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STATE OF THE UNION
Interview With Presidential Candidate Donald Trump; Interview With Kentucky Senator Rand Paul; Ben Carson Facing New Questions; Hillary Clinton Playing the Race Card; Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush.. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired November 8, 2015 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Live from New York, it's Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's wonderful to be here. I will tell you, this is going to be something special. Many of the greats have hosted, as you know, this show, like me in 2004.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: The Republican front-runner joins us live just hours after his "SNL" hosting gig.
And Trump's biggest threat, Dr. Ben Carson, facing new questions about his life story.
BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is a desperation. There's got to be a scandal. There's got to be something. They are getting desperate.
TAPPER: Will the glare of scrutiny hurt him or help him?
Plus, Senator Bernie Sanders promising to -- quote -- "kick butt" when it comes to Hillary Clinton.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She is the candidate of the establishment. She is, all right? That's fine. I am not.
TAPPER: Will he go on the attack to beat back Clinton's surge?
And the best political team on television will be here with insights from the campaign trail.
TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, D.C., where the state of our union is up late to catch Donald Trump's appearance as the host of "Saturday Night Live."
The Republican front-runner seemed right at home at 30 Rock, joining the venerable sketch show as it poked gentle fun at his policies and persona.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")
TRUMP: Part of the reason I'm here is that I know how to take a joke. They have done so much to ridicule me over the years. This show has been a disaster for me.
Look at this guy.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Great, great, great, great. Isn't it just fantastic?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I have got to say, you're going a great job. In fact, I think this show just got better by about two billion percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Trump was undeterred by protesters outside objecting to what they view as his racist rhetoric. The latest polls have Trump leading the Republican PAC nationally and in those early key states of Iowa and New Hampshire, with Dr. Ben Carson nipping at his heels.
TAPPER: Fresh of his "SNL" set, joining us right now, Donald Trump.
Mr. Trump, thanks for joining us.
TRUMP: Good morning, Jake.
TAPPER: So, last night, you hosted "Saturday Night Live." We heard there were sketches that you vetoed because they went too far. What were they?
TRUMP: Well, they were a little bit too far.
And it is "Saturday Night Live," and it's a lot of fun. And people understand gets a little risque. And we took out a couple of them that I thought maybe went a little bit too far. But we had a lot of fun last night. It was terrific. It was really well-received and probably got very good ratings. Who knows.
TAPPER: Yes. We will see in a few hours.
What do you make of perhaps your chief rival for the presidential nomination, Dr. Ben Carson, saying that he wouldn't ever host "SNL" because the presidency is a very serious thing?
TRUMP: Well, he would have done it. Barack Obama did it. Many people did it. Many, many people running for office did it, or, at a minimum, they participated. Last week, Hillary did.
And he would have done it, if they asked him. You have to get asked. You know, it's not easy to be asked. It takes a lot of something to do whatever it is that you have to achieve to be asked to host "Saturday Night Live."
So, you know, I considered it a great honor. I hosted it 11 years ago. Three weeks ago, I did "60 Minutes" with -- of all people, Putin was the other one that was interviewed in the same night. So, that's an iconic thing also.
So, "60 Minutes" and, frankly, "Saturday Night Live," I mean, these are two very iconic shows that everybody says yes to if asked. And I'm sure Ben would also.
TAPPER: Speaking of Dr. Carson, he found himself this week under increasing scrutiny this week, facing questions about how accurate his stories about his past have been about how violent he was, about whether or not he received an offer from West Point, whether he was the most honest student in a class he took at Yale.
You told "The Washington Post" that all the scrutiny this week for Carson is the beginning of the end for him. What do you mean by that?
TRUMP: Well, it certainly is. It's a lot of scrutiny.
And, frankly, it's a lot of -- a lot of statements that are under fire. And I hope -- I hope Ben is going to be OK with it. It's going to be interesting to see what happens. Time will tell.
But it is certainly -- a lot of people are asking a lot of questions all of a sudden. And, you know, it's -- it's a little bit tough. I would say it's not so easy on Ben. I hope it comes -- I hope, frankly, it comes out great for him.
TAPPER: Do you think that he has not been honest?
TRUMP: I just don't know. I mean, I'm not involved. I don't really know. It's a lot of things.
I -- when you say, though, hitting your mother over the head with a hammer, when you talk about hitting a friend in the face with a lock, a padlock, and you talk about stabbing someone and it got stopped by a belt buckle, which, you know, belt buckles really pretty much don't stop a stabbing. They turn and twist and things slide off them.
