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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Pope Gets Unprecedented Welcome in Washington; More Than 6,000 Officers Will Protect Pope in NYC; Trump Invokes 9/11 as Defense of Anti-Muslim Questioner; GOP Candidates Criticize Carson's Anti-Muslim Remarks; Fiorina Stands By HP Record as Trump Attacks; Outrage After Pill Price Increases 5,000 Percent. Aired 7-8:00p ET
Aired September 22, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news. The Pope has landed. The President and Mrs. Obama, the Vice President and Mrs. Biden. All on hand to personally welcome the Pope to the United States as he begins this historic six-day visit.
Also unparalleled, the massive security operation surrounding the Pope. Said to be one of the most intense security environments in American history.
And Ben Carson shifting statements on the question of electing a Muslim president. Many fellow Republicans say he's wrong. So can his campaign recover? Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan in for Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news. Pope Francis in America. The people's Pope landing at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington just a short time ago. For an historic six-day, three-city visit. His first to the United States. President Obama and the First Lady along with their daughters, the Vice President and Mrs. Biden were on hand to greet the pontiff along with a big crowd. Some 300 local school children included. The crowd chanting, "We Love Francis." At times the Pope departed Andrews in not your typical VIP car service. Instead a tiny fiat. His vehicle simply dwarfed by the SUVs that took the presidential contingent back to Washington.
Tomorrow, 15,000 people -- just look at there. Tomorrow 15,000 people will gather for his welcome to the White House. Thursday, the Pope will address a Joint Session of Congress before flying to New York City for a prayer service at St. Patrick's Cathedral. And on Friday, the Pope will speak before the United Nation's general assembly. And then this weekend, he'll deliver mass in Philadelphia before a crowd that could reach one million people. Now, Homeland Security is calling the Pope's trip a national security special event. And government officials say the visit will be one of the largest security operations in American history.
Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT at Joint Base Andrews. Jim, you were there as the Pope arrived. What was it like when the Pope stepped off that plane?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: I'll tell you Kate, unprecedented just on so many different levels. And that's not an exaggeration. It's a fact. Unprecedented to have a president and vice president greet a world leader as he arrives in the U.S. Of course unprecedented because this is the first visit to the U.S. by the 78-year-old pope. Also unprecedented, the security response here. Thousands working to keep this Pope safe on this trip. As you said, Kate, really one of the largest security operations in the country's history.
But finally as well, unprecedented in style. And how did I know that? Because in addition to all those luminaries the President, the Vice President, the archbishop of Washington, the governor of Virginia, the mayor of Washington, you had several hundred kids here and a high school band. What was that band playing just before the leader of the Catholic Church landed in the U.S.? They were playing songs from "Louie, Louie" to Pharrell Happy to Neil Diamond songs. Only with this Pope that you have that kind of welcome and I think we're going to see a lot of moments like that over the next several days.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And we're already seeing that. I mean, I hope we can show this video once again. I for some reason, can't get enough of it. The Pope and the fiat. What is behind that unexpected choice, Jim?
SCIUTTO: You know, it's incredible, Kate. Because we saw his motorcade line up before the plane landed. And you saw the typical parts of the motorcade, the big SUVs and the ambulance and the cop cars and the police motorcycles. And it was only at the end when we saw this little car pull up to the grand stand where the Pope was going to hop in it. I look at him and I said, that's a little fiat. And I saw the license plate and it had CV1 which in for Vatican City, means Vatican City One. Of course, only he can drive that car.
And I'll tell you, this is a pope of gestures. And that was a gesture I think with two messages. One, he comes from Italy. His Italian background, got to drive a little Italian fiat. But also this is a pope of the people. He doesn't want to drive in a Cadillac limo or big GMC SUV. He wants to be driving in that little car down the streets of Washington, D.C. Just one of many gestures we'll going to see. Just one more tonight if I could mention Kate, a quiet first night for the Pope in the U.S. because it's Yom Kippur the Jewish holiday, no public events scheduled. He thought that that was most fitting with the somber night, of course he is not Jewish but he's an ecumenical leader, church leader with respect for all the face and that's just one more gesture we're seeing from him.
BOLDUAN: As you mentioned, those gestures. That's for sure. Jim, it's great to see you. Amazing moment to witness for sure. Thanks so much, Jim at Joint Base Andrews for us.
