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STATE OF THE UNION
Interview with Ben Carson from Jordan; Interview With Mike Huckabee; Interview With Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper; Panel Discusses Planned Parenthood Shooting; Kasich Likens Trump To Nazis; Ted Cruz Rises In Iowa Poll. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired November 29, 2015 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): New details on the Planned Parenthood shooting that left three people dead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was in front of me and aiming at me and he started shooting. ANd I was looking at his face.
KEILAR: How did the gunman choose his target? The political fallout as the president pleads enough is enough.
Plus, Ben Carson goes to the front lines. The doctor tries to sharpen his foreign policy chops with an overseas trip. Will it work? He joins us from Jordan.
And Trump under fire. His comments about Muslims in America senT fact checkers into a frenzy.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I watched when the World Trade Centers came tumbling down where thousands and thousands of people were cheering. Thousands of people were cheering --
KEILAR: Then he mocks the physically disabled reporter who disputed his claim.
TRUM: Now the poor guy, you have to see this guy, ah, I don't know what I said. I don't remember. I don't remember.
KEILAR: But will any of it damage his front-runner status?
Plus the top political minds will be here with insights from the campaign trail.
KEILAR (on camera): Hi, I'm Brianna Keilar filling in for Jake Tapper in Washington where the state of our union is tragic.
"Baby parts," that is the phrase investigators the shooter used after surrendering at this Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. Robert Lewis Dear, who killed three people and injured nine others, told police he had anti-abortion and anti-government views. His most recent address was this trailer in the desolate mountain community of Hartsel, Colorado, where his neighbors say people go to be left alone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZIGMOND POST, NEIGHBOR OF ALLEGED SHOOTER: He was talking to us and everything, gave us some anti-Obama fliers, little pamphlets. And I didn't even really read them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Before moving to Colorado, he lived here in this remote cabin in North Carolina and his police records in the Carolinas include complaints about animal abuse, as well as an accusation that he was a Peeping Tom. He will appear in court on Monday to face charges.
I spoke about this attack with Republican candidate Dr. Ben Carson who joined us from Amman, Jordan. He spent the weekend visiting a refugee camp for Syrians who have fled the war.
KEILAR: Planned Parenthood is calling this now an act of domestic terrorism.
Do you agree with that assessment?
DR. BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It certainly -- it certainly is an act of extreme hatred and violence. You know, the Family Research Council, according to some government agencies, is a terrorist group. You know, so let's get away from the rhetoric and talk about the real problem.
The real problem is that we have become coarse and hateful toward each other. We have allowed the purveyors of division to put us in separate corners and have us hurl hand grenades at each other rather than being able to sit down at the table and talk about our differences; in a pluralistic society, everyone is not going to agree.
But the way that we can create harmony is to be able to actually sit down, discuss the rationale for our approaches and work together at finding a solution. That's what we really should be thinking about.
KEILAR: Dr. Carson, you traveled to Jordan this weekend to visit Syrian refugees.
How has this visit shaped your thinking?
CARSON: Well, it was wonderful to have an opportunity to actually visit some of the camps and talk to the people themselves. First of all, very impressed with the humanitarian spirit of the Jordanians, who have been that way for decades. But their outreach to the Syrians is truly touching.
But having an opportunity to talk to many of the Syrian refugees themselves and ask them questions, like, what is your supreme desire, and to see how much they want to be resettled in their own country but also asking them, what can other nations, like the United States of America, do that would be helpful to you?
And the answer that really was overwhelming is that they can support the efforts that are already in place by the Jordanians and others in terms of these refugee camps.
They don't have enough money. And, you know, you look at last year, there was a $3 billion shortfall.
Well, that's the same amount of money that we spent last month on Halloween candy. So it is possible to shore this up.
But we really need to be looking at the things that actually solve the problem. Bringing 10,000 Syrian refugees to America or 25,000 doesn't even begin to solve the problem. There's already 1.4 million Syrian refugees in Jordan -- and they can handle even more than that, to be honest with you --
KEILAR: Can I ask you, Dr. Carson -- pardon me to interrupt. Just I know that you were speaking to these refugees.
Did you ask them would they rather remain in this refugee camp than be resettled in America?
