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Interview With Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani; Trump vs. Fiorina; Rick Perry Out. Aired 18-19:00p ET

Aired September 11, 2015 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[18:00:03]

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Is Perry the campaign's first Trump casualty?

Trump vs. Fiorina. Donald Trump offers a new explanation for his controversial slam against Carly Fiorina. She's now been tapped to join him on the main stage at the upcoming CNN Republican presidential debate. Will Trump launch new attacks when they go face-to-face?

Biden torn. The vice president, Joe Biden, displaying raw emotion on late-night TV over whether to join the race for the White House. With growing pressure from supporters and Hillary Clinton slipping in the polls, will Biden upend the Democratic campaign?

Caught on camera. New York police release surveillance video of an undercover police officer tackling and handcuffing the former tennis pro James Blake in a botched sting operation. Blake has just released a statement. Is he accepting an apology from the NYPD?

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: We're following the breaking news, a shakeup in the Republican race for the White House.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry just announcing he's suspending his campaign amid dismal poll numbers, sharp attacks by the front- runner, Donald Trump. Here's what Perry said just a few minutes ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I gave my life to Christ, I said, your ways are greater than my ways. Your will is superior to mine.

Today, I submit to you, his will remains a mystery. But some things have come and become very clear to me. That is why, today, I'm suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Perry's departure follows Trump's attacks, which have also targeted former business executive Carly Fiorina. Her rise in the polls has now qualified her to take part in the upcoming main CNN Republican presidential debate, but it's also opened her up to Trump's putdowns.

Now he's offering a new explanation for one insult many people found particularly offensive, and all of this unfolding only five days ahead of the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Library in California.

We're covering all of that and much more this hour with our correspondents and our guests, including former New York City Mayor, the former Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

Our CNN national correspondent, Suzanne Malveaux, begins our coverage this hour. She's in Missouri, where she had a chance to sit down with Ben Carson, who's second only to Trump in our latest CNN/ORC poll.

What's the latest on the race among these Republicans, Suzanne?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dr. Carson spent a good deal of time meeting with city officials, businesspeople, as well as protesters. He told me that his opponents, well, they can call him anything, call him any names, insults. He's not going to engage. But what he is going to do, like his opponents, is set the record straight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX (voice-over): Carly Fiorina, the only woman joining her 10 Republican rivals on the main stage in next Wednesday's debate, isn't holding back in her face-off with Donald Trump.

CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Leadership is not about the size of your office, the size of your airplane, the size of your helicopter.

MALVEAUX: The former Hewlett-Packard CEO responding to Trump's jab after he said this to "Rolling Stone." "Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that the face of our next president?"

Trump told FOX News the controversial comment was made because he's an entertainer.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Many of those comments are made as an entertainer because I did "The Apprentice."

MALVEAUX: It's a different explanation from what he told's CNN's "NEW DAY."

TRUMP: I'm talking about her persona.

MALVEAUX: And for a second day in a row, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal blasted Trump, comparing the GOP front-runner to Charlie Sheen. CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: Giant marquee name comes through on your

caller I.D. and it's like, winning.

TRUMP: I'm winning in all the polls.

MALVEAUX: Today, Trump's second-place rival, Ben Carson is in Ferguson, Missouri, meeting city officials, the same city that erupted into civil unrest a year ago following the death of Michael Brown.

Carson refused to gain with Trump's attacks.

BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do I want to respond to Donald Trump's charges? The answer is no. I really don't.

MALVEAUX: Carson has tangled with Trump over faith and the critical evangelical vote, questioning each other's religious beliefs. I sat down with Carson and asked him about his faith.

CARSON: And it's very easy for them to see that, you know, my faith is not something that I come by lightly.

MALVEAUX: Trump has gone after Carson for his views on abortion.

TRUMP: He was heavy into the world of abortion.

[18:05:00]

CARSON: First of all, I have never done an abortion and wouldn't approve of it and never have.

MALVEAUX: I also asked him how he's preparing for the upcoming debate.

CARSON: By living my life. By having town hall meetings where I don't screen the questions. That's probably the best preparation.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: And Carson stressed the need for respect and dialogue in this. And the reason he came to Ferguson, he said, is because he wants to de-emphasize the business of race.

One group he did not meet, Wolf, is with Black Lives Matter. I asked him about that. He has criticized them in the past. He says he is open to meeting with them in the future -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Suzanne, thank you.

