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Donald Trump Holds Rally in Las Vegas. Aired 11-11:59p ET

Aired December 14, 2015 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:32] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: And we are back, 11:00 p.m. on the east coast, 8:00 p.m. here in Venetian Las Vegas. Donald Trump also speaking in Las Vegas nearby at the Westgate resort. Let's listen.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They don't care, believe me. And that's what's sick about the system. And frankly, six months ago I was on the other side. I was like the fair-haired boy. I gave 350,000 to the Republican Governor's Association. I was on the other side. I was like, establishment. Can you believe it?

Now I'm a politician. I hate the term. I'm a politician. I mean, I will never be a politician. I don't want to be. Don't want to be a politician. They had one case where a super Pac, for a nice guys, I'm not going to mention his name, but he was on the front page of "the Los Angeles Times." A super Pac raised $6 million. By the time everybody took their slice and their cut, they were left with $140,000 for the campaign. Think of it.

Now, that's a pretty good business, you guys ought to try it sometime. Pretty good. And you wonder how come they are losing money, how come they are out of money? Why are they complaining? They are going to leave the campaign. Because you have to see the money that's being made. You have to see the money that's being made by people raising money. It's insane. It's better than being a real estate broker, I want to tell you that, folks.

You can do this and you can retire after one campaign. It is a disgrace what's happening with money. It is a disgrace what's happening with influence. And we're going to end it, folks. We are going to end it. We are going to end it.

So when I started the quest, remember the famous escalator ride, right? Coming down. We are waving. But I made a decision. I said, look, you know, it takes guts to run for president. It really does. I never did this stuff before and it takes guts. But I know what can happen. And by the way, not just because I'm doing well, more importantly, because I have gotten to know so many people. We have such incredible people in this country, it's amazing. It's amazing.

And I said to my wife, I said, you know, look at that. It was -- in Trump tower in New York, you have never seen -- look at all the press back there now. But you have never seen so many reporters and cameras and you couldn't breathe in the building. And I said, you know what? We have got to do it. Just too many mistakes. Let's do it. And I took a deep breath at the top of that escalator. You see it. They have probably have, in fact, if you see it he -- they have tapes, don't want to show that. Too nice. They only want to show bad stuff.

But you know what? I took a deep breath. I said let's go. And we went down and I talked about illegal immigration and I brought out a lot of things that would have never been discussed and we are going to have a border. We are going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for the wall. They are going to pay for the wall.

Now, a lot of the people that are running against me, they say, well, Mexico will never do that. Why would they do that? Because they are politicians. They have no idea. They don't know business. They don't know business.

Look, Mexico -- I love Mexico, just so you understand. I he love the Mexican people. I have thousands that have worked for me over the years. They are fantastic people. But their leaders, right? Do we love Mexico? We love Mexico. I agree.

But their leaders are too smart for our leaders because our leaders, not so -- not so good, folks, OK? They are too smart, they are too sharp, they are too cunning. What's happening at the borders is horrible, what's happening with trade, I mean, we have four building plants in Mexico. We have Nabisco moving from Chicago. Their big factory into Mexico. They will make Oreos. Think of it. No more Oreos for us, right? No more.

Somebody served me Oreos the other day, first time in my life. I said I'm not eating Oreos any more. But they left Chicago and they're going to move a big plant into Mexico. Tennessee, a great state. They thought they had it made with this car company. All of a sudden at the last moment, the car company announced they are going to Mexico. It's out of control. It's out of control.

So Mexico is beating us at the border. They are beating us at trade. Now, here is the story. Mexico is making -- we have a trade imbalance. We ever an imbalance with Mexico of over $40 billion a year. And that doesn't include drugs. The drugs, you can probably -- you can probably double it. Who the hell knows? That's free of drugs. But the drugs p pour across.

Now, we have no wall. We have -- and when we do have a wall, it's a little toy like built by barren, Barren Trump, OK. It's a little toy. Did you ever see the picture? A pretty famous picture where they have the wall and they built a ramp with each of the wall and they drive trucks. They loaded one drugs, they drive it right over the ramp. That's not a Trump wall, folks.

This is a big building. You see that ceiling? That ceiling is much lower than my wall. Believe me, this is -- we have a real wall. We have a real wall. And I know how to build it. And I know how to get them to pay for it. It's very simple. Folks, you are killing us. You are making too much money.

Now, the wall is going to cost $9 billion, OK? A lot of money. The Great Wall of China is 13,000 miles long. That was built 2,000 years ago, right? We say we can't build a wall. You know, a lot of the people that are opposed to the wall now wanted to build it 14, 15 years ago. And you know one of the reasons they couldn't build it is they couldn't get an improved environmental income. Can you imagine this? They couldn't get environmental impact statements approved. They couldn't get them. There was a snake in the way. There was a turtle in the way. There was a toad in the way. There was a snail in the way. No, no, they couldn't get it. Just like when I said knock out the oil, right? Knock out -- I've been saying that. Knock out the oil.

