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Interview With Donald Trump; Interview With Former Texas Governor Rick Perry; Louisiana Movie Theater Shooting; Donald Trump Takes Republican Lead In Poll; Candidates Spar Over Black Lives Matter. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired July 26, 2015 - 09:00   ET




JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Breaking now:


TAPPER: Brand-new poll numbers show Donald Trump still leading the Republican pack, but Jeb Bush is hot on his tail.

TRUMP: I'm in first place, by a lot, it seems. I want to run as a Republican. I think I will get the nomination.

TAPPER: Can Trump go the distance or will his own party take him down?

RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump's candidacy is a cancer on conservatism.

TAPPER: Rick Perry emerging as the leading voice against what he calls Trumpism, after Trump invades his home turf in Texas. He joins us.

Plus, black lives matter, the hashtag is tripping up Democrats on the stump.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We first have to acknowledge and believe that black lives matter. This is not just a slogan.

TAPPER: As they all race to get it right on race.

The best political team in television will be here with insights from the campaign trail.


TAPPER: Hello, everyone. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, D.C., where the state of our union is within the margin of error.

Brand-new poll numbers in to CNN this morning show Trump leading the Republican pack, though his lead over fellow front-runner Jeb Bush is far more narrow in this, the first major poll since his controversial comments questioning Senator John McCain's war heroism.

The new state of the race, Trump is at 18 percent. That's up six points from the last CNN poll. Bush is at 15 percent, and trailing in third, Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, with 10. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton still dominates, but Bernie Sanders has some strong showings in head-to-head matchups with Republicans, Clinton beating Trump 56 percent to 40, and Bush 51 percent to 46.

But Sanders also wins in a theoretical race against Trump 59-38 and nearly ties Bush, 47 for Sanders, 48 percent for Bush.

So much to talk about here. Let's bring in the host of "INSIDE POLITICS," John King, who is with me now.

John, let's start with the headline, Donald Trump up six points from the last time CNN did a poll. So his comments about John McCain and other comments he made ruffling the Republican leadership feathers, they're only helping him.


Now, there's a ceiling. A majority of the Republican Party still opposes him. But he has his slice, Jake. In a 16-, 17- candidate race, when you hear him saying I think I can win, it's early, but you have to look at that.

Right now, he criticized John McCain. A lot of us thought, oh, that crossed the lines. It breaks the rules. The anti-establishment Republicans like him. Part of it's issues. Part of it is that he's kicking the other candidates. Part of it is that he says things they don't think other politicians say.

Like him or not, he is the driving force in a very crowded, messy Republican race right now.

TAPPER: Twelve percent in June, 18 percent in this brand-new poll.

Now, looking at the head-to-head matchups, Hillary Clinton facing off against Jeb Bush, Jeb appears more of a challenge. There, you see Clinton vs. Trump, 56 percent for Hillary Clinton, 40 percent for Donald Trump. With Jeb Bush, it's 51 percent for Clinton, 46 percent for Jeb Bush.

So this feeds into the Republican establishment argument that Jeb Bush is a tougher challenge to Hillary.

KING: And it will be interesting whether that starts to come up on the trail and in the debates. We're about 10 days away from the first FOX debate. You get the second debate a month after that in September.

Do the other candidates start saying, Mr. Trump, you can't beat Hillary? And we know Republicans, after two terms of Obama, are very hungry to take the White House back. Does that become a factor? And it does factor into the Bush strategy. The Bush strategy is that Trump is the chaos in the race right now. But if you keep your head down, in the end, if you look at Republican history, the establishment guy usually wins the nomination. He will start to use electability as part of this case.

TAPPER: And, of course, one of the other things that's going on with Donald Trump is that he is consuming so much attention of the public, of the Republican voters, of the media, that there's a lot of information, a lot of candidates that people don't know anything about.

This was surprising in this new poll. Candidates that voters are unsure about or who have not even heard of include Ben Carson, 53 percent. Scott Walker, who is third in the poll, but he's at 50 percent, Marco Rubio, a well-known person here in Washington, D.C., 40 percent.

KING: For Walker, it's an opportunity, in the sense that half of Republicans say they don't know him, and yet he's still in a very strong position in Iowa and as a lot of people's second choice in New Hampshire.

So, for him, this isn't so bad. For the other ones, though, this is part of the effect of what we should call the summer of Trump. The lesser-known candidates normally get attention at this time of year. So, Trump is sucking up all the oxygen on the trail, getting most of the media attention, and the Republicans, by design, are having fewer debates.

So the Michele Bachmann moments, the Herman Cain moments we saw in the last cycle, the Ben Carsons, and even the Marco Rubios, as you noted, that's a big number. He's not getting the attention. The other day, he was facing off against John Kerry in the Iran hearing. Donald Trump was getting an Air Force One treatment when he landed his plane in Texas.

TAPPER: Indeed.

John King, thank you so much.

