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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Pope Arrives At Vatican's Diplomatic Residence; Pope Francis Travels to Philadelphia Tomorrow Morning; Boehner's Bombshell; Trump On The Attack. Aired 9-10p ET.
Aired September 25, 2015 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. 9:00 P.M. here in New York, we're outside the Time Warner Center over looking from the circle is central park where today tens of thousands of people lined the streets, filled the pathways for just a glimpse of Pope Francis. He's now back at the Vatican Diplomatic Residence just across town behind very tight security and you can see there. He travels to Philadelphia tomorrow where among other notable items on his agenda would be a mass for possibly as many as a million people this weekend. And we hope he's getting some sleep tonight. He certainly had quite a day. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His holiness, Pope Francis will now enter the general assembly hall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the cross of Jesus Christ, please accept this with our appreciation from all of us here.
JORGE BERGOGLIO, POPE FRANCIS: Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life. And please, I ask you, don't forget to pray for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Don't forget to pray for me, and that is what he left the people in Madison Square garden that with that message. After a day like that, anyone would need good night sleep and I want to check in now with Jason Carroll, the apostolic news chair on the Upper East Side. I certainly hope this pope is now resting, Jason.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think, Anderson, a lot of people are hoping that he's getting some rest here tonight at the Vatican Diplomatic Residence. We're here on Madison and 72nd Street. A number of people ahead come up here tonight after the mass was over hoping to get another glimpse of the pope but as you know, we're under heavy security here and those folks in the public who did come up were told they had to stand a block away in either direction on 73rd Street in one direction, in 71st in the other direction.
But what a day it was. I mean, I remember when this day started, Anderson, early this morning as you did, as well. We were down at Central Park seeing the thousands upon thousands of people who came there, who stood in line, some of them thinking they would not be able to get in and those who didn't stayed in Columbus Circle.
And then, when you talk to them and I said, you know, you're coming down and all likelihood you're probably just going to get a few seconds of the pope. And one woman said to me, that's enough for me. And that's really the sentiment we've heard from so many people here in this city, whether it was on standing outside on Fifth Avenue where you were down at St. Patrick's and there was some folks standing there saying, I don't care, I just want to see him drive by. That was enough.
CARROLL: This truly is the people's pope and the hope is tonight he will be getting some rest because tomorrow it's going to start all over for him again as you know in Philadelphia.
COOPER: Yeah and of course, we'll be there to cover it. Jason, thanks very much. A lot of proud New Yorkers tonight, a few more so, the New Governor Andrew Cuomo who joins us now by phone, Governor thank you so much for joining us tonight. This has been such a remarkable two days here in New York. You greeted the pontiff when he arrived at St. Patrick's Cathedral. I think I saw you perhaps speaking Italian to him, and then, today at the 9/11 Memorial. What stands out to you about his visit?
GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO, (D) NEW YORK: You know, Anderson, I'll tell you the truth. I've -- I'm a -- on in years now, I've been in the Federal Government; I've been all over the country and met all sorts of people. This was an extraordinary couple of days. It was an extraordinarily personal experience for me.
I will tell you the truth; it's not just at the pope. I'm Roman Catholic, former (inaudible) and meeting a pope is this real. But it was this pope, it's his message, it's his words, it's -- the universality of his message at a time we desperately need it.
And when you're in his physical presence, he's even more powerful. And the schedule you mentioned how hectic it was and how much work he did, 9/11 and how powerful he was in that memorial was unbelievable. He then had the presence of mind.
My partner Sandra Lee has had breast cancer this year and recovered from breast cancer and is cancer free but he took the time to give her a special blessing. So he -- with all he had going on, he was that personal. And just in his presence holding his hand, I had a sense of peace that I haven't felt all year, I'll tell you the truth. He really is an extraordinary man.
And New Yorkers as scenically as we are, they detect it. They feel the authenticity. He lives it. And I've never seen an individual impact the state of New York the way this pope has period. COOPER: And to see so many New Yorkers, really of all faiths, you know, lining up for hours and hours and hours to get into Central Park lining up just to try to get a glimpse of him, what do you think it means to have this pope at this time in this country right now?
