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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
CNN/ORC Instant Poll Gives Debate Win to Pence; Pence Lays Out Syria Plan That's Opposite of Trump's; Deadly And Destructive Storm Barreling Toward Florida; CDC: Polio-like AFM On The Rise In U.S. Aired 4:30-5p ET.
Aired October 5, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL WELD, LIBERTARIAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know people say we pick off millennial votes from the Democrats. But I have a hard time understanding why any Republican would vote for Donald Trump.
He said at the beginning, ah, I am from New York. I am pro-choice. He sounded like a New York City liberal Democrat, which he I think used to be. And,you know, he has gone 180 degrees against what Reince Priebus and Paul Ryan and all the leaders of the party decided the party needed to do after the 2012 election, which was emphasize free trade, outreach to Latinos, to the Hispanic community, outreach to women, more involvement with communities of color and all other ethnic communities.
And Donald Trump has done the opposite of that. He's done the opposite of Republican foreign policy in so many ways, saying we're going to are have a closed economy, we're not going to trade with anybody, we are going to undermine our NATO allies, to the point of threatening not to defend them if Russia attacks them.
We are going to have more nuclear proliferation, rather than cutting down on the number of countries that have nuclear warheads, which is the number one danger to the world today. I think he is in a class by himself.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: So, Governor, let me ask you, because it feels like about a week or so ago, Democrats woke up and realized that you were actually -- you and Governor Johnson were really getting sizable numbers of voters in the polls.
There was a poll from Colorado, a CNN poll, before the presidential debate. It showed Clinton behind Trump in a four-way race, Clinton 41, Trump 42, Johnson-Weld 13, Stein 3 among likely voters. But without the third parties in the race, it would Clinton 49, Trump 47.
That's within the margin of error, but I wonder if you're feeling pressure from Democrats who now feel you might be the Ralph Nader of 2000, winning enough votes to deliver it for Donald Trump?
WELD: Well, I am getting a lot of free legal advice from Democrats, some who I know and some who I don't know, who are sending me e-mails and telephone calls at private numbers saying, you got to get off the ticket. You will be a disgrace. It will be a shame on your family if Trump is elected.
But that just is because they don't want to have millennial votes peeled off from Mrs. Clinton.
TAPPER: Who is telling you that?
WELD: Everybody wants us off this ticket. It's kind of flattering in a way.
But I think there's more -- I like to go hunting where the ducks are. I am an old duck hunter. And I think there's more ducks to be hunted on the Republican side of the aisle, which is why I'm going to focus on Mr. Trump's foreign policy pronouncements, without failing to say that I think the fiscal and military policies of Mrs. Clinton are not what's called for here.
TAPPER: Who is putting the pressure on you? Who is telling you that?
WELD: A lot of them are people I don't know.
There was an article in "The New York Times" about how nervous everybody was about Mrs. Clinton possibly losing the election. It was right after the first poll came out showing Mr. Trump up by five points in Ohio. And people did the math and they didn't like what they saw.
So, a lot of my friends are from New York and they are Democrats. And I heard from a lot of them. But I also heard from a lot of people who I didn't know, who just said, you're going to be a disgrace if Trump wins this election.
If Trump wins this election, it will be for a lot of reasons.
TAPPER: Why do you think you're winning millennial votes? Why do you think there are so many young voters who normally would vote for the Democratic ticket, presumably, but they are going for you? What do they not like about the Democratic ticket?
WELD: I think it's the overarching message of freedom and liberty.
And I think a lot of young voters, particularly some of them who are not yet in the work force, they're not going to be so troubled by fiscal and financial issues. They really want to choose their own work-life balance.
I see this even in my role for occasionally participating in hiring decisions of young people at my law firm and business firm. And they want to make choices in their own lives. And that's a really resonant message from the Libertarian Party and the Libertarian ticket.
I think that's the -- a major reason. TAPPER: There are a lot of Republicans I have heard out there who
wish that you were on the top of the ticket. Gary Johnson has had some gaffes and stumbles in interviews.
Is that ever anything that you and Governor Johnson talk about, you being on the top of the ticket and him being vice president?
WELD: No. No.
And I must say, I think that the recent slips have been more pop quiz failures by Gary. I have known him since we were governors together in the '90s. He is a very strong guy. He was a strong governor. He really moved Mexico as much to the right on fiscal issue as I did Massachusetts.
