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President Obama and Elizabeth Warren Endorse Hillary Clinton; Sanders Meets with Obama at White House; Joe Biden Targets Donald Trump; GOP Family Feud. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired June 9, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: It is breaking news, two big endorsements for Hillary Clinton and a blistering attack on Donald Trump.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
Hillary Clinton gets the endorsement that she's been waiting for from the campaigner in chief.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want those of you who have been with me from the beginning of this incredible journey, to be the first to know that I'm with her. I am fired up and I cannot wait to get out there and campaign for Hillary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Plus, you have got to see this. Senator Elizabeth Warren endorses Clinton and unleashes a blockbuster attack on Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We will not allow a small, insecure, thin skinned want to be tyrant or his allies in the Senate to destroy the rule of law in the United States of America. We will not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders meets with the president at the White House and vows to work with Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I look forward to meeting with her in the near future to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump, and to create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1 percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: We have a lot to get to, we're glad you're here. So, why don't we begin with a big day on the campaign trail? A unified front from democratic leaders blasting Donald Trump. Beginning with Bernie Sanders, one on one with President Barack Obama at the White House today.
Sanders says he is staying in this race through the last gasp D.C. primary on Tuesday. But he sounds like he is read the writing on the wall here, and he is turning his attention to blasting Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Donald Trump would clearly, to my mind and I think the majority of Americans be a disaster as president of the United States. It is unbelievable to me. And I say this with all sincerity, that the Republican Party would have a candidate for president, who in the year 2016 makes bigotry and discrimination the cornerstone of his campaign.
In my view, the American people will not vote for or tolerate a candidate who insults Mexicans and Latinos who insults Muslims, who insults African-Americans and women.
Needless to say, I am going to do everything in my power. And I will work as hard as I can to make sure that Donald Trump does not become president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And then there's Vice President Joe Biden taking his turn as he hits Trump tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I find Donald Trump's conduct in this regard reprehensible. Evidenced by the bipartisan condemnation of the action for what it is, a dangerous attack, and a vital pillar of democracy, independent judiciary by threats of intimidation.
And undercutting the legitimacy of a judge by suggesting that because of his heritage he's incapable of being fair. In addition to this, it is racist. In addition to this.
LEMON: You can bet Trump didn't like that, and he certainly won't like this. A searing attack from his nemesis, Senator Elizabeth Warren.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN: Like all federal judges, Judge Curiel is bound by the Federal Code of Judicial Ethics not to respond to these attacks. Trump is picking on someone who is ethically bound not to defend himself.
Exactly what you would expect from a thin skinned, racist bully.
Donald Trump says, they ought to look into Judge Curiel, because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace. No, Donald, what you are doing is a total disgrace.
Race baiting a judge who spent years defending America from the terror of murderers and drug traffickers, simply because long ago his family came to America from somewhere else? You Donald Trump are a total disgrace.
Judge Curiel is one of countless American patriots who has spent decades quietly serving his country. Sometimes at great risk to his own life.
Donald Trump is a loud, nasty, thin skinned nasty fraud who has never risked anything for anyone and who serves no one but himself.
And that is just one of the many reasons he will never be president of the United States about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Here to discuss all of this, CNN political commentator, Bob Beckel, senior political analyst David Gergen, Mark Preston, CNN politics executive editor.
Goodness gracious. I mean, all barrels are just pointed at Donald Trump today. Bob, the democrats big guns came out in force today, and they are trained squarely on Donald Trump. What's your reaction?
BOB BECKEL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First of all, he better get used to this, now.
I mean, one of the interesting things about Trump is, he doesn't have any republicans really of any standing, and willing to come out and defend him.
LEMON: You just stole Mark and I talking points. We were talking about that. Like who are -- is there anyone -- since you say that, is there anyone on the republican side who can do what they're doing?
BECKEL: No. I mean, look at this lineup, you got the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States. Elizabeth Warren is probably the most popular senator among the progressive people in this country. And you just, I mean, what Donald Trump is facing here, is a wall that
he's never seen before. Forget about building one, he better get behind one.
LEMON: David Gergen, if he thought that the media was bad, you know he criticizes the media a lot. I mean, this, the media is nothing compared to all of this.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Don, we have a startling contrast tonight, and that is democrats just jumping on the Hillary Clinton train, while republicans are looking for ways to jump off the Trump train.
I don't think we've seen anything like this in American politics that I can remember. And I do think it underscores not only that he -- she's brought out the big guns, but that she is now benefiting from not only from experience, but from having a very superior organization.
This is a professional team that's out there on the field. This is what pros do, produce days like this, and he doesn't have anything like this, he doesn't have the kind of apparatus. I do will say this, I do think he has a continuing reservoir of support that people should not write off.
You know, we haven't -- we haven't seen many polls yet, but it's interesting, one poll came out today, after Trump having terrible weeks and Hillary having great weeks. Pennsylvania 44 a piece. So, it's way too early to start calling this, but I can't tell you what's been unfolding in the last two, three weeks, I think is critically imporpant to the way this ultimately turns out.
