'This Week' Transcript: Donald Trump

ByABC News
August 9, 2015, 9:47 AM


ANNOUNCER: Starting right now on ABC’s THIS WEEK, show time. Donald Trump eclipsing everyone at the GOP debate. Was his first faceoff with opponents, a major game-changer for the 2016 race.

Plus, Trump’s new troubles. Dis-invited from an important conservative event for slamming this news anchor.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you would see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her – wherever.


ANNOUNCER: He’s responding here, live.

And, who stepped out of Trump’s huge shadow? We go one-on-one with the other GOP contenders. Can they steal back the spotlight.

Plus, end of an era. Jon Stewart bids farewell to “The Daily Show.” Can anyone fill his shoes?

From ABC News, THIS WEEK with George Stephanopoulos begins now.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC ANCHOR: Love him or not, Donald Trump dominating the race for president right now, trying a record shattering 24 million viewers at this week’s first debate, drowning out his rivals and now a brand new firestorm. Fellow candidates calling Trump out for his latest attack on Megyn Kelly. Top GOP strategists say this will pop the Trump bubble, but those predictions have been proven wrong before. Donald Trump standing by live to take on his critics after this report from Jon Karl.


JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Has Trump finally gone too far? The latest, this insult directed at Fox News host and debate moderator Megyn Kelly.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her – wherever.

KARL: For the conservative group Red State, it was enough to boot the billionaire from their candidate gathering on Saturday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don’t want my daughter in the room with Donald Trump.

KARL: And from Jeb Bush.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Come on. Give me a break. I mean are we – do we want to win? Mr. Trump ought to apologize.

KARL: Trump later tweeted he meant to say nose. In response to his cancellation, Trump’s team called Red State editor-in-chief Erick Erickson, “a total loser who has a history of supporting establishment losers. It is an honor to be uninvited.”

So, with Trump at war with both Fox News and a prominent conservative group, one of the biggest questions this morning, is he really a Republican. At Thursday’s debate, he drew jeers after he refused to rule out an independent run. And Trump’s liberal past is coming under fire, including his support for a single payer health care system and his coziness with the Clintons.

CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I didn’t get a phone call from Bill Clinton before I jumped in the race.

KARL: Another question, will Trump fade. Some of his opponents are now turning up the heat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He’s already hedging his bets because he’s used to buying politicians.

KARL: But Trump isn’t turning down the bombast that launched him to the top of the polls.

TRUMP: Our leaders are stupid. Our politicians are stupid.

KARL: Finally, can anyone step out of Trump’s shadow? The two men flanking Trump on the debate stage, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, did little to stand out. The two who may have helped themselves most, Senator Marco Rubio

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I mean how is Hillary Clinton going to lecture me about living paycheck to paycheck. I was raised paycheck to paycheck.

KARL: And Ohio Governor John Kasich, who portrayed himself as an experienced, optimistic alternative to Trump.

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And for people that want to just tune him out, they’re making a mistake. Now, he’s got his solutions. Some of us have other solutions.

KARL: Whatever happens, with Trump in the rant, more people are now paying attention to this campaign than anybody could have guessed.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks to Jon Karl for that.

And the man drawing all that attention joins us now, Donald Trump, on the phone.

Good morning, Mr. Trump. Thank you for joining us.

So you're hearing the rivals stepping up the rhetoric. Jeb Bush says you should apologize. Carly Fiorina had this Tweet. "Mr. Trump, there is no excuse." Scott Walker agrees.

What's your response?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I'll start off by saying Jeb Bush, on women's health issues, just destroyed his relationship with women, what he said a couple of days ago, if you want to really get down to the important stuff, because what he said about women and women's health issues was ridiculous. And I'm the exact opposite.

And I've always had a great relationship to the women. The relationship has been amazing in terms of thousands of employees, top level employees. And, you know, George, I was one of the first people in the construction industry to put women in charge of major construction projects and my relationship has been great.

Carly Fiorina, you know, she's having a lot of fun, but she doesn't discuss the fact that her tenure the Hewlett Packard was a disaster. She then run for the Senate, which nobody even talks about, and she lost in a landslide. And other than that, I wish her well. She's a very nice person.


TRUMP: But, you know...

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- so no apologies to Megyn Kelly?

You don't think you said -- you -- you don't think you crossed the line there?

TRUMP: No, not at all. I said -- look, she asked me a very nasty question. I have nothing against Megyn Kelly, but she asked me a very, very nasty question. And in the middle of her questioning, I brought up a statement, Rosie O'Donnell, and the entire place, it was the biggest combination of laughter and applause. The place went crazy. Interrupted her question. It -- it obviously shook her up a little bit.

But she was very angry, you could see it. And I made the statement blood was falling from her eyes. And then I said blood was flowing from wherever. That -- and I just -- when I said that, I wanted to just get onto the -- I didn't say anything...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you did misspeak...

TRUMP: -- I was (INAUDIBLE)...


TRUMP: Excuse me, George. I was referring to nose, ears. They're very common statements. And only a deviant would think of what people said. Some people said only a deviant would even think that.

Who would ever think that...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I mean it...

TRUMP: -- George?

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- it was widely seen as that. But I mean you did say (INAUDIBLE)...

TRUMP: No, they built that up, George. They built it up. But only a -- and like literally a sick person would think that. And the only reason I even stopped my thought -- I didn't even say anything, because I stopped because I wanted to get onto the next subject, which I think was jobs, which was much more important to me. But I wanted to get on so I stopped, rather than saying nose or ears, because that's a very common coming from eyes, nose, ears. That's -- these are very common.

