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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Trump Campaign CEO Faced Domestic Violence Charge; Trump to Announce Immigration Plan in "Next Two Weeks"; Interview with Governor John Kasich of Ohio; Trump At Risk Of Losing The White College Educated Vote; Can Clinton Win The White College Grad Vote?; Nasty Politics Of The Past And Present; Maine Governor Vulgar Voicemail; Sen. Kaine: Trump Is Pushing KKK Values; Trump's Doctor Speaks Out; Trump's Doctor: I Wrote Health Letter In 5 Minutes. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired August 26, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:07] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks for joining us tonight.
The doctor who wrote that Donald Trump would be, quote, "the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency" is breaking his silence, talking about how his now famous and some say rather Trumpy- sounding letter came to be.
First, more controversies surrounding the Trump campaign, and potentially another red flag for some women voters centers on Trump's new campaign CEO and past domestic violence allegations.
Details now from CNN's Chris Frates.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very good.
CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Trump's new campaign chief, Steve Bannon, is already drawing Democratic fire.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The latest shake up was let Trump be Trump. So, to do that, he hired Stephen Bannon, the head of a right-wing website called Breitbart.com, as the campaign's CEO.
FRATES: But now, the conservative news chief is drawing headlines of his own. Bannon was charged with battering domestic violence, stemming from a 1996 incident involving his then wife.
According to documents obtained by CNN, an argument over money allegedly got physical after Bannon's then-wife told him she wanted a divorce. The responding police officer wrote, "She appeared as if she was very upset and had been crying. I saw that her eyes were red and watery. She first said, 'Oh, thank you, you are here'."
The police report went on to say that Bannon grabbed her by the neck and wrist, pulling her down, and leaving red marks where he grabbed her. The report said she fought back, got away from Bannon, and dialed 911. Neither the Trump campaign nor a Bannon spokeswoman returned a request for comment. Bannon joins the line of some in Trump's inner circle who drawn
controversy. Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort's lobbying ties to Ukraine and Russia, and former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski's rough treatment of a female Breitbart reporter drew unwanted scrutiny. And defending Trump from a decades-old rape accusation that Ivana Trump later walked back, Trump attorney Michael Cohen argued, quote, "Of course, understand by the very definition, you can't rape your spouse."
Trump's friend and unofficial adviser Roger Ailes left FOX News, the channel he founded, following allegations of sexual harassment.
COOPER: And Chris Frates joins us now. Any idea how this could affect Bannon's future in the Trump campaign, if it would make any difference?
FRATES: Well, Anderson, I just put that question to Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway. I asked her if this incident will in fact affect Bannon's future. She made a definitive one word answer, no. And that was it.
Now, a little earlier today, she was asked in an interview if Trump knew about the domestic violence case against Bannon. She said, quote, "I don't know what he was aware of with respect to a 20-year- old claim when the charges were dropped." So, it doesn't sound like Bannon's going anywhere anytime soon, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Chris Frates, thanks very much.
More on how women voters see Donald Trump. You could see in the polling and it could be a decisive factor this fall.
For that, we turn to chief national correspondent and "INSIDE POLITICS'" John King to break it down by the numbers.
The gender gap has been a problem for Donald Trump since the beginning. Where do things stand now?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Donald Trump, this is one of the areas where Donald Trump remains in a ditch, as we get just ten weeks plus a few days out from the election. Let's look, Quinnipiac University national poll just out in recent days, 54 percent for Hillary Clinton, 33 percent for Donald Trump. You can do the math right there, right? That's 21 points. The third-party candidate is getting some votes there.
If you look back at the 2012 exit polls at Election Day in 2012, President Obama had an 11-point edge in national polls. An 11-point edge then, a much bigger edge now for Hillary Clinton. This is one of the reasons she's leading in the national polls. She's used the gender gap to her advantage.
To be fair, Donald Trump does lead among men, but by nowhere near enough to offset that. Twenty-plus points, that's huge. COOPER: Does it get any better for Trump when you look at the swing
states instead of nationally?
KING: No, and in some cases, it gets actually worse, Anderson. Let's start looking through them.
This is Colorado, Quinnipiac University swing state poll, right now, 45 percent for Hillary Clinton. This is among likely Colorado women voters, 28 percent for Donald Trump. So, you can do the math right again there, 17 points. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein picking up some of the vote there.
So, Hillary Clinton running below where President Obama was because of the third party candidate. But look at the gap here. In Colorado, a close swing state in 2012, it's just three points among women voters, between the president of the United States. Mitt Romney got 48 percent of the women's vote, Donald Trump getting 28 percent. So, Donald Trump in Colorado underperforming Mitt Romney among women by 20 points.
Let's look at the state of Virginia. Another swing state, Tim Kaine's home state. Probably out of reach for Donald Trump right now. It was 54-45, a 9-point edge among women for the president. Look at this, 28-51. A huge -- a much bigger lead for Hillary Clinton.
And again, she's relatively close to the president despite the third party candidate. She's performing close to the president. Donald Trump -- Mitt Romney got 45 percent of the women's vote. Donald Trump's getting 28 percent. That's rough for Donald Trump.
