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CNN TONIGHT

Jeb Bush Takes on Trump; Liberty Vs Safety. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired December 17, 2015 - 22:00   ET

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


[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: You heard Jeb Bush say this tonight about Donald Trump. But is tough talk enough to turn his campaign around. You'll hear it later, don't worry about it.

This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

Also tonight, you know the words from the Declaration of Independence, words that in a lot of ways define America and promise us the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But as America rustles with the threat of terror, where do you draw the line between liberty and safety? Where do you stand?

Well, metal detectors at Disney world, government reading your text and your e-mails, shutting down the internet itself? What will it take to keep the nation safe? There is a lot to get to tonight. But I want to begin with Jeb Bush and what he told our very own John Berman.

John Berman joins us now. And we'll be able to hear from Jeb Bush now. Because I know you talked to him about -- we were both there, we saw him take on Donald Trump in the debate. What is he saying about him now?

JOHN BERMAN, EARLY START SHOW ANCHOR: Well, it's clearly a new Jeb Bush. That's what his supporters say. And that's what you can tell just by watching him on the debate stage and now on the stump. And I talked to him some about Donald Trump. And it's a subject that Jeb Bush seems now after several months, excited to talk about and excited to hit hard. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEB BUSH, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This guy's not going to win the nomination. That's the -- that's the basic point. He's not going to win the nomination because he's not a serious candidate. And all the other candidates seem to be intimidated by him but I'm not. He's a bully. He's not -- he's not a serious candidate. He's not offered compelling alternatives to the path that we're on and we desperately need to change direction as it relates to our national security.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: And again, it's interesting. You saw his super PAC, the super PAC backing Jeb Bush actually put out a commercial today, a video that's been on the airwaves that talks about Donald Trump, that says that he is the one candidate Jeb Bush, willing to stand up to the bullies. So, now they're putting money behind this attack on Trump.

LEMON: What's interesting is that we don't usually see Jeb Bush as much doing interviews, right? Because, and people have been complaining. Why does Donald Trump get so much coverage so much press? Well, one reason is because he agrees to do a lot of interviews. So, Jeb Bush now I imagine is feeling he should start doing some press, doing primetime and doing cable and not just Fox News.

BERMAN: Yes. You know, he is out there more for sure. I think it is part of this new push that he is trying to do, going into the holidays, going into New Hampshire, going into Iowa, he's going to be in New Hampshire, by the way, more than half the time leading up to the New Hampshire primary. And they are doing this thing called project New Hampshire where they are putting a lot into that.

But this focus on Trump also poses some problems because his campaign was saying they are doing due diligence today. They said they were doing due diligence to look into whether or not Jeb Bush could back out of the pledge.

LEMON: You know, I want to ask you about that, what did they -- what did they say?

BERMAN: Jeb Bush told me he didn't know. He didn't know his campaign was doing due diligence, which is interesting to learn that. I pushed him I said, oh, what about that, do you think he could be the nominee? Would you support Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton? And listen to what he answered or didn't answer.

LEMON: All right.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Would he make a better president than Hillary Clinton?

BUSH: I don't think Hillary Clinton is going to be elected President of the United States. She's not trustworthy and her proposals aren't much better.

BERMAN: But you didn't answer my question. Would he make a better president than Hillary Clinton?

BUSH: No. I learned not to answer questions. That's one of the things that you do now in political discourse. You answer what you want to say.

BERMAN: What, so, you're just not going to answer outright? I mean, don't -- don't republican voters deserve to know. You're attacking Donald Trump every day now, which is something that you got into reluctantly, but...

(CROSSTALK)

BUSH: Yes, I am.

BERMAN: So, do you think he would make a better president. BUSH: I don't think that he is qualified to be -- oh, absolutely. I'd

be a better president than Hillary Clinton that's why I'm running for president.

BERMAN: No. Does Donald Trump -- what about Donald Trump?

BUSH: And my point is -- my point is he is not qualified to be Commander-in-Chief of the United States of America's greatest fighting force. And he's had a chance to bone up, God willing he'll start doing it. But it looks like this is all about him and not about creating strategies to keep us safe. And the world right now is been turned asunder, it turned upside down because of the lack of American leadership. We don't need another version of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Was that a weird attempt at a joke or did he really believe that he didn't have to answer your question?

BERMAN: You know, you've heard him say things like that before in print before. I've seen him quoted saying that he's got to learn better to shift the answers he gives to the questions and not answer directly.

I was little taken aback to hear him say, all right, you know, I've learned just not to answer questions, and then laugh about it. That was something. You know, it's interesting you can tell that Jeb Bush thinks he is more qualified to be president of the United States really than anyone else on that stage and certainly than Donald Trump. And he is disgusted at times about the lack of knowledge that Trump has on certain issues.

LEMON: Yes. He's the sober candidate; Donald Trump likes to call it low energy. He's the sober guy; he's the adult in the room. That's what he says.

All right. John, you stay with me and help me through this next segment.

[22:05:00] Donald Trump's attacks on Jeb Bush have been a feature of his campaign, pretty much since day one. So, I want you to listen to what he told Jimmy Kimmel just last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN AND HOST: Do you think Jeb Bush scared of you or just scared in general?

DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think he's scared.

