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State of the Union
Interview With Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker; Interview With Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus; Republicans Prepare for Second Debate; Gov. Bobby Jindal Won't Commit To Supporting Trump; Sanders On Top of Iowa, New Hampshire. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired September 13, 2015 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): With just three days until CNN's debate, we are live from the Reagan Library. Who will break out from the pack? Who will take on front-runner Donald Trump?
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He believes that he can insult his way to the presidency.
TAPPER: An inside look at what to expect on the main stage.
Then, Governor Scott Walker, in Iowa, he once reigned supreme. Can he reclaim the throne?
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R-WI), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you want someone who will fight and win and get results, then I'm the candidate.
TAPPER: Our exclusive interview.
Plus: A rival goes nuclear on Trump.
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R-LA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Just because a lot of people like watching Kim Kardashian, we wouldn't put her in the White House either.
TAPPER: Can a Republican House divided ultimately stand? I will ask RNC chair Reince Priebus live.
And the best political team on television will be here with insights from the campaign trail.
TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper at the Ronald Reagan Library, where the state of our Union is ready to rumble.
In just three days, the Republican candidates will take the stage here in California for the next debate. And you can expect an even feistier exchange this time around. The latest CNN poll gives front-runner Donald Trump his strongest lead
yet; 32 percent of Republican voters say they would choose the billionaire to be the party's nominee. And half expect him to emerge as the winner of the primary race. The other candidates have taken note and are ready to take aim at the top.
New this morning, Governor George Pataki refusing to support Trump if he's the nominee, this as other candidates are knocking Donald Trump as a celebrity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think Donald Trump is an entertainer. And I think I am a leader. And so what I do is talk to the American people about the issues they care about. And I think they hear what I'm talking about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: But, with every jab at his fame, Trump's poll numbers seem to only rise.
And for one candidate, a seemingly impervious lead in Iowa earlier this year has vanished faster than a fried Snickers bar at the state fair.
TAPPER: And joining me now from Ames is Governor Scott Walker.
Governor Walker, thanks so much for joining me. Appreciate it.
WALKER: Glad to be with you. Feels like a college game day event here.
TAPPER: So, you're in Ames, Iowa. You were once, poll-wise, the king of Iowa, the prohibitive favorite to win there.
TAPPER: You were at the top of the polls for months.
This week, a new Quinnipiac poll has you in 10th place, with just 3 percent in the polls out there, down from double digits in July. The conservative "National Review" wrote a big piece about you, saying that there are questions about your campaign -- quote -- "The Walker team has had a way of creating mini-fiascoes. They follow a pattern in which clumsy statements from the candidate are often allowed to hang in the ether without clarification, and inquiries are either unanswered or treated with hostility."
How do you respond to that? Is your campaign faltering?
WALKER: The bottom line is, we get around the state. We're going through this weekend through our 30th county out of 99. We'll be through all 99. We're putting in the time in the grassroots. When people hear our story about how we've got a plan to wreak havoc
on Washington, and when they see that, unlike anybody else in this race, we've actually been tested, we're convinced, in a state where caucuses are the name of the game and it's about five months out, we've got the time to make the grassroots connections and get that message out.
TAPPER: But I guess the point is, you -- you started off and people seemed to be buying that, and maybe they're not buying it as much.
One of the things that Republicans are telling me privately is that you sometimes don't take positions on important issues of the day.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you think that being gay is a choice?
WALKER: Oh, I mean, I think that's -- that's not even an issue for me to be involved in.
QUESTION: You're actually not for ending birthright citizenship?
WALKER: I'm not -- I'm not taking a position one way or the other.
QUESTION: What would you do to address the migrants who are currently fleeing into Europe?
WALKER: Everybody wants to talk about hypotheticals. There is no such thing as a hypothetical.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Obviously, Republican voters are choosing their nominee based on their positions on the issues. Why in these cases are you not giving your opinion?
WALKER: We're actually talking things people are really talking about. You guys in the national media want to talk about all sorts of things.
When I go around the country -- I was just in New Hampshire on a Harley this last weekend. I'm spending the weekend here in Iowa. What people want to talk about is the economy. They want to talk about our plan to repeal Obamacare. I'm actually the only candidate you're going to see on the stage at Wednesday's debate at the Reagan Library who actually has a plan to repeal Obamacare.
