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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Three Republican Presidential Candidates Held Events in New Hampshire, Nevada and Colorado; Ben Carson Denies Having Business Relationship with Mannatech; GOP Candidates Attack Media at Debates. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 29, 2015 - 20:00   ET

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


[20:00:11] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for watching.

Tonight the question is could we seeing the first signs of the next big shift in the presidential campaign? When Republicans took the stage in Boulder, Colorado last night momentum seemed to be shifting for the two front runners and fading for some of the others. Today, we got our first sense of how the debate affected the larger dynamic.

We also got a chance to take a hard look on whether the event was conducted fairly and on the flip side, whether candidates answered key questions factually. All that ahead tonight.

But first, three key candidates all holding events today. Brianna Keilar in New Hampshire on Jeb Bush, Sara Murray with the Trump campaign in Sparks, Nevada. And covering the Carson campaign in Boulder, Sunlen Serfaty.

Brianna, let's start with you. Today, Jeb Bush addressing that heated exchange between him and Marco Rubio during the last's debate. What did he say?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this was an exchange, Anderson, that really backfired on him. He took Rubio to task for missing Senate votes. Rubio responded with a very strong rhetorical and Bush was sort of caught flat-footed really unable to respond. Jeb Bush I think certainly a little frustrated and humbled today acknowledging that his debate performance was not great, but he still stood by his critique. Here is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think people when they get elected to serve, they ought to serve. The fact is that the three senators on the stage last night combined two bills that they sponsored that became law. And the gridlock has to be fixed and I don't think we'll fix it with someone part of that. I think you are going to fix it by someone who has a proven record to fix things. I can change Washington just as I did in Tallahassee.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: I've been talking to Republican backers of Jeb Bush's today, Anderson. And they admit, you know, this is not his forte, the debate stage. It is not necessarily a closer on these attacks. Jeb Bush here today trying to stress that looking for a nominee that it isn't about big personalities on a stage. That's what he said. It's not about performance, he said. It is about leadership and certainly is trying to convince voters that he brings that to the table.

COOPER: Well, I understand he was pressed today also on if his campaign could continue after last night's debate and the slashing of staff.

KEILAR: That's right. He was asked to respond to criticism that his campaign is on life support. He said it's not on life support. What he said was I have the organization, so the ground game that I'm building in these early states. I have the money. He said I have the heart talking to backers of his. They emphasize he definitely has the money but we're certainly going to see if that's enough, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Brianna, appreciate the reporting.

Now, to Donald Trump who spoke to supporters today in Nevada. He took some shots at his opponents, only some of whom he said he respected. He also lashed out of President Obama saying he believed the president quote "hates Israel."

As always, when he speaks there is plenty to talk about. Sara Murray joins us for that as well.

So we just heard with Jeb Bush had to say about his exchange with Marco Rubio. Last night, I understand Trump also had something to say about it today.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, you're absolutely right, Anderson. You know, he looked at Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush on stage last night and said look today, the heat was on. These guys pretend like they are friends. Trump said I've been saying for weeks that that's not true. And we saw that on the debate stage last night. He said he saw hatred between the two gentlemen, which is a pretty strong phrase to use between, you know, Jeb, a guy who has really been a mentor to Marco Rubio. But I think we did see, you know, sort of the breaks in their relationship come out open on the debate stage last night. And Donald Trump seems to sort of reveling in that today.

COOPER: Is Trump saying that he won the debate last night? And I assume so.

MURRAY: I'm sure you will be shocked to hear, Anderson, that Donald Trump believes he was far and away the debate winner. Take a listen to what he said about that today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So who saw the debate last night?

(CHEERS)

TRUMP: And great, and who won the debate?

CROWD: You!

TRUMP: Yes, we did well. Everybody, I mean, I think there were a few people that really did well last night. We won every online poll. We won "Drudge," "Time Magazine" every week every time we have it. So we won CNBC.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MURRAY: Now of course, many people watching the debate felt like it was really Marco Rubio and even Ted Cruz who stood out last night. But you certainly can't question his Donald Trump's confidence or even his energy when it comes to the race for the presidency, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Sara, thanks for that reporting.

Now to Ben Carson, we will be talking in our next segment about the extent of his involvement with the controversial nutritional supplement company which is something that came up last night. He denied any relationship and did so again today. His business manager joins us shortly.

But first, Sunlen Serfaty joins us with more from Colorado.