CUOMO: Well, I think part of it is a function of the time. This is a dark time in this country, in this world. I mean, there is so much bad news, so much that is out of control, so much clutter, so many irrelevancies, insecurity. And here is a man with a simple message for Catholics who are accustomed, who are very complicated rule-driven religion.
He gets it down to one word and the word is love, and Jesus Christ was about love and all the derivatives, don't judge, except look for the commonality, not his differences that's his point about immigration, forgive, be positive.
And that's Catholicism but it's the Protestant religion, and Judaism keeps going (inaudible). And it's what people disparately want to hear and need that this place can be better and we can get along and the hostility doesn't have to be. And it's not just his words because New Yorkers won't just take words. He lives it and you feel it. And the way he reaches out to young people and the simplicity of his life, you know, oh, he's in Manhattan with all this wealth and he gets into his fiat.
CUOMO: And he drives away, you know, what a beautiful symbol of what the man is about.
COOPER: No doubt about that. Governor Cuomo, it's a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you very much for talking to us.
Tonight, I want to bring in Natalia Imperatori-Lee, Associate Professor of Religious Studies in Manhattan College. Also, CNN contributor Bruce Feiler, authored the best selling, "Walk in the Bible", and Father Patrick Ryan, Professor of Religion Society of Fordham University here in New York. Natalia, let me start off with you. From today, of all the things you saw today, what stood out?
NATALIA IMPERATORI-LEE, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF RELIGIOUS STUDIES IN MANHATTAN COLLEGE: I think what stood out to me the most today was a joy on Pope Francis' face as he was reading children in our Lady of Angela.
COOPER: It was incredible. I mean, you could tell...
IMPERATORI-LEE: That was the highlight of this day.
IMPERATORI-LEE: I think he really saw the face of God on those kids. And he was that is most joyful, most energized.
[21:10:02] A couple of children spoke to him in Spanish. One of them was Argentine like him. They showed him how use the smart board if you got in there, you know, he really feels I think at home among the people, he was happy a Catholic Charities as well.
COOPER: He also and we're going to speak to three kids over there...
COOPER: ... a little bit later in this hour but I'm always touched by how people show him photographs of their loved ones who have passed. One of the, you know, boys who I think is going to be here. His aunt passed away last year. He showed him the pope a photo of his aunt.
COOPER: And we saw it at the 9/11 Memorials. We have people showing him photos of those -- who had died.
IMPERATORI-LEE: And he's so focused on that. On encounter, on seeing people faces and suffering always has a faith. That has been -- I think of his whole pontificate. He's all about looking at people face- to-face and overcoming differences by recognizing the humanity and the others.
COOPER: Patrick, you focus on some of the statements he made particularly the congress and some of the people he is quoting, Martin Luther King among others.
PATRICK RYAN, PROFESSOR OF RELIGION SOCIETY OF FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: Yeah, what he quoted Martin Luther King against they have already angels and solemn. But yesterday, he mentioned four people, Lincoln, Martin Luther King but also to who are less well-known to the general public Dorothy Day of being social activist in as it is here in New York and also Thomas Martin, a great poet and monk and also peace activists and big friend of Dorothy Day. So these were rather radical people and they are quite controversial. I was very delighted that he mentioned them and talked too because they're great heroes of mine as well.
RYAN: So it was really wonderful.
COOPER: It was -- Bruce, I mean, almost surprising to hear him talk about Dorothy Day and Martin because, I mean among, you know, among some Catholics, they were sort have viewed, I don't know, on the fringes is there word but in their time, they we're kind of looked at sideways by some.
BRUCE FEILER, RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR: She was quite radical at the time and, you know, she started the catholic work and movement but she was also the embodiment of social justice and probably before John F. Kennedy, perhaps the most famous American catholic of the 20th century, I would say. But to pick up on what the father said, I think what is striking to me in the last few days, Anderson, is, how well he seems to understand this country. He's never been here.
