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Clinton Struggles to Appeal to Younger Female Voters; The Internet's Favorite Astrophysicist; Imagine a World. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired February 9, 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: New Hampshire votes in the second big contest of this U.S. presidential election. A big issue:
feminism and the female vote, especially for the Democrats. Two opposing voices, one for Hillary Clinton, the other for Bernie Sanders. They join
Also ahead, the astrophysicist with 5 million Twitter followers. He can rap and he can debunk the myths about our universe.
Plus: imagine being barred from flying home because you won't take off your turban. Our exclusive interview with the American Sikh actor, who
came up against some tough security.
AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in New York.
A critical test in this U.S. presidential race as the famously independent- minded voters go to the polls in the New Hampshire primary. That's the "Live Free or Die" state.
Following decades of tradition, voting started overnight with the nine -- yes, nine residents of Dixville Notch near the Canadian border.
Donald Trump is leading the in the Republicans, desperate for a comeback after failing to live up to expectations in Iowa. But this time, the
Democratic race is drawing perhaps the most attention, because Bernie Sanders, from the neighboring state of Vermont, is expected to win handily
and Hillary Clinton faces an unexpected challenge from female voters.
Nationwide, she leads among women, 53 percent to 42 percent for Sanders but in New Hampshire, only 9 percent of young women support Hillary Clinton.
In fact, only women 65 and over support Clinton more than they do Sanders.
So with all the fervor over revolutions and glass ceilings, why is Clinton failing to connect?
Joining me now are two self-described socialist feminists with opposing views. The journalist, Liza Featherstone, supports Bernie and is with me
here in New York.
And sociology professor Suzanna Walters is supporting Hillary and she joins me from our Boston studio.
Ladies, welcome to the program. I might just say the cover of "The Nation" magazine is brilliant. It shows how you two have really penned dueling
articles. There you have upside down Hillary Clinton over this female issue.
Because you're sitting next to me, you get the first word.
Why is it that this woman, who has the best chance of really breaking the ultimate glass ceiling and becoming the first female President of the
United States, is not connecting?
And why are you not supporting her?
At least with the younger voters.
LIZA FEATHERSTONE, JOURNALIST: Sure. Well, I think she's not connecting with the younger voters for some of the same reasons that she doesn't
connect with me, although I'm hardly young. And one of those is that there's a lot more to improving the lot of a majority of women than
electing a female president.
And it actually takes serious government policy around raising wages, expanding access to health care, things that I find that Senator Sanders
has been talking about with far more seriousness. And, so, you know, it's nice to have a woman at the top but it's just not everything.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me put that to Suzanna Walters in Boston.
What is your response to that?
Because while, obviously, Liza says that Bernie Sanders has demonstrated more ability to change that kind of important policy, others say that
Hillary Clinton has the more and the bigger experience in terms of legislation and other such things.
Why do you think she's not connecting with, therefore, young women?
SUZANNA WALTERS, AUTHOR: Well, I think, first, we should correct it. She obviously is connecting with women all over the country and, indeed, all
over the world. Now there is -- there's no doubt there is a youth gap here. And part of that is, you know, Sanders' appeal to revolution, his
sort of full-throated appeal to changing everything. And that always has more appeal.
And I would also say that I think women are, older women in particular, are in a difficult spot when they make that full-throated appeal, because
they're called yellers then. And there's a real double standard with some of that.
But Hillary Clinton is someone who has supported much of what Senator Sanders is arguing for, for her whole life. She supports a higher minimum
wage. She supports health care for all. She supports and has been a strong advocate for women's reproductive freedom here --
WALTERS: -- and abroad.
She created, of course, the wonderful Office of Global Women's Rights when she was in the State Department. So I think she will, more and more,
connect with all kinds of women and all kinds of men.
I do think part of what's going on is this sort of media spin here, to create this very divisive sort of story of, you know, young feminists
versus older feminists. And you know, youthful revolutionaries versus us old folks.
