tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC September 11, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PDT
starting right now on "this week" with george stephanopoulos. >> announcer: starting right now often "this week with george stephanopoulos." >> we're fighting for every last city and every last person. >> announcer: ready for battle. with less than 60 days to go, hillary clinton under fire for her candid comments. >> you could put half of trump's supporters into what i call the basket of deplorables. the racist, sexist, homophobic. xenophobic, islamaphobic, you name it. >> they are not a basket of anything. they are americans, and they deserve your respect. and donald trump taking heat for praising putin. >> if he says great things about me, i'm going to say great things about him. >> he prefers the russian president to our american president. it is scary. it is dangerous!
>> announcer: but with the clock ticking, our brand-new poll shows she's held back by questions of honesty. he's struggling to convince voters he's qualified. we talk to each side, former mayor rudy giuliani and general john allen. plus -- [ playing "taps" ] >> announcer: -- how the tragic 9/11 attacks shaped our country. homeland security secretary jeh johnson is here live. from nbc news it's "this week." here now, chief anchor george stephanopoulos. good morning on this 15th anniversary of 9/11, the deadliest attack ever on american soil. we all remember where we were on that traumatic day. and today we remember and honor the thousands lost that morning and the thousands more who sacrificed their lives in the wars that followed. [ bell tolls ]
[ moment of silence ] >> that was the moment of silence at 8:46. the time when that first plane hit the north tower of the world trade center. bells tolling across new york city, across the country. and the names of the fallen now being read by family members of the victims. later in the program we're going to go to the pentagon also attacked that day. president obama will be there to honor the fallen. we'll bring that to you live. but now we move on to the politics of the moment and our brand-new poll from abc news and "the washington post." the top line, hillary clinton has a five-point lead in this four-way race, 46 to 41 over donald trump. gary johnson the libertarian at 9%. green party candidate jill stein at 2%. that five-point lead down a bit from her eight-point lead last month. and clinton now holes a ten-point lead among all registered voters. holding trump back, big questions about whether he's ready for the job. clinton is up by 20 points or
more on qualifications, consistency and temperament. clinton has the edge on issues too, but that's tight. a low single digit advantage of the economy, terrorism, and immigration. and questions about honesty are helping keep this a relatively close race. a record low 35% of voters find her honest and trustworthy. even fewer, 31% trust trump. but right now, trump's backers are more passionate. 48% of his voters are very enthusiastic compared to 36% for clinton. and with that let's bring in one of donald trump's key advisers, rudy giuliani. of course, he was the mayor of new york during the 9/11 attacks, and he was on "this week" the week following the attack. >> we don't want these cowardly terrorists to have us in any way alter our american way of life. this may go on for some time. we have to end terrorism. i believe the united states government is committed to that. and it's going to require us here in america to go about our way of life and not have them imperil it.
>> and mayor giuliani joins us now. 15 years later what is top of mind? >> those words are just as true now as they were then. i have been to san bernardino, and i've been to the other places that have been attacked, and, you know, after that event, i happened to have been in london a half a block away from the first bomb that went off in the liverpool station, so i've lived through a number of these since then, and it's still -- i come away with the following lesson, resiliency is one of the three or four best defenses against terrorism. and here's the best example of that. something i never believed would happen. twice as many people live in lower manhattan today than before september 11th. in the days after september 11th i was working really hard to get businesses back, maybe even threatening a little and american express decided to come back. merrill lynch decided to come back. i will always appreciate that because it was like a
stepping stone to rebuilding. >> by most measures, americans are safer today. do you agree with that? >> i have always thought it was a mixed bag. not necessarily even today but from the beginning. we're safer in certain ways. we're not as safe this other ways and here's the problem we have. it's almost true of wars. we're always fighting the last war. and then they figure a new one for us. terrorists are even more cunning at that. we're always fighting the last battle, the attack of the airplane, so, yes, is our airplane safety much greater today, absolutely. is our cargo safety much safer today? i can't tell you that, are we dealing with a different paradigm? meaning there we were dealing with one major group, al qaeda. having gone after the mafia and the colombian drug cartels, i can tell you, it's easier to go after a single organization than it is what we're facing today, which is this islamic nation which we think of just as isis in syria and iraq.
