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Trump Takes Credit For Record Debate Ratings; Jeb Bush: Trump`s Language Reminds Me of Obama; "Apprentice" Star: Comment About Me taken Out of Context; Movie Theater Shooter Sentenced to Life in Prison. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired August 7, 2015 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:08] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN GUEST HOST: OUTFRONT tonight, it`s all about Donald Trump, after dominating last night`s debate, he is still topic number one for the other candidates today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This debate last night showed that he doesn`t have a lot of specifics.

BOLDUAN: And is Trump digging Republicans into a hole with women? OUTFRONT tonight, the "Apprentice" contestant who was the target of one of Trump`s crudest lines.

And breaking news. We`re standing by right now for the sentencing verdict in the Colorado movie theater massacre. Will James Holmes get the death penalty? Let`s go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everyone. I`m Kate Bolduan in for Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, Donald Trump dominating. Trump by many accounts, including his own of course, the big winner in the first presidential debate. And he has been in a fighting mood all day long. Taking on anyone who dared to question him. Trump and his campaign posting and reposting increasingly hostile tweets toward his critics. To the host network, he said this. "FOX News, you should be ashamed of yourself. I got you the highest debate ratings in your history and you say nothing but bad." And to a pollster Frank Luntz who said voters didn`t like Trump`s performance, "Frank Luntz is a low class slob who came to my office looking for consulting work and I had zero interest." He also made it clear who he thought won the debate retweeting this. "Trump wins GOP debate dominates no apologies."

Meanwhile, candidates who were trying to talk about anything but Trump today could not escape him. Jeb Bush in an interview at FOX News compared him to Barack Obama.


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Language that divides us -- this reminds me of Barack Obama, not as a candidate but Barack Obama as president. All he does is push people that don`t agree with him down to make his side look better. And the divide makes it hard to solve problems. I don`t think we will going to win that way.


BOLDUAN: CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT now. So, Jeb, Trump stole the show last night. But did his strategy work? What are you hearing?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, with the most fervent supporters, perhaps it did. But it seems like he has very little interest in expanding his actual base of appeal, particularly with all that tough talk toward one of the debate moderators that may have been offensive to a lot of women. But tonight it has become clear, even more clear than it has been, that Donald Trump isn`t going anywhere any time soon. So, the rest of the republican field is trying to navigate around him.


ZELENY (voice-over): In any other republican presidential race it would be a simple question.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: Is there anyone on stage -- and can I see hands -- who is unwilling tonight to pledge your support to the eventual nominee of the Republican Party and pledge to not run an independent campaign against that person? Mr. Trump.


ZELENY: Settle in and watch.

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS HOST: And the moment of truth has arrived. This is no ordinary campaign. Donald Trump showed one thing at the first GOP debate, he is here to stay. Republicans, like it or not, must now decide how to deal with him and his veiled threat to run as a third party candidate.

TRUMP: I cannot say but, you know, I`m talking about a lot of leverage.

ZELENY: Leverage to Trump sounded more like extortion to Rand Paul.

TRUMP: He buys and sells politicians of all stripes. So if he doesn`t run as a republican, maybe he supports Clinton or maybe he runs as an independent.

ZELENY: Standing center stage, Trump not only dominated the debate, he dominated the clock. Getting more than twice as much time as some rivals. Ohio Governor John Kasich cheered on by a home state crowd in Cleveland took the gentle approach.

JOHN KASICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump is hitting a nerve in this country. He is. He is hitting a nerve. People are frustrated. They`re fed up. They don`t think government is working for them. And for people that want to just tune him out, they are making a mistake.

ZELENY: Jeb Bush did not. BUSH: Mr. Trump`s language is divisive. I want to win. I want one

of these people here or the ones at 5:00 to be the next president of the United States. We`re not going to win by doing what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton do each and every day, dividing the country.

ZELENY: Carly Fiorina, who didn`t make the cut for the prime time show delivered a commanding performance in the afternoon debate. She called out Trump for being close to the Clintons.

CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I didn`t get a phone call from Bill Clinton before I jumped in the race. Did any of you get a phone call from Bill Clinton? I didn`t. Maybe it`s because I didn`t give money to the foundation or donated to his wife`s Senate campaign.

ZELENY: But it was Marco Rubio who urged Republicans to choose a candidate who can take on the real opponent.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How is Hillary Clinton going to lecture me about living paycheck to paycheck? How is she going to lecture me about student loans? I owed over $100,000 just four years ago.


ZELENY: The Republicans I talked today in the early voting states in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, including several who were open to supporting Trump, said they can`t get over the fact that he wouldn`t pledge to back the republican nominee. Kate, that could be a deal breaker for so many conservative activists who were so eager to win back the White House.

