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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Trump VS. Cruz On Birther Question; Trump: "I Don't Know" If Cruz Is Natural Born Citizen; Trump: We Will Build A Wall; Trump: Immigrants Have To Come To U.S. Legally; Trump On How Mexico Will Pay For Wall; MCCAIN: "I Don't Know" If Cruz Is Eligible For Presidency; Trump Talks Global Role And Gun Control; Keeping Guns Off The Streets; TRUMP: We're The Policemen Of the World; Trump Reacts To Iranian-Saudi Tensions; Trump: I Hate The Iran Nuclear Deal; Trump: Iran Wants "To Take Over Saudi Arabia"; Trump: Countries Need To Pay For U.S. Protection; Trump: Obama "Taking Chunks Out Of Second Amendment; Trump: Clinton Wants to Take Guns Away; Trump On North Korea; Trump: China Can Handle North Korea "So Easily"; Getting Illegal Guns Off The Streets of New York City; Staggering Gun Violence In Chicago; Emotional Obama Calls for "Sense of Urgency" On Guns; Chicago's Gun Problem: 4 Deaths In 24 Hours. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired January 6, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And it is, considerable and as leading Trump is weighing in. He spoke today with "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer about how he make Americans safer from gun violence. He also trained his verbal fire and it is considerable on his leading Republican rival Ted Cruz with key votes in Iowa and New Hampshire, quickly approaching using one of the deadliest weapons available, suggesting an opponent is a foreigner.
We first learned about this yesterday by the time Trump sat down with Wolf Blitzer. It was a full blown political punch up.
Senator Cruz told CNN's Dana Bash that the story jumped a shark clearly as you'll see right now, Donald Trump does not share that view.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Let's talk about an issue in the news right. Senator Ted Cruz, he is your main rival in Iowa according to all the polls right now. All of a sudden, this whole issue, the fact that he was born in Canada has come up whether or not he's a natural born citizen, you know, the constitution says no person except a natural born citizen shall be eligible to the Office of President. Do you believe Senator Ted Cruz is a natural born citizen?
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't know to be honest, and I like him a lot. And I don't like the issue. I don't like even bringing it up. And, you know, it wasn't me that brought it up. It was the Washington Post doing an interview.
And one of the questions they asked me was this question. And, you know, they went with it and I wasn't very aggressive with the answer except one thing. You can't have somebody running if the Democrats are going to, at some point, and one of them threatened to bring a suit along time ago.
But how can you have a nominee running, you know, against a Democrat, like whoever it may be, probably Hillary Clinton because she'll probably escape the e-mail problem, which is disgusting that she's able to because other people have -- are doing far less had very, very major consequences. It's been terrible. It's probably going to be Hillary. How do you run against the Democrat, whoever it may be, and you have this hanging over your head if they bring a lawsuit?
A lawsuit would take two to three years...
BLITZER: He says he's a natural born citizen because his mother was U.S. born, a U.S. citizen and as a result he's a natural born citizen.
TRUMP: Well, I hope he's right. I don't, you know, I want to win this thing fair and square. I don't want to win on this point. What the Democrats are saying, though, is he had a passport.
BLITZER: He says he didn't have a passport.
TRUMP: Canada passport?
BLITZER: He says -- his aids say he didn't have a passport. He may have been eligible.
TRUMP: I think that's wonderful if he didn't and I never understood how he did, but everybody tells me he had a joint passport.
BLITZER: Yeah, a Canadian birth certificates because he was born in Canada.
TRUMP: Well, here's what I think. What I think I do, I'd go and seek a declaratory judgment if I was Ted.
BLITZER: What does that mean?
TRUMP: It means you go to court.
BLITZER: Which court?
TRUMP: You go to federal court to ask for what's called a declaratory judgment. You go in seeking the decision of the court, without a court case. You go right in. You go before a judge. You do it quickly. It can go quickly, declaratory judgment. It's very good. I've used it on numerous occasions. I've been pretty good with it actually.
So when there's a doubt because there's a doubt. What Ted doesn't want to happen is, he doesn't want to be in there. I mean, I think I'm going to win. I'm leading in every poll by a lot.
But I have a lot of friends in the Republican Party. I have a lot of friends all over the place, all right? If Ted should eke it out and I hope that doesn't happen, and he's got this cloud over his head, I don't think it's going to be possible for him to do very well. I don't think it's actually possible for the Republicans to let it happen because he'll have this cloud.
So what you do is go in immediately like tomorrow, this afternoon, you go to federal court, you ask for declaratory judgment. That's -- you want the court to rule and once the court rules you have your decision.
BLITZER: But that could take a long time for the court because I don't think the Supreme Court has never really ruled on what is a natural born citizen.
TRUMP: That's the problem, is this doubt. People have doubt. Again, this was not my suggestion. I didn't bring this up. A reporter asked me the question but the Democrats have brought it up and you had somebody, a Congressman say no matter what happens, we're going to be suing on this matter. That's a tough matter for Ted.
