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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
GOP National Security Experts: Trump's "Dangerous"; Trump and Clinton Trade Attacks on Each Other's Economic Plans; Clinton Leads Trump By 10 In CNN Polls of Polls; The Bushes Vs. Trump; Former Reagan Aide Voting For Clinton Over Trump; Jeb Bush's Son: "Bitter Pill to Swallow" But Backing Trump. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired August 8, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:13] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. John Berman here, in for Anderson.
Tonight, Donald Trump tries to kick-start his campaign with a speech on the economy. But instead gets a kick in the teeth from 50 big name national security experts who say he would be, using their words now, "a dangerous president".
He also hears from one new conservative who entered the race today, yes, today, who joins us tonight and says he could actually win it all.
Hillary Clinton takes a swipe at Donald Trump's new economic plan, faces ongoing questions about her truthfulness and maintains her lead in new polling. Oh, and Jeb Bush's son puts all of the personal attacks on his father aside and endorses the man responsible for them, Donald Trump.
So, a very busy night. We're going to recap the Trump reboot.
We begin, though, with the letter that may have derailed it.
Here's CNN's chief political correspondent Dana Bash.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A who's who of the Republican foreign policy world, coordinating an unprecedented effort to stop their party's nominee from winning the White House. Fifty former GOP national security officials signing a letter, quote, "Donald Trump is not qualified to be president and commander in chief. Indeed, we're convinced that he would be a dangerous president and would put at risk our country's national security and well-being."
Some high profile officials like former CIA Director Michael Hayden and former homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff, has expressed concerns about Trump before. But nothing like this forum, 50 like-minded foreign policy experts, many of them nonpoliticians coming together to say they're not wild about Hillary Clinton but warning Trump in control of the nuclear arsenal makes them alarmed. Quote, "We are convinced that in the Oval Office he would be the most reckless president in American history."
The letter was released just as Trump was finishing his speech in Detroit aimed at trying to alleviate concerns those GOP national security experts voiced, like lack of self control.
Usually when Trump is interrupted by protesters, he insults them. Today, his economic policy speech was disrupted 14 times but he bit his tongue, expect to say this.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The Bernie Sanders people had far more energy and spirit, I will say that.
BASH: After a tumultuous week, it was Trump's attempt to get back to business.
TRUMP: We need to start believing in politicians and start believing in our great country.
BASH: A detailed economic policy speech but with a more fundamental goal, reminding voters he's on an outsider, eager to disrupt a broken system.
TRUMP: Our party has chosen to make new history by selecting a nominee from the outside, outside of the very, very already proven rigged system.
BASH: But he also used his speech to the Detroit economic club business people to talk tax cuts and court college-educated wealthier GOP voters that polls show Trump may be at risk of losing.
TRUMP: We're reducing your taxes from 35 percent to 15 percent.
BASH: Trump even dumped his own tax reform proposal, wiped it from his website and adopted the House Republican plan.
TRUMP: My plan will reduce the current number of brackets from seven to three and dramatically streamline the process.
BASH: But some experts in both parties have cautioned large tax cuts coupled with the kind of increased spending Donald Trump wants could balloon the deficit dramatically.
Trump also used his speech to warn Republicans considering voting for Hillary Clinton about her plans.
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton who has spent her career voting for tax increases plans another massive job killing $1.3 trillion tax increase.
BERMAN: All right. Dana Bash joins us now.
Dana, the national security letter, 50 officials who served in Republican administrations, what's the Trump campaign saying about this?
BASH: They released a lengthy statement earlier tonight. I'll read you one of the key parts of it. It says, quote, "The names on this letter are the ones that the American people should look to for answers on why the world is a mess and we thank them for coming forward so everyone in the country knows who deserves the blame for making the world such a dangerous place. They are nothing more than the failed Washington elite looking to hold on to their power and it's time they're held accountable for their actions."
And he goes on to talk about the fact that they are just part of the dynasties that have ruled Washington and he would bring somebody different.
[20:05:01] But I have to say, John, as much as he is saying that they're sort of part of the failed policies, the main purpose and the thrust of the letter was not so much on policy, it was about temperament.
BERMAN: How these 50 people came to sign this letter that came out today.
BASH: So interesting. I talked to some people who signed it, as did our own Elise Labott. And the gist is that these are people who have been talking amongst themselves. They are people who worked together for years, many of them, about the fact that they were not thrilled with the Trump candidacy.
But I was really in the past week, a little bit more as Donald Trump has been saying more things about Russia and other topics that alarmed these foreign policy experts, that made them decide to speak out.
