Return to Transcripts main page
Interview with Mike Pence; A Look at Last Night's Presidential Debate. Aired 8:30-9a ET
Aired September 27, 2016 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:30:00] GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He - he came right out of the box in that campaign and started talking about jobs, started talking about these disastrous trade deals that have - that have literally cost millions of manufacturing jobs in places like Indiana and Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania. And I think it's that focus and that - and that plain spoken way that he has about him that's - that generates the huge crowds I'm sure he'll see in Florida again today. And I think it's - it's the reason why you - why this campaign is - is on a roll. And I think - I think - I think his message last night, compared to the scripted message of - of someone who's been in politics and around politics for the last 30 years was a dramatic contrast.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: What do you think of the CNN poll overnight that had it 62/27 Clinton?
PENCE: Well, I think we'll - I think we'll see lots of different polls on this, but I think it's going to - it's going to take a little bit of time and a couple of days for it all to settle in. But I've got to tell you, sitting on the front row last night with my wife at my side and - and watching this debate unfold, it was - it was an extraordinary contrast. I mean it - it really was change versus the status quo. And Hillary Clinton, with - with that well-scripted presentation that she made essentially said, if you like your status quo, you can keep it. Donald Trump came out with the candor, with the forcefulness. He took command of that stage. He answered the questions. And - and that, in the contrast of kind of an avalanche of personal insults from Hillary Clinton that - that - that - that I - must have been designed illicit something from Donald Trump that they believed to be there but just simply isn't. He showed last night that he's got the leadership qualities and the temperament to be a great president of the United States.
CUOMO: Trade was a big subject for him. When you were in Congress, you supported deals like the TPP. In fact, the TPP itself, he says it's like the worst thing over than NAFTA ever. How do you wind up being on the same ticket if you believe in something that, by the way, Paul Ryan and your party's leadership very much in favor of as well, Trump says it's the worst thing. It's killing us.
PENCE: Yes. I - I support free trade. So does Donald Trump. TPP actually happened after I went back home again to Indiana.
CUOMO: Right. But you would support the concept of TPP, no? PENCE: Well, I think - I wrote a letter just saying I'm - I'm broadly supportive of expanded trade. But then something happened in Indiana earlier this year. I got a phone call from a company called Carrier that said they were pulling up stakes and taking 1,400 good paying jobs out of Indiana to Mexico. And - and when I asked them why, their first answer was, all of our competitors are already in Mexico. I mean Donald Trump demonstrated last night the focus and frankly the foresight to recognize what a disastrous deal NAFTA has been. And - and I - I wholly agree with Donald Trump's view about TPP. And Hillary Clinton did say, all the fact checkers did clear it up, Hillary Clinton did say that she thought the Trans Pacific Partnership deal was the gold standard of trade deals. Now she's changed her views of that.
But Donald Trump and I both believe that what we ought to do is let's expand trade in the Asian Pacific rim, but let's do it one at a time with one country at a time so we can hold them accountable to the promises that they make. And - and I - I believe Donald Trump, he's got the right approach to trade. And - and first and foremost, it's about putting the American economy and the American worker first.
CUOMO: His big idea last night, there's no question he scored points on trade, certainly where the American mind is right now. His idea with jobs, though, and in how to deal with that trade imbalance is, I'm going to stop the jobs from leaving in the first place because if you do leave, we're going to basically have a VAT, or a value added tax on anything that you want to bring back into the country. You know from your time in Congress that there is zero appetite for that kind of tact, which means you may say it, but you'll never do it as president. Fair criticism?
PENCE: Well, I - but I think when he said, we will stop companies from leaving in that little two-minute window, he made some reference to the unfair trade arrangements between companies importing from Mexico and companies in the United States. But that's not our whole plan. Donald Trump, in that - in that speech in Detroit laid out an economic plan different from Hillary Clinton, who wants to raise taxes by $1 trillion, increase regulation, expand Obamacare, continue the war on energy. Donald Trump laid out a plan to reduce taxes for working families, small businesses and family farms, to lower corporate taxes in this country to 15 percent, to repeal all of the executive orders of this administration that are stifling jobs, to end the war on coal and repeal Obamacare and replace it with the kind of health care reform that will lower the cost of health insurance instead of growing the size of government. Hard to get all of that in, but that's how we're going to keep companies from leaving. We're simply going to make America a better place to do business. And that's Donald Trump's vision.
CUOMO: Do you - do you agree part of the plan is obviously to be full energy inclusive, rekindle the coal industry? That's very upsetting to environmentalists. And Donald Trump has said that he doesn't believe in global warming. Do you share his feeling that it's a naturally occurring thing, that human beings have nothing to do with it when the scientific community couldn't be more in favor of saying it's human created? [08:35:21] PENCE: Well, that was part of the thing last night that -
that there was a - a reference to a humorous tweet that he put out a few years -
CUOMO: A lot of tweets, governor.
