JOHN DICKERSON, HOST: Today on FACE THE NATION, we are at the site of the second presidential debate at Washington University two days after a bombshell video rocked the race.
Donald Trump says he will never quit after a vulgar video surfaced Friday in “The Washington Post.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. I just kiss. I don’t even wait. And, when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: But key Republicans are fleeing the campaign and saying he should step aside.
We will assess the damage with Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani.
And as some of Hillary Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street banks are leaked, we will talk to campaign manager Robby Mook about how she will handle the fallout.
We will ask some Missouri voters about both issues and see what the CBS News Battleground Tracker says.
Plus, we will have plenty of analysis ahead of the big face-off.
It is all coming up on FACE THE NATION from Saint Louis.
Good morning. And welcome to FACE THE NATION from the library of the Washington University School of Law. I am John Dickerson.
It has been two days since the video of Donald Trump’s disparaging comments about women surfaced in “The Washington Post.” The reaction has crippled the Trump campaign. At least two dozen Republicans who had previously supported Donald Trump now say they will no longer support him.
Some have gone further and urged him to step aside. Trump surrogate and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani joins us now from Trump Tower.
Mr. Mayor, what does Donald Trump think he did wrong in that video from 2005?
RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK: Well, you know, I can’t tell you what is in his mind exactly, but it is obvious. He has apologized for it. He is very embarrassed about it.
He is a different man now that he was then, having gone through 14 months of a campaign that, having gone through it myself, convinces you of a lot of things that are important that maybe you don’t realize before. I think he is embarrassed from the point of view of his wife and his two daughters and his three granddaughters.
It’s certainly not language he ever wants them to hear, and is sort of embarrassed that they will now, at least some of them, know about it. And I guess, like a lot of us who have done something wrong, he wishes he hadn’t done it. And he is asking for forgiveness.
And I think, when you look at what is at stake here, and the number of people that voted for him, the number of people who have confidence in him, the number of people that believe he is leading a movement to change Washington, and his opponent is someone who is more of the same, I think there is a heavy, heavy weight on him to, you know, not pull out and run this race to the end.
DICKERSON: Frankly, Mr. Mayor, Mr. Mayor, how do we know what he is apologizing for, if we don’t know what he is apologizing for?
Well, he is. He is apologizing for what he said. He is apologizing for having made those terrible remarks. He is saying, I am sorry for having done it.
I don’t know how much further he can go and apologize. You know, I am a Catholic. And you go to confession and you explain your sins to the priest, and then he makes you make a firm resolution not to do it again and he gives you absolution. And he is telling the American people, I sinned, I was wrong, I made terrible mistakes, and I am asking for your forgiveness. And I am trying...
DICKERSON: What does this say about his character?
GIULIANI: I think what it says about his character is that he is a flawed human being.
And, gosh, under my sort of theology that I spent a lot of time studying when I was a young man, we all are, and he has his set of flaws, and I have mine. And I guess there are a few perfect people, but, in my view, there only have been one. And that was Jesus Christ, so maybe...
DICKERSON: The reason...
GIULIANI: Maybe people should step back and take a look at the fact that we have flawed candidates on both sides.
I know the WikiLeaks revelations kind of got dwarfed by this, but that shows a person who is one person in private and another person in public, a person who fought very, very hard to keep those private when she was running against Bernie Sanders because they make apparent everybody Bernie Sanders was saying about her and she was lying about while she was running.
She also lied to the FBI, which turns out to be a crime.
DICKERSON: Let me ask here, Mr. Mayor, in these remarks, though, Donald Trump -- and, as you say, we are all sinners -- but it is one thing to ask for forgiveness. It’s another thing to ask to be elevated to the office of the presidency.
In these remarks, Donald Trump is speaking in quite a -- jocular terms about sexual assault, about having affairs with married women.
Mike Pence recently said: “Character matters to the presidency and Donald Trump will bring the highest level of integrity.”
Does that characterization, the highest level of integrity, still stand?
GIULIANI: You know, I don’t know. I hate to get terribly theological about it, but have you ever read the confession of Saint Augustine?
I mean, the reality is that men can change, people can change. Sometimes, going through things like this makes you into a much better person.
I know Donald Trump for 28, 29 years. I never heard him talk like that. And I have seen him do a lot of wonderful things for people, including taking people from entry-level jobs to the top of his company.
I have seen him help people in need. And I have seen a different man in the last year-and-a-half than even the Donald Trump I knew in the past, because I see a man who understands now the weight that’s on his shoulders for the people who believe that Washington is corrupt, that Washington doesn’t serve them, that Hillary Clinton is part of that and has been a part of that for years, and that we need this kind of change.
We need someone who can change Washington, basically kick everybody out. And, look, even President Clinton told us that the single biggest thing in the Obama administration was crazy, Obamacare.
DICKERSON: But, Mr. Mayor...
GIULIANI: And we are going to continue? We are going to continue that?
DICKERSON: Mr. Mayor, what I hear from Republicans, though, is that these were the words of a 60-year-old man, not some teenager, but that also this represents something different that they have seen a lot of, not 10 years ago, but in this present campaign, which is that Donald Trump doesn’t participate with the normal boundaries of things, that, whether it is about the Khan family that he attack, or whether it’s the heritage of a judge that he talked about, or a Muslim ban, that there are a series of things where Donald Trump is either too volatile politically or temperamentally outside of the normal boundaries,and that that makes him unqualified for presidency.
