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Obama Unleashes on Trump; Trump: "We're Winning"; Clinton, Warren Campaign in New Hampshire; Obamacare Premium Hike; Coalition Forces Advance on Mosul. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired October 25, 2016 - 05:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight. President Obama taunting Donald Trump with the series of slams on late night TV.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump in denial, down in the polls. But the Republican nominee says he thinks he is winning.

ROMANS: Hillary Clinton's campaign showing confidence she is looking to help more Democrats get elected with just two weeks to go in the race.

In a scathing new government report about Obamacare. Premiums set to skyrocket next year, up a huge amount. This could spell trouble for the Clinton campaign, not to mention your wallet.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Tuesday, October 25th, 5:00 a.m. exactly in the east.

Breaking overnight, President Obama unleashes on Donald Trump in an appearance with Jimmy Kimmel, dripping with scorn.

[05:00:00] You're going to want to watch this, starting with the president doing mean tweets with Kimmel.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: "President Obama will go down as the worst president in the history of the United States, exclamation point, @RealDonaldTrump." Well, @RealDonaldTrump, at least I will go down as a president.

What I don't do is like 3:00 a.m., I don't tweet about --

JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: You don't tweet anyone?

OBAMA: -- people who insulted me. I try to sleep so that in the morning, I'm actually ready for a crisis.

KIMMEL: When you watch Donald Trump, do you laugh? Do you ever actually laugh?

OBAMA: Most of the time.


BERMAN: Again, President Obama dripping with scorn on the attack almost all the time now against Donald Trump, which is something we have not seen in our lifetime. A sitting president work on behalf of choosing his successor. A lot of people have been sending us notes on Twitter about whether they think this was, you know, all in good fun or more.

ROMANS: Well, it's personal. It must be personal for the president, right? I mean, Donald Trump has basically tried to delegitimize his presidency.

BERMAN: Well, and also said he wasn't born in the United States.

ROMAN: Delegitimizing his presidency by saying he was not born in the United States.

BERMAN: Yes, exactly.

All right. It is the final fortnight in this election. And Donald Trump is fighting against the math as well. A new CNN/ORC has Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by five points.

But Trump says the polls are just wrong.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe we are actually winning. Now, the press -- I believe we are actually winning.


If you read -- if you read "The New York Times" and if you read some of these phony papers, these are phony, disgusting, dishonest papers. But if you read this stuff, it's like, what are we doing? What are we wasting time for? The truth is I think we're winning.


BERMAN: So, as you can see, he is fighting not just math, but also the media.

CNN's Jim Acosta is traveling with Donald Trump and has the latest.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, Donald Trump is ramping up his attacks on the national news media, accusing news outlets of running what he calls "dark polls", showing him losing to Hillary Clinton. Trump attacked the reporters covering his campaign as crooks and thieves. And at a rally here in Tampa, he said they don't care about hardworking people.

Here's more of what he had to say. TRUMP: But the media isn't just against me. They're against all of

you. That's what it is. Like Hillary Clinton, they look down on hardworking people within our country. The media is entitled, condescending and even contemptuous of people who don't share certain elitist views.

ACOSTA: And for Republicans who are dissatisfied with the national news media, the Trump campaign is offering alternative programming on Donald Trump's Facebook page. His top advisers, even his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway were starring in their own analysis of the campaign. The Trump campaign officials say, don't call this Trump TV -- John and Christine.


ROMANS: All right, Jim. Thanks for that.

This morning, the Clinton campaign seems to have turned some of its focus to down ballot races. This as Hillary Clinton and her allies drop new scathing attacks on Donald Trump.

We get the latest this morning from CNN's Brianna Keilar. She's in New Hampshire.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hillary Clinton has been going through battleground states here in the final push ahead of Election Day. She is starting to change her focus, not just trying to get voters to turn out for her, but trying to get voters to turn out for Democrats who are down ballot.

She is hoping that if she gets to the White House, which is something her campaign feels confident about right now, that she will be able to at least have a Democratic majority in the Senate.

