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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Donald Trump Rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan; President Obama Called Out Republican Front-Runner Donald Trump by Name; Interview with Sam Clovis; Authorities: Woman Who Slammed Her Car Into Group of Pedestrians on Vegas Strip Did It Deliberately. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired December 21, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:03] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Good evening, I'm John Berman in for Anderson.
And we begin with breaking news. The escalating war of words between the Republican and Democratic front-runners. That is Donald Trump speaking right now at an event in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Let's listen.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Think of this. The person that spent the least by far is Donald Trump and I'm in first place by a lot. Isn't that great? The person that spent the least is Trump. The person that spent the most is Jeb Bush. $55 million and he is down in the bottom of the barrel practically.
Now, wouldn't it be nice if we could do that for our country, spend the least and get the best production? Now, I'm going to be spending a lot. I thought, again, I'm spending my own money. I'm the only oneself funding, but listen to this. I thought I would be at about $35 million to this point. You know, I'm prepared for it. I don't care. Whatever it cost. I mean, what - look, if I see I'm doing poorly, I'm doing poorly. But, you know, we all know that I'm doing well. But I expected by this time, by like January to be up to about $35 million in expenditures for ads, mostly for advertising, right? And I spent nothing. No, because these -
TRUMP: No. I spent nothing. I spend nothing. To be honest, I spent I think $212,000 and that was only because I like the people. The people in Iowa are great. Some of those radio stations, you know, they have been nice. I put some ads on the radio stations in Iowa but I spent $200,000. They spent 30, 40, 50, 25, $28 million. The money they spent and they have no control over it. And, you know, these pacts, the money is all being stolen from inside because the consultants are like blood suckers, ten times worse than a real else state salesman or broker, ten times, which is saying pretty bad stuff. So just think of it. So we have a case where I'm going to have $35 million spent. I'm $35 million under budget. Is that good? Wouldn't that be nice?
BERMAN: You hear Donald Trump there talking about how much money he has spent or not spent in this campaign so far. You also heard him talking about Jeb Bush and how much money Jeb Bush has spent in this campaign so far to no avail. This comes only after he had some critical words for Lindsey Graham who just dropped out of the race today.
But most of all tonight, Donald Trump has been talking about Hillary Clinton, the democratic front-runner. Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton needs to apologize for comments she made in the democratic debate that was Saturday night on ABC where Hillary Clinton said that ISIS is showing videos of Donald Trump right now to recruit people to its ranks. Let's listen what Donald Trump had to say about that tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: She's terrible. Donald Trump is on video and ISIS is using him on the video to recruit. And it turned out to be a lie. She's a liar. No, it turned out to be a lie. Turned out to be a lie. And the last person that she wants to run against is me, believe me. Believe me.
You know, I was just with somebody from ABC. I won't mention and he said, the Hillary camp said they would love to run against Trump. Of course, that's what they want to say. I mean, it's going to be -- ask Jeb Bush if he enjoys running against Trump. Seriously, ask him. In all fairness, ask Lindsey Graham. Did he enjoy running against Trump? Ask Perry, Governor Perry. Nice guys, all nice guys, ask Bobby Jindal, he's back in Louisiana, which is a great state, by the way. And they don't like him very much anymore over there. Ask all of these guys that have gone out, do they enjoy running against Trump? They don't enjoy it. They don't enjoy it. I enjoy it. They don't enjoy it.
I mean, people said that Jeb Bush, you know, he is low energy. People have said that if I didn't run, the thing would have been over already. He would have had it. Why? For what reason? I mean, I don't know why. But they say he would have had it. He is gone so. He is gone down to two percent and you saw they gave him during the debate a couple sound bites. He goes like this. You can see it right here. Memorize. Mr. Trump, I mean, Donald, and I said Jeb, I've got 42. You have got two. We started off I was here and you were here, always in the center and now you're way down there and the next time you won't even be on the stage.
Look. I love running against Hillary. I love running against. Got to get beaten, but I haven't started with Hillary yet. What happened to her? I'm watching the debate and she disappeared. Where did she go? Where did she go? I thought she quit. I thought she gave up. Where did she go? Where did Hillary go? They had to start the debate without her, phase two.
