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Interview with Donald Trump; Trump Weighs in on New Polls, Top Campaign Issues. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired October 20, 2015 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: She's fallen off 11 points in the last month and fallen off your TV screens. Where has she been?
[07:00:06] Overall, there-quarters of Republicans say they are satisfied with the field of candidates. Democrats say 70 percent. What does that tell you? This is no blip in time. This is true intentionality going on in the GOP.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Let's talk about all of this now. Joining us by phone, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Good morning, Mr. Trump.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (via phone): Good morning.
CAMEROTA: Thanks so much for being here. Let's talk about these new polls hot off the presses this morning. You once again are leading the pack. As we just said, you have 27 percent. You've gone up three points since last month.
CAMEROTA: Your closest competitor is Ben Carson there. He's gone up eight points since last month. But let's talk about you, because you have defied all of the conventional wisdom. The pundits said by now we would be seeing the polls drop, your numbers plummet or you would have gotten out of the race or you would have imploded. What do the pundits not realize about you?
TRUMP: Well, they don't know me. They don't know where I come from. They don't understand about winning, and I, you know, enjoy this. I'm seeing -- as you know, I was at a place last night which was so incredible. We were -- you know, the crowd of people that we have is incredible. It's incredible. I was in South Carolina, and the place was packed. And the enthusiasm and the love in the room, I mean, it's love. It's beyond, like, a regular you're going to make a speech. The love in the room. People want to see something happen.
I was in New Hampshire. I was in Iowa. I was in Virginia the other day. And we had 10,000 people. Last night we had 8,000 people. It's that way all the time. And the only thing that stops even more are the size of the arenas. I mean, you can't get bigger.
CAMEROTA: I do want to get to what you talked about last night in one moment. But first, just one more -- a couple more things about the polls. Because Ben Carson is running second to you. He's at 22 percent. Could there be any two more different people? How do you explain that you both are winning with Republicans?
TRUMP: Well, we've hit a chord. And we're not as different as people think. We have a very good relationship. We're not as different as people think. But there is a -- certainly a different style. And you know, I have great assets, and he has some great assets. But we are both resonating; there's no question about it.
NBC just came out with their poll, and it's similar. I'm in first place...
TRUMP: ... and Ben's in second place. And I went up a lot; and from my original, I've gone up a lot. And you know, it's -- the other candidates are similar. So maybe these polls are starting to really accurate out.
CAMEROTA: Can you imagine a Trump/Carson ticket?
TRUMP: Well, I like him. He likes me. I mean, stranger things have happened. That I can tell you. But it's too early to think about that. It certainly is interesting. So many people have suggested it because we seem to be doing awfully well.
CAMEROTA: Yes. Very quickly, can we talk about Carly Fiorina for a second?
CAMEROTA: You two have obviously had your issues in the past. But how do you explain how her poll numbers have plummeted? She had this big bump after the debate. She's gone from 15 percent to now 4 percent.
TRUMP: That's a big drop. I don't know. I like Carly, actually. But I don't know why she would have dropped so much. That's a very, very big drop. I -- there's no answer to that. A couple of others have dropped pretty good, too. But there's no answer to Carly. She's talented. And I'm -- I'm surprised to see that much of a drop.
CAMEROTA: OK. Let's talk about last night. You were in South Carolina. You had, as you said, a passionate crowd there. And you said something to them. You said -- about guns. You said, "You know the president is thinking about signing an executive order where he wants to take away your guns. You hear about this?" Now, Mr. Trump, the president has not signed an executive order to take away guns.
TRUMP: No, I've heard that he wants to, and I heard and I think on your network, somebody said that that's what he's thinking about. I didn't say he's signing it. I said -- I think that will be a tough one to sign, actually.
CAMEROTA: Yes. It's impossible, in fact. TRUMP: Yes, I would say it would be impossible, but nevertheless, he was thinking about it. And I've heard it from numerous networks, and I've read it in the papers, you know. My source is the papers. So they're pretty good sources.
CAMEROTA: I mean, the president constitutionally cannot sign an executive order to take away guns. So what are you doing? When you're telling...
TRUMP: He can't sign an executive order on immigration either, and he did.
CAMEROTA: But when you're telling your crowd last night that "he's coming after you and your guns," and you know that not to be true...
TRUMP: Well no, he has been in different forms. I mean, he's very much against -- in my opinion -- he's against the Second Amendment, which is ridiculous. But he has certainly not been pro-Second Amendment. You can say that at a minimum.
