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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Post-Debate Analysis; Donald Trump Says He May Not Accept Results of Election; Hillary Clinton has Significant Electoral Map Advantage; The Importance of Peaceful Transition of Power. Aired 10:36-11p ET
Aired October 19, 2016 - 22:36 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:36:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: All right. Let's see if they go ahead and shake hands with each other. It looks like she's walking over to the moderator, Chris Wallace, shaking his hand. Let's see if they actually go ahead and shake hands right now.
Not necessarily going to happen. A very, very contentious debate. Some of the most important issues facing the country right now. But Jake Tapper, clearly the headline, Donald Trump saying he may not accept the result of this presidential election.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: One of the most stunning things I've ever heard in a presidential debate ever. And while I think it's fair to say that he had some decent moments in there, especially when he was criticizing Obama and Clinton on foreign policy, the big hurdle for Donald Trump was will he show the country that he has the temperament, that he has what it takes, that he has the fitness to be president.
And to say that he -- to suggest that he might not accept the results of the election that we're about to hold in fewer than three weeks was staggering. And I don't think it helped him when it comes to showing the American people that he does have that temperament.
The one thing I was looking for in this debate is would he do anything to turn around the momentum. All the college educated whites that are going to Hillary Clinton, all the women that are going to Hillary Clinton, all the minorities that are going to Hillary Clinton.
No. I don't think he did anything to turn that around. Yes, he had some good moments, especially when it came to criticisms of her and her policies and President Obama's policies.
But to suggest that he is not going to necessarily accept the results of the nomination, that was a disastrous answer.
BLITZER: Yes. It was truly extraordinary. I've never heard anything like that.
Dana Bash, his vice presidential running mate said they would of course accept the result, the voice of the American people. His daughter said the same thing. He refused to say that. He said I want to keep you in suspense.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Not only did his running mate say that, he said that to us in that very debate hall about an hour before Donald Trump took the stage, so it really goes to show that Donald Trump, no matter how much he prepared -- and we do understand he prepared very well.
And for the most part, as Jake said, I agree with you, Jake. That for the most part during this debate, that came through that he was a much more disciplined Donald Trump.
And at the end of the day before that comment happened, it looked like it was a wash, that she did well, that he did well. That it wasn't really clear if anybody was going to benefit or not until that moment when he was asked something very basic, something that my understanding is that he was certainly prepared for and he didn't answer it affirmatively.
And more importantly, she was prepared for it. She had all of her opposition research ready to go about the times where he called other systems rigged, even the Emmy's when he didn't win an Emmy. Wolf?
BLITZER: She clearly was ready for that. John King, did either one of them move the needle tonight?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not in a significant way I don't think. If you remember, I think we talked about this when we come in. Hillary Clinton has a significant advantage in our electoral map. Over 300 electoral votes. We have her 307.
[22:40:01] Donald Trump in the 170s. Well short of the 270 you need to win. So, you think OK, 19 days left that he have with the biggest audience they're going to get before Election Day? Did he do anything to move the dial in the way he needs to move?
And he needs to bend steel to change this election. He's right now we've taken Utah away from him and Arizona to make them toss up states. At the beginning where he's talking about judges, when he's talking about guns, when he's talking about abortion, at the top of the debate, very base driven to the republicans.
It is possible he boosted his support among republicans with those answers. But to the point Jake and Dana are making, I was getting e- mails from republicans in the key swing states in New Hampshire, in Ohio and Florida, in all three states, three action essentially I'm going to say, oh, my God, they were not that polite when Donald Trump refused to say he would accept the results of the election.
They think that a man who had such a good gut for republicans during the primary does not have a gut that middle America wants him to respect the process.
TAPPER: And one other thing that I thought was a really important moment. Chris Wallace asked Donald Trump about the allegations of sexual assaults and sexual attention that was not wanted and put a tough question to Hillary Clinton about he says what your husband Bill Clinton has done is even worse.
Donald Trump attacked the women that have accused him, suggested that they were liars and put u by the -- by the Clinton campaign. Hillary Clinton very passionate speech that was speaking to all women. All women know what it is like to be belittled like this. Completely dodged the question about Bill Clinton.
Back to Trump, he's defending himself again. He's not even pointing out that Hillary Clinton, who gave this very passionate speech with this really uncomfortable asterisks there, which is how can you say this when these allegations have been made against your husband, and he just whiffed it.
