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Erin Burnett Outfront

Biden To Address Debate Camera Directly, Testing "Off The Charts"; Debate Ground Rules; Exclusive: Trump On Taylor Swift. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired June 26, 2024 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And OUTFRONT next, a special edition live from CNN's debate headquarters in Atlanta.

Breaking news tonight on Biden strategy, a technique that insiders say has sent Biden's favorability, quote, off the charts. This as questions swirl over whether Trump will announce his VP as early as tomorrow.

Plus, a real-time demonstration of what will happen when one candidate tries to interrupt the other. The question everyone has, that and everything else you need to know about the debate rules.

And an OUTFRONT exclusive tonight, former President Trump in never before heard audio gushing over Taylor Swift. You'll here are the word he uses to describe her five times.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And welcome to a special edition of OUTFRONT. Good evening from Atlanta. I'm Erin Burnett and I am live from the CNN debate headquarters here.

We begin with the breaking news: off the charts. New reporting tonight, just about 24 hours before tomorrow's presidential debate on Biden strategy. The president looking for more opportunities to look directly into the camera during the 90-minute face off. The president leaning on a tried and true technique for him, one that advisors for him say it sent dial testing, quote, off the charts and right now, I can tell you that the stage is set inside the podiums are in place for the current president and the former president.

The two men will be standing just eight feet apart, much closer than any other time they've debated. And this is the first time that CNN is revealing the spin rooms. Take a look at that, top allies at both campaigns will be tomorrow night at room trying to say that their candidate won the debate, be up to 700, 800 people in that room, because make no mistake. This is the most important event in the 2024 election so far.

Biden spending now his sixth day at Camp David in preparation for the debate. Trump this afternoon, meantime, called into what conservative online channel discussing some of his tried and true favorite topics. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have tremendous crowds. But the people understand it. We're Leading in every poll and we're leading every swing-state.

The mug shot is the best -- it just beat Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra by a lot, by the way, beat 'em by a lot. But that's the number one mug shot of all time. It's really an amazing thing.

It's going to be big. And they say maybe the biggest. Somebody said, this will be the highest rated show of all time. I said, don't tell me that. I don't want to hear that.


BURNETT: The polls, of course, is showing a dead heat tonight.

We are also learning the former president could be on the verge of announcing his vice presidential pick, even as early as this week at a debate or even the day after the debate, at a rally that he will be hosting in the state of Virginia.

I want to start with Kayla Tausche. She is OUTFRONT here in Atlanta.

And, Kayla, I know you are just learning some major your details about how Biden plans to do tomorrow night, what he's going to say, what are you hearing?

KAYLA TAUSCHE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Erin, the Biden campaign has long argued that the electorate has been largely disengaged this cycle and to a certain extent, disillusioned and there's one method in particular that President Biden is expected do employ tomorrow to attempt to change that, and that is speaking directly to the voters, not to the moderators, not to Donald Trump, but looking through -- breaking through the so-called fourth wall of the camera, through the lens and into Americans living room.

There are two reasons why he's doing it. First, the president believes that all politics are personal, but second, it's also been wildly effective for him in the past. In 2020, when he did this several times in debates, then advisers familiar with the data say that real time focus groups said that his favorability dramatically when he did that, and that those so-called dial tests showed his favorability off the charts. One person familiar with the data saying that during those moments, people didn't view him as a lifelong politician. They viewed him as human.

And there was one moment in particular that stood out to voters then, Erin, and that is when Donald Trump went after President Biden's son Hunter for his various troubles and President Biden looked into the camera and said that many American families were sadly familiar with addiction. And he said loves and is proud of and supports his son.

That was the moment that people familiar with the campaign, then and that data, say stood out most to voters. So expect President Biden to do this quite often tomorrow for one reason, in particular as well. And that is because the campaigns distilling the message, too, that Donald Trump is for himself, Joe Biden is for you, they say.


And that's why President Biden is going to speak directly to them.

BURNETT: And amazing those just at that level of strategy of straight to the camera, that level of detail that they are at.

All right. Kayla, thank you very much.

And everyone is with me here in Atlanta. I want to start with the Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger.

Have seen you in many roles over the years. And here you are in a new role. You're taking a stand in a significant way today. You have just endorsing Joe Biden for president you know, just for a moment when you hear Kayla's reporting on him, looking straight to the camera, him connecting with people, when you think about where you were, you know, superstar Republican congressman and now you're here --


BURNETT: -- endorsing Joe Biden.

KINZINGER: Look, that's what's amazing is so, what, eight years ago, I was called like a rising star in the Republican Party and I didn't change what I believed. I mean, you grow up, you a few views change, moderate a little bit, but I'm the same person.

