Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Clinton, Trump Voice Confidence in Final Run; Trump Ramps up "Rigged" Talk As Election Nears; Bundy Brothers, 5 Followers Acquitted. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired October 28, 2016 - 10:00   ET



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me. They may not be measuring the drapes but both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are showing some signs of confidence that they will prevail when the election is held 11 days from now. Sources connected to Hillary Clinton say Joe Biden's name is among those considered for Secretary of State, those details in just a moment. In the meantime, Trump talking a good game himself.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We should just cancel the election and just give it to Trump, right? What do we even have -- what are we having it? Her policies are so bad.


COSTELLO: Both Trump and Clinton are in Iowa today where the latest polls show the race too close to call. Their campaigns today, fanning out across all of the battleground states pretty much anyway. CNN's Elise Labott is following the Joe Biden news. Jason Carroll is following the Trump campaign. But let's begin with Elise, with this notion that Joe Biden could be Secretary of State under a Clinton presidency.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Carol. Well, obviously both sides, you know, are preparing for the possibility that they would be president so their transition teams are putting together lists of -- possible cabinet picks and Secretary of State, obviously, a very important post for any president to name right away. And so we understand that Joe Biden has been on a long list of many candidates that have been positioned for possible Secretary of State. That list has not been presented to Secretary Clinton but sources close to the campaign and the transition say that Joe Biden is among the names on those lists.

You know, political put that - reported that he was on a short list. Our understanding is the list is a little bit longer than that. A lot of candidates out there from Joe Biden to some of the former top senior state department officials here that could be considered, even possibly John Kerry staying around for a while. And so, I don't necessarily know that Joe Biden would be the obvious pick for Secretary Clinton. He obviously has a lot of star power but Secretary Clinton has a lot of star power in her own right as former Secretary of State. And also, I think, they have disagreed on many avenues of foreign policy in the past such as Iraq, such as Afghanistan, the conflict in Syria. Secretary Clinton has proposed a little bit of a more robust military presence. So, not necessarily sure he's the most natural pick but certainly on a list of possible candidates. Carol?

COSTELLO: All right, Elise Labott, reporting live for us this morning. Thank you. So, Clinton may be looking post-election but there are still 11 days to go. Donald Trump isn't slowing down his rigged election talk, either. CNN's Jason Carroll joins me with more on that. Good morning.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And good morning to you. No, he is not going to back down with these unsubstantiated claims. This is something that he is probably going to be talking about up until the very end. Most recently, he mentioned this in an interview yesterday, Carol. He talked about a situation, an alleged incident in Texas where he says a woman voted for him but when she looked at her ballot she says it was cast for somebody else. Listen to what he said just last night.


TRUMP: You look at Texas. A lot of calls were made from Texas, an incredible place. I love Texas. The lines are massive and they were talking about flipping, you know, where they press a button, and they press it for me and another name comes up. --

BILL O'REILLY, HOST "O'REILLY FACTOR": But do we have any data on that? Do we have any facts on that? You know, anybody can --

TRUMP: No, they just call in.

CARROLL: So, Carol, the Texas official who is in charge of that particular area where that alleged incident took place. Shannon Lackey is the election administrator for Randall County, Texas. And here's what the statement that came out for that.

"Absolutely not. It is not happening in any way, shape or form. I stand 100 percent behind what I do. I stand behind my machines, my staff."

Again, that coming from Shannon Lackey the election administrator there from Randall County, Texas. Also, we should also point out that the first lady was out campaigning for Clinton. This also happening yesterday, there's been some talk of voter suppression by the Trump campaign, the Trump campaign allegedly trying to suppress the voters of African-Americans and young women, the first lady, speaking out about that just yesterday.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: So when you hear folks talking about a global conspiracy and saying that this election is rigged, understand that they are trying to get you to stay home. They are trying to convince you that your vote doesn't matter, that the outcome has already been determined and you shouldn't even bother making your voice heard. They are trying to take away your hope.


CARROLL: And it should be noted that a number of Trump supporters that I have spoken to really do believe what Trump is saying. They do believe that this election is somehow rigged in some way, shape or form, once again even though there is no evidence for that. But again, these two candidates are going to be battling until the very, very last moment.

[10:05:16] Trump for his part is going to be out in places like Iowa. He's going to be in New Hampshire. He's going to be in Maine, making three stops. Trump -- Clinton for her part, she's not giving up on Iowa, either, making two stops there. The president is going to be campaigning for her, though, today in Florida.

COSTELLO: Interesting. Jason Carroll thanks so much. So, let's talk about all of this because there is a lot to talk about this morning. With me now is Jackie Kucinich, CNN political analyst and Washington bureau chief for "The Daily Beast" and David Swerdlick, CNN political commentator and assistant editor at "The Washington Post." Welcome to both of you.