I think it's noteworthy, though, that again in this letter there's not much about the substance of what Donald Trump has been saying. It's very, very, very tough on his temperament saying that he just would not be the right person to be near the nuclear codes and so forth. So it is those issues that made them all come together. And also the fact that these people traveled the world and I talked to one who said they talked to world leaders, both former and current who say that they worry that his, quote/unquote, "recklessness" will cause America's enemies to be reckless also.
BERMAN: All right. Dana Bash, thanks so much.
Joining us now is one of the Republicans who signed that letter, Matthew Waxman, who served in a number of senior positions at the State Department, the Pentagon, the National Security Council.
Matthew, thanks so much for joining us.
I want to read a quick part of this letter right now for our viewers right now. You say of Donald Trump, "He is unable or unwilling to separate truth from falsehood. He does not encourage conflicting views. He lacks self control and act impetuously. He cannot tolerate personal criticism. He has alarmed our closest allies with his erratic behavior. All of these are dangerous qualities in an individual who aspires to be president and commander in chief with command of the U.S. nuclear arsenal."
So, Matthew, you know, why this letter, why now?
MATTHEW WAXMAN, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Well, let me begin by saying I'm no longer a registered Republican. I'm an independent. I did serve in the George W. Bush administration. I in the past had generally supported Republican foreign policy and national security policy.
I'm not very political by nature. But I'm here and I signed the letter out of concern that our system has produced a candidate who is fundamentally unfit for office. And I never thought I would be here in this position.
I teach now national security law. I teach about how our constitutional system has generally produced foreign policy, a national security policy that advances American interest while protecting core values. And I never expected to be on television talking about a party nominee, a major party nominee for either party as being fundamentally unfit to hold the office of commander in chief.
BERMAN: Unfit. You say would make the country less safe. Look, there are critics who will look at that and say it's hyperbolic. That's the kind of hyperbole you hear in a campaign season
WAXMAN: Yes, I don't think it's hyperbolic. I mean, I'm concerned from everything that I've seen about Mr. Trump's character. He seems to be ethically, morally unmoored. This is somebody who rarely, when it comes to national security and foreign policy, expresses much in the way of a policy or strategy. And when he does, it's usually terrible.
And this is also somebody who hasn't demonstrated the basic skills of managing the vast national security and foreign policy bureaucracies of the United States. And that's supposed to be his strong point. But there's no indication that he would surround himself with knowledgeable advisers. And rely on their good judgment and know how to make decisions when he's receiving conflicting advice.
BERMAN: This letter makes clear that a lot of you who signed it have some doubts about Hillary Clinton.
WAXMAN: I think that's right. This is a letter signed by a number of us in our capacities as national security professionals. Some of us would support Mrs. Clinton, some of us might not. All of us feel strongly that Mr. Trump is not qualified to be president.
But I think that the people who signed that letter have different views about how they're going to vote. And this is not a group that always agrees among itself on matters of policy. These are people who I worked with inside the Bush administration. We had vigorous debates with each other.
[20:10:00] WAXMAN: But we all agree about Mr. Trump's character. BERMAN: Matthew, Donald Trump has an interesting response to this.
He said basically what he said during the campaign was, I don't really agree with a lot of the foreign policy in the Bush administration. A lot of people who signed this letter, he says, are the people -- he didn't say directly, but basically who brought us the Iraq war, and a lot of what he thinks are the foreign policy messes now plaguing this country.
So, could it be you're inadvertently handing him something to run against?
WAXMAN: You know, he can make that argument. It's sort of typical that he lashes out at criticism with everybody's stupid but him.
I think the test of leadership is not whether you can avoid making any mistakes but what do you learn from those mistakes and what steps do you make to avoid making those in the future? You know, when it comes to national security and foreign policy, you can't just declare bankruptcy when something goes wrong and move on to the next project.
BERMAN: Matthew Waxman, thank you so much for coming to talk to us about this letter.
WAXMAN: Thanks for having me.
BERMAN: Let's bring in the panel right now. Joining us now, Clinton supporters, Bakari Sellers and Angela Rye, "New York Times" national political Alex Burns, Trump's supporters Kayleigh McEnany and Joseph Borelli, along with conservative Trump critic Tara Setmayer, and from Chicago, global affairs and economic analyst as well as our old friend, Ali Velshi.
Kayleigh, I want to start with you. At this stage of the campaign, campaigns are about addition not subtraction. You want to win over as many supporters as you possibly can. There are 50 people on this letter. They may not all be Republicans, as Matthew Waxman just said, but a lot of them are Republicans and have worked l a lot of Republican administrations.
Would these be good people to have on board the Trump campaign on August 8th?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure, Trump wants every Republican voting for him, of course. But I definitely think that the Republican elite in Washington have been out of step with the Republican base, who elected Donald Trump in overwhelming numbers more than any Republican nominee in history.