TAPPER: This election seems to be, at least right now, about embracing outsiders, Republicans liking Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, people who have never before held elective office.
We just saw Governor Rick Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, drop out.
You have spent a lifetime working in politics and government. Why should voters -- and how are you going to convince them that you're the right choice, when they are desperate for somebody who is not part of politics and government?
WALKER: Because they actually want someone who can get the job done. All these other folks can talk all they want.
Remember, Barack Obama had never won anything in government before, and we see what a lousy president he's been, not just ideologically, but in terms of actually running things. I've run things. I've actually got things done. If you want someone who will fight and win, not just win three elections in four years in a blue state, like we did, but win and get results without compromising commonsense, conservative principles, then I'm the candidate.
I've shown I can take on those same powerful special interests. They spent in three elections almost $100 million trying to take me out. It was the big-government union bosses and the liberal special interests in Washington.
TAPPER: I respect that you've taken on Democratic special interests in Wisconsin, but you've been backed by Republican special interests like the Koch brothers, right? How -- how does that square with what you're saying about taking on special interests...
TAPPER: ... or do you think only liberal special interests are the ones worth taking on?
WALKER: I'm taking on the ones in Washington. In my state, I didn't just take on the unions and Democrats. Early on, there was great support from the Assembly and some from the Senate, people like state Senator Scott Fitzgerald, but there were some senators, including some who had been in the leadership, who didn't want to do the kind of reforms.
I'm willing to take on anyone. I stood up to 100,000 protesters. I took on the death threats. I took on threats for my family. We pushed back when they took us to federal and state court. We pushed back when they went after our state senators. They went after me in a recall election, and we won. And they made me the number one target in America, number one in America last year.
TAPPER: But aren't the Koch brothers special interests, too? Can you give me an example of one time that you took on a conservative special interest?
WALKER: I tell you flat out, when I took on the $100 million or so, I raised $80 million in three elections in four-and-a-half years, and 70 percent of it came from people that gave me $75 or less. We raised it in -- from more than 300,000 donors in all 50 states.
That's grassroots. That's not allegiance to one group or another. That's actually listening to the people, the hardworking people all across this country who said they want a leader who's going to stand up and take on the special interests, the folks in Washington, including folks in my own party.
I've spoken out about my frustration about Obamacare. I've spoken out on the fact that -- on things like Planned Parenthood, which I defunded more than four years ago in a blue state, long before these videotapes. We did it in a blue state. There's no reason why it can't be done in Washington, and I lay some of that blame on the leadership in the Congress.
As president, I'm going to step up and lead for all of America, and we're going to get things done, no matter who stands in the way.
TAPPER: Well, if you do get the nomination, it does seem likely that you'll be facing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. You brought up your defunding of Planned Parenthood as governor.
Listen to what Hillary Clinton had to say when she was in the Badger State earlier this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Governor Walker has made it his personal mission to roll back women's health and rights. He did defund Planned Parenthood.
And even though women in Wisconsin are still paid less than men, with women of color making even less, Scott Walker repealed protections for equal pay. Maybe he just doesn't realize that, when women are shortchanged, entire families are shortchanged, and Wisconsin and America are shortchanged.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: A little preview for you there, Governor, if you do get the nomination. How are you going to respond to Secretary Clinton talking about you opposing equal pay and opposing women's health care?
WALKER: Well, Hillary Clinton, like she is in so many other areas, is not telling the truth.
I think, increasingly, Americans across this country realize we can't trust Hillary Clinton to tell the truth on just about anything. And that's a good example of it.
Wisconsin has a law that prohibits discrimination in the workplace. I have enforced that law. I will continue to enforce that law. I'll push for enforcing laws like that all across the country.
And when it comes to women's health care, again, she's just got it wrong. We took the money out of the hands of Planned Parenthood. And we've seen the videos. Whether you're pro-life, like me, or not, I think most of Americans are disgusted with what they saw on those videos. We took that money and put it out into noncontroversial areas to provide for women's health.
But, again, this is just a classic example where you just can't trust Hillary Clinton.
TAPPER: You recently wrote an op-ed at HotAir.com tying President Obama to cop killings around the country.
