tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN December 14, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm PST
tomorrow night. look at that. the theater at the ven in addition. gorgeous, gorgeous room. we are all set for tomorrow night as someone walks right into the picture there. murphy's law. so that's it for us. see you right back here in the cnn republican debate. i will be in the facebook lounge. our live coverage is going to continue now with john vause here in las vegas. isha sesay in los angeles. good night. hello and welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. i'm john vause live in las vegas where republican presidential candidates are getting set to square off on tuesday night. >> and i'm isha sesay in los angeles where just hours ago the new "star wars" movie made its
world premier. i'll take you to the red carpet next on "cnn newsroom" live from los angeles. >> it is 9:00 p.m. here on the las vegas strip where in about 18 ors the top republican contenders in the u.s. presidential race will take to the stage. it's their final debate of the year, a clash that will shape a contest that's full of complex issues and it is fair to say some very colorful personalities. okay. let's bring in cnn politics executive editor for more analysis on this and of course the man who is center stage once again, made this debate all about himself, donald trump has a rally here a short time ago. >> i tell you, van, he's still working the crowd. casino hotel down the strip. he acknowledged he is going to be the target tomorrow night. he is the front-runner. we've seen a new poll out here in the united states, national poll that shows he is by far
leading the republican field by many, many points. as many now as 30 points. i've got to tell you, john, not only did he talk about himself being a target but when it comes to foreign policy he says as far as refugees goes from syria, any syrian refugees here in the united states if he's elected president he's going to round them up and send them home. >> so this is what the debate is going to be about now. foreign policy, national security, because obviously what happened in paris and more closer to home what happened in san bernardino has changed his campaign in a very big way. and that seems to be benefiting donald trump. >> it has. what's interesting about donald trump, even for -- it's perplexing in many ways for the voters here in the united states as well as around the world, when you see what donald trump has said, in many ways it would have killed the candidacies of any other person. donald trump comes out and says he's going to build a wall among the mexican border next year and have the mexican government pay for it. he's going to deport all the syrian refugees. he says he is going to not allow
new non-u.s. muslims here in the united states for a short time but yet he continues to gain traction. >> he is ramping up the rhetoric. it's not backing down because he thinks he's going a winner with this because this is what the republican base wants to hear? >> i think there's an incredible amount of frustration from the american public and the people supporting him right now, a third of the republican petarty trust traded with what's going on in washington. there is fear over feel losing their jobs, but right now as you said, with terrorist attacks fear of safety here in the u.s. >> number one issue right now, economy, 4% of people polled say that is now the main issue. amazing how this race has changed. donald trump changing with it. thanks for being with us. we appreciate your insight. rnlth donald trump has been the field front-runner but the field is starting to shift. ted cruz is changing some ground. jeff has more on that.
>> reporter: donald trump still on top but tonight a new pecking order in the republican race. a new lineup on the debate stage. ted cruz suddenly gaining ground nationally and in the key state of iowa. even overtaking trump by 10 percentage points. the front-runners will be standing next to each other tonight night. the first time they've come face to face since the personal attacks started. trump giving cnn state of the union a preview. >> because i'm more capable. because i have a much better temperament. because i actually get along with people much better than he does. >> reporter: he took it one step further on fox news sunday. >> when you look at the way he's dealt with the senate where he goes in there like, frankly, like a little bit of a maniac, you're never going to get things done that way. >> reporter: that generated a most unusual response from cruz, responding on twitter with a 1980s flashback to "flash dance." in honor of my friend donald trump and good hearted maniacs everywhere. ♪
so far cruz refuses to hit back publicly at trump but behind closed doors, he took the first swing. >> people are looking for who is prepared to be commander in chief. that's a question of strength but it's also a question of judgment and i think that is a question that is a challenging question for both. >> cruz may be top target tomorrow night. and not just for trump. senator marco rubio is drawing attention to cruz' voting record. a accusing him of being weak on national security. >> i guess my point is each time he's had to choose between strong national defense and the isolationist tendencies in american politics he seems to side with the isolationists. >> reporter: he hopes to convince voters he's more electable. in a hypothetical head to head match- match-up, hillary clinton crushes trump 50% to 40%. she's 48% to 45% over cruz. but a different story for marco rubio. he leads her 48% to 45%.
and that is the underlying question in this entire campaign. which republican is best positioned to beat hillary clinton or whichever democrat happens to win the nomination? that's what worries some republican leaders in the party establishment, is donald trump strong enough to take on hillary clinton in the general election? it's one of the questions that may be answered at the debate on tuesday night. >> jeff zeleny, cnn, las vegas. throughout this gop primary there has been a lot of talk about a civil war within the republican party. the insiders versus the outsiders. donald trump versus pretty much everybody else. well, for more on that, anna who is a supporter of jeb bush and a friend of marco rubio. thank you for being with us. and jeffrey who i think it's fair to say is a donald trump supporter. let's talk about the civil war, will we see that play out tomorrow night? >> i think there are different factions in the republican party and there is a very wide spectrum of diversity of thought on a number of issues, whether it's national security, whether
it's foreign policy. it runs the gamut of where republicans stand right now. one of the big challenges that anybody who wins a nomination is going to have is bringing everybody under one tent, getting even enthused because they're going to need all republicans to come out and vote. will we see that tomorrow? i think so because i think there is a battle over the mantel of who is a real outsider versus insider establishment versus outsider. so i do think you will see some of that tomorrow. some of it more subtle than at other times. but you will see it. >> jeffrey, some commentators have said trump is trying to burn the republican party down from the inside. is that fair? >> from their perspective, i'm sure it is fair. to be perfectly candid a lot of this has nothing to do with donald trump. a lot has to do with the republican party itself and the trouble that it's gotten itself in over the last handful of years to the point where i think people very much feel that they
promised one thing, get elected. they say, if you just elect us and think get elected and they say we can't do anything and they don't do anything. so a bit of a bait and switch going on. then you add donald trump to that situation. and this is becoming incredibly potent. i might add to that matter ted cruz as well. bernie sanders there for a while. >> with that in mind, does tomorrow night, does donald trump go after ted cruz? he's now surging in the polls. and is there a danger because many people see ted cruz as that outsider, as the true conservative. >> right, right. i think he does have to be careful about going after him from the conservative side. and anna is quite right about that. there is rumblings on the right from people who like donald trump. >> rush limbaugh for one. >> right. so i think he does have to be careful about it. i think he will. >> donald trump has got to be very careful on how he handles ted cruz. the best thing that could happen to ted cruz tomorrow the for donald trump who has been leading and who continues to lead in national polls to punch down, to ted cruz' level and
therefore make cruz rise. and cruz has -- cruz is an able debater. >> yes, he is. >> he is legalistic. and he also, you know, he's got this flare for drama. and uses sense of humor in a way to deflect attacks. i think if trump goes after him you're going the see a dismissive ted cruz use humor or something of that sort. >> there's no guarantee that cruz will go after trump. that leads to marco rubio, doesn't it? >> i don't think -- i suspect cruz does not go after trump proactively. i suspect that he will try to deflect any attack from donald trump. i think the real fireworks are going to be between ted cruz and marco rubio. they are very evenly matched. they're both 44 years old. both rookie senators. they're both from immigrant cuban-american parents. they're both lawyers. one is a very legalistic lawyer, you know, a guy who has practiced many years, who has practiced even in front of the