And I think it's glib and I think it misses the point. It's a great debate, these two are having. And they're both wonderful candidates and I
would support either one of them if they were the nominee.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me put that to Liza, because I know you want to jump in.
But would you support either one of them if they became the nominee?
FEATHERSTONE: You know, I mean, I pretty much always, in theory, support whoever's not the Republican, because I'm not a Republican. But, you know,
I live in New York state, to be honest. So I wouldn't, you know, which is not a swing state.
AMANPOUR: So you might not vote?
FEATHERSTONE: No, I would probably vote for the green candidate, to be honest.
FEATHERSTONE: Because it doesn't make much difference. I would want to support the alternative to the corporate-owned politics that I see much of
the Democratic Party representing.
So, you know, so I -- but, you know, the point is, we're having a primary now. So I would prefer to stay focused on that because it's a really great
opportunity to actually debate serious differences within the party, I think, between the party's base and much of its establishment.
And that's, I think, one of the reasons we're seeing this gap with the younger voters is, you know, while we remember the '90s and think of
Hillary Clinton as this person who endured all these right-wing attacks, they don't remember that.
And what they do see -- and, in my opinion, should see -- is someone very close to Wall Street, very close to corporate America, not necessarily
positioned to solve the problems that are caused by so much of the financial sector and, to use their contemporary word, the 1 percent.
AMANPOUR: What do you make, though, because she's obviously answered a lot of those questions and she's getting a lot of those questions on the
What do you make of the notion that -- or do you think that we, women, have achieved, you know, perhaps what younger women think they've already
achieved, in other words, equal pay/equal play. We still haven't.
And some are saying that to have a woman in the top job would push those very vital, you know, gender rights, women's rights, over the top. I mean,
it would give a much more level playing field and add some momentum.
FEATHERSTONE: Yes, I just don't see that. I mean, I think if you look at the example of, for instance, Margaret Thatcher, you know, and, you know,
gutting the welfare state, throwing so many women off of -- out of their council housing and I think a lot of single mothers would say, from that
experience, no, this did not necessarily empower me as a woman to have Margaret Thatcher at the top.
I think for a lot of elite women, absolutely. You had people identify with her and say, that represents the success that I want to see. But I think
for the vast majority of women, I'm not sure it makes much material difference.
AMANPOUR: Well, how do you answer that, Suzanna Walters?
WALTERS: Well --
AMANPOUR: -- well, how do you answer that?
WALTERS: Well, Hillary is no Margaret Thatcher. And the implication that women would somehow blindly follow any woman and vote for her because she
is a woman is disrespectful to women's intelligence.
And, in fact, Hillary Clinton is a progressive who is a woman and a woman who is a progressive. And that's why progressive women are supporting her.
She has been an advocate for, again, much of what Bernie Sanders believes in for her whole life.
So I think to compare her to Margaret Thatcher is ridiculous. It's also interesting to me that this question of the gender card and voting with our
gender is only brought up for women.
So I want to ask for everybody who's voted for men for these last 225 years, have you -- is that the gender card you've been playing?
Have we all been voting gender that way?
I mean, that's exactly how sexism and the double standard works. We don't ask that question of people who are supporting Bernie or Trump or Rubio or
any of them. We only ask about gender when it comes to the first viable female candidate in over 225 years of voting for presidents in this
So this is significant. And this is partly how it works.
AMANPOUR: Suzanna, let me ask you and I can ask you both but particularly, Suzanna, you mention, you know, for the first time, there's a viable female
candidate after, you know, centuries of democracy in this country while there have been many successful females around world who have achieved the
top gap, even in patriarchal societies -- or rather, the top job.
AMANPOUR: What is it, though, that -- is there an enthusiasm gap?
I mean, do people think she's been around too long?
What is it?
And again, we're talking about a narrow slice because it's really in New Hampshire, compared with the view around the rest of the world. But it is
the young people who are having this enthusiasm gap about her.
