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SMERCONISH

Clinton Gets High Profile Newspaper Endorsements; Trump's Problems with Women Continue; Interview with Libertarian VP Candidate Bill Weld; Reporter: Trump Called Me The C-Word; Will Electoral College Pick a Different President? Aired 9-10a ET

Aired October 1, 2016 - 09:00   ET

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


[09:00:00] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Don't go anywhere, SMERCONISH is with you right now.

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST: I'm Michael Smerconish, Happy October from Philly. 38 days until it's over. And here is where things stand.

She got the bump. Hillary Clinton pulls ahead nationally and in swing states Florida, Michigan and New Hampshire, but her margin of victory is still smaller than that of the libertarian vote. Speaking of which, without being on the debate stage, the libertarian party picks up endorsements from major newspapers in Chicago and Detroit. I'll talk to V.P. nominee, Bill Weld.

Clinton is also getting surprising endorsements from newspapers that have backed GOP candidates for decades and decades, leading many Trump fans to protest to cancel their subscriptions. There was even a death threat.

Plus, Trump's problems with women continue as he taunts a former miss universe about her weight and brings up Bill Clinton's affairs. I'm going to talk to a reporter he once called the "C-word."

And circle December 19 on your calendar, that's the real Election Day when the Electoral College votes. And I'll explain.

But first, here's the big picture of where things stand. In the politics, what Bush 41 called the "Big Mo", momentum can turn on a dime. Just ask Donald Trump. He had it but I think he lost it this week. Trump had the Big Mo going into the debate, an advice from his new management team, Trump had been exhibiting discipline, he stayed on message, he avoided unscripted remarks and long interviews. And meanwhile, Clinton's e-mail controversy continued to simmer as her health faltered and her margin vanished. Just in time for their first face-to-face confrontation.

Trump started out OK, but all Clinton had to do was push a few of his buttons and then watch as he unravel. He lost focus and he missed several opportunities to accentuate her negatives including the e-mail issue. Can he do anything to regain the Big Mo? Or was the debate loss a tipping point? Well, perhaps. Reagan had a poor first debate in 1984, so too Obama in 2012. So Donald Trump can turn it around. We won't know for sure until they face one another again on October 9. Unfortunately for Trump, many are already voting. So everyday matters.

To state the obvious, the man needs to practice. Published reports say that staffers could not get his attention when seeking to stage mock debates. Meanwhile, Clinton bragged about her preparedness, but no amount of prep is going to save Trump if he doesn't first understand his audience. Primary season is over, Mr. Trump. Referring to Bill Clinton's infidelities or engaging in a 3:00 a.m. Twitter campaign about the weight of a former Miss Universe, that might please your base but it won't win you any new friends.

Donald Trump has 38 days until Election Day to try and grow the tent and there was absolutely nothing that he offered in the first debate to move that needle. In fact, he moved it in the other direction. Unless Trump realizes that that which brought him thus far, now impedes his growth, the race will be over.

Now, largely because of Donald Trump, everything about this election has been unusual as in, never before in our life time unusual. And that's definitely the case with newspaper editorials endorsing candidates. Now it's not news if "The New York Times" or say "The Washington Post" endorses Hillary Clinton. But many newspapers around the country are breaking ranks after a century of supporting Republicans. And readers have been expressing anger in subscription cancellations and even a death threat.

Several long time conservative GOP friendly papers have recommended Hillary Clinton. Some of them didn't even endorse FDR in the midst of the World War II. Six cities' papers have endorsed the Libertarians, including "The Chicago Tribune", "The Detroit News", "The Manchester Union Leader". They got more endorsements than Trump. And "USA Today" which never endorsed a candidate in its 30 plus years took the unprecedented stance of advising to vote for anyone but Trump calling him, "By unanimous consensus of the editorial board unfit for the presidency." But with trust in the media at an all-time low, might the opposition of the news media and its editorial pages actually play to Donald Trump's benefit.

Joining me now, Editor Mike Wilson of the "Dallas Morning News" which endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. They broke a 75-year no Democrat streak. Phil Boas is the editorial page editor of the "Arizona Republic" which endorse a Democrat for the first time since its founding in 1890, leading to many cancellations and a death threat. And Nolan Finley, the editorial page editor of "The Detroit News" which for the first time in its 143 years didn't endorse a Republican, instead chose the libertarians.

