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STATE OF THE UNION

President Trump Criticizes Puerto Ricans; Health and Human Services Secretary Forced to Resign; Interview With White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney; Interview With Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders; Interview With Ohio Governor John Kasich; Trump Attacks San Juan Mayor; "Playboy" And Politics In This Week's "State of the Cartoonion". Aired 9-10a ET

Aired October 1, 2017 - 09:00   ET

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


[09:00:15]

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tipping point. President Trump unleashes on a Puerto Rican mayor who called him out.

CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, MAYOR OF SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency.

TAPPER: And, as the crisis worsens, the president is applauding the government response.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's amazing, the job that we have done in Puerto Rico.

TAPPER: Will he change his tune after a visit there this week?

Plus: tax plan revealed.

TRUMP: Tax reform will protect low-income and middle-income households, not the wealthy.

TAPPER: But a new analysis shows the biggest winners could be the rich. The White House budget director is here next.

And Tom Price is out. The health and human services secretary is forced to resign over his extensive use of private planes.

TRUMP: He's a very fine person. I certainly don't like the optics.

TAPPER: But what about the other Cabinet members flying on government jets?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is desperation.

At least, that's the state of the union among many of our fellow American citizens in Puerto Rico, millions remaining hungry and thirsty and without power.

FEMA and other government agencies are working hard to provide relief, but, in too many places on the island, it's not getting there fast enough or in large enough supply.

President Trump this morning launching more Twitter attacks against anyone who points this out, writing -- quote -- "We have done a great job with the almost impossible situation in Puerto Rico. Outside of the fake news or politically motivated ingrates, people are now starting to recognize the amazing work that has been done by FEMA and our great military. All buildings now inspected for safety. Thank you to the governor of Puerto Rico and to all of those who are working so closely with our first-responders. Fantastic job" -- unquote.

The president, from the comfort of his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, has also been attacking the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Carmen Yulin Cruz, calling her nasty and questioning her leadership, saying she and others in Puerto Rico -- quote -- "want everything to be done for them, when it should be a community effort" -- unquote.

She responded directly to the president in an interview with CNN.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YULIN CRUZ: I don't know.

Maybe he sees women that have to be told what to do. That's -- that's not who we are here in San Juan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: President Trump will visit Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday to survey relief efforts.

Joining me now to discuss this and much more is the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney.

Director Mulvaney, always good to see you.

I know you want to talk about tax reform, but I do want to start with the humanitarian disaster unfolding in the American territory of Puerto Rico.

The president has been attacking San Juan Mayor Yulin Cruz, tweeting: "Such poor leadership ability by the mayor of San Juan and others in Puerto Rico who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them, when it should be a community effort. Ten thousand federal workers now on island doing a fantastic job."

What -- what exactly does President Trump mean when he says, "They want everything to be done for them"? Who's they, and what's the "everything they want done for them"?

MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE BUDGET DIRECTOR: I think what the president is trying to get at is that folks think this is going to be easy. They saw what happened in Texas, they saw what happened in Florida,

and they thought, oh, this is -- this is easy to do.

And it's not. This was an island that was absolutely devastated, not by one hurricane, but by two. I think it's 1,100 miles from the nearest mainland American port. This was always going to be harder. And we knew that, which is why we positioned assets on the island before the storm. It's why we have 10,000 people on the island right now.

But I think it's possible that folks just said, oh, this -- this will be easy, and they're surprised that it's taking as long as it is. And it's not going to be easy. It's never been easy.

But we're doing things on Puerto Rico, Jake, that we didn't even do in Texas or Florida. We have actually given Puerto Rico more tools than we brought to bear in those other states because we had to, because of its location, because of scope of the devastation.

I think it's unfair to say that we haven't done everything we can, because we have done everything that we can and we will continue to do so. It's unfortunate that the Puerto Rico mayor wants to -- excuse me -- the San Juan mayor wants to sort of go against the grain.

We would love to have her on team as we all pull the same direction. My understanding is that, as of yesterday, she had not even been to the FEMA operations center in her own city. So, we need to get her involved, along with the other 70-odd mayors on the island and the governor.

Everybody is there. We would love to have her on the team as well.

TAPPER: I want to read you a passage from conservative writer Erick Erickson, who was dismayed at President Trump's tweets.

He said -- quote -- "Yay, President Trump punched a critic, a critic who's on an island trying her best to help others where most of the people now have no homes and no power and no running water. What a man he is."

He was being very critical, Erick Erickson, a conservative, of the fact that President Trump is punching down and attacking a mayor in the middle of a horrific humanitarian crisis.

