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State of the Union

Interview With Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders; Father Vows to Keep Spotlight on Guns; Clinton Compares Republicans With Terrorists; Donald Trump Leads In Iowa; Fortieth Anniversary of Bruce Springsteen's Album. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired August 30, 2015 - 09:00   ET




JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Feeling the Bern. A brand-new poll shows Hillary Clinton slipping in Iowa, as her voters defect to Bernie Sanders.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The same old, same old will not work.

TAPPER: He will be here in moments.

And Donald Trump.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't want your money. I don't want your money.

TAPPER: Or does he? The billionaire hosts a fund-raiser, but refuses to call it one, all while taking big bucks from undisclosed donors. Can Trump still claim he's the only one who can't be bought?

Plus, inspired by anguish -- the father of the reporter murdered live on television vows to fight for gun control.

ANDY PARKER, FATHER OF ALISON PARKER: There has to be a way to force politicians that are cowards and in the pockets of the NRA to make sensible laws.

TAPPER: He will join us live.

And the best political team in television will be here with insights from the campaign trail.


TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is burning up.

A brand-new poll showing the insurgent in the Democratic race for president, independent Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont, making serious gains on Hillary Clinton in Iowa. The "Des Moines Register"/Bloomberg poll shows Clinton dropping below

50 percent for the first time this year, coming in at 37 percent to Sanders' 30. And Sanders has swayed a third of Clinton supporters to come over to his side. The poll also looked at Republicans and found Donald Trump on top again, with 23 percent of Iowans favoring him, another outsider candidate, Dr. Ben Carson, number two with a bullet at 18 percent, Ted Cruz and Scott Walker coming in at 8 percent each, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio at 6 percent each.

It all adds up to a very interesting, unpredictable race, with nontraditional, nonestablishment candidates gaining steam and drawing crowds.

So, let's get right to the man of the hour, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who joins us.

Thanks so much for being with us, Senator. Really appreciate it.

I have to start by asking you about this new poll which shows you winning over Clinton supporters. You're at 30 percent. She's at 37. You said earlier this week that the same old, same old cannot win, as we heard in the open. Is Hillary Clinton the same old, same old?

SANDERS: Well, this is what I can tell you, Jake.

Not only in Iowa, not only in New Hampshire, but all over this country, we're generating enormous enthusiasm. People do not understand why the middle class of this country is collapsing at the same time as almost all of the new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent.

People do not like the idea that, as a result of Citizens United, our campaign finance system has become corrupt and politicians are dependent upon super PACs and billionaires for money. People want us to deal with climate change, make college affordable. Those are the issues I have been talking about. Those are the issues that are generating enormous enthusiasm from one end of this country to the other.

TAPPER: You also talk about taking on the billionaire class. And you have said to Hillary Clinton you're not sure whether or not she will take on the billionaire class. Give us some specifics where you think you would and she might not.

SANDERS: I think that the business model of Wall Street is fraud. And I think these guys drove us into the worst economic downturn into the modern history of America. I think they're at it again.

I believe that, when you have so few banks with so much power, you have to not only reestablish Glass-Steagall, but you have got to break them up. That is not Hillary Clinton's position. I believe that our trade policies, NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China, have been a disaster. I am helping to lead the effort against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. That is not Hillary Clinton's position.

I believe, along with Pope Francis and almost all scientists, that climate change is threatening this planet in horrendous ways, and that we have to be aggressive in transforming our energy system away from fossil fuel, and defeat, and defeat the Keystone pipeline. That is not Hillary Clinton's position.

I believe that, as opposed to my Republican colleagues who want to cut Social Security, I believe we should expand Social Security by lifting the cap on taxable income. That's not Hillary Clinton's position.

I believe that we have got to raise the minimum wage over a period of several years to $15 an hour -- not Hillary Clinton's position. I voted against the war in Iraq. Hillary Clinton voted for it.


TAPPER: So, that's a very ambitious agenda you just outlined there.

You said this week that the biggest mistake President Obama made was thinking he could negotiate with Speaker Boehner and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

How can you get this very ambitious agenda through, which includes, you didn't mention, an estate tax on those who inherit more than $3.5 million, a trillion dollars spent on infrastructure -- how are you going to do that without dealing with Congress?

SANDERS: And that infrastructure program, Jake, would create some 13 million jobs.

