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Final GOP Debate Before Super Tuesday; Apple Stands Firm; The Psychological Appeal of Donald Trump; ISIS Supporters Target Mark Zuckerberg & Jack Dorsey. Aired 9:30-10a ET
Aired February 25, 2016 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:30:16] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: And, good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me.
The final Republican debate before Super Tuesday just hours away and Senator Marco Rubio, he's ready for a fight. A shift in tone after Rubio went after frontrunner Donald Trump in Texas, calling out Trump by name.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R_FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of the -- the frontrunner in this race, Donald Trump, has actually alluded to the fact that he thinks parts of Obamacare are pretty good. I can tell you, everybody running for president telling you, I want to get rid of Obamacare. I want to get -- I'm the only one that's ever done anything about it meaningful. And again, the frontrunner in this race, Donald Trump, has said he's not going to take sides on Israel versus the Palestinians because he wants to be an honest broker. We will not be an impartial advocate when it comes to the issue of Israel. When I'm president, we are going to take sides. We are going to be an Israel's side.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: All right, so let's talk about this. I'm joined by two of our CNN political commentators, Ana Navarro, also a friend of Marco Rubio's, and Amanda Carpenter, who supports Ted Cruz.
Welcome to both of you.
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hi, Carol.
AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hello.
So, Ana, just yesterday, Rubio's campaign manager told me on the air that Rubio would stay positive and not go on the attack. So why the change?
NAVARRO: Well, because Donald Trump is the frontrunner. And I think this fight between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio has now lasted a very long time. It's getting exhausting. It's getting tiring. It's getting repetitive. They've been bogged down, arguing with each other about amendments in the Senate and immigration and who did what in what year. You know, it's getting historical, and he needs to somehow come out of that bog down with Cruz and compete for number one.
Competing for number two doesn't count when you're running for president. Only one thing matters, the gold medal, if you want to get that nomination. You don't want a silver. You don't want a bronze. He's been giving a lot of victory speeches about number two and number three wins. Marco needs a win. He needs to take on Donald Trump and show he can be the Republican nominee.
COSTELLO: I know, Americans, you know, it's our culture -- it's in our culture to win. We like to come in first place. Second place is like losing in most American's minds, right? So I can understand your line of argument there.
Amanda, Senator Cruz has also stepped up his attacks on Trump. So will we see a kind of joint attack led by Cruz and Rubio on Trump?
CARPENTER: Well, yes. I think I'm in the camp at stop Trump at any costs. I think both Senators Marco Rubio and Tec Cruz have to be in that because nobody wins if Donald Trump continues his march. And so I think there's going to be a test of strength between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as to who can pin down Donald Trump. I mean this is really make or break time. There's a matter of days between Super Tuesday, where more than 500 delegates will be rewarded. And so, to date, Marco Rubio has declined to frontally (ph) attack Donald Trump. I don't really understand the reasoning for that. He's been much more focused on Ted Cruz. But that isn't getting him into first place. And so this is -- this is when it has to happen. Something bold has to change the dynamics of this race, otherwise Donald Trump will win. The thing that does give me hope is that this is an election where anything can happen. Debates have had consequences in the past. And so I'm hoping for one tonight that puts Donald Trump in an inferior position.
COSTELLO: Well, here's -- here's --
NAVARRO: Well, I -- I have to say, I do understand the timing of Marco not going after Trump before that. And it's because Trump has been focused on Cruz. And Trump has proven to be a very effective counter attacker. And so Cruz -- Rubio and Trump have been tag teaming Cruz with this narrative that he's a liar who resorts to dirty tricks. And I think it has been fruitful. We've seen that Cruz has gone down in the polls. We've seen that he's lost in some races that he thought he was going to do better in. And I think it's because both Trump and Rubio took him on in a joint effort.