The Republican presidential candidates once again only five days away from their second debate. It will air right here on CNN on September 16, next Wednesday, live from the Reagan Library in California. The debate will also air live across the country on the Salem Radio Network.

Now to the Democrats and the interview everyone is talking about. We're talking about the vice president, Joe Biden, raw, emotional, visibly torn as he spoke to Stephen Colbert about launching a presidential run.

Our senior political correspondent, Brianna Keilar, has that part of the story for us.

Brianna, it was a very, very emotional vice president. Tell our viewers what he said.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, he told Stephen Colbert that he's getting by at this really difficult time by saying the rosary, by relying on God, and also on messages and quotes that his wife, Jill, tapes on his bathroom mirror while he is shaving. He was very open in this interview with Stephen Colbert and it's clear that he is struggling as he grieves for his son Beau.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: "Dad, I know how much you love me, so you got to promise me something. Promise me you're going to be all right, because, no matter what happens, dad, I'm going to be all right."

KEILAR (voice-over): Vice President Joe Biden's most emotional interview yet since his son Beau's death, as supporters continue to push him to get into the race. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is sliding in the polls, losing her edge over Republican candidates in hypothetical matchups. And Biden, who spent today in New York honoring those lost on 9/11...

BIDEN: Anniversaries are bittersweet, man. It all comes back.

KEILAR: ... stacks up better. He beats Donald Trump by 10 points, Jeb Bush by eight, and trails Ben Carson by three. But he's still undecided on a run.

BIDEN: I'm going to get in trouble. I feel it coming.

KEILAR: And on Stephen Colbert's show, he cast doubts on this whether he will get in.

BIDEN: I don't think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president, and, two, they can look at the folks out there and say, I promise you, you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy and my passion to do this.

And I would be lying if I said that I knew I was there.

KEILAR: The vice president's son Beau died of brain cancer just three months ago. Biden's recent appearances alternate between candid admissions of his grief and what sound like stump speeches.

BIDEN: Here's the bottom line. I'm hot. I acknowledge that. I'm mad. I'm angry.

KEILAR: If Biden doesn't run, polls show a lot of his supporters would turn to Clinton, not Bernie Sanders. Clinton is down 10 points in just one month, according to a new CNN/ORC poll of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters. Many Americans say she isn't trustworthy and she's losing support with a key group that she's courting this week, women.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will stand my ground. I will defend a woman's right to choose.

KEILAR: Sanders remains relatively level at second place in national polls, but has rallied in early states, now tied with Clinton in Iowa and ahead of her in New Hampshire.

BLITZER: Could you really see yourself as being president of the United States?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Increasingly, yes.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: But here's the thing, Wolf. This is really interesting. Many voters cannot see Bernie Sanders being president, or even the nominee. This is according to the new CNN/ORC poll.

Even though he's really challenging Clinton in the two early states, only 13 percent of those polled say Sanders is likely to be the Democratic nominee; 22 percent say Biden, and 55 percent, a big majority, think that it will be Clinton.

BLITZER: Brianna Keilar, don't go too far away. Thank you.

I want to talk about all of this and a lot more. Joining us now is the former mayor of New York City, the former Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

Mr. Mayor, thanks very much for coming in.

And I want to get right to the breaking news that just happened moments ago, Rick Perry, the three-term former governor of Texas, announcing he's "suspending" his race for the White House. That's a technical term. The lawyers always say they have got to say that, instead of just dropping out. But he's ending his race for the White House.

(CROSSTALK)

[18:10:01]

BLITZER: What's your reaction?

RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK: My reaction is that you're going to see more of this.

It's the beginning of the narrowing of the field when the people that are at 1 percent, and 2 percent, and aren't able to raise the money, or they think it's a waste of time. Rick was one of my biggest supporters when I ran for president. I have a great affection for him. I think he was a great governor of Texas. And this field is so crowded, hard for him to make an impact.

BLITZER: He couldn't raise the money anymore. He was letting his staffers go. It was simply mission impossible almost.

GIULIANI: Also, you had Ted Cruz that intervened in the four- year period since he ran last time, and became more or less the dominant figure in Texas. And I think that hurt Governor Perry.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: What about the Donald Trump factor? You're a fellow New Yorker.

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: Well, I just saw a few minutes ago -- I just saw him walking out of another TV station.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Did you talk to him at all?

