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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Clinton, Trump Back On Campaign Trail; Trump Lobs Attacks And Complaints After Debate; Former Miss Universe Speaks With Anderson; Debate Reality Check; Trump Calls Machado's Criticism Totally Baseless; Do First Debates Matter? Aired 9-10p ET

Aired September 27, 2016 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:02:42] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for joining us for this hour of "360". A lot to get to in this hour, including my interview with Alicia Machado, she's the former Miss Universe who says Donald Trump bullied and humiliated her when she gained weight. It came up in last night's debate. Trump talked about her weight gain again today. I'll speak with her in this hour.

But first, last night's fiery debate is over, the sparks are still fighting. Now, CNN/ORC poll claimed majority says Hillary Clinton won.

CNN's Brianna Keilar is in North Carolina, where Clinton campaigned today, trying to leverage her momentum from last night. Brianna's going to have the latest for us in just a moment.

CNN's Sara Murray is also in Florida tonight, where Donald Trump held a rally. She'll join me live in a moment.

The candidates have been trading punches all day. Trump has been insisting he won the debate, despite what voters said in that CNN/ORC poll. At the same time, he spent part of his day blaming and complaining about the debate as well. Here's Sarah's report.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But it was an interesting evening, certainly, and big league. Definitely, big league.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: A day after the first presidential debate, Donald Trump is playing the blame game.

TRUMP: Well, he didn't ask her about the e-mails, at all. He didn't ask her about her scandals. He didn't ask her about the Benghazi deal that she destroyed.

MURRAY: After complimenting the debate moderator last night ...

TRUMP: I thought Lester did a great job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

TRUMP: I thought, honestly, I thought he did a great job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You thought the questions were fair?

TRUMP: Yeah, I though it was fair.

MURRAY: ... today he's taking issue with NBC's Lester Holt.

TRUMP: I had some hostile questions, but that was OK.

MURRAY: And even the quality of his microphone on the debate stage.

TRUMP: You have a bum mike, it's not exactly good.

MURRAY: Now, Trump's trying to reset the narrative, taking to Twitter to cast Clinton as a career politician, in a year when voters are looking for change. Saying, "Crooked Hillary says she is going to do so many things. Why hasn't she done them in her last 30 years?" That's after some of Trump's sharpest lines early in the debate.

TRUMP: Your husband signed NAFTA, which was one of the worst things that ever happened ...

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, that's your opinion.

TRUMP: ... to the manufacturing industry.

MURRAY: Were at least partly overshadowed by feisty exchanges later on that put Trump on defense.

CLINTON: So, you've got to ask yourself, why won't he release his tax returns? Maybe he's not as rich as he says he is. Or maybe he doesn't want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know he's paid nothing in federal taxes.

TRUMP: That makes me smart.

[21:05:00] MURRAY: Clinton pressing the billionaire businessman on his refusal to release his taxes yet again today.

CLINTON: I got to that point where I said, well, maybe he's paid zero. He said that makes him smart. Now, if not paying taxes makes him smart, what does that make all the rest of us?

MURRAY: And leaving Trump's campaign manager to explain the GOP nominee doesn't believe climate change is man-made.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: He believes that climate change is naturally occurring.

MURRAY: After Clinton scoffed at Trump's beliefs last night.

CLINTON: Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax, perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it's real ... TRUMP: I did not. I did not.

CLINTON: I think science is real.

TRUMP: I do not. I do not say that.

MURRAY: Back on the campaign trail today, Clinton couldn't resist one last chance to needle her opponent.

CLINTON: Anybody who complains about the microphone is not having a good night.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Donald Trump did seem pretty subdued earlier today. What was he like at tonight's rally?

MURRAY: Well, we saw a much feistier candidate on the stump here in Florida this evening. It's clear that whatever opportunities he may have missed to go after Hillary Clinton on that debate stage, he wanted to make up for it tonight on the stump. He called Clinton virtually incompetent. He went after her over her e-mails. He went after over foreign policy, and also over trade.

And he laid out, Anderson, what I think is going to be key to his pitch between now and November, which is essentially saying that he is the candidate of the future. His is the campaign of the future. And if Hillary Clinton is a candidate of yesterday, that she's had decades in public life, in public office, and has very little to show for it. I expect we'll be hearing a lot of that in the next 40-something days. Back to you.

COOPER: Sara Murray. And Sara, thanks. As we said, Hillary Clinton hit the campaign trail as well with a much different tone than Trump. Here's Brianna Keilar.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hillary Clinton all smiles after her first debate showdown with Donald Trump.

CLINTON: Did anybody see that debate last night? One down, two to go.