Now I've heard from numerous sources, and I've heard from the media. And I've seen in the media, I've seen in the papers, that -- and I think if you look back, a couple of -- maybe a week, you'll see it on your own network, people were saying he is thinking about doing it. I didn't say he's doing it. I said, how is he going to do that, given the Second Amendment? That's big league. But I -- He is -- Certainly, I think he is currently thinking about doing it.
CAMEROTA: All right. Let's talk about 9/11, because you have been in a squabble with Jeb Bush for the past few days, since weekend about this. This past weekend, you said that George W. Bush did not keep the country safe, because 9/11 happened on his watch. And I'd like you to expound on that a little bit. What do you think George W. Bush could have or should have done differently?
TRUMP: OK. Well, first of all, it started much differently than this. Jeb at the debate -- and I wanted to be nice. I didn't want to be insulting, because it is his brother. And he's loyal to his family. Jeb is a very good person. I have to say that. And I've watched him. Even last night, they said, "If Trump wins, would you vote for him? And would you be with him?"
He said, "Yes, I would be with him. I would be with the Republican Party." I mean, I thought it was a very classy answer, to be honest with you.
So what -- this all started because Jeb made the statement that "under my brother, we were safe." Well, if he would have qualified by saying "after the attack," but he didn't do that.
So I said the other day, because somebody brought up that statement. And I said in an interview, that you know, how can you say you were safe under his brother when we just had the worst attack in the history of our country? You can't say you were safe. You can say, yes, we did well after but then we also made mistakes there, because yes, were safe in a sense, but we went into Iraq, which was a disastrous decision.
Not Afghanistan, because that's probably where we should have gone in the first place. But Iraq was a disastrous decision.
So we go into Iraq, and we make a mistake. But -- and you can also say is that safe going into Iraq while we're losing thousands of soldiers? That's not safe either, when you get right down to it.
But I simply said that you can't say that we were safe under -- He said, "Under my brother we were safe." You can't say that, because we had the worst attack in the history of this country, and I guess worse than Pearl Harbor. But that would be right up there. But we had our worst attack.
TRUMP: So I thought it was very -- I thought it was very obvious. And it got a lot of pushback. I didn't think it would be very, you know, controversial when I made it. I made the statement quite innocently, actually.
CAMEROTA: Well, look, I mean, it's because -- I mean, most Republicans don't say that, when it comes to a terrorist attack, that it was partially George W. Bush that didn't keep us safe. I mean, that was -- you definitely broke with convention by saying that.
TRUMP: Well it's OK, Alisyn. I mean, I've been doing that for a long time. You know, if you look at what happened, No. 1, I would have had much stronger immigration policies. I'm not saying I would have prevented it, but I would have had a chance, because I'm pretty good at this stuff.
CAMEROTA: So -- but I want to ask you about that. Hold on, Mr. Trump.
TRUMP: But I would have had, Alisyn...
CAMEROTA: Let me ask you about that.
TRUMP: I would have had much stronger immigration policies in effect.
CAMEROTA: Yes, but meaning that you would not -- If you were president, you wouldn't allow student visas? I mean, as you know, the (INAUDIBLE)...
TRUMP: I would have a much tougher visa program. The visas are too easy.
CAMEROTA: So you would...
TRUMP: And I would have had a much tougher -- Well...
CAMEROTA: You wouldn't allow those going forward?
TRUMP: But Alisyn...
TRUMP: They knew an attack was coming. George Tenet, the CIA director, knew in advance that there would be an attack. And he said so to the president, and he said so to everybody else that would listen. And that came out.
The other thing is, the FBI, the NSE and the CIA were not talking to each other. These are the three main agencies. And they weren't talking to each other and they weren't talking because they didn't like each other. And they had a lot of problems getting along. And that's leadership. You have to, you know -- you have to get your three main agencies to talk to each other. They had a lot of information that, if it could have been correlated, it would have been very, very helpful.
TRUMP: You know, as President Truman said, the buck stops here. Whether you like it or not, Truman would have said -- He wouldn't have been talking about after the attack. He would have said the buck stops here.
But you had the FBI, NSE and the CIA, all three, they weren't talking to each other. Now, you know, say what you want. But then we went out and attacked the wrong country, because we went out and attacked Iraq. They had no weapons of mass destruction, as you know, and as we found out, and as we found out in spades. So they had no -- We destabilized the entire Middle East. I mean, this is all -- the Middle East is a mess right now because of Iraq, because we totally destabilized.