Can you understand why some Americans see these tweets from the president and feel revulsed?

[09:05:00]

MULVANEY: I work in the Trump administration, and I have known from day one that there's folks who want to see this administration fail, that they look for opportunities to try and say, oh, look, they're not doing a great job.

Judge us by the actions, please. Judge us by what's happening on the island. Judge us by the men and the women who have worked tirelessly. I was on a show earlier today with Brock Long, whose team, I think, has been working 40 days straight now in the various storms, since Harvey hit Texas more than a month ago.

The outpouring of effort, the outpouring of work done by federal workers, by American citizens, by folks from all over the country -- there's folks from almost every state, I think, in Puerto Rico helping right now.

That's how we should measure the response to this storm, not by Mr. Erickson's comments.

TAPPER: Let me show you one last tweet from President Trump, and then we will get to tax reform.

He wrote -- quote -- "To the people of Puerto Rico, do not believe the #fakenews."

Director Mulvaney, as I'm sure you know, 95 percent of the people of Puerto Rico are without power, 89 percent have no cell service. So they're not seeing this news that the president is attacking.

But beyond that obvious disconnect, these stories that CNN is reporting on the ground in Puerto Rico, firsthand accounts from American citizens in dire need, without food, without water, without power, do you think these stories are fake?

MULVANEY: No, I -- what you all have done -- I have watched a lot of the coverage of showing what's happening on the ground -- is entirely accurate.

I think what you have not shown, however, is the federal effort that we have got in place down there, and the fact that the governor has been very complimentary of the administration.

Again, I think there's more than 70 mayors on the island of Puerto Rico, and yet you seem to spend a lot of attention on the one from San Juan.

So, I think that's where the president's pushback is. I don't know if there's been coverage, for example, that we have now made it to every single town. The search-and-rescue effort is over. We have made it to every single place on the island to make sure that folks are safe.

Yes, it is slow to get the power turned back on. And there's a variety of reasons for that, including the condition of those -- that infrastructure before the storm.

But the progress is there, and the effort is there. I think it's unfair to say that the president hasn't given it his very best effort, because he absolutely has.

TAPPER: President Trump unveiled his tax plan this week. He called it a miracle for the middle class.

Can you tell us, what percentage of the benefit goes to the people in the top 1 percent, people who make more than $730,000 a year? MULVANEY: No.

In fact, I don't think anybody can. And anybody who says they can is simply lying to you. Why is that? It's because the bill is not finished yet.

Keep in mind, what we introduced this week, Jake, was the framework, was sort of the basic agreement between the White House and House and Senate leadership.

What's missing from that -- and it's not being hidden -- it just doesn't exist yet -- are things like details on the deductions, details on the brackets. It is impossible to sit down and say, this will be the impact on this wage earner or this family at this particular time.

What assumptions are you going to make about the state and local tax deduction removal? What assumptions are you going to make about where the brackets are set? These are things that get done during the ordinary course of business in Congress, which I understand will start in the House this week.

Yes, there are folks who are vested or have a vested interest in saying it's going to be a giveaway to the rich or that it's a bad plan. Those are folks who probably wrote those press releases long before the framework was released.

So, I have seen the criticisms. And all I can tell you is that no one can make real detailed analysis of the plan yet, because it's not finished.

TAPPER: So, this is what President Trump said on Wednesday about the tax plan. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Our framework includes our explicit commitment that tax reform will protect low-income and middle-income households, not the wealthy and well-connected.

They can call me all they want. It's not going to help. I'm doing the right thing. And it's not good for me, believe me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: The wealthy and the well-connected are not going to benefit from this plan? Really?

MULVANEY: Actually, what you just saw, that's -- that's what I see in the Oval Office every single day.

What's driving this? There's two real red lines, if you want to use that type of language. There's two basic principles that the president is absolutely insisting on as this bill moves through the House. Number one, when it comes to the middle class, they will pay less, and

it will be easier for them to pay. I think one of the things that's been lost in this debate is that 90 percent of American families, not businesses, but families, pay someone else to do their taxes.

That's going to end with this plan. That's the primarily principle number one for the president.

Number two, that corporate rate has got to come down. The corporate rate has to be -- I think right now, the number is 20 percent. We were pushing for 15. We got some pushback from the House and Senate leadership. So, the 20 percent approval is on the table right now.

What does that do? That's the change that encourages businesses to come back from overseas. That's the change that encourages foreign businesses to set up shop here and have businesses invest in their workers again, so that productivity can get up and economic growth will return to the nation.