And what it means is that a person is angry, very angry. She was very angry. And I was going to say it but I didn't...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you've now explained it...

TRUMP: -- I didn't want to finish the statement and I stopped the statement short. (INAUDIBLE)...

STEPHANOPOULOS: You've explained what you meant...


STEPHANOPOULOS: You've explained what you meant to say, but that is not what you said. And many people took it another way.

But I do want to get into this -- your relationship with (INAUDIBLE)...

TRUMP: They should not have taken it -- George, they should not have taken it another way. They should not have.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You mentioned all the women you have hired in your businesses, but, you know, those -- those comments that Megyn Kelly talked about did check out. We went back and looked at them. And there was also this from your best-seller, "The Art of the Comeback."

You wrote that, "Women have one of the great acts of all times. The smart ones act very feminine and needy, but inside, they are real killers."

Real killers -- what did you mean by that?

TRUMP: I say that with great respect. Women are tremendous. I find women to be -- I mean women -- I've had such an amazing relationship with women in business. They are amazing executives. They are killers.

Now, when I say that about a man, it's very sad. If you say that about a man, it's considered a great honor. It's also a great honor when you say it about a woman because -- and that's the way it was meant.

They are phenomenal. And I have many executives that are women. They are doing a phenomenal job. I pay them a tremendous amount of money. They make money for me. They make money for themselves. And in many cases, they truly are really talented and they can be killers. And you know what that statement means.

And as a man, they love that statement. And women love it, also.

Part of the problem...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So -- so you're...

TRUMP: -- George, part of the problem we have in this country, we're trying to be so politically correct that nobody can say anything anymore...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But that -- that is the country you're...

TRUMP: -- and it's a disgrace.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- that's the cre -- that's the country you're trying to become president of right now, and there is this impression out there that you've had this history of misogynist statements, that you are anti-women. You are responding to it right now, but you got people like the chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party saying you are a chauvinist. How are you going to combat that impression? Isn't it a problem for you?

TRUMP: I don't think so at all, George. In the meantime, I'm doing very well in the polls with women. I've hired women, I have thousands working for me right now. They're doing phenomenally well in the top levels. I am doing great in the polls. You know, speaking about New Hampshire, I'm leading New Hampshire. I'm leading Iowa. I'm leading North Carolina and South Carolina. I'm leading the - and I mean, when I say leading, by big numbers leading, by very big. The numbers just came in from Georgia, I'm leading Georgia by phenomenal, by big numbers, and I'm leading in every national poll, and in some cases by double digits, and those are women voters, largely. And I'm doing very well with the women voters.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Some other questions from conservatives about whether they will still support you after your entire record is known. Jon Karl talked about you were asked in the debate about single-payer health care, your support for that in the past. Also, back in 1999, you went on "Good Morning America," also wrote in your book, calling for a 14.25 percent wealth tax. Take a look.


TRUMP: This would be a one-time tax. 14.25 percent. Against people with a net worth of over $10 million, $10 million or more. It would pay off in its entirety the national debt of $5.7 trillion. It would save $200 billion a year.


STEPHANOPOULOS: You now say you're against that. But why were you for it then, why are you against it now?

TRUMP: George, at the time, I was willing to do it. I was wealthy even then. That was a long time ago, but I was willing to do it, and it was a suggestion. I would have loved to have seen the national debt be paid off. We're going to soon be over $20 trillion, 18, actually close to 19 now. We're going to be more than $20 trillion. We should have paid off the national debt one way or the other.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So let me ask you about that.

TRUMP: But we have to do something.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask about you that. Back in 1999, you were for the wealth tax. You were for single payer.

TRUMP: I was willing to do it. I was certainly willing to do it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I get that you were for that, then. You were for single payer then. You're not for it now. How can conservatives trust that you're not going to change again?

TRUMP: Look, Ronald Reagan was a Democrat. In fact, he was on the liberal side of being a Democrat. And he changed, and he did a very good job. And I worked with him, and he liked me a lot, and I liked me a lot. But I worked with him. And he was a terrific guy, but he was a Democrat, and George, he was sort of a liberal Democrat, and he changed. And I have evolved, and I have evolved very strongly, and I'm a conservative and I have tremendous support, but I also have a lot of support among Democrats. You know, when you do your polls, if you look at your polls, I have support from all over the place, and people are actually shocked by it. Mr. Trump, you're leading in every poll.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you have supported Democrats more recently. Back in 2006, you and your son gave $77,000 to Democrats. That was the election that brought Nancy Pelosi to power, brought Harry Reid to power. They've since passed President Obama's agenda. Conservatives are against that. So how can conservatives trust you when you recently gave so much money to their opponents?

TRUMP: Because, George, I made a net worth, I have a net worth of over $10 billion. I have been a world-class businessman, which is by the way what this country needs to make good trade deals instead of the way we're being ripped off by China and Japan and Mexico and everybody else. I was a businessman. I was a businessperson, and I supported everybody, because as a businessperson, you had to. And when I needed something, people were always there for me. If I supported somebody and three years later I needed something, they were always there for me. And by the way, George, I have to say this, that's what's wrong with the system. The lobbyists, the donors, all of these -

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's what I want to get to.


TRUMP: These people control everything.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's exactly the question I want to get to. It came in from someone on Twitter, Mike Costello, who said, "He's essentially confessed to bribing politicians. Would you fix this or perpetuate it?"

You've been part of the problem, how are you going to be part of the solution?

