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Obama Campaigns for Clinton in New Hampshire; Feds Gearing Up To Prevent Cyberattacks On Election; Trump Still Insisting System Is "Totally Rigged"; Standing By For Trump Third Speech, Two More Tonight. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired November 7, 2016 - 17:00   ET


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can't hear you, but I appreciate you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama! Obama! Obama!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama! Obama! Obama!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama! Obama! Obama!

[17:00:14] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. we're listening to President Barack Obama as he stumps for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire on this, the eve of the presidential election. Let's listen in to the president.

OBAMA: So we've got -- we've got one more day, and we can choose the politics of blame and divisiveness and resentment, or you can choose a politics that says we're stronger together. Tomorrow -- tomorrow you can choose whether we continue the journey of progress or whether it all goes out the window.

Think about where we were eight years ago. Now, I realize some of you were 10. And, you know, you were watching Nickelodeon, and I was trying to think back. You know, you had "Josh and Drake." You had "iCarly." Although in our household "Spongebob" ruled. So not all of you were paying attention, so let me just reprise for you what was going on eight years ago.

We were living through two long wars, the worst economic crisis in 80 years, but because of the American people and because we made some good decisions about what might help working families, we turned the page. Our businesses have turned job losses into 15.5 million new jobs. Incomes and wages are up, and poverty is down by more than any time in the last 30 years.

Twenty million Americans have health insurance that didn't have it before. We've doubled our production of clean energy. We became the world leader in fighting climate change. We brought home more of our men and women in uniform. We took out Osama bin Laden.

Marriage equality is a reality from coast to coast. High school graduations is at an all-time high. College enrollment at an all-time high. And over these eight years, across all 50 states I've seen what always

has made America great. I've seen -- I've seen you, the American people, not just Democrats, but people of every party, people of every faith who know that we're stronger together. Young people and old, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, people with disabilities, gays, straight, all pledging allegiance to the red, white and blue. That's the America I know. That's the America I love.

And there's one candidate in this race who has devoted her life to that better America. The next president of the United States, Hillary Clinton.

Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!

OBAMA: But -- but make no mistake: all that progress goes down the drain if we don't win tomorrow, and, New Hampshire, you know, it's a small state, but it's an important state. There's some scenarios where Hillary doesn't win if she doesn't win New Hampshire. So it depends on you.

I know there's been a long campaign, and I know it's been full of negative ads and distractions and noise. I want you to tune all that out. I want you to focus, because the choice you face when you step into that voting booth could not be clearer. Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be commander in chief. This is not -- this is not just my opinion. This is the opinion of a lot of Republicans.

Think about it. Over the weekend his campaign took his Twitter account away from him. If your closest advisers don't trust you to tweet, how can you trust him with the nuclear codes? You can't do it. Am I wrong about that?

[17:05:30] He is uniquely unqualified to be America's chief executive. He says he's a business guy, but we've got a lot of great businessmen and women, including right here in New Hampshire, who don't try to succeed by stiffing small businesses who did work for him or stiffing workers what they owe them.

This is the first candidate in decades to hide his tax returns, partly because he hasn't paid any federal income taxes. He thinks that's smart, but that means he's not making a dime's worth of contribution to caring for our veterans, to supporting our troops, to rebuilding our roads, to building up our public housing and universities. Don't boo. Vote! You know, he can't -- New Hampshire, Donald Trump can't hear your boos, but he can hear your votes.

He's got nothing serious to offer on jobs. There hasn't been enough talk about this economy in this election, and you know why? Because we created jobs for 73 months in a row now. Just last week the unemployment rate was at 4.9 percent. That's near the lowest levels in nearly nine years.

So Donald Trump generally avoids facts or he just denies them. So he said this is a disaster. A disaster?

Listen, I just came from Michigan. You want to know what a real disaster looks like? Think back to that state and what we were dealing with eight years ago. The American auto industry was flat on its back. Unemployment was soaring.

Today plants across that state and across the region that were shut down, they're now doing double shifts. And you know? You know what Donald Trump's idea -- Donald Trump's idea for the auto industry, he actually suggested that Michigan should send its auto jobs to states that pay the workers less, and by making Michigan workers suffer, they'd have no choice but to accept less pay if they wanted to get their jobs back. Does that sound -- don't boo. What are you supposed to do?




OBAMA: Vote! Does that sound like somebody who actually cares about working people?




OBAMA: New England's lost mill jobs over the years. Would that be a good way to bring them back? Just send them down to places where they pay them less?

Look, we got manufacturing growing again over these last eight years. First time since 1990s, and Hillary is going to keep that going. She's put forward the biggest investment in new jobs since World War II. She's got plans to grow manufacturing, boost people's wages, help students with college debt. That's why she should be the next president of the United States.