supreme. marco rubio is more of a political type lawyer, more poetic in his rhetoric. i think you're going to see them go hand in hand. >> this debate, should it be about national security, on that issue, should be marco rubio but donald trump is leading. explain that. >> i think he sort of emanates strength. i think that's what the american we'll are responding to or this supporters are responding to. we get into the sort of policy wonk deal which we all like, right? lots lots of people in media like it and elsewhere. the afternoon voter is going by their gut and saying who is the guy that's going to stand up and speak. this is what happened with ronald reagan years ago. >> well, i mean, we're shorthanding it here, but, yes. yes. >> look, i think that republicans want everything that is as opposite to what we've had with president obama for seven
years, as possible. and you can't get more of that than with donald trump, whereas president obama has been deliberative. he's been stealth. he's been careful. he chooses his words so carefully. he's conciliatory. with donald trump you've got a we're going to bomb the hell out of them type of attitude. i think that appeals to republicans after seven years of, you know, a guy who talks and talks and talks very mildly and doesn't do anything. >> in some ways donald trump was begot by drm. >> nice having you here. >> i wish it was a little warmer. >> thanks. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> great conversation there, john. >> having those two together to talk about the issues. we know that anna navarro, big supporter of jeb bush and marco rubio, not exactly a big fan of donald trump like jeffrey lawsuiters. but they were civil which i think is a sign that maybe they're trying to get some of
the heat out of this campaign, possibly. >> yes. civil is one way of looking at it. john, as you well know, tuesday night's debate provides maybe a last ditch opportunity for some of these candidates who are quite a way down in the polls to try and make an impression on voters ahead of the iowa caucuses. >> yeah, well, that's why this debate is so important. i know we say that every time, this debate is important, make or break. but this one is. if you just look at the calendar. the last debate of the year. a couple of days of talking about it, analyzing it. then christmas, new year. and then people start heading off to the polls to actually cast a ballot here. the first votes will be cast in iowa and new hampshire, so for many of these candidates who are trying to cut through, trying to stake a claim, trying to present themselves to the republican voters out there and say, listen, i'm the guy who should be your nominee for president. this really is their last chance. so if donald trump consumes all oxygen, which he's very good at
doing, then this is a lost opportunity for the rest of the field. and what a lot of analysts are saying is this is coming down to the three-way split. you have donald trump, ted cruz, marco rubio, for everybody else, maybe chris christie could get in there on the national security issues because he's good on that, for everybody else, it's going to be tough for them to actually cut through, stake their claim, tell the voters why they should be the nominee. why they should get their vote. that's why this debate will be very, very important for a lot of these candidates on stage tomorrow, isha. >> it's going to be fascinating. i really am excited about this last gop debate of the year. john? >> okay. i will have a lot more on the gop debate, the republican debate, live from las vegas in just a moment after a short break. but first, i'll speak with republican and democratic strategist about the tactics we may see from the presidential candidates tuesday night. stay with us.
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momentum after making huge gains in several polls. cnn's gary tuchman spoke with a group of cruz supporters to find out why he's their candidate. nine people meeting said ted cruz clark county, nevada, headquarters including a man holding a cruz fund-raiser in his home tonight. >> you're all supporting ted cruz as president. >> yes. >> how many of you have been supporting him the whole way? >> i have. >> seven of the nine of you have been with cruz from the beginning. you who are hosting the fund-raiser for cruz, who did you support in the beginning? >> trump. >> what changed? >> what changed was he's basically saying the same things now that he said when he opened up make america great. a lot of things have to be done to make america great and he's not really saying what they are. >> and you think cruz is? >> i think cruz is a man of conviction. he's got priorities. and he can make america change. >> nationally there is much conversation about cruz'
likability. >> he's very much like ronald reagan and he knows how to work with other people. you're talking about the u.s. senate at this moment. a lot of those people you didn't want to get along with. >> does it trouble any of you that cruz even a lot of republicans say they have a tough time getting along with him this. >> i think you're not getting along with his principles. he's standing on conservative principles in a bold manner and he's not going to move to what he calls the mushy middle. >> do you think ted cruz can get along with democrats? >> yeah. >> absolutely. >> why do you think that? >> yes. >> he's a good person. >> you want to get a point across you better have your courage of conviction. that's what this man has. i'm not offended by his -- >> what about you? >> i personally think that cruz is not worried about pleasing everyone necessarily and he's -- he would rather stick to his own values and what he believes in and push for conservative principles than have to go into the middle and compromise what he believes in to get along with everyone. >> how do you feel? >> i think bipartisanship is
overrated. that's not what we have as politicians in washington to do. >> i hear that. >> how important are cruz' religious beliefs to you? >> very. >> is that one of the reasons you're supporting him? >> no. >> no. >> no. >> no. >> the package, yeah. >> what he says and it's a proven package. and that's part of it. >> you don't think he's just the evangelical candidate? >> no. >> no. >> no. >> i see him as a constitutional candidate. >> and these people believe he's the toughest candidate and it's no coincidence his polls have gone up in the days since badr. >> when he talked about carpet bombing isis, do you go for that? >> yes. >> do you think that will work? >> i think he also says on the front end of that he's going to listen to his generals. >> we're in nevada. what do you think the odds are being in nevada that ted cruz will become president? real quick, here's the numbers? >> 50/50. >> i'm going to say 50/50. >> way too early to say.
i think it's going to be strong. >> it's nevada, they put odds on everything right away. >> i think 100%. >> gary tuchman, cnn, in las vegas. >> for more on the presidential showdown we're joined by democratic strategist bill car rick and republican consultant john thomas. gentlemen, welcome to the program. bill, quite simply, what are your expectations for tuesday night's debate? >> i think this is the last debate of the year coming into the christmas holidays. it's getting to be decision making time in iowa. you not only have to find your supporters, you've got to get them there. it's a complicated process going to caucuses. it's not just like going to vote. you've got to go to a meeting and make a commitment. people are going to make decisions and those decisions are going to turn into organizational qualities. >> and john, do you think people will be paying more attention tomorrow night to the point that bill just made? >> they will. as we close the year some of the
strugglie inine ining campaign,t to make moves tomorrow night. the they don't, rand paul, mike huckabee, they need to re-evaluate whether they're going to go into the new year. forget iowa. john kasich has to stand out from the crowd. ben carson cysuspended his campaign to go to israel and now his poll numbers have gone down. >> i think given recent events in france and in california, san bernardino attacks, the expectation is that national security will be front and center. who does that benefit in this debate? >> you know, it's a funny thing. on just style points and coming off his strong and somebody is going to stand up for america, trump has been winning that hands down so far. now, the other candidates want to show that their substantive, they have real policy and
explain the difference between themselves and president obama. but they're going to be more substantive and they're going to compete with the trump show, which is pretty dramatic and he's been winning on emotion. they got to really take it to him on the issues and prove that he's not up to the job. >> i think bill hit it on the head. the challenge is the candidate that's not trump, whether you're rubio or cruz, have to be the substantive anti-trump and be that gop establishment candidate. >> emotion as well. >> it's true. you can't be too much establishment because we're running in an outsider environment. so it's really becoming the person, the answer to trump tomorrow night and national security really plays into marco rubio's hands. we'll see, look, marco hits his marks every time. that's not going to be good enough because right now he's third and fourth in every poll. he's got to move up. we'll see how he does tomorrow. >> do they need to go head to head and get down in the mud with donald trump tomorrow? some have said that's unwise because that's what trump likes and that's what he's good at.