The party has slightly left me because it's not swearing allegiance to any kind of principles or policy anymore. It's all about swearing allegiance to one man who did his best to overthrow a legitimate election convinced a third of the American people that the election was stolen. And my two-and-a-half year old son deserves to be raised in a country with a throng of a democracy, as I've been raised. And so, it was a no-brainer for me.

BURNETT: And I just want to emphasize what you just said. You said you haven't changed.


BURNETT: So in other words, the rising star, Adam Kinzinger, seen as future Republican presidential candidate, is the same guy.


BURNETT: Endorsing Joe Biden.

KINZINGER: Yeah, because the party no longer knows what it believes anymore. It's all based on what is somebody say at one moment? What does, what does Donald Trump say?

I've refused to swear allegiance to a man. My oath is to the Constitution. And again, to preserve this country in this democracy for my kid, to honor my grandfather who fought in World War II. I believe the right thing he to do is to say, we may disagree on some policy issues with Joe Biden, but the most important thing is defense of this democracy. And as a conservative, I'm committed to preserving this democracy.

BURNETT: You know, Brad Todd, obviously, you're a Republican strategist and we hear about Trump maybe announcing his VP pick tomorrow or the day after. This is a guy who was seen as presidential candidate for the GOP could be one day, not this GOP but -- and many who are in his position, a few of them are now possible VP candidates. They went a very different way than Adam Kinzinger has gone.

So do you think that that's -- we're going to hear who that person is here in these next hours day.

BRAD TODD, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I do. I think that Donald Trump loves a big moment and he loves a big stage. And I think this is the biggest stage, perhaps in this campaign, this first debate is really important. I would be really surprised if we don't wake up Friday morning and know -- and we might know during the debate tomorrow night.

BURNETT: Now, would that surprise you, Bakari? You're giving -- you're giving a little bit of the quizzical Bakari look.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I don't know if it surprises me a little bit. I think that the camp, first of all, Donald Trump's campaign staff or team deserves a lot of credit because they've actually kept the train on the tracks as well as it possibly could be. Susie and Jason have done their best to try to contain Donald Trump. You hear that they're trying to contain him tomorrow.

If he is losing the debate, then yes, you well know who his vice presidential pick is. If he thinks he's owning the debate and you're able to see the structure of the debate benefit him -- and when I say structure, I mean, the mics cutting off, no crowd, et cetera, then there's no way that they're not going to write that cycle out.

And so, it's going to be -- he has something in his back pocket in case things go off the rails -- blame the moderators, blame the media, and then, oh hail, lets take back the cycle.

TODD: The real struggle for both these candidates is to try to focus the race forward. It's always hard for a candidate to focus the race forward. And the very number one thing Trump could do to focus the race forward is to talk about who might be next.

SELLERS: Unless he chooses --


SELLERS: Unless he chooses another 70-year-old white man.

ALLISON: Well, first I want to say thank you for your leadership because I wish there were more people who picked country over party and you're a former party, Republican Party.

KINZINGER: Thank you.

ALLISON: But I think that Donald Trump will, to Bakari's point, he'll pick -- if things are going off the rails, if he feels like Joe Biden is given it to him really leaning and talking to the American people, which I think Joe Biden will do and is really good at that, if ever, interacted with him one-on-one, which most Americans don't get the chance to interact with the president. But if you do one-on-one, that is when Joe Biden thrives.

So if he can make the people who are watching that debate. So like he is in a conversation with them sitting at the kitchen table saying, I understand your struggles that could really work in his favor.

And then Donald Trump will say oh, A, B, or C is my -- my vice presidential candidate. And Joe Biden can say, great, thanks for the news. Back to what I was saying, because regardless of who it is, he should use that same person to draw that contrast that they're not going to do what somebody sitting to my left would do and that is stand up to Donald Trump and say the election was not stolen, and I believe in democracy.


BURNETT: I will go out on a limb and say he may be sitting to your left, I doubt he actually is, although maybe -- maybe on your evolution.

But let me ask you, Congressman.


BURNETT: "Wall Street Journal" backing Burgum.


BURNETT: Doug Burgum for vice president. JD Vance said earlier today that he'd be disappointed if -- not human if he didn't admit he'd be disappointed if he weren't selected.

Which -- which way are you hearing this could go? And these are an -- obviously, you could have Marco Rubio, could have someone else, but you've got a young future as you're talking about options.


BURNETT: And then you have Doug Burgum, who is very different sort of choice for Trump.

KINZINGER: Doug Burgum is Trump's safe choice. He says choice if he doesn't want to be overshadowed. And the thing that Donald Trump fears more than a fears nuclear war or anything is being overshadowed about --

SELLERS: I thought you're going to say Black women, but go ahead, I'm sorry.

