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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  December 15, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm PST

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and here we go, top of the hour. so great to be with you again here on a huge day in las vegas. you're looking at live pictures here inside where the action will all begin in checking countdown clock, now less than four hours officially. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me here on
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this tuesday afternoon. let me give you a quick lay of the land. the candidates are arriving here, they are touring the stage. in fact throughout the next two hours you will see several of the candidates, we'll catch them on the way in, we'll catch them on the stage seeing exactly the podium spacing, where they'll bow going in a matter of hours later this evening. national security likely to be the top issue with tonight's face-off. in the meantime we are following some breaking news today involving the nation's two largest school systems. new york city and los angeles. authorities now investigating e-mailed threats that were made today to both of those school districts. we have heard from the new york police commissioner bill bratton saying his team is investigating the threat as a hoax but in los angeles a much different story. officials there taking the unprecedented step of shutting down the entire school district. translation, that is more than 600,000 students in the midst of finals, a week before winter break, not going to school this morning. cnn has learned these threats
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are linked, officials say, the e-mails, new york and los angeles received, came from germany. the l.a. police chief blasted those who criticized their decision to shut down school today. >> it is very easy in hindsight to criticize a decision based on results that the decider could never have known. it is also very easy to criticize a decision when you have no responsibility for the outcome of that decision. the school district safeguards three-quarters of a million lives every day. when they make a decision, they have to take into account the safety of the children of los angeles. i think it's irresponsible based on facts that have yet to be determined to criticize that decision at this point. >> president obama has been
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informed of the threats and the fbi and atf are assisting. joining me now, cnn national correspondent kyung lah who is live for us in los angeles and also cnn national security analyst juliette kiem is joining us as well. >> reporter: what we know from the police chief is that the e-mail threat came in very late last night. he said that it was specific to l.a. unified school districts. that's why they decided to close it down. he specified that there were a few things in the e-mail that alarmed the school district. that it appeared to be very specific. it talked about explosive devices. it also referenced assault rifles. it referenced other weapons as well and that whatever was going to happen was already in place. so the superintendent talking to the school's police chief, not to charlie beck but to the school's police chief, they
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decided that it was prudent to close down all the schools. brooke, it has been a very hectic day for all those parents. nearly 700,000 students that suddenly have no place to go. they have to go home. all their working parents sun y suddenly have to figure out what to do. but right now you heard the police chief playing the defensive saying that this was the prudent choice. brooke. >> yeah, i know, i've been watching the kumcoverage all morning. this is a huge, huge deal that 640,000 students aren't going to class. it's also interesting this tale of two cities. juliette, you've worked in homeland security in massachusetts, but you juxtapose bill bratton and his response in new york with what's happened in los angeles, what's your read on the two? >> i've worked as a state homeland security official and in the federal government, so i've been involved with these
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decisions, whether it's snow or some threat. these are difficult judgment calls made. so, first of all, with los angeles, i thought the mayor garcetti did a pretty good job of maybe trying to calm people down and also at the end of his speech saying we need to keep engaging because if this ends up being a false alarm, we are going to have a problem that people don't take the real threat seriously. and so that gets to the second point and something that you're seeing between new york and l.a. you know, people were sounding really defensive at this press conference. that is not what people want to hear. they kept 600,000 children home with the consequences of parents, offices being closed, businesses being closed. this is a big deal. it is american to criticize if it was the wrong decision. so the sort of defensiveness seems to me to be not appreciative of the consequences of closing if the system broke down. in other words, if the l.a.
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police department was not notified, if the protocols were ignored. so if i were the mayor or someone who could look at this and say, look, we need to do a review here because we can't be closing school districts every time an e-mail comes in. it's not -- it's not sustainable. >> there's obviously a lot we don't know, but juliette, thank you so much. we know this is the backdrop. here in vegas thinking ahead to all these candidates on the stage and the theme is national security. i have to imagine what's happened there at los angeles and new york will, you know, be known here in las vegas. we are here in las vegas, of course, cnn special coverage tonight of the final republican debate of this year, 2015. anticipation, it is rising as the minutes tick down. we are 3 hours and 53 minutes away if you can watch the clock with us here for this debate. of course the undercard debate and then the main stage. you will see the candidates
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throughout the next two hours, as we're looking here. i don't know if these are live pictures or not of senator lindsey graham. yes, they are i'm being told, thank you, control room. so we'll see different candidates walking through, being talked through where they'll be standing and in some moments we'll catch the candidates coming into the arena hall to find out how they have been spending the last couple of hours. it's the last chance, as i mentioned, the last chance to debate happening tonight. it is here in las vegas at the beautiful venetian hotel. this is a town that is all about playing the numbers and they are pretty exceptional when it comes to donald trump. a second national poll now shows his support near 40%. 38% specifically of republicans with his closest competitor, senator ted cruz, a full 23 percentage points behind him. with those kinds of numbers trump might feel incredibly strong coming into tonight, but there is another poll, this is a new poll that could shake some of that confidence. this comes from monmouth
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university which found 52%, it's a slim majority, but a majority nonetheless do not support banning muslims from entering the united states. as you well know, this is a proposal that trump has recently floated calling for a temporary ban. in fact monmouth found the only group that backed such a ban was trump supporters. 61% of them want it. so let's analyze all of that and so much more, but first let's get to the ground. i have sarah murray who is in the spin room for us and athena jones is there at the entrance where the candidates will soon be arriving for those walk-throughs. athena, let me begin with you. have you been able to grab anyone so far? how are they spending their mornings so far in vegas? >> reporter: we've seen candidate marco rubio arrive. through this senator we saw senator rubio. i asked him how he's feeling heading into night. he said i'm good. coming out after his walk-through, i asked him how important it was to perform well tonight and he said he's looking
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forward to it. it will be great. brooke, senator rubio has performed well in the last several debates. he has reason to feel good, he's done a good job of getting his message across, appealing to voters, and he's benefited in the polls because of it. i spoke with one of his aides before today and he was saying, look, why do we need to fix what's not broken so they're certainly hoping for another strong night. as you mentioned, this is very, very important. it's the last chance for these candidates to make a strong impression heading into the holidays. senator rubio will want to make the case that he is very, very knowledgeable on foreign policy. that's something he's talked up in several of the last debates so we expect him to talk about his plans for defeating isis, we expect him to criticize the president's approach to defeating isis. and that is what one newspaper called quiet legislative sabotage of the affordable care act, obamacare. he slipped in a provision to the spending law that has undermined
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that law by limiting the government's ability to reimburse health insurance companies that are losing money as part of that program. so he's got a lot to say tonight to voters and he said he's feeling good about it. brooke? >> athena, you have a big job. we'll check in with you throughout the next two hours as you'll be wrangling some of these candidates as they head into the arena. sarah murray is standing by in the spin room. for those who don't understand what the spin room is, this is the room in which these campaigns, sarah, go straight into after the debates to spin with the media. >> reporter: that's right, brooke. we're actually in the debate hall right now where you see lindsey graham is here talking to reince priebus, but you're right later on tonight we will move over to the spin room. that's where these candidates will get an opportunity -- hi, senator graham. we're live right now. >> we are, hey, live. >> are you excited about tonight? >> oh, absolutely.
