tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN September 16, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm PDT
here we go. we are live here at the ronald reagan presidential library in simi county, california. i'm brooke baldwin, thrilled to be here, hours away from the main event where history will be made this evening. ten men and one woman will take one another on in the cnn republican presidential debate. and some of them right now are arriving on the scene. they're walking around our staging area, seeing how close these podiums are to one another, seeing how incredibly intimate this sven eye is. you are just about ten feet away from those candidates in the front row. george pataki is touring the stage. they're getting their turns. he just talked to my colleague asena jones. here's what the governor just said. >> what id you do to prepare this morning? >> my whole life has prepared me
for this. i was governor of new york for three terms. i've been through september 11th to the excitement of our recovery. i'm ready. >> reporter: last question, what's your plan, your goal? how are you going to break through tonight? >> just be myself. let the people know my optimistic view of america. the sky is the limit when we work together. i believe in america. >> good luck. >> thank you. >> athena jones joins me from inside the pavilion where the debate will be set. listen, i appreciate the governor speaking to you. i don't know if i'd want to talk to media here in the hours ahead of what really could be the biggest moment in their political lives. tell me more about who you're seeing and what they're doing thering there on stage. >> reporter: isn't it interesting that governor pataki said his whole life has prepared him for this debate. that echos what donald trump, his entire life preparation for this debate. we've seen several candidates arrive from the top tier event
and the main event. senator lindsey graham, senator marco rubio. he had something interested to say. i asked how he's going to break through. received, this is a long process, this contest won't be decided tonight. i spoke with governor huckabee briefly. he said his concern was whether or not he was going to get enough time to talk. he said so much attention has been on one or two candidates he hopes he gets a chance to kind of make his case as you can probably see in the pictures, as the candidates go into the debate hall we've been talking so much about, they get a chance to look at the podium, look where the moderators will be sitting, get the lay of the land so they know what to expect later on tonight. now just a few hours from now, brooke. >> athena jones, the countdown clock is on. here with me in simi county, california, let's open this up and have a bigger debate ahead
of tonight's ge de bait. i want to bring in cnn national political reporter may reston, cnn political commentator amanda carpenter and a deputy campaign manager for mitt romney's 2012 presidential campaign. so great to have you all here. i feel the nerves even just seeing senator paul getting off the stage. you feel it, right? for them almost in a sense. the question to you first is really the headline today, this new hampshire poll. you see the obvious trump ahead, carson at number two and now fiorina has pulled in at number three and jeb bush has really dropped. >> right. which is not surprising i will say. one thing about fiorina she has been working people there for months. the influencers she's been back so many times. we did expect to see her rise in new hampshire at some point. but obviously this is not good news for jeb bush once again, sliding back. >> psychologically going into
it. >> yeah. you've got to have your game face on. it's just really interesting the way these sort of insider candidates as they've been classified are sliding down and you see fiorina and carson rising up there with trump. and perhaps overtaking trump at some point soon. >> perhaps. we don't know yet. also in the same poll eight out of tin americans want change in washington. it's a theme we've heard before. for you two who have been on the inside for these candidates, four hours out, what are they doing right now? >> well, you know, speaking for govern governor romney, this was a time when he really just sort of looked to decompress and spend time with his family. he wasn't trying to cram his brain full of more information. he was really just trying to kind of not think about the debate. but to athena's comments, you know, the campaign isn't going to be decided tonight, but in some cases this is when candidates fall. this is when rick perry really
sort of saw his demise. >> right. >> back in the 2012 campaign. and he never really recovered even in this campaign. so it's not going to be won tonight, but there could be a candidate that loses tonight because they stumble. >> that play noose a little bit of what marco rubio said in his walk-up saying it's a long game. i think that's the wrong approach at this moment in time. you look at the debate schedule, the cnn debate is so important tonight. after this, there's only four more debates, number one. this is also the only time that republicans have complete attention on their debate. then we'll go into the democratic debates, it will be thanksgiving, christmas, winter and then, bam, february 1st primaries. so i think this, if you have to do the dirty work of taking down donald trump, now is the time. >> this is it. i was a huge nerd and sat and watched the entire last debate. there was an initial tune-in factor, i think 24 million people. but now you have the other people post-labor day waking up, seeing what's happening, and add to that what i find fascinating.
i don't know if you've wandered around that stage. how totally inmate it is and how will maybe a jab or an insult really resonate and ring loud in that pavilion. >> it's so intimate and there are some candidates who have a real strength with that kind of audience, connecting with voters. >> like who? >> obviously fiorina, rubio actually does really well in that setting. we also have to remember that often the moments that become the big moments of the debate are really framed in the after dls math. you know, gerald ford's big mistake in his debate in the moment, the focus groups didn't actually see it as a huge mistake. but later on as the media narrative went around, you know, that's how the coverage can kind of sway the way people think about these candidates. >> also we'll talk to dan pfeiffer about this, the first 20 minutes an social media really sets the tone. to you, katy, who is your wild
ca card? >> well, i think there is a real opportunity for carly tonight. you know, she was somebody that was in the second-tier debate last time. this is an opportunity for her to speak to the prime-time audience, many of whom have never seen or heard from her before. she's really going to be looking to make her mark. donald trump has said some disparaging things to her, some things that i would call very sexist. >> yeah. >> i think she's going to have an opportunity to respond and in some ways really speak for women and push back on him. she'll make a move tonight. >> this is an opportunity for her. >> she's been entirely classy, but ladies sometimes when we bang our fists on a table we're not always p perceived as strong. it's a "b" word we won't use on tv. >> how do you thread that needle? >> pushing back on the attacks that come on her, making that so she's defined as the woman candidate. she's done such a good job of walking that line and responding to it but not letting it take over her campaign. >> who is your wild card?
>> the wild card for me is the governors as a group. i think the most interesting subtext going into this debate is the collective collapse of the governors. it you look at some of the latest polls if you add up all the governors they poll collectively fewer points than ben carson alone. >> jeb bush, kasich, huckabee. >> before this all ramped up in the debate season, a lot of governors were saying executive experience is a necessary qualification to be president. i'm wondering if they will once again circle the wagons on that or if they've abandoned that completely with the rise of donald trump. >> it's the wrong night for those guys to cite their resumes. nobody wants to hear about it. >> again, eight out of ten americans wants change in washington. final thoughts for you. i think we would be remiss not talking about ben carson. i think it will be a fascinating juxtaposition. he is standing next to donald trup am. they could not be different.
tonewise, they couldn't be more different. he says he doesn't want to get into a gladiator fight. but the american people want somebody who will stand up for who he or she believes. tapper wants a debate. how does he do that? >> the most fascinating thing about ben carson going to his ral rallies, a lot of people in the audience liked trump at first and moved to carson because they liked that quieter, more thoughtful persona he has. it will be interesting to see if he can capitalize on that. have good lines and look tough against trump but keep the people moving from trump to him. i think that's his challenge tonight. >> thank you all so much. i love this. we should postgame tomorrow. thank you so much. please make sure to tune in tonight for the first of the two debates, the first one beginning at 6:00 eastern and the main event with 11 candidates squeezed on that stage 8:00 eastern right here on cnn. coming up next, the rules.
hear what these candidates are allowed to actually physically bring with them onstage. you may be surprised by something they can't have with them. also, listen, this is about how they appear. about the physicality. about body language. we'll talk to an expert on the strengths and weaknesses of certain candidates. one of them has an issue with his finger. and you think being a candidate is stressful right about now? how about being the moderator? we'll talk live with someone who has had to referee one of these debates. we'll try to understand perhaps what our friend and colleague jake tapper may be going through right now as he's been working on these questions. i can tell you they're still tweaking them hours ahead of them, making them fresh, making them resonate with americans. don't miss this. live pictures inside the reagan presidential library in similar simi county, california. we'll be right back.
