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NYT Times: Trump May Not Have Paid Taxes for 18 Years; Leaked Clinton Audio Describes Sanders' Supporters; Trump in Regroup Mode After First Debate; Race Shifts in Clinton's Direction; Veep Candidates to Square Off in Virginia. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired October 2, 2016 - 08:00   ET



[08:00:07] JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The first debate --


KING: -- made her happy.

CLINTON: One down, two to go.

KING: And him grumpy.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What a rigged deal. I'll tell you, we're in such a rigged -- it is terrible.

KING: Now, Donald Trump hints the rematch might be bruising.

TRUMP: The Clintons are the sordid past.

CLINTON: He can run his campaign however he chooses.

KING: One week to round two. But first, the running mates get their debate test.

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When Donald Trump becomes president, the days of the rigged system for the favored few are over.

SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary and I have a plan. If we're out there and we see somebody who needs a hand, we're kind of a people that want to just roll out our sleeves and do what we can.

KING: INSIDE POLITICS, the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters, now.


KING: Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King. Thanks for sharing your Sunday morning.

Three big questions as we countdown to one week to the second presidential debate, and just two days until the vice president running mates square off.

Question one: does Donald Trump have no choice to release his tax returns? He says he would run a government just like his business. The 1990s tax returns obtained by "The New York Times" show nearly $1 billion in losses in just one year and the possibility he could have avoided paying federal taxes for nearly two decades.


REPORTER: But you have paid federal taxes?

TRUMP: Of course, I paid federal taxes.


KING: Question two: what, if anything, can Trump do now to recover from a horrible stretch that includes overnight tweets about sex tapes, more disparaging comments about women, and fresh questions about his temperament and judgment?


TRUMP: Hillary Clinton's only loyalty is to her financial contributors and to herself. I don't think she's loyal to Bill, if you want to know the truth. And really, folks -- really, why should she be, right?


KING: And question three, will Hillary Clinton return the favor? She got a bounce out of debate one. But a new recording of her take on Bernie Sanders supporters reminds us there's plenty of time left for missteps and momentum swings.


CLINTON: And on the other side, there's a deep desire to believe that, you know, we can have free college, free health care, that what we've done hasn't gone far enough and we just need to go as far as, you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means.


KING: Whatever that means.

With us to share their reporting and their insights: Abby Phillip of "The Washington Post", CNN's Manu Raju, Matt Viser of "The Boston Globe", and Jackie Kucinich of "The Daily Beast."

It is choosing time for Donald Trump and his chances of becoming president just may hang in the balance.

For starters, we've said this here before, there's no excuse for any candidate for president not to release his or her tax returns. But now, we have a glimpse into just what Donald Trump might not want you to know. "The New York Times" obtained summaries to state front pages of

Trump's 1995 taxes. They show that in one year, Trump claimed more than $916 million in losses. His casinos were losing money. His airline was a failure. And he made some bad real estate buys.

Plus, tax expert consulted by "The Times" said such a big loss and the way Trump takes legal advantage of loopholes and tax credits could have allowed him to avoid paying federal income taxes up to 18 years. Excuse me.

Hillary Clinton made a big issue, you remember of Trump's secrecy of the first debate. And remember, this is what he told CNN's Dana Bash after.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It sounds like you admitted that you hadn't paid federal taxes and that that was smart. Is that what you meant to say?

TRUMP: No, I didn't say that at all. I mean, if they say I didn't, I mean, it doesn't matter. I will say this, I hate the way our government spends our taxes.


KING: What now? What now? And I want to say, Donald Trump is up early this morning tweeting about this story. He says at 7:22, "I know our complex tax laws better than anyone who has run for president and I'm the only one to fix that." Does not give us any more information. Doesn't say "The Times" account is absolutely right.

They found his old accountant who said, yes, those of them -- those are legit. You know this was a debate a week from now and between now and then, the vice presidential candidates' debate. The pressure on Trump to show us more, especially more recent, is going to be huge.

ABBY PHILLIP, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, I mean, I think he probably was very unlikely to release his tax returns at all had this not come out. I mean, I actually kind of think it makes it harder for him because right now, there's an insinuation he didn't pay taxes for 18 years. If he releases more documentation, we will know for sure, and it's likely to show he didn't or potentially worse.

So, he's in a bind right now and they are doing, think, probably the best they can by spinning it a case of him doing what's legally allowed to him. But I think voters are going to look at this situation and ask themselves, $900 million in losses? And the first thing that you did was essentially not paid taxes. You are not like us. So, it's real liability.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: It goes to the heart of the attack of Donald Trump and the centerpiece of his campaign that he's a good businessman.

