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Trump Voters Downplay Blue Wave; Rubio No Vote; McCain in Hospital; Judicial Nominee Grilling. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired December 15, 2017 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: You should look at it in less than just a linear way. You can do your spending cuts and you didn't have to blow up the deficit with the tax bill.

REP. MATT GAETZ (R), FLORIDA: Yes, we should. I agree with that.

CUOMO: That's why the vote seems inconsistent.

But, congressman, as always, you are welcome on this show to make the case and I wish you and your family a good Christmas.

GAETZ: You as well, Chris.

CUOMO: Be well.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK. So how are President Trump's voters feeling today about the Republican Party and everything that Chris just discussed after the loss in Alabama? How do they feel today about President Trump. We gathered a group of voters from Virginia, New Jersey and Alabama, the states that have recently flipped to Democrats, to take their temperature and to get their predictions for 2018. Here's part two of our "Pulse of the People."


CAMEROTA: How many of you think that what happened on Tuesday night in Alabama is part of the so-called blue wave where Democrats' base are rising back up and being heard. A show of hands.





CAMEROTA: Saudia, what do you think?

SAUDIA ALLY, VOTED FOR DONALD TRUMP, NOW REGRETS IT: Everybody is saying, oh, gosh, what the Republicans did on the ground game to get Trump in office, they are taking notes. The Democrats are finally saying, whatever they did, we're going to do better. JIMMY DOZIER, VOTED FOR DONALD TRUMP, STILL SUPPORTS HIM: If the

Democrats really wanted to do something, they've got to get rid of Biden, get rid of Hillary, go out in the Midwest, get them a Democrat that thinks about jobs, thinks about the economy and they can get them workers back. If they keep fooling with them West Coast, East Coast people, they're not going to win. I'm telling you.

MIKE BRINDOCK, VOTED FOR DONALD TRUMP, NOW REGRETS IT: I just don't trust the Republicans, period. I think, you know, the Republicans shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time. Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, well, they are probably one of the reasons why Moore lost the race.




DOWDLE: It's not a party thing. It is a human thing. It is a human thing. I think humans in Alabama voted for a human in Alabama that was not a bigot, that was not full of hate, that did not use God as a weaponry and a body shield for himself. Parties need to go away.

CAMEROTA: So the next person who is elected in the midterms or for president, it's about the person, not the party, to all of you.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It should be always in a perfect world.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's the biggest issue.

CAMEROTA: In a perfect world.

Do you think that this race had national implications?



BRINDOCK: It shows that the people are not really in favor of the Republicans. I think that Republicans are on their way out, if you ask me. And as long as they have Donald Trump there as their leader, they're going to continue to lose.

CAMEROTA: You were all Donald Trump voters. How many of you today regret it, in part? Three of you have regrets.

Mike, you're interesting. Did you really regret it the next day, the day after he won?

BRINDOCK: Well, after hearing about him talking, the way he was coming out at the CIA and he just began turning me off right there and then.

CAMEROTA: I see. So the day after his inauguration you regretted it? He turned you off?

BRINDOCK: Yes, I began to regret it. I began to see, you know, there's something wrong with this guy, I think. Donald Trump lies so much, I can't stand him anymore. He changes his mind so often, you know, and he said -- sometimes says things and does things that he just says it just for the change.


BRINDOCK: He does not think about the consequences.

MAYFIELD: Everywhere from Obama to Clinton to Bush, all of them, it was just the same thing over and over, deeper deficits, more government intervention, more spending, more messing up the world. But I seen something different in Trump. He's doing everything he said he would do.

CAMEROTA: OK. Saudia, you changed your party affiliation in order to vote for Donald Trump.

ALLY: I know. I did. Yes, I did.

CAMEROTA: You went from Democrat to Republican --

ALLY: Yes, I did.

CAMEROTA: Because you were so inspired by him.

ALLY: I love the fact that he's an outsider and he's not completely embedded in the political existing system. That I give my hat off to him.

CAMEROTA: But now you regret your vote?

ALLY: Yes, I have a lot of love loss. I do. It has happened because of some of the things that I have -- I disagree with, and especially with this cut to the bill in education for the arts. Having grown up in (INAUDIBLE) Queens and then into Long Island, those programs were hugely impactful on my life.

CAMEROTA: The other interesting thing that I should mention about you both is that you're married to each other.

MAYFIELD: Yes, ma'am.

CAMEROTA: So you are now a -- somewhat of a regretter, you're a strong supporter, how does that go over at home?

