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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Former Speaker Hastert Pleads Guilty, Faces Prison; Kasich on Rivals: I've Had It; Clinton Debuts New Campaign Ads During GOP Debate; FOX News Blacks Out During World Series. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired October 28, 2015 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Up next, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert pleading guilty in court. The lies, the hush money and the allegations of sexual abuse.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. John Kasich, he calls his opponents crazy, even hysterical. Will he bring this new kind of, you know, establishment rage to the debate stage tonight? We're going to ask someone who works for one of the candidates who will be on stage with John Kasich.
Stay with us.
[11:34:50] BOLDUAN: Just moments ago, on the same day Republicans in the House are going to vote for their next speaker, another former speaker faces possible prison time for a hush-money case.
BERMAN: Dennis Hastert entered a guilty plea in court in federal court in Chicago to fraud and lying to investigators. Prosecutors say it was all part of a scheme by the former Illinois congressman to pay off someone that he had wronged years ago.
CNN's Rosa Flores is in Chicago.
What more details do we have, Rosa?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I was inside the courtroom when Hastert pleaded guilty. And I can tell you that he showed no emotion. He simply answered the judge's questions, and then he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the plan to pay $3.5 million in hush-hush money and also for breaking banking laws. Now, the judge accepted his plea, and then what happens next. So the judge ordered a presentencing investigation and set sentencing for February 29th of 2016.
But let me give you the back story here. This means that Hastert forgoes a trial. There will be no airing of dirty laundry. There will be no identifying individual "A" who we had learned about in the indictment, John and Kate. And so what is happening behind the scenes now, of course, the government recommending zero to six months in jail for Hastert, which the headline there is that Hastert could walk without serving a single day in jail. Now, sources with knowledge of the federal investigation told CNN back
in June about some of that dirty laundry, telling -- these sources telling CNN that Hastert had actually paid a former student here from Illinois hush-hush money to stay quiet about sexual abuse. Again, all of those allegations not part of this hearing because, let's not forget, the only thing that he's pleading guilty to is to lying to the FBI about this hush-hush money and breaking banking laws -- John and Kate?
BERMAN: Rosa Flores, for us in Chicago, thank you so much.
A lot of people thinking unlikely that he'll actually serve any prison time here, but nevertheless having to plead guilty, a major development.
Current politics now. The big story line in tonight's Republican debate will no doubt be Trump versus Carson.
BOLDUAN: But what about the rest of the pack? There's a lot more folks on stage than just them. John Kasich, for one, says he is sick of what the front-runners are saying and he's not going to take it anymore. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KASICH, (R), OHIO GOVERNOR & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do you know how crazy this election is?
Let me tell you something. I've about had it with these people. I want you to know I'm fed up. I am sick and tired of listening to this nonsense, and I'm going to have to call it like it is as long as I'm in this race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Sick and tired of it.
Another man on that stage tonight is former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
Hogan Gidley is with us now. He's a senior adviser for the Huckabee campaign.
Hogan, it's great to see you.
What do you make of what John Kasich is saying there? He is going to start calling people out. Do you agree? Are people at the top of the polls hysterical?
HOGAN GIDLEY, SENIOR ADVISOR, MIKE HUCKABEE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Well, it's a risky strategy for Governor Kasich, of course. And he has his own skeletons in his closet to deal with. And of course, when you attack somebody else, you run the risk --
BERMAN: What skeletons? What skeletons?
GIDLEY: You have the risk of running other people's --
GIDLEY: Well, we'll get to that later. But the point is, you run the risk of running people off when you start to talk about that, and you have your own record to deal with. And I imagine once you punch, you kind of expect a counterpunch. I'm sure he'll be ready. This is a wild elections season, there's no doubt about that. It looks like everybody's out for blood tonight. It looks like the gloves could come off. People might start calling each other out by name. The civility may be out the door if it wasn't already. I imagine there will be fireworks tonight for sure.
BERMAN: What skeletons does John kasich have in his closet, Hogan?
GIDLEY: Look, I'm not going to talk about John Kasich. I'm going to talk about Mike Huckabee today. I'm saying he has his own record to deal with. When you go around New Hampshire and tell senior citizens losing their social security to just get over it, it's a bad line to take, and he's going to have to deal with that on stage tonight as well.
BOLDUAN: Mike Huckabee is at 4 percent kind of in line with a lot of folks low in the polls. He's at 4 percent right now, Hogan. What is he going to do tonight, a third presidential debate to change that?
GIDLEY: Well, look, it's kind of funny because I was with an Uber driver on the way over, an African-American man who is conservative, he doesn't even know who's on stage. So many people aren't paying attention yet. How you win Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina is about building organizations that won't just vote for you but will get people to do the same. That's what we've done. We've got the biggest organization in both Iowa and South Carolina and the most experienced. When it's cold in February, you have to get people out of their homes. The warmth of their homes to go vote for you and caucus for you. That's what we've got on the ground. Polls don't show that yet, but they will. And this is a long process --
BOLDUAN: You don't think the debate matters?
BOLDUAN: Is that what you're saying?
[11:40:08] GIDLEY: Any indicator at this point, we'd be talking about President Giuliani and President Herman Cain. Neither one of them got out of a single delegate or got out of the starting blocks. There's a long way to go before people actually start casting votes.
BERMAN: Hogan, what are the exchanges between the two other leading candidates in this case right now? Donald Trump seemed to question the religion of Ben Carson. Donald Trump said, hey, I'm a Presbyterian. Ben Carson --
BOLDUAN: Can you hear me, Hogan?
Hogan, can you hear us?
GIDLEY: I got you now. Got you now.
BOLDUAN: OK, good.
Donald Trump said he's a Presbyterian. Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist. I don't know about them, said Donald Trump. Huckabee is a man of religious faith, a pastor. What does he think it's OK to openly question the faith of another candidate?
GIDLEY: Well, I think religion plays a large part in politics. The voter wants to know where your core base of values originates from. They want to know what you do when you face tough times, who you pray to, what you pray about. And I think it is important because voters do want a president to have a moral center, a core. And so that obviously is an issue for any campaign, any candidate. So we're going to be talking about where we stand on that, and we know the governor said many times the first thing he would do when he gets to the Oval Office is kick everybody out, shut the door, get to his knees and pray to god that he can get the wisdom to run this country in the proper manner. People need to know where you stand on all issues, not to mention the fact your biggest faith issue, where you are at your core. And I think that will be an issue for each candidate on that stage tonight, not just Ben Carson and not just Donald Trump.
BOLDUAN: You know, when you look at the impact of the debates, it's very different on the Democratic side than what we're seeing on the Republican side. We're seeing almost all of the Republican candidates sticking it out. We still have another undercard on the Democratic side after the first debate, Jim Webb, Lincoln Chaffee, they drop out. When do you think Republican candidates who are low in the polls will be dropping out? When do you think is the right time, and who should it be?
GIDLEY: Look, it's not for me to say who should drop out and who should stay in. Every person on that stage, every man and woman, has a trite to be there. They filed. They're out there getting votes. They're going into these states. That's what's so romantic about the American political process. Anybody can do it. And that's the way it should be. So whether you're at 0 percent in the polls or whether in be one in the polls, that's irrelevant because again, it takes a long time to build up a base, an organization to actually get people to vote for you when it's time to cast a vote. But it's not for me to tell anyone to get out or get in. That's their own decision and these campaigns will make that decision based on the support they're seeing on the ground. If it's not there they'll get out. If it is, they'll stay in.
GIDLEY: They have every right to do so.
BOLDUAN: Another big opportunity for Governor Mike Huckabee tonight at this debate.
Hogan, thank you so much.
GIDLEY: Thank you. God bless.
BOLDUAN: Thank you.
Coming up for us, Hillary Clinton, she's not on the debate stage tonight. That would be a little weird. But you're going to still be hearing from her brand-new ads out. They will be airing during the debate, if you can consider it her rebuttal. That's next.
BERMAN: All right. World Series drama. Yeah, it was a long game. Yes, there was an inside-the-park homerun. Yes, there was a ninth- inning game-time homerun. But that wasn't even the beginning. There was, like, a power outage and the signal went down. I guarantee you there were a lot of mean things said behind the scenes.
[11:48:08] BOLDUAN: New this morning, Hillary Clinton will not be on stage during the Republican debate tonight. But she does plan to make her presence known.
BERMAN: She is airing four new ads in Iowa and New Hampshire during the debate. These ads are interesting, too. They feature women at their jobs, and the economic issues, the challenges, the campaign says, these women face.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: The top 25 hedge fund managers make more than all the kindergarten teachers in America combined. Join the fight for higher incomes. Join the fight for Sheryl.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: I want to bring in Bernard Whitman, former Clinton pollster, Democratic strategist and branding expert.
Bernard, we don't know exactly what the rotation is. They may air one time in Iowa and New Hampshire tonight. Clearly, the message the campaign wants to send is, while this debate is happening and these candidates are focusing on these issues that we disagree with, this is what we're looking at.
BERNARD WHITMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST & BRANDING EXPERT & FORMER CLINTON POLLSTER: I think it's a brilliant strategy because contrast and compare Hillary Clinton's message of equal pay of making college more affordable, increasing wages for real workers with over a dozen candidates that are going to be on stage in various forms tonight who are going to be shouting over each other, trying to see who can argue the loudest for readopting the failed policies of trickle-down economics and fighting for the Republican party. Hillary Clinton is actually talking about real things that matter. If you look at equal pay, for example, women have to work two hours Lunger on average each day to make the same wages men do.
BOLDUAN: That is one of her ads that will be airing tonight.
BERMAN: And so is that right there.
BOLDUAN: Exactly that point. But who is the audience, then? The folks who are going to be sitting tonight in Iowa and New Hampshire watching the Republican debate on CNBC, is she really going to be drawing them to her?
[11:49:58] WHITMAN: Absolutely. I think a lot of swing voters will be watching that to see, you know what, I'm not sure if I want to support a Democrat or a Republican. Let me tune in and see what the Republicans have to say. So Hillary Clinton is taking the message directly there. And I think implicitly she's going to challenge people like Marco Rubio when asked about equal pay said it's a waste of time. She's going to say let's make college more affordable. She's going to say raising minimum wage, and 20 million working American women would make more than a living minimum wage.
BERMAN: And Hillary Clinton said something on MSNBC the other night talking about the Veterans Affairs Administration and so many problems that the veterans have had getting treatment, and problems exposed by Drew Griffin on CNN. Hillary Clinton said on NBC, "It has not as widespread as it is made out to be." John McCain, just a short time ago, Jeff Flake, of Arizona, said she should apologize for this. And Jeb Bush said she is flat-out wrong. Is this a problem she needs to address?
WHITMAN: I think she has, or will address it. Here's my take. If even one serviceman or woman takes Lunger than care they de, we have failed them and the country, and Hillary Clinton has a 25-year record, and helped to spearhead the bill of rights for making college affordable for returning servicemen, and helped to get the PTSD, and helping to bring down the high rate of suicide among the veterans, and the truth is that we have talked to thousands of combat veterans over the last few years, and they say that unequivocally that the V.A. is a structure, and they don't want to see it polarized in the media.
BOLDUAN: The fact she said, "It is not that widespread," that is going to come back to bite her.
BERMAN: That is bad branding.
WHITMAN: Yeah. And here is the fact of the matter, the V.A. delivers amazing care to millions of servicemembers everyday. Is that care sufficient? No. Standardized? Yes. Gaps? Yes. Wait times too high? Yes. Will Hillary Clinton work across the aisle? Yes. And she has a demonstrated effort to work across the aisle, try to fix these. And I think that problem was misplaced and I think you will see clarification coming.
BERMAN: Clarification, which is a way of saying --
BOLDUAN: That was a misstep.
All right. Bernard, great to have you.
BOLDUAN: Thank you for coming in.
BERMAN: And so the baseball game last night, and the World Series game won, and the longest game won in the history of all World Series.
BOLDUAN: Did you watch it? Did you wake up at 1:00 a.m.?
BERMAN: I did not watch it. And I woke up, and it was still on there.
BERMAN: But the other history made is TV history, went the game to black. We'll discuss the sandal and the outrage that must have been in the control room at that time.
[11:51:53] BOLDUAN: It was a major league malfunction of game one of the World Series. The New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals all tied up, heading into the fourth, and then FOX viewers saw this, the blue screen of death, which turned to black on TV.
BOLDUAN: An apparent power outage hit the broadcast truck, taking out the back-up generators, is what we're hearing, and the game came to a screeching halt. Technical crew, you see right there, running around behind the scenes. And so it was only 1:20, and it probably felt like a year to the viewers. It was also 20 minutes before folks heard the FOX announcers once again.
And so what the hell was going on behind the scenes.
And somebody who would know is Kate Lunger, vice president of CNN special events.
What did you think, Kate when you heard and saw this happen? KATE LUNGER, VICE PRESIDENT, CNN SPECIAL EVENTS: I received a manager
are from one of the big tech plans and something about the back-up plan. I said, what are you talking about. And he said, are you watching the World Series? So, of course, I turned it on in the hotel room, and the first thing I said was, oh, holy cow.
That is the first thing that came out of my mouth. And I thought, oh, my god, the people in the truck are freaking out, and the engineers are doing to have a heart failure, and what are they going to do, because we always have back-up plans.
BERMAN: You said, holy cow, and I don't believe that begins to capture --
BOLDUAN: I have never heard you say holy cow.
LUNGER: Family, family.
BERMAN: And I don't know if people appreciate the scope of what goes on in a control room during a situation like this.
BOLDUAN: You have angry people saying awful things on a good day. Give me a sense of how loud and how cruel the things that were being shouted here.
LUNGER: I can't say this on TV, but I will say, everyone has contingencies for this, back-up power and back-up anchors, who have no feed to go to, and people are like, what is going on? And then people screaming, because they don't know what is going on and they don't know how to fix it, and all the engineers can do --
LUNGER: They can check the power and the cables, and all of that.
BOLDUAN: And then they start to plug and unplug cables, because you don't know.
LUNGER: You don't know.
BOLDUAN: This is live TV.
LUNGER: And there are is hundreds of millions of miles of cables. It's hundreds of millions of miles, probably at a game like this, and they are going everywhere and you have back-up power that is a redundant system that did not kick in. I woke up this morning thinking, OK, we have three back-up transmission plans. Do we need back-up power -- it really makes you crazy.
BERMAN: You got nervous by it? (CROSSTALK)
LUNGER: Yes, you get nervous by this and then you start to think about, well, we can plan for what we can plan for, because it is live TV and stuff happens.
BOLDUAN: Stuff happens.
LUNGER: But it does not make you feel good when you see other people have to go through that.
BOLDUAN: No kidding.
Great to see you, Kate.
LUNGER: Good to see you guys, too, not behind the scenes.
BERMAN: When things are going well.
LUNGER: Yes, exactly.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, everyone, for joining us AT THIS HOUR.
BERMAN: "Legal View" with Ashleigh Banfield starts now.
[12:00:01] ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news, everyone. I want to get you down to Columbia, South Carolina, where Sheriff Leon Lott is announcing what's going to happen to that school resource officer after that telling video was released of a 16-year-old being slammed out of a desk.