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Mike Pence Interview; Presidential Race; Hurricane Matthew. Aired 8:30-9:00a ET

Aired October 6, 2016 - 08:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:32:37] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Governor Mike Pence found himself in a very interesting position during the vice presidential debate. How does he make strong points about himself while also having to defend what Donald Trump has said? Now, in our poll, people said that he won that debate. So let's discuss with him now, Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

Governor, thank you for joining us.

I want to deal with the immediacy of what's happening -

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: In Florida right off the bat. I know you want to send a message to people out who are down there and preparing. What is that message, sir?

PENCE: Thank you.

Well, thank you. Just our - our hearts and our prayers are all with the people of Florida as Hurricane Matthew approaches. And we just - we grieve for the loss of life in Haiti and - and the impacts of this category four storm. And I just encourage people not only to keep - keep the people in Florida and up the eastern seaboard in their prayers, but also to be supportive of organizations like the Red Cross that are going to be tested in the days ahead as they come alongside families.

But, thank you, Chris, I appreciate that. We - we all are thinking of our neighbors to the south.

CUOMO: No, it's a good message to keep out there. I'm leaving right after this interview to get down there and do our coverage so we can keep people informed of the situation.

So, let me cut to the chase here in terms of our political discussion. I've been reading the transcripts of your interviews and I understand why you're getting frustrated with these questions about defending Donald Trump. But what I don't understand, governor, is, why don't you say, I don't agree with what Donald Trump has said about Muslims and about the Mexican judge? Because before you were his nominee, governor, you said that. You said Trump is wrong about categorically saying Muslims can't get in the country. Why not just own your own truth on those situations?

PENCE: Well - well - well, first, let me say that I'm very humbled by the fact that your poll, and some people think I won the debate. I'll - I'll leave that to others. But I really do think that whatever I was able to do the other night, that Donald Trump won the debate. Donald Trump's vision to make America great again won the debate. And - and I couldn't be more honored to have been at that table, to be articulating his vision and to be drawing the contrast with the campaign of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine that simply want to continue the policies that have weakened America's place in the world, set - set areas of the wider Middle East literally spinning apart and has stifled the American economy in places like here in Pennsylvania.

[08:35:04] And so, for me, I - I -- I'm - I'm honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with him, and also honored to address those very same questions. I'm not - I'm not frustrated at all about it, Chris. I mean Donald Trump and - and I have been very, very clear about the issue of - of - of suspending immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism, or - or some of these other issues. It's extraordinary that many in the media - no you. you're - you - you -

CUOMO: But that's not - but that's not where he's -

PENCE: Well, it is. I mean Donald Trump has - has -

CUOMO: But, governor, but that's not what he said. What he said was -

PENCE: Has talked about putting the security of the American people first -

CUOMO: Right, but he has also said, governor, that Muslims -

PENCE: And he's - he's made it clear our position is, we're going to suspend immigration from countries compromised by terrorism.

CUOMO: But - but, governor, that is a finessed position. We both know that where he started was saying, there is a problem with Islam. That Muslims should be kept out of the country. You condemned those comments and you did so strongly as the governor of Indiana when you were backing Ted Cruz. You said, we can't say that. When he said what he said about Judge Curiel, not making it about the case, but about his ethnicity, you condemned those comments. Why do you not condemn them now?

PENCE: Well, because it's not Donald Trump's position now. He's - I mean, look, you've known him for a long time, Chris. I haven't known him that long at all. But - but what - what you see in Donald Trump is a man who has built an extraordinary business, you found out in the last week he faced some really hard times 20 years ago and led an incredible comeback to build a business that's created tens of thousands of jobs and - and - and - and now is worth billions of dollars.

But - but in Donald Trump you have someone that - that - that is - is - has been willing to speak his mind. He's spoken about the frustrations and the aspirations of the American people. And - and I'm proud to stand with him as he talks about ending illegal immigration once and for all, and doing it when he becomes president. I'm proud to stand with him when he says that - that we need - we need to suspend immigration from countries and territories that have been compromised by terrorism. I -I understand why people - why - why you want to play the oldies, you want to talk about the where the campaign began or what - what statements were made, but the American people are focused on - are focused on the policies that Donald Trump is articulating every day across this country.

CUOMO: Right, but it's also about the person.

PENCE: I think it's the reason why there's so much momentum in this movement and people - people are being drawn to - that vision. And for me to be able to - to - to share that vision, to share the choice at that table Tuesday night was one of the greatest honors of my life.

CUOMO: Except that, governor, there is the policy, but there's also the person. And, again, you know, you don't like handling directly these questions of what he said. You can't argue that he's changed his position. That's fine. He's different now than where he started in immigration, and that's for the voters to decide how they feel about that change. But what he has said about women, about Mexicans, about Muslims matters. And I know that you have said you don't share those positions. And now, tacitly, you are accepting those positions because you won't speak out against them. You understand that?