You wrote -- quote -- "Under President Obama, we've seen a rise in anti-police rhetoric. Instead of hope and change, we've seen racial tensions worsen and a tendency to use law enforcement as a scapegoat. This inflammatory and disgusting rhetoric has real consequences for the safety of officers who put their lives on the line for us and hampers their ability to serve the communities that need their help."
That is a very serious charge, Governor. Can you elaborate on how President Obama has -- has played a role in the murder of police officers?
WALKER: I think his absence of leadership, of speaking out on this issue as a leader.
It's doesn't matter whether you're a governor, account executive, a mayor, or president of the United States. When people are going after the men and women in uniform, whether they're a police officer, a sheriff's deputy, a state trooper, the people who are overwhelmingly doing the right thing every day, putting their lives on the line to keep us safe in communities all across America, it is the duty of the president to stand up and say something about that, to speak up.
I'm going to have the backs of the men and women who carry the badge and wear the uniform in this country. I know the overwhelming majority of them are doing the right thing every day under extremely difficult circumstances.
In the rare instances if they're not, we're going to speak out about that. I'm proud to say I'm the only governor in America, the first one and the only one, I believe, today, who signed a law that says there needs to be an independent investigation any time there's a death of someone in police custody. Why? It's good for the police. It's good for the public.
We want to make it clear that, if someone's following the rules and following the training they were given, then that will be upheld. And in the very rare instance where someone's not, they need to be held accountable. I understand that, and we need to address that.
But we need a president who first and foremost says that law enforcement professionals across this country are doing the job. We need them to keep us safe. We need to have their back. And he has been silent on this, and that's an outrage. TAPPER: I have heard President Obama praise police officers, but I'm -- I'm assuming you're saying he's not doing enough.
WALKER: He's praised them. He's praised them, but he's not speaking out about the fact that this rhetoric out there -- and when you've got people say -- we have people say pigs in a blanket at a rally, fry them up like bacon, that's the kind of thing you need to speak out about. You need to say that is wrong.
And we saw it. I was just in Texas about a week-and-a-half ago. A couple days before that, in Harris County, there was a deputy sheriff who was shot 15 times, 15 times, while he was filling up his gas tank. Why? Because the sheriff there said they believe that the suspect that went after him did so just because he was in uniform.
In our society, we need leaders, not just in elected office. We need clergy and business and other leaders in our community to say, enough is enough. These are the men and women we need to stand up and protect us. We need to make sure they have the training and they follow through on that training. We need to increase and improve relations for sure, but we cannot have any more of this idea that it's OK to go after law enforcement just because they wear the uniform and just because they have a badge.
TAPPER: President Obama recently announcing that the U.S. will be taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year.
You have said that you do not think the U.S. should be taking in refugees from Syria. Tell me why the U.S. should not be joining Europe in accepting more of these individuals fleeing this brutal rule of President Assad and the heinous attacks of ISIS.
WALKER: We're already a leader in this regard.
A lot of people know -- don't know and very few have covered the fact that, within the past year, America has taken and settled, permanently settled, some 70,000 refugees, many of which are from Syria. Throughout the last several years, we put some $4 billion into humanitarian relief to help with the Syrian crisis.
America is leading. But, at some point, you can't just look at the symptoms. You've got to address the problem. And the problem is squarely with ISIS and it's with Assad. You know, this president three years ago drew a red line in the sand and allowed it to be crossed.
Now, he's called ISIS the J.V. squad, and he's not allowing our military personnel to do what they're trained to do in places like Iraq, if we would just lift the political restrictions, empower the over 3,000 troops that are there to do what they're trained to do to help the Kurd and the Sunni allies reclaim the territory taken by ISIS.
TAPPER: Governor Scott Walker, you'll be happy to hear that, with this interview, I have now officially interviewed all of the Republican presidential candidates. And I look forward to seeing you on the stage on Wednesday at the Reagan Library. Thanks so much for joining us.
WALKER: We'll see you on Wednesday. Thank you very much.
TAPPER: Coming up: a new round of attacks on front-runner Donald Trump. And they're coming from inside the party. Can the Republicans get behind their front-runner if he wins?
I will ask Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper live at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.
