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Analysis of President Donald Trump Gives Speech to Joint Session of Congress. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired February 28, 2017 - 23:00   ET

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


[23:00:00] RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: 1.5 percent growth last year, average of less than two percent. I mean, that's just reality. Wages been basically flat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. That is not true.

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: Obamacare is -- you have third of the counties with one plan. LOOK. There's some huge problem.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need to fix Obamacare, no doubt.

SANTORUM: OK. Maybe overstated the case. This is not red meat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is false.

SANTORUM: What Donald Trump did was about as mild of criticism for a President, if you look at other things that were said by previous president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lawless chaos, disaster.

SANTORUM: And it was a lot of stuff that got Democrats off their seats. And that is the story.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: OK. John?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I just want to add emphasis to what friends across the room who were just trying to get out of Mitch McConnell in addition to his praise of joining hands with Van Jones. McConnell just said something incredibly important and instructive about the politics of the moment when Wolf asked him, I believe what was first about the President said today, let's have immigration reform that allows the path to legal status. Mitch McConnell said let's see what the President recommends. And they asked him again, he said let's see what the President recommends.

This was - the President pulled a pin and rolled a grenade into the conservatives Capitol Hill. The most conservatives, especially tea party guys view any legal status as amnesty. This has been quick sand for the Republican primary for speaker John Boehner, for Mitch McConnell. They don't want to touch this right now because they have bigger fish they want to deal with like Obamacare, like tax reform. McConnell is saying, Mr. President, you want us to do this, you put your name on your letterhead, you put your name on it, you go around the country and sell it, don't ask us to do it.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Wasn't in the speech.

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Use Canada as example of immigration - of what he would like to model after, that is really surprising. But what he said --

KING: This is amnesty to conservatives. And we could argue about whether it is or isn't. Conservatives believe to give legal status to people who came in to this country illegally is amnesty period. Some include the dreamers on that - not all, but some even include the dreamers on that. So for the Republicans to deal with these issues when they are trying to settle the difference with the Obamacare, trying to settle the different tax reform, trying to deal with other things is distraction Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan do not want. McConnell was saying Mr. President, you want to take us in to this blunder, you go first.

BORGER: There's a reason then that it wasn't in the speech. Reason I --

KING: Touched on it.

BORGER: Touch on is very vaguely. But this is a big deal. And if he wanted to make it a big deal, he could have of. Because the fact that he was talking about legal status is a huge shift. And it was not emphasized in any way, shape or form. It was sort of mildly kind of tangentially referred to because he knew exactly what Mitch McConnell's reaction was going to be. He knew exactly what conservatives' reaction is going to be. And that is why he also did not provide any specifics on where he was going on Obamacare.

KING: But he was supposed to know --

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: Let me just finish. They wanted a guide post tonight, I think. Republicans in Congress, I talked to a bunch today. They were saying, you know, we would like to have some things laid down for us. This is what the President will accept. This is what the President won't accept. And Senator, you are shaking your head because he didn't do it because didn't want to box himself in obviously. But - so they are kind of flying blind.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Smart, though. He didn't do it not because he doesn't want to box himself in. He didn't do it because they don't have an answer.

KING: Thank you.

AXELROD: This catastrophe that Mitch McConnell described reduced the uninsured rate in his state from 20.4 to 7.8. So the real catastrophe is the politics of trying to undo this and tell all those people who finally have the opportunity to have insurance that they are not going to have it anymore. And that is something that Republican politicians don't want to do. We have governors in the state, we have the governors in the city, in

the past few days, 32 of them have expanded Medicaid, many of them Republican governors. They are death on that house plan. And all kinds of land mines in that house plan. That plan will not get through the United States Senate.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. And, I mean, one thing that was interesting in listening to Mitch McConnell, I mean, he almost likened the position that they are in to the position that Hillary Clinton would be in if she got elected. He basically said that if Hillary Clinton had gotten in, they would be revisiting Obamacare. And that is the language that he used as well, sort of tinkering around the edges. He never used the phrase about repeal and replace.

KING: The Massachusetts bill is a great example of this. Now, there are not that many Republicans in Massachusetts so it is not apples and apples. But the Massachusetts bill was passed under governor Mitt Romney with the bipartisan consensus. They have too back several times and revisited because when you do something so big, of course, you get things wrong or the market place changes. Even when they passed the Massachusetts, but they sort of acknowledged upfront, we are not quite sure how we are going to pay for it. So let's pass it. We will come back at. But because they have bipartisan consensus, they come back every couple of years and tweak it because Obamacare was passed with no Republican votes. Welcome to Washington.

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Successful Presidency is run on two tracks. One is what you saw tonight which is rallying public opinion, giving people the image of the leader. The second part is the details. All the things that we are talking about here. You use the first to negotiate the second. So what his mission was tonight was to do the first, which he did, I think we all agree, extremely well. Now comes the devil in the details. But he gets leverage out of this kind of speech and he is going to use it.

[23:05:25] VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But let me just talk about something that he - that he touched on that he opened a door on that could be negative or positive. He did talked about Chicago. He did raise his question around violent crime. The reality is I think both parties have failed on this.