Now, Rosa Flores, she flew with Pope Francis from Cuba to the United States. She was on that plane and she's joining us now. So, Rosa, I mean, you had many amazing moments on that flight. During the flight, the Pope, one of the things the Pope did was he took questions from reporters on the plane. And at one moment he even gave a bit of a hint as to what he will or really won't be bringing up in his very highly anticipated address to Congress. [19:05:26] ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think the
world is waiting to see what Pope Francis says before Congress. And he did give us a hint. We asked him if he was going to talk about the embargo. We asked him actually flat out, and he said that no, he was not going to speak about the embargo during his speech but that he would probably, he said, speak about multilateral and bilateral agreements. And he said that that is a sign of progress and co- existence.
And now, we've been trying to get hints from the Pope throughout this trip, Kate. Since we left Rome and a couple of others things that he is mentioned along the way, specifically when we flew from Rome to Havana. He mentioned the word "peace" a lot. He mentioned that there were wars in the world and that there were immigration issues. And then of course, that reminds us of the anti-immigration rhetoric that we've been hearing here in the United States. Will he mention that? We don't know, of course. But I think it's a clear hint that he might be addressing immigration.
BOLDUAN: Fascinating stuff. Everyone waiting for that moment for sure. Rosa, great to see you. Thanks so much.
Now, with his arrival, Pope Francis begins a six-day visit marked by many historic firsts. And as Rosa was talking about including the first papal address to a Joint Session of Congress. For more on that, Jim Acosta is OUTFRONT.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was would be of the biggest symbolic moments of the Obama presidency, with the President and first family plus the nation's first Catholic Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden altogether greeting Pope Francis. It made for an unprecedented welcome to the U.S.
VALERIE JARRETT, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: It is a big deal. And I think it's because since it is the Pope's first time in the United States, what better way to welcome him than greet him as soon as he touches the ground here in the United States?
ACOSTA: Day two of the Pope's visit will be a sight to behold. For starters, 15,000 visitors are expected to cram on to the White House South Lawn to witness the Pope's official arrival. After the President greets the Pope, the two leaders will speak to the world then hold a one-on-one meeting with only translators in the room. All before Pope Francis addresses Congress Thursday with Biden in attendance. Even though the President and the Pope are allies on issues ranging from climate change to income inequality to Cuba, even the Iran nuclear deal, the White House refuses to reveal what the two men will discuss.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The President will not arrive at that meeting with a political agenda.
ACOSTA: Perhaps that's because this Pope can be full of surprises. After their last meeting, we asked the President whether any hot button social issues were raised.
(on camera): Did he register objections with you about the contraception coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act or your efforts to advance the rights of gays and lesbians in the United States that worry so many Catholics?
(voice-over): Mr. Obama responded, the Pope unexpectedly brought up immigration reform.
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I think it was very mindful of the polite of so many immigrants who are wonderful people working hard, making contributions, many of their children are U.S. citizens, and yet they still live in the shadows.
ACOSTA: White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett told CNN these two leaders may have more business to tackle in the President's final months in office.
JARRETT: The work is never done. But with two men of this caliber who share ideals and who share values about human decency, respect for human differences, I think that it's going to be a really, really positive visit.
ACOSTA: Now, besides the hard issues, the President and the Pope may tackle from abortion to the Syrian migrant crisis in Europe, there will be plenty of ceremony in their encounters. As his customary, the President will present the Pope with a gift, but again some secrecy here in the White House. No word on what Mr. Obama has in store. And as adorable as that fiat is, Kate, I'm hearing we'll be seeing more of the Pope mobile here in Washington tomorrow.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Many, many looking forward to that for sure. Jim, thanks so much.
ACOSTA: All right.
BOLDUAN: And OUTFRONT with us now, presidential historian Douglas Brinkley who has written extensively about the history of Catholicism in America. Doug, it was great to see you.
One of the big moments as Jim obviously laid out perfectly right there during this visit is the private meeting between President Obama and Pope Francis. This isn't like any other meeting with a head of state. I mean, he's not a politician, he's the Pope. What goes on in a meeting like this?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, there is nothing like it. This is a true gold star day for President Obama and Vice President Biden. I remember when Ronald Reagan had to meet Pope John Paul II and he was terribly nervous. And Reagan had been a movie star. And he said only Mother Teresa and the Pope make me nervous. So, you can just imagine the kind of the anticipation that the President has, and not just meeting the Pope and talking with him but making sure his journey here to America is fruitful. And he is probably waiting to see what he tells Congress as much as everybody else is. They have a lot of shared history now with the success in Cuban diplomacy together and we're on the same page together on the climate issue.