FEILER: And the speech to Congress resonates to me much more then the U.N. speech. And I think the SONA today and today at 9/11. If that similarly, you have watching it -- watching it live, that was --it was more than moving. It was importance, I think, because, you know, the inner faith movement has sputtered in part because religious leaders don't usually want to spend their precious time sharing the spotlight with other religions and that he spent his clout who has fewer than 48 hours here sharing with other religions, that was remarkable and a moment of coming together in a place that's still an open wound for many Americans.
COOPER: And of all the places to share that message to do it at the 9/11 memorial, I mean, there's some risk involved in that perhaps.
RYAN: It was important...
COOPER: You were there?
RYAN: I was there and also, there was an incredible to his concept.
COOPER: Oh, my God.
RYAN: Spectacular voice.
COOPER: Oh, my -- he was an extraordinary.
RYAN: That's the Morning Prayer. And then, the man at The New York University Mosque also chanted from the Koran. It was very moving to me. And to have Archbishop Demetrios have an American people orthodox church in America and also pastor of the evangelical tradition together back and forth in Greek and English reading the beatitudes form the gospel of Matthew. It was spectacular morning and this is -- it was well worth the trip down as I found it.
COOPER: You know, one of the things that Pope Francis has talked about is trying to increasing the role of women within the church, obviously not changing catholic doctrine but trying to finding the way to do that.
COOPER: He spoke a little bit about at the importance of nuns at St. Patrick's which got a huge it was.
IMPERATORI-LEE: Many of us were really very heartened to hear him say that. I think that's the nuns have done such amazing work and it was really uplifting for them to hear that the pope loves them, you know, as much as the rest of America loves them. And it was a little disappointing that the mass today didn't include any women on the altar because women do -- for some people that's their only exposure to catholic mass. And it parishes all over New York, every Sunday there are women and women giving outcome m communion, Eucharistic minister and women singing and praying from the altar and not on the altar. And I think that was a visual cue that I wish would have been there in this great moment for the city of New York. RYAN: I also was disappointed. I was sitting next to a man who came down from the Onondaga Nation of around Syracuse. And came all the way down, he was going back again today and I was sorry that there wasn't somebody praying from the Native American tradition. Because he and I starts talking about lacrosse and how it's -- how is unifying among Native Americans but really, I said, it would have been lovely to have something from the Native American tradition.
COOPER: To see all those people in Madison regarding and the energy of that place and the, I mean, you know, Archbishop Dolan welcoming and just the cheer that went out was extraordinary.
FEILER: A great moment. He said welcome to New York, and this completely spontaneous five-minute ovation and that was New Yorkers saying we're here, too and want to break off script and we want to give you a ride. And I think what was to me striking about that moment to me embodies where we were today which is you've seen us to become one. In some ways his body has got weaker but his spirit has gotten higher. And the juxtaposition as he's now gone into the cart and you can see him hobbling but also gaining energy at the same time the juxtaposition, the grip this man has really -- what I message is to even in his physical
RYAN: I noticed with the children in the school in Harlem that he was very lively with the children and he went to the room with the suits and his face fell flat.
IMPERATORI-LEE: As it would for any of us.
COOPER: Thank you so much for being with us.
IMPERATORI-LEE: Thank you.
COOPER: Natalia Imperatori-Lee, Thank you Father, Thank you can Bruce Feiler. It was good to have you on.
Speaking of the school visit, coming up, we'll be joined by some students who we're there to hear their impressions. Can you imagine what that was like? We'll talk to three students who are there. We'll be right back.
We talked about before the break, some of the biggest smiles we saw on Pope Francis in New York today came when he visited a school of East Harlem before the ride through Central Park.
[21:20:03] Take a look.
The executive director of Catholic Charities called it his most important stop is go with 295 students, so many Latino and African- American. There the pope met with about 24 kids from four catholic elementary schools. He'll also get a hands-on demonstration of a touch screen learning tool, although the technology didn't seem to be fully cooperating.
