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Ben Carson Calling Media Reporting a Smear Campaign; New York's Top Cop Takes on Tarantino; Trump to Host 'SNL'. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired November 5, 2015 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN CARSON, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do you think I'm a pathological liar like CNN does?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Wow! This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
And that is Dr. Ben Carson, who, just moments ago, with Megyn Kelly. It is a stunning moment. A presidential front-runner insisting it's a smear campaign when we report that people who grew up with Carson question whether he ever actually had the violent temper he describes.
This is also the man who believes that the pyramids were nothing but giant grain silos. A man who, yes, it's true, now has a rap ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARSON: Freedom is not free and we must fight for it every day. Every one of us must fight for it because we're fighting for our children and the next generation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Also tonight, Donald Trump's Saturday Night Live gig just 48 hours away.
Plus, New York top cop takes on Quentin Tarantino. I'm going to talk to Commissioner Bill Bratton. There's a whole lot going on tonight but let's begin with Dr. Ben Carson.
Joining me now Dr. Ben Carson's supporter, Christopher Harris, executive director of Unhyphenated America; also CNN national political reporter, Maeve Reston, Matt Lewis, senior contributor to The Daily Caller and the author of "Too Dumb to Fail," and democratic strategist, Angela Rye.
OK. Lots of moving parts, as I said. Maeve, to you first. I want to start with the story that Dr. Ben Carson is reacting to tonight. On the campaign trail he is a calm guy, but he says talked openly
about his "violent childhood" he calls it. He says he tried to stab his friend at 14, which was portrayed in a made-for-TV movie. Take a look at this scene.
So, Maeve, have you tried to track down anyone who saw or heard about that incident? So, what's the story here?
MAEVE RESTON, CNN'S NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, not just that incident but a number of incidents that Dr. Carson has talked about in his past. This sort of violent episode when he was a teenager where he said he was unable to control his anger.
And it was a really pivotal moment in his life where he said that he prayed to God and right after that stabbing incident and there was a moment of Divine intervention and after that there was no more angry outbursts.
So, what we set out to do was just simply to what we do with any presidential candidate, which was to vet this part of his life to look into his temperament, to talk to people who knew him during that period, talk to them about their recollections of those incidents, and what he was like at that -- at that turbulent time in his life.
We talked to many classmates, many people who knew him in Detroit, as well as, you know, neighbors, friends, people that knew him at all different ages. None of them could recall any of these violent episodes.
And so, what we're looking for is, you know, for others to come forward and corroborate these stories that he's told, which are a key part of his biography, and certainly a key part of why he has connected with the Evangelicals on the campaign trail.
LEMON: OK. As we said at the top of this broadcast that he responded tonight on Fox. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARSON: This is simply an attempt to smear and to deflect the argument to something else. Something that we've seen many, many times before. And I never use the true names of people in books, you know, to protect the innocent.
You know, that's something that people have done for decades, for centuries. It's something that is commonly done. You know, the person that I tried to stab, you know, I talked to today. So, would they want to be revealed? They were not anxious to be revealed.
And it was a close relative of mine and I didn't want to put their lives under the spotlight. This is something that I've decided to do. None of those people decided that they wanted to do this and the media is ruthless.
So, you know, I would say to the people of America, do you think I'm a pathological liar like CNN does? (END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: That's a really strong denial, Maeve. What do you say to that?
RESTON: Well, I'd like to correct Dr. Carson there. No one said that he was a pathological liar. If you read our story at CNN.com, it makes it very clear that the people that we talked to did not say that they didn't think that these stories had happened.
They just said they had no knowledge of them, that it was very out of character for Dr. Carson. Some of them said that, you know, these kinds of things may have happened behind closed doors.
[22:04:59] But you have to think about the fact also that Dr. Carson has talked about going around and hitting people with rocks and bricks and baseball bats, and the idea that no one in the neighborhood or his school would ever hear about these things is puzzling to us.
I would also just like to say that we did approach, of course, the Carson campaign some time ago, asking them to connect us to Jerry and Bob who he named in his book, some of the victims, as well as other people who knew about these incidents at the time and could talk about them with us.
The campaign refused to cooperate, called it a witch hunt. We went back to them with our findings -- with our findings yesterday. Again, they said they didn't want to cooperate with our story.
And so, today, this is the first time that we're hearing from Dr. Carson that these were fictitious names. If you look at his book there is no notations in the book that I've seen, thus, far that would indicate that these were fictitious names.
LEMON: So, Maeve, let me get this straight. He would not respond -- he did not respond to the initial inquiry. You contacted the campaign there was no response, correct?
