campaign, it was a major moment in fundraising, as well.
BASH: It was. Right after the 11 hours ended at 9:00 p.m., according to the campaign, in that hour between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. they had the largest fundraising juggernaut since the campaign started.
We don't know exactly what the number is, but apparently, they say it was pretty high and Hillary Clinton herself when she was campaigning today talked about the fact that they got a lot of new donors and that those donors were small number donors, meaning they weren't sort of the big money people out there, but they were just kind of regular citizens, Democrats who were rooting for her. So again, never could have imagined that, but I have to say that last night when we were on the air when the hearing finally ended, there was a small chance that suddenly grew that she was actually going to come out and talk to reporters.
Once the Clinton campaign realized that they basically couldn't do any better, it was sort of a drop the mic moment, they said no, we're not going to do that. We're just kind of going to let it sit because there is no way that we can do better and then what they think that she did over those 11 hours.
COOPER: Interesting. Dana, thanks very much. At 11 hours, I said, 9.5 of actual testimony, 11 total time, spent there. There were some breaks in there.
Tomorrow, former president Bill Clinton will join his wife in Iowa where he'll headline his first rally for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign. He's scheduled to address supporters before the Iowa Democratic Party dinner in Des Moines. Recently he's been taking a more active role in the campaign, a decision - involved a lot of weighing of pros and cons. Bill Clinton's charisma and campaigning skills are, of course, legendary, which can actually be part of the problem. Randi Kaye tonight takes a closer look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON: I have no confidence in my political feel anymore. I've just been out of it a long time.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Former president Bill Clinton downplaying his skills as a surrogate for his wife Hillary.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He was cool, calm, collected, he was kind of calibrating himself, and then he dropped a bomb. I don't know anything about politics, I'm not - and then he dropped another bomb. That kind of Bill Clinton will be a tremendous asset to Hillary Clinton.
KAYE: CNN political commentator Van Jones considers Bill Clinton one of the greatest defenders of his wife. Listen to him on CNN with Fareed Zakaria.
BILL CLINTON: I have never seen so much expended on so little. The other party doesn't want to run against her and if they do, they'd like her as mangled up as possible.
JONES: He's a beloved figure. Period. He's one of the most popular politicians or political leaders on planet Earth. You don't put somebody like that in a jar and hope they don't say anything. Will he make some mistakes? Sure.
KAYE: Mistakes like he made back in 2008. Earlier that year, the former president said this about then Senator Barack Obama's campaign.
BILL CLINTON: Give me a break.
BILL CLINTON: This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen.
KAYE: Only to explain later that he was talking about Obama's stance on the Iraq war, not Obama's quest to become the first black president. Bill Clinton also compared Obama's South Carolina primary win to Jesse Jackson's successful campaign in the state years earlier, a comment that angered black voters who thought he was marginalizing Obama. Clinton tried to explain.
BILL CLINTON: I think that they played the race card on me. This was used out of context and twisted for political purposes by the Obama campaign to try to breed resentment elsewhere.
KAYE: After the interview, the former president thought his mic was off, then went on to say this.
BILL CLINTON: I don't think I should take any [EXPLETIVE DELETED] on that, do you.
KAYE: When a reporter asked him about his comments, the former president was the one pointing fingers.
BILL CLINTON: You always follow me around and play these little games and I'm not going to play your games today. You have mischaracterized it to get another cheap story that averts the American people.
JONES: The reality is, the black community forgave him 20 seconds later as soon as Obama won and since then he hasn't made those kind of mistakes.
KAYE: A March CNN/ORC poll shows Bill Clinton with 65 percent favorability. So, why not put him on the trail sooner? Supporters say, he takes all the oxygen out of the room and fear he could steal the spotlight from his wife. He tends to connect better with voters than she does and is tremendously popular, all advantages that even outweigh the possibility of him going rogue. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Up next, what the Pentagon is now saying about a fallen hero, the first U.S. combat death in Iraq in four years, how he and others helped rescue ISIS hostages just minutes away from execution.
Plus, an update on our breaking news, a monster hurricane striking Mexico, rain also falling in Texas, a whole lot of rain is possible. We'll get the latest from our weather center ahead.
COOPER: We have new details tonight about a deadly rescue mission in Iraq. The Pentagon says, 39-year-old Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler was killed in an operation where about 70 hostages facing what they say was imminent mass execution were freed from an ISIS controlled prison. Wheeler is the first American combat death in Iraq in nearly four years. Jim Sciutto joins us now with more. So, U.S. officials say this represents the first time that U.S. forces stepped into combat against ISIS in Iraq. What do we know about the raid? JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Defense Secretary Carter, he
spoke about it today. He had high praise for Master Sergeant Wheeler. He said in his words, he ran to the sound of the guns. That the U.S. Forces, these were Delta forces, it was a Delta force unit was meant to back up. They were behind the Kurdish commanders, but when those commanders came under fire, Master Sergeant Wheeler went in to help fight the ISIS fighters back and he was killed. He lost his life for it. But it's interesting, I pressed Defense Secretary Carter and I said, it sounds a lot like a combat role to me. As you know, the administration has often said there will be no combat role, but he says it falls under the advising assist mission there, and he said this, Anderson, he said there will be more missions like this and U.S. forces will continue to be in harm's way.
