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Independent Presidential Candidate Could Win Utah; Michael Douglas on Life, Family and the U.S. Election; Get Out the Vote
Aired November 7, 2016 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:17] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, it is the final countdown before U.S. voters go to the polls after one of their longest and
most difficult and bitterly divisive election campaigns in history. And even at this late hour, the ugly rhetoric and malaise has held this man,
independent candidate Evan McMullen of Utah, throw a bit of a curve ball into the race.
Also ahead, Hollywood royalty Michael Douglas on the ugly Americans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL DOUGLAS, HOLLYWOOD ACTOR: I find it a little humiliating having just traveled from China, coming to the U.K., seeing the amount of news,
sort of the smirk on people's faces following our elections.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
A year and a half after the most extraordinary and unprecedented U.S. election campaign began, decision day in America is upon us and the world
When Americans go to the polls in less than 24 hours, the choice they make will affect us all. The latest polls show that Hillary Clinton does have a
slight edge, but both leading candidates are working down to the wire, fighting for every last vote, especially in battleground states.
Hillary Clinton went back to Michigan and Pennsylvania. She started the day in Pittsburgh.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For those who are still making up your minds or thinking maybe, maybe it's not worth voting
at all, let me just say the choice in this election could not be clearer. It really is between division or unity, between strong and steady
leadership or a lose cannon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Donald Trump is hitting five different states today. Here he is in the battleground state of Florida.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is it, folks. We will never have another opportunity. Not in four years, not in eight
years. It will be over, with Supreme Court justices, with people pouring into our country. This is it. This is it. Good luck. Get out there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: This is an anxious time in America and indeed the world.
So let's go right now to Cleveland, where our Martin Savage is standing by. He is outside the board of elections there.
Martin, give me a sense of the feeling. I mean, you've traveled the world so you know exactly how the rest of the world is looking in at it.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right now, you know, what's interesting to me is the fact that this has been one long marathon of a campaign, and
it is coming down to a sprint in the final hours.
You just mentioned both candidates quickly trying to visit the battleground states. These are the states where the margin between winning and losing
is so close between them, and it makes all the different.
Ohio here is one of those key states. Donald Trump normally would not stand a big chance at winning Ohio. These are not normal times. Ohio
traditionally would fall into the Democrat category. However, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have both been appealing to non-traditional sort of
Donald Trump's case blue-collar Democrats. These are working class people, but who believe that they are manufacturing jobs and the way of life
they've enjoyed for a long time went away with the unfair trade deals, as he calls them.
Hillary Clinton is appealing to Republicans in this state. Those are the Republicans who view themselves as true conservatives and say they could
not vote for Donald Trump. And so that's why election outcome is so difficult to predict, because you have so many that are not voting for, but
rather voting against a candidate.
Here in Ohio, the difference Donald Trump is leading by five points. Nationally, Hillary Clinton is leading by a few points, but no one would
have ever thought just a year ago it would ever be this close the election eve.
AMANPOUR: Martin, thanks.
The next time we check in with you, we will know who is the next U.S. president.
Now, for so many reasons, this race has been extraordinary. Among the many reasons is Evan McMullin. Never heard of him? You're not alone. He's a
former Republican who is running as an independent candidate for president. He's a former CIA operative, who's worked in war zones as a foreign policy
advisor to House Republicans and as an investment banker. And unlike many before him, he could actually win a state.
[14:05:05] He joined me from Salt Lake City, Utah, with a forceful vision for foreign affairs in a campaign that has been notably devoid of any of
AMANPOUR: Evan McMullin, welcome to the program.
EVAN MCMULLIN, INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Great to be with you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: This is quite a quick salted bid for the presidency, right. Some people have likened it to a moon shot bid. Explain to our
international audience why you're doing this.
MCMULLIN: I want to make very clear that the main reason we're standing, that I'm standing in this election is because someone needed to stand up
for two key causes and timeless truths. That is that all men and women are created equal, and the other is that we all have, I believe, rights that
are natural to all human beings, to liberty. And so we are standing up for these things.
I believed it was important for someone to stand for these principles, especially from the conservative side in American politics, and so that's
what we're doing.
We're doing this because Donald Trump is attacking people based on their race, based on their religion, based on their gender. Someone needed to
stand and oppose this on election day to which is tomorrow as you know.
