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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Candidates Closing in on Finish Line; FBI Director Stands by July Assessment in New Letter to Congress; Hillary Clinton Speaks in New Hampshire; The Ground Game; Campaign Star Power. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired November 6, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:03] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: It is 9:00 p.m. and the marathon is over, in New York, at least. Out on the campaign trail, it's also getting close to the finish line; they candidates going late into the night, Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, Donald Trump -- running quite late -- expected shortly in Western Pennsylvania and then Northern Virginia. We'll bring you that when it happens.
First, the latest on the story that just about no one saw coming: FBI Director, James Comey, weighing in, yet again, on the Clinton email investigation, saying, in so many words, the investigation is over. Our Evan Perez has been working his sources all night on this, joins us again right now.
So what was in the letter that Comey sent to Congress, and does this mean that Hillary Clinton is in the clear, at least for now, as far as the FBI is concerned?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, as far as the FBI is concerned, and as far as Hillary Clinton is concerned, she is in the clear. That the letter -- that's what the letter that Jim Comey sent to members of Congress today -- that's what it says. The team that was -- spent a year looking at her emails -- looking at this private server that she had operated while she was Secretary of State, came back and they worked around the clock, according to the FBI Director. A part of what he said he to -- to Congress -- we'll read -- we'll read some of that to you. He said, "During the process, we reviewed all of the communications that were too or from Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State. Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton."
Anderson, investigators did find some classified emails in this -- in this new batch of emails that they were reviewing, but a lot of these emails had been seen before -- they were duplicates of emails that they had spent a year going through. The ones that they did look at, they went line-by-line to make sure that it was -- it was stuff that they had seen before. There was also a lot of personal e-mails and, of course, there were emails that belonged to Anthony Weiner, whose laptop this was.
Now, as far as Hillary Clinton, this is over. The FBI, though, still has some more work to do, especially with regard to Huma Abedin. She says she has no idea how these emails got on this -- on this laptop, so the FBI wants to do some more work there. They -- they probably will try to interview her once more to try to see if they can get to the bottom of that, Anderson.
COOPER: No one was expecting this latest announcement from the FBI. They told the public not to expect an update until before the -- you know, before the election; to expect one after. How were they able to get through all the emails and come to a decision, because some Trump supporters are saying "Well, look, there's no way they could have gotten through" -- what they say were 650,000 emails, though that number has never been confirmed.
PEREZ: Right; and that number is kind of irrelevant because we're talking about a computer that belonged to Anthony Weiner. Most -- the vast majority of those, the FBI was not interested in as far as this investigation is concerned. They were looking at a much smaller subset, which belonged to Huma Abedin. So, you know, they -- what we're told is that they used technology -- simply high-tech software that were -- that were able to separate all the other emails that they didn't care for and they were able to -- to narrow it down to those emails that went through the Hillary Clinton server. That was the key part of this here for these investigators, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Evan, thanks very much. Tonight and tomorrow night, in the run up to the election, we want to bring you as many life events as is happening in these final evenings. Hillary Clinton, right now, speaking in Manchester New Hampshire. Let's listen in:
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: -- more countries should have nuclear weapons.
CLINTON: And when a journalist asked him about using nuclear weapons, he said "Well, why do we make them?" I wonder if he even realizes he's talking about nuclear war. The other day in Ohio, I was at Kent State University and I was introduced by a man named Bruce Blair. He had been in the Air Force decades ago and he was a launch officer in our nuclear program, which meant that he sat in a bunker during his watch time, in case the President -- whoever the President was -- were to order a nuclear attack.
And Bruce Blair knows there is no appeal from a President's order to launch a nuclear attack. There is no veto by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or anybody else. If a President orders a nuclear attack, there's about a four-minute window before it happens. I had never met Mr. Blair before. He's gone on to have a very distinguished career in security studies. But as he was watching this campaign and reflecting on the service he did as a young man, he realized he could never support Donald Trump. And he called other launch officers -- sometimes called "missileers" -- and asked them what they were thinking. And to a person, they said "This is unacceptable. This is actually scary."
So several dozens of them wrote a letter saying that they know what the awesome responsibility is that a President of the United States holds and they could never support Donald Trump to be our President and Commander-in-Chief."
CLINTON: And if you -- if you believe, like I do, that our economy grows and America thrives when the middle class grows and thrives, then you have to vote too.
CLINTON: We're going to make the biggest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II -- jobs and infrastructure, and advanced manufacturing, and clean energy, small business jobs. I want to be the best small business President we've ever had --
CLINTON: -- to enable more people to get started and grow their businesses. In contrast, my opponent built his fortune on the backs of small business owners. But I'm the daughter of a small businessman and I am just so glad my dad never got a contract from Donald Trump.
CLINTON: Because so many who did were stiffed. But I want to make sure that we have easier access to capital, less red tape, more tax relief for people willing to take the risk of going in to small businesses. I also think it's imperative that we make our economy fairer. And that means I do support raising the national minimum wage.
COOPER: That's Hillary Clinton in Manchester, right now. Donald Trump expected shortly just outside Pittsburgh. He'll be arriving a bit later this evening. We'll bring you his comments when we can.
CNN's Sara Murray is in Minneapolis where he spoke earlier. She joins us now. How has Donald Trump reacted to the Comey letter today?
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, just because Comey said that he is going to stick with his decision from this summer does not mean that Donald Trump has suddenly decided that Hillary Clinton is free and clear. In fact, he continued to maintain, as he was campaigning in Michigan today, that Hillary Clinton is guilty. Listen to what he said:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You can't review 650,000 new emails in eight days. You can't do it, folks. Hillary Clinton is guilty; she knows it, the FBI knows it, the people know it, and now it's up to the American people to deliver justice at the ballot box on November 8th.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: So this gives you an indication of how Donald Trump is going to try to continue to use this as an issue to benefit him for the next couple of days, regardless of what the FBI Director says, Anderson.
