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Live Coverage Of President Donald Trump Campaigning On Behalf Of Rick Saccone; Trump Delivers Free-Wheeling Speech In Pennsylvania; Trump Rallies In The Rust Belt Before Special Election; Trump: I Don't Have A Problem With Women; Trump: Even Reagan Was Not Great On Trade; Trump: I Would Love To Beat Oprah; Trump Touts Economic Success At Pennsylvania Rally; Trump Mocks, Imitates, "Presidential" Behavior. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired March 10, 2018 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I said, how are you doing on drugs? No problem. I said what do you mean no problem? So that entertainment. You know, lot of things are happening. So what do you mean, no problem? We have a zero tolerance policy. What does that mean? That means if we catch a drug dealer, death penalty. That's all.
TRUMP: And they don't have a problem. Now, remember this. If somebody goes and shoots somebody or kills somebody, they go away for life and they can even get the death penalty, right. One person. They shoot one person, they get the death penalty. They shoot one person, kill some person, knife one person, the person dies, they get maybe the death penalty or maybe life in prison, no parole, right? OK?
A drug dealer will kill 2,000, 3,000, 5,000 people during the course of his or her life. Thousands of people are killed or their lives are destroyed. Their families are destroyed. So you can kill thousands of people and go to jail for 30 days. They catch a drug dealer. They don't even put him in jail. Think of it. You kill one person, you get the death penalty in many states or you get life in prison. You think of it. You kill 5,000 people with drugs because you are smuggling them in and you are making a lot of money and people are dying and they don't even put you in jail. They don't do anything. But you might get 30 days, 60 days, 90 days. You might get a year. But you are not going to get -- and then you wonder why we have a problem. That's why we have a problem, folks.
TRUMP: And I don't think -- I don't think we should play games. Now, I never did polling on that. I don't know if that's popular. I don't know if that's unpopular. Probably you will have some people that say that's not nice.
But these people are killing our kids and they are killing our families. And we have to do something. We can't just keep setting up blue ribbon committees with your wife and your wife and your husband and they meet and they have a meal and they talk. Talk, talk, talk. Two hours later, then they write a report.
Joe, look, that's what I got in Washington. I got all these blue ribbon committees. Everybody wants to be on a blue ribbon committee. And we have the opioid problem. And for that we have to go after the drug companies. We have to. We have no choice. We have to go after the drug companies.
TRUMP: We have no choice.
So -- so I think it's a discussion we have to start thinking about. Don't you agree? I don't you if you are ready. I don't know if this country is ready for it. But I think, Rick, I think it is a discussion we have to start thinking about.
So in Oakland you have a mayor. And she -- and she told people that were going to be captured in a big raid that there is going to be a raid. Can't do it. You can't do it, folks. We have got to get smart.
My administration believes our cities should be safe havens for American people, not for American criminals, OK? Not for American criminals.
TRUMP: We are going after violent criminals. And we are going after vicious gang members. These people are so tough. But, you know, we had our ICE agents out in Long Island. Can you imagine?
I grew up like around in Queens in New York, which is sort of -- but I knew Long Island is sort of - but I knew Long Island sort of like on the way, right? And places that I know so well are loaded up with MS- 13.
When your daughter walks home. And they don't use guns. You never saw guns. The NRA happens to be very good people, by the way. They want to do the right thing. But they don't use guns. They don't use guns. They like to use knives and other things because it is much more painful. It is much slower. These are animals. And we send these guys out and we liberate those towns. We liberate them.
Hillary wouldn't have liberated those towns. We liberate those towns and the people are cheering. It is like a war. It is like if you got liberated as a country. Can you imagine this is taking place in our country? It is crazy.
So we are doing a great, great job. We are loving it. We are making tremendous progress. Today I'm calling on Congress to stop funding sanctuary cities so we can save American lives.
[20:05:21] TRUMP: The funding bill should not give precious and massive taxpayer grants to cities aiding and abetting criminals. That's what they do.
TRUMP: Look at the stories. (INAUDIBLE) with so many. Look at the stories, how horrible they are.
I'm also calling on Congress to finally end chain migration and cancel the very dangerous visa lottery.