Is that their desire, as you understand it?
CARSON: Yes. Their desire, their true desire is to be resettled in Syria. But, you know, they are satisfied to be in the refugee camps if the refugee camps are adequately funded.
Recognize that, in these camps, they have schools. They have recreational facilities that are really quite nice. And they are putting in all kinds of things that make life more tolerable.
Would it be better integrate them into the society?
Yes, I certainly talked to some people about that. But you have to make progress as you go.
KEILAR: I want to ask you about something that we're hearing coming out of Tennessee, one of the top Republican lawmakers there has actually suggested using the National Guard to round up the refugees who are already settled in the U.S. and send them back.
And I wonder if, given your concerns about the screening process of refugees, if you would favor such a move?
CARSON: I think that may be a little bit extreme, to be honest with you. But rather than have to face situations like that, let's go ahead and support the efforts that already exist that really will take care of millions of people. And why would we continue to increase the complexity of the situation
in this country without solving the problem by bringing people over here who are not adequately screened?
That doesn't make a lot of sense.
KEILAR: We're seeing in the latest Quinnipiac University poll in Iowa, Dr. Carson, that you've actually slipped 10 percentage points over the last months, that's what various polls are showing various Pew polls.
You told "The New York Times" that you think you've slipped because voters don't see you as the right person to be president in a time of terrorism.
Do you think that this short trip is really enough to change the minds of Iowans, of Americans and to show that you have a grasp of the challenges that ISIS poses to American security?
CARSON: The trip is about fact-finding, about getting an opportunity to see first-hand without having things reinterpreted, over something that is really incredibly important.
You know, it's not about me. It's about, you know, these individuals and what's happening to them. And it's also about the United States of America and the people of our country and the kind of leadership that they deserve.
KEILAR: Do you feel the trip has given you -- I guess if you could talk about the new facts that you found but also if you feel that the trip has given you a better grasp of the challenges that ISIS poses?
CARSON: Yes. Yes, I think it really has. You know, it's very similar to the trip that I took this summer down to the border of Mexico.
And of course, we'd all heard about the difficulties there. But to be able to actually talk to the ranchers who are being terrorized, to be able to talk to the sheriffs and the sheriff deputies, who put their lives on the line just to have ICE come and tell them you have to release these people -- to see the stashes of drugs and --
KEILAR: -- do want to ask you with our limited time --
CARSON: -- just a small part of what's being brought through --
KEILAR: In the case of this trip, what --
CARSON: Those are the kinds of things that really give you perspective.
KEILAR: What informed you in this trip about the challenges that ISIS poses to American security? CARSON: Well, the thing that I really learned here in listening to
the refugees themselves is their intense desire to return to their own country and be repatriated. There's so many people who think that the ideal for everybody is to come to America and be settled here.
But that is not the ideal for everybody. And we need to be looking at mechanisms that already exist.
Why do you want to recreate the will when you already have something that's working?
Let's maximize that and then let's think about whether we need to recreate other wills.
KEILAR: Dr. Ben Carson, thanks so much for joining us from Jordan. We appreciate it.
CARSON: A pleasure.
KEILAR: And coming up, new details on the Planned Parenthood shooting. Police say the killer had propane tanks near his car. Was he planning an even deadlier attack?
KEILAR: Welcome back. I'm Brianna Keilar, filling in for Jake Tapper.
The shooter who held a Planned Parenthood hostage for six hours on Friday killed three people. Two remain unidentified but the third was police officer was Garrett Swasey, who rushed to the clinic to offer his help. He was an elder at his church and he leaves behind a wife and two children.
Joining me to talk about the shooting is Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
KEILAR: Governor, thanks so much for joining us. We certainly appreciate it.
MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, delighted to be here, Brianna.
KEILAR: I do want to begin with this shoot-out that took place on Friday at this Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.
You heard that law enforcement is now telling CNN the shooter has anti-abortion, anti-government views. And he referenced baby parts following the attack. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains put out this following statement.
It said: "We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country."
What do you make of this argument, Governor?
HUCKABEE: Well, we don't know fully what the facts are. They're still being determined. We don't even know some of the victims' names yet.
