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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  September 26, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm PDT

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i'm erin burnett, special cnn coverage from hofstra university in hempstead, new york, this afternoon, the site of what may become -- likely to become the most watched political event ever. it's the first presidential debate. experts predict as many as 100 million will tune in to see for the first time hillary clinton and donald trump standing side by side, face-to-face, just as multiple polls are now coming in, this is just over the past couple of days, showing it essentially tied for who will win the race for the white house. 43 days away from the actual in-person voting.
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now less than seven hours from this crucial debate. i want to begin our coverage this afternoon as we count you down with sara murray inside the debate hall already. how exactly is this going to work? just the logistics of it. who goes first? how much time do they get to talk? >> reporter: well, of course, this is going to be different from what we saw in the primaries. they're going to be on stage together in this debate hall. hillary clinton won the coin toss, so she goes first. after that, she'll get a question. each candidate will have two minutes to answer the question. now, the way it's formatted is it's going to be six different segments. each will be 15 minutes long. the candidates will go back and forth. they'll answer questions. unlike the primary debates, the whole thing is 90 minutes long. there will be no commercials. there will be no breaks. so, that means these candidates will not have an opportunity to go and speak to their aides in the midst of this debate. remember, erin, this is going to be the first time donald trump is in a one-on-one debate. of course, it's going to be the
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first time he's in a one-on-one debate against a female opponent as well, so it will be interesting to see how the dynamic on this debate stage changes compared to what we saw in the primaries. >> thank you very much. and those are some of the bafb basics of how that will work. 90 minutes, no time to talk to anyone, no time to use the rest room, nothing, no commercial at all. just imagine that being on stage. of course, it's less than seven hours until this begins. you know, we've heard from the clinton and trump campaigns this afternoon. everybody is really in spin mode. it's a little crazy, to be honest with you. each coming out with their side of things in last-minute preparation for tonight. phil mattingly knows a lot more about this. phil, obviously, the spin from both sides is ferocious. that may be the appropriate word. in terms of how they're preparing today, very different modes of preparation. >> reporter: no question about it. erin, you note, there's a public face to this that both campaigns are trying to put out right now.
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but behind the scenes, both candidates are admittedly, according to advisers, cramming in these last moments. over the course of the weekend, hillary clinton had a very different approach to this. she's someone who likes to overprepare. she likes to study as much as possible. that's that she was doing. multiple sessions in a hotel from her chappaqua home, with advisers, mock debates, debates occurring around the same time as this debate will be today, almost to mimic that in some cases. donald trump taking a very different tact. his advisers have been tight-lipped about what specifically they were doing but we know he was studying videotape for a time, looking at hillary clinton's past debate performances, noticing weaknesses. most of all, he's been talking to rudy giuliani, chris christie, both campaign advisers are saying the candidates are pressing to get last-minute preparation going in.
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the end game is the same. 90 minutes, as you noted, no breaks. a very different scenario, especially for donald trump, than he faced in primary. advisers acknowledge, both candidates have to be very prepared to face. >> phil, in terms of hillary clinton's preparation, we know the man who is playing trump, long-time associate, someone she's close w philippe reines, someone known for putsing expletives in e-mails, someone think a brilliant choice to play donald trump. he did something unexpected, you've learned. >> reporter: that's right. most people think he's a brilliant choice to play donald trump based on his past. but what he did is he changed it up. he became nice donald trump, according to one adviser. he had been the boisterous kind of attacking donald trump in mock debates leading up to a certain point. then all of a sudden he flipped it, surprising hillary clinton, not letting her know he was going to do it. that's what the clinton campaign is predicting may happen tonight. we'll see a lower key, more
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subdooud, more polite donald trump. a donald trump trying to convey to the american people he's ready to take over the oval office, he can control some of his worst impulses, if you will. so philippe reines is surprising hillary clinton with that. that becoming the foek kl point of their mock debates going back and forth. it notes the clinton campaign expects that's the donald trump we'll see tonight. if that's the case, we'll find out in about seven hours. >> phil mattingly, thank you very much. will be with us as we get more information. let's talk with our panel, molly ball, david canton, our political commentator, erroll lewis, and political commentator mary catherine hamm, sister writer at "the federalist." let me start with you, errol, you're next to me, polite trump. >> is that possible? polite isn't the right word. i think it's more like
