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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Debate Night in America, Third and Final Presidential Debate; Aired 11-12p ET
Aired October 19, 2016 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:01] JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Wait, wait, did you -- wait. Did you see in the same speech where he mocked the general and mocked Ted Cruz doing the same thing?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I don't know what you're talking about.
LORD: Well, that's the point.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I've seen the video, yes.
LORD: This is the point. There's a video where he does the same thing mocking other people who are not disabled.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Let me say --
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, but he said in that instance -- I know Serge, I used to work with him at the "Washington Post," he said have you seen this guy and mocked the way Serge appears because he has a disability. I mean, listen, I think this debate, you know, he sort of gets the most improved award, but that doesn't get him much in terms of expanding his base. I did think he was much more disciplined. He was calmer. He didn't take the bait all the time.
I thought both of them were incredibly weak on jobs. None of them really, I think, channeled the anger and the pain that folks are feeling in terms of their own lives. I think Hillary Clinton basically did a laundry list of what her plan would be. He seemed to pivot to NATO in that question. But I think it is true that he seems to lose stamina as these debates go on. He seems to sort of remember slight. I mean, in that answer where he said such a nasty woman about Hillary Clinton, I think she was talking about entitlement reform at some point?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
HENDERSON: So it was like this thing that he couldn't even control.
BORGER: I agree with you.
HENDERSON: He just had to say it. I mean, it was such an odd moment.
BORGER: It's also the puppet moment.
BORGER: The puppet moment where she's talking -- they're talking about Putin and the question was, do you condemn, and he said of course I condemn, but it didn't continue. They were getting into it over Putin, and she called him a puppet. And he said no, you're the puppet.
LORD: You're the puppet. Exactly.
BORGER: Again, I hate to raise my children but that's the kind of thing my kids used to do.
LORD: Well, she's the one with the Russian reset. I mean, the situation with Russia, she's been the secretary of state. She reset the whole thing. President Obama, I mean, this is their policy. And here we are.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It would have been more reassuring if he were willing to actually condemn Vladimir Putin for the tyrant that he is, which he just -- every time he gets an opportunity to do it, he instead goes to wouldn't it be better if we had a better relationship with Russia?
LORD: Well, let me --
AXELROD: Ronald Reagan would be horrified by what he's done.
LORD: David, David, President Obama is dealing with a tyrant in Cuba and he's opened relationships on that same premise. Would it better to have a better relationship with Fidel Castro who is one nasty tyrant?
JONES: But Cuba is not --
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR, "SMERCONISH": Jeffrey, so many of his answers, if I can say, so many of his answers tonight I thought were measured, were controlled. He now has a better understanding of the clock than he ever has thus far, but he just can't help himself, and the interruptions truly had me wondering, is it 11:30 on a Saturday night. I mean, it was straight out what you get from Alec Baldwin every single weekend with his imitation. But the big picture is this, he came in here needing a knockout. He didn't get it. So even if you want to think that he had a great night, and some aspects of it were a great.
LORD: I do. Passionately so.
SMERCONISH: He didn't win the night.
(CROSSTALK) AXELROD: Wait, you guys are -- you guys are ace supporters and spokespeople and -- but the question is what about the voters he needs to add to the base that he has to win this election? Were they as impressed as you? My sense is that they will not be. And we'll see -- we'll see in what the poll says and we'll see in the coming days.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But, David, here's what I think was so important about tonight is Hillary was pressed very hard by Chris Wallace on the economy. You know, this is going to be Obama stimulus 2.0. What is different about your plan than Obama's? She didn't have an answer, and a lot of us sat back when Obama took office and said OK, he's blaming Bush for the economy. Fair enough right now. How long will this last? Hillary Clinton tonight said he inherited something bad. We're still blaming Bush. There's no new plan. Meanwhile Donald Trump has novel ideas on NAFTA, on TPP. That moves voters who's number one issue is the economy.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And by the way, there we see Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton departing.
AXELROD: I don't know that it's blaming Bush to note the fact that the quarter before he took office the economy shrunk by 8.9 percent and that we were losing 800,000 jobs the day he walked in the door.
LORD: The seeds planted by Bill Clinton's housing policy.
JONES: Well, that's fine. So now you're mad at us for blaming Bush and you want to blame Clinton. So I just want to --
JONES: But I just -- listen, sometimes numbers and facts, again, I'm a little bit of a nerd, but I think numbers are sometimes helpful. Bush, number of jobs, 1.3 million. Number of jobs created under Obama, 10.6 million jobs.
LORD: Ronald Reagan 21 million.
JONES: Yes, beautiful. And guess what, the great thing about that is that was the time when the Western democracies were growing. When you look at our growth rate, we keep getting beat up, you only get between 1 percent and 2 percent, 1 percent and 2 percent. Guess what, Europe below 1 percent. Japan zero. Why? Because the Western democracies are at a point of maturation our economies that we are actually beating our peers. So you can't admit that so what do you do? You go and compare us to China and India which are growing more, but from a lower base.
So, again, you guys have to do funny numbers and fuzzy math. The reality is under Obama we've been beating our competition, and our economy right now -- I'll be done.
[23:05:01] Our economy right now is 10 percent bigger and richer than it was at the height of the post-recession peak. So these are real numbers. We don't feel in our pocket book --
JONES: It's true.
MCENANY: And another real numbers that Barack Obama is about to become the first president in the United States history to not attain 3.5 percent GDP. There are millions more in poverty.
JONES: Coming out at the end of recession.
MCENANY: Millions more -- and people are hurting.
JONES: And we beat every other country in the world that is an advanced industrial country.
MCENANY: And you know what? I just go back to the one statistic that had stuck out to me this entire election, 60 percent feel the economy is rigged against them.
MCENANY: Rig is an important word in this election. Donald Trump used it tonight and by using that word he might have just played into that feeling that a lot of Americans feel at home that deck is stacked against them. And that it's unfortunate.
