tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN January 5, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PST
this time. but relations between north and south korea were good at this point, anderson. >> paula, thank you very much. that does it for our broadcast, thank you very much for watching. "cnn tonight" with don lemon starts now. donald trump is still a birther but this time it's not president obama he is talking about. this is "cnn tonight" i'm don lemon. donald trump says voters should think twice about ted cruz because he was born in canada. not to be outdone, cruz says this. >> i tweeted out a response to donald trump's raising questions about my natural born citizenship. it was a link to fonzi jumping the shark. >> the republicans are taking aims at president obama's executive actions on guns led by you know who. >> it's no good. it's no fair. and their not going to screw around with the second
amendment. okay? it's not going to happen. that's the way it is. >> lot's to get to tonight. but i want to give with the day in trump. to start us off, sara murray is at his camp. he is loppying the attack this time against ted cruz. explain what is going on here. >> that's right. and donald trump and ted cruz have been playing nice with one another. they are ahead in the polls in iowa. but donald trump changed his tune. he basically questioned whether it would be a problem if ted cruz were the nominee because he was born in canada. and in true trump style he lobbed the attack and then backed away a little. >> are you questioning his birthright or citizenship?
>> i'm not at all but i know it is being questioned all over and i know the washington post asked me that question today. saw i know is a lot of people are talking about it. people are worried if he weren't born in this country and he had a canadian passport with a u.s. passport with the last couple years. i know that people are talking about it. the problem is if the democrats bring a lawsuit, the lawsuit could take years to resolve. how do you have a candidate with something over the head of the party and that individual. i hope it wouldn't be the truth. i hope that wouldn't be what it is. and we'll find out i guess. >> and, don, this is becoming the classic trump style saying, well, you know, it's not me who's asking the question of if this will be an issue but others
are raising the problem. >> ted cruz is he just responding by tweeting? how is he responding? >> well, you saw ted cruz talking about the tweet he put out, fonzi from "happy days" jumping the shark. but he had more to say about that in iowa tonight. >> he questioned your ethnicity and your faith. now he is questioning your eligible to run for president. isn't this playing into the democrat's play book the republican party is defined by this, you know -- >> listen, with all respect, our good friends here in the media are playing into the democrat's play book. how about we talk about the real challenges facing this country? >> and, don, i think we are seeing ted cruz trying to play it cool. he is trying to weather the donald trump attacks but he doesn't want to attack trump head on. he wants to win some of the
supporters over and ultimately to win iowa and the nomination. >> i remember when that fonzi jumping the shark happened on television. but he is saying that playing into the democrat's handbook, is he calling donald trump a democrat? i don't understand what that means. >> i think that is a great question. he was trying to navigate out of the questions. that's what we have seen about cruz on the trail. he does not want to engage with trump on the trail. the most potent attacks that cruz has had is in a closed or a fundraiser. he is not going out on the trail and engaging in hand to hand combat against trump. he has seen what it does to other candidates. >> i want to bring in mercedes schlepp, and republican strategist kayleigh mcnenny.