KINZINGER: So I think Doug Burgum is that safe choice, but I can tell you, no matter what happens at the debate tomorrow, Donald Trump is going to be blaming somebody. He'll blame the moderator, so blame, I don't know, the air conditioning, whatever it is because everything he does, he's a victim of.


KINZINGER: And he's the recipient of.

ALLISON: Erin, can I say one thing though about that VP? The thing that makes JD Vance of questionable candidate is that that's still a Senate seat and where the Senate is really in the balance.

And yes, people say that Ohio is a red state. But Ohio --

BURNETT: Solid red.

ALLISON: A solid red. But as an Ohioan, I'm telling you, there's still ways for a Sherrod Brown and for Democrats to win in that state when you just look at some of the issues that Ohioans support. So that's like a risk to give that seat open.

SELLERS: I wanted to comment. That's a good point. I wanted to comment just briefly on the vice presidential pick.

I think Doug Burgum is a lot. It's very -- I like him personally, but it's a very stale pick. I think that Donald Trump chooses a wildcard that we're not talking about. I think he chooses Sarah Huckabee Sanders, or even if he really a serious about winning the White House chooses a Nikki Haley. I think we're going to see something that is going to shock the conscience.

I would also say this, as a Democrat, they're only vice presidential candidate that gives me pause is Marco Rubio. That is the only --

BURNETT: Marco Rubio, not JD Vance or --

SELLERS: JD Vance is a lightweight. JD Vance contorts himself in the pretzels. He's Addie Afores (ph). He fence sits, he doesn't stand for anything. Kamala Harris will literally shred him, shred Burgum.

Marco Rubio's formidable because he's been in the stove before. He has -- if Marco Rubio is able to talk to a Spanish voters throughout the country, not just in Florida, but Arizona, Nevada, it becomes a problem. And Marco Rubio looks like the future of the country.

The problem is Marco Rubio's ambition is probably not sexy to Donald Trump.

TODD: You know, I think if -- he picks JD Vance, if he's worried about shaping the Republican Party after he leaves. He picks Doug Burgum if he's worried about running the government if he wins, and he picks Marco Rubio if he's worried about winning the election.

BURNETT: Those three personality-wise, I think we can all pick option C --

SELLERS: But everybody is --

BURNETT: From psychologically --

SELLERS: But everybody would agree that if he chooses Nikki Haley, that this is a completely different race, right?

KINZINGER: Yeah. I don't know if she take it, but I'll tell you --


BURNETT: Really?


KINZINGER: Maybe. The one thing I can guarantee is Donald Trump will not make the pick. That's the best for the party after he leaves because the party to him is not some thing that he believes. It's not policies that he believes him. It's not policies that he believes him. It is a tool for him to gain power and drop these convictions against him.

BURNETT: I want to ask you about something. You are endorsing Joe Biden over Donald Trump. You're calling yourself a proud conservative. Like I said, you're not saying you've changed. Your party has changed.

President Biden responded to your endorsement. He said this is what putting your country before your party looks like. I'm grateful for your endorsement, Adam.

Now, there a major Republicans who said they won't support Biden or Trump.


BURNETT: And they're not -- they're just not going where you're going. Why did you feel it was so important to take that extra step?

KINZINGER: Because I think when you say I'm not going to vote for Trump, but I can't support Biden, it's honestly cowardice because what you don't want -- you're like, oh, I still want to be viable in the GOP.

Look, I'm sorry. There are third third-party candidates in America. It's your right to vote for him and to write somebody in, but it has really between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. And if you think Donald Trump is as dangerous as I do, as people like Mike Pence has said he is, then the difference is a policy difference with Joe Biden and policy we're going to debate these same things and 100 years.

A threat on democracy is something that can really damage us now, to a point where we won't even have the luxury of debating policy differences.

BURNETT: An ending that none of us, none of us at this table, right, who all live loving moments like this because of the debate and the conversation.

Thank you all very much. And as we are alive in the debate headquarters in Atlanta, we're going to take you inside the debate hall and on the stage for the first time. So we're going to show you exactly what happens when one of the candidates tries to interrupt the other. Everybody wants to know about this mic cutting off, we're going to demonstrate it.

Plus, breaking news, a dangerous attempted coup, soldier storming a presidential palace, armed vehicles taking up position in the streets. We have a live report on the ground ahead.

And an OUTFRONT exclusive, never before heard audio.


Trump talking about Taylor Swift.


TRUMP: I think she's beautiful -- very beautiful. I find her very beautiful.


BURNETT: And there was a lot more beautiful where that came from.

And we've got more from CNN's debate headquarters right here in Atlanta.


BURNETT: You are looking at the CNN debate hall where President Biden and former President Trump will square off in just about 24 hours. The two campaigns have agreed to a set of rules that includes something that is actually never been done before. In a presidential debate, which is a muting of a candidate's microphone when it is not their turn to speak.

