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How Carly Fiorina Rose to National Prominence; Carly Fiorina's Controversial Biz Legacy; Pope Francis on the Streets of Havana; Pope Goes Off Script While Speaking in Cuba; Two Americans Freed in Yemen; Muslim Congressman Speaks Out; Which GOP Candidate Will Adelson Support?; Controversy Over Man Set to Be Saint. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired September 20, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: In 2013 "Esquire" named him their best dressed man. And "Time" gave him the iconic label of "Person of the Year." "Rolling Stone" also elevated the pope to rock star status by making him the first religious head to grace the cover paired with the headline "The Times: They are A-Changing."
7:00 Eastern, this Sunday evening, I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. Thank you so much for joining me. We begin with politics and a big shake up in the latest CNN/ORC poll taken after Wednesday night's presidential primary debate.
While Donald Trump remains the front-runner with 24 percent, that is a drop of eight points for him from the poll before the debate. But most notably, Carly Fiorina soars into second place.
CNN's Sunlen Serfaty has more from the G.O.P. forum in Mackinaw, Michigan.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, this poll shows how much the debate has really shaken up the race, but besides who's up and who's down, what's most striking is when you compare it to what the field looked like just one month ago, put up those comparison numbers for you now.
As you see, Donald Trump, he is still the front-runner, but he's on a downward slope sliding eight points. Support slipping there, too, for Ben Carson who has lost five percentage points. Now compare that to Carly Fiorina. She's leaping up 12 percentage points. That's a huge number really in just three weeks.
Also a big jump there, too, for Senator Marco Rubio gaining eight percentage points.
And all of this really underscores how vital the debate moments are for these candidates, especially with such a crowded field. Carly Fiorina, she really went toe-to-toe with Donald Trump in so many of those moments and these numbers really do show that she came off looking very favorable because of that.
Senator Marco Rubio, he was able to really highlight his foreign policy chops, gained a lot of momentum, same with Carly Fiorina. Going forward, that sets the tone on the campaign trail going forward from here on out.
HARLOW: Sunlen, thank you very much. So who is Carly Fiorina? You learn a little bit more about her in the debate on Wednesday night.
She began her career in business after dropping out of law school with an MBA. She joined AT&T in 1980. She quickly rose through the ranks to become an executive there. In 1996, she was put in charge of the AT&T spin-off known as Lucent Technologies.
Her success there earned her the cover of "Fortune" magazine in 1998 as number one of their list of the most powerful women in business. She then became the CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
CNN's Tom Foreman takes a look at her record from there.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Outspoken and tough by all accounts, Carly Fiorina has friends and enemies in high places.
CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You ran up mountains of debt as well as lawsuits using other people's money, and you were forced to file for bankruptcy not once...
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I never filed for bankruptcy.
FIORINA: ...not twice, four times. A record four times. Why should we trust you to manage the finances of this nation any differently than you managed the finances of your casinos?
TRUMP: Carly, Carly --
FOREMAN: For foes, her most glaring weakness lies in two letters, H.P. Fiorina made big headlines when she was named the first female CEO at that tech giant in 1999, but the headlines were even bigger when she oversaw the mega purchase of Compact and H.P. went into a tailspin, losing half its stock value and the bursting tech bubble and laying off 30,000 workers.
TRUMP: The company is a disaster and continues to be a disaster. They still haven't recovered.
FOREMAN: By 2005, Fiorina was very publicly and painfully fired. She told "60 Minutes" about it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Almost as if they meant to take you down a peg or two, that kind of thing.
FIORINA: If that was their intent, they certainly succeeded in that.
FOREMAN: For Wall Street, it wasn't personal, it was business. As soon as Fiorina was fired, H.P.'s stock rose 7 percent and "Fortune" magazine's assessment is blunt, "Her run as CEO, well, it just wasn't all that great."
FIORINA: Keep up, ladies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're not walking fast enough, are we?
FIORINA: Sorry, I walk really fast.
FOREMAN: But Fiorina was soon pushing on advising John McCain's presidential bid in 2008, running for Senate in 2010 giving us the famous demon sheep ad and an infamous open mike moment when she insulted Barbara Boxer's hair.
FIORINA: A lot of us saw Barbara Boxer briefly on television this morning and said what everyone says, God, what is that hair? So yesterday.
