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NEW DAY SUNDAY
The Second Presidential Debate; Major GOP Figures Condemn Donald Trump; Attacks May Get Personal At Tonight's Debate; Kasich: Trump's Actions "Disgusting"; Shooter In Custody Following Deadly Police Attack; Saturday Night Live's Take On Trump's 2005 Comments; The First Town Hall Debate In American History; Hurricane Matthew Leaves Record Flooding. Aired 6-7a
Aired October 9, 2016 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[06:00:02] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry, I didn't see you. We were so busy preparing for the debate tomorrow. I'm studying so hard. I'm really nervous for this one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: It almost like she had the Elaine dance from Seinfeld going on there, Victor.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Yes, a little bit of that. Little bit of that.
PAUL: We just wanted to make sure that everybody got a glimpse of something a little lighter this morning. But there is an awful lot to talk about today.
BLACKWELL: Yes. We'll talk more about that a little later in the show. Next hour of your NEW DAY starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tumultuous 24 hours for the Donald Trump campaign. A ton of Republicans have pulled their support.
REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: There is a bit of an elephant in the room. It is a troubling situation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are growing calls for Trump to step down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor, should Mr. Trump withdraw? Will you be staying on the ticket?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The media and establishment want me out of the race so badly. I will never drop out of the race. I will never let my supporters down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is nothing that is going to cause his dropping out. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you staying in the race?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A 100 percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Counting down to the debate tonight where voters will get the chance to direct questions directly to both of these candidates. Good morning to you. It's 6:00, 6:01 in fact on this Sunday morning. I'm Christi Paul.
My colleague, Victor Blackwell, is in St. Louis, Missouri, where, of course, we will be watching very closely what happens tonight. Good morning, Victor.
BLACKWELL: Yes, more than 80 million people expected to watch the big debate tonight at Washington University. The second presidential debate, of course, between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Final preparations being made right now.
The Republican Party though finds itself in a state of chaos facing maybe political catastrophe unlike anything we've seen in modern times.
Now in just a few hours, 15 to be exact, here at Washington University, Trump will take the stage in battle for his political life. We are now less than a month before Election Day and top leaders of Trump's own party are banding together in an exodus here, a mass exodus.
Look at the gallery on your screen. This comes after the stunning video revealed Trump in 2005 casually talking about sexual assault. Now he has apologized, but Trump's own running mate refuses to defend him.
Senator John McCain says that he'll write in the candidate for president. Former Republican Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice says enough. Donald Trump should not be president. He should withdraw.
But that's easier said than done. Meantime, excuse me, Hillary Clinton is planning her approach to Trump's remarks and personal attacks that he may lob at her tonight.
More than 80 million, again, are expected to tune in to the debate capping off one of the most extraordinary weekends in American political history. Now as his party spirals, Donald Trump is refusing to back down.
Joining me now outside the debate tonight, the debate venue is CNN national correspondent, Sunlen Serfaty. Sunlen, good morning to you.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONENT: Good morning to you, Victor. Chaos is the perfect way to describe what is going on right now. You have the Republican nominee under 30 days to Election Day having members of his own party revoking their endorsements of him, and others, many others, for him to point blank drop out of this race.
You know, Donald Trump is heading into tonight's debate one of the most critical nights of his political life with his back against the wall.
SERFATY (voice-over): A defiant and fist pumping Donald Trump emerging from Trump Tower to chants of support. Despite the chaos of the Republican Party, Trump says he's not going anywhere.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you staying in the race?
TRUMP: A 100 percent.
SERFATY: Trump also tweeting this, quote, "The media and establishment want me out of the race so badly. I will never drop out of the race. Will never let my supporters down.
TRUMP: You can do anything. Grab them by the (inaudible). You can do anything.
SERFATY: After a 2005 video of Donald Trump making lewd and sexually predatory comments about women surfaced, Trump was forced to make an unprecedented apology before dismissing the controversy as a distraction.
TRUMP: I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize. Washington is totally broken. Hillary Clinton and her kind have run our country into the ground.
