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Democrats Spar for Support in Iowa; Leaders Discuss Violence in Israel, West Bank; More Rain Pounds Southeast Texas. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired October 25, 2015 - 08:00   ET


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: So, we're not going to see a lot of this.

[08:00:01] And as you said, Victor, I'm not sure how good of a gauge it will be. A Bills/Jaguar game starts at 9:30 Eastern.

So, if you're in California, that's 6:30 a.m. You're not waking up like, oh, Bills/Jaguar --

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: No. Well, we'll see how it's received. We'll check it out.

Andy Scholes, thank you so much.



PAUL: It is always good to see you first thing in the morning. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you.

PAUL: Yes, we want to begin this morning with the 2016 race for the White House. Senator Bernie Sanders ratcheting up his fire against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Sanders took veiled shots, let's say, during his speech at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Iowa. He characterized her in favor of the Iraq war, implicitly characterized her as an inconsistent candidate.

BLACKWELL: Meanwhile, Clinton at the event didn't fire back as aggressively, also making the case that she would be best equipped to take on the Republicans.

CNN Jeff Zeleny is live in Des Moines with the latest, and the big headlines from the event.

Good morning, Jeff.


It was the most aggressive we've seen Bernie Sanders yet. He challenged Hillary Clinton on her principle positions. He's trying to convince these Democrats here in Iowa, the state that kicks off this road to the White House that they still have a choice in this campaign.

But Hillary Clinton, I can tell you, all but ignored that criticism and focused her fire power on the Republicans.


ZELENY (voice-over): Fireworks in the presidential race. Democratic rivals descending on Iowa 100 days before the first votes of the 2016 primary. Hillary Clinton seizing on the star power of Katy Perry.

KATY PERRY, SINGER: Fight on! 2016 is right around the corner!

ZELENY: And the political power of Bill Clinton in his campaign trail debut.

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: I've never been the warm-up act for Katy Perry before! But I'm well aware I am the warm-up act!

ZELENY: The biggest week yet of the Democratic presidential race ended in Iowa where Clinton had plenty of company and competition.


ZELENY: Senator Bernie Sanders has become a Democratic star of his own. His campaign chartered a plane to fly over their dueling rallies, calling for a revolution, before marching side-by-side with his followers.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a march which will end up in a year when you will join me in the White House.

ZELENY: A festival of politics coming to a full boil at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner, a marquee event for Democrats. It was at this dinner eight years ago where Illinois Senator Barack Obama jumpstarted his presidential campaign.

BARACK OBAMA, THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If we are really serious about winning this election, Democrats, then we can't live in fear of losing it.

ZELENY: Sanders said history could repeat itself.

SANDERS: About eight years ago, all of the political experts talked about how another Democratic candidate for president just couldn't win. He was unelectable. Do you remember that guy? What is his name? Oh, it's President Obama!

ZELENY: Sanders presented himself as a principle progressive, drawing a sharp contrast to Clinton's votes on Iraq, gay rights and Wall Street reform.

SANDERS: I will not abandon any segment of American society just because it is politically expedient at a given time. ZELENY: Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley said it's time for a

new generation to lead.

MARTIN O'MALLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: New leadership or the same old battles of our past? Actions or words? Do we want to get things done? Or do we just want to keep kind of shouting past each other?

ZELENY: But Clinton argued her experience makes her the party's strongest nominee.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's not enough just to rail against the Republicans or the billionaires. We actually have to win this election.

ZELENY: In Iowa, Clinton has an edge in the polls, but Sanders is capturing the enthusiasm, a sign this Democratic race is not yet settled.



ZELENY: Now, with 100 days remaining before the Iowa caucuses kick off the road to the White House, there's no question that Clinton is in the Democratic driver's seat here. But she's ahead of Bernie Sanders by nearly ten points in the polls here in Iowa, but it is a different picture in New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders has had a commanding lead there all summer and going into the fall.

That's why she's going to New Hampshire later this week for a two-day campaign swing. She's trying to loosen up some of those supporters to try and convince them she's the strongest Democratic nominee -- Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: All right. Jeff Zeleny, thank you so much.

