Return to Transcripts main page


Clinton Leads Trump; Kaine Vs. Pence; Hurricane Matthew Hitting Haiti. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired October 4, 2016 - 04:00   ET


[04:00:13] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The post-debate bounce. Hillary Clinton pulls out in front of Donald Trump in a brand new CNN poll.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Debate day for the running mates. Tim Kaine and Mike Pence get one shot, one opportunity, as Eminem says, to sell themselves and their bosses to American voters.

ROMANS: Hurricane Matthew ready to strike, headed right for Haiti and then Cuba. Find out when the East Coast could start feeling this powerful storm's impact.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans here in New York.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman live in Farmville, Virginia. It is Tuesday, October 4th, 5:00 a.m. in the East -- actually it's 4:00 a.m. in the East. I'm just checking if you're paying attention.

This is Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia where in a few short hours, it will host the one and only vice presidential debate.

Democrat Tim Kaine of Virginia and Republican Mike Pence will meet face to face to themselves, but more importantly to advocate for the top of their tickets.

ROMANS: After a very, very bus day for pollsters, Hillary Clinton has surged to significant new lead over Donald Trump in the wake of the first presidential debate. In the latest CNN/ORC poll, Clinton tops Trump by five points among likely voters. One major factor here, a big increase in Clinton support among independents. A month ago, they broke heavily for Trump. But after the debate, they made something like a 27-point move towards Clinton.

Secretary Clinton is also taking new steps toward closing that enthusiasm gap, 50 percent of her supporters say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for her. That is up four points from early September. Enthusiasm among Trump's supporters tick downward, John, two points over the same period.

BERMAN: All right. Another key finding comes in the wake of the report that Donald Trump might have gone nearly two decades without paying federal income tax. Our poll found that 86 percent of registered voters believe paying taxes is a civic duty. Just 12 percent told pollsters that they are an unnecessary burden that is best avoided. The polling period ended just before "The New York Times" published the report that he took a $916 million loss in his 1995 taxes. That lost would have allowed Trump to avoid paying a penny in federal income tax for up to 18 years depending on the calculation there.

Trump is now joining his top surrogates in calling that an act of genius.

CNN's Jason Carroll is with the campaign in Colorado. He has the latest.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Donald Trump wrapped up his debate here in Loveland, Colorado, trying to turn the tables on the whole controversy involving his taxes, basically saying that he used the tax laws as any smart person would do in his mind to turn his company around during what he called a real estate depression during the '90s. He basically said he did what he could to what he said minimize the burden on himself and on his family.

And, Christine and John, he also readily admitted to the crowd here that he benefitted from knowing the tax system.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The unfairness of the tax laws is unbelievable. It is something I have been talking about for a long time. You heard me talking about it, despite being a very big beneficiary, I must admit. I am. I am a big beneficiary.

But you are more important than my being a beneficiary. So, we're going to straighten it out and make it fair for everybody. More fair.

CARROLL: Donald Trump also criticizing Hillary Clinton, saying that she is the candidate that focuses on, quote, "small, petty things." He also calls her the candidate of distraction, which is unusual because Donald Trump himself has been accused by some in his own party by being easily distracted. Of course, they want him to focus on the issues going forward, heading into the debate now just a few days away -- Christine, John.


ROMANS: All right. Jason Carroll in Colorado for us.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton will be campaigning today in Eastern Pennsylvania with her daughter Chelsea. She's expected to escalate her attacks on Trump's effort to pay little or not taxes, as she did Monday in the swing state of Ohio.

Let's go now to CNN's Jeff Zeleny for the latest on that.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, Hillary Clinton campaigning in Pennsylvania today after spending Monday in battleground, Ohio. It was the first time she visited the state in nearly a month, arriving as Donald Trump leading five points in a Quinnipiac poll in Ohio.

But Hillary Clinton is hoping to close that gap by seizing on Donald Trump's tax returns. She has been asking for months, what is Donald Trump hiding? On Monday in Toledo, Ohio, she told voters.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In other words, Trump was taking from America with both hands and leaving the rest of us with the bill.

[04:05:06] Then, you all know that in the debate, he said it was smart to avoid paying taxes. Yesterday, his campaign was bragging it makes him a genius. Here's my question: what kind of genius loses $1 billion in a single year?

ZELENY: The Clinton campaign seizing on that revelation of Donald Trump's tax returns, going after his business acumen in one sense and he has not been contributing like most Americans do to the military and other federal programs your tax goes to.

Now, the Clinton campaign realizes limits. Donald Trump supporters are loyal and locked in. It is the voters in the middle. It is moderated voters. College educated women voters that they are most interested in. That is a reason Hillary Clinton back in Pennsylvania today as she watches that vice presidential debate tonight in Virginia -- John and Christine.


