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Trump, Bush Speaking at Campaign Events Tonight; Trump Takes Questions at Town Hall; Trump and Fiorina Attack Business Records. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired September 17, 2015 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:17] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush dueling campaigns, dueling events back on the trail. Their first public appearance since going head to head in the GOP debate. We are live in New Hampshire and Nevada.

Plus, Carly Fiorina a big winner last night according to many. But will Trump attacks on her business record resonate with voters?

And a Muslim student's homemade Science experiment looked like a bomb to his teacher so he was handcuffed and questioned and taken away. Was it religious profiling? Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Jim Sciutto in again tonight for Erin Burnett and OUTFRONT tonight. Donald Trump moments away from a campaign appearance in the crucial early voting state of New Hampshire. Jeb Bush speaking right now at a Veterans Center in Las Vegas. Another key early voting state in Nevada. The dueling events come less than 24 hours, after the GOP candidates went head to head and at times fist to fist to fist in the second republican debate. Trump was coming off mixed reviews for his performance, is last night rather and is holding a town hall meeting at Rochester, New Hampshire. The first primary state of course. Trump was the focused of attacks from almost every candidate on the debate stage and while he had the most talked time on any of the contenders, some of his favorite targets, such as Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina, landed some blows of their own.


CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know what, as it relates to my brother, there's one thing I know for sure, he kept us safe.


SCIUTTO: Jeb Bush is looking to capitalize on his energized performance at that debate, generally positive reviews and you're looking at live pictures of that event out in Nevada right now.

Sara Murray is OUTFRONT tonight at the Trump rally in Rochester, New Hampshire. So Sara, coming off a debate performance that many felt fell flat, what are we expecting from Trump tonight? SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure, Jim. I don't know if he can

tell from pictures they're looking at. But this is a very different campaign event than we're used to seeing from Donald Trump. This is not a big, flashy rally. It's a traditional side of New Hampshire, town hall that we see every presidential candidates view every cycle. Donald Trump is expected to take the stage any minute now and field the questions from voters. And that will really give the voters a chance to press him maybe for more questions that they didn't get on the debate stage last night -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: So while you're there, do you sense him running a more -- and as we say this, just so you know, we can see him coming out into that event stage. But are you seeing a more traditional candidate in light of those more traditional campaign events, as you're standing at right now?

MURRAY: You know, it's almost like he's trying to do that but he can't quite rein himself in. And I think that's what we saw in the debate stage. I think lately at event, he's trying to be more serious and holding events like this.



SCIUTTO: Sara Murray there on the scene for us as we wait for Donald Trump to begin that event. We have David Gergen here who has advised Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Clinton. As you watch him tonight and last night, David, do you see something different, do you hear something different from Donald Trump?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think he's morphing as a candidate. Yes. It's almost as if he's house broken now. I think he's stopped peeing on the rug so to speak. And yes, I think he is trying to be more disciplined. He clearly showed self-restraint last night. And you know, after coming out with (INAUDIBLE) I thought he was very tight when last night started. He unnecessarily just gratuity slammed Rand Paul. What the heck was he thinking about? He should have apologized to Carly Fiorina when that moment came up and she would hurt him in that exchange. But I did think --

SCIUTTO: Just for a moment.


SCIUTTO: We're going to keep you around, David. Let's have a listen to Donald Trump.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Sit down, relax, we'll be here for a while. You know, I said today that we just got back, as you know, we came from Mobile, Alabama, two weeks ago. We had 31,000 people. Thirty one thousand!


Then we just left Dallas where we were in the great mavericks, as you know, the mavericks building, the basketball team, a great team, a wonderful team. And Mark Cuban was so nice, he called -- you know Mark, right? Good guy. And what happened is he said, what about using the arena? I said, well, how much do we have? How long do we have and how many seats? It's 22,000 seats. They filled it up in two days. Is that good?


[19:05:08] I then flew from Dallas, always making speeches -- because we have to make our country great again, right? I then flew and this was sort of fun, we flew to a very nice place, Los Angeles, right? And we went to the "USS Iowa" and we were honored by a great vets group which gave me an endorsement. They endorsed me. The vets like me and I like the vets. We have a lot of vets here tonight.