I know where she went. It's disgusting. I don't want to talk about it. It's too disgusting. Don't say it. It's disgusting. We want to be very, very straight up. OK? But I thought -- wasn't that a weird deal. We're ready to start, looking. They gave her every benefit of the doubt because, you know, it's ABC and she practically owns ABC. She really does. I mean, George Stephanapoulos interviewed me. It was terrible. It
was like - it was one of the great interviews. Did anybody see that interview? But, you know, he's a big Hillary fan. Tonight, I was interviewed by another Hillary fan on ABC. He's all right. He's OK. Relax. Relax. Relax. Take it easy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[20:06:26] BERMAN: All right. Donald Trump speaking in Grand Rapids, Michigan right now. You heard him right there going after Jeb Bush. But mostly tonight, Hillary Clinton for those comments she made at the debate Saturday night saying that ISIS is showing videos of Donald Trump right now to use in recruitment. Donald Trump called her a liar, fact checks in fact found out that no such video exists as far as we know. So Donald Trump on the facts tonight is right.
Joining me now, Jeffrey Lord, a Trump supporter and former director and David Brock, founder of Correct the Record, super PAC designed to counter attacks against Hillary Clinton. He is also the founder of mediamatters.org.
So attacks against Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump made a few of them tonight but on at least one, isn't he right? There is no video that we know of of ISIS showing Donald Trump to recruit people right now, is there?
DAVID BROCK, FOUNDER, CORRECT THE RECORD: I don't think Donald Trump is right. I think he is wrong. We know a few things that we can agree on. One, national security counterterrorism experts across the spectrum right and left say that Donald Trump's words are being used as a recruitment tool for ISIS. I could give you a list longer than my arm of tweets, blog posts by ISIS fighters using Trump's words to insight. And so, I think what he's done here is turn the story around. But the real story here is what he's doing is really serious. It's really dangerous and it has the potential, God forbid if we get hurt again that he has the blood of his fellow Americans on hands.
BERMAN: I heard many analysts say that Donald Trump's words could be used for ISIS to recruit. I have heard many analysts say that Donald Trump's words are inflammatory in the type of thing I sustained could use. I have not seen a single video that ISIS had used to recruit using Donald Trump. Do you have such a video? Can you produce such a video?
BROCK: I can show you the social video.
BERMAN: So there is not a video?
BROCK: Not that I know of there is no video, no. But there is a lot of video out there all of Al Jazeera, over CNN Arabic that can certainly be used to insight and that's really the story here. The story isn't what Donald Trump wants the story to be.
BERMAN: Jeffrey, are the satisfied with David's explanation here?
JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: No, I think it's appalling. I mean, what David is uttering, first of all, Hillary Clinton has a long, long history of this. I mean, just most recently we learned about Benghazi and she's telling Chelsea one story and she is telling the American people another. She just flatly told the American people an untruth. And we get into the -mail situation where she said there was no classified information involved. And we find there was classified information involved.
I mean, this is what she does. I mean, there is a reason for that Quinnipiac poll from August where people free associated with a word, you know, of their own to describe her and the number one choice was liar. I mean, this is a serious problem with her. This has been a serious problem in the state department. She had a clean state in the state department. And yet here we are again with all of these kind of problems that, you know, that deal with truth telling.
LORD: So to imagine her in the White House, this is a big problem.
BERMAN: Jeffrey, I think political fact may have gave Donald Trump the lie of the year for the thing he said. Now, two lies do not make a truth. So, you know, I don't want to play the game of moral equivalent of lies here, but right. Donald Trump, did he not say people were dancing on rooftops in New Jersey? Thousands of them in such video. Doesn't exist there.
LORD: Well, you know, I just saw right before I came on I saw a story on NewJersey.com that said there were people doing this, dozens they said, not thousands, they said dozens. So if he exaggerates that's one thing. But he does not have a reputation as a serial liar.
BERMAN: But Jeffrey, you have given a lot of political advice in your day. You know Donald Trump doesn't apologize for twisting the truth here. What would be your advice to Hillary Clinton? I would certainly be -- the Trump way to handle this would not be to apologize, correct?
[20:10:09] LORD: She never apologizes, I so I don't think we have to worry. I mean, I don't shrink she's apologized to Monica Liewinsky yet for the things she said about her or the blue dress or any of those kind things from the past. She has apologized for nothing, so.
LORD: You know, but the American -- when you see a poll like that where the American people are volunteering the description, I mean, she has Richard Nixon beat hands down in this category.
BERMAN: David, you want to get on here.
