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How Did Candidates Do in Democratic Debate; Democrats Address Foreign Policy During Debate; Ivanka Trump Speaks Out. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired October 14, 2015 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:31:03] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: A 15.3 million people watched the debate last night on CNN, and it is the most ever for a Democratic presidential debate. Hillary Clinton's goal was to deliver a strong debate performance and reassure Democrats who are nervous about her campaign, and Bernie Sanders wanted to make his message more mainstream, the other candidates were just hoping to break through. So how did they all do?
Let's bring in Alex Castellanos, and he is founder of newRepublican.org and chairman of Purple Strategies; and Angela Rye, political strategist and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Guys, thank you for joining us.
Alex, what do you think? Did Hillary achieve the goal?
ALEX CASTELLANOS, FOUNDER, NEWREPUBLIC.ORG & CHAIRMAN, PURPLE STRATEGIES: She had a great night, and did what she needed to do. The mission was to make sure that there was not a vacuum in the Democratic Party and no place for Joe Biden to do, and she did the job. She was confident, and accessible. Sometimes she's been a little bit grating on the campaign trail, and she had command of the issues, and did well there. But the most important thing, she demonstrated strength. This is an election for the reptilian part of the brain and not the intellectual part of the brain. But it is not the fact of who has the strength to take the reins in uncertain world, but she did as strong as she could. There are problems for her in the party, because she is not doing well in the general election, but she didn't address that last night, and didn't give the broader electorate a reason to vote for her, and that is not her job
BLITZER: And she has not done a debate in seven or eight year, and she was debating then candidate Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008.
She was asked by Anderson about her shifting positions, flip-flops as her critics call it, and this is what she said of the issue of whether she's a progressive or a moderate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm a progressive, but I'm a progressive who likes to get things done.
CLINTON: And I know how the find the common ground and I know how to stand my ground.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: What did you think of the answer?
ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST & FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS: Well, it is appropriate and accurate. Hillary Clinton has been made moderate and against Bernie Sanders, she is fairly moderate, but she is progressive and has a record of being progressive before she was first lady, and certainly running as a Senator in New York, and before she was secretary of state. So absolutely. As a candidate on the other side of President Obama when things were a little bit more conservative than they are now, and more moderate, she was still progressive then.
BLITZER: How did Bernie Sanders do?
CASTELLANOS: He got the most out of the debate last night, because Hillary did not tell us anything new about her, and she did not add to what we already understood about her, but Bernie Sanders is a cause. He had passion last night that she didn't. Hillary Clinton is a campaign, and Bernie Sanders is a cause, and causes beat campaigns, because they excite more people. And I thought that he had the best moment of the camp when he said, Hillary, I'm tired of the damn e-mail stories, too. And that's --
CASTELLANOS: -- in politics and debates that is the alpha dog moment. That's when the big, tough strong guys, says, poor Hillary, I will stand here in front of you and protect you.
RYE: Oh, no.
CASTELLANOS: It's understood that way.
BLITZER: And, Angela, let me play the clip and we will discuss this in a moment. Here is the exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I), VERMONT & DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e- mails.
CLINTON: Thank you. Me, too. Me, too.
CLINTON: Thank you, Bernie. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Nice handshake and smiles, and they were friends after that.
RYE: And the biggest smile from Hillary Clinton of the night, mind you. And there is nothing about Hillary Clinton like poor little Hillary every. You started with she came across as very strong, and that was a great leadership moment for Bernie Sanders, but she had amazing moments. You talk about she's not a cause, this would be the first woman president. She absolutely is a cause. She hit that point.
CASTELLANOS: Did she remind of that --
RYE: Oh, my goodness.
CASTELLANOS: -- point about four or five times maybe?
[13:35:11] RYE: I was getting ready to go there. She hit that point several times.
BLITZER: What's wrong with that, reminding us about that, from her standpoint?
CASTELLANOS: Because she does not want to be a candidate that wins a nomination or a general election, she doesn't want to be just a woman candidate.
CASTELLANOS: She wants to be a confident candidate, and she wants to be the candidate who is going to take her party into the future. And it is almost as if she's putting up this force field around herself, don't attack me for not being sufficiently progressive because I'm a woman, and it is a weak argument here.
BLITZER: I want to talk about --
CASTELLANOS: It's really I think a weak argument.
BLITZER: I want to talk about the Republican field, because we have a brand new CNN/ORC poll in two key states. Donald Trump is ahead in Nevada. There is Nevada there. He is at 38 percent, and Dr. Ben Carson at 22 percent, and everybody else in single digits. Nevada, an important early state, and South Carolina, among the Republicans, and in South Carolina, at 36 percent, and Dr. Ben Carson half, 18 percent, everybody else in single digits. So he is ahead in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada, the first four states. He's ahead in all of the national polls right now. He is amazing what he has achieved.
