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Interview with Carly Fiorina; Interview with Sen. Marco Rubio. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired October 29, 2015 - 07:30   ET


[07:30:07] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: It was hard to find you and your poll numbers did drop. What did you think went wrong after that?

CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Nothing went wrong Alisyn, we had a very clear strategy. Yes, I got off national television for a while. Gee, there are a lot of media outlets in there in places like Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Regional media where voters are and where the stories count in a different way. There's nothing wrong with national media, obviously, I'm happy to be with you this morning. All I'm saying is that national polls, especially at this point in a race, don't determine the winner.

And you can look back at 2012 and 2008 and see that the people who were leading in the polls at this point lost. Lost resoundingly.

CAMEROTA: Okay. So I mean it's just --

FIORINA: I'm just saying that voters matter and regional media matters and we're very happy with our momentum, very happy with where we are right now, and we're going to continue to move forward.

CAMEROTA: Let's talk about a moment that you had last night, and it was about what Barack Obama has done for women. You said that unemployment among women has spiked. Let's listen to that.


FIORINA: It is the height of hypocrisy for Mrs. Clinton to talk about being the first woman president when every single policy she espouses, and every single policy of President Obama, has been demonstrably bad for women. Ninety-two percent (APPLAUSE) -- 92% of the jobs lost during Barack Obama's first term belonged to women.


CAMEROTA: Now, according to the Washington Post Fact Checker, that is a recycled talking point from the Mitt Romney Campaign that they deemed as false. They say that you were using a very narrow moment in time when unemployment among women had spiked but that since then the numbers have changed and it's a much rosier picture for women. What's your response? FIORINA: Well first of all it's the Washington Post that said I wasn't a Secretary, so from my point of view they have no credibility honestly. The statistics are well known. Here's another statistic, Alisyn, if you don't like that one.

The extreme poverty rate among women is at the highest level ever recorded. The number of women living in poverty is at the highest level in 20 years. And every single policy that Hillary Clinton is now proposing demonstrably we have evidence that suggests it causes women to be fired, not to be hired. The record's very clear on this.

CAMEROTA: But is there newer data available that makes those numbers obsolete that you shouldn't have used the older numbers last night?

FIORINA: No, no, absolutely not. Wow, this is the same conversation we had after the last debate. Everybody came out and said I was using wrong data, no, I'm not using wrong data. The liberal media doesn't like the data. Perhaps the liberal media doesn't like the facts.

The facts are clear. Women have been hit hardest by this recession and this lackluster economic recovery. That's just a fact. Women are suffering more than men. And by the way, African Americans are suffering as well. All the groups that progressives claim to be helping are being hurt in this Barack Obama term.

And of course Hillary Clinton is going to double down on every single one of these policies. Here's another fact that maybe the Washington Post won't like but it's also true. Student loan has doubled under Barack Obama. Why?

Because Barack Obama has nationalized the student loan industry. African American unemployment remains almost twice as high as white unemployment. Maybe they don't like that stat either, but that stat is true.

CAMEROTA: During the last debate what people said was erroneous about what you said were about the Planned Parenthood sting videos, and that what came out afterwards was that there had been portions that had been edited. Do you change your opinion about those now?

FIORINA: Wow, Alisyn, I can't believe we're having this conversation, honestly. It's clear, now. It's very clear, that Planned Parenthood is harvesting body parts. So clear that they had to announce that they no longer take compensation for it.

Honestly, this has been hashed and rehashed. Is there no other issue of economic import to the middle class in the United States of America that you'd like to talk about this morning?

CAMEROTA: Well, I think we did just cover women and unemployment, and we did just talk about the numbers. You gave a lot of stats about how you feel women are doing right now, but that was the issue, that afterwards people went back at you about because they did feel as though those sting videos had been edited.

And some people -- let me go on -- even felt that that is why your national poll numbers dipped. So I did want to get you on the record about that.

FIORINA: That's quite a theory. Well that's quite a theory. All of the stats that I just quoted are true, they're out there, and as I say, it was the Washington Post that said I wasn't a Secretary.

