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Trump Gets On Message, But Can He Stay There?; Trump Unveils Plan To Defeat ISIS; Assessing Trump's Latest Reboot; Clinton, Biden Campaign In Pennsylvania; Clinton Leads In Key Battleground State Polls; At Least 5 Killed And 20,000+ Rescued In Louisiana Flooding; Milwaukee Police Shooting Ignites Violent Protests; Wolf Is A Grandpa. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired August 15, 2016 - 21:00   ET



[21:00:12] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. At the end of a very big day in presidential politics, especially for Donald Trump, he's been having a hard time in the polls and a hard time with many Republicans, who were -- some are losing patience with the way he's running his campaign. They want him to stay on message, they say, unlike the way things happened last week after he laid out his economic plan.

Well, this afternoon he unveiled his plan for fighting ISIS, including tougher scrutiny for immigrants with an eye towards stopping Islamic extremism at the border.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today. I call it extreme vetting. I call it extreme, extreme vetting. Our country has enough problems. We don't need more, and these are problems like we've never had before.


COOPER: CNN's Sara Murray was at the speech in Youngstown, Ohio, she joins us from there. So, Donald Trump calls this extreme vetting. Did he offer a lot of details about exactly what that means?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, he gave us a sense of sort of what he's trying to accomplish. He's trying to weed out potential immigrants who hold extremist beliefs, perhaps people who are anti- Semitic, who are anti-Christian, who are anti-gay. But what he didn't explain was how he would accomplish something like this. Obviously this would be a big shift in terms of our immigration policy and in terms of the kind of information we collect on people to impose something like an ideology test. And so, that's going to be one of the big questions for Donald Trump going forward, is if this is what you're aiming to accomplish, how would you do something like that in practice? COOPER: As we mentioned, Trump was on message as they say. Was this really looked at as critical that he do that that, you know, with some of these new battleground state polls that have not been showing good results for him just most recently that this race could be actually be getting out of hand?

MURRAY: I think it is absolutely critical, Anderson. I've talked to a number of political operatives today in different battleground states across the country and there's a sense when you talk to them that this race could be slipping away. They feel like Donald Trump really only has a couple of weeks to turn around his fortunes and that means -- that does mean staying on message. It doesn't necessarily mean, they say, delivering a speech from a teleprompter every day but it does mean you can't be jumping from one controversy to the next day after day and that's essentially what we saw last week. He gave one policy speech and he spent the rest of the week jumping from one incident to the next and trying to explain what he meant. A number of political operatives, including those in Trump's own campaign, are hoping this week will not just be a repeat of last.

COOPER: All right, Sara Murray. Sara, thanks very much. Joining us now, Trump adviser and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. General Flynn, thanks very much for being with us.

Let's talk about today's speech.

LT. GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN (RET.), TRUMP ADVISOR: Thanks for having me.

COOPER: Donald Trump said, "Those who support bigotry or hatred will not be admitted for immigration into our country." He said he would test to see if an immigrant had what he called a tolerant view of things like women's rights or gay rights or religion. Can you offer additional clarity on exactly how that would be implemented because a lot of people raised questions about it?

FLYNN: Well, I mean, I think part of what he talked about today was, you know, essentially to make sure that he had a discussion with the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and also the Department of State in coming up with a detailed means to vet some of these individuals who are coming into our country who, you know, who honestly are looking to impose Sharia law.

I mean, Anderson, we have a couple of stakes in this country right now that are dealing with the -- at the state and local level, dealing with the imposition of Sharia law right now. So, this is a very serious issue. And I think that was really the points that Donald Trump was trying to make today.

COOPER: Where do you see people seriously trying to impose Sharia law in the United States right now?

FLYNN: Florida and Texas are two states. And you can go look at it. And there's something called America Laws for America Courts Act that is in play right now. So, I mean, these are things that are happening and I think people need to pay very close attention to it. And these are some of the issues that our country is dealing with, with the -- some of the individuals who have come into our country over time and frankly, some of the -- those that espouse these radical Islamic views.

COOPER: But -- I mean, Donald Trump wasn't just talking about radical Islamic views. I mean, he was talk about gay rights. He was talking about, you know, religion, women's rights ...

FLYNN: No, I don't think he was talking about -- I mean, he actually standing up for something that I believe he needs to stand up for, which is all creeds, all colors, all races, all beliefs against this ideology which -- I mean, condemns women, condemns gays, condemns -- I mean -- I've seen this.

COOPER: There's a lot of folks in America who condemn gays and, you know, that's part of their right as Americans.

FLYNN: Well, I think what Donald Trump has done is he stand up for all people ...


FLYNN: ... at this point in time. And I think it was a terrific speech today.

[21:05:03] Very practical, very doable. And my assessment is the kind of thing that we need to really focus on, which is the ideology that underpins the radical component within Islam. And it has to be taken very seriously because these guys have declared war on us and it's something that we're going to be dealing with for a long time.