RESTON: We contacted them and laid out the people that we were trying to talk to. The campaign said that they were not willing to cooperate with our report.
LEMON: OK. Yes. You're not saying that he's a pathological liar but...
RESTON: Certainly not.
LEMON: ... by reporting the insinuation is that he is not truthful because you can't find anyone who corroborates his side of the story.
RESTON: We're saying that we're still looking for these people and hoping that others will come forward and talk to us about this part of his life so that we can vet it as we would any other presidential candidate.
LEMON: Got it. OK. Christopher, you support Dr. Carson. What do you think of his response tonight?
CHRISTOPHER HARRIS, UNHYPHENATED AMERICA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: I think Dr. Carson is correct to call it out as it is. I mean, we're talking about media bias here, Don. I mean, let's listen, the idea of covering Dr. Carson in his background something that happened 50 years ago, the man is 64 years old.
So, you're talking about wanting to find out whether he actually had a temper when he was 14 or 15 years old. But what looking at the relevant topics of, let's say, Hillary Clinton. I mean, she said she was taking sniper fire when she went into Bosnia but, of course, we have the video that shows that she was her coming off the helicopter.
So, you know, if you're going to start asking these questions, let's go ahead and be fair and balanced.
LEMON: OK. Then here's what I want to say to that. Here's what I want to say to that, not in defense of Hillary Clinton, but that has been litigated and it has been shown that that was not true. That has been talked about.
This is something that's new. When you're running for president, isn't everything fair game?
HARRIS: Oh, we'd like to think so but I think, Don, we all have to be honest and say that everything is not fair game that every party is not -- each party is not treated the exact same in terms of, you know, investigative journalism.
There's a lot of things that are questions. I mean, Ted Cruz brought up the issue in the CNBC debates that, look at the type of questions that are asked of republican candidates as opposed to the type of questions that are asked of democratic candidates.
I mean, this is, you know, whether or not he did that -- listen, Ben Carson's credentials are rock solid. We all know he's been an Evangelical Christian for how many decades now?
LEMON: His credentials, you mean his credentials as a surgeon, those are rock solid but his credentials as a politician I think they are still being tested because he has, though...
HARRIS: But what does -- what he did...
LEMON: ... he has...
HARRIS: in 14 have to do with his presidential credentials?
LEMON: I think that's a very fair question.
LEMON: I think that's a very -- go ahead, Maeve. RESTON: It has to do with temperament. Every single one of these
presidential candidates from Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders, you know, to Jeb Bush, to Marco Rubio, questions about a candidate's temperament are things that should be important to voters.
RESTON: These are -- you can't anticipate what decisions they are going to make as president so you want to know everything that you can about a person's background and how they are going to make the decisions that they do.
LEMON: OK. Matt.
HARRIS: So, you say he was angry when he was 14 but he's not an angry person anymore now. He has a temperament to operate on a child in the womb. To operate on the brain of a child in the womb. He has a temperament to separate co-joined twins. He has taken a lot about this.
ANGELA RYE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: But it's not. I'm sorry.
LEMON: But that's not -- but, listen, that's not the same thing as being able to run a country. Listen, well, you have to give him his props. He is a very accomplished surgeon. No one is taking that away from him but that is a different skill than running the -- being the leader of...
HARRIS: But then why is the question being asked about whether or not he had an anger issue when he was 14 years old?
RYE: Because he's raising that. He's raising that. Like the reason why Ben Carson's temperament is even an issue right now is because this is an example that he continues to raise in very public places.
This isn't something that came out of thin air. People, of course can re-gifted hands, they can read his other books, but this guy is talking about his temperament himself. He is talking about how God delivered him, he talks about how God was very involved in at least four encounters of his life.
Your candidate put this issue front and center and now folks are vetting it. No one said that he's a liar, but they have every right to fact check it just like they do with the statements that are made in debates and just like they do with the statements made on the stump. This is one of the statement that was made on itself.
[22:10:03] LEMON: OK. Matt, Matt Lewis, this is to you. This is Donald Trump tweeted about this tonight. Here is what he says "The Carson story is either a total fabrication or, if true, even worse trying to hit mother over the head with a hammer or stabbing a friend." Go ahead. MATT LEWIS, "TOO DUMB TO FAIL" AUTHOR: Oh, man. Look, Ben Carson is
in first place in some of these polls and I think if you're in first place, you have deserved the right to be vetted by the media.
And look, I mean, I have no reason to doubt that Dr. Carson, that what he says happened, happened. But what if he didn't? What if he did fabricate it? I think the republicans are much better served to have the media find out now than to have somebody run against Hillary Clinton.