JONES: You know who else used that? Bernie Sanders used that word.
MCENANY: He did.
JONES: And you know what? A lot of people feel that the economy is rigged, and you know what? They're right, but most people don't feel that the American system of voting is so rigged that someone who has won his party's nomination can't stick up for it. We should stick up for our democracy on the world stage every single time. And he can't do it. It's a disgrace.
BORGER: You know, when Trump was asked about the economy, this is the one area in which he has an advantage and he's had a lot of advantage in polling. Lots of people believe he's best able to handle the economy. She was asked about it and she talked about her tax plan, et cetera, et cetera. When he was asked about it, he went to trade, started talking about trade, and never really until the end of his answer got back to what he would do for the American people.
He started talking about her on TPP and -- I think it was a huge missed opportunity for him because it's one area where he actually does well, and he could have gotten more specific with people about how he is going to help them in their personal lives beyond trade. I know trade is a very big issue. I know it's really important, but taxes are a big issue. And what he's going to do to improve GDP, et cetera, et cetera. So I think he wasn't focused on an answer that -- on a question that could have been terrific for him. I really do.
AXELROD: I think if you're going to -- you know, you cite the poll that says 60 percent feel the economy is rigged. And I am one who believes that the biggest single issue facing us and every mature economy is how you guarantee that people who work hard can get ahead. How you give them the best chance to get ahead in this changing economy. I think that's a real issue. But if you're going to cite the polls, then you have to accept the rest of what the polls says which is that 60 percent don't think he has the temperament to be president. 60 percent, you know, on a series of measures of presidential preparedness don't feel he's qualified. So that was what he had to work on tonight. If he wants to get from point A to point B, that's what he had to do tonight, is reassure people.
LORD: One line, you've got the experience, and it's bad experience.
AXELROD: That is a great line, and the 30-year argument is a good argument. But that is not a 90-minute debate, and given what else he's said it's sort of like that old thing about how is the play otherwise Mrs. Lincoln, you know?
HENDERSON: Yes. And she had a great comeback. I thought again to the 30-year answer where she said, you know, in 1970s, I was there in Arkansas, you were being sued for housing discrimination. In the 1980s, and so she went through decade by decade, so I thought that whole refrain, she was clearly ready for that answer.
COOPER: I'm sure that was right off the top of her head.
SMERCONISH: If I can just say, I think there are 535 people who are watching tonight who really now have an issue on their hands, and I'm thinking of the 100 Senate Republican candidates --
COOPER: Great point.
SMERCONISH: -- and 435 Republican candidates for the House of Representatives, individuals like Pat Toomey in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who thus far have really danced in terms of are you for or against this guy, and they now are going to be asked the question tonight or tomorrow when Donald Trump is unwilling to say that he'll accept the outcome of the election, what about you?
LORD: And they're going to say, I'll say the same thing that I said when Al Gore --
SMERCONISH: I don't think so.
BORGER: No, they're not.
SMERCONISH: I don't think so.
LORD: And therein lies the problem with Washington and that's it. Right there. That is it.
(CROSSTALK) JONES: It's one thing we haven't talked about and we need to talk about, which is for the first time Donald Trump used Spanish. He spoke a Spanish word only to insult and smear and stereotype Latino immigrants. And no other immigrants. He said we have some bad hombres. The only time this man has used Spanish in the entire election was used to stereotype and smear Latino immigrants. Not all immigrants. The Latino immigrants. I thought that was horrible. And if you look at Twitter, that's going to be another reason that he -- that the Republican Party is going to have a very difficult time being a party for all the time.
MCENANY: This is certainly get into this politically correct --
JONES: No, it's not political correct --
MCENANY: This is nonsense.
LORD: It is.
JONES: It's nonsense. This is America. This is nonsense.
MCENANY: You got to let me finish my point.
JONES: Go ahead.
MCENANY: Let me finish my point. He was not talking about -- let's put context here instead of bringing two words. Context. Sabine (INAUDIBLE) lost her son at the hand of an illegal immigrant. He would still be here today if the laws were enforced.
[23:10:02] PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And it is a tragedy. But you cannot --
MCENANY: But is that man a bad hombre?
DOYLE: Are all immigrants --
MCENANY: A bad man, a bad hombre? Whatever you want to call that man, the man did it.
DOYLE: -- criminals, rapists, and murderers? You can't do it.
MCENANY: It wasn't all immigrants. And that's where context is so important.
JONES: Hold on a second. First of all --
MCENANY: He was talking about the immigrants who have come into this country, they're a minority, yes, 100 percent, they're a small number. But nevertheless, there are people who would still be alive today had the laws been enforced.
JONES: There's something wrong, there's something wrong.
MCENANY: Americans have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Everyone.
JONES: Absolutely. And I'll tell you what.
MCENANY: And no one should die at the hands of an illegal immigrant.
JONES: No one should die at the hands of anybody.
DOYLE: At anyone. Exactly.
JONES: And I'll tell you what, there's something wrong --
LORD: Unless they're a baby.
JONES: Hold on a second.
DOYLE: Oh, come on.
JONES: There's something wrong when you take funerals and you politicize funerals. I've gone to plenty of them. I've seen people killed by police. I've seen people killed by -- I've seen African- American kids killed by other African-American kids. I've seen Latino kids killed by other Latinos. I've seen people killed by people with papers and without papers. The reality is, when you start cherry picking and you say, well, I'm going to pick these particular ones and use that to beat up a whole community, that is disgusting, it's wrong, and people understand what you're doing. It's not right.
COOPER: Let's play this again, just for those who maybe didn't see it. Let's play the moment, the moment that's gotten a lot of coverage online.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to secure the border and once the border is secured at a later date we'll make a determination as to the rest. But we have some bad hombres here and we're going to get them out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: What was your reaction?
