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CNN/ORC Poll: Clinton Leads Trump By 5 Points; Vice President Debate Tonight; Hurricane Matthew Hitting Haiti; U.S. Suspends Talks with Russia Over Syria. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired October 4, 2016 - 04:30   ET


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: 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.

[04:30:03] 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.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. Looking at 30 minutes past the hour right now. I'm in Farmville, Virginia, at Longwood University.

It is here tonight, 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time, where there will be the one and only vice presidential debate. You can see people massed here already waiting for this big event.

Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, they will meet face to face. They're going to be here to sell themselves, but most importantly to advocate for the tops of their tickets. Hillary Clinton has jumped out to a new lead over Donald Trump in the wake of the first presidential debate. Call it a bounce, if you will.

In the latest CNN/ORC poll, Clinton leads five points among likely voters. One big factor is an increased in Clinton support among independents. Now, a month ago, they broke heavily for Donald Trump. But after the debate, they moved more than 25 points toward Hillary Clinton.

Secretary Clinton is also taking steps to closing the enthusiasm gap. Fifty percent of supporters say they are enthusiastic of voting for her. That is up from four points in September. Enthusiasm among Donald Trump has ticked downward two points over that same period.

Now, another key finding and the poll comes in the wake of the report that Trump might have gone two decades without paying federal income tax. Our poll found that 86 percent of registered voters believe that paying taxes is a civic duty. Just 12 percent told pollsters today are unnecessary burden that best avoided.

Now, it's interesting, the polling period actually ended before "The New York Times" published this report that Trump took a $916 million loss on the 1995 taxes. That loss might have -- could have allowed Trump from paying a penny in federal income tax depending on how much earned for up to 18 years. Trump is now joining his top surrogates and calling that an act of genius.

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


BERMAN: All right. Jason for us this morning -- thank you, Jason Carroll.

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 no taxes, as she did Monday in the swing state of Ohio.

Let's go 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.

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 that your taxes go to.

[04:35:08] 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: New York's attorney general ordered the Trump Foundation to stop raising funds immediately from outside donors. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Trump's charity does not have the proper certification to raise outside money. Without that certification has avoided certain outside audits.

That move follows reporting in "The Washington Post" that found that it has been years since Trump himself donated to his own foundation. And "The Washington Post" also questions where some of the money has been actually going. The Trump campaign says it will cooperate with the investigation while also accusing Eric Schneiderman of acting from political motives. Schneiderman has endorsed Hillary Clinton.

New this morning, Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire says she misspoke during her debate with her 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. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So that's what she said during the debate. In a statement after, Senator Ayotte said, "I misspoke tonight. While I would hope all of our children would aspire to be president, neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton have set a good example and I wouldn't hold up either of them as role models for my kids."

Now, Senator Ayotte today in an interesting position here. She says she does not endorse Donald Trump, but she does say she plans to vote for him. In the race for New Hampshire is tight right now, could be one of the key races to determine control of the Senate going forward.

As for where we are right now in Farmville, Virginia at Longwood University, a one-time face-off. The vice presidential candidates, they battle it out head-to-head. Who will emerge? Governor Mike Pence of Indiana or the Democratic Senator of Virginia Tim Kaine?

CNN will be here all day. The debate begins at 9:00 Eastern Time. Watch all right here on CNN.

All right. What about the man who currently holds that job? The current vice president of the United States? Joe Biden sits down with Chris Cuomo for an interview you will see on CNN. The vice president explains why he is out on the trail campaigning so hard right now for Hillary Clinton. That comes up on "NEW DAY" in their 6:00 hour -- Christine Romans.

ROMANS: I look forward to that, about an hour and a half. Thanks so much, John.

You know, the latest CNN/ORC poll shows a tight race when it comes to some of the most important issues for voters. And most of those center around money, the economy and jobs. We asked registered voters who would better handle the economy? Donald Trump wins with 50 percent, Hillary Clinton with 46 percent.

Before the first debate, Trump had a 15-point lead. So, it seems Clinton's answer there maybe resonating with voters. Trump also earns an edge when it comes to trade. Forty-nine percent of voters still picking Trump over Clinton on who would better handle foreign trade. This has been a main issue throughout Trump's campaign.

Voters favor Clinton on income inequality, 51 percent say she could better handle the income gap, Trump with 42 percent on that question.

Finally, who is more in touch with middle class problems? Fifty-three percent of voters pick Clinton, 36 favored Trump, 11 percent say neither one of them.