LEMON: Yes, go ahead, Mark.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, listen, you're right when he says when there are days like this are produced by pros. And that's exactly what Hillary Clinton's greatest strength is at this moment. Amongst many other things.
But she is a politician. And while that's a dirty word, and I know that a lot of the Trump supporters don't want to hear that, Don, the fact that he needs to become a politician. He needs to start listening to his advisers
He needs to start staying to talking points. He was on Erin Burnett's show, rather Mitch McConnell was on Erin Burnett's show last night. And he said, listen, I wish he would stay to the teleprompter and stay on message. When Donald Trump going off message, that's what causes him problems.
LEMON: Elizabeth Warren talked about that, that's the same with teleprompter. What does that mean to stay on message. But listen, speaking of her, you got the sitting vice president, said about Donald Trump's comments about Judge Curiel were racist, right.
You have Senator Warren, who more and more people are saying, is a possible V.P. pick saying, calling him a thin skinned racist bully. And then you have the president endorsing her today. Do you think that they're not going to let these comments by Donald Trump fall off the radar? Are they?
PRESTON: No, and what they're doing is now they are taking the heat off of Hillary Clinton who gave a very biting and damming speech of Donald Trump last week and did a very good job of it.
However, her strength now is to talk about policy, her strength is to talk about experience. Not just to go toe to toe and a bear knuckle fight with Donald Trump. We just saw that tonight. And that's going to be the likes of Elizabeth Warren who can do that on behalf of Hillary Clinton.
LEMON: Do you think, David Gergen, are -- I'm going to ask you Bob. Bob, do you think that he's listening to his advisers, because we haven't heard -- we haven't heard from him. Usually right away, it's a tweet.
BECKEL: You know, even Paul Manafort will tell you, he's his chief adviser, he doesn't listen to his own adviser. And he runs the trains. But, you know, what he saw today, and David and Mark are exactly right. This was not just happens stance this happened, this was planned.
BECKEL: Every one of these...
LEMON: That video was like since Tuesday or something, right. It was shot Tuesday earlier.
BECKEL: Yes, but, I mean, that's right. And then you know, in having Joe Biden say, this is all orchestrated. This is for professional campaign operations, too. One, two, three, four, what does Trump do, he stands in the face of that? And nobody to stand for except maybe Senator Sessions in Alabama. I mean, you know, he's not gotten the big leagues so you better understand that.
LEMON: Hey, David, I want to talk about the power of the presidency. It came to bear today on Bernie Sanders. When you see Bernie Sanders working around the Colin aid with the president. What do you think the president was saying to him.
[22:10:00] GERGEN: I think this president was showering him with praise, for what he's done for the Democratic Party, how many he's brought in to the party. He was trying to make him proud of the race that he's had. And you can just see it in Bernie Sanders as a whole.
This was a happy man today, he understands he's lost. Look at -- look at the way he's enhanced his reputation, he's going to be welcome back into the Senate, you know, almost as a lion there in the Senate.
So, they're trying to make him feel really good, so that he won't go raging into the night, but he'll go gentle into his good night. And that's exactly what he's doing right now.
LEMON: They want him to be part of the team that came out today, David Gergen, against Donald Trump. Because look at this. Let me, before you respond I'm going to read these polls to you there. A lot of polls between now and November.
But when you look at this new Fox News poll it's out tonight in mid- May, Trump led Clinton by three points, 45 to 42. And since then he has dropped six points. And he now trails her 42 to 39. And if you deeper he lost three points among republicans, 11 points among independents. And that was before, you know, this show of democrats, this unity that we have seen today, David.
GERGEN: I agree. And so, I think we're all going to be watching these polls very closely, if she were to open up -- and Bob Beckel is going to address this very well. Because if she were to open up a 5, 6, 7 point lead over the next few weeks to carry that into the conventions, and then come out of the convention to say maybe 8 or 10 point lead.
That's going to -- she's going to be very, very hard to beat. Absent some big thunderbolt from the FBI or somewhere else. But right now she's got in place one of the most professional teams, it's a combination of the Clinton team and the Obama team, putting that together into a powerful force.
You know, think about this, Don. And Mark will appreciate this, he became the dominant figure because he dominated the airwaves. Suddenly the democrats are dominating the airwaves and they have the guns and the firepower to keep doing that, because they have so many players to call on. He can't do this alone on Twitter. He can't control the media any more.
LEMON: I want to get this in, because Hugh Hewitt is among the many republicans that, you know, freaked out over the last days in this campaign trail. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUGH HEWITT, RADIO HUGH HEWITT SHOW HOST: It's like ignoring stage four cancer, you can't do, you have to go attack it. And right now, the Republican Party is facing -- the plane is headed toward the mountain, after the last 72 hours, want to support the nominee of the party, that I think the party ought to change the nominee because we're going to get killed with this nominee.