KEILAR: Jabbing at her rival today at a rally in North Carolina, for his criticism that she was over prepared.

CLINTON: He made it very clear that he didn't prepare for that debate. You know, at one point, he was kind of digging me for spending time off the campaign trail to get prepared, but just trying to keep track of everything he says took a lot of time and effort.

I think it's real

TRUMP: I did not.

CLINTON: I think science is real.

TRUMP: I did not. I do not say that.

KEILAR: The Clinton campaign thinks Trump's constant interpretations of Clinton won't go over well with women and reinforced her attacks on his temperament.

TRUMP: Wait, the AFL-CIO, the other day, behind the blue screen, I don't know who you were talking to, Secretary Clinton, but you were totally out of control. I said, there's a person with a temperament that's got a problem.

LESTER HOLT, "NBC NIGHTLY NEWS" ANCHOR: Secretary Clinton?

CLINTON: Whoo. OK.

KEILAR: Clinton also went after Trump, the former owner of the Miss Universe pageant, for criticizing the weight of one winner.

CLINTON: And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He called this woman "Miss Piggy." Then he called her "Miss Housekeeping," because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name.

TRUMP: Where did you find ...

CLINTON: Her name is Alicia Machado, and she has become a U.S. citizen. And you can bet ...

TRUMP: Oh, really?

CLINTON: ... she's going to vote this November.

TRUMP: OK, good.

KEILAR: The Clinton campaign followed up today with a new online video featuring Machado.

ALICIA MACHADO, MISS UNIVERSE 1996: "Hello, Miss Piggy or he would say, hello, Miss Housekeeping."

KEILAR: And Trump's comments about her.

TRUMP: She weighed 118 pounds or 117 pounds and she went up to 160 or 170, so this is somebody that likes to eat.

KEILAR: A Trump spokesperson said Machado's claims are unsubstantiated, but Trump refused to back away from his comments today.

TRUMP: She gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem.

KEILAR: Trump did land blows on the issue of trade, where Clinton's ardent support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as secretary of state, despite her reversal as a candidate, has been a vulnerability in Rust Belt battleground states.

TRUMP: You called it the gold standard.

CLINTON: Well, I ...

TRUMP: You called it the gold standard of trade deals.

CLINTON: And you know what ...

TRUMP: You said it's the finest deal you've ever seen.

CLINTON: No.

TRUMP: And then you heard what I said about it and all of a sudden you were against it.

CLINTON: Well, Donald, I know you live in your own reality, but that is not the facts. The facts are, I did say, I hoped it would be a good deal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: So, Brianna, has Clinton talked more about TPP today, because she did call it in the past the gold standard?

KIELAR: That's right, she did. She did not talk about it today. This is an area of vulnerability for her. So perhaps not surprising.

Her spokesman tried to spin this and say, basically what Hillary Clinton said, that what she was saying was she hoped it would be the gold standard, but that is certainly not what she said, Anderson, when she was secretary of state. She was -- never said that her support for the trade pact was contingent on the final details that were going to be negotiated. And we've looked into this. There were dozens of times, more than 40 times where she pushed for this trade pact, and she was, you know, you would describe her support for it as really effusive, in fact.

[21:10:10] COOPER: Brianna Keilar. And Brianna, thanks very much.

Just ahead, how do Donald Trump's claims about stop-and-frisk stand up to a reality check? And who strayed most from the truth last night in the heat of the debate? A reality check on that, ahead.

Plus, I'll talk to former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, who landed smack in the middle of the debate last night. Today, Donald Trump kept up his comments about her. You'll hear her response, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Last night was a busy one for fact checkers, including our team at CNN. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump made a lot of claims during the 95-minute debate, not all of them true. So who strayed more from the truth? Tom Foreman takes a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Amid new fears of rising crime, a controversial police tactic worked its way into the debate. Stopping people and frisking them for minor suspicions. Donald Trump, all for it.

TRUMP: It worked very well in New York. It brought the crime rate way down.

FOREMAN: But Clinton knew the facts said otherwise. A spokesman for the police department tweeted, "Crime kept declining even after the practice was largely stopped, with murders down 80 percent since 1990." And with a federal judge having ruled against the tactic, Clinton hit Trump hard.

CLINTON: Stop-and-frisk was found to be unconstitutional, and in part because it was ineffective.

FOREMAN: To be sure, Clinton waded into deep water at times, too. At one point, for example, insisting she never flip-flopped over the Trans-Pacific Trade deal.

[21:15:07] TRUMP: You called it the gold standard of trade deals.

CLINTON: And you know what?

TRUMP: You said it's the finest deal you've ever seen.