What was going on with that letter is I think in the Republican Party, they have been buying ideologies for a long time. You have the John McCains. You have the Lindsey Grahams, who have more hawkish views, more in line with Hillary Clinton's policy of invading Libya and allowing ISIS to take over, versus the other wing of the Republican Party which is more inward looking, America first. Let's not get involved in Libya, let's not get involved in Syria, and open space for ISIS. That's what I think that letter was about. More hawkish way of the
party rejecting the America first wing of the party.
BERMAN: Tara, Matthew Waxman says that's not what the letter is about. Matthew Waxman says the letter really is about temperament. He thinks Donald Trump is unfit to be president.
TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I happen to agree with him. So do a lot of other people. It's not just the Washington elite. That's a copout.
These are people who have spent their entire careers as specialists in experts in these fields. I think they understand and know what's going on here. Just because, you know, foreign policy is one of those issues where most people think it's faraway places, doesn't affect our everyday lives. So, the average American isn't necessarily paying attention to the diplomatic relations between NATO, and our allies and all those things. They want someone though who's going to be commander in chief, who they feel comfortable with.
And clearly, I don't care how many people voted for Donald Trump in the primaries, more people voted against him, let's be clear. But most people want to see someone who is sane and can be commander in chief. What Donald Trump has exhibited time after time is he's not capable of doing that.
When you go after POWs, you go after a Gold Star family. You make flippant statements about NATO not supporting our all allies, you make comments abut making videos concerning Iran and what happened there. These are things that you just cannot do and you have to be responsible with your words to be commander in chief. He has not demonstrated that. All of that is relevant.
JOSEPH BORELLI, TRUMP SUPPORTER: These are 50 people who are largely irrelevant outside the Beltway. They are people who are almost unknown to the American public. The names that people might know like Condoleezza Rice, Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, those people are not in there. Those are people that probably would actually have an impact on people's views.
I think a lot of those folks are career bureaucrats -- career bureaucrats turned lobbyists. Some of them even work for the same firm. And I think maybe they smell the blood in the water and trying to endear themselves with the potential Clinton administration. Some of them, not Matt Waxman, but some of them have actually said that there's something that Donald Trump could do to get them back on board. I suspect they'll start doing that when the polls show a swing back to Donald Trump.
BERMAN: So, I guess I'll put it to Bakari, you know, I'll put it you, because these are folks who have been running foreign policy for about eight years. I doubt you said very many nice things about these people from 2001 through, say, January of 2009. You probably thought -- I don't want to put words in your mouth.
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You're exactly right. It's fair to say we had vast foreign policy differences especially when it came to the war in Iraq. But that also just takes away from the fact that some of these people in the letter go as far back as Richard Nixon. Some of these people in the letter actually goes as far back as Ronald Reagan, H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. So, it's more than the Bush contingency. That has to be said first.
But this letter wasn't as much about foreign policy as it was about temperament, and character and the ability to be commander in chief. Someone who actually praises the a annexation of Crimea - first of all, didn't even know what happened but then praises it.
[20:15:04] Someone who actually encourages our armed forces to go out and waterboard, to go out and kill innocent families, I mean, that is unconstitutional on its face.
So, I think there are vast issues with Donald Trump's foreign policy or lack thereof. That's what this letter is about. You know, as a Democrat, what I do is I sit back and I just watch the fact that he gave an economic speech today where he didn't beat up a protester or encourage that happen, so it's deemed a success. But this is what we're talking about.
BERMAN: We will talk about the economic speech going forward. Bakari, thank you for that segue.
Stick around, guys. We have a lot more to discuss after the break.
Ahead tonight, we're also going to have my conversation with the new independent candidate, Evan McMullin just got n the race and he calls Donald Trump inhuman.
Also, we're going to turn the spotlight on Hillary Clinton. Her economic plan, her polling and continued questions about her credibility on the e-mail issue.
And later, why the son of Jeb Bush just endorsed the man who not only defeated his father but seemed to take special delight in humiliating him while doing it. What could possibly make George P. Bush get behind Donald Trump? Find out when 360 continues.
BERMAN: All right. Before the letter of 50 national security Republicans and former Republican officials concerned about his candidacy, before his own new conspiracy theory tweets which we'll talk about in our next hour, Donald Trump gave an economic report speech that his campaign billed as a major address.
[20:20:10] Back now with our panel, including Angela Rye, who we should point out is a Democrat but does not call herself a Hillary Clinton supporter. That important disclaimer, we're still not going to her first.
We're going to Ali Velshi.
Ali, you know, you cover economics and have for a long, long time.
I want to talk about Donald Trump's speech today. Big on tax cuts, big on renegotiating trade deals, big on getting rid of government regulations. There was a lot in this for a lot of different constituencies.