So, you know, it's pretty -- pretty lucky if that happened. But, you know, Ben wrote a book. And the book is a tough book, because he talked about he has pathological disease. That's a serious statement, when you say you have pathological disease, because, as I understand it, you can't really cure it.
But he said he had pathological disease. I assume the book was written prior to him deciding to run for office. But they had some pretty tough statements in the book.
TAPPER: There's a new book coming out this Tuesday by Jon Meacham. It's a biography of George H.W. Bush. It's a great book. If you haven't read it, you should.
I found interesting one section in which George H.W. Bush in 1988 is trying to decide who is going to be his running mate, who is going to be his vice president, and it says that you let Lee Atwater know that you were available.
Do you remember this?
TRUMP: Well, Lee Atwater was a friend of mine. He was a great guy and an absolute friend. And he did ask me about it. He said, "Would you at all consider it?"
And it was very early in my career. I was doing well with the building stuff and building buildings in Manhattan and lots of other places. And, frankly, I remember it very vividly, where Lee Atwater said, "You know, you would be great."
I said: "I don't know, Lee. Check it out. Take a look at it. And if it works, I guess I would certainly consider it."
But it never went much further than that.
TAPPER: The book also describes George H.W. Bush feeling as though his son, George W. Bush, President Bush, was ill-served by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. What is your take on that?
TRUMP: Well, I think that that was very tough. I was very, very surprised to see it, because, you know, the father is revered by so many people, including the sons. Everything I can see about that, the sons very much feel that way. And I think he feels that about the sons.
And that was a pretty tough shot at George. And I was a little bit surprised to see it, frankly, as probably you were. You might have been more surprised than me, Jake.
TAPPER: I was pretty surprised. It's true.
Let's talk about some of your other rivals. Yesterday, Senator Marco Rubio made available to reporters 22 months of previously unreleased statements from his Republican Party of Florida American Express card. This has been a controversy dogging him for some time.
You have gone after Rubio's finances this week. He hit back. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I just -- I find it ironic that the only person running for president that has ever declared a bankruptcy four times in the last 25 years is attacking anyone on finances.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: I wanted to give you an opportunity to respond, sir.
TRUMP: Well, it's easy to respond.
Out of hundreds and hundreds, over 500 deals and transactions, in about three or four cases, I used restructuring to take care of corporate stuff, just corporate stuff, which is routinely done by the biggest people.
If you look at the biggest people in business -- I won't mention their names, but, I mean, you can literally name any big person. They have all done the same thing as I have done and made a lot of money with it. And so have I. I have made a lot of money by using the laws of the land, which is what I'm supposed to do. I'm a businessman.
And, you know, frankly, all of those deals, in a sense, they worked out, and worked out in some cases really, really well. But I used the laws of the land, no different than many of the names that you talk about all the time, certainly in a business standpoint you talk about all the time.
So, that was good. And now, you know, I hope he's going to show his credit cards, and I hope it turns out to be good for him, not bad for him. I mean, we will see what happens. But I would like to see him not hurt himself on such a matter that is -- you know, should be very easy to understand and very simple to understand.
So, we will see what happens. If he gave the information, it will be easy, probably very easy, to see whether or not anything was done wrong. And, frankly, I hope nothing was done that was wrong, because that would be really terrible, to be disqualified for that.
TAPPER: The race appears to be coming down to basically a final four. At least, that's how it is nationally and in Iowa and to a degree in New Hampshire, all though Kasich replacing Cruz, but the final four being you and Dr. Carson battling it out for first place. You have an edge right now. Cruz and Rubio battling it out for third place.
Why should Republican voters pick you over Carson, Cruz, and Rubio?
TRUMP: Because I have an unbelievable record. And I'm the one that is going to make our country great again. I'm the one that is going to be renegotiating with all of these -- that's what I do all my life.
I built up a tremendous net worth, an incredible net worth, an unbelievable company. I have dealt with -- many of my deals are foreign-based. They're all over the world. And nobody can do what I can do in terms of trade negotiation, in terms of military. You know, it's interesting. When you do polls -- and, in fact, when CNN does polls, you look at my numbers on leadership, it's two, and three, and four times higher than anybody else. Look at my numbers on finance and the economy. It's way, way up high. It's in the 60s and 70s and 40s.
And, you know, nobody else comes close. I think I will do what nobody else can do. I will take back our jobs from China. And I will be able to get along with the rest of the world. I mean, nobody -- nobody is going to get along like I get along.
You know, we talk about temperament. I have the right temperament. So, nobody is going to be able to do what I will do. I will bring our jobs back. I will bring our manufacturing back. I will make our country rich again and we will make it great again.
