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Interview with David Gregory; Interview with Hillary Clinton; Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired February 1, 2016 - 07:30   ET

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


[07:30:08] MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Good to have you back with us here on NEW DAY. We'll have more on the caucuses in Iowa in just a moment but first let's give you a look at some of your other headlines.

Two Virginia Tech students could go before a judge today after being charged in the murder and kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl. Nicole Lovell's body was found about 100 miles away from her home in Blacksburg, Virginia, over the weekend. Authorities believe David Eisenhauer knew Lovell and used their relationship to lure her out of the house. Natalie Keepers meanwhile is accused of disposing of her body. The motive is unclear. Police have not yet disclosed how exactly that young girl was killed.

The prison teacher accused of helping three inmates escape from an Orange County jail, she's expected in court today. Officials say Nooshafarin Ravaghi showed the men Google map views of the jail's roof. One inmate turned himself in Friday, the other two were arrested on Saturday in San Francisco after someone recognized their stolen van. All three men are awaiting trials for violent crimes.

The Zika virus has spread now to two dozen countries. It has health officials scrambling to try and contain it. The World Health Organization will convene an emergency meeting today in Geneva. The virus prompted travel warnings for pregnant women. Scientists and government leaders are going to decide whether it merits a global public health emergency.

We'll stay on that story and keep you updated.

Thirty one minutes past the hour. Let's head to Iowa to Alisyn and Chris.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, Michaela, thanks so much. After more than seven months of one of the most unpredictable campaigns in history, voters will finally have their say in Iowa tonight for the first time this election season. And the races on both sides of the aisle could not be tighter.

Here with us this morning in Iowa, former "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory.

David, it's great to have you.

DAVID GREGORY, FORMER MODERATOR, "MEET THE PRESS": Thank you. CAMEROTA: Here with us this morning.

GREGORY: It's an exciting day.

CAMEROTA: It sure is. OK. So let's talk about -- where do I start, Democrat or Republican? Let's start. Your choice.

GREGORY: Well, let's start Democrat.

CAMEROTA: OK. Let's start Democrat. Is this feeling like deja vu all over again for Secretary Clinton in terms of suddenly this candidate that nobody saw coming has seemingly more momentum?

GREGORY: He's got a lot of momentum. And I think that's the key in Iowa. Who's got that juice? You know, who's got a sense of movement behind him? But you know, Iowa is really about the blocking and the tackling. We spend so much time talking about organization and knocking on doors and things like that because it really does matter. People I talk to say that at least just three points is probably more durable for Clinton.

Here is one reason why that may be the case. You're Bernie Sanders, you got all these young people coming out to see you in these college towns. Well, he doesn't want them to caucus all in that college town because this is a waited system. It's not one person, one vote. It's a formulation. It's complicated on the Democratic side so it's the number of delegates. What he would really like is for those young people to go back home and caucus elsewhere. And four years ago, rather in 2008, they were able to do that because the caucuses were earlier.

CAMEROTA: That's right.

GREGORY: They were in January. You've got a snowstorm coming, it's Monday night, they're not going to go home. So I think there's reason --

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: There is some why -- to make David's point. There is a prediction that Sanders will be over-weighted.

GREGORY: Yes.

CUOMO: In certain caucus precincts that he'll get a ton of votes but wouldn't get any more delegates for it.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Yes.

GREGORY: Yes. And so look, I mean, so this is going to be very tight. And if you can't pull off something big here it's going to be a political earthquake, for sure, just like it was in 2008.

CAMEROTA: Yes. OK. So now Republican side.

GREGORY: Yes, I think Republicans are still a story. It's a story of turnouts as it always is. You know, the thing that's so confounding about Donald Trump is that he just defies all of the lanes. He's just -- you know, he's like the guy on the highway swerving all over the place because he needs those less conservative, more moderate voters. But he's cutting into that evangelical stretch.

CUOMO: Why? Let's use the title of your book.

GREGORY: Yes.

CUOMO: "How is Your Faith?"

