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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  August 9, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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and thank you so much for joining us. don't forget, you with watch "out front" any time, anywhere on cnn go. "ac 360" with john berman starts right now. good evening. john germ an berman in for ande tonight. was it something he said? was it thinking out loud or joke, about someone taking a shot at hillary clinton if she becomes president. you will hear the uproar over it, and our panel will debate it and a former nsa director will comment on it and you will hear donald trump's own late reaction on the controversy and those are the remarks whatever he meant have caused and first, though, the words themselves and cnn's sarah murray joins us from the campaign trail. sarah, what's the latest? >> donald trump left it up to his allies to spring to his defense on the second amendment controversy he set off mike pence at a political rally and
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defended donald trump's comments and right here in north carolina, rudy giuliani defended donald trump saying when he talked about second amendment supporters earlier he was talking about political power, was there no threat against hillary clinton. as for trump, he stayed silent on the issue as he tried to get back on message. ♪ >> reporter: donald trump setting off controversy with another off-hand comment, one some believe amounts to a violent threat against his political opponent. >> hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the second amendment. if she gets to pick her judges nothing you can do, folks. although the second amendment people, maybe there is, i don't know. >> trump's suggestion that second amendment voters have the power to stop clinton, instantly raising questions about what the candidate meant. whether he was looking to coalesce gun supporters behind him or if he meant something more nefarious. >> the clinton campaign quickly
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seizing on the sign that the gop nominee is inciting violence. upon this is simple, what trump is saying is dangerous. a person seeking to be the president of the united states should not suggest violence in any way. the trump campaign swiped back, billing the issue as a media-driven controversy and insisting trump was simply trying to rally gun voters. in a statement, the trump camp says it's called the power of unification. second amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified which gives them great political power and this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won't be for hillary clinton. it will be for donald trump, but trump's latest off-the-cuff comment is exactly the sort of flair up giving members of his own party pause. the latest defector, senator susan collins of maine who penned an op-ed saying she would not vote for trump. the gop senator even telling jamie gangel that trump poses a
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risk to the nation. >> donald trump, in my judgment, would make a perilous world even more dangerous. >> her announcement coming soon after a group of 50 gop national security officials said they can't back trump either, arguing he would put at risk our country's national security. trump quickly dismissed the snub. >> these are 50 people that have been running our country forever, and they said we can't support donald trump. the reason they can't, you know why? because i'm not going to hire these people. i don't want these people. >> reporter: as he struggles to keep his matter in line and lags in the poll, trump says the key to the victory is more of the same. >> i've always had a good temperament and it's got me here. we've beaten people in the primaries and i don't think it's appropriate to start changing when you've been winning it as well as finding openings to hammer his democratic opponent and today mocking clinton whether she said she short
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circuited the e-mail. >> could you imagine if i'd said i short circuited. they would be calling for my execution. they'd bring back the electric chair. it's one thing to make bad decisions and it's another thing to be wacky and make bad decisions. >> sara murray back with us. the comments about the second amendment and he had a whole rally after that, did donald trump make any effort to clarify or clean up those remarks? >> no, he really didn't, john. he talked a lot about the second amendment and he did not deal with the controversy specifically, however, he was asked about it in a fox news interview where he dismissed the notion that he was talking about anything other than political power. take a listen. >> nobody in that room thought anything other than what what you just said. this is a political movement and this is a strong, powerful movement, the second amendment progr.
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hillary wants to take your guns away and the nra are traffic people and they endorse me and wayne and chris, they tweeted out basically they agree 100% with what i said and there could be no other interpretation and even reporters have told me. give me a break. >> reporter: now, john, this is one of the key differences that we're seeing how the campaign has dealt with this issue versus past controversies and they put out a statement quickly to clarify it. donald trump declared it in the interview and it's pretty clear they were hoping to talk about the issues they were hoping to focus this week. >> sara murray, thank you so much. clinton supporter, council speaker christine quinn, and corey lewandowski and alex burns and also with us, conservative trump critic and sirius xm radio host margaret hoover and clinton supporter and former bill clinton white house adviser richard socarides and trump surrogate john jay le val.
