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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Interview with Andy Parker, Father of Alison Parker; Interview with Alison Parker's Boyfriend; New Poll Shows Trump Surging; Interview with Jorge Ramos. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired August 27, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know that we are succeeding necessarily. And that the same sort of quality education is available for everyone.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ten years now after the storm.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have gone from a school district that was an f to a school district that is a c level.
MALVEAUX: How was your first day?
New Orleans is still trying. And won't stop until they get that a.
Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, New Orleans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Thanks for joining tonight. AC 360 starts right now.
[20:00:27] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks you for joining us.
A vigil just now getting under way outside CNN affiliate WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia, the make shift memorial growing all day as people pay their respects. Inside they're getting ready for the late newscast, working through tears at times, a day and night, after a killer took the lives of two colleagues they loved, reporter Alison Parker, photo-journalist, Adam Ward.
Tonight, Alison Parker's father is with us, so is the man who helped to marry Alison. They had every expectation of spending the rest of their lives in the warmth of her smile and the light of her love. Instead, tonight they are facing cold reality in the kind of darkness that hurts to imagine.
So is Adam's Ward fiancee who had additional, unimaginable trauma of watching the love of her life killed along with Alison as she watched from a TV news control room. She obviously is hurting. And so is everyone who worked with Adam and Alison including the news director.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY ZUBER, NEW DIRECTOR, WDBJ: I have watched anchors and reporters half an hour before a newscast be crying in the newsroom and then get on that set and deliver the news to the people of southwest and central Virginia. They, they have had to talk about their colleagues. And you know deal with some difficult situations. I give you the example of our, our meteorologist this morning, found a candy wrapper while on the air that Adam Ward had always eaten and had left somewhere. And it is those kind of little thing that are just kind of getting to us now.
My sports director just said to me, I lost it when I saw, walked out and saw his car in the parking lot. And saw clothes in there. Every little thing. It's not the big things that get to us, the little ones.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: In addition to reflecting on their loss, she and the general manager, Jeff Marks, shed new light on the killer who was fired from the station more than two years ag. We are learning more as well, including what was inside the killer's car suggesting he was planning not just to commit murder but also make a getaway.
Our primary focus, though, tonight will be as it always is on the people whose lives were taken in and not the killer himself. With that in mind, and knowing how difficult this has got to be we are joined by Alison Parker's father, Andy.
Andy, thank you so much for being with us. And I am so sorry for your loss and the loss of your family. Can you just talk to us a little bit tonight about Alison, about the woman she was, the daughter she was.
ANDY PARKER, ALISON PARKER'S FATHER: Thank you, Anderson. She was our shining star. Everything she did and, and took on, anything she touched, she, she -- and, and tackled she excelled at. I mean, she was a terrific gymnast until she got too tall. And then she became an award winning swimmer. She won the district swimming award when she was in high school. She was a beautiful ballerina. She was -- everything she did and everything she tackled she, she just nailed it.
And you know, I mentioned to some of your colleagues, this morning, that -- you know, I -- I had not really planned to do the circuit here, the media circuit. But Alison was a consummate journalist. The news editor for the Breeze. She considered herself a journalist, versus a TV personality. And she was very proud of that. And initially I didn't think I could do any media at all. And then as I reflected upon it, I realized that this is what she would want me to do. I mean, she would want me to come on and tell the story and fight the fight I am about to fight in terms of gun control. And we can talk about that later. But she made everybody happy. She touched so many lives and everybody loved her. COOPER: Yes. And I do want to ask you about that fight that you are
planning to, to wage on gun control. But, you know, my mom watches me still every day. And I understand, you spoke every day with your daughter about the stories that she was covering.
PARKER: You know, it's rare for parents to talk at their kids every day. And Alison and I, you know, as soon as her hits were over, the spots that she did, you know, I always get a text or I would always text her. And I say, hey, you know, that was a great job, Scooter, you did a terrific job.
[20:05:18] COOPER: You called her Scooter?
PARKER: Her nickname. I called her Scooter since she was just a little girl. And you know, that was, you know, nobody knew that, you know, the public -- general public didn't know. But only her close friend. But she, you know, she, we always talked. And she always valued my opinion. And wanted to know how she did. And you know, the last two days I haven't gotten that text. I haven't heard her ring tone was brown eyed girl. Because she was, you know, a blond one of those unusual combinations where, you know, she had blond hair and brown eyes. And, you know, I can't hear that anymore. I said earlier, I am, I am really trying hard. I have been trying hard all day to keep this together. But, you know, as you can imagine, my, my heart is broken and my soul is crushed.
