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CNN TONIGHT

GOP Debate Centered Around National Security; Hung Jury in the First of Six Trials in the Freddie Gray Case. Aired 11-11:59p ET

Aired December 16, 2015 - 23:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:00:20] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: You heard the Republicans go head to head in the debate last night. So who do you think is the candidate to keep America safe?

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. The big question in our GOP debate, who is qualified to answer that 3:00 a.m. phone call? Everybody on that stage had plenty of tough questions and tough talk as well. But did anyone have a viable plan to fight terror?

Let's get right through it now. Bob Cusack is editor in-chief of "the Hill." He joins me now.

Bob, good evening to you. Who do you think won the debate?

BOB CUSACK, EDITOR IN-CHIEF, THE HILL: Well, I think that Cruz and Rubio did quite well. Chris Christie had a pretty good performance. And you have seen his numbers jump up. But I don't think it was a big game changer. I don't think we are going to see a major shift in the polls. I don't think Carson had a good night. He has been a bit of a free fall. But I think that this - we are going to see Trump basically stay on top and I think Cruz going to stay on top or at least be a close second if not on top in Iowa.

LEMON: Not enough to affect Bush in either way? Because some people thought he did well for himself also.

CUSACK: Listen. I think he did a good. By far it was his best performance. But honestly, Don, that's not saying much. He had some really poor performances in the first four. He was good last night. He took on Trump. Trump had a good comeback with, hey, it is basically saying scoreboard. I'm up 42-3 on you. I thought it was unusual Bush said it doesn't matter. It does matter of course. But Bush did have a good night. You just wonder, Don, whether it is too late for Bush. Donors are getting nervous who are not Bush's half the victory. He is going to have to do very well in New Hampshire. He is not doing well in New Hampshire. Now, we are going into the holidays. So it is going to be hard to make another move. But without a doubt, a good night for Bush. You just wonder, can he make this huge political comeback? He has a long way to go.

LEMON: Yes. The sharpest clashes on policy, though, seem to come between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. So who do you think won the day if either of them? CUSACK: I think it was very - I mean, Rubio clearly sees Cruz as a

threat because he knows he is vulnerable on immigration. Rubio was talking about an amendment that Cruz sponsored during the immigration reform deliberations. It's very much inside baseball. But I think as far as connecting against Cruz, I don't think Rubio put that much damage on him last night. I think Cruz is going to have to answer some questions about why he sponsored this amendment and that's why Rubio went after him. But once again, and that's why I think Christie did well.

LEMON: Did Christie took advantage of those moments and the thing he does I want to speak to the American people, this is what they do, you know, in the senate.

CUSACK: And that works. That resonates, you know, because people don't like Congress speak. They don't like Congress and they don't like when they are talking about subcommittees and amendments and markups. That is just inside baseball stuff. And Chris Christie is a very plain-spoken person. That's what voters want. They want clarity. Christie gives them that. Christie is going to have to do very well in New Hampshire. How he would do after that, will he play in the south, big question there for him.

LEMON: The nuclear triad moment question that appeared to be awkward. And you know, Rubio jumped in - first we should explain to the American people what the triad is, whatever. Will that hurt Donald Trump at all? Do you think that people - that it mattered?

CUSACK: It certainly wasn't his best moment in the debates. And he is in pretty, you know, he has shown he is a pretty good debater. I don't think it's going to hurt him. Long term, I think it's smart for Rubio to capitalize on those moments. And he has -- Rubio has been a very consistent debater. He has been at least good to very, very good in every debate. So he is quick on his feet, unlike Jeb Bush. And in these settings, in these debates, you have to be quick on your feet. And it was smart for Rubio to jump in.

LEMON: So looking at the field from last night, finalists becoming obvious to you?

CUSACK: I think so. I mean, I think you really have to look at the top three right now. And that's Trump, that is Cruz, and that is Rubio. And the establishment is getting nervous. The GOP establishment, they don't like Trump, they don't like Cruz. So I think over the next several weeks, you are going to see more endorsements from establishment types of people, members of Congress and others that don't want Trump, don't want Cruz and get behind Rubio.

But Rubio is not winning any states, Don. That is the big thing. Where is he going to win? I think he is going to have to make a comeback big time in New Hampshire. He is doing well. He is basically second behind Trump. But he is way, way behind Trump in New Hampshire. He has to win one of these early states and he has got to make his move pretty soon.

LEMON: All right. Thank you, Mr. Cusack. Appreciate it, Bob Cusack.