MCENANY: This is not politicizing someone's death, Van. This is really important here. If we want to talk about picking and choosing which deaths to care about, you know, President Obama cared about certain men who have died at the hands of police officers. Your idea about politicizing deaths, I assume it applies to your own president. It's not politicizing death to care about a certain group of people. And Donald Trump cares about the fact that kids in New Hampshire have died of heroin that has been brought in here by illegal immigrants. There are people who --
COOPER: OK. One at a time. One a time. Patti. DOYLE: Kayleigh, my father emigrated into this country from Mexico
illegally twice. Was deported twice. Came back the third time legally. To me, I was born here. I'm an American citizen. To me, that was very offensive. You heard me when we were watching it in the green room. I -- I was aghast at it. That was just offensive. It's offensive to Hispanics. It's offensive to --
LORD: To say what?
DOYLE: To Mexicans. Bad hombre.
LORD: Come on, Patti. Patty, you're an American. I'm an American. I've heard that phrase all my life. That has nothing to do with Donald Trump.
DOYLE: Where do you hear that phrase?
LORD: No. No. No. This line has been an American --
DOYLE: Where do you hear that phrase?
LORD: American television westerns in the 1950s. He's a bad hombre.
LORD: My goodness.
COOPER: By the way, I'm not sure a 1950s American television is the best benchmark for what is good language and not offensive.
LORD: I have never heard that compared to say the N-word. Right? Right? This is politically correctness to a max.
HENDERSON: Jeffrey, why do you think he used that phrase? Why didn't he just say bad dudes? Why didn't he just say bad dudes?
LORD: Because there are dudes that would be offended if he say dude. Because somebody would come up --
HENDERSON: Why specifically use Spanish in that instance?
LORD: Well, what's wrong with it? There's nothing wrong with it.
HENDERSON: So why do you think he did it, though? I mean --
LORD: Because it's in colloquial. It's in the American language.
HENDERSON: No one says that. No one says that, Jeffrey.
LORD: You don't know enough people.
BORGER: Donald Trump has defended the language he uses and says about women. I don't say things like that. That's not what I do. Well, tonight, Patti was very offended, and --
LORD: Patti, I love her to death, but she's being politically correct.
BORGER: I think she has a lot more credibility than I do on that.
BORGER: And if she's offended, I'm offended.
MCENANY: I can't even believe what I'm hearing.
LORD: My goodness.
BORGER: I'm sorry.
MCENANY: That we're in such a high offense culture that when you call someone who killed American citizens bad hombres and we're going to critique the language we use, two words you chose to use, this is such a high offense culture. And this is why -- I want to point out really quick. This is why Donald Trump won this nomination because Americans around this country are fed up.
HENDERSON: And it's why he's going to lose the presidency most likely.
JONES: Here's the deal. This is not about being a high offense country. I agree with you, there are some people who just chronically aggrieved and no matter what you do, they're going to -- I'm in meetings with them all the time, trust me. So I get what you're talking about. But this is not about that. This is something else. This is a sense that we've not yet heard him say very many positive things about the contribution of the Latino immigrant community. We have --
MCENANY: He has. We just don't play it.
COOPER: Let him finish. Let him finish.
JONES: He doesn't Trumpet it. He had an opportunity to say nice stuff tonight. We talked about immigration tonight. He had a huge opportunity to try to repair some damage with that community. He could have said, listen, we got some bad ones, but let me tell you a little bit about the good ones, the ones who are making a difference, who are making a contribution. He -- like George W. Bush used to do. He didn't do that.
[23:15:01] And then to put the cherry on top of the awful sundae, he then says there are some bad hombres which --
LORD: Oh my god.
JONES: Which sounds to people for whom?
LORD: Politically correct.
JONES: No. Hey, listen.
DOYLE: It's offensive, Jeffrey, period, end of story. It's offensive.
DOYLE: Let's stop talking about how offensive it is.
LORD: We disagree.
MCENANY: He (INAUDIBLE) the Mexican president and praised the contributions of the Mexican American community. He's done this time and time again. There are so many good immigrants in this country. But there are some very bad ones and we never get to the root of the problem because we're all upset about the term bad hombre.
DOYLE: OK. But let's stop talking about -- let's stop talking about how offensive it is. He was supposed to broaden his base tonight. He was supposed to expand his voters today, right? Yes?
MCENANY: Yes, of course.
DOYLE: He offended Hispanics.
DOYLE: He offended women. He offended other minorities. How did he expand his base tonight? How is he going to win the presidency?
LORD: This is exactly the point, Patti, is that you divide by race. Van and I have famously had this conversation.
JONES: I'm not dividing by race.
LORD: And when you divide by race like this and think of people as non-Americans, not Americans, but by their nationality.
JONES: But hombres, but hombres.
LORD: Am I supposed to take offense?
COOPER: But Jeffrey, her question --
LORD: And I'm not totally.
COOPER: Her question was more who -- what new groups did he reach out to and actually get tonight. Did he?
LORD: Sure. Sure. People who are sick of this nonsense. I mean --
HENDERSON: Those are the same people you've been talking about. LORD: To think this is limited to any particular group or age is
crazy. They're all Americans and all human beings. They all have different views. They are individuals.
COOPER: Right. No, I'm just wondering if like tonight -- but I feel like those people he's probably already gotten. So is there anyone new he reached tonight?
JONES: I have an idea. I have an idea. I think that when Donald Trump goes into private life, which he will be doing very soon, he should take out a patent on a self-kicking machine because that is his brand now. He had a complete opportunity tonight to go out there and repair some damage with some constituencies, to show that he actually gets it. The thing is, you don't get to determine what offends me. I don't get to determine what offends you. If I --
MCENANY: That's what you guys are going.
JONES: No, no, hold on a second.
MCENANY: You're determining that the whole entire Hispanic American community is offended.