ALI VELSHI, GLOBAL AFFAIRS & ECONOMIC ANALYST: Yes. So, he -- let's start with trade, renegotiating trade deals. To Professor Waxman's point, this is one of those areas where Donald Trump does think everyone else is stupid except for him.
Trade deals take a lot of time. He said he would get out of TPP. Well, that's a position he's held for a while. Hillary Clinton did come to that a little bit later. She has turned around on TPP.
But now, he's talking about NAFTA. He said, we'll renegotiate. If it doesn't work, we'll walk away.
It does show a lack of sophistication in our massive trading relationships with Canada and Mexico. We get lot of oil from Canada. It's actually the biggest trading relationship that America has. So, that's a bit of an issue.
But he did have a lot of red meat for conservatives in there -- getting rid of the estate tax, lowering the corporate tax to 15 percent, lowering the income tax to 25 percent. As you know, the top marginal tax rate is 39.6. He wants to bring it down, have only three tax rates across the board.
He had thrown in a few other things. For working women, he has started to talk about a child tax -- child care tax credit. Analysts are saying that it is more likely to affect higher income middle families than lower income working families. TPP, his objections to it appeal to working men, generally speaking. So, you know, a little bit of stuff for everyone.
Here is the interesting part. He proposes to double the spending, the very necessary spending on infrastructure that for some reason, Republicans have opposed and Hillary Clinton supports. So, he sort of went off beyond Hillary Clinton in how he would deal with infrastructure. But again, not a lot of specifics.
It does feel like he took a lot of people to dinner at the cheesecake factory, ordered a whole lot of stuff and then left them with the bill. It's not clear how he pays for all this stuff. He wants to lower taxes, increase spending and he believes that this will be solved by an increased in economic growth and that will answer the problem. That's risky and highly uncertain at best.
BERMAN: Now, all I can think of is cheesecake.
Alex Burns, let's start the politics of this now, because you know for the last few days, the Trump campaign was putting a lot of emphasis on this speech. This speech was very important for them to turn a corner, the words you hear are reset, reboot. They want to talk about this and they don't want to talk about all the stuff we were talking about last week.
ALEX BURNS, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, NEW YORK TIMES: They certainly don't. John, two sort of prongs of why the speech is important. One is just the stylistic side. He delivered the speech on a teleprompter. He didn't get into it with any of the protesters. He didn't veer off into tangents about Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush for that matter. He stuck to the script.
So, can he stick to the --
BERMAN: Of course, critics will say that's an incredibly low bar.
BURNS: It is an incredibly low bar, but it's a bar he's pretty consistently failed to clear.
And the second problem is just the substance of the policy is that, you know, when you go see Trump on the trail -- I saw him in a couple of different states last week -- he gets really fired up talking about trade, he gets really fired up talking about the Washington insider class, the globalist finance class. He doesn't really offer a lot for somebody who isn't a white guy who has been laid off in a Rust Belt state, or maybe concerned that they're getting laid off in a Rust Belt state.
I think that speech today was about to say if you're a woman in the suburbs, if you're a professional in the city, maybe there's something I have for you, too. But the test of this will really be not just can he stay on script in a sort of stylistic talking points way, but is this stuff that actually animates him, that he can get passionate about that he can sell the way he has sold the trade deals?
BERMAN: Good point.
You know, Angela, I was struck by part of this was a traditional Republican versus Democrats type of speech. Republicans painting themselves as the party for tax cuts, we're going to cut your taxes more than the Democrats will -- a traditional debate we hear every four years. Both sides seem to be OK with having that debate.
But part of it wasn't a traditional Republican speech. He talked about trade in a way you don't normally here from Republicans who, have in the past been for trade. And then there was this child tax -- child care tax deduction, which is not something we've heard typically from candidates right there. That could be appealing, I imagine, to some voters.
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it could be appealing, but the hill he has to climb to ensure that voters will support him on a child care tax credit is major. I was saying earlier today that Donald Trump has given 99 percent a brand new meaning.
[20:25:00] That is, 99 percent of people who look like me who are not supporting him, regardless of whether or not he was in Detroit. The fact that his economic advisers, the group of them don't -- none of them look like me, as a woman, or as a person of color.
The fact that when you go to Detroit and you lay at the feet of the president and Hillary Clinton, who mind you has not been sworn in to be anyone's commander in chief, you can rest every economic policy, every failure that that economy is put at the feet of the president is irresponsible.
The fact that this was a fact checker's dream because they could go through and tear this speech apart. He talked about black youth unemployment being at 42 percent but didn't say that 49 percent of everyone else, every other American in that same age demographic is employed.