TRUMP: Now, they are probably - again, the Democrats want to obstruct, so we are probably going to have to wait until after the election. We will get Rick in there and we will get some other people in there and we will be able to get it passed because these guys don't want to do anything. They don't want to do anything.
You know, they criticize me because we have vacancies in certain administrative offices. We have 270 people that we cannot get the Democrats to approve to come in and work in our administration. They are out there. We have the ambassador from Germany. And I take heat. These guys are always saying, well, you don't have an ambassador. Because the Democrats want to approve him. They obstruct. They delay. They do everything they can, and that's all they are good at. They have no ideas. They have no ideas.
I mean, I look forward, I really do. I look forward to 2020 because I want to see how far left the person is going to be that we are going to run against. I look forward to it. I look forward to it. I really do. I really do.
TRUMP: So together with your help, your voice, your vote, we can achieve more than anybody. I mean, again, I really believe, and I'm not saying this as braggadocios. Because I tell you if we didn't. But the tax bill, when we got the individual mandate, but we also got (INAUDIBLE). Most people don't know what - that's one of the biggest fields in the world. We got it approve. They have been trying to approve it for 40 years. That was a part of the tax bill. That alone would have been a massive thing to approve. We got Anwar (ph) in Alaska. One of the biggest field in the word that will start working.
TRUMP: And other things. So as long as we are proud of who we are and what we are fighting for, there is nothing beyond our reach, nothing. We need Republicans put in office. We need Senate. And I think we are going to do pretty well with the Senate. You know, the numbers are looking pretty good. Did you see the numbers from two months ago? And you see the numbers now, it is like from a different world because people are seeing what we are doing. They are seeing what we are doing.
We stand on the shoulders of patriots who poured out their sweat and blood and tears and we are going to do things that nobody has been able to do. You know, it's very funny. Every time I go out to speak, we have these massive crowds. And you know how many people, thousands were turned away. We let thousands in. But thousands were turned away.
And I read one woman in "the Wall Street Journal" today. Nice woman. I like her, actually, Peggy Noonan. And she wrote an article about me. And, you know, I went to the Wharton school of finance. Nice student (ph). That's a very smart, you know, Ivy League school, great, the best business school, I think. It is one of the hardest schools to even in my day, I mean. I went to the Wharton School. I did great. And then you got to read how we were like, like, is Trump a good speaker? She is talking about he uses a language that -- you know. You know, how easy, remember I used to - how easy it is to be Presidential? But you know, I would be out of here right now. You would be so bored because I could stand up, right?
TRUMP: I'm very Presidential. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being here tonight.
Rick Saccone will be a great, great congressman. He will help me very much. He is a fine man and Young (ph) is a wonderful wife. I just want to tell you on behalf of the United States of America that we appreciate your service. We appreciate your service.
TRUMP: And to all of the military out there, we respect you very much. Thank you.
[20:10:05] TRUMP: Thank you. And then you go, God bless you and God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.
TRUMP: See, that's easy. That's much easier than doing what I have to do. Because -- but this is much more effective. Don't forget, this got us elected. If I came like a stiff, you guys wouldn't be here tonight. So I'm reading Peggy Noonan. And she is a nice woman. I like her. She doesn't like me much. But - and she is writing like I'm some kind of Neanderthal (ph). And I'm saying, you know, I'm really smart.
You know, it is funny. They always talk, they always talk about how they are telling us. They said we couldn't get elected. I say we because you came from areas -- some of you never voted before, but you love the country.
A great congressman from Tennessee, they vote early. And the voting get started. And he was at a speech I was making in Pennsylvania, believe it or not. But he was there because one of his friends. And it was Lou or one of his friends was there. So I didn't know him. And they had early voting in Tennessee. And he said, you know, Mr. President, and at that time I wasn't
President but he called me that because he was happy. He said in Tennessee, the early voting started, and I have been doing this stuff for 32 years. And I have never seen anything like it in my life. Those people are coming out of the hills. They are coming out of the valleys. They are coming out of everything that you can come out of. It is the most amazing thing. And these are people that love the country but they never voted because they never saw anybody they wanted to vote for. And now they have got Trump, Trump, Trump-Pence. They got all the stuff. So I have never seen anything like it.
CROWD: USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!
