tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN April 26, 2017 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
another setback for president trump as he closes in on the 100th day mark. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. the president reverses himself on one of his biggest issues trade, tonight announcing he owes agreed not to terminate nafta at this time after speaking with the president of mexico -- presidents of mexico and the prime minister i should say of canada, but remember when he said this? it was just last week. >> nafta has been a disaster. >> we have these provisions where you have to wait long periods of time. nafta has been very, very bad for our country. it's been very, very bad for our companies and for our workers, and we're going to make some very big changes, or we are going to get rid of nafta for once and for all. >> americans not impressed with
how president trump is handling his job. our brand new cnn/orc poll has him at the bottom of the heap of newly owe elected presidents. plus, she's the most high-profile woman in the trump white house, a top adviser to the president and unofficial ambassador but is ivanka trump good for women? we'll discuss. right to the president's new poll numbers tonight. cnn's john king is at the magic wall for us. john? >> don, our new cnn/orc poll shows donald trump is the least popular president in modern times at the 100-day mark. let's take a look at the numbers. 44% approve of the job he's doing as president and 54% disapprove. this one is not so bad for the country. the country evenly divided. 48% say good job and 52% say poor job and here's where the president is in a bit of trouble, big issues, economy, health care, immigration, his standing down from our poll just seven weeks ago. half of americans approve of how
he owes handling the economy, that was 55% in march, a little surprising given how strong the job reports have been and obamacare, only 36% approve of how he's handling health care and 41% approve of how he's handling immigration, an issue he's spent a lot on in the early day. serious questions about whether he's up to the job of being president. 51% of americans say he's not working hard enough at the job and 56 say he's done a poor job asbling a white house team helping him to do the job and 12% say he can manage effectively and 37% of americans think their president is honest and trustworthy. bright signs for the president though, 54% of americans say things are going generally well in the united states right now. 14% say badly. this is even better news for the president. 59% say economic conditions in the country right now are good. 41% say par. why is this person? ten years, don, since the good
number has been at 59%. generally, people feel good about the president, lifts the president. not so far for this president but if this number stays up here see if it has an impact on the president. donald trump as always divides americans along political lines, race lines, gender lines. democrats don't like the job, 91% disapprove and independents more split but 53% disapprove and let's look demographically. men approve narrowly and women -- six in ten women disapprove. white voters largely with the president but that's a pretty close divide. non-white voters seven in ten disapproach. remember election day, younger voters didn't, younger americans don't like his presidency and older americans that were donald trump's most reliable supporters, older americans, 53% approve and 45% disapprove so overall under water at the 100-day mark if you look through
the different groups, looks a lot like election day. >> john king, thanks very much. i want to bring in mark mckinnon, the co-create ore of showtime's "the circus," a great episode on sunday and a lot to talk with you as well, mr. meacham. i want to get your reaction. what do you think of these poll numbers? >> i think that the president lives and dies by rates and this is not a good first report card. you know, the 100 days construct is from fdr, 1933, was a time of great extension crisis for democratic capitalism, so it's been kind of an artificial test ever since. however, both bill clinton and barack obama had at least 15 and in obama's case a 20-plus point advantage over where trump is on approval rating, and in their mid-terms, in 1994, the republicans won i think 54 seats
in the house, six in the senate and -- and in 2010 i think it was 63 seats in the house and about six or eight in the senate. in numbers after the is hyundais tend not to go up, so -- to me it's a significant bellwether that if you are a democrat thinking about making a challenge in -- in 2018 after tonight, i would be making some fund-raising calls. >> interesting. mark, i want to ask you, because your episode of "the circus" on sunday night was about the resistance, right. do the poll numbers that john just cited match with what you have been hearing out there? >> they do. it shows there's a lot of energy on left, though the left like the republican party was for so many year was divide. you have purists on one side and the old guard on over. we saw dianne feinstein town hall and we all thought she was a liberal from san francisco and she's being boot by the
progressive left which is an interesting development. i'm real struck by the poll because i've never seen a poll that had the -- where people -- had you such a majority of people who think the country is on right track and think the economy is doing well and that's so disconnected from the favorability of the president. generally those things are tied together and what that means to me. it means that it doesn't really matter much what trump does. a lot of those people just don't like him and a lot of his supporters that will stick with him regardless. >> it's interesting, and i wonder how long that that's going to happen if he continues to flip-flop or at least not keep the promises to this date that he promised out on the campaign trail, mark, because tonight the president spoke to both the canadian and mexican leaders and agreed not to terminate nafta which he spoke so much about on campaign trail and even last week. the president just reversed not only a campaign promise but a view he held as recently at last week? >> i think his supporters will