RYE: Yes, and the people argued that the person who had the next best night was Donald Trump on Twitter. So he has used the celebrity to garner a lot of attention, and he has used the rogue comments to get demonstrate to people that he is an outsider, and outsiders, by those poll results, Wolf, are clearly winning. The only one where there's a little bit of differentiator is in South Carolina where as the poll said that Rubio is ahead of Fiorina which surprises me.
BLITZER: And that is single digit --
RYE: That's right.
BLITZER: Not the 30s --
RYE: No, that's right.
BLITZER: But it is amazing what is going on in your party, Alex.
CASTELLANOS: The outsiders are having their day. And the big question for Republicans is let's assume that the Carson or the Trump wins in Iowa, and what does that mean? One, it means that Ted Cruz' campaign is dead, because Carson and Trump will continue through the process to take that conservative wing and lead it. Then as you go to New Hampshire, it means that the establishment is going to rally and say, OK, what is the alternative and who do we have? Is that a Rubio or Fiorina or a Jeb Bush? That is the way that the race is shaping up right now.
BLITZER: Quickly, because we are out of time, if Trump does win the first four states decisively, is it over?
CASTELLANOS: I think that we better start putting Trump signs on a lot of the government buildings in Washington.
BLITZER: And he is ahead decisively in the first four states.
We'll see what happens.
Thanks very much, guys.
Up next, foreign policy in the Democratic debate. Taking a look at last night's debate and what the candidates had to say about dealing with Russia and the greatest national security risk that the United States faces right now. Stay with us.
[13:42:31] BLITZER: 15.3 million people watched the Democratic presidential debate last night, and that is the most ever for a Democratic debate. They heard the candidates spar over foreign policy issues like Syria and Iraq, and each of them trying to establish themselves as presidential when it comes to the military and dealing with foreign leaders like the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin.
Let's discuss what was and wasn't said. Our chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, is here; as well as our CNN military analyst, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona.
And first on Putin and Syria, and we heard this from Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: We have to stand up to his bullying, and specifically in Syria, it is important, too, that the United States make it very clear to Putin, that it is not acceptable for him to be in Syria.
SANDERS: I think that he is already regretting what he did in Crimea and what he is doing in the Ukraine. I think the Russian people are going to give him a message that maybe they should come home, maybe they should start to work with the United States to rectify the situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: And, Rick, did anyone show a greater grasp of the risk or the dangers, for example, of dealing with rush sharks and Russia's involvement in Syria?
LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes. I am surprised at Mrs. Clinton's remarks. And she went ahead to talk about establishing no-fly zones in safe areas, and given the presence of the Russian military there in sizable force, the no-fly zone is a past discussion. I don't see how we could declare it or enforce it, and declaring it would merely bring the Russians into a confrontation that neither side wants, and Senator Sanders, and I think that he's overstating Putin's quagmire. I don't think that Putin is regretting what he is doing in Syria right now, and he has clarity of purpose, and knows what he is doing, and he is doing it. He is there to support Bashar al Assad and he is doing it effectively right now.
BLITZER: And now, Jim, this is a clip here of this when they were asked about the major national security threat to the United States right now, and let me play the clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, DEBATE MODERATOR: What is the greatest national security threat to the United States?
LINCOLN CHAFEE, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER RHODE ISLAND GOVERNOR: It is certainly the chaos in Middle East.
MARTIN O'MALLEY, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER MARYLAND GOVERNOR: I believe a nuclear Iran remains the biggest threat along with spread of ISIL.
CLINTON: It has to be continuing threats from the spread of nuclear weapons. SANDERS: The scientific community is telling us if we do not address the global crisis of climate change, transform our energy system away from fossil fuels --
[13:45:08] SANDERS: -- to sustainable energy, the planet that we are going to be leaving our kids and our grandchildren may well not be habitable.
JIM WEBB, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER SENATOR: Our greatest long-term strategic challenges are our relations with China.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: What did you think of those answers?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, you get a sense of just how complicated the world is right now. Because you have threats in the Middle East deteriorating with the relationship with Russia and China as well. Climate change, you certainly won't hear that answer in a Republican debate. You had O'Malley and Sanders mentioning that. But you saw differences there. There are clear differences. You would think that the Middle East would be at the top of everyone's list in light of the many crises there. And you can't forget about Ukraine or the disagreements with China.
BLITZER: And China really the major national security threat, Rick?