COOPER: You have an extraordinary history in Iraq. You know Iraq better than just about anybody else or certainly as anybody else who is at your level of the military serving there honorably. I want to ask about what Donald Trump has proposed. I mean, he basically said, you know, one of the big things that led to ISIS was their control of oil. He -- all along, he reiterated it today, was saying, you know, to the victor goes -- should go the spoils or that's in the olden days that's what they said. He said we should take Iraq's oil. We should have the oil. He -- early on in an interview with me, he said send in U.S. troops, surround Iraq oil fields, surround the oil fields, get U.S. companies in to take the oil. Does that make sense to you as somebody who served in Iraq? I mean, is that actually something to take a sovereign nation's oil?

FLYNN: Well, we clearly made a big mistake departing Iraq in 2011. I don't think your listeners understand but we're looking at about, you know, and I'm not sure of the exact numbers, but it's in some recent assessments this year, 2016, they were making around $1.5 million a day from oil on the black market essentially that they were -- this is ISIS now.

COOPER: Right. But he's talking about taking Iraq's oil and using that money to give to wounded warriors, which is obviously a very worthy cause, but is that really something the United States can do? I mean, Iraq is an ally of the United States, as problematic as it is. FLYNN: Yeah.

COOPER: Can you actually go in and take their oil?

FLYNN: Yeah, I think one of the things we have to look at is we have to look at all the means that we can bring to bear in Iraq. And I think that one of the things we have to do is we have to cut off their, you know, financial capabilities that they are using right now and they've been using. And that continues to be these oil fields that are in the contested areas in Iraq and frankly even in Syria, too. So, I mean, the specifics of how we do that, you know, those are things that are left to really the true professionals to be able to assist us in thinking through how we might do that but we have to cut off the financial ...

COOPER: Right.

FYNN: ... capabilities of this very difficult enemy.

COOPER: I don't -- nobody argues on that front, on any side of the aisle, but again, as somebody who served there, you know this better than anybody, if you take a sovereign nation's oil, which is an ally of this country, don't you inflame just about everybody in Iraq who's already not inflamed against the U.S.?

FLYNN: Yeah, I mean, I think how we do this, Anderson, and how it's actually executed on the ground, you know, at this stage, you know, it's one of these things where there's sort of the devil in the details.

COOPER: So, you're not proposing taking their oil?

FLYNN: Well, I think what we're proposing is shutting off the supply that these guys have of oil to be able to finance the Islamic State, and not just in Syria and Iraq, but some of this money is going into the global problems that we're facing around the world. So, we have to stop this and one of the principal ways that they are financing their fight right now is the oil in Iraq and Syria.

COOPER: Trump -- you referenced the reckless way the U.S. pulled out of Iraq. Trump said that today -- and reckless is an exact quote from what Trump said today. He said we should never have made such a sudden withdrawal and said the failure to renegotiate a status forces agreement led to ISIS, that something that originally was negotiated under the Bush administration, but the U.S. under Obama did not renegotiate it. That's completely, you know, valid view point held by many people. But Donald Trump himself had initially, in the past, indicated he was, not only for the invasion in a brief interview with Howard Stern, but he said in multiple interviews in 2006, 2007, 2008, that the U.S. should withdraw even though it would lead to all out civil war. He said declare victory and leave. Isn't it hypocritical then for him now to be claiming he would have acted differently?

FLYNN: Anderson, it's a good question. You know, I think that in Donald Trump's speech today, he also talked about the strategically poor decision of going into Iraq in the first place. So, he wasn't kind to the previous administration either. And I think that the decision to go -- to depart after we had achieved victory in the 2009 to 2011 time frame was also recognized as a poor decision and it still is recognized as a poor decision. You know, we also ...

COOPER: But isn't it the mark of a leader, somebody who owns up to their poor decisions and Donald Trump back then was saying, "You know, we should just get out. Who cares if it goes to civil war? Some strong man's going to take over. Somebody's going to be worse. We should just get out. Declare victory and get out." He said it in interviews in 2006, 2007 and 2008. So, for him now to be saying well, we shouldn't have gotten out so recklessly, wasn't -- I mean, back then, he was the one calling for that as well even though he obviously wasn't in the world of politics.

[21:10:06] FLYNN: Well, I mean -- and I think that that's -- you have to sort of look at where he was at that point in time. I mean, again, the decision to leave in 2011 led to sort of al-Qaeda in Iraq 2.0, which is now the Islamic State. I mean, let's face it, all of the advisers at that time were telling the president of the United States, President Obama, hey, this is not a smart move, had we left a small contingent, it was roughly about 10,000 that were supposed to stay in there.

So, I mean, you know, what decisions we have been making in this fight against the Islamic State and frankly, the brave thing that really came out of today's speech was to clearly define what it is and who it is that we are facing which is this notion of radical Islamism. It's so important to clearly define the enemy that you're up against. Then you can figure out exactly what's your strategy is to go after them.

Just like we've been talking about with, you know, going after communism or going after Nazism in the last century, we are now facing radical Islamism and we have to do more to take this enemy on.