BERMAN: All right. Our thanks to Jeff Zeleny for that.

New York's attorney general has ordered the Trump Foundation to immediately stop raising funds from outside donors. The Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Trump's charity did not have the proper certification to solicit funds. This move follows the report in "The Washington Post" that the foundation raised about $25,000 from outside donors.

The Trump campaign -- this isn't right. What happened is the Trump campaign was raising money from outside donors in amounts greater than $25,000 you need to be certified in order to do that. The Trump Foundation did not have that certification. So, the New York attorney general ordered them to stop soliciting funds, which would mean that they have to be subject to audits going forward.

All right. New this morning, Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire says she misspoke during her debate with Democratic challenger, Governor Maggie Hassan, when she said that Donald Trump would absolutely be a good role model for kids. Watch this.


MODERATOR: Would you tell them to be like Donald Trump? Would you point to him as a role model? SEN. KELLY AYOTTE (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: I think certainly there are

many role models we have and I believe can serve as president. And so, absolutely, I would do that.


BERMAN: So that is what she said in the debate. But in a statement after she said neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton have set a good example.

So, Ayotte is in interesting position. She said she is not endorsing Donald Trump, but she says she plans to vote for him. New Hampshire is a key race that could determine the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.

Meanwhile, here in Farmville, a one-time face-off tonight only. The vice presidential candidates, they will battle it out on their behalf and for their running mates. We're talking about Republican Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, Democrat Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia. That debate at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time. CNN will be here all day.

In the meantime, the man who currently holds the seat will tell "NEW DAY's" Chris Cuomo how protecting his legacy has him back on the campaign trail and fired up for Hillary Clinton. That is coming up shortly in "NEW DAY's" 6:00 a.m. hour.

ROMANS: Can't wait for that. Can't wait for that.

All right. Thanks, John.

The majority of registered voters think Donald Trump should release the tax returns. That's according to the latest CNN/ORC poll. Ninety-five percent of Democrats and 75 percent of independents think Trump should reveal his tax data, 49 percent of Republican agree.

The survey asked why hasn't Trump released his tax returns, 57 percent think he is hiding something, 33 percent believe Trump because he is audited, although that does not legally prevent him from releasing those tax returns. Ten percent say they are unsure.

As for the tax policy, 48 percent of registered voters pick Clinton when it comes to who would better handle your taxes. But Trump is within the margin of error on this issue at 46 percent.

All right. The people of Haiti and Cuba are bracing this morning for the powerful category 4 hurricane poised to strike. We have a live report coming up.


[04:13:27] ROMANS: All right. Welcome back this Tuesday morning. Thirteen minutes past the hour.

This morning, Hurricane Matthew bearing down on Haiti with heavy rain and 145-mile-an-hour winds. Forecasters fear a catastrophic blow to the poor island nation. This is a category four storm. It's also expected to hit Jamaica, Bahamas and Cuba where hurricane warnings are posted.

For the very latest, let go live now to CNN's Patrick Oppmann in Cuba.

Hundred and forty-five mile an hour winds, that is a fierce storm, Patrick.

PATRICK OPPMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. It is terrifying. They know a lot about hurricanes in this part of Cuba, but not seen a storm like this in generations. Right now, as you're seeing, Haiti is being lashed by these winds and waves and probably storm surge later into the day.

Then, it is Cuba's turn. We expect Hurricane Matthew to turn a little bit to the west and cut across Eastern Cuba before continuing on to the Bahamas and potentially to the U.S. later in the week.

But today, it is slow moving and powerful storm is expected to impact where I am right now. Cuba's second largest city in Santiago. Over the last few days, we've seen people are securing the roofs and cleaning up the marketplaces which don't have much on a good day and going to Western Union to get money from relatives in Florida.

Officials are telling people to get to shelters if you live on coastal communities and to take preparations. If this is a glancing blow, it cuts across the east of the island, it's going to have a powerful, powerful effect.

[04:15:02] As you said, Christine, 145-mile-an-hour winds and that is just going to be devastating for many of the people in the area.

ROMANS: It will. Everyone, prepare, and keep us posted. Patrick Oppmann, thank you.

So what kind of threat could Matthew pose for the eastern seaboard of the U.S.?

Let's get the forecast this morning from meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: John and Christine, good morning, guys.

Yes, this is the first storm to make landfall across the island of Haiti since 2010. So, certainly, a lot of people are being put to the test with the storm that is not just a small hurricane. Of course, this is a category 4 storm system moving the shore sometime around 8:00 in the morning local time. The storm surge on the peninsula could be upwards to 11 feet high.