[09:05:05] Mr. Boas, why did your newspaper do what it did and what was the reaction?

PHIL BOAS, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Well, we did what we did because this is such an unusual election. I don't think it's an accident that we're breaking with our history. In a year -- a presidential election year that none of us have ever seen in our life time. Our candidate who is so reckless and so obnoxious and so frightening, frankly, a threat to the Republic, we think. And so we thought it was important to really make a stand against him and to endorse the only person who can defeat him and that is Hillary Clinton.

SMERCONISH: And with what kind of a reaction from your subscribers?

BOAS: We got a torrent of reaction. We got a lot of angry callers, but we have gotten a surprising amount of support not just in Arizona but from around the country. It's been pouring in. In fact, one of the big surprises of this is to have people from all around the country taking up subscriptions to "The Arizona Republic" to counters some of the Trump people who are canceling theirs.

SMERCONISH: Are you willing to quantify for us? How many did you lose in Arizona?

BOAS: We're not talking about those. But, you know, we understood going into this that we're going to lose subscribers and we had a pretty good sense of how many we would lose and it really wasn't a consideration. We thought that there were issues and values here that were far more important, considerations that were larger.

SMERCONISH: Mr. Wilson, in Dallas, I saw from your Twitter feed that you actually went out and had a conversation with some of those who showed up to protest. Tell us about that.

MIKE WILSON, EDITOR, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Sure. So, I guess after a week or so after our editorial appeared, some Donald Trump supporters demonstrated outside the "Dallas Morning News" offices. And they, you know, they held signs and they said boycott the "Dallas Morning News" and, you know, pro-Trump signs. And, you know, look, the street is right outside my window. I'm looking down and there's people there who have a problem with something that we did and I'm the editor so I walked out to talk to him. And introduced myself and, you know, listened to what, to what they had to say.

You know, at first, there was, you know, a little bit of shouting, sort of they kind of wanted to press their point extremely hard. And I said, "Listen, I'm here to talk to you. Give me a chance to talk back to you a little bit." So we talked it out a little bit. And, you know, ultimately what I said was, "We're into people -- we want people to participate in democracy." Our recommendation is just that, a recommendation. It's a -- we recommended the person we think is best qualified to serve as president.

We understand other people are going to have a different view and the most important thing to us is that people get informed and make a vote on Election Day. And, you know, we actually left the conversation, I thought, on pretty good terms and I was glad I've done it.

SMERCONISH: I scrutinized all of your editorials. And Mr. Wilson, something that the Dallas Morning News has in common with the, The Arizona Republic was that each of you noted the vehemence of the attacks against her. Do you -- will you speak to that issue? WILSON: Well, sure. I mean, really, our editorial speaks for itself. So I really encourage people to go to, you know, go Google Dallas Morning News where we recommend Hillary Clinton and they can see what the editorial board said exactly.

But, you know, one of the things the editorial board noted was that there is a -- there is an intensity of opposition to Hillary Clinton, some of which is based on stuff that hasn't been confirmed by anybody that we cannot, you know, journalistically report as fact. And so, we're trying to separate out the person's actual qualifications from, you know, from what they've, you know, from what they're accused of.

You know, the other day you had Howard Dean saying something about Donald Trump was using cocaine during the debate. We're not interested in speculation, that's, that's a kind of nonsense that the kind of comes and goes in the political campaign. We looked at people's records on the things I said and did and based our recommendation on that.

SMERCONISH: I thought the Dean comment, the Dean tweet was apalling by the way. Mr. Finley, to Detroit we now turn. So, after 143 years, you decided we're not going for the Republican, we're going libertarian. Why did you do that?

NOLAN FINLEY, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, THE DETROIT NEWS: Well, I mean, we handled this process the same way we always do. We looked at the candidates and picked the one who best reflected our values as a newspaper. And, you know, one of our -- we got a lot of push back, why didn't you endorse Clinton like some of the other conservative papers did. Well, truth is a core value of our newspaper and we weren't comfortable putting our name behind someone who has shown so little disregard or so little regard for the truth.