All right, I want to bring in now two people who know American politics inside and out. Joining me now is Carl Bernstein. His latest book is "A Woman in-charge, a life of Hillary Rodman Clinton." Also Kerry Kennedy, the president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

Appreciate both of you joining us. You come from a political dynasty. I know you support Hillary Clinton. This is supposed to be the debate when you talk about foreign policy and national security that you are supposed to look like the commander-in-chief. Did anyone seem like the commander-in-chief like president?

[23:05:29] KERRY KENNEDY, PRESIDENT, ROBERT F. KENNEDY HUMAN RIGHTS: Not to me. I think that this was a debate about how much you hate and it was a debate about fear. And it was really appealing to the worst of -- the worst in Americans. I come from a political family. I know that the easiest way to get votes is to appeal to people's anger and hatred and fear. And that's what we saw last night.

LEMON: That's my question to you because it has been said that last night's debate was dark and angry and she said it is about fear. Is that an indication of where the electorate is right now?

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the first thing is it was bellicose and it was about irresponsible statements about general security. If you talk to generals, if you talk to real national security experts, they will tell you, that what these people were saying up on the stage, let's carpet bomb, let's be as tough as we can, bomb, bomb, punch them in the nose to Putin was one of the things that was said.

This is not responsible foreign policy. So what is it about? It's about a fight for the soul of the Republican Party, which has moved somewhere, where 40 percent of the people who identify themselves as Republicans now are supporting a crypto fascist candidate for the United States and he is driving the debate. This is astonishing.

LEMON: So who --?

BERNSTEIN: And he is driving the debate and driving these candidates in this direction. And has been from the beginning.

LEMON: I'm sure he would not like crypto fascist.

BERNSTEIN: Well, no. Look. What is fascism? It's about a national mystic of authoritarian movement and demagoguery.

LEMON: So then, who stood out to you, if - maybe it is the best on foreign policy or maybe it is person who is capturing what the electorate wants to talk about. So who stood out? Is that Donald Trump?

BERNSTEIN: Well, Trump is consistently stood out by capturing those people who are angry, as Kerry says, who are disenfranchise, they are white, they are working class and losing jobs and the economy is not helping. At the same time, I think that in terms of the Republican Party, Christie had a very good night in terms of being, perhaps, a center right alternative, as Jeb Bush falters. I think he might do well in New Hampshire. He is just as bellicose as the rest of them. Punch them in the nose, kick them in the ass, the whole thing. But he's going to get the support of Rupert Murdoch I suspect with whom he has some closeness. That could figure in New Hampshire. It could figure with the calendar. He is a little different. He identifies himself as an outsider. So I said, let's keep our eye on him. Jeb Bush is not resounding in this party, this new Republican Party. It's not the George Bush senior or junior party and he's out of it.

LEMON: You're lucky it's after 11:00 p.m. eastern. My mom would say watch your language, young man. It doesn't matter now. I'm just joking. That word has been said many times on this show.

So you heard about, you know, they are talking about -- you heard them say carpet bombing, encrypting data, closing down the Internet, were you concerned about any of that? Some people say it impedes on the rights of Americans if you are thinking of doing this and then others say we need to do this in this terrorism age that's just a reality right now.

KENNEDY: You know, what we heard last night again and again was violations of basic liberties which is really against what certain parts of the Republican Party stand for. And then we also heard an awful lot of blaming the other, blaming the immigrants, blaming Muslims, et cetera. And that is a real problem.

LEMON: I wanted to ask you because you work in international circles. And so, as you watch this, what were you thinking about as you --?

KENNEDY: Well, I kept thinking about what Van Jones said which was, the biggest recruitment tool for ISIS is Donald Trump. But you know, as somebody who works in international circles, it's really very, very dangerous and it is bad for the United States to have the Republican Party keep saying all these things. You know, the U.S. was at our very lowest point internationally when George Bush invaded Iraq and when Abu Ghraib came out, all those photographs. And that's what they are advocating.

LEMON: I want to play with Hillary Clinton. She responded to the rhetoric today. Here is what she said at a town hall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[23:10:02] HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And when you think about, you know, Mr. Trump and his outrageous comments and the comments of some of the other candidates, that's not only shameful, you know, saying no Muslims can come to America and all the other things that they are talking about, that's dangerous. It plays right into the hands of ISIS.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So to your point where you said Donald Trump is capturing, you know, I guess what the electorate is thinking, right.

BERNSTEIN: That part of the Republican electorate.