[19:05:30] BOLDUAN: No kidding. We will see, Jeff. Thank you so much.

So, OUTFRONT tonight, Ed Goeas, senior advisor to Scott Walker`s presidential campaign and editor-in-chief of Breitbart News Alexander Marlow and CNN`s senior political analyst David Gergen. He is of course a former presidential advisor to Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Clinton. And I`m sure a missed a few in there David because there are so many. But it`s great to see you all. Thanks so much for joining me.


BOLDUAN: So, David Gergen, 24 million people watched the debate last night. Donald Trump sure seemed to make it must-see TV. When you get to what he said, did the debate help or hurt him with voters? What do you think?

GERGEN: Well, there`s certainly two sides to this, Kate. He deserves an enormous amount of credit from Republicans I might add for electrifying the republican race. You know, he drove that 24 million people to the -- to watch this. So all 17 candidates yesterday had a chance to audition before massive audiences they would never have seen had it not been for Trump. That`s a plus, especially for those that did well. But the other side of this is, we don`t know yet. We don`t have definitive signs. But by all the normal rules in politics, Trump hurt himself last night. The narcissism, the -- toward Megyn Kelly and then the day, the follow-up, you know, suggesting that he is not only retaliatory and narcissistic but he is vengeful.

And there`s a hatred in there that he has got to go out and really hit somebody, if he is challenged, he will hit you. And that is not what Americans normally rally to in a president. He`s going to get -- he`s going to continue to have some support. But I think you will see the conservative activists peel off. I think we are likely to see women begin to peel off or at least go the other way. Not just on the way he answered but the general tone of his remarks. And I think you are going to see other conservatives who -- the FOX questioning really brought to light that he is not a true conservative in a traditional sense, or at least he hasn`t been until very recently. And he has held a lot of positions that are contrary to what the conservatives believe.

So, when he puts up his hands and says, I may run third party, he also may run as something very other than a conservative. And obviously, there are a lot of Republicans who think they will cost them the White House. I don`t think he was ready for that question. I think he blew the answer to that. There was a much more artful way for him to say what -- the point he was trying to make.

BOLDUAN: Well, and he, himself -- he acknowledges that artful is not necessarily something he even -- he is good out of -- but he acknowledge that -- so, Alex, when you`re looking at this --

GERGEN: Nuance is not his --

BOLDUAN: Nuance is not -- well, he has better things to worry about. Alex, when you listen to this, this is -- this is the republican pollster Frank Luntz said about Trump`s performance this morning. Listen to this.


FRANK LUNTZ, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: I have to tell you, this was an amazing debate performance, not amazing because it was effective. Amazing because I saw the destruction of a presidential campaign over those two hours.


BOLDUAN: Destruction of a presidential campaign over the course of two hours. What do you think?

ALEXANDER MARLOW, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, BREITBART NEWS: I think we could call that wishful thinking officially. We saw what last night`s debate which was a great debate. It was a great debate between the FOX news anchors and between Donald Trump. Also, I enjoyed the Christie and Rand spat, that was good too. But for the most part, we saw that FOX is on a mission, they are trying to take out Donald Trump. That is what they`re trying to do. FOX is positioning themselves as a centrist network, as an establishment republican network. They are not interested in Donald Trump and his supporters. His supporters are grassroots conservatives and that`s why he does so well --

BOLDUAN: What`s wrong pushing him questions? He doesn`t let people push him on questions on most often. So, what`s wrong with pushing him on his record?

MARLOW: Nothing wrong with pushing him on his record. It`s just the vitriol and the tone I think made Trump seem like a victim. He was sitting there smiling in the beginning while he is essentially getting badgered. And instead of opening with something about Hillary Clinton or about policy positions, which I heard in your opening segment, interest in policy positions. No, it was just are you going to pledge allegiance to the Republican Party. This is clearly a got you question. And it was a got you debate.

BOLDUAN: That`s not a got you question. That`s a home run question if you want to answer it, right?

MARLOW: There`s lots of got you questions throughout the debate. It was peppered with it. Reading from Donald Trump`s twitter feed. You can`t get more got you than that. When we`re going up against presumably Hillary Clinton married to Bill Clinton, accused serial sexual harasser with accusations still on the table.

BOLDUAN: The difference between the man on the stage saying some words and someone -- Hillary Clinton is not --

MARLOW: Real record on employment with women right now in this country, record number of women out of work. That was not asked but what`s asked was, are these mean -- he is mean, sure Kate. But he was also mean to Frank Luntz when he called him a low class slob earlier today as well.