And the two powers, Iraq and Iran, one got decapitated, and Iran now is taking over the Middle East, taking over Iraq, taking over the oil. And the other one that gets some of the oil is ISIS. OK? So we fueled and created ISIS out of this.
CAMEROTA: So let's talk about Afghanistan, as you just brought up, because you have said a couple of conflicting things about whether or not you thought that it was right to go into Afghanistan. Ben Carson, as you know, this weekend said that he thought going to war with Afghanistan after 9/11 was a mistake, and at times you have said that, as well. But at times you've flip-flopped.
TRUMP: No, I haven't said it. I haven't said it. Look, Afghanistan is a different thing. It's next to Pakistan, and Pakistan has nuclear weapons. OK?
CAMEROTA: So you think it was OK -- the Afghanistan war you do support?
TRUMP: It's an entrance to Pakistan and Pakistan has nuclear weapons. That's a different thing. It's a whole different kettle. One of the reasons I wouldn't have gone into Iraq, the two reasons, No. 1 they had no weapons of mass destruction. I think Bush wanted to do that for his father maybe. You know, because actually his father did a good job. He went and knocked the hell out of Iraq, but he didn't go in. He didn't get into the quagmire.
[07:10:09] You know, that whole Middle East is a quagmire. Anybody goes in, you're in a quagmire there. You can't get out. And it's not going to change. And it's not going to change with Syria either, by the away. It's not going to be changing with Syria -- It's like a quagmire. It's like being in quicksand. You can't get out.
In the meantime, we have to build our own country. With Afghanistan it's different, because they are next to Pakistan. Pakistan has nuclear weapons.
CAMEROTA: Yes. But I just want to ask you about how you feel about the Afghanistan war? Do you think that it was a mistake to go into Afghanistan?
TRUMP: Do I love it? No. Do I love anything about it? No. I like -- I think it's important that we, No. 1, keep a presence there and ideally a presence of pretty much what they're talking about, 5,000 soldiers.
CAMEROTA: Right. But originally?
TRUMP: But I think we need to -- But we really need to do it for a different reason. We have Pakistan next to it and Pakistan legitimately has nuclear weapons.
CAMEROTA: Yes. But...
TRUMP: That's a real problem.
CAMEROTA: But originally, you don't think...
TRUMP: It would be nice to have other people help us like China is taking all the minerals out of Afghanistan. You know, while we're fighting all the time, China is on the other side of the ridge with their big equipment, with their excavators taking all the minerals out. They do nothing.
CAMEROTA: I just want to ask you...
TRUMP: They do nothing except make money.
CAMEROTA: But I just want to clarify that you do not think it was a mistake to go into Afghanistan after 9/11, because you did say on our air, let me read to you what you said on October 6 about Afghanistan. You said, "We made a terrible mistake getting involved there in the first place."
TRUMP: No, we made a -- no, no.
CAMEROTA: "We had real brilliant thinkers that didn't know what the hell they were doing, and it's a mess."
TRUMP: We made a mistake going into Iraq. I've never said we made a mistake going into Afghanistan.
CAMEROTA: This -- Our question was about Afghanistan. That day on October 6th...
TRUMP: OK. I never said that. Wouldn't matter. I never said it.
Afghanistan is a different kettle. Afghanistan is next to Pakistan. It's an entry in, you have to be careful with the nuclear weapons. It' all about the nuclear weapons. By the way, without the nukes it's a whole different ball game. But it's all about the nuclear weapons.
That's going to be -- when, you know, Bernie Sanders gets up and says global warming is our biggest problem, I've got news for him. The biggest problem is nuclear weapons, nuclear proliferation. That's the world's great problem right now. Believe me.
CAMEROTA: In fact, Jeb Bush has just talked about that. He said that he would not be comfortable with you basically having your finger on the button, with you having the nuclear codes. What's your reaction?
TRUMP: Well, I don't think he said that, because I watched him. And I don't think he said that. He said by the way, would you vote for Trump or Clinton or Sanders or Biden? And he said, "I'd go with Trump or the Republican nominee." So I don't think he said that. I mean, I watched him. He's been very nice.
Look, his brother gets hit on. He's a loyal person; he's loyal to his brother. But his brother made some mistakes. His brother could have made a mistake with respect to the actual hit, because they did know it was coming. George Tenet, the head of the CIA, told them it was coming. So they did have advanced notice and they didn't really work on it.