COOPER: Finally, one of the things Donald Trump has said is that he knows more about ISIS than the generals do. You were one of those generals. Does he know more about ISIS than you?

FLYNN: Again, look at the context and look at the time frame, Anderson. And I think at this point in time, there's been a lot of lessons that we have learned and there's been a lot of learning as we have gone through this political process here.

So, I think at this stage, and what I know, what I believe, and what I have in the conversations that I have had, not just with Donald Trump and myself, but with others, too, is understanding just how difficult and how deadly this enemy is, how barbaric they are.

And I think all the points that were brought out in today's speech are very valid points, they're very practical, and it was very thoughtful as to how he believes we need to approach this problem. And there's many people that agree with him.

COOPER: General Flynn, I really do appreciate your time. The work you did with General McChrystal was incredible. And I love to, at some point, talk to you about it, love to learn about it. FLYNN: Yeah, love to have it, Anderson.


FLYNN: Thanks very much for having me on. A real honor.

COOPER: All right. You take care. We'll get more on this with our panel after the break whether it's the content of the speech, how it was presented or what Donald Trump faces in the accelerating countdown to Election Day?

Later, Hillary Clinton's first campaign appearance for the fight of Joe Biden, his message to voters in his hometown of Scranton, P.A.. That's all ahead tonight.


[21:16:00] COOPER: Well, almost as long as Donald Trump has been campaigning a debate has been raging. On one side the on message people who want him to pick a set of issues, stick with them and not (inaudible). On the other side, the let Trump be Trump people. Today, he certainly stayed on message.


TRUMP: Hillary Clinton lacks the judgment, as said by Bernie Sanders, stability and temperament and the moral character to lead our nation. Importantly, she also lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS and all of the many adversaries we face.


COOPER: Donald Trump on message this afternoon in the swing state of Ohio. Back with the panel, including Corey, let Trump be Trump, Lewandowski. Do you write it on a board, is that the story? So is this -- was this good for Donald Trump today? I mean, was this a good development for the Trump campaign?

COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: This is -- this is an on message development for Trump. This is going to continue to help unite the Republican Party behind him for any of those outliers that are there. But my recommendation would be a speech like this is probably better given on a Wednesday or a Thursday so that the Sunday shows will cover this, because what happened last week was, he had a detailed policy speech on Monday and by Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday, no one else was talking about it. So, I think what you'll find is Donald Trump giving these detailed policy speeches off of teleprompters with very specific information and then having the Sunday shows talking about those later in the week.

COOPER: But as you well know, I mean, the problem has been or the benefit has been depending I guess on how you see him impromptu speaking is that he'll do one of these speeches, and then he will give just an off the cuff speech, which again, a lot of his supporters love but has often gotten him into days of explaining what he meant. LEWANDOWSKI: Look, if you saw him Saturday night in Fairfield, Connecticut, he went up there and he gave an amazing speech. There were 5,000 or 7,000 people packed into, you know, a small university there to listen to him. The speech was fantastic. It didn't get a lot of coverage, it's because there was nothing there to quote, you know, report on. But it was the typical speech where he talks about what he wants to do for the country, what he wants to lay out and most presidential candidates, I know you're not going to believe this, but don't get all their speeches covered on a 24 hour cycle.

COOPER: Right.

LEWANDOWSKI: So, you know, I think what you'll find is Donald Trump giving policy, detailed policy speeches like this and then he'll also be doing hopefully one big rally speech a day that maybe won't have as much coverage because they'll be focusing (inaudible).

CHRISTINE QUINN CEO AND PRESIDENT OF WIN: But if the national press is engaged in a constant dialogue which is basically what's happening about whether a candidate can stay on message, whether the candidate will stay reading a teleprompter, which I find bizarre because again, reading is a criteria for third grade, not president of the United States, whether that's the conversation, can a candidate keep it in check, not lose their temper, et cetera, et cetera. If that's the conversation we're having, you're kind of losing, right? Because if you're having to constantly pivot and have people going out confirming you will stay on message and you won't go off message, lose it, whatever, like you did all the weeks before, that is not a good place nonetheless going into fall. And that's the situation Donald Trump's in. We've had this conversation numerous times on this show.

LEWANDOWSKI: The difference is Donald Trump talks to the media which Hillary Clinton still refuses to do. She hasn't held a press conference almost 300 days now. When she -- today, she -- you saw her side-step the podium so she didn't have to take questions after Vice President Biden introduced her today. So the media was about to ask -- when is she going to do what Donald Trump does, which is make herself available, the last time Hillary Clinton did an interview she did it with Chris Wallace. She was factually inaccurate to the American people and spent the whole week trying to recover from that.

COOPER: Angela, what about that? I mean, "The Washington Post" gave her, I think, four Pinocchio's for her comments about e-mails and the FBI.

ANGELA RYE, IMPACT STRATEGIES CEO: Well, I think the e-mail story is old. I was in the hair shop earlier today, Anderson, and this woman said I just don't understand why we're talking about that.