I will tell you how. I have a lot of -- a lot of respect for Barack Obama. He is a friend of mine. The biggest mistake I believe that he made -- and I disagree with him on a number of policy issues, but his biggest political mistake is, after his brilliant 2008 political campaign, when he rallied millions of people to stand up and fight back, basically, what he said after he was elected: Well, I will take it from here. I will negotiate with Boehner and Mitch McConnell and Republicans.

Two points. First of all, these guys never had any intention of seriously negotiating. I think the president has caught onto that. But, second of all, the powers that be in Washington, Wall Street, the huge campaign donors, the Koch brothers, are so powerful, that the only way we bring about real change in this country which represents the needs of the middle class and working families is when millions of people stand up and say, enough is enough, they are organized.

And that is what I'm talking about when I speak about a political revolution. No president, not Bernie Sanders or anybody else, can do it unless millions of people say, you know what? This country belongs to all of us. Our government must represent all of us, and not just a handful of billionaires.

It can't be done within the Beltway itself. We need a mass movement, and that's what we are trying to create, and are succeeding in creating right now.

TAPPER: I want to ask you about a story unfolding in the news right now. A deputy sheriff was gunned down at a gas station in Texas. Police have charged an African-American man with his murder, saying the officer was targeted because he was wearing his law enforcement uniform.

Take a listen to what the sheriff had to say.


RON HICKMAN, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS, SHERIFF: This rhetoric has gotten out of control. We have heard black lives matter, all lives matter. Well, cops' lives matter, too. So why don't we just drop the qualifier and just say lives matter and take that to the bank?


TAPPER: What do you think of that, Senator Sanders? Is the sheriff right?

SANDERS: Well, I think...

TAPPER: Has the rhetoric gotten too hot?

SANDERS: Well, this is what I think.

Obviously, it is an outrage that this police officer was basically assassinated. Other police officers have been killed. I worked with police officers when I was mayor of the city of Burlington. They have a very, very difficult job. And we need to make sure that we have the best-trained, best-paid police departments in the world. And, as president, I would help bring that about, community policing and so forth.

On the other hand, what we also have to understand, it is not acceptable in this country when unarmed black people get dragged out of cars or get shot. That is happening too often.

So, in my view, we need major reforms of our criminal justice system, which, by the way, Jake, means that our police officers are better paid, are better trained, and we end this absurdity in America of having more people in jail than any other major country on earth, including China.

So, criminal justice reform, criminal justice reform is a big issue for me, and making sure that we have the best police departments throughout this country is something we have got to make happen.

TAPPER: Another horrific news story took place in Roanoke, Virginia, Wednesday morning, with the shooting of those two individuals with the local news station.

SANDERS: Terrible.

TAPPER: Your Democratic rivals have been arguing that, when it comes to guns, you are out of step with liberal and progressive primary voters on the issue of gun control. A surrogate for Hillary Clinton, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, he

went to New Hampshire and said that your gun votes had been driven by -- quote -- "political expediency," and that this is a dividing line between you and Hillary Clinton.

Your response?

SANDERS: Well, let me tell you, I have, as I understand it, a lifetime voting record from the NRA of D-minus. D-minus.

I voted very strongly for instant background checks. I want to see them made stronger, probably the most important thing that we can do.

Number two, I voted in a state, by the way, Jake, which has almost no gun control, not an easy vote -- I voted against the NRA, and I voted to ban certain types of semiautomatic weapons.

I voted to eliminate this gun show loophole which allows people to purchase guns without a background check. And, by the way, in addition to that, what I believe is, we need to do a lot, lot better job in terms of mental health in this country.


People call my office, they call offices all over this country, and say, you know, my brother, my husband, I'm really worried about what he might do to himself or other people.

We do not have the capability of treating those folks. When people have mental health issues, when they're a threat to others or themselves, they should be able to get counseling immediately. That is not the case right now.

So, I do not accept the fact that I have been weak on this issue. In fact, I have been strong on this issue. And, in fact, coming from a rural state which has almost no gun control, I think I can get beyond the noise and all of these arguments and people shouting at each other and come up with real, constructive gun control legislation which, most significantly, gets guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.

TAPPER: Governor Martin O'Malley tore into the Democratic National Committee on Friday, as you know, accusing the party of rigging the debate process to favor Hillary Clinton.

