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Fighting Underway As Iraqi Troops Near Mosul; Clinton Campaign Gets Envelope With White Powder; Voters Fear Possible Post-Election Violence; Wikileaks Releases Another Batch Of Damning Clinton Emails; Trump to Outline First 100 Days in Office; State of the Race; Asian American voters are Shifting the Battlegrounds; Fury Over Lenient Sentence in Incest Rape Case. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired October 22, 2016 - 06:00   ET




[06:00:03] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Remember, folks, it's a rigged system. That's why you've got to get out and vote. You've got to watch because this system is totally rigged.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Make no mistake, by doing that, he is threatening our democracy.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: We still have a path to 270 through several different ways.

TRUMP: We will win. We will shock the world. This is going to be Brexit plus.

CLINTON: We know in our country the difference between leadership and dictatorship.

TRUMP: We have bunch of babies running our country, folks. They're losers. They're babies.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I wish we were in high school I could take him behind the gym.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. So grateful to have your company on this Saturday. I'm Christi Paul.


A huge day on the campaign trail for the Clinton and Trump campaigns with rallies planned in a host of states. We'll get to that in full in just a moment.

First though, there's breaking news out of Iraq. Right now there's a fierce firefighting outside the Iraqi city of Mosul. There is a fire fight underway in a town six miles north of that ISIS stronghold.

Now a few hours ago, Iraqi troops launched a large scale operation to take back another city to the southeast.

PAUL: All of this as we learn at least 40 people were killed and dozens wounded in an ISIS counterattack in Kirkuk. CNN senior international correspondent, Arwa Damon, is joining us live from Iraq. Arwa, what are you learning about how these forces are pushing into Iraq?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to both of you. Now, that push to the north, that's actually the closest that the Iraqi Security Forces have gotten to the city of Mosul itself and then you do have these advances on multiple different fronts.

In some instances, they're able to push forward faster than others, but the closer, broadly speaking, that these various different groups have gotten to the city of Mosul itself, the tougher, as was expected, the fight is becoming.

Not just in terms of the ongoing clashes that exist, but ISIS repeatedly using those suicide car bombers, not just launching them at troops as they're advancing, but in some instances, hiding them in these towns, and then deploying them once troops are busy setting up their defensive positions.

And you also have this ISIS counterattack. That happened in the city of Kirkuk, a city that relatively speaking has been fairly quiet, away from the bulk of the fighting.

But ISIS yesterday launching about 30 to 40 of its militants in a multi-pronged attack, engaging the Kurdish and Iraqi Security Forces there in a battle that began yesterday and in some areas is still ongoing today with clashes breaking out.

So it's ISIS demonstrating its capabilities that even though, yes, it is under intense pressure in and around Mosul, it can still launch these kinds of counterattacks, using sleeper cells and also embedding some of its agents amongst the refugees, which creates problems on so many multiple scales.

Forces are now having to, they say, search refugees again, even those that do exist and are already at the camp. They're going to have to go through more stringent searches of those who are trying to flee.

And of course, it makes the whole process that much more difficult because imagine being a civilian. Imagine running away from these horrors with your family and just wanting to reach safety and then being subjected to these kinds of searches.

It just further makes the psychological process of it all that much more difficult and we're still only in the initial phases of this battle.

PAUL: All righty. Thank you, Arwa Damon. We appreciate it so much. I want to point out, you're looking at live pictures here near Mosul. Also want to let you know that we've gotten word, Defense Secretary Ash Carter has arrived in Baghdad this morning. This was a surprise visit for him. He will be meeting with troops as well as the Iraqi prime minister. We'll have more on that as we learn more throughout the morning.

BLACKWELL: Final dash now to the finish line in the race for president. Both candidates have packed schedules this weekend. Today, Hillary Clinton and running mate, Tim Kaine, will be in Pennsylvania.

A few hours, Donald Trump will be in Gettysburg, where he'll make what he's calling his closing arguments, outlining a ten-point plan for his first 100 days in office.

PAUL: His choice of venue, the same city where Abraham Lincoln made his famous speech, uniting the country during a time of war.

Also a tense situation for the Clinton campaign after they received a suspicious package with a white powdery substance. The NYPD was called into this situation. Initial tests on that powder have come back now negative for harmful substances.