Those are the two primary principles. When you hear the president say, he doesn't really care what happens to the top 1 percent, that's real for him. This really is about the middle class and the corporate tax rate for the president.

TAPPER: All right, Director Mulvaney, as we get more details on the tax plan, I look forward to talking to you about them.

[09:10:05]

MULVANEY: Oh. Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: All right, thanks so much.

It's not just President Trump criticizing the San Juan mayor. The FEMA administrator says the mayor needs to be better plugged into what the agency is doing on the ground.

Senator Bernie Sanders is here, and he will weigh in next.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to CNN's STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

President Trump spent most of the week selling his new tax plan, calling it a miracle for the middle class, and suggesting the plan will garner bipartisan support in Congress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I truly believe that many Democrats want to support our plan, and with enough encouragement from the American people, they will find the courage to do what is right for our great country.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TAPPER: But progressive leaders, such as Senator Bernie Sanders, are slamming the proposal, calling it -- quote -- "morally repugnant."

Senator Sanders joins us now from his home state of Vermont.

Senator Sanders, I will get to taxes in just a minute, but first I want to ask you about Puerto Rico.

What did you make of President Trump tweeting that Puerto Ricans -- quote -- "want everything to be done for them"?

[09:15:07]

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: You know, speaking from his fancy golf club, playing golf with his billionaire friends, attacking the mayor of San Juan, who is struggling to bring electricity to the island, food to the island, water to the island, gas to the island, that is just -- it is unspeakable.

And I don't know what world Trump is living in.

People in Puerto Rico are suffering one of the worst disasters in the history of that island. We have got to do everything we can to help them. We all have got to remember the people of Puerto Rico are American citizens, entitled to the same help as the people of any other community in America.

TAPPER: Now, the White House denies it, but there are a lot of critics who say that race or ethnicity may be playing a factor here.

What do you think?

SANDERS: Well, look, given the president's history on race, given the fact that he, a few months ago, told us that there were good people on both sides when neo-Nazis were marching in Charlottesville, yes, I think we have a right to be suspect that he is treating the people of Puerto Rico in a different way than he has treated the people of Texas or Florida.

TAPPER: Let's turn to the president's tax plan.

The president wants to double the standard deduction, so that a married couple won't pay any taxes on the first $24,000 of income.

Is that a provision of the president's tax plan that you might be able to support?

SANDERS: It is.

But, overall -- I just listened to Mr. Mulvaney, who says that nobody can make an analysis long-term of what this tax proposal does.

He's wrong. The Tax Policy Institute has said that 80 percent, Jake, at the end of 10 years, 80 percent of the benefits will go to the top 1 percent. So, it's not just that they want to repeal the estate tax, which benefits only the top two-tenths of percent. Families like the Walton family or the Koch brothers family will receives tens and tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks.

For Trump to go on television that, oh, this doesn't benefit the wealthy is absolutely outrageous. Of course it benefits the wealthy. And of course it benefits large multinational corporations.

Right now, we are living in a moment of massive income and wealth inequality. The very, very rich are getting richer. Middle class is shrinking.

What this tax proposal does is not only give huge tax breaks to the wealthy and large corporations. It cuts Medicare by $450 billion.

Some listeners, some viewers may remember the Trump campaign: Oh, I'm not going to touch Medicare.

Forty hundred and fifty billion-dollar cut in Medicare, a trillion- dollar cut in Medicaid. This is the Robin Hood principle in reverse. Trump is taking from the middle class and working families in order to give huge tax breaks to the people on top.

It is unacceptable, and we're going to fight it as hard as we can.

TAPPER: The president and Mick Mulvaney, the budget director, say that the middle class will get a huge tax cut, that that's where the focus is going to be.

You would oppose that bill if there are also benefits to the wealthy as well? What's the cutoff point beyond which you think...

SANDERS: Well, there's no huge...

TAPPER: Yes. Go ahead.

SANDERS: It is possible that some people, you know, depending on the standard deduction, and depending on the Earned Income Tax Credit and how many children you have in your family, it is possible that some middle-class families may make some gains.

But when you have a nonpartisan group telling us that, at the end of 10 years, 80 percent of the benefits go to the tax -- the top 1 percent, when there are massive cuts in health care and in education and programs desperately needed by the working people of this country, no, the framework of this proposal is not something we can support.

The truth is, right now, that the wealthiest people in this country are doing phenomenally well, and it is time we ask them to start paying their fair share of taxes, not give them tax breaks in order to cut Medicaid, Medicare, and other important programs.

