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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  August 2, 2015 5:30am-6:01am PDT

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>> just seconds and it's over. >> i know. i know. thanks for sharing your morning with us. >> "inside politics" with john king starts right now. donald trump leads the pack in the first debates just days away. >> i would get people out and i would have an expedited way of getting them back in to the country so they could be legal. >> will his support for what most conservatives call amnesty give republican rivals an opening? >> this is a temporary sort of loss of sanity. >> plus hillary clinton under fire for ducking big issues. >> this is president obama's decision. and i am not going to second-guess him. >> how will signs of clinton weakness influence joe biden's final answer about 2016? "inside politics," the biggest stories, sourced by the best reporters now.
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welcome to "inside politics" i'm john king. thanks for sharing your sunday morning with us. here to share the reporting, julia pace of the associated press. cnn's jeff zeleny. cnn's mj lee plus robert costa of "the washington post." it is debate week for the republicans who hope to be our next president. thursday night is a big test for all of them, and a defining moment for one. >> i am going to be donald trump. i think if i'm not donald trump it's not going to look good. i'll do my best. i've never done it before. >> now that novice debater as he says will walk onto the stage in cleveland as the republican front-runner leading in the national poll, first in new hampshire, second in iowa. he expects to be, probably rightly so, the center of attention. and he wants you to think he's a little worried. >> i don't know. you don't know what's going to happen. you're up there, and you're
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talking. you don't know who's coming at you. if i watch you and everybody else, they're all coming at me. whatever it is, it is. >> whatever it is, it is. it is a defining moment. we have laughed at his candidacy, then questioned his candidacy. the polls speak for themselves. and the numbers don't lie. he is the force in the race right now. i guess my question is, is this a test for him? we know he's a great performer. does he have to prove he's a president? >> not so much. when you talk to trump's campaign, cory luann you do ski, the campaign manager, roger stone a longtime republican operative helping out behind the scenes they think because trump's leading the polls he doesn't need to do too much in this debate. say a few things on foreign policy, but they don't think he's going to be very aggressive. but he's unpredictable. >> i think he's not going to be very aggressive. i was watching an interview he did at the washington economic club about a year and a half, cnn with david rubenstein, and
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donald trump was as serious as you've ever seen. he looks nothing like the person out on the campaign trail. so the reality is he knows how to act in a board room and it's totally different than he's been acting in iowa and new hampshire. whip donald trump is going to show up? but if he's not the same one who's been popular out on the campaign trail during a few sort of, you know, some red meat out there, will people like him? but he's smart enough to succeed in this. >> my question about the strategy i guess is his strategy to hold? what he's got is pretty good. you can hold 18, 20, 24%, you're good. or is it to grow? which would be better? >> to your point about what his campaign and his advisers are saying, i think it is good for him to not set the expectations too high. he's doing well right now. so why say i'm going to give it my best and really, you know, give a good showing when, you know, it may not actually turn out that way. he's never done this before. i think the more fascinating and interesting thing will be seeing how the other candidates respond to him. but the nine other folks on the stage, they are -- they have trump fatigue. they don't want this to turn
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into another trump show. and i think they want the space and they want the time to be able to make the case for their candidacy. >> let's talk about one of them. because until trump came along, scott walker was really the story of the summer. jeb bush is raising all the money. he was at the top of the pack but scott walker was lead lgd in iowa, second in new hampshire. people thought wait a minute, watch this guy. four years ago another midwestern governor tim pawlenty was viewed is he going to be the guy who gets mitt romney and then he dries up? >> one thing we have to remember about scott walker is even though he's been leading a lot of these polls and he's had good showings in iowa, new hampshire, he is still relatively unknown nationally. if people know anything about him, they know about the fight against the unions in wisconsin, which is very popular with republicans. but people don't know much else about him. they don't know how he's going to perform on the big stage. they don't know a lot about his other policy positions, particularly on foreign policy. so i think he perhaps more than any other candidate has the most to gain, and also the most to lose in this first debate. >> jeb bush has been off the bike for a dozen years.
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it will be interesting to see. he has the strategy, he views this as sure trump is bigger than mikell bachmann or herman cane or newt gingrich but there's always a drama and the establishment guy wins, sort of play it safe and get out. who else is on the stage? if you look right now, fox news will make this decision tuesday night after 5:00 p.m. they'll make a decision based on the five most recent credible national polls. and you see donald trump on the left, all the way over there to mike huckabee on the right. eight spots seem pretty well set. the last two spots, chris christie. john kasich. rick perry. they're in the quote/unquote lead if you will on the bubble guys. can you do anything in the last 48 hours, you got 48 hours? >> i think you can't do much because all of these polls are already in progress. i mean a poll is a snapshot in time of what has already happened. something has to be entrained by now to get more attention. of those three governors john kasich was the last to get in.
