Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Leads in New Hampshire, But Didn't Campaign There Today; Super Bowl Dominates Public Conversation. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired February 5, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:30:00] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: And we're back. Maybe Donald Trump is playing risky politics. He is leading in New Hampshire but he didn't campaign there today.
And I want to bring in Bob Beckel, the author of "I Should Be Dead, My Life Surviving Politics, TV, and Addiction," Rebecca Berg is a national political reporter for Real Clear Politics, Kayleigh McEnany is a republican strategist and a columnist for Above the Law.
Good to have all of you. Good evening. Kayleigh, you first, coming out of Iowa, we've seen -- have we seen a changed Donald Trump do you think? Does he have a new brand?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I wouldn't say a new brand. I think he's trying to fill in some of the voids that he saw maybe happen in Iowa. For instance, a lack of a ground game or a ground game to the extent that Ted Cruz had a ground game. Maybe adding a little more softer rhetoric as we saw with Anderson Cooper last night. He added in some personal stories, which is, you know, a different of Donald Trump.
So, I think he's trying to fill in some of the voids but it's a not a new Donald Trump. Because you know, we need to take a step back and realize he only lost Iowa. This is not the end of this campaign. Reagan lost Iowa in 1980. Bill Clinton lost Iowa in 1992.
By the way, he also lost New Hampshire. This is one state that only had 30 delegates. This is not the end for Donald Trump. He needs to keep doing what made America fall in love with him and that's being Donald Trump.
LEMON: Rebecca, Trump will be back on the debate stage tomorrow night. How important is tomorrow night's debate for all of the candidates?
REBECCA BERG, REAL CLEAR POLITICS NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, it's huge for all of them. It's huge for Donald Trump because of course he missed the last debate which ended up by all measures hurting him in Iowa. But it's also for these other candidates.
Marco Rubio is really going to have to prove him in south and New Hampshire. We're seen him on the rise but the knives are going to be out for him in this debate. All of the candidates, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Chris Christie, even Ted Cruz and Donald Trump will be after him, and we'll have to see if he can defend himself in that setting.
But especially for these guys who are making what could be their last stand in New Hampshire. Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Chris Christie, they really need to break out in this debate, and it's going to be very hard to do so on that crowded state.
LEMON: So, everybody, Bob, is been missing Iowa. This is -- I want to put up this Monmouth University. They went back and talk to voters, they had polled before Iowa about whether or not they actually turned out to vote in the caucuses.
And here is what they found, OK? Twenty four percent of those who said that they would support Donald Trump before the caucus, they stayed home on caucus night compared to 13 percent for Cruz voters and for Rubio voters. That's a big chunk, isn't it?
BOB BECKEL, "I SHOULD BE DEAD" AUTHOR: Yes, it is. I mean, look, Trump lost five points from the poll the day before the Iowa caucuses. He is -- I think that is what I call a media, a free media bump he gets. Trump better be careful. Did he change? He was a little humble when it came to Cruz that night and actually he was accusing Cruz who steal in the election from him.
LEMON: Why should he be careful?
BECKEL: I don't think he should be careful. I mean, you're not going to change Donald Trump. He is what he is. The problem is that the New Hampshire voters is looking at their own poll. Forty five percent of people haven't made up their mind yet.
There are only 42 to 45 percent have made up their mind, 55 percent haven't. Now, New Hampshire is a classic state where it breaks very late and the last four days, I said last night in New Hampshire, it was a longest four days you're going to get in presidential politics.
LEMON: Kayleigh, Carly Fiorina won't be up on that stage tomorrow night for this ABC debate. She didn't meet any of the parameters to get in which were top three finish in Iowa or the top six in either national polls or New Hampshire polls. Should they have let her on that stage anyway as many of her colleagues or many of her rivals are -- at least some of her rivals are saying?
MCENANY: No doubt about it. They should let her on the stage. And I'm really disappointed in the RNC for not intervening. I know that they say that they don't intervene with the networks and their criteria for entering the debate. But Carly Fiorina is the only female on the stage.
You know, I think Hillary Clinton made a powerful point against Bernie Sanders last night when he accused her of being establishment, and she look at him and said I'm not establishment, I'm a female. How can I be establishment? Establishment is, you know, kind of the old crusty white guys what we think of when we think of establishment.
Well, the RNC, the Republican Party had that problem absent Carly Fiorina. She's not an establishment, she's a powerful figure, she's a -- it's great to have a women on the stage. She should be on that debate stage. And the RNC really need to remedy this...
LEMON: Even if she doesn't meet the parameters they should put her up there just because she's a woman?
MCENANY: Not just because she's a woman, Don. Because I would say even if one man was excluded, he should be included. The only reason we ever started excluding people was because it was too crowded to have 10 people on the stage.
We're down to seven people, these are seven people, republican voters have chosen. All seven should be on the stage regardless of gender, even if it was a man that was excluded.