(APPLAUSE)

He is having a hard time.

KIMMEL: Do you think he wants to run for president? TRUMP: No. No. He was a happy warrior but he's never been a happy

warrior and he is having a hard time running. He's really had a, you know, he was supposed to be because of the name and everyone thought he was the odds on favorite. And I defined him. I gave him this term low-energy. I said he is a low-energy individual. We do not need in this country a low energy. Do you agree with that, we need high energy -- we need a guy like you with super high energy for sure.

(CROSSTALK)

KIMMEL: We do need high energy. We don't need me for sure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: All right. Let's discuss now. Scottie Nell Hughes, chief political correspondent for USA Radio Networks, Van Jones is here. A former Obama administration official, and republican strategist Cheri Jacobus joining us well, and John Berman of course with us as well.

Van, clearly these two guys have really gotten under each other's skin.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Well, absolutely. And what's interesting is that you have a Jeb who really wants to talk about issues, Trump has succesfully made this be about attributes. You know, who's got low energy, who's got high energy, who is tough, tough, tough even if they don't know anything.

And so, finally now seeing Bush so frustrated. He is beginning to take on the attributes of being tough of showing some strength finally. And so, it's interesting that even though he wants definitely to be the issues guy he's got to dealt become an attributes guy and show more toughness than he is.

LEMON: But, Cheri, doesn't this only help Jeb Bush because Jeb Bush is polling at what, 3 or 4 percent and Donald Trump is in one national poll in the 40's. So, why would he even take him on?

CHERI JACOBUS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, look, I think what Bush is doing is being strong, he's doing something he should have done this summer. The fact that Donald Trump is responding to him doesn't surprise me. Because Donald Trump can't help himself. He has to respond to everybody, anything that he considers a sleight.

But, you know, should he be responding to something as low poll numbers? If he were a smart guy, probably not. But Trump just he doesn't care. He just says anything. It's ridiculous situation. Frankly, I think he is probably helping Jeb Bush because Jeb did take a swing. He seems like he's a gentleman, he's not entirely comfortable with it but he'll do it, and apparently he's got under Trump's skin.

LEMON: Yes. That was the, you know, the gist of my question. Why would he do it? He seemed to helping him. But here's the other thing. To joke about not answering a question. I don't know, was it is joke? Are we reading too much into it to say that out loud like I've learned not to answer questions in this process? JACOBUS: The man is running for President of the United States. It's

up to him to define his campaign and what his message is of the day. And, you know, God bless you and everything, but I thought you pushed too hard on that question with a little silly. Why should a man say that he would vote for anybody else other than himself. I don't think that...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Well, he took a pledge to support...

JACOBUS: Yes.

LEMON: He took a pledge to support, right? I mean, I don't want to...

BERMAN: He signed a pledge to support the ultimate republican nominee and now his campaign was doing due diligence to see whether he can get out of it.

JACOBUS: Well, you know, I think that's fine then. You know, Donald Trump has said and done some things that have been very surprising to a lot of people and considered be unacceptable. So, the fact that there are serious people taking a second look and willing to maybe take that risk and put themselves on the line and take the criticism that may come their way or the fire with the incoming by saying you know what, I may not be able to stick to this pledge, I think that actually shows courage.

LEMON: Scottie, do you see in any way Jeb Bush being the comeback kid. I mean, this race is like no other race that we have ever seen.

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, TEA PARTY NEWS NETWORK NEWS DIRECTOR: Listen, Jeb Bush is in full kamikaze mode right now. And it's a fool's errand and it's not going to work. This, with people calling Trump a bully. Well, if Trump is a bully, he has to realize the people that Trump is actually representing have been bullied by the GOP establishment for the past eight years. They see Mr. Trump as basically their defender. So, calling him a bully is actually helping Mr. Trump and just fortifying the reason why people like him and other consecutive candidates right now.

LEMON: You don't believe that, Cheri?

JACOBUS: No, I don't believe that. I think that Mr. Trump's act is wearing thin. We are seeing the results of this now in Iowa where you know, you don't have a national media. Mr. Trump gets more than twice the media of all the other candidates combined. A recent study that shows that in Iowa, in New Hampshire, places like that where there is retail politicking where there is local ads. I think it's a little bit more realistic view he is not doing quite so well. So, I think he really have to take that...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But we -- we've talked about that. We've talked about that whole thing about getting more coverage because you know, that's a misnomer. Because Donald Trump says, yes to interviews, other candidates don't say yes to interviews. If Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush as who said yes to John Berman tonight, we would -- we would have them on.

JACOBUS: You know what, but you cover -- you know what, you don't cover out, you cover his rallies wall to wall. You're not covering the events of the other candidates.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Yes. There was -- the night before the republican debate there was no other rally but Donald Trump rally.

JACOBUS: So, we're not talking just -- we're not talking just the interviews but we're talking the whole...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: OK. All right. Point taken. Point taken, Hang on, hang on. I want to get this in because we've talked about it a lot here. John mentioned it earlier a Jeb Bush super PAC ad put out today, this new ad, the super PAC put out today, this new ad squarely going after Donald Trump. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[22:10:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One candidate tough enough to take on the bully.