And so, you know, we looked at this hard. A year ago you told me you're going to be endorsement a libertarian for president and I said you're nuts. But this is an extraordinary election year. And neither of these candidates met our qualifications.

[09:10:02] SMERCONISH: Mr. Finley, you called this an endorsement of conscience. And in the Detroit News you addressed head on the criticism of those who say, well, if you vote for a third party candidate, you're wasting your vote. Speak to that issue please.

FINLEY: I don't think a voter should be expected to hold their nose and vote for the lesser of two evils. And if you look at t polling, 55, 60 percent of voters say, they're voting against a candidate rather than for a candidate. And over half say, they wish there were another choice. What we felt there was a viable third choice and we recommended that candidate.

SMERCONISH: Gentlemen, Gallop (ph) says that I think the number is only a third on average, have high regard for the news media. And I want to show you a Donald Trump tweet that applies to all of you where he said essentially, "the people get it". The people get it is what he said. Quickly, I want to hear from each of you and I'll begin in Arizona. Has it occurred to you that you might be helping Donald Trump by voicing your opposition to him because he continues to beat up the media. Mr. Boas, quickly speak to that.

BOAS: I don't believe it. I think when you have a newspaper that hasn't endorsed a Democrat in 126 years, that raises eyebrows. And we have seen national -- international attention to this because it is so extraordinary.

We have been backing Republicans for ever. I'm an editorial page editor who is a life-long Republican. And what I have seen from this candidate, this Republican, is so disturbing, the authoritarian strains and the way he behaves. I think he is a danger to the nation and I think Republicans need to stand up and call him out.

SMERCONISH: Mr. Wilson, are you helping Donald Trump in Dallas?

WILSON: There's this idea out there that, you know, we need -- we should have thought about the consequences before we did -- before we made an editorial endorsement. What would our readers think? What will Donald Trump think? You know, you make an editorial recommendation on principle and you make it according to how you see the candidates lining up with your newspaper's long-held values. So, you know, there's a lot of principled people, I'm surprised saying to me, why didn't you, you know, why didn't you bend your principle in order to meet some business imperative. I don't understand why they asked that because a principle is a principle and you do it because you think it's right.

SMERCONISH: Mr. Finley, a twist on your question, are you helping Hillary because you've now benefited the libertarians perhaps or pulling votes away that she desperately needs?

FINLEY: No. I don't think there's going to be a whole lot of Clinton voters voting Libertarian. I think we were -- our appeal was to those Republicans, those conservatives like ourselves who look at the Republican candidate and say, I can't vote for him and aren't comfortable voting for Hillary Clinton. I think if our endorsement hurts anyone, it takes votes away from Donald Trump.

SMERCONISH: I'm very appreciative of Phil Boas, Mike Wilson and Nolan Finley. Thank you gentlemen for being here. I really appreciate it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

SMERCONISH: So, what do you think? Tweet me @smerconish, I'll put some up on the screen later in the program.

And coming up, as you just heard, The Detroit News endorsed Libertarian ticket. The Libertarian percentage of the vote right now could be the difference on Election Day. Bill Weld is not invited to the Vice Presidential debate this Tuesday. But he was invited here this morning. Says he's been pressured to drop out of the race and suspects that comes from the Clinton camp. I'll ask him about that.

And here is an early tweet. Uh-huh, Sean Spicer, who is the communications director for the RNC. What he says? "Smerconish, you are such an advocate of third parties. When was the last time that you had Dr. Jill Stein on?"

You know, the answer Sean is, the Greens can't match the executive experience of the Libertarians. And yes, I do give platform to the Libertarians. I'm glad you are watching me. Thank you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:17:57] SMERCONISH: The Libertarians may have been denied a spot of the debate stage thus far, but they've gotten endorsements from several major newspapers, "The Detroit News and "Chicago Tribune" among the latest. Some criticized them for playing the role of spoilers. Michelle Obama made a pointed attack on anyone who doesn't vote for one of the two major party candidates. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: Because here is the truth, either Hillary Clinton or her opponent will be elected president this year. And if you vote for someone other than Hillary or if you don't vote at all, then you are helping to elect her opponent. And let me just say this, the stakes are far too high to take that chance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SMERCONISH: Libertarian vice presidential candidate Governor Bill Weld says rumors have been planted by, he suspects, the Clinton campaign that he might drop out of the race and endorse Clinton. I wanted him here to discuss that.