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>> there could be no other interpretation and that's what we heard from donald trump. well, for several hours after donald trump made those statements including immediately after there were a lot of other interpretations that a lot of other people watching had, no? >> here's the thing again, and the media wants to talk about a narrative that isn't there. let's make sure that the people who endorsed me which is the nra and the people who support the second amendment are showing up on election day because if you look at the context of what this was, it was in the context of appointing a u.s. supreme court justice and specifically talking about the right for people to keep and bear arms hinging on who that next president is and who will appoint the supreme court justice and he has made the hallmark of his campaign outlining the type of justices who he would appoint ensuring the second amendment was intact. >> christine quinn? >> that's not what he said. it's revisionist history one. he was talking not about voeing,
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but what would happen after hillary was leched and this fits into a pattern of donald trump of him repeatedly saying things that in the best of all generosity need vast explanation, and tea leaf reading and usually are inflammatory, divisive and reckless, and we see that happening over and over again. you can insert any number of things he said or done into this conversation tonight, and that really just reaffirms that donald trump does not have the temperament or the skill set to be president of the united states. we can't have a president who we have to explain to the world every day what he really meant was this. what he really meant was that. his comments as corey has said in the past. he's a straight shooter. he doesn't pull any punches. he decides what's said. he runs this campaign. corey would know that better than anybody and we see that in what he says over and over and over and this is just another very bad example of that. >> cory? >> i think if you look back at
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the huffington post story about hillary clinton and let me read you a headline. hillary clinton's assassination gaffe that idea in january, bad idea now and this is when she made the statement about barack obama getting out of the race and saying oh, no, rfk was not assassinated -- >> we have to remember that i'm old enough to remember that hillary clinton was severely -- >> and immediately apologized and where was that as part of the discussion point from eight years ago hillary clinton said barack obama -- she should not get out of this race because rfk was assassinated. >> can i say this? one, what hillary clinton said was put in the length of phrase of anything, did she phrase that poorly? absolutely. what she did right afterward which i can bet dollars to doughnuts and that donald trump will never do was apologized for having misphrased it, and
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admitting you made a mistake is a really good leadership quality and one he doesn't have because he thinks he's perfect because he lives in a fantasy world. >> i remember hillary clinton received a lot of criticism. and i'm also old enough to remember yesterday afternoon. when donald trump was giving an economics speech where the entire new focus of the campaign was going to be on the economy and people left behind. it's not. >> we're not still talking about the estate tax repeal 24 hours later which is a subject that usually runs out voters, but i think we've seen this pattern replay itself a number of times where the trump campaign begs him to be on the prompter that can win the elections. he gives the speech and republicans are briefly reassured and then something like this happens and even if he is being misinterpreted or he misspoke or didn't intend to convey, or would allow people to convey, and this is how
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candidates always get off message and this is a traditional message that candidates and feel like they need to say things to rev up a crowd and they can't say the same thing over and over again and donald trump and everything in that area happens on steroid. >> mike pence was asked about this in an interview and mike pence said he does not think that donald trump was trying to incite violence. what's interesting about that is the number two on the ticket was trying to say he wasn't trying to incite violence. what kind of position is mike pence in and to what she was saying, what does this put republicans in to have to explain these comments regularly? >> it's incredibly painful for republicans like paul ryan other ands who are having to explain away the top of the ticket, but let's just be very clear and the hallmark of the campaign said it was something aspirational, and it was rhetoric that was quite vitriolic and coming out of the convention and we'll lock her