FOREMAN: The democrat responded by walloping Fiorina in the final vote. Life has hit Fiorina hard, too. Twice married. She is a breast cancer survivor who underwent a mastectomy during that losing Senate campaign and who that same year lost her stepdaughter, Lorie.
[19:05:05] FIORINA: Drug addiction is an epidemic and it is taking too many of our young people. I know this sadly from personal experience.
FOREMAN (on-camera): Industry analysts broadly agree that Fiorina made some big mistakes in her corporate career and even as her fans argue against that, they also suggest that all the ups and downs have left their candidate ready for everything the campaign and the presidency can fling at her.
HARLOW: Tom foreman, thank you for that. Carly Fiorina's controversial legacy as a business leader still triggers powerful emotions. More than a decade after she was fired from Hewlett- Packard, this is what happened. This is the Web site, CarlyFiorina.org.
Someone bought it and is using it to really show how they feel. Those are 30,000 frowning facing representing each of the employees laid off during her tenure.
Here are the facts about her record as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. She led H.P.'s acquisition of Compaq in 2002. That is now considered one of the single worst moves in the tech sector in history. H.P.'s stock fell 45 percent under her tenure. She was ousted from the company in a boardroom brawl as she describes it in 2005.
H.P.'s stock rose 7 percent when the street found out that she was leaving the company. The stock of H.P. is still nearly 60 percent below its all-time high 15 years ago and Fiorina left with a $42 million severance package.
She was also the first woman ever to run a Fortune 20 company when she took the helm of H.P. Another woman who now runs H.P., Meg Whitman, told me what she thinks about Fiorina for president.
HARLOW (on-camera): A former CEO of this company, Carly Fiorina...
MEG WHITMAN, CEO, HEWLETT-PACKARD: Yes.
HARLOW: ...who has thrown her hat in the ring.
HARLOW: Would Carly Fiorina make a good U.S. president?
WHITMAN: So, you know, I think Carly has a lot of strengths. She has run big companies. She's traveled all over the world. She's got a lot of strengths. And we'll see how she stacks up versus the other Republican competitors.
HARLOW: She's come under a lot of criticism because of the 30,000 layoffs that she oversaw at H.P.
HARLOW: You've overseen more than that. Is that criticism warranted in a run for the White House?
WHITMAN: Listen, what I learned in politics, everything is fair game. When you run, they can ask you any question on any subject. I would argue that when Carly made those reductions, it was probably the right -- I wasn't here, but I suspect she was trying to do in some ways what I've tried to do is make this company more competitive.
You know, she acquired Compaq. And, obviously, there had to be some downsizing when you put those two companies together. So I don't know the ins and out of exactly what went on when she was at H.P., but people in business, you have to do what enables your company too be successful in the market and you have to be competitive or you will lose.
HARLOW: Let's talk to two people who know her tenure at H.P. very well. Joanne Lipman was a business editor at the "Wall Street Journal" during Carly Fiorina's time at H.P.
Stephen Gandel wrote a fascinating sort of fact and fiction check on Carly Fiorina right after the debate this week. He's a senior editor at Fortune.com.
Thank you both for being here. I want you to listen to what she said in the debate about her -- talking about the good things about her time at H.P. Let's roll that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FIORINA: We doubled the size of the company. We quadrupled its top line growth rate. We quadrupled its cash flow. We tripled its rate of innovation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Profit was also down 40 percent while she was there. Are those things true?
STEPHEN GANDEL, SENIOR EDITOR, FORTUNE.COM: Well, so exactly what she's saying about the size of the company, usually Wall Street talks about market gap. The market gap fell just like the stock price.
The sales did double but most of that came from the acquisition with Comcast. If you just look at the sales growth that she had outside the acquisition, it was like 3.5 percent during her time.
And then she says that cash flow quadrupled. That's not even close. Cash flow was up, which is good, up 40 percent, but nowhere near quadrupled.
HARLOW: So it's not all factual.
GANDEL: It's not all factual. What the point that she had which is a good point is that you can't just look at her term by herself or her tenure by herself. You have to look at what was going. When she did take over at a difficult time, particularly difficult time for tech companies, large computer companies. And H.P. is still around. That's true, too, right?
HARLOW: Sure. But shares of Dell were up 11 percent during the same time period.
GANDEL: Right. So that's what you have to do. You have to look at not just that it was down 45 percent, but what do these other companies do?
GANDEL: And if you look at a competitor, she still did worse, right? During her tenure, she still did worse. IBM's stock fell by a quarter. Her stock fell by 45 percent.