COOPER: The reopening of the investigation -- Trump has been talking about it on the -- on the trail, basically every day since -- since it happened.
MURRAY: Right; which is pretty stunning. We saw Donald Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway out there today saying this has not been a major issue of their campaign; this has not been a major messaging point. Let's be clear, Anderson, this was a political gift when Comey originally sent the letter to Congress and Donald Trump and his campaign seized on that. He has talked about it at basically every Trump rally since then. They have turned it into an ad. And Donald Trump has taken it steps further, insisting to people that if they elect Hillary Clinton she's just going to be indicted; that she's going to be under investigation for years.
So the notion that Donald Trump did not use this moment to propel his candidacy in recent days is just -- just doesn't bear weight, Anderson.
COOPER: Right; as Paul was saying in the last hour, I mean, Kellyanne Conway tweeted out, the day of the Comey letter, you know, that this is a good day for -- for the campaign, I think was -- that's not very close to a direct quote. What's the campaign saying now about the potential impact this news will have, or are they?
MURRAY: Well, they're really down-playing the impact this will have. Obviously, it's a short timeframe between now and when people go to the polls. Many people have already gone to the polls between Comey's first letter and his second. But the Trump campaign essentially says that they saw battleground states tightening already, before Jim Comey's first letter to Congress -- that it was on the wake of Obamacare news; it was on the wake of some these Hillary Clinton -- or some of these John Podesta emails we saw in WikiLeaks, as they related to Hillary Clinton's campaign.
So they sort of feel like they've already seen Republicans start coming home; they're seeing some Independents breaking their way; and they don't expect that to change. The question, Anderson, is if there are people who were still on the fence -- who were still waiting to see, for instance, whether something more would come from the FBI and this could sway them and, you know, whether this will maybe make Hillary Clinton supporters more enthusiastic about turning out to the polls. We'll just have to wait for the next couple of days to see what impact, if any, this is going to have on the race.
COOPER: Yes, Sara Murray. Sara, thanks for the lengthy interview with Kellyanne Conway at the top of our last hour. You can check it out at our Twitter page, @AndersonCooper360, or online at 360.com. Back now with the panel.
We're joined this hour by the anchor of CNN's "SMERCONISH" -- coincidentally, that is also his name -- Michael Smerconish.
He's also a radio talk show host and a Philadelphia-area native, so he clearly knows the state of the battlefield there. Michael, what do you make of -- of, (a) Comey coming out with this -- this later, which -- I mean, it certainly surprised a lot of folks who thought there's no way he's going to say anything more before the election.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that if he knew that there was a prospect of the investigation -- the more recent revelations being wrapped up within two weeks, he should never have sent letter number one. I think that's pretty obvious. I also don't think that it's going to move the needle. And it occurs to me as -- as we're now in the final stretch of this thing, that this has been a campaign of tremendous drama.
But I reflect on the John McCain moment, which I thought would be a game changer. And when those comments -- those appalling comments that Donald Trump made about John McCain -- "respecting the ones who don't get captured" -- when that didn't move the needle, it should have been a wake-up call that very few things were going to. Really, there's been a -- a consistency to this election from the get-go, when it's been the two of them, it's been somewhere in that the three-to- five range and that appears to be where we are tonight.
COOPER: And -- and, Jeff, from the legal perspective, I know you were surprised that -- that Comey came to this decision so quickly after this last letter and made an announcement.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely. Well, I -- I was surprised that he -- he made the initial announcement. And given how negative how negative the reaction was -- you know, among -- Republican veterans of the Justice Department, as well as Democrats, to the first announcement, I thought the best thing he could do was simply keep his mouth shut. But I think he felt, again, as he did the first time, worried about leaks from inside the FBI.
This time, he was worried that it would leak that Hillary Clinton had been exonerated, so he felt like he didn't want to keep that secret and -- and be accused of, you know, trying to protect Donald Trump. So he made this announcement today. I think all of it just underlines why he should have kept his mouth shut from the very beginning, honored the Justice Department tradition of not getting involved in these campaigns before -- during this period shortly before election day.
COOPER: It is interesting, John, that -- I mean, when I first heard this -- I mean, the -- the -- you might think "Oh, well the Clinton campaign is going to jump on this. Hillary Clinton is going to be talking about in speeches", you know. But they are not talking about it.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, anytime she's talking about investigations and emails, she's talking about investigations and emails. Even if it's good news, you're talking about investigations and emails. Now, if -- if Comey was going to have a letter, the fact that this -- I think they would have preferred this conversation not happen at all, but if Comey is going to say something before the election, you want it to be "FBI clears Clinton again", as opposed to "FBI to subpoena Clinton", "FBI needs to re- interview people", "FBI needs more work to do." So if it's going to come out, this is it.
To Michael's point, the race has settle back into a pretty static place. And that's -- it's done that many times, but it also has taken some wild swings -- the Access Hollywood tape -- the Comey announcement. Not just the Comey announcement -- sometimes we -- we try to make things too simple. The Comey announcement came also at a time -- they Obamacare premium increases came right after that; Donald Trump was staying on a consistent Republican message -- "I will cut taxes. I will clean up the swamp in Washington. I will repeal and replace Obamacare."
So the combination of those things brought Republicans home and brought some Independents his way. But, in the last couple of days, well before this Jim Comey announcement, the race has settled into a three or four point Hillary Clinton lead, the demographics have settled in a place that suggest to you that, if -- if her people turn out, she should win the election. That doesn't mean she will win the election. It doesn't mean Donald Trump does not have a closer race in some of these big blue battleground states like Michael's Pennsylvania -- closer -- closer.