One of the reasons they didn't want to knock out the oil, take it away from ISIS, take away their money, a big part of it, although they get a lot of money from a lot of other big things like banking. We will talk about that. But one of the reasons they didn't want to knock out the oil, they didn't want to hurt the environment. This is serious. They didn't want the fumes going into the atmosphere.

And then we're supposed to win -- what do you think General Patton would say? I mean, he was a brutal guy that liked one word, it was called winning. So what do you think General George Patton would have said if the president said, listen, don't hurt anybody. Let's -- nice and easy. We don't want to put any pollutant in the air.

Don't forget. He'd say, you are fired. That's right. Now, can you imagine? Now, we have -- you know, we have the General Pattons and we have general McArthur. We have great generals. Potentially, in our midst. I mean, they go to Annapolis, they go to West Point, they go to air force academy. These are great people. We have great people. But probably the best ones are kept out -- we lost a good general two years ago because he was foul mouthed. He spoke with bad language. He was great. The man -- you know who I'm talking about. We know that. He's a good general. Everybody loved him. His men loved him. Everybody loved him and look at what happens to him. Then we lost another one, Petraeus, he got because of emails and because of giving self and yet Hillary did 20 times more and she's fine, right? She's just fine.

So we are going to find the right people. And I will tell you this. For five months, I did nothing but speak about how China is ripping us off, about how japan is ripping us off with the cars. Thousands and thousands of cars pouring in.

I was in Los Angeles. I mean, these boats are massive. The ships, they are massive. Cars pouring in. It looks like the Long Island expressway, the cars just coming off the -- we give them practically nothing. I mean, you look at the imbalance. Happens to be about $70 billion, OK, a year. And you say what's happening?

We have all the power. We have all the strength. Mexico, I told you, it is both. I mean, Mexico is going to become the car capital of the world soon the way they are doing. They are taking our business. They are doing everything. And in addition, they kill us -- that's going to end. It's all going to end. Believe me.

And I will tell you. And I will tell you something, it's going to end and they're going to like us better than they like us now. They don't have any respect for us. China, it's going to end and yet China, look what they are doing? South China Sea, they are building this incredible fortress in the middle of the -- I mean, can you believe it? We could never do that because it wouldn't pass environmental standards. Can you believe this? We are so lost. We are so lost as a country.

Today I read -- I mean, maybe it's not true, but I think it's a legitimate publication. I mean, these guys, I don't consider too many of them very good, but it was amazing. Look at that camera. Those cameras never moved. They won't show this crowd of people.

But -- it's true. It's true. They never move. Don't worry, they won't move. But did you see when you said that protester over there, boom, those cameras they were bent like a pretzel looking trying to find -- they are the worst. They are the worst.

So when I -- thank you. I -- that's very nice. You are the best, also. You know what? We are all the best. Together, we are going to be the best. We are going to be the best. Look. We are going to make our military so strong, so powerful, so incredible, we are never going to have to use it. It's going to be brought back up to date. It's in such bad shape. A general left two months ago. A very nice guy. He said we're the most unprepared -- I actually think he said from the beginning, but let's not because there's so many cameras on there the he said for many, many decades. We are the most unprepared that he has ever seen us or heard about it. Can you imagine? And this is a time when we have to be the most prepared.

So we're going to -- number one, we're going to make our military so strong, so powerful, so great, we're going to take care of our veterans. Our veterans are being decimated. Decimated.


[23:11:51] TRUMP: You know, somebody wrote recently. They said Trump is a really good speaker, but the one problem he has, he speaks right through the applause. And you know why I do that? Because I'm so excited. I mean, I love what we are going to do together. I can't wait.

No, it's true. No, no, I love what we're going to do together. We have so many great people, so many incredible people, so many smart people. They get it. I mean, how the hell do I get 41 and 42 percent against -- this is against 15 people, by the way. This isn't against two people.

By the way, you know, 42 percent and the big one, Monmouth came out at 41 percent. Let me tell you, if that were against three people, I would be happy because that would mean I won pretty much, right? But this is 15 people we have that. A couple of left. A lot are going to start leaving, which is nice. Would be nice to have some more time to talk, so many people. There's so many people. And many of them don't have a chance. You say what are you doing? Just go home and relax. Go home and relax.