GREGORY: Because I think what Trump is saying to the evangelical voters here is look, I'm not really one of you but I get you. You're feeling left out in the culture. You're feeling like what you care and believe in is so longer valued. Whether it's same-sex marriage or views about abortion. And his point is that -- you know, that I get you. That I will -- that I'll fight for you. Even though his positions don't actually back that up.

This is a general feeling, hey, you're left out. I'll be your guy. I'll bring you back in. And that seems to be Trumping, if you will, those kind of -- those litmus test issues.

CUOMO: Right.

GREGORY: And that's what Cruz has been doing. And I think effectively but maybe too late, which is going after Trump and saying, guys, not a conservative. Much more liberal. Able to make all kinds of deals. That's not who you want.

CUOMO: Gregory is asking whether or not Cruz made a mistake and other GOP hopeful made a mistake not going after Trump earlier. But that's easy to say. Very dicey to do. This man is a very active enemy. What would happen if Cruz went after him earlier? Maybe he would have been slapped around with the eligibility and the loans from Goldman Sachs.

GREGORY: That was going to happen anyway. I mean, look, if you're Ted Cruz, you're a good debater, you're good on your feet.

[07:30:04] He made a calculation which is that Trump is going to implode and I'm going to be there to pick up the pieces. And that was -- he made the wrong call. But they're all doing that. I mean, Jeb Bush going after Trump when he's in single digits doesn't have the power as some of these other candidates saying this is ridiculous. Let's talk about what he believes on issues. Is he a conservative? What about the people that he left behind and believes in seizing property to develop?

CUOMO: Are people in detail mode right now, though?

GREGORY: It's not a question of being in detail mode. Is he authentic? This is about temperament, it's about leadership, it's about who you are really. And look, you -- I mean, look what Jeb has done. He spent $30 million attacking Marco Rubio. Imagine if that fire had been trained on Donald Trump. I mean, could have made a difference. CAMEROTA: So if Trump wins today, then do you see a more concerted

effort? Are they recalibrating and they ban together, his opponents, and go after him in a more significant way?

GREGORY: Look, one of Trump's strength is that right there. It's that long list. And as long as you have Carson, and Bush, and Paul, and Christie, and Kasich, who's not even on there, still on that list, then he gets to take advantage of a divided field.

CUOMO: And what's the proof that there would be any coalescing at all in terms of that vote number that you're referring to?

CAMEROTA: Yes.

GREGORY: Well, look, you have to assume that the, quote-unquote, "establishment" has its day at some point. Right? And we have gone -- think about this. This race in 2015, we thought it was going to be Hillary versus Jeb. Then Trump gets into the race and completely upends the thing.

Now Marco Rubio, who, don't forget, was a Tea Party favorite, is thought of as like the great establishment hope. But he's only going to have a shot if he gets a strong third here today.

CUOMO: What does that mean, strong third?

GREGORY: Well, in other words, if he's not a distant third. I think -- I think whatever, I think third place here for him, he's got to have a decent number. It catapults him into New Hampshire. He'd have to finish second there. And then he's got to win somewhere. But then he only wins if some of these other guys get out of the race. Hell, ego being what it is, maybe not so easy. But it's getting out of the race so he has an opportunity to have some of that -- those voters coalesce around him.

CAMEROTA: You still think there's only three tickets out of Iowa or this year it's different?

GREGORY: No. I think that's probably right. I think, you know, it's simply a money thing. You know, if you don't have a pulse coming out of Iowa and you get to New Hampshire, you're going to run out of money because once you get out of those two states, it's a regional contest. You know, you can't go live some place. You campaign in a retail way. You have to have money. You have to go up on TV and you have to be able to travel.

CUOMO: Because stratification changes the game this year.

GREGORY: Yes.

CUOMO: I think theoretically, metaphorically it's three tickets.

CAMEROTA: Right.

CUOMO: Really numerically it will be like six.

GREGORY: And listen, this is my point about Cruz.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

GREGORY: Which is Cruz is so strong here, but if he can't win here on a strong ideological argument, where can you win? Is it South Carolina? Can be too late then.