Joining me now are three of the students who actually got to meet the pope today. Nicholas DiGrandi, Veronica DiPaul and Kara Fragola. Fragola, yes?
KARA FRAGOLA, MET POPE FRANCIS: Yes.
COOPER: OK great. So how was it? Was it like?
FRAGOLA: It was completely amazing. When he walked into the room, it was so noisy but I just felt silent when he was there. It just felt like, it was my intimate moment with him at that time.
COOPER: Were you nervous?
FRAGOLA: I was a little nervous that he wasn't going to stop, you know, that was the main thing at least nerve wracking but not really.
COOPER: How about for you?
NICHOLAS DIGRANDI, MET POPE FRANCIS: It's -- it was pretty overwhelming I have to say but...
COOPER: It's got to be surreal, I mean...
COOPER: I saw him last night like 100 feet away and I was, you know, my voice was like raised like, you know, I was so excited just to be that close.
DIGRANDI: Yeah, but honestly, once you see him and just being able to speak to him, he's just very relaxing and I felt comfortable.
COOPER: Yeah. How long ago did you find out that you're going to be meeting with him?
VERONICA DIPAUL, MET POPE FRANCIS: I found out in the middle of August.
DIPAUL: I got a call from my religion teacher and he was like, do you want to meet the pope and my answer was absolute yeah.
COOPER: That's not a call you get everyday?
DIPAUL: No, not at all.
COOPER: Was he different in person than you imagined he would be?
COOPER: He was, in what way? DIPAUL: Yeah, for me, I don't know. I just be expected him to be -- he was really down to earth and he's very nice. He came up and he said hello and then if he was like God bless you, how are you and he walk. He greeted all of us individually...
COOPER: Was he speaking in English or...
COOPER: Yes. And one of the things I've really been struck by is throughout his trips here, people have been showing him photographs. We saw it today down at the 9/11 Memorial and I know you showed him a photo of your aunt who I'm sorry to say passed away last year.
DIGRANDI: Yes, yesterday was actually a year. Yeah, my aunt. So I showed him the picture of her and he blessed it for me.
COOPER: That's so nice and he showed him a picture of your dad.
FRAGOLA: I did. My dad is sick with terminal cancer and he said a prayer for him and he blessed the picture that I showed him which is so special.
COOPER: That's amazing.
COOPER: And that will mean a lot for your family as well.
FRAGOLA: It means so much for us, yeah.
COOPER: Do you -- were you able to sleep last night when you were realizing that the next day you're going to -- you're meeting the pope?
FRAGOLA: I did. I slept. I went to bed early and got a good night's sleep.
DIGRANDI: I mean, I tried to go to bed early but just the anticipation kept me up.
DIPAUL: Yeah, I was up all night.
COOPER: You were?
DIPAUL: Yeah, and up early, too to get here.
COOPER: Are you going to be able to sleep tonight?
DIPAUL: I'll try.
FRAGOLA: Tonight, I don't know. Tonight I think I have so much like jitters.
FRAGOLA: And also very tired so I might just crash.
COOPER: You know, it's interesting that we just did a story in the last hour about a teenage girl back in when Pope John Paul II came to Madison Square Garden and how that moment meeting the pope really changed the course of her life and, you know, it will be interesting to say, obviously, you won't know this at this point but whether this has some sort of an impact on you moving forward, do you think it will?
FRAGOLA: I think will. I think it's really and indelible memory that I'm going to hold forever. I want to be a civil engineer when I'm older and Pope Francis is really concerned about the environment and that's something that I'm concerned about as well and I hope that I can one day change how buildings are created and make them for friendly for the environment.
COOPER: Wow, that's cool.
COOPER: Did you get to tell the pope that?
FRAGOLA: No, but something I'm always going to remember.
COOPER: Yeah. Well, Veronica, Kara and Nicholas thank you so much. Really, it just awesome to meet you.
DIPAUL: Thank you so much.
COOPER: Yeah, such a pleasure.