So, that's part of the reason why she's in New Hampshire getting a little help from Elizabeth Warren, the senator from Massachusetts, as she tries to help Hillary Clinton get Maggie Hassan, a Democratic into the Senate.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Trump even attacked Kelly Ayotte and called her weak, and Kelly stuck with him. During a debate a couple of weeks ago when she called Donald Trump a role model for kids, you just can't believe this. But now, Donald Trump's not doing well and Kelly is running as fast as she can away from him. Well, I will say one thing, Donald Trump sure has made Kelly Ayotte dance. Day one, she loves him. Day two, she hates him. Day three, she is back with him. Boy, he spins round and round.

KEILAR: Here in New Hampshire, Maggie Hassan has been leading in the polls, but it wasn't always that way. Kelly Ayotte, the Republican incumbent had been leading before. And what we've seen is a drag on Ayotte by Donald Trump as he struggled in the polls, so is he. And it's been a reversal of fortunes that has benefitted the Democratic candidate here, something that Hillary Clinton is hoping to give a push to so she can have that Democratic Senate -- John and Christine.


[05:05:06] ROMANS: All right. Brianna Keilar, thanks for that.

An eye popping number in the world of Obamacare and not in a good way. A huge spike in premiums. New data from the government shows the average premium for the benchmark silver plan will rise 22 percent in the states that use the federal exchange. The typical bill will be $296 a month for a 27 the-year-old.

Last year, federal exchange premiums rose to 7.2 percent. Still high. But not 22 percent.

Now, more than three quarters of policyholders will pay less than a hundred bucks a month, that's because government subsidies kick in and will lower the cost. But the trend here is really worrying. Why are these increasing? There are several reasons.

First, enrollees are sicker and they're more costly than expected. We heard this from several big insurance companies.

Second, there are not enough healthy younger people signing up yet which would offset costs. You have healthy people in the insurance pool. This costs insurers to price their plans too low and they are now adjusting. But some insurers are simply dropping out of the exchanges all together.

Well, that means there are fewer choices. That means less competition and higher costs. And subsidies, government subsidies are rising because of it.

BERMAN: And you better believe this will play in the presidential race. It already is.

Let's talk with Eugene Scott from CNN politics.

Eugene, thanks so much for being with us.

Donald Trump seizing on this new government report on Obamacare premiums. Listen to what he said.


TRUMP: It's over for Obamacare. And Hillary Clinton wants to double down and make it more expensive and it's not going to work.


BERMAN: And, obviously, you know, the fact that health care is getting more expensive for a lot of Americans is a primary importance to them. But there's also this political element. I mean, this is potent ammunition for Donald Trump and the Republicans.

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Absolutely. And this is something that Donald Trump has been speaking about really early, but hasn't been able to make it clear what he wants to do to replace this or an alternative that he wants to provide. He just simply says Obamacare is bad. He's going to get rid of it. But voters want to know what are you going to get rid of it with and is that going to be better?

ROMANS: His team says it is one of the biggest applause lines he gets on the stump, is when he says repeal Obamacare and replace it with something else. But, you're right. We don't know what that something else is.

But if Donald Trump can stay disciplined in the closing arguments on the economy, on Obamacare, on wages and the wage issues for the people who support him so much. We have a new study from Brookings that shows the middle skilled workers, these people whose Trump message is resonating with it.

Look at that. Wages by skill -- high school diploma, down 6 percent. People who have college or some skills. Middle skill, those are people who maybe have a little college, or they have some skill. You know, it's not -- it's not, you know, a retail job. College degree down 4 percent.

If Donald Trump can stay on numbers like this, this should be an important part of his closing argument, shouldn't it?

SCOTT: Absolutely. I had a conversation yesterday with a community college instructor in North Carolina. And he said, too often, Trump supporters are characterized as racists or not being smart. But the reality is they are in the demographic we put up and they've been affected by their economy in ways that people who are more educated have not been. They haven't seen the recovery that everyone keeps talking about.

BERMAN: Well, and he has a historic lead right now among non-college whites. But the flip side of that is Hillary Clinton has an historic lead in our poll and in the ABC poll among college-educated whites. So, she is more than making up that lost ground right there.

You said something interesting, if Donald Trump can keep on message about the company, they'll move forward --

ROMANS: I think some of these numbers really are in his wheelhouse for what really resonates for those 10,000 and 15,000 people. But can he stay on message?