So -- and by the way, some really good people. I have to tell you, on the stage, you really have some great people. I have gotten friendly with some of them and they really are outstanding. I won't tell you the names of the ones I think are good because I want you to not even think about it. But you have some people that are excellent. Some really good people.

This guy -- OK. This guy screams out, low energy, Mr. Trump, they are low energy. No.

Well, a couple of them are low energy. By the way, Hillary is low energy, OK? In all fairness. I have said about Hillary. She doesn't have the strength and she doesn't have the stamina to be president. She doesn't. And the last person she wants to run against.

You know, the FOX poll had me winning. Nobody talks about that. They, you know, they find one word. The FOX poll has me winning. They never report it. They hardly report it at FOX. But the FOX poll has me beating Hillary pretty easily.

But, you know, it's interesting. Do you ever notice? She'll go out. Everything is so scripted, even her words. Donald Trump has a harsh tone. And I'm saying to myself, you turn on the in us and you see they are cutting people's heads off in Syria because they are Christians. They do and other reasons, and frankly any other thing they want. They are drowning people in steel cages and she's saying, Donald Trump has a harsh tone.

Well, I don't like his temperament. That's fine. Look, we have got to get smart. We are not going to have a country left. But did you ever notice with Hillary, it's sort of an amazing thing. She puts on her pant suit in the morning. She gets up -- no, nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong. There is nothing -- you like my hair. I like that guy. He said I love your hair, Trump. It's mine. It's the nicest thing he could have told me. It's actually mine. It's sort of interesting, it's mine. People now all believe it. I mean, through this, it would be awful tough to get away with phony hair, right?

But, you know, so Hillary, she gets up and she goes and does a meeting and does a meeting and she's going like three or four people. Doesn't do this. First of all, she can't draw crowds like this. She can't draw. She'll get 200 or 300 people. I won't mention names, but a couple of the candidates last night, one had 51 people. They counted it. One had 153. We have, what, 4,000 or 5,000 people here. It's packed.

[23:16:15] LEMON: Donald Trump in his element. You could see he loves this. He is eating it up. The crowd eating it up as well. We will continue on right after a quick break.


[23:18:26] LEMON: All right, we are continuing on live here in Las Vegas. You see Donald Trump there speaking and still speaking live. But we are going to analyze some of this and then we will get back to him. We will continue to monitor it.

Joining me now is Hugh Hewitt, the panelist for tomorrow night's debate. And also with me Republican strategist Mr. Kevin Madden. He has worked for Mitt Romney's campaign among others.

Where do we start?

HUGH HEWITT, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, I will start with the fact that CNN just showed 16 minutes of very good television. Television that was watchable. Kevin and I was just talking about. I have never seen a presidential candidate receives 16 minutes of watchable airtime for free. And Kevin, repeat your comment about what you have to do to get that?

KEVIN MADDEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes. I mean, (INAUDIBLE). First of all, it is hundreds of thousands of dollars value right there. But, you know, Jeb Bush put together and his super Pac put together like a 13-minute documentary that they wanted to use to show who Jeb Bush was and why he ought to be president to voters that had not learn to adopt.

No one is going to see that 13-minutes as much as the people who watch for 16 minutes like Donald Trump talking an unfiltered, you know, (INAUDIBLE) way, directly to the people in that crowd. But at the same time, almost directly to all the people watching at home.


MADDEN: And if we are looking at why Donald Trump is out there. Why Jeb Bush is not, you know, broken through in this election cycle? This sort of offer us a real - a really telling educational glimpse as to where the campaign is happening.

LEMON: You cannot take that away from him. It is just that he is a master. We talked about the great communicator, right? Ronald Reagan. He is a master at this.

I just want to go through the beginning. Because in the beginning, as a tribute was being made and it sounded like there was some interruption. He does not allow that at his events, right. He is in control in every single way at these events.

[23:20:08] HEWITT: And it didn't make it into the screen. And what I heard him do, which I thought was art, actually, is he touched a zones of a lot of people. When he ran through the endangered species that prohibited the fence, he is talking to every single person that's ever dealt with an environmental regulatory authority in their life. When he talked about General McChris (ph) for being fired because of the "Rolling Stone," I think that was the illusion. When he talked about General Petraeus and referenced back, there was real art in there. And I keep going back to the fact that he did 11 seasons, 11 seasons of reality television. So he has more practice in front of this machine than any other person in the race and it showed tonight. He is a master of his craft.

LEMON: Yes. And we must remember, too, part of the reason he's getting this is because we are on the eve of the big debate tomorrow night. He is in Las Vegas. Smart move, giving a big speech tonight in Las Vegas. The question is why can't it at the Trump resort casino hotel - the Trump hotel? MADDEN: I have no idea. That's a good question.