But -- but about the same gaps that you had in the Romney-Obama race in most of these states. A point above in some states, a point below in other states, but it's a pretty -- it's a pretty static race.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm sorry, I -- I never disagree with you --
KING: Please do.
BEGALA: -- except in days ending with "y".
BEGALA: Here's where -- no, but here's where you're wrong. I don't think it makes a difference in the outcome; but, as a Texan -- the President lost Texas by 16 points. Hillary may well lose Texas, but the surge of Latino voters there -- I am getting reports from my friends and family in Texas -- lines around the block. One young man talked about taking a -- I showed this Van -- took -- took an elderly woman, in her 70s or 80s, to the polls in a walker and she waited 3- and-a-half hours, leaning on her walker, in order to vote. There's something going on.
Can he overcome a 16-point deficit --
KING: Well, I'm not sure what you're disagreeing -- I'm not sure what your disagreement is, but I don't think there's any question --
BEGALA: You'll cut the margin. Hillary will -- will - -Hillary will do far better in the popular vote than Barack Obama did.
KING: Better in the popular vote?
KING: I think her gap --
BEGALA: Because -- I hope she can win Texas. I hope she wins every state.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You're -- you're neglecting the fact that -- that black turnout is down; that millennial turnout is down. You're also neglecting the fact that -- that in -- what I see as the path to victory, which is Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Iowa, and keeping North Carolina -- that would give Donald Trump 265. And four of the five states, Republicans are outperforming their numbers in 2012. Republican -- there is so much enthusiasm, there are more votes cast early than in 2012 in those five states that would put Donald Trump at 265. And you're all neglecting that New Hampshire poll numbers that will put him over the top come Tuesday.
BEGALA: But the Florida numbers alone --
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: There are -- here's the thing: I think that there are two big surges that are happening. I think there's a big Latino surge. I think there may well be a big Republican surge here. I don't think these things have to be --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're right.
JONES: And I think, at the end of the day -- I think the Democrats will have it. I think we're going to have a lot to sort through when we're done.
BEGALA: But there's data. There's data. Fifty-seven percent of the voters in Florida yesterday were white. Sixty-seven percent of the voters of Florida are white. So they're losing the early vote.
KING: I've heard more Latinos have early voted in Florida than voted in Florida in 2012.
KING: That's a big deal.
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I heard, while we were sitting here, from "Harrisburg Patriot's" ace reporter, Candy Woodall, who -- reporting on -- exactly -- reporting on Vice President Biden's visit today. And she tells me that he told the press and told the audience that he thinks the election in Pennsylvania is going to be decided by central Pennsylvania, Scranton, Wilkes Barre and Pittsburgh; in other words, not the Philadelphia suburbs, and that --
MCENANY: That's because that's where he was -- LORD: No, he was in Harrisburg.
MCENANY: Oh, okay.
LORD: He was in Harrisburg. And I -- you know, my point here is -- she -- she also says that between Saturday and tomorrow, both campaigns will have been in Pennsylvania 18 times, which really says they're really trying to gin up their respective bases. And if it does come down to Central Pennsylvania, which I can assure you, I have counted four -- we get to the sign business again -- four Hillary signs and there's hundreds of Trump signs all over the place.
JONES: Data. That's data.
LORD: That's data -- that's political gut.
COOPER: That's -- that's the -- is that the internal polling that's (inaudible)
LORD: It's the -- it's the internal signing. It's internal signing.
BEGALA: The singular of data is anecdote, so if you get enough of those anecdotes, you've got --
COOPER: But, Jeffrey, what did -- your cab driver say?
LORD: Well, as matter of fact --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can I just say that there is -- there is --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Uh oh, are we -- do we have the giggles?
LORD: Wait, Anderson -- Anderson, you're the one who had a cab driver (inaudible) on-air.
COOPER: I had, like, six Uber drivers today. I could go on (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That actually sounds much more interesting than what I was going to say. COOPER: Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay, so back to the --
COOPER: And I left my phone in one of the -- anyway, go ahead.
COOPER: Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Call him.
COOPER: I got it back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The question of whether or not these, sort of, swings back and forth makes a difference; maybe at the end of the day, not on the presidential level, but on the next level down -- the Senate level -- big time -- big time. And there are a lot of people I've talked to on the Democratic and Republican side that think that the late momentum for Donald Trump and the focus on the email issue is going to help Republicans who Democrats thought were goners. The incumbent Republicans -- Republicans who are trying to keep red seats -- Indiana is one example, and we'll see what happens there. Pennsylvania -- I mean, we'll see if Pat Toomey, the incumbent Republican can eek it out, because of all of this -- this last-minute attention in Pennsylvania and because of the state of the (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And New Hampshire.
BEGALA: And New Hampshire, like Pennsylvania, does not have early voting, so --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly --
BEGALA: everybody's got to vote on game day there, so --
COOPER: So -- so on Tuesday night, I mean, what are -- just, you know, for folks at home who want a crib sheet -- what are -- obviously, Florida, a state to watch. If Trump doesn't win there --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: North Carolina.
COOPER: North Carolina.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 7:00 p.m. polls close in North Carolina. If North Carolina starts to lean blue, I, as a Trump supporter, will be very worried. And then, 7:30, Florida comes. You know, those two states are really must wins. Unless there's some rust-belt strategy that takes over, North Carolina and Florida are (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) North Carolina could take -- could be close enough that it could take well into the night. MCENANY: Absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring the espresso machine.