And then it turns out that their entire biography, the premise of this, you know, sort of history, which is really like a resurrection, sort of story about a guy who was, you know, down and out, you know, changed his life and ended up going on to become this brilliant surgeon, what if that is all a myth?
I mean, I don't -- I don't think it is. But if it is, I think it might be a good idea to find out now rather than find out, you know, a year from now.
LEMON: It has been a somewhat interesting day in the Ben Carson campaign where he talks about the pyramids; he thinks it was to store grains in silos instead of being an internment for people. And so, Dr. Carson also out with a new radio ad and it's not the type of political ad that we're used to hearing. Here's part of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARSON: I'm very hopeful that I'm not the only one who is willing to pick up the baton of freedom because freedom is not free and we must fight for it every day. Every one of us might fight for it because we're fighting for our children and the next generation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we want to get America back on track we got to vote Ben Carson, as a matter of fact go out and vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Angela, here is what you wrote on Twitter. I don't know if this is fair. You said "On that CNN with Don Lemon talking about the end of Ben at 10 because the rap ad was so sad, he's way too greedy for 2016." Angela.
RYE: But see -- see, Don, here's the thing. So, since then, I've had a little time and I've got a ghost writer so I'm more prepared now than I was with that tweet. That was freestyle. So, since this is a battle, so, I just have something for you. So, just listen to this. So, here it is. Here it is.
LEMON: Oh, gosh, here we go.
RYE: If you wanted the young vote, you could have asked me. I charge for my services but I would have camped you for free. Now you're 16 on the track acting like you're 13. Where I'm from that we call that type thirsty. But do you, just keep it 8 more than 92, your rhymes are whack and so is the dude on the track with you. Get back to the stupid and play out suite. Go I highly doubt there's a White House for you. Boom.
LEMON: Christopher, you want to respond to that?
LEMON: She dropped the mike but, I mean, but, Christopher, you're not laughing. You're not smiling.
HARRIS: You know, I think if you studied business and look at the way that people have tended to market towards the urban market, if you will, look at the way McDonald's, look at the way every other company tries to market to that market, they use the same thing.
RYE: No, they do not.
HARRIS: They use the same type of music. Yes, they do.
RYE: That's not the same thing.
HARRIS: And actually -- and actually -- and actually...
RYE: That wasn't even a rap. It didn't even rhyme. They used urban beat with flute.
HARRIS: But guess what, it wasn't Ben Carson.
RYE: They flute or something.
HARRIS: So, no other hip-hop has ever used a flute? I mean, listen.
RYE: Come on, man, you know, that was not a cool rap. I listen to the guy with other materials...
HARRIS: It doesn't really matter whether or not it's cool.
LEMON: Does anybody, somebody have some popcorn somewhere? Can we get some popcorn for you, guys, geez.
HARRIS: Here is the bottom line. It is the bottom line. You know what the appeal of Ben Carson is?
HARRIS: He's not a politician. He doesn't -- you know, you wouldn't understand. But he does everything.
RYE: Oh, OK. I would understand.
HARRIS: He does things differently than the way everyone else does.
LEMON: OK. Yes.
RYE: Yes, you're right. You're right. You know what, you won on that point.
HARRIS: That's the bottom line is that he does things differently and that's the reason why he's number one.
LEMON: That's it, Angela. Thank you. That's it, Christopher. I think that's the first.
RESTON: I'm waiting for Donald Trump's rap next.
LEMON: And you know what?
RYE: Donald Trump would do better. He'd actually do a real rap.
LEMON: He will not disappoint. So make sure you watch on Saturday night. You just might see that. Thank you, Maeve. Thank you, Matt. Thank you, Angela, and thank you, Christopher. I appreciate it.
When we come right back, the man who calls Dick Cheney an iron ass, Donald Trump arrogant and -- wrong, excuse me. Donald Rumsfeld. I take that back. Not Donald Trump. Donald Rumsfeld, arrogant. And Michael Dukakis, a midget nerd. More revelations from the new biography of former President of George H.W. Bush.
Plus, Donald Trump is ready for Saturday Night Live. But is SNL ready for him?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Hi, ladies.
STRONG: Oh, hi, Donald Trump. Nice to meet you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Former President George H.W. Bush doesn't hold back in a new biography criticizing top aides who served in the administration of his son, President George W. Bush.
Joining me now to talk about it Jamie Gangel, CNN special correspondent, David Gergen, senior political analyst who was an adviser to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. So, a lot of presidents. And Matt Lewis is back with us and he promises he might give us a little rap before this segment is over as well.
But let's rap with Jamie Gangel first. Because you spoke with Jon Meacham, he has a new biography coming out on George H.W. Bush.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Right.