[19:10:27] BOLDUAN: So, Ed, I want you to weigh in on this. Obviously, I want to hear what you think your candidate did. Because Alex doesn`t think anybody else got any questions. I mean, your candidate, Walker -- Governor Walker, his performance some conservatives describe as lukewarm saying that he seemed that he kind of shrink -- began to shrink over the course of the night. Was that because Trump was on the stage?

ED GOEAS, SENIOR ADVISOR, SCOTT WALKER PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: No. That`s the opposite. In fact, all the press she -- they got stronger as the night went on. And I thought what was interesting is we had several different goals. But one as we saw him as presidential. We saw him as very articulate in terms of what he was saying out there. He had probably one of the best punch lines of the night when talking about Hillary Clinton`s e-mails.

BOLDUAN: That`s true.

GOEAS: And the fact of the matter is, almost all of the articles going into the debate was a question mark of how he would do on the Foreign Affairs and National Defense issues. And he knocked every one of those out of the park. So, we were very satisfied in what we saw last night.

BOLDUAN: You were -- go ahead.

GOEAS: In terms of Trump, you know, first of all, I think there`s a lot of things being labeled on who he has and who he doesn`t have, that`s just not realistic. He doesn`t have the republican base. In fact, most of the national polls coming out right now -- and David knows this having done this for so many years. You know, they`re asking questions of all Republicans, maybe even republican independent leaning Republicans. When you can`t show me a state that more than 20 percent of the Republicans vote in the primaries in the presidential election. There`s no effort to get down to who are the real voters that are going to be the participants, the real base of the Republican Party. When you look at those surveys and several of the Iowa surveys that have come out that really look at the caucus goers, Trump is not doing that well. He is doing better with the broader spectrum of voters. Quite frankly, he does as well with moderate, liberal voters as he does with conservative voters. He does as well with women as he does with men. It has driven to a great extent because he has a 95 percent name I.D.

BOLDUAN: I`ll tell you right now, guys. I am excited to see and fascinated to see what the numbers look like after this debate though. Thank you guys so much. It`s great to see you. Have a great weekend.

GOEAS: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: And please don`t forget, everyone. CNN will host the next republican presidential debate, that is Wednesday, September 16th right here on CNN. Set your calendars, friends.

OUTFRONT next, if Trump made one big stumble last night, it may have been with Megyn Kelly and women voters.


KELLY: You have called women you don`t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals. Your twitter account --

TRUMP: Only Rosie O`Donnell.


BOLDUAN: And Trump once told an "Apprentice" contestant that quote, "It would be a pretty nice picture to see her on her knees." Well, she is my guest tonight.

Plus, Trump brags that he has given money to almost all the other republican candidates. But has he actually donated more to Democrats?


[19:16:35] BOLDUAN: Tonight, Donald Trump and his team are on the attack, taking aim at FOX`s Megyn Kelly after her question to the billionaire about whether he is part of the war on women. A senior adviser to the presidential contender retweeted this message today about the FOX News anchor, quote, "we can gut her."

And as Suzanne Malveaux report, this is just the latest of Trump`s attacks aimed at women.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump standing center stage at the first republican debate, confronted with his insults against women.

KELLY: You have called women you don`t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals. Your twitter account --

TRUMP: Only Rosie O`Donnell.

KELLY: For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O`Donnell.

TRUMP: Yes, I`m sure it was.

KELLY: Your twitter account has several disparaging comments about women`s looks. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton who is likely to be the democratic nominee that you are part of the war on women?

TRUMP: I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I have been challenged by so many people, and I don`t frankly have time for total political correctness.

MALVEAUX: Rosie O`Donnell responded almost immediately tweeting, "try explaining that to your kids." The bad blood between them reportedly going back nearly a decade to 2006 when O`Donnell questioned Trump`s decision not to fire Miss USA Tara Conner over drug abuse. Calling him a snake oil salesman.

ROSIE O`DONNELL, ACTRESS: Left the first wife. Had an affair. Left the second wife. Had an affair. Had kids both time. But he is the moral compass of 20-year-olds in America.

MALVEAUX: Trump shot back.

TRUMP: I did take a look at her. She`s a slob. If I were running "The View" I would fire Rosie. I mean, I`d look her right in that fat ugly face of hers. I would say, Rosie, you are fired.

MALVEAUX: Trump also said this to Brandy Roderick, a contestant on his Apprentice reality show.

TRUMP: It must be a pretty picture you dropping to your knees.

MALVEAUX: Most recently, the billionaire was asked about a claim from a female attorney that Trump called her disgusting for asking to take a break to breast pump during a deposition.

TRUMP: Not true. She wanted to breast pump in front of me. And I may have said that`s disgusting. She`s a vicious, horrible person.

MALVEAUX: Trump says he doesn`t have a problem with women. TRUMP: It`s the biggest applause of the evening was when I mentioned

the name Rosie O`Donnell, the place went wild.