CAMEROTA: Okay, moving forward, you say that that was a strategy after the CNN debate to just do local media, not do national media. What will you do starting today? What is your strategy? Still no national media after this morning, of course but what is your plan moving forward in how to sustain the momentum.

FIORINA: Well, look, we're going to spend a lot of time on the ground in these key early states, because as I've said many times, in the end voters win elections. We'll see how much media we do, but we're very happy with the ground game that's out there.

We're very happy with the reception we're getting in these key early states. You know I work all day, every day, sort of eight days on or nine days on and one day off, and we're going to continue to do that. And we have another debate in less than two weeks.

CAMEROTA: How did you think Donald Trump did? I know that you two had sparred famously in the previous debate. What do you think about his poll numbers softening somewhat, and his performance last night?

FIORINA: Oh, I'll let the pundits decide what they think about Donald Trump's performance. I'm really not terribly concerned with other people's performance on that stage. I'm really focused on what I want to say to the American people.

And so I'll let you guys decide what you think of Donald Trump's performance.

CAMEROTA: Carly Fiorina, we appreciate you coming on NEW DAY this morning. We'll talk again.

FIORINA: Thanks Alisyn, have a great day.

CAMEROTA: Thanks so much. You too. Let's go to Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, a strong and defensive Carly Fiorina, saying that her numbers are right and that her momentum is intact. How about Florida Senator Marco Rubio, considered one of the big performers last night in tone and content.

He joins us live to talk about his moment with his supposed friend and mentor, Jeb Bush, and why he feels he came out ahead last night.



JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You can campaign. Or just resign and let someone else take the job. There are a lot of people living paycheck-to-paycheck in Florida as well that are looking for a senator that will fight for them each and every day. SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The only reason why you're doing it now is because we're running for the same position and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you.


CUOMO: What was supposed to be a lay of criticism for Jeb Bush turned into a slam dunk for Senator Marco Rubio, coolly defending his record, showing a tone that was different from Jeb Bush and the others, and a command of content that once again had the pundits saying his name in high regard.

Here he is right now, Senator Marco Rubio, joining us live. It was a long night but this is one of those morning where you want to get up first because you have a lot to talk about I'm sure. How did you feel about your performance overall?

RUBIO: Well, we feel good about it as we did with the other two debates. The election wasn't decided last night and we're going to have another debate in 14 days and that'll replace in people's memory this one, so it's part of a process.

We're electing someone to the most important political position on the planet, and the more we have exposure to voters the better we feel about our chances. But I felt good about it. I wished there would have been more questions on some policy details, because I thought the host of this event, CNBC, they're known as kind of you know the swanky financial network.

And I really wish we could have gone a little bit deeper into some of the policy issues facing our country, and hopefully we'll have a chance to do that in some of the following debates that await us.

CUOMO: I was actually surprised that the field was lumping CNBC in with what Trump calls the rest of which is scum, because they are seen as more of a pro-business, a right kind of establishment organization, but that's neither here nor there.

This is about you guys, not the moderators. Tone, content, policy and plans. Every one of them you got a check from just about every pundit last night. Starting with tone, that moment with Jeb Bush. You know him well. You call him a friend, say he was a mentor.

The tone you had in response to him sounded like a friend talking to a friend. What did you want to communicate to him?

RUBIO: Well that my campaign's not going to change. I mean I don't believe that the way I'm going to win is by going after him or anybody else, and as I said last night, I guess someone's convinced him otherwise.

And that's fine, everyone's going to run their own campaign, it isn't going to change me. I'm going to continue to tell anyone who will listen I have tremendous admiration for Jeb. I think he was a good governor for Florida -- a great governor for Florida. This is not about any of that. This is about who's the right person for the presidency in 2016, in a very new era. And that's what I'm going to talk about. That's what my campaign's going to be about.

That's what I'm going to continue to do no matter what he does or anybody else does for that matter, and I feel good about what that's going to mean in the longterm.

CUOMO: Content flag through language. You said I'm against anything that's bad for my mother. That resonated very well. What does that mean for you in terms of economic policy?