BERMAN: But the issue is, can he stay on message?

And yesterday, he was doing a radio interview where the subject of one of the latest accusers who said that he behaved inappropriately with her. He was asked to comment on this. And this woman was an adult film actress.

And listen to what Donald Trump said about her.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) TRUMP: I don't grab them on the -- you know a they say, on the arm. One said he grabbed me on the arm. She's a porn star. Now, you know, this came out recently, "He grabbed me. He grabbed me on the arm." Oh, I'm sure she's never been grabbed before. They make it so it is -- it's all lies.


BERMAN: You know, oh, I'm sure she has never been grabbed before. This is the type of comment Democrats have seized on to say that Donald Trump, you know, the way he talks about women is not right. On the flip side, you know, the Republicans and Donald Trump supporters are saying why are you just talking about that and not focusing on perhaps Obamacare.

SCOTT: Oddly enough, his statement affirms what many voters are saying. They do know what it is like to be touched inappropriately without permission. So, it doesn't help to make a jab at her character or her behavior, it actually hurts him, because women do know what it's like to be disrespected in the way that Donald Trump has been criticized for.

ROMANS: Let's listen to Senator Warren yesterday, Senator Elizabeth Warren. She was in Manchester, New Hampshire, stumping with Hillary Clinton yesterday.


WARREN: He thinks that because he has a mouth full of Tic Tacs he can force himself on any woman within groping distance. Well, I've got news for you Donald Trump: women have had it with guys like you.

[05:10:07] And on November 8th, we nasty women are going to march our nasty feet to cast our nasty votes to get you out of our lives forever.


ROMANS: A couple of things interesting about that in my opinion. You know, she is somebody who made a name for herself ailing the middle class. But she's not talking about the middle class right now. She is still talking about the detour that Donald Trump has made with these women accusations.

SCOTT: Absolutely. I was listening to that bit thinking that Tic Tac probably wants to be excluded from the narrative at this point. But we are probably going to see some turnout numbers especially in some key states from women voters who have been motivated like they've never had before because of what has come up in this election.

BERMAN: The other thing is people are saying, book mark this moment where Elizabeth Warren is standing on stage, working with Hillary Clinton, because if Hillary Clinton does win -- we don't know if she will -- but if she does, then six months from now, a year from now, not so clear if Elizabeth Warren will be quite such an ally.


BERMAN: Eugene Scott, thanks for being with us. Appreciate it.

All right. Hillary Clinton in our latest CNN/ORC poll. She has a five-point lead. Other polls show a wider margin. But what's inside? It's what's inside that counts, Christine Romans.


[05:15:27] ROMANS: A new CNN poll shows Hillary Clinton with a five- point lead. That is less than other polls you might have seen.

So, does that mean the race is tightening? Not necessarily.

Here is CNN's John King with a look inside those numbers.


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Two weeks out, our new CNN/ORC poll shows a tighter race than most other national polls. But still, advantage for Hillary Clinton heading into the stretch.

You see it right here, among likely voters, those likely to vote in November 8th, or vote early, Hillary Clinton, 49 percent. Donald Trump, 44 percent. The third party candidates dropping a bit as it gets closer to Election Day, that's fairly typical.

Again, a 5-point lead for Clinton nationally, as we head into the stretch, let's take a look at why. Number one, Republicans tend to win among male voters. Donald Trump is winning, but not by a lot, 48 percent to 45 percent. Hillary Clinton wants to be the first woman president of the United States, a big gender gap among women voters, 53 to 41, a 12-point advantage here, much bigger than Trump's advantage here. That helps Hillary Clinton heading into the stretch.

Also, throughout this race, we've consistently seen this education gap, and it persists to the end. Among white voters with a college degree, Mitt Romney won them four years ago. White voters with a college degree, Hillary Clinton with 11-point advantage over Donald Trump. That's a big deal, especially in some of the key battleground states.

Among white voters with no college degree? Well, that's the foundation of Donald Trump's support. You see that lopsided 30-point advantage for Donald Trump among voters without a college degree.