[19:10:30] BOLDUAN: That's definitely true. And it's interesting that you bring up Reagan and Pope John Paul II. Because they were known to have a close personal relationship even trading correspondence. I mean, Pope Francis and President Obama, they have meet once before. Do you see them developing a similar type of relationship?
BRINKLEY: Well, the President -- the Pope although he is 78, he will probably going to be the Pope for another decade or more where President Obama is leaving office soon. But look, they are both meeting each other as you know, we forget sometimes that Barack Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize. The Pope is an advocate for global human rights. So, they have a lot of I think natural shared common ground. They both are really intellectuals at heart. And I think the President would like to see that history shows that a lot of his views and the Pope at this particular moment of the time are the same. It's hard to miss the fact Barack Obama has been making climate change the number one issue really of his second term. And here is the Pope leading the charge along with him. That is something that the President recognizes there are going to be allies in the history books.
BOLDUAN: And real quick, Doug. I mean, another historic moment as you mentioned, is this Pope giving his first address to a Joint Session of Congress. What is the message that you think he wants to send in just making this address and what do you think the goal is there?
BRINKLEY: Well, first off, all of America is thrilled that the Pope is here. You might have one or two foolish congressmen that object or try to boycott him. But in the end, I think the Pope wants to talk about the message of love. May talk about the Syrian situation. Might mention his recent trip to Cuba. Might mention climate change. But overall, it's about fellowship and keeping the spiritual life, the moral imperatives of the planet alive. He's coming here to spread the message of love and millions, tens of millions of American Catholics like myself are very excited that he's here.
BOLDUAN: You can really see the excitement the moment he stepped off that airplane at Joint Base Andrews. You can absolutely you see the excitement in Washington and then off to New York and Philadelphia. A very, very busy trip. Douglas, it's great to see you. Thanks so much.
OUTFRONT for us next, it's being called one of the biggest security operations in U.S. history. How American security forces are set to protect and planning to protect the Pope.
Plus, the outrage over Ben Carson's remarks that he couldn't support a Muslim for president. Well, the outrage won't die down. Is an apology the only way to put out this fire? And Donald Trump rolling out yet another reason he says he didn't
correct a supporter's anti-Muslim and birther remarks at a recent rally.
[19:16:18] BOLDUAN: More breaking news tonight. Pope Francis is in Washington, D.C. right now spending a quiet evening at the Vatican ambassador's residence. This historic visit is also requiring a historic level of security. Three major cities are on alert after Washington comes New York and then Philadelphia. More than 6,000 officers will be on hand to protect the pontiff when he arrives in New York City Thursday. Eleven hundred police vehicles are also on standby. And authorities are even sealing up manhole covers in and around Central Park as a precaution.
Deborah Feyerick is OUTFRONT with more.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It happened in a split second. Several people breaking from the crowd, one of them able to reach into the Pope mobile in Havana. The sudden security breach handles quickly by the pontiff's security detail underscores how high the stakes are and how much greater they will be when the Pope arrives in New York City to address some 170 world leaders, all with security details of their own. Security will be tight in the air, on the roof tops, the waterways, the city streets, all eyes zeroed in on Pope Francis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The implied threat is significant. Nobody wants to have a protectee go down on their watch
FEYERICK: The United States Secret Service is coordinating some 50 agencies in a massive security operation. For a two-day period from Thursday night through early Saturday, Pope Francis will visit six locations, all of which will be swept, secured and locked down long before he arrives.
BILL GAGE, FORMER U.S. SECRET SERVICE AGENT: Almost like a military operation. They are going to post themselves with agents and officers, they're going to kick everybody out and then they're going to sweep it for security threats.
FEYERICK: Bill Gage is a former secret service agent who protected Pope Benedict on this his 2008 U.S. tour.
(on camera): You've still got balconies over here, you've got roof tops, you've got trees. What's not to say that somebody can simply hide in those areas and wait?
GAGE: Each one of these buildings, someone from the service is going to visit and they're going to do an assessment, do the windows open out, do they open in? Do the windows even open? How do you get on the roof of this building? Who controls roof access? There is also going to be plains-clothed agents as well as NYPD officers patrolling some of the roofs.
FEYERICK (voice-over): The NYPD will provide man power, protect the city, coordinate street closures and as in this drill, respond to potential attacks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another IED explosion, again reports of 48 DOA and 200 injured.
WILLIAM BRATTON, NYPD COMMISSIONER: They are trying to kill us, the terrorists, al Qaeda, ISIS, Islamic radicals and we need to be constantly mindful of that.