One more state. Let's move on to North Carolina. This is our polling. The graphic is a little incorrect here. This is CNN/ORC polling.
Hillary Clinton getting 48-40. A more conservative state. Donald Trump getting 40 percent of the women's vote. Jill Stein is not on the ballot in North Carolina. But again, an 8-point gap there. It was just a 2-point gap between the president and Governor Romney back in 2012.
So, Governor Romney in every one of these states did much better in 2012 than Donald Trump is doing now. And in most of these states, Secretary Clinton running pretty close to where the president was. This is one of the ditches, Anderson, for Donald Trump.
COOPER: All right. John King -- John, thanks.
I want to bring in our panel. Trump supporter Scottie Nell Hughes, Clinton supporter and former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany, and also Clinton supporter and Democratic strategist, Jonathan Tasini.
Kayleigh, do you think any of this matters about Steve Bannon? I mean, most of America probably doesn't even know who he has and these charges from the late '90s were, we should point out, dropped. KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I don't think it
matters. You know, first, it goes without saying, domestic violence is never excused in any contest. With that said, Steve Bannon's case, this was a 20-year-old charge. It was dropped. It was never proven in a court of law. That's important to acknowledge.
But, you know, this charge with Steve Bannon, I think there were far more important charges brought against Hillary Clinton, which is, you know, she used BleachBit to essentially bleach her e-mails that were allegedly personal, just about her daughter's wedding and about yoga. Not sure why you would bleach those e-mails and that I can sure they were never recoverable. That broke this week.
We also learned that Clinton had a Clinton Foundation dinner at her apartment and there was supposed to be this stone wall between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department. This was during her tenure.
So, I think these charges against Steve Bannon, no, he's an associate to Donald Trump. I think the charges brought against Hillary Clinton this week are far more important really.
COOPER: Jonathan, do you think this matters?
JONATHAN TASINI, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, obviously, as Kayleigh said, domestic violence is unacceptable. But I think the issue is really Donald Trump. And the reason that John King, the polling he cited shows Trump thrilling dramatically behind Hillary Clinton. Number one, Hillary Clinton is obviously the first major female candidate, as a major party candidate for president.
But second, let me read what Our Principles Pac, a Ted Cruz PAC, the video they put out about the things Donald Trump said about women. Fat pig, bimbo, dog. A person who is very flat-chested is very hard to be a10. You know, it really doesn't matter what they write, as long as you've got a young and beautiful piece of -- so on and so forth.
So, women have already adopted and accepted and internalized the notion that Donald Trump is a misogynist. That's what the polling is reflecting.
COOPER: Mayor Nutter, do you see this is something Democrats, this Bannon thing, this old charge is something Democrats are going to try to use against?
MICHAEL NUTTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, it's just a part of the general narrative that's out there. As Jonathan said, Donald Trump already has a problem with women. It should be acknowledged.
It's not just, you know, it's a bad thing, or it's almost always -- it's always unacceptable for domestic violence, in any circumstance or situation. Donald Trump should say that. Mr. Bannon should say that. And then move on.
And unfortunately, many cases are dropped. And this one, because his ex-wife did not show up, which is one of the other challenges of domestic violence in the first place.
So, it's just a part of the overall, you know, clown show of this going on with the Trump campaign. And it's just one more thing.
COOPER: Kellyanne --
SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Scottie --
COOPER: I'm so sorry, Scottie.
COOPER: I was going to ask you about what Kellyanne Conway said next. But I should also point out, this also -- other folks were pointing, as Chris Frates said in that piece, Roger Ailes is now apparently an unofficial adviser to Donald Trump, right after getting booted from FOX News from what seems to be, certainly allegations of serial sexual harassment, you know, combined with the Steve Bannon thing, do you think it's a problem?
SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: All of those are inexcusable. And the way men are treating women, the way those conversations before Mr. Trump was running for office, for whatever reason, there's no excuse for it.
But let's also look at the Hillary Clinton camp. Let's look at the sexism that exists not maybe from the men in her office, but from the women. Huma Abedin, for 12 years, she was the editor of the journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, and edited and wrote articles about women who were inviting rape by the clothes they were wearing. That she blamed 911 on U.S. Muslims. Working mom and gay families should not be recognized as actual families.
And sat there and said that women and even -- and actually criticized Hillary Clinton and her idea of encouraging women was actually anti- feminine and that was not right for the family.
So, this is Hillary Clinton's close adviser in Huma Abedin. You know, Madeleine Albright once said --
COOPER: Saying Hillary Clinton is anti-women?
HUGHES: Well, I'm saying Huma Abedin, if you look at the writings she has, that goes exactly opposite of what Hillary Clinton has said.
NUTTER: There's no possibility that Huma Abedin or Hillary Clinton --
HUGHES: But she wrote those things!
COOPER: Let him respond.
HUGHES: It depends on what --
COOPER: Let him respond. One at a time. One at a time.
NUTTER: It is impossible for anyone to state that Huma Abedin would be anti-woman. It's factually wrong.
HUGHES: How is that factually? It's black and white. So, here's the problem --
TASINI: Let's put aside Huma and let's put aside Steve Bannon. The polling John King is showing is reflecting women's perceptions of Donald Trump --
NUTTER: Who is running for president.
