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GOP Presidential Candidates' Debate Reviewed; Interview with Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired August 7, 2015 - 08:00   ET




[08:00:06] DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't frankly have time for total political correctness.

BEN CARSON, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is no such thing as a politically correct war.

RAND PAUL, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think you're on the wrong side of this.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Just blowing hot air about this.

MIKE HUCKABEE, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it's time to do something even more bold.

JEB BUSH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going to have to earn this.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This election better be about the future, not the past.

HUCKABEE: Iran gets everything they want.

TRUMP: If Iran was a stock, you folks should go out and buy it.

GOV. SCOTT WALKER, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Terminate the deal on day one.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New York Senator Chuck Schumer announced he will vote against president Obama's nuclear deal with Iran.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congressional rejection of this deal leaves one option, another war in the Middle East.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Alisyn Camerota, and Michaela Pereira.

CHRIS CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Friday, August 7th, 8:00 in the east. I have Brooke Baldwin and John Berman with me. I get these two confused all the time. (LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: But here's what I know for sure. It was politics in the raw in the first Republican presidential debate. The top 10 candidates trying to stand out in the field by going after front runner Donald Trump. And guess what? He did not take to it kindly during or after the debate.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Meantime, Carly Fiorina getting some strong reviews for her performance in that earlier debate, the happy hour jayvee debate for the lower ranked candidates. So who gained ground and lost the most ground in these early battles? Let's go straight to Cleveland and begin our comprehensive debate coverage this hour with our CNN chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash. Dana, good morning.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Well, no surprise, all the buzz the morning after is still about Donald Trump. He's helping create it both on Twitter and on television this morning, defending, going after the host and also going after pretty much anyone who else didn't like his performance.


BASH: Right out of the gate Donald Trump's presence made this a very different Republican debate, a question about a pledge not to run as an independent.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: Raise your hand now if you won't make that pledge tonight. Mr. Trump?

TRUMP: I cannot say I have to respect the person that if it's not me, the person that wins. If I do win, and I'm leading by quite a bit, that's what I want to do. I can totally make that pledge. If I'm the nominee, I will pledge I will not run as an independent.


BASH: As the GOP crowd booed, Rand Paul, whose outsider status tumbled next to Trump, couldn't wait to pounce.

RAND PAUL, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is what's wrong. He buys and sells politicians of all stripes. Hey, look, he's already hedging his bet on the Clintons, OK?

BASH: Though Trump later lashed out at Paul.

TRUMP: I don't think you heard me. You're having a hard time tonight.

BASH: Most of his ire was aimed not at his competitor but the FOX moderator.

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS HOST: You've called women you don't like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.

TRUMP: Only Rosie O'Donnell.


TRUMP: I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct.


TRUMP: I've been challenged by so many people, and I don't, frankly, have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn't have time either. And honestly, Megyn, if you don't like it, I'm sorry. I've been very nice to you although I could probably not be based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn't do that.

BASH: But the biggest fireworks flew over Trump's head between Chris Christie and Rand Paul over personal liberty versus security.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When you're sitting in a subcommittee just blowing hot air about this, you could say things like that.

PAUL: I don't trust president Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug. And if you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead.


CHRISTIE: You know, Senator Paul, you know the hugs that I remember are the hugs that I gave to the families who lost their people on September 11th.

BASH: And all GOP establishment eyes were on Jeb Bush to see if he showed fire in the belly, often lacking in his performances.

JEB BUSH, (R) FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I believe that the great majority of people coming here illegally have no other option. They want to provide for their family. But we need to control our border, and there should be a path to legal status for those that are here. Not amnesty, earned legal status.

BASH: Bush's former protege Marco Rubio showed off his talent for rhetorical flair.

RUBIO: I think God has blessed us. He's blessed the Republican Party with some very good candidates. The Democrats can't even find one.

BASH: And Ohio Governor John Kasich had this memorable moment.

