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State of the Union
Interview With Dr. Ben Carson; Interview With Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb; Will Joe Biden Run?; Trump Rising; Hilary Clinton's Email Controversy Continues; Immigration Debate; Bush Hits Trump ON Campaign Trail; The First Family Vacation. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired August 23, 2015 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Callous entry. The vice president has a secret meeting with progressive darling Elizabeth Warren. Could they band together to upend Hillary Clinton's campaign?
Plus, deep-fried Donald Trump. The front-runner embraces some Southern hospitality, as 30,000 Alabamans fill a football stadium to see him.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, now I know how the great Billy Graham felt.
ACOSTA: But can he maintain his momentum? His campaign manager is here to talk strategy?
And will he join forces with Ben Carson? The other outsider candidate surging in the polls are here live. We will ask him about those rumors of a joint ticket.
And the best political team on television will be here with insights from the campaign trail.
ACOSTA: Hello. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington, where the State of our Union is intriguing.
Breaking news about a secret meeting between Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren at the vice president's residence. Why all of the mystery? The meeting comes as Biden is considering a last-minute run for the White House. Warren has pledged not to run herself, but has not endorsed Hillary Clinton.
Could this mean a Biden/Warren ticket is in the making?
CNN's Jeff Zeleny broke the story.
And, Jeff, what do we know about the meeting? It sure has everybody talking. JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Jim.
And for anyone who thought that Vice President Biden may not be seriously considering this, this is the latest sign that he is considering it, and considering it very strongly. Now, I am told that they met for just a little over an hour over lunch, just the two them, without any of their aides around.
And they talked about the economic policy and the message that the vice president would need if he would decide to run for president. Now, Jim, as you know, there is no one who has their finger on the pulse of progressives and economic populists across this country more so than Elizabeth Warren.
So many of them wanted her to run on the time on her own. She did not, of course. But the fact that the vice president came down to Washington just specifically to have this meeting tells us a couple things. One, he is getting more direct advice on what he should do.
He wanted to hear from Senator Warren and hear what people are saying out there. So, Jim, we have moved from a phase of is he going to, to, how would he run if he decided to? He has talked to fund raisers this week. He's talked to his political strategists about how he would map out a campaign.
But the meeting on Saturday, I'm told, was specifically about how he could tap into the frustrations out there of progressives and liberals. And she, of course, has her hand on that, and has more of an insight than anyone else inside this Democratic Party.
ACOSTA: All right. Jeff Zeleny, thank you very much.
I was told by a prominent Democratic strategist that this may have just been done to get people talking in Washington, and noted that Hillary Clinton had a meeting with Elizabeth Warren last December. OK, Jeff Zeleny, thank you very much.
Let's turn now to the Republican race for the White House, where there's another potential ticket being buzzed about. A Trump ally told Politico this weekend the front-runner is eying fellow outsider candidates Ben Carson or Carly Fiorina as running mates.
With us now to talk about this is the Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson.
Dr. Carson, good morning. Thanks for joining us.
BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good morning.
ACOSTA: Does the prospect of a Biden/Warren ticket worry you very much?
CARSON: No, it doesn't.
You know, I am very happy with whatever they come up with, because I think this election will be a very excellent opportunity for the American people to make a clear choice. I don't think it will to be muddied.
ACOSTA: And, Dr. Carson, would you be willing to serve as Donald Trump's vice president? This is something that was sort of bandied about in the media this week. It is summer of the outsider.
In just about all the polls, the top two Republicans are yourself and Donald Trump. Would you serve as his running mate? Would you want him to serve as your running mate?
CARSON: All things are possible, but it is much too early to begin such conversations.
ACOSTA: All things are possible. OK.
All right. Well, Dr. Carson, let me ask you this.
On the subject of immigration, a big dispute erupted this week over birthright citizenship. On August 19, just a few days ago -- let's put this up on screen -- you said -- quote -- "If somebody comes here for the purpose of having a baby, so that they have an anchor baby, we should keep that family together and send them back where they come from."
Let me ask you, Dr. Carson, some people consider the term anchor baby a racial slur. What do you think?
CARSON: I think it is silly political correctness.
Everybody knows what we are talking about. We need to talk about the actual issue, and stop getting pulled off into the weeds, and saying, you can use this term, you can't use that term. It is so silly.
ACOSTA: And let me ask you about something else you said earlier this week. You said that the United States should consider using drone strikes to secure the border with Mexico.
What did you mean by that? Obviously, drones are used now for surveillance along the border. Are you talking about taking drone strikes at the U.S./Mexico border?