What did Dr. Carson have to say last night about the debate?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's very clear, Anderson, that he is not happy with the debate. He really didn't have a standout night. He went long stretches without talking and he really almost seems to be playing it safe. So today, he really came out, much more forcefully than he really normally is out on the campaign trail and blasted the debate format. Here is what he said earlier today in Colorado.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[20:05:06] BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Debates are supposed to be established to help the people get to know the candidates and get to know what's behind them and what their thinking process is, what their philosophy is and what it's turned into is a got you. That's silly. And that's not really helpful for anybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SERFATY: And Carson is trying to capitalize on all this unhappiness over the debate format. He had said he reached out to the other campaigns that he is calling for the other candidates to try to push to make changes before the next debate. He says he wants longer question and answer times. He says he wants better questions from the moderator. But Anderson, he would not answer whether he would boycott the next debate if those changes aren't made.

COOPER: He was asked by a reporter about Mannatech, this nutritional supplement company that he denied having involvement with yesterday. What was his response? SERFATY: Well, he continues to call all of these questions over

Mannatech and his relationship with the controversial company got you questions. And he really doubled down today when he got into a back and forth with reporters here in Colorado. He says that he had a formal relationship but he wasn't paid for all of the videos that he appeared in. But certainly, Anderson, there are a lot more questions that remain here.

COOPER: All right, Sunlen. Thank you.

Let's dig deeper now. Let's bring in senior political reporter Nia- Malika Henderson, CNN political commentator Ryan Lizza from the "New Yorker" magazine, Washington correspondent and our own ace, chief national correspondent John King, host of "INSIDE POLITICS."

Ryan, Jeb Bush's debate performance last night. Let's start with that. I mean, there have been a lot of people who said that this is the beginning of the end for him. Do you think that's actually what is happening here? Does he have a chance of a come back?

RYAN LIZZA, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORKER: I mean, things are obviously very bad. And his problem in this campaign is high expectations. He was the guy that was supposed to be the front runner. He was supposed to be dominating things and he has failed to meet those expectations.

I still think if you look at John McCain's model in 2008, he entered the race as the prohibited front runner. His campaign collapsed. He reorganized and he ended up the nominee. Anyway, I think it's a little premature to chase Jeb Bush from the race as long as he has money in the bank. You know, the old cliche in presidential politics is campaigns don't end. They run out of money and, you know, we don't have that much visibility into what he has on hand at this very second. But the last reporting period, he had enough on hand to go through quite a bit longer and he has a very well-funded super pact. So I don't see the case for him, you know, getting out of the race until the funds dry up.

COOPER: John, I mean, a lot of people pointed to Marco Rubio, said he came out looking stronger. And take a look at this. He actually had the second longest amount of speaking time, Bush interesting left was dead last in speaking time. Do you think -- I mean, has Bush been sure planted by his own pro toe jay.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He certainly has been, Anderson, in the post-debate and now as by the pundits. And in the post-debate conversation among Republican strategist, even Republican strategist close to Governor Bush, concede the point that Marco Rubio had a much better night.

Today, Jeb Bush if you're a python fan was out there saying I'm not dead yet. That's bad for a candidate. And he also had to get on a conference call with donors and state chairman to say look, I know I could have done better last night but don't panic. We'll get this together. There is another debate in just two weeks. So he does have a chance to rebound. But Rubio has this moment. The question Anderson, what can he make of

it. Inside his campaign today, they say a lot of positive phone calls. They say they have raised a lot of money and they have Bush donors who are saying, you know. If our guy keeps faltering, we're keeping an eye on you.

The thing to watch now is polls. It is not the conversations that matter. It is can he move in the polls? Right now in the national polls, Rubio is at nine and Bush is at seven. In Iowa, Rubio is at ten, Bush is at six. In New Hampshire Rubio at eight, Bush nine. South Carolina Rubio eight, Bush six. They are in the same exact place in the national polls and key state polls.

The question, Anderson, is if you grow, where does it come from? Because the two guys with the biggest baskets right now remain Trump and Carson to grow sure, you can get a couple votes from Carly Fiorina or couple of votes from Chris Christie. But if Rubio is going to grow, it is going to have to come and the same question faces Ted Cruz or any Bush comeback, it would have to come from Trump and Carson. Let's see.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, Nia, let's talk about Carson. I mean, a lot of people were, you know, pointing to him. He is the front runner in some of the polls. They are waiting for him to take command of the stage last night but it never really happened. Is he playing a different game than some of the other candidates on that stage?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: I think in some ways he is and we talked to his business manager sort of that's his demeanor. He's not going to going to be one to get out there and really lean in and try to butt in and take time from other folks on stage and interrupt. And I also think, I think the looming question for him, is he sort of a Michele Bachmann candidate, a Hermann Cane kind of candidate, where his time at the head of the pact is brief or is he more like a Mike Huckabee candidate or Rick Santorum where he'll be a regional candidate win Iowa and able to win maybe some of those southern state and really do well among evangelical voters. He's got to figure that out at this point.