Do you agree with Governor O'Malley?

SANDERS: I think rigging is a strong word.

I think that, at a time when so many of our people have given up on the political process,when 80 percent of young people did not vote in the last election, 63 percent of all Americans did not vote, I think debates are a good thing. I love debates. Done it all my life.

So, I would like to see more debates. I would like to see groups representing working people have a debate to talk about why the rich get richer and everybody else gets poorer. I think environmentalists deserve a debate, so we can talk about how we move aggressively to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel.

I think young people deserve a debate, in terms of my idea and other ideas about how we make college education in this country in public colleges and universities tuition-free, how we deal with student debt...

TAPPER: Right, but...

SANDERS: ... how we deal with tax reform in this country, making the rich pay their fair...

TAPPER: But, Senator Sanders, the DNC...


TAPPER: The DNC, as you know, is saying that if you or Governor O'Malley participate in any nonsanctioned debate, then you don't get to participate in the official ones. They are restricting the number of debates.

SANDERS: And I think -- and I think that that is dead wrong, and I have let the leadership of the Democrats know that.

Again, I think this country benefits -- all people benefits -- democracy benefits when we have debates. And I want to see more of them.

TAPPER: I know you have not been a particular fan of Donald Trump or his campaign rhetoric. He has called recently, however, for raising taxes on those who run hedge funds. Is that an issue where you two agree?

SANDERS: Absolutely.

But, even more importantly, look, let's be clear. We have a situation where major corporations in this country make billions of dollars in profit. They stash their money in the Cayman Islands. They don't pay a nickel in taxes.

I am funding my plan to make public colleges and universities tuition- free by a tax on Wall Street speculation. When you have hedge fund managers, as Warren Buffett reminds us, paying an effective tax rate lower than firemen or police officers, that's got to change.

The rich are getting richer. They're going to have to start paying their fair share of taxes, as do major corporations.

TAPPER: Senator Bernie Sanders, congratulations on all the success you're having on the campaign trail. We hope to talk to you soon.

SANDERS: Thank you very much.

TAPPER: Coming up: The shooting that horrified the nation, the reporter's father says it did not have to happen. What is he asking you to do about it?

We will talk to him in a moment.



TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

Investigators continuing to discover new details in that horrifying murder of a Virginia news crew, police now saying the gunman, a former colleague of the victims, Alison Parker and Adam Ward, expressed admiration for other horrific attacks, such as 9/11.

Parker's family has created a scholarship in her memory. But her father says her real memorial will be a living one. He's vowing to fight to create new legislation in her name to curb gun violence.

He joins me now from his home in Collinsville, Virginia.

Mr. Parker, first of all, my deepest condolences. I know I speak for everyone when we say we can't even imagine what you're going through.

So many people across the nation have been moved by what happened to your daughter and Adam Ward. What would you like them to do in her name, in her memory?

ANDY PARKER, FATHER OF ALISON PARKER: Well, Jake, thanks for having me on.

And I -- before we get to that -- to the answer to that question, I just want to tell you that everyone -- I have done a lot of media interviews, as you probably know, and a lot with CNN. And with the exception of one news organization that you can probably figure out that won't -- will go unnamed, everyone has been so kind and considerate of our family and the line of questioning.

And I want to give a particular shout-out to Jennifer Henderson, who is one of your producers, who's been like a member of the family to us. And we so appreciate that.

What I would like for everyone to know and to keep in mind is, you know, this is -- this -- just don't be desensitized to this issue. And don't go, oh, gee, this is another horrific incident, what's for dinner tonight, honey?

And I think that's my -- my fear is that, you know, this is going to be a big news story for a weekend, and then, you know, it's on to the next one. It's -- but, you know, we cannot let this drop. And I think this is different. This time, this is different, and I -- because Alison was one of you guys. I mean, she was part of the media.

And it could have been -- you know, it could have been anyone out there doing this. So I think that, you know, I just want people to know that I'm going to be working on this for a long time. I know that this is not a sprint. It's a marathon.


But, you know, I'm going to effect a change. I think Chris Hurst, her boyfriend, and I are -- because of our backgrounds, are uniquely qualified to galvanize all the different groups that are trying to put this thing together and make a difference and to speak as one voice, and hold the politicians' feet to the fire.

