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Debate Night in America: Analysis of the Debate. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired September 27, 2016 - 00:00   ET


[23:59:55] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: And this, that Donald Trump's accusation is true that Hillary Clinton did flip flop on the TPP.

Of course, for this and all other fact checks make sure you go to -- Wolf.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: All right Jim Sciutto -- thanks very much.

Anderson -- back to you.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: We have our panel here to talk about a lot of the key moments from the debate tonight. We're going to replay some of them for you. We've been joined by two new folks so let's get their take.

First up, Paul Begala -- who's involved in a Hillary Clinton super PAC --


COOPER: -- what did you make of tonight?

BEGALA: I thought Hillary dismantled him. It took time. He started out strong, as we saw with Jim Sciutto. He was strong on trade. But as the fight went on, she got stronger and stronger and he got weaker and weaker.

Maybe it's a lack of prep on his point. Maybe it's just that he doesn't have the depth. But she kept getting strong. And then she had a 15th round knockout. So she dismantled him but she had a secret weapon with Donald Trump.

He was rude. He interrupted her which I think matters. I have worked for women and I've worked for men running against women and that matters. The same guy, who tried to discredit our first African- American president, I thought, was way too dismissive of our first woman nominee. He was thin-skinned. He was mendacious.

The split screen though was particularly kind to Hillary and unkind to Trump. You know, Hillary has an advantage here that she was the first lady of Arkansas in America for 20 years which basically is being a human reaction shot. That's her job is like to look impassively or lovingly. So she's used to that. But Donald Trump has been on TV for over a decade as a major star. And he was pouty and he even, God help us, sighed a little bit. At one point he snorted. It was really unkind to him.

COOPER: You said there was a knockout at the end. What did you believe was the knockout?

BEGALA: Alicia Machado. When she defended -- and this is something that everybody just like Nia and David and Gloria had been talking about before and after the debate. Most important to stand up for someone else, not for yourself, Hillary and she did. She stood up for a woman that apparently Donald Trump called Miss Piggy even though she was a beauty queen. That was a powerful moment.

COOPER: We have that --

BEGALA: And then Miss Housekeeper because she is a Latina.

COOPER: We have exchange. Let's just play that sort of in case viewers missed it.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: He tried to switch from looks to stamina. But this is a man who has called women pigs, slobs, and dogs. And someone who has said pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers.


CLINTON: Who has said women don't deserve equal pay unless they do as good a job as men. And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman "Miss Piggy". Then he called her "Miss Housekeeping" because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name.

TRUMP: Where did you find this? Where did you find this?

CLINTON: Her name is Alicia Machado --

TRUMP: Where did you find this?

CLINTON: -- and she has become a U.S. citizen and you can bet she is going to vote this November.

TRUMP: Ok, good.

Let me just tell you --

LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Mr. Trump, just take ten seconds. And then we're going to have the final question.

TRUMP: You know, Hillary is hitting me with tremendous commercials. Some of it said in entertainment. Some of it said -- somebody who has been very vicious to me -- Rosie O'Donnell, I said very tough things to her and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her.

But you want know the truth? I was going to say --

HOLT: Please, very quickly.

TRUMP: -- something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, I can't do it. I just can't do it. It's inappropriate. It's not nice.

But she spent hundreds of millions of dollars on negative ads on me, many of which are absolutely untrue. They're untrue and they're misrepresentations. And I will tell you this, Lester, it's not nice and I don't deserve that.


COOPER: So Paul -- why did you think that was such a key moment?

BEGALA: Because first up she was fighting for somebody else, not only for herself. Second, that really is beyond the pale what Trump said about Alicia Machado. Third, I'm sorry to think like a strategist but those voters in play for Hillary -- there's two groups that are most important -- most important to her fate.

Younger people and people of color she has to excite them. She needs, as Nia said before, a few go-girl moments -- right. And then the second group is college-educated white folks who cannot

abide a racist. The Republicans, they want to be for the Republicans, but cannot abide a racist.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Let me add something. Led me add something.

BEGALA: She killed two birds with one stone.

JONES: Here's the deal. So it was brilliant because she was able to get young people, Latinas, Latinos and all that. But his response, down goes Frazier -- down goes Frazier. He's just staggering around the room talking about some phantom attack he could have launched but he's not going to launch.

JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I can tell you what the attack would be. The attack would be let's talk about we need a Broderick. That would be the attack absolutely.

And Hillary Clinton bullying a woman who was accusing her husband of rape -- that would be the attack and he didn't want to do it Chelsea Clinton was sitting right there. Points to him.

JONES: I think he didn't want -- here's the deal. I think you know as well as I do, and I bet Cory can back this up, those kinds of attacks don't work for Donald Trump. They actually outrage more women than they pull over to your side.

[00:05:10] LORD: Defending a woman against --

JONES: Hold on.

But here's what I think is very, very important. When you have a guy like this, who has said so many awful things about women -- we have talked about class throughout this race because of Sanders, the 1 percent. We talked about race over and over again, black lives matter, immigration. We have not talked enough about gender and she raised it beautifully and it was well raised.

COOPER: Ok. Let's bring in Cory Lewandowski, former campaign manager, still receives a severance from the Trump campaign. What did you make of tonight and particularly that moment?

