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Historic Republican Primary on Verge of First Result; Hillary Clinton and the Women's Vote; Imagine a World. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired February 1, 2016 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight: decision time in America. The insurgents have stood conventional political wisdom on its
head. For months, they have talked the talk and now it is time to walk the walk. Iowa voters get to weigh in first, as a GOP grandee pulls no
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STUART STEVENS, ROMNEY 2012 CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: I think Donald Trump is a dangerous, unstable person who should not be anywhere near nuclear
weapons or in a commander in chief role.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And feel the burn?
Hillary Clinton does, from shoo-in to Iowa underdog, we examine the upside-down Democratic race, too.
AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
We'll soon know for the first time what voters actually think of the campaign for President of the United States in the Iowa caucuses. After
all the debates, the polls and the TV interviews, the insurgents now test drive their appeal with actual voters. And it's neck and neck going in.
Donald Trump leads his closest rival, Ted Cruz, by just 5 percentage points in Iowa. And Hillary Clinton's lead over Bernie Sanders there is
within the margin of error.
What happens in Iowa will be important for momentum but it won't necessarily be an insight into what the rest of America thinks because less
than 1 percent of them actually live in Iowa and it is unrepresentative.
While across the nation, for instance, more than half of all newborns are non-white, Iowa is 91 percent white. And evangelical Christians there
are considered the most reliable voting bloc.
Tonight, we break down the Republican and Democratic races.
Now Donald Trump's outlandish rhetoric has garnered the Republican race the most attention. His supporters love it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In school, we learn about how America was great, you know, back in -- back a while ago, whenever. And I kind of want to
live through that as an 18-year old.
MATT FREI, JOURNALIST: What is the most popular thing in your mind that he's said so far?
Is it his comments on immigration, on Muslims coming in?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Muslims.
FREI: The Muslim thing, all right. OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because they're coming to kill us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, they are.
FREI: They're coming to kill you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ISIS, absolutely.
FREI: Not all are coming to kill you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you never know which ones (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't say he was going to kick them all out. He wanted going to kick them out until they got things straightened out to
figure out what was happening.
FREI: And every time he says something kind of quite abrasive and defensive, that some people find offensive --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love it.
FREI: You love it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely.
FREI: What about what everyone else thinks?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Love it.
FREI: You all love it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now the journalist there was Matt Frei of Britain's Channel 4 news. He joined me, along with Stuart Stevens, who was chief strategist
for the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, during the 2012 race.
And we talked about this one.
AMANPOUR: Matt Frei, here in the studio, welcome.
And Stuart Stevens, welcome to you all the way across the Atlantic.
Can I just ask you first -- because everybody wants to know -- can these pollsters be wrong?
I mean, opinion polls do not have a great reputation recently.
STEVENS: It's particularly difficult in a situation like Iowa, where you're dealing with a caucus. You know, one of the things that people have
trouble grasping is this is not where you go to a ballot box. You actually go to basements and churches and living rooms and you vote.
It's not a secret vote and there are very human factors involved because you see your neighbors.
So it's proven to be very difficult to predict precisely.
AMANPOUR: Got it. OK.
Well, let me turn to you, Matt. I mean, look, you went all the way out there to do a documentary on Donald Trump. You called it "The Mad
World of Donald Trump."
What is it about him that has caused so many people around the world to pay such close attention and, frankly, worry?
FREI: Well, the first time I met him was actually two years ago. We did a long interview in Trump Towers on 5th Avenue. And we spoke for over
an hour. We talked about just about everything, including whether he was ever going to run for the White House.
And in that stage, he was still thinking about it but he hadn't committed yet.
And there were a couple of really strange things that struck me then. One was that he has a germ allergy, which he talks about quite openly. So
we did --
FREI: -- this thing where I said, well, if you've got a germ allergy, it's not a great idea to run for the presidency because you might have to
shake a few hands.
And I kind of put my hand out and said, "Let's practice now."
And he actually shook my hand like a little bit like it's a rotten fish for about a split second.