FRAGOLA: Thank you.
DIPAUL: Thank you.
COOPER: Yeah, such a pleasure.
DIGRANDI: Thank you very much.
COOPER: All right, cool.
FRAGOLA: Thank you.
COOPER: Thanks, thanks and please give my best to your dad.
FRAGOLA: Thank you.
COOPER: All right, the qualities that set Pope Francis apart from popes who came before him are the real thing. His modest ways is the lacked of pretension were well-known long before he reached the Vatican.
We'll take a look at his history ahead.
COOPER: This week many Americans are seeing first hand what sets Pope Francis apart from his predecessors, from the small fiat that speaks volumes about his values each time he climbs in and out of it to the fancy meals he's rejected to the simple fact carrying his own bag up a plane steps. The plans of lack or pretension has made an indelible impression. Everyone who knows him will tell you it's not an act and his life history bears that out. The papacy he hasn't changed, the man he is changing the face of the papacy. Here is Randi Kaye.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDI KAYE: CNN CORRESPONDENTL: Even before he was elected, the man who would be pope introduced the world to his humble ways.
JEREMY ZIPPLE, JESUIT PRIEST: When he was flying over to the conclave that actually elected him to be pope, he booked his own ticket, you know, he...
KAYE: Flew coach.
ZIPPLE: Flew coach.
KAYE: And there's more. While the conclave was voting, the soon to be pope was staying at a guest house nearby. After he got word, he's been chosen as the new pope, he did something very unusual.
ZIPPLE: He has them drive by, drive him by the guest house the next morning to pay his bill on his own and settle his account, you know. He could have sent somebody over there, you know, but he didn't.
KAYE: His humbleness just part of the appeal. He is the first Jesuit pope ever and Jesuit who takes vow of poverty, one of the biggest statements he's made was choosing to live in an a nearly Monastic, Santa Martha Guesthouse instead of the Vatican's luxurious papal apartments and he eats in the cafeteria even buses his own trey. Sometimes he eats with the bishops, other times the custodial staff.
His no frill lifestyle began before becoming pope. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, he lived in a small bedroom reportedly with a portable heater he turn on when the building's heating system shut down.
[21:30:00] He also cooked for himself and often rode the subway or bus. Jesuits are also known for their independence and this pope does not disappoint. He picks up his own eyeglasses, makes his own phone calls to those who have written to him in despair and when he writes letters, he simply signs them Francis. This pope even cancelled his own newspaper.
ZIPPLE: After he was elected pope, when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires he had a habit of going to this newsstand outside of his little apartment there everyday and buying a newspaper. After he was elected pope, he picked up the phone and called the guys who run out little newsstand and said hey, it's Father Jorge, I mean Pope Francis and I'm sorry but I'm not going to be needing the paper anymore.
Kaye: That's great.
ZIPPLE: I'm pope now.
KAYE: At mass days before Easter in 2013 the pope washed the feet of a dozen prisoners and kissed them. Foot washing is part of the Christian tradition that mirrors Jesus washing of his disciple's feet.
ZIPPLE: It was just an incredibly powerful symbol. There was washing the feet of Muslims and women, I mean it really, you know, it was a very moving.
KAYE: A humble pope with a huge heart who may help open the hearts of others. Randi Kaye, CNN New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, just ahead in the world of politics, the shock way to John Boehner unleashed across Washington today. The house speaker says he made his final decision to resign after waking up and having his coffee this morning. What's the back story? Find out ahead.
COOPER: The House Speaker John Boehner dropped a bombshell today announcing he'll resign the speakership and his seat in congress at the end of October.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOEHNER, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: It's become clear to me that this prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable harm to the institution. So this morning I informed my colleagues that I will resign from the speakership and resign from Congress at the end of the October.