CORY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Sure. Look I think there's a couple of important things to look at. You really have to break the debate down in my opinion into two separate categories. The first 45 minutes is one category where Donald Trump was particularly strong when they were talking about TPP, trade, issues where he can be on the offense there. Clearly Hillary Clinton was on the defense on those issues.

The second half of the debate, here are the issues you talked about. You talked about the birther movement, you talked about taxes. You talked about a housing discrimination case from 40 years ago. These are issues that clearly put Donald Trump on the defense.

What this debate was not about was an FBI investigation. Not once was the word Clinton Foundation mentioned in a 90-minute debate. Not once did the moderator bring up the issue of e-mails. Donald Trump brought up this issue. Donald Trump brought out the issue of TPP, Benghazi, FBI investigation.

Where is issue of the Wall Street transcripts? Never discussed. Where is the issue of Hillary Clinton talking about the deplorables and what that means for all of the 14 million people who supported Donald Trump in the primary and those tens of millions of people are supporting him today? None of those issues were discussed.

COOPER: Is that Lester Holt's failure in your opinion or Donald Trump's for not bringing them up? Because Hillary Clinton seemed to be able to, whether she was asked about something bring up an issue that was in her favor. It didn't seem like -- which is clearly a matter of preparation, no?

LEWANDOWSKI: Well look, I think Lester Holt brought up the issue of the tax returns -- right. There was a statement that was a question directed directly by the moderator to Donald Trump regarding his taxes. There was no question from the moderator regarding the Clinton Foundation or an FBI investigation. Not even a mention that a sit- down conversation took place with the FBI.

I think that is a due diligence of the moderator to raise the two largest issues in this discussion, in this debate, in this presidential cycle which is Donald Trump's taxes and Hillary Clinton lying to the FBI. The moderator has had the opportunity to --

(CROSSTALK) GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: But if your candidate was well-prepped -- if Donald Trump had been well-prepped why wouldn't he in response to the question of taxes say, you want to talk about transparency what about the Clinton Foundation? I mean that's an obvious --

LEWANDOWSKY: I agree with you.

BORGER: -- you know, that's an obvious thing. And Donald Trump could have raised it himself. I mean Lester Holt was sitting back and she seemed to take every opportunity to jab at him. But it seems to me that he didn't take every opportunity he could have to jab at her.

LEWANDOWSKI: To be fair, Lester Holt raised the issue of a court case 40 years ago against Donald Trump's father. Hillary Clinton --

BORGER: No, she raised it.

JONES: She raised it.

LEWANDOWSKI: She raised it.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But let me just say this. His reactivity has been a problem throughout this campaign.

And one of the things about these debates is it's not just about what people say. It's how they handle pressure, how they handle provocation because people are looking at the folks on the stage and they're saying one of these people is going to be president of the United States. How are they going to handle provocations in an office in which you can send armies marching and markets tumbling with the way you react and the things that you say?

That clip that Paul liked so well, the thing that was appalling wasn't just what she raised, it was how, you know, he started honestly whining about how he was treated by Rosie O'Donnell and how he was treated by Hillary and so on. Let me tell you something, the presidency is a lot tougher than this.

LEWANDOWSKI: Look, I don't disagree but I also think it's amazing that Hillary Clinton has photographic memory for everything that Donald Trump has ever said about a female but has to say to the FBI in 39 different occasions, I don't recall, I don't remember. It's very selective when her memory is working and when it isn't working.


LEWANDOWSK: But my point is it's amazing how Hillary can remember every single word that Donald Trump has said but when the FBI asked her 39 times she said I don't remember and further --


LEWANDOWSKI: -- she can't remember a classified e-mail system.

NIA MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Fair point. I think you are making a better case of it than Donald Trump did. Donald Trump had 90 minutes on stage to make this case that you're making. You're blaming the moderator but Donald Trump had every opportunity to do that. Why do you think he didn't?

LEWANDOWSK: Look, I'm not blaming the moderator. What I think is that -- look, do I think that the question as it relates to, you know, Donald Trump and the birther issue that the moderator raised should have been, you know, put next to an issue that Hillary Clinton has had to answer, has refused to on this debate stage which is an FBI investigation, absolutely.

COOPER: But what is interesting -- I mean if he had prepared or done mock debates or something, you could easily switch an answer or you can answer it however you want, I mean, they were lengthy answers.

[00:10:04] There's too many answering -- instead of going down a rabbit hole like call Sean Hannity and then, you know, Rosie and the 400-pound blogger. I mean there were opportunities for him to pivot and maybe it's a lack of experience and a more experienced debater, which certainly Hillary Clinton is, knows how to do it. I don't know.

LEWANDOWSKI: I think David can talk to this better than anybody -- Paul. The first debate in a presidential cycle is not the end all-be all. If that were the case Barack Obama would not be the President of the United States after his performance four years ago. Let's see what happens right?

I think Barack Obama rebounded.

AXELROD: Ok. But, you know, what happened after that debate was we prepared differently, we addressed the problems that we had in that debate. The question is, will Donald Trump do that? His approach here clearly failed.