When I took over, Massachusetts was still called Taxachusetts. And then, 21 tax cuts later, surprise, surprise, it wasn't. So, Gary and I have very similar politics. We are close friends, and we're in this to win. But, above all, we're in this to serve our country.
TAPPER: Well, with all due respect, sir, I don't know if they were pop quizzes. Just being able to -- knowing what Aleppo is. It's been in the news for months and months and months, years really, knowing -- having an idea of a world leader that you admire.
I mean, those aren't like who is the foreign minister of Poland-type questions. Those are legitimate questions.
WELD: OK. I will give you that.
We would like to have those two sentences back, no question. Gary is quick to assign blame to himself and to take responsibility, not always the hallmark of a practicing politician.
But he is a very humble guy. He is very ambitious, he's very strong, but he has tremendous humility. He kind of -- don't laugh. He kind of reminds me in many ways of Abraham Lincoln, who was another great truth-teller of his time.
TAPPER: All right, Abraham Lincoln, I will leave it on that one.
Governor Bill Weld, thank you so much. We really appreciate it.
WELD: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: Bracing for a devastating impact, gas lines, bare store shelves, jammed highways, millions of people getting ready for Hurricane Matthew, as the storm gains strength.
Stay with us.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
Last week, the New York attorney general wrote a cease-and-desist letter to the Trump Foundation over a missing certification. Now we're learning that the Clinton Foundation may not have filed financial documents for some of its affiliated charities over the past three years. The foundation is now filing those financial statements -- quote -- "out of an abundance of caution," Clinton Foundation officials told CNN.
Both foundations came up at the debate last night.
Let's talk to our political panel, former national press secretary for Bernie Sanders Symone Sanders, former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz Amanda Carpenter, and Donald Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany.
Amanda, John King reported that Donald Trump slightly unhappy that Mike Pence didn't defend him more, and that he was viewed as having had a better debate than Trump. The campaign officially pushing back on that notion.
What do you think of this idea that's out there that Pence was maybe debating more as Mike Pence 2020 presidential candidate than as 2016 vice presidential candidate?
AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's really premature for any politician to think about 2020.
But what I do like that Mike Pence did last night is that he presented a framework for down-ballot Republicans to use when it comes to Donald Trump. Mike Pence won that debate last night because he didn't fight that fight. He didn't defend Trump.
He pivoted every question about Trump to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. He went on offense the whole time. And he didn't get caught in the Trump trap. That may hurt Trump's feelings, but if Republicans want to win people in states like New Hampshire, Ohio, Wisconsin, that's exactly what they should do.
TAPPER: Kayleigh, you were here last night. We were discussing this.
And I said that Pence might have won the night, but lost the week, who knows, because there was going to be so much coverage -- and there has been today -- of things that Pence said Trump didn't say that Trump did say.
So, I'm just wondering if that was maybe a smart strategy for the night, but not necessarily for the ticket.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, I think it was smart for the ticket.
I think what Scott Walker said made a lot of sense, which is to say that he was not saying that these things were never said. The context was wrong that Kaine as presenting it as. He was taking Trump's statements out of context and presenting them as fact.
That's a point we have seen Democrats do repeatedly during this cycle. The Mexican comment is a good example of that. So, what he did was, I think, brilliant, denying it and making us now all week explain the real context of Donald Trump's statements and exposing how Hillary Clinton has taken them out of context repeatedly to serve her campaign.
SYMONE SANDERS, FORMER SANDERS CAMPAIGN NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY: Whenever you have to do some explaining of the explaining of the explainer, there is an issue here.
Look, Mike Pence totally abandoned, in my opinion, abandoned Donald Trump last night. He left him out there to dry. He didn't defend him. And he kind of looked like Donald Trump was indefensible.
So, if your own vice presidential running mate won't defend you, who will? I think that, again, Senator Kaine, he went out and he did what he was supposed to do in that debate, was where he defended the ticket. He put their policy on the table.
And the fact that Governor Pence seemed slightly aloof, if you will, to comments that Donald Trump has made is an issue. And I think it is going to continue to be an issue all week, and we're going to have to talk about that at the debate on Sunday.
MCENANY: Tim Kaine was petty, he was insulting, nervous, he was interrupting.