CLINTON: No.

FOREMAN: She does not support it now, but listen to her back in 2012.

CLINTON: This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements, to open free, transparent, fair trade.

FOREMAN: Still, Trump strayed from the facts more often. On Iraq ...

TRUMP: I did not support the war in Iraq.

FOREMAN: But listen to him with Howard Stern in 2002.

HOWARD STERN, "THE HOWARD STERN SHOW" HOST: Are you for invading Iraq?

TRUMP: Yeah, I guess so. You know, I wish it was -- I wish the first time it was done correctly.

FOREMAN: On women, Clinton insisted Trump is ...

CLINTON: Someone who has said pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers, who has said women ...

TRUMP: I never said that.

FOREMAN: But the did, in 2004.

TRUMP: The fact is, it is an inconvenience for a person that is running a business.

FOREMAN: And on climate change.

CLINTON: Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax, perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it's real.

TRUMP: I did not.

CLINTON: I think science is real.

TRUMP: I did not. I do not say that.

FOREMAN: But there it is in a Trump tweet from 2012, "Global warming was created by and for the Chinese.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: Although Trump took a worse beating than Clinton from fact checkers following this debate, the question is, how much does that matter? After all, in this election, polls have consistently shown voters don't really trust either one of them. Anderson?

COOPER: Tom, thanks very much. A lot to discuss. Joining me now is CNN senior political commentator and former Obama senior adviser, David Axelrod also CNN senior political analyst and former presidential adviser, David Gergen.

Firs of all, David Axelrod, do you think either candidate moved the needle significantly last night, or even moved the needle in terms of poll numbers?

DAVID AXELROD, FORMER OBAMA SENIOR ADVISER: The nature of our politics is that there are large blocks of vote that are really set. And so, you know, there isn't a lot of movability within the electorate.

I think two things happen. One is, I think Donald Trump failed to do what he needed to do, in terms of giving particularly these college- educated white voters who are a key to his success, a sense that he has the temperament and has the mastery of substance that he needs to be president. I think she also may have given some more encouragement to some of these young voters who have been flaking off to the third parties. So she could pick up some vote there. But I don't look for massive changes in the vote as a result of this debate.

COOPER: David, do you see Donald Trump altering the way he prepares for the next debate based on this debate?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: He sure should. He might actually practice and I think that would make a major difference. And I think what we have seen, a stark turns here the last few days is that the professionalism of the Clinton campaign is beginning to make a difference.

COOPER: That's what we saw last night. GERGEN: Yes, it's what we saw last night. And very importantly is what we've been seeing today. I agree with David, we don't yet know whether blocks of voters have been moved. We'll have to wait for polls later in the week.

But what we do know is the dynamics of the race are changing. And he went from a bad night last night to a terrible hangover today where the momentum changing and the Clinton team going on offense. And today, he had one of the worst days of his campaign. You know, he was just being pummeled, left and right today. And what he's ...

COOPER: Which was made worse by continuing to talk about ...

GERGEN: Absolutely.

AXELROD: There's a pattern to this, though. After the Democratic convention, when the conclusion was that the Democrats had a much stronger convention and he had been beaten up for -- he went on a long sort of downward skin, in which he had one bad story after another bad story, in which he -- of his own creation. And the question is whether he can handle this debate and the aftermath of this debate in a way that doesn't deepen his problem.

GERGEN: Yeah, and what's really striking to me, and you'll have a chance to interview Miss Machado here in a few minutes, is we now know that this seems to have been planned by the Clinton people well before the debate. I mean, she gave an interview to "Cosmo" magazine some days ago, got the pictures all ready, so they could publish it today. What were they thinking about? They were thinking this would become a big story today.

COOPER: And Hillary Clinton almost didn't get into the debate.

AXELROD: Yeah.

COOPER: It seems like she kind of shoehorned it in at the last minute.

GERGEN: Right.

AXELROD: You know, she had a strategy and you could see it ...

COOPER: Right.

AXELROD: ... from the moment she arrived to unsettle Donald Trump. She raised what we know is a hot-button form. The fact hat he was given money by his father to start his businesses. And you could see her systemically trying to unravel him. And by the end of the debate, she had succeed.

GERGEN: Yeah.

COOPER: After the first President Obama debate of 2012, I understand, where he did not do well ...

AXELROD: Yes. COOPER: ... and last night we're saying, you knew within the first 10 minutes of that debate ...

AXELROD: Yes.

COOPER: ... it was not going well at all.

AXELROD: Right.

[21:20:00] COOPER: I understand you actually showed -- is it true that you showed him videotape of what specifically wasn't working, and that helped for next time?