TRUMP: And then they ask, is he a good speaker? I don't know. Look. I don't know if I'm a good speaker. But you know what? Every time I have a 25,000 seat stadium, we fill it up. So something has to - it has to be right. Maybe it is just pure ideas. I don't know. It is heart. Oh, I love that guy. He said its heart. We all have heart.
But this man, great guy. Great congressman, actually. He said all these years I have never seen a thing like it. He said, and I can only tell you I love the state of Tennessee, but I can only tell you if the rest of the country is like Tennessee, you are going to win this damn election and it is going to be easy. And we got 306-223. Remember they said 270, you cannot -- remember the famous 270? He cannot win the election because he cannot get above 270. We needed 270. In fact, they couldn't get me to 270, 269. So we had 269. They said he cannot win. He cannot get, remember, to 270. And we did. We got to 306.
TRUMP: We got it.
But remember, Pennsylvania? That was really terrible. So, you know, I have never done this before. You know, I did -- I ran for President. I never did it before. Somebody said, you know, I have been running for the Senate like six times. He said you ran for president, you won.
What happened is Pennsylvania, remember that night? So we were one point away. We were at 99 percent of the vote was tabulated, right? Remember that, 99? And if I lost ten points, there was no way you could lose because we were winning by thousands and thousands of votes. And one point doesn't have all those thousands of votes. They wouldn't call Pennsylvania. They refused to call it. Remember? And I wanted to win. I wanted to win with Pennsylvania. It was so befitting because they had spent ten times more in the state of Pennsylvania than I did. Ten times more. And I'm waiting for Pennsylvania. I'm saying, come on, Pennsylvania, go. One point, and I win. And I have thousands more votes than I need. In other words, if every single person of the remainder voted against
me, we win easily. They wouldn't call it. And then what happened? Wisconsin came in. We won with Wisconsin which hadn't been won in decades. And then we won with Michigan and then finally they were devastating. Did you see they were crying? She is crying. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh.
Remember John King with the board? I do this every once at the board. The red board is all red. It is like red. Man, that board was red, meaning Republican. And John King, he can't believe it. He goes, I think he just won the state of Florida. Yes, Donald Trump won the state of Florida. Then they go, you had a run.
You know, the Electoral College is much harder than the popular vote because popular vote you go the tree or four states. Electoral College you have to go to like 19. I was all over the place.
I went to Maine four times because I needed one vote. They had one vote. That was going to be 269-270. The one vote was going to be very important. So I went to Maine like four times. That's a lot. Because I - a lot of people said why are you doing it? First of all, I like the people of Maine. But I needed one.
But what happened was an incredible - it was an incredible evening. One of the greatest nights in the history of television in terms of numbers of people watching and we have done a job.
So here is what's going to happen. Let me give you the bad news. The bad news is they want to take it away from us. They want to take it away. They are doing everything they can to take it away. And that starts with the election coming up in a few months. And we have to win it. We have to get out and we have to win it.
Normally, I would not come, except it is Pennsylvania. So I love it anyway. I love the people. I mean, I went to school. I went to Wharton. I went to school here. I love Pennsylvania. I mean, look, how could I not love it, right?
[20:16:47] TRUMP: Somebody else would show up here and, then honestly, Rick, what would it be 50, 60 people in front, right? First of all, you wouldn't have this. You would have a little place. But I love this state.
But I really feel strongly about Rick Saccone. And I know him. I feel strongly about him. He is an incredible guy. Number one, and I don't know that this is important, but to me it is, he's a very fine human being. He is a good person. He is really a good person. Rick, come up here.
TRUMP: He is a really good person.
(APPLAUSE) CROWD: Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick!
TRUMP: So he is a good person. I don't know if that means anything. Does that mean anything? He is a very - he is a very competent person. He is a very hard worker. He knows things that many people don't know. He understands North Korea may be better than anybody. I spoke to him about North Korea. He was there for a long time. And I spoke to him about North Korea. And I'm telling you, I learned things that all of these great geniuses, all of these great experts on North Korea did not tell me. This is a very extraordinary guy.
We need him. We need Republicans. We need the votes. Otherwise, they are going to take away your taxes, your tax cuts. They are going to take away your second amendment rights. It's true. They are going to take away, you know, in the military, big military place, we just got approved $700 billion. We have to rebuild our military, $700 billion. Far more than the other party. They will take that away, too. Our military was really depleted.