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my time is off. it's beautiful here. >> reporter: yeah, you like it? >> yeah. you come here, you lose money in this casino that helps the republican party in israel, so come here and lose. >> i hear donald trump is meeting with sheldon addelson today. what do you think of that? >> i think sheldon will do a lot of listening. >> here's a question for you. you're going to be on the undercard debate. you've said you don't think that's a very fair setup. how do you break out of the undercard debate and get onto the main stage? >> i think what i said four months ago about national security, i've been more right than wrong. events have proven me right. hopefully over time the closer we get to voting, people turn back and say that lindsey graham seems to know what he's talking about. tonight gives me a chance to make my case that the events have proved me right and my critics wrong and there's a way forward to prevent another 9/11 but we've got to change our strategy, so i'm going to really focus on what it takes to defend america and why i've been saying this for two years. >> why when we look at these
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proposals from trump, we're going to ban all muslims, and his numbers go up. >> people think that makes us safer. they want to be safe. you have every reason to be afraid because radical islam is getting stronger, not weaker. but fear is not a strategy. what he said in terms of banning all muslims is the single biggest mistake he could make. this is a war between radical islam and the world as well as people within the faith itself. the only way you win the war is partner with people in the islamic faith. he's made that partnership harder and he's empowered our enemies. he did the single worst thing he could possibly do. >> senator, thanks so much. appreciate it, have a good one. brooke, you saw senator lindsey graham excited still for tonight and hoping that this national security conversation could move him up to the main stage for some future debate. >> sarah murray, thank you very much here inside the arena. let's continue this discussion here ahead of the big debate. with me david brody, chief
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political correspondent for cbn, the christian broadcasting network. also with me cnn political commentator, amanda carpenter, who used to be the communications director for senator ted cruz. great to see both of you. i love seeing everyone rolling through getting the lay of the land. to you first and let me just be real. i've read so many polls on this whole muslim ban. there are conflicting numbers so i want to take the polls and chuck them for a second and ask you straight up, how will these other candidates sort of thread the needle with -- mindful of this primary republican audience, we know how trump stands on it. no one else is seconding the ban. but some people obviously in the audience are in favor of it but don't want to appear discriminatory. how do they draw a line in the sand tonight? >> i think everybody wants to see something done, which is why donald trump initially got credit for just saying something and being out there on the subject. now that they have looked at it, oh, maybe that presents some problems. ted cruz has a bill to
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temporarily stop the refugee program for countries that have large populations of terrorists. i think this is imminently reasonable approach. we can pinpoint the areas where muslims may be having radical ties but we shouldn't be stopping our immigration from countries where there's no threat. we have to keep that open. >> how else will they? >> there's always the debate to attack donald trump and not address the problem that he's raising, which i think is a terrible trap for republicans to fall into. you may disagree with donald trump's tactics, you may disagree with his rhetoric, but he is addressing problems that people are very concerned about. to dismiss it outright is a mistake. >> i would 100% agree with that and i would just add on, the fact that donald trump is resonating to a degree with the core issue, and i think what voters -- >> being terror and national security. >> right. for evangelicals especially, but dealing with radical islam and really dealing with some of the tenets of islam is an issue for
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evangelicals in this country. when he says ban all muslims or at least temporarily, there's a lot of people who don't hear the words that he's saying but the core of what he believes. >> just getting ready. spent a little time reading the bible and just relaxing and focusing on the challenges facing the country right now. >> it's a different moment for you, right? >> well, it is -- woe may see a few shots coming our direction and i suppose in a sense that's a backhanded compliment. >> good luck tonight, senator. take care. >> okay. so in and out, that's how we're going to be, senator ted cruz, your former -- you used to work withstanding there. let's actually stay on him and let me stay with you as i'm looking at you and thinking of evangelicals and how well cruz has risen in iowa and especially among evangelicals. what was at the last or second to last republican debate talking about carson and how great carson was doing with evangelicals.
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what do you think changed for cruz? >> a kcouple of things. he got the iowa trinity. steve daze -- >> so the trifecta helped him. >> that helped him a lot but beyond that he is organized and amanda can speak to that. he's organized very well in iowa and he has an actual message that is resonating with what i tliek call the teavangelicals. and ted cruz has a path here, no doubt about it. also, however, donald trump is around and there's a reason he's around because he has a path too. think about it for a moment. if ted cruz wins iowa, everybody will say, wow, ted cruz won iowa, but donald trump second place in iowa, that's huge for donald trump. i know second place is for losers, i can hear him saying that now. >> nice impression there, dave. >> thanks so much. i do impressions. but if he comes in second in iowa, that's huge because everybody thought a, he'd be out of the race and, b, there's no
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way he'd play well. >> we'll see david brody and amanda carpenter, thank you so much. coming up next here, one of trump's biggest supporters joins a conservative who says you're a fool if you support trump. the face-off before this debate. this is cnn special live coverage here from las vegas. redid you say 97?97! yes. you know, that reminds me of geico's
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you're watching cnn, i'm brooke baldwin. live pictures as we're looking at texas senator ted cruz standing next to a couple of our folks here at cnn looking at which podium behind which he will be standing in a matter of hours. of course he will be, and this
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is a first for him in this particular debate. we know donald trump, the front-runner, will be center stage and he will be flanked by dr. ben carson but this is the first time that ted cruz will actually directly be standing to trump's left. so getting the lay of the land. we will continue to see additional candidates coming and going. this is a potentially huge night for him. let me just bring in michael medved, political commentator. you know, it's amazing timing and how much can change debate to debate to debate. i feel like i was sitting here last time talking about carson and trump, carson and trump and now it's the cruz thread and the fact that he is doing so well not just in iowa but number two in some of these national polls. what do you think has changed? >> well, what's changed has been the emphasis on national security and what happened in paris and what happened in san bernardino, what happened today in los angeles for goodness sake. >> right. >> people are looking for someone who can handle the job
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of the presidency. and this is the challenge for ted cruz. there was an editorial today in "usa today" that said that he's simply too divisive. what he has to show is that he is the one person who can unite the republican party, beat hillary, then unite the free world to beat isis. >> how does he do that, though? on the flip side you can look at ted cruz who's only been in office since 2012. >> about ten days. no. >> he's come in, he is the person who stood up there on the senate floor and filibustered for 21 hours and from the government shutdown, we were all in washington and covered that, to being this sort of head of the tea party, how does he then move ahead if he were to be the nominee to nominate the party? what does he do to the establishment behind him? >> first of all, people have short memories. >> do we, though? >> we do. if you remember the last debate, now, we should be able to remember that, ted cruz got
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enormous traction, the cnbc debate. >> he did. >> he was the one that defended all the other candidates. i am guessing that ted cruz, who's a very, very smart political operator, tonight will come across sweetness and light. he won't attack trump, he won't attack christie, he won't attack rubio, he will be mr. positive, unite the republicans. i think this is the moment, particularly with christmas season, where people are looking for a message of bring us together so we can win. and republicans want more than anything else to win. and i think that's why a lot of people are attracted to trump. right now people are beginning to get the idea that either rubio or cruz might be a much better bet for actually uniting the party and bringing people together and winning enough independents so you can win the election. >> i think the headline is we keep talking trump, cruz, i think tomorrow it's going to be cruz, rubio. >> i hope you're right actually. >> thank you. well, my next guest says watch out, donald trump supporters, he is going to break your heart.
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he debates a loyal trump supporter next here live in vegas. plus any moment now new jersey governor chris christie and then carly fiorina, senator rand paul, they will all be touring the stage here at the venetian hotel here in las vegas of the do not miss a beat, we'll be right back. ♪ (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities.
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all right, you're watching cnn on this tuesday afternoon, i'm brooke baldwin live here in las vegas. you know when the republican candidates take to the stage in mere hours here at the venetian hotel, controversial front-runner donald trump will be front and center as he has been on so many of these debate stages past action even though the rank and file seem to love him for his anti-establishment stance. listen, this guy is definitely not within the beltway in terms of his philosophy. my next guest says trump is just going to break their hearts. the man who said this is conservative commentator, mr.