AXELROD: Well, there's no doubt, we always reviewed tape with him, but we, you know, he needed a whole different approach. He had the wrong approach of that debate. I think he would say that. And he needed to approach it in a much different way.

You know, these debates are -- they're not trials of fact. They're not like a courtroom proceeding. They're not a press conference. They're very -- they're theatrical in nature. And you have to plan carefully how you're going to deal with each question. And the next debate was a town hall meeting as the next debate will be between these two.

COOPER: Right.

AXELROD: So, there's the blocking associated with that as well. How you move around the stage ...

COOPER: And how you relate to other people.

AXELROD: ... which is going to be very important. Neither of them were particularly evocative last night in terms of talking about people. Here, they're going to have to face people and talk to them about their problems. And I think this could favor her and that this isn't Donald Trump's long suit. But we'll see.

GERGEN: It gives her an opportunity to relate to people emotionally and empathically, the way she has not before. But one of the big questions overhanging on this debate is she seems to be trying to goad him into bringing up Bill in the second debate.

COOPER: Interesting.

GERGEN: And it looks like ...

AXELROD: That would be a huge mistake.

COOPER: We'll see what happens. David Gergen and David Axelrod, thank you both very much.

Coming up, just as David noted, I'm going to speaking with former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado who's now in the middle of the presidential election. She says that Trump called her "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping." Just today, Trump talked about her weight again. She joins me next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:25:31] COOPER: She's the former beauty pageant winner, who's now in the middle of the conversation about who should be the president of the United States. I'll speak with Alicia Machado in just a moment.

But first, a quick reminder of the back story. Watch this from last night's debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman "Miss Piggy." Then he called her "Miss Housekeeping" because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name.

TRUMP: Where did you find ...

CLINTON: Her name is Alicia Machado.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, Trump, of course, is not apologizing, he even letting up on the idea that Ms. Machado may or may not have gained weight 20 years ago. Here's what he said today on Fox News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I know that person. That person was a Miss Universe person, and she was the worst we ever had. The worst, the absolute worst. She was impossible. And she was a Miss Universe contestant and ultimately a winner who they had a tremendously difficult time with as Miss Universe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did not know that story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, I didn't know it either.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What ...

TRUMP: She was a -- she was the winner, you know, she gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem. We had a real problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: And Alicia Machado joins me now. Thanks so much for being with us.

First of all, were you aware that Secretary Clinton was going to bring you up in the debate last night?

MACHADO: No. Hi. Hello, how are you? COOPER: I'm good. How are you?

MACHADO: Well, I can't believe that I'm in this show with you. I can't believe it.

COOPER: Well, I'm happy you're here.

MACHADO: Thank you. And it was a big surprise for me and supporting her campaign. And for - because I'm a Latin. I'm a Latin worker. I'm a Latin mom. I'm a Latin businesswoman. I'm a Latin actress. I'm not the -- I'm not Miss Universe anymore. That happened 20 years ago.

And the only reason then I want to share my story with Mr. Trump is because now I'm a U.S. -- American U.S. citizen, and I feel really proud for that. I have American daughter, because my daughter, she born here. And that is my reason. Because I know this person very well ...

COOPER: Let me ask you about what happened.

MACHADO: Yeah.

COOPER: Before I do that, though, Donald Trump this morning -- just this morning said that you were, "The absolute worst," and that you had gained, what he called, "a massive amount of the weight." Were you surprised that he didn't back down from this today or apologize? That he continued to talk about this?

MACHADO: Yes, it's ridiculous because he used this distraction. The point is, that happened 20 years ago. That is not important now. I know what I left with him. And he knows, too. And he was really aggressive. He was really rude. He was a bad person with me. And that is the story that I need to share.

COOPER: When you said ...

MACHADO: For my community.

COOPER: When you said ...

MACHADO: We can't accept more insults for my Latin community. No more. No more insults for the women.

COOPER: You said that he had told you ...

MACHADO: I know very well Mr. Trump.

COOPER: You said that he had called, you ...

MACHADO: And I can see the same person that I met 20 years ago.

COOPER: So 20 ...

MACHADO: And that is ... COOPER: Take me back. In what circumstance did he -- because the Trump campaign is denying that he called you "Miss Piggy" or "Miss Housekeeping". You're saying, point-blank, he said that to your face?

MACHADO: Yes, all the time. And I share a lot of time with him in the office, in the events. Maybe now, maybe now he remember me.

[21:30:01] But I think he didn't remember me maybe after of last night. You know because I was a really good Miss Universe. I did it maybe 100 campaigns and publicity around the world. I never lost any contract for that over mega weight then I win. And he's using that as a distraction. The point is, no more abuse for the girls. No more violence for the women.