But I just want to know -- I want you to know, I came tonight because this guy is special. And beyond the vote, it is very important. Remember this. The other opponent, his opponent is not voting for us. He can say all he wants. There is no way he is voting for us ever, ever. And he could be nice to me, and he is. But there is no way he is ever voting for me. Rick is going to vote for us all the time. All the time.
TRUMP: So I want to ask Rick to say a few words and, again, it is an honor to be with you. Go out on Tuesday and just vote like crazy. You got to get out there. The world is watching. I hate to put this pressure on you, Rick. They are all watching because I won this district like by 22 points. That's a lot. That's why I'm here. Look at all those red hats, Rick. Look at all those hats. That's a lot of hats.
[20:20:00] TRUMP: And we just had a poll. We are more popular now than we were at Election Day. This guy should win easily, and he is going to win easy. You got to know him. He is an extraordinary person. Go out and vote on Tuesday for Rick Saccone. Rick, go ahead.
RICK SACCONE (D), PENNSYLVANIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Do we love our President here in western Pennsylvania?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN HOST: All right. You are watching live coverage of President Donald Trump campaigning on behalf of Rick Saccone, a state representative running for office in a special election in Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district. Saccone running against the Democrat Conor Lamb in what has turned out to be a surprisingly close race.
This is a district that the President won by 22 points. But, yet, it is now considered a toss-up. And the President unscripted and unplugged. Moments ago he enthralled this crowd. It was a campaign rally for Republican candidate in Trump country.
And let's bring in our panel now. Like to talk more about this. Joining me on the set here in New York Julian Zelizer and Timothy Naftali and in Washington is Nathan Gonzalez.
Gentlemen, there is a lot to talk about here. You know, in many ways, this reminded me back to 2016 where there were echoes of candidate Donald Trump. But it also turned out to be somewhat of a greatest hits for the President, talking about what he views as some of his biggest accomplishments.
And I want to start out with him already unveiling the campaign slogan for his 2020 campaign. He was here to stump for a candidate that's running on Tuesday but he is talking about 2020. This is the President of the United States unveiling his campaign slogan for 2020. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: But our new slogan when we start running in, can you believe it, two years from now is going to be keep America great! Keep America great!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: All right. So keep America great! He is going to move from make America great again to keep America great.
And Tim, let's start with you. I mean, he was making the case by talking about what he has done with North Korea, by talking about what he was able to accomplish with the Olympics, by his plans for DACA and building a wall on the southern border. I mean, he is making an argument that all these problems that he talked about during the 2016 election were even fixed, right?
TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Ryan, the first thing you have to say is that it is an impressive presentation in the sense that it's untethered to fact. But as a presentation, he showed no lack of confidence. He took great for everything. He listened. Absolutely every positive that thing he liked the public to believe in.
Now, you listen to him and you think, wait, on the one hand you have said that China has been so good to us and we have just slapped tariffs on Chinese aluminum and steel.
NAFTALI: And when you parse it, it all falls apart. But as a presentation, it was extraordinarily strong. He looks great. He is full of energy. He seems very confident. He was in a fighting mood today. The fact that it doesn't reflect what's actually going on in the United States, that's beside the point. And my concern is the folks that are listening to him, if they don't have another source of information, might actually believe the world he is describing is reality.
NOBLES: Right. All right. Well everybody standby. We are going to take a very short break and unpack this long speech. It went an hour and 25 minutes. We will talk about the fact this was for an election coming up on Tuesday. It wasn't a whole lot talk about there, but that's mostly part of this conversation.
Our complete analysis coming up after this very short two-minute break. Stay with us. We will be right back.
[20:26:15] NOBLES: Welcome back. You are watching live on CNN in the NEWSROOM where we just wrapped up coverage of Donald Trump's rally in support of Rick Saccone, the candidate running in Pennsylvania's 18th district in a special election that is coming up on Tuesday.
Our Jason Carroll is standing by and live in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. He was there for the President's speech.
Jason, I know that you covered quite a few Donald Trump rallies during the 2016 campaign. You must have felt like you were having a bit of deja vu there while you were watching this rally.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Sounded very much like a campaign style rally, and that's very much of what we heard tonight. Straight out of the bag, President Trump mentioned Rick Saccone but for at least 30, 40 minutes after that, before mentioning Saccone's name again. He went over a laundry list of what he says are his accomplishments in office.