But I do think that people that like Ben Carson, like him because they think he's a God-fearing man. If you go to Iowa in those home schooling communities, they read his book. Also, they are very familiar with him. So these kinds of debate settings, they are not necessarily looking for anything more than what they get, which is this dignified man who they like and they believe he sort of directed by God and that his decisions are led by that. And that's what they are looking for and that's what he presents himself at. And any time, even he gets into a fight with the media, that even helps him.

[20:10:42] COOPER: Right.

HENDERSON: And he can denounce kind of political correctness and all that. And so, I think he did what he needed to do. I think the question is again, is he just going to be at the top of the field for briefly or is he going to be able to grow. COOPER: Ryan, I mean, you look at the two front-runners, you look at

Carson, you look at Trump and didn't exactly have breakout nights last night regardless of what Trump says. But I mean, I guess to the larger point that Nia was talking about is, did the debates matter as much for them?

LIZZA: No, I think they do. These debates really, they really do matter. The audiences are huge and for a lot of Republican, you know, 10 million last night, 15 for the CNN, 25, excuse me, I think 25 for the CNN and FOX debates. I mean, those are huge audiences. This is a big moment for the candidates. And I think Carson kind of blew it. I mean, this was his moment as not quite the front-runner but someone who is at the head of that "New York Times" poll and leading Trump in Iowa. This was a moment for him to say that he deserves to be called a front-runner. And he just sort of laid back and didn't bring a lot of game.

I think for Trump, he was Trump. He was a little bit more alive than the last debates. But he didn't do anything, you know, there is no second act to what we are seeing from Trump. And like John says, we watch the polls over the next few days and see if the polls followed the media winners, which were Rubio and Cruz. See if those guys pop or not.

COOPER: It was interesting, John, that Trump didn't go after Ben Carson on the debate stage because in the days before he had been pretty tough on the campaign trail.

KING: Uncharacteristic caution and uncharacteristic scam. Not about plus performance by Donald Trump at all. Inside his campaign, people tell number one, Anderson, they thought the others and the moderators would be tougher on Ben Carson. They thought the scrutiny of Carson would come from other sources. Number two, they are stunned a bit by their drop in polls especially on Iowa. And they think part of it is because his negatives haves gone up some. They wanted to be careful. They didn't want to go into attack mode thinking it would hurt more than it helped.

COOPER: It is interesting. Nia-Malika Henderson, Ryan Lizza, great to have on. John King, always, thank you.

Just ahead, you heard a moment ago, Ben Carson says he has no formal ties on to the nutritional supplement company Mannatech even though he has given four speeches on their behalf. So what else does the record show? We're Keeping Them on Honest.

Plus, a plane erupts in flames on the runway just before takeoff. More than a dozen people hurt, one with serious burns. We will see what witnesses saw as the fire broke out when we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: As we mentioned earlier today, Dr. Ben Carson slammed CNBC moderators accusing them of asking got you questions showing last night's debate including one about his relationship with a controversial nutritional supplement company called Mannatech. Here is the moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a company called Mannatech, the maker of nutritional supplements which with you had a ten-year relationship. They offered claims that they could cure autism, cancer, they paid $7 million to settle a deceptive marketing lawsuit in Texas and yet, your involvement continued. Why?

CARSON: Well, that's easy to answer. I didn't have an involvement with them. That is totally propaganda and this is what happens in our society. Total propaganda. I did a couple speeches for them. I did speeches for other people. They were paid speeches. It is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of a relationship with them. Do I take the product? Yes. I think it's a good product.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That was Carson's answer. But Keeping Them Honest, how does it stack up with the record?

Senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin has been doing digging.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)\

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ben Carson says he didn't have a special relationship with Mannatech, but whatever he had was profitable. Since 2004, Carson has delivered four paid speeches on behalf of the company, a company that sells vitamins, minerals and something it calls glycol-nutrients through Mannatech's nationwide system of distributors.

According to a speaker's bureau in Washington, he was paid $42,000 for just one of those speeches. Listen to what he says in this speech from 2004.

CARSON: Let me just briefly delve into how I became associated with the products of this company.

GRIFFIN: Sound like someone with no relationship to the company? Carson goes on in this speech saying supplements help cured his prostate cancer. And in 2014 he gave this interview done with a company representative with the company's products on full display. It's produced with music and video over lays of the company's products.

CARSON: You know, I began to recognize that yes, traditional medicine is good, but also, you know, looking at some addition of natural products, you know, making sure that people are well hydrated, making sure that people get the right amount of exercise.

GRIFFIN: But Mannatech based outside of Dallas is a company with a history of trouble at least with one state regulator. In 2007, the state of Texas filed this lawsuit claiming sales associates lied to customers about the effectiveness of the supplements. The lawsuits says the company knows those are illegal claims but refuses to stop making them. Two years later, Mannatech settled without admitting guilt but paid $7 million in civil fines.

