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Pence and Kaine Clash on Debate Stage; Bracing for Hurricane Matthew. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired October 5, 2016 - 04:00   ET



[03:57:28] GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Did you work on that one a long time? Because that had a lot of really creative lines in it.

SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well, I'm going to see if you can defend any of it.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, they've butted heads on the debate stage. The two running mates making their case for themselves but really more about the people at the top of the ticket. Who had the upper hand? Was there a defining moment that could change everything?

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Wednesday, October 5th, 4:00 a.m. in the East.

Up first, Mike Pence and Tim Kaine battling over immigration, terrorism, the economy, in fiery and often bitter debate.

Kaine the aggressor right from the start, building up Hillary Clinton while trying to tear down Donald Trump. The Virginia senator warning voters that the Trump presidency should scare them.

Pence more reserved and frequently on the defensive. The Indiana governor choosing not to defend Trump and accusing Clinton of running an insult-driven campaign to cover her record.

So, who finished number one among the would-be number twos?

CNN polled 472 registered voters who watched the debate immediately after it ended, and Pence came out on top, 48 percent to 42 percent. We should note more Democrats responded than Republicans.

Donald Trump agreeing with the CNN poll. He was tweeting throughout the debate. Once it ended, he declared, "Mike Pence won big. We should all be proud of Mike."

Let's bring in CNN's executive editor for politics, Mark Preston. Good morning, Mark.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, it was, but, you know, there's probably a lot to unpack over the next hour to explain what happened last night with the ramifications are in the near term, and quite frankly, in the future for Mike Pence. Mike Pence coming out very calm, very collected, not really jumping the gun necessarily.

As you said, Christine, Tim Kaine was really revved up and kept interrupting, kept pushing back. Other than the beginning of the debate when they give opening statements, in the end of the debate, there were fisticuffs being thrown from both sides.

Let's just take a quick listen about one of the exchange the occurred between these two men.


KAINE: And I just want to talk about the tone that's set from the top. Donald Trump during his campaign has called Mexicans rapists and criminals. He's called women slobs, pigs, dogs, disgusting. I don't like saying that in front of my wife and my mother.

PENCE: Ours is an insult-driven campaign? I mean, to be honest with you, if Donald Trump had said all of the things that you've said he said in the way you said he said them, he still wouldn't have a fraction of the insults that Hillary Clinton leveled when she said that half of our supporters were a basket of deplorables.


[04:00:13] PRESTON: And there's the rub that will be talked about all throughout the day and for the coming days heading into Sunday's big showdown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Who is talking policy? Who is just attacking?

We saw it on stage last night a few hours ago where these two are playing proxy battles for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. And as we've seen throughout the next hour, Tim Kaine was on the offensive. His battle plan was to go in to promote Hillary Clinton. But more importantly, to try to take a notch out of Donald Trump. In many ways, while Mr. Mike Pence was on the defensive, he was very calm about it and oftentimes, John and Christine, he didn't answer the questions or come to a rushing defense of Donald Trump.

BERMAN: All right. Mark Preston, stick around. Go nowhere.

We're going to bring some more voices into this discussion right now. John Phillips is a CNN political commentator, talk radio host and a Donald Trump supporter, Eugene Scott, CNN politics reporter Brian Stelter, and CNN media reporter and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES".

We just heard from Mark Preston, Brian Stelter. I want to get your take on the debate. Actually, let me play some sound for you to illustrate what Mark was talking about.

Tim Kaine almost sacrificed himself for Hillary Clinton. He didn't try to win for him. He tried to lose the debate for Donald Trump.

Listen to a string of sort of canned line, prepared lines that Tim Kaine came out firing with against Mike Pence but really against Donald Trump.


KAINE: You are a Donald Trump's apprentice.

Do you want a "you're hired" president in Hillary Clinton, or do you want a "you're fire" president in Donald Trump?

Donald Trump can't start a war with Miss Universe without shooting himself in the foot.

Third, he loves dictators. He's got kind of a personal Mount Rushmore, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, Moammar Gadhafi --

PENCE: Oh, please. Come on.

KAINE: -- and Saddam Hussein.

If you don't know the difference between dictatorship and leadership, then you've got to go back to a fifth grade civic class.


BERMAN: You know, had we played the sound bite of Mike Pence first, Tim Kaine would have interrupted him right there because he was doing that a lot also.

So, Brian, your take overall.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Whatever happened to mild-mannered dads? We were told this was going to be the boring dad debate. It turned out to be anything but.