Joining us now on the phone to talk about his standing in the polls is none other than the front-runner, Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump, thanks for calling in.

You're up six points from our last poll. You're leading the Republican pack at 18 percent. Your reaction?


TRUMP: Well, I just heard.

And I just see by the crowds we have. Yesterday, I was in Iowa. We had a tremendous crowd, 1,500 people. And it was a beautiful group of people. And they were so enthusiastic, and standing ovations. And they want to see the country be great again. And, frankly, you know, I'm -- I can't say I'm unhappy or anything. I

just -- I'm not that surprised, because I see the kind of a crowd we're getting. We're getting the biggest crowds and we're getting by far the biggest ovations.

And they want to -- these are great people. And they want to see this country turned around. Our country is going -- I mean, I want to be nice by saying in the wrong direction, but much worse than that. So, you know, I will bring it back. I will bring back jobs from China and all these other places that are ripping us off. And I think that's what people want to see.

TAPPER: Now, there have been questions about whether or not you would run as an independent if you don't get the nomination.

You seem in recent days to be dialing that suggestion back a bit. You said you have been talking to the head of the Republican National Committee about your candidacy as a Republican, about your feeling that they need to be more impartial. What are they telling you?

TRUMP: Well, I have had some great conversations over the last few days, and they're terrific people.

I have known Reince for a long time, and he's a terrific guy. And the group in there is really good. But, you know, they view me as an outsider, I guess. And now they're starting to view me not as an outsider, because I'm leading in all the polls, not just yours. And I think they have been really nice over the last few days.

They're starting to see what's happening. I mean, there's -- there's a movement going on. This is more than me. This is a movement going on. People are tired of these incompetent politicians in Washington that can't get anything done. They can't make deals. They can't do anything. I mean, they go and they -- all they care about is getting elected. They don't care about anything else.

And they know that, you know, I built an incredible company. And a lot of people, including yourself, but a lot of people thought that I wasn't going to be running and I wouldn't put in my financials. I put in my financials. They're much better than anybody ever thought. People said, oh, well, maybe he's not as rich as everybody thinks.

Well, it turned out I'm much richer. And I built a great company. It has nothing to do with my being rich. But I built a great company. And you know, it's -- I wrote a book that was the number one bestselling business book and many bestsellers, and, you know, just had -- "The Apprentice" was a tremendous success.

TAPPER: Right.

TRUMP: And I told NBC I'm not going to do it again. I told them. Nobody does that, to turn off a money-making show like that. But I do it.

I -- you know, this cost me a lot of money, but I want to see our country be great again. TAPPER: Right.

TRUMP: And we have a chance to do it.

TAPPER: So, let me ask you, this is without question a great poll for you. It does, however, if you dive deeper into the numbers, it does show some -- show some weaknesses, potentially, with the general electorate, as opposed to with Republicans.

And you lose to Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head matchup. What do you think you need to do to turn those numbers around?

TRUMP: It's just step by step. Honestly, it's step by step. I haven't focused on Hillary.

In fact, yesterday, in Iowa, I made some very strong statements about Hillary, really for, I wouldn't say the first time, but they were strong. And the fact is that what she has done is criminal. I mean, what she has done is criminal. I don't see how she can run, because, if the prosecutors, who are all Democrats, by the way -- and that's part of the problem with fairness here -- they're all Democrats, so they're protecting her.

But if you had an impartial prosecutor and they were honorable -- and maybe they are -- we're going to find out, but what she's done is criminal.


TAPPER: What exactly are you saying is criminal?

TRUMP: And, frankly, what she did is far worse than what General Petraeus did, and he's gone down in disgrace.

I mean, what he did is not as bad as what Hillary Clinton did. And it's similar, but it's not as bad. I mean, she got rid of her server. He never did anything like that.

TAPPER: But, Mr. Trump, what...

TRUMP: And she did it after getting a subpoena from the United States Congress.

TAPPER: What are you saying that she did is criminal?

TRUMP: So, what she did is criminal. We will see what happens. But I think Hillary's got a lot of problems.

But you have understand, with me, it's step by step. When you and I spoke three, four months ago, I wasn't even going to be in the contest, according to, you know, various people.

TAPPER: Right.

TRUMP: And now I'm leading easily in a lot of the races, because people are sick and tired. So, with Hillary, I think I will beat Hillary easily. I think I will

beat Hillary. I don't think these other guys will.

TAPPER: So, let me just -- just to clarify, what exactly are you charging that Hillary did is criminal? You're talking about the -- this e-mail news?

TRUMP: I'm talking about the whole e-mail scandal. It's a scandal.

I mean, she's been protected. It's been amazing to me how she's been protected. Even the fact that "The Times" changed their story, I respect the times for going after her like that. But even the fact that they changed the story upon their request, I think they were more right the first time.

But whether it was the first time or the second time, what Hillary did is criminal.

TAPPER: I don't think it was a criminal...