And that’s why you have people taking new steps, Condi Rice saying: “Enough. Donald Trump should not be president.”
She hasn’t weighed in on this campaign, but this represents a habit of mind that worries them.
GIULIANI: Well, the reality is, there is a great difference between those comments on tape, which were truly reprehensible -- and we all agree with that, including Donald Trump -- and some of the battles that have gone on during the campaign.
And the simple fact is, we have flawed candidates on both sides. Hillary Clinton has her set of problems that are equal or worse than Donald Trump’s. I mean...
DICKERSON: Mr. Mayor, are you saying they’re equal to...
GIULIANI: Basically -- basically -- well, please let me finish.
She told the FBI that she didn’t know that confidential on a sensitive government document meant confidential. Now, I was in the Justice Department for 17 years. That’s a lie. Just between you and me, if you believe that, I can sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.
That’s a lie. That’s what Martha Stewart went to lie for, violation of 18USC Section 1001.
I could list for you maybe 35 crimes she committed that the FBI and the Justice Department, I believe, let her off the hook for just because she was Hillary Clinton. You want someone -- you want someone in -- you want someone in the White House who couldn’t pass an FBI background check because she was extremely careless with top-secret information?
So, we have flawed candidates on both sides. Maybe that is going to force us to get to the issues.
DICKERSON: All right, Mr. Mayor, I am afraid we are out of time here. Thanks so much for being with us.
DICKERSON: We turn now to Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook.
Robby, I want to start with you with the focus group that we have later in the broadcast. And we talked about this Donald Trump video of him talking about sexual assault.
One woman, undecided voter, her first response is, she said -- quote -- “First thing I thought of is, isn’t Bill Clinton the same type of man?”
ROBBY MOOK, HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, first of all, we want this campaign to be about the issues. And I think that is what the voters want.
And I think the video that came out of Donald Trump was horrifying and unfortunate. Look, the Clintons had a rough time in their marriage 20 years ago. That was litigated out.
At this debate tonight and in the rest of this campaign, we want to focus on the issues, and that is what Hillary is going to do.
DICKERSON: As voters are trying to figure out the role of character in the presidency, though, isn’t Bill Clinton and his presidency, his current character relative to the way he behaved, isn’t that something they can keep in mind as they’re trying to evaluate this recent episode of Donald Trump?
MOOK: Well, Donald Trump’s campaign is spiraling. They’re trying to figure out a way to dig out of this mess.
This race is between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump and Bill Clinton. And that’s why we are going to continue to focus on the issues. If we need to discuss the issues that were raised in that video with Donald Trump, that is fine, but the question here is, what is Hillary Clinton’s take on that issue, not her husband’s?
DICKERSON: Let’s talk about some of Hillary Clinton’s positions on the issues.
We have had this week some leaks about these speeches that Hillary Clinton gave to Wall Street banks. In one of the speeches, she said this -- quote -- “But, if everybody is watching, you know, all of the backroom discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least, so you need both a public and a private position.”
Isn’t that idea that there is a public and a private position what worries voters about Hillary Clinton?
MOOK: Well, let’s be clear.
I think there is a distinction between what goes on in negotiations and what her positions are on the issues and have been on the issues.
Let’s keep in mind, Hillary Clinton went to the floor of the Nasdaq in 2008 and said that these swaps and derivatives and what was going on with the mortgage lending market was wrong and was going to crash the economy. And she was right.
She has called for closing the interest loophole for some time now. Her public position and what she is going to fight for as president are one and the same.
DICKERSON: I guess what people would say, though, is, she may have done it in public, but then the tone of these speeches, the easy familiarity with the people in the audience, shows that Bernie Sanders may have had something.
He may have been right when he said, you know, she is telling them one thing in private, saying one thing in public. There, the message they are getting is, you don’t have to be too worried.
MOOK: Well, that is not the message at all.
And, like I said, she went to the floor of the Nasdaq and said that what Wall Street was doing was wrong. And Bernie Sanders has come out and said he has reviewed this information, first of all, which we can’t verify right now, so I don’t -- I can’t speak to whether any of these documents or e-mails are actually correct.
But, regardless, Bernie Sanders himself has weighed in and said the choice in this election is clear. Donald Trump cannot become president. We have to elect Hillary.
DICKERSON: Again, from this same batch of excerpts of those speeches, on the question of trade, on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that deal with 11 countries, she has said in the past the TPP sets the gold standard.
She is now against the TPP in its current form. But in these speeches, she is talking about how it is moving along in the right direction. She says, “I led the way on this.”
Again, we have this situation where there is a public and a private on the issue of trade, which is quite important to people.
MOOK: Well, it is important to understand the context for this.
First of all, when she was secretary of state, it was her job to negotiate on this deal. She began that process, but she didn’t finish it. And she certainly wasn’t involved in the final language that went out.
She had three key things that she said we need to have in any trade deal, that it needs to create jobs, that it needs to raise wages here in the United States, and it needs to be consistent with our security imperatives. And TPP didn’t meet that test, the final language, which she wasn’t a part of that final step in the process.