COOPER: But to Corey's point, she is more tightly -- I mean, she is very tightly controlled. Obviously all presidential candidates are.

[21:20:01] But Donald Trump is -- traditionally has been more available. These days he's very critical, obviously of CNN and others. He's focusing more on Fox. RYE: Those of us who are strategists say he's too accessible, right? So accessible that he gets himself in trouble, not just on air, but also on Twitter. So to the point, I don't like the fact that Hillary Clinton hasn't availed herself to the media. I'm not going to lie to you and say I think that's a good thing.

But what I also won't say is that it somehow makes Donald Trump a better candidate or a more sophisticated candidate because of how accessible and available he is. He needs to be more tightly controlled. And congratulations on the fact that he read a teleprompter today, but he's going to be tweeting something crazy later tonight.

COOPER: Well, it's not the easiest skill ...

RYE: No, no. No shade. No shade.

COOPER: I'm not saying it's a very advanced skill to have or really even a skill, but ...

RYE: But, Anderson, if your prompter went out ...

COOPER: Yes, I would be ...

RYE: ... you wouldn't be totally off message.

COOPER: I would be OK, and I think.

RYE: You would know what we're talking about. I think you'd be all right.

COOPER: Let's hope that never happens.

RYE: Don't turn red, Anderson.

COOPER: But what do you make of Donald Trump saying and he said it before that Hillary Clinton doesn't have the mental or physical stamina, I think is the term he used. What do you think that's about?

JOSEPH BORELLI, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, I mean, you could see clear examples where she hasn't had the mental stamina.

RYE: Talk about physical.

BORELLI: Remember when ...

COOPER: To her point, that is -- I mean, that's what people have been pointing out is why is he saying physical stamina?

BORELLI: Remember when the administration tried to make this case that they were so on point with the Osama bin Laden killing, they were all photographed in the room. Then you fast forward a year or two when you have these decisions to go into Libya, which Barack Obama himself said was the worst mistake of his presidency, she was in the captain's chair for that. Then you fast forward, moving to Benghazi, and you see her unable to cope with the mental strain of making high level decisions in a responsible time frame. So, I think that just play into exactly what Donald Trump is talking about. I think he can back it up with those facts. And I think the American public can see that.

QUINN: Did you watch the same Benghazi hearings as I did because she was ...

BORELLI: That ones where she perjured herself, yes.

QUINN: No, she was calm, cool, collected, answered the questions, wasn't flustered, did not answer them dishonestly at all. Wait, wait, wait ...

BORELLI: The question where she lied or the question where she told the truth?

QUINN: The question -- the point here that you're avoiding is that Donald Trump is throwing out these erroneous attacks on her physical health and you are raising Benghazi. She stood up in an endless ...

BORELLI: Like peeling back an onion. And every layer of the onion you peel back is another lie.

QUINN: No. What is Donald Trump -- what health problems does Donald Trump believe Hillary has?

COOPER: I mean just -- in terms of ...

BORELLI: I have no idea.

QUINN: Then don't then say that.

BORELLI: I didn't say that.


COOPER: But in terms of -- I mean, talking about the physical stuff, they both had physicals. Donald Trump's doctor who is in love with adjectives as Donald Trump is, gave him a glowing physical report and Hillary Clinton, who's two years younger than Donald Trump, has also had apparently a fine physical report. Why do you think this ...

RICK LAZIO, FORMER NEW YORK CONGRESSMAN: I wish he would get off these things, honestly. He's got a great narrative. It's going back to my earlier point. When two-thirds of the American people think we're on the wrong track, and Hillary Clinton is saying, she's going to continue the eight years of the Obama administration, last three quarters we've had collectively about a 1 percent growth rate, we've -- people are stuck with real incomes, I mean, they're making as much now as they did back in 1996 in real terms. You've a 51 percent low in terms of home ownership rate. You've got 20 million American families ...

COOPER: You're saying he's got a good message.

LAZIO: He's got a great message. But he needs to couple that with a solution. So, he needs to ...


COOPER: It's interesting, though, because, I mean, I think, the Congressman raises a really good point, which is a lot of people believe this -- want this to be a change election. Today, Donald Trump was at least giving some ideas. Now, you can say, well, this idea of extreme vetting is no different than what's being already done or it's un-American. But to the Congressman's point, I mean, it is at least on message as something new, something different or at least in his opinion.

JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure, but again, we'll see how long it stays that way. One of the most interesting things about this campaign is that usually it's kind of like a ping-pong game. It goes back and forth. And one candidate will take advantage of the other's missteps and vice versa. We haven't seen that. It seems like a lot of things have been zipping by Donald Trump in terms of, you know, if Hillary Clinton wasn't telling the truth ...

COOPER: Right. He didn't make the most of that.

KUCINICH: Exactly. He hasn't made the most of these things. You haven't seen the ads in these battleground states that you usually see during a campaign. You've seen it with Hillary Clinton. You haven't seen it with Donald Trump yet. So, that's something that we've been watching very closely to see if he can return fire the way they have.

