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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA

GOP Presidential Candidates Prepare for Tonight's Debate; Bush v. Rubio Showdown in Tonight's Debate; University of Missouri Students Demand New Curriculum, Staff; Police Say Why Father and Son Where Chased; Obama Immigration Plan Suffers Blow. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired November 10, 2015 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:08] PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump says this is a strange election. Tonight, a new chapter, from stabbings to Starbucks. Why the fourth Republican debate could change the entire race.

Plus, new demands from the Mizzou students who forced the resignation of the university's president. But how far are schools willing to go as racial tensions rise?

And if the U.S. is confident a bomb took down the Russian flight, are U.S. Flights at risk, too? CNN goes into a bomb factor to show how easy it is to spark an exPLOsion.

I'm Pamela Brown, in for John and Kate. Thank you for being here with us today.

Right now, the 2016 Republican candidates for president are getting ready to answer questions and defend themselves against possible attacks. Tonight's debate in Milwaukee will be the fourth time the candidates have gone head to head, but only eight will be taking part this time. It's also the first debate since Ben Carson began to clash with the media about his past. And the first debate since Marco Rubio's rise. The Trump and Bush campaigns have been targeting the Florida Senator since his last strong performance. Going into tonight's debate, Rubio and Ted Cruz are tied for third place behind Trump and Carson.

Let's talk more about the showdown with CNN's Sunlen Serfaty in Milwaukee.

What can we expect tonight, Sunlen?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pam, I think the spotlight will be focused on Ben Carson. He's been under the microscope this week about all these questions of his past. His response has been to go after the media aggressively, forcefully. It will be interesting to see if he brings that same sense of argument up on the debate stage tonight.

The same goes for Marco Rubio. He, too, has been under scrutiny in the past few weeks over his past, specifically over his messy financial statements. And it certainly will make him a big target tonight by other candidates for this issue, also because he's doing better in the polls. They'll all likely go after him.

I would say no one has more to prove than Jeb Bush in the time since the last debate he has hired a media trainer, someone who will help him. The goal is to make him more aggressive, more boisterous up there on stage. Bush said his goal tonight is to be himself and to speak his mind. It will be interesting to see how he changes things up.

Also look out for Donald Trump. In the past, when the debates have been focused on the issues, things of substance, he's faded into the background a lot. This debate will be focused on economic policy, so it will be interesting if Trump, with his business background, he'll be able to step up and have a little more substance behind that style.

BROWN: So, the discussion will likely be different. The format of tonight's debate different than the previous three. What can you tell us about that?

SERFATY: From the start the dynamics will be different. There will be eight candidates instead of ten. Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie were downgraded to the undercard that will happen before the main debate. This provides Chris Christie a big moment. He did well in the last debate. Now being with the other three lower tiered candidates, it gives him a potential to stand out. That will be interesting to watch. The moderators have changed up a little about the format. The candidates now will have 60 seconds to respond to any attacks made against them, that's double, so this could set up potentially a more fiery debate than the last one.

BROWN: Sunlen, thank you so much.

The Bush versus Rubio showdown could bring the most drama tonight, the mentor versus the mentee. The Bush super PAC is ready to spend $20 million to stop Rubio and damage his reputation. But Rubio's team seems to be ready for them. Listen to this new ad campaign from his campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much are you a Marco fan?

JEB BUSH, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: He's probably the most articulate conservative on the scene today. Has the fortitude to be a good president.

I'm so proud of his high voltage energy. I'm so proud of his enthusiasm. I'm so proud of his elegance.

I'm a huge Marco fan.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R), FLORIDA & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Marco Rubio and I approve this message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Let's talk more about Brett O'Donnell, a Republican strategist and debate coach. Also with us, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a Republican strategist, worked in the George W. Bush White House and advised John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign.

Douglas, to you first.

How does Bush attack Rubio after he heaps so much praise on him the past several years, as we just saw in that ad?

[11:05:00] DOUGLAS HOLTZ-EAKIN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: This is the first debate where everyone has something to gain by attacking Marco Rubio. He has proven to be a very good debater. He comes in with a game plan and executes it. Bush has not done very well. I think this is one of the key match-ups tonight. I also think it's worth taking a look at Ted Cruz, who is also a very good debater. Has come in and been very successful. His super PAC is also running ads against Rubio. How Marco gets through the attacks tonight is one of the key themes of the debate.