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and you're looking at some pictures we just turned around for you of governor jeb bush just arriving here at the reagan presidential library, walking in. there's athena jones trying to grab him. he continues on. and we will watch for him as each of these candidates get just about 15 minutes to walk around, get familiar with the debate stage at the pavilion. governor pa tack kay ki was the last to do the walk-through. we'll be looking for the pictures, jeb bush getting familiar with what's ahead. a big, big night for all of these. donald trump says he doesn't play by the rule whz it comes to politics. >> but with 11 candidates taking the stage tonight, there will be several ground rules they all have to follow. for one, each candidate will be given a pen and paper and a glass of water.
no phones. no tablets. no notes. and the distribution of talking time here is so crucial. let's bring in our executive editor of cnn politics who's been working around the clock, mark preston. jake tapper and a couple others including you have been huding out in ray secret room going over the questions. you hear tapper over and over again saying you know this is about a debate. i want to hear the candidates really chew on these issues. how will tonight difr? >> i think it's interesting how jake is putting it out there. we aren't looking for speeches. this isn't a candidate forum or an interroute. this is to try to find contrasting positions between the candidates so viewers and voters can actually make a decision about whether they want to support one republican over another in a republican primary. >> i'm looking at you and listening to you but i'm also looking at jeb bush out of the corner of my eye on the stage. can you tell me what are they really taking in standing behind
the podium, familiarizing themselves with their positioning? what's so key in the couple of hours ahead of time? >> look, even before this occurred today and is happening right now, their staff came yesterday. we took them all through the facility, took them up on the stage, showed them where their candidate would be. they all took pictures, took notes, figuring out distances between podiums, went back, delivered it to the candidate. this is the fst time the candidates have seen the stage. can you imagine being in front of this audience at such a crucial moment and never having seen the stage. you see jeb bush standing there looking straightforward, trying to figure it out. there's a funny anecdote that there was a note that was left by mitt romney for herman cain during the walk-throughs. we never said what it was and quite frankly i forget what it is right now, but he left it on his podium, which was a very humorous moment. >> so there could be notes left in the candidates' campaign trailers. so as we walk through, we keep
our eyes on the screen, we'll see the candidates walking through for the next couple of hours, so much attention paid on the 8:00 eastern debate, the 10 men, 1 woman on the stage. but the debate ahead of time with the four, who are they debating, the other three on the stage, or are they bringing in the other candidates who will be on later on? what's their strategy? >> you know, there's been so much focus on donald trump for the past six weeks or so, two months or so, carly fiorina now who came out of this smaller debate and did so well in the polls since august that she catapulted to the main debate. look, this is a very serious time for these four candidates. i mean, these are all folks who have held elective office. one is a sitting senate, one a sitting governor. it's important because the likes of lindsey graham, former senator rick santorum or governor bobby jindal, this is their opportunity to get a little oxygen back. they need some life back into their campaign. you only have to go back to 2011, look at rick santorum who
had no money and basically won the iowa caucuses. he won the iowa caucuses ten points in 2011. he got out too early. you know, hindsight being what it is, a lot of people thought he should stay in. >> no one knew that carly fiorina had what we could dub the fury in a moment. we'll see who signs like that this evening. we'll let you get back to all of your work here ahead of the debate just a couple of hours away. next, as we continue to look at live pictures, watching different candidates arrive here at the ronald reagan presidential library in california, getting a lay of the ground, touring the stage, something we will all definitely be watching for tonight is how these candidates standing behind the podiums really react to one another. in close, close quarters. coming up next, let's talk to a body language expert. who are the dos, the don'ts for these candidates ahead of tonight's huge night. stay here.
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so this is home to us. being able to work in the community that i grew up in, customers feel like friends, neighbors and it makes it a little bit more special. together, we're building a better california. between carly fiorina and donald trump, chris christie, rand paul, definitely expect combative xhachks on the big stage. but what could be as equally important, what they don't say, what they show to the mol millions who will be watching. my next guest is a body language expert. patty woods joins me from atlanta. so great to have you on. listen, it's television, a visual medium and body language absolutely platters. let's begin your assessment on several candidates beginning
with donald trump and his finger. >> oh, yes! yes! that wonderful aggressive weapon-like pointing. he also adds the chopping motion. he chops the other candidates to pieces. he also is in a forward motion. all of that together is very aggressive. he goes right towards us. >> and in some way that can be appealing to us because we want that alpha candidate, that grimacing, all that growling like a lion, can appeal to us. isn't that odd? isn't that interesting? >> no growling. no chopping. what about jeb bush? >> jeb bush keeps those shoulders too tight to his body, not a body language that shows power and confidence and happiness. instead, we have that unfortunate puppy head tilt. is this okay? is what i'm saying okay? and that halting speech. not good. >> ben carson. >> ben carson. now, he could be the lion tamer tonight because he's a very likeable candidate, but he
before has held his head back, very turtle-like, fearful. but if he can smile and use some of that humor and be less supplication body language and more forceful, forward body language, looking honest, that could work for him. >> what about the sole female on stage, carly fiorina? >> actually, she's got a nice advantage. fora lot of people, she they may not know her. she has a beautiful, low resonant voice, the anti-hillary. and she has something else that i want to you look for in all the candidates tonight because it shows honesty. herges turs go along with what she says. it says that she believes what she says. very interesting. a lot of candidates have memorized portions of their speech so they say it, then they gesture. our limbic brain reads that as dishonest. she on the other hand looks very authentic when she speaks. >> what about the fact that
presumably you will have jabs, counter punches. i'm wondering, what is to each of these candidates' advantage, to work the camera, to respond by looking that candidate on stage in the eye, to use the audience? what's the best tactic? >> actually, they might take two separate tactics that can work for them. sometimes's best to be very aggressive and look the other candidate in the eye and actually show your disgust or displeasure with what they're saying, show your disrespect. or you can take another tactic, and that is to look with honor and respect to the other candidates, show intent listening so you have a presidential air about you. both tactics can work. it depends. >> final question, patty. what is a presidential look physically speaking? >> very up body language, open, and forward. power is communicated by the amount of space you take up, whether your body language is open rather than closed and
whether you're relaxed rather than tense. look for that. >> fascinating. 100% matters to people watching at home. patty wood, thank you very much. >> my pleasure. coming up next, as we're waiting for each candidate to arrive and get the lay of the land at the reagan library to see what the podium feels like, how close they'll be to members of the audience, much more intimate this time. just about 500 people. we will be speaking live with t. boone pickens, an early endorser of jeb bush. what can jeb bush do to really bounce back tonight? this is cnn special live coverage. we'll be right back. i'm the biggest threat your business will ever face. your size, your reputation mean nothing. because tomorrow, i'll be your competitor. and i was born to disrupt everything you think your business is about.