but it spread its tentacles all over the world, in 28 different countries. al qaeda never had the capacity to do that. these are -- i'm not going to say they're smarter people. these are better educated people. and they're people who know us better. they come from france and germany and england and the united states. the al qaeda people were afghan warriors, great warriors, horrible people but great warriors. but they didn't have the ability to use the internet or they didn't have the ability to infiltrate. so in some ways, we're safer. and in some ways, we're in a much different situation. >> of course, this is many coming in the middle of a presidential campaign. donald trump and his team have jumped on the comments from hillary clinton the other night, where she labeled half of his supporters into a basket of deplorables. she said -- she went on to say this, though. she regretted saying the word half but said that what's really deplorable is that donald trump hired a major advocate for the so-called alt-right movement to run his campaign. the david duke and other supreme sifts seen as a champion of their values. it's deplorable that trump has built his campaign largely on prejudice and paranoia
given a national platform to hateful views and voices. your response? >> well, today i'm not going to respond to that. i have never done politics on september 11th even when i was running for president. i actually think the nicest thing and the best thing to say about this campaign is i know hillary clinton. i know donald trump much better. neither one of them is a racist. and for either one to say that means they're getting a little too excited in their campaigning. both of them are good people. >> how about the issues of national security though coming out this week? we have seen mr. trump take some heat for praising vladimir putin. is it appropriate to praise a dictator who violates international law? >> i don't think he did. and i think he clarified it the next day. he sort of classified it during the debris. what he said was and i really don't want to talk politics but let me just explain this. what he said was, just because he flatters me doesn't mean he gets a better deal. you have to know donald trump. >> but he also said if he says nice things about me, i'm
going to say nice things about him. >> the same thing reagan and gorbachev did. they dealt with each other. it was the soviet union then. gorbachev was a killer just like putin is a killer. but that ended the cold war without firing a shot because reagan was capable of walking out of reykjavik. as trump made clear the other night in pensacola, he's perfectly capable of walking out of a deal if it's not in the best interest of the united states. it wouldn't be the first time he's walked out of a deal. and generally when -- you know, i've known donald for 28 years. when he walks out of a deal, they come back on his terms, just like they did with reagan and reykjavik. so i think you have to see that in the context in which it's made. he has the negotiating ability. and then this is all prefaced by a day in which he talked about major increases in our armed forces. going up to 6,000 -- 600,000 troops instead of going down to 420,000. going up to 350 battleships
instead of the lowest since the first world war. increasing our air force, modernizing our nuclear fleet. so he'll be negotiating with putin the way reagan did, from a position of strength. rather than the president who is negotiating with him from the extent that he did from a position of weakness. running away from 12 red lines that he drew in the sand giving up the defense of poland and the czech republic, resetting the relationship with russia. >> so do those intelligence officials who say putin is playing donald trump, your response? >> i would say he's played hillary clinton and barack obama all over the world. i mean, before they came into office putin was sitting there in russia. now he's in ukraine under obama and clinton. now he's in syria brought in by obama. obama is the one that empowered him. not donald trump. donald trump wants to negotiate with him and push him back into a position in which we can deal with his effectively. >> you also mentioned the strength of isis in iraq and syria. >> i didn't want to do it today. you're making me do it. >> just one more question on this because it is critical and
these are critical issues. >> they are. and they emerged from september 11th. >> they do emerge from september 11th, and one of the things iing that donald trump said thursday was we should have taken the oil of iraq. even if you could do that practically, and most experts say you couldn't, wouldn't that just be theft? >> well, no, he didn't -- he said take it so that the islamic state would not have had it available. >> he said leave a force back there and take it. >> leave a force back there and take it and make sure it's distributed in the proper way. and basically -- >> that's not legal, is it? >> of course, it's legal. it's a war. until the war is over, anything is legal. that oil becomes a very critical issue. first of all, if that oil wasn't there, we wouldn't have the islamic state. so, when he says things like obama and hillary were the founder of the islamic state, he doesn't mean literally that. he follows it by saying, they would get the mvp award. that oil is what makes the islamic state so rich. had we held that oil, made sure
