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INSIDE POLITICS

Trump's Latest Campaign Message: "We Can't Go Back"; Hillary Clinton on 2020: "I'd Like to be President". Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired October 29, 2018 - 12:30   ET

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


[12:30:00] JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: But, you know, this could been a moment for him. This could be a sort of a different moment for him, for people who are afraid, aren't sure, and too see leadership and that's not his message.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And that's the key. It's not that he is going after others which he shouldn't do right now. But again, he's not going to change.

But having a moment of introspection, however rare that would be, would balance that out in ways that you can't even measure.

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: All right. One of the big questions we have is, it's just a fact. There's nothing we can do about there's an election a week from tomorrow.

When we come back, the Trump campaign launching a new midterm ad to try to get voters' minds, at least the ad wants you too back in the economy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:35:18] KING: Welcome back. America votes one week from tomorrow. It's a midterm referendum on President Trump and he is all in trying to protect the Republican majorities in Congress. He'll be on the road much of this final week. And now, using $6 million from his re- election campaign account for television and digital ad blitz.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's more opportunity and security to invest in the ones that matter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But we can't get distracted from the biggest issue which are jobs and our key future.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But this could all go away. If we don't remember what we came from. And choose the right future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: And interesting ad in an odd climate. The president is a giant drag in some parts of the country but the driving force in GOP turn out in others. Listen to this description from his 2020 campaign manager.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRAD PARSCALE, TRUMP 2020 CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I think we're doing everything with that money we can to help them. I would say that the president being out at the rallies and being able to pay all of those is significant. They are becoming shows. They are -- fans walk out and say that was awesome.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's putting on a show?

PARSCALE: I mean, I think we -- I think part of it is we put on a show. I mean, it's -- politics is a presentation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Shows and fans. Not politicians and voters.

BASH: Says it all. Says it all. And that -- look, that's the way the president obviously in many ways views those events. He goes in as an entertainer. And that in part is why -- and, you know, Jeff, you both are there a lot in recent years -- recent weeks I should say so you see it continue the way I saw it during the campaign.

But he's trying to give his fans what they want. And that leads to -- he feeds off that and that leads to some of the rhetoric that goes too far when he comes to being a president from the perspective of many people who like him a lot. And so, it's all about emotion and we have to remember that.

And Brad Parscale, the campaign manager is very clear about that. That's how they sold Trump 2016. That was about how he makes people

feel. Not necessarily how it makes people think and that's continuing.

KING: There's been lot of criticism of him and his campaign organization in from Republicans because they're raising so much money for 2020. There's been a lot of complaining throughout this cycle. Wait, let us deal with 2018. We got a big problem.

Now they are throwing -- well, that's a big chunk of money. I believe they're paying for the rallies. We'll look at the RNC, we'll look at the bank accounts later when all is figured out. The president is on the road all the time. And this final week if we could show where he's going, he's back to the big Senate contest where most Republicans believe at least in most of those states, you might add a question mark about Florida, you might add a question mark about Nevada. But in most of those places, at least there's a Trump base to turn up that's critical here. There maybe a counter effect as well.

But, what is this, the ad spending and the president on the road? A, it's smart for Republicans because you can't run from them. You know -- but b, to the president's way of saying, if this goes badly, don't blame me.

ZELENY: Well, he's going to say that the day after the election, no question at all. But the fact is, they believe that will be a split difference. Based on everything that's going on. And again, no predictions here because with everything going on, it's unclear.

But the White House does believe, the president does believe that the Senate is now comfortably in Republican hands. The House, he slowed any type of the wave they believe. But the reality here is of course the president is going to blame someone else and then he's going to keep charging ahead of 2020.

I've been to so many of these rallies, they're all about one thing, first and foremost, Trump 2020. Other candidates, other campaigns are not allowed to bring their own signs into these rallies. A few sneak them in, but these are all about Trump himself. Others candidates have very little say over any of this.

So this is the Trump show and it very much is a show and people love it. The question is, I see people sort of walking out and looking around when anything other than Trump is speaking. Will they come out and actually vote for other people? It's been a problem that Barack Obama failed at every term, every midterm, and others have as well.

BASH: But to just quickly add, I asked him about the grumbling and there is definitely a difference between the people trying to get senators elected on the Republican side and House members. He does tend to go and he has gone mostly to red states, helping Republicans there. And it does help and he does -- even I talked to a source at the Republican Committee in-charge of electing senators, he pays for that. The pot of cash coming from Trump 2020.

The House is a different story. There is a lot of grumbling because they need as much money as they can get.

[12:40:01] They feel that the Trump campaign is pulling that money. That he is -- and he's -- on the other hand, baggage, big time baggage for a lot of their members in 2020.

KING: That ad is interesting because it talks about the economy. If you're an Obama supporter of Democrat or an economist, you would say, well, wait a minute, there was a lot of building from the financial crisis during the Obama years. The president inherited a pretty good economy (INAUDIBLE) another day.

They're focusing on the economy. The president often says he doesn't get enough credit for the good news. Look at this, we put this together words the president said 11 times or more in his last five rallies. You'll find jobs in there if you look really closely, but the president is not talking about this himself.

SEUNG MIN KIM, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, let me just go back to -- because I was on the western swing of campaign rallies that he had last in the week. And in Montana, he rolled out kind of this new campaign line that saying the midterms are going to be the -- this is with the election of Kavanaugh, caravans, law and order, and common sense. And was only a couple rallies later in Nevada that he added, oh, and tax cuts. So that's why I found the ads so interesting that it was so focus on the economy. I mean, Republican want to talk about the tax law -- their new tax law. They want to talk about the economy but everything else -- well, first of all, the tax cut message isn't working and we've seen that in the special election races earlier this year. But, their own commander-in-chief goes to other messages.

