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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Trump to Deliver Major Economic Speech in Detroit; Anti-Trump Republican Launching Independent Presidential Bid; CNN Poll of Polls: Clinton Tops Trump by 10; Delta Resumes Some Flight after Massive Outage; Former Reagan Political Director Will Vote for Clinton. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired August 8, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Ticket prices for A-Rod's final game are surging online. The average resale prices online skyrocketed nearly 400 percent. Before the announcement, tickets were going for about 75 bucks. They're around $345.
Thank you for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello.
AT THIS HOUR with Berman and Bolduan starts now.
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: She is a totally unhinged person. She's unbalanced.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: What I told the FBI, which he said was truthful, is consistent with what I have said publicly.
TRUMP: She took the short circuit in the brain. And she's got problems.
CLINTON: I may have short circuited and for that I will try to clarify.
TRUMP: Honestly, I don't think she's all there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would trust her with the crown jewels of the United States government and the future security of the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm John Berman.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everybody. I'm Kate Bolduan. Happy Monday.
Hello Detroit. Donald Trump is hitting up the "D" today. And it is August 8th so that means it is never too late for a new economic plan or a new reset or a new candidate to enter the race.
BERMAN: Donald Trump is getting all three today. He hit the trifecta of newness. We'll get to the new opponent in just a second. First, let's talk dollars and cents. In just a bit, Donald Trump is
giving an economic speech in Detroit that, given the trajectory of his campaign, it is no exaggeration to say he hopes this changes everything.
CNN national correspondent, Jason Carroll, is there.
Jason, what's going to happen?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the speech is going to get under way in just about an hour from now. And, you know, many people have said this is really going to be Donald Trump's sweet spot. This is a subject he knows well, he's familiar with it. This is an area where he excels. It's something he really needs after the disastrous week last week.
In terms of what he'll be talking about, some of the specifics, we did get an advanced copy of his speech. Some of the things he'll talk about are trade reform, regulatory reform, tax reform. Here are a few points he's going to be going over. He's going to be talking about lowering taxes, reducing the income tax. Another point, a tax credit for child care payments. Also, eliminating the death tax. Once again, trying to reset the clock here in terms of the campaign.
As you guys both know, in terms of the polls in key battleground states, trolling way behind Clinton. National polling, as well, the CNN poll of polls, for example, has Hillary Clinton at 49 percent, Trump at 39 percent.
Basically, there are two schools of thought going on here. One is there is still plenty of time between now and when the campaign really gets going after labor day to really get back on track here. But one GOP operative was telling me earlier this morning, look, he made so many mistakes last week and that he's so, quote, "way off track," if he's five points behind by labor day and the days following labor day, it's going to be difficult to make up some ground. But he'll make the attempt when he starts his speech at noon.
BERMAN: Jason Carroll, live for us from Detroit.
We'll bring you that speech the minute it begins.
Meanwhile, there have been dozens of primaries and caucuses, not to mention a whole convention, but that hasn't stopped a new Republican from jumping into the presidential race today. Evan McMullin is, or was -- a little confusing -- the chief policy director for the House Republican Caucus. He's now running as an Independent. His campaign page now bears the slogan, "It's never too late to do the right thing."
BOLDUAN: Just trying to help you out.
BERMAN: "It's never too late to do the right thing." It's an actual picture of his campaign page. BOLDUAN: There he is, doing the right thing.
So how about first things first? Evan McMullin who?
Chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, is here.
Dana, what are we learning? What's behind this?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We can talk about what his chances are of being getting on the ballot in a second.
But you're right, the first question is who. And I think that the way to answer that is the fact that I talked to people who worked with him in the same office who said, "Who?" So that really gives you a sense of how much of an unknown Evan McMullin is.
I can answer also what you said at the beginning, John, he is the former policy director of the House Republican Conference. But when it comes to that Washington experience, that Capitol Hill experience, it's I think a big title but not so much a big job. The conference is a place that is in charge of organizing House Republicans and communication strategy for House Republicans. The policy part is -- that's not really what they do. If he was a big policy player, he would work for one of the committees that makes policy or for the speaker. So let's put that aside.