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kurt schlicter. joining me also is trump supporter andy dean. gentlemen, wonderful seeing you in the flesh. nice seeing both of you. i read your piece several times over and was a tad tickled pie the first graph. if i read, a reading by kurt -- >> thank you, brooke. i'm try to keep my teeth from chattering. as a young man i learned that sometimes that hot chick you're dating is also completely crazy. and as much fun as it is to go out with her, it's going to end badly. that's donald trump. the super hottie of the "i hate the gop establishment so much i likes to party and he puts out in the sense that he gives it to the rinos good and hard. but let's put that troubling metaphor aside for a minute. donald trump is not the keeper, he's not the one you want to marry, he's never going to make you happy, he's going to break
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your heart. >> he's not a keeper, he's going to break your hearts. >> the goal isn't to sleep with donald trump, we're electing a president of the united states. you want somebody who's tough, who's going to win the war against isis and somebody who's run a business before, signed the front side of the a paycheck and knows what middle class and small business owners are going through. this isn't about taking him to the drive-in and make out with them. >> i think this is a metaphor. >> it might be. i don't know what kurt is into, it's a free country. >> thanks for not judging. >> he also wrote this on town hall and i had to click on seven different display ads to read the article. >> do you want to respond to that? >> when i talk to you, this isn't a discussion, it's an intervention. donald trump is not conservative. he is not consistent. he is never going to do what he says he's going to do. this is a guy who was against guns. now he's for guns. he was against mexicans, now he's for mexicans. he doesn't want -- he wants to ban all muslims. now he doesn't. i don't know what he's for. >> all these pundits, they say
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donald trump will never run for president. then he runs. oh, donald trump will never row lease his financials. oh, donald trump will fade. now he's 41% in the polls and what do we have? some pundit writing for some -- a website i've never heard of saying we need to slope with donald trump. >> i've talked to multiple people who go back to the fact that he was once registered as a democrat, he's thrown a lot of money toward democrats. >> he's a businessman. >> people are worried that once he gets the vote or nomination or the office he'll go back to his liberal roots. >> absolutely not. he's a strong conservative that believes in limited government, low taxation. we'll hear in the debate tonight, he's been very strong. there's a reason why iowa voters, new hampshire voters nationally are responding to him. i have to ask a question of kurt. are you saying the american people are dumb when they realize donald trump is the conservative answer here? >> no, but i'm saying that they are way off base if they think he's a conservative. small government? this is a guy who thinks it's okay for the government to take the property of normal people and give it to rich guys using
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'em negligent domain. this is a guy who has given money to hillary clinton. this is a guy who says sometimes that he votes for barack obama. but we can't even get a straight answer on that. this guy is inconsistent. he is not conservative. he is in it for one thing and one thing only, donald trump's amusement. this is more important than that. we're trying to elect a commander in chief. >> let's analyze that thought. >> after seven years of this disaster that is barack obama, i want somebody that the troops that i led before i retire can be proud to salute and that man is not donald trump. >> it is donald trump. you want somebody very, very tough. you said donald trump is just doing this for himself. look, the guy has a great life. he has a net worth of over $10 billion. why would he want to put himself through this wringer, having to dole with the press -- >> because it's fun. >> unless he believes in it. >> it's fun. he had a rally over there with thousands of people cheering his name. >> he loves it. >> it's about ego. it's everything about donald trump. >> he doesn't need this, he's got a great life. >> let me jump in and ask you
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and i think you hit on a number that i think is worth heighti . highlighting. so let's just hang on here. here's my question for you. the new monmouth -- this national poll, 41%. this is after he said let's ban muslims from coming into this country. 41% say we like that, right? he's at 41%. at what point do you, kurt -- and we're being handed a microphone. wow. thank you magic audiomen. seriously, the question is at what point do you throw your hands up and say okay, trump is -- if he's ultimate low the nominee, i have to support him? >> look, i don't believe the 41% poll. i think it's -- that's -- i believe that's a registered voters instead of a likely voter, but that's okay. that's okay. i want to see this thought out and i think we've got great
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candidates. we've got ted cruz, marco rubio, carly fiorina, you do not have jeb bush. >> but you've got to answer the question. >> there are four other polls he's doing 40% or more. >> can you eventually, if that is the inevitable support him? >> if he is the nominee, i will support him against hillary clinton. >> thank you. >> i will support my terrier, jack, over hillary clinton. i will support -- see that dude over there, i'm going to support him over hillary clinton. i don't even know who you are. >> we made some headway with this guy. good job. >> who has the advantage, though, let's take trump out of this. who has the advantage going into tonight knowing as we're talking on the commercial break what's happened in new york and l.a. today, we don't have the full details. it's the first debate since paris and san bernardino. terror on the minds of most americans. who has the most to gain. >> i think people want to see a strong commander in chief, that's going to be donald trump. this is going to happen more often. we have a million syrian refugees that are now in germany with broadband connections. >> what foreign policy experience, though? how does he bring that lack to
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the table? >> it's just about management. >> no, it's about leadership. you're talking about leading american soldiers to combat. >> right. >> that is important, that is critical. and this guy is chaotic, he is inconsistent, he is unfit to command. >> that's insane. >> but compared to hillary clinton, i'd go with donald trump. easy. because he is an act of disaster. >> who else on the stage, kurt? who else do you think has much to gain? i think someone people aren't talking a lot about is chris christie, former federal prosecutor. anyone else? >> the problem with chris christie is he's done what donald trump has done boy adopting liberal positions in the past. he's alienated himself from the conservative base. i'm not going to support chris christie in the primaries. >> okay. >> but i would probably support him over donald trump because at least he's sorta conservative sometimes now. look, about this banning muslims thing, let me ask you something -- >> final thought. >> final thought.
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thousands, tens of thousands of americans served side by side with muslims overseas. why is my interpreter suddenly not to be allowed back in the united states when he kept me out of trouble, kept hundreds of americans safe? >> respond to that. >> that's a false choice. we're talking about a temporary halt on immigration policy until we can figure things out. donald trump loves muslims. we're talking about muslims from radicalized nations until we can get a hold on what's going on. >> thank you both so much. i appreciate both of you. with everything happening here i appreciate you rolling with that. candidates, listen, there's a lot happening, there's a lot happening in las vegas. candidates arriving at the debate stage, touring the stage. chris christie will be joining us during this hour and on the stage. carly fiorina, rand paul all coming up. you're watching cnn special live coverage, live here from las vegas. this is claira.
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to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for her she's agreed to give it up. that's today? we'll be with her all day to see how it goes. after the deliveries, i was ok. now the ciabatta is done and the pain is starting again. more pills? seriously? seriously. all these stops to take more pills can be a pain. can i get my aleve back? for my pain, i want my aleve. check your sunday paper for extra savings on aleve.
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ted cruz, the senator from texas, surging in the polls ahead of tonight's big debate here in las vegas. moments ago we saw him touring the debate stage where he will be facing off against his republican rivals in a matter of hours. here with me now, ted cruz supporter, a prominent evangelical leader in iowa, as executive president of the conservative political organization, the family leader, so bob, nice to see you. >> it's nice to be in vegas. >> welcome to vegas. you brought your iowa weather with you. >> i did. >> thanks for that. glancing down at some of the poll numbers, as we mentioned senator cruz has been on the up and up leading in iowa, narrow lead over trump in the state. we are just about 50 days out from the caucus on february 1st. why do you think ted cruz has been able to climb, as he has, especially in iowa and especially with regard to dr. ben carson? >> first of all, he's a great
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candidate. he's a full spectrum conservative, so a lot of different factions of the party are rallying around him. also he's run a very smart campaign. he has built an incredible infrastructure that's allowed him to manage momentum. i see this as a slow build. i this see these numbers going away at all. i only see these numbers growing. >> what one thing specifically has he done? >> i think being a consistent conservative. and one who has a very disciplined message. people, they trust him. they don't see him doing something that would be out of character. so, therefore, i think people the more they see him, the more they like him. the key thing about those polls, brooke, is he's either one or two with 51% of the voters. and in a caucus, that is a great place to be. >> thinking ahead to tonight, and he's standing for the first time next to the front-runner, next to mr. trump himself, the big question as we've been talking about this bromance of weeks and months past, does cruz
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attack trump if trump were to attack? does he fight back? how will that dynamic play out tonight on the stage? >> first of all, i'd tell senator cruz remember what got you here. what got you here is staying on message, staying focused on the issues, having the other candidates' backs. people are uniting around you right now so don't pick a fight with donald trump. if donald trump wants to say something, sure, you want to stay your ground but put it right back to issues, put it right back to policy and why you can be the commander in chief. in such a time as this, there's a lot of americans who are just jittery about the way things are today. >> with regard to ted cruz and i was talking to a conservative commentator a moment ago, your guy made a name for himself as definitely a tea party conservative who is known as the 21-hour filibuster with the "green eggs and ham" late at night and there was the government shutdown and he was the face of a lot of that. i'm just wuondering how that wil then translate if he were to be the nominee, pitfalls in terms of a general election is that is
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the face from the republican party? >> i don't believe there's pitfalls in a general election like that. what you're seeing -- >> how does he fight that image, though? >> take a look at the american people. they have a 9% approval rating of congress right now. ted cruz has exposed both sides of the aisle. the reason mr. trump is leading in the polls, why is bernie sandsers doing so well? they're tired of politics as usual. i think what cruz offers is this will not be about politics as usual, but i know what i'm doing. a lot of people like to say they're the smartest guy in the room. i think ted cruz might be the smartest guy in the room. >> bob, thank you for your time. appreciate it. >> brooke, thank you. >> tonight's debate will be the first republican face-off since the terror attacks in paris and the massacre just recently in san bernardino. national security and the fight against isis certain to be front and center, but my next guest is calling out the republican field and donald trump in particular for stoking two themes, he says, makes the united states less safe, fear and islamophobia.