Governor, good to see you.

First of all, respond to what you just heard from the first lady.

WILLIAM WELD, LIBERTARIAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, with deepest deference to the first lad for whom I have absolutely the highest regard, Michael, I think both parties in Washington are trying to brainwash the American public into thinking that it's written in stone somewhere that everybody has to vote R or D. And both parties are whining that a vote for anybody except them will elect their opponent.

And we know how much they hate each other, so you can see why they're doing it. But that doesn't make it true.

SMERCONISH: Address the rumor mill that says Bill Weld is the one that ultimately will be leaned on to get out of the race. Are you in this thing until the end come hell or high water? WELD: Yes. No. I mean, it's just a nonstarter. It started a

speculation by my friend Carl Bernstein, and he is my friend. And then it went into rumor and now, I'm being inundated with calls and letters saying, you know, you're going to personally plunge the United States into ruin unless you abdicate your candidacy right now.

Well, that doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Why would I jump off the platform that I love? I'm having the time of my life with Gary Johnson and it's just wishful thinking on the part of well wishers from Washington.

SMERCONISH: I guess where it comes from -- you know, intuitively if you said to me at the outset, would Johnson/Weld, two Republicans who governed terms each Democratic states from whom will they pull, I thought intuitively they'd pull from the Republicans. When you look at the polling data, if it's a four-way race, Hillary is up by three nationally, and if they remove you and the Green Party candidate, all her margin decline to two, hence the conversation that people are saying, "Hey, these Libertarians, they are cutting into the Democratic base."

WELD: Yes, but that's not good analysis because you know every single one of Jill Stein's 4 percent is coming right out of Hillary Clinton. So, we're like neutral at worse for her and give me six or seven more weeks to chew on Mr. Trump's leg and, you know, my goal is to get him into third place by the time of the third debate. I'm not kidding. I think we can do it.

You know, he is not a Republican. He's a liberal New York City Democrat. He's sort of admitted it at the beginning of the campaign and then said, no, wait a minute, I'm not pro-choice. I'm anti- abortion.

And he just -- you know, he doesn't think anything a doing a 180. He is running 180 degrees against everything the party elders of the Republican Party decided we Republicans should do after the 2012 election. We got to emphasize free trade. We've got to have much more outreach to Latinos. We've got to do a lot more for women. We have to embrace all communities of color and all ethnic communities.

Does that sound like Donald Trump? He is not a Republican. And I can't imagine why any self-respecting Republican would vote for him.

SMERCONISH: I notice and I've noted this in the past that your criticism is far more directed at him than it is at her. As a matter of fact, you said this week that she is the most qualified candidate running for president. It sounds like some kind of a tacit endorsement of Hillary.

WELD: Well, that's where the rumor comes from that I'm about to drop out. I made no secret of the fact that I think more highly of Mrs. Clinton, her qualifications and her background than I do of Mr. Trump's. I think Mr. Trump's background in business is terrible. He has a terrible reputation in the business community in New York.

And his behavior during the campaign suggests to me, at least -- I'm not a psychiatrist -- but to me, this guy does not look stable. He looks -- you know, somebody who gets up at 3:00 a.m. in the morning and starts tweeting, "I hate this woman, I hate that woman, I have a grudge, I have a grievance." It's 3:00 a.m., it's not even light yet and I'm venting and I'm talking about my grievances and my grudges.

That is not a stable person. That's not a happy camper.

SMERCONISH: Governor Johnson had another brain freeze this week. Why is it not a disqualifier when he was asked and couldn't identify a world leader whom he admires?

WELD: Well, you know, a world leader who you admire, that's actually -- that's kind of a tough one. I mean, I did think of Angela Merkel, but then I took the next 24 hours to think of another one. And, you know, Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, Myanmar, is another leader whom I admire. I'm sort of very much taken with Xi Jinping in China. That doesn't mean I necessarily admire him, but I think he is very interesting fellow.

And after that, the list of foreign leaders who we really think are doing a great job and they're aligning with the United States and helping us, it's not a long list.

