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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Interview with RNC's Sean Spicer on Trump; Gun Range Turns in Video of Orlando Shooter; Clinton to Deliver Attack Speech on Trump. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired June 21, 2016 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Florida down eight in the Quinnipiac poll. I'm sure you have the same problem I do which is you're addicted to the electoral map and all the games you can play.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm going to get you guys help.
BERMAN: Can you piece together an electoral victory for Donald Trump that doesn't include Florida?
SEAN SPICER, CHIEF STRATEGIST & COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Certainly like Florida. There's no question about it. When you look at the Q. poll that came out, we're tied up in Pennsylvania, even in Ohio. There's a lot of states he puts in play. There's no question Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Maine, there are states that traditionally haven't been part --
BERMAN: You know all of them. If you lose Florida though, Sean, you need all of them. Is that possible?
SPICER: No, I don't think -- you need a combination of them. I think to be sitting here 28 days from the convention writing off a state because you're down a touchdown is really not an accurate reflection of how the general election is going to turn out. We haven't focused on the general election. Both sides have been involved in the primary process. We have built an enormous ground game in Florida on the Trump side and the Republican National Committee side. I feel very good about how we're going to do in Florida. I think it will be part of a winning coalition. But I think we're also going to expand the map as we go forward.
BOLDUAN: Sean Spicer, great to see you.
Sean, breaking news that the RNC is rolling out their first big effort coordinating with the Trump campaign in this new website just as Hillary Clinton is rolling out a website of her own taking on Trump's business record.
Sean, great to see you.
BERMAN: We should note he said down a touchdown in Florida but it's with the two-point conversion.
BOLDUAN: Easy, easy. Easy, you two. Get to your corners.
BERMAN: Live pictures from Columbus, Ohio. Hillary Clinton getting set to deliver a speech any moment on Trump. She will call him a danger to the U.S. economy. Slamming his business record. This is all part of her campaign to say that Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president. Those remarks just moments away.
BOLDUAN: Also this ahead, new details about the Orlando killer. His shooting practice in the weeks before the massacre. Why staff at the shooting range had to step in when he picked up a gun.
[11:36:36] BERMAN: Attorney General Loretta Lynch is expected to meet with survivors of the Orlando shooting and victims' families. She'll also meet with first responders and hear a briefing from investigators, who now have video of the shooter practicing with the Sig Sauer MCX rifle that he used in the attack on the Pulse nightclub.
BOLDUAN: Authorities say that staff at the Florida shooting range had to step in actually after seeing how the shooter handled the gun.
CNN's justice correspondent, Evan Perez, is actually learning much more about this.
Evan, what are you hearing?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, the interrupt him because a lot of gun ranges, you know, they find that to be unsafe handling of firearms. So they corrected him. And after the shooting in Orlando they remembered that this was the guy, and they went back and found video of this and have now turned it over to the FBI. This was the Sig Sauer rifle, the rifle that he used in the Orlando shooting, and so this is all now part of this sprawling investigations.
The FBI says they've talked to 500 witnesses, done 500 interviews and that's part of what the attorney general is doing down there is to come and get a briefing on what the U.S. attorney's office in Tampa has found so far.
As you know, there's still a lot of focus on the wife and what she knew, whether or not there was anything she knew that could have prevented the attack, whether she should have called the authorities. We're told that that investigation is still ongoing. We don't expect it to wrap up anytime soon -- Guys.
BERMAN: Evan Perez, in Washington, thank you so much.
BOLDUAN: Any moment now, Hillary Clinton will attempt to deliver a major blow to Donald Trump's campaign. We know that she plans to take on and attack the presumptive Republican candidate on the economy and his business record. Will she be able to land a blow where Donald Trump is seen as strongest? We're going to bring you that speech as soon as it begins.
[11:42:51] BOLDUAN: Any minute now Hillary Clinton will be making a speech, a speech on a hugely important topic in a hugely important swing state, Ohio. The presumptive Democratic nominee in Columbus, Ohio, to talk about the economy, but let's be honest, more to talk about Donald Trump.
BERMAN: Looking at pictures of former Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio. He is in a tight Senate race right now in that state. He is certainly hoping Hillary does well so he can ride some coattails.