He just completely let it go because he is so focused on defending himself. He couldn't even see clearly to then prosecute Hillary Clinton on what I thought was possibly her strongest moment.
KING: I also think at that point the debate she was under his skin a little bit. The first 45-minutes he was much more restrained. He was making his conservative points, but slowly and she just methodically kept coming back the loan from your father, and some of these other things.
And a couple of top questions from Chris Wallace also I think got under Donald Trump. If we noticed in the past debates and even the republican debates, there were certain things that set him off.
And once he gets a little prickly about those things then I think it's harder for him to remember the point he was trying to make in debate prep.
TAPPER: Another moment I thought that was -- I'm sorry, Wolf. Just one last moment. Another moment that I thought was really very bad for him came at the very end. And maybe people didn't notice that. But I think a lot of women probably noticed it is when she was answering a question. And it was all within the confines of this very contentious debate.
And all of a sudden he said, she's a nasty woman. She's a nasty woman. Now they've been going after each other in a very tough way both saying that they were unfit, et cetera, but that was a very personal attack. And I think this debate ultimately is going to hurt him with women voters.
KING: Reinforces a weakness.
BLITZER: A very, very contentious debate. But Anderson -- Dana Bash, you've got a guest over there.
BASH: That's right, Wolf. I have Kellyanne Conway, Mr. Trump's campaign manager. The first question I have to ask you is frankly what we've all been talking about. Is Donald Trump saying the opposite of what you and his daughter have said in the past 24 hours about whether or not he will accept the results of this election? Are you disappointed in -- are you disappointed in his answer?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I'm not disappointed in a thing tonight. I thought it was an amazing debate. And Donald Trump will accept the results of the election because he's going to win the election, so it will be easy to accept.
He won the debate tonight. Amazing performance. Getting back to all those core issues that really catapulted his campaign from the beginning, Dana, jobs, trade, immigration, the failed foreign policy.
BASH: You just told me that he will accept the results. Why wouldn't he say that on the debate stage?
CONWAY: Do you remember 2000 when Al Gore contested the election? I mean, when he actually retracted his concession to George W. Bush he had called him in...
BASH: But that's an extraordinary experience.
CONWAY: So, we have extraordinary experiences. But you have to listen to everything he said. In fairness, he was talking about a corrupt system. Many Americans agree with that. He's talking about a system where people feel like insiders, like Hillary Clinton, her money to cohorts get all the benefits on top of the fact that many in the media collude with them, conspire with them.
Ninety six percent of donations from working journalists went to Hillary Clinton.
BASH: I just want to put a button on this.
CONWAY: So, we got out of it.
BASH: No, no, I'm going to ask you another question.
CONWAY: I heard a lot.
BASH: What you just said to me is that he will accept. So, what you're telling me is that on election night if he is sort of waffling, you as his campaign manager will say, Mr. Trump, no matter what it is. I mean, obviously it won't be a big deal if he wins. But if he wins, then you will say, Mr. Trump, this is what is going to happen and you're going to accept these results.
CONWAY: Absent of widespread abuse and regularities, yes I would say that. But I actually think all the same congratulations, Mr. President and I'll see you there in two weeks.
BACK: He also, Kellyanne, he also -- back to you, Anderson.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: All right, Dana, thanks very much. We'll see who else comes into the spin room. Aptly named indeed.
[22:45:03] Gloria and David Axelrod, have you ever heard a presidential candidate say?
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Watching Kellyanne walk away reminds me of a bad debate I once was involved in.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I have to look that.
AXELROD: And the worst thing in the world is going into the spin room and try to persuade people that the disaster they just watched was actually a triumph.
This was a disaster for Donald Trump. He started off temperamentally. I thought, well, this is -- you know, I was going to apologize to Jeffrey because I was going to say he can surprise us and I was surprised because temperamentally as the debate began, it look as if he was going to take a different approach.
He did articulate starkly conservative positions on guns, on immigration, on choice that will go to his base probably not to the -- not to the swing voter, not to the women voters he needs to get.
But he was composed. He wasn't interrupting. Hillary Clinton just pushed his buttons. And by the end of the debate, he just unraveled, but he wrote the lead of the story. He wrote the lead of the story.
COOPER: Let's play just for those who did not see that moment. Let's play that moment that everyone is talking about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: One of the prides of this country is the peaceful transition of power and that no matter how hard fought a campaign is that at the end of the campaign that the loser concedes to the winner.
Not saying that you're necessarily going to be the loser or the winner, but that the loser concedes to the winner and that the country comes together in part for the good of the country. Are you saying you're not prepared now to commit to that principle?