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he's definitely gotten more attention. but it's unclear if it will be enough. i think if any of the three, he may be the hardest pressed to get in because he's not as well known nationally. but can you imagine the two-term governor of ohio, former chairman of the budget committee, respected in every, a debate in his own state may not get in. we want chris christie to be in and rick perry to be in because they've been the most combative against donald trump. in any case it's going to be a loser for the party. these rules don't look so great in hindsight. >> i think who gets in affects the dynamic. rick perry from the start of this trump boomlet has been one of the most aggressive republicans going after him. he wants to be on the stage. he wants to be the aggressive. chris christie, think about where we were in the 2012 campaign talking about chris christie, having the possibility of being nominee. now he may not be on the stage for the first debate. >> not to mention the folks who are definitely not going to make it, bobby jibdal, lindsey graham, these are serious guys with serious policy and they're not going to be there. they're not going to be a part of the conversation.
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>> one group i'm matching on that stage, ben carson, mike huckabee, ted cruz. all those on the hard right of the gop. ted cruz has even gone up to trump tower to sit with trump to kiss the ring. they're all waiting to see, maybe trump is a summer fling for the gop, but they want his bloc, if he gets out of the race. whether they're combative or not, that's going to be something i'm watching, because those conservatives are really, they know they can't be the bush alternative for the establishment alternative unless you find some way to put these blocs together. >> so do they get into a deep policy fight? and if they want to, do you want to be a contrast with trump or do you want to be in conflict with trump? if you're in conflict with trump that's a little risky because he is a human chain saw. he's proven he's very good at cutting people down. he did give an opening this week in that interview with cnn's dana bash where he was talking about immigration reform. listen to him here very carefully. to most conservatives what he says right here is amnesty. >> you're supposed to come in legally. i would get people out and i would have an expedited way of getting them back in to the
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country so they can be legal. >> that gets you to the same place as jeb bush. jeb bush says legal status for the undocumented. donald trump says round them up and throw them out first which could cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. then put them in the front of the line to let them back in. will cruz go after him on that? >> i think cruz will not go after him on that. he wants this bloc. i'm not sure the trump bloc is transferrable, though. that's kind of a unique stock and trade there. but the reality is, most republican elders, aren't people on either side say look trump will ultimately crumble by a lack of substance. so, you know, i think that interview was the next phase of this candidacy. bit by bit he's going to have to be in line with party principles. on immigration he simply isn't. >> i do think on immigration if the candidates are pushed by a moderator or by each other they're going to have to distance themselves from what trump said. even being close to where jeb bush is, it's where barack obama is on immigration and it not only gives people legal status, pushes them to the front of the
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line, but uses millions of dollars and a ton of law enforcement resources, it's just not a tenable position in the republican party. >> and not just immigration when he was asked about obamacare, i think his line was, repeal and replace with something terrific. what is the thing that is terrific? >> great idea. >> right. he talked about helping poor people with what sounded pretty much like medicaid, sounded like in that interview. it will be interesting -- >> on social security and medicare, trump's not trying to change. he's not a paul ryan, he's the opposite. he and mike huckabee are pretty middle of the road when it comes to those issues. so you've got to find a way to poke a hole in trump's policy ideas and not just grasp for some rhetoric. we'll see if this first debate is a chance to do that or if they wait a little bit and watch what happened. next, hillary clinton, her taxes, her income and her e-mails from the private server. first rick perry challenging donald trump to what you might call a modern-day duel. >> he said you don't belong on the debate stage on august 6th.
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he questioned your energy, toughness, and quote/unquote brain power, that it might require to run a successful campaign. what would you say to mr. trump if he were standing here saying that in your presence? >> let's get a pull-up bar out there and see who can do the most pull-ups. leave early go roam sleep in sleep out star gaze dream big wander more care less beat sunrise chase sunset do it all. on us. get your first month's payment plus five years wear and tear coverage. make the most of summer... with volvo. big day? ah, the usual. moved some new cars. hauled a bunch of steel. kept the supermarket shelves stocked.
