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EARLY START

Trump's Confusing Obamacare Message; Muslim Gold Star Dad Campaigns For Clinton; Corporate America's Election Excuse; Indians Shut Down Cubs In World Series Game One; Twitter For Sale Again?; Gender Gap Costs Economy $1.2T A Year. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired October 26, 2016 - 05:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[05:30:03] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump trying to capitalize on the Obamacare sticker shock, but Trump seems to have a problem understanding how health care works at his own company.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Just released this hour, Hillary Clinton's brand new T.V. ad rolling out today featuring an Oscar award winner.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everybody, this Wednesday morning. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. Thirty minutes past the hour right now. Good to see you. The first rule of fight club is you don't talk about fight club, and this morning Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden are both in gross violation. They're both talking a lot about beating each other up.

More on that in a moment because Donald Trump is also fighting a bit with his own message on Obamacare and whether his own employees actually use it. Republicans see the news of rising premiums for Obamacare -- some Obamacare recipients -- as a potent weapon for Donald Trump in the final fortnight of his campaign, assuming he can get his story straight which seems to be a problem so far. Listen to the difference a few hours makes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: All of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare.

We don't even use Obamacare. We don't want it. The people don't want it. And I spend more money on health coverage, but we don't use it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Also, he probably -- or apparently -- wants to beat up the vice president who also, apparently, wants to throttle him.

CNN's Sara Murray is in Florida.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Good morning, John and Christine. Donald Trump wrapped up a three-day sprint through the Sunshine State last night and he spent most of the day hitting Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for rising premiums under Obamacare. But you saw this push and pull between Donald Trump trying to stay on the message his advisers wanted him to hammer home and fighting his gut instinct to want to settle any fight with anyone who has criticized him.

TRUMP: Did you see where Biden wants to take me to the back of the barn -- me. He wants to. I'd love that. I'd love that. Mister tough guy. You know, he's mister tough guy. You know when he's mister tough guy? When he's standing behind a microphone by himself. That's when he's mister -- he wants to bring me to the back of the barn -- oh. Some things in life you could really love doing.

MURRAY: Now, that was Donald Trump responding to a comment Vice President Joe Biden made a couple of days ago, saying he wishes they were both still in high school and he could take Donald Trump out behind the gym.

Now, Trump is back on the campaign trail today in North Carolina and we'll see what message he brings with him. But first, he'll be in Washington, D.C. for a ribbon cutting for his new hotel. Back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right, back in high school. Vice President Biden is not backing down. He is connecting his threat to take Trump behind the gym -- so it was behind the barn, by the way, it was behind the gym -- to Trump's self-described locker room talk about grabbing women's private parts. Here he is last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was a pretty good athlete in school and played a little in college, and people didn't act in the locker room like he talks about. That's not true. And you and I both know if, in the locker room in the school I went to, one of the guys said this is what I'm going to do because I'm the star halfback or quarterback --

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Yes.

BIDEN: -- I'm the boss, and my sister and her girlfriends are out there, I would take the guy behind the gym. The point I was making is he is trying to dumb down. He's insulting everybody in the neighborhoodsI come from and the people who play ball, and that was the point I was trying to make.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So, about this fight. Would it ever happen now, whether it be behind the barn or the gym?

ROMANS: Are there bleachers?

BERMAN: I think that's -- both are something completely different right there. I think it's doubtful it would happen now but back in junior high maybe a possibility. According to an interview just released by Trump biographer Michael D'Antonio, Trump apparently loved to fight in school.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I was a very rebellious kind of person. I don't like to talk about it, actually. But I was a very rebellious person and very set in my ways and --

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, TRUMP BIOGRAPHER: In eighth grade?

TRUMP: -- I loved to fight. I always loved to fight.

D'ANTONIO: Physical fights?

TRUMP: Yeah, all kinds of fights. Physical --

D'ANTONIO: Arguments?

TRUMP: All types of fights. Any kind of fight, I loved it, including physical.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Donald Trump warning that Hillary Clinton's policies on the Syrian conflict would lead to World War III. The Republican nominee telling Reuters that Clinton's calls for a more aggressive stance against Syria's Assad regime would draw the U.S. into a confrontation with a nuclear-armed Russia, which backs Assad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria. You'll end up with her plan. You'll end up in World War III with Syria. You're going to -- you're going to end up -- Steve, you're going to end up in World War III over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton. She's incompetent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The Clinton campaign accuses Trump of "parading" Vladimir Putin's talking points while refusing to lay out his own plan for resolving the crisis in Syria.