TASINI: -- and they have made a decision, clearly, by that polling in the swing states, by what John King is talking about, they have made the observation and the decision that Donald Trump is a misogynist. And all the people that he draws in, whether it be Roger Ailes, that's kind of his culture. That's --
HUGHES: -- but can we point out the women here?
TASINI: That's why women are rejecting Donald Trump.
[20:10:00] HUGHES: What was her comment that came that if you don't support Hillary Clinton, that there's a special place in hell for those women that came from another one of those senior advisers. Those are men making those terms.
NUTTER: Which she apologized for.
HUGHES: Oh, apologies make it all better. It's in black --
HUGHES: Hold on, this is my turn to talk now. This is my turn to respond.
This is in black and white writing. She edited. Now you have this comment. Yes, you can say I'm sorry, but it's still out there, and that really hurt the Bernie Sanders camp. That was a direct against women in the Bernie Sanders camp going against him.
So, a lot of those votes, I'll give her credit --
COOPER: Let's move on to immigration --
HUGHES: Because she's a woman.
COOPER: Let's move on to immigration here. I do want to get this in, because Donald Trump has made some new comments tonight on FOX. I want to play them and talk to you, to Kayleigh. Let's play that. Play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE (via telephone): Once the border is secured and we get rid of the criminal elements, which I'm going to start before the wall, before anything, we're going to start that day one, we will look into various situations. But, again, people are here illegally and we have to remember that. They're here illegally. So we will see what we will see.
But we're going to start off by securing the border, by getting rid of the horrible criminal element that's causing tremendous havoc, drug dealers, gang members, et cetera. And I think people will be extremely happy. And I'll be announcing something within the next two weeks -- a very comprehensive plan on immigration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I mean, Kayleigh, obviously, there was supposed to be a speech about this already. Donald Trump last night told me it will be next week. Now, it seems like it's going to be two weeks from now. Clearly, they are trying to figure something out. They are trying to figure out what their plan, at least for the 11 million or however many it is undocumented immigrants in this country.
Do you agree with that? That they're trying to figure out exactly what to do about that?
MCENANY: Well, I think in some cases, you're right. Because he's trying to listen to voters, which I think should be the goal of any person running for office. You know, he mentioned in his Hannity town hall, I thought this was a great moment when he said, voters are coming to me and telling me they don't like this part of my policy. So, he's trying to listen and be responsive, which is good.
But it's important to say, these things have not changed. He is the security candidate when it comes to immigration. He is going to send -- no one's going to have citizenship here unless they go home first --
COOPER: But this close to an election, should a -- you know, the Republican candidate for president still be unsure of exactly the parameters of what their major policy, which they ran on, quite strongly?
MCENANY: I think he's very clear. And I think right now he's establishing priorities. And you know, when you look at health care, for instance, you have certain priorities. And for Donald Trump, his priority is, one, the wall. Mexico's paying for it. Two, everyone's going home and they're going to come in the right way. Three, we're deporting criminals. Four, we're going to look at the people who remain. So he's establishing priorities now. And I think that's a good thing.
COOPER: Mayor Nutter, have you ever seen a presidential candidate this close to election day --
NUTTER: Have no idea what they're talking about?
COOPER: -- talking about what my policy is.
NUTTER: No, listening to the voters is one thing. Having a rock solid policy and some principles is another thing. What's clear here is, he does not have a rock-solid policy and principles. He'll listen to voters up to November 7th. And there might be a
different story on that particular day. At some point in time in this business, with running for office, you actually have to know what you're talking about. And take a stand on it. You can listen to people, but you've drawn your parameters and Donald Trump has no idea what he's talking about.
COOPER: We're going to hear fro more of our panelists on this issue tonight, including former presidential candidate, John Kasich. He's going to join us. He confronted Donald Trump, of course, on immigration during the campaign. The question is, what does he think of what Trump is saying now? Stay tuned for that, just ahead.
And later, a doctor with a degree in gushing adjectives like "astonishingly excellent" when it comes to Donald Trump, he is speaking out. You'll hear the voice behind the best doctor's letter, ever.
[20:17:06] COOPER: As we talked about just before the break, Donald Trump speaking out again tonight on immigration. As you also heard, what precisely it means in terms of policy is clear to some on the panel, less so to others. In any case, plenty of people sat up and took notice when Trump weighed in this week, first saying he was softening his stance, to use his own words, then with me yesterday, saying this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You said on Hannity, you used the word "softening". Even last night on Hannity, you talked about --
TRUMP: Well, I don't think it's a softening. I think it's --
COOPER: But 11 million people are no longer could be deported.
TRUMP: Look, I've had people say it's a hardening actually.
COOPER: But 11 million who have committed a crime, there's going to be a path to legalization, is that right?
TRUMP: You know it's a process. You can't take 11 million at one and just say, boom, you're gone. But there's no legalization, there's no amnesty. And if somebody wants to go the legalization route, what they'll do is they'll go leave the country, hopefully come back in, and then we can talk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Reconciling that and what he said at the Sean Hannity town hall doesn't give a clear picture of what Donald Trump's plan really is. However, Democrats were quick to say it now resembles President Obama's policy. Jeb Bush says it sounds a lot like what he was saying during the primaries and getting ridiculed for. He's not alone.