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up, lock her up and people constantly refer to her as a murderer and as a criminal and that, you know, he even offered to pay for the legal bills and people who roughed others up at their rallies and there has been a thematic reinforcement of violence as something that is acceptable from donald trump. so let's call a spade a spade here and what he said all of those second amendment people and the guys behind him in the stands immediately realized that this was a startling thing that he just said and that it was essentially inciting violence, inciting an assassination attempt against his rival. >> john jay leval, you're nodding your head no. >> the media buys into it because you're selling advertisement. >> for the record -- >> let me finish. >> i have been a republican my entire life. >> i don't know how much so. [ indiscernible ] >> donald trump gives a speech talking about reform of our economy and the two most important issues to americans
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are not what you're talking about tonight. it is our economy and the failing economy and the failed democrat policies and isis, and terrorism, and what are we talking about tonight? >> why are we talking about it? >> there is no reason to talk about it. we need to focus what the american people want to talk about. >> isn't it important what the candidate says? >> it's important that there's 14 million families out of work today than there were seven years ago. it's important that there are $800 million trade deficit in this country. >> i would love to talk about the issue and every issue you just mentioned and republicans would like to talk about. if you want to correct america and you want to correct a lot of our social unrest that's out there, let's put americans back to work because when people have jobs and they can feed their family, home ownership is at its lowest points in the 1950s, and this is crazy what's going on in america and we're talking about a comment that's not even true. >> i'm with you on every single one of those issues and you and i would much rather talk about those issues than this, the problem is your guy can't stay
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focused. he cannot have a good day subsequently. >> he had a whole day talking about the economy and richard socarides has been sitting here smiling and i'm not sure if that's because he's happy with this scope of the discussion. jump in? >> i would say that you have right here a great example of the unity in the republican party. i mean -- you seem all broken up, richard that there are republicans fighting. >> the republicans are fighting with each other because you have a candidate who once again today showed in the most dramatic way possible how he is temperamentally unfit to be president and the thing that is just amazing to me now is that we're having this discussion. it is clear to everybody exactly what donald trump meant. he has this way of saying things and then taking them back and saying i was joking or that's not really what i meant or he says something where there could be two meetings and there should be no question in anybody's mind
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and not in john's nor coreys exactly what he meant. he meant to say and meant to suggest what he's obviously suggested to everybody else and then he takes it back, and this is a direct appeal to his supporters who may feel this way, and it is very dangerous. it is very dangerous in our politics, and i think we all have a responsibility as people who are involved in the political process, and as people who are in the media to call him out on this. i mean, what is totally unacceptable in our political discourse has become acceptable today. >> this is the kind of discourse we have in countries controlled by dictators and countries that have phony elections. we're not having a phony election and we're having an election about the future of our country and he's making these crazy suggestions. >> hang on, guys. i know you want to jump in and comment on this and we will discuss it much, much more coming up next, a discussion with michael hayden about these remarks today and why he calls
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donald trump a threat to this country's national security and later, how did this happen? hillary clinton speaking about the worst mass shooting in the country's history and there sitting behind her in the red cap the shooter's father. he actually says he was invited. what does the campaign say? stay tuned. when a moment spontaneously turns romantic, why pause to take a pill? or stop to find a bathroom? cialis for daily use is approved to treat both erectile dysfunction and the urinary symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently, day or night. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, or adempas for pulmonary hypertension, as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away
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earlier today when questioned about his temp rachlt and the doubts it might be raising donald trump said he saw no reason to change after all, i'm winning. what is plain to see, however, whether his temperament in the state are statements including the one today about second amendment people have cost him some support. just yesterday 50 senior members who served in the republican administration said trump would be a dangerous president. one of them, former cia and nsa director michael hayden joins us tonight. general hayden, i want to start by getting your reaction to the news this afternoon, a statement from donald trump at a rally having to do with the second amendment with hillary clinton. let's listen. >> hillary clinton wants to abolish, and essentially abolish the second amendment. by the way, if she gets to pick -- if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks.