Let's start with Joe Biden, Jackie. So, somebody within the Clinton camp floated Joe Biden's name out there. Any idea what the reason is?

JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST AND WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF "THE DAILY BEAST": I mean this does seem like a trial balloon. I think Elise hit the nail on the head. On there is a long list of people and you do start, this is very common at this stage of the campaign, you do start hearing names of new people that will be in positions of power. Joe Biden has campaigned very hard for Hillary Clinton, has really put himself out there for her. So, and the Clintons really like loyalty so -- it's not completely out of the realm of possibility, but it seems like, you know, probably a lot of people are being vetted at this point for those senior positions in the next administration should Hillary Clinton win.

COSTELLO: So you know what some people are going to say, David. They are going to say well, she's already like naming her cabinet positions, this is kind of arrogant. And then other people will say you know what, floating Joe Biden's name out there might attract those blue collar voters that Hillary Clinton needs to win the election.

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND ASSISTANT EDITOR "THE WASHINGTON POST": Yes. There is a certain segment that really likes Joe Biden. I will point out, I agree with Jackie that, and the least, that this is a little bit of an outside the box pick but at the same time he was the former Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the current Vice President of the United States. So, he certainly has the resume.

Yes, the Clinton campaign does not want to get too far ahead of itself, Carol, but at the same time, I think like Jackie said, this is a trial balloon of a known figure, someone who has been out on the trail for Clinton in the past few days so I'm not completely surprised.

COSTELLO: So, Jackie, let's talk about this notion of a rigged election. You heard what Michelle Obama is saying. She says Donald Trump is saying that to suppress the vote. What is the strategy there?

KUCINICH: You know it is interesting strategy because most voters we're seeing in polls, the last couple days, don't necessarily believe this. Political independents, Democrats, some Republicans, though Trump voters tend to believe it more than anybody else. But the interesting thing is you do still see a bit of disconnect between what Donald Trump is saying and what his running mate is saying, Mike Pence. -- He said this morning he believes in the system. And also, I mean, especially -- particularly with this Texas argument. You have to know, I mean, Texas is run by Republicans. The Governor is a Republican, the Lieutenant Governor is Republican, Secretary of State is Republican, so the idea that everyone would be colluding to elect Hillary Clinton is a little beyond the realm of --

COSTELLO: Well, just going more along those lines, because you know, no system is perfect, right, David? There's going to be mistakes made. There's mistakes made but they are usually caught and there's no evidence that there's widespread fraud in any state in America when it comes to going to the polls and voting. But going back to Texas, Jackie is right, has a Republican Governor, a Republican Secretary of State, both U.S. Senators are Republican, 25 Texas Republicans were elected to the House of Representatives including many Trump supporters. So it defies logic, doesn't it?

SWERDLICK: Well, look, the allegations or the concerns should be looked into and the Texas officials apparently did look into it and they said there's nothing to worry about. But yes, as you say, Texas is run by Republicans so it would be hard to imagine that the fix is in for a Democrat. Look, we have a 50-state Republic here. Every state, every county runs it a little bit differently. Every concern about, you know, irregularities should be evaluated but when Trump is making this argument that there's a systemic fix in for Secretary Clinton, my response to that is simply show us the evidence. You know, he made this point on "Bill O'Reilly" last night, not just saying that there's voter fraud here or there but that the whole -- he's gone and said this, Carol, the last several days, that it's not the specific states that he's talking about, it's that it's the system, the media and the political class but he's offered no evidence. And as I have been saying, you know, for the past several days, look, Trump campaign, you know, the media has covered this campaign closely for a year and a half. There's plenty of information out there about Donald Trump, about Secretary Clinton, for voters to make an informed choice in this race. Things have not been hidden in this race. It's been closely covered and voters are going to have their say in a few days.

COSTELLO: And you know, I'm with you, I don't think voters are stupid. I think they can make up their own minds. Like to assume that we are force-feeding them things and like brainwashing them in some way is a disservice to American voters, in my mind. So, I will leave it there. Jackie Kucinich, David Swerdlick,

[10:10:16] thanks so much. OK. So, Mr. Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, ends a long day of campaigning with some harrowing moments. His plane makes a rough landing and skids off the runway at LaGuardia Airport. These are the crews that worked overnight to clean up the mess and reopen the runway. No one was injured. And this morning, Mr. Pence downplayed the scare.


GOV. MIKE PENCE, (R) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It happened so fast, Allison. That you know, it was almost over before it began. -- But once we came off the plane and saw the first responders on the scene and saw the concrete which I have since learned a portion of the runway is designed to break up to slow down aircraft. And the fact that we have come to rest there out on the grass in the mud was more dramatic to look at it from the outside of the plane.


COSTELLO: I bet it felt scary. I want to bring in our producer Elizabeth Landers, she's with CNN. You were on board that plane. How did it feel when the plane started to fishtail like that as it landed?