give him a lot of latitude. they have already. they did during the campaign. i think they look at him much more stylistically. those are the cues that they take from him. i heard a wild theory from a supporter and colleague, somebody we both know, that was saying there's actually an intention or strategic design to not getting a lot done because his supporters thought obama did too much so they don't want trump to do too much. >> that is the -- boy, they are finding a silver lining. >> i like that one. >> they have x-ray vision glasses for that. >> what do you think about this nafta saying they are going to maybe renegotiate another point? the rhetoric has been, you know, we're going to repeal and replace obamacare and first 100 days it, do nafta at least very quickly and now this. >> the one consistent thing really in donald trump's quasi-political career going back to appearances in the late 1980s on donahue and the "today" show has been about bad trade
deals and nafta since its passage, negotiation under several presidents, but its ratification in 1993, has been a populist staple anti-nafta sentiment. this is what ross perot ran on, remember. got 19% -- back when 19% meant something and -- and this is what pat buchanan ran on in 1992 and '96. i'm interested in what mark said. my sense is all of us have a strike count in life, you know. maybe it's throw strikes. maybe it's six if you're lick, and i do wonder what trump's strike count is with his supporters. if it's no wall. if it's nafta stands, if it's no infrastructure, at what point do they begin to think, you know what, i -- i'm glad hillary clinton is not president but i don't really want this guy. >> yeah. >> and, again, he said he may renegotiate it in the future,
not that he's dropped it all together, but, again, the whole point was to do it. >> don, as you know, when he says i'll have something in two weeks that is his tell that he's bluffing, like the birth certificate. i've got something coming on that soon. when he punts, that ball goes a long way. >> okay. so i -- i want to ask you about, again, the poll in particular has president trump done a god job choosing top advisers? 56% of people say no. what do you think is behind that, mark mckinnon, and then john. >> well, again, i think that's more of a reflection of how people feel about him generally. i will say that people that i've talked to, a lot for this episode that we're doing this week where we're focusing not on what he's accompished but more on what he's learned, but he's learning the importance of senior staff and cabinet members and democrats and republicans, it's not a partisan judgment,
think he's put together a very solid national security team. >> do you think that he all along, when he was on campaign trail, saying this is going to be so easy. we're going to do it. do you think he's really learned -- do you think he knew all along it was going to be hard or he's actually learning? >> from everybody i've talked to this week including people in the white house, they admit, they say, listen, this -- this was a lot different than we thought it would be, a lot tougher than he thought it was going to be. it's tough for anybody. tough for george w. bush. it was tough for bill clinton. it's tough for people who have had government experience. if you've had nornne, it's as a acid bath shock and awakening for whoever is president, particularly coming from the business world. >> that's a big admission because when he was warned, even from his competition and the media talked about it it was fake news or it wasn't real, but it is real. he is -- this is on-the-job
training and he has a learning curve, you know, probably higher -- a bigger learning curve than any other president beforehand. >> to me this is maybe the most important or one of the two most important temperamental questions. great presidents, great leaders of any kind, people, learn from their mistakes. they have the humility, not not a franciscan sense, the humility to say i was wrong about this and how do i do it better? in 196 is jack kennedy becomes president and launches the bay of pigs and he said if that were a parliamentary system i would resign and calls dwight eisenhower and seeks council and eisenhower says you've got to the have people in the room rand debate this more fully and cut to october 1962 when missiles are going into cuba kennedy convenes the longest committee meeting in american history in order to apply that lesson that eisenhower taught him. he was able to do that. we know that trump is adaptable,
but is he humble enough to truly hack knowledge a mistake and learn from it? i just don't know. >> mark, i want you to watch. this is a clip from sunday night's episode of "the circus" and john heilemann is asking killer mike, i saw killer mike in the barber shop, a rapper and activist from atlanta about what he thinks trump's first 100 days so far. >> what we learned is democrats have timely got mad enough to go vote. john ossoff might win based on the fact that young democrats are pissed on and the democratic party held on to the old guard even longer what they shouldn't even when the people are telling them there's a new wave happening, a new type of democrat. >> do you think that that's democrats already know how they will vote in 2018? >> oh, yeah. as he reflects, the activism is real. i think that runoff is going to be a real test because it's been
traditionally a republican district and ossoff got close, but the thing that killer mike said that i loved in that zone is he close it had by saying what's real sporin what happens the day after trump. >> yes. >> and the democrats have to get focused on that. >> that was a great interview. >> can you tell mark halperin to stop dancing, he's not a great dancer, for the easter egg roll. i'm watching and that was bad. >> a little "wayne's world." >> thank you, gentlemen, always a pleasure. when we come back ivanka trump's role in the white house is under scrutiny and some asking is she helping or hurting women? at&t network security helps protect business, from the largest financial markets to the smallest transactions, by sensing cyber-attacks in near real time and automatically deploying countermeasures. keeping the world of business connected and protected. that's the power of and.