GIULIANI: Oh, sure, sure. I get along...

BLITZER: I want you to tell us about what he said to you, but what do you think about this battle that emerged between Rick Perry and Donald Trump? Donald Trump says, you know what, as soon as he started attacking me, his numbers went down, down. He says that about all the other Republican candidates who attack him. He goes right back at them and he says they come down to zero or 1 percent in the polls.

GIULIANI: Well, so far, maybe a little bit of an exaggeration, but so far, that's been true. It's an amazing thing to watch.

The only way they can get attention is by attacking Trump. But when they attack Trump, they get in trouble. So it's a very -- it's a difficult road. But I still think we're not in the serious season yet, when everybody starts getting evaluated. And then I think we will have a better chance of seeing who's going to be the nominee.

BLITZER: Is there some sort of strategy? Donald Trump is doing amazing, you have got to admit, right now in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina.

GIULIANI: Yes, and he's having so much fun.

BLITZER: And nationally. And as much as he says things that the pundits say are blunders, or whatever, it doesn't hurt him.

GIULIANI: I was just telling a fellow I drove over here with, because we both were talking to -- first of all, he's having a lot of fun. He's enjoying the heck out of it.

And, number two, he's doing everything you're not supposed to do. Everything I was told not to do, he's doing, and it's working. BLITZER: What do you think? Is he qualified to be president of

the United States?

GIULIANI: Yes. Sure.

He's qualified to the president of the United States. You don't have to be a public officeholder to be president of the United States. I think he is. I think Fiorina is. I think Ben Carson is. I would like to know more about their policy positions. But does he have the ability to run the United States? My goodness, he's run very complicated things.

BLITZER: You wouldn't have any problem with his finger on that nuclear button or anything like that?

GIULIANI: Oh, come on, absolutely not. No. No.

BLITZER: Because I spoke with Bobby Jindal yesterday.

GIULIANI: I know.

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: Look, I look Bobby a lot.

BLITZER: He says that Donald Trump is not qualified.

Your former governor, George Pataki, I spoke with him today. He told me flatly he doesn't think Donald Trump is qualified to be the president of the United States.

GIULIANI: Come on. Because they think you have to hold public office to be -- I didn't -- I was mayor of New York, and the big issue for me when I ran for mayor was that I wasn't qualified, I was only a prosecutor, I had never run for office.

I think I turned out to be a pretty good mayor. Some other people do too. Some people don't. But I sure knew how to handle...

BLITZER: You became America's mayor after, unfortunately, 9/11.

GIULIANI: I sure knew how to run the city.

BLITZER: You don't have a problem with Donald Trump?

GIULIANI: I don't have...

BLITZER: You haven't endorsed any of these candidates.

GIULIANI: I haven't endorsed any of these candidates.

I like -- four or five of them are close friends. Chris Christie is a close friend. Jeb Bush is a close friend. I have tremendous admiration for them. It's going to be a hard choice for me when I have to eventually make it. I hope the field narrows a little bit more. It would have been hard not to support Rick, because Rick supported me so much.

I owe him a lot. The field narrows a little, it will make it a little easier for me.

BLITZER: Mr. Mayor, I hope you don't have to run. I want to hear about this conversation you just had with Donald Trump.

But I also want to get into some other issues with you today. I don't know if you have seen this new video of the NYPD taking down the former tennis star.

GIULIANI: Yes, what a shame. I have seen it, yes.

BLITZER: I want you to -- you will watch it with me. We will discuss what's going on.

GIULIANI: I know Commissioner Bratton is very upset about it.

BLITZER: It's pretty shocking, this newly released video of this police officer tackling the former tennis great James Blake. Blake now says an apology isn't enough.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:19:06]

BLITZER: We're now only five days away from the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.

Tonight, the slams, the insults, they're flying between the front-runner, Donald Trump, and several of his leading rivals.

We're back with the former New York City mayor, the former Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

You can identify with Donald. You were the front-runner for a long time four years ago.

GIULIANI: I was. I was.

BLITZER: That didn't exactly work out that great for you.

GIULIANI: No, it didn't work out that great for me.

Hillary and I both were for a long period of time, which made both of us kind of punching bags, and which is what you are when you're a front-runner. In Donald's case, the punches don't seem to be landing. And the counterpunches seem to be much more effective.