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presidential, which is far more than simply being polite and not acting unkoucouth. it's trying to shatter the perception the hillary clinton team has created. hearing he was some crazy cowboy, hearing he was completely unfit to be president. i literally expected him to come on with with cowboy hat, six-shooter, ready to fire in the air. he wasn't any of those things. he was pretty presidential. it made you think -- doesn't mean i voted for him but shattered the impression. if donald trump can shatter this unfitness argument the hillary team has been making repeatedly, then he doesn't necessarily win but that's his main task. >> one of the new polls we got from monmouth, it shows the race is narrowed from seven points to
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four points in just a month that all went with trump going up. clinton stayed where she was and trump went up. on this issue of fitness, thoeshgs you still see the huge differential there. vast majority of people think she has the temperament and he does not. what does he have to do to change that? if he comes out and doesn't level insults or anything ridiculous, it's okay? >> people are torn because they see donald trump's behavior and have that question. she's making that argument. the problem for her sh she's been spending a lot of money making that argument on national tv and it hasn't landed. we shall see if it lands tonight. because expectations are rather low for him, very low, meeting the bar of acceptability for some of these people who genuinely sort of want a change election and they're being offered a status quo who's acting like she's a change and this guy who's a lot of change, if he assures them he can handle this, many people might take a second look. >> david, how many people do you
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think are truly persuadable? they say it's down to 10%. you're watching the media, participating in this election, it seems you may have made up your mind. there's a decent number of people who can swing the polls that have not. >> a lot of polls say 20% for undecided. some people are trying to figure out if they're going to vote at all or stay home. i think this entire debate is about donald trump. i think we'll know what we'll get from hillary clinton. she'll be substantive, point out trump's inconsistencienconsistey tough on his past controversial statements. i think the first 30 minutes we'll know the tempo of this. the question s clinton will lay the bait for trump and try to wear him down and get him to take that bait to make a costly mistake. remember, trump has been in debates before, but he's had 18 people to sort of fade in the background with. now he's got to really go 45 minutes, if you divide it in half, not even a -- 45 minute of substance and not take that bait. i think you'll see him restrained at first. the question is, can he make it the whole way and be substantive
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and not make a mistake? >> what's your feeling on that, molly? >> i'm actually going to disagree slightly with dave on two points. first of all, i think there's an extraordinary number of undecided high-information voters in this election. >> wow. do you? >> yes. just because people who have been watching this closely may not like either of the candidates. i've seen in focus groups where there are a lot of high-information voters who are still undecided because they feel pushed -- not pulled in both directions but pushed away from both directions. >> people who are consuming -- >> yeah. and i think what trump has benefitted in the polls showing him pulling ahead are republicans coming home. the second point where i'll disagree with david is i think there's an acceptability bar for hillary clinton. she's been doing well early on because there were a lot of republicans who were not ready to vote for donald trump. if those people come home to trump, it makes it much tougher for hillary. if she can convince them she's an acceptable alternative, despite her flaws and the partisanship hurdle, she will
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have really cleared a bar. >> as she tries to wear him down -- i want to talk about on each sides. he does not like to be challenged about how much money he has. it is one of the things that is very important to his definition to his self, his psychology, his self-worth. she's going to try to go there just to get him, to needle him. >> i think you'll mention that he hasn't released his taxes. to say, maybe you're not worth that much money. trump is so protective of his brand that i think if you go at his businesses, if you go at the trump foundation, if you go at trump university and go under, you know, his casinos in atlantic city that went bankrupt, that could get under his skin. i don't think it will be an issue difference. i think that he'll -- >> it's how he handles himself. >> i think it's trying to get under his skin on things that are the most important to him and the most important thing to him is his brand. >> for her, she doesn't want to talk about the clinton foundation. she knows she's going to have to and the e-mails. yet what we understand from our