JONES: I'm only looking at Twitter. I'm sorry.
LORD: Well, Twitter is not much of --
MCENANY: Twitter, that's scientific sample right there.
JONES: Sure. Let's watch tomorrow. But my point is if I say something to you that you find offensive, it's my job to listen to you and figure out in the name of civility, so we used to call it civility. The basis of civilization. It became politically correct only when certain other people started to insisting on civil treatment. But if I told you something and you say that offended me, it's my job in the name of civility to listen to you and try to do a better job next time.
The problem we have right now is you got a certain set of people in the country that say you telling me that you're offended means you're the problem. Not me. Not my speech. Your response to my speech, and we'll never have a country that way.
BORGER: Or if you tell me that I might lose, it's not my fault. It's not because I failed. It's because the election was rigged. I think it's sort of the same line of reason. And I don't want to change the subject, but on the failed election issue and the question of legitimacy, Lindsey Graham, no fan, I get it, no fan of Donald Trump, tweeted that if he loses, it's because he failed. Period.
Now this is a senator, member of Congress, to Michael's good point before, there are members of Congress who watched this and who are up for reelection, and what if, I spoke with a House member the other day who said to me, what if I win in my state and Donald Trump loses and challenges the election? What does that do to me and my election? Are my voters disenfranchised? Are my votes illegitimate?
I mean, this is an issue -- Donald Trump is about Donald Trump, not about the Republican Party, and I think that's what this is about.
LORD: This is a good issue. And two points. Number one, to my friend Michael, I just sent you there an article in "The New York Times" about a federal judge in Philadelphia overruling a Pennsylvania state Senate election and throwing a Democrat out of the state Senate giving control of the Senate to Republicans because he said the Democrats stole the election and they used a dead person's vote among many others to accomplish it.
This is a problem. I've been reading tonight about a Princeton professor who does this enormous study about how easy it is to hack voting machines, saying there is a problem here. Will we recognize the problem?
BORGER: Is this anecdotal or -- at this point or is it a huge --
LORD: I think when you've got, you know, all these people and CBS and all these other places, reputable institutions, Princeton University. saying that these elections can be stolen in a blink in essence, we got a huge problem, we shouldn't be trusting computers, then yes, there's a problem. Yes. Yes.
[23:20:11] AXELROD: I -- you said you don't want people divided by race. Let me just say one thing and then I want to make a larger point. One is, I know Patti and I've known her since she was a young woman and --
LORD: She still is.
AXELROD: She has a -- she is one of the most inspiring person I know. She has a wonderful story, and when she tells me that she's offended, I take that seriously. I don't say, who are you to say whether a lot of Hispanics were -- no, but Kayleigh said that to her.
Here's the thing. But let's not talk about Hispanics, blacks. I think Americans were offended by what Donald Trump said about not accepting the result of the election. Americans. Black, white, Hispanic, Asian.
LORD: How many were offended when Al Gore did this? How many?
AXELROD: You know, Jeffrey --
AXELROD: You rail against Washington, but you are a political consultant answers here.
LORD: David, you said --
AXELROD: And I say that as a self-loathing political consultant.
LORD: I am not a political consultant. And you say -- (CROSSTALK)
AXELROD: That's nonsense.
LORD: It is not nonsense.
AXELROD: The election was not settled. There was a dispute about that. And as was said before, if he had said tonight, look, absent some extraordinary event like a dispute, of course I'll accept the results. It didn't trouble his running mate to say it. It didn't trouble his campaign manager to say it. Why does it trouble him to say it? Why?
SMERCONISH: Jeffrey, if there's a divide when it's all over between the electoral college and the popular vote, no one will question Mr. Trump for pursuing to get to the bottom of exactly what the result was, but here we are at a stage when he's trailing by double digits in several national polls and the swing states have all shifted away from him, and at this moment he's saying that he thinks the whole thing is rigged against him and then he tries to conflate media bias with the rigging of an election, which are two totally separate issues.
LORD: Well, they're not.
SMERCONISH: That's where it falls short.
LORD: They're not in terms of being influential in deciding an election, are they not? I mean, the old Soviet Union only ran (INAUDIBLE), right?
SMERCONISH: Whether there's bias in the media and election fraud are two separate issues, is what I'm saying. One doesn't bleed into the other.
BORGER: Jeffrey, it's about to a great degree when you become president and you're a leader, you have to accept responsibility for everything that happens on your watch.
LORD: Right. Like I did not have sex with that woman?
BORGER: Good or bad. I don't want to -- I'm just saying, this is a role of a leader. A leader in general.
BORGER: This is what leaders ought to do, accept responsibility. Part of the responsibility of being a leader is if you don't succeed and you lose, you accept responsibility for the loss. If you win, good for you. You did a great job.
MCENANY: I just have to say, you know, Rush Limbaugh said this today and I think it's so true. He said no matter what station you turn on, everybody is operating on the premise that Donald Trump is about to lose. There's a FOX News poll that just came out, he's only six point behind. There's another poll that Reuters pulled today, he's four points behind. We were sitting here 23 days ago the momentum was going in Donald
Trump's direction. We have 19 more days. None of us knew two days ago that we were going to get FBI 302s showing quid pro quo, the phrase is in there, between the State Department and the FBI. None of us know what's coming in the WikiLeaks. None of us know where we're going to be 20 days from now. And I think it's -- we shouldn't operate under the premise that, one, he's going to lose.
BORGER: I'm not.
MCENANY: And two, that he's not going to accept the result. He said maybe, he'll look at what happens. None of us know what's going to happen.
LORD: There's another point here.
AXELROD: If I can just tell you, because I've been involved in campaigns for a long time and presidential campaigns for a long time. No one has in modern history recovered from a deficit like this. Tonight was his opportunity to try and turn that around, and he's just dug himself into a bigger hole. And frankly the arguments you guys are making is also digging him into a deeper hole.