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as summer friday afternoon's go this one was clintonian. in the sweep of just a few hours a letter from hillary clinton's personal physician declaring the 67-year-old democratic front-runner is in excellent health, fit to be president. then 2200 more pages of clinton e-mails from her private e-mail server when she was secretary of state. a lot of the new material was deemed too sensitive, though, for public release so the
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e-mails were heavily detacted by intelligence agencies. i'll tell you this, a lot of what was released suggested that many of secretary clinton's top aides spent a lot of time telling her how great she was. yeah, they did. and finally tax returns from 2007 to 2014 showing bill and hillary clinton earned $141 million. over those eight years. this is the 2014 tax return. nearly $28 million when you get down to the gross income at the bottom. it's a lot of money. and so republicans will say, oh, remember she said she was dead broke. oh, bill clinton said i have to give these speeches to pay the fees. does this step on her message that she will fight for the little guy? that she wants to raise the minimum wage. that she's better than bernie sanders when it comes to the economy. and let me ask you in the context of this. this is the sum of the previous years before but the 2013 speaking fees were attached to the tax thing, and martin o'malley this past week got tough said she's too cozy with wall street, morgan stanley, deutsche bank, fidelity
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investment, goldman sachs group, ubs wealth management, the goldman sachs group again, bank of america. does this become a weapon, yes the republicans will try to use it, jeff, but do the democrats use it? >> sure. i think a couple democrats will use it. they already have been. but now they have some fresh examples here. bernie sanders has been using it bit by bit. martin o'malley has been, as well. it's -- it's an easy ad when she told abc's diane sawyer, you know, we were dead broke, that's why we had to do this. it just simply isn't true. interestingly in her release this afternoon she pointed out on friday afternoon she pointed out that on, as a young, legal aide worker in arkansas she made $16,000 a year. trying to show america is a great place where you can start making nothing and then make this. the reality is i don't think this changes anyone's impression of the clintons, it just gives them a few more zeros onto things. but it adds some ammunition, no question about it. that's why she has to prove, it's her burden to prove that she's a fighter for the middle class. >> anything in the health statement from the doctor? or is it boom, we're done.
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she had the one episode as secretary of state so people did want to see this question i read the letter. she seems fine when she's out campaigning. >> i think it was smart of them to put that letter out early. on a friday afternoon document dump but i do think it was smart to get that out, try to eliminate any questions. she does seem very active and healthy when she's on the campaign trail. so i think that at this point they probably will have answered all of those health questions. >> did we learn everything from the e-mails except forgive me, i guess all politicians, you see this in even the best politicians maybe it's a little bit of insecurity, but the constant e-mails from aides saying how great you are and how wonderful you are. maybe that's why she wanted a private server hoping some of these never came out. >> she's been so dogged by this perception that she's so private and she's not being very open both with the press and the public so i think you're right that just getting all of this out there early and just trying to do away with the notion that she is being like that, and that the campaign is running things like that, one thing i will say about the clintons and their wealth is that most people, they're such public figures that
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most people know that they're wealthy. we get the picture they made a lot of money. i think the question is, will that actually, you know, as you said, hurt her in her, you know, fight to be a champion of the middle class? when she's out on the trail. or is it something that is going to continue to dog them, because this is millions of dollars that we're talking about. >> i think a lot of that comes down to how candidates handle questions about their wealth. donald trump every other sentence is, i'm rich. and he says that in a way that nobody can buy me. if i'm your president nobody can buy him. romney was very awkward and uncomfortable talking about his wealth. the clintons to your point have said some things that i'm guessing they wish they could take back about where they started yes. but where they've been in recent years, very different. >> that's why this republican debate, they're not only having to the trump strategy for each campaign. each of them have a clinton strategy. they want to come with the best line, the best argument against clinton. and i bet you'll hear when you talk to scott walker, he's going to talk about his coal sweater
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because they want to cast the contrast now. that's why donald trump worries republicans, if he was the nominee, you can't make that case. >> one thing i think that we can take away from both the finances, and the e-mails, is that when you're a public figure for so long, and you amass so much money and you have so many people around you constantly telling you how great you are and basically sucking up to you, your perspective is very skewed. and i think that that's just inevitable. and how she tries to break away from that, and tell people no, even with these fawning staffers, even with all this money, i still can understand you, i think that's going to be perhaps her biggest challenge. >> it was such a busy day all these documents came out on a day where she was down in florida. she gave a speech saying she embraced the president's plan to lift the cuba embargo. she also gave a speech to the national urban league where i think she surprised the bush campaign. she came out with a full-throated attack on jeb bush and said a lot about if she is the nominee what her strategy would be. a lot of people say hillary clinton is the weaker candidate because her negatives are so high.
