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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA

Obama Campaigns in Cleveland for Clinton; Speaker Paul Ryan to Speak at University of Wisconsin, Madison. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired October 14, 2016 - 11:30   ET

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


[11:30:00] BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She's got real plans to address the things she's heard from you, specific ideas to invest in new jobs, specific ideas to help workers share in their company's profits, specific ideas to make sure that fewer jobs move overseas, to make sure that jobs come back in places that have been abandoned, to invest in our people, to put kids in preschool, to put students through college without taking on a ton of debt.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: You know, her opponent's may be getting headlines this week for picking fights with everybody in his own party, threatening to sue the press for stories he doesn't like, but meanwhile, you know what Hillary's doing? She's been talking about what we need to do to fight climate change.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: She put forward a child tax credit that would help millions of families.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: She wasn't complaining or whining or fighting. She was just doing the work. And that's what you want from a president, somebody who's going to sit there and do the work for you.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: You know, her opponent, he doesn't make very specific plans. If you asked his supporters right now, it would be really hard for them to describe what exactly they were going to do. He says he's great at making deals. I don't know a lot of people who operate a casino and manage to lose almost a billion dollars in one year.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: You know, usually the house wins. You know that saying? House always wins?

(LAUGHTER)

Unless he owns the house.

(CHEERING) OBAMA: Then it loses a billion dollars. I don't know a lot of successful businesspeople who just use that failure of losing a billion dollars to then avoid paying federal income taxes. He says it makes him smart. All it does is it means he's not doing what all of us as citizens should be doing, which is giving back to our troops and our veterans and our roads and our schools, and making sure that America continues to be the greatest nation on earth.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: That's part of citizenship.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: Not trying to weasel out of your responsibilities. That's not smart. Then you want to lead the country? What is that, you're going to teach everybody how to avoid doing their responsibilities? He rooted for a housing crisis because he said, you know, it might help his real estate situation. He says that's called business. Filed for bankruptcy six times and then that allowed him to stiff small businesses and their workers that had already done work for him and that he owed money.

You know, when your concern isn't the family that's worried or the small business that is just trying to make ends meet, you would rather make a buck off their dreams but not being honest on the other side of your deal, then you can't claim to lead this country. You're not fit to be president of the United States.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: And I have to say, because he's getting some support from some working folks, and I want to say to them, look, if a guy's spent 70 years on this earth showing no regard for working people, there's no record that he's supported minimum wage or invested in poor communities, and then suddenly he's going to be the champion of working people? Come on. Come on, man.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: Apparently, in a speech yesterday, he started talking about global elites, that there s a conspiracy of global elites. This is a guy who spent all his time hanging around trying to convince everybody he was a global elite.

(LAUGHTER)

Talking about how great his buildings are, how luxurious and how rich he is and flying around everywhere. All he had time for was celebrities. And now suddenly he's acting like he's a populist out there. Man, I'm going to fight for working people. Come on, man.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: You want to know what somebody's going to do? Look what they have en doing their whole lives. (CHEERING)

OBAMA: And if you want a leader who actually values hard work and respects working Americans, if you want higher wages and better Benefits and a fairer tax code and equal pay for women and stronger regulations on wall street --

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: -- then you should vote for Hillary Clinton.

(CHEERING)

[11:35:06] OBAMA: If you want to know who's going to keep you safe in a dangerous world, the choice is even clearer. Hillary's going to make sure we finish the job of defeating ISIL. And she won't have to resort to torture or ban entire religions from our country. And she's got the knowledge and the experience and the temperament to be the next commander-in-chief.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: You can't have a guy who's insulted POWs and attacks a Gold Star mom and has called our troops and veterans weak, and cozies up to dictators, and tells our allies we might not stand by their side unless they pay up first. He may be up at 3:00 a.m. in the morning but it's because he's tweeting insults to somebody who got under his skin.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: That's not the president you want.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: He's not fit to be commander-in-chief and not fit to lead the world's greatest democracy.

And by the way, this is somebody who has threatened to jail his political opponents?

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: Or silence the media, who welcomes Russian meddling in our electoral process. And is now suggesting that if the election way doesn't go his way, it's not because of all the stuff he's said, but it's because it's rigged and it's a fraud.

You know, some nations do operate that way. And there are tyrannies and they're oppressive. They're not the world's greatest democracy.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: We have fought against those kinds of things. Around the world, we talk to other countries, we say, no, in a democracy, you can't just threaten to jail your opponents. There are things called due process.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: No, in a democracy, you can't just ban reporters or press that you don't like, because there's this thing called the First Amendment.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: In a democracy, you have a contest but if you lose, then you say congratulations, and you move on, because the country and our system of government is bigger than any single individual. That's what we do. The United States of America has always stood for something better.