>> are there questions about cruz's citizenship? >> there you go. i think the first thing to say, he said that ted cruz had a canadian passport. i have never heard that ted cruz had a canadian passport. he was born in calgary, canada. >> he gave up his citizenship, didn't he? >> he didn't know he had canadian citizenship. his mom was born in delaware and his dad was born in cuba. the language in the constitution, the requirements for being president you have to be a natural born citizen. every expert has come to the conclusion you are a natural born citizen if your mother is an american and you were born outside of the united states,
you are a natural born citizen. you are therefore eligible to be president. but donald trump threw something else entirely false, i never heard that he had a canadian passport. what he learned a few years ago is because he was born in canada he was eligible for canadian citizenship and said i don't want it. but i never heard he had a canadian passport. that is something that is made up out of whole cloth. >> why is donald trump floating this out there? >> it's the only thing he can find on ted cruz. this should tell us a lot about ted cruz when folks attack him they have nothing to attack him on. he went to senate and was ferocious in his values and stood up to mitch mcconnell and put forth every conservative principle. there is nothing you can attack on. donald trump is grasping at straws. that's why you see marco rubio lying, outright lying about ted
cruz's immigration record. you can't attack him. he has hundred on the right side of every political issue. >> let's stick with cruz now and trump. here is more of cruz's response. >> well, i tweeted out a response to donald trump's raising questions about my natural-born citizenship. it was a link to fonzi jumping the shark and i think i'm going to let my response stick with that tweet. one of the things that media loves to do is gaze at their navels for hours on end by a tweet from donald trump or me or anyone else, let's focus on the issues that matter. >> that was a great pivot, mercedes, that he brings it back to the media when it is donald trump and it's also donald trump and some republicans question the president's citizenship, the same rule that apply to ted cruz apply to -- would apply to
barack obama in 2008 or 2012. his mother was born here in the united states even if he was born in another country he is eligible. why is ted cruz doing this pivot blaming it on the media and the democrats. is he afraid to hit donald trump except using a corny joke from a '70s sitcom? >> for ted cruz this narrative of going after the media has effectively worked. think about the past several debates where he has brought up the media and how the media is basically the enemy, right? and it really has played well with g.o.p. primary voters. and i think ted cruz has made a very clear calculation that he was going to stay above the fray and not attack trump because he knows that is a dangerous place to go. i think for ted cruz he's very focused on, again, he knows he has a very strong organizational grass roots ground game especially in the southern states and he is looking at
those states and saying i can win the south, i can possibly win iowa and i don't need to do it by punching donald trump in the nose. it's like watching a daytime open opera which is ted cruz having a love fest with donald trump and trump playing the godfather role. >> where is this going? is this a weird bromance? >> a bromance. >> there is another interesting moment tonight. >> don't ask me about trump and a love child. >> this just happened at a trump event. take a listen. >> like the iran deal. who would make this deal? during the -- he says -- what did you say? i didn't hear it? okay. i didn't say it. i didn't say it! i refuse to get -- i'm supposed to reprimand the man. who is the man that said that? how dare you.
have i -- okay i reprimanded him. where is she? i didn't hear that? that's terrible. terrible! you should never say that! that's terrible. ! they said she's in the bathroom. that's a terrible thing. i'm admonishing you for the press. you are admonished. we should throw him the hell out of here. >> that last reference was to hillary clinton going to the bathroom and people got upset saying how dare him say it was disgusting and the other was to the man in the audience this summer at a trump rally and he said the president wasn't born in the united states and was a muslim and people said trump should have admonished him so he is admonishing but in a joking way. is he becoming more savvy saying
he is admonishing but in a joke way? >> he has this sort of relationship with his audience. i have been to four or five trump rallies in the last few weeks. >> notice how we call it an audience or constituents or supporters. it's like he's like a guy with an audience. he is a performer, right? >> and he has a shtick. he has six or seven set pieces that he does. >> sorry, i interrupted you. what was your thought? >> he has a set of six or seven joke pieces that he does and the crowds that go there know them all. they know the arc of the trump campaign. they know the hillary and the bill jokes. what you are seeing there is him and his audience who have got to know each other really well engaging in a metta moment where
it's like a grateful dead show. die hard supporters who know what they're going to get and they like to shout things and hear him call back to them. >> i've got to -- oh, my gosh dead show and a love child. >> you didn't find it funny, ryan, why not? >> i found the second one funny, i don't find it that funny when people make comments that could be big oted. >> political correctness is out of the window in this campaign. >> and truth. >> he's having good -- donald trump is very good at bringing in his audience and talking
about things in an predictable unexpected awhere people are drawn to what is he going to say next? and some of it you don't take it seriously, other points he is serious in his topics. >> to add into that he knows how to manipulate you and get you to call him bigoted where he is reprimanding the guy in the audience. he knows how to manipulate you and it's funny to watch. >> how is it manipulating someone? >> he knows how to push ryan's buttons. >> stand by. >> we need independents for trump to be a generalist. >> stand by -- >> by getting you to -- >> stand by, everyone. donald trump sits down with wolf blitzer on the situation room at 5:00 p.m. eastern. when we come back, donald trump's surprising new ad why he doesn't say anything bad about
his republican rivals. and president obama on guns today. we'll play the whole thing for you in the next hour. some research.ell, i'vg let me introduce you to our broker. how much does he charge? i don't know. okay. uh, do you get your fees back if you're not happy? (dad laughs) wow, you're laughing. that's not the way the world works. well, the world's changing. are you asking enough questions about the way your wealth is managed? wealth management, at charles schwab. [so i use quickbooks and run mye entire business from the cloud. i keep an eye on sales and expenses from anywhere. even down here in the dark i can still see we're having a great month. and celebrate accordingly. i run on quickbooks.that's how i own it.