BROWN: According to "The New York Times" article attacking Rubio is a key part of the Bush campaign right now.

I'm curious, to you, Brett, even if the Bush campaign comes up with an effective argument against Rubio, what does Bush need to do to adequately deliver that message? This is something we've seen he has struggled with in the past.

BRETT O'DONNELL, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST & DEBATE COACH: He has. He's lost both exchanges so far in major debates once to Trump and once to Marco in the last debate. For him to be effective, he has to litigate the attack. He has to not just prosecute the attack on the front end. He has to be able to answer what Marco says back to him. Last debate, Marco Rubio had a very effective response to George -- or to Jeb, and he could not counter that back. He didn't have a second line in response to Marco's return.

BROWN: We heard the report that his coach is -- debate coach, trying to teach him how to be more aggressive. Perhaps we'll see that play out tonight.

Also, Douglas, "The New York Times" report says some Bush donors are warning him not to attack a guy he mentored for years. So, what do you think? Although this point does Bush have a choice? Could an attack on Rubio damage them both?

HOLTZ-EAKIN: I think he has to differentiate himself not just from Rubio but the others and that involves a certain amount of attack but the bigger objective for Bush is to take a debate that's supposed to be about the issues and project his mastery of the issues in an effective fashion. He came into this race as the person who was supposed to be the master of policy detail. He has a website full of policy plans. But he's never delivered those in a compelling fashion on the public stage. This is the night where he has to be able to do more than just be another person attacking people. Donald Trump attacks people. That's not enough. He's got to be able to speak to the policy.

BROWN: And let's turn to Donald Trump --

(CROSSTALK)

O'DONNELL: I agree --

(CROSSTALK)

BROWN: Go ahead.

O'DONNELL: What I was going to add is I disagree a little with Doug. I ink it's a big mistake for Jeb to be attacking Marco. They're very similar candidates. I know he has to differentiate himself eventually, but right now he really needs to be going after the front- runner in the race, which is Donald Trump and Ben Carson. Those are the guys at the top of the pack. I don't think he gets as much attacking Marco as he thinks he does. I do agree with Doug that he has to get his policies out there. He has to have a message in the debate that rises above every other candidate. So far, that has not been the case.

BROWN: And let's talk about the man leading the pack, Donald Trump. As you mentioned, he actually weighed in on Ben Carson's clash with the media over his past. Let's listen to what Trump said last night on the campaign trail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: You stab somebody and the newspapers say you didn't do it. And you say, "Yes, I did. I did it." "No you didn't." "Yes, I did. I stabbed him and it hit the belt." And they said, "You didn't do it." If they said I didn't do it, I'd be so happy. This is the only election in history where you're better off if you stab somebody. What are we coming to?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

BROWN: There we go. We heard Donald Trump sort of ratcheting up his attacks against Ben Carson. I think it's safe to assume we'll see some of that play out tonight.

Brett, as a debate coach, what does Carson need to do? Will the media be a target tonight? Will anyone talk about Hillary Clinton?

O'DONNELL: I think Carson's had a very effective response to these charges. I think he needs to stick with that even in the face of attacks from Donald Trump. He needs to pare those off, he needs to say this is not a fabrication on his part and go after the media. Make the media your foil just as Ted Cruz did in the last debate. It was very effective for him. It's been very effective for Carson over the past few days to say, I've been getting it worse than anyone. This is a media attack on me. And play the victim rather than getting into a back and forth with Donald Trump. I think it's a big mistake for Donald Trump to really be going after Carson on this. Because there are a lot of Carson the sympathizers be who are Donald Trump sympathizers and I think he may be turning them off by going after Carson.

[11:10:06] BROWN: Doug, I see you shaking your head.

Brett O'Donnell, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, thank you so much for coming on. We have to move along. But we appreciate you all sharing your perspective.

Tonight, at 11:00 p.m. eastern, a special post-debate wrap-up. Join Anderson Cooper for a look at the issues that dominated the discussion and see who came out ahead right here on CNN.

And this just into CNN about the Democratic race for president, a Monmouth University poll in the early voting state of South Carolina shows Hillary Clinton maintaining a huge lead over Bernie Sanders. She's got nearly 70 percent of the vote there to Sanders 21 percent. Clinton doing especially well with African-American voters. Three out of four saying she would do a good job addressing their concerns. Only 40 percent say the same about Sanders.

