Return to Transcripts main page


Clinton to Trump: Hell No On Apology; Trump on Clinton: "She Lies About Everything; Cruz Strikes Trump-Like Tone on the Campaign Trail;" Donald Trump Holding Campaign Rally in Michigan; Donald Trump Holding Campaign Rally in Michigan; Miss Universe Mix-Up: Steven Harvey Apologizes After Announcing Wrong Winner; Woman Driving with Toddler Hits 38 Pedestrians. Aired 7-8:00p ET

Aired December 21, 2015 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:10] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Next, Hillary Clinton says, hell no to Donald Trump. Trump is speaking live to supporters at this hour. Will he fire back? That's live OUTFRONT.

Plus, Ted Cruz rising in the poll, sounding more Trump like. Will immigration prove to be his Achilles heel?

And chaos on the strip, a young mother mowing dozens down with her car, a toddler in the backseat. Why did she do it? Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, hell no. Hillary Clinton out of it. She will not tell Donald Trump she's sorry. The Republican front-runner demanding an apology calling Clinton a liar. The battle beginning Saturday when Clinton claims during the Democratic debate that ISIS is using video of Donald Trump as a recruiting tool. No such video exists. And while Clinton is standing firm, Trump will not let the controversy die tweeting tonight, "You think that Hillary Clinton will apologize to me for the lie she told about, quote-unquote, the video of me being used by ISIS? There is no video."

In a few moments, Donald Trump will be speaking live to be a big crowd of supporters in Michigan and we're going to be taking you there live. I want to begin though with Jeff Zeleny OUTFRONT. And Jeff, the Clinton and the Trump's camp are both looking at this fight as a big opportunity.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, no question. It's a golden opportunity for both of them, at least politically speaking. Quite frankly, it's good for business. It shows Democrats that Clinton isn't afraid to do what many Republicans have been, challenge Trump. And for Trump, what is better than taking on Hillary Clinton?


ZELENY (voice-over): Donald Trump wants Hillary Clinton to say she's sorry.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She should apologize. She lies about e-mails, she lies about white water, she lies about everything.

ZELENY: At the weekend democratic debate, Clinton said Trump's plan to block Muslims from entering the U.S. had emboldened ISIS fighters.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We also need to make sure that the really discriminatory messages that Trump is sending around the world don't fall on receptive ears. He is becoming ISIS' best recruiter.

ZELENY: And Trump is accusing Clinton of making up the proof.

CLINTON: They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.

ZELENY: Never mind their primary contest. Tonight, the Republican and Democratic front-runners are locked in a new fight of their own.

TRUMP: She's been a mess wherever she's been. She's created a mess, you look at her record as secretary of state.

ZELENY: But there's no evidence to back up Clinton's assertion Trump's rhetoric has been a recruiting tool for ISIS. So far ISIS has used American leaders. President Obama, President Bush and even Bill Clinton in recruiting videos. The news set off Trump on Twitter as well. It's the Democrats total weakness and incompetence that gave rise to ISIS, not a tape of Donald Trump that was an admitted Hillary lie. The Clinton campaign acknowledge there was no specific video but stood by her broader claim.

JOHN PODESTA, HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN: People who follow social media have pointed directly to ISIS use of propaganda and NBC has reported that and we rely on that.

ZELENY: The NBC News article he cites does not mention a video but quotes a terrorism experts saying this to Trump. "They love him from the sense he's supporting their rhetoric. They follow everything Donald Trump says. We told you America hates Muslims and here is proof." But Clinton has no plans to apologize. Spokesman Brian Fallon saying, "Hell no, Hillary Clinton will not be apologizing to Donald Trump for correctly pointing out how his hateful rhetoric only helps ISIS recruit more terrorists. And tonight, Trump has his eye on another controversy.



ZELENY: This time at the Miss Universe pageant where the host announced the wrong winner.

HARVEY: I have to apologize.

ZELENY: "Very sad what happened last night at the Miss Universe pageant. I sold it six months ago for a record price. This never would have happened."


ZELENY: So Donald Trump there from swimsuits to pants suits but he says it never would have happened. Of course, taking credit for how well he ran the Miss Universe pageant. Erin, I can tell you this fight, back to Hillary Clinton, is probably going to keep ongoing. As we said before, it's good politics for both of them.


ZELENY: We'll see how long it lasts.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jeff Zeleny. OUTFRONT now, Katrina Pierson, Donald Trump's campaign spokesperson. David Gergen, an advisor to four presidents including Reagan and Bill Clinton. And Van Jones who worked for President Obama. Katrina, hell no. Clinton says, you're not getting an apology.

KATRINA PIERSON, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON: Well, you know, I just wonder if she's going to apologize to the families that she lied to about another video she stated that caused some chaos. This is becoming a pattern for her, which is why it's so good for Mr. Trump to say on her about this. Because as we're talking about this, we could talk about more of her failures, considering that she was in charge as ISIS began to grow.

BURNETT: So, Van, Clinton was wrong technically in terms of there's been no evidence of video. Okay? Wrong on that. Does she owe Donald Trump an apology?