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former u.s. ambassador at large donald benjamin joins me now. he served as coordinator for counterterrorism at the state department and is now director of the john sloan dickey center for international understanding at dartmouth college. mr. al ambassador, welcome. nice to see you, sir. >> good to see you. >> let me just begin with one of the points you make in this piece is the fact that you say, you know, listen, using fear and american politics and all this rhetoric that's swirling, that's not new. but in this moment it is more dangerous than ever. i want you to tell me why, sir. >> well, a number of reasons. the candidates in particular have painted this that we're on the verge of the apocalypse. it's pearl harbor as mike huckabee said, it's world war 3 as chris christie said. you increase the incentive to
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terrorists to strike and to make all kinds of mischief as well. i won't be sprietzed to find out that we have more things, more threats called in like we saw today with the los angeles school system. the value of an attack goes up tremendously because it's going to hurt us so much. that's one thing. the other thing is it's dividing us at home. it's created this new islamophobia has, if anything, alienated and is driving fear among the muslim american community, and those people are really on the front lines. those are the ones who are going to identify individuals who may be radicalized, who may have bad plans in mind. and we desperately need to be working closely with them and we need for those people to feel this is truly their home. >> you know, you mentioned what happened or what's really still happening today with regard to these threats called in both in los angeles and new york city. the fact that the theme tonight of this debate is national security. how do you think what's happened as recent as today will be used
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in some of the words and the rhetoric of these candidates? >> well, you know, if the past is prologue, the candidates will continue to point to all these different incidents as being a sign that we are under siege, that we have a problem that we can't cope with, and that they are going to be tougher on national security than anyone else. and the fact is we do face a terrorist threat, there's no minimizing that. but it is important to have it in perspective. since 9/11, 45 americans have been killed on american soil by jihadist violence. compare that to 400,000 or more killed by gun violence and roughly the same number in traffic violence. so i think that the rhetoric has gone far, far beyond the reality. >> your point is perspective and how this becomes cyclical, it's the terrorists who want us to be terrorized, the payoff is greater for them but it's the fear mongering and the fear that
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is stoking so much of this. ambassador daniel benjamin, thank you for your perspective, i appreciate it. >> thanks very much. >> you can see the fifth republican presidential debate right here on cnn moderated by wolf blitzer. the first debate starts at 6:00 eastern tonight only here on cnn. as we're watching and waiting for more of these candidates to live here at the venetian hotel before they take a tour around the stage, did you know that tonight is not the only debate this week? we will talk about the democrats who will debate this coming saturday ahead. also much more on our breaking news, as we mentioned a moment ago, threats against two of the nation's biggest school systems in both los angeles and new york city. we are now hearing those threats originated from the same source. we'll have a live report for you from los angeles coming up in just a moment. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke bald wip. baldwin.
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>> so how are you feeling going into this debate, senator? >> i feel great. it's an opportunity to talk to millions of people and talk about the ability to lead this country at a time when this country is threatened here at home, not doing well economically and struggling. leadership is important and hopefully someone who has a good
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track record of accomplishment can help provide some positive lift to this great country. >> you talk to republican voters all the time -- >> rick santorum officially in the hall, former pennsylvania senator talking to our correspondent there. listen, we're really fluid in the show as we're getting these first pictures of these different candidates as they're entering the hall here at the venetian hotel here in las vegas and checking out exactly where they're standing, which podium they will be assigned to. senator santorum at that undercard debate that begins at 6:00 tonight here on cnn. let's have a big conversation on what my next couple of colleagues are looking for this evening in a matter of hours. joining me now, republican strategist kaleigh mcanany. oh no... (under his breath) hey man! hey peter. (unenthusiastic) oh... ha ha ha!
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tand that's what we're doings to chat xfinity.rself, we are challenging ourselves to improve every aspect of your experience.
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and this includes our commitment to being on time. every time. that's why if we're ever late for an appointment, we'll credit your account $20. it's our promise to you. we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around. and hello, everyone. national security is going to be the hot topic of the republican debate tonight. all the candidates will discuss how they feel they can keep america safe. you're looking at a live picture of the convention floor. we'll be returning to brooke baldwin momentarily who's in las vegas. you can see there senator ted cruz was the last person to get to the convention hall and he is taking a bit of a tour around. and i believe we have sarah
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murray who is joining us there. sarah, are you live? >> reporter: yeah, deb, i can hear you. you can see over my shoulder here senator rick santorum is sort of taking his walk-through. you know, this is more important for some candidates than others. there are some candidates who really want to come onstage and they really want to get a feel for what's going to be happening to them. you know, where you need to go if you want a makeup touch-up. what the lights are going to look like when you need to wrap. that's a big important part for some candidates. others not so much. donald trump decided to forego his walk-through today. we just saw his staffers come through and kind of check and make sure everything was to their liking. but trump is the candidate who wants to show up right before the show gets rolling. he kind of wants to keep that momentum going so he's not even taking the opportunity to check out his podium and scope the debate stage ahead of time. >> there's been a lot of talk that really it's going to be a debate between trump and carson. obviously the other candidates,
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how does that affect them and how they try to really make an impact and get into the game? >> reporter: well, i think it's going to be interesting because you're going to have donald trump right there center stage. on either side you'll have carson and ted cruz. carson is on the rise -- sorry, cruz is on the rise and carson's numbers have been falling. so i think the big -- we look at donald trump and wonder whether he and cruz will go after each other. i wonder if you'll see sparks from some of the other candidates. if you're going to see marco rubio and ted cruz go after one another. if you're going to see carson try to punch up and turn around those following poll numbers. the really interesting thing about donald trump is when we see him campaigning, he does not hold back. he is willing to go after nearly any of his republican rivals and the democrats as well, but he tends to be a little bit more reserved on the debate stage. he's a little more demure and more likely to let the other candidates on stage go after each other and sort of rip each other to shreds. we'll see if that same strategy holds for him tonight. >> yeah, and that's just hours
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away. sarah murray there on the convention floor for us. thanks. we will now turn it over, back to brooke baldwin. brooke? >> all right, i'll take it. we're back here live in las vegas. we got thrown a little technical surf ba curveball. i was introducing our next guests. kaleigh mcanany, dan pfeiffe. are. i want you to say the top two things you're looking at. >> i think executive resolve, stre strength and capacity. 78% think there's going to be another terrorist attack soon so i want a candidate in contrast to our current president that emanates strength and is not afraid to call islamic terrorism by name. secondly i want a president with the judgment call, ability and
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foresight to know when to go into a place and not go into a place. donald trump was able to say we shouldn't have gone into iraq. saddam hussein was a threat way before he was so executive and judgment are the two things. >> dan. >> i'd like to see how marco rubio is going to handle immigration reform and i'm going to see what senator cruz does today to sort of see whether he can build on the momentum his campaign has. >> crystal? >> i want to see the interaction between cruz and trump because there's going to be something that happens there. second secondly, i'd like to see the lesser candidates, everyone else needs to say this is why we should still be here and they have to present that and do it well. >> dan, i want to end with you on this. i was watching you earlier talking about how you couldn't believe this pew study of the engagement of folks, compared to when folks were calling in
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previous elections, a pew study, 69% of americans say they have watched at least one of the televised debates between the candidates. you say that is stunning. >> it is. if you go back to my most recent experience when president paum was running for the nomination, the debates we had were largely things to be endured. you made a mistake it would be a huge problem but you aren't going to move numbers. now they are must-watch events. if people are drawn to this election, i think it's a shift in the way people watch tv. they're drawn to events that they can talk about on social media and these debates are perfect for that. >> okay. thank you all very much. i appreciate it. i appreciate it very much. and we continue on here. just over the top of the hour, i'm brooke baldwin here in las vegas as we're of course covering what's happening here in mere hours from now. we've got the countdown clock for you. 2 hours, 58 minutes, 25 seconds until the main event. before we talk about this, i have to get you caught up on what's happened in los angeles and in new york because they are
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searching hundreds of public schools after officials say they received an e-mail threat this morning. the school superintendent in los angeles shut down the entire district at the height of the morning rush. l.a., keep in mind, is the country's second largest school district. more than 600,000 students were forced to stay home. at the same time the nation's largest school system, new york city, also working its own e-mail threat today but officials in the city there say that was a hoax. los angeles police chief charlie beck said that when authorities began investigating, they discovered a number of issues that prompted the shutdown. here he was. >> the e-mail was very specific to l.a. you know nied school district campuses and it included all of them. it was also very specific about the threat, the implied threat.