With the next Republican debate just three days away, we have already seen the first casualty of the 2016 primary race. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry dropped out, but not before warning Republicans that they nominate front-runner Donald Trump at their own peril.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK PERRY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The conservative movement has always been about principles, not about personalities. Our nominee should embody those principles. He or she must make the case for the cause of conservatism more than the cause of their own celebrity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Joining me now is Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus.
Mr. Chairman, thanks for joining us.
I can't recall a presidential race where the front-runner was throwing and receiving so many elbows. Just this morning, Governor George Pataki released a statement in which he's basically saying he's refusing to support Donald -- Donald Trump if he's the Republican nominee. He will not vote for Donald Trump, he says.
This comes on the heels of an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer in which Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, also running for president, repeatedly refused to pledge to support Trump if he wins the Republican nomination.
You got the Republican candidates to sign these loyalty pledges. Are you concerned at all?
REINCE PRIEBUS, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: No, I'm not concerned. I -- you know what? Every candidate in all these campaigns are going
to do whatever they need to do in order to benefit their own campaigns. And I suspect that there will be a lot more things happening over the next several weeks. But they're all going to have an opportunity on Wednesday. And you're going to be in the middle of it, Jake.
And I think, you know, one of the undiscussed issues is just controlling the debate and making sure that everyone has an ability to speak. And there will probably be more elbows thrown at that debate.
And you're going to have your hands full. But I suspect that it will be a great night and a good opportunity for those campaigns to make their voices more heard, and they can speak to each other about it.
TAPPER: Yes, I guess I will get a little taste of what it's like to be Reince Priebus for the evening.
TAPPER: When former...
PRIEBUS: Yes, you get it...
PRIEBUS: But you only get it for a few -- a couple hours, though, buddy.
TAPPER: Right. No, your job is much tougher.
TAPPER: When former Governor Perry dropped out of the presidential race, Senator Rand Paul posed this question on Twitter -- quote -- "What does it say about GOP when a three-and-a-half term governor with a successful record of creating jobs bows out as a reality star leads in the polls."
That's a question from a Republican senator and presidential candidate.
What does it say about the state of the Republican Party, Mr. Priebus?
PRIEBUS: What it says is, we have got 17 candidates running.
And, just by attrition, you're going to have people dropping out. I mean, look, there's not enough hard cash to go around to pay campaigns in these states in order to keep 17 candidates alive. I mean, that's just the way it is. And so people are going to drop out, and, eventually, we're going to get a nominee. My job is to make sure that when we get -- when we have a nominee,
that we're ready to go, and we can beat Hillary Clinton, who's already under 40 percent, and over 60 percent of the American people say they don't trust her. So, I think we're in a great place as a party. I think this is ours to lose.
But we have to make sure that we continue down this path of building up the infrastructure, building up our operation at the national level, and making sure that we put a candidate on the ballot that people like, that people want to have a beer with, that people believe have a great vision for this country.
And then you team that up with a much better operation on the ground this time around, I think that we're going to win, and this is just part of the process.
TAPPER: As you know, Mr. Priebus, many Republicans are very concerned about the tone and tenor of the Republican race, especially when it comes to how Latinos are hearing this Republican race.
Governor Perry raised this in his farewell address, for want of a better term. He said -- quote -- "Demeaning people of Hispanic heritage is not just ignorant. It betrays the example of Christ."
Are you at all concerned that any of your candidates are crossing the line when it comes to talking about Latinos, to the point that it might actually cost you the White House?
PRIEBUS: Well, look, I have said many times, the way you communicate and tone is very important. And, sometimes, it's not what you say, but it's how you say it. I think all of our moms have -- have told us that.
But, look, you know, all these candidates are going to have to account for their own mouths and their own words. And so, if you go back to 2012, you know, it wasn't anything another candidate said, the -- whether it be the 47 percent or whether it be, you know, self- deportation. It was the nominee's words that -- that came back into play.
So, look, I think, at the end of the day, each candidate is going to be accountable for their own words and their own mouth. And so they should proceed with caution.
TAPPER: As you know from visiting the Reagan Library, it's an amazing experience. And one of the reasons it is, is because you really -- it really captures well Reagan's sunny optimism, which is one of the reasons he won so overwhelmingly in 1980 and 1984.
When you walk through the Reagan Library, the United States doesn't seem like the -- quote -- "hellhole" that Donald Trump has described it as. And Trump's not the only one that is, I think, not really channeling Reagan when it comes to talking about how great this country is.