WALTERS: I think -- I do think that will change. But I do think, I have to say, I think in the U.S. in particular, we tend to believe these
fantasies of progress and that struggles are over. So, you know, when Obama was elected, there was all this talk, oh, we're in a post-racial
America now. We've got an African American president.
And so I think we're seeing some of the same phenomenon around Hillary. Oh, it doesn't matter that she's a woman. We don't need a woman elected.
We're already done away with gender inequality.
But young women, middle-aged women, old women, black women, white women, gay women, straight women, we all know that's not the case and that sexism
and misogyny and sexual violence and gender pay inequity are hardly things of the past.
And Hillary brings those up again and again and again. It's one of the reason why she has people campaigning with her, like Lilly Ledbetter. It's
one of the reasons she has Planned Parenthood and NARAL backing her. She's very well aware that the battle is still on.
AMANPOUR: We're sadly out of time.
I want to ask you -- give you the final word.
Would you be proud to have the first female President of the United States?
FEATHERSTONE: You know, honestly, I just don't think it matters that much.
AMANPOUR: All right. Well, we're going to see what the voters say, not only tonight but beyond.
Thank you both very much, Liza Featherstone, Suzanna Walters.
WALTERS: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: And while we're on the subject, tomorrow, America's only female late-night host, Samantha Bee, talks to me about going full frontal. Well,
of course, that's the name of her show.
But next, we go to the final frontier.
Superstar astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson joins me live in the studio for some mind-blowing conversation -- that's next.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
Now in our Twitter era, where misinformation can spread like wildfire, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is a welcome and much-beloved truth
warrior, judging by his 5 million stronger Twitter flock.
Whether it's debating a rapper who claims the Earth is flat or picking apart major science fiction movies like gravity, Tyson is forever
correcting flawed science and totting up the "gee whiz" factor, like using the Super Bowl to explain how a change in the Earth's rotation could have
helped the Panthers score a field goal.
AMANPOUR: Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the world-famous Hayden Planetarium at the Natural Museum of History here in New York joins me now.
NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON, ASTROPHYSICIST: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Welcome. First I want to understand, why does it matter whether the Panthers could score a touchdown because of the curvature of the length
of the -- I don't know what -- of the pitch?
TYSON: Well, so, let me just make it clear, that the rotation of the Earth could not have helped them win the game. We're talking specifically about
a missed field goal attempt which hit the right upright and then sort of dribbled off to the side. And that's close enough, so that it just has to
TYSON: -- over by maybe about 4 inches, all right?
And then it would have gone through.
So I thought to myself, what kind of rotation rate must Earth have to create the Coriolis force? This is the same force that creates the
circulation patterns in some major storms, hurricanes.
And so -- and a football would be no different from a cloud system moving over Earth's surface under those conditions. So it turns out Earth would
have to be rotating the opposite direction.
TYSON: And for the -- it would have to be rotating 10 times faster for it to have helped just that field goal. But they surely still would have
AMANPOUR: Now have you always been like this?
Have you always been so fascinated and so particular?
I know that your parents, when you were young, brought you to the natural history museum. You were very keen --
TYSON: It wasn't simply that they brought me to the natural history museum, they brought me, my brother and my sister to all of the cultural
offerings of the city, the art museum, the zoo, Broadway and even Lincoln Center, not knowing which of those would stick with us at any given time.
And it happened that my first visit to the Hayden planetarium was indelible. I was starstruck.
AMANPOUR: You were starstruck, so to speak. And you -- well, there's a picture of you, when you were much smaller.
TYSON: I think I was 14 or something.
AMANPOUR: Yes, something like that. But it is incredible how you have blazed a trail, again, so to speak, as a truth warrior, as you're being
called these days.
TYSON: Well, I have those thoughts all the time. You ask, where does it come from?
I think that way all the time. It just so happens that Twitter is a medium that marries perfectly to the thoughts I'm already having.