Anyway, the pop quiz approach to politics is not what a president lives with day in and day out. People don't say, can you identify this town? You know?

(CROSSTALK)

SMERCONISH: Governor, I noted that some immediately tried to seize the moment and say, well, what are they doing in the race? They ought to get out of the race. But it didn't dissuade "The Chicago Tribune" or "The Detroit News" from doing something absolutely unprecedented which is to endorse a libertarian ticket.

WELD: No, a lot of people would like to have us out of this race because they understand that a ticket consisting of two two-term Republican governs who governed in Democrat states and successfully and were re-elected by wide margins after doing fiscally conservative things, that's a dangerous ticket because that ticket has a lot of experience doing the things that have to be done in Washington.

You know, it's too bad that we're not in these debate. I actually would have a good time on Tuesday with Governor Pence and former Governor Tim Kaine. There's a real brotherhood and sisterhood of former governors. It's probably going to be a better debate than the presidential debate because those guys both know something about governing.

And, you know, in the libertarian ticket, you've got two two-term governors. So, I think people are probably right to try to hit us off at the pass before we get in there.

If we get to 20, 25 percent in the month of October, which I think we may very well do, we're going to be dangerous going into the final election, because at that point, people will be looking at our ticket. SMERCONISH: Final two cents from me. Sean Spicer interestingly

tweeted at me, the communications director, during the course of this program because he wonders why I give you this platform. I think that any objective observer looking at resumes would have to say there's more executive leadership experience on your ticket than any of the tickets -- two former two-term governors. And that's why I afford you this opportunity.

Thank you, Governor. I appreciate you being here.

WELD: You're a great one, Smerconish. Thank you. Bye-bye.

SMERCONISH: Thank you.

Still to come, there's an enormous gender divide in this election and Trump trails with women. Nevertheless, he spent the week trashing a former Miss Universe and telling his staff to discuss how Hillary treated Bill's mistresses.

And now, you're about to meet a reporter he once called the C-word. Here's another tweet that has come in during the course of this program. "I can see this is going to be another Trump commercial this morning." Heidi, are you joking?

Thank you for watching.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:30:24] MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: It's been a rocky week for Donald Trump's relationship with female voters. Hillary Clinton berated him at the debate for calling women pigs and belittling a Miss Universe winner for gaining weight. Trump then double down, going to war on twitter against the contestant, Alicia Machado, accusing her of making a sex tape.

And now, a female reporter has come forward to tell a shocking story about her dealing with Mr. Trump.

Jennifer Lin was a reporter for "The Philadelphia Inquirer" for 31 years. And back in 1988, she was "The Inquirer's" New York City-based financial reporter when she wrote about Trump's activities in Atlantic City. Wait until you hear what happened next. This is Jennifer Lin.

So, Jennifer, you wrote something that he didn't like, then what happened?

JENNIFER LIN, FORMER PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER REPORTER: Michael, I was working in the Wall Street office of "The Philadelphia Inquirer" and I got a phone call. I -- the woman said, "Hold for Mr. Trump", and then Mr. Trump began to yell at me. He told me I had shit for brains. He told me I worked for a shitty newspaper and said what sort of shit was I writing.

I was stunned. He hung up. He called my boss in Philadelphia and he treated my boss to the same sort of rant. But then he added that he referred to me as the C-word, a word I will not use, Michael, because in my opinion, it's the worst word in the English language to refer to a won.

He complained to my boss. He called me the C-word and my boss said if there was any problem with the story we would run a correction. So, what was wrong with the story, Mr. Trump? And Mr. Trump said he had not read the story. He only read the headline.

So, my boss said --

SMERCONISH: Wow.

LIN: -- to call him back if there were any problems and he never called back.

SMERCONISH: Why now? Why are you telling this story today in the context of the presidential race?

LIN: Because of the debate, Michael. The day after the debate, I went out to dinner with my friends from where I live in suburban Philadelphia. We call ourselves the Doyle's Town dance bombs, and we were horrified by the things Trump has said about women. Rosie O'Donnell is a slob. Miss Universe is miss piggy.

And I told my girlfriends in Philadelphia, hey, remember when he called me the c-word. Remember when he told me I had shit for brains.