Listen, it was never about the vote, right. It was nearly a doubt about whether I could survive a vote to kind of want my members they have to go through this and certainly don't want the institution to go through this. So I'm not going to be here to vote on the next speaker but that's up to the members. They having said that I think Kevin McCarthy would make an excellent speaker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Hours before that his conference Speaker Boehner broke the news to his staff by all who kept catching most of them entirely by surprise. His decision of course came less than 24 hours after Pope Francis spoke to a joint meeting of Congress that invitation came Speaker Boehner who is visibly emotional during the pope's address. Many people wondering if the pope's words may have somehow influenced his timing to step down.
Our Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash joins us now. So, I mean it seems like this decision was really made over the course of the last day or so, is that right?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's what John Boehner himself says. I was talking to some of his top aids this morning before we heard it from the horse's mouth and they were saying that it was really late last night and it turns out that it actually was not just the pope being there yesterday in the capital at John Boehner's invitation but a moment Boehner said the two of them had when Boehner was walking the pope out of private moment when they were talking and the pope said to Boehner please pray for me.
Now, we know from all of the coverage that you've been doing and others that he says that to a lot of people but when you're the speaker and when you just have this day like he had to hear that from the pope, according to John Boehner, that was kind of the moment where he said, you know what, I'm done.
Now, the back story is that nobody knew he was already planning on making this announcement in November around his birthday, he moved it up because of that moment but also the raw politics of what's going on in the House, which is that conservatives are getting more and more anxious about him and about his speakership and more concerned about the fact that they believe he's selling out when he says he's just trying to keep the institution running.
COOPER: What's next for the Republicans?
BASH: What's next is that they really are going to continue to have to soul search and what you're seeing in Congress right now is so reflective of what we're also reporting on everyday in the Republican primary process for president, Anderson, it's a lot of concern, a lot of angst out among the rank and file, out in the country that Washington just doesn't get and John Boehner had become a symbol of that.
So the, probably at this point, it looks like the man who is been his number two, the House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy have been talking to sources tonight that he is been working the phones. He's been found out minutes before John Boehner told the rest of the caucus, he's been working the phones, it doesn't look like he's going to have that much real opposition but then the question is how is he going to be able to lead any differently than John Boehner? It's not clear at all. He's going to have much better luck.
COOPER: Yeah, Dana, thanks very much. Incredible day and just ahead we have more breaking news, Donald Trump fired up tonight in Oklahoma City campaigning at the state fair and of course, taking aim at the media.
[21:42:55] COOPER: Breaking news on the campaign trail in Oklahoma City where Donald Trump spoke at the state fair tonight. He was fired up to put it mildly taking aim at the media among others accusing reporters of under reporting the size of his crowds. At one point, he directed the cameras to pan the crowd.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Look at that. Look where this crowd goes to. Hey, cameras, can you do us a favor? Instead of just, you know, they're just pan on me and they won't say -- do me a favor. Take the cameras off me and pan the crowd, okay? Go ahead, pan the crowd. Pan it and be honest. Be honest. Go ahead, pan it. You're not panning it. They don't want to pan it. They don't want to pan it. Turn those cameras, no, no, turn them all the way back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: CNN's M.J. Lee was there, joins us now with the latest. There was a rather large crowd there tonight and you got a chance to talk to him before the event as he's walking through. You asked him to weigh in on Boehner's resignation. What did he say?
M.J. LEE, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Anderson, one thing is for sure, Donald Trump is back. Over the last week or so, we've seen a more subdued and reserved side of Donald Trump, but tonight he was back in full force. And you're right, before he gave his speech, we got a chance to walk and talk with him a little bit at the fair here tonight, asked him about the big news out of D.C. today, John Boehner's resignation from Congress.
As you know others from the field -- 2015 field including Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum have come out and outright said it's time for Boehner to go. It's time for him to make room for a more conservative house speaker. Listen to what Trump had to say about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, I think it's time. I mean, it's really time for him. He's a lot of problems. We got to get the country going and I think it really is time.
LEE: So you think it's a good thing for the party?
TRUMP: I think right now it is. There's tremendous division in the party and I think right now having him go is a good thing for the party, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And next week, he's supposed to release his tax plan, correct?