And you answer -- let me tell you something I've learned about this job. Who you are, what you are, that doesn't change once you get into the Oval Office. It magnifies who you are. It shines a spotlight on who you are. But if you denigrate minorities when you're running for office; if you call immigrants criminals and rapists when you're running for office; if you mock people with disabilities and treat women as objects, calling them pigs and dogs and scoring them on a one through ten test; if you do that when you're running for office, that's how you'll conduct yourself in office.

If you insult POWs and talk our troops down. If you say you know more than your generals when you can't tell the difference between a Shia and a Sunni, that's how you'll conduct yourself as commander in chief.

You know, it's bad enough being arrogant. It's bad being arrogant and not knowing anything.

If you accept the support of Klan sympathizers, saying, "Well, I don't know what they're about," then that's how you'll be thinking when you take office.

[17:10:10] If you disrespect the Constitution, trying to shut down reporters that write things you don't like; threatening to throw your opponent in jail in the middle of a presidential debate. If you discriminate against people of different faiths, that happens in other countries, but not this one. This is the United States of America. We've got a Constitution.

You know, his buddy Putin may think that's OK. I don't think it's OK. The American people don't think it's OK. Come on!

Donald Trump is uniquely unqualified to hold this job, and the good news is, New Hampshire, you are uniquely qualified to make sure he does not get this job. But you've got to vote. You've got to vote tomorrow. And the good news is you don't have to -- you don't just have to vote against someone. You've got a candidate who's actually worthy of your vote, who is smart and tested and probably the most qualified person ever to run for this office, and that is Hillary Clinton!

You know, there's -- I've got to say, you know, since my name is not on the ballot, there are times where I have been just kind of trying to bite my tongue, but there's a lot about this election that has not been on the level, but I'm going to level with you right now. The way campaigns have gotten, we've come to accept crazy stuff as normal, and you see the strategy of just repeating attacks and outright lies over and over again, but it gets churned in social media and Facebook; and no matter how false they are, they just create this cloud of dust. And so I've had to bite my lip and just listen to some of the nonsense that's been said about Hillary.

I know Hillary. I ran against Hillary. She worked for me. This is somebody who has dedicated her life to making this country better. This is somebody who cares about working families, because she comes from a working family.

Think about -- think about how she got her start. As a young woman, not much older than most of the folks here, while Donald Trump and his developer dad were being sued by the Justice Department for denying housing to African-American families, Hillary was going undercover from school to school to make sure minority kids were getting an equal shot at a good education.

And she has not stopped fighting. She has not stopped fighting for justice. She has not stopped fighting for equality. She has not stopped fighting for kids ever since.

She will be a smart and steady president. And unlike her opponent, she actually respects working Americans. She will work her heart out to create jobs that families can live on and child care you can afford. She'll fight for equal pay for equal work. She'll make sure that we've got a higher minimum wage and family leave that's paid so people can afford to use it and make sure that this economy works for everybody.

And unlike her opponent, she actually knows what's going on in the world. She's traveled around the world. She's respected around the world. She'll work her heart out to keep America respected and strong and safe, and she will not turn people against each other just to win an election. She'll be a leader for all of us, even those who don't vote for her, because she knows we are stronger together.

But, New Hampshire, if you want Hillary to continue the progress we made, she's going to need allies in the Senate, allies like Maggie Hassan. You cannot just stick her with Republicans in Congress, who are already promising even more unprecedented dysfunction in Washington, more shutdowns, more obstructions, more repeal votes, years of hearings, years of investigation. Some are saying they'll block all Supreme Court nominations. Don't boo.




OBAMA: I mean, apparently, they think only Republican presidents should nominate judges.

If you think voting for endless gridlock is a good slogan, you should vote for the Republicans. And by the way, Maggie's opponent, I gather she's kind of running like maybe she's a Democrat all of a sudden.

[17:15:03] But in Washington, she supports Mitch McConnell. In Washington, she supports a majority that has consistently been about saying no to everything. She supports eliminating health care for 20 million Americans who already have it. So don't buy that hokey-doke. There's a clear choice involved here. Maggie Hassan will make sure we've got a Democratic majority to work for the things you care about. Her opponent will not. It's a clear choice. America can do better than gridlock.

If you care about creating jobs, you care about child care they can afford, you care about equal pay for women and higher wages for workers, then you've got to vote for Democrats up and down the ticket. People like Hillary. People like Maggie. People who will put you ahead of politics. Who will involve all of us in the work of moving this country forward, and that's ultimately what this comes down to, New Hampshire.

You know, the most important office in a democracy is not president. It's not senator. It's not governor or mayor. It's citizen. That's the most important office. That's why -- that's why we don't talk about "I." We talk about "we." We, the people. We shall overcome. Yes, we can. I didn't say, "Yes, I can." I said, "Yes, we can." America's -- America's never been about what one person says he'll do

for us. It's about what we do together through the slow and, yes, sometimes frustrating but ultimately enduring work of self-government.

This is where you come in. You hold the most important office in the democracy. It depends on you. Even when the odds are steep, even when the road is long, it's been ordinary people who have made the difference. That's how patriots chose revolution over tyranny. The G.I.s who defeated fascism around the world, they were your age. Women finding the courage to reach for the ballot. Marchers crossing a bridge in Selma for their dignity. Workers organizing collective bargaining and better wages. You make these things happen.

We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights. In this country, you don't have to be born of wealth or privilege to make a difference. You don't have to practice a certain faith or look a certain way to bend the arc of history, and that's what makes America exceptional. That's what's always made America great.

So with whatever credibility I've got after eight years as your president, I am asking you to trust me on this one. I already -- I already voted for Hillary. We got early vote in Illinois. I already voted for her. I am absolutely confident that, when she's president, this country will be in good hands. And I'm asking you to do the same, especially the young who are here today.

You know, it isn't that often -- it isn't that often in life, you'll discover, where you just know you can make a difference. It's not that often where you have a chance to shape history. The world is watching us right now. This is one of those moments. Don't let it slip away. Don't give away your power. You have a chance to send a clear signal. We are -- we are not divisive. We're not mean- spirited. That's not what America is about. We're not going to go backwards.

You can elect a leader who spent her life trying to move this country forward. Our first female president. A president who will be an example for our daughters and for our sons and send a signal there is no glass ceiling. Anybody who works hard and cares enough can achieve.

And now after months of campaigning, after all the rallies, after all the ads, it all comes down to you. This is out of Hillary's hands now. It's out of my hands. It's out of Michelle's hands. It's out of Maggie's hands or Jeanne's hands. It's in your hands. The fate of our democracy depends on what you do when you step into that voting booth tomorrow. It depends on whether you're telling your friends and your neighbors and your relatives that they have to go and exercise this power, this legacy.

Don't dare fall for this easy cynicism that says, "My vote doesn't matter" or "politicians are all the same," because they're not. Hillary's opponent wants you to think that. Folks, Mitch McConnell wants you to think that. They don't want you to vote. in some states they've made it harder for you to vote. But your vote does matter. I won some states by two votes a precinct. Your voice makes a difference.

And if you don't believe that, I want to leave you with one last story. Some -- I want to leave you with one -- I want to leave you with one last story, and this is for the young people here. This is for the young people here, so I want you to pay attention.

Now, for a lot of you -- a lot of you won't remember this, but when I ran for the presidency in '08, the truth is that not a lot of people gave me a chance. You know, I was a skinny guy with a funny name, and when I look back at the pictures of me speaking back then, like, I look really young. I think -- you know, so initially when we started the campaign, the odds weren't for us. And we had a lot of states to cover, and I had never run a national campaign, and so we had to try to get any support we could, any endorsements we could.

So I'd fly down to North Carolina -- South Carolina, South Carolina. I'd go down to South Carolina for some state legislator's banquet or something. And I'm sitting next to this state legislator, and she hasn't made an endorsement yet, and I asked her for the endorsement. That's what you do when you're kind of trying to get support. And she says, "You know, Obama, I like you. You're a little young, a little green behind the ears, but I like you. I will endorse you if you come to my hometown of Greenwood, South Carolina."

So I must have had a little too much wine, because I just said OK on the spot. I was feeling a little desperate, didn't have a lot of endorsements, a lot of support back then.

So fast forward about a month and a half later, I've been working in Iowa. I have been coming up in New Hampshire. I've been calling -- I've been calling people and trying to raise money, and I'm exhausted. Haven't seen my family. I'm a little grouchy. And I fly down to South Carolina, down to Greenville, and I get in about midnight, and I'm exhausted. And I'm dragging my bags through the little airport terminal and getting to the hotel, and all I want to do is sleep.

And suddenly right as I get to the door I get a tap on my shoulders, and I turn around, and it's one of my staffers. "Senator," because back then I was just a senator -- said, "Senator, you do know that you've got to wake up at 6:30 tomorrow morning, right?"

I said, "What do you mean?"

Said, "Well, remember that state legislator you met, you promised you'd go out to Greenwood? Well, that's tomorrow."

So I'm muttering under my breath. I'm not happy. I go in, just fall out. Alarm goes off, and I feel terrible. I'm exhausted. I think I'm coming down with a cold. I open up the curtains. It's pounding down rain outside, pouring down rain. Horrible day.

I make myself some coffee, and I get the newspaper outside my door and open it up. There's a bad story about me in "The New York Times." I get dressed, shave, walk out, just kind of still groggy, still staggering. My umbrella blows open. That ever happen to you? As I'm walking out, and I get soaked, soaked. I'm just soaked.

I get in the car. I said, "All right, how long is it going to take to Greenwood?"

"An hour and a half." An hour and a half.

So we're driving, and we're driving, and we're driving. Doesn't seem like we're going anywhere. Sheets of rain are pouring down, and finally, we get to Greenwood, although you can't tell, because there's -- there are really no buildings in Greenwood that are more than, like, two stories high. And there are just a couple little stores, and there's like one stoplight.

And we pull up to this little park fieldhouse, and I get out. And I'm sloshing around in the rain and my socks are wet. And I walk in, and I've driven an hour and a half, and there are like 15, 20 people there. Fifteen, 20 people. And I will tell you they didn't look any happier to see me than I did to see them. They were wet and damp, and they weren't really excited. They don't -- didn't know why they were there.

[17;25:14] And so I go around the room, and I say, "How do you do? What do you do?" And talk to everybody. But they're not really feeling it right now. And so I'm about to make my pitch. I'm trying to muster myself up, make the best of this. I'm going to do it quick, and then I'm going to get out of here.

And suddenly, I hear this voice from the back just shout, "Fired up!"




OBAMA: And everybody in the room says, "Fired up!"




OBAMA: And I say, "Ready to" -- and then I hear the voice say, "Ready to go!" And everybody in the room says, "Ready to go!" And I don't know what's going on. I think these people are crazy. Maybe I shouldn't have come here.

Then I look in the back of this room, and there's this middle-aged woman, and she's dressed like she just came from church. She's got a big church hat. And she's got, I think, a gold tooth. Turns out she is -- holds a position in the local NAACP office and also, I'm not kidding you, is a private detective. This is a true story.

She's like -- she's like a private eye, although it's hard to think that you wouldn't see her coming. She's very colorful, and she's grinning at me. And apparently, she is known wherever she goes by saying this chant. "Fired up!" And everybody knows her so they know that, when she says fired up, they've got to say, "Fired up!" And when she says, "Ready to go," everybody has got to say, "Ready to go." And this is what she does. Every meeting she goes to, she does this thing, which is kind of strange.

So the thing is, though, she keeps on doing it. And everybody keeps on -- she says, "Fired up," and they said, "Fired up" and "Ready to go," "ready to go." But the interesting thing is, after a while, I'm starting to get kind of fired up. I'm starting to -- I'm starting to feel like I'm ready to go. And all those negative thoughts and all those bad memories start kind of drifting away. And we have a great meeting with these 20 people, and they all say, "We're going to support you, and we're going to go out there and work."

And even after we left Greenwood, the rest of the day all the campaigning, when I saw my staff, I said, "Are you fired up?"

They'd say, "I'm fired up, boss."

"Are you ready to go?"

"I'm ready to go."

And it just goes to show you how one voice can change a room. And if -- and if it can change a room, it can change a city. And if it can change a city, it can change a state. And if it can change a state, it can change a nation. And if it can change a nation, it can change the world! So I just have one question for you, New Hampshire. Are you fired up?




OBAMA: Ready to go?




OBAMA: Fired up?




OBAMA: Ready to go?



OBAMA: Fired up.




OBAMA: Ready to go?




OBAMA: Let's go finish what we started. Let's elect Hillary Clinton. Let's elect Maggie Hassan. I love you, New Hampshire. God bless you. God bless the United States of America.

BLITZER: There you see the president of the United States. He's clearly fired up, and he's ready to go. A rousing speech for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, a critically important battleground state.

The president saying how one voice can change a room. One voice can change a city, a state, a nation, and the world.

We've got a panel to discuss what we just heard from the president of the United States. Ryan Lizza, you were there in South Carolina at that event. Is that right?

RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Nine years ago. Yes, it was 2007. I think I was one of the only journalists actually with him. I was writing a piece for "GQ" magazine, and the story is pretty much how he tells it, with a few exaggerations here and there. I don't remember if it was raining quite as much as the president says.

But we all remember from 2008, he took that experience of Edith Childs and that moment in the campaign when things were looking really grim for him and Hillary Clinton was ahead in the polls, and he sort of used her inspirational moment as the rallying cry for his 2008 campaign. Here he is now, all these years later trying to harness that same kind of energy for his opponent in 2008, Hillary Clinton.

[17:30:09] BLITZER: Nia, he's as passionate today as he was when he was running. He's trying to get Hillary Clinton elected president.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: He is. And he's obviously using some of the same stories, telling his former supporters to carry Hillary Clinton in the way that they have carried him all these years, and he was sort of reviving what he said at the Democratic National Convention in that speech there. They've got some work to do in terms of the enthusiasm gap. People

are not as enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton as they were about Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton doesn't really have the cool factor that Barack Obama did. So there she is hanging out with Jay-Z and Big Sean and Bron-Bron (ph), LeBron James, in Cleveland. But, yes, and we'll see the in Philly later. It will be all of them, right? Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen, and Jon Bon Jovi.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: And Wolf, just watching the president here, you're reminded, as he said, his name is not on the ballot, but this is his last campaign in a big way. And so I think putting that story on the end of his speech there sort of began the Barack Obama, irrespective of the results tomorrow night, sort of valedictory tour of him at the end of his eight years, beginning to wind down.

This is the last chance that he's going to speak to crowds like this. He doesn't have a lot of campaign rallies on his schedule from now through January 20, and you see him sort of taking a little bit of a valedictory lap here as he says sort of farewell to the campaign trail.

BLITZER: And he's got one more event later tonight. And he's going to be together with Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama and Joe Biden. There's a big event still coming up tonight.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Yes, there is. And, of course, that's going to be in Philadelphia. What's interesting about Barack Obama is that he's such a potent weapon for her in the sense that tonight it's going to be to try to reach out to African-Americans in and around Philadelphia to try to get them fired up and ready to go.

But up here in New Hampshire, where there's very few African-Americans who actually live there, he is at a college campus at the University of New Hampshire, and he is trying to excite that base, that part of the Obama coalition that hasn't been as excited in support of Hillary Clinton at this point.

So when he's telling that story about an older African-American woman from South Carolina, he's trying to take that energy and to transfuse it and put it on these college students; and we'll see if they show up tomorrow.

REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: And as he noted, many of them were quite young when he first ran for president in 2008. You have some 18-year-olds there who would have only been 10 years old at the time. And so they don't necessarily remember that initial energy from his 2008 campaign.

BLITZER: David, how important is the president in this effort to get Hillary Clinton elected president?

CHALIAN: Hugely important. I think if she does win tomorrow night, he is going to be a huge part as to why. You know, we were talking just now, Mark was talking about the

Philadelphia event tonight. I keep thinking of that final picture at that final rally of Barack and Michelle Obama with Bill and Hillary Clinton. That -- Tim Kaine and his wife aren't part of that picture. This is a running mate scenario. This is a ticket in many ways.

Hillary Clinton just early on realized that her path to the White House went through reassembling this Obama coalition and trying to expand upon it, and she wrapped her arms -- remember, early on, Wolf, there was all this conversation, is she going to separate from Barack Obama? That was never, never going to be the case. She needed Barack Obama as a part of this.

LIZZA: I think there were some points in the primary when she was running against Bernie Sanders when a little bit of separation made sense, but as the president's poll numbers increased...

CHALIAN: That was also a separation from her own positions.

LIZZA: That's right. As the president's poll numbers increased, I think there was a realization that it wasn't as much of a change election as a lot of people maybe thought so in the beginning, and the continuity was OK.

HENDERSON: Yes. And they've got these numbers, right? The unemployment rate is under 5 percent. His approval rating is something like 55 percent.

You see in some communities the lit drops, basically, the mailers that are being dropped off at people's houses, have Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton and basically making the point that David just made, that this is a continuation, that -- you know, that he is essentially passing the baton on to Hillary Clinton.

And mentioning that Edith Childs story, sort of putting her in the arc of history. He was this historic candidate, and now she is -- she could be this historic figure, as well.

BLITZER: David Axelrod, you were there with him back in 2007-2008. You presumably remember that moment with Edith Childs in South Carolina, "Fired up, ready to go."

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I actually wasn't with him in South Carolina, but he called and told the story. And it became a staple of every one of his speeches.

The thing that he does so well is he takes these vignettes from his travels and from people he's met, and he turns them into inspirational parables and into speeches -- speech parts that lift. And this was the close to his speech, and every single staffer who traveled with him could recite every single word. He dusted it off here like a golden oldie because...

BLITZER: Which we haven't heard in a while.

AXELROD: No, he hasn't. LIZZA: It's somewhat ironic...

AXELROD: He retired it.

LIZZA: Somewhat ironic in the sense that, in 2007 that -- the fired up, ready to go was are you fired up and ready to go to beat Hillary Clinton?

HENDERSON: Yes, yes. And it happened in South Carolina.

AXELROD: This is the Barack Obama you remember from 2007-2008. During his eight years as president of the United States, he was a bit more subdued.

CHALIAN: Yes. But, you know, there's always this thing about, well, he doesn't really like politics. People in Washington always say, "He doesn't really like politics."

I always say, "No, he doesn't like you. He likes politics." The politics he likes is going out and meeting the American people and having this kind of interaction. And he -- he has thoroughly enjoyed this time on the trail here. And I'm sure there's an element, too, of nostalgia, because this is the first time -- the last time that he's really going to be out here like this in this kind of capacity. So it's -- it's all coming together for him here.

PRESTON: You know, Wolf, if you go back and you look at these two bitter rivals who have come together, he asked Hillary Clinton to be his secretary of state. She hesitated. She agreed to do it. I mean, these are two people who didn't necessarily like each other. I think we can put that on the table.

But yet he has played such an important role, certainly in this closing couple of weeks right now. We really have to go back to 2000, and do you remember Bill Clinton on the campaign trail at all with Al Gore?


PRESTON: It just didn't...

AXELROD: I will say that Bill Clinton was probably the most effective surrogate that Barack Obama had in 2012, so this is, in a sense, the next version of it. He's playing the role that Bill Clinton played for him.

I just want to correct one thing you said. There's no doubt that when we were in the throes of battle, that they weren't the best of friends, but before and after, they've had a really respectful relationship.

I was one of those who was shocked when he said, "I want to make her secretary of state." And he said, "No, no we were friends before we were rivals, and I respect her. And she will be the 'A' team when she lands in foreign places representing the United States of America, and I think she'll be a loyal member of the team." And one of the things that was really interesting to me was watching

their relationship when I worked in the White House. And they really did have this very respectful relationship, and it actually was a really warm story, having seen the way they competed.

PRESTON: Well, it says something, the fact that they could actually overcome that, because as we know in politics, grudges are sometimes hard to go by.

AXELROD: That seemed like a stroll in the park compared to what we've seen this year.

BLITZER: Is this about his legacy you think, Nia, or is there a genuine friendship that has developed with Hillary Clinton?

HENDERSON: I think it's both, and it's something he's obviously talked about. The friendship, it's something that Michelle Obama has talked about in terms of Hillary Clinton being there for her with their transition to the White House.

And he talks about his legacy, right? He talks about what a Trump administration would mean in terms of reversing the progress in his eyes, reversing the executive orders, and the Trump campaign says that. I mean, on day one, that's some of the things they would want to do, reverse some of those executive orders. And Obama has sort of jokingly said maybe on day one that Donald Trump would rip out Michelle Obama's garden, right? And Hillary Clinton, of course, has promised that she would take care of it.

LIZZA: She's going to be out there hoeing it.

AXELROD: There's also the fact that they've been through a lot together. They traveled that road together in 2000 as opponents, and then they traveled four years together, dealing with some really, really significant challenges in the White House. That is a bonding experience. They have forged a friendship and a relationship, both as opponents and as very close allies in very pressured situations.

BLITZER: And he makes no secret, David Chalian, of his attitude towards Donald Trump.

CHALIAN: None whatsoever. In fact, listening to him today at the University of New Hampshire here, he was saying that he was biting his lip through much of this campaign when he thought that people had come to accept crazy as normal. He wasn't -- he didn't cite Donald Trump's name with that.

But he took this notion that he said there were a lot of parts of this election that he didn't think were on the level and that this normalization of things that were totally out of bounds in his mind, clearly he's talking about Donald Trump there. But he's made no bones about the fact that, you know, earlier today he said, again, he is uniquely unqualified to be commander in chief.

So he fully believes in somewhat startling ways, Wolf, because he started this, you recall, really taking this on in the summer. I remember from the East Room -- it was odd for a moment to see the sitting president of the United States in an East Room press conference taking down a potential successor as unqualified for the office. But he, on early, as soon as the Clinton campaign was sort of making that their path, Barack Obama joined right up in helping amplify that message.

[17:40:15] BLITZER: The question, could he translate that, Mark, into votes for her tomorrow?

PRESTON: Look, I think if Hillary Clinton wins, and as David said, it's going to be in a great part to Barack Obama, not only him on the campaign trail for the last few months, but, quite frankly, what you all did, David, in building this grassroots organization and exciting voters that weren't necessarily as excited before: younger voters and African-Americans. We're seeing this growth now in Hispanic voters, you know, participating in the process. The fact, though, is you have to go out and get them to vote.

And that is a credit, I think, to the campaigns of -- that Barack Obama ran in 2008 and 2012.

Look, I don't think you're going to find a more effective surrogate than Barack Obama than perhaps his wife, right? Michelle Obama is...

AXELROD: He'd be the first to say that.

LIZZA: And...

BLITZER: Go ahead.

LIZZA: I was going to say, the truth is there's been so much talk about whether Hillary Clinton can put together the Obama coalition, can she repeat it? And if she wins, she's going to put together something that looks more like the Clinton coalition.

It's going to be African-American -- the percentage of African- Americans supporting her is probably going to be lower than Obama. She's probably going to have a higher percentage of Hispanics at the current polling and early vote is accurate. And a little bit worse off with millennials.

But she's going to make up the millennials and African-Americans probably with Hispanics and college-educated whites. Now, some of that is because of who her opponent is, but, you know, that's going -- we're going to have something new here.

AXELROD: One of the ways in which he's contributed, in addition to his efforts, is he's a popular president.


AXELROD: You know, George W. Bush had an approval rating in the 20s in 2008, and that really doomed John McCain in many ways.

Barack Obama now has an approval rating in the 50s, and so rather than being a burden, he's actually a help to the nominee of his party, and so that's been big.

BLITZER: He's leaving office with a similar job approval number that Bill Clinton left office with, that Ronald Reagan left office with. When you get a 55 percent job approval number after two terms, that's very, very strong, when you think of all the American peoples. I want everyone to stand by. There are several major events coming up tonight. We're going to have full coverage of all of these events.

We're standing by to hear from Donald Trump. He's going to be speaking as well, the third rally. He's got two more later tonight.

And the president and the vice president, the first lady, they'll be joining Hillary Clinton later tonight in Philadelphia with Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. We have extensive live coverage coming up right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.


[17:47:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: You just heard a major speech from President Obama calling on voters to support Hillary Clinton.

We're standing by now to hear from Donald Trump. He is getting ready for a major speech, his third of five today. There you see live pictures coming in from Scranton, Pennsylvania. We'll, of course, have live coverage of that. In the meantime, let's get some more insights from our correspondents and political experts.

Evan Perez, you're our Justice Correspondent. What are you hearing about the Department of Justice now taking steps to make sure there are no cyberattacks to prevent people from voting here in the United States tomorrow?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, right at this moment, you have hundreds of people not only at the FBI, DOJ, Homeland Security, the Department of National Security, even at the White House, they're basically setting up these operation centers to make sure that they're on guard for any incidents that could affect the way people are voting tomorrow.

You have concern not only about denial of service, attacks on media organizations -- these might knock out the websites of media organizations to try to sow confusion -- but also hoaxes and other incidents to try to confuse voters as they try to go to their ballot boxes tomorrow. The concern here that officials have had, even at the White House, is simply that, given what we've seen with these Russian disinformation incidents over the past few months, that somebody could try to do these things again tomorrow, and you would have an outsized effect.

Now, we should make clear that they don't believe that anybody can hack the election. Nobody can change the voting machines or the ballot counting. That's not what they're worried about. It's more sort of like preparing for a cyber hurricane. You know, you do all of these things and, hopefully, nothing happens and you go on. You have a very smooth election and nobody questions anything, but you have to be prepared. They've been doing all kinds of exercises, including preparing for how they could communicate with each other in case somebody launches a massive cyberattack.

BLITZER: And the working assumption, Evan, is that the Russians were behind the most recent cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee and behind also the WikiLeaks revelations as well.

PEREZ: That's right, Wolf. They've been hacking not only the Democratic National Committee, other Democratic Party-affiliated organizations, but they've been passing this along, the belief is, to WikiLeaks and to other websites as a way to sort of sow confusion and to disrupt the American elections.

They've done this over the last couple of years in other countries in Europe, in Ukraine, and other places. And that's what they're trying to do here. It's, the belief is, not necessarily to get anyone in particular elected. They don't really care. It's more about showing that our system is really not as good as we make it out.

BLITZER: And very quickly, the reports last week that Al-Qaeda or some other terrorist group were plotting some sort of events in three states in the United States tomorrow?

PEREZ: That's right. They've been looking at this chatter, so to speak, about possible attacks in the United States. Nothing to corroborate anything real. The concern, obviously, is that you could use Election Day to do something big. Nothing so far that has checked out, Wolf.

[17:50:00] BLITZER: You hear about all of this, Ryan Lizza, the cyberattacks, fear -- I don't know how serious it is -- of a terror attack. These are very, very worrisome developments.

RYAN LIZZA, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORKER: Yes, they're very worrisome. And they do feed into this, you know, message that Trump has been talking about, about a rigged election. He's been saying it without any evidence. But I wonder if we still have this open question if he does not win tomorrow, what he says.

Does he concede? Does he carry on with this idea that the election was rigged? Does he try and feed into the reports about cyber attacks and potential attacks to feed a narrative that the election was somehow stolen from him? So I don't think -- he stopped talking about that so much, I think, partly because he realized he was depressing Republican turnout.

BLITZER: Although he did mention it today in one of his --

LIZZA: He mentioned it today, yes.

BLITZER: -- speeches, a rigged system.

LIZZA: Yes, yes. The period between the first Comey letter and the second Comey letter, he talked about a little bit less. But I think a lot of Republicans just told him, look, you can't go out there and say that the election is rigged because Republicans won't have an incentive to vote if they think the whole thing is rigged. BLITZER: This is a moment in American history. People, you know,

sort of take it for granted, but the 45th President of the United States is going to be elected tomorrow.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. I mean, they're going to be living in the building behind us. This has been the strangest, most unpredictable election I've certainly covered than, I think, a lot of us have seen over the last 50 years.