LEMON: And nobody else speaking tonight.

MADDEN: To your larger point, this almost happens at every single debate. The other campaigns that don't get enough time tomorrow night are going to be complaining that they didn't get enough time.

Donald Trump will have dominated the news coverage of this event, not only the day of, but the day before and day after. And that is one of the biggest problems that all of these other campaigns or I should say one of the big challenges to all of these other campaigns have with Donald Trump in this race is that he is the one who is doing all the talking and he is the one that's setting the tone for the -- not only the issue conversation we have, but just how much coverage that the race actually gets.

HEWITT: And I wonder if he's even killed the traditional bump that an Iowa caucus winner gets. So if Ted Cruz is, in fact, ahead and does win Iowa, does he get the bump? Because that's media attention. The media coverage might be bare.

LEMON: So I was having this conversation with the Democratic strategist tonight. They said, you know, complaining about the media coverage of Donald Trump, they said listen -- and Bernie Sanders doesn't get as much coverage. I said Hillary Clinton is the front- runner. If Hillary Clinton offered as many speeches and as many interviews as Donald Trump, the media would take it. She does not.

Donald Trump is also not safe. So all of the people of, you know, who are talking about things, like income inequality, gender inequality and all of those things, as I'm going through preparation for tomorrow, I give you a little bit of the share a little secret, with the conversation is happening across the country on social media and we are getting updated today. None of those things are registering. You know the things that are registering? Religion, security, homeland security, ISIS, immigration, guns. All of the things that Donald Trump is talking about, those are the things that are registering. So the things that some of the people are talking about on the Democratic side, it's not even -- the American people are not really discussing them.

HEWITT: Don't you have to agree, he is authentic. That is authentically Donald Trump. That is 100 percent pure unadulterated Donald Trump.

LEMON: Yes. But he knows what he is doing. He knows that he has picked up - whether, you know, you agree with him, whether you believe it, whatever it is, he knows his audience and he is working that audience.

MADDEN: Yes. And I think people are also -- look, I would say that there's zero substance to what he is saying. But you also have to remember that what's driving voter anxiety right now or voter anger is this idea of a Washington that is out of touch with people's real concerns. And that anxiety -- LEMON: Isn't it fear, as well?

MADDEN: There is fear in there, yes. But also, this idea of this just status quo, that if we keep electing folks like Hillary Clinton who have been career politicians for the last 20 to 30 years and keep rewarding them for these very scripted, guarded conversations and events that they have all around the country, that nothing is going to change. And so you see in the essence of what Donald Trump did tonight was him talking directly to voters, unvarnished, unscripted in a way that it does resonate.

HEWITT: You know, he has invented a term, low energy. That has been around for a long time, but it is now a killer term to have it applied and stick to you. And he did it to Hillary tonight and he brought up pant suit that's not politically correct. God, does that cut through the noise.

MADDEN: Just real quick. He also likes these sort of clash of civilizations. And one thing he wants right now is this idea of not only taking on establishing politicians. How many times did he point to media and called the media and criticize the media and say that the media is not doing a good service to the American public? And how many times did that get a crowd reaction? So it is not just other politician.

LEMON: Yes. But he also knows how -- when he brings in the tribute families on early, right, he said before I get too far into this, there are lots of people I want to thank. Again, this is all strategy, knows what he is doing. At least it appears because he is getting so much attention. And the other folks not speaking tonight. Maybe it was a mistake on their part --.

HEWITT: You sat down with him a week ago. And he engaged you on Don Lemon ground, on Don Lemon authenticity and it was wonderful watching on television. What other candidate has said, Don, come to my office and spend 30 minutes with me and ask me anything you want. Has been anybody else extend that interview to you?

[23:25:10] LEMON: No, except for Donald Trump.

HEWITT: Case close.

LEMON: Stay with us, everyone, both of you. When we come back, we got a lot more to talk about as we count down to tomorrow night's big CNN GOP debate right here in Las Vegas.


[23:29:30] LEMON: Live pictures of the beautiful and frozen tundra of the Venetian hotel here in Las Vegas on the Las Vegas. Just kidding. It is cold, but it is not a frozen tundra. But it is pretty close.

Counting down tomorrow night's CNN's GOP debate. And back with me to talks about everything to do with tomorrow night and tonight, Hugh Hewitt and Kevin Madden. Gentlemen, it's good to have you here. We have been talking about

Trump and his Trumpisms (ph), just unscripted television. I'm not sure how many candidates could do that. Bill Clinton, probably, but maybe not with the finesse that Donald Trump has been doing it.