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the implied threat was explosive devices. the specific threat was attack with assault rifles and machine pistols. these are obviously things that we take very seriously. >> so that's the latest from we've heard from los angeles. a different story in new york. we're going to talk about what this means and of course how this will factor in and some of the language we'll see on the stage tonight in las vegas. we'll talk to someone about that momentarily, but i want to take you to the stage directly here in las vegas as we've been watching the last hour plus, these different candidates coming in, being stopped by some of our correspondents asking what they're up to in the final hours before the main event this evening here, the final republican debate of this year, 2015. i have my colleague, sarah murray, she is standing by inside the arena as people are continuing to roll through. sarah, set the scene for me. >> yeah, we just saw former pennsylvania senator rick santorum doing his walk-through. like i was saying earlier,
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brooke, this is just -- it depends on what kind of candidate you are, how important this moment is for you. are you the kind of person who wants to be on that stage and see where the facebook questions are going to be, who wants to look at the lights that are going to cut you off at the end or are you a candidate like donald trump. he didn't come here to do his own walk-through, he sent his stachlt he's the kind of guy that likes to roll in kind of at the last minute and just sort of take that flow with him to the debate stage and not spend a lot of extra time hanging around. we know donald trump has other plans today. he's meeting with the mega gop donor, sheldon adelson so he's doing his own debate prep while the other candidates do their walk-throughs, brooke. >> all right. the theme of the debate tonight is national security. that will be front and center. and so we'll watch for that and talk to some folks who are getting seated, what they're looking for ahead of tonight. but specifically as we mentioned at the top of the hour, what's happening in los angeles and in new york, i have firearms and homeland security expert and
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former dea agent david katz joining me now. and so, david, as we're getting this information, and let's just be totally transparent. we don't know a thouglot. we know there was an e-mail, it was routed through germany. it was very specific to all los angeles school district campuses. the threat mentioned the use of explosive devices, assault rifles and machine pistols. how does that sit with you knowing that? how do you determine what's real and what's fake, what's a hoax? >> number one, when you say it's a specific threat, it's really a general threat. general to the los angeles school district. specific would be this school on this date this time. so that's one of the indications that it's a credible threat is specificity so it apparently wasn't here. you have to look at the totality of the circumstances. you look at the verbiage of the threat, the fact that it's come from overseas may or may not -- may or may not bear on it. a lot of hoaxes, i know from personal experience, the
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amexbuildiame amex building downtown used to get tons of threats from over seas. you have to look at the verbiage and make a decision whether it's credible or not. apparently the police department said no, fbi no. but mr. cortines said for some reason yes. >> what's interesting, though, as you point out that the response is obviously very different, l.a. shut down, 640,000 some students not going to school this morning, new york and the commissioner there had a very different response. what do you make of this, almost it's like this tale of two different cities, very different responses. >> new york had the appropriate response. you do not under any circumstance take action unless the threat is corroborated. for example, if a high-rise office building gets a bomb threat in new york city, the police department is not going to come over and evacuate your building act some credible information. they discover a package, there's a threat with an enormous degree of specificity. what he did was a big mistake.
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>> he would obviously totally disagree with you, though, david. he has 640,000 kids he has as his priority. he would vehemently disagree with what you're saying about l.a. >> i understand. but taking action based upon an uncorroborated threat. so if next week he gets another threat, is school going to close down again? how about saturday after next when they have the s.a.t.s and some nervous child puts a bomb threat in the morning of the s.a.t.s because their stomach is turning and they can't face the test. they put in a bomb threat, is he going to circle the s.a.t.s? that's why you need somebody with a little background in this area to make the assessment. this one just warrants an absolute increase in security and police presence, of course, but not the disruption of the entire school day for that many children. it's just not the right move to make. >> isn't it, though, such -- i do not -- i would never want to be in either of their positions and we heard the l.a. school district very mindful of what
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happened, what, 60 miles down the road in san bernardino and nobody wants to be fear mongering, but they're very apair of what happened not too far away and it's this delicate line. but, you know, i hear you loud and clear but i don't envy their positions whatsoever in either city. david katz, for now i'm going to thank you very much. i do want to move on and get you back to our special coverage here back here in las vegas. we have these presidential candidates that are arriving here on site. they are getting -- i keep saying they're getting the lay of the land and that's really what it is. seeing where they'll be standing, who they'll be stacked next to. there are nice laminated photos of these candidates on this debate stage here at the venetian hotel. we just saw former senator rick santorum, we saw ted cruz last hour. we're still watching and waiting for chris christie, the governor of new jersey, and carly fiorina who are expected at any moment as we want to give you the heads up as we are going to rock and roll back and forth. in the meantime michael
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smerconish just sat down next to me. >> balmy here today. >> do i take my jacket? it's warm, it's beautiful, blue skies. what do you think, there are certain topics we keep hitting on over and over and over with regard to this debate. what do you think that we're missing? what are we not talking about that will be a headline tomorrow? >> i think this will dominate it and the events unfortunately that you were just discussing in los angeles guarantees as if we needed a guarantee -- i have to tell you, as i'm watching these events unfold and i see the disparity the way this was handled in new york city and in l.a. and recognizes we don't know anything yet. >> we really don't. we have to be careful. >> so i put that qualifier in, right? i have to worry about donald trump creating a climate of fear that impacts our day-to-day lives. yesterday i got an e-mail from john mule john mueller who's written a book called "overblown." he reminded me that the risk of you being a terror strike in
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this country is 1 in 4 million on an annual basis. i think we do need some perspective from time to time. >> i was just talking to ambassador daniel benjamin who was saying it's the cycle. you have this political rhetoric and some members of the media are to blame as well, but it's this political rhetoric and the terrorists want to terrorize, that is the sheer definition. once they do, there's more payback for them to strike, whether it's an organized cell or someone who's self radicalized and a lot of americans totally buy into it. and to your point. >> and more than 50% of republicans who will tune in and watch on cnn tonight and watch donald trump as he thumps his chest and says we need to shut down immigration for all muslims. so it plays into his hand and it's self-perpetuating. >> i don't know about you, when i go to the wedding, i never look at the bride, i look at the groom responding to the bride. i'm wondering while everyone is looking at trump when he's perhaps saying those things, i'm looking at everyone else, seeing how they're going to respond to
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trump. how h-- how will they thread tht needle? >> possibly tonight is the night that jeb bush finally says when two years ago i said you need to be prepared to lose primaries to win a general, i was talking about here and now. and mr. trump, you're wrong and reads him the riot act. now, it might not play so well inside the venetian tonight if he does, but i think that it would play well in middle america and i think there are a lot of independents should his candidacy survive that long that would remember a defining moment. so maybe jeb does it. i think that kasich probably does it. i have my eye on chris christie. because chris christie among the establishment type candidates has those law enforcement bona fides, and i would add we'd better be talking here tomorrow about ben carson because if we're not -- >> we have not been talking -- think about the reagan library that's all we were talking about, trump and ben carson. >> but ted cruz's ascent has been to the detriment of ben
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carson. it's a hard thing for carson because this is not his strong suit. the calendar has been put in place long before san bernardino. national security is going to dominate this conversation. quite frankly, it's a conundrum for him. i don't know how he works himself into this conversation and takes control of it. >> their campaign doesn't like to be reminded he was pronouncing hamas as hummus. what else are you watching for? >> i'm watching the interplay between the cruz and trump and carson faction. they may be dispersed on the stage -- >> they're mavericks. >> i believe it and i think the numbers are proving it out. i'm seeing is it finally a night where rubio, kasich, christie, jeb, d distinguishes himself an the others say it's not in the cards for me. it's only when they coalesce around one other candidate is there a shot. if you do the math and total the maverick vote versus the