CARSON: It was quite clear what I was talking about.
I said that drones are excellent for surveillance. You know, along that border, we have miles and miles of fences. And, you know, I went there last week and didn't see any Border Patrol people. And those fences are so easy to scale. It is almost like not having a fence there.
So, drones can help with the surveillance. In no way did I suggest that drones be used to kill people. And I said that to the media at the time. I said, you guys are -- some of you are going to go out and say Carson wants to use drones to kill people on the borders.
How ridiculous. At some point, I hope we have some responsible media which actually focuses on the problem. We have a huge security risk there. And talking to some of the sheriffs down there on the border, Sheriff Babeu, Sheriff Dannels, and some of the other law enforcement agencies, listen to the frustration. You should have them on your show, and let them talk about what is actually going on down there.
And it seems like we have not only the cartels to deal with, the drug smugglers, the people smugglers, but we have the federal government, which is not being helpful. Over the last couple of years, they have released 67,000 of those people.
ACOSTA: But, Dr. Carson...
CARSON: Sixty-seven thousand.
ACOSTA: ... there were some reports that said that you were at the very least considering drone strikes on cartels down there at the border.
You are saying under no circumstances would you use drones for military purposes along the U.S./Mexico border? No drone strikes whatsoever?
CARSON: No, no, that's -- that's a -- that is a total lie.
What I said is, it's possible that a drone could be used to destroy the caves that are utilized to hide people. Those need to be gotten rid of.
ACOSTA: Hide immigrants or hide -- who -- who would be hidden in these caves?
CARSON: No, the scouts.
ACOSTA: Where are these caves? What caves are you talking about?
CARSON: The scouts and the people who are facilitating -- the scouts and the people who are facilitating all illegal activities.
Those caves are very evident. And I hope you have some of the sheriffs in. They can show you the pictures. They can show you what is going on there. We are not getting support from the federal government to deal with these people. They're being outgunned. You know, 56 percent of that border is not under our control.
ACOSTA: OK, but I just want to make sure we button this down.
So, you're are saying that, in some instances, you would advocate using drone strikes to take out cartels that are bringing migrants across the border? Is that what you're talking about? Wouldn't there be some instances where perhaps...
CARSON: Listen, read my lips.
ACOSTA: ... innocent people might get killed? Yes, please, let's agree -- let's do it.
CARSON: Read my lips. Listen very carefully to what I am saying.
I said there are caves. There are caves that they utilize. Those caves can be eliminated. There are a number of possibilities. That could be one of them. I am not talking about killing people, no people with drones.
ACOSTA: You would just take out the caves themselves. You would make sure that the caves are empty and then drone them? And that's what you're saying?
CARSON: I think that is -- I made that very clear.
And I also made it very clear that we have excellent military people and military strategists. We need to get them involved. We have National Guard. Why are they called the National Guard? Because they guard the nation. Let's put them on the border. That is where they need to be.
ACOSTA: And, Dr. Carson, one of the issues that you are very passionate about is the issue of abortion and your pro-life views.
I want to ask you about something that occurred back in Maryland in 1992. You became involved in a political campaign. You were on the pro-life side of a ballot measure, but then joined the pro-choice or anti-abortion -- excuse me -- pro-abortion forces at a press conference to denounce that very same ad. Let's take a look at this ad, and I want to get your explanation about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First, he asked voters to vote against the abortion referendum. Now renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson says he regrets that.
CARSON: My message is not to vote for or against Question 6, but to educate yourself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Obviously, some of your adversaries out there are bringing this to light, in part because they want to get to the bottom of where you stand on this, or where you stood on this back in 1992.
Can you clarify what was going on there during that abortion question that was on the ballot in Maryland in 1992?
CARSON: I make no bones about the fact that I used to be a Democrat. I used to be a pretty left-wing Democrat, in fact.
Over the course of time, you know, my views have changed very dramatically. In 1992, I personally was against abortion, but I was not for causing anybody else to do anything. I was pro-choice in that region.
I have changed because I have learned a lot of things. And I began to think about, if abolitionists a long time ago had said, I don't believe in slavery, but anybody else can do it if they want to, where would we be today?
So, that changed my opinion of a lot of things.
ACOSTA: And I want to switch to foreign policy.
There's been a lot of tensions obviously in the Korean Peninsula. The North Korea leader, Kim Jong-un, ordered his front-line military units to go on a semi-war state on Friday. What would you do about North Korea? What is your sense of the situation right now?
CARSON: Well, I think it highlights the necessity of us taking a very strong stance for our allies. South Korea is our ally. There should be no doubt about that in anybody's mind, including North Korea, that we will stand with our allies, no matter what is going on.