TAPPER: Let's talk about some matters in foreign affairs. You were just talking about the military.
The U.S. appears to be increasingly confident that it was, in fact, a terrorist bomb planted by ISIS that brought down that Russian -- Russian passenger jet that broke apart over Egypt last weekend.
If ISIS was indeed responsible for planting that bomb, and you got intelligence that made you 100 percent sure that were true, how would you respond as president? What would you do?
TRUMP: Well, we have got to hit ISIS hard. Regardless, we have got to hit ISIS hard, and I mean really hard.
And I like the fact that Russia is hitting ISIS and they have started to hit ISIS. And it was their plane, so that's going to give them even more incentive to hit ISIS. And they're hitting it.
And, you know, we don't have to be alone in that quest. So, I would hit ISIS very, very hard. I would hit them at their source of wealth...
TRUMP: ... which is the oil. And I would hit them right now.
TAPPER: What -- when you say hitting ISIS hard, what do you mean specifically? Do you mean...
TRUMP: Well, I hate to say specifically, because, if I win -- you know, I'm leading in the polls. And, if I win, I hate to give all of my information right up front, to be honest with you.
TAPPER: But you would put U.S. troops...
TRUMP: But I would hit them at their source of wealth. I would hit them at their source of wealth, which is the oil. I would take the oil away. I would hit them so hard, their wealth would go away and it would dissipate.
And unless you are going to take away their wealth, you're not going to take away ISIS.
TAPPER: But would you put more U.S. ground troops in Iraq? Would...
TRUMP: Yes. And I think you could do it to a limited -- I would work with the Kurds. I would work with a lot of other groups. And we would knock it out.
There are many people that want ISIS gone. We're not the only ones. But I would work on it very, very hard and very swiftly. And I would knock ISIS out. I would knock out their source of wealth.
TAPPER: Would you be willing to send U.S. troops as part of a coalition into Syria?
TRUMP: Well, Syria is a different story, because I'm not a believer in arming the rebels and we don't know who they are.
You have Assad. I agree he's not a good guy, but, sometimes, the rebels -- and we look at Libya. You look at lots of other places, including Iraq. The rebels turn out to be a lot worse. If you want to know the truth, Jake, they turn out to be a lot worse than what was there in the first place. Just take a look at what is going on in the Middle East.
So, we don't know who these rebels are. We're arming them all over the place. I have to take a real strong, serious look at who these people are.
TAPPER: You released your first radio ads this week. The ads tout your support for building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
It doesn't mention your plan for deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants. Is that an indication that you're backing away in any way from that proposal?
TRUMP: I'm not backing away. You have to get them out. You have to do what Dwight Eisenhower did in the early '50s. He moved a million- and-a-half out. It's not a pleasant thing, but you have to do it.
You have to -- you have -- we're a country of laws. You have to move them out and get them back in, the good ones. We are going to get them back in. We will expedite. We will work it out. But we're a country of laws. You have thousands, tens of thousands.
TAPPER: All right.
TRUMP: So many people wanting to come into this country, Jake, and they're waiting in line. They're doing it legally. Very unfair.
TAPPER: The Republican presidential front-runner, Donald Trump, thanks so much for calling in. I know it was a late night for you.
TRUMP: Thank you very much, Jake. Great honor. Thank you. (END VIDEOTAPE)
TAPPER: Coming up: police now poring over security video from inside the Egyptian airport where that doomed plane took off.
Senator Rand Paul will respond to new details on the investigation. Are we safe flying here at home?
TAPPER: New details about what might have taken down that plane that exploded 20 minutes after takeoff, killing all 224 people on board, including 25 children.
Egyptian authorities now say that a noise was heard on the final seconds of the flight cockpit recorder. But they say the U.S. and U.K. are not sharing evidence that has led Western officials to suggest there was a bomb on board.
To dig deeper on this and other issues, I'm joined by Senator and Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul, who joins us live in studio.
Thanks so much for being here.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good morning.
TAPPER: Should the U.S. be sharing more intelligence with the Egyptian authorities? Apparently, the U.S. did with the Russian authorities.
PAUL: You know, I don't know the exact answer on that.
I think we do need to be very wary of flights coming in from the Middle East. And I have long said that we need to spend a lot of time on the manifest, who is on board. And if we need to delay flights in order to know who is coming, and if we need to delay flights -- see, the Russians have quickly made a decision. You're not flying from Egypt to Russia right now.
I think those decisions do need to be very much evaluated, whether or not we do need to delay flights and further evaluate who is coming to the U.S.