I was listening to Bernie Sanders, as we were, you know, in the lead- up to this, and I liked what he said. You know, I think he said, regarding another matter, you know, same old, same old isn't going to work.

And it's the -- it applies to this issue. And I think the reason he's doing so well and the reason that Donald Trump is doing so well in the polls is that there's an anger in this country, you know, that same old, same old isn't going to work.

TAPPER: Right.

PARKER: But the difference is, this time, you know, it's got to apply to sensible gun control legislation, controlling the loopholes, controlling the loopholes in that -- in gun shows...

TAPPER: Right.

PARKER: ... and, you know, doing those kinds of things.

TAPPER: Well, Mr. Parker, let me ask you. I know it was only Wednesday morning when this horrific tragedy happened. Have you been able to go through what happened with this deranged killer, and figure out what law...

PARKER: Jake, no. Jake, I...

TAPPER: ... or restriction might -- might have helped prevent the tragedy?

PARKER: OK. I'm sorry.

I -- you know, I didn't want to -- you know, I have not seen -- I have not turned the television on since Tuesday night.

TAPPER: Right.

PARKER: So, I don't want to see it. I don't want to watch it. I'm not going to recount it. You know, this person to me is -- you know, he doesn't even register.

What registers is the fact that he was mentally disturbed. He was allowed to -- and he was allowed to pass a background check. And I know that, you know, say what you want about California. You know, sometimes, people think that they're over-regulated, but they passed a gun violence restraining order out there that probably would have prevented this from happening. And here in Virginia, similar legislation was introduced, and nothing

-- nothing was happening. Our own senator here in this -- that represented us, you know, voted with the NRA and voted against it.

TAPPER: What's the next step for you?

PARKER: But I think that -- I think that there's -- well, I think -- and I'm sorry. I don't mean to go -- but there is, you know -- and I hate to keep, you know, invoking the name of Donald Trump, but I think Trump was -- you know, I have been asked by several media outlets, you know, well, Trump says there's -- you know, this is not a gun issue, it's a mental health issue.

Well, he's half-right. It is a mental health issue. But there's a linkage there between gun -- guns and mental health. And there's got to be some kind of protocol established, so that we keep the hands -- keep people from getting guns.

And I think that that bill in California, you know, it wouldn't have saved Alison. It's just like, you know, you put a seat belt on and you drive, and there's no guarantee that it's going to save your life if you're in a horrific accident. But it's something. And that's what we -- that's the next step.

We're going to -- you know, that's what I'm trying to accomplish. At least do something.

TAPPER: Are you going to be coming to Washington?

PARKER: Absolutely.

I have been in contact with -- as you can imagine, the outpouring, not just for Alison, but the rage, the outrage that is -- is -- has just swept the -- not just the nation, but the world, you know, it's overwhelming.

And I have been in contact with Mark Kelly, who is Gabby Giffords' husband, who was very gracious to reach out to me. And we're going to get together in Washington. Senator Warner has also, you know, told me whatever we can do to help and facilitate that, let me know. Mayor Bloomberg's people have reached out.

You know, I want to be the -- if I can, and if they will allow me, Chris and I, Chris Hurst and I, we want to take the point, we want to take the lead on this and get something done. And I think, this time -- you always think there's a tipping point. We always -- we thought that, when Gabby was shot, something would happen, with Sandy Hook, something would happen, with Aurora, something would happen. And it never did.

But I think people recognizing, you know, who the victim was and what she represented and how kind and sweet and innocent she was, I think, this time, it's going to be different. And, you know, I'm -- you know, I have done as many interviews probably as I can this weekend.

And I don't want to be like Howard Beale from "Network," and you know, in essence, say, we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore. That's what's happened. But he got overexposed. I don't want that to happen.


I want to come back when we have real news to report, when we have updates to report. And I'm counting on you guys in the media to be there and support this and keep this on the front burner, because it has to be. It can't go away. It can't be, you know -- next week, it can't be forgotten. And I'm not going to let that happen.

TAPPER: Well, we're certainly going to stay in touch with you and have you back when you have more to -- more to tell us about.

Andy Parker, again, our deepest condolences on the loss of what sounds like a -- she sounds like a wonderful, wonderful girl. Thank you for joining us today. I know it must be difficult.

And you can go...