BUSH: Donald, you're not going to be able to insult your way to the presidency. That's not going to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One candidate tough enough to take on ISIS. Jeb will destroy ISIS and keep America safe.

BUSH: The United States should not delay in leading a global coalition to take out ISIS with overwhelming force.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tested and proven leadership matters, Jeb Bush.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Van Jones, even people who like Jeb Bush are saying it took -- it took way too long to get to this point. Do you think their minds are already made up or do you think he still has a chance?

JONES: Well, you never know. I do think it took too long. But let me just say, it's very important to respect that Jeb Bush not only did he take on Donald Trump, he took him on an important issue saying you can't go out here and insult all the Muslims. It's bad for American foreign policy, it's bad for American security. I thought that showed real courage.

A lot of the other republicans really essentially gave him a pass on that. Jeb Bush did stand up on that. I think it's very important that we respect that. Because when you have a national leader like a Trump, who is now probably the most covered American in the world, more so than Obama out there antagonizing 1.6 billion people and saying you are not willing to come to the country and no one stands up, that's bad. Jeb Bush, he's not just he's just showing strength, he's showing strength on an important issue. I think that's important for us to point out today.

LEMON: Go ahead, John.

BERMAN: It's interesting, that's what Jeb Bush told me too, he said he is the only one on that stage willing to stand up to Donald Trump. His ad is the saying the same thing. He is the only one willing to stand up to the bully.

I want to agree with everyone and disagree with everyone on one thing. I think this helps Jeb Bush, I think it allows and it presents himself as a strong alternative. I don't think it hurts Donald Trump. I think people know who Donald Trump is at this point. I think calling him a bully isn't going to hurt him.

I think who it does hurt, though, is everyone else in that so-called establishment lane, particularly in New Hampshire, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, John Kasich. I think it just muddles the field there even more. If Jeb Bush rises, they sink, Donald Trump doesn't move. The only good for Donald Trump...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Calling Donald Trump a bully, surprise. Shocking.

JACOBUS: But, you know, like I said.

LEMON: But hang on. You'll get -- you'll get another chance, we have another segment with all of you after this. John, thanks for dropping by. You're welcome to stay but I know you have to get up and anchor the morning show. If you want to stay the next block, you can, but if you want to leave, we certainly understand that.

BERMAN: It's a lot of pressure.

LEMON: A great interview with Jeb Bush. We appreciate it. And everyone else, stick with me. When we come right back, six weeks to Iowa. has the field narrowed down to the final four yet?

Plus, arguments at the holiday table are as American as apple pie. Why did one Ivy League School give students instructions on how to talk to their family members about hot button issues? Is it PC run amok? You decide.

[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: It won't be long until the first voters have a chance to cast their first ballots and the crowded GOP field will narrow.

So, back with me now, Scottie Nell Hughes, Van Jones, and Cheri Jacobus. OK, guys, so I'm curious, that we're, you know, we're about six weeks away from the Iowa caucus. That is a lifetime in politics, I think. But has the race come down, do you think some of a political final four? Trump, Cruz, Rubio, dark horse, maybe, Christie, Cheri?

JACOBUS: Yes, I think so. I think we know it's probably Trump, Rubio, Cruz, Christie. I think Carson is going to hang in there for a while but I don't see how he lasts very long. And then the others will drop out. I wish they would drop out a lot sooner frankly, not, even that went don't have a lot of vote that they can offer.

I think taking up that time on the debate stage when there are clearly were there was a main show between -- you know, just a couple of people. And I hate to say that they're all good people but it's time, it's time to narrow down this field a little bit.

LEMON: Scottie.

HUGHES: Well, you want to sit down and look at Iowa. Iowa is the Evangelicals; Ted Cruz is going to rule it. He was always to rule it. Anybody who knows Iowa who's looked at Pat Robertson and Santorum knows that that state was already going to be there.

But it's going to end up being three, not four, because in order for the establishment which looks like to be Marco Rubio at this point to survive all of the others have to stay out. But in the end you add up all of the categories, they still don't even begin to compete with the 39, 40 percent that Mr. Trump has.

LEMON: Mr. Jones.

JONES: Well, you know, it's interesting the language here, you know, we talked about the establishment versus the anti-establishments. The insiders versus the outsiders. I would say the moderates versus the extremist. You have a moderate lane of reasonable people who are more helpful in taking about how to defeat ISIS. I would say in that lane you got a Jeb Bush, in that lane you've got a Marco Rubio.

And then you have a wing that sounds more hateful and less it's helpful when it comes with dealing with Muslims. And in this extreme lane you have a Ted Cruz, you have a Donald Trump. So, there are two primaries going on.

Who is going to represent the helpful wing, the wing that sounds helpful, who is going to represent the wing that sounds hateful. And I think that Rubio is struggling right now. He cannot breakthrough, he probably to be the best in general election. He's having a difficult time because you're right, there is not enough of a clearing of the field for the moderates.

(CROSSTALK)

JACOBUS: We're not talk...

HUGHES: I love how you are on the other side defining us, to be honest with you. And that helpful wing as you say, is what we've had for the last eight years and have lost with. So, of course you're going to call them helpful. I look at the other side, I look at the left and they're also divided except they are the socialists or they are progressives. But in the end they're all the same.

LEMON: Cheri.

