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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Obama: Trump Thinks You're Suckers; Obama: Trump's Fraud Claims "Undermine Our Democracy"; Obama: Clinton Doesn't Point Fingers Or Whine; Kerry: U.S. Has "Power To Wipe Out North Korea". Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired October 20, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He also called Donald Trump a dangerous con artist who has spent a career sticking it to working people. You want me to say it again?
[16:30:00] He said -- Marco Rubio said this was a dangerous con artist who spent a lifetime, spent a career sticking it to working people.
Now, that begs the question, since we're in Florida, why does Marco Rubio still plan to vote for Donald Trump? Why is he supporting Donald Trump?
I mean, we know -- look, I know a lot of Republicans, voters, just ordinary folks, your neighbors, your friends, you know, most of them don't think the way Trump does, and there are legitimate differences between the parties. But, you know, there has to be a point where you stand for something more than just party, or more than just your own career.
And here is the thing. Trump didn't come out of nowhere, now. For years, Republican politicians and far-right media outlets had just been pumping out all kinds of toxic, crazy stuff. I mean, first of all, there was the whole birther thing. Then they started saying climate is a Chinese hoax. And according to them, I have power enough to cause these hurricanes and I'm about to steal everybody's guns in the middle of the night and declare martial law but somehow I still need a teleprompter to finish a sentence.
So, they've been saying crazy stuff, and there are a lot of politicians like Marco Rubio who know better, but they just look the other way because they figure, you know what, you know, if they really -- if we can just stir folks up and think that Barack or Hillary or others are doing all these terrible things we're saying they're doing, that's going to help us get votes. And so, we'll just oppose anything that they're trying to do. And maybe we'll end up having more power in Washington.
And so they just stood by and said nothing, even though they knew better. While their base actually started believing some of this stuff. I say all this because Trump didn't start all this. Like he usually does, he just slapped his name on it, took credit for it, and then promoted the heck out of it.
Now, over the last couple of weeks, after those videos came out on that bus, there were a number of Republican politicians who walked away from Donald Trump. Apparently, a tape where a presidential candidate brags about actions that, if you hear what he is saying, qualify as sexual assault, apparently that was the deal-breaker for him. Or at least his poll numbers dropping after the tape came out was the deal-breaker for him.
I mean, last night, did you hear Trump tried to run away from comments that were on a recording, and the audience started laughing when he said, I really respect women? Did you see that? But here is my question.
My question is why would it take this long for Republican senators and Republican congressmen and Republican governors and state reps and state senators, why would it take this long to figure out that Donald Trump shouldn't be president? If you have made -- if you have made a career of idolizing Ronald Reagan, then where were you when your party's nominee for president was kissing up to Vladimir Putin, the former KGB officer?
I -- you know, you used to criticize me for even talking to the Russians. Now, suddenly, you're OK with your nominee having a bromance with Putin.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
If you come from a family of immigrants, like almost everybody here does unless you're Native American, where were you when your party's nominee for president called immigrants criminals and rapists?
[16:35:09] If you say you love the Constitution -- in fact, you say Obama is overreaching with his executive actions. He is violating the Constitution. Should be impeached!
But then you stand up and nominate and support a guy who says that he would silence reporters, jail his political opponent in the middle of a debate, deport whoever he wants -- I mean, I assume you've got some familiarity with the First Amendment and the Fifth Amendment and the 14th Amendment. Why weren't you offering him your pocket constitution like Mr. Khan did?
If you're a Republican official or leader out there, and you've run for office on family values, family values, why wouldn't you walk away from him months ago, when you heard your nominee for president call women pigs and dogs and slobs, and grade them not for their character or their intellect but on a scale of 1 to 10?
You don't have to be a husband or a father to stand up for women. You don't have to have a disability to say it's wrong to mock somebody with a disability. You don't have to be a Muslim to stand up for our fellow citizens who are just as patriotic as we are. You just have to be a decent person, and you just have to love this country.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) So, I don't give a lot of credit for folks who are just now trying to walk away from Trump. Although I will say I am even more confused by Republican politicians who still support Donald Trump.
Marco Rubio is one of those people. How does that work? How can you call him a con artist and dangerous and object to all the controversial things he says and then say, but I am still going to vote for him?