It is true that crime has been going down. It is also true this is a little bounce back up. It is bounce back up. Often it seems as if the Republicans just point to that to embarrass liberal Democratic mayors but they don't actually have a plan to do anything about it, to your point. But also, it does seems that the Democrats are kind of just duck on it and point to statistics and don't talk about funerals.

He has opened door now to say we are going to talk about this. I think Democrats need to rush in and actually force him to do something. Sir, if you want to talk about what is happening in these communities, Rahm Emanuel has put plans and requests on the table. Nothing has been done by the Trump administration. There are things that can be done. The business community can be rallied. The faith community can be rallied. The governor should be doing something about it. It is an emergency. But right now, Donald Trump is just speechifying about it. He is not doing anything about it. That is not true. Another opportunity is he missed an opportunity tonight to talk about the opioid crisis.

Listen. You have people dying right now more from opioids than car crashes. It was a huge issue in the Republican primary. Five million people did big thing online begging Trump to say something about opioids. He didn't say anything about it.

So if he's concerned about the pain at the bottom, there are -- he can find willing partners in states red and blue states who want something to happen. I didn't see a real deal with that kind of stuff. So listen. The speech, there were positive things in that speech. But if he want to be serious about being a healer, he has go a long way to go.

SANTORUM: Well, number one, he has been talking about that, not just tonight. He has been talking about it throughout the campaign, number one.

JONES: But where is it?

SANTORUM: Well, number two.

COOPER: Build the wall because of the drugs.

SANTORUM: He didn't mention specific opioids but he is certainly talk about the (INAUDIBLE) scourge of drugs and the fact that it is coming over the border.

JONES: (INAUDIBLE)

SANTORUM: Did that. The other thing, how about the Senate confirming secretary of HUD, Ben Carson. I talked to Ben last week. He is champing at bit, ready to get to work on a lot of these things and he has being held up.

JONES: Sir, I want to ask you a question. He is misleading the public and I think you know it, when he says the way to deal with the big drug crisis today is the border. The drugs are coming out of folks - of medicine cabinets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, pharmacy.

JONES: It is the big pharmacies and he is not talking about that honestly. And people are dying. Don't you think that Republican- Democrats should be doing something about the opioid case more than just talking about the wall that is not going to do one thing to save these lives and these kids dying from these opioids?

SANTORUM: I think as you know, there's multi plank strategy in dealing with this crisis. Part of this, the drug problem, is coming across the border. You're right, it is not the opioids - part of it is the opioids but not a lot of it is right. And a lot of these synthetic drugs and other things that are happening. So yes, putting more teeth with money, I would agree with that. With

addiction. States are doing that. New Hampshire did it. Bunch of the Republican governors are coming forward. And I don't doubt that Donald Trump is going to come forward with something that deals with this crisis and put some federal dollars in, but it has to be multi- level. It can't just be more money.

JONES: I disagree.

AXELROD: Let me just say a couple of things. First of all, at the same time that you are talking about taking a huge ax to discretionary domestic spending, it is hard to see where this money is going to come from. But at the same time that you could have block granting and cutting Medicaid, I don't know where this antidrug effort is going to come from.

But on Chicago, I can only speak as Chicagoan, it is so horrifying to see what has happened in some of the neighborhoods of our city. It's isolated but it is painful. And I think most Chicagoans would love to get help and cooperation. And what they are saying is we want solutions. We don't want to be a punch line.

The mayor has sent a series of things that the police feel could help, prosecutors feel could help. And it's just about time for the President to say, you know what, I have talked about it enough, and now I'm going to try and help.

GRANHOLM: And wouldn't one of the things to help be really focusing on how to partner to bringing in jobs to areas that are really underserved and without hope? To me, that's one of the biggest areas.

I totally applaud him for continuing a focus on make it in America. And the question is what are the policy teeth that you have behind that in addition to the trade issue? That's one issue I don't know if he can get Congress to buy in, as you know, it's really tough on the Republican side and even some Democrats. But what is your economic partnership development strategies in these cities? If you really going to create jobs you have to have a partnership. You can talk about infrastructure, and in that he talked about public/private partnerships. You know, when you talk about public/private partnerships and infrastructure, what does that mean? That means that everyday citizens might have to pay a toll. That means that you have to apply a public/private partnership to new infrastructure, probably not to existing infrastructure, unless you get a huge backlash because people are used to driving on the roads and their bridges. But what is the direct spin he is going to be doing to create jobs in communities across the country.

BORGER: And what he is talking about in terms of jobs and what he talked about in the speech tonight was I'm creating a lot of jobs because I'm meeting with a lot of CEOs.

GRANHOLM: Yes. Come on.

BORGER: And I'm keeping them from going abroad because I'm probably promising them some tax breaks. And I'm meeting with CEOs and --. GRANHOLM: But he didn't even say that.

BORGER: Well, he didn't say that but that's --.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's been saying it.

BORGER: Right.

GRANHOLM: He says we are going lower taxes in general.

BORGER: Right. We are going to lower corporate taxes.

But - what I'm doing is one by one, which Republicans call crony capitalism because they don't really like it, let me say that, but they are not loudly objecting to it right now, but that's what they are thinking and saying to each other. And this is what he is doing instead of doing what you are saying, governor. So I think that -- you know, he is using it and saying, I bludgeoned people and it is by the force of me.

SANTORUM: Well, that's a part of it.

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: But he is saying more, look. If you would get the energy policies before with the keystone pipeline, buy American steel, all of this like that's number one. You look at the corporate tax. I mean, the fact that we are not competitive. Our corporations are not competitive. You look at - you know, he has talked terrorists, he talked, you know, flirted with border adjustment tax. I mean, he is talking about trying to do things to level the playing field for American manufacturers. We haven't seen that in a long, long time by any Democrat or Republican President.

BORGER: But has he said he has signed to the border adjustment tax?

SANTORUM: No, he hasn't. But I'm saying he has talked about trying to level the playing field. And he has - he is not going to get into the policy details that a traditional President going to gets into it. He has just going to do that.

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: But he has left open the door for kinds of discussions that we haven't seen in a long, long time and has done the regulatory. I mean, he really has focused on getting - you talk to all the manufacturers, you talk to people who are working men and women in this country, who are working in those jobs, it's the regulations.

GRANHOLM: No, it's not.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: One at a time - David.

AXELROD: I think he boasted in the speech about the stock market taking off and so on. I think he did. So all these unproductive hobbled corporations seem to be doing pretty well.

But listen. I don't think Democrats and Republicans alike are being completely honest about this issue. You know, he jaw boned carrier. They said we will stay and then shortly thereafter the announcement we may automate a lot of the work. And I think we are going to see more and more of this. This is the great challenge of our time. There wasn't a word of that in his speech. He is fighting a battle that really was about that we lost about two decades ago. And where is the plan for that? Where is the strategy for that? Frankly, I don't hear enough Democrats talking about that either.

SANTORUM: Automation is part of saving jobs. Be more efficient in your production is how you keep jobs here.

GRANHOLM: Building the robots, we should see a plan for that. But who is going to be building on? Why does he take advantage of the fastest growing sector which is in clean energy? You better believe those governors you talked about, they are all about creating clean energy jobs in their state -- in Ohio, in Iowa. I mean, they are --.

AXELROD: Driverless come on line - are going to come online by end of this decade. There are millions of people who make a living driving cars. Where are they going in the economy? What is our strategy for that? Oxford did a study and said in the next 20 years, we are going to lose 40, 45 percent of our jobs to automation. Where are those people going in our economy? This is a real issue. This requires a strategy. Where is the strategy?

LORD: I think what we are getting here is that - and I'm looking, Senator, they company called (INAUDIBLE) which is in Pittsburgh. And they are one of the largest manufacturers of -- producers of polymers. And they are thrilled with Donald Trump and what he is saying. They are thrilled as manufacturers with what he is doing. Because they believe that this is going to bring more manufacturing jobs to Pittsburgh. That's exactly - I mean.

JONES: Listen. I love all the manufacturing jobs and I don't mean to offend anybody but reality is when manufacturing jobs left America there were a lot of people working on very few machines. When and if they come back, there is going to be few people working on a lot of machines. Because the automation piece - listen. Even in Baltimore they opened up a big so-called factory and it turned out the last person who has going to have a job in that factory is, of course, you got the factory on, the whole factory is a robot.

So we have to be able to be honest. We want these jobs back. But David is 100% right. And both political parties went through an 18- month process and acted like the only challenge was either Wall Street or trade.

Silicon Valley is going to wipe out about a billion jobs over the next, you know, 10 to 15 years and we need a strategy for that. Now, a lot of the sloganeering sounds great from the populist in both sides. Sanders sound great and Trump sounds great. But they all act like if we fix trade we get manufacturing jobs and everything will be fine. It is not true. And so, investing, it is going to go like this, investing in the human

capital as well as the infrastructure is something that we need a much bigger focus on. I think there could be common ground there but I think we are missing it because I think we are lying about the problem.

GRANHOLM: Well, and so the education system is where you have to start. He gave a little paragraph in the speech to education and it seemed like he was suggesting, because of who was introduced in the audience, young woman who got some kind of grant and got to be able to choose where she went that --

JONES: Choice.

GRANHOLM: It was more than choice. I sort of got a voucher thing. I wasn't, you know, because he was talking about private schools. In private, you should be able to choose a private school with public money. It seemed like he was saying and, of course, with Betsy DeVos, that they - the department of education, she has championed vouchers for decades and decades. So it will be true. I will be curious to see. But your point about human capital, getting these kids as part of curriculum to learn to code --

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: I was excited that very little was spent on the education. Because 90 percent of education money is spent at the state local level, not at the federal governments. It is not the federal government's job to run education policy. And in fact, the overwhelming consensus from parents is they don't want the federal government going in there running their schools.

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: And when it comes to education training, states -- many states are doing a fabulous job in stepping forward. Mike Pence before he left Indiana put vocational education back into the school systems. Nikki Haley, when she was in South Carolina, has tech centers all over.

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: In the 21st century, education and training is the economic defense budget that we have to concentrate on. I understand local control of schools and federal government doesn't have to be command and control. But there has to be a strategy to make sure that wherever you live in this country you can get the training you deserve. But on the issue of politics, I want to just say I understand it. I have been in politics and around politics all my life. It's sexier to attack the Chinese and Mexicans for taking our jobs than to attack robots and computers. And so we get what we get. But that's not really going to solve the problem that we face moving forward.

JONES: Speaking of the defense budget, I think everybody is kind of letting that go, like it makes sense what he's talking about. And I don't think it - I just wanted to say, listen. I don't think a 10 percent increase in the defense budget that you don't pay for in any obvious way, first of all sound like bankrupter in chief. You add all the stuff he is talking about. He wants to spend more in defense, spend more on - but some of these domestic programs and not raise taxes, cut taxes. So you becomes a bankrupter in chief. And I don't think the people we are fighting right now --

LORD: I think I just heard Mr. McConnell withdraw his endorsement.

(CROSSTALK)

LORD: McConnell have one nice thing about him and he goes off deficit.

BORGER: I agree with you completely. I mean, he is not touching any of the problems that conservative Republicans are talking about. And now Democrats are deficit hawks, reborn deficit hawks. You are talking about --

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: $54 billion, I mean, John McCain says it's not enough. But it is $54 billion, 10 percent increase. You are not touching entitlements. Defense and entitlements are three quarters of the budget. So you have this little sliver left.

GRANHOLM: Waste, fraud and abuse.

SANTORUM: Obamacare and Medicaid both entitlements and they will be touched. Obamacare and Medicaid are two of the four big entitlements.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: But what enemy do we need 10 percent increase in our existing budget to defeat?

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: To fight who? Is?

BORGER: The argument is that military has been under the so-called sequester which means across the board cuts for the last what, six, seven, eight years. I don't even remember anymore. JONES: And we have bigger military.

AXELROD: President Obama proposed a fairly substantial in increase. Not this substantial. But the thing that is kind, that's very concerning here with all this talk of pieces, you are talking about a 37 percent cut in the state department. The most interesting thing that happens since that story surfaced is the number of generals who have stepped forward and said, you know what? We would rather give a little to make sure that we have the kind of programs that the state department is in engaged in because that makes it less like --.

(CROSSTALK)

[23:20:24] COOPER: Lindsey Graham today said that proposal is dead on arrival.

KING: Across the Republican. Across the Republican Party there has been a lot of criticism to specifics of the budget. People saying that most of the Republicans want to increase defense, don't get me wrong, but they said they don't want to cut state department. They say that they cut domestic discretionary spending as much as they can. And those other problems. So he is going to have a fight his own party about the details. But the not so dirty little secret in Washington is they understand that this is a very difficult budget for the first President because he is not a Republican in many ways. He did promise more spending. And so they try to keep their promises this year. They are hoping that these tax of reform and the regulatory steps and senator Santorum was talking about, the things that cause the optimism in the stock market, they are hoping it awfully trickle out into the broader economy. How did Bill Clinton do it? Because they had growth with all those jobs. He had growth and there is more money coming in to Washington. So you can cut taxes and increase spending in some place at the same time. So the second and third Trump budget they are hoping has a lot more money.

COOPER: But the percent of growth he was talking about or during the campaign-I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, he was talking about four percent.

(CROSSTALK)

GRANHOLM: So this one is 2.5 percent.

AXELROD: On infrastructure, though, I mean, he - it is interesting because they are talking about deferring the infrastructure program to 2018. As political matter, there's a certain logic to having the infrastructure hit later than right now because of the more helpful in that election and perhaps in his election. Because he used a word tonight that he talked about - would produce a trillion dollars in infrastructure. And a lot of the discussion is he talking about tax credits for infrastructure which will essentially give benefits to people who are going to do that work anyway or is he going to talk about investing actual hard dollars in the kinds of roads and bridges and real fundamental infrastructure repair that may not be a good investment for private equity firm but is very necessary to community.

BORGER: Well, and this is what Chuck Schumer was talking about when he said I haven't heard from the president on this infrastructure bill because his natural allies are the Democrats in this particular endeavor.

AXELROD: Unless it is tax credits.

BORGER: Unless it is tax credits.

COOPER: Talking about how to pay for stuff, I was wondering where the commercial breaks are because --.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: I'm literally been sitting here. I was like, wait a minute, is my IP not working?

We are going to toss to I think our first commercial like in 30 minutes. The first results from our exclusive instant poll of people who watch President Trump's speech, which of his policies got the best and worst reaction, we will show you that real time.

Our reality check will also tell us whether the President got his facts straight on the murder and unemployment rates as well. More ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:26:59] WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Welcome back. We are getting the first poll reaction to what we just heard from the President of the United States.

David Chalian, our political director, we did instant poll, CNN/ORC poll among those people who actually watched the speech.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: And that's an important thing to remember. Because, of course, people who watched the speech when a Republican President delivers a speech like this to a joint session, more inclined that Republicans watch the speech. We saw this with Democratic president and Republican president. That is true denied as well.

That being said, Donald Trump got some great reviews tonight. Take a look at these first numbers, reactions to the speech, 57 percent of speech watchers had a very positive reaction, 21 percent, somewhat, 21 percent negative.

Then asked if Donald Trump's policies will indeed move the country in the right direction or the wrong direction, 69 percent of speech watchers say his policies are going to move the country in the right direction, wrong direction is 26 percent.

And take a look that 69 percent, because he grew over the course of the speech. Pre-speech, 58 percent of the speech watchers said they thought his policies are going to move in the right direction. After watching the speech, that went up 11 points to 69 percent.

And finally did the speech make the country more optimistic? Or at least those watching the speech, 69 percent of speech watchers, again, a very high number there for Donald Trump are more optimistic about the future, about the country having watched Donald Trump's speech, 28 percent more pessimistic.

BLITZER: Did he do better than President Obama did in his first address before a joint session of Congress? Than President Bush did before his first address before a joint session of Congress? Because they always get a bump.

CHALIAN: Yes. Both President Obama and President Bush on their first speeches were a little bit higher in terms of the positive reaction, but it was all in the ballpark. I mean, that number there is a really good number for Donald Trump. We know going in, Donald Trump was at historical lows in approval rating and a very polarizing President. So I think these marks are right in the ballpark there and quite good for Donald Trump.

BLITZER: Good numbers - Jake.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Not a surprise. I thought it was a speech that was well delivered and he has certainly been on something of a charm offensive as of late. You know, I think the difference between talking about one principles for healthcare and then actually the act of repealing and replacing Obamacare, those are two very different things.

Taking three minutes to honor a gold star wife after less than a month after her husband Navy seal Ryan Owens died serving his country. A moving moment President Trump certainly rose to the moment. We all felt moved by her tears, moved by the recognition of his sacrifice. That is a wonderful moment.

Questions about that Yemen raid which we will continue to hear and continue to hear about, not so positive. So it is not a surprise. But, you know, President Trump saying it's time to put trivial things aside. That is nice. President Trump getting up in the middle of the night to tweet nasty things at Hollywood actress, we will see how it plays out.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right. And when you look at people most worried about Donald Trump's tweeting and the erratic things he has said, people who were in the audience tonight in the room, house Republicans, Senate Republicans, and Republicans around the country, there is no question they are breathing a sigh of relief.

I mean, we have heard that from then we see it even in - I mean, Mitch McConnell is not the most, you know, I think he would say the most animated person and even he looked like he was on a little bit of a high given the fact there was concern. I mean, there's no doubt about it. There was concern about the fact that President Trump, if he did stick to script, which he largely did, he would probably be OK. If he had Donald Trump rally moments, not so much. He didn't.

[23:30:47] CHALIAN: I would just say, this goes beyond the base. If nearly eight in ten speech watchers say they are having a somewhat or very positive reaction to the speech, that's beyond just --.

BLITZER: Yes.

Anderson, very, very good numbers for the president. The reaction among these people who actually watched the speech.

COOPER: Yes, certainly. We are also joined now by the panel by Stephen Moore, who was a senior economic adviser for the Trump campaign, as chief economist for the Heritage Foundation.

I'm wondering what you heard tonight with that a lot of discussion about were there any details there in terms of how these things are going to be paid for. What do you hear from? STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: So while we just got

confirmation that this was virtual show performance for Donald Trump. I worked with Donald Trump on the campaign. I always said there's a good Donald Trump and there is a bad Donald Trump. And we certainly saw the good Donald Trump tonight.

COOPER: We are familiar with some of that.

MOORE: Now, why is this important? Because, you know, if you look at the latest "Wall Street Journal" poll, Donald Trump's approval rating is 43, 44 percent. We can't govern if you have approval rating less than 50 percent. He has got to get that number up you know, 50, 55, maybe hopefully above that. And if he does, that makes what he wants to do legislatively so much easier.

So there is two things he has to do, Anderson, this year on the economy. He has got to do something about Obamacare and we will see how that looks. And second thing, and maybe even more importantly, he has get this tax cut done. He wasn't too specific about the details of the plan but that has to get down.

I mean, you know Rick, I mean, businesses want that tax cut. They want the details. And one thing I'm concern about. Don't wait. Do that right now. Get it done. I wish he had said send me a tax cut bill and get it on my desk and I'll get it done.

COOPER: Because there a lot of Republicans who wish they have already heard something about that. They feel like it has been pushed down the road.

MOORE: Well, look. I mean, there is no reason this has to wait. They got the Republican House, Republican Senate. He has been very clear on that. And you do that business tax cut. You know, you are all talking about the deficit issue. They are not going to bring the best down. You were in the Senate, you know this. If you have less than two percent growth like we got the last time, you never going to make progress. You get that growth up and I think we can get to 3.5 percent to four percent. That and a lot of these other problem.

COOPER: You think that's possible? Actually get three--.

MOORE: I really do. Pro-American energy policy. See if you produce American oil, gas and coal and then you do --

COOPER: Which we're doing.

JONES: Which we are doing. We got the world leader.

MOORE: Yes. But we can do so much more.

(CROSSTALK)

MOORE: About 100 projects that Barack Obama would not allow to go forward that could be green lighted right away. And those are billions of dollars of (INAUDIBLE).

JONES: Hold on a second.

MOORE: Yes.

JONES: And this kind of goes to the poll question that we have been having about regulation and our good friend here. At certain point, the trade-off in terms of economic development versus what you are doing to public health and what you are doing natural resources begins to kick in. Under Barack Obama, under President Obama we became a leading producer not just of natural gas but also oil.

MOORE: That was despite him --

JONES: No, no, no. Listen.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: Let me finish. You had your turn. I think it's very dangerous for us to do budgeting based on this fantasy that we can get to 3.5, four percent growth. There is no developed country in the world right, just approaching those numbers. We are beating Europe. We are beating Japan right now. You are dealing with a global set of challenges that you are now saying that -- shocking to come from you, it was heritage, that you think the domestic regulatory changes can overcome global head winds of less than --

MOORE: Absolutely. OK, listen. We can bring all the shops here.

JONES: You're heritage. If we do what you say, and we don't get that growth, you create a budget catastrophe worse than even I'm comfortable as a liberal.

MOORE: Worse than Barack Obama created? I hear you guys talking all night about the deficit. You know, called him bankrupter in chief. We just had.

JONES: No.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: Just saved U.S. economy from the worst recession since the great depression. That's President Obama.

MOORE: Right. But we also have $9 trillion of debt.

JONES: To deal with George W. Bush. But I want to hear from you because you are, you know, as good as anybody on your team. Is there not a downside or risk that we go - we have deficits beyond what even I'm comfortable with as liberal based on what you're saying?

MOORE: I want to cut spending. No question about it. But what I'm saying if we go forward with 1.8 percent growth, which we had last year.

[23:35:07] JONES: Beating Europe and Japan.

MOORE: Yes. But look, we have -- you can say we can't achieve 3.5, four percent growth. We did that under JFK. We did that under Ronald Reagan. Both of them - there is great I want to recommend to by (INAUDIBLE) called "JFK and the Reagan Revolution," the two periods of great economic growth in this country, were preceded, you know this Rick, by big supply side rate reductions. You get those business - tax rate down, I guarantee you those business are coming back.

COOPER: I envision Van Jones reading (INAUDIBLE).

JONES: Again?

BORGER: So why a Republican and why is this White House saying we are not going to do tax cuts until we do healthcare?

MOORE: I think it is a mistake.

BORGER: Well, they are saying that because they, you know, they figure first of all, one thing at a time. They want to do healthcare reform under budget reconciliation, which means that they only have to get 50 votes in the Senate and they don't want to confuse the issue.

MOORE: They also, Gloria, as I think they are making a strategic mistake. I think you got to get the tax cut. Look, what was the number one issue about the campaign? What is the one thing Americans care most about? Jobs and the economy, right. Jobs and the economy.

If Trump can get that tax cuts done, if he can get the regulations off the backs of businesses -- I was part of, you know, Van, I was part of something called the Trump leadership council. We met with leaders of major American companies and transportation, manufacturing, Silicon Valley companies and they said exactly what Rick said earlier. The biggest problem right now is the regulatory hurdles.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: All right. I mean, you can go next.

First of all, did you meet with the workers? Because the problem that we have in the United States is that we actually have profitable corporations. They are doing very well and they are not sharing with the workers. The problem is not lack of jobs but lack of good jobs. We have a lot of people who are working very hard for very little because we don't have enough sharing of the profits from the corporations. Giving them bigger set of opportunities by deregulation tax cuts does not guaranty anybody gets a job or a good job.

MOORE: I don't want to hug this conversation but I'm going to crack here on economics. The reason we haven't seen the kind of recovery that most Americans want to see. You are right. American company is profitable. You know this, governor, they are profitable. What they are not doing is reinvesting those profits into the business and when you have companies invest that's how you help business.

JONES: These are 30-year problem, sir. You want to act like every problem U.S. economy started with President Obama.

MOORE: I didn't say that. No, no, no. I said 15 years. These problems began under Bush. But it has been 15 years since the average American worker has had a pay raise.

JONES: And you think that's because of regulation. I'm going to tell you it's not.

MOORE: Regulations, taxes --

JONES: Governor, will you --?

GRANHOLM: You know, I want to ask a question, though, because you started out by saying that when he unleashes the American energy, you know, I assume you mean the fossil fuel energy.

MOORE: And nuclear power, too.

GRANHOLM: And nuclear--. Why wouldn't you also include renewables in that given that they have had 20 to 25 percent growth and there is more people working?

(CROSSTALK)

GRANHOLM: Don't go there, you don't think the oil and gas --

MOORE: Do you know the percentage of American energy today comes from wind and solar despite $150,000 billion? About four percent.

GRANHOLM: And you know what? You know how many people - I'm talking about people who are working in that. There are more people who are working in the clean energy industry writ large than there are in.

MOORE: Well, that is because you laid off all the coal workers.

GRANHOLM: No, no, no. But why would you disparage that work? Why -- if we want to create jobs, why not create all kinds of jobs? Why is that lesser?

MOORE: I don't have a problem with wind and solar energy but get rid of all the subsidies.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: David?

AXELROD: I'm just interested. See, I barely passed math. So I'm going to ask you some questions here to help clarify. The President says he is going to go for a trillion dollar infrastructure plan. We are not sure exactly what form that will take. He is going to increase military spending by 10 percent. He is going to increase spending on veterans and he is going to go from very, very large tax cut. And he is not going touch entitlements, Social Security or Medicare. How does this work? I'm just trying to understand it from your perspective?

MOORE: Well, look. Well, all of that spending makes me queasy. I'm not here to defend everything that Donald Trump said tonight and I think a trillion -- we already spend a trillion dollars every ten years at the federal level on infrastructure. So it has to be spent very wisely. Whether the defense department needs more money, I'm not a defense expert. But I will say this. And I got (INAUDIBLE) on the CNN shows, show me David, one democrat, one in the house or Senate that wants to talk about reducing Medicare and Social Security spending? I can't find a single one.

AXELROD: No. I'm not arguing. I think there is a lot of support for those programs. There are a lot of people who are supportive of those programs because you got middle income people who are struggling and who need those programs. So, I -- but they are also out there - they are also not suggesting all of these things I mentioned.

[23:40:15] MOORE: But David, you are the one who wants to run the ads against the Republicans. You have seen these --.

AXELROD: I'm out of the ad business.

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: I'm out of the ad business. I'm just watching with interest to see how all of this pencils out because here's what I fear. I fear that if you wall off all these different parts of the budget, that it then becomes rationale for literally taking a meat ax to everything else that touches on people's lives in a positive way. We talked about the opioid crisis for example. We need to invest more in programs to help those people. There is not going to be room for that. And there are a whole variety of other things from the state department to, you know, training and housing programs and so on. And it seems to me that those are important as well. So I'm concerned about it.

SANTORUM: I disagree. I hear your complaint. But the reality is two-thirds of the money we spent in Washington, D.C., are entitlement programs. And the big three entitlement programs are Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. They comprise over half of the budget.

So when you say well, you know, we can't touch those and let's throw in Obamacare, we can't touch that. You know, the Democrats are the ones saying that's walled off, not Donald Trump. Donald Trump is not saying all that's walled off. He actually wants to put Medicaid and Obamacare on the table.

I disagree with him. I think Social Security and Medicare can be done better and more efficiently and I think they should be on the table.

AXELROD: Now, Rick --.

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: You know that healthcare spending from 2014 to 2019, that was estimated or at least before these changes that we are going to see, are now estimated to coming about in 11 percent below what they were expected to be because of the reforms that affordable care act brought. So if you are concerned about healthcare spending, this was one way, these market reforms were one way to reduce this healthcare.

SANTORUM: But people spending more on the premiums. COOPER: John?

KING: Crystal clear proof that as different as Donald Trump is and he is very different, that we still live, breathe and work in a very polarized Washington. And so, there are couple issues at play here.

The Speaker today said in a private meeting with reporters that we are hosed, his words, hosed if you don't deal with Social Security and Medicare down the road from long-term budget perspective. It is pretty clear this President is not going to do that, not going to take part of that conversation in the first year of office.

Can he be bent to get there? Interesting question. The Republican will have to get there. But to this point, this is polarized Washington. Number one, this is easier to do if you get that growth whether it is two percent or three percent, you get about. There is more money coming into Washington in this conversation. I remember back in the day, I believe the senator remembers, when Bill Clinton was President, and I think a Republican, sir, named Rick Santorum got on airplane with him and went to town halls out in the country to have this conversation. You are not going to get to this point until we get back to that point. And we are people of who at least suspend their partisanship differences enough to go out in the country and start having these conversations.

COOPER: And that sort of step doesn't happen now.

BORGER: No.

SANTORUM: It is not happening right now.

BORGER: Chris Christie made this case very strongly about touching entitlements, if you recall. And you made the case about touching entitlements. But you need a leader who makes a long-term case, and says we are going to start doing this. We will raise retirement ages very gradual and you have to tell people it is going to die.

SANTORUM: And Tip O'Neil had courage on this issue. Bill Clinton had courage on this issue. And they are willing to talk about the reality that these are non-sustainable systems that are in place right now. No Democrats - would play pure politics.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: No. It is not going to happen now because the Democratic Party is being pushed more to the left.

JONES: That's not true. Listen.

KING: Medicare and Social Security. You want to go to have a town hall, Rick Santorum.

JONES: Bernie Sanders put on the table a solution for Social Security.

MOORE: He wanted to increase Social Security. (CROSSTALK)

JONES: Let me finish. No. He said increase to raise the cap so we bring more revenue into the program.

MOORE: Tax. That's not a solution.

JONES: Hold on a second. You just said that Democrats don't have courage to touch the issue. That in fact is not true. Democrats have a different set of solutions than you do. That's not lack of courage.

SANTORUM: And look of what Tip O'Neil did, look at Bill Clinton was talking about. He was talking about a bipartisan solution which did include, he has some taxes and he has some reductions. There is not a single Democrat anywhere in this country who is going to talk about (INAUDIBLE).

AXELROD: You look at Senator Durbin, who is the number two senator - Democrat in the Senate, and he was willing to vote for a very a difficult plan when Simpson balls was under way.

Just a second, Steve.

But here is - let me just make a political point here because you say Democrats are being pushed to the left. The reality is the Republican Party is now the party of older white voters and working-class white voters who are death on touching Social Security and Medicare. Donald Trump knows that and so do a lot of members of the Republican caucus. So let's not make this a partisan issue. There is a lot of reluctance in both parties on this issue and it is going to take a lot of courage to move forward with answers.

COOPER: We got to take a break. We are going to talk more with Van ahead. Also some of the key moments from the President's speech tonight from viewers who shared their real time reaction with us online. And a reality check team tells us if the President's jobs numbers add up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:49:41] COOPER: And we are back with our special coverage of President Trump's speech to Congress. You are looking a live shot there of Capitol Hill. Let's look at some of the moments that the best and also the least positive reaction from people who watched the speech. They shared the real time reaction with us online.