Then I thought, "This is a really interesting person."
And then we went into policy. We talked about China. We talked about the Arab world.
And the one thing that really struck me is that Donald Trump finds it very difficult to finish a thought or a sentence. He's a sort of -- his
stump speech is like that, too, there is sort of standup comedy routine, sometimes very funny, often not. But literally meandering from one point
However -- and here's the point -- he has managed to plug into something that we in Europe or, indeed, the rest of the world, totally
underestimate about America and that is that level of visceral anger, of distrust of politics and that overwhelming yearning for authenticity, which
he seems to satisfy.
AMANPOUR: Obviously the establishment in the GOP is, for want of a better word, panicking and freaking out.
What is it about America that allows Donald Trump to get away with saying, "If I stood in the middle of 5th Avenue and shot somebody, I
wouldn't lose any votes," that allows him to say, "I will make America great again."
I mean, isn't, after all, America the greatest country in the world today?
STEVENS: I don't think he ultimately will be able to get away with it.
You know, I think of the Donald Trump candidacy as someone walking around with a paper bag full of water. It's probably not going to leak but
once it goes, it's going to go quickly.
That may be wishful thinking. But the thing to understand, I really think, is that there is tremendous economic pain still in America, even
after the Great Recession. Only 23 percent of Americans think that the country is going in the right direction.
And we have these splits, as you see in many countries, but it's worse in America, of those that have been wealthy seven years ago are a lot more
wealthy now. But the middle class has gotten smaller. For the first time, the middle class is now not the largest class in America.
And I think that there is an interesting connection between the Bernie Sanders phenomenon and the Donald Trump phenomenon. And it all goes to the
economic unrest and sense of uncertainty in America.
AMANPOUR: For the Republicans, is a Ted Cruz a better choice or is it Donald Trump?
STEVENS: Well, I hope neither one of them ends up with the nomination because I think they'll both lose.
Cruz would be better than Donald Trump. I think Donald Trump is a dangerous, unstable person who should not be anywhere near nuclear weapons
or in a commander in chief role.
Ted Cruz, I don't agree with a lot on a lot of issues. But he's a very smart, sane person.
But both, if you look at polls, lose overwhelmingly to even Bernie Sanders. So you know, I hope that one of the others who are more electable
AMANPOUR: You know, to what Stuart Stevens has just said, he's a dangerous man, you went up to Scotland and there's a whole hullabaloo in
Scotland about his investments and this and that.
But you met some people there who were very upset with their first- hand interaction with Donald Trump over their houses being on the land that he was trying develop.
I want to play it and then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've had power supplies cut. We've had the water supply cut. Some things are accidental here, admittedly. And we've had
phone lines cut on numerous occasions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's behaved appallingly. Essentially, if you look up the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder on the Web, you
get a description of Mr. Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I tell you what, I've got a couple of tickets booked for Antarctica because the last place that radioactivity reaches is
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Well, there you have Alex Salmond, the former leader of the SNP, summing up the real fear that, if there's a nuclear war, he's going to
go very far away.
But what do you find up there in Scotland that people just didn't really like his business dealings?
FREI: Some people really liked him at first, including Alex Salmond, because Donald Trump was going to be the kind of knight in shining armor
that was going to ride in with his investment into golf courses and leisure complexes and transform the Scottish economy, which famously relies on oil.
And oil, as we know, is very volatile.
But then he didn't quite live up to, one, his promises in terms of the amount of money he was going to invest but also he was trying to strong-arm
certain individuals, like the farmer that we just saw there, into basically giving up their land so that he could expand his golf course. Or he didn't
like the fact that their houses blocked the view from the 14th tee.
So it was Donald Trump behaving like a bully. And of course, this is what we see on the campaign trail as well. We -- you know, we interviewed
a Muslim American, a convert, you know, who stood up in one of the rallies and --
AMANPOUR: What did he say?
FREI: Well, the point is that he -- I mean, he was a very nice guy, very low-level, very low-key. And he stood up at Trump rallies and
FREI: -- almost in a whisper, said, "Close Guantanamo Bay. Not all Muslims are bad."