[23:30:04] MADDEN: No. And Hugh is right. I mean, this is not new to him. Having a command of the stage, having a command of the podium, playing off the audience in a way where, you know, in many ways, if you look at some of those folks that you talked about, all those figures, when they were in front of a crowd like that, every person in the crowd thought that Bill Clinton or Barack Obama or Ronald Reagan was talking directly to them. And in many ways, I think, that's the power you saw in that room tonight which is everybody thought that Trump was talking directly to them about.

HEWITT: You just mentioned Bill Clinton. And I recall his farewell address at Andrews which went on and on and on, he could not hold this audience even - and just went on it became - it could watch it any more. His 1988 convention address was unwatchable. I don't think I have seen someone do 16 minutes impromptu. I just don't think I have. And tweet me if I'm wrong, but I haven't seen it.

LEMON: It's been said that Bill Clinton would go off prompter and people would not know where -he would just carry it. I mean, he is an incredible speaker.

HEWITT: With 5,000 people, though? I'm just not remembering it.

LEMON: Let's talk about some of the polls. He mentioned all the polls. He said, you know, I'm doing great in the polls. We are doing really good. And he mentioned all the polls that came out, including the Monmouth poll where he is, this is a national poll, 41 percent. Ted Cruz is the only one close, it's 14 percent for Ted Cruz. But then, when he mentioned Cruz, the crowd booed. And Cruz thinks maybe he will --

MADDEN: Right. So that is telling about whether or not there's going to be a certain level of success at the end of Ted Cruz's strategy to bear hug --

LEMON: Right.

MADDEN: Donald Trump. So his thinking is that he wants to be there for when these voters put more of a premium on whether or not they want a traditional candidate that has a background as an elected official.


MADDEN: And it's still a vehicle for a lot of the anger that they have against the establishment. But at the heart, debates are about force ago choice for voters. And I think that's going to be very difficult if you said if the anecdotal evidence that some of the Trump supporters are booing Ted Cruz, that they may take some of that fighting that may take place tomorrow night the wrong way. LEMON: That is a national poll, but Iowa is a much different story.

Not a much different story, but it's a different story. Cruz is 31 percent. Trump is 21 percent. And he mentioned that. And then he also criticized the Des Moines Register, he said it's a horrible paper.

HEWITT: I will point that today in radio show and on Ron Brownstein. He said he has have the impact. Donald Trump has had the impact of making Ted Cruz main stream. This would have been thinkable six months ago that he is becoming an acceptable alternative for people who are afraid of Donald Trump.

And so I don't know, tomorrow night, one of the most interesting dynamics on the stage will be does this bear hug continue or does senator Cruz, who is a very skilled debater, you don't get Supreme Court nine times by accident, does he find a shot to grab and do the end scene from gladiator which is a bear hug but that in other way expected?

LEMON: But Hugh, what did you ever hear of a candidate mainstream candidate and I would say it is mainstream, criticize the Des Moines Register, people use it - they need that paper, right?

MADDEN: Yes. And look, and it's a very respected poll. It's a very respected paper. But I think what's more important to Donald Trump is that he sends the message to Iowa voters that it's us against the media. Not Donald Trump against the media, that it's you and me, the voters against it. He did it a couple of times. He said by the way, it's not me, it's us.

HEWITT: And think how many people in Iowa hate the Des Moines Register. It's like in northeastern Ohio, growing up, the "Cleveland Plain Dealer" was a terrible. And John Kasich, when he was endorsed by the Cleveland Plain Dealer said it is perfect. God exists and it is a miracle. So the Des Moines Register is not really a dangerous thing to attack if you're looking for Republican voters.

LEMON: But did he set himself up tonight by saying, hey, listen. By the way, we are doing well in Iowa and we are going to win in Iowa.

HEWITT: And in New Hampshire big.

LEMON: And in New Hampshire big.

HEWITT: So if Kevin said not really managing the expectations game, but he doesn't care.

MADDEN: And he's never done that before. The conventional thing to do was to manage expectations. And we have seen it. I have done it before when I worked on campaigns, making sure I lower man's expectation so we can over performed. And Donald Trump, it does the exact opposite. That's why people see him as unconventional, not a typical politician and that's why they have gravitated to him.

LEMON: All right. So let's go in tomorrow night. What is his strategy? Is it everyone versus Donald Trump or is it Donald Trump- Ted Cruz versus everyone else?

MADDEN: I actually think it's more likely that it's going to be everybody against Ted Cruz. When all these other campaigns look at putting together their strategy for a debate like this, they'll look at the trend line in the polls. So who is going up and are they a threat?

I think many of these campaigns will take a look at Cruz as their best chance to start to draw contrast that are favorable to their campaign.

LEMON: Hugh, you are a panelist tomorrow. And I asked Anderson as he moderated the last debate. What do you want to hear the candidates answer?