I mean, maybe it's his mastery of the -- of television. And his interviews are excellent, when he does an interview. He knows a lot more about policy than people realize. Constantly surprises me he knows as much. He makes mistakes, but so has every other candidate made a mistake.

[18:20:05]

BLITZER: But what about that comment in the "Rolling Stone" magazine about Carly Fiorina, look at her face, that kind of stuff?

GIULIANI: Somehow he can make that comment and it doesn't have the same impact as it would if I made that comment.

BLITZER: It wasn't appropriate, though, right?

GIULIANI: No, he shouldn't be talking about her looks, no, of course not. It usually gets a candidate in trouble.

But it has to tell you something is going on if it doesn't get him in trouble. There's something that the public sees here. And I think it's probably the fact that he's talking to them straight. It's not the same political, careful, worried about everything they can say. I think the public just loves that. And I don't think it's just Republicans.

BLITZER: Yes. He says he was talking about her persona.

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: I have to tell you, from having seen him, it was a brief...

BLITZER: Seen who?

GIULIANI: Donald.

BLITZER: Just now, you saw him?

GIULIANI: It was just a brief interchange.

He's happy. He's having more fun with this campaign than most candidates have, which I think is being conveyed. And he seems very loose, very, very...

BLITZER: And you have known him for a long time.

GIULIANI: Known him for 25 years, yes. Yes.

BLITZER: You could see, if he were the Republican nominee, being on his team?

GIULIANI: If he were to run against Hillary or Biden, of course I would support him, absolutely.

BLITZER: Because some of the other Republicans, they are refusing to say that. They say they will support the Republican nominee, but he's not going to be the Republican nominee.

GIULIANI: They don't know that. They have no -- right now, if it was held now, it looks like he would be. Who knows? Sometimes, front-runners do make it.

BLITZER: All right, let's talk about what's going on.

There's another story. It's a fascinating story, unfortunate story. James Blake, he was a great tennis player. He was number four at one point.

GIULIANI: I remember him. Yes.

BLITZER: And a very, very nice guy.

Look at this video. You see he's walking out of the Grand Hyatt Hotel here in New York City, hotel you're familiar with. All of a sudden, some guy comes over to him, takes him down like this, puts handcuffs on him. And, obviously, there was a mistaken identity. They thought he was some bad guy. Somebody said, this is the guy, and he wasn't.

But how does this happen?

GIULIANI: I mean, obviously, it's a mistaken identity. And I have to assume that there's something wrong here, because Commissioner Bratton has apologized. I know Commissioner Bratton really well. He wouldn't be apologizing if there weren't a problem here.

Otherwise, I would be saying to you, I would have to see the whole tape, what happened, what did Blake do?

BLITZER: But it's shocking. Look at this, how he's being treated. This was a great tennis player, very, very nice guy, by the way. Went to Harvard. And all of a sudden, he's arrested like that and taken into custody for no reason.

GIULIANI: Well, the reason is a mistaken identity.

BLITZER: Yes, but obviously they have got to be careful when they do that.

GIULIANI: Yes. They have to be careful. And we're talking about credit card fraud. We're not talking about armed robbery, which suggested maybe you don't need quite that kind of force.

BLITZER: Right.

GIULIANI: You're talking about a nonviolent crime that they're involved in.

And I have to believe that there's a problem here. Otherwise, somebody like Bill Bratton wouldn't be apologizing.

BLITZER: Yes. If you were the mayor of New York City, you would want to get to the bottom of this and make sure it doesn't happen again?

GIULIANI: Yes. For Bratton to apologize, he's probably already gotten to the bottom of it. It will take a few days to find out about it, but he's probably gotten to the bottom of it.

BLITZER: Yes, it's pretty disturbing.

Let's talk a little bit about 9/11, today the 14th anniversary. You were the mayor of New York, as everybody in the world obviously remembers. How vulnerable do you believe the United States is right now to another 9/11?

GIULIANI: Well, I don't know if it's vulnerable to another 9/11.

You know, one of the mistakes I think just natural that happens is, you always play out the last attack. I think we're pretty well defended against a 9/11-type attack, airplane attack, major attack.

I think where we're more vulnerable than we have ever been are the small attacks, the Boston Marathon attacks, the Fort Hood attacks, the kind of things we have seen in England and France. I think we're much more vulnerable to that now.