Are you worried at all that the Republican candidates have been too doom and gloom when they talk about the United States, that maybe they could benefit from some of the Reagan cheer?
PRIEBUS: Well, Reagan's cheer comes from Reagan's work.
I mean, he was one of the greatest presidents that we have ever had in this country. And so, certainly, when you go to the Reagan Library, you go back to a time of Ronald Reagan, where that attitude was present. But I don't believe that you can just take the feeling of the Reagan Library and claim that ever -- you know, in perpetuity, that's the feeling that we have today.
I mean, each era has a different feeling. And I think, at this point, a lot of people out there across this country are concerned about their futures. And I think that, if you look at the polling, there's a reason why. In spite of your questions that you have asked, there's a reason why that almost all of our candidates right now are beating Hillary Clinton head to head.
And so it's because they don't think that this country's on the right path, and we can do better. But, certainly, I do believe that we're a blessed nation, that we're a blessed people, that -- that we have the -- the blessing, as a family, to be in a wonderful place, and that we want this country to not just be great, but we want it to be a place that can achieve even better things in the future.
And, so, certainly, we are happy and cheery, and we're -- we're -- we have a feeling of gratitude to be in America. But I think, like all of us, we want to be in a better place than we are today. And I think that's the attitude we ought to have as a party.
TAPPER: Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, I will see you on Wednesday night here at the Reagan Library. Thank you so much for joining us.
PRIEBUS: All right. We're counting on you, Jake.
TAPPER: Thank you.
When we come back: secrets of the stage. We're going to take you behind the scenes here at the Reagan Presidential Library, as we prepare for the big debate, the secrets you won't see anywhere else.
Don't go away.
[09:30:00] TAPPER: Welcome back.
We're at the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum where hundreds of CNN staffers are hard at work getting ready for Wednesday night's big debate just inside where the candidates will take their places on the stage. It's really something. We thought we would give you an insider's tour. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
TAPPER (voice-over): The debate may be three days away, but it is all systems go here at the Reagan Library.
This is it, the stage where all the magic is going to happen on Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan Museum and Library. You can see and hear workers getting the stage ready.
Normally this floor doesn't even exist here. We're all getting prepared for what could be a momentous evening in presidential politics.
The Republican candidates will have this as their backdrop, Air Force One.
MELISSA GILLER, SPOKESPERSON, RONALD REAGAN LIBRARY: This is the plane that flew President Reagan for all eight years of his administration.
TAPPER: It's one of many impressive pieces of presidential memorabilia on display here at the Reagan Library.
The library spokesperson Melissa Giller says Air Force One was always fully stocked.
Was there anything on there that was particular to President Reagan?
GILLER: There sure was. He loved chocolate cake.
TAPPER: More than 350,000 people each year visit the library to experience the spectacular Simi Valley setting and pay their respects to our 40th president. He was laid here to rest in his beloved California facing westward so he can forever look out towards the pacific.
This is real?
GILLER: A real piece of the Berlin wall came down in 1991. Ronald Reagan was here in '94 when we received the piece.
TAPPER: Inside the museum, an exact replica of Reagan's Oval Office complete with a jar of jelly beans or jelly bellies that he always kept in hand.
And that was a way that he...
GILLER: He gave up smoking.
TAPPER: ...gave up smoking.
TAPPER: And so whenever he had a (INAUDIBLE) he would --
(CROSSTALK) GILLER: He had jelly beans -- he had jelly bellies everywhere.
TAPPER: The plane, the oval, trappings of the very office the candidates will be battling to reach Wednesday night.
TAPPER: So who has the most to gain on debate night and who can't afford to lose? Our panel is here. Their predictions when we come back.
[09:36:25] TAPPER: Welcome back to our special episode of STATE OF THE UNION.
We are at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. We're just three days and counting now from round two of the next Republican Presidential Debate.
How much will the candidates go after the man who will be front center, Donald Trump. Joining me here to discuss it all CNN political commentator, Van Jones, CNN chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, conservative talk radio host, Hugh Hewitt, and CNN political commentator Ana Navarro. And of course Dana and Hugh will be joining me as panelists during this exciting debate Wednesday night.