A new curriculum and a new staff, those are just some of the new demands by the University of Missouri students after their president resigned. But how far can schools go? We'll debate.

Plus, we're now learning why police officers say they chased a father and son before killing the 6-year-old little boy. What they claim the father did right outside of a bar.

And as the U.S. gets more confident a bomb took down that Russian passenger jet, CNN goes inside a bomb factory to show just how vulnerable American flights may be. We'll be back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(EXPLOSION)

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is how many feet per second, we're talking about?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:15:52] BROWN: All eyes on the University of Missouri this morning after a student-led revolt forced out the school's chancellor and president, stepping down over what many call systemic racism on campus that the leaders did not adequately address. The announcements brought cheers on campus, as we see right here. Today, the football team, which had refused to play until the president resigned, is set to resume practice. Students and faculty who were taking part in the protests are now heading back to their classes. And graduate student, Jon Butler, at the center of the revolt, has ended his hunger strike.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JONATHAN BUTLER, GRADUATE STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI: It was everybody who chose to stand up in this time who made this possible. This is not Jonathan Butler. This was the Mizzou community for one of the first times I've ever seen stand together united.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: But it is not mission accomplished yet for these students. So what changes must come next?

Let's bring in CNN legal analyst, Paul Callan; and Laura Coates, a former trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

Laura, to you first.

What is your reaction to this student revolt? It certainly shows the power of protest, but how far can these students go with their demands?

LAURA COATES, FORMER TRIAL ATTORNEY, CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: What it showed is the power of the purse. While many people are applauding the football program for being the impetus of the president resigning, it was a cost analysis of not only the millions of dollars brought in by the university football program and also under Title XI when they have to be proactive. To that end, the students can go far in their demands to ensure that any investigation by the civil rights division demonstrates the university has complied with their Title VI obligations.

BROWN: Paul, it seemed like the, quote/unquote, "game-changer" once the football team stepped up and protested this. Do you think this was all about the money more than anything?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I would have to agree with Laura on this. If you look at the statistics, black students, African-American students, are about 8 percent of the student population at the University of Missouri. So, they're not a majority. They're not even a large minority at the university. But they wheeled enormous influence because of the sports programs, and as Laura explained, Title VI. If you look at the way colleges are handling rape cases now, they have special procedures in place, all of that has to do with the federal government threatening to withdraw funding unless they act. The specter of federal involvement really causes these campuses to move.

BROWN: Laura, what about these new demands, new curriculum, new staff, things like that. They've already ousted the chancellor and the president, but they're not ending their fight here.

COATES: No, they're not. In fact, their list is eight demands long. Part of what they're asking for is retention of diverse students. They're asking for diverse faculty members. They're asking for more funding allocated to programs that actually help marginalize students who feel their experiences have been trivialized by the administration. There's one particular aspect of their demands that has a lot of people having a visceral reaction. That is for the president of the university, not only to step down, but to acknowledge what they call the white privilege. And because of that demand, people are really turning a side eye and being a little adverse to their actual demands when, in fact, their radicalism had to have a radical perspective. However, what they're really asking for, the remaining seven, are really worthwhile and valid points that Title VI already requires.

BROWN: But we're seeing this play out, these grievances play out at other universities, Missouri, Yale, Ithaca College. Laura and Paul, where do you strike that balance between free speech and protecting students' feelings?

CALLAN: You know, I think the administrators have to start acting like grownups and evaluate on a merit basis the demands and not just collapse because there's been a demonstration. And I think they should do that at the University of Missouri and other universities. In the '60s, when they faced this, they gave into everything, eliminated core curriculums, radically changed universities. I'm not so sure it was a good idea.

[11:20:12] BROWN: Quickly, Laura.

COATS: I agree. It tends people are adverse to the First Amendment right to speak your mind and say things even if they're unpopular viewpoints. The Supreme Court has said the university is the ideal setting to have this sort of universe of conflicting and competing ideas. However, at its core, your rights stop where mine begin. My right to attend a university that receives federal funding from taxpayers, I have the right to have an inclusive environment and not to be traumatized through racial discrimination. Have you the right to speak what you want. But when they're in conflict, Title VI wins.