COOPER: John -- do you think he will change in terms of prep?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I don't know the question to that. People inside his campaign say -- and Cory knows this better than I do -- say that it's very hard to get him to change. That he has his ways and he thinks he is right.

And maybe this would change it. He thinks they worked for him in the Republican primaries. Maybe if he sees evidence that they didn't work for him here, he's obviously a very smart guy maybe he say, you know what, I do need to do some things.

I will say this from a bottom line perspective. There were some in the Trump camp perhaps overly optimistic -- but they came here thinking momentum in the national polls, momentum in a lot of the key battleground states and if he had a knock it out of the park tonight he could take control of the race.

Some are saying even that we could put the race away -- now that is out there. But that they could have taken control of the race -- I think that is fair given the (inaudible). I know what they're saying publicly. That's their job. God bless them for doing it. David said nice things after President Obama's performances in 2012 --

AXELROD: But nobody believed it.


KING: But the Trump -- look the smart people in the Trump campaign are leaving knowing that he did not do that. He made some good points.


KING: He did not do anything that's going to increase the speed of the wind at his back.

AXELROD: I went into the spin room after that debate in Denver and tried with a straight face to tell people what they saw with their own eyes didn't happen. And that's what happens in these spin rooms and that's why Donald Trump went into the spin room tonight --

JONES: That's why they are called spin rooms.

AXELROD: -- and tried to, exactly -- tried to persuade people that what they saw didn't really happen. What they saw was a pretty decisive night for Hillary Clinton.

BORGER: So I have a question for Cory. Donald Trump came out to the spin room after the debate and he said that he held back and we were just talking about this with Jeff, does this mean given his performance this time because we know one thing about Donald Trump which is that he likes to win, and if he's perceived not to win this debate, which I don't think he won this debate, will he then not hold back next time? Will we see a Donald Trump who does raise --

COOPER: Your question is the message he received tonight he needs to hit harder?

BORGER: Thank you -- yes.

COOPER: What do you think?

LEWANDOWSKI: Ok. I think when Donald Trump is talking about the issues that are affecting middle America -- trade, he is winning. When he put Hillary Clinton on the defense that she said that the TPP was the gold standard, he is winning. That is what he is going to do is to outline her record. What he's going to do is talk about the failure of Benghazi. That wasn't even -- it was barely addressed today. The American people have not forgotten about that issue.

BORGER: But do you think he will bring up this other stuff?

LEWANDOWSKI: Look, what I think and what this campaign has taught everybody about Donald Trump is that he is a counter puncher. When someone punches him he responds in kind times ten and what he didn't do --

BEGALA: That's a set up for punching below the belt is what you're saying. And that's what we're going to expect. If Trump's lesson from this is he needs to be more dirty and obnoxious then he is not as smart as --


JONES: Let him finish.

BEGALA: -- he interrupted her dozens of times.

JONES: 26 times in 25 minutes.

BEGALA: Dozens of times. And it takes an enormous amount of discipline for Hillary to absorb that and to be strong but not reactive.

COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. We're going to continue this discussion. It's an important one.

Also still ahead, debate watchers weighing in on whether Trump can handle the presidency. We'll get their feed back. We'll have more instant poll numbers and reality checks.

Stay with us.


BLITZER: Welcome back. I want to get right back to our political director, David Chalian. You are getting more numbers from our exclusive CNN/ORC instant poll.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: That's right. But we should start with that top line number again about who won the debate. Remember this is a poll of debate watchers and the audience watching the debate skewed a bit more Democratic tonight but my God, Hillary Clinton had an overwhelming victory. 62 percent of debate watchers tonight in our polls said that she won the debate. 27 percent said Donald Trump won the debate.

Can Clinton handle the presidency? We asked the debate watchers. Here again, an overwhelming victory for Hillary Clinton.

Sorry -- this one is understanding of the issues -- my bad. Who was better at understanding the issues? Clinton, 68 percent and Trump, 27 percent.

Then there is the overall victory. Now can Clinton handle the presidency? 67 percent said yes. 32 percent said no of debate watchers. And this is key, folks. Can Donald Trump handle the presidency? This is one of the key questions going into the debate tonight. A majority of debate watchers say no. 55 percent say he cannot handle the presidency. 43 percent say that he can.

Guys, in every single question, there is a lot of stuff in this poll to dig into. Every single score, Hillary Clinton performed better. Yes, our audience skewed Democratic but she is over performing even that skew. She had a very good night. BLITZER: Very good night. And this poll, Jake -- she's going to be happy when she gets the results of this poll.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Absolutely. And I think even more broadly she will be happy with the results of the night. Because if this is a referendum on Donald Trump which is kind of how this election is shaping up to be, given that it is a change election and he really represents change and she represents the status quo. So it becomes about is he acceptable?

Tonight did not help him in that regard. Tonight he did not seem to clear that hurdle. He did not seem to put on that presidential debate, the presidential style. And he didn't seem, at least according to these polls, to rest any concerns aside. People still have their doubts. They still wonder.

And in fact, David -- earlier you talked about the foreign policy part of the debate and how overwhelmingly she trounced him on that. Not so much on the economic message which was very, very close and for a Democratic audience that's very, very telling. But on the foreign policy and I think one of the things that was so effective is she talked about things that Donald Trump had said previously about this Iranian shift, about nuclear weapons, about this. And he found himself trying to explain it instead of presenting his cohesive foreign policy agenda.