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trump is doing and his daughter ivanka was called her secret weapon and she was booed and hissed yesterday at a berlin summit when she spoke of her father. is she a moderating influence or is she a polarizing figure in. >> she's a great influence on her. what i would love to see what her influence brought about we know that the reason that donald trump was the first republican candidate to my knowledge to ever propose paid family leave for mothers on maternity leave, he proposed that because of ivanka, because she put the pressure on him to do that. if that transpires in practice, this is a huge influence, not only on the gop but on american society so if she can bring that into practice she will be one of the most important people in the white house undoubtedly. >> maria, do you agree with that? >> that's a huge, if and what we've seen if anything from this president is that he says
something one day and not even the next day, don, but the next minute he will say something that is completely 180 degrees the opposite, so really we shouldn't take anything about what he said on the campaign trail regardless of who it came from as indication of anything that he will do while he's at the white house, so to me that says that ivanka trump is kind of irrelevant, and i know that her heart is in the right place. i know that she believes the things that she says she believes in in terms of wanting to be a champion for women, but her supposed influence over her father has done nothing for women thus far, and you don't hear trump proposing the paid family least. you don't hear trump proposing equal pay for equal work so where is that influence? until i say it she's completely irrelevant. >> i want kayleigh to respond to this because i wonder if her words are ricking true because some people think they aren't and if you want to defend her i think they will.
some say she hurts women by glossing over the issues like the megyn kelly women and women who have accused him like the "access hollywood" tape and things he said about women like hillary clinton and carly fiorina. >> do you think she glosses over those serious words? >> we've talked about those issues at five months. at a certain point we move forward. president trump asked for forgiveness. i've given it to him h.others should, i think, and after five months of talking about this i think she just wants to move on to addressing things like the syria chemical weapons attack and i think it's time to move forward. >> jonathan? >> i would build on what my friend maria said and remind people it wasn't just comments that donald trump made. he basically in my view committed the crime of sexual assault if not argued for it when he talked about and i don't want to use the words here. but donald trump is a sexual predator and he's treated women with disrespect and i don't think whatever ivanka trump does it's so built in. you pointed out 60% but it's not
just about policy, people, women, see donald trump as a disgusting human being, that he does not treat women with respect and that's baked in. >> paris, women did -- a lot of women did vote for him? >> that's the absolutely true. a lot of women did vote for him and a lot of women support him and a lot of women who have historically worked for him in the highest offices within the trump organization when he was a businessman feel something different and i would also challenge maria. i do not believe that ivanka trump is irrelevant, and i am tired of liberals and i am tired of pundits coming on network television and demeaning the work of these women who happen to be republican or happen to be working for the trump administration and calling them irrelevant. she has a voice. she has a powerful voice and she has an influence and she's relevant and we should celebrate that. >> paris -- >> we haven't seen it. >> why weren't you tired of the president demeaning women? i never heard you say that once, never once. >> when he talked about sexual assault which is a crime --
>> let him answer. >> if i was asked about some of the things that the candidate trump said about women, i would have responded in kind, but to your point, don, i didn't hear nag organization for women, i didn't hear a lot of other organizations stand up against cedric richmond who was the head of the cbc when he made that comment about kellyanne conway saying she looked very comfortable sitting on the couch in the oval office that way. >> a lot of people did come out. >> speaker pelosi -- speaker -- >> a lot of people came out. >> speaker please -- >> paris, paris, that's not true. >> speaker pelosi did not. >> a lot of people said that it was wrong. >> national organization of women. >> those people are not running for president. >> you never answered my question. you said you were never sick and tired of hearing the president demean women. >> i didn't hear the president demean women when he was running for president. >> oh, my word. >> paris, it wasn't just demean. i'm going -- when you say i grabbed a woman's pussy --