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establishment vote it's a 3-1 ratio. it's 65%-25%. there are a couple of factors i can't place either way. so it looks like it's a year where the very conservative vote is going to control the nomination cycle. and then we'll finally have the litmus test. do you really need to be a pure conservative to win or do you need to be more of a bridge builder. so far we're headed down the very conservative path. >> michael smerconish, let's postgame this tomorrow, shall we? >> good deal. >> do not miss, let me remind you again, tonight is the big night. the final republican debate of the year 2015. less than three hours away. only here on cnn beginning this evening at 6:00 eastern live from las vegas. coming up, president obama today taking an indirect shot at donald trump as he welcomed more than two dozen new american citizens. hear what the president said, plus we'll take a look at some of the moments discussed from the last couple of debates. some highlights, some lowlights
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and how those moments have truly shaped the race thus far. i'm brooke baldwin and this is cnn's special coverage. ♪ (vo) some call it giving back. we call it share the love. during our share the love event, get a new subaru, and we'll donate $250 to those in need. bringing our total donations to over sixty-five million dollars. and bringing love where it's needed most. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. came out today thousands of people to run the race for retirement. so we asked them... are you completely prepared for retirement? okay, mostly prepared? could you save 1% more of your income? it doesn't sound like much, but saving an additional 1% now,
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we're back here live in las vegas, i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for being with me on such an porcimportant day these presidential candidates. when they take the stage in 2 hours, 42 minutes, 6 seconds, national security will be topic number one. at the very center of the stage when you look at the podium positioning as we do will be the front-runner, donald trump. top of mind will be trump's recent call to ban muslims from entering the united states. a short time ago in washington, president obama countered trump's stand on muslim immigration in a speech welcoming new u.s. citizens. here was the president. >> we must resolve to always speak out against hatred and bigotry in all of its forms. whether taunts against the child of an immigrant farm worker or threats against a muslim shop keep keeper. we are americans. standing up for each other is
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what the values enshrined in the documents in this room compels us to do. especially when it's hard, especially when it's not convenient. >> let me bring in these two ladies, cnn political commentator, ana navarro, a jeb bush supporter and advisor to other republican candidates and patty solis doyle, a cnn political commentator and hillary clinton's former presidential campaign manager. lovely to see you in vegas, ladies. with regard to this trump's call to ban muslims coming into the country and i have read through so many polls and i'm confused by them all if i can be honest. they're conflicting polls so let's put polls aside. when you're thinking about all the other republicans on stage, patty, i'm going to direct this to you first, there is a palpable fear given whatever has happened in new york and l.a. today, how will the republicans address that but also not --
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without discriminating as other candidates have done? >> well, i think each of the different candidates have a different strategic imperative tonight. donald trump obviously is winning in the national polls and he's winning in most states, so i expect him to double down. >> on the fear. >> on the fear, double down on the ban on muslims, double down on mass deportation. i think the most interesting probably dynamic of tonight is going to be between cruz and rubio in terms of immigration. >> tell me why. >> first of all, rubio voted against the bill last night sort of banning immigration from the country's -- hot bed terrorist companies. cruz voted for it. so they're going to go after each other on that. >> that's very important to point out. >> and then cruz is going after rubio on his flip-flop on immigration and his participation in the gang of eight. so in terms of immigration,
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those are the two that are going to go at it the most, i think. >> what do you think, miss navarro? >> i think it's going to be such an interesting debate because we are now so close to votes being cast. i think you've got a chris christie, jeb bush, john kasich, who have so much riding on new hampshire, so they're competing with each other. chris christie and john kasich have bet the house, gambling. >> thank you very much. >> on new hampshire. jeb bush has a lot riding on new hampshire. i think that you're going to see a lot of attacks come marco rubio's way, not only from ted cruz but also from the -- >> the establishment candidates? >> because marco rubio is trying to bridge that gap. he's trying to be all things to all people. and so he's going to get attacked from all people on that stage. >> how does he respond to the attacks? >> you know, he's been -- he's been pretty good so far. if anything, we've seen marco rubio is a very able debater.
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>> especially on foreign policy and national security. >> he can be poetic in his rhetoric. he can be funny and quick, so i think -- and he can land a punch and he can take a punch. so i think he's shown to be very talented when it comes to debating. i think you're going to hear, though, the governors come after him on experience, come after him on lack of management skills and showing anything. and i think you're going to see chris christie has been telegraphing. chris christie is laser focused on new hampshire, he's been telegraphing, hey, where's marco rubio been. >> it's paid off for him. >> and i think the guy that's going to get the most attacks may not be ted cruz, it may be marco rubio. >> that's interesting. as we continue of course talking about republicans as this is where we're holding the republican debate, how about hillary clinton, the presumed nominee on the democratic party. you know, she's holding this national security news conference at the end of this show in about half an hour. that timing is not coincidental.
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>> of course not, no. look, whether you like her or dislike her, and i know a lot of people dislike her, but she -- >> hey, i never felt like i was offered. i felt on a main stage that night so all is good. >> what kind of moment is this for the entire field, do you think? so much has happened since the last debate just around the world. is this a different moment? >> sure, much different. i can tell you from being in new hampshire and iowa, that the field of the campaign has been much different the last three or four weeks. i think people are starting to focus on how important this decision is. i think that's good, time to have a serious discussion and i'm looking forward to engaging in it tonight. >> governor, good luck tonight. >> thanks. >> okay. so there was chris christie talking to jeff mentioning new hampshire and iowa. back, though, to hillary clinton. love her or hate her, this isn't a coincidence, she's talking national security. it's the theme of the debate tonight. >> exactly. so the juxtaposition between her and the rest of the republican field is going to be stark.
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she's very knowledgeable. whether you like her or dislike her, there isn't anybody who doesn't think she's tough, she's hawkish and that doesn't think she's extremely knowledgeable with the complex issues dealing with the military, dealing with homeland security, dealing with foreign policy so i think this is not coincidental. >> you know what, though, i would bet that a lot of people don't know that there is a democratic presidential debate on saturday, as i bet a lot of people didn't know recently there was one a couple of saturdays ago in iowa. >> that's going to be her biggest challenge, frankly. all eyes are on vegas right now. all eyes are on the republican primary, which is so fun, so exciting, so enter taping, so fluid, so volatile. >> so she's excited. but a lot of people don't even know. is that on the party? >> i don't think it's a challenge at all for her. you know, usually anybody named clinton gets this media attention like nobody else, right? now that the attention is sort of on the republican circus right now, she really has the ability to talk to voters
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directly unfiltered in iowa and new hampshire and that's how iowa and new hampshire is won. so i think it's -- i think it's a positive for her actually. >> you know, i remember the 2008 campaign when john mccain wrapped up the nomination very early, and there was this very volatile fight going on on the democrat side between obama and clinton. john mccain couldn't get any attention for months. it did not help him. >> that has never been hillary's problem, not getting attention. >> ana and patty, thank you very much. we are keeping an eye of course on the debate hall. we just saw new jersey governor chris christie pop on through. a couple more candidates will be rolling through as well. they'll be facing off behind those bopodiums momentarily. here's chris christie checking out where he'll be standing. meantime a vegas institution will be joining me live on set. robin leach knows all about the lifestyle of the rich and famous, he has known donald trump for decades. we'll get his inside scoop on
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what the republican front-runner is really like.