DR. MARION NESTLE, PROFESSOR OF NUTRITION, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: Even though when they are studied and this one actually hasn't been. But when they are studied, they don't show any good. It's really difficult to prove that healthy people are healthier if they take supplements.

GRIFFIN: After the debate, Carson insisted Mannatech didn't pay him because he was paid by a speakers burro based in Washington to appear before sales conferences including Mannatech. He says he has no links to the company.

CARSON: Doesn't mean that I'm endorsing them, doesn't mean that I have any special relationship with them. And there are some groups that had booked me multiple times. It doesn't mean that I have a special relationship or involved with their product. They can easily go back and find out that I don't have any formal relationships with Mannatech.

[20:20:21] GRIFFIN: We did check. All references to Carson have been removed from the various Mannatech websites. The company says to compile with federal election campaign laws. In a statement emailed to CNN, the company says quote "Dr. Carson chose to participate in videos while attending corporate events where he gave his personal perspective and testimony. He was not compensated for his participation in these videos."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Drew, the Texas lawsuit against Mannatech also claimed the company told its customers its pills could help with some pretty terrible diseases, right?

GRIFFIN: Yes, long sections of that lawsuit, Anderson, detailing how Mannatech sales people told potential customers these supplements could help with symptoms of Alzheimer's, down syndrome and even cancer. The lawsuit said of course there was no scientific evidence to back that up.

COOPER: And as for Dr. Carson's use of the supplements, what does he say?

GRIFFIN: It is nuance. In his speeches, Carson is careful to point out, he is not giving up on traditional medicine at all, shouldn't be abandoned is what he said. But that these supplements can and should be used in conjunction with approaches that have worked.

COOPER: Drew, thanks very much.

Armstrong Williams is Dr. Carson's business manager as well as radio TV talk show host and syndicated columnist, he joins me again tonight.

Mr. Williams, good to have you on the program. You heard Drew's report. How do you describe Dr. Carson's, I don't know if you would even call it a relationship with Mannatech. How do you characterized it? Because he said last night, I didn't have an involvement with them, it's absolutely absurd to say I had any kind of relationship with them. But four speeches and then appearances and promotional materials and sort of this queasy (ph), I don't know if it was infomercial on PBS or whatever it was that we just broadcast from You Tube. What do you make of it?

ARMSTRONG WILLIAMS, DR. CARSON'S BUSINESS MANAGER: Well, good evening.

Listen, four speeches over 11 years. One of the things you have to understand about speaker's burro, they negotiate the contracts. They discuss their fees and Dr. Carson's fees and they make the decision what goes on Dr. Carson's calendar. He has no say so unless there is someone he knows like a school that he wants to do an engagement for --

COOPER: Wait a minute. For Dr. Carson to say he was paid by the speakers burro, that's not true. I mean, --

WILLIAMS: But it is true. Let me finish.

COOPER: I work with the same speakers burro and I can tell you --

WILLIAMS: That's your relationship. Every relationship is different.

COOPER: Oh, really, OK?

WILLIAMS: So let me finish.

COOPER: OK, go ahead.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

Dr. Carson was booked by the Washington Speakers burro. And obviously, Dr. Carson gave these speeches over the last year to Mannatech. And in terms of the video, Dr. Carson was in Branson, Missouri and he was there, just released his book "America the beautiful." And Mannatech sponsored the speech. Dr. Carson was supposed to get on stage and talked about the product. He talked about his personal story. He talked about his book and he didn't mention Mannatech once. When Dr. Carson was leaving the stage, I think Sam Caster who was the CEO of Mannatech met him and said you didn't mention it. You know, we have orphanages in Africa. Every time we sell one bottle, we give another free to these orphanages in Africa.

COOPER: So they were annoyed.

WILLIAMS: So they just asked him would he record these videos. And what happened when Dr. Carson recorded these videos, when these videos were posted on You Tube, they were doctored and edited. That's how those videos came to life.

COOPER: Is that something you guys were aware of and were trying to get them to remove? WILLIAMS: Unbelievable. And what really was the nail in the coffin,

Anderson, was PBS was doing these specials on a healthy heart and healthy eating and they need and the guy who is doing this, Richard Taylor Junior, needed to find somebody who was a neurosurgeon to be a part of it. And so Dr. Carson agreed to do it, go to Phoenix, Arizona. He is going to do it for free. There was no cost. And low and behold we find out that PBS cannot do these healthy heart series unless nay have a sponsor.

Mannatech also has another division of independent distant distributors called Platinum Independence. Platinum found out that Dr. Carson was doing and event. They paid to be a sponsor. And even in the middle to tape of the event, they were trying to get Dr. Carson to talk about these drugs. Dr. Carson refused to do it. Even the executive producer of PBS I think it was in 2014 --

COOPER: I hear what you're saying.