at this stage in the race do the other candidates need to engage him directly? >> so far trump has had more mud than the whole rest of the field put together. so they're not going to win the mud bath. they may -- take it to him and prove that he's not up to being president. we've seen a lot of outlandish statements in the last few weeks. that people are beginning to question a little bit but none of those candidates have taken it to him in a substantive way. i don't think they need to get in a personality back and forth. but if they can deal with it on substance they'll score points. >> the real fight you want to look for tomorrow is between cruz and rubio. and who has better chops on national security, fighting terrorism. i think they're both positioning for that anti-trump second place. it wouldn't be wise though going into donald trump, your station just gave him 16 minutes of a rally of uninterrupted airtime. try and compete with that today is very difficult. >> as you talk about that, and the mount of media airtime trump is getting across the board uks not just with this network.
i'm going to ask you, what the republican establishment will be looking for tomorrow night? i mean, there's some concern he's hurting the brand. what are your thoughts in terms of the lens they will be viewing this debate through? >> i think the republican establishment is hope that trump slips up so badly he doesn't pass tomorrow night. that's not likely to happen. they're looking for rubio to prove his merit, he can stand toe to toe with donald trump, that he connects with the american electorate. but look, we might be going to a brokered convention. i think the gop's -- the establishment's problems are not going to be answered tomorrow night. >> when you hear that brokered convention does that fill you with bleep? >> in 1980, the last time we had a contest for either party's convention and with senator kennedy against president carter. it's a real -- it's a really taxing thing. it really knocks it out of a party. >> i just want to point out for our viewers that there were some
pictures we just put up a short moment a, go life pictures of a trump rally there in vegas. he's getting all the attention. the question is how does it play out tomorrow and what does it mean for the convention down the road. >> i think that donald trump, whether you like him or hate him, you have to agree that his statements on immigration have really touched part of the american electorate in not necessarily they may agree with his statements but it's really hit on a fear that the current administration when president obama is not doing enough to fight terror and people feel they're not safe. and that donald trump is the only candidate so far that's calling the president out and saying i'm going to take bold steps to keep you safe. i don't think the rest of the field although i don't think they need to go that far, i don't think the rest of the field is really laid out the case of how they're going to make americans safe. >> somebody needs to merge out of tomorrow night to be the challenging to trump that the people who are anti-trump, which are considerable, can rally around. so far they're split all over
the place. >> bill, john, we're going to continue this conversation in the next hour. it's great to have you with us to get your insight and perspective. thank you so much. >> great to be here. we will go back to vegas after the break for a look of what to expect from the candidates tuesday. when emergency room doctors choose an otc pain reliever for their patients muscle, back and joint pain. the medicine in advil is their #1 choice. nothing is stronger on tough pain than advil. relief doesn't get any better than this. advil.
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high stakes bout and in a manner of hours presidential candidates will square off here. it will be their final debate of the year. a chance for each candidates to differentiate themselves from what has been a very crowded field. right now donald trump leads that field. some ground in a poll in iowa. but of course you would not know that if you look at this crowd. leading nationally by a wide margin according to some of the national polls. here he was just a short time ago at a rally with supporters right here in las vegas. florida senator marco rubio held this rally a few hours ago also here in has vegavegas. rubio is in third place behind donald trump, texas senator ted cruz. cnn political analyst josh roggin joins me now on what to expect. everything is changed now, focused now on national security after the attacks in paris and san bernardino.
again, donald trump is lead that field with we heard about talk about what he would do, deport refugees in the united states. clearly this is hitting a mark with a lot of republican voters. why is that? he's not appealing to most americans. >> what most republicans can easily agree is the obama administration middle east policy has been muddled and unclear. they should establish a clear concise message that seems strong that seems tough, that anyone can understand. trump was the first to actually do that. even though his policy positions may not make sense on a policy level, the voters can see where he's at, he's relatively consistent. and that's enough for now. we're going to get into a debate over policy as the debate -- >> let's go forward to tomorrow night. do we get into that policy debate or is it enough for donald trump to keep his front-runner status by talking in broad brush strokes, we're going to bomb the heck out of them? >> it's enough for trump but it's not enough for the other candidates. they have to make some sort of progress. they have to show some sort of
expertise. >> why the difference? why can donald trump get away with it that cruz and rubio can't? >> trump is running as somebody who has no experience. cruz and rubio are running as senators. they have to back that up with specific specific proposals. and they have records. when they say i think this people can check that with the way they have voted. >> as we look at national security, surely this is something that will be in marco rubio's wheelhouse. he's been consistent of over the last couple of years. so why is it that more republican voters trust donald trump on national security than someone like marco rubio? >> there's always been a split inside the republican party between people who ant a assertive, aggressive, mi militaryistic. ted cruz has tried to capture the group of people inside the republican party, less intervention, less wars-now as the war on isis gets worse they're moving back to their previous position, new polls
show more republicans than not approve ground troops in the fight against isis for the first time in over a year. is ground is moving toward the marco rubio position. the question is, will it move fast enough for marco rubio to benefit? >> we have these controversial statements, controversial plan coming from donald trump about this temporary ban on muslims from entering the united states, deporting syrian refugees already in the country. this is an issue that appeals to a certain field of american voters but alienates most voters in the united states. does it get to a point where they move so far to the right that you can win the nomination but you got no chance not general election? >> we always have this dynamic before election. here on the ground in las vegas, what they say is this. once the general election comes the republican party will then coalesce around its familiar, mi militaryistic center. the general election will happen. the positions will change. most republican voters will go
along with whatever the republican position is at the end of the day. >> can't bring it back? >> that's the risk. >> what happened to mitt romney, right? >> that's the risk. that's why you see ted cruz with the policies not as far as donald trump. he knows donald trump is too far. he wants to find that middle ground. that middle ground keeps moving. that's a problem for him now but could be a benefit for him later. >> josh, good to speak with you. interesting night tomorrow night. all the positions being staked out will be a great night to find out exactly where all of this is now heading over the next couple of days. josh, thank you. and the final debate of the year among the republican candidates right here on cnn. wolf blitzer will be moderator. coverage starts tuesday, 3:00 p.m. pacific time. that's 6:00 p.m. on the east. and in hong kong, the coverage begins wednesday, 7:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m. in tokyo. so set your alarm clocks and get up early. i'll have much more from lost wages in just a moment. las vegas. but let's first, let's head back
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movie geeks. sports freaks. x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. welcome back, everybody. i'm john vause live in hlas vegs where the republican candidates will square off on tuesday night. watching close will be the other side, the democrats. a short tomb atime ago i spoke with a democrat strategist and hillary clinton supporter paul begatt a and he told me what he will be looking for in this debate. >> well, for more on the view of this debate from the democratic side i'm joined by paul and hillary clinton supporter. great to have you with us.
first up, what are you expecting tomorrow night? what are you hoping for tomorrow night as democrat? >> what i'm hoping for is what we saw here in las vegas a few nights ago, a 13-second knockout by the ufc champion mcgregor. what i'm expecting is there will be a lot of hillary bashing. i get that. the more interesting thing is how they differentiate among themselves. there used to always be an establishment favorite who emerged early and won. george w. bush, even mitt romney. this time there doesn't seem to be one. in fact, it's the outsiders who seem to be dominating. that's fascinating. >> differentiating the candidates, how do they do that right now? donald trump is saying a lot of things that are popular amongst republican voters but not popular amman the country. how do they deal with that? >> the primary is about motivating your base, your most committed supporters.