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although the second amendment people, maybe there is, i don't know, but -- but i'll tell you what. >> the second amendment people, maybe there is. general hayden, what did you think when you first heard that? john, it was more than a speed bump in my listening to what was going on in the hall. look, it's either a very ill-advised attempt at humor touching upon political assassination or the candidate just doesn't understand given american history when it comes to political assassination that this is something that we just don't touch even when we're pretending that we're trying to be humorous. i made the comment earlier today that if someone outside the hall had said something like that prior to going in and had been overheard by the secret service i think the secret service would have grabbed them for questioning. >> this is the kind of thing the secret service takes very seriously. democrats were pouncing on this is aing the secret service would
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investigate and i'm not sure that will happen and you've worked inside the establishment and you know people take this very seriously. >> very much so. look, you're there, john. you've got a thousand possibilities that could go wrong and frankly, the country expects you to take them all seriously and to work from the ground and that's what the secret service would have done. >> all right, general. i want to ask you, and this plays into the last few days and months, you don't think donald trump is fit to be president and just yesterday, you and 49 other national security experts and most of whom have worked in republican administrations wrote a letter and rdz in part, donald trump is not qualified to be president and commander in chief, indeed, we are convinced that he would be a dangerous president and would put at risk our country's national security and well-being. a dangerous president. what exactly do you mean by that? >> well, john, let's go back to the earlier conversation, the
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earlier comment by mr. trump. in what universe, under what view would he think that would be an okay thing to say and he's said things like that throughout the camp cam. we're not going to just kill terrorists. we're going to kill terrorist's families and we'll use torture and in what universe and under what view does he think that's okay for candidacy of the united states that that's a good thing and an okay for him to blurt out? but i think we were all hoping that as we move through the process that was then, this is now, there would be a bend towards the center and the candidate would be more fact based, more cautious, more reasonable in his language, and it didn't go that way. >> what do you want voters to do about this, general? it's clear what your feelings are about donald trump and you also said you might not support hillary clinton and you might not vote in this election? what do you want voters to leave
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this show thinking from you? >> i guess what we're trying to say, john, is that the messaging that's coming out of the trump campaign when it comes to foreign affairs and security matters is not the kind of messaging that makes any of us comfortable and in fact, we believe it to be very, very dangerous, and if a president trump would actually govern in any way consistent with the language that candidate trump has used, i think we're in for a very dark patch for both american and global security. >> would you be more comfortable than hillary clinton? >> in the narrow lane for security, i think she's got more experience and she's better qualified, frankly, and i think some of the things she said would have me prefer her over the current incumbent, but john, neither i nor the rest of the nation votes on only national security questions and therefore, you don't hear me endorsing secretary clinton for president. >> so let's talk about how donald trump responded to your
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statement and your letter yesterday. >> want to read you part of what he said. he says the names on this letter are the ones the american people should look to for answers on why the world is a mess. these insiders, along with hillary clinton are the owners of the disastrous decisions to invade iraq. you were the director of the nsa in the lead-up to the war in iraq and you said the intelligence agency including your own got it wrong when it came to wmds, and it was a clean swing and miss. so does trump have a point? are the names on this letter part of the crew that got the united states into trouble over the last ten, 15 years? >> oh, look, john, we've got a lot to explain about our personal past. by the way, the 50 folks on that letter, there are a range of views with regard to the iraq war, but let me go on, john, because mr. trump's response proves the point of the letter. he didn't just criticize us for the iraq war where we were in government.
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he also criticized us for the rise of isis and for benghazi. he just lumped them all together, and none of us have been in government for eight years, and so we had no hand in that whatsoever. that gets me back to the lack of precision, and the emotion and perhaps the lack of judgment that seems to have characterized most of mr. trump's comments when it comes to international and security affairs. >> general michael hayden, thanks so much for being with us. i appreciate it. >> thank you. just ahead, new polls from battleground states and you know koour curious. we'll show you the numbers and there are some surprises in there. also, does donald trump's tone or what he says even matter to his supporters? we'll hear from them to find out next. stop... clicking around and start saving at hilton.com book direct... and get the lowest price online ssoon, she'll be binge-studying.
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keeping the power lines clear,my job to protect public safety, while also protecting the environment. the natural world is a beautiful thing, the work that we do helps us protect it. public education is definitely a big part of our job, to teach our customers about the best type of trees to plant around the power lines. we want to keep the power on for our customers. we want to keep our community safe. this is our community, this is where we live. we need to make sure that we have a beautiful place for our children to live. together, we're building a better california. tomorrow one of donald trump's phrase today, many people are saying that he, a presidential nominee, actually suggested a threat of violence against his opponent. just yesterday many people were wondering if trump was toning down his act when he delivered a big economics speech. the real question is whether any of this even matters to his supporters who have stuck by him through it all. gary tuchman reports.