[05:35:00] BERMAN: So, the Clinton campaign is trying to deliver its closing argument in new campaign ads just released this hour -- two of them. One of them is narrated by Morgan Freeman and it tries to lay out a choice for voters on November 8th.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN FREEMAN, ACTOR (CLINTON CAMPAIGN AD): A steady hand or a loose cannon? Common sense and unity or drama and division? A woman who spent her life helping children and families or a man who spent his life helping himself? Our children are looking to us -- (END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: All right, these ads will air in a bunch of the battleground states -- Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

ROMANS: Khizr Kahn will be a presence on the campaign trail in the final weeks here. The Gold Star father whose Army captain son was killed in Iraq -- he blasted Donald Trump, you'll recall, at the Democratic National Convention. Kahn will reach out to the Muslim community on behalf of Hillary Clinton in his home state of Virginia with a visit to a mosque in Norfolk this afternoon.

BERMAN: A new revelation from the WikiLeaks email hacks. Clinton adviser Neera Tanden suggested that top Clinton aides did not disclose Clinton's use of private email servers earlier because "they wanted to get away with it". Tanden currently helps run the Clinton transition team. She never worked directly for the campaign.

In an email exchange in March of 2015 with campaign chair John Podesta, she wrote, "Why didn't they get stuff out like 18 months ago? So crazy." Podesta replied, "Unbelievable."

I want to talk now about all of this with CNN political analyst Josh Rogin, live for us from Washington this morning.

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, COLUMNIST, "WASHINGTON POST": Morning.

BERMAN: If we can, Josh, let's talk closing arguments because Donald Trump now wants to use the news about the Obamacare rising premiums for some recipients as his closing argument. If he can get that in the last two weeks every day --

ROMANS: Right.

BERMAN: -- you get the sense he would be happy. He did have some trouble as he tried to address it yesterday. At one point he suggested that his employees all had Obamacare, then he backed off that. And then listen to what he said at a rally last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Unfortunately, a small number of the people that work at Trump National in Doral, which is Miami, they're on Obamacare -- a small percentage. And as I said this morning, they are having tremendous difficulty. In fact, a lot of them have said can you take me off Obamacare. See what we can -- should I do it or not? Should I take them off? Eh, maybe I will. I'll mention you folks when I do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: All right, maybe I will. Josh, no question he wants to talk about Obamacare every day. Is that the way to do it?

ROGIN: Yes, he should talk about it. No, he shouldn't talk about it this way. I mean, listen, when you're in the last two weeks of a campaign things like this are gifts from heaven, OK? He should be just feeling very lucky that this issue has become a huge national issue at this time in the campaign. It played well in past elections. He's got the right side of the politics. He's just, basically, too intellectually lazy to figure it out enough to sell it.

I mean, we saw Kellyanne Conway talking to Wolf Blitzer yesterday and she laid out what the Trump plan would be and, you know, it makes sense. It's less regulation, lower cost, you would get less coverage, more privatization -- that's appealing. People like it but Trump doesn't seem to be aware of it.

So, you know, everybody who wants to sort of use this to justify supporting Trump has got to have something in the pit of their stomach holding them back when they hear him talk about it and realize he doesn't know what he's talking about.

ROMANS: Let's talk about team Clinton and its closing arguments at this point. Thirty-eight minutes ago it dropped a new Web ad --

BERMAN: No, it was a T.V. ad.

ROMANS: No, a T.V. ad, sorry -- T.V. ad for these battleground states. Let's listen to this ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: People ask me what will be different if I'm president. Well, kids and families have been the passion of my life and they will be the heart of my presidency.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: So, you know, she talked about Obamacare yesterday, too, but she's trying to close this deal showing that she has worked for so long with kids and families. Donald Trump has only worked for himself all these years. Is it effective?

ROGIN: Yes. I think this ad's effective because it's got Morgan Freeman's voice. It's like a warm bath. It's just -- you know, if you think about it, you just want to hear Morgan Freeman as much as possible. As for the substance, I don't really think it's there, you know. Hillary Clinton is playing it safe, OK? She's not taking on a lot of big issues. You know, being for kids and families is not a particularly courageous position, right?