[06:05:01]BLACKWELL: CNN's Brynn Gingras is following that story for us. Brynn, tell us more about this incident. We know that the Trump campaign was sent a white powder in April?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. This has happened before unfortunately to campaigns. At this point, we don't know who sent this letter to the Clinton campaign so we don't know the motivations behind it, but as Christi just mentioned, certainly put the Clinton campaign and headquarters here, all their staff on high alert.

According to the NYPD, what happened was a letter was sent to the campaign's Midtown Manhattan offices. That letter made its way here to Brooklyn, that's where it was opened by some of the staff members and the white powdery substance found and that's when authorities were called in.

Among them, the Secret Service, the NYPD, the Office of Emergency Management. And those tests did show that that substance was not hazardous. But even still, according to law enforcement, they had to evacuate one of the floors of the Clinton campaign headquarters here in downtown Brooklyn.

We do know that according to the Clinton campaign, everyone is doing OK. They released a statement saying the four individuals involved have reported no health issues and following a full examination by medical personnel were each referred to go home.

Our office remained open throughout this period and will remain open without interruption tomorrow morning. Of course, she has a busy day, as you guys just mentioned, as well as Donald Trump today campaigning. Back to you guys.

BLACKWELL: All right. Brynn Gingras for us there, thank you so much.

PAUL: Hillary Clinton is facing more mounting trouble after Wikileaks purportedly released another round of her campaign's e-mails. We'll tell you what was learned from that. And now Donald Trump claiming that the e-mails are proof that Clinton engages in pay-for-play practices.

BLACKWELL: Plus the fastest growing minority group in the U.S., Asian-Americans, could play a major role in the key battleground state namely Florida, but who will get those votes?



PAUL: Well, this political campaign, very divisive, let's say, on both sides of the aisle. The white powder mailed to the Clinton campaign, the firebombing of a Republican Party headquarters in North Carolina last weekend, the name calling in the final debate.

Now, Joe Biden at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania yesterday, suggesting he wanted to fight Trump for his comments on groping women. Listen to this.


BIDEN: He said, because I'm famous, because I'm a star, because I'm a billionaire, I can do things other people can't. What a disgusting assertion for anyone to make. The press always asks me, don't I wish I were debating him? No, I wish we were in high school and I could take him behind the gym. That's what I wish.


PAUL: So Biden's comments came at a sharp criticism for the Trump campaign. His campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, suggesting double standards in this tweet. She said, "Had Trump said this, it would be hair on fire breaking news with "violence" and "bully" trending high school psychologists on TV panels." So that's part of the conversation this morning, getting a lot of attention.

BLACKWELL: And we'll talk about that in just a moment. You know, there are some voters who are worried that whatever the outcome of the election, there could be some violence after the results are revealed. CNN's Martin Savidge spoke to some of those voters who are concerned outside a Trump rally in North Carolina.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Clarence Bartlett is no fan of Democrats.

CLARENCE BARTLETT, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Blame Democrats and all of them takes has ruined this country and we're trying to get it back.

SAVIDGE: Outside this Trump rally near Asheville, North Carolina, I asked him, what's going to happen in Trump wins? His answer is a shock.

BARTLETT: They'll kill him if he gets elected. That's how bad they are. They're the most evilest people I've ever seen, lie and deny.

SAVIDGE (on camera): Who would kill him?

BARTLETT: Well, the Democrats, the ones that's trying to cause rights and everything. It's obvious. It's in the news.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Bartlett isn't the only one predicting violence. Janet Stangel thinks it could happen if Trump loses.

JANET STANGEL, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Personally, I think it could turn into a civil war because there are --

SAVIDGE (on camera): You really think that?

STANGEL: Absolutely. First of all, I think that we're going to have terrorist attacks and we have all of these protests and all of that. So I think people are going to be very upset.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): I found Anne Brooks quietly waiting in line. She's a Clinton supporter and proof Trump backers don't hold the monopoly on ugly talk.

(on camera): What are you doing here?

ANNE BROOKS, CLINTON SUPPORTER: I think I wanted to experience what it's like to be in the room with a sociopath.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): I asked if she's willing to live with a Trump victory?