Now, on the economy, Hillary Clinton is trailing Trump on that issue. She wants to change that and she wants to win over some Bernie Sanders supporters who might be on the fence.
Let's talk about this. Joining us, chief business correspondent, and star of "Early Start," Christine Romans; CNN global economic analyst and assistant managing editor for "Time" magazine, Rana Foroohar; Barry Bennett, Trump supporter and former Trump campaign advisor, is back; and Patti Solis Doyle, CNN political commentator, and manager of Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign.
Patti, I'll start with you.
The Clinton campaign is subtle in previewing this speech.
Jake Sullivan says if Trump is behind the wheel, he will drive the economy off the cliff. If that is true why is Donald Trump leading in the polls on who is best to handle the economy, 52 percent to 42 percent?
PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think what Hillary will do today is similar to what she did in San Diego on foreign policy in terms of contrasting with Trump. She took his direct words and his policies and contrasted with her vision for America, and she's going to do that today. After San Diego, her numbers in terms of who would do a better job as commander in chief went up. I think after today's speech, her numbers in terms of the economy will go up, and you will see that. Tomorrow, she's going to give another speech on the economy, really more focusing on her vision. So I think the one- two punch will be very effective for Hillary Clinton today.
BOLDUAN: If you look at the current snapshot in time, the current CNN poll, if you look at it, she has successfully -- she's done a good job at branding him as temperamentally unfit at least for the moment to be president. That's one of the things that we're seeing in the poll. He successfully branded her as less honest, less trustworthy. The double negatives catch me up every time.
BARRY BENNETT, TRUMP SUPPORTER & REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: More crooked.
BOLDUAN: That's your word. (LAUGHTER)
BOLDUAN: If she's able to successfully brand him as temperamentally unfit, why would she not be successful in doing the same with the economy today?
[11:45:14] BENNETT: I don't know that she's been that successful. If you ask the people of Pennsylvania and Ohio, it looks like it hasn't been successful at all. And her speech in San Diego, I think people still favor him on terrorism which I think they views more important than foreign policy. So I don't think this has been quite as successful at all.
BERMAN: You don't think that first speech made any difference at all? Before that, he was leading in the polls. After that, she's leading in the polls.
BENNETT: Before that in the "Bloomberg" poll he was down 12 and now in your poll he's down five. So I could easily argue, wow, we're doing really well.
BERMAN: Christine Romans, Bernie Sanders supporters, Hillary Clinton wants to go after them in general but specifically on the economy, specifically in places like Ohio. Who are they? What do they want?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: They are people who want a pay raise. They want a better job. They want to be in that part of the economy now where there are people who already have a job who are pretty easily getting new jobs and getting pay raises. There's this other part of the economy where people feel stuck and those are in those old Rust Belt states. They don't feel they have the opportunity.
She has got to prove to them middle class, I got your back, and I'm going to help you be upwardly mobile again. That's who she has to directly appeal to. These are people who have lost opportunity they think because of trade, maybe rightly, maybe wrong. In some cases, it might be because jobs have moved to different states, different countries. It also might be because they didn't have the skills and education to match the jobs that are replacing those. She's got to appeal to them that she in the next four years can find a way to give them space in the American economy.
BOLDUAN: We do know some of the previews -- previewing of this speech is that she's going to go after him, use his words against him, go point by point on the topics he's talked about so far in the economy. One of those things is how he would handle the national debt.
RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: Yeah.
BOLDUAN: Why did his prescription, or what he has said and clarified, why has that faced so much backlash on the national debt?
FOROOHAR: Well, a couple reasons. One thing is if you say you may possibly not honor the sovereignty of U.S. national debt, I mean, that's sort of an international financial market-moving kind of a statement. This coupled with the fact that what we've seen so far of Trump's economic plans, and we haven't seen a lot of detail, show essentially something that looks a lot like Reaganomics on steroids, lots of tax cuts particularly favoring the rich but not a lot of sense about where the spending cuts would be. So that map ends up giving you a budget where you need to borrow more to keep daily business running. If you're talking about not honoring your debt commitments, that's a worrisome combination.
BERMAN: Guys, stick around. A lot more to talk about.