So, she's just trying to sort of keep it -- the controversies to a minimum, talk in vague generalities. I think that's smart. I think that's what she should do. But don't expect, like, lots of new policy proposals from her.

ROMANS: It's like baseball -- no unforced errors. Is that baseball -- people say that?

BERMAN: Any sport, actually.

ROMANS: Oh, yes.

BERMAN: You can have unforced errors in any sport. That's a good reference right there.

ROGIN: And, you know -- and then if your opponent is hurting himself, get out of the way and let him do it.

BERMAN: Well, but that's one of the -- one of the things with Obamacare. The new issue of having Obamacare -- the rising premiums come up right now -- is it gives Trump something to talk about other than himself, in a way. And you could see Republicans, at a minimum -- Donald Trump has a Republican problem, right? In the ABC News poll he was down around 83 percent among Republicans for it. That's not enough for him.

[05:40:10] At a minimum, maybe this helps him coalesce some of that Republican support. That doesn't close the 12-point gap in the ABC News poll but it might create him a few points.

ROGIN: Right. Well, I think, though, people that Trump -- the Trump campaign is going for are those people in the middle, and those are people who are generally opposed to Obamacare but like certain aspects of it, right, and that's the needle that they have to thread if they want to expand their base. People like the fact that you can't get penalized for having preexisting conditions. Twenty-six-year-olds on their parent's plans -- those kids vote, right, because they don't have jobs.

ROMANS: Yes.

ROGIN: What are they going to on Election Day, right? So you don't want to alienate those people and that's a very careful balance. But again, I think Kellyanne Conway has struck, but she should just like take 10 minutes and explain it to Trump so that he can say it, too, and then I think a lot more people would feel better.

ROMANS: What about this interview with Michael D'Antonio? He really -- he's a writer, right, who sat down with Donald Trump and got Donald Trump to talk about leadership and how failure is not an option, in his own words. Listen to a little bit of that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If you lose a lot, nobody's going to follow you because you're looked at as a loser. Winning is a very important thing and the most important aspect of leadership is winning. If you have a record of winning, people are going to follow you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: This is sort of the core of the Trump DNA, isn't it?

ROGIN: It really is. It really is and I think this sort of winning at all costs thing has its drawbacks, right? I mean, I think a lot of people watching Donald Trump over the last few weeks, seeing him blame others for his potential loss. Seeing him sort of undermine our electoral -- confidence in our electoral system in order to sort of project himself as the victim.

You know, winning is great. I don't think anyone's against winning, but it's not at all costs, OK? And, you know, you want a president who just doesn't think about their own personal success and their own personal motivation. You want someone who puts the collective above the -- above the individual. And, you know, that's where I think Donald Trump's 'winning at all cost' sort of mantra gets into trouble because people don't want him to win, they want everybody to win, and I think that's where he could focus on that more.

BERMAN: Josh Rogin coming up on the side of winning this morning on EARLY START. Great to have you with us. Thanks, Josh.

ROGIN: Thank you, guys.

ROMANS: Josh Rogin, hashtag winner. All right, thank you.

The latest excuse from corporate America, the election is hurting sales. But is it all the economy bashing on the campaign trail or is this really a real confidence issue or just a big excuse from corporate America?

Dunkin' Brands says consumers are in a funk. So much in a funk,I guess they're eating fewer donuts. McDonald's says consumer confidence is muted by the election. Yum! Brands, that's the owner of KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut -- am I making you hungry? They think the election is making customers wary. Same sentiment from Popeye's.

BERMAN: I don't buy it. I don't get that you're going to get fewer chicken nuggets --

ROMANS: Even --

BERMAN: -- because of the election.

ROMANS: -- R.V. maker Winnebago says the election is hurting its bottom line -- the uncertainty. Now, it seems hard to believe that people are holding back on grabbing an iced coffee or a cheeseburger because of fears about what a Trump or Clinton presidency would do to the economy, but it is the latest evidence of something we have seen throughout the election.

BERMAN: Wouldn't you want a Happy Meal? Wouldn't a Happy Meal be exactly what you'd want?

