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CUOMO PRIME TIME

Trump Doubles Down on Fear & Division as Midterms Near; GOP Representative Under Fire for Supporting Controversial Ads. Aired 9- 10p ET

Aired October 31, 2018 - 21:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The news continues. I want to hand it over to Chris Cuomo. "CUOMO PRIME TIME" starts right now. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Thank you, Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to Prime Time.

Did you see the video the President of the United States just released? This is no Halloween spoof. What it is a Willie Horton redux. In fact, much of the footage in this video that we're going to show you comes from Fox. The play started by the man who came up with the Willie Horton ad, Roger Ailes. Both were grossly distorted, bigoted, but also effective. It leads us to our next question. Are Democrats too quiet on this ugly activity? We're going to talk to the head of the party about how Democrats can counter before Election Day.

From ugly images to twisted logic. If Obama went around Congress to protect dreamers, I can change the constitution to punish the same people. That's what President Trump is trying to sell you, and he may send 15,000 troops to the border just to make the point. That's more troops than we have in Afghanistan, and it's something no President has ever done. There are some spooky suggestions that demand a fact check, and we have that treat for you. See what I did there?

We're also going to talk to a Republican fighting to keep his seat in the House. Why he is under fire. Another Republican making a race, about race. Happy Halloween, everybody. Let's get after it.

At a time when the President says he's calling for unity, all he seems to be pushing for real is fear and division. I want you to watch and listen to what was sent from the President's Twitter account to 55.5 million people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "I don't [expletive] regret that [expletive]. The only thing that I [expletive] regret is that I [expletive] killed two. I wish I [expletive] killed more of those [expletive]."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: And that's just part of it, to be honest. I don't want to play all of it and people come to me and say why are you playing these ugly and distorted images? When did all migrants become the man that Trump just tweeted about? A man given the death penalty for killing two sheriff's deputies and wounding a third? This tweet is coming from the same President who earlier this week complained about people blaming his rhetoric for the rise of hate acts across the country.

Now Trump is doing just that, by saying the Democrats are responsible for the atrocious act that this man committed. So, who better to respond to the President's comments about Democrats than the Democratic National Committee Chair, Mr. Tom Perez. Tom, good to have you.

TOM PEREZ, CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Chris, great to be with you as always.

CUOMO: Reaction to the ad?

PEREZ: This is distracting, divisive Donald at his worst. This is fearmongering. They're hemorrhaging, Chris, on the health care issue. Health care is the number one issue in this country. Social security, Medicare and Medicaid are right up there. They can't talk about those because they're on the wrong side. They want to cut Medicare. They want to cut Medicaid. They vote today repeal the Affordable Care Act how many times? I don't care if you have a preexisting condition, you're out of luck. And so they have to distract. They have to fear monger. And his dog whistle of all dog whistles is immigration. This has been Donald Trump's play book for so long.

CUOMO: True.

PEREZ: And you know what, when they go low, we go vote. And that is what we're seeing across this country. People who are out there, the energy on our side, people understand that our health care is at stake. Our schools are at stake.

CUOMO: Right.

PEREZ: And frankly our democracy is at stake. And that is why I'm so heartened by the early vote that's been out there. I'm heartened to see more young people showing up. I'm heartened to see sporadic voters showing up. I'm heartened to see that in Georgia we already have twice as many African Americans who voted early.

CUOMO: True.

PEREZ: Than in 2014. But we have more work to do, no doubt about it.

CUOMO: Tom, I see the numbers. I see why there is cause for optimism frankly on the GOP side as well. There is a lot of robust turnout. I can't compare to 2016. But when you look at 2014 midterms to mid terms, both sides are turning out more than in the past. But my question is this. Did you guys hand Trump the stick that he's beating you with when it comes to immigration? You don't really go at him about these things. I mean, this ad just came out. But I don't hear your candidates and your leaders going toe to toe with t Trump about his fear and loathing. And by doing that, are you risking letting people believe his side of it about where you guys are when it comes to immigration? PEREZ: No, we have never been shy about the fact that we are a nation

of immigrants. We support dreamers. And we support immigration reform. I was proud to work under Barack Obama when we passed bipartisan immigration reform in the United States Senate. It was held up by the Republicans in the U.S. House. I am not shy about that as a Democrat and as a Latino.

[21:05:05] And what I am also not shy about is calling out dog whistle politics. This is dog whistle politics at its worst. And days after we had a tragic shooting in Pennsylvania, less than a week after you have an arrest of someone in that Scooby-Doo van, with all the anti CNN and all the other things, when you create a climate as this President has created that invites violent acts, you should never be surprised when you have violent acts. And the American people are tired of it. That's why they know that we need guardrails in Washington. We need guardrails in our governor's residence. And that's why I'm confident that we're going to do really well in electing Democrats here in Washington and across the country.