>> let me say. >> that was not said while he was running for president. if you want to go -- if you want to go back and litigate what somebody said 20, 30, 15 years ago before they were a and can a date for president, that's one thing, but president trump, candidate trump did not demean women while he was running for president and if he had i would have come out against. >> paris, do you believe that. >> this is not credible, not credible. >> paris does that speak to character? >> you should not be part of the conversation. >> unfortunately, you don't have the power to have me not be a part of the conversation. >> unfortunately, this is why donald trump has the dismal numbers that he has, not just with women but with americans in general. >> that's not true. he has these numbers because the media constantly demeans him h. >> oh, come on. >> if you think his -- if you think his poll numbers -- this false narrative -- >> you're beating up your own
credibility. >> you're beating up your own credibility for standing up for women. how you stand up for conservative women. >> when we come back, we're going to talk about something that happened over at fox that's been very controversial. we'll get both sides of it, jessie is waters and a comment about a microphone and ivanka trump. we'll be right back. o on vacati? pennsylvania! (laughter) crunchy wheat frosted sweet! kellogg's frosted mini-wheats. feed your inner kid tired of paying hundreds more a year in taxes and fees on your wireless bill? only t-mobile one gives you unlimited data with taxes and fees included. that'll save you hundreds. get two lines of unlimited data for a hundred dollars. that's right. two lines. a hundred bucks. all in. and now, the brand new samsung galaxy s8 is here. so what are you waiting for? get the new galaxy s8. plus get 2 lines of unlimted data for a hundred bucks. taxes and fees included. only at t-mobile.
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and we're back now. outrage over a comment made about ivanka trump on fox news. back now with my panel. so i want to play a clip from fox news. it was last night. this is jesse watters, who is bill o'reilly's protege making a comment about the way ivanka trump was speaking into a microphone during a summit in berlin. let's listen had. >> i don't know why also saying, you know, that my father respects families is controversial. i mean, he's probably hired a ton of fathers and mothers and children so i don't really get what's going on here, but i really liked how she was speaking into that microphone. >> so maria, that comment came under immediate fire for becoin of course, sexist and
inappropriate. >> i'm sorry, if you're a host at fox news, that's how you want it going down. the sensitivity is working out for them. it's misogynistic and bigheaded and reminds everyone of the culture that's been alive and well at fox news thus far. they need to do a cleanup. >> watters denied that it was innuendo. how it was low and steady and resonates like a jazz radio deejay, not a joke about anything else. do you believe that explanation, jonathan? >> no, an i've got to say i had never heard of this guy and what struck me when i saw that clip when your producer said it to me, first of all came over across as a complete dolt, as as know-nothing and the comment as maria correctly said for someone
on fox news to go there, even unintentionally, not be self-aware says something about the culture. even if it wasn't explicitly. >> you guys -- >> let me play the clip and kayleigh, i want you to respond. after three evenings on the air jesse waters, they switched the lineup after bill o'reilly left, at the end. show he said he would take a vacation with his family. >> i'm going to be taking a vacation with my family so i won't be here tomorrow and friday so miss me tomorrow. >> saturday. >> so the last anchor to take a vacation was bill o'reilly, did not return, go on. >> look, i think in all due respect, my colleagues here are looking for salacious innuendo. i watched that comment. i saw nothing inappropriate. he was nothing trying to make a salacious remark. he was clearly speaking to the fact that ivanka speaks well and did a great job on that panel. if you're looking for sexual innuendo you can find it, but a
lot of us and watched that saw someone praising ivanka, if you're looking for that by all means go and find it. >> paris, this is a time when fox is reeling from claims of sexual harassment, out offing bill o'reilly, roger ailes before that. is it a bad time to make jokes like this? did you read anything in that watters thing? >> you know, when i first heard about it, i thought it was negative, but then i actually for the first time actually heard it and watched it on the show just now, and i did not have the same reaction as i had when i -- when it was told to me about what happened. i think kayleigh is absolutely right. this is less about fox news and more so about the culture of what i believe is this war against republican women and how people can say things and just get away with it as it relates to republican or conservative women across the board. so i applaud -- >> how is this about a war against republican women? i'm actually defending ivanka because i think -- >> and maria. >> this was a comment against her. >> and i was going to finish my
