Return to Transcripts main page


Donald Trump Releases Proposed Immigration Policy; Joe Biden Possible Presidential Bid Discussed; Wildfires Rage in Several Western States; Interview with Congressman Steve King of Iowa. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired August 17, 2015 - 08:00   ET




[08:00:30] MIKE HUCKABEE, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's not how many headlines you get. It's how many voters show up.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When you're a leader what you say matter.

BEN CARSON, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What we need right now is accomplishment.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The voters like me. They understand me. They know I'm going to do the job.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is Joe Biden running or not?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Everybody who knows Joe likes him and respects him. If he does run, I promise an issue- oriented campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wildfires still scorching the west.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ripping up the hillside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to keep hosing ourselves down because it was so hot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was literally outrunning flames at 60 miles per hour.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Search and recovery efforts for a missing passenger plane.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's far too soon to say what the cause was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're flying a fairly old aircraft.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Being described as appalling. (END VIDEO CLIP)

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

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It's Monday, August 17, 8:00 in the east. Donald Trump, you know that name. He's under the microscope, but this time for a new reason. He has a policy proposal and a big challenge to all the other candidates. Now on the policy side, he has an immigration plan where he says he's going to deport all undocumenteds and reverse President Obama's executive orders on immigration. Do the proposals have a chance at success?

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Meanwhile, a clear trend emerging with the latest poll -- establishment candidates falling behind as outsiders get a boost. CNN Sara Murray is live in Washington with all the latest. How is it looking, Sara?

SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. It does look like the first GOP debate made a big difference in the top candidates that voters are considering. Like you said, the non-establishment candidates are moving to the top, and this weekend we got a big dose of retail politicking from some non-establishment candidates in Iowa. Let's take a look.


MURRAY: Donald Trump keeps soaring, landing at the top of a new FOX News poll while women support from one in four Republican primary voters.

Trump isn't the only one climbing. Rounding out the top tier of the anti-establishment crowd, neurosurgeon Ben Carson drawing 12 percent support and Texas senator Ted Cruz with 10 percent. Losing ground Jeb Bush coming in fourth with nine percent support, a six-point drop from early August.

Now Trump is offering more red meat for conservatives, a hardline immigration plan, saying on NBC's "Meet the Press" he supports deporting children brought to the U.S. illegally, a step further than some of the GOP rivals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going split up families? You're going to deport children.

TRUMP: No, no. We're going to keep the families together. We have to keep the families together. But they have to go.

MURRAY: Trump's six-page proposal calls for an end to birthright citizenship, a provision enshrined in the constitution that grants citizenship to those born in the U.S. It puts stricter limits on legal immigration and pushes penalties on Mexico if they refuse to fund a wall along the border. But for most of the weekend, the spotlight wasn't on policy but retail politics at the Iowa state fair. Jeb Bush, looking to boast his sagging poll numbers, spent four hours there sampling pork chops and practicing his fast pitch. Meanwhile, his super PAC is pitching in, spending $10 million on ads in the early states. As for Trump, it was a claustrophobic, chaotic spin through the fairgrounds.

TRUMP: Let's get a picture with everybody real quick.

MURRAY: Complete with a free ride for the kids on his $7 million chopper.


MURRAY: Immigration advocates are already panning Trump's immigration plan. But the big question is what will voters think of it? Meanwhile, we will not see Trump on the campaign trail today. He's in New York where he will be reporting for jury duty. Back to you, Michaela.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Celebrities, they are just like us.


PEREIRA: All right, Sara, thank you so much.

On the Democratic side, will Vice President Biden run for president? Reading the tea leaves is proving to be tough, but his advisors are reportedly giving him a deadline. Could the Hillary e-mail scandal provide an opening for him? CNN's Jim Acosta is live from Martha's Vineyard where the president is on vacation. I've got all these questions and apparently you have all the answers, Jim.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Michaela. And while President Obama is enjoying his vacation here on Martha's Vineyard, as you said, Vice President Joe Biden, he was spending his time off last week determining whether he should make a run for the White House. And sources close to the vice president say he's nowhere near a decision which is expected to come at the end of the summer, perhaps as late as October.