RUBIO: Well first of all, my mother's sole source of income is Social Security. I mean she might have like a really small pension, I think $50 a month from K-Mart, but her sole source of income is Social Security.

She relies on Medicare for her health care, Medicare Advantage, and so I don't want that to change for her. She's 85 years old. I shouldn't have said that, she doesn't like when I tell people how old she is.

CUOMO: Oh Marco, I wish I could edit that out but that was live.

RUBIO: She's on Medicare and Social Security. Well let's just say she's on Social Security and Medicare. And so she can't afford for that to change for her now, and I don't want it, it doesn't have to.

But it's going to have to look different or me, and it's going to have to look different for my children. And it doesn't have to be dramatically different. It may be I have to retire a year later than I'm scheduled to, and maybe if I've been financially successful, my benefits aren't going to grow as fast as they grew for my parents.

And Medicare could be the option of taking my Medicare money, like we do now with Medicare Advantage, and using it to buy a private plan that I like better. These are not unreasonable changes to ask of people my age after everything people like my parents and my grandparents, and your parents and grandparents did for us.

And if we don't do that, these programs go bankrupt. We know that for a fact. And so we need to begin to talk seriously about how to save those programs. Otherwise we are going to have a debt crisis at some point, and then people like my mother are going to be negatively impacted.

We're already starting to see that now with the Social Security Disability Fund.

CUOMO: Well, look. We know what the problem is, right? We have people living longer. We're not getting as many workers to replace them, and the pay-as-you-go model of Social Security and Medicare, it's interesting, because you're talking about incremental changes.

And that's going to draw a stark distinction with other members of the GOP who either say completely scrap it -- that's very extreme and almost exclusively Ben Carson at this point -- but -- and even he stepped off that with Medicare -- but the kinds of changes.

Let's dig it out a little bit. I understand your mother's 65 years old, so now she's drawing from Social Security, but when you look at our generation coming into it, would you be in favor of extending the retirement age?

Would you be in favor of what types of specific changes to keep Social Security and other entitlements alive?

RUBIO: Well that's right, I mean as I told people, I'm scheduled to retire at 67 under current law, and maybe I have to retire at 68 or 68 and a half. The truth is, people in my generation are going to be very productive well into their 70's.

And the fact of the matter is if we don't do changes like that, the program won't exist. There won't be any debate, it won't exist, it will be bankrupt.

CUOMO: Would you change it from -- would you change it from defined benefits as it is now to just a savings account, which many in the GOP have suggested, where you control your own money and you get out of it what you wind up putting into it, versus it as an investment?

RUBIO: Yes, I think the time for that really has passed, and particularly after the instability we've seen in years past in the stock market and so forth. I think we leave it as a defined benefit at this point.

And allow -- now I want to make it easier for people to be able to invest money in a, as we said, like a 401(k) or something of that nature, and so I've talked about changes we can make there, as one of the questions that was raised last night is about the millions of Americans that don't have access to a retirement vehicle.

And one of the things I've argued is if you work for a business that doesn't offer a 401(k), then allow them to invest in the Congressional 401(k) that members of Congress have, which actually has a pretty good rate of return. So we need to be creative.

And I'm open to other ideas. Look, I think this is something we need to work with Democrats on, because this is an issue that is going to impact our country. It is a predicable crisis, for the reasons you've outlined, and that is we have people that are going to live longer than ever or be productive as long as ever, that's the good news.

The bad news is there's not enough workers paying in anymore to the system. We're going to be at two to one for a system that was designed for 16 to one. And so we need to start talking about that now. The sooner we act, the less disruptive these changes are going to be.

CUOMO: How do you sell that to members of your party who will say no, the private sector is the way Marco, we have to make this as private as possible, forget the government running it, and stop saying you're going to work with the Democrats, because we know what they're going to do, they're just going to spend our way and borrow from that thing and ruin it.

How do you convince the fractions of your own party to listen to what you're saying.

RUBIO: Well I would just say that when it comes to this issue of Social Security and Medicare, you know these programs enjoy strong support in the Republic party, even among our most conservative members.