[06:05:04]SERFATY: This morning the GOP is in meltdown as lawmakers rescind their endorsements of Trump and sources tell CNN those at the top of the GOP including House Speaker Paul Ryan wish Trump would step aside.
RYAN: There is a bit of an elephant in the room and it is a troubling situation.
SERFATY: Some Republicans now saying Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, should leave the ticket. In an extraordinary move, Governor Pence said he was offended by Trump's remarks before canceling plans to represent him at a political event Saturday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor, should Mr. Trump withdraw?
SERFATY: Meantime, one of Trump's closest advisors, Mayor Rudy Giuliani says Trump's campaign against Washington insiders will go on.
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR ADVISING TRUMP: Mostly the people that have turned on him are members of the establishment so I would see this as if you want change in Washington, you vote for Donald Trump. If you want to keep things the same, you vote for Hillary Clinton.
(END VIDEOTAPE) SERFATY: And while all eyes certainly are on Donald Trump tonight and how he handles all of this, a fallout swirling around him from up there on the debate stage, this certainly sets up an important moment for Hillary Clinton tonight as well.
According to people close to her as she prepares she does intend to bring up this growing scandal early on in tonight's debate, Victor. This will be her first public statement since the scandal broke -- Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right, Sunlen Serfaty, thank you so much. Now tonight's debate could be Donald Trump's last stand. Last chance to stop the campaign free fall after the release of that controversial video.
Joining us now Mark Preston, CNN Politics executive director, and Brian Stelter, CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES." Good morning to both of you.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: Now Mark, when we were talking yesterday, the defections were in the single digits. We have the gallery we can put up. We're talking about a mass exodus from the Trump campaign, the supporters in Congress. I mean, you got Condoleezza Rice, who hasn't said much at all saying enough. He can't be president.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Yes, you know, it's interesting, 24 hours we were saying how Jason Chaffetz had come out and really was the first person to break the dam, a very powerful influential Republican congressman on Capitol Hill.
All of a sudden we're starting to see a mass exodus. I think you're going to see more today. Specifically, if we see Donald Trump go there, when I mean go there, go after Hillary Clinton through Bill Clinton, then I think you're going to see a huge mass exodus come tomorrow.
I do expect Democrats to continue to try to hit Trump very hard, try to hit your opponents for backing Trump.
BLACKWELL: We've seen maybe the foreshadow with that retweet of (inaudible) overnight. Brian, let me come to you. Where is the defense? I mean, we know that Rudy Giuliani will be on the Sunday shows this morning. Where is Kellyanne Conway? We haven't heard from her since this video is out? Why isn't she out there supporting him?
STELTER: Kellyanne Conway was booked on morning shows. Christie was booked on morning shows. They were all canceled yesterday, scrapped last night. Rudy Giuliani coming in instead. He will be an attack dog, a fierce attack dog for his candidate.
That is a reminder in some ways, it underscores the divide that exists that only Rudy will be out front and center. I see people, I see Republicans on Twitter saying why aren't you all talking about Clinton?
Why aren't you talking about her scandals 20, 30 years ago? Why aren't you talking about the e-mail leaks? One of the answers is those stories are being covered, but there is Democratic unity today.
There is not Republican unity. This is the GOP civil war that people talked about a year ago theoretically that is now actually playing out.
BLACKWELL: And there is so much division and potentially people are sitting on the fence waiting on what they'll do next, namely Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, because the question is what else is there potentially.
CNN K File released this 17-year legacy from the Howard Stern show and some of those comments. You marry that to what we've seen in the 2005 "Access Hollywood" video and this narrative is cementing. It is now crystallized.
STELTER: You might even call it ironic that the NBC Show "The Apprentice," which built up Donald Trump for years, which establish him as an entertaining figure in American households that it was an NBC video that ultimately leaked out by "The Washington Post" that has gotten the Republican Party to this point.