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reporting is that they're still working with her on her answers to this. this is someone who's been preparing, i don't know how many hours and days and she still doesn't have the answer. >> of course, the real thing is want to answer, right? but to sorted of usually say w she does and successful is to pivot. everything you want to know about this, tens of thousands of e-mails, hundreds of hours of testimony, it's all in the public record. knock yourself out. what i want to talk about is what concerns america -- >> do you really think that's what's going to work? that's what she's been saying and it hasn't worked. >> that's the clinton brand. her husband was unside down, more unfavorables than favora e favorables on the day he was re-elected in 1996. this is the clinton brand. you may not think i'm honest, you don't like my personality, but i care about you. i have some programs to improve your life. that's the argument she makes. that's the clinton argument. >> i don't think we should discount the idea that he could
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get under her skin when she's asked about the e-mails. you can see sort of -- fairly contained anger at times when she's addressing these requests. notably at the commander in chief forum when she was asked a question by a navy vet saying, look, if i were dealing with this, i would be in trouble if i had done the things you did. even in addressing him, who she has no beef with, like donald trump, there was a tone of not a lot of forgiveness, not a lot of deft tone there. i think there's a real possibility he gets under her skin as well just asking these questions. the questions for me is, does he have all the facts of the e-mail scandal that he can bring to mind and throw at her instead of defaulting to personal attacks? which would be the better thing to do. i'm just not sure it does. >> personal attacks? it happened in all the primary debates. >> what's interesting is what people interpret as a personal attack. david is right. when you start talking about trump's money, it's not his net worth and the fact he hasn't
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disclosed charitable contributions or let us see his taxes, it's the way he made the money. to hear donald trump, he built value out of nothing, put towers up in the sky or outwitted some sharp operators from the middle east or from china. when you go to trump university and say, you know, what you made your money by taking money from regular people, from stiffing small contractors, from dealing with people in a casino who got fired summarily. that's when he really gets his back up. so, i think when he starts to see -- it's the other side of putting your name on anything. anything that business does if-f your name is on it, he sees it as a personal attack and it gets nasty. >> as we're counting you down. my next guest has gone through the tape. see what agitates each candidate. what truly sets them off and how the other one can take advantage. plus, you can't have a debate without the zingers, those one-liners that can sometimes make a win or a loss. we'll talk about some of the best ones that everyone may be talking about tomorrow. our special live coverage right here from hofstra university.
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welcome back. we're here at hofstra university where in just a few hours hillary clinton and donald trump will be facing off for the first time with as many as 100 million people watching. the polls in a virtual dead heat. the pressure on the candidates to perform is frankly, unparalleled in this or any other race. i want to bring in writer from "the atlantic", it's about what to look for tonight. you talked about the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. james, you say one of the most accurate ways to predict reaction to a debate is to watch it with the sound turned off which is an interesting thing because then you're forced to look at body language completely, right? their facial expressions. what should we be looking at? >> this is not a good way to be a citizen. as a citizen, you should hear what they're saying. but if you're judging it as a drama coach or predict what people will say that night or the next day, it's mainly carriage that seems to make a difference, are people taken aback? do they seem comfortable?
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usually it's the presidential candidate who seems more at peace with himself or herself or just happier to be there who in the long run is seen as doing better. >> so we saw their strengths and weaknesses in the primaries. in hillary clinton's case against bernie sanders where she ended up having one-on-ones. you called it mastery of the cool dismissal which can sometimes work and not work in your favor. here's an example of what you're talking about when she was being asked about something she doesn't like to be asked her, her e-mails. >> i'm going to give the same answer i've been giving for many months. it wasn't the best choice. i made a mistake. it was not prohibited. it was not in any way disallowed. as i've said and as has now come out, my predecessors did the same thing, and many other people in the government. but here's the cut to the chase. i did not send or receive any e-mails marked classified at the time.