FEYERICK: Only ticket holders are going to get close enough to St. Patrick's Cathedral to actually get a glimpse of the Pope. They are going to have to go through multiple security check points including magnetometers. But because there are so many office buildings here and so many pedestrians, there will be a fence set up and that is to ensure that nobody slips through any kind of contraband like a weapon.
ROBERT SICA, U.S. SERVICE SECRET SERVICE: Fencing is used by the Secret Service routinely to identify those that have been screened versus those that haven't been screened.
FEYERICK: Along with the Joint Operations Center, every agency will also have its own command post with teams monitoring intelligence, social media posts and the comings and goings of people on various target lists. Surveillance cameras are posted throughout Manhattan. And radiation detectors will be positioned at bridges and tunnels. The FBI's most recent bulletin said, there is no known threat surrounding the events.
Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.
BOLDUAN: And OUTFRONT now, Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service agent who served on President Obama's detail. And Dan Bongino, also a former Secret Service agent. It's great to see you both. A lot to get through because there is a huge amount of security around this visit. Jonathan, you and I have been talking about this. You say protecting Pope Francis is like protecting no one else. Why is it so different?
JONATHAN WACKROW, FORMER U.S. SECRET SERVICE AGENT UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, he doesn't follow the traditional model that a Secret Service protectee has. I mean, he is not a political leader, he's a religious leader. And Pope Francis is really the nexus between the people and the church. So, his job, his mission on this trip is to reach out to the people, to embrace them to get into the crowd and that poses a massive security challenge for the secret service on this trip.
BOLDUAN: So, then Dan, how do you account for that? And also account for the massive amount of agencies that are all involved here in protecting the Pope from the FBI to the Secret Service to the Coast Guard to the local and state police and all his different states? How does that call all come together?
[19:21:05] DAN BONGINO, FORMER U.S. SECRET SERVICE: Right. That's a good question. You know, the de-confliction exercises. In other words, preventing blue on blue. Law enforcement from engaging other law enforcement. God forbids, there were some tactical assault on the Pope. It is probably taking up a large portion of the pre- planning adventures that his involved in now. Even still, they are still planning in other cities. But, you know, John is right, this Pope he lacks predictability. His random that creates a number of resource allocations as he's for the Secret Service.
What I mean by that is on the inauguration route when President Obama was inaugurated in 2008, I was there, I was responsible for the zone where the President was to get out and wave. We knew that was where he was going to get out despite reports otherwise. You show randomness to it. You don't know that with this Pope. With this Pope, he could get out anywhere. So, you have to resource, allocate all of those special weapons teams and people in the crowd. Really everywhere along the route which creates a real problem.
BOLDUAN: A real problem and I want to talk about the route, because we've seen problems with that before especially problems for those trying to protect the pope in Rio. And I hope we can show this video in real when he was there. The car he was in came upon traffic. So, they took a detour. And then the car was mobbed by people. All well-wishers just wanting to get close to the Pope. But how do law enforcement account for that ordeal with the situation or try to avoid a situation like that? I mean, you see the officers went and just trying to push arms away.
WACKROW: First of all, the Secret Service isn't going to allow this to happen. They're going to take these lessons learned from Rio de Janeiro and from instance that happen in Cuba. We saw that people came up over the barricades and got right up to the Pope mobile. So, the Secret Service is very cognizant of, you know, this type of activity happening. And they've built in contingencies for that to include the working shift around the Pope mobile, they've done a real proactive advance, which is, you know, paramount to any Secret Service operation. Is serving those routes and mitigating all of those types of threats.
BOLDUAN: Now, I also want to get from you Dan, the director of the Secret Service Joseph Clancy, he was actually seen on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews this afternoon really overseeing the welcome if you will of the Pope arriving. That seems extremely unusual by all accounts when we were all talking about it. What does that tell you?
BONGINO: You know, I've known Joseph Clancy a long time. I worked for him when he was the deputy special agent in charge of the President's detail and the special agent in charge. He is an exceptional human being. The joke about Joe Clancy was they used to call him Father Joe because there was a rumor he wanted to be a priest. Seriously. So, I'm not surprised at all that he chose to get out of his office and to get boots on the ground, see what's going on. Joe Clancy is all business. If something is going to go wrong, he is going to be there to correct it first. I'm not surprised at all he was there.
BOLDUAN: Amazing to see him there even if -- and good to know, now we know his nickname. We'll going to tell him that you told us that actually, Dan. It's on your head, my friend.