And I think that is because as you were saying, Kaine was there to make the case for Clinton. He was there not for the short term, but for a long term victory. He was thinking about the 40 or 50 million viewers who are watching this. He saw opportunities to remind viewers about what Trump has said in the past.

Pence's half denials of that may haunt him down the road. I can already attack ads from the Clinton campaign using some of Pence's head shaking kind of denials. But in the short term, Mike Pence won last night.

ROMANS: Eugene, let's listen to Mike Pence talking about the economy, and that's something that he's done very well for Donald Trump, all through the primary season and now the general election. He rates higher than Hillary Clinton on who is best equipped to handle the economy.

Let's listen to Mike Pence on the economy.


PENCE: In the wake of a season where American families are struggling in this economy under the weight of higher taxes and Obamacare and the war on coal and the stifling avalanche of regulation coming out of this administration, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine want more of the same.

We can get America moving again. Put on top of that the kind of trade deals that'll put the American worker first, and you've got a prescription for real growth.


ROMANS: A couple of times, he talked about this is the weakest recovery since the Great Depression which is true. It's also the longest recovery since the Great Depression.

But did that work for him?

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: It probably did. If you remember the first presidential debate, it's when Trump was talking about trade that the reviews were most positive for him. But I think one thing that Pence has to worry about and Kaine as said this in the past, while most people attack Pence on his social policy, Kaine has made a point even his social policy is bad for the economy as well, and we saw that with some of the LGBT ideas that he pushed back against during his gubernatorial leadership run.

BERMAN: John Phillips, I want to bring you in the discussion right now. And before I ask you a question, I want to play one more bit of sound that Tim Kaine came out with, and Mike Pence had a response to having to do with "The Apprentice" you're hired, you're fired. Let's play that.


KAINE: Elaine, on the economy, there's a fundamental choice for the American electorate. Do you want a "you're hired" president in Hillary Clinton or do you want a "you're fired" president in Donald Trump? I think that's not such a hard choice.

PENCE: Well, first, let me say, I appreciated the "you're hired," "you're fired" thing, Senator. You use that a whole lot. And I think your running mate used a lot of pre-done lines.


BERMAN: You saw there, in a way, John, Mike Pence was sort of calm, cool, he didn't get heated when he was presented with controversial moment there. It seems to me for the Trump campaign, one of the big wins for the debate last night would be if Donald Trump actually sat and watched the debate and watched Mike Pence and said, oh, this is how you're supposed to do it.

JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I'm kind of hesitant to start answering your question because I feel like Tim Kaine is going to jump out of some box and start interrupting me here. This has been a role reversal campaign on every possible level. Typically, the way it works is you have the candidate that goes out and pushes the policy and you have the vice presidential candidate that's the attack dog.

Well, in this cycle, we've had the candidates out insulting their opponents and insulting their opponents' supporters, and we've have the vice presidential nominees out talking policy. If you talk about the debate strategy that we saw last night on the Republican side, it was almost the exact opposite of what we saw in the presidential, where we saw Donald Trump as the aggressor, Donald Trump interrupting Hillary Clinton and trying to make points, and trying to create this free-for-all sort of atmosphere.

Last night, we saw Mike Pence playing the role of Donald Trump and we saw Mike Pence, the guy who was calm cool and collected and sitting there trying to answer the question. So, a lot of people wearing different hats in this campaign.

ROMANS: Mark Preston, we know that, you know, in the run-up to this debate, so many people had said that Mike Pence has to appeal to women. He's got to soften Donald Trump and the ticket for women and try to bring them on board. You know, Tim Kaine tried to sort of hit on that a bit. He said, why don't you trust women?

Listen to this exchange between Tim Kaine and Mike Pence.


KAINE: Why don't you trust women? Why doesn't Donald Trump trust women to make this choice for themselves?

That's what we ought to be doing in public life. Living our lives of faith or motivation with enthusiasm and excitement, convincing other, dialoguing with each other about important moral issues of the day --

PENCE: Because there are --

KAINE: -- but on fundamental issues of morality, we should let women make their own decisions.

PENCE: Because there is -- a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable, the aged, the infirm, the disabled, and the unborn. I believe it with all my heart. And I couldn't be more proud to be standing with a pro-life candidate in Donald Trump.


ROMANS: Mark Preston, what do you make of that, do you think Mike Pence was able to soften Donald Trump for women last night?

PRESTON: No, but because they were talking -- I mean, what they were doing there, they were talking about abortion. And probably the takeaway, and our viewers will hear this throughout the day, that was probably the most substantive part of the debate which came towards the end where there was actually a real policy discussion over the issue of abortion.