TAPPER: How soon do -- does the U.S. need to get the manifest of a plane before it is -- it lands here?
PAUL: I don't know the exact answer.
But I do think that, in advance, we need to have investigated everyone on the plane. It's the same thing we do here. I think if you take out the frequent travelers, so if you come from Saudi Arabia every week, and you have been doing it for 20 years and you're a legitimate businessperson, I think we can sort of spend less time.
But if it's your first time coming to the U.S., you need to be investigated to make sure that you're not coming here as a threat. Same way within the U.S. I think the frequent flyer program is a good one. It gets the regular businesspeople out of the line, and then you can spend more time on the infrequent traveler, the person that may only be traveling for the first time.
TAPPER: Your foreign policy views are definitely unique among the Republican presidential candidates.
Last year, when I interviewed former Vice President Dick Cheney, I asked him who he thought would do better with international relations, you -- you were leading polls at the time among Republican candidates -- or Hillary Clinton. And he refused to give me an answer.
Well, you know, Dick Cheney has been wrong about most of the foreign policy of the last several decades. The last time he was right was when he warned the first George Bush that it would be a mistake, you know, to topple Hussein, because you would have chaos, and you would have instability, and you would destabilize the region, which is exactly what happened after the Iraq War.
TAPPER: But don't you think there are a lot of Republicans who might be more aligned with Hillary Clinton on her foreign policy views than with you?
PAUL: Well, it's interesting.
There was a poll not too long ago. And they asked people, do you align more with John McCain that we should be involved in most foreign wars and very much involved in foreign wars overseas, or do you align more with Rand Paul that we should be less involved?
And I like the way they put it, more or less. And it was pretty even. Forty-five percent said they -- these were Republicans -- they wanted to be more involved in foreign war. And 41 percent said they agreed with me that we should be less involved in foreign war.
TAPPER: How do you view Hillary Clinton in terms of her foreign policy views?
PAUL: I see her as a neoconservative. I see her and...
TAPPER: A neoconservative?
PAUL: I see -- I see her and Rubio as being the same person.
They both want a no-fly zone. They both have supported activity in Libya, the war in Libya that toppled Gadhafi, an intervention that made us less safe. They both have supported pouring arms into the Syrian civil war, a mistake that I think allowed ISIS to grow stronger. And they both have supported the Iraq War.
So, I mean, what's the difference?
TAPPER: So, Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio are the same person and they're -- how do you define a neoconservative?
PAUL: Somebody, a lot of times, who believes in big government, both domestically and internationally.
And, so, many of the big neoconservatives came out of a movement. They were Democrats mostly. They were some Marxists and socialists. But they were people who ultimately came to believe that we needed a big government involved internationally as well.
So, a neoconservative often is a big government person for domestic policy and a big government person for internationalism. And I think, actually, Hillary Clinton fits the bill probably better than any.
But I think she's also the most likely of all the candidates to get us back involved in another war in the Middle East.
TAPPER: And you have called Libya Hillary's war.
At the time, there was a big push, as I'm sure you remember. Gadhafi was heading toward Benghazi. There was going to be a slaughter. Does -- is there not a role for the United States in this world, especially when countries such as France and others are urging us to come on board to stop genocide?
PAUL: Well, the Constitution has pretty clear instructions. If you want to get involved with a war, you ask the people, through Congress, and there's a vote. We either declare war, initiate war, or not.
And, you know, I asked the president this question directly. He came to our conference. And I said: "When you ran for office, you said that no president could unilaterally go to war without the approval of Congress, unless there was an imminent danger."
And he said, "Yes, there was, to Benghazi."
And I was -- I was horrified by the answer, because I was like, really? You think an imminent threat to a foreign country, to a foreign city is enough to allow you to act unilaterally?
This is a big deal. Our founding fathers never intended for a president to act unilaterally, not to mention, in practical purposes, we are less safe because Gadhafi is gone. Libya is now a failed state. A third of Libya pledges allegiance to ISIS.
So, I fault Hillary Clinton. I fault President Obama. But I also fault the neoconservatives within my party, like Rubio, who have been eager for war in Libya and Syria and Iraq. And they want a no-fly zone in an airspace where Russia is already flying. It's a foolhardy notion. And people really -- this is the kind of
stepping it up to a debate over who would best be commander in chief that we really need in our country.
TAPPER: I want to turn to a couple domestic issues, if I could.
Yesterday, Hillary Clinton proposed changing marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II narcotic, so researchers could do more study on the impact of medical marijuana.
You have been outspoken about the need for the federal government to kind of back off applying federal law on marijuana. What is your take on her move?