BEGALA: Well, it's -- I mean, I look at three different geographical -- the Atlantic Coast -- New Hampshire, North Carolina, Virginia. They -- then, the sun belt -- Florida, Colorado, maybe Arizona -- it's been very close in some polls -- but skeptical -- and Nevada, certainly. But I think Hillary's almost certainly won Nevada with the early vote. And then those rust-belt states, which -- Donald Trump was even in Minnesota, which shows you that he's got a sense of humor. But, possibly Wisconsin; you know, certainly Ohio and Iowa.
KING: But you'll know -- yes, you'll know -- number one, with all due respect to the Vice President, who knows Pennsylvania very well, he knows he was just playing to whatever audience he was speaking to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No way.
KING: And Michael knows this; if the -- the Democrats need to win central city of Philadelphia by 200,000 or more votes. They would prefer to win it by 250,000 votes, because Jeffrey is right, Donald Trump is going to run it up in the "T". In the center of the state and (inaudible) Donald Trump is going to run it, so you want to look there.
Virginia will probably go Democratic, but when the vote comes in just over the river -- across the river, here -- we'll get a sense of how close Donald Trump is in these suburbs and the close-in exurbs. And that tells you a lot about what's going to then happen in North Carolina and other places. So Virginia counts early.
COOPER: All right. Let's take another quick break. Coming up, including some hard facts to go with the Uber drivers and the yard signs --
COOPER: -- and the folks who just randomly come up to us in the street and ask for photographs, we'll look at the actual demographics that we've all been debating. New numbers on how many Latinos have voted early. The question is, is it enough to tip at least two very close states. We'll look at them, ahead.
COOPER: Well, as the candidates wrap up their campaigns, the so- called ground game goes on. It could be pivotal with states like Florida and Nevada up for grabs. Mobilizing Latino voters is, obviously, a big part of the effort. And, as we've been talking about, early voting numbers already tell some of the story there. Our CNN Politics Executive Editor, Mark Preston, joins us now with that.
So you've got new data that sheds light on it. What have you -- what have you found in the numbers?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, Anderson, lots of numbers here, so the panel's got to pay close attention right now so they can argue afterwards. Nearly 37 million people have voted in 39 states nationwide. Now, John King, last hour, described this as -- this is possibly the year of the Latino. Well, right now, 27.3 million Hispanics are eligible to vote -- that's about 12 percent of the electorate.
Let's first look at Florida as we talk here. Florida, a little more than 5.7 million -- we think that number is actually a bit higher right now -- have already early voted in the state that has closed, but let's look into the demographics right now. Specifically, let's look at these numbers and see what has increased and what has decreased. Well, 41 percent of the white vote has increased; about 13 percent of the African vote; but look at this number right here. Since 2008, plus-103 percent -- 103 percent increase from 2008 to 2016 in actual ballots that have been cast by Hispanics in the state of Florida.
Let's go to the state of North Carolina. There, you're talking about 2.5 -- maybe 2.6 million people had cast their early votes. Well, look at this right here: as you can see, there is an increase in the Hispanic vote and the white vote. We saw a drop-off in the African- American vote in regards to ballots being dropped off. When we look at those percentages right now, about 24 percent more for the white vote; negative 5 percent in the African-American participation in the early vote in North Carolina -- a troubling sign for Democrats. But this is a good sign right here: about 85 percent increase when it came to actual votes from 2012 to 2016 -- or I should say ballots -- that had been put through by Hispanic voters.
Now, we should note that Barack Obama barely lost North Carolina in 2012 and, of course, they are fighting for it right now -- Republicans and Democrats in 2016 -- Anderson.
COOPER: I want you to listen, Mark, to -- to what the Nevada Republican Party Chair said at a Trump rally last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MCDONALD, STATE OF NEVADA, REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIRMAN: Last night, in Clark County, they kept a poll open until 10:00 at night so a certain group could vote. It wasn't in an area that normally has high transition. The polls are supposed to close at 7:00. This was kept open until 10:00. Yeah, you feel free right now?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So we talked to Kellyanne -- I talked to Kellyanne Conway about this in our last hour. What -- what is he talking about there?
PRESTON: Well, he's talking -- in Clark County, now -- he's talking about a polling location right outside of Las Vegas that was held open late because people were actually in line and they couldn't vote. In fact, on Friday alone, Clark County saw an increase, Anderson, of 57,000 people actually cast ballots. That's the highest ever for Clark County.
Let's just dig a little bit into the -- the Nevada numbers. About 7.7 million people cast -- or 770,000 people cast early ballots in the state of Nevada. But if we dig in a little bit and look at state- wide, that's a bit of an increase now from -- we saw about nine percent across the state. But Clark County, right here -- this is an important number -- that was an eight percent increase.
Now, what's interesting about Clark County right now, we should note, it is 30 percent Hispanic. Hispanics, of course, tend to vote Democrat. And, in fact, in the state of Nevada alone, Barack Obama won 70 percent of the Hispanic vote, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Mark Preston. Mark, thanks.
Joining the panel now is Senior Political Reporter, Nia Malika Henderson. I mean, Nia, it's interesting to hear the Nevada Republican there talking about this as if it's some sort of grand conspiracy or a system is rigged. These are people who are online at the right time to vote -- just the line was very long, so they kept the ballot -- the -- it open.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, and you almost hope that those folks in the audience already cast their ballots too. I mean, you've got all of this organization that has gone on by the Democratic -- the Democratic campaigns in states like Nevada -- in states like Florida. And we are seeing this Latino surge. I mean, it was a rumor (inaudible) --
COOPER: But a -- but the point is, I mean, if somebody's online at the appropriate time to vote, they should be allowed to vote.