But, John, I think it is just really important to understand the context of all this. These documents were dumped out there by the Russian government. The Department of Homeland Security took the unprecedented step this week of saying this was beyond the shadow of a doubt the Russians, and they did it to help Donald Trump. They want us to be bogged down in this. We want to focus on the issues.
And I can’t verify any of these documents.
DICKERSON: Well, the final thing I will ask you about is, Donald Trump has said Hillary Clinton supports open borders. She has said absolutely wrong. Fact-checkers have said wrong.
But there’s a quote in here: “My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.”
So, she did say it.
MOOK: Well, first of all, I can’t verify these documents.
But, second of all, you clipped off the last part of the sentence, where she was referring to green energy. She said...
DICKERSON: Well, she said sometime in the future.
MOOK: She said that she wants a market where green energy can flow. She was talking about integrating green energy between North and South America.
But, again, I don’t know that these are actually true. But if the question is, does Hillary Clinton support throwing open our borders, absolutely not. And she is going to do everything she can to fight to protect the interests of workers in this country.
That is actually why she voted against the Central American Free Trade Agreement when she was a senator.
DICKERSON: All right, Robby Mook, we’re going to have to leave it there. We are out of time.
DICKERSON: Thanks so much.
And we will be right back.
Saturday, we sat down with a group of Saint Louis area residents who have participated in our Battleground Tracker poll. We began by asking them what they thought of the Trump video and the new Clinton speech excerpts.
JOHN DICKERSON: How many of you know about it or have seen it? So that’s everyone. So, Alex, give me a word or a phrase to describe your reaction to that video.
JOHN DICKERSON: Bess?
BESS: Well, unfortunately I, I think they got caught saying things that are probably said a whole lot more often than we know.
JOHN DICKERSON: Thomas?
THOMAS: It’s-- it’s absolutely disgusting and deplorable.
MICHAEL: It confirms for me that he is a misogynist.
JOHN DICKERSON: Steve, you’re a possible Trump supporter.
STEVE: Ancient history. 2005. I’d hate to think some of the things that I’ve done in my past that have come up, they could come up in an investigation like that. I think that it does point to his lack of civility. That’s concerning.
BRITTANY: I think the comments were very disgusting. I mean, nothing Trump says makes me feel like maybe I could get used to this guy. I’m 100% against Trump.
JOHN DICKERSON: Christy?
CHRISTY: I think it was disgusting, but-- but like-- like Bess mentioned, I don’t think it’s surprising. I think it’s typical.
JOHN DICKERSON: Melissa?
MELISSA: I’m mixed between feeling it’s inappropriate, but then I also think of locker room talk. When I first heard it, I, first thing I thought of, well, isn’t Bill Clinton the same type of man?
JOHN DICKERSON: Did anybody here have their mind changed about how they’re going to vote based on this latest video?
JOHN DICKERSON: So essentially, for everybody here, this new revelation that’s getting a lot of chatter might as well not have happened?
MICHAEL: No, that’s not true at all.
MICHAEL: This video makes me wanna get on Facebook a little bit more, knock on some doors. I’m that, a little bit more, enthused about Hillary, because I think Donald Trump is the really evil part of the lesser of two evils. So this just pushes that opinion a little bit further.
JOHN DICKERSON: Let me switch to Hillary Clinton and something that’s been in the news with her recently. There were some emails leaked that had some of the speeches that she gave and, and one of the speeches that she gave to, on Wall Street, she was talking about getting things done in Washington. And she said, “if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So you need both a public and a private position.” (AIRPLANE) Charlie, what does that mean to you, that quote?
CHARLIE: I think it’s just the reality of-- of kinda how the sausage gets made. And that you’re gonna have the-- the public statements and the public policy positions. But there has to be room for negotiation as well.
JOHN DICKERSON: Thomas, you’re shaking your head.
THOMAS: Those private conversations, when you’re not being transparent with the public, it is just a form of lying. And is a tool for corruption. Frankly, I think, if Hillary Clinton were to do everything that she has said she would do in the campaign, really fighting climate change, really fighting-- against money in politics, I-- she would 100% have my vote. But it’s what she says behind closed doors that now have been officially released that-- I don’t trust her to do that.
ALEX: I stop short from calling her a liar, because that implies, she has an intent to bring harm to people. I think, she says what she thinks people wanna hear.
JOHN DICKERSON: Brittany, are you gonna watch the debate?
JOHN DICKERSON: What are you looking for in the debate, from, any of the candidates?
BRITTANY: Well, I, I, I think I’m gonna feel a little uncomfortable, given the video that was just released, for Hillary. You know, she still has to shake her, his hand, Trump’s hand. And you know, debate with him.
JOHN DICKERSON: Explain a little bit more why you feel uncomfortable about her shaking his hand.
BRITTANY: Well, because what he says about women. I just, I, I can’t respect a man like that.
JOHN DICKERSON: Do you think the debate is gonna change your mind at all in this election? Does anybody-- anybody’s mind maybe gonna be changed by what they see? Four of you. Okay. Why don’t we hear from you first, Rene.
RENE: It, it depends on how Hillary addresses some issues about her character. Her trustworthiness. She needs to tell the American people why should we trust her, given her track record with fudging the truth?