JACOBUS: At least you know now is...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Let Cheri get in.

JACOBUS: What we're looking at now are the polling in the states, the national polling that has Trump way ahead. Really the closer we get to Iowa and New Hampshire really doesn't matter. When you look at how it is in Iowa, Donald Trump is going to lose Iowa.

HUGHES: No, it's a caucus. Iowa does not matter. The last two people who have won it, Cheri, I know you like to use it but you're going to turn on Ted Cruz.

JACOBUS: Right. Well, Iowa is -- Donald Trump...

LEMON: Let her finish. Let her finish.

JACOBUS: Donald Trump is going to lose Iowa and...

HUGHES: He is going to come in second place. That's not losing, Cheri, that is second. OK. And you know what, we don't get along.

JACOBUS: Sure, Scottie. OK.

LEMON: There's only one winner. Yes.

JACOBUS: He's going to come in second place in Iowa. Actually there is...

(CROSSTALK)

HUGHES: Iowa, there is other place.

JACOBUS: Actually there is another poll that has Iowa -- has Trump in Iowa pretty much in a tie with Rubio. So, we'll see if trump can even poll at second.

HUGHES: Oh, third place, wow, out of 13 candidates. Give me a break.

LEMON: Let her finish.

HUGHES: Where did you learn math?

JACOBUS: And we're looking at New Hampshire, now with Trump coming off...

HUGHES: Number one.

JACOBUS: ... of a loss in Iowa, that gives Rubio or Christie...

HUGHES: It's not a loss.

JACOBUS: Excuse me. That gives Rubio or Christie...

HUGHES: Not a loss.

JACOBUS: ... a shot to then win New Hampshire if Trump does not win either of those two states, he loses his entire talking points and his mojo. It's going to really, it's going to completely change the dynamic. The narrative...

(CROSSTALK)

HUGHES: OK.

LEMON: Everyone gets a trophy here, everyone gets a trophy because you know, I mean, you come in -- one or two or -- you get a trophy. Quickly, Scottie, because I want to move on.

HUGHES: What I love is Cheri thinking that, first of all, coming in second place, which is why Trump is going to come in even third with Rubio, they're all conservatives. He got in New Hampshire, Trump is going to be number one, he is going to win the rest, though. The South he does very well. You know, I love how she loves to pick and choose about polls, but let me tell you this. She doesn't like Ted Cruz either. She is just using it because she doesn't like him less than what she likes Donald Trump.

[22:20:03] LEMON: OK.

JACOBUS: Well, I don't think you need to put words in my...

(CROSSTALK)

HUGHES: You're a proven hater, Cheri.

JACOBUS: I don't think you need to put words in my mouth on that.

HUGHES: It's the truth.

JACOBUS: But I think -- I think that Ted Cruz...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Well, you're going to call her that. Let her respond. Go ahead.

JACOBUS: I think that Ted Cruz would be much more acceptable than Donald Trump and I think that's a pretty widespread...

HUGHES: For now.

JACOBUS: ... sentiment among republican primary and caucus voters. He has misstep in the last few days. I think he's made a mistake. I think he is paying for it and I think by digging in his heels he is paying for it even more. He got caught in a lie essentially. He is lying in 2013 or he is lying now. But I think he is a good man who has just gone astray a little bit. But he's giving the impression that he's been a...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: OK. All right. Stand by, Scottie.

JACOBUS: I think that he can clean that up and I think...

LEMON: Scottie, please stand by. I respect all of you but let's keep the name calling to a minimum here.

HUGHES: No, I was just going to say that Senator Ted cruz is the most hated man on Capitol Hill and that's a good thing and it has been confirmed.

LEMON: OK. Let's move on now. I want to talk about this. My colleague, Fareed Zakaria, out with a new piece that he says something the phrase is he talks about radical Islam has nothing to do with defeating terrorism. All the republicans attack the president over not using that terminology. Why is it so significant that it's called radical Islam? Scottie, I let you in on that first.

HUGHES: Of course, of course, I expect that. Radical Islam because you want to sit there and separate saying there are good peaceful Muslims, then great. Then let's call the ones who are not radicals. You got to call them. You're so quick to judge and say extreme conservatives. Let's call with this one extreme radical Islamist.

They still believe in the same God, they still believe in the same God, but these guys have taken it to a different round. You want to separate them, you know what, the president needs to call them. It's only out of respect for who they are. Muslims call them extremists, a radical Islamists.

LEMON: Go ahead, Van.

HUGHES: Call them what they are.

JONES: You know, I think -- no, no. I think this is very, very important. To call these -- this death cult Islamic is to elevate them. It's actually what they desperately want to be called and the fact that the president refuses to honor a death cult by associating them with one of our great religions is one of the strongest things that he has done.

Because, listen, I don't accept your claim that you speak for Islam. And it's very, very important. Part of what's interesting is, if you actually know Muslims, if you actually -- and we have 6 million Muslims in America.

Dentists, doctors, people who own stores and restaurants. If you talk to those folks you begin to understand the tone and tenor coming from the Republican Party is making Muslim parents very, very afraid for their children, afraid for their spouses, this -- you have to understand at a certain point, this president's tone is a good thing. And the idea that we're going to be able to essentially cast dispersions against the entire faith that's what you do when you call -- listen, less I'm going to say I get emotional about this.