Now, we don't just ask who you vote for, we ask why. If you go through the issues, you see some that's pretty striking. One reason Donald Trump is still in this race, it's a hard climb, but still in this race, is because he leads when voters are asked, which candidate do you trust more to handle the economy? But another issues, narrowly on terrorism, narrowly on immigration. But then look at this, what has Hillary Clinton said in the campaign? Donald Trump is unfit, temperamentally unfit to be president of the United States. She has a 29-point advantage when asked who has the best temperament to be president, a 15-point advantage when voters are asked who would make the best commander in chief.

These are the key attributes for Secretary Clinton, going on to the stretch. So, you look at the poll numbers, closer than many other national polls. Anything in there that changes this, the math that matters most, the race to 270, Hillary Clinton still has a lopsided edge, nothing in our poll would change this map. Donald Trump needs to get closer still, not only nationally, but change a lot of the state data to make a race of this into the stretch.


BERMAN: The electoral map is the one map to rule them all.

Federal authorities being urged to probe an alleged hate crime at a Mississippi High School. The NAACP says school administrators at Stone Country High School didn't follow proper protocol after white students threw a noose around the neck of a black student. They say the victim's mother was even intimidated into not pressing charges.

Local authorities say they're looking into these allegations. The school superintendent released a statement saying in part district officials will make sure all policies and procedures were followed.

Up next, the battle for Mosul. Coalition troops, they're moving ever closer to this key Iraqi city. That comes as the Pentagon is issuing a sobering warning. We'll have a live reporting from the front lines.


[05:22:54] BERMAN: New developments in the battle for Mosul. Coalition forces are closing in on the Iraqi city. Iraqi and Peshmerga troops are just a few miles from the borders right now. The fighting has been fierce. The coalition has already freed dozens of villages from ISIS occupation. And as they advance, hundreds of ISIS fighters appear to be packing up and fleeing Mosul in the other direction for Syria.

CNN's Michael Holmes live on the ground near Mosul this morning.

Michael, what are you seeing?

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Yes, John. I can tell you that we have been keeping an eye on Bashiqa as we have for last two or three days. Kurdish forces coming in from two directions initially, surrounding the village. That was them a victory, surrounding the town, and in fact, eight other villages.

What we've been hearing is that they have been forced back by suicide vehicle bombs and also by sniper position. Today, there have been aerial attacks. There have been missiles going into the town from Apache helicopters. And in the last little while, we're hearing that one of those villages on outside, the Peshmerga, have been able to get in there. They are making progress to take what is an important strategic city just 20 kilometers from Mosul. And it is also on a main supply route. So, Bashiqa, a very important prize, if you like, for the Peshmerga, also Iraqi forces making some gains elsewhere on the battlefield. The most forward position, about eight miles from the outskirts of the city. But that's not a uniform circle. They're going to need to bring others up from different directions before they settled enough to start thinking about trying to enter to Mosul, John.

BERMAN: Michael Holmes for us in Mosul, following the developments there. Thanks so much, Michael.

ROMANS: All right. Just two weeks to go until Election Day. The big question, who is winning? There's our new poll and then there's Donald Trump's take. We got that, coming up.


[05:28:59] BERMAN: Overnight, President Obama taunts Donald Trump with a series of slams on late night television.

ROMANS: Donald Trump in denial. Down in the polls, the Republican nominee says he thinks he is winning.

BERMAN: Hillary Clinton starts to turn her focus to down ballot races, to help Democrats get elected around the country.

ROMANS: But wait. A scathing new government report about Obamacare. Premiums set to skyrocket next year. What's bad for the president may not be good for the Clinton campaign either.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: Nice to see you. I'm John Berman. About 30 minutes after the hour right now.

And breaking overnight, President Obama, he just went after Donald Trump on late night appearance with Jimmy Kimmel. This was an appearance dripping with scorn. You will want to see this starting with the president doing mean tweets with Jimmy Kimmel.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: "President Obama will go down as the worst president in the history of the United States, exclamation point, @RealDonaldTrump." Well, @RealDonaldTrump, at least I will go down as a president.

What I don't do is like 3:00 a.m., I don't tweet about --

JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: You don't tweet anyone?

OBAMA: -- people who insulted me. I try to sleep so that in the morning, I'm actually ready for a crisis.