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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Judge Extends Florida Voter Registration Deadline Following Hurricane; What Will Trump Talk about at Florida Rally; Will WikiLeaks Leaks Have More Impact on Sanders Supporters; Clinton Teams Blames Russia for WikiLeaks E-mail Leaks; New Poll in Red State Utah Shows Tie; Trump Runs Ad on Clinton's Health; Veteran Florida Republican Will Vote for Clinton; CNN Film Premier of "We Will Rise" Tonight. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired October 12, 2016 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:17] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: This just in, a Florida court has extended voter registration in the state of Florida for another week. This, because of Hurricane Matthew. This is a move actually opposed by Florida's governor and Trump supporter, Rick Scott.
Martin Savidge following the story for us.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This, of course, is being crowed as a big win by the Democratic Party in Florida. They are the ones asking for the additional time. They have been arguing that due to the disruption that had been caused by Hurricane Matthew, more time was needed to get people registered.
The original expiration time was yesterday, Tuesday, 5:00 p.m. The judge, same judge, gave an order yesterday that extended it until 5:00 today and then said I would be willing to hear arguments if you wanted to extend it beyond that. Heard arguments, lasted about 45 minutes, and at the end of the hearing he said I now agree to extend it until next Tuesday. So one week beyond the original deadline there.
Again, the Democrats see this as a big win in a critical swing vote state. Of course, it is the biggest swing vote state and it's a state that has the slimmest margins usually in presidential races. How it's going to play out politically could be, well, very big -- John?
BERMAN: Martin Savidge, thanks so much.
Want to bring in Steve Cortes, a Trump surrogate and Hispanic Advisor Council member; and Guy Cecil, is the co-chair and chief strategist for Priorities USA, the major pro-Hillary super PAC; Bill Press, a CNN political commentator and a Hillary Clinton supporter now; and CNN political commentator, John Phillips, and a Donald Trump supporter.
Steve, Trump getting ready to speak in Florida. He will take the stage in a few minutes, an event we will take live. What do you want to talk about today if your options are, A, Hillary Clinton or, B, Paul Ryan and other Republicans like John McCain? What do you want to see the focus be? STEVE CORTES, DONALD TRUMP SURROGATE & DONALD TRUMP HISPANIC ADVISOR
COUNCIL MEMBER: Right. If I have four choices, all four will be choice A. I want to talk about Hillary Clinton, not Paul Ryan.
Look, I have a lot of respect for Ryan. I wish he were supporting us, but I think, in the end, it doesn't really matter to the campaign. Back in junior high, my favorite book was "The Outsiders." This movement is about the outsiders.
BERMAN: Stay gold, Pony Boy.
CORTES: Stay gold, Trump. We are the outsiders. We have ever been about Washington, D.C., or even Republican elites, even ones I happen to respect. We are about tens of millions of Americans who have already supported Trump or will in this general, Americans, working class people, who feel left behind, who haven't participated economically in this very sluggish recovery, and are legitimately worried about terror. If we focus on Hillary's lack of fitness to occupy this office, on the negative side, and on the positive side, our plans to get our economy moving and confront terror, I think we win this election.
BERMAN: Hidden in there between the outsiders reference and the other stuff was you saying stay away from Paul Ryan, if you can, Donald Trump.
OK. Soda pop, John Phillips --
-- I want to ask you about this new poll out of Utah that has a lot of people talking. Utah is as red as they get. You can't get any redder than the state of Utah. There's a new poll which has it tied there. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tied at 26 percent. Evan McMullin, who is from Utah, and is a former Mormon, is at 22 percent. This is a poll from a group that usually does partisan polling, but we think it poll is worth looking at right now.
John Phillips, if it's close in Utah, what kind of sign is that?
JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I grew up in a heavily Mormon area. If anyone was going to be offended by the tape it was probably the Mormons. I know a lot of them on my Facebook feed that I went to school with were not too happy with it.