Now, Mike Pence is pro-life and he stands by those credentials. That's not necessarily going to play with women voters but where he did score votes with women voters is that he seemed very calm, very reserved in his delivery, unlike Donald Trump who flies off the handle, who does Twitter attacks at 3:00 in the morning. You know, it's just something we haven't seen from the Republican ticket, necessarily, because we've all been watching Donald Trump.

Last night was Mike Pence's chance to talk about that, to try to soften the image. And quite frankly, when we talk long term, Mike Pence probably did himself a lot of good. Assuming Donald Trump doesn't win in November, there's a lot of talk that Mike Pence could be the flag bearer heading into 2020. I know it's early, but there'll be a lot of talk about that.

BERMAN: A lot of people last saying that Mike Pence just won the first presidential debate for 2020, right? We're at 2016.

All right. All we're going to do is we're going to take a break, but I want to throw his question out there and have you all think about it first, which is, why did Mike Pence not jump to the defense of Donald Trump when Tim Kaine went after him on very many points? Was that a smart strategy or not?

ROMANS: All right. Stay with CNN for continuing coverage of this vice president debate. Did he make the best case, Mike Pence or Tim Kaine make the best case for their candidate? Was there a gotcha moment that might move the needle?

Our political experts are back to break it all down.


[04:13:35] ROMANS : The vice presidential contenders facing off in this fierce debate, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence talking up their bosses and tearing down each other. The would-be VPs trying to move the needle in a very tight race with less five weeks to go before Election Day.

Dream team is back here. Joining us from Washington, CNN politics executive editor, Mark Preston. And Angela Rye joins us right now. She's a CNN political commentator.

Also with us, John Phillips, CNN political commentator, talk radio and a Trump supporter. Eugene Scott, CNN politics reporter, and our very own Brian Stelter.


Angela, I want to bring you into this discussion here, kind of what many people say, a terrible week Donald Trump in terms of the story line for his campaign. Mike Pence a lot of people saying he won the night last night. And has changed the stories, flipped the script, what's your thought? ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, I think Mike Pence was

certainly a better version of Donald Trump's debate last week. But I will say that both candidates were really so subdued that I don't think they really helped to roll out what we're going to see in St. Louis at all.

I personally thought, I know that the CNN poll disagrees with me, but I thought this debate was a draw. I thought that Tim Kaine had attack dogs moments that were too attackish, and I thought that Mike Pence's dismissive style, not just necessarily subdue, but also somewhat dismissive at times, came across at a little too condescending.

[04:15:00] The only other thing that I thought was interesting, Mike Pence had a moment, where, OK, that is what we would call an epic shade moment, where he told Tim Kaine, he was like, how long did you work on that? It was the Mt. Rushmore line. And I thought that was very, very effective and landed well.

But overall, I don't think these particular candidates helped their front line folks at all. I think it was a draw. I really think that.

BERMAN: You brought up a good point. Mike Pence was a radio talk show host. He knows how to perform on stage or in the booth. In that sense, he went in very prepared.

So, he clearly made a choice, Eugene Scott, not to defend Donald Trump, you know, on every turn. Kaine won on attack after attack after attack. There were times where, you know, Mike Pence didn't bother, didn't bother responding at all.

Listen to how Tim Kaine and Mike Pence dealt with a little bit toward the end of the debate.


KAINE: Six times tonight, I have said to Governor Pence I can't imagine how you can defend your running mate's position on one issue after the next. And in all six cases, he's refused to defend his running mate.

PENCE: Well, let's -- no, no, don't put words in my mouth.

MODERATOR: All right.

PENCE: He's going --


KAINE: And yet he is asking everybody to vote for somebody that he cannot defend.


BERMAN: It may be that he cannot, he chose not to in the debate. I'm curious, Eugene, what you make in that choice? SCOTT: Yes, I mean, many evangelical voters I speak with and more

establishment conservative voters with are supporting Trump because of Mike Pence. They don't think that Trump is saying are defensible at all. And I think Mike Pence's not defending them, that affirmed them and let them know that, you know what, we are getting behind someone who does see things the way we see them and values things the way we value them, even if that means getting behind Trump.

ROMANS: John Phillips, let me ask you about -- last night, we heard again and again, Tim Kaine trying to go after your guy on the tax issue. I mean, even when it was unrelated, he tried to move in on the tax issue --

PHILLIPS: North Korea at one point.