The plan, the hope is that if the race is very close between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and we're able to win one or two states, then
that would block them both and allow us to then proceed with them to the House of Representatives, where then our Congress would decide who is the
But beyond that, we are building also a new conservative movement in this country that will stand for equality and liberty, and either it will help
reform the Republican Party, which is a drift with Donald Trump, or we will need to start a new party of our own.
AMANPOUR: Can I slip right over to your area of expertise, your other area of expertise. You're a CIA operative. You've been in the Middle East.
You've been in many war zones and you have talked quite forcefully about what should happen under the next president in Syria.
So let's go through that, because there has been no serious discussion of Syria, which is going to be the biggest foreign policy challenge, including
the Russian involvement, and all the rest of it.
MCMULLIN: One of the most central things is that we have to stop Bashar al-Assad's industrial scale killing machine against the Syrian civilians.
That has created an environment in which ISIS and other terrorist groups thrive and it has been the central cause of the internally displaced person
and refugee crisis in the region.
We need to oppose dictators who will carry out these mass atrocities. We cannot simply turn a blind eye to them and let them happen, because they
create, if for no other reason, they create national security threats to the world. But I believe even on moral or humanitarian levels, for those
reasons, we also as an international community need to stand up to them.
So how would I do that? I believe that we need to do more to support friendly forces on the ground. I also believe that we need to have safe
zones in the north and the south for Syrian civilians. I think they need to be protected in the air by the international community.
AMANPOUR: So talk a little bit about the no-fly zones. Why do you think it would work?
MCMULLIN: Well, it would work because simply the United States and our allies, NATO, we have the force do this. We have the power to do it.
Some people will say, well, what about Russia. Russia is already there. Won't they challenge these no-fly zones and won't that create a potential
The truth is that Russia has only been able to project power into Syria because it has been unopposed. Russia has a very, very hard time
projecting power that far. That's the most they can do. They've only done it, been able do it because they've been unopposed.
When Turkey, for example, shut down a Russian fighter, Russia could do nothing because it couldn't stand up to Turkey. Turkey knew that. We need
to understand that, too.
Yes, Russia is a nuclear power. We are a nuclear power. Neither of us wants to fight, and that's the truth. But we can assert ourselves as an
international community led by the United States in Syria and constrain the Russians and make it very difficult for them to operate.
AMANPOUR: Yes. And, of course, you know, we all know because certainly we reported it that no-fly zones were up for more than two decades over Iraq
with none of the planes having been shot down.
MCMULLIN: That's right.
AMANPOUR: But let me ask you about Russia, because Russia has been accused of definitely playing its hand in this election.
What do you make of that and do you believe that it has an interest in messing with America's democracy? Either on one side of the campaign or
MCMULLIN: Well, that's -- it is absolutely true. It is no secret. They are almost doing it right in the open. Russia has done this sort of thing
in Europe, too. I mean, there is a pattern here, where Russia will promote ideas of white nationalism, for example, and then back leaders that
galvanize those movements.
[14:10:00] You know, what Putin knows, perhaps better than many of us living in Western Europe or the United States is that our power ultimately
comes largely from our ideals and our commitment to equality and liberty.
So the bottom line is this is a national security threat. Russia is undermining the American democracy. Putin is doing it through Donald Trump
as a candidate and through the white nationalist movement in the United States. And I call on all people around the world, not just in the United
States, but all free people around the world to stand up to this. To realize what is happening here.
Vladimir Putin is carrying out an attack on democracy in Western Europe and in the United States. Unfortunately, he has one of the major party
candidates working on his behalf here in the United States and we need to oppose it. We need to stand up and oppose this.
AMANPOUR: Can I get back to Utah and to this race. You know, it is a two- part question. One, why do you think you're doing so well? But also the flip side of that is Utah, Mormons are deeply moral folk. And you just
enumerated what basically amounts to immorality on the Trump side. Why is Trump even winning? Why aren't you doing better than you are?
MCMULLIN: Well, there are a lot of reasons for that. I mean, some polls do have us winning, so we'll see tomorrow what the result is. But the
reality is, we are a small campaign, and no one had ever heard of me before I launched this campaign about three months ago. I was not a national
figure. So we had to climb that, you know, that mountain of building national name I.D., national name identification.
Also, we are a very modestly funded campaign. We don't have the support of a party behind us. We're supported by Americans across the country, who
are chipping in $15, $25, and we've raised a tiny fraction of the amount of funding that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton have.
But we've still been able to change or impact the dialogue, the political dialogue in this country, and actually compete for at least one state here
in Utah. That's been nobody ever expected us to be able to do that. So the reality is we are a modest campaign that's competing with behemoths,
but we're able do that because what we're doing is right and so many Americans recognize it as such.