[08:05:07] Biden did spend his vacation in South Carolina, an early primary state and home to one of his biggest loyalist, the former chairman of that state's Democratic Party. But his advisors are gaming out the challenge the vice president would face should he choose to take on Hillary Clinton. She has the organization and already much of the party behind her. And if you take a look at the polls, Biden would have to play some major catch up against vice president senator Bernie Sanders who is gaining on Clinton. And here is what Sanders had to say about the possibility of a Biden candidacy.


SANDERS: I have known Joe for many, many years, and everybody who knows Joe likes him and respects him. The decision as to whether or not he runs is his. If he does run, I promise him an issue-oriented campaign. We'll be debating the major issues facing the American people.


ACOSTA: Now, as for Hillary Clinton, she and her husband former president Bill Clinton were here on Martha's Vineyard over the weekend. A White House official tells me the former secretary of state did briefly chat with President Obama Saturday night. That was after Mr. Obama and Bill Clinton hit the golf course together on Saturday.

And that is a big challenge for Vice President Biden, this image of the Obamas and the Clintons really coming together. They were rivals once. Now they're very much joined at the hip. And I'm told that Hillary Clinton is already seen by top Democratic strategists both inside and outside this White House as someone who will pretend and expand on President Obama's legacy.

But we should point out, Alisyn, lately White House officials have been talking up the vice president, saying that President Obama believes tapping Biden as his VP was the best political decision he ever made. But no question about it, the president has to choose between Hillary Clinton to Joe Biden. That might have to be one of the toughest calls he will ever have to make as president. Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: All right, Jim, thank you for all of that. Let's discuss it now with CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Paul Begala. He's a senior advisor for Priorities USA Action, a pro Hillary Clinton super PAC. And Tara Setmayer, she's a former communications director for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. Great to have both of you. Paul, let's just ask the question. Is Joe Biden getting into this race?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I have no idea. I have no idea. You have to ask the vice president that. First off, I know He's a beloved figure in the Democratic Party and really across the country. I think everybody ought to give him the time and space to make this decision. I'm for Hillary, I'm always going to be for Hillary. But it could be very good for the Democratic Party to have a robust debate. I do think Senator Sanders is providing that in a way that might irritate some of the Hillary people. But I love it. I think it's a terrific. I think we need a robust debate in the Democratic Party. They're certainly having it on the other side. But on my side it's a lot less negative. In fact it's not negative at all.

CUOMO: What can you tell us about whether or not the Clintons have mended faces with the Obamas? Is that just golf because, you know, that's an easy way to spend time together and they both enjoy it, or do you think it would really be a tough choice for President Obama to choose between his vice president and someone who ran against him and then eventually served him?

BEGALA: And his secretary of state, right. I'm quite sure Jim Acosta's reporting is right about that. It would put the president in a decision position. You don't run for president if you don't become president if you don't want to make tough decisions. I have no real insight. In terms of the Obama and Clinton relationship, that was repaired a

long time ago. It was difficult when they ran against each other. I know because I talked to Hillary at the time. She came to admire him in the process of running against him. Hillary is a very tough person. She found Senator Obama to be very tough. She was very proud to endorse him and campaign for him in '08 in a way that I think surprised people. It took a little longer, perhaps, with her husband, but certainly at the 2012 convention you saw he gave probably the best speech of the campaign on behalf of Barack Obama. And I think they get along well now.

CAMEROTA: Tara, your facial expression has been priceless. I wish we had a camera turned on you.

TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If Paul were here I would just pat him on the back and say great, great attempt of trying to play it down. The Hillary camp is worried that if Joe Biden comes into this race. He's a better retail politician than her. He's more beloved than she is. If you put those two out there and you see the contrast between the way Hillary's dispositions is with voters and how she does the retail politics versus Joe Biden, uncle Joe. People love him everywhere he goes. I've had, you know, I've spent time around them. I've seen the way he works. And I'm telling you they're worried.