But I want to go back to the point about the defections in the Republican Party. I think this boils down to association. I think people associate Donald Trump with the Republican Party about as often as they associate George Clooney with the "Facts of Life." Yeah, he was on the show but no one goes to the movies and says, oh, there's that "Facts of Life" boy. The people that hate him think of him as an occupying force, and the people that like him look at him as a guy just looking for real estate to get on the ballot. He needs to get off it, and he needs to let Paul Ryan and the rest them do what they are going to do and focus on Hillary Clinton.
BERMAN: This is going to an episode of I love the '80s.
PHILLIPS: That's right.
BERMAN: We're showing our age here.
Guy Cecil, you appreciate campaign ads, which is why I'm going to show you one of the latest ads from the Trump campaign, which seems to bring up the issue of Hillary Clinton's health. We will play a few seconds of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Hillary Clinton failed every single time as secretary of state. Now she wants to be president. Hillary Clinton doesn't have the fortitude, strength or stamina to lead in our world. She failed as secretary of state. Don't let her fail us again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Now, we have heard statements from the Clinton campaign condemning this ad. I heard from Hillary Clinton supporters who were very upset the Trump team would make an issue of her health.
But, Guy, the lowest point in Hillary Clinton's poll numbers in the last month and a half correspond to that week when she had the episode at the 9/11 service, the pneumonia, and didn't disclose the issues right away, so why wouldn't the Trump campaign try to capitalize on that?
[11:35:27] GUY CECIL, PRIORITIES USA SUPER PAC: Well, first of all, because it won't work. Second, this is what I love about the Trump surrogates. They come on and say the election should be about the issues, it should be about policy, and then Donald Trump decides to run a disgusting lying ad.
You know, you don't have to take my word that the ad is a lie. Donald Trump when he answered the last question of the debate said the thing he liked about Hillary Clinton was that she never gives up, that she's a fighter. So how do you respond to just a consistent year-long series of lies and distortions and out of bounds attacks?
CECIL: I would also point out that same week, Hillary Clinton continued to lead in national polls, continued to lead in almost every battleground state. You just have to look at "The New York Times" this morning, which reported that Republican Party polls in Georgia actually now show a Clinton lead, which confirms polling data that Priorities has done in Georgia.
BERMAN: Along those lines, since you are talking about where Priorities is, there is word you will start playing in congressional and Senate races because you feel so good about the presidential. Is that true? If so, what states do you see the most right?
CECIL: Our first priority is and will remain making sure that Hillary Clinton is elected president. But there's no question that in order for her presidency to be successful, she needs people in Washington that she can work with. We are going to follow Hillary's lead. She's made it a priority from day one to help Democrats up and down the ballot, and we are taking a look at how we can be helpful not just to Senate races but to House races and governors' races across the board, and in particular in battleground states where Priorities is already advertising.
So whether you're talking about the fact that Pat Toomey wants to jail doctors and Donald Trump wants to punish women, or the fact that Kelly Ayotte thinks that Donald Trump should be a role model for America's kids, I think it's an argument that will actually work not only in the presidential race but in Senate races.
BERMAN: Kelly Ayotte, Kelly Ayotte, she did retract that. She said that during a debate but she quickly put out a statement that she doesn't think --
CECIL: As every Republican retracted their endorsement from Donald Trump --
BERMAN: Just for the record --
BERMAN: Just for the record, she did say Donald Trump is not a role model, nor is Hillary Clinton.
Bill Press, Donald Trump about to take the stage in Florida. I suspect we will hear more about WikiLeaks today than we have in the last 24 hours from him. He will probably bring it up.
What is your take on this? I was reading "The Atlantic" a few minutes ago. They bring up the point they actually think there's more in there for Bernie Sanders supporters, of which you were one, to be concerned about and upset about than perhaps Republicans at this point. It gives a sense that Hillary may govern more as a moderate or left of center if not right of center than perhaps she's campaigning as.
BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The WikiLeaks -- look, I have read these WikiLeaks with a lot of interest, wearing two hats, one as a former Bernie Sanders supporter and the other as just a campaign junkie. I love campaigns, love reading about the inside of every campaign. I will go back beyond the '80s back to Teddy White days, back to the '70s or the '60s, those kinds of campaign books. As a Bernie Sanders supporter, I read them because I think these WikiLeaks confirm a lot that we were saying during the primary. John, you heard me say it over and over again, particularly about how the DNC was in cahoots with the Clinton campaign, working against Bernie Sanders.
But the problem is that is really past history. The reason people aren't more I think up about it today is because Hillary's the nominee. There's a clear choice between Hillary and Donald Trump. We put that behind us and there are more important things to worry about right now.
The other thing is Donald Trump is missing a great opportunity to talk about it. Every time he talks about Paul Ryan or John McCain or any of the others, he's wasting his time. He's not focusing on Clinton.
BERMAN: You're betting that he wouldn't waste that time again when he takes the stage in Florida?
PRESS: I'm not sure of that. I'm not sure of that.
BERMAN: Hang on, guys.
If we can, there is another side of this, which is that the Clinton team and others are saying that the Russians are behind a lot of these leaks and hacking the e-mail accounts and handing it over to WikiLeaks.
Christiane Amanpour sat down with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and asked if that was the case. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGEI LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, it's flattering, of course, to get this kind of attention for original power, as President Obama called us some time ago. Now everybody in the United States is saying that it is Russia which is running the United Nations presidential debate. It's flattering, as I said, but it has nothing, you know, to be explained by the facts. We have not seen a single fact, a single proof.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:40:24] BERMAN: He's mocking the notion that the Russians are behind it.
We don't have time to talk about this. Can I get a quick show of hands? Who here thinks the Russians are involved with this hack? Yes, please raise your hand.
PRESS: Our intelligence agencies say they are. BERMAN: John Phillips, who is a Donald Trump supporter, saying yes,
too. So, three of the four, including both Democrats on the panel.
Guys, thanks for being with us. I really appreciate it.
Steve Cortes, Guy Cecil, John Phillips, Bill Press, stay gold, each and every one of you.
Any moment now, Donald Trump will hold a rally in the battleground state of Florida. These are live pictures. You can hear the crowd getting ready to see him. The big question is, and we have been talking about it, will this rally be about his issues with the Republican Party or his issues with Hillary Clinton? We will bring you this event when it happens.
Plus, he is an influential Republican operative in that state of Florida. He just announced he's going to vote for Hillary Clinton. Why? What does it mean? What pushed him over the edge? He joins us next.
[11:45:42] BERMAN: You're looking at live pictures from Ocala, Florida. Donald Trump there holding an event in just a few minutes. This is a state where he needs every vote he can get. But one vote he will not be getting, a veteran Florida Republican who was Never-Trump for a while back, but now he's gone even further than that. Mac Stipanovich says that Trump has inspired him to do something he has never done before.
Mac joins me now from Tallahassee by phone, I believe.
Mac, we lost your shot. Thanks so much for calling in.
You know, you have been Never-Trump for awhile but you just going to actually vote for Hillary Clinton. Why?
MAC STIPANOVICH, VETERAN REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST & FLORIDA LOBBYIST (voice-over): Well, I think it's that important. If you had told me a year ago I was going to vote for Hillary Clinton, I would have called you a liar. If you had said it again, I would have asked you to step outside. But here we are. I don't find Hillary to be my ideal choice for president by any stretch of the imagination, but she is no more ruthless than Richard Nixon, no more ethically challenged than Lyndon Johnson, no more liberal than Barack Obama. She's within the gambit of political experience and we will survive Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump is not. He's beyond the pale: he's something we have never seen before. I'm not as big about calling names, as he is, but I actually believe that for the most part he's a fascist, a xenophobe, he's a racist, he's an isolationist, he's a protectionist, he has little respect for any part of the Constitution, except the Second Amendment. He's an authoritarian. The aura of violence clings to him. I believe he's a dangerous man.
