Dana Bash - An Unparalleled Year in Politics

October 25, 2016 - Dana Bash 10/25/2016 Views: 1,363

CNN reporter Dana Bash talks about covering Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, from his unprecedented debate behavior to possible security concerns at his rallies. (5:53)

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Please welcome Dana Bash.

(applause and cheering)


Welcome to the show.

-It's so good to be here. -Thankyou very much for being here.

-It's great to meet you today.-No, it's an honor to meet you.

We watch you all the time,

and the fact that you can keepa straight face....

-(laughter)-Right now?

...when you are reportingsome of these stories.

-Yeah. No, now you can letloose. -Okay. All right, good.

You can say everythingyou've wanted to say now.

-This is the time... this is...-I still need to work tomorrow,

-so I'm gonna bea little careful. -(laughter)

You-You...Let's talk about that.

You have been with CNNfor 23 years now.

-I have. -You've been working...I mean, yeah.

-(applause and cheering) -You'vebeen doing an amazing job...

working, covering everythingfrom Congress.

This is your sixth presidentialrace that you are covering.

Is this the craziest thingyou've ever seen?


I mean, there's is,

and there's everything elseon the planet ever.

-Yes.-Um, no question.

There must be a pointwhen you are covering this

-and you are looking at thisas a journalist... -Mm-hmm.

and you... at some point,do you not go,

"There's just... there's toomuch"? There's no story

that builds,there's no story that unfolds.

It just comes, it's done,and then you have to move on.

It's really...Every single day, you think,

"Okay, this is gonna be

"the craziest thingI'm talking about.

"I'm gonna find another wordfor 'stunning,'

and 'unbelievable'and 'unprecedented.'"

And I try to find them,but it doesn't happen.

I mean, just one example.

During the primaries,

Donald Trump was on the stagegoing at it with Marco Rubio.

And it was at the time

when they were talkingabout the size of his hands.

-Oh, yeah, yeah, but we... yeah.-Hands.

-Hands, but you know what. Yeah.-Hands.

He comes out to the spin room,

and I'm doing a live interviewwith him

with Melania standing nextto him.

And I say,"You know, I can't believe

"I'm saying this to youout loud on live TV,

"but I thinkyou were the first person

"in the history of debates

"in any country on the planet

to talk about the sizeof your... hands."


To which he continuedto talk about

-how his hands are just fine,and-and... -(laughter)

No, but that's the pointfor him.

"Uh, put your hand up here,Dana." -Exactly.

"Put your hand up."

And then, becausehis wife was standing there,

I just... I felt compelledas a journalist

-to get a fact check.-(laughter)

I didn't have a choice.

But my question was simply,

"And what did you thinkof that?"

And her response was,"It was a great moment."


And that was the highlightof my political career.

-I feel like that should be.-(laughter, applause)

I genuinely feel likethat should be.

Hard-hitting journalism.

When you-when you lookat what you've been covering,

how you've beencovering these stories,

you look at the evolution of therace, two things interest me,

uh, particularlywhen it comes to Trump's world.

One, how you get treatedas a journalist

on the campaign trail.When you are standing...

We always watch that at home.

Trump goes,"Look at these people, folks.

"Look at them at the back.

-They're liars, they're cheats."-Scumbags.

"They're scumbags.Look at them, folks."

-And that's you that they'relooking at. -Mm-hmm.

What are those peoplesaying to you?

Are they like, "Hey, can I haveyour autograph? Hey..."

Yeah. "Can I have a selfie?"Yeah.

I mean, no, i-in all honesty, atthe beginning of the campaign,

there was a lot of that.A lot of, "Thank you

for your coverage,your coverage is fair,

thank you, thank you,thank you."

Uh, but thenthe more the candidate

started to egg on the crowd,the less we felt that.

And there is nothing as jarringas being in the pen--

-because the presshas to be in a pen... -Yes.

uh, at-at these rallies-- forsecurity and for other reasons.

Uh, and there arethousands of people

between youand the candidate.

And it's a huge crowd,

and so Donald Trump will say,"Look at those people,

"they're horrible,they're scumbags,

they're the worst people,they're so dishonest."

And all of a sudden, in unison,

every single one of the peoplewill turn around

and stare at us.

And it's-it's very creepyand scary. It really is.

Do you ever feel like,in that moment,

some of those peoplewant to hurt you?

Um, I... No, I really don't.

I mean, there have been timeswhere, uh, you know,

security has-has been an issue.

I have not been thereat-at the time.

Uh, but there issecurity around.

-Obviously, Donald Trump himselfhas Secret Service. -Yes.

Uh, but just on principle,

to have somebody who wants to bePresident of the United States

to talk aboutthe free press that way...

I mean, I'm sticking upfor the-for the press.

This is not-this is not...

-This is sort objectivelyfor the press. -Yes.

It's terrible. It's horrible.It's a horrible feeling,

and it's... by the way,it's just not right.

When he talks about the peoplefollowing him around

as dishonest scum of the earth,terrible people.

They're people who really wantto do their job

and fill the role of the...

their important roleof the fourth estate.

-(cheering, applause)-Reporting on that...

Reporting on that is crucial,

um, to informingthe electorates.

Let's discuss this candidly.

I'm mean, I'm in the media,you're in the media.

I know the answer to thisquestion from my side,

but what are you doingto rig the election?



I-I know my answer.

If I told you,I might have to kill you.

Now, uh, final questionbefore I let you go.

Uh, if by some horrible miracle,uh...

'cause I don't know whatthe anti-miracle is,

Donald Trump wins the election,

what job would you go into...

because there will beno more journalism?


What is the one thingyou would do?

How do you like your coffee?

(laughter, applause)

Served with thanks.

-Thank you so much, Dana.-Thank you.