So, there's a huge problem here when you look at how they interpret statistics, how they push these numbers out. What they're actually using to bait potential voters. I don't feel swayed at all and probably wouldn't be.
BERMAN: You can talk in our next block.
Bakari Sellers --
BERMAN: Find out what Bakari Sellers so badly wants to say. We'll have more with our panel ahead, including Hillary Clinton's answer to Donald Trump's speech, why she's saying what she is now saying about his economic plan.
[20:30:18] BERMAN: Hillary Clinton has been campaigning the battleground state of Florida, she wasted no time in blasting Donald Trump over his economic speech today. Now, Secretary Clinton will detail her own economic plan later in the week. She's ahead by Donald Trump, double digits in the polls right now and as we see getting some support from unlikely places, but she has also tried so far unsuccessfully to put her e-mail issues behind her.
Pamela Brown reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, Hillary Clinton is taking aim in Donald Trump's plans to bolster the U.S. economy.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: He can't escape the math. Economists left, right, in the middle all say the same thing that Trump's policies would throw us into a recession.
BROWN: At a campaign stop in St. Petersburg, Florida, Clinton accused Trump of pursuing policies that favor the wealthy at the expense of middle class Americans.
CLINTON: His tax plans will give super big tax breaks to large corporations. He wants to basically just repackage trickle down economics.
BROWN: Clinton's campaign already hitting the airwaves in Florida, looking to paint Trump as someone who profits off of other people's pain.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters. OK?
BROWN: A new CNN Poll of Polls shows Clinton with a 10-point lead over Trump, up six points from just before the conventions. Now, some prominent Republicans unhappy with Trump are breaking from their party and coalescing around Clinton such as former Michigan Governor William Milliken who joins major GOP donor Meg Whitman and New York Congressman Richard Hanna.
Despite her recent gains, Hillary Clinton's latest efforts to move past her e-mail controversy have backfired. On Friday, she said she short-circuited her remarks about the FBI statement on her private e- mail server.
CLINTON: I may have short-circuited, and for that I, you know, will try to clarify.
BROWN: Trump quickly pounced calling her unstable and unfit to be president.
TRUMP: She used the term short-circuited. She took a little short- circuit in the brain. And she's got problems. It amazes me, actually. Honestly, I don't think she's all there.
BROWN: Clinton's running mate, Tim Kaine, defended her during a "Meet the Press" interview Sunday. Saying she has repeatedly apologized for using her private e-mail server and pledging that Clinton, Kaine administration would be more transparent.
SEN. TIM KAINE, (D) VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I am not presumptuous enough to start thinking about how I'm going to do things after November, but I know that this is something that she's learned from and we're going to be real transparent. Absolutely.
BROWN: The Clinton campaign also taking note of Trump's July fund- raising haul of $80 million. Still $10 million shy of its own total but closing the gap. A fact that prompted campaign manager Robby Mook to write in a memo, "This was far more than anyone expected, and should be a wake-up call to all Hillary supporters."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right, Pamela Brown joins us right now from St. Petersburg. So, Pamela, what is Hillary Clinton trying to accomplish now ahead of her own economic speech on Thursday?
BROWN: Well, she's really setting the stage here in Florida during her two-day swing here in this crucial battleground state ahead of what her campaign is saying is a major speech on the economy Thursday in Michigan. So, she came out today with these fresh attacks against Trump really and what has become this escalating fight over the economy, going after him for his jobs plan that he laid out today, saying that he will cause a recession and that he only wants to help wealthy people like himself.
So, here in Florida, this battleground state she wants to make sure she blunts his path to victory. And also, she's capitalizing on the momentum that we've seen in the latest polls at CNN Poll of Poll shows her up 10 points, and also CNN Poll shows that she is making gains over Trump when it comes to the economy. Back to you, John.
BERMAN: All right, Pamela brown in St. Petersburg, thanks so much. Back now with our panel, Bakari Sellers, I cut you off and we went to commercial, so I'll give you the first question right now. Hillary Clinton is giving her own economic speech on Thursday, yet she felt the need to go off script today and respond directly to a lot of what Donald Trump said on the stump today. Is that a de facto admission that she can't let Donald Trump have a day on the economy? She knows the economy is an issue that concerns voters deeply right now.
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's the economy, stupid. And that the lesson that we've all learned ...
BERMAN: The economy, stupid.
SELLERS: That was a saying. That was a saying.
BERMAN: You just called me stupid again.
SELLERS: That was a saying. Anyway, so one of the things that she's realizes that you cannot let Donald Trump have a moment.
[20:35:00] You cannot let Donald Trump have a day. You have continue to put the foot on the gas, keep the pedal down and win every vote. But what Donald Trump did today was doubled down on voodoo economics. I mean we were talking early today about his child tax deduction, which is not accredited as deduction because the 40 percent of Americans who actually filed pay no taxes. So, they don't get the privilege of having this deduction.