TRUMP: No, I'm not -- no, I understand the system better than anybody did, because I was part of the system. But I would support a lot of people -- I was -- until two months ago, when I announced that I'm going to run for president and make our country great again, which is what I'm going to do, and people see it, but I understand the system better than anybody.

But they come and they see. You look at Jeb Bush. He's raised over 100 -- he's raised $100 million more, I guess. And by the way, many of the people putting up those -- that money are friends of mine.

These are not people that are putting it up because they like the color of his hair. These are people that are putting it up because they want something and they're going to get something. And with me, I don't want anybody's money. So I can actually straighten out the country without having people come -- special interests and everything else -- come and say, no, no, no, you can't do that, because so and so supported you.

And I think it's one of the reasons that I'm killing everybody in the polls.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So it's clear you're not backing down, full speed ahead on the campaign. You'll be in the next debate?

TRUMP: We're doing fantastically well with the campaign. The -- the numbers are incredible. And you know that better than anybody, because you report them.

And no, it's full speed ahead. I'm having a good time. I really love it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Donald Trump, thanks very much very much your time this morning.

TRUMP: Thank you very much, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And we are joined now by another candidate who broke through on Thursday night, Governor John Kasich of Ohio.

Thanks for joining us this morning, Governor. You just heard Donald Trump. He is full speed ahead.

Is that a problem for your party?

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: George, I don't think about things that way. What happened on Thursday is I was relaxed and be able to -- I was able to talk about my record, balancing the federal budget, one of the chief architects, national security experiencing -- experience -- turning Ohio around.

George, I don't really pay any attention to these other things because it's most important for me to be able to tell people who I am and you know, I'm kind of a positive guy. I want to lift people. I want everybody to be included and once we create economic growth, I want everyone to share in it.

And look, I enjoyed myself on Thursday and I'm enjoying being on the campaign trail.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You don't agree with Lindsey Graham who said the Republican Party has crossed the Rubicon, where Trump's behavior is becoming about Republicans, not about him?

KASICH: Well, George, if I'm the nominee -- and you've known me for a long time -- I'm going to have a positive message of inclusion, economic growth, strong national defense. I mean, that's the way I've always been. I've been in politics for a long time. I've run in I don't know how many elections, many of them. And I've always been on the positive side of things.

And I feel like, you know, frankly, I can help to shape this party. You know, I've talked about economic growth not being an end unto itself and the need to reach out to people who live in the shadows.

And when you pay attention to what's being said in many corners of the Republican Party, people are beginning to talk about that. I consider that to be great progress because we want to make sure that the miracle that we call America is something that people believe that can be part of what their life is.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's one wing of the Republican Party, is what you tried to express on Thursday night but many others, including a lot of Democrats, were watching the debate and thought that the whole party was creating problems with women voters, a big story about that in "The New York Times." And it included this quote from Margaret Hoover, Republican strategist, who said not one candidate (INAUDIBLE) persuade women voters. There's a difference between pandering and vote counting. Thursday night GOP candidates did neither for women weary of the Republican brand.

Your response?

KASICH: Well, George, I can just tell you what I'm hearing. You know, in some ways, I feel like an astronaut that went up in a capsule and just splashed down and they haul me out of the capsule and put me on the deck of an aircraft carrier. And then all of a sudden, people took my picture. And now for somebody that's had a long record, people are beginning to know who I am.

And, look, everywhere I'm going now, people are like slapping me on the back, saying, you did a great job because you know, you're unifying, you're positive. You're not out there attacking other people.

So to me, George, I've always felt that the Republican Party needed to be more for things than against things because it's ideas; it's innovation that drives excitement, that drives support.

So if you spend your time worried about somebody else, being negative, then you're not breathing life and energy into what you're doing.


KASICH: -- simple.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You hope that's going to be successful you -- for you, you're going to be the nominee. But Thursday night you pledged to support the Republican nominee no matter what.

Does that stand even if it's Donald Trump?

KASICH: I'm a Republican, George; whoever the nominee is, I'm going to get behind him, plain and simple.

And by the way, I'm not thinking about running (INAUDIBLE) --


KASICH: -- it's hard enough as a Republican.


STEPHANOPOULOS: One of your other hurdles is going to be the conservatives You weren't at that red state event we just saw Governor Bush at over the weekend. Erick Erickson, who organized it, put out this -- has said this.

He said, "I will not vote for president 2016 if Republicans decide to punish us with John Kasich as the presidential nominee or vice presidential nominee, not going to happen."

Do you have a problem with conservatives because of your support for expanding Medicaid, Common Core, openness to have --


KASICH: George, George --


KASICH: -- look, I was the chief architect of balancing the federal budget. We paid down the largest amount of the publicly held debt. We cut taxes on risk-taking when I was in Washington. I was very involved in welfare reform. I'm a cheap hawk. I want to reform the Pentagon while building a strong defense. In Ohio, we went from $8 billion in the hole to $2 billion in the black in our budget. We’re up 250,000 jobs. I’ve cut taxes more than any standing governor by $5 billion, including killing the death tax. Our credit has risen. But because I think that people who live in the shadows who have been ignored, the mentally ill, who we stick in prison, they don’t belong in prison. The drug addicted, who we’re rehabbing in Ohio, you know, we rehab them. The recidivism rate is 10 percent in Ohio.

The working poor, we want to help them, but it’s like my mother used to say, George, it’s a sin not to help people who need help, but it’s equally a sin to continue to help those that need to learn how to help themselves. So I think that’s a – I mean I don’t know what’s more conservative than that or who has a better record. But I do care about people. Thank God that it’s been placed in my soul, and I’ll continue to do it whether I win or not.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And it looks like you’ve got a lot of confidence this morning, along with Donald Trump. You are full speed ahead as well.