Tom Foreman is in our virtual studio with that - Tom.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson. More than 39,000 people cast effectively, more than 14 million votes. You can see them right here. The Democrats are in blue. The independents in purple. The Republicans in red. The line goes down if they don't like what they are hearing. Goes up if they do like it. And he got them all headed in the right direction, upwards right at the beginning when he talked about hate crimes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[23:50:18] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries as well as last week's shooting in Kansas City remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: Look what happens to the lines here. This is why don't you take all evening long and you saw them all come together for a brief period of time and then they all sort of falling off again.

What harder to make that happen when it came to policy out there. When he was talking about policy he was talking about things like prescription drugs. And when you talk about that, you saw the lines behaved in a very different fashion. They did not come together quite so tightly.

Throughout the evening, I will say this. One thing that is absolutely sure, the Democrats never got above what the independents have to say. They never caught up with the Republicans were and when they talked about prescription drugs, as I mention, take a look at how there was agreement for a period of time again, when they got together.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We should implement legal reforms that protect patients and doctors from unnecessary cause that drive up the price of insurance and work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs and bring them down immediately.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: So some agreement there. A lot of disagreement on other issues, though.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: All right, Tom. Thanks very much for that. We will continue to check in with the fact checkers all evening long.

David, you have no doubt, though, that we saw it in our own polls that there is going to be a bump for the President. The question is how long does it last and does he step on what he was able to achieve tonight?

AXELROD: Yes. No, I think that he will get a bump. There is not that much elasticity in our politics right now. So it may be a limited bump. But I think he will get a bump from this. But I do think the question is, can he maintain that approach that we saw tonight because, you know, he is given to lurching out of line and, you know, if someone says something he doesn't like or he sees something perhaps on another cable news network or even this one. He gets on twitter and all of a sudden the story shifts.

And you know, that was a lovely set of remarks at the beginning of the speech about us coming together against hate. But if you - you know, there are people who are going to be watching to see is he provoking some of this as he has in the past or will he take a different line moving forward?

HENDERSON: And his team around him has been trying to contain him, right. Get a communication strategy. Keep him off of twitter. Keep him, you know, on track and discipline. And in many ways, this speech and the reviews that he got, I mean, those poll numbers, and that's a fantastic argument for the people around him to go to him and say listen, look at the results.

COOPER: There was supposed to be moving not on the new executive order on immigration. Is that still --?

KING: Yes. It was supposed to be tomorrow and we just found out tonight that they decided to delay that. A smart politically. Smart move politically after a speech that is well-received.

COOPER: So don't step on the speed.

KING: Right. Let the speech digest. Let people talk about the speech. Why would you get something so controversial while you do that the next day? I think the key point connecting David and Nia is one is President. Let's assume and I think it's a safe assumption, he gets some political capital out of this. The president who started this, he ignore around 44 percent (INAUDIBLE). He very much needs that. So how much does he get? We won't know that. Let's see - let it bake in, talk to people on Capitol Hill. Watch the numbers as it comes out. And then what does he do with it? Because Republicans have internal party feuds on the healthcare reform piece and on the tax reform piece and those are the two achievements the president wants to get done as soon as possible.

So we watched him speak to the nation tonight and speech to the congressmen. That's part of being President. Communicating. Now, we are going to get to see the art of the deal guy by calling up Republican who don't agree with him say on the border adjustment tax or calling up Republican who don't agree with the specific in the Obamacare bill and saying I need this both forward.

BORGER: You know the question is what does the President learn from this? I mean, we saw out instant poll tonight. It was not a fake poll. It was a real poll. We will see if he likes it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somehow they are good again.

BORGER: That shows that he did very well tonight. I was texting with somebody who is an ally of his who said I am so relieved that this went really well because there was some worry about it. How much he would free lance and does he learn from this? Because he likes approval. He loves it. He can feel it in the room that it wasn't as bad as maybe he thought it was going to be. What is the president take away from this? And we don't know the answer to that. [23:55:06] MOORE: One of the interesting parts of what happened

tonight is when he started about the torch being passed. And I have been making this point for the last three or four months and not many of my conservative friends are happy with, but to some extent, the torch was passed from Reagan to Trump tonight. So we have been talking about this tonight. Republicans Trump ran on a different set of kind of policies than the traditional Republicans have. You know, we talked about infrastructure spending. We talked about more anti, you know, tougher on immigration and trade protectionism. Those are, Anderson, traditional Republican issues. And we will see whether - and by the way --

COOPER: And then, Van, very quickly then we get in.

JONES: Look. When you are playing another team and you read them, you figure out, these guys can't get three pointers. So you don't have to worry about hitting three points. You play a certain game. People thought Donald Trump couldn't do a lot what he did tonight. It wasn't that he was reading off of a teleprompter. It was a he - something in his team quite figured out a little bit of a formula there to get out of some of the caricatures. Hopefully is loosen up again tomorrow. And we will be back to our usual conversation.

But I'm going to tell you right now, if you are a Democrat and you are mad at me for calling this thing, honest. I'm going to tell you right now, watch this dude. If this dude figures out how to keep doing this, this guy can hit three pointers now, you have a bigger problem than you had yesterday.

COOPER: Van Jones, Mitch McConnell's favorite Democrat tonight.

Our special coverage continues after the break. I want to thank everybody on the panel after a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)