BROOKS: I might move to Canada, truly. Truly because I think there will be blood in the streets. I really do think that's going to happen. I think it may happen either way.

SAVIDGE (on camera): Who would cause that?

BROOKS: I think either side could.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): As troubling as this talk is, most we speak to say they do not expect violence.

(on camera): When this campaign is over, do you think as a nation we can come back together again?

PAT FIDELIS, TRUMP SUPPORTER: We have to. This is the greatest country in the world.

SAVIDGE: Do you believe that as a nation we could heal, we could get over what has been a very hard-fought campaign.

BODIE CATLIN, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I would hope so. I mean, I would hope so. I mean, I'm not a vicious person.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): But it has been a vicious campaign with some of the strongest, crudest, and ugliest language in living political memory. Most recently when Trump interjected in the last debate -- TRUMP: Such a nasty woman.

SAVIDGE (on camera): So you think the depiction "nasty woman" in this case fit?

JEAN BREWER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I -- well, I wouldn't come out and say it, but if the shoe fits, wear it.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): One thing is clear, healing won't begin until the election is over and with more than two weeks to go, there is still plenty of nasty out there.

(on camera): We've been asking people about the tenor of the campaign --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys are the pigs. Now, wait a minute, that's not nice.

SAVIDGE: So it's the sort of stuff like that.

(voice-over): Martin Savidge, CNN, Fletcher, North Carolina.


PAUL: So the question is, can a U.S. unite? Can the country heal amidst all of this? That's why Donald Trump is heading to Gettysburg for his address today we're told. Is it enough or is it a little too late?

Let's talk about with CNN's political commentator, Errol Louis and Abby Phillip, national political reporter of "The Washington Post." Thank you both for getting up so early on a Saturday morning to talk to us.

[06:15:01]I want to circle back real quickly to what Vice President Biden said and the criticism of those statements. Abby, is the criticism valid?

ABBY PHILLIP, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think, you know, given how prominent bullying as an issue has been in this campaign, I think you're right that the Trump campaign is clearly going to jump on this, because, you know, Joe Biden, especially when he's close to his hometown in Scranton, Pennsylvania, he tends to kind of revert back to sort of that mind-set.

But on the campaign trail, I don't think it's entirely appropriate and I think the Trump campaign is probably within its rights to say something. At the same time, it's unlikely to really make a big wave in this campaign.

We are in that 17 days before Election Day, there are really explosive things happening at the principle level with both Trump and Clinton, but I think this doesn't really rank very high on that list.

PAUL: Errol, I want to play some sound here of Donald Trump's speech last night, in case people missed it. He called the country's leaders babies and losers, took a shot at First Lady Michelle Obama. Let's listen here.


TRUMP: We have a bunch of babies running our country, folks. We have a bunch of losers. They're losers. They're babies. We have a president, all he wants to do is campaign. His wife, all she wants to do is campaign. And I see how much his wife likes Hillary.

But wasn't she the one that originally started the statement, "if you can't take care of your home," right? You can't take care of the White House or the country. Where's that? I don't hear that. I don't hear that.


PAUL: Errol, what's your reaction to that?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: A quick fact check, first of all. The reference he's making to Michelle Obama. If you actually listen to it, she's saying the opposite of what he's implying there. It was not an attack on the Clintons, it was a description of how she and her husband, Barack Obama, Candidate Obama at that time would take care of their family and do everything they could to be home each night and make sure the kids' school life was not disrupted.

So let's just be clear about that. Look, when Donald Trump goes into these slashing attacks, the insults, the personal insults, the mockery and so forth, he's doing what has led him to the low point that he has now reached in the polls.

Because lots of other people are watching so he can get a rise out of the crowd that's in front of him, which might be 15,000 people, but there are tens of millions of people who are watching, who clearly don't like that.

So any hope of getting undecided voters, swing voters, he's kind of throwing it away with speeches like that.

PAUL: Abby, one of the other things we've heard from him really in the last 48 hours that we hadn't heard so much before is him saying things look, we need you. We need you to go to the polls. We need you to get out there and vote and turn this thing around. That's a quote, "to turn this thing around." Do you get a sense that Donald Trump is not as dismissive of these poll numbers that we're seeing now as he's indicating here?