Governor Kasich, thanks for joining us this morning.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Much more to come. Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry are live. Our roundtable breaks down the big debate. The Trump fallout. Who else won, who lost? Did it help or hurt the GOP?

And later, this week marked the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Senator Cory Booker weighs in on where it stands today.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Roundtable here and ready to go, weighing in on Donald Trump and that big Republican debate. The most watched ever. What will the GOP do for an encore?


STEPHANOPOULOS: Thursday night, that big Republican debate, as we said, the most watched ever by a mile. Twenty-four million people turned in to watch those 10 candidates right there. Donald Trump, of course, dominated the headlines.

Let's talk about that now. On our roundtable, joined by the Bloomberg political team, Mark Halperin, and John Heilemann, our own Donna Brazile, Sara Fagen, a Republican strategist, also CNBC contributor, and our own Matt Dowd.

And, Matt, I'm thinking, so many people tuned in to that, Donald Trump, every headline since the debate. Three weeks ago he attacks John McCain on his war record. A lot of predictions that he's going to fall. He doesn't. You heard him this morning, full speed ahead. Is he diluting himself or right?

MATTHEW DOWD, ABC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Donald Trump, as we've discovered, is very unshamable. He can't be shamed in the course of this. And I'm sorry doesn't seem to be a part of his lexicon. I think here - the - Donald Trump represents a whole group of voters that are totally disinfected from both parties who are sick and tired of the Washington establishment. But for me, I think there's three things about this that Donald Trump represents, a blending of entertainment and political news that we've arrived at where selfie (ph) replaces seriousness. Two, the idea that we have a bombastic bidder and belligerent culture that exists in politics today and he seems to represent that. But, three, more importantly, I have total confidence in voters who always do this in the course of this. They'll sort through this, they'll figure it out, and in the end both parties will nominate a competent people that could be president.


STEPHANOPOULOS: You're nodding your head, Sara.


STEPHANOPOULOS: You have seen more Republicans willing to call him out now.

FAGEN: They are willing to call him out. But this - this just feels like that summer fling in high school that your parents tell you not to do but you can't help yourself. But by the time we get back to school, I think Donald is going to be fading well into - into the background of this race.

And what was great about that debate was, there were really strong candidates on that stage. The governors, I thought, particularly did well. Marco Rubio did well. And any number of them are going to take on Hillary Clinton. And 24 million people were exposed to them.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, and we do want to talk more about the overall debate later on, but let's stick with Trump now for a minute.

Mark Halperin, you heard him this morning, no apologies whatsoever, talking about his great record with women, pushing forward on the campaign. How do you think he pivots off of this?

MARK HALPERIN, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: My sources say he's going to try to pivot to what his strength is. He's going to start talking about jobs and the economy and trade. He's going to put out a series of position papers.

And his campaign is more professional than people realize. They're doing more of the things of organizing, of gathering names, of thinking about an advertising strategy. So I think going forward, the establishment, the other candidates, the press, it's kind of an iron triangle, saying Trump's dead; this is the beginning of the end.

The people he's bringing in, the people he's attracting, I don't think he's going to go off necessarily --


HALPERIN: -- I'm not sure he's going to go down.


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- has he now established a ceiling? He's walled off a lot of Latino voters, walled off a portion of the women's vote, probably after all of this.

What is his ceiling?

JOHN HEILEMANN: Well, you know, George -- I -- you probably remember I did a couple of weeks ago on New Hampshire and did a focus group with people who liked Donald Trump a lot or leaning towards Donald Trump. And I gave them a lot of negative information about Trump, like as if they knew: single-payer health care, donations --


HEILEMANN: -- all of that stuff. And they didn't care. They were not moved off their enthusiasm for Trump. In fact, they kept rationalizing, finding it --


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- his core supporters.

HEILEMANN: -- yes, people who really like him. And I think there's a chance that 20 percent may be his ceiling but it may also be his floor, which is to say it's going to be hard for him to go much past that, but those people may stick with him for the long haul and in a race with 16 or 17 candidates, 20 percent is enough to make a lot of trouble in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, if he --


STEPHANOPOULOS: And Donna, Democrats enjoying watching this.

But is it a little bit of a trap, I wonder, if Donald Trump hangs out there, gives the other candidates time to develop over the course of this summer fling?

BRAZILE: Well, I also think those other candidates should be happy that Donald Trump is occupying so much space, because I think what I saw on Thursday is that minute -- they don't have foreign positions. They have a lot of sound bites but not a lot of foreign position. And we didn't get to hear that.

Look, I think this is beyond politics. This is about common decency. And Mr. Trump attacked not just on Megyn Kelly but other women. That will have a cumulative effect, not just on Mr. Trump but also I think on Republican brand --


FAGEN: I don't necessarily agree with that. I thought that the governors particularly were very substantive -- Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, even John Kasich was fairly substantive.

And you're right, though, as the campaign unfolds, there's going to be more substance to this race. And Republicans should feel very good about the breadth in their talent right now.