Again, I didn't bring it up, Wolf. This is brought up and this was asked to me as a question. And it's not the first time it's been asked but it's being asked by a lot of different people to a lot of different people that are running.
BLITZER: Because, you know, your critics are saying you're doing Ted Cruz what you tried to do to President Obama where he was born, his birth certificate.
TRUMP: Who knows about Obama?
BLITZER: His mother was a U.S. citizen born in Kansas, so was he a natural born citizen?
TRUMP: Who knows? Who knows? Who cares right now? We're talking about something else, OK? I'm going to have my own theory on Obama. Someday I'll write a book, I'll do another book that will do successfully.
Look, with Ted, he should ask for declaratory judgment because that would clear it all out. And I'm doing this for the good of Ted, I'm not doing for (inaudible) because I like him, and he likes me. We have a good relationship.
This would clear it up. You go into court and ask for declaratory judgment. The judge will rule. And once the judge rules that he is OK then the Democrats can't bring a lawsuit later on.
BLITZER: He also says, he is tougher on illegal immigrations in the United States with you are. You say you will deport all the undocumented immigrants in the United States, 11 million or 12 million, as many as there are.
[21:05:02] But the good ones, you say, can come back to the United States. He says...
TRUMP: Are you ready? BLITZER: He says, he's not letting any...
TRUMP: Are you ready?
BLITZER: ... immigrants comeback to the United States.
TRUMP: Ted was in favor of amnesty. Him and Marco Rubio have been fighting about who is weaker? Now, all of a sudden, and I was watching Ted the other day and it was very interesting. He said and we must build a wall, OK? And my wife said, "Darling, he just said build a wall. That's the first person that said build a wall". I've been saying it for five years. But he said, "And we will build a wall". So now he's taking my idea for the wall.
I'm glad he's taken it. I thin it's the right thing to do. The problem is, I'll build the wall, it could be a right wall. These people or politicians don't know how to build the walls, they don't know how to build anything. But I'll build a wall and have Mexico pay for the wall.
But all of a sudden, they are trying to come over into my territory, no. We will get people out and the people that comeback will comeback legally. They will comeback legally. We'll have a country again. We'll have strong borders. Border patrol people are fantastic. I got to know them very well. But we don't have a wall.
Now, I heard just the other day, Ted said he never said about wall before. All of a sudden he's talking about a wall and I don't blame him.
BLITZER: But he says he's not going to let any of those illegal immigrants comes back to the United States.
TRUMP: Well, I think you should let them comeback. If they are very good people, you let them comeback legally. I want people to come in. I want immigrants to come in but they have to come in legally. I want people to comeback. You know, I'm building a wall but I want people to come in. I want immigrants to come in but they have to come in legally.
And I want a lot of people to come. I have to have really smart people, really good people, really hard workers comeback in. But they have to come in legally. So I want people to comeback into the country.
BLITZER: Let's talk a little bit about the wall you want to build. How long would it take to build that wall?
TRUMP: It will very quickly, and I would get the environmental impacts. You know, part of the reason the wall wasn't built, they couldn't get an environmental impact statement approved. Can you believe it? The environment impact statement for a wall where we're looking for, you know, you can almost say military purposes and that way you avoid it.
As an example in the South China Sea, China is building islands, massive islands that are being, you know, military bases. They are taking out and dredging the sea. They are dredging the ocean. They don't go about...
BLITZER: You say Mexico is going to pay for the wall.
TRUMP: Mexico is going to pay.
BLITZER: Are they going to put the money upfront or eventually, there's kid of bail, how do you do that?
TRUMP: No. They will pay in one of three on four different ways, including I'll charge them a tariff.
Look, Mexico, I'm very friendly with Mexico. I employed thousands of people that, you know, Mexicans are great people. They like me. I'm doing very well by the way with the Hispanics usually in Nevada. I'm leading in the polls with Hispanics because I create jobs. I'm going to take jobs back from China, I create jobs.
But here's the thing. Mexico is making a fortune. You look at the trade deficit that we have with Mexico. They are making a fortune. Ford is going to build a $2.5 billion plant in Mexico. Nabisco is moving their big plant, their big plant, from Chicago...
BLITZER: So how do you get them to pay for a wall?
TRUMP: Very simple.
BLITZER: Because they say they're not going to pay for the wall.
TRUMP: That's good. They will start taxing their goods coming into the country and they will pay. They're making a fortune.
Now, the wall is peanuts compared to the kind of money they are making. That's why they are going to pay. Now, when I say that to politicians, they don't know even know what I'm talking about. I'm a business man, I'm really good business guy.
When I say to politicians that Mexico is going to pay for the wall, they all smile. They think I'm kidding. I'm not kidding. Mexico is going to pay. The reason is they are making a fortune off of the United States far more than the cost of the wall. They'll pay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: One quick note, Senator John McCain is weighed in on the citizenship question on Ted Cruz when asked on a radio show if he knew weather Ted Cruz is eligible to be president. He answered quote, I don't know the answer to that.
When we comeback, Donald Trump on America's role as global policeman and how he aims to change that. Also his thoughts on gun control and what he do about the tens of thousands of Americans killed every year by firearms.