general election is about people in the middle. you don't ever want to do anything in a primary that makes it impossible in the general. that's what they're doing now. stating things so far extreme, that it's going to make it impossible to capture the middle. meanwhile, hillary clinton, even running against a socialist, has not been pulled so far out to the left that she can't win the center in november of 2016. so that's the problem the republicans have right now. and i think the smart ones know it. i just don't think they can stop it. >> didn't they have this problem last time around and they had an autopsy and said we need to make the party more inclusive, more voters in this process? they're not. >> the republican party is becoming older, angrier, and whiter. as a country is becoming young and more diverse. and so they're moving in opposite direction of where the electorate is. this is a death spiral for a political party. i fully expect them to pull out off it.
you can never count on a political party destruct. in the '70s they went off to the fringe and had a couple of cycles where my party carried one state or four states. the republicans are at risk of losing in a major way an election they should win. you don't usually win three in a row. no democrat has done so in my lifetime. they should win this by history but they seem hell-bent on taking themselves off a cliff. >> let's talk about hillary clinton for a while because we haven't heard a lot from hillary clinton. i know there's a gop debate coming up and talk about the republican party right now but it seems the last time i heard from secretary clinton she was talking about donald trump and i can't remember the last tomb i heard from bernie sanders. does this help? does this hurt? >> hillary i think it helps a bit. when i was first looking at this race, i thought i don't know how she can dance alone in that spotlight as a front-runner for two years. it is an unforgiving spotlight. it's a withering spotlight. she had some early mistakes. she recovered from them. now mr. trump has seized the camera. i'm okay with that because i think what he's doing is pulling
his party off to the extreme. at the same time, hillary is going to give a major address tomorrow at the university of minnesota on terrorism which is a strength for her. normally democrats trankly are seen as weaker on national security and women are often seen as weaker. she is the national leader on -- when you ask people in a poll, who is the strongest to confront terrorism. she will be playing to that as republicans are tearing each other apart. that might be a nice contrast. >> appreciate it. >> john, thanks so much. >> thank you. as they say, the democrats fall in line. the republicans fall in love. right now they have fallen in love with donald trump who is leading by a big margin on a number of national polls and a lot more of our coverage from here in las vegas when we come back, a short break right now. you're watching cnn.
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army officer suggest he get no jail time. he sdis appear fred his post in afghanistan in 2009, held captive by the taliban and six u.s. soldiers died in missions to find him. bergdahl was freed in a prisoner swap with the terror group in to 14. baltimore is awaiting a verdict in the first of six police officers on trial in the death of freddie gray. residents marched side by side with officers monday. a stark contrast to earlier this year when the city saw wide spread protests and unrest after gray's death. on monday jurors ended their first day of deliberations in the trial of william porter. he faces several charges including involuntary manslaughter and second degree assault in gray's death. shifting gears now. when the galaxy far far away came to hollywood boulevard, "star wars" premiered just hours ago in l.a. i was there on the red carpet to talk with the stars and the
fans. there has been so much secrecy surrounding "star wars" episode vii. the movie trailers have barely given away any of the plot and that has generated a unique level of excitement. an excitement that is very much shared by the film's stars. >> protection of the first order. >> how much do you enjoy these things, these premiers? >> i love it, isha. i can't think of anything better to do. we dress up and do this in my backyard on wednesdays because wednesdays is a special day. come on. >> daisy, how are you feeling the big night is finally here? >> i was feeling quite sick with nerves. and then i started and it's all kind of calm. it's great. >> i feel great. i feel fantastic. i feel surprisingly relaxed. it was -- you have all of these memories popping off in your head because the smell of it, the sitting where chew we played
chess or whatever that game was, sitting in the cockpit. all of that. i mean, you know, it's like going back to your old school. >> the film is about to be shown to the world effectively. how are you feelings? >> i'm feeling relief. i wasn't feeling excitement because typely the fans get to see the film. it belongs to them, after all. >> i think that's what this films instill in us. they fire up our imaginations p they work their way into our dreams. they make us laugh. they make us cry. but they give us hope. >> reporter: according to director abrams in addition to the excitement, there's also a little bit of nerves. >> this is the moment though that directors live for, the unveiling of the film, the sharing of it with an audience. does it come with any nerves for you? >> of course. there are nerves. just going into the editing room working with an editor. there are certainly nerves showing the movie to a thousand plus people tonight. but i feel like -- i feel very
confident about the work done by the actors. so if nothing else, i know people will enjoy watching the performances. >> reporter: all the stars have headed in for their first glimpse of "star wars," the fans get their chance to finally see the movie this friday. and then they can be the judge as to whether the force really is strong with j.j. abrams and this latest installment. isha sesay, cnn, hollywood. well, disney which owns the "star wars" brand after buying lucasfilm in 2012 stands to make a tremendous amount of money from a successful launch. for now, i'm joined by sandra, managing editor with the l.a. business journal. sandra, great to have you with us. listen, everyone is looking to see how this movie is going to do at the box office and the bar is set very, very high. >> well, first of all, may the force be with you, isha.
and the bar is set very high. the expectation for this film is if it's not the biggest film of all time it will be a failure. that's pretty much a lot to live up to. the huge advance box office suggests it's well on its way. >> it's not just the box office takes, it's the merchandising. how important is the merchandising is to disney's revenue intake here. >> oh, huge. i mean, you mentioned in the intro that disney paid $4.05 billion to buy lucasfilm, the makers of "star wars" three years ago. at the time that seemed a bit iffy in terms of a deal. now with the movie projected to make $2.5 billion that's just a drop in the ocean compared to the revenue that will be generated by the merchandise. i'm talking ts, toys, t-shirts, other products. that could bring in as much as $5 billion. disney has about 20% of the royalties. so it's figured just on the action figures and other toys
they'll sell for $2.5 billion, meaning $500 million for disney. just from every time you pie one of those -- i know you've got several -- $25 action figure, think of money going into the disney coffers. money well spent. >> let me ask you this. what is your thought on how the film than directed, the direct marketing. it's notable the trailers barely show anything of the plot really speaks to their confidence in the film they have. >> classes will be taught in future years about this "star wars" marketing campaign. it's been a masterpiece every step of the way. they're very carefully staggered announcements over the years. cast appearances, little bits of trailers here and there, the product launches. i mean, they could have done it just blow everything in one go. here is everything. but, no, disney has managed this thing so supremely well that it served to build anticipation, not just notice united states but around the world. here in america, "star wars" is
as well-known as elvis presley, apple pie, and marilyn monroe. but in china, the most important overseas market now to the united states, they don't have the same familiarity to "star wars" so they're challenged there in the marketing, it's been more of an educational one to build the enthusiasm there. on global level disney has really deliver gled the brand high ends have been incredible. every time i turn around there's a tie in. has disney set a new standard for this is well, for this element of the game? >> well, also, the merchandisers know that "star wars" sells. so every single product you can imagine has "star wars" branding on it. i know that for christmas you are hoping for the luke skywalker high heels. >> i want a lightsaber. that's what i want for christmas. >> these are shoes that sell for $323 with blue lightsabers in the heels. so every time you walk back or stagger back from your christmas party. >> walk back, thank you.