TRUMP: What I'm saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense, OK?
CLINTON: Well, Chris.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And that was the moment.
AXELROD: Yes. I mean, Mike Pence -- Mike Pence assured the nation in no uncertain terms that they would accept the result of this election. Others went on television, including Kellyanne, and said they will accept the verdict of the voters.
And he did -- you know, Anderson, this is core for a lot of Americans. You say what makes America great. This is what makes America great. And the fact that he wasn't willing to say I'll accept the results of this election, I thought that's going to haunt him not just through this campaign, but for a long time.
BORGER: Keeping you in suspense makes it sound like this is some sort of a game or a reality TV show. I don't want to be kept in suspense.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right.
BORGER: And I think it's very difficult. I've never heard any candidate ever in a presidential debate, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think any of us is old enough to have ever heard it, to say to the American public that I won't necessarily accept the result. It is stunning to me...
COOPER: Jeffrey Lord?
BORGER: ... and potentially disqualifying to me, honestly, Jeffrey.
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We clearly saw two entirely different debates.
BORGER: I guess so.
LORD: Let me just say to you here.
COOPER: What about that moment in particular?
LORD: I am looking. December 13th, 2000. December 13th, not the night of the election, not the next day. Al Gore...
BORGER: I'll tell you about that.
LORD: ... compete the presidential. No. No. There is no -- this is here. This is what the problem is. This is when I talk about the ruling class and elites and double standards.
COOPER: To David's point...
LORD: There was one standard -- there was one standard for Al Gore.
COOPER: What did Al Gore say?
LORD: Al Gore said that he would accept the process. A month late -- a month late, he took it all the way to the Supreme Court. He didn't concede...
BORGER: He did because the state...
COOPER: No, let him finish.
LORD: No, Gloria. He did it because he feels like a privileged insider and his pals felt like privilege insiders. And this is permeates the entire system and this is what's wrong.
BORGER: That was because Florida because there was such a marrow margin, Florida had an automatic recount because the laws of the State of Florida called for that. And because the election was so close -- and don't forget Al Gore won the popular vote by half a million, but we won't talk about that because this is about Electoral College.
LORD: That's right.
BORGER: And because the State of Florida said automatic recount, Al Gore said yes. And then there were 36 days in which the country was very patient, but that is very different...
LORD: What does the Supreme Court have to do with it?
BORGER: But wait. I didn't bring it to the court.
LORD: What does the Supreme Court have to do with it?
AXELROD: Jeffrey, the election wasn't over. The 50 states...
LORD: The election was over on election night.
AXELROD: The 50 states did not certify these winners and the election was not over. Once the election was certified in Florida, once the court spoke and the election was certified, Al Gore stood in front of the camera.
LORD: You're illustrating the problem. You're illustrating the problem.
BORGER: It's a different problem.
LORD: No, it is not.
BORGER: Al Gore did not go on the debate stage and say, I'm not sure I'm going to accept the election results in his third presidential debate.
LORD: He called and said, I no longer concede.
BORGER: He did because Florida was recounting.
COOPER: Van, you want to weigh in on this?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is a really sad night. This is a very sad night for the country. You can't polish this turd. This is -- I'm sorry.
[22:50:01] You cannot...
COOPER: Technically, you cannot polish my turd.
JONES: I'm going to be very, very clear about this. Al Gore respected the Constitution, respected the process, respected every voter. He went to our Supreme Court, asked for a resolution on his own terms as did George W. Bush. And when the election results were certified, he told his party and his base to stand down and accept this. Even though a lot of us were very, very upset.
What you just got now was the nominee of a major party for the first time in our history signaling to the American people that he has so little faith in our institutions, he has so little faith in our people, he had so little faith in our courts, he had so little faith in the republican governors, the republican secretaries of state across this country that he will not stand in front of his own country, in front of his own nation and say that he respects the process and the outcome. That is an outrage. Appalling lack of patriotism from this man.
COOPER: Let him finish.
JONES: The appalling lack of patriotism from this man to stand there and say that to praise Putin and Assad more than he has praised any American president. He doesn't talk about George Washington; he doesn't talk about Ronald Reagan the way he talks about Putin and Assad.
This man has demonstrated an appalling lack of patriotism. And you should be ashamed of yourself to have defended.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And I'm truly perplexed to hear you talk because you're asking him to accept something that hasn't happened yet.