JOHN KASICH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I just went to a wedding of a friend of mine who happens to be gay. Because someone doesn't think the way I do doesn't mean I can't care about them or I can't love them. So if one of my daughters happened to be that, of course I would love them and I would accept them.

BASH: These candidates know a key test for many GOP voters is who can best take on Hillary Clinton.

[08:05:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the cyber-attack with Russia the other day, it's sad to think right now, but probably the Russian and Chinese government know more about Hillary Clinton's e-mail server than do the members of the United States Congress. And that has put our national security at risk.


BASH: But the stand out moments against Clinton didn't happen in this debate but hours earlier with the undercards.

CARLY FIORINA, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary Clinton lies about Benghazi, she lies about e-mails. She is still defending Planned Parenthood, and she is still her party's frontrunner.


BASH: And Carly Fiorina was the stand out winner of that first, earlier debate. And that appears to be proven by data. She was the most searched of all the candidates on Google, at one brief point even more than Trump. But Brooke and Chris, as I toss it back to you, I thought it was fascinating the way, Brooke, you asked Carly Fiorina about what she thought about Donald Trump. She thought his remarks were inappropriate. And if she were on that stage she would have told him so.

BALDWIN: She said she would have had she been there. Dana Bash, thank you, in Cleveland.

Let's continue to marinate over the evening. CNN political commentator and former White House political director Jeffrey Lord is with us, as is CNN political commentator and Jeb Bush supporter Ana Navarro. So good morning to both of you. Ladies first, Ana Navarro. I'm coming to you since you are the Jeb Bush supporter, we have to hold that candidate's feet to the fire with you. Just beginning with Dana's point in her piece about how oftentimes Jeb Bush has been criticized, lacking that fire in his belly, and also criticized for fumbling what should be a pretty simple Iraq question. Here he was from last night.


BUSH: Knowing what we know now with faulty intelligence and not having security be the first priority when we invaded, it was a mistake. To honor the people that died, we need to stop the Iran agreement for sure, because the Iranian mullahs have their blood on their hands and we need to take out ISIS with every tool at our disposal.


BALDWIN: Ana Navarro, how did he do? And with regard to the Iraq answer, why isn't that a smoother answer from him?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What do you mean? Did you see his answer a few months ago? I thought that was an incredibly smooth answer.


NAVARRO: Jeb Bush and everybody on that stage got asked some doozies. The moderators did a great job asking tough questions. They asked Kasich about expansion of Medicare. They asked Walker about his flip-flops. They asked Trump about every ridiculous thing he's ever said.

They asked Jeb Bush about Common Core, immigration, and his brother's war in Iraq. I think he led with policy. His answers were solid. He had smooth answers and he came in knowing the substance, knowing the policy.

I think one of the things that was interesting to me about yesterday's debate is the guys we saw on that stage -- and they are all men -- are the guys we know. I know a lot of those guys personally. And we saw the fighter, the New Jersey fighter in Chris Christie. We saw the substantive policy knowledgeable uniter in Jeb Bush. We saw the quick wit and humor and knowledge of Marco Rubio. We saw the plain-spokenness of John Kasich. We saw who those guys are. And we saw Rand Paul. And I've got to tell you, the Republicans in that room, they just weren't buying what Rand Paul was selling.

CUOMO: So Ana, you're going a little bit with the "I've seen him be worse" argument in terms of answering the Iraq question?

NAVARRO: No, no, no. Listen, I really thought Jeb Bush's answers were very good and substantial.

CUOMO: On that question in particular, that's been something for him in the past that last night he seemed a little slow on that one as well. That's all I'm saying. But I want to see if the same rationale applies to you. Do you believe that with Trump's comments specifically about what he said about women and how he dealt with the person asking him the question, is this a situation where you've seen him be worse but this isn't the standard --

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I say I thought there was a little bear baiting involved here to get him to say this kind of thing. I just think you had a presidential debate where we're supposed to be talking substance and all of this kind of thing.