PENCE: Well -
CUOMO: A lot of tweets where he said that it's a hoax. It's perpetrated by China. Look at it, it's cold again. So much for global warming. He evidently does not believe in it.
CUOMO: Do you share that opinion?
PENCE: Well, what - what Donald Trump said was a hoax is that bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., can control the climate of the earth. And the reality is that this climate change agenda that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton want to continue to expand is killing jobs in this country. Look, we can develop all the resources in this country. We can end the war on coal and continue to develop clean coal technology. We have the - one of the most advanced coal burning plants in the United States of America in the state of Indiana.
CUOMO: But doesn't it matter to the American voter whether or not the person who's going to be president of the United States, and vice president of the United States, believe that global warming is manmade?
PENCE: Well, look, there's - there's no question that - that - that the activities that take place in this country and in countries around the world have some impact on the environment and some impact on climate. But Donald Trump and I say, let's follow the science, but for heaven's sakes let's not go rushing into the kind of restrictions on our economy that are putting Americans out of work and, frankly, are driving jobs out of this country. I thought that's why - that's why Donald Trump had a great night last night, is that - that while - while Hillary Clinton came forward with that well-scripted presentation, 30 years in public life, what you heard from Hillary Clinton was more of the same. More taxes, more regulation, more the war on American energy, more of the kind of agenda that's really stifled American jobs and driven jobs out of this country. And you saw in Donald Trump someone who's ready to take command of this economy, to lower taxes, to grow our economy through the time honored principles that worked under the years of Ronald Regan and, frankly, under - during the years of President John F. Kennedy.
CUOMO: Governor Pence, thank you for being with us. We look forward to your debate next week. Always good to have you on NEW DAY.
PENCE: Thanks, Chris. Thank you.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Chris, we heard what the candidates had to say, but what does their body language reveal? And how many people did tune in for the big debate? We discuss both of those, next.
[08:41:29] CAMEROTA: You heard the predictions of the record-breaking ratings for the debate. Those numbers are coming in this morning. Also, what did the candidates' body language last night tell us about how they were feeling.
Let's discuss that with CNN senior media correspondent, and host of CNN's "Reliable Sources," Brian Stelter, and body language expert and president of the Body Language Institute, Janine Driver.
Great to have both of you here.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: OK, are the ratings hot off the presses yet or do we still have to wait?
STELTER: From what I've seen so far, we're on track to have the highest rated debate in history, as was expected. You know, the threshold is 81 million. That was the Reagan/Carter debate in 1980. There was only one debate that year, so that's why it was the highest rated debate ever.
CAMEROTA: And you were predicting 85?
STELTER: I believe we will top 81 million. And the numbers will come in probably around lunchtime. But the early data, the overnight, do suggest it's the highest rated debate. We also know it's the most tweeted debate ever. Millions of people watching online overnight as well.
CAMEROTA: OK, so let's talk about - if you watched with the sound down, what you saw. And, Janine, I know that's an exercise that you must do. So let's talk about the body language of the candidates. I know you've identified a couple of clips that you want to show us. So let's start with Hillary Clinton and what you saw that was positive in her body language. So here's a moment she's using her hands, she's speaking there. We've purposefully turned down the sound. What do you see?
JANINE DRIVER, PRESIDENT, BODY LANGUAGE INSTITUTE: Yes. So she's doing this a-okay steeple we see with her hands. Trump did this as well. Hillary is doing this, which is - we don't typically see this for Hillary. Obama will do this, President Obama. This is the basketball steeple. We used to see Colombo do this. You're like, you smoke a cigarette? The reason I ask, it's seen as power, authority, and confidence. This is the traditional steeple. But this could be perceived as arrogant. When you explode it like a firecracker, it adds that likeability. So power, authority, confidence, likability. She did it a lot last night. It was really nice to see.
CAMEROTA: Interesting. OK, you saw some negative body language moments. So let's take a look at this. We've turned the sound down. This is for Hillary Clinton. So give us a moment. All right, so what are you seeing here, Janine?
DRIVER: All right. So let's watch Hillary. So Hillary closed her lips there briefly. She's looking away from Trump. But here the big thing is that she's swaying a little bit. So when we sway, and Trump sways later, but when we sway, we're getting out stress and anxiety. This is when there's a peek increase in stress and anxiety here.
CAMEROTA: You sway and so you let it -
DRIVER: Yes, and she pulled her lips in. And so when we don't like what we see or hear, our lips disappear.
CAMEROTA: Did you have any problem with the smiling?
DRIVER: I did have a little bit of a problem with the smiling. Women are going to tell that it's a fake smile more than men.