LEMON: OK, part of the Republican electorate. So, is Hillary Clinton on the right or wrong side of the American public at when she says things like that?

BERNSTEIN: Well, I think it is nuanced. I think we have to see what she has to say about terrorism. And she is going to be pretty tough on terrorism but perhaps in a much more sensible way. Terrorism is real. The threat is real. The Democrats, I hope, and presume are going to recognize the threat and there has to be a balance between civil liberties and this new threat.

We are unprepared in terms of cyber-warfare through the Clinton administration, the Bush administration and the Obama administration. We have been awful about cybersecurity and preparing for this. We need a real strategy against Islamic terror. There's nothing wrong with calling it Islamic terror. But we don't have that comprehensive strategy. That doesn't mean it's just about --

(CROSSTALK)

KENNEDY: It's nothing to do with Islamic terror. I mean, that's just not -- that's not right.

BERNSTEIN: The origins are certainly coming from an interpretation of Islamism.

KENNEDY: So, well then, so where more people have been killed by white Christian men in this country since 2001 than by anybody, any terrorist from other countries or from other religions. So would you call those Christian terrorists?

BERNSTEIN: No. I would call it apples and oranges. There is an Islamic -- self-identified Islamic movement by adherence to a certain kind of Islam within that religion who have announced their determination to annihilate those who don't agree with them. That, it is stands from a place so I don't think there is anything wrong with calling this Islamic terrorism. But does it represent all of Islam? No.

KENNEDY: It sounds like it is mixing up anybody who is a Muslim into that. So what are you going to do now? Malala is not allowed into the United States because --

BERNSTEIN: That has nothing to do with it. Malala has nothing to do with Islamic terrorism in the name of Islam as ISIS pretends or alleges that it represents. That has nothing to do with Malala who is a human rights activist, who is Islamic, who is Muslim. You have all kinds of things going on within Islam. And part of what is going on within Islam is this horrible, horrible movement which is inelastic in nature.

LEMON: We are going to talk about. I know you want to talk about this, but we are going to talk about this in the next block, actually with two people who are very knowledgeable about Islam. They are two Muslims. But Kerry, before I let you go, I want to mention that your

organization, the Robert F. Kennedy human rights is in the middle of its annual charity auction. The proceeds going to human right causes around the world, correct?

KENNEDY: That's right. And come on and meet Anderson Cooper.

LEMON: He's on the auction block, right. That's a little scary.

KENNEDY: And you have been there. You were there last summer who my mother is going to give you a tour of the compound. It's going to be a lot of fun. So come on.

LEMON: Thank you Kerry. Thank you, Mr. Bernstein. I appreciate it. Great conversation.

When we come right back, lots of talk on that debate stage about Muslims and Islam. We just discussed some of it. But what is the reaction in the Muslim community? We're going to talk about that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:17:03] LEMON: We're going to go in depth about our conversations now about Muslims and the last night's. It was a big topic of the conversation.

Joining me now is foreign policy analyst Rula Jebreal. Her latest book is "Miral." Also with me Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, a correspondent for "Vice" on HBO. Hello to both of you.

Rula, you are first. Last night's GOP debate centered around national security on terrorism. So what do you think of the overall tone of the debate last night and the discussion?

RULA JEBREAL, FOREIGN POLICY ANALYST: I think Baghdadi was celebrating in Raqqah, the capital of ISIS. I would think he was very happy because basically what they were saying we are at war with Islam and they treated all Muslims as a potential threat and the idea of bombarding, you know, carpet bombing everybody, and also killing the relatives of terrorists, you know, (INAUDIBLE) constitutional right. We are not sure they deserve these rights or not. I mean, they are tracing --.

LEMON: But not all of them were. Not all of them, so.

JEBREAL: I mean, I'm talking about the overwhelming majority. Because what Trump is doing actually, the anti-Muslim remarks are being, you know, considered as normal or as a policy eventually complex. And they are forcing the other GOP candidates to respond on these, you know, these remarks, for example, banning all Muslims. And other GOP, you know, are considering and looking at this as maybe we can think about it.

LEMON: As I watched the other GOP members and from what I have heard them say they are the ones who are saying they don't like Donald Trump's plan. He seems to be pretty much the only one who is on board with banning Muslims at least temporarily.

JEBREAL: You know, look, when you call refugees rabid dogs and you call Muslims all kind of names. And then you say we want only Christians. We don't want Muslims because there is something wrong with Muslims, you are criminalizing an entire group of people. You are actually marginalizing them. And you know, you are feeding to this warmonger, this fear and this prejudice that plays into the hands of ISIS.