NICK: As far as the debates go, I think I’m just looking to see who fails more. Not who comes out ahead.
JOHN DICKERSON: Patrick, we’re in a library. So let’s imagine we’re here 20 years from now and there’s a book about 2016. How does this story end?
PATRICK: Wow, to be continued really.
JOHN DICKERSON: Is it a hopeful story-where is it shelved? Is it in the horror stories? Or is it in the bright, uplifting--
PATRICK: I think there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of awful things that have come out of this election. Those awful things may have made this country face truths it didn’t want to face. But I think ultimately that we faced those truths-- is a good thing. And hopefully for the next 20 years we’ll confront them and overcome them.
OUIDA: What gives me hope is what a lot of people laugh and make fun of. What gives me hope is God’s in control. And another thing that gives me great hope is, I listen to many Christian programs. And all over the nation, they are praying for our nation. And I believe God answers prayers.
JOHN DICKERSON: Michael, how does the story end?
MICHAEL: I don’t know. One of the things that has given me hope is the Bernie Sanders campaign and the fact that, a lot of younger people are getting involved in, in politics and hopefully will continue to pay attention to this.
JOHN DICKERSON: All right. We’re gonna head to the exit here. You’re at the side of the road. Your car has broken down. Who do you want to drive by: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? Let’s Hillary Clinton first. Three hands. Four hands. Five hands. Donald Trump? Melissa, why do you want Donald Trump to stop and not Hillary Clinton?
MELISSA: Well, he clearly likes women. So I think he’d feel bad for a woman who needed, help. I mean, obviously I would help myself. But if you’ve given me a question where I had to choose. I think that he would be a little bit more giving with, as far as paying for a tow truck or, I don’t think he would know how to change a tire or even how to pop a tr- a hood of a car. But I think that he’d be a little bit more giving with money to help you on your way.
DICKERSON: We will have a lot more of our focus group on our Web site, FACETHENATION.com.
And we have got a lot more FACE THE NATION coming up, so stay with us.
DICKERSON: And we’re back with some new Battleground Tracker polling.
In Ohio, Hillary Clinton is up four points over Donald trust, 46 percent to 42 percent. Pennsylvania is also looking like Clinton country. She is up eight points there. In Wisconsin, Clinton leads by 4 percentage points, 43 percent to 39 percent.
CBS News election director Anthony Salvanto joins us now.
Anthony, let’s start with this video. You went into the field to see what the reaction was to it. What did you learn?
ANTHONY SALVANTO, CBS NEWS ELECTIONS DIRECTOR: Right, right after those tracker polls. So, we asked folks, OK, what did you think of the tape, or have you heard about it?
Everybody had heard about it, which reminds you just how fast things get around these days. But the reaction was divided. It was mixed. Among Trump supporters, there was no change in how they viewed Donald Trump. Ninety percent of them said it would not change their views.
And, in context, we have seen things like this before throughout the year. They have said -- they have often conceded, yes, he says controversial things, but they are voting for him for other reasons, to change Washington, et cetera.
But the important thing, then, John, is for the people who are not currently supporting him, for them, and particularly among women, they are more likely to say that they felt the tape, seeing the tape made them think worse of Donald Trump.
DICKERSON: So, right. So, one of his challenges, we all knew he had a floor, and this suggests that it is an ironclad floor. But the question was finding those reluctant Republicans, as you have called them, those who should be in his coalition, but think he is too risky, and women crucial to that point.
Anything else in the findings about women that give us a sense of how difficult it will be for him?
He was already facing large gender gaps, big differences between how men vote and women vote, and, in particular, college-educated women. You find them, you know, very numerous, among the suburbs of Philadelphia, in a state like Pennsylvania, for example, where you are looking at now 20-point swings between how Republicans typically do with that group and where Hillary Clinton is now getting so many more of them.
So, Donald Trump needs to move some of those voters over. Otherwise, it is not just an argument problem. It becomes a math problem for him.
DICKERSON: Let me switch out of the polls and ask you about -- we have heard a lot of fantasy scenarios from some Republicans, saying, drop Donald Trump, Mike Pence can run to the top of the ticket.
How possible is that, that they could do that?
SALVANTO: Yes, not very.
You know, first of all, this is a state administrative issue. State by state, ballots have been printed, ballots have been sent out. Some early voting is coming back already. So, Donald Trump’s name is on those ballots.
Then you also have to look at party rules. The party rules are not clear that a party can just replace a candidate wholesale, one who is still alive and wants to run anyway. So, you know, it is not only state by state, but it is also administrative. It is pretty fair to say Donald Trump’s name will be on the ballot.
And, as you have said in your polling, you find that floor of Trump voters who are still with him, and they are not going to cotton to having the elites in Washington try and get rid of their man for someone else.
All right, Anthony Salvanto, thanks so much for being with us.
And we will be right back in a moment.
DICKERSON: Coming up, an all-star CBS News political panel, a luxurious panel, fantastic panel.
Norah O’Donnell, Bob Schieffer, Nancy Cordes, Major Garrett are all here, and we will be right back with them.
DICKERSON: Some of our CBS stations are leaving us now, but, for most of you, we will be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION at Washington University in Saint Louis.
Stay with us.
DICKERSON: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION.