HARLOW: Joanne, you were covering her. I mean, you were editing "The Wall Street Journal" at the time. What's the inside -- what were people talking about then as her -- about her as a leader, not only the numbers, but about how she was to work with?
JOANNE LIPMAN, FORMER DEPUTY MANAGER EDITOR, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: The really interesting narrative about Carly Fiorina that I really haven't seen much about is she was a superb marketer. She was a superb public relations face.
You know, it's no accident that she was number one on "Fortune's" Most Powerful Women list.
[19:10:00] She was out there all the time. She was very accessible to the press. She was very happy to be on a magazine cover. And because she was, you know, a pioneering woman, she got a ton of attention and she made really great use of it and she was fantastic in a room.
I've seen her, you know, multiple times in a room with editors and reporters and she would have them in the palm of her hand. I think there was a feeling that she was really good at that at the expense of actually running her company.
HARLOW: So it's not just H.P. that she had a huge position in. She also was president of Lucent Technologies before she came over. And I want you guys to listen to some sound from a woman, a former Lucent employee.
She was on my friend, Brooke Baldwin's show on Friday talking about her feelings about Carly Fiorina. She lost her job at Lucent. Let's roll that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HALYNA SORENSEN, FORMER EMPLOYEE OF CARLY FIORINA: Carly Fiorina had also said that when she was the president she could work that company with one computer. She didn't need the staff that we had. She just cut back and cut back and you know jobs were terminated.
When we are force retired, my savings that I had in stock, because I had a lot of stock options when I was working, was close to a half a million dollars. And he had approximately $400,000 which was also lost.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Now, Stephen, to you, granted that comes from an employee who was let go and is very upset about that. What's her record at Lucent?
GANDEL: The record at Lucent wasn't very good either. After she left things didn't go very well. Jeff Sonnenfeld wrote a piece for us kind of looking at that time period, too.
But, again, she was seen as a star at the time. It's kind of different, right? So at Lucent, she was seen as a star. And then afterwards, things didn't work out so well. But at H.P. where she came in as a star, then things deteriorated while she was here.
The thing I would say, though, during her time at H.P., or maybe you can say about her time at H.P. and maybe this is going with Joanne says about kind of vision versus running a company, that she probably was right. That H.P. needed some kind of transformative acquisition. I don't know if Compaq was the acquisition it needed but she was probably right. She wanted H.P. to be more of a services company than just selling printers and computers.
HARLOW: And now look what H.P. is becoming. H.P. is in the middle of splitting into two companies.
GANDEL: Right. And the part that people really want is that services part. That she was really aiming for.
HARLOW: And applied for. GANDEL: Right. But while she was running the company, while she was there, the performance wasn't very good. Once she left and Mark Herd took over, those next five years were very good. Profits doubled in the first few years. And I think she gets almost no credit for those after years and she should get some credit, but you can't say that it's all her doing.
HARLOW: Joanne, 30,000 more layoffs at H.P. were announced this week. You know, Meg Whitman is at the helm there. She told me that more layoffs are coming. Should any of that be pointed back ten years to Carly Fiorina or no?
LIPMAN: I would say not, frankly. I mean, sure, you can say the decline started with her. I think the bigger issue with Carly Fiorina was it really was an issue of style over substance. She had great style at that time. The substance of what the company was doing was not good. And her style was masking what was actually going on on the ground.
HARLOW: To both of you, before I let you go, she pointed out in the debate, and she's done this before. She said, yes, I was fired. It wasn't pretty, but guess who else was? Steve Jobs at Apple. Fair comparison?
LIPMAN: I don't think so.
LIPMAN: I don't think so because Steve Jobs, first of all, he came back and proved himself which she did not. But, moreover, think about this, Steve Jobs was a visionary corporate executive. Who would want him as the president of the United States? It's a really different skill set.
GANDEL: Yes, no. So I think that's what you have to think about, right? So as a manager, as a cost manager, right, she was not very good. As a visionary, as an I know we need to do something, she was good at that. So maybe that is what we need in a politician or a president.
But in terms of the vision for -- it was -- the transformative decision she needed, or made, the acquisition was to make it more like IBM. It wasn't like she was creating a new product or creating a new vision or creating anything new like Steve Jobs did.
GANDEL: So maybe -- so her vision was good, but it wasn't kind of a transformative vision.