[08:05:05] And that's one of the biggest things that the Clinton campaign is seizing on right now, saying that look, he once lost a billion dollars in one year that undermines his entire candidacy. So, tax questions aside, which, frankly, they're actually not even denying that he may not have paid taxes for this long. They are not confirming or denying. And you can assume that if this was wrong, they'd be furiously denying this account. But it does, I think the bigger issue is on his business record, which is, of course, what he's running for president --

JACKIE KUCINICH, THE DAILY BEAST: It's also how he talks about it. I think there is a -- "The Washington Post" story last week, right after the debate from North Carolina, where Donald Trump bragged about not paying taxes because he was smart. There was a gasp in the room. I think people look at that and look at their balance sheets and makes him look less relatable, and it makes him look like he's getting away with something that average every day Americans have to do every April, whether they like it or not.

MATT VISER, THE BOSTON GLOBE: There's a record of Trump, you know, just a year ago he tweeted about how hedge fund managers pay almost nothing on their taxes and they need to be held to account. So Trump now, you know, we know, was not paying taxes for a long period of time. And I agree. I mean, I think the business record is another thing that the Clinton campaign will seize upon.

A billion dollars is the GDP of some small countries, you know, and Trump was saying that he lost that amount in1995 and that's going to be a huge issue I think for him going forward.

KING: And the little guy is his base of support. The white working class, he has other support, not just that, but it's the base of his support and look at this, look there's no indication Donald Trump did anything illegal. There's every indication that he took advantage of carry over loss, you carry over loss as you go forward. There's all these things set up. They have lobbyists to help them for rich real estate investments so that they can write things off and carry over losses.

But if you're the little guy, you don't get to keep your private jet. You don't get to keep your penthouse. You don't get to keep your lifestyle of the rich and famous if you're having a bad year.

So, that I think is one of the openings here. And to the point about the business acumen, Hillary Clinton knows from the Republican primaries and she did in the first debate that's what gets under his skin. And their company is said when they said, now the gig is up. Why doesn't he go ahead and release his tax return to show how smart he really is. They are trying to poke him.

RAJU: They're trying to poke him. Whether -- he's not going to release his tax returns and that's one reason why. There' a lot of ammunition there potentially. He'd rather take the hit from shielding the release and not being transparent than by providing more information that could lead to damaging revelations, like this.

VISER: Potentially interesting math here, where 18 years would expire in 2013. Mitt Romney released two years of his taxes. So, if Donald Trump is going to follow Mitt Romney's model, he would release 2014 and 2015 when presumably this tax advantage that he was taking advantage of 18 years would have expired.

So, I mean, I think Trump, there's going to be increasing pressure on him to show us some of those tax returns.

KING: Increasing pressure. But does the answer -- the original reaction from the campaign the "New York Times" had this story, "New York Times" has been work on this story for a bit. And the delicious part of it they said they were mailed these copies his New York, Connecticut and New Jersey state tax returns and they say the return address was Trump Tower.

So, presumably, you can infer from that, somebody within the Trump Organization decided to send these to "The New York Times". The Trump statement, was, "The only news here is that more than 20-year-old alleged tax document was illegally obtained, a further demonstration that 'The New York Times', like establishment media in general," I think he means us, "is an extension of the Clinton campaign, the Democratic Party and their global special interest."

Predictable, but forgive me, laughable. If you're a Trump supporter out there, just go on the Internet right now, while we're having this conversation. "The New York Times" has had some groundbreaking reporting on Hillary Clinton's problems. Her transparency issues, the Clinton Foundation, her e-mail server. That dog just doesn't hunt.

PHILLIP: I mean, Donald Trump is glaringly out of step here with just about every bit of precedent that we have about how presidential nominees run, and so it's very hard for them to make an argument asking for tax returns is something that's beyond the pale for a presidential nominee.

And what's interesting about the way "The Times" this sort of glimpse of Trump from "The Times" is that it actually comes at a time when he was dealing with a lot of losses related to his management of Atlantic City casinos. And that's something for the Clinton folks is pure gold. I mean, they want to talk about that as much as possible.

Who did he pay? Who did he not pay? And how did he walk out of that r& place with so much in losses and manage to potentially make money at the end of the day by not paying taxes?


KING: Let's go back to the first debate as we continue the conversation because this was a ripe issue in the first debate. And we know Hillary Clinton benefitted from that debate. So, we know -- now especially now that this is out there, she wants to make it a big issue in the second debate. Let's listen.


CLINTON: Maybe he doesn't want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he's paid nothing in federal taxes because the only years that anybody has ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license and they showed he didn't pay any federal income tax.

[08:10:04] So --

TRUMP: That makes me smart.