[23:35:03] HEWITT: I want to hear their authentic answers to the questions that are posed. I do not want to hear talking points. So there is a lot of work going into the questions set. But here is -- it's the Christmas dinner debate. By that I mean, they are going to be talking about this Christmas dinner and everybody wants to be the most viral person not named Trump.

And so, I think the other ten and the undercard are going to try and become the alternative to Donald Trump for the party to rally.

LEMON: I think authenticity is more important in this election than anyone talk and getting people off their talking points. You got to get off their talking points. And you have to do --

HEWITT: Answer the question.

LEMON: You have got to answer the question during a debate. You got to do what Donald Trump is doing now and that is reaching the people authentically.

Thank you, gentlemen.

Coming up, the rise of Ted Cruz. Is he Trump's toughest challenger so far? And will they go head to head tomorrow night? Kevin says it's going to be everyone else versus Ted Cruz. We will see in tomorrow night's debate. We'll be right back.


[23:39:25] LEMON: We are back now live from Las Vegas. There's a beautiful Venetian hotel here. Donald Trump and casino, Donald Trump heads into tomorrow night's debate with a stunning lead in the national poll. Is the GOP afraid of him?

Let's discuss with Kayleigh McEnany, editor of "Political Prospect." Also with me is Amanda Carpenter, the former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz. He is going next (INAUDIBLE) on this. And Mr. Bob Beckel, author of "I should be dead, my life surviving politics, TV and addiction."

So Bob --


LEMON: Before we get to these polls, I know you have a lot to say. You were sitting here listening to Hugh and Kevin and me. I am strictly talking about performance. I'm not talking about policy or anything like that. It's amazing just to watch.

[23:40:05] BECKEL: Yes. No, it's amazing to watch, you're right. But let's take a look at what the reality of it is. By the way, are you wearing gloves, too? I was just curious?

LEMON: Mind your business, Bob.

BECKEL: OK. I will. The problem that Trump has, he may make a great speech and he may get all these people riled up. But here is the reality. There isn't enough angry white men and their wives to get this guy over the top, one. Two, if you don't know you have ever seen Hispanic turnout before, they are going to turn out in droves to beat him and women, as well.

Look. Every time he takes off "the Des Moines Register," "Des Moines Register," I've been out there six times. It's an incredibly powerful newspaper. And then he took on ethanol. And he took -- you remember that debate out there about people eating too many chemicals and their lost? Plus the fact I was out in Iowa. I can't find Trump organizers.

LEMON: What do you think of that, Kayleigh? Do you agree with him?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, EDITOR, POLITICAL PROSPECT: No. Bob, I have to dispute what you said that all angry white men are his voting base. I don't think so. Look at Monmouth poll, 41 percent are supporting Trump. I hardly think that that 41 percent is all white male. Donald Trump is being supported by this party because he is prevailing strength at a crucial time when there are 14 dead Americans at the hands of a radical ideology. That Trump is speaking directly to people are scared. Trump is speaking to that. And he commanding a lot of attention for that.

LEMON: Amanda, when you look at this poll, 41 percent and it is nearest rival is Ted Cruz at 14 percent. That's a 27 percent lead. What do you think establishment Republicans are thinking right now?

AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR SEN. TED CRUZ: I think they are thinking that Ted Cruz looks like an awfully good alternative to Donald Trump. You know, I don't buy that poll, 27 points is a gigantic amount.

LEMON: Why don't you buy it?

CARPENTER: It's too much. But if you look at the polls comprehensively, Donald Trump is still in the lead. Ted Cruz, Rubio, surging. Carson following, Jeb Bush, nowhere to be seen. And no governors anywhere around anymore, which is quite amazing.

But why I think Donald Trump continues to lead in the national polls, not so much in the state polls like the Iowa one, is that he is so reactive to current events. He always stays in the headlines because he always has something bold and big to say. And that is such a contrast to what we have seen from the Obama administration where they are so reluctant to address the problems head on and propose a bold solution. So while people may not agree with the solution that Donald Trump proposes, they appreciate that he's out there reacting.

BECKEL: Hey, Kayleigh, can you tell me one solution he's proposed?

LEMON: Well, one of the things he said, Bob, is that he wants to keep Muslims out of the country --

BECKEL: That is a great proposal.

LEMON: Let me get it out. Fifty-nine percent of Republicans, that is according to a new ABC/"Washington Post" poll. But when all registered voters are asked, 60 percent say it's a bad idea. So if he gets the nomination, I'm wondering if he's setting the GOP up for failure in any way.

BECKEL: Well, he is setting himself up for failure. I mean, that's one of the problem.