LEMON: Quickly because I want you -- I'm running out of time and Cheri needs to weigh in.

JONES: Let me say this, if I came on TV or anybody came on TV and said a bunch of white guys were shooting up stuff, so therefore you are going to do something to all white people, I would be seen as a racist for casting dispersion against all white people. And that's why people get so upset when you cast dispersion against all Muslims.

LEMON: Go ahead, Cheri.

JONES: With small group, with small group.

JACOBUS: Here's the thing, words matter, words matter a lot. And we have a president who refuses to call this what it is, we have a republican front runner saying all Muslims need to be banned from this country.

HUGHES: No. All Muslim immigrants.

LEMON: Hang on, hang on. Scottie, Scottie, please don't interrupt so much. Let her finish.

HUGHES: Make her tell the truth.

LEMON: Let her finish. Let her finish and you've had your chance.

JACOBUS: We have a president who will not call this what it is. And so, it should not surprise anyone that the American people are scared and confused and they're not, they don't trust their elected leaders. We have Hillary Clinton wanting run. If she's the front runner of the democratic side she refuses to call it a radical Islam -- Islamic terrorism which is what it is.

So, both sides are messing up on this. The American people deserve better, they deserve from their president, they deserve better from their candidates running for president. And you can't blame the American people for being confused on this because our leaders are failing us.

LEMON: Last word. Thank you very much. Coming up, the man who says the lesson of the debate is you can't out trump Trump. That's Frank Rich. He joins me.

[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Terror fears ramping up all across the country. They installed metal detectors at Disney World today. We're going to get to that a bit later.

But meanwhile, in the race for the White House, the candidates are going head to head on the best way to keep America safe. Let discuss now. Frank Rich is here, writer-at-large for New York

Magazine. Good to see you, sir. I hope you are having a great holiday season. Tuesday's debate we heard about carpet bombing, about killing innocent family members, terrorists and trying to prevent Muslims from coming to the U.S. I know you have a few thoughts on that.

FRANK RICH, NEW YORK MAGAZINE WRITER-AT-LARGE: Well, you know, everyone is trying to outtrump Trump. Trump has said he'd bomb the you know what, out of ISIS and that he would keep all Muslims out of America. So, the rest of the field is just trying to duplicate him. But you can't imitate the genuine jerk. In my opinion.

LEMON: I said no name calling. Keep it to a minimum.

RICH: A genuine bloviate, whatever. I'm sorry.

LEMON: Yes. You can't do -- you don't do better than the original. If you want to say that.

RICH: Right.

LEMON: But listen, people do have legitimate concerns. You call it threat inflation. But the talk around the country about people, they are legitimately scared.

RICH: Ad they should be. Look, we all have legitimate concerns. And anyone who's traveling over the holidays has to think twice and there are all sorts of, you know, the Disneyland mood -- move was prudent. I think you shouldn't have kids with toy guns anyway, perhaps, but certainly not in Disneyland where someone might mistake them for something else.

So, yes. But you can't have solutions that are not real solutions; they're just bluster and just basically carpet bombing the threat out of existence. It's not going to...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: So, how do you decide? You say it's OK. Disney was OK, was prudent but then, you know, some of the suggestions from the candidates you don't think are so prudent? How do you...

RICH: Well, I don't think -- I don't think you get anywhere by daily vilifying an entire religion or you do support the propaganda of ISIS which says that's what the West wants to do. We want to destroy all Muslims and get them recruits. They have to have the same, you know, policing and intelligence policies we have with everybody else.

[22:30:03] LEMON: That's tough talk and that happened a lot -- it happened a lot on that stage Tuesday night in Las Vegas. But are there any policies do you think that are worth considering that are, you know, the best way to fight terror?

RICH: Well, I think the best way to do it is essentially what Obama has proposed. You know, to get a coalition to step up united not monolithic military action. LEMON: So, you didn't hear anything on that stage that you thought

was worthy?

RICH: Well, it's just -- it was just generalities. You know, carpet bombing. What does that mean? Bomb ISIS, what does that mean? Would that ISIS were just in one town and we could wipe it off out of the face of the earth. Of that were true and there were notable there are some involve, I'd be all for it. But that's unfortunately, they're not that stupid.

LEMON: I want you to watch this. This is Donald Trump appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night where he called on some of the GOP candidates to drop out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And you have guys like Pataki where he has zero, you have Lindsey Graham who has zero. You have -- people should get out. I don't even think it's good for -- I don't know what they're doing. They're on the children's stage. I call it the children's stage.

JIMMY KIMMEL, JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE SHOW HOST: Right.

TRUMP: And they are talking. They have nothing going and at a certain point you have to get out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, do you think he is right about some of the candidates like Pataki, Santorum, or Hucke with -- Huckabee with extremely low poll numbers, should they drop out at this point?

RICH: They should do what they want. They're not harming anyone. No one is watching anything they're doing they have no votes. It's great...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: They have 18 million people to watch them up on the stage the other night to listen to that.

RICH: Including the children's table as he put it?

LEMON: Yes. And not one -- not even one vote has been cast. We haven't even had the caucus; we haven't had the first primary.