LEMON: It's really a candid look into his son's presidency. But I am surprised that just how much access Jon Meacham got.
GANGEL: First of all, Bush 41 said to him, here are my diaries, no strings attached, they are yours.
GANGEL: And this book is the tip of the iceberg. There's a lot more to come. But in this one he get -- we hear about everyone from Hillary Clinton to Bill Clinton, and then for the very first time he criticizes his son.
GANGEL: Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GANGEL: Never heard him criticize his son before as president. Why do you think he went public now?
JON MEACHAM, GEORGE H.W. BUSH BIOGRAPHER: I think that with the distance of history, he believes so strongly in the fact that force and diplomacy have to be complementary, not competitive that I think he wanted to put on the record that he doesn't think presidents accomplish very much by swaggering.
[22:20:05] They should be strong but they don't need to be needlessly provocative.
GANGEL: Even his own son?
MEACHAM: Even his own son.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GANGEL: So, I asked Jon if there is a father/son thing going on here. He says there's always a father/son thing going on.
But you know, it's very interesting, this was not about the policy.
GANGEL: It was about the rhetoric and Jon pointed out, George W. Bush is Texas. His father is Connecticut and Texas. Different style.
LEMON: Yes. You know, I think, Jamie, like once you get to be a certain age, where I like, you know, what I may as well just say it now because when, you know, what is on your mind, right? I know that as someone who is creeping up there. But, you know, he knocks Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. What is Jon Meacham tell you about that?
GANGEL: So, it's interesting is -- I'm convinced we're doing this because we all want to say "iron ass" on TV.
LEMON: I know I got to say it. GANGEL: You got to say it. So, he said Dick Cheney is a good man, but he says he's an "iron ass," he says Rumsfeld is an arrogant fellow. They never got along, by the way, Bush 41 and Rumsfeld.
But I think his point was that he felt they had undue influence on his son which is tricky, though, because then he says, but the buck stops here with my son. So, in the end, he took the advice of these two men.
LEMON: Yes. But isn't it true, the buck stops with -- any president will tell you that, the buck stops, right?
LEMON: OK. So, David Gergen, this is for you. Bush 43 put out a statement and saying in part, OK. "I am proud to have served with Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld. I'm grateful to both men for their good advice, selfless service to our country and friendship."
Donald Rumsfeld wasn't as polite. He put out his response today, he said, "Bush 41 is getting up in years and misjudges Bush 43, why I found made his own decisions. There are hundreds of memos on Rumsfeld.com that represent advice DOD gave the president."
Why do you think -- I mean, is this dirty laundry, and then why do you think this is being aired now, David?
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR: Well, first of all, Don, I think we have to take off the table that he said this and this is being released now because it has anything to do with his other son, Jeb's troubles in the campaign.
He had to have had this conversation with Jon Meacham weeks if not months ago so he could send the book to the printer and that always takes a long time as you know. Jon Meacham is also a very gifted writer, he wrote a terrific biography of Jefferson as a leader, he made a great book about Churchill, and FDR. He just he's a very gifted man.
I think -- I think that Jon point about he wanted to get some things off his chest. He wanted to settle some scores, frankly. It's very out of character for him to speak out this way. But I think he -- I think it only illustrates because he's so restrained about criticizing the others.
He so infrequently does it that he must have been going through deep agony that we didn't really understand at the time of his son's presidency. I also think there's another factor here. And that is, presidents before this go and leaves the stage entirely like to leave -- like to lease something for history.
They want to be understood for better or for worse. And I think that Jon -- that George H.W. Bush gave Jon Meacham total access to diaries. It's an unbelievable treasure trove for Jon Meacham and it will be an interesting book.
I think he wanted to do that because he wanted to speak to history. He wanted to other president -- every president basically since FDR has done that.
LEMON: David, can I jump in here because when he -- to me, when he says he's getting up there, was that a slam that, you know, saying that he's feeble or he's not -- is not all there?
GERGEN: I'm not sure that's to me but, yes.
LEMON: Yes. Yes.
GERGEN: I think that's what he's settled, and he doesn't really quite understand. Look, but I think it's really important to understand about George H.W. did not let his son off the hook.
GERGEN: He takes responsibility as Commander-in-Chief before going into Iraq, he takes responsibility -- he should take responsibility for forming the circle of people around him. Cheney and Rumsfeld were there at his invitation, et cetera.
What he does argue is that basically, what Bush is arguing is that basically Cheney and Rumsfeld help to drive him towards a cliff and then he made the decision to go over -- going to Iraq.
LEMON: OK. Matt has been standing by patiently. Matt, you heard David Gergen say this book went to the printer a long time ago. So, but I still wonder what the impact is on Jeb Bush's campaign.