BLACKWELL: Lanhee Chen who was a Romney policy adviser said there is a way for Donald Trump to turn this around, and I pressed him on turn it around, 180 or just stop the bleeding? What can stop the bleeding tonight?
PRESTON: You know, I've been of the mind set and pretty vocal in the last two days that I think Donald Trump's campaign is over. The reason being is -- when I say over, the sense is I see no path --
STELTER: Like it's a zombie. It's a walking dead.
PRESTON: There's nowhere for him to go. The fact of the matter is he is going to have his supporters, Victor, who will stay with him. Some of whom will leave him. It's the small sliver in the middle. It's those voters that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are trying to get right now that I think will be very difficult for him to get.
I will tell you having talked to senior advisors of the Trump campaign, they do see a path forward. They think that there could be a huge bombshell that is going to hit regarding Hillary Clinton.
[06:10:08]We did see some e-mails that got released from Wikileaks. We don't know if they're necessarily true that had we not been in the situation right now with Donald Trump would have been very bad for Hillary Clinton.
But as Brian said, you have a Democratic Party that is unified. You have a Republican Party that is beyond fractured, it is broken.
STELTER: Is there a way to repair it at all? Sunlen used the term predatory. That's a word that's going to be heard on the debate stage in a number of hours. That is so beyond damaging for Donald Trump. I'm not sure -- in fact all the reporting so far indicates he
does not realize it. That he is in Trump Tower, he is relatively isolated from what's really going on. That sometimes is a consequence of being a billionaire businessman, of having your own tower, of having your own advisors that you depend on.
I would assume he's been watching cable news. Maybe it hasn't sunk in for him the consequences of what's happened in the last 36 hours.
BLACKWELL: Especially after what we saw yesterday afternoon when he walked out of Trump Tower. He had those scores of supporters there cheering him on.
STELTER: Soaking it up.
BLACKWELL: Soaking it up.
PRESTON: Not very presidential for him to do that. I mean, you have to understand that he feels under siege. The brightest point, he retweeted or tweeted yesterday been an interesting 24 hours. Yes, it has been.
BLACKWELL: It certainly has been. All right, Mark Preston, Brian Stelter, thanks so much. We'll continue the conversation later this morning. Tonight's debate is sure to be one you do not want to miss. Anderson Cooper co-moderates. Our live coverage starts at 4 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
So how does this weekend of turmoil for Donald Trump and the GOP affect the electoral map? Is Trump's lead in battleground states, especially Ohio, at risk? We'll talk about that next.
BLACKWELL: Welcome back. I'm Victor Blackwell live in Washington University, the site of tonight's second presidential debate. Donald Trump entered the weekend already on shaky electoral footing. The shocking 2005 audiotape that dropped on Friday most likely, almost certainly did not help.
Will the fallout move the polls in states like Ohio, the one battleground Trump had stronger numbers against Hillary Clinton? The latest Quinnipiac poll taken at the beginning of the month shows Trump there with a 5-point lead, outside the margin of error.
This morning Ohio Senator Rob Portman is joining other Ohio Republicans who say they cannot support Trump. In a statement he writes this, "While I continue to respect those who still support Donald Trump, I can no longer support him. I will be voting for Mike Pence for president."
Then there's Ohio Governor John Kasich. He says Donald Trump's actions and words on that 2005 audiotape are disgusting but unlike many of his GOP colleagues he stops short of calling for Trump to drop out of the race.
Governor Kasich talked with Dana Bash late yesterday while speaking about other elected Republicans. He said this, "You know, they've kind of come to this party late. I appreciate their view. I don't think I need to do any more at this point. Nobody has been clear about their feelings towards him or not many as I have been. You have a Republican National Committee and they have to figure this out."
Back here with me now is CNN Politics executive editor, Mark Preston. Having to figure this out. We heard from Charlie Dent, a congressman from Pennsylvania, saying that they have to get Donald Trump to get out of the way? And if Reince Priebus can't do it then he needs to resign.
PRESTON: Yes, you know, a couple of things too. A couple of things, too, you know, John Kasich interestingly enough is not saying that Donald Trump needs to get out of the race. Let's take a step back. Why did he say that?