COOPER: Yes. And it's - I mean, I wish there were words that could all make it better. But obviously there aren't.
PARKER: I understand.
COOPER: Let me ask you what you want to do now, about where you want to go with your grief, with your anger, with all of the emotions you must be feeling. I mean, you talked already publicly about -- that shootings like this have to stop. That you want to do something to, to change things. What do you think needs to change? What do you believe can change?
PARKER: Well, I think what can change is -- we need more help from you guys as in the media. Because, you just lost someone in the fraternity. Alison was one of your own. And with the crews that I talked to and the other reporters that I have, that I have spoken with today. You know they all been shattered because they realize and they have all been, it's, struck a chord because they realize that, that could have been them.
And so, you know, what can't happen is, you know, here is a tragedy. After Sandy Hook and the theater shootings, everybody thought, God, this is terrible. You know, Virginia Tech. We have got to do something to keep people that are mentally disturbed, we got to keep them away from guns and having the ability to get guns.
And then what happens is, obviously, this story, you know, it's gone international. I, I have done interviews with Canadian television, with the BBC today. You know with Spanish language stations, with German television tomorrow. You know, I didn't really intend to be a media star, or, whatever you want to call it. But here I am. But you know, this can't be about 15 minutes of, gee, this is a tragedy. And we need to do something about it. And then next week somebody is talking about, what Donald Trump is talking about, you know. What is he doing?
It's, there has got to be pressure. And there has got to be continued pressure on, with, with the media going after politicians and, and affecting a change. I want to look, I want to, I want to -- address the, the members of the committees involved in the Virginia general assembly. And I want them to look me in the eye and say gee we can't support any kind of other measures with regard to gun control. I want to see them do that.
COOPER: And that is something you see yourself doing? Knocking on doors, having the meetings, looking people in the eye?
PARKER: Absolutely. And also galvanizing a coalition of people like me that have, you know, that, they have lost their, their family members to gun violence. It can happen. It is, Anderson, it is your responsibility, you and the others in the media and Dan Rather, I just saw an article that Dan Rather wrote today that said, the media is not doing enough. You know this is in the whack of this, in Alison's murder.
COOPER: Yes. I saw that as well.
PARKER: The media is not doing enough to keep this on the front burner. It's got to, it can't be -- you know, this is a tragedy for four days. And then, that's, that's, you know, that's too bad. Because I tell you what. That's what the NRA is thinking right now. The NRA is saying, you know, it will go away. And, and, you know they are the most powerful lobby in the country. And somebody has got to take them on. And by God I am going to do it.
[20:10:15] COOPER: How do you think Alison -- I don't know if I can ask this, and yet it is kind of a dumb question, but, is there a particular memory of Alison that you want people to kind of move forward with? Is there particular something she said? Is there something particular memory in your mind that you would want people to know about as they close their eyes tonight and hug their loved ones?
PARKER: God, I mean, there were so many. She just-she made everybody happy. She made everybody comfortable. She walked into a room and it was just, you know, she just spread joy. I will try to tell this one quickly because it is one of my favorite stories of anything she ever did.
The station where she came from, was, she was the bureau chief in, in, they made right out of school the bureau chief in Jacksonville, North Carolina. And she was reporting hard news, you know, back then. And that's, you know, why I get -- you know-- the news cycle. You know you got to. Obviously you guys have to do your jobs. You have got, you know, you go after the news of the day. And I understand that. But, she was also, she was so thorough in what she did, and she developed a great trust from law enforcement down there because obviously, you know, there was a lot of stuff going on and they covered that. Well, because she kept one story that the sheriff's office did not want to cover. Didn't want to break because it was an ongoing investigation. Another station broke the news. But, you know, what happened after that in the aftermath and the sheriff's department, all the law enforcement people - pardon me.
COOPER: She was following.
PARKER: Right. She was following. But all of the other, but the law enforcement after that they always called her first. And if something was breaking, and they called the other stations an hour later. Well, you know, a few weeks later. There was a big meth bust. And I tell the story with happiness and just joy because, you know, she was covering this meth bust. There was the lead investigator that was there, you know, she asked, you know, how long is this going to take? He said, Alison we are going to be here all night. Well, she said great because I'm bringing the live truck and I want to do a story. Well, that night at 9:45 rolls around, the lead investigator says, OK, boys, we are done. You know, time to wrap up. She said, wait. Please I am going to go on the air here. I have a story here in ten, in 15 minutes. He said, OK, Alison, what do you want us to do? Well, don't worry about it. They said turn the lights on, boys. So they, you know, they turned the lights on. And they -- they, you know, they took their clipboard out and they're behind her, you know, writing, you know, just basically recreating the crime scene. They didn't do anything illegal or inappropriate. But because they had the respect for her -- I'm sorry. They did that for her because she was so trusted and such a good person. And, everybody loved her. I'm sorry, I thought I could get through this without losing it. But that's the kind of person that she was. That they would do something like that for her.