LEWIS: Yes. I think this has an impact on the race right now. On one hand, I think the lesson is, be care -- it's why we have to vet candidates, right? Be careful if you nominate or elect a candidate who hasn't been proven -- who doesn't have a lot of experience, who might be -- you know, the notion that, well, he's going to have great advisers, be careful about that.
Because you don't want those advisers to have undue influence. And the case of Jeb Bush, I think there is actually an interesting angle here which is to say, the bushes don't necessarily think alike.
[22:24:57] You know, George W. Bush's presidency was very different than Bush 41's presidency. Obviously, because there's a disagreement about it. So, maybe Jeb Bush will be more like pup Bush.
Maybe Jeb can -- he might want to get out ahead of this and make that argument right now, actually and spin it that way because otherwise, you know, anytime they bring up the dynasty thing, the Bush thing, its bad news for them.
LEMON: Yes. It's interesting because, Jamie, there's much more to your interview. I'm looking forward to seeing the full thing. He also mention is the Clintons and he talks about the Reagans as well, and you can -- Jamie, we'll have more on the network. I appreciate it, everyone. Thank you very much.
I need to tell you this, a programming note for you. Don't miss, Dr. Ben Carson is going to be on CNN's New Day tomorrow morning at 7 responding to our reporting and the comments that he made tonight as well.
And coming up, Donald Trump hosts Saturday Night Live in two days and he is not going to let protests stop him. But should he? We'll talk about that next.
LEMON: Live from New York, it's Donald Trump. He's hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend. Millions are sure to tune in. Millions. Huge. But others are angry because of his remarks about immigrants.
[22:30:02] Joining me now is comedian and actor, Mr. Paul Rodriguez, Juan Carlos Lopez, anchor and senior correspondent for CNN in Espanol, and Carl Higbie, author and former Navy SEAL who is a Trump supporter.
Paul, first to you, you know, 48 hours away from Donald Trump getting ready to take the stage at SNL. You know, is this the case of the louder the protests the bigger the audience is going to be?
PAUL RODRIGUEZ, COMEDIAN & ACTOR: Yes, maybe so. You know, I mean, I don't blame SNL. I mean, they are used to put in who is ever popular in the news, I mean, they are in the ratings game. And who knows. You know, they are doing that as a service because I look into it no one has ever hosted Saturday Night Live has ever gone on to be president.
So, there is something to be happy about it if you're a supporter or non-supporter. The President Obama made an appearance but he didn't host.
RODRIGUEZ: So, there is something that cheer people up. It's really a shame that it's come to this because if it were for the fact that the things he said are so mean it's so encompassing, you know, that Mexico is exporting rapists. You know, we don't need Mexico to export rapists, we have very good rapists here in America, you know.
RODRIGUEZ: There are some things that were pretty -- pretty first in. But I'm going to be watching. I think he's been a bonanza for comedians. You're in at the right material, just listen to the man and he did it.
LEMON: And he also had us -- got us talking about immigration maybe not in the ways that many people would like as we talk about.
LEMON: And we're talking about.
RODRIGUEZ: He's galvanized.
LEMON: But I want you guys -- I want you guys to listen to this. This is John Leguizamo, he's a prominent Columbian-American actor and comedian. RODRIGUEZ: Sure.
LEMON: I want you to listen on what he has to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN LEGUIZAMO, ACTOR & COMEDIAN: If he had said those things about any other ethnic group, he would not be on that SNL. I mean, I find SNL to do that in NBC, I find it really insulting. I find it hurtful and insulting and you're celebrating somebody who -- who said -- who said some horrible things. I mean, I just find it unacceptable. I will not watch -- I won't watch SNL anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Juan Carlos Lopez, if -- is he right, if Trump had offended another group, would NBC not have taken this action to get him to host SNL?
JUAN CARLOS LOPEZ, CNN EN ESPANOL SHOW HOST: I think confusion comes from what NBC did when Donald Trump made these remarks. He then said, we, in the media that started -- no, he made them, they're there on tape. And NBC right away distanced them from Trump for the Miss Universe pageant, they distanced themselves from "The Apprentice" and that was quick.
A lot of people felt empowered. This time around, it's not happening that way. A colleague was saying, well, maybe the Latino members or cast members of SNL are up in arms. But, there are no Latino cast members on SNL.
LEMON: So, you know, Donald Trump, Carl, always says, you know, Latinos love me. The immigrants love me. But do you think he's going to have the support he thinks he has as he last when it's time for people to actually go vote?