All right. Thirty-eight minutes past the hour. The big story this morning. Hurricane Matthew is bearing down. The people of Cuba and Haiti bracing themselves for a powerful category four storm, talking 146-mile-an-hour winds, folks. So, a live report straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [04:43:20] ROMANS: All right. Welcome back. Forty-three minutes past the hour.

You know, this morning, Hurricane Matthew is bearing down on Haiti with heavy rain and 145-mile-an-hour winds. Forecasters are fearing a catastrophic blow to the poor island nation. Category four storm expected to hit Jamaica and Bahamas and Cuba, where hurricane warnings have already been posted.

For the very latest, let's go there. Let's go live to CNN's Patrick Oppmann. He is in Cuba for us.

Patrick, bracing for a big storm here.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Christine. Haiti is being lashed right now by Matthew's winds. It is going to be Cuba's turn this afternoon and later in the week, Bahamas and the United States.

Here, they're preparing for days. Of course, I'm in a communist-run island and state media is completely controlled by the government, which is blasting out messages 24/7 telling people to prepare, to evacuate, to get off the coast where they're expecting to see a record storm surge which could wipe away homes and boats and people if they're there.

So, Cubans are taking this very, very seriously. We are seeing people tie down their roofs. We're seeing people trying to load up on supplies.

You know, this is a very poor country. They lack resources. They do have a lot of experience. They dealt with hurricanes over the years. They are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy here some four years ago. It ripped through this city of 500,000 people causing a lot of damage.

So, while they have a lot of experience, no one has seen a hurricane like this in generation in Cuba, and that's why we've seen officials like Raul Castro, Cuba's president here over the weekend warning people they have to be ready because of the powerful storm. And no matter which way it comes into Cuba, it's going to have a major impact.

[04:45:01] ROMANS: All right. Patrick Oppmann for us -- stay safe and keep us up to date on the preparations as you prepare for the storm to hit this afternoon.

So, a big threat to Haiti right now. What kind of threat could Matthew pose for the eastern seaboard of the United States?

For that, let's get the latest 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 have to watch this closely for several days right now.

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. The Redskins are fighting the government's decision to cancel six of its trademarks over concerns that the nickname disparages Native Americans. The team claims the law violates the First Amendment and is unconstitutional.

ROMANS: All right, John.

Hillary Clinton slamming Wells Fargo over the fake account scandal. She says the bank is a bully. We'll explain when we get an early start on your money, next.


[04:51:43] BERMAN: Good morning, everyone. Fifty-one minutes after the hour right now. We are live at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, with the future of America behind us.

Some students out here on the lawn already, they can't wait for tonight for the vice presidential candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence. They shake hands and maybe come out swinging. Both these guys are fairly polite. This could be a serious policy discussion we get at 9:00 Eastern Time.

Now, Mike Pence in his capacity as governor of Indiana, he goes into the debate suffering a loss in the federal appeals court. A three- judge panel overruled the governor's attempt to block Syrian families from resettling in Indiana. He used particularly languages. The justices say there is no evidence that Syrian terrorists are posing as refugees or Syrian refugees have ever committed acts of terror in the United States. The judges called the suggestion nightmare speculation. Governor Pence argues his policy is not discriminatory and he only aims to protect the citizens of Indiana.

ROMANS: U.S. suspended talks with Russia over the Syrian cease-fire. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest says Russia lost credibility by making a series of commitments without keeping them, accusing Russia and its Syrian regime allies of trying to bomb civilian populations into submission.

CNN's White House correspondent Michelle Kosinski has more.



Yes, it's been interesting to see the evolution of this. I mean, we have heard increasingly strong language from the White House over the last couple of weeks, describing Russia's behavior in Syria, calling it theatrics and outrage, barbarism.

But the White House had seen the possibility of forging a ceasefire and this is a real test to see how willing they are to live up to commitments and work together, ultimately possibly working with the U.S. to fight groups like ISIS and al Nusra. But then, after the bombing of that aid convoy in Syria last month, during what was supposed to be a cease-fire, that raised the question, hasn't Russia already failed that test miserably? And the White House's response was yes, they have.