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>> trump! >> which donald trump do these supporters want to see? >> do you want to see the teleprompter trump or the off-the-cuff trump? >> for me, personally it would have to be off-the-cuff trump. >> i like the off-the-cuff trump. >> i don't want him to get soft and i don't want him to get presidential. i want him to be the same guy he's been because that's what got everybody riled up. >> reporter: trump did not disappoint those supporters, going off-script for much of this rally in wilmington, north carolina, but he once again sparked controversy and this one fast and furious even by trump bystanders. listen to what he says. is it a threat or not? >> hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the second amendment. by the way, and if she gets to pick -- if she gets to pick her judges nothing you can do, folks. although the second amendment people, maybe there is, i don't
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know. >> some people in the audience seem surprised by what trump said like the man in the red on the right side of the screen behind him, but most at the rally didn't seem to react or hear the comment in question. this trump supporter heard it, but took it as innocuous. >> you can skew it in your way or another way or my way and somebody else's way, but i think it was just political banter that both of them will do. >> reporter: do you think it's ev overstating it by saying it was a threat to hill reclinton? >> was it a call to arms? i don't think anybody saw it that way. >> nick carter says he is an undecided voter. >> it seems like it was a joke. he likes to make a lot of jokes and he seems like an entertainer so i'll say it was a joke. >> donald trump has proven a master to be a master for decade for good or for bad. >> he speaks his mind and that's what we expect from him. i don't think that will be the trump that will be the president
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of the united states, though. >> do you think he needs to turn into that trump to get to be president? >> i believe he will. >> when do you think that will happen? >> pretty soon. >> gary joins us now. did you hear from any supporters today who said they were concerned with trump's statements today? >> john, it wasn't easy to find anyone that was concerned with the comments, but i did talk to a group of women who were upset about the comments and not because donald trump threatened hillary clinton and instead they will thought it was a joke and it ruined the chance of attraction are tracting more inare undecided voters into the trump camp. i should mention there was no teleprompter use today, but donald trump did have notes and he referred to them and read things about hillary clinton and read about financial figures, but when he uttered the statement about the second amendment and hillary clinton, he wasn't using notes. he was speaking off-the-cuff. gary tuchman for us, thank you very much. we have new polls out tonight that show the key
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battleground states and the new nbc news/wall street journal/marist shows hillary clinton ahead by five in ohio. 43 to 48 and hill leading 38 to 37. back now with the panel. john, let me start with you, you heard in gary's piece from trump supporters who aren't supportive of what donald trump says. i would venture to say all of what donald trump says and then you look at the polls and you show pennsylvania trailing by 11 points and that's got to be a concern, if he's doing everything right in your mind and still trailing in a state that he needs like pennsylvania by 11, is that a problem? >> no, first of all, these polls and you look at the methodology and the way they're polling. some of the polls are polling 26% republican when there will be a greater turnout than 26% republicans. one of the problems we have now a days and there are far too many polls and there isn't --
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>> john, i'm old to remember the primary, but donald trump talked about the polls every day. >> where i'm trying to go is this, donald trump is the first candidate for president in modern history that's talking to the average american person and speaking in their language. how many times have you heard your friends say if one politician gives a speech and they say, what did he or she say? they'll tell you they'll lower your taxes and they always go up. donald trump is talking straight and it's not common to the world we're living in right now. it's the right world. this is what america needs. straight talk, and he may joke around every now and again, but when the man gives an economic policy speech and it is detailed and he's criticized for not being detailed and now it is and it lays out there and it shows that he can get this economy back on track and that he can put americans back to work and that he will put america first both here and abroad and that we're talking about if you can categorize it as a joke. i didn't see it the way you saw
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it, and all of those people that you just showed, they didn't see it that way, either, so what audience are we playing to? >> the average american loves what they're hearing and they will come out and vote. >> there is a lot in your statement there and it wasn't answering my question, was if trump was being trump, let trump be trump is a statement i know you know well and you lived by it when you were campaign manager and we are told you supported there, and let trump be trump and you cleaned up in the primaries, is it all you need in the general election? >> there are 14 million votes in the primary in what was supposed to be the greatest political field ever assembled and former relatives of senator, governors, business executives and donald trump who had no elected experience went there and struck a cord with the american people and said we want a change in washington. the same fundamental change is still in washington. do you have to grow? of course, you have to grow, but the premise, if you look at the polling data which indicates are