[19:05:13] VAN JONES, FORMER SPECIAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I don't think so. First of all, she overshot the runway trying to make an accurate point. Lots and lots of terrorism experts have said over and over again, when you have the kind of bombastic rhetoric that Donald Trump has and increasingly other Republicans have, where it seems like they're smearing all Muslims. You say, no Muslims should come to the United States, they are all suspect, you do aid the enemy. So, that is a -- she was making a valid point. She overshot the runway on it.

She needs to be more careful and more precise but I want to be very clear, Donald Trump has lowered the standards for fact checking, period. Every time he talks, he's a full employment program for fact checkers. But it doesn't matter, he still gets invited back on shows. He's still get invited back in front of the cameras to continue to say things that are not true. And so if he is saying that she should apologize, he needs to have an hour-long special to issue apologies. Until he does that, she has no business apologizing to him.

BURNETT: There is a great irony, David.

PIERSON: With the exception, though, Donald Trump has not gotten anybody killed, first of all. We have Ambassador Stevens who died in Benghazi because she failed to help.

JONES: That is not right.

PIERSON: It is right.

JONES: Oh my God! You're blaming Hillary Clinton for the action of terrorists and murderers?

PIERSON: Because she's the one that said, that this was a video -- no, I am blaming Hillary Clinton for saying that a video caused this whole thing to happen.

BURNETT: I don't want to go down the slippery Benghazi slope. But David, let me just ask you the point here on the video. The irony, of course, is that Bill Clinton has been used in ISIS recruiting videos and Donald Trump surely may be in the future but at least to this point he has not.

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Don't you think there's a video coming out? They are going to make one real quick and get it out.

BURNETT: And they absolutely could. Right?

GERGEN: Everybody is on the shower, right?

BURNETT: But I mean, the irony is of course Bill Clinton is in a recruiting video.

GERGEN: Well, he is in a recruiting video. That's right. Listen, I still think Donald Trump has a point.


GERGEN: But the CNN fact checker said, Hillary Clinton's claim was false. There's just no proof of it. But Donald Trump really gives fresh meaning to the word hutzpah. I mean, when you think -- how many times she's insulted people, and when apology has been in order at least half a dozen times. Think about his own -- his claim about the video of the Muslims. Thousands of Muslims --

BURNETT: On the streets of New Jersey.

GERGEN: Yes. On the rooftops of New Jersey cheering for 9/11. Immigrants from Latin America are killers and rapists. John McCain is, you know, is not a war hero because he got captured. Megyn Kelly bleeding and all the rest of that and Carly Fiorina's looks. And I thought one of the worst ones really was mocking this "New York Times" reporter who is disabled and how he moves. I just thought that was way beneath him. And, you know, there are a lot of other policies maybe here, too.

BURNETT: Katrina, what about the point David is making, that if he wants to demand an apology, why not offer one up himself, ever?

PIERSON: Well, I think this is different, Erin. You have Mr. Trump who gives his opinions and thinks out loud. What happened with the democratic debate is Hillary Clinton actually lied. She made up a story and blamed recruiting -- ISIS recruiting on Donald Trump, as if they needed somebody to go out and recruit. This is an ideological war. And we need to be looking at the most important thing here. When it comes to radical Islamic extremists, because we always here that Islam is a religion of peace. But if you say, ain't saying that upsets them at any moment, they could turn into a radicalized jihadi. That's insane.

JONES: Oh, that's not true.

PIERSON: But instead, we're talking about --

JONES: Oh, that's horrible.

PIERSON: That is what we're talking about.

JONES: Don't say that. Don't say that.

PIERSON: This is recruiting for millions of Muslims --

JONES: Oh my God! Erin --

PIERSON: -- from hearing something to cause problems. How does this spread exactly then? What are we talking about here?

JONES: Erin, I can't let that stand.

PIERSON: We are just not supposed to ever talk about --

BURNETT: Van, go ahead.

JONES: I can't let that stand. Well, first of all, you just did exactly what we as Americans have said we don't want to do, which is to paint with a little broad brush a whole group of people. You said, if you say something bad about Muslims, they become radical jihadist. There are 1.6 billion --

PIERSON: Hillary Clinton said that today. Hillary Clinton said that.

JONES: Hold on a second. There are 1.6 billion Muslims on this planet. 99.99 percent reject all of this stuff. And much more importantly, we have six million Muslims in the United States. They own stores. They are dentists, they're doctors. They have a lower crime rate than the rest of us. And many of them are serving in the military. So, for you to come on here and said over and over again that they are one hair trigger away from doing something horrible, that's not what Hillary Clinton said. Hillary Clinton said that when we speak like a Americans, where we embrace the good in everybody and point out the bad in a few, we don't give aide to the terrorists. But when we put a broad brush out there --

PIERSON: That's not what she said.

JONES: We do. We do. And Donald Trump -- listen, every terrorism expert has warned, do not talk the way Donald Trump is talking. Every terrorism expert frankly says, Obama actually has it right. Don't even call them Muslims.