We talked about the fact that there was no talk about paid family leave. There was no talk about raising the federal minimum wage. And you just look at how this was all enveloped in blatant hypocrisy because Donald Trump is the same person who's talking about bringing jobs back to America but yet does nothing of his own here in America.
BERMAN: So, Tara, Bakari has made a point that I made less, though he just throw out the term voodoo economics, which is a term we hear every four years in a campaign. Now, whether he's right or wrong that's, you know, Democrats make that case, but is this now or at least, is this part of the campaign a traditional R versus D discussion? And if Donald Trump can have that discussion every day, is that ground where he feels comfortable?
TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, and I think that there was a lot of substance in the speech today that Republicans will like. I think he tried to be all things to a lot of people because it boiled down to the economy. It's absolutely true.
You know, we -- Bill Clinton and the "I feel your pain" and "it's the economy, stupid." I came from one of Bill Clinton's advisers, I think it was James Carville who said that.
SELLERS: James Carville actually.
SETMAYER: But -- yeah, it was James Carville. But, you know, but that's true, people vote based on how they feel right now, how does it affect my pockets, my family? So economic issues are very smart for Donald Trump to do.
Now, of course, there are some things that we're concerning like trade. So, that's a big problem. We can't go back to -- you can't go back to protectionist policies like we had under Hoover, which led to a great depression and then, you know, that' a problem.
But Donald Trump said a lot of things I think that were attractive to people. And the Clinton campaign is concerned about that because they know that people vote based on the economy.
When he went for child care whether it was deduction or credit, that speaks to a constituency that was -- is normally a Democratic one that Donald Trump is trying to thread the needle on and that's why Hillary Clinton had to come out today and address it because there were a lot of good things today. And I will take the Reagan economy over this mess we've had with Obama any day, during the Reagan we had in the '80s.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: If I were a Democrat, I'd be scared because he effectively today drew a contrast with Hillary Clinton where he's created tens of thousands of jobs in his private life. He pointed to Hillary Clinton's record and said she promised upstate New York that she would create 200,000 jobs. When -- and then the "Washington Post" hardly a friend of Donald Trump or Republicans came out and said that her jobs promises failed to materialize.
Donald Trump today proposed tax cut across the board meanwhile, Hillary Clinton in the Senate voted for taxes on those making as little as 43,000 and her running mate proposed a plan that would tax people making as little as 17,000. It was a contrast. And if I were a Democrat, I'd be very scared.
BERMAN: Jeffrey, sorry, sorry, sorry. Kayleigh just said if I were a Democrat, I'd be very scared. Let me just flip that around, if you're a Republican, which you are, wouldn't you look at the polls right now?
JOSEPH BORELLI, TRUMP'S SUPPORTER: No, no here. No, no, here. I want to address that with what Bakari said. Bakari said that 47 percent of American people don't pay taxes.
SELLERS: Nearly 40.
BORELLI: And this wasn't a good plan because this deduction doesn't help those 47 percent. Well, you know what, there's 53 percent of Americans that do pay taxes, people like me, people who are struggling to file child care.
So, I'm pretty happy that my candidate is speaking to the 53 percent of Americans who do pay taxes, who do carry the burden to fund our government.
As far as the poll numbers, look, we had -- the CNN -- first of all, CNN Poll of Poll is leading out of poll from today but we won't get into that.
BORELLI: "L.A. Times" hasn't down by ...
BERMAN: The daily tracking poll which has the biggest Hillary Clinton lead today.
BORELLI: It is the poll of polls of "L.A. Times" polls but it hasn't down by only one.
SETMAYER: CNN Poll was an average of 10 polls.
BORELLI: If he does this, if he speaks to those 53 percent of Americans who pay taxes, who are concerned about things like child care, concern about things like jobs then, yes, his poll numbers will go up.
SELLER: I got to ask a very simple question ...
BERMAN: ... when we come back. It is time for a quick break.
Why a former Reagan White House Political Director says he is voting for Hillary Clinton? He'll go head to head with one of his former colleagues, another former Reagan political wag, Jeffery Lord.
Also ahead, Donald Trump has enjoyed very little support among the Bush family to say the least. But now, one of them is breaking ranks, Jeb Bush's son. The question is, why and why now?
[20:43:24] BERMAN: If there's one thing that Donald Trump has done very well in his quest to win the White House it's causing heated discussions between himself and other people, between people with different politics, between strangers, between people in his own party, even people who used to work together in the very same White House.