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you happy with the congressional approval ratings? 11% of americans think congress is doing a good job, so when you want to put a fundamental change candidate in place, the only person that will go to washington and change the way washington operates is an outsider with no experience running for elected office and they're not bought and paid for and could do what's right for the american people and that is what the american people now want. >> what's a whole lot of rhetoric and spin that doesn't speak to the fact that if you look at all of the polls and again, as we said before by you, john, donald trump was the first one to hype the polls when he was doing wrel and yes, he won a specific small segment of the far right of one party which is not what you need. >> he cleaned up for the primary and he did win the far right. >> again, corey, he is now running in a general election and has to reach beyond his base. i don't disagree that the solid part of his base probably no
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matter what he does will probably stay there and that's not enough to win the general election and he should take the advice of the last woman we heard on gary's piece who said he's missing opportunities to get independent voters and he will continue to miss them because he is himself and that is someone who is not fit to be president and has no real interest in reaching out to independent voters at all. he shows over and over again, whether it's attacking a judge of mexican origin, what he said today, his attacks on women, his attacks on muslims and he's not fit to be president, period. >> jump in here. >> the biggest number to pay attention to in that poll is down nine points in pennsylvania and this is a state that trump has said he has to win or his campaign believes he has to win. >> it's nine or 11 and the pretty consistent trend is that it's hovering around a ten-point lead and that hillary clinton is close to 50% and that's because while he is resonating with a big slice of the electorate in these rust belt states like pennsylvania, he is turning off
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these moderate, suburban republicans and better educated republicans and especially republican women who see him say things like what he said today and they can't get the rest of the way there. >> susan collins. >> frankly, i talked to plenty of trump supporters and plenty of trump voters over the months and going back to the primary who say i like that he says what he means and i wish he would tone it down a bit. >> he has not spent one dime on the advertising. hillary clinton has spent tens of millions of dollars to change the electorate. there are 91 days to go in this campaign. >> you might want to start thinking about spending. >> he's also gotten close to $3 billion in air time from the media and that must be factored in. we consistently go back to this oh, what the speaking to the american people. look, don adtrump won and i have to say this every time a plurality of republican primary voters and not the majority of the republican primary
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electorate, however, john points out something very important and republicans can'ted lose the lesson. there is a voting bloc in the republican party base that republican policies have not spoken to and has been left behind. that faction of voters has to be understood and the republican party has to learn to incorporate them and win them if there is going to be a republican party in the future. >> and he's been talking to the voters who were trying to and that was part of the speech. richard socarides and i know you must look at this and say the glass is half full, but in the glass half empty, there is a poll in quinnipiac that's essentially tied right now. given that i know donald trump has had the worst week imaginable in the trump campaign, how is it that hillary clinton isn't leading by more than four in iowa? more than one in florida? >> let me say a couple of things and i think the worst is yet to come because i think he will become more unhinged and we will see more things like what we saw today. i don't think the worst week. i think the worst week is yet to
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come, but i do think that the election will be close. i think the country is closely divided between democrats and republicans and i think that unless mr. trump goes completely off the rail which is is very possible, i think the election will continue to be close, and i think the democrats cannot take these poll numbers for granted because i think that we have to -- if we want to prevent donald trump from being elected president and we want to see hillary clinton president we have to do everything we need to do, but more and more i think people will see him -- i also -- >> hang on. >> save one thought because we have a lot more time left. >> i do want to come back to one thing. scott said something i agree with. >> good, we'll talk about that next. >> and the clinton campaign needs to keep their foot on the gas and why then was the father of the orlando shooter on stage right behind hillary clinton at a florida rally? how does this happen? we'll talk about that next.