that it was equitably distributed within iraq, we would have been able to -- >> he said we should have taken it. >> he didn't say we should take it for ourselves, necessarily. he said we sure secure it so it doesn't get taken by terrorist forces and then we can have some say, some control over the distribution of it. one of the major problems is, between the kurds and the sunnis and the shiites, the oil and the distribution of it. if we're going to have lost as many people as we have in iraq, we should have had something to say about how the oil is distributed. that would have been the reason i would have done it. maybe i wouldn't have anticipated. but it certainly would have been good if this had been done. if we had secured that oil, we would not be dealing with isis today. they wouldn't exist. >> finally before we go, i just want to ask you about a front page story in "the new york times" yesterday. they quoted several of your former advisers saying they're worried about your legacy because of your support for donald trump. what is your response? >> you know what i tell them,
i'm going to see them tonight. i get together with the people who almost died with me on 9/11. we were in a building together. we were missing for 20 minutes and governor pataki was really shocked when we called him. he said, i thought you were missing. we formed a great bond over that, by the way. so we all get together tonight. i'm sure some of them will be there who anonymously leaked the story. as you remember anonymous leaks from your days back in the white house. they also always happen. and i'll just say to them, worry about my legacy after i'm dead. right now, i'm fighting from my point of view and what i believe and everybody has a right. i'm fighting for my country. i believe there will be a major difference between the two of them in terms of our economy and most importantly how we deal with terrorism. i don't like the way this administration has dealt with terrorism. i think they have put us too much on defense. and there have been too many terrorist attacks in the last year. san bernardino happened less than a year ago. you just start counting them from san bernardino on in december of last year, and
we're talking about a major escalation of terrorist attacks and a major proliferation of terrorist attacks that this administration, i believe has encouraged by being on defense. we're sitting back waiting for the next attack. we should be on offense. when hillary said i'm not going to put any troops in, you might as well stop trying to deal with them. i mean now they know you're a patsy. >> mr. mayor, thanks for joining us this morning. >> thank you. and we're joined now by retired four-star general john allen, he's a hillary supporter. general allen, thank you for joining us this morning. i want you to respond to some of the things mayor giuliani talked about. let's begin with the 15th anniversary of 9/11. your final years of service track your evolution of this threat over the last 15 years. >> it did, george. and, again, thank you for how abc acknowledged this day in the respectful manner in which it paid tribute to the families and all of those who suffered as a result of this attack.
and i also want to say how much all of us remember and respect mayor giuliani and the example that he set for all of us at one of the darkest moments in american history. i have -- my career did, in fact, track much of this. on the fifth anniversary, i was on an advanced party in the al anbar province getting ready for my own 13-month deployment. on the tenth anniversary i was commanding the war effort in afghanistan. and today i'm with you. but in the 15th year, i was the president's special envoy to the global coalition to counter isil. three different conflicts. 15 years. three different enemies. and it's been a long time, george. >> you just heard mayor giuliani there say isil -- he said isis would not exist had we followed donald trump's advice and simply taken the oil which he said would have been legal. your response? >> the two are completely
separate. the issue of oil and the existence of isil, or as the arabs call them daesh, there is only the remotest relationship between the two. so let me just tell you that what we face in the context of the global terrorist movement is a long-term problem with social, economic, and political issues across that region in the world, which has created such a widespread radicalization that one group after another has sprung up over the years. it's not about the oil in iraq and it's not about the oil in syria. with respect to taking the oil, i seem to remember that the term to the victor goes the spoils in the justification. you know, we as a community of civilized nations stopped saying that and stopped doing that years ago. we may have been able to help iran in the process of recovering -- excuse me, iraq in recovering its oil enterprise. and, in fact, we're doing that today in helping them with the
beiji oil refinery and others, but the presence of iraqi oil has had very little to do with the emergence of isil. now, isil, did, in fact, exploit the oil enterprise, but it did so largely in syria and very little in iraq, if at all. so the two largely are separate and unrelated. >> mayor giuliani also talked about what hillary clinton said about ground troops. let's listen. >> we're not putting ground troops into iraq ever again. and we're not putting ground troops into syria. we're going to defeat isis without committing american ground troops. >> as you know, we do have troops on the ground in iraq and even in syria right now. setting that aside, is it wise for a potential commander in chief to make blanket statements like that? >> well, i think, george, we need to make sure we're clear on what she's implying and i think what she's implying --