SANDERS: I don't think he was nervous. I think he was a little aggressive. He came ready to rumble. And Governor Pence wasn't necessarily ready to rumble.
MCENANY: He lost the debate. He lost the debate. That is the overwhelming consensus.
SANDERS: I guess I -- my only thing is, look, I don't think you can win a debate without giving facts.
And Governor Pence didn't give us any facts last night. And he just told other lies. He straight up said...
SANDERS: ... that Donald Trump didn't say most of the things which he definitely has said.
MCENANY: No, what Donald Trump said on the campaign trail is the exact characterization of the debate, which is petty insults from one side and bold solutions from the other. That's what we saw last night. The voters won because Mike Pence took this to a higher level.
CARPENTER: The thing that Mike Pence did really well in that debate is that he brushed a lot of the claims by Kaine.
This is why Donald Trump has been successful. He doesn't play the Democratic game. He doesn't buy into the charges that he is a racist. He just keeps on plugging away. And if anything that Republicans should have learned this race is that don't take the bait on that.
When Mike Pence was just sort of laughing this off, I thought that worked really well for him. He didn't get into it. He didn't litigate everything Kaine threw at him. He just said, you know what, that's nonsense and moved on.
I am not saying it's the most upstanding and a fact-checked debate, he is going to pass that test. But in a televised debate, where style is viewed a lot more than substance, that works.
TAPPER: But a lot of the things that Pence said -- I'm sorry -- a lot of the things that Kaine -- everyone is doing this, because we're all confusing Kaine and Pence.
TAPPER: A lot of the things that Kaine said that Trump said, Trump said.
TAPPER: A lot of them, he said.
CARPENTER: Particularly when it comes Russia, when, you know, that he said that Trump didn't seem to know that Russia had invaded Crimea and that Trump had praised foreign dictators. Those things happened.
Pence said, that's nonsense. That's not the truth, but Pence was able to dismiss it in the debate. Again, is it the most credible thing? Is it going to pass a fact-check? No. But did he win the debate because he didn't litigate it? Yes.
TAPPER: Let me ask another question, Kayleigh.
There were times that -- that Republican commentators noted: I really like the foreign policy that Pence is presenting tonight. Unfortunately, it's not Donald Trump's foreign policy.
[16:45:00] Specifically, too, he talked about opposing Russian strikes in Syria, which Donald Trump has said he doesn't have a problem with, and also, whether or not Donald Trump praised Putin, which he has. And that's another reason why some people think, "Oh, maybe this is about Pence 2020, not about defending Donald Trump's position."
MCENANY: I think their foreign policy is very much in line. Donald Trump has said that he doesn't like the type of leadership that Putin has but he is a strong leader. In fact, he has used the United States as marionette puppet over the last eight years with the Russian reset, baiting us into trusting them, and then invading Crimea. Secretary Clinton encouraging companies to go over and invest in Russia, her taking millions from foreign countries, many -- Russia included. So, we've been used like a marionette puppet. They have been the stronger leader over the Obama administration. Those are very much in line.
TAPPER: Simon, I want to ask you. I mean, there is according to polls and according to focus groups, there is this impression that Mike Pence won. That must bother you as a supporter of the Clinton ticket.
SANDERS: I mean, it bothers me as a person that believes in facts, not just as a Clinton supporter. I don't think you can win a debate without facts, without telling the truth. And Governor Pence didn't tell the truth last night. You want to talk about style, did he come out looking relaxed and not as crazy as his running mate? Absolutely yes. His style was he seemed relax, he seemed like he was having fun, but in terms of what are the facts, did he lay out policy and the truth to the American people? Absolutely not. And to the point that Amanda made about that he laughed some things off, I don't think the Latino community is laughing about the Mexican thing. So, there are real things that Governor Pence said last night that he and Donald Trump are going to have to answer to well after this week.
TAPPER: All right. Symone, Amanda and Kayleigh, thank you so much. Appreciate it. Be sure to tune into the next Presidential Debate this Sunday on CNN. CNN's own Anderson Cooper along with ABC's Martha Raddatz will be hosting the town hall style matchup. Live coverage starts at 4:00 p.m. Eastern with a special edition of THE LEAD.