BURNETT: No, let me just call -- the American people, at least in the Republican Party, poll after poll is showing increasing support for what Donald trump said. You know, David, and this is the question. If Donald Trump ends up being the nominee, at least at this point, if the polls are right, he is the nominee. Things could change but that's what the polls say at this point and then it's Clinton versus Trump. A lot of people say she'll have the upper hand. She has had foreign policy experience. He's a policy wonk. She will trounce him in debates. You say not so fast.

GERGEN: Well, not so fast. But what we do know is you look at the average of polls, she's running about six or seven points ahead of him head to head right now.


GERGEN: That's been true for a while. And she obviously has much more experience. This is the year of the outsider. You know, she talks policy. He talks in a way that is very accessible to most Americans and they like --

BURNETT: You said sort of like the Reagan/Carter matchup.

GERGEN: Yes. And there is. If you go back to the Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan match-up in 1980, everybody thought, including me, you know, that Carter was likely to smash him in a debate because he knew so much more about policy but Reagan brought a personality in warrant and a connectedness that won that debate, won that presidency. Donald Trump connects but he also scares the hell out of a lot of people. So, I think it's very, very unpredictable which way this thing will start to swing.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate all three of you being with us tonight. Thank you.

And next, Ted Cruz rising in the polls showing off his sense of humor in a new ad.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Twas the night before the shutdown and all through the house, not a bill was stirring, not even to find a mouse.


BURNETT: And we're awaiting Donald Trump. You're looking at live pictures. A big crowd of supporters waiting to hear the front- runner as establishment Republicans fight over who could possibly beat Trump. We'll also see what he has to say about Hillary's hell no comment.

And the mistake heard around the universe. What really happened?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:15:15] BURNETT: Tonight, Ted Cruz is facing questions about

his views on immigration. A new memo has surfaced showing that he has taken a softer tone on the hot button issue and it's in memo form. This comes as he's surging in the polls. His campaign is starting to look and sound a little bit like Donald Trump's.

Joe Johns is OUTFRONT.


JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sitting atop the polls in Iowa, Ted Cruz is looking and sounding more like a front-runner these days.

CRUZ: When I tell you I'm going to do something, I'm going to do exactly what I said I would do.

JOHNS: A new Super PAC ad supporting Cruz chasm as an anti- establishment hero, standing up to opponents in both parties, including his rival, Marco Rubio.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Who actually stood up not just to Democrats but to leaders in our own party.

JOHNS: A fact that was not lost on "Saturday Night Live."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone who knows me hates me. Democrats hate me. Republicans hate me. I have what doctors call a punchable face.

JOHNS: And even waiting into the entertainment zone on his own with this parody of a Christmas time ad that ran during "Saturday Night Live" in Iowa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Imagine the greatest Christmas stories told by the Senator who once read "Green eggs and ham" from the Senate floor.

CRUZ: Twas the night before the shutdown --

JOHNS: Taking pages from the Donald Trump playbook now flying around in a private jet instead of commercial.

CRUZ: Why am I so optimistic? Because we're in an airplane hangar instead of a Denny's.

JOHNS: And like Trump, Cruz also continues hard-lining the issue of illegal immigration.

CRUZ: I oppose amnesty. I oppose citizenship. I oppose legalization for illegal aliens. I always have and I always will.

JOHNS: And Cruz contrasts his position with that of Marco Rubio who was one of the leading champions for comprehensive immigration reform and who has been calling attention to the finer points of Cruz's past positions, on things like guest worker visas. CRUZ: I understand that Marco wants to raise confusion. It is

not accurate what he just said, that I supported legalization. Indeed, I led the fight against his legalization amnesty bill.

JOHNS: And further complicating Cruz's efforts, this 1999 memo written by Cruz for George W. Bush and first reported by the "New York Times" which suggests Cruz once recommended a softer tone on the issue, saying, in part, "We need to remember that many of those coming here are coming to feed their families, to have a chance at a better life." The memo still rejects amnesty and citizenship, as Cruz has said, but shows how his position may have been more nuanced before he ran for president.


And, as you might expect, disagreements over immigration between Cruz and Rubio are a big invitation for other candidates to weigh in. Jeb Bush, who supports a path to legal status for immigrants who earn it, has hit both the Republican senators for waging a big battle over something that did not happen. The immigration reform effort failed in 2013 -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Joe johns, thank you. And I want to go straight now to our political commentator and host of "The Ben Ferguson Show," Ben Ferguson and senior contributor for "The Daily Caller," Matt Lewis. Also the author of a new book, "Too Dumb to Fail: How the GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections (and How It Can Reclaim Its Conservative Roots)."

Ben, let me start with you. Ted Cruz, an under-the-radar candidate literally just a couple of weeks ago. Now, everyone is talking about it as the big number two, flying his own plane across the country. Bragging about his crowds.


BURNETT: Thousands of people waiting online to get in. Is he starting to get the a-list buzz of Trump?