DOWD: George, I think the biggest mistake the Republicans on that stage made is dealing with Donald Trump, is somebody should have stood up and taken him on about -- on the women's issues that Megyn Kelly --

STEPHANOPOULOS: At the debate --


DOWD: -- this shouldn't be about, oh, don't attack Megyn Kelly. This should be about don't attack Rosie O'Donnell. Don't attack Michelle Obama. Don't attack Wendy Davis in Texas. This is not just like defend your friends; they should stood -- somebody should have stood up, not waited two days later and say, oh, by the way, Donald Trump should have done that. On that stage and said a traditional value of Republicans or people should be --


BRAZILE: -- what he said to Megyn Kelly essentially, wait a minute, I've been treating you nice. I mean, he acted as if he was like, hey, if you don't be a nice girl, I'm going to get really mad -- that was misogyny.

And Matt is absolutely right. Someone should have spoken up at that time.

HALPERIN: He says that to men, too, all the time, not just to women.


HALPERIN: -- misogyny, there's two scenarios. One is Trump is a factor through Iowa. The other scenario is Trump disappears. What I think is the real story now in the second scenario, which most people think in the establishment is more likely, who's prepared for that moment? Who's prepared for the scrutiny that will come? Who's prepared to have the message? Who's prepared to step up and get -- Trump's vote if --

STEPHANOPOULOS: That is the question we're going to address in our next roundtable.

Thank you very much for setting it up.

Coming up, who else won, who else lost, what do they think in Hillary's camp? All that plus Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry and how they're going to handle Trump now.



STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Up next, THIS WEEK marks the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, the fight over its future playing out now all across the country. Senator Cory Booker weighs in live when we come back.




LYNDON JOHNSON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Millions of Americans are denied the right to vote because of their color. This law will ensure them the right to vote. The wrong is one which no American in his heart can justify. The right is one which no American true to our principles can deny.


STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Historic moment 50 years ago, Lyndon Baines Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act.

Cory Booker, Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey (INAUDIBLE) says that that Voting Rights Act under threat right now.

Thank you for joining us this morning. You and I have argued this, that the combination of the Supreme Court's decision back in 2013, which overthrew the key portion of the Voting Rights Act, efforts to pass new voter ID laws in dozens of states put the Voting Rights Act under a real threat.

So I guess my question is what is the solution? Some like Martin O'Malley say you need a constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to vote.

SEN. CORY BOOKER, D-N.J.: Well, first, I just want to press the case because many people don't understand that this Voting Rights Act -- the Voting Rights Act is under threat. And these voter ID laws which are being passed in many states have a disproportionate impact on poor folks --


STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me -- what's the harm in making sure that there's no fraud at the voting booth?

BOOKER: I think that that's the point, which is there is no fraud at the voting booth. In fact, take Texas for example, where Lyndon Johnson's obviously from, they passed these voter ID laws. In the decade before it, 10 years, they only prosecute two people for in person voter ID, only two people. You're more likely to get struck by lightning in Texas than to find any kind of voter fraud.

But yet they passed a law that even right now we saw that the circuit court said that there's 600,000 people being affected by this, disproportionately minority, disproportionately poor.

So when you see all these voter restrictions taking advantage of the loopholes that were opened up in the Voting Rights Act by the Shelby decision, the lack of pre-clearance necessary, you suddenly see people racing to put in laws that really are as we see, a solution that's had no problem.

And in fact, it's creating the problem of --

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- do you need a constitutional amendment?

BOOKER: You know, there's -- I've joined with Dick Durbin, with Senator Leahy, Senator Coons in a step before that. I don't think necessarily you need a constitutional amendment. I think there's things we can do administratively through -- legislatively to address that.

But we need to understand that there has to be some kind of halt done to a lot of these movements to deny people voting rights. And I want to take it even a step further because, for me, right now, I look at the Voting Rights Act, borne not through the pen of Lyndon Johnson only, but before the ink was dried, it was a sweat, blood and effort of many people to expand voting access to Americans.

But what we've also seen in this country since the 1970s is a rate restriction of voting rights in our country. What I mean specifically by that is in 1976, about 1.7 million Americans were denied their voting rights because of previous convictions. They had felony disenfranchisement. Well, since the 1970s, we had this explosion of this drug war, incredible explosion of mass incarceration in this country, disproportionately affecting poor people and minorities. And now we've come to a point in America in 2010, we had 5.85 million Americans who have lost their voting rights because of previous convictions. They paid their debt to society, many of them non-violent criminals.

If that was a state, it would be the 20th biggest state in our nation.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That -- that is -- that is just one issue, the criminal justice issue, that's also getting a lot of attention right now.

We've seen the -- the rise of this Black Lives Matter movement over the last -- Matter movement over the last year, as well. It's gaining some steam.

And there was a moment last night, Bernie Sanders was out in Seattle, where he was trying to speak. And I want to show you where he was actually talked down by members of the Black Lives Matter protests.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is the only way that this...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- don't back up.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will fight for black lives no matter what it takes.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Is he getting fair treatment there?

And -- and what more should be done to address this issue?

BOOKER: Well, two things. First of all, Bernie Sanders is a friend and a colleague. I'm supporting Hillary Clinton in the -- in this election, but Bernie has become somebody I've had tremendous -- I have tremendous respect for and is an ally of mine in addressing issues in the United States Senate that affect minority communities. He has a long record of civil rights.

But the anger you saw there, the -- from the protesters, this is a legitimate degree of frustration in this country, in a nation that has yet to confront what I believe are persistent civil rights issues, human rights issues.

And you mentioned in the criminal justice system, yes, so now we know that we see -- there are some states where one in five black Americans don't have a right to vote because of this mass felony franchise.

But that's just one thing. We have an overall cri -- prison system where we see that there's no difference in America between blacks and whites, between minorities and whites in using drugs. In fact, there's no difference in dealing drugs. Some studies show that young whites have more of a -- a chance of -- of being drug dealers, but yet we have an incarceration rate for drugs -- for drug use and for drug selling -- that is disproportionately seen in -- in communities of color.