>> you can press a function on your shoes and hear the sound of space battles as you walk. >> as people flee in my wake. how much does disney have riding on this? i know you said just over $4 billion that they muchesed lucasfilm for in 201. how much has this mattered to other parts of the company, leveraging the success? >> too big to fail. it has to succeed. failure is not an option which is why they've been so careful. theme park business as well. "star wars" lens being built in california, in florida as well. we're talking about the spinoffs, tie-ins, sequels. every level of the company is effected by "star wars." it's the biggest thing to happen to disney since mickey mouse. >> it's so exciting. i know you're seeing the movie in a couple of days. >> for the first of many times. >> i think you said three. appreciate it greatly. thank you so much. enjoy the film. >> i will. and you are watching "cnn
newsroom." i'm isha sesay in los angeles. >> i'm john vause live in las vegas. they say politics is show business for ugly people. tuesday night, isha and i will be back with much more after a short break. what makes this simple salad the best simple salad ever? heart healthy california walnuts. the best simple veggie dish ever? heart healthy california walnuts. the best simple dinner ever? heart healthy california walnuts.
presidential candidates are going to square off in tuesday night. >> i'm isha sesay. just hours ago the new "star wars" movie made its world premier. i will take you to the world carpet next on "cnn newsroom" live from los angeles. >> just hours now before the u.s. republican presidential contender s face-off in las vegs for their last debate of the year. it comes at an uncertain time for the republican party. let's bring in our senior reporter for media and politics dylan, to talk about, first of all, let's talk about trump's proposed ban on muslims in the united states. we heard from donald trump just a few hours ago here in las vegas. he had a very big rally. a lot of supporters there. a lot of old lines we heard and a lot of cheers for him. >> a lot of cheers. i'll say, cnn always has reporters at the rallies, tons of reporters.
it was my first time going to one of these things. the way he gins up that crowd and the enthusiasm coming out of that crowd is really something to be seen. it's historic. i don't think we've seen it in a republican primary. certainly not in recent history. the muslim ban is an interesting thing because what it does for tomorrow night's debate is it elevates the entire debate beyond politics. david ignatius and "the washington post" wrote that, you know, reputation -- historical reputations will be won or lost over the course of the next few weeks. only one time over the course of the next few weeks all of the candidates are going to be standing on stage and ask where they come down on this issue which is historic and for many americans goes against fundamental american values. >> given that what are the tactics here for candidates like marco rubio and ted cruz who obviously want the support that trump has but not sure they want to go all the way that trump has gone with his harsh rhetoric,
rounding up the syrian refugees to deport them, ban on muslims from entering the country. how far will they go? >> this is the difficult thing. if you look at the polls you're seeing a lot of support among republican voters and among republicans for what donald trump has proposed. if you're rubio, if you're cruz and thinking about the general election, you also know that by the time you get to the general election it might not look good to the majority of american people who opposed what trump has proposed. so threading that needle is going to be a contest. now, at the same time, it's not terribly appealing if on this sort of historic question about fundamental american values, a candidate is seen as playing politics. i'm going to be very interested in see how they sort of balance that tomorrow. >> is there a double standard here for the candidates because donald trump can get out there and he can put out these general statements, no details, and i have no experience but this is what i'm going to do. whereas candidates the more
serious, the more establishment candidates like rubio, bush, they have to put forwards policy details on how they would deal with these issues. >> that's right. what trump has done is he has established himself as post-fact candidate, right? he can go out there and say what he wants. he's running his own show. he's very department at handling the media when the media comes after him asking for specifics. cruz and rubio need to account for what they're saying. make appeals to rational thought as opposed to emotion. again, there is a double standard. you're absolutely right about that but that's just the nature of the campaign right now. >> why is this debate so important? we've been saying it's the last debate of the year. why is it so important and who has the most to lose and who has the most to gain? >> great question. first of all, the debate is important because what we're doing right now is after this debate we're heading into the holidays. there's going to be a huge lull. then the new year. it's going to be january and just like you know it it's going to be the iowa caucus kes.
when they are streamed into new hampshire, south carolina, this gets rolling. in is time for the candidates to make their case to the voters before the voters are gone for the holidays and formed their opinions. who has the most to lose? bernie sanders was second for a moment there we thought he was leading donald trump. he seems to be going nowhere. if he wants to staunch the blood letting that has to happen tomorrow night. ted cruz and marco rubio has a lot to gain. a lot of conventional wisdom has it we are heading for a showdown for cruz and carson. >> so he has got a very big hurdle to overcome tomorrow night. thachings for being with us. donald trump still leads the republican pact but some of his challengers have been gaining on him, especially senator ted cruz. john fuhrman has more now on the changing relationship between these two men.
>> reporter: a campaign like no other with a front-runner like no other, a new poll like no other. for the first time donald trump breaks 40% in a national poll for month mouth university. 27 points ahead of his closest rival. it is also the first poll taken since this controversial proposal. >> donald j. trump is calling for a total and complete shut down of muslims entering the united states. >> reporter: a notion that will be tested in the last republican debate of the year. the first debate since the terror attacks in paris and san bernardino. >> how crazy are we allowing ourselves to be subject to this kind of terror? >> reporter: trump finds himself center take at the cnn debate with the new next door neighbor, ted cruz who surged into second place in national polling and is running out in front or close in iowa. >> god bless the great state of iowa. >> reporter: until now, trump and cruz have remained friendly
foes, almost campaign comrades. in 24 hours that could come to an end. >> i like him. he's been so nice to me. i mean, i could say anything and he would say, i agree, i agree. but i think the time will come to an end pretty soon it sounds like. >> reporter: trump is previewing a possible line of attack compared to senator cruz, he says he is mr. agreeable. >> why should voters go for you over ted cruz? >> because i'm more capable. because i have a much better temperament. because i actually get along with people much better than he does. >> trump even accused kroouszcrg a little bit of of maniac while in the senate. cruz opened up a can of '80s in response tweeting, in honor of my friend, real donald trump and good hearted maniacs everywhere and he tweeted a link to the movie "flash dance." trump will not be the only challenge for ted cruz. senator marco rubio already
calling him weak on national security. >> each time he's had to choose between strong national defense and some of the isolationist tendencies in american politics. >> john berman, cnn, las vegas. throughout this gop primary there has been lot of talk about a civil war within the republican party, the insiders versus the outsiders. donald trump versus pretty much everybody else. for more on that i'm joined by two cnn political comment rate ta taters. jeffrey, who is i think it's fair to say is a donald trump supporter. what about the civil war? will we see that play out tomorrow night on the debate stage? >> there are different faction tons republican party. and wide spectrum on a number of issues, whether it's national supreme court by. whether it's foreign policy. it runs the gamut of where republicans stand right now. one of the big challenges that
anybody who wins a nomination is going to have is to bring everybody under one tent and getting them enthused because they're going to need all republicans to come you and vote. will we see that tomorrow? i think so. i think there is a battle over the mantel of who are the real outsider versus insider establishment versus outsider. i do think you will see some of that tomorrow. some of it more subtle than other times but you will see it. >> jeffrey, you know, some conservative commentators have said donald trump is trying to burn the republican party down from the inside. is that fair? >> from their perspective, i'm sure it is fair. you know, to be perfectly candid, a lot of this has nothing to do with donald trump. a lot has to do with the republican party itself and the trouble it's gotten itself in over the last handful of years. to the point where i think people very much feel that they promise one thing, get elected. theically say if you just elect us, then they get elected and say they can't do anything so they don't do anything.
a bit of a bait and switch going on. then you add donald trump to that situation. this is becoming potent. ted cruz as well, bernie sanders there for a while. carly fiorina for a while. >> with that in mind, tomorrow night, does donald trump, does he go after ted cruz? he's now surging in the polls and is there a danger because many people see ted cruz as that outsider and true conservative. >> right. i think he does have to be careful about going after him from the conservative side. anna is quite right about that. there are rumblings on the right from people who elect trump. >> rush limbaugh for one. >> yeah. i think he does have to be careful about it. >> donald trump has got to be careful on how he handles ted kruz. the best thing to happen is donald trump who has been leading and continuing to lead is to punch down, to ted cruz' level and therefore, you know, make cruz ripe. cruz -- you know, cruz is an able debater. >> yes, he is.