CUOMO: I've been scaring races. I see what's going on in health care. I understand why you guys are banking that's resonant. I know all about the organization on the ground. We talked about that here, that's new for the Democrats, it's more robust than you had in the past. We'll see if that works in terms of what kind of turnout you want. But on this issue of immigration, you guys have not owned it the way he does. He says you guys are open borders because you're in favor of policies like family reunification and what they call chain migration in here. And you don't hear Democrats going toe to toe with t Trump about this. You talk about other things, and I'm wondering, what's the calculus there, because to me it seems like a risk?

PEREZ: Well, I disagree with you, Chris. And here's the deal. Donald Trump -- the Republicans own the White House. They have the Senate. They have the House. They own any failure in these policies right now.

CUOMO: Shouldn't you have your own plan?

PEREZ: We have a plan. It's called comprehensive immigration reform. It's called creating a tough but fair pathway to citizenship. It's about making sure that dreamers for whom America has always -- it's been the only home they've known, we give them that opportunity. I think America is great because America is good. You look at the organizations that were targeted by this thug last weekend. They were helping to integrate immigrants and refugees into this country. That is what has always made America great. And when you continue to demonize -- I'm proud that the Democratic Party has supported immigration reform. I am proud that we have supported dreamers and it is unconscionable that you're trying to again use this wedge issue to divide.

CUOMO: That's because it gets people down deep, this issue. No matter where they are on the issue, they care about the issue. And I hear your language, America is great because America is good. I remember when your nominee for President said it in 2016. It didn't work against the rhetoric, one could argue, that you know people are coming in illegally. How will you stop illegal immigration? Because if you don't speak to it, not that his plans make any more sense, not that they're any better for the soul of the country. But he's constantly talking about it and I don't hear equal rhetoric from the left about your plans to make the place safer.

PEREZ: Well, listen, I'm not going to fight low ball politics with low ball politics. I'm going to fight low ball politics with facts. The fact to the matter is in fiscal year 2017, OK, which touched 2016 and 2017, the illegal border crossings in the southwest border were their lowest levels since the 1970s. That is a fact. That is not an alternative fact. He is trying to manufacture a crisis.

And by the way, the way you solve this problem is by building relationships with countries in the region. But when you demonize Latinos everyday you make is harder to solve these problems. That's why you see failure in immigration policy under this administration because nobody wants to work with our country because you're constantly calling Mexicans thugs and all these other atrocious names. That's why they can't do it. But that's the fact on the border. When you try to manufacture a crisis so that you can deflect attention from the fact that health care is the number one issue in this country, and they're on the wrong side of it, Chris, that's what's going on here. Distracting, dividing Donald trying to change the subject.

The fact of the matter is your health care is on the ballot. Your Medicare is on the ballot. Your social security is on the ballot, your Medicaid is on the ballot and frankly democracy as we know it is on the ballot. And that's why we have to get out there and vote and that is why we're working our tail off across this country to elect Democrats up and down the ballot. And we've got opportunities in state Houses. We've got opportunities in the Congress and the Senate.

CUOMO: Right.

PEREZ: And that's how we're going to take back our nation, because, I'll tell you, I'm heartened by the turnout. But I also know that we have a lot more work to do.

CUOMO: True.

PEREZ: And we are not going to be distracted, Chris, that is the thing. We are focused like a laser on the issues that people care about.

CUOMO: I hear you about focus. But I know this resonates. And that's why I wanted to ask you about it. I want to see what's your plan is and how it fits into the overall strategy especially in light of this video that just came out. So Tom, thank you for making the case to my audience. I appreciate it.

PEREZ: Always a pleasure to be with you.

CUOMO: All right. Be well.

[21:10:03] All right, so you get a choice on trick-or-treat on Halloween, right? But you get no choice except to feast on facts on this show. There are several big arguments being made in the run up to next Tuesday. We're going break down what is fact and what is fugazi. Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: Every President gets aggressive. They want as much power as they can get. The job of Congress and the court is of course to check that ambition. Now, we have some first problems here, and we need facts-first action to deal with them. First we have a treat for the President on Halloween. What he's doing with the military on the border may be politically arguable, but it is probably legal, all right. Today the President even upped the ante.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As far as the caravan is concerned, our military is out. We have about 5,000, 8, we'll go up to anywhere between 10 and 15,000 military personnel on top of border patrol, ICE, and everybody else at the border.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: 15,000, that's double the figure that the Pentagon officials said would be operating there. If it does reach that figure, because you never know with the President, if he's just saying it or if it means something, that would be more than our number of troops in Afghanistan, three times the size of our presence in Iraq.

It's also true that you had other Presidents, Bush and Obama, sent in the military, too, to enforce the border, but not active military duty like Trump is suggesting. They used the National Guard. Same thing? Nope. Governors agreed to send National Guard along with the federal government, all right. They're not even part of that fancy phrase you keep hearing posse comitatus, which means county force. That law has a restriction on the military doing domestic law enforce, National Guard is not included in it. That's why you see the National Guard included at riots but never active duty troops.