PAUL: I think she's recognizing public sentiment.
You know, I have been here for my entire career, wanting to reform criminal justice. During the Clinton era, the drug laws that Bill Clinton and some Republicans voted for have locked up a generation of young black men in our country. The drug war has disproportionately -- not purposefully, but disproportionately been applied to African- Americans, Hispanics, and people who live in poverty.
And so Clinton is now coming around. But she has to explain why she and her husband supported many of these mandatory minimums, where people went to jail for 15 years. President Obama, to his credit, is starting to correct this. It's taken him nearly eight years of his presidency.
But I do commend him for looking at instances where a young black man has been in jail in -- 15 years for crack cocaine, and a young white person got six months or no time in jail. We really do have a disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine. And it still exists.
TAPPER: Senator Chuck Schumer told CNN this week that Senator Marco Rubio's fingerprints are all over the gang of eight immigration bill and the pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Obviously, Senator Rubio has said -- he has backed off that -- that bill. Do you think this is going to be, ultimately, a big problem for Senator Rubio, who is rising in the polls a bit?
PAUL: Yes. And I think it -- he was a co-author of the bill. It was a Rubio bill. It was a Rubio-Schumer bill. So, he does have to explain it.
I think it will be a big part of things. But it seems to have been tamped down because so much of the attention has been towards one candidate. And I think we need to sort of start distributing the argument some, so we can know about all of the candidates and where they stand.
TAPPER: All right.
Senator Rand Paul, thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate it.
PAUL: Thank you.
TAPPER: Coming up: Ben Carson unplugged, going after the media after a wave of tough stories about the accuracy of his autobiography.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARSON: Well, my job is to call you out when you're unfair. And I'm going to -- and I'm going to continue to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARSON: Well, let me put it this way.
If everybody here will sign an affidavit saying that, if I reveal the name of the person involved in this stabbing incident, that you will be singing my praises, and none of this stuff will ever go on again, I will think about it.
Will you do that? Yes? Yes? Yes? Yes? Yes?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: That was Dr. Ben Carson taking on the media after a week of some tough reporting, the common thread, journalists unable to verify stories that Carson has told about his youth.
First CNN could not find anyone who remembered Carson as the angry violent teenager he describes himself as. And "Politico" discovered that Carson had never officially applied or never was offered admission to West Point although he often describes himself turning down an offer.
The latest report is from "The Wall Street Journal" calling to question among other things whether Carson once shielded (ph) white students during a race (ph) riot (ph) as he says. Let's hash it out with our panel CNN political contributor Patti Solis Doyle, Ken Cuccinelli, President of the Senate Conservatives Fund, Bakari Sellers and Ana Navarro.
Well, that was quite a week we've (ph) had. I've never had a candidate insisting that yes he did stab somebody. That's an odd turnabout (ph). And Ana, you predicted this, Dr. Carson tweeted this yesterday, "We the people have made 10,000 donations each day this week raising 3.5 this week alone. Thank you biased media."
So I guess, Ana, is this ultimately good for him? ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It absolutely is. When I first saw the story and you saw it I immediately tweeted, you know, prediction. His numbers will go up. And his fundraising will go up. It's the same that happened with Carly Fiorina last week. When, you know -- yes, the Ben Carson embellished the story in it looks like it but the media embellished his embellishment. And the Republican --
TAPPER: Well, "Politico" did. The "Politico" stories said that he had admitted fabricating and he had never admitted (INAUDIBLE).
NAVARRO: So, when the media fabricates over a fabrication believe (INAUDIBLE) his base is going to focus on that not on his fabrication. He all of a sudden becomes a hero.
TAPPER: It's definitely true that the Republican -- it's not just Republicans. The public doesn't like the media and the public can rally around a candidate if they feel he or she is being unfairly picked on.
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, but I'm not sure this is unfair. And Ben Carson always likes to talk about the fact that Barack Obama didn't have to go through this vetting. Well, he did.
You remember Barack Obama was accused of not even being an American. He had to get his long-form (ph) birth certificate from Hawaii. So, this standard applies on both sides. It's not a double standard but I agree with Anna. Look, the fact of the matter is that this is 2016. Some weird stuff is happening and Ben Carson is the frontrunner. This is just going to embolden him.
NAVARRO: Bakari, they all embellish. Ever politician whether --
SELLERS: I never embellished anything.
NAVARRO: Well, then maybe you wouldn't (INAUDIBLE). It just means he's finally behaving like a politician.