CARL HIGBIE, AUTHOR & FORMER NAVY SEAL: I think -- I think he will. Absolutely. I mean, as some of the guests have said, like they're talking about as Donald Trump has won. He is -- we are sitting here talking about this. We're giving him more publicity. It is fantastic.
But the Trump train is hot right now. People want to see what he has to say and that's why so many millions of people are tuning in to his SNL thing. They have 500,000 plus on a signature ballot, those -- all of those people that are going to be protesting outside. This is great for SNL. Good job, Donald.
LEMON: He hosted last time and -- yes, go ahead.
RODRIGUEZ: You know, Don, I've been Mexican for a long time. I've not met one who likes him, much less loves him.
HIGBIE: Well, I've met plenty.
LEMON: You saw the lady on the stage; she goes "I love you!"
LEMON: He went to the lady on the lady on the stage, wait, show -- show Juan Carlos.
LOPEZ: She's Cuban.
LEMON: Juan Carlos -- show Juan Carlos.
LOPEZ: She's something else. That's one.
LEMON: That's one.
HIGBIE: That's one. My neighbor. My neighbor, she's a Columbian immigrant here, her whole family and they all love Trump. They were like, look, I spent a lot of time to try to get here legally. And now Donald Trump is going to make sure that everybody has to come to the same process I did. They're going to earn their citizenship. They are all for that.
LEMON: Hey, watch this. Watch this for you.
LEMON: This is 2004, the last time he hosted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Great to be here at Saturday Night Live, but I'll be completely honest, it's even better for Saturday Night Live that I am here.
TRUMP: Nobody is bigger than me. Nobody is better than me. I'm a ratings machine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Paul, nothing has changed. That's 2004.
RODRIGUEZ: The sad part about it is that, he wasn't trying to be funny. That's who he is. You know, the man is out there as a ego mananical kind of thing. It's scary that people will continue to look at him.
Look, if it was -- if it weren't for the meanness and the things he says, you know, a lot of Latinos are naturally conservatives, you know, who believe in a lot of conservative views.
I mean, Reagan said that, you know, Hispanics were republican, that we just weren't aware of that.
RODRIGUEZ: And that's a lot to have said, but not in this respect. I agree with Laguizamo, had he insulted that African-Americans, Don, we both know he wouldn't have had a shot.
Jesse Jackson would be all over him. Had he assaulted gays and lesbian, I don't think he'd have a shot. But he picks on Latinos and Latinos are an easy target but maybe these are the things that galvanizes it.
HIGBIE: But this is all they're going to watch.
[22:34:57] LEMON: Yes. But the thing is, I think the people are so going to watch and it is a -- it also gives people a platform to protest and get their issues out there. That's going to have to be the last word. Thank you, guys. I appreciate all of you. We'll have you back.
Coming up, New York's top cop has a message for Quentin Tarantino. You'll hear that next.
LEMON: Quentin Tarantino doubling down on the criticism of police that spark calls for a boycott of his upcoming film "The Hateful Eight." It all started with this at a rally against police brutality in New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUENTIN TARANTINO, HOLLYWOOD ACTOR: What am I doing here? I'm doing here because I'm a human being with a conscience and when I see murder, I cannot stand by and I have to call the murdered the murdered and I have to call the murderers the murderers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, that did not sit well with a lot of people.
And joining me now on the phone is Commissioner William Bratton of the New York City Police Department.
Commissioner, I really appreciate you joining us. You know, after that rally, you said there are no words to describe the contempt I have for him and his comments.
Last night, Quentin Tarantino spoke to MSNBC and he said his police critics are just trying to silence him. I want you to take a listen and then we'll talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[22:40:02] TARANTINO: If I was under the impression I was an American and that I had First Amendment rights. We want justice but stop shooting unarmed people. But they don't want to deal with that. They would rather -- they would rather start arguments with celebrities than examine the concerns put forth before them by a citizenry that has lost trust in them. (END VIDEO CLIP)
So, Commissioner, he clarified some of what he said but he's not backing down.
WILLIAM BRATTON, NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT COMMISSIONER: It doesn't sound like a clarification. He's dug himself deeper into a hole.
LEMON: Yes. So, you know, he says that he was talking about specific cases of violence. Not all police and that's what he says. Still today, the head of the Fraternal Order of Police, Jim Pasco, he told the Hollywood reporter that his group was planning some sort of secret retaliation against Tarantino and here's what he said.
Just so, I want to read it for our viewers. "Something is in the works but the element of surprise is most important. The most important element. Something could happen anytime between now and the premier. The right time and place will come up and we'll try to hurt him in the only way that seems to matter to him and that is economically."
So, you know, he clarified and said he didn't mean any physical harm. The movie premieres at Christmastime. Do you think that this is still going to be an ongoing controversy even then?