Come on, man! Come on, man!
That -- you know what that is, though? It is the height of cynicism. That's the sign of somebody who will say anything, do anything, pretend to be anybody, just to get elected. And you know what, if you're willing to be anybody just to be somebody, then you don have the leadership tt Florida needs in the United States Senate. That's not the leadership you need.
That's why you got to vote for Patrick Murphy. That's why you've got to vote for Hillary Clinton. That's why you got to start voting early on Monday and go to iwillvote.com.
Because -- because let me tell you, there is only one way we lose this election. Just one, if we don't turn out to vote. Only way.
We got to do it big! We got to leave no doubt. Because you notice the Donald's already whining that the vote's going to be rigged before the game is even over. We are just starting to vote now. He's already like, oh, the game is rigged. Except today he said, of course, it's not rigged if I win.
I mean, this -- you know -- and by the way, I will say, all the Republicans have -- not all but most -- have acknowledged, there is no way to rig an election in a country this big. I am -- I don't know if Donald Trump's ever been to an actual polling place where you have Democrats and Republicans who are in charge of taking the votes.
But, you know, he doesn't even worry if what he says is true. This is just about him worried that he is losing. Which means he really doesn't have what it takes to hold this job.
[16:40:01] Because I will tell you, there is a lot of time in this job where things don't go your way and when you suggest -- but I have made this point before, I want to repeat it here. This is more than just the usual standard lie. Because when you suggest rigging or fraud without a shred of evidence, when last night, at the debate, Trump becomes the first major party nominee in American history to suggest that he will not concede despite losing the vote and then says today that he will accept the results if he wins -- that is not a joking matter.
No, no, no. I want everybody to pay attention here. That is dangerous, because when you try to sow the seeds of doubt in people's minds about the legitimacy of our elections, that undermines our democracy. Then, you are doing the work of our adversaries for them, because our democracy depends on people knowing that their vote matters, that those who occupy the seats of power were chosen by the people.
Even when your preferred candidate loses, even when you are the one who is running and you lose, you have got to see bigger picture and say that here in America we believe in democracy and we accept the will of the people.
So I am telling you, Florida, your vote does matter. Your vote does count. And this whole notion of voter fraud, listen, one study shows that, out of one billion votes cast, there were 31 proven cases of voter fraud -- 31 out of a billion.
You are luckier -- you are much likelier to get struck by lightning than to have somebody next to you commit voter fraud. You would win the Powerball.
And so, that's why I am glad to see Republicans coming out and saying that kind of talk is nonsense. I mean, after all, in Florida here you've got a Republican governor.
Well, don't boo. Booing gets you nowhere.
You've got Republican governors in battleground states like Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, Nevada, and Iowa, and Texas and Arizona. Are they all in on this rigging?
They're not going to rig the election for Hillary Clinton. Even -- even Marco Rubio says there is no rigging of the vote, which I would like to give him credit for, except he is refuting the dangerous, unprecedented claims of a candidate he says he is still going to vote for, which just gives you one more bit of proof that Marco seems to just care about hanging on to his job.
Patrick Murphy cares about you.
Listen, I have lost an election before. It is no fun. Winning is better.
But when you lose, you congratulate your opponent. And you look inside yourself and you figure out what did I do wrong. And then you work harder and you try to win the next time.
That's how democracy works. That's what real leaders do. Democracy is a challenge, and it's supposed to be. But you can't just look out for yourself and look out for you own best interests. You've got to look out for America's best interests. Not just when it's easy, but when it's hard.
And that's what Patrick Murphy understands. That's what Hillary Clinton has done her entire life. She knows that in this big, diverse country, democracy can't work if all we're about is trying to destroy somebody in the other party, if we demonize each other, if we block Supreme Court appointments not because that's how it's supposed to work but just because we didn't win.
She knows that issues aren't black or white, that progress requires compromise. Even when you are 100 percent right, you still got to compromise in a country like this.