How strong will Hurricane Matthew be when it hits Florida, and where will the storm head after pummelling the Sunshine State, that story next.
[16:51:11] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Turning now to our NATIONAL LEAD, deadly and powerful Hurricane Matthew barreling toward the Southeastern United States. The dangerous storm is already responsible for at least 13 deaths in the Caribbean, 8 of them in Haiti. Right now, the storm is hammering Eastern Cuba and the Bahamas with heavy winds and heavy rain, but hours from now, it's expected to strengthen into a Category 4 hurricane and pummel Florida and then move onto Georgia and the Carolinas with winds as high as 130 miles per hour. Millions of Americans are in the path of this potentially catastrophic hurricane. The U.S. government is sounding the alarm. Let's bring in CNN Correspondent Boris Sanchez in Daytona Beach, Florida. Boris, it looks sunny right now, but in a few hours that vista is going to look very different.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Jake. In about 24 hours, this beautiful picture behind me will be vastly different as we start feeling the full force of Hurricane Matthew. Even though the forecast has it more or less skirting the coast of Florida, the governor is saying we should not take any chances. Florida Governor Rick Scott saying we should prepare for a direct hit, saying that though it's easy to repair a house, you cannot repair a life.
The rush in Florida is on. And so is the crush of residents lining up to gear up for Hurricane Matthew. Some gas stations are gridlocked, the lines so long, at least one station simply ran out of gas.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a little bit crazy. I never expected to come and see so many people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm hearing a lot of screeching of tires. And I'm just waiting my turn.
SANCHEZ: State officials urging residents to have three days of food and water and fully charged cellphones and batteries.
RICK SCOTT, GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: Once you lose power, you will not be able to recharge your cellphone. Your cellphone might be your only contact with somebody else or your only way of getting information.
SANCHEZ: In some places, tourists soaking up their last few rays of sun, but the rain and wind-battered images from Haiti serving as an alarm. Some Florida communities on barrier islanders are already evacuating.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just looking in that direction, you know, that it's pretty scary out there.
SANCHEZ: It's the first time a hurricane will batter Florida's east coast since Wilma in 2005. President Obama stressing the need to obey warnings.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you get an evacuation order, just remember that you can always rebuild, you can always repair property. You cannot restore a life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most evacuations are for the storm surge hazard, the deadliest hazard of all, historically.
SANCHEZ: The most populated area in Florida, Miami, could escape the worst, but hurricanes can shift, which is why no one in this near empty harbor is taking a chance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just batten everything down, make sure the boat is prepped for a 50 to 60-mile-an-hour wind. And then, you know, hope everything works out.
SANCHEZ: And Jake, there is a state of emergency in counties across the State of Florida, more than 500 National Guard members have already been deployed. There are another 6,000 on standby right now, and there are mandatory evacuations, just south of us in Brevard County. Those are expected to continue to expand, especially for coastal communities and barrier islands like the one we're on right now, Jake. TAPPER: All right. Boris Sanchez, thank you so much. Concerns about the rise in a mysterious illness paralyzing children. What is it? What causes it? That's next.
[16:58:45] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. We're back with a little bit more on politics. The story we've been covering for weeks, attempts to hack the U.S. Election System. Today, even more states are reaching out to the Department of Homeland Security for help. An official telling CNN, 24 states have now requested cybersecurity assistance. They're looking to strengthen voter registration. The Homeland Security Official tells CNN that hackers have recently tried to infiltrate 20 state voting systems.
TAPPER: In our "HEALTH LEAD" today, an alarming outbreak in the U.S. The CDC is warning of a mysterious polio-like illness paralyzing children across the country. This year alone, the number of people diagnosed with the very rare disease AFM has spiked to 50 compared to 21 last year. The patients are mostly children, including this 3- year-old, Carter Roberts, who went from being a healthy child to a paralyzed patient, unable to move his arms or legs. Like polio, this illness affects the body's nervous system, specifically the spinal cord. And it could eventually lead to paralysis. Symptoms include limb weakness, facial drooping, difficulty swallowing and difficulty talking. Unlike polio, there is no vaccine for AFM. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and twitter @JAKETAPPER or tweet the show @THELEADCNN, we also have a Facebook page. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I now turn you over to one Mr. Wolf Blitzer, he's right next door in "THE SITUATION ROOM." Thanks for watching.