And the fact there are so many people in the Democratic Party, insiders in the last month, it was even reported over the weekend they're looking at the situation going, you know, we're starting to be concerned between Hillary Clinton's problems with her e-mails, between what Bernie Sanders has been able to accomplish. I mean, this is a socialist, for goodness sakes, running around catching fire. And Hillary is slipping, slipping. And people, they are concerned.

And I appreciate Paul, of course. He's a loyalist. He's going to try to play it down. But there's no doubt in my mind that if Joe Biden gets in the race he will upset the applecart in a way --

CUOMO: It's a problem for you if he gets in the race. He sizes up on a lot of levels. You're not going to chase him about e-mails day.

[08:10:04] SETMAYER: No, we're not. I think it will be a different approach. But I still think we would win. I mean, Joe Biden has his issues in and of itself.

CAMEROTA: What is he waiting for if it's that good?

SETMAYER: I think it's a family decision. I think it's been tough on his family. That family is very important to the Bidens. I think he's really giving the death of his son. It was reported it was Beau's dying wish for him to run again. I think it's weighing very heavily on his heart. And I think he's giving it a serious consideration. And I actually hope he gets in the race. It would be very interesting.

CUOMO: Of course you do. Paul, what do you think about Donald Trump coming forward? We asked him about his situation with women. He says I take care of them the way that matters. I hire them and I pay them when they deserve it the way they deserve it. They gave us numbers about it. He's issuing a challenge to everybody else. Do you think Hillary, whether it's the Clinton Global Initiative or her campaign staff, you think she can stand up to that kind of scrutiny and show that she puts women in positions of power and pays them as well or better than men?

BEGALA: Yes. She doesn't run the Clinton Global Initiative. That was her husband.

CUOMO: But she's connected to it.

BEGALA: Certainly. I think you ought to look at things. She has run her Senate office, her campaign now, the time she served as secretary of state. I think it's absolutely legitimate to take a look at it. If the standard is who is going to be best for American women, I think Hillary Clinton will win this in a landslide.

SETMAYER: I hope Hillary Clinton produces the numbers on who she pays and how much because it wasn't equal pay in her Senate office and that's been reported on. So I hope you get the opportunity, Chris, to ask her and challenge her the say way you did for Donald Trump because she should answer for it.

CAMEROTA: Tara, let me ask you about what Trump has now laid out in terms of specifics for the immigration plan. Let's put a few up on the screen. He would make Mexico pay for the border wall. He's now spelled out a little bit more how he would do that with charging higher rates for visas and things like that. He would deport all criminal aliens and their families. He would defund sanctuary citizens. He would end birthright citizenship. Does this go far enough for your party?

SETMAYER: No. I'm pretty hard line on immigration reform, particularly illegal immigration. I worked for a congressman from California for seven years. I saw firsthand how devastating illegal immigration is to the state of California, particularly. I mean, $25 billion a year alone on illegal immigration in the state of California. So I understand and I get it.

But I think the American people are very upset that the way the immigration system has been has seemed to have taken priority to people who should not be in this country at all. From benefits to jobs, this is a problem. And the American people are rightfully upset about this. What Trump is doing he's touched that nerve and finally --

CUOMO: He touched a nerve. He touched a nerve. But the bar for you and your side, and Paul, and you and your side is going to be the fix.


CUOMO: There is some of this that smacks of unfeasibility. But more of that is why is nobody coming up and really owning? E-Verify, I don't know if you've seen his memo, but dealing with E-Verify is like literally a line item in this. At least it's in here. But why don't you guys or Hillary say here is my immigration agenda? I'm going after the employers. If you hire someone and you can't tell me they are legal, I'm coming after you criminally just like I come after them. Why do you guys --

SETMAYER: Absolutely. Absolutely do that.