ELIZABETH LANDERS, CNN PRODUCER: It was definitely scary. I never felt like the plane going to crash or you know that my life was in immediate jeopardy. But you know, when we landed it was a hard landing there on the tarmac out LaGuardia. And we had experienced turbulence coming in so it wasn't a huge surprise but we had a hard landing there for about 20 or 30 seconds afterwards the plane continued on the runway. And the back of the plane, which is where the press sit, was fishtailing a bit back and forth. And you could feel that the plane was skidding. Felt like the brakes were on and not working.

COSTELLO: So, there's a highway very close to that runway. So, could you see it from the plane?

LANDERS: No. We didn't know what was going on, basically. I actually didn't know that we had come off of the tarmac until Governor Pence came back and checked on us, because it was dark outside and it was bad weather. So, we could not see what was going on but thank goodness we did not run into the highway.

COSTELLO: So, Governor Pence, he did come to the back of the plane to see if everyone was all right?

LANDERS: He did. As soon as the plane came to a complete halt there after 20 or 30 seconds, Secret Service immediately sprung up and checked on him. He is the protectee. That's their number one goal. And then he came back to check on the press and said, "Are you guys OK?" We asked him if he was OK as well.

COSTELLO: Well, that's nice. Elizabeth Landers thanks so much. And I'm glad you're OK because man, that would be very scary.

Coming up next in the "Newsroom," Marco Rubio thinks Donald Trump should be the next president but what about a role model for his children?


SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: Like most Americans, you know, people look at this and say these are not ideal choices. But that's why one of the reasons I ran for Senate, because I know that no matter who wins, we're going to have to have a strong senate.



[10:16:55] COSTELLO: President Obama hitting the trail in all- important Florida today stumping for Clinton as Democrats roll out a new ad urging voters to keep Obama's legacy alive.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All the progress we've made these last eight years is on the ballot. Civility is on the ballot. Respect for women is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Equality is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot.


COSTELLO: The President also expected to go after Senator Marco Rubio of Florida who is locked in a tight race for re-election. CNN's Manu Raju has more for you from Florida.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Good morning, Carol. Now, remember, Marco Rubio had no intention of running for re-election. When he was running for president, he made very clear that if he would not going to win the White House, he would be a private citizen, in January. Well, that changed when Republican leaders came to him and said you're the only Republican who can keep this seat in our party's hands. Now, he is still the favorite to win re-election but this environment is very tricky because of Donald Trump.


RAJU: Marco Rubio, running for re-election in Florida, in an awkward spot on Donald Trump. Supporting his candidacy but refusing to even say that Trump would keep the country safe.

How confident are you that Donald Trump would be a good Commander-in- Chief and keep this country safe? Do you think that he can? -

RUBIO: Well, I have deep concerns about Hillary Clinton.

RAJU: But would Donald Trump keep the country safe?

RUBIO: Again, the military is what keeps us safe. We have to rebuild our military.

RAJU: He also, would not say if Trump could be considered a role model for his four children.

RUBIO: Like most Americans, you know, people look at this and say these are not ideal choices. But that's why one of the reasons I ran for Senate, because I know that no matter who wins, we're going to have to have a strong senate.

RAJU: Rubio faces a dilemma that's confronting Senate GOP candidates across the country. They need the support of Trump backers to win re- election and also to win over voters who feel alienated by the GOP nominee.

Yet if Trump gets blown out by Clinton, it would dramatically improve the chances of a Democratic Senate takeover. Recent polls in Florida make that case. One found Clinton ahead of Trump and Rubio barely leading his Democratic challenger, Congressman Patrick Murphy. A separate poll had Trump ahead and Rubio winning re-election by ten points. What makes things more uncomfortable for Rubio, his bitter primary fight with Trump.

RUBIO: We have a con artist as the front-runner in the Republican Party.

RAJU: At a debate this week, Murphy made his strategy abundantly clear, consistently invoking Trump's name.

REP. PATRICK MURPHY, (D) FLORIDA: Donald Trump, Donald Trump.

What's it going to take for you to unendorse Donald Trump?

RUBIO: Basically, the answer to every question tonight by Congressman Murphy is Donald Trump.

RAJU: But Murphy, after being abandoned by the National Party, now getting last minute cash infusion with a super packed tied to Democratic leader, Harry Reid, promising to make a seven figure donation to an outside group tied to Murphy. Murphy, already putting $1 million of his own money to pay for this Spanish language ad with President Obama.


