-- THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT FOR 'THIS WEEK' ON September 18, 2016 and it will be updated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking overnight -- an explosive in New York City. Dozens injured.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We saw this smoke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A suspicious second device found just blocks away.
Was this an act of terror?
The very latest on the investigation.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: And President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.
TRUMP: I finished it. I finished it, if you know what I mean.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: His campaign was founded on this outrageous lie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We put the birther question to Trump's running mate, exclusively on this week.
CLINTON: It's great to be back.
From ABC News, it's THIS WEEK.
Here now, co-anchor Martha Raddatz.
RADDATZ: Good morning. In the middle of heated political campaigning, a shocking reminder that we live in dangerous times. Anxiety and uncertainty in New York after that explosion overnight. And the urgent question -- was it an act of terror?
Let's get straight to ABC News chief investigative correspondent, Brian Ross, who is just feet away from where the explosive occurred -- Brian.
BRIAN ROSS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Martha.
ROSS (voice-over): The bomb came on a final summer Saturday night, as New Yorkers walked to restaurants, movies and nightclubs in this popular West Side neighborhood.
And then, this surveillance video inside a fitness center shows the blast, just after 8:30.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Boom! So when it was like that, we was like oh, my god.
ROSS: A white flash as glass shatters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 6-1-5, there was an explosion. There's a unit saying there was an explosion from a garbage pail. Have units stay off the block.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The ground shook and like windows shook and there was like this big flash of light. It was really scary. And then I couldn't hear for 15 minutes out of my left ear.
DE BLASIO: I also want to be very clear, the early indications -- the initial indications is this was an intentional act.
ROSS: Officials say the bomb appears to have been in a toolbox left next to this construction trash container, which was blown into the street by the force of the bomb. Yet despite the power of the blast, no one was killed.
DANIEL NIGRO, FDNY COMMISSIONER: There were 29 injuries here, one considered serious. Twenty-four of these people have been transported to area hospitals with various degrees of scrapes, abrasions from glass, from metal.
ROSS: Then, two hours later and just four blocks away, police discovered a second device in what appears to be a pressure cooker found inside a plastic bag with wiring and a cell phone attached.
ROSS: Police and federal agents this morning are also looking to see if there are any connections or similarities between the bomb here and a bomb that was set off yesterday morning in New Jersey at the beginning of a charity race, about 60 miles away.
RADDATZ: Lots of question this morning. Thanks to you. Thank you, Brian.
Both candidates for president reacted quickly to the breaking news from New York. Hillary Clinton, cautious as ever, while Donald Trump used the news to sound the alarm.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York and nobody knows exactly what's going on. But, boy, we are living in a time. We'd better get very tough, folks. We'd better get very, very tough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: And I'll have more to say about it when you actually know the facts. I think it's always wiser to wait until you have information before making conclusions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: Let's bring in ABC News justice correspondent, Pierre Thomas, and ABC News consultant and former FBI agent, Brad Garrett.
Good morning, gentlemen. And Brad, I -- I want to start with you. The definition of terror -- you heard Bill de Blasio say this was an intentional act, but officials found no evidence the blast was linked to terrorism. Are we getting too caught up in these definitions here?
BRAD GARRETT, FORMER FBI AGENT, ABC NEWS CONSULTANT: Of course we are, Martha. I mean any -- anybody that places a device in public or any remote location where it's going to kill people or harm them is some act of terrorism.
Now, it may be not extremist Islamic, ISIS. It can be some other, you know, avenue or vent that's driving people.
But we have to be clear, this person wanted to harm folks.
RADDATZ: N that pressure cooker that they're looking at right now, Brad, there was a lot of panic about that last night.
GARRETT: Absolutely. I mean they -- I -- I'm not sure they still know exactly what they have. But, yes, they evacuated the neighborhood. I mean think about the Boston Marathon bombing, a pressure cookers (INAUDIBLE)...
RADDATZ: You said you were listening in real time to what was going on.
GARRETT: Yes. I mean literally, NPD -- or NYPD are running around evacuating the neighborhood, because they're thinking second bomb. The first one went off, why won't this one?
So you've got to immediately get people out of the area, a big panic, for every amount of time.
RADDATZ: And, Pierre, this tie-in that they're looking at right now, I know they're still looking at that pressure cooker. I know they still don't have any sort of prime suspect.
But you have New Jersey. We don't know if there's a tie-in there. You have these two explosive devices. And then we go back to Central Park last July. There was an explosion they said was a hobbyist. It blew off a young man's leg.
Will they look at that again?
PIERRE THOMAS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Everything is on the table. There's a great sense of urgency. You have the U.N. General Assembly going on. They need to know who did this and they need to know now.
The key this morning, my sources are telling me, are forensics. When you have a bomb or an explosive detonate, it doesn't get completely obliterated. So they're able to get parts of it. So they'll try to put those parts back together, look for fingerprints.