LEMON: OK. Ahmed, I want to get your reaction. What was your reaction to last night's debate?

AHMED SHIHAB-ELDIN, PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Well, Don, the entire premise of this debate was based on fear mongering, was based on hate speech and was not based on the facts. It was based on the manipulation of the public perception of fear. And so, it should not come as a surprise that Muslims like I would imagine many American would react in fear.

I mean, you had Santorum was saying that, you know, Islam is not a normal religion and therefore should not granted the same constitutional protections as other religions. You had Huckabee come out and say, you know, that he wants more massive surveillance of mosques. Then Carson adding that supermarkets should be surveilled.

This is not just the Trump problem. It was really kind of disturbing to witness what was happening on the stage. A lot of tough talk. A lot of talk about strength but no real discussion of policy and nuance.

I mean, Carson, a neurosurgeon, a man who has pledged and taken an oath to protect and save innocent lives, you know, kind of proud and boasting about the fact that he is tough enough to look over the fact that hundreds of thousands of children might die with this carpet bombing and this saturation bombing and all these bizarre terms. I mean, just the terminology if you look at the fact that I think 81 times the war terror or terrorist or terrorism was used. The word attack was used 50 times. And you know, if this was a debate about how to keep America safe, if this was a debate about how to protect America --

[23:20:31] LEMON: But Ahmed, I mean, with all due respect the debate --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: It wasn't about domestic security but about national security. And --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Go ahead.

SHIHAB-ELDIN: Does it keep us safe, though, to discuss these things and the terms that were being discussed, you know, without any real -- ? LEMON: How do we talk about terrorism without saying terror? That's

my point.

SHIHAB-ELDIN: We can talk about terrorism. But Don, why don't we talk about all the other things that don't keep us safe here in America? And when we do talk about terrorism, let's be smart about it. You know, Jeb Bush was the only candidate that I think that something that none of the presidential candidates were really doing which was let's think first and be smart. That wasn't apparent to me yesterday.

LEMON: All right. Well, let's listen to some of it and then we will discuss. Here is some of last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would be very, very firm with families and frankly, that will make people think. Because they may not care very much about their lives but they do care, believe or not, about their family's lives.

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Islam is different. I know this is going to come as a shock to a lot of people. And I mean, that sincerely. Islam is not just a religion. It is also a political governing structure.

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If Islam is as wonderful and peaceful as adherents say should they be begging us to all come in and listen to these peaceful sermons? Shouldn't they be begging us all to come and listen to bring the FBI so we would all want to convert to Islam?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JEBREAL: This is horrifying. This is really - look. The piece that we actually didn't hear was when I think that Cruz was nostalgic for Arab dictators. This is racist. This is pure bigotry. And because some of them are condemning Trump, who are thinking that this is actually they are moderate or even he is, you know, Trump is expanding the far right, so whoever is condemning Trump is moderate.

But what you are hearing from these people is a criminalization of an entire group of people, something that actually we heard elsewhere. We heard in Europe before World War II and it's just simply something that would never have been acceptable in our society. There is something thick about this kind of a debate.

LEMON: All right. Ted Cruz now, listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, I'm reminded of what FDR's grandfather said. He said all horse thieves are Democrats. But not all Democrats are horse thieves. In this instance, there are millions of peaceful Muslims across the world in countries like India where there is not the problems we are seeing in nations that are controlled, have territory controlled by Al-Qaeda or ISIS. And we should direct at the problem, focus on the problem and defeat radical Islamic terrorism. It's not a war on a faith. It's a war on a political and theocratic ideology that seeks to murder us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So Ahmed, he is not missing a chance to take, you know, big Democrats, talking about Democrats, and he did make that distinction between terrorists and Muslims. Do you welcome that sort of statement? He is trying to make a distinction between terrorism and Islam.

SHIHAB-ELDIN: You know, with all due respect to Senator Cruz, it's very disturbing because he's not just factually incorrect. I mean, there have been several terrorist attacks in recent history in India. But, you know, to say all Muslims -- to say all terrorists are Muslims even while conceding that not all Muslims are terrorists is very unproductive and very offensive and does not --.

LEMON: But that's not what he said, though. He didn't say that. He said that all Democrats are horse traders. He is using another analogy. But he is saying that we should --

SHIHAB-ELDIN: Right. But he has also -- but he also previously said that about Muslims. But even beyond that, Don, I mean, if you just look at the kind of discourse and the way in which it has been accepted to the point where we had a two-hour debate that, I agree with you, perhaps, you know, we should be talking about these issues, but we should be talking about them in the context of the other issues that also threaten us.