BONGINO: I've got permission. You got it.
BOLDUAN: Dan, thank you. Jonathan, great to see you. Thank you so much.
OUTFRONT for us next, Ben Carson changing his stance on a Muslim running for president. But will his shifting answers hurt him?
And Donald Trump, his latest defense for ignoring a supporter's anti-Muslim remarks.
And even after laying off 30,000 workers, Carly Fiorina says she is proud of her record at Hewlett-Packard. But can she convince voters this time?
[19:28:28] BOLDUAN: And breaking news, in a new interview with "60 Minutes" Donald Trump is responding once again to the growing criticism that he did not correct a supporter who said that President Obama was a Muslim. Trump now is pointing to the 9/11 attacks as reason for not taking a stand against that supporter at a recent rally. Listen here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT PELLEY, CBS ANCHOR, "60 MINUTES": It was a testing moment for a man running for president.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think so.
PELLEY: You never know when they're coming.
TRUMP: I don't think so.
PELLEY: But here you had a bigot that you could have slapped down.
TRUMP: No, no, no, no. You don't know that. I mean, he asked a question. You don't know there was a bigot. But look --
PELLEY: A problem in this country and it's Muslims?
TRUMP: Well, let me ask you this. So, you said is there a problem in this country and it's Muslims. All right? I love the Muslims. I have many, many friends, people living in this building, Muslims. They are phenomenal people. But like everything else you have people where there are problems. Now, we could say there are no problems with the Muslims. There is no problem. There is terrorism. There is no problem. There is no anything. They didn't knock down the World Trade Center. To the best of my knowledge, the people that knocked down the World Trade Center, you know where they're -- they didn't fly back to Sweden.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Meanwhile, Ben Carson is shifting his position again on his opposition to having a Muslim be president. He and his campaign team have appeared to offer several different explanations in defending and clarifying his comments. But Carson says, he has not changed his story at all.
Joe Johns caught up with the candidate today in Ohio.
DR. BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't care what a person's religious beliefs are or what their religious heritage is.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, Ben Carson shifting his position on whether a Muslim should serve as president.
CARSON: If they embrace American values and they place our constitution at the top level above their religious beliefs, I have no problem with them.
JOHNS (on camera): So, it's a nationalist position?
CARSON: Well, I said that. It's on the record. On NBC. That's exactly what I said. That is exactly what I meant.
JOHNS (voice-over): But that isn't what Carson told NBC on Sunday when asked if a president's faith should matter.
CARSON: If it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the constitution, I have no problem.
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: So, do you believe that Islam is consistent with the Constitution?
CARSON: No, I don't. I do not. I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.
JOHNS: Telling CNN he's been consistent from the start.
(on camera): Did you change your position on a Muslim in the White House?
CARSON: No, not at all.
JOHNS: You're being consistent with what you said on Sunday?
CARSON: Very consistent. Absolutely.
JOHNS (voice-over): Now, many Republican presidential contenders are weighing in saying religion should not exclude anyone from serving as president.
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think religion should be a criteria for being president.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: I personally do not believe that your religious denomination should disqualify you from serving in office.
JOHNS: Donald Trump said many people agree with Carson on this issue, but he would ultimately accept anyone who gets through the rigorous election process.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The proper people, properly vetted, going through an election, I think anybody that is able to win an election will be absolutely fine.
JOHNS: Carly Fiorina offering her view on the "Tonight" show.
CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I actually believe that people of faith make better leaders. I think faith gives us humility and empathy and optimism, and I think those are important things.
JOHNS: Ben Carson addressed a crowd of 4,000 people here in the campus of Cedarville University in Ohio. Talking to people who turned out to see him here in the Buckeye State, many supporters say the controversy over his comments hasn't registered on their radar -- Kate.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Joe Johns, thanks so much.
OUTFRONT with us now, CNN political commentator Ana Navarro. Ana is a Jeb Bush supporter and friend of Marco Rubio. Also with us, Katrina Pierson, spokeswoman for the Tea Party Leadership Fund.
Great to see you both of you.
So, a lot happening in just the last few minutes.
Katrina, you hear -- you are a supporter of the Trump campaign. You heard right there what Trump said to Scott Pelley on CBS. His explanation now about why he didn't slap down that supporter of his at that rally in New Hampshire. Is that a satisfactory answer to you?
KATRINA PIERSON, TEA PARTY LEADERSHIP FUND: I don't know that he's changed his explanation. He's just, you know, piling upon it. I mean, people just aren't happy with the answer that he's giving, so he is expanding upon it.