AMANPOUR: Evan McMullin, thank you so much for joining us. You have certainly made a point in this incredibly divisive campaign. Thank you
MCMULLIN: Thank you very much, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: And when we come back, I speak to an American institution, the Oscar-winning actor, Michael Douglas, about the vibes he is picking up
about this election as he travels around the world.
Pit stop, London -- next.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
Now from Bruce Springsteen, to Beyonce, to Lebron James, the entire army of celebrities seem to have come out for Hillary Clinton in the final days of
Donald Trump hasn't pulled quite as much star power, but Clint Eastwood, Mike Tyson and Hulk Hogan are in his corner. I spoke to the Oscar-winning
actor Michael Douglas. Of course, he's a fatal attraction and wolf street fame. And along with his famous father, Kirk, he is part of a Hollywood
I caught up with him in London and he had a lot to say about how the world sees America through the prism of this election.
[14:15:00] AMANPOUR: Michael Douglas, welcome to the program.
DOUGLAS: Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Obviously, you're a close observer of the current election. Many people have said this is literally fact being stranger than fiction.
What is your take on the way this election has gone?
DOUGLAS: Well, it's literally impossible, almost day-to-day, because what's going on, but let's just say I really hate October surprises. I
resent how long our election process takes any way. I resent that it has been over two years, having to listen to this, hundreds and hundreds of
million of dollars, to come down to an October surprise. It is really resentful and sort of a slap in the face to all of the people, voters out
there who take this seriously.
AMANPOUR: You're talking about the FBI's latest --
DOUGLAS: Latest FBI investigation, exactly. I find it a little humiliating, having just traveled from China, coming to the U.K., seeing
the amount of news, sort of a smirk on people's faces following our elections. And more deeply, we have a deep division in our country. I
would say, you know, whether it's Trump or whatever, about 40 percent, very angry people out there. And I think Trump represents that. And Hillary,
And as a Democrat and somebody who knows Donald Trump, I've been with him socially and found him very pleasant, but choose Hillary Clinton. And more
importantly, we just have to stop this freeze.
AMANPOUR: You've made films. Let's just "Wall Street" for which you won as Oscar in the 80s. That was the epitome of greed is good to quote you of
the inequality gap, which people today are resenting all over the world. This populist backlash against that kind of reality.
Talk about that a little bit. I mean, you in your Hollywood persona personified that moment. What is wrong with our society?
DOUGLAS: I love this. Well, I mean, I think the most surprising thing for me for Wall Street, which was one of the great villain parts of all time,
and now is, what, 1986, for the rest of the time, every evening, there is some drunken Wall Street Investment banker or UK investment banker, hey,
greed is good. You're the man, yes. You're the reason why I got into this business. I go, yes? I went to jail, pal. No, no. That's OK.
So they love the suits. They love the look. They love the power. They love the money. I've always been struck by the fact that they were never
bothered by the fact that this guy was an insider trader, and he went to jail, but they saw Gordon Gekko as a hero. And I think that's -- it was,
you know, an eye-opener, for me, after making that picture.
AMANPOUR: What do you think it says, though, about society today?
DOUGLAS: Well, there is a degree of every man for himself. I mean, we're seeing this huge disparity in wealth that is, there is no trickle down. I
understand it. You know, we at least in the United States, we survive. We've got a lot of company with strong, middle class. Our middle class now
We used to be able to say with pride as an as an immigrant or whatever you have that you reached the middle class situation. You can afford your
children to go to school. You can buy a house. It's not happening.
AMANPOUR: You just mentioned immigrants. Your family is a family of immigrants. Your father, his parents and grandparents were Russians. They
came over to the United States.
Your dad in his 100th year recently wrote an op-ed for "The Huffington Post" in which he said he didn't recognize his America anymore. The
America of welcoming immigrants. The America which on this campaign trail has immigrants have been demonized to a large extent. Talk about that.
What motivated your dad at this stage of his life to write that?
DOUGLAS: Well, my grandparents were Russian Jews from Belarus. They thrive in the U.S. in 1914. My father was born in 1916. His father, my
grandfather was a rag man. My grandparents neither read or wrote or spoke English.
As a country, he worked hard. Had a great middle schoolteacher that pushed him to get an education. He went on and got a scholarship to college.
Hitchhiked to college in a manure truck. Achieved well, became a collegiate wrestling champion, on to become an actor and had an
extraordinary career as an actor which people know about.