LEMON: How so, Bob?

BECKEL: Well, how so? Because he is alienated enough people. And by the way, show me a poll that shows has having any support among Hispanics or blacks then I'll buy into this notion he has got a broader base. But listen, he is a very good topic (ph). He is a great entertainer. But what he is doing every day is adding another little bit to what his problem is, which is that the guy simply can't shut up and get serious. And he's great. He is a laugh man. I mean, and he does it very well. I don't take that away from him. But the question is --


BECKEL: You ask does he have a solution and he says no.

LEMON: Go ahead, Kayleigh.

MCENANY: He proposed a solution just this week, you know. Whether you like it or not, not all Muslims are jihadists, but all jihadists are Muslims. So by banning Muslims, whether that's a solution or banning folks temporarily until we fix the problem from Muslim countries which by the way is something Japan does and something Israel does, that is not a racist statement. That is a temporary solution to what is a very real problem. There is a solution. He has many others, bombing ISIS more extensively. There are there. But what we need is executive capacity and that is what Trump has shown time and time again.


BECKEL: Well, let me ask you a question. You know, he said tonight that Mexico is going to become the car center of the world. What's he going to do about it? Is he going to tell Mexico that capitalism doesn't work? That they got to tell the auto industry they can't go there and get lower price later?

MCENANY: He's going to impose a tariff on cars being imported from Mexico.

BECKEL: Is he going to terrify? This is not smooth holly we're in here now.

LEMON: Go ahead, Amanda.

CARPENTER: Well, in terms of the Republican primary debate that's happening tomorrow, one of the things you see happening is Donald Trump is adopting left wing talking points, left wing proposals to try to beat his Republican opponents, especially when he attacks Ted Cruz, h found out the fact that Donald Trump thinks that Cruz's opposition to ethanol subsidy Iowa is a bad thing. Well, if you follow the conservative movement at all for the past two, five, ten years, they had been adamantly opposed to ethanol subsidies. And so, Donald Trump is so out of step with the conservative movement, he may be with populist sector of the Republican Party, but it is not the conservative network.

[23:45:07] LEMON: And yet he is leading in the GOP debate -- stick with me, Bob. Stay with me. Hold your thoughts.

Americans are looking for a candidate who can keep them safe. Who is best qualified to answer that 3:00 a.m. phone call? Remember that? We'll talk about that, coming up.


[23:49:19] LEMON: Back now live on the Las Vegas strip. Less than 24 hours away from the big CNN GOP debate happening at the Venetian. Americans are looking for a presidential candidate who can keep them safe and the Republican rivals will face some tough questions tomorrow night on national security.

So back with me now to discuss, Kayleigh McEnany, Amanda Carpenter and Bob Beckel.

So, let's talk about after Paris, San Bernardino, this is to you, Amanda. After that, this is going to be the first debate, right. This one is on national security. So which candidate do you think has the national security experience to shine tomorrow?

CARPENTER: Well, I mean, there is certainly a number of candidates. We have Ted Cruz who has worked on these issues. Marco Rubio has been very thoughtful on these issues. Chris Christie has worked on these issues, as well. So there is certainly a lot of talent. People with a lot of experience to show. I'm more interested in the fights that are going to happen on national security, particularly between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

Marco Rubio definitely wants to have a conversation with Ted Cruz over the use of surveillance. He has been blanketing the air waves in Iowa, attacking Ted Cruz for supporting U.S. and freedom act which roll back some of the NSA's ability - all Americans. And so, Marco Rubio said, Ted, that makes you look weak on national security. And so, Ted Cruz says, well, I believe in privacy and the fourth amendment and the fact that Americans have constitutional right to not be spied on in this way.

And so, this is a very real debate that's been happening in the Republican Party for a long time. I would love to see it flush out in the main stage because it kind of gets back to the constitutional groups where the tea party started. And all these concerns we have of mass data collection by the government.

[23:51:03] LEMON: But then you still have people, you know, like Donald Trump saying, hey, listen, you know, we should maybe shut down the internet in some ways. At least people should be surveilled, Bob Beckel. And so, there is going to be an interesting fight over security, I think, and probably not just among Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, but for a number of candidates occupy that stage.

BECKEL: Yes. Well, you know, it's an interesting thing. I think you're exactly right. The patriot act is going to become a point for debate.

But here is the question you got to ask yourself. Do we try to attack Trump which is proved not to be very successful or do we go after Cruz? Let's keep something in mind. There is going to be three people that are going to survive Iowa. The rest of them will hang on for a while, but their money will dry out.

I came out of Iowa where the candidate with 50 percent of the vote with nine other candidates. The second place got guy 15 percent. He got the momentum and went on to win New Hampshire.