BROWN: Paul Callan, Laura Coates, interesting to hear your perspective.

COATES: Thank you.

BROWN: Paul, stick around. We have more to discuss with you.

Up next, a judge ambushed in her own driveway, shot as she was driving home. And now someone's in custody. Hear about his connection to this judge.

Plus, Donald Trump has made it his biggest issue, and now a judge ruling against President Obama's efforts to keep millions of illegal immigrants from being deported. The details just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:25:28] BROWN: Police in Houston are questioning a man in connection with the shooting of a judge in Austin, Texas. Judge Julie Kocurek (ph) was shot and wounded in the driveway of her home Friday night. The man being questioned in police custody was arrested on an unrelated fugitive warrant but officials say he is connected to that judge. Local media is reporting that it could have been a planned ambush. A garbage can was left in front of her security gate, forcing her to get out of her car and move it when she was shot. No criminal charges have been filed yet in the shooting.

New details this morning about the police chase that ended with a 6- year-old boy dead and two city marshals charged with his murder. A source telling CNN the city marshals began pursuing the boy's father after witnessing an argument between the father, Chris Few, and his girlfriend. Marshals allege it was a, quote, "domestic abuse incident." They moved in to detain Few and he took off in his SUV.

Our Nick Valencia joins us from Marksville, Louisiana, with more -- Nick?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Pamela. It was that domestic dispute that led marshals to pursue Chris Few, ultimately, that ended at a dead end with deputies firing at least 18 rounds into the car from two different guns. Chris Few was injured critically. He's still in the hospital recovering. But it was his little boy, 6- year-old Jeremy Mardis, hit five times in the head and chest and killed as a result of the shooting.

Today marks one week since that shooting happened and there is still no answer as to why deputies used lethal force. This is a small community, about 5,000 people, tight-knit, where people have reputations, people seemingly tied to each other. People are theorizing why they believe officers used lethal force.

I mentioned, people are tied here, close together. The district attorney has recused himself from this case because the assistant district attorney is the father of one of these deputies now charged with murder.

A gag order has been put in place. That motion filed yesterday. We don't expect to get much more information about those -- from those attached to this case.

Meanwhile, overnight, Pamela, those deputies have been transferred about 40 miles away to Alexandria, Louisiana, where local officials here say they will better be able to deal with them and segregate them from the general population.

But everybody here still very much heartbroken by this little boy's death -- Pamela?

BROWN: Absolutely. Really across the nation. Anyone paying attention to this story, heartbroken.

Nick Valencia, thank you so much.

Happening right now, the Obama administration is scrambling to get its immigration plan back on track. The question, though, is it too late? A federal appeals court has ruled that President Obama overreached his authority in trying to shield up to five million undocumented immigrants from deportation.

CNN legal analyst, Paul Callan, is back with us. And we're also joined by CNN Supreme Court reporter, Arian de Vogue.

Ariane, first to you.

We're just getting news in from the Department of Justice that it plans to appeal the ruling from the circuit court saying the department disagrees with the fifth circuit's adverse ruling and intends to seek further review from the Supreme Court. The big question is, first of all, what is the significance of the circuit court ruling and do you think the Supreme Court will take this up?

ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Well, as you said, and as you know, this it definitely going to the Supreme Court. You remember it all started back in November. The president announced these programs with great fanfare. It came to a screeching halt in November when one federal district court blocked it from going forward. He ruled narrowly but the effect blocked it nationwide. At the time, the Obama administration went and said, look, let these programs go into effect pending appeal. The appeals court said, no way. It heard arguments last July and then only issued its opinion last night. And it was a broader opinion than the district court. It said that the administration didn't have the legal authority to go through with this.

So now, as you said, it's going to go to the Supreme Court. The big issue will be the timing because supporters of the president want the court to hear it this term. In order to do so, they have to get their legal briefs in very quickly, probably by the mid-winter in order for it to be heard this term. It's likely that if that happens, the Supreme Court will take it up. Supporters of the law think the court will rule in their favor -- supporters of the president think the court will rule in their favor, giving the president broad authority in this area. They look to precedent and they say that's why they're going to win.

BROWN: What do you think, Paul?

CALLAN: It's a fascinating case because it involves two categories of immigrants. One are the parents of children who are American citizens. The parent is here illegally, is undocumented, but the children maybe were born in the United States.