The question is what is it that is the controversy because that keeps changing in the media. Is it the fact he did not correct this man when he called Obama a Muslim or what? Because the reason why he says he didn't correct him is because it's not his place. If that's the issue that's causing all this trouble, then we might need to go back to Hillary Clinton considering it was her campaign that started this in 2008. BOLDUAN: Now, originally actually, right after this event, his
campaign, Corey Lewandowski, his manager, said that the reason he didn't correct him was because he didn't under -- he didn't hear the man. So they did change their position.
PIERSON: Well, and you can look at the video and tell he is trying to listen to the man. He's nodding. And then there was a delay in the response. So, it looked like he didn't hear him at first, which is why he laughed it off, and completely ignored that part of the question and only answered the second part. But I'd also like to point out that Breitbart just released an article also showing that this man indeed was a plant from an anti-Tea Party organization that's been around for quite some time.
So, this controversy really isn't a controversy.
BOLDUAN: I've seen that report on Breitbart. It's not entirely clear that it's proven that he is actually a plant. It's one of the theories, or one of the rumors --
PIERSON: But his picture has showed up on that Web site several times before in 2013 as well.
BOLDUAN: Yes, but it's not confirmed that he is a plant, just that he said inflammatory things in the past.
So, Ana, let me get your take on Trump. What do you think of this explanation that he's offered up this time?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Kate, I think this entire conversation is cuckoo crazy, frankly. I mean, we are having a conversation about still today in 2015 about whether Barack Obama is a Muslim or not.
I believe the man is an American. I believe he is a Christian. But more than that, he is about to start his last year as president after being elected twice. I think we need to leave this alone. Let this issue die.
And then, we are also talking about whether a Muslim should be elected president. Listen, there are 300 people running for president in 2016.
[19:35:00] Not a single one of them that I know of is a Muslim. So, I'm not sure what the relevance of this conversation is.
And today, tonight --
BOLDUAN: Look, Ana, I --
NAVARRO: Yes, but, Kate, tonight is Yom Kippur.
NAVARRO: Tonight, the pope is in Washington. Can we just maybe for one minute leave this political vitriol aside and embrace unity, embrace the message of love and peace that the pope is bringing? I just -- you know, I can't believe these many years into this we are still talking about this.
BOLDUAN: I absolutely hear you. I think -- but don't you think that those that leading to unity and unification, doesn't that come from the folks on the campaign trail? I don't think the candidates offered up any unity when they are attacking each other the way that they are.
NAVARRO: There is absolutely nothing I can say that will make Donald Trump change his mind or Ben Carson change his mind. I am glad that my two friends that are running for president, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, have both said what I'm saying. That, you know, Barack Obama is a Christian and American and they don't want to talk about this any more, because there is much more important national issues to be talking about.
BOLDUAN: Katrina, I want to get your take --
PIERSON: Well, and Ana is right. But Ana is right -- go ahead.
BOLDUAN: But let me ask you this, in talking about moving forward from this moment, no matter how many different explanations or not these candidates are offering on these issues, the fact that it has been brought to the focus, these situations, these candidates have brought to the focus this issue at this moment, no matter what happens in the primary, do you think that this is going to -- how do you think this is going to play in a general? Do you fear that this hurts the Republican Party in a general election, the fact that this has become such a focus?
PIERSON: No, I don't, considering that CNN's own poll shows that 60 percent of the public doesn't believe President Obama is a Christian. But that's beside the point. This is only an issue because the media is making it an issue. They gave their responses. They answered the question honestly, not politically. Therefore, it should be the end of discussion.
So, I agree with Ana.
NAVARRO: Well, that's a first.
BOLDUAN: That I was going to say, I think that maybe the first. And I don't know, maybe not the last time that you two have agreed. There you go, Ana, the unity you were looking for just occurred right here.
NAVARRO: Listen, I'm all about the pope. Love and peace right now, OK?
BOLDUAN: Love and peace.
PIERSON: Glad I could help, glad I could help.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, guys. Thanks very much.
BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT for us next, Carly Fiorina. Many say that her business record costs her a Senate seat five years ago. Well, can she successfully defend that same record as she is running now for president?
And breaking news, that drug company CEO who hiked the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000 percent, well, now, he is saying something new. He is going to make it more affordable. What does that mean? Our report, ahead.