HARLOW: All right, guys, thank you. It's fascinating and very important. She said, in the debate, I think our records in business are important if you're running for the presidency. Hers is getting scrutinized. LIPMAN: By the way, Trump is really important, too, so I think --
HARLOW: And the point of what I'm saying is...
LIPMAN: And some people like your previous guest --
HARLOW: ...that folks are pointing more to her than Trump.
LIPMAN: And I think it is just as important to look at Trump...
LIPMAN: ...and his business dealings and the bankruptcies as it is to look at Carly Fiorina.
HARLOW: Do you want to come back and join me in a few weeks? Let's do that. We'll do that.
LIPMAN: We'll do that.
HARLOW: We'll be here. Thank you, Joanne Lipman. I'll point you to Stephen's piece on Fortune.com. Absolutely fascinating look.
And guess what, if you missed it on Wednesday night, the CNN Republican presidential debate replays at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 45 minutes from now, only here on CNN.
But straight ahead, we will take you live to Cuba for a look inside the pope's historic visit with Rosa Flores.
[19:15:14] ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, the pope goes off script twice in the past half hour. He utters the word "communist" and he says "if you are free of sin, throw the first stone."
I'll tell you all about it after this.
HARLOW: You are looking at live pictures of Pope Francis speaking in Havana, Cuba, on his historic trip to Cuba before he heads here to the United States.
He is speaking right now with thousands of Cuban youth at the Father Felix Varela Cultural Center right in the middle of Havana.
Rosa Flores is live in Cuba for us tonight.
And the pope went off script. Something we weren't expecting tonight. What did he say?
FLORES: You know, he's gone off script twice. Right now, he's off script. You can see that he's not reading anything. Right before this, he was speaking to priests, seminarians, nuns, and he literally said, you know what, I don't feel like reading this. He asked somebody to take his scripted speech and then he just started speaking from the heart.
And Poppy, I've got to tell you, he is very harsh with his own church. Much harsher than he is when he speaks to others, to politicians, to presidents. He pretty much said in a nutshell, he said, priests, if in your heart, you are trying to follow wealth, you're in the wrong spot. You're going in the wrong direction. For nuns, he said, God, please free us from crying nuns. He said go to the places where nobody else wants to go. That's where God is.
And he also said to priests, specifically, is to have mercy and to have mercy at confession, he said. That is where people are at their lowest. They're telling you what they wouldn't tell anybody else. Have mercy.
Right now, when he's speaking to the youth here in Cuba, he asked them to dream, to dream big, and for them to continue to dream.
Now, where he utters the words "communist," is just moments ago. He said that in a parish in Argentina, they were trying to build up a parish building and they were all working together.
[19:20:10] He said some were communists, some were Catholics, it didn't matter. They were working together.
So, you know, off script, harsh with the Catholic church, and, you know, telling youth to dream.
HARLOW: Well, it's interesting because, you know, he addressed on a former trip to Latin America, he talked about sort of certain forms of capitalism being the dang of the devil and now he says this about sort of do not pursue money as your focus. And then he comes and he's going to address the U.S. Congress.
Do you think this is sort of a foreshadowing of what we might see?
FLORES: You know, after talking to some people who know him very well that have known him for 30, 40 years, they really don't think that he is going to say anything that will be divisive when he's speaking before Congress.
Now, let's remember, he's going to be speaking in English. My prediction, and this is just my prediction, but I think he's going to stick to his script because he's going to be speaking English.
If he was speaking in Spanish, that would be a whole other deal. Because what we've seen over and over, Poppy, is that if he is inspired by something that he sees, by a child that he embraces, by someone like a youth that asks him a question, that's where he gets emotional and he speaks from the heart. Mostly it's in Spanish. So I would think that his prepared remarks before Congress are going to be read to the letter and the word because they're in English.
HARLOW: That's a good prediction, Rosa. You know certainly better than most of us. You're there with the pope. And he blessed you yesterday which I will never, never forget.
Thank you, Rosa.
FLORES: You're welcome.
Joining me now from Washington, Archbishop Timothy Broglio. He is archbishop for the U.S. military.
Today, we heard from Pope Francis, who spoke at a cultural center. You're seeing him leave there just addressing the youth. He is focusing on hope saying what kind of hope does a young Cuban have at this moment of history? Nothing more or less than that of other young person in any other part of the world.
So, archbishop, thank you for being here.