COOPER: I feel like I know her a little bit more talking to you. And just from everything I have heard, I mean, she sounded like such an amazing person. And, I just, I wish you --
PARKER: She was. She was, thank you. You know, I am going to get through it. That's why I'm, I want to try and lead this effort. Because I owe it to her. I wasn't there to protect her. Obviously, there was nothing I could do anyway. But I just want to make sure that, that, something will change. And if there is a law out there that, that-up know, prevents this kind of stuff from happening. You know it would be great to call it Alison's law. I mean, that's what I can do to, to help now. I can't, I can't, I couldn't be there, but, going forward, I can make this a mission and I am going to.
COOPER: Andy, I wish you strength and peace in the days ahead. Thank you for talking to us.
PARKER: Thank you, Anderson. I appreciate it.
COOPER: We do want to give you a quick update now on Vicki Gardner, the third victim. This morning doctors upgraded her condition from stable to good. She was being interviewed by Alison at the time of the shooting. She underwent emergency surgery yesterday. We just learned a second time today after being shot in the back. We join everyone in Roanoke in wishing her obviously the very best. Just ahead tonight we will also talk with Alison Parker's boyfriend,
WDBJ anchor, Chris Hurst about his brown idea girl.
And next, breaking news in the investigation, namely some revealing items found in the gunman's car. What they say about his intentions to escape capture. As well as some of the red flags about his behavior, long before the killings.
[20:19:24] COOPER: In a moment, I will be joined by Roanoke anchor Chris Hurst who hoped to marry Alison Parker. The two had just started living together and were planning their life together.
First though, we have breaking news today in the murder investigation.
Our Drew Griffin has been talking to his sources joins us now.
Drew, what have you learned?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the shooter and his rental car rounded up about 200 miles or so from Roanoke. And tonight, we know what police found when they searched it after he shot himself.
There was what you would expect, the glock nine millimeter pistol, six magazines, nine millimeter ammunition. But also this, listed a sorted handwritten and typed notes and 17 stamped letters. We don't know who those letters were intended for. And what's caught most people's attention to day is this. There was a briefcase, Anderson, with three license plates, a wig, a shawl, umbrella, and sunglasses. All items that seemingly could be used to disguise somebody in a getaway, even though remember, he had faxed that so-called manifesto to ABC news and was calling it a suicide note.
[20:20:29] COOPER: And we heard today from the station's executives about how they're going to go about their business in the wake of this tragedy.
GRIFFIN: Yes. They got back on the air obviously. But were they going to go in the field? That was one of the questions asked. How long was it going to be before they sent live teams out again?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZUBER: We did not have live teams out yesterday nor do we have them out today, just for abundance of caution. And I know a lot of other news organizations around the country are wrestling with that. We will evaluate that as we go. And we also consult with our staff and see what their comfort level is with this.
Law enforcement has actually reached out to us and said, you know, hey, if you are doing a live shot somewhere, let us know and we will be there.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Do we know any more how the shooter knew the crew would be at the location at the time?
GRIFFIN: Perhaps. You know, there is a lot of speculation about this yesterday. The station's news director you heard from talked about it today. She said it was probably just why watching TV. This crew had a first live shot appearance a little after 5:00 a.m. yesterday. That would have given the shooter ample time to drive there for the next appearance which is at 6:45.
COOPER: So sickening. Drew, appreciate the update.
That is far from all we learned today about the gunman's evolution from troubled colleague to killer who, again, we are not naming obviously. We do know or think it is important to focus on the red flags thrown up by this killer, therefore one reason or another people ignored or didn't fully pursue.
Brian Todd has more on that.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The warning signs stretch back at least as far as the year 2000, detailed in this lawsuit. The shooter was reporting for this station in Tallahassee, Florida when he was fired according to the station for poor performance. His misbehavior with regard to co-workers and his use of profanity on the premises. The shooter alleged it was pay back for complaining about racial discrimination on the job saying he was called a quote "monkey" by a producer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was very angry and troubled by a lot of the things that happened to him at work. I was concerned about just his, his, mental status and whether he needed counseling.