COOPER: We've got take a break. We'll have more with the panel ahead. I want to talk also about Hillary Clinton's campaign event with Vice President Joe Biden in Pennsylvania today where Biden was extraordinarily, well, subtle in his remarks about Donald Trump or not. I (inaudible) he said Trump would have loved Stalin or just to give you an example. More from the V.P. on the campaign trail, next.



COOPER: Vice President Joe Biden hit the campaign trail today, running today taking on Donald Trump at an event with Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania. It was their first campaign stop, actually, together. And Biden blasted Trump as totally unqualified, clueless, dangerous.

Our senior Washington correspondent, Joe Johns reports.


JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: If it's Joe Biden and Pennsylvania, it's blue collar.

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, (D) UNITED STATES: Hillary understands the hopes and aspirations of the people in Claymont, in Scranton and every Scranton and Claymont in the united states of America.

JOHNS: The Vice President also taking the opportunity to hammer away at GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

BIDEN: This guy doesn't care about the middle class. And I don't even blame him in a sense because he doesn't understand it. He doesn't have a clue. No, no, he really -- I mean, he really doesn't.

JOHNS: Saying Trump is the most unprepared nominee ever for the job of president.

BIDEN: I've worked with eight presidents of the United States. I have served with hundreds of senators, dozens of secretaries of state and secretaries of Defense of both parties and I can say without hesitation, my word as a Biden, no major party nominee in the history of the United States of America has -- now, don't cheer, quiet, just listen -- has known less or been less prepared to deal with our national security than Donald Trump.

[21:30:09] JOHNS: And repeating a line of attack Clinton's campaign has focused on for weeks, Trump cannot be trusted with the nuclear codes.

BIDEN: He is not qualified to know the code. He can't be trusted.

JOHNS: In a raw moment, the Vice President even hitting Trump for comments the Republican made about dictators, like former Iraq leader Saddam Hussein, suggesting the Republican would even admire the former Russian ruler responsible for murdering millions.

BIDEN: He would have loved Stalin. He would have loved Stalin.

JOHNS: Biden joined Clinton in an appeal to white working class voters of Pennsylvania, a demographic Clinton has been struggling with.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I always remember, I am the granddaughter of a factory worker and the daughter of a small business owner and I am so proud of it.


COOPER: And Joe Johns joins us.

Now, Joe, any mention today of the FBI interview notes that Congress is going to be receiving from Hillary Clinton's e-mail probe?

JOHNS: No mention of that, as far as we know. Quite frankly, the campaign tells us they prefer to stay on offense right now, going with things they've done in the past, especially because they're looking at polls. And for the most part, they tell us they like what they see, at least, so far.

But there was a clear indication today, Anderson, they wanted to stay on national security and foreign policy and they put out a web ad questioning, once again, whether Donald Trump ought to be entrusted with the nuclear codes.

COOPER: Joe Johns, Joe, thanks very much. Back now with the panel. Jackie, how effective do you think Joe Biden is for Hillary Clinton? Because, I mean, that's one of the things supporters of Clinton have been saying all along, that she has a deep bench of, you know, Michelle Obama, President Obama, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and others.

KUCINICH: Joe Biden is like Hillary Clinton's not so secret middle class weapon. Because, think about the convention, he was the only person really messaging to that demographic, throughout that whole program on who is an elected official. And because of that, he really does appeal to that part, I mean, he was -- he is probably the closest to part of that segment of the population. So, I wouldn't be surprised if you see him in more places, back in Pennsylvania, probably in Ohio and more through the Rust Belt states where Hillary Clinton really needs to pick up.

COOPER: Corey is a Trump supporter, does the bench that Hillary Clinton has on her side worry you, in terms of advocates who can go out on the trail?

LEWANSOWSKI: Look, I think Vice President Biden is a good messenger for Hillary Clinton. But it must drive him crazy knowing that he probably should have run and probably could have won the nomination. And the fact that she says, you know, she left the White House dead broke and now she's worth $100 million. You know, I think that's not the type of blue collar values that Joe Biden has fought for his entire life and he is now stuck with a nominee that he thinks he should probably be.

And now, he's a good surrogate for her, for that demographic. But he must think internally, hey, I could be there, not her.

QUINN: You know, I think, when the Vice President Biden thinks about the presidential race, I think he thinks about his loss and he thinks about his son who is not with him. I don't think he thinks of it in those kind of ways because it was clearly a very personal, painful decision.

But, you know, it's not just about the bench that Secretary Clinton has, which I agree is amazing. It's about how the bench can send a message, right?

So, you have Donald Trump last week in his economic speech talking about a child care tax credit. It's going to give you, I think, 40, 50 cents on the dollar to pay for your nanny. But it doesn't do anything to open up child care to the Americans, like the hard-working men and women in Scranton, who can't afford child care.

So it's not just Joe. It's somebody who can message to the facts and the lacking policies for to help low income or middle class Americans.