and she and i have not spoken about this, but as i read it in her comments, she's implying she's not intending to have the united states be committed into another large ground war in that part of the world. you're exactly correct. there are a large number, over several thousand american and coalition partners on the ground today. and knowing her as the potential and hopefully commander in chief, i know that she'll consult with her leadership and the commanders and will give them the resources necessary to be successful. we have chosen, and she has reiterated this, we have chosen that we intend to defeat daesh, isil through the use of indigenous forces. iraqis on the one side and the indij joust forces in syria on the other. that's the route to permanent defeat. and that's something that she's reiterated, and i believe she'll give the commanders what they need to be successful. >> at that forum the other night, donald trump mentioned generals like you who served under president obama. here's what he said. >> i think under the leadership
of barack obama and hillary clinton, the generals have been reduced to rubble. they've been reduced to a point where it's embarrassing for our country. >> what did you think when you heard those comments? >> once again, i couldn't -- i just shake my head. i don't feel much like rubble. i had the opportunity to participate in a full career. for several commanders in chief. as i look around at my peers, i won't go start naming names because i would spend the rest of your show doing it, for some of the finest leaders that america has ever put under stars, whether they're admirals or generals, and they're spectacular leaders. and they've not been reduced to rubble. in fact, they're some of the finest both leaders and national security specialists and authorities that this country has minted in a generation. i was proud to serve with them. and i'm proud to have them in their leadership positions in
the world today. they haven't been reduced to rubble, george. >> and he also says that he'll ask the generals if he, indeed, is elected as president of the united states to come up with a plan to defeat isis. if he were to do that, would he get the plan we have today or something dramatically different? >> it's hard to say what the -- what the commander in chief would do. when he calls in his key advisers would be to offer them his guidance, as is appropriate, as the commander in chief, for how he sees the conflict. of course, he would ask for their advice. but he would offer them their guidance, and then would give them some period of time to come back with their best advice, best military advice. and this is key. this is why we have such fine leaders today and the critical role that they play. they provide the commander in chief their best military advice. so, my guess would be if he tasked general dunford and the military leader shship to come back to him within 30
days, they would get from them, he would get from them their best military advice. >> general allen, thank you for joining us today. >> good to be with you, george. and thank you again for what you did for the legacy of this terrible day. >> thank you. >> there is lots more ahead on "this week." our powerhouse "roundtable" standing by to weigh in on where things stand in this unsettled election. and up next, homeland security secretary jeh johnson. from ground zero on this 15th anniversary of 9/11. are we safer now than we were then? we'll get his latest thoughts on russia's moves to meddle in our elections. >> announcer: "this week with george stephanopoulos" brought to you by bp. it's not a banner that goes on a wall. it's not something you do now and then. or when it's convenient. it's using state-of-the-art simulators to better prepare for any situation. it's giving offshore teams onshore support. and it's empowering anyone to stop a job if something doesn't seem right. at bp, safety is never being satisfied.
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that's why i use excedrin.n hold because of a headache. it has two pain fighters plus a booster and for some, headache relief starts in just 15 minutes. now moments lost to headaches are moments gained with excedrin. [heartbeat] we have a big debate coming up. who knows what's going to happen there? i don't imagine any of you are going to be watching the debate. >> donald trump is a self-proclaimed great debater who won every one of the republican debates. so i take nothing for granted. >> that first big presidential debate just two weeks from tomorrow. and our partners at ssrs
found this week that 74% of americans are likely to watch that first face-off. but even more voters, 77%, said that the debate performances will have little or no impact on how they vote. here's a number that may matter most. those 23% who say that how the candidates do will have a major impact on their vote. with the audience expected to be the largest in history, that key group could swing a close race and of all the issues out there, viewers want to hear the most about the economy and immigration. we'll be right back with our "roundtable" and jeh johnson.
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passengers on 9/11 to protect the u.s. capitol. it is one of many observances today on this 15th anniversary of the attacks and we're joined now by ground zero by the homeland security secretary jeh johnson. mr. johnson, thank you for joining us this morning. on anniversaries like this, we're so concerned about possible follow-on attacks. are you picking up any intelligence on an imminent threat? >> george, there's no specific credible intelligence around the programs that are going on today indicating any type of terrorist plot directed at these programs today. the point, however, is that in the current environment, we have to deal with the prospect of a lone wolf actor or self-radicalized actor. just saying there's no specific credible threat doesn't tell the whole story. and that's why you see a lot of security out here today in new york city and in other places where we're observing 9/11.