KING: You mentioned that. That makes me smart. At another point, he said when she was criticizing for filing bankruptcy and not paying the little guys who work on those casinos, the people who put the carpets, and the people who put the cabinets and the people who put the drapes in, he said that's good business. That's what a good businessman does.

This is where we're going here because Trump's whole thing is populism, that I'm for the little guy.

RAJU: Yes.

VISER: To the extent that it goes there. I mean, the Clinton campaign, some of her better moments when she was talking about the contractor or sort of these little guys and you can imagine the Trump campaign now bringing some of those people out front like we saw Alicia Machado last week and having them use those people as surrogates, people who've been stiffed by Trump now at a time when we know that Trump was not paying his federal income tax.

RAJU: It's going to be fascinating to hear how Donald Trump response to this story, when he's asked directly now, did you pay your federal taxes because as we played in the opening, he told Dana Bash that he did pay his federal taxes. When he said right now, it was smart during the debate, perhaps not to pay his taxes. So, has he paid his taxes or not? And what does Mike Pence say on Tuesday?

KING: And for the Trump supporters out there saying, you know, why are we focusing just on this, why not on Hillary Clinton's troubles? There are legitimate questions about the Clinton Foundation, legitimate questions about Hillary Clinton. But we know about those donors because the records are public. We know about her taxes and how wealthy they got on paid speeches because their taxes for 30 years are public. Donald Trump's are not. Not exactly equal footing when it comes to transparency in this debate.

Ahead, Trump's taxes aren't the only trouble at this critical moment. Overnight, tweets and fresh questions about his temperament and his judgment.

First, though, politicians say the darndest things with the little help from Alec Baldwin.


KATE MCKINNON AS HILLARY CLINTON: He hasn't released his tax returns which means he's either not that rich. ALEC BALDWIN AS DONALD TRUMP: Wrong.

MCKINNON: Not that charitable.


MCKINNON: Or he's never played taxes in his life.

BALDWIN: Wronger.



[08:16:14] KING: Welcome back.

The latest tax controversy hardly Donald Trump's only rough patch this past week. More on that in a moment.

But to Hillary Clinton and her campaign now. She knows Trump spent the day since the first presidential debate promising to be more aggressive in the second and perhaps more personal, raising the Monica Lewinsky scandal and Bill Clinton's impeachment.


CLINTON: He can run his campaign however he chooses. That's up to him. I'm going to keep talking about the stakes in this election. I'm going to keep talking about my agenda.


KING: Looking back of the past week is interesting. She has been talking about her agenda and methodically checking the boxes. Stops in New Hampshire and Florida, targeting millennials and a visit to Iowa, want to gin up early voting. A new Spanish language ad, excuse me, aimed at Latinos in key swing states.


TRUMP: I'm building a wall. He's a Mexican.


TRUMP: They're bringing crime, they are rapists.


KING: It's a disciplined strategy but there was a weekend hiccup. An audio obtained by a hacker in which she's speaking at a campaign fundraiser and discussing Bernie Sanders supporters.


CLINTON: Some are new to politics completely. They're children of the Great Recession. And they are living in their parents' basement. (END AUDIO CLIP)

KING: Oh, well.

If you listen to the whole audio and go online and find it, folks, this was leaked to the "Free Beacon", a conservative publication here in D.C., if you listen to the whole audio, she does say, we need to understand this. She's trying to say to her fundraisers, we need to understand the discontent and disenchantment.

But if you take snippets of this, it seems at times condescending.

PHILLIP: Yes. I mean, this is an extension of something that she used to kind of do on the trail in the primaries, especially as things started getting really hairy with Bernie towards the end. She would say things like, you know, Sanders supporters need to read the fine print. Nothing in life is free. You can't get free college, free health care, free this, free that -- and that's kind of where she was going with this.

But I have to say, I mean, living in your parents' basement thing sounds like, you know, older folks say about younger folks when they are trying to be basically like, you don't do anything for what you have. And that's probably the place she shouldn't have gone.

But it does sort of like speak of where they were, you know, six months ago when she was trying to convince a lot of Democrats, hey, like I get why you want this stuff but it just can't be free.

RAJU: But it comes at a really difficult time because she's struggling with the millennial vote right now. You see poll after poll showing that a lot of those voters are going to Gary Johnson and not coming to her. These are people who do support Bernie Sanders and probably the same people that she's putting down there, they are living in their parents' basement.

So, even if it's a snippet, it gives the ammunition that the Trump campaign needs.

KUCINICH: And also this idea that she's saying this to her friends behind closed doors to donors, just like basket of deplorables, like she's putting one face forward to Bernie Sanders supporters saying, "please come vote for me," and then behind closed doors, saying, look at these kids. So, that two-faced appearance also is just -- that's hurtful.