Later, a ride with the NYPD, one of the toughest jobs they've got keeping a title wave of weapons out of New York.
COOPER: Before the break, we saw Donald Trump suggest to Ted Cruz once had a Canadian passport, then went ask for evidence. He said, "Well, that's what I heard." He also said that Senator Cruz should go to federal court and so many words, ask a judge to rule him American enough to be president.
Our Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin says that's simply not the way the federal court works.
Trump also had plenty of other controversial things to say especially on foreign policy. Here is part 3 of his conversation with our Wolf Blitzer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: I've heard everything you've said on foreign policy over these past several months. There seems to be, and correct me if I'm wrong, an emerging, let's call it a "Trump Doctrine". You want China to take care of North Korea. You want Russia to take care of Syria. You want Germany to take care of Ukraine. Basically, you want to outsource all of these sensitive issues.
TRUMP: Well, I want help. The United States, we're like policemen of the world. We're involved with Ukraine but Germany doesn't care. Now, Germany should care a lot more than us, and why are we always the one that's out there.
And Putin said very nice things about me. I mean, he understands I get it, OK, I get it. And most people don't get it. But you look at what's going on in the world. We're the policemen of the world. We owe $19 trillion. We just made a ridiculous budget, you know, the omnibus that just approved in about like 15 seconds. I never saw a budget of that size. Who would ever believe a budget like that gets approved so quickly.
I mean, the only thing Obama negotiates well with, frankly, are the Republicans. He always seems to come out on top with the Republicans. Iran beats him. Everybody beats him. We're the laughing stock all over the world but the only one he beats are Republicans. And the Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for allowing that budget to pass.
So now, we're at $19 trillion plus we're going to be at $21 trillion right now. So yeah, I want other countries to get involved.
BLITZER: Let's talk about some other tensions, as bad as the Middle East is. It's getting worse right now.
TRUMP: Getting worse.
BLITZER: These tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The execution of the Siite cleric in Saudi Arabia, the ransacking and burning of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, first of all, would you condemn Saudi Arabia for the beheadings of these clerics and these terrorists?
TRUMP: I don't like it. I mean, I don't like. They're supposed to be our, you know, great ally. I don't like to see it. They, you know, they executed all of these people, who knows. I mean, here in this country, if we execute like one person a year, it's like a major event. They do it like routinely.
Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia is sort of the one that we picked and we are there. And I have many friends from Saudi Arabia, very good people. But Saudi Arabia has got to pay. If we're going to protect them from Iran, which we made a super power, you know, we gave them $150 billion, we essentially gave them the right to make nukes, because that's what they are going to do. And if they don't make them, they'll just buy them because they have so much money. And, you know, they'll be doing...
BLITZER: You know, the Saudis hated this nuclear deal with Iran.
[21:10:00] TRUMP: I hated it more than them.
BLITZER: I know you hated it.
TRUMP: And Israel hated it more than I do.
BLITZER: Israel hated, the UAE hated -- we all hated it, are you concerned the Saudis now, given this tension with Iran, Saudi Arabia may decide, "You know what? We're going to go buy a nuclear bomb maybe from Pakistan or some place like that". That proliferation issue is really serious.
TRUMP: I said to that deal and I said it to CNN, I said it to anybody that who would listen, is going to lead to great nuclear proliferation and that's what is happening. That's what's going to happen.
BLITZER: Because the Saudi Foreign Minister...
TRUMP: And you can't blame them.
BLITZER: Adel al-Jubeir, I don't know if you know him, he used to be the Ambassador. He told me last year he wasn't ruling out the possibility that Saudi Arabia could go ahead and develop, or maybe even buy a nuclear bomb. They have a lot of money.
TRUMP: Well, they want to develop or buy, they have plenty of money, believe me. And they have plenty of money. And, you know, when I see Yemen with that long border right along Saudi Arabia, and I saw the event the other day where, you know, with the -- in Iran, which was caused, in my opinion, by the government of Iran as an excuse to go in because they want to take over Saudi Arabia, they want to get the oil. They want to take over Saudi Arabia.
And the other reason they wanted Yemen, in my opinion, is because now they have a nice long border right in this perfect feeder right into Saudi Arabia. And, you know, at some point, we have to be reimbursed. We actually pay rent. You know, in Saudi Arabia where we have a basement, pay rent. We pay rent for protecting, why are we paying rent?
They have to pay up. South Korea has to pay up. Germany, we protect Germany, you know that, right? We protect so many different countries, we get nothing.
BLITZER: Installed 40,000 U.S. troops in Germany. Right now 70 years after World War II.
TRUMP: And you know what they pay us, practically nothing. They make Mercedes, they are a behemoth economically. They have tremendous money. We protect them.
One of the things I do very early, I want to protect a lot of people but they have to help us, they have to help us economically. We are becoming a third world country. We are a deader nation, $19 trillion and the new very dumb budget that was approved by everybody two weeks ago, that's going to add at least another $2 trillion, so worth $21 trillion.