But regardless of why he did it, what he did is domestic terrorism, and what he is did is absolutely abominable, especially to those of us in the pro-life movement, because there's nothing about any of us that would condone or in any way look the other way at something like this.
We're not going have the kind of language that you heard from John Kerry, where he's talked about legitimizing or rationalizing terrorist actions. There is no legitimizing. There is no rationalizing. It was mass murder. It was absolutely unfathomable.
And there's no excuse for killing other people, whether it's happening inside the Planned Parent headquarters, inside their clinics, where many millions of babies die, or whether it's people attacking Planned Parenthood.
We ought to value life. Every life truly does have worth and value. And this is an incredible tragedy. And I don't know of anybody who will say anything other than just outright condemnation for this horrible, horrible, despicable act of murder.
KEILAR: Planned Parenthood seems to be -- well, it is blaming the rhetoric that popped up following the videos that came out that were taped, various videos of Planned Parenthood. And they say the rhetoric really has created this environment where this happened.
Do you agree with that?
HUCKABEE: Brianna, I don't know of any pro-life leader, any -- if you can tell me one, please correct me, but I don't know of anybody who has suggested violence toward Planned Parenthood personnel or some act of violence toward their clinics. I have not heard that, not from one single pro-life person.
I have heard universal condemnation, whether it's from the Centers for Medical Progress that put out the videos, whether it's from pro-life advocates. And I consider myself one of them. I know of nobody who has ever suggested that Planned Parenthood be the target of some type of violent attack.
So, I think that's a little bit disingenuous on the part of Planned Parenthood to blame people who have a strong philosophical disagreement with the dismembering of human babies and with the selling of body parts to say that we would like to retaliate by sending some madman into a clinic to kill people. God knows that's not what anybody would want. And this person,
apparently, from everything we know, very unstable person, and just a terrible tragedy, especially for that police officer and his family.
KEILAR: This shooting has certainly revived the debate over abortion. You support banning abortion by declaring that a fetus is a person that has rights under the Constitution.
Can you explain under your plan what the criminal penalty would be for a woman if she did get an abortion?
HUCKABEE: Well, there wouldn't be a criminal penalty against a woman.
I have often said, Brianna, that there are two victims with every abortion. One is the unborn child who loses its life, and the other is often that woman who is talked into the abortion, pressured into it, maybe feels she has no other option.
There's no reason to criminalize her. I personally think that that would be a useless and, frankly, a harsh and unnecessary kind of attack on a woman who needs love and support and assistance, not criminalization.
KEILAR: I do want to turn now to the fight against ISIS, Governor. I want to ask you about something that you actually tweeted last week.
You said: "After today's attack in Mali, the Obama-approved domestic anti-terror plan, give up your guns and memorize a Koran verse."
Memorize a Koran verse?
HUCKABEE: Brianna, after the attack in Mali, there were numerous reports that the gunmen were going around and saying, can you quote a verse from the Koran? If they said yes, they were allowed to go free. If they couldn't, they were shot.
And so the point was is that, while the president has said we need to disarm law-abiding people, it was just a reminder that we are at war with radical Islam, whether we want to admit that or not. It's not that we are at war with all Islam, but we are at war with those who believe that the purpose they have on earth is to declare a worldwide caliphate to kill all the infidels and all the unbelievers, which would mean everyone, including other Muslims, who don't agree to their harsh, intense, anti-woman, anti-human being approach to life and who want to take us back to the seventh century.
And so that was the point of the tweet.
KEILAR: So, you -- did you men mean, then, to lump the president and the terrorists in Mali together?
HUCKABEE: Oh, heavens no. And I don't think anybody suggested that. And I certainly didn't. I'm simply pointing out the irony. This president has shown
considerable more intensity of anger toward Republicans than he has toward ISIS. I mean, I remember those press conferences, the one in Manila and the one in Turkey prior to that, where you could see the visible visceral anger this president had as he spoke about Republicans.
And he was so frustrated that there was not just a universal acceptance of his point of view about relocation of refugees, calling people who disagreed with him as un-American. It was harsh.
And I just wanted him to show the same kind of anger directed toward the ISIS terrorists and, frankly, all of the radical Islamists that we saw from the French president, Hollande, after Paris attacks, where he clearly said, let's close our borders. Let's get a handle on this, and let's go after these guys with everything we have and be unrelenting in destroying them.
