Return to Transcripts main page


New Details on Shocking Video; The Toll of the Iraq War. Aired 10-11:00p ET

Aired October 26, 2015 - 22:00   ET



[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: This is a breaking news. I want you to look at this video. We have new details on this video that is shocking America right now. The officer arresting a student in this South Carolina classroom today has been named. And we're learning more about him tonight. We're getting to all of that.

This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon. It is the video that you have got to see to believe, caught on cell phone camera, a student at Spring Valley High School in Columbia refuses to leave class after her teacher and a school administrator tell her to get out.

The school officer identified as Ben Fields is called in. He reportedly says, quote, "You're either going to come with me or I'm going to make you."

When she stays seated, things go horribly wrong, as you can see. The girl is thrown several feet across the classroom. Those details from CNN's affiliate, WIS.

The superintendent of Richland School District II, says officials are working with the Sheriff's Department in this investigation. The officer has been placed on administrative leave and we are getting new details about the officer as we go on the air right now.

Let's discuss this with Stephen Gilchrist from the Richland School District II, Black Parents' Association and Hugh Harmon, president of the association.

Good evening to both of you, gentlemen. This video, obviously is very disturbing. Stephen, your son attends this school, this high school. He knows the girl in this video. This incident happened earlier today. What do you know about what's going on here?

STEPHEN GILCHRIST, RICHLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT II TWO BLACK PARENTS' ASSOCIATION: Well, Don, first, let me thank you for allowing us to come on tonight. Obviously, this is a very disturbing situation here in Columbia, South Carolina, with this student.

My son was very disturbed by this episode of what happened at the school. And, you know, we're just praying not only for this family, but for our community to figure out how do we move forward with an issue like this and how do we address some of these issues that continually be -- continuous -- that are continuous problems in our school district.

LEMON: Yes. We've got to get to the bottom of what happened in this particular issue. So as I said, your son attends this school. Does your son know what happened? Does anyone know about what took place just before this got physical, what brought it to this?

GILCHRIST: Phillip actually shared with me when he arrived home today that the situation had occurred and that he was somewhat disturbed by what he had heard and what he had seen on video.

He was not present in the classroom where this student was located, but he was aware of the situation. So, the details are still very fluid, Don. Obviously, all of us are seeing what has transpired with the video and we're just waiting for the -- more of the facts to come out.

LEMON: Exactly. And, you know, I said earlier on CNN that a thorough investigation is needed in this and it is very -- it's horrible if you look at the video.

But if this officer is to be prosecuted or found to do anything wrong, then a thorough investigation needs to be done again, it looks awful.

I have to tell you this, we're get something new information in, before we read the statement from the school. This is what CNN has learned that Fields has been the subject of two lawsuits in the last 10 years that are relevant to this discussion, gentlemen.

And the first lawsuit, a jury ruled in favor of Fields, Officer Fields. This was back in 2007, a case that involved excessive force and battery. And then there's a second case which is scheduled to go to trial in January.

Fields is one of several defendants listed in a suit filed by a student against the school district over his expulsion. What can -- do you know anything about this officer, Dr. Harman in any of these prior cases?

HUGH HARMON, RICHLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT II TWO BLACK PARENTS' ASSOCIATION: These are revelations to me just as it is to you. This is the first time I'm hearing this. This is the first time I've heard his name.

But since I've heard him name and spoken with some of the students at the school, the stories sound strikingly similar of his -- his violent nature, his poor relationship with many of the students and this is according to students. But this information that you are just revealing to us is brand new to us.

LEMON: This is a statement from the Richland County Sheriff's Separtment, OK? They released a statement. It says, "The sheriff has questions like everyone has and he wants answers and once he has those answers, he will address them. The sheriff is also, for everyone -- asking for everyone to be patient as this is being fully investigated."

"The sheriff and the school district will take the appropriate action necessary once this investigation is complete. All the SRO's are at the schools for the safety of all students. These SRO's are held at a very high standard. The sheriff fully understands the seriousness of this incident. Deputy Ben Fields will be placed on administrative duties."

[22:05:11] Does this do anything for you as far as -- until this investigation plays out? Does this appease you in any way until this investigation plays out, Dr. Harmon?

HARMON: It really doesn't. Just listening to the statement and what they're planning to do and then hearing what you said previous to that about him being involved in two other incidents, it kind of bodes not well with me.

And it doesn't sit well with me and it probably doesn't sit well with many parents to hear that this particular officer has been involved in violent altercations in the past and he's actually facing lawsuits.

Why was he still in the classroom? Why was he still involved in the school system? Why is it now that we're making this decision to remove him from the schools? This should have been done a long time ago.