I mean, if you look at the shooting at San Bernardino, those were guns that were used. We don't talk about guns. Guns was mentioned zero times. Now we found out, you know, from intelligence and government authorities that actually, you know, the shooters behind the San Bernardino were actually not posting on social media and were not part of ISIS. And you know, were not supporting - I mean, there is just such a level of perception that is distorted and that it can be so openly discussed.

I mean, I found it to be really troubling. And then, you know, quite frankly, at the end, you know, there was that comment about from Cruz, I believe, about Syrian refugees. How up until 2013, we had never experienced this kind of refugee crisis and that it kind of took us by storm. And that, you know, he was, you know, he used to believe that refugees are -- we're accustomed to believe that they are escaping or fleeing from oppression by communism. But from oppression, where are those Syrian refugees escaping from if not oppression.

JEBREAL: They are the Muslims who are fighting and dying are Muslims. If you alienate the same --

LEMON: I got to go. I have to tell you that we did concern this is an unscientific survey. Did Donald Trump do a good job defending his position to ban Muslims on entering the U.S.? Sixty-three percent of those polled last night, it was 1.5 million people said that he did do a good job. About 37 percent said no. And when we asked should we accept refugees from Syria, 31 percent said yes, 69 percent of those on Facebook, this is Facebook, again, and n scientific survey. That's just tells you --.

JEBREAL: There is a pathology that is happening in this country that is really scary.

LEMON: I got to run, though. I got to run. Thank you guys. I have you back. You know that you are both through all the time. Thank you very much.

When we come right back, 18 million people heard what the candidates had to say last night. What do you think? Did any of them pass the commander-in-chief test? We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:30:25] LEMON: Last night's debate was all about national security. So who made the best case to lead the war on terror?

Joining me is lieutenant general Mark Hertling, former homeland security assistant secretary Juliette Kayyem and Michael Weiss, a co- author of "ISIS, inside the army of terror."

So, listen, General Hertling, you know, as I understand it you are not sure any of the candidates passed the commander-in-chief test last night. How so?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, as I said before, Don, I judge the leadership qualities of the candidates in three categories, their character, their presence, and their intellect. And I think last night I was taking a lot of notes like Michael Smerconish was and just taking the checks of what they were saying and how they were saying it and addressing various complex issues having to do with national security.

And truthfully, and I know it's a debate format and I know they have a limited amount of time to answer it, but on both sides of the aisle, both Republicans and Democrats, so far, they have not shown me that they truly understand the issues in this very complex campaign that we're attempting to wage with other people which is going to be a generational fight.

LEMON: Do you think Donald Trump had a handle on the nuclear triad and if not - I mean, do you think he is ready to be commander-in- chief?

HERTLING: No. That was particularly the one area I was amused with because you could tell he was stumbling with exactly what the question was. Maybe he didn't understand the question. And I thought it was interesting that Marco Rubio, Senator Rubio after that, gave a little bit of a primer on the nuclear triad.

But this is a critically important issue for someone who is looking to be the commander-in-chief. It is the ultimate test of the potential catastrophe that the world might face if the president of the United States has to decide to use nuclear weapons. It is something he will be briefed on in great detail the night before he takes his -- or makes his inaugurational address.

So if Mr. Trump does continue on the path that he's on, he better learn some of the intricacies of what power is associated with holding office and how he has to understand the things that go along with that.

LEMON: Michael, all the candidates were talking tough last night. Ted Cruz said he wanted to carpet bomb ISIS. Let's listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, THE SITUATION ROOM: Senator Cruz, would you carpet bomb Raqqah, the ISIS capital, where there are a lot of civilians? Yes, or no?

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You would carpet bomb where ISIS is, not a city, but the location of the troops.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Does that make sense?

MICHAEL WEISS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, unfortunately for Ted Cruz where ISIS is are cities, Raqqah, they are entrenched in civilian infrastructure, former Syrian government buildings, prisons, they have human shields. They have taken over people's residences and dispatched the fighters to live amongst the community. They are not idiots. They know that they are being surveilled with satellite footage. They know that they are being bombed around the clock where there are artillery and military positions are. You cannot carpet bomb ISIS without committing war crimes. So what he is advocating essentially U.S. go more war crimes.

LEMON: They put themselves in the middle of people because they know that.