BERMAN: So, Mac --
STIPANOVICH: So I'm going to do something I have never done before.
BERMAN: Mac, you called Donald Trump beyond the pale, a fascist isolationist, and I think I'm leaving out a few things here.
BERMAN: Yet you are still supporting Marco Rubio, your Republican Senator in that state, who is endorsing Donald Trump.
STIPANOVICH: Yeah. I'm not too proud of Marco. I don't think he's exactly a profile in courage. A lot of Republican, particularly office holders, are trying to have it both ways for future primaries. They are trying to say that, well, I supported the nominee, I didn't betray the party, so you, the Republican primary electorate, can't be mad at me because I threw Trump under the bus and, at the same time, by criticizing Trump, they are going to be able to say in a general election, I didn't embrace his program, I didn't really like Trump, I just didn't like Hillary. They are trying to have it both ways. It may well work for them but it's not very courageous and not very honest.
BERMAN: Mac Stipanovich, sorry, we could not see you your attractive face. So glad we avoided the apparent fisticuffs you suggested we might have had one year ago, if I had told you, you were going to announce what you just did, that you are voting for Hillary Clinton.
Mac Stipanovich, thanks so much.
STIPANOVICH: All right.
BERMAN: Any moment now, Donald Trump will take the stage in Mac's home state of Florida. This is a crucial battleground state. Will Donald Trump talk about members of his own party, continue that attack? We will bring you that event live.
[11:52:55] BERMAN: All right. Tonight, a wonderful CNN premiere event, the new CNN Film "We Will Rise." Lady Michelle Obama's mission to educate girls around the world. Following the first lady along with Meryl Streep and Actress Freida Pinto, our very own Isha Sesay, in their journey to Morocco and Liberia, meeting women overcoming incredible odds reaching for educational dreams.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: You don't have to be somebody different to be important. You're important in your own right. People want and need to value you because of who you are, because of your story, because our challenges. That's what makes you unique. You know? You want to be different. You want to be special. The fact that you've been able to overcome challenges, and this is what I always thought, that made me smarter. That made me better, right? Because I could overcome things that a lot of people who were in the same position never had to overcome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Joining me now, CNN international anchor, Isha Sesay.
Isha, thanks for being with us.
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Thank you, John.
BERMAN: You got to go to Morocco and Liberia with the first lady. What did you learn?
SESAY: My biggest takeaway is that girls in these countries and many countries are dealing with incredible odds, be they cultural barriers or just the day-to-day struggles finances and earns for their choices and their parents' choices in life, yet they are striving. They are so full of tenacity and hope and determination to make something of themselves, and I think the show really captures the spirit, the spirit of being unwilling to be deterred. It's just a very special film that captures something very special.
BERMAN: The first lady is all-in on this subject.
BERMAN: Did she make it clear to you why she's so committed, why this is a particular focus?
SESAY: The first lady's involvement in this issue is long-running. She says it's important for many reasons. Important for the individual, in the sense that if you educate girls, it improves not just their own individual lot but the lot of their families and communities, because they're healthier, they get better jobs. There's higher lie expectancy. It has many individuals Benefit, but also for the countries themselves. It lifts these countries, it makes them better places for everyone to be in. So for her, as a woman who's overcome her own struggles, she truly identifies with this issue. And she understands what educate has meant for her life.
[11:55:28] BERMAN: Important for you, too. You were born in Sierra Leone. You set up nonprofit there for girls.
Isha Sesay, thank you so much for being with us.
SESAY: Thank you.
BERMAN: A very, very exciting documentary we'll see tonight.
SESAY: It's a wonderful film.
BERMAN: Be sure to catch the new CNN Film "We Will Rise" tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern right here on CNN.
All right. Back to politics now. Showing you live pictures from Ocala in Florida. Donald Trump is set to take the stage any moment. Which Donald Trump will we see? Right ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)