And this is something that everybody is asking how it's going to work. So we're going to answer that for you.

Phil Mattingly is going to walk you through that and more from start to finish president.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF DOMESTIC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Biden will enter from the right side of your screen. President Trump will enter from the left side of your screen.

The podiums are eight feet apart. Directly across from them -- the moderators, CNN's Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

[19:20:03] Now, a reminder that this is a television studio. There's no audience. Candidates will have two minutes to answer questions and one minute for responses and rebuttals.

At the moderator's discretion, there may be an additional minute for follow-ups, clarifications, or responses.

So how does a candidate know how much time is left to speak? Attached to the cameras in the studio and in the candidate's field of view or the timing lights.

When the light show yellow, there are 15 seconds left and candidates answer or response. When the lights flash red, there are five seconds left, and when the display is solid red the time is up. At that point, the candidate's microphone will be turned off and the other candidate will have their microphone turned on.

My colleague, Victor Blackwell, has more on that.


If we go behind the podiums, you can see two green lights. When they're on, they signal to the candidate his microphone is on. When the green lights are off, they signal to the candidate, his microphone is off.

Now, I want to give you a sense of what it will look like for viewers at home if a candidate whose microphone is off interrupts a candidate whose microphone is on. So I'm standing at one podium and I'll ask Phil to come in and take the other podium.

And so let's say I'm answering a question. My light is green and I'm speaking. Phil's microphone is off and his green lights are not illuminated. He's going to interrupt me as I'm speaking. And this is what it will sound like.

My volume remains constant while Phil's interruption can be difficult to understand.

MATTINGLY: Let's try the opposite. My microphone is now on. Victor's microphone is off and he's going to interrupt me. My volume remains constant while Victor's interruption can be difficult to understand.

Now, CNN's production team has shared this demonstration with the campaigns earlier today, and we're sharing it with you, our viewers, so everyone fully understands how tomorrow night will work.

Now, we should know by agreeing to participate in this debate, both campaigns and candidates have also agreed to abide by these rules.

The CNN presidential debate airs live tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.


BURNETT: All right. So now you've got the lowdown from Victor and Phil. Let's bring in Tim Pawlenty now, the former Republican governor of Minnesota, and a presidential candidate in 2012, and Andrew Yang, the former Democratic presidential candidate in 2020.

All right. Thanks so much to both of you. I see you're inside, you re not hot like me, so I'm glad -- I'm glad for that.

So, Andrew, you've actually squared off against Biden and seven debates during the 2020 primary, seven times. And you know, his strengths and weaknesses because of that.

So what do you think he needs to focus on at these final hours as he's about to go up against Trump with no audience?

ANDREW YANG, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Joe is I think a much better debater than people give them credit for, Erin, because he's totally comfortable in his own skin. He knows what message he wants to deliver he seems very authentic and personable while he's doing it.

For a lot of Americans, it's going to be whether these candidates can maintain a sense of robustness and vitality and energy throughout the 90 minutes. I think that the spotlight is actually going to be on Donald Trump because most Americans have not seen Donald Trump continuously for that long. They've just seen snippets here and there.


YANG: Sometimes social media clips, but I genuinely think its going to be more about but the energy they project rather than any specific phrase or message.

BURNETT: And, of course, right. I mean, people are looking for physical stamina and performance. And that's the reality.

Now, Governor Pawlenty, obviously, you did many debates as governor, three presidential debates as well, and you know that Biden has now done, I believe if I -- if I have it right, I said the top of the show six straight days at Camp David doing mock debates from podium to try to replicate the experience of what he's going to feel like on that stage. Trump has not, according to his team, done a single bit of that, saying that debating is more of an attitude, more than anything else.

Governor, is that true?

TIM PAWLENTY (R), FORMER MINNESOTA GOVERNOR: Well, I think the approach to preparation in this debate reflects the style and the personality and the outlook of these candidates. Joe Biden has spent a lifetime in public service, steeped in issues. He's been in the Senate basically since his 20s and vice president, and Trump is intuitive. He is spontaneous and he's not really going to prepare.

So you can have more than one style that could work, but I do think what you just described fits each of these two individuals and how they think, how they present and how they prepare. BURNETT: You know, Andrew, I remember at the -- at the debate that I

did out in Ohio, you made some -- I forgot exactly what the comment was, so, now, maybe going against sorry about to say, but the point is you made one very memorable comment and I know that in so many of these debates, that's what it comes down to, right, Kamala Harris is that little girl was me, right? You get that moment.

And I want to just play a few of yours from those different debates in 2020. Here they are.


YANG: We need to do the opposite of much of what we're doing right now. And the opposite of Donald Trump as an Asian man who likes math.



MODERATOR: If you in the 2020 election, what would you say in your first call with Russian President Vladimir Putin?