ZELENY: Which is why he is pitching a new tax cut because he's not talking about the old tax cut. And that is one of the things that he's frustrated a lot of Republicans.

KING: And I'm not saying they're not doing this to genuinely try to help in 2018. But we also know, everything they do is tested to see how it would impact the climate for 2020. Every dime they spend even to help other Republicans, they're gathering the data to try to figure out how it impacts him.

Up next for us here, some other stories we're following, including more sad news. A deadly airliner crash in Indonesia.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:46:06] JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: -- and will not be tolerated. It's a direct (INAUDIBLE) of what we are.

You can be sure that our team, the FBI and the Department of Justice on this case right now charges are already being filed and we intend to do our duty in this manner with bigger and integrity.

So today, I'd like to talk about --

KING: The attorney general of the United States there commenting and promising vigorous federal prosecution of the suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.

A quick update now on some other stories we're following today.

Indonesian search and rescue teams combing the waters near Jakarta where a Lion Air passenger jet crashed today with 180 people on board. At least six bodies have been recovered along with parts of the plane. Which is a newer model Boeing 737 that went down just 13 minutes after take off. We're told the same plane reported some problems last night. An official says engineers repaired it and the jet was cleared to fly.

In Matthews, North Carolina near Charlotte, police say a high school student was shot and killed by another student in one of the school's hallways this morning. An official says the shooting stemmed from a fight between the two students. The suspect now in custody.

A far right candidate who's made racist, homophobic, and disparaging comments about women has just won the presidential election in Brazil. Jair Bolsonaro easily won Sunday's run off, ending one of the most violent and polarizing campaigns in that country's history. He himself was stabbed during a rally last month and wore body armor to protect himself when he went to the polling place yesterday. Bolsonaro's promise sweeping changes that include industrializing the Amazon.

The German chancellor Angela Merkel says she won't seek re-election when her current term ends in 2021. She also plans to step down as leader of her center-right party which suffered heavy loses in regional elections this past weekend. Mrs. Merkel has paid a heavy price politically for her 2015 decision to open Germany's borders to more than a million Syrian and other refugees claiming war and violence in their home countries.

Up next, to return to domestic politics here. Hillary Clinton sending a not so subtle 2020 message.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:52:25] KING: Hillary Clinton still wants to be president. This is Friday in an interview with Recode.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KARA SWISHER, RECODE: Do you want to run again?

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: No.

SWISHER: Wait.

CLINTON: No.

SWISHER: That was a pause --

CLINTON: Well, I'd like to be president.

SWISHER: OK.

CLINTON: Look, I think, hopefully, when we have a Democrat in the Oval Office in January of 2021, there's going to be so much work to be done. And it's just going to be a lot of heavy lifting.

SWISHER: So are you going to be doing any of that lifting? Do you feel like --

CLINTON: Oh I have no idea, Kara, but I'm going to -- you know, I'm not even going to even think about it until we get through this November 6 election.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Hello?

LISA LERER, NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I mean, look, I saw Hillary Clinton actually last week, she did a rare public appearance for Donna Shalala in South Florida and she got a standing ovation, the 200 or so donors there loved her. But there's a reason it was a rare campaign appearance. And that's because much there's not really a loud clamor, at least not that I've heard in the Democratic Party to be calling for her to run again. And even if she were to run, this would be a different landscape. I mean, she said herself later in that interview there could be 20 Democrats running.

So, yes, those fields was basically cleared for her in '16, that would not be the case but, it's just really hard right now to see a case for her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to go --

KING: How about this is the case. We play devil's advocate. How about this for a case. I beat Donald Trump. I got more votes than Donald Trump.

ZELENY: But she didn't say that. And Dana, she's playing with us. She's not running, yes, she would like to be president, of course. That much is absolutely true.

She's not running. You know, watch how she answered that. And that's the difference between watching on television and listening as opposed to reading the quotes. When I first read the quotes, I'm like, oh my God.

No, she is playing with us. She knows that, you know, what is going on here. And I don't think she'd win the primary.

LERER: Why play that a week before the midterm?

BASH: Well, that's a different question.

LERER: I mean --

ZELENY: A week before the midterms, sure, because it's like here, President Trump.

LERER: Right. Exactly. She's featuring a lot of these red state campaign ads from Republicans.

KING: Let's listen -- then she say, watching is different, let's watch a little more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: If something bad is actually happening in the world, go to a rally and get everybody all, you know, whipped up about, ''lock her up", and all of that. He's really very adept, and it's the classic demagogue tool kit.

SWISHER: Do you have an answer to "lock her up"?

CLINTON: Well, I'm just waiting to be able to say, "lock them up".

SWISHER: OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[12:55:01] BASH: All right, can I just say something? To be fair, when we talk about rhetoric, I know she is laughing, I know she is smiling, but you can't have it both ways. You can't as Democrats scream and yell about the president with this over the top rhetoric, "lock her up". And I know she's the target, I know she's been dealing with this for decades and decades, but you can't then play at their level.

KING: Well, she said she wasn't going to think about it until after the election. That election is one week from tomorrow. We will circle back, we would love the definitive final answer.

Thanks for joining us in the INSIDE POLITICS. See you back here this time tomorrow. Wolf starts after a quick break.

Have a good day.

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