BROCK: Sure. Well, first of all that poll is a bad poll weighted toward Republicans. Democrats trust Hillary Clinton. And Americans trust Hillary Clinton and we saw it in the debate Saturday night to be the strong leader. She's the only one in the field that could be commander in-clef. And Donald Trump by what he's doing here with the hateful Islamaphobic rhetoric that is clearly fermenting and sighting disqualifies himself to be commander in-chief.
BERMAN: All right, David, Jeffrey, stand by. We're going to listen to a little more of Donald Trump, what he's saying. He is talking about Hillary Clinton again. We will bring that to you right after the break. There is a lot more to discuss on this issue on Donald Trump on the stump tonight, on Trump versus Clinton.
Also ahead, President Obama against Donald Trump. What the president now says about the billionaire trying to exploit the fears of the working class and what the Trump campaign has to say about the president's criticism.
[20:14:56] BERMAN: Tonight's breaking news, Republican front runner Donald Trump slamming Hillary Clinton at a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan pouring more fuel on an escalating fire, this war of words between the two. This is what he said a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[20:15:09] TRUMP: Everything that has been involve in Hillary has been losses. You take a look, everyone a race to Obama, she was going to beat Obama. I don't know who would be worse. I don't know. How does it get worse? But she was going to beat. She was (INAUDIBLE) and she got slung. She lost. I mean, she lost. But I watched her the other night. It was hard. It was really hard because there are a lot of things (INAUDIBLE). It is like reading books and reading financial papers which I actually enjoy reading. But I watched her the other night and I said this is not a president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right. This war of words began the two began Saturday night during the Democratic debate hosted by ABC News. Watch what Mrs. Clinton said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We also need to make sure that the really discriminatory messages that Trump is sending around the world don't fall on receptive ears. He is becoming ISIS' best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Earlier today, Secretary Clinton's campaign, in no uncertain terms she would not be issuing any apologies to Donald Trump. Hell no is the exact quote.
Joining me again, Jeffrey Lord and David Brock. Jeffrey, let me start with you. You guys have already argued about
the claims that have video or not, but you disagree. You will break no new ground there. But are you both willing to agree that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are each other's best friends on the campaign trail right now? I mean, look. Hillary Clinton props up Donald Trump by accusing him and Donald Trump props up Hillary Clinton by accusing her.
LORD: Good point, John. You know, ideally what you look for in a campaign are differences so that you got somebody on one side or somebody on the other and the differences are very clear. I think that's what is happening here and the process of happening and they would be a terrific match in the campaign. They are very distinctly different people. They have two diametrically opposed views of the world. There is a choice and that's what the American people like to have.
BERMAN: There is this conspiracy theory out there, David, which is that Hillary Clinton wants to run against Donald Trump. If she had her choice, Donald Trump would be her opponent in the election assuming she gets the Democratic nomination. Is that true?
BROCK: You know, I think you can never pick your opponent. And I think if you look at the entire Republican field, it's not just Donald Trump on issue after issue from immigration to women's right to choose. Hillary is going to beat the entire field.
BERMAN: That was a much more carefully -- the words you chose much more careful I think than I'm used to from you. It sounds like you are trying to be diplomatic. Do you not agree that by attacking Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton is actually helping Donald Trump?
BROCK: I don't agree with that. Look, there is no helping Donald Trump. There's no giving Donald Trump more attention. There is no more elevating Donald Trump. He is what he is. The media pays attention to him. He has supporters, fine. So no, I don't think she's playing that game.
This is not - so here is the Republican front-runner. So it does put in a partisan context. However, this is an issue of national security where someone is out there in a potentially nominee of a party who is basically helping people who want to kill us. That's what Hillary Clinton's message was. And I think it was about time that someone called him out effectively and she has the guts to do it.
BERMAN: Hillary Clinton is making the same old -- go ahead, Jeffrey.
LORD: Well, one thing, I mean, I think she is making -- the FEC will probably come after her for making an unkind contribution to the Trump campaign with all this. But, you know, what David is describing here is basically the short skirt theory of international politics. As we all know, this disgusting business that if a woman is raped when she was wearing a short skirt, somehow it was her fault. The idea that ISIS is the fault of Donald Trump or any American I might add, is disgraceful. These are people who are going to do what they are going to do. They don't care -- BERMAN: Hang on. Finish your point. Jeffrey, finish your point.
LORD: These people do not care. This is evil and they are going to do what they are going to do.