TODD: But we found no indication he received any counseling at all. His attorney says the suit was settled. But we know the firing was deeply upsetting to him. In his rambling message faxed to ABC news, the shooter called it the nightmare that was Tallahassee and writes he told his father at the time nothing was working in my life.
He bounced around to a number of different news stations for the next 12 years. Then landed here at WDBJ in 2012.
It was a short and tumultuous time with the company. And the warning signs of a troubled mind came quickly. Internal memos from WDBJ, detailed co-workers feeling threatened and extremely uncomfortable as early as April of that year. The station manager says Flanagan was asked to seek mental health assistance and he complied.
JEFFREY MARKS, GENERAL MANAGER, WDBJ: We made it mandatory that he seek help from our employee assistance program. Many companies have them. They provide, you know, counseling and, and, other services and, we made it mandatory that he do that.
TODD: It is unclear how long that counseling lasted. And he was ultimately fired in 2013. He did not go quietly. Saying you better call police because I am going to make a big stink. WDBJ did call police while some employees sheltered themselves in a locked office.
As police escorted him out, shooting victim Adam Ward filmed the episode and the shooter turned to tell him, lose your big gut. Then handed the news director a wooden cross, saying you will need this. It was his last job in the news business.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You followed me here.
TODD: July of this year, another driver films the shooter in a parking lot after a road rage incident. No charges were filed. A few days later the shooter legally buys, two glock pistols after passing a standard background check. In years, months and weeks leading up to yesterday's shooting, the warning signs of a deeply troubled man were on times on clear display but no one it appears thought it could end in such tragedy.
MARKS: You could never imagine that somebody is going to come back and act on those issues that were so old. It was, I guess, a little bothersome that he was in town and would be seen by our employees. But again, what do you do? Do you imagine that everybody who leaves your company under difficult circumstances is going to take aim?
[20:25:07] COOPER: And Brian joins us now.
You have spoken to sources who work at the station. What are they telling you about, about the warning signs?
TODD: A lot of warning signs, Anderson. Many having to do with simple just angry outbursts. I spoke to a man named Brian (INAUDIBLE), a photographer and editor here at WDBJ. He told that me he was on edge working with the shooter in the field because the shooter always got angry. He said at one point during a 6:00 p.m. hour live shot they were going to do they had technical problems the live shot didn't get on the air. He says the shooter threw his stuff down and stomped into the woods for 20 minutes. I asked if he tried to get him back, he said no way. And I ask him, what did you say to him when he came back? He said nothing. I just wanted to steer clear of the guy.
Also, you know, we did learn that according to station general manager, Jeff Marks, the shooter confronted an anchor who was assigned to work with him on his script. So there were angry outbursts that's eventually led to his termination, Anderson.
COOPER: Brian, appreciate the update. Thank you.
Coming up next, we will talk to anchor Chris Hurst. He is going to tell us about the kind of person that Alison Parker was and the time they had together.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Top of the broadcast tonight. You heard WDBJ's news director speak of all the little reminders around her newsroom of Alison Parker and Adam Ward. The little things she said that get you the most. And we would add, stay with you the longest. That's got to go ten times over tonight for anchor Chris Hurst. He and Alison had just started living together, were hoping to start a life together. Chris joins us now tonight. Chris, as I said to Alison's dad, I am just so sorry for your loss. What do you want people to know about Alison?
CHRIS HURST, ALISON PARKER'S BOYFRIEND: Anderson. I want people to know that Alison would want us to be celebrating her life. Not mourning her death. They would want to know that she was someone who was infinitely likable, emanated a radiant personality, and she was fantastic at everything she attempted. I know Andy told her about being a gymnast and a swimmer. And being a dancer. And being a calculus tutor and going to governor's school to get college credit earlier and to be on the robotics team. She was a nerd at heart. And yet displayed a beauty that I had never seen before in person. And I was lucky enough that she loved me back. She was also a fantastic journalist. An excellent storyteller. And she had so many more stories to tell that unfortunately won't be able to be told.
So now we have decided that we need to share her story and Adam's story need to be shared as well.
COOPER: And I know there is going to be a foundation in her name. And I want to ask you about that. If I could just on a personal basis, and if it's too personal, I will move on. But do you remember the moment you knew she was the one for you?