CARPENTER: Yes, certainly and I think it was rather disappointing to say --
COSTELLO: OK, so -- so during -- during the debate --
CARPENTER: Um --
COSTELLO: During -- just -- I just want to get this question in. CARPENTER: Oh, well --
COSTELLO: So during the debate though, the debate tonight, right, so let's say Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz gang up on Donald Trump. Donald Trump just has to stand there. He doesn't really have to go on the attack because he's leading both candidates by such large margins it doesn't really matter what he says in the debate, does it?
CARPENTER: Well, I mean, we have elections to decide what happens. As I said before, these previous debates have had consequences. I mean what's going to happen is that Donald Trump is in a position of strength, but that is his whole marketing -- that's his whole brand, strength, strength, strength. And so if there is a way for the other candidates to ding at that, to possibly put him on the defensive, force him to answer questions about his previous positions, his character, which I think looms larger more than anything in the past because I think many voters have accepted that he is malleable, that he can't be counted on for much, it's a lot of bombast. If they can somehow turn this into a matter of his character, I think that's probably the way to go. But, listen, it's a very hard thing to do and it get harder at time goes on.
[09:35:18] NAVARRO: Look, the trick with Donald Trump is to try to figure out how to get under his skin. I think we've seen it happen in one debate only and it was when Jeb Bush took him on in eminent domain. I think that if Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz take him on, the tax return issue, that might be an issue where he might bristle because it may show that the tax returns show that he has less money than he says he has. But it is a very, very tricky thing to try to get under the guy's skin. Look, you just -- he's going to stand there and he's going to say to Ted Cruz, ah, you're a liar. He's going to say to Marco Rubio, you sweat like a pig, you know, and he's not going to -- and he's not going to take any effect of it. We've seen Donald Trump have bad debates. We've seen him have good debates. Neither have really hurt him. The one -- the one that really did hurt him was when he didn't show up in Iowa. But other than that, debate performances have not been make or break for Donald Trump.
CARPENTER: And Ana makes a very good point.
COSTELLO: All right, I have -- I have --
CARPENTER: Let's not forget, Donald Trump's usual strategy has been very quiet in these debates. He can't be quiet any more.
NAVARRO: I know we can't shut up today, Carol. What can we tell you?
COSTELLO: I know. You guys are debating, but I like it. Mostly you're agreeing with each other, which is a beautiful thing.
I have to leave it there, though. Ana Navarro, Amanda Carpenter, always a pleasure. Thank you so much.
Still to come in the NEWSROOM, Apple's CEO is speaking out and he's not backing down. His latest argument on why the FBI's plan is bad for America. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[09:40:46] COSTELLO: All right you can see there's a worldwide terror hearing going on in the House Intelligence Committee. The CIA, the NSA and a host of others testifying right now and, yes, they are talking about Apple. They are talking about encryption. We're monitoring this for you, but, yes, the subject has come up.
As for what Apple is saying about creating that back door, that's the software equivalent of cancer. That's how Tim Cook is describing it. In a recent interview, he told ABC News, he is standing firm on his refusal to unlock an iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM COOK, APPLE CEO: If we knew a way to get the information on the phone that we haven't already given, if we knew a way to do this that would not expose hundreds of millions of other people to issues, we would, obviously, do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Laurie Segall joins me now with more.
Seriously, the equivalent of cancer?
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN MONEY TECH CORRESPONDENT: It's pretty extreme words. And you've got to remember what -- what they're asking for is to essentially make a security feature -- disable a security feature that makes it so when you're trying to guess as many passwords as possible, it will erase your phone. They want to guess (ph) as many passwords as possible and get into that phone. So that's what's kind of at the heart of it. Apple has said, in order to do this, and this is the most important part of this, they have to build new software. So that's, you know, that's kind of what this comes down to. And what Tim Cook said in this interview was, this is really uncomfortable. But he said it's uncomfortable to fundamentally disagree with the government and this is one of the most significant challenges he has.