LEE: That's correct. He's got a busy week next week. He has a rally in New Hampshire on Monday, another -- on Wednesday rather, another one in Virginia Beach on Friday and at some point in the week, he is supposed to release his tax plan. You know very well, Anderson, this is a campaign that has lacked in policy details. So whenever that does come out, it's something that will be on the lookout for very closely.
COOPER: M.J., I appreciate it. Joining me now Sam Clovis, Donald Trump's national campaign chairman.
Mr. Clovis, always good to have you on the show. The fact that Donald Trump keeps boasting about the crowds at his events, insisting the media is shortchanging him. I mean the media is arguably been probably one of the biggest helps to him over the past couple of months, every poll, every speech, do you believe people are shortchanging him on anything?
SAM CLOVIS, DONALD TRUMP'S NATIONAL CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIRMAN: I just think it's an episodic. I think we have instances where people might for some reason or another because he has had such large crowds, if they see an empty seat or two at an event, they might want to focus in on that. But I think generally speaking, we've had all of our events have been heavily attended.
I was in Dallas couple weeks ago for that incredible event down there and we're at the USS Iowa, in California, as well. We haven't seen anything that really indicates that the people aren't coming out. They are there and I think sometimes it's just to get a slicer to raise the temperature in the room a little bit. I think that sometimes people report things in a different way.
COOPER: The fact that he continually goes after reporters like my colleague Randi Kaye who reported that, you know, there was one event the other day that didn't have a full house, another event that later that day had a very full house, I mean, he immediately gets very personal, very nasty. As, I mean you worked with campaigns before, does he seem particularly thin-skinned to you?
CLOVIS: No, I don't think so. I think that it's a style. I think it's what we're really doing is we're asking for responsible reporting. This is a very large field that we have. I think (inaudible) is an incredibly important part of campaigns. I know a little bit about that having run a couple campaigns myself. And so, I think this is really his way to keep people on their toes and to keep focused.
And I think that this is when you look at a field this large, think about what people are doing. Some of the candidates are doing to try get that earned media. So, I don't think that this is anything unusual. I think it's just style points and I think this is where we are.
COOPER: How much more -- how many more specifics are we going to start we get him? And we know Donald Trump is going to -- he's releasing his tax plan next week. Do you see more plans being released in the weeks after that? CLOVIS: I sure do. My job jar is pretty full, Anderson, so yes, I do. Just to be blunt, yes, we are working on. I think, one is again, we don't want to tip our cards too much, but I think one of the things that happen is when you have candidates come out here and they want to roll out of 14-point plan and take a look at, you know, Governor Bush's plan that he's rolled out on taxes. I mean a lot of people got some indication, but you go to crowds and you go around and talk to the general public and you ask them if they've seen it. They don't -- they haven't seen it.
And the worst part of it is if you have a candidate who is leading, when you start to roll out specifics, then people start to attack and pick those apart. This is when we say we're going to build a wall. I mean all the candidates that are out there, they're not in first place are -- they're saying that's impossible. We don't give any supporting evidence to that. They just say you can't do it. So why can't you? I mean those are the kinds of things that -- and if you take a look at where we are in the second amendment, take a look at where we are in immigration, those are pretty specific.
COOPER: Who do you believe is Trump's biggest rival right now? Because obviously all the polls, he's leading the polls and no doubt about it. He's been going after Marco Rubio a lot later -- lately. He's been criticizing obviously still Carly Fiorina. Is there somebody in particular that you're focused on?
CLOVIS: No, I would say no. I think it's generally it's the field, it's a lot like a golf tournament, you know, used to be the time when everybody would bet on Tiger Woods or they would bet on the field and I think that right now we have a lot of people betting on the field. I happen to be betting on Donald J. Trump.
COOPER: Well and it seems to be paying off right now. Sam Clovis, I appreciate you joining us as always. Thanks, Sam.
CLOVIS: Anderson, I've got to say, you know, that I come on your show often enough, people are going to start talking so straight to me.
COOPER: All right. Well...