I think he wants to run in 2020 himself. John Kasich also hosted the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and refused to go because Donald Trump was the nominee.
As far as Charlie Dent goes, he comes from the all-important state of Pennsylvania. Donald Trump needs him in Pennsylvania. Talking to people in the state right now, they think Donald Trump has no shot of winning Pennsylvania at this point due to those comments.
BLACKWELL: So let's talk about Utah, which is interesting because you had the governor there, Governor Herbert, rescinding his support. We had the first, Jason Chaffetz, a Utah congressman, retracting his endorsement. Is there potential here for a Democrat, for Hillary Clinton to win the state of Utah?
PRESTON: You know, I don't think so, but what it does tell us rig now is that Utah is an interesting state. Let's not forget the electorate in Utah is LDS, Mormon, very family value oriented.
Mitt Romney, Mormon, clearly won the state, did very well, but I think Jason Chaffetz really sent us a signal as did Governor Herbert when they decided to back off so early realizing that Donald Trump is a political kryptonite in that state.
Now what you could see is a third party candidate, Evan McMullen, he hasn't gained much traction. We've seen more (inaudible) a couple times. He could siphon enough votes away from Donald Trump that maybe he could win. I can't see Hillary Clinton winning it, but who knows?
BLACKWELL: Yes. We've heard some estimates that potentially on November 9th we'll wake up with Donald Trump in the mid-30s percentage of the electorate. Is that realistic?
PRESTON: Well, I mean, I don't see how he goes up. A lot will have to do with tonight and how he handles himself and how he tries to show some kind of contrition. But clearly that video we saw the other night, he was not asking for forgiveness.
He was laying down a marker that he was going to go after Bill Clinton. Whether he does that tonight on the stage we'll have to see. But if he does, we will have entered an entirely new phase of this presidential campaign. Having seen what we've seen so far, that very well could happen.
BLACKWELL: All right, Mark Preston, we'll have you all morning with us. Thank you so much. Christi, I'm going to send it back to you in Atlanta.
PAUL: All righty, thank you, Victor. Yes, we are still following Hurricane Matthew still causing flooding out there today. Streets look like rivers in some areas. This monster still has some push to it. We'll tell about it.
Also, two police officers shot and killed in Southern California. A manhunt for the gunman just ended while that city tries to cope with what happened.
PAUL: Going to get you back to politics in just a moment, but police in Palm Springs, California, have identified now this morning the man accused of killing two police officers. Those two responding to a domestic disturbance call.
Investigators say they were met by gunfire by 26-year-old John Felix. Take a look. You feel for these people in this community as they try to reconcile what's happened.
One was a 35-year veteran of the force and ready to retire in just a couple of months. The other a new mother with a 4-year-old daughter. They were both shot and killed overnight.
A third colleague was wounded and is being treated at the hospital. Now the police chief has his own emotions as they described a confrontation that they encountered at the front door.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The officers from what I understand were at the front door trying to negotiate with the suspect to comply. It was a simple family disturbance and he elected to open fire on a few of the guardians of the city.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Police did eventually bring that shooter into custody after an overnight standoff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So here you have a wonderful, young, dedicated female officer that pressed forward every day to make it better for everybody else and she gave her all. And you have Officer Vego (ph), you know, this line of work is designed for 30 years to max out before you retire.
[06:25:04]So in essence, you have an officer that was qualified for retirement five years ago. Here he is 35 years in, still pushing a patrol car for our community to make it better on a day he wasn't even scheduled to work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: And, again, just a couple of months from retirement. Look at how people are dealing with this as they try to reconcile this, the candles, the flowers at the scene there where residents and law enforcement communities are leaving their appreciation and tangible -- tangible material of their thoughts and prayers with the police station there. No immediate word of a motive for this. Certainly thoughts to that community.
All righty. Weather's next. Matthew leaving record breaking flooding behind. It is still moving up the south eastern coast this morning now a post-tropical cyclone that has moved along here. We'll bring you the very latest.