ACOSTA: And Donald Trump recently said on NBC that he gets his foreign policy advice from watching television. Where do you get your foreign policy advice? Who are your advisers?
CARSON: I have a number of advisers. I don't have permission to release all of their names, but General Bob Dees, one of the them that I do have permission to release his name.
CARSON: I have a lot of very excellent advisers, as will become increasingly apparent as people begin to question me about foreign policy.
ACOSTA: And can you catch Donald Trump? He seems to be running away -- running away with this.
CARSON: I'm not particularly trying to catch anybody.
What I am doing is steadily getting the message out, and connecting with the American people. And they are responding. You know, last week, we had over 2,000 people in the town center of Durango, 12,000 people in Phoenix. People are excited, and a lot of young people as well.
And this is great. This is what it's -- this is what it is all about. And this is a marathon. It's not a sprint. Things will happen over the course of the next year. And I think that people will be able to make a very excellent decision.
ACOSTA: OK. It certainly is a marathon.
Dr. Ben Carson, thank you very much for joining us. We appreciate it. Thank you, sir. CARSON: A pleasure.
ACOSTA: All right.
And coming up: North and South Korea on the brink of war. What is Kim Jong-un's next move?
ACOSTA: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jim Acosta.
Unprecedented, that is the word South Korea is using to describe the military threat by North Korea this morning.
The South Koreans say North Korea's submarine fleet has disappeared from radar and Kim Jong-un has doubled the number of troops along the border. Will the tensions explode into all-out war?
And joining me now is Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of the Navy former Virginia Senator Jim Webb.
Senator Webb, thanks for joining us this morning. We appreciate it.
JIM WEBB (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good morning. Nice to be with you.
ACOSTA: Based on your expertise in Asian affairs, how serious is this situation with North Korea? Obviously, every few years, it seems the North Koreans are provocative. That typically means they want something in return for sort of lowering their military stance, their war footing.
What is your sense of it when you look at it right now?
WEBB: Well, they are a very opaque regime, the most opaque regime in Asia in terms of trying to understand what their decisional process is.
And, as a result, you have to be prepared for, you know, unpredictable actions from them. At the same time, they should know, their military people should know that, if they really were to do something like that, they would lose badly.
And we are the guarantor of stability in all of the Asian Rim. We have been since the end of World War II. I worked very hard on that, as you know, and for many, many years. And I would say, in the long term here -- the short-term is, we're going to go through a crisis, and hopefully this will not spill over, because it will be bad for them, but it will be detrimental in the region.
But in the long term, this is an opportunity for us to get a confidence-builder with China. We have been having a lot of problems with China. This is an area where China has some influence, and perhaps can help us resolve a situation. ACOSTA: And is it your sense at all that the White House, that
President Obama has not been firm enough, has sort of encouraged North Korea, Kim Jong-un to start playing games again?
WEBB: No, I just think the North Korean regime is -- as I say, it is opaque and unpredictable.
And I think, in that particular spot in East Asia, I think we have sent the right signals.
WEBB: The questions that I would have with respect to this administration's policy have been the actions of China in the Senkaku Islands and then all the way down along the Rim, in the Spratlys, where they are clearly expanding their military presence. And I think we could do a lot more.
ACOSTA: Let me switch gears completely here, go to politics.
Donald Trump -- I'm sure you saw this -- drew 30,000 people on Friday in Mobile, Alabama. Who would have thought this would have been the summer of Trump? But, being a military man, does he have what it takes to be commander in chief, in your view?
WEBB: Well, I think what we are seeing in the country writ large is sort of a period of like total discomfort, almost just getting it out of the system right now.
And you are seeing a lot of worries among the American populace about their futures, economically and culturally, and whether the leaders in Washington are really -- have really been taking care of them.
So, you see it in the Republican Party with people going to Trump on issues that are concerning their stability, their long-term stability. And you see it in the Democratic Party with people moving toward Bernie Sanders on issues I -- issues on which I actually agree with respect to economic fairness.
ACOSTA: Can you tap into this? Can you tap into that, do you think?
WEBB: I think, when people calm down, and they are going to look for leaders who really can get things done, somebody who can bring people together.
We have a record of, on all of these issues, economic fairness, social justice, national security, working together, that we would be able to, you know, get into this in a very different way once things calm down. And they will.
ACOSTA: And let me ask you about this issue of women in combat, because that has been in the news this week, as you know. And in 1979, you famously wrote "Women Can't Fight." And you drew upon your experience as a combat veteran. This week, we saw the first female soldiers compete in the Army's rigorous Ranger School.