The Republican National Committee needs to step in and step up and go see Donald Trump and talk to him about getting out of the race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Mark, I guess I'd like to say that Hugh Hewitt is, you know, his party sort of made their own bed. And I think that, you know, a lot of people created Trump. But you can you say the Republican Party pretty much created Trump. But there are still people who believe that Donald Trump can win, right. PRESTON: There's no doubt. And I think David was right at the top,
when he was talking about the appeal that Donald Trump still has in some very key states. He is a politician, if we were to even call him a politician, or candidate that we've never seen before, OK?
And what we've seen in the past 48 hours, 72 hours is that the Democratic Party knows how to deal with Donald Trump now. Will they be able to do that going into November? We will see.
But what Hugh Hewitt is talking about right now is replacing Donald Trump before the convention. And really that is never going to happen. They are stuck with Donald Trump for good or for bad. And if you are republicans now you would hope that Donald Trump would come back on board, tone down his rhetoric and really just focus on Hillary Clinton heading into convention.
BECKEL: Yes, and that's...
LEMON: Mark, Bob, and David, that's going to have to be the last word. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
When we come right back, the billionaire businessman who says Washington gridlock would be worse than ever under a president Hillary Clinton. And that billionaire is not Donald Trump. He is Mark Cuban, and he has a thing or two to say about Trump too.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: A fellow billionaire businessman taking aim at Donald Trump tonight. And he's here with me to talk about it. None other than Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks. How are you?
MARK CUBAN, DALLAS MAVERICKS OWNER: I'm great, Don.
LEMON: You're everywhere.
CUBAN: You know what? People ask, I answer.
LEMON: I know. You've been talking a lot about this. Why are you speaking out so much about this?
CUBAN: You know, for the longest time I tried to avoid politics. And now because the race is just so crazy and it's so -- I don't know, mean, that I felt it necessary.
LEMON: We'll talk about all of that. Here's. But here's -- I want to get some of your comments. You called Donald Trump thin skinned. You said he's not likely as smart as he thinks he is. Would you still vote for him?
CUBAN: You know, I try to be objective, and I don't want -- I want to explore both candidates equally and look at all the pluses and minuses. I mean, is there a conceivably a situation where I might vote for him? Yes, I can create a scenario like that. But is it likely, no. LEMON: Would you vote for Hillary Clinton?
CUBAN: Same, I'd say both candidates are flawed in a lot of ways but I could see myself voting for Hillary.
LEMON: Are you prepared to endorse anyone?
CUBAN: No. Absolutely now and we've got what, four and a half, five months until the election, so we've plenty of time.
LEMON: So, do you think -- so they are both so flawed and you think Trump is, you said not likely as smart as he thinks he is. You're basically saying he's a legend in his own mind, right?
CUBAN: Well, that's where I like to put him at.
LEMON: That doesn't preclude you from him from getting your vote?
CUBAN: No, I mean, look, we've got two choices. You know, there's additional parties, but the smaller parties, but this is where we're at. And so, I'm not ready to preclude anybody. Look, anything is possible. You know, maybe I believe in fairy tales, but it's possible he might wise up, it's possible she might change as well.
LEMON: So, this is a dilemma, I'm going to ask you about, this is what the Republican Party is dealing with. What about comments like this, take a listen.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.
I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump. A hater. He's a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel. The judge who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great. I think that's fine. You know what, I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump when I give all these jobs.
We had a case where we had an African-American guy who was a fan of mine. Great fan, great guy. In fact, I want to find out what's going on with him. You know what -- look at my African-American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: What do you think? Because even his fellow republicans are saying, you know, that's a racist comment? He's made some racist comment.
CUBAN: Well, first of all, anyone who continually refers to themselves in the third person...
CUBAN: ... you almost have to dismiss most of that they're saying. But it's ridiculous, obviously. But again, context. Presidential candidates lie. And we don't call them on it, and so Donald is just taking it to an extreme.
[22:20:05] Do I think he's racist in these comments? Or are they racist comments? Yes, in my experience with Donald Trump, my one on one experience, I don't think he's racist.
LEMON: If he's using it for political gain, right, isn't that more insidious?
CUBAN: It's worse, yes. Without question, is he playing to the least common denominator of his followers, that's horrible, right. When he's calling out a judge and trying to intimidate a judge, there's very few things that are worse to me. That's worse than racist.
LEMON: Then how could you possibly even vote for that? That's a question and you and the republican establishment.
CUBAN: And that's a fair question, yes, and it's a fair question, right? And I'm not here -- because he's a republican, I'm not a republican, I'm an independent. Because those things aren't going to change. I can still make that part of my evaluation over the -- you know, come election day. Who knows what else changes. There's just no reason to just into conclusion right now.
LEMON: You're saying you don't believe it's in his heart?
CUBAN: I don't know what's in his heart?
LEMON: But if it was in his heart.