WILLIAMS: Yes, it's --

COOPER: OK. But I got two maybe questions here that I don't understand and maybe you can clear up. One is four speeches that you said over 11 years. In those 1 1 years, I mean, they were very publicly, you know, being looked into, they ended up settling for, you know, $7 or so million dollars without acknowledging any fault or any criminal negligence or anything like that. Moving forward, you certainly wouldn't want your candidate and your friend and business associate associated with a company -- I mean, you can vet these companies pretty easily before you go and speak at them.

[20:25:29] WILLIAMS: You know, Anderson, you know this. There are so many companies, especially in this kind of business have all kinds of issues. They put these products out there. They work for some people. They don't work for others. Dr. Carson felt the products were good. He was never into these kinds of products but he thought they were good for him. That's why he continues --

COOPER: Was he aware the company was being --?

WILLIAMS: Much later. Much later. Much later.

COOPER: And just finally, on the payment thing, I mean, yes, the payment goes to Washington speaker's burro or whatever the speaker burro, they take their cut and then they give it to the person made the speech. But the person who is paying -- the company pays is sending the check to Washington Speakers Burro and Washington Speakers Burro forwards it on for Dr. Carson. So for Dr. Carson to say he is paid by Washington Speakers Burro, they are not originating the check. It is coming from the main company.

WILLIAMS: But the difference is, Anderson, if you're giving 200 speeches, 250 speeches a year, I mean, Dr. Carson unfortunately does not get into the details. He has no idea where these speeches are. He does so many speeches, he has no idea how it works in terms of Washington Speakers Burro, Mannatech and some other corporations. We don't get him involved in the details. He shows up. He gives the

speech. Only when there is a controversy (ph). And listen, let me just say this because I know you're short on time. It was Dr. Carson, when he was in Phoenix, Arizona and his Platinum distributors were trying to get him to say things and he said you know what, I am comfortable with this. I don't want to do it anymore. I want you to end this.

And in 2014, I spoke with (INAUDIBLE) and I said look, the relationship is over. He's been spooked. He just doesn't want to deal with it because he doesn't feel right about it and it was over.

COOPER: But he was paid for the four speeches, is that right? Or three of them were money going to a charity that he is affiliated with and one was paid, is that correct?

WILLIAMS: No. If the Washington Speakers Burro was booking speeches, he was paid, yes.

COOPER: OK. And he was paid by Mannatech, it went through the Washington Speakers Burro, but it is accurate to say he was paid by Mannatech, right?

WILLIAMS: Yes, that is true. Except in the Phoenix speech. He did not accept the fee because it was for PBS and he was doing it as a charity.

COOPER: OK. Armstrong Williams, I do appreciate you coming on always.

WILLIAMS: Thank you for asking.

COOPER: Thank you very much.

Coming up, a lot more ahead. The Republican candidates taking aim at the media last night, a lot throwing some of their hardest punches at news organizations. Coming up, we will look at why blaming the media is becoming such a standard tactic and also what went on last night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) * [20:30:00]

COOPER: The ten Republican candidates shared the stage last night's debate. See to expect, several of them traded jabs, including Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, but the biggest punching bag by far was the media and the audience seemed to eat it up. Senior media correspondent Brian Stelter has more on what's now a battle tested tactic.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Republican politicians claim that media bias are both the shield and the sword.

MIKE HUCKABEE, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To a lot of people in the media, this is just a great big game and we're the players and we come out here and we do our thing and sometimes we're held up in contempt by people who write columns.

STELTER: It's a way to deflect tough, unwelcome questions and it's a way to show strength putting the press on the defensive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do we decide who used to follow up? I've seen the 20 other people follow up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was at the moderator discretion.

STELTER: On CNBC stage, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and others showed just how effective media bashing can be.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Democrats have the ultimate super-PAC. It's called the mainstream media. Every single ...

(CHEERS)

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, UNIV. OF VIRGINIA CENTER FOR POLITICS: This has been a staple of Republican politics since the 1960s.

STELTER: Media attacks are easier applause lines in front of conservative audiences.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She says that you came to her in 1999 at a time when you were having an affair. She said you asked her, sir, to enter into an open marriage. Would you like to take some time to respond to that?

NEWT GINGRICH, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE : No, but I will.

(CHEERS)

GINGRICH: And I am frankly astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate.

STELTER: Now, most journalists will tell you they try very hard to expunge any and all bias from their stories, but many conservatives laugh at that.

MITT ROMNEY (R) 2012 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Most of people in my business are convinced that you are biased against all of us.

SARAH PALIN (R) 2008 VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can spot those liberal media folk here to write their annual conservatives in crisis story.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), 2012 VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It kind of goes without saying that there is definitely a media bias.

STELTER: The result, more political polarization. According to Pew, the more conservative you are the fewer main stream media sources you trust. Fox News has benefitted from that. And so have some candidates. On Thursday several of them declared war on the liberal media, e-mailing supporters asking for money while mocking the moderators, and they are not the only ones doing that.