And the result of that has created these awful realities in America, where right now, we have more African-Americans under criminal supervision than all of the slaves in 1850, where we have a nation that has states like mine, that has 14, 15 percent African-Americans, but the prison population is over 60 percent black.

And so when you know that it is no difference, but if you're an African-American, you're almost four times more likely to be caught for using marijuana than if you were white, when you see a criminal justice system that is not what the Supreme Court has etched in its wall, equal justice under the law, please understand that there is going to be an understandable reaction to that in our country.

And the criminal justice system is so overbroad right now, that we, as a nation, are spending a quarter of a trillion dollars a year. We have -- we're 4 percent of the -- of the globe's population, 4 to 5 percent, but we have one out of every four imprisoned people here in this country.

And so, yes, there's a reason to be upset.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator -- Senator Corey...

BOOKER: And there's a reason to act out.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Corey Booker, thanks very much for your time this morning.

BOOKER: Thank you so much.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Up next, GOP candidates Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry both here live. More analysis from our Powerhouse Roundtable. And that other big moment in politics this week, Jon Stewart's final show.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Up next, GOP candidates Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry both here live. More analysis from our Powerhouse Roundtable. And that other big moment in politics this week, Jon Stewart's final show.


JON STEWART, HOST: Rather than saying good-bye or good night, I'm just going to say -- I'm going to go get a drink.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems like this election has been a whole lot about a person who is very high in the polls but doesn't have a clue about how to govern, a person who has been filled with scandals and who could not lead. And, of course, I'm talking about Hillary Clinton.


STEPHANOPOULOS: A little misdirection there from Governor Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, presidential candidate, Thursday night's debate.

Governor Huckabee, thank you for joining us this morning.

So you had a nice turn at the end of that debate on Thursday night. But Donald Trump has not backed down at all since that debate.

What do you say about him now?

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, he is connecting with a lot of people. But I think the rest of us are doing what were supposed to do, and that's focus on getting a message out, which is sometimes hard to do, because all the air in the balloon is going to Donald Trump right now.

But that's OK, because this is a long process. And it's like a baseball season, George, there are some early games. That doesn't necessarily determine who's going to be in the World Series. And when we go to a debate, quite frankly -- and I heard your panel say that there wasn't a lot of substance.

Well, it's hard to do a lot of substance when you're given either one minute or 30 seconds.

So I would love to have an opportunity to stand on that stage and go into the details of why I defend things like Social Security and Medicare, why I believe in the fair tax.

But it's sometimes hard, because all people want to ask me is what do I think about Donald Trump?

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it -- but at what point does that become a real problem for your party and -- and do you have to stand up and do the other candidates have to stand up say, you know, enough is enough, he's not -- he's not going to be our nominee, we will not support him if he is?

HUCKABEE: I don't think that's our role. I think our role is to run for president. It's the voters' role to determine who they are going to connect to.

My job is to connect to the voters, not to disconnect them from Donald Trump. He's going to give his message, I'm going to give mine. And in time, we'll see which one really speaks to the heart, the soul and to the sense of option and opportunity for the American people.

I think in the long-term, when I get a chance to really talk to people about how do we bring wages up for people at the bottom, 90 percent of the people in this country's wages have been flat for 40 years. There's some real hurt out there in America.

And people right now are hurting so much, they're just angry. And Donald Trump is touching that.

But now, people are going to start, I think, over the coming months, say but how do we fix this?

How do we make it better?

And some of us actually have fought through this quite a bit. And we've been through this process not just of running for president, but of governing. And we understand something about what it takes to move the needle to a new direction.


HUCKABEE: And that's when the race is going to get even more serious.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I actually agree with you. I think there was a fair amount of substance in the debate on Thursday night. It could have been even more if -- if you don't have the constraints that are always there in a debate.

And one of the issues that all the candidates agreed on was defunding Planned Parenthood.

But you went even further on Thursday night and I want to show that right here.


HUCKABEE: I think it's time to do something even more bold. I think the next president ought to invoke the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to "The Constitution," now that we clearly know that that baby inside the mother's womb is a person at the moment of conception.


STEPHANOPOULOS: The question is, what does that mean, invoking the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendment?

And there was a recent headline when you spoke back in Kansas, the "Topeka Capital Journal," where the headline said, "Mike Huckabee, Republican Presidential Candidate, Won't Rule Out Employing U.S. Troops, FBI to Stop Abortion."

Is that the fallout from invoking the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments?

HUCKABEE: Well, that whole idea about the troops and the FBI didn't come from me. That -- those weren't my words. That was something that the "Rolling Stone" reporter said. And we know how reliable "Rolling Stone" is as a journalistic tool.

So what I'm saying is, is that the real issue here is not whether we're going to give money to Planned Parenthood. Yes, that's important.

But the bigger issue is, is that unborn child a human being?

Because if it is, then the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment apply because we're dealing with...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So what does that mean, though...

HUCKABEE: -- personhood.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- in practice?

HUCKABEE: Well, it means that you guarantee due process under the Fifth Amendment before you deprive someone of their life and liberty. It means, under the Fourteenth Amendment, there's equal protection under the law.

Exactly how that plays out is one of the ways we -- we discover what does it take for Americans to finally wake up to the fact that we are violating the constitutional rights of human beings?

And in the past, presidents have employed many different ways to make sure that...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, but would...