RICH: My feeling is anyone -- it's the Republican Party's business. If people want to keep running and they qualify, it's a free country that you have the right of free speech and that's just Trump doing, you know, a pretty amusing comedy routine for late night television.

LEMON: So, listen. His lead keeps growing among republicans. Ann Coulter says all of the rest of them should just drop out because no one else is resonating. Do you think that's, you know, I don't know, working at least as a campaign tactic, would that work? RICH: No. First of all, you have to have competition and also he has

to face the voters.

LEMON: But everyone say Hillary Clinton has no competition, I mean, you know, Bernie Sanders, because when you look at the poll numbers.

RICH: Right. But no one should say he should drop out. He absolutely is very unlikely to vanquish her, but it's a good debate.

LEMON: And Bernie Sanders force, please, don't come after me...

(CROSSTALK)

RICH: Oh, me -- me either.

LEMON: I mean -- I mean, the poll numbers. I mean, the poll numbers, yes.

RICH: But remember the poll numbers. No. When he raises legitimate issues and forces Hillary Clinton to think about them and debate them. And that's the same thing is happening in the Republican Party.

LEMON: Yes. So, we've been talking a lot about terrorism. That's the issue now. It used to be the economy, right? Now it's terrorism. But we don't know what it's going to be in a year, Frank.

RICH: No. Politics can turn on a dime and anything could happen. Weird things, bizarre things could happen and we have nothing to do with either of these issues, and we don't know how any of these people is going to react to it.

LEMON: OK. I want to go to this, right? This is this Harvard place card. And this was distributed, this Harvard place card by the Harvard college administrators, right? A holiday placement for social justice instructing students on how to answer questions that might come up with their family and friends when they go home for the holidays. One question that you might be ask is about the Yale student activism. And here is what it says.

"Why are black students complaining? Shouldn't they be happy to be in college and here is what your response is supposed to be. When I hear students expressing their experiences of racism on campus, I don't hear complaining, instead I hear young people uplifting a situation that I may not experience."

"If non-black students get the privilege of that safe environment, I believe the same privilege should be given to all students." And there is another question that was asked, we'll get to that, but, about Islamaphobia and it gives us sort of a similar answer where it talks about how you should address issues.

Now, the administration has since apologized saying, you know, there is way more diversity on our campus than that and we should respect, but what is -- what is going on?

RICH: I think it's insane. I have to say that I'm a graduate of Harvard. This is kind of mortifying and embarrassing. I think that if Harvard is not confident enough that it's giving students a good enough education they can think for themselves and answer these questions by themselves. They should get of the undergraduate business, it's just preposterous.

And here is where I degree with all the critics of political correctness, even to some extent Donald Trump it's completely gotten out of hand. And it's just silly, the stuff is going out of Yale and Harvard is embarrassing.

LEMON: OK. So, here is some of the advice it says. It says, "Listen," it says, "Listen, mindfully before formulating a thought for response. Breathe, ask questions when people express strong opinions. Affirm, clarify the difference between the good intentions and the impact. Speak from a place of mutual interest sharing personal experiences and emotions." So...

RICH: Did this appear in "the onion?"

LEMON: Well, that's what -- that's what we thought when we saw it. And then just so could see the one, there is one also about Islamophobia. Where is my one of it, here it is. There is one ask about Islamophobia.

[22:34:55] "Why -- we shouldn't let anyone in from the U.S. from Syria. We can't guarantee that terrorists won't infiltrate the ranks of the refugees, they all -- they have already done it in France. And here is what your response should be."

"The U.S. Has been accepting refugees from the war-torn areas around the world for decades. Remember, the war since Central America, they were extremely violent and the U.S. accepted refugees from all size of the war. They are very -- they had a very strict vetting and not one experience." If none-black students -- no, that's wrong. Sorry, not one experience, then it goes on. I lost my place here for that one.

But then it goes on to tell you about, you know, racial justice includes welcoming Syrian refugees. Is this sort of indoctrinating people with a political ideology on he left?

RICH: I don't think its -- I think this is just silly, its political correctness. I haven't agreed with their position about this, I'm Jewish. Jewish refugees from Hitler where some of them were thought to be, you know, hiding Nazis, with secret Nazi agents, so that we have a history. But Harvard should teach us, you know, let the kids think for themselves not give them scripts as if turn this Orwellian, you know, 1984, it's the craziest thing I ever seen. It's such a vote of no confidence in the university.

LEMON: Yes. That is a very mature position. To disagree with someone but then allow them the freedom of thought. Because that's what we're about, freedom of expression. But since we've been so hard on Harvard, I want to read. This is a two Harvard deans come out apologize for this and here is what they say.

"Academic freedom is essential to all that Harvard college stands for. This is to suggest that there is only one point of view on each of these issues runs counter to our educational goals. We appreciate the feedback that we have received about this initiative. Moving forward, we will -- we will, with your continued input support the growth and the development of independent minds." Does that satisfy you, Frank Rich?

RICH: It does. But, look, when I went to Harvard there were almost no minority students, almost no African-American students. They have a lot to answer for. They should worry about their own positives, their own history and how they reason about it rather than write scripts for their own students. It's ridiculous.

LEMON: Merry Christmas.