I am John Dickerson, here in the law library at Washington University in St. Louis, site of tonight’s second presidential debate.
Joining us now is “CBS THIS MORNING” anchor, Norah O’Donnell; our friend, Bob Schieffer, who moderated three presidential debates; plus our CBS News correspondents, who have been on the campaign trail for well over a year now: Nancy Cordes, who covers Hillary Clinton, and Major Garrett, who is on the Trump campaign.
Major, I want to start with you.
MAJOR GARRETT, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sure.
DICKERSON: Where to begin?
How are things going inside the Trump campaign?
GARRETT: There is a tremendous amount of stress, that’s quite obvious, Trump is getting a request from Mike Pence, his running mate, be more contrite. Apologize to the country more emphatically, more believably, more persuasively about what you have done, what you have said, what the country has seen.
At the same time, there are other advisors who are saying, yes, do that but then smashmouth Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton about Bill Clinton’s history and this debate, it’s your only available play, go as hard as you can on that, say what you said matters but what Bill Clinton did or is alleged to have done matters more.
And so Donald Trump finds himself in this vice-like pressure from his running mates, who wants him to be contrite and mellow, and other advisors who want to bring the two-by-four and take it straight into that debate forum.
DICKERSON: And in Twitter already today, there’s been a little of the two-by-four action, as he tweets and sends out some on the harder line.
Nancy, what is the Clinton team doing in this, yet another turn in the story?
NANCY CORDES, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, they thought about having Hillary Clinton come out and say something yesterday and then they decided, why squander the opportunity to have her first reaction be tonight on the debate stage before millions of people, standing right there next to Donald Trump?
So we are told she will address it early on in the debate but they also decided, you know, why distract from a parade of Republicans unendorsing their own nominee?
Beyond that, it’s not as if they are redrawing the battleground map now to suddenly include Kansas and Nebraska. They think that the battlegrounds math will stay essentially where it is, which is fine, because she has a lot of paths to 270 just within that map.
So, strategically, they say they aren’t changing much, although obviously this was great news for them.
DICKERSON: 270 being a magic number on the electoral college, Bob, you have been on the phone dialing around, what have you heard?
BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS: Well, I can’t find a single Republican -- I have talked to probably 12 Republican senators yesterday or their representatives. I couldn’t find a single one who now thinks they are going to win.
They were saying things like, look, we realized a couple of weeks ago that we were not going to win but now we may win by -- we may lose by historic proportions, I mean, something that will -- one person said to me yesterday, that could affect the Republican Party for generations to come.
I am not sure the Republican Party is going to survive this.
DICKERSON: Yes, one Republican Party chair said there was a mushroom cloud outside the window after this.
Norah, what did you make of Rudy Giuliani’s attempt to defend Donald Trump?
He basically said this was a long time ago and he’s learned a lot on the campaign trail.
Can you learn something on the campaign trail that undoes the damage of these remarks?
NORAH O’DONNELL, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rudy Giuliani was on because the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus decided he would not come on. And I think that is telling; as one top Republican said to me, we’re going to see the fastest cut-and-run in American political history. And, Bob alluded to that.
Look at the state of Ohio. No Republican has won the presidency without Ohio. Donald Trump might have won Ohio on the coattails of Rob Portman, the senator who has done great organizing there.
Rob Portman has unendorsed him in that state. But Republican National Committee has now said pause or stop to its operations to help Donald Trump. Donald Trump really didn’t have much of a ground game anywhere.
GARRETT: No ground game.
O’DONNELL: No ground game. He was relying on the Republican National Committee.
O’DONNELL: So above all the disgusting language, you now have a party that has abandoned the presidential nominee and that’s historic and it could lead to a landslide election.
DICKERSON: And the ground game being those people who knock on the doors, get the people to the polls, that kind of thing.
GARRETT: Right. And the disconnect between the grassroots Trump supporters, who are not all Republicans and have not always been regular participants in presidential election, and the fundraisers for the party and the party leadership is, again, cracked wide open by this because they are staying -- the Trump -- the grassroots Trump supporters, largely, in anecdotal conversations that I had all over the weekend, are going to ride this out because they still believe that Trump is their best option to change the system and attack what bothers them most about politics.
But the fundraisers, the donors and the Republicans who have to be on the ballot themselves, they’re all walking away.
CORDES: But we know that Republican candidates like Portman and Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire are now in a terrible position, because, on one hand, they have angered all of those Trump true believers who might say, you know, I am not going to vote for you. They’ve decided to let some Republicans just stay home because they’ve told them now, I can’t support the nominee, maybe you shouldn’t either.
And the Democrats are going to hit them over the head between now and Election Day on, OK, so this is what made you decide to abandon Donald Trump?
It wasn’t what he said about Mexicans; it wasn’t what he said about women in in this campaign, it’s something he said 11 years ago?
This is political expediency.
SCHIEFFER: I mean think about this, I mean, the man’s own running mate refused to campaign for him yesterday on the eve of this debate and with less than a month to go.
DICKERSON: Norah, another, perhaps the biggest player still out there who hasn’t -- you know, he was disinvited, Donald Trump was, from Paul Ryan’s event in Wisconsin, the unity event that Major talked about that was put together by Reince Priebus, the Republican chairman of the party.