HUCKABEE: -- people...

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- would that mean calling in law enforcement...

HUCKABEE: -- basic human rights are...


HUCKABEE: -- are protected.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Would it mean calling in law enforcement to prevent abortion?

HUCKABEE: I think the bigger question is, let's -- let's establish the personhood of the individual. Let's make sure that America comes to grips with that.

George, we can't keep defending the -- the loss of 60 million human lives over the past 42 years. We -- we're not acting like a civilized people in -- in the way in which abortion, in its unrestricted fashion, has continued.

And even the politicians who pretend that they're not really for it, they're personally against it. They'll say things like let's keep it safe, legal and rare. It's not safe. I don't think it's legal. I think it violates the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of an unborn person. And it certainly isn't rare. It happens 4,000 times a day. That's hardly rare.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Huckabee, thanks for joining us again this morning.

I hope you'll come back soon.

Rick Perry joins us now, former governor of Texas, also a presidential candidate. He was there on Thursday night in the early debate, joins us now from Iowa.

We just heard Governor Huckabee right there.

What do you think about that idea of invoking the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to protect the right to life?

RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think anyone who's seen the videos of the Planned Parenthood is offended, you know, regardless of where they may be on the issue of -- of choice or protecting life. And that's what he needs to be focused on, is these operations that are clearly outside the -- the bounds of not just humanity, but outside the bounds of our criminal laws.

So one of the reasons we shut down Planned Parenthood in Texas -- and I might add, replaced those dollars with women's health care dollars that really went to the core and -- and then protected what the people of the state of Texas wanted to do, which is not be a place that expanded abortion.

We have parental consent notification and we also had laws that -- sonogram bills and others to protect the life and -- and also to protect the life of those mothers.

So, you know, that -- that's the real issue for us, is to give real options on women's health care and to restrict these -- these groups that are using out of the norm procedures to...


PERRY: -- do these abortions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, you held your own in that first debate on Thursday, but it had about a quarter of the viewers of the prime time debate on Fox News.

What is it going to take to get you into the second debate?

And can you run an effective campaign if you're not?

PERRY: Well, this is a long game, George. It's a -- it's six months until Iowa and that's the reason I'm in Iowa now. And it's going to be Iowa and -- and New Hampshire and South Carolina that puts our nominee on track. I know that's one of the things I learned in -- in 2011, you've got to spend a lot of time in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina.

You know, debates are important, but there is nothing that's more important than sitting in a town hall meeting or in a roping arena, as I was last night, in Iowa Falls, Iowa, talking to the people.

They're the ones that are going to show up for the caucus and then the primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina. That's where you'd better be spending a lot of your time.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're in for the -- you're in for the first votes even if you don't get into the debates?

PERRY: Well, sure. I mean, we're going to be engaged in this process. And it's going to be a fluid up and down, back and forth, it always is. One of the things I try to remind people was back in '07 Rudi Giuliani led the polls for almost a year. He and Fred Thompson, there was some celebrity going on there. And we may be seeing a bit of that right now.

So I think this is a very fluid process. And it's going to change a lot. And I feel confident that they're interested in who has the executive experience, who has created jobs, who can -- I'm one of the few that's worn the uniform of the country. That's going to matter when people really get focused on the real issues and who the solution oriented candidates are going to be.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Meantime, you have to contend with Donald Trump. You called him a cancer on conservatism, called him out fairly early. Has he finally gone too far? And do you think he's going to start to collapse?

PERRY: Well, we'll see about that. That's, frankly, up to him. Any time a candidate, and I don't care who it is, having been the governor of Texas and had very close relationship with our men and women in uniform -- as a matter of fact, Marcus Luttrell came and lived with my wife and I for almost two years, a young man who was captured by the Taliban.

And what Donald Trump said about him and others who have served our country so nobly was really offensive to me.

So, I'm not going to be quiet. I'm going to call out Mr. Trump or anybody else for offending young people up to giving their lives for us. It's not a political game with me.

So, I'm going to be very strong when it comes -- and I'm going to speak out loudly when anyone offends those men and women who are doing everything that they can to keep us free in this country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And governor, Perry, we look forward to having you back on the program. Thanks for joining us this morning.

PERRY: Thank you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Up next, the roundtable back with more on that epic debate. Democratic infighting on Iran, and Jon Stewart's farewell after this from our ABC stations.



CHRIS CHRISTIE, GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: I'll never forget you, Jon. But I will be trying.

REP. CHARLES RANGEL, (D) NEW YORK: Good riddance, smartass.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) ILLINOIS: Don't go. Come back. Jon, I'm being sarcastic.

HILLARY CLINTON, FRM. SECRETARY OF STATE: And just when I'm running for president. What a bummer.

RAHM EMMANUEL, MAYOR OF CHICAGO: What has nine-and-a-half fingers and won't miss you at all? This guy.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: I'm sure you'll be missed by somebody.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: You know, there are a lot of things happening around the world that keep me up at night, which is why I've relied on you to put me to sleep.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: I'm Jon Stewart. I'm dumb. I'm stupid. Nah, nah, nah. So long, jackass.


STEPHANOPOULOS: A little payback for Jon Stewart's final show. The other big show on Thursday night.

I'm back now with the roundtable. We'll talk about that in a minute. But I do want to stick on the debate, Mark Halperin. We heard Sarah UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE say she thought some of the governors did well.

What's your analysis of the other winners right here? It did seem that Marco Rubio, John Kasich did well, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker kind of middling.