[21:15:18] Bush deployed 6000 National Guard troops. Obama sent out 1200 in 2010. But here is something you have to know. Those numbers were much lower. Listen to the price tag, $1.3 billion for both operations. Build a lot of wall for that money. Though while expensive and arguably offensive Trump can probably do it, that's the treat. But what he can't do is what he was trying to sell you today. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You don't need a constitutional amendment, a birthright citizenship. If President Obama can get DACA approved, if you look at DACA, where he actually said, well, this isn't legal or this I can't do but I'll do it anyway -- if he can do DACA, we can do this by executive order.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: Nope. Don't be a sucker. First, whether you need one or not, you have a constitutional amendment that deals with birthright citizenship. It cannot be wished or ordered away. And there is no reason for this to go to the Supreme Court. And even when the issue has come before the Supreme Court, as it did many, many years ago, it looked at the issue and made it crystal clear. If you're born here, you're a citizen, period.

Now, DACA, follow what's happening here. That was a presidential power grab. That's how he started this wall for you. That's what presidents do. But it was within an existing framework of legislation. Aggressive by Obama, maybe too aggressive, no doubt about that, but an entirely different animal legally and logically from what t Trump is trying.

DACA was not a move to change what is expressly in the constitution. Trump's move is. He said his lawyers said he could do this. When we asked to hear from the lawyers, we got nothing.

Now, there is a fallback position now with t Trump. This often happens. When he gets out over his skis and says something wrong, all of a sudden it meant something else. This isn't about changing the 14th amendment. Although that is exactly what he said. It's really about reinterpreting what was said in light of new reality with illegal entrants. This is some trick by the Republicans, even on Halloween. Trump and co have said a million times they want strict constructionists when it comes to the constitution, right?

They want to just stick to the text, especially when it comes to the Supreme Court. That's their argument with the second amendment, about bearing arms. Don't apply it to now and the realities we have. It only means what it says. And yet now, when it comes to the 14th amendment, they want the opposite. Don't look at what the framers said. Look at what it means today. They never envisioned this. The idea, as this little run around, that the phrase subject to the jurisdiction thereof changes things, because illegal people, they're not subject to the jurisdiction. Really? Then why can you have ICE round them up like stray cats? The reason you can is because they are subject to your jurisdiction.

Lastly, as a matter of fact, Trump saying today that what he wants to do is OK because that's what Obama did? He hated what Obama did. Listen for yourself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: President Obama signed DACA. When he signed it he said I'm really not allow today sign this, I'm going to sign if anyway.

President Obama when he signed the executive order actually said he doesn't have the right to do this.

And he goes around signing all these executive orders. It's a basic disaster, you can't do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: So, it was wrong, but now it's OK because you want to do the same thing even though you're trying to do something that's totally different. The hypocrisy, the nonsense, it's all too scary, even on Halloween.

So, how does this fit into everything that's going on in the run up to the election? Driving fear, right? And that's always about more. Driving fear always requires layers. But this latest video that we showed you makes the Willie Horton ad seem fair. Will it work? And do Democrats have an answer? Great debate next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:22:31] CUOMO: All right. Just days before the midterms and the President tweets a divisive and inflammatory political ad blaming Democrats for the killing of two sheriff's deputies by an undocumented immigrant. Even by his standards, this is shocking and I want you to see it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "I don't [expletive] regret that [expletive]. The only thing that I [expletive] regret is that I [expletive] killed two. I wish I [expletive] killed more of those [expletive]."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: And look, they can say all they want about who made this, who did it. This came from t Trump's campaign for 2020. It came from his Twitter account and went out to 55.5 million people. So you don't get to have it both ways. You want this message out there, you own it. And it's clear that this is what the President thinks will work with voters in America. Frightened people about Latinos, about immigrants, and put it on the Democrats.

The question is, will it work? And do the Democrats have an effective counter? That is the premise for the great debate. Let us bring in our debaters Ana Navarro and Scott Jennings. Good to have you both.

Ana, I call this the Willie Horton redux, really and then some. I watched both ads again. This one maybe because its newer technology and ways to message, it's more inflammatory than Willie Horton was. What's your take?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, it's just more of Donald Trump being Donald Trump. To me it's such a tired, old play book. This is what he did in 2016, fear mongering, division, sowing discord.

CUOMO: Worked.

NAVARRO: Demonizing immigrants. And it worked, so that is why he is going back to it, because it worked. And I think it's up to the American people to say whether this is what they're going to buy into again or not. In 2016 he was able to win the Electoral College, not the popular

vote. But all those people who chose not to vote in 2016 or all those people of who thought Hillary doesn't fill my love tank and I'm going to vote for somebody else or write in somebody else, it's a binary choice. And the choice right now isn't even about the candidates in front of you. It's about America. Do we want an America where the message is dividing, where the message is hostility, where the message is inciting fear, where the message is lying? Or do we want an America that is united, that is inspirational, that talks about American values, shared values and defends those values? That's the choice --

[21:25:11] CUOMO: All right.