RICH: Merry Christmas.

LEMON: Happy holidays.

RICH: Same to you.

LEMON: Happy Kwanzaa.

RICH: Yes.

LEMON: Happy Hanukkah, happy New Year. We do, you know, we don't want to be accused of being politically correct.

RICH: All of it.

LEMON: Frank, you're incorrect or what have you. Thank you, sir. I appreciate you coming in as always.

RICH: Thank you.

LEMON: Up next, as we mentioned, metal detectors at the magic kingdom. It's the first sign of the times, how far are we willing to go in the war against terrorism?

[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: In the midst of the holiday season, many Americans, especially those who will be traveling are worried about terrorism.

And I want to talk about this with Juliette Kayyem, national security analyst, Rula Jebreal, foreign policy analyst and author of "Miral," and attorney Alan Dershowitz, his latest book is "Abraham, the World's First but Certainly not the Last Jewish Lawyer." I love the title so much I can't really tell you how much. It's very clever on so many levels, so thank you.

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR: Well, I appreciate it.

LEMON: Juliette, to you first. Let's start with what President Obama said today speaking after a briefing with the national -- at the National Counterterrorism Center.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PRESIDENT: At this moment our intelligence and counterterrorism professionals do not have any specific and credible information about an attack on the homeland. That said, we have to be vigilant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, the San Bernardino attack came out of the blue. So, how reassuring is that statement?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It's not very reassuring but it's very honest. Look, in these cases that we're now seeing the likelihood that law enforcement is going to be able to disrupt every single one of them is relatively low and the American public knows it.

Recent polling shows that most Americans recognize that if these guys are radicalizing on their own and have access to guns relatively easy and we have an infinite number of soft targets in this country that we may not get to zero, but we can try to be safer.

So, the president is just trying to reclaim a narrative about his counterterrorism efforts from the noise that you're hearing from the other side which is suggesting that if we only bomb more or not allow Muslims in that there will be peace on earth. And no one -- no one practically actually thinks that.

LEMON: So listen, Juliette, you know, I said that, you know, it came out of the blue but there are those who would say you know what, it didn't come out of the blue. We should have been expecting something like this not that it should been -- it should have happened.

KAYYEM: But we do, you know, Don.

LEMON: Go ahead.

KAYYEM: Don, we do expect it and people are working incredibly hard to stop threats that we may not know about to make it harder for people to communicate, to make it harder to plan a massive attack like what we saw on 9/11. And people do actually know that maybe something is amiss but those people are not law enforcement.

They are the community. They are the family, they are the mother who is living in the apartment, the friend who lives next door. And if you think, or if anyone thinks that having law enforcement go at war with those communities is actually the way to get information from them or to get them involved with the homeland security, because it's their homeland too, it's delusional.

I mena, everyone knows -- look, if you look at the urban riots in the 1970's, all white police departments learned that they had to integrate and that they had go about working with communities through something called community policing. That is that they cooperate with the communities that they're policing. That has worked for the most part. Not perfect as we certainly seen in the last year or two, but it has worked for the most part.

It's the same thing in counterterrorism. We don't need to do things that not only are un-American but anyone in counterterrorism knows they're going to be exceptionally ineffective.

LEMON: OK. All right. Before I get to rule Alan, I want to ask you this, a new Washington Post ABC poll, this is what it shows. It says 77 percent of Americans doubt the government can prevent a lone wolf attack. Does that feel like a reasonable assessment to you?

DERSHOWITZ: It does and I think Juliette is absolutely right. We have always had to strike an uncomfortable balance between doing too much to prevent terrorism and too little between compromising our civil liberties too much or not doing enough. It is a very difficult balance to strike. We'll never get to zero particularly with lone wolves. We overdo it. The pendulum swings very, very widely. But we have to take additional steps more than what we've been taking in the past.

Disneyland is a perfect example. Yes, metal detectors, but, no, not racial profiling.

LEMON: Rula, let's talk about some of this because you and I have discussed this recently when we talked about other issues, about how the terrorists in the Paris attacks they use apps like Whats App, they use this telegram app that uses encryption to hide their communication.

[22:45:10] James Comey, who is the FBI director says that tech companies should work with the government to unlock encryption. Do you think that encryption should be illegal altogether, Rula?

RULA JEBREAL, FOREIGN POLICY ANALYST: Absolutely not. I mean, look, I think they should -- we should have this conversation in this country but also we should have this conversation in Congress. I mean, it should be lawful, whatever they decide it should be lawful. Because the worse thing is in this process we dismantle our democracy.

For -- so far, it was not lawful and that's why, you know, the Snowden files came out. But what I want to say about these attacks actually is basically there is a difference between what happened in France and what happened here.

What happened in France was operational. The majority -- the overwhelming majority of these foreign fighters went to Syria, trained in Syria or eventually in Iraq. These people here in this country and the San Bernardino attack it was inspirational. Meaning they go online. This way it's hard to track down and to find out.

The overwhelming majority of the people that were actually arrested, the Kouachi brothers, and others who were killed in Charlie Hebdo attacks, they posted on social media. It was not encrypted. It was not of a collecting data, it was about analyzing those data.

