tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN February 16, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PST
there are live pictures of the white house. president obama on his way back there after some pretty tough talk for republican front-runner, donald trump. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. we're counting down to where trump has a 16-point lead in our new poll. hillary clinton tops bernie sanders in the democratic contest. will south carolina be the turning point in this race? and speaking of turning points, everybody is talking about beyonce and kendrick lamar. but what do their mic-drop moments at the super bowl and grammys really mean? lots going on. let's get right to the race to the white house. here with us, gloria borger, and mark preston. it's great to have all of you on
this evening. president obama weighed in on the gop race today. let's listen. >> i continue to believe mr. trump will not be president. and the reason is because i have a lot of faith in the american people. and i think they recognize that being president is a serious job. it's not hosting a talk show or reality show. it's not promotion. it's not marketing. it's hard. and a lot of people count on us getting it right. >> gloria, not surprising he would say it shouldn't happen, but he's saying it's not going to happen. >> right. he didn't say, don, that donald trump wouldn't get the nomination from the republican party. he just said like a good democratic partisan that he did not think donald trump would be president. look, the president doesn't like donald trump. i mean, you remember way back,
what, a year or two years ago when donald trump was the birther issue about barack obama and where he was born and show me your birth certificate. he doesn't like the guy. but i truly believe what we heard him say is, look, i know what this job is right and he's not ready for it and he's not qualified for it and that's what you'll hear from the president on the campaign trail is trump is the nominee no doubt. >> trump responded sby saying i was a compliment and is this president getting into this back and forth with a candidate, does that usually happen? >> reporter: no, i don't think it usually happens but honestly i think it helps donald trump here in south carolina. republican voters don't like president obama at all and suddenly you have donald trump
going going one-on-one with the president while the rest of the candidates are fighting with themselves. i don't think the president intended to this do or maybe he did if he wants the trump to get the nomination. that's a little machiavellian but i don't think he intended to necessarily elevate donald trump, which is exactly what occurred. >> president obama weighed in on the democratic race, too. let's listen to this, too. >> i know hillary better than i know bernie because she served in my administration and she was an outstanding secretary. i suspect that on certain issues she agrees with me more than bernie does. on the other hand, there may be a couple issues where bernie agrees with me more. i don't know. i haven't studied their positions that closely. >> mark, he hasn't studied their positions that closely. do you believe him? >> no, absolutely not. clearly he know what is their
positions are. if you saw the commentary afterwards, the question was was he endorsing hillary clinton? we only have to go back three, four weeks ago, if it was even that long, where he gave an interview to politico where he seemed to endorse hillary clinton. so at this point i think that barack obama is being drawn into this race whether he likes it or n not, he's going to have to answer eventually who he wants to be the democratic nominee about but it's very dangerous for him. the grass roots is fueling bernie sanders' candidacy and then you have hillary clinton, who has really strong support from the establishment. so this is going to go on and on and on until he finally makes a declarative statement about who he wants to be the democratic nominee. >> and what does he mean he hasn't studied their positions? bernie sanders would get rid of obama care and put in single payor. i think the president has studied that, don't you think? >> who better to talk about the polling positions than you. so let's talk about this.
let's look at you this in poll, trump ahead of cruz 38% to 22%. if he does this well on saturday, what does that mean, larry, for super tuesday? >> it sets donald trump up very, very well for super tuesday and particularly the sec primaries in the south. and, look, if you want to be even more machiavellian than gloria was, apologies gloria, i would extend what she said. your poll showed that after the debate when trump attacked bush, george w. bush on 9/11 and the iraq war, trump dropped considerably. the white house pays attention to these sorts of things. why would the president single just donald trump out knowing that the republicans hate him? because it's going to push some. republicans who are on the fence to donald trump and it will solidify trump's backing.