I suppose you -- well, look, you are going to take all of that back, aren't you?
WEBB: Now, let's just say this. What were you doing in 1979?
ACOSTA: I was about 8 years old, so...
WEBB: OK. All right.
I came back from a very hard war, where more than 100,000 Marines were killed or wounded. I had my views about how the political process should be dictating to the military the way that they make changes. And I did not title that article, by the way. And if you read the article, it was a strong article on women in combat.
ACOSTA: But times have changed.
WEBB: They have changed.
And if you look at my record as a government official, when I was secretary of the Navy, I opened up more billets to women than any secretary of the Navy in history. We did it by having the military talk to the political process. My record in the Senate was very clear on this.
And I am totally comfortable now with the military being able to make these decisions in a way that it goes to performance. And I'm very proud to look and see that these two women who are West Point graduates, and they went through the rigorous training.
And the military decides -- should be able to decide how they would be used.
ACOSTA: Let me pose another question to you, because this came up earlier this week.
And Defense Secretary Carter said on Thursday that the Pentagon is looking into this list of people who used military e-mail addresses to use this Ashley Madison Web site. I don't know if you saw this, but there were some instances where there were people using their Department of Defense accounts.
As somebody who used to be a top official in the Pentagon, how would you handle that?
WEBB: Well, look, I think the -- that whole question is a large millions-of-people question. And, also, it is more government-wide, and not just the Pentagon.
And I think we have a lot of other issues that we need to be looking at in terms of how the United States military shapes its strategy for the future, lowers its footprint in the Middle East, takes care of these issues in Asia, and has a presence around the world that reflects our national strategy.
ACOSTA: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, does that have you worried very much?
WEBB: Look, I met with Joe Biden for an hour one on one last month. I have great regard for Joe Biden.
And I think that his family and him personally have shown a tremendous amount of dignity over the past several months that have gained the respect of the whole country. He is the vice president of the United States. And I have a high regard for him.
ACOSTA: Did he indicate to you that he is thinking about running, that this is something that is on his mind?
WEBB: I think private meetings are best left that way. And I wouldn't get into another individual's potential campaign, but it doesn't surprise me that he is sitting down and talking to someone who has a strong record on economic fairness issues.
ACOSTA: And you would obviously serve as his running mate?
WEBB: I -- you don't want me as your vice president.
ACOSTA: Oh, is that right? OK. All right.
ACOSTA: Senator Webb, we will leave it there. Thank you very much, sir. We appreciate it.
WEBB: It's good to be with you.
ACOSTA: All right.
Donald Trump wants to send undocumented immigrants home, and make sure their American-born babies go with them. Just how does he plan on doing that?
We will ask his top adviser coming up after the break.
ACOSTA: It was literally the hottest ticket in Mobile, Alabama, this weekend, 30,000 people lining up around the block, all of them waiting in 90-degree heat to see the Republican front-runner.
Donald Trump also took in the view from above, of course, doing a flyby while the Rolling Stones roared over the stadium speakers. And when he landed, he doubled down on his controversial position to deny citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants. And with us live now is Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.
And, Corey, just want to ask you about this. There's been a lot of back-and-forth about how Trump would execute this idea of taking away birthright citizenship. I suppose, down in Texas right now, there is a lawsuit that says some officials down there are denying that citizenship to babies that are born in Texas. How is this going to work?
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, thanks for having me on.
And, first, we have to think about how big of a problem this really is. So, if you think of the term anchor baby, which is those individuals coming to our country and having children here so that their children can be U.S. citizens, there's 400,000 of those taking place on a yearly basis.
To put that in perspective, that is the equivalent of the population of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the 47th largest city in our country. We have a huge problem with illegal immigration. The first thing we need to do is to build a wall to stop the people from coming into our country illegally.
ACOSTA: And what happens if -- let me ask you this, Corey.
LEWANDOWSKI: The second thing we need to do is enforce the laws we have.
ACOSTA: Let me jump in.
Let me ask you, if somebody comes over from Great Britain, for example, a couple comes from Great Britain, and they have a baby in Manhattan, are you saying that that baby would also have its birthright citizenship taken away?
In other words, it doesn't matter about what part of the world the parents come from? Or is this only about couples that come from Latin America?
LEWANDOWSKI: No, it's from anywhere.
There was a story just recently about the women coming from China to come and have their children here. It is well-documented that the DEA and the INS has followed a number of women coming from China to have their children here, so that they can be U.S. citizens.