That's what we all need to do. The family of civilized nations need to get together, and we need to destroy this threat once and for all.
KEILAR: You have called for sanctioning countries that don't join the coalition against ISIS. We have often heard this phrase, right, the coalition of the willing. Are you proposing a coalition of the unwilling?
HUCKABEE: If you mean coalition of the unwilling, those who refuse to lift a finger to stop this aggression, they should be isolated. And, yes, we should put sanctions on them.
There's no excuse, especially for Middle Eastern nations, especially for Muslim Middle Eastern nations, to simply sit back and do nothing and let America, the United Kingdom, France, NATO countries, to let the rest of the world attack this malignant cancer called Islamic jihadism, and then sit back and protect their own special and well- funded kingdoms.
There has to be a concerted effort. This is a world battle. And we're fighting not so much for land, real estate, and the color of our flag. Brianna, we're -- we're really fighting for whether or not we're going to be a civilized world or we're going to be savages, because what is represented by Islamic jihadism is nothing less than savagery and uncivilized behavior.
When you cut people's heads off because they don't agree with your faith, when you put them in a cage, you pour gas on them, and set them afire in a cage, that's not civilized behavior. That's savagery.
KEILAR: All right, Governor Huckabee, thanks so much for being with us on STATE OF THE UNION. We certainly appreciate your time this Sunday morning.
HUCKABEE: Thank you, Brianna.
KEILAR: And coming up: One governor orders police to patrol Planned Parenthood clinics. Are other locations being threatened? That's next.
KEILAR: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Brianna Keilar.
New York State Police will begin patrolling Planned Parenthood clinics beginning on Monday. Governor Cuomo called for the additional security measures this weekend in the wake of Friday's shooting at a clinic in Colorado Springs.
And joining me now is Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.
Governor, thanks so much for being with us. We are certainly thinking of your state during the aftermath of this very terrible holiday weekend.
We know at this point that a police officer was murdered during this attack. There's two other people who were killed as well. They haven't been identified. Do you know if either of them were patients or staff of the clinic?
GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D), COLORADO: Well, we can't talk about that quite yet. They haven't released that information publicly.
But, certainly, the police officer, Garrett Swasey, was a wonderful person, two kids. I'm sure you have seen the news clips on him, a wonderful skater, just a wonderful human being. I mean, this world is the worse for his loss. I mean, it's -- that -- that, in itself, is unfathomable.
KEILAR: Yes, six years on the force. He was responding immediately, as he could, to the shooting there.
We did hear from the attorney general calling this an attack on women. So, I know that you can't -- and, certainly, we -- we respect that at this point, that you can't identify the other two victims, but were they women?
HICKENLOOPER: Again, I believe one was a woman. One was a man.
But I don't think -- I think that misses the point to try and get into whether the perpetrator -- and I -- to be honest, I don't even like saying the guy's name. I don't like making these mass killers into celebrities of some sort, some twisted way.
But I don't -- whether he was successful or not is beyond the point. It's -- that he was trying to do this is -- I don't know -- I mean, it's a very, very hard reality to understand and get our arms around it.
And, in Colorado, we passed universal background checks. But, at the same time, in Colorado Springs, it's one of the more conservative parts of the state. We probably have more people that have licenses for concealed weapons, probably more guns around. That didn't help. I think, as a -- as a state, but as a country, we have got a lot more
thinking about this, of how to make sure we keep guns out of the hands of people that are unstable.
KEILAR: You're saying those efforts that you helped spearhead obviously didn't prevent this, as you're saying.
The president, though, when he responded to this attack, it was with a call for gun control. And, first of us -- first of all, can you tell us anything about the weapons that were used here?
All we know at this point is that there was a long gun, and we really don't know much else.
I think, again, the mayor of Colorado Springs, John Suthers, is a former U.S. attorney general, former district attorney, former attorney general of the state. I'm going to let him reveal the evidence. That's -- he knows that better than anyone.
KEILAR: I guess my question is, is there an argument to be made? Obviously, you pushed through legislation in the wake of other shootings in your state, but is there an argument to be made, as the president is making, that there is a role for increasing gun control in reaction to this specific shooting?