Now that's something that could happen. I don't blame him for that. Again, the question was -- It wasn't that I was blaming. They said that our country was safe under Bush. I said, well, what about the World Trade Center coming down in the worst attack in history? But the statement was our country was safe under his brother.
TRUMP: And I said, well, OK, but you've got to add in, you know, if you go back a few days, you have to add in a thing called the World Trade Center and they wouldn't do that.
CAMEROTA: Right. OK.
TRUMP: So I disagreed with that statement.
TRUMP: And frankly, I've had tremendous support. It's very interesting. A lot of people said, "We never thought of it that way. I mean, you know, it's right."
And at the debate, when he said that, I didn't want to say it because, honestly, I wanted to be respectful. I didn't want to say it, but I've always thought it, whenever I heard what a good job Bush did from the time of -- after the attack and the job was fine. But what about the attack itself?
CAMEROTA: And Mr. Trump, I want to ask you about your idea for a national security team. More than a month ago you hold Hugh Hewitt you would be announcing your national security team, quote, "very soon." So that suggests maybe, you know, days or maybe a week. So what's the holdup?
TRUMP: Well, I have a group of people that I'm dealing with. I've never even asked them if they want to go public. If they do, I think it's fine. But I know a lot about national security. I've always known a lot about national security.
But a lot of national security is immigration policy. We get right back down to one of my main themes, a theme that I was absolutely killed on for two weeks after I announced that I was running for president. Now everybody agrees with me.
When I was tough on illegal immigration, I was absolutely just -- you know, it was brutal for two weeks, and then they find out, wow, he's right. And then you had Kate killed in San Francisco and you had -- by an illegal immigrant who came over five times at least, probably much more than that. And then you had so many other people killed and horribly killed. You had the women three weeks ago in California, the veteran, raped and killed at 66 years of age by an illegal immigrant.
All of a sudden people started saying, you know, he's right. And now I'm given a lot of credit for that on immigration -- in your poll I rated the highest by three times of anybody else. And on the economy, by the way, and on leadership. Fairly important points, by the way.
[07:15:21] CAMEROTA: Let's talk about something that you were coy about last time I interviewed you. And that was "Saturday Night Live." We do now know that you are expected to host on November 7. But there is a group of Hispanics who are boycotting that or who are protesting your appearance. They feel that you would not be a good representative to be on "Saturday Night Live," and they are going to try to spike your appearance. Do you think that they will have luck with that?
TRUMP: Yes, I think they'll have luck in driving up the ratings, because the ratings will be even higher than they would have been. This will be the highest rated show in a long time.
I was on "60 Minutes." They had the highest rating in over a year just two weeks ago. That was the highest rating, they -- at "60 Minutes" they had. And they had a lousy game in front of it, too. It was a blowout. And they had the highest ratings in over a year.
"Saturday Night Live" will be -- some people think it will be one of the highest rated shows ever. I think they'll only drive up the ratings higher. These groups, I know these groups. Many of them are scam groups. I have great relationships, tremendous relationships, as you know...
CAMEROTA: Who is a scam? Which group is a scam group? TRUMP: I have fantastic relationships with the Hispanics. I employ thousands of Hispanics right now. Tens of thousands over the years I've employed. They're fantastic people. I have great respect for Mexico, but Mexico is just taking advantage of our country.
CAMEROTA: But what do you mean. Their leaders are much smarter than our leaders, and they're taking advantage of us in trade and at the border. Ford is moving a massive plan to Mexico. Nabisco is moving their factory to Mexico. Too much. It's no good.
We have to keep -- Listen, one of the reason I'm leading in every single poll -- every single poll, every single state, I'm leading -- I mean, in South Carolina, I'm leading 38 to 12 or something. You look at some of these polls, in New Hampshire, I'm leading 36-10.
CAMEROTA: But what do you mean? What do you mean that they're scams?
TRUMP: You should mention those polls, because those are very important polls.
CAMEROTA: We've talked about your polls. We are talking about them this morning, the ones that have just come out that show you in the lead again. But quickly, what do you mean they're a scam? What group is a scam?
TRUMP: Well, these are people that go around. They look around for money from people. I had a group come up to me, you know, a very supposedly prominent group. The first thing out of their mouths is, like, would you like to join our coalition? It will cost from 25,000 to $2 million to join. I said, "You give me a break."