trump took a hit at the debate. he said some things he shouldn't have said, he went too far. now president obama may have restored trump, strengthening him because everybody knows the democrats rightly or wrongly, maybe their judgment's crazy, but they want to run against donald trump, they think he's very, very vulnerable. >> mark preston, you're there on the ground -- >> agreed, gloria. >> i was going to say, don, we've all made a career of underestimating donald trump. i would have to say if that's the president's reasoning and larry might be right and we can all be machiavellian about it, i think democrats underestimate donald trump at their own peril. look at what republicans have done. you have establishment republicans punching jello here. nothing they do -- nothing they do works against donald trump and the democrats could find themselves in the same position. >> look, don, if we go back to august when he attacked john mccain, we thought he was left
for dead hereby got stronger when. he attacked megyn kelly, we thought he was left for dead, he got stronger. at least he holds his strength, which republicans have been very surprised by. >> larry, you want to weigh? >> i go back to 1980. democrats hoped, prayed that everything they could to help ronald reagan become the republican nominee because he was the one candidate they were dead sure jimmy carter could beat and we all know what happened in november of 1980. i think gloria and mark are absolutely right, you have to be cautious about it, but looking at the republican field, i can see why democrats think trump with the strong support of about 35% to 40% of republicans and the strong opposition of at least that many republicans would be vulnerabililnerable in election. >> gloria, let's move on. trump leads 42% to 23%.
speaking of support, non-support, does this surprise any of you? first i'll ask mark preston. >> yes. listen, the fact is it's only been the last couple of months where we've really seen donald trump embrace his religion. the question is is he really that religious? evangelical voters, we make the mistake of putting evangelical voters in this little slot and think that's all they're going to vote on. but they vote on other things. they vote on the idea of conservatism as a whole. donald trump has been preaching he's a conservative, he's pro second amendment rights, he's talks about how he has evolved on marriage and what have you. what's interesting, though, in that debate the other night, he was praising planned parenthood, not for services providing abortions but for their health care. afterwards very prominent republican in south carolina said to me can you imagine if somebody attacked george w. bush
and praised planned parenthood and he only gets stronger. to gloria's point and larry's point, it's an enigma. it's nothing we've seen in modern day politics, donald trump's appeal in the electorate. >> he wins the sore of evangelicals overwhelm living but wh -- overwhelmoverwhelmingly but dig deeper, you see ted cruz knows where his voters are and they're not just evangelical. they are social conservatives. and if donald trump has an achilles heel, it's on the values question and that's what cruz is trying to mine right now. >> larry, i want to scuff nask about the democratic race. clinton bests sanders by 18%.
it's critically important to the clinton campaign, right? >> more than critically important. she had better win handily in south carolina. let's not forget she's got to worry about nevada, which comes before south carolina. she could potentially take another blow there. but south carolina is really her territory because of the make-up of the electorate there, very substantially african-american. if sanders keeps her to, say, single digits, we're in for a race that goes all the way through june. if she doesn't, if she starts getting some traction, then the race could end sooner than many people think. >> thank you, everyone. i appreciate it. larry, mark and gloria, see you auc all soon. we have a unique two-night event. all six republican candidates answering questions from the
votes are of south carolina. it's moderated by anderson cooper tomorrow night and then the following night. don't miss it, cnn gop presidential town hall, a live two-night event tomorrow and thursday beginning at 8:00 p.m. when we come back, on this broadcast donald tru broadcast, donald trump's rival but who has a shot at the number two finish? cliff jumping! human resources can work better. with xerox. which allergy? eees. bees? eese. trees? eese. xerox helps hospitals use electronic health records so doctors provide more personalized care. cheese? cheese! patient care can work better. with xerox. that's it.