So, that day, I also went on Facebook and I posted a similar sort of thing on Facebook, and one of my friends on Facebook who runs a website called "Billy Penn" called me and said would you mind writing about what happened and explain your story. So, that's why I wrote about it.

SMERCONISH: Have you been telling the story for three decades?

LIN: Michael, when Donald Trump tells you have shit for brains, that's not something you forget. And I had been telling this story for 28 years. I've been telling it to my friends and family. I've been telling it to my sisters. I've been telling it to my daughter and her friends and my nieces. I've been telling it a lot. Yes, I have not forgotten that Donald Trump told me I had shit for

brains and that he called me a C-word and I have been repeating this story for 28 years.

So, I'm offended when the Trump campaign tells me --

SMERCONISH: Here's what the Trump -- yes, I was just going to say the Trump campaign and I know this because it was appended to your own blog, and you publicized it. David Urban, who was a senior adviser, I happen to know David, I haven't spoken to him about this issue. But here's the statement.

"The accusation is categorically false. I find it incredibly coincidentally that this person's crystal clear recollection of one sentence, one word, spoken nearly 30 years ago just happens to coincide with Mr. Trump's surge in Pennsylvania. There is nothing more -- this is nothing more than an avowed liberal reporter who is trying to exploit Mr. Trump's reputation as click bait for her tabloid stories."

You can have the final word to that.

LIN: Thank you, Michael.

I have been telling this story for 28 year. My former editor can support my version of the story and he will also support the fact that Mr. Trump called me a c-word.

And as for being a tabloid journalist, Michael, I left the newspaper business two years ago to write a book about Christianity in China. I am not a tabloid reporter. And this is not click bait.

I'm offended by the way -- the way Donald Trump treated me 20 years ago. He bullied me. And I'm offended now at the fact that the Trump campaign is trying to discredit me.

This is a true story. It happened to me. There are plenty of people who could support this and corroborate my story. Thank you for giving me the last word there.

[09:35:00] SMERCONISH: The booker for my program is Corina Lamb (ph). Corina is a straight shooter. She spoke to your editor Craig Stock (ph) yesterday and he confirmed your account and said that he remembers it exactly the way that you told it.

Jennifer Lin, thank you for being here.

LIN: Thank you, Michael.

SMERCONISH: So, how will any of this impact the election, if at all? What does it have to do with running the country?

Joining me now, two women with strong opinions about this. Civil rights attorney Areva Martin, and Carol Swain, the Vanderbilt University law professor.

Professor Swain, you get the first word. Respond to what you just heard, because I find that to be quite a story.

CAROL SWAIN, LAW PROFESSOR, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY: I think that what we have seen in the debate and what we see now is an effort by the Clinton team to change the topic instead of talking about what happened 30 years ago when we were a different nation, when there were standards, when people were not hypersensitive and politically correct. We should be talking about the corruption that's associated with the Clintons, the issues that our nation faces and all of this is just to take people's minds off what is truly important.

We should also be talking about Bill Clinton and his record as a super predator when it comes to women.

SMERCONISH: I might -- I might agree with you but for the fact that Trump himself seems to put these issues in play. You know, waking up at 3:00 a.m. in the morning and tweeting a former Miss Universe and challenging her still about her weight. I mean, if he wanted --

SWAIN: You don't know --

SMERCONISH: To move on and talk to the issues this wouldn't be his behavior.

SWAIN: You don't know if he woke up at 3:00 a.m. or if he never went to bed. It's my understanding that he doesn't need a lot of sleep.

But, yes, it was poor judgment in my mind. I would like to see him focus on our nation, focus on the corruption that surrounds the Clinton and not fall prey to the traps that they set.

So, I think it's very troubling that the Democrats are known to trot out women like they did with Herman Cain, whenever there's a Republican surging, some woman emerges from the background with a tale of woe of something that happened years ago.

I think we need to get to the real issues facing the nation that -- we're wasting our time on this. This is not important.

SMERCONISH: Areva, I use all the words but two -- the n-word and the c-word. All the others hang out with me, unfortunately, you're going to hear them. So, it rings credible to me when a woman says he called me the c-word and that's something I can never forget.

AREVA MARTIN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Yes, Michael. I just spent some time with Jennifer in the green room in Los Angeles. She is extremely credible.