COOPER: There was a time ...

MACHADO: We are in amazing country and, you know, this is really natural moment for me. Nobody are paying me for this. I'm supporting Mrs. Clinton for my idea. It's my responsibility. And after of 20 years, maybe I need to share my story with this person because I can't believe that he could be a possibility ...

COOPER: There was a time back then when he had you work out in front of a room full of reporters and he gave an interview that we just showed earlier where he said that you -- that you liked to eat. I think at one point he called you an eating machine. What was going through your mind that day when you're in that room, in front of him and all these reports taking pictures of you working out?

MACHADO: In that moment, I was in my 19s or so, and you know, I had my self-esteem on the floor. I, you know, was the most horrible moment that some girl can live and, you know, that I forgot that moment. I forgot about a lot of moments. And I have now my career after 20 years. And I know I'm a big voice from the Latin community. And in this election, our vote will be great, will be powerful. We have that power. And for that reason, I'm trying to share this bad experience that I had with this person.

COOPER: The Trump campaign gave a statement to CNN today, saying that your claims are, "Totally baseless and unsubstantiated." What's your response to that?

MACHADO: Well, all that pictures and all that videos and all that things are on the website, are on the web, in the world web. And the people know me. A lot of people know me. And it's not important what happened 20 years ago. I know what happened. And I had a lot of moments with him between just him and me. And that was really rude for me. But, you know, now, he will use all that things to try to make a distraction. But the message is really clear. No more abuse for the women. Can be somebody then that don't have any respect for the girls. That is my point. And for that reason, you know, I'm supporting Mrs. Clinton and I believe in his politics plans, in her plans for our community.

COOPER: Let me ask you ...

MACHADO: And I believe in her.

COOPER: You said that, you know, the Trump campaign will try to discredit you. There are reports that Trump surrogates tonight have been referencing and pointing to you on CNN and elsewhere about an incident in 1998 in Venezuela, where you were accused of driving a getaway car from a murder scene. You were never charged with this. The judge in the case also said you threatened to kill him after he indicted your boyfriend for the attempted murder. I just want to give you a chance to address these reports that the Trump surrogates are talking about.

MACHADO: He can say whatever he wants to say. I don't care. You know, I have my past. Of course, everybody has. Everybody has a past. And I'm not a saint girl. But that is not the point now.

[21:35:15] That moment in Venezuela was wrong, was another speculation about my life because I'm a really famous person in my country, because I'm an actress there and in Mexico, too.

And he can use whatever he wants to use. The point is that happened 20 years ago. He was really rude with me. He was -- he tried to destroy my self-esteem. And now, I'm a voice in the Latin community. That is the point.

He can say whatever he wants to say. I don't care. I'm in this moment in a great moment in my life and I have a very clear life. And I can -- and I can show my taxes.

COOPER: Lastly, Donald Trump has said that he will, and I quote, "Be the best for women if elected." I'm wondering, what do you -- what do you think when you hear that?

MACHADO: Well, of course, he don't -- he doesn't want a woman. He's -- I believe and I think this person, he think are un-exists a second class of people. And somebody like that can't be a president. You understand me, what I want to say?

COOPER: I think our viewers know that.

MACHADO: Then somebody believed then everybody are down, maybe you are not in my style. You are not in my level. And somebody like that can't be a president.

This country is beautiful. I love this country. I don't want to have some misogynistic president.

I have a daughter and she's growing up in this country. And she has the same rights. Then some guy too. I want my daughter, then in the future, she can -- she can receive the same salary. She needs to have the same rights than the guys have.

COOPER: Alicia ...

MACHADO: And well, that is my opinion.

COOPER: Alicia Machado, I appreciate talking to you. Thank you very much and congratulations on being an American citizen.

MACHADO: Thank you very much and [foreign language].

COOPER: Muchas gracias. Thank you very much.

MACHADO: Thank you.

COOPER: Coming up, none of Trump's past statements about women seem to make much difference to some of his supporters. Will this one be any different? We'll have that conversation, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:41:01] COOPER: Well, before the break, we just heard from former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, who said Trump called her "Miss Piggy" when she gained weight after when he won of his pageants at the age 19 and publicly humiliated her.

Trump is on tape telling Howard Stern in the mid '90s that she was, "Eating machine."

Just today, Donald Trump repeated that she had gained, "A massive amount of weight," and it was, "A real problem."

Another real problem for Donald Trump on this is a comparative lack of support among women.