They understand it is now a reality that people depend on and you can't just yank it away from them. So I think there's a strong commitment in the Republic party to save it but there's some diversity of ideas about how to do it and it's good, we should have a debate.

No one here is the reciprocal of all great ideas or receptacle of all great ideas in the world. But ultimately in order to get these things passed we've got to be able to work with people to get it done.

Now what I'm not going to do is you know raise taxes or ignore the problem or tell people that, you know at the end of the day there's nothing, there's no problem with it. Anyone who says you can leave these programs exactly the way they are is not being honest.

There's going to have to be changes for future generations if we want to keep it exactly the way it is for current beneficiaries.

CUOMO: Well certainly a big discussion to have for the current situations but also as you've outlined for future generations starting with our own. One of the points of criticism that came up last night in that big moment with Jeb Bush was your voting record, and I want to give you a chance to come at it directly.

There's no question that when you graph the votes missed, you've seen a spike as you've decided to run. That's not unusual. The question is, what do you say to people who say, you know, either you're running for President or you are operating as Senator, it's hard to do both.

And the proof of that is that you wound up spiking into the 99th percentile of missed votes, and that does speak to some as not doing the job as well as you could.

RUBIO: Well first of all, the mass majority of work that happens in any Senate office is direct constituent service. It's the veteran that comes to our office, this is a real story, who's fighting to prove that he's disabled despite the fact he lost both of his legs in combat.

And we have to help him navigate through that, as outrageous as that may sound, we have to help them. Or the elderly couples that walk in because they've fallen victim of tax fraud. And we are directly involved in these issues and we're going to continue to provide that service.

It's the thing I'm most proud of. As far as votes, I don't like missing votes, I hate it, and we do our best effort to make it. We've cancelled campaign events especially for important votes, and we will definitely be there for any vote in which our vote would be decisive in making a difference on the outcome.

But here's what I would hate more, and that is to wake up on the first Wednesday in November in 2016 to the news that Hillary Clinton has been elected President of the United States. Because that means that the next four years are going to be like or worse than the last eight years, and our country can't afford that.

So the bottom line is we're going to continue to serve the people of Florida and we're going to run for President aggressively, because I believe the time has come for our party, the Republican party, and American to turn the page and elect a new generation of leaders.

As that in the next Congress when they start taking votes on some of these issues, they'll actually be meaningful votes, not show votes, because there's actually going to be a president on the other end of that process that's going to work for those things to pass and then sign them into law.

CUOMO: The stuff about the media last night, Cam Lou (ph) is going after the media. I grew up in a house where my father was a politician and he went after the media all the time. But it did seem last night that it went a little bit too far into pandering.

I understand what Ted Cruz said and why it played well. You said you believe the media is a super PAC for Hillary Clinton. Do you really believe that the media is so much I favor of her and against somebody like you? As you know we often ask to have you on the show.

The invitation certainly extends going forward. Is all the media the same?

RUBIO: No, of course all the media's not the same, but by and large I think a great example of it is last week, there was this testimony before the Benghazi committee, and in that testimony it was revealed that Hillary Clinton knew early on.

And was telling her family and telling her friends that the attack on the Consulate was by terrorists. Al Qaeda-like terrorists. And yet for a week, not just her but a lot of people in the administration were going around telling the families of the victims and the American public that it was due to a video.

And the reason why they did that is because they were in the midst of a Presidential election, in which the President was arguing that Al Qaeda was defeated and on the run. And that, that reality of what truly happened in Benghazi, it countered that narrative.

Well that was revealed last week. And yet the media around the country hailed her performance as incredible, the best week of her campaign. I thought it was the week she was exposed as lying about Benghazi, and it's going to be a major issue in this election.

CUOMO: Well for --

RUBIO: And for me it was an example of the bias. CUOMO: Well, but I'm saying first of all, you say all media's not the same, that's good to hear because it seemed like that last night coming from the panel, and again, I get why that plays well to the, you know, to partisans. But look. Here is the situation.