LEMON: Well, in the first one, though, the jury ruled in his favor, in favor of the officer, that was 2007, and the second one. The second one is still pending. The question is though, would you like to see, either one of you, Dr. Harmon or Stephen, would you like to see an independent investigation here?

GILCHRIST: You know, I certainly would like to see an independent investigation with this. As Sr. Harmon mentioned just a moment ago, this is the first time we've heard of some of these revelations regarding this particular officer.

And certainly, in light of that, we don't know what is going on in a number of our schools within this district and their relationship with many of our students as it relates to school officers. So, yes, I certainly would be in favor of an independence investigation.

LEMON: Yes. DO you anything about...


HARMON: I agree, as well.

LEMON: ... do you know anything about the student or anyone in the class? Because, you know, you have children who go there and they know. Do they know the student personally?

GILCHRIST: Some of the students that my son knows the student very well. I have another son that actually graduated from Spring Valley High School in last year and he also knew the student. So, yes, they know the student very well and it is a very unfortunate situation.

LEMON: How is she doing?

GILCHRIST: I have not spoken with anyone from the family at this point. So, we haven't gotten any update about how she's doing at this point.

LEMON: All right. Stephen and Dr. Harmon, thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it. Would you please come back as this plays out? Because you know, it's going to be in the news for some time now. Again, our thanks here for you, guys, coming on.


HARMON: Thank you. I appreciate it.

GILCHRIST: Thank you.

LEMON: Joining me now, I want to bring in David Klinger, he's a professor of criminology at the University of Missouri at St. Louis and a former police officer and the author of "Into the Kill," also Areva Martin is here, a legal commentator, Bakari Sellers, CNN contributor and former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives.

Again, if you look at this video, Bakari, it looks terrible. And as the gentleman said, they would like to see an independent investigation, they want to get all the facts with this officer. What do you make of this situation, Bakari?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Don, I'm sad to always becoming and talking with you when we have such disturbing occurrences. But this video is definitely disturbing. One has to say that. I don't believe that the officer had to use the excessive force that he did use.

The officer who went in that classroom and it escalated from zero to 100 very quickly. The officer had an opportunity to de-escalate the situation and he didn't. There were many other things he could have done, other than body slamming and treat this young girl like a rag doll.

It's disappointing. And when you see those images and you know the progress we've made in South Carolina, and for one just colossal, colossal failure of judgment on the part of this officer and this assault on part of this officer to rip apart all that progress, it's saddening, it's maddening and frustrating.

I mean, that officer had many other things he could have done other than put his hands on that young lady the way he did and toss her around the way he did. This young lady actually was arrested for resisting arrest, if I'm not mistaken and or disturbing the peace.

And when you think about that and you think about that setting, even with those charges, she did not deserve to be tossed around the way she was and slammed the way she was by this officer. I don't think there's any execution for it and anybody that watch that's video and has an excuse for it, they need to reevaluate themselves. LEMON: Yes. Areva, you know, we don't know what happened prior to the

video. Does it really matter, I mean, when you see what happened to this girl, as BaKari says, he doesn't think there's any justification. Do you think that she was resisting arrest?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL COMMENTATOR: Well, even if she was resisting arrest, Don, what we do know is that the command to her was to leave the classroom. And I think it's a part of a bigger narrative that we're seeing played across the country, which is police give a command and if there's not instantaneous compliance by individuals, then we see this escalated violence taking place.

[22:09:54] These are teenagers. This is a teenage girl. So, defiance is a part of what makes teenagers, teenagers. And we don't want to see our kids in schools treated like criminal or to be criminalized because that will follow them, prevent them from getting into college, prevent them from getting jobs.

And there's an alarming number of African-American students whose criminal records begin even before they graduate high school because of small and minor infractions like the one we saw in this videotape.

We don't see any effort by this officer to engage with this student, call the parent, call a teacher or to build a rapport that would cause the young lady to follow the command, which is to leave the classroom.

So, very concerned about, not only the violence used against her, but the criminal charges that we're also apparently filed in this situation.

LEMON: Yes. So, when you look at the video, though, and this is, again, just from the video, it doesn't appear that anything is out of control in the moment with the video. We don't know what happened as we said before, we don't know really know what happened after.

But it doesn't appear like the class is out of control or that anyone is at any harm or in harm's way. Even so the officer, the officer looks like he is in command of the situation. David, do you think that we need to wait for a full investigation or does this video speak for itself?

DAVID KLINGER, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST.LOUIS PROFESSOR: I always say we have to wait for the full investigation. As you've pointed out, we don't know what happened beforehand. But what I can tell you is it literally makes no sense, as I'm looking at it. Why he would escalate to that point, pick her up, pick up the chair she's in, the desk she's in and toss her.