We have a lot of vets. But the vets on the "USS Iowa" -- that is some ship, by the way. They don't build them like that anymore. But they endorsed me and then I flew, as you know last night, we had a little thing called a debate at the Reagan Library. And it was -- it was sort of an amazing thing. We had an incredible time.


TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you.


That was some evening. Now, I'll tell you the problem with the evening. It did so well that CNN said, let's make it an hour longer. Can you believe this? That debate was three hours. It felt like more than that. Now, why did they do that? For the young children here because we have to teach them to be entrepreneurs. They did it because they wanted more revenue comes from the commercials. Right? Isn't that terrible? Terrible. I think it's terrible. And the money should have gone to the vets, right? Right?


They made a lot of money. They made a lot of money. But in the end, it was an incredible time. We had an incredible time and I got such great remarks. Look at this. We just wrote this down. "Time" magazine, they did votes as to who won the debate last night. Right? So "Time" magazine, 114,000 votes as of 6:00 p.m., Trump, 56 --


Carly Fiorina, 19. Rubio, seven. Ben Carson four. The rest not doing too good. Then, drudge. We love drudge. We love drudge. Donald Trump, 51 percent. We had a total of 668,000 votes cast. Trump, 668,000. Think of it. Fifty one percent. Second, Fiorina, much less. Like much. Then Rubio and then Cruz and -- I'm not going to mention the next one because I don't like him very much. Then Newsmax. Way up ahead. Newsmax. You like Newsmax. I like it, too. The great Chris Ruddy, I like it too. Donald Trump, first place by a lot. "The Street." "The Street." Donald Trump, 52 percent. That's a lot when you have all of these guys. That's a lot.

You know, it's not against two people, it's against Donald Trump 52 percent, first place. And then you had "Slate" and that's also Donald Trump. Now, you don't read about that so much about on television because coming out, boy, FOX treated me shabbily -- they treated me shabbily, but that's okay. CNN, a little bit better. They treated me a little bit better. But the end result is people know what happened. It was an incredible time and we are going to do something very special. There's a great movement going on and it's a special movement. It's a movement where people want to see our country be great again. They want to see things happen. They want to see the right things happen. They want everybody to get together, work, work, you know, the people of New Hampshire, you love to work, don't you?

Don't you love to work? Huh? And, you know, so I had a little news yesterday because he's a great person and he's a great -- I love winners. We love winners, right?


So a great winner. Tom Brady. Tom Brady. Right?


So, Tom is this incredible guy, total champion. And didn't even want to tell me about it. He endorsed me yesterday, right? Everybody up here knows. That's good. When you get Tom, when you get Tom, you're getting a champ and he's a great champ and we have some others, I won't mention them now, but I want to tell you, we have so many people that are endorsing and so many really, you know, it's very interesting. Coach Ditka in Chicago and people that I don't even know are just coming out in favor of Trump because they want to see the right thing happen.

[19:10:12] When CNN did its poll recently, they had a couple of different categories. One was leadership. In leadership I win like, forget it, not even a contest. So much higher than anybody else, like two or three. I don't know. You had all of these cameras going, they can tell you. But leadership, way through. The other one is the little thing called the economy and jobs. Nobody -- nobody -- the only thing they didn't love was my personality. Can you believe it? No, it's the only thing. So here's what happened. So we went to Dallas, we went to Mobile, Alabama, we went to the "USS Iowa" making speeches all over the place, and then we had the debate last night which was exciting. And I said, you know what we're going to do tonight? No speech. Let's do question and answer.


TRUMP: Do you want? So, I'm going to say a few words and then we're going to do question and answer. And you can make them vicious, violent, horrible questions, even though you're sort of probably --

SCIUTTO: You've been listening to Donald Trump at a town hall in Rochester, New Hampshire, of course, one of the first primary states as he's want to do, David. He's touting some of his own numbers following the CNN's debate last night. You said before we started you sensed a morphed Donald Trump last night.

GERGEN: I take it back.



So, you hear a familiar candidate.