YANG: Well, first I'd say, I'm sorry I beat your guy.


BURNETT: All right. Now, Andrew, here's the thing. Those lines, whether you had prepared them in advance and some of those that you couldn't have, right? There was a live audience and you could feed off of that. You could hear their reaction. You could know that they thought it landed well.

How much of a difference does it make when there is no one in the room, it's dead air, it's just two candidates and two moderators?

YANG: It makes a big difference, Erin. I do think that typically Trump feeds on an audience more than President Biden. And so I think it's smart for the president not to have an audience.

I heard that in an earlier segment that Joe may be addressing the country directly. One of the things that it does raise is that it's a challenge to have prepared message for, let's call it 60 seconds. That can go straight to camera, in this context.


YANG: But I think that is a very worthy swing on the part of the president. I mean, the fact is we're having this debate in part because there needs to be some kind of dynamic shift or change. It's earlier than any debate we've ever had. And the reason for that, in my view is that the Democrats want there to be some kind of catalyst. And that is, I think what we're going to see from the president tomorrow night.

BURNETT: Interesting. I've also thought, you know, with all the early increase in early voting, too, it's better to have it earlier. So as you want, you want people start voting.

Governor Pawlenty, I don't know if you heard the former Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger. He's endorsing Joe Biden. He says the party changed, that he's still a conservative and that -- but he believes that it is wrong to say as a Republican, I can't vote for Trump and I can't vote for Biden.

And I just am wondering, I don't -- don't know where you are in terms of your preparation to talk about how you feel. But how do you respond to that as a Republican governor, who ran for president, who's been through these debates, who deeply believes in the system and the institutions of this country, do you agree with them?

PAWLENTY: Well, I certainly respect Adam Kinzinger as a person, as leader and his service to our nation, but as two endorsing Biden, I'm not going to vote for Biden.

I might vote for Trump. I voted for him in the past. I worry about Trump. I have a lot of concerns about him.

And so I'm going to wait and see how this goes, but I am not going to vote for Biden.

BURNETT: But you're open-minded. So you're watching tomorrow as an undecided voter?

PAWLENTY: Well, I partially decided in the fact that I'm not going to support Biden, I can tell you that. But I might support Trump and I want to see what how he handled this. And as we've talked before, I think a test for Trump tomorrow is for persuadable voters, can -- can he demonstrate that he's not going to be a total maniac? In other words, can you be somewhat measured, 10 or 20 percent better than he was last time?

And I think having those mics cut off and the format you describe might actually help him.

BURNETT: Andrew, how do you respond to that? Because I know there's some people watching who may agree with Governor Pawlenty that they are open to vote being for Trump. Maybe they're open voting for Biden or not. I'm putting that part of it out for a second, Governor.

But, Andrew, there are others who will say, how can you be a sane, thoughtful, moderate person and say what Governor Pawlenty is, just saying? Do you understand where he's coming from?

YANG: Again, I think that the spotlight really will be on Donald Trump tomorrow, and I think Americans are going to be reminded as to some of the things they did not like about Trump. Unfortunately, Americans have short memories and so they don't remember.

I'm just suggest though, Tim, Trump hasn't gotten to 10 to 20 percent more reasonable, he's just gotten 10 to 20 percent older and looser and more maniacal, at least as I (INAUDIBLE).

So I think if that's what Americans see tomorrow, then a lot of folks are going to be coming off the fence, not in his direction.

BURNETT: Well, I'm very curious to see what happens. Thank you both very much for your thoughtfulness.

Governor Pawlenty, I appreciate your honesty in this, and I look forward to speaking with you afterwards and seeing what you think.

PAWLENTY: Okay. Thank you.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks to both of you.

And for the next time, you -- for the first time, I'm sorry, you are looking at CNN's spin room. In just hours, you're going to see all of the people, the allies of Trump and Biden, they work the room. They try to spin the debate and there are 700, 800 journalists who are going to be in that room. We'll show you that next.

And an OUTFRONT exclusive tonight. Never before heard audio tapes of Donald Trump going after Kim Kardashian.


TRUMP: After it was all over, she announced that she's not supporting me. And she only did that to be cool in Hollywood.


HANNITY: And we'll be back from CNN's debate headquarters here in Atlanta.



BURNETT: Welcome back to a special edition of OUTFRONT, live from CNN debate headquarters in Atlanta.

And with just hours to go until the debate, former President Donald Trump in a surprise call to the Black American Business Leaders Roundtable in Georgia, saying his conviction and this mug shot are helping his appeal to Black voters.

Here's what he said.


TRUMP: The mug shot is the best. Since it happened, the support among the Black community and the Hispanic community has skyrocketed. It's been amazing.


BURNETT: And joining me right now from Georgia, the Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens.