It just makes no sense. There may be some logical explanation, but I sure can't see it. And even if some increment of force was legitimate at that point, it makes no sense to do what he did. And I think the other point that one of your guests just made, I wouldn't use the exact same terms, de-escalation, but certainly verbalization.

Talk to this person for a little while. Try to understand what the issue is and try to talk to talk to them out of the classroom. And that leads to another issue that, I, and many people in my business and in law enforcement are concerned about the notion of criminalizing regular stuff that goes on in schools by having the SRO's who are initially putting there for two things.

Number one, to promote the safety of the students and number two, to build links between the cops and the kids. And seeing stuff like this going on is doing neither. And we really need to rethinking bringing the police in to manage disruptions in the classroom. I think we really need to -- we really need to think about that.


KLINGER: It's not a good idea, in my humble opinion.

LEMON: Bakari, what about the rest of the children in this classroom? They all witnesses -- what do you make -- it looks like they were just sitting there. They look like they were afraid. Even the person and I assume it was a student who was taking the video, it looks like they were hiding it and putting it in their jacket or in their coat pocket. Did you guys notice that?

SELLERS: Absolutely.

LEMON: So, what do you make of the reaction of the rest of the students?

SELLERS: Just from what I understand, Son, and the facts will come out, from what I've been able to gather here on the ground and in South Carolina is that a lot of this centered around this young lady and her cell phone. And I think the irony was this was recorded have via cell phone.

But you also see something that's even more troubling in that it's not necessarily passivity by the students, but they do remain seated, they remain calm. And it's also as if they remain fearful.

Maybe they're immune because they've seen that type of violence in the school before, but they dare not act, they dare not flinch. Many of the students, there's one in the front of the classroom that doesn't even want to make eye contact with that officer as he's abusing this young girl.

I mean, the facts that we know are the charges she faces and the setting that she was in, and you look at all these things in its totality, you look at the fear in these students, and it just makes for an awful, an awful example of what an American classroom happens to be in 2015.

LEMON: Yes. And, again, as I have been saying and as the gentleman said before, and you guys, let's let the investigation play out to get all the information on this officer as much as possible before jumping to conclusion.

It is horrible. And it didn't appear that he needed to use that type of force. And as we are learning new information about other cases that he has been involved in, and all that we will find out once this investigation has played out, a full investigation.

So, stay with me, everyone. More to come on this shocking video. Another things.

Also this, as more incidents with law enforcement are caught on camera, is it having a chilling effect on some police? What is the director of the FBI say about the Ferguson effect? We're going to tell you that.

Plus, the terrible toll of the Iraq war and how it could be reshaping the race for the White House right now.

Also, the republican rival who might be the biggest threat to Jeb Bush and his presidential ambition.


LEMON: Our panel is back now. David Klinger, Areva Martin, and Bakari Sellers. I've been wanting to talk to you, guys, about this, and I've heard for quite some time now, this so-called Ferguson effect.

Bakari, do you think that such a thing exists? Because on Friday, the FBI director, James Comey said that the rise in highly publicized viral videos causing officers to pull back on their jobs, leading to an increase in crime. You and I talked about this during the - during the Baltimore. Do you buy that?

SELLERS: Not really. I mean, the facts are that violent crime in this country is actually decreased. I'm not necessarily certain where the director of the FBI actually got that statistics. But we know for a fact that violence crime has decreased.


LEMON: Bakari, let me tell you what he will tell you. Let me tell you what he will tell you. He will tell you that the statistics lag behind what is actually going on, the numbers actually lag behind. So, maybe you'll see in a couple of months that you'll see an increase in crime.


SELLERS: OK. Maybe we'll catch up and I'll give him that. However, I think what many people are pushing for is better policing. We're talking about demilitarization, we're talking about taking tanks and drones and those things off of our community of streets.

We're talking about building relationships and rapports with individuals and their respective communities. So, officers can actually walk into a classroom. They know this young lady, they can talk to her, talk to her parents and get her out of her chair without violence.

I mean, that's what we're talking about. We're talking about better practices and that's not what we're seeing in this country. And it has to -- we have to begin the conversation right now. LEMON: David, what do you think? Director Comey had to, you know, had

to admit today that there is no real hard evidence so far. But he said it is common sense. And again, as I saw you shaking your head, the reporting often lags behind the actual numbers.

[22:14:58] KLINGER: Absolutely. There's no doubt that at least in several major cities, serious violent crime has spiked. Baltimore here in here in St. Louis, Milwaukee, so on and so forth.

And obviously, at the same time, there's been more and more press coverage of the viral videos. And so, the two things are happening in concert.