The same thing with the pressure cooker. Will they find any print -- fingerprints on that? Again, they still don't know if that is an actual bomb yet, but they are checking this morning.
RADDATZ: And, Brad, walking up to that dumpster, they got that on surveillance, as Brian said, a pretty big box that was put next to that dumpster. Would that make them blend in a little more?
GARRETT: Well, apparently it was a toolbox. So you were at a construction dumpster of some sort. You set it down. People are probably not going to look at it. So it also gives you, Martha, a lot of cover to get away.
It is an odd location. I mean what is he attempting to blow up there?
The same way for the pressure cooker. It's almost like they're dropped and like what's going to happen next or what is his real motive?
RADDATZ: But -- but it just shows how easy this is to do.
GARRETT: Oh, yes.
RADDATZ: I mean these were not complicated devices as far as we know, right, Pierre?
THOMAS: They were not, as far as we know. And, again, the lone wolf scenario is what law enforcement has been concerned about for some time. Again, whatever this was, it does not appear to be a sophisticated, coordinated attack. But they have someone who's out there willing to kill.
RADDATZ: OK, thanks very much to both of you. We'll keep an eye on this in the coming weeks.
Turning now to the big political story of the week, the birther battle.
Long before the war, all before the Muslim ban and the tough talk on trade, ISIS made his political name by stubbornly pushing that false rumor that President Obama was born overseas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If he wasn't born in this country, which is a real possibility, then he has pulled one of the great cons in the history of politics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I want him to show his birth certificate. There's something on that birth certificate that he doesn't like.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If he gives his passport applications and records, I will give, to a charity of his choice, $5 million.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: That birther rumor, highly offensive to so many Americans because it attempted to undermine the legitimacy of the first African-American president.
Friday, Trump finally admitted the truth, that Mr. Obama is American-born.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. President Barack Obama was born in the United States period.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: Hillary Clinton, who did not start the birther movement, not letting Trump off the hook.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: He is feeding into the worst impulses, the bigotry and bias that lurks in our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: And last night, the president, who has mocked Trump's birther fixation many times, got in one last dig.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know about you guys, but I am so relieved that the whole birther thing is over. ISIL, North Korea, poverty, climate change -- none of those things weighed on my mind like the validity of my birth certificate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: As for Trump, he stayed away from the media since his declaration, sticking instead to big, energetic rallies.
So, when we traveled to Indianapolis Saturday to interview vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, it was the first opportunity to put all the unanswered birther questions directly to the Republican ticket.
RADDATZ: On Friday, for the very first time, Mr. Trump said that Barack Obama was born in the U.S. Why did it take him so long?
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well, let me say that the momentum in this campaign is really overwhelming and I think it's because Donald Trump has been focusing on issues that the American people really cared about.
He brought that issue to an end this week.
But I have to be honest with you, other than many in the national media, and certainly in Hillary Clinton's campaign, as I campaign all across this country with Donald Trump and for Donald Trump, the American people aren't focused on the debates of the past, they're focused on their future. They're focused on the challenges that we're facing at home and abroad.
He's offering real solutions and the kind of strong leadership that the American people know will make America great again.
RADDATZ: Governor Pence, I know you say you want to talk about issues, but Mr. Trump could have put this issue to bed a long time ago. Just last Wednesday he was asked by the Washington Post a very simple question: do you believe the president was born in the United States? He said he wouldn't answer it then.
Then he had a major announcement he talked about on Friday. He kept this issue going. Why did it take him so long to say that the president was born in the United States, which is a fact?
PENCE: Martha, it's a fact. And Donald Trump and I both acknowledge that without hesitation.
But, I have to really tell you, that I understand why many in the national media and Hillary Clinton...
RADDATZ: But Governor Pence, it's not just the national media. Let me read you -- we counted since April of 2011, and that's the year that Barack Obama gave his long formed birth certificate from Hawaii. We counted 67 times where Donald Trump tweeted or retweeted messages questioning his birthplace. He has kept this going. He has been a leader in this birther movement.
PENCE: Well, and I know there's news reports that trace this birther movement all the way back to Hillary Clinton's campaign back in 2008.
RADDATZ: You believe that Hillary Clinton started the birther movement.
PENCE: Look, I'll let the facts speak for themselves.
RADDATZ: Well, no, I want to talk about the facts. What's the proof of that?
PENCE: What I will tell you, Martha -- look, as I travel across this country, I say this very sincerely and very respectfully to you, this is not what the American people are talking about. Donald Trump put this issue to an end yesterday in Washington, D.C. He essentially said...
RADDTAZ: Why did it take him so long to put it an end? It's not over.
PENCE: Throughout this campaign, he hasn't been talking about it. He's been talking about the need to have a stronger America at home and abroad.