Ohio Governor John Kasich also confronted Trump on the issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: Or we're going to ship 10 million Americans or 10 million people out of this country? Leaving their children here in this country and dividing families? Folks, we've got to wake up! We cannot elect somebody that doesn't know how to do this job.
TRUMP: He was so nice. He was such a nice guy and he said, oh, I'm never going to attack, but then his poll numbers tanked, he's got -- that's why he's on the end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The governor famously did not attend the Republican convention in Cleveland. He's not campaigning for Trump and rarely talks about him. However, he did today.
COOPER: Governor Kasich, thanks so much for joining us.
You wrote an editorial this week on welfare reform that I want to talk to you. But first, I want to ask you about immigration. During the primaries, you were very clear about the impossibility of deporting 11illion undocumented immigrants. Your position was, if they haven't committed a crime while they're here, pay a fine, back taxes, maybe community service, and then a path to legalization. Not citizenship, but some legal status.
You and others who held that view during the primaries, you were attacked by other Republicans. Given what we've seen the last couple of days, do you feel some sense of vindication?
KASICH: Oh, you know, vindication? I don't think about vindication. I don't no what we're hearing, frankly, right now out of the Trump campaign. I'm not quite sure where he is on this.
But, you describe my position well, and you know, there was a lot of, you know, angst about it. But, you know, I will tell you, Anderson, the way I feel is if this is moving a little bit, then it should be good news for our friends in the Hispanic community, because many of these families have been on edge and we don't need them to be on edge.
COOPER: But I guess, though, if I had been in your shoes and running, saying, look, this is not feasible, and other folks running against me were saying, well, that's just weak.
[20:20:00] You're talking about amnesty, and now seem to be, perhaps, kind of morphing more to your old position -- I mean, I guess it doesn't surprise you that ultimately --
KASICH: It doesn't, because, look, all these problems that we're talking about in this country, many times, both countries offer very simple solutions to very complicated problems. And at the end of it all, it comes down to complicated and very precise decisions and to resolve very hard problems.
We all know there's problems. But you can't just solve them by, you know, just coming up with some little bold statement. It takes a -- an effort to try to look at things 360 and then come up with something that can resolve the problem.
Our problem in this country is Republicans and Democrats were so polarized, that it's hard for them to come together in a really good way to get things done.
COOPER: You know Ohio better than anybody. You said you didn't think Donald Trump could win Ohio. Do you still think that's the case?
KASICH: Well, I think if you're a divider, you have a very hard time. I mean, what you have to look at in Ohio is there are going to be places in Ohio where Donald Trump will do very well, and the question is, what happens in the urban areas? And does Hillary able to generate excitement in the urban areas?
If she can, she'll win. If she can't, she won't win. But it's really, frankly, still early to know, Anderson.
COOPER: One more politics question. I know you're traveling to New Hampshire this week, ostensibly to thank supporters who helped you come in second in the primary there. A lot of political watchers see it as the beginning of laying the groundwork for 2020. I'd be remiss if I didn't ask you, are you interested in another run?
KASICH: Yes, I wouldn't get carried away. Look, I'm going to New Hampshire to help John Sununu's brother, Chris Sununu, run for governor. I'm going to raise a little bit of money. And when I'm there, I'm going to thank people who helped me. I have deep affection for them, Anderson.
You know, this would be like asking one of these marathoners, you know, you going to go into the next Olympics? You know, everybody ought to have a deep breath and a break.
COOPER: I want to turn to the op-ed in "The New York Times," outlining your plan for welfare reform. You're arguing that states should have more room to decide what's best for them. What works best for them?
KASICH: You know, to some degree, to some degree. Anderson, here's the problem --
COOPER: What part of welfare isn't working and what are you doing to fix it in Ohio?
KASICH: OK. We designed a welfare system that gives a reward for welfare offices to pass out the benefits as fast as they can, with the least amount of fraud. But as a result of that, there is no emphasis on taking people who are on welfare and actually helping them to get off welfare. And this was designed by Republicans and Democrats. And we also know
with job training, that system is goofy, too, for this reason. We actually give a reward to offices that get people back to work the fastest, OK? Well, that sounds good, but you take somebody who's a bank teller who loses their job and get them another job, OK, that's easy.
The problem is taking somebody who has never been employed or has never saw anybody who was employed. So, the welfare office's rewards, passing out the benefits without regard to the person and where they end up. And the job training office takes the easiest to retrain. And that's why we have endemic poverty.
So, what are we doing? We're taking 16 to 24-year-olds and we're saying, if you need help, we'll give it to you, but you're also going to be held accountable. You're going to get trained and we're going to get you work.
Frankly, it took me a long time to get this done. Now, the federal government needs to have proper incentives, but I have to tell you, at the state and the local level, there's pushback on that. Because the welfare offices say, don't do all of that to me.
In Ohio, we're going to focus on 16 to 24-year-olds, but if you're 25, you get your stuff, they get you out of the office, you got multiple case workers, and in most cases, nothing happens to improve your life.