The big selling point, according to Rick Wilson, who is a strategist who is helping push his camp, McMullin's campaign, the big selling point is his time, 10 years, I believe, as a spook, as a CIA operative. As Rick Wilson said to me, the real deal, somebody who was undercover, working incredibly hard for America in some of the deepest, darkest, most dangerous places around the globe. That is I think the big thing that he is going to sell, somebody who can help with national security because he has literally been on the front lines.
[11:05:46] BERMAN: Can he get on the ballot anywhere?
BASH: OK, so that's the other interesting question. The other think I didn't tell you about, who he is, is he is a Mormon. He's a member of the LDS Church. And he is very active in the LDS political world, I am told.
Why does that matter? First and foremost, the state of Utah. Utah is -- has a ballot access issue for -- I think the deadline is August 15th. But Rick Wilson just told me you only need 1,000 signatures, which is like super easy in a state like Utah, where he is pretty well known. So they feel confident they're going to actually get him on the ballot in Utah as soon as tomorrow.
Why does that matter? Because Utah is a place that has not been thrilled with Donald Trump. Just look at the Republican primary. Ted Cruz did extraordinarily well there. There are six electoral votes in Utah. That is from people who are part of the anti-Trump movement. A plausible strategy for trying to deny him the presidency. But the people who are working on this brand-new campaign insist it's not just Utah. They're going to try to figure out a way to get on the ballot and other important battleground states like Florida. We'll see what their plans are.
And one other thing you might be wondering, what about Mitt Romney who, of course, is the most high-profile Mormon Republican out there, very high-profile against Donald Trump. I reached out to people in his world this morning to see if he is going to support this candidacy. I've not heard that the answer is yes yet, but I also was told by somebody close to McMillan, stay tuned.
BERMAN: All right. Dana Bash --
BOLDUAN: We are.
BERMAN: -- thank you very much.
A reminder of the state of the race before the Evan McMullin wave, the inevitable Evan McMullin frenzy, our new CNN poll of polls shows Donald Trump a full 10n points behind Hillary Clinton, 49 percent to 39 percent.
BOLDUAN: Clinton maintains her 10-point lead when you factor in Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party Nominee Jill Stein. The CNN poll combines all six major surveys conducted after the conventions wrapped up.
Let us discuss. It's a whole new world in McMullin world. Our panel today, CNN political commentator, Christine Quinn, former speaker of the New York City County and Hillary Clinton supporter; Andre Bauer, not impressed, a former lieutenant governor of South Carolina.
ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm not --
BOLDUAN: We all know that. Stop hugging it out already.
BOLDUAN: South Carolina and Donald Trump supporter; Margaret Hoover, CNN political commentator, worked in the George W. Bush White House, veteran of two Republican campaigns; and John Avlon, CNN political analyst and editor in chief of "The Dailey Beast."
Ladies, gentlemen, let's begin.
Margaret Hoover, Evan McMullin, the answer to all of question mark.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We don't need so much an answer to our prays as much as many Republicans are looking for, two things. One, someone they can vote for and live in good conscience. Too many Republicans feel, while they're deeply uneasy with Trump, they have spent 25 years becoming very educated on who Hillary Clinton is and they bring themselves to be comfort with her candidacy. This gives them a way to do it. Frankly, what many of us are looking for is someone to frankly articulate a contrasting policy position that is more representative of traditional Republican policy views. And nobody -- I mean, even Speaker Ryan is making the case for free trade in this election. Nobody is making a case for, you know, a robust foreign policy, maybe not interventionist, but at least America's role in the world ought to still be significant and a leadership role in the world. Look, there's a lot of things that potentially he could do if he could get traction but it's very late, as you point out.
BERMAN: No. And I was going to ask you talk to me about Evan McMullin's platform, contrasting it to Donald Trump, but we don't know yet where he stands really because we don't know who he is.
HOOVER: We know about foreign policy. He has gravitas and real experience, so he'll be able to speak more in depth on that issue then certainly Donald Trump and maybe even Hillary Clinton.
[11:09:53] BERMAN: Andre, lieutenant governor, former lieutenant governor of South Carolina, Donald Trump supporter, I know you're probably going to dismiss this new candidacy today, but let us take it for what it is. Dana Bash was saying in Utah it could gain some traction. If -- even if he only gets a few thousand, 10,000, 15,000, in some states, it could be a problem for the Trump campaign.
ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No question. But I would think that most of the voters that are so anti- Donald Trump had deviated towards Gary Johnson. And I would think the ones that go to him, probably more company from Gary Johnson. We've seen Gary Johnson has gotten a surge. He's had some great numbers. Those, are kind of where I think the anti-Trumps that aren't going to vote for Hillary but aren't happy with Donald Trump for the Republican Party and they've kind of deviated. I would think that will fracture that vote.
The other interesting thing is Donald Trump's chairman for South Carolina is Ed McMullin, a different McMullin.
BERMAN: No relation.
BOLDUAN: No relations.
BOLDUAN: They'll have to deal.
Any comment on the Evan McMullin phenomenon yet?
CHRISTINE QUINN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: In part, keep them coming. This sends the message the Republicans are not united. I actually think having someone like Mr. Mullin, who has real-life, international terrorism experience, and we all thank him for that incredibly dangerous work, another voice saying that Donald Trump is irresponsible, that his moves towards Putin are irresponsible, that his talk on these fears have become a video training tape for terrorists. Another voice pointing that out that is perhaps a less partisan vote is good for Secretary Clinton and good for reminding --
BOLDUAN: Again, we don't know --
BERMAN: -- if the Never Trump movement, the highest-profile person you can get is Edward McMullin. No offense Edward McMullin. You're probably 100 times more qualified than anyone I know. But it's not a household name, even like right next door to Edward McMullin. So if that's the best we can do --
QUINN: Nevertheless, we're talking about lack of agreement in the party. We're still talking about the "anybody but Trump" movement. And that is not good for Trump. And it sends a message that the party has not fully united.
BOLDUAN: John, I want to move to this today, looking ahead to Donald Trump's speech before the Detroit Economic Club. So the talk this morning around the speech, some of the talk that I'm reading and hearing, is a pivot, a reset, and I do wonder at what point do we dispel the myth that there is a pivot and reset coming?
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I mean, this is what his supporters keep wishing and hoping for. We get sold a reset and pivot every week or so, which is an attempt to say the candidate keeps freelancing, now we're going to get serious by getting him in a rhetorical straight jacket and keeping him on message.
Economics has been one of Donald Trump's edges over Hillary Clinton because of the perception he's a successful businessman. This is the kind of speech he should have laid out a long time ago. Maybe it will be serious, maybe it won't. One of his chief economic advisers walked back the idea he floated in April saying we'll get rid of the debt at the end of eight years. So that's out the window. A lot of the proposals he's put forward are enormously expensive. There is no candidate representing fiscal candidates in this race. Certainly, not the kind of deficit-hawk types that have traditionally had the ability to reach out to Independents and centrists, and presumably that's partly what McMullin will try to be doing. It's not only a strategic play, kind of Mitt Romney's revenge, to peel away LDS voters who don't like the Libertarian ticket in Arizona and Utah and Nevada but maybe give fiscal conservatives a candidate they can call home because it sure ain't Donald Trump by every proposal he's rolled out today.
BERMAN: John Avlon was talking about how Donald Trump's been selling himself as a businessman. That's why maybe Hillary Clinton is vulnerable on the economy. That's not 100 percent of the picture, Margaret. There are people in this country for whom the economy hasn't been, you know, all roses the last eight years. There's 1.2 percent GDP. That came out a week and a half ago, which is not great. So there's grounds here for a Republican to campaign on.
HOOVER: Absolutely. That's arguably the reason we have Donald Trump. In a field of 17 people, he was able to galvanize the largest group of the people and that's who the people are, white working class, non- educated, non-college educated voters who the economy has left behind. And that is, in my view, a huge failure on behalf of the Republican Party to provide policies that have actually spoken to this group of voters and helps them. So what strikes me, in reviewing the content of his speech today, is that it actually sounds like a traditional Republican economic speech. It talks about huge tax cuts. It talks about cutting regulation. It talks about sort of a tax credit for children. I mean, this sounds like a Reagan policy sort of redux for 2016, which is not how Donald Trump got the nomination. He very clearly got the nomination by eschewing sort of traditional conservative supply side economics.
BOLDUAN: But also, if that is the speech, can't be good for Hillary Clinton. That's where she's vulnerable.