Donald Trump now is going to have to face not just the press core, he has got to face voters. And the question is what if he loses to Cruz in Iowa and it gets close in New Hampshire? What happens then? I mean, see? There is a lot of things. Momentum shifts in presidential politics are dramatic. They happen because voters go to the polls. They cast their votes. And all the commentators and everybody else has to sit back and watch.

So I'll tell you, it's a tough call. I would be careful about taking on Cruz. On the other hand, if you want to be in third place in Iowa, then you are going to have to figure out a way to work yourself into that debate.

LEMON: All right, everybody, stand by.

CNN's Sara Murray is with me now. She is with the Trump campaign here in Vegas. She is at the event tonight.

So Sara, take us through it. I mean, he was very critical of a lot of things. He had great support from the crowd. What happened?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Look, I think what you saw here tonight was Donald Trump wanting to make sure that this crowd knows he's tough on national security issues, but also what's notable is he didn't go after Ted Cruz. He called him a good guy. He talked a lot about the polls as we have come to expect, pointing to this Monmouth University poll and saying he is far away from him nationwide. And maybe that's why he didn't feel the need to go after Cruz tonight.

That said, you can see that Trump is readying for this CNN debate tomorrow. He said he fully expect everyone to come after him. So we will have to see if that, does, in fact, play out on the stage tomorrow - Don.

LEMON: All right. Sara Murray, thank you very much.

I want to bring Kayleigh. And Kayleigh, as you're looking, you see Donald Trump there on the stage where Sara is, you know, I guess signing autographs, doing the meet and greet. The other candidates are not out and they're not speaking. Good strategy for him?

MCENANY: Great strategy. And that's what Donald Trump has done. He has really been a man of the people. And what's so interesting, really, if you juxtapose the twitter feeds of Ben Carson and Donald Trump versus some of the other candidates, these are guys who retweet people. These are guys to who talk directly to their followers. And that to me is emblematic of Trump in general.

Trump speaks to people. He is out the night before the debate, you know, this is what he does. He is a man of the people. And I would argue Ted Cruz is too. But those three guys are unique in this field. And that's what they have really done. They have reached in to the hearts of the American people. And I think it's proven to be a successful strategy.

LEMON: Bob, some people are critical saying, you know, he got so much coverage. He has 16 minutes at the top of the show, you know, just an over rated Donald Trump. But where are the other candidates? Where is --?

BECKEL: Well, you know, they can't do what Trump does. I mean, Trump is unique that way. But I'll tell you, I want somebody to explain to me, has anybody noticed that Ben Carson has gone in the tank? This guy is out barely going to get out of Iowa, I think. Remember, he was ahead in Iowa for a while. And all of the sudden his poll numbers --.

LEMON: So let's stop. What happened?

BECKEL: Well, I'll tell you what happens. I think people finally caught on to the idea the guy didn't know what he's talking about.


BECKEL: But when he tried to deal with foreign policy, he went to a refugee camp in the Middle East and came out and made a couple statements that were just really off the wall. He is just not ready to be president.

MCENANY: But, bob, there's no problem with his knowledge. We're talking about a world renowned neurosurgeon. He is a very smart man. The problem with Ben Carson is his demeanor. He has a very soft spoken tone. He speaks to you like a doctor would speak to a patient and that type of demeanor doesn't --

[23:55:06] LEMON: But people say he was the anti-Trump and that was part of the reason for his popularity is that Trump was so bombastic but you don't think foreign policy may have been --

MCENANY: Paris happened, yes.

CARPENTER: There were things happening to Ben Carson before Paris happened. He was coming under intense media scrutiny for his life story. He said that he was going to produce people who were who could verify the stabbing attacks. There were other things he promised to come such as evidence of China and Syria, I believe, and that amounted to a Facebook photo. I think he melted under the heat of the spotlight and then Paris happened, and he gently went into the night.

BECKEL: You know, that's a very good point.


LEMON: Listen, Bob, I have to run. But what's interesting is that the Trump supporters, it doesn't seem to matter whether he is telling the truth or not. Let's just be honest, they don't care. They think he's bringing issues to the floor that's important. But they do care when it's another candidate. It's Ben Carson or someone else. People really do care. And that is the difference here.

BECKEL: A lot of strategy tomorrow night.

LEMON: Yes. And we'll be right back, everyone.


[23:59:55] LEMON: I tell you what. We could not have a more beautiful venue for tomorrow night. Look at that, the theater, the Venetian. Gorgeous! Gorgeous room. We are all set for tomorrow night. Have someone watch right into.

So that is it for us tonight. I'm going to see you right back here from Las Vegas in the CNN Republican debate.