PHILLIP: He's absolutely coming to terms with the reality that he's in a very difficult spot electorally, and it's something that he is not going to be able to sort of wake up one morning and then it goes away.

So Donald Trump is in some ways, coming to terms with that by asking his supporters to come out. But in other ways, he's also giving them some semblance of false hope. He's talking a lot, you know, about some kind of surprise or people being surprised by the outcome, but that's just not the way that elections work. You don't just wake up and everything the next day is completely different and he has a widespread problem now electorally right now with the map. He's not doing well in so many battleground states and it's going to be difficult to overcome that. I think slowly but surely he's going to have to communicate that to his supporters.

PAUL: So Errol, the polls during the primary not exactly on target. Nobody saw some of the things coming that the polls were saying. Do you think there are closet voters, who may not admit publicly, yes, I'm going to vote for Donald Trump, but once they get in that little booth, it's just them and their conscience?

LOUIS: That is a very slim reed of hope that the Trump campaign is hanging on to right now. There's no evidence that that's how things happen. In fact, if anything, what you find is Donald Trump has underperformed in his polls.

Up until he won the New York primary, at that point, basically sort of shut out all of his competitors in the primary season, he actually underperformed. He would come in typically two to five points under where the polls suggested he would come in. So I don't see any reason to expect that.

Now, look, anything can happen, and he's going to try to make this case that he has somehow found them. But the way that he campaigns sort of argues against that, as well, because he doesn't use close analytics and sort of go through magazine subscriptions and find people who might be more in league with his message but tend not to vote.

[06:20:07]That's not been the kind of campaign that he's run. So if it's going to work, I don't think the campaign can be certain about that any more than anybody else can.

PAUL: All righty, Errol Louis, Abby Phillip, always appreciate you lending your voice to us. Thank you.

LOUIS: Sure.

BLACKWELL: Well, there's a new batch of embarrassing leaked e-mails for the Clinton campaign. Wikileaks purportedly revealing a strange relationship between Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore.


PAUL: Well, Wikileaks is keeping its pledge, it seems, to target Hillary Clinton's reportedly unleashing yet another round of hacked e- mails from her campaign.

BLACKWELL: Yes, but is there anything in this latest batch that could change the state of this race? Here's CNN senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, Ohio has been one of the most stubborn battlegrounds for Hillary Clinton. One of the so-called Obama states where the president won twice and she has been struggling. Now advisers to Clinton say they are increasingly confident about their prospects even as they weather one more round of Wikileaks distractions.


CLINTON: I have now spent 4-1/2 hours on stage with Donald proving once again I have the stamina to be president.

ZELENY (voice-over): Hillary Clinton back on the campaign trail in Cleveland. Her face-to-face showdowns with Donald Trump behind her. Clinton is hoping to capitalize on her rising momentum and trying to turn a positive corner.

CLINTON: I know you may still have questions for me. I respect that. I want to answer them. I want to earn your vote. I am reaching out to all Americans, Democrats, Republicans, and independents.

[06:25:11]ZELENY: Yet she's hardly resting easy, as her campaign braces for more fallout from e-mails stolen from campaign chair, John Podesta. Another batch from Wikileaks, confirming bad blood between Clinton and Al Gore after he declined to endorse her last fall.

Top Clinton aide, Huma Abedin writing, "Hard to put on e-mail, but there is no love lost in this relationship." She added later, "No, it's bad." Clinton aides say that's all in the past, pointing to Gore's appearance last week with Clinton in Miami.

CLINTON: I can't wait to have Al Gore advising me when I am president of the United States.

ZELENY: The e-mails also exposing questions about whether Secretary Clinton would attend a Clinton Foundation Summit in Morocco, a month after announcing her bid for the presidency. The e-mails suggest her appearance was in exchange for a $12 million contribution from the king of Morocco.

Again, Abedin writing, it would break a lot of China now to break out when we have so many opportunities to do it in the past few months. She created this mess and she knows it.

In the end, Clinton did not go. The Clinton campaign hoping to drown out these distractions with a powerful new television ad. It features Khazir Khan, the gold star father who spoke at the Democratic convention about his son, a Muslim-American who died serving in Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to ask Mr. Trump, would my son have a place in your America?