KEN CUCCINELLI, PRESIDENT, SENATE CONSERVATIVES FUND: I don't think they're unfair but as you pointed out "Politico" and Bakari the same thing they overplayed their hand here and it plays into this voting publics' dissatisfaction. Not only with Washington. We think about Washington as the politicians, but it's also the media world here
And Ben Carson's base is angry with Washington. The Republicans in leadership in Washington are utterly disappointing whether it's McConnell or McConnell or now we'll see how Ryan does. They're doing a terrible job. And Republican voters are absolutely infuriated. You add to that this mainstream media overplay on really even for people who don't come out and say I'm a Carson person. He's a very likable candidate. TAPPER (ph): Sure.
CUCCINELLI: He's a very respectable individual. And to see this kind of a -- overplayed attack really just fires them up more. And they're going to raise more money of it. Ana is right about that.
TAPPER: Let's go inside what it's like to experience one of these. Because Patty you were on a Clinton campaign...
PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.
TAPPER: ... during her whole -- I remember landing in Bosnia under gun fire thing which was a horrible moment for her campaign...
TAPPER: ...because the video came out...
TAPPER: ...and she either embellished or remembered incorrectly.
CUCCINELLI: Or lied.
TAPPER: Or lied. Well, I said embellished. Is it the same thing?
CUCCINELLI: It is not the same thing.
TAPPER: OK. First of all, what happened? What is it like to go through that? You have to like, (INAUDIBLE) let's get the video tape or is it immediately to the bunker? The media is attacking us. They're wrong, we're right. How do you go through it?
DOYLE: Well, you know -- exactly. So, I watched this and I'm like what is with all the whining? You're running for president. You're running for the leader of the free world. Everyone is going to pore through what you've written, what you've said publicly, and it's not just the media, you know. You guys are doing your job. But it's also teens of other opposition...
DOYLE: ...from other campaigns who are poring through everything. Expect it and learn to deal with it.
Hillary went through it and you don't automatically go into a bunker. A lot of campaigns do is do a self-vet, right? They do a vetting process on themselves. And they look for any holes. They're prepared for it. Sometimes they put the story out before somebody else finds it to get it out there. So, I just find Ben Carson to be testy or to be unprepared. He's not a practice politician but again that's what people like.
NAVARRO: I thought his response and his team's response was brilliant. They are -- you know, his base wants to see him testy with the -- (CROSSTALK)
DOYLE: But it's going to continue --
NAVARRO: ...the manna from heaven.
SELLERS: They should have expected this because his whole candidacy is built upon gifted hands. I mean, this man's legacy --
SELLERS: Yes. I mean, everybody has read "Gifted Hands" or watched the movie with Cuba Gooding Jr. I mean, it's inspiring.
When I travel around and speak I tell kids, you know, to be a lawyer like Thurgood Marshall or be a scientist like George Washington Carver or a doctor like Ben Carson.
I mean, that's what I say because it was that inspirational. Now I can't tell if he's Rush Limbaugh or --
NAVARRO: Oh come on, Bakari. Regardless of that Ben Carson's life is still inspirational.
SELLERS: Sure --
NAVARRO: The man who came out of, you know --
SELLERS: Poking holes in that.
TAPPER: But Ken, there does become a meme, there does become a question -- a caricature, if you will. This person, you already see memes on Twitter and political cartoons.
TAPPER: And yes they're from liberals, I get that, but unless you take care of the problem then the caricature takes hold. No?
CUCCINELLI: That's right. You got to fight through this week. You got to handle it using the various techniques Patti just mentioned. And the real question for them is, are they going to learn from this? Are they going to get back on their feet and steady the ship from a campaign standpoint because this will not be the last one?
I mean, we're a long way out yet. And there's going to be a lot more waves hitting the boat. And so are they going to get smoothly enough through that to still be viable when you get to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada and beyond.
TAPPER: But I bet you're right though. I bet he goes up in the polls.
NAVARRO: If "Politico" had not overplayed their hand and "Politico" had not exceeded with their narrative, I think it would have been a real problem. But the fact that they did gives him the escape he needed.
TAPPER: Yes, I don't know whether...
NAVARRO: He's going to be just fine.
TAPPER: ...a mystery (ph).
SELLERS: They just changed the headline in the lead and didn't let anybody know. I mean, they just changed it. It was very irresponsible and now he's going to -- he and Armstrong Williams --
TAPPER: Yes acknowledge his fabrication is not what happened.
Stay right here. We have got lot more -- a lot more to discuss. Does Bernie Sanders falling poll numbers make him want to hear more clearly about Hillary Clinton's damn e-mails?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS (I-VT): And let me thank Democratic Party chairman --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Let me say -- let me say something that may not be great politics. But I think the secretary is right. And that is that the American people are sick and tired of about hearing about your damn emails.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: That was then. This is now with Bernie Sanders' poll numbers slipping since that debate.