JANE HALL, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION: It just seemed that they lost their way and that they did not seem to be in command of it.

STELTER: The RNC, which picked CNBC for the debate put the media on notice saying bias won't be tolerated, but were CNBC's questions really any tougher than Fox's or CNN's?

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, UNIV. OF VIRGINIA CENTER FOR POLITICS: Some of the criticism for show. What those moderators at CNBC were trying to do was to get candidates to tell more of the truth.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Brian Stelter joins us now along with senior political analyst and former presidential advisor David Gergen. David, for candidates to attack the media, clearly the audience last night was warned of the idea, but is it just a politically easy trick? I mean I certainly think those moderators gave them a lot of ammunition and really made it very easy because I do think some of the questions seemed kind of obvious ones that they could be attacked on.

[20:35:05]

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR: Anderson, listen, as Rand Paul said last night, controversies in the sense of liberal bias and mainstream media among Republicans, especially among conservatives, does stretch all the way back to Goldwater 1964 convention and that whole campaign and ever since then, that's when the media started looking at can we - you know, I knew a lot of business people or conservatives who were trying to buy one of the three networks so that could be an alternative and then along came Fox, and, of course, and I think there is more balance now than there used to be. But there is a widespread feeling among conservatives still, that they don't get a fair shake.

And you know, to be honest with you, I thought - I thought Marco Rubio had a point last night when he said that - and the Benghazi hearings, that the Hillary Clinton emerged with a lot of praise in her performance. I thought, and I was among them. It's also true, as we - pointed out. We didn't talk a lot about the fact that there was a clear inconsistency in her story and - says basically she's a liar about what happened and what her - who she told what when. That the story given to the public was conflicted with what she was saying privately. And I think that's a legitimate concern on the part of Marco Rubio and the Republicans. But you know, Marco Rubio also didn't mention that the reason the media got so interested in whether she could handle these Republicans was, it was Republicans who told us that this was a rigged job, that this was a rigged process that the Benghazi hearing.

So, naturally, we looked at it through that lens when it was over. This is a complicated story. I think the media gets a generally mainstream media, print media, tends to be more liberal, talk radio tends to be very conservative. COOPER: You know, but I mean ...

GERGEN: And if you look at "Wall Street Journal" versus "New York Times," you know, they are the opposite of each other in how they often look at the world.

COOPER: Well, I mean you look at the ratings of Fox to say that that's not mainstream media is, you know, is just laughable and ...

GERGEN: Right. But Fox definitely made - is part of the mainstream media.

COOPER: Right. Brian, I mean it is interesting, I do think look, I think bias is an issue and I think bias is something you rigorously have to think about and look at and, you know, if you make a mistake, admit you make a mistake. But I think there are also many kinds of biases. I think there is geographic biases of, you know, when it snows in New York, it's a huge story. If it snows in Midwest, you know, in New York media doesn't really pay much attention to it.

STELTER: That's the conflicts bias. And that's what we saw last night. These moderators wanted to provoke conflict. They turned out to hurt them. It's - conflict against them. So ended up backfiring on these moderators. What I don't understand is why these moderators were not expecting what happened. There were lots of hints, lots of very clear smoking guns. That the candidates were going to gang up on the moderators. That they were going to make it about media bias. Why the moderators weren't prepared to push back? That is what's so perplexing to me and inside CNBC today, people are very rattled. There is a lot of embarrassment about what happened.

COOPER: It was - I mean it was just poorly produced to be honest. And the fact that some of these moderators, David, didn't even - they didn't have the quotes to back up what they were saying so they were challenged on the quotes, they were like, oh, well, I'm not sure where that is from and then several segments later, they were like, well, actually, let's go back to what we were talking about ten minutes ago, which doesn't work.

GERGEN: Absolutely, and as we heard last night, Tom Foreman last night after the debate was over, you know, what Trump had claimed said, you know, to the questioner, we don't know what you're talking about, I never said that and then right there on his website and it was easily checkable, but the woman asking the question or the reporter asking the question didn't -- wasn't prepared. I thought they lost control of the debate.

COOPER: Yeah.

GERGEN: You know, I felt that they weren't coordinated among themselves so that they were talking among themselves. The candidates were talking among themselves and they got very, very messy as well as I think they had some legitimate question about whether in fact the same kind of tough questions had been put to the Democratic candidates as had been put to the Republican candidates and so it's going to put a lot of pressure on the moderators in the next Democratic debate to be tough.

STELTER: CNBC does feel good for one reason, Anderson, and that's because they did a 14 million viewers watch last night.

COOPER: Right.

STELTER: Still, by far, extraordinary numbers. You know, this time in 2011, debates were getting 3 or 4 million viewers. But thanks to Donald Trump, many, many more people are watching these debates, and commercial time cost a quarter of a million dollars.