ZELENY: Now, Hillary Clinton is hitting the campaign trail this weekend with her running mate, Tim Kaine, something she has rarely done, working Saturdays and Sundays on the road. She will be holding rallies today in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania and heading to North Carolina tomorrow. The Clinton campaign is focusing on early voting, trying to capture this momentum now, to ward off any sense of an October surprise -- Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right, Jeff, thank you so much. We just want to remind you, CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the Wikileaks e-mails.

BLACKWELL: A massive cyber-attack was partly carried out by infiltrating devices. Maybe you have one in your home right now. We're talking about hundreds of thousands of DVR machines and web cams that were taken over by Malware.

The attack caused widespread outages online. A number of popular websites went down. The FBI is investigating, but so far, no one has pointed a finger at any particular group or nation. So what exactly led to this cyber-breach? We'll have a live report coming up in just a few moments.

PAUL: Also, polls right now showing Hillary Clinton in a prime position to win the White House, but there are a lot of things at play right now. We're going to talk about it with potential political pitfalls, next.



PAUL: Welcome back. 6:31 on a Saturday. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you. Final presidential debate now in the rearview mirror and today both candidates are out, talking to voters. Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine campaigning together in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia today.

PAUL: Donald Trump, in fact, also swinging through that state this morning. His campaign says he's going to outline his first 100 days in office. He'll do so in a speech in Gettysburg a few hours from now.

And of course, Election Day is almost so close, I mean you can almost see it, at least on the calendar right. Donald Trump in his weakest political position of his entire presidential campaign, some say. New national polls show Hillary Clinton's gained a sizable lead since that first debate and it's not looking much better for Trump in some of these key battleground states we're looking at. CNN's John King clues us into the state of the race.


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is an understatement and dramatically so to say the debate season has not been kind to Donald Trump. Let's go back in time. This was the state of play September 26th, the first presidential debate at Hofstra on long Island. CNN poll of polls, a statistical dead heat. Donald Trump was moving up. Some national polls actually showed him ahead at that point, but the average was a two-point Clinton lead, 43-41. That was September 26th, the first debate.

Look at where we are today. What a dramatic change. A nine-point Clinton lead in the national polls. This is unheard of in recent presidential politics. In polarized America, she has a nine-point national lead heading into the third and final debate. And what that does is it dramatically reshapes the map that matters most. The path to 270 electoral votes.

Here's where we were on the day of the first debate. Now, we still had Secretary Clinton at and above the finish line. The dark blue and light blue states, she was at 272. But at that point, back then, Donald Trump was leading or tied in Nevada, leading or tied in Florida, leading or tied in North Carolina, leading or tied in Ohio. He was in the hunt, he had momentum, he was closing this gap. If you added all that up, he was in the 260 range and making a race of this.

But, this is now where CNN has the electoral map heading into the third and final debate. Arizona and Utah, two ruby red republican states we've pulled them back from Trump and put them in the toss-up column. Florida now leans democrat. North Carolina now leans democratic. The result, Secretary Clinton above 300 electoral votes and on a path to where President Obama was in his two big overwhelming Electoral College victories. You cannot overstate the dramatic shift in this map during the debate season.

Hillary Clinton now well in excess of what she needs to win. And, again, she's in play in North Carolina, a slight lead. Ohio's about a tie. And these two states, the Clinton campaign is beginning to test whether Utah and Arizona could actually go democratic.


BLACKWELL: All right, thank you, John.

Joining me now, CNN Political Commentator and Donald Trump supporter, Scottie Nell Hughes. And A. Scott Bolden, Former Chairman of the Washington D.C. Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton support. Good morning to both of you.


BLACKWELL: Hey, Scottie, I want to start with you. And let's put up the poll of polls again that has Clinton ahead by eight points here, just 17 days until the election.

Now, we've heard a lot of rhetoric from Donald Trump about losing, if I lose, and, you know, this will be a waste.

If I lose, it's rigged. He may still believe that he can win, but Kellyanne Conway is a pollster, she knows the numbers. Is this a campaign that still believes that Donald Trump can win this? Can pull it off in 17 days?

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, listen here Victor; polls are like family members at thanksgiving dinner. Some you like, and some you don't, and there's always a few surprises in the end of it.