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the latest batch of republican campaign ads. are we seeing a kinder, gentler donald trump? viewers, you do not have to hear me say ryan's necktie is crooked. you can pay attention to him now. use short answers. i have a bunch of ads to play here. mercedes, another day more ads on the air waves. this is ted cruz focusing on illegal immigration.
a bunch of people with journalism agrees coming over and driving down the wages in the press, then we would see stories about the economic calamity that is befalling our nation. if i'm elected president, we will triple the border patrol. we will build a wall that works. >> this spot is airing in new hampshire and we have this image of men and women a running across in heels and suits. >> were you in that ad? >> no, i was not in that ad. >> they said journalist. >> is it effective? >> it's not may favorite ad. the hot topic for gop in this electoral cycle. their message is right in focusing on illegal immigration.
we see a split screen between marco rubio and ted cruz, the fact they included that, what does that tell you? >> they are the ones vying on this. and ted cruz has the record and is against gang of eight. he wants to make the contrast that he is not marco rubio. marco rubio has supported amnesty. ted cruz has not. >> ryan, donald trump accusing hum of being a copy cat. >> i was watching the other day, i was watching ted talk saying we will build a wall and my wife said oh, look, he is copying what you have been saying for a long period of time. >> so ted cruz trying to move to the right of trump is it smart politics for trump to do that? >> i don't think he can -- on
taxes and immigration there is no right to get to on donald trump. on immigration you can't get to his right. i think the question -- this goes back to the first conversation we were having is when does ted cruz start fighting back? donald trump has now talked about ted cruz's religion at a rally i was at recently he talked about ted cruz not being an evangelical because he is from cuba. he questioned his citizenship and whether hes has been honest on immigration. and at some point the strategy of hugging donald trump is going to have diminishing returns and he is going to have to stand up. >> and now this ad attacking chris christie. >> when something doesn't work in new jersey, they look at me. >> when new jerseyans
look at chris christie why do so many
want to leave? new jersey has the nation's highest tax burden and next to the bottom in job growth and christie's close aides are under criminal indictment. chris christie, high tax, weak economy, scandals. >> is chris christie rubio's biggest competitor? >> absolutely. the gop establishment right now does not have a nominee they are rallying
behind. for rubio, christie is i think, for christie is definitely one of his biggest opponents. rubio has other problems. he has the trump factor and the cruz factor. but i think this is more about rubio trying to garner the support of the gop establishment which he hasn't been able to do yet. >> kayleigh, donald trump just put out his first ad but he doesn't attack the other gop
candidates will that change? >> i don't. he is punched down, going after jeb bush but jeb bush is beaten to a pulp right now. there is no more to punch out. he is riding high at the top. he may come out more against ted cruz but every time he attacks ted cruz whatever detente or agreement they have come to or meeting, it seems they have come to some sort of peace it is reinforced. >> it's a funny detente. it's only one way. trump attacks cruz every day. >> but it's subliminal messages and it's trump trying to place doubt in the minds of the gop vote about ted cruz but trump has to be tactical. his biggest threat is ted cruz. >> it's why he is attacking him by name. he is scared of cruz in iowa. no doubt about it.
he doesn't talk about it. but trump is no longer the leader in iowa. cruz is. >> thanks, ladies and gentlemen and gentleman. president obama takes executive action on guns and is moved to tears. we'll tell you over what. presenn fill you with optimism? do you love your wireless keyboard more than certain family members? is your success due to a filing system only you understand? does printing from your tablet to your wireless printer give you a jolt of confidence? if so, you may be gearcentric. someone who knows that the right office gear helps you do great things. and there's one place that has it all. office depot officemax. gear up for great.