Lots to talk about from that this dinner. Let's bring in Democratic National Committee member and Hillary Clinton supporter, Robert Zimmerman

[08:05:00] Good to have you this morning.


BLACKWELL: So, I want to start with talking about the man on stage we've not talked much about this morning, Martin O'Malley. He's been going after one of the contenders, one of the persons who is running for president. But it's not Hillary Clinton. It's not Bernie Sanders. Donald Trump we're hearing this repeated refrain.

Let's listen to it and we'll talk about what happened last night.


O'MALLEY: To that immigrant bashing, carnival marker Donald Trump, let us stand together and say that the enduring symbol of our nation is not the barbed wire fence. It is the Statute of Liberty!


BLACKWELL: You're going after the Republicans is typically we see from the frontrunner in a race. She's in the single digits. Did Martin O'Malley do anything last night to try to change the standing? And was he successful?

ZIMMERMAN: Look, he had a strong message, without question. I'm a Hillary Clinton supporter but I respect what former Governor O'Malley was trying to do, but in terms of his message.

But also, he's hoping that Donald Trump is going to put out some sort of hate tweet against him and then get some mileage out of it because that's what -- you know, when you're in that position single digits, you want to try to galvanize some attention around yourself. And he's hoping that Donald Trump will play into that and Donald Trump as you know is comfortable sending out midnight hate tweets to his opponents.

But I think for Martin O'Malley, his challenge is going to be to try to galvanize the left that Bernie Sanders seems to have taken from him. They seem to have battled amongst themselves in that category. I think for Hillary Clinton it's about expanding her base. I think she's done that very well and very dramatically in the past ten days.

BLACKWELL: Well, let's talk about Hillary Clinton. You say you're a Hillary Clinton supporter. What we heard from Bernie Sanders last night was the most poignant critique we've heard thus far, probably the most aggressive. And he used similar phrasing that President Obama, then senator in 2007, used to that same dinner, saying that he will govern based on principle not on poll numbers. That is something that Secretary Clinton has been fighting for some time.

How does she overcome that, because there are many in the party who believe that she often goes with the direction of the wind?

ZIMMERMAN: Well, you know, if you look at the national polling that's taking place among Democrats, Hillary Clinton is even leading Bernie Sanders on the issues he's trying to focus on like handling the economy and standing up to Wall Street.

For Hillary Clinton, it's important to stay above that and keep focused on the larger picture. But why she's the strongest candidate against Republicans. Now, obviously, Bernie Sanders is going to try to define himself separately from Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton supporters are going to say that Senator Sanders voted five times against the Brady Bill because of political pressure in Vermont.

But the bigger picture, Victor, simply is this -- when we Democrats are finished with our that primary process, we may need some -- we may need some group therapy.

But believe me, the Republicans are going to need anger management therapy. You now have the specter of Donald Trump and Ben Carson going at each other to the point we're now, after Ben Carson recently said he doesn't think that Muslims should be president, Donald Trump is now going after Ben Carson's religion as a Seventh Day Adventist. That's the level they're at. I'm much more comfortable with the debate my party is having than watching the debate the Republicans are having.

BLACKWELL: All right. Robert Zimmerman, thank you so much.

ZIMMERMAN: Thank you.

PAUL: So, let's stick with the 2016 race here because it's said to be a huge show on CNN "STATE OF THE UNION" with candidates Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump all set to appear. The host of "STATE OF THE UNION", CNN's Jake Tapper with us for a preview.

I know, Jake, that you had the sit down with Trump. What did he say that really stuck with you?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": Well, he had a lot to say. I asked him about the Trump doctrine, what would that be, when would he use U.S. force and how would he used it. We talked about taxation.

And then, of course, one of the things we wanted to talk about the most -- he wanted to talk about the most, was about Ben Carson who is now overtaking him in some key polls in Iowa. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think Ben Carson is a low-energy person. Actually, I think Ben Carson is lower energy than Jeb, if you want to know the truth.

We need strong energy. The thing with Ben, he's got a very good PAC and he's got people running his pact and in my opinion, he's got people all over Iowa from his pact and they're running -- Ben doesn't go to Iowa that much. And he's doing well in Iowa?