CUOMO: Bear baiting is where you try and get Brooke to say something bad about me.


CUOMO: It's not you said these things about women and I'm a woman asking you, and you kind of ignore it and take a shot at me and kind of prove --

LORD: If there's two things conservatives hate, one would be political correctness, and the other thing would be identity politics. And when he turned that around immediately and talked about political correctness, he got applause. The fact is, Ben Carson has spoken about this, and I think Ted Cruz has, although maybe not last night. This is a real problem. I think a lot of people on the conservative side of the aisle feel it's a big deal.

[08:10:00] And in its own way that illustrates the point. We have all of these problems in this country, and we're talking about Rosie O'Donnell. I mean, let's --

BALDWIN: It was a valid question on women and how he would act presidential and if he would be part of the war on women, and it was a valid question. Let me pivot, though, to -- much of the discussion ahead of the debate was how would the other nine candidates not including Donald Trump, who would they respond to him? Would they attack him? Would they applaud him? And really the only one, and this was out of the gate, it was Senator Rand Paul. Watch this.


PAUL: News flash. The Republican Party's been fighting against a singing payer system for a decade. So I think you're on the wrong side of this if you're still arguing for a singer payer system.

TRUMP: I don't think you heard me. You're having a hard time tonight.



BALDWIN: We laugh. We laugh.

CUOMO: It's a zinger.

BALDWIN: It's a total a zing, but it seemed like from the get go Rand Paul was on the ready with some one-liners. Did it help or hurt him?

LORD: I think it helped Donald Trump, yes. For whatever reason, I don't think Senator Paul did very well last night. He played to his base. That's fine. But I don't think he got much further with this.

BALDWIN: People thus far are like, where did Rand Paul go?

NAVARRO: Yes, right. The exchange with Governor Christie I thought was amazing. But then again, beyond a certain group of libertarians, where does that take him?

CUOMO: Now, you were talking about, hey, let's not talk about Rosie O'Donnell.


NAVARRO: I think part of the reason you didn't see the other candidates go after Donald Trump was because it didn't make sense, because Donald Trump was self-destructing in front of our eyes. That doesn't mean anything because the guy has shown himself to be obnoxious in the past and he's been Teflon coated. But he began by saying -- he refused to pledge not to run as a third party. I can tell you conservatives dislike the idea of handing the presidency to Hillary Clinton more than they like anything else.

Then he went on to defend his misogynist comments against women. Most women look like me. They don't look like his wife Melania. The average American woman is a size 12, so being called fat pigs doesn't sell too well I think in places like Iowa and New Hampshire. Then he had to defend --

LORD: Ana, Ana, Ana.

NAVARRO: Hold on, Jeffrey. He had to defend his corporate bankruptcy. He was screaming like a loco. I thought his head was going to implode -- red faced, steam coming out.

LORD: Ana, one of the things is that we have a Democratic nominee, presumably, for president, Hillary Clinton, whose husband to this minute stands accused by Juanita Broaddrick of rape, and all of these women with sexual harassment allegations, and we are concerned about a few words from Donald Trump who, as far as we know, has never been accused of rape. All of this kind of thing, this is somewhere south of nuts, if I may say so.

NAVARRO: Here's the probe with your argument against Bill Clinton now, it's just that we just learned a few days before announcing his run Donald Trump was on the phone getting advice from Bill Clinton. Character matters.

LORD: Yes.

NAVARRO: Character matters when it comes to the presidency. He was showing yesterday not only to not have substance, not know policy, but he was also shown to be a jerk. Donald Trump, you're fired.

LORD: So when Donald Trump reaches out to Bill Clinton, who is called the brother from another mother by the Bushes, that's a bad thing?


NAVARRO: Because I think it makes a lot of Republicans feel uneasy to think he's getting advice from the husband of a woman who would greatly benefit from him running a third party or him doing harm to the Republican process. That's why it's wrong.