FERGUSON: Yes. He is. And it's a smart move because people -- part of this is a popularity issue and you want to look at a candidate and see if he's going to win and you want to get excited about someone who win their winning. It's part of politics. And so, being what he is right now is a smart move for him. Because it's just not what he's used to. He's usually been a policy guy. He's a guy that's usually fighting in front of the Supreme Court and running an underdog candidacy in Texas. And so for him to do what he's doing right now, peaking I think as a perfect time for him, why not smile and let other people know just how well it's going.

BURNETT: Matt, do you agree? Smart for Cruz to sound like Trump?

MATT LEWIS, SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR, THE DAILY CALLER: Well, look, I don't know that he's speaking at the right time. I think he will win Iowa but maybe it's a little too soon and in past years the ISIS caucuses were much earlier. He's got to keep that momentum going. In terms of sounding like Trump, I don't think the conspicuous consumption is a problem or the airplane. I don't think voters mind that. I do think that it could become a problem if Cruz does win the nomination because, very clearly, Hillary Clinton wants to Trumpanize, whatever you want to call it, the Republican Party. And if Ted Cruz is the nominee, she will tie him to Donald Trump and all of the bad things that come along with that.


FERGUSON: Yes. This is one of the things that kind of makes me laugh about politics. The idea that you're so good that if you win the primary, you're somehow going to lose the general election so let's be fearful of the guys at the GOP establishment has not chosen as the nominee. It is very obvious right now in this country, with conservatives, no one wants a GOP nominee. They didn't want Lindsey Graham. He's out of it. They don't want Jeb Bush and look for his point. And there's a lot of people that don't like the third option of the establishment which is Marco Rubio and he's having problems in the polls right now. So this idea that, don't go out and vote for Ted Cruz because he's guaranteeing Hillary Clinton the white house, I don't buy that for a second. I think it's what the establishment wants you to be fearful of but it's not reality.

[19:20:39] BURNETT: But immigration is the classic example of this. Right?


BURNETT: Ted Cruz has always been opposed to citizenship or illegalization for illegal immigrants in the U.S. That's what he says now. But back in this memo that we now have in 1999 when he worked for George W. Bush, he wrote -- and here's what he wrote in the memo, I quote it. "We need to remember that many of those coming here are coming here to feed their families and have a chance a better life." That's something Jeb Bush, Barack Obama, Marco Rubio, anybody could have said. That's something that would help you in the general but obviously will really hurt you with the Republican base in the primary. So, at some point, he's going to be a flip-flopper, right?

FERGUSON: Well, but I don't think there's a difference here. He was writing that for another candidate and another time a long time ago in the '90s. I worked as a surrogate for George Bush. I don't agree with everything he ever did. But if I'm asked to write a policy paper or I'm asked to right a speech for him, I'm going to do that. The same thing when I was a surrogate for other candidates. I may not always agree with him. You're talking a long time ago when Ted Cruz was a lot younger. If he was writing that for his own speech that he gave, I would have a much bigger issue with it or concern with it. But he wasn't writing it for his own words, he was writing it for a candidate who I'm sure said, this is what I want to come across, I've hired you because you're a really smart guy, Ted Cruz and I need you to put it in a good form and that's what he did his job well.

BURNETT: Do you buy that, Matt? A voting public by that. He wrote it for somebody else? I mean, it's a good defense, Ben. It's a good defense, Matt. You buy it.

LEWIS: Well, look, it is interesting that Ted Cruz is a guy who worked for a man who said, family values don't stop at the Rio Grande. And in 2012, he kind of reinvented, he had the luxury of sort of inventing this political persona in 2012. That somehow magically matches up with exactly what the base and the Republican Party wants right now. And that I think is the interesting point here and the danger for Ted Cruz. OK? Voters don't mind if you flip-flop as long as you flip-flop in their direction. Voters don't mind if you pander. In fact, most people like being pandered to. But the problem that Ted Cruz has is, you know that video you showed earlier about having the punchable face?


LEWIS: There's something about him that, to some people, to many people, might come across as a bit calculating, as a bit insincere and a bit manipulative. And this could go from being an immigration issue to being a character issue.


FERGUSON: If you're saying that Ted Cruz has a character issue, I beg of you, show proof of that. But let me also say this, when he was running for the Senate as the outsider in Texas, if you look at what he said on immigration and border security and what he said about how we have to be humane but we also have to be tough on the border and we can't just give up amnesty instantly automatically, that is what he said in his own words. So there is no flip-flop from that. The same thing he said about the Gang of Eight bill.

BURNETT: But Ben --

FERGUSON: And why Marco Rubio and him are bumping heads right now is because they do have a different position.

BURNETT: What about Matt's point on character? Because it fits with what you said about popularity -- popularity matters. When you are the butt of a funny joke on "Saturday Night Live," that you are the most punchable candidate, ISIS will hate me because God knows everybody else does. Your law school professors are saying, you're a guy with your hand up in the front of the class. Smart but he said not the most popular guy. Does that ever hurt him or do people say, no, I want that most popular guy even though I want to punch him in the face?