So I think that the super PACs are a real problem in terms of our country and I am talking about Ben. I did talk about Jeb because I thought Jeb was going to be the frontrunner. Obviously, he's no longer the frontrunner. I probably won't talk about him so much anymore.


TAPPER: One of the other things he talked about quite a bit is super PACs. He's called for all candidates to disavow their super PACs. He's written -- his campaign wrote a letter to the nine or so super PACs supporting his candidacy, telling him to cease and desist. He called them a scam and went on to describe the ways he thinks they're hurting democracy.

PAUL: And I'm pretty sure you got an awful lot of questions for Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio who you're going to be talking with today, yes?

[08:10:04] TAPPER: That's right. Jaime Gangel interviewed Marco Rubio and that interview is going to air first on our show and then Bernie Sanders is going to be joining us live. He obviously as you saw from Jeff Zeleny's report just a few minutes ago, obviously, as you saw from Jeff Zeleny's report just a few minutes ago, obviously had a forceful night at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Iowa, really taking the case, really making the case and contrasting his record very strongly with that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. We'll ask him about that and much, much more.

PAUL: All righty. Looking forward to it. Jake Tapper, thank you so much.

TAPPER: Thank you.

PAUL: And just another reminder -- watch Jake on "STATE OF THE UNION" starts at the top of the hour, 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: A new weapon against violence in the West Bank. How a new security measure could protect both Muslims and Jews at one of the holiest sites. That's coming up.

Plus, the rain just keeps falling in Texas. A lot of roads underwater in Houston as the southeastern coast braces for even more rain.


PAUL: New this morning: a Palestinian man stabbed and wounded an Israeli near a Jewish settlement in the West Bank. Now, today's incident is just the latest in weeks of violence. And it's now led Israel to approve a new security measure at one of the holiest sites for both Jews and Muslims.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Jordanian and Palestinian officials yesterday before announcing the proposal. He calls it a potential game-changer.

Let's talk to David Tafuri. He's a former U.N. and State Department official.

And the point here being, David, there will now be this 24-hour video surveillance at the holy site where there has been an awful lot of violence lately. I'm wondering who is going to monitor that? How will it be monitored? Do you think it will help as much as Secretary Kerry believes it will?

DAVID TAFURI, FORMER U.N. AND STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Well, it seems like a simple solution. But as you mentioned, each of the stakeholders have agreed to it.

You know, Jordan plays an interesting role. Jordan is the custodian of this holy site. That's why the king of Jordan was hoping to mediate this problem. So, Jordan will probably be in charge of this new security measure.

Hopefully, it will work out. Mahmoud Abbas seems to be positive about it. But the question is whether Mahmoud Abbas and the other Palestinian leaders will try and calm down the Palestinian population which will hopefully prevent these lone wolf attackers from engaging in more attacks. However, as you reported, there's already one new attack.

Let's see over the next few days if it results in calming the population.

PAUL: Are these lone wolf attacks? Or do you believe they might be more organized? Is Hamas involved in any way here?

TAFURI: Well, certainly, Hamas and other Palestinians leadership members are encouraging these attacks. I don't think they're organized, but they're spurring on this anger and encouraging Palestinians to engage in the attacks and preying on the hopelessness of the attacks. That's what resulted in the attacks. Let's see if the new measure will help calm people down.

PAUL: So, a lot of people might be looking at this and thinking, where is the Arab voice in this? Meaning Egypt and Saudi Arabia are noticeably absent here.

TAFURI: Yes, I mean, this is a difficult problem and, obviously, Saudi Arabia, for instance, has lots of other issues that they need to focus on, same with Egypt. So, I think they're happy to let Jordan play the important role as mediator. It makes sense because Jordan is the custodian of this holy site.

But for us to move forward in the peace process, all the country and leaders are going to have to be involved. The peace talks are completely stalled as you see. This little, you know, development, hopefully, will maybe result in restarting the peace talks. But there are some big obstacles to peace between the Palestinians and Israel.

Most importantly, the settlement, also the peace talks broke down last time over a prisoner exchange and the release of the Palestinian prisoners which Israel didn't want to do.