COOPER: Just ...

STELTER: CNBC said it was the most profitable night in their history.

COOPER: One note on the Democratic debate, which I did moderate. I can tell you, I got a flood of e-mails from the liberals saying that I was far too conservative, you know, asking, challenging Bernie Sanders on, you know, the going to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon, which was part of a sister city trip and, you know, calling him a socialist and things like that. So, bias is in the eye of the beholder. Everybody sees it when it doesn't seem to comport with what they ...

STELTER: What we can ....

GERGEN: Actually, Anderson, I thought --

STELTER: ... tough questions, the ones you are asking --

COOPER: But go ahead, David.

GERGEN: Yeah, Anderson, I thought in retrospect you got actually from media critics, you got sort of high marks for an un-bias set of questions.

[20:40:07]

GERGEN: I think you should feel good about that.

COOPER: It was interesting, Trump actually ...

GERGEN: You are tough, but you weren't trying to -- you weren't trying to make it a nasty stir them up a throw things at each other kind of debate.

COOPER: Right. Well, yes, which is not what we want to do. Anyway, David Gergen, thank you Brian Stelter as well. Up next.

GERGEN: Thank you.

COOPER: Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and how two allies turn into arch rivals.

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COOPER: For months there has been rising tension between Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Now, as we saw on stage in Boulder last night, these two Florida rivals are not even pretending to play nice.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEB BUSH: I'm a constituent of the senator and I helped him and I expected that he would do constituent service. Which means that he shows up the work. He got endorsed by the - because he was the most talented guy in the field. He's a gifted politician, but Marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term and you should be showing up to work. I mean literally the Senate, what is it like a French workweek? You get like three days where you have to show up? You can campaign or just resign and let someone else take the job.

[20:45:00]

There are a lot of people living paycheck to paycheck in Florida. They are looking for a senator that will fight for them each and every day.

MARCO RUBIO: I get to respond, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 30 seconds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 30 seconds.

MARCO RUBIO: Well, it's interesting. Over the last few weeks, I've listened to Jeb as you walked around the country and said that you're modelling your campaign after John McCain, that you are going to launch a furious comeback the way he did, by fighting hard in New Hampshire and places like that, carrying your own bag at the airport. You know how many votes John McCain missed when he was carrying out that furious comeback that you are not modeling ...

(CROSSTALK)

RUBIO: Jeb, I don't remember. Well, let me tell you. I don't remember you ever complaining about John McCain's vote record. The only reason why you're doing it now is because we're running for the same position and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you.

JEB BUSH: I'm going to ...

RUBIO: Here is the bottom line ...

(CHEERS)

RUBIO: I'm not - my campaign is going to be about the future of America, it's not going to be about attacking anyone else on this stage. I will continue to have tremendous admiration and respect for Governor Bush. I'm not running against Governor Bush. I'm not running against anyone on the stage. I'm running for president because there is no way we can elect Hillary Clinton to continue the policies ...

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Let's talk about what happened and where do things move forward for Jeb Bush. Joining us now is the Bush's communication director, Tim Miller. Tim, good to have you on the program. When Marco Rubio said that, it clearly got a response from the audience where it said somebody has told you that it's going to help you to say this - to attack me. Is that in fact, true? I mean is this something you guys had worked on Governor Bush turning to Marco Rubio and using kind of the French line, the French work hours line?

TIM MILLER, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, JEB BUSH 2016: You know, that's not true at all. And this is about public service and that's what Marco doesn't get and that's what I think over that over the long haul, this comparison is going to be one that accrues to our benefit. It's because when Jeb was in Florida he worked tirelessly every day. He turned the state around, he cut taxes every year, balanced budgets, reformed the whole education system and since Marco has been in the Senate, he hasn't really done a whole lot. It's not just about the missed votes. It's about that he doesn't have a whole lot of accomplishments. And so, that's the real argument that we'll have.

COOPER: But in terms of the ...

MILLER: In the course of the next 100 days and we feel like that that's one that it's going to be a winner for Jeb.

COOPER: But in terms of what won, it clearly didn't win last night on that stage and there clearly was a moment which I mean, I'm assuming your campaign had thought out and had hoped would be a powerful moment. On something like that, do you do mock debates? I mean do you practice debating with your candidates?

MILLER: Well, obviously, everybody goes through debate prep and I think Jeb does that, as well. But you know, for us, we want to let Jeb be Jeb and I think that we think he's the best candidate on the stage. He's the one who is the most prepared to be president. So obviously you work through it and prepare questions even if he's going to do an interview with you, Anderson, we do that. But most importantly, it's who is the person that's prepared to fix D.C. and do the job as president? And we think on that issue, this is a good contrast for us and there are going to be a lot more debates, as you know.