[19:41:37] BOLDUAN: Carly Fiorina tonight trying to build on her momentum from last week's CNN debate, campaigning in the key southern state of South Carolina. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO is also working to fend off attacks against her business record, which has faced renewed scrutiny following her surge in the polls, tonight, telling supporters that she stands by her record during a time the company faced heavy lay-offs and losses.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not concerned at all. I'm happy to defend my past business record. I will run on that record all day long. And I think it's important that people understand what someone's track record of leadership is. So, I'm happy to have that conversation.
(ENBD VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Now, that stepped-up defense is coming as Donald Trump continues to try to knock her out, calling her a disaster, among other things.
OUTFRONT is Martin Wilson, the former campaign manager for Carly Fiorina's Senate bid back in 2010.
Martin, thank you very much for coming back in.
So, in 2010, Fiorina, she was essentially tied with Senator Barbara Boxer in the Senate race. And then, Boxer released this attack ad that most folks say just sank her candidacy after that. It was all about her record as CEO.
So, what is going to be different this time, do you think?
MARTIN WILSON, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR CARLY FIORINA'S 2000 SENATE RUN: Well, I think one of the key differences is that ad certainly had an effect along with some other atmospherics that we face in California. Fundamentally, this is a deep blue state. And Barbara Boxer attacked Carly Fiorina. We attacked Boxer.
But the fact of the matter is, there are more several million more Democrats who live in this state than Republicans. And so, Carly ran a very good race, it was a competitive race. But at the end, you know, we got overwhelmed by Democratic turnout in a handful of counties in California that gave Boxer that margin of victory.
BOLDUAN: And the fact of the matter, though, when you compare a Senate race and obviously a presidential race, I mean, when you talk about attack ads, it's going to be in multiples more she could face. Don't you think the attacks are only going to get worse now that she is not running for Senate, she's running for president?
WILSON: Well, she is running for president, you know, in Republican primaries.
WILSON: You know, her opponents -- she had a competitive primary, people tend to gloss over that, and won by a substantial margin. And those attacks were tried in the primary among Republican voters and they largely fell on deaf ears.
BOLDUAN: Let me ask you, Martin, when you look at some of the things, this is what the folks attacking her will point out. Donald Trump will point it out, all the other candidates are going to point out, and she knows these things, profits, profits, revenue declined 40 percent during her six years at CEO. Stock price fell 45 percent, the NASDAQ also fell just 23 percent as a point of comparison. Other tech companies, they struggled as well, but HP underperformed to even compare to them during a difficult time.
What's your advice if you were advising her campaign at this moment on how to take it on when her record is everything she runs on?
WILSON: Well, again, I think she is perfectly capable of defending her record. And remember, these charges when they happen to a candidate, they don't happen in a vacuum. I mean, people are going to judge her record against what they know about Donald Trump.
Carly Fiorina saved a company.
[19:45:01] Donald Trump bankrupt four. I think that's quite a stark difference.
BOLDUAN: Yes, we're going to see those -- those fights are only get rougher. And as we said, she is definitely in Donald Trump's sights now. But that just proves that she is surging in the polls and nipping at his heels.
WILSON: Yes, she is.
BOLDUAN: Martin, it's great to see you. Thanks very much.
WILSON: Thanks, Kate. Bye-bye.
BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT for us next, breaking news after outrage exploded over how this man's company bought a life-saving drug and raised the price 5,000 percent. Now, he appears to be backing down. We've got the latest.
BOLDUAN: Breaking news: a pharmaceutical company CEO is backing down after increasing the price of a life-saving drug from $13 to $750 a pill.
Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's brash, a multimillionaire and taking a lot of heat for that decision to raise the price of a drug to treat cancer and AIDS patients more than 5,000 percent. Now, Turing Pharmaceutical CEO and founder, Martin Shkreli, is backing down.
MARTIN SHKRELI, TURING PHARMACEUTICAL CEO: We've agreed to lower the price of Daraprim to a point that is more affordable and is able to allow the company to make a profit, but a very small profit, and we think these changes will be welcomed.
CARROLL: The drug in question is called Daraprim. It's used to treat a potentially deadly parasitic infection which can affect people with compromise immune systems. It used to cost $13.50 per pill. Turing changed the cost to whopping $750 per pill.
[19:50:04] Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton blasted that rate hike this afternoon.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's price gouging, pure and simple.
CARROLL: The Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association sent a joint letter to Shkreli, calling the increase unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population. In a previous interview with CBS News, Shkreli called the increase "an altruistic move that would have helped fund research."
SHKRELI: With these new profits, we can spend all of that upside on these patients who sorely needed a new drug in my opinion.