NAVARRO: -- that's facing America in 2018.

CUOMO: Scott, why do you like the ad?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, I'm not surprised by the ad. I mean, these messages are basically what Donald t Trump has been talking about since he first started running for president. I think the point he's trying to make is that the Republican Party is the party of border security and the Democratic Party, at least among some candidates and in some quarters, is the party of abolish ICE and open borders. I mean, we've had people on CNN throughout the election season who have espoused those views.

So, I think if you're the president and you've had success in the past running on immigration, and hard line immigration and border security, you're going back to the well that has produced for you in the past. So see anything in this video that I haven't heard from the President consistently for the last couple of years.

CUOMO: All right. I'm asking you whether you are OK with it.

NAVARRO: We're on agreement on that.

CUOMO: Last week -- I know, you both agree on that point. This is certainly far for the course. This is where Trump's head and heart clearly are. But that means he's OK doing something that you guys were thanking me for not having done last week. I can't tell you how many of my friends on the right said to me, hey, thanks for saying that he's not directly responsible for the bombings.

A lot of people are. And I was saying, hey, you have to make your own choice when you do something. You can't put it on the political motivation. The environment is what it is. The atmosphere is what it is. But they were thanking me. He just did the exact thing that they didn't want done to him. He's saying the Democrats are responsible for this man's crimes.

That is not only untrue. We know it's unfair. It is an unfair depiction of responsibility. It's unfair depiction of Latinos and what they represent as a criminal element in this country. How can you be OK with it? JENNINGS: Well, look, it's not the message I would be closing a

campaign on. Immigration does have high intensity scores in the polling for a lot of Republican voters. But I tell you what I would be close thing campaign on if I were the President. Look what's in the Washington Post tonight.

We have the best wage growth in a decade thanks to the economy that he and the Republican Party can rightfully take credit for. The Democrats are trying to own -- there's two important issues, health care in the economy. The Democrats are trying to own the space on health care. They're running a focused campaign on that. I want the President and the Republicans to own the other most important issue which they can rightfully own, and that's the economy.

He wants it to be about immigration. This is likely not going to hurt Republicans in the big red rural Senate states. But I'd say in suburban districts where you have moderate white collar voters who maybe swing back and forth --

CUOMO: Right.

JENNINGS: -- I think they'd rather hear about the wage growth than the economy than anything.

CUOMO: Well, that's the problem.

JENNINGS: Unless this message isn't resonant with them.

CUOMO: That's exactly, right. And first of all, you know, you have a little bit of hiccup with that. You're right in the last ten years. But if you go apples to apples, the last time the unemployment rate is what it is right now was back in 2000, 2001. The growth rate then was somewhere around 4 and 4.2 percent. Now it's 2.9 percent. Why isn't the same? It gets into a lot of economic different arguments for another day. But there is a case to be made there either way. That's my point.

On this one though, Ana, it's an interesting game for the Democrats. I just said Tom Perez on and I was saying you don't go toe to toe with Trump about this. You'll say you have a comprehensive reform plan on your own and that you're not going go low with him. You're not going to get involved with it. But they have really left him unchecked on this issue, and they're making a bet that the suburban Republican women and college educated men won't like it so they don't have to counter it. Is that risky?

NAVARRO: Look, I think the Democratic message is no message. And I think the only way that the Democrats can counter this is by being the anti-Trump. And what is being the anti-Trump right now? It means offering America positive message. It means talking about unifying America. It means pointing the finger at Trump and saying, yes, you sure do have responsibility for the spike in hate crimes in the last two years.

You know, it is no coincidence -- it is no coincidence that anti- Semitism has gone up 60 percent under Trump. It is no coincidence that women speaking Spanish in Montana are getting detained. And women speaking Spanish in New York are getting berated by a racist. And a 92-year-old Mexican-American man in L.A. is getting his face beaten in with a brick into a pulp. It is no coincidence. He sows this. This is what he puts in the ground and what cultivates into hatred. That is the message that Democrats have to say.

Look, they can't go toe to toe with him. When they do they fail, right? When Eric Holder says when they go low we kick them, that sounds ridiculous. Who in the hell thinks that Eric Holder can kick anything? What they have to do is be the opposite. Be inspirational, talk to the better angels. Talk to the good in American people. Talk to their hearts. And, you know, just offer them something to vote for, not against.

CUOMO: Not just against.

NAVARRO: Which I think what they do, too often with Donald Trump they think that because it's Donald Trump. You know, people are going to vote against. Give them something to vote for, to get excited. Like what Andrew Gillum is doing in Florida. Uniting and inspiring.