PARKER: Thank you so much. And you just let...

TAPPER: Go ahead.

PARKER: No, I said, you know, I'm telling you, they messed with the wrong family.


You can go to for more information about the scholarship fund in the memory of Alison Parker.

Coming up, I say Hillary Clinton, you say liar? The revealing results of a word association game with voters.




HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now, extreme views about women? We expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don't want to live in the modern world. But it's a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States.


TAPPER: That was Hillary Clinton, comparing Republicans to terrorists.

As you might imagine, that did not sit well with Republicans. The RNC hit back by noting that the Clinton Foundation has taken millions of dollars in donations from countries in the Middle East with abysmal women's rights records. Here to talk about this and much more is Republican Congressman Marsha Blackburn and CNN political commentators Donna Brazile, S.E. Cupp and Dan Pfeiffer.

Congressman Blackburn, I'll start with you just to get a fair response about that comment.


TAPPER: From Hillary Clinton, comparing the presidential candidates to terrorists.

BLACKBURN: Well inappropriate, over the top, uncalled for all of those fit (ph).

But I think also Hillary is someone who has said, you know, I don't drive myself. How long has it been, when you talk about the modern world, can she multitask? Does she buy her groceries? Does she cook her meals? Does she get herself from point A to point B like moms and modern American women do? And of course the answer to that is no. She doesn't.

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I doubt that. I doubt that. I mean does she change her granddaughter's diaper? Absolutely. Does she comb her hair, get up in the morning and do all the other things? Look, she was making a contrast, not a comparison. The contrast of course --

BLACKBURN: No, Donna, she made a -- she made a comparison.

BRAZILE: She was making a contrast because -- look, she understands the (ph) difference (ph) between a Taliban and their views toward women and their policies toward women. And what she was saying is that Republicans have taken this extreme position on giving women the full range of reproductive health services. That's the point she was making.

I'm sorry if you are upset that she said the word Taliban, but the truth is, 21st century policies and leaders do not respond to give women access to birth control do not...


BLACKBURN: The (ph) 21st century women -- well, most (INAUDIBLE) are in line --

BRAZILE: ...access to abortion if they are victims of rape and (ph) --


BLACKBURN: More of the American people -- yes, they are. Yes, they are.

BRAZILE: Giving women the exception or giving women the right to have the full range of services... (CROSSTALK)

BLACKBURN: ...that she made is inappropriate.

BRAZILE: It was a contrast not a comparison.

BLACKBURN: That's why Hillary is so far -- it was a comparison. She was down in the polls --

BRAZILE: Let's see who wins the conversation when it comes to --


BLACKBURN: We're going to win that conversation.


BLACKBURN: The (INAUDIBLE) are going to agree with us.

BRAZILE: All across this country, Jake, Republicans are trying to restrict, trying to...

BLACKBURN: That is wrong.

BRAZILE: ...defund planned parent. Planned Parenthood which provides...

BLACKBURN: Yes, we do. Planned Parenthood doesn't need the money.

BRAZILE: ...mammogram services.


BLACKBURN: No, 94 percent of their business -- 94 percent --

BRAZILE: No, 97 percent.

BLACKBURN: Ninety-four percent is abortion services.


BRAZILE: Ninety-seven percent is for non-abortion services.


BLACKBURN: For abortion services, 1800 -- absolutely. (INAUDIBLE). Go to their website. Their main business -- they are America's biggest abortion provider.

BRAZILE: Have you visited the Planned Parenthood site? I have. I have.


BRAZILE: And I visited (INAUDIBLE) neighborhood (ph). I have visited... (CROSSTALK)

BRAZILE: ...access to (INAUDIBLE) --


TAPPER: Let's put a button on that. (INAUDIBLE) agree (ph) to disagree. We'll come back --


BRAZILE: But we're southern women.

BLACKBURN: That's right. That's right.

BRAZILE: We do it on the (INAUDIBLE).

BLACKBURN: That's right.


BLACKBURN: We're going to have (INAUDIBLE).

TAPPER: Dan, I want to -- let's bring up the poll numbers again from Iowa about Hillary Clinton.

She is at 37 percent, Bernie Sanders 30 percent, Biden 14 percent, and O'Malley, Webb, Chafee with three, two, one. Hillary Clinton has now lost a third of her support in Iowa since May. You were with Obama at this point back then in the 2008 campaign. Is this the same thing going on?