[00:20:06] BLITZER: Clearly all of that preparation she did seems to have paid off.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Listen, it does work. I mean we know from a very different perspective, from the questioner's perspective, because when we did the debates in the primary season it takes a lot of work and a lot of preparation to execute it well.

But going into this debate, a Clinton adviser said to me it's really going to be the best of the series of three. And you know, this debate, perhaps, she did well. The viewers think so. The voters think so. But it is the first.

And as David Axelrod remembers, Barack Obama did not do so well in his first debate four years ago. And you know, maybe, maybe he will learn a lesson from this -- he, Donald Trump -- to not take the bait. So when she says x, y, and z about his policies to, you know, turn it around and say I don't want to talk about that. Let's talk about what I want to talk about.

We'll see if he'll (inaudible) --


TAPPER: And in fact, and I know we are about to go back to Anderson and his panel and there's a lot of talk about Ronald Reagan and how Ronald Reagan wasn't taken seriously in 1980. And Donald Trump is that in that same mold. People forget in 1984, it was the second debate with Walter Mondale where Ronald Reagan gave that devastating line about not wanting to exploit his opponent's youth and inexperience. The first debate was a disaster for him and that's what --

BASH: That was his comeback.

TAPPER: -- necessitated the line in the second debate.

BLITZER: Two more presidential debates coming up.

Let's get a couple more reality check for us. Tom Foreman is standing by. Jim Sciutto is standing by. Tom Foreman, first to you, you've got a reality check on taxes. What did you find out?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, some of these were completely predictable attacks. For example Hillary Clinton once again went after Donald Trump saying, why don't you release your taxes. He once again said I'm being audited -- not a good idea.


TRUMP: Almost every lawyer says you don't release your returns until the audit is complete. When the audit is complete, I'll do it. But I would go against them if she releases her e-mails.

CLINTON: We know the IRS has made clear there is no prohibition on releasing it when you are under audit. So you've got to ask yourself, why won't he release his tax returns?


FOREMAN: Well, we don't have an answer to that question. We also know how the poll of almost every lawyer to answer that. The only really thing that can be checked here is this notion of whether or not the IRS has in fact explicitly said you can release your tax returns.

And yes, on that front, Hillary Clinton said something that is true. You can do it. The IRS has said so. So there's nothing holding back Donald Trump on that front -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Stand by. Jim Sciutto, you have a reality check on Iraq. What did you find out?

SCIUTTO: That's right.

Donald Trump and the Iraq war. Here's what Hillary Clinton said tonight on that. Have a listen.


CLINTON: Donald supported the invasion of Iraq.

TRUMP: Wrong.

CLINTON: That is absolutely proved over and over again. TRUMP: Wrong.


SCIUTTO: So Hillary Clinton's claim, you heard it there, Donald Trump like Clinton, of course, was actually for the Iraq invasion before the invasion. So let's have a look at the facts and look at what he said before the war. On Howard Stern, September 2002, speaking to Stern he asked him if he would support the invasion. He said quote, "Yes, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly," that, of course, referring back to the Gulf War.

In March 2003 on Fox News to Neil Cavuto he says "It looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint," this just after the invasion. Now a week after that he did tell "The Washington Post" in his words, "The war is a mess." And then later, in August 2004, this of course as things on the ground are getting worse and worse, he asked what was the purpose of this whole thing? But that, of course a number of months after the invasion.

So our verdict here was, Clinton's claim correct that Donald Trump publicly supported the war before and just after the invasion. We rate that claim as true.

Once again, just a reminder for this and all our other reality checks tonight go to -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Jim Sciutto -- thanks very much. Tom Foreman -- thank you as well.

Still ahead, the gender gap. How men and women saw tonight's debate differently. We're going to hear more from our focus group of undecided voters and we're going to find out how this night influenced their vote.


BLITZER: As we've been talking about both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump -- they're looking to pick up undecided voters.

Pamela Brown is in Orlando, Florida with a group of 20 undecided voters who reacted in real-time to this debate. Now Pamela, there was a real divide between men and women tonight.

Let take a look at one moment from Hillary Clinton that clearly resonated with women.


CLINTON: We also have to make the economy fairer. That starts with raising the national minimum wage and also guarantee, finally, equal pay for women's work.


BLITZER: And another moment where women didn't like what Donald Trump was saying.

TRUMP: It's going be a beautiful thing to watch. Companies will come, they will build, they will expand. New companies will start and I look very, very much forward to doing it. We have to renegotiate our trade deals and we have to stop these countries from stealing our companies and our jobs.


BLITZER: Pamela, so what are the women there telling you?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the women in this focus group of 20 undecided voters here at the University of Central Florida clearly felt more positive when it came to Hillary Clinton and trended lower with Donald Trump.

Let's find out why. First I want to go to Katura (ph) -- to find out why Hillary Clinton's message resonated for you tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, for me, she was more personable and she was to the point. She answered the questions as asked.

BROWN: And Tanya did Hillary Clinton exceed your expectations tonight? How did you feel?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, she did. And I also did not like the way that Mr. Trump was very condescending and disrespectful by interrupting her when she was supposed to have her time to be talking before it was his turn to have his rebuttal.