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e. >> hello to all of you. >> hello. >> this is incredible for donald trump. this plays right into the hands of the south carolina electorate. they're tea party conservatives, they're evangelicals. this probably sealed the deal for donald trump tonight having the president of the united states, who is very unpopular, attack him. >> him becoming the nominee.
you think is sealed the deal? >> i think so. maybe not the nominee, certainly south carolina and if he wins south carolina, that probably will seal the deal for him. >> bakari, don't up think donald trump was like -- >> he was. he's not longer debating against ted cruz no, longer taking pot shots at jeb bush, which is his thing. >> so why would the president do that? >> i think the president truly has a problem with the rancor and tenor of donald trump. i think most american voters do. i think the president took a pop shot and it's going to help out donald trump tremendously. >> let's quickly, matt, what's your response? does had help donald trump? why would the president do this? >> i think it does help donald trump. i don't like it. i think this is an example of something that president obama does a lot, which is stoke divisiveness and problems. i think he wants there to be turmoil on the republican side.
i think he wants republicans to nominate a guy with donald trump with all of his problems for political purposes. i think it's playing politics with a pretty serious topic. >> but the question many people would say why punch down? why would you even mention? lauren? is that not a fair question? >> you mean obama? he's praying that trump becomes the nominee. that's their best hope. if it's a more palatable republican that's put fourth and hillary clinton is the nom', it's going to be much more difficult and they know that. this isn't necessarily obama to be decisive -- >> president obama. >> president obama. i think it's mostly who is looking forward to the general and they think he can beat trump. >> what about the president's -- what about what he said about the democratic race, lauren? >> i think that he is waiting to get in, but he's inching to give clinton an endorsement but it's
too early. you don't want to weigh in as the head of your party when there's such a divisive and tight race going on in the primary. >> matt, let's look at the new cnn poll out tonight. it's hard to imagine how trump loses south carolina if you look at those polls. >> i agree. i think that right now we've been going through all these stages of grieving. i think if you're a republican or a conservative who has been sitting around magically hoping that somehow people would come to their senses and turn on donald trump and state after state -- we saw youin new hampse where donald trump won basically every cohort in the exit polling. so donald trump is for real and it seems like the only wave could y -- way could you have a chance to beat him is someone in a head-to-head competition like marco rubio but it's getting
time to get concerned. >> i get so frustrated, don, with conversations like this. i hear two republicans saying how sad they are that donald trump could be the nominee, how somber they are. >> bakari is loving it. >> donald trump has riled up the establishment on both sides. he's riled up president obama, he's riling up the gop rino establishment, he's making -- >> wait, a second, donald trump is the guy who supported abortion, who supported single payor health care. so we're rinos? he's not a conservative by any -- >> he's someone who evolve just like ronald reagan. >> at the age of 70. at the age of 70 donald trump had this epiphany. >> it doesn't matter what age. >> matt, people can change. >> yes, i agree. >> i just want to jump in there,
lauren. >> go ahead, lauren. >> i'm not saying that donald trump wouldn't be a fine republican nominee. i'm saying he's going to pose a problem with latinos. given the way he's been able to campaign, he might able to turn that around. but right now as it stands, he is going to be easier for the democrats to beat because of those comments. >> let's talk about on saturday, right, because it was interesting. i hope up guyou guys watched th debate. it was amazing. >> of course. >> so who bested -- was it rubio, kasich, bush on saturday? who did the best? >> i think that rubio by far did the best. he had the highest level of expectation because his last debate was abysmal to say the least. he was amazing. rubio did great things by setting himself apart. and the other thing is jeb bush
stood toe to toe with donald trump. each stared him in the eye. donald trump flinched. >> what about this coming saturday? who has to did the best there? matt? >> well, you know, they all do. i'll save marco rubio because still he has chance to come in second place in south carolina, he has a chance to sort of maybe finally get the so-called establishment lane to coalesce around him. that has to happen if he's going to have a shot so i'm going to say rubio. >> matt, i disagree with you. i think the race is for third place. ted cruz on the ground game will surge past everyone else. he's going to be first and second. rubio and bush and kasich, those are somewhat of the establishment lane people, i'm trying to see who comes in first out of those three.