CUBAN: Yes. I mean, if I thought he was truly racist and this is exactly what we are going to see from him as the president, then yes, I preclude him immediately. I just don't think he's racist.
I think he has no self-awareness, I think he loses context continuously, I think he gets caught up in his own head and thinks, you know, he hears what he's saying and thinks it's right no matter what he says. And it comes out stupid a lot of times.
LEMON: Do you think he can deal with Congress better than Hillary Clinton?
CUBAN: I think the way things are right now, yes. But let me explain that. It's more because of the obstructionism of the republicans. If the republicans continue to hold on to Congress, then they're going to do what they've done to Obama, but it's only going to be 1,000 times worse.
You know, they -- Obama has a personality. Obama, you know, you can see his empathy. You may not like him, you may not have voted for him. You may not even respect him. But you treat him as a person. Right now, the far right, they've dehumanized Hillary.
And unless she's able to combat that, it's going to be easier for the obstructionists in Congress to just slam the door and create even gridlock even worse than we are today. So that's why, so you have to have it in the right context. That's why I said that Donald would have an easier time. Because they -- you know, the democrats aren't going to just shut down Donald down for being Donald.
LEMON: Are you ever going to run? You're doing a lot of talking.
CUBAN: I'm doing a lot of talking. You know, normally in the past when people ask me about politics I just said, you know what, I don't want to get involved. But this race is crazy, it's scary. It's everything that we don't like about politics, and I think there needs to be an independent voice, there needs to be an independent party. And whether it's me or somebody else, it needs to happen.
LEMON: I want to -- because you're friends with Donald Trump, right?
CUBAN: I'm not a close friend.
LEMON: Yes. You said, you tweeted this and you said, "I expected Donald Trump to try to calm down, he doesn't have the cash to fund his campaign. He needs to appease his donors quickly. He had less than 165 million in cash and following for a campaign that will cost 750 million or more. He will have to grovel for that cash and will -- the real drama will come from all the hidden videos from the private fund- raisers."
That's what you said you want to hear, right?
LEMON: So, he's going to have to -- Donald Trump groveling for money?
CUBAN: Oh, hell, yes. You know what, I mean, look, the one thing, it's a 100 percent certainty about Donald Trump is, he guards his cash. I mean, guards it, and he's not going to want to run through everything he has left.
And so, he's going to be very careful with it, and the only way he really has the chance, despite his saying that he doesn't need to raise as much as the republicans, the only way he really has a chance is to go out and get money. And no one is just going to right him a check for 10, 20, $100 million or into the campaign because he's Donald Trump. he's going to have to grovel.
LEMON: So, he's going to need to calm down. He's going to need the republican establishment and that machine and he's going to have to calm down. He's going to have to become a centrist and not a centrist but...
CUBAN: Have to stop because we don't know what he's going to do. But here's the...
LEMON: A more traditional candidate.
CUBAN: That's what he should do, in order to get the money. But now he's come out and said, boy, I don't need as much money as everybody else because I can get P.R., I can media when I want it.
CUBAN: But if we see teleprompter Trump, the guy who just reads off the teleprompter, and he's predictable, there's going to be no reason for you to put on a show.
LEMON: That's when he loses his mojo.
CUBAN: He loses -- he loss everything, right. And so, that's his balance.
CUBAN: So, on one hand we want him to go and freelance, on the other hand he can't if he wants to raise that money.
LEMON: Mark Cuban, I appreciate it.
CUBAN: Thanks, Don. My pleasure.
LEMON: Good to see you.
And up next, top democrats launching brutal attacks on Donald Trump, is it just a preview of the next five months on the campaign trail? And is Trump getting ready to fight back?
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: President Obama's endorsement of Hillary Clinton a key element in the Democratic Party's move towards unity. And tonight, those united and newly energized democrats are taking aim right at Donald Trump.
Here to discuss is Guy Cecil, he is a co-chair and chief strategist of Priorities USA, a super PAC that supports Hillary Clinton, and Eli Stokols, is a national politics reporter for Politico, Dennis Prager is here, nationally syndicated talk show host, and CNN political commentator Kayleigh McEnany who is a Trump supporter.
Hello to all of you. Dennis first, I want you to take off your partisan hat, just put it down, just for like the next 30 seconds or so however long it takes you to answer this question and then you can put it right back on.
So, who would you rather be right now in this campaign, the candidate who has secured the nomination and has the party unifying behind her or the candidate who has to convince his party to stop condemning him publicly. Who would you rather be?
DENNIS PRAGER, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED TALK SHOW HOST: Well, it's not even a matter of removing my partisan hat, it's just a matter of being intellectually honest, which I hope to be all the time no matter what my partisanship.
It's obvious that the advantage at this moment goes to the one who is representing a unified party.
LEMON: Yes. And that is for now because anything change every moment in politics.
PRAGER: Yes, exactly. And it was predictable. Who would assume that the democrats would not unite behind Hillary Clinton. I just want to add one thing, because I know we have a lot of people to speak.