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. we want to come out live here. i'm brooke baldwin at the reagan presidential library here in california. we've been showing you different candidates have been rolling through every couple of minutes to get the lay of the land. let's actually dip in. here is senator ted cruz talking to my colleague athena jones. >> the debates just quietly with my family. i spent some time reading the bible, spent some time just reviewing policy materials and thinking and getting centered. >> here we go. last question. what's your goal? how are you going to make an impression tonight? >> my focus is very much the same as it was in the first debate, which is to continue my positive, optimistic, conservative message. there's a real contrast on that debate stage between people who are campaign conservatives who talk a good game on the trail but haven't walked the walk and a consistent conservative. and i think the reason coming out of the last debate why our support exploded was because
people are looking for a consistent conservative who's the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. i think there may be a lot of 5 works tonight. you may see a lot of candidates going after each other. i don't intend to be one of them. i intend to be continually focusing on my message. >> thanks a lot. good luck. >> thank you. >> athena jones and senator cruz, thank you both so much. we have lots of cameras i can promise you at this debate stage who will be watching to see senator cruz as we've seen other candidates preceding him walkingor around, seeing how close the different podiums are, seeing how intimate the setting is. we'll keep an eye on that. i do want to move on because before what we'll call the summer of trump one man was labeled as an early front runner, jeb bush. but when you look at the latest polling, my, how things have clanged. he's obviously hoping to change that this evening going into the debate. the political heavyweight not even if you look at the latest polling not polling in the top three.
a new poll out specifically from new hampshire shows the pressure may be on the establishmentñi candidate whoz are seeing dramatic drops, jeb bush in single favorites along with fast favorites scott walker, rand paul, all the way down the list to chris christie. so joining me now i have t. boone pickens, a jeb bush supporter, a republican's republican. thank you so much, mr. pickens. nice to meet you. >> you know, i have never voted for a democrat for president. >> since 1948, i read. >> that's right. >> there you go. i do my homework. sir, let me begin you, here we are in this beautiful library. you played a pivot al -- you hae to imagine that these candidates and we've seen some of this already will try to out-reagan one another tonight on that stage. >> that's beautiful, though, that here you have ronald reagan, and everybody, democrats -- no democrats are
there, i understand. but they even try to relate to him. the democrats do. every one of the republicans will try to. >> knowing the president as you did, what do you think he would think of this crop ofñi candidates? >> oh, i think he -- >> because he was mr. optimism. >> oh, yeah. i think he would like it. i think he would. he would especially like it because it's here at the reagan library. you know, this is the number one library, presidential library. >> it's the only place with a president air force one. >> the executive director is phenomenal. we have to talk about your man who you jumped in and endorsed. >> i'm ready. >> before he even jumped in the race, jeb bush. we talked about the polls. how does he bring the fire tonight to change the way the direction the polls have been going? >> well, he's -- i'm always with the bushes. how many have there been? >> there have been a few. i don't know if america wants
another one. some don't. >> i know every one of them, supported every one of them. jeb, i want him to -- it's kind of like he's running in molasses. it's a little bit -- i want him to pick -- >> sticky. >> i want to pick up the pace. >> i don't know if you've talked to him on the phone reecently, but what advice would you give him? how do you remove the molasses? >> i think you'll see it. >> is it in him? >> yes, i think it is. it is in him, of course. the guy's -- he's smart, no question. governor of florida. he has the experience. he knows what he's doing. he's lowered taxes, all the things that people in america want to see now. they don't want higher taxes. and i think jeb's ready to go. i think you'll see him at a faster rate. >> will you be jumping on the phone with him before tonight? >> no. i won't talk to him. >> you won't.
>> no. we're through talking before this debate tonight. >> as i mentioned, since tom dewey in 1948 you've been voting republican. >> ever since. >> so when you look at some of these ads and even jeb bush has been attacking donald trump for essentially being a democrat in republican's clothing, who do you think seems like the most republican republican jeb bush aside? >> you know, we've got some pretty good -- i'm a carly fan. >> you like carly fiorina. >> oh, yeah. >> what do you like about her? >> well, she's smart, and she's had experience. she's -- >> kind of sassy. >> she didn't have any problem in the last debate, if you remember. >> she shone in that last debate. that's why she's in this one. >> she ran out and hid from them, she was so far out in front. that could happen tonight. i've got two horses in there. i've got jeb and carly. i'm going to be well represented. >> we'll see how they do and see if jeb bush can get rid of that
molasses. t. boone pickens, thank you so much for your time. >> sure. >> make sure to tune in tonight for the first of those two debates beginning at 6:00 eastern and then the main attraction, the mega debate, 11 people squeezing onto that stage, starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern. a much different debate, much more intimate, having walked around the area. i can tell you have to tube in. coming up next, in the last election, mitt romney's wealth was really considered a negative for him. but now the script has flipped. donald trump using his status as the rich guy as a positive. why is it this go-around working for him? a trump supporter and conservative who can't stand the guy will join me next to debate. brain food, hmmm. ensure has b vitamins that help support brain health - now that's smart nutrition. ensure's complete balanced nutrition has 26 vitamins and minerals and 9 grams of protein.