BLITZER: You heard the President of the United States, 30,000 Americans die each year from gun violence, about half suicides. What would you do right now to prevent that kind of slaughter?
TRUMP: OK. The first thing I do is protect the Second Amendment. The second thing I do is I wouldn't use executive orders to do this. You got to get people.
You know, our country was founded on the basis that you're supposed to negotiate back and forth with different members of different parties, and you come to a conclusion through negotiation and compromise. You don't go and just keep signing orders. And all he's doing is taking chunks out of the Second Amendment. That wouldn't happen. You know, isn't there's...
BLITZER: You don't want convicted felons or mentally ill people to be able to go to a gun -- anyplace...
TRUMP: When you say...
BLITZER: Can get access to a gun...
TRUMP: When you say anyplace, we have very strong laws right now on the books but the federal government says it's very bad...
BLITZER: Gun shows for example, you don't want the bad people having access to guns.
TRUMP: But when you get into the gun show that's a slippery slope. That stops a father from giving his child a...
BLITZER: What about online purchases?
TRUMP: Let me go a step further, because we..
BLITZER: The background check makes sense, right?
TRUMP: We have to protect the Second Amendment. We have no choice. We have to do that. It's very important. I believe it from the sacred standpoint...
BLITZER: The President says he believes in the Second Amendment too.
TRUMP: Well, I don't think he does because he's -- and Hillary is a disaster. Hillary wants to take the guns away from everybody. And Hillary is going to be worse than Obama. Hillary is -- I can't imagine this, she wants to take the guns.
You know what's interesting, in California when you had the two people, these two horrible people, shoot people that gave them a wedding party. These people that got killed gave them a wedding party.
Anyway, they went in. They shot. If a couple people in that room had guns or if a couple of people in Paris had guns, you wouldn't have had 130 people or 14 people in California laying dead with more to follow because you have so many people so badly wounded.
If people in Paris as an example, which is the toughest gun control place on earth they say, Paris and France, now if you're a bad guy, you can't have a gun. If you're a good guy, you can. If they had guns here or right here on their ankle and those guys walked in there and started shooting, it would have been a much different story.
So -- and you know, it's very interesting, so many people that believe in the gun control when we have these debates, they always lose the debate to me and then I call them up the next day. So how do you feel about? Well, I still haven't changed my mind. I don't know what it is.
We need the Second Amendment. We can have a chopped up but if it is going to be changed, it's got to be done through a process, not through executive orders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And Wolf Blitzer joins us now.
I want to ask you about foreign policy in a second, but it is so fascinating to hear Donald Trump talk about Ted Cruz and refusing to say whether he believes Cruz is a natural born citizen which in the past he had given a different answer to ABC, to Jonathan Karl.
[21:20:01] Saying that a lot of legal experts had looked at it and he got a clean bill of health on this one. Now, he's saying well he's hearing a lot of people asking this question.
BLITZER: Right. And it's getting closer and closer to Iowa and some of the more recent polls in Iowa show that Ted Cruz is actually ahead of Donald Trump in Iowa.
So it's getting tense and you saw him even suggest that Ted Cruz favored amnesty, that he wasn't stronger on illegal immigration than he is. So this is going to get, I suspect, the next less than four weeks a bit tougher between these two frontrunners, shall we say at least in Iowa.
Donald trump is way ahead nationally in almost all of the polls. His ahead in New Hampshire but in Iowa it's close. Ted Cruz has a solid base there especially among the evangelical conservatives.
So a lot of people have suggested to me and I'm sure to you as well Anderson that, Donald Trump is a bit nervous right now that's why all of a sudden an issue that I thought would have come up a long time ago. The fact that Ted Cruz was actually born in Canada raising questions about whether or not he's a natural born citizen eligible to become president of the United States.
I assumed that was going to come up awhile ago. It's coming up now less than four weeks before the Iowa caucuses.
COOPER: And it is interesting this notion you brought up there in the interview of a Trump doctrine. He's talking a lot about burden sharing specifically about the U.S. leaning on China when it comes to North Korea.
In an interview, I do with him months ago he talks about wanting to, you know, bomb the hell out of ISIS, take in Iraq's oil. He spoke with a lot of, you know, forcefulness, muscularity some would say when it comes to foreign policy in the past. Do you see that as they shift?
BLITZER: No, because I think over the years he has really wanted to avoid U.S. entanglements. I have interviewed him many times over the years. I recently, in preparation for this interview, went over a lot of the interviews I did with him in 2012, 2008, 2007. For a longtime he has been adamantly opposed to the U.S. involvement in Iraq, for example he said the United States should have never gotten into Iraq.
He said to be years ago that President George W. Bush was a disaster. He shouldn't been impeached for what he did in Iraq. So he wants the U.S to stay out, on the other hand, he does have does have a robust military posture. He wants the U.S. military to be strong to get tough if necessarily but his preference clearly with North Korea, with Syria, with Ukraine as he makes it clear, let others do the work. The United States should not be the international policemen.