Also, just hours away from tonight's debate, Donald Trump may be tipping his hand a little bit showing what his debate strategy could be, and it is expected to get personal.
[06:30:16] PAUL: 6:30 right now. Welcome back, everyone. Glad to have you. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell in St. Louis, Missouri. We're live this morning at Washington University, the site of tonight's second presidential debate. And let's start here by just saying that to say that this would be pivotal day for the Trump campaign would be an understatement.
Question, can Trump right the ship after this weekend of chaos in his campaign? The revolt in the Republican Party. Saturday a defiant fist pumping Donald Trump emerged from Trump Tower the chance (ph) support from people there, crowd outside of the building. Now this come of course after a stunning video revealed Trump in 2005 casually talking about sexual assault. He has apologized. Despite the flurry of calls to drop out, Trump says he's not going anywhere.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you staying in the race?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One hundred percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Saturday saw a tidal wave of lawmakers retracting their endorsements of Trump, and sources tell CNN that those at the top of the GOP, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would prefer that Trump step aside.
PAUL: All right. Let's talk some politics now with CNN political commentators Tara Setmayer and Scottie Nell Hughes who is a Trump supporter. Ladies, thank you for being here.
Earlier on the show we had Lanhee Chen, a CNN political commentator and former Mitt Romney public policy director, Scottie. And he said obviously tonight is very critical. He said, Donald Trump has to show contrition within the first five minutes in order to turn this thing around. How likely do you think that's going to be? What are you hearing from the Trump camp?
SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely. I think that's something we can agree on right now. He's going to have to come out and be humble and he's going to say, you know what, I apologize. Those words were wrong. They should not be spoken against any woman at any time. Please, America, I ask for your forgiveness and I open myself up to any questions you have because I do believe that I should be held accountable for those words if that's going to allow us to move on. That was my past. I hope this debate will be about the future and talking about the policy between the two candidates.
PAUL: This is what you're hoping but you don't know what is in store, is that right?
HUGHES: Well, I don't know except for the guidance that I think you are going to see. This is going to be addressed. This is the elephant that's going to be on the stage tonight. And I think it will be taken care of, knowing the moderators, knowing their personalities, knowing both candidates.
I think from the initial start this will be probably one of the first items that will be taken care of and I hope it is. And like I said, I hope we can address it and move on and actually go to the American people. What I fear though is what we've known Hillary Clinton did the last time is that she is going to try to find some way to knock him off his game, off his -- off his messaging from the very beginning whether it's going to be another shock -- shock revelation or at some point try to bring up something that he's not ready for. But at least I think the American people are due the chance for Mr. Trump to apologize in person live on stage from the very beginning.
PAUL: How much -- how much -- how much road do you think that will buy him, Tara, if he does it?
TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I think it's -- this likelihood of Donald Trump humbling himself in front of the American people tomorrow and being, you know, offering humility and contrition is slim to none. If any -- if his behavior in the last 48 hours is any indication of what he's going to do tonight, then that's not what we're going to see.
He's been very defiant up until this point. His personality has never been to apologize for anything and humble himself for anything. He had a mentor in Roy Cohn who taught him who is a ruthless, ruthless lawyer who taught him never to apologize for anything.
So we've seen that there's nothing to indicate that's how Donald Trump is going to approach this tonight unless -- unless everything he's been doing for the last two days is just a ruse and he's going to show up all of the sudden a new candidate, a new person, I don't think we're going to see that tonight.
It's clear that this is not about necessarily righting the ship for him because if it were, he would not have been conducting his campaign this way from the very beginning. I think Donald Trump does not care about the Republican Party, that's clear. He's going to go out the way he wants to and to hell with everybody else. And that's been quite obvious, which is why the party at this point has -- is in a total freak out mode which is an exact quote from a friend of mine who works within what goes on here. He told me they are -- quote -- "freaking out" because the party is looking down ballot and how this will affect him and how it will affect our House and Senate races which is really where the focus needs to be. And that's why the RNC has halted funding anymore operations right now for the Trump campaign.