MCENANY: But, David, no one in modern history has won a primary spending only half of what three of their opponents spent. No one has ever won in modern --
AXELROD: Kayleigh, God bless you. I appreciate your -- I appreciate your undying commitment. I'm just telling you what the facts are.
LORD: I want to make a point here. It goes back to the very first segment of the show tonight which is on the Supreme Court, and there are varying -- there are two different views on the Supreme Court. When you're saying Donald Trump doesn't -- is not accepting of tradition, et cetera, et cetera, there are --
LORD: And in terms of conceding an election, there are lots of people in this country -- Justice Scalia was one -- who believe that there are a lot of people like Hillary Clinton who believe that the Constitution is to be ponied around with here to fit whatever is their latest objective instead of accepting what is in the Constitution and the basic freedoms for all of us. That is in essence a coup de etat in a slow fashion motion here using the Constitution.
JONES: What? What does that have to do with --
LORD: And the fact that you don't get that, that's what it has to do with.
JONES: OK, can I just -- BORGER: Jeffrey, I think you're not hearing -- I mean, what I was
saying was that, if you lose, you accept responsibility. If you win, good for you. You take the credit for it. Period.
[23:25:03] JONES: Let me just say something about the media. You guys have a point to make.
BORGER: So this is about elections, it's not the Constitution.
JONES: You guys have an actual point to make here. Republicans could be excused for feeling that there's a double standard when it comes to sexual conduct. Bill Clinton versus Donald Trump. They can be excused for saying that. You know, his --
LORD: In a whole lot of areas.
JONES: Hold on. I'm trying to help you here, but you're not -- you've got to give me a little bit of room. The idea of there being some media bias, of there being a double standard, I think you guys have a case to make. The problem is when you overshoot your skis the way that you do, and you say that this media bias, this particular thing, then gives you a rigged election, but you don't have the same critique of the media when Donald Trump is winning the primaries one after the other. Then the media is fine.
You don't have a critique of the media when Republicans are winning the Senate. No critique when they win the House. No critique 30 plus governorships. No critique. You only have this critique of the media and concern, and its peril for democracy, when it affects your guy in the last hour. And that is hypocritical. It looks hypocritical.
MCENANY: No, a lot of us were critiquing the media in the primaries as well. And by the way, to suggest that this is a Republican thing, there's a reason why in Gallup's recorded history the media is at its lowest rate of trust. In Gallup's recorded history. It's not just Republicans.
JONES: I'm giving you the bias argument. I'm giving you the bias government but when you undermine confidence in American voting institutions, listen, the media has been a mess from the beginning. The American media system used to be deliberately partisan. Every party had its own newspaper. People had fliers. It was the total crap show. Then you wound up with this sort of forced homogenized thing, it was fake from the beginning. Now it's getting all excited and crazy again. You've got social media. If you -- but the media --
LORD: Which is good.
JONES: And I have no problem with that. I'm happy to be here.
LORD: Twitter notwithstanding.
JONES: I'll be tweeting at the commercial break if we ever have one. I have no problem with that.
COOPER: At this rate, we're not. JONES: But the problem that I have is that when -- you love the polls
when the polls are going your way. Donald Trump, the polls, the polls. They don't go his way, I don't believe the polls.
COOPER: By the way, Donald Trump to his own credit has even admitted that in a speech. In a speech he said, I quote, "The polls when they go my way, I don't like them."
JONES: So my point, Anderson, is simply this. If you love the media when it's with you and you hate it when it's against you, you love the polls when they're with you, you hate them when you're -- you're many things. You're not presidential. And that's the point. This is about who is going to be the president of the United States.
I've got a 12-year-old son that has a much better attitude toward competition than the guy running for president in your party.
MCENANY: But yet the one's who's qualified is the one who couldn't get a basic security clearance if she was an average everyday citizen. That's the one who qualifies.
AXELROD: Can I just make one point? And I want to explain why what Donald Trump said tonight about the election disturbs me and what has disturbed me over the last few weeks. I think it is insidious to tell your supporters that if you're not going to win that the result is rigged, the result is fixed, sort of intimate that, you know, anything goes if you don't win. That is not American. That is not --
LORD: Tell it to Al Gore.
BORGER: Oh, not Al Gore.
AXELROD: Jeffrey, don't do that. You're -- it is beneath you. It is beneath you.
LORD: I am sorry but this was done.
AXELROD: It is beneath you. Al Gore, believe me, as Van said, there were many, many people in this country who wanted him to fight on.
JONES: I was one of them.
DOYLE: I was one of them.
AXELROD: And he said I think it's best for the country to accept the result. He was a hero in that instance.
BORGER: And Al Gore was on his way to concede when the secretary of state, it was under 1 percent. The secretary of state said this is an automatic recount. He had already called Bush, because he was going to do the right thing. Then when there was a recount, only after they knew that it was an automatic recount did he call Bush and say, no, we have to wait.
LORD: This just speaking of one standard for me and another for you.
AXELROD: You should -- you should climb --
SMERCONISH: Jeffrey, you the student of history, what troubles me the most about what he said and what he didn't say tonight is Wednesday, November 9th. I have committed that come the 9th of November --
LORD: If he loses, I want him to concede, but we --
SMERCONISH: No, I want to make this point but regardless --
COOPER: Let him finish. What are you saying?
SMERCONISH: We need to put the pieces back together when this thing ends. And come Wednesday the 9th, I'm not obsessing about him saying what he said about Mexico sending us its rapists and his tax returns, I'm moving on if he's the president.
COOPER: All right.
SMERCONISH: And if she wins, no more e-mail server, no more -- it's time to put it back together and move forward.
COOPER: We got to move -- we got to take a break. Coming up, who won the debate? We'll reveal the first results from our exclusive instant poll of debate watchers and we'll hear from our focus group of undecided voters here in Nevada. Stay with us.