FERGUSON: Look, if you're voting for someone as a conservative, you're probably not liking them. You're probably not thinking about punching them in the face. I have no doubt that there are establishment individuals that want to punch him in the face and a lot of Democrats that want to punch him in the face.


FERGUSON: But there's a lot of people showing up in the line right now somewhere to see Ted Cruz speak. BURNETT: That's right.

FERGUSON: And they are lining up by the thousands. So, if anything, I would say, he's pretty likable right now based on what we're seeing in his rallies not based on a hypothetical that people are trying to build up money. And just -- I don't see it there at all.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I thank you both very much.

And next, Donald Trump with his rally. Jeb Bush calling him a jerk. Will Trump fight back tonight? This is a live picture of the rally where Donald Trump will be appearing momentarily. We expect in the next two or three minutes in Michigan. What will he say to Hillary Clinton? We'll going to be jumping in there live.

And the moment you've got to see, crowning the wrong woman at the "Miss Universe" pageant. Just imagine what it's like when you were wearing the crown and gets taken away? So we're going to play it for you. Was this a mistake or a pr stunt?


[19:28:15] BURNETT: This is a live picture of a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Donald Trump is going to be taking to the stage there at that podium at any moment. We anticipate. He's on time which means that sometimes you hear all of the phones going up so he may be walking out. We anticipate -- we're going to bring this to you live. We'll see what he says about Hillary Clinton as well as Ted Cruz. This rally coming as several of the establishment Republicans went to New Hampshire to convinced voters they are the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump including Jeb Bush.


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, it's not funny anymore just for me, to be honest with you, when he says as he did two months ago that ISIS was not a threat to the United States, just leave it alone. And then he said that, let Russia take care of ISIS. That's not their intention. Now he's praising Putin. He's praising Putin who is an enemy of the United States. Who has repressed the Russian people and is acting in their own national interests against the interests of the United States. This is not a serious man.


BURNETT: Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT at that rally in Grand Rapids where Donald Trump is going to be on the stage I know behind you at any moment, Sunlen. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie all in New Hampshire tonight. Donald Trump is in Michigan. Interesting choice. How well is he doing in New Hampshire?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting, Erin. You know, Donald Trump has been very careful to avoid declaring that he has any state locked up. But the Trump campaign certainly feeling a level of confidence in the early state. The pinned that on the latest polling. The latest CNN/ORC poll out of New Hampshire showing that Donald Trump is 18 points ahead of any other candidate. Marco Rubio, the closest opponent behind him in the second spot. Donald Trump will hit New Hampshire and Iowa after a brief pause over the Christmas holiday.

But interesting and something we'll likely hear more from in those final weeks before the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary. Donald Trump recently has been really urging and pleading with voters that they have to show out to vote. And certainly I think that's a big sign that the Trump campaign has an awareness that they need these supporters that come to all of these big rallies to actually mobilize and vote -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Sunlen, for the past few days, Trump has been hitting hard against Hillary Clinton, also against Jeb Bush. What do you expect in terms of the tone? In terms of who he talks about tonight?

SERFATY: That's right. I do expect him to bring the heat again tonight here, Erin. He has been going after Jeb Bush hard, calling him in recent days, "dumb as rocks," say that he's an embarrassment to the Bush family, and similarly, the latest dustup with Hillary Clinton over this ISIS recruitment videos.

I think Donald Trump feels that it's given him an opening to go from Hillary Clinton as his biggest foe. Certainly, I think this sort of argument works well in a crowd sort of like this, where it's full of supporters and really fires up his base. I think we'll see Donald Trump repeat those arguments and bring the heat here in Michigan tonight -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Sunlen, thank you very much.

As you can hear, Donald Trump is going to be appearing behind Sunlen. We're going to be monitoring that for you and bring you live as he starts to talk about Hillary Clinton.

OUTFRONT now, Wes Moss, Donald Trump supporter and host of "The Money Matters", WSB Atlanta radio show, and Amanda Carpenter, our political commentator and former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz.

All right. Wes, let me start with you. Trump's lead right now, huge, 21 points in the latest national poll.

Are the other Republican candidates running out of time to stop him? Do you buy this national polling?

WES MOSS, RADIO HOST, "MONEY MATTERS": I do. This polling is very indicative of the tide in America. Erin, there's an unmistakable tide in America, and if you go back -- and the tide is anti- establishment. And that's exactly what Trump is. Quite frankly, it's what Cruz is as well. But you see who is leading the GOP and they are taking advantage of it and the establishment tide.

You go back to June, July when Trump just got into the race, it was a fad candidate, a fad candidate. It turns out that it's too late for a lot of the other GOP field to make sort of -- make up any ground on Trump at this point.

BURNETT: Amanda, do you accept Trump as inevitable?

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. I think he's very vulnerable and I think we're going to see him get notched down a few places like Iowa. But I want to focus on where he's at right now in Michigan. I find this fascinating, because I have long believed that Trump is speaking to a different kind of Republican, even Democrat-leaning voter.