What they probably don't know about as much, Christiane, is his humanitarian efforts that he has made in his life and his beliefs in
tickling the mind or trying to repair the world and make it a better place.
And through the year of acquiring a large fortune, he is now basically given it all away to charity and to other. He has overcome all sorts of
strokes, helicopter crashes and all of that.
And I think his point, which was directed not only to the hostility that exists about building a wall, in our country, certainly issues that exist
here in Europe, with the immigration problem, it is just a reminder that at his time, Catholics were not welcomed either in the states. Jews certainly
were not. There was a strong animosity, but eventually we did become a melting plot.
And what we're different from most of Europe is that we are a country of immigrants. It is the question of which generation got there last. So I
think to blame with our economic ill wills that we have in our countries, to blame this all on immigration, it is really not fair. I walked around
London early yesterday morning.
There is a lot of construction going on, this and that. And all I heard was Romanian languages, and so you know there are a lot of people that are
doing -- a lot of immigrants who are doing work that maybe people in that country choose not to do.
So it is an issue that dad felt strongly about, just looking at it, and kind of remembering his own roots that we all tend to forget the fact
particularly in the U.S. that we are all immigrants.
AMANPOUR: You mentioned a helicopter crash. Explain.
DOUGLAS: He was 70 years old, and he had a friend who had a helicopter and he was -- the friend was piloting the helicopter, and they were taking off
to an airport outside of Los Angeles, a non-controlled airport.
At the same time, an aerobatics plane, a small Pitts, tail-dragging aerobatics plane with a student, 18-year-old student pilot and his
instructor were taking off.
As the helicopter hovered and came to on the runway, the Pitts, which is the tail-dragging can't seem to, you know, speed took off and they crashed
about 40 feet in the air. The Pitts went down and exploded, and both the pilot and the student, 18-year-old student were killed. My father fell 40
feet, you know, with the rotors still going, gasoline pouring out and didn't catch on fire.
And I think basically that was the beginning of his spiritual turn around as he sat in the hospital and said why am I alive and this 18-year-old kid
And when he returned to his Judeo roots, began to study the Old Testament with a rabbi, and you know, quite honestly became a different man.
So do I admire my dad for turning 100, absolutely. But more, Christiane, I just can't believe how he has conducted his life. How he succeeded. And
how he found his spirituality that has brought him to a wonderful, wonderful place.
AMANPOUR: Thank you very much indeed for joining us.
DOUGLAS: Thank you, Christiane. Nice to see you, thank you.
AMANPOUR: And we'll much more about Michael Douglas' life and career and his complicated relationship with his father when we broadcast the whole
interview, later. We'll let you know when.
And coming up, we do our democratic duty, next. Imagine a world getting out and voting. We take a look, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Don't boo, vote!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[14:25:00] AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, it's been an ugly and divisive and exhausting U.S. election campaign that's blamed for sky high anxiety
levels around the world. But resolution is around the corner, courtesy of a fiercely defended tradition, that is called casting a free and fair vote.
Imagine a world without that right. Of course, many citizens don't have to imagine, because they live in places that deny or manipulate elections.
Now, imagine leaders, though, in the United States, the home of the free, practically begging everyone to go out and do their civic duty.
This is President Obama stumping for Hillary Clinton, and putting on the pressure in one of those key battleground states, North Carolina.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I hate to put a little pressure on you, but the fate of the republic rests on your shoulders. The fate of the world is teetering and
you, North Carolina, are going to have to make sure that we push it in the right direction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And he is not joking.
Now while the stars of that very jokey "Saturday Night Live" election season, Alec Baldwin who has been playing Trump and Kate McKinnon, who has
been doing Clinton, they broke character this last weekend to implore viewers to get out to the polls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEC BALDWIN, DONALD TRUMP IMPERSONATOR: Now it's time to get out there and vote. None of this will have matter if you don't vote.
KATE MCKINNON, HILLARY CLINTON IMPERSONATOR: And we can't tell you who to vote for but on Tuesday, we all get a chance to choose what kind of country
we want to live in.
And live from New York, it's Saturday night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And people seem to be listening. New polls show that early voting amongst Latinos in America is surging to new heights, after more
than 500 days, hundreds of millions of dollars, hours and hours of interviews, sound bites and televised debates, it will all comes down to
turnout, a choice, a decision, that only the people can make.
That is it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast, see us online at Amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and
Twitter. Thanks for watching and good-bye from London.