HUGHES: So yes, it would be great if it was overwhelmingly Donald Trump right now. And, you know, to a certain extent with everything that's come out, it should be, he should be overwhelmingly winning, but he's not. But there are some polls, well yes, CNN polls, I get it, but you know, The Investor Business Daily came out and put Trump up by one point. Rasmussen up by two. And in key states like Indiana and Georgia and Utah, he is winning states that just two-three weeks ago I heard many members in the media bragging oh, these are going to go left.

So, we have two weeks left in a race that's highly volatile. And I definitely think there's a lot of optimism still to go.

BLACKWELL: Indiania, Georgia, you're naming states that typically are safely in the republican column, but this year are, at some point, where something that the democrats thought they could pick off. Let me come to you, Scott, and I want you to listen to what Kellyanne Conway told Erin Burnett last night.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, DONALD TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER: We feel that when voters see this is a competitive race, that we still have a path to 270 through several different ways, several different angles. Then they see Donald Trump out there, he's promised, Erin, to have a very punishing schedule these last 18 days. We just went over the schedule today, I can tell you it is going to be punishing. He wants to leave it all on the field and give it his best shot.


BLACKWELL: Now, we know that Kellyanne chooses her words carefully, saying a very punishing schedule. And CNN has found that Clinton has been on the campaign trail less frequently than the previous nominees of either party in the last cycles. Are we going to see more of her? Because Conway's argument is the more that people see Hillary Clinton instead of those high-name and high-profile surrogates, they remember why they dislike her. That's her argument. You say what?

BOLDEN: Well, I think that Kellyanne is reading the polling numbers, as well. Listen, this has been a long campaign. We've seen a lot of Donald trump. This system isn't rigged. Hillary Clinton has been on the trail, but she's got some super surrogates on the trail, too, and the numbers are what the numbers are.

The real key here is, that notwithstanding Donald Trump, hays got to get Ohio and Florida to get to the political Promised Land. The reality is, that while he's competitive there, he's not -- she, -- Hillary Clinton, is very competitive in traditional red states and she's got a ground game right now that makes her even more competitive in those states.

And so, not only does Donald Trump have to compete in Ohio and Florida, the pathway to victory. But, he's also got to devote time and resources in traditionally red states. It's just not looking good for him.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about Donald Trump's own Gettysburg address later today. Going to the site of where, of course, President Lincoln made that speech that we all know so well. Scottie, first to you; the choice of Gettysburg, where the president tried to unify a divided country and Donald Trump has been talking about division and has been blamed for many of the divisions. As a supporter, you see -- you read what out of the choice of the location, the site for today's address?

HUGHES: Well, I find it interesting you say that he's talked about division. Or that he's actually divided. I think it's actually the common themes of economic freedom and providing for our families and protecting our families has been something that's been unifying for all Americans.

Now, you know, the message of the left is to sit there and say that we are a splintered country and that Donald Trump is splintering us. But the truth is, I think there's one thing that all Americans have in common, and that's the idea of the American dream, that we should be able to provide for our own and to have jobs and our communities be stable. That's a very unifying message right there and I think it's very appropriate that he's going to Gettysburg today, where you know, the ethics speech was given by President Lincoln about unity.

And, that's the great thing we have about social media and 24-hour news cycles, that anything can change. Anything can come out. And we are a country that is well divided underneath President Obama. And I think he can deliver a great message today.


BOLDEN: Well, Victor, he is -- Donald Trump is the great divider. And those topics and issues that Scottie just talked about are important if Donald Trump talked more about them. Yet he talks about groping women. He talks about Mexicans and Muslims in a very negative way. And he is the worst message and the worst one to talk about unifying this country.

It's a problem, because you can't get past those bucket of deplorables to talk about those real policy issues that really, quite frankly, Scottie's right, could unite all Americans. But because of his message, you can't have -- you've got to look at the total package. You can't just look at the issues he talks about, because you look at how he's attacked.

BLACKWELL: All right. Scott, you know pointed out there a time in which Hillary Clinton herself was criticized for dividing America by identifying half of Trump's supporters as a basket of deplorables. So each candidate has their own story to tell from that line.

BOLDEN: But, she certainly apologized --

BLACKWELL: She did apologize for saying...

BOLDEN: ... but you got the point ...