And it's nice to see you in person and to be here in your balmy city. (LAUGHTER)


BURNETT: I mean, everywhere, I guess it's been -- we've got accustomed to it in New York in recent days.

Okay. What Trump just said right there about the mug shot is the best thing. Since it happened, the support among the Black and Hispanic community has skyrocketed.

How do you even respond to that? Talking about his mug shot.

DICKENS: It's disrespectful. I mean, it's disrespectful that he even -- he pretty much only sees Black folks and Hispanic folks as people with mug shots.

He's trying to make a relationship between being a criminal -- of being convicted of -- he's got 34 counts that he was convicted of. He's a convicted felon and he's saying that that appeals to Black folks and Hispanic folks.

That's disrespectful and intolerable. And that's the way he sees us and that's why people don't like him like that.

BURNETT: So let me ask you then about what you think is happening when we look at, you know, in Georgia, Black voters helped Biden, got Biden over the top, right? And we all know 10,700, but we know the president's margin in Georgia.



But in the latest polling -- so last time in Georgia, Biden had 88 percent of Black voters here in your state. Now, he has 66 percent.

I mean, do you think the polls are just not right or what do you think is driving that?

DICKENS: Yeah, I don't think the polls right now really indicate that true sense of what people are going to do on Election Day. I think that folks are distracted right now. We have a lot going on.

As we get closer to this election, people will be making a stark contrast between two individuals that couldn't be more different. And so, Black people are going to show up for Joe Biden just like they did in 2020, and we're going to have that more than 11,000 votes being his favor.


BURNETT: So I want to ask you about something else Trump said. He said he was tortured at the Fulton County jail. That's the word he used.

And he sent a fundraising email out this week which criticized how he was treated there. It said, Mayor -- I want you to remember what they did to me. They tortured me in the Fulton County jail and, all caps, took my mug shot.

What's your response to that? I mean, again, this Fulton County --


BURNETT: This is just -- it's your system.


BURNETT: And this is what he's saying.

DICKENS: Yeah. I mean, Trump went to jail because he was arrested for crimes that he did. And then eventually, he's been convicted in New York and he will face sentencing -- he will face judgment in the state of Georgia.

But when he came into the jail, my understanding he was only there for a little while. He could've been tortured.


DICKENS: This is another sense of him being exaggerated -- exaggerating what has happened to him.

And I mean, this is the type of thing that we get with him, more allies, exaggeration, and he thinks he's appealing to people with that. But in truth --


DICKENS: -- it's being revealed that he's a liar.

BURNETT: So, Mayor, I was looking up here because I wanted to get the number. So, Larry Sabato, you know, kind of long time, respected political analysts out there. So he looks at the trends.

He has just switched your state from toss up to lean Republican. And right now, latest polling, Trump leads Biden by five points in Georgia. That's obviously huge. That's a huge margin in Georgia considering (ph) --


BURNETT: Do you think that that polling is wrong? Do you think Larry Sabato is wrong? Or do you think it's just -- there's just still enough time for Biden to turn that around?

DICKENS: Yeah. I respect the work of pollsters, no doubt.


DICKENS: But I also respect that the people of Georgia are going to make a clear choice, and what happened last time when we went blue, we continue that blue streak from Biden to Warnock and Ossoff, and then again to Warnock.

So we are solidly a swing state. And in my opinion, we will elect and reelect Joe Biden to be president.

BURNETT: So what do you need Biden to do though --

DICKENS: Yeah, so --

BURNETT: -- turn this around? Because it's obviously not going the direction you would want it to go.

DICKENS: Yeah, I think tomorrow night here in Atlanta on this stage, you're going to see that Joe Biden is going to tell the American people what he's doing and what he plans to do going forward. And you're going to see the stark contrast between him and former President Trump, who is a convicted felon trying to run for president again, that's going to be all about revenge. And supporting the ultra- rich instead of looking out for the little guy and the rest of America like Joe Biden is doing.

BURNETT: Mayor Dickens, I'm glad to see you in person and thank you so much. Good to be here at your city.

DICKENS: Thanks for having me.

BURNETT: All right. And tonight for the very first time here on OUTFRONT, we are going to bring you inside that debates spin room. It's where hundreds of journalists from around the world will gather for tomorrow's debate. And it's where Biden and Trump allies will work the room and claimed their candidate won.

Mark Preston is there in that very room.

And, Mark, of course, I'll be there tomorrow watching the debate along with nearly 1,000 other journalists.

So what are we actually going to see there? Who's going to be in the room?

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, first of all, Erin, I'm sitting here at the center court, McCamish Pavilion. Talk about unbelievable for someone my age who loves Georgia Tech basketball, but I got to tell you what? This place tomorrow, as you said, close to 1,000 journalists are going to be here from over 173 different countries, Erin. Are there going to be here on this floor? They\re going to be up here broadcasting live from all these different booths.