LORD: Ana, one of the rules in "The Art of the Deal" is leverage. I think in terms of that third party comment, right off the bat, he's preserving some leverage for a lot of Republicans and conservatives who feel disenchanted --

NAVARRO: A minute ago you were on air calling Bill Clinton a rapist, alleging those things.

LORD: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Juanita Broaddrick said that.

NAVARRO: OK, so you were quoting Juanita Broaddrick calling him a rapist. Now you're defending the fact that he and Donald Trump are playing footsies. But look, when I get a 2:00 a.m. call, I hope it's not from Bill Clinton. I want to know -- (CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Let me just present one more thing here of substance that happened last night that isn't getting a lot of attention. Governor Huckabee made a statement about when he thinks life begins that is at the center of stem cell research, what's going on with Planned Parenthood, and reproductive rights. Let's take a listen to what he said.


MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A lot of people are talking about defunding Planned Parenthood as if that's a huge game changer, I think it's time to do something even more bold. I think the next president ought to invoke the Fifth and 14th Amendments to the Constitution now that we clearly know that that baby inside the mother womb is a person at the moment of conception.


[08:15:07] CUOMO: Now, that is something that is going to be rejected by a big portion of science. But the question is this, Jeffrey, I'll start with you and Ana, please?


CUOMO: This is a huge issue in terms of what your party is as we move forward. What do you think the governor did there in staking out that ground and what does it mean for your party?

LORD: I think he touched on a nerve with social conservatives who feel very strongly about abortion and the entire Planned Parenthood episode has really -- you know, I mean, I hate to use the word excited -- angered is a better word -- angered these folks who feel that you're just taking babies' lives, killing them and selling their parts like the old novel "Coma ", the old movie there with Michael Douglas.

I mean, they are really upset about this. So, I think that was a win for Huckabee to say that for social conservatives.

CUOMO: What does it do with women? What does it do with people who see science differently, Ana, in terms of how it sets up the party to be perceived by the general audience?

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: And the language he used.

CUOMO: And the language he used.

BALDWIN: And the language he used -- Ana.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Governor Huckabee's lines were very popular inside the room. This was an interesting audience. It was the largest -- I've been to a lot of debates. This was the largest debate audience I've ever seen. There were something like 5,000 people inside this arena where to my chagrin LeBron James plays now. But, you know, listen, the Republican Party is predominantly pro-life


LORD: Right.

NAVARRO: And Mike Huckabee is a social conservative evangelical preacher. I think he was speaking from his heart. I think he was speaking of what he thinks and he knows. He had a good reaction from the audience inside.

BALDWIN: Let's also listen to something else Governor Huckabee said about those who are transgender in the military.


HUCKABEE: The military is not a social experiment. The purpose of the military is kill people and break things. It's not to transform the culture by trying out some ideas that some people think would make us a different country and more diverse. The purpose is to protect America. I'm not sure how paying for transgender surgery for soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines makes our country safer.


CUOMO: Again, the question becomes culture cache. What he said about when life begins, what he said about transsexual, what does that do in terms of making your appeal more broad than just that room last night, Ana?

NAVARRO: Well, we're focusing on Mike Huckabee's answers, right? We could also look at John Kasich's answer on gay marriage. And I can tell you that was an answer that appealed to many people regardless of which side of the gay marriage issue you're on.

You know that I'm 150 percent pro gay rights. And I thought John Kasich was human in last night's answer and expansive and had room to include and embrace people who thought differently than him.

As I said in the beginning, people came in last night and they were who they are. Mike Huckabee is an evangelical preacher and a social conservative. He was reflecting that. And he was reflecting that segment of the party.

CUOMO: Final word, Jeffrey.

NAVARRO: I think John Kasich, I think Jeb Bush were, you know, much bigger, much more expansive reflecting other segments.

LORD: I think there's a conservative base out there that has a lot of respect for the military and feels that it is used on occasion as a social experiment. And they're unhappy with it. I think that's the case.