I mean, this is hardly a heckler.
But the minute he stood up and said that, he was pounced on by security and by the crowd. You can see it there.
AMANPOUR: We're going to see it right there behind us.
Let's put the sound up, actually, and let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or even the stuff about Muslims, it was when Jibril (ph) as Muslims demonstrated, that we spoke to earlier in the day,
was kicked out by the Secret Service.
DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Isn't a Trump rally more fun than all these others today?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: You see, and I'm going to put this to both of you, Stuart and Matt.
That's not just terrifying for the fact that the Secret Service kicked him out.
What's really terrifying is the baying of the American people in that rally, getting rid of a Muslim because Donald Trump has said the most
terrible things about Muslims, including banning them, conflating all Muslims with terrorists.
I mean, this is the kind of thing that's causing a lot of danger here in Europe, Matt.
FREI: It is. And it's nasty when you actually see it happening. And in that interview, Jibril (ph) told me that he felt a little bit like a
black man at a Ku Klux Klan rally, which is an extremely strong and explosive thing to say.
But I sort of get where he's coming from in terms of the feeling of being hounded on and being isolated in that crowd.
And Donald Trump literally -- you know, he riles up the crowd against the enemy. And the enemy could be -- could be someone like him. It could
be us journalists. I mean every single --
AMANPOUR: It could be women.
FREI: -- stump speech -- could be women. Every stump speech, 10 minutes in, has a thing about the press. And we all stand there, kind of
like monkeys in a cage for Donald Trump, you know on this podium. And he has a go at us and the crowd boos.
So he has his enemies and he has his friends. He's a very divisive candidate.
AMANPOUR: Mr. Stevens, this is very troubling.
How can the Republican Party put up with that without condemning it publicly?
And secondly, after the debacle of 2012 and beyond, the Republican Party said we need to woo all sorts of, you know, the immigrants, the
women, the Muslims, pretty much be more inclusive. And he's doing the exact opposite.
STEVENS: I agree, he is. I think that we have to wait until voters weigh in here. If we all agree that it really means something that Donald
Trump wins, I think we have to be willing to agree that it means something if he doesn't win.
And I hope that he doesn't win. I don't believe that he will.
He appeals to the dark side of people. There's that sense of resentment within probably all of us about something. And Donald Trump has
an ability to reach in and manipulate that and bring out, I think, oftentimes the worst in people.
He's the exact opposite of, say, Ronald Reagan or John Kennedy, who appealed to America's better angels and made Americans feel better about
themselves for being Americans.
AMANPOUR: Stuart Stevens, former chief strategist for Mitt Romney in the last election, and Matt Frei, presenter at Channel 4 and filmmaker,
thank you very much indeed for joining us.
FREI: Thank you.
Thank you, gentlemen.
STEVENS: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So you've heard what Matt Frei just said about journalists in the Trumpian crosshairs. But actually the news media have bolstered his
campaign, at least his advertising budget. This is what he told CNN's Don Lemon this past September.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I would have thought I would have spent about $20 million by this time on advertising. And I've spent nothing because I seem to be
getting a lot of press. And I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we're resonating with the people. But we're getting a lot of
coverage, so I haven't had to advertise, which is nice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Across the aisle, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders?
We go there -- next.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
And now we turn to the Democrats. Bernie Sanders has assumed the role of upsetting the Democratic apple cart; where once Hillary Clinton was all
but assured of the nomination, she's now engaged in a death struggle to the top with the 74-year-old self-professed socialist senator.
With me now from Des Moines, Iowa, is Ryan Lizza, the Washington correspondent for "The New Yorker" and, here in the studio, Cynthia Weber,
professor at Sussex University.
Welcome. Welcome to you both.
I want to go straight to you in Iowa, Ryan. You've been following and covering this for a long time, including previous campaigns.
Can the polls be wrong?
I mean, are the insurgents going to walk this tonight?