DAN PFEIFFER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think so. I think we ought to see whether this poll, the Des Moines register poll, the gold (ph) standard of polls, but this one is an outlier to all the other polls including the most CNN poll.

I want to see the next one to see if there's a true trend. Because in every other poll Hillary has been about 50 and Sanders has been about 27 to 30. He's stayed here, she came down. So, we should see if that's real or not.

No question she's going to have to work really hard to win Iowa. She has had a tough summer. She has taken water (ph) on (ph) because of it. And she need to take Bernie Sanders very seriously both as a primary opponent and also if she is the -- is our nominee and I suspect in the current field she will be, she has to understand that Bernie Sanders is speaking to a real, you know, struck a chord in the party and she's going to have to be able to channel that energy to get those people to vote so like Obama did in '08.


TAPPER: S.E., I want to ask you about this fascinating part of the Quinnipiac poll they asked voters around the country what's the first word that comes to mind when you think of blank candidate. For Hillary Clinton there are a lot of words. If you look at the word cloud they did, including -- you can look for (ph) it (ph) in there woman, experience and strong. But the number one word was liar. The number two word was dishonest and the number three word was untrustworthy.


TAPPER: But at the end of the day if Donald Trump is the nominee, will that matter?

CUPP: Oh, wow.


CUPP: Well, look, they both bring a certain amount of baggage to a general election. I can't still wrap my mind around Donald Trump getting that far.

But this is Hillary's main problem. It's not just the granular sort of e-mail story or this story or that scandal or this calling Republicans terrorists, I mean that's a problem.

This is the problem that people don't like her. They don't think she's trustworthy. That matters. That's why Bernie Sanders is coming up. That's why Joe Biden who hasn't even announced that he's going to get in the race is now polling as well as he is.

They're looking for an alternative. And despite the fact that the DNC has put all of their efforts into Hillary Clinton, Democrats progressive, first time caucus goers in Iowa, are saying we want someone else. So, until she recognizes that --


BRAZILE: You all are -- you all are salivating too early. I need another cup of coffee.

Look, let me just be very blunt with you. The word cloud really I think the visibility whenever you have a word cloud like that when you have the polls leaning, I don't quibble with polls because I think polls are irrelevant. But if we're going to make them relevant let's make sure we say that those are the words that Republicans use to describe Hillary Clinton.

She's still very popular within the Democratic Party. I think she's still very popular within the American electorate. She has work to do. She has a lot of homework.


CUPP: But young women are leaving her. Young women are leaving her.

BRAZILE: No. No. No they're not. They're --

(CROSSTALK) PFIFFER: Look, she is struggling within the Democratic Party with progressive anti -- people who generally support anti-establishment candidates. There is a long tradition of this.


PFIFFER: Howard Dean...

BRAZILE: Gary Hart.

PFIFFER: ...Bill Bradley, Gary Hart. The only one who's ever been able to pull it off was Barack Obama because he could pull a broader coalition in the traditional left wing anti-establishment candidate.

She has work to do. Donna is exactly right. But we should not undersell the fact that right now she is by far the most likely person to be the Democratic nominee and most likely person to be next president of the United States.

CUPP: Then why are we talking about Joe Biden? You can't -- you can't tell me that she's doing as well as she is within the party when we talking about bringing in --


BRAZILE: Because Joe Biden is a very beloved figure.

And I agree with Secretary Clinton who says that he deserved time to make up his mind. I hope to talk to him. I hope many Democrats will talk to him. It's not about running or not running because Joe Biden is a leader of our country.


BLACKBURN: Look at what's going on in Iowa --


TAPPER: ...and we're going to take a quick break.

BLACKBURN: Look at what's going on in Iowa. What does Hillary have, 47 paid staff or something like that? She doesn't have a lot of endorsements. She doesn't have big gains --


TAPPER: ...faction (ph) (INAUDIBLE) a lot (ph) of endorsements (ph). --



TAPPER: ... the establishment backing her is not the issue.

BLACKBURN: But what she also does not have is younger people that are coming in to support her. And that is not there. You look at the interesting, that is going to Bernie Sanders. And I think that's a problem for Hillary Clinton.