BROWN: Did Hillary Clinton connect with you in a way that she hasn't done prior to tonight?


BROWN: All right. Thank you so much.

I want to come over here to get your reaction from Donald Trump? What did you think about his performance tonight?

[00:30:02] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought he was disrespectful in his comments especially toward Hillary and Lester Holt as he was asking questions.

BROWN: All right. Wolf -- back to you.

BLITZER: All right. Pamela -- some of these voters, though, are telling you this debate helped them decide who they will vote for. What did they say?

BROWN: That's right. In fact, they all came in tonight undecided, but some have made up their mind. Show of hands for those who are going to vote for Hillary Clinton in the election? Show of hands.

All right, so we have four right here.

Show of hands for those who are still undecided, still have no idea who they are going to vote for.

OK. Quickly, I want to come over to you to get your reaction in terms of why you're going to vote for Hillary Clinton. Now you came here. You weren't still going to vote for her and now you are. Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The main reason is that Mr. Trump had three, four months to prepare for this and his unpreparedness, his lack of grasp of the issues, given the amount of time that he had available to him, is a disrespect to the voters. It's a disrespect to the process. And if that's how him and his campaign are going to run, this I can only imagine the consequences of a Trump government.

BROWN: All right. So, Anderson, as you see some of these undecided voters no longer undecided. They say they will vote for Hillary Clinton. But a majority of them say they are still undecided. Two more presidential debates to go.

Back to you. Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Our Pamela, thanks very much. And please thank all of them.

Jeffrey, it's interesting to hear him say, pointing out -- the lady before, the woman pointing out the interruptions. Did that strike you as unusual when Donald Trump was doing it?

JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: No. In all candor, it didn't. I mean, I just think when you're in these, particularly now when -- David is looking over at me with his --

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Every time I look at you I think about Ronald Reagan -- what would Ronald Reagan do?


LORD: He's trying to be my Mark Cuban over here.


No. I just think that in this particular day and age, we live in an era where these things have gotten to be very aggressive. I mean the whole -- when you think of the whole Kennedy-Nixon thing, even the Reagan-Carter debates, I mean, that era is gone.

We are living in an era where there is reality TV. Donald Trump aside. And people are very aggressive. Hillary Clinton gets very aggressive on occasion. She was aggressive when she was defending herself in front of the Senate committee there and the House Committee in terms of Benghazi.

I mean, this is the way I think our modern society is.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, but can I just say, not to pull the gender card here --


LORD: You can pull it, yes.

BORGER: As a woman, it was --

AXELROD: There it is.

BORGER: Sorry about that. It's so noticeable to me that he just kept -- and Lester Holt kept saying to him, she has her two minutes -- don't interrupt.

She has her two minutes, you have your two minutes, give her a chance to talk. And he kept interrupting and not listening to Lester Holt who gently said it, gently chastised him.


AXELROD: Let me place that on you in one thing. He did that to all his male opponents.


BORGER: Stop interrupting.


AXELROD: I mean, he's, he's -- he's rude to men and he's rude to women.


LORD: To which I would add, if she can't handle that --


AXELROD: Is the birther thing is not also racist to Mexicans? No, it doesn't excuse the birther thing and he's also racist to Mexicans.


COOPER: Let him finish.


PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He was dismissed -- 51 times according to "Fox," you know, it's an online news site. 51 times he interrupted Hillary. And it's not just like at a dinner conversation.

This is the -- there is something that happens. There is. And I felt this way when President Obama walked out there to debate John McCain. You see the first woman nominee in American history standing there, and then this guy interrupts her 51 times dismissively.


AXELROD: Paul, he was that way in the primary debates. But that doesn't mean --

LORD: Wait a minute --

AXELROD: It wasn't the right thing to do. I think that he went with what he saw worked in the primaries. And she --


LORD: Wait a minute --

AXELROD: And I think you saw the backlash to it there.

LORD: But she is running for president of the United States. If she can't handle this --


BORGER: She --

LORD: Wait, wait, wait, if she can't handle -- I mean, so why is everybody so upset? Do you think Vladimir Putin is going to care --


COOPER: We're pointing it out because the people in the focus group pointed it out as something that --


BEGALA: She handled it so well. A man tried to bully a woman and she responded calmly, strongly and confidently.

Donald Trump is the one who went to pieces. He's the one who whined and -- what was -- Kellyanne Conway, the campaign manager, he's the Babe Ruth of debating. He's Baby Huey. Just big baby playing out there.


[00:35:03] AXELROD: You gave her a disservice when you say that. She is a very strong person who was running for president of the United States. When Barack Obama was running for president and people interrupted him, we didn't say, you interrupted him and you shouldn't interrupt a black man who is running for president. And so I think that's a mistake. I mean, I think -- now, I take it as meaningful that people react the way they do.


BORGER: That's what I'm saying.

AXELROD: I think that was a mistake for him, but she handled him very well.

HENDERSON: That's right. AXELROD: What we saw at the end of that debate when he was whining about how Rosie O'Donnell treated him and Hillary has been unkind to him in ads and stuff, I don't think that impress voters.