TAPPER: Senator Sanders, stick around.

We have much more to talk to you about, including a brand-new executive order on health care that President Trump says he's probably going to sign. Can Senator Sanders get behind that?

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:23:26]

TAPPER: Welcome back to CNN's STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

And we're back with independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Senator, let's turn to the president's ongoing feud with NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem.

Last night, President Trump tweeted -- quote -- "Very important that NFL players stand tomorrow and always for the playing of our national anthem, respect our flag and our country."

I want to show you a new poll from CNN. By a 49 percent to 43 percent margin, voters do think that NFL players are doing the wrong thing when they kneel during the national anthem.

You have urged the Democratic Party to go beyond identity politics. On this NFL issue, do you worry that Democratic leaders might be falling into some sort of a trap set by the president?

SANDERS: Well, you know, Jake, let's not worry about the politics of what's going on.

Let's talk about why players are doing what they're doing. And that is that we have a real crisis in criminal justice in this country. The United States of America has more people in jail than any other major country on Earth.

We have communities now where kids are being picked up for smoking marijuana, getting police records, which makes it difficult for them to get the jobs that they need.

So, I think what the players are talking about is the need for criminal justice reform, the need for police department reform. They have the right to make that point. And I appreciate their standing up for what they believe.

TAPPER: Let's turn to health care.

President Trump said he will probably sign an executive order next week allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines. The president says he believes that would lower costs.

[09:25:00]

Would you support this move?

SANDERS: No, I don't think I would. But, right now, what the president has got to do is to stop sabotaging

the Affordable Care Act. He has cut back on funding for navigators to help people get into the exchanges. He has cut back on advertising explaining to the people what their health care options are.

Look, Jake, I was really proud that we were able to do what the American people wanted in defeating the disastrous Republican proposal which would have thrown 30 million Americans off of the health insurance they currently have, 30 million Americans.

What we should be doing now, and what I would hope Trump would be doing, is, during the campaign, he talked about the high cost of prescription drugs. And he was right. The pharmaceutical industry is ripping off the American people. But since he has been elected, I haven't heard one word.

Let us lower the cost of prescription drugs in America. Let us also go forward short-term in making sure that people have a public option in every state in the country if they're not happy with what private insurance companies are providing them. A public option in many cases could be less expensive with comprehensive health care.

Long-term, in my view, we have got to join the rest of the industrialized world, guarantee health care to all people as a right, not a privilege, and end the absurdity of paying twice as much per capita as any other major country on Earth, while the insurance companies and the drug companies make huge profits.

That's where we have to go long-term.

TAPPER: Democratic Senator Bob Menendez is facing corruption charges in New Jersey.

I want to show you a new poll from Suffolk University, "USA Today." It finds that 84 percent of the people in New Jersey would want Menendez to resign if he's convicted.

Where do you come down on this? If Senator Menendez is convicted, should he resign immediately?

SANDERS: Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.

I think, in this country, people are entitled to due process. I'm not into speculating what -- if that will be Menendez's decision. He has not been convicted. Let the process take its course.

In America, that's what it's about. You have a trial, and people -- the jury makes its decision. They have not made their decision. So, I think it's a little bit premature to be talking about that.

TAPPER: Senator Sanders, always good to see you. Thanks for coming on. Appreciate it.

SANDERS: Thank you.

TAPPER: A new CNN poll shows that almost 90 percent of Republicans agree with President Trump over the players who protest the national anthem -- protest during the national anthem.

But there's one Republican who is defending the protests. And that's Governor Kasich of Ohio.

He joins me next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to CNN's STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

President Trump is spending his weekend at his golf resort in New Jersey, but he is still finding time to tweet about Puerto Rico, attacking the San Juan mayor who criticized the federal response.

Last weekend at this time, his tweets were more focused on the NFL. He was lashing at out at players who knelt during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

Late Saturday, the president issued a reminder to players ahead of today's games, tweeting, "Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country."

Joining me now to discuss this and much more is Republican Governor John Kasich of Ohio. Governor, always good to see you.

I want to start with the natural disaster in Puerto Rico and the federal response. President Trump took to Twitter this weekend, as I don't need to tell you and he attacked the mayor of San Juan, Mayor Yulin Cruz.

The president wrote -- quote -- "Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job."

What's your response, sir?

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: Well, it's not appropriate. I mean, when people are in the middle of a disaster, you don't start trying to criticize them.

I just -- I don't know what to say, Jake. It's just not the way that I think it ought to be handled. It's not the way that we handle disasters here.