BROCK: On national television, Donald Trump was asked yesterday let's suppose that this is going to happen. Let's say maybe it's not happening now, if it could happen. He said he would do the same thing, he would say the same thing, he would act the same way. Why take that risk with American security? Unless you are reckless.
BERMAN: And Jeffrey, it's not just by the way Hillary Clinton. Look, if you watch the Republican debate Saturday night, this point was made by other candidates that Donald Trump, you know, is posing a risk to national security with these comments.
LORD: Right. Well, you know, I mean, I think they were wrong. I listened to these people, I listened to President Obama say that he had to close Gitmo because Guantanamo Bay because this was an incitement. Well, Guantanamo Bay, other than being an American military base had no Muslims, had nothing to do with it on 9/11. And yet, we were attacked anyway. These things are going to happen anyway. They don't need to be incite it.
[20:20:14] BERMAN: I want to ask you quickly bot these question because the fact that has become an issue on both sides of this campaign. David, I will put it to you guys are both political strategists here and it's about winning mostly. It is about winning the race more importantly. Are facts as important as winning?
BROCK: Sure, they are. In the culture where it does seem facts are not as important as they maybe once were.
BERMAN: Because it seems as if candidates are saying --
BROCK: Fact checking on all sides now. I think that's very healthy. And at the end of the day, what this little incident showed is that Donald Trump was able to create a story about a video. I don't care if it's a video or tweet. They are using his words to recruit. That's the fact. That's the fact that Hillary Clinton said and that's him.
LORD: That's bizarre.
BERMAN: But Jeffrey, on your side, too, your side, too, is winning, and you know, is beginning, Donald Trump brags about starting this discussion about things that the thousands of people dancing on the street, is winning more important than the facts?
LORD: No, the facts are important as I guess was senator Moynihan said or someone said you can have your own opinion but you have to go for the same set of facts. That is important. There is no question about it. And you know, I agree. I mean, sometimes candidates of all stripes massage a little bit here and there. But, you know, I mean, they are all human beings and they are out there to do this. However, facts are important, yes, indeed.
BERMAN: Jeffrey Lord, David Brock, protector of facts. Gentlemen, thank you so much for being with us tonight. I really appreciate it.
BERMAN: Coming up, President Obama blasting Donald Trump. What he had to say about the Republican front-runner who wants his job and what the Trump campaign has to say about this criticism.
[20:25:15] BERMAN: In his last interview before taking his holiday break, President Obama called out Republican front-runner Donald Trump by name. The president accused the billionaire of exploiting the fears of working class men. The president's criticism came in an interview with NPR.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Blue collar men have had a lot of trouble in this new economy where they are no longer getting the same bargain they got when they were going to factory and able to support their families on a single paycheck. You combine those things and it means that there is going to be potential anger, frustration, fear. Some of it justified but just misdirected. And, you know, I think somebody like Mr. Trump is taking advantage of that. I mean, that's what he's exploiting during the course of his campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Joining me now is Sam Clovis, the co-chairman and policy advisor to the Trump national campaign and CNN political commentator Van Jones, former senior official in the Obama White House.
So Sam, what do you make of those comments there from President Obama that Donald Trump is exploiting the fears of working class men who have been suffering?
SAM CLOVIS, CO-CHAIRMAN, TRUMP NATIONAL CAMPAIGN: Well, I think it's a strong word, exploiting is a strong word. I think that one of the things that we're really focused on is that we're really, we just had a technical glitch. I'm right back with you. But I think to answer the question here, I think I'm more concerned about the characterization of the voter that's attracted to this particular cycle as we go through this right now. I think if you go to our rallies, you see an incredible amount of people turn out. And I think what this is really about is not about the president. I mean, certainly we can argue that policies and the anger there. But I think it's the lack of leadership that we have had in Washington for quite some time and it's not just the president. I think it's the president's administration but it's also the Republican Party. We have had a lack of leadership in the Republican Party in the last budget deal goes right to the heart of the issues that we have been talking about. Many of the candidates have been talking about on the campaign trail. And I think it highlights exactly the reason that so many people are angry and disgusted and so disenfranchised with Washington.
BERMAN: You know, Van, the word exploit may be inflammatory but what is wrong with addressing the concerns of working class men? I mean, this is a group that has had problems over the last several decades in this country.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, absolutely but I think that he is on to something. The president is trying to explain something. For instance, if you look at 2012, Mitt Romney ran for office saying listen, Obama is terrible. Let me be president. I'll get unemployment below six percent. It's now five percent.