I understand why Hillary Clinton and many of her defenders in the national media want to distract attention from her dishonesty and her disastrous record on the foreign stage and the fact that she wants to simply continued the failed policies of this administration that have run our economy literally into a ditch. But that's not working.
I promise you, the American people see through all of this. And I think that's why Donald Trump is going to be the next President of the United States.
RADDATZ: Governor Pence, I talked voters as well. In fact, just yesterday. And they talked about the birther issue, they believe fueled in part by what Donald Trump has said that President Obama was born outside the U.S. This fuels those conspiracy theories.
Do you think he should have promoted this birther issue for all these years? Was he wrong to do this?
PENCE: Our campaign just really isn't focused on the past, Martha, and it really...
RADDATZ: Governor Pence, you said yourself Hillary Clinton is at fault. That's going forward, that's not just the past. He said Friday that Hillary Clinton and her campaign were at fault for this birther movement as well. And you just said it yourself,
What is the proof because we can't find any. And fact-checkers have checked into that, that Hillary Clinton started the birther movement.
PENCE: Well, I just would refer you to news reports with the McClatchy News Service and reports of people in your industry, Martha, that...
RADDATZ: The reports of people in my industry say there's no proof they can find that Hillary Clinton had anything to do with it.
PENCE: I understand your perspective on it. I understand the desire of many in the national media to change the subject from Hillary Clinton's disastrous record and her dishonesty, we're just not going to play that game. Donald Trump and I are going to continue to focus right where the American people are focused, and that's not on the debates of the past, it's on their future.
You know, yesterday in the midst of this side-bar debate that so many in the national media are fascinated about, the largest law enforcement union in America, the Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Donald Trump for president of the united states. They endorsed Bill Clinton back in 1996. But they know here that Donald Trump is the kind of president that's going to stand with the men and women in law enforcement in this country and restore law and order to the communities in this nation and couldn't be more proud to stand with him.
RADDATZ: I'm going to ask you a few more questions on this because also, in the midst of this, in the midst of you saying you want to talk about issues and you want to talk about ISIS and you want to talk about law enforcement Donald Trump tweeted an article from The Washington Post-- Donald Trump's birther event is the greatest trick he's ever pulled. He is proud of this.
Is playing tricks seven weeks out of a very serious election what he should be doing?
PENCE: Well, I thought the fact that Donald Trump on Friday used the media's preoccupation with certain side-bar issues to really focus on the support that we enjoy from retired admirals and generals -- 14 medal of honor winners. Now, I think some 150 retired flag officers in our military recognize that Donald Trump is the right choice for the next commander-in-chief of the United States.
And I have to tell you, I think he paid about as much attention to this issue that you all have focused on as the American people are.
Look, we have more horrific stories about ISIS coming out this last week, a level of barbarism and murder and terrorism the likes of which we have never seen since the advent of the global war on terror.
And America knows that we need a commander-in-chief who will rebuild our military.
RADDATZ: I want to talk about that. Robert Gates, who has worked for eight presidents over a 50-year career, including as secretary of defense, CIA director, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. He was very critical of both candidates, but of Mr. Trump he said, at least on national security I believe Mr. Trump is beyond repair. He is stubbornly uninformed about the world and how to lead our country and government, and temperamentally unsuited to lead our men and women in uniform. He is unqualified and unfit to be commander-in-chief.
PENCE: Well, look, I have a lot of respect for Secretary Gates. Worked with him during my years on the foreign affairs committee.
But he's just wrong. And that's the reason why we have so many members of our armed forces that come out to rallies in support of Donald Trump, that's why we have so many retired admirals and generals standing with him.
He's a broad-shoulder leader. And he's strong. And he understands the need to rebuild this military.
And he also is willing to speak truth to power. The simple truth is, that during his tenure as secretary of defense, Secretary Gates was part of the Obama administration's handling of U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. And the way that we got without renegotiating a status of forces agreement, without leaving any combat forces in Iraq created a vacuum in which the ISIS caliphate was able to rise up and compromise large areas of Iraq to this very day that were hard-fought and won by the sacrifices of American soldiers.
So, you know, I understand that Secretary Gates may not want to hear that, but the American people know it's true.
RADDATZ: On Friday night, Mr. Trump said something else that's gotten a lot of attention. He said the secret service protecting Hillary Clinton should disarm and then he said, let's see what happens to her. What did he mean by that?
PENCE: Well, I think, you know, Donald Trump believes in the safety and security of every American and any suggestion otherwise regarding Secretary Clinton is just nonsense. I mean the point that he was making is that Hillary Clinton has had private security now in her life for the last 30 years, but she would deny the right of law abiding citizens to have a firearm in their homes to protect their own families.
I think what Donald Trump was saying is if Hillary Clinton didn't have all that security she would probably be a whole lot more supportive of the second amendment.
RADDATZ: But let's see what happens to her. Whether he intended that or not, the message sounds a lot like a threat or encouraging violence.