I mean, they're challenging. I mean, you have to get it right. And we've watched people who are leaders, I think, Governor Scott down in Florida did a terrific job warning people.

You just don't get into who's bad or who's good, no matter what they say. You have to ignore it. You got to be bigger than the nonsense.

I talked to the governor of Puerto Rico last night and I told him, we'll do anything we can to help you. I mean, if you want troopers, if you want emergency management, if you want National Guard.

He said, we'll let you know as we work through the paperwork. I said, forget the paperwork, you know, tell us what the problem is and let us cut through the paperwork.

What's happening down there is just -- is just terrible. And maybe part of it is storm fatigue. People just kind of took their eye off the ball.

But everything has to be directed that way. These people, their lives are in danger and let's just get it all done.

And I think -- I think now we're doing better there. I think everybody's kind of working (INAUDIBLE) there. But when you get behind the curve on a natural disaster, you get behind the curve, you just play catch-up all the way and it never works out the way you want it to.

TAPPER: You said this week that you didn't like the way President Trump injected himself into the affairs of the NFL.

The first game of the day is happening in London. We have video. We see players taking a knee before the anthem, and then standing for the anthem.

I want to show you a new poll from CNN. Nationwide, it found that 87 percent of Republicans think that NFL players are doing the wrong thing when they kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

Is it possible that President Trump is more in touch with the Republican Party voters than you are?

KASICH: Well, Jake, look, here's the thing.

I'm (ph) like (ph) -- I was raised in a blue collared Democrat family. My dad was a Democrat all his life. My mother switched later in her life, but there's something about, you know, being raised that way.

We love the flag. We love the anthem, and you know, we respect it.

[09:35:01]

And -- but we also respect the right for people to protest. Look, there's so many big issues out there right now.

Whether it's health care and our ability to stabilize the markets. Now we're talking about tax reform and trying to get better economic growth and boost wages for workers. That's where my attention is right now.

I'm not really spending much time looking at people's tweets. They're just not that important to me.

TAPPER: Let's turn to the Alabama Senate race, where Luther Strange, the Republican backed by Mitch McConnell and the incumbent senator was defeated by Judge Roy Moore, a conservative who had the backing of Steve Bannon, President Trump's former chief strategist.

Following Judge Moore's victory in the primary, Bannon said -- quote -- "The populist, nationalist movement proved in Alabama that a candidate with the right ideas and a grassroots organization can win big. Now our focus is on recruiting candidates to take over the Republican Party" -- unquote.

Does Judge Roy Moore represent the future of the Republican Party?

KASICH: I certainly hope not. I mean, we have to look at his whole record and a number of the things that he said.

But, look, Jake, there is a struggle for the soul of the Republican Party and the soul of the Democratic Party. We spend a lot of time talking about, you know, all the trouble in the Republican Party. I have no idea what the Democrats are for.

It is unbelievable. Which is why polls are now beginning to show a support for independent candidacies, more than ever in our history. People are getting fed up with all of this kind of nonsense.

And for me, what I'm trying to do is struggle for the soul of the Republican Party, the way that I see it. And I have a right to define it, but I'm not going to support people who are dividers, or people who -- look, I don't want to get into all of the wild accusations that this guy has made.

You can talk about them yourself. But what I can tell you is these parties have got to get their act together and they've got to be focused on giving people who are middle and lower-income folks a real chance at prosperity.

Prosperity cannot just affect the wealthy, the top. It's got to be able to reach all the way to the middle class and lower class. And it just seems as though the parties don't understand it or they don't have a plan for it.

And they need to do it, whether it's tax reform, whether it's thinking about this incredible growth in contractor employees. You know, people working two, three jobs. They have no 401(k) matches from these companies.

I mean, people are stuck. I read an article the other day saying that, if you work for a fast food place, there has been some kind of an agreement, allegedly an agreement among the companies that you can't recruit each other's workers. People are stuck and this is really a problem.

And with the changes coming in this economy, we better get workforce, we better train people and give them skills so they can have hope and decent wages.

TAPPER: So I get that you're not going to support Judge Moore, but he believes that homosexual acts should be illegal.

He questions where Barack Obama was born. He's written that Keith Ellison, the congressman from Minnesota, should not be allowed to serve in congress, because Ellison is a Muslim.

What role do you think the Republican Party should play when it comes to Roy Moore's campaign?

KASICH: Well, look, I don't run the party.

I can tell you for me, I don't support that. I couldn't vote for that. I don't know what the heck I would have to do, but I don't live in that state.