With me now, CNN Chief Political Analyst, Gloria Borger, Chief Political Correspondent, Dana Bash, Political Strategist, Angela Rye, and Trump Supporter, Kayleigh McEnany.

It's interesting, Gloria, because, you know, the Trump campaign is putting forward that some news reports which we haven't been able to confirm yet, but, you know, doesn't seem like she is ...

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Denying.

COOPER: I mean, I put the question to Ms. Machado, she said, you know, look, she's not a saint girl and everybody had a past.

BORGER: Right.

COOPER: Not everybody's driven a getaway car, but for, you know, threatened a judge, but ...

BORGER: Not that we talked about.

COOPER: Not that we talked about. But it's interesting, I mean, she basically just sort of says, look, people have a past, but this past is what happened.

BORGER: She said, they can say whatever they want to say, with that hand movement. I think that she didn't deny it. And then she continued to go on and say her piece, which is that she felt insulted, she felt belittled, she was a 19-year-old who had no self-esteem. And she said it was the most horrible moment a girl can have. And so, the more she talks about it, it's not good for Donald Trump with women. She is not perfect. She does have a checkered past, obviously. But I do think that she was very clear about her message, which is that he was rude and a bad person.

COOPER: It's interesting, you know, we talked about this, Kayleigh, when -- and Kayleigh you said it wasn't a great idea for Donald Trump to continue to talk about it, because it does -- it allows the story to continue today. He was clearly asked about it. I don't think he brought it up independently.

But this is not -- this is the last thing Donald Trump needs just in terms of reaching out to women voters?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. And, you know, you see the way that his mind is working on this.

He is trying to explain it from the business perspective, because, I mean, I'm guessing she had some kind of clause in her contract, even if she didn't, her job was to be, you know, to be a pageant winner.

And he's approaching it from the idea that, you know, that his -- that his winner who was supposed to go around and be, you know, the person to represent Miss -- somebody who's a pageant winner, who's supposed to look good, did not anymore.

But not taking into account the fact that not just a woman, but also a father of a young girl, the mother of a young girl, people who are already concerned about society and what society says to and about young women, about how they look, about how calling somebody miss piggy and so forth, about how that makes people feel, which feeds into the ad that the Hillary Clinton campaign already has up and so forth.

So, he doesn't take it to the next step in his mind about what the effect is going to be.

COOPER: You know, she said she didn't expect -- didn't know Hillary Clinton was going to do this. It certainly seems like Hillary Clinton knew she was going to do this or wanted to get this in. Because they've been able to roll out this commercial today, there's an article about it. I mean, it doesn't seem like this was all just -- it just popped up.

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Yeah, this definitely wasn't happenstance. And I think, frankly, the video was rolled out right after the debate last night. Impeccable timely and it is the most compelling advertising work that Hillary Clinton has this election. I would argue this is the best political ad of this election. It's compelling. Whether or not this woman has a past or not or how checkered it is, it doesn't matter.

She is talking about this man who wants to be the commander-in-chief for all citizens. This is someone who belittled her, who called her miss piggy, miss housekeeping, an eating machine. This is someone who likes to eat. And he said today, "To that I will plead guilty." [21:45:00] And he's right. And what that resulted in for her was anorexia, bulimia, perhaps even the bad judgment to drive a getaway car, if that's what that was ...

COOPER: He's denying the housekeeping -- I assumed the miss piggy thing ...

RYE: And maybe he is denying it, but let's be honest in saying Donald Trump definitely has a selective memory. And so, maybe he does ...

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: OK.

COOPER: OK, Kayleigh, go ahead.

MCENANAY: So, we're going to take the word of someone who just on national television was asked if she told a federal judge that she would kill him, she just said, well, everyone has a past. We're going to take her word? I find that very hard to believe.

Not only that, you know who I do believe is that I believe Miss USA, Tara Connor who ...

COOPER: But by the way, just again for the record, she was never charged or indicted or found guilty ...

RYE: No, there wasn't enough evidence.

MCENANY: She was just asked on national television about the threatening the life of a federal judge, and she said, well, everyone has a past. I mean, it's well documented. The A.P. reported on it ...

RYE: She also said that it's wrong.

MCENANCY: Let me finish, Angela. The A.P. reported on it, the economist reported on it, she, in my mind, just admitted it on air when she said the past is the past.

But who I believe is -- Scottie reminding me in the green room, Miss USA Tara Connor who was threaten to remove her title for being caught with drugs and Donald Trump fought to keep her in that place. He likewise, fought to keep Alicia Machado in her place when the Miss USA board wanted to remove her. That is well-documented as well.