Disinvited by the House Speaker but the House Speaker has not moved to the Rob Portman position or the Kelly Ayotte position, which is I am not going to vote for him.
Is he the -- I mean, there is a conference call for the House Republicans on Monday.
What do you think Paul Ryan, what do you think he does?
O’DONNELL: Well, this is in some ways a conscience call for many people and I think we’re seeing an emerging split in the Republican Party, not only denouncing but what does denouncing do?
Or do you take a stronger stand and say we can’t elect this person?
Let’s write in someone, as some of the other people, such as Rob Portman, as I mentioned earlier, has said.
I think it’s a real struggle for the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, who was heckled at that appearance yesterday by Trump supporters. But the leadership of the party, that has to look beyond this election to the future of the party, I think it is essential in American democracy that you have two strong political parties.
They are a check on one another and, at this point, we don’t have two strong political parties. And that’s necessary for a strong government in a democracy.
DICKERSON: Bob, you have moderated these debates.
So what if you were on the deck tonight and about to come up or had to come up with questions for these candidates, what would you ask?
SCHIEFFER: You know, I think I would ask about the elephant in the room and I think the -- I guess what I would say would be this: “Mr. Trump, if some man did to your daughters what you were talking about in that -- in that tape, would you think that was cool?
“Would you be OK with that?”
GARRETT: I’d watch that answer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I would.
CORDES: And the question is, this is a town hall debate.
Will there be a question like this?
And the odds are there probably will be.
SCHIEFFER: Yes, because this language goes beyond boys being boys. This is pigs being pigs. And I think that it’s not a distraction, it is an issue.
O’DONNELL: But there are some Democrats who worry that Hillary Clinton will overplay her hand and will go after him too hard. They say, look, he is digging a hole by himself. Republicans are helping him. Stay out of the way.
They feel that Tim Kaine was more aggressive that he needed to be last week and so they are a little bit worried that the Clinton campaign will see this as such a huge opportunity that it will go farther than it needs to.
GARRETT: There are two unknowns: one we will get the answer to tonight and one we may never get an answer to. One of the reasons many Republicans bailed out yesterday is they got the sense that there is more coming on Donald Trump, that this is not the only revelation that will carry with it a tectonic plate-changing bit of explosiveness and they don’t want to be a part of it and they don’t want to go for round 2 of that. That’s the unknown we don’t know about yet.
The other unknown is tonight. And the reason the conference call with House Republicans is tomorrow is because Speaker Ryan was persuaded by those in the rank-and-file, give him a chance in debate number 2; let’s all assess after that.
So what Trump does or doesn’t do tonight will have a great deal to say about how resilient the elected Republican House support for him, rank-and-file and leadership remains.
DICKERSON: A lot riding on the debate tonight.
O’DONNELL: Well, an enormous riding on the debate and, of course, the format, along with these charges, I mean, charges of what some are calling sexual assault, Joe Biden called this amounts to sexual assault at a time when you have a male nominee and a female nominee on a stage, no podiums, chairs where they can sit down on and where they can approach audience members, it adds-- body language becomes important in this type of a debate.
I mean, and going back and reading about town hall debates and looking at the past ones, it was 1992, it was Bill Clinton who first proposed this type of debate, a town hall debate, because -- and his advisors were shocked that George H.W. Bush agreed to it because he thought he could emote better and capture an audience member’s attention better.
DICKERSON: Quickly, Nancy, what happens if Donald Trump goes that second route that Major talked about earlier, brings up Bill Clinton and his character flaws and we get into that kind of a fight?
What is -- what is Hillary --
CORDES: You know, Hillary Clinton has been planning and preparing for that for weeks because he essentially telegraphed after the first debate that he might go there.
The Clinton campaign says that would be disastrous for Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton is the one running, not Bill Clinton. That’s like blaming Melania Trump for what Donald Trump said in that leaked audio.
So they don’t think that that’s going to be persuasive. They think it might actually engender more sympathy for Hillary Clinton. And you have to know that she has got a pretty well planned response.
DICKERSON: All right. It’s so great to be with all of you. Thanks for being here.
And we will now have a second panel. But please join us tonight at 9:00 pm Eastern, 6:00 pm Pacific. As for FACE THE NATION, we will be back in just a moment.
DICKERSON: And that’s the debate hall here at Washington University this morning, the site of tonight’s main event. Right now, the drama is off that stage and behind the scenes.
And joining us now for some more insights into the drama are Susan Page, Washington bureau chief of “USA Today”; Jamelle Bouie, who is the chief political correspondent for “Slate” magazine and the CBS News political analyst, Peggy Noonan, columnist for “The Wall Street Journal” and CBS news contributor and John Heilemann, co-managing editor of Bloomberg Politics.
Peggy, I’m going to start with you.
So Rudy Giuliani said Donald Trump could have a St. Augustine moment, change radically after this event and be a totally different man.
PEGGY NOONAN, “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”: After this trauma of the release of an 11-year-old tape?
Well, I know you spoke to him of the city of God and the city of man, in this world all miracles are possible. People do change their nature and change their character. I am not sure what Rudy Giuliani was referring to as the reason there might be a change of nature or character there. It seems to me Mr. Trump might speak of his essential nature and what all of that stuff is this evening.