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and welcome back. i'm brooke baldwin live here in simi valley, california. we still have a live eye here on senator ted cruz, still on that debate stage touring the stage, taking a look at the lay of the land, seeing how close the podiums are from one another and really seeing the audience, much more intimate setting this go-around. his opponent, rival, for this nomination donald trump definitely not one to hold back. he says he has no filter, including when it comes to talking about his massive wealth. critics say the reality star ceo grandstands about how much money he makes and gets away with it. flash back to 2012, mitt romney, didn't go so well for him. but now trump himself has admitted he could tone things down a bit. i want you to listen to what he told the christian broadcasting
network about his more bombastic style. >> well, it's a tough question because you hate to say what your weaknesses are. i think i could tone it down a little bit when pressed. i think i have a great temperament. you can't build the business i have without a great temperam t temperament. i think i can maybe sometimes tone it down. when somebody hits you, you could hit a little bit less hard. >> trump's fiery rhetoric often includes slaps to president obama and how he's running the country. now the president breaking his sigh license about the tone of the 2016 race. here's what president obama has just said. >> despite the perennial doom and gloom that i guess is part of a presidential campaign, america is winning right now. america is great right now. we can do even better. >> joining me, they're back, scotty hughes a columnist and news director, also with us
conservative commentator and columnist kirk sh lick ter. you two, we love having you on together. thank you for being on. scotty, we were talking about yesterday being on the plane with donald trump when he was headed to that dallas, texas, rally the other night all the way from new york. and here he was, what, last night telling cbn, all right, maybe i will tone it down a bit. my question to you, what does a toned-down donald trump look like? >> i think it looks like what we've already seen. i mean, you have to remember he only strikes first when somebody strikes at him. it's kind of like when you tell your kids on the playground, hey, i don't want you to pick the fight. but if somebody comes after you, i want you to end it and be the winner. that's all that donald trump has done. so maybe in this case he might sit there -- you know, when it comes to his edwealth, the reas he's done so well is he's celebrating it. we should celebrate achievement. we've been told to be embarrassed about it. he ace celebrating it and people like to know that the american dream still exists and people
can still make money in this country. >> is that what it is, kurt? we set it up. but the fact that it really didn't work for romney, his affluence. it was really perceived as a negative. but it's working for donald trump. scottie says he's celebrating it. is it more than that? >> no. you know, brooke, i love that donald trump is rich. i think that's the only real thing i like about this guy. i mean, admittedly we started out a little different. his dad gave him a $200 million business and i started out mopping toilets at a carl's jr. in california. my concern about -- >> slight difference. >> does he understand small business owners like me? does he understand people who aren't billionaires but kind of want to be millionaires. >> absolutely, kurt. >> scottie, respond to that. >> kurt, the difference to that is, he hasn't always had it easy, as his opponents will point out. his businesses have taken a tank. his father told him, don't go invest in new york city and trump said, nope, i'm going to
go out on my own. i'm going to do it. it worked for him. the biggest difference is trump built. it. he was not afraid to put his name on it. romney never did. he joined in an already set organization. he did grow his wealth, but it was never named romney and company or romney consulting. that's of the difference between the two. trump is not afraid. >> but bobby jindal would say thisçó is being narcissistic. >> but maybe we need -- it's not necessarily narcissistic. it's pride in accomplishment. that's what americans need to feel. we need to be proud that if we work hard as donald trump has done, nobody can sayñbuz hasn't worked hard to get where is he, that we can actually achieve success. i'm sorry, i think you can still become a millionaire starting out at carl's jr. is probably the best training we could have provided you. >> well, agree with that, scottie. being a private in the army was great, too. >> i completely agree. >> hang on. let me move along from carl's jr. and mopping floors to substance, the issues. we know jake tapper wants to
moderate the debate. he wants to get everyone into the nitty-gritty. we've heard donald trump saying, essentially, yes, i will share how i plan to attack things, yes, i will share my substance eventually. i was talking to my executive producer. it's almost like, you know, is it almost like somebody apply forge a job and telling the potential employer, i've got this, i will get this, i'll figure it out when i get the job? >> well, let me say this. >> it's exactly like that, brooke. brooke, the problem with donald trump isn't his policies. it's his policies change from day to day. i don't know if he's for defunding planned parenthood or not. i don't know if he likes common core or not. he changes and changes all the time. i want a committed ideological conservative who's been a conservative for decades. not a guy who's just kind of coming around after six years ago voting for barack obama. i can't get that out of my head, brooke. he voted for barack obama. how do you call yourself a
republican and do that? >> here's the thing. >> donald trump is a smart person. he's a smart person. 's not stupid. do you not think he doesn't have this plan? i guarantee he has this planned. however, jeb bush released his economic plan last week. name me one or two points of it. rand paul a month ago, nobody knows about it. nobody is talking about it. yet here we are on cnn, the biggest day of the year of the election cycle for cnn, talking about donald trump's economic plan. it's smart. it's called strategy. it's something we've been lacking within the g po for the past few years. >> to be fair -- >> there's one guy pitting out a plan. >> some of the folks we mentioned, we have and we've got to go. i'm sure we'll chat tomorrow. kurt, you've come a long way from mopping toilets. >> thanks. when we come back, as we await the arrival of the next
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has there ever been such a lineup? for answers i'm so thrilled to have her on, political hiss torn doris kearns goodwin. thank you so much for joining me. >> oh, you're welcome, brooke. >> i mean, you just heard the setup of those three outsiders. have you ever seen that kind of crop of candidates dominating seasoned politicians like this before? >> i have not. i mean, clearly there have been other times when there were outsiders. in 1940 wendell wilke was a business candidate ross perot went pretty far. mitt romney was a business candidate. but the fact non-politicians and people without political experience are on top of the world right now, reagan, think about the library we were in, yes, he had been an actor, but he was governor of california. so he brought lots of political experience. i think it says something about the political system today. i think it says something about campaign finance which i'd love them to talk about tonight
because people feel the system is so broken and somehow trump is above all that because he's spending his own money. but in a democracy to not have respect tore your politicians and people who have given their life -- you said there's a lot of anxiety. it's a big deal. these people are putting themselves forward. i still in a democracy think you have to have respect for people who want to become politicians. when they become a dirty word as they have now, it shows we're upside down in our democracy as a system. >> speaking of the front-runners here, donald trum i was reading some of the notes you told one of our producers. he had an interesting observation as someone who is a presidential historian of what you think when you watch donald trump on tv. what was that? >> well, you know, i think the thing is that what he's doing is he's able to undo as people have said all the normal wisdom about not attacking your opponents in a time when people don't like attack politics, saying things that are mean-spirited, and yet people don't get mad at him. they get mad at the person.
i still think tonight we've got to look for temperamental qualities in these candidates, even more than what they say ini substance. do they have grace under pressure? do they have respect? do they show empathy beyond people they know themselves? >> even you admitted from what i understand when donald trump speaks, you listen. >> no, that's the thing. there is this sense of what's he going to say next? there's an excitement about it. he does have that bravado and self-confidence. and h projects something when he's out there. i admit, too, at first i thought, oh, no, then i want to watch. everybody is watching. look at the excitement it's building toward tonight. part of it, what will trump say? what will he do? >> with regard to ronald reagan because he would be remiss not no ask you about him, sitting here on such hallowed ground, his willingness to negotiate, his principles, his ability to
compromise with rivals. do you seeñi any of those qualities in these candidates? >> well, so far, it's been hard to see them talking with each other in that same way. you want them to be able to look at each other, respect each other. i think the interesting thing about tonight is hiem sure they're all going to talk about ronald reagan as a political daddy, which he has been for an entire generation of republicans just as fdr was for an entire generation of democrats. that's a pretty remarkable thing that reagan did, not only his presidency but he's created the people behind him who want to be like him. and i think they could learn a lot from his temperament, character and grace under pressure. >> you know who no one really has been talking about, at least as much on television who i keep wondering about, is nancy reagan. i was asking some people here at the library about her. they told me she lives here in southern california. she's 94. she's as smart as ever. i don't actually know if she'll be here this evening. but how is she doing? >> you know, i wish i knew, too.