Thank you very much for the invitation, Poppy. I'm happy to be here.
HARLOW: What is your take first on that? On what he said about hope and the hope that young Cubans should have?
ARCHBISHOP TIMOTHY BROGLIO, ARCHBISHOP FOR THE U.S. MILITARY: Well, I think that's essential to the Christian message. The holy father is talking about what is the expectation of all of us? And I think particularly for the youth who have life ahead of them, and particularly now in a change situation for Cubans, I think that that's an essential element of his message.
HARLOW: Do you agree with Rosa? She said, you know, I don't think when he comes here to the United States and he addresses Congress that he will go off script because he's speaking in English, which of course it's not his first language. He's not as comfortable with it as in Spanish. Do you agree?
BROGLIO: Well, I think if he, I think he probably will tend to stay with his script. But, remember, in other visits, he has asked someone else to translate for him and then has spoken in Spanish.
BROGLIO: But I suspect since the act in Congress is going to be rather formal event that he probably will stick to his text.
HARLOW: What, to you, stands out most about Pope Francis thus far? And it's -- I'm just interested in your insight because he's made so many headlines. Which one to you stands out the most?
BROGLIO: Well, I think essentially the Holy Father is someone who is trying to confirm us in our faith. And so he's invited -- certainly, he's invited Catholics to meet Jesus Christ and then go out and bring the person of Christ to others. And I think this has been very, very emphatic in all of his gestures, and in all of his messages. He really has taken to heart this notion of evangelization, of proclaiming the good news, and making sure that it's taken to the peripheries which of course is a very important discourse for Latin American.
HARLOW: Will he be successful? Do you believe, in attracting more young people to the Catholic church, bringing them into the fold, people who have left the church not just here in the United States but around the world?
BROGLIO: Well, I think -- I would like to think that he would. I think the test of that, of course, will be in Europe where there's kind of a lethargy and very much you're struck by the empty churches and so forth, but there is also a certain vibrancy but it's below the surface.
[19:25:00] BROGLIO: But I think for all of us, we're all expecting that he will have a positive effect in inviting people back to what is a vibrant community of faith.
HARLOW: Will you -- before I let you go, sir, will you be spending any time with him while he's here?
BROGLIO: Well, since he lands in my jurisdiction on Andrew's Air Force Base, I will certainly be there to greet him on Tuesday, and then to say good-bye when he goes off to New York. So at least I'll have those two moments. But I plan to go to the mass as well.
HARLOW: Hey, it's more than any of us are going to get, so enjoy it. Thank you so much, Archbishop Timothy Broglio. I appreciate it.
BROGLIO: Thank you very much.
HARLOW: Coming up next, the first taste of freedom for two American hostages held captive for months in Yemen. We will tell you the latest on their condition, ahead.
HARLOW: Two Americans held hostage for months by Houthi rebels in Yemen have been released and are now in Oman's capitol of Muscat. One of them has been identified as 45-year-old Scott Darden. His wife tells us here at CNN, she spoke to Darden and he sounds elated and overjoyed.
A total of three Americans were being held captive there. Officials here in the United States, though, do not have an update on the third American.
CNN senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh has the latest. NICK PAYTON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This flight by the Omani government from Sanaa, Yemen, to their capital in Muscat, ending a months-long ordeal for two Americans, Scott Darden, but also a man known as Sam Farran.
Now Mr. Darden was there working for a logistics company. Little else is known about Mr. Farran, what brought him to be in Yemen. But the fate of a third American unclear at this stage.
He was not on that plane and there was much confusion, frankly, during this day about whether or not there were three Americans on board. One diplomat in Sanaa speaking to me and other Yemeni officials believe that was the case, it clearly wasn't. On that plane though as well, as many as three Saudi nationals, that's according to Oman state television and a UK official confirming to me that there was a British traveling on that plane as well from Sanaa to Muscat.
When he landed he received consular assistance from the British embassy there. So clearly this tense set of negotiations, the Omani officials, apparently involved as well as Americans, have brought these two individuals plus others to safetty. We understand that perhaps a Houthi delegation were on board that plane traveling to Oman as well. They according to diplomats I spoke to maybe in Oman to try and start off again peace talks.
Now the Houthis have been in a months-long brutal civil war now against the Saudi-led coalition backing the former Yemeni government in Yemen. The Houthis, frankly, have been losing a lot of ground, now many say in circles and heavily bombarded in the capital Sanaa and the U.N. trying to broker a peace process.