[21:30:04] CUOMO: That is a template for them. We'll see if it works there and then we'll see what happens on Tuesday.

NAVARRO: We will see.

CUOMO: Last work for you Scott. Quick. Give me quick response.

JENNINGS: Yes, Chris, if I may on the question you asked, which is why don't the Democrats go toe to toe with Trump on it? The reason their party chairman cannot is because the Democrats are very divided on this issue. You have candidates like Ocasio-Cortez who are far to the left, abolish ICE, open borders. And you got Democrats like Joe Donnelly in Indiana. In virtually every ad he runs he's saying I want to build the wall. I want to help Trump build the wall. The Democratic Party is extremely divided. They have no unified message on this which makes it impossible for their party to go --

NAVARRO: Scott, so is the Republican Party.

CUOMO: Right.

NAVARRO: I mean, you have Republicans like --

CUOMO: That was what I was going to say.

NAVARRO: Carlos Curbelo in Miami.

CUOMO: Yes.

NAVARRO: And Republicans like Steve King who even Republicans are denouncing.

CUOMO: Yes, I mean in truth --

NAVARRO: It is a divisive issue and Trump is making his bet. CUOMO: Yes. He's making a bet that he goes to these rural areas and

gets thousands of people, maybe tens of thousands to cheer for him. But we all know one thing is an immutable fact. The guy can't get above 50 percent even with the economy you brag about. The reason for that is what we just saw in the ad. We'll see how it plays out Tuesday.

Scott Jennings, thank you. Ana Navarro, as always.

All right, there are many races. They are locked in dead heat right now. You actually have some unfamiliar territory when it comes to midterms for us. We haven't seen this many seats without an incumbent in them um for grabs. I think there are 41. That's why Trump is pulling out all the stops. And a Republican he endorsed here in New York is fighting tooth and nail to hold onto his seat as well. Is he using some of t Trump's own tactics and in the wrong way? He'll make his case to you next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:35:17] CUOMO: All right. One of the hot races that wasn't supposed to be a hot race is happening here in western New York. You have the incumbent Republican Congressman John Faso. He's going against a guy named Antonio Delgado, newcomer to politics, he's got a big resume. But John Faso was saying in a campaign ad, it's not from his campaign but not something he's rejecting either that you have to see Delgado for what he was when he was a rapper a decade ago, and here's some of the music in the ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a war going on ... (N-word) what the (F- word) is up?

ANTONIO DELGADO: I'm an attorney, fighting for what's fair and just.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gotcha sweating this like you having sex to a porno flick.

DELGADO: We owe it to our country to restore the American dream.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Criticize -- it's what a patriot does.

DELGADO: God Bless Iraq.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: All right. We have Congressman John Faso joining us now. Congressman, I appreciate you doing this.

REP. JOHN FASO (R), NEW YORK: Thank you, Chris. Nice to be with you.

CUOMO: Now, I drew the distinction there. The ad doesn't come from you, it comes from one of the Republican Congressional committees. But you haven't denied it. And in fact, you often argue why Delgado has to answer for his rap lyrics back then. But make the case to the audience. This guy is a Harvard guy. As Trump would say, he's a rogue scholar. He's certainly known for being able to articulate issues in a way that has him locked up with you in a race that he had no business being in, in the first place if you look at the demographics of your district. Why are you OK with an ad depicting him this way?

FASO: Well, actually, Chris, our district is very politically divided. It is a very competitive district. It voted for President Obama by 6 points in 2012 and voted for President Trump by 6 points in 2016.

CUOMO: Right.

FASO: Mr. Delgado just moved into our district, having never lived or worked or been involved in anything in our district. In April of 2017, he registered to vote, and the very next day he signed up to run for Congress, having no record here. And so many people ask, what are his views, what are his values? And we do know that though certainly those ads as you correctly said are not from my campaign, the ads are provocative, but many of the lyrics that he wrote were provocative. And to me, it is not about rap, it's about what are his positions, the political positions he expressed are controversial. In fact, just recently, he said, for instance, that Israel was not a Jewish democracy. He said that he favored the Iran deal despite the fact that it would give billions of dollars to that regime, et cetera.

CUOMO: Right.

FASO: So he has no record here. And I think that's really the question that voters are asking for.

CUOMO: Right. But it feels like a race play. Your district is 84 percent white. One of the people who spoke on your behalf is a professor, one of the SUNY Schools, State University in New York. He says, he is not in touch with our values here. That's why this music is relevant and he has to answer for it. Because we're not about rap music up here where we're from, really? Even if you're 84 percent white? Go listen to the music your kids are listening to and your young adults. I bet you eight out of ten times it's going to be rap music. But it seems like a race play, Congressman. That's why I'm asking you.