PENCE: That's absolute nonsense. His comment was that if she didn't have all that security she would change her attitude about the right to keep and bear arms. And I'll bet that's probably true.
But the truth of the matter is, it really is remarkable to me, and I just joined this campaign a couple of months ago. But, you know, to be honest with you, Martha, I've got a lot of respect for you. But people in the national media spend more time talking about what Donald Trump said in the last day than they do talking about what the Clintons have been up to for the last 30 years.
I mean, the avalanche of dishonesty flowing out of The Clinton Foundation for years as secretary of state and the fact that her campaign couldn't even be honest about her own health situation, I mean, we wish her well, we're glad to see her back on the campaign trail. But there's just been decades of dishonesty flowing out from the Clintons.
RADDATZ: I will say I think we are questioning Hillary Clinton's campaign as well. And we'll do so in this show. I want to talk to you about some of the name-calling.
You said in a 2000 campaign that you didn't think there was any place for personal attacks.
Are you comfortable with things like the campaign selling buttons and other things that say, "Liar," "Hillary for Prison"?
PENCE: You know, I have my own style and Donald Trump has his own style. And I can tell you it's resonating. Both of our styles I think --
RADDATZ: Are you comfortable with that?
PENCE: I really am.
RADDATZ: You're comfortable with that sort of name-calling?
PENCE: Well, it's, you know, things are a little different here in Indiana than they are in New York City. People talk a little different than they do sometimes about things. But the point that Donald Trump has been making throughout this campaign is connecting straight with the hearts and minds of millions of Americans. That is so we can make America great again.
And I really do believe -- I really do believe that we're going to have a great day come November the 8th.
RADDATZ: Thanks very much Governor Pence. We enjoyed talking to you.
PENCE: Thank you, Martha.
RADDATZ: And coming up, much more of my interview with Governor Pence, including his surprising answer about which vice president he would model himself after.
First, a response from his Democratic rival; vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine is standing by live.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election.
You want to give me a good sendoff?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: President Obama making an urgent plea to black voters last night to turn out and support Hillary Clinton. It's a sign of how much is at stake in this election and how nervous Democrats are getting. As the race tightens, just 51 days out, Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine joins us next.
RADDATZ: Donald Trump finally admits the truth about President Obama's birthplace. Hillary Clinton stumbles while battling pneumonia. Two stories dominated the week, both even labeled game-changers.
But to a weary public, did either really matter?
I took to the road again, talking to voters and trying to take the pulse of the country, this time, the must-win state of Ohio. But what I found there surprised me.
After years of covering politics, I never met so many voters so disgusted by our politics and so unsatisfied by their choices.
RADDATZ (voice-over): Warming up for the Friday night lights at National Trail High School in rural New Paris (ph), Ohio, this is Joe and Jan Barnes.
RADDATZ: Have you always voted Republican?
JAN BARNES (PH), REPUBLICAN VOTER: Yes.
JOE BARNES (PH), REPUBLICAN VOTER: Yes.
RADDATZ: What is it you don't like about Trump?
JAN BARNES (PH): His arrogance and his condescending attitude towards people.
RADDATZ: And what about Hillary Clinton?
JAN BARNES (PH): I don't trust her. I haven't decided if I'm going to vote.
RADDATZ (voice-over): In Columbus, a Democratic stronghold, I met Nathan Humes (ph), also undecided.
RADDATZ: Have you ever voted Republican?
NATHAN HUMES (PH), UNDECIDED VOTER: No, I have not.
RADDATZ: Is there something you can say that you like about Hillary Clinton?
HUMES (PH): You know, again, I…
RADDATZ (voice-over): When we think about undecided voters, we tend to think about true independents, who go back and forth each election. But the undecideds we talked to on Friday were party faithful who might not vote at all. Worry about turnout is rising among party activists; Nan Whaley (ph) is mayor of the Democratic-leaning city of Dayton.
NAN WHALEY (PH), MAYOR OF DAYTON, OHIO: The exasperation level is so high that we're afraid that people just won't go to the polls.
RADDATZ (voice-over): Chad Mitchell (ph) voted for Obama and is leaning Clinton.
RADDATZ: Is there a chance you won't vote?
CHAD MITCHELL, UNDECIDED VOTER: Yes. Yes. Strong possibility. A lot of people I talk to feel the same way, may not vote.
RADDATZ (voice-over): Back in rural New Paris (ph), Mark Hoffman (ph) teaches 7th grade social studies.
MARK HOFFMAN (PH), TEACHER: You know, the way we're set up with checks and balances…
RADDATZ (voice-over): He's voting. And yet…
HOFFMAN (PH): I don't trust either one of them. It's a sad state of politics in the United States when you don't know who to choose. And Trump just keeps talking about where Obama was -- what makes the difference? I mean, the man -- it's over. The man's not going to be president anymore.