COOPER: Well, Joe, also, I mean, Hillary Clinton has, you know, minority voters already trending in her favor overwhelmingly. If she's able to successful get middle class voters and pick off even modest numbers in some of these crucial swing states that's going to be critical, I mean, against Trump. BORELLI: Well, yeah, but I mean, in a state like Pennsylvania, she has the wrong message. And we always criticize Trump for being sometimes not substantive. Today, that speech with her and Biden was not substantive. It was primarily an attack ad.

The truth is, you know, you take an issue in Weston, Pennsylvania, like coal, she has said, you know, whether she was joking or not that she wants to put coal companies out of business, but management and union are both saying that the Obama EPA and the Administration is putting coal companies out of business. You look at other things like natural gas drilling. She said in the Democratic debate that there'll be enough regulations passed under her watch to basically eliminate hydraulic fracturing in that state. If you're trying to pick up other voters, other people who've been affected by the recession, she has an awful mess for Pennsylvania.

Now, it's on the Trump campaign to really start hitting her on these policy issues.

COOPER: Angela.

RYE: Let me just give you this backdrop. You see Hillary Clinton who spent her summers in Scranton, Pennsylvania with Joe Biden, the son of Scranton, Pennsylvania today talking, walking through the neighborhoods, going to the house where he grew up, talking about how he was raised, the kitchen table conversation about politics, real politics, debating about whether or not substantively one was a Democrat or a Republican. And you contrast that with your candidate with his gold-plated sinks on his private jet swooping down into Detroit, not stopping in a single black neighborhood getting back to Anderson's question on minority voters. And that is exactly why your candidate ...

[21:35:08] (CROSSTALK)

RYE: I'm not done. I'm not done.

BORELLI: OK, fine.

RYE: That is exactly why your candidate is struggling with minority voters. This blue collar billionaire is not so blue collar. He's so afraid to go into neighborhoods that are working class neighborhoods that he's not set foot in one. And the other candidate does, regularly.

BORELLI: But what certain place has your candidate has to go through just to be seen as ...


BORELLI: I mean ...

RYE: That's what happens when you're big ...


RYE: No, no, no, no.


COOPER: ... I mean, what about these battleground polls?

LAZIO: Right.

COOPER: I mean, as somebody who probably knows a lot about polls, having been a politician yourself, I mean, does Trump still have a path ahead to turn things around?

LAZIO: I think you have to understand that the public is very volatile. The voters are very volatile. He went in to the Republican convention down three, came out up seven. It's a 10-point swing. I mean, the potential for this race, I actually think he could possibly sink lower. I also think he could surge. I think it's going to depend on where he goes from here.

And it's obviously a path forward. If you look at Rob Portman, Republican incumbent senator running for re-election in Ohio, he's now in the latest poll up nine even with Trump down five. Why? Because Portman is appealing to a cross -- a broad cross-section of voters. He's talking about things like the opiate and heroin addiction issues and forced slavery, sexual slavery, things that are appealing. He's running even with women and ahead by double digits with men.

Trump ought to be looking at this and saying, OK, I need to be talking about things that are relevant to people. I don't care who his messenger is ...

COOPER: Right.

LAZIO: ... Joe Biden. Still, in the end, middle class people care about trustworthy, a majority of Americans think that Hillary is untrustworthy, including a big chunk of Democrats, by the way. The middle class has done incredibly poorly under Barack Obama, under eight years. They don't want another eight years of going backwards in terms of their income. And they care about national securities. They care about real issues, those are the issues that Donald Trump ought to be ...

COOPER: Corey, Donald Trump has a lot of money that they've raised. I mean, just last month they made $80 million, a lot of it from small donations. So, I mean, in terms of ad spending, are we seeing a lot of that?

LEWANSOWSKI: I think you're going to see it moving forward with the Olympics who have taken up a lot of the oxygen over the last 10 days and will continue to do that.

COOPER: So you made a point that it's an expensive ads by ...


LEWANSOWSKI: ... to that right now. And so, you know, they'll look at that. I think, you know, Congressman's exactly right, this election is about national security. Donald Trump talked about it today, how to protect the homeland, the economy, talked about it today, and change to Washington.

Congress has 11 percent approval rating, 11 percent. That's when you actually poll the members of Congress and they still only have 11 percent approval rating. People want a fundamental change in Washington. The system has been broken for 30 years. And you now have a choice. You have a person who's never been in Washington before who's created an amazing business and created jobs at as a private sector, and you put that person in for fundamental change or you can have a third term with the Obama Administration.

COOPER: But, yet, that message doesn't seem to be working right now for Donald Trump. It is that supposedly change election, it should be, though.

KUCINICH: Yeah, but I think one of the problems is the messenger. Because yes, he hasn't been in Washington but he's been in a golden tower in New York City. So, Mike Pence, I think, really helps that message a lot because he's someone who has been in Indiana. The same way that Tim Kaine helps Hillary Clinton as someone who hasn't been in Washington his entire life.