Hugh, let me start with you. On Wednesday the candidates are going to be here. What are you going to be listening for?
HUGH HEWITT, HOST, "THE HUGH HEWITT SHOW": Someone needs to break out of the pack if they're going to catch up to Donald Trump. So, they got to throw some long balls. The NFL starts this weekend. It's going to quickly subsume a lot of the attention span of the country. So, this is really the last opportunity for the 10 not named Donald to try and make themselves the alternative to Donald Trump. So I'll be watching for that.
TAPPER: Ana, you are a friend of Marco Rubio. A supporters and friend of Governor Bush. Both of whom will be on stage. Do you think they need to step it up a little bit and make the contrast with Donald Trump more?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think they do.
I think that they need to do like Emeril Lagasse. You know, throw in some bam. They need to have energy. They need to have good comebacks. I think they need to use a sense of humor. They need to have not only good answers. They need to have good moments. Memorable moments that people will be talking about the next day and that will help break out of the pack.
TAPPER: And Van Jones, what are you going to be listening for?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Carly Fiorina. Listen, I'm going to tell you. I have had the -- (INAUDIBLE) I actually had to debate her before on live television. Her mind is so sharp it should be registered as a weapon. OK?
She is not to be trifled with. She is not to be messed with. She destroyed everybody on the stage the last time on the small stage. If Donald Trump looks at her, it is going to be thermo nuclear and that's going to be a moment to watch. She's going to come out five points up just based on her personality.
TAPPER: We should have you be doing the promos for this debate.
JONES: I'm getting very exciting. It's going to be something.
TAPPER: Speaking of going nuclear. Take a listen to Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal who unleashed this week going after Donald Trump. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: Donald Trump is not a serious candidate. He's a narcissist. He's an ego maniac. The only thing he believes in is himself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Dana, Jindal's tough words came the same week that Rick Perry, the longest serving governor in the history of Texas who had a great jobs record to talk about dropped out. What's going on here?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dropped out and not only that. Rick Perry -- I actually spent a little bit of time with him in Austin before he left the governor's mansion. With him not just doing interviews, but also watching him behind the scenes try to get donors to come his way, which at the beginning worked and then it fizzled obviously big time.
But I think that this is a perfect example of how timing in politics is everything. If he were prepared and didn't have this oops moment last time around, that was his time because they were looking for somebody with the record and the personality and the sort of charm, which he does have on the stump.
And this time around, he studied so hard, Jake.
BASH: He studied policy. He studied performance. He studied with the Shakespeare Theater...
BASH: ...to prepare for a debate like we're having in a couple of days. TAPPER: That's true, the Shakespeare Theater.
BASH: Somebody who started -- I should say somebody who started the Shakespeare Theater tutored him and debate him. Yes.
TAPPER: Wow. To be or not to be.
[09:40:00] BASH: And guess what? And guess what? And guess what? It got him nowhere because it was the wrong time of that kind of preparation.
NAVARRO: As a Republican who did not support him last time or this time, I'm really glad he did it because he didn't leave the taste in our mouth of the last debate.
He went out there. He was a better candidate. He was great on the stump.
BASH: It's true.
NAVARRO: He was much more prepared and I think he gave it his all. He left it all on the field and he's coming out with class.
JONES: I agree with you.
TAPPER: Do you think these comments from Bobby Jindal and earlier today George Pataki in which he said he was not going to vote for Donald Trump, are these -- these two guys are obviously on the undercard stage.
TAPPER: Is it going to have an impact at all?
HEWITT: Well, you get one ticket out of the first debate into the second. That's what happened last time. I'm not sure it's going to repeat itself. So, they're all playing for that ticket up...
HEWITT: ...and hoping that someone falls down.
Governor Jindal was also on my show this week. I (INAUDIBLE) kind (ph) of (ph) him (ph) this week. They're all upping their game in (ph) their (ph) (INAUDIBLE). Because they do believe it's going to go downhill in terms of attention span of the country as the fall crowds in, as we get closer to Christmas, as school starts, as football starts, as the buckeyes make their march, all of the sudden everything starts to turn away from politics. So, this is their last big shot to make an impression and get up the first debate into the second.
TAPPER: Ana, these are some really, really strong words.