PRAGER: And I appreciate that fact. I just want to add this, though, and this to me is key. There's a lot of angst, including my own, even though as of this moment I will vote for Donald Trump, because I have no choice.
[22:29:59] I did not support him at all for the nomination but I have no choice. But there is tremendous angst amongst conservatives and republicans with regard to his character. Why is there no angst among democrats with regard to Hillary Clinton's character? Doesn't that tell you something about the character of democrats versus republicans?
LEMON: I don't think if are some people who have angst about Hillary Clinton. If you look most of the Bernie Sanders supporters they have a lot of angst...
PRAGER: About her positions not her character.
LEMON: Yes. And about her character. You know, they say the same things basically that republicans are saying about Hillary Clinton.
But I mean, I appreciate, you're the perfect guest. Because you realize there are other people, but I have to stay with you, what do you mean you don't have a choice, this is free will, this is America. You can -- you don't have to vote for Donald Trump.
PRAGER: Yes, I understand. My lack of choice is that I have before me four more years of the left hurting my country, which I believe it has been doing. Look at the universities where the left is in control, and the utter deterioration of freedom, liberty and tolerance.
LEMON: The lesser of two evils? Is that what you're saying?
PRAGER: I'm sorry?
LEMON: You're saying the lesser of two evils, is that what you're...
PRAGER: That's right. That's exactly what I'm saying.
LEMON: OK. All right. So, Eli, listen, progressive icons, Senator Elizabeth warren, I'm sure you saw -- do we, you know, she gets under Donald Trump's skin. She isn't holding back tonight. In case you didn't see, look at part of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN: Trump is picking on someone who is ethically bound not to defend himself. Exactly what you would expect from a thin skinned racist bully. Donald Trump is a loud, nasty, thin skinned fraud who has never risked anything for anyone and who serves no one but himself.
And we will not allow a small, insecure, thin-skinned, want-to-be tyrant or his allies in the Senate, to destroy the rule of law in the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Eli, this is a provocation, and to -- right, to him for a more damaging response. Is that what she wants?
ELI STOKOLS, POLITICO NATIONAL POLITICS EDITOR: Well, I think so. I mean, he's -- you know, she's a ferocious attack dog, and he's always said, I'm a counter puncher, I never hit first. But, you know, she's doing this at a time when Donald Trump has really been chastened after all the comments about the judge over the past 10 days or so.
He's finally gotten the message from the party, they put him on a much tighter leash. We saw his teleprompter speech the other night, he said he's not going to talk about the judge any more.
Just when he's trying to get on message, she's trying to get him off. She's really trying to goad him into responding. And responding in a very Trump like way, because he -- she gave him a lot of material, and really went at him pretty hard.
LEMON: Did someone tie his fingers up, Kayleigh, because he's not doing it at all?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He didn't. And I think Eli has a very interesting argument, I think that makes a lot of sense, she's probably trying to goad him.
STOKOLS: Of course.
MCENANY: But, you know, I want to say stylistically, I thought Joe Biden was much more effective. He was very calm; he was very even keeled in his criticism. I don't agree with his criticism. Obviously as a Donald Trump supporter but I don't think haphazardly throwing around this term racist it's probably that way to attack Donald Trump.
In fact, that finally drives a lot of people to Donald Trump. I think, you know, when you throw around such a serious accusation you kind of lose a lot of credibility.
LEMON: How is she different though, than members of his own party who are saying the same thing they are saying. MCENANY: Well, you know, I thought Paul Ryan went over the top by
calling it a racist statement. I don't think that was Donald Trump's intent. I think that that was completely out of balance for him to say that. So, I mean, I disagree with him there, but outside of him, I don't think there are many people calling Trump that label. That's a very serious accusation to throw around very loosely.
LEMON: Let me -- let me ask you because you don't think it was a racist statement, right, obviously?
MCENANY: I don't he should have brought up his heritage, no.
LEMON: But do you think the statement was racist.
MCENANY: No, I think to be a racist statement it needs intent that that was...
LEMON: I'm going to ask everyone there if you can answer. Dennis, do you think it was racist?
PRAGER: The democrats call every single republican racist. So, the past...
LEMON: But I mean, do you think his comment about -- his comments on the Judge Curiel.
PRAGER: Yes, I can. That's important to say that, though. It's sort of a broken clock theory. If he meant no Mexican heritage judge can rule fairly, then it's racist, is that what he meant? That's the question Kayleigh is asking. If that's what he meant, of course it's racist. I don't think anybody in this room or in your room believes that he thinks that no Mexican heritage judge can rule properly.
LEMON: It sounded like that's what he said, no Eli?
STOKOLS: Well, I think, you know, a majority of republicans have come out and said, that sounded pretty racist to me. And I think you have to remember that this comment is being viewed in the context of all the other comments that he's made over a year now since he's been a presidential candidate.