My good friend Newt Gingrich said Obama is terrible, if you let me be president I'll get gas below $3. They are now $2. If you look at the things that Republican said that they were upset about, Obama had done did better than they promised to do in 2012 and yet they are still angry. They are still upset. They are still frustrated because there is this underlying, I think, economic insecurity which is hitting all working people very hard and these demographic shifts that make people very uncomfortable.
So when Donald Trump comes on the scene and says hey, Obama is terrible. I'm going to make America great. I'm not going to be politically correct and then he turns and he attacks Mexicans. I'm not going to be politically correct. He turns and attacks Muslims.
Whenever he says I'm not going to be politically correct, he attacks some demographic mostly racial minority group and I think that's very disturbing. The president is trying to figure out why does this work all the time with this particular group of people.
BERMAN: Hey guys, Donald Trump is speaking right now in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has been going on for about 30, 40 minutes at this point and been talking about all the Republican candidates he's running against. Also talking about Hillary Clinton.
And Sam, I want to play you a moment when he was describing the Democratic debate Saturday night. And if you watch it, you know that there was a moment they came back from commercial and Hillary Clinton was not there because she was in the bathroom and it took her a long time to get back from the bathroom. Listen to how Donald Trump described it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I'm watching the debate and she disappeared. Where did she go? Where did she go? I thought she quit. I thought she gave up. Where did she go? Where did Hillary go? They had to start the debate without her, phase two. I know where she went. It's disgusting. I don't want to talk about it. No, it's too disgusting. Don't say it. It is disgusting. Let's not --. We want to be very, very straight up, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP) [20:30:00] BERMAN: Sam, you know, we know where she was. She was in the bathroom. And we also know Donald Trump has some problems in some places with women voters. He doesn't do as well. So, what is going on here? Why is he saying it is disgusting?
CLOVIS: Well, I'm really interested, John, and I was struck by the pre-interview tonight, and all of this we are going to be talking about, something the president said. And he said, she said, we're not talking about policy, we're not talking about, you know, the failed policies over the last seven years with this, the fact that our debts increased dramatically and that we're over 100 percent debt to GDP ration ...
BERMAN: No, no.
CLOVIS: John, I'm just asking you, I mean --
BERMAN: We just asked for two things, first of all, we did that. We asked about the president's comments and what he said about working class voters - and your candidate is speaking, and you worked for him, and I'm just asking to address that.
BERMAN: We are not here to discuss policy, I am struck by that and I think that our time is more valuable than that and if this is what you want to discuss, then you need to be going on TMZ, not on ""AC 360." I'm sorry. I don't think this is an appropriate discussion. We are here to talk, - If you want to talk about policies and we want and Mr. Jones is blessed in this area. He is extremely competent and well versed in all of these issues. Why are we not talking about that rather than talking about a stump speech where somebody is out there doing something and this has been going -- we have made these speech -- he's made these speeches for months and now we're going to bring it up here just a couple of days before Christmas. I'm really disappointed.
BERMAN: We talked about the president's comments. We can go talk about them again. I was playing you a soundbite of the candidate you work for tonight and you brought up the word appropriate, Sam, which is an interesting choice of words because I was asking about the appropriateness of calling a bathroom break disgusting. That's all. We can go back to talking about the president in a moment, but I want you to address that, if you will.
CLOVIS: Well, the fact of the matter is, I don't want to know. I didn't even know it was a bathroom break until I was reading today on the news wires that it was a bathroom break. I had no idea where she was and I didn't care. That's the thing. I didn't care where she was. She just wasn't back out on the stage. I don't think it was handled very well, and the fact of the matter is it raised an issue that didn't have to be -- didn't have to occur. The moderator to that debate could have been there and they could have covered for her and whether she had to wait or go farther and in fact, I saw an excellent explanation, she had to go twice as far as the men did to find a restroom and I get all that. But this is - Why are we even talking about that? BERMAN: I was asking you what your candidate was saying on the stump tonight when he called that disgusting. Van, do you choose to weigh in before we move on?
JONES: No, sir, I don't have anything to say about the restroom break.
CLOVIS: Yeah, me, either.