BRATTON: Well, it's the only beginning of November and everybody is still commenting on it. But I would not be surprised that when the movie opens that it opens on Christmas Day, I guess, that the police union, Fraternal Order of the Police will protest, if you will, and protest against this and finally recurring of the following or encouraging a boycott of the movie.
We'll just have to wait and see at any event that the enforcement to see who are entitled to speak their mind. But when you speak your mind, expect others are going to speak theirs, also.
BRATTON: So, what we have is two sides of very different views about an issue of police use of force. And to align yourself as Mr. Tarantino did with a lot of cop haters, a lot of people, who, in some instances are anarchists that, well, he's made his bed and he's going to have to lie in it, and if he's not lying with those that he's chosen to lie self with, and so, that's his problem.
LEMON: I want to talk to you about something that broke our hearts here in New York City and really around the world. You were angry at his comments because it came so close on the heels of the deaths of your officers, Officer Randolph Holder who was murdered in Harlem.
And just four days earlier, you gave a remarkable tribute to him at his funeral. And I want our viewers to hear some of that. This is how it ended. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) Detective Randolph Holder, you are relieved of your duty as a New York
City police officer, guardian of the gates of New York City. And we send you on your way to your new assignment to be a guardian angel heaven at the gates of heaven.
LEMON: It gives you goose bumps to hear that, Commissioner. Last night, Quentin Tarantino said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TARANTINO: The timing was very unfortunate and his death, that officer's death is a tragedy. I acknowledge that 100 percent and my heart goes out to him and goes out to his loved ones.
However, the point of the rally was to bring these families -- we had over 40 families. Not 40 people but 40 different families that this has happened to, come out and tell their stories and say their -- say their loved one's name and that's what's not being told or talked about.
And so what, because that happened, we're going to say, oh, no, no, don't tell your story? I know we flew you out here, we're going to fly you back, we'll do it another time, and it's just not convenient.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Do you agree with his point, Commissioner, should he and those people protesting had been more aware of...
BRATTON: Well, what I would suggest is that he, and you, and the media take a close look at those 40 stories. He is inferring and those that conducted that rally, that in all 40 of those instances, police officers murdered those individuals.
I have personal familiarity with some of those cases and that might be the perspective of the family, but in courts of law, it has been determined that the officers were within their lawful duties. So, disrespectful of what the families might feel, to put forth, you need to take a close look at all 40 of those co-called incidents.
LEMON: Commissioner, before I let you go, I want to talk a little bit more about that, about the nuance and context and all of those things.
You are a great public service -- servant, and I know that you must have given a whole lot of thought to this.
What is the right way to have a public dialogue between the police and their critics? Because both sides have rights. As you have said, throughout this interview.
[22:45:08] BRATTON: Well, language matters. And so, when you hold a rally that basically contextually does sends police as murderers, on many instances of the incidents that you're portraying that has not been the case that's been bore out in the courts of law.
Well, then you set yourself up for some of the criticism that Mr. Tarantino is receiving. Words for it. So, you have to be very careful about your words and your references.
In any event, that this issue, as anybody is entitled to their opinion are, I have mine, he has his. We'll just have to see how it plays out in the days and weeks ahead.
My expectation is that there will be a boycott that everybody, individually is going to have to make up their mind whether they want to see that movie or not. That's, once again, their right, also.
LEMON: Commissioner Bratton, thank you.
BRATTON: OK. Have a good night. My pleasure being on with you.
LEMON: When we come right back, some GOP candidates are calling for changes to the debate rules. Glenn Beck may have a solution.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: As the republicans go head to head over changing the rules for the next debate, my next guest has offered to host a brand-new one.
That's Glenn Beck. He's a founder of The Blaze and author of "The Immortal Nicolas." Hello, Mr. Beck. How are you?
GLENN BECK, THE BLAZE FOUNDER: How are you? How are you, Don?
LEMON: I'm great. So, why would you make a better debate host on The Blaze than the other people have done so far.
BECK: Well, I will tell you this. I thought Anderson Cooper did an unbelievable job. I thought it was one of the best debates I've ever seen when Anderson did the democratic debates. I thought he was fair and he was hard hitting.
I thought the CNBC debates -- I thought they were extraordinarily cheap, petty, ridiculous, how much time do we have to spend with picking fights with one another and asking silly questions about Fantasy Football?
The people who are voting for the republicans, this is a primary. So, the people who are voting for these guys want to know the real issues. They want to know the answers to the real issues. And what makes these guys different from one another.