comment before you cut me off and i applaud maria for actually standing up for ivanka. >> thank you though, paris. >> i was giving respect. >> just quickly, i will say what we should remember is that women face -- let's make the broader point, and i think part of why we're sensitive to this is we have someone in the white house who doesn't understand how to be sensitive to women. in fact, has acted inappropriately towards women. that's the culture that's spreading through the country. we have to make the country that women face this in the workplace. >> again, he shade that they talked about something and that there was in innuendo. i want to move on because i think this is important and i want to talk about this. president obama bashed wall street and has reportedly accepted a $400,000 to give a speak for wall street bank cantor fitzgerald. jonathan, you don't think he should do it, why? >> i want to make a few points. jimmy carter, most ethical
person ex-president in my view, other republicans and democrats have put their hands out and tried tone rich themselves. i don't think it's right. >> what's not ethical about accepting money for a speech? >> here's why i think. nobody gets paid $400,000 or maria, remember, i was critical of hillary clinton during the campaign. nobody gets $225,000 from goldman sachs. >> quick, quick, quick. >> for -- >> i'm running out of time. >> being a nice person. they do it to get access, and i think the last point -- >> he's not running for office anymore. >> but the -- but circle of people. >> he's not running for office anymore. >> if someone paid you $200,000 for a speech -- >> would you do it? >> no. >> kay legal, if someone paid you for a speech? >> yes, yes and president barack obama is a private citizen. >> maria, if someone paid you $400,000 for a speech, would you do it? >> hell, yes. >> paris, would you if you're not running for office in the future, not running for anything, would you do it?
>> i'd do it for 150,000. cantor fitzgerald, i'm available tomorrow. >> i'll do it for 5,000. >> this is bad for public policy. >> i said it was okay for hillary clinton -- to make money on speeches or bill clinton, for donald trump to make money as the executive producer of "the apprentice." do not stop people from trying to make money. that's the american way. >> the last time i check -- the last time i checked. >> when people see this example of someone taking this amount of money, the message they get is i want to get into -- >> it's okay to make money. >> they want to be president. united states. >> i want to get into public service to make lots of money. that is not right. >> jonathan, the last time i checked -- >> i'm not against capitalism but the free market. >> the last time i checked president obama did not go into the seminary and take a vow of poverty. this is absolutely okay for him to do. >> they get plenty of money when
they are ex-presidents, $200,000, health care that's cadillac. >> i wonder what elizabeth warren has to say about it. that's what i want to know. >> guys, please let me talk. look at it this way. maybe that kid will aspire to be president of the united states where they, too, can get $400,000. >> and that is not right. >> absolutely. >> and we will be right back. look closely.
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>> reporter: what do you think of his first 100-days? >> he's shaking things up, i like it. >> he's not failing, but he's like stuck in a hard spot. >> i think we're all screwed. >> reporter: three swing states, ohio, mission mission and pennsylvania and three counties in them flipping by the biggest margin blue to red. what do their voters think now? >> i think he's sending the right messages in a way, but he doesn't know how to keep his mouth shot? tony, third generation farmer and know owner of a vineyard in ohio ice win country, a registered democrat who voted for trump. >> is he the perfect guy? no, he's not. >> reporter: but you voted for him? >> the only guy there that showed a sign of change. >> reporter: nine ohio counties flipped from obama in 2012 to trump in 2016. none by more than here, ashtabula county. obama easily beat romney here by 13 points. trump did even better, beating
clinton by nearly 19 points. that's a whopping 31.7-point swing. >> i voted out of rebellion of what's happening in washington. >> reporter: a common refrain. voter frustration at fighting between democrats and republicans. >> i'm not willing to bend on that. >> reporter: j.p.ducrow is a new county commissioner here swept in on the trump wave. first 100 days in office, how is he doing? >> um -- >> reporter: it's a question even some republicans wrestle with. >> how do i answer that question? that is a hard question. >> reporter: he says it is his promise of jobs above all that trump will be judged on. >> we have had a tough time. we've lost a lot of manufacturing and industry over the years. >> reporter: then there's tourist destination and fisherman's paradise lake county michigan, solidly democratic or at least it was.