BERMAN: Thank you very much. All right, Sam. Let's play a moment again of the president where the president talked a little bit more about what Donald Trump is appealing to right now, the fears that exist, let's listen to the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: If you're referring to specific strains in the Republican Party that of - suggests that somehow I'm different, I'm Muslim, I'm disloyal to the country, et cetera, you know, which unfortunately, is pretty far out there and gets some traction in certain pockets of the Republican Party and that have been articulated by some of their elected officials, what I'd say there is that that's probably pretty specific to me and who I am, and my background and that in some ways I may represent change that worries them.
BERMAN: So, Van, you heard the president right there. Those criticisms very specific to him, to the president and change that he represents.
JONES: Yeah. You know, I think he's increasingly as he gets near the end still trying to wrestle with this question of race and how he may or may not be received by some parts of the American public. And I think he was trying to talk about that then. I also think it's important to note, in that same interview, though, he says, you know, kids who shut down opponents of affirmative action on campuses are wrong. He's trying to as he has his whole career, he's trying to find a pathway through this difficult discussion of race. He talked about it there. I don't think you can divorce his race from Donald Trump because Donald Trump did come out as a big birther and said all those things that he was and I don't think he would do that against a president who was a white president, but I think this was a very, very tough interview for the president. He is still trying to come to terms with how he may be perceived or received by some parts of the country because of his race.
BERMAN: Sam, your thoughts?
CLOVIS: I agree with Van. I think he's absolutely spot on, and I didn't have any issues at all with what he had to say.
[20:35:04] I think that he's identified certainly things that are out there. All you have to do is look at social media. There are some people that in this country are very disgusting and hateful and a lot of the things that they talk about, I mean, it's not the way I was raised. It's not the way we're out here to do this and I do think - I don't have anything to say. I thought that the president was showing incredible candor in that particular part of the interview. I don't have any issue with what he had to say at all.
BERMAN: All right, Sam Clovis, Van Jones, thank you both so much for being with us. A spirited discussion this evening.
Up next, a murder charge today for the young woman who police say intentionally aimed her car at pedestrians on the Las Vegas strip. Was this terrorism?
BERMAN: Authorities in Las Vegas say it was an intentional act. They say a 24-year-old woman using her car as a deadly weapon repeatedly slammed into people on the sidewalk last night. One person was killed and more than three dozen others injured and the driver not alone in the car. Her three-year-old daughter was with her. For now authorities have ruled out terrorism, but they are still investigating. Ryan Young is in Las Vegas with the latest.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just after 6:30 p.m., the first 911 calls came in reports of a vehicle on the Las Vegas strip that drove on to a sidewalk hitting several pedestrians, a scene that first to be an accident but soon it would become clear this was much worse.
JULIAN COCHRANE, WITNESS: It was busting through people. That was just thudding and the sound was, I'd say 30, maybe and might have been faster, but it seemed like it was going pretty fast. People were flying like this child I saw literally hit, and the sound I'll never forget. It's horrible and it's just never stopped. It was people, it wasn't hitting cars, it was hitting people.
YOUNG: According to police, this was an intentional act the driver ramming her car into the crowds in at least three or four different spots along the sidewalk between Planet Hollywood and the Paris resort and casino repeatedly driving over pedestrians.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It looked like she wasn't even trying to stop the car. She had both of her hands on the wheel and was looking straightforward and there were men running after her trying to stop the vehicle and they couldn't get to her. They were yelling stop, stop, and she just wasn't trying.
YOUNG: Police say 24-year-old Lakeisha Holloway was behind the wheel during the attack. She was driving a 1996 Oldsmobile sedan with Oregon plates. Her three-year old daughter was in the backseat the entire time. ANTONIO NASSAR, WITNESS: She rode the sidewalk. She came to a stop right here at the Paris intersection and then she like -- people were punching the window trying to get apparently the child out of the backseat and she accelerated again and just kept mowing everyone down.
YOUNG: After the attack, Holloway fled the scene driving to another casino before abandoning her car with her daughter still inside. She asked a security officer there to call police because she had just hit several people. She is now in custody. Her daughter is unharmed. Authorities at first were quick to rule out terrorism as a motive, but now say they need to complete their investigation before making a final conclusion.
SHERIFF JOE LOMBARDO, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE: She is believed to be from the Oregon area and we're going to do the best we can throughout the day to determine her background. In light of that and not having those unknowns, we're not 100 percent ruling out the possibility of terrorism.