I've gone after what Hillary said in that hearing a lot, and much to getting beaten up on Twitter as a result but that's okay, it's part of the job. She says, and Democrats in the administration say no, it wasn't a lie, she thought that's what it was.

The CIA then came out with their rationales and changed their reckoning of what it was, and so she changed it. So certainly it wasn't a lie, and she was following CIA guidance.

RUBIO: There wasn't a single person on the ground near that incident in Benghazi, which she had access to those people, there was not a single person on the ground in Benghazi who believed that it was a spontaneous uprising.

Just the nature of the weaponry that was brought to that attack. The swiftness in which it was conducted. There was no reports of protests in that area. Everybody on the ground knew that. All they had to do was talk to people in Benghazi which she could have done.

Survivors and others who responded to the attack, and they could tell you that they knew that it was not -- that it was an organized and orchestrated effort. They also should have known, because that Consulate was already had come under a previous attack in the past. Not at that scale and scope --

CUOMO: Right.

RUBIO: -- but it had already come into -- the Brits had left Benghazi, the Red Cross had closed its facilities, so it goes beyond just the lying. I mean if that facility was going to remain open, which was questionable, but if it was going to remain open it should have had a lot more security in place than it. The compound was easily breached and that led to the tragedy that occurred.

CUOMO: That's a fair criticism. That's a fair criticism and you certainly understand the situation well and the policy considerations around it. But I'm just saying a big part of your campaign is saying I'm a new generation. I'm different.

I don't play the same games that these guys did. You showed it last night when Jeb Bush came at you. How can it be a lie if it is true that Hillary Clinton changed what she said about her understanding of why it happened because the CIA told her something different.

Had you been in her position and the CIA said no Secretary, it wasn't terrorists, it was this spontaneous thing here and this is why we think it, would you have not followed them?

RUBIO: No, she consistently privately told people over and over again, including in the early aftermath of it, that this was led by Al Qaeda-like elements. There was never a single shred of evidence presented to anyone that this was spontaneous, and in fact the CIA themselves understood that early on, irrespective of what the administration is telling you now.

Beyond that I would say that she went well beyond the period of time in which that was in question. I mean she went past a week and was still saying that this was a spontaneous uprising, because it furthered a political narrative that the administration had settled on.

Maybe she was trying to be a team player, but I thought that was a moment where true leadership would have said no. These victims and their families, the families of these victims deserve to know the truth and so do the American people.

And I'm not going to change what I believe to be true or what there's doubts about even, based on some political narrative you're asking me to further. And I thought it was interesting that the weekend after that attack, she refused to go on the Sunday shows.

They sent someone else out there to do that. If the Clintons are nothing but masters of self-preservation, and obviously I think that was one her calculus's in saying I'm not going on the Sunday shows and saying that because I don't believe it's true.

She was telling her relatives and her friends early on. She clearly had doubts.

CUOMO: Well the question is why she was doing it, but be sure of this Senator. I will never ask you to forward some narrative just because I want it to be true, and I always want your take on the issues today and every day.

And that's why the invitation to have you on NEW DAY extends, because we're going to be talking about issues on this show, and we know that you want to have that conversation as well.

RUBIO: Good.

CUOMO: Congratulations on last night.

RUBIO: Absolutely.

CUOMO: Everybody is saying you did very well. Good luck to you going forward. Thanks for being on NEW DAY.

RUBIO: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right. Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Okay Chris, we have more candidates to talk to. Republican Presidential Hopeful Chris Christie getting high praise for blasting CNBC's debate moderators over their questions last night. That's what the websites are saying this morning.

So will his performance change the race? Governor Christie joins us live just ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


CUOMO: Good morning, welcome to your NEW DAY this Thursday, October 29, 8:00 in the East, and boy, oh boy, my friends, the Republican race has changed. Did you see the debate last night?

Don't worry we had John Berman watch it for you because he sleeps about 18 minutes a night so it was fine. But we saw the big names. Trump, Carson, quiet, not really in the limelight. Other names now getting a chance. Rubio, Christie, Cruz, all because of the CNBC debate, so what is the state of play now?