[16:45:00] She knows that nobody is perfect, but at least we should all try to conduct ourselves with the same decency and generosity and big-heartedness that we try to teach our own kids. And you know what, that kind of steadiness, that kind of responsibility, that attitude of just doing the right thing, it doesn't always grab headlines. Our politics can't always just be boiled down to a tweet. And I know in this election season, sometimes politics seemed cheap, and trivial and frustrating, but right now, I am here to tell you, you've got a chance to reject that kind of politics. You can reject divisive politics, you can reject mean-spirited politics. You don't have to let this country go backwards. You have a chance to move it forward, and elect a woman, the first female president, who has spent her entire life trying to make this country better. Somebody who's worked hard even when she's fallen short. Somebody who works hard even when she's attacked. That's got guts, that's got courage. So, don't fall for this easy cynicism that says your vote doesn't matter. Don't believe that notion that all politicians are the same. That's what Hillary's opponent wants you to think, so you lose faith, so you give up, so you stay home. I - don't do that! Because I promise you, your vote does matter. And if you have any doubt, ask the 20 million people who've got healthcare today that didn't have it before you voted.
Ask the marine who can serve this country without hiding the husband that he loves. Ask him if your vote matters. Ask the autoworker who saw his factory go dark, but now is working a double shift, find out from him if your vote matters. I just came from Miami-Dade College, and they've got students from about 100 different countries. Ask all those young immigrants, those Dhaka kids, who've earned an opportunity to stay and study and become doctors and lawyers. Young people just like Dominique, just as talented as Malia and Sasha, who now have a 0chance to contribute to this country that they love just as much as anybody. Ask them if your vote matters. They know it does.
Donald Trump has nothing to offer but anger and grievance and blame. And so, he -- his closing argument asks, what do you have to lose? Well, I'm here to tell you, everything! You know how much progress we've made, despite the opposition, despite the forces of discrimination, despite the politics of backlash, and that progress doesn't stop with my presidency, we're just getting started! So progress is on the ballot, civility is on the ballot, tolerance is on the ballot, justice is on the ballot, equality is on the ballot, our democracy is on the ballot. Hillary Clinton will advance those things. Donald Trump wants to reverse progress, Marco Rubio wants to help him. You want to give me a good send-off, you want to give Michelle a good send-off? Join us. Work as hard for Hillary and Patrick as you did for us. You care about our democracy, don't stay home. You got to get in the arena, you got to vote. That's what this democracy is about, it's not a spectator sport. You want to give me a good send-off, go knock on some doors, sign up as a volunteer, make some phone calls, go talk to your friends. And if you do that, we'll win this election, we'll elect Patrick Murphy, your next senator. We'll elect Hillary Clinton, the next president. We'll show our kids and the rests of the world why America remains the greatest nation in the world. Thank you, Miami. God bless you. God bless the United States of America. [16:50:00] JAKE TAPPER, CNN THE LEAD ANCHOR: President Obama speaking to a crowd of supporters in Miami, Florida, a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton. Let's bring in our political panel to chew over what we just heard, Republican Strategist Alice Stewart, Democratic Strategist Hilary Rosen, and Former Communications Director for Senator Ted Cruz, Amanda Carpenter and Alice, let me start with you. Very, very strong words of - from President Obama about Donald Trump, and clearly trying to wrap Donald Trump like an albatross around Marco Rubio who's up for re-election in Florida.
ALICE STEWART, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Clearly, you get the sense from that speech, so much talk about the Marco Rubio race, he wants to add a new line to his legacy, which is a democrat-controlled senate. And that also goes to show that he feels pretty confident in the - in the State of Florida in terms of in that area. Hillary doing well there. So, for him to loop in so much of that speech in the Marco Rubio race, he clearly sees an in for a democrat to win in that area.
TAPPER: And Hillary - I mean, can that work? I mean, Marco Rubio has tried to distance himself from Donald Trump on any number of ways, although he has said that he will actually vote for him.
HILARY ROSEN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: He said he's going to vote for him, and so that ultimately is the ultimate - you know, the perfect endorsement. What more could you do? And so, we're going to see this more and more in other states where there are vulnerable members up and where we have open seats, we're going to see the principles, Michelle Obama, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden out there saying we need a democratic senate to do what we need to get done to keep this legacy going.