First of all, there's much more exhortation by ISIS, al Qaeda, the Iranian surrogates to do attacks like that.

BLITZER: You heard Ayman al-Zawahri, the leader of ISIS today -- the leader of al Qaeda, he went after ISIS today, said Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi, he is not the caliphate.

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: Right.

BLITZER: And when you do that, a lot of intelligence experts have told me they're worried these two guys are -- ISIS and al Qaeda, they're not going to fight each other. They're going to compete by going after the United States...

GIULIANI: Exactly.

BLITZER: ... to see who can kill more Americans.

GIULIANI: Exactly right. Frightens the heck out of me.

Each one wants to show, I'm fighting for Allah. And I'm more effective at jihad than you are. I should be the king of the mountain.

And then we see how this affects vulnerable people who become self-proclaimed jihadists.

BLITZER: Bottom line, is New York City safe, safer today than it was 14 years ago?

GIULIANI: Yes.

New York City, I'm comfortable with, because I know the changes that Commissioner Kelly made. And I know the ones that Commissioner Bratton has continued. And I know the good job that Commissioner Bratton did in L.A.

[18:25:03]

In fact, he's the one who originally used this term precursors of terrorism, which means he trains his police officers specifically looking for terrorists. So I'm comfortable with New York. I'm comfortable with some other cities.

I'm not comfortable with the country as a whole. I think our police departments need -- all need that kind of training, because I'm afraid this new approach is not going to just be major cities. I think this new approach is -- I think they have realized they can shock us pretty well if they hit us in Chattanooga or if they hit us in someplace else. And those police officers need that kind of training.

BLITZER: Rudy Giuliani, thanks very much.

GIULIANI: Thanks, Wolf.

BLITZER: Just ahead, have Republicans accepted defeat on the Iran nuclear deal? We're going to have a revealing interview with the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell.

Plus, more on the dramatic surveillance video of that sting operation gone very, very wrong. Is this former tennis star now accepting the NYPD's apology?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

appears to be a done deal after Senate Democrats blocked a Republican move to scuttle it.

Our senior political reporter, Manu Raju, had a chance to speak about all of this and more with the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who predicted fallout on the race for the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: I think the American people already understand but I want to make sure they understand it. There's a bipartisan majority who oppose the president's deal with Iran. And that was illustrated in the first vote. I expect it will be illustrated again in the second vote.

The other point I want to make to our friends on the Democratic side who have basically taken a bullet for the team here is, we're not going to use floor time in the Senate to allow them to kind of get well and to try to make people forget that they were on the wrong side of this issue. I've said we'll be happy to take up any bill that enjoys enough cosponsors to override a presidential veto. Otherwise, this vote stands. And this is going to be a defining vote for the 2016 election.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Manu is joining us now. Manu, what else did he tell you about how he'd like this Iran deal to play out politically?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he's basically saying, that this issue is done for this Congress, which actually contradicts what House conservatives are saying. They think that they can continue to push this issue in other ways, maybe initiate a lawsuit against the president. And what they believe is an effort so move forward with this Iran deal illegally.

I asked Senator McConnell about that and he said, "Look, they can move forward with that lawsuit. That's great. But I don't think it's going to work. He even said that, "I'm pretty skeptical that it will work." He's saying this is going to be a campaign issue. We're going to fight about it in the campaigns, and the next president can decide what to do.

So it's very clear that the Senate majority leader thinks that they fought the good fight, but he's ready to move on.

BLITZER: You also had a chance to speak with the Senate majority leader about Ted Cruz's efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Let me play a little exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: There aren't many Republicans who are fans of Planned Parenthood. We viewed with outrage the videos of these people sipping wine and talking about selling body parts. The question is how do you achieve that?

You could shut down the government, and it would not defund Planned Parenthood. It's a strategy that will not lead to a result that I would like.

Shutting down the government is something the American people overwhelmingly oppose, and we'll not be doing that. It wouldn't produce the result that Senator Cruz and I would both like to produce, so therefore, it would be an exercise in futility.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: So he's not going to go down that road, right?

RAJU: Yes, I mean, these are pretty strong words from the Senate majority leader. Remember last Congress when we went down the government shutdown road.

I mean, remember at that time Congress when we went down -- the government shut down the room. At that time, the Republican leadership was willing to go along with the conservatives who were pushing to defund Obamacare strategy.