Our goal has to be to improve people's lives. And the people in Washington don't understand what happens when the rubber meets the road. And we've got to convince the local bureaucrats, we've got to change their incentives. And I think we're in the right direction, but the whole country has to learn from this.
COOPER: Governor Kasich, thank you. Always good talking to you.
KASICH: All right. Anderson, thank you. God bless, thank you.
COOPER: We got a link to Governor Kasich's op-ed for "The New York Times" on our website, AC360.com.
Coming up, one demographic, one that has voted Republican for decades may be turning on Donald Trump and supporting Hillary Clinton. What the polling shows, next.
[20:28:18] COOPER: Hillary Clinton is continuing her attack on Donald Trump's rhetoric. In a blistering speech yesterday, she described him as a candidate with an, quote, "long history of racial discrimination that traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from pages of the supermarket tabloids and the far dark reaches of the Internet." Today, she said the choice voters will make is about much more than policy positions.
Here's what she said on MSNBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON (via telephone): I am reaching out to everyone, Republicans, Democrats, independents, everyone who is as troubled as I am by the bigotry and divisiveness of Donald Trump's campaign. And I've said repeatedly, this is not a normal choice between a Republican and a Democrat. We are facing a divisive candidate, whose loose cannon temperament and his complete lack of operation make him unqualified to be president and temperamentally unfit to be commander in chief.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: She's trying to make the most of the fact that Donald Trump is having trouble reaching women and minorities. The polls bear that out.
And now, Trump is also at risk of becoming the first Republican in 60 years to lose the votes of another demographic, white college-educated voters.
John King joins me again to break down by the numbers. So, can Trump turn the tide on this particular demographic?
KING: He needs to, Anderson, if he's going to be competitive and if he's going to win the election. We've talked about this before, and what you do is when you get new data, you look at it. Is there any evidence that Donald Trump is improving?
Well, let's look first at the national numbers. A new Quinnipiac University poll, look right now, among white college graduates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton essentially running even, 41 percent for Donald Trump, 40 percent for Hillary. You see the third party candidates getting a combined 16 percent right here.
So, roughly even, right? Look at this. Mitt Romney lost in 2012. He beat President Obama by 14 points among white college graduates.
[20:30:02] He won by 14 points and he lost the election. Donald Trump running about even right now. I don't think anybody at home needs me to explain, if you are running -- if you're Donald Trump, you're running 15 points among white college grads behind the guy who lost in 2012, that's not good.
COOPER: I mean national numbers are obviously one thing. You know, elections are won in battleground states. Where I the education gap for Trump work most to Hillary Clinton's advantage?
KING: Most in the states I call the New America States. States that have growing diversity, growing Latino community many a big African- American community. But also where the new economy is a higher- educated economy. Technology, engineering, research, medical, a place like Colorado. The Denver suburbs, who have a growing Latino population, but also growing number of the people who live there, who have college graduations. White college grads in Colorado, 58 percent to 33 percent. You can the math at home, 25 point lead for Hillary Clinton. Mitt Romney beat President Obama on Election Day 2012 by 11 points and Mitt Romney lost the state. He beat President Obama among white college graduates, but lost the state. Donald Trump is losing by more than 20 points, Anderson, in Colorado. A swing state that appears to be moving out of reach for the Trump campaign.
Let's look at Virginia. Another one, where today, Clinton is ahead of Donald Trump by 18 points there. Again, Governor Romney won by 10 points and still lost the state, among these are white college graduates back in 2012.
Another called New America -- a new economy state. But even in traditional battleground states. Look at Iowa. Now, Iowa was always good for president Obama. But it's a whiter, more conservative state. It's very competitive right now. Essentially a dead heat between Trump and Clinton. She's up 10 points among white college graduates.
President Obama beat Governor Romney there by four points. But this is pretty simple. Never mind the Clinton/Trump numbers. Donald Trump is underperforming Mitt Romney in all of these states in this key demographic -- and what has been a Republican demographic. Donald Trump, if he's going to beat Hillary Clinton, he cannot be underperforming and dramatically so the guy who lost four years ago.
COOPER: Yes, John King, appreciate it. Back with the panel.
Scottie, how does he improve on those numbers? Because we should point out Trump's doing very well among white non-college graduates, doing much better than Secretary Clinton is, but how does he get better among college graduates?
SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I think it goes back to his core issues. And this is why I think this things immigration be in the conversation this we can go back into the economy. And Reuters just came out with the poll today that the leading gap from Hillary is actually narrowing by 5 points. On Tuesday, it was 12 points. By last Friday, it was 8 points.
So obviously, this conversation, I think this is why Hillary Clinton came in yesterday and caused this big brouhaha with this type of a hate speech that she gave against conservatives ...
COOPER: But you're saying immigration being in the issue this week, has that actually helped among white college graduates? Because if anything, I mean it has been -- it hasn't been exactly a clear message. I know Trump supporters say he's not changing his position, but it certainly has raised questions about him, is he softening, is he not? He says he's hardening. Does that actually help the conversation?
HUGHES: Well, I think the conversation right now is while Trump is trying to figure out the actual details of the plan, it's releasing what Hillary Clinton's plan is, blanket amnesty to everyone. And she's not telling how the middle class is going to continue to take on this burden $113 billion every year, the middle class, for all of the illegals that are in this country and how we're going to secure our border, as ...