HURST: The moment I knew she was the one for me, and we actually talked about this a few months into our relationship as every couple does. Honey, when did you fall in love with me? I was bold enough, I suppose to start flirting with her at our holiday Christmas party this past year. We had never really been able to interact too much until then. And, we went on our first date a couple of weeks later on New Year's Day at a Mexican restaurant. She loved Mexican food. She loved Mexican southwest culture. And the colors. And, and, everything about what that shows. And we didn't eat any of the food. All we did was talk. And I was just so elated that she actually went on a date with me. I wanted to be her boyfriend. I fall. And I fall hard. She was a little bit more apprehensive than I was. I'm the evening anchor. She's the morning reporter. Do you really want to get into an office romance? I had no desire to until I saw her. But the first date that we had, on the first of January of this year, New Year's Day was the beginning of a new chapter for me. The most wonderful chapter of my life. And that chapter is now closed.
COOPER: I understand she had a very good sense of humor. And that's something a lot of her colleagues talked about?
HURST: I can show you. Right? So I have been holding this book. And this has been something that has become almost a prop now to show my love for her. But I have been clutching it because it has been bringing me comfort. And it's a scrapbook she gave me of pictures of us for our six month anniversary. We never were able to have an anniversary. But there you go. Right? So this is one of my favorite pictures of her. This was at a St. Patrick's Day celebration. And then in the bottom right corner, she is giving me a goofy face. I'm goofy right back there with her. She brought a personality trait from inside of me that I never even thought existed. And she had a wonderful remarkable, goofy, witty, sense of humor. That, that, anyone who knew her will remember forever. And what she wrote on the side -- you know -- we have a lot of fun when we drink. And she was, she was, just had a, she just had that way about her, she just had a marvelous personality. And she, is someone who will remain close to my heart forever. Forever and ever.
COOPER: Chris, you and I talked during the commercial breaks. I just want to express my condolences personally to you. And one of the things you said, I want to ask you, but you said that, you know, that this can't just be another story, this can't just - I mean that something has got, you can't just move on from this. And as a journalist, you and Alison both, you cover stories. And then something else happens the next day. And then the next day. Obviously, this is very personal. And this is something which has changed your life and will change your life forever. How do you - how do you see it? I don't even know what my question is. But it has just got to be hard as a journalist, to have seen these kind of things and then to have this happen to you and to the person you were closest to.
HURST: So, Alison looked up to many journalists. And she considered herself a journalist. I have briefly been on social media the past couple of days. Immediately when it happened I posted my infinite love for her, which was something that was not public to our community. Officially until yesterday. And I regret not doing it sooner.
But I had been reading, and there has been an article by Nicholas Kristof from "The New York Times", and then Dan Rather wrote an article for "Mashable", and they both said we are allowed as journalists to make conclusions. I think that that is okay. When the evidence is hitting you square in the face, you are allowed to say, this is unacceptable. I don't know why this man decided to target the love of my life. And Adam Ward, who was deeply loved by Melissa Ott. But I can tell you that this is happening over and over and over again. And people that I report for, my community is telling me that this is happening over and over and over again. A critical incident occurs. People who were not supposed to die are killed senselessly. We're all upset. We all then decide we really need to talk about this. And then we forget about it. And then it happens again, and we talk about it and we forget about it.
I think the tide will turn. There will be a point where we in this society have decided that enough is enough. I hope and pray that this is the event that causes that tide to turn. But I don't know if that is going to happen for sure. Because just as the families of those children who were murdered in an elementary school and the families of those people who were murdered in movie theaters and murdered in a church, would have wanted that to be the incident that changed the tide, I can't tell you for sure as a journalist whether this is going to be that incident or not. But I can tell you that after talking with media folks for a long time, the past couple of days on the national level who really are able to steer the national discourse, and then we, and at the local affiliate level have a duty and obligation to raise our own local issues for conversation. This happened to two of us. In the media industry in the most reprehensible nightmarish way possible. And I think the media, maybe selfishly, will pay more attention and care more about this because it happened to two people who loved the job and the career that they love. So I'm hopeful that this will be the incident that will turn the tide. But objectively, I cannot say that that is for certain.
COOPER: Well, it certainly has changed obviously your life and the lives of an awful lot of people not only in that community and the families, but really around the world who have been following this. We do appreciate, Chris, you taking the time to talk to us. And again, I really am just so ...
HURST: Anderson, I hope that I can have a little bit of time. Because you mentioned the JMU scholarship ...
COOPER: Yes, I'm sorry. I - to ask you about that.