And so then I just, you know, tighten it into 140 characters and then the world, whoever wants to listen, to read, shares my view of the world.
AMANPOUR: Well, you've got 5 million students, let's face it. And they are sharing your world.
TYSON: And I swear, I didn't make anybody follow me. And I wonder, I have to tell them, you realize you're following an astrophysicist here. There's
still time to back out.
AMANPOUR: But they don't want to.
And look, even arguments that we thought had been solved in the 15th century, like whether the Earth is flat or not, continue to come up. And
you've just come up against a rapper, who asked you in this tweet, you know, the cities in the background are approximately 16 miles apart.
Where's the curve?
Please explain this.
And you wrote back and you also put out this rap with the help of your nephew, Tyson.
TYSON: Yes, he's the voice in the rap.
AMANPOUR: Let me play it.
I guess we're not going to play it.
TYSON: Oh, OK.
AMANPOUR: Anyway, what did you answer to him?
And are you astonished that that kind of misinformation is still at large?
TYSON: So I've known that there are sort of flat Earth people out there. And in a free society, I'm not going to beat you over the head and say, no,
the Earth isn't flat, it's round. Think what you want in a free society.
The problem arises if you think that way and you have control over the thoughts of others. And if you're influential as a politician or a rapper
or anybody who is in a position of, I would say, social responsibility, then it's dangerous.
AMANPOUR: Well, I mean, you've led me to the next question and that is obviously the current presidential election or politics in general; there
are, from science deniers and climate deniers to all sorts of avowedly and proudly -- what's the right word -- wrong thought out there.
TYSON: People don't like -- with proud attitudes, even in their misinformation.
AMANPOUR: And isn't that sort of dangerous?
Particularly in this Twitter era?
TYSON: Right, so but --
AMANPOUR: When does truth come in?
TYSON: Yes. So in the case of the rapper, the threshold beyond which it took me was, in his tweets, he was saying, I used the laws of physics and
math to calculate this.
And I said, well, then you're using them incorrectly.
So it called out the frontier of science to come to bear to correct him.
With regard to candidates running for office, I think the issue here is not even the candidates. Everyone's focusing on the candidates. Look what he
says or she says or what they think. And we vote for candidates. We, the citizenry and I, as an educator, I'm duty bound to educate the citizenry.
So if I -- so if you have a scientifically literate electorate, you will never have a scientifically illiterate successful candidate for any office
at all. So I look to the citizenry when it comes down to this. And that's where the -- I think that's where the educational frontier lies.
AMANPOUR: What about, again, in the Twitter universe --
TYSON: The Twitterverse, you can say that.
AMANPOUR: The Twitterverse.
AMANPOUR: I need education.
AMANPOUR: It's -- it's obvious somewhere where you can get a lot of trolling, obviously, hating. And there is a real spike in the tolerance
TYSON: Yes, so -- that's a great -- that's an important, perceptive observation. And what I've done is, instead of tell people what to think,
I offer them tools, so that they can come --
TYSON: -- to understand it on their own. And that way, they can say, well, this is true, not because I said so but because they actually
And this is hugely empowering. On any educational frontier but especially in the laws of physics and of nature and of the universe, because this is
what underpins what is going on in this world.
And in this, the 21st century, where innovations and science and technology are the engines of tomorrow's economy, if you're not speaking with a
literacy about climate and energy and all the things that will affect civilization, I don't know what business you have in the public eye.
AMANPOUR: Well, that's a great place to end. Thank you very much, Neil deGrasse Tyson.
TYSON: Thanks for having me.
AMANPOUR: Thanks for coming in.
And after a break, we plummet back to Earth with a tale of intolerance. Imagine a world where a turban means more than a ticket. An exclusive
interview with the American Sikh actor/model, who's been banned from boarding his flight from Mexico to the fashion week right here in New York
What's in a turban, when we talk live with Mexico City, next.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine a world where you can't get ahead because of what's on your head.