MALVEAUX: Still Trump criticized moderator Megyn Kelly`s handling of the debate, going on a twitter rant overnight. "Wow, Megyn Kelly really bombed tonight. People are going wild on twitter. Funny to watch." He also retweeted disparaging remarks from others, including this one calling Kelly a bimbo.


MALVEAUX: The polls are mixed. A recent CBS poll shows that 62 percent of registered female voters have an unfavorable view of Trump. Among republican women, it is 42 percent. But another poll has Trump leading among women when compared to the other republican candidates taking 20 percent. And the question Kate of course is whether or not this debate is going to have any impact on Trump`s approval from this very critical group -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: That`s a key question now for sure. Suzanne, thanks so much.

And OUTFRONT is Brande Roderick, she is the celebrity apprentice contestant Donald Trump was speaking to when he made that comment back there 2012. Brandy, thanks so much for joining us. Looking back at that moment on the "Apprentice" now, were you offended?

BRANDE RODERICK, FORMER "CELEBRITY APPRENTICE" CONTESTANT: You know, obviously not. Because I didn`t even remember the comment. I actually had to go back and re-watch the clip. And no, I think it was taken out of context. If you actually watch the clip, it`s not like he said, oh, wow, you would look great on your knees. It was nothing like that. In my experience, I`ve always had a great experience around Donald Trump. It has always been positive. It has never been negative or derogatory. So that`s been my experience.

BOLDUAN: In the debates, it was part of kind of a list of comments that Donald Trump has made towards women that he had been derogatory towards women, demeaning towards women. And a lot of women were offended when they heard the comment that he had made towards you. Does it bother you now when you think about it?

[19:21:08] RODERICK: No. Because in my situation and some of the others, it was all on television. He is the host of a reality show. They definitely didn`t hire Trump because of his filter. You know what I mean? That`s his job is to make -- to make people wanting to come back for more. So, absolutely not. When you are in the television world, you have to have a thick skin.

BOLDUAN: Well, that`s the truth. What do you make of the fact now Brande that you have been brought in to this presidential race?

RODERICK: It`s a bit bizarre and surreal, definitely. But you know, I want to say my side of the story, because you know, I don`t want people out there thinking, you know, he is this horrible man because he is not. You know, like I said, my experience has always been positive with him. He has always been an encouraging type of person in my experience.

BOLDUAN: You say that he`s encouraging. You say that you`ve always have a good experience with him. You`ve also described him as an entertainer. You say, he`s on TV. With all this experience in mind, is Donald Trump presidential material do you think?

RODERICK: I think that it`s early in the race. I take voting very seriously as a mother and as a business person. So, for me, it`s the very beginning. And I need to see the entire race.

BOLDUAN: Are you -- you are not counting Donald Trump out. But a lot of folks are looking at his past experience and who he encounters as to try see if he has the temperament of a president. What do you think?

RODERICK: I think I need to see more. I definitely need to see more. I`m not going to decide either way right now. I definitely need to see a lot more from him and from everybody else.

BOLDUAN: Brande Roderick, thanks so much.

RODERICK: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: And OUTFRONT now, Katie Packer Gage, he is the former deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney and Andy Dean, he`s a Trump supporter. He also worked for the billionaire for several years.

Andy, it`s great to see you. Katie, great to see you. So, Andy, you heard that interview that I just did with Brande. Brande, she didn`t seem to want to give an answer to that last question about whether Trump was presidential material. She needs to see more, she says. Is Trump`s answer to Megyn Kelly`s question last night going to come back to bite him, do you think?

ANDY DEAN, FORMER PRESIDENT, TRUMP PRODUCTION, LLC: No. I think it was the only way that he could answer that difficult question. A bomb was thrown at him. And he deflected it with humor because Rosie O`Donnell is a disgusting pig. And we can all agree. It`s not sexist comment. Donald is an equal opportunity offender and when it comes to --

BOLDUAN: Why you doubling down on that? Why do you need to use that language?

DEAN: Rosie started this fight and Donald --

BOLDUAN: Is it a fight with you?

DEAN: No. It`s a fight with Donald. But the point is, if he`s attacks, he is going to defend himself with pride. And that`s what our country needs. We are being attacked. I mean, the Iranians with this ridiculous deal. The Mexican border, we need somebody with a vision that`s going to stand up. And this is an example of what he can do.

BOLDUAN: It still just blows my mind, we went from talking about Rosie O`Donnell and now we are talking about the Iran deal, Andy. I just don`t know how we got there.