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we're back live here in las vegas, i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with here on this tuesday afternoon. we are officially just about two and a half hours, here he is, live pictures of chris christie checking out the stage seeing where he'll be standing in a couple of hours here on the big debate stage. the final republican debate of the year. we've seen a couple of them in the past hour and a half so stay tuned there's a few more to roll through to see who will potentially land that nomination and eventually if everything serves them correctly, land that spot in the oval office. tonight is the final debate this year. center stage yet again will be republican front-runner donald trump but close on his heels and
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in some of the polls the senator from texas, ted cruz. marco rubio hoping to building on his strong performances of debates past. with me now i have senior washington correspondent jeff zeleni who is here at las vegas. jeff, we've been watching back and forth. you turn around and another candidate is rolling through. tell me what are they doing, what are they feeling, what are they up to? >> that's why i'm coming to you from a parking garage here. governor chris christie just arrived moments ago, as you saw. you could see him on the stage. look, i think that one thing i'm watching for tonight is chris christie's comeback. he is on the main stage of this debate hall after being in the undercard debate in the last one. the issues of this election are aligning for chris christie. he is very strong on national security, very strong in the post 9/11 era, and so much has changed across the world since the last debate a little over a
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month ago. the paris attacks, the shooting in san bernardino. so i think that chris christie has a moment tonight, but i think ted cruz more than anyone, he had a smile on his face when he walked into the debate hall, oh, an hour or so ago. was more than happy to talk. he said, look, i know all the arrows are pointed at me but i think that's a good thing. that's a sign that i'm doing well. so this is the moment ted cruz has been waiting for. he's a great debater. he was a debater in college, of course, but he's going to need those skills tonight because everyone is going to be going after him, not just donald trump. >> jeff, the unofficial welcoming party in the garage of the venetian hotel. we'll check back in with you, jeff, as we see more candidates arrive. thank you so much. you know, when the republican candidates gather here tonight it will be their first debate since the terror attacks both in paris and in san bernardino, which is certainly not insignificant. national security will be front and center as these candidates take the main stage and our wolf blitzer will be asking pretty
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pointed questions, very important questions that the americans need to know the answers to. cnn's senior political reporter is here with me as the cnn political editor. on your super bowl of this day, the final debate of the year, i know this is exciting for all of us, i wanted to run through just to remind everyone how far we've come as far as these debates have come. i want to roll through some sound bites. this is from the first debate between trump and rand paul. remember this on the nuclear code. >> i'm very concerned about having him in charge of the nuclear weapons because i think his response, his visceral response to attack people on their appearance, short, tall, fat, ugly, my goodness, that happened in junior high. are we not way above that and would we not all be worried to have someone like that in charge of the nuclear arsenal? >> mr. trump. i never attacked him on this
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look, and believe me there's plenty of subject matter right there, that i can tell you. >> david, do you remember that? >> i do remember that. i also remember that debate started with donald trump sort of being like grandpa, what are you even doing here? so i don't think they have a very friendly relationship. but listen, that notion of having your finger on the nuclear codes, this isn't just rand paul talking about that, ted cruz last week was caught behind closed doors at a fund-raiser in new york saying the very thing about ben carson and donald trump and whether or not they have the temperament and judgment when it comes to having your finger on the nuclear buttbutton. that is a core question. this is what being commander in chief is all about. >> yeah, yeah. >> and jeb bush also is making this same argument, this idea of serious times call for serious people. it's obviously directed at donald trump. john kasich too has been saying he's a person who can land the plane, right, take on the serious job that is the presidency. so i think this is a line of attack we'll probably see
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tonight if not directly at trump, certainly a subtext which is trying to convince americans that they can sit there. >> i think rand paul will be that fiesty. >> i remember that out of the gate in that debate. the next one, ted cruz poll numbers are rising and threatening trump in iowa. this is one of ted cruz's big moments on the debate stage. >> this is not a cage match. and you look at the questions, donald trump, are you a comic book villain, ben carson, can you do math, john kasich, will you insult two people over here, marco rubio, why don't you resign, jeb bush, why have your numbers fallen. how about talking about the substantive issues people care about? >> down the line, huge applause. that was the cnbc debate. how will ted cruz handle all of this this evening? >> i thought what was most clever about this is he managed to attack the media but also highlight -- >> they like to do that. >> but he was able to highlight weaknesses of every one of those candidates as he was going down the line.
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wolf blitzer should probably watch out tonight. i'm sure there will be this kind of going after the media because it's just such a red meat thing to do and it's always a moment for the folks who try to do it. >> it's unavoidable because it is so successful for them and it is a crowd pleasing thing to bash the media. i think it's just our job to continue to remind them that these are important questions on the biggest and most important topics and voters need to hear from them. >> chris christie, he's back on the main stage. he's been doing pretty well in new hampshire. the last cnn debate he credited george w. bush for doing the right thing after the 9/11 terror attacks. >> you do not need to go through subtle diplomacy at that point. that can be handled later on. what you need is a strong american leader who will take the steps that are necessary to protect our nation. that's what i would do as commander in chief in this circumstance and that's what president george w. bush did in 2001. >> if we're talking national security tonight, this is a man
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who has a lot of experience to draw on. >> this is just what jeff was talking about. what has been a fascinating thing to watch, if you go back to the summer when nobody was paying attention to chris christie and he was doing his constant town halls in new hampshire, he was talking about these issues. and now the issue landscape has shifted in his direction so he didn't have to sort of catch up to this. this has been a big part of his message all along. that's a very lucky, i say politically lucky thing for a candidate. obviously a terrible thing that we're so focused on national security, but fortuitous politically for him because it's consistent with what he's been saying all along. >> i think that's right. with chris christie, he was a prosecutor, he has sort of that command of the stage. he also is very good at directing his sort of sentiments to the camera, almost talking to the jury out there. he often looks directly into the camera and directs people, you know, directs his attention to the viewers who are watching. so i think he's a very skilled debater and i'd watch for him tonight to really try to make a splash and say he deserves to be
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on this big stage too. >> before i tee up this final clip, i want to remind all the viewers we are looking now at carly fiorina. she is the next candidate to get the tour of the stage. she again will be on the main stage. we all talk so much about her a couple of debates past and having that strong performance, the fiorina moment. so carly fiorina there standing behind the podium where she will be taking folks on this evening. final note, this is -- pause we talked quite a bit about marco rubio, this is an exchange between marco rubio and rand paul. this was last month's fox business debate. >> how is it conservative to add a trillion dollar expenditure for the federal government that you're not paying for? how is it conservative to add a trillion dollars in military expenditures? you cannot be a conservative if you're going to keep promoting new programs that you're not going to pay for. >> may i respond? >> quickly, senator. >> we can't even have an economy if we're not safe. there are radical jihadists in the middle east beheading people
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and crews fieg christians. a radical cleric in iran trying to get a nuclear weapon. i know that rand is a committed isolationist, i'm not. >> so just quickly -- sorry, forgive me. just quickly, to your point rand paul on the attack again, but here is marco rubio. this is again a topic in his wheel house. >> that's right, it's in his wheel house and it's that debate again about what is conservatism. is it closer to isolationism, is it closer to the neoconservative ideology that marco rubio and chris christie are on in terms of a spectrum there, mccain and lindsey graham as well. i think that's going to be a big debate, who really is conservative. >> you've just got to remember that was before san bernardino and before paris. voters are in a different place now. rand paul is going to have to be careful about calibrating that because i don't know if shifting the attention to the budget or
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what's conservative about that will be as effective of a message, even though that's something his supporters want to hear, in light of where we are. >> all right, thank you so much. i'm just getting word in my ear there is breaking news out of baltimore as we have been watching this first officer, the first of six to be on trial accused in relation to the murder of freddie gray from back in the spring. we will take you live to baltimore after this quick break.