The population density across this region is also extremely high. We are talking about 1.5 million people living on the western periphery of Haiti. This area indicated in white that is 20-plus inches of rainfall across an area that is heavily deforested, taking about getting into these mountains that rise to almost 9,000 feet and over 98 percent of these mountains have very little to no vegetation. So, all of these rainfall coming down will lead to flash flooding, certainly landslide potential as well.

When you look at the track as we move forward, confidence remains high through the Bahamas of where the storm system will be. But as you go and stay from Thursday into the later portion of the week and it hugs the eastern seaboard, parts of Carolinas look certainly in line to get some rough weather associated with Matthew and then towards the northeast from Saturday into Sunday. The storm system will bring in potentially not only large waves along the coast, but heavy rainfall as well -- guys.


BERMAN: We're going to watch that very carefully.

The Supreme Court rejected an administration request to rehear a case concerning the president's immigration plan. Back in June, the eight- member court upheld a lower court ruling that blocked the program that would have protected millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. The court decline to weigh until a ninth justice is seated to revisit the case, which could lead to overturning the lower court. This is the victory for the 26 states that challenged the president's executive actions.

The justices also refuse to consider an appeal by the NFL's Washington Redskins, challenging a law that bars offensive trademarks. They are fighting over six trademarks with the nickname that disparages Native Americans. The team claims the law violates the First Amendment and is unconstitutional.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence getting ready for the vice presidential debate here in Virginia, but he suffered a stinging defeat from the federal court. Find out what that's about. That's next.


[04:22:02] BERMAN: Good morning, everyone. Looking at 22 minutes past the hour right now.

We are live at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, where just in a few hours, the vice presidential candidates, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, they will shake hands. They will come out, maybe swinging, maybe completely nice to one another. It will be their one and only debate that takes place right here at 9:00 Eastern Time.

Now, Governor Mike Pence, in his capacity as the chief executive of Indiana, he goes into suffering a loss in a federal appeals court. A three-judge panel overruled the attempt Pence's attempt to block Syrian families from resettling in Indiana. And particularly tough languages and language, the justices say there is no evidence that Syrian terrorists are posing as refugees or refugees have ever committed acts of terror in the United States. They called the suggestion nightmare speculation. Governor Pence argues his policy is not discriminatory and only aims to protect the citizens of Indiana. ROMANS: All right. The White House says everyone's patience with

Russia has run out. That as Press Secretary Josh Earnest's explanation for the U.S.'s decision to suspend talks with Moscow over the conflict in Syria.

The State Department says Moscow failed to live up to its commitment under a ceasefire deal. The Obama administration blames Russia and Syria's government for intensifying attacks on Syrian civilians.

CNN's Nic Robertson following developments. He is live in Istanbul, Turkey.

And, Nic, just plain language, what is the disagreement? What do the Russians want? What do the Americans want? Why did the United States walk away?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, look, through all of this year, John Kerry has tried his best to get a deal with the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to create the conditions on the ground in Syria that would allow both sides to talk peace. And those conditions were cease-fire and humanitarian aid delivery.

And every time Secretary Kerry got close to what he thought was a deal, the terms of the deal, he left up to Russia to convince the Syrian government, President Bashar al Assad, to make good on the commitments for cease-fire, for aid delivery. And every time push came to shove, every time the United States was waiting for Russia to put that pressure on Assad, it didn't happen.

This time, it's even worse. What happened in that agreement a couple of weeks ago in Geneva, I was right there and what happened in that agreement was, the Russians and Syrians appear to hit an aid convoy on the humanitarian delivery. And now, the only conclusion and this is something that everyone across the world has really been able to see this year -- the only conclusion, the only logical conclusion the State Department has come to that Russia is not committed to a political outcome, only to a military outcome. Beyond that, it's breaking international and humanitarian laws, targeting civilian areas, targeting civilian infrastructure, namely hospitals.

[04:25:00] Really, the State Department has been left with no other course here than to say Russia is not making good on its promise and is not committed to the same peace we the United States are committed to trying to achieve in Syria, Christine.

ROMANS: Just fascinating and a sad turn certainly for the people there in Aleppo and Syria. Thank you so much, Nic Robertson, for that.

Twenty-five minutes past the hour. Hillary Clinton waking up this morning with a lead over Donald Trump in a new national poll. Find out which voters she's captured after her debate, coming up.


ROMANS: The post-debate bounce. Hillary Clinton pulls out in front of Donald Trump in a brand new CNN poll.

BERMAN: The one day for the number twos. Debate day for the running mates. Tim Kaine and Mike Pence get one shot to convince America to vote for their tickets.

ROMANS: Hurricane Matthew ready to strike headed straight for Haiti and then Cuba. Find out when the East Coast could start feeling this powerful storm's impact.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans here in New York.