So, I think that, you know, Chris Christie may come out and say, he's not racist. But I think the majority of the republicans who have been asked about this, haven't had very good answer on it.
LEMON: What do you think? Hang on. Guy?
GUY CECIL, PRIORITIES USA CO-CHAIR & CHIEF STRATEGIST: Well, look, I don't really need to speak much on this panel. Because any day that we're debating how racist Donald Trump is, it's going to be a good day for democrats.
LEMON: So, you think his comments are racist?
CECIL: Of course.
CECIL: Look, I think the vice president was right on. I mean, the idea that this guy has been calling Mexican-Americans murderers and rapists. He's been talking about banning Muslims, this goes all the way back to his arguments on the Central Park 5.
[22:35:03] So, this was not just a singular mistake. He didn't just misspeak. He gave a 12-minute diatribe about how this judge was disqualified, because in his words, he was Mexican.
So, the thing I love about republicans is, their argument is, Donald Trump needs to act better, he needs to act more presidential. He needs to give better speeches. This is not about how Donald Trump acts. This is about what Donald Trump believes. And he does not have the character or the temperament to be our president.
LEMON: All right. Stick around, everyone. We're going to continue this conversation. We'll be right back.
LEMON: And we're back. We're talking about the republicans family feud not over yet. Can Donald Trump get the party's leaders on his side?
Back with me now, Guy Cecil, Eli Stokols, also Dennis Prager and Kayleigh McEnany. So, thank you very much. We're having a fascinating conversation on the other side.
So, in that vein, Eli, let's talk about the House Speaker, Paul Ryan. He gave an interview to our affiliate, WKOW. And I have to tell you, at first, you know, when you first listened to it, it didn't have any positive, he didn't have any positive things to say about his party's nominee. Listen.
[22:40:03] REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We have a far better of putting away these better ideas in place, with a Trump presidency than we would with a Hillary Clinton presidency.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you worry at all that people are going to hear that for the next few weeks a think, getting your agenda passed into law is more important to you than, you know, how our nation looks, how our president acts over the next few years?
RYAN: Yes. No, it's a legitimate question, l think, that' why I think -- that's why I condemned his comments as clearly as I can. And I've spoken to him about it, I've spoken to him about other issues and things he's said in the past. And I think this has to change, he has to fix this.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: So, earlier, you know, Kayleigh said she, you know, she was
disappointed in Paul Ryan what he said about the, you know, Trump's response to the judge.
A month ago, Eli, it looked like Trump was consolidating his party support. Everyone was like, wow, they are coalescing around Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton was struggling just to get through her primary, she couldn't put Bernie, you know, to the side.
And then you fast forward the tables have turned, so what's your sense of where the GOP is heading into this convention, where will they be?
STOKOLS: Well, I think Paul Ryan's frustration that you saw in that clip really encapsulates where a lot of members of the party are right now, because, you know, they wanted to give this a shot, to unify, to come on board, to give Donald Trump a chance to really carry their message and do so and carry a credible message against Hillary Clinton.
And really for the past two weeks he hasn't done that, this is a self- inflicted wound with him talking about his judge and his heritage. And talking about this case that really has no relevance to the election and to the American people, and just has relevance to Donald Trump.
And so, party leaders are really frustrated. Reince Priebus had to call Donald Trump this week and say, would you please knock it off? Would you please stop talking about this. Start talking about Hillary Clinton.
He's going to give a speech about Hillary Clinton on Monday we hear. But, you know, that will be almost two weeks after her speech laying out the case against him, saying why he's unfit to be commander-in- chief. That is not exactly a rapid response from the Trump campaign.
He's been very agile and savvy in terms of his use of social media and manipulating and using earned median general up to this point. But the election is very different, the audience is very different. And this is really a bare bones campaign that does not have much of a communications operation. And that hurt them over the last couple of weeks.
LEMON: So, here's the question, right, Guy. Because, you know, there was a political piece where, let's see -- this is for Eli. Eli, for you. Your political piece, you talked about this, that it took two weeks to respond. Or at least a week or longer.
How quickly must one respond to the Clinton machine like this. Did he really take too long? Shouldn't you be able to respond right away?
CECIL: Well, you know, he tweeted right away. And sometimes that's sufficient and sometimes it's not. I mean, this year, this cycle has totally rewritten the rules for, you know, campaign communications.
All I'm saying is, there's not a robust and experienced communications team inside Trump tower. This is sort of all happening inside Donald Trump's head. LEMON: Dennis.
CECIL: And, you know, there have been efforts to bring in more people and to build this out. And a lot of people haven't been hired out because of the infighting that's taking place in the campaign. You know, the two principals running this thing don't trust each other and that has really impeded hiring.
LEMON: Dennis, is he taking too long to respond to that speech? It was a scathing speech?
PRAGER: I don't know whether it's taking too long or not. Because there's a bigger issue I'd like to address since you're having me on.
LEMON: Yes, yes, go ahead.