Now, is there a causation? Who knows. And the timing is going to have to play out for a little bit longer before we can have a sense, not just of the statistics, but in terms of trying to follow the trend lines and see what's going on.

What we do know is, at least anecdotally, Brooke Baldwin and others on your network have interviewed police officers who said they've pulled back. And so, we have anecdotal evidence that there is a pull back.

We know that officers are concerned and we know that crime is up. Is that a causative effect? We really don't know. We have to wait for a little while before we can assess that.

Is there a source of scientist, I say, the hypothesis is a sound hypothesis. Let's see if the data supports it.

LEMON: Well, Areva, you know, he mentioned Brooke's interview, you know, several of my colleagues interviewed officers in Baltimore as well, Chicago, the mayor has said that. The director has said that he's spoken to officers who are saying this.

So, these officers are saying this. Why shouldn't we believe that it's actually happening?

MARTIN: Well, I think one thing the criminology said that's important is that these are anecdotal stories and I think it's irresponsible for the head of the FBI to make a statement without firm data to support it.

And even the Justice Department...

KLINGER: Exactly.

MARTIN: ... Loretta Lynch, as well as the president are backing -- really said that there is no support for this statement and caused the FBI director to back the statement up.

And I think, Don, what's troubling to me is that he made the statement at the same time he was talking about this all lives matter. So, it seemed to be kind of undermining of a concept of Black Lives Matter and a way to, somehow, take aim at that whole movement.

Because people seem to think that by saying black lives matters, sometimes we don't recognize that all lives matter. But what they fail to realize is that Black Lives Matter is just recognizing the historical difference, the disparities that African-Americans face in a criminal justice system that can't be denied.


LEMON: Hey, Areva, let me put...

MARTIN: It's totally different from any other racial group in this country.

LEMON: Do we have Chris Christie, the Chris Christie sound bite? Can we play that, please. Let's listen to that.

SELLERS: Please, play that, Don. Please.


CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's lawlessness in this country. The president encourages this lawlessness. He encourages it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Encourages at how?

CHRISTIE: Well, by his own rhetoric. He does not support the police. He doesn't back up the police. He justifies Black Lives Matter. I mean, the...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Black Lives Matter shouldn't be justified at all?

CHRISTIE: Listen, I don't believe that that movement should be justified when the calling for the murder of police officers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But they're not calling for the murderers of police officers.

CHRISTIE: Sure they are. Sure they are. They've been chanting in the streets for the murder of police officers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, individuals have, but the Black Lives Matter is about...


CHRISTIE: Listen, you know, John, that's what the movement is creating, and the President of the United States is justifying that.


LEMON: Bakari...

MARTIN: That that's...

LEMON: Go ahead, Areva and then Bakari.

SELLERS: That's ignorant.

MARTIN: That's just an absolutely absurd statement.

SELLERS: And that's irresponsible. It's irresponsible for -- I'm sorry to cut you off. It's irresponsible for somebody running for President of the united states to make such an ignorant statement.

That is not what Black Lives Matter means at all. It's an implicit two at the end. And if he can recognize that Black Lives Matter, then maybe he can recognize that all lives matter.

MARTIN: And the President of the United States is not in any way inciting violence. That's ridiculous.

LEMON: Go ahead, David.

KLINGER: I think the rhetoric has run a little bit too far afield, shall I say. But I share the concerns about some elements in the Black Lives Matter movement, if you're marching under a banner of Black Lives matter calling for the murder of the police, pigs in a blanket fry them like bacon, I mean, everybody knows what that means. And so, I think that Black Lives Mattes...

SELLERS: That is a horrible analogy.

LEMON: I've got to run, guys.

KLINGER: The leadership needs to step away from that.

LEMON: OK. I've got to run. Thank you very much. We'll continue this conversation, of course, you guys are on all the time.

Up next, the Iraq war and its impact on the 2016 presidential race. Jeb Bush has come to the defense of his brother, President George W. Bush. But will that help or hurt his campaign?


LEMON: Tonight, you saw Fareed Zakaria's special report on the terrible toll of the Iraq war. War that many reshaping the 2016 company. Fareed is here with me. And also with us special correspondent Jamie Gangel news on the republican who the might be biggest threat to Jeb Bush's presidential ambitions.

Fareed, I'll start with you. It's good to have both of you.


LEMON: Fareed, I'll start with you, is it good, do you think, for the country that we are re-litigating the Iraq war right now?

FAREED ZAKARIA, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS HOST: Well, we're not really re- litigating it, but you're certainly right, we're reanalyzing it because there are lots of people at this point, you know, Donald Trump has said on 60 Minutes, he wants to go into Iraq, put boots on the ground and fight ISIS there. So, in a sense, there is a call for a major new intervention. And one

of the questions we have to ask is why did the last one not work? Unless we can learn the lessons from that.