CAMEROTA: David Gregory, great to have you on board for all of this, this morning.

GREGORY: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: All of the political drama hitting a high point today. Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and co Bernie Sanders in a virtual tie, though Mrs. Clinton is ahead. So what will tip the scales? Secretary Clinton makes her case next on NEW DAY. That's live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[07:41:59] HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I hope you will fight for me. And I promise you this, I will stand up and fight for you every single day of this campaign. And then when we win I will fight for you in the White House. Thank you and God bless you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: A powerful close to Hillary Clinton's last campaign event of the night Sunday. The former secretary of state spent most of the day making her way through Iowa in a last ditch effort to rally caucus-goers ahead of tonight's vote.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton joins us now.

Secretary Clinton, good morning.

CLINTON: Good morning, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK. How are you feeling and how do you plan to spend the next 12 hours?

CLINTON: I am feeling great. I am so proud of the campaign we've run here in Iowa. I've got the most dedicated campaign team, the organizers who have been on the ground, the thousands of volunteers. We actually knocked on 125,000 doors this weekend. So there is just a lot of excitement and energy. And I'm urging everybody to come out and caucus tonight to be part of this unique American process. I hope they'll come out and caucus for me.

CAMEROTA: So, Secretary, let's talk about the issue that has bedeviled your campaign. And that, of course, is the ongoing investigation into your e-mails. On Friday, the State Department withheld 22 e-mails. They didn't release them because of material deemed top secret. I know you have been asked this six ways to Sunday along the campaign

trail and I know that you've always said there is nothing there, but your opponents have said that this is big. It's a big deal. How do you convince voters today not to be concerned about this?

CLINTON: Well, Alisyn, there is nothing new. And I think the facts are quite helpful here. It's a little bit like what the Republicans and others have tried to do with respect to Benghazi. Just a lot of innuendo, a lot of attacks. And I just know that after I testified for 11 hours, answered every question, nothing new came up. And most voters have made up their minds. And I'm grateful for that. The same here.

And I think most of the voters who have followed this know exactly what's going on here. I never made any different explanation than the one that I have made over and over again. I take classified information seriously. I did not send or receive any material marked classified and I want all of these released. And this is a dispute about retroactive classification, quite a mouthful.

So what people talk to me about is how I'm going to get incomes up, how I'm going to make sure the Affordable Care Act works, and get prescription drug costs down, and make college affordable and relieve student debt. That's what's on voters' minds. And that's what I'm talking about and that seems to be what is exciting and energizing people as they move toward the caucus tonight.

[07:45:13] CAMEROTA: But, Secretary Clinton, something does seem to be happening with this investigation, or at least the FBI seems to be talking about it more, because in the past week several media outlets have said that their sources in the FBI say, quote, "something's going to happen." What does that mean to you?

CLINTON: It means that people are selectively leaking and making comments that have no basis in anything I'm aware of. And, you know, I regret that that seems to be part of the atmosphere because we need to, you know, let this inquiry run its course, get it resolved.

But I can tell you, Alisyn, that is not on the minds of the literally thousands of people that I have seen in the last few weeks. And I'm glad it isn't because the facts are the facts. And no matter how much selective leaking or anonymous sourcing and all that kind of stuff that goes on, what people want to know is what I can do to be the best possible president for them and their families.

And I've been thrilled at the kind of reaction and response I've been getting, the crowds that we had. That last event last night was just overwhelming. And I'm looking forward to people coming out expressing their opinion about who can be the best president and commander-in- chief for the Democratic Party and then getting on to win the Democratic nomination and being successful next November.

CAMEROTA: Yesterday "The New York Times" endorsed you. They wrote that you are the right choice in terms of experience and vision. I'm sure that was music to your ears. Do you think "The New York Times" endorsement plays in Iowa? CLINTON: Well, I don't know. But I know "The Des Moines Register"

does and they endorsed me. And I know "The Boston Globe" matters and a lot of the newspapers in New Hampshire that have endorsed me and this is very gratifying because, yes, there is a lot of static that goes on and the Republicans and their allies are determined to do everything they can to try to bring me down. They don't know me very well because I don't quit when I'm fighting for what I believe in. And I believe that I can be the president who makes progress for people. And I'm just going to stick with it.