Now, 35 countries represented that are interested in the presidential debate, we talked about how much interest there here is in the United States. But we're also seen it all across the country, Erin. I'll tell you what, let me show you your home for tomorrow. This is where were going to see all the spinning happen, certainly on our air, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. And we're going to -- I mean, it is amazing. You see it now. And you know what its going to feel like it's going to be sitting room only on the floor, so many people. All right -- PRESTON: It's going to be hot and crowded.

BURNETT: Oh, great, great. Just like out here, although its not crowded out here in it, but the hot. All right, thank you.

And next, an OUTFRONT exclusive, hear what Trump has to say about Taylor Swift in newly released audio tonight, about her looks and her politics.

Plus, breaking news, a dangerous coup attempts, soldier storming a presidential palace, armored vehicles descending on the Capitol. We'll show you the coup.



BURNETT: And welcome back to this special edition of OUTFRONT live from CNN debate headquarters.

Tonight, Donald Trump and his obsession with Taylor Swift. So in never before released audio that you're about to hear Trump reportedly praised repeatedly, not reportedly, because you'll hear it for yourself, praises the pop star's looks and talks about her politics with "Variety" editor-in-chief, Ramin Setoodeh.


RAMIN SETOODEH, CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, VARIETY: What do you think about Taylor Swift, the most famous -- one of the most famous people right now?

TRUMP: Yeah, I think she's beautiful -- very beautiful. I find her very beautiful. I think she's liberal. She probably doesn't like Trump but I hear she's very talented but I think she's very -- I think she's a very beautiful actually -- unusually beautiful.


BURNETT: Five times beautiful in just those few seconds.

Ramin Setoodeh interviewed Trump, and he's OUTFRONT.

And I know, Ramin, that you spent more than four hours over the course of six different interviews talking with them, you have the tapes, all for your new book, "Apprentice in Wonderland".

So, Taylor Swift, obviously, he railed against her for endorsing Biden at a meeting with Republicans on Capitol Hill. He seems to have a real focus on her an obsession with her. Tell me more about it.

SETOODEH: It's interesting.

Thank you for having me on.

It's interesting because in this audio clip, we have an intersection of two of the things that matter most to Donald Trump: fame, which Taylor Swift is one of the most famous people on the planet, and his perception of beauty. And I think even Donald Trump knows that Taylor Swift is so famous that he can't go up against her even though she didn't endorse him in 2020.

And so you hear him kind of trying to negotiate what to say about her. And later on in the clip, I've been asked if he's familiar with Taylor's music and he says no.


SETOODEH: But this is his way of trying to say that he likes Taylor Swift in the hopes that somehow Taylor Swift will like him back.

BURNETT: It's interesting because he was so angry. Remember all that conspiracy theory about the Super Bowl, all of those things. And now he has come around to it was so fascinating and then interview just going back to the word beautiful, because that's the one word that he knows he could use. And he was able to say about her.

Different story though with Kim Kardashian. He had invited her to the White House in 2020. And you also spoke about her with him. Here's part of what he told you, Ramin.


TRUMP: I was disappointed in Kim. With Kim, I did a lot of prison reform that she couldn't get done with anybody else.

I let people out of prison that I thought would deserving to be let out. And then after it was all over, she announced that she's not supporting me. And she only did that to be cool in Hollywood.


BURNETT: So, Ramin, in that conversation, how do you think he really felt? I mean, he could have been much nastier about her, obviously.


But, he took he took a hit there. Do you think he genuinely feels she betrayed him?

SETOODEH: Absolutely. I think he feels wounded that he invited Kim Kardashian to the White House, and then she went on social media after Joe Biden was declared the winner in 2020 and posted three heart emojis on her social media to support the Biden-Harris administration. He was fixated on that in the early days after he left the White House.

BURNETT: So how do you think his obsession with ratings is going to play into his debate performance tomorrow night? I know you've been busy today. I don't know if you heard he gave an interview with the conservative online outlet on the bottom from line of it was its could be the highest rate of thing ever, but don't tell me that, you know, as if I guess, making some sort of a joke that that get him nerves, but he's obsessed with the ratings here.

SETOODEH: I saw that. I think one of the conclusions of my book after interviewing Donald Trump six times after he left the White House, is that Donald Trump is a performance artist, and he takes all the things he learned as a reality star on "The Apprentice", and he's filtering that through his viewpoints as a politician. He is obsessed with ratings and always was.

And for him, ratings translates to poll numbers, which translates to popularity, which translates to him getting peoples attention. So I think tomorrow night Donald Trump is going to want to put on a show to entertain people. And he's not actually interested in policy or governing, or legislation. He just interested in making good TV.