COOPER: Mayor Nutter, is this something Trump can make inroads on?
MICHAEL NUTTER, CLINTON SUPPORTER: No. The polls open in Pennsylvania 73 days and 10 hours is not even said. Donald Trump is still trying to figure out his immigration plan. He's been a candidate for 15 months. It's his signature issue. It's a signature issue for the party. He has no idea where he's going with this or with many other issues, which is why his positions continue to change and these voters, like many others, don't think he's qualified to be president. He's not ready to be president.
The same poll said nearly 60 percent of voter said that Donald Trump is not qualified to be president of the United States of America. People are paying attention to this election. They're going in another direction.
COOPER: Kayleigh, do you think he can turn it around?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUM SUPPORTER: Yes, I do. And here's where, you know, two quick things. First, you know, as you mentioned he's doing very well among white, non-college graduates.
MCENANY: That's an area where I think he can appeal on the way Romney couldn't, McCain couldn't, blue-collar voters in Pennsylvania and Michigan. So that's one. But two, among white educated voters, who Republicans have traditionally won, I think they're going to look, and on election day, they're going to be in that ballot box, they're going to say to themselves, we have a Supreme Court. There are a lot of 5-4 decisions. The Heller decision, the right to bear arms means the right to physically hold a handgun. The Hobby Lobby decision., the right to, if you don't support the idea of birth control, you as a business owner don't have to provide it. The immigration executive amnesty decision.
You know, President Obama can't go around the law. He has to work within the confines of the law. I think there are going to be a lot of voters who traditionally voted a Republican, white college graduates who will say to themselves, Hillary Clinton is not going to a put a Justice Scalia and place in factual appoint three liberal justices. Donald Trump will at least maintain the status quo on the Supreme Court and they will end up voting for Donald Trump.
COOPER: Jonathan, in the poll, men back Trump by a large margin, as to voters we say without a college degree. How doe Hillary Clinton make inroads there?
[20:35:00] JONATHAN TASINI, CLINTON SUPPORTER: Well, a quickly I want to say on, you know, on immigration, the great piece you did with John Kasich, it was fascinating that here's a governor of a large swing state, Ohio, he cannot tell you what Donald Trump's immigration plan. He was dumbfounded. That is speaks volumes about the failure of the flip-flop that Trump has on immigration.
So I think that the issue about non-college graduate white folks in particularly in battleground states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, I think the labor movement is going to have a very important effect there. You're going to have labor leaders go into those states in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and explain to people that if you elect Donald Trump, you're basically signaling the end of the labor movement.
COOPER: But it does seem like leadership in the labor movement is maybe supporting Hillary Clinton, but it's not necessarily rank and file.
TASINI: No -- but well -- there's no question that Trump has played to people's fears in a disgusting way. He's told people that, you know, people feel insecure. Donald Trump is not the solution. In fact, if you look at his background, the way he's essentially been sued thousands of times because he wouldn't pay people, wouldn't pay contractors, he's not the solution to people's economic distress. And I think though the labor movement will have an effect there. Will she win that demographic?
MCENANY: No, she won't.
TASINI: But I think there's -- but I think it will close ...
COOPER: All right, I want to thank ...
NUTTER: In Pennsylvania
COOPER: I want to thank everybody on the panel. I know this may seem like the nastiest campaign season in American history. This is not the first time there's been name-calling presidential politics. Certainly not by a long shot. We'll show you the low lights and tell you who called his opponent a fathead with the brains of a guinea pig. Remember that one, next, we'll tell you.
[20:40:28] COOPER: Well, it's the end of a long and pretty nasty week in American politics. Hate groups, conspiracy theories, charges of bigotry have become a part of this election season. It's not just the presidential campaign.
A voice mail has surfaced that the governor of Maine, a Republican left for a state lawmaker Democrat Governor Paul LePage, has been claiming that more than 90 percent of drug dealers in his state are black and Hispanic. Somehow word got to him that a state lawmaker called him a racist. The lawmaker denies doing that, but here's the voice mail the governor left for him.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) GOV. PAUL LEPAGE, (R) MAINE: Mr. Gattine, this is Governor Paul Richard LePage. I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you (inaudible). And you -- I want to talk to you. You want -- I want you to prove that I'm a racist. I've spent my life helping black people, and you little son of a bitch socialist (inaudible). You -- I need you to -- this frickin'. I want you to record this and make it public, because I am after you. Thank you.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: The bleeped word was the same word twice. I won't go into it.
Since then, the Governor has sort of apologized, but also says he wishes it was 1825 so he could have a duel with the quote, "snot-nosed little runt". Governor Paul LePage is a strong Trump supporter where a Trump should be held accountable for the people who support him of course that's obviously after debate. But an event in Florida, Hillary Clinton's running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, did just that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TIM KAINE, (D) VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Yesterday, Hillary Clinton gave a speech in Reno, Nevada, calling out Donald Trump on a lot of things on this equality idea. Calling him out on the fact that he has supporters like David Duke connected with the Ku Klux Klan, who are going around and saying Donald Trump is their candidate, because Donald Trump is pushing their values. Ku Klux Klan values, David Duke values, Donald Trump values are not American values.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, there so two months ago, this is shaping up to be one of the nastiest elections in American history, and that is saying something. Gary Tuchman looks back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Gross hypocrite, godless atheist. Who said it? Trump or Clinton? Well neither. It was associates of Jefferson and Adams trading barbs. That's Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: A man you can bait with a tweet.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Lyin', crooked Hillary.