HENDERSON: I mean, I think, here is Donald Trump, he needs to improve his standing with women. He needs to improve his standing, particularly with college-educated women, who spend a lot of time in meetings with men who interrupt them, right?

And I think that split screen of Donald Trump next to Hillary Clinton exacerbated that problem that he had I think in the original debates as well.

COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: You know what the larger problem was in this debate, we didn't talk about immigration which has been one of the central points of --

HENDERSON: You mean, Donald Trump didn't talk about immigration.

LEWANDOWSKI: And we didn't talk about Obamacare. Two major issues that facing ---

HENDERSON: Well, you blame Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I'm saying is you can blame Donald Trump, you can blame Hillary Clinton. The bottom line is the American people don't know where these people stand on it and they are both running for president.

BORGER: You know what else they didn't talk about? Trust.

LEWANDOWSKI: You're right.

BORGER: He did not succeed raising the single --

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Here's something they did talk about --

LEWANDOWSKI: 11 percent of the American people think that Hillary Clinton is dishonest and trustworthy.


BORGER: Why didn't he raise it?

HENDERSON: Why didn't he raise?


BORGER: Why didn't he mention it?

LEWANDOWSKI: Look, I'm not Donald Trump, guys. So hold on.


I do think that the American people missed out. JONES: We got two more debates for it.

LEWANDOWSKI: I understand.

JONES: We got two more debates for it.

LEWANDOWSKI: But this is 100 million people tuning in.

The issue of immigration -

JONES: I wish Trump --


COOPER: We've got to take a break. We're going to continue the discussion, though.

A reality check on duelling claims about what Russia and cyber attacks in the U.S. Also, we want to find out your opinion on the debate. Tell us did it change your vote? Go to to weigh in. We'll share the results ahead.


[00:41:00] BLITZER: Welcome back.

I want to get right to David Chalian.

David, we have this exclusive "CNN/ORC" instant poll.

Good numbers for Hillary Clinton.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Without a doubt, Wolf. It is a poll of debate watchers. So these are people that watched the debate, not the overall sample of the country. And it definitely, the audience tonight skewed a little Democratic.

But take a look at this. The overall who won the debate? Overwhelmingly, Hillary Clinton was seen as the debate winner by watchers, 62 percent for Clinton and 27 percent for Trump.

We asked about what the audience thought about the attacks that the candidates said. Were they fair?

Take a look at this. Were Trump attacks fair? And look at how it divides by gender. Among women, a majority of women who watched it, no, Trump's attacks were not fair, 52 percent; 44 percent said yes, they were.

But look at how men responded. 58 percent of men said that Trump's attacks on Hillary Clinton were fair. 39 percent say they were not. That is a fascinating gender divide. Hillary Clinton's attacks on Donald Trump also had a bit of a gender difference, but not nearly as big as Donald Trump had.

70 percent of women said Hillary Clinton's attacks were fair. 29 percent, no. 64 percent of men said Hillary Clinton's attacks were fair, 34 percent no. And then, of course, one of the ultimate questions all the campaigns watch for.

Who did the debate make your more likely to vote for? Of these debate watchers tonight, 34 percent said they are more likely to vote for Clinton, 18 percent said the debate made them more likely to vote for Donald Trump. 47 percent, nearly half the audience watching in this poll said neither. That they are not more likely to vote for either candidate after the debate.

BLITZER: It's interesting. And, Jake, based on these numbers, a very good night for Hillary Clinton.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: It's a good night, although, always looking for the negative, that's what reporters do.

In an audience that skews Democratic for almost half to say they are not convinced yet is telling and shows that there is still work for Hillary Clinton to do. She had a good night. She had a good debate.

Donald Trump did not have such a great debate. Did not have such a great night. But it's not over. There are still two more debates. Plus, a vice presidential debate and there are still skeptics out.

I think that there -- we talked about the hurdles that both candidates had. She did a lot to help push and needle Donald Trump. So he took the debate and furthered the cause to disqualifying himself.

I don't know that she did much at the end of the day to have people become more enamoured of her for anything more than being so conversant and so well-versed on the issues which I'm not discounting, but she has got other issues when it comes to honesty, trustworthiness perceived by the voters.

BLITZER: We've got two more debates coming up. Presidential debate. I assume they're going to go, both campaigns, look at the video. Going through the video and make some recommendations what to do next time.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You would assume and hope so. Because I think that's what anybody would do.

The 47 percent, almost half of the people saying that they weren't convinced mirrors what Pam Brown founded in our focus group.


BASH: That most of the people who raise their hands saying they still don't know. A few people -- a handful, I think, said that they were now going to go for Hillary Clinton.

But I think that, yes, she did have a good night when it comes to getting Donald Trump to take the bait. But going into this debate, I was told by an adviser who reported on one of your shows earlier that her main goal was to tell 100 million or however many people watching what she's going to do. And she did it a little bit, but she did spend the majority of her time trying to disqualify him. And, you know, maybe she did -- she missed a little bit of an opportunity to do more of both in that sense.

TAPPER: Yes. And we've talked about this before, Dana. The Hillary Clinton campaign perceives her to be the most famous woman you don't know anything about.

BASH: Exactly.