HURST: There is an update to that. Yeah. So Alison loved James Madison University. She was a school of media arts and design graduate. And she loved that school. She was an alpha phi in the sorority. And her sisters are just heartbroken right now. And we will be with them soon. Immediately yesterday after this happened. We worked to make sure that a fund was set up in her name for scholarships for students at the School of Media Arts and Design at James Madison University. Tonight her family has learned that, a generous donor has offered to put up $25,000. And if that $25,000 is matched and there is a $50,000 fund amount that is raised, if we reach that threshold, that, that, that fund could very well become an endowment fund. And that means that it would then be a fund available for students for perpetuity forever. Every year, there would be students who would be receiving scholarship money in Alison Bailey Parker's name. And that is exactly what needs to happen in this case. She cannot be forgotten. She must be remembered for the wonderful journalist and amazing person that she was. A daughter, a sister, and a girlfriend. I just love her so, so much. And I urge everyone to please donate to that fund. So that we can make this an endowment fund and have scholarship fund available in Alison Bailey Parker's name forever and ever.
COOPER: And is there a website or ...
HURST: There is a website. It has a long convoluted Web link address.
COOPER: We'll put the link on our website.
HURST: Go to James Madison University. You will find it. I know you will on "AC 360." And, and, anyone who want to search Alison Bailey Parker memorial scholarship fund for James Madison University. Please donate. We need to get at the $50,000, because it is very possible that it could then become an endowment fund.
COOPER: We'll definitely put that link on our website at AC360.com.
HURST: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: My thoughts - with you. Thank you. We're going to keep the focus on the story. Also, we'll talk more in the future, we hope with Alison's dad. And his new battle. Just ahead the race for the White House continuing. New polling on Donald Trump. And his fellow Republicans. And how he is doing against top Democrats. More ahead.
COOPER: A new national poll should be making Donald Trump very happy tonight. The Quinnipiac University Poll just released today shows Trump dominating the competition among his fellow Republican candidates. We are also getting a new look at how he might fare against Democratic candidates.
Chief national correspondent and anchor of "Inside Politics," John King, joins me with the numbers.
John, this new national poll. Donald Trump, his biggest lead yet. Where does everyone else stand?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, let's take a look, because if you are Donald Trump, you love these numbers. Look at the number, 28 percent nationally, among all Republicans. Ben Carson next at 12. Jeb Bush, down at 7. Let's compare this to just a month ago, Donald Trump at 28, up from 20. Dr. Carson has doubled his support from 6 to 12. Jeb Bush is slipping. Ted Cruz, also anti- establishment, is up. Marco Rubio about flat. Scott Walker like Jeb Bush has to be worrying when you look at these numbers, Anderson. Great news for Donald Trump, good news for Dr. Carson. Very troubling news for Governor Bush and Governor Walker especially.
If you move out and look at it a little bit, Trump's support, the breadth of it is what is stunning. 25 percent of Tea Party voters say they are for Donald Trump. 25 percent of those who describe themselves as very conservative say they're for Donald Trump. 24 percent of white evangelicals for Trump. 26 percent of somewhat conservative Republicans for Trump. And 31 percent of moderate to liberal Republicans. So it is across the entire party. It's not one group, putting Trump where he is.
There are some warning signs. 26 percent of Republicans say they definitely won't support Trump. You can see a bit of a problem here, even though you can clearly see a path to the Republican nomination for Mr. Trump, in this crowded field at 28 percent.
You can see a path to the nomination. The big question, Anderson, and you can help me here. When you look ahead toward a general election. Pick a number. There are a lot of warning signs. Help me out.
COOPER: Oh, actually I don't have my glasses so I can't see. Hoed on one second. All right. Pick a number. 54.
KING: 54. You come over here, there are two of those, 54 percent of all voters say Mr. Trump is not honest. 54 percent of voters have an unfavorable opinion of Mr. Trump. I will go through this to make it a bit easier on you there. 63 percent unfavorable rating among Latinos. 79 percent unfavorable rating among African-Americans. We'll go quickly through these others. 58 percent of women have an unfavorable view of Donald Trump. 60 percent think he doesn't care about people like me. 61 percent think he doesn't care about the problems of women. And 64 percent think he lacks the temperament to handle the presidency at a moment of international crisis. You can see Mr. Trump winning the Republican nomination. With these numbers, Anderson, he has got time to change them. But with these numbers right now, almost impossible to see Trump winning a general election.
COOPER: In terms of Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, how do they fare in a matchup against Trump, a hypothetical matchup?