FASO: Chris, I'm not responsible for things other people say. I'm only responsible for things that I say. And all I have said and I've debated Mr. Delgado five or six times during this campaign. He's got a very radical left view on many issues. And so that's really where our distinction is. And let me be clear, Chris. I have said right from the get go, I don't want any vote from any person that would vote for me because they don't like Mr. Delgado's race.

CUOMO: What do you think the ad is --

FASO: That is irrelevant to me.

CUOMO: That's all that ad does, though, John. I mean, that's what the ad does. The ad says, this guy is a homey. He's a rapper. That's who he is. Forget about the rogue scholar. Forget about Harvard, he's not one of us. That's what the ad says.

FASO: Well, he just moved into the district. When he votes next week for Congress, it will be the very first time he's ever voted for Congress in our district. And I think that's really the key. He has no real connection here. He's never had a job here. No philanthropic or other activity. And it's very arrogant and presumptuous to say, oh, I've now arrived. I have a Harvard degree, and therefore you should elect me as a member of Congress. I've debated him six times, Chris. He doesn't know a heck of a lot about the issue --

CUOMO: And why is he locked up with you in the poll?

FASO: -- in Upstate New York. I'm sorry?

CUOMO: Why is he locked up with you in the poll?

FASO: Because this is a very competitive race. The Democrats want to win control of the House. They have spent since June about $10 million in negative ads falsely attacking me and my record. And so that's why it's a close race. But I'm going to win, Chris. I can assure you that.

CUOMO: How do you know?

FASO: I just feel it, you know? You have that feeling. I know that Mario Cuomo used to feel confident about races. You can get a feel from people when you're out there on the hustings. And this is a very big district, Chris. It's bigger than Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. It covers 11 counties in Upstate New York.

[21:40:03] CUOMO: Right.

FASO: I know this district because I've lived and worked here 35 years.

CUOMO: Look, I know the district. I'm been there very well with the man you just mentioned and my brother who is running the state right now. But are you worried -- let's say you do win. Are you worried that you win because you bring out voters that don't like that this black guy who is a rapper is running for office?

FASO: No. In fact, I categorically reject that notion. And the fact is, I can't --

CUOMO: Hold on a second. You can't reject a notion, Congressman. That's what the ad portrays. They even cherry-picked the lyrics, I don't know if you are aware of that, you didn't put together the ad as far as I know. They took phrases that could be seen as offensive and took them out context. Let me play you some more of the song. It has a catchy back beat. Listen to this play.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DELGADO: Terror does not just come in brown, nor is it new. Evil lives in us all, so we must fight with love and goodness in our hearts and peace in our minds, if democracy, equality, and freedom are truly to prevail. God bless America. God bless Iraq. God bless us all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Different in that context, isn't it?

FASO: You're not playing some of the things he said about women, for instance, Chris. If you repeated the language that he said about women that's very derogatory, you'd probably have to beep that on your show.

CUOMO: I know but look, rap is what it is. The misogynistic things that leak into rap --

FASO: Right.

CUOMO: -- and get confuse this creativity is what it is, but you're making it about this one aspect of his life and taking a lot of it out of context as we just proved with that clip, I'm just asking you are you OK winning that way? Because Trump is so I'm wondering if you?

FASO: Chris, I'm working hard -- I'm talking to voters about my record.

CUOMO: Right.

FASO: Passing an opioid bill, helping farmers in our upstate district, working hard for veterans. That's what I'm talking about. Mr. Delgado has no record in this district and it's highly presumptuous and arrogant of him to drop in, parachute into our district last year and say, here I am, I should be your congressman. I think voters will have a different opinion next Tuesday.

CUOMO: All right. John Faso running for Congress, western New York. Thank you very much for joining us on the show. I appreciate it.

FASO: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right. Be well.

All right, next segment we're going to sweeten things up a little bit, I have a poll that I guarantee you'll care about. I know, I know, I know, crazy, right? I'm going to be right on this one. And it's going to test you on a sweeter level.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:45:26] CUOMO: All right. So five-thirty-eight, you know they measure racist all across the country. So they came up with this scientific poll for Halloween of the most popular candies of all time. This is so good. I was so shocked by some of the choices.

Let's bring in D. Lemon. D. Lemon, I love this. I'm going to hold up some candies and you tell me where you think it is on the list.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, it has to be at the top. Hershey's is probably number -- what kind is that? Just that? CUOMO: This is just regular milk chocolate. This is the giant bar, 130 calories per serving, eight servings.

LEMON: Number seven?

CUOMO: It is number 28.

LEMON: Oh, wow.

CUOMO: Number 28. All right, here's another one. Let me ask, which is your favorite, by the way?

LEMON: My favorite is candy corn. I'm old school. I was born in the '60s.

CUOMO: Candy corn, here it is, this bag has your name on it. You know what number this was? Candy corn, number 67, same as your age.

LEMON: Oh, you took the words right out of my mouth.

CUOMO: All right. Now, here is what surprised me the most.

LEMON: Close to when I was born, though. Go on.