COOPER: Yeah, Wolf Blitzer, fascinating interview. I appreciate it. Wolf, thanks very much.
BLITZER: Thank you.
COOPER: Just ahead tonight, Wolf also asked Donald Trump how the U.S. should respond to North Korea's claim about testing a hydrogen bomb. Mr. Trump had an answer to the question is, does his plan make sense? Some details on that ahead.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [21:26:00] COOPER: As we've been reporting, North Korea's claim about testing a hydrogen bomb exploded today on the U.S. campaign trail virtually all the candidates, Republicans, Democrats weighed in. Wolf Blitzer asked Donald Trump about it in his interview with the Republican frontrunner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Would you consider a preemptive strike to destroy North Korea's nuclear capabilities?
TRUMP: No, because China has total control over them and we have total control over China. If we had people that knew what they're doing which we don't, we have no leadership in this country. We have China because of trade. They are sucking our money out of us. They are taking our money like candy from a baby. And China can come out and, frankly, they will, you know, they say they don't have that much control over North Korea. They have total control because without China, they wouldn't be able to eat.
So China has to get involved and China should solve that problem and we should put pressure on China to solve the problem.
BLITZER: Because as you now there what almost a million North Korean troops, north of the Demilitarize Zone, almost 1 million South Korean troops south of the Demilitarized Zone, Seoul, the capital...
TRUMP: And we have 28,000 soldiers right in middle...
BLITZER: Right in the middle of that...
TRUMP: And by the way we get paid nothing. We get paid peanuts.
BLITZER: Would you pull them out?
TRUMP: Well, I would want South Korea to pay us a lot of money. We're doing a lot of -- what are we doing? I just ordered 4,000 television sets, 4,000 they come from South Korea. South Korea is a money machine. They pay us peanuts with defending them and I have many friends from South Korea. They buy my apartments. I do business with them but South Korea should pay us and pay us very substantially for protecting them.
COOPER: So you want China basically to handle the North Korea?
TRUMP: They can handle it so easily. Now, they don't say that. You know, they say, "Well, they are not that easy, they are not that easy". They are taunting us, OK? They're playing games with us.
I do it all the time, I mean that's the way I deal in business. It's like they're playing games with us. China should solve that problem and if they don't solve that problem, we should be very tough on them with trade. Meaning, start charging them tax or start cutting them off. You'd have China collapse in about two minutes.
BLITZER: I've heard... TRUMP: We have great power over China and we just don't know how to use it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well today, China said it firmly opposes nuclear testing by North Korea. China is of course North Korea's main ally but there are concern that is influence over Pyongyang. As weakened since, Kim Jong Un took over as North Korea's leader.
A lot to discuss, joining me a Senior Political Analyst and former Presidential Advisor, David Gergen and also Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.
David, what's your reaction to what Trump had to say about North Korea? I mean, you've worked in several administrations, Republican and Democratic, does he have the temperament to deal with a country like North Korea?
DAVID GERGEN, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, he has the strength and the muscularity that are important. You got to have a club in a closet to we could deal well with a North Korea.
But, yes, he lives in this for a fantasy world. So everything sounds so simple and so easy but when he says we can do all these things with China. He leaves out the fact that China is a major creditor. . We're in hooked to the Chinese for well over a trillion dollars. And yes, they can pull the plug on us on the lot of things like that.
So, you know, it's in China's interest and China has been trying hard. Is either new leader of China, he's been icy cold toward the North Koreans. But they are really worried if they get pushed too hard and will topple the North Korean government and then you get chaos on China's border. And then what the Chinese are worried about of course is China and Korea becomes one country, well, a U.S. ally and that's not what they want.
So you can understand what the game they are playing too.
COOPER: Gloria, I mean, to David's point about, sort of the simplicity of what Trump says. I mean, the proposed strategy North Korea that U.S. should uses leverage with China and China should uses leverage over North Korea, you know, sounds good on paper. A lot of people talk about that it's easier said than done.
GLORIA BORGER, CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, and everything is easier said than done. You know, the Russians should solve the Syrian problem.
Look, it's kind of this over simplified nationalism to a degree. On the one hand, you know, we're not going to be the world's policemen anymore. Let China solve the problem in North Korea.
[21:30:00] Let Russia solve the problem with Syria and on and on.
However, if somebody comes at us, we're going to attack back as in we're going to bomb the Iraqi oil fields, right?
So it's this kind of overarching American exceptionalism and, you know, we're going to punch back. But otherwise, we're going to step back, which I think appeals very much to the voters he's trying to appeal to right now.
COOPER: And, I mean, David, I get Gloria's point, Trump saying the U.S. is the policemen of the world, he wants other countries to get involved when it comes with foreign policy. But again, as Gloria pointed out, he's talked about, you know, taking the oil of Iraq, unilateral military action bombing the hell out of ISIS.
GERGEN: Well, exactly, Anderson, you have to sort of -- this is hard to put well but in essence, Trump can make some good points. It's just when you begin to think it through your eyes, this is much more complicated than he makes it sound.