WEISS: Also he had a basic chemistry question wrong as well. He said we should bomb Syria until it glows in the dark. When you hit sand, it turns to glass. Glass does not glow in the dark.

LEMON: Juliette, Listen. There was a lot of talk about shutting down the internet, collection of Americans' phone records, monitoring social media. Is any of that the answer to fighting ISIS?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it's a lot of tough talk. And you know, I just want to say at the beginning how far these foreign policies and foreign relations debates have gone. Historically, and I don't know the partisan background of even this panel, Democrats and Republicans actually used to be pretty consistent, would agree a lot and maybe they would vary on different pieces of the puzzle and that we are sort of so far away from the basic tenants of what foreign policy is.

It is relatively simple. It includes four tools in a tool box. It is diplomacy, law enforcement, military and intelligence. We heard about one of them which is military as if war is the solution to all of the problems that we are confronting. It's just simply not. No one believes that the radicalization of a person living here is going to be solved by carpet bombing in ISIS. It's a very different kind of problem we face, for example, in the homeland.

And so, for me, it was just like, OK, we are talking about sort of one-fourth of the issues and tools that a president is going to have before him or her to deal with the challenges that are going to confront us which may be ISIS today, but maybe unknown in the future. You know, presidents -- the 3:00 phone call -- at 3:00 in the morning because you didn't know it was coming. Because presidents are often surprised about what the national security threat is.

LEMON: Yes. General Hertling, you know, Americans are frightened. All the research shows and all the polls show it. Even some of the comments and the rhetoric and why they support some of the candidates. They are frightened of terror right now as they were, just as they were after 9/11. Is the threat to the homeland overstated right now?

HERTLING: I believe it is, Don. And that's a great question to ask. And I think part of it is overstated because of what we are seeing the candidates do. They are looking on both sides, again, trying to be nonpartisan and apolitical on both sides. There is an attempt to drive fear as opposed to compassion and rational approaches.

You know, this guy Clauswicz (ph) that a lot of us military folks study says that you have to have a real balance. It is called the golden balance between emotions, reason, and chance. We are seeing a whole lot of emotion. It doesn't have a lot of pact behind it. And unfortunately, we are not seeing the candidates across the board put forth some reason.

And again, this is a very complex issue. It will take time, Don, to understand it. There are nuances in the fight against ISIS just like there is in the understanding of what Mr. Putin is trying to do or what the Chinese are trying to do in the south China sea or what we are faced with in terms of cyber-warfare. But a commander-in-chief needs, he may not have to have all the answers, but he needs to know that he should go to other people to try to get a better understanding than off the cuff talk.

LEMON: All right, thank you. I appreciate all of you joining me this evening. The hot button issue that just might tear the GOP apart, that is immigration. Will it cause one potential front runner to stumble?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:40:38] LEMON: The candidates going head to head on a lot of issues last night but immigration may be the one that is the toughest here.

Joining me now is Kayleigh McEnany, the editor of "Political Prospect," Bob Beckel, author of "I should be dead, y life surviving politics, TV and addiction. And also Ben Ferguson, the host of "the Ben Ferguson show."

Ben, immigration. Hot topic last night. Marco Rubio. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: There was a battle over amnesty and some chose like senator Rubio, to stand with Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer and support the amnesty plan.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So Marco cannot have it both ways. He thinks he wants to be this, I'm great and strong ion national defense. But he is weakest of all the candidates on immigration. He is the one for an open border that is leaving to leave us defenseless. If we want to defend the country, we have to defend against who is coming in. And Marco has more of an allegiance to Chuck Schumer and the liberals than he does to conservative policy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: He got hit hard on that last night.

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.

LEMON: And he is, you know, a family of immigrants, Cuban-American.

FERGUSON: Gang of eight. Let's just go back to that. That's what this is all about. He is not a guy that people think will be tough on immigration.

LEMON: So, if he is the guy that Democrats, and I heard Democrats say he's the most electable.

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: We can say crap now, right. That is the biggest load of crap that I have heard from Democrats. I love it when they tell me who they are afraid of the most. That means that they probably would like to run against them the most. Because there is not as much difference on immigration between Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton. So I think they think she would win out on that issue.

They are way more afraid of a big compare and contrast. And look. Rubio was taking it from four people last night. And I think he - last night was a night where he had to play defense a whole lot more than offense. I don't think he is in a good position doing forward. I don't think he is going to have the bump that he had from the other debated before this. I think Ted Cruz is going to have a big bump from last night. And I think Donald Trump still going to be in the lead.