GERGEN: This is a very familiar candidate. And I still think he wants to change and I always believe he has a hard time doing it. I think he wants to come more disciplined. I mean, it was a little more general. But -- on CNN, that was totally uncalled for. But beyond that, you know, he's his own spin doctor. You know, this is what people do that work for the candidate go out to Motown. It's very rare we have a candidate that goes out with all of these polls. Lyndon Johnson used to follow the polls. But for a non-politician, a businessman suddenly embrace every poll that comes out, I think some portion of the population obviously it turns off significant portions of the population. If those polls he cited tonight are true, we have to say, he came out of this a lot better than many of us thought. I would be the first to say that.

SCIUTTO: He breaks a mold on a number of levels.

GERGEN: He does.

SCIUTTO: David Gergen, stay with us.


SCIUTTO: We're going to be back. OUTFRONT next, we continue to watch Donald Trump's live town hall there in Rochester, New Hampshire. The GOP front-runner is about to take questions he says from the crowd.

Plus, Trump and Carly Fiorina attacking each other's business records. Did anyone land a knockout punch?

And this budding engineer was handcuffed when the clock he made at home was mistaken for a possible bomb. Many are calling it a case of profiling and discrimination. Why are school officials insisting they did nothing wrong?


[19:16:12] SCIUTTO: You're looking at live pictures of Donald Trump speaking to a large crowd at a traditional town hall meeting in Rochester, New Hampshire. We're told he will be taking questions from the crowd in just a few minutes. Let's have a listen.

TRUMP: And just think of it, we send hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars into Mexico. You have a huge problem at the border where a tremendously cartels, the drug cartels pour in with drugs, pour out with money so they come in and not a good deal -- we're not making a good deal there. But they are coming in with hundreds of -- you have to see this, the numbers. They are staggering. Get shipped all over the United States and then people say, the wall doesn't work. You ask Israel whether or not a wall works. Believe me, a wall properly done. A Trump wall, a Trump wall works. That I can tell you. That I can tell you.


But, you know, these guys, the politicians -- and they are politicians so I understand that. I understand where they come from. My whole life I've dealt with politicians. To say you can't get Mexico to pay for the wall, it will never work. And I say why? Well, it just doesn't work. Why would they do that? Why would they do it, because we're losing almost $50 billion, think of it, 50 billion a year on trade. Why wouldn't they do it? It's peanuts. You know, they say it's going to cost 10 or 12. But that's for people that have never built anything. These for people who have no idea.

You do it for much less and the difference is it will be bigger and better and stronger and people aren't going to Home Depot and buying a ladder and walking right up. Not this wall. Not this wall. And by the way -- and by the way, this wall is going to have a big, beautiful open gate. We're going to have a nice opening, and when people want to come into this country legally, and they want to go through the process, and we all welcome them, is that a correct statement? I mean, we welcome.


And when someone goes to Harvard and they are number one in their class or Stanford or the Wharton school of finance or Yale or any of them, and they do great and then we throw them right out and they go back to a country and they tried and compete and they do it very successfully, we want to keep those people, we want to keep people of talent. We want people of great talent. So we've got a plan in terms of illegal immigration. And remember this, when I first announced -- and this was an incredible two weeks, believe me, Rush Limbaugh said, I have never seen anybody receive more incoming, a word I never heard before, incoming means really bad press. I mean, it was incoming. But he said, I've never seen anything like it. And then he doubled down. I doubled down and it's true.

And he said, nobody would have done that because I knew the problem. I knew what was happening. And we have tremendous crime, whether it's Kate in San Francisco, whether it's Jamil in Los Angeles, whether it's the woman two weeks ago who was killed in California, a 66-year-old veteran who was raped and sodomized and killed, unbelievable, by an illegal immigrant. And it's just not going to happen anymore, folks. You know, it's not going to happen anymore. We're going to have a border.


And we're going to get the gang members out of here fast. We need to get a lot of gang members that are illegal immigrants. You go to Chicago and different places, you get a lot of these tough -- these are tough dudes. We're going to get them out of here so fast your head will spin. All right? Your head will spin. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

So -- so I'm really honored by the crowd and we're going to have some fun now because instead of making the speech, which I've been doing over and over and over, I want to take questions. Don't we like that? Right? Okay. All right. Let's start with this group right over here. Come on. Okay. This man, I like this guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm from White Plains. Amen. Okay. We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslim. We know our current president is one.