HENDERSON: But I think, from the Trump campaign -- I mean, they have been talking about this rigged election for days and days and days. And the assumption has always been it will be rigged by certain people -- certain black people, certain --
COOPER: But just to use that as an example of rigging is just factually incorrect. KING: These -- these "certain people" -- we could call them fellow Americans; we could call them our neighbors; we could call them voters. We should call them -- and, look, there are going to be neighborhoods in the United States, there will be precincts in the United States on Tuesday night where there are -- that is a Trump precinct -- that is a -- that is an overwhelmingly Trump area, and there will be people and line and the poll closing will come. And they better stand there, and they should bring them water, and they should wait, and -- if it takes until sun-up -- and let them vote.
This -- this part -- this is the thing that drives me nuts, in the sense that it should be easier for people to vote, number one -- and a Republican party that's in a ditch when it comes to Latino voters, African-American voters and, increasingly, Asian voters -- Asian voters used to be a Republican constituency. They now vote in the same percentage as Latinos against the Republican party. The Chairman -- I just -- I'm sorry, I hope he -- I hope he just was having a bad night. These "certain people" are voters; they are Americans. And when people talk like this, and then the Latinos vote overwhelmingly for the other guys, you wonder why is this happening? Well, guess why it's happening.
HENDERSON: But it's been the story -- yes, it's been the story of the Trump campaign; right? I mean, this kind of rhetoric; this kind of "otherizing" of certain groups --
SMERCONISH: Can I make an observation, Anderson? I went back and I re-read the autopsy report that was commissioned in the aftermath of -- of the Romney loss and it was published in 2013. And there's a line that stands out -- "If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee does not want them in the country, they won't pay attention to the next sentence." It's a lesson I don't think (inaudible).
MCENANY: But I think we're reading a bit too much into this by saying this was a knock at Hispanic voters. Look, he was merely noting this poll stayed open -- he heard other locations had closed. I agree with you; if you're line at the appropriate time --
SMERCONISH: I'm talking about the nominee, not the Chairman.
MCENANY: -- you should stay open. And, by the way, we've also got to point out, Democrats are playing the same sort of game when they say Republican Attorneys General across the nation are trying to suppress the vote. Both campaigns are on edge --
SMERCONISH: Kayleigh, I'm just making the observation that -- that Donald Trump, to me, never --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump repeated what the Chairman said and said it was rigged.
SMERCONISH: -- never read the autopsy report.
COOPER: Yes, Ben -- or Paul?
BEGALA: The Democrats are decrying efforts to suppress the vote. The Republicans are encouraging them. That's not the same, Kayleigh. They're both talking about voter suppression -- one is for it, the other's against it.
LORD: Voter ID -- fighting voter ID is voter suppression.
JONES: Well, no -- well, hold on a second. One of the things I don't think we have talked enough about is that there is a ferocious fight in the courts right now -- and, unfortunately, it is against Republican Attorneys General and Republican legislatures that have seemed to almost surgically design new rules and new restrictions that -- that offend the judges. I'm not talking about partisan Democrats; I mean judges that are saying there seems to be no logical explanation for some of these new voting rules, except to go after black voters.
Now, that's not me, that's the judges. And so I -- we need to applaud, actually, these -- a lot of young lawyers out there who are fighting this fight in the courts and actually winning these fights in the court to try to keep -- to keep these bad laws at bay.
MCENANY: My point is, Van, though, that a lot of times we see the left use -- let's -- voter ID is a good example. They use that to say this is the reason there is low black turnout when, meanwhile, there's a Politifact article that in 2012, in states that had voter ID, actually black turnout was higher, which negates the whole left's argument that blacks aren't turning out because of voter ID. So you guys play the same game that Republicans --
BEGALA: But do you know why that is?
MCENANY: Do I know why --
BEGALA: Why black turnout was up despite that?
JONES: Because we fought back.
BEGALA: Because we (inaudible) around it. We used that -- we used that as a rallying point to tell people "Don't let them take away your right to vote."
JONES: I'm going to let you finish, but there are heroes from 2012, like Ben Jealous and others who we don't talk about anymore, who say once they saw those bad bills, went out there and put an extra 1 million black voters in the voting booths just to say, you're not going to stop us. But that does not mean that it wasn't intentioned -- the intention wasn't to stop us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could we talk about --
LORD: But this --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go ahead.
LORD: But -- but this goes to the point that I've been trying to make all year, and where we have disagreed is that the Democratic Party's political formula, from its founding, is to separate people by race and then use that as the racial fuel to push their agenda. That's what this is all about. That's what we're missing entirely.
JONES: I think it's about justice.
LORD: I mean, why are we -- why are we --
JONES: I think it's about equal opportunity to vote. I think it's about -- it's about --
LORD: Which is colorless.
JONES: Well -- hey, listen, it should be. And I wish you would let your party know that, because they keep designing these laws that even judges say are just designed to suppress the black vote.
COOPER: What does "certain groups" mean in your opinion, Jeffrey? When the Nevada GOP Chair --
LORD: I mean, I have no idea what he was saying, but if he's -- if he's trying to use this as an -- as a racial thing, of course I'd condemn that. But what I'm suggesting to you is, the fact that he could -- he could mean union members, for all I know. He could mean a thousand different things. I -- honestly don't know. But this is my point. Every single thing that we do here is being racialized, and that's what's wrong. That's what's wrong. Instead of treating people like Americans -- all us Americans --
KING: But he was complaining that people who were in line, on time, were getting allowed to vote. Whatever you call them -- whatever words you use, the people were in line, on -- there's no evidence that the people were not there by the time they were supposed to be there. They were being allowed to vote.
LORD: If that's the case, I --
COOPER: We've -- we've got to take another break. Just had Donald Trump's five-state sprint today included Michigan and Minnesota. What does his late push in traditionally blue states say about his strategy? We'll look at that ahead.