But the White House didn't want to close the door as they put it to a cease-fire because they see that as the best possibility in the near term to get the aid to the people there who are suffering. Then the question became, OK, well, you know, how far does Russia have to go for the U.S. to close that door? And now, we see the answer. The U.S. has closed the door to those negotiations. Listen.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think everybody's patience with Russia has run out. They've also spent a great deal of credibility in making a series of commitments without any clear indication that they were not committed to following them. They have been reduced to either acting unilaterally or supporting the Iranians in dropping bunker-busting bombs on civilian hospitals in Aleppo. It's outrageous.

KOSINSKI: So, now, when you ask the White House what happens next and what about the humanitarian need in Syria? The White House seems to put the onus back on Russia, saying that Russia has a lot to lose.

[04:55:02] Russia is extremely isolated right now, sounding at least like the possibility is there if Russia wants to come back to the table, that might be a possibility.

But the White House isn't saying that in so many words. Instead, the president they're saying that president is weighing a range of options -- John and Christine.


ROMANS: All right. Michelle Kosinski at the White House -- thank you for that, Michelle.

Meantime, the situation on the ground in Syria is deteriorating, as proof of Russian bombing mounts.

CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is following developments. He is live in Istanbul, Turkey.

Good morning, Nic.


Yesterday, a bunker-busting bomb dropped on the biggest hospital inside the rebel-held part of Aleppo. You know, 275,000, that's a huge number, 275,000 civilians live in that area. According to the U.N., they are down to 29 doctors now. The medical situation there is utterly precarious on the verge of collapse according to the U.N. And these bunker-busting bomb dropped by the Syrians backed by the Russians was the third strike on that hospital in a few days.

So, what is happening is a huge international worry? Now, you have, of course, the last hope that really was on the table, the Russians could be convinced to use their pressure and influence on Assad to back off on targeting civilians in and around Aleppo. What appears to be happening right now is the will of the -- you know, the will of the rebels to hold in what is a barbaric siege situation as we've described there is being tested at the moment.

So, without other alternatives on the table now to bring about a cease-fire, to bring about the humanitarian aid delivery, the U.N. is worried. And you have to be looking around this region and saying, OK, how is Saudi Arabia going to react to this, who have been pushing, who have been an ally of the United States in this, but pushing the United States to put more troops on the ground.

How is Turkey, where I am right now, how are they going to react? They wanted a more robust response. So, you know, we are entering uncharted territory right now, Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Nic for us this morning in Istanbul, keep us posted on that. Thanks, Nic.

Fifty-seven minutes past the hour. Time for an early start on your money.

Dow futures are higher this morning after the small drop to start the fourth quarter. Yes, folks, we've begun the final quarter of the year. Stock markets in Europe rising sharply right now. Shares in Asia finishing with gains overnight. Look at oil, it's down. But it's still above 48 bucks a barrel.

A sign of unease this morning, ahead of Britain's exit from the eurozone. The pound is the lowest point against the dollar since 1985. Investors worried about the country's plans going forward, but good news for U.S. travelers booking a trip there.

Hillary Clinton slapping Wells Fargo for its fake account scandal. Here's what she told supporters in Ohio yesterday.


CLINTON: One of the nation's biggest bank bullying employees into committing fraud. It is outrageous that eight years after a cowboy culture on Wall Street wrecked our economy, we are still seeing powerful bankers playing fast and loose with the law.


ROMANS: Donald Trump has been silent on this scandal. But on Sunday, one of his top economic advisers, Peter Navarro, called Wells Fargo's actions, quote, "just stupid and greedy behavior."

The latest hit for Wells Fargo, the state of Illinois suspending most of its ties to the bank. California made a similar move last week.

After six years of steady growth, auto sales could be running out of gas. Sales of new cars and light trucks slipping in September. The number remains strong. It shows deep discount aren't luring buyers.

Ford suffering the biggest loss of the three U.S. automakers, down more than 8 percent over the month. Fiat Chrysler lost 0.9 percent. Sales of G.M. dipped zero 0.6 percent.

Here's what's concerning. Labor Day is typically one of the biggest sales weekends of the year. Dealer incentives hit a record high in September. There are a lot of generous deals out there, nearly $4,000 a vehicle. The previous record was set back in December of 2008.

All right. EARLY START continues right now.


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

BERMAN: Debate night for the running mates. Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, they get one to convince the country to vote for their tickets. 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 and welcome to EARLY START, everybody. I'm Christine Romans in New York.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. I am in Farmville, Virginia. It is Tuesday, October 4th. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

And I'm at Longwood University. This is the site where in just a few hours, we will have the vice presidential debate. You can see the fan lining up early right now, hours before the main event at 9:00 tonight.