DEAN: Because it`s -- look, okay, the point is this. Is that you are saying that the guy is a sexist one week and then he`s a racist the next week. It`s the liberal media trying to destroy whoever is on top. And that`s why good people don`t run for office, anymore. Because whoever is on top, you want to destroy them as a human being instead of looking at the issues. When we looked at the issues last night, Donald talked about having a larger vision. And he tried to talk about Iran, he tried to talk about Mexico. And here we are talking about that he is some sexist one week and then a racist the other. I`m trying to bring this back to what`s important to the American people.

BOLDUAN: Taking on the issues is definitely important. I definitely don`t think there`s anything wrong though in bringing up your past statements to ask you about them. That`s what happens when you are in politics. That`s just the way it is.

So, Katie, Donald Trump, he shared a tweet that called Megyn Kelly a bimbo. His counsel, Michael Cohen, he retweeted a message referring to Kelly that said this. We can gut her. Now, is this going to hurt the Republican Party? Go past Donald Trump for a second. Is this going to hurt the Republican Party regardless with women voters, do you think the Trump campaign does not think so clearly. And they don`t think it matters.

KATIE PACKER GAGE, FORMER DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR MITT ROMNEY: Well, ultimately, it`s not, because he`s not going to be our party`s nominee. And so, people assign these attitudes to Donald Trump the entertainer. As Brande said, he is an entertainer. He should keep these, you know, sort of schoolyard bullying antics, you know, on television where it belongs in the entertainment industry. It doesn`t belong in the context of a presidential campaign. But the reality is, if you attack people of other races, people are going to call you a racist. If you attack women, people are going to say that you are sexist. That`s the reality.


And as Mitt Romney said in 2012, this ain`t beanbag. Excuse me. I`m still speaking. This is not beanbag. This is a serious presidential debate. And you have to be prepared to answer serious questions like are you going to run against the eventual nominee. And he refused to say he wouldn`t. These are legitimate questions that, you know, he is not a victim here. Donald Trump is never the victim here. This is the way that the process works. And he was totally unprepared to answer these questions.

BOLDUAN: Go ahead, Andy.

[19:26:10] DEAN: We`re getting debate lectures from Mitt Romney`s camp. She worked for Mitt Romney for years. I mean, Mitt Romney is why we have four more years of Barack Obama. Mitt Romney is one of the worst debaters of planet earth, that`s why we lost. So, I just find it strange -- GAGE: Well, I think that nobody would agree with you on that front.

And, you know, but we`re not here to debate 2012. We`re talking about -- we`re talking about the future, Andy. And what I`m saying is that Donald Trump is an entertainer. And I`m all for him staying in the entertainment industry. I do think a lot of women and a lot of Republicans are insulted and offended by dragging this kind of drama, you know, of name calling and treating women in a despicable way degrading Megyn Kelly who is a very highly respected journalist in this way is totally unacceptable.

BOLDUAN: Okay. Andy, final word for you.

DEAN: I find Katie`s opinions sexist in nature but his -- once again offends people of all genders and all races. He judges people on the content of their character. He runs hundreds of corporations, employs thousands of men and women. I mean, if you look at Katie`s corporation on her website --

GAGE: I`m a Trumpist, I`m not a sexist. It`s just Donald Trump that I`m opposed to.

DEAN: She only employs women. That`s against the law. That`s a labor violation, Katie. We should have your company investigated. You don`t hire men.

GAGE: You are right. You`re right. That`s exactly what we should do.

BOLDUAN: So, Andy, what lead --

DEAN: That`s a bigotry. That`s bigotry.

BOLDUAN: Real quick Andy, on this final point, so what I`m hearing from you is you don`t think we`re going to see any difference from Donald Trump going forward in these debates, right?

DEAN: What should be different?


DEAN: He had 24 million people tune in, double the audience. He is getting people engaged.

GAGE: No, he should keep doing exactly what he has been doing. It was wildly successful --

DEAN: He`s the winner, Romney is the looser. Romney is the looser.

GAGE: Bring it on.


BOLDUAN: All right. Great to see you both. Let`s do this again next week. Because I`m sure we will have more to talk about.

Andy, great to see you. Katie, great to see you. DEAN: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.

DEAN: Thanks. I appreciate it.

BOLDUAN: It`s good TV at least. And Donald Trump, he is going to be a guest tonight on "CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon. That is 9:00 Eastern. After that conversation, you definitely don`t want to miss that.

OUTFRONT for us next, Jeb Bush with perhaps more at stake last night than any other candidate. Did his debate performance fall flat?

And Donald Trump, he bragged about donating to almost all of his republican rivals. But is that true? Ahead, a special investigation into who gets Trump`s money.


[19:32:28] BOLDUAN: New tonight, Jeb Bush moments ago talking about last night`s debate and Donald Trump raising money for him.