TRUMP: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know he's not even American.

TRUMP: We need this question --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But anyway, we have training camps growing and they want to kill us.

TRUMP: Uh-huh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's my question. When can we get rid of them?

TRUMP: We're going to be looking at a lot of different things and, you know, a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We're going to be looking at that and plenty of other things. Okay. Go ahead. Yes, ma'am. Go ahead. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, I've definitely got to ask you a good veteran question. Welcome, first of all, to New Hampshire. Donald, last night was a disgrace. CNN did not touch on any of the issues that are going on with veterans' health care.

TRUMP: It's true.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Women's veteran --

TRUMP: I actually asked them about that. There wasn't one question relating to the veterans. That's true.

[19:21:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did anyone even ask them why? I know that's a Clinton News Network. Is it that they don't like veterans or --

TRUMP: You know what, there was not one question relating to that and not too much on the military, by the way, but nothing relating to the veterans. Those days, believe me, are over. Okay. Yes, ma'am. Go ahead. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Mr. Trump. Thanks for being here. The economy and job market is a big issue. I just finished my master's degree and now during my job search, I'm told that I'm either overly or underqualified. I believe the unemployment rate is skewed. What can you do to improve the job market for people like me, qualified, talented, educated U.S. citizens?

TRUMP: You know, it's such a question. I get it all the time. It's an amazing question. One of the things we're doing, we'll be taking our jobs back from China, and Japan and all of these other places that have been ripping us for years. I've been talking about this for 10 years, 15 years. No politician sees it. We're bringing our jobs back here. We're bringing our manufacturing back here. One of the things, and I will tell you, it's probably, maybe the question, other than the vets, maybe it's the question I get asked the most. Okay? And that's, people, young, beautiful, great people. They go to college. In many cases, they borrow a lot of money to get through college. They are so proud of themselves. They do well. They are good students, they work hard. They get out, they can't get a job. With Trump, you know, there's an expression. I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created, I tell you that. That's what you need.


SCIUTTO: You've been listening to Donald Trump answering questions at a town hall meeting in Rochester, New Hampshire. The first question, David Gergen who is here with me in New York, someone in the audience saying that President Obama is a Muslim and talking about the threats of Muslims in America, Donald Trump's answer, we're going to be looking at a lot of things. What do you take from that answer?

GERGEN: That was a dismissive response and could be seen a sensitive, you know, I think a sensitive person would have said, look, you know, there are many, many good Muslims in this country if there are some who intend to do something. We're going to be looking at a lot of ways to deal with that. But let's come back to the fundamental, which George W. Bush did the right thing beginning after 9/11, you have to embrace diversity in the society and Muslims are very important Americans.

SCIUTTO: Agreed. David Gergen, stay with us.


SCIUTTO: And we're going to be staying with this event. OUTFRONT next, Carly Fiorina by many accounts a big winner at last night's debate.

But will Trump's attack on her business record hurt her campaign?

Also coming up, school officials and police thought these student's homemade clock could be a bomb. But they were wrong. The only thing that blew up was social media. That story, ahead.


[19:27:52] SCIUTTO: Breaking news. You're looking at live pictures of Donald Trump taking questions at a New Hampshire town hall. His first public appearance since last night's GOP debate. In addition to his billions, Donald Trump likes to talk up his success as a businessman. But he's not the only one. Carly Fiorina, one-time CEO of Hewlett-Packard also running on her record as a businesswoman. In fact, the first female chief executive of a Fortune 50 company. Last night she claimed that she doubled the size of HP while she was at the helm. But are both of them exaggerating their business success? Each accused the other of just that last night. So, who is right?

Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.


TRUMP: She can't run any of my companies, that I can tell you.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Call it a corner office cage fight. Business tycoons Trump and Fiorina pounding away at each other in the political arena.

FIORINA: I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.