TUCHMAN: The fact is all this name-calling and dirty campaigning is nothing new. Take the election of 1828. John Quincy Adams versus Andrew Jackson in another political brouhaha. Adams taking aim at Jackson, asserting that Jackson didn't know how to spell, was too uneducated to become president, while newspapers portrayed his wife, Rachel, as a short, fat dumpling. Jackson shot back, claiming that Adams had sold his wife's maid as a concubine to the czar of Russia. The election of 1860 another political slugfest, this time Abraham Lincoln versus Steven Douglas. Douglas accusing Lincoln of hypocrisy on the issue of temperance, claiming that Lincoln himself had once operated a grocery store that sold hard liquor, causing quite the stir. Lincoln's reply, if that was the case, then surely Douglas was his best customer.
In the election of 1912, Theodore Roosevelt called his opponent, William Howard Taft a fathead with the brains of a guinea pig. Taft in kind calling Roosevelt's followers neurotics.
Modern campaigns have seen their share fair of nastiness, too. In 1972, Senator Edward Muskie of Maine that a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, that is until the conservative Manchester Union Leader newspaper run two pieces. One article planted by the Nixon White House, accused Muskie of using racial slurs against French- Americans. The second implying Muskie's wife enjoyed smoking, drinking and cursing in an unladylike way.
EDMUND MUSKIE, FORMER UNITED STATES SENATOR: By attacking me, by attacking my wife, he has proved himself to be a gutless coward.
TUCHMAN: But it was also reported at the time Muskie broke down and cried, sending a message that he couldn't handle the heat, and sending his campaign into a tailspin. In 1988, George H.W. Bush let loose on Mike Dukakis.
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, 41ST UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Michael Dukakis has opposed virtually every defense system we've developed.
TUCHMAN: Asserting he didn't support the military, and stating that Dukakis thought a naval exercise is something you find in Jane Fonda's exercise books. Bush went on to win.
And in 2000 George W. Bush's campaign was accused of starting a whisper campaign, that his primary component, John McCain, had fathered an illegitimate black child. His daughter Bridget, was actually adopted from Bangladesh.
[20:45:09] But the false rumor had its intended effect, stalling McCain's momentum and Bush of course went on to win. Another example of how even though it's ugly ...
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton is a bigot!
CLINTON: This is someone who re-tweets white supremacists online.
TUCHMAN: ... it can work.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joining me now, CNN political analyst and "USA Today" columnist, Kirsten Powers. Kirsten, good to have you on again. So -- I mean we heard Hillary Clinton accuse Donald Trump of taking hate groups mainstream, we heard Donald Trump say he thinks Hillary Clinton is a bigot. At the end of the day, does either Clinton or Trump by attacking each other like or does one just lose less?
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYTIC: Well the thing is, I would -- I think they're kind of a false equivalencies to put what Hillary Clinton ...
POWERS: ... did in the same category as what Donald Trump did. I mean we just watched him yelling and his done this over and over yelling that she's bigot, he really doesn't offer any evidence to support this. What Hillary Clinton did was she gave a speech that she outlined things that Donald Trump had said. It wasn't a matter of opinion, even what you just played was her basically saying, these are things that Donald Trump has said. These are people that Donald Trump has had relationships with. And there nothing particularly ugly about that. I think she's sort of prosecuting a case against him and his relationship with the Alt-Right.
COOPER: It's also interesting, I mean when you think that -- in the Republican Party with Donald Trump was labeled a racist by Hillary Clinton, no one in the Republican Party's leadership, or even his running mate, are publicly defending him, at least that I've seen.
POWERS: Well, they're not only not defending him, I think if you remember other times when he has said things, for example, when he attacked a judge who was born in the United States and claiming that he couldn't be fair, because he was Mexican, even though he was American, you had Paul Ryan, the leader of the Republican Party, coming out and saying that what he did was sort of the textbook, you know, explanation -- definition of racism.
So, you have people who are agreeing, I think, with Democrats on these criticisms. And then at the same time, when he's calling her a bigot, he's not getting any backup on that from the Republican Party. You don't even have the RNC spokesperson is refusing to go along with that. Sean Spicer is refusing to say she's a bigot.
So, you know, I think that these are sort of two different things that are going on here. I think he's doing name calling. I think she's going through and she's outlining a history of things that he had said and done and really focusing on a relationship that should have gotten a lot more attention, I think, you know, it's surprising it hasn't gotten more attention in the past.
COOPER: And we're still what 74 days out from Election Day. We know negative campaigning, you know, works. Otherwise, we wouldn't see it in each election cycle. Can it go too far, you think?