I mean, the point that we will now have the Russians doing more than the Germans ought to be doing more against Ukraine and the Russians. You know, that's called "burden sharing".
GERGEN: And that idea has been around for a longtime. The United States has tried to get end and there have been moments when we've done it very well. Take -- when we kicked Saddam out of Kuwait, you know, and James Baker, Secretary of State went around to every country and got them to pay up and we made money out of that deal.
So, it is possible to burden share but you have to do it with great finesse. You can't just sort of do it with blender bust.
COOPER: You know, I mean, to his defense, Donald Trump's defense, because I don't want to sound like I'm being all negative here, a lot of people when they're running for office can say things in more simplistic terms than they would actually be able to say once they're in office and bear that responsibility.
BORGER: I totally agree with you. In fact, Barack Obama accused Hillary Clinton of doing that when he said, "You know, I think we ought to have a no fly zone in Syria." He said to Hillary, "You know, it's easier when you're campaigning for president than when you actually become president of the United States."
So, I think that's true. And I don't think Trump, by the way, is the only presidential candidate on the Republican side who is doing it because it's in your interest to say, "Look, I have solutions to these problems and they're pretty simple whereas Barack Obama did not."
GERGEN: It's often said about a new president. It's not only important who a new president is, it's important who is going to come with the new president, who is going to be on the team. And so far, if we thought...
COOPER: That we don't know with Donald Trump. GERGEN: If Donald Trump was going to be surrounded by really sophisticated people been around a longtime, I think a lot of us being much more comfortable. But so far, he hasn't shown his hands at all. This is a one-man show so far and it makes people have been around foreign policy a longtime very, very uncomfortable.
COOPER: Gloria, you heard Donald Trump refusing to say whether he believes Ted Cruz is a natural born citizen. I mean, he's always doing is stirring the pot, raising questions, getting people talking about it?
BORGER: Sure, that's what he's doing.
Look, he is behind Ted Cruz in Iowa. Folks in Iowa like Cruz a lot and he's starting to raise questions about him and the subtext of this, Anderson, is very much that he's starting to raise the question of whether Ted Cruz is different, whether he's different because he was born somewhere else.
And you know, I think that if you're a peeling to a certain slice of the Republican electorate, particularly when you're out there on immigration, the way Donald Trump is. And, you know, he points out that maybe Cruz isn't as evangelical as he says because after all, you know, his parents are Cuban and on and on, you know.
So, I think that, you know, he's starting to use this as a wedge against Cruz. I'm not so sure it's going to be effective.
COOPER: David, has it affected to Ted Cruz is essentially trying to stay out of this fight with Donald Trump?
GERGEN: I think it's wise for Ted Cruz not to pick a fight over this. I think Gloria is right. I don't think it's going to way down on him. And at the end of the day, he does want Ted Cruz wants to pick up Trump supporters.
And Trump is -- not being very subtle about it. He is going after in racing doubts as Gloria says. But he's doing it in a much more gentlemanly way than he normally does because he wants Cruz voters before this is over.
COOPER: Fascinating. David Gergen, Gloria Borger, thanks very much.
GERGEN: Thank you.
COOPER: Well, coming up, "Guns in America" my town hall with President Obama just one night away. Tonight, we're going to take a look at how officers in New York City are trying to take illegal guns off the streets.
Jason Carroll got an unprecedented ride along, next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [21:38:24] COOPER: Tomorrow night I'll sit down with President Obama for 360 Town Hall on guns in America. We'll be hearing multiple view points and a contentious topic, an issue that's become so politicized and polarized in an even most simple goals like saving lives seem to have no simple solutions.
In New York, there are police officers who risk their own lives everyday trying to fill a very tall order, getting the illegal guns off the streets.
Our Jason Carroll got the unprecedented opportunity to ride along with them. Here's what he saw.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Shots fired near a supermarket in Brooklyn. More sounds of gunfire captured by another security camera on another New York City street. They are the sounds Sergeant Jeff Heilig and Officer Michael Romanello hear too often.
OFFICER MICHAEL ROMANELLO, NYPD ANTI-CRIME TEAM: Our main goal, every single day, is to make a gun arrest.
SGT. JEFFREY HEILIG, NYPD ANTI-CRIME TEAM: Absolutely, that's our number one priority everyday.
CARROLL: Both Heilig and Romanello are part of an elite group of officers assigned to the New York City Police Department's Anti-Crime team. There are about 50 of them who work throughout the city in plain clothes and patrol in unmarked cars. Their main task, get illegal guns off the streets.
Tall order, though, right? I mean it's not...
ROMANELLO: It's not easy but, you know, you have to be persistent and you have to be willing to work hard.
CARROLL: This is the first time the anti-crime team has allowed news cameras along for a ride. We're in the south Bronx, an area police characterize as high crime, one that is also economically depressed.
HEILIG: That economic depression breeds crime. It brings drugs, drugs bring guns, guns bring violence.
CARROLL: How does that make your job more challenging?
HEILIG: Every night, looking for a criminal who's carrying a gun, they know the consequences of carrying that firearm.