Which by the way, I said this last night, I just got to go back to this again, it's part of why I'm disturbed about Republican elected officials who know better but are still supporting this guy.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: You know, I said that, in part, what's happened here is over the last eight years, Republican officials, who know better, some of whom I talk to, they're sane people, they're normal folks, but what they've done is they've allowed a lot of crazy talk to just be pumped out again and again through all kinds of these media outlet, conspiracy theories, I was born outside this country, and Hillary and I started ISIL, and we're going to impose martial law, and we're trying to take everybody's guns away, and crazier stuff than that. And a lot of Republican elected officials have just stood by. A lot of House members, a lot of they say anything because it was a way to rile up their base and it was a way to mount opposition to whatever we were trying to do. And over time, because a lot of the hardcore Republican partisan voters were just hearing this stuff over and over again, they started to believe it.

And that's what Donald Trump suddenly to emerge. Donald Trump didn't build all this crazy conspiracy stuff. And some Republicans, who knew better, stood by silently, and even during the course of this campaign, didn't say anything. I know that some of them now are walking away but why did it take this long?

(CHEERING)

[11:40:04] OBAMA: You said you're the party of family values. What, you weren't appalled earlier --

(LAUGHTER)

-- when he was saying grading things about women? When he was judging them based on a score of are they a two or a 10? That wasn't enough for you? You're walking away from him now. It wasn't disturbing enough for you when he was saying Mexicans who come here are rapists? Or suggesting that people, patriotic Americans of the Islamic faith somehow are suspect and should be treated differently?

I'm glad that some of them now said, wow, this is really bad, I guess we need to walk away. But if you're doing it just for political expedience just because you're looking at poll numbers and you say, oh, this might get me in trouble, that's not enough. If you say you are about family values, you got to be about all the way through.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: If you say -- if you spent all these years extolling Reagan and how tough he was with the Russians, how is it you suddenly stand silently when you nominate a guy, who says a guy he admires is the former head of the KGB?

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: If you say you're about the Constitution and you're opposed to what Obama's doing with executive actions because that shows he's a tyrant, but you're OK when a guy who says to his opponent in the middle of a debate, "I'm going to throw you in jail."

(LAUGHTER)

How does that work?

(LAUGHTER)

It doesn't work. And that's why I want everybody to understand what's at stake here. You know, one of the things I've learned these past eight years is that progress is hard. You got to battle it out, even when you have victories, like the Affordable Care Act. It's not always perfect and you got to work to make it better. And you take two steps forward on something like climate change, there are going to be folks who try to push you back, and the special interests are strong. And it is true that the country is so often divided along party lines and it's very hard to get folks to compromise.

And Hillary understands all that. But what she also knows is that if you stay at it and you work hard, good things can happen. She knows that in a democracy, as big and diverse as this, we can't demonize each other. We can't just refuse to compromise. Even when we're right, we got to work with other folks. She knows that you got to listen to each other and see ourselves in each other and fight for our principles. She believes that there's common ground out there. And she believes that we can and should conduct ourselves better. That our leaders are not going to be perfect but we should aspire to at least express the decency and goodness of the American people, not our worst impulses.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: We should conduct ourselves with just a basic sense of what this country's about, a certain sense of dignity. And that's not always flashy. That doesn't always grab headlines. That's not always the thing that will get you on the news. That's not always going to fit on a tweet. Politics doesn't always lend itself to that. But if we want progress, if we want progress, we got to work for it. Progress, it doesn't always come right away and we don't always get 100 percent what we want. But if we keep at it the way Hillary has kept at it decade after decade, progress happens. And if you don't believe that, ask the 20 million more Americans who got health insurance today that didn't have it before.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: Ask all those auto workers right here in Ohio who had been laid off and thought their plant was going to shut down and now they're working double shifts because we're cranking out so many cars.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: Ask the proud Marine who no longer has to hide the husband that he loves.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: Ask the young persons who are getting more help now to pay off their student loans.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: Change is possible but it just doesn't depend on one person. It depends on all of us.

So young people, especially out there --

(CHEERING)