KING: Basket of deplorables, fundraiser, this, fundraiser, 47 percent for Mitt Romney, fundraiser.

Politicians, take note, study your history.

Donald Trump jumping in immediately -- you know, Donald Trump wants some of these voters. If they don't vote for him they will be happy in some states if they go vote for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein.

So, listen to Donald Trump on the trail kind of trying to make hay. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton thinks Bernie Sanders supporters are hopeless and ignorant basement dwellers. Then, of course, she thinks people who vote for and follow us are deplorable and irredeemable. I don't think so.


KING: What Trump said is not exactly what she said. Not exactly, not close.

[08:20:00] But you don't blame him, right? That's what you do in politics. You use a little hyperbole to take advantage of what they perceive as an opening.

Matt, the Clinton campaign put out a statement saying, "As Hillary Clinton said in those remarks, she wants young people to be idealistic and set big goals. She is fighting for exactly what the millennial generation cares most about -- a fairer, more equal, just world."

This is not the way she put it at the fundraiser.


VISER: She said none of those words. Here's what she really meant.

Yes, I mean, I think this is a problem for Hillary Clinton. You know, she has had problems, you know, sort of uniting the party. You know, but just sort of the context on the campaign is whoever we're talking about is losing almost. I mean, both of these candidates are deeply unliked by the American public.

And so, Hillary Clinton has kind of won the past week mostly in the context that we've been talking a lot about Donald Trump, you know? And so, I think if she can sort of quickly move past this and get back on Trump which the taxes give her sort of an easy opening to do.

KUCINICH: And it's not like Donald Trump hasn't said nasty things about big groups of people. I mean, probably every minority group has a Trump insult they can throw back at him. So, no one has the market cornered on being nice to everyone. So, that should be said. I mean, Mexican rapist, Muslims shouldn't come in to this country, go on and on and on.

KING: If you go state by state and look at the polling, this is one of her glaring weaknesses. We saw her this past week. It's a very methodical disciplined campaign. They are trying to reassemble the Obama coalition. They look at 2008, they look at 2012, they say, if the electorate looks like that, we win, especially if people turn out and vote early.

One of the groups you try to get to vote early is the millennials, because they're not the most reliable. They haven't been part of the system. They're not as invested in the parties. How does she make sure that you -- does she have to come back to the

back of the plane this is what I meant to say and maybe they take offense.

PHILLIP: Yes, I think she'll probably have to answer for this one, one way or another, both taking those words that were written by her spokesman and just actually saying them this time. But I also think that they have a lot of other work to do. I mean, some of this same stuff she was saying in the primaries and the reason why there's so many hard feelings left over.

So, the challenge isn't different, it's just continuing on. And for Donald Trump, I mean, this -- any vote for Gary Johnson at the moment is helping him because it's preventing Hillary Clinton from rising higher. But it's not helping him get any higher either and he has to do both. He has to bring her down and raise himself up and I don't think really that this is enough to do it.

RAJU: But as we also see, Democrats make a more concerted effort targeting Gary Johnson, not attacking him personally but making that argument a vote for Gary Johnson effectively is helping Donald Trump. It will be interesting to see Bernie Sanders start to make that argument, if he does more aggressively. Because he is going to be a bigger presence on the campaign trail going forward.

KING: And interesting to see if Bernie Sanders in his events this next week calm down, folks, here's what she meant. Here's the context she meant. Don't worry about Hillary Clinton because I'm sure Bernie Sanders looks at part of these remarks, again, she did say at one point, we need to understand this, telling her donors, you know, there's frustration that's out there.

But Bernie Sanders is going to look at this and maybe have some issues. We'll see.

Everybody, sit tight.

Up next, overnight tweets, more controversial comments about women. What happened to Donald Trump's repeated promises to be more presidential?

And please take our INSIDE POLITICS quiz. Which of the running mates do you think has been most effective so far? Mike Pence, Tim Kaine, Bill Weld, or haven't you been paying enoughj attention? Have an opinion on that question.

Vote at


[08:27:34] KING: Welcome back.

There are a lot of reasons, how much time you got, to explain that our campaigns are too long. But one upside is that a year or more of grueling campaigning and intense pressure reveals a lot about a person. We were told, for example, and told repeatedly that Donald Trump understood the responsibilities of being a Republican nominee and of being a possible president.

Yet, he refused to rigorously prepare for the first debate. We were told repeatedly, past disparaging comments about women were meant as jokes or entertainment, and that Trump, the presidential candidate would be different from Trump the reality TV star.