PAUL: OK. So I want to ask you Senator John McCain tweeted out yesterday, "Cindy and I will not vote for Donald Trump. I have never voted for a Democratic president and I will -- and we will not vote for Hillary Clinton. We will write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be president."
Who is that, Tara?
SETMAYER: Well, we could go down a list of a bunch of folks, unfortunately, who lost in the primary who were good, solid, competent, conservative Republicans that didn't make it out of the primary unfortunately that are more qualified to be president of the United States. Any one of them. You know, some folks might even write in Mike Pence. I mean, he's more qualified. Unfortunately, this is the situation that the party has chosen to put themselves in because they refused to call Donald Trump out for being unfit early on and now they're where they are. And there is no -- this is -- this is a fiction if they think they're going to replace Trump now. It's a virtual impossibility. That came and went on September 1st.
So God bless John McCain and those who have finally come out and said we can't do this anymore and finally put some principle behind their actions, but it's a little late.
PAUL: Scottie, when we talk about the debate tonight and what Donald Trump may do, what is different about tonight is that he will be facing voters directly? This isn't just about Hillary Clinton coming at him, this is about real voters asking real questions that they have on mind. Is he capable of keeping it under control in your opinion?
HUGHES: Absolutely. This is where he's going to shine. I think this is the reason why we saw this revelation come out on Friday. And I think why possibly there could be another revelation if he does very good tonight. Possibly more to come -- any sort of damage control from the Hillary Clinton campaign --
PAUL: What revelation on Friday night, Scottie?
HUGHES: Well, I'm talking about on Friday when they came out with the original tapes that came out from 2005. I think that's the reason why this is happening, because they know Donald Trump -- the one great thing -- and this is the reason why he was chosen, why he won in the primary, because it wasn't about the politician's endorsements, it was about the people. This is a movement of the people that the Republican Party has ignored for so long and it's why Donald Trump is able to beat 17 other candidates.
This is why I think all of these others that are falling out right now they were never really on board, why it doesn't really affect? But I think the issues of protecting the unborn, defending religious freedom, appointing judge, and opposing the Iran deal and economic freedom are the reasons why Mr. Trump and the people resonate better probably than Hillary Clinton will have tonight when it comes to the actual issues.
HUGHES: But unfortunately he's unfit to ever put any of those things forward. He's never had any conviction or investment in those issues prior to now.
PAUL: All right. We'll see what the people --
HUGHES: This is why --
PAUL: We'll see, Tara. I'm sorry to interrupt. We'll see what the voters ask him tonight and what they have to say.
Scottie Nell Hughes, Tara Setmayer, we always appreciate you being here. Thank you.
HUGHES: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right. Tonight's debate is going to get a similar number of viewers, maybe even more viewers considering the controversy over the last couple of days, but it's a very different format. The town hall style debate where candidates face questions from the voters. Well, our next guest may have altered U.S. presidential debate history with her simple question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")
ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: I'll always have Pence.
CECILY STRONG, ACTRESS: Well, actually today he said he can't condone your remarks and then he canceled his campaign events.
BALDWIN: Mike Pence is a loser.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Alec Baldwin taking on Donald Trump's tough week during "Saturday Night Live" opening sketch there. No shortage of material for this week's episode from last week's vice presidential debate.
And when we say last week, I guess, you know, being Sunday we're starting a new week. It was five days ago. It seems like it's been a very long time. Of course, there's a controversy around Trump's comments in 2005 and the second presidential debate tonight. Let's bring in CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES" Brian Stelter.
Clearly no doubt what this opening sketch was going to be about and it was really strong.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this was a cutting segment sort of capping off a horrible few days for Donald Trump. Alec Baldwin of course was hired just a couple of weeks ago to play Trump through Election Day. People wondered are we going to see him this week? Because this was all about the vice presidential debate this week. We're looking forward to the debate tonight but there haven't been -- this was supposed to be the week for Mike Pence and for Tim Kaine for a debate sketch. But SNL, I think, very wisely did that for a few seconds, interrupted and then brought in Trump.