COOPER: Well, as we just said, Donald Trump's next stop tonight is just outside Pittsburgh. He'll in the end day in Northern Virginia. His day of barnstorming also included Iowa and two traditionally blue, or blue-leaning states, Minnesota and Michigan, with just two days to go. What should we make of his focus on some reliably blue territory? John King is back to break down.
So Michigan -- especially Minnesota; why is Trump spending time there in -- in this final weekend?
KING: Can I ask you that question? No, look -- look, I don't mean to joke about it. He needs states. He's looking for states. They're looking at their map. They're getting calls from supporters in these states saying "We think the polls are closer", so they're going. It underscores a fundamental problem. He's having a hard time getting to 270. Even if he wins all the toss-up states -- he gets -- wins Florida, wins North Carolina, wins Ohio -- gets him to the 250s or the 260s depending on some of the smaller states. How do you get to the finish line?
So I have this map up for a reason. We only go back to 1980 on this map. I'd have to go back to 1972 to show you a Republican winning Minnesota. But this is the 1980 race, right? You see Minnesota -- let me just circle it up here in case you don't notice -- it's right up there -- it was won by a Democrat then. 1984, notice anything? Notice anything? There's only one -- and that was Walter Mondale's home state, to be fair, but look at this -- it's just -- the point is, it has not been won by a Republican since 1972 and it's usually not even close.
But when you look -- so why is Donald Trump going there? It's 10 electoral votes, Anderson. He's hoping, essentially, that he can -- lightning will strike somewhere as he goes through these states because he's having a time with the math. Same with Michigan -- it's 16. If you can't win North Carolina, you've got to counter it with Michigan. If you can't win Florida, you have to counter it with Michigan, Minnesota and New Hampshire. That's the math Donald Trump is trying to do in the final days.
ANDERSON: Right. I mean, Clinton didn't do well -- didn't do well in Michigan in the primaries, if I remember correctly. I mean, is the -- is the campaign at all nervous about either state at this point?
KING: Yes. And that's exactly the reason you mentioned. Let me try to go back to this other map and see if I can get back to the -- get back to the primaries here. We come back here; we come out to the primaries -- let me come back to 2016 -- it takes a little bit to get here. If you go back to the Democratic primaries, if you notice -- Minnesota -- Minnesota and Michigan, including Wisconsin in between -- those were Bernie Sanders states. So there are some concerns.
Now, David Axelrod can tell you, what happens in a primary usually doesn't carry over to a general election, but there's some concern because of Donald Trump's message on economics. On trade, he's more in-sync with Bernie Sanders on some of these issues, or at least he can make the case to voters he's more in-sync with blue-collar voters on these issues. So that is, without a doubt, one of the reasons. These states were not so kind to Hillary Clinton during the primaries, so you want to go back and triple-check. Plus, Democrats in those states, Anderson, have been calling the Clinton campaign saying "Hey, it's getting closer; you better come in and tend the garden."
COOPER: All right, John; thanks very much. I want to discuss this. Joining us is CNN political commentator and Republican strategist, Kevin Madden; CNN political commentator, Patti Solis Doyle, who was Hillary Clinton's campaign manager in 2008; CNN senior political commentator and a former senior Obama advisor, David Axelrod -- David hosts "The Axe Files" podcast on CNN.com; and former Romney campaign advisor, Stuart Stevens.
We wanted all of you together because you all know about running campaigns. So I'm curious -- I mean, Kevin, let's start with you. Two days to go, how do you -- where are you looking at? What stands out to you? How do you think this thing looks?
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think, if we're looking at some of the early voting patterns, I think that surge of Latino votes right now is something that we have to watch. It's interesting, because you think about where this campaign started, with Donald Trump's speech announcing his candidacy. And, you know, it started with an alienation of Latinos and I think it's going to be interested (sic) that it comes all the way, full-circle, back to Donald Trump's alienation of Latinos possibly costing him big states like Florida and other -- other states like North Carolina with a surge of Latino --
COOPER: And you agree that if he -- if he can't win Florida, that's it?
MADDEN: But -- yes. He has to have Florida; he has to hold on to a state like North Carolina and then go find another state, and that's where he's having some trouble right now.
COOPER: Patti, in terms of where Hillary Clinton is at right now; how do you feel?
PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, I'm feeling pretty good, actually. But I just want to comment on what Kevin said: yes, they're having -- Latino votes are having an impact in Florida, but I think they're also having an impact in places like Virginia; in places like North Carolina; certainly, Nevada. I think that is going to be the story of 2016 and it's a -- it's -- for me, as a Hispanic woman, it's very gratifying that Hispanics are going to be the ones that are going to beat Donald Trump. I mean, he's spent the last year-and-a-half basically insulting, offending, demeaning.
And he hasn't -- I mean, he started that -- the campaign that way, but he doubled-down and tripled-down, never took the opportunity to apologize, and now he's really going to pay the price for it.
COOPER: Stuart, as you look at it -- I mean, and you're no fan of Donald Trump -- I mean, if Donald Trump does lose and it's because of this Latino turnout, does he only have himself to blame for this?
STUART STEVENS, FORMER ADVISOR TO MITT ROMNEY: Sure. I mean, he's the only one out there talking about Mexicans being rapists, and this sort of assault that you've had on immigration as a whole. He's in Minnesota tonight attacking immigrants.
COOPER: Especially after the autopsy of -- of 2012.
STEVENS: The Republican Party went through a very logical, cogent process -- and I think Reince Priebus deserves a lot of credit for this -- of how to win a national election. You know, it's been 1988 so we can celebrate on election night. And we've gone and done, now, the exact opposite of every recommendation. There -- there was a specific number targeted -- 31 percent -- you needed to get of non- white vote. Mitt Romney only got 19 percent. Trump is probably headed to south of 15. Plus, he's losing college-educated white voters. So by trying to just appeal to white voters in this way, he's lost a lot of white voters.