I mean, those claims are -- I mean, they're ludicrous and they're divisive. And if that's where we're headed then -- well, first of all, we can't -- remember, I wrote that book and -- "America united or divided, you know, two paths. I'm on the path to say we can fix it.

Look, Jake, you can understand the state of American politics today. It's in the Democratic Party. It is a tax from the left in the Republican Party, it's a tax from the right.

Now, here's the question, is the tail wagging the dog or is that the dog? I'm certainly fighting to make sure that it's the tail wagging the dog and the party can be fixed.

If the party can't be fixed, Jake, then I'm not going to be able to support the party, period, that's the end of it. I mean, I'm worried about our country and my kids' future. I am worried.

But have I given up? Of course not. We're doing fine here in the state of Ohio.

There are many great leaders in the Republican Party, Brian Sandoval is one that comes to mind right away. Reasonable, smart, creative, successful. That's what we need to put out there.

TAPPER: What do you mean you're going to give up on -- what do you mean you're going to give up on the party? Are you talking about possibly becoming an independent if the Republican Party continues to --

KASICH: No, not at this. What I'm saying to you is, we need to fix it.

If our party -- if the Republican Party is going to be anti- immigration, if it's not going to be worried about debt, if it's going to be -- if it's going to be anti-trade, this is not where our party can be.

So I'm going to fight like everything I have to make sure -- it's why I'm on these shows because I want this party to be straightened out. But I not only want the party to be straightened out I want the country to be straightened out.

And so it's really a battle again inside of both parties, but people are beginning to say, I don't like either of them. And that says something big. So hopefully our party leaders will pay attention to this. TAPPER: Sounds like some follow-up questions on a future show about your future with the Republican Party.

(LAUGHTER)

[09:40:04]

TAPPER: Governor, I got to go there. I got to go.

Thank you so much for joining us, as always. Enjoy this beautiful Sunday in Ohio.

KASICH: Always good to be with you, Jake. Hey, Ohio. Isn't it beautiful?

TAPPER: Very gorgeous.

KASICH: Look behind me -- yes.

TAPPER: Gorgeous.

KASICH: It's a beautiful state.

TAPPER: Thank you, Governor.

KASICH: All right. God bless.

TAPPER: Democrats quick to pounce on President Trump's tweets about Puerto Rico.. One senator is saying the president is sitting on his -- quote -- "Opulent golf resort as he attacks first responders." That story, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR CARMEN YULIN CRUZ (D), SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: We are dying. And you are killing us with the inefficiency.

I am done being polite. I am done being politically correct. I am mad as hell.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[09:45:00]

TAPPER: That was San Juan mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz, Puerto Rico -- of San Juan, Puerto Rico, begging for help. How did President Trump respond?

He had a series of tweets -- quote -- "Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job" -- unquote. Let's pause it, before we begin the discussion. There are a number of federal workers on the island of Puerto Rico working very hard and doing everything they can and any criticism of how the response has not been able to get to different pockets is not meant as a criticism of their efforts. But there have been issues with the recovery and relief.

Ana, I'm eager to hear your thoughts on the president's tweets.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think the tweets are unconscionable. I think they are unacceptable and I think there's no justifying them.

These people are in great distress. What the mayor of San Juan is doing is voicing the frustration, the anger, the desperation of the people of Puerto Rico. You go anywhere here in the United States, at least I do, and I get stopped by Puerto Ricans, telling me that still today, they have not heard from their family in Puerto Rico.

People are desperate. I'm from Florida. I think the federal government, I think FEMA, I think Donald Trump, I think my governor, Rick Scott, did a great job preparing us.

They were slow. They were inadequate. It was inappropriate when it came to Puerto Rico.

This is an island where people cannot evacuate. They were in terrible distress to begin with. They needed more.

They should not have taken days and days for the USS (ph) Comfort to make its way there. It should not have taken a public campaign for the Jones Act to be reversed so that shipping could go there. So there's been so many things.

The president of the United States should not have been tweeting about the NFL. He should not have been doing useless political rallies in Alabama. He should have been laser focused on the 3.5 million American citizens that are in peril, in distress and in such great danger right now.

TAPPER: To be fair, he didn't think the rally in Alabama was going to be useless, but it turned out that it was -- but that's another --

(LAUGHTER)

NAVARRO: You know what? Even if it wasn't going to be useless --

TAPPER: That's another story.

NAVARRO: -- that's not what you should be doing when you have 3.5 million of your citizens in danger.