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all right, we now officially have some breaking news here in the case involving the first of six police officers charged in relation to the death of freddie gray there in baltimore. this is as it pertains to this first officer. this is william porter, one of the three african-american officers charged in the case. summoned by the van's driver to check on freddie gray during stops on the way to the police station. here's the news. the jurors say they are
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deadlocked. these jurors in baltimore are dead locked. the judge says to keep deliberating and the judge apparently sent the jury back in and told them to continue hashing this out, to continue deliberating. i have with me now on the phone sunny hostin, one of our cnn legal analysts who has also been on the ground in baltimore. sunny, when you hear in this first case deadlocked, what's your take on that? >> you know, i think this makes a lot of sense. i think these jurors are taking their jobs very seriously but they also know that their decision could be unpopular. they know that there was unrest just in april, and so because this case is being tried so close in time, i suspect that that could be wearing on this jury. remember, this jury wasn't sequestered. the jury has -- is racially
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mixed. four black women, three black men, three white women, two white men and the charges, quite frankly, brooke, are difficult charges to grapple with. we're talking about involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, misconduct in office. those are very difficult charges, i think, to prove for this prosecution. and because of the climate in baltimore, i suspect that this is going to be a very hard case for them to decide. now, judge williams did the right thing, though, by telling them go back in, deliberate again. that is typically called an allen charge, which is a charge that judges read to the jury explaining to them that they need to go back, try again, open up their minds to other points of views. but the bottom line is if after this charge this allen charge they go back in and still can't reach a unanimous verdict, and
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the verdict does have to be unanimous, my guess is that this could result in this deadlocked jury. a hung jury. >> stay with me, i want to keep your legal -- a hung jury. i want to keep your voice here because i'm also curious how that would affect the following trials involving these additional officers. but jean casarez, i understand i have you in front of a camera. you have just left this courtroom and are just outside this courthouse for me in baltimore. can you please bring me up to speed and give me more with regard to what you're hearing with regard to this deadlocked jury? >> reporter: well, it's just what you're saying. they issued a note at 3:17. you never know what that note is going to say. the note said that they are deadlocked, period. so not on one count or two counts. remember, there are four counts altogether here, four charges. they are deadlocked. so the judge has given them that charge to say go back in there and try as you might.
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but they're stone faced. my colleague, miguel marquez, is in the courtroom and he told me they are stone faced, they're dead serious. they do not look like they're really getting along. they all had their jackets on. so we don't know if that means that it's cold in there or if they're ready to just call it a day. but the judge has told them, as he must do under the law, to keep going, keep trying to get that verdict. >> jean, i thought one of the reasons why this was the case to go forward beginning with officer porter is because this was perceived as some sort of slam dunk case? >> reporter: extremely important case for the prosecutor because it is william porter, this defendant, that actually spoke to freddie gray. he spoke to freddie gray asking him do you need a medic? and freddie gray said yes. so that right there and the six officers, not one of them calling a medic at that point really forms the basis of the
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prosecutor's case right here. and they want to use that statement in all the other trials. so if ultimately there would be that hung jury where they don't have a conviction, their choice is to try it again, which i would think they would, or dismiss all the charges and that's really not what this prosecution has stood for. >> jean, stay with me and, sunny, let me bring you back in. we don't know. if the judge has said as you've been describing the allen charge to go back in to continue deliberating, what if the eventuality is a hung jury? how then -- whether they decide to try it or not again, how would this affect the five other cases involving the five other police officers being tried in the death of freddie gray? >> well, i think, brooke, there's no question that it would affect those other cases. this defense team is, again, working together. they are sharing information.
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even though there are different defense attorneys, i consider it a defense team. i have spoken to several of the members of the defense team and they are watching this case very, very closely. this was never a slam dunk case for the prosecution. i think the prosecution knows that. this was seen, though, interestingly enough, as the defendant that was one of the least culpable, one of the defendants that was going to perhaps testify against some of the other defendants, which is why they wanted to try this case first. this is a game-changer if there is a hung jury. i suspect they will try to try the case again, bring it in front of another jury again. but this would be a game-changer because the defense for some time has argued for a change of venue. they don't want to try this case in baltimore. they think, again, that it's -- you know, it's too close in time to what happened.
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they argued that they cannot get a fair trial for so i suspect, if there's a hung jury, we may not see this case again in baltimore city. we may see it perhaps somewhere in one of the maryland counties. so this would be really, i think, a blow to the prosecution, especially since they thought they were going to get a conviction, they would be able to use a lot of this evidence against defendant, that they believe are more culpable. >> all right. sunny hostin, thank you for jumping on the phone for the breaking news. jean casarez, i'll let you go, hop back into the courtroom. the jury here in the case involving the first officer william porter is officially deadlocked. the judge said, go back in, keep deliberating, this is the first of six officers charged in relation to the death of freddie gray from the past spring. we'll stay on that. again, live in vegas, hours away from the final republican
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presidential debate here at venetian hotel. to my left, you're about to hear from, you though him from "lifestyles of the rich and famous," robin leech himself, looiving in vegas. his old friend, donald trump. stay with me.
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all right. back lehere live in las vegas. i'm brooke baldwin. tonight is the big night. ohio governor john kasich getting a tour inside. you know him, tv host, entertainment journalist, the one and only robin leech, las vegas resident, venerable connoisseur of the "lifestyles of the rich and famous". >> we welcome you, though this is the biggest theater than cirque du soleil. >> this is the show. >> this is the show. i said earlier that you know donald trump could take a headline gig here. >> sounds like he might be doing that. >> packed the hotel ballroom last night. more than some of the shows on the strip. >> you have known donald trump since late '70s? >> yeah. >> how did you first meet? >> the night that he walted into a restaurant, first avenue, with
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the striking blond who turned out to be evivana. >> you were at the wedding. >> i went to the wedding, yes. i've been to many weddings, most of them donald's. >> you laugh, but i mean, what is he -- are you surprised? this is a man you've known for decades, when you look at it latest national poll -- you're british and not voting -- but when you look at latest poll, he's at 41%. that is huge. >> yes. >> are you surprised? >> no. >> why? >> because he's saying all of the things that america wishes they could really say. the first time when they made his announcement to run in this campaign, it was like the script of peter finch in "network" an angry man who didn't care about political correctness and able to say what everybody else was thinking. the first time that's happened in politics in ages. you know, no more fluff, no more nonsense. you just get the hard core facts.
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>> a lot of people who would agree with you. >> he's the guy who has the guts to say it. >> what is he like when the cameras aren't on? >> well, somewhat similar. i mean, he is -- when you look at donald, he is what you get. i mean, i've been involved with him in -- on various television shows and public events in atlantic city. he -- he is a very ballistic individual, by nature, that's his business, you know, he's a builder. if he says he can build 100-story building, he will build it. so that attitude is what's carrying him through this momentum. he will -- he will win this thing. >> you're confident? >> he will win this thing. whether or not in the political process in the convention he's going 0 to win it is another story. >> robin leech.
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>> thank you. >> breaking news, breaking news, top democrat on the intelligence committee adam schiff says threats against schools in new york and los angeles are believed to be a hoax. again, let me repeat, this is so extraordinarily important, the threats that shut down the nation's second largest school district in los angeles appear to be a hoax. much more on this after a short break.
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welcome to "the lead," live inside the gorgeous venetian theater in beautiful downtown las vegas. we're here on debate day. todayiums set up behind me, all days candidates walking through to take a final look before they take the stage altogether. the debate starts in just two hours. all of the republican candidates have what may be their last, best chance to impress voter before the christmas holidays and election year begins in january. this will be, no doubt, a much different republican debate than we've seen before with the conversation shifting dramatically to protecting the united states and its people from terrorism. since the last time republicans gathered on stage to debate, we've seen the terrorist attacks in paris, t


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