At this point McConnell is saying, we're not going to go down the road of defunding Planned Parenthood. He's trying to just send that signal to those folks and probably infuriate a lot of those folks, people on the right who believe this is a critical opportunity to go after an organization that they've been going after for years and years and years. They believe those videos, those very controversial videos, give them fodder to do just that.

But McConnell does not want to risk the political fallout of a shutdown. He's willing to do a clean two and three month continuing resolution to keep the government funded.

But then, Wolf, the bigger question will be what do they do for long-term funding? He says that we're going to have to negotiate between Boehner, him -- the speaker, John Boehner, and the president to come up with a deal to deal with funding the government through next year and raising the debt ceiling. That's going to be a big issue to follow this fall.

Certainly will be. I want to bring back Brianna Keilar along with our national political reporter Maeve Reston and senior political analyst Ron Brownstein. Maeve, what do you think about this strategy? What's really going on as far as Ted Cruz -- he's a Republican presidential candidate at the same time. What's going on here?

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, I think that these issues are things that really will galvanize evangelical voters, potentially. And so they want to keep them in the conversation going forward. We have seen over the last couple of days, for example, a really interesting fight developing between Ben Carson and Donald Trump over evangelical voters.

[18:35:21] So obviously they're incredibly important in Iowa. And we'll have to see who comes out on top. Cruz has been there for a long time, Talking to these voters and galvanizing them. And he may, in the end, you know, be able to pull off some kind of a win in Iowa.

BLITZER: And Brianna, the other big news today is that the former Texas governor, Rick Perry, has chosen to suspend his campaign, his race for the White House. Why do this only a few days before the second Republican presidential debate?

KEILAR: Yes, it really is curious, Wolf, because here's this opportunity for him to be visible, even if he's not on the main stage, which he is not going to be. He would be at the smaller secondary stage. But it's still an opportunity for him to break out. We saw Carly Fiorina was able to do that.

It's unclear at this point why he made this decision. But it must have been some calculation that, even with a really good performance at the debate, that there wasn't going to be enough money in order to move forward.

Already now for, I think, over a month, his staffers have been unpaid. He has had advisers who he hasn't been in touch with. I think the writing was sort of on the wall here. And after some math, perhaps, he realized that it was just impossible.

BLITZER: As you remember, Ron, back in 2012, Rick Perry was doing really great around this time. But as Brianna said, he couldn't raise money this time around. This was a very different election cycle with Donald Trump in the race, as well. BROWNSTEIN: Yes, look, I mean Rick Perry's dropping out of the

race is proof that your mother was right when she told you, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

As you point out, in 2011, at this point, in late summer 2011, he was roughly in the national polls where Donald Trump is today, right around 30 percent for a period. There was great anticipation when he joined the race. Expected to be kind of the champion of conservatives against Mitt Romney.

But he could not deliver on the campaign trail. He seemed unsteady. He had that very difficult performance in the debate, where he could not remember the cabinet agencies that he wanted to get rid of.

And when he -- by the time he came back to run again, not only was Donald Trump and others there, but I think more immediately, Ted Cruz was in the race, kind of dominating that conservative energy out of Texas. And there was neither a lane nor the support to support a viable bid by Governor Perry. And I think he, you know, made the right call here to pull out before he went any deeper into debt.

And as Mayor Giuliani just told us, presumably there will be several more Republicans dropping out in the not-too-distant future.

Here's what Donald Trump put out on Twitter just a little while ago, Ron. "Governor Perry is a terrific guy, and I wish him well. I know he will have a great future." That's what Donald Trump just tweeted.

But listen to what he said about Rick Perry only a few weeks ago after Rick Perry really went after him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And then I see Rick Perry the other day. And he's so -- you know, he's doing very poorly in the polls. He put glasses on so people will think he's smart. And it just doesn't work. You know, people can see through the glasses. But he's got the glasses, the whole deal. "Trump, uh" -- I say he did a lousy job at the border.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right. What do you -- what do you make of that?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, you know, it's really -- I think it's fascinating. I mean, you think about just this week, Jeb Bush put out a tax plan that, in the past, would have been right at the center of the Republican debate. I mean, the role of the federal government, the size and reach of the federal government, reducing the marginal tax rates. These are the sort of things that Republican races have traditionally revolved around.

And what we've got this year, largely because of Donald Trump, is a race that is increasingly focused on kind of personal insults among the candidates. And I think many people, you know, looking forward to the debate are kind of wondering, who is going to attack who on what basis?