And let me just say, what Carol Swain has said is so indicative of what the Trump advocates or surrogates do, they contradict themselves in their own statement. On one hand, she says it's not important that we're talking about issues that impact 51 percent of the population, but on the other hand, she bring up Bill Clinton and his alleged predatory conduct.

(CROSSTALK)

SWAIN: Criminal behavior is not the claim. He's a criminal. Criminal behavior is not the same.

MARTIN: Carol, let someone else talk, please?

The reality is women do matter and we matter a great deal in this election. We, in fact, will decide this election.

The Trump campaign knows that suburban white women are the targeted demographic that he needs in order to even have any chance at winning the White House. And he is failing miserably with that demographic because of this constant attack and insults against women.

And he is the one that made this a five-day story, not Hillary Clinton. She brought it up in a debate one time. He went on television the very next day continuing this assault on this former Miss Universe contestant and has continued to talk about women in the most disparaging ways possible and we are listening and the numbers show we are responding and we are going to reject a president that does not value and respect women in this country.

SMERCONISH: Professor Swain, may I ask you a follow up. I don't understand something. I'm a political junky. You're a law professor at Vanderbilt, fabulous school. Have a daughter who went there. Love the place.

I just don't get this, to the extent that there are 8 to 10 percent of the American people who are out there and undecided, who among them is going to hear Trump talk about Bill's infidelities and decide, "Aha, I'm going for Donald Trump"? How can that issue move the needle? And with whom? It just seems like it's political malpractice.

SWAIN: He shouldn't be talking about that. He should be talking about Benghazi, the e-mail scandal, the Clinton Foundation and all of the corruption. The fact that in America, the rule of law no longer matters. He should be talking about things we care about -- immigration, national security, jobs and the Supreme Court.

And so, you know, if Mr. Trump is out there watching me, then I hope he can get back on message. Ca the rule of law no longer matters. He should be talking about things we care about immigration, national security, jobs and the Supreme Court.

[09:40:04] And so, you know, if Mr. Trump is out there watching me, then I hope he can get back on message. And he has not trashed won. In fact, Hillary Clinton and her operatives have trashed women and they have made this a five-day story.

As far as the Miss Universe and his advising her to lose weight, she was his employee. He could have fired her, he didn't. It seems to me that he was giving her good advice. That she needed to lose weight. Her job depended on --

(CROSSTALK)

SMERCONISH: You better hope he doesn't take Carol's advice because she the whole point of my opening commentary. He had been on message, but gets so easily diverted. Go ahead, Areva.

MARTIN: Michael, it's just amazing to me this alternative universe that Trump and his surrogates live in. Carol Swain just said that Trump does not trash women. We have decades and decades of evidence, radio interviews with Howard Stern, videotape displaying comments that Donald Trump has made.

And he doesn't try to walk them back. His surrogates attempt to say that he doesn't make the statements. He proudly supports the statements. He said during the debate that he made those statements against Rosie O'Donnell and, in fact, he would make them again and that we all agreed with him.

So, there is no debating in this entire election that Donald Trump has a disdain for women. He has shown it over and over again. American women are smarter than what Carol Swain gives us credit for being.

SWAIN: I hope so.

MARTIN: And we are listening to these comments and we are responding --

(CROSTALK)

SMERCONISH: Professor Swain gets the final word. Go ahead, professor.

MARTIN: Her numbers are surging.

SWAIN: I think the American people care about the allegations of rape and the fact that Hillary Clinton laughed about getting a rapist off of a 12-year-old girl and there's a video out there and people that care about America need to vote for Donald Trump. He is the better candidate. We need to save America. We need to save it from the Democrats.

SMERCONISH: Areva and Carol, to be continued. Thank you, ladies. I appreciate it.

Still to come, why December 19 is more important date to pick the president than election itself. The mysteries of the Electoral College.

Here is another tweet. Let's check this out.

(LAUGHTE)

Yes, it is, Mr. Housekeeping. Yes, it is.

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[09:46:38] SMERCONISH: Quick housekeeping item. At the end of the last segment, Professor Swain said there was a rape video that Hillary Clinton laughed at. CNN has no evidence of such a video. I don't know anything about that story. Now, no doubt, you've already got Election Day, November 8th, circled on your calendar, but you might also want to highlight December 19th. That's the day when members of the Electoral College will select the president.