>> and that gets to my next question. the big question on a day like this, are we any safer than we were 15 years ago? i was speaking to the former mayor of new york, rudy giuliani earlier. he talked about a mixed bag. safer in some ways. not safer in others. >> george, we are safer when it comes to protecting against another 9/11-style terrorist-directed attack from overseas. our intelligence community, our law enforcement has become pretty good at connecting the dots when it comes to another overseas based, terrorist-directed plot on our homeland. we're in a new environment, however, where we have to be prepared against and try to prevent lone wolf style attacks, the self-radicalized actor. isil-aq now have the ability to reach into our homeland through social media, through the internet to recruit and inspire. it makes for a more complicated homeland security environment.
and so it requires a whole of government approach, not just military and law enforcement, homeland security, aviation security and the like. that's the new environment we're in, george. ? we've also heard from donald trump that he believes that one of the ways to lower the threat is to stop processing visas from countries that have a history of terrorism and he believes in adding a new level of screening that he calls extreme vetting. >> we should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people. in the cold war, we had an ideological screening test. the time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today. >> what is your response to that? >> george, we actually have a pretty intense form of vetting for refugees, immigrants coming from particular parts of the world who meet certain
parameters. for example, our syrian refugee program, the president wanted us to admit this year 10,000 syrian refugees. these are people, men, women, children, fleeing violence and terrorism in syria. and over the last year, we have added a whole bunch of security checks and precautions in vetting refugees. it requires some 18 to 24 months for each individual, and so we have in place now a lot of security around vetting process. we always evaluate whether more is necessary given the current threat environment. but our vetting, when it comes to refugees, for example, is mul multilayered, and and it's pretty thorough. >> what about that ideological test mr. trump is talking about? >> well, we always look for indications, and we've enhanced our ability to look at this in social media. we always look for indications
of a radical, violent bent. there were some lessons learned recently where we believe we need to ramp up our looking at social media. we always look for indications of an extremist, violent nature, and that's what we do, and we're getting better at it every day, and we're going to keep working at it. ideology in and of itself, however, you've got to define that a littttle better. we're determined to root out violent extremism, and that's what we look for. >> our homeland is facing new cyberthreats including from russia. and i wanted to ask you about that because there is a rising chorus in congress saying that the administration should publicly blame russia for hacking the dnc e-mail system, hold them accountable for trying to influence our elections. here's senator ben sasse, a nebraska republican. he says that the obama administration has a reason for not clearly attributing these hacks to russia, it contradicts their own cyberstrategy.
if they're silent because it would invite response, that suggests that we're operating from a position of weakness. they believe that failing to call out russia now is going to invite future attacks. >> well, george, the -- there's still an investigation around the dnc hacks. the message i've been sending to state and local election officials is that there's a range of cyberactors out there that are pretty sophisticated right now, not just nation state but criminal actors, activists. we have to do our best to protect our election system. our election process. and dhs, my department, is in position to provide assistance if they ask for it. we're having that conversation with state and local officials right now. we can do vulnerability assessments, but the question of attribution is a complicated one, and the investigation into
the dnc hack is ongoing. >> but are we in danger of having a foreign power influence or alter our vote? >> we're concerned about the potential for someone to try to penetrate our election systems to the extent that they're online on the internet. obviously, we're very concerned about what happened with the dnc, and it would be very hard to actually alter a ballot count because our election process is so decentralized. there's some 9,000 jurisdictions, state and local that are involved in the election process, national, state and local elections. we're concerned to the extent that election systems have a presence online that that be secure, and so we're actively out there now telling state and local officials what the department of homeland security can do to help them better secure their cybersecurity.
>> secretary johnson, thanks for joining us this morning. >> thanks, george. and up next, we go live to president obama at the pentagon on this 15th anniversary of 9/11. plus, our powerhouse "roundtable" on one more tumultuous week in politics. >> announcer: "this week with george stephanopoulos" is brought to you by pfizer. it was an idea. a wild "what-if." so scientists went to work. they examined 87 different protein structures and worked for 12 long years. there were thousands of patient volunteers and the hope of millions. and so after it became a medicine, someone who couldn't be cured, could be. me. ♪
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there is president obama at there is president obama at the pentagon this morning, laying a wreath to honor those who fell on 9/11. when american airlines flight 77 crashed into the building's western wall. there's been a moment of silence, and there we see the secretary of defense, ash carter. >> mr. president, chairman dunford, honored guests, family and friends of those we lost on 9/11, today we come together as we have every year since 2001. we come together to remember those we lost that day, and to stand again with their friends and families to honor those we'll never forget. we come together to reflect on all we've done together to
recover and rebuild, to respond and to retaliate. and we come together to recommit to our hard but certain mission to protect our country and our people and to make a better world for our children. to all those here before us who lost loved ones 15 years ago -- >> president obama and the secretary of defense there this morning at the pentagon to honor those lost on 9/11, one of many ceremonies today. there will be a moment of silence in shanksville, pennsylvania, where united flight 93 went down. and of course, there has been one at ground zero. we'll be right back. been one at ground zero. we'll be right back.