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>> so, james, obviously some of these things have been proven to be untrue, but the point is she's very controlled and very dispassionate. how does that style play? >> so, i think the ideal that the clinton team has in mind as they prepare for this debate is the benghazi committee hearing, where they were trying to get at her in a somewhat aggressive way. she was seeming somewhat amused, always trying say, let's keep this in perspective, here are the facts, let's move on. i would think if she had to give an answer as long as we just heard about the e-mails she would feel that's a setback in the debates. she wants to say, here's the main point. >> right. we'll see how that goes because now you're looking at 90 minutes, 15 minutes a topic. seems unlikely to be 90 seconds of time on a particular issue. you talk about donald trump. trump out on the stage it's
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about dominating and humilia humiliating, is how you put it. here's a look at some of the moments from his debates that might strike both of those tones. >> first of all, this guy is a choke artist and this guy's a liar. i'm relaxed. you're a basket case. this little guy has lied so much about my record. don't worry about it, little marco. >> you're the biggest liar. don't need a weak person being president of the united states because that's what we get if it were -- you're getting beaten badly. i know you're embarrassed. keep fighting. keep swinging, man. swing for the fences. >> so, does this work in a one-on-one debate with hillary clinton? >> it brings it all back. one reason we'll be watching tonight is because nobody has any idea what's going to happen tonight, especially what sort of donald trump will be there. long logic and record would seem to
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suggest this works when it's a large group of people he can do this dominance ritual. he quoted jane goodall, the chimp expert. he was sort of backed off with carly fiorina with that pastor in flint, michigan, last week. god knows what we'll see. i guess i would be surprised if it were something that dominant. >> all right. james fallows, thank you very much. coming up, the art of the debate zinger. >> you're really getting beaten badly. i know you're embarrassed. i know you're embarrassed. keep fighting, man. swing for the fences. >> you're never going to be president of the united states by insulting your way to the president. >> i'm at 42 and you're at 3. >> doesn't matter. >> so far i'm doing better. >> doesn't matter. >> we're going to take a look at some of the more memorable moments from previous debates. and what kinds of moussings could the candidates bring to the table tonight?
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welcome back to cnn. i'm erin burnett. you're watching special coverage of tonight's presidential debate. hillary clinton and donald trump are just hours away from their first showdown here at hofstra university. you can expect a lot of fireworks in the form of their own styles, quirks and whether they have their one-liners. both of them have shown they don't shy away from launching a one-liner or a zheng zinn zinge
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their rivals. >> this guy is a choke artist. you're the basket case. >> senator sanders did call me unqualified. i've been called a lot of things in my life. that was a first. >> this little guy has lied so much about my record. don't worry about it, little marco. >> it's always important. it may be inconvenient but it's always important to get the facts straight. >> you're getting beaten badly. i know you're embarrassed. i know you're embarrassed. keep fighting. swing for the fens. >> the kind of criticism that we've heard from senator sanders about our president i expect from republicans. i do expect for someone running from the democratic nomination to succeed president obama. >> well-being zingers are nice but hopefully a lot of people will be watching for something more substantive, let's just say. there's a way, obviously, to do both. that's what makes a debate a debay.
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ana marie cox, chairman of american conservative union, and david brock is founder of the pro-clinton super pac correct the record. one thing we do know, david, is that hillary clinton is going to get the first question. this was subtle before, sort of a coin toss type of thing. we know that. what does that mean in terms of setting the tone. >> i think it presents an opportunity for her to show herself a strong, serious, stable and substantive. and i think that will make a nice contradiction from what we'll see from donald trump. i think it's also important to get the last word in. we don't know who's going to do that. and i think the other point is that she can wait to pivot her attacks. we're all going to be very anxious to see what those are. >> what do you say, good for donald trump or bad for him that he doesn't have good question? >> i think it will set the tone. i think he'll respond to whatever it is she does. and i think that's probably a good idea for him because as much as i'd love to see that, it's probably a good idea for