I mean, I get hit with this stuff all the time. There are a lot of people -- a lot of people are scammers. They're just scammers. And, you know, they sit home on their iPad laying in bed tapping out things. And I know this happens all the time. And then you have weak companies like a Macy's will fall for it. And I wish they didn't by the way. Because a lot of people boycotted Macy's because of what they did when they cut my line. You know, they cut my line because they were weak and ineffective, frankly.
But it's been -- I mean, it's been an amazing -- it's been an amazing period of time for me. It's been incredible. The polls have been great. The crowds have been so phenomenal. No matter where I go, I have the biggest crowds by far, and that includes Bernie Sanders by far. And we have a big one in Florida very soon at Doral, at my place. We're going to have 10,000 people -- I mean, you know, 10,000 people is becoming a small crowd.
We had 35,000 people in Mobile, Alabama; 20,000 in Mark Cuban's arena in Dallas, Texas. It's been -- it's been really amazing, actually. We've had a lot of fun.
CAMEROTA: Yes. TRUMP: But I know these Spanish groups. They go around, and they you know -- they only care about themselves. And by the way, if you look at the polls, the polls in Nevada and other polls say that Trump is No. 1 with the Hispanics. Another one came out yesterday, Hispanic poll, where people that -- Hispanics that are in our country legally have Trump as No. 1 by far. It's not even close.
So I do very well with Hispanics.
CAMEROTA: All right.
TRUMP: I actually think I will win the Hispanics. If you remember Mitt Romney with his stupid comments about Hispanics, and he did very, very poorly with the Hispanics. It was ridiculous what he said. But Mitt Romney did very poorly with Hispanics.
I think that -- Alisyn, I think I will win with Hispanics. And that's a big statement, because no Republican has ever won with Hispanics. I think I will win with Hispanics when the word gets out -- the real word gets out.
CAMEROTA: All right, Mr. Trump, always interesting to get your predictions and to talk to you. Thanks so much for being on NEW DAY.
TRUMP: Well, thank you for the good numbers. I always love to hear that.
CAMEROTA: We know you do. it sounds like you're having fun with all of this and we'll talk to you again...
TRUMP: I am.
CAMEROTA: ... soon.
TRUMP: Thank you very much. Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Thanks so much.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Don't look at me.
CUOMO: You were taking notes half the time.
PEREIRA: I thought it was interesting. I was wondering to myself, I wonder if it has a hypnotic effect? If you keep saying something over and over and over again, does it sink in?
CUOMO: The answer is, without question, yes.
CAMEROTA: Sure, sure.
CUOMO: And please, it's @alisyncamerota, Alisyn with a "y."
CAMEROTA: He does like to read all of my tweets.
CUOMO: Use that on social media. But it lights up, and here's what I like. Donald Trump is very right about very fundamental things about politics. And he's doing them better than everybody else.
[07:20:20] PEREIRA: Like what?
CUOMO: Including my question, here. People like to hear their complaints given voice.
PEREIRA: They do. Absolutely.
CUOMO: He's doing that very well and in a way that is far more demonstrative than politicians usually do. Why? Because they have to be held accountable for what they -- get reached out there.
Trump is not getting measured the same way. He's getting a lot of scrutiny, but it's not the same kind of scrutiny.
Also, they love a winner. And they love someone who is optimistic about themselves and about them. He is also that in big portions.
CUOMO: I'm a winner. I'll get it done. I know how to do it. How are you going to round up with 11 million people? With a process. What he's banking on is "believe in me because you don't believe in any of these other guys." And it's resonating, period.
CAMEROTA: There you go. Keep the tweets coming. I look forward to reading them.
CUOMO: At AlisynCamerota, Alisyn with a "y." I don't understand why it's spelled that way, but it is.
So we just spoke to Donald Trump here on NEW DAY. We're going to break down what he had to say on the different issues, some vetting, some analysis and prognostications to come.
CUOMO: Donald J. Trump was just on phone. What did he say? What does it mean? Let's bring in CNN political commentator and host of "Smerconish," Michael Smerconish. So what resonated?
[07:25:07] MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What resonated with me is the discussion about September 11. Because he wants to have it both ways. It all began with that interview on Bloomberg where he said that the Twin Towers came down on W.'s reign.
And then, when he's questioned, as Alisyn questioned him: Are you blaming Bush? And he's quick to say, "Well, no, I'm not blaming him."