[11:45:00] OBAMA: -- I want you to know you've been through a lot. You have grown up through war, recession and all kinds of incredible change, but I have seen in you the best in America. I see that you don't try to turn against each other. You are trying to look out for each other.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: I know you care about being open to the world, not turning away from it. I know that you believe in an inclusive society and an innovative society and a vibrant society, and you believe in democracy.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: And I see the same values in you that have always driven this country forward, decency and honesty and hard work and civility. They are not old-fashioned values. They are timeless values. They are what binds this country together.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: And so even though sometimes politics can seem frustrating, even though sometimes our democracy can seem mean-spirited, you have a chance right now to reject that kind of politics. You have a chance to reject the politics of fear. You can lift again back up the politics of hope.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: Let's not go backwards. Let's go forward.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: You got a chance to elect a woman who spent her entire life trying to make this country better. Don't fall for the easy cynicism that says your vote doesn't matter. Don't fall for what Trump tries to do and just make everybody depressed. Don't believe it. I promise you, your vote counts. Your vote matters.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: There was a time when folks couldn't vote, when you had to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar to vote, the number of soap bubbles on a bar of soap to vote. Folks were beaten to vote. Folks risked everything to vote. In this election, whatever the issue you care about, it could not be easier for you to vote. If you care about inequality, you need to vote.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: If you felt the burn in the primaries, you need to vote.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: You can vote for somebody who only cares about themselves or somebody that's going to fight like heck for working people.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: Make sure we got a minimum wage raise. Make sure we got equal pay for equal work.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: You care about criminal justice reform and civil rights, you can vote for somebody who has fought against civil rights for most of their lives, or you can vote for somebody who went under cover to make sure that minority kids were getting an equal shot at a good education and has never stopped fighting since.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: You care about the environment and climate change, you can vote for somebody who thinks it's a Chinese hoax or you can vote for somebody who thinks that there's something called science and that we should pay attention to it and will fight to protect our planet.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: You care about immigration reform and want us to continue to see this nation as one that is a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants, then you have got to get out there and vote.

(CHEERING) OBAMA: Donald Trump's closing argument is what do you have to lose. The answer is everything.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: All the progress we've made right now is on the ballot. Civility is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Courtesy is on the ballot. Honesty is on the ballot. Honesty is on the ballot. Equality is on the ballot. Kindness is on the ballot.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: All the progress we made in the last eight years is on the ballot.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: Democracy itself is on the ballot right now.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: So if you want to send a message, make it loud. Turn back, turn back the voices of cynicism. Turn back the voices of ignorance. Send a message of progress. Send a message of hope. Send a message by voting for Hillary Clinton.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: And show our kids and the rest of the world we remain the greatest country in the world.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: Thank you, everybody. God bless you.

(CHEERING)

OBAMA: God bless the United States of America.

(CHEERING)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: President Obama, nearly 40 minutes in Cleveland, Ohio, talking to clearly supporters there who were cheering nearly his every word. Support for Hillary Clinton. A blistering attack on Donald Trump. Man, he covered a lot of ground.

Joining us, CNN chief political correspondent, Dana Bash; and CNN political director, David Chalian.

Dana, your thoughts?

[11:50:03] DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump has nothing like this. Not even close. When I say that, I'm talking about a powerful speaker, can get the crowd going, and very cogently about why the -- the person that he supports, Hillary Clinton, should be president, and why her opponent, Donald Trump, shouldn't be. This kind of high-octane, high should say, surrogate, is so lacking on the Trump side. I mean, he had his running mate, Mike pence, out on the morning shows, which is incredibly powerful for Donald Trump, considering he's pretty much the only one out there defending him, but there's just no way to compete with this kind of message from Barack Obama. Is it going to do anything for the people out there waiting to go vote who cannot stand this president, cannot stand anybody or anything that is remotely related to the Democratic Party? No. But this is about motivating the base, energizing everybody to get out and vote in the cities, and all of the potential Democratic areas that might be ho-hum. This is aimed at them.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And, David, I mean, one goal of President Obama's speech was clear, and it was early voting. Ohio started voting early this week. It was to get people to get out there and get their friends out there --

BERMAN: Now.

BOLDUAN: -- to vote. Exactly. Also, defending his legacy. All the progress we've made, he says, in his argument, will be lost. Could be thrown right out the window, he said, at the beginning of the speech. But then it really seemed, although it sounded prompter, he was letting loose. Hit on everything from Gold Star families to the comments and accusations this week of Donald Trump again women. I mean, this was President Obama just kind of throwing it all out there, even with his best Chris Carter, "Come on, man," impression.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yeah. I think that his offense, the offense he takes at the Donald Trump candidacy has been apparent for quite some time. And, in fact, I think it's been startling at times, especially when he's in a White House setting, not on the campaign trail, and gets that political, because we normally don't see our sitting presidents that way. Clearly, this example, out on the trail. Look where he is, in Cleveland, Ohio.

You are right, John, to note the early vote piece of this, that is the way that the Clinton folks think they have a chance to win in Ohio. Bank as much early vote as possible articulating losing the vote on Election Day itself. But turning up the African-American vote, exactly how Barack Obama won Ohio twice. That's what he's trying to do here for Hillary Clinton.

And you're right, Kate, I think he wears it on his sleeve. He thinks Donald Trump is not fit to be his successor in any way whatsoever and is not mincing words on it.

BERMAN: It does turn off, by the way, some right-of-center voters who maybe Hillary Clinton thinks are gettable right now. Maybe, we'll talk about that if we have a chance.

Guys, stick around.