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him to reduce those impulses and look like the guy that was in mexico, look like the guy that's been campaigning the last few weeks, on teleprompter, on message. he needs to tailor his message today for republican women that voted for romney that haven't yet shown for him. >> temperament may matter a lot. you know, matt, you've been here before. and you were in the case of george w. bush and al gore. gore was perceived to have the policy edge and yet he lost the debate. >> we were scared going into that debate, i'll be honest. these are frightening moments for campaigns. when you have a candidate who's never run for president before, remember, we usually elect people who have run before. barack obama was kind of an anomaly. hillary clinton has been on these stages before and donald trump hasn't. he's an outsider. there's good things about that but moments like this where experience, you know, helps you a bit in these debates. i think we're all -- we're all
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waiting with anticipation to see how it goes. i agree totally with the comments. he has to seal the deal with this large number of undecideds that he's ready to be their president. they've already decided that hillary clinton, even with her terrible negatives and the fact these not trustworthy, they have to decide he's the guy for them. >> poll from monmouth says 10% say this is debate is likely to have an impact. >> i hope we're not doing this for nothing. come on. >> look, 10% when you look at polls that are 2% or 3%, that's three times more than you need to completely turn the whole election. >> historically pollsters will tell you the needle may not move that much, but not moving the needle that much in this election will matter. i am focused more on the last few minutes of the debate because donald trump has not shown himself to be able to sustain the amount of energy he
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usually puts out on a debate to the end. i think it's going to be interesting. the first part i imagine he will be disciplined. i imagine we say see mexico city trump for 10 minutes or 20 minutes. i don't know if he can do that for 90 minutes. >> that's an issue here. >> i feel it's the opposite. her events are so short. when has she had a 09-minute in the last few months? have you been to a rally? they go on and on. he has amazing energy. i've never heard anybody criticizing him for getting tired. >> it's not that he gets tired, he gets loose. i'm not sure -- i'm not worried about him losing stamina. i'm worried about him saying stuff he may regret later. fy were -- i'm not worried personally about it. i think that might be fine, butfy were you guys, i might be worried. >> that's an interesting point. are you kerpd about that? we know there was a point last week that he stood in front of a podium for five hours, to ensure he could do that without taking a bathroom break.
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that's not the same thing as having someone at another podium and practicing back and forth which we understand he did not do. >> i'd be lying if i said there were certain days i want to slip some sedatives in his kfc. he's a winner. he likes to win. he sees victory that's two points away, according to the abc poll. he knows if he's going to win this election, he has to be disciplined. >> so, let's talk about these one-liners he is know for his one-liners. when you come through a debate with 17 people and you get six minutes, all you need is one or two zingers. >> he's known for -- >> he's actually known for his adjectives. one-word descriptors. >> the question, will he use her moniker tonight, no one has said would be a good idea, but what do you each think the best zinger or one-liner would be? >> i do think focusing on zingers is not necessarily a service to the republic.
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i want to point out donald trump's zingers tend to be based on people's looks and attitudes and not so much on substance. that said, if i were hillary, i'm not proud. i don't know you don't believe in global warning, but where did you get that tan? >> there you go. >> i think this whole campaign comes down to the economy. the clintons have done he done very well as one is serving in government. i would go to the question of economy and say, you know what, there was a time when the clintons were dead broke and they got it backwards. we need the clintons to go back and be dead broke and the american people to gain wealth and be successful. >> you're trying to do a substantive zinger of sorts. >> when she starts brag being getting the endorsements of every 900-year-old that's worked in national security, i would say, you only need co-signers when your credit is bad. >> that's good. wow. >> david? >> for hillary, i would say a
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vote for you is a vote for the isis terrorists and vladimir putin and open up both of those issues. open up his foreign investments from russia. i think that would be effective. for trump, i'm going to give an objective answer. i think he should say, hillary, you're bought and paid for you. you even came to my wedding because i gave you money. >> wow. that's a combo. >> combo platter. >> it's on tape. >> someone could be watching. >> i have one to add for her. do you want to vote for the first foreign president or potentially the last president. >> there you go. >> got to be hopeful and optimistic. >> thanks to all of you. next, you've rarely seen donald trump and hillary clinton in the same room, except for the aforementioned wedding david just brought up, and i think there was a fund-raiser. i'll talk with a top hillary adviser and how her candidate is
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preparing tonight. the billionaire clinton invited to sit in the front row, mark cuban, who one time when i asked him about him and trump being billionaires, he said, at least one of us is.