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I had fun last night. I really enjoyed getting to know Donald Trump up close and personal. I met him once before, he actually did a fundraiser for me. He did help raise money for me for which I was grateful and I`m grateful he never asked for anything either.


BOLDUAN: Now, he spent the day campaigning in New Hampshire, considered a must-win primary for the well-funded Republican who is getting mixed reviews on last night`s debate performance.

Dana Bash was in Cleveland for the debate. She`s joining me now.

So, Dana, throughout his early campaign, Jeb Bush has struggled with two questions about his family and about the Iraq war. He was asked about that last night. How did he do?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, did he better than he did the first time Megyn Kelly of FOX News asked him about it, which took him I believe five days -- five or six tries to get the answer that was I guess most acceptable, which is what he gave last night, which is knowing what we know now, knowing about the intelligence, it is -- he wouldn`t have done it.

Listen to what he said and we will talk more about it on other side.


MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS MODERATOR: For days on end in this campaign, you struggled to answer a question about whether knowing what we know now --

BUSH: I remember. I remember, Megyn.

KELLY: I remember it, too.

BUSH: Knowing what we know now with faulty intelligence and not having security be the first priority when we invaded, it was a mistake. I wouldn`t have gone in.


BASH: So, a couple things on that, Kate.

First of all, just in terms of the substance of what he said, he has made it clear it`s not easy for him to throw his family under the bus and Iraq -- it doesn`t get bigger when it comes to his brother. But in terms of style, you know, there he seemed a little bit -- a little bit unsure of himself. And in other parts, where he was talking about things that his -- his comfort zone, like education where he had to stand his ground and prove that he is a conservative because so many are upset about the Common Core initiative that he supports, he was very -- very good. He was sort of very believable, very confident. Even in the clip you played just before coming to me of him in New Hampshire tonight, it was a different guy.

So, I think just the takeaway -- me personally but also more importantly from a lot of Republicans that I have talked to -- is that his performance has been uneven. It`s likely because he hasn`t been in a debate since 2002.

[19:35:01] He has been out of game for a long time. And it is early.

So, what the supporters are hoping is that it becomes more even and more like what you played at the beginning from New Hampshire tonight.

BOLDUAN: Yes, some say he is still kicking off the rust. That`s for sure.

BASH: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: Great to see you, Dana. Thanks so much.

BASH: You too.

BOLDUAN: Now, joining me OUTFRONT, Ana Navarro, CNN political commentator, and Jeb Bush supporter, and Democratic strategist Maria Cardona. She`s a former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton and worked for the Democratic National Committee.

Great to see you both.

So, Maria, first to you. In talking about Jeb Bush, you wrote today that Jeb Bush was the loser of the debate. Why?

MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, to Dana`s comment, he was very uneven. He was very inconsistent. I thought he was kind of meh, very flat and didn`t feel like he had life in him, didn`t really feel like he wanted to be there.

And the reason why I think that is so damaging to him because he had great expectations going into this, especially because he has had such an uneven performance frankly from the beginning of his campaign, starting with the flub on the Iraq question. But even most recently when he talked about Americans having to work more hours, when he talked about how investments in women`s healthcare are not worth it.

So, when you look at what the expectations were, especially for the investors, Kate, he is the $100 million man now given all the money he`s raised. If you are an investor, you were tied to that TV hoping to see somebody that was taking the reins, that was being a leader, that was looking presidential, that was not looking like a deer in the headlights. Frankly, that`s kind of what he looked like.

BOLDUAN: Ana, how is the campaign feeling today?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don`t know. I`m not part of the campaign. I am one of those investors, as Maria calls us. I`m a friend of Jeb`s.

I can tell you why Maria and I think a lot of Democrats -- which is no coincidence this is happening -- came after Jeb Bush because they now he`d be a very formidable candidate against Hillary Clinton at the general election. It is not a coincidence that that`s what all the Democrats have been doing today, focusing on Jeb Bush.

I saw Jeb have very good answers. You know, I know Jeb well. He is a policy wonk. He tends to get into the weeds. He loves policy.

For him, it`s not easy to be able to condense answers to 60 seconds. He was able to do it. I think he gave good, solid policy-based answers.

What he didn`t have were good, memorable moments. You have a debate which is very different than most debates where it might be two, three people on the stage. This is a debate with ten people, including some out-sized personalities, Kate.

So you have to have not just substance -- which I think he was solid on. You have to also have a great deal of moments to stand out. How do you distinguish yourself? I think that`s where he needs to work on that.

BOLDUAN: And to that point, I mean, Ana, Bill Kristol, the editor of "The Weekly Standard", we all know him well, he called the performance lackluster and said that Bush doesn`t have that fire in the belly, is how Kristol described it. That seems to be a common complaint about Bush.

