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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Clinton V.P. Pick Expected Today; FOX News Future Questioned after Roger Ailes Resignation; Trump Goes After Ted Cruz, Brings Up JFK Conspiracy. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired July 22, 2016 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST & CNN HOST, THE DAVID GREGORY SHOW PODCAST: What they're thinking about, and certainly Reince Priebus is thinking about, how does he take what he did last night and expand his support? I think he really played to his core support last night. Did he expand it? We'll find out I think in some of the polling coming out.
David Gregory, Joseph Boreli, Christine Quinn, Brian Stelter --
CHRISTINE QUINN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think this convention did --
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: -- thank you so much.
QUINN: -- anything to open him up --
BERMAN: Christine, you got a week, next week --
BERMAN -- all week next week, Christine Quinn and Hillary Clinton --
BERMAN: I understand. I understand.
BERMAN: We're coming back. We'll talk to you in a little bit.
Up next, we're going to talk about Hillary Clinton because she has a big announcement today. We expect to hear her vice presidential selection any minute. It's going to come to a text message near you. Is it one of these people, Cory Booker, Tim Kaine, Tom Vilsack or none of the above?
[11:35:01] BERMAN: As the drama ends here in Cleveland or doesn't end, frankly, as the case may be, the Hillary Clinton intrigue is just beginning. Any minute now she's expected to announce her running mate by text message in advance of the Democratic convention next week in Philadelphia. She is on the campaign trail, crisscrossing Florida starting today.
Joining me from her first campaign stop in Orlando, Joe Johns.
Joe, what are we expecting?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, certainly an attempt here to build at least a little bit of anticipation in order to try to take the spotlight away from the end of the Republican convention. The leading contender we're told from Democratic sources including some in the Democratic leadership is Tim Kaine, the Senator from Virginia, also a former governor of that state, which will be critical in the November election. He's a former chair of the Democratic National Committee. He's also been vetted for this job before by then Senator Barack Obama in '08 before he decided on Joe Biden. Among the others mentioned in the very top tier, that would be secretary, currently, under President Obama, who is also a former governor of Ohio, very close with both bill and Hillary Clinton. The hope would be that he would be able to bring in small town America to vote for that ticket. A lot of questions remain of course. We did get to see the Senator from Virginia, Kaine, earlier today, a brief video by our crew that was staking him out. Doesn't seem like he has a heavy schedule at all today. Plenty of room to do something with Tom Vilsack, a little busier out in St. Louis attending an event. Another name that's been mentioned of course much more over the last several days, Cory Booker, Senator from New Jersey, and we have him staked out as well too. So all eyes on these folks. Hillary Clinton expected to show up here in early afternoon to talk about the mass shooting at the pulse nightclub here in Orlando.
Back to you.
BERMAN: All right, Joe Johns in Florida. I like it very much, Joe.
Essentially, Tim Kaine leaving enough room in his calendar to be picked as a running mate today if it comes up.
Let's bring back our panel, David Gregory, Christine Quinn is with us. And John Phillips, radio talk show host, CNN political commentator.
Great to have you all here.
David Gregory, you have done a podcast recently with Tim Kaine, who right now is the Senator from Virginia, but might want another job or be looking for another job in the next hour or two.
GREGORY: There's a lot of reasons why he's getting so much attention. He was among the finalists for President Obama back in 2008. Obviously didn't get that nod. He's never lost an election. Virginia governor, Virginia Senator, speaks fluent Spanish. He's a person of deep faith. I think he also helps Hillary Clinton double down on something that's important to her, which is to project a steady picture of leadership in a turbulent world. I think she really wants to draw that contrast with Donald Trump in terms of qualifications for governing and just something that's a little bit more extremist. He can also go out and campaign in all those places where Trump is going to be trying to pick off more work class voters. I think they've done that together. We never forget you pick a vice president based on who you can work with and serve with well in an administration.
BERMAN: Christine Quinn, if there is a knock against Tim Kaine in this whole selection process, some of it comes from the left. Progressives would look at Tim Kaine, say, he is not what we want the future of this party to be, the Bernie Sanders future of pay. Do you think it could ruffle some feathers on that end?
QUINN: Absolutely not. I think if the secretary picks Tim Kaine, I think people are going to rally around that choice. As David said, I believe it really shows a message about a team, either one obviously if it's the vice president we're talking about ready to take over at any moment and be the juxtaposition to what we saw Donald Trump and his campaign here in Cleveland. The other important issue, just to remind folks of a really important issue for Senator Sanders and his supporters was what was in the platform. Uniformly, Sanders and supporters feel respected and included in how that platform moved forward. I think you're going to see a convention in Philly next week that is united and focused and energized to move forward and win.