BLACKWELL: ... for saying "half." Scott Bolden, Scottie Nell Hughes, thank you both. We'll continue the conversation.

BOLDEN: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right.


PAUL: Next, top political and geographical changes among Asian American voters are shifting the battlegrounds for the presidential election.


PAUL: Well, it is the fastest growing racial group in America. Asian- Americans. And there's an historic shift happening regarding how they vote that could certainly impact this election.

BLACKWELL: Now, this week, I traveled to Florida to talk to some of those voters about their feelings on the candidates, voter outreach, and the issues that are driving the voters to the polls.


BLACKWELL: On the campus of the University of North Florida, politics is the topic of the day. And most of these students will be voting for Hillary Clinton.

JUSTIN DATO, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH FLORIDA STUDENT: I think, ultimately, like her vision for the United States, it kind of aligns with my vision of like open mindedness, kind of accepting everyone.

BLACKWELL: Justin Dato, and his friends are at the leading edge of a seismic politic shift among Asian-American voters. From once-reliable republican votes to a democratic stronghold.

In the 1992 three-way race, Republican President, George H.W. Bush earned 55% of the Asian-American vote.

20 years later, democratic President Barack Obama got 73% over Mitt Romney.

KARTHICK RAMAKRISHNAN, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL ASIAN AMERICAN SURVEY: We have never seen a swing like that for any group.

BLACKWELL: Karthick Ramakrishnan is the director of the National Asian American Survey.

RAMAKRISHNAN: Democrats are far more likely to be reaching out to these voters than republicans. We also saw Bill Clinton do a lot in terms of outreach activity and also nominating Asian-Americans.


BLACKWELL: And democrats hope that outreach will pay off this year, as Asian-American voters could have an oversized impact in November. RAMAKRISHNAN: There are these new destination states, states like

Florida and other states like North Carolina, that are now battleground states for the presidency. These are the states where you have newer Asian-American populations and they're growing very rapidly.

BLACKWELL: At the top of the list, Jacksonville, Florida. It's mostly Filipino community has the highest population of Asian-Americans in any of the 2016 battleground states. Most analysts say Donald Trump needs to win Florida to win the White House. And it's Mauro Gines' job to find the votes. He's with the Filipino American Republicans of Northeast Florida.

The statistics would show that democrats are doing very well recruiting Asian-Americans.

MAURO GINES, REPUBLICAN: I think they appear to have very effective recruiting. And I would probably yield to that statement. I guess they have the support of what they hear, meaning the media. So, if there's too much they hear from the media about the democrats, they would lean towards that.

RAMAKRISHNAN: We've also seen factors on the republican side that have pushed them away.

BLACKWELL: And an August rally, when Trump reiterated his proposal to ban immigrants from what he calls terrorist nations, he mentioned the Philippines.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary Clinton wants to have them come in by the hundreds of thousands.

BLACKWELL: Soon after, a Philippines lawmaker proposed banning Trump from entering their country.

RAMAKRISHNAN: A majority of Asian-American registered voters have a very unfavorable view of Donald Trump. And that should be very concerning to the Republican Party, because it's possible that Donald Trump will turn off Asian-American voters even more.

BLACKWELL: The survey found that 59% favor Clinton and just 16% favor Trump. But there is opportunity for each party here. For these two voters the choice is less about who they want to be the next president, but more about who they don't.

Are you a Trump supporter?

GINES: I am a Trump supporter.

BLACKWELL: Tell me why?

GINES: Because I cannot be for Hillary.

BLACKWELL: Are you excited to vote for Hillary Clinton?

DATO: I wouldn't necessarily say excited. Just, I'm excited not to vote for Trump.


BLACKWELL: All right, well 70% of the people surveyed in this -- by this group, the registered voters say they had not been contacted by any political party. Now, there is one factor here that could impact why the campaigns aren't reaching out to Asian-American voters. Maybe there's a chicken and egg factor here. Despite the rapid growth, high levels of education and income, Asian-Americans lag behind whites and other minority groups in voter participation. We'll examine this more throughout the morning.

Also, next hour, we'll take a look at the changing demographic. The State of Georgia once reliably a red state, we talked about this with Scott and Scottie, now looks like potentially a toss-up. We're talking to two voters out the issues driving more republicans to consider voting for the democrats.