The kind of arguments and fissures that we've seen drive a Republican race in the past have been enormously muted, and I think and overshadowed by this kind of war of personality. And it's unclear to me how long it can go on without kind of those other forces reasserting themselves.

But right now, that is, you know, a driving factor in the Republican race, largely driven by Donald Trump and the way he has conducted his campaign.

BLITZER: You're absolutely right. Maeve, Ben -- Ben Carson visited Ferguson, Missouri, today, reflecting on race. What do you think is behind this particular move?

RESTON: Well, Ben Carson was actually here in California earlier this week. He's talked about how he's going to campaign everywhere. He's not going to try to be a traditional candidate. He's obviously benefiting a great deal from his outsider status.

And I think that this visit is part of it. It's showing people that those kinds of issues matter to him.

And he was out there today, you know, talking about people that he's talked to in the community, getting into the Black Lives Matter debate, saying that he'd be willing to speak to some of the folks involved in that. And it really is showing how he's stepping out here and trying to differentiate himself from other candidates.

[18:40:22] And one other point on Rick Perry. It's just amazing, as Ron was saying, how you know, three terms as governor can end up kind of being a strike against you. That's how this cycle has turned upside-down, on its head.

BLITZER: It's a good point indeed. All right, guys. Stand by. Thanks very much.

All of this as, all of our viewers by now know, leading up to CNN's Republican presidential debate, live from the Ronald Reagan Library in only five days.

Just ahead, there's new surveillance video of a tennis star takedown. The former pro James Blake tackled and handcuffed in a botched sting by the NYPD. And now he's saying apologies are not enough.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:45:40] BLITZER: New York City police have just released surveillance video showing the violent takedown of former tennis star James Blake by an undercover police officer who mistook him for a suspect.

Our national correspondent Jason Carroll has the video. He's got the details.

Jason, pretty shocking stuff. But update our viewers on the latest.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, exactly, Wolf. I mean, you saw some of the video there. It shows what happens there in glaring detail. New York's police commissioner released that security video from September 9th. That was the incident that happened outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel there in Manhattan.

You can see there the undercover officer who tackled Blake, that undercover officer, James Frascatore. It all happens pretty fast. We've watched it several times. The officer takes Blake down within seconds of grabbing him. Once he gets him on the ground, it takes about 40 seconds or so to get him handcuffed.

Blake says during that entire time, he kept repeating that he was cooperating, he kept asking over and over what this was all about. He says the officer in question never responded, never said what was happening.

He actually also released two statements today. A full one I'm going to read part of it to you. It says, "The officer who was apparently investigating a case of credit card fraud did not identify himself as a member of law enforcement, ask my name, read me my rights, or in any way afford me the dignity and respect due every person who walks the streets of this country."

Both the mayor and the police commissioner as you know, Wolf, apologized to James Blake for what happened. Make went on to say in his statement that he appreciated the apologies, but wanted to see more saying, "Extending courtesy to a public figure mistreated by the police is not enough. As I told the commissioner, I am determined to use my voice to turn this unfortunate incident into a catalyst for change in the relationship between police and the public that they serve."

NYPD's internal affairs bureau interviewed Blake last night, the officer who tackled Blake, again, Officer James Frascatore, was placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of an investigation. Should also say Blake and his attorney will hold a press conference tomorrow to talk more about what happened.

But, Wolf, I want to point out one other point about this. We do have a little bit more information about that officer in question. Apparently, he's also named in two civil suits also alleging use of excessive force. There's no admission of wrongdoing in either of those suits. But coincidentally, today we just found out that both of those suits, a settlement conference was set for both of those suits today. So, obviously, what happened with Blake having some influence in terms of how those two civil sites will now move forward -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Jason Carroll, thanks for that update.

I want to dig deeper now with former federal prosecutor, our legal analyst Sunny Hostin, former ATF executive Matt Horace, our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, our CNN anchor Don Lemon.

You watch that video and I want to get your reaction. Matt Horace, what's your reaction when you see this?

MATT HORACE, FORMER ATF EXECUTIVE: My reaction, Wolf, generally is this. The first thing we're taught to do in escalation of force is to identify ourselves. We identify ourselves for several reasons -- to protect us, to protect the person, and to protect people around us, because that didn't happen, it placed everyone in an unfortunate position.