[11:15:04] QUINN: We'll wait until the speech is delivered to see what the speech says. If you look at the kind of economic things Donald Trump has proposed to date, he certainly has proposed tax breaks, $7 trillion worth of tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. So he has not in any way, shape or form proposed tax breaks to date that would help the kind of people who have been left behind. And he has never had any plan to pay for his tax breaks, kind of living in a fantastical world.
BERMAN: There is a tax break he is proposing today, which is new, which is make child care tax free. Why is he doing that, Andre? What's the goal?
BAUER: I think it's an overall plan to try to stimulate the economy.
For me, if he just makes it simpler, which is in that plan -- I know I spend Christmas to New Year's doing my taxes, preparing everything. It takes away what could be a very fun time of my life. Instead, I'm getting ready for Uncle Sam. So bringing money that's off shore now back into this country, new dollars we aren't seeing now. When you start changing the policies, when you make it easier for the guy who creates jobs, which is me -- I do what he does on a much smaller level. But I do it with these folks that are small business owners that I hire. And they're frustrated. They're overburdened with taxation, overburdened with paperwork and just trying to deal with all of it. So narrowing it from seven to three starts cleaning it up and making it easier to understand the tax code.
QUINN: I find the child care tax credit -- we'll see what it says, very interesting from Donald Trump. Historically, he has said that pregnancies are -- I'm paraphrasing -- but an inconvenience in the workplace and opposed paid family leave, something Americans are desperate for. So what's really in this child care tax credit, given his perspective on pregnancies while folks are working? I'll be very interested to see if it's real.
BERMAN: We'll keep our eyes and ears open for that.
BERMAN: No, we have to go, John Avlon.
(LAUGHTER) BOLDUAN: Thanks so much.
BERMAN: Thanks so much, guys.
I want to read a quick list of words that Donald Trump has used to describe Jeb Bush: weak, pathetic, low energy, soft, puppet, terrible, phony, poor desperate, a basket case, lightweight, and a sad-sack. Again, hyphenated there. But guess what? Jeb Bush's son now says he's going to vote for Donald Trump. Hear why.
BOLDUAN: Plus, the tables have turned. First, the Reagan Democrats, now the Clinton Republicans. We'll speak live with Reagan's former politic director who says he's voting for her.
We'll be right back.
[11:21:27] BERMAN: Travelers stuck in airports across America. Pull up an airport bar stool. Delta Airlines says the ground stop has been lifted and some planes are taking off but it could be a long frustrating day ahead for many passengers.
BOLDUAN: The airline had major computer problems, forcing it to keep planes worldwide grounded. Now Delta is trying to play a serious game of catch-up.
CNN's Martin Savidge is live in Atlanta where Delta is based, of course.
Martin, what's the very latest?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kate. Hello, John. It's no longer pandemonium. We had that early this morning. Now we're at just pain.
Take a look. This is the PSA line, as in "please see agent." When you go to the kiosk to check in and suddenly that comes up, oh, you know you're in trouble. Look, this line is almost out the door here it. So that's an indication. It's gotten longer at times. It's gotten a little shorter. But is the slog they're running through.
Let me show you something else. This is the all-telling departure board. However, you can see that most of these flights, just about every one of them, is delayed. Some are delayed by an hour, most by two. Some have hours and hours of delays. There also are a few cancellations. Delta said they had about 300 cancellations. You would expect there would be more. They also say they've got about 800 flights that managed to get up in the air, which sounds pretty good, except they have 6,000 departures every day. If you do the math, you realize this is why you have the lines.
Another key word for you, "patience." You're going to need it. Now, if you can delay your flight, Delta asks that you do. There won't be any charge if you want to rebook at another time. And in some cases, they're even using the "R" word, which you never hear these days, "refund." But you're going to have to be really delayed or even canceled before we go there. They're working through it. They say it's getting better -- John and Kate?
BERMAN: Refund, a four-letter word for the airlines.
Martin Savidge, thank you very much.
BOLDUAN: Martin, thank you very much.
Back to politics right now. A surprising endorsement of Hillary -- nice eyebrow raise. A surprising endorsement of Hillary Clinton. A man who was a political director for the Republican icon, President Ronald Reagan, and worked in both Bush White Houses, saying he will do something he has not done in 40 years, vote for the Democratic nominee.