CUOMO: All right. Reese's, these are minis.

LEMON: Oh, that has to be at the top five.

CUOMO: Great guess. I was totally off. My favorite are Reese's peanut butter cups.

LEMON: OK, bravo.

CUOMO: And I said it, like I'm a little off.

LEMON: I must say six, right there.

CUOMO: They're number two.

CUOMO: That's Reese's minis are number two. Reese's peanut butter cups are number 1.

LEMON: I loved it.

CUOMO: I don't even think that's fear, that they going to have two spots, but Reese's have like three of the top six spots.

LEMON: OK.

CUOMO: They're dominant. Top 10 polling.

LEMON: So let me about this polling, OK.

CUOMO: That's why you can't trust in the polls how about these?

LEMON: It said favorite Halloween candy, right? And so when you say Halloween candy, when you frame it like that --

CUOMO: Some of the stuff isn't though, it's just candy.

LEMON: I'm thinking of, you know, my candy corn because they're actually Halloween candy. If you ask me, my favorite candy is snickers bar.

CUOMO: Whoppers. Oh, snickers are --

LEMON: Whoppers is 17.

CUOMO: Whoppers is 41. Snickers is number five.

LEMON: I loved snickers.

CUOMO: Peanuts are a big sell for people evidently. I'll give you the top 10.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Reese's peanut buttercup. Reese's Miniatures, Twix, Kit Kat, Snickers. Reese's Pieces, Milky Way, Reese's stuffed With Pieces --

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Peanut Butter M&M's, which is come on that's a -- you know that Reese's Pieces.

LEMON: I love that.

CUOMO: And number 10, Butterfinger.

LEMON: Butterfinger. There's nothing like a Butterfinger but I got to tell you, there's nothing like a snicker bar. You know we're not, as news people we're not supposed to be endorsing this, we're just saying about favorite. Not that we're endorsing it.

CUOMO: Snickers bar --

LEMON: Snicker bar --

CUOMO: We're worried about them frozen, break my teeth.

LEMON: No. I don't do that. I like it a little warm and room temperature. A snicker bar, a diet coke, and plain lays potato chips. If you're going to snack out --

CUOMO: That's a strong combination.

LEMON: That's it right there. You got sweet and salty, all of it nice diet coke to wash it down.

CUOMO: You know what didn't make the list that bothers me?

LEMON: What? CUOMO: Gummy bears were on here. They were good frozen. What

number? Gummy bears, 26. Bit of honey didn't make it. Bit of honey is a strong candy. And I don't think Charleston chew made it.

LEMON: I never liked bit of honey. I've never like a bit of honey.

CUOMO: You have to be patient with bit of honey.

LEMON: But let me tell you what -- do you ever take the York peppermint patty and put it in the freezer?

CUOMO: I have.

LEMON: Amazing.

CUOMO: Do you ever take lettuce and put it in glass of tequila?

LEMON: No, I have not done that. But you are talking about gummy bears, I love --

CUOMO: (Speaking Foreign Language) as they would say in Spanish.

LEMON: I like gummy bears but there's nothing like some Swedish fish.

CUOMO: Swedish fish are good. I don't think they made the list. Rose, did they make the list?

LEMON: They didn't?

CUOMO: No. I think Red Vines made it.

LEMON: What? Swedish fish -- Yes, they did, they're number 33.

CUOMO: Oh, they did?

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: All right. I didn't get my answer.

LEMON: Skittles is not bad. Hey, what about old school. You know I almost --

CUOMO: Payday, that's old school.

LEMON: You know, I almost -- yes, I can't -- should I say I almost choked to death on a certain candy?

CUOMO: Good and plenty, never liked them.

LEMON: Can I tell you about my --

CUOMO: Last on the list.

LEMON: What does your mom say to you when I come on your show? What does she say?

CUOMO: About the show?

LEMON: About when you and I visit, what did your mom tell you?

CUOMO: Oh, she loves you. She loves your heart.

LEMON: She said, you should let me talk.

CUOMO: Oh, she says, I should let you talk.

LEMON: And --

CUOMO: Go ahead.

LEMON: So, I was a kid, I had a mishap with a Now and Later. Do you remember that? Do you remember Now and Laters?

CUOMO: I remember them very well.

LEMON: I had a mishap with them. And my cousin just happened to be there. We were the only two people on the sidewalk eating Now and Laters. And I got choked. I couldn't breathe. And he hit me on the back, and the thing went -- and ever since then, I am always very careful with candy and I don't lay down and eat it or whatever. That is the worst -- one of my worst fears is choking. I couldn't breathe. It was the scariest experience I ever had.

[21:50:06] CUOMO: Way to bring down the entire segment on Halloween.

LEMON: It's true. So, go eat some Swedish fish or do that combo tonight, snicker bar, plain lays potato chips and diet coke, it is heaven. And -- are you done with me? I should probably tell you what's coming up on my show.