Two people join me right now. They worked together in the same office in the Reagan White House. Frank Lavin, he's a former Reagan White House political director who says Trump is the emperor with no clothes and now he is voting for Hillary Clinton. Jeffrey Lord is also a former Reagan White House political director and CNN political commentator. And if you watch CNN, you know by now that Jeffrey Lord is a Donald Trump supporter. I mean, and so, Ambassador Lavin, you served in every Republican administration over the last 40 years and you wrote an op-ed for cnn.com in which you say you're voting for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. How did you get there?
FRANK LAVIN, FMR. REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yeah, thanks for having me on.
Look, it started with Donald Trump. And I mentioned two points in that essay, John. One is, look, if not exclusively articulating a bigotry, he certainly evokes bigoted sentiment toward different religious, racial, ethnic groups and that should be unacceptable in public life. And secondly, it was his multiple bankruptcies. This is a fellow who has four different bankruptcies and yet it seems to enrich himself, that out to be very troubling for traditional Republican voters. That's not the way business is supposed to work. So those were two big problems I articulated with regard to Donald Trump.
BERMAN: So, Jeffrey Lord, how did you lose Lavin? How did you lose your old officemate Ambassador Lavin here? And what does that mean for Trump's quest for the White House?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Actually, I didn't. That's really not Frank Lavin.
[20:45:00] That's somebody who's had an invasion of the body snatchers. And Frank is somewhere else and we're really trying to find him.
Listen, I know Frank. I love Frank. I have great respect for him. This is the discussion within the Republican Party, it's a discussion among people who supported and worked for Ronald Reagan, for George W. Bush, for George H.W. Bush, for Jack Kemp, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
I just disagree. I don't think that Donald Trump is -- I know Donald Trump, he is a friend, he's not in the least a bigoted guy. I think that this, you know, that we're talking about an American liberal movement that is bigoted, that made their political bones on slavery and segregation and lynching and they still play with race card things today. So, I think that is very disturbing to me.
And secondly, I mean, I just -- Frank has been an ambassador. There's no way in the world Frank Lavin would have a private server in his basement and run national security e-mails to them. He would never, in a thousand years, do something like that. That's what Hillary Clinton has done. And now, we have senators, Cotton and Sessions connecting these things and wanting to check into the fact that this poor soul in Iran, the Iranian nuclear scientist was mentioned in these e-mails. I mean, this is session egregiously gross dereliction of duty that one can only imagine what she'd do as president.
BERMAN: First of all, on those e-mails and we're going to talk about that in our next plot. It was all public, everyone was talking about it publicly what she said in the e-mails didn't go further than what was already out there in public information but, Jeffrey will talk about that in our next hour.
Ambassador Lavin, I'll let you address the issue of the e-mails though, you say there are things that concern you about Hillary Clinton, yet you still say you are voting for her. Why do these things not concern you enough for her to lose your vote?
LAVIN: Sure, and let me say upfront, just returning Jeff's kindness, I'll tell you this, regardless of your politics, regardless of who you're voting for, one of the brightest guys you can talk to on American political history, political trivia, political statistics is Jeff Lord. And if you ever have the chance to grab some time with Jeff, you're going to learn a lot. So, I compliment Jeff just on his depth of historical knowledge. He's a good friend and he's a great guy to chat with. But I'll turn to your comment on the e-mails.
Yeah, look, I do think that was a problem and it does give me a considerable discomfort. And I think Jeff is exactly right that it's something that shouldn't be tolerated in government. I think, here to my mind, is the core difference between what Hillary Clinton did regarding the e-mails and Donald Trump did regarding his bankruptcies. The clear difference is this, she said I was wrong, I made a mistake, I'm sorry. Donald Trump says I don't apologize and I'm not sorry and I made a few million dollars and a few people lost money. So, I just -- there's a clear difference in terms of character between someone who has self-awareness and recognizes mistakes and someone who has no self-awareness and profits from other people's misfortune. So, that's how I distinguish between those two flaws.
BERMAN: And Jeffrey Lord, when you're talking about character and temperament, that is the subject of that letter where we heard from 50 national security advisers who worked in various Republican administrations. They say, as Ambassador Lavin is saying right now, Donald Trump just doesn't have the temperament to be president.
LORD: Well, you know, let me just reach over here. I wrote down, John, a list of some of the descriptions of Hillary Clinton and some of these different books written about her as given by people who knew her and they accused her temperamentally speaking of yelling, throwing a vase, hollering, she has volcanic eruptions, she holds grudges, she unleashes obscenity, filled tirades, et cetera. In other words, what they're describing is somebody who simply doesn't have the temperament for this kind of thing.
And you know, book after book after book comes out and they all have some kind of story in there about this. This is not a good thing. Ronald Reagan did not throw vases in the White House, I assure you.