This trip to Michigan, earlier this year he went to an area where I grew up and these are disaffected union workers that the Democratic Party has abandoned. That speaks very clearly to their hearts.

And so, I think this is part of his national presence. He's nationally speaking to that kind of voter. I don't think that's going to win him an Iowa caucus, maybe not even New Hampshire. But that speaks to his national lead in the polling.

BURNETT: Which is an interesting point. The voters that have been left behind.

I mean, Wes, you have Jeb Bush really now stepping it up on his attacks against Trump and he called Trump a jerk. So, he's now using words he didn't used to use. He used to be more intellectual about it. Now he's not. He's more emotional and raw.

Are you worried this could pose a real challenge, whether it's Bush or someone else, like a Cruz or a Rubio or a Christie?

MOSS: Yes. Jeb Bush is really playing right into Donald Trump's hands. He's doing exactly what Trump wants him to do and it's not making Jeb Bush look like a very smart candidate.

The fascinating thing about Trump, I know he's about to get started here, the fascinating thing about Trump is that for the college-educated group, he's still in the lead but he's tied with Cruz and Rubio, effectively. For non-college educated, let's call that potentially disenfranchised voter all around America. He leads by 2 1/2 times his closest competitor. So, he's got a formula and it's working and it's not that different of what happened with Barack Obama when he got out to vote with a younger vote and what allowed him to win.

If Trump can get that group, which is two-thirds of the population to vote, he has a real chance at the whole election, not just the GOP.

BURNETT: All right, we're going to dip in here just for a moment. Listen to him. He's talking about the Democratic debate and Hillary Clinton.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Right here, you see the name Trump on that? But every single poll that they took for the debate, who won the

debate? Who won?

And it's sort of interesting because the FOX poll, which came out -- and it's a big one and a good one -- which came out three or four nights after the debate, had me up 11 points, 11.

[19:35:08] And I was already leading. And then I said, I guess I won the debate, right, folks? You know, so they had 11 polls, and they had Drudge, who's a great guy, 46 percent. That is 46 percent of the vote, out of 50 people. That's a lot.

I would honestly take right now 46 percent of three people. But this is 15 people.

By the way, sadly, I guess you heard, Lindsey Graham left the race today. Sad, very sad, extremely sad. He was nasty to me, wasn't he?

You see how everybody that goes against me is like x, x. So, we started off with 17, I won't say how many left, but a lot people starting to leave, they're going to start to leave, but everybody -- wouldn't that be nice? That should happen with our country. Everybody goes against us, down the tubes. Sort of interesting, right? Sort of interesting.

So, I -- this is on the debate and the night of the debate, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people voted. Who was number one in the debate? I was. I love you, too.

So who is number one? Trump, Drudge, 41 percent. "TIME" magazine, hey, they didn't even give me person of the year. They should have. That's why it's heading down the tubes, folks. They gave it to a woman who has not done the right thing in Germany. It's not doing too well over there.

Nice woman. I like her. I better like her. I may have to deal with her. Look, hey, Putin likes me. I want her to like me, too, right?

You know, it's sort of funny, so Putin, out of nowhere, I never meet Putin, but we were on "60 Minutes" together, not together but together. Meaning, I had a segment, he had a segment. We got tremendous ratings on that show. I took full credit. I said, if it weren't for me, they wouldn't.

But we didn't meet. So, we were stable mate sort of sense, right? It was he and I on "60 Minutes" like five or six weeks ago and it was great.

And he came out of nowhere two days ago and he said, "Trump is brilliant. He's great. He's the leader. He's the leader of the parties."

And he said nice things. I don't know. I had never met him, so I didn't know. He said nice things. All of a sudden, I'm hearing things like, oh, isn't it terrible

that Putin is saying that? That's not terrible. That's good. That's like a good thing, not bad.

He can't stand Obama. Obama can't stand him. Wouldn't it be nice if we could get along with people, you know?

It's unbelievable. You know it's Russia, after all. Somebody said, are you at all offended that he said nice things about you? I said, no. No. They said, Trump should have been much nastier. That's terrible.

And then they said, you know, he's killed reporters and I don't like that. I'm totally against that. By the way, I hate some of these people but I'd never kill them. I hate them.

No. These people, honestly -- I'll be honest. I'll be honest. I would never kill them. I would never do that.

Let's see. No, I wouldn't. I would never kill them. But I do hate them. And some of them are such lying, disgusting people. It's true, it's true.

But I would never kill them and anybody that does, I think it would be despicable. But, you know, nobody said he killed -- he says he didn't. Other people say he didn't. Who did he kill? Well, we don't know but we hear that. I say, tell me, who did he kill?

It would be so great if we could get Russia on our side and other countries on our side and knock the hell out of ISIS and the knock it. Right? Right?


So stupid. Just knock the living hell out of them.

Remember, I said take the oil. For years I've been saying that. For years. Look, we have people running this country who are stupid, stupid.