there was something about that relationship between those two -- you know, people talk about, what do first ladies accomplish substantively? but most importantly, what do you do in terms of stability and love and pride and confidence in your guy? in this case since it's only been the guys. i think when i saw those love letters between the two, i had an understanding much deeper than i ever had before of what it meant for him to have her there. he said he looked in the oval office and if she was around the corner and if he could see her, he felt better. when she went away, he felt sadden minutes after she was gone. that's an extraordinary bond for a political couple. >> that moment watching the funeral live and her kissing the casket, goose bump moment for sure. >> i know. >> doris kearns goodwin, thank you so much. >> you're so welcome. and we continue on hour two. i'm brooke baldwin. thrilled to be live with you
with this special coverage of cnn's republican debate here in simi valley, california, at the ronald reagan presidential library. the clock is ticking, under the three-hour mark here until that first debate on stage. in these final hours, candidates i should point out because we'll be nimble in taking live pictures as we see different candidates arrive here on property, taking a look. we know their campaigns have already been here about 24 hours ago. now it's the candidates themselves taking a look, getting a feel behind the podium, seeing how intimate the audience is. it's a stage according to a lot of pundits where the presidential election won't be won, but it could be lost. the first debate now under the three-hour mark will feature the undercard four candidates, then of course the focus at 8:00 eastern the prime-time event with the top 11 candidates that begins then. let's kick this hour off with athena jones. she's been watching and trying to grab some of the candidates when they've been arriving with their families. i've seen several people you've
spoken with. tell me what they're doing, how they've been spending their morning. >> reporter: hi, brooke. i can tell you i just spoke with governor jeb bush. he said he spent his morning on a six-mile hike. he wasn't bitten by a rattlesnake so he's feeling good. i've spoken to more who have arrived in the last hour, hour and a half. ted cruz who's been doing pretty well in the polls, he said his goal was to talk about his true conservative record. he says a lot of other folks on the stage tonight will be campaign conservatives who don't have a conservative record to back that up. he also said he expects to see fireworks tonight, some of the candidates are going to be going after each other. he said he's not going to be one of them. he's going to stick to his hopeful, optimistic, conservative message. i had another interesting conversation with senator marco rubio. i said, what's your goal? how are go you going to break through? he said, this is a long process. the content won't be decided tonight. but as you mentioned, brooke, it
is going to be do or die for some of these kands dats. folks like jeb bush, scott walker, who saw their numbers in national and state polls take a hit after that first debate when they had some would say a lukewarm showing. so some folks like scott walker have said they're going to come out and be more aggressive tonight. it's been pretty exciting watching people come in. some are stopping to chat for longer than others. but they're ready to get in, take a look at the stage, find their podium, get the lay of the land so they'll be ready for tonight. brooke? >> funny jeb bush says he's trying to avoid rattlesnakes on a hike. there are signs around the reagan library saying beware of rat will snakes. hopefully the only venom we'll see will be on the stage. athena jones, thank you so much. now for bold predictions from a panel of political pros who we'll put on the spot. joining me, sarah murray, michael smerconish and gloria borger. so great to have all of you
here. less than three hours out. beginning with you and some of your sourcing with the jeb bush campaign, how are they feeling going into tonight? >> well, i've been talking with a lot of sources in the jeb bush campaign. and the one word i would think of to describe what they want to do tonight is contrast. contrast themselves with donald trump as being a real conservative, a real reformer, somebody who has experience, somebody who knows how to get things done in politics, in the real world, and also one other huge contrast particularly here at the reagan library. somebody who is optimistic like ronald reagan compared to somebody who is not like donald trump. >> right. t. boone pickens sat in that seat and endorsed him. he said, brooke, he's walking in molasses. we're hoping for jeb bush's sake the molasses goes away. >> to simplify, donald trump
would be the imposter on the stage and not the real conservative. >> speaking of donald trump, you have been following his every move recently, and it's interesting with donald trump where even though he told cbn last night he may tone things down, you see the attacks not just from the vice president saying he has this -- message he's deny greating this group of people. you have president obama sort of saying, hey, the country is winning. then of course you have the bobby jindal calling him a madman, jeb bush taking him down. i'm wondering with these attacks, is this a preview of what we'll see tonight? >> this is an interesting moment in the donald trump campaign. you're starting to see it hit him at these events. he's realizing this is a real thing, he's a real candidate for president. i think by now he's struggling with how to walk this line. mao do you maintain the donald trump flair but become a more disciplined candidate? he'll talk about being nicer, that he wants to tone it down a little bit. i think that will make tonight's debate particularly interesting
because we know he's going to take incoming fire from other candidates, and we know he likes to punch back and punch back hard. but there's some concern that if that's all you do, you don't appear presidential enough to be the nominee. >> michael smerconish, if we take trump at his word and he wants to be nicer and tone things down, do you see this man for two hours taking blow after blow and not hitting back? >> no. it doesn't seem to be his nature, although i think self-deprecation, some humility on his part would go an extremely long way. because we would all perceive it to be so out of character. >> do you think he could do that? >> i don't know. especially not for nearly three hours. >> it sort of seems like a contradiction, humble donald trump. >> i think that's something that could appeal to evangelical voters. that's where ben carson is catching up and surpassing him in a place like iowa. i think if you were an evangelical voter in iowa you want to see a little bit of
humble donald trump so you feel like you can relate. >> we never even heard so much of an apology when he talked about carly fiorina's face or john mccain not being a war hero. >> doesn't donald trul p want to be attacked? doesn't it mean, i'm the big guy. >> the more he's attacked, the better. i'm sure he loves that club for growth ad now being run against him because it allows him to portray this as donald trump the outsider against all the rest. >> but it depends how the attacks are done. i mean, we have to assume that the people are going to attack him are not going to do it kind of frontally and say, okay, you're an imposter. >> the way he would. >> exactly. the way he would. they're going to try to get the message across in a more subtle way, whether that works or not from jeb bush, for example, you have no idea whether that will work. but negative ads by the way, the club for growth ad, our experience in covering politics is they work.
>> they do work. >> they work. >> what did carly fee raen rena? she's at number two. you have outside others, trump, carson, fiorina, psychologically going into this evening, that has to be huge for her. >> the one thing i feel certain about tonight is she has the line in her hip pocket. there has to be a face reference. >> this is my face, mr. trump. >> whatever it is, you've got to believe she's brought in the c something on her own and she will deliver that blow when she's provided that opportunity. going to get a lot of attention tonight. ben carson will goat a lot of attention. brooke, i have to say that he had that closing statement in the first debate, which was a -- knocked it out of the park. up until then, i personally haven't been overwhelmed with the performance. i'm not sure what game he brings tonight and i'm not sure whether it suit thz venue, which we've talked about, very intimate. i doubt there will be much of a crowd reaction. >> i do think the stakes are very high for ben carson in this. he is not a natural dynamic, vibrant campaigner. he's a little more
professionial. he had one big moment in the debate, but it took him a while too get there. he had nerves to shake off. he has to really come out and be vibrant from the outset. >> and i think the setting is really important. >> quick pause for all of you watching. bobby jindal arriving at the reagan presidential library. we'll keep an eye on him, someone who has callednarcissis. >> lindsey graham also not in this debate. but in terms of the setting here, we've all gone in that room, we know how intimate it is. >> let's take a listen. >> i'll be honest with the american people. the idea of america is slipping away. $18 trillion in debt, planned parenthood selling unborn baby organs across the country, a president who won't say to our war is islamic terrorism. the idea of america slipping wa
way, now is the chance to get the idea of america back. >> did you do anything exciting or interesting this morning to prepare? >> i had a great breakfast of cold pizza and diet coke. i'm happy to be here. >> campaign breakfast. >> that sounds like a square meal. so interesting how they've all been -- >> how does he stay so thin? >> diet coke! >> i'm sorry. you were going to say something. >> make your point about him. >> my point is i think i would rather be bobby jindal tonight than be rand paul or chris christie. >> because? >> because they're getting a lot of attention, four of them, for 90 minutes on that stage. there is a carly fiorina opportunity. >> who will have the fiorina moment. >> by the way, if he says something outrageous about trump, you know, it could bleed into the next debate. >> absolutely. >> it certainly could become fodder for that. but on the stage, this is what i was talking about, is that it's intimate. these are not sort of people who are going to stand up and go,
woo-hoo! this is the reagan library. so trump kind of feeds off that crowd. if the crowd is not cheering one way or another, how will that affect donald trump? >> it could fall flat. >> sarah, michael, gloria, thank you so much. cannot wait. can we say that enough? cannot wait for this. make sure you tune in tonight for the first of the two debates at 6:00 eastern and then the main event with all 11 candidates on that stage at 8:00 eastern. the prime-time debate. coming up next here in simi valley, cal kalg, he was once at the top of the heap. now scott walker needs a big moment to break out of the packment we'll talk to a senior adviser from his campaign about what to expect from the governor this evening. also, donald trump might be leading in the polls but where does he stand with the smart money? those who are actually gambling on the election. many people are doing that. you might be surprised who is
what's your goal? how do you make a strong impression? >> i don't worry about making a strong impression. you do that, i don't make a strong impression. i'm just going to be me. see what happens. >> one more thing, what have you done to prepare for this morning? did you go for a round of golf? >> no, no. i was just kind of hanging out. nothing big. >> good luck. >> thanks. >> governor john kasich of ohio just kind of hanging out. we heard from bobby jand jindal.