The Indian American actor and model, Waris Ahluwalia, was barred from a flight out of Mexico City to New York because he refused to remove his
turban in public during a security check.
Waris, who starred in the movie "The Grand Budapest Hotel," joins me exclusively now from Mexico City.
Listen, thank you for joining us. I think this is your first comment after this incident, at least on television.
What on Earth happened and why didn't they let you board?
WARIS AHLUWALIA, ACTOR/MODEL: First of all, I wanted to say thank you for having me here on the show. And the -- what had happened was, I got on the
boarding card, when I arrived at the airport, the SSSS, the four S's, the sort of the dreadful quad S's that appears on a boarding card.
And I happen to get it quite often, which leaves me to believe that maybe it's not so random or I'm just defying all odds and I get it all the time.
So I received that and I knew that meant secondary screening, which, again, I've done that so many times, so I didn't think anything out of it. I went
into the first security; everything went fine, they patted me, swabbed me, everything was great.
And then I went up to the boarding gate and that's where they made me wait until everyone was boarded and we did a -- we did the screening then. And
after the screening, they asked me to remove my turban. And at that -- which point --
AHLUWALIA: -- they asked, I said, I will not be removing my turban here. And they came back to me and said, you'll have to fly -- you'll have to fly
-- you will not be flying Aero Mexico. You'll have to fly another airline.
AMANPOUR: So Waris, you decided not to challenge it and just not to fly. And you made an amusing tweet. You didn't sound angry. You basically
said, sorry, New York Fashion Week, can't make it in time, wait for me.
What do you want to get out of this?
They've obviously apologized to you, Aero Mexico.
What more do you want from them?
AHLUWALIA: The lightness and the humor is important to recognize -- and I'm glad you mention that, because there's no anger here. I'm not angry, I
wasn't angry with them there. There is a lack of understanding. So the apology is a brilliant first step. And I want to thank Aero Mexico for
But it's a first step and that's past looking. The apology is about the past and that's great. Now what we're talking about is the future. And
what steps in the future?
The reason I didn't board any other plane and the reason I'm here on my own will is that I'm afraid if I leave, this can happen again to someone else.
And, I can't -- I can't in good conscience allow that.
So I'm here until we can have a dialogue about training their staff and about training their -- and about education. Really, this is about
education, about education of the Sikh religion but also of other religions. And this is not just about me or Sikhs.
AMANPOUR: You know, Waris, it's very committed of you and it's amazing that you're taking this stance and to stay and try to train. It's a
little, obviously, in your case, art imitating life.
You did perform in one of Spike Lee's film and there was a similar kind of situation there. And it does happen a lot, this kind of racial profiling
or ethnic stereotyping.
What did they say when you talked to them about it?
AHLUWALIA: Well, we haven't talked to -- we haven't talked yet. They walked away after they said that. So I'm looking forward to that
But, again, you pointed out something so important, that this isn't just about me getting on a plane, not getting on a plane. It's about the
problem at large. And the Sikh Coalition, which is a civil rights organization in the United States, in December, reported double the amount
of incidents, violent incidents against Sikhs in America.
And it's in the -- and I want to say here that it's beyond -- I'm not here to just talk about myself or Sikhs. The conversation has to be larger than
that. The conversation has to be about all ethnicities.
I mean, we're years after -- decades after the civil rights movement, we have a campaign called Black Lives Matter. I think -- and I think that
it's important that we all look at this together and have that conversation. It's not about Sikhs, it's not about African Americans, it's
not about anything.
It's about the idea that, even with the Oscars, that it's all white. That means it's not diverse. And then if you add black in, it's diverse. It's
not. There are other ethnicities and so we have to have that larger conversation. And that's what I want to have with them.
AMANPOUR: Well, we appreciate you starting that here and good luck to you, Waris Ahluwalia, thank you very much indeed for joining us from Mexico
And that is it for our program tonight. Remember, you can listen to our podcast, see us online at amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and
Twitter. Thanks for watching and goodbye from New York.