LEMON: So, Bob, I have to ask you this, Trump committed to this Fox News debate on March, on March 3rd. Megyn Kelly will be there. Do you think we're going to see a softer side of Donald Trump?
BECKEL: No. I don't think -- I don't think -- he's got one gear, this guy. But I'll tell you something about last night's debate between Hillary and Bernie Sanders. It was good to have just two people going at it.
[22:30:00] They could actually begin to talk about issues and things like that.
BECKEL: You get seven people on the stage. The problem with the republican debate so far, it's been so crowded nobody's been able to lay a hand on Trump or Trump lay as hand on them and then comes back the next day and says something different.
LEMON: Yes. Rebecca, I have to ask you, we've been talking about, you know, should he be in New Hampshire, what have you. But you say he learned from his ground game mistakes in Iowa. How is that?
BERG: Well, certainly. We're seeing him adjust his schedule in New Hampshire to add smaller events, to add events where he's having more better contacts, getting more questions from voters. Local meetings with, for example, yesterday, the Manchester police with a local business.
In Iowa, he was very widely criticized for with kind of just swooping in, doing big these rallies, not campaigning in the traditional Iowa way with a ground game with any sort of voter contacts. And that's also very important in New Hampshire. It's a state where traditionally a ground game matters, where these voter contacts matters.
And we still don't know much about Donald Trump's ground game. If he has any sort of got a driven contacts. And what I've heard from many republican strategists is that he probably doesn't have much of that. But at least he needs to go through the motions of trying to meet people in New Hampshire and it looks like he's trying to do that in these coming days. (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: Go ahead and respond, Bob.
BECKEL: That doesn't -- that doesn't convert into a ground game. I mean, going to smaller events. The fact is, there's people I've talked to in New Hampshire and I've done six presidential campaigns up there don't see much of a Trump ground game.
Now, I think he is depending again, again, he had turnout this enthusiasm, but look what happened to him in Iowa. It fell off. He's depending on young people. So, is Bernie Sanders. What he's forgetting is that Southern New Hampshire is an exodus place for Massachusetts republicans who are more moderate, who left there because of the taxes and I don't think they're Trump supporters.
BERG: Well, actually, if you look at the polling, most of the Trump supporters identify as moderate.
LEMON: All right. I want to get -- I want -- I want to get the mommy offensive in, OK? Kayleigh, I want you to what Mrs. Bush said today about her son and how he would make a great president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA BUSH, FORMER U.S. FIRST LADY: He has the best record, he's wise, he's decent, he knows American values. He knows the values of people in New Hampshire. I mean, they care about their country. I love my country, I adore my child. Every mother in New Hampshire knows why I'm here. Period. They know.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Is he your favorite son?
B. BUSH: Today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I mean, come on, how could you not love that? A guy who loves his mom? How could you not -- I don't know, I was going to say, how could not vote for, but you got to like it. So, how much do you think that Barbara Bush, Kayleigh, in the snow in her walker helped out Jeb today?
MCENANY: I think it helps a lot. Look, if you're going to the polls late and you're deciding between Marco Rubio and you're deciding between Jeb Bush and you've seen Barbara Bush come out, you've seen George W. Bush come out, these are figures that are really powerful among republicans. They're very popular among republicans. I think it helps him.
But here's the thing. Barbara Bush just listed, you know, he has this, he has that. Here's what he doesn't have. He's not an outsider and that's why Jeb Bush doesn't have a chance in this election. He cannot -- the best record in the world that republicans want an outsider. And that's why Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are playing so well.
BECKEL: I wonder why he didn't bring her in earlier. I mean, I found that amazing. Remember, Hillary Clinton was behind.
MCENANY: I do.
BECKEL: It was one event that one issue about doing laundry, do you remember that, and then, boom, it flipped over.
BECKEL: I think she's a -- she's ideal. She's the better candidate the most...
LEMON: Don't underestimate the power of the mom.
LEMON: And everyone, stay with me. When we come right back, the big division in this election may be, may be mainstream versus Wall Street, but who is best positioned to take advantage of that?
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Well, this election comes down to a battle over un -- unfavorability. That's what I'm talking about unfavorability ratings. And I'm back now with Bob Beckel, Rebecca Berg, and Kayleigh McEnany.
So, Bob, let's take a look at the uns here, all right. These are the favorability ratings, I should say for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and this is a new Quinnipiac poll. Trump 59 percent unfavorable, Clinton 56 percent. So, what happens if Trump and Clinton win the nominations, can candidates win with those kinds of ratings?
BECKEL: Well, probably --- they probably vote for somebody from Canada. I mean, I don't -- no. And look, Hillary Clinton has been under attack for years and years and years. I'm not surprised that her negative is up. She's got a real problem. That's trust.