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college kids in santa barbara and from high schoolers at columbine. and from first graders in new town. first graders. and from every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken by bullets from a gun. every time i think about those kids, it gets me mad. >> joining me now is douglas brinkley and nicholas kristof.
this is a president who has been criticized for being aloof and unemotional. were you surprised to see him cry? >> i was. but this is clearly an issue that moves him enormously and it should. i think a lot of republicans saw this as a sign of weakness, the president crying. boy, i think when he has lost 225,000 people from gun violence on his watch in the last seven years, i mean, he should be crying and we should all be crying. >> it's sbresing because people say we should focus on terrorism but there is no comparison. >> none whatsoever. since 1970 in this cup we have lost more americans to gun violence to all the americans who died many all of the wars in american history back to the revolutionary war. the number of -- i mean, obviously terrorism gets the headlines. it scares us and that's because it's terrorism.
but what kills americans in this country is much more banal things like gun violence. >> it happens in cities across america every day. >> 92 deaths every day. >> the mt. was at times passionate and at times frustrated and speaking off the cuff at that press conference. what stood out to you as a historian? >> that he again quoted martin luther king in that line that we need to feel the fierce urgency of now. he wants people to act against gun violence now and is having a hard time breaking through congress. i saw him very emotional at charleston when he spontaneously broke into "amazing grace" climate change and gun violence are part of his legacy.
it will be hard to breakthrough the media cycles. i thought he was eloquent and moving today. it sets him up for the town hall meeting with anderson cooper on thursday and the state of the union address next week where 30,000 americans a year are being killed by gun violence. >> this is a look at him back during the charleston church massacre. listen. >>. ♪ amazing grace how sweet the sound that saves a wretch like
me ♪ ♪ i once was lost -- >> he is being criticized for executive orders and doing what he wants to do. as you can see in this moment, nick, that it's in his last year or so, a little bit more than a year, and he's feeling free. but let's look at the executive orders. that's the criticism of him. bush did 29 i1 and obama has do 228. >> liberals haven't tackled gun violence effectively at times. i think too often when liberals speak of gun control they scare gun owner. they come across as disparaging and arrogant. i think that obama was careful
to say we regulate cars and we can regulate guns in the same way and he has facts on his side. there is a perception in america too often that this is tragic and there is nothing that we can do about it. we know that missouri lifted gun restrictions and the homicide gun rate rose 25%. connecticut at the same time passed new handgun restrictions and the homicide rate from firearms fell 25%. you know, there's still going to be a lot of gun violence in america. but at the margins we can effective. >> douglas brinkley let's talk about what he is proposing, expand background checks for private sales. hire more back ground checkers. research gun safety technology. is this -- you know, do you think any of this is going to work? especially when you look at the
gun shows and the internet sellers, will they cooperate with this? >> it's a modest set of executive actions the president purposefully put forward today. but he wants to build a coalition on this. if he tried to do anything larger barack obama is trying to destroy the second amendment. and the president's trying to in many ways be an educator in chief a little bit. he is saying i love the second amendment and thes first amend but we don't allow walking into a theater and screaming fire. we want our personal freedoms but at the airport we have to submit to inspection before we get on an airline. he is trying to build the idea of tougher executive actions to come down the line. it's like an opening salvo of the year. there will be different stages of it. and hillary clinton is going to
be carrying the torch throughout the campaign. >> does it have a chance? >> i don't -- he's getting challenged lawsuits for these executive orders but i think he has a great chance of going forward on these. if you look at the national rifle association many members agree with the president that we have to have background checks and a universal kooind and they have to be tougher than they are now. but these are not going to solve the gun violence problem in america. there is going to be a cause and effect. he did these executive actions. but it might save a few. he is trying to push the ball up a tall mountain. you can say this was his speech in washington and bloomberg in new york city but try talking about it in kentucky or oregon. >> or oregon, perfect example. you are getting big blow back. >> let me -- i'm an oregonian
and grew up on a farm in oregon surrounded by oregon. let me speak for the people of oregon. the truth is that 80% of gun owners do support universal background checks. more than half of gun owner in america support safer storage requirements and restrictions on people with domestic violence restraining orders. the disconnect is the power of the gun lobby and too often gun safety advocates have tackled these issues really incompetently in ways that scare moderates. >> does it stand a chance? >> because thee are executive orders, they are going to go ahead. they are tweaks but they have been approached intelligently and at the margins people will be alive because of that. >> republicans are saying as soon as i get into office i'm
getting rid of that. >> only one-third of american families have guns these days that is going down. >> thank you, gentleman, i appreciate it. president obama joins anderson cooper thursday at 8:00 for an scloo uvs one hour live town hall guns in america. when we come back, president obama takes on the nra but can he beat one of the most powerful lobbies in america?