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both candidates right now are in the zone preparing for tonight's historic debate. only one is a veteran on the debate stage. tonight's battle will be her 35th, her tenth presidential debate. trump has never been in a general election debate,. despite clinton's advantage, this will likely be her toughest one ever as well. how is she preparing? joining me is ms. shockey. she's done lots and lots of debates, sparring with philippe reines and that she's even doing one today. >> we don't know she's actually doing a full mock today but she's definitely preparing. she's at a hotel nearby and taking this very seriously. she knows tonight is a huge opportunity for her. she has the opportunity to talk to 100 million voters and what she can do as president.
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she's taking it seriously and coming tonight to talk about why she's the candidate ready to be commander in chief. >> i know you want to study and study and prepare, but is it like a test where sometimes you study too much, you know too much, so you write in the answer of all the thing us knew and you miss the core part and you don't do as well as the person who didn't study as hard. do you have that fear? >> she's done many debate. she was a senator of new york. she ran for president before. >> she knows the game. >> she knows how to do this. she's a strong, steady leader. that's what voters will see up there on the debate stage tonight. >> when she looks out on the audience, the audience that's there, not the 100 million people, she'll see people she knows. who has she invited, putting aside mark cuban for a moment, who else has she invite there had? >> it was important to hillary who she's known a long time, who represent what she's fought for her whole life. we have a young woman, maxine, who got children's health
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insurance when she was a young girl because of hillary's leadership, leading the fight toe make sure kids got that. today 8 million kids have insurance because of that program. she was a recipient as a young girl. that's representative of the fights hillary has taken on in her life and driving passion. we have a woman who started her career as children's advocate running for president. she also has lauren, who's a woman she's known, a survivor of the 9/11 attacks at the world trade center. she's been very close to hillary for a number of years. as you know, hillary fought really hard to help new york recover from that and also get health insurance for the first responders there. so she's an important part of hillary's history. >> what about mark cuban. mark cuban and trump go back a long way. they were friendly. they competed for reality show slots. they've been friendly. obviously, now, they're on completely different sides here. mark cuban has called donald trump crazy.
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do you think having mark cuban there is the right thing to do? >> mark is a strong supporter of hillary's. he's a successfuling self-made businessman in america. he's come out to say she's the right choice to be president of the united states because she has plans to create jobs. she's the best economic plan for america moving forward. so he's been a great surrogate. >> so, when donald trump responded saying, fine, i'll bring gennifer flowers, but he was making a joke, what was your response? >> our response is hillary is coming here to talk to people about what she would do as president. trump has taken a different path and that's his choice. she's looking forward to the opportunity to get out on that debate stage tonight and talk about how she's the candidate that's ready to be our president, our commander in chief and her plans to make a real difference in people's lives. >> thank you very much. i appreciate it. coming up, will trump use the same debate style that helped him win the republican
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primary? at least when you looked at the online polls win so many of those primary debates, or will he do something different tonight? why some believe that polite trump could be what we see on stage. this is cnn special live coverage. you're not a cook, if you don't cook. you're not a firefighter, if you don't fight fires. or a coach, if you don't coach. and you can't be our leader, if you don't lead. our next president needs to take action on social security, or future generations could lose up to $10,000 a year. we're working hard, what about you? hey candidates, do your jobs. keep social security strong.