>> kayleigh, do you want to weig weigh in? >> i think that's right. it would ensure that you're going to keep that establishment lane split, you're going not going to have a marco rubio emerge to be a viable challenge to donald trump, if bosnian sjen win, that's a massive jump for donald trump. >> when we come back, donald trump is rewriting the rules of this campaign, abo but is he dag the gop in the process? when my doctor told me i have
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bush. he won in new hampshire astoundingly, it appears he will win in south carolina and in iowa, i would argue that was a huge victory. he came in second place in a state he was not supposed to do well in, that was full of evangelical christians, a constituency he doesn't do well with. >> i'm wondering if you think traditional republican candidates are being damaged by this process. you say trump has given a voice to conservatives and populists. >> yes, that's the thing. donald trump is broadening the republican party because forever we have had a republican party where you're only welcome in if you're staunchly conservative or staunchly establishment. he yves rateviscerated all of t boundaries. it doesn't mean it's free range on his values, he has his values, but he's broadening in a
way the gop should have done a while ago. >> but that's not how you win the white house. >> yes, it is. >> no, it isn't, with all due respect. donald trump has absolutely no appeal to minority votes are. can you not win the white house without minority voters. barack obama win the president of the united states and he did not win the majority of white voters of any state. he may be broadening the appeal within some tent you all have within your own sect of gop personalities but he's not doing well with minority voters. >> polling in the falls showed him doing the best with minority voters among anyone in the party. he puts states like pennsylvania in play, michigan in play. union leads are have confessed they're scared of their members defecting to him. >> matt, explain why you think the republicans candidates are missing a golden opportunity
here. >> i think if you look at this republican bench, you have people like marco rubio, who i think is an eloquent, inspirati inspirational, solution oriented, people on the bench like nikki haley, candidates like bobby jindal, a rhodes scholar who ran and didn't o very well. this race could have been entire live different without donald trump. he's overshadowed him, getting us to chase everything he does every day, this hasn't been a very substantive campaign. >> i think it's been a substantive discussion that i've seen in the news, the debates have been substantive. >> no. >> yes, it has. >> there's been --
>> no, it's been theatrics. >> it's all theatrics. >> any time, bakari, i went to lunch today and guess what people were talking about? the presidential campaign, talking about donald trump and ted cruz and hillary clinton. if you have people having a discussion, on some level, i think that's -- you know, i think that's substantive. >> because it's ngnawing on raw emogs, playing on fear. >> they're engaged. republicans have the enthusiasm edge, they have the excitement edge. they're going to have record turnout in south carolina. that's something democrats have to play catch up to. >> lauren has been patient lily sitting by. here is jeb bush on the campaign trail today. >> i wish we could actually have that argument on a debate stage instead of -- in debate preparation, you all might find this interesting. the conclusion is when you
debate a guy like trump, you have to have the last word. because he's a bully. so he doesn't stop talking. and i actually saw tapes. it's not what he says, it's just that he says it louder and l louder and louder bu, but you j have to talk through it. it's not having i aspired to do to get to the presidency but i've gotten better at it. >> he has taken his glasses off, after all. >> he has taken his glasses off. i think he's gone through an evolution here. he's getting better than when he first started but i don't think they ever anticipated that the populist feelings in this country and the gop would manifest itself the way it did. the bush camp has not known what to do with trump since the beginning. i don't think it's a uniquely
republican problem or opportunity that people are getting engaged like this from a very populist standpoint. you're seeing it on the democrat side as well. so, yes, bush is having to get a little buiit more feisty but th reason why trump is leading and has been leading south carolina for 200 days at this point is because people view him as the one who can change washington. and i don't think that bush taking off his glasses or getting a little built more feisty is going to necessarily change his mind about that. >> what about tweeting something like this? this says "america." he later said he didn't know of the tweet but noted he had appeared at a high security firearm company in columbia, south carolina today. so what does this say about the bush campaign that he's trying to do something? what is he trying to do, bakari? especially considering what happened in charleston. >> i don't know what he's trying