Passionate voters vote. And those that are not so totally on somebody do not show up, and that is going to be a problem for her going --


TAPPER: Absolutely. There is a 12-point enthusiasm gap in that poll...

BLACKBURN: That's right. Absolutely.

TAPPER: ...between Sanders at the top and Clinton below.

BLACKBURN: That's right.

TAPPER: Let's take a very quick break. When we come back, Sarah Palin helming the anchor desk to grill none other than Donald trump. Highlights from the dynamic duo. Next.




SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: You're seeing some idiots in the press, and they're misrepresenting your exchange like the other day with the political activist, father of the Clinton staffer Univision's Jorge Ramos and you schooled that radical activist, and it was the right thing to do because I don't think he's going to pull that again. Where did you get your guts for that kind of necessary confrontation?

TRUMP: Well, you know, the press was very good to me on that one because he was totally out of line. He was screaming and ranting and raving. And I actually said, who is this guy? Then I figured it out.


TAPPER: Palin and Trump together again. A lovely moment.

We're back here with our panel. Let's talk about the Republican field.

The "Des Moines register/Bloomberg" news poll shows Donald Trump on top of the field, still, 23 percent. Ben Carson, number two with a bullet at 18 percent. Cruz and Walker tied at 8 percent. Rubio and Bush tied at 6 percent.

Congresswoman (ph) Blackburn, you introduced Donald Trump in Tennessee yesterday.


TAPPER: And you were telling me earlier like the crowd was...

BLACKBURN: Very young.

TAPPER: ...very young.

BLACKBURN: Which surprised me. And you know, we've had all -- we've had Walker, and Cruz, and Carson, and Trump. We've had them all in. And of course we welcome them.

We like this SCC primary March first. Here's the thing. I think that young people, just as they go to Bernie Sanders, they are moving to Donald Trump. People are sick of Washington, D.C. They are sick of both parties. They are sick of the House and the Senate not putting things on the president's desk.

The big word right now is what will you do? People want action, and Donald Trump says, this is what I'm going to do. And you're seeing people move to Trump. Anti-establishment Carson. Anti-establishment the same with Bernie Sanders.

CUPP: Can we -- I just want to make a point of distinction here. I think we need a new word to describe Trump, Carson.


Anti-establishment. That's Ted Cruz. You don't to be inexperienced...


CUPP: be anti-establishment. Bernie Sanders, lifelong politician. He's anti-establishment.


CUPP: Ronald Reagan was the governor of California and he wasn't an establishment candidate. Donald Trump and Ben Carson are simply inexperienced.

And look, you could have good ideas and come from a lack of experience, but Ronald Reagan went on the campaign trail, he didn't call people names. He didn't make wildly uninformed statements like Ben Carson does, that prison turns you gay, for example. Just one.

So I think -- I think it's important to draw a distinction between just not wanting the same old-same old, but also wanting someone that comes in with some ideas. I hope that --

TAPPER: S.E., it's your voters -- it's your voters that are (INAUDIBLE) percent --


CUPP: ...100 percent, speaking to my voters.

(LAUGHTER) BRAZILE: And I agree with S.E. Because I think at this stage in the campaign, voters, young voters, as well as middle-aged voters, we're window shopping. We're looking at all of the candidates. We want to date them. We want to see what they are like. After midnight, before 6:00 a.m., after 8:00. So I think this is a very interesting stage of the campaign.

But you know what? On that cold, wintry night, February 1st in Iowa, and March 1st a month later that's when it really matters. And I think voters will sober up, come to their senses, wake up, whatever it might be, and they will choose somebody that they might want...


BRAZILE: ...long term.

BLACKBURN: That's right. But right now here's the thing, Donna. Right now they are doing that looking and...


BLACKBURN: ....showing up and listening. They are engaged. I have never seen people so engaged...

BRAZILE: I agree.


BRAZILE: Mm-hmm.

BLACKBURN: And that is going to be a game changer, I think.


BLACKBURN: Whether it's the Democrats or the Republicans.

TAPPER: Quick note on the Jorge Ramos thing. What did you think of Trump doing that?

PFEIFFER: I think that if you -- when I see Trump and Sarah Palin together, attacking Jorge Ramos I sometimes think the Republican primary is a plot to elect Hillary Clinton president.