Trump's problem is that he's Trump and people just don't buy into his Barnum & Bailey act except for that percentage of the republican base where he's popular.
LEMON: So, what happens if both candidates have high unfavorables? What then wants?
BECKEL: They'll come down after the conventions. The conventions will drop down unfavorables, they always do. They'll show them in their best light, they'll have a lot of people out there talking about them.
So, that's the problem I have with any polls at this far out, particularly any national poll now, they're meaningless.
LEMON: Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio have the highest favoribility in the ratings. Forty four percent for Sanders, 42 percent for Marco Rubio. Is that a significant advantage?
BECKEL: It is an advantage. Yes, I think it an advantage. And I also will tell you this. I think Trump is going to fall off in his numbers in New Hampshire. Let me just take -- put my neck out on the line. I think it's possible that Rubio will upset him.
LEMON: I'm quiet because I have that feeling...
BECKEL: You do?
LEMON: ... that it's a definite possibility that that can happen. What do you guys think, Rebecca?
BERG: Well, we've actually seen deficits larger than the margin between Trump and Rubio in New Hampshire right now overcome in the final days in New Hampshire. It's a very tumultuous state when it comes to the final days. You can see one debate at the very end swing the entire race. And so, it's completely possible that Marco Rubio could overtake Trump.
And again, this goes back to what we're talking about before, the ground game, the organization. Marco Rubio has run a traditional campaign in New Hampshire. Donald Trump has not. He only a few weeks ago, access the Republican National Committees voter file.
So, he's not doing the traditional campaign things that we would expect to someone trying to win in New Hampshire, and Marco Rubio is and he has momentum on his side.
LEMON: Listen, there is, you know, it's not a big different, it's 11- point difference and then, is it 54 percent, you get 54 -- 55 percent of people say they haven't made up their mind, Kayleigh. Listen, it's just a sinking -- not a sinking feeling, but it's just a feeling that I have that it could -- that it could happen. What do you think, Kayleigh?
[22:45:09] MCENANY: You know, it could happen but I don't think it's likely and here's why. You know, Donald Trump has been at the top of the polls and I understand the polls were off in Iowa. But his lead in New Hampshire has been a commanding one, far greater than what his lead was in Iowa.
You know, moreover, I would argue New Hampshire is undoubtedly Donald Trump's ideal state. The voters there lean independent, there are many moderate voters, independents are actually allowed to vote for republicans in the election that happens in open primary.
LEMON: Is 11 commanding do you think? MCENANY: Its -- I think 11 is commanding, especially after losing
Iowa. So, yes. Some points were peeled off, shaved off of his lead. But coming out of Iowa to still have an 11-point lead, I think that's a commanding lead.
And here's the thing, Marco Rubio tomorrow night is going to have every arrow aimed at him in a way that that's never happen before for him. So, he's going to be beaten down a little bit with some very serious attacks.
LEMON: But he survives that and, you know -- go ahead, Bob.
BECKEL: Kayleigh, I've seen -- I've seen a presidential candidate into after winning 50 percent of the vote in Iowa, my dad against nine people, we were 28 points up with about five days out and Gary Hart beat us by 15 points.
So, I'm very leery about it. And you're right, it's a late-breaking state. It just is. And independents particularly by definition of what they called themselves are going to take a hard look at this. This debate will probably be the most important republican vote they've had.
LEMON: Yes. And those independents they could go for Sanders because they sort of attracting...
LEMON: ... you know, the populous sort of outsider.
LEMON: Yes. All right, guys. Thank you very much. Have a great weekend.
BECKEL: Thank you.
MCENANY: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: When we come right back, one thing people are talking about tonight that isn't politics.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Have we told you the New Hampshire primary is Tuesday in first there's another event -- Super Bowl 50!
CNN's W. Kamau Bell is already there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
W. KAMAU BELL, UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA SHOW HOST: San Francisco, one of the greatest cities in the world and home of the 2016 Super Bowl -- sort of. This is the closest I'll ever come to actually going to the Super Bowl.
Weird thing is, this seat cost $250. The field is back that way and security won't let me get closer. As you can see we have some people even monitoring this situation.
Apparently they called in black guy in parking lot. I'm Don Lemon. They won't believe I'm Don Lemon. I wasn't alone in the struggle. I see you just walking up and down outside hoping that you can get into the stadium, see happening.
JASON CHU, SPECTATOR: I thought I got close but I saw guys with guns and probably they're thinking that's not a good idea.
BELL: Maybe this guy can help. He's on his 11th Super Bowl. How about a, you know, I...
DEXTER DAVIS, SUPER BOWL ATTENDEE: Listen, you got credentials that will get you in, right?
BELL: This is as close as my credentials will let me get. This is as close -- look, I only -- I only have a laminate. I just got this. I made this at home, sir. I made this at home.
DAVIS: So, this is a big scam.