Bobby Jindal basically said that Donald Trump was dangerous and you couldn't trust his finger on the nuclear codes. Are these Republicans cutting edge (ph) for Democrats? Should Trump get the nomination? NAVARRO: I think they're trying to get out of the pack. I think that this is a Hail Mary attempt by Bobby Jindal who we have not spoken about for the last month, two months, to try to get himself some attention.
I agree with everything he said. I'm not a Trump supporter, yet I will tell you I find it a little sad that in order for a sitting governor to get some attention, he's got to go after -- do an entire press event around going after Donald Trump.
BASH: I agree with that it was a complete Hail Mary. Having said that, he's also trying to be the grown-up in the room which is kind of ironic because he's one of the youngest candidates. But he's trying to be the grown up in the room to say, look, I'm going to say what nobody else in the establishment is going to say. They are all saying it behind the scenes but now they're too afraid to say it in public. I'm going to do it.
The problem is, you know, that -- at this point, it's a Rorschach (ph) test with Donald Trump. Either you love him for his (INAUDIBLE) or you hate him --
NAVARRO: Rick Perry said it. Remember Rick Perry called Donald Trump a cancer on conservatism.
BASH: That's right. Except that he was talking about his policies and his politics. Jindal is doing it --
TAPPER: He called him a narcissist. He called him -- called him a hot head.
BASH: Yes. And you know, a carnival barker. He is doing it intentionally on the personality not the -- not the politics because he saw -- he actually told me, he saw that the politics argument didn't work, that people didn't want to hear about the --
TAPPER: Van last thought?
JONES: Yes. I mean, I think that -- I agree with you.
You know, Jindal actually has a record of Rick Perry -- I mean, I didn't like everything he did but he actually did create jobs, he closed (INAUDIBLE). You can't cut through on politics anymore. You can't cut through on politics. We are -- we now have a personality primary.
And I think (INAUDIBLE).
HEWITT: You know the Rolling Stone interview, Jake, they summed it up. Donald Trump is winning because he's not them. It's not about policy. Everyone wants to be in that category of not them.
So, we'll see some interesting sparks.
TAPPER: Everybody stay with us. We're going to take a quick break. And when we come back, Joe Biden getting emotional as he talks about possibly running for president while grieving for his son Beau. It's the most candid conversation since the death of Beau.
[09:47:56] TAPPER: Welcome back. We're at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.
Just a few days ahead of the next Republican debate which is going to air here on CNN. And you can bet the Democrats in the race for 2016 are going to be watching the stage closely taking notes.
Let's bring back our great panel to talk more about this. We have Van Jones, Dana Bash, Hugh Hewitt, Ana Navarro.
Van, let me start with a very moving moment when Vice President Biden went on Stephen Colbert's new late show and talked about the difficulty he was having making a decision about whether or not to run for president while still grieving his son Beau.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president. Two, they can look at the folks out there and say, I promise you, you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy and my passion to do this.
And I'd be lying if I said that I knew I was there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: It's a heartbreaking interview. I recommend for those who haven't seen it to go online and check it out. You can't buy that kind of candor and authenticity.
JONES: Look, I mean, something happened to the Democratic base this week with Joe Biden because of that interview. I mean, I've heard from people all across the country that that is the kind of authenticity that we need.
This is not a politics primary. It's not a policy primary. This has become a personality primary. And it's about authenticity. And there's nobody more authentic than Joe Biden.
I think he accidentally drew a sharp contrast with Hillary Clinton who -- you know, love, but Hillary Clinton has had a tough road in public life. She has become more armored because of it. He has had a tough road in his personal life and he's become more human. And I think the pressure for him to get in now is greater than it has ever been.
BASH: But the problem is he is human. And it's not just about politics. It's about what he just described.
[09:50:00] About the angst. And to me that did not sound like somebody who had it in his heart and in his gut to do what he needed to do what (ph) he knows, because he said it twice before, run for president.
[09:50:00] BASH: He (ph) knows (ph). And he's, you know, maybe, you know, he is a politician and then the pressure and ground-swell that you're talking about will overwhelm him. But at that moment he didn't sound like he had the fire.
TAPPER: Hugh, Bernie Sanders is rising in the polls even more than he was before. Not only has he had in New Hampshire definitively but he's at 41 percent to Hillary Clinton's 40 percent in Iowa. That's within the margin of error but still I'd rather be 41 than 40.