RYAN LIZZA, "THE NEW YORKER" MAGAZINE: The polls can very, very frequently be wrong, especially in primaries and caucuses, which many
pollsters will tell you are notoriously difficult to predict and to poll.
And, frankly, over the years, the polling has gotten worse in primaries and caucuses, as everyone moves away from land lines and to cell
phones. And it's harder for the pollsters to find people, frankly.
So, yes, look, every caucus I've covered -- and I've covered them all since 2000 -- there has been some surprise on the -- on caucus night.
There's one very, very solid pollster in Iowa. Her name is Ann Selzer (ph). She's done a good job predicting caucus results in the past. And
she has the Republican race with Trump at a slight advantage and the Democratic race with Hillary at a slight advantage, a little bit narrower
But it all depends on the makeup of that electorate.
AMANPOUR: All right.
LIZZA: Do young voters come out and caucus for Sanders?
That will be the determining factor.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me turn to Cynthia Weber on that because you've spoken a lot about the sexism in the race. Let's just talk about that
I mean I think you've said, it's one thing when Justin Trudeau or Barack Obama come up and say, we're feminists, but it's another thing if
Hillary Clinton does it.
CYNTHIA WEBER, SUSSEX UNIVERSITY: Yes, we're in a political climate these days where if a man says he's a feminist, then he's seen as not
sexist. I mean, when Barack Obama came out as a feminist, "Ms." magazine put him on the cover in a kind of superhero pose. He was ripping off his
tie and opening his shirt to reveal his inner feminist, which was a T-shirt that said, "This is what a feminist looks like."
So, oh, it looks like a man.
When Hillary Clinton came out -- yes -- as a feminist, she's in a political climate where women are punished sometimes. And Hillary's been
punished by two different constituencies.
One constituency is those people who misunderstood what it means to be a feminist and actually equate it with being sexist. So when a woman says
she's a feminist, people say, oh, she must be anti-man or she must be anti- family or anti-mother. So Hillary's suffered from some of that.
AMANPOUR: Let me play a bit of an interview, a bit of a sound bite from Hillary, which was back in this month, January, January 25th, about
women's rights and about this election and then we'll talk about it. Let's just play this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think one of the best things we could do for women's rights is elect the
first woman president. I think that would send a very strong signal about where we are in our world here.
AMANPOUR: So, she seemed to have had a bit of a sore throat there but more to the point, she's saying that if a woman is elected, it will push
that ball up the hill. However, apparently Hillary's support amongst women has fallen 26 percent in one month over the summer.
How do you explain that, Cynthia Weber?
WEBER: I think it's about the surge of youth supporters going to Bernie, that what has happened is that the Democratic vote is -- the gender
vote is split along age lines.
So if you look at over 45s, particularly women, abundantly, they will vote for Hillary Clinton. If you look at the 18- to 24-year olds, 19
percent more women in that age group support Bernie than support Hillary.
AMANPOUR: Let me just move over to Ryan for a second.
Ryan, it is, to me, kind of extraordinary that, A, women are dropping off and B, the younger people are going to the older candidate.
And extraordinary figures, because Bernie Sanders has achieved something like 2.5 million individual donations. It's more than any time
in American political history. And he is --
AMANPOUR: -- drawing crowds that are even bigger than what Barack Obama was drawing at this time in his first race.
How do you explain the numbers and the young people going for him?
LIZZA: Yes, it's fascinating. You know, we have seen it before. Remember the last cycle when, on the Republican side, Ron Paul, this older
libertarian, really excited young people on college campuses.
And, look, I think the big difference between Hillary Clinton's message and Bernie Sanders' message is she is selling something -- she is
selling pragmatism. She is saying I have a practical plan that I think can get through the gridlock in Washington. It's not too extreme and it's not
too modest. It's sort of just right.
And Sanders, on the other hand, he wants to start over on health care. He has some, you know, what she would say, radical ideas on income
inequality and taxes that, frankly, just can't make it through especially a Republican Congress.