So, we'll see who wins. But I think the bottom of the ticket kind of illustrates that more sort of hometown message.


LEWANSOWSKI: Donald Trump though, for saying where he lives is the equivalent of saying Hillary Clinton has made $100 million in speeches since her and her husband have left the White House and made $100 million.

KUCINICH: You're saying he's just a regular ...

LEWANSOWSKI: Donald Trump didn't do this off of the government. He didn't do it from monopolizing his government. He went out and created jobs and built buildings.

COOPER: Christine and we got to go.

QUINN: He did it with $1 million loan from his father and he sent countless jobs to China and unemployed Americans and let small business owners in Atlantic City and many other places holding the bags for the bills he never paid. Now, I think the Congressman was right, this can all change. And we're going to fight this election till the end. That's why the Secretary has a great ground game in every state.

It's the messenger and the message. Because when you boil it down there's nothing there for middle class. There's trillions of dollars of tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.

COOPER: And Corey, what about Trump's ground game? I mean, a lot of people saying, "Look, Hillary Clinton has this incredible ground game, great data machine." LEWANSOWSKI: Look, honestly, this is the same story I heard in the primaries. Ted Cruz has the greatest ground game never assembled. You know where Ted Cruz is? You're not the nominee. Donald Trump was underrated and under, you know, everybody said he has no ground game in New Hampshire, he won by 20 points, he's no ground game in South Carolina, won every single county, no ground game in Nevada, won every single county. Where's the greatest ground game of history?

QUINN: Won against 17 ...

LEWANSOWSKI: Where's the greatest ground game in the history of the Republican Party? Donald Trump has because he won 389 (ph).

COOPER: Right.

QUINN: Won against 17 is different than one on one.


COOPER: We'll see. We'll all be back, no doubt. Thanks to you all. I want to thank everybody.

Up next, a woman and her dog inside a car, incredible video, sinking fast in floodwaters rescued by volunteers in Louisiana. At least five other people have died in the flood, danger far from over. An update, I want to show you this full rescue. They're just incredible. Such a sign of what folks can do just helping out each other. We'll be right back.




COOPER: The flooding danger is far from over in southern Louisiana tonight. Rivers continue to rise along with fatalities. We've also seen breathtaking stories of survival caught on camera.

Meteorologist Jennifer Gray reports.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to break this window.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're breaking the window.

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS CNN METEOROLOGIST: More than 20,000 people have been rescued since last week as deadly floodwaters have prompted a state of emergency across south Louisiana.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got your dog.

GRAY: The massive flooding has claimed the lives of at least five people, devastating entire communities which are now under water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This car is under the water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's as high as I've ever seen it. I've been in this area since 1983.

GRAY: Tens of thousands of residents have been forced to evacuate their homes and chilling images like this coast guard rescue of a child remind many in the region of hurricane Katrina's horrific aftermath a decade ago.

REGGIE WADE, BATON ROUGE RESIDENT: These are all my neighbors that ended up getting a nice dose of, "No, this couldn't happen," in reality it can.

[21:45:07] GRAY: Reggie Wade has lived in the southeast Baton Rouge neighborhood for 24 years.

WADE: I've never seen it get up in this yard above the carport. And carports are all under water along with the entire house.

GRAY: The Louisiana National Guard has deployed almost 2,000 soldiers to assist local first responders with search and rescue efforts, and with more than 24 inches of rain falling in the area since last week. They know they are up against the clock.

KIP HOLDEN, BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA MAYOR-PRESIDENT: It is still very, very dangerous. We still have waters rising in a number of areas. All of our people are still on high alert.


GRAY: And most of the rivers have crested in this area as all of this water heads down to the south. However, a lot of those rivers are going to hold at crest stage for a couple of days, possibly, so it could be the end of the week before some people are able to get back in their homes.

Some of the homes behind me have water chest-deep, Anderson. It looks like we are going to stay mainly dry for the next couple of days aside from a few spotty afternoon showers, but a long road ahead for people in south Louisiana.

COOPER: Let's hope they get fast -- help fast. Jennifer Gray, thanks for being there.

Joining us now on the phone, the man we just heard from in Jennifer's report, the mayor, president of -- mayor-president of Baton Rouge, Kip Holden.

Mayor, thanks so much for being with us. First of all, what is your biggest concern right now, the biggest need?

HOLDEN: Well, right now it's still making sure that people are adequately sheltered, making sure that we're watching and still checking to see what happens to the water. For example, this afternoon, we had to send fire and rescue people out to an area that had been underwater for all of these days to check homes to make sure no people are left in those homes. So, there are a multitude of things going on. We're trying to prioritize those and still deliver the service to people in shelters as well and get people food.

COOPER: I mean, all the rescue efforts, just incredible to see, not only by first responders, trained first responders, but also the civilians are out there in boats rescuing people.

The residents who have been evacuated, how are they, where are they right now? What kind of facilities are there for them?