it's anyone's day ahead of the big debate. i've talked to a lot of experts those down to the nitty-gritty in this these campaigns. they all know this. you don't necessarily win a election in these debates but you can lose one. many are talking about wisconsin governor scott walker who could be on that brink. an abc/"washington post" poll shows how much support he's lost since july, 11 points. with me now, we're going straight to the campaign. i have with me his senior adviser with us. ed, great to have you here. >> nice to be here. thank you. >> hours away, listen, i want to begin with iowa. that was the strategy, win iowa, throw all the eggs in a basket in iowa. when you look at multiple polls, your guy is in the single digits. tonight, is it make or break for you? >> no, it's not make or break. i think he needs a good, strong performance ayinde think you'll see that of him. more aggressive certainly.
more bringing it back to his record, his story and connecting that with where he wants to take the country. i think he will do very well. in the iowa polls, though, let me just mention. >> go ahead. >> your own poll in iowa, all these public polls are not getting down to the real voters. >> i know. i've heard you all say that before. >> and i think specifically on the iowa poll there was an interesting question that you asked after your first numbers which is, are you definitely for that candidate? are you leaning forward that candidate or are you still shopping? 66% of the people who just named a kand dad said, i'm still shopping. these numbers are not indicative of what's on the ground. we just announced the other day 99 counties and of the 99 counties we have a strong operation and he's spending a lot of time there. >> so maybe some of the electorate will continual their shopping and head toward governor walker's way. >> right. >> how aggressive will he be this evening? we were talking quickly before the cameras were rolling about
how he likes this setup. he likes the i intimacy of the seats. he'll be able to see his wife in one the first rows. he wants to bring this audience into it. >> he's a people person so he does -- if you notice, a lot of times when he's talking or if people applaud him, he nods his head. he's always -- >> he acknowledges that group. >> acknowledges that group. that's something that works very strongly for him. i think what you will also see in this debate, as i said, is he'll bring it back around to his record. i think what you saw in the first debate is he answered the question but didn't use the time to then say, now, this is how it compares to my record. it's a record that plays very well with the voters out there. so telling that story becomes very important. >> does he jump in, though, knowing that we would be talking about it the next day and go after trump initially or wait to be attacked? because trump may not waste his time on a scott walker. >> well, i don't know that trump is going to have that option. i think from everything i've
heard from watching your show and others is there's probably going to be a lot of back-and-forth with trump on the stage. but, no, i think he has a record that -- he's a problem solver. he gets to the core of the issues. he has fought and won on those issues and kind of moved them forward, keeping his conservative credentials in terms of fighting those issues. and i think he's going to tell that story and show how it connects on moving the country forward. that's something trump can't do. i think it's more important he tell the story than draw the contrast of trump. >> final. in te question. in terms of raising money, how are you all doing? >> i think the campaign is doing fine. one of the ques you always ask in a campaign, are you overrunning your supply line? are do you doing more places than you should be? it's very interesting. kind of the spring and summer, everybody is window shopping. in the fall they start going into the store and trying on different pieces. that's when you really have to focus on keeping the main thing, the main thing. and right now the main thing is
those early state voters and communication with the voters. >> ed doris, thank you so much. good luck tonight. >> appreciate it. coming up next, tonight's debate could be quite different, actually will be, from the first for multiple reasons. the stakes are higher, the exchanges sharper, the crowd energy much more intimate as we were just discussing. just about 500 people sitting right there. we'll take a look at the impact, all of that will play on our colleague and moderator jake tapper, including your home viewing guide for tonight's debate. keep it here. i'm brooke baldwin. special live coverage from the ronald reagan presidential library continues just after this quick break.
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and here we go. we're back live and we have cameras everywhere, including on that debate stage. you see them there. the governor of new jersey chris christie as we've seen candidates preceding him, seeing where he'll be standing behind the podiums. each podium has a different head shot. he'll see how intimate this is, how different this debate will be. this is by no means a basketball arena. this is an intimate setting here. couple of hours away from the initial debate. then of course the biggy with all 11 candidates on stage happens at 8:00 eastern. let me bring in cnn's john berman and dylan meyer, cnn senior media and politics reporter. welcome to the team, by the way. >> thank you. >> great to have you. i'm going to bypass you for a second and go straight to dylan. >> just pretend i'm not here. >> the strategy for tapper. we've heard him over and over, i
want this to be a debate, really chew on the issues. how does he get them to do that? >> well, i think in the first debate with the fox news moderators, they did it quite well, they asked questions of the candidates and expected answers coming back to the moderator. i think jake is going to get these candidates talking amongst one another, which is really what a debate is supposed to be about. that's going to require planting a question here about something someone said about a candidate. then you can just hope the sparks fly. >> how do you think this will, other than -- we've talked about it and i don't think we can talk about it enough -- the sheer physicality where this is located as opposed to the cleveland basketball arena, the differences this time versus the last. >> i think it's night and day. you have the plane ronald reagan used, air force one, right there. it is a constant reminder that this is a contest for something serious. this is a contest to be president of the united states, arguably the most important job in the world. it's not a game. this is not a basketball game in a basketball arena. this is important stuff.
and you're into the going to have the crowd out there yelling and screaming and hooting and hollering when every little quip is made. so it will be a much different setting. i think a much different tone. >> we anticipate, we hope, for a massive, massive obviously tune-in factor. we've been going through so manufacture the different candidates. carly fiorina comes to mind, that super pac video has used donald trump's words against him. have to assume she's got a line ready in her back together with regard to mr. trump, here's my face. let's go ahead and put up -- i haven't seen this yet -- the cnn bingo board which i imagine you can find at cnn.com with things to look for if one were to play some sort of game. if we have that. to go through some of the lines which -- >> the first part of the contest is eyesight. if your eyesight is good enough to play, you automatically get three squares. >> i'm failing now. >> here's what i'm hoping is on the board, the word "reagan".