The diplomat I spoke to said that this hostage release, captive release, call it what you will, perhaps a goodwill gesture to get these peace talks started again. That may happen in Aman in the days ahead or it may not. Diplomat I spoke to very pessimistic, frankly, feeling the Saudi coalition believes it has the military upper hand and may pursue a more military option rather than peace talks go through.
But civilians losing their lives frequently in Yemen. 2,000 so far. Total of nearly 5,000 having died in this conflict, but today for two American families, at least some good news, their loved ones now in safety.
HARLOW: Nick Paton Walsh, thank you very much for that.
Also, announced today that the United States will increase the number of migrants that this country accepts over the next few years. Secretary of state John Kerry announcing the cap will rise to 85,000 migrants next year and 100,000 in the years after that. Right now the cap is at 70,000.
Many of those people likely will be Syrian refugees. All refugees would be subject to background checks before being admitted to the United States.
Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson is not mincing his words. He said this morning in an interview on NBC that he does not think a Muslim should be the next president. Straight ahead, I will talk to one of the country's two Muslim congressmen to get his reaction to that comment.
HARLOW: Presidential candidate Ben Carson says the United States should not elect a Muslim to president. Here's what he said today on NBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFED MALE: So do you believe that Islam is consistent with the constitution?
BEN CARSON (RD=), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, I don't. I do not. I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: And would you ever consider voting for a Muslim for congress?
CARSON: Congress is a different story, but it depends on who that Muslim is and what their policies are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Carson's comments come after Donald Trump chose not to correct a supporter at a town hall Thursday who said this country has a problem with Muslims, and that President Obama is a Muslim. Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota who is a Muslim issued a statement. And I want to read you part of it. In part it reads "For Ben Carson, Donald Trump or any other Republican politician to suggest that someone of any faith is unfit for office is out of touch with who we are as a people."
Representative Andre Carson, a democrat from the state of Indiana is the only other Muslim serving in Congress right now and he joins me on the phone. Thank you for being with me, Representative.
REP. ANDRE CARSON (D), INDIANA: Thank you for having us.
HARLOW: What's your reaction to what we heard from Ben Carson?
CARSON: Well, I certainly disagree with Dr. Carson's statements, you know, saying the U.S. shouldn't elect a Muslim president is as off as saying we should not elect a neurosurgeon as president. You know, the freedom of religion that we have in this country as a founding principle of our great nation, so for any candidate to suggest that someone of any faith is unfit for public office simply because of what he or she may believe is nothing short of religious bigotry. So I think the comments made by Dr. Carson show that there has to be a
reassessment of him as a candidate to be the CEO and commander in chief of this great country because this is not representative of someone who wants to represent all Americans of all faith and all backgrounds. You know, the constitution is very implicit and very clear in Article 6, there shall not be a religious test to hold public office. It took us too long to overcome the prejudice against electing a Catholic or even an African-American to become president.
HARLOW: The Council on American Islamic Relations today called on Carson to withdraw following those comments. Should he withdraw?
CARSON: You know, I think that if he does not withdraw, he should seriously reassess his efforts to become the president of the United States of America. I think that what we are seeing with politicians far too frequently is that they become poll obsessed. They become focus group obsessed. And they're vying for who can be the most provocative, who can make the most outrageous statements, who can make the most self-deprecating statements and statements against minority groups even though that person may be a minority him or herself.
And I think that the race to get the most attention is absolutely disruptive and destructive to the political process. It's unacceptable and I think that that kind of mentality does not deserve to have a stage or form or even consideration for being commander in chief of this great nation.
HARLOW: I'd like you to listen to what Donald Trump told our Jake Tapper this morning on "State of the Union" about this issue and the controversy about him not jumping in when the person at the town hall said that. Let's roll it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, we could be politically correct if you want but certainly are you trying to say we don't have a problem? Because I think everybody would agree. I have friends that are Muslims. They're great people. Amazing people. And most Muslims like most everything, I mean, these are fabulous people, but we certainly do have a problem. I mean, you have a problem throughout the world.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: What's the problem?
TRUMP: Well, you have radicals that are doing things. I mean, it wasn't people from Sweden that blew up the World Trade Center, Jake.