[23:32:09] BLITZER: All right. We're about to get the first results of the CNN-ORC instant poll of debate watchers. David Chalian, our political director, is here.
David, what are the results?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, Wolf, just a reminder, this is not a poll nationwide. As you said this is a poll of debate watchers. That's key. Skews slightly more Democratic here, but actually it's our most evenly divided audience of any of the debates so far this season.
Let's get to the results. Who won the debate? Hillary Clinton. 52 percent of debate watchers say she was the winner. 39 percent say Donald Trump was the winner. That's a closer margin than we had seen in the previous debates there.
How about who was on the attack more? Who spent more time attacking their opponent? Donald Trump, 60 percent of debate watchers say he was more on the attack. 23 percent say that of Clinton and 15 say they were both attacking their opponents. And what about the fairness of those attacks, were Trumps attacks
fair? A majority of debate watchers, 55 percent, say yes, his attacks on Hillary Clinton were fair. 43 percent say no. And what about Hillary Clinton's attacks on Donald Trump? An even bigger majority say her attacks were fair, 63 percent say that about her attacks on Trump, 34 percent say they were not fair.
BLITZER: So, David, all three of these presidential debates according to our CNN-ORC poll, instant poll of people who watched the debates believe Hillary Clinton won all three?
CHALIAN: She has gone 3-0 here. It's a hat trick for her. And that is clear in the results throughout all the polls that we take.
BLITZER: So what's the significance, Jake?
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the significance I think is, first of all, the fact that debate watchers thought that the attacks were generally fair. It shows that they both got their licks and they both got their punches. That he was seen as being on the attack more. I got to ascribe a lot of that to his interrupting and he's "such a nasty woman," quote-unquote, aside, which I just think was a really poorly thought out, if it was thought out at all, thing to say. It revealed a level of hostility and anger.
BLITZER: All right. Let me play that -- let me play that clip. We have that moment. I'll play it right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My Social Security payroll contribution will go up, as will Donald's, assuming he can't figure out how to get out of it, but what we want to do is to replenish the Social Security trust fund --
TRUMP: Such a nasty woman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: That's getting a lot of -- a lot of reaction.
TAPPER: I mean, he took the bait. He did that in the first debate. He did it in the second debate and he did it in the third debate. I mean, she just made an aside about him trying to get out of paying taxes. Maybe a cheap shot or whatever, but all is fair in love and war and politics certainly, and then he leans in, so nobody misses it, and says, "Such a nasty woman." And I think that that comment resonated with women across the country.
BLITZER: Let's ask a woman.
[23:35:01] Dana, you're here. Does it resonate?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, it's certainly not what you want to hear anybody say. I think -- that's running for president, no matter who you are. I do think that whether you're a woman or a man, if you are a Trump supporter, it is probably going to be OK. I mean, if you're one of those core supporters.
I mean, I have -- in the suburbs of Philadelphia last week, I talked to many, many women who are Trump supporters who said a lot worse about Hillary Clinton.
BASH: But, but having said that, you're right, this is about Donald Trump actually practicing and preparing for this debate. And for the most part, it came through. Now the bar was not that high. He didn't really have that far to go. But that moment, the hombre moment, and, of course, probably the mother of all moments that undermined all of the preparation that he did was the fact that he wouldn't say that he would accept the election results.
And that is what's so frustrating for Trump advisers and supporters is that he has all of the -- he's made so much progress, they think, on so many other issues and so many other ways, but all you needed are a few missteps and that's what undermines everything.
CHALIAN: One of the things we saw in the polls after the "Access Hollywood" tape when he started going down when we saw some impact was that Republican women, he started lowering his number among them. Now they come back home no doubt when they feel better, if they feel better about tonight's debate performance. But it's exactly the people he needs to not only keep in the fold but continue to grow. Republican independent women and that is why that line is so difficult for him.
BLITZER: Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were hoping to sway undecided voters tonight. We have a group of these voters with Randi Kaye here in Las Vegas. You're about to see the moments they liked the most.
Remember, as you watch, look at the bottom of the screen. Men's responses are in green. Women's are in yellow. Here now is Donald Trump's highest point of the debate when talking about immigration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Somebody runs across the border, becomes a citizen. Under her plan, you have open borders. You would have a disaster on trade and you will have a disaster with your open borders.
CHRIS WALLACE, DEBATE MODERATOR: I want to --
CLINTON: We will --
TRUMP: But what she doesn't say is that President Obama has deported millions and millions of people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Let's get right to Randi. Randi, what did these voters like about this answer? RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, that answer got a lot of
attention from our group here. It certainly resonated with Myra. We're talking about the sound bite there where Donald Trump was basically pinning Hillary Clinton on her wanting open borders, saying that he would seal the borders. Why did that resonate with you, Myra?
MYRA, UNDECIDED VOTER: There is a bridge that goes from south Texas into Reynosa, Mexico, and with this bridge you can walk across it or drive across it, and underneath the bridge is the Rio Grande River.
KAYE: So you see a problem? You want the borders sealed?
MYRA: The borders need to be sealed because the people just totally swim across the river. There are sometimes 30, 40, 50 people that are crossing at any given time during the day or the night. This goes all day long. They bring in families -- the families put a lot of stress on the ranchers and on the state of Texas and on the services and schools and hospitals for the state of Texas.
KAYE: So that's why it was really important to you, and I know Keith over here, we got a big reaction on that same sound bite from Donald Trump. Why was it important to you to seal the borders? Why did you like what he said?
KEITH, UNDECIDED VOTER: Well, because we're either a country with borders or not, or we're either a country of laws or we're not. So, I mean, we know that drugs are coming in illegally. We know ISIS is coming in, and I do believe Homeland Security, CIA and the FBI already said at Capitol Hill there's no way of really vetting them coming into the country.