BLACKWELL: Yes. And what's so strong about the writing there and what we've learned from the Tina Fey and Sarah Palin exchange of 2008 was that they work on an existing narrative here.
STELTER: For sure.
BLACKWELL: When they had Donald Trump mispronounce apologize -- apologize, it highlights that difficulty that many see that he can be contrite which many say he'll have to be tonight.
STELTER: Absolutely. Starting with Trump showing that side of him, which has, you know, been the reputation for the last 16 months, he never apologizes. That's why the last day has been so interesting. To cut from him and then to Clinton here's how she reacted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")
BALDWIN: I deeply apologize.
STRONG: Are you trying to say apologize? BALDWIN: No, I would never do that. What I am doing is apologizing to all the people who were offended by my statements, but more importantly to the people who were turned on by them. I hear it's really 50-50.
STRONG: We now go live to Hillary Clinton's campaign headquarters where they've just received news of the leak.
This is why sol is so effective, victor. I think that better than any commentator can sum up what the Clinton campaign is feeling right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: And this is why SNL is so effective, Victor. I think that better than any commentator can sum up what the Clinton campaign is doing right now.
STELTER: Yes, they have a lot to prepare for for the debate tonight, but they are quietly, privately, behind the scenes thrilled with what has happened with the leak of this tape with the conversation being all about Trump and not about Clinton.
STELTER: And by the way this was a very CNN version of SNL. We were essentially co-stars. Brooke Baldwin was being played by Cecily Strong. And actually we can show a picture, I think, of Brooke. She happened to be in Lorne Michaels office watching the show. Go figure. What a great spot to watch the SNL sketches from. She was able to meet Cecily after the show too. And then Jay Tapper was being played later in the program as well. So plenty of fathers (ph) for SNL and CNN sort of being a co-star of the broadcast last night.
BLACKWELL: Yes. We can expect that probably over the next several weeks. Thirty days now until Election Day.
STELTER: Right. Right.
BLACKWELL: Brian Stelter, thanks so much.
STELTER: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: And of course you can catch "RELIABLE SOURCES" this morning at 11:00 eastern right here on CNN.
Now tonight's debate we've said (ph) a different format from the first. It's a town hall style debate where candidates face questions from the voters. You're going to meet a voter who changed this format forever and guaranteed, as we've seen, that there would be a town hall style debate ever since 1992.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLACKWELL: Welcome back. I'm Victor Blackwell live in Washington University. The site of tonight's second presidential debate.
Now this will not be a simple rematch of the first debate. This is a different format. A town hall style debate where candidates will be challenged by voters. That format can often reveal a stark contrast in styles between the candidates, and never was that more clear than the first town hall 1992 and this pivotal exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARISA HALL SUMMERS, 1992 TOWN HALL PARTICIPANT: How has the national debt personally affected each of your lives?
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think the national debt affects everybody. Obviously it has a lot to do with interest rates. It has --
CAROLE SIMPSON, DEBATE MODERATOR: She's saying, "You personally."
BUSH: If the question -- maybe I get it wrong. Are you suggesting that if somebody has means that the national debt doesn't affect them?
GOV. BILL CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tell me how it's affected you again.
You know people who lost their jobs and lost their homes?
SUMMERS: Yes. Uh-huh.
CLINTON: Well, I've been governor of a small state for 12 years. I see people in my state, middle class people, their taxes have gone up in Washington and their services have gone down while the wealthy have gotten tax cuts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: And joining us now, the woman who asked that question 24 years ago, Marisa Hall Summers. Good morning to you.
SUMMERS: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: Did you know in that moment that that would be -- that was such a pivotal exchange?
SUMMERS: I had absolutely no idea. I thought like I was asking a question just like the other folks in the audience.