And what he is trying to do here, bottom line, you remember that he won this district by 20 points, he is trying to remind voters here of why they voted for him in such overwhelming numbers.
I mean, in one of the slogans out here tonight is promises made, promises kept. And so, what he is doing is he is going back to the voters and saying, look, you voted for me. Now you need to translate that energy to Rick Saccone because the reality is even though Donald Trump won this district by some 20 points, the reality is if you are going to listen to some of these polls, this race is just too close for comfort. You have one most recent polls showing Rick Saccone only up by only three points. Donald Trump himself tonight said, look, this race is tight. It is close. He admitted that to the stage and encouraged everyone out here that they are going to have to go out and vote and support the lines of Rick Saccone if he is have any hope in continuing with his agenda.
So tonight, very much felt like a campaign speech. The bulk of what we heard tonight was very much about Donald Trump rather than Rick Saccone, but the bottom line here in terms of the ultimate goal is to get all of the energy that you saw in here tonight and get it behind Rick Saccone -- Ryan.
NOBLES: OK, Jason Carroll, live for us in Moon Township, Pennsylvania where the President just wrapped up a campaign rally in support of his candidate, Rick Saccone.
We are going to take one more quick break. When we come back, our panel will break down what we just heard the President talk about. You are watching CNN.
[20:30:59] RYAN NOBLES, CNN HOST: And back with me now to talk about the President's speech in Pennsylvania, the editor and publisher for Inside Elections, Nathan Gonzales. And CNN Presidential historian, Timothy Naftali. And CNN political analyst, Julian Zelizer who's also a historian and a Princeton University professor.
Nathan, I promise we're going to get to you in just a second. But first to the guys with me here in New York. And you touched on this a little bit, Tim, before we went to break. And the President makes a lot of claims in these speeches. Not necessarily all those claims can be backed up by facts. And I want to illustrate one of those examples today. This is the President talking about the support he received from women during the 2016 election. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Women, women, we love you. We love you.
Hey, didn't we surprise them with women during the election? Remember? Women won't like Donald Trump. I said, "Have I really had that kind of a problem?" I don't think so. But women won't like Donald Trump. It will be a rough night for Donald Trump because the women won't come out. We got 52 percent, right? Fifty-two, right? And I'm running against a woman. You know, it's not that easy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: Now, we don't know exactly what exit poll he is citing because he does not provide that backup. But I looked at the CNN exit polls from that night. According to our exit polls, 54 percent of women voters supported Hillary Clinton. 52 percent of white women supported Donald Trump. Now, we don't know if he's mixing up these statistics to make this point.
But, Julian, is this an example of the President saying something to a crowd that is looking for good news from him and just accepting it?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. He speaks to voters who are in a partisan silo, and he understands that he can cherry pick different kinds of facts or even make things up that aren't true. But if you shape them in the right story line, if you play to the both fears and hopes of the people in the crowd, that doesn't matter. It doesn't matter 54, 52 or who the 52 is. It sounds good. And this is an important part of the midterm argument because there are many who are looking toward the women's vote and seeing that that might actually turn the House and even the Senate towards the Democrats. So I think that's what he's thinking.
But this is a speech for Republicans. Not just base supporters, but for Republicans to remind them the economy is doing well. I'm doing well. Meaning, the President of the United States. And don't believe the critics because it's just not true.
NOBLES: Now even though this did seem to be the President's greatest hits -- his accomplishments in office. This was intended to be a campaign rally for Rick Saccone. It took him an hour 17 minutes to bring Saccone to the stage. He only talked about him briefly at different points in the speech. And this is where I want to bring you in, Nathan. Here is basically Donald Trump's argument against Conor Lamb, Rick Saccone's opponent. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[20:35:03] TRUMP: And I appreciate his nice words about me. This is Trump country, right? So he has to stay nice. OK? He's smart. So he's saying nice things. Here's the problem. As soon as he gets, in he's not going to vote for us. He's going to vote the party line. He has to. And if he doesn't, he's never going to be a chairman of a committee. It's a whole crazy system.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: All right. So, Nathan, is this the President's best argument when it comes to Conor Lamb? This is the guy that's run as a moderate. He's played up his military history, the fact he personally is opposed to abortion. Is this the best argument that Donald Trump can make against Conor Lamb, that he may run as a moderate but he's going to go to Washington and just vote with Nancy Pelosi?