But here's Trump the presidential just the other day explaining his dealings with the former Miss Universe.


TRUMP: She was the worst we ever had, the worst, the absolute worst. She was impossible. She gained a massive amount of weight and it was -- it was a real problem. We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude.


KING: And forget what Donald Trump's staff tells reporter. Donald Trump himself has repeatedly promised top campaign aides and the top leaders of the Republican Party, he knows he needs to be presidential and to dial it back on social media. Yet this past week, another overnight tweet storm attacking critics and urging people, yes, to watch a sex tape.

So, if there's one undisputable lesson of the past week, it is that Donald Trump is who he is and I don't think anyone at the table would disagree unlikely he'll change. They get him to read the teleprompter for a day or two. But even last night, he had prepared remarks and then he wanders off.

Heading to the second debate and especially this critical week before the second debate, we'll get to t polls in a minute. And Hillary Clinton came out of the first debate with some momentum. What do they do?

RAJU: They do what he did in the run-up to the first debate which is to deliver a succinct message on the campaign trail. He made that argument he's the candidate of change and she's been in Washington for 30 plus years and hope that Mike Pence on Tuesday can reset the narrative.

The problem is that Donald Trump is still digging up, bringing up issues like Hillary Clinton's past, Bill Clinton's past sex scandals -- issues that make a lot of Republicans frankly that they deal into this territory. They want him to get back at that message that he did in the run-up to the debate.

KING": Before you jump in, they put him on a teleprompter. And again, Trump has promised the speaker of the House, the Senate majority leader, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. I get it. I understand House and Senate and dog catcher candidates depend on me.

And yet -- so they put him on a teleprompter. And they said, see, we have Donald Trump disciplined. And that's why he was rising in the polls. But yesterday, yesterday, he had a prompter but educationally decided to deviate.


[08:30:00] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now she's got bad temperament. She's got -- she could be crazy. She could actually be crazy.


JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: You were saying?

JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, it actually still applies. He should take a cue from his running mate. I covered Mike Pence when he was in the House and Mike Pence -- it's hard to knock him off his talking points, it's hard to knock him off message. And he just keeps going back to his talking points no matter what the -- no matter what the topic is.

Donald Trump needs to learn how to do that. And Manu's right. We started to see that a little bit. But then when you get under his skin, when you get a little far afield he just -- he takes it and runs with it. So maybe he and Mike Pence should be locked in a room together. Mike Pence could teach him the secret sauce to that.

MATT VISER, THE BOSTON GLOBE: But Trump did -- he did a good job for a couple of weeks because he was on message. But it's almost like he's sort of a jack in the box. You know what I mean? You wind him up and you can keep him down there for a while but his true self pops back up, you know, again and again after you wind him up. And he's done that over and over again where I think it's not just in his DNA to sort of be quiet and not sort of go off message.

The problem for him last week was that he got under the skin with the Alicia Machado stuff and he was focused on her and not Hillary Clinton. A good politician can somehow pivot from talking about Machado to redirecting the attack at Hillary Clinton which Donald Trump failed at over and over again.

KING: Right. And again, you know, Trump supporters will say, there they go again in the media, you know, saying Donald Trump shouldn't do this, Donald Trump shouldn't do that. OK. Give us a break for second. Here's the former speaker of the House and a Trump adviser, Newt Gingrich, on whether Trump should be tweeting at 3:00 in the morning.


NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You can't tweet at 3:00 in the morning. Period. There's no excuse ever. Not if you're going to be president of the United States.

What Trump has got to understand is he's either got to say, I got to be me or he's got to own a new song, I got to be president. They're not the same song. He's got to become much more disciplined.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: Little late in the campaign to learn a new song as the former House speaker put it, isn't it?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I mean, Trump actually said that -- it was at the primary season that he was going to be so boring as a general election candidate we wouldn't even want to talk about him or cover him. But clearly that's not been the case.

Interesting to hear that come from Newt Gingrich who could have been his running mate. He was very close to being his running mate. But it just shows the level of concern there is within the Republican Party by Donald Trump doing things like this.

ABBY PHILLIP, WASHINGTON POST: I mean, to start with, I mean, somebody just needs to take his phone away. I mean, this is really the core of the problem. He cannot be left to his own devices on the Internet because then he starts doing what he did last night. And --

KING: Left to his own devices. That's good.


PHILLIP: And you know, on top of that it just -- it does raise the question whether there's anyone around Trump who can really tell him what to expect in a debate context when Hillary Clinton is trying to get under his skin. Like is he willing to be prepared in the sense that people have to say mean things about him? And he has to be prepared to take it and internalize it and move on. And that's the kind of debate prep and sort of campaign prep that he needs to engage in really seriously because lord knows Hillary Clinton is engaging in that sort of thing. She has people saying mean things to her, knowing that that's what Donald Trump would do to her.