PAUL: Also, a Montana judge facing the wrath of the public after sentencing a man to just 60 days in jail as punishment for raping his daughter. More in a moment.


PAUL: Every year in the U.S., 7 million children are bullied either at school or online. And, when Matthew Kaplan realized his little brother was one of them, he took action. That's why he is this week's CNN Hero.


MATTHEW KAPLAN, CNN HERO: The term peer pressure is thrown around a lot, and usually when it is, it's meant as a negative thing. But I believe that we can actually harness peer pressure for good. What if it was cool to be kind? And that's what positive peer pressure is all about. Creating this culture where being inclusive and being kind is the norm.



PAUL: To see Matthew's positive peer pressure program in action, go to And, it's our favorite time of year. Anderson Cooper reveals the top ten CNN Heroes of 2016. That's next Wednesday, October 26th, on New Day. Hope you'll be with us.

ANNOUNCER: CNN Heroes, everyday people changing the world is brought to you by Humana, we think great things are ahead of you when your health is ready for them.


PAUL: I don't know if you've heard about this one, but fury erupts towards a Montana judge who sentenced a man to just 60 days in jail for an incestuous rape case. This man, District Judge John McKeon, imposed a two-month sentence

plus probation to a man who repeatedly raped his own 12-year-old daughter. The defendant pled guilty to felony incest.

Judge McKeon gave him a suspended 30-year sentence that he will not serve as long as he successfully completes probation, including a sex offender treatment program and no unsupervised contact with minors.

CNN is not releasing the name of this defendant to protect his victim's identity, but we are talking it over with CNN Legal Analyst and Criminal Defense Attorney, Danny Cevallos.

So Danny, we know that the prosecution recommended a 25-year sentence. This man, with time served credit, is only going to spend about 43 days in jail. How did this happen? And what is your reaction?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The simple answer is it happened because it's the law. You know, I may surprise you here, Christi. We're entering a new era where when judges give out legal sentences authorized by the legislature, there is immediately a petition demanding that they step down or calls for impeachment.

The Montana legislature allows a sentencing range for this crime of 4 years to 100 years. And then within that, the judge can suspend all but 30 days of a sentence when it comes to incest.

So, it appears that as long as he puts his reasons on the record and they're good reasons, under the law, and by that, I mean, what the law allows, this was a legal sentence. And in fact, he could have suspended an additional 30 days and made it even lighter.

So, while I understand the shock and outrage, the shock and outrage should be directed at the legislature, because our judges are designed to be independent from the angers and the disappointment of the rabble. And I know that, because as a defense attorney, I am frequently upset with the sentence a judge gives.

PAUL: OK, are you upset over this one?

CEVALLOS: It does seem like a light sentence.


CEVALLOS: But, if you look at Montana law, so long as a health care professional testifies that the offender would be better suited for treatment in the community than treatment in prison -- remember, with sex offenders, the vast majority of them will return to the streets. So the question is, what are we going to do with them? Are we going to get them the rehabilitation they need? Or are we just going to send them to Shawshank, where they could become even worse offenders in prison?

Sex offenders are a deplorable -- it's a deplorable crime, but they're also a segment of society that are -- they will return to the public, the vast majority of them. PAUL: Well, and the other thing I think that was disturbing about this

for some people is the fact that the victim's mother asked for leniency here. She wrote a statement about the defendant saying that he needs help, he has two sons that still love him. Please give him the opportunity to work on fixing the relationships he destroyed. He's not a monster, just a man that really screwed up and has been paying in many ways.

But when we look at this, what does this say to the victim, Danny?

CEVALLOS: Well, clearly, this is a family that is going to have issues going forward, because this crime has ruptured the familial relationship. And I -- I mean I can only imagine the discomfort and anguish they're going through.

But, you know, in terms of a sentencing hearing, where you have family members and where there's demonstrated support in the community for an offender, judges take that into account. And they can take that into account, because at a sentencing hearing, especially with a huge range like this, almost anything can happen. And if it's a legal sentence, it is a legal sentence.

PAUL: All right. Danny Cevallos, we appreciate it. Thank you for walking us through it.

A lot more news to tell you about this morning, as well.

BLACKWELL: Next hour starts after this break.