Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Voters on First Months of His Presidency; Westbrook Makes Case for MVP Award; Is President Trump Stuck in Campaign Mode? Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired March 30, 2017 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[06:33:28] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So, you may recall some of the voter panels we brought you during the course of the presidential election. Well, we wanted to circle back with some of Mr. Trump's most die-hard supporters to see how they're feeling two months in.
So, we went to the Hartford, Connecticut old statehouse to revisit some of his Northeast voters. We talked about President Trump's wins, his losses, and yet again, the unproven claim of voter fraud.
CAMEROTA: So, here we are, 60-plus days into his presidency. We want to get your grades and your impressions of how President Trump is doing.
So, Toni Ann (ph), let me start with you. What grade? You give president Trump an "A" already. Based on what?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel that he is trying very hard. I feel he is already getting stuff accomplished.
CAMEROTA: Such as?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I feel that he is trying to, like, loosen up their strains on business, and I know he is trying with the health care, but I know that didn't work out as well as we had hoped.
CAMEROTA: It didn't work out at all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that's true. They will have to go up again and they have to adjust it.
CAMEROTA: What grade do you give the president?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I give him an "A".
CAMEROTA: Based on what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The TPP, the Keystone Pipeline, the Dakota Access Pipeline, the travel restriction. Fantastic. CAMEROTA: The travel ban hasn't gone into effect. It's been shot
down by two courts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He took the initiative and did it. That's exactly what he said he was going to do. Every single thing that he has done is exactly what he said he was going to do.
[06:35:02]CAMEROTA: But health care, some people put in the loss column. The travel ban is not yet in effect. The budget has not gotten a hardy agreement from lots of people.
He says he would get rid of DACA right away. He's not done that for the DREAMers. He said he would get rid the Iran nuclear deal on day one. That has not yet happened. The wall hasn't been built. Yet, he hasn't defeated ISIS in 30 days.
SARA MARIE BRENNER, FORMER DELAWARE COUNTY CHAIRMAN FOR TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Normally, we give presidents 100 days, and I don't think this president even got a weekend.
CAMEROTA: How long realistically, will you give him to accomplish some of those things?
BRENNER: I think we need to see where we are in two years. See where we are midterm.
CAMEROTA: OK, Josh, what grade do you give president?
JOSH YOUSSEF, FORMER NEW HAMPSHIRE COUNTY CHAIRMAN FOR TRUMP CAMPAIGN: I give president Trump an "A".
CAMEROTA: Based on what?
What accomplishments do you think he can hang his hat on thus far?
YOUSSEF: Well, you know, I think it's premature to ask you that question. I mean, 60 some odd days into this presidency. He has a four-year term. If you read "The Art of the Deal", you see similar in the business world similar pressures and defeat. He keeps coming back and coming back.
CAMEROTA: Sara Marie, what grade do you give the president?
BRENNER: I give him an "A" where.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I give president Donald Trump an "A", and to be honest with you, if I had a marker, I would put a plus next to the "A".
CAMEROTA: What do you base that grade on?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is working with ford motor company to build three plants in the United States and a major investment in the United States as opposed to keeping those jobs in Mexico. That's huge. CAMEROTA: Billy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would give him a "B".
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't give anybody an "A".
YOUSSEF: Business people are negotiators are by nature people that bring opposing parties and factions together, and that's what he is has attempted to do.
CAMEROTA: Why wasn't he able to close the deal?
YOUSSEF: Politicians are dividers.
CAMEROTA: Isn't Donald Trump the master dealmaker that was going to be able to bridge that divide?
YOUSSEF: If you are talking to an empty chair, what divider -- there's nothing you can -- there's no bridge across this gulf.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm just really surprised at how much opposition he is getting from the right as well. I'm very disappointed. I'm very conservative.
CAMEROTA: You mean, again, the House Freedom Caucus, the most conservative?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, absolutely.
CAMEROTA: They should get on board.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's definitely without a doubt.
CAMEROTA: How does your life change or has it changed in these plus 60 days since President Trump was elected?
PAX HART, VOTED FOR DONALD TRUMP: There is just this very quiet restoration of law and order and security. We're addressing illegal immigration. We're starting to do deportations. We're not playing this kind of shell game with radical Islamic terrorism. There's somebody in the Oval Office that is --
CAMEROTA: What has he done specifically? What has he done in the past 60 days to fight ISIS?
HART: We have -- there was an attack that was done in Mosul.
CAMEROTA: That went terribly awry.