KING: But to your point about can anybody get to him, and again it has worked in short spurts. It has worked in short spurts. This is one of the reasons he's had three campaign managers. They said that they need -- you know, they brought in -- Paul Manafort was supposed to be the adult. That didn't work out. They brought in Kellyanne Conway, who said, forgive me, one of I think the most hilarious things of this past week she went on "The View" and she said of Donald Trump I don't think he gets credit for restraint. And restraint is a virtue, in fact a presidential virtue.

PHILLIP: You don't get cookies when you're running for president.

VISER: Maybe with a couple of hours later when the restraint --



VISER: You can restrain him for only so long.

KING: And Hillary Clinton wants to jump in on this. To your point, they think -- she thinks this is a temperament issue, she thinks this is a judgment issue. She also thinks the more she gets under his skin the more of the same she's going to get.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Who gets up at 3:00 in the morning to engage in a Twitter attack against a former Miss Universe? I mean, he hurled as many insults as he could. Really why does he do things like that? His latest Twitter meltdown is unhinged even for him. It proves yet again that he's temperamentally unfit to be president and commander-in-chief.


KING: A lot of people, including the current president of the United States, have rebounded from bad first debates. Plenty of time left in this race. But I do think that because of the combination of events, now the controversy about the taxes, this past week about the 3:00 a.m., 5:00 a.m. tweets, this is a very important week to 10 days for Donald Trump.

RAJU: It is and that's why -- how important it is for Mike Pence to have a good night on Tuesday that could -- sort of to reset the narrative. I mean, in a lot of ways he delivers that argument against Hillary Clinton better than Donald Trump does. And to Jackie's point earlier because he is relentlessly on message watch for him to do that.

KING: But --

RAJU: But we are going to see how he -- the number of issues that he's different with Donald.

KING: Right. But what happens when either the moderator or Tim Kaine says, Governor, have you ever tweeted at 3:00 a.m.? Or Governor, you released your taxes. What are the answers?

[08:35:06] PHILLIP: Well, Mike Pence is going to have to be himself. I mean, this is the point -- the part where Mike Pence is sort of like his own man. He's an island. You know, he'll release his taxes. He'll talk about things that Donald Trump won't. He'll just say, I don't know what Donald Trump will do, but here's what I'm going to do. He's going to have to. He doesn't have many options in this.

KUCINICH: Mike Pence 2020.


RAJU: But he's got to have to worry about his own political hide, too.

KING: Right. He does. It's a very -- it's a fascinating moment.

Now, everybody, sit tight. We know Donald Trump obsesses about polls and we know he isn't happy with the latest wave of data. Next, the map heading into the second debate and the vice presidential debate is trending Clinton's way.



GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Let me help you with the difference, Miss Ferraro, between Iran and the embassy in Lebanon.

GERALDINE FERRARO, FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I almost resent, Vice President Bush, your patronizing attitude that you have to teach me about foreign policy.

[08:40:01] LLOYD BENTSEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.



REP. PAUL RYAN (R), FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the vice president very well knows that sometimes the words don't come out of your mouth the right way.




KING: A little history there to get you excited about the faceoff in Farmville as the vice presidential debate Tuesday night between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence. As they go into that debate the state of the race is moving in Hillary Clinton-Tim Kaine's direction. Simple math. Look at this from 2012. For Donald Trump to win he has to turn some of these blues red. He had momentum going into the first debate. But look at this. Brand new poll just the other day, up in New Hampshire, a seven-point Clinton lead in a four- way race. Small, only four electoral college votes but could be key in a very close race.

Michigan, Donald Trump has talked about Reagan Democrats becoming Trump Democrats, a seven-point lead for Clinton. In one of those states Donald Trump has targeted, one of the blues, he wants to turn red.

Out in Nevada, Donald Trump has been ahead consistently out here. Surprising us. But a Suffolk University poll at the end of the week shows Clinton ahead in the state of Nevada. The Latino vote critical for her. The rural white vote critical for him.

And in the biggest battleground states, still on the table as a tossup, Donald Trump's second home in Florida, Clinton ahead, even though Trump had momentum going into the first debate. Donald Trump could not afford to lose that one.

Quickly, why does that matter? As of now, if you can't turn any of these light blues to red and win the tossup states, Donald Trump can't win. If Hillary Clinton can win Florida, we just showed you that poll, and win Nevada, game over. So the pressure is on Mike Pence, the pressure is also on Donald Trump who's enlisting his daughter now for a little help.