And so when very respectable and responsible outlets like "The Register" or "The Times" or "The Boston Globe" and others look at all the candidates, interview us, ask us really hard questions and conclude that I'm their choice for president, I find that incredibly validating. And I do hope that voters pay attention to it because it's a pretty tough vetting process they go through.

CAMEROTA: Secretary Clinton, let's talk about the Republicans and what's going on in terms of how the electorate feels. I know that you know that this campaign has been about how angry and how anxious people are feeling out there and of course all of the division in this country. Some people say we have never seen anything like it.

You've made a point during the campaign of talking about how you don't really like how the Republicans do business in many ways. So how would you bring the country together, including Republicans?

CLINTON: Well, the same way I always have. When I'm not actually running for office, I work closely with everybody, including Republicans, to find common ground. That's what I did when I helped to create the Children's Health Insurance Program that insures eight million kids. I worked with Democrats and Republicans.

It's what I did when I got to the Senate and, you know, worked with Republicans to get health care for our National Guard and Reserve members when they weren't being deployed. I worked on responding to 9/11. I found common ground on a number of issues with respect to health care and the like. And as secretary of state, the same thing.

So, Alisyn, I think that you've got to work at it every single day. There is no shortcut. You have to build the relationships and you have to be willing to try to meet people where they are and move them over. That's the way politics works in America. That's the way our system is set up to work. Now we can get frustrated by it. We can wish that, you know, it were smoother. But I'm very proud of the record that President Obama has compiled.

You know, the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank regulations on Wall Street, getting our economy out of the ditch. The Republicans put it into working to put those sanctions on Iran, the effort that I led and so much more. So I know how you get things done. I am a progressive who wants to make progress and actually produce real results in people's lives. That's what I'm offering. I'm not overpromising. I'm laying out the plans that I have. I'm asking people to look at them and I'm asking people to hold me accountable because I want to get back to working together to try to unite this country to make it possible for us to set big goals and achieve them. And that's what I intend to do.

[07:50:07] CAMEROTA: Let's talk about how this differs for you than 2008. Once again, you find yourself here in Iowa with an opponent who some think sort of came out of nowhere but who has garnered a lot of excitement. So why isn't this deja vu all over again for you today?

CLINTON: Well, look, I always thought we'd have a close contest and I think that is good. It's good for the Democratic Party. But I'm thrilled at my campaign and we learned a lot of lessons. We have applied those lessons. We have got a great team working literally around the clock. And I think I'm a better candidate. I think, you know, my experience as secretary of state gave me a depth and understanding about what the next president will face that, frankly, nobody else running on either side could have. And I think that what voters are looking for is a way out of their frustration.

Yes, people are angry. People are disappointed. People are worried. You know, what happened in the Great Recession was a body blow. I mean, nine million people lost their jobs and five million houses were lost and $13 trillion and family wealth was wiped out. People haven't gotten a raise. You know, they've been working but they don't feel like they are getting ahead. So they deserve -- the American people deserve to be worried.

But what I'm offering is a way forward. You know, once you get through the anger and the political attacks and all the rest of it, people have to ask themselves, who can do the most for me and my family? Who can protect our country? Who can get the economy going and incomes rising and make sure the Affordable Care Act works and get prescription drug costs down?

I know how to do this and I'm ready. I'm experienced and I think I have got the best shot at becoming both the nominee and the next president.

CAMEROTA: Secretary Clinton, we will be watching, of course, with great interest what unfolds over the next 12 hours. Thanks so much for taking time to be on NEW DAY.

CLINTON: Thank you. Hope you feel better. Take care.

CAMEROTA: Thank you. Thank you. That's so nice. I'm drinking tea and honey right now. Thanks so much.