ROMANS: I think all of America needs a Happy Meal and a bunch of Munchkins. Look, I'm more likely to, you know, eat during a terrible election. But people are worried about the future even if their current financial systems appear to be OK.

Another measure of corporate America does not show this malaise. Look at this. The Dow Jones Industrial Average just about 2.5 percent below its all-time high hit earlier this year, just about 466 points away. There's a lot of conflicting forecasts out there about what happens, right? If Donald Trump is the president, do you get a sell- off in the market? If Hillary Clinton is president, do you get a sell-off in the market because it's factoring in a Hillary Clinton presidency? So, I see some interesting --

BERMAN: I just want a breakfast sandwich. And you know what? The election is not keeping me from wanting that breakfast sandwich.

Game one of the World Series is on the books and the Cubbies got "clubbered". Andy Scholes with this morning's Bleacher Report, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:48:15] BERMAN: World Series game one in Cleveland was all Cleveland.

ROMANS: Yes. Andy Scholes live in C-town with details in the Bleacher Report. Hey, there.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, guys. You know, you couldn't have asked for a better night if you were a Cleveland sports fan. I actually say a man walking around hold a poster that said "it feels like it's been Christmas all year". It really sums up this year perfectly for the city of Cleveland, and the city of Cleveland was really the center of the sports world last night.

Game one of the World Series. Indians ace Corey Kluber -- I mean, he was absolutely on fire in this one. He struck out eight of the first nine -- or he got eight strikeouts in the first three innings, I should say. That was a World Series record. And the unlikely hero for the Indians, catcher Roberto Perez. He hit three home runs all season. He had two in game one last night.

What a night for the Indians. They would win a shutout over the Cubs, 6-0. And it's a big win because the winner of game one in the World Series has gone on to win 12 of the last 13 World Series.Game two, tonight, has been moved up an hour because there is rain the forecast.

Now, the awesome night for Cleveland, it started next door at Quicken Loans Arena as the Cavs celebrated the city's first championship in 52 years. LeBron and company getting their championship rings and then raising the championship banner. And hey, the Cavs looked like champs against the Knicks. LeBron, a triple-double in the opener. The Cavs would beat the Knicks in a blowout, 117-88.

And, you know, the NBA moved up the Cavs ring ceremony 30 minutes so that the fans in Cleveland could watch it and not miss any of the World Series. Well, I took advantage of the time change and the friendly sports schedule. I went to both.

[05:50:00] Here's a look at a time-lapseI shot of when I walked from the ring ceremony over to the World Series. A really cool opportunity to see two historic events right next to each other. And I'll tell you what. I don't know if it's because I walk fast or I just timed it perfectly, it only took me five minutes, guys, to get from inside watching the ring ceremony all the way -- you know, 100 yards away -- into the World Series.

BERMAN: That's awesome. And you carefully omitted the quick stop to the bar that you made on that trip.

ROMANS: I was going to say the porta potty.

SCHOLES: Yes, I checked those out.

BERMAN: Andy Scholes -- thanks so much, Andy, appreciate it. It must have been fun last night.

SCHOLES: All right.

BERMAN: All right, let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY". Chris Cuomo here with us. Hello, sir.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": A couple of comments. First, how great a job does Andy Scholes have?

ROMANS: Yes.

CUOMO: Right?

ROMANS: Yes.

CUOMO: And the second is, Christine, I don't know if you played softball growing up but that feeling of hitting the ball and knowing it's going out, like the catcher had last night in that Cleveland win where he just dropped the bat right away -- Berman has no idea what that's like. But I'm telling you, that is a really, really great feeling.

BERMAN: I'm going to take you behind the barn or the gym.

(Crosstalk)

CUOMO: Only if we were in high school.

BERMAN: That's right.

CUOMO: Only if I were in high school would you take me behind the barn. All right, so what are we talking about this morning? Take a guess. We're going to talk about the campaign but we're going to look at it very, kind of, X's and O's, you know. Almost like a strategy session of what they're doing right now. Where are they spending their time -- which battleground states -- and what are they hoping to achieve, OK?

So, a big name now says that he's backing Hillary Clinton. Who is it? We'll tell you. Also, Donald Trump says he's looking for a fight with one of Clinton's most popular surrogates. That's what John was just teasing me about. We're going to give you those twists and turns. And it was really a new low in the campaign as far as I'm concerned.