We're not talking this time about, you know, a far distant country that's very different. We're talking about going into the same country fighting the same war. Again, surely, we want to learn something this time around.

LEMON: Yes. I was wondering, I was sitting there watching it with one of my producers and we were all in and be seeing it and saying, this is so fascinating because we lived it, but it's fascinating because when you consider the information that we have now that we didn't have then, and now that Jeb Bush is, he's having to defend his brother.

Tony Blair apologized, you saw, and in your interview. Si this, what does this mean for his campaign that he's having to defend his brother? Can he live this down, so to speak?

ZAKARIA: I think it's very tough. I think that, you know, people say that Bush -- George W. Bush is popular in the republican base. He's popular amongst some republicans, but there are an awful lot of republicans who are embarrassed by, you know, by watching this and there's a sort of -- a series of so many errors.

[22:29:56] that when they want to then say, you know, Obama is incompetent or something, this is a very tough period to have to go through because it reminds you of how many mistakes -- you say those photographs of how order just collapse in Iraq.

Donald Trump has told the military do not do anything. And then, when people would ask, he'd say, stuff happens, freedom is messy. To have to watch that again, I think it's very tough for somebody to come out of that thinking, oh, yes, the Bush administration made all the right decisions.

DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Listen to what Donald Trump said to Jake Tapper on State of the Union.


Donald Trump, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Right now, Iraq is a training ground for terrorists. Right now, Libya -- nobody even knows Libya. Frankly, if there is no Iraq and there is no Libya. It's all broken up, they have no control. Nobody knows what's going on.

JAKE TAPPER, STATE OF THE UNION SHOW HOST: So, the world would be better off with Saddam Hussein...

TRUMP: A 100 percent.

TAPPER: And Gaddafi in powers.

TRUMP: And as far as Assad is concerned.

TAPPER: What about the human rights abuses? TRUMP; Let's talk -- you don't think they're happening now? They're worse now than they were ever were, people are getting their heads chop uo, they're being drowned, they've -- right now, they're far worse than they were ever under Saddam Hussein or Gadhafi.


LEMON: There are plenty of voters who agree with Donald Trump.

ZAKARIA: There are plenty of voters and of course there were plenty of republicans voters at the time. Remember, George Bush's Secretary of State, Collin Powell, basically had a view not so dissimilar. Which was these guys are bad guys, but they're in a box. Keep them in a box. He went out for a two or three-hour dinner with Bush and tried to convince him. It didn't work out.

And that's why I think this is important. Becaue if Collin Powell was not able to convince Bush at the time, we have all this history, we say we all this knowledge. The next -- before the next guy wants to jump in, we should at least be sure we understand what happened, why it didn't work, what could be even if we're going to do stuff, at least how to do it better the next time.

LEMON: Jamie, do you want to comment on that or -- but I also want to go on and talk about the refugee crisis.


LEMON: OK. All right. Let's talk about it because Donald Trump made some comments about the refugee crisis that got my attention and raise my eyebrows. Take a look at this.


TRUMP: Would we be better off, as an example in Iraq, what are we doing? What are we doing? The migration was caused by Iraq, by Libya, by this. We want to give people freedom? We're not going to have our own freedom pretty soon if we keep doing this. We're not going to have our own freedom. They don't want freedom. It's like I saw somebody -- I won't even say because it's embarrassing.

We want it with the women over there don't have to wear the you know what. And then I said, well, that makes sense. That's nice. Then I saw women interviewed. They said we want to wear it. We've worn them for thousands of years. Why would anybody tell us not to -- they want to.

What the hell are we getting involved for? The fact is it's easier. You don't have to put on makeup. Look how beautiful everyone looks. Wouldn't that be easier? Right? Wouldn't that easy? I'll tell you, if I was a woman, I don't want to, I'm ready, darling, let's go. It's true.


GANGEL: We're sitting here laughing at it and I ask Marco Rubio in the interview because Trump had also said that this line about the Hispanics love me. And Rubio said, this is Donald being Donald.

And what you just don't know is when does it end? When does he cross the line? When isn't it OK anymore? Or is he like an entertainer or a comedian...


ZAKARIA: But to be fair, isn't there -- there is an element of real intelligence to what he's saying. There are a lot of people who say those are far distant cultures, why are we coming in there and imposing our values?

I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but I'm saying as with everything Trump says, there's always a cross of intelligence...


LEMON: A certain grain of this, and it's probably one of the most interesting things you've ever heard about foreign policy because he inserts some sort of humor in there.

GANGEL: Right. But if any other candidate said that, they would be out.

ZAKARIA: By the way, the one thing I would correct him is under those burkas, the women have a lots of makeups. They're really Donald.