Listen to what he said in this interview, Carol.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM COOK, APPLE CEO: This case is not about one phone. This case is about the future. What -- what is at stake here is, can the government compel Apple to write software that we believe would make hundreds of millions of customers vulnerable around the world, including the U.S.
DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS: And you'd have to write that system in order to unlock that phone?
COOK: Yes. The only way we know would be to write a piece of software that we view as sort of the software equivalent of cancer. We think it's bad news to write. We would never write it. We have never written it. And that is that is at stake here. (END VIDEO CLIP)
SEGALL: What he goes on to say is, well, what happens if they're compelled to writing an operating system and they have them put a camera in there or surveillance. And then he says, if this is decided court by court, what if one judge thinks that they should build out this software for a divorce case or a tax case? So he did go on to say that if this is decided, this should be decided in Congress. This should be -- the people should vote on this and they will abide by the law, Carol.
COSTELLO: That's interesting. So apparently Apple's going to fight this tooth and nail and I guess we'll see what happens in court, right?
SEGALL: Absolutely. And, you know, one thing I think to know, we're beginning to hear security folks talk about Apple building out new security features which will make it even more -- which could potentially make this whole conversation moot. This is what Apple did with IOS 7. They were asked to do data extractions. So they were actually giving over a lot of data. They built in a security feature into IOS 8 that disabled them from even doing that. Now they're -- we're hearing people say they'll probably build out a security feature, a hardware/software security feature that will make it difficult for them to even comply with this request.
COSTELLO: Wow. Laurie Segall, thanks.
Still to come in the NEWSROOM, he can be crude, rude, brash and offensive. So why are so many different kinds of people finding Donald Trump so funny and so charming? We'll talk about Trump's secret, next.
[09:48:40] COSTELLO: We are just hours from tonight's Republican debate; that's the big stage in Houston. It'll be the final meeting of the candidates before Super Tuesday. And some of the gentlemen on that stage may be asking themselves this question -- how does a guy who grew up rich and went to Wharton harness the fury of the working class? I'm talking about Donald Trump and his Nevada win across all demographic groups.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We won with everything. We won with women. I love the women. We won with women.
(CHEERS & APPLAUSE)
We won with men. AH. I'd rather win with women.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: All right. Did you catch what Trump did? He shrugs his shoulders and he's kind of flirting with the audience. He's a gifted performer but it's got to be more than that, right? With me now, Drew Westen. He's a political psychologist and a
professor at Emory. And body language expert Tonya Reiman is also with me. Welcome to both of you.
DREW WESTEN, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, EMORY UNIVERSITY: Thank you.
TONYA REIMAN, BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT: Thank you.
COSTELLO: So, Drew, let's just concentrate on what Trump just did. Because when a normal -- when I say normal politician would say, oh, I love the women more. The men, meh. That might insult women out there, but not from Donald Trump. Why?
WESTEN: No, I think that would kill off most candidates.
[09:50:01] You know, I think there's a couple things going on with him. You're right, absolutely. He's a consummate performer and he's done it for a long time, and, you know, you can picture him with his finger on the button going, you know, that nuclear weapon going, "You're fired." You know? And with decisiveness.
But I think really it's a couple things. One is that we're in unbelievably uncertain times. The average person has no idea whether they're going to be able to put food on the table next week. And here's a guy who comes in and says I'm certain. And it doesn't matter whether he's got his facts right. He just -- he just exudes a certainty and confidence, which many of us read as narcissism, but others don't.
Just the other thing -- the other thing I was going to say, this is also a time in which the average person knows that the government is rigged for the rich and well-connected. And that candidates are being bought and sold on the open market. And here's a guy who says hey, look, I bought them all. I bought Hillary. I bought Jeb. I don't need to buy anyone and nobody can buy me. And, you know, that's appealing the same way Bernie Sanders is appealing by saying I'm not taking money. Nobody can buy me.
COSTELLO: Your Trump impression is most excellent.
COSTELLO: Tonya, it almost sounds like Drew is saying that America wants a father figure and Donald Trump fills that role. Dad can make it all better.