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♪ >> you can see the end of that performance as everyone gets ready for the big debate. we're hours away from the debate at hofstra university. it will be show time soon. donald trump and hillary clinton facing off in the first presidential debate. expectations are so high, the stakes are so high for both candidates. right now, gloria borger joins us, chief political analyst. you just had a chance to talk to
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sources within the clinton campaign. what are they say? >> a senior adviser says they are downplaying in the prep the bad trump, as this person called it, saying instead they believe that trump will behave generously toward hillary clinton. so, they are preparing more for that. the fact they said that to me leaves me to believe they've got a lot of zingers in their pocket they're ready to use for trump and that she is going to try and get under his skin to a great degree, which this source says is not really difficult for her, so it seems. >> so, they think she really is going to try to. you know how trump is. if someone comes at him and upset him, he puts it back. >> exactly. and they believe that trump at least in the beginning will not start out doing that. dana bash and dan merica
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reported the same thing. they believe he'll compliment her on breaking through the glass ceiling and all the rest. they're ready for the nice donald trump as well. >> the nice sho-to-show up. obviously, you get 15-minute segments here, 90 minutes, lots of things to talk about. the way lester holt, the moderator, put the description, the future of america. he could do whatever he wanted, which is what any moderator should try to do. he successfully set the stage that way. foreign policy is going to come up. earlier today i actually sat down with cia director, john brennan, and we talked about a whole lot of things about hillary clinton and donald trump. one of them was vladimir putin. this is what he said and i want your reaction to how it will play in the debate tonight. >> donald trump has said positive things about vladimir putin again and again. here are some. >> i think i get along very well with vladimir putin. >> putin is a nicer person than i am. he called me a genius. he says great things about me, i'm going to say great things about him. >> what is your reaction when
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you hear that? >> as director of cia, i don't involve myself in campaign politics. i will say, though, when i look at russia right now, we know that mr. putin has been very aggressive on the foreign policy front, but aus very aggressive in the cyber realm. we know that the russians are very active in that area. they have done some things over the past years to try to affect certain elections in different countries. i think we have to be very wary of what the russians may be doing. i think we have to be be careful about believing some thins they say publicly or disavowing any types of public activities they may be engaged in. russia is an adversary in a number of areas. as the cia director -- >> that's the word you use, adversary? >> yes. when i look at what's going on in syria right now, i'm very, very annoyed and frustrated the russians have not been following through on their commitments to apply pressure on the syrian regime to stop its horrific
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bombing of innocent men, women and children, places like aleppo. russia has said things publicly that i don't think they've followed through on privately. there are a lot of things about russia that i think this administration, the next administration, need to focus on because they're not trying to pursue these objectives as a way to enhance u.s. national security interests. >> he called russia an adversary. a word he used. certainly not a word donald trump used. also in our conversation he said he did expect, wouldn't be surprised if something happened in october, that would be relevant and perhaps impactful in terms of leaks by parties who want to influence the outcome. >> we've already seen that. the administration has already said they believe the russians are behind the tapping into the dnc e-mails, et cetera. so, that doesn't surprise me. the fact that he says it is important because he is the cia director. and then i think this evening, that will be raised.
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hillary clinton is going to raise donald trump's bromance with vladimir putin, no doubt about it. vladimir putin has 89% unpopularity rating in this country, so i think that's terra firma for her to go after vladimir putin. i think it's a sort of obvious thing she will do. it will be important to watch how donald trump, if donald trump defends vladimir putin because, as he says, putin thinks i'm brilliant, so i think he's smart, too. >> right. it's not just going against the political mainstream. you're going against national security, the director of the cia is saying, no, that's not how it is. >> right. it's not so easy to make deals with vladimir putin, as he was point nouing out in syria. >> he talked about his anger and frustration there. thank you, gloria. next, will will be there real-time fact-checking and who is in actual charge of the clock to keep them in line?
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where there prior deals made between the clinton and trump campaigns? o more reporting coming up as we continue our special coverage. (sigh) my insurance rates are probably gonna double.
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top. hour, i'm erin burnett and this is cnn special coverage of the first presidential debate life from hofstra university in hempstead, new york. can you see some of the students out here are they enthusiastic, excited, ready to cast their
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vote. we're less than six hours away as what's being billed as a battle royale. could turn out to be the most watched political event ever. as much as 100 million people may watch tonight. hillary clinton and donald trump together just as poll after poll is showing them in a dead heat. we now have clinton on top, trump on top in the other. all within the margin of error. so, how exactly does this debate work? a lot is going to come down here in terms of the rules. i want to go to our washington correspondent jeff zeleny and we'll get to the format in a moment, but first in the final hours, we hear about how differently they've been preparing. she's in a hotel nearby, still practicing. what is she doing? what is he doing? >> she likes those walk-through sessions, practice debate sessions. she's made no apology. she's shown she's practicing for this, including, i think this is interesting, the exact hour of the debate. sh

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