KING: If you are Joe Biden, Anderson, you are looking at these numbers. Now, remember, he is not in the race like Clinton and Sanders. So his car is still a brand new car in the lot. He has not been nicked up. But if you look at this, Clinton beats Trump by 4. Joe Biden beats him by 8. Clinton beats Jeb Bush by 2, but Joe Biden beats him by 6. Clinton beats Marco Rubio by one, but Joe Biden can say I beat him by three. So when Joe Biden is meeting with potential supporters, he can say, in the general election, I am the strongest Democrat at the moment.
COOPER: I want to bring in - and John, stay with us, please, because I want to bring in our political commentator, Ryan Lizza, Washington correspondent for the New Yorker and also CNN senior political reporter, Nia-Malika Henderson. Ryan, look at these numbers. Jeb Bush is at 7 percent. Has there ever been someone who became the eventual nominee who was polling that low in this point of the game?
RYAN LIZZA, NEW YORKER: No, that's what is a little different about this. The folks who you sort of assume are the establishment front- runners going in, in previous cycles they have always had competition, and they have been down in the polls and they may have lost their lead, but nothing like this. If you look back to Bob Dole in '96, or George W. Bush in 2000, McCain in 2808, Romney in 2012. They faced challenges on the right, but they always maintained, 15 to 30 percent support. They never sank down into the single digits like this.
Now, what is different this time is it's a much, much bigger field. So you could argue, well, there is a big, big non-Trump vote out there. Just waiting for a Rubio or a Jeb Bush or -- or, another candidate to consolidate it. And then the sort of anti-Trump vote is just very divided at this point.
COOPER: But Nia, to Ryan's point. If you add up, it's not just the Trump vote. If you add up Trump's numbers with Carson's numbers and Cruz's numbers, you get 47%. Which is a big gain for what you would consider non-establishment candidates. Obviously Cruz is part of the Washington establishment, but he is running as though he is not. You look at the more moderate candidates, Kasich, Bush, Rubio, they're polling at the end.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. You know, the hope would be if you are Donald Trump is you can consolidate all of those candidates, those numbers as the field winnows, then you get those and you have sort of a matchup between Bush, who is the establishment candidate, and then Trump as the anti-establishment candidate.
I do think there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Jeb Bush in terms of his numbers. If you look back at December of 2003, John Kerry was at 7 percent in national polls. And Howard Dean was at about 25, 30 percent. Of course we know how that ended. Kerry ended up winning Iowa. He put all of his resources into there. Then it really flipped the race. There is sort of precedent for somebody doing so poorly and then becoming the eventual nominee.
COOPER: John, the other part of the poll that I was just flabbergasted about, is voters were asked to give the first word that comes to mind for candidates. Explain what they said about the two front-runners, Clinton and Trump.
KING: Some of this you can find funny, Anderson, but to your point. These are the two leading candidates for president right now. So it's really not that funny that voters think these things. What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Hillary Clinton? Liar. Untrustworthy. Dishonest. Now, woman comes up. Smart comes up. Political comes up. Experience comes up. Strong comes up. But liar, untrustworthy, dishonest, three huge words that come up the most when people are asked about Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump. Blowhard. Clown. Idiot. Now, businessman does come up. Again, strong comes up. Honest comes up in his defense. But arrogance also comes up. And in both cases, you see a blur here. We had one of these on the Hillary Clinton graphic. In both cases, we decided to be a little family friendly and not put on the screen some words that aren't really good for a family audience.
COOPER: Ryan, the fact that if liar is the first word, you know that voters in this poll think of when they think Hillary Clinton, that certainly seems to imply she needs to deal with whether it is the e- mail issue or, I don't know if it's just the e-mail issue. Maybe that just feeds into kind of a longer existing narrative.
There is a rising swell among prominent Democrats who are adamant that she has got to do something.
LIZZA: No doubt about it. Her character and trustworthiness has been the number one downside of her in politics since she was first lady. It is something she had to overcome as first lady. It is something she had to overcome in her campaigns for the -- for senate from New York. And it is the issue that Barack Obama exploited quite effectively in 2008. And there is no doubt that a Republican will do that in a general election. The question is, will any of her primary opponents do that? Bernie Sanders has said no, he's not going to attack her that way. I don't think Joe Biden is going to get in this race in the end. And I think one of the reasons he might not do it is he doesn't want to go down that road against his friend, Hillary Clinton.
COOPER: Fascinating. John King, thank you. Ryan Lizza, Nia-Malika Henderson, great to have you, thank you.
Up next, I'll speak with Jorge Ramos about his confrontation with Donald Trump.