And joining us to talk about all this is former "Meet the Press" --

CLINTON: Good.

CAMEROTA: Thank you.

"Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory and of course Chris. Great to have you.

OK, so what did you hear Secretary Clinton said?

GREGORY: You know, I -- look, she's on her talking points a lot but I thought that interview was so revealing about the kind of candidate she is. This is not a political revolution that she is leading. She is very practical. She is saying to voters, look, I'm in this for the long game. Like me, don't like me, trust me, don't trust me. Close your eyes. Can you imagine me in the Oval Office?

A lot of people are going to say yes. And it's not just Democrats. She has the ability -- I've been surprised over the years. I have talked to people in the military, in corporate America. They think back to the Clinton years and think yes, it wasn't so bad. And they know that she's hawkish, that she'll be practical, that they can do business with her. I think those are her biggest strength.

And she's specifically saying look, I don't have a Simon and Garfunkel ad here. You know what I mean? I'm not going to recite any poetry here? This is -- do you want to get something done? She's playing the long game in a way that she was -- didn't think she'd have to play before in 2008. Now she's really to go long even if she falters.

CUOMO: So the plus-minus is that you see on it, the plus is look, I know how to organize. Bernie Sanders is getting a lot of enthusiasm but they're functionally the left-wing Tea Party, these people coming after me on his side. This is what I saw in 2008 with Barack Obama. Now I think there are some big distinctions between Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama as candidates, not the least of which you would never have heard Senator Obama say, I'm angry. He was about being, as David Axelrod said, a remedy, not a replica of George Bush.

CAMEROTA: Right.

CUOMO: But he wasn't talking revolution in terms of let's go in there as an insurrection and harnessing that mood of the country, right or wrong. Now on minus side the e-mail stuff is real, not because she is about to go to jail. It is true that she hasn't been named a target of the investigation. But that's because the DOJ does that. It's still with the FBI. It's a little bit of there's a distinction without a difference.

CAMEROTA: Look --

CUOMO: For voters on the Democrat side they don't see the e-mail issue the way the GOP does.

CAMEROTA: Right.

CUOMO: So it may not matter now but the idea that it doesn't matter at all going forward is putting it too strongly.

CAMEROTA: I mean, look, even in the "New York Times" in their endorsement said we believe she's our candidate but the e-mail questions are legitimate.

GREGORY: Yes. And look, it goes to what people don't trust or believe about Hillary Clinton. That's a big issue. And her team knows it. She knows it. I don't think it hurts her with Democrats. I think in the general election it hurts her more.

CAMEROTA: OK, David, thanks for the rapid response and it's great to have you on with us.

The big story on the Republican side, of course, is Donald Trump versus Ted Cruz. Could a dark horse spoil that matchup? Rival Rand Paul hoping to do just that. And he'll join us live next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We want to make America great again. That's what we want to do.

CLINTON: I hope you will fight for me. I will fight for you in the White House.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will defeat Hillary Clinton and turn this country around.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Join the political revolution.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will unite the conservative movement.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Liberty is under assault like never before.

TRUMP: Ted Cruz is a total liar.

RUBIO: I think as people learn more about his record they'll realize what he really is. He's very calculating.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Shame on Donald Trump.

SANDERS: The e-mail situation. This is a very serious issue.

CLINTON: I'm a little bit scarred up but I'm still standing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

CUOMO: There's one big factor at play. Alisyn and I are seeing right now that the sun comes up in beautiful Des Moines. There's beautiful Michaela Pereira's face as we welcome viewers in the United States and around the world.

It is your NEW DAY everywhere. It is caucus day here in Iowa. And we are at the Mars Cafe in Des Moines, Iowa, because this is the big day. 7:00 p.m. Central the caucuses will begin. A big factor was weather and it looks like it's going to hold for the caucuses. That means turnout on the ground. Every campaign is saying we believe the enthusiasm is going to translate into more caucusers. Ninety-nine counties, 600 precincts, all going to come --