We do have some breaking news. Our Manu Raju in Madison, Wisconsin, where Paul Ryan is set to speak later this morning.

Manu, I understand you have a sense exactly what he's doing to say? MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right. This is the

first time Paul Ryan actually addressed, answered questions, since he made that decision on Monday morning telling in a private conference call to the House Republicans, he would no longer campaign with Donald Trump, would not defend Donald Trump. Since then, he has not answered questions. As of yesterday, he was speaking to business leaders, going to answer question in 30 minutes, decided no to.

Today, he's going to answer questions from college Republicans here in the University of Wisconsin campus. And likely the question about Donald Trump is going to come up, and we expect him to really talk about focus on why, explain and clarify, his position about why he is focusing on saving the congressional majority right now, and that will be his focus going forward. There will probably be questions about a lot of things that Donald Trump has said over the "Access Hollywood" tape, these allegations coming out. Don't expect Paul Ryan to defend Donald Trump on those issues. Expect him probably to mention something about some of these things are indefensible. That will probably be something that you expect, you can expect to hear, if those questions come up today. But Paul Ryan wanting to keep the focus on the effort down-ticket to save the majority, congressional majority, because, in large measure, Republicans are really worried that this race is spiraling out of control. They need to try to control what they can, which is those down-ticket races, try to separate themselves from the top of the ticket as much as possible, especially if Donald Trump loses by eight, nine, ten, eleven points, this could potentially be a landslide election. Republicans want to everything they can to save the majority. So watch for Paul Ryan to talk about how critical it is, in his view, to keep Republicans in charge of Congress.

BERMAN: Manu --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Sorry, John.

BERMAN: Go ahead.

[11:55:11] BOLDUAN: Paul Ryan might want to keep the focus there on down-ballot races, but this is a guy who found himself or put himself in between a rock and hard place. I mean, he wants to talk about the 2016 race. He wants to make the case against Hillary Clinton very clearly but, Manu, he also doesn't want to talk and has said he's not going to talk about, defend Donald Trump. I don't understand how he can thread this needle when questions come to him.

RAJU: It's so difficult, Kate. I mean, this is the problem Republicans have had, leadership has had. How do you defend a candidate who says and does so many controversial things? But at the same time, you need those Donald Trump supporters to back your candidate's down-ticket, the position that Paul Ryan is in. He's still endorsing Donald Trump. He has not revoked his endorsement of Donald Trump at this point. It shows the line he's trying to walk here. To criticize Donald Trump, saying he won't defend him but still endorsing him. Watch for him to try to clarify that point for the first time at Madison University.

BERMAN: It will be interesting to see how he does that. It will be interesting to see how hard he gets pressed by the college Republicans.

Dana Bash, this is something President Obama was just saying. He doesn't want to let Republicans off the hook, Republicans who have criticized Donald Trump and Republicans saying they'll still vote for him. In that category, we think now is still Paul Ryan. That's a little different position than Hillary Clinton is in most of the time. Most of the time she seems to want to give Republicans space to vote for her. The president much more critical than she is.

BASH: Right. And they have two very different jobs. I think you nailed it as usual, John, in trying to explain how they're trying to approach potential Republican voters different ways.

I just want to add to what Manu was saying about the fact that -- that Paul Ryan's rank and file need -- they need Donald Trump's base to win their house races. I was just yesterday in suburban Philadelphia, which is "The" place that will probably decide this election, and not just the presidential swing districts. And I talked to Republican, not just rank and file, but officials, who are very upset and uncomfortable with what Paul Ryan said on this private conference call. Mostly because of the way Trump went after him and it's making their people very upset, and they're worried it's going to suppress the vote.

BERMAN: All right, we'll hear from Paul Ryan in a little bit.

Manu, David, Dana, thank you all so much.

BOLDUAN: All right, guys.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: It is National Bullying Prevention Month. This week's "CNN Hero" is tackling where it starts, middle school. Every year in the U.S. several million children are bullied either at school or online.

BOLDUAN: When Matthew Kaplan realized his little brother was one of them, he took action, even though he was only in eighth grade. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEW KAPLAN, CNN HERO: The term peer pressure is thrown around a lot and usually meant as a negative thing. I believe we can actually harness peer pressure for good. What if it was cool to be kind? That's what positive peer pressure is all about, creating a culture where being inclusive and being kind is the norm.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: All right. To see Matthew's story, go to CNNheroes.com. BOLDUAN: Thank you all so much for joining us AT THIS HOUR.

BERMAN: "Inside Politics" with John King starts right now.

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: OK, thank you. Welcome to "Inside Politics." I'm John King. Thanks for sharing your time today as we mark 25 days to Election Day and county down to next week's third and final presidential debate.

Here's what's driving the race and driving our conversation. Donald Trump says the growing list of women who say he touched them inappropriately are all liars.