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Post-Debate Polls; Trump and Father; UVA Student Arrest; Pepsi Ditches Aspartame. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired August 11, 2015 - 14:00   ET


[13:59:58] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Here we go. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN. Thanks for being with me on this Tuesday.

We are starting to get the first signs of how voters responded to the fireworks that was Cleveland last Thursday night, that first Republican presidential debate. And the man thus far at the center of this race, at the center of the debate and its aftermath is still in a very strong position.

Let's start in Iowa. And I want to throw some numbers up on the screen. This is just into us. This is Iowa, home to the first in the nation presidential caucuses. So you've got this new Suffolk University poll and it finds Trump has pulled out ahead of Scott Walker. You can see there, 17 percent to his 12 percent. That is a switch from two previous polls that showed Walker leading Trump. In the new survey, Marco Rubio has 10 percent, followed by Ben Carson there at 9 percent, Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz both with 7 percent.

Let's go to New Hampshire and this new "Boston Herald" and Franklin Pierce University poll has Trump leading the field there with 18 percent. And then this is where it gets interesting because you have Jeb Bush with 13 percent, followed by Ohio Governor John Kasich right on his heels with 12. Ted Cruz has 10 percent and Carly Fiorina stands in fifth place with 9 percent.

So, with all these numbers, let's go to our chief political analyst Gloria Borger, who is here to talk us through all of this.

There are a lot of storylines, so let's just begin with the story line, the fact that, you know, on the top, Donald Trump -


BALDWIN: Not really dinged by Thursday.

BORGER: Right, not at all. I mean, if you - if you look at him in Iowa, he's really taken some air out of the balloon of Scott Walker. The thing to look at in Iowa is that Jeb Bush is nowhere.


BORGER: He wasn't even on your list earlier.

BALDWIN: Let's throw Iowa back up. Let (INAUDIBLE) again. BORGER: Yes, throw Iowa back up there and you'll see that - you won't see Jeb Bush's name in the top five.

BALDWIN: That is stunning.

BORGER: You - Jeb Bush is at 4.6. Mike Huckabee, evangelical, everybody assumed Iowa was going to be in - for him, 2.4 percent. Rand Paul, 2 percent. All of these -

BALDWIN: But Jeb Bush, I know you keep saying he has his fire in the belly gap.

BORGER: Jeb Bush. Right, right, he does.

BALDWIN: Is that the issue?

BORGER: He has this - he has this little passion gap.

BALDWIN: Passion gap.

BORGER: I think - I think Jeb Bush, his campaign will tell you they never expected to win Iowa. But they have to do a little bit better than they're doing here in Iowa. Again, if you look at the New Hampshire polling, Jeb Bush, fine. But then again, you have out of nowhere, after a breakthrough debate -

BALDWIN: I'm reading your mind.

BORGER: John Kasich.

BALDWIN: John Kasich.

BORGER: Yes, you are reading my mind. Yes.

BALDWIN: John Kasich did really, really well. I - we're like this. We're like this.

John Kasich did really well.

BORGER: Right.

BALDWIN: It was a hometown debate for him, yes. But I think even since, the way he's been interviewed, watching him on "State of the Union" with Jake Tapper -

BORGER: Right.

BALDWIN: How he's been answering questions. And also Carly Fiorina, someone who, at one point last Thursday, was Googled more than Donald Trump. But so many people just didn't know her name.

BORGER: Right.

BALDWIN: And now she's polling much better.

BORGER: Right. And let me say something. BALDWIN: Yes.

BORGER: This is early. This is really early. And you have Republican primary voters who were looking at these candidates. The Iowa poll, 20 percent undecided, OK? So there's a lot of give in this - in this polling right now. Carly Fiorina, they saw her at the first debate. They liked her. When they asked people, should she move up to the upper tier, people said "yes." She will raise money off of this. John Kasich already has a fundraising plea out in e-mails to potential funders saying, look at how John Kasich has moved up. Lots of people like the way he answered the question, for example, on gay marriage.

BALDWIN: Yes. It was big applause.