NATHAN GONZALES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST AND EDITOR AND PUBLISHER OF INSIDE ELECTIONS: I think the Nancy Pelosi argument is one the Republicans are hoping to unveil and use all across the country. And I think what should be alarming for Republicans is that in this race, Republicans have been trying to connect Conor Lamb to Nancy Pelosi for six to eight weeks and it just hasn't worked. Conor Lamb was not only still in this race, he's still standing again. But he has a legitimate chance of winning.
And so I think it should be concerning that if this message isn't working in a district that Donald Trump won by 19 points, then how is that going to play in more moderate districts? I think kind of what we miss is that Democrats don't have to win Congressional districts like this in November in order to win the majority. They can win the districts like Hillary Clinton carried, win ones that Donald Trump carried more narrowly and get the 24 they need.
And so this is -- the amount of money and the time and the energy that's being spent, I think should be concerning on the Republican side.
NOBLES: And I do want to show our viewers some video of the President boarding Air Force One as he heads back to Washington.
And Nathan, to that point, I don't know that we've necessarily seen a lot of evidence of the President's support transferring to candidates in races like this. Now, he may went on a long rant today about Karen Handel in Georgia. She actually was at this rally for some reason trying to make the case that he somehow put her over the hump to win. But then in Alabama his preferred candidate, Luther Strange, was creamed by Roy Moore. I mean, from your analysis, can a rally like this push a candidate like Rick Saccone over the finish line on Tuesday?
GONZALES: I mean, I'm skeptical. But the dirty truth is that in close races, everything matters. And so you can point to one thing or another. But I'm old enough to remember, Ryan, when you made this great point before the speech even started and I think there is a danger for Republicans that this popularity that President Trump has doesn't transfer. I mean, just look behind the President in the speech. What was over his shoulder? It was Trump signs. "Make America Great" signs. There was briefly a Rick Saccone t-shirt, and then that was it.
And this also is unique to President Trump. President Obama had a similar problem. He was extremely popular, particularly with the Democratic base. But getting those Democratic voters to turnout when he wasn't on the ballot was a big problem.
NOBLES: Yes. Great point, Nathan.
And, Tim, to you know. In terms of the big picture here, we had the President talk about a number of things. He criticized Ronald Reagan for his trade policies. He talked about -- he floated the idea of a policy of killing drug dealers, and giving them the death penalty. Is this a winning message for him going forward as well?
TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the dark, the dark elements of this speech. At times, he seemed to be imitating Don Rickles. He was making fun of himself. He was making fun of the office. But at times, he was speaking in the kind of language that we hear from authoritarians. He put up Singapore as a model of justice. Singapore is a state where not only they give death penalty to drug dealers, but they also whip people.
He talked about with glee the roughness of ICE, the way that people were being dragged. He was using verbs that Presidents shouldn't ever use when discussing justice.
NAFTALI: So there was a dark side to the speech and it was very painful. Not only to hear people applaud it but to hear people applaud when he said -- when he jokingly talked about being President for life. So, I think there's a side to this that is upsetting. Part of it was great performance and part of it was upsetting. I think that what Democrats have to take from this, however, is that Donald Trump has changed the Republican Party. He attacked Ronald Reagan. Probably the no-consequences at all. He attacked Patty Noonan. Ronald Reagan's -- but attacked - he's changed this party. He is turning it into a protectionist party and it's working. The Republican Party of today is not the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan. And the Democrats have to be very careful in how they fight the Republican Party. It's not one that they've met with before.
NOBLES: It might not be the Republican party of 2015. Let alone Ronald Reagan.
[20:40:02] All right, guys. Hold your thoughts. A lot more to unpack. The Republican talking about Oprah, the Olympics, North Korea, DACA. So much more. We're going to unpack it all after this short break. You're watching CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I'd love Oprah to win. I'd love to beat Oprah. I know her weakness. I know her weakness. I know her weakness. Wouldn't we love to run against Oprah? I would love it. I would love it. That would be a painful experience for her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: That is the President of the United States talking about a possible matchup against Oprah Winfrey in 2020. Of course we know Oprah said that she's not going to win. I'll give a shameless plug for Van Jones' interview with Oprah tomorrow night at 8:00 on CNN. She actually talks about Donald Trump in that interview with Van Jones.