CUOMO: You know if you'd like to.

LEMON: Guess who's in the show tonight?

CUOMO: Who?

LEMON: Stacey Abrams.

CUOMO: Strong.

LEMON: She is running for governor down in Georgia. She would be the first African-American woman governor in the United States if she does wins.

CUOMO: And I understand you have something to say.

LEMON: She's going to talk about voter suppression, hold on. She was talking about voter suppression. She is also going to talk about this ad that you have been discussing that the President tweeted out.

CUOMO: The new Willie Horton era.

LEMON: Yes. CUOMO: That's what it is.

LEMON: Interesting to hear what she has to say. Yes, and I have something to discuss. I'm going to discuss the facts.

CUOMO: I'll be watching.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: I'll be stuffing my face with CNN-bought candy.

LEMON: Some facts that people are perturbed, facts are facts.

CUOMO: Well, facts are facts. I'll be watching D. Lemon, happy Halloween.

LEMON: Happy Halloween too. I love your mask. You went in as a Trumpy old man. That looks good on you.

CUOMO: Well, that was original. I hope you have better material for the show. Don Lemon, ladies and gentlemen.

All right, when we come back we have a closing argument for you, all right? You're going to want to hear it, another guarantee.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:55:36] CUOMO: Melania and I were treated very nicely yesterday in Pittsburgh, the President tweeted. The office of the President was shown great respect on a very sad and solemn day. We were treated so warmly. Small protest was not seen by us. Staged far away. Fake news stories were just the opposite. Disgraceful. Disgraceful. Deserving of shame. Good word choice by our President. But I argue to you, the reporting was not what it is, disgraceful. The effort by the President is definite deference to the victims, the reception. It was all a covered inaccurately so.

The protests were real. They involved victims of the shooting and members of the Jewish community and others. And something more, they signaled a cataclysm that grew out of a toxic political dynamic, a massacre of 11, the largest targeted murder of Jews in American history.

This white supremacists bigot anti-Semite was feeding on the fears of the caravan. He bought the invader talk so much, he saw the Jews who were helping refugees along with other faiths he decided ton target as needing to die.

Now, our President has spent weeks saying things that could fuel the fires of hate, that men like this murderer hold in the place where their hearts should be. That's why there were protests that should have been covered and were.

So, reporting on those was not shameful, but the word could still apply because this tweet is disgraceful. 11 dead Jewish Americans and t Trump has to make it about himself? He said he was there for them? He said he was there to unite? But when he doesn't like the coverage, he goes back to nationalist strong man tactics. That is disgraceful.

Know your audience, Mr. President. Many of these victims fled themselves or their families fled from men who were nationalists, who talked about who was an enemy of the people. Why do you go there? Do you really want to be like the men who embraced those ugly turns of phrase?

Proof of this concern. Someone I know sent me a note today to tell me how concerned they are, so afraid, they made me promise not to use their name. They were afraid for their kids. Their story is this. They came here 30 years ago, and their father, who lived through Stalin and communist Hungary, was worried when he heard they were coming here. Fascism will hit them, he said. They have no idea what it looks like. They won't recognize it early enough to fight against it, but only when it will be in their face, and much too late.

This was in 1985. Reagan was President. A Russia fighter who sounded like mother Teresa compared to t Trump. So, this person dismissed their father's warning as the anxiety of a man stained reasonably by experience. That is, until now. Until some of what Trump says and is echoed by some of the good people on both sides types, those running for office who cut the federalist flags and make racist remarks without reproach from Trump or the GOP. Too afraid to let me use their name. 11 dead Jews, murdered for being Jews, and Trump thinks he's sowing unity by tearing at the fabric of our diversity, needling us with throw back terms of an anti-Semitic era.

The crowds may roar, Mr. President. But you should consider those too frightened to speak, those who are listening to you and shaking their heads. Tuesday is coming. And you don't even have half the country with you, despite the economy, and all you brag about. This is why.

Thank you for watching. "CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts right now.

LEMON: That ad, Chris. Not even trying to hide it any more.

CUOMO: Willie Horton.

LEMON: Oh, my gosh. Do you think it's worse?

CUOMO: I do, and I'll tell you why. Willie Horton, 1988, very one dimensional. Fear the blacks, fear all their easy sentences. This guy was supposed to be in -- he got furloughed. He raped somebody. This is what happens. This is about all of them, explicitly. They show the guy who is the villain, blame it on the Democrats, which is what they were begging us not to do last week, and then they show them at the gates, marauding invaders. Who else would they let?

LEMON: By the way, he was kicked out of the country and sent back to Mexico by a Democrat, Bill Clinton.

CUOMO: Right. Don't let the facts get in the way. It's about the imagery and the feeling. That's what fear and clothing is about. That's Trump's bet. Now, when I was checking the Democrats on tonight, and I've been doing for sometime now, to the --