BORGER: He seemed to be a voice of sanity. A voice of reason. And he had a way of taking on Donald Trump without taking on Donald Trump, right?

BALDWIN: But on Donald Trump -


BALDWIN: And he was on this morning. Listen, he's been - he's been doing the rounds.


BALDWIN: But he was talking to Chris Cuomo this morning and I think he really hit on - you know, in a 20-second sound bite, which I want to play -


BALDWIN: It hits upon why I think so many people do really support him. Here you go from "New Day."


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But here's the point, Chris.


TRUMP: I didn't sit down and draw a plan to - tomorrow I'll go and have a meeting. The next day I'll go and make an offer. I went in and I got it. I went in and got Turnberry in Scotland. That's one of the great resorts of the world. Everybody wanted it. I didn't wait around to do a 14-point plan. I went in and got it. So a lot of this stuff, you don't want to hear about the plans. You've got to get in and you've got to get it done.


BALDWIN: Get it done. He just wants to get it done. Yes, he's not talking specifics on policy. He says wait, wait for the next debate for that. But that is - I think that really resonates with a lot of voters who are so frustrated with Washington. BORGER: Right, they just want to get it done.


BORGER: You know, he's anti-establishment, anti-politician, anti- Washington. They like his can do, get it done attitude. I think what you're going to see happening now, though, Brooke, is all these Republicans who are losing altitude as a result of Donald Trump are going to start attacking him from the right. We're asking for specifics. We're not getting them. The other candidates are going to say, OK, here's my -

BALDWIN: Scott Walker's attacking him.

BORGER: Exactly. And Rand Paul's attacking him. And they're attacking him from the right saying, you're really an imposter. You're not really a conservative. You just said today that you might fund Planned Parenthood, for example. You are not a true conservative because now they are losing support. And the way to go after Donald Trump for them is saying, we are more conservative than you are and the Republican base needs to know that before they decide that they like him because he is not really who he says he is. That's what they're going to do.

[14:05:25] BALDWIN: I am so interested to see how the tone will change -

BORGER: Right.

BALDWIN: At the CNN debate -

BORGER: Oh, yes.

BALDWIN: At the Reagan Library.

Gloria Borger, thank you so much.

BORGER: Thanks.

BALDWIN: Really appreciate it.

You know, as Donald Trump is quick to remind all of us, he has made his name by building and buying expensive things. And all with his name affixed front and center, Trump Towers, Trump Palace, Trump Park Avenue. He owns golf courses and a winery and a helicopter. You with me? You get the picture.

So, of course, he has a keen interest in taxes as well. This morning, Donald Trump talked about tax reform on "New Day" and how he would like to put the tax preparation companies out of business.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: From the vats to the fair tax to every single form of tax, our tax code is too complicated and we can simplify it so easily.


TRUMP: How - using intelligence. By having commonsense.

CUOMO: But, I mean, what are you simplifying?

TRUMP: Look - look -

CUOMO: You make the top rate go from 30 something to 20 something?

TRUMP: And you heard me say this before. I want to put H&R Block out of business. I want to put them out of business. A person with a simple tax return can't figure it out. They have to go out and pay a lot of money to these companies that go out and do your tax return for you.


BALDWIN: So here's a little bit of the Trump backstory. Donald Trump got his start with his dad and his dad became successful by catering not to the wealthy and the powerful but by building homes and apartments for the middle class. Julia Vitullo-Martin once interviewed Donald Trump's father, Fred, back in the 1970s. She is a senior fellow with the New York's Regional Plan Association. And she says that when it comes to how they made their fortunes, there is a massive contrast between father and son.

So, Julia, welcome to CNN. Thanks for swinging by.


BALDWIN: I guess the first question is, let's just back up. Fred Trump. Tell me more about how he made his money? What was it he was building?

VITULLO-MARTIN: Well, Fred was a kind of developer we don't really have today. He developed primarily in the boroughs and he developed at a huge scale. Something between 25,000 and 30,000 units over the decades. He began in the depression and he ended pretty much in the 1990s.