Look, we are the greatest country in the world. Everybody wants to come here. Everybody wants to be a citizen of our great country. There is a proper way to do that. In order to do that we need to follow the rules just like many of our ancestors here. They came here legally. They came through Ellis Island or they came through other places, and then they had children here and became great members of the society.
Coming to our country illegally is not an option any longer.
ACOSTA: Let me ask you about this.
LEWANDOWSKI: What we see is illegal immigration is (INAUDIBLE) -- excuse me. Illegal immigration is coming through. We will see the severity of the crimes that illegal immigrants are committing. We see that the catch and release program is a disaster. We see sanctuary city should be defunded because of what has happened. We see people like Jamiel Shaw and Kate Steinle and their families who are first- class victims of these illegals and nobody wants to talk about it. And (ph) it is time to put our country first.
ACOSTA: Let me ask you about this because -- right. And I'm sure you heard about this. There were some reports that the event in Alabama there was a man in the crowd at one point shouting "white power." That situation in Boston that cropped up a couple of days ago were these two men beat up immigrants and said, Trump was right.
Are you concerned that this rhetoric, this anti-immigration rhetoric is going to spiral out of control, and people are going to be hurt?
LEWANDOWSKI: Well look, nobody is condoning violence and Mr. Trump would not condone violence.
And you know, I don't know about the individual you're talking about in Alabama. I know there were 30 plus thousand people in that stadium. They were very receptive to the message of making America great again because they want to proud to be Americans again.
There's nothing wrong with being proud to be an American. Now, we would never condone violence. If that's what happened in Boston then by no means would that be acceptable in any nature. However, we should not be ashamed to be Americans. We should be proud of our country, proud of our heritage, and continue to be the greatest country in the world.
ACOSTA: And let me ask you about Jeb Bush.
An adviser, his super PAC said that, Trump is really other people's problem, not Jeb Bush's problem. What do you make of that statement? Are they being a little too confident that in the end it's going to be Trump versus Bush?
LEWANDOWSKI: Well I think what you have is a low-energy candidate who really does not excite anybody, you know, their super PACs says that, and then that same day in Alabama they fly an airplane over the stadium to try and talk about Jeb's accomplishments which are so few.
So you know, I think what they say and what they do are two different things. I think if his candidacy was resonating he would not have 125 people in New Hampshire seven miles away from Mr. Trump that has 25,000 people. So I think the crowds and the enthusiasm speaks for itself.
ACOSTA: The crowds do speak for themselves. That is very true.
Corey Lewandowski, thank you very much for joining us. We appreciate it. Good talking to you.
LEWANDOWSKI: Thank you.
ACOSTA: And with (INAUDIBLE) campaigns and waiting heating up, is Hillary Clinton getting worried? Our panel including one of her long- time confidants weighs in. That's next.
[09:37:10] ACOSTA: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jim Acosta.
Breaking news this morning that Joe Biden had a secret meeting with Elizabeth Warren as he considers a run for the White House. Could the two be joining forces?
I want to bring in our panel. Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, CNN political contributor, Kevin Madden, CNN contributor, Bakari Sellers, and CNN political contributor, S.E. Cupp. You guys are all our contributors this morning. Thank you very much --
ACOSTA: We appreciate it. My goodness (ph). I'm glad I got that out.
Bakari, I guess, let me start with your first.
I mean, I guess I was just explaining during the break that they veered from the official schedule for the White House, for the vice president. He was supposed to be in Delaware all weekend and then all of the sudden -- boom -- he's in Washington meeting with Elizabeth Warren?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean I think that there is something that we can gleam from the visit. I think the first thing is that Joe Biden is running for president of the United States. I don't think that is not a secret any longer. But Elizabeth Warren does have thumb on the pulse of the progressive movement, the space that Bernie Sanders is occupying.
And I think that Vice President Biden also knows that the only path to beat Hillary Clinton is to the left of her. I'm just not sure there is that much space over there any longer. But the fact of the matter is -- look, Joe Biden has served his country admirably for 40 years and if anybody has earned the right to run for president of the United States, it is Joe Biden. So, my hat is off to him.
ACOSTA: And Neera, are the Clinton forces worried about this Biden and Warren?
NEERA TANDEN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: I mean, so many people have worked for Vice President Biden. He is held in huge esteem in the party. And so I think -- and Elizabeth Warren. I think Bakari is right Elizabeth Warren has spoken for a lot of people in the party who were worried about special interest and power of Wall Street. So I don't think there is like a fear factor or anything. I think the real issue here is that if the open (ph) primary (ph) and the vice president has as much a right to run as anyone else.