YOUNG: So, if not an act of terror, what could have been the motivation behind this attack? Police say she made a statement when they took her into custody, but wouldn't disclose the details.
LOMBARDO: We believe that she had some disassociation with the father of her child and then events prior to the event, her being what we believe to be in Las Vegas approximately a week and homeless and residing within her vehicle. We don't know the exact recipient event that caused her to snap and/or whether it was planned previously.
YOUNG: So far Holloway is charged with a single count of murder with a deadly weapon, the first of what authorities say are many charges to come.
BERMAN: Ryan Young is with us now. Ryan, any update on the victims?
YOUNG: John, from what we're told, three people are still in critical condition, one person lost their life, but so many people have questions about that child that was in the car. We're told the young child is still in protective custody at this point. John?
BERMAN: Ryan Young in Las Vegas. Thanks so much.
Just ahead, the issue presidential candidates in New Hampshire cannot afford to ignore. The heroin epidemic that's claiming too many lives across New England. New Hampshire voters say, it's more important than ISIS or the economy. Tonight, part one of Dr. Sanjay Gupta's investigation - primary concern: heroin.
BERMAN: In New Hampshire, a huge traffic on the campaign trail. Five of the 13 remaining Republican candidates spent today stopping there in the first of the nation primary just two months away. And the presidential race that's already defied expectation, here is another surprise. According to a recent University of New Hampshire poll, the top voter concern in New Hampshire isn't ISIS or the economy, it's drug abuse, namely heroin. Simply put, heroin abuse and addiction are at epidemic levels there. It's become a potent political issue and over the next three nights chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta will be taking a close look at this crisis. Here is part one of "Primary Concern: Heroin".
CASEY CURRIVAN, RECOVERING HEROIN USER: My name is Casey Carrivan, I'm a volunteer to open adventure. I'm also a person in recovery now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You met with Jeb Bush, how was that?
CURRIVAN: They are looking at me and there's Jeb Bush sitting in the middle. And it was - the thoughts that went through my head immediately was I'm not worthy of this and immediately I thought of Holly Tsekalo (ph), the director for Hope for New Hampshire saying why not you? I thought why not me? What don't I have to offer?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What Casey Corwin is offering is a desperate story, tough to hear. About an epidemic of drug abuse that is claiming too many lives in New England.
CURRIVAN: It's the number one thing somebody under the age of 35 is going to die from in my state. Beats out car accidents. If you're not paying attention to that, and you have no right to represent anybody. It's ignore to ignore it.
GUPTA: 14 months ago, drug abuse barely registered here in the granite state. Now it's at the top. More important to voters than jobs, the economy, taxes, you name it.
CURRIVAN: Oxycodon went off like a bomb in New England.
GUPTA: It started with oxy, oxycodon. What many don't realize is that pills like these and heroin have a lot in common. In fact, they are so chemically similar that for an addict or an abuser, they are essentially interchangeable. No surprise then 80 percent of heroin addicts started off using pills.
(on camera): How did that happen to you?
CURRIVAN: Somebody in the hotel had offered us heroin. I almost looked at it like a science experiment. That was how my brain justified going through the whole process of using heroin. I sniffed it and it had an effect, but it wasn't the effect that I was looking for.
An hour later, I shot heroin.
GUPTA: What were you trying to discover here?
CURRIVAN: I just wanted relief. GUPTA: Relief from?
CURRIVAN: Relief from my thoughts, my feelings, my emotions. If I had the power to choose, I wouldn't choose to use every day.
GUPTA (voice over): What Casey is describing is a substance use disorder. That's a new name for an age-old disorder: addiction. It's a brain disease, it causes you to seek out drugs no matter how horrible the consequences. In fact, Casey almost died of a heroin overdose. He now wants narcane, a sort of antidote in the hands of anyone who needs it. Why? Because it saved him like it did for this woman. She has overdosed and is no longer breathing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've given you some narcane ...
GUPTA: Now, watch closely what happens when she gets narcane.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you sit up? Yeah. Come on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want a glass of water?
GUPTA: Casey's message along with many others is starting to be heard.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Addiction is not new.
GUPTA: In October, President Obama announced efforts to double the number of providers that can prescribe Narcane. It was welcome news here in New Hampshire where the cries for help, any sort of help are the loudest and we kept asking ourselves, why here in New England? Well, the answer in part is because heroin is particularly easy to get and very cheap.