RADDATZ (voice-over): Fumble, again and again, 50 days to go. Anyone's guess who will pick up the ball.
RADDATZ: So let's get straight to the Democratic vice presidential candidate, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia.
Welcome and good morning, Senator Kaine.
SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Glad to be with you, Martha.
RADDATZ: You heard those voters. And polls show that part of why the race has tightened is the enthusiasm gap. I know you've seen enthusiasm at your rallies, your events. But these polls show Democrats are less enthusiastic, less likely to turn out than Republicans.
I saw the same thing on my trip to Ohio.
Why do you think people aren't more enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton?
KAINE: Well, Martha, look, this is like every race I've ever been in. I run my races in Virginia up to now, and it's a very close state. I always knew this was going to be tight. And you're right, we have work to do. We've got to -- we've got to lay out the competing visions of the two candidates.
In fact, I've been showing these on the road. These are the two visions that are up for our voters to grapple with. Hillary Clinton and I -- our vision is Stronger Together. And we put out a book with our campaign platform.
Donald Trump wrote a book, when he decided to run for president, laying out his vision and the vision -- and his book is called "Crippled America."
As I see people around the country, they want solutions to problems and they know we have challenges. But Americans are fundamentally an upbeat, can-do, optimistic, problem-solving people.
And I think that's why, at the end of the day, they're going to embrace a Stronger Together vision rather than a crippled America vision.
RADDATZ: Senator Kaine, I know Secretary Clinton and you say this was always going to be a tight race, but in the last two weeks, Donald Trump has gained ground, including in swing states.
So what has changed?
KAINE: Well, look, he -- the race is about where it was when we went into the two conventions. It was essentially dead-heated into the two conventions. After the second convention, we got a lift, which you always do out of the convention.
But it has tightened up because, Martha, as you know, I mean I think even from your discussions with voters, we are a divided nation. We are politically very divided. And that is reflected again and again in so many of our elections and maybe again, especially because I come from Virginia, which is one of those battleground states where it's been awful close recently, this is just who we are as a country.
And that puts the burden on our shoulders to -- to make the best positive case we can over the next 50 plus days. And...
RADDATZ: When -- when you hear...
KAINE: -- and we're doing that and...
RADDATZ: -- when you hear voters...
KAINE: -- we feel good about it.
RADDATZ: -- like that, and -- and -- and really disgust and the lack of enthusiasm -- you heard the mayor of Dayton say they're really worried.
RADDATZ: She's a Democrat -- that they're not going to get the voters out.
How do you turn this around with those voters who...
KAINE: Let's just...
RADDATZ: -- haven't decided?
They know Hillary Clinton.
KAINE: A great -- great question. A great question. So we put some basic issues on the table -- do you believe in climate science or don't you?
Voters do and so do Hillary and I. Trump does not.
Do you believe that women should make their own health care decisions or don't you?
Hillary and I do and so do voters. Donald Trump does not.
Do you believe in LGBT equality or don't you?
We do, Trump doesn't.
Do you believe in immigration reform or not?
We do, Trump doesn't.
And finally, do you believe that we need to do something about the cost of college, or don't you?
We do, and Donald Trump's Trump University suggests he doesn't.
KAINE: We have got to make...
RADDATZ: -- and haven't you been doing that all along...
KAINE: -- the case on these key differences.
RADDATZ: Haven't you been doing that all along?
KAINE: We -- we have been. But I think you know, Martha, too, that a lot of the campaigns get very, very engaged and resolved between Labor Day and election day. And that just puts the weight on our shoulders to make this positive case, the difference between Stronger Together and Crippled America and that's what we're going to be doing.
Both making our positive case, but also pointing out some of the very disturbing aspects -- for example, the -- this issue about the birther controversy, which is so painful. This isn't just a semantical thing. This is so painful to so many Americans because they remember our history. An African-American was not allowed to be a citizen, whether slave or free, born here or born elsewhere, until we fought a civil war and enacted the Fourteenth Amendment to "The Constitution."
So when Donald Trump, for five years, as you pointed out, has perpetrated this bigoted lie that President Obama is not a citizen, it reminds people of the most painful part of the history of this country.
And I hope that someone will ask Donald Trump, when you were doing that, did you believe it?
And if you believed it, how could you have been so gullible or conspiratorial or, if you didn't believe it, what were you doing dragging us back to the most painful chapter in American life?
Who were you trying to appease by doing that?
That question still needs to be answered.
RADDATZ: And -- and Senator Kaine, I want to go to some things that Hillary Clinton has said. You've explained...
RADDATZ: -- Secretary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" comments by saying some Trump supporters are motivated by dark emotions borne out of anxiety over changing demographics. But you said that transitional anxiety will go away. While Secretary Clinton said those people are irredeemable.
Does she believe there are people in this country who are irredeemable?