COOPER: What do we know about Master Sergeant Wheeler?
SCIUTTO: He's been in the military for 20 years. He joined in 1995 right out of high school. He was an Army ranger. He joined the Special Forces Command in 2004. He's been to Iraq and Afghanistan 11 times. He's 39 years old. You run into a lot - guys with this kind of resume in the Special Forces, particularly the elite Delta force. They have been everywhere.
They've done everything. He has four children. And this happened today. Again, they were meant to be behind those Kurdish forces, but you listen to Secretary Carter. He took - he made a decision here to go into the danger. He did, he lost his life for it. You know, Anderson, he is going to be welcomed back tomorrow by his family and Defense Secretary Carter and his wife. A flag-draped coffin, you remember how familiar those images were during the Iraq war. It's been four years since we've seen a combat death come back like that from Iraq. We're going to see it again tomorrow.
COOPER: Sad day, Jim Sciutto, thank you very much.
There is a lot more happening tonight. Randi Kaye has a "360" bulletin. Randi.
KAYE: Anderson, disgraced former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle has paid a total of $1 million to ten of his victims. In August, Fogle pleaded guilty to federal charges of child pornography and having sex with minors. He faces up to 12.5 years in prison when he is sentenced next month.
The Justice Department has told Congress, there will be no criminal charges against Lerner or any other IRS officials. They were accused of illegally targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for taxes status. Investigators say poor management is not a crime.
And in southern France, at least 42 people are dead after a head on collision between a bus and a truck. Eight people escaped the burning bus thanks to the driver who opened the doors moments before impact. Anderson. COOPER: Randi, thanks very much. As you know, we're closely following Hurricane Patricia, the strongest ever recorded. Let's check back in with Jennifer Gray and the weather center. Jennifer.
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, it made landfall about an hour and a half ago, and winds right now, 160 miles per hour, but I bet when the next advisory comes out at 11 o'clock, those winds will have died down even more. Really getting apart by the terrain. Like I said, it made landfall about an hour and a half ago through the south of Puerto Vallarta. And it is a small storm, very powerful, of course, but it's small. So, hurricane force winds extended out about 35 miles from the center, but it was a strong category five at landfall, the strongest storm on record to ever hit Mexico. And so this is going to race off to the north and east. It is going to dump a lot of rain. So, we're going to be watching out for landslides as we go through the next 12 to 24 hours. Of course, the storm has made landfall, but the threat of dangerous weather is far from over, Anderson?
COOPER: Jennifer, thanks very much.
Up next, Anthony Bourdain's trip to Ethiopia. It's an incredible country with unique foods. I talked to Anthony about it while he gets me to try a unique dish. See how that works out coming up.
COOPER: Anthony Bourdain has some amazing new adventures to show this season on "Parts Unknown." One of them airs this Sunday. He traveled to Ethiopia with acclaimed Chef Marcus Samuelson, and Marcus's wife Maya in their native country. Where Tony found as a country that really defies preconceptions. Recently he told me about their trip and cooked a dish that I never had before and frankly - frankly, probably will not ever eat again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY BOURDAIN: This now tripe.
COOPER: What is tripe? A tripe that's one of those words that I know means something else.
BOURDAIN: It means good. It means good.
COOPER: Is it like brains or like the penis of a shark?
BOURDAIN: No, no, no, not that good. It's the stomach lining of the cow.
COOPER: Of the cow?
COOPER: Now, there is plenty of stuff on the cow to eat, why do you need to eat the stomach lining?
BOURDAIN: Because you got to work hard for the good stuff.
BOURDAIN: When you cook it, it smells like wet dog.
COOPER: I love the smell of my wet dog.
BOURDAIN: You ever stood in an elevator with a golden retriever? It has got that same kind of funk but if you cook it long enough, it transforms as all great French dishes do into something truly, truly special.
COOPER: It smells like wet dog, it really does. It's a little horse, too.
BOURDAIN: You eat horse meat?
COOPER: No, no, just seems like. It's not for me.
BOURDAIN: Not for you. All right.
COOPER: That's a bridge too far.
BOURDAIN: Very disappointed, Anderson.
COOPER: So, Ethiopia, I've only been to Addis, that's high on my list of places I want to go. What it was like? Because in American consciousness, you know, it's so much - people think back to the Ethiopian famines, war - they've been fighting in Somalia.
BOURDAIN: It shows that I like the best are when we have a really good, somebody who will take me there and show me very unfamiliar, very different place through their eyes. I've been wanting to do this particular show for years with Marcus Samuelson. I've been wanting to do the show.
COOPER: Oh, because - he was raised in Sweden.
BOURDAIN: You know, imagine, born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden. Mostly he's trained in Europe, most of his career, though, and a place he lives, America. So that shifting identity, that conflict, that who am I? Where do I come from was really interesting to me. Ethiopia much unlike the rest of Africa I believe is the only African country that was never colonized for any real period of time. When we think of Ethiopia we think of starving children with the standing bellies, and for sure, that's there, but it's a much more complex, much more interesting, much more sophisticated place with a long tradition of good relations between religions. So it's really a country about which we know very, very little and we took a real deep dive with just the right people, I think.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: It looks like a great show. It airs on Sunday. That does it for us. Another episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown". This one is South Korea, starts now.