HOLDEN: Well, for example, for special needs individuals, they're at LSU, in a center there. We have people at our center in downtown, so we have people there, frankly and virtually, in a lot -- some churches and southern university as well. So we are taking the space that we're getting and still trying to make sure we're accommodating people and not putting them from one side of town to another or another parish. Trying to make sure they are centralized.

But I can tell you, still we'll be doing this for another several days including an abandoned studio. They are not shooting any movies there right now yet they opened up sound stages to say here are places where you can bring people as well.

So, people are responding to our need in order to get people located in Baton Rouge. But at the same time, it's not just Baton Rouge, it's several other parishes surrounding us and many of those parishes, frankly, have greater damage than we do. So it's a lot of work that has to go in before we could stand back up. But yet, even months down the line, there will be a lot of work to do in all of these parishes.

COOPER: I've heard you say one of the toughest things you've seen is firefighters carrying out the elderly, the sick people, you know, through floodwaters to safety. What do you tell people who have to leave their homes? Because a lot of folks, obviously, don't want to leave their homes, are scared to leave their home.

HOLDEN: Well, frankly, we've had just the opposite. A lot of people have called for help and are still calling for help. So we have this partnership going, because there's a mutual trust that's been here based upon all the storms that we've had.

And so therefore, they go in to take care of them but at the same time, we make sure people are patrolling those areas to give that extra part of security to them to let them know that we're taking care of them at all levels. But I can tell you that bond between the rescuers and those who have been rescued is very, very tight. COOPER: And I just got word that now, we believe, the death toll is raised to eight confirmed fatalities.

Mayor Holden, I appreciate all you're doing. Thank you so much for taking time to talk to us. We wish you and the folk there ...

HOLDEN: And we thank you all so much for showing the flight of people here. And may God bless each and every one of you for showing and letting people know what we're going through.

COOPER: Well, we love Louisiana. Thank you so much, Mayor.

Up next, Milwaukee on alert facing a third night of protests following a deadly police shooting. Can the situation be contained tonight? A live report next.


[21:53:05] COOPER: More clashes tonight in Milwaukee between demonstrators and police, a third night of sometimes violent protests there. It all began shortly after an officer fatally shot and African-American man on Saturday who police say was armed.

Brynn Gingras reports.


BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A turbulent weekend in a city dealing with the latest police-involved shooting. Several Milwaukee businesses like this gas station and an auto parts store were torched along with cars, property destroyed, businesses looted.

TOM BARRETT, MILWAUKEE MAYOR: Last night was unlike anything I have seen in my adult life.

GINGRAS: The chaos comes after a police officer shot and killed the 23-year-old Sylville Smith Saturday. Officers had pulled Smith and another person over which led to a foot chase. Authorities say Smith was armed and did not follow police orders to surrender. The officer fired hitting Smith twice in the arm and chest. According to the department, body cameras recorded the deadly exchange.

BARRETT: I have, however, seen a still photo, and that still photo demonstrates, without question, that he had a gun in his hand. And I want our community to know that.

GINGRAS: But so far, police have not yet released that picture, video or the name of the officer who killed Smith. We do know he is 24 years old, a three-year veteran of the force and African-American. He has been put on administrative duty during an investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leave the area. This is an unlawful assembly.

GINGRAS: Saturday night's protests were the most intense of the weekend with hundreds of people crowded in the streets, some armed. Authority say shots were fired in several areas of the city sending one person to the hospital.

Seven officers were injured from rocks, glass bottles and bricks smashed against their patrol cars. In one case, the impact dented this riot gear. All together, police made 31 arrests.

[21:55:02] Smith's family is reeling from their loss and asking demonstrators to be peaceful.

SHERELLE SMITH, SYLVILLE SMITH'S SISTER: (Inaudible). We want everybody to feel our pain.

GINGRAS: Many in this community believe it was just a matter of time for protests to erupt here. The Milwaukee Health Department has found Milwaukee to be the most segregated major city between black and white residents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What they're doing is not helping the community at all. We need to build a relationship, you know, with the cops.

GINGRAS: And Milwaukee police are preparing for the possibility of more protests as is Wisconsin's governor who has declared a state of emergency.


GINGRAS: And this case, now in the hands of the state Department of Justice, not local authorities of Wisconsin, Anderson. Actually, the first state in the country to require police-involved shootings that end in fatalities be handled by independent investigators. Anderson?

COOPER: Brynn, thanks very much. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Before we go, I want to take a moment to welcome to the world one Reuben Daniel Snyder, also known around here as the first grandchild of my friend, Wolf Blitzer.

Reuben was born Friday to Wolf's daughter, Ilana, and her husband, Dave. And judging by this picture we're guessing baby Reuben immediately became the heart and soul of the family, the anchor, so to speak.

Our sincere congratulations, Grandpa Wolf. Wish you all the best.

That does it for us. Thanks for watching.

[22:00:00] "CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts now.

DON LEMON, CNN" HOST: Trump campaign in turmoil with less than three months to go until Election Day.

This is "CNN TONIGHT," I'm Don Lemon.