COOPER: And you look at -- I mean, the "ground game" is probably the most often used phrase this -- this election; but, when you look at -- at the disparity in the -- in the organization, you think that's going to be critical (inaudible). STEVENS: We've never really seen this, you know? All our modeling is done on having campaigns basically of two equal abilities to produce votes, just from block and tackle. Sometimes you have one better than another. Except for a couple of states -- Iowa he has a good organization -- Trump really doesn't have an organization. And I think that is going to be telling on election day.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean, I would -- you know, one of the things that's interested me is they keep saying, "Well, he doesn't have an organization, but the Republican Party has an organization." But that organization was built to elect Republicans down ballot, to bring Republican voters out. When you have a presidential campaign, you're identifying your voters and they're not all Republican; some of them are Independents; some of them are Democrats. But you know who your voters are and you go and get them.
There is no indication to me that there is any such operation on the Trump side. But as -- as to the big problem, you know, ultimately this comes down to math. And in order to win, you have to achieve a certain number. In a country that's becoming more and more diverse, you can't alienate yourself from the most -- the most dynamically growing parts of the country and expect to win. And this is what the Republican Party concluded in 2012.
Donald Trump put together a campaign that was designed to win the Republican nomination for President and he achieved that. But, in so doing, he made it virtually impossible to win a general election.
COOPER: But it's also so interesting to me -- and, again, you know, if he does not win, a candidate whose raison d'etre was "I have -- I surround myself with the best people. I know how to build a -- a winning organization", has not a built a winning organization. Now, it may turn out that he -- he knows more than everybody else and he has built an organization (inaudible).
AXELROD: Yes, but you know -- I mean -- yes, I know he's said that; but the fact is, everything about Donald Trump is about Donald Trump, right? He's the center of every script; he's the center of every activity; and that's the way he's run his presidential campaign. It's not just that other Republicans don't want to go out and be surrogates for him. He thinks he is the best person out there at any given moment and he doesn't really, I think, believe in the need for an organization. He thinks this is all a -- an exercise in media and that he is the best at that. And I think that's a big miscalculation.
COOPER: How do you see the -- the Clinton campaign? Do you think, with this new Comey letter -- Hillary Clinton has not talked about it on the trail today. Do you think that's wise? I mean, a lot of folks earlier on were saying anytime she's talking about emails is not a good idea.
SOLIS DOYLE: Well, that's exactly right. I mean, obviously, it's good news. It's good news for her; it's good news for her staff; it's good news for Huma, considering what the alternative could have been. But she doesn't want to talk about emails; she doesn't want to talk about the FBI; she doesn't want to talk about dysfunction at the FBI. Those words should not come from her mouth. We don't want to remind voters of the server. She wants to end this campaign on a positive note. She wants to talk about her message, "Stronger Together" -- you know, being the President for all Americans.
COOPER: Although, she has been -- I mean, you know, it's not all high and, you know, sunshine. I mean, it's been character attack on Donald Trump day after day.
SOLIS DOYLE: Right, but -- but since that later came out, right, nine days ago. Now -- now that it's over and done, she can go back and close on a positive message.
COOPER: How -- how do you think Donald -- I mean, do you think this Comey letter makes a big difference one way or another? Paul Begala is saying he thinks it's all baked in already.
STEVENS: Yes, I'm with Paul on this. You know, I really don't think there's a lot of Americans out there saying, you know, "Am I really going to vote for Hillary Clinton?" "Am I really going to vote for Donald Trump?" I think these are the most polarizing candidates we've had in -- in modern politics. And I think it's just about execution and about motivation.
Now, the contrary -- if Comey had put out a letter today saying the investigation was reopened, I think that would have been bad, because I think it would have depressed her turnout. But I -- I don't think, at the end of the day, that's what people are going to -- that haven't made a decision are going to make a decision about.
MADDEN: Yes, I think on the margins it's not really going to -- to matter that much. I think the -- the bigger problem that I would be worrying about if I were inside the Trump campaign, which is that, over the last week, they were able to crystalize their message as a contrast message against Hillary Clinton and bring home some disaffected Republicans. But you built that -- you built that -- that closing message on that argument that is now, essentially, gone. So what do you -- what happens in the next 48 hours?
So is it -- is the disciplined Trump that we've seen over the last 72 hours -- is he going to disappear on us in this last 48 hours? I think that will be -- that will be what I would be watching over the next 48 hours.
AXELROD: But it is, I think, the most telling thing -- and -- and this was highlighted by the discussion you had with John King, is that in the last 48 hours of this campaign, Donald Trump is running around the country like Willy Loman trying to make a sale here -- desperately trying to find the pieces that he needs to put this together. And it -- it is very, very unlikely that he can do that.
COOPER: Death of Salesman is the title that Willy -- the production that Willy Loman is a character in.
AXELROD: Exactly. Exactly.
COOPER: It's not a good -- a good title for the candidate.
Do you want say, Stuart, what you think is going to happen on election day, or --
STEVENS: Listen, I think it's going to be very, very difficult for Trump to reverse what has happened now. The real thing that -- that I hope will happen is I hope there will be a lot of ticket-splitting, because I think these Republican Senate candidates are, for the most really tremendous candidates and I think that it will really help us to have a Republican Senate. So I think that's going to be a big story on Tuesday night.
AXELROD: One of the paradoxes is there are a lot of Republicans -- and I expect Stuart is one of them -- who don't like Donald Trump, would like to see him thumped so this thing is settled here and doesn't spill into beyond the election in terms of defining the party. But if they -- he does get thumped by a big margin, then you lose the Senate and you lose a lot of these candidates, so there's kind of a paradox.