PRAGER: And that is, that is this. Why is there never any discussion on networks and in the mainstream media, about left wing racism? There was so much more left wing racism than conservative racism that the ratio is like 100 to 1.
When students at Yale and agreed to by the administration of Yale, are going to drop their major introduction to poetry course, because the poets are all white males, why isn't that unbelievable racism?
LEMON: Can I stop you right there?
LEMON: You need to watch this show more often. Because we tackle those issues all the time on this program.
PRAGER: God bless you.
LEMON: You know what? We've been dealing with this political season with Donald Trump because he's been such a juggernaut. And with Hillary Clinton...
PRAGER: All right. Then let me ask -- OK. You have -- you're exonerated.
LEMON: We have those discussions all the time on this program.
PRAGER: Don, I bless you and I mean that sincerely. So, I'll ask my liberal colleagues here on the panel. Do you think it's racist to lower academic standards to admit black. Is that a racist statement of black in aptitude on the part of liberals or not?
LEMON: I will let you answer, but I don't want you to get too far afield on what we're actually discussing. But, go ahead. Who wants to -- anyone who want to answer that?
CECIL: Well, I would just answer by saying this, the republican panelist did not want to answer the question about whether Donald Trump was saying racist things or was a racist. Today, he said, well, I don't know what's in his heart, I'm not sure what the intent behind it was.
But when it comes to attacking others, they seem pretty clear about their point of view, and this is exactly my point. This is the republican strategy for this election cycle.
PRAGER: All right. So this...
CECIL: You bring up something about...
PRAGER: For the record, there's no record.
LEMON: Let him finish, Dennis.
CECIL: You bring up something about Donald Trump and their response is, well, he just needs to act better, he just needs to do better. He, I'm not sure what's in his heart.
[22:45:02] E-mails, Benghazi, this is their response, the fact of the matter is, Donald Trump has had a career building his business and his campaign by tearing people down. By examining all sorts of racist attacks on people, by leveling these charges.
CECIL: There's no response because they know it's true.
MCENANY: There is a response.
CECIL: They know it's true.
MCENANY: No, that's not true.
LEMON: But here is the thing, though. Before I want to tell everyone here. But here is the thing. The entire Democratic Party is not running for president. Or liberals, as Dennis puts it.
Donald Trump is running for president of the United States.
LEMON: And so, he is going to be examined. His words, his actions. Everything he says is going to be examined. And the correct response, you know, Dennis, I love you, with all due respect. It's not, OK, we're terrible but look how terrible they are.
LEMON: You should not be deflecting and saying what someone else does.
PRAGER: You know, Don.
LEMON: Go ahead.
PRAGER: I don't deflect. I have been excoriating much of Donald Trump's words and you know that, on your show and elsewhere, I am very consistent, I wish he were not the nominee, he is.
He is the only obstacle to four more years of the democrat's damage to our economy, our society, our education. That's -- so, I understand that. But I think it's fair to say that if racism is going to be the issue, the left has no leg to stand on. That was my only point.
MCENANY: And I want to clearly make the point now that, Donald Trump is not a racist. Because co-panel has just said no one will answer that question. Well, I will. If Donald Trump were a racist, and he had a problem with this judge simply because of his heritage.
Then why then, I want to post the post to you and I hope you won't deflect, why then did he not have a problem with this judge two years ago when he was appointed to the case? Why did he not say just then, sorry, this guys of Mexican heritage, I can't have him.
LEMON: He wasn't running for president.
CECIL: Because he wasn't running nor president of the United States. He's not making a judicial argument. He's making a political argument, he is playing on the worst fears of Americans.
CECIL: By tearing people down, and it's why a republican senator from Illinois withdrew his endorsement of Donald Trump and said, he was too racist.
LEMON: I'm out of time, guys.
Thank you, I appreciate, Dennis, I love you for coming on. Please come back. I love all of your candor. Thank you, Kayleigh. Thank you, Eli. Thank you, Guy. We'll continue this conversation. We have five more months to do it.
Coming up, a woman who has a lot to say about the state of the race and about judges in the spotlight. Here comes the judge. Should I say, the Jones and Jury? Remember that, I'm taking you back. That's next. Star Jones is here.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: All right. Fasten your seat belts, because my next guest has strong opinions the state of the race and about two judges making news tonight.
So, joining me now, Star Jones, the president of the National Association of Professional Women and Professional Diversity Network.
It's perfect to have you on. Especially when we've been talking about this judge and these judges.
STAR JONES, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL WOMEN PRESIDENT: Yes.
First, let's talk about your candidate. You're wearing a Hillary Clinton pin.
LEMON: You have campaigned for her. You have spoken about her on this show. The president is set to campaign for her in Green Bay. You know he endorsed her. What does this all mean?
JONES: Well, you know, I've known Hillary for two decades, as I pointed out. And yes, indeed I'm a hill blazer, I've been a surrogate. I've now been to Texas, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, New York.