IVANKA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: My father will change outdated labor laws so that they support women and American families. He will provide tax credits for child care, paid maternity leave and dependent care savings accounts. This will allow women to support their families and further their careers.


KING: What are your expectations for the fracas in the Farmville, the faceoff in Farmville? What are we going to call it?

KUCINICH: I mean, this is both -- these are two seasoned politicians, who are going to go to bat for their candidates. We actually might see some policy. But we're also going to have see --

KING: Is that allowed?

KUCINICH: Right. I know. It's shocking but I do think these two have a lot to defend for --

KING: Right.

KUCINICH: For their -- you know, the top of the ticket and we'll see a lot of that.

VISER: They're almost the inverse of the top of the ticket where these two are relatively unknown to the public. They're fairly substantive, both of them. And they're not disliked like the people on the top of the ticket. So you do have a chance for maybe some policy, although I think both sides are just trying to pin the unpopular top of the ticket of each other.

KING: Right. It becomes a proxy war. Right?


KING: Mike Pence wants to make the point that Hillary Clinton is corrupt and can't be trusted. Tim Kaine wants to make the point that Donald Trump is secretive, can't be trusted and is a loose cannon.

PHILLIP: One of the interesting things about Tim Kaine is his ability to actually sort of tell a good narrative story about his candidacy and Hillary Clinton's candidacy in a way that she actually struggles with. And so he's going to be out there actually on home turf in Virginia, his home state, in a part of Virginia that allows him to tell the story of, like, racial reconciliation and sort of tell a disorient diversity in America.

I think we can expect to see more of that from Tim Kaine which kind of elevates the conversation, takes it a little bit out of the gutter and into a place that's a little bit more aspirational and hopeful.

KING: Well, let's take you out to the campaign trail a little bit. You've probably spent and have given us plenty of reasons to spend most of our time looking at what Donald Trump say and what Hillary Clinton says. So sometimes the number twos, even in this race, maybe getting less attention than even normal because the number ones are so -- let's call it provocative or interesting to be polite.

Tim Kaine, though, to Abby's point, makes the case on the campaign trail that Donald Trump should not be in the situation room on big nights and that Hillary Clinton is ready.


SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary showed she's prepared to be president and she's prepared be commander-in-chief. She offered the details of her plans. She gave us the stronger together vision. And on the other side, you have a guy who is, look, if you're that rattled in a debate tried to --


KING: He's not exactly a dynamo, is likeable, he's a nice guy. Both of these guys. I've known them both or covered both of them for a long time. They've very likeable guys, very approachable guys, low- key guys in their basic demeanor. That's not exactly scintillating.

RAJU: Yes. He's kind of an awe-shucks guy. You know, they joke, everybody's uncle or something. Not quite like Uncle Joe, Joe Biden, but he does know how to attack. He's a seasoned politician. He knows how to go on the offensive.

Kaine's job is to do is help continue Donald Trump's bleeding, if you will, because what we saw from that poll just now is that Hillary Clinton is ahead but not by a very comfortable margin.

KING: Right.

RAJU: Still a very, very tight race.

[08:45:01] What that first debate did is essentially halt Donald Trump's momentum, give Hillary Clinton some momentum but Tim Kaine needs to keep that momentum going forward because this race can easily shift, especially if Tim Kaine slips and Mike Pence has a good night.

KING: And one of the ways for it to swing back is if Mike Pence can get -- shift the conversation away from tweets about a former beauty queen at 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 in the morning. Away from should Donald Trump release his taxes and did he really write-off $916 million in just one year, to you had a Democratic president for eight years, how are you feeling about the economy, it's time for change.


GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you want change, if you want a stronger American at home and abroad that stands by our Constitution and the highest standards in public life we have to decide here and now in the Hosier State that Hillary Clinton will never be elected president of the United States of America.


KUCINICH: -- as well and during this debate, but I think at the end of the day I do wonder how many people are going to watch this debate and be like, man, I wish those guys were at the top of the ticket.

KING: Good luck. But the change argument is absolutely essential because if you can convince people it's time for change then some of the other stuff doesn't matter as much.

RAJU: Yes.

KING: What is this about? Is this a referendum on Obama and Clinton and do we want four more years on Democrats or is it a referendum on Donald Trump and is he fit to be president?

VISER: And those are the best parts about Donald Trump's argument. You know? And Mike Pence doesn't have all the baggage that Trump brings to the campaign and he's more practiced at debates. So you can imagine Mike Pence prosecuting the case against Hillary Clinton far better than Donald Trump can.

RAJU: And that was the worst part of Hillary Clinton's first debate performance, that first 30 minutes when Donald Trump was effectively making that argument.