And we'll see. I mean, polls at this point, pretty close, four points nationally. Some of these swing states, they're --

BLITZER: Hillary Clinton ahead.

HENDERSON: Yes, Hillary Clinton ahead. And they're fanning out to do the last bit of rallying their voters. And I think tomorrow will be pivotal in terms of what happens in Pennsylvania, what happens in Michigan, what happens in New Hampshire, in terms of are they able to get their voters out in that ground game that is tedious to put together, but that was put together very well by Barack Obama? You wonder, in the end, is that going to make the difference?

PEREZ: But, you know, the thing is that we make fun of the rigged comments and people certainly criticize it. But there is a real concern that people tomorrow might not accept what happens and act out.


PEREZ: And that is dangerous. And that's one of the reasons why folks in the building behind us there, you know, are very concerned about these types of comments because it does translate into something that could -- you have unhinged people all the time who act out as a result of these.

BLITZER: Because, David Axelrod, you remember, eight years ago, John McCain was very gracious --

AXELROD: He was.

BLITZER: -- in his concession speech.

AXELROD: And John Kerry in 2004 in a very close election.

BLITZER: And Mitt Romney was very gracious as well four years ago. What do you anticipate if Hillary Clinton were to win tomorrow from Donald Trump?

AXELROD: Wolf, I don't have the requisite degrees to predict what Donald Trump will do in any given situation, and you see his aides saying, we don't know. We don't know whether he'll be conciliatory, whether he'll be combative. I think we're going to have to wait and see. And part of it will have to do with how close the election is, I assume. But I'll tell you something, this delegitimization of institutions

generally, all institutions, is probably the most disturbing part of this campaign. And what happened with the FBI has contributed to this. But just generally, so many of our institutions, including the news media, frankly, have been degraded during the course of this campaign. And we're going to have to do some healing and soul searching as a result of this. And one hopes that the election doesn't contribute one more brick to that load.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I also think whoever moves into the house in January is going to have an unbelievable task, part of this healing, in terms of bringing the country together.

If you look at the most recent NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll that came out just yesterday, a bare majority -- I think it was 52 or 54 percent -- said that they would accept and support Hillary Clinton if she were to win. And I think fewer than that, 42 percent --

BLITZER: Correct.


CHALIAN: -- said that about Donald Trump. Neither of which -- I mean, even Gore/Bush, one of the closest elections in 2000 --

AXELROD: Right, two-thirds, both.

CHALIAN: -- both candidates were at two-thirds two-thirds, 66 percent of the country said they would accept that person and support that person as President. The fact that our country is so divided and not prepared to support the winner is a monumental task ahead of whoever wins.

REBECCA BERG, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: What is so interesting, though, is that it seems even before Election Day that Hillary Clinton is trying to speak to those people who are very skeptical of her and of the results of the election and might not be inclined to come together and support the new President after this election. You saw the two-minute ad that she released today from her campaign wherein she says, I will be a President for everyone, even people who didn't vote for me.

AXELROD: That's going to take time more than an ad, though.

HENDERSON: Yes. It's going to take --

AXELROD: That's going to take time.


BERG: Absolutely. Absolutely.

AXELROD: And effort. And it's going to be done in a very difficult political environment. Tomorrow night will be, if she wins, a night of great triumph. The day after is going to be a series of continuing headaches for quite a while. BERG: But it does look like she understands how difficult that topic


AXELROD: Yes, for sure.

PEREZ: And it might also take some work from people on the opposite end of Pennsylvania Avenue who, you know, play a great role in fermenting some of that descent and some of those feelings that things are rigged and so on. There's a lot of that that comes from the other end of this area.

[17:55:06] AXELROD: Well, one of the problems is the Republican Party is a divided party right now. And the one thing that holds them together is anti-Obamaism, anti-Clintonism. And they're going to be more divided in some ways after this election if Donald Trump doesn't win. And maybe even if he does.


BLITZER: All right. Everybody standby. There's much more coming up. Stay with CNN, by the way, all night tonight, all day tomorrow for complete coverage of the presidential election. We're live every hour. We'll be watching as the votes are cast and counted.

Coming up, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, they are in the final hours of their race for the White House. It's an all-out exhausting sprint to the finish, an urgent scramble for votes that will put one of them in the Oval Office.

We heard from President Obama this hour, campaigning for Hillary Clinton. We're standing by. We're going to hear live from Donald Trump. He's getting ready to address a rally. We'll be right back.


[18:00:00] BLITZER: Happening now. Breaking news. Finish line. The presidential candidates and their surrogates, they are fanning out across the country. Tonight in the final ours of this unprecedented face for the White House, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are firing up their supporters. But are they --