FOREMAN: For Trump, it's all about HP. Fiorina made big headlines when she took the top job at that tech company in 1999. No woman had ever risen to such heights in American business.

FIORINA: We are not losing revenue as a result of this merger.

FOREMAN: But the headlines were even bigger when she oversaw the mega purchase of Compaq and HP went into a tailspin, losing half of its stock value, laying off 30,000 workers.

TRUMP: The Company is a disaster and continues to be a disaster. They still haven't recovered.

FOREMAN: By 2005, Fiorina was fired. Although, as she told Erin Burnett, with the tech bubble bursting, many firms were in trouble back then.

FIORINA: Every other technology company laid people off, it's the worst thing a CEO can do is have to say to someone you don't have a job.

FOREMAN: Still the assessment from business experts --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I think she was honest, hardworking smart woman who made the wrong choices.

FOREMAN: The cornerstone of Fiorina's attacks on Donald Trump are a bad roll of the dice, Fiorina has been savaging Trump over his casino deals -- at Atlantic City.

FIORINA: You ran a mountains of debt, as well as losses. You're using other people's money and you were forced to file for bankruptcy not once --

[19:30:07] TRUMP: I never filed for bankruptcy.

FIORINA: -- not twice, four times. A record four times.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Trump is right in that he never filed for personal bankruptcy but she's right, too. Four times, his casinos went into bankruptcy before he finally fled the Jersey coast altogether.

TRUMP: Atlantic City is a disaster. I did great in Atlantic City. I knew when to get out. My timing was great, and I got a lot of credit for it.


FOREMAN: In short, both of the business candidates have skeletons in their corner office closets that they might not want voters to look at too closely, even as they furiously point out each other's flaws -- Jim.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Tom Foreman in Washington.

And OUTFRONT now, CNN senior political analyst David Gergen and CNN political director David Chalian.

David Gergen, you heard Tom made that point there. They both have skeletons in their corporate closets here. It's a long campaign season. We've got more than a year to go. Those weaknesses can tarnish them over time, can't they?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: And thank goodness for Tom Foreman. I hope he goes deeper, looks more closely at those skeletons. We need to know, we deserve to know.

You know, Chris Christie last night was questioning why we should get into their business background -- well, their accomplishments as professionals are all important if they're going to run for president and never been in public office. We have to know how good they were on the business side.

On Carly Fiorina, there is a widespread view in the business community that she did not handle it well. I have talked to her a few years ago. We had long conversations about this. She feels strongly that the merger actually worked and in the time of her successor, the company did extremely well. She thought she planted the seeds to the hope that grew out of it. She also thought, frankly, there were gender questions that arose in her --

SCIUTTO: That some in the business world questioned that --

GERGEN: Some in the business world questioned that.

And, you know, Donald Trump, you know people like this just as well as I do, there are a lot of people who questioned, they think he's worth $10 billion. I don't know anybody that believes that. They say it's a much smaller number. Maybe those $10 billion went through various --

SCIUTTO: He's had his own business failures. GERGEN: Yes, he has. We need to know more about both.

SCIUTTO: David Chalian, we've seen this come up in past political races. In 2010, Fiorina neck and neck with then -- California Senator Barbara boxer. Then Boxer ran this ad. Let's have a listen.


AD NARRATOR: Fiorina shipped jobs to China and while Californians lost their jobs, Fiorina tripled her salary and bought a million dollar yacht and five corporate jets.

FIORINA: I'm proud of what I did at HP.


SCIUTTO: That was no longer a neck-and-neck race.

David Chalian, is this a strategy that could work for her Republican rivals like Trump?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: That was a killer ad and obviously that race was in California and so, Carly Fiorina had an uphill battle anyway. But this is exactly the kind of ad that Democrats would sort of be foaming at the mouth to get on the air.

I mean, this is why -- when business folks run, that there's a two- sided coin. There is a lot of -- there's a lot of attractive qualities to a business person in politics. Look at Mike Bloomberg in New York, for example, somebody who can run things really well.

Mitt Romney's entire narrative, the turnaround guy that could really come in and fix things was his biggest asset coming in, but then the Democrats perverted that image by digging into his paperwork and his taxes and all of the documents that get filed when you're in business. It just creates a treasure trove for opposition research that can get boiled down, fair or not, into a 30-second ad like that and just be a killer.