>> how many times people say his name. >> with the plane behind the stage, they're going to be saying reagan a lot more than they did in cleveland. if that's on there and this is a drinking game, we're all done early tonight. >> like gone within the first 20 minutes. >> reagan or aavocado. i couldn't make out the word. >> in addition to the bingo game, there's a guy tom brady. >> this is pretty interesting. tom brady and donald trump have known each other for a long time since tom brady was a judge at one of trump's -- >> look how you light up. >> talking about tom brady. he's a winner. he's known trump since 2002 when he was a judge at the debates. he's got to make america great again hat in his locker. brady was essentially asked today if he endorsed donald trump or if he would vote for him. listen to the exchange. >> speaking of liking winning, you have the trump hat up there. he loves winning.
have you talked to him at all? do you have any advice for his big debate tonight? >> no. that's a keepsake. nice piece of memorabilia. >> he's a guy who likes winning like you. do you think he's got what it takes? >> i hope so. it would be great. have a putting green on the white house lawn. i'm sure of that. >> let me say something. two things are abund aptly clear. number one, tom brady looked very handsome. >> always. >> number two, there's already a putting green on the white house lawn. captain obvious there. the headline writers are saying, brady endorses donald trump. >> what was that? >> i don't know. that was tom brady -- >> that kind of sort of sounded like, i hope he wins endorsement. >> that was an acknowledgement of support. >> i hope. the question was, does he have a chance to be president? he said i hope so. i hope so. because he wants to have a putting green on the white house lawn. >> forever a loyal patriots fan.
berman, thank you so much. dylan, thank you. as we've been watching jake tapper, i want to point out to all of you, there on the stage, the moderator of the debate, had an exchange with chris christie, getting ready. getting excited. two hours 29 minutes 2 seconds to go until that first debate. and now filling in on one rehearsal before tonight's main event, we're bringing you live pictures of what's going on here in simi valley, california. also ahead, he helped convince ohio governor john kasich to run. former senator john sununu joins me live to say what he wants to see out of his candidate tonight. stay with me. free of stuff i do. we only eat chex cereal. no artificial flavors, and it's gluten-free. mom, brian threw a ball in the house! it's got the spring and bounce of a traditional mattress.
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all right, here we go, live pictures inside the ronald reagan library. we have the man we're just about to talk with. here he is, the ohio governor live. that's the magic of television, senator sununu. we have live pictures of ohio governor john kasich taking a look around, seeing where he'll be standing at the podium, seeing the intimate setting of the cnn debate. let's talk about this guy. john sununu, the man kasich has credited for convincing him to seriously consider this 2016 presidential bid. a former u.s. senator from new hampshire, senator, thank you so much for coming on. >> thank you. >> i talked to your dad. i know you all are republican royaltity in the state of new hampshire. >> there's no such thing as republican royalty. there shouldn't be such a thing. i'm an engineer by training. i'm not in politics anymore. >> there we go. with governor kasich, he did quite well in cleveland. yes, is it was home field advantage. but i can still remember the
raucous clouds, especially talking on the same sex marriage lines. looking ahead to tonight, how will he -- thus far, he really hasn't wanted to hit anyone back. is that still the tactic, the strategy going into this evening? >> i think if there's a kar comparison to be made or if someone asks you to respond, you of course respond but do it constructively. i believe we're still in the point of campaign where candidates need to introduce themselves. they need to define themselves. a lot of voters still don't know the background and experience that candidates have. john kasich, successful governor of ohio, balanced the budget, cut taxes, privatized services. that's a great story. >> but not as many people know about him, name raigs is a big thing. >> exactly. we shouldn't assume people know it. this is an opportunity like other candidates to talk about that experience, that record, and the success he's had both inside government and outside. >> so he talks about -- he tells his story tonight. as you mentioned, if there is a
time to address someone else on that stage, he will do so because i feel like a lot of times in order to address some of these issues you almost need to compare what you would do with someone else on stage. tapper wants a debate. i'm wondering how deep in that fray he's willing to get. >> i think it all depends on the circumstance. but john kasich's strength there is he won't talk about what he would do. he'll talk what he's done, what he's done as chairman of the budget committee, leading the effort to balance the country's budget and cut taxes and give power back to the states, get rid of strings from washington. he can talk about what he has done in creating jobs in ohio. and then translate that into the way he's going to approach the same kind of problems as president of the united states. >> we have been watching governor jeb bush's numbers drop, drop, drop in a lot of these polls. and i know governor kasich is a more moderate republican, and i'm sure that you all would love to have the bush supporters. how into this evening and after this evening will you pick those jeb bush supporters up?
>> to me, it's not about picking up anyone's supporters. it's about reaching out to -- >> you want the votes. >> of course. but you don't say, we're only going to look for the supporters of this or that candidate. it's the entire republican primary electorate. what do they care about? will you reform the tax code and cut taxes? will you create jobs? are you going to restore fiscal sanity to washington? can you get things done? and john kasich has shown already that he can do all of those things, both at the federal level and at the state level. i think that appeals, whether it's a bush voter or paul voter or christie voter or a donald trump voter, i think that should appeal to the entire republican primary voters. and of course in a general election to independents and a lot of democrats who want to see someone who knows how to land the plane, someone who's serious and committed to restoring the kind of economic growth we need in the country. >> i have to ask you just quickly. we've read an opinion piece from governor bobby jindal in which
he's called donald trump a narcissist multiple times. he also goes as far as to say this is a madman. >> look, i didn't read the piece. but i think whether it's bobby jindal or anyone else, spending your time calling anyone names is such a huge mistake right now because nobody knows who bobby jindal is. nobody knows who john kasich is. nobody knows who chris christie is. if you really think about republican voters, you need to be introducing yourself every day over the next two months if you want to succeed in this primary. that's what john kasich has been doing in new hampshire and south carolina and iowa and michigan. that's why even though he was the last person to get in the race he's made the most progress since then. >> good luck to governor case being tonight. thanks so much. next as we've been watching live pictures, governor kasich has been on stage, watching different candidates coming through. their campaigns took the tour yesterday. now it's up to the men and woman
to do it, get their proximity, about a foot and a half between podiums, let's go straight to cnn's m.j. lee inside that debate hall. a lot of activity behind you, m.j. >> reporter: that's right, brooke. this is where all of the action will be happening tonight. as you can see, a lot of theñi candidates have started toçó trickle in to do a walk-through or rehearsal and learn the stage a little bit before the main event begins tonight. you can see john kasich is behind me taking his position at the podium. a couple of things that they're learning about the stage, they're learning about where the cameras are located. the cameras, by the way, are equipped with lights so the candidates can snow when they're running out of time. the candidates are also learning about where their spouses will be seated. they're also going through the format of the debate, including when the bathroom breaks will take place, which is obviously important information. it's been interesting to see some of the candidates come in and sort of observe their facial
expressions and see if they seem nervous. scott walker was one of the first candidates to come up here, and he did seem a little bit nervous and quite serious. at one point he took a minute to maybe practice what he was going to say. jeb bush was someone else i observed come in as well, and he seemed to be in very good spirits, brooshg. he was laughing, smiling a lot. at one point he held up a cnn water bottle and smiled at the camera. so having sort of a goofy moment as well. jeb bush will obviously be going up against donald trump, who will be just right next to him on the stage. it will be an interesting dynamic to see if they really end up going after each other tonight, brooke. >> m.j. lee, thank you so much. 2 hours 17 minutes from the initial debate starting at 6:00 eastern. then of course the 11, the main event, begins at 8:00 eastern here on cnn. we know you will be watching. coming up here as we're talking to different candidates about
what they're up to the morning of, how about a visit to the shooting range to get you prepped for a major presidential debate? we'll actually show you what rand paul was aiming for and how the other candidates are spending their last couple of hours before the big debate. also ahead, how social media in the first few minutes actually of a debate like this really can make or break a debate performance, set the tone online. what to watch for on twitter and on facebook tonight. i'm brooke baldwin. we'll be right back.