Is this authenticity issue hurting her? Is it progressive politics of Sanders? Is it the email scandal? What do you think is the reason behind her fall here?
HEWITT: Tremor shaking (INAUDIBLE). I think Van Jones has sent a tremor through them because that was heartfelt endorsement of Biden but not an endorsement.
I think Jeremy Corbyn winning in Great Britain sends the message as well...
TAPPER: The new labor leader.
HEWITT: ...the new labor leader that the left will not be assuaged by other than authenticity.
And then the good news today though for her "The New York Times" reports today that the emails she thought she deleted were not deleted. And that is actually very good for her because if they all prove -- zero, they prove to be official, it will back up her story and make her believable. But when those 33,000 hit, independent inspector, if they find any that are the government that she attempted to delete, she is done. And so it's a big, big week for her.
TAPPER: Ana, I want to play some sound here. Hillary Clinton trying to shore up her leftward flank, facing the challenge from Bernie Sanders and then contrasting that with something she just said a couple days ago. Let's play that tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I take a back seat to no one when you look at my record in standing up and fighting for progressive values.
You know, I get accused of being kind of moderate and center. I plead guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: So, kind of a mixed message?
NAVARRO: You think?
NAVARRO: Look, I think -- I think -- I think the problem is she comes across as so poll-tested.
The contrast with Biden this week was lethal. You had a guy showing raw emotion and opening up his heart and his sorrow to the country. As somebody who lost a brother and saw my parents go through this, I have to tell you this was not partisan. I was, you know, sobbing into a pillow.
And on the other hand you've got a Hillary Clinton making a really forced attempt at learning how to name it and show humor on national T.V.
TAPPER: On the "Ellen" show. Yes.
NAVARRO: It's just -- you know, it is not a good contrast because they seem not to understand that authenticity and spontaneity it can't be planned or scripted.
JONES: But what I like about her is she -- is she comes out and says, I am a moderate.
NAVARRO: You can't tell me you liked her version of the nae nae.
JONES: My kids do the nae nae much better than Hillary Clinton(ph).
JONES: Hillary Clinton does the nae nae better than me. So I can't argue with her about that. That said, if she is a moderate, be a moderate. Tell Bernie Sanders where he's wrong. Stick up for what she believes in and I think that will work better for her. I think she just needs to become who she truly is.
TAPPER: All right. That's our panel for the day. Thank you so much. Great job.
Coming up a great debate usually features a couple of memorable lines. Who is responsible for the most quotable ones of all time? That when we come back.
[09:57:54] TAPPER: Welcome back. Here at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. Our 40th president's legacy is celebrated but the current crop of candidates -- Republican candidates they don't need a museum to remember Ronald Reagan. He is a living legend to them. It's this week's "State of the Cartoonion."
TAPPER (voice-over): This year marks the 75th anniversary of the classic Ronald Reagan film "Knute Rockne All American" wherein the 40th president played George Gipp, also known as the Gipper.
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Win just (ph) one for the Gipper.
TAPPER: Reagan brought the line out again at the 1998 presidential convention urging for Americans to back his vice president, George H.W. Bush, to succeed him.
REAGAN: George, just one personal request. Go out and there and win one for the Gipper.
TAPPER: Ronald Reagan's lines but especially his debate lines are now the stuff of GOP legend. In 1980 New Hampshire primary debate with George H.W. Bush Reagan took on the moderator thus projecting strength to Republican voters.
This moment later that year stood out in his successful run against President Carter and this one too against Walter Mondale four years later.
REAGAN: I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience.
TAPPER: It is interesting to say the least to see this current crop of candidates compare themselves with the conservative icon.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ronald Reagan.
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ronald Reagan.
CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ronald Reagan.
TAPPER: One wonders how this will manifest itself Wednesday at the debate here at the Reagan Library. See you then.
TAPPER: Thank you for spending your Sunday morning with us. You can catch me here every Sunday and weekdays on "THE LEAD," and of course you can watch me moderating the debate right here on CNN starting at 6:00 p.m. this Wednesday. Tweet your questions for the candidates at #CNNdebate.
[10:00:00] I'm Jake Tapper at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.
"FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" starts right now.