[21:40:05] So they'll do whatever is in their power to get away, whether it's to flee on foot, to flee in a car, to shoot it out with the police.
ROMANELLO: We do encounter a lot of dangerous situations and at the start of your day, you don't know what you're going to encounter that night. CAROLL: What are you seeing when you recover these illegal guns on the streets?
ROMANELLO: Whatever they can get their hands on. We've recovered from two shot fire rangers to lots of different types of revolvers, semiautomatic firearms held together by duck tape.
CAROLL: Held together by duck tape?
ROMANELLO: Yes, shotguns got to be cut down to about a foot, anything that will fire a bullet. My first gun arrest, the gun looked like it was pulled off the titanic it was so old and rusted.
CAROLL: Whatever the type of gun is confiscated, it ends up here at the forensics lab in Queens.
Any idea how many guns sort of come through this that since lab on a daily, weekly basis?
EMMANUEL KATRANAKIS, INSPECTOR OF NYPD FORENSIC INVESTIGATION DIVISION: Thousands come in each year for examination.
CAROLL: According to the NYPD, last year some 9,000 guns ended up in the lab, a little more than 3,200 of those from gun arrests. Hundreds stored in a room up he called, "The library." Racks of weapons all makes and models kept for reference such as a World War II Japanese pistol.
KATRANAKIS: And you can see it kind of have that antique look to it.
CAROLL: Or the most current popular model on the streets.
KATRANAKIS: It's a high .9 millimeter that is commonly seen.
CAROLL: This one? Any idea why?
KATRANAKIS: At this time, I couldn't say.
CAROLL: Each gun goes through a multi-step process to determine whether it was used in more than one crime.
KATRANAKIS: This would be step one with the examination.
CAROLL: Inspector Emanuel Katranakis walked us through it from the gun's basic examination to the tank room. Why do we call it a tank room?
KATRANAKIS: Because there' a large tank that's filled with water.
CAROLL: Oh, I see that here.
KATRANAKIS: And the purpose of this tank is so that we can discharge a weapon and acquire the bullet.
CAROLL: And where does the bullet end up? KATRANAKIS: The bullet will travel through the water certain distance and eventually drop through the bottom of the tank. Detective Nassier (ph) is firing into the bullet recovery tank.
CAROLL: Once a bullet is recovered, it goes under the microscope then tested for fingerprints.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If there was any fingerprint that were found, they would fluoresce under this U.V. light.
CAROLL: You know, a lengthy process but one that starts here on the streets every night with a special team tasked with getting guns off the streets.
ROMANELLO: So now as the economy, we want to go out there, we want to do a good job and make gun arrests. We also want to go home safe and in one piece. It's not easy to balance those two things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Incredibly difficult job to those guys have. Jason obviously joins me now. How effective has the NYPD been at getting illegal guns off the streets?
CAROLL: Well, you know, according to the NYPD, overall crime is down by 5.8 percent since 2014, if you look at last year, crime down by 1.7 percent. But even so, Anderson, when I spoke to some of the guys who were out there and I asked them to give me some sort of guesstimate in terms of the number of illegal guns they thought were out on the streets, they said that would be like counting the grains of sand on a beach and part of the reason for that is the perpetrators who were out there aren't just carrying guns around like they used to.
For example, what some of them are doing is, Anderson, they're using a community gun. They are hiding a gun in a certain spot and then a number of people go out there to use the same gun so as NYPD tactics change, so do the tactics of the suspects who were out there on the streets.
COOPER: And I know obviously the officers don't want to give away a lot of their tactics. They were able to discuss some of how they go about this, right?
CAROLL: Right. And one of the things that they do is targeting specific areas in the neighborhood where they think they are seeing a pattern of crime. And, you know, when you're out there day in and every single night, you're able to identify suspicious activity.
One of the other things I found to be interesting is something called, "Shot Spotter Technology." These are highly sophisticated cameras that are actually trained to pick up the sound of gunfire and then can relay that information directly to officers like you saw who are out there in the fields. So that way the response time is much, much faster.
COOPER: Amazing technology. Jason Carroll, thanks. Now, to the legal ownership of guns in America, we want to take a closer look at who owns them and where? It's a question that's easier asked than answered. Tom Foreman joins me now with stats and what they show, Tom?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, it's estimated that there are about 300 million guns in America, enough for every man, woman and child in the country. We don't know, though, exactly who has them. We've had some studies that tried to figure out who has what, where.
The best one though comes from the Pew Research Center, that's the best we can find.
[21:44:57] And if we bring in a map here and we make darker the states where we think more people have guns or where they report more guns, you can see that some are considerably more full of guns than others might be. And by region, you can see it as well. The Northeast has the smallest number, 25 percent down here in the Southeast it goes to 42 percent of households owning guns. We move out to the far West, 30 percent and the Midwest as the largest number of gun-owning households, 45 percent, Anderson.
COOPER: Do we know specifically how old the people are -- who are owning guns? Is there kind of an age range?