BLITZER: Sunny, let me ask you. The police commissioner Bill Bratton called this a fast approach encounter. The police union says the officer did a professional job of taking Blake down. What do you say?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think it's a clear-cut case of excessive force, quite frankly. I've always said and I say it every single day, the police are supposed to be the professionals, not the people that they are policing.

And so this is not a textbook takedown. This is a case of excessive force. This was a nonviolent crime that this officer was allegedly investigating. And this seems to be part of his pattern and practice, if he has had two civil lawsuits filed against him for excessive force.

So, the suggestion somehow this is just the way business is done in the police department is really, really troubling because we know that the majority of police officers, Wolf, do the right thing. They do the right thing, it's a difficult job, it's a dangerous job.

But when you have an officer that has a history like this, that continues to patrol the streets, and is being made excuses for, that tells me that it's part of the culture at least in this division.

[18:50:07] And that's a problem.

BLITZER: Jeffrey, you told us yesterday what happened to Blake was frightening in that it happened in a very public place at this major hotel in Manhattan in front of so many people. But now, we're seeing the video of the incident.

What's your reaction when you see that?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I can't help but remember back after the Eric Garner case when Mayor De Blasio who has an African-American son said, you know, I told my son about what it's like to deal with the police and how careful young African-Americans have to be and how respectful they have to be.

And you will recall the mayor was attacked by the head of the police union and others for this comment. But this video and this story is exactly why young African-Americans are told by their parents and by anyone who has their best interests at heart that you have to be careful around the police. It's too bad that that's the way the world is. But this video tells us exactly why young black men have to receive that unfortunate instruction.

BLITZER: It's a good point.

Don, in a statement, Blake said, I'm quoting him now, he said, "I know what happened to me is not uncommon."

Your reaction to those words.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: My reaction to the words next, but -- after this, but I have to say, I think they messed with the wrong darn person, because further in that statement, Wolf, he said, I'm going to make sure that I use many I voice, and I'm paraphrasing here, so that this doesn't happen again.

I think that, yes, it does happen to many people. Those people don't get an apology from the mayor and from the police commissioner.

And I think Jeffrey Toobin is exactly right. And I know that I say it. Sometimes Sunny says it. Jeffrey says it.

It's unfortunate. I know people get upset when you say comply. But he did everything right. It should not happen, but he might not be alive had he resisted.

LEMON: Sunny, the police officer in question previously named in two lawsuits, alleged excessive use of force in the separate incidents. One of the -- one said the officer failed to identify himself which Blake said in his statement.

So, is there a problem here as far as the NYPD is concerned?

HOSTIN: There is a problem. We know that just two years ago, a judge said the NYPD's process of stop and frisk was unconstitutional and that they need wholesale reform. And we know historically the data is there that African-American men are stopped much more than their white and Latino counterparts. African-Americans young men is 21 times more likely to be shot by a police officer than his white or Latino counterparts. Those are the facts. Those are the stats.

So, this is emblematic. And I agree with Don, this happened to a high-profile young African-American man, someone that has a voice. The stats show that this happens day in and day out.

And as a mother of a young boy, I have instructed him how to behave when he will be approached by a law enforcement officer, because, unfortunately, they don't know that he is my son. They don't know that he is a straight A student. They don't know he is a star athlete.

BLITZER: All right.

HOSTIN: All they know statistically is that he is a young African-American man and he is going to be stopped. And so, this is something that we have to take care of.

BLITZER: In this day and age of video cameras, we will see more of this down the road.

Guys, thanks very much.

Don will be back later tonight, just in a few hours, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, not 10:00 p.m. Eastern tonight, Friday night, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, "CNN TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON". You will want to see that.

We'll have much more news right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: So much has changed over the last 14 years. But the emotions attached to this day, September 11th, remain raw and wrenching. Here are some of the ways America remembered 9/11.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(BELL TOLLING)

(PLAYING "TAPS")

ASH CARTER, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Within this community, we will never forget. We will always remember.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My brother, Captain Jason M. Dahl (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wanda Anita Green (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My son (INAUDIBLE)

(BELL TOLLING)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My father, Stephen Lewis Roach (ph). We miss you and we love you each and every day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dad, thank you so much for your memories. I really wish you could meet your granddaughter, because she reminds me of you so much. I love you very, very much and miss you always.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.