FRANCONA: Well, it is going to be in the future, and you know, the Chinese are putting a lot of money -- they're the second largest spenders on military hardware right now. They are increasing the size of the navy, and spreading out, and they want to be a global power. So, yes, China is a threat down the road, and something to deal with. But like Jim, I was surprised, because I would have thought that Russia would have been in there somewhere where. And I didn't hear about the Russian threat when asked about the biggest threat. We did hear a little bit about the Middle East, but, as Jim, I was little surprised by some of the answers.
SCIUTTO: And no question, and we were just talking about when Mitt Romney said to you in 2012 that Russia was the number-one strategic threat to the U.S., and now he is proven right.
BLITZER: And he said the number-one geo-strategic foe is, I think, the way he phrased it, in an interview with me. I said, are you sure, and I pressed him on it, and he said, yes, and he was attacked for it. But he clearly knew what he was talk about at that time, but it didn't do well for him in the election, as we all know, but that's what he said.
SCIUTTO: Possibly pressed. But I have to say, when I speak to intelligence officials, often times, when say, what truly keeps you up at night, and you would expect them to terror on the homeland, but consistently, not from everybody, but it will be China and Russia. They talk about cyber attacks, and the territorial conflicts in Asia and the Middle East. Those are truly strategic issues that are concerning many of the top officials in the United States.
BLITZER: That's exactly right. And when I ask people in the high national security positions, what keeps you up, the cyber threat issue keeps coming up and up and up, because they believe it could paralyze the country at some point.
SCIUTTO: And that goes back to two countries, China and Russia.
BLITZER: What do you think, Rick?
FRANCONA: And, Wolf, I think that it was Senator Webb who laid it out, a strategic threat and operational threat and tactical threat, because when you say what's the greatest threat to national security and what keeps you up at night, I mean, with we have a short-term horizon and a long-term horizon. I think he address that very real. But like Jim, I was surprised. Russia and China always come to mind and the Middle East, but we heard other things.
BLITZER: We could add North Korea to that as well.
All right, there's a lot of threats out there.
Guys, thanks very much.
And this just coming in, Donald Trump tweeted this out, and I am quoting now, "The debate last night proved that Hillary is running against the B-team, and she won't be so lucky when it comes to me."
Up next, we will hear directly from Donald Trump's eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump. She just spoke to CNN. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[13:52:53]Donald Trump has grabbed a lot of headlines for months now. He's set to become the Republican presidential nominee. We have heard a lot from him, but not as much are from the family, at least until now. Trump's daughter, Ivanka, was a featured guest at the Fortune's 500 Most Influential Women Summit.
CNN's Poppy Harlow was also there. She had an exclusive interview, sat down with Ivanka to get her take on her father and on women.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What would President Trump do for women in this country?
IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: He would be amazing for women in this country, and he would be incredible for the women in the country. And he is starting to articulate his positions. It is not my place to articulate those for him. I'm not part of the campaign. I'm very busy and he's kept me very busy working alongside my brothers in running the organization now that he's taking this step, in terms of his efforts to try and make this country great again, as he says. So, you know, I'll leave policy to him, but I can speak from my
vantage point as a child and also from my vantage point as a colleague and someone who works for him. He's been an amazing parent. He's given me every opportunity to succeed. He's been loving and supportive. He's pushed me. He's corrected me. He's disciplined me. And I think as a parent now myself I appreciate how hard that is more than ever before. When I was 15 or 16, I was a little less impressed by how tough he was and how strict he was with us as children. As a parent now, I see just how hard it is to raise children with drive and with passion and with energy who have a well-set moral compass.
And he very much did that for me in his role as a father and then as an executive. I've seen what an unbelievable leader he is. He's the most formidable negotiator I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot of great negotiators. He is also somebody who really encourages people to achieve at their highest level. He is -- he sets very high goals for everyone who works with them and works for them. But he helps raise the bar for themselves in terms of what they want to accomplish. It's been amazing. He inspires thousands of people daily at the Trump Organization. So both as a parent, I've seen him in that capacity my whole life, and as a leader, I've seen him in that capacity. And I can say he'd be excellent as a president. But in terms of my role in terms of the campaign or policy issues, you know, that's not -- that's not for me to talk about.
[13:55:42] BLITZER: Once again, our new CNN poll has him doing remarkably well, not just in Iowa and New Hampshire, but in Nevada he's way ahead among Republicans, 38 percent to 22 percent for Dr. Ben Carson. In South Carolina, way ahead as well, Donald Trump with 36 percent, Carson 18 percent.
That's it for me. Thanks for watching.
The news continues right here on CNN after a quick break.