SCIUTTO: Yes, no question. I mean, it's a great point because, also, you have some candidates in a race like Jeb Bush, while he was governor, he also spent a lot of time in the business world and there were dealings there that are vulnerabilities. But just also to echo David Chalian's point, Ross Perot, Steve Forbes, Herman Cain, other businessmen who ran for president and didn't go so well.

GERGEN: They didn't, except Ross Perot went out for different reasons. There was a possibility he could win that race, he was ahead when he dropped out, he was number one. Bill Clinton was number three. After Ross dropped, Bill Clinton's fortunes -- chose Al Gore and his fortunes changed.

But let's got back to this -- I think David has a really interesting point, not just the business dealings, not just the companies themselves. The nominees of these parties have to reveal a lot of financial records and financial records can often be used against rich candidates and business candidates. It's one of the reasons you don't see a lot of businesspeople hem step up and say, I'm willing to be nominated to be assistant secretary of this or that or the other. They don't want to put all of it out.

SCIUTTO: Mitt Romney's return in 2012, the low tax rate, Cayman Islands.

GERGEN: There's going to be a lot of questions before this is over.

SCIUTTO: David Chalian, Chris Christie went last night. He went after Trump and Fiorina together for talking about their business careers so much. Have a listen to how he put it.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm as entertained as anyone by this personal back and forth about the history of Donald and Carly's career -- for the 55-year-old construction worker out in the audience tonight who doesn't have a job, who can't fund his child's education -- I got to tell you the truth, they could careless about your careers.

[19:35:14] They care about theirs.


SCIUTTO: I wonder, David Chalian, did Christie touch a nerve last night? You know, a sense of voters growing impatient with this very personal, very negative tenor of the campaign so far?

CHALIAN: Well, he certainly came up with a good applause line there. There's no doubt that you play to the middle-class voter in a very successful way, especially when you're talking about Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina as a contrast.

But listen, I think that voters do bemoan negativity, every cycle, Jim, we see that. They don't like all of the back and forth, and yet it does help frame the choice for voters and so, they do end up sort of voting on some issues that grow out of this negativity that's back and forth because that's, then, the narrative that gets shaped for how the voters view these candidates.

SCIUTTO: David Chalian, stay there, because as it happens, Donald Trump is talking about Carly Fiorina right now. Let's listen.

TRUMP: Hewlett-Packard that they're dropping about, what, 30,000 jobs. Now, they're still recovering. Who knows if they will ever recover? But -- and then everyone says she made a good speech last night. I don't know, I don't get it. I don't get it. I don't get it. But at some point, people are going to see and I think it's going to be a very big road block, you know?

Now, when you look at Trump, OK, Trump, I built an unbelievable company, tremendous company, tremendous net worth, which I don't want to talk about other than to say, it's the kind of mentality you need in this country, at least for a period of time. (APPLAUSE)

SCIUTTO: You've been listening to Donald Trump there in Rochester, New Hampshire. Please stay with us. We're going to stay with this event.

OUTFRONT next, this young Muslim man, a Muslim high school was rewarded for showing off his science project by being handcuffed and led away by the police. Was it racial and religious profiling?

And Jeanne Moos on how the talk fest can be boiled down to two minutes based on body language and facial expressions and perspiration.


[19:41:06] SCIUTTO: Welcome back. We continue to watch these live pictures from Rochester, New Hampshire, that is Donald Trump who has been holding a town hall meeting there, giving a few comments. He's been taking questions from the crowd since then.

We have with us, CNN's political director David Chalian.

David, Trump's recent comments just then about Carly Fiorina, you know, particularly going after her for job cuts at HP, Hewlett- Packard, her former company, which, of course, she left a number of years ago. But that gets to a point you made before the break, which is a double-edge sword of business experience, that it can help you but it could also hurt you. I'm wondering if that's what we're seeing here right now.