None of us know what is going to happen on Tuesday, November 8th.
COOPER: With that lesson in our country joined 40 years ago.
MCENANY: And in fact, I'm going to Jay Christian Adams, who was a voting attorney -- voter's attorney for the Department of Justice, said that there are as many as four million dead people registered to vote right now. There is voting fraud out there. Donald Trump...
COOPER: That's not voting fraud. That's not voting fraud.
MCENANY: Well, four million people, dead people vote?
LORD: No. They don't vote.
MCENANY: That is in fact fraud.
COOPER: They're not voting. You're making that up.
MCENANY: There is no, but they're listed.
COOPER: Yes, yes.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: They just died.
MCENANY: And we have a video, by the way. And I hope -- I hope voters...
SMERCONISH: They just died. Nobody has removed them yet.
MCENANY: And you let me finish. I know you like to scream over me and not let me get my point. But let me finish really quickly. There's a video out there just came out two days ago, democratic operatives hired by Hillary Clinton, hired by the DNC talking about buzzing people in to vote under many dead people's names, people who haven't showed up to vote yet, voting them and taking them to different polling places in a mass voter fraud operation. There's a video of it, you can see it.
SMERCONISH: Kayleigh -- Kayleigh...
MCENANY: It's verifiable. It came out of their mouth.
COOPER: Let her finish. OK.
SMERCONISH: In my Sate of Pennsylvania in Jeffrey's State of Pennsylvania, we litigated this issue for a full year because the legislature passed and the governor signed into law, a requirement that says you've got to show a photo I.D. In a year of litigation, literally not one single case of in-person voter fraud could be documented. It's a total...
MCENANY: I guess they're not...
SMERCONISH: Listen, I want to say something.
COOPER: Let him finish.
SMERCONISH: If I can just finish my thought. I think that your man was having the best debate night that he had of all three debates.
MCENANY: And guess what? One line won't detract him that. (CROSSTALK)
SMERCONISH: Now I'd like to finish.
MCENANY: One line won't detract him that.
SMERCONISH: No, I'd like to finish. With two glaring exceptions. The first that we're all noting here where we just won't accept the result. He so easily could have said, but for the most unusual of circumstances, of course I'll outcome, and let's not underestimate the significance of what happened at the end.
He is desperately behind among college educated females, and he looked at college educated female and then some and said 'what a nasty woman.' Explain that to me.
MCENANY: You know what? I know what various vetting -- I know what various vetting...
LORD: You got State Department people saying it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on.
MCENANY: It's upsetting to my friends on the left here. I know that Donald Trump had an incredible night. He used he experience against her. He said you've had 30 years. You talk about wanting to do all of these great things and you had 30 years of experience but it's the bad experience. And we focus on one line, the most negative thing we can find from Donald Trump.
SMERCONISH: That makes him nasty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He made history.
COOPER: One at a time. One at a time. Let her finish.
MCENANY: I know the Clinton campaign and my friends from the left wants to talk about it. But Donald Trump had a great night. It was vintage Donald Trump.
COOPER: He made history tonight. He made history tonight. I agree with you on that.
MCENANY: I know that's what you want to focus and I get that.
COOPER: Patty, is this the right wrong to focus on?
PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I agree with you, Kayleigh. I think the first 35, 40 minutes of this debate he had a great night. We were talking about the issues. I think Chris Wallace did an amazing job.
COOPER: I agree with that.
DOYLE: I thought he was fantastic. I thought he hit them not really hard. He asked tough questions. And I will grant you that Donald Trump had a decent 40 minutes, but then, yes, this line is a deal breaker.
It is an un-American line. It is anti-democratic. It goes against our democracy. It goes against our two party system, it goes against what we believe in and what we stand for. And, you know, yes, it's a disqualifier.
BORGER: I also think that he was sort of no, no, no. He was no on accepting the outcome of the election. He refuses to accept the intelligence on Russia for some reason.
[22:55:00] LORD: Are they're the same intelligence people have provided the mass destruction they tell from Iraq?
BORGER: Can I finish? I didn't finish. For some he refuses to accept the intelligence on Russia. He says he didn't even apologize to his wife on the women issues because...
COOPER: That was a weird moment.
BORGER: ... it was not true. Right.
COOPER: Given that she just gave a big interview saying he apologized to her.
BORGER: So, everything laid out in front of him, he deflected or said wasn't true or, you know, I'm just not going to accept it when it comes to the election, and then said he never -- he wouldn't apologize on the women because he never -- because he never did it.