That's why you need the Muslim community who speak Urdu, who speak Arabic, who speak all kinds of languages. The idea of if you see something, say something, it's the most eloquent idea in the world on terror. On corporations, 60 percent of attacks were dismantled. And actually, the FBI and the policemen has just stop them. It's because the Muslim community managed to tell information and give...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But there were people who were not in the Muslim community, at least this is what they're saying to news operations is that they were afraid when they saw something to say something because they were afraid of being called xenophobic or Islamophobic. So, then, what do you do then?

JEBREAL: Well, then, we need to create an awareness. It's a -- I would not -- I mean, I would look at the data that we have. Look, I study the Middle East for a long time. I come from the Middle East. I've seen what police state are manage to do. So, whoever is endorsing banning Muslims and torture and oppression, look at police state. Do they work out well? They did not. Look at Egypt, they produced this torture chambers and oppressive policies produce mass radicalization and intelligence operation of people who were radicalized.

DERSHOWITZ: But you ask about the internet, and I do think we cannot retain the status quo on the internet. Here you have Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both trying to start a debate about how we can turn the internet from a weapon that is now being used both the encryption and the incitement, and at least think about whether there are smart ways consistent with civil liberties of turning the internet into a weapon against terrorism rather than just a weapon just used by terrorism.

Can we do that without unduly diminishing privacy rights, unduly subscribing of speech right, that's the hard question.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: All right. Hold that...

DERSHOWITZ: And both of those candidates are asking that question.

LEMON: Hold that thought, everyone. And Juliette, we'll get to you after the break. So, I know you have more to weigh in on this when we come back. So, everyone stay with me.

When we come right back, why is the reaction to a mass shooting different when it is a terror attack motivated by Islam? I want the group to weigh in on that.

[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Are we really willing to give up some of our freedoms to be safe?

Back with me now Juliette Kayyem, Rula Jebreal, and Alan Dershowitz. I think that's a very good question. Before we talk about that -- but Juliette, I want to ask you about Enrique Marquez, he's the friend of the San Bernardino killer, who authorities believe bought the -- bought the two assault rifles used in the killings. He was arrested today. He said that Farook was worried that it would

be a red flag if he bought too many guns. Because Farook look Middle Eastern and it was easier for Marquez to buy a gun than Farook. Is that true?

KAYYEM: In Marquez's mind, it's true. Remember, this is a man who sort of entered a mental facility the day of the attacks. And the FBI is clearly trying cautiously about how they treat them. They don't want the judge to determine that he is not a valid witness, let alone a defendant.

Look, in these cases, I know a lot about these cases. These big terrorism cases, the FBI is charging him to find out the bigger picture. In other words, whether there is a plea offer so that he gets less time, that shouldn't matter to us. The smaller fish are less important than understanding the entire enterprise that led to the tragedy in San Bernardino.

So, I think this is just a move by the FBI to begin some plea arrangement.

LEMON: Alan, the unfortunate truth is that for decades in this country there have been mass shootings. That's really an unfortunate truth. Why is the response so different now that the shootings were carried out by Muslims and motivated by terror?

DERSHOWITZ: Well, first, because we're afraid it's part of a larger plan. ISIS has indicated that it wants to come to American shores and it wants to destroy our freedom and kill our people. So, we worry more about a part of a large plan than we do about isolated instances. But isolated instances and dangerous greatly.

If you think of some of the great terrorist attacks that have occurred in this country they've been committed by white, quote, "patriots" who think they're doing the right thing. So, we have to be concerned with all kinds of terror.

LEMON: All right. We'll continue with this. But I want you to hear this because there is a real debate on Tuesday about how to keep the country safe. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, THE SITUATION ROOM SHOW HOST: Are you open to closing parts of the internet?

DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would certainly be open to closing areas where we are at war with somebody. I sure as hell don't want to let people that want to kill us and kill our nation use our internet. Yes, sir, I am.

RAND PAUL, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think we defeat terrorism by showing them that we do not fear them. I think if we ban certain religions, if we censor the internet, I think that at point the terrorists will have won.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Which one is right?

[22:54:57] JEBREAL: Rand Paul, absolutely. Look, it's a battle of idea. You cannot win it by shutting down internet and oppressing your own community. What happened today is the anniversary of the Arab Spring. It's the anniversary.

Five years ago, a man in Tunisia, Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire and changed the Arab Spring. What they were asking not to join ISIS. They were asking three things, freedom, democracy, and social justice. These are American values. We need to tap into those values and promote these values in these countries so they can actually defeat themselves, ISIS and the Islamic state.

And regarding what Alan said actually, internet will help us. In this battle of idea while ISIS is promoting images from babies killed in Gaza and in Iraq and elsewhere, we can actually promote other things to actually dismantle this ideology.

DERSHOWITZ: Look, every modern technology from the book to fire to electricity has both served the interests of democracy and the interests of our enemies. So, we have to learn how to harness the new technology to help us and not allow it to be used against us.

LEMON: Juliette, I heard you're agreeing, but we're out of time. But thank you.

KAYYEM: Well, OK.

LEMON: You know, we'll have you back. Thank you very much. We appreciate all of you. We'll be right back, everyone.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So glad you could join us tonight. That is it, unfortunately or fortunately. I'll see you right back here tomorrow night. AC360 starts in just a moment.