(on camera): How easy is it to find if you wanted to find it?
CURRIVAN: That's a good question. I guarantee you there's nobody in New England with money in their pocket that is saying god I wish I could find heroin if they really needed it.
GUPTA: You got money, you can find it?
GUPTA (voice over): Casey hopes the days when he was out buying heroin stay behind him. He spends his free time now with his 3-year- old son and staying true to his recovery. Still, this wasn't the life he ever imagined. Slowly becoming the new face of a former heroin addict.
CURRIVAN: People think that in a person suffering from alcoholism or addiction, they have this image that comes up in their mind and I like to break that image because if I met you on the street, you wouldn't think that two years ago, I was an I.V. heroin user.
GUPTA: Yes, Casey Currivan is a new face now tasked with taking the message of 23 million Americans currently in recovery straight to the candidates. Jeb Bush, Bernie Sanders, Chris Christie. Anyone who could possibly stop this epidemic.
CURRIVAN: I would appreciate if they use the same language, not those addicts, those people because those people are your moms, your dads, sons, daughters, your neighbor, the chief of your police. They are everybody. They are your doctor, your nurse. We're not unique people, just we have a chronic neurological condition that treatment is available and recovery is 100 percent possible.
BERMAN: Sanjay, this is powerful, powerful stuff. How is the fact that essentially the guide book for psychiatric diagnosis right now, the fact that it characterizes addiction as a brain disorder.
How is that going to help people get treatment?
GUPTA: I think - I think the biggest thing it's not going to change the number of resources. It may not necessarily change the amount of money that is needed to provide those resources. I think it's a stigma issue, John. I think if you say that this is a brain disease, then could you treat it like you treat diabetes or cancer or something else that is a physical disease or some - disease of the body? Possibly. It's not going to happen overnight by any means, but I think that that's an important first step when doctors including this sort of bible of psychiatric diagnosis says this is a brain disease. This isn't always a question just of free choice.
BERMAN: One of the most stunning parts of that piece right there was we saw Narcane being used to revive that woman. How widely available is that and how does that differ from what law enforcement and first responders have available?
GUPTA: It's becoming more widely available. And essentially, I have some here. I want to show you this in a second. But it's the sort of antidote, right? So, you take the narcotics. They are binding all these receptors in the body. Narcane is so powerful, it pushes those out of the way and binds those receptors, so nothing else can cause breathing problems or anything else for a period of time. So, it works really well.
BERMAN: And fast.
GUPTA: And fast. The issue is some people will say hey, that's just empowering and enabling addicts. Now, they are going to think, I have got a safety valve. I don't have to worry about an overdose because I have got the Narcane. I'm not saying I agree with that, but philosophically you can see the tension even with something like this. But this is it. And it is becoming more wildly available. It comes in a vile like this if someone is in the middle of an overdose, just call 911 first and make sure that they - you can give them some breaths yourself, but then administer this either by injection or even intranasally.
[20:55:03] Even if the person is not breathing, you can still give it intranasally, because it gets absorbed. And it can save someone's life. You saw it there. It happens all the time around the country. It happens in hospitals, and they say they want to make this more widely available to at least address that part of the heroin epidemic.
BERMAN: It's remarkable. So Casey's story is very compelling, and you find yourself pulling for him and you see how hard he has to work to stay clean. What is he doing now?
GUPTA: Well, he's working in this recovery center. He's paid to do that now. That's part of his new life. But you know, this is a dangerously addictive substance -- I think to the point you're making. The relapse is always sort of there waiting potentially in the wings. So he's got to be very careful. It's -- you think how hard can it be to avoid opiates? When you go to the dentist office for a procedure or to the hospital for anything, they may give you some fentanol (ph) or morphine if you've had some kind of even a minor procedure done. It's around you. And if you're an addict, those are all potential significant pitfalls that can put you on the pathway to addiction again. He's helping people who are addicts like him and he's changing the demographic face of heroin addiction. It is moms, it's dads, it's professional people, it's people like Casey who are that new face of heroin addiction.
BERMAN: It's an important story and an important message. Sanjay, thanks so much.
GUPTA: You got it, John, thank you.
BERMAN: Part two of Primary Concern Heroin airs tomorrow. Sanjay looks at an unconventional answer that seems to be working. We'll be right back.
BERMAN: That's it for us. We ran out of time for the "Ridiculist."