CLOVIS: Great to see you.
COOPER: All right. You take care, Sam.
Up next, we're going to look at to -- look ahead to the next stop for Pope Francis in Philadelphia. We, of course, will be covering that tomorrow. I'm going to be driving down there tonight.
[21:50:00] We'll be there all weekend. We'll look back also at the Pope's remarkable visit so far to the United States.
COOPER: And welcome back, incredible view here. We are overlooking Columbus Circle and the southern part of Central Park. And of course today, Central Park saw more activity than it has seen in a long time, the likes of which it has probably never seen, Pope Francis taking a tour through Central Park, thousand of people, possibly tens of thousands of people gathering in that park to see him.
On East 72nd Street now just across the park, Pope Francis, we hope is certainly getting a good night sleep. It has been quite a day even if you are not as he is, 78 years old. Tomorrow morning, he heads to Philadelphia, bright and early.
CNN's Vatican Correspondent Delia Gallagher is already there. I spoke with here just a bit ago about what to expect tomorrow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, in terms of the schedule in Philadelphia, what events does he have planned there tomorrow?
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN'S VATICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, Philadelphia is waiting expectantly this big visit. This is the reason that he is coming to the United States. He arrives here tomorrow at 9:30 in the morning. You can you see the stage behind me which is set for tomorrow's evening prayer for the festival of families.
The World Meeting of Families, the pope drive, will go first to the Basilica of course to celebrate mass with his bishops and priests of the Philadelphia area, then he gets in the pope mobile, goes down to Independence Mall, stops where the Liberty Bell is, where the Declaration of Independence was signed and there the Pope will give a talk on religious freedom to immigrants, to the Hispanic community. We know that's one of the major theme of this entire trip for Pope Francis. And of course that he will continue on tomorrow night for the big festival of families.
He'll close his big U.S. trip with Sunday afternoon's mass again behind me here on the stage that they've been preparing all day. The excitement is really building here in Philadelphia. We saw you had a great sendoff in New York, but in a certain sense the party has yet to begin here in Philadelphia. Anderson.
COOPER: And it's true. I mean over a million people may be expected to attend this outdoor mass of the World Meeting of Families on Sunday?
GALLAGHER: Upwards of 1 million, they say the parkway can hold up to two million so we'll see how many can actually get here, Anderson because the security is very, very tight. You know, Mayor Nutter said before the event even started, people should be prepared to walk miles because there is no transportation once you get to this downtown area.
I can tell you, it is all cordoned off. The shops are open. I saw plenty of families milling about, so people have already walked miles, Anderson, but the security is very, very tight here. Perhaps even tighter than what we saw in New York, just because of the distances and because he's here for two full days and a lot of people expected. Anderson.
COOPER: Well, that's saying a lot. Delia Gallagher, thanks.
Well, it's safe to say the people of Philadelphia and, you know, everybody is going to be watching at home, have a lot to look forward to. Here in New York, the Pope's presence certainly galvanized this city from this morning to emotional interface service of the 9/11 Memorial, two days interactions with kids at the school in East Harlem and even just the excitement that New Yorkers have and felt catching a glimpse of Pope Francis. His trip as you know started in Washington. We want to leave you tonight, leave you this hour with some of the sights and sounds of his extraordinary visits so far.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POPE FRANCIS: I look forward to these days to your country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Pope of the Holy See.
POPE FRANCIS: I am most grateful for your invitation to address this joint session of Congress in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Thank you very much and God bless America.
(Speaking in Foreign Language)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Incredible sights and sounds and it's not over yet. He heads to Philadelphia in the morning. I'm heading there just now. We'll have coverage all weekend long, but right now I want to turn it over to my colleague, Don Lemon, Don.
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT: Do you and the Pope ever sleep?
COOPER: I hope he is getting some sleep, Don.
LEMON: I know. What a certain. Yeah. What the trip he's had. What stands up to you the most?
COOPER: You know being down this morning with Chris Cuomo down at the 9/11 Memorial.