Are we going to see a change in him? Are we going to see fire in the belly? Is that going to happen after this debate?

NAVARRO: Well, let me just say, my friend Bill Kristol has never liked Jeb Bush. And, you know, they don`t agree on immigration. He has been taking him on constantly because of that. Do I think Jeb has fire in the belly? I do. Do I think that for Jeb that means having -- being a fire breathing dragon? No.

I don`t think that it means to him that he needs to tear other Republicans down in order to build himself up. I don`t think he needs to tear other people in order to promote himself. I don`t think it means having to throw his family under the bus in order to promote himself.

I think what fire in the belly means for Jeb is what you have seen him doing today, going and continuing to campaign, campaign as the happy warrior and something he has been wanting to do. So, if fire in the belly means being angry, you know, being ticked off, being ala Donald Trump, no, you`re not going to see Jeb do that, I don`t think. I`d be very surprised.

BOLDUAN: Final word, Maria.

CARDONA: Kate, here`s what I think he needs to really focus on this, quote/unquote, "fire in the belly". And I agree with Ana, fire in the belly doesn`t need to be Donald Trump-like where you are insulting everybody left and right. But it does mean that you have to show that you are going to fight for your constituents, that you are going to fight for the voters, that you are asking their vote and their confidence for.

And, frankly, last night, he didn`t show that he was that type of fighter. If he is going to be the nominee, he`s going to go up against Hillary Clinton who is focusing that she is going to be the fighter every step of the way. So, that`s a big challenge for Bush.

BOLDUAN: The good thing is, is there`s another Republican debate right here on CNN coming up in September.

[19:40:03] NAVARRO: There`s nine more. Can I tell you? If it`s anything as entertaining at last night was, get your popcorn ready, folks.

BOLDUAN: Watching you last night, Ana, I was giggling. You were hilarious last night watching that whole thing. Great to see you both. Thanks so much.

CARDONA: You too, Kate. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT: who really does get Donald Trump`s money?


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, most of the people on this stage I have given to, just so you understand. A lot of money.


(END VIDEO CLIP) BOLDUAN: And we also have breaking news coming up. The jury`s verdict in the sentencing of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes. How did he avoid the death penalty?


BOLDUAN: Donald Trump has been bragging about how much money he donates to politicians. But now, his rivals are using that against him.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He is already hedging his bets because he is used to buying politicians.

TRUMP: Well, I`ve given them plenty of money. You know, most of the people on this stage I have given to. Just so you understand. A lot of money.

CARSON: Not me, not me.


BOLDUAN: So, has he really donated to almost everyone on the debate stage?

Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT with tonight`s money and power.

[19:45:00] So, Tom, you have looked into this. What`s the truth?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the truth is, Trump is doing a money shaming thing. He gives these people his money and then when they come after him, they say, hey, hold on, you have a pocket full of Donald` dollars here.

Look at the stage and we can look at some of the numbers. Yes, he gave got Scott Walker $10,000 to help with his reelection bid last year. Cruz got $5,000. Christie got about a quarter million dollars to a Republican governor`s group that he was the head of at the time. So, it wasn`t right to Christie. $2,500 to Huckabee. And some years ago, Jeb Bush got $500.

And earlier on in the "Happy Hour" debate, Graham got $15,000 for his reelection campaign with his PAC some time ago. You can have a lot of fun with that, Kate.

BOLDUAN: I would say so, Tom. You have run a very good happy hour, if that was throwing around.

Trump hasn`t always been a Republican. So, I guess, it should not be a surprise to anybody his donations have also drifted between parties.

FOREMAN: Yes. He initially gave more to Democrats than Republicans. Over the years, he had added up money to Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid and Charles Rangel and to John Kerry and the like, almost to $600,000. Then in 2011, he shifted more money over to the Republican side. They

caught up and then surpassed that number with donations over the years, people like Bob Dole and Phil Gramm and John McCain and Rudy Giuliani. So, close to a million dollar there. But nonetheless, that`s a lot of money going out into the campaign on both sides, more the Republican side now, but plenty to go around, Kate.

BOLDUAN: A whole lot of money and not the last we heard of it. That`s for sure.

Tom, thanks so much.

FOREMAN: Good to see you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: You, too.

OUTFRONT next, breaking news. Moments ago, the jury returned a verdict in the sentencing of James Holmes, the Colorado movie theater shooter. How did he avoid a death sentence?

And he smirked, he shrugged, he scowled. Did Donald Trump win the body language battle?