I went to an Ivy League school. I'm very highly educated. I went to the best business school, the Wharton School of Finance. Somebody said, he's plain spoken. I don't have to be plain spoken. I have like this incredible vocabulary.

[19:40:02] But honestly, how can I describe our leaders better than the word stupid? Really. Right? There's no word. There's no word.

I used to say grossly incompetent. But stupid is stronger, isn't it? I don't know.

HECKLER: Donald Trump is a racist. You're a bigot!


TRUMP: Bye-bye! Bye-bye!


Aye, yai, yai.

Hard to believe. Hard to believe.



So unbelievable. But I'm really trying to be neutral. To one guy, I said, get him out of here now! And they said the next day, it was horrible, horrible the way Trump talked to him.

BURNETT: All right. You're hearing Donald Trump talking about the polls after the last Republican debate and also doubling down on the Vladimir Putin compliment, Vladimir Putin calling Donald Trump brilliant. Donald Trump saying he's not ashamed of that at all and also doubling down on his defense of Putin killing reporters.

Let's go back here to our panel, Amanda Carpenter.

Amanda, what's your take on this? I mean, you know, one of the things when you watch Donald Trump is, he speaks to the people who are in the room, to your point. He is speaking to the people on the room. He does not care about the fact that this is televised and he may not be speaking to a lot of others around the country.

CARPENTER: Yes, I think that's a point that struck me most, just listening to the audio, is that the crowd sounds very intense. I mean, these are people that showed up to stand up and cheer because they are with Donald Trump and with his gut instinct. So, that kind of speaks to the greater anxiety and the greater fear in the electorate that many candidates fail to recognize and it's a mistake to just make -- have a focus and taking on Donald Trump. They really need to recognize what he's speaking to and find a way to tap into that feeling.

BURNETT: Wes Moss, as a Donald Trump supporter, do you worry that he could go too far saying, look, Vladimir Putin, I get along with the guy. I'm flattered by his compliments. I've never seen proof of him killing journalists.

I mean, some of these things to experts in the foreign policy community are pretty shocking.

MOSS: Erin, I think what we just saw there is something that we -- we have never seen from a modern day political candidate, ever. Donald Trump's communication is directly with the people where -- who he's talking with and it's very rare to see the ability for somebody like that, especially on the political stage, to come close. I mean, he's more of a rock star to that audience there, as you can see, than he is a candidate.

So, in order to make change as a president, you have to first get elected president, and I don't know of anybody else that has ever approached it this way. Trump has always been wonderfully known for his brand as a business person. Now, he is his own brand as a political candidate, and he's purging his own path, and it's working and working tremendously well.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both very much. I appreciate your time. We'll continue to monitor this rally, which we'll be bringing you live as appropriate?

OUTFRONT next, a gigantic mistake at the Miss Universe pageant. Donald Trump capitalizing off of that today. What really happened here? We're going to show and tell you.

And a woman barreling her car down the sidewalk in the Vegas Strip, killing one, mowing down dozens, her 3-year-old child in the car. Why did she do it?


[19:48:02] BURNETT: It's the epic mistake that has folks across the globe, including Donald Trump talking. Comedian Steve Harvey declaring Miss Columbia the winner of the Miss Universe contest, a title -- well, he had to take back just moments later on live television. So, what happened and what is Donald Trump saying?

Brian Stelter is OUTFRONT.


STEE HARVEY, HOST: Miss Universe 2015 is Colombia!

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Put yourself in Miss Colombia's high-heeled shoes. She was wearing the crown thinking she was the new Miss Universe, smiling in front of a worldwide audience when less than two minutes after being declared the winner, host Steve Harvey walked back on stage and announced this --

HARVEY: I have to apologize. The first runner-up is Colombia!


Miss Universe 2015 is Philippines!

STELTER: It is a moment that will live in TV infamy. The host of "Family Feud" mistakenly reading the first runner-up's name, then correcting himself with the whole world watching.

You could see his discomfort.

HARVEY: This is exactly what's on the card. I will take responsibility for this. It was my mistake. It was on the card.

STELTER: The real winner, Miss Philippines, printed in small type on the card, showing the perils of live television.

Harvey tweeted an apology saying, "I feel terrible". And suddenly, Miss Universe was trending like never before.

Donald Trump pounced on the opportunity, claiming that if he were in charge, this would have never happened, he tweeted. Trump sold his stake in Miss Universe to the talent agency WME/IMG just three months ago after NBC and Univision wanted to get out of business with him. That was during the protests against Trump's comments about Mexican immigrants.

The networks have refused to televise Miss USA back in July.

[19:50:03] But now, Trump is turning Harvey's gaffe into a positive, even offering a solution.

TRUMP: I think I'd make them a co-winner. It would be very cool. I would recommend that they go have a beautiful ceremony, which is good for the brand and good for Miss Universe and do a co-winner.

STELTER: And just like that, Miss Universe became part of our presidential pageant.


STELTER: Tonight, Erin, lots of conspiracy theories and ideas out there. Was this a stunt to get attention for Miss Universe? I say no for one simple reason. There is no amount of money to make that embarrassment worth it for Steve Harvey.