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in simi valley, california. just an absolutely gornlgts debate here on this wednesday. jut about 2 hours and change to go until that initial debate, the four men take to the stage. no doubt right now as we've been watching the different candidates apassing through seeing how the stage is set, how close the podiums are to one another and really just getting comfortable, we have seen senator rand paul who actually just rern r retuturned from a c shooting range. his target of choice today, you laugh, the u.s. tax code. this is his third assault on the document. he has also used a chain saw. he's lit it on fire. this is just one example of something we've seen more than ever this season, the quest to go viral on social media with videos and pictures just like that. and tonight the question, joining me tonight is dan pfeiffer, cnn political contributor and former aide to president obama, and jeffrey lord also a cnn political commentator and former white house political director under ronald reagan. gentlemen, two hours to go.
you laugh about what the senator has been up to, but, hey, we just heard bobby jindal he ate cold pizza and diet coke. so whatever. two hours out, what were you doing with president obama? >> mostly just trying to keep the candidate loose. you don't want to be quizzing them on arcane, distant policy. >> that's already been done. they should have that in. >> it's too late now. focus on strategy, maybe game plan some moments. you go into it with a few lines or moments you want to get out because they'll be good on tv and on the internet and facebook and twitter. just maybe practicing those a jeffrey, we know there are all these candidates' trailers out back and up to each campaign how much time they want to spend in the trailer before heading to the big stage. >> right. >> what are you doing? what are you saying to them? >> relax. >> relax. >> i mean, if possible this sounds in congress, just don't think about it. just chill out. you're about to go on this.
it's a big moment. the worst mistake that president reagan made was all this studying for that first debate in 1984, and frankly he messed it up and he knew he messed it up the minute he walked off the stage. so they were just pummels him with your administration did this, that and the other thing. second go around he had none of that. it was just focused on message. he was very relaxed when he went into this and that was it. >> would he have any kind of ritual or anything? we heard about the obama ritual and the deli. >> he may have but not that i'm aware of. >> okay. with social media because we now have the twitterers which is different from the ronald reagan era, you said last debate i was online tweeting myself. that really sets the tone you say in the first 20 minutes. why is it that powerful? >> you have two different things happening at the same time. one is the media and the pundits are in a rush to declare winners and losers. in the 2012 first debate, buzz feed declared romney the winner
before it was half over. the second thing is the viewership on television and online is at the highest at the very beginning. if you have a moment that can catch the wave of social media sharing early on, it's goipg to ride throughout the thing and effect perceptions for the entire debate for everyone who's watching with two screens. >> it is pretty incredible the influence of social media. we're about to talk to another surrogate from another campaign who just actually is going to join me. i'm going to leave it here, gentlemen. dan pfeiffer, jeffrey lord, i appreciate it. quick break. we are back with a surrogate from the ben carson campaign. as you know he's been pulling in at number two. looking at the outsiders and top three reality tv star, a neurosurgeon, former ceo. we'll be right back.
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cnn. are you ready? >> i'm looking forward to tonight. >> what's your goal? how are you going to make a strong impression? >> just be authentic. give people a chance to see what kind of leader you'll be for this country. >> did you do anything special this morning to prepare? >> flew in from dallas, texas. >> good luck. >> everything from solitaire to eating cold pizza to going on a hike and eating rattlesnakes, this is what we've been hearin from different candidates as we catch them going inside the big debate hall just moments from the big debate on cnn. i want to immediately here bring in barry bennett, campaign manager for dr. ben carson. a couple hours away, we haven't seen dr. carson on the stage just yet. of course we're all watching for him. he's been doing excellently polling number two, the only other in double digits. >> yep. >> as far as style is concerned. >> yeah. >> is your candidate the anti-trump? >> well, he's certainly not anything like donald trump, so i guess, yes, he's the anti-trump.
>> he is the anti-trump. donald trump has said he makes jeb bush look like the energizer bunny. >> you know, dr. carson cut cancer out of people's brains for 40 years. you don't yell at it or call it names. you just cut it out. >> what is your point on the grander scheme there? how will he translate all of this into this evening totally juxtaposed sitting next to donald trump? and will he fight back? >> if he's attacked of course. but he's not going to attack. those two standing next to each other you can't help but notice the contrast. >> he said he doesn't want to get into a match. >> he's not going to be mean, but he's not going to take stupid things. >> stupid things? >> yeah. >> he'll call them out? >> yeah, sure. >> give me an example. >> donald trump questioned his faith, ben taught sunday school for years and years, he's going
to point out that's a load. >> strategy wise going into this evening what have you been telling him? how should he grab those additional voters going into tonight? >> we just want ben to be ben. his personality want that to come through at the debate. want to be funny and witty and warm and wise. that's all we need him to do. >> so much it seems that the strategy for your campaign -- for his campaign has been all about iowa. i hear you go to iowa there are billboards of dr. carson everywhere. >> yeah. >> everywhere. and i know that it's also about south carolina and new hampshire. >> yeah. >> but why iowa? >> well, iowa's the first one. so that's where we're going to start. but we're not going to avoid any place. we just hit 500,000 donations today. we have 3 million facebook fans today. we've raised over $26 million so far. we're doing very well everywhere. >> what's his schedule like after the debate tonight? >> tomorrow morning we leave for topeka, kansas. >> topeka, kansas, then what? >> back to south carolina. two days in south carolina. then we go to georgia. no days off.
>> what is -- this morning everyone has been up to different -- jeb bush said he went on a six mile hike and avoided rattlesnakes, bobby jindal eating cold peas and drinking diet coke. what is dr. carson up to? >> he just got off a plane. he'll be resting. >> what are you telling him in that trailer? >> ben, talk about your bio as much as you can. >> how has he been reacting to these polls? i mean, he continues to rise in state polls, national polls. what does he say to you? >> he's like, you know, you told me this would work and it is. i'm like, yes, people are falling in love with you everywhere we go. >> is it disbelief? >> not disbelief but he's quite surprised it's happening so fast. i mean, you can't walk through airports anymore, all those kind of things which for a guy who's never run for office before. >> tad different from a pediatric neurosurgeon and the life you're used to living i suppose. barry bennett, thank you so much. good luck to you.
good luck to ben carson tonight. that is it for me here at the reagan library. i'm brooke baldwin. we'll send things to "the lead." anderson cooper in for jake tapper. "the lead" starts right now. brooke, thanks very much. i'm anderson cooper in for tonight's moderator jake tapper, as brooke just said. this is "the lead." debate night just two hours away. a big fight feel who will come out swinging and who could get counterpunched right off the stage? more contenders are arriving this hour. many have walked through, sized up the podiums. donald trump is expected to get here later this hour. he will not be allowed to park his jet next to air force one. we have cameras perched at every angle to bring all the pregame preparatio preparations. our analysts, reporters, question ners and moderator as we count down to the biggest night in the race for the president so far.