ROMANS: Yes. Let's listen, they're talking about Syria and it came up. Listen.


MODERATOR: Governor Pence, you had mentioned no-fly zone. Where would you propose setting up a safe zone specifically? How would you keep it safe?

PENCE: Well, first and foremost, Donald Trump supports our troops. Donald Trump supports our veterans.

KAINE: He won't pay taxes.

PENCE: Donald Trump has paid all the taxes that he's -- do you not take deductions? How does that work?

MODERATOR: Gentlemen, this is about Syria. I'd like to --


PENCE: Honestly, Senator. Honestly, Senator.

KAINE: It is about our troops. It is about our troops.


ROMANS: There were numerous times where he was trying to get in on the attack. It must be parentally the Clinton campaign thinks that his tax issue works for them.

PHILLIPS: Yes, you asked him how he likes the weather. Yes, you know, Donald Trump hasn't released his tax, yet.

It came across to me that he was almost too preprogrammed. He wasn't listening to the questions. He wasn't even concerned with the relevancy of the question.

There was one point where Mike Pence gave the Obama administration credit for capturing the Osama bin Laden. And later on in the debate, he said, you guys didn't even give us credit for capturing Osama bin Laden, because he was so focused on those preprogrammed attack lines, he was so focused on being the attack dog last night that he was almost disengaged from the specifics of the questions and the exchange that was going on.

BERMAN: All right, guys. Stick around.

There's a lot more going forward including other issues with Mike Pence, which in some cases it seemed like Mike Pence was creating or proposing things that Donald Trump hasn't at all on the campaign trail. So, we'll address that coming up.

ROMANS: And, you know, the stage is set for the second presidential debate stage. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton squaring off Sunday night at Washington University in St. Louis. That event hosted by CNN's Anderson coverage. Our special coverage begins at 4:00 Eastern.

BERMAN: All right. There is big nonpolitical news this morning. Hurricane Matthew triggering mass evacuations in South Carolina. Florida's governor is warning residents to prepare for a direct hit. The storm already pummeled Haiti.

We have a brand new update from the National Hurricane Center. We'll give you the latest, coming up.


[04:23:31] BERMAN: Hurricane Matthew leaving a trail of death and destruction as it has across the Caribbean with an eye now on the U.S. East Coast. It's a big storm, torrential rain, sustained winds of 125 miles an hour. It caused major devastation in Haiti, which is still recovering, of course, from the devastating earthquake in 2010.

The hurricane blamed for at least seven deaths, including four in the neighboring Dominican Republic. The storm made landfall overnight in Cuba. It is now headed for the Bahamas and then a trip up the Eastern Seaboard, serious reason for concern, emergency declarations already in effect for Florida and North Carolina. People in South Florida waited in long gas lines waiting and participating for the storm's arrival.

The Florida Governor Rick Scott warned residents to be ready for what could be a direct hit.


GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: If Hurricane Matthew hits this state, we're going to see massive destruction. This is a deadly storm approaching our state. I cannot stress that enough.


ROMANS: All right. For more on exactly where this hurricane may be headed, let's get to meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: John and Christine, this storm system has weakened to a category 3 storm. But again, it's expected to strengthen for the next three days, when you think of what it's already done for over 100 consecutive hours. This storm kept a category 4 or category 5 strength.

You take every single hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean since 2008, put them together, the longevity of such strength was not in place for all of those storms combined. This storm has that going forward and again, expected to strengthen. And if you take a look, certainly, the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center taking this very seriously.

[04:25:01] You have hurricane watches, hurricane warnings in place for much of southeastern Florida. For all of the Bahamas Islands as well over the next several days as a category four storm. It's expected to re-emerge over this region of the Caribbean. It could potentially park itself over the Florida coastline sometime Thursday night as a category four.

And again, slight variations of the track could bring this ashore and could make this a destructive storm. When you look at the most reliable model, the European and also the American models, both of them wanted to bring in very close to the Carolinas sometime late this week and early this weekend, and you look at what happened, both models now potentially re-curve back around towards portions of the Caribbean, and again, that would be early next week if this plays out.

So, a lot of uncertainties towards the long term future of the storm system once it pushes towards the Southeast coastline, guys.

This one has a track that is really worth watching, and has a lot of people concerned. So, we're going to keep an eye on that for sure.

BERMAN: All right. The one and only vice presidential debate overnight. Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, they went after each other pretty hard. But, really, they went off the tops of the ticket.

We'll give you the defining moments and tell you whether anyone landed a knockout blow.