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ask your doctor about victoza®. what would you do if you were elected about aleppo? >> about? >> aleppo? >> and what is aleppo? >> you're kidding. >> no. believe me, no one is taking this more seriously than me. i feel horrible. well, you know, i was thinking acronym when he said aleppo. and guilty. it's fair game. i'm running for president of the united states. i respect the process. and for those that believe this is a disqualifier, so be it. >> gary johnson, libertarian candidate, first big gaffe of the campaign. we'll get to that with "the roundtable." let me introduce the editor of "the weekly standard" bill kristol, e.j. dionne, the author of "why the right went wrong." republican congresswoman marsha blackburn of tennessee, the
democratic mayor of baltimore, stephanie rawlings-blake and john heilemann from bloomberg politics and, e.j., let me begin with that poll. hillary clinton off her peak of an eight-point lead in august. not a lot of movement in the race. >> i think you're seeing a lot of indicators that people, not surprisingly given the clear choice they've got, have made up their minds and it's going to be hard to change their minds. you see a couple of things here. one, where does she have room to grow? i was struck in the poll that she's got 79% of the people who approve of president obama. his approval rate something quite high in this polling. >> quite high. 58%. it seems to be the highest since the first year of his presidency which seems hard to believe, i gotta tell you. >> it's higher than most of the other polls, but whether it's 58 or 55, he's positive. she's still got some room to grow there. it's hard to see where trump can pick up, but i think the danger to clinton is in another number
in the poll which shows that the people who are going to jill stein or gary johnson tend now to be coming from her. and i don't think trump can win this by building up his vote very high because i think he's got a ceiling. he's got to push her people off to the third party candidates or to abstention. and that's the last lesson that i take from this poll, which is she needs to motivate her side a little more than she has. >> i think that's right. one of the things we're seeing, congresswoman blackburn, is those rock hard supporters -- maybe e.j.'s right. those rock-hard supporters, the people with donald trump right now much more excited about him than hillary clinton supporters are about her. >> that's exactly right. the enthusiasm is on the trump side in this. and clinton supporters are not excited about that race. and i think that enthusiasm gap will come into play with this. and also it's why you probably will see some erosion to stein and to johnson from the clinton camp. there's another thing, i think, that's significant is looking on
what is happening on the ground in the states with the state games, with the ground games that are there because basically, when you look at polling, you have to look at the state polling to see what is happening. i was in new hampshire yesterday. and trump is doing very well there, and there is a lot of enthusiasm in that ground game. >> there actually is a new poll out this morning, a marist poll showing a one-point race in new hampshire. what do you think about the enthusiasm gap? and how does hillary clinton prevent that bleeding off to gary johnson and jill stein? >> i think the trump supporters overstate the enthusiasm gap. i know democrats all over this country that are thrilled about the prospect of having secretary clinton as our next president. and to the contrary, i meet so many republicans that are so absolutely ashamed of the behavior of donald trump. during this race. i had a conversation yesterday with a veteran, with a
brand-new, you know, with a 2-year-old daughter, who said there was no way he could raise his daughter in a world where donald trump is the president. it's just not aligned with his priorities. >> and bill kristol is one of those people who has not been enthusiastic about donald trump. but one of the things you see in the poll, he is consolidating that republican vote. >> to some degree. and, i mean, i don't think this race is over. i've been thinking for two or three weeks how people are overestimating that hillary clinton will win. the big problem he has in the abc/"washington post" poll and this has been very steady for a year. is he qualified to be president? very simple question. 36% yes. 60% say no. you know, if 36% of the public thinks -- only 36% thinks you're qualified to be president, you have a problem. on the other hand, people want change. what's hillary clinton's message? that's the thing that strikes me the most. i mean, what will she change? i think trump should put up an ad, you want change, i'm going to change things. i'm going to build the wall. i'm going to renegotiate trade deals. i'm going the build the
military. whatever. what is hillary clinton going to change about the path we're on? comment the other day, >> up until this deplorable comment the other day, and we will get get into this, it seemed the clinton campaign was trying to show they were changing. more press conferences. a little more personal. trying to put out a little more policy. >> look, they are -- there's a consensus among the two campaigns right now. she's ahead. the race is tightening. he has a very, very narrow path to 270 electoral votes. she has a lot of different paths. but they are ahead in brooklyn. but they're looking over their shoulder at trump right now and i think some of those things you're talking about reflect that. they keep hearing it's not enough to just disqualify donald trump. and so they understand that there's not got to be some degree of both personal appeal and some kind of positive message. they keep getting drawn into these debates that are mostly negative. >> e.j., i don't think she meant to -- she wanted to put half of trump's supporters into that basket of deplorables