MAYFIELD: It goes fine.

ALLY: Yes.

MAYFIELD: We're very -- we're very two intelligent people that understand that politics is not the end-all, be-all in our lives at the end of the day. We have difference of opinions. Great, we still love each other.

CAMEROTA: Steve, did you tell me yet when you have regrets?


CAMEROTA: But why?

SKIPPER: When it comes to an African-American perspective on race, when it comes to the issue in the NFL, he focused in on something that wasn't even relevant. African-Americans are being slaughtered in this country by policemen who are not being prosecuted. And to polarize the American society and make it look like it has something to do with the national anthem, and he failed to listen to the reason why they were protesting --

BRINDOCK: Donald Trump alienates people. He comes out with these stupid remarks on one day and the next day he's trying to justify himself. He just keeps alienates people as he goes along. He alienates people overseas. He alienates people about moving to Jerusalem. He alienates people on the environment. How do you think the Republicans are going to win if there was an election tomorrow?

[08:35:10] CAMEROTA: That leads me to my next question, 2018. We're going to play a little game. You're going to finish the sentence.

DOWDLE: Oh, my.

CAMEROTA: In, OK, 2000 -- we'll start with you.


CAMEROTA: 2018 will be the year of blank?

DOWDLE: Humanity. I think that the world needs to take note. We're done. We're done.

CAMEROTA: Done with what?

DOWDLE: Hatred. Pure, unadulterated hatred just because of the way you look or because of the way you dress or because of how you act or because of what you -- we're done. It's a human thing now. It's a human thing now.

CAMEROTA: You're hopeful?

DOWDLE: I am -- I am -- I believe in people. CAMEROTA: Steve, 2018 will be the year of?

SKIPPER: Wow. I think what she just said.

CAMEROTA: You're hopeful, too.

SKIPPER: That's pretty powerful.

CAMEROTA: You're optimistic?

SKIPPER: Yes. I think that's pretty powerful. Yes.

CAMEROTA: Jimmy, what do you see in 2018?

DOZIER: House and Senate.

CAMEROTA: Republicans are going to hold the balance of power in 2018?

DOZIER: Yes, in the midterm, right.

BRINDOCK: I don't think the Republicans are going to hold the power.

DOZIER: It's the economy. Y'all don't understand. It's the economy.

CAMEROTA: So, Mike, 2018 will be the year of what?

BRINDOCK: Of Democrats.

DOWDLE: Oh, we're still thinking party.

CAMEROTA: Think that the Democrats will come roaring back in the midterm.

BRINDOCK: Yes, they came roaring back in Virginia, and I think the elections in Alabama is an indication that they're on their way out. So that -- I don't see how people can vote for Republicans.

CAMEROTA: Saudia, 2018 will be the year of?

ALLY: It's going to be the year of progress.

CAMEROTA: Darius, 2018, what do you see?

MAYFIELD: The year of Americanism.


MAYFIELD: Honestly.

CAMEROTA: What does that mean?

MAYFIELD: Meaning -- like, kind of like she said, there is no parties. Again, you know, me coming up in urban areas, you know, being with a single mother, a daughter -- and a little sister, I've seen one side where we're hiding under tables from gun fights outside, and then her trying to give us a better life and living over here. But in both those situations, there's always a connection with the people that we were around, whether they were white, black, Spanish. Like, we didn't have these problems. So I hope, you know, especially with our political talk that we can just kind of tap it down a little bit and really start bringing people together and start understanding our similarities rather than focusing on the differences and get to a better place.


CAMEROTA: I hear so many people saying that and craving that. That they say that they want to vote for person, not party anymore, and what they hope for in the next elections is a good person.

CUOMO: I mean, look, once again, what frustrates some people about the panels is, yes, that's true, they should do that, yet they voted for somebody that exacerbated the division in the society and did it to great effect. It was a great advantage. It kind of put us in a more precarious position.

CAMEROTA: And three of them regret their vote.

And when you say what frustrates some people, is that your own personal view?

CUOMO: No. I mean I like watching them. I think you have fun with them. I enjoy the television quality of it. I do think we should talk to people who voted against President Trump also and people who are independent voters.

CAMEROTA: We have. No, no, listen, we've done whole panels of independents. We've done --

CUOMO: No, but we -- we mainly -- no, not like we do these. But that's not my point. I don't -- it's not just me. I'll show you my Twitter thread. I know you left this because you think it's too hostile a place.