KING: Right.

RAJU: So watch for Trump to try to do that on the campaign trail and Mike Pence as well.

PHILLIP: Right. I mean, I think Mike Pence is going to be Trump without Trump, right? So take everything about him except Donald, those other stuff. But I also think that in some ways Pence and Kaine are kind of well matched on that front. It's all of the message but without the candidates themselves.

KING: The baggage is the term some of the consultants could use there.

Everybody, sit tight, our reporters will give you a sneak peek into their notebook nest, including a big state maybe back in play. Also, the results of our quiz question this morning. We asked you who has been the most effective running mate so far. Most of you say Tim Kaine.


[08:51:37] KING: Let's head around the INSIDE POLITICS table, and ask our great reporters to give you a sneak peek into their notebooks. A little bit of ahead of the curve move on the big political news. Abby Phillip?

PHILLIP: Well, Ohio is back on the map this week. It's been a state that's kind of slipping from Hillary Clinton for the last couple of weeks but she's headed back there this week, tomorrow and Bill Clinton is going to do two days on the ground there, busting it around in eastern Ohio. And they have an opportunity right now between the first and the second debate to take advantage of whatever momentum she has going into the second debate and turn things around.

The key here, especially for Hillary Clinton, will be working class women in the suburbs and some of those women are going to be paying close attention to what's been going on with Donald Trump these last few days especially with some of his meltdowns around Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, and other things.

KING: Let's see if she can put Ohio back on the map. It's always good to have good battleground states. Manu?

RAJU: John, this is North Carolina that's become a major presidential battleground, that's now becoming central to the fight for the Senate majority. Senator Richard Burr, the Republican incumbent, now in a really tough fight against a little known Democrat named Deborah Ross. Republicans, when you talk to them around town, they're very worried that this seat could slip if a lot more money does not start to go into this state.

Donald Trump, for one, is not spending as nearly as much as Hillary Clinton that's helping the Democrats at large. And watch for Republicans to really go after Deborah Ross's record as an ACLU attorney. This is a state that actually was the most expensive state in the 2014 midterms. Tens and tens of millions of dollars are going there because they know we need to save Richard Burr, if they want to keep the Senate majority.

KING: Right. We hear a lot of Republicans complain he hasn't taken this one seriously enough. Matt?

VISER: The baseball playoffs are starting. And those from Red Sox nation are looking to David Ortiz to deliver another championship. But it's another Red Sox player that we're seeing on the political attention. Curt Schilling is -- continues to make waves and discuss possibly running in 2018 against Elizabeth Warren as a senator in Massachusetts. There are a lot of reasons to be skeptical about this. Curt Schilling has talked in the past about running and he didn't. He's made some controversial statements that got him fired at ESPN. And recent poll that he's serious enough he's included in polls it showed him down 19 percent to Elizabeth Warren.

But if in the aftermath of this election there is coat tails to any Trump movement which right now we should probably be skeptical about that, but if there is, Curt Schilling is a very Trump-like candidate in Massachusetts and would help us combine politics and sports, the two loves of the state. KING: And proud member of the nation, in the sports box, he's forever

a hero because of the 2004 bloody sock game. In politics, let's see about that one. Jackie?

KUCINICH: Donald Trump has gotten closer and closer to putting his full attack on Hillary Clinton's marriage. And so far Hillary Clinton has really taken a step back and has said she's going to take the high ground. But don't expect her super PACs to be as gentle. One of them has told me that they're ready for anything. They're not tipping their hands yet. But I would look to them to do her dirty work should Donald Trump decide to go after her on that issue.

KING: Personal versus personal. Great. Just how we want to end the issues. Basic campaign we've been living through here.

I'll close with more on the giant questions facing Trump and his campaign in this very big week ahead. Now the operation has been a mess since the beginning and there are huge tensions now as this giant second debate looms.

[08:55:03] Trump was described as beyond annoyed to hear his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said on national television that she had reprimanded Trump for criticizing that former Miss Universe who says Trump called her Miss Piggy and Miss Housekeeping. Then there was another edict from the top campaign staff, the top campaign aides telling him to stop providing source accounts to news organizations about Trump's refusal to take debate prep seriously.

The promise now is ratchet it all up for the second debate and as the debate session prep -- prep session, excuse me, planned for today even. But several Trump allies well aware how important this next week is are worried about two big things. A frustrated and angry candidate and an organization still rich with dysfunctional relationships.

Let's see how this all turns out. That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. Again, thanks for sharing your Sunday morning. Hope to see you noon Eastern each week day for our new daily edition of INSIDE POLITICS and back here live from the debate side of St. Louis next Sunday. Up next, "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper.