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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Trump Files Papers for New Hampshire Ballot as Poll Numbers Up; Trump Goes after Rubio on Finances; Jeb Bush Gives Revealing Interview; Elections Show Republicans Rising, Outsiders Are In. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired November 4, 2015 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:14] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It is official. Just seconds ago, Donald Trump filed his papers to get on the ballot for the New Hampshire first-in-the-nation presidential primary. It was quite a scene on the statehouse steps in Concord, New Hampshire. You can see him there speaking. His supporters all around him.
This comes as a new national poll out just this morning shows Donald Trump and Ben Carson locked in an, oh, so tight battle for the nomination.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Take a look at it, folks. The Quinnipiac poll out today conducted after this last Republican debate shows that Trump is at 24 percent, Carson, 23 percent. Rubio and Cruz are also in a neck-and-neck race of 14 percent and 13 percent, both seeing a move up in the polls. A very different story, though, for Jeb Bush. He is down, now standing at 4 percent.
Let's bring in CNN's chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, who is in New Hampshire, who was in that wild scene as Donald Trump was heading in to file his papers as he filed to officially get on the primary ballot there -- Dana?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. He's actually still in the building behind me, filing and probably talking to the supporters and press corps who came here to witness the event and, of course, wherever Donald Trump goes, whatever he does, political or otherwise, it is always an event. And this was no different, whether it was the girl whose mother pulled her out of school, she's in first grade, to be there to be the first one to greet him, or, you know, again, the press corps, which is always rather large here in New Hampshire this time of year, but especially so today.
Now, of course, Donald Trump, true to form, went after the opponents who he sees currently as his biggest threats, including Marco Rubio.
I asked him at a press conference he had before he went to file about the fact that Rubio said this morning that on all of these questions about finances, about the fact that he used a party credit card when he was in the statehouse in Florida, for all of his expenses, although he says he paid off his personal expenses, he says he's going to make that public to explain exactly how he did it. I asked Trump about that. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Marco Rubio has a disaster on his finances. He has a disaster on his credit cards. When you check his credit cards, take a look at what he's done with the Republican Party when he had access, what he had to put back in, and whether or not something should have happened, you'll understand it. Marco Rubio has a basic disaster on finance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: That was on Rubio.
And I should say, you know, here in New Hampshire, Donald Trump is still across the board number one in the polls. In Iowa, as we've been reporting, not so much. Ben Carson is besting him. And he was quick to go after Carson as he has been doing over the past couple of weeks, as somebody who you cannot trust as president because he can't negotiate with China, with Russia. He simply wouldn't be able to handle the job -- Kate and John?
BERMAN: You brought up Rubio's finances and Trump was only too eager to answer your questions about them. One of the reasons is because it's out in the Florida papers today. The Florida papers with a renewed focus right now on what Marco Rubio spent money on with that party credit card way back when he was speaker of the House.
This morning on "Good Morning, America," George Stephanopoulos asked him about it. This is what Rubio said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R), FLORIDA & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I recognize, in hindsight, I would do it different to avoid all this confusion. But the Republican Party never paid a single expense of mine, personal expense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: It is interesting, though, Rubio said today and his aides have said over the last week they will release some of these documents that we have not seen before. Is this something you get a sense, Dana, that they are nervous about in other campaigns, perhaps see it as an opportunity?
BASH: Oh, of course, which is why they're going to release it. Look, when you are running in a field where every Republican goes after Hillary Clinton for using one computer server and sort of separating out herself, the personal and the government, looking back in time and using one party credit card and you're responsible for separating out the personal and the professional, you though, there are similarities there. Obviously, different stakes but similarities there when it comes to the issue of trust and the issue of responsibility, which is why it is imperative the Rubio people clearly think to get that information out there to show that there was no wrongdoing, even though obviously Rubio's opponents thinks there's a lot there.
BOLDUAN: The questions about his personal finance, they've been following them since the beginning, and now it seems they are definitely back in the spotlight. We'll see when and what those released documents say when the review campaign releases them.
Dana, thank you so much from the great state of New Hampshire.
[11:35:10] BOLDUAN: Continuing to talking about politics, coming up for us, Jeb Bush, he calls himself a grinder. He sure does. He also says that he eats nails before he has breakfast. In a brand-new CNN interview, you're going to hear how Bush responds to Donald Trump telling him to get out of the race.
BERMAN: And the heartbreaking words from a mother who just lost her 9-year-old son. Hear why his father is now saying the little boy was targeted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MOTHER OF SLAIN BOY: Oh, my god, I love my son. Oh, my god. I'm going to miss him to death. He was supposed to play ball. That's all he'd do. That's all he liked to do is play ball and play his video games. He didn't hurt nobody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:40:18] BERMAN: New this morning, can he fix it? Yes, he can! No, not Bob the Builder, but Jeb Bush. In a very revealing interview with CNN's special correspondent, Jamie Gangell, Bush explains how he plans to turn his campaign around.
BOLDUAN: It was a wide-ranging conversation. In it Bush talked about Trump, criticized his own debating skills and also his attack on Marco Rubio in this last Republican debate.
For more, let's bring in Jamie Gangell.
Jamie, you hit on a lot with Jeb Bush, and you got a lot more from Jeb Bush than many.
JAMIE GANGELL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think he was different in this interview. We talked about his parents. We talked about his brother. But the most important thing for him now, as you discussed, there's this poll out today, 4 percent. So we started with, how does he break through to voters.
GANGELL: I have some good news for you. You are working with lowered expectations.
GANGELL: No way to go. Does that, in some way, free you up?
BUSH: To a certain extent. I always knew this was going to be hard. I never felt like I was a front-runner because we hadn't earned it. We haven't, you know, just starting out on the journey, you've got to go earn it. I've got to get better at debating, I guess, or performing, whatever that's called, and I will. I'm a grinder. I'm very competitive.
GANGELL: You keep saying "I'm a grinder." What does that mean?
BUSH: That means I described it as I eat nails before I have breakfast. I'm focused. I'm competitive. I set high expectations on myself. I knew this was going to be hard.
GANGELL: Donald Trump is tweeting out every two seconds. This morning he said you should quit.
He said all the candidates should quit, except --
BUSH: Except him?
GANGELL: Except for him. Do you think an old-fashioned guy who wants to be a doer, who wants to be a fixer, is really what people are looking for?
BUSH: Desperate for it. This is the real world. Now, in the pundit world, you know, where it's all about this kind of bizarre tweeting out things that aren't relevant to anybody's real life, you know, that's another subject. I'm not going to win over the punditry class for sure. But I know I can win over people that aspire to a better life for themselves and their family. As it relates to Donald, you know, he's run for president twice and quit. And I've run for governor in the biggest swing state and won twice. I know how to win. I've done it. I actually know how to govern, which is going to be an attribute when we get closer to the election.
GANGELL: So for the record, for Donald Trump, you're not quitting?
BUSH: No. I mean, what -- do we have to talk about Donald Trump? No, I'm not quitting. He's entertaining. He's fun. He says really funny things in the breaks in the debate. But I'm running for president of the United States. And it's a serious endeavor. I do it with joy. There's a lot of fun parts of it for sure. GANGELL: Marco Rubio, he is now rising in the polls, your former
protege. In the debate, you went after him for missing votes. But he hit back, and some people think he got the better of the moment. Was it a mistake to attack him on that?
BUSH: Here's my point. People that are serving need to show up and work. Period. Over and out.
GANGELL: So it wasn't a mistake?
BUSH: I just think people need to show up and work.
GANGELL: I understand, but this is a campaign. You've got to beat these other guys. So do you keep attacking?
BUSH: I'm not attacking to say someone should show up and work.
Do you get paid when you don't show up?
BUSH: I mean, come on. Does anybody in this room get paid when they decide, oh, well, I'm going to go do something else? You know, Rand Paul has got a pretty good attendance record. He's running for president as well. You can make an accommodation. The people of Florida expect people to show up to work when they elect him. It's not a criticism. It's just a simple fact.
GANGELL: But you're going to keep saying it?
BUSH: That people ought to show up and work?
GANGELL: That Marco Rubio -- you're going to keep --
BUSH: It's not a criticism.
GANGELL: OK. Donald Trump, we have to get back to him one more time. He just called Marco Rubio a lightweight, and he said Vladimir Putin would eat him for lunch. You think that's fair?
BUSH: No, that's not fair. Look, Marco's a capable guy. He's a talented politician. Here's what I think. I think I'm the best qualified to be president.
GANGELL: But is Marco Rubio ready?
BUSH: I'm the best qualified guy to be president.
GANGELL: You're not going to answer the question?
BUSH: If you're comparing me to Donald Trump, I'm better qualified to be president.
GANGELL: Is Marco -- (CROSSTALK)
BUSH: I'm better qualified than anybody else running for president, and it's not -- I'm not pushing people down when I say that. And if it makes you feel better, everybody on the Republican stage is better than Hillary Clinton. That's a low bar, though.
[11:45:12] GANGELL: You have said you have grave concerns about Donald Trump. You watched firsthand your brother, your father, be commander-in-chief.
GANGELL: Are you comfortable with Donald Trump as commander-in-chief?
BUSH: I'm not comfortable with some of the things he says, particularly about Syria, where he one week says that let ISIS take out Assad, and then the Russians come in, and he praises Putin and says let Russia take care of ISIS. It's a reactive kind of mode that somehow I'm the big guy in the room, I'll just figure it out as I go along. Foreign policy needs to be undergird with a set of principles. And so I think he's got to have to learn if he's serious about this, you know, to be able to get your foreign policy advice from the shows is probably not the best way to be ready to be president.
GANGELL: He is a decent guy. There was one point of the conversation where he said about his family, I hope I don't let them down. The Bushes know about ups and downs, but there's a lot of pressure on him, and he has a rough road ahead.
BERMAN: Indeed, 4 percent in the latest national poll.
Jamie Gangell, great interview.
BOLDUAN: Thank you, Jamie.
Ahead for us, is it the year of the outsider? Many thought he was too inexperienced and too out of the mainstream. I'm not talking about the presidential race. I'm actually talking about Kentucky, folks. So what does this big win in that state means for the presidential race and presidential outsiders like Mr. Trump and Ben Carson?
[11:51:38] BOLDUAN: Republicans rising. Take a look at the map with all of the red southern states, they all have Republican governors. Kentucky now moving to red after a big election upset last night. Political insider, Matt Bevin, is the new governor elect.
BERMAN: The businessman and Tea Party favorite, he beat the attorney general, Jack Conway, and defeating him easily. Conway had been leading in all of the polls heading up to the election. And the question is, what does this mean for 2016.
Bevin ran for an outsider. An interesting word. An outsider is like Ben Carson and Donald Trump, now make up a huge chunk right now of the polls. The poll showing right now does not equal 50 percent, but adding up the support, it is over 50 percent.
Let's bring in CNN political commentator, Van Jones; and Republican strategist, Mercedes Schlapp, who worked for the Bush administration, also the co-founder of Cove Strategies.
Van, it's a bad night for Democrats. You know, you can't sugarcoat it any other way. You lost a race in Kentucky that you had been leading going into Election Day against a Republican candidate who a lot of people did not think was strong. You did not win back the Virginia Senate, which a lot of people thought was winnable. In Houston, Texas, there was a discrimination ban repealed despite the support of Hillary Clinton and the White House. Is there an enthusiasm gap right now in politics with Republicans, conservatives having all of the enthusiasm?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, this was -- yes. Yes.
No way to get around it. It was bad, and there are other bad things. And you have Tea Party folks winning in Marin County in California. I mean, stuff is happening out there that. Democrats have to look at this seriously. We have been able to contain the rebellion in our own party to some extent. Bernie Sanders is stalled out right now. But there is an anger out there, and a frustration out there, and it is bipartisan and trans-partisan, and showing up big in the Republican Party. This is very important news for Hillary Clinton, and encouragement for Bernie Sanders. And something is happening out there.
BOLDUAN: And something is happening out there. And one of the words or of the election cycle is the "outsider," which applies to the governor race in Kentucky and also applying to the presidential race. The latest poll out of Quinnipiac, Ben Carson and Donald Trump neck- and-neck, the ultimate outsiders. But look at abilities, I found that fascinating. Ben Carson doing very well in the favorability, and Donald Trump, he has always struggled with the favorability, but done well in the top line despite that. But looking at who has a huge problem with favorability is Jeb Bush.
Why is that, Mercedes? It is a huge problem and not just the fact that he is at 4 percent in latest poll?
MERCEDES SCHLAPP, CO-FOUNDER, COVE STRATEGIES: Well, it has been very tough on obviously the Bush campaign in this sense he can not breakthrough. When you look at him on the paper and the print and looking at the policies, it makes complete sense for the conservative voter, but the ability to connect to that GOP voter that is experiencing a lot of frustration, a lot of anger with President Obama and his policies. He has not been able to transcend with those voters. And so for Jeb Bush, he has to be more quick witted, like his mother. And this race is about character and leadership and vision, and it has to be more than Jeb fix it, but it is more like I understand what you are going through.
[11:55:10] BERMAN: And bring out the silver fox. Van, 20 seconds left, and talk about Marco Rubio, this issue of the credit cards and the finances. And the message he says is, look, I'm not a rich guy, and I have the same problems that other Americans have. Will voters identify with that?
JONES: What is good for the goose is good for the gander. If you're in a glass hour, don't throw stones. You been attacking Hillary Clinton's judgment and now your own judgment is on the table. We'll see what voters say, but I think you can't make your whole candidacy about somebody else's judgment when you're doing stuff like that.
BERMAN: All right. Mercedes Schlapp, Van Jones --
BOLDUAN: See where that's headed.
BERMAN: Thanks so much for being with us.
Yes, Democrats may make it an issue.
BOLDUAN: We'll see. Only time will tell?
BOLDUAN: Thank you so much for joining us AT THIS HOUR.
BERMAN: "Legal View" with Ashleigh Banfield starts right after a quick break.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
[12:00:07] ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Ashleigh Banfield, and welcome to "Legal View."
We're going to begin with some legal breaking news.