[19:50:52] BOLDUAN: And breaking news: Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes gets life in prison without the possibility of parole. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous sentencing verdict for Holmes killing 12 people and wounding 70 others. Holmes had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Ana Cabrera is OUTFRONT for us live in Centennial, Colorado, outside the courthouse.

And, Ana, this seems a surprising verdict. What was the reaction inside the courtroom?

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, understandably there were a lot of people on edge. It`s been three years since the shooting. Lots of family members of those who were killed, survivors of the shooting were all anxiously awaiting this final sentencing verdict. Some sobbed. A couple of people got up and left after just the first couple of counts were read. Jurors looked ashen in their faces, very grim as they were filing into the courtroom.

And then the judge reading that they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict on any particular of the 24 counts resulting by default in a life sentence without parole for James Holmes. Now again, it`s been three years since the day he committed the crime, July 20th, 2012. And these jurors have sat through 15 weeks of testimony from 306 witnesses. There 2,600 plus pieces of evidence that were presented in this trial, and they deliberated for about seven hours before coming back and saying they were unable to reach that unanimous verdict.

But the prosecution all along had been arguing and pushing for the death penalty saying justice is death. The defense urged mercy. And their argument was James Holmes was

mentally ill when he committed the crime. And he still suffers severe mental illness. In fact, there were several experts throughout this trial who testified that Holmes does indeed suffer severe mental illness.

And so, the defense telling jurors you can`t kill a sick person. Perhaps that was part of what made the deliberations difficult and the reason they did not reach a unanimous verdict. But in the end, again, it`s life in prison without parole for the man convicted of one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history, Kate.

BOLDUAN: I`m sure it was very emotional for families because they had been reading emotional victim impact statements leading up to this.

How did James Holmes react in the courtroom?

CABRERA: No reaction. No emotion. He was expressionless. He stood, he looked at the judge and really that was the standard for him throughout this entire trial. We do know he is under antipsychotic medications and antidepressants, so not surprising.

What was surprising, Kate, was how James Holmes parents reacted. They have been stoic throughout the trial. When the verdict was read that her son was sentenced to life in prison and not the death penalty, Arlene Holmes, James Holmes` mom, burst into sobs and started shaking and was almost being held up by her husband who was also standing alongside her, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Ana Cabrera with the breaking news out of Colorado -- Ana, thank you so much.

OUTFRONT for us next, Donald Trump not only took center stage at the debate, he seemed to expand the zone. Did anyone else get a bump from their body language?


[19:57:56] BOLDUAN: So, Donald Trump used much more than zingers -- than just zingers to take on his Republican rivals last night.

Jean Casarez is OUTFRONT.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It`s one thing to listen to the message.

TRUMP: I want to run as the Republican nominee.

CASAREZ: Another to watch it. Experts say nonverbal cues may tell almost as much about a candidate as what comes out of his or her mouth.

SUSAN CONSTANTINE, BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT AND EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP COACH: Body language is nothing more than our thoughts revealed. CASAREZ: Donald Trump may have stolen the show right out of the box

in Thursday night`s debate.

MODERATOR: You can`t say tonight that you can make that pledge?

TRUMP: I cannot say --

CONSTANTINE: And then what he does is he brings his hands out and he turns his palms, kind of tilts his head, that`s uncertainty.

CASAREZ: Whether it`s holding his hands out, pointing a finger to his head or just a classic Donald Trump smirk -- a lot can be learned from body language.

Take someone`s posture, shoulders back, shoulders slumped.

CONSTANTINE: What we find is people that broaden have more confidence and dominance. Those that retract, they lose confidence, become small and they become more insecure.

CASAREZ: And what direction you lean.

CONSTANTINE: He`s also a very relaxed guy. That`s just his demeanor. He`s a boots on the ground kind of guy.

CASAREZ: And who you face head-on.



CASAREZ: Take a look at Rand Paul rolling his eyes.

CONSTANTINE: He has absolutely no respect for Christie whatsoever.

CASAREZ: Or Donald Trump holding and adjusting the microphone.

TRUMP: I`ve been very nice to you although I could probably maybe not be based on the way you have treated me.

CONSTANTINE: It`s almost like he`s guarding himself and self- protection, self-soothing gesture. He was not feeling very confident right there.

CASAREZ: And what about the hand gestures? Thumbs up, slicing downward or constantly moving.

CONSTANTINE: When the hands are tending to move rapidly, what`s happening internally there`s massive anxiety that`s going on. So, what does it do? It has to leak out and expel somewhere.

CASAREZ: And any way you slice it, impromptu body language should not be ignored, experts say, because what it holds may be the truth.

TRUMP: I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct.

CASAREZ: Jean Casarez, CNN, New York.


BOLDUAN: I don`t know what to do with my hands now. Thanks for joining us, everybody.

"AC360" starts right now.