KAYE: All right. So that was just a couple of responses to Donald Trump's highest point, and Wolf, I know that you have another sound bite there, another moment where Hillary Clinton also did pretty well with this group.
BLITZER: That's right, Randi. Let's take a look at Hillary Clinton's most liked moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I will defend Planned Parenthood. I will defend "Roe v Wade" and I will defend women's rights to make their own health care decisions. We have come too far to have that turned back now and, indeed, he said women should be punished, that there should be some form of punishment for women who obtain abortions, and I could just not be more opposed to that kind of thinking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right, Randi. Both men and women seemed to like that response, right?
KAYE: Yes. We found that really interesting that both men and women supported Hillary Clinton in that moment. Certainly, Natalie, you did talking about the Planned Parenthood moment where Hillary Clinton was saying she would defend Planned Parenthood, that she would defend a woman's right to make health care decisions for herself. Why was that important to you?
NATALIE, UNDECIDED VOTER: It was important to me because I don't think the government should have any control over a woman's body just like they wouldn't have control of a man's body.
[23:40:06] There's no reason that it should be for a woman. And also Planned Parenthood comes with a lot of other options like mammograms and so on, so it's not just a ripping out. And I want to know what anatomy class he was in that he thought that that's how it's performed days before.
KAYE: Ripping out.
NATALIE: Ripping out.
KAYE: And as we said, men as well feel very strongly about this.
Let me ask you, why did you agree with Hillary Clinton and think that was a high moment for her in that time in the debate?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because a woman's choice is her choice. It should not be the government's decision as to who determines what we can and can't do about our families and our bodies. It should be a woman's right if she is able to be in that situation where she doesn't want to have it or it's in jeopardy of her life, it's her decision, and the family should be able to experience that and support her in that way.
KAYE: All right. So we're coming down obviously to the final days before election day. So of course we wanted to know who this group thought won this debate because they're trying to make up their minds here, Wolf, as you said. So let's get a show of hands here. How many people here in this group came in undecided, who thinks that Hillary Clinton won this debate?
Quick count here. 11 of you. OK. 11 people. How many of you think that Donald Trump won the debate? Nine people think Donald Trump. How about a -- how about a draw? Anybody think it was a draw? Natalie, you thought it was a draw.
Well, listen, I know a couple of you over here, I saw the hands go up for Hillary Clinton. Just one word, why do you think Hillary Clinton won? How would you describe her performance?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's more believable.
KAYE: One word.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Facts.
KAYE: Facts. OK. What about you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Truth.
KAYE: Truth. All right. Well, there you have it, Wolf. A lot of people still trying to make up their minds. That's OK. I'll let you go on the fact that you used more than one word.
Listen, we wanted to know, of course, also, you know, did this debate help anyone make up their mind? Have they decided? That's the key question here, and Wolf, when we chat again, we're going to talk to these folks a little bit during the break and when we chat we'll have those answers for you, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Randi, thanks very much. Very interesting. It looks like a pretty much of a draw over there by those undecided voters here in Las Vegas.
TAPPER: Yes, and as we discussed in previous debates, the vice presidential and the two previous presidential, one of the things that's important about these events is what comes out of them that will be given a lot of oxygen and a lot of attention over the next week. And I think -- you know, I thought Donald Trump, he got some punches rhetorically, when it came to especially criticizing the Clinton Foundation, when it came to criticizing Obama and Clinton foreign policy, but I think the headline out of this debate is he refuses to say that he will concede if loses necessarily. He says he's going to keep us all in suspense. That was the term he used.
And I think such a nasty woman. I think those are going to be the things that are kept alive in the mainstream media. It's going to be the refusal to concede. And as has been said, I think a lot of Republicans are going to be asked what they think about that. And his campaign has been trying to say, no, no, he just means the media. Oh no, no, no, definitely we'll concede. We'll concede. Mike Pence said earlier.
He had just said that he won't necessarily concede, and then in terms of what are the Clinton Democrats going to do and what are liberal media going to do? I'm already seeing memes on social media, this nasty woman votes, I'm with her. People are -- women have seized about that. And yes, it's being ginned up by Democrats, absolutely, but that I think on the left and social media and Democrats, that's going to be big. And those are going to be the two things. And that's not what he needed in this debate. He needed to be appealing to my beloved friends in the main line outside of Philadelphia. And he is -- he did not do that tonight.
BLITZER: And Hillary Clinton said it was horrifying, his answer, and Chris Wallace gave him an opportunity to rethink, he pressed him on it. And he said, you know, I'll keep it in suspense. I'm not going to give you an answer right now. Even though an hour before the debate we spoke --
BLITZER: To Mike Pence, his vice presidential running mate who flatly, quickly, immediately said, of course, we will accept the results.
BASH: I think the biggest tell was what Kellyanne Conway, his campaign manager, said to me just down there minutes after this debate ended, was -- sounded like what he was supposed to say and based on they prepared which was, you know, barring any unforeseen circumstances, certainly there could be an Al Gore moment, it could be like 2000, but she did without me even saying much more, say he will accept the results.
And to your point, Jake, about Republicans being asked about this, a lot of Republicans aren't even waiting. We're seeing tweets from people, OK, they're no fans of Donald Trump, but people like Senator Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake and others, maybe they are predisposed to coil at things that their fellow Republicans say, but the fact that they are unsolicited sending out tweets saying that they completely disagree, that that is not American, that in a democracy that doesn't happen, is telling and it will pressure their colleagues to do the same.
[23:45:11] TAPPER: And can I just say something about this whole thing, about the election being rigged, which it is not? First of all, can't understand how this doesn't do anything other than suppress his own supporters' turnout. If his supporters look at the polls and they're hearing from their candidate, it's rigged and if I don't win, it's because not -- because your vote doesn't matter, why would they turn out to vote? I mean, so, I think it hurts him potentially. Just as a practical matter. I think it hurts Republican turnout. Republicans want Republicans and Donald Trump supporters to turn out to vote. Then you have the ideological idea -- concept that, you know, we believe in the right to vote in this country and we believe that every vote matters.