BERMAN: John Phillips, Donald Trump supporter, do you see any one of the people on the short list here, whether it be Tim Kaine or Vilsack or Booker, any one of them you see as tough to run against as a Trump supporter?
[11:40:07] JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't. I think if she could nominate a carton of ice cream, she would. She wants to make this election about Donald Trump, his personality. She doesn't want anyone that's going to rock the boat. She doesn't want Elizabeth Warren. She doesn't want sander, which is why he wasn't vetted. That may cause a problem with Bernie Sanders people if you get someone like a purple state like Tim Kaine. When he cut his teeth through the state and political scene there, that was a red state. So I'm sure he's taking some interesting positions the Bernie folks won't like. It's a wild card still.
GREGORY: He's got that support from Elizabeth Warren. Rather, she does, she has that support from Warren. Think that helps her among progressives. One of the areas where, again, she can go in a different direction and do something that's a little safer choice, especially since Trump has picked Governor Pence.
BERMAN: David Gregory, John Phillips, Christine Quinn, thanks so much.
We've been here in Cleveland all week. Next week, we will be in Philadelphia. The Democratic National Convention will be there. CNN special coverage of the Democratic National Convention, it starts Monday. There's going to be stuff starting Sunday, all day Monday. I'll be on the air at 3:00 a.m. Monday. That's when the coverage starts.
Any moment now, President Obama will host a joint news conference it one of Donald Trump's most vocal critics, the president of Mexico. He has compared Donald Trump to Hitler. What will he say today? What will President Obama say, most importantly, to Donald Trump's comment about the state of the nation? We will bring that to you live.
Plus, Roger Ailes, the powerful former head of FOX News, he's out in the wake of a sexual harassment lawsuit. What does his future hold? Could there be connects to the Trump campaign?
[11:46:22] BERMAN: Major questions this morning about the future of FOX News after its founder and CEO, Roger Ailes, one of the most powerful people in media, he resigned. His exit followed the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him and backed up by several other women.
CNN senior media correspondent and host of "Reliable Sources," Brian Stelter joins us now.
Brian, this is a huge moment.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT & CNN HOST, RELIABLE SOURCES: It sure is. I had a senior executive say the won of FOX News spoke and the Murdochs listened. Two weeks ago when ex-anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit claiming that Ailes had retaliated against her and fired her for refusing his sexual advances, other women came forward, speaking to a law firm conducting a review of Carlson's allegations. We know Megyn Kelly was among the women who spoke and said she had been sexually harassed by Ailes about a decade ago. What this suggest, what this picture we're painting here I suppose is of a series of behaviors throughout a course of decades. Ailes is denying the allegations. I talked to a lot of people at FOX who don't believe it. Who can't believe that Roger aims was doing something like this. But the number of women was significant enough that the Murdochs, who own FOX, decided they had no choice but to remove him. His office was packed up. He was escorted out of the building. He wasn't allowed to say good-bye to the staff. There's questions about what he'll do next and what could happen maybe with him and Donald Trump. So there's a lot of curiosity now about the future for him and FOX News.
BERMAN: He said two things that are fascinating. First of all, Rupert Murdoch is going to run FOX News, and what's the future for him now?
STELTER: There's curiosity about how they're going to feud perhaps. They're not allowed legally to attack each other but there's animosity here. Clearly Ailes is a fallen giant. He may want to get revenge. I had one say to me this morning, when Roger gets knocked down, he wants to swing right back. W's he going to do that? Maybe Ailes will go to Donald Trump's campaign. Donald Trump and Roger Ailes are old friends. They've been in touch for decades. They talk on the phone all the time. Roger Ailes could help the Trump campaign if he wanted to be an informal adviser or maybe even be a formal strategist. That's definitely being talked about both on the Trump campaign side and among Ailes allies. We don't know for sure because he has not had any comment. Basically we're in the dark about what Ailes is going to do. There is tremendous curiosity. He's one of the most powerful men in media. Two weeks ago, no one thought this could ever happen, that he would lose his job over sexual harassment allegations.
BERMAN: Brian Stelter, thank you. We'll see you in Philadelphia.
Let's talk about the running for president saga. Donald Trump just finishing up his convention here in Cleveland, going out with a bang, attacking Ted Cruz again.
Let's bring back our CNN political commentators. Matt Lewis is senior contributor to "The Daily Caller." John Phillips, talk radio host for KABC and Trump supporter; and Bakari Sellers, former South Carolina state representative and Hillary Clinton supporter; Matt Lewis, conservative commentator.