BALDWIN: When you look at his background and then you also look at where his son has taken the business today, this is my favorite quote, I'm reading this "Washington Post" article this morning. You were quoted as pointing out, "it's so funny that Donald does all his government attacks because his entire heritage is from the government." It seems to me that these men had very - in the same business, but very different background as far as building, very different aspirations, professionally speaking.

VITULLO-MARTIN: Yes. Yes. Yes, exactly. First, in the old days, beginning in the '30s but through World War II and post-World War II, the federal government had a gazillion programs that were very difficult and complex and Fred was the master of using government programs and mixing them. That's the first thing.


VITULLO-MARTIN: The second thing is, Fred was not and never would be a member of what development people called the royal families in New York.

BALDWIN: Didn't want to be?

VITULLO-MARTIN: Couldn't have been. Out there in Queens and Brooklyn and doing working class and lower, middle-class housing, it was a whole different things. The Donald wanted to be part of the royal families and you can only do that in Manhattan and you can only do that building big and building skyscrapers.

BALDWIN: And that's a lot of the base, that's a lot of the theme of his campaign, right? He says, look at me, look at my success in business and this is what - how I would function as a president. I'm curious, though, too, about personality. You know, you interviewed Fred Trump decades ago. But when you - knowing what you knew of him and what we know of Donald Trump, what are - what are the similarities?


BALDWIN: Personality-wise.

VITULLO-MARTIN: Yes. I've actually never thought about the similarities. I mainly think about the differences because -

BALDWIN: Hit me with the differences first then.

VITULLO-MARTIN: Because Fred was very reserved. He was aloof. I remember "The New York Times" once said he was dapper but not fancy.

BALDWIN: Dapper but not fancy?

VITULLO-MARTIN: Right. And he was quiet. He was a very successful developer, so he had to have a major ego practically by definition, but he kept it restrained.

BALDWIN: And his son?

VITULLO-MARTIN: And his son, well, pretty much not restrained, right?

BALDWIN: It just - it was a fantastic piece in the paper this morning and to understand where his father came from and to juxtapose that with Donald Trump, it was - it was a great read and, Julia, I really appreciate you coming on. Thank you so much.

[14:10:00] VITULLO-MARTIN: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Like I said, you do not want to miss - I mentioned this a moment ago with Gloria - our second Republican debate, the second Republican debate, I should say, on September the 16th at Ronald Reagan Library in California. And CNN will also be the - hosting the first of the six Democratic debates. That is October 13th. It is live in Nevada right here on CNN. Coming up next, agents back on duty after the bloody arrest there of a

University of Virginia student. I'll speak with Martise (ph) Johnson, and get his reaction to that news and what he's - how he's taking this and is moving forward.

Also just in, investigators revealing what the truck driver did moments before he crashed into Tracy Morgan's limo. New details into that deadly accident.

And a possible game changer in the world of diet sodas. Why diet Pepsi is now getting rid of this controversial sweetener and whether other soda makers will follow suit.

You're watching CNN.


[14:15:01] BALDWIN: You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

And in Virginia, three state liquor agents involved in the controversial arrest of a University of Virginia student are now officially back on the job. They have been cleared of any wrongdoing in the March arrest of Martese Johnson. You probably remember these images here from some months ago, his face bloodied, the sidewalk bloody there, prompting allegations racism played a part in his arrest.

Well, the agents approached Johnson after he was turned away from a bar near campus and they say he turned belligerent. Johnson says he needed ten stitches after they gashed his forehead. After investigating the incident, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control released a statement saying, "Virginia ABC concluded that the agents did not violate agency policy and returned these special agents to active duty." By the way, charges for those agents and any charges with regard to Martese Johnson all dropped.

I talked to Martese Johnson earlier today. We spoke about this video, his future and the answer to this first question, because he still has a fourth year at UVA, he could come in contact, once again, with these ABC agents. And if he were to see them, what would he say? Here's his response?


MARTESE JOHNSON, UVA STUDENT ARRESTED BY STATE LIQUOR AGENTS: I - I would hopefully not have to say much to them. But had I - had I saw them, I would probably hope that they were, you know, conducting themselves in a polite manner and, you know, just interacting with students in a very cordial manner. And that's - and that's all I can really hope for from these officers.