which is why she put out this statement saying she regretted using the word half. but it was a real sorry/not sorry statement even though she regret saying that, she doubled down on what she's been saying about donald trump. >> first, any presidential candidate going into a fund-raiser should write on their hand, i'm a candidate, not a political analyst. you shouldn't analyze the voters. it always gets you into trouble. on the other hand, your point is well taken. she quickly pivoted off that. she realized, nope, i shouldn't have said it that way. but she moved it where there is a case to be made, which is this is an extreme campaign. the campaign chief is from breitbart. there is -- the alt-right is important here. that's the difference with the 47%. i think romney couldn't go anywhere from that that was constructive. she's trying to move this way. but she still should not have said it and she knows it. >> you know, i've got to tell you, hillary's 50%
comment, it is resonating. people heard what she said. and i've got to tell you, when you look at things like corruption, the clinton foundation, her comments about she wouldn't put ground troops in, that is what causes people some concern, and then they say, and you think half the country, 50% of the country fits a basket of deplorables, irredeemable, not america. i think it was so insulting to so many people, firefighters. military. >> and the best thing i love about hillary clinton is when she insults people, she apologizes for it. and we've never heard that from -- >> she did not apologize. >> absolutely. >> she did not apologize. she did a half-hearted, well, i'm sorry i got caught. >> she didn't say half the country. she said half the trump supporters -- >> but that's actually a problem. she said half the trump supporters are irredeemable deplorables. the other half are these kind of pitiable americans who are suffering, who are very anxious.
she should acknowledge -- and that's insulting in a way, too. there are plenty of people, i don't agree with them, supporting trump because he's the republican nominee. they're willing to forgive things he's said and done. both candidates, bizarrely, in a competitive election, spend a great amount of time on their base and insulting the others. instead of trying to win people over. >> is this comment going to matter a month from now? >> i think she apologized relatively cleanly, particularly if you compare the reluctance of donald trump to apologize about anything. >> never anything wrong. >> comparatively speaking, her apology was relatively clean. i do think it violates the fundamental tenet it's fine to attack your opponent. but you should stay away from attacking the electorate. the other thing that is a problem is that donald trump has attacked her as a bigot over and over again. there was never before this moment there was never a time in which you could kind of justify that where she had said anything that met the dictionary definition of bigoted.
this comment kind of gets very close to the dictionary definition of bigoted. so it gives trump a talking point that he'll go back to again and again. >> could i say the real cost of this is if she hadn't said that, we might now be talking about donald trump's love affair with vladimir putin or a million other subjects. today that's where the news was going. and all the dissent in bill's party over what he's saying about putin, and instead we're talking about this. >> a good job every week of trying to lose this campaign. i mean, the other one's destroying himself or herself. and then the other stun steps in and says -- >> raising $6 million. this is what is in her heart of hearts. this is what she thinks about people that are out there in fly-over country, if you will. and that is why these 50 state polls are so important. >> when you talk about what's in your heart of hearts, you have to look, to your point, about someone who is praising and idolizing putin. we're here having a lively political debate. that doesn't happen in russia. when they criticize putin, they
end up missing, and no one gets prosecuted for it. to have someone who is showing you that in their heart that is what they consider true leadership, that should be scaring people. >> that put republican leadership in a difficult spot seeing speaker ryan say he won't comment. other senate candidates put in difficult positions as well. but donald trump not backing down at all on that praise. >> no, that's amazing. and it's pretty disqualifying for me, but a lot of other people are -- the most depressing thing for me as a conservative and a republican for all these years is seeing other conservatives and republicans moving over now. they feel they have to defend trump. so suddenly they have to sort of defend his comments on putin and suddenly they're rationalizing and defending an anti-american dictator. if the republican party has stood for anything over the last quarter century, it's that we're pretty tough in opposing anti-american dictators. >> painful to watch respectable republicans have to defend it. i felt so sorry for giuliani this morning on the show. you could see it physically