TAPPER: I get that. But to say we have a problem and it's called Muslims because there are some extremist Muslims is tarring all Muslims. You would agree that the vast -
TRUMP: No, I don't agree with that at all. But you have extremist Muslims that are in a class by themselves. I mean, they are - it is a problem in this country and it's a problem throughout the world. (END VIDEOTAPE)
HARLOW: Representative Carson, you are a Muslim-American. There are eight million Muslim-Americans in this country. Yes, there are some radicals. There are some radicals of every belief, if you will. What - I'm interested in what you, personally, experienced running for office.
CARSON: Well, I think that there were deep levels of discrimination that we were faced with and assumptions that were made simply because of my faith. But it presented a unique opportunity for me to highlight the fact that I come from law enforcement, that I work at the Indiana Department of Homeland Security in counterterrorism and in counterintelligence.
I'm still the only member of Congress to have served and worked in an intelligence fusion center, and I say all the time that there are efforts and attempts weekly that you'll never hear about and Muslims are a part of the reason as to why these efforts have been thwarted to attack our country. And I'm proud to say that I've served in that effort and I still deal with issues having to push back on people who suggest that somehow a Muslim is unfit to serve in public office.
And I think it's a work - I don't try to propheletize or convert people. I'm just a human being full of flaws myself. But I think the best example that I can show is that Muslims can represent school boards, city councils, mayoral offices, gubernatorial efforts and even Congress. They just need to be given a chance.
HARLOW: Representative Andre Carson, as I let you go, our viewers are looking up at the screen at a poll that shows 29 percent of Americans today believe the president is a Muslim, 43 percent of Republicans believe that. 54 percent of Trump supporters believe that even though it is clearly not the case. Representative, thank you for your time this evening.
CARSON: An honor. Thank you.
HARLOW: Coming up next, the billionaire casino owner, we're not talking about Donald Trump. We're talking about this guy, his name is Sheldon Adelson. He's made absolute fortune running casinos around the world. Guess who wants his support? All the folks you saw on that debate stage Wednesday night. We will dig into this man, straight ahead.
HARLOW: There are is more than one billionaire casino mogul to talk about this campaign season. There's Donald Trump then there's Sheldon Adelson. Adelson is the owner of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. He operates huge casinos in Sin City, of course, and in Macau, China. Like the Koch brothers, his support and financial backing is a coveted prize among GOP contenders for the White House. Joining me now Jason Zengerle is a contributing editor for "New York" magazine, he just penned a fascinating piece on Sheldon Adelson called "Sheldon Adelson is ready to buy the Presidency." Thank you for being here Jason, it's a fascinating read.
You got some - a lot of folks to talk to and tell you what's in Sheldon Adelson's mind right now in this race. Because he's so important for the financial backing especially for those Superpacs. You say, these candidates are competing in the, "Adelson primary," the hotly contested debate for his support and for the donor's heart which runs through Israel. Talk to me about his significance in this election.
JASON ZENGERLE, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR "NEW YORK MAGAZINE": Well, he spent about $100 million in 201 2 trying to beat Bbarack Obama, he spent about $20 million during the Republican primary supporting Newt Gingrich, really single handedly keeping Gingrich's candidacy alive.
After Gingrich finally lost he I think spent about 30 million supporting Mitt Romney during the general election so he has a track record of spending a lot of money. I think that he, after 2012, he felt bad about the support that he gave Gingrich because Gingrich's primary effort really ended up hurting Romney to a certain extent.
ZENGERLE: So I think he felt guilty about that. His primary goal this time around is to not back a spoiler in the 2016 Republican primaries. He wants to support someone who actually is electable, actually has a chance of winning so he's delayed deciding who he's going to support. He wants to see a couple of debates. There have been two so far. He wants to see a third. He wants to back someone who he actually thinks has a chance of winning. He's a guy who's famous for going with his gut. This time he wants to go a little more with his head.
HARLOW: Well, you paint this really very clear picture in your piece about - you can see the Republican candidates sort of streaming into the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas where his office is. Going up to his office. Meeting with him. And trying to get him on board. But this is someone that if he doesn't, as you describe it, doesn't like one quote from one candidate, he will completely abandon them.
ZENGERLE: Yes. He's just - he's famously mercurial. That's the big mystery about this Adelson primary. You know, one day he might like someone, the next day he might not. Despite his, you know, attempts to back someone this time who he thinks is electable, no one really knows if he's going to stick to that. You know, there are certain candidates in the field that I think he likes a lot. I mean, he has a long history with Lindsey Graham, someone who's very hawkish, very pro-Israle. I think he personally likes Marco Rubio.