I was a civil union's guy. I think, you know, when you get into this of paying for transgender operations and you're talking about how do we win a war in Iraq, you know, the balance there is a little uneven. CUOMO: Another person who was said to have a good night last night is

Marco Rubio. We're going to have him coming up on the show so he could make the case for himself and what he thought of everybody else standing next to him last night. Judge for yourself, coming up.



[08:22:41] SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If I'm our nominee, how is Hillary Clinton going to lecture me about living paycheck to paycheck? I was raised paycheck to paycheck. How is she -- how is she going to lecture me -- how is she going to lecture me about student loans? I owed over $100,000 just four years ago. If I'm our nominee, we will be the party of the future.


CUOMO: Florida Senator Marco Rubio joins us now. That's him at last night's debate. He was taking it to Hillary Clinton. Trump got attention too, but Marco Rubio was one of the guys that was said to be on his game last night.

Senator, thank you for joining us.

What it did do --

RUBIO: Good morning.

CUOMO: -- for your head and your heart to be there with these other nine guys and see how you size up? How do you think you came out?

RUBIO: Well, it's just a debate. I mean, it's the first one. There will be a lot -- there's one next month. I think CNN is doing the one next month at the Reagan Library if I'm not mistaken.

So, there will be others. And no matter what went well last night, we could give it all the way next month if we don't well. But it's part of this process and it's of electing the most important political figure in the world, really.

And it's the chance for voters to start to see us answering tough questions, sizing up, standing up next to each other. So, it's just the beginning of a process here and I'm just honored to be a part of it.

CUOMO: You stayed away from Trump last night. Do you think he's going to be in the race for the long haul? Were you concerned to hear -- well, not to hear, but to see him raise his hand and say, "I may use my leverage and go on my own"?

RUBIO: You know, I mean, Donald Trump is Donald Trump. He's a unique and singular individual who's been around for a long time. I was just commenting to somebody a moment ago, I remember when he owned a team in the USFL. A lot of people don't remember that league anymore. So, he's been around for a long time and he is a -- I think he's going

to be in this race. He's obviously struck a nerve on a couple issues that people are frustrated by.

I ultimately want our party to be a party to be optimistic about the future. I am. I know America has problems. But my question to everybody is, well, what country would you rather be? You know, who would you trade places with? I wouldn't rather be China or Brazil or India, or the United Kingdom or Russia. I'm still glad we're America.

But we do we have challenges, but we can fix those challenges. I ultimately think that people want that message. And that's what I'm running on. And I think that's what will distinguish us over time.

CUOMO: Your theme of old versus new is obvious and consistent. Even with Trump, you're saying he's been around a long time. Hillary has been around a long time.

[08:25:01] You've been there for five years. Do you believe that your record in the Senate stands up to your rhetoric of being all about doing things differently and being different? Because the record, if you look at it, seems like, you know, solid work of a pretty run-of- the-mill senator, not someone who's future-oriented?

RUBIO: Well, I would disagree with that characterization.

CUOMO: Please?

RUBIO: If you look at my -- the things I've tried to do: first of all, on higher education, on issues that aren't partisan per se. I mean, we've tried. And I've worked with Democrats to achieve -- along with Republicans -- to achieve real reform to higher education.

Right to Know Before You Go is a bill that I have with Ron Wyden. And it would require colleges tell students how much you could make when you graduate with your degree from that school so you can decide if it's worth thousands of dollars to pay for it.

I work with Mark Warner of Virginia on making income-based repayment, the automatic repayment method for all student loans, because I myself had over $100,000 in student loans. On the day I took office in the Senate, by the way, I still had those loans.

So, these are just small scale examples of the kinds of issues we've tried to work across the aisle on that are important for the future of our country that aren't getting enough attention. I mean, higher education is no longer just an option. It is a necessity.

CUOMO: There's no question.