president obama took on the nra today and no surprise they fired right back. let's discuss. he has been tweeting about members of congresses and their relationships with the nra. and ben ferguson is with us as well. thank you for being with us on cnn. igor. the president said the gun lobby is holding congress hostage right now do. you think the gun lobby has been holding congress hostage? you have been
tweeting all day. >> people like pat roberts, a powerful senator received $300,000 from the nra, the chairman of the house judiciary committee received $60,000 from the nra. these are big numberance the reason that the nra and pro gun
groups levy such sums of money on politicians so when you have a situation where there is a catastrophe or gun regulations they issue statements that say this is a gun grab, we can't have any kind of change because it infringe judges on the second amendment even though the majority of americans and gun owners support these actions. >> so, ben, do you think that the nra or the gun lobby is holding congress hostage? >> no, they are a lobbyist group and lobby for the second amendment the
same way that the planned parenthood -- and the way that green energy comes in and spends billions of dollars over president obama's time in office. they want money for green and alternative energies. there are several companies that got huge government loans. >> what does solyndra have to do
with this? $30 million. >> you are acting as if somehow the nra is -- >> solyndra? what is this? >> my point is this -- >> why do you think -- >> ben, hold on. >> why is there a difference when he said they are lobbying for the second amendment, you said no, they are lobbying for guns. what is the distinction. >> it is one thing to lobby for the parts of the constitution. it is another thing to say there can't be any gun regulations. yes, you can regulate guns the supreme court found you can regulate guns. the reason why they want to have a debate is because they want to silence debate about what you can do when a guy kills 20 first graders. that's why it is about the second amendment and making sure that people who shouldn't have
guns shouldn't have access to them. >> let me read the nra's response. they said the proposed executive actions are ripe for abuse by the obama administration which made its contempt for the second amendment. how are the actions ripe for abuse? go ahead, ben. >> if president obama would have enacted what he did today seven years ago it would not have stopped the shooting that happened in that elementary school. >> not all traffic laws stop -- >> what are you talking about? >> let me finish what i'm saying, pay attention to what i'm saying as a gun owner, what was passed today would not have stopped that. my biggest problem is that the president used these horrible instances to give false hope to the families that what he enacted today would have stopped the shootings -- >> that is baloney. >> let me finish what i'm
saying. >> if we were having any other kind of conversation -- >> is it a fact. >> if someone said to you we can't have this regulation because it won't stop all abuse you would laugh them off the tv. the fact that ben can come on television and say -- >> as a victim -- >> ben, stand by, you know how it works. >> the notion we should do nothing at all is ridiculous. >> i'm going to finish what i was saying, i have been a victim of a gun crime. >> you don't think it would have stopped you from being shot? >> i know it wouldn't have. here's why. the guy who shot at me was a convicted felon not one, not twice, but three times he bought a gun on the black market. if you want to go after the black market and people selling guns ill leely, i'm in favor of. that but to come out today and act as if what the president did today is going to stop these mass shootings, not one of these mass shootings would have been
stopped by what the president did today because those guns were bought legally. we need to deal with mental health in a serious way. >> so that would help? i mean, many people are in agreement that mental health is an issue. but they are pooh-poohing it. is it because obama proposed it? >> if you wanting to spend money on mental health but what he did, the social security administration today in this executive order will be able to decide what elderly person could lose their right to own a gun. now the social security administration if you do not have your life in order. this is in his executive action they can put you on this list. my question is is if someone is older and don't manage their finances well does that mean they lose their right to -- >> if they are suffering from a
mental illness or dementia maybe they should no be in possession of a gun. >> when we took the keys from my grandfather from driving he was of mind and body. he still lived alone. he was not a threat to society. he shouldn't lose his right to protect himself if someone kicked in his backdoor in the middle of the night. >> i really do have to go, i'm sorry, go ahead. >> it's a shame that you were a victim of gun violence. 30,000 people are killed every year because of gun violence and ensuring that people go through background checks instant background checks before they purchase a gun is not taking anything away from anybody. >> i'm okay with that. >> i've got to go. i have to say, my grandmother suffered from alzheimer's. we were happy because she couldn't drive any more. sometimes you don't need to be