DICKERSON: Yes. That’s a tall order.
DICKERSON: John, what could Donald Trump have learned over the last year that taught him, that saying, sort of in a lighthearted way, that it was fun to assault women?
I am not sure how those two things are connected.
JOHN HEILEMANN, BLOOMBERG TV HOST: Well, I think if -- we are speaking in hypotheticals now, right, there is a hypothetical miracle that could occur, St. Augustine, the more probable hypothetical on the basis of everything we have seen from Donald Trump’s first debate performances, the interviews he has given, the last debate performance and how he reacted after the debate performance and continuing to attack Alicia Machado, I think the more plausible hypothetical is he has learned nothing and that his performance tonight will be much less St. Augustine than the -- something closer to the things that got him into so much trouble so far.
On the basis of history there is no reason to think that we will see a new Donald Trump -- none. There is no reason. I am not saying we won’t but there is no reason to think that we will.
DICKERSON: Susan, what do you think about this, the departures in the Republican Party that started to happen yesterday, that seemed to be kind of rolling?
Again, people who aren’t just saying tsk, tsk, but who are saying I will not vote him and then others who are saying Mike Pence should be at the top of the ticket?
SUSAN PAGE, “USA TODAY”: We have never seen anything like this before in modern American politics. It wasn’t just Republicans. The Republican national chairman released a statement criticizing him, the highest ranking Republican in the nation, House Speaker Paul Ryan disinvited him to share a stage with him in Wisconsin.
Senators in tough races are withdrawing their endorsement of him. This is a political apocalypse. And it’s the sort of -- we have had October surprises before, we have never had something like this from which a candidate has survived and gone on to win the election.
DICKERSON: See, Jamelle, a lot of what I hear is people saying, well, but there have been a lot of these moments that Donald Trump has had and people thought he was in trouble and then nothing happens.
Is this the same situation or...?
JAMELLE BOUIE, “SLATE” MAGAZINE: I don’t think this is the same precisely because so many Republican leaders are leaving his camp. I think this is a signal to voters that this is very different and I think there is a real possibility that Republicans are courting on November 8th a kind of triple undervote, right, that demoralized Republicans, Republicans who don’t vote down ballot because they are angry at the party, remember, most Republicans still think, still want Trump at the top of the ticket.
And then also, you know, just, I already said demoralized Republicans. So that is a double undervote.
I think sort of what is interesting about all of this is that this is the moment which is driving so many Republicans away. You know, we have witnessed for the past year a campaign whose central message to the country was that if you elect me, I will use state power to repress Hispanic immigrants, Muslim Americans and, you know, recently African Americans with stop-and-frisk.
And I think it says something not flattering about the Republican Party, that it has begun to leave Trump when the comment finally hits a group of voters that actually they rely on to win elections.
DICKERSON: Peggy, I was talking to a senior Republican yesterday, who kind of brought up this point, which is that, as they were thinking about whether to leave Donald Trump, the worry was, if I leave now, why didn’t I leave when his announcement speech was about Mexicans being rapists and on down the line?
They had trouble explaining why this was the thing that broke the -- that was the straw that broke the camel’s back and previous ones haven’t been.
NOONAN: Yes. Maybe. It just seems to me, this overwhelming story, I agree with Susan so much. This is a devastating moment for Trump. It’s not just -- it’s not as if he was going up, up, up and then something bad happened and he plummets; he had been going down and down, now something bad happens.
We are a 47-47 country, more or less. The Trump voters in your focus group more or less said this isn’t going to change anything for us. In a funny way, nobody is as unillusioned (sic) about their candidate as Donald Trump supporters. They had no illusions about him so it’s not as if this tells them anything they didn’t know/
But it will hurt Trump with a few of them because nobody likes proof that their assumption that nature is low. It’s correct. I think the proof part of it was hurtful. But still, at the end of the day, this doesn’t help Trump. It hurts him very seriously and a sheepers (ph) every Republican I have talked to in the past few days does think it’[s over.
HEILEMANN: John, I think -- I’m sorry, Peggy -- John, I think part of your answer is in the answer that your question comes in the -- your opening comment about this.
Donald Trump’s been engaged in racist, nativist, xenophobic rhetoric in the past. But he’s never suggested that he condoned and, in fact, practiced a crime. Sexual assault is the phrase you used and appropriately used. And I think for a lot of Republicans and a lot of people, that is the thing that is going over the line, again, not to in any way excuse him of his previous rhetoric. But the thing that you can’t argue for, for many Republicans -- and obviously many Democrats -- is for a nominee who seems to be saying, sexual assault is OK and I have been involved in it myself and is sort of boastful about it.
That is a different -- that is a different -- that is a Rubicon that has been crossed.
BOUIE: I do think it is striking that at the same morning this came out on Friday, Donald Trump also said, in a statement, that he believed the Central Park 5 were guilty and presumably thinks they should have been executed. And that, to me, is also of a level beyond the pale for a presidential candidate and that did not attract -- I think the only Republican who said anything about that is John McCain.
DICKERSON: Because the Central Park 5 were declared innocent.
DICKERSON: And -- OK. We’re going to hold it there. We’re going to take a short break and we’ll be right back with more FACE THE NATION from St. Louis.