COOPER: So, where is the lane moving forward for you guys? I mean is it focusing New Hampshire? I know we had Ana Navarro on last night who was talking about the great ground game that you guys have. Clearly debates, at least the three that have taken place have not gone the way many in who support Governor Bush would like to have seen them go. Where do you see this moving forward? Where are you going to get out of the single digits?

MILLER: I saw them tell Ana on your show last night that things are going to be okay and who they are. We in New Hampshire, we have the best ground game in the field and I think we have a very strong ground game in the other early states as well. Jeb was in New Hampshire today. He received the endorsement of Senator Judd Greg who is probably the most popular Republican politician in the state and he's just finishing off right now a town hall with about 300 people in the north part of the state. And so, you know, luckily for us, this campaign isn't going to be decided by pundits in D.C. in October. It's going to be decided out in its early states in Iowa and New Hampshire, and Jeb is going to be there a lot more often. We're going to have a lot more resources there and we feel like we're in good shape to be competitive in these states, and, you know, we'll see over the next 100 days.

COOPER: All right, Tim, we'll see, appreciate you being with us. Tim Miller.

MILLER: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Coming up next, what we're learning about the fire and evacuation at Fort Lauderdale's airport that sent 17 people to hospital, one with serious injuries.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:49:12]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: A lot of people are paying a lot of attention tonight to a small airline you might not have heard of until now, until one of the barely more than a handful of aircraft and its fleet caught fire on the ground at the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. Dynamic Airways Flight 405 was heading to Caracas, Venezuela, 17 people were hurt in the fire and evacuation that followed, one of them seriously. Now a safety inspector is digging into every inch of this small and relatively young carrier's operation. The story is unfolding in part through conversations between air traffic control, the flight crew of the burning airliner and another one just behind it. More on that now from our Randi Kaye.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A pilot with a keen eye notices the first sign of trouble. Fuel leaking from the plane taxiing in front of him. Dynamic Airways Flight 405 he radios it in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, dynamic, out of the left engine looks like it's leaking a lot of, I don't know if it's fuel. Fluid leaking out of left engine.

KAYE: Air traffic controllers contact flight 405.

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: OK, Dynamic 4080 do you copy?

PILOT: Yes, sir. We'll probably need to go back to the ramp.

KAYE: But before they could.

PILOT: Engine is on fire! Engine is on fire!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire rescue units received the call at 12:34 for reported engine fire aboard the jet. Our units deployed. Within two minutes, our first units were on scene. KAYE: There, they find a Boeing 767 on fire right on the runway at

Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. Thick black smoke spewing out of the jet's left side and into the sunny Florida sky. All of it forcing an evacuation of the 101 passengers and crew. The jet's emergency slides are deployed. Within minutes, everyone is out. Some lucky enough to simply walk away. Others were taken on stretchers and in wheelchairs, more than a dozen were taken to the hospital, one with serious burns. In the meantime, fire crews doused the plane with water and special white foam to knock the fire down. It covers the tarmac but leaves the plane's burned out left engine on full display. The plane was taxiing out for takeoff on its way from Florida to Caracas, Venezuela when the engine suddenly caught fire. Passengers on other airplanes nearby captured the terrifying scene.

[20:55:00]

Posting pictures and video on Twitter, many writing simply, plane on fire. Both runways were closed. The airport shut down until late afternoon when the north runway is reopened. At least 111 flights delayed, nearly 50 cancelled.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And Randi joins us now from the airport. I never heard of this airline. What do we know about it?

KAYE: We're learning more about it, Anderson. It's called Dynamic Airways. As I mentioned, it's been around in the U.S. for about five years. It has two international destinations only from the United States, one to Venezuela where this plane was heading, the other to Guyana. We know that this plane in particular, Anderson, was 29 years old. Now, what we don't know is whether or not the engine that caught fire was the same age or maybe it had been refurbished or replaced. We tried calling Dynamic Airways for a comment today on what happened here, and they would not make any comment at all. But the good news is everybody did get off that airplane, Anderson, within minutes and there is a special team that is on standby about a mile or so away from this airport specially trained for situations like this. They were on the scene within minutes making sure everybody got the help they needed, Anderson.

COOPER: Do we know much about the injuries sustained?

KAYE: We know that there was some burns and I'm told that it's actually pretty common when you go down those emergency chutes, those slides, that deploy, that's how everybody got off that airplane, it is common for you to get some minor burns, but there was one passenger who was seriously burned and was at the hospital. 15 people were taken to the hospital. Two with serious injuries.

COOPER: All right, Randi, thanks very much.

We're live for two hours tonight. After the break reaction to the Republican debate from some of the staunchest Republicans in the country. The question is, did any candidate last night impress them and when it comes to front runners, which one fell the most in their eyes. That and Ohio Governor John Kasich and more when "360" continues.

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