HICKENLOOPER: Well, I think, I mean, we're still -- Colorado Springs and I think the whole country is still grieving on this, so, you know, detailed plans probably aren't appropriate.
But I think we have to come back and look at all aspects of why these shootings have continued to occur, you know, in Oregon or South Carolina and Colorado. The frequency is unacceptable. And I don't -- you know, I'm not willing to say, well, we will just have to set -- sit back and accept this as a cost of freedom.
I think we have to really look at, how do we address -- you know, how do we make sure that people have -- who are unstable, who have violent histories, you know, if somehow -- if a level of domestic violence made it much more difficult to get a weapon, maybe we would not only keep our communities safer, but also cut down on domestic violence at the time.
I'm just throwing that out as one -- one of many things we have got to think about of how to try and keep guns out of the hands of people that are violent and unstable.
KEILAR: Governor, we have reported that there were propane tanks near the suspect's car that he intended to explode. That is something that could have caused tremendous damage. Do you think the carnage could have been even worse here?
HICKENLOOPER: Well, I think the first-responders -- and I visited three police officers in the hospital yesterday -- their efforts were remarkable.
And the level of courage and bravery that they exhibited, I mean, when they got the call, they went right into -- right into action. So, without question, it could have been worse on -- it could have been worse on a lot of levels.
KEILAR: I do want to ask you a final question here.
Planned Parenthood, almost immediately, even before we exactly knew the facts or anything about the motivation here -- we now know that the shooter referenced baby parts when he was arrested. Planned Parenthood is calling this domestic terrorism. Do you agree with that assessment?
HICKENLOOPER: Well, certainly it's -- it is a form of terrorism, and maybe in some way, it's a function of the inflammatory rhetoric that we see on all -- I mean, so many issues now, there are bloggers, and, you know, talk shows where they really focus on trying to get people to that point of boiling over and just intense anger.
And I think maybe it's time to look at, how do we tone down some of that rhetoric? Obviously, no one is going to try and reduce free speech in this country, but that rhetoric clearly is -- if people are in some way emotionally unstable or psychologically unbalanced, that intensity of rhetoric sometimes seems to pull a trigger in their brain that they lose contact with what reality is.
KEILAR: So, are you calling -- just to sort of see what you're saying here a little more clearly, are you calling for changes in blogging, in video games?
HICKENLOOPER: No, no, I'm not -- I'm in no way trying to limit free speech.
I think that the -- our community, right, the United States of America, ought to begin a discussion looking at, how do you begin to tone back the inflammatory rhetoric that, in some ways, it might be good for, I don't know, selling products and advertisements or whatever, but, in some way, it is inflaming people to the point where they can't stand it, and they go out and they lose connection with reality in some way and commit these acts of unthinkable violence.
I'm not saying that we restrict people's freedom of speech, nowhere, nowhere near that. But I think we should have a discussion of, you know, at least urging caution when we discuss some of these issues, so that we don't get people to a point of going out and committing senseless violence.
KEILAR: Governor Hickenlooper, thank you so much.
And we do want you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with your state and certainly the people of Colorado Springs.
HICKENLOOPER: Thank you very much. Appreciate that.
KEILAR: Enough is enough. That is what President Obama said following Friday's shooting in Colorado Springs. HE vents his frustration after another shooting. After the break.
KEILAR: Welcome back. I'm Brianna Keilar in for Jake Tapper.
Planned Parenthood called attack on its clinic in Colorado Springs an act of domestic terror. The attorney general called it a crime against women, and the president used it to, again, call for gun control.
Joining me now to talk about the political fallout of this shooting we have Sean Spicer, is the chief strategies of the Republican National Committee. We have CNN political commentators Donna Brazile, S.E. Cupp and Bakari Sellers.
So, I want to start now talk about the shooting at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. This is what Hillary Clinton tweeted about it. She said, "Today and every day we stand with Planned Parenthood." This is her recent tweet about it.
And I wonder, though, S.E., when you look at the debate. I mean, even just this morning talking to Republicans I certainly noticed a change in the tone. Do you think that this changes the tenor of the debate over abortion right now?