Again, Hillary Clinton due to speak any moment. We'll bring it to you live when it happens.
We're going to take a quick break. When we get back, is this election about the economy? What do voters want to hear? What kind of leader do they want to see? And can these candidates brand the other as unfit to be that person? That's next.
[11:51:57] BOLDUAN: We are keeping an eye on Ohio waiting for Hillary Clinton to speak any moment on the economy, but more so, basically part two of the speech she gave on foreign policy in San Diego. This time, taking on Donald Trump's business credentials, his big strength, his business record. She's going to try to take it on.
As we wait for that, I want to talk money, still, fundraising money though.
Barry, we talked to you about it earlier in the hour. Sean Spicer was on. He is not worried about the numbers in the month of May at all. The RNC has done a great job overall. He's not worried about Donald Trump's fund raising numbers where they stand. You're not either. But why aren't people donating though? Sean responded that Donald Trump could write a check any minute if he wanted to bring those numbers up. He doesn't have money coming in though.
BENNETT: His very first asked on social media. The Facebook post, I saw it. The first e-mail went out to the House list today, with this $2 million thing. That's the first time they've tried to raise money.
BOLDUAN: Not really. Donald Trumps says they were just in Vegas for big-dollar donations.
BENNETT: In just, they've done a lot of the fundraising. They did a sweep through Texas, California, and in Nevada. It's a split. But it's a lot of money. They raised more money than Hillary did last month as well. But I mean, the next month, it will be totally different.
BERMAN: Patti, you fundraised before but Donald Trump is saying two things at once. Number one, I need the money badly. That's what the pitch is right now and I don't need the money. I could write myself a check if I had to. What is the message donors are getting? What works better? Desperation or strength?
SOLIS DOYLE: Strength. Strength always works better than desperation. If you've got strong poll numbers, if you've got a strong message, if you feel like the party apparatus is coming together, that works in raising money.
But my question to Barry is why did the first solicitation go out today? He needs the money. The campaign needs money to buy, you know, advertising, well ahead of, you know, the Clinton campaign that's already buying for the fall. Ad time. I just, why, I guess, is my question.
BENNETT: Because he promised to fund the primary himself, which he did.
BENNETT: To the tune of $55 to $57 million.
SOLIS DOYLE: But not in the general election.
BENNETT: I mean, we're not the nominee for another three weeks but he's just started. It was lunacy to think this campaign will turn on Monday. We've got two of the most well-known people in the world running against each other from diabolically different positions on the policy platforms.
SOLIS DOYLE: -- the ground operations. Money buys.
BENNETT: I think someone told me when Romney got the nomination at the convention, there were like, seven field staff. Today, there were over 500. I understand that you've got 800 people in the Brooklyn office. I don't know what they'll do.
SOLIS DOYLE: They're not in the Brooklyn office. They're in Ohio and Florida.
[11:55:10] BOLDUAN: Pull it back, pull it back with me, though.
As we wait for Hillary Clinton, I want to get a top line here. What's the one thing you watching for Hillary Clinton to say with smart money minds? What are you looking for?
FOROOHAR: Not just what Donald Clinton -- sorry, Donald Trump --
(CROSSTALK) FOROOHAR: -- is going to do. What he's going to do but what she's going to do right and in particularly what's different this time around than in the '90s. I think this message of putting Bill in charge of the economy, it'll be like the '90s isn't really working. We need to know what's going to be different and better for her.
ROMANS: Bill Clinton equals NAFTA to some of those people in Ohio and some of those states she really needs to woo here. I think the headline is for her -- there could be a recession in the next four years, maybe in the next eight years. We've gone seven years without her. It is a matter of time. I can work with Congress right out of the gate to do infrastructure, tax reform, immigration reform. Those are the things business wants to see. Those are the things people want to see right away to get money moving and the economy working better.
BERMAN: A tough note to strike. Don't want to say coming out after eight years of Obama there's a recession on the way. So you have to be careful there also.
Christine, Rana, Patti, Barry, thank you.
BERMAN: We are still waiting for Hillary Clinton to speak in Columbus, Ohio. When we come back, the speech.
BOLDUAN: We'll be right back.