TAPPER: Michael, I'm sure you disagree with Ana?

MICHAEL CAPUTO, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER, DONALD J. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT: I do, of course. I mean, just like FEMA Director Brock Long said, you need unity of command in these kinds of situations. And instead of becoming part of that unity, the mayor, who represents 12 percent of the people of Puerto Rico, decided to take partisan shots at the president.

There were 3,500 federal workers on the ground in Puerto Rico, before it started. There are 10,000 now, there are going to be thousands and thousands of combat engineers down there.

They've cleared out half the highways that are now open. Half the -- half of Puerto Rico now has water and it has access to water. Half of the grocery stores are open again.

Things are happening as fast as they can. The problem isn't, like you said, the Jones Act. That -- you know, people were talking about that a lot.

The supplies are all there. The Jones Act wasn't the problem. The problem is you can't get through to the people, especially in the mountainous region, because really, it's really -- it's destroyed.

TAPPER: Yes, the roads are really --

CAPUTO: I mean, profoundly destroyed.

I think it's unfair. I think it's political to criticize the president and FEMA at this point.

NAVARRO: But, you know, you talk about unity. Unity of command.

Look, the president of the United States is the biggest fish in this structure, right? You've got the biggest bully pulpit of all.

And if he wants unity of command, if he thinks he's being maligned by the mayor of San Juan, he's got to shut up. And the reason he's got to shut up is because he is in a gold, inlaid golf course right now while she is wading through water up to her chest.

And so if nothing else, the optics look terrible.

CAPUTO: I understand that, but you know, the Republicans learned from Katrina that shutting up is -- it doesn't work. And we're still blaming "Brownie" for the ravages of nature, today.

NAVARRO: And we should have been. And what George W. Bush did was with great humility admit and acknowledged that the response has not been adequate and has worked every day of his life (INAUDIBLE) to try to make it up --

TAPPER: I want to bring in the Democrats on our panel. Congresswoman?

REP. STEPHANIE MURPHY (D), FLORIDA: Well -- so I worked on the DOD task force response to the 2004 tsunami in South Asia. And I will tell you that, no matter how fast and how adequate this administration thinks their response in a disaster is, it's never enough for people who are suffering.

And I listened to my constituents who have been able to connect with their family. And the scene that they're painting for me of what's going on the island is just unimaginable.

And we really need to focus, instead of on a twitter -- feed -- feud, we need to focus on getting all of the capabilities that I know we have as a U.S. government deployed as rapidly as possible to help Puerto Rico.

TAPPER: Bakari?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, I agree with Ana on this. And I think that the president should have been laser focused on helping.

I mean, we know that from the 22nd through the 25th he didn't receive any updates. He didn't receive any debriefings on this issue and the White House refuses to talk about it.

TAPPER: This is according to "The Washington Post." They dispute that but --

CAPUTO: That's a leak. Another leak.

SELLERS: Well, it doesn't matter.

CAPUTO: It does to me.

SELLERS: Leaking is not the problem.

[09:50:00]

It's actually the behavior that's the problem. But even more importantly, this is not a partisan issue. This is not a Democrat versus Republican issue, what happens is you have the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico who is -- she said wading through water. She is just voicing that outrage. She is just voicing that frustration. But this isn't new for the president either.

I mean, there is a direct correlation between what he said coming down the escalator in Trump Tower to the Judge Curiel, to, you know, Sheriff Arpaio, to Charlottesville, to this trope that somehow Puerto Ricans are lazy.

I mean, we have -- this is nothing new and I think that people need to take a step back and understand that this is who the president is. There is nothing new about this president and nothing he says or tweets should surprise us.

TAPPER: He didn't use the word lazy. What he said was -- and I quoted this, the mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.

But how do you interpret that? Because there are a lot of people who are interpreting it as a racial trope and certainly -- CAPUTO: Understood. I mean, the people want to interpret it as a racial trope. Well, I mean, the fact of the matter was I believe the president was criticizing the civil authorities in Puerto Rico.

I mean, if you think that the president is being racist in his commentary about Puerto Rico, I think, it's interesting to note that, you know, 85 percent of U.S. Virgin Islands are people of color, nonwhite, and yet the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, who's not a Republican, not a Democrat, is lauding the federal government's response to the hurricane.

This is a partisan attack.

TAPPER: They weren't hit as bad as Puerto Rico.

CAPUTO: Understood. Understood. But this --

(CROSSTALK)

NAVARRO: Such a -- such a -- it takes such an unspeakable level of gall for Donald Trump to say that the people of Puerto Rico want everything done for them.