BALDWIN: It has been just about half a year since this happened and I have no idea how many times you have seen that piece of video of yourself there on that sidewalk in Charlottesville. But as you watch it today, what do you see? JOHNSON: I've tried not to watch it for quite some time now, so I

hadn't seen it for months, to be honest. But the last time that I watched it, I couldn't finish. It was such a horrific experience for me and it's still traumatic today. And so when looking back on it, all I can think about is the possibility that that could happen to another student at this university or someone across the country. And the fact that it does happen and it needs to be stopped immediately.

BALDWIN: I think it's worth, since I have you, just to go back to that night quickly. I know the issue was, you know, you didn't have - you had lost your most recent license. You had given them a different license that had not the corresponding zip code that they were asking you for. There was some confusion over that. Tell me what happened afterwards.

JOHNSON: Um, so once - once there was the discrepancy with my I.D., I was asked to step away from the entrance because clearly he couldn't let me in because I provided an incorrect zip code. And so I had a cordial conversation with the owner of the bar, walked away and immediately was grabbed from behind by an officer. At the time, I had not known that it was the officer. And so, naturally, if someone yanks you from behind, you pull away because you don't know who it is.

And once I realized that it was an officer, he continued to grab me and pull me aside. Once that happened, we - I got into a brief conversation and then two other officers approached. One officer grabbed my other arm. A third officer grabbed me from behind also and I was slammed to the ground headfirst.

So I've - I've been recently working on a piece, actually, that I plan to put out to the public in the next week or two and a big portion of that piece is the concept of sanctuary and success. And so growing up your parents always told you, if you just do the right thing, if you do what you're supposed to do and follow - and follow these sort of paths that lead to success, you'll always be OK. You'll never have a problem and you'll be successful. And I think that I had that notion and I - and I internalized it for a very long time at the university until my third year when I realized that I checked all of my boxes. I did everything I was supposed to do. I made it out of - out of the streets of Chicago. I came to a prestigious university and I thought that I was safe.

And that safety bubble was bursted when this situation occurred in my life. From this point forward, I'm preaching that there is no real sanctuary in success and until we change our nation, minorities throughout the country will never be completely safe.

BALDWIN: You talk about changing the nation. I mean, that's a - that an overarching notion, right? I mean, to be specific, here we are getting geared up for this campaign season and what's been interesting to watch is the political sphere is these candidates. I mean one of the questions they are now being asked is about the Black Lives Matter movement, about police brutality, especially, I think, of, you know, of Bernie Sanders, who participated in the civil rights movement decades ago. A couple of folks from the Black Lives Matter movement, you know, took over his podium over the weekend. At the same time, you know, his new national secretary is a black criminal justice advocate, strong supporter of that movement. I'm wondering just that as context, Martese, what is the one question you think that should be asked of these candidates?

JOHNSON: I think that - I think that generally they just need to be asked, what are they going to do for minorities who are being killed daily? And I think that they have been asked that question but nobody has sufficiently answered it yet. And I think it -

[14:20:09] BALDWIN: What's a sufficient answer?

JOHNSON: I think - I think that they -

BALDWIN: Especially considering that the bulk - the majority are white.

JOHNSON: Yes. I think that they need to implement and alter policy that will prevent, one, officers from being able to treat people in the way that they do and 99 percent of them don't get found guilty of any wrongdoing. I mean they also need to implement more intense training. So, for instance, they - that the ABC in Virginia, which is - I had just finished going through a two week training on diversity and, you know, prevention of these kinds of violent instances, but that's only two weeks and that won't change a lifetime of implicit bias. I mean so I think that there needs to be more policy implemented towards diminishing implicit bias and also promoting the safety of minorities throughout the nation. I think that many of the candidates have taken steps towards that in implementing their new policy - their new platforms on criminal justice, but I think there needs to be a lot more work.

And currently I would say that Bernie Sanders is the best hope for the black community in the nation. And that's based on -

BALDWIN: So he's - he's your pick so far?