LEMON: All right, Howard Dean. And you're going to D.C.
JONES: And North and South California, I've been all over the place going held of the campaign. Because Hillary has the unique connection to women and family and children that I need to see.
LEMON: Was that mean to you. Is that what it means?
JONES: Well, I can tell you on Tuesday, as I watched, I mean, I was getting -- I was out in California because I worked the whole day at the rallies and everything for her. I watched and I felt full. I saw my doctor today and his nurse said, I'm not even sure if I want to vote for her.
But, Star, I sat there with my 10-year-old granddaughter and MS. Gladys said to me, I couldn't stop my heart from beating so fast. That's what it means, we're going to break the glass ceiling once and for all.
LEMON: Some republicans are saying that we need to get past identity politics not focusing so much on race and on gender. Do you think they should have chosen another nominee if they wanted to give up?
JONES: That is hilarious. For all of this time, we've had 44 male presidents, 43 of them white males, now all of a sudden, you don't want to emphasize gender? Give me a break. It is time for us to embrace who we are.
Hillary Clinton is the best, most qualified, most experienced candidate in the race, the president of the United States just pointed it out.
LEMON: Yes. When I made that little quip about Jones and Jury before, because that was your show. That was your sort of claim to fame, right?
LEMON: Wasn't it Jones and Jury?
JONES: Well, Jones and Jury definitely was the way it started.
JONES: I guess it was the original people's court.
LEMON: Yes, it was. So, when you hear about these remarks about Judge Curiel. It struck a chord with you because even -- and with his fellow conservative.
JONES: And I'm a former prosecutor also.
LEMON: And republicans, yes. So, why is this particularly offensive to so many, because Donald Trump has said, he says -- listen, I'm a counter puncher. He said some things that have ticked off a lot of people, but this one seems to make a difference. Why is that?
JONES: Well, unfortunately, Donald Trump has run a very divisive nonexclusive campaign. And this comment about the judge is extremely indicative of that kind of campaign.
An independent judiciary is really what this country is founded on. And one of the three branches of government that courts have to be able to independently make choices without looking at who the complainants or the accusers are in the courtroom.
There's no indication that this judge has said or done anything that would make a lawyer go in and ask him to recuse himself. That would be the process. So, the fact that Donald Trump brings up his heritage and confuses the fact that the man came from Mexican parents but is from Indiana does not get more Middle America than coming from Indiana.
That says to me, he is either making a racist comment on purpose or he's making a racist comment to pander to other people, either way, it's despicable.
LEMON: OK. So, what kind of precedence has this set for a presidential candidate to do that?
[22:55:01] JONES: What it does is, it opens the door for us to go into the gutter a little bit. The vitriol in this campaign has started in a way that has taken the front burner issues and put them to the back burner.
We're not talking on the republican side about higher wages and better jobs. We're not talking about equal pay for equal work or universal health care, or any of the things that matter to everyday people. That people go do sleep at night worried. Am I paying my mortgage, can I pay my car note. Is my kid going to go to school without a mountain of debt?
JONES: That is what it does, it diverts us from talking about what is important. And I tell you, I think Trump does it on purpose. Because if you don't have real policies, to sure up your platform, then divert, divert, divert.
LEMON: yes. He could have. His attorneys do could have issued, what do you call, filed a motion to recuse and he didn't do that.
JONES: One hundred percent, but that's the way you do it, you go in you say I have this proof, and I'd like to make a motion to recuse.
LEMON: In the interest of time I have to ask, I want to ask you about this. Talk about this judge, another judge making waves this week, Judge Aaron Persky has become infamous as a judge who sentenced Brock Turner for just six months in jail for sexually assaulting a young woman behind a dumpster.
Why do you believe the judge gave Turner such a lenient sentence?
JONES: I don't think the judge fully appreciated the rape culture of what goes on some college campuses. I know that Stanford's commencement is this week and I'm curious as to whether or not the students, the student government is going to say or do anything in response to it.
The rape culture on campuses that are connected to young people just not having respect for their colleagues and their counterparts, that's exactly what it's led to.
LEMON: Six hundred fifty thousand people signed a petition to have him ousted. Should he step down? Should he be removed?
JONES: Well, if in fact, if it's the definition for recall? Then he should be recalled. But I want to be very clear. The probation department also recommended a lenient sentence.
So, you might want to look at the whole system of justice that's in that community that thinks a vicious rape behind a dumpster with a girl with pine cones in her hair is anything that could be considered consensual. That's ridiculous, the jury wholesale rejected it by its conviction.
LEMON: We always appreciate having you on, Star Jones.
JONES: I appreciate being here.
LEMON: Thank you very much. And it was a good day for you. So, congratulations to your candidate. Thank you.
JONES: It's a good day for America, when the right person is on top.
LEMON: Oh, my gosh. Thank you.
When we come right back, more on the Stanford rape case that Star and I just spoke about, and what Joe Biden said in an open letter to the victim.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)