TAPPER: And they talked about how she was going to tell the story, the story that we heard during the Democratic convention about her life-long activism. We didn't hear a tremendous amount of that.

BASH: No. About that. But also about the specifics on her policy proposals. What she's going to do and why she's the best person to do it. We heard a little, but not as much as I thought we would.

[00:45:12] BLITZER: All right, guys, stand by. We've got two more reality checks based on some of the comments made tonight by these candidates. Tom Foreman and Jim Sciutto are both standing by.

Tom Foreman, first to you, what did you learn?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, Hillary Clinton did not think a whole lot of Donald Trump's views on climate change.


HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it's real.


CLINTON: And I think it's important that we grip this and deal with it. Both at home and abroad.


FOREMAN: She says he did. He says I don't. This is the problem with Twitter. It leaves a record. And, yes, many times on Twitter, he has referred to climate change as a hoax. And specifically back in 2012, he said "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."

There it is in black and white, and that makes what she said about this, Wolf, true.

BLITZER: Interesting.

Jim Sciutto, you did a reality check as well. What did you find out?


The topic here, who is behind the recent cyberattacks on the DNC state election systems. Sharp difference of opinion here. Here is Hillary Clinton.


CLINTON: There's no doubt now that Russia has used cyberattacks against all kinds of organizations in our country.


SCIUTTO: Donald Trump, difference of opinion.


TRUMP: I don't think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She's saying Russia, Russia, Russia. But I don't. Maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK.


SCIUTTO: So the question, Is Russia the prime suspect for these serious cyberattacks on the U.S. election system?

So let's look at the facts. Multiple officials as well as lawmakers, brief on the intelligence, have told CNN that Russia or hackers working for Russia are the most likely culprits.

Now we should say, however, that the Obama administration has not publicly blamed Russia. So absent that public blame or a Russian admission, it is hard to say with 100 percent certainty that the Russian government ordered this DNC hack. But there is compelling evidence that Russia was linked to the hack. Therefore, CNN rates Clinton's claim that Russia is the prime suspect. We rate that as true.

One more time, a reminder for all of our viewers here, that for this and all other reality checks, please go to


BLITZER: Our reality check team doing an excellent job. Thank you.

The vice presidential debate is only eight days from now in Longwood University in Virginia. You are going to see that live here on CNN.

We're traveling the country to cover every moment of this historic election. CNN in partnership with Instagram, Facebook, CA Technologies is visiting battleground states, talking to voters about their choice for president.

You can get involved. Post a photo on Instagram and tell us who you are voting for with the #MyVote. Your picture could be used in our election coverage.

Coming up, final thoughts on this historic debate and we're tallying up the responses online to the question, did the debate change your vote? We'll reveal the results, that's next.


[00:52:03] COOPER: And welcome back.

We're getting ready to tap the keg here at Hofstra University. We asked viewers to go to and tell us did the debate change your vote?

Here are the results. 24 percent said yes, 76 percent said no.

Not a scientific poll but interesting, nonetheless.

We're looking at some of the key moments from the debates with a key exchanges. One of them about questions of stamina that Donald Trump has raised against Hillary Clinton.

Let's play part of that exchange.


TRUMP: She doesn't have the look. She doesn't have the stamina. I said she doesn't have the stamina. And I don't believe she does have the stamina. To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina.

You have so many different things you have to be able to do and I don't believe that Hillary has the stamina.

CLINTON: As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a ceasefire, a release of dissidents, and opening of new opportunities in nations around the world or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina.

TRUMP: Hillary has experience, but it's bad experience. We have made so many bad deals during the last -- so she's got experience, that I agree, but it's bad, bad experience.


COOPER: David, what do you make of that exchange?

AXELROD: Well, the last -- I thought the last line was actually the right line for him and it should have been the line he used throughout the debate.

The stamina thing made me feel like he made a bet with someone and it was some sort of drinking game where someone owes him a lot of beers for saying stamina as many times as he said.

The fact of the matter is that nobody who watched this debate would say, gee, I don't think she has the stamina to be president.


HENDERSON: And she's (INAUDIBLE) really well in that because she was just smiling and she was like, you know, really, what is this guy talking about?

LORD: On the other hand, that video of her collapsing, I mean, the pictures are worth a thousand words. That's going to haunt her for a long time.

JONES: That's baked in.

BEGALA: I think it hurt her at the time, but I think she put it to rest tonight.

COOPER: You know, it's interesting, James Powell was in the Atlantic, wrote a cover story. It's really fascinating about debates. And one of his points was you should watch a debate with the sound off. So much about past debates had been just help candidates, not really what they said but just how they responded to each other, when Al Gore invaded George W. Bush's space and Bush just kind of looked at him, laughed and just kept on going.


JONES: And just watching those two, her body language this time -- for somebody who, you know, people criticize -- I mean, they criticize her no matter what she does, tonight you hear no criticism. Because the preparation paid off and she's able to stand there and she just was in control.

I agree at the beginning he was very strong, but he faded quickly. And if anybody showed a lack of stamina, tonight, mentally, politically and otherwise, it was Donald Trump. It was not Hillary Clinton.

[00:55:00] BORGER: She pounded him. You know, she pounded him for over an hour. I'll give him the first half hour.