KAINE: Well, look, she is very worried, as am I, about the deplorable motivations of those who would question President Obama's citizenship or people like David Duke, who are doing robo calls, saying people should vote for Donald Trump.
We've expressed it differently, but you have to call out these dark emotions because if you let them pass or you -- you actually can let them grow.
But I think the obligation that we have -- and -- and Secretary Clinton -- Hillary said this, too -- is while that is a motivation of some of the Trump supporters -- and we won't get them -- I do have confidence over time that that kind of motivation is reducing.
There are other Trump voters who are really concerned about economic anxieties, not demographic issues, but economic anxieties. And we have an obligation to speak to them and to make the case that -- that our economic plan, which Moody's says will grow the economy by 10 and a half million jobs, is better for them than a Trump plan, which Moody's says will shrink the economy by three and a half million jobs...
RADDATZ: So -- so is it appropriate...
KAINE: -- and put us into a recession.
RADDATZ: -- to use the word irredeemable?
KAINE: I -- you know, I -- I -- that's not a word I would use. I wouldn't use it. I think that -- I think we would be unrealistic to think that some people are going to fundamentally change their view. If they've -- if they've clung to the view for five years, as Donald Trump has, that President Obama is not a citizen of this country, I don't think they're going to change their views.
But, Martha, here's what I've seen in Virginia. The -- the state I was -- when -- when I was born, my state wouldn't let you go to school together if you're skin color was different and wouldn't let women go the University of Virginia.
And guess what?
Our economy was in the bottom 15.
Today, we've opened the doors of opportunity and our economy is in the top 10. And people who fought at every step of the way have realized, wait a minute, we're better when we let everybody around the table. We're actually a stronger state.
I've seen that transition work in my state, from fighting against equality, fighting against inclusion, to embracing it and being stronger as a result.
That's what Stronger Together means. I've seen it work in Virginia. And I know that that's the path we're on as a nation.
RADDATZ: OK, Senator...
KAINE: But that's the choice...
RADDATZ: -- Senator Kaine, I want...
KAINE: -- between -- between the two...
RADDATZ: -- I want one last question.
KAINE: -- the two campaigns.
RADDATZ: I -- I want one last question here.
KAINE: Yes. Absolutely.
RADDATZ: And I want to go to Colin Powell, who had some very harsh words for Trump in his leaked emails. But he was also sharply critical of Secretary Clinton, saying, "Everything HRC" -- meaning Hillary Clinton -- touches, she kind of screws up with hubris." In another message, calling her, "greedy and not transformational."
What's your response?
KAINE: You know, eight million children in this coun -- in this country, Martha, have health insurance, low income kids, 156,000 in Mike Pence's Indiana and 180,000 in my Virginia, because Hillary Clinton fought to build the SCHIP program. After the Republicans branded the first effort to do health care as HillaryCare and killed it, she said I'm not going away. At least we can provide health care for poor children in this country. And eight million kids have it.
I view that as transformational. I view that as focused on serving others over self. And that's been Hillary's passion her whole life, families and children and what can I do for them?
Donald Trump's passion has been simple -- what can I do for me?
That's not who Hillary Clinton is.
RADDATZ: OK. Thanks so much for joining us this morning, Senator Kaine. We'll see you again.
KAINE: Absolutely. Thanks, Martha.
RADDATZ: You bet.
You've heard from both vice presidential candidates.
Up next, we'll bring in the powerhouse roundtable to weigh in on such a pivotal week in the race to the White House.
RADDATZ: They're two of the oldest candidates to ever run for the White House.
So after Hillary Clinton's stumble at the 9/11 Memorial last week, there were renewed questions about both candidates' health, with many asking, do we know enough?
Together with our partners at SSRS, we asked how important is it for presidential candidates to release detailed personal health records?
Sixty-nine percent of respondents said very or somewhat important; and 61 percent say that there should be a mandatory independent health assessment for all candidates.
But will it impact anyone's vote?
Thirty-six percent say that a candidate's general level of health and fitness will have a major impact; 51 percent say a minor impact and only 13 percent say not at all.
Up next, our roundtable digs into the debate over health and transparency and all the week's politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My issue is economic. Our country is being ripped apart by China and many other countries. That's my issue.
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: But isn't it going to be harder for people to take you seriously on those issues if you don’t acknowledge that you went overboard on this whole birther stuff?
TRUMP: Actually, I think it made me very popular, if you want to know the truth.
So I do think I know what I'm doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: That was Donald Trump back in 2013 on his first trip to Iowa as a presidential candidate, admitting to our Jon Karl that politics may have had something to do with all that birther talk.
To discuss that and more, let's bring in our powerhouse roundtable today: "The New York Times" reporter, Yamiche Alcindor; "The Washington Post" chief correspondent, Dan Balz; "National Review" editor, Rich Lowry and ABC News' Cokie Roberts.
Welcome to everyone and good morning. Lots to talk about.