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and if you have more than one liberty mutual policy, you qualify for a multi-policy discount, saving you money on your car and home coverage. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance. donald trump's issue is saying second amendment people might be able to do something about hillary clinton. that is what he said on stage. hillary clinton's issue meanwhile was someone who was sitting behind her on stage. brian todd reports. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: a rally where she needed to connect with voters in the most important battleground state of them all. >> whoa! this is fabulous! thank you! >> a raucous crowd in kissimmee, florida, just a 30-minute drive
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from the spot where 49 people were killed in the worst mass shooting in american hillary. hillary clinton started by thanking the first responders and city leaders for the nightclub massacre. >> i know how many families and friends are still grieving. >> but as she says that, sitting just behind here in the red carp in the large mustache the father of the orlando shooter. >> clinton is good for the united states versus donald trump. >> the father spoke to cnn affiliate wptv about why he showed up. >> it's a democratic party so everybody can join. >> the father showed a banner supporting hillary clinton, for among other things, her position on gun control. this is a man who once touted himself as a candidate for president of afghanistan, and in the week after the orlando massacre held rambling, incoherent news conferences. >> i didn't know what i was saying. >> the optic of a terrorist's father so prominent at a clinton event is irresistible for trump
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supporters? this was a slap in the face to the gay community who are actual targets of that terrorist attack, so not only should she apologize, but she should absolutely denounce. >> the father says he was invited to the clinton rally. hillary clinton's people said not by them. a campaign aide telling cnn this was an open-door event for the public, and quote, the campaign was unaware of his attendance until after the event, but this unforced error by the clinton campaign in a key battleground state has even supporters saying they need to do some damage control. >> they need to go to battle stations here and they need to disavow the guy and they need to fire the advance person. key questions tonight, are the people seated behind the candidates at these events vetted for those placements? dan marika, a cnn reporter embedded with the clinton campaign, he tells us that very often at these events an advance person, usually a young person, goes through the crowd and picks people out to go on stage. dan says that often those people
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are vips familiar to the campaign or they could be people simply selected for diversity in age or race. john? >> all right. brian todd, thanks so much. back now with the panel. i've covered a lot of campaigns as have you, people who sit behind the candidate, often, not always, but often they are hand picked by the campaign to sit up there. that's a terrible picture. in the florida area when you're talking about the worst mass shooting in history. tough for the campaign. >> you would think if there was one guy in florida you were going to make sure was nowhere near your event this would be the guy, right? it's pretty hard to step on this particular needle in this particular haystack and yet somehow it happened. i do think that, you know, the clinton campaign has also created an environment or they've exploited an environment to go after your opponent for people they're loosely associated with and democrats have had a lot of fun with tying donald trump to various
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outlandish characters that have shown up at his eventses and you are dealing with the turnabout about that. >> heads need to roll and they need to go to death con one on this. what do you think they have to do? >> obviously, that's the last person that hillary clinton would ever want sitting behind her. >> she hasn't said that, i don't think. >> it goes without saying, in my opinion, and these events and i've been to too many of them and they're open. people can come in. sometimes people get picked to sit in certain spots and other times people get there early and sit down and are not moving. so i think that the assumption that was picked to be in their seat was not true. does this require the campaign to take a look at how they're advancing events and how they're picking who sits where? yes, but let's be very, very clear here. the person in this race who has made clear and strong statements against the kind of gun violence we saw there is hillary clinton. the only person in the race who has gone to pulse, who has