>> because i'm a true trump believer. >> i usually go democrat and i ended up voting for trump. >> reporter: 12 michigan counties flipped blue to red in 2016. lake county by more than any other. in 2012 obama beat romney here by just over five points. in 2016 trump trounced clinton by nearly 23, a massive 28-point swing. >> we're going to cut this tree down. >> reporter: 37-year-old sean munson had never voted in his life, ever, until trump's promise to bring back jobs and fix health care. >> i took it as maybe he might try to do like kld, pay a little extra in taxes and get free health care for everybody instead of whoever can afford it. >> reporter: bridgett lamoreaux owns, cooks and serves up beers and burgers at government lake lodge. you live upstairs. >> yes. >> reporter: you're here 24/7.
>> yes. >> reporter: trump's promise to lower taxes an create jobs got her on board. >> he's very busy savvy, and that's what i thought we needed to get into office. >> reporter: what are you feeling now, 100 days in? >> i like it. i mean, he's definitely eccentric. i'm not a began of the twitter and all that kivon stuff but i don't care. >> reporter: john grund is the local tree trimmer and the only democrat to survive a contested race in lake county. >> out of 848 votes, i won by 13. >> reporter: lucky 13. >> lucky 13. >> reporter: he can't account for why the county went so hard for republicans. >> this is a democratic county and has been for decades. >> reporter: what happened? >> i'm not -- that's a tough question really. >> reporter: donna featherstone, a retired long haul truck driver scoops ice cream. the independent voter has no health insurance. she says trump scares her but -- >> if they can get things done, i'm ready to give them a chance.
>> reporter: finally there's lucerne county in pennsylvania, one in the keystone stayed to go blue to red. obama won here by four points in 2012 and trump easily won the county by 19 point, a swing of 24.2 points. anne ma rise bossart has lived in the family business for years and she flipped and liked trump's aggressive foreign policy. >> he's not going to take no baloney off anybody. he's going to be and -- he's going to kick it. >> reporter: richard and eileen both volunteered and voted for obama. you were a democratic county council member for lucerne county and you voted for donald trump. >> yes, amend i'm on the executive committee for democrats and i still went for trump. >> reporter: both flipped but watching closely.
>> he tried to go with the health care act, was real a disaster. >> reporter: here we caught up with a pipeline construction worker andrew coleman who has a wife and two kids. they have insurance, he doesn't. >> right now don't have insurance through my employer, and i can't afford it the way it's going now, so that's a big thing for me. that was half the reason i voted for in. >> reporter: christine, a republican and mover two, gives the president so far an "a." >> i think the president is doing well for someone who has not helicopter, what would you say government experience before. >> reporter: clinton voter and veteran darryl smith says trump's lack of experience still worries him. >> and he's ticking off a lot of people. i'm afraid that it's going to end up backfiring on us is what i'm afraid of. >> reporter: swing voters still sizing up the new president but expecting results soon. miguel marquez, cnn in
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. the cnn original series "soundtracks" plays the songs that define history. one of those came in the aftermath of 9/11 when toby keith's music helped define a time of pain and grief but pride. dan rather talks about this moment from the series. >> once it had fully soaked in that we would not and could not be the same country after 9/11, it emerged -- i won't say slowly, but my recollection is it didn't emerge all that slowly. ♪ my daddy served in the army ♪ where he lost his right eye >> songs such as toby keith's "red, white and blue" that were -- and i don't think it is a wrong statement, were a kind of rallying cry. >> and sort of delving into your patriotic feelings and striking out at the rest of the world. ♪ our love has fallen under attack ♪ >> toby keith, welcome. how you doing, sir?