You know, Rubio, in addition to trooping out to Las Vegas to see him, keeps very good contact on the phone. Jeb Bush is a little more of a problem. I think that Bush, you know, if you're going to sort of make up for what he did in 2012, Bush could be the guy naturally for him to support but he's had some issues with Bush. Back in the spring Bush announced James Baker as one of his foreign policy adviser. Adelson doesn't like Baker. Baker gave a talk to a liberal pro-Israel organization that Adelson doesn't like called J Street. Adelson and other very conservative Jewish Republican donors put pressure on Bush to get Baker to drop the speech. Bush refused. That really caused a problem. Bush has been digging himself out of that hole ever since.
According to people I've talked to, he's made progress. He went and met personally with Adelson, he sent his brother, George W., who was obviously very close with the government in Israel who Adelson likes a lot. He sent George W. out to talk to Adelson. I think that's made soe headway for Jeb. But it's still not enough or might not be enough. We'll see. Basically as far as I'm being told, the Adelson primary remains fairly wide open.
HARLOW: Up in the air. Very quickly before I let you go, how's he feel about Carly Fiorina? She just surged and hit number two in the polls.
ZENGERLE: You know, it's funny, when I was reporting this story, she was not on the radar. I actually don't know. I have not talked to anyone about him. I know Trump he's a little bit nervous about. Carson, he doesn't take very seriously. I imagine Fiorina's in the same boat, but I can't say for sure.
HARLOW: Yes, those are the three at the top of the polls right now. So if he wants to back someone who's leading right now, maybe he's got to meet with them. We'll see. Long race ahead.
Jason, fascinating piece, again, in "New York Magazine." You should read it on Sheldon Adelson. Eye opening. Thank you very much.
ZENGERLE: Thank you.
HARLOW: When we come back, the Pope's canonization controversy. What is behind the backlash? We'll explain ahead.
HARLOW: In less than 48 hours, Pope Francis will land on American soil. During his trip to the U.S., he will name a new saint, but the choice is creating quite a controversy. Sara Sidner reports.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They stand as beacons to Catholicism across California's coast. The very first missions, the first nine founded in the 1700s by one man, Spanish-born Franciscan friar, (INAUDIBLE) to millions (INAUDIBLE) is viewed as a founding father of what would later become California transforming its agriculture.
Now for the very first time on American soil Pope Francis will turn a man into a saint when he canonizes Serra for his tireless work converting indigenous people into Catholics. ROBERT SENKEWICZ, HISTORIAN, SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY: He wanted to
found as many missions as quickly as he possibly could and was somebody who deep in his heart believed that he loved the Indians. He thought like they were like children.
SIDNER: Serra's canonization is not welcomed by everyone. There is a backlash from the ancestors of those native tribes who found themselves under Spanish rule.
VALENTIN LOPEZ, CHAIRMAN, AMAH MUTSUN TRIBAN BAND: I can think of nothing good that came from the mission times. They totally destroyed our culture. They destroyed our people. They destroyed our environment and they stole our land. What good can come of that?
SIDNER: Valentine Lopez is a tribal leader for the Amah Mutsin tribal band, one of the many tribes touched by Serra's work.
LOPEZ: He's going to be the patron saint of brutality, the patron saint of domination and the patron saint of death.
SIDNER: Historians say that the indigenous people looked at Serra and the mission with suspicion and curiosity. This drawing shows the first attempted baptism which went awry when the native people changed their minds and fled but over time some were drawn in.
PROF. RUBEN MENDOZA, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY: People came to the missions for a lot of reasons including drought, famine and a whole host of other things that inflicted itself on the peoples of California.
SIDNER (on camera): But once natives entered the mission life, they were not allowed to leave. The soldiers who came along with Serra during the colonization effort were known to flog those who ran away. There were rapes and battles with native tribes.
But historians say Serra saw himself as a father figure who tried to protect the native people, even from his own country's soldiers.
MENDOZA: I think Serra so loved these people that he would be mortified to know that the descendants of those he cared about the most now condemn him as this evil monster of the missions.
SIDNER (voice-over): More than 250 years after his feverish work to uphold the Catholic faith, the church will grant Serra the highest honor but for some tribes he will always be seen more as a sinner than a saint.
Sara Sidner, CNN, Los Angeles.