TRUMP: And we will see whether or not that takes her out of the race. But, in theory, she shouldn't even be in the race.

Now, whether she is or whether it's a guy like Sanders, which is hard to believe, but whether she is in the race or not, I go step by step. I'm not thinking too much about Hillary right now.


I'm thinking about a man who is in favor of Common Core, a man who is weak on immigration, Jeb Bush, and a guy like Walker, who, frankly, his state is having tremendous difficulty. I love Wisconsin. It's a great place.

TAPPER: Right.

TRUMP: But, you know, he's putting debt up to the gills. The school system is a disaster because they don't have any money.

I mean, you know, Walker's state, Wisconsin, is a -- is a catastrophe from an economic and a financial standpoint. I think he's number 36 or 38 overall in terms of the country for economic growth. And the jobs, his jobs projection were way, way off, I mean, beyond.

TAPPER: Right.

TRUMP: They have budget deficits. He was going to have a lot of big surplus. Well, they have got a $2.2 billion deficit.

TAPPER: So, I hear you. Mr. Trump, I just want to...

TRUMP: So, I think Walker is in big trouble.

TAPPER: Just as a point of fact, I believe that the referral by the inspectors general was a security referral, not a criminal referral when it came to Hillary Clinton. But let's just leave that where it is.

I do want to talk about immigration and illegal immigration, an issue that you have talked about a lot. You were at the border the other day. Assuming a President Trump is able to stop the flow of illegal immigration through building a wall or some parts of a wall, what do you think should be done with the estimated 11 million undocumented workers and their families already here?

Would you be open-minded about a path to citizenship? Is that a nonstarter with you? Where are you on that issue?

TRUMP: OK, fine.

First of all -- and you said it -- you have to stop it. You have to stop it fast. And we can do that. We can do that with combinations of walls and Border Patrol, who are phenomenal people. I met many of them when I was in Laredo, when -- when I was at the border. And we can stop that -- and fencing.

But we can stop it with both construction and with physical. I mean, we can do a great job of that. OK? I'm totally convinced. And it won't cost the kind of money -- in fact, we will save money, because people that are coming in here that shouldn't be coming in here illegally, it will actually save money by doing it, and doing it properly.

Once that's done, we have a situation that is going to be done immediately, before that's done. We're going to get the bad ones out. We have some really bad dudes right here in this country, and we're getting them out, and we're sending them back to where they came from. And I don't mean Mexico. I mean, it's -- they come from all over. They're not coming just from -- they're coming from all over.

We have some real bad ones, and they're in our prisons that we're paying for. And they're walking the streets of San Francisco. What a horrible thing happened to Kate.

TAPPER: Right.

TRUMP: And what a horrible thing to happen to Jamiel, the young man who was going to maybe go to Stanford and football player, and the apple of his father's eye.

Well, let me tell you something. We got to get rid of the -- the bad ones are going to get out. Then, from that point on, we're going to look very, very strongly at what we do. And I'm going to formulate a plan that I think people are going to be happy with. But we're going to look very, very strongly at what we do.

TAPPER: OK, but you're not -- but you're not going to rule in or rule out...

TRUMP: I'm going to get rid of the bad ones fast.


TRUMP: And I'm going to send them back. And we're not going to be putting them in prisons here, and pay for them for the next 40 years.

TAPPER: Right. But there are obviously...

TRUMP: We're going to send them back where they could from.

TAPPER: There obviously will be -- will remain, after you get rid of the bad ones, millions and millions of undocumented workers who are not bad ones.

And they're women and they're children and they're men who are here who came here for a better life, and -- but you're not going to yet take a position on whether or not you would favor a path to citizenship?

TRUMP: We're going to see what -- we're going to see what we're going to see. I mean, it's a very hard thing.

I will say, from a moral standpoint, from a physical standpoint, you're talking about at least 11 million people. I have heard the number is much higher than that, because that number has been bandied about for years.

TAPPER: Right.

TRUMP: Eleven million, I have been hearing for years. It could be much more.

But we're going to take the high ground. We're going to do what's right. Some are going to have to go. And some, we're just going to see what happens. It's a very, very big subject, and a very complicated subject.

TAPPER: I want to ask...

TRUMP: But the wall is going to be built for security. We're going to have a great border. People can come in to the country legally, but not illegally.

And the people that come in are going to be good people. They're going to be great people. And I want that. It's very important to me.

TAPPER: Of course, most of the horrific things that take place in this country are perpetrated by Americans.

I want to ask you about this horrific shooting we just had in Lafayette, Louisiana. Here, we have another case of someone with well-established mental health problems somehow able to legally buy a gun. What do you think needs to be done to stop this?

TRUMP: Well, these are sick people. I mean, these are very, very sick people. This has nothing to do with guns. This has to do with the mentality of these people.

And you're always going to have -- first of all, I'm a big Second Amendment person. I believe in it so strongly. You need protection. You need protection against the bad ones that have the guns.

TAPPER: But do you think the Second Amendment...

TRUMP: And you take the guns away from the good people, and the bad ones are going to have target practice.


Like, for instance, the gun-free zone with the Marines, that was disgraceful. These are decorated people. These are people that know how to use guns better than anybody. And they're not allowed to carry guns, and this guy shot them. They were like sitting ducks, the way that happened. It was a disgrace.

And if they would have had their guns, they probably would all be alive, or most of them would be alive right now.

TAPPER: Well, I think a lot of people -- yes.

TRUMP: So, we have to protect our Second Amendment -- Amendment.

And we can't let -- we can't take little chunk, little chunks, little chunk here. They keep talking about these little -- take these little chunks out. And you have to be very careful about that. We had prisoners escape up in Upstate New York, which you covered very well for a long period of time.

And the people up in Upstate that didn't believe in guns, all of a sudden, they all had guns sitting on their tables because they were really afraid that these guys would break into their house.


TRUMP: And they felt much better having the gun.

So, you need to protect the Second Amendment at all costs. You have to do it.

TAPPER: Do you think the Second Amendment guarantees the right of somebody like the shooter in Lafayette, who had been involuntarily committed previously, do you think the Second Amendment...

TRUMP: Well, you have to be careful.

Look, you have to be careful. If a person's mentally ill, you have to be very careful. You have a very fine line there. But you have got to do it very judicially. But if a person is mentally ill -- this one, I guess, from what I hear, had a big record of mental instability.

TAPPER: Right.

TRUMP: And it was documented. You have to be very careful with that.

TAPPER: Do you think he should be able to buy a gun? Do you think somebody like that should be able to buy a gun, is my question. TRUMP: I think that, if a person is mentally ill and it's proven and documented, you have to be extremely careful not to let them kill people. You have to be careful.

Frankly, he should be committed. I mean, you should put a person like that, because he has the kind of a record where he should be in -- you know, he should be in an institution. He was a very sick puppy. There's no question about it.

TAPPER: Mr. Trump, before you go, thank you so much for calling in.

I do want to make a plea for my fellow journalists out there. I understand you really didn't like an op-ed, or, rather, an editorial in "The Des Moines Register," and you had an issue with letting reporters from "The Des Moines Register" get press credentials for your event.

I would just, as a fellow reporter, like to make a plea for my brother and sister -- brothers and sisters who are journalists if you could not hold them responsible for what the editorial writers write. That would be great. And we thank you for calling in.

TRUMP: Well, I agree with that. I mean, this is a failing paper that's treated me extremely wrong.

They have lied in many, many stories. And we thought we'd do that. It has very little power. It's failing badly. And, frankly, they're not good people.

But I agree with you. That's called a little bit of the freedom of the press thing. But I agree with you 100 percent on that subject. But this was a paper that, you know, when they lie and lie and lie and knowingly lie, you say, well, let's just not -- and they can go in. They just have to sit with everybody else. We just don't give them credentials. But I understand what you're saying.

TAPPER: All right. Thank you very much for calling in. I appreciate it.

When we come back, Donald Trump's fiercest critic in the Republican field hits back.



TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

Donald Trump's rise has left some other candidates in the dust, including, to a degree, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who places 11th in our new poll.

The billionaire was at the border in Perry's home state this week, highlighting the problem of illegal immigration.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TAPPER: Joining me now is Republican presidential candidate former Texas Governor, Rick Perry.

Governor Perry, thanks so much for joining us.

Trump originally started getting criticism from his fellow Republican candidates after he seemed to suggest that a majority of the illegal Mexican immigrants crossing the border were being sent by Mexico and were criminal, were rapists and drug dealers. You are the longest- serving governor, I believe, in Texas history.

Is that accurate? Is that an accurate description of the illegal immigrants from Texas -- from Mexico?

PERRY: Well, it is not.

And that was one of the reasons that -- again, that we pushed back on his statements and that type of casting aspersion, that kind of painting with such a broad brush, when the facts don't back that up. We need a president of the United States that is going to bring this country together. We need a -- after six-and-a-half years of a president who has divided this country along a lot of different lines, we don't need a Republican divider in chief.

And I think that is where a lot of us are coming down, is that after six-and-a-half years of really difficult time for this country, economically, foreign policy-wise, not taking care of our border and securing it, those are some real issues.

And Mr. Trump has -- he has touched on those, but I think we really have to be wise about how we have this conversation. We have got to be thoughtful about coming up with real solutions that work, not just throwing ideas out there to get a reaction in an almost reality TV type of way.

I do not get to work on reality TV. I have to work in the real world.

TAPPER: You were on this very program in 2014 talking about illegal immigrants. Take a listen:


PERRY: What we are substantially more concerned about in the state of Texas -- and I will suggest to you across this country -- are the 80 percent-plus of individuals who don't get talked about enough that are coming in to the United States illegally and committing substantial crimes.

Candy, these individuals are responsible for over 3,000 homicides and almost 8,000 sexual assaults.


TAPPER: Governor, you sound an awful lot like Donald Trump in that clip.

PERRY: Well, there is no doubt that there are some real challenges with the individuals that are coming across the border.

But I think, as you -- you heard me talking in a -- I think a very specific way, in a very focused way, and not painting with a broad brush. I was not casting aspersion upon the vast majority of the immigrants that come across here.

TAPPER: You gave a speech, as I mentioned earlier, as we played the clip from, calling Donald Trump and Trumpism a cancer on conservatism.

He released a photograph of the two of you and said that you are a hypocrite. He called you a hypocrite because you wanted his support in 2012. You wanted his money in 2012.

I wanted to give you an opportunity to respond.

PERRY: I went to a lot of people in -- throughout years and asked them for their support. Mr. Trump was not different.


As he has come forward, as we have got to see the real Donald Trump, I have got some real problems with that. I think that what he is saying and what he is doing is not necessarily moving the cause of conservatism forward.

I respect the men and women who are coming to Donald Trump's events. I mean, these are Americans that care about the same things that I care about. But there is only one individual that is going to be standing on that stage that has had the executive experience of dealing with this.


TAPPER: We're going to take a quick break.

New details about the shooter behind the massacre at the movie theater in Louisiana. Did he target his victims because they were women? We will talk about that issue and more with Governor Rick Perry.

Stay with us. We will be right back.


TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

Three people remain hospitalized this morning after the shooting at a Lafayette, Louisiana, movie theater that left two innocent women dead. Police have not yet defined a motive but a talk radio host who knew the shooter told "The Washington Post" that he had, "an issue with feminine rights. He was opposed to women having a say in anything." The theater that the shooter targeted was screening the movie "Trainwreck" a film written by and starring comedian Amy Schumer. Police say that the shooter did buy his gun legally at a pawnshop in Louisiana -- I'm sorry, pawnshop in Alabama rather. Louisiana Governor and Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal was asked whether the shooting presented an opportunity to talk about further restrictions on gun ownership.


GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: There will be an absolute appropriate time for us to talk about policies and politics. I'm sure that folks will want to score political points off this tragedy as they try to get off previous tragedies. Right now let's focus on these families.


TAPPER: Back with us now presidential candidate Rick Perry.

We've had yet another massacre this time at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana. I know you oppose greater restrictions on gun control. But what more can the government be doing to make sure that guns are not falling into the hands of people with obvious mental and emotional problems?

PERRY: And I think we have the laws in place, enforcement of those laws is what seems to be lacking, both in Charleston and here in Lafayette, Louisiana.

We see individuals who were obviously mentally impacted. These were individuals who I think that somewhere, somebody didn't do their job in the standpoint of enforcing the laws that are only on the book. I will suggest to you that these concepts of gun free zones are a bad idea. I think that you allow the citizens of this country, who have been appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded, know how to handle and use firearms to carry them.

TAPPER: I don't know that a law would have kept a gun out of the hand of the shooter in Lafayette. But, you seem to be suggesting that a solution to the problem would be to allow patrons in the movie theater to bring guns with them into the movie theater.

PERRY: I think that it makes a lot of sense to send a message across this country. If we -- if we believe in the second amendment, and we believe in people's right to protect themselves, and to defend themselves and their family, that to tell them that they cannot carry a weapon that they are legally obliged to carry, that they have been through the training for, makes sense to me.

TAPPER: That makes more sense than trying to keep a gun out of the hand of the person who had been involuntarily committed to begin with?

PERRY: I didn't say -- I didn't say that there's one more important than the other I shared with you. I think that the laws are on the books to keep individuals, you know, obviously I think that's what's happened in these two cases. And we need to enforce the laws that are on the book.

TAPPER: I want to ask you about Sandra Bland, the African-American woman in Texas who died in her cell after being held there for three days following a stop for not signaling. You've made it a point in your campaign to reach out to African-American voters, to reach out to Latino voters, this is obviously an issue that many African-Americans are talking about and focused on right now. Here's some of the video from the dash cam from that stop.


POLICE OFFICER: Get out of the car now!

SANDARA BLAND: Why am I being apprehended? You're trying to give me a ticket for your failure?

POLICE OFFICER: I said get out of the car.

BLAND: Why am I being apprehended? You are going to open my car door.

POLICE OFFICER: I am giving you a lawful order (INAUDIBLE). I'm going to drag you out of here.


BLAND: So you are threatening to drag me out of my own car?

POLICE OFFICER: Get out of the car!

BLAND: And did you consult me?


POLICE OFFICER: I will light (ph) you up. Get out!





TAPPER: And the autopsy result has concluded that she did kill herself in the cell, but beyond what happened in the cell just looking at this dash cam video as the former governor of Texas, as somebody who was in charge and command of State Troopers what's your reaction to the behavior of that State Trooper?

PERRY: Well, obviously, I don't think they followed protocol. I think that has been from the very early viewing of that camera that there was not proper protocol followed there. And this is going to be investigated, as it should. And transparency is really important in this process. So that all the citizens of the state of Texas know that this has been appropriately investigated, and if it's found that the individuals made errors, then that that needs to be addressed and addressed in appropriate way.

[09:35:00] TAPPER: The FBI director said this week that ISIS is now a bigger threat than al Qaeda. You have called for boots on the ground to fight ISIS. How does your service, you flew jets in the Middle East, how does it shape your attitudes when it comes to deploying troops abroad?

PERRY: Well, not only was my time wearing the uniform of the country as a pilot in the United States Air Force helped paint my world view but also being the Commander in Chief for the last 14 years of the Texas National Guard.

They got deployed into combat zones multiple times. I visited with them over in Iraq and Afghanistan on more than one occasion. I wrote a letter a week to a mom, to a family member, to a loved one, from 2003 to 2010, Jake, of a Texan who lost their life in this war against terror.

I know the cost of war. I know, I've seen it on the face of these young warriors and on their families. And before we ever send our young men and women into combat, we need to use every tool that we have --

TAPPER: You're talking about sending troops to Syria and Iraq to fight ISIS. You think that we've exhausted every measure possible before doing that?

PERRY: Well, I don't have all of the intelligence at this particular point in time. But I would suggest to you that we need a coalition of those Gulf States, of Saudi, of Jordan, of the Egyptians, the Turks, the Israelis --


TAPPER: Right but you called for American troops. You called for American troops.

PERRY: But we would be a part of that. I don't -- our special operators would be a part of that. We cannot affect ISIS without having personnel on the ground in a direct combat role. But before we do that we need to make sure that we do have a coalition together.

TAPPER: Governor Rick Perry. Thank you very much. We'll see you out on the campaign trail. Thanks for talking to us today.

PERRY: Thank you, Jake.

TAPPER: Coming up, Donald Trump lasers in on a fresh target. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, what prompted this new attack? Our panel will weigh in. Stay with us.


[09:40:00] TAPPER: Welcome back. I'm Jake Tapper.

Donald Trump hit Des Moines this weekend and took some fresh aim at the Republican candidate leading in Iowa polls, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The only one beating me in Iowa is Scott Walker. I can't believe I'm in second place. Folks, would you please put me in first place so I'll feel better.


TAPPER: Here with me now to talk about the state of (INAUDIBLE) Ken Cuccinelli, President of the Senate Conservatives Fund, Neera Tanden, President for the Center of American Progress, CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp and CNN contributor Bakari Sellers.

S.E., let me start with you --


TAPPER: What do you think --


TAPPER: He's (ph) -- another poll showing that Donald Trump is the front-runner. He is six points up from the CNN poll in June. Indicating that the comments about McCain didn't hurt him, possibly even helped him.

CUPP: Right. I would point out his unfavorables are still significant. But, I think what this proves is that his supporters and people that are looking at Trump, that like Trump are approving of his style, right, not his substance? You just tried in a 15 minute phone call to pin him down on substance on immigration, on gun control.

TAPPER: Tried (ph).

CUPP: Yes, yes. You know, we'll see what we'll see I think was his most specific --

TAPPER: On path -- on path to citizenship. We'll see what we'll see.

CUPP: We'll see what we'll see. Yes.

So I think there's no way to suggest that people are approving of his substance or his policies because we don't know what they are but they like his style. And really that's an indication of the great disaffection that most voters have for the rest of the political field, that they talk like politicians. So I would -- I would encourage the rest of the field to take a stylistic note if not a substantive note.

TAPPER: You two have actually run for office and appealed to voters. What do you see in terms of this? Go ahead.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Donald Trump is taking a unique tack. Most politicians try to stay out of the tabloids. What he's doing is taking a tabloid style and bringing it to the mainstream.

People like him because he's not associated with the beltway. People like him because he's not a traditional politician. Just the other day he said I'm self-funding and here is Jeb Bush raising $100 million. Those people are going to want something from Jeb Bush. Nobody's going to want anything from me so I can say no. So, that's refreshing. His comments are ignorant and asinine but yet he is speaking to a base and that base is palpable in the Republican Party.

TAPPER: If you were advising a Republican candidate going after him, how do you go after Donald Trump? How do you defeat him?

KEN CUCCINELLI, PRESIDENT, SENATE CONSERVATIVES FUND: At this stage I'd hug him. I mean, I wouldn't want to attack him. Well, ask Scott Walker. You know, and who's next? Do you want to be on that list when he has, what, 60 percent of the media share? You want him kicking your teeth in? And, it is very early. Look, it's the summer, almost a year before the primary season is over and right now I think what he's tapped in to is this anti-Washington feeling. He almost exudes it without even saying Washington. And that includes Republicans.

Republicans as your polls have shown, are fed up with their own leadership. They're absolutely disgusted with Boehner and McConnell and for good reason. And then you also have something that sounds like substance in terms of the illegal immigration.

TAPPER: Mm-hmm.

CUCCINELLI: He's at least --

TAPPER: Sounds like substance.

CUCCINELLI: Well, by that I mean he's talking about the issue. You know, we all listened carefully to 15 minutes of back and forth, and he didn't go into a lot of detail. But, he's still talking about that issue.

CUPP: He correctly identified the problem. Yes. Right?

CUCCINELLI: I agree with that. But you know, half of the Republican leadership in Washington, half, almost all the Republican leadership wouldn't identify that.

TAPPER (ph): Right.

CUCCINELLI: And that's frustrating a lot of people and yet he speaks strait to it and goes up in the polls.

[09:45:03] NEERA TANDEN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Yes. I mean, I would say, look, I think hugging him is a little bit of a dangerous strategy but there's been no better. I mean he is creating a negative, you know, people have a negative view of the Republican Party now more negative than they did six months ago. And I think --



TANDEN: Hug his (ph) views (ph). No, I'm saying hugging his views means like I think that's kind of dangerous for the Republican brand going into the general election. But you know, how (ph) about (ph) it (ph). It's not my -- it's great --


CUCCINELLI: Let's bring it down one more step then. It's more don't try to treat him like he doesn't belong. Let him compete with everybody else.


CUCCINELLI: If you think you're better, beat him.

TANDEN: There's -- I think what's interesting about this moment is there are so many Republicans running. Right?


TANDEN: Almost every aspect of the Republican Party --


CUCCINELLI: -- next week I am not running for president.


TANDEN: And you'll get a lot of coverage.

SELLERS: That is the problem. Trump simply just -- he sucks the life out of the entire room.

TANDEN: But I do think people have to recognize that the fact that he is doing so well against a Marco Rubio. I mean look at your poll. Marco Rubio is so far behind when he was like the rising star. I think there is something there about the actual message.

TAPPER: Hold that thought. When we come back, Hillary talks race. Is she being honest? Is she being clumsy? What do you think? Take a quick break.



HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Black Lives Matter. This is not just a slogan.

JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: In the political context, it's a slogan.


TAPPER: Hillary Clinton versus Jeb Bush on the Black Lives Matter movement which has been tripping up Democrats and Republicans on the campaign trail. We're back here with our panel. Let's talk about this.

What's the right answer, Bakari? I turn to you. You're African- American. Tell (ph) me (ph). (INAUDIBLE).

[09:50:00] SELLERS: And I wonder why I'm getting this.

TAPPER: What's the right answer on Black Lives Matter? What is supposed to be said by candidates.

SELLERS: Black Lives Matter has an implicit "too" at the end of it. It speaks to a very, very specific pain. When we -- it's more than a slogan.

Jeb Bush tripped up on it. Bernie Sanders tripped up on it. Martin O'Malley tripped up on it.

TAPPER: Hillary did a few weeks ago. Yes.

SELLER: Hillary did a few weeks ago. And the problem is that we've seen the video of Walter Scott. We've seen the video of Eric Gardner, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland and the list goes on and on and on and on. You have African-Americans who literally do not get the benefit of their humanity. And that's a problem.

And so, when you -- you know, in my next interaction, I'm the only person at this table whose next interaction may cause them to be a hash tag. It may be #bakarisellers and that's something that we feel. That's a very deep pain.

And Hillary Clinton actually is the only candidate who's engaging in the discussion at least in a straightforward fashion. She makes missteps, but at least she has policy points and is engaging in the discussion in a straightforward and real fashion.

TAPPER: You've endorsed her, right?

SELLERS: Yes. I hope it means something, but, yes, I will throw that out there.

TAPPER: And Ken, talk to me about why it is that some people -- I'm not saying you feel this way. Why are some people out there resentful of the Black Lives Matter hash tag?

CUCCINELLI: I think the way Bakari said it is actually very valuable, adding "too," t-o-o at the end puts it in a context that makes sense.

TAPPER: But it's implicit though.

CUCCINELLI: Well, you may say that, and there's plenty of reason to understand that, but I don't think every American hears it that way. They hear here we are, yes, we have this political motivation that we're separating out this one category of Americans and saying they matter more than everybody else. That's actually what a lot of --

SELLERS: No. We're saying -- we're saying, stop killing us. We're saying my life matters.

CUCCINELLI: Yes. I understand that. I understand that. That's why you have the -- that's why you have the retort, no, all lives matter. SELLERS: Right.

CUCCINELLI: We're not leaving these out, whoever that speaker is. In this case you've got Jeb Bush up there. I'm saying it here. Of course we don't leave those out.

CUPP: Well, and it's absurd -- I think -- I think a lot of people recoil at the idea when a Democrat says all lives matter and this starts a fight inside the party.