Let me play for you what Trump rehashed about Ted Cruz and his father, Rafael Cruz.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:50:08] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: They have a picture, an old picture, having breakfast with Lee Harvey Oswald. I'm not saying anything. They said --- and here's how the press takes that story. This had nothing to do with me, except I might have pointed it out, but it had nothing to do with me. I have no control over anything. I might have pointed it out. But they never denied. Did anybody ever deny it was the father? They weren't saying, that isn't really my father. It's a little hard to do. It looks like him. So here's the story. The press takes that, and they say, Donald Trump and his conspiracy theories, he went out and said his father was with Lee Harvey Oswald, and he assassinated the president. What did I do?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right. Matt Lewis, Donald Trump, you know, bringing up ghosts of primaries past.
MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's just amazing. There's a maxim in politics, don't get mad, don't get even, get ahead. Donald Trump becomes president, there could be lots of retribution of what Ted Cruz said this weekend at the convention. Why not focus on Hillary Clinton. It is not a campaign reacting strategically. It is a candidate who is reacting emotionally. So far, you know, it worked for him in the Republican primary, but this is not how you win a general election.
BERMAN: They went into last night obviously with an idea of how they did want to win that general election. Donald Trump, in his speech, he gave a vision of America, John Phillips, that a lot of people said is dark. He did it right from the beginning of the speech. Let's listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police and the terrorism of our cities threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So, John Phillips, this was advisedly not a shining city on a hill. This is not morning in America.
PHILLIPS: What you saw last night is exactly what he's been saying all through the campaign, and just wasn't delivered with the poetry we're used to that we saw earlier today. Part of the reason why so many of us watch Donald Trump and we see it and don't think anything of it, it's humorous, engaging. Donald Trump is never boring. He didn't give us a spoonful of sugar last night. He gave it today, when he was also going after his enemies and having his Festivus Day of reckoning.
BERMAN: Bakari Sellers, for all the talk this morning and last night by the commentators, people did not find it to be dark. They said they found Donald Trump to be talking about them and their concerns. Is this something that maybe some critics are making too much of?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I think Donald Trump was speaking to the room. I think the gentleman who spoke this is not how you win a general election. Donald Trump's speech last night was nationalism at its worst. It invoked fear throughout the country. He's preying on people's fears. Last night when you talk about Brown peopled Muslims, African-Americans, and when you talk about Hispanics, he did not have one good thing to say about those groups of people. And what we're seeing is xenophobia during his campaign. I think people were surprised by the discipline in which Donald Trump spoke. There was no new note. I was struck by the fact that for this entire one year and one month, Donald Trump again gave a speech with no substance. He said on January 20th, 2017, there will be law and order. My question to Donald Trump and any of his supporters is, how?
BERMAN: Interesting. The focus group I did also a lot of the people said, yes, Donald Trump is pointing out the problems. But the one thing he doesn't talk about is the how, and they missed that.
Matt Lewis, I want to know, what's this campaign going to be like in a week and a half? Based on what we saw last night, based on what we just saw with Donald Trump, based on what we might see next week with Hillary Clinton, where are we going to be in eight days?
LEWIS: The same place we saw three months ago. It's not really changing. Hillary Clinton has sort of gone radio silent this week, while Republicans have their nomination contest. I guess she thought it was smart, let them have the dumpster fires as it turned out to be. Keep a low profile. What if Donald Trump decides to counterprogram? What would the
networks do if he decides to hold one of these press conferences, you know, while things are happening in Philadelphia? I don't think that there's never going to be a pivot. There's never going to be Donald Trump is now settling down. Mike Pence has to stand there today with that grin on his face and listen to him talk about Rafael Cruz and JFK conspiracy. If picking Mike Pence doesn't change the tone, I don't think anything else is going to do it.
[11:55:13] BERMAN: John Phillips, quick last words. Do you go after Ted Cruz if you're already the Republican nominee?
PHILLIPS: If your them is you're the guy of law and order, the guy that's going to stand up to the bullies, then going after your enemies is something the voters, I think, will forgive you for.
BERMAN: Giving Ted Cruz some of that law and order.
Matt Lewis, John Phillips, Bakari Sellers, thank you all so much.
Live pictures from the White House. Any minute now, President Obama will host a joint news conference for the president of Mexico. What's going to be fascinating here is to hear how President Obama reacts to Donald Trump's acceptance speech last night, where Donald Trump painted a very different picture of America than President Obama sees. How will he address that?
We'll be right back.
[11:59:51] JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to the special edition of "Inside Politics." I'm John King. Thanks for sharing your day with us.
Wow, what a busy and bizarre day it is already. First to busy, the president of the United States, Barack Obama, meeting with the president of Mexico at the moment. Some in the White House say this is a coincidence? I think not. Donald Trump stressing immigration, building a wall last night at the Republican convention. The news conference will be coming to us shortly from the White House. We'll take you there.
Now, the bizarre --