HART: That one was considered bad, but I know that we have somebody who is going to be very aggressive and not let up on this.
WILLIAM "BILLY" BAER, VOTED FOR DONALD TRUMP: It was like people are laughing -- literally laughing in his face about the prospect of him being elected and he got elected. And we don't know how, as far as the votes and fraud and everything else. My assumption is that he probably would have gotten elected by a higher number than what the results actually showed.
CAMEROTA: Are you saying that you believe that there were three million to five million illegals who voted?
BAER: Well, you know that in New Hampshire I have seen it. I have seen --
CAMEROTA: Again, this is where we keep coming back to. When you say you've seen it, do you mean ray dozen, or do you mean three million? There's a difference.
BAER: Obviously, there's only a million and a half people in New Hampshire, so I didn't see three million people in New Hampshire.
CAMEROTA: Well, the number that President Trump said was three million to five million illegals.
BAER: I don't doubt that.
CAMEROTA: No, he said in California.
BAER: Extrapolating based on what I have seen with my own eyes, busloads of people coming in, whether illegal, whether they came into the country -- or illegal voters, they came over for Massachusetts in New Hampshire.
CAMEROTA: Just to be clear -- I care, because just to be clear, you saw with your own eyes busloads and busloads of people coming from somewhere in New Hampshire to vote.
BAER: Yes, I know Josh has seen it and I've seen it too.
CAMEROTA: Josh, did you see busloads of people coming in from somewhere else?
YOUSSEF: I wouldn't characterize it as busloads and busloads, but I have seen cars coming in from out of state that are full from -- with out of state plates. I live right across the street from the polling place in my ward. It's noteworthy to consider when eight or ten people get out of two or three cars.
CAMEROTA: And you think people from Massachusetts are driving across the border to vote in your ward?
YOUSSEF: I believe that's the case. Whether it's Massachusetts or Maine or some other state, there are people coming across, and it's not fair to wholesale characterize it as voter fraud because maybe they're borrowing --
CAMEROTA: Maybe they are.
You have seen busloads or no.
BAER: I have seen busloads. Yeah, I guess I can't cite the busloads that I have seen and where aye seen them, but on television I've seen it.
PAULIE DIBARTOLO, VOTED FOR DONALD TRUMP: Basically as far as I'm concerned, if the -- I'll say the alt-left, the loons on the left and the ultra right conservatives would say stay out of his way, everything would be perfect.
[06:40:07] Let's face it, he has been taking attacks from both sides from the beginning, OK? I don't know if you have read his book "The Art of the Deal" but I have read it before. He goes into things long- term. He's not a short term guy.
He is willing to stick in the game for ten years to get things done. Donald Trump, first of all, they are not going to wear him down. He is the master of wearing everybody else down.
CAMEROTA: And there you have it.
I mean, look, my impression ultimately was that they are less interested with him having to accomplish every single thing he promised than just the fact that he's trying and he's talking about it gives sort of voice to things they've thought for years and that alone is comforting to them. That's why they already consider this a victory 60-plus days.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: What's interesting is the approval rating is historically low, 35 percent right now in Gallup. But, you know, it wasn't that much higher on Election Day. It's not like he was well- loved when he won the election.
So, the question is, is he losing people to put them over the top or not? Are these those people?
CAMEROTA: No, no, these are the diehard supporters. I don't think he will ever lose them. We'll check back in with them during the next four years, but they are diehard supporters. We appreciate them coming on.
Tomorrow, we talk to them about how they feel about Russia. Fascinating take on whether or not they are interested in all of the Russia ties allegation.
BERMAN: All right. President Trump, he won the election, but in some ways it seems like the election is still going on. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, back going after each other. Will this campaign ever end? That's next.
[06:45:43] CAMEROTA: All right. So, severe weather is expected from the Ohio Valley down to the Gulf of Mexico today. Nearly 48 million people in its path.
CNN's Chad Myers has our forecast.
Tell us about this, Chad.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, we had tornadoes yesterday, and I think we'll have some today. All the way from Indianapolis, all the way down to the Gulf Coast, as you said. Four tornadoes yesterday, Alisyn. Hail and wind damage all across the country. All across the middle part of the country.
And even for today, we're already seeing that weather into New Orleans and then all the way to the north into Chicago. If you are flying through Chicago today, expect delays for sure. For Mississippi, though, back up to Nashville later on today, that's where the severe weather will be. That's where our most concern for the wind damage really.