Dan, and I want to start with you on this birther issue. You heard Governor Pence say again and again and again, it's behind them, it's over, period, done.
Is it over? Or does that resonate?
DAN BALZ, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think it continues to resonate. I mean, the statement that he made on Friday, 31 words, could not have been more terse or brief and didn't answer any of the basic questions of why he had done what he had done and why, if he ended it, as he claimed he did on Friday, why he continued to perpetuate it after he, quote-unquote, "had ended it."
So I think that those questions will continue to reverberate.
COKIE ROBERTS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It is interesting, though, I mean, he made a totally valid point there to Jonathan Karl, which was I think I know what I'm doing. He certainly did. He's the nominate.
And what a lot of white Americans don't understand is how this birther issue is basically, fundamentally racist. And it is very well understood in the African American community.
And the upset on Friday among African Americans here at ABC and friends was just enormous, because this was a sense that he's at it again. He's stirring this up. It's a lie. We call it a lie.
RADDATZ: But let's go, Yamiche, you have been out on the campaign trail, at Trump rallies, listening to the supporters. I've been out on the campaign trail, too.
What about those Trump supporters, who actually liked what he said before or believed that?
I found people who believed that, no matter he says.
Will he lose support from his base?
YAMICHE ALCINDOR, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I don't think he will lose those people, mainly because Donald Trump has said himself that he can say things and get away with them. So I think some of these supporters think, OK, he's saying this because people want him to say this. And he said it so quickly, he said it in 33 seconds or something like that, that he really isn't sincere about this.
And I think for the voters that I've talked to, who are very upset by this, who are very insulted by what Donald Trump said on Friday, that they also feel, though, he was insincere. So it really came off as something that he could kind of now say, OK, I did say this and I did finally admit this, while also being able to hold onto the idea that most people think that he's being forced to say this, that this is really Kellyanne Conway and other people in his campaign making him do this.
RADDATZ: And, Richard, I got put a little heat on the media here. That was such a circus on Friday. And the media flocked here and he said he would have a big announcement. And I -- the headline in "The Post" was, you know, was the greatest trick that Donald Trump ever performed.
How does it resonate -- yes, and he -- how does -- how does that resonate with the voters?
How does the media -- what lessons have we learned from this?
And what happens next?
RICH LOWRY, EDITOR, "NATIONAL REVIEW": Well, the Trump campaign, they're trying to offload as much baggage as possible before November and this is part of this effort. It's not how they wanted it to play out.
And it was through an accident that it ended up being this event on Friday. And their attitude was, we have all these vets here, they're going to say these wonderful things about Donald Trump. If we have him make the birther statement at the beginning, everyone's going to cut out; that’s it. You won't see any of these veterans.
So let's use this for all it's worth. Make the little statement at the end and then everyone's going to broadcast these veterans for 20 or 30 minutes and that's the way it played out.
And what they're hoping, as we saw in your interview with Mike Pence, there's no good answer for why Donald Trump was obsessed with this issue for so long. But they're hoping now they can just revert to his magic words on Friday, and say, look, he no longer believes it. Let's move on and talk about --
ROBERTS: But this media question is very real. Because you saw in your interview with Vice Presidential Candidate Pence, he kept going back and back and back to the media, the media, when in fact the blame is on the other side. The media has been very complicit in Donald Trump's ascendancy.
RADDATZ: OK. I want to switch -- I'll agree with you there on some of that, Cokie.
But I want to talk about the tightening race and enthusiasm, which we also have all seen these past couple of weeks, Dan, and what you're seeing and that enthusiasm gap.
I have to say I've -- all through this, I have seen voters say, I don't know which to choose, I'm voting against her, I'm voting against him. Now it's almost like, I don't like either one of them, I'm not going to go to the polls. Is that a danger.
BALZ: Well, it is a danger, certainly. And I think it's more of a danger for her than for him, because it's clear that his supporters are more enthusiastic than hers are.
I was up in New Hampshire and watched Tim Kaine do a couple of events. And at both events, in a kind of a surprising way, he made and explicit appeal to people about how this tight this race is, how you have to get out, how we have a lot of work to do. It's a little unusual for candidates to sort of say that at this point in the way he did. And I think it's a reflection of the fact that they know that they're not doing as well as they need to do particularly with Millennials. And there's been a consistent effort now that they're beginning to try to make the argument to Millennials that they have to get out and vote.
But I mean, every poll we have watched for the last, you know, six or eight months has said this is a choice that people don't really like. They don't want to make it. And it's going to be a grinding effort particularly on the part on the Clinton campaign to get their people out.
RADDATZ: Go ahead, Richard.
LOWRY: It's been clear the last couple of weeks, it's more and more plausible that we could experience the biggest black swan event in American electoral history, which is someone who 16 months ago, no one thought he could be elected president, including the candidate himself. And now this race is basically a tie.