JOHNSON: Yes. Just - and I don't officially endorse anyone at the moment, but based on the way things are going right now, what's been put out, I think that Bernie Sanders is definitely the candidate for the black community at the moment.

BALDWIN: Final question, Martese, you're going into your fourth year at UVA. What's next for you? What's your post-graduation plan?

JOHNSON: I want to - that's a tough question.

BALDWIN: That was a deep sigh. This is an exciting time for you.

JOHNSON: Right. I hope to continue with my speaking engagements and hopefully influence and inspiring people to push for policy change in their communities, as well as support for a cultural change. And aside from that, hopefully just begin a career in consulting and be able to live a normal life, to some extent.

BALDWIN: Good luck to you. Thank you for joining me, Martese Johnson.

JOHNSON: Thank you.


BALDWIN: All right, let's take you next to Ferguson, Missouri. Overnight, more civil unrest as protests. This as the city marks the one year anniversary since Michael brown was killed. Police arrested at least 23 people after a state of emergency was declared because of violence during those demonstrations. St. Louis County investigators say some protestors tossed rocks, and then frozen water bottles, at police. But unlike the night before, when a man was shot, there were no serious injuries to report today.

And as the city of Ferguson is really struggling to rebuild after the unrest from this past year, you can help them. Just go to for ways you can help.

Next, soda drinkers, you know what, diet Pepsi, shaking things up, changing a recipe that millions love to drink by replacing this one key ingredient. What that ingredient is and whether this could actually push other soda companies like Coca-Cola to change as well.

Also ahead, we've talked about this leaked campaign memo. It's shedding new light on what Donald Trump would do if he were elected president. What I want to talk about today is his plan for the prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Not to shut it down. Something else. Trump's plan, coming up.


[14:27:45] BALDWIN: Pepsi just announced a drastic change to its diet soda recipe. They're getting rid of the controversial artificial food additive aspartame. And, instead, the new recipe will include - it's a different sweetener, the one used in Splenda, but will the change send diet Pepsi lovers running.

Here now with me, Dr. Philippa Cheetham, a cancer specialist at Winthrop University Hospital, and branding expert and author Martha Pease.

So, ladies, welcome.



BALDWIN: Aspartame, is this a huge, huge deal that they are now taking this away? I think of aspartame - maybe it's because of all the indoctrination I - all the noise. I think of it as this evil, evil thing that's put in sodas. Is it?

CHEETHAM: It's actually not, Brooke, but it's a great question. I think there's so much perception. I mean aspartame's been around since 1965 when the chemist first discovered it by licking his finger after trying to discover a drug for ulcer treatment and he licked his finger, his finger was sweet and that's what - that was how. BALDWIN: Oh, so we've been drinking ulcer treatment sweetener? That's great (ph).

CHEETHAM: Well, I don't think that drug ever actually got into the general use. But the important thing to say, it's been around for over 50 years and no human study has ever showed that aspartame is not safe. And all this mass hysteria that came about was after a very small study in the '70s looking at rats and some possible health issues related to hugely toxic doses of aspartame, way, way higher than anything that was ever taken in human ingestion.

BALDWIN: So then why would, to you, branding expert, why would Pepsi then make such a drastic change? And I imagine along with that change, something about the can. I don't know if this is going to be a massive change in branding, but they're going to have to say - I'm sure they'll want to say, "aspartame free."

PEASE: Well, this is a category where people's perceptions are really hard to change. And so changing a fundamental ingredient and making news out of it is a really important way to get people's attention back on the product. Aspartame in and of itself, changing that ingredient, doesn't have a lot to do with the overall composition of the product. But what's been happening is, the core users, the core drinkers of diet Pepsi have told Pepsi, we don't like this ingredient in our product. And if you change it, we're less likely to choose some other soda. We're more likely to stay with Pepsi. That's - that's the message that we're getting with the diet Pepsi.

[12:30:03] BALDWIN: OK. And just quickly, because I was curious, I was talking to my team this morning because I swore off soda, you know, years ago, although you hand me a bag of sour patch kids and you won't be getting them back. That's - that's my life.