AXELROD: Here's the question. Here's the question.

What happens at the next debate? Because --

JONES: Right.

BORGER: Right.

AXELROD: Because all the indications are from the people around him that he is going to want to be more aggressive coming the next debate. The next debate is a town hall meeting, where you'll have -- and Anderson will be there.

(LAUGHTER) One of the great moderators.

LORD: Who is moderating this thing?


AXELROD: And it is very, very hard to be nasty in -- with a bunch of citizens sitting around you. He's going to get a very bad reaction. So it's a bad draw for him if his strategy -- I don't think it's right strategy for him, but if his strategy is to get uglier in the next debate, this is going to be a bad --

COOPER: It's supposed to be undecided voters. They are all picked by Gallup. That's the people who we're going to be asking.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's also critical in that environment that Paul made this point.

Secretary Clinton, at the end, when she talked about that woman in the beauty contest. She did tell a story about somebody else. Then both of these candidates, they were talking about themselves, their. They are sniping at each other for most of the debate.

In the town hall setting, the key is relate to the person. Share their pain, as Bill Clinton would steal their pain, which Bill Clinton which -- and neither one of these candidates actually has proven especially good at that. So I'm fascinated by the next debate.

BORGER: But, Anderson, I remember during the town halls that you did and others here at CNN did, it was interesting for me to watch Trump during those because he didn't stand up and relate to the audience like a lot of the other candidates did, and instead he just looked at you. And the other candidates would stand up, talk to the audience.

JONES: And they all lost and Trump won.



LORD: Politician versus the non-politician.

LEWANDOWSKI: When you look at tonight, right, most people at least at CNN saying Hillary had a good night. The public polls aren't all saying that. "Time" magazine, "CBS 2 New York" are all saying Trump won. They are all saying that.

But what you say is undecideds -- people have not been moved to Hillary Clinton tonight. If she had such a great night, this is not good night for Hillary Clinton when 47 percent of the people have not moved her way after a night where some people say --

AXELROD: 90 percent of the public --

(CROSSTALK) LEWANDOWSKI: But you have five major polls out right now, and the media account is Lester Holt injected himself to be the third debater in this. So that's where the media scrutiny is. Now it's getting away from Hillary Clinton, it's getting away from Donald Trump. And for someone who is supposed to have had a great night tonight, she didn't move any voters. That's a real problem.


BEGALA: Music to my ears. There's no problem in Trump land. Keep doing what he did tonight. Please call him back --




BEGALA: Yes. Corey, you're right. Let Trump be Trump. I'm all for it. I'm the most for let Trump be Trump.


Trump was rude, disagreeable and uninformed.

LEWANDOWSKI: But honest and trustworthy, which Hillary --

BEGALA: Not in the least. He's the biggest liar guy ever made. Are you kidding me?

LEWANDOWSKI: 11 percent of people think Hillary Clinton is honest.

BEGALA: Every three minutes and 15 seconds, he tells a lie.

JONES: So you guys done?

LEWANDOWSKI: Not to the FBI, though. Hillary does that.

JONES: So there are people called Millennials. And Hillary Clinton has been struggling to get them excited. She did two things tonight I think actually helped her.

One, she talked about climate change. People who are at a certain age an above, they say, whatever. For a lot of these young voters that is their main issue. She spoke directly to that.

She also talked about criminal justice. She said stuff that nobody's ever said. She talked about ending mandatory minimums. Giving second chances to people who had been locked up. Ending private prisons. She acknowledged racial bias. She exposed that stop-and-frisk as a joke that didn't work. And I think those things we don't talk about them. But for those younger voters, climate and criminal justice matter a lot. And she hit that tonight.

COOPER: She also talked about adding college affordability.

LORD: Free college -- yes.

LEWANDOWSKI: It sounds good. You've been there 30 years -- Donald Trump reminds everybody, she has been there a time. She has been talking about the same issues for a long time. He said it multiple times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was the best part of Trump's night.

LEWANDOWSKI: He continued to remind everybody that she has had 30 years to solve these problems and they haven't been solved.

JONES: She was president of the United States for 30 years?


LEWANDOWSKI: She has been in Washington off and on for 30 years. That's what she has claimed. And guess what, nothing has change. And being the law and order is something that is successful for Donald Trump.


LORD: The question would be why weren't these problems solved in the Clinton -- the Clinton two administration?

BEGAL: Yes, why --

JONES: The Obama administration had to clean up after eight years of George W. Bush. So that was, you know, part of his challenge.

LORD: Which was begun by the Clinton housing policy.

BEGALA: John Lewis has been a civil rights icon for 50 years. But we still have racism. So is John Lewis a fraud? Of course not.

There is no end of trouble this side of paradise. I hate to tell you that. If you wake up and every problem is solved, you are dead.


LEWANDOWSKI: If you think the number of problems we're currently facing is climate change, then we've got a real problem. You're right. You are absolutely right.

JONES: It's one of them.

COOPER: I can't tell you how many times I woke up and think I'm dead.




COOPER: And two more weeks, the next debate. Not that I'm counting the days. (LAUGHTER)

Yes. That's about it for us, I think. In fact, we're going to -- if you missed the debate earlier this evening, you can see it in its entirety right now. See you later.