DICKERSON: And we are back with our panel.
Susan, you were with Mike Pence on Thursday.
Where do you think he is on all of this?
PAGE: Yes, I was -- I spent the day with him as he was on a bus tour across Pennsylvania. I interviewed him twice. He denounced Hillary Clinton, you might expect that and I said, well you know, there are questions about Donald Trump’s integrity, too. And he defended Donald Trump to the hilt, “a good man, a family man.”
And I just wonder what his -- Trump’s running mate would say today if he was sitting down for that interview.
DICKERSON: Yes, he had said he has the highest integrity.
John, what do you think about -- there are these fantasies out there about Trump disappearing from the ticket, Pence running; that is what Rob Portman suggested, I’m voting for Mike Pence.
Is any of that possible?
Is it really being discussed?
HEILEMANN: I think it is being discussed pretty actively and I think the question is -- Major made the right point earlier, which is we will have to wait to see what happens in this debate performance tonight, not that I think that it will change maybe the ultimate electoral dynamics.
But in terms of where Trump is relative to the party, what happens on Monday, depending on how he performs, I think the party leaders, electeds, everyone has no influence over Trump whatsoever about whether he stays in this race.
I do think there is one set of people who have influence over him, that’s his family. And every -- if this turns into a total cataclysm, as it seems to be, the Trump brand, the family name, the financial implications of that, those kids, Ivanka and Jarrod (ph) -- or Ivanka and her husband, Jarrod (ph), the --
HEILEMANN: -- Donald Jr., Eric Trump, Tiffany, all of them have a lot -- just talking just pure dollars and cents here, they have a lot at stake in what happens to Donald Trump and the family name.
I think they are the only ones who might be able to influence him to get out, the only ones -- I am not sure they will. But they’re the only ones with the influence.
NOONAN: Tonight could be a disaster for Trump, in part because there is no sense that he has been practicing working on what he is going to do. I mean, all the reports are he has been resisting all of that.
This is going to be a hard a night for him. It’s in the round. Some questioner will properly bring up the mess of the past few days.
But as for fantasies about removing him from the top of the ticket, I got to tell you, 11 states are already voting in early voting, fixed ballots, eight more join that number by this Wednesday.
NOONAN: When you have 19 states that are already voting, I don’t see how you change your nominee.
BOUIE: And I would add to that fact, I would just add to that fact, again, most Republican voters want Trump at the top of the ticket. I think the idea that Republican leaders could somehow get Trump off the top of the ticket, while essentially sticking their fingers in the eyes of half their voters, is if they’re trying to avoid a disaster or a civil war, that is a disaster and a civil war.
DICKERSON: -- the chaos.
Let’s switch to Hillary Clinton, Susan, quickly, these excerpts of her speeches, the ones they have been trying to keep under lock and key, finally got out. There is a difference between Hillary Clinton in public and private.
Isn’t that her underlying challenge -- ?
PAGE: It is. And you heard in your focus group how little affection even some of the Clinton voters had for her.
So this -- and you think we would be talking about that tonight or today and you think we would be talking about Bill Clinton, saying the situation with the Affordable Care Act is crazy. But we are not because she has had this great gift of Donald Trump.
DICKERSON: I was struck, Jamelle, at how much more passion there was in the focus group. And those were people of all different positions, more passion when they talked about Hillary Clinton and her downside than Donald Trump, who they were letting off the hook, saying this was locker room behavior.
BOUIE: I think some of this gets to what I think is true, not just with voters but kind of across of how we, as a country, has approached Donald Trump, which is that I think we look -- people look at Hillary Clinton and they say, she could be a president until we approach her and talk about her and criticize her as if she could be a president.
I think really, at face, a lot of people don’t really believe that Donald Trump could have ever won. And as a result, there is a willingness to kind of look past, look past things that are, you know, plainly disqualifying and plainly offensive, because, again, this guy is just a clown.
DICKERSON: John, how damaging is the Clinton excerpts that are now out?
HEILEMANN: I think in the context of the work that there were -- have been released, not that damaging. But I also think that one of the things that we’re all sort of looking past on both sides is that there are going to be worse Donald Trump tapes between now and Election Day and three are probably going to be worse Hillary Clinton e-mails between now and Election Day.
Again, I don’t know what electoral effect those things will have. But there are more shoes to drop. We will be in a hailstorm of footwear before we get to November 8th.
And I think -- it’s just four weeks out and these are the things that are being leaked?
Just imagine what happens next week and the week after and the week after that, because you don’t drop your heaviest shoes a month away from Election Day.
PAGE: And once again the debate is entirely about things, they are not about voters and their lives. It’s entirely about the personalities and character the candidates.
DICKERSON: We will have to end it there on the Imelda Marcos hailstorm of shoes from John Heilemann and the metaphor challenge today.
I want to thank our panel. We will be back in a moment.
DICKERSON: That’s it for us today. I hope you will join me, along with Norah O’Donnell, Gayle King and Bob Schieffer tonight for our live coverage of the second presidential debate here in St. Louis.
That’s at 9:00 pm Eastern right after “60 MINUTES.”
We want to thank Washington University School of Law for hosting us. We will be back in the other Washington next Sunday. Until then, for FACE THE NATION, I am John Dickerson.