COOPER: We've got to take a break. Thank you, everyone; appreciate it. Good discussion.
Coming up, the stars come out for Hillary Clinton. Today, a shooting star, LeBron James. Monday, it will be Bruce Springsteen. Meanwhile, Donald Trump says he does not need Beyonce. Our question: did the celebrity endorsement actually translate into votes? We'll look into that next.
COOPER: Bruce Springsteen is going to perform at a rally for Hillary Clinton tomorrow night in Philadelphia. Two people who may not be thrilled about that: Springsteen super-fan, Chris Christie, and Donald Trump, whose been trying to slam Clinton for campaigning with some of the biggest stars in the world. That may seem a little odd coming from someone who hosted a show called "Celebrity Apprentice" and certainly has tried to tout his own celebrity support; Scott Baio, for instance.
Here's what Trump said yesterday about a few of the stars campaigning for Clinton:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don't need Beyonce and I don't need Jay-Z. I like them.
TRUMP: I don't need -- I don't need J-Lo and I don't need Jon Bon Jovi -- nice guy. They're all nice. They're all nice, but I don't need them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Trump also said it's "demeaning to the political process for Clinton to campaign with celebrities." He may not think he needs Beyonce; but, apparently, he does want Ted Nugent, who performed at a Trump rally in Michigan tonight. To call Nugent controversial is probably an understatement. Over the years, he's called President Obama a "sub-human mongrel"; called Clinton names we can't say on television and said she should be hanged. Let's just be real, if there is a contest over who has the bigger stars, there's certainly no doubt who's winning that particular contest. The question is does it really matter? Does it make any difference?
Randi Kaye, tonight, reports:
RANDY KAYE, CNN REPORTER: Beyonce and Jay-Z headlining a Get Out the Vote concert in Cleveland for Hillary Clinton.
BEYONCE KNOWLES, ENTERTAINER: Look how far we've come from having no voice to being on the brink of making history.
KNOWLES: Again, by electing the first woman President.
CLINTON: I am so energized after this concert. And I've got to say, didn't you love the pantsuits?
KAYE: Hillary Clinton is deploying an army of celebrities. Saturday night, Katy Perry in Philadelphia.
KAYE: Earlier today, LeBron James in Cleveland.
LEBRON JAMES, BASKETBALL PLAYER: I know you guys are excited to see her.
KAYE: And, tonight, James Taylor in New Hampshire. But does any of this star power really translate into votes?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: We can never tell the real firepower of a celebrity endorsement.
KAYE: Presidential Historian, Douglas Brinkley, says even when Oprah Winfrey endorsed Barack Obama, there is no way to know how many voters she actually influenced. And marching out celebrities can be risky.
BRINKLEY: There are a lot of Americans who just don't like Jay-Z and Beyonce's music. They don't like the idea that, you know -- pop stars on the Potomac. You can see moments when it's helpful, but not in this last hour where you're just dumping stars to vote areas and hoping that will flip states for you.
KAYE: Earlier in the campaign, Clinton rallied with J-Lo in Miami.
CLINTON: We just heard Jennifer perform "Let's get Loud". Well, I say let's get loud at the voting booth.
KAYE: And Stevie Wonder in Los Angeles.
BRINKLEY: It shows a kind of weakness that you can't generate 20,000 people on your own, ready to hear your words.
KAYE: Which is exactly why sometimes it doesn't work, like in 2004 when Bruce Springsteen in Ohio for John Kerry, and Kerry still lost that state. And Brinkley says the last week of an election should be the candidate's final pitch.
BRINKLEY: If you're closing argument is "Here's my pal, Jay-Z", it makes people wonder whether your campaign is particularly well organized. There is a feeling of desperation if you lean to heavily on celebrities at the end.
KAYE: Still, celebrity endorsements are nothing new. John F. Kennedy got a boost from Frank Sinatra. Richard Nixon had help from Sammy Davis, Jr.
BRINKLEY: Sammy gave Nixon a big hug and it starts showing that African-Americans could vote Republican. Years later, John McCain campaigned with Hollywood actor turned California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Mitt Romney had Kidd Rock.
The risk for Hillary Clinton, focusing the campaign's final days on celebrities is that voters may feel that they're not the priority.
BRINKLEY: It kind of can work against you. A lot of people are saying "My gosh, she's running around with Jay-Z instead of talking bread-and-butter economic issues to the rust belt."
(END VIDEO TAPE)
COOPER: And Randi joins us now from Orlando. I mean, it does seem like all these big-name celebrities could, potentially, hurt a campaign.
KAYE: Absolutely. It's a risky move, Anderson. If you listen to Doug Brinkley -- I mean he says, basically that celebrities can bigfoot a campaign. I mean, at look at what we're talking about this weekend. We're talking about Jay-Z, and Beyonce, and Katy Perry -- maybe more about what they were wearing or how they sounded singing, and maybe a whole lot less about Hillary Clinton and her plans for children or working families.
So what happens is, the candidates message, he says, can get lost in all this celebrity-mania, and they take over the campaign, really. And so then you have states like Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and Michigan, and here in Florida where the candidate -- their whole message is just lost in all of this celebrity madness, Anderson. COOPER: I don't know. We'll see -- see what happens. Randi, thanks very much. We cordially invite Beyonce, LeBron James, Scott Baio, and everyone else in America to tune into CNN Sunday -- or, excuse me, Tuesday -- or tonight, even. We'll, of course, have coverage all day on election day on Tuesday. We are almost there -- almost there.
That does it for us. Thanks for watching. "CNN TONIGHT", Don Lemon starts now. See you tomorrow.