BURNETT: How did you get a feel from him about how concerned de is about his celebrity or his frankly, even is mortality at this point in the election?

SETOODEH: The thing that matters to him first and foremost are celebrities. He's completely fixated on them. A lot of our conversations focused on celebrities. He talked about all the different people that were one at one point nice to him and then not.

Even mentioned you, Erin, at one point, given that you were on "The Apprentice", and as a journalist, as CNN, he felt that your coverage wasn't that favorable.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate it, Ramin. I hope everyone will take a look at your book, "Apprentice in Wonderland". Thank you.

SETOODEH: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, breaking news, a major coup attempted. Soldiers trying to seize control from a democratically elected president. We are live with the details next.

And a special report on the debate moments that upended presidential campaigns.


FORMER GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX): Let's see, and let's see -- I can't, the third one, I can't. Sorry. Oops.




BURNETT: All right. We have breaking news and attempted coup attempt, just the word in Bolivia, just moments ago, I want to show you some of these incredible images. These are armed soldiers storming the presidential palace, facing down the democratically elected president, Luis Arce. Armored vehicles also taking up positions in the square of the capital

La Paz, which is where many key government buildings are located on that square.

I want to go straight to Patrick Oppmann.

And, Patrick, all of this unfolding in just a few hours. What more are you able to tell us about the coup?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, just on a roller coaster, several hours today, as the former head of the Bolivian military, his frustration with the democratically elected president of Bolivia, boiling over, spilling over after he lost his job. And he loved lead this group of soldiers with the armored personnel carriers, trying to ram open the door of the presidential palace with one of those armored cars, soldiers with their faces covered heavily armed, surrounding the presidential palace.

But here's the thing, Erin, the president of Bolivia, not backing down going face-to-face, are going with this alleged coup leader and that's led to the moment where the new head of the military called on these soldiers to go back to their barracks, they followed through on that order, finally eventually leaving this square where a standoff where the future of this country seem to be at stake.

And then in the last several minutes, we have learned that the alleged coup leader Jose -- Juan Jose Zuniga has now been arrested. So, peace has been restored for the moment but still very, very tense situation there.

BURNETT: Yeah. And just to show you the fragility, the fragility of government. Thank you very much, Patrick Oppmann.

And next, a special report on the debate moments that help define presidential campaigns.



BURNETT: Tonight, make or break.

That is how pivotal tomorrow night's debate could be for President Biden and Donald Trump. Will they have a line that propels them to victory or gaffe that could bring their campaign down?

Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.


CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: We're going to call you Donald Duck.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a make or break moment.

MODERATOR: But you can't name the third one?

PERRY: The third agency of government I would -- I would do away with -- the education, the commerce -- commerce and let's see, I can't, the third one I can't, sorry. Oops.

SERFATY: The debate stage producing some of the most memorable and significant turns of the campaigns.

SEN. LLOYD BENTSEN (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.

SERFATY: With breakout moments that upended the race.

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience.

SERFATY: Given a boost of attention to lesser known candidates.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.

SERFATY: Helping define them and their campaign.

FORMER GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), ALASKA: They say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull -- lipstick.

SERFATY: But for all of the highlights, it is the lost opportunities in blunders that all often are the most enduring.

MODERATOR: If Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor and irrevocable death penalty for the killer?

GOV. MIKE DUKAKIS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, I don't, Bernard, and I think you know that I've opposed the death penalty during all of my life.

SERFATY: Snippets that are later played and replayed --

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: He's very likable. I agree with that. I don't think I'm that bad.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: You're likeable enough, Hillary.

CLINTON: Thank you.

SERFATY: Taking to the candidate well after the debate is over.

SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I went to a number of women's groups and said, can you help us find folks, and they brought us whole binders full of women.

SERFATY: The optics of the big stage has also tripped up many candidates with a casual glance at a watch, an audible sigh.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Man's practicing fuzzy math again, there's differences.

SERFATY: Or even body language.

BUSH: But can you get things done, and I believe I can.

SERFATY: All attempting to distract voters from the message.

Sunlen Serfaty,. CNN, Washington.


BURNETT: And I was just laughing there at that last moment, walking up.

All right. Thanks so much for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And good evening from CNN headquarters in Atlanta.

Tomorrow night, history will be made here. President Biden and former President Trump will square off on the debate stage and the list of superlatives attached to it is long. It'll be the earliest general election debate ever by a lot.

The second earliest, 1980, took place in late September. It is the first debate between a president and former president, the first with the convicted felon. In addition, there's a good possibility the Supreme Court will rule tomorrow morning on the former president's claim of criminal immunity for his actions surrounding January 6, meaning that by tomorrow night, he could be anywhere from that much closer to another criminal trial to off the hook entirely, which is quite a backdrop, but no less significant than the states for both --