>> hi. doing great today. how are you? >> doing great. it was a clip from tomorrow's episode of cnn "soundtracks" featuring your song called "red white and blue." you cannot listen to that song without being emotional. tell me about it. why did you write that? >> man, i was -- my dad was a soldier and he had just passed away about six months before 9/11. we was raised, being in a soldier's house and being raised, you were -- you know, you were around those veterans and the pride that they take and their views of the flag and the country and what things stand for. i was like, man, what would my dad do today if he was alive and watching this ha happen. >> this is why i would imagine because of your father you are an avid supporter of the uso, you make performing for the troops a regular part of your schedule. it is important to you? >> well, i went the first time, you know, just to make sure that i honored my father, you know,
and then i got over there and found out no one would go do it. the uso was having trouble finding people that would go support the troops, so i saw that void and i said, well, they asked me to help champion it. so my agent because a board member and we became real active with uuso about 14 years ago. >> listen, i thought it was -- it was amazing that you, despite all of the -- some of the backlash that you gotd, th, tha performed at the preinauguration ceremony. why did you do it? you didn't care about the backlash, did you? >> no, you can't care about the backlash. the reason you do those things, i have played for governors, i have played for all of the presidents that have been in office i think since i had had my first recording contract. i have been invited to the white house several times and played for functions for all of the presidents and different governors and stuff, and i have never turned it down. it is more of a duty to me and a
true honor to get to go, you know, perform for your country, and they asked me to be in the military part of the show and i said absolutely. >> well, i think for you it is about country because you ignore politics and ideology and you support the president regardless of party. >> well, you have to. and, i mean the people have voted and they vote every time, and so whether i agree or disagree, we've never had a leader in this country that i agreed with across the board on everything they do because i hate politics. i don't like the way -- i don't like the way it is operated. everybody wants their side to get what they want. it just seems like we get divided more and more all the time, but at the same time they're the commander in chief and my military guys that have become my friends and my family over the last 15 years all answer to this person. >> let's talk a little bit about country music. it took center stage after 9/11,
and this upcoming episode of "soundtracks" explores that. why do you think so many americans turn to country music and songs like "courtesy of the red, white and blue" at that time, toby? >> well, i don't know. i'll tell you a little history on "courtesy of red, white and the blue." it was never written to be on an album. "courtesy" was written in 20 minutes in my gym with, you know, on the back of a fantasy football sheet. i knew when i started doing my uso troops i could sing it for the military and it would be kind of like some of the army songs my father used to tell me they played back in the day. so when i played the pentagon, general jones, the com an daunt of the marine corps was there. i got done and i said, you guys are shipping off to afghanistan tomorrow, and they said yeah. i said i want to play a song before you go. i played it by myself, the band didn't know it. they threw their hats in the
air, their stuff in the air. they threw their fists in the air and the commandant and said, the will whole military needs to hear this song. it is important we have something new to grab on to that lets them go. i took it home, prayed about it for a while and thought what am i going to do, and he just -- kept going back to commandant jones. i thought if it is that important to him, it must be that important to the military so i released it. i had no idea that it was going to create such a -- such a -- such a firestorm. but, you know, after a couple of years of dealing with it i didn't care anymore. >> well, we thank you for your support of our men and women in uniform and we thank you for the music. it was a pleasure, toby, a real pleasure. thank you, sir. >> they're the very best, and god speed to all of them. thank you. that's it for us tonight. thanks for watching. i'll see you right back here tomorrow. but first, here's a preview of cnn's original series
"soundtracks, songs that defined history" airing tomorrow night at 10:00. ♪ i'm in a new york state of mind ♪ >> the music and artists post-9/11 are reflective of the emotions we feel. >> we ain't going anywhere. >> we played for an audience of police, firemen and emergency rescue workers and they needed a boost note so boost. >> i put a fireman's helmet on the piano to help me concentrate, because if i didn't have it i might have just lost it. ♪ i'm in a new york state of mind ♪ >> it is kind of an anthem for new york city. i didn't think of it when i wrote it. >> the events that transpired define the music and made it bigger than it was intended to be. >> the music will always remind us that it is possible. >> somebody has got to put this into words and emotions. that is what anthems are made of. "soundtracks, songs that
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add that premium channel, and watch the show everyone's talking about, tonight. and the bill you need to pay? do it in seconds. because we should fit into your life, not the other way around. go to xfinity.com/myaccount -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good evening. thanks for joining us. a busy day at the white house. the administration announcing the president's tax plan. what will it mean for you and who is going to pay for it? breaking news on that. and the president's unusual statement he is looking for options to break up the appeals court. we begin tonight with an unusual meeting at the white house, so unusual just about everyone who was either watching it or whats a part of it couldn't remember it ever happening before. senators went on a fleet of buses from the capital on a roughly two-mile