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think it's a terrible idea to blame debate for what is a horrific act of violence. If you're going to do that then you have to say that leftist rhetoric was to blame when Floyd Corkins went into the Family Research Center and shot at that office. That's just a wasteful exercise and to hear your former guest John Hickenlooper, the governor of Colorado suggest that we need to somehow change our tone or police our rhetoric because of the act of what I'm assuming is going to be a madman is a distractions and a waste.
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: S.E., Planned Parenthood said that there's been an alarming increase in hateful rhetoric and smear campaigns against abortion for providers and patients over the last few months. What they're saying is that this is creating a toxic, poisonous environment. Women have the right to have an abortion and the full range of reproductive health services.
KEILAR: In your view, part of the reason why this happened Planned Parenthood is certainly drawing that conclusion.
BRAZILE: First of all -- first of all -- no, (INAUDIBLE) they didn't draw that conclusion. There was one little sentence, one little snippet.
We don't really know the motivation of this madman, this murder, but we do know that there is an atmosphere out there not just in Colorado Springs but across the country where women want to have the opportunity to go to these clinics. Our men, too, because Planned Parenthood is open to everyone and there's no reason to create --
CUPP: I (INAUDIBLE) the opinion --
BRAZILE: ...I'm not...
BRAZILE: ...of everyone including Donald Trump who might say something crazy (ph) tomorrow.
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We have to acknowledge that the rhetoric in this country has gotten out of hand. And I think that's what people are talking about. Whether or not we're in debates talking about Operation Wetback or anything else the way that we communicate with people, on both the right and left, has gotten just completely out of hand.
Now, I don't want to -- I also don't want to just let this guy off and just say he was deranged and a loner. I mean, I want to actually have a conversation about guns in this country. I want to have a conversation about mass shootings. When we just discount him as somebody who is a loner, somebody who is just going to do it anyway it takes away from the discussions that we need to have.
KEILAR: About mental health I would assume --
SEAN SPICER, RNC CHIEF AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I agree. I think this is a mental health issue. But one big take away that I think gets lost in the discussion is we've had a lot of discussion about law enforcement over the last month. And correctly so in terms of the use of force.
What we saw this week was Officer Garret Swasey running to an incident and it's a reminder that gets lost in this discussion of what law enforcement does every single day to protect...
SPICER: ... an unbelievable sacrifice to me.
KEILAR: It really is tremendous. And certainly not to take away from that at all, Sean. You say it's an issue of mental health and yet the mental health bill -- the overall bill is languishing in a House committee, a Republican House committee. If it's such a priority then why is nothing being done?
SPICER: I think it should. And I think you've heard a lot of the folks and maybe this shooting is the impetus for that (INAUDIBLE). But the fact of the matter is that one thing all of us, I think, can agree on is that this was -- this guy is nuts. He was crazy. He's mentally unstable. When (ph) we don't know anything about the particulars of this incident there's no way that anybody sane could commit such heinous act. And that's -- that's the number one thing that we have to concentrate. (INAUDIBLE) because Governor Hickenlooper himself talked about all the lengths that Colorado has gone to, you know, universal background checks. So, adding another layer to stop a crazy person is actually crazy itself.
KEILAR: I do want to talk about guns. The president -- this is where he went. It has almost become a bit of a reflex (ph) it seems when you have shooting he said, "This is not normal. We have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets. Enough is enough."
But does anything change?
SELLERS: And that's the -- that's why I can't let Sean get away with it casting this as being mental health and casting it aside because of the simple fact that if we were going to do something in this country about guns, we would have done it after a madman went into Sandy Hook and killed 20 kids and six adults. But we didn't. And we keep having these discussions. Whether or not it's Charleston, whether or not it's Oregon, or whether or not now it's in Colorado. And it seems as if we're having trouble getting our friends on the right to actually want to do something substantive (ph) about guns in our community.
BRAZILE: (INAUDIBLE) there are a lot of people with mental disabilities and we stigmatize people with mental disabilities and mental health issues. And many of them are not violent. And so we need to make a --
SELLERS: And our language is powerful.
BRAZILE: We have to be careful about doing that as well.