PENCE: Well, there's so much. I mean, it was - it was remarkable the other night to sit next to Senator Kaine as he went through what was obviously kind of a memorized litany of personal insults against Donald Trump and then he said we were running an insult-driven campaign. I mean, Hillary Clinton is standing in front of wealthy donors there in New York, who just a couple weeks ago said that half of Donald Trump and my supporters were a basket of deplorables, irredeemable, not America, and then she called them every ism (ph) in the book.

CUOMO: And the next day she said she went too far. And the next day she said she went too far and you know that -

PENCE: She -

CUOMO: Very unsavory, negative and hateful comments -

PENCE: Well, Chris, hold on. Chris, she said -

CUOMO: Have attached themselves to the campaign.

PENCE: Right. Yes. No, no, she said she was just wrong about half. She regretted saying half. So it wasn't - you know, it's just an amazing thing. She insulted tens of millions of Americans and Senator Kaine had nothing to say about that the other night other than to feign that she had apologized for it, which, of course, she never did.

But, look, this is - all of this I - I would submit to you is not what the people here in Pennsylvania are focused about, or in Virginia where I was yesterday morning, traveling around as I am on this bus tour. People are focused on national security, on public safety, on law and order and on getting this economy moving again.

The truth is, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine are running to essentially continue the failed policies of this administration that have weakened America's place in the world, stifled America's economy, and - and, with all due respect, Chris, as much as the media likes to focus on taking these little lines out of context, (INAUDIBLE) from long ago -

CUOMO: They're not little lines, though, governor, that's the issue.

PENCE: The American people are focused on their future.

CUOMO: You're going to be setting the tone as vice president and president of the United States -

PENCE: Well - well, you talk about -

CUOMO: About how we respect each other -

PENCE: Yes.

[08:40:03] CUOMO: About who matters and whether -

PENCE: Right.

CUOMO: All of us matter the same way. And when somebody says things that exclude people and make them less than, it is the job of leadership to stand up against that. And I know you've done it in the past. That's why I'm asking you why you're not doing it now.

PENCE: Well, it's - it's because Donald Trump has made his positions very clear on illegal immigration, on suspending immigration from countries compromised by terrorism, and - and - and, frankly, I understand why the other side wants to keep bringing up prior statements earlier in the campaign. Donald Trump has said in this campaign that - that he has regretted the times that - that he didn't choose his words well, particularly where it's created, you know, personal pain for people. He's spoken openly about that. But with Hillary Clinton, I go back to it, Chris, honestly, she said half of Donald Trump and my supporters were irredeemable, were a basket of deplorables. You know, Chris, you can't lead people you loathe. And for Hillary Clinton to express that kind of contempt for millions of Americans, and I throw in recently Bernie Sanders supporters. We found out in February she - she accused Bernie Sanders supporters of being children of the great recession, who have moved back into their parent's basement.

Look, when Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, whether people agree with him or not, he's going to respect all of the people of this country. You know him well, Chris. You know him to be that kind of a man. And - and that's why every single day I couldn't be more honored to be standing shoulder to shoulder with a man I believe will be the next president of the United States.

CUOMO: Governor Mike Pence, I appreciate you taking the opportunity on NEW DAY, as always.

PENCE: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, Chris.

So we've just heard from Governor Mike Pence. Also, Senator Tim Kaine was on this morning. So we'll break down what they both side coming up on "The Bottom Line." And we're also, of course, watching Hurricane Matthew. These are live pictures of the storm's furry. This is in the Bahamas. It is on its way to Florida. We'll bring you the latest track, next.

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[08:45:56] CAMEROTA: Vice Presidential Nominees Tim Kaine and Mike Pence both appearing on NEW DAY this morning to discuss their debate performances and much more. So let's get "The Bottom Line" now from CNN political director David Chalian.

Good morning, David.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Good morning, Alisyn.

Let's start with Senator Kaine. So, I was asking him about his debate performance. And basically one of our pundits, it might have even been you, David, had said that it looked like he prepared to come in to debate Donald Trump, not the more subdued Mike Pence. And, in fact, that he has missed some opportunities to go after Pence on his record. So listen to Kaine's response on that.

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SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, that was an opportunity I would have loved to have had a 93-minute debate instead of a 90-minute debate. But I think that the - the - that that pundit who said that was probably accurate. I viewed this as fundamentally a debate that was about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, not about Tim Kaine and Mike Pence.

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CAMEROTA: OK. So, David, what's your response?

CHALIAN: Well, I think Tim Kaine is fundamentally right about that. I think voters viewed the VP debate also as a proxy for the larger candidates. And I think you clearly identified what Tim Kaine's strategy was there, which is to make it all about Donald Trump, which is why our poll show Mike Pence won. I think most observers of the debate thought Mike Pence had a much smoother performance. But it's why you see Tim Kaine out on NEW DAY this morning continuing to try to press this post-debate notion that, you know, he brought up all these things about Donald Trump and that Mike Pence chose not to defend them. The Clinton campaign says because they're indefensible. Hillary Clinton was out saying that last night. They're trying to take their debate strategy and make it into their post-debate spin.