RAJU: Now, how badly does Obama want to beat Marco Rubio? He's coming here today to campaign for Hillary Clinton and he will also be with Patrick Murphy

[10:20:16] in Orlando, this, after Obama calling out Rubio for endorsing Donald Trump. Now, this state, I should say though, is going to be very difficult for Democrats to pick up in the Senate because it's just so expensive. There are actually more winnable states out there and right now, that's where the Democratic money is, in other states, red states like Missouri, North Carolina and Indiana. In other swing states as well. So, that could be one reason why, Carol, Marco Rubio ends up being re-elected. COSTELLO: All right. Manu Raju, many thanks. So, will the Democrats' efforts pay off at the top of the ticket and for down ballot candidates? Let's talk about that, with me now, CNN executive politics editor, Mark Preston. I must say, and just looking at Marco Rubio, he doesn't appear to be having much fun.

MARK PRESTON, CNN EXECUTIVE POLITICS EDITOR: Well, you know, what's interesting is, as Manu had said, he was going to leave the United States Senate. He didn't seem to really enjoy being in the U.S. Senate. But for whatever reason, perhaps cajoling by Republican leaders, he did decide to get back in the race. And Manu is absolutely right, if it was anyone else on the Republican ticket right now, that seat would go Democrat. But right now, Rubio is favored.

COSTELLO: Rubio is favored. So there's nothing the Democrats could do? Should - you know, I guess Harry Reid was behind this influx of money that's coming in. Is he wasting his money and time?

PRESTON: Well, No. I mean, I wouldn't say he's wasting his money because look, if all of a sudden we see an amazing wave come across the country, you can see the likes of Marco Rubio get knocked out in an anti-Trump wave. But what we are seeing the past couple days, especially in Florida too, is that polls are tightening between Trump and Hillary Clinton as Manu had pointed out and Marco Rubio is a well- known name in Florida. And he doesn't have very high unfavorable. So, you know, he's working it.

COSTELLO: OK. So, there are other races going on, especially one in Illinois. And it got quite nasty during a debate. Tammy Duckworth, who lost her legs in Iraq, was debating her Republican challenger Mark Kirk. Here's how it went down.


REP. TAMMY DUCKWORTH, (D) ILLINOIS: My family has served this nation in uniform going back to the Revolution. I am a daughter of the American Revolution. I've bled for this nation. But I still want to be there in the Senate when the drums of war sound. Because people are quick to sound at drums of war and I want to be there to say, this is what it costs. This is what you're asking us to do. And if that's the case, I'll go.

Families like mine are the ones that bleed first. But let's make sure the American people understand what we are engaging in. And let's hold our allies accountable because we can't do it all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Kirk, 30 seconds to rebut.

SEN. MARK KIRK, (R) ILLINOIS: I had forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington.


COSTELLO: OK. So, a lot of people found that kind of distasteful, right?


COSTELLO: Because Tammy Duckworth did lose both of her legs fighting for America.

PRESTON: Right, right, and look, she's right. In fact, let's just set up this race, right here. This is the most vulnerable Republican right now in the United States Senate. I don't think anyone thinks that he, including Republicans, thinks he's going to win re-election. Tammy Duckworth appears to be on a glide path, in many ways, to actually win. Let's not forget, Illinois, Democratic state. It's also Barack Obama's home state.

So I mean, putting that aside, sign of desperation, though, right there. And as you said, a lot of people have weighed in including Hillary Clinton.

Let's just take a quick look at what she put out on Twitter this morning, Carol, where she says "Thankful for Tammy Duckworth and her family's service to this country. It's really not that hard to grasp."

Now, to tie this all together, Tammy Duckworth is correct. Her mother is from Thailand. Her father was born here in the United States. And it's her father's side of the family that goes all the way back. So, I think, Mark Kirk has probably woke up this morning and said what did I do to myself.

COSTELLO: All right. Mark Preston, many thanks.

Coming up in the "Newsroom," die-hard Trump supporters, quick to share their opinions of Hillary Clinton -- but it isn't just chants. Some supporters are taking it farther, warning of a revolution if Clinton wins.


[10:28:35] COSTELLO: And good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you for joining me. A surprise not guilty verdict for the armed anti- government protesters, who took over a federal wildlife refuge last February in the state of Oregon, in a huge blow to government prosecutors, the conservative ranchers, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and five of their cohorts were acquitted on federal charges stemming from that 41-day standoff. The brothers led the armed takeover of the federal wildlife refuge. All of the defendants were released except the Bundy brothers who face federal charges still in Nevada. We will keep you posted.

With just 11 days until the election, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are crisscrossing key states making their final pitch to voters. But some Trump supporters are already looking past November 8th and to the future of the U.S. political system.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is revolutionary time in this country. We can do this through the ballot box this time or trust me it may get to be the bullet box the next time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like Hillary needs to be taken out. If she gets in the government I will do everything in my power to take her out of power.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There will be a civil war.


COSTELLO: Even former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois is making headlines after tweeting this.

"On November 8th, I'm voting for Trump. On November 9th, if Trump loses I'm grabbing my musket."

You in? Walsh talked with CNN this morning about what exactly he meant by that tweet.