DRIVER: But here's the deal. There's a loop that happens in our brain. So even if you're not happy, if you're coached to smile, you begin to send a message to your brain that you're happy, it will help her relax. And our brain creates like a ticker. It's almost like every time you smile, it does a tick mark and it keeps a scorecard. So she begins to decrease her stress and anxiety, even if it's a fake smile.
CAMEROTA: By smiling. That's fascinating.
DRIVER: By smiling.
CAMEROTA: OK, let's look at Donald Trump's body language. So this was one of the positive moments of Donald Trump. Let's look at this. What do you see here, Janine? This is when he first comes out. He says, I think, hello or thank you and extends his hand.
DRIVER: Yes, right out of the gate I think it was Trump's debate in the beginning. If you look, Hillary walked to Trump's side of the stage.
STELTER: I noticed that too.
DRIVER: If you go and some people might say, well, maybe that's because she's the powerful person. If you're in a job interview, does the person interviewing walk to the door to say hello to you or do you walk to the interviewer?
DRIVER: You walk to the person of power. Not only that, he's at the left of picture. If I'm shaking your hand, I'm at the - you're at the left of picture.
STELTER: Right. DRIVER: He gets the upper hand. He puts her in a beggar's pose. This is very strategic. He's very lucky to have this. Then on top of it, he pats her on the back, which is more power. So right out of the gate, he looks like the leader and she's looking for the job interview.
CAMEROTA: Thank you for simulating this, Brian.
STELTER: I had never thought of that before.
[08:45:01] CAMEROTA: Me either.
STELTER: I was surprised there weren't more issues between the man and the woman. I was expecting more kind of gender dynamics and I didn't see that many instances of it during the debate.
CAMEROTA: Yes. Let's look at one of the negative moments for Trump's body language that you think. What's the problem here?
DRIVER: All right, so Trump - Trump's taking water sips nonstop. Hillary never touched her water I don't think once that I saw, unless I was taking notes.
STELTER: Not once. Yes, not once.
DRIVER: He took it about four or five times. I do think - I'm not a doctor, sometimes I play one on television, but I'm not a doctor, but I think he might be getting a cold. When you see someone sipping water, it can be a spike of increase and stress and anxiety because your mouth gets dry. The point is, when he sips, is he - is he being attacked in that moment or is it just kind of a casual moment. You've got to look when he takes the sips that matters, but it could be perceived as nervousness.
CAMEROTA: People also heard some sniffing. So maybe you're right, maybe he was getting a little bit of a cold.
DRIVER: Yes. Yes, right into the mike.
STELTER: And especially early on. It became a trending topic that he was sniffling.
DRIVER: All over Twitter.
STELTER: It seemed to get better as the debate went on. He didn't seem to be sniffling as much.
CAMEROTA: OK, the other person on stage, who we have not talked about, Lester Holt. So much pressure was on his shoulders.
CAMEROTA: Was he going to fact check? Was he going to be strong enough? What were your thoughts this morning?
STELTER: Well, he's feeling good this morning. NBC is feeling good this morning. He'll be back on "Nightly News" tonight. I thought that he did as good a job as is possible in such a highly intense situation. There are complaints on the right, on conservative media blogs, places like that, that he was too easy on Clinton. But the reality is, he had to step in more often when Trump was misstating the truth because Trump made more misstatements. He stated more falsehoods. You can't have 50-50 equality when one of the candidates lies more than the other candidate.
CAMEROTA: Brian, Janine, thank you. We learned a lot in this segment. Janine, great to have you here.
Let's get over to Chris.
CUOMO: All right, Alisyn, let's be looking ahead now to the upcoming debates.
CUOMO: This - oh, that's good.
CUOMO: I'm stressed? I'm stressed? That - all right. What will Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump do differently? Should they stick to their same game plans? We're going discuss when NEW DAY returns. I had the body language right. The tongue thing hurt me, though.
[08:50:35] CUOMO: One presidential debate now in the books. The next debate is just 12 days away. It will be a town hall moderated by our own Anderson Cooper and ABC News' Martha Raddatz. And then the final debate will be on October 19th in Las Vegas. But not to forget, we've got the VP debate coming up in just a week. That's going to be something as well.
CAMEROTA: We have a lot to say about that.
CUOMO: We have a lot to do with that.
Joining us now, is national correspondent for "The Atlantic" and a former chief speech writer for President Carter, James Fallows.
We just had a body language expert on here and we're trying to do all the things she said that show intelligence and power.
CAMEROTA: Are powerful.
CUOMO: So, what did you see last night in terms of what needs to be repeated by each going forward and what needs to be deleted by each going forward? (INAUDIBLE).