TAPPER: And Amanda, you heard earlier in the show, I interviewed the Chairman of the Republican Party of Arizona, who said that he wished that he was talking about Trump's job plan or Trump's plan have on foreign policy, et cetera, instead he's having to defend, and he didn't really offer a defense in Trump's insinuations that the election is rigged. It's not what you want republicans to be defending the American system of democracy, with so many days left.
AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER TED CRUZ COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Yeah, when Donald Trump said I will accept the results ... if I win, that's a joke he should have told at the Al Smith dinner tonight, not in an actual rally, because it is a joke what he's doing, but Barack Obama's speech today was looking past the presidential race. He assumes Donald Trump is done. I can tell you republicans feel that too way, too. And there are a lot of active conversations about what to do with the RNC, what a new chairman could look like, what reforms are needed because everyone (INAUDIBLE) as we're headed for disaster. The question now is how to fix it, and what the Republican Party will look like in 2017.
TAPPER: Is that right, Alice? I heard from a republican congressman yesterday who said he's worried about the house, even, which would - that would be a real wave, because I mean, that's a tough - a tall order to - for democrats to recapture the house. STEWART: We're safe in the house. There's too many - too many seats that democrats needs to pick up. The house is safe. There are concerns about the senate. And I think what we're going to see between now and Election Day is a lot of these senators in these tight races, they're going to distance themselves as much as they can from Donald Trump and run their own race and bring in their own surrogates to speak for them, because it's a do or die from here to the finish. And they are separating themselves from Donald Trump. I think the third debate, I think the fact that we're spending the day after talking about his claims that the elections are rigged is unfortunate, because I think there are some clear contrasts he showed last night in terms of the Supreme Court, which is a critical issue for a lot of voters and is a stark contrast between he and Hillary given that he's pro-life, she is pro-abortion. On the second amendment, he's for Second Amendment rights, she's for gun control. And that's a clear contrast that many need to see. Unfortunately, his comments about the election have overshadowed that.
CARPENTER: I'll touch back quickly on the republicans losing the senate. There's one person that really desperately needs some accountability in this, and that's senator majority leader Mitch McConnell. At a time as late as August, he was reassuring his colleagues telling them, we will not lose one senate seat because of Donald Trump. Mitch McConnell thinks he's the master tactician. That's a giant growth miscalculation. And you don't see Mitch McConnell anywhere -
CARPENTER: -- trying to mitigate the damage that he helped to cause by enabling Trump, and so Mitch McConnell needs to be a part of that conversation.
ROSEN: And they're not - and they're not getting (INAUDIBLE) much guidance. I mean, you know, even in Kelly Ayotte's debate -
TAPPER: The New Hampshire Senator.
ROSEN: -- in New Hampshire, she was defending Donald Trump up -
TAPPER: Called him a role model.
ROSEN: -- to for a couple of weeks ago. And so, you know, the idea that these senators are in this last two weeks, going to be able to run away from this guy, I don't - I don't think so. Instructive in the house, Nancy Pelosi and the house democrats raised twice as much money last month as Paul Ryan and the republicans. That's - and the republicans control the house. So, the idea that the democrats could raise that much more money, that tells you how - where the wind is going here.
TAPPER: Amanda and Alice, you guys worked for Ted Cruz, he never warned us about anything like this happening. I'm joking. I'm joking.
(CROSSTALK) TAPPER: I'm joking. I'm joking. Thank you so much one and all, appreciate it. It's being called a big failure, but a new North Korean missile launch is still setting off alarm bells. That story next. Stay with us.
[16:55:00] TAPPER: Welcome back. Our "WORLD LEAD" now. Yet, another missile launch by North Korea. Last night's test was a big flop with an intermediate range missile exploding shortly after take-off. But what's alarming, national security experts, is that these missile tests have become more frequent under the reign of Kim Jong-un. This was the second missile launch in just a week, and the fifth in the past two months. Secretary of State John Kerry today responding to all of this by announcing the U.S. is going to send a controversial anti-missile system to South Korea as soon as possible, and warning Kim Jong-un that the U.S. has the power to, quote, "Wipe out North Korea." That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I'm turning you over to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."
[17:00:07] WOLF BLITZER, CNN THE SITUATION ROOM HOST: Happening now, "If I win," after refusing to commit to honoring the election results, Donald Trump now says he'll accept -