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listen here. she expects jeb bush to be the republican nominee and part of her case is maybe you don't like me. i'm going to make you not like them more. >> i don't think you can credibly say that everyone has a right to rise, and then say you're for phasing out medicare, or for repealing obamacare. they can't rise if the minimum wage is too low to live on. they can't rise if their governor makes it harder for them to get a college education. and you cannot seriously talk about the right to rise, and support laws that deny the right to vote. >> hello, governor bush. >> right. >> i mean the republican party is having a summer of tumult. we have a coup attempt in the house. you have crews in the senate calling mitch mcconnell liar. trump leading the polls. the republican party is having a tough time. it's an easy target. i think clinton's going to have to make her own case, her time as secretary of state, her time as senator. but she's also saying she's already running a general election campaign. she's not running against bernie
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sanders. she's running against the gop wholesale. >> absolutely right. when she put out her documents on friday, it was notable that she went after jeb bush and marco rubio in talking about their tax plans. and her tax proposals. not anybody else. the two of them. >> best way to win that democratic primary is to show that she's the toughest candidate going against republicans. that's why she's leapfrogging it to jeb bush. >> a lot of people have said joe biden would give us his answer in the next week or two, early august. you have some reporting that maybe in part because people have raised some questions about candidate clinton joe biden's going to take a little longer. >> i'm told he is going to take a little bit longer. he feels he's in no hurry at all to make up his wooind mind. he's watching this democratic race. some are urging him to do it. he has not made up his mind, and is feeling no time constraints to do so. >> everybody sit tight. next our reporters give you a sneak peek at the big headlines ahead including long range planning by presidential candidate who at this point doesn't seem to have anything to lose. why are you deleting these
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let's head around the inside politics table. >> i've been covering the obama white house since the first day of the administration and i started to hear something i've never heard before. that's the president giving credit to capitol hill for his outreach to lawmakers. this obviously relates to the iran deal in particular. the president has gone so far as to invite lawmakers to come back to the white house in the
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evening, he guards his time in the evening ferociously. he invited them to come back, have meetings in the blue room where they can ask questions. one senior republican i talked to gave them credit for the outreach but then said i still don't plan to vote for it. >> you can teach an old president new tricks. >> mark on your calendar october 22nd. that's the day it's been agreed upon for hillary clinton to appear before the house committee on the benghazi attacks. that is a date that the democrats are watching as well as republicans. republicans are fearing in one respect they're worrying about overreach. this is the day that things finally come to a head. that hillary clinton looks sympathetic. the democrats are worried about this drip, drip, drip of the e-mail. benghazi is not necessarily as big of a deal as the credibility but october 22nd is a day where both sides come together for the first time. it's going to be fascinating to be on capitol hill to watch. >> republicans get their first debate. hillary clinton gets her date before congress. >> carly fiorina not a candidate that we have been talking about a lot.
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i saw her, i was looking through her super pac and campaign donations obviously we got new reports on friday. it was interesting that she got some donations from very big name high powered silicon valley people. tom perkins, jim pabarksdale ga to her campaign. people have said yes that she hasn't gained traction but she may have a moment sometime later in the cycle if and when she does. she does have a network of financiers that she could turn to. >> if she's hoping to springboard out of the second group. the second tier of the debate forum. >> jeb bush, he'ses king of super pac world over $100 million for her his super pac. scott walker, he hosted a gop this week. walker super pac has about $20 million raised this year. that's less than bush but it gives him a powerful donor who is ready to help him and also a
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sign that many of the gop establishments want to help some of the candidates to get millions in case trump really continues to run. >> trade his brewers cap for a cubs cap. the first debate thursday is an early but important junction to assess the republican presidential field. you get different opinions from different veterans about how worried they, rand paul and marco rubio should be. or whether john kasich is smart to be targeting jeb bush right away or should look to first eclipse scott walker. it's a rich and lively debate when you call the strategists. but on this, ted cruz despite mediocre current poll numbers is viewed across the party spectrum as a long-term contender. for starters, most of his senate colleagues don't like senator cruz. it isn't as if he could bow out and take a chance to rise up through the senate leadership ladder. plus cruz and his super pac are second only to jeb bush in fund-raising. and the crowded field of delegates suggests this one is going to last awhile. in a nutshell, senator cruz has
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little or nothing to lose, and plenty to spend. that's it for "inside politics." again, thanks for sharing your sunday morning. we'll see you soon. "state of the union" starts right now. it's crunch time with just four days until the first debate, republicans race to security their spot. >> that's all they do is debate. i don't talk about it. i get it done. >> senator rand paul will tell us how he plans to fend off donald trump. >> plus chris christie taking on his rivals. >> anybody could do well for a month. >> he tells us how he's plotting his comeback. and then, john stewart. >> jon stewart cannot leave the show. >> as comedy's king prepares to abdicate the throne what mark is he leaving on

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