ACOSTA: Kevin, it certainly got their attention. I mean, this was --
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure.
ACOSTA: I don't want to call it a shot across the bow, but it was near the bow. It was getting close to the bow.
MADDEN: Right but you know, I always think that the concept of the Joe Biden candidacy is so much more alluring than the reality.
He is a gaffe machine. He has been doing this since 1986. He doesn't really have a natural solidified base. So I think, it's entirely right now reaction to Hillary Clinton's stumbles on the campaign trail and the rise of Bernie Sanders, and people worrying that that's going to hurt the profile of the party when it comes towards (ph) general election.
So -- but you know, Joe Biden gets in, I expect that Hillary Clinton would probably relish the chance to sort of boost up her candidacy by being able to finally beat somebody they may see as more -- as a better candidate.
ACOSTA: When I talk to a prominent -- some sources...
S.E. CUPP. CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.
ACOSTA: ...from the Democratic Party this week they were saying there's not a core constituency for Joe Biden in the White House.
ACOSTA: They are all worried --
ACOSTA: They're worried inside the White House...
ACOSTA: ...about Joe Biden running because their concern that there goes the Obama legacy.
CUPP: Well yes and Obama doesn't want to have to choose between his current sitting vice president and his former secretary of state. That just doesn't look good.
[09:40:00] I also don't know that I get his strategy if it's what Bakari is saying, run to the left of Hillary. He's not going to out- sander Sanders?
I actually think the better strategy for him would be to speak to the Democratic voter that that party has been losing for the past couple of cycles. The older white blue collar male...
ACOSTA: (INAUDIBLE) the Democrats.
CUPP: ...that actually Joe Biden really speaks to very well, the guy from Scranton.
CUPP: So I think that if he gets in, and I would welcome his entrance into the race, I think that is the direction he should go.
ACOSTA: And I don't know if you notice how clean the table is this morning. We wiped it with a cloth.
TANDEN: Oh, my God.
ACOSTA: Let's talk --
SELLERS (ph): (INAUDIBLE) hear (ph) a Clinton (ph).
ACOSTA: Let's talk about Hillary Clinton and her explanation for the server this week. Can we play that?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: Did you wipe the server?
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What, with a cloth or something?
HENRY: I don't know. You know how it works digitally. Did you try to wipe the whole server?
CLINTON: I don't know how it works digitally at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Wiped it with a cloth. She hasn't wiped this issue clean, has she?
SELLERS: No. I think that anybody who if of sound mind knows that that comment was ill advise and flippant at best. And the Kanye shrug she gave.
ACOSTA: The Kanye shrug is that --
SELLERS: That's what it is. It will be -- it will be a jiff that will last throughout the campaign, but the facts are that she didn't send any classified information, the facts are that she followed the precedent that has been set by her predecessors. And also this has been a committee that was started after four lives were lost in Benghazi, and trying to make sure that we don't lose diplomatic lives again and it has not turned into a political witch hunt.
ACOSTA: S.E. --
CUPP: Well, she did send classified documents. She might have not known at the time they were which is why she was trying to turn this now into an issue of over classification.
She absolutely did not commit to the parameters and the precedent that was set was not to use a private server in your home. That is not the precedent that was set, that she is following. So she has mismanaged this from the beginning --
ACOSTA: Neera --
CUPP: She had to get rid of it (INAUDIBLE) --
ACOSTA: You have to admit this has not been handled well. I mean, she has to get ahead of this.
What did Jerry Brown say the other day? This is like a vampire. They need to put the stake in the heart.
TANDEN: Yes. I think the way to do that is just to answer all the questions as much as you possibly can and do it over and over again, because there is misinformation.
For example, the issue here is whether she received e-mails that were later classified.
TANDEN: She did not send any e-mails with classified or not. No one is accusing her --
CUPP: But that is what the FBI is investigating --
ACOSTA: I covered (ph) Mitt Romney, you were there.
What would (ph) be (ph) happening (ph) right now if this was Mitt Romney?
MADDEN: Well, I don't even know how the answer that. I think -- I think --
(CROSSTALK) MADDEN: Look, the biggest -- the biggest problem here is that this is a trust issue coming up over and over again, and the more she keeps talking about it the less the American people find her trustworthy. That is a really big character crisis at this stage in the campaign for Hillary Clinton.
ACOSTA: All right. We'll go to the Republicans. We're going to go to the Republicans next. Let's get to that next.
Jeb Bush and Donald Trump may be duking it out on the campaign trail, but Bush's team says they won't spend a penny of their $100 million stash on ads against Donald Trump. Why not? Why won't they take him seriously?