pained him to have to take up -- >> why does he have to? >> i don't think he was pained by that at all. you thought he was? >> it looked it. >> you're being nice to a fellow mayor. you mayors all stick together. >> we have to. >> you know, but speaking about russia, e.j., you keep hearing, oh, they've got the 30,000 e-mails that were deleted from hillary clinton's server. there's more to come in this election. jeh johnson would not come down definitively and say that russia was behind the hack. but most intelligence officials believe they were. >> this is a very scary thing and also with the electronic voting and number of states that don't even have a paper ballot as a backup, this is a scary thing. and one thing that i think substantively, it's a horrible thing he's doing with putin. but politically it's also harmful because now the democrats have an argument that if something comes out of russia to discredit her, this becomes a story about why are the russians, why is putin trying to interfere in our
election, which is a conversation she would very much like to have. >> and john heilemann -- >> what about the clinton foundation and their relationship with frank giustra and with -- >> what about the trump foundation and illegal campaign foundations. there's a difference between allegations and evidence. >> let me tell you, well, there's a lot of documents and a lot of evidence on wrongdoing of the clinton foundation. >> we're likely to see it come up at the debates. >> it is coming up. no question about that. >> i want to talk about that for a minute. we saw a forum. the candidates back to back. lots of attention. strong ratings. what did you take away from that looking ahead to the debates? >> well, i think that there's a -- that to the extent that in the moment, it seemed as trump had a better night than hillary clinton in terms of style and the immediate aftermath. then as people started to focus on substance, particularly over putin, the clinton campaign was able to get that conversation back where it wanted to be. and i do think that what we'll see is a different kind of environment on the debate stage.
the two of them side by side where trump is pressed to engage in a sustained as much as you can in a relatively short time frame, a sustained set of arguments that will be i think more driven by policy and substance. she's got to worry about his ability to bluster his way through anything. and obviously the stakes will be really high for both of them, but i do think that to the extent it becomes a matter of substance, he's in a one-on-one environment. he's never been in that situation. she's been in many one-on-one debates before. she'll have a strong advantage coming in. >> how aggressive should she be? >> it's very tricky for her. i think she needs to be aggressive enough to challenge trump, particularly when he says things that aren't true, but she's also selling herself. and this goes to bill's point. she needs to give voters a comfortable place to go to oppose trump. so she's got a tricky path. what was fascinating in the wake of this debate and the critique of matt lauer from democrats, we have spent about 40 years hearing conservatives do an excellent job trashing the media
and saying the media is biased toward liberals and democrats. and suddenly you have an attack here that puts the debate moderators on a little bit on notice and particularly on the question of fact-checking during the debate. and i think before this experience, they might have been reluctant to do it. after some of the reviews he got, i think the pressure is reversed but that is at least what the democrats are hoping. >> and the clinton camp, they said it was not a great night. but might be good for them in the long run. do you agree? >> because they can spin the notion that matt lauer is a right-winger whose brutally tough questioning of hillary clinton is unfair. when you have a weak candidate, you blame the media. believe me, i'm a republican. on the republican side we've done that. we've done that -- >> for years. >> totally, totally and we lost those elections, right, and i think the fact that the left went to blame the media does show what john says, trump doesn't know anything about foreign policy and what he says in many cases is really abhorrent. but in the evening, he looked more presidential than she did.
>> hillary can't remember what she does and does not know about foreign policy. and if she got briefings or not, and then she has great clarity on, you know, what would be confidential or the header but couldn't remember if "c" was for a paragraph -- >> and knows better than anyone in the world how to cure the isis problem. he knows better than any general how to cure the issue of terrorism. >> he would listen to the generals. >> which one is it? >> one which is it? >> he wouldn't predetermine that he's not going to put troops in. >> that is -- that -- >> and that national security is the number one issue. >> that is it for the last word today. we'll be right back.
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>> up next. ing the victims of 9/11. and late word from ground zero where hillary clinton has left the 9/11 ceremony after feeling unwell. what her campaign is saying. >> all right. here's a live shot. you see the wind blowing the flag right now. a cooling trend has started. i'll let you know what your neighborhood be high will be