COOPER: Donald Trump is certainly not backing down in his verbal battle with Univision's Jorge Ramos. Earlier this week, he threw him out of a press conference, then invited him back and took questions from him about immigration, and he called him out of line. And today he kept it up, heaping scorn on a "New York Times" headline about the confrontation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I'm just saying, what does that mean? And they start off - think, this is the front page. And you know, especially if you come from New York, if you're on the front page, that means like a lot to me, of the "New York Times," that's a lot.
So it talks about a, you know, the whole thing I had with the Spanish journalist, if you call him a journalist, I don't, actually. He's an advocate for lots of things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That is one of the things I wanted to ask Univision and Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos. He joins me now.
Jorge, Donald Trump says you are an advocate, not a journalist. What's your response? Do you consider yourself to be an advocate?
JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION: I'm just a reporter asking questions.
But I also believe, Anderson, that you have to go the extra mile to -- to be tough on those who are in power. And in my case, I -- I had many questions to Donald Trump. And he just didn't want to give me an interview. So I went all the way to Iowa to ask those questions. I am also convinced that as journalists, sometimes you have to take a stand.
COOPER: You talk about taking a stand against racism, against lies, against dictatorship. What do you believe you are taking a stand against? Are you saying Trump is lying? Are you saying he is a dictator? Are you saying he is racist? Are you saying he is just not giving facts?
RAMOS: No, what I am saying is that, what he is saying about immigration is full of empty promises. He can't deport 11 million people from the United States. He can't build a 1,900-mile wall between Mexico and the United States. And he can't deny citizenship to the children born in this country. He just can't do that.
Now, what I think is also, it is very dangerous as reporters not to challenge someone who is saying that. We have to put it in perspective. He is talking about the largest mass deportations, or one of the largest mass deportations in modern history. He's talking about the largest wall between two countries in the word. He is talking about changing the Constitution.
COOPER: When Trump said to you, "go back to Univision," I am wondering what you heard from that, what do you believe he was saying? Was it as simple as go back to your network? Or do you think it was something else?
RAMOS: What he is saying is, the same kind of language that we hear from people who are against immigrants. And it's the same language that I heard when I left the press conference. And there was another person who I haven't identified yet, clearly a follower of Donald Trump, who said get out of my country. I am a U.S. citizen. So--
COOPER: In fact, I have that, I have that video.
RAMOS: This is not Donald Trump's country. It is -- it is our country.
COOPER: I have that video of -- believe to be a Trump supporter who said that to you. I want to play that, then ask you about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are very rude. It's not about you. Get out of my country. Get out.
RAMOS: I am a U.S. citizen, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, whatever. No, Univision, no. It's not about you.
RAMOS: It's not about you. It's about the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So this guy says get out of my country. What does that feel like? To have somebody saying that to you?
RAMOS: Well, that's exactly what we listen -- what we hear from people who are against Latinos. And who are against immigrants.
What I have been saying is that it is very dangerous that a presidential candidate speaks like Mr. Donald Trump. Because what is happening lately is that what many Americans say in their homes, to their friends, in their kitchens, now many of them feel it is okay to say that to minorities, to Latinos. And this is really creating a terrible backlash.
COOPER: I want to bring up some of the criticisms you have received just in the last couple of days, whether from Trump supporters or people on television. One of the things people say is that your daughter works for the Hillary Clinton campaign. Is that a fair criticism? Does that in any way affect your coverage of Donald Trump or any of the Republican candidates or Democratic candidates? I saw your interview with President Obama, you were very tough with him.
RAMOS: Yes. And no one can criticize me for being partisan. I have been as tough with President Barack Obama as I've been with other Republicans. And I have -- I can be tough on any candidate. It doesn't matter their party. It is true, my daughter works for the Clinton campaign. And I disclosed that many, many weeks ago. Many, many weeks ago. I think it is great that young people get involved in politics. I love my daughter. And -- but she -- she made that decision on her own. And as a reporter, I have a completely different profession.
COOPER: The other criticism, though, which relates to that, is that they're saying you were grandstanding. That -- that clearly this is something which your viewers will enjoy watching you do. Was this grandstanding?
RAMOS: I was -- I was just a reporter asking questions. And he was just a candidate who didn't like my question. And threw me out of a press conference with his bodyguard. So I would argue that the one who created that show, it wasn't me. It was Donald Trump.
COOPER: Jorge Ramos, I appreciate you being on tonight. Thank you.
Well, tomorrow night, we are going to be live from New Orleans on the eve of the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Hard to believe it has been that long. The CNN special report, "KATRINA: THE STORM THAT NEVER STOPPED," starts now.