>> he is legalistic. you know, he's got this fair for drama. and use sus sense of humor in a way to deflect attacks. i think if trump goes after him you're going the see a demisive ted cruz lose humor or something of that short. >> there's no garn teen that cruise will go after trump. >> i don't think, you know, i suspect cruz does not go after trump proactively. i suspect he will try to deflect any attack from donald trump. i think the real fireworks are going to be between ted cruz and marco rubio. they are very evenly matched. 44 years old. rookie senators. both from immigrant cuban-american parents. they're both lawyers. one is very legalistic lawyer, you know, a guy who has practiced many years who practiced in front of the supreme court. marco rubio is more of a political type lawyer, more poe tet it in your rhetoric.
i think you will see both of them go hand in hand. >> this debate should be about national security. donald trump is leading. explain that for us quickly. >> i think he sort of emanates strength. i think that's what the american people are responding to or a lot of his supporters are responding to. you know, we get into this policy wonk deal which we all like, right? lots of people in the media like it and elsewhere. i think the average american voter out there is going by their gut and saying who is the guy that's going to stand up and really speak. this is what happened with ronald reagan years. >> yeah. i mean, we're shorthanding it here. yes. >> i think that republicans want everything that is as opposite to what we've had with president obama for seven years. as possible. and you can't get more of that than what donald trump. whereas president obama has been
deliberative, stealth, careful, he chooses his words so carefully. he's conciliatory. for donald trump you've got a, you know, we're going to bomb the hell out of him type of attitude. it's seven years of a guy who talks and talk and talks very mildly and doesn't do anything. >> donald trump was begat by barack obama. >> glass you are here. >> thank you. >> thank you. yes, something of a bit of a anna navarro and jeffrey lord. an what has been critical of donald trump for most of this campaign so they came together, took some of the heat out of the discussions they've had in the past. so maybe that's a sign of things to come. we will have a lot more from las vegas as we continue to look ahead to the republican debate on tuesday. it will be right here on cnn. >> but first, there's no doubt each candidate, john, will have
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you're watching "cnn newsroom" live from los angeles. i'm isha sesay. >> i'm john vause live in a bitterly cold las vegas and the stage is almost set for the final u.s. republican presidential debate of the year. it is airing right here on cnn tuesday night. that's what that clock in the right-hand corner of the screen is all about. donald trump is facing a strong challenge from the texas senator ted cruz. cnn's sarah murray looks at what these candidates have in common that has them surging in the polls. >> reporter: donald trump and ted cruz leading the field in iowa. a conundrum for establishment republicans. is the bigger threat the enemy you know or the one you don't. >> i'm dealing with all of these blood sucker politicians. they'll make their deals and have all of their money guys
around and be in the back room making dealings p but if i get the number of delegates it's not a thing they can do. >> reporter: both candidates have made waves with controversial policy positions. cruz suggesting a religious test for syrian refugees. >> christians right now are facing persecution and potential genocide by isis. they're being beheaded. they're being crucified. and we ought to be working to provide a safe haven to the christian refugees but we shouldn't be bringing potential terrorists into america. >> wow. >>
reporter: and trump calling for blocking muslims all together. >> donald j. trump is calling for a total and complete shut down of muslims entering the united states until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. >> reporter: like trump -- >> when mexico sends his people, they're not sending their best. they are bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists.
>> reporter: cruz also has a history of making jarring remarks. once saying that accepteding obamacare was akin to apiecing the nazis during world war ii. >> we saw in britain, chamberlain who told the british people accept the nazis and in america there were troyse voices that listened to that. >> reporter: and taking a flip approach to a question about contracepti contraception. >> last i checked we don't have a rubber shortage in america. >> reporter: neither of these candidates are strangers to sparring with their republican establishment. but tonight at a campaign event in las vegas it was clear that donald trump had no interest in sparring with ted cruz. he
pointed out he's far ahead in nationwide polls. he called ted cruz a good guy. sara murray, cnn, las vegas, nevada. >> let's head back to isha in los angeles. one thing about this debate coming up, interesting to see if that bromance which has been going on between donald trump
and ted cruz, if that continues tomorrow night on the debate stage. >> indeed. we shall find out. and i'll be putting that to our studio guests who join us right now. we welcome back democratic strategist bill carrick and republican consultant john thomas. gentlemen, you just heard my coanchor john just saying that we've seen more of this bromance between donald trump and ted cruz are those days behind us? john? >> i think right now with ted cruz' number surges in iowa i don't think donald trump has any choice but he's not go whack ted cruz down. tomorrow trump is going to try to remain on top and he's going to try to dismiss all of his opponents and probably give a whack or two to ted cruz. >> bill anna navarro made a point that the best thing that could happen to ted cruz tomorrow night is for donald trump to whack down, so to
speak, that elevates his status. how do you see it? >> i think that's right. if he goes after him, anti-strump vote, which is bigger than trump vote, he's going to get a lift out of it. i think the rest of the candidates, rubio in particular, would not like that if trump goes after cruz. so if it's a true pbromance, trump will be go after him. >> do you expect them to focus on the details, the facts tomorrow night or more of just ginning up the debate. what are your expectations on that front in terms of the tenor and the level of detail? >> i think when the doubt blame in the media. make a "star wars" reference if you can. but, yeah, not focusing on the rest of the field but focus on hillary clinton who is best to beat her. focus on the media and how unfair they're treating you. that's been a winner.
newt gring gingrich used that cycle. >> i think one of the things, given the focus on national security issues, giving to quus on what happened in paris and then san bernardino, i think people are going to want something serious to be said about those issues. and i think somebody benefit from it if they had something responsible, meaningful, that sounlgded like you were ready to be, you know, commander in chief. that would -- somebody would be helped by that. that finding that moment with nine players on that stage is really tough. >> i think that's a reality. it's such a big field. how do you find that moment? it's a challenging task. >> bill, as the democrat at the table, what's the best possible outcome of a democrat's point of view from tomorrow's -- from tuesday's debate? >> well, you know, i put one caveat, this may be, you know, just wishing for something you may not want but, trump, i mean,
i think democrats are all saying, you know, if trump is the nominee he can't get elected. if trump is not the nominee but he goes ghost deep into the calendar, he could emerge as a third party candidate. i think the democrats are all secretly and probably perversely root for trump. >> and we're definitely afraid fof that, too. trust us. we don't want -- >> both parties to get out of there. rare. >> unifier. john, very quickly, nine people in the stage for the main cards, for the main show. on tuesday, the undercard. how much longer can people keep this going, so to speak, if you're not in the top tier of candidates? >> this really is your last hoorah as you close out the year. if you're rand paul or graham or muck b huckabee, you are oning on fumes. you can't field this organization. heck, you're going to be kicked
off the next debate stage. at some point you have to realize your political capital at maximum, leverage that send put it behind who you think is going to be the winner. >> when people start losing, you get to iowa caucuses and you are finishing we have seen some of these polls. sixth, seventh, eighth, those people are gone. we will clear this field out pretty fast at the bottom as soon as voters start making decisions. iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, there will be plenty of people going bye-bye after the erchs. >> we will be watching tus night's debate to see ho is throwing the punches. thank you so much. thank you. and we will have more from las vegas after the break, including a look at how trump's lead in the polls could shape the republican debate. this is brad.