Nathan, do you think the President is worried about Oprah? That's why he brings her into a conversation like this? Or do you think he -- this is a degree of showmanship and he understands that this is something that's going to get played on television numerous times over if he talks about it?
GONZALES: I'm not sure the President believes that anyone can defeat him at anything, so I'm not sure that he worries about that. But I think that one thing that if -- I think that every Republican member of Congress who's running for re-election, every potential Republican who's going to be a United States Senate nominee should have been watching tonight. They should go back and watch the tape because I think this is a preview of what the President's involvement is going to be like in the cycle. He doesn't want to be in the White House. He wants to be out among people who are cheering him on. And when you bring the President to your state or your district, you just don't know what you're going to get. You might get three minutes of being mentioned and you might get an hour and 30 minutes of other things, Oprah, "The Apprentice", Olympics, North Korea. Who knows what you're going to get? And I think that should be instructed for republicans. NOBLES: That's right. He talked about how badly Arnold Schwarzenegger and Martha Stewart's version of the "The Apprentice" reverse of his is something he's still concerned about.
But, Julian, we watched this speech and both of you guys, you're your lengthy experience as historians, remarked that he is very good at this. This is something that he is successful at. He knows how to work a crowd. He knows how to stir them up. He knows how to get these people behind him.
[20:45:06] ZELIZER: He's a performer. He spends a lot of his career performing. And "The Apprentice" was his training ground, really, for politics. And he's had many incarnations of this. He knows what his crowd likes. He knows how to define himself, vis-a-vis, his enemies, which is what the speech was about. It was a dark speech. It was about their line. They're out to get you. Some people are out to kill you and I'm your defender. And it was almost like in wrestling when the wrestler goes in front of the television camera and gives a speech. That's what he's doing. But he shouldn't be underestimated. I think even if his approval is low. Even if Congressional races don't go his way, you could imagine how this will translates into a campaign. And underneath all of this was the economy. And he knows that and reminded everyone of that many times. And if that continues, he can still be very formidable.
NOBLES: And one of the things he's most effective of -- effective at, the name-calling. Calling Conor Lamb, "Lamb the Sham," that was a new one that he unveiled today. Talked about Elizabeth Warren as Pocahontas. And he also called out Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Maxine Waters, a very low I.Q. individual. Did you ever see her? Did you ever see her? We will impeach him. We will impeach the President. But he hasn't done anything wrong. It doesn't matter. We will impeach him. She's a low IQ individual. You can't help it. She really is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: Is there a long-term game here with this, Tim, by calling Maxine Waters a low IQ individual and then connecting it to the specter of impeachment? Is he already laying the groundwork for any move by Democrats? Should they take control of the House in 2018 to make it look invalid and not worth their time?
NAFTALI: Well, I'm not sure he has that kind of strategy. But what we know from him is that he paid no price in the election for attacking people, for denigrating people, for humiliating people. And this is a man who builds on successful strategies. That worked for him. Now, he's looking at his current group of adversaries and enemies and he just wants to tear each one down and the audience loved it, which is a shame.
What's really sad here is that Americans in the audience don't realize, wait a second, he's President of the United States. He's not some kind of carnival barker. He's not a salesman for something. He's actually representing every American and he just attacked an American.
NOBLES: Member of Congress.
NAFTALI: A member of Congress. But just an American. Just a citizen and said that this person was low -- had a low I.Q. That's the President of the United States speaking. People have forgotten that. They just see him as an entertainer. They don't realize the power and import of his words.
ZELIZER: But in the mid-terms, the thing to remember, which we discuss, is it's not working. So at least for the next few months, his approval ratings are low. This race should not be a toss-up and it is. And even if the Republicans win by a little, that is a loss. And, so, there's the Presidential race.
ZELIZER: And this might work. But for the Congressional races, I think Republicans are very fearful that this is not sticking right now.
NOBLES: That is an excellent point. We should not necessarily prognosticate beyond 2019 and 2018. There's a long way to go.