REIMAN: You know, but the scary thing about him is he's so over the top, so overwhelming. Like, we're showing all these big pictures about him, his big exaggerated arm movements. And take that into consideration with the fact that he only uses primarily one syllable words, and then it becomes even scarier, because we have somebody who comes in and just repeats the same thing over and over again. And yes, he does come across as strong, but, you know, there are certain traits. Everyone's like he's the alpha male.
One of the biggest traits of an alpha male is the fact that they're controlled in their gestures; they're not over the top. They don't use these large, expansive movements. They have power because they exude power.
So these are the places where there's that disconnect and I don't really understand what people are seeing when they say, yes, he's the guy if all he's doing is saying we're going to make it great.
COSTELLO: So hold that thought because we have an example of how Donald Trump talks and why it connects to people.
So listen to what he said about the war on terror and what to do with Guantanamo Bay. It's very simple. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This morning I watched President Obama talking about Gitmo, right? Guantanamo Bay. Which, by the way -- which, by the way, we are keeping open, which we are keeping open. And we're going to load it up with some bad dudes. Believe me, we're going to load it up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: OK, so Drew, the language is very simple. The solution really isn't. So why don't voters, many voters, want to pin Trump down on those issues, on the gray areas there?
WESTEN: Well, first thing is I think I think you would probably put Trump Gitmo Towers as the name.
But, you know, it is scary, because he is making those kind of appeals, mostly appeals that are -- they are prejudiced and they draw on the worst of people. But the thing to remember is he is -- he has a -- he has very high unpopularity ratings as well as, you know, he's got 30 percent of Republicans that just adore him. But the rest are -- a lot of them are scared as you know what about this guy. And he doesn't have a lot of crossover appeal. So if he could -- if he could break 50 percent with Republicans, he might be even more scary. But that's a pretty worrisome kind of statement; it sounds like George W. Bush on steroids.
COSTELLO: Well, he is popular among a great many Republicans. I don't think that we can, like, sugar coat that. I mean, he is popular, and he is popular among demographic groups.
REIMAN: Just look right now. Do you see what he's doing? He's all over the place.
COSTELLO: I understand that, but he appeals to a certain part of the electorate that, as you said, Drew, worries about the future, and he talks in a way that they understand. And in a politician, I would -- in any politician, Tonya, I would think that's what you want to do. You want to connect with voters. You want to make the believe you can do something, and there is value in just that. REIMAN: But don't you want to also connect to those people who he
seems to feel it's OK to insult? I love the uneducated people. I love the women voters. He makes fun of the handicapped.
Look, I understand he's unfiltered and that's what makes him lovable because people think he's just the guy next door. But, at the same time, there's a very large population that he hurts. And when he does that, I think he loses voters. And the scary thing is the stronger supporters start going, yes, that's exactly what was on my mind. I just didn't say.
COSTELLO: All right, I have to leave it there. Tonya Reiman, Drew Westen, thanks to both of you.
[09:55:00] I'll be right back.
COSTELLO: Checking some top stories at 59 minutes past.
Evacuations underway in Malibu where a brush fire has broken out. The fire started just after 3:00 a.m. local time. It's already burned about 20 acres. Around 120 children have been evacuated from a nearby camp. So far there are no reports of any structures burned, and of course crews are working to protect homes and buildings in Malibu.
The U.S. and China have agreed on new sanctions against North Korea. They're being described as the toughest yet against Pyonghang and are aimed at stopping further nuclear activity in North Korea. The resolution is expected to be approved by the U.N. Security Council.
ISIS supporters apparently have a brand new target, the leaders of two popular social networking sites. A video created by a group of ISIS sympathizers was posted online. It shows photos of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter's Jack Dorsey engulfed in flames and marked with bullet holes.
[10:00:08] The video was apparently made in response to efforts by Facebook and Twitter to stop terrorist activity on their sites.