Plus, we told you about premiums rising in Obamacare. Now we're getting answers from one of the people in charge, the secretary of Health & Human Services. Why are they going up, what does it mean, what's the real problem, can it be fixed? That and more coming up on "NEW DAY". You want to know what was in this?

ROMANS: What was in there?

CUOMO: This is made by Rose, my producer. It is protein power in various fruits, before John suggests anything else when I can't defend myself.

BERMAN: That's pretty defensive. Chris Cuomo, thanks so much.

CUOMO: I thought I saw them turning.

ROMANS: He's a pampered -- he's a pampered anchor. Look, he's getting like specially mixed things from his --

BERMAN: We have to drink three-day-old water on EARLY START and you get mixed fruit.

CUOMO: Camerota's got -- thank you, very much -- Camerota's got a nice -- ooh, that's whiskey. (Laughter)

ROMANS: All right, fixing one thing in the U.S. economy --

BERMAN: Thanks so much.

ROMANS: -- would give the economy a $1.2 trillion boost. What is it? I'll tell you when we -- I'll tell you what it is when we get an EARLY START on your money.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:56:40] BERMAN: It sounds like a stream.

ROMANS: John loves the music. Let's get a check on CNN Money Stream this morning. Dow futures are dropping right now after a drop yesterday. Disappointing corporate earnings, lower energy prices are providing the gloom. Stock markets in Europe and Asia trading mostly lower -- my co-anchor is in sixth grade -- and oil is falling now back below $50 a barrel.

Keep an eye on Twitter shares today. They are set to pop. Rumors of a sale are back on after a report of an agreement on a sale price with Disney.

BERMAN: Really?

ROMANS: Watch this space. Both companies declined to comment to "CNNMONEY" but you're going to expect that Twitter stock to pop.

The economic gap between men and women in the United States is growing, not shrinking, and it's costing the economy $1.2 trillion a year. This is according to a new report fromthe World Economic Forum. The U.S. is now ranked 45 out of 144 countries, 17 places lower than last year. The pay gap stands at 65 percent.

What does that mean? It means women earn about two-thirds of what men make for similar work. Researchers say part of the reason is the female workforce shrank over the past year. They suggest programs like paid maternity leave would help close the gap -- better policies in the U.S. to support women.

Check out -- and working families. Check out the new CNN Money Stream app. It is business news personalized. Download it now on the App Store or Google Play and you can -- you should get that music as your ringtone.

BERMAN: It really is good music.

ROMANS: It would be nice, you know. A little beat there.

BERMAN: A little stream music there. All right, fighting words in the race for president -- behind the barn, behind the gym. Plus, some new tapes that reveal Donald Trump, really, as you have not heard him before. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You vote for her, you're crazy, OK?

CLINTON: He's run a campaign based on insults. His final target is democracy, itself.

TRUMP: Job-killing Obamacare is just one more way that our system is rigged.

BIDEN: I'd like to take him behind the gym if I were in high school.

TRUMP: Wouldn't you? I'd love that. Mister tough guy. He's mister tough guy.

CLINTON: This is a crossroads election. I want to wake up in the White House.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CUOMO: Good morning, welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, October 26th, 6:00 in the East.

And up first, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump barnstorming the must- win battleground state of Florida. Twenty-nine all-important electorates up for grabs. Trump bashing on rising Obamacare premiums to attack Clinton. This, as new hacked emails show Clinton's use of private emails sent the White House and her campaign scrambling.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Also, you will hear from Donald Trump, in his own words, about his fear of losing and his fixation with fame. There are these fascinating new tapes released by one of his biographers.

We are just 13 days away from Election Day. We have it all covered for you, so let's begin with CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny. He is live in Lake Worth, Florida. What is the latest, Jeff?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. Hillary Clinton is opening her second straight day of campaigning here in Florida on the heels of three straight days of campaigning by Donald Trump. Florida is an essential part of his comeback plan, a plan she's trying to block today, right here in Palm Beach County.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CLINTON: It is so great to be back in Florida.

TRUMP: We're going to win the state of Florida.

ZELENY: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in a relentless fight for the golden prize of Florida's 29 electoral votes.