LEMON: So, but can he do anything to win people over on immigration? Do you think this is a loser for him?

FERGUSON: I think -- the biggest issue that is going to call --

LEMON: Are Hispanics not going to vote for him because he was in the gang of eight?

FERGUSON: Look. Hispanics are going to like him because of his heritage. But you also have Ted Cruz that has a story as well. I mean, I think this issue is going to come down to not immigration, but it is just going to be an issue of national security dealing with immigration because you have now them now combined. Once you had what happened in San Bernardino and once you have with this visa with his, you know, coming in fiancee, you have now combined national security with immigration. Not just immigration where it is not --

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: How are we going to do them? Are we going to - you deport all of them. Everyone knows we are not going to deport them all.

LEMON: OK.

FERGUSON: But there is another issue there, you know.

LEMON: So Kayleigh, you heard what we are talking about. Everyone is saying, you know, the Democrats have been my God. You know, Marco Rubio, I'm afraid of him. He is the one. I mean, does this party care about electability?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, EDITOR, POLITICAL PROSPECT: They do care about electability. But I think, you know, the nation when they hear about immigration in the context that Ted Cruz put it in last night, border security is national security. And when immigration is put forward in that way, especially with Tashfeen Malik getting the k-1 fiance visa, I think the nation is going to come down on the side of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. And Marco Rubio has a lot to answer for.

You look at this amendment last week that Rand Paul put forward banning immigration from 30 countries that are hot beds for terrorism. You know who voted for that bill? Rand Paul voted for it. Ted Cruz voted for it. Marco Rubio did not. He has a lot to answer for on immigration. It will hurt him no doubt.

LEMON: So then, Bob, immigration reform, the perfect example of something that is it the perfect example of something that the establishment Republicans think is the best -- is best for the party but the rank and file just can't seem to swallow that?

BOB BECKEL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, if they do, they just -- look, you can't just let get down to basic numbers here. Good try, Ben, by the way. You cannot continue to get beaten among the fastest growing demographic in this country two to one which has happened to the Republicans except for George Bush who got 44 percent of the Hispanic vote. If you have Ted Cruz or Trump, it is going to be worse than that. You are not only going to beat that dead, right, among Hispanics. They are going to increase their turnout.

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: This is the big issue here about if you are inspiring voters or not. BECKEL: Ben, come on. You are kidding yourself.

FERGUSON: (INAUDIBLE) before you criticize it.

LEMON: Is he suggesting pandering?

FERGUSON: No. Yes, exactly. I mean, here is the basic point. You have people now that are looking at this and are more concerned about national security than they are about immigration reform. That plays to Donald Trump, it plays to Ted Cruz, it plays to others on stage outside of Marco Rubio.

Now, if we get farther and farther away from terrorism and tax, then yes. It becomes more of just an immigration issue. What are you going to do with illegal immigrants here? What are you going to do with young people that were brought here illegally? And how do you grandfather them in? But right now, if you think that's the issue, Bob, and I don't really think you think it's an issue. It is an issue of national security that's intertwined. You know, that right now, if you have to pick a candidate, you would rather have the one talking national security and not talking just immigration reform because people are not listening the same way they were six months ago.

[23:45:37] BECKEL: You are talking about two entirely different kinds of immigration. You are talking about. --

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: You don't believe -- you think that people believe that Mexican-Americans or Mexicans who come in here illegally are terrorists? I don't believe that --.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: No. But they are concerned about the southern border.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Of course they are concerned about the southern border. But if you let the Republicans continue to scare the hell out of people with all this talk about --.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Terrorist attacks in the country have come from homegrown people here.

FERGUSON: She flew into this country on a visa.

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: She is not a home-grown. She was imported terrorism.

BECKEL: She married an American. She married an American, right? And under the rules, that is - and by the way, the last great person who (INAUDIBLE) was Ronald Reagan in 1986. He gave three million people amnesty.

FERGUSON: He did not give three million people that are connected to ISIS terrorist or Al-Qaeda. Amnesty, Bob. How many of those people ended up doing jihad?

BECKEL: How many immigrants you think are really connected to ISIS?

FERGUSON: Bob, how many people, when we gave amnesty back in the '80s were connected to terrorism. You know the answer and I do. I'm going to go with probably zero. The world's change.

LEMON: Go ahead Kayleigh. I will give you the last word.

MCENANY: And look. The Syrian refugee, they were many Intel report that among the Syrian refugees were ISIS. ISIS is trying to infiltrate the population. So you are telling people come in who we don't that they are, our own FBI cannot check them adequately, Bob. There is the problem in immigration.