BURNETT: I think you're right about that.

OUTFRONT now, Fraser Seitel, a crisis communications manager.

I have to say, Fraser, I like Donald Trump's idea, you have a mistake that horrific, you make them both a winner.



SEITEL: Terrible idea. If anybody Donald Trump should know there is only one winner. My goodness. Does she want to share the title with Hillary? No, terrible idea.

BURNETT: All right. Some people said this is a publicity stunt to get attention for the pageant, which lost a lot of carriage on networks when Donald Trump sold it. What do you say?

SEITEL: No, I mean, I agree with Brian. I mean, they would have to pay Steve Harvey and Miss Colombia a lot of money if they had staged this. But this was the best thing ever to happen to the Miss Universe pageant.

Before this happened, people forgot it was on. The audience was down a million from last year. Now, it's headline news all over the country. It's a publicity bonanza. It's -- they couldn't have -- they asked for better publicity.

BURNETT: So, a video emerged this morning from behind the scenes that shows Harvey blaming the teleprompter. Here he is.


HARVEY: So, obviously, there blaming the teleprompter. But now, he's saying he misread the card and he's taking full responsibility for it. What do you think happened?

SEITEL: Well, teleprompters are hard to read. I'm having trouble reading that one.

The answer is that he handled it immediately with the people back stage in a proper manner. He came out. He took responsibility. He should continue to take responsibility.

This is going to boost the audience next year. You know, I'm reminded of the Golden Globes where Ricky Gervais bad mouthed everybody who organized and so on. People loved it. They watched the Golden Globes have invited Ricky Gervais back to host it again.

If I were Miss Universe, I would think seriously about inviting Steve Harvey back next year. I guarantee you, it will increase the audience.

BURNETT: That's a pretty interesting idea and sounds probably right. All right. Fraser, thank you.

SEITEL: Thank you.

BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, a night of bloodshed, chaos, men, women, children mowed down by a car in Las Vegas.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was mayhem and it was very intentional.



[19:56:41] BURNETT: Tonight, investigators refusing to rule out terror after a woman drove straight into a crowd of people on the Las Vegas Strip, killing one and injuring 36 others. The suspected driver, Lakeisha Holloway, a 24-year-old woman from Oregon, she's been charged with murder. Police say she repeatedly jumped the curb hitting pedestrians. Her 3-year-old daughter was in the car with her.

Stephanie Elam is OUTFRONT.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was 6:38 p.m., Sunday night on the Vegas Strip when all hell broke loose.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It looked like she wasn't even trying to stop the car. She had both hands on the wheel.

ELAM: A car speeding along the sidewalk just outside the Paris Las Vegas Hotel. Behind the wheel, a 24-year-old woman.

SHERIFF JOE LOMBARDO, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: The suspect Lakeisha Holloway repeatedly drove her car over pedestrians. As of now, one person was killed and over 30 people were taken to area hospitals.

ELAM: Eyewitnesses describe a scene of utter chaos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are bouncing off the front of the car and you can hear it. The windshield was smashed at this point, and she rode the sidewalk.

MICHAL JACKSON, EYEWITNESS: Then the car continued to accelerate on the curb, on the sidewalk and then hop back off again, and when it hopped off that time, there was two guys on the windshield banging trying to get the car to stop.

ELAM: With men, women and children sprawled across the sidewalk, some with bloody clothes ripped apart, the driver still wasn't done. A truck pulling out of the hotel blocked her path.

JUSTIN COCHRANE, EYEWITNESS: The car proceed to slow down, veer around it and then accelerate into the people on the sidewalk.

ELAM: A witness describes seeing one victim dragged down the sidewalk, trapped under beneath the car. Police say Holloway's 3- year-old daughter was inside.

LOMBARDO: She left the scene and drove a few blocks to the Tuscany casino, exited her vehicle and left her toddler in the vehicle and contacted a valet parker and advised she ran over individuals on Las Vegas Boulevard.

ELAM: Holloway is charged with at least one count of murder with a deadly weapon and potentially faces multiple counts of attempted murder as well as child abuse.

LOMBARDO: Her being what we believe to be in Las Vegas approximately a week and homeless and residing within her vehicle.

ELAM: Police report that Holloway said she and her child had been trying to sleep in the car during the day but she chased away by security guards. Authorities don't believe it was an act of terrorism and, in fact, they have yet announced any motive at all but one man that saw it happen was sure of one thing.

COCHRANE: It was mayhem and it was looking very intentional.


ELAM: And at last check, there were three people still in critical condition with life-threatening head injuries. If any of those people were to die, then she could face even more charges -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Stephanie, thank you very much and pretty shocking there is yet to be any announcement to motive at all. We do know that she will be appearing tomorrow morning at the courthouse. We will see her then and see if they have more information as to the motive at that time.

Thank you so much for joining us. Be sure to set your DVR, you record the program and watch us at any time. I'll see you back her tomorrow night.

"AC360" tonight with John Berman in for Anderson Cooper starts right now.