He likewise, when Miss Wisconsin had an incurable disease, wrote her a handwritten letter and took care of her and her Mexican-American son. He has a well-documented history of taking care of these women fighting for them to stay in their place. And I'm going to take -- I'm going to look at the past ...

COOPER: OK, Dana?

BASH: Why -- when he did his interview this morning, why didn't he say that?

RYE: Yeah. Why didn't he say that? BASH: He continued to say, oh, it's a problem. And he said the perception that Hillary Clinton put out there last night.

RYE: Literally to that, I will plead guilty, is literally what he said. And I think the bigger problem is, whether or not, you can argue that he fought to keep in her place. He said it was either termination or this. I pick this. When he said this, he was talked about humiliating her in front of tons of reporters as they worked out in a gym and said she was ...

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: And we're going to get back to this discussion we had before, but when you look at that press conference with the workout and all the rest, it's demeaning.

RYE: Absolutely.

MCENANY: I don't think so.

RYE: Absolutely, it's demeaning.

(CROSSTALK)s

COOPER: She said it was the lowest moment ...

MCENANY: Then why did she do it?

COOPER: Because she was 19 ...

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: 19-year-old.

MCENANY: A big part of that is promoting physical ...

COOPER: Wait, wait, wait, but she's a 19-year-old, she's not a citizen of this country. She's here to work for the Miss Universe pageant, she's from Venezuela, and Donald Trump, a powerful person, tells you to go and do this. You're telling me as a 19-year-old that that's not a burden?

MCENANY: Miss USA has all the time do events promoting physical fitness. I watched that video, and if you watch the video, what you see is her hugging Donald Trump, her smiling.

Why is it that now 20 years later, she admitted in that interview. Now is the time to bring this out. 20 years later when Donald Trump happened to run for president?

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Let Angela answer it.

RYE: She finally has courage, she has her citizenship, she has a ...

MCENANY: She has the spotlight.

RYE: So, Kayleigh ...

MCENANY: She has the spotlight.

COOPER: Let her answer. Let Angela answer.

RYE: Let me answer Anderson's question. The question is, why did she do it now? She has her citizenship, she has a community to speak up where she said in the interview, I'm a big voice for the Latin community. We have power. She wanted people to be empowered. And that's why she did that.

COOPER: OK. We've got to leave the discussion here. Gloria Borger, Dana Bash, Angela Rye, Kayleigh McEnany, thanks.

Up next, even some of the people close to Donald Trump admit that his debate performance is not what they were hoping for. How much do the first debates matter? Dana Bash takes a closer look coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:50:18] COOPER: Well, even some Trump supporters admit they were disappointed by his debate performance. If history has any indication, it does not mean he cannot bounce back. Certainly not. Dana Bash explains.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: Even some of Donald Trump's closest allies privately admit this was not the performance they were hoping for.

CLINTON: They showed he didn't pay any federal income tax. So ...

TRUMP: That makes me smart.

BASH: Bemoaning the way Hillary Clinton master flee got under Trump's skin.

CLINTON: ... who say an approach that has a four ...

TRUMP: Who gave you that name?

BASH: As he played much of the debate on defense.

CLINTON: Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it's real.

TRUMP: I did not.

BASH: Disappointed Trump advisers are trying to take solace in history, candidates who rebounded from a lackluster first debate.

You only have to go back four years for a prime example.

PRES. BARRACK OBAMA, (D) UNITED STATES: We're putting it forward before Congress right now, $4 trillion plan.

MITT ROMNEY, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But you've been president four years. You've been president four years.

BASH: President Obama bombed in his first debate against Mitt Romney.

ROMNEY: ... is that you're titled as a president on your own airplane and your own house but not your own facts.

BASH: Obama used it as a wake-up call and came back strong in his second two debates.

Ronald Reagan's first debate performance in his reelection bid was also a flop.

RONALD REAGAN, 40TH UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: An income tax on that same amount of money.

BASH: His answers meandered feeding into the notion that he was too old for another term in the White House. But Reagan recovered with debate number two with a prepared line delivered perfectly.

REAGAN: I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience.

BASH: Still Obama and Reagan were already in the White House and didn't have as much to prove to voters as Trump, who's a novice. His primary goal was to use the debate stage to sell himself as presidential.

Team Trump can look back to 1988 for evidence that first debates don't always matter most.

Democrat Michael Dukakis had a great first debate against President George H.W. Bush. His second was a debacle.

BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?

MICHAEL DUKAKIS, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, I don't, Bernard. And I think you know that I have opposed the death penalty during all of my life. I don't see any evidence that it's a deterrent.

BASH: That antiseptic policy response instead of a human one said Bush is narrative that Dukakis was weak and wacky.

TRUMP: I also have a much better temperament than she has.