PFEIFFER: You really couldn't ask for anything more. I think that the Trump Jorge Ramos exchange is sort of a perfect metaphor for the impact Trump is having on the Republicans for the general election, alienating Latino voters.

I was in Mexico on Friday night speaking at a panel discussion, and 70 percent of the questions I got were about Donald Trump. Because Latinos -- and this is right across the border, people who either live in El Paso or have family in El Paso, had a morbid fear that Donald Trump may be the next president (INAUDIBLE) implement his immigration policies. He will be the greatest Latino -- (CROSSTALK)

BLACKBURN: Look at -- look at the Nevada poll. Where he's got 28 percent of the vote, 31 percent of the Hispanics support Donald Trump.

PFEIFFER: Every other poll --


BLACKBURN: And look (ph) at (ph) Peggy Noonan yesterday in "The Wall Street Journal" where she had talked with people that are Hispanic --

TAPPER: Are you really not concerned at all the effect Donald Trump might have on Latino voters?

BLACKBURN: I think, Jake, just the fact that Donald Trump is pulling out all voters, and is driving the discussion, is an important thing. I think that the fact that illegal immigration, being there on the front burner, is an important thing. It is an issue that has to be addressed. And people want individuals coming in to the country, and they're all for legal immigration. They are very concerned about illegal immigration, drug trafficking, sex trafficking, labor trafficking.

TAPPER: I'm not disagreeing with -- I'm not disagreeing with any of that. But just...

BLACKBURN: We go in to every single community and it comes up --

TAPPER: terms of the pure politics of it. Are you as a Republican leader not concerned about the rhetoric that you hear from Donald Trump? Because I have heard many other Republicans say they are concerned about it.

BLACKBURN: I think that what he is doing as so many people will say, I identify with what he's saying because he's concerned about the same issues that I'm concerned about. That's a good thing.

TAPPER: All right.

BLACKBURN: And it's important for people to have those discussions. And I think the fact that you're talking about the three top issues, and he goes on stage...

TAPPER: Mm-hmm.

BLACKBURN: ...and talks about these, national security, job and economic security, retirement security.


TAPPER: We got to go right (ph) now (ph). Thank you so much, Congressman (ph) Blackburn.

BLACKBURN: Thank you.

TAPPER: Donna Brazile, Dan Pfeiffer, S.E. Cupp. Thank you so much, great panel.

Coming up a night out at a baseball game goes terribly wrong. The shocking scene, when we come back.



TAPPER: Welcome back.

We want to get you up to speed on some news happening around the country. 60-year-old Greg Murray died after falling from the upper deck of Atlanta's Turner Field during a Braves baseball game last night. "The New York Times" reports that Murray leaned over his seat to boo the Yankees when he tumbled forward.

And famed neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks died this morning. He brought his explorations of the brain's mysteries to millions with his bestselling books including "Awakenings" which was turned into an Oscar nominated film starring Robin Williams as Sacks. Sacks revealed his cancer diagnosis earlier this year and he wrote about that too. He was 82.

After the break join me and my giant cartoon wall for a brand-new "State of the Cartoonion."



TAPPER: This week Bruce Springsteen iconic album "Born to Run" turned 40 years old. Since then Springsteen's influence has stretched beyond all the little pretties (ph) all the way to the campaign trail at this week's "State of the Cartoonion," brought to you by planet earth's number one accommodation site.


TAPPER (voice-over): Ah, yes, the great first notes from "Thunder Road" from the great "Born to Run" album 40 years old this week.

Harmonica strengths that no doubt send number one fan boy, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie into a Pavlovian swoon. Thought it is an unrequited love. The famously liberal singer is not a fan of his governor.

But no matter, Christie is assuredly cranking the tunes from that great album this weekend as he hits the back streets of Iowa and New Hampshire. Experiencing nice receptions or possibly, in these days of low poll numbers "Tenth Avenue Freeze-outs." Christie does seem fairly certain that, whoever the Republican nominee is, "She Is The One" the nominee will be facing.

And look, the title song of "Born to Run" has resonance. The governor is in the day sweating it out on the streets of a runaway American dream. His dream of being commander in chief. [10:00:00]

And at night he's riding through the mansions of glory performing at fund raisers. A question for Governor Christie though is he merely "Born to Run" or is he born to win?


TAPPER: Thank you for spending your Sunday morning with us.

"FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" starts right now.