BERMAN: Ambassador Lavin, I want to give you the last word because you're far away in Singapore right now. In terms of Ronald Reagan, you know, Jeffrey always invokes or often invokes Ronald Reagan when saying why he supports Donald Trump. What do you think Ronald Reagan would say about Donald Trump, Ambassador?
LAVIN: Well, I don't put words in other people's mouth. I'll this, Ronald Reagan's stood for Republican Party that was inclusive. Donald Trump does not stand for inclusive Republican Party. Ronald Reagan served Republican Party to believed in international leadership and working with allies through a treaty structure. Donald Trump has rejected that view of international engagement.
So, at least on two very important fundamental organizing principles, there's a considerable view between Ronald Reagan's view of politics and Donald Trump's view of politics.
BERMAN: Ambassador Lavin, Jeffrey Lord, glad we could all be part of this office for you.
LORD: Hey, thanks, Frank. It's good to talk you.
LAVIN: Thanks, Jeff.
BERMAN: All right. Up next, a member of the Bush family going rogue. He is the son of Donald Trump's favorite punching bag, Jeb Bush. How it came to be when "360" continues.
[20:53:30] BERMAN: For the first time, a member of the Bush family is supporting Donald Trump. No, it is not former President George H.W. Bush or former President George W. Bush and it is not his former opponents on the campaign trail, Jeb Bush. However, it is Jeb's son, George P. Bush, the Texas land commissioner. Here is what he told state Republicans over the weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE P. BUSH, JEB BUSH'S SON: I know a lot of us in this room had dogs in the fight in the primary. Maybe that's the risk. But you know what? It's time to put it aside. But, you know, from team Bush, it's a bitter pill to swallow, but you know what? You get back up and you help the man that won, and you make sure that we stop Hillary Clinton.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: And that's George P. Bush who is putting aside all the attack that Donald Trump made against his father. If you have forgotten some of them, "360's" Gary Tuchman has a refresher.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It did not take long for Donald Trump to set his sights on Jeb Bush.
TRUMP: I can't believe Bush is in first place. You know, I'm -- some people are thrilled. I'm not thrilled because how could Bush be in first place? This guy can't negotiate his way out of a paper bag.
TUCHMAN: And early on, Trump came out with a phrase to get under his skin.
TRUMP: He's very low energy. I think Jeb is a nice person. He's very low energy. I'm not used to that kind of a person. So, let's assume somebody else becomes president. Let's assume a very low energy person, very, very low energy, so low energy that every time you watch him you fall asleep.
[20:55:05] TUCHMAN: Trump trotted out the theme at debates, too.
TRUMP: And I get along with Clinton. I get along with everybody. That was my job, to get along with people.
JEB BUSH, (R) FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But the simple fact is...
TRUMP: Excuse me, one second.
BUSH: No. The simple fact is, Donald ...
TRUMP: Jeb, oh, good, more energy tonight. I like that.
TUCHMAN: The low energy line usually got supporters laughing and applauding. And so did the more personal insults.
TRUMP: Jeb Bush, who's a total stiff, by the way, a total stiff. His family's so ashamed. Look -- say it.
The poll just came out. And I'm tied with Jeb Bush and I said "Oh, that's too bad. How can I be tied with this guy?" He's terrible. He's terrible.
TUCHMAN: And then Trump took it a step further, a far more provocative step, an attack on Jeb Bush by attacking George W. Bush.
TRUMP: I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time. If you look at the same ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hold on. You can't blame George Bush for that.
TRUMP: Well, he was president, OK? Don't blame him or don't blame him, but he was president. The World Trade Center came down during his reign.
TRUMP: The World Trade Center came down during his brother's reign. Remember that.
Excuse me. The World Trade Center came down during the, you know, reign of George Bush, right? I mean it came down.
TUCHMAN: Trump said this in August 2015.
TRUMP: The last thing we need is another Bush, believe me.
TUCHMAN: And this six months later.
TRUMP: The last thing we need is another Bush. That I can tell you.
TUCHMAN: Donald Trump never let up on his attacks against Jeb Bush. TRUMP: Jeb, oh. Jeb. He's asleep. He's asleep at the wheel, folks.
TUCHMAN: Trump did not pull punches with most of the Republican candidates, but he seemed to relish jabbing Jeb Bush the hardest.
TRUMP: Jeb Bush is a total lightweight.
TUCHMAN: And even did so after Bush ended his candidacy.
TRUMP: Jeb is gone. He forgot three -- he forgot three words according to, I'll say it, the "New York Times." Three words, Donald John Trump.
TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right. There's much more ahead on our next hour of "360" including a new attack by Donald Trump. How the presidential nominee is firing back at the 50 former senior Republican national security experts who call him dangerous for the country.