Here's my takeaway. I think there is a legitimate debate to be had as to whether President George W. Bush kept us safe. And if you go to the CNN website right now, Peter Bergen, who is our national security analyst, says, "I hate to write it, but Donald Trump is right."
I don't know why Trump just doesn't full on have that conversation instead of trying to hedge and have it both ways.
CUOMO: Because he wasn't doing that. I mean, when we had Beinart on with Phillip Mudd, they each offered up six, seven points that you never heard come out of Donald Trump. He was doing something different. He was responding to an opponent. Jeb Bush was putting something out there about his brother keeping us safe. His instinct, Donald Trump, is to go at him. He says he wanted to be nice, but he went at him with the obvious. Which is your brother was in office at the time. It's on him. I don't think he's thinking about the same conversation that you're suggesting, Mike.
SMERCONISH: Well, I'm suggesting that there's some substance here that we can hash out. The PDB of August 6, George Tenet saying the intelligence community was blinking red. There's a lot of data that, frankly, Chris, I don't think ever was properly litigated in the political arena, because I think that many were afraid to go after it.
By the way, if it were an issue that could sell to a general election, you'd think that John Kerry would have been elected in 2004, and he wasn't.
All I'm saying is, I think, you know, people tend to conflate whether they like or dislike Trump, how they feel about these different issues. And I'm suggesting there's a legitimate issue here for discussion that I think is healthy for the country.
CAMEROTA: And it sounds to me like he is going there. It sounds to me like he is going further than what he just said where he was attacking Jeb. He was just there talking about George Tenet and why all the warning signs were ignored and how the information was siloed, as we know, between the CIA and other intelligence and all that stuff.
He also, in this interview that we just did, talked about how it upset the apple cart. That by going into this, the response afterward and going into Iraq, that George W. Bush didn't keep us safe. I mean, this is his feeling, because he went into Iraq, upset the apple cart and that was the genesis of ISIS. I mean, he just said that.
So all of those deeper layers of that debate he is starting to talk about now.
SMERCONISH: I think this was more drawn out and more substantive, your conversation with him, than anything else that has transpired in the last several days. And I've been paying very close attention.
The mantra of the Republican Party in 2004, I remember the convention at Madison Square Garden. Zell Miller delivered that speech where he said we've got to fight them over there so that we don't have to fight them here. That was the mindset of the country, at least of the Republicans in the country.
I bought into it at the time and over time have second-guessed it, and I think so have many other people. That every time we open a base over there, we're actually imperiling more American lives. I'm just trying to say I like the substantive nature of the conversation about what really does make us safe, and it's overdue.
CUOMO: Well, look, he's certainly good at provoking conversation. He did that on immigration. Also, you then have to get into a battle of information versus misinformation. You know, most of this country now believes that immigrants are all scrambling across the border, when the overwhelming majority of undocumented immigrants, illegal immigrants, whatever you want to call them, are people who overstay legit visas.
Similarly, on 9/11, the idea that one or two moves were grossly negligent of the facts known at the time, it's very hard to get people to agree with that, Michael, as much as people want to blame for what happened on 9/11. Philip Mudd, who was there all through it and so many others say, we just weren't there. We just weren't capable. We weren't prepared. We weren't...
CAMEROTA: A lack of imagination, as it's been called.
SMERCONISH: And you know, Alisyn, that's the key word that I was just going to reference. The September 11 Commission, if you'll remember, said that the greatest failure was a failure of imagination. This was just something that we, the intelligence community, could not comprehend. And we were still stuck from an intelligence standpoint in a Cold War mindset.
CAMEROTA: But Michael, quickly, what did you think about his prediction that he will win with Hispanics? I mean, this flies in the face of the people who are protesting -- protesting his appearance at "SNL." But he said that he's doing beautifully in Nevada and elsewhere with Hispanic voters.
SMERCONISH: Well, I'm -- I'm obviously in the loop on the new CNN/ORC poll, and I give him props, because he's got his strongest numbers ever. But when you look at internals that I have seen, not on this survey but on others, he's doing horrifically with Hispanics.
And in a general election context, you've got to grow the tent. he can't win with the same -- 59 percent of the white vote that Mitt Romney got. And how he grows the tent, I don't know.
I think the most stunning thing about -- about the survey is the command that both Trump and Carson together have. It's 49 percent of the Republican Party right now. And I think that's a reflection of who belongs to the GOP today.