(CROSSTALK)

NAVARRO: This is a guy who dodged the draft, and other people (INAUDIBLE) --

SELLERS: But let me --

(CROSSTALK)

NAVARRO: This is a guy who's had his property taken out-bankruptcy by other people including the people of Puerto Rico. This is a guy who's sitting in a -- in a fancy golf course while people in Puerto Rico are dying and he's going the say from that perch that the people of Puerto Rico, who we see making lines all day to get a little food, to get a little water, to get a little ice want everything done for them?

TAPPER: Congresswoman, how do you interpret his remarks?

MURPHY: You know, I think that the way Puerto Rico is being handled underscores an impression that people on the island already have, is that they're treated unfairly even though they're American citizens. When they --

TAPPER: Long before President Trump.

MURPHY: Yes.

And so I think it's important for us to ensure that they get all of the same disaster relief that we delivered to Florida and to Texas and to any other state here on the mainland because we have to make sure that they understand we know that they're American citizens and they're our brothers and sisters who are suffering right now.

We just need to focus on that as opposed to the political infighting.

SELLERS: I mean, I just want to be clear. I think that the president's actions not only here but throughout his entire life show that there is an animus towards people of color and poor people. And I think that -- I mean, if you want to be blunt, I know that Sunday morning shows are where we have nuance and we come in with hot topics and we talk circles around each other --

NAVARRO: I'm (INAUDIBLE).

SELLERS: Yes, I think (INAUDIBLE) but the fact is -- I mean, I'm not going to channel Kanye West when he was talking about George W. Bush, but there are a great many people, and now Puerto Ricans, if they didn't feel it before, they definitely feel it now, that there is -- there is a disdain and animus that come from the leader --

TAPPER: I'll give you the last word on this.

CAPUTO: Of course that's not true. That's not true at all.

I mean, Donald Trump has -- you know, has a record of --

(CROSSTALK)

CAPUTO: No, that's not even funny. That's not even funny.

I mean, the fact of the matter is this is a partisan attack. Among Trump activists and Republican activists they're calling it operation Katrina. They're trying to turn this whole thing into a Katrina response.

The fact of the matter is he did well in Houston. He did well in Florida and they're doing everything they can in a profoundly destroyed Puerto Rico -- and in the end they'll be proven correct.

TAPPER: All right. That's all the time we have. Thanks one and all for being here.

CAPUTO: Thank you.

TAPPER: Pushing -- "Playboy" pushing politics. Donald Trump has a long history with the racy publication and he's not the only president who has had a relationship with "Playboy" and that's the subject of this week's "State of the Cartoonion" coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:58:29]

TAPPER: Welcome back.

This week, Hugh Hefner passed away at the age of 91 leaving behind a long legacy of controversy, first amendment activism and a long history with presidential politics, including with President Trump. And that's the subject of this week's "State of the Cartoonion."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER (voice-over): Sure, Hugh Hefner spent most of his life publishing a magazine filled with photographs of naked women.

HUGH HEFNER, "PLAYBOY" FOUNDER: Women are sex objects.

TAPPER: But another part of his legacy is pushing politics on the pages of "Playboy" with some very significant interviews. From a jaw- dropping interview with prim and proper presidential candidate Jimmy Carter.

GOV. JIMMY CARTER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want the people of this country to know my character, my strengths and my weaknesses.

TAPPER: In which the candidate in 1976 admitted to lusting over other women and committing adultery in his heart.

Another notable interview, former Vice President Dick Cheney.

DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When I was arrested for the second time I was very sober.

TAPPER: Opening up about his wild youth and time in jail.

But of course the politician with the most extensive relationship with "Playboy" is obviously our current president, Donald Trump.

TRUMP: That was on the cover of "Playboy" and it was one of the few men in the history of "Playboy" to be on the cover.

TAPPER: President Trump bragged about having graced the cover in 1990. He appeared in a soft core "Playboy" skin flick and he spent plenty of time at the fabled "Playboy" mansion.

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Have you ever dated a playmate?

TRUMP: I refuse to answer that question.

MOOS: On the grounds that it may be true?

TRUMP: It may be true.

TAPPER: None of this should be much of a surprise given their shared attitude towards women.

[10:00:00]

TRUMP: I'm so controversial, I love beautiful women, I love going out with beautiful women and I love women in general. And people would say, oh, that's a horrible thing.

TAPPER: Let's just say he didn't read it for the articles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: Thanks for spending your Sunday morning with us. "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" starts right now.