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you're watching "cnn newsroom" live from los angeles. i'm isha sesay. >> i'm john vause live in las vegas. this is a city no stranger to high stakes bouts. and in a matter of hours the u.s. republican presidential candidates will square off just right here. it will be their final debate of the year. chance for each candidate to try and differentiate themselves from what has been a very crowded field. okay. donald trump has been lead that field for quite some time. almost for the last six months. he has lost a little ground in some of the polls, especially in iowa. but that certainly wasn't on display when he addressed a crowd here in las vegas at a
rally a few hours ago. the supporters were turning out, cheering their favorite candidate right there. florida senator marco rubio held a rally also a few hours ago here in las vegas. he has been gunning for mr. trump. rubio in third place behind donald trump. and texas senator ted cruz. trump's lead in the national polls is sure to shape tuesday night's debate. for more on that i spoke to our senior political analyst a hort time ago. either druch is leading by a lot or leading by a little but still leading and continuing his lead nationally. does that change this debate because clearly trump isn't going to soeelf i'mplode. >> i think it's more and more clear, everyone in the republican establishment who thought donald trump was going to implode is looking for plrks plan b. i think plan b is not so much as
taking him down as it is invel low pressuring. blue collar, not exclusively but particularly blue collar republicans is not going to go away. the question is though is whether that is a majority and whether someone can consolidate a larger portion of the party against him. that gets more complicated baz we're seeing the potential for the first time in a modern primary era of three-way race. something republicans haven't seen before. >> you really are accepting this narrative, emerging right now, three-way race. you've got trump and cruz on one side and rubio on the other. >> yeah. >> why is that? is it just because the way the polling is shaping up? >> evolution in the republican coalition is progressing in a way that is providing three distinct pots of voters that can sustain candidacies all of the way through june, potentially. you have ted cruz is marching down a traditional path. consolidating evangelical christians, the core of his rise in iowa. he goes a little bit beyond that and the most corn serve tive activist part of the party.
donald trump is really benefiting from this class inversion in american politics. a lot more of the working glass is identifying as republicans than 40 years ago and they changed the nature. trump is dominating among those voters. particularly the ones who are not evangelicals. we used to call them reagan democrats. this is the center right, white collar, less religiously devout voters. that has traditionally been the winning lane. it seems to be there for marco rubio but he hasn't quite locked it down. >> how does it shape this debate tomorrow night? cruz and rubio go after trump, do rubio and cruz fight it out? no one touches trump because it's dangerous territory? >> it's an interesting thing to see. you do have certain races going on. rubio, christie, bush, and kasich competing for that center right segment of the party. yet rubio seems focused on kroousz wcruz who is to his right. rubio, raise questions about the
national security credentials of ted cruz who went through a libertarian flirtation when it looked like that would be a more powerful strain in the party. i think that's indicative of rubio's strategic brilliance or strategic uncertainty. he is still trying to bridge the establishment and the base. the risk is that he doesn't do quite enough of either and ends up with a man without a country. >> national polls are out. we also had this poll out in iowa. it shows ted cruz leading there. what's more important there, the iowa poll or national polls? >> they both matter. what's happening in iowa is necessary but not sufficient for cruz to make a run at the nomination. cruz is rising in iowa by following a tried and truth path. he's consolidating evangelical cri christians there to win the vote. they could not advance far enough ahead to make a run at the nomination. in 2012, rick santorum, exit
polls in 20 states. he won evangelicals. he won 90 in one of them, louisiana. so ultimately for cruz to go further than huckabee or santorum he has to show he can reach a broader coalition. he is a full spectrum conserve i tive. the iowa poll shows that potential. the others show the challenge. in particular, trump's hold on the working class half of the republican party is remarkable. polling 45% to 50% among noncollege. that can make him formidable. i have a piece today walking through the states. you can imagine these three different pots demographically leading to three different geographic paths to the nomination. >> taking this to cleveland in july. finally, regardless of what happens here tomorrow night, no one is getting out of this race? >> it doesn't make sense.
roll the dice in iowa. social conservatives, but certainly, more important, jeb bush, john kasich, chris christie, they put all of those eggs in the new hampshire basket. there's a real possibility that those three and rubio sprout in new hampshire and allow trump to win. hard for cruz to win. they don't do well in new hampshire. imagine a scenario where cruz wins iowa. what do establishment republican s do the morning after. they don't like either of those choices and they want to be a strong general election nominee. it's going to be a wild ride. >> it has been already. ron, good to see you. >> thank you, john. a wild ride indeed. cnn will host the final debate of the year. wolf blitzer will be your moderator for the evening. our coverage starts tuesday, 3:00 p.m. that will be 6:00 p.m. on the east coast. for our international viewers in hong kong, coverage begins
wednesday 7:00 a.m. bright around early. 8:00 a.m. in tokyo. you won't won't to miss it. first, let's head back to isha in los angeles. >> thanks, john. the u.s. army sergeant who disappeared from his post in afghanistan in 2009 is now under new legal scrutiny. the details are next. type 2 diabetes doesn't care who you are. man woman or where you're from. city country we're just everyday people fighting high blood sugar. ♪i am everyday people. farxiga may help in that fight every day. along with diet and exercise, farxiga helps lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes.