CUOMO: Nobody owns that position. Everybody wants to be nice to the deep pockets.

SETMAYER: You have chambers of commerce and you have the corporatist Republicans who are in bed with folks --

CUOMO: You would not have a problem if they could not find jobs.

SETMAYER: Chris. I agree with you 100 percent. I would hope our Republican candidates would come out stronger on workplace enforcement because it's one of the magnets here. They come here for jobs. One of the biggest magnets, also the public benefits and the fact they get free education because of birthright citizenship. That is a huge problem because people come here and have babies and their kids are eligible for the means tested welfare programs, which cost an enormous amount of money. So there are several things.

But I agree with you, Chris, 100 percent that workplace enforcement which is huge, which has gone down, by the way, under the Obama administration significantly.

CAMEROTA: Tara, Paul, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much for weighing in. Great to see you guys. Michaela?

PEREIRA: All right, some other news right now. In Indonesia search crews are waiting for bad weather passes to they can work to confirm if debris spotted from the air belongs to a flight that crashed Sunday with 54 people aboard. CNN's correspondent Kathy Novak is live in Seoul with the very latest for us.

KATHY NOVAK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Michaela, this was a short domestic flight. About 30 minutes in it lost contact and villagers reported seeing it crash in the mountains, reported seeing wreckage, and air crews reported seeing debris from the sky when they were able to search. But the weather got too bad and they had to call off the search. Ground teams now spending the night in the jungles in the mountains. And that means the families of the 54 people on board are spending another night with no news, no confirmation. On the 15th floor people on board, five of them were children. And this is, once again, raising questions about the safety of air travel in Indonesia.

[08:15:00] If you just look back over less than a year, back in December more than 160 people died when a plane on the way to Singapore crashed into the sea. More recently, in June, a military aircraft went down and killed more than 130 people.

Many of them civilians and now the families of the people on board this aircraft 54 people onboard, they're being told there are faint hopes for survivors, but they are not expecting that to be the case. They're expecting that this is the kind of crash when they're able to confirm it that people would not be able to survive. But certainly another sleepless night for those loved ones -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Thank you for the report.

We want to come back here to tell you about the wildfires that are burning out of control literally across the United States. We have 12 states impacted right now, especially bad in eight western states. Soaring temperatures not helping. One woman's death now being blamed on the evacuation rush in Idaho.

Let's get to CNN meteorologist Chad Myers following the latest live from CNN Center in Atlanta.

Chad, do it for us this way, show us what's happening here. You've been good about why and how it's going to have lingering effect.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Certainly there's been the drought out west. Forever it seems like three to five years now, but the deal is I don't think you can put your mind around this until you put it in perspective. There are 10,000 square miles that have already burned across the west this year, this year alone. That is bigger than the state of New Jersey.


MYERS (voice-over): Out of control flames spreading already burning across 1 million acres in eight states. A growing wild fire crisis fueled by erratic winds and lightning, and soaring temperatures.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not out of the woods yet.

MYERS: Over 100 large wildfires are burning uncontained.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the worst in all my life.

MYERS: Officials invoking the nation's highest fire alert level.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really upsetting. You don't want to see anybody lose their homes.

MYERS: Resources are stretched thin as thousands of firefighters are working overtime. Some battling conditions exacerbated by California's historic drought.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every resource you can think of is on short demand in this country now.

MYERS: Over a thousand residents warned to flee the infernos.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's pretty unimaginable. There's no preparing for this.

MYERS: Some barely escaping the flames.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This whole ridge was on fire, this -- that whole hillside there. This whole hillside was on fire last night. I was literally outrunning flames at 90 miles an hour. MYERS: Hundreds of homes and structures from California to Washington

left smoldering reduced to ashes.

REGGIE COLLINS, CHELAN, WASHINGTON RESIDENT: It was pretty scary. I've never seen a storm -- a firearm storm like this travel this fast.