And we've talked a lot about, is Trump pivoting? Can he pivot? Will he pivot? Hillary Clinton now needs to pivot herself. She needs to do some things are original, that are unexpected. If I were her...
RADDATZ: Holding up the two books. Will that do it?
LOWRY: It doesn't quite do it. But, you know, when this week when she was feeling better, why not hour-and-a-half press conference. Every question you have about my health I'm going to answer it until there are no more questions and release every record going back to my case of croup in the sixth grade. It would get people's attention. They'd say, hey, there's more openness and forthrightness here.
Instead, she just seems to want to grind it out very conventionally. That still might work, but it's a much riskier strategy...
RADDATZ: And Yamiche, I want to go to -- the polls that we look at, the anecdotal evidence. And it is anecdotal when you're out on the campaign trail, is there a possibility we're really misreading people? I mean, you hear about the secret Trump voters. I had several people who wouldn't tell me who they were voting for. It was private.
Is there a possibility we're really misreading because this race is so unusual>
ALCINDOR: I think there's definitely a possibility that we're misreading people. I think it really goes to the idea that a lot of those people that I've talked to, especially when it comes to Trump supporters, some of them say, you know, I want to talk to you, but I don't want people to know that I'm here. And I don't want people to know who I'm voting for. And I think that there's this idea that Trump could have more supporters than the polls are catching.
And I think that the other thing that's going on here is that we talked about this enthusiasm gap. Hillary Clinton, while people are really in some ways look at her experience and look at the fact that she can talk about policies, we're in a race where Donald Trump beat all these people who had much more experience than him and much more kind of -- knew how to govern much more than him and now he's going off personality and going off of emotion and going off of feeling. And there's a lot of those people that I've talked to, their choice of whether or not they're going to vote, their choice of whether or not they trust Hillary Clinton, it has nothing to do with her policy initiatives, it has nothing to do with how she's going to lay out the government or who she knows in the government or who she can name drop, but really it's about can I trust her and what she's doing to really make me like...
RADDATZ: And the trust obviously with the pneumonia question.
ROBERTS: Very much so. You know, so we didn't know about it, and made it worse, which, keeps happening over and over again. But this is not anecdotal. This is survey driven. In our last poll, 95 percent of Trump voters said they were going to vote and 80 percent of Clinton voters said they were going to vote. So, you know, it is a very measurable difference.
And all things being equal, which of course they're not this year, this is a change election. You know, we don't generally vote for a third term of a party. And so, you know, the Republicans go into this election with an advantage in terms of where the country is. The Democrats go in with an advantage on demographics, but they're having trouble galvanizing the groups in the...
LOWRY: And that's one reason that everyone complains there's a lower bar for Donald Trump, that's one reason there is a lower bar, because it wants to be a change election. And if he can get over the bar of acceptability his chances of becoming the next president of the United States increase enormously.
RADDATZ: Very quickly, Dan, if you can -- we have about 10 seconds here. Should Democrats be very nervous at this point?
BALZ: They should be nervous. Absolutely.
But I still think at this point they believe they have at least some advantage in the electoral college if they can hold Pennsylvania and possibly pick up North Carolina.
RADDATZ: OK, thanks to all of you.
Much more to talk about in the weeks to come.
Up next, more of my conversation with Governor Mike Pence about his portfolio as vice president and how he's preparing for the debate.
RADDATZ: And now, more of my conversation with the Republican nominee for vice president. Governor Mike Pence.
As he prepared to fly out to Florida, I asked what kind of vice president he would be and which past VP he would model himself after.
PENCE: I hold Dick Cheney in very high regard in his role as vice president and that's...
RADDATZ: That's the kind of vice president you would want to be?
PENCE: Well, I think a very active vice president. Vice President Cheney had experience in the congress as I do. And he was very active in working with members of the House and the Senate.
RADDATZ: How about your portfolio? Have you talked to Mr. Trump about your portfolio as vice president?
PENCE: Well, we talked a bit about that. I'll probably keep our private conversations private conversations private.
RADDATZ: OK, give us a little hint there.
PENCE: Well, I think, you know, I think Donald Trump's got an agenda to get this country moving again.
I hope that I'll be an effective champion of that.
RADDATZ: And just one more thing on Dick Cheney, I mean, Dick Cheney was often criticized as being too much of a force over the president.
PENCE: Well, I think, what I admire most in vice presidents is when they're able to take the vision of the president and champion that on Capitol Hill. And I would hope that my relationships over my 12 years in congress and my four years here as governor of Indiana would help me carry Donald Trump's vision to make America great again to people that will be crafting a legislation to put that into practice.
RADDATZ: We'll be right back after this from our ABC stations.
RADDATZ: That's all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us and remember, you can always catch our political coverage on your phone by downloading the ABC News app and live-streaming breaking news reports from the campaign trail. Have a great day.