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controversial prisoner swap with a terror dproup in 2014. the day of bergdahl's arraignment will be announced at a later time. what we can expect in the case let's turn to attorney martin. always great to have you with us. what do you make of this turn of events now saying that he can face court-martial? >> definitely surprising. his defense team thought the first recommendation that he not face any additional jail time would be the final recommendation and this whole ordeal would be over for him. i think we have to look at what happened this 2014. when there was that swap for those prisoners, the republican party was very angry and lots of americans, lots of veterans were very angry. they said this is a deserter. we should not be treating him like a hero. so from the beginning since 12014 there's been this large number of people in the country who always felt as if he needed to be punished. i think we have that public pressure and also we have him
going public in this podcast talking about what happened. and admitting that he left his post. now, he says he left it because he wanted to report about the lack of leadership and the way that the leadership was failing. the troops in afghanistan. but his -- the soldiers that were there with him say, look, you had a job to do and that was defending all of us and being a part of this team and look at the resources and the lives that were lost trying to find you. so he's not the hero that we were told in 2014. >> so as we talk about this podcast, it's called serial, that emerged a couple of days ago and the impact it may have had in terms of leading us to this point. the question then becomes from some people is, but isn't this a legal process? how would it be or why would it be prejudiced or influenced by him taking part in this podcast? >> and we don't have any facts that link the two together. what we do know is that the --
these general that's making the decision, who is making the decision to move forward with a trial. he will not comment on why he made the decision. but we do know it's a very political process. we have the republican party saying if he was not held accountable fair they were going to actually bring him before congress and hold their own hearing. so we have this political process at work. this pressure from the republican party and this public nature. it almost feels as if he's profiting. he's benefiting from this very horrific situation. so there's no facts to make a link between the podcast and the new recommendation about how the legal process should move forward. but you can imagine that it doesn't look good to have all of this controversy, to have so many people upset about him leafing this post and now you're engaged in this entertainment, you know, this podcast. >> action figure and all that. >> absolutely. i think he's ruffled a lot of
feathers. >> i want to talk about another big issue in the bill cosby. >> yes. >> back in the news. the comedian is countersuing seven women for defamation, claiming they ruined his reputation when they accused him of sexual assault. he's seeking unspecified damages raend tractions. the seven women initially sued cosby for defamation. more than 40 people have accused him for sexual assault over a seven-year period. cosby has denied any wrong doing and has not been charge with any crime. to come back to you now at this point, did you see this move coming on the part of the cosby camp? >> i can't say i'm surprised by it. he did something very significant a couple months ago. he changed his legal team. he had been represented by a high profile lawyer in the los angeles community but then he changed to a really large, very influential law firm full of very high-powered and very talented trial lawyers.
so whenever you see that kind of change in legal team you can expect something different and new to come out of that. and i think it's important to note that although there have been more than 40, some etch say 50 women that have accused cosby of some kind of rape or sexual assault, they're only seven lawsuits that were filed in the massachusetts area and there are two that are pending in los angeles. so although there are four dozen or so women that have accused him, there are only nine pending lawsuits. so the counter suits that were filed were against those seven lawsuits that are in massachusetts and the spin is they sued cosby for defamation and now he's suing them for defamation saying you have maligned my character by falsely accusing me of raping you. and i want damages. so it's a counter strategy that's often used in the law. you sue me. well, wait a minute, i'm going to turn around and sue you. i think he's trying to send a very strong message. one, to those women who have sued him but also to any other
potential litigants or plaintiffs to say if you sue me you can expect me to put forth a very vigorous defense and even come after you. >> some great insight and perspective. we appreciate it. we know the cosby story isn't going away any time soon. >> it's going to be around for a long time. >> we'll be talking. thank you. shifting gears now. and "star wars" took over hollywood boulevard tonight and i'll give you my view from the red carpet in just a few moments. phil! oh no... (under his breath) hey man! hey peter. (unenthusiastic) oh... ha ha ha! joanne? is that you? it's me... you don't look a day over 70. am i right? jingle jingle. if you're peter pan, you stay young forever. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. ♪ you make me feel so young... it's what you do. ♪ you make me feel ♪ so spring has sprung.
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you are watching "cnn newsroom" live from los angeles. i'm isha sesay. >> i'm john vause live in las veg vegas. donald trump has not been shy when it comes to criticizing other republican candidates. but now the conservative talk show host rush limbaugh who has been a big fan of trumps is firing back. limbaugh is unhappy trump has called senator ted cruz a maniac. on his radio show limbaugh said a genuine conservative enin the republican field would not go after cruz this way. that just raised a red flag for me. made me somewhat curious. meantime, donald trump's doctor has released a health assessment
and it is, according to the doctor, a astonishingly excellent. that is of course donald trump's health. harold bornstein is a internal medicine and trump's doctor for 25 years. in a letter he just released he said if elected, mr. trump i can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency. so isha, clearly they do, in fact, share somewhat of a similar temperament, mr. trump and his doctor. >> i see that. john vause in las vegas, appreciate it, john. thank you. now, turning to a galaxy far, far away that came all of the way to hollywood boulevard, "star wars" premiered just hours ago right here in l.a. i was on the red carpet to talk with all the stars. there has been so much secrecy
surrounding "star wars" episode vii. the movie trailers have barely given away any of the plot and that has generated a unique level of excitement, an excitement that is very much shared by the film's stars. >> protection of the first order. >> reporter: how much do you enjoy these things, these premiers? >> i love it, isha. i can't think of anything better to do. we sort of dress up and do this in my backyard on wednesdays because wednesday is a special kind of day for this. come on. >> daisy, how are you feeling? the big night is finally here. >> i was feeling quite sick with nerves. and then i started and it's all kind of calm. it's great. >> i feel great. i feel fantastic. i feel surprisingly relaxed. >> it was, you have all of these memories popping off in your head because the smell of it, sitting where chewy played chess or whatever that game was,
sitting in the cockpit, all of that. you know, it's like going back to your old school. >> the film is about to be shown to the world effectively. how are you feeling? >> i'm feeling relief. i'm also feeling excitement because finally the fans get to see the film. it belongs to them, after all. >> i think that's what these feels instill in us, they stimulate our imaginations. they fire up our imaginations. they work their way into our dreams. they make us laugh. they make us cry. but they give us hope. >> according to the film's director j.j. abrams, in addition to the excitement, there's also a little bit of nerves. >> this is the moment though that directors live for, the unveiling of the film, the sharing of it with an audience. does it come with any nerves for you? >> oh, of course. i mean, there are nerves just, you know, going into the editing room working with an editor. there are certainly nerves showing the movie to a thousand plus people tonight. but, i feel like -- i feel very confident about the work that was done by the actors.
so if nothing else, i know people will enjoy watching the performances. >> i cannot wait to see the movie. the latest movie is an exciting mix of old and new stars from the original films. joining some fresh faces. i sat down with the movie's newest stars. >> we all need to run. >> tell me about finn. >> finn is a storm trooper who doesn't feel like the part of the first order is his to take so he escapes and meets ray and bba. >> are we really doing this? >> bba, hold on. >> they will embark on a journey unwillingly together than to, you get to see how they interact with the old generation and how they play their part in this fight between good and evil. >> what can you tell us about ray? she goes on this event she never could have imagined.
so open to meeting new people, so hopeful as to what might be. meets like four different incredible relationships and sees incredible things and ends the film in a very dirnfferent place than she had begun. >> it's good to have a faith in your costars and to work closely with them and it felt like an organic collaboration, especially between finn and han, their relationship is quite significant. >> are you sure you're up for this? >> every day things would come up, we would have conversations. something would happen and we would be like, this feels right, this feels right. it was just a progression the whole way through. >> what's going to surprise viewers? when they watch this film? >> it takes risks. it's not "star wars" movie that just plays to the tune of good versus evil, goodwins, we can all go home. it takes -- it takes risks. >> i think i can handle myself. >> that's why i'm giving it to
you. >> i never like as spired to be famous. something i never wanted. if i could do all this and have people not recognize me, that would be ideal. >> you know that's out of the question now. >> ultimately i'm incredibly proud and pleased to be part of this thing. if that means that people know who i am, that's fine. if people relate to rae, that's great. if people relate to me, that's great. it's all like a positive thing. >> do you really have a handle on how much your life is going to change, how much have you thought at it explored what lies ahead? >> for me the way i see it is kind of like being on a roller coaster and you're trying to figure out why did i get on? it's going to drop anyway. just raise your hands up and have fun. ♪ >> they are in for quite a ride. and you're watching "cnn newsroom." i'm isha sesay. >> i'm john vause live reporting from las vegas. i am just keeping the "star
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