BECKEL: We are talking about hi Hispanics.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: You are a third party if you continue to (INAUDIBLE).

LEMON: All right, Bob is the last word now.

BECKEL: Thank you.

FERGUSON: You're buried.

LEMON: We need popcorn for that conversation.

Thank you guys. Appreciate it.

Coming up. A hung jury in the Freddie Gray case. Now, calls for calm are happening following protests in the streets of Baltimore.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:51:18] LEMON: In Baltimore a hung jury in the first of six trials in the Freddie Gray case. The judge declared a mistrial today after jurors could not reached unanimous verdict on any of the charges against Baltimore police officer William Porter. Now, the family of Freddie Gray asking citizens of Baltimore and elsewhere to, quote, "remain calm."

So joining me now is Baltimore defense attorney Andy Alperstein, excuse me Andy, and then Neill Franklin, retired Maryland state police major.

Welcome back, gentlemen. We spoke to you in the last hour.

So Andy, what happens next?

ANDREW ALPERSTEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well next, I think that they are going to appear in court tomorrow. That will happen. Whenever you have a mistrial they have to appear in court and set a new date. Now, that may be real or it may not because I think that the state is likely to consider whether they want to go forward. When you have a hung jury it's the prosecutor's choice if they want to go forward and try the charges again.

But I think you're going to see a lot of legal maneuvering in the next probably two weeks. It's likely that the state would ask for a postponement of the remaining five trials. I think that's going to happen only because the state had previously said how important it was for the officer's trial to go first. And if they want to maintain that order, they are going to need to push everything back.

I would expect strong opposition from the other five defendants' lawyers. They have already complained that they were pushed back this far. They want to get these officers back on the job. They're losing money, overtime, salary, what have you. So I think that that is going to happen.

And then I think if that postponement is denied then the state is really going to have to make a tough decision about whether or not they really need Officer Porter against the driver, Officer Goodson. Because if they do, the only remaining option is to give Officer Porter some sort of immunity which means he could testify and it can't be used against him later.

LEMON: OK. So Neil, this case, you know, has brought to surface really long same intensions between Baltimore law enforcement and the community. Where does that stand now having, you know, gone through this trial and having it been declared a mistrial, the, you know, all the unrest that happened earlier in the year. Where does it stand now, that relationship?

NEILL FRANKLIN, RETIRED MARYLAND STATE POLICE MAJOR: Well, I think there are a couple of areas to speak to here. First of all is some of the information that came out of this trial from the folks that testified including porter about the culture of policing and the fact they are not seat belting people into these metal boxes on wheels to transport them.

You know, we had one captain testify that, you know, following policy is discretionary. It's not. It's policy for a reason. There are cases when you deviate from that. So now, the police commissioner has got to do some very important things here. He's got to deal with those issues. He's got to make sure that the police are doing what they need to do.

The second thing as it relates to the community and you know what happened back in the spring and you know we had protesting today, obviously the police have learned some things from the uprising in the spring and the citizens have also learned some things.

The protesting was very peaceful today, you know. They marched around. And you know, they did what they are supposed to do as protesters. There wasn't any destruction of property, no uprising today. And I think that is what we are going to see in the future. From the police department, yes, they have equipment now. They know

how to deploy and prepare strategically, you know. But when you look at the officers who are deployed for the protesting, there was no riot gear, OK. There was even some really good communication that eyewitness between the police officers and the protesters. One lieutenant in particular had some really good conversation with the protesters.

[23:55:] LEMON: OK. All right. So let's get -- you said your first answer, you said well, excuse me, I lost my train of thought here. So you were talking about protocol not being followed.

ALPERSTEIN: Absolutely.

LEMON: So, should these officers then if the protocol is not followed, if it is discretionary and that was their initial training then should they be put on trial for something that was not necessarily taught to them that was mandatory to do each time?

FRANKLIN: Well, let me clarify something. As the head trainer for four years. I was there from 2000 to 2004. That is - and it is not the training.

LEMON: I have about 20 seconds left.

FRANKLIN: The training is you follow policy. Policy is there to protect you and it is there to protect the agency from liability wise. You have to follow policy. It keeps people safe.

LEMON: Neill, Andy, thank you. See you soon.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:59:56] LEMON: Very interesting two hours. I'm so glad you could join us. But that is it for us this evening. I'm going to see you right back here tomorrow night 10:00 p.m. eastern here on CNN.

In the meantime, AC 360 starts in just a moment.

END