LEMON: So, let's talk about Jeb Bush's adviser, Jamie, they gave him a PowerPoint presentation to donors today, as I understand.

GANGEL: Right.

LEMON: Listen, Marco Rubio, in one slide as a GOP Obama.

GANGEL: Right.

LEMON: You caught up Marco Rubio own in the campaign trail.

GANGEL: So, look, two things happen today. The one is, the Jeb Bush folks they're looking at one number, 8 percent, sometimes, 5 percent.

LEMON: Right.

GANGEL: They are shock and they are shaking things up. I was told today by sources very close to the campaign that they're ripping up the playbook, they're starting again, they said they had nothing to lose.

And in the Bush family there is an expression they used for sports games which is "unleash chang," I think they are unleashing Jeb, at that's the plan. Let's see if it works, he's going to be very outspoken.

LEMON: Here, listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) [22:34:54] GANGEL: So, if some might see, look, Jeb was your friend, he was your mentor, he helps you get elected, he helps you raise money. Some might say this is a betrayal.

Couldn't you have waited for another election?

MARCO RUBIO, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I don't see the presidency that way. I don't see there's a line where we all waited just to presidency off to each other just because you've paid your dues.

I'm running for president because I don't see anyone else on either side whose campaigning on the agenda and the views that I have. I don't view the president as some sort of honorific office that you just step aside and let someone else move forward. This is not that kind of thing.

We've got to move forward in this country and turn the page.

GANGEL: Jeb has suddenly not so veiled, painted you as Barack Obama 2.0. That you're young, inexperienced, first term senator. Is Jeb Bush more experienced than you are? Is that fair?

RUBIO: Well, I think there are people who are running that have more experienced on the issues we faced 35 years ago, 25 years, or 15 years ago. When it comes to the issue before America and the 21st century, there's no one running that understands or perhaps has shown better judgment on them than I have.

And so, when people run for the presidency or any office, they will say things because they think it gives them a competitive advantage. And that's fine. I understand the politics of it. But that's not what the campaign is about for me.


GANGEL: He's rising in the polls, but the gloves are coming off on both sides.

LEMON: Yes. And he didn't seem to -- he didn't like those questions so much.

GANGEL: No, I don't think so.

LEMON: But he answered it. Thank you, Jamie. Thank you, Fareed. I appreciate it.

And I want to tell you the Fareed Zakaria special report "The long road to hell America in Iraq" re-airs tonight at midnight, 9 p.m. on the West Coast. Make sure you tune in. It is fascinating. Again, or thanks to Jamie and Fareed.

Up next, good news for Dr. Ben Carson in Iowa. Could spell trouble for Donald Trump, though.

[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: Ben Carson, opening up a substantial lead over Donald Trump in Iowa. And no surprise, Trump is fighting back.

Joining me now Carl Higbie, a former Navy SEAL, he's a Trump supporter, also Maria Cardona is with us, a CNN political contributor and democratic strategist, and Matt Lewis, CNN contributor to the Daily Caller and author of "Too Dumb to Fail."

Good to have all of you here tonight. Carl, I'm going to start with you. I want you to look at this recent polling out of Iowa, Trump lead Carson. It shows that Carson is pulling away. If you look at it, there it should be up on your screen, it's Monmouth poll. Why is Ben Carson gaining momentum in Iowa?

CARL HIGBIE, AUTHOR & FORMER NAVY SEAL: Well, I think it's just like all the GOP candidates right now. Everyone is scrambling to beat the Donald and nobody can do it. And the only thing is, he's doing what Rick Santorum did in 2012 against Mitt Romney.

He went hard line against abortion, even rape and incest. And he's trying to say, he pandering to that audience hoping that winning Iowa is going to make it contagious and it's just going to win other states but that's not going to happen.

LEMON: Is Iowa is a good indicator, you mentioned other states, a good indicator of the rest of the country?

HIGBIE: No, I don't think so at all. I mean, you look at Trump he's leading in every other poll in every other state.

LEMON: Yes. Matt, yesterday on Meet the Press, Carson compared abortion to slavery, saying he'd like to see the Supreme Court decision of Roe V. Wade overturned, so the practice can be made illegal.

Do you think he's going to be able to make -- these are very strong statements that appeal to a certain segment of the Republican Party. But do you think in a general election is he going to be able to make such statements?

MATT LEWIS, "TOO DUMB TO FAIL" AUTHOR: I think that's indicative of a lot of comments that you heard in a general election. I mean, that's quite common in the pro-life community to talk about. I think pro- lifers see themselves as modern day abolitionists.