All right. We're going to take another quick break. We'll have more of the President's speech in Pennsylvania when we come back. You're watching CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[20:50:38] TRUMP: Remember, I used to say, how easy it is to be Presidential? But you'd all be out of here right now. You'd be so bored. Because I could stand up, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're one of us.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: I could stand up. I'm very Presidential. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being here tonight. Rick Saccone will be a great, great congressman.
And then you'd go, God bless you and God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much. See, that's easy. That's much easier than doing what I have to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: That is the President of the United States doing his impression of what he thinks people -- what he assumes people think he should be doing as President of the United States. Obviously in a mocking fashion.
I want to bring in our panel. Nathan Gonzales, Tim Naftali and Julian Zelizer.
And, Nathan, I understand that you've got some insight into this race that's going to take place on Tuesday that you want to share.
GONZALES: Well, I think what's interesting is that the two parties are fighting over the narrative of this election cycle because this district, the 18th district, doesn't really doesn't exist anymore. Because the state supreme court threw out the map. This 18th district has been chopped up and it's been chopped up in a way that if Conor Lamb, whether he wins or loses, he's probably going to run in what's called the new 17th district against a Republican congressman.
I also found it amusing that President Trump attacked that Georgia candidate for not living in that congressional district, because if Rick Saccone wins on Tuesday night, he's probably going to run in the new 14th district, even though he lives in another new district. And so it all gets confusing. But this isn't about the majority, this is about the fight for what type of district Democrats can win in and what's possible for November.
NOBLES: Yes. And speaking of those districts, Julian, that was one of the things that the President attacked, was the redistricting process that's taking place in Pennsylvania right now.
ZELIZER: Absolutely. That redistricting process in Pennsylvania some say might very well cost the Republicans the House. This is a very big set of decisions. It's taking place in different parts of the country to overturn the redistricting that took place really in 2011, which locked in a lot of the Republican majority. So it's a very big story.
But this is about also perception. I think Republicans are fighting tooth and nail, not because -- they know they won't have the seat necessarily, but they don't want to look like this is moving toward a wave election, and I think that's what you're seeing. It's about perception and that's something that the President understands.
NOBLES: I'm interested, Tim, in your analysis of how the President handled these big policy issues that he's been dealing with. He talked about North Korea. There was one point where he talked about Kim Jong-un and the crowd booed and he pushed them off that and said, no, we've got to be nice to him right now. And he also talked about the way that he's going to handle DACA and he talked about the steel tariffs, which he believes are going to be very positive for this particular congressional district. I mean, he says it in a very almost down-to-earth way. Do you think that resonates with this type of crowd?
NAFTALI: Oh, I'm sure it resonates with the crowd. Whether it actually leads to a better America for the people in that district or anywhere else in this country is a much different question.
[20:55:08] I mean, let's take, for example, what he said about North Korea. He has been telling us since coming into office that we can't trust the North Korean regime. By the way, he wouldn't be the first to believe that. And the North Korean regime has a terrible history and a history of breaking promises. Now, he's saying to us, I believe them when they say the following.
NAFTALI: Now, why? What has changed his mind? Nothing has -- nothing but the fact that maybe he can have some great success on the international stage. Perhaps that's too harsh. But we have no reason to believe that there's real evidence that North Korea has changed. The only thing that's happened is that they sent a message to the South Koreans. It's not even clear that the United States had a direct interaction with the North Koreans.
NAFTALI: So when you look at each policy, it's just a matter of showmanship. There's no real there there.
NOBLES: All right. Tim Naftali, Julian Zelizer, Nathan Gonzales, thank you all so much for joining me. We extended out coverage a little bit tonight for this analysis of the President's speech. And that does it for me. I'm Ryan Nobles. Thank you so much for joining us tonight.
Up next, relive how the Kennedy assassination became a turning point in American history. The CNN original series "The Sixties" is next. Have a great night.
[21:00:41] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In average man's life there are two or three emotional experiences burned into his heart and his brain. And no matter what happens to me, I'll remember November 22nd as long as I live.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There has been an attempt on the life of President Kennedy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are combing the floors of the Texas book depository building to find the assassin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you shoot the President?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just passing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oswald has been shot at point blank range fired into his stomach
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police are working on the assumption --