BASH: Still reinforcing Trump's trouble spots like his temperament is precisely what Trump sources say they fear their candidate did with repeated moments like this.

CLINTON: I have a feeling by the end of this evening I'm going to be blamed for everything that's ever happened.

TRUMP: Why not. BASH: Dana Bash, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: James Fallows is a former presidential speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, a long time national correspondent for "The Atlantic". He's a wonderful writer. He wrote a fascinating cover story, "Who Will Win the Debates and the Election?" We spoke before the debate, James joins me again tonight.

So, Jim obviously, there were no incumbents on this stage last night, but Secretary Clinton clearly had a much more a political track record than Donald Trump. Does that make it even harder for him to make up ground in the next two debates?

JAMES FALLOWS, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "THE ATLANTIC": I think it does. And I think there's another factor, too. There was a wonderful piece that Dana Bash just did. And they're going back for the debaters who are able to recover Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, the first George H.W. Bush.

All of them were really experienced political operators. You know, Ronald Reagan was a performer of many decades standing, Barack Obama is a very polished and competent guy, and they had teams who they listened to. So, the question is Donald Trump, who is entirely new to politics and gives no sign of being able to listen or wanting to listen to coaching, whether he is able to make the same kind of adjustment as Barack Obama did after his very disappointing first debate four years ago.

COOPER: Right. I mean David Axelrod was just on the program and saying that they showed President Obama video tapes of what went wrong, the moments that went wrong, and he pivoted from that, he learned from that.

FALLOWS: Right. And all these other people, they took the debate as a really serious thing, they trained for and have many practice sessions, made watched themselves on tape, which is not a pleasant thing to do even for an actor like Ronald Reagan. And again, there's no evidence that Trump has done that so far.

If he's able to recover and learn for this next debate, which you'll have an up-close view on, I think that will be a very impressive sign of his growth because we haven't seen that kind of studied approach to politics from him before.

COOPER: I kept thinking, I told you this earlier, I kept thinking of your piece in "The Atlantic" because you talked in that piece about watching the debate with the sound off essentially.

[21:55:01] And the way CNN was broadcasting it with the reaction shots of both on the screen at the same time always, you really could get a sense of -- and again, maybe it was Hillary Clinton was completely practiced on it, but, you know, she was trying to smile, she was -- you know, she had different emotions at different times but it was all very orchestrated, very thought-out, and she knew she was on camera the whole time, whether Donald Trump knew or not he certainly didn't necessarily act like he was on camera.

FALLOWS: Indeed. And in addition to Hillary Clinton knowing she was on camera, she also knew from all of her life in public office that, you know, it is just harder to be a woman on the public stage than it is to be a man. And Donald Trump, I think he's gotten along so far in this year and a half in politics. This being Mr. Natural and he may have come against a limit against it last night.

COOPER: You wrote in your piece also about the simplicity of language that Donald Trump has used. It was analyzed to be basically at a fourth grade reading level, which is not really an insult. It's basically about the value of simplicity because it's been very effective.

FALLOWS: Right.

COOPER: Do you think that was the case as well last night ...

FALLOWS: You know as we've discussed before, there's a way in which sort of simple language, sort of 7th or 8th grade language, if they parsed our discussion right now, I bet it would come in some place in the 7th or 8th grade because that's how most news is.

But I think in the primaries, he was able to do this very simple sort of 3rd grade, build a wall, we don't win anymore, we just lose, we're going to win with Trump. I think trying to stretch it out over two minutes of substance answers was harder for him than it had been in the primaries.

COOPER: It's also interesting because when you actually read transcripts of what he said, and I'm doing that obviously as research, when you see it on the page it doesn't make the same sense it can make when he's actually saying it. When you actually see the breakdown of it, you see kind of the structure and it's a little startling at times.

FALLOWS: It is. And, you know, if -- the same thing was true in a way with Bill Clinton's speeches. You know, Bill Clinton is a smart guy, a very effective speaker, but if you read the transcripts somehow they wouldn't make the sense they did in person because there's a certain in-person performance skill.

I think with Donald Trump, it's a little starker and you see this almost stream of consciousness, looking for what will appeal to the audience in real-time and going for that and often coming back to build a wall, we don't win, et cetera.

COOPER: Right.

FALLOWS: And again, it's a different sort of environments in these debates.

COOPER: James Fallows, appreciate it as always. Thank you for being with us.

FALLOWS: Thank you. COOPER: We're going to be right back.

(COMERCIAL BREAK)

[22:00:00] COOPER: That's all the time we got. Thanks for watching. I'll see you again tomorrow night.

"CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts now.