TAPPER: Which is what happened last week...


TAPPER: ...O'Malley.

CUPP: Yes with Martin O'Malley.

TANDEN: Let me -- let me explain --

CUPP: I think that -- I think most people react to that and say that's really silly.

TANDEN: Let me explain why people reacted. And I think it is we have gone through these incidents, incident after incident in which African-Americans have died at the hands of police and we all see that.

We live in this country, and that's why people are saying black lives matter, too. Black lives matter --

CUPP: Right.

TANDEN: We don't need to say all lives matter because white citizens aren't dying at the hands of police. And that's why it's interesting to me that people think there's something wrong with actually saying -- we need to say black lives matter in which we live in this context in which African-Americans are dying. And why --


CUPP: But the point. I'm (ph) sorry (ph). The point -- the point is we need to have policy conversations about it.

TANDEN: Absolutely.

CUPP: And when you say black lives matter and you can't say all lives matter, then we are just talking --


TANDEN: No, no.

SELLERS: That's not -- that's not the point at all.

CUPP: It reduces the greater conversation we should be having and we're tripping up over slogans.

SELLERS: There's no question -- there's no question right now about the value of the life of a young white child or a young white boy or girl, but there is a very serious question about the value of a young black life in this country. And that's the discussion we're having.

CUPP: Well, it's not the discussion Democrats are having.

SELLERS: Well, it is. No, that's not -- that's not true at all. Hillary Clinton -- Hillary Clinton went to NYU and the (INAUDIBLE) and gave an impassioned speech about police reform.

CUPP: Yes.

SELLERS: I mean, that happened. I mean, I will have to give Rand Paul credit for at least dipping his toe in the discussion and talking about mass incarceration and things of that sort. But this is a discussion that this country has to have. And I know how (INAUDIBLE) and everyone else talks about being an inclusive party. But no one on the Republican side is at least talking about these issues.


CUPP: Yes, they are.


TANDEN: Jeb Bush, where is his big speech on this issue? He has talked about it. If he really cares about police brutality the he'll talk about police brutality. But until he talks about it, all lives matter is a slogan for him just as much as anybody else.

CUCCINELLI: Listen, Rand Paul isn't alone on the right.


SELLERS: ...very good --


CUCCINELLI: He's talking about criminal justice reform. I mean, I belong to a group called Right on Crime, it's conservatives, especially a lot of former attorneys general.


CUCCINELLI: You know what? Ted Cruz, you know, go look it up. I mean --

TANDEN: He's on the bill. He's on the bill.

CUCCINELLI: He's sort of washed out from Trump, I suppose. But there are people on the right talking about criminal justice reform. But it's got to be -- you know in my state in Virginia, the ACLU wants -- their goal is get 25 percent of people out of prison. Wait a minute. That's not a proper criminal justice goal. TANDEN (ph): Right.

CUCCINELLI: A proper criminal justice reform goal is look at the system, who doesn't belong there and then hit the policies that do that.

TANDEN: Right.

CUCCINELLI: The numerical reality is that most of the time that is going to have a disproportionate impact, in this case favorably, on African-Americans, Virginia with 20 percent of our state, and that's the way I think it should be talked about. It's the way Rand Paul sometimes talks about it, and that would be a lot more constructive, it would be a lot more unifying and would be frankly lead to good policy.


[09:55:00] TAPPER: We've got to go. But I have to say thank you so much. It was really, really great. And we do plan on doing a show on criminal justice reform later this year. And thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Up next, oh, the places you'll go on the campaign trail, provides the inspiration for this week's "State of the Cartoonion." Stay with us.


TAPPER: This week a new Dr. Seuss book was published from drawings and writings discovered after his death. Given that Seuss started out as a political cartoonist, we wondered what he might make of the 2016 race. It's this week's "State of the Cartoonion."


TAPPER (voice-over): We were bored, let's just say it. No more feigning, hinting, about the prospect of boring old Bush versus Clinton. Then at the door with a thump, thump, thump, our excitement did jump. It (ph) was (ph) the Trump on the stump.

In Iowa, New Hampshire, and in South Carolina I will win said the Trump clad in clothes made in China. He called rivals losers and attacked a war hero while he soared to first place with the rest stuck at zero. You're a loser, a moron, a dummy who is failing, said the Trump on the stump to his rivals. You're flailing.

At the border where problems he did diagnose. Latinos leaders offended said Trump adios. He ruffled the feathers of party officials and threatened third party if they stayed prejudicial. The Trump on the stump made some voters heart stop and the big (INAUDIBLE) -- editorials (INAUDIBLE). The rivals' poll slumped while the cameras did clump, and that my dear chump is the Trump on the stump.


[10:00:06] TAPPER: Our apologies to the Dr. Seuss estate. Thanks for spending your Sunday morning with us. Go to for extras from the show.

"FAREED ZAKARIA GPS," starts right now.