BLACKWELL: So when you asked the question initially it was to then President Bush. What was your feeling? What was your opinion of his answer and then compare and contrast that from what you heard from the would be President Clinton?
SUMMERS: I thought that President Bush was being a little bit evasive, and when I came up with the question I wanted to ask something that they hadn't been prepared to respond to. And I was hoping to get a very honest answer about how the -- you know, the recession had affected them personally and I felt like he was being a little bit evasive.
When President Clinton got up -- well then Governor Clinton got off of his stool and approached me, it made me feel special and as if he was connected to what a lot of the American citizens were feeling at the time.
BLACKWELL: That was the first town hall style debate. There's been a town hall debate ever since 1992. Take us into that chair, into that space. There will be 40 or so voters chosen by the Gallup organization who will be on the stage tonight. What's it like being in the room on the stage with the candidates?
SUMMERS: It's very exciting. It's -- it's unbelievable, and you're anxious because you're not quite sure if you're going to be able to answer a question. Everyone in the audience has a question, everyone does, and you're just waiting to see if you're going to be picked. And your heart is beating. And just listening to the candor is amazing. It's very, very, very exciting.
BLACKWELL: So your question then was about essentially how these candidates are personally affected by the fiscal challenges of the country. We've now got two candidates who are pretty wealthy, two New Yorkers. You've got Hillary Clinton, she and the former president over 70 years made about $140 million. We really don't know how much Donald Trump earned because he hasn't released his taxes -- those tax returns but "Forbes"" estimates he made or is worth about $3.5 billion. What question would you have for these candidates if you were chosen to sit on that stage tonight?
SUMMERS: Based on what's been going on in our country over the past couple of years I would probably focus on our inalienable rights and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
My goal 24 years ago was to ask a question that was relevant to everyone I knew, from my co-workers, family, friends, everyone. And I would try to do that again this year. And, you know, I feel like our inalienable rights are just dwindling. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
BLACKWELL: You are a Clinton supporter. Your husband was for a time a state delegate, a Democratic delegate in the state of Maryland. What do you want to hear from her tonight?
SUMMERS: I'd like to hear honesty.
The questions that the people in the audience are asking are questions that the candidates are probably not going to be prepared for so they should probably take a moment and listen to the question and then give an honest answer, because we can see through the evasiveness. So just honesty and speaking from the heart.
BLACKWELL: All right. Marisa Hall Summers, who has a place in presidential debate history 24 years ago asking such poignant (ph) question that really showed the difference between the candidates on that stage and guaranteed there was, as there has been, town hall style debate every cycle.
Thank you so much for spending some time with us this morning.
SUMMERS: You're welcome.
BLACKWELL: And of course you at home, you do not want to miss this debate tonight. Anderson Cooper co-moderates. Our live coverage starts at 4:00 p.m. Eastern. The debate is at 9:00 right here on CNN.
Christi, I'm going to send it back to you.
PAUL: All right, Victor, because we have to talk about the worst of Matthew, Hurricane Matthew. It's already passed over Haiti, but you know what? It left a new threat looming.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARC VINCENT, UNICEF REPRESENTATIVE IN HAITI: With flooding and water contamination, the risk is almost certainly very high now in the south.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: The widespread destruction Hurricane Matthew left behind across Haiti, just look at this. It's stunning. The fear right now is the death toll will climb while aide workers are scrambling to some of these hardest hit areas. Haiti's civil protection service says 330 people have died. Reuters puts that number much higher, almost 900.
Survivors are facing a new threat here thought folks, the possibility of a widespread cholera outbreak. The disease can spread so rapidly through contaminated waters. Government officials tell Reuters it has already killed 13 people.
And here in the U.S. Matthew has killed 10 people in North Carolina and Georgia and Florida collectively. Today the storm is slowly weakening. It is still churning up the East Coast but it's leaving behind record flooding and major power outages. Take a look at what's going on in North Carolina.
Just waterlog. That's a road, not a lake, a road. Cars have been abandoned as you see there.
And then in Savannah, Georgia people are wading through streets in knee high water.