You might be surprised to learn that the electors are not necessarily bound to follow the result of the popular vote. The two results have never been at odds, but, of course, this election is like none that we've seen before.

Jack Rakove is a historian, author, professor at Stanford University and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Let's do Electoral College for the dummies. I am the dummy in chief. Why is the Electoral College not necessarily bound to the will of the electorate?

JACK RAKOVE, HISTORY & POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: First off, good morning, Michael. There have been a number of occasions in the past where individual electors have thrown away their vote. I mean, one elector did it, I think, back in 1820 when James Monroe, during the year of good feelings, was elected. The most recent example, I think, came in 2000 when Washington D.C. elector who was pro-Gore, threw away her vote in a kind of protest giving statehood to the District of Columbia.

So, there are been odd instances in the past where individual electors have exercised their right. No one cared about it because there was ever any consequence to it. If there were to be real consequences to it, some kind of crisis arose where some group of electors felt like they had to act independently and exercise what thought was and perhaps really was their constitutional authority under Article 2 of the Constitution, then we would be in a truly interesting situation. I think it's very difficult to predict what will happen at that point.

SMERCONISH: Alexander Hamilton explained that the purpose was -- of the electors was to ensure that the office of the president will never fall to the lot of any man who was not in imminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.

Without picking favorites, you know some will say, well, that is this election.

RAKOVE: I started writing op-ed based on that same passage. That passage comes from Federal 68, and actually Hamilton begins that segment by saying it's a moral certainty, which is about a strong language that you use that the Electoral College will work and the ideal way that he's imagined.

And I think, by and large, Hamilton was right. I mean, this really is the first election that will call Hamilton's proposition which breeds a lot of confidence into the Electoral College clause into question.

But, Michael, I think there's important point to make here, which is Hamilton when he wrote that in 1788 was speaking with a lot of confidence than the situation probably merited. The reason I say that, of all the institutions the framers created, the presidency was the most novel one of them all. None of the framers of the Constitution, when they left Philadelphia, in September 1787, none of them really knew or anticipated how the Electoral College was going to work, since that was a great leap in the dark.

There was no precedent available in 18th century history or really in any history, for trying to imagine how you can create what are called a national Republican executive.

And in fact, the early history of the Electoral College from 1796 to the 1820s shows that there's a lot of manipulation of its rules at state level. That states often switched their rules from election to election, mostly to kind of -- you know, for reasons of partisan advantage.

So, Hamilton, when he said this --

(CROSSTALK)

SMERCONISH: Do you believe -- yes?

RAKOVE: It's a bold statement. It did not have much evidence for it.

SMERCONISH: Final question. Do you think there is a prospect on December 19th, a significant number of electors do differently than the votes that were cast in their states?

RAKOVE: No, there was a piece in "The Wall Street Journal" -- absolutely not. The other thing you can imagine is, number one, the Democratic

electors are not going to abandon Hillary Clinton. If Trump is in the minority, then it's quite possible the few Republican actors will cast votes of conscience and throw their electoral votes away.

The most interesting thing is what happens if Trump wins and at that point, Republican electors have to decide, do we really want him in the White House or not? But you can imagine that happening. At that point you don't get a majority, then the election goes into the House. You know, the chances of this happening are -- I'll swear on a stack of bibles in the slim to nil range.

SMERCONISH: Professor Rakove, thank you so much for your time and for expertise.

Still to come, some of your best and worst tweets. I think we are putting one up on the screen as we go to break.

Stop giving Trump advice on how he can get better. Let him implode.

Well, I love to offer analysis. If she were lagging, I would give it to her too.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:56:04] SMERCONISH: Tweet me @Smerconish. I only have time for two. Put them quickly, let's see what came in during the course of the show.

"You are incredible biased," I guess incredibly biased, "and you are such a Democrat." No, I'm registered independent. Thank you, Mary.

One more quickly, "Smerconish, CNN continues the Trump marathon. Thanks for the free advertising."

Yes, Dano, but was it good advertising?

I'll see you Tuesday night as part of the VP debate coverage right here on CNN.

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