I think today is a wind event, although we will see the potential for some tornadoes today. Probably more like four or five. Now, that's not a big deal if that one is over your house. But people in New England have been talking about this new snow storm.
I think it really is though a New England storm, Upstate New York. I don't think Boston sees too much -- John.
BERMAN: Chad Myers for us -- thanks so much, Chad.
The Thunders' Russell Westbrook played so well last night that opposing fans were chanting "MVP" for him.
Andy Scholes, our MVP with more on the "Bleacher Report".
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, John.
Yes, Russell Westbrook's assault on the NBA record books continuing last night in Orlando. Not only did Westbrook put up all of those crazy stats like he always does. He hit the clutch shots as well. This three right here that sent the game into overtime. On this play in overtime, Westbrook is going to make that spin move and get the bucket go, plus the foul. And after that, Magic fans actually started chanting "MVP" at him.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
SCHOLES: As for breaking the record for most points with a triple double in this game, he has 57 points to go along with 13 rebounds, 11 assists. The Thunder beat the Magic 114-106.
The final four teams arriving yesterday ahead of saturday's game. Check out the hats North Carolina was rocking when they got off the plane. Now, these are custom fedoras and cowboy hats and they are handmade by Tar Heel freshman forward Shea Rush. Rush said he started making hats in high school after watching
instructional videos online. He added takes him about a week to make seven hats. Rush spent a month making all of these hats for his teammates.
Pretty cool deal.
Do you have a cowboy hat or fedora?
CAMEROTA: I do. Yes, I do. I'll take another one. You have a fedora. I know. Fedora.
BERMAN: I'm a reporter, you know, I wear -- you know, I walk around and wear out the shoe leather, I wear the fedora.
CAMEROTA: Slightly askew. Jauntily.
CAMEROTA: Wow, sorry about that.
Last time we checked, the 2016 election ended nearly five months ago with Mr. Trump as the winner, but the president is still going after Hillary Clinton. Why? We discussed next.
[06:52:34] BERMAN: Seems like old times. President Donald Trump going after Hillary Clinton in a Twitter barrage. Meantime, Hillary Clinton now out of the woods, literally and seriously, criticizing the president's policies nearly five months later. So, will the 2016 campaign never end?
Let's discuss with CNN political commentator, Republican consultant Margaret Hoover, CNN political analyst, editor in chief of "The Daily Beast", John Avlon, and CNN political commentator, former Reagan White House political director, Jeffrey Lord.
So, President Donald Trump, four times in less than 24 hours this week tweeted about Hillary Clinton. And then, you know, every week or so he brings up the campaign. Here's just a reminder of what we've seen in the last few months.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Despite spending a lot less money than the Democrats and in all fairness winning -- people don't say that. We spent a lot less money, and we won. That's good, right?
We are very honored by the victory that we had, 306 Electoral College votes. We were not supposed to crack 220.
Bill Clinton on the campaign trail -- he must have a tough night when he went home that night -- called Obamacare the craziest thing.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BERMAN: So, Jeffrey Lord, I want to start with you. I'm not sure if you knew this or he knew this, but he won. Donald Trump won the election. It's over. So, why is it advantageous to him to keep on bringing up Hillary Clinton?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's never over, and it's interesting. Margaret is there, and my history, as I recall in my lifetime, people were running against Herbert Hoover. Democrats were running against for Herbert Hoover long after he left the presidency.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He went there.
LORD: This goes on in American history and has for ages.
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Big mistake, Jeffrey.
HOOVER: Here we go.
No, I mean, Jeffrey, I appreciate you mentioning that Democrats have run against Herbert Hoover for 70, 80 years. Even Hillary Clinton in 2008 ran against hmm. But this is not quite akin to that scenario.
LORD: Well, the other thing I was going to say, Margaret, is that I think it's to Donald Trump's advantage here. She did lose. She's not very popular. She lost to Barack Obama.
AVLON: She is more popular than he is.
LORD: He is trying to make her the face of the Democratic party. I think that's smart.
HOOVER: I mean, just on the Herbert Hoover point, Herbert Hoover sat on and was the president at the time of the largest economic calamity in American history.
[06:55:06] That framed American politics for the next 80 years. That has absolutely nothing to do and no analogy to the campaigning of Donald Trump and the tweeting of Donald Trump with Hillary Clinton.
CAMEROTA: Go ahead.
AVLON: This is akin to the high school sports star hanging out in the local bar talking about his past. These are his glory days. He is like 70 days into his presidency. Talk about the present. Talk about the future. He can't quit the past because that's what he felt really good.