MYERS: In Washington about 9,000 homes without power as wildfires outside Chelan burned down utility poles.

JAMES CARUSO, WASHINGTON EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: Everything that can be done now is being done out there and our fire priority is protecting people and homes.


MYERS: And, of course, fire season not even near over out there. Maybe the El Nino will help with a little bit of rain.

We can use a little rain in the Northeast 93 for the high in New York City today, but it will feel like 100, 96 in D.C., but it will feel like 103, even a hot one in Boston 89. Finally, that big pile of snow they had melted a couple of weeks ago. If it didn't, this would have melted it, for sure, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: I never complain about the heat, Chad, because I remember that pile of snow.

MYERS: That's right.

CAMEROTA: So, it is summer. Thanks so much for all of that.

Well, a disturbing and deadly flair up in the civil war in Syria. Airstrikes by the Assad regime killing 82 people according to human rights groups. More than 250 others were wounded when air strikes hit the main market in the rebel held town of Duma. This was during rush hour.

PEREIRA: North Korea threatening to attack the U.S. with tremendous muscle if the U.S. doesn't scrap military exercises that are planned this week with South Korea and other allies. North Korea's threats are nothing new. However, the language this time is more intense. A State Department official said the exercises are transparent and geared toward deference not offense.

CUOMO: Milwaukee Brewers minor leaguer David Denson is the first openly gay player affiliated with the major league baseball team. He's 20 years old and plays on the Brewer's rookie squad, went public with the interview. He went planning to make the revelation, but confronted a teammate who used a derogatory term in a club house. Denson says it was a relief finally telling his teammates who were very accepting.

PEREIRA: One of his teammates apparently said your sexuality has nothing to do with talent or skill or ability that was such a great message. CUOMO: I use the word revelation. That's not the right word. Too often when people come out, it seems like this, you know, this discovery, you know, like they came out of a cocoon. It will be a good day when it's not an issue.

PEREIRA: You don't have to make an announcement, exactly.

[08:20:00] CUOMO: And that's the best part of that story is that the teammates -- can you hit, can you catch, can you throw? Let's go.

CAMEROTA: I think we're getting to that day. Let's play ball. We're not there but it would be nice.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump getting specific about his immigration plan. Can his vision become a reality? We'll ask conservative Congressman Steve King. He's next.



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to make a whole new set of standards, and when people come in, they have to --

CHUCK TODD, MEET THE PRESS MODERATOR: So, you're going to split up families? You're going to deport children?

TRUMP: Chuck -- no, no, we're going to keep the families together. We have to keep the families together. But they have to go.

TODD: But you're going to keep them together out?


CUOMO: Well, they don't have to right now. Because if you're born in the country that changes your legal status. Donald Trump says that should change.

He finally shares specifics of his immigration plan including the so called DREAMers that their entire family has to go. That's not all. He also wants to end birthright citizenship.

He's claiming that Mexico will also pay for that wall. They're going to do it or they're going to pay in other ways.

Let's discuss all this with Congressman Steve King, member of the House Judiciary Committee, chairman of the Conservative Opportunity Society.

Is it true they had to literally physically move you away from a corn dog station this weekend? Is that true?


REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: I'm not very far away from the corn dog station right now. I think they can toss me one, if they needed to, Chris. But I'm going to hold out for the deep fried butter today.

CUOMO: That's always good. Fried fried is always good. Control yourself over there, Congressman!

All right. So, let me ask you -- what do you think about Donald Trump's plan, specifically with respect to the feasibility of changing birthright, which as you know has constitutional underpinnings, of making Mexico pay for a wall, which you know would be difficult.

[08:25:11] What's your take on both of those, Congressman, please?

KING: Well, when I read through the document, in the end, I thought it's a very, very positive document. It's bold, it's strong, it's broad. It covers most of the things you want to cover. I like to plug a couple more things in there.