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the president wants to spend half a billion dollars to expand mental health treatment and put federal records into a background check system. but it's too late for bill and tricia. in 2012 their son blake struggling with mental issues bought an assault rifle. fearing what he might do they called police hoping he would get some help. but he was arrested, convicted and is now in prison. good evening. how are you? >> good evening. >> hi, thank you. >> thank you for coming on. your family has struggled for years with your son's mental
health issues and you became alarmed when you found a receipt for a gun in his pocket. were you pleased to see the president addressing mental health today in his plan at the white house? >> actually i was and i have to say it's about time that something was done to help people with mental illness in their family. >> why do you say that? >> well, okay, so -- the way i look at this is, i don't believe people with mental illness should own guns, no more than taking someone who is intoxicated with alcohol and handing them keys to a car to drive. i feel about the same way. >> tricia, your son, blake -- go ahead, bill. >> no, go ahead. >> your son is serving 15 years in prison for armed criminal action for statements he made to investigators including he was
going to shoot up a wal-mart and local movie theater. how is he doing? >> he is actually doing pretty well. considering he takes every day with a grain of salt. he has a job. so he has some structure. he is not doing too bad. thank you for asking. >> you believe if some of these policies were in place, some of what the president proposed today that that would have helped your son? that he may not be in the position he is in today? do you think that's the case? >> absolutely. absolutely. my son was hospitalized seven times. he had different diagnosis from major depression to bi-polar to anti-social disorder. if some of that could have been shared, he wouldn't have been able to pass a background check and he wouldn't have had those guns, you know and he wouldn't
have been able to buy those guns if his doctor could have notified the proper people and said i don't believe this individual should own a gun that would have stopped him from being able to buy a gun. >> as i understand, bill, you didn't feel you had any other choice because despite his history in 2012, as your wife mentioned he purchased two guns but he did not shoot or hurt or threaten anyone personally but you turned him in and felt you didn't have another choice the way the laws were on the books. >> you have to remember, our son had also tried to commit suicide a couple times prior. so as a parent your first thought when your child buys a gun and he talks -- he tells you that he's a failure your first thought is he's going the kill himself. >> we did not ever think that blake was going to go hurt anybody else.
it was more about hurting himself that we were concerned about. >> bill, some have criticized the president and asking why he waited so long to do this. what do you think? >> i agree. he's at the end of his second term, these shootings have happened for eight or -- for a long time. and he's waiting till the very end to do this. i applaud him for finally doing something. but it's -- why couldn't he have done this four, five, six years ago. >> you have been frustrated for years and hoping he would take action? >> yes, absolutely. >> tricia, several republicans and the nra have vowed to overturn the president's plan. what do you say to them? >> i'll let bill answer that. >> i think -- as i go back to my other statement that -- i agree with the second amendment.
i agree with all the amendments that they should be upheld. but everybody should not be able to own a gun. i believe that there are some people that are going to hurt themselves or could hurt others that are just mentally unstable. there's got to be exceptions to every rule. and i just -- i think this is a step in the right direction that i don't think it's destroying or tearing down the second amendment. i think this is saying that we're taking responsible action, finally and looking at this and making the statement that, yes, it's the right to own and bear arms. however, if you're not capable of managing that -- those arms in a safe way, then maybe you should be excluded from having the possession of harmful weapons. >> bill and tricia lammers,
thank you. good evening. >> will president obama's executive actions change anything? we're going to play his speech in full. and north korea did they just explode a nuclear bomb? what makes this simple salad the best simple salad ever? heart healthy california walnuts. the best simple veggie dish ever? heart healthy california walnuts. the best simple dinner ever?