POWERS: Yeah, of course. It can always go too far. But look, what Donald Trump has been doing all along, I think, has been negative campaigning. And it's why I think a lot of people, he's turned off a lot of people in particular. Women with a lot of the attacks that he does.
Hillary Clinton has done -- she's done a series of speeches where she's prosecuted the case against him, whether it's been on the economy, whether it's been on foreign policy, and now with the Alt- Right. And I think it's something that she's doing, and she's basically trying to make -- further stigmatize him for suburban voters who maybe are thinking about voting for him. Basically saying, this just is not a person you want to be associated with.
COOPER: And making that case really to Republicans yesterday.
POWERS: Yes. I think that's right. And I think -- and, by the way, I hear a lot of Republicans saying, well, look, she's going out and calling Republicans racist and she's attacking Republicans, when, in fact, in her speech, what she did is, she said, this isn't the Republican Party. This is not what the Republican Party is known for. This is no who Republicans are. And so she's making a more subtle argument.
COOPER: Right. She actually talked about John McCain, she talked about George W. Bush ...
COOPER: ... making a differentiation between them and Donald Trump in his support.
POWERS: Yeah. Right.
COOPER: Where the -- I mean, Donald Trump has certainly dictated the tenor of this campaign, certainly among the primary. Do you think this kind of rhetoric is the new normal or I mean has political speech fundamentally changed or do you think Donald Trump is such a unique character in American politics that it's not something that's going to be repeated?
POWERS: I think he's a unique character. And he's somebody who is not going to stop doing this. Even when every time he pivots or he does his softer side, he will continue to have these outbursts.
And so we see him softening on immigration, but then screaming and yelling about how Hillary Clinton's a bigot. So, I think he will continue to do it. And I don't think it typically works that well for people, which is why Hillary is really not doing it. As much as people want to claim that she is attacking him this way, she isn't. I think she's making a good distinction and I think she's raising attention to something that's important.
Look, he took somebody who headed up a website, Breitbart, Steve Bannon, put him in charge of his campaign. This was an Alt-Right website, it's we're talking about.
COOPER: Kirsten Powers, good to have you. Thank you.
POWERS: Thank you. [20:50:02] COOPER: Just ahead, breaking news. Donald Trump's personal speaking out tonight about the pretty unorthodox letter he wrote vouching for Trump's health. How he came up with it might actually surprise you. That's next.
COOPER: Here's breaking news tonight. For the first time Donald Trump's personal physician Dr. Harold Bornstein, is speaking out about a gushing letter he wrote last December vouching for Trump's health. He writes that Trump's strength and stamina are extraordinary without giving supporting data. He also says unequivocally that Trump would be quote the healthiest individual ever elected to the president. See the letter also contains a number of typos and terminology most doctors don't actually use.
And now we know that he wrote it in just five minutes. That's what he told NBC. CNN's Phil Mattingly joins us with details. So what else did you have to say?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You could have laid out what people thought when they initially saw this. Which was in talking to Republicans and Democrats, there's a third eye rolls, a third disbelief and a third chuckles. And talking to the doctor, NBC didn't really uncover anything that will make any of those people change their minds both about how he came to write the letter and also his rationale for his diagnosis. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. HAROLD BORNSTEIN, DONALD TRUMP'S PHYSICIAN: I thought about it all day and at the end, I get rushed and I get anxious when I get rushed. So I try to get four or five lines as fast as possible that they would be happy with.
His health is excellent, particularly his mental health, he think he's the best.
He would be fit because, I think that his brain is turned on 24 hours a day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[20:54:49] MATTINGLY: So just to reiterate because I do think it's pretty important, he says he wrote this letter essentially outlining Donald Trump's health in five minutes jotting it down as Donald Trump's limo was waiting outside to pick up the letter. This isn't typical. It's not usual. And it kind of underscores what a lot of people thought when they first saw the letter.
COOPER: Did he talk about the hyperbole he used?
MATTINGLY: Yeah he did. And it was interesting. He was asked about it and acknowledged this wasn't the usual way he would write a letter like this, but he also noted that he was channeling Donald Trump's voice as he wrote this letter as if Donald Trump kind of gave him a copy of what he wanted said and then he channeled just that. He also stated on that line that you read, he thought it was pretty funny that he talked about being the healthiest president of all time.
He said clarified, just meant the living presidents because the living ones are all sick and everybody else is dead.
COOPER: OK, that's an interesting way to look at it. Donald Trump had promised to release his full medical report. Any update on that?
MATTINGLY: So we're kind of in the middle of a back and forth between campaigns right now. Now, Hillary Clinton has also not released a ton of medical information but she has released a much more detailed two- page letter.
Now, her campaign has said it's up to Donald Trump to release more. Trump's campaign said hey, you go first. Now both of them are essentially saying we won't go until the other one goes. The reality is at 70 years old, Donald Trump will be the oldest president ever elected. Hillary Clinton at 68 not far behind. There's a need for both to do this. Right now, no sign of when it's going to happen.
COOPER: All right, Phil thanks very much. Phil Mattingly. We'll be right back.
[21:00:02] COOPER: Well that does it for us. Thanks for watching. "CNN Tonight" with Don Lemon starts now.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: What maybe a new law and one of the nastiest campaigns in American history.
This is CNN Tonight --