Last night I went on the website -- there were five people murdered in this country, 14 injured due to gun violence. We have to figure out how to strengthen the background system. We got to make sure we do everything right -- everything right because we have an issue in this country and we have to talk about it.
SPICER: Governor Hickenlooper detailed all of the lengths that they have gone to in Colorado.
SELLERS: But it's a fact. It's a fact. Dylann Roof would not have gotten the weapon that he went into a church and murdered nine people but for a loophole in our gun laws.
SPICER: No, no. It wasn't a loophole. It was a failure.
CUPP: ...the fact that we haven't had major federal gun law legislation in the wake of some of these shootings. We have had local and state gun legislation in places like Colorado and New York that have been in many cases had to be repealed and drawn back because they have to be found to be unenforceable, unproductive, inefficient. I mean, there is a sensible conversation to be had. But when you're a Democratic candidate calling the NRA and law-abiding gun owners enemies you can't have a -- you can't have a conversation that is actually productive.
KEILAR: We have a lot more to talk about ahead certainly with an important trip that presidential candidate Ben Carson has made overseas after critics call out his lack of experience on foreign policy. Is this visit going to beef up -- is going to (INAUDIBLE) on international affairs? We'll see. We'll ask the panel next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You might not care if Donald Trump says Muslims must register with our government because you're not one. You might not care if Donald Trump says it's OK to rough up black protesters because you're not one. But think about this, if he keeps going and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: That is a new web video from the John Kasich campaign targeting Donald Trump. And if the language sounds familiar that's because it invokes a famous warning about Nazis.
I want to bring in our panel to talk about this. Donna Brazile, Sean Spicer, Bakari Sellers and S.E. Cupp.
Sean, to you first on this, if Republicans, for instance, Kasich, in this -- in this instance -- if Republicans are successful in this line of attack, are you worried that Donald Trump will just turn around? He has hinted last week, you know, a third party run isn't out of the realm of question. Are you worried about that?
SPICER: I'm not. I think Mr. Trump has made it clear. We've had conversations with him. He understands the importance of staying a Republican. He signed a pledge.
He understands that any break in the Republicans will help Hillary Clinton get elected and that's something that he won't stand for.
But I think getting to the video -- look, it's no surprise we at the RNC really invoke Reagan's 11th commandment. We believe that our candidates should be focused on expressing their vision and why they want to be president of the United States. And focusing their attacks on Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee.
BRAZILE: That's the only thing that keeps the Republicans together.
(LAUGHTER) BRAZILE: Look, xenophobia is very popular right now in the Republican Party and Donald Trump is the leader of the choir. And as long as he's able to get the kind of support that he's getting by raising his voice and demonizing people, Donald Trump is going to continue to lead within the Republican Party (ph) --
CUPP: You've got a lot of Republicans come out against what Donald Trump has said. And I think it's pretty irresponsible to paint the entire party as xenophobic. He's got 35 percent of the vote. That means 65 percent of the party is not with Donald Trump.
Look, I think attempts to paint Donald Trump as a Nazis or a fascist (INAUDIBLE) gives him too much credit to assume that he's got some kind of guiding principle leading him through any of this, I think, is giving him way too much credit. I think he is purely acting on reflex and responding to, you know, the crowds and we are just kind of along for the ride.
SELLERS: Well, the video is good. I thought the video was really good. I thought that Kasich -- we're talking about him this morning. People are talking about him across the country. You know, his name hasn't been one that has been on the rise lately. But Donald Trump does use (INAUDIBLE). Donald Trump does use language that is xenophobic to say the least. He's offend anyone, I think, in this country except rich, white men. And so, you know, when you have that type of dialogue, when you have that type of rhetoric I'm just glad somebody finally punched him back in the mouth.
KEILAR: Are you worried, Sean, that --
BRAZILE: ...rich, white men too.
KEILAR: I was going to say I think he actually has. But Donna -- you hear what Donna is saying. You hear what Hillary Clinton is saying. She's painting all Republicans with this...
SELLERS: The Donald Trump brush.
KEILAR: ... Donald Trump brush.
SPICER: No, I don't. And you know why? Because, look, when you look at every Battleground Poll everyone of our candidates beats her head to head not just nationwide but in key battleground states.