We will ask our panel after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[09:47:31] KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you think that birthright citizenship should be ended?
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes. Absolutely. Going forward --
HUNT: We should end birthright citizenship?
WALKER: Yes. To me it's about enforcing the laws in this country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, the people misunderstand you're actually not for ending birthright citizenship?
WALKER: I'm not taking a position one way or the other.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: That was Scott Walker's murky answer on whether he supports Donald Trump's proposal to send back the babies of undocumented immigrants. Evidence of just how much Trump is controlling the conversations for Republicans.
And S.E., did you see this coming?
CUPP: On birthright citizenship?
CUPP: No. I think we all kind of just did a little research in the past few days --
CUPP: But I actually learned a lot about it, and actually, there are only 30 countries that practice birthright citizenship making the U.S. kind of an anomaly. 56% of Americans -- ACOSTA: But the United States is kind of an anomaly, right?
CUPP: Fifty-six percent of Americans want it gone.
So I actually -- I mean, what Trump is proposing is not practical. It's probably not workable. And mostly because the conservatives don't warm to the constitutional changes easily, but not that controversial a debate to be having actually. I actually I'm grateful that we have been discussing it and looking at it.
ACOSTA: Well, you know -- I mean, this goes way beyond self deportation...
ACOSTA: ...this is rounding up the babies.
MADDEN: We had a -- we had -- remember that we had the RNC did an autopsy after the 2012 elections and they came up with two main points which was let's get control of the debates, and the debates have now turned into a little bit of the Donald Trump show, and let's do a better job of reaching out and offering better outreach to Hispanic audiences, and other minority audience.
This absolutely complicates that because we're having a conversation that is defined by what we're against instead of having a conversation that's defined by what we are for...
MADDEN: ...how the modernized immigration system is going to help the country.
TANDEN: I mean -- and Kevin is absolutely (ph) right (ph). This conversation has moved far right from 2012 where President Obama got over 70 percent of the Latino vote. And in fact, the Latino vote is going to grow in 2016 from where it was in 2012.
TANDEN: So, it just makes common sense to actually try and reverse the conversation --
MADDEN: Somebody was saying to me the other day that said that, you know, well, 51 percent of the American people agree with this idea. And I said, you know, the real important percentage is the Republicans are going to have to get over 40 percent of the Hispanic vote if they want to get elected.
SELLERS: And that's the --
MADDEN: That's the key number. SELLERS: And that is the larger point, but it has to do with your language and the humanity by which you speak. And I think --
ACOSTA: Or in Scott Walker's case is not having a language --
SELLERS: Well, Scott Walker got turned into the Peruvian (ph) pretzel by Donald Trump and that's what happens. Donald Trump pushes these issues and he pushes the candidate so far right that one day Donald Trump is (INAUDIBLE) stripping the birthright (INAUDIBLE) the constitution. The next day he doesn't know. And now he is (ph) in (ph) a pretzel.
[09:50:00] MADDEN: And that's the risk. I mean, republicans right now are reacting to Donald Trump on a whole host of issues. They've got to get back and start, you know, controlling the tone and tempo of this race before Donald Trump --
SELLERS: And let me give a little bit of advice to Jeb Bush. A better term than anchor baby is simply baby. Okay? I mean, if you want to talk to those Hispanic voters --
MADDEN: Anchor baby is a technical term that even "The New York Times" has used. So, I think that has been very --
TANDEN: Yes. But it sounds terrible to people.
SELLERS: Yes, it is --
ACOSTA: I think we can agree that that term "anchor baby" seems to only be used when they're the children of Latinos. And I think that that's where a lot of Hispanic people have a problem with this.
We saw Tom Llamas of "ABC" take on Donald Trump on "ABC" earlier this week. And I think that there is a reason for Latinos to have a problem with this --
MADDEN: I think -- I think Jeb Bush is not as susceptible to that. He is married to a Hispanic. I mean, he speaks Spanish.
CUPP (ph): Yes.
MADDEN: He's going to have a better chance to get past that. But for the party overall we do have to make sure that we do a better job --
ACOSTA: Let's talk about Jeb Bush.
Because he seems to have the strategy of, well, eventually Trump is going to implode, as Maureen Dowd was saying, in this fiery, orange explosion. And that Jeb Bush would be ready to go (ph).
Do you think that that's a good strategy? Doesn't he have to take on Trump at some point?
CUPP: He does but I don't -- there's a couple of ways to go about it. Trying to rationalize with Trump supporters that Donald Trump isn't conservative. He isn't consistent. He isn't going to be electable, is pointless. They don't care.