CARROLL: The 32-year-old not new to controversy. In 2013 while serving as CEO of the biopharmaceutical company, Retrophin, he allegedly harassed an employee writing in a letter shown in this court document, "I hope to see you and your four children homeless and will do whatever I can to assure this."
Last month, Retrophin sued him for $65 million saying Shkreli used his control over Retrophin to enrich himself. Shkreli called the allegations baseless, then went to Twitter quoting a hip hop Wu-Tang Clan posting, "I am not the one to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) with."
NOAH BOOKBINDER, EXEC. DIRECTOR, CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON: It's hard to believe that somebody can be so driven by greed. CARROLL: The spokesman for an organization called the Citizens
for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has been critical of Shkreli for years.
BOOKBINDER: I'm not surprised by it. And he's somebody who seems to be willing to play a fast and loose with the rules, take advantage of the system and is really driven by his own profit over everything else.
CARROLL: So, while the controversial CEO made it very clear he has heard the public outcry, what he did not make clear is how much he would end up reducing the cost and, Brianna, he also did not say when the public would see the reduction in cost.
BOLDUAN: All right. Jason Carroll, thanks very much.
OUTFRONT with me now, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent.
So, Sanjay, I mean, this guy did not look like he was going to be backing down then after he sparked shock and outrage over this price increase, and now he says he's going to make it more affordable so they can break even or make a small profit. What's your reaction to that?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, I'm mystified and horrified at the same exact time. I don't know, you know, Kate, it's interesting because we don't know what the price reduction is going to be.
GUPTA: Somehow he saw that 5,000 percent increase in price was justifiable, so we have to see what the final number is here. But still, it's a remarkable increase that he thought it would be OK, and remarkable increase for people who dramatically need this drug and don't have another option. So, that part of it still remains true.
BOLDUAN: I mean, Sanjay, I mean, the price hike is just pretty unbelievable, but it's not entirely unusual this situation. He says that he thinks that they sorely need a new and better drug here. What are you hearing?
GUPTA: I'm not hearing that. I mean, I know that that's his justification. He's saying that. But talking to infectious disease doctors who prescribe this drug, this is a situation where you have a medication that actually works pretty well and beam have been clambering away for a new medication. So, that might be a little bit of smoke and mirrors.
But I tell you, Kate, your second point is a good one. That is that this does happen and surprisingly, in certain situations like Medicare, for example, can't even negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower costs. So, it's very tough. The patients get caught in the middle.
BOLDUAN: Yes, see if that's going to be changing any time soon. Amazing situation, though. Amazing turnaround at that.
Sanjay, thank you.
GUPTA: You got it.
BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT for us next, hats off to Pope Francis.
We'll be right back.
[19:57:55] BOLDUAN: Moments after walk off a plane this afternoon, the pope removed his skull cap. Here's Jeanne Moos with why.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We tend to notice the pope's skull cap, only when it flies off. It often appears ready for liftoff, usually when he's getting off a plane.
But Pope Francis never loses face when a holy gust gets him. He's so humble he lets kids play with the cap, known as a zucchetto.
But did you know you can trade caps with the pope?
DAVID O'REILLY, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: I thought I'm going to be on the plane with a pope, wouldn't it be cool if I swapped a zucchetto with him?
MOOS: Before "Philadelphia Inquirer" religion reporter David O'Reilly boarded the pope's plane for Cuba, he went to the pope's tailor shop and bought a new zucchetto for 68 bucks. He handed him the new cap which the pope tried on for size then --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Un poco grande", which means "a little big".
MOOS: And with essence of pope upon it, Francis gave the cap back to the reporter.
For the pope, this is a old hat. He does it all the time.
Fans wave a cap at him. The Popemobile stops. If the cap fits, he keeps it and gives away the old one to these two Boston College students, for instance.
And if it doesn't fit, Francis at least puts it on his head so when he returns it, it's been worn by a pope.
For papal cap swappers, it's a thrill.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm still shaking. It's been, like, 10 minutes. MOOS: For others, the thrill is making a buck on eBay, where
caps said to have been worn by the pope are for sale for more than $900.
But David O'Reilly isn't selling his.
O'REILLY: It's in a Ziploc bag in my backpack.
MOOS: And when the plane landed in Cuba, the wind stole the pope's old cap. Here's a man who doesn't just preach to you about giving the clothes off your back. He gives you the hat off his head.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BOLDUAN: Thanks so much for joining us.
"AC360" starts now.