CHALIAN: Right, and, Jim, even if she has no relationship with HP, when they are in the news about job layoffs, Donald Trump uses it to his advantage. You know, back to the Mitt Romney example, we saw that there as well when there were negative stories about Bain Capital, the investment firm, we -- whether or not he had anything to do with those specific projects at Bain, he gets tagged with it. And so, it just -- it's one of these things specific to people running in politics, they are never able to fully shed the company that is part of their public identity.

SCIUTTO: No question. Now, to be fair, Donald Trump, a businessman, he's been operating in New York for decades, and he as Jeff Zeleny reported earlier in the forecast, Tom Foreman, rather, has skeletons in his corporate closet. That came up in the debate last night. There were these efforts to build a casino in Florida. He denied it on stage.

He faces the same weakness, does he not, or danger from some of those past business dealings?

CHALIAN: Without a doubt and I think perhaps even a little more so because I don't think that the Trump Organization hasn't been as exposed to the kind of scrutiny that a company like HP has and now with Donald Trump as a presidential front-runner, that scrutiny is clearly coming his way. Carly Fiorina brought up his bankruptcy filings. This is just the beginning. I mean, again, every candidate out there

who is looking to take down Donald Trump is going to go through every single piece of paper and now, as he is more and more serious candidate, he's going to have to come up with an answer back to why he did everything sort of on the up and up and above board at the Trump Organization.

SCIUTTO: A lot of weeks and months for that kind of digging. David Chalian, our political director, it's great to have you on.

OUTFRONT next, a young Muslim student arrested for bringing his homemade clock to school. Why? And was it racial discrimination?


[19:47:42] SCIUTTO: Tonight, a 14-year-old Muslim students says he wants to transfer to another high school after he was handcuffed and interrogated by police and suspended after a teacher suspected his homemade clock was a bomb. The case of Ahmed Mohamed quickly generated support across the country, from CEOs, celebrities, even the president. Despite the outrage, his Texas school however is standing by its actions.

Alina Machado is OUTFRONT.


ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Ahmed Mohamed, being led away in handcuffs after being accused of creating a fake bomb and bringing it to school. The device was nothing more than his latest invention.

AHMED MOHAMED, STUDENT: So, I guess everyone knows I'm the person who built a clock and got in a lot of trouble for it.

MACHADO: Authorities released this picture of the clock. Ahmed says he made it using a pencil case and was excited to show it off at school.

MOHAMED: I built a clock to impress my teacher, but when I showed it to her, she thought it was a threat to her. So, it was really sad that she took the wrong impression of it and I got arrested for it later that day.

MACHADO: The chief of the Irving, Texas, Police Department says officers took Ahmed into custody because of the device's, quote, "suspicious appearance." But by Wednesday, police announced there would be no charges filed against the 14-year-old.

LARRY BOYD, CHIEF, IRVING POLICE DEPARTMENT: The follow-up investigation revealed the device apparently was a homemade experiment and there's no evidence to support the perception he intended to create alarm.

MACHADO: The mayor of Irving defended the actions of both the school district and police, releasing a statement saying, in part, "I do not fault the school or the police for looking into what they saw as a potential threat."

Still, the incident is fueling criticism and outrage on social media and plenty of words of encouragement for the team.

MOHAMED: It made me really happy to see all these people support me and support others.

MACHADO: Support from high-profile names and companies. Reddit and Twitter have offered him internships. Facebook Mark Zuckerberg wrote, "The future belongs to people like Ahmed," adding, "Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I'd love to meet you. Keep building."

Even President Obama asked to meet him, tweeting, "Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House?"

[19:50:03] The teen's story, even a topic on last night's Republican presidential debate.

JAKE TAPPER, DEBATE MODERATOR: Did you ever see the discrimination part of it?

BOBBY JINDAL, (R), LOUISIANA GOVERNOR & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Sure. I don't think a 14-year-old should ever get arrested for bringing a clock to school.

MACHADO (on camera): Now Ahmed was suspended for three days. It's unclear if he's going to return to the same school. He says he wants to transfer schools.

As for the clock, police were initially holding on to it as evidence. But they tell us it is ready for Ahmed to pick it up -- Jim.


SCIUTTO: David Palmer is an Irving City councilman.