BERMAN: Frank Lavin says it is, quote, "thunderingly clear that Donald Trump deserves to lose."
Frank Lavin is also a former ambassador to Singapore. He now works as CEO of an export company. He joins us live from Singapore, where I don't even know what day it is or what time it is.
Thank you very much for being with us, Ambassador.
If you will, there is some news that broke --
FRANK LAVIN, CEO, EXPORT COMPANY & FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SINGAPORE & FORMER POLITICAL DIRECTOR FOR RONALD REAGAN: Thank you. Good to be here.
BERMAN: There's some new news, which is that this man, Evan McMullin, who worked in the CIA, has been working for the House Republican Caucus, a Republican, is jumping in the race as an Independent. You are, or have up until this point, a lifelong Republican. Is this the type of man, this the type of candidate you could get behind?
LAVIN: Look, I have been a lifelong Republican. I still very much consider myself a lifelong Republican. I will be voting for Hillary Clinton this time. And I'll explain exactly why. Look, there are many choices in front of the voters. You can vote for the two main candidates in Trump and Clinton. There are some interesting minor candidates, the Libertarian and Green. There's this new person McMullin, who looks interesting. There's many choices for candidates for the voters out there. But there's only one of two people going to win, either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. So for me, it's just a very practical consideration which one of those two do you want to be president and, for me, there's no question at all in my mind that Hillary Clinton is the best choice for America. [11:25:17] BOLDUAN: You've said that your decision was kind of a
two-step process, if you will. One was deciding not to vote for Donald Trump and the second part of that is deciding to vote for Hillary Clinton. What put you over the edge, Frank? What was it that was beyond the pale to the point where you could not vote for Trump? Was it one single thing?
LAVIN: Initially, he made some strong statement that I just viewed, if not advocating a kind of bigotry, certainly associated himself in general with bigoted them and those were his comments about Muslims, his comments about Mexicans. I thought that was inappropriate for someone who wants to hold the highest office in our country to espouse that kind of rhetoric, and that person would not make a good president. You've got to be inclusive and treat everybody with respect, even if there are serious issues out there. That I found immediately uninviting about Donald Trump.
But you're right, it was a second set of issues about how did I warm towards Hillary Clinton. And that had to do mainly with some of the foreign policy statements she was making. That's a very important set of issues to me. She believes in alliance, solidarity, international engagement. And I thought Donald Trump was very dismissive of important building blocks of U.S. foreign policy that presidents from all across the political spectrum supported over 70 years, NATO, the Japanese security relationship, nuclear proliferation issues. In my view, Donald Trump was quite cavalier in suggesting that Korea or Japan might develop nuclear capabilities. That would not be a constructive step.
BERMAN: Ambassador, "Politico," among others, reporting that this week we could see a more organized Republicans for Hillary, Republicans for Clinton effort from the Clinton campaign. Are you aware of anything along these lines going on or can you tell us anything about that?
LAVIN: I think there's all sorts of discussions going on but I don't have any concrete information. But I can tell you this. I think there's a significant number of Republicans who were hoping that in the course of the Republican convention and Donald Trump's acceptance speech that he would adopt a higher tone, a degree of grace or magnanimity, speak in a positive voice about his vision and his view of America and present an image around which a lot of Republicans could be comfortable. Look, the day after the Republican convention is over, he goes right back to his old habits and said Ted Cruz's father might have been associated with the Kennedy assassination. If that's his default response when he's now the Republican nominee, he's making a clear signal that he has not risen to the moment and he is not the kind of nominee around whom Republicans can get excited and put their confidence in. I think, there's disaffection away from Trump over these last two weeks that various missteps he's undertaken.
BOLDUAN: We'll see what that looks like in the next two weeks.
Frank Lavin, thank you for joining us. Really appreciate it.
LAVIN: Thank you. BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, the father, the son and the holy smokes. Jeb Bush's son now saying he will vote for Donald Trump. Keep in mind, in the not so distant past, Donald Trump called his father about every name in the book. What is going on here? That's ahead.
BERMAN: Plus, she got hacked, lost a job, and now some are afraid she might lose her seat. We'll speak live with the primary opponent that Debbie Wassermann Schultz just agreed to debate. Stick around.