So, we can talk about that but the reality is that if I were a Democrat, if I were Donna or Bakari, what I would be concerned about is that they have put all their eggs in one basket and that basket is broken. Hillary Clinton's unfavorables are so off the charts it's unbelievable. She has no trust. She flip-flops in every set of issues. They have a set of rules for themselves that they follow. That's true. And the fact of the matter is that the --
BRAZILE: Sean, the Republican brand -- the Republican brand is unfavorable. Donald Trump is unfavorable.
BRAZILE: Look at your candidates (ph).
SPICER: Right now Hillary Clinton loses every day --
BRAZILE: Look at --
BAKARI: I think that Sean -- I think Sean can't say with the straight face most Republicans can't say with the straight face that Donald Trump will beat Hillary Clinton --
SPICER: Donald Trump will beat Hillary Clinton.
SELLERS: But we know --
BRAZILE: No, no. I'm not Mitt Romney.
BRAZILE: I don't have -- I don't have -- I've got $10.00.
BRAZILE: But look, the truth is is that we don't have a nominee in the Democratic Party.
SPICER: Yes, you do.
BRAZILE: No, we don't.
SPICER: ... give me a break.
BRAZILE: No, no because --
CAPP: You're saying Martin O'Malley can pull it out, right?
BRAZILE: You know what --
SELLERS: You (ph) have a chance.
BRAZILE: We're having a -- we're having a different kind of debate and discussion in the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders --
SPICER: You're going through the motions.
BRAZILE: Good. Because that's good. That improves democracy. That strengthens our debate within our party and that gives us a very strong viable candidate when our process is over.
KEILAR: Let's talk about --
BRAZILE: Sean, one of the three candidates will become the 45th president of the United States.
KEILAR: Let's talk about some of the other candidates.
It is Cruz not Ben Carson who is now Donald Trump's chief rival in Iowa. There is an important poll that came out this week and it shows that Ted Cruz is really -- I mean, look at him. There he is at 23 percent, really close to Donald Trump, splitting Donald Trump and Ben Carson which is where we've seen those two men align there.
Do you think that it's -- for Carson and he's even said this -- he thinks it's the terrorism issue that is making voters say maybe not.
Maybe he's not the guy. Maybe he doesn't have the experience.
SPICER: I think there's a lot of volatility right now that's going to exist both in New Hampshire and in Iowa. And you're going to see people go up and down. I just -- and that's historically always been the case. I think we're going to see more volatility between now and when Iowa goes to their caucus February 2nd. And New Hampshire goes to their primary February 9th. There's going to be more volatility. That shouldn't surprise anyone. That has always been the case. Fully expect it to be the case this cycle.
KEILAR: What do you think about the terrorism issue and how this is affecting the polls? It seems -- it seems like it's really shaking it up.
CUPP: It is. And any time foreign policy is front and center, I think it benefits Republicans. Most of the country thinks Republicans are better able to handle issues like terrorism and foreign policy issues. So that's, I guess, a good thing for our side.
But for folks like Ben Carson who have zero experience with any of this and I'm sorry he can take as many field trips abroad as he wants, he's not going to get the -- the requisite experience that he needs. This is clearly turning some voters who previously liked him off and onto someone like Ted Cruz.
KEILAR: With Ted Cruz's rise -- I mean, I've heard Democrats in the Clinton campaign they're not as worried about Marco Rubio. They're not as worried about Ted Cruz.
Would you like to see Ted Cruz --
BRAZILE: You know, I haven't talked (INAUDIBLE) the Clinton campaign about who they are afraid of. But I'd --
KEILAR: I have.
BRAZILE: Ted Cruz -- Ted Cruz is (INAUDIBLE) slow candidate that is building...
SELLERS: That's (ph) right (ph).
BRAZILE: ...strong support and strength. He has the support of the evangelicals. And you know what? He's the guy who's organizing in the Deep South right now. So, Ted Cruz is clearly onto something.
KEILAR: Donna, Sean, Bakari, S.E., thanks to all of you.
And thanks so much for spending your Sunday with us.
And go to CNN.com/SOTU for extras from the show. I'm Brianna Keilar in Washington.
"FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" starts next.