PAUL: So, you talk about the importance of Jordan's voice in this. How influential do you think Jordan will be at the end of the day?

TAFURI: Well, Jordan is very influential because it has a strong relationship with each of the key parties, especially with the U.S. It has a good relationship with Israel having a peace treaty in place since the early '90s and, also, Jordan has a large Palestinian population. So, they have, you know, some influence with the Palestinians, although sometimes that's an intense relationship.

PAUL: Certainly. All right. David Tafuri, always appreciate your insight, sir. Thank you for being with us.

TAFURI: Thank you.

PAUL: Sure.

BLACKWELL: The roads are flooded and more rain is on the way. We're going to take you live to Houston see how the city is being pounded by the remnants of Patricia. That's next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:22:13] BLACKWELL: This morning, the Houston area is under flash flood warnings as it braces for more rain. As much as six inches more from the remnants of Patricia. Already, there are 50 areas of confirmed water. The city's emergency management spokesperson told us early this morning, it seems that people are listening, they are staying home and off those roads.

Let's go back out to Ryan Young. He's there.

Ryan, all morning, it's been raining. And the good thing is we haven't seen many cars behind you. Maybe that's because of the hour, or because as the emergency management spokesperson says, people are just taking the advice and staying away.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, you know how this works. We work to find this location so you can see the water behind me. When we were on the road earlier, we did not see a lot of cars on the road. We did see reports where people had actually gotten their cars stalled in high and fast moving water. Luckily that sort of tailed off as people decided to stay off the roads.

But just look here at the bayou, you can see all the water, and the fast moving water. There are people who've been stuck in as little as 6 inches of water because their car stalls. That's the danger here as this fast moving water kind of approaches your car. You think you can get through it. Next thing you know, you're stalled and we did see people whose cars were submerged.

Six to 12 inches is expected to come through here. They hope it's going to tamper off around 3:00 or 4:00 this afternoon. But you know with all this rain that is impacting the area the best news is to keep people off the road in terms of avoiding the dangers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Huge rambling noise. It came and the backside of the building kind of gave up first the plastic or the glass panels that you see on the building and then it came through.

Thank goodness everybody was inside. Not a single person was hurt. So, really, we got lucky and thankful.


YOUNG: So, there was a high wind yesterday. That's what the man was describing. We're not dealing with those conditions right now. It's been raining steadily since then.

But you can see behind me this has gone down at least a foot in the last few hours. So, that's the good news. What happens next? That's what we're waiting for to see what happens over the next few hours as the rain continues to fall.

BLACKWELL: All right. We'll be watching it. Ryan Young, thank you so much.


PAUL: New video that we want to share with you this morning of the daring U.S. hostage rescue in Iraq. We're taking you inside. Look at this. You'll see firsthand what happened.


[08:28:44] PAUL: Twenty-eight minutes past the hour and the U.S. is confirming that this video we're going to show you here of a raid on an ISIS prison a joint effort between Americans and Peshmerga forces is indeed authentic. You can hear the exchange of gunfire there. Those hostages in bloody clothes piling out with their hands up, you see. The video shows, too, what appears to be a common room with an ISIS flag and padlocked doors that are likely prison cells.

BLACKWELL: President Obama has announced new guidelines for standardized tests saying the kids spend too much time taking, quote, "unnecessary" exams in schools. The guidelines and recommendations for school districts to follow not binding regulation. That's important to say. Meanwhile, the president and Education Secretary Arne Duncan planned an Oval Office meeting, that's tomorrow, to sit down with teachers and school officials who are working to reduce test time.

PAUL: And, oh, I know you probably love this woman, legendary actress Maureen O'Hara. And she's passed away. She was best known for his roles in classics like "Miracle on 34th Street" and "The Parent Trap". Last November, she received an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement. She died from natural causes. She was 95 years old and lived a good life, it seems.

We are always so grateful for your company. Make great memories today.

BLACKWELL: Absolutely.

We got the big exclusives at the top of the hour, Sanders, Rubio and Trump.

But, right now, "INSIDE POLITICS".