The Vermont senator seems to be singing a slightly different tune now telling "The Wall Street Journal," "I didn't say end the investigation. That's silly. Let the investigation proceed unimpeded."
Our panel is back with more. I have heard from a lot of Democrats out there in Washington who think when Sanders did that, that was a great short term moment but he really undermined his candidacy there. Because he could have said what Obama would say back in 2008, which is it's not her fault that (ph) she's such (ph) a target for Republicans. We need to turn the page, et cetera et cetera.
TAPPER: And instead he basically just sided with her.
DOYLE: Right. Look, I don't think he -- it came out exactly as he had planned for it to come out. I was a great moment. He won the debate, I think, on that moment.
But Bernie Sanders has run a magnificent campaign. He has brought a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of excitement to the table. He has brought young people to the table. He has raised a lot of money in small donations. He has run an insurgent campaign. Going after her on the emails now at this point when Hillary is surging is a very politics as usual move by a candidate. And I think this is really going to hurt him going forward.
NAVARRO: He has run a brilliant campaign. And the best result of it that we get Larry David playing Bernie Sanders...
NAVARRO: ...on "Saturday Night Live."
TAPPER: Always welcome.
NAVARRO: (INAUDIBLE) I -- to my Democrat friends, this is a personal plea. I don't care for who you vote for but for the love of God let us keep Bernie Sanders' candidacy alive so we can keep Jake Tapper making impressions of Bernie Sanders and we can keep Larry David coming back to "SNL."
TAPPER: You're a Clinton supporter, but stepping back from that support for her there is a -- there is an issue here about her trustworthiness, if you look at polls. Not among Democrats but among independents and Republicans, obviously. And you have to wonder did Sanders doing that kind of take away some of the steam of his campaign.
SELLER: Well, I think what we've seen is that Sanders has hit a ceiling. He's been unable to attract new voters to his coalition the way Barack Obama was back in 2007 and 2008. And so now he's having to find new tactics in a way to bring Hillary Clinton down.
Patti said it best, Hillary Clinton is hitting her stride. After the debate, after Joe Biden announcing that he wasn't running, picking up endorsements. And now she is -- you see her numbers going up steadily and steadily. They're improving.
You brought up a good point. The trustworthiness back there in these polls that we keep seeing and these emails that we keep talking about. Candidates are going to keep talking about them. The Republican Party is going to keep talking about them. It's going to be an issue that doesn't go away. But in the Democratic Party, we're tired of hearing about it.
CUCCINELLI: But there's a reason (INAUDIBLE) go away. Every month we're going to get a new deposit of emails.
SELLERS: It (ph) is (ph) but I mean, you think about -- she likes emoticons or like smiley faces emojis (ph) and like what types of coffees (ph) she likes.
CUCCINELLI: OK. No, no, no. I mean, the big this week was the document she signed.
Now, I've signed one of those so I knew who's (ph) there.
TAPPER: But not (INAUDIBLE) --
CUCCINELLI: Yes but it's laid out very particularly. What I haven't seen reported interestingly in that document is that it also includes that she will not illegally retain classified information. So you can forget all the other stuff. That is exactly what David Petraeus was nailed for. He kept his little black book after he was the director of the CIA, after he had supposedly turned everything over, and so did she.
TAPPER: A few weeks -- I want to -- I want to talk about one other thing.
TAPPER: A few weeks ago Hillary Clinton implied that Bernie Sanders was being sexist when he said stop shouting about guns. Now "Slate's" Will Saletan is raising the question of whether Hillary Clinton is playing the race card. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are some who say that this is an urban problem. Sometimes what they mean by that is, it's is a black problem. But it's not. It's not black, it's not urban. It's a deep profound challenge to who we are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Now Bernie Sanders is one of many people who say this is an urban problem. He's talking about the difference between guns in Vermont and elsewhere. What do you think about the Saletan's charge that Hillary Clinton is playing the race card?
SELLERS: It's absurd. I mean, that's what it is. I mean, it's a -- it's a legitimate overreach that he's making. She's not playing the race card by talking about issues that affect African-Americans with some sense of empathy.
I was actually there that night for that speech. That is not playing the race card. She's not -- she is -- she is -- actually doing what voters wanted her to do back in 2007, 2008, which is come down, be a real candidate. Talk about meeting with the mothers of those slain unarmed African-Americans that were killed by police. Talk about these issues with some level of empathy. And Hillary Clinton is finally doing that.