RUBIO: If you don't have some sort of advanced education, you cannot find a job in the new economy.

CUOMO: There's no question.

RUBIO: But we can't keep graduating people with loans and degrees that don't lead to jobs.

CUOMO: There's no question. And the government embraces a lot of things, these tax deductions and advantages, that it doesn't with student loans, a lot of people have called for change and it hasn't happened. You're pointing to the effort if not the effect.

Now, another thing that takes us into the future is culture. And last night, you had one of the moderators come after you about a huge issue, which is going to be reproductive rights in the form of abortion last night. Here's what happened.


MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS MODERATOR: If you believe that life begins at conception as you say you do, how do you justify ending a life just because it begins violently through no fault of the baby?

RUBIO: Well, Megyn, first of all, I'm not sure that's a correct assessment of my position. I would go on to add that I believe all --

KELLY: You don't favor a rape and incest exception.

RUBIO: I have never said that and I have never advocated that.


CUOMO: All right. The first situation, as you know now, 2013, you were on that bill 1617 that did have a carve-out for rape and incest. So, it seems that you had your own record wrong. Is that something you want to correct this morning?

RUBIO: No, that's not true. Everybody supported that bill. Every single pro-life senator, every single pro-life group, including the Catholic pro-life groups supported the bill you're just talking about because it prevents abortions.

CUOMO: But it included the exception.

RUBIO: Yes, but -- so let me ask you -- think about it this way. I'm in favor of a 20-week abortion ban. Does that mean I'm in favor of abortions at 19 weeks? No. Any bill that reduces the number of abortion --

CUOMO: I don't think it's an analogy.

RUBIO: -- is a bill that I'm going to support.

CUOMO: Right. But the bill did have that carve-out and you said, I've never been near it.

RUBIO: No, because you're wrong.

CUOMO: That's all I'm saying.

RUBIO: No, I didn't say that. I said I've never advocated for that. What I've said is I advocated -- I never said that I will only support a bill that has an exception in it. But I will support bill that have exceptions in it because they prevent abortions.

I am here to try to save as many of those unborn children's lives as possible. And again, you cannot find a single senator who is pro-life who refused to support that bill because it had that exception in it. You will not find a single pro-life group that refused to support that bill because it had an exception in it.


RUBIO: We are in the business -- if we can save, if we can prevent one abortion, I'm going to be in favor of it. It doesn't mean it's a prerequisite to me having to support that bill.

CUOMO: Right. I understand your argument. I wonder, had you have a chance to clarify it because when they find a bill that you cosponsor, and it has something in it that you say you've advocated for, it creates an inconsistency. But let's take your position as you presented this morning.

To not have a carve-out for rape and incest is also something that seems to be backward looking in terms of the cultural mores that we have today. Why do you not see rape and incest as areas for potential carve-outs even if you are pro-life?

RUBIO: First, I think both of those instances are horrifying. Unfortunately, they're extremely rare. It happens. And any time it happens, it's horrifying. It's a tragedy.

But I personally and honestly and deeply believe that all human life is worthy of protection irrespective of the circumstances in which that human life was created. I personally believe you do not correct one tragedy with a second tragedy. That's how I personally feel very strongly about.

I believe all human life irrespective of the circumstances in which it came into being is worthy of the protection of our laws. I recognize this is a tough question. It's a very difficult question. And I understand that. Believe me, I do.

But by the same token if I have to weigh the two equities here, I'm always going to err on the side of life. And that's how I -- and I think that's a timeless principle. Certainly, our economy has evolved. But when it comes to issues like the value of human life, I think that is a timeless principle. It's true before, it's true now, it will be true in the future.

CUOMO: It's interesting that draw distinctions about the old and the new in certain regards. But on this one, you say it's timeless because as you know, our cultural mores in this country, certainly the opinions of women are not in step with what you're saying right now. You're comfortable with that?

RUBIO: But the value of life is timeless.

No, no, the value of life is timeless.