CAMEROTA: Yes, look, Tim Kaine does not think that he lost. I mean he had a big smile this morning. He thinks that he did exactly what he was sent to do and said that Hillary Clinton had congratulated him on it.

CHALIAN: That's right. Listen, they got some of their strongest arguments against Donald Trump out in front of 37 million viewers. That's - that's no small thing for a campaign. He may not have improved Tim Kaine's standing with the American public, but that really wasn't his mission.

CAMEROTA: OK, so let's talk - we just had Mike Pence, Governor Mike Pence on with Chris, and, you know, Chris was saying to him basically that - how can you support some of the positions that Donald Trump has taken when in the past you certainly don't ever criticize say Muslims or Mexicans and you've spoken out against not doing things like that. Here's the bite.

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GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Understand why the other side wants to keep bringing up prior statements earlier in the campaign. Donald Trump has said in this campaign that - that he has regretted the times that - that he didn't choose his words well, particularly where it's created, you know, personal pain for people. He's spoken openly about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: OK, David, what do you think of that?

CHALIAN: I thought it was pretty astonishing, actually, to hear Mike Pence say something that Donald Trump has not yet said, which is that he's changed his policy, specifically on the Muslim ban. We've never heard Donald Trump say that. We've heard him use different language and talk about the immigration ban from terrorist nations that harbor terrorists differently than he did when he rolled out specifically a Muslim ban last fall, but he's never acknowledged an actual policy change. The campaign has never rolled out a policy change. And Mike Pence just asserted that they had one. I thought that was really interesting.

And, obviously, we also know that he points to that comment that Donald Trump made about regret. Donald Trump has also never actually put specifics to what he said that he regrets saying.

CAMEROTA: David, as you and I speak, Hurricane Matthew is bearing down on Florida. How do you think that will affect the election?

CHALIAN: Well, obviously, this is going to be a very important issue for how the candidates respond to this because in a time of crisis like this, you look to political leadership to sort of guide the way. You've seen this, governors around the country, when their states are impacted, and no doubt Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will need to be cautious. Also just from a micro political point of view, Florida and North

Carolina are right there in the zone, Alisyn. They are two battleground states. So not - you know, not having the ability for get out the vote for a few days when you're four weeks out from the election or being able to campaign there obviously will impact the campaign as well.

[08:50:08] CAMEROTA: In fact, registration in Florida ends on October 11th. It could be impacted by this.

David Chalian, thanks so much for summing it all up for us in "The Bottom Line."

CHALIAN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: All right, millions are urged to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Matthew. The storm is gaining strength. It is heading towards Florida's coast. We have the latest track for you, next.

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CAMEROTA: Hurricane Matthew is gaining strength. It is slamming the Bahamas right now. On your screen are live pictures of the capital of Nassau. The category three hurricane is expected to slam into Florida's East Coast, possibly as a category four storm. So what do we need to know about the storm's track? Let's bring in CNN meteorologist Chad Myers. He joins us with the latest.

What are you seeing at this hour, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Still gaining strength, Alisyn. Still getting a lower pressure. Now down to 937. And I know that may not mean anything to you, but go look up on Wikipedia some numbers to see what the old hurricane records have been and some of these numbers aren't even to 937. This is about as strong as this storm was when it hit Haiti a few days ago and it's making its way to the East Coast. So by about midnight tonight, that's when I believe landfall will be closest.

[08:55:08] But don't think about landfall. It's going to start to get to be hurricane conditions within probably the next six hours. Now until noon is your time to get things done. After that, there' no way to handle a piece of plywood with the wind blowing 60. And then by tomorrow morning, right through Melbourne. We'll have - try to have a live shot for you there for NEW DAY tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. It's going to be a very tough shot. The winds could be blowing to 130 miles per hour. And the same story as it moves up toward Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach and the like.

Here is a hurricane model to show you what we believe the eye will look like in the future. Here's 2:00 p.m. Rain showers, wind storms, maybe even a possible tornado coming onshore as a - as a water spout. Coming onshore it will be a tornado. West Palm, you get slammed at about 9:00 tonight. A sleepless night up the East Coast. Winds still here from Melbourne to Fort Pierce, 130 to 145 miles per hour, moving north up there to Cape Canaveral and then finally exiting the Florida coast somewhere around Jacksonville, but making a pretty big impact on Georgia, as well.

Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. Chad, thanks so much for keeping an eye on it and warning everyone who is listening to us today to be careful and evacuate if you are in the zone. This is what's headed in your direction. These are live pictures from Nassau in the Bahamas. And, again, Chad said it could be 145-mile-per-hour winds when it hits Florida. Everyone be careful out there.

We'll see you tomorrow. Chris will be down there covering Hurricane Matthew for us. And "Newsroom" with Carol Costello picks up at our breaking hurricane coverage all day after this very quick break.

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