BELL: A big scam. Yes.
BELL: Well, I tried. Time to check out Super Bowl city, which is nowhere near the stadium. See, the Super Bowl is happening here but all the stuff is happening way up there, an hour away on a good day.
Isn't it weird that the Super Bowl is not even there?
HAROLD, SUPER BOWL ATTENDEE: It's a little surreal. I mean, that's what -- that's the kind of the merchandising of San Francisco.
BELL: So, it's all fun and game in Super Bowl city, outside in the streets of San Francisco, it is neither. According to Davey D, a bay area activist and a long suffering open radar fan.
DAVEY D, ACTIVIST: The San Francisco that's been sanitized, a San Francisco that's been cleaned up and a San Francisco that's being presented to the world that is devoid of all the homeless people that they rustled up here. They said, well, it's going to bring in millions of dollars for the city. How does that trickle down?
BELL: Several reports estimate San Francisco will spend about $5 million on Super Bowl security and infrastructure. That's because the city agreed in its bid to forfeit money from the NFL. And as the city cleaned up, some people got cleaned out. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason we're in San Francisco is because it's
a melting pot. Why do they have to come to our city to get the money?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you need to come through here? Go home. You're getting all that money.
BELL: San Francisco is one of the wealthiest cities in the country. If they can afford to have this and they should be able to look up for people like this and hopefully we can figure this out so that we can make a better world for the little babies like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Aw! Did you see -- he scared that baby. W. Kamau Bell, the rank of president as you can see kissing babies, host to CNN's United Shades of America. The Super Bowl, sir, is probably -- it is the highest, right? Probably the highest profile of men and women in the United States. Do most people in San Francisco feel that way the way you do?
BELL: Yes. It's not -- because it's not in San Francisco. It's in Santa Clara. It's the Santa Clara Super Bowl. It's not happening here. I'm here in San Francisco right now, it's not happening here. But the traffic is here, the pushing out the homeless people is here, the messing up everyone's day is here, the lack of the $5 million that just doesn't go down to the world, that we don't in the city is here.
Yes, yes, that very exciting, sir.
LEMON: Get off my...
BELL: And none of our teams are in the Super Bowl. Why should we be excited about that?
LEMON: I'm just concerned that you told the police that you were Don Lemon. Not cool. That is not cool.
BELL: That's been my go to for years. Little that you know. It's just now I have a job at CNN. For years. It's gotten me out of a lot of scraps, Don. I got to admit.
LEMON: Well, you know. I got to like that.
BELL: You got.
LEMON: You may have heard that there's another huge event taking place across the country. I'm not sure if we told you about, you know, this focus on Iowa and New Hampshire. How much are people there paying attention to what's happening back east with this presidential race? BELL: Well, I live in Berkeley. So, I'm in the middle of the white
liberal progressive civil war of the Bernie people and the Hillary people. And meanwhile, the people of color sitting back with a popcorn like, we'll let you guys sort it out and then we'll hold candidate accountable for the rest of us. That's what's happening right now. Earn this damn voter lose this...
LEMON: So, no Ben Carson?
BELL: Even Ben Carson is forgetting that he's running for president right now. He's only 1 percent ahead of me, Don. That's all I'm saying. He's only 1 percent ahead of me.
[22:55:06] LEMON: All right. So, listen, Bernie Sanders is very popular in California where you live. He is often criticized for not reaching out enough to minorities, so you just mention that. So, what do you think about that?
BELL: You know, I think he's a big time dreamer. He's got all the big time plans but whenever you say black people, he gets a little nervous.
LEMON: He did march with Dr. King.
BELL: Yes, I get that. But, Don, we have to remember. That was a long time ago, all right? There's been a lot of black things that have happened since the march of Dr. King. I'm not mad at Bernie Sanders for marching with Dr. King. I didn't do it. I wasn't really available, but I'm happy that he did it. But there's been a lot of black things since then. We went through the 90s since then. A lot of things have happened.
LEMON: I got to tell you, it's going to be very interesting to watch Saturday Night Live because he's going to be on with Larry David. Are you looking forward to that?
BELL: Yes, I mean, you know, I just hope he's funny. But I just hope -- the sad thing about Saturday Night Live is when they do all those big things in bringing those people out and those people are funny. I just hope since I'm a comedian, I'm just hoping that it works that it's funny. You don't want to go on Saturday Night Live and bomb. That's not going to work out.
LEMON: I think they should just switch places. Larry David should go out in the campaign trail and he should go on create enthusiasm. And I think it would be great.
Thanks, W. Kamau Bell. Looking forward to your series. Enjoy your weekend.
BELL: Thank you.
LEMON: All right. We'll be right back, everyone.
[22:59:57] That's it for us tonight. Have a great weekend. I'll see right back here on Monday. From New Hampshire. Have a great weekend.