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participated in vigils about this and things of that nature is hillary clinton and for the trump spokesperson to say she has to apologize to the lgbt community is the height of ridiculousness. >> as someone who has been a staff runner and incumbent presidential campaigns and i worked with george w. bush when he was running for reelection. this is incredibly sloppy staff work. every single person who appeared behind the president and the vice president when they give a speech or were at a rally was vetted by multiple people on the campaign staff and this to me represents what is frankly a real failure on behalf of the clinton campaign and frankly, a lack of planning and staffing which was quite surprising for someone who has been so sophisticated and who knows how to run national campaigns. i think what it tells us is they're not as prepared behind the scenes as they pretend to be or as we think they would be, and i mean, it is quite surprising. >> they need a more forceful response. >> hillary clinton should come out and make a statement
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immediately and this is the difference in this year's campaign and this is an unforced error that would capture a news cycle for multiple days if it were any other year, but because it's in terms of the things that take up oxygen in the news cycle, she can move on and this probably won't be a hit that damages her in the long run. >> stick around. a lot more to talk about. when we come back we will speak about how the trump campaign hasn't taken advantage of all this. get between you and life's beautiful moments. by choosing flonase, you're choosing more complete allergy relief and all the enjoyment that comes along with it. when we breathe in allergens, our bodies react by overproducing 6 key inflammatory substances. most allergy pills only control 1. flonase controls 6. and six is greater than one. with flonase, more complete relief means enjoyment of every beautiful moment. flonase, six is greater than one, changes everything. ♪
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two candidates, two controversies. hillary clinton campaigning in florida today. now she's facing questions about why the father of the orlando shooter was sitting at her rally behind her onstage, and donald trump saying quote, second amendment people could stop secretary clinton if she becomes president and is picking judges. back now with the panel. cory lewandowski, you have run a campaign, donald trump's campaign up until fairly recently. i'm curious, you still are in touch with the trump campaign. the trump campaign hasn't really said anything about the orlando shooter's father at the event. i haven't seen any official statements on it. do you happen to know why?
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>> i haven't talked to the campaign about this issue but the real question is why hasn't hillary clinton come out and completely disavowed this person coming to her rally, saying there's no place for him or his son committed the biggest atrocity of gun violence in the history of our country. he went on and claimed he was running for president of afghanistan. >> the father did. >> the father did. the guy's clearly not sane in any way, shape or form. says he's invited to the campaign rally by someone. who, we don't know. hillary clinton clearly knows he's been there. this story has now been going for more than 24 hours. not once at any time did she or anyone from the campaign say this person should not have been there and look, here's what i know because i have been involved in these rallies. those people who are signatutti behind the candidate are hand-selected. i agree, someone should be fired over this, no question about it. this is something that should never take place. if it were the trump campaign, i would absolutely fire the director of advance. that's their responsibility.
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>> richard, why hasn't hillary clinton just said this guy shouldn't have been at her rally? >> i too have worked on national campaigns and organized events and i have also been on the white house staff where i have organized events. i think what this really speaks to is this gentleman does seem like he's perhaps a little unstable from some of his comments. i think this is perhaps more of a security issue than anything else. how the secret service let someone not only just sit in the field of vision but be at a rally like this is a little disturbing. i think this is perhaps more of a security -- let me say -- >> her campaign put out a statement saying this guy was not invited by them. i don't know what more you want her to do. this is not an affront to anybody. her record on lgbt rights issues is clear. she went to the site of the orlando shooting to pay her respects. she met with the families. donald trump didn't go. >> i agree, she has the worst record on the second amendment
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of any candidate on this race. >> we will take a break. we have a whole other hour. there's a lot more to discuss in the next hour of "360." all sorts of people weighing in on this and what donald trump said and just minutes away now, we have a poll closing. wisconsin. america's top ranking republican in a primary battle right now. so can house speaker paul ryan survive, if so, by how much? you will find out. marcopolo! marco...! polo! marco...! polo! marco...! polo! marco...! sì? polo! marco...! polo! scusa? ma io sono marco polo, ma... marco...! playing "marco polo" with marco polo? surprising. ragazzini, io sono marco polo. sì, sono qui... what's not surprising? how much money amanda and keith saved by switching to geico. ahhh... polo. marco...! polo! fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. polo! at ally bank, no branches equals great rates.
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