CAMEROTA: But is that what it is that he can't put the past or that everybody needs a nemesis? That it helps, the narrative? (CROSSTALK)
AVLON: There are plenty of real people actively trying to block his agenda in addition to his own incompetence. So, you know, he can pick one of those people he is squaring off against the field on.
HOOVER: He needs a villain, and he needs to distract. Distract and deflect. When things aren't going well for him, he says look over there. That's more exciting. Things aren't going well for Donald Trump.
BERMAN: I will say this. President Obama, he didn't use George W. Bush's name all the time, but any chance he got, President Obama would bring up the mess he inherited when he came to office, where the economy was. That was a marker that he used whenever he could for his own advantage, Jeffrey.
HOOVER: Hillary Clinton was not the president.
LORD: I mean, that's right. I mean, I'm just -- my point is, Herbert Hoover, you go all the way back to Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams. This is pretty standard stuff in American politics, there is an advantage to it, is to have a villain who's not popular.
HOOVER: I appreciate that you're calling that Herbert Hoover was a villain because he was villainized. I mean, he did cause the Great Depression, right?
LORD: I think they were very unfair. I think they did it repeatedly.
AVLON: I think the saint -- your sainted Ronald Reagan wasn't fixating this much on Jimmy Carter and John Anderson. This is really about a president who can't put the past because he has impulse control, and Hillary Clinton wading back into the phrase itself is kind of interesting.
CAMEROTA: What's that about, John?
AVLON: I think she's enormously the base. The president's popularity is hovering around one-third right now. She's starting to come out, I think uncharacteristically among past nominees, failed nominees, telling people to mobilize against the administration, and she's more popular than life failed nominees in the past. She has more clout than the Democratic Party.
HOOVER: Yes, but also, Donald Trump going against Hillary Clinton, all it does is rile up the base of support that voted for Donald Trump, and it reminds all of us Republicans, oh, yes, that was our choice. I mean, Hillary Clinton wasn't a great choice either. It's actually tactically probably, you know, strategic and smart in a way, right? Invoking that Clinton --
HOOVER: -- always Republicans.
BERMAN: So, now you are agreeing with Jeffrey.
HOOVER: I just disagreed with his Herbert Hoover analysis.
BERMAN: We need to go back to the classic rock station one more time, because there's another player here. Jeb Bush is now talking about Donald Trump.
AVLON: I remember, I liked the second album.
BERMAN: Let's listen to the Florida governor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: We should stop saying things that aren't true that are distractions from the task at hand. He's got a lot of work to do and some of these things, the wiretapping, all this stuff, is a complete distraction that makes it harder to accomplish the things I know he wants to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: First of all, he should stop saying stuff is not true. Not a radical statement, but, Jeffrey, you know, as much as people will say, look, Republican Jeb Bush, even Republican Jeb Bush is criticizing Donald Trump. I would think that President Trump, one of his favorite points of differentiation is with Jeb Bush or the Bush family.
LORD: Yes, I mean, I don't think that's effective criticism coming from Jeb Bush. I think at this point, I mean, Jeb Bush is a terrific guy, I just think he is irrelevant at this point. It's like talking into a wind. He could say more or less anything, and I'm not sure anybody is going to pay much attention.
AVLON: Jeffrey, stop saying things that aren't true is such a ridiculous bar to be applied and, yet, it stings a bit because it's factually an issue with this president, and the fact that he labels almost everybody he disagrees with a liar, from Ted Cruz to Hillary Clinton is really just projection and deflection. I mean, this is sort of pathetic when you have a leading light of the Republican party saying it would be helpful if the president didn't lie so much. That's crazy.
LORD: Let's just remember this is the brother of somebody who was accused repeatedly of Bush lied, people died. You know, which I thought was terribly unfair to President Bush. Be that as it may, that was the charge. So, I just think it's perhaps not the best --
HOOVER: The headline out of that interview actually was Donald Trump has failed to shift into a governing mode. In order to shift into a governing mode, he should stop saying things that are untrue, and nobody really knows what it's like up close other than Jeb Bush.
BERMAN: Margaret, John, Jeffrey, great, shocking, surprising discussion this morning. Thanks so much, guys.
All right. Thanks to our international viewers for watching. "CNN NEWSROOM" is next for you.
For our American viewers, NEW DAY continues right now.
SEN. RICHARD BURR (R), NORTH CAROLINA: This investigation's scope will go wherever the intelligence leads it.