So I think what Jeb is trying to do is talk to everyone else in the conservative party -- right -- the base. Without singling out Trump supporters, he's trying to say, OK. When this guy collapses, I will be here for you. It's not in the short term getting rid of Trump. But I think in the long term it's making a play for everyone else.
MADDEN: S.E. is right. S.E. is right there.
The way the Bush campaign sees it is there are two lanes. There's the establishment and non-establishment. And that anti-establishment lane right now Trump has about 25 percent to 30 percent. Their way of getting a consolidating support amongst that other part of that party is to post up against Trump (ph).
ACOSTA: And just one word -- one word, mistake, not mistake?
TANDEN: I mean, just to be clear, I think it's a mistake because if you look at the writers' poll, it's 44 percent. But (ph) they (ph) do three people 44 percent Bush, 29 for -- 44 percent Trump, 29 percent Bush.
TANDEN: He is not the anti-Trump.
ACOSTA: I think they ignore Trump at their own peril.
MADDEN (ph): They're not ignoring him, though.
ACOSTA: Jeb Bush might be a little bit but we'll see -- all right. We'll see what happens. All right. Thanks guys. I appreciate it.
Michelle Obama may be known for her dance moves but Bill and Hillary Clinton bumped the first couple from the dance floor. Did you see this? Wow! Oh, to be on the vineyard this time of year. When we come back.
[09:57:09] ACOSTA: Nancy Reagan once said presidents don't get vacations, they just get a change of scenery. For President Obama this week that meant the golf course.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Based on a summer play list, President Obama headed into his vacation looking for a good time. And he found it with his famous friends, hitting the beach with Caroline Kennedy, having a date night with the first lady and partying with the Clintons at a birthday celebration for their mutual friend Vernon Jordan. But mostly he played golf. Lots and lots of golf. Just about every other day. He golfed with Seinfeld creator Larry David. He golfed with Former President Bill Clinton. And he golfed with NBA star Steph Curry, who teed off on Jimmy Kimmel.
STEPHEN CURRY, NBA PLAYER: He'd be crickets, just silent. Just looking at you like, all right are you going to mark your putt? Are you going to make that? You know, put the pressure on you, that kind (ph) of deal.
JIMMY KIMMEL, TV HOST: It was supposed to be relaxing a round of golf, but it doesn't sound like it was at all.
CURRY: There's (ph) 25 secret service agents on every hole so I couldn't relax at all.
KIMMEL: Yes. Right.
ACOSTA: But this hyper competitive president finds all of that pressure relaxing. Since taking office Mr. Obama has played approximately 247 rounds of golf.
CBS's Mark Knoller, the unofficial White House stat expert estimates that's more than 1100 hours spent on the links.
Still ask NBA legend Michael Jordan, and the president could use some more practice.
MICHAEL JORDAN, NBA LEGEND: I never played with Obama but I would. But nah (ph). That's OK. I will take him out. He's a hack. It'd be all day playing with him.
AHMAD RASHAD, SPORTSCASTER: Do you really want to say that? The president of the United States is a hack?
JORDAN: I never said he wasn't a great politician. I'm just saying he's a --
ACOSTA: But for the president whose scores are a closely guarded secret it's really about escaping the confines of the White House.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He enjoys getting off the 18 acres of the White House complex.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He can get in a golf cart and drive down a fairway, you know. Something that he can't really do really anywhere, I suppose. Right?
ERIC SCULTZ, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Yes. I think the president deeply appreciates the opportunity to sort of just get out there and not be constantly monitored.
ACOSTA: But his golf obsession has made him the target of critics. Most recently Donald Trump in this attack posted on Instagram this week.
Reminding voters of Mr. Obama's vacation last year, when he played a round just after announcing the death of American ISIS hostage James Foley. The president admitted that was a mistake.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I should have anticipated the optics. You know, that's part of the job.
ACOSTA: But he has occasionally used those optics to his advantage, teaming up with house speaker John Boehner for a round in 2011 rather than playing against him because according to one account he didn't want to lose.
SCULTZ: He is a fiercely competitive guy, whether it's politics or sports. But I know he has fun on the golf course. I think that -- again, that's mostly an opportunity for him to clear his mind, not talk about work, leave business aside for a few hours.
[10:00:00] ACOSTA: For President Obama, whose job often puts him in the rough with no hope for a mulligan, golf is also good preparation for the next round in his life, retirement from politics. And all the golf the president desires are only a year and a half away.
ACOSTA: A round of golf sounds pretty good right now. Thanks for spending your Sunday with us.
"FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" starts right now.