HALPERIN: There's a lot of debates to go. And I think, you know, Jeb Bush needs to do better than that if he is going to be the nominee. I don't think that performance was good enough. And I don't think most of his supporters or advisers think that was good enough.

He was much better at RedState yesterday.

None of these guys on the 10 person debate are rising so far to the occasion, but it is the summer. And I think all of them left there I think having learned that even the people who got the best reviews I don't think are strong enough at this point to win a general election. But there's plenty of time.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We did see Carly Fiorina, that undercard John Heilemann do quite well in the first debate, but I want to take just a bit of issue with this idea that the summer debates -- you know, there's a lot of time. Of course, there is a lot of time left, but there's also no fact that the debates this time around do have the equivalent of like what the straw polls used to be, even an early primary.

HEILEMANN: Well, and with only -- with the Republican Party having restricted the number of debates, having only one per month, there aren't that many big debates like this, fullscale, primetime debates between now and when the first votes are cast in Iowa. So, I think they all matter a lot. And obviously that audience the other night was enormous. So I think it matters a lot.

I think Carly Fiorina was the one person who broke through from the undercard. I cannot imagine how -- one way or the other, she's not going to be on that main stage...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Even if her polling numbers don't go up?

HEILEMANN: ...in September. I just cannot see how they can not get a -- the one woman in the race up there on that stage, especially given the dynamics that played out, the negative (inaudible) that came up this last debate.

FAGEN: Well, I think she's earned the right to be there, but at the same time you cannot have a debate with 15 people on the stage, it simply just isn't going to work. So there's got to be some level of criteria that these news organizations uphold.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So what do they do if she's still at 1, 2 percent, not in the top 10.

DOWD: She's not. I mean, in the aftermath -- first of all, she had an audience of 6 million people for an undercard debate, which is -- I think the numbers were the fourth largest primary debate ever on the undercard debate. And she -- the play that she got in the three days after basically saying...

STEPHANOPOULOS: She's going up, you think?

DOWD: She got -- after Trump, she got the most play in the entire conversation after that. I think she makes that average. She's in the top 10. And I think the person likely to drop out of the top 10 who barely made it in the last one who didn't get anything out of it is Chris Christie. Chris Christie who was the leading candidate a year-and-a-half ago is likely not to make this...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Despite that exchange with Rand Paul?

FAGEN: But he was strong. I thought Christie was quite strong.

DOWD: I think in the aftermath, that's been forgotten. Christie at 3.5 percent.

FAGEN: It's a fair point. In the aftermath of this debate, everything has been forgotten, because the only thing anyone is talking about is Donald Trump.

Here is to me what is the bigger concern about Trump is if you look at the way the delegate process works, you need over 1,000 delegates to win the nomination. The first 15 days from February 1 through March 15, we're going to decide 45 percent of our delegates proportionally. And if we continue to see this noise in the system where nobody really breaks out and all these delegates are decide proportionally, this is going to go very late -- a very long fight.

BRAZILE: You need 1,320 delegates, I believe, and that's why Ted Cruz is on this bus tour from South Carolina to Texas. Most of those delegates will be chosen during the process on March 1.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He's got money, too.

BRAZILE: He has -- that's right. And that's why I'm not discounting Ted Cruz in terms of his organization and ability to break through.

FAGEN: Jeb Bush has money, Ted Cruz is strong...

HALPERIN: Cruz and Bush both have money, and they are the only two really focused on a 35 state strategy going forward.

DOWD: The money -- OK, I'm going to speak a little heresy to all of you -- money is not going to matter in this race, right. I think as you go along in the primary process, momentum matters. And whoever gains momentum, even if they're getting out spent.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But what of Sarah is talking about, what if you have split winners. What if a Scott Walker wins Iowa, a Jeb Bush wins New Hampshire and Marco Rubio wins South Carolina.

DOWD: I think the longer this goes where you have a large candidate field, the more actually Donald Trump has helped in that process, the more other candidates are helped in that process, and the longer this goes, I agree with that.

But I want to touch on one thing, which is we talk about all of this and how it's going to hurt the GOP and all that, if a Republican emerges from this process who is thoughtful, who is a reasonable conservative, who is expansive in how they approach the country, that is going to give Hillary Clinton if she's the nominee a run for her money, because we don't talk a lot about her vulnerabilities. Here is somebody that is not liked by the country, that is distrusted by the country, and who the current incumbent president -


STEPHANOPOULOS: Donna Brazile, let me bring that to you, but last night, Bernie Sanders, we saw him get spoken down (ph) in Seattle, right after that event, 15,000 people in Seattle, there's a lot of energy.

BRAZILE: And he's going to Portland, he's going to Oakland, and Bernie Sanders is really hot. He's hot right now, hot in terms of the passion in the Democratic Party, the passion of independents. But I want to go back to what Matt said about Hillary Clinton. Her numbers, she suffered since announcing her race, but you know what, look at her favorabilities and compare to some of the Republicans, who had more air time. I'm not concerned about Hillary Clinton right now, because I know she has an opportunity to regain all of that momentum once we start our debate process in October, but the Republican Party right now, they are being pulled so far to the right, I don't even think they're going to come back to the center.

STEPHANOPOULOS: John Heilemann, 15 seconds.

HEILEMANN: You cannot look at the enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders and not be worried if you're the Clinton campaign, and you can't look at her internal numbers especially on honest and trustworthy. He could beat her in Iowa. He could beat her in New Hampshire, and then -


STEPHANOPOULOS: That is all the time we have for today. Thank you all. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out "World News Tonight," come right back tomorrow for "GMA."

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events