LEMON: But some people would say, you know, it's kind of whiny. You can't pick the whole thing because even in the GOP, the fight to reform this, there's a fight to reform the debate process. But Chris Christie, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, they say stop complaining. So the format...
BECK: Oh, yes. No, no. So does Ted Cruz, so does Bobby Jindal, they all met.
LEMON: Should it be a different format?
BECK: I'm not -- I want you to know nobody's complaining about the questions are too hard. In fact, just the opposite. I was recommending that we do a debate where the questions are very, very focused. I would be a moderator, but I would not be asking all of the questions per se.
I think people like Elon Musk should ask questions on the future of the economy. I think Thomas Sowell should ask questions about the economy. I think we should get Robbie George from Princeton to talk about faith and the Constitution. And ask very difficult, hard-hitting questions that we can actually educate ourselves and see what the difference is.
Nobody's complaining. In fact, we're suggesting a much more difficult debate.
LEMON: How many people, do you think there are too many people up there? Because how can you, in a matter of two hours, and they want it to be shorter, how can you really get substance from when you have that...
BECK: We are looking at The Blaze. We have an opportunity, I mean, we have a footprint of about 50 million people between all of our properties. We have Dotcom Radio, internet radio, podcasting. And so, we have an opportunity to change it.
And our view is on the debate on The Blaze would be much different. Everyone would get a chance to ask -- answer every single question but most of it would be categorized. Later you would get those questions as soon as they walk off stage, everyone be able to answer each question that everyone was asked.
LEMON: Glenn, Carson in the headlines today for a commencement speech he made 17 years ago, where he said that it was his personal belief, this is his personal belief that the pyramids were built as store houses for grain and not as archaeologists say for the internment of dead pharaohs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like this is impossible?
BEN CARSON, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a possible explanation. It's a personal belief because I happen to believe a lot of things that you might not believe because I believe in the bible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: First of all, it's his personal opinion. So, I think that's important to point out. And maybe his faith, you know, has some information or believes some things that I don't understand. But know, you know, not being a scholar on Exodus, but the granaries,
the grain cities were Petom and Rameses, if I'm not mistaken and nothing about Giza. And so, I don't know where he's getting that. But, with that being said, does it matter? I mean, really that's matter?
LEMON: That's what I'm asking you, does it?
BECK: I don't think it does. I think he's wrong. But I don't think it does.
LEMON: Let's talk about Jeb Bush. NBC News obtained audio from a conference call made to donors. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'll head back home, do a little preparation on the debate. I promise you I'll do better. All the nervous nellies on the call, chill out. We're going to do better, I promise you. And this is going to be a fun campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. So, chill out. I mean, should his donors chill out?
BECK: No, his donors should -- if I were a donor of his, I would be asking for my money back. I mean, I don't think that there is -- there is -- I don't -- something there's a shot that Jeb is going to be the nominee at this point.
Could be wrong, but I just don't see it. He is the guy who expected a coronation. He is -- he's the right Hillary Clinton. A guy who, you know, has been brought up in the ranks and everybody is like, I don't really like him but I guess until we happen to have a lot of other people on the right that we can choose from.
And as soon as you put a lot of people up there we can choose from, you're like, I don't really like that guy. And I contend if you had 16 really qualified candidates or 9 qualified candidates who were running against Hillary Clinton, Clinton wouldn't get it either.
LEMON: Well, democrats has -- yes. So, behind you I see the snow falling. It looks like, you know, living in...
[22:55:01] BECK: It's Dallas. It's crazy cold here.
LEMON: I can't believe it. But I want to know why, your new book it's called "The Immortal Nicolas." Why should people buy it this holiday season?
BECK: It is -- it is my way. I -- I wrote this really four years ago, I started to write it for my kids because I was really tired of my kids just talking about Santa and not about the real reason behind Christmas. And so, this is a total redo on the Santa character. And it starts
with him as the guy who was gathering the Franken sense for the first gift. But he is radically, radically different than anything that you might think of Santa Claus.
It's a story that spans over 1,000 years and answers the question, how did he become immortal.
LEMON: OK. I have a question for you before I let you go. Are you going to watch Saturday Night Live this weekend?
BECK: Oh, I don't know. I mean, is NBC going to release any more video that they shouldn't release? I love this with it -- with NBC, they release the wrong promos. And somehow or another, they blame that on incompetence, but we should trust them with the debate. Come on, NBC.
LEMON: Glenn, are you going to watch the darn show or no?
BECK: Probably, yes.
LEMON: All right. I knew it. How could you miss it. Thank you.
BECK: I mean, why not.
LEMON: Stay warm there in Dallas. I mean, it's awfully cold it looks like.
LEMON: Glenn Beck, thanks. We'll be right back.