FOREMAN: Yeah, there is. Generally, gun owners tend to be over 50 if you look for the majority of gun owners there. We also know something about specifically where they live.
For example, if you go into cities, only about 28 percent of households report having guns. It moves up in the suburbs, but out here in these rural areas, the country side board jumps way up, 59 percent out there.
Men are three times more likely to own guns than women are in this country. And by race, the biggest group out there that own them are whites, 46 percent of white families report having one or more guns in the house, black families down to 21 percent and Hispanics 17 percent.
And if you want to look at it politically which you can, let's go back to the map, think about where Republicans and Democrats live. Republicans tend to dominate suburban and rural areas. That's where most of the guns are. Democrats are stronger in the city so you're more likely to have guns in Republican household than in Democratic household.
And, Anderson, if you want to boil it down to what is just the most common gun owner, even though many people of all types own guns, the most common one would be a white Republican rural man over the age of 50. Anderson?
COOPER: Tom, thanks very much.
Just ahead, when President Obama announced new executive actions on gun control, he mentioned the gun violence that happen everyday in Chicago. That same day, yesterday, four people including two teenagers were shot to death in Chicago and the stats just since the beginning of the year stagger, the latest next.
[21:50:47] COOPER: Tomorrow night is my Town Hall with President Obama on guns in America. Just yesterday, the president announced executive actions on gun controls including expanding background checks. Here's the reasoning he give.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: Our right to peaceful assembly, that right was robbed from movie goers in Aurora and Lafayette. Our unalienable right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, those rights were stripped from college kids in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara, and from high schoolers at Columbine, and from first graders in New Town -- first graders. And from every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun. Every time I think about those kids it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.
COOPER: That the last line certainly resonates in Chicago on the same day the president said it, four more people were shot to death in the city. Rosa Flores has more.
ROZA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Before President Obama started his emotional speech Tuesday against gun violence, two people had been shot in Chicago, say police.
OBAMA: We are the only advanced country on earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency.
FLORES: Soon after he finished speaking, that number would jump to three. By day's end, nine more would be shot, four fatally. Two of them, teenagers shot and killed on Chicago's South Side.
WILLIE J.R. FLEMING, CHICAGO RESIDENT: These are teenagers who were walking from a store and they were practically ambushed.
FLORES: Police say the teens were on a corner when a gray ford explorer drove up and fired multiple gunshots.
What emotions do you fell when you hear about these shootings?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I cry because I'm very easy to cry. I cry, I cry for that family. I cry that you got to look it them burying your child because she was killed by violence.
FLORES: A few blocks away, another teen shot in the thigh by an individual in a dark SUV, say police. As night fell the number of dead would continue to go up like this shooting scene on the South Side where a 25-year-old was shot in the abdomen.
Overall crime in Chicago has decreased for the past four years. Murders however have increased by 8 percents according to Chicago police. But if you look at the first few days of the year, it's a different picture. Ten murders in the first five days, in fact, shootings in Chicago are up 176 percent with 47 shootings in the first five days of 2015 compared to last year's 17 shootings, say police.
Illinois has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. But guns are still flooding the streets of Chicago. Police say the weapons flow in illegally from surrounding states with more lenient gun laws. These guns fuel organized crime and street gang violence. In the past year alone, Chicago police confiscated nearly 7,000 illegal guns.
OBAMA: People are dying and the constant excuses for inaction no longer do.
FLORES: The human toll is difficult to ignore and it's weighing heavy on the president. 12 people shot, four dead in his hometown on the very day he made a national call to curb gun violence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[21:55:07] COOPER: And Rosa Flores joins us now, and 12 shootings in just 24 hours in Chicago on Tuesday, what about today?
FLORES: It is considerably slowed down as of last check with police this evening. They tell me two shootings so far. The first, a police officer was being carjacked. Police say, "He fired his weapon but didn't hit the suspect''. And then later, another shooting, that victim was hit in the lower back.
But hear this, Anderson, in the first five days of this year, 51 illegal weapons, I'm told by police, were confiscated from Chicago streets.
COOPER: And the president's former chief of staff obviously is the mayor of Chicago, has he commented on these latest killings?
FLORES: You know, he has been in the hot seat. As you know, people had even asked for him to resign because of this high profile officer- involved shootings, we know the name, Laquan McDonald, Ronald Johnson. These cases even have the U.S. DOJ investigating the patterns and practices of the Chicago Police Department.
So, the mayor has been in the forefront making a lot of comments and holding a lot of press conferences. Most recently of course, he has made changes within the police department. He has the head, the top cop to resign. And, Anderson, most recently he has promised to put tasers in every single police cruiser in the city. Anderson?
COOPER: All right. Rosa, thanks for the reporting, Rosa Flores.
Remember to tune in tomorrow night, "GUNS IN AMERICA" at Town Hall with President Obama. I'll put questions to him so our audience remembers on all sides of this issue. That's at 8:00 P.M. Eastern, live tomorrow night on "360."
We'll be right back.
[22:00:00] COOPER: That's it for us. Thanks for watching. "CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts now.