CUOMO: But it's there. I think it's informative to have them on, but it is frustrated, objectively, because there's often a disconnect. We want to come together.


CUOMO: We want to be about people. And then you voted for somebody who did the opposite.

CAMEROTA: I understand. But I am hearing more often people sort of citing humanity and craving humanity. And, I don't know, maybe there's a wave for 2018.

CUOMO: You should vote that way, too. And then it all comes together.

CAMEROTA: Let's see -- let's see what happens in the new year.

So, listen, here's some good news that you love. There's a big announcement on the royal wedding. We'll tell you what it is, next.

CUOMO: It's off.


[08:42:47] CAMEROTA: Firefighters in southern California are mourning the loss of one of their own. Fire officials say 32-year-old Cory Iverson died battling the Thomas fire. He's survived by his pregnant wife, Ashley, and their two-year-old daughter. The Thomas fire is still not fully under control. So far wildfires have scorched nearly a quarter million acres in that state.

CUOMO: The man accused of driving a car into a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville is now facing increased charges. They have been put up to first-degree murder now. Prosecutors upgrading from second-degree murder in the death of 32- year-old Heather Heyer. Thirty-five others were injured. The case is going to go before a grand jury on Monday. Now, if convicted, the suspect faces 20 years to life in prison.

CAMEROTA: And we have a royal wedding date. Kensington Palace announcing Prince Harry will marry American actress Meghan Markle on May 19th. Get our your calendars. Make sure you're available. The couple revealed their engagement last month. They plan to exchange vows in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Harry is fifth in line to the British throne.

CUOMO: But he is number one in her heart.


CUOMO: And that's what matters.

CAMEROTA: Yes. That's so romantic of you.

CUOMO: He is her king and she his queen.

CAMEROTA: Wow, you're really going there. I think you've turned a corner about the royal wedding.

CUOMO: No, not at all. You're going. Have a good time.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I'm so excited.

Republicans feeling some holiday stress. How can they deliver the tax bill to the president by Christmas, particularly with the health of two senators in question? We'll have "The Bottom Line."

And the 11th Annual -- I'll take it -- CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute --

CUOMO: Well, you paused for a second.

CAMEROTA: Ten people who put -- oh, yes, that's was just a dramatic pause on your part.

CUOMO: I was waiting. I wanted the picture to play. People to get into the hero spirit. Please continue.

CAMEROTA: Gotcha. Had nothing to do with Twitter.

Anyway, these people put other people first all year long. This star- studded gala airs live this Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are everyday heroes. They inspire and change lives every day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to make sure that they make better choices when it comes to violence.

[08:45:01] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you lose your child, the love doesn't go away. It has to find a place. I'm lucky I found a place to put that love.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are truly what it means to be a hero.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is people helping people, the best way we know how.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When they see me, they always feel happy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just give them a chance. They can do anything you ask them to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This Sunday night, CNN presents a very special live event.

ANDERSON COOPER: Hey, I'm Anderson Cooper.

KELLY RIPA: And I'm Kelly Ripa.

COOPER: Join us live for "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," live Sunday at 8:00 p.m. on CNN.



CUOMO: All right, so they are going to get this done by Christmas or not? It seems like a forgone conclusion. And now the question is whether or not you see some of the issues about political opportunism, or is there really trouble in getting this vote done.

Marco Rubio, for example, the senator, of course, from Florida, he says if you don't expand the child tax credit, he's a no. Mike Lee, another senator, is says maybe he will be. Then you have the health of two other senators also raising concerns.

So let's get "The Bottom Line" with CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash. How do you see it?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Dicey. It is, right now, the whole notion of passing this must-pass bill is unclear. And I think at the end of the day, it is unlikely that Marco Rubio is going to want to be the guy to kill it for lots of reasons. First and foremost, he's a young man with ambition still far beyond the Senate, and he's likely just using the fact that he understands basic math and that if they lose his vote, they're in big trouble for leverage on an issue that he feels deeply about and also just in terms of the raw politics can use in the future.

[08:50:21] But, look, this is what happens when you have a very slim majority and you're trying to get a piece of major legislation through with only your party. It is -- it is down to the wire and it is really unclear how this is going to go.

But I can tell you this, I have not talked to one Republican on any part of the GOP spectrum, guys, who has not told me that this is nothing short of political life or death for their party and, more importantly, for the majority. If they can't get this done, it means they didn't get any major legislation done in the first year in office -- excuse me, the first year of total Republican control and that it's going to be very hard to go back home to their districts and to their states and face their constituents.