If you think that life begins at conception, the analogy isn't absurd and the fact that pro-lifers are countercultural, fighting against the dominant culture. But, I don't think that Ben Carson needs to be out there talking like that. I mean, I'm a commentator, I can talk like that. I would advise him don't go there. To say you're pro-life, that's good.

LEMON: Yes. Do you agree, Maria, do you think he should keep it simple rather than...

MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, but it's also too late for that. A couple of things here. I think that those comments will actually help him in Iowa where we know that the religious right has a big impact on who wins Iowa. I think it's part of the reason why he -- his numbers are really shooting up in Iowa.

I don't think people believe in Iowa that the bible is Donald Trump's favorite book, but Ben Carson seems to be a much more credible messenger of the Evangelical message.

So, I think those comments will help him in Iowa. They are a dog whistle for that kind of voter, that believes those things. But when it comes to the general election, they will also be a very loud signal to the 7 in 10 Amerians who believe that abortion should be maintained safe and legal, and they will hurt him in a general election.

LEMON: OK. Carl, do you believe Carson is better with its signaling to the Republican Party?

HIGBIE: Absolutely not. I think what he's doing; again, it's the pander to a specific base just in Iowa. He wants to win one state it hopes to become contagious. But the fact to the matte is the state that you're going to overturn Roe V. Wade.

I mean, Roe V. Wade for the right is the like the Second Amendment as to the left. You're never going to overturn it. It's there. And people need to understand that. I think that's a politically inexperienced comment for him to make.

LEMON: It's giving Trump something to attack him on, his religion, though.

HIGBIE: It is. I mean, the thing is, Carson has been largely unattacked. I mean, he has his own history to go off. He's been largely kind of skating through this because probably he's a pretty passive and everything like that, and generally, pretty likable.

But and I think Trump is going to start swinging now. He's actually expanding his campaign into Iowa and there's going to be a big swing for Trump there, too.

LEMON: He says there's something wrong with his energy. I don't know if that translates into passive, but he said there's nothing wrong with his energy.

Matt, today in New Hampshire, Trump said that his dad gave him a small loan of $1 million. But the issue is that today that would be about $6.8 million, almost $7 million.


LEMON: Is that un-relatable? Do you think that's causing Hillary Clinton maybe to -- is she scripting her own ad now?

LEWIS: Absolutely. Look, the thing that's happening right now is that the problem with the primaries and republicans is the things that help you or don't hurt you in a primary kill you in a general. So, I don't think that hurts Donald Trump in a primary. In a way, the

fact that he's not apologizing for being rich the way that Mitt Romney ingratiates him with republican primary voters. In a general election, this is so un-relatable.

[22:45:06] I mean, the average person and the way that Trump says, it was a small loan of $1 million. I mean, that would, you now, the ads write themselves.

LEMON: Carl, does this hurt your guy?

HIGBIE: No, not at all, I don't think. I mean, that's the equivalent of -- this guy got a $1 million loan and he's turned it into over $4 billion of net worth? I mean, it's just insignificant. Anyone can have a million...


LEWIS: Oh, come on. But the average person out there who is going to be voting in a general election cannot identify with that. It seems so -- it's stereo typical of what people think of rich republicans.

LEMON: Yes. I would love to have a $1 million loan from my dad. I don't know if my dad ever made $1 million over his lifetime. But listen, over the weekend, Maria, Bush cuts campaign costs and downsizes that, and this is what he said on Saturday. Look at this.


JEB BUSH, (R) U.S PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I got a lot of really cool things that I can do other than sit around being miserable, listening to people, demonize me and me feeling compelled to demonize them. That is a joke. Elect Trump if you want that.


LEMON: Wow. Why would he say that? I mean, is that his frustration?


LEWIS: Maybe he's throwing the towel.

LEMON: That's what it sounds like.

CARDONA: Yes, you know what? It underscores, frankly, the whole mythology and caricature that Donald Trump is trying to put out there about Jeb Bush. He sounds whinny, he sounds weak and it sounds like he's complaining about a campaign that he thought he wasn't going to have to run.

He thought he was going to be the front-runner. He thought that he was going be the one that it was given to. He was supposed to be the smart one. It was supposed to be his turn. It sounds like he is complaining. That is not a winning...


HIGBIE: I hate to agree with you, Maria, but it do.

LEMON: Maria, Carl, and Matt, thank you very much. Great panel. I appreciate.

CARDONA: Thanks, Don.

LEWIS: Thank you.

LEMON: When he come back, the candidates pulling no punches as they battle for the White House. Plus, is that really what we want from our politics? I'm going to ask the man who thinks that we are destined to be better. Bishop T.D. Jakes joins me next.


LEMON: You know, some of our presidential candidates are spending as much time attacking each other as they are talking about talking about their plans for America. Let's talk about what's happening on the campaign trail now.