David, looking at this case now -- should the school and city apologize to Ahmed?

DAVID PALMER, IRVING CITY COUNCILMAN: The police department and the schools have tough jobs to do already, and I think those jobs get made harder by the kind of a culture of fear that's been fostered and number toured in our city and, you know, through our state and country, really, over the last several months anyway.

SCIUTTO: But the police, to be fair, made a horrible mistake here that questioned the innocence of a 14-year-old kid.

PALMER: No, and I agree with that. I think that, again, I would go on the side of caution. I think, for example, the school district is in a very tough spot. They are in a situation where if something had happened and they had done nothing, I mean, they would be roundly criticized for that. I think it's probably very reasonable that under the circumstance and suspicious package that police were called.

And, you know, I wasn't there and it's easy to Monday morning quarterback, but right up to the point where they made the decision to arrest him is where I kind of begin to question their actions.

SCIUTTO: Would you, how would you react in this case where the police didn't even call his parents before they started speaking to him. I know how I would feel about that. How would you feel about that?

PALMER: Well, I would be extremely angry. This is not directed at Irving Police department or police in general, but there's very clear laws in Texas any time a minor is taken into custody, there's supposed to be a parent or guardian contacted immediately.

SCIUTTO: If the student's name was John Doe, would it be a problem?

PALMER: I don't think this is direct bigotry against religion. I think probably if the kid would have been a Caucasian named Billy Smith, and he didn't respond to the officers' questions in the way at they felt would seem appropriate to, I mean, I would say they would have probably done the same thing with him.

I think what we've got working here is probably this, again, underlying culture and it doesn't have to be always in your face but even subtle fear perhaps that causes the teacher to react in a little different way, perhaps it causes the child to react in a different way. Perhaps he's overly defensive because -- and so these officers get in and clear -- you know, from what I've heard in the reports, they determined on site it was not a bomb but then, I think it probably got a little overzealous in the decision to arrest. So --

SCIUTTO: Mr. Councilman, thanks for joining us tonight.

PALMER: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Coming up next, the many faces of last night's Republican face-off.

Stay with us.


[19:58:09] SCIUTTO: Presidential debates can be informative, fiery, even historic. But they can also be awkward.

Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Who needs volume? Just mute the debate.

All the better to focus on the candidates working up the sweat, or that glistening upper lip, to the hairline. But nothing is more riveting than the fantastical faces of Donald Trump.

TAPPER: He said he wouldn't want, quote, "such a hot head with his finger on the nuclear codes".

MOOS: Even when nothing comes out of the open mouth, the puckered lips is eye catching.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Short, tall, fat, ugly -- my goodness, that happened in junior high.

MOOS: Remember when a woman detected Trump's face in a tub of butter? Well, at the debate, the Donald tried buttering up Carly Fiorina.

TRUMP: I think she's got a beautiful face and I think she's a beautiful woman.

MOOS: Fiorina stayed as stone face as a president on Mount Rushmore, while Jeb Bush wore a doting smile, humoring an eccentric uncle.

TRUMP: I did a very good job. I will take care of women.

MOOS: One of the debate highlights was the low five.

Connection was a bit more awkward when Trump tried to high five Ben Carson.

BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: OK. So I just want that on the record.

MOOS: Hillary Clinton's campaign used her face to shrug off the Republicans in her official response to their debate. There was even debate online about this guy's face.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The hottie behind Jake Tapper. Who is the hunk?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hit me up, cutie.

MOOS: He became #hotdebateguy.

TAPPER: Combustible.

MOOS: One fan super imposed a heart over him.

TAPPER: Welcome back.

MOOS: Eventually, he was identified as Greg Caruso, an aspiring film director and son of a millionaire real estate developer. An admirer suggested him for the $10 bill. But others described him as creepy and one viewer called him the real life version of the Tom Brady sketch.

But there was nothing deflating about this debate.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He wanted casino gambling in Florida.

TRUMP: No, I didn't want --

BUSH: Yes, you did.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --

TRUMP: Totally false.

BUSH: You wanted it.

MOOS: -- New York.



SCIUTTO: Thank you for joining us again tonight.

"AC360" starts right now.