to do with that. i think he's throwing anything against the wall to see if it sticks. i think that was a pretty tasteless tweet. he was 90 miles away from where we had the massacre nap tweet was inappropriate. i expect an apology from that camp tomorrow. >> and, by the way, that's his name engraved on the gun. >> i understand where he was. i am a concealed weapons holder in south carolina. i understand the culture. but right now that tweet i feel just being a south carolinian, losing a friend of mine, where we're talking about reigning guns in, i don't understand it. when you get rid of the exclamation point and your glasses and wheeling out your brother who you didn't want on the campaign trail a year ago, i guess you'll try anything. >> we'll have to leave it there. >> all six republican candidates answering questions in south carolina, our live television
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like to just call her ma'am here, our boss lady. >> boss lady. >> boss lady, yes. >> i want to listen to ten seconds from kendrick lamar's performance last night. listen to it. ♪ you hate my people, your plan is to take away my culture ♪ >> those are some strong words. you mate my people, you plan to terminate my culture, not your usual award show material, is it? >> not usual award show performance but i thought it was lit, man. he did what good artists do -- yes, lit, as they say in the african-american community. he challenged the standards, he pushed the boundaries, he did something really, really powerful. i thought it was great and i loved watching the scared people
in the audience as their eyes got really big like deer when he started talking real black. i loved every minute of it. >> is there a risk of alienating fan who is might resist being called racial or evil? >> certainly. but this is something all black performers have always faced. >> but the kind of people who listen to kendrick lamar, they're not going to be turned off buy it. you're going to have a certain amount of that. >> theoretically they're not fan bus it's very hard not to be a kendrick lamar fan. certainly if you have the album. >> nischelle, it is not just as you show on your album --
>> album. >> i said "cd" and someone said how old are you? beyonce is not just stirring things up with his super bowl performance. this is a new bob dylan, marvin gaye and john lennon and on and on. >> we were just talking about this last weekend, saying they hope more artists will start lending their voices to social change and speaking out about causes. john legend is one of them, he's very active, russell simmons, those guys do that. but i think we are seeing another level it have now and that phrase we've been using, unapologetically black and saying we are going to take a stand and do it through our art and i think that art is the place that is a great place to
did it because it starts these conversations and all types of art is beautiful. kendrick lamar's performance la last night was performance art. it was one of the most amazing things i've seen in a very long time on a stage. >> when you talk about that, i want to follow up because part of being an artist, right, you want to be relevant, are they down for the cause, are they moving units and/or doing what artists must do to stay relevant, which is to reinvent themselves. madonna reinvented herself, madonma done -- david bowie reinvented himself. >> it's like -- i'm seeing artists behind the scenes doing at the same time work they're doing in front of the scenes. when you talk about kendrick lamar, he cares about these issues.
mainstream artist, underground artists are not just talking about it, they're living that life. that's what i find rewarding, they're linking their art to political action. >> do we see a generation gap in black pop culture? >> is the older generation me or beyond? >> it's don. >> don, maybe europe the oldyou generation. >> you said cds, that makes you the older generation. >> in earlier hip hop when i came into the game in '90, '91, i think there was a lot of apologetic blackness, if you will. so within hip hop and within hip hop's ranks, we talked freely among ourselves but i think there was a lot more censorship and awareness about how others with perceive this internal conversation.
i think now somebody has flicked the switch and the flood gate has opened and it's quite clear to me that we are not going back into the space whereapo aapologiapol apologizing for the things we say at home. but to the extent that's a beyonce and kendrick, i think in any movement everyone has a role and i do not expect or need beyonce or kendrick to lead in any other respect. i just need them to be black people in america at the same time that i'm a black person in america and to react and respond to the things that we do en masse in similar ways. so when trayvon martin is killed, that doesn't just hurt average black people that, hurts celebrity black people, that hurts wealthy black people, that hurts all of us. >> that hurts america.