But with regard to birthright citizenship, for example, it is -- it has constitutional underpinnings, yes. But the way you start that is as you pass the legislation that puts an end to birthright citizenship. I happen to be the author of that legislation. And then, it will be litigated, there isn't any doubt about it.

But there is clause that says and subject to the jurisdiction thereof all persons born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are American citizens, or United States citizens, to be more technically correct.

So, we have to start the legislation, I think it is constitutionally sound to pass a legislation and end birthright citizenship. There aren't many countries in the world that have that policy.

But I was curious, for some time about how Donald Trump would get Mexico to pay for the wall. As you know, I've advocated for a long time for a fence or a wall, or fence on the southern border. I'm optimistic about this.

I think the tactics that he uses are legitimate and he'll use more leverage in that. There will be subtle leverage. There'll be State Department leverage. I think he can get to the place, but whether they do or don't pay for the wall, as he says in his document, the cost of that wall pales in comparison to the cost of not building it.

CUOMO: All right. But you know what's blowing big holes in the wall, you now, metaphorically, you would want to build is the employers here who hire people illegally to keep their costs low and effectively cut out the American job market.

Why aren't you and your brothers and sisters who are strong on immigration in terms of keeping people out as strong on the employers? Why don't you push criminal sanctions for them? Why don't you go after their money? Why don't you levy -- that would pay for your wall there.

KING: Well, Chris, I'm supportive of doing those things. The reason we haven't pushed it hardener the last six and a half years is because there's no way that one can imagine this administration is going to enforce any of that. I mean, they've gone to court to block local jurisdictions from even mirroring federal immigration law, let alone help. They're accepting sanctuary cities, which I'm grateful that Donald Trump --


CUOMO: That has nothing to do with employers, Congressman.

KING: He's going to end that.

CUOMO: They haven't done anything to block any move on employers.

KING: But if you're going to punish and find employers, you have to have a Justice Department and Obama administration -- a presidential administration that will follow through.

I would do that. But I think I have a better idea, and I was hopeful it would be in this document. There's room for it within the language. It's not specified. It's called the New Idea Act. It's a piece of legislation I offered several cycles ago. It does this -- it brings the IRS into play.

And it tells -- it says this, if you're an employer and you use E- Verify you get safe harbor for those you hire. But you cannot let the wages and benefits be paid to illegals under this legislation. So, the IRS would go through under a normal audit of business and they would run the Social Security numbers of the employees through. If E- Verify kicks them out and said sorry they can't work in the United States, then the employer would lose his business deduction.

So your $10 hour illegal after there's interest, penalty, taxes charges on that would be $16 an hour illegal, and we would end there's a six-year statue limitations on it. So, we would clean up this work force and we do so with the IRS. And we require the IRS to cooperate with the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security.

I know, that's within the -- I'll say within the list of things that Donald Trump would be looking at to support, but I don't -- it's not in the document. So, that's what I would do. I think it's actually -- it enhances our revenue stream. It would score out a plus by billions of dollars, and clean up our workforce, Chris.

CUOMO: It's interesting you would provide employers an amnesty, you won't consider for their employees. You know, you say E-Verify, they get a safe harbor. That's what amnesty. Why wouldn't you punish them breaking the law the way you want to punish immigrants?

KING: No, no, Chris, it isn't. It says, if you comply with the laws and employer, and you use E-Verify to vet your employees --


KING: -- we will not punish you if you have an illegal. That's really what that is.

CUOMO: Right. But --


KING: It's an incentive to use --

CUOMO: If they're using it, they wouldn't be bringing in employees they're not supposed to. I mean, that would be the point.

One last quick thing for you, Congressman, Donald Trump says he hasn't been proud of America. America hasn't been proud since Ronald Reagan. You think that's true? You had two different Bushes in there since that time. You think America has no reason to be proud since Ronald Reagan?

KING: I'm a pretty proud American, and -- but I'll say this Donald Trump has tapped into this -- we have something we haven't addressed as a malaise in this country. We watched as several presidents, a couple I can think, apologize to sometimes entire continents.