This is a nonpartisan concept. This year has turned all sorts of nonpartisan concept on its head but the idea -- but yes, of course, sometimes there is voter suppression and disenfranchisement as people on the left complain and yes, sometimes there is voter fraud as people on the right complain. That does happen, but it is a vast minority, and your vote does matter and your vote does count.
BLITZER: All right.
TAPPER: This is not even -- Donald Trump takes things that are just perfectly American pure thoughts and just throws them out the window.
BLITZER: Guys, excellent points. Stand by. Everyone, stand by.
Coming up, we'll have some reality checks on some of the provocative claims made tonight. Did Hillary Clinton get it right when she talked about undocumented workers building Trump Tower in New York? That, and more results from our instant poll of debate watchers. That's coming up.
[23:50:06] BLITZER: Let's get some reality checks on some of the assertions made by these two candidates tonight. Reality checks, Tom Foreman is standing by. Jim Sciutto is standing by.
First to you, Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, both these candidates went toe- to-toe over the issue of nuclear proliferation. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: This is a person who has been very cavalier, even casual about the use of nuclear weapons.
CLINTON: He's advocated more countries getting them, Japan, Korea, even Saudi Arabia. He said, well, if we have them, why don't we use them, which I think is terrifying.
TRUMP: This is just another lie.
CLINTON: Well, I'm just quoting you when perhaps --
TRUMP: There's no quote. You're not going to find a quote from me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: You're not going to find a quote from him, he says. Well, we did find a quote. Back in March he spoke about the idea that maybe some countries that don't have nuclear weapons now that are friendly to the U.S. ought to have them. He told the "New York Times," "If Japan had that nuclear threat, I'm not sure that would be a bad thing for us." Then two months later, he told us here at CNN that he was ready to let Japan and South Korea become nuclear powers.
In fairness, he has spoken also against nuclear proliferation, saying he'd be the last to use a nuclear weapon out there. But in this specific part of her charge, the idea that he's suggested other nations should have nuclear weapons, yes, that's true. And his claim that he has not, that's false -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Good. Let's get to Jim Sciutto. You got a reality check, as well.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. And this one closer to home. The issue undocumented workers and the construction of Trump Tower in New York. Here is Hillary Clinton tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: He used undocumented labor to build the Trump Tower. He underpaid undocumented workers and when they complained, he basically said what a lot of employers do, you complain, I'll get you deported.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: So the claim there, Hillary Clinton claiming Donald Trump used undocumented workers to build Trump Tower in New York, even threaten to deport them when they complained about low pay. So let's look at the facts. And there's a court record here, in fact, undocumented Polish workers, they actually sued Trump in a class action lawsuit, complaining of those low wages, just $4 an hour. And some said they never received those wages owed to them. This according to litigation cited by "The New York Times."
Trump, I should say, denied knowing that these workers were undocumented. He said that they were hired through a contractor, not directly hired by Donald Trump. However, in 1991, a judge ruled that Trump conspired, quote, "to withhold payments to union funds that he owed more than $325,000." This again according to a "New York Times" report that lawsuit eventually settled out of court.
So our verdict here that this is mostly true since Trump was indeed fined via a court proceeding for illegally hiring workers regarding Trump Tower.
Just a reminder to you, you want to see all of our fact checks tonight, that's reality checks on CNN.com/realitycheck.
BLITZER: And we'll have some more reality checks coming up. Jim Sciutto, Tom Foreman, guys, thanks very much.
David Chalian, you've got some more results from our CNN-ORC instant poll of debate watchers.
CHALIAN: That's right. The poll of debate watchers, let's do that top line again, who won the debate. Hillary Clinton, 52 percent, Donald Trump 39 percent. Hillary Clinton, for the third time in a row this season, is deemed the winner in our instant poll of debate watchers.
But this next finding may be even more important. Who seemed better prepared for the presidency? Clinton, 59 percent, Trump 35 percent. That is a better score than people who thought she won the debate. So you look at that, that is the threshold question. That is what Donald Trump didn't solve for himself tonight.
We also asked, who do you agree with on important issues. They're pretty even here. Clinton, 50 percent, Donald Trump 47 percent. And another category where they divided pretty evenly, who was more sincere and authentic. Donald Trump 47 percent, Hillary Clinton 46 percent. They divided on a lot of the issues and attributes. But when it came to who won and when it came to who can better serve as president, it was a clear Clinton victory.
BLITZER: Very interesting. And, Jake, you know, so much of the debate did get to substantive important national security domestic issues that really hadn't been discussed all that much before. But those few examples when Donald Trump seemed to go overboard, they're now dominating the headlines.
TAPPER: Because, look, this is an election where many people think it's a change election. President Obama still has very high approval ratings but people don't like the direction of the country right now. And usually after eight years of one party in power, the White House switches. So in many ways, this has been Donald Trump's to lose. He's the Republican nominee coming in. He, without question, represents change. And it's hard to imagine how Hillary Clinton represents anything beyond Washington and power in Washington, and dare I say status quo? [23:55:06] But in a FOX News poll I saw the other day, Hillary Clinton
was actually beating him on the notion of change because she has convinced the American people, at least a plurality of the American people, that she's actually going to be able to do the job. And he -- and he has not been able to rise to the level of convincing people that he actually has the temperament to be president.
BASH: And what that tells me also and it's a good reminder for all of us that this is a very, very divided country. No matter what happens with the election results, because of different points of view on temperament or readiness to be president, on the issues, very divided.
BLITZER: All right. Coming up, we're going to go back to the focus group, our focus group of undivided voters after this debate. Have they made up their minds? Who will they vote for? Much more right after this quick break.