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kendrick lamar. i think kierna, what you said was so incredible. you don't need beyonce or kendrick to say another thing, you don't need them to take on the mantle. >> i guess i was talking about roles and responsibilities and we were talking off camera just that you wouldn't hire a chef to fix your car. i don't think that we need to look necessarily to our artists to be the only pillar. the statement that beyonce made is made in a perfect beyonce context. i don't necessarily need her on a podium. i don't even need her leading the march. you know, we have marc lamont hill. i don't him to make a record but i want to hear him every night. >> i got bars, i got bars. >> receipts, marc. receipts. >> i wrote about this, what's called the blacks box, that the
larger culture expect us to be something in a certain sense and we do it to ourselves, we have the same expectations and that's not fair. >> it's not fair to do it to ourselves or to allow others to do it to us. i don't think any movement has been predicated by everyone doing the same thing. we have to all get in where we fit in and master what we master and be true to who we are. i think beyonce is reacting to being a black mother in america in 2016. >> nischelle, that is why this resonates. it feels authentic. you know when people are trying to put one over on you. >> indeed. i sat down with kendrick lamar and interviewed him a couple years ago. this was at the grammys, i guess a couple years ago, and i was saying, hey, you're at the grammys now, you're this big success, you're from compton, did you ever from a kid sneak
down here? he said, listen, i was from compton, those walls were thick, we were just trying to get out of that. this man lives what he preaches, he's still trying to nmake changes. this is what i love about him. you saw him on stage going so hard veins were popping out of his head almost. he's such a humble and soft spoken man in person. he just really kind of blends in but he makes such a statement in his art and i think that's so fantastic. >> and kierna had a moment to put this up in is a copy of "ebony" magazine. >> june of 2015. you were ahead of the game. >> and i bear witness to what was said. he's just a gentle soul.
>> do big performances like this, does it change anything out on the streets in the real world? >> we need more than just performance. we need to change relations capital and i institutions that govern us. it creates a spectacle, which creates public attention which can lead to action on the ground. a sit-in on the 60s didn't change anything. crossing the pettis bring didn't change anything. that was a dramatized action that caused action on the ground. this is what we want our artists to do. >> for all of you youngsters, you millennials here, this is what artists used to do, before auto tune. artists of all different colors. to me this is not controversial. i feel like artists always respond to social conditions -- >> you know what the difference
is? a lot of times when you have motown, you had very dressed up artists. barry gordon made the music very good, they had suits and they were very respectable. but what's happening now is the mainstream is moving over and now you have artists on the main stage who are fancy. >> it was still about social just. >> when marvin made "what's going on," barry gordy punched him in the face and said why did do you that but when it went platinum, he said i want ten more of those. you can change public appetite and take the profit out of our own destruction. kendrick can make us some money but many p also some political -- >> this is taylor swift through some shade at kanye west last
night saying he made her famous. >> i want to say to all the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame, but if you just focus on the work and you don't let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you're going, you'll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there. >> nischelle? >> mm-hmm. [ laughter ] >> where do i start? where do you want me to start? >> does she have a point? who won in this whole kanye versus taylor swift thing? >> well, i don't think it's over so i don't think we can crown a winner yet. what i do think is she was of course talking directly to kanye because of the line in his song,
famous, i made that bitch famous, talking about taylor swift. he kind of hit back and said it's massage nissic, i didn't give you permission to did this, i didn't know about it, so they had this back and forth. it's kind of interesting because the line is "i mailed yde you m fa -- made you famous "o. do i think he made her famous? no, she was already famous. do i think he raised her profile? yes. and i do think that will's a little bit of i don't want to call it hypocrisy -- >> nischelle, taylor swift is so much more known than kanye west
by -- >> he's a rock star. >> taylor swift was just the country artist who was just crossing over. so there was something to it him raising her profile. he didn't make her famous. she obviously already won, bu e we started paying attention to her then and trying to figure out what was so great -- >> the fact that she won means she was already famous. >> yeah, she was. >> i mean, come on, kanye. >> he made her a lot more famous. he was disrespectful -- >> okay, whatever. >> he was beyond disrespectful. >> no -- >> i didn't know who she was until -- >> i think she used this opportunity. granted she's having her young feminist moment and we're celebrate that theoretically. i do think she then used this opportunity to then ride kanye
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