JAMES FALLOWS, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "THE ATLANTIC": Well, I think Hillary Clinton's - Hillary Clinton's campaign has a strange challenge, which is essentially not to get too cocky, not to get too confident and just to make sure that she can continue being as calm and on message as she was. I think in a way she - she can focus those preparations, as the town hall is a different sort of environment, so practice in a different sort of way.
For Donald Trump's team, essentially they have to think, OK, let's start over and see whether it's possible for him actually to prepare. A good example would be President Obama. He did very poorly in his first debate against Mitt Romney four years ago, but then sort of revived himself. The other example would be Al Gore against George Bush in 2000. In one debate he was very kind of stern and huffy. In the second he was too relaxed. By the third he had sort of the right pitch. So it's going to be some moments of self-reflection in the Trump campaign.
CAMEROTA: Well, Jim, I mean, they think that they've won. We've had some of them on this morning and they've liked that he wasn't programmatic and they liked that he was very strong in the first hour. So what - I mean you wrote this comprehensive piece about what to look for during the debate last night. What surprised you?
FALLOWS: What - I guess what surprised and relieved me is that almost everything that experts had told me to look for actually came true. For example, that Donald Trump would have a hard time filling the full two minutes of a policy answer without sort of recycling his stump speeches and that Hillary Clinton sort of deathly tried to put in little harpoons or little pins and see if they would get Donald Trump's attention, which they generally did.
Also, it was striking to me that Hillary Clinton was aware every second that the split screen was on and that people were watching not just Donald Trump when he was talking but her as well, and so she was holding her face the entire time as if watching - knowing she was half of the screen. He seemed to be less aware of that. So I think that the idea that you would see this body language and emotional confrontation between two very different kinds of people, that actually came true in real time. And we'll see - each side will then say how it - how it turned out, but I think most polls suggested that Hillary Clinton did more of what she wanted.
CUOMO: What do you see in terms of advantage and concern by proxy in the VP debate? We just had Governor Mike Pence on, Trump's running mate. Trump doesn't believe in global warming. He believes it's naturally occurring, not man influenced. We just heard it from his campaign manager. He's tweeted about it a ton. Pence tried to distract from that. And then once he couldn't, he said on this show that what happens in this country and other countries affects the environment. He does not agree with Donald Trump. That could be a problem for the ticket, can't it?
FALLOWS: Oh, indeed. And I think that's - you know, this - this debate should be more of a quote/unquote normal debate because you have two experienced politicians who are used to talking about actual policies and don't have the temperamental extremes of Donald Trump in particular. So I think that is one very tempting opening for Tim Kaine to say in a sort of buddy buddy way with Mike Pence, well, you and I agree about global warming, you and I agree about this and that and trying to show - to have these openings where Mike Pence, over the years, as senator and governor, has taken stands that are now at odds with - with his own candidate. So that can be a place where, again, he can tweak him, not in the same way as Hillary Clinton with Trump, trying to provoke an outburst, but just to have little fissures within the Republican coalition.
CAMEROTA: So, Jim, looking forward, mid October is the Vegas debate. That one is a traditional format like we saw last night. But the next one, at Washington University, is a town hall setting. And that's a completely different skill set. And Donald Trump tends to like to play off the crowd and respond to questions. So that might actually suit his style more.
FALLOWS: Yes, I agree with you, there's a kind of informality to that. And as you say, a reading of the crowd that has been one of his great strengths through the primary campaign, where he can read a room very skillfully and sort of adjust his manner. So I think that will be something to give heart to the Trump campaign, to think that they're moving on to terrain that's more friendly to him and also a reason for the Clinton campaign to redouble their efforts and not start to coast because it's a place where she is not as much - she's not -- doesn't have the same kind of natural rapport with the crowds often that Donald Trump has shown, that her husband has shown. So I think that will be a way that she can bear down and say, OK, here's yet another challenge to meet.
[08:55:31] CUOMO: Did you see an aspect of can't teach an old dog new tricks in Donald Trump last night? That it doesn't matter how much they coach him to avoid the bait or to be more substantive or to be calmer, he is who he is?
FALLOWS: He is who he is. And if you're going to tease him about, you know, the end about the Miss Universe, the beauty pageant things or his view on the Iraq War or his taxes or his settlement of a racism suit, he will not let any one of them go. Notice that Hillary Clinton dispensed in one sentence with the e-mail controversy and then moved on, whereas Donald Trump sort of dragged out each time somebody was sticking a pin in him he was saying, look, there's this pin in me, but it's not really here. Here's six sentences saying why it's not here.
CAMEROTA: James Fallows of "The Atlantic," thanks so much for coming on with all of your impressions.
FALLOWS: Thank you. Thank you.
CUOMO: What a night. The race has changed because of the debate. The first time we saw Trump and Clinton on the same stage. We have so much more to cover on this story. "NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello will pick it up right after the break. See you tomorrow.