I think a lot of young people look at that and say, well, wow, that's not a very inspiring message. I kind of like the guy from Vermont, who's
quirky and doesn't look like or sound like a politician and is telling me he wants to start a political revolution.
And, you know, the pundits and all the rest be damned. I think that explains the sort of enthusiasm gap among young people. It's idealism
AMANPOUR: Right. So "The New York Times", which hasn't been Hillary's biggest backer up until now, has come out and endorsed her for
president, saying that she is one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history.
Other newspapers have described Sanders as having been on the fringe his entire 50-year career and, in any other year, would have faded into
So Ryan, from your perspective, whatever happens in Iowa, is that necessarily -- let's say Sanders wins in Iowa and then in New Hampshire.
Is that going to translate around the rest of the country?
LIZZA: Well, that is a great, great question. And I am so shy about making predictions because a lot of predictions have been wrong this cycle.
But what -- you know, in previous cycles, we have seen candidates or matchups like Sanders against Hillary and they always run into a
demographic wall. If you think back to 1984, Gary Hart against Walter Mondale, or 2000, Bill Bradley against Al Gore, that's very similar to this
It's sort of establishment candidate backed by most of the Democratic hierarchy, versus an insurgent. And that insurgent always gets 30-40
percent of the vote. It gets the -- you know, it does well in Iowa and New Hampshire, which are overwhelmingly white.
And then when the caucuses and primaries move south and to states that have much higher non-white populations, that kind of candidate often hits a
demographic wall and can't expand their support.
So the great question is, can -- is Bernie Sanders Bill Bradley or Gary Hart or is he Barack Obama and puts together a new coalition?
AMANPOUR: Well, big question and let me ask Cynthia, because you say Barack Obama, obviously, his winning Iowa in 2008 really tipped Hillary
into, you know, a strange place for her. Here is what she said about lessons learned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: We learned a lot of lessons. We've applied those lessons. We've got a great team working literally around the clock.
And I think I'm a better candidate. I think, you know, my experience as secretary of state gave me a depth and understanding about what the next
president will face, that, frankly, nobody else running on either side could have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Cynthia, that was her to CNN today. I mean, she's right, in that regard, on the basic facts.
WEBER: But I think the main thing that the Clinton campaign learned in 2008 is that they were out-organized on the ground. And Hillary has
situated herself as the inheritor of the policies of Barack Obama. And to some extent, she's inherited his political machine on the ground.
In Iowa, it's split 50-50 between those who support Bernie and those who support Hillary. So it's got to be a bit more than that.
So -- and going along with what Ryan was saying, this idea that, you know, pragmatism is hard to sell. A lot of people are beginning to
describe Hillary as a -- well, we maybe can't quite do this or maybe, no, we can't; whereas Bernie is coming off as the Obama, "Yes, we can"
candidate and that is a different kind of legacy to inherit as we try to build momentum in a political campaign.
AMANPOUR: So fascinating. I wish we had more time.
Ryan Lizza in Iowa, Cynthia Weber here. Thank you both very much indeed for joining me.
And we will be watching what happens tonight because the whole world is watching, frankly, this election this year.
And as Hillary struggles to make history, next, we imagine the world of Shirley Chisholm, who's already made history way a long time ago as the
first black female presidential candidate of a major party. In fact, 45 --
AMANPOUR: -- years ago. We'll be right back.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, Iowans are showing their true colors, as Black History Month starts and so we imagine a world long, long ago,
when a different Democratic congresswoman became the first woman and the first African American to run for president as a major party candidate.
That was Democrat Shirley Chisholm in 1972. Her motto was " Unbought and Unbossed." And she had to sue just to make sure she could join the
On the campaign trail, she survived many assassination attempts but she got to the Democratic National Convention with 10 percent of the vote,
which may not seem like much. But it did prove that some people would vote for a black woman president. And that was what she was trying to prove.
Well, America finally elected an African American.
Will it elect a woman?
We won't know that until long after Iowa.
AMANPOUR: And that is it for our program tonight. Remember, you can now also listen to our podcast, see us online at amanpour.com and follow me
on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.