Joining now is a man who tells us that we are destined to be better. And that is Bishop T.D. Jakes, the author of "Destiny, Step into your Purpose," that I cannot wait to read. So, I know that you don't like to -- you're not a political person.


LEMON: You don't like to take sides and candidates. But there's been a lot of, you know, incivility that's happening out on the campaign trail. What do you make of what's happening right now?

JAKES: I think it's a distraction from the more important issues that we face in terms of re-hauling the criminal justice system, working on our educational program, providing equity for all people in this country, solving our immigration issues, and yet we find ourselves battling like children in kindergarten. It's very disturbing to me.

LEMON: Yes. We talked about, often when you come on, we talk about racial justice on the show. And I want you to see this video and I'm not sure if you've seen, it's at South Carolina.

JAKES: ok.

LEMON: And this a school resource officer and his handling of a young lady there. And then he comes into the classroom. And I guess part of his orders were to remove the young lady. She ends up on the floor and shoved around, you know, being pushed. And now there's an investigation and he is on administrative leave. What do you make of this?

JAKES: I don't know. That is my first time seeing the video. I haven't seen it video. I haven't read up on it or anything like that. But I think that we deserve as parents -- wow. Amazing. We deserve as parents an opportunity to investigate how our children

are being treated and to make sure they get the same justice any other child would get. And I understand the concerns we've seen some of the most disturbing videos trending in this country that's very disturbing to me as a father and a grandfather, to make sure that our children are treated fairly.

LEMON: Yes. Can we talk about -- because I know that, you know, we often talk about Black Lives Matter. So, let's get that out of the way and I want to talk about destiny.


LEMON: You know, there has been a lot of consternation about the tactics of Black Lives Matter and what it means and it is all lives matter and all of that. And I know that you have an opinion about all that.

JAKES: Well, I have the opinion that all lives do matter, but I do get what people are saying when they say Black Lives Matter.

LEMON: They get the distinction.

JAKES: Yes, yes, I clearly get it. And in fact, I participated in it clearly.


JAKES: I put it on our web site and supported it when it initially came out. And as it went on down the road, the semantics distracted from the incivility that we're seeing. Are the semantics exactly the way they could be?

We could call it something else, but a rose by any other name is still the same thing by a rose by any other name it still the same thing. And at the end of the day, I don't think we ought to be fighting about the name, we ought to be fighting about the issues.

LEMON: About what's happening.

JAKES: Exactly.

LEMON: So, let's talk about this book.


LEMON: You and I "Destiny, Step into your Purpose." So, you and I talk about the issues and I said that part of that what we have discussed, part of I believe that my purpose is to get people to have that trigger in their mind that gets them from thinking that they are oppressed and always a victim to that they are the destiny, the captain of their ship. And regardless of what they -- the circumstance they are facing, that they can overcome them. It doesn't mean the circumstances aren't real.

JAKES: The circumstances are real and in fact, it may be somebody's destiny to change the circumstances. But everybody is not civil rights leader, everybody is not a politician, everybody is not a police officer.

This is about finding out who you are organically. And not only finding out who you are but setting a goal as to what your destination is, and being having the courage to ask yourself, are your actions a reflection of your vision or your circumstances?

LEMON: And how do you do that?

JAKES: I think, I honestly say that destiny leaves clues. And one of the clues that destiny leaves behind that helps us to navigate and to better understand of what our purpose is to check our passions.

And by passions, I mean what ignites you, what motivates you, what makes you creative when you're doing it? For some people, it's working with children. For other people, it may be building things. For other people, it may be working for civil rights or equity.

[22:54:55] But that thing that makes you creative and gets you out of bed in the morning and that you would do without pay, that's the trajectory that begins to give you some sort of clue as to what the direction of your destination is.

LEMON: How much of it is destiny and how much of it is free will?

JAKES: Well, that's a big theological debate. What I'm looking at is finding out what your passion is and then finding out your purpose. Your passion is your conviction about it. Your purpose is why you do it. Your destiny is where. OK?

And if you're saying that that destiny could be aborted, I think in some cases, it can be aborted. I'm not talking about as it relates to eternal life. I'm talking about careers, I'm talking about future, I'm talking home ownership, I'm talking about making your mark in live. Those are two different things from destiny as it relates to theological issues.

LEMON: Stay tune. You have a lot coming up and also on this network there's going to -- we will talk about it.


LEMON: We're going to see a lot of him and together coming up. Thank you, Bishop.

JAKES: It's my pleasure.

LEMON: The book is "Destiny, Step into your Purpose" by Bishop T.D. Jakes. We'll be right back.


LEMON: I'll see you back here tomorrow night. AC360 starts right now.