CAMEROTA: Dana, of course, we're thinking about Senator John McCain. We're concerned. We hear that he's at Walter Reed getting additional treatment for some side effects from the cancer treatment. Do you have any reporting on how he's doing?

BASH: He's not doing well, which is why they decided to admit him into Walter Reed. Look, he is in his fourth or fifth round of very aggressive treatment since being diagnosed at the end of July with very aggressive brain cancer. And it takes a toll. Anybody who has known anybody, and, unfortunately, that's far too many of us, who has been diagnosed with cancer knows that it is often the treatment, the very, very strong, toxic treatment used to try to kill the cancer that also really, really hurts your body and everything that goes along with it.

So he is in the hospital. Some people who I have talked to who are close to him have said that, you know, they had wished that he had kind of taken a breath and taken a step back before instead of going to work pretty much every day while getting the treatment, even though he did not feel well, a lot of those days.

But that's John McCain. That's the way he is. He didn't want to hear it. He wanted to go to work. He didn't want to miss a vote. Now he's being forced to.

CUOMO: Let me ask you something else about this, just so people understand. Whether it's John McCain or Thad Cochran from Mississippi, is there any allowance for proxy voting or non-in person voting?

BASH: No. No. There is no allowance for non in-person voting. I've never seen it. It isn't part of the rules, which is why -- well, first of all, in the case of Thad Cochran, he, according to his office, had some outpatient surgery for a melanoma, and that he -- they hope that he will be in a position to be able to vote next week.

With John McCain, it just -- it -- they're taking it day-to-day, frankly, hour-to-hour. But if he -- if John McCain really wants to get in there and vote, he's local. He doesn't have to get on a plane. He has to get into a car. If he's well enough and wants to make a difference on this and wants to be sort of the hero for Republicans as opposed to on Obamacare where he was the hero for Democrats, you can be sure that he's going to do what he can to make that happen.

CAMEROTA: Dana, we want to ask you about this moment that has gone viral from a committee hearing, I assume Judicial Committee hearing yesterday, where Senator Kennedy was trying to ask one of President Trump's judicial nominee, I think for district judge, some questions about cases, legal cases. Here it is.


SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R), LOUISIANA: Can you tell me what the Doughbare (ph) standard is?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Kennedy, I don't have that readily at my disposal.

KENNEDY: Just for the record, do you know what a motion in limine is?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would probably not be able to give you a good definition right here at the table.

KENNEDY: OK. Do you know what the Younger Abstintran Doctrine (ph) is?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have heard of it. But, I, again, that --

KENNEDY: No. How about the Pullman Obstention Doctrine (ph)? You're going to see --


KENNEDY: You all will see that a lot in federal court. OK.


CAMEROTA: OK, these were not gotcha questions from a Democrat. This was Senator Kennedy trying to ask questions. Why was Matthew Spencer Peterson (ph) so ill prepared?

BASH: It's very hard to understand why he was so ill prepared?

CUOMO: And just to be clear, some of those doctrines are a little arcane.

BASH: Yes.

CUOMO: A motion in limine is obviously Latin and it's somebody everybody learns their first week or so in law school. It's just about a motion outside the jury. You know, where you're going to decide what testimony they can hear or not. That was surprising, Dana.

BASH: Well, this morning you thought I was a doctor. I'm not a lawyer either. But I'm glad that you are because this --

CAMEROTA: But you do play one on TV.

CUOMO: But you did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. So, go for it.

BASH: But, no.

[08:55:00] But what you said is really important because you are a lawyer and you know that, you know, that these things are really basic.

Look, I think this speaks to a very big question, a very big issue. Number one, this is why checks and balances exist. This is why the Senate is supposed to make sure that a person who is going to have a lifetime appointment on a federal bench is qualified.

But, also, I can tell you that this is a big fear of -- as you can see there, Republicans and Democrats because now there is no filibuster on these nominees. If Republicans are OK with these nominees, then they get through with a simple majority vote. And that's thanks to Democrats who changed the rules.

CAMEROTA: Dana, thank you. You fooled us. We thought you were a doctor and a lawyer. So, thank you.

CUOMO: Doctor, counselor, thank you.

BASH: If only -- if only, my mother would be so happy.

CUOMO: They couldn't be more proud. I know your father. They could not be more proud.

CAMEROTA: Thanks so much for "The Bottom Line."

Time for CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow. It will pick up after this very quick break.

Have a great weekend.