It's not the race card. If it is the race card, I hope she plays all of them.
CUCCINELLI: Yes. You know, I don't think this particular example is a very good one. But there's no question that she sees advantage in racial politics. And that is in part because Bernie Sanders is an old white guy from an entirely white state who has been voting pro gun. It gives her a way to divide him from the typical Democrat community, and when she gets past Iowa and New Hampshire, and the minority vote becomes an enormous portion of Democrat electorate...
CUCCINELLI: ...she's positioning herself to swamp --
SELLERS: I mean, the world is getting browner (ph) and these issues are becoming more prevalent today. Immigration reform, racial justice, social justice, educational opportunities. All of these things are talking about a new deal. So, yes she is competing and she's running for office in this new world that is becoming browner (ph). The Republican Party, I'm not sure, has figured that out yet.
TAPPER: Thanks so much, guys. Really great panel having you here.
Up next the lights of Hollywood were no match for the mystery in the sky. What sent Los Angeles abuzz last night and why it's going to continue?
TAPPER: We want to get you up to speed on some news breaking around the world now.
A staggering 80 percent of the country showed up to vote this Myanmar today. In the freest elections that country has seen in 25 years. Among those voting today, Aung San Suu Kyi, a democracy activist (INAUDIBLE) Nobel Peace Prize (INAUDIBLE) control from the military.
It's a mystery that sounds plucked from a cold war spy novel. A Russian millionaire with high level ties to the Kremlin found dead inside a Washington, D.C. hotel room. Mikhail Lesin is a long time advisor to President Vladimir Putin and the one time head of media affairs. One U.S. senator called him the country's top sensor and asked that he be investigated for money laundering. The D.C. police will only say they are investigating his death.
And another mystery this one in Southern California. Police were inundated by calls last night about a white strange light shooting through the skies of Los Angeles. Videos of the light popped up on social media. With some posing theories that it might be the result of an alien life force.
The reality is that it was not a visitor from another dimension but a missile test. The Pentagon says they will be conducting military operations in the air space (INAUDIBLE) of the Los Angeles airport for the next week. But that's just what you would expect the Pentagon to say (INAUDIBLE).
After that break the time Clint Eastwood almost became a vice presidential nominee. What kept Dirty Harry from the White House. It's this week's "State of the Cartoonion."
TAPPER: Welcome back. I'm Jake Tapper.
Thanksgiving dinner around the Bush family's table in Kennebunkport could be a little awkward this year. That's because a new biography of Bush 41, George Herbert Walker Bush, has been throwing a little shade in the direction of his oldest son, Bush 43. Or at least on his foreign policy team. The book is "Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush." It's a great read and it's the inspiration for this week's "State of Cartoonion."
TAPPER (voice-over): The new Jon Meacham biography of our 41st president if full of newsy insights.
You probably already heard that of his own secretary of defense and his son's vice president Dick Cheney President Bush said -- quote -- he just became very hard lined and very different from the Dick Cheney I knew and worked with. Just iron-ass.
But there's much more in these riveting pages. The scene from April 1969 when Congressman George H.W. Bush flies to see LBJ. He's thinking about running for Senate and LBJ says, the difference between being a member of the Senate and the member of the House is the difference between chicken salad and chicken [ bleep ].
Then there's the legendary moment. The day after Christmas, 1973, when 27-year-old George W. Bush crashes into some trash cans after a night of drinking. Barbara Bush sends George W. to go see his father. I understand you want to see me, W. says. You want to go mano a mano right here? George H.W. Bush lowers the books he's reading and looks his son in the eye. The silent stare Meacham writes, sent George W. back out of room.
Human moments abound. At the 1980 Republican convention when it looks as though Ronald Reagan is going to pick Gerald Ford to be his vice president not George H.W. Bush. Jeb says, this isn't fair, dad. This isn't fair to you. His dad tells Jeb, what are you talking about fair? Nobody owes us a damn thing.
Flash forward eight years and George H.W. Bush is about to pick his own vice president. He learns that Donald Trump has mentioned his availability as a vice presidential candidate. Bush thinks the overture strange and unbelievable. On his friend's, James Baker, short list for V.P. Clint Eastwood. This book is for political junkies and it will, go ahead and make your day.
TAPPER: Thanks for spending your Sunday with us. You can catch me here every Sunday and weekdays on "THE LEAD" at 4:00 p.m. eastern. And go to CNN.com/SOTU, STATE OF THE UNION, for extras from the show.
I'm Jake Tapper in Washington.
"FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" starts right now.