So, it is a Donald Trump we have seen. And the outcome of the election is clearly the sort of key and most important moment here. But on Russia also, I was sort of surprised. I know you weren't.
But this has been -- you know, U.S. intelligence more than a dozen agencies have talked about this. I don't even understand why Donald Trump wouldn't allow for the possibility that actually the hack...
LORD: Because the American people have been burned with intelligence agencies telling a republican president of the United States that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
AXELROD: So, you'll never accept intelligence anymore?
BORGER: But at least technology that is a possibility. LORD: No, no, no. I am simply saying they're not infallible.
BORGER: We know that. We know that, but at least accept that it's a possibility.
AXELROD: Can I just say one thing? Donald Trump is lucky to have committed supporters like you under any circumstance will say he had a good night. But there's objective evidence. No, Kayleigh, you guys -- you guys have both said this every debate, and in each debate then there's polling and research...
LORD: He had an especially good night then.
AXELROD: ... have followed that showed he didn't have such a good night and he's lost ground consistently since the first debate. And I have to tell you this was the worst -- he started off great.
BORGER: He did.
AXELROD: This was the worst of the three. This was a devastating night for him.
COOPER: Does it seem to you at all that he can do a good 40 minutes.
COOPER: And then start to go...
COOPER: ... down rabbit holes that she throws out at him. Whether, you know, she starts with the 'your father gave you $14 million,' you know, wrong, and then things like that. And it does -- does it not seem to fluster him somewhat?
LORD: No, I don't think so.
LORD: No, seriously. I don't think that. I mean, it seems to me that we -- one of the moments here, I want to get to this here for a second. She danced away from it. When he said will you give that money back. She refused to do it. He dances around. She danced around.
What I'm saying is that goes to the core of the argument that she is duplicitous and that she takes us money and she, you know, uses it for personal purposes. She doesn't care where it comes from. People who throw gays off roofs and kill women? I mean, what is the matter here? Give the money back. I hope was that to say.
COOPER: Wasn't her response that 90 percent of all money that's donated is used for...
COOPER: ... causes? For charitable causes? LORD: Great.
MCENANY: That was after she -- that was after she was caught with when only 90 -- 10 percent of it was actually going to charitable causes and she was put on a charity watch list by charity navigator and then she re-manipulated it to be more...
AXELROD: You know, we should really fact check that.
MCENANY: But to Anderson's point here.
AXELROD: I hope we fact check that. That's been debunked.
MCENANY: I do agree with you that certainly in the first debate he went into the weeds too much. He was too defensive on certain issues.
MCENANY: And he did that a little tonight.
COOPER: But better.
MCENANY: But he's gotten really good at turning it around to offense.
COOPER: No doubt about it, it's better.
MCENANY: And it's just incredible to me to hear people say it's disqualifying that he wants to wait to see what happens Tuesday, November 8th before he accepts the election.
And it's not disqualifying to destroy 33,000 e-mails under subpoena. It's not disqualifying to take hammers to your Blackberry. It's not disqualifying to tell six mistruths to the FBI that are actively contradicted in front of Congress, that's not disqualifying. You can run for president when four star generals are sitting in jail for telling one lie to the FBI? That's a double standard.
COOPER: OK. Van, Van, you can respond.
JONES: I don't there is a mythology has already started to sit in that he did super well at the very beginning. And here is the problem. We often go on, you know, temperament. Like we lowered the standards for the presidency. If you just throw a feet, if you're not a toddler, then you're prepared to be the president of the United States.
I want to be very clear. I'm going to have to go back to old school hip-hop and quote LL Cool J. in his first album and say he lied about the lies that he lied about.
Listen, the entire time you're saying he's doing well, he says he never said that he wanted Japan to have nukes. That's a lie. He said he's never claimed to know Putin. That's a lie. He said he never said women weren't pretty enough for him to harass. That's a lie. He said he never harassed disabled people. That's a lie. So, he may have great temperament while he's lying.
LORD: That's a lie.
JONES: But I don't think that makes him president. Let's keep the record clear here. And I'm not saying...
LORD: Van, he did not mock a disabled person.
JONES: Oh, come on.
[23:00:00] LORD: Wait. Wait. Did you? Did you -- wait, did you see in the same speech where he mock a general and mock Ted Cruz doing the same thing?
COOPER: I don't know what you're talking about.
LORD: Well, that's the point.
MCENANY: I've seen the video, yes.