tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN January 19, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PST
twitter. tweet the show. we actually read them, that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i now turn you over to my friend and colleague, wolf blitzer, right next door in a place i like to call "the situation room." thanks for watching. happening now, trump's big endorsement. a political stunner. breaking tonight, gop front-runner donald trump gains the backing of the former vice presidential nominee, sarah palin. as iowa's republican governor now calling for the defeat of ted cruz just two weeks before that state's all-important caucuses. bernie's fire, brand-new cnn poll shows bernie sanders nearly doubling hillary clinton's numbers in new hampshire. is the democratic coronation on hold? iran to blame? the search is now on for three u.s. citizens kidnapped in iraq. and there are new questions about the timing of the abduction coming on the heels of iran's release of americans. american prisoner speaks. we hear for the first time about
the her harrowing ordeal of americans held for years by iran and details about the urgent way they were freed. has iran changed? i'll ask the saudi foreign minister in an exclusive interview. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking news, thunder bolt from donald trump and stunning turn of events. the republican front-runner scores his biggest endorsement yet, winning backing of former republican advi vice presidential nominee, sarah palin. standing by to hear donald trump tell us all about it as iowa's republican governor openly calling for the defeat of ted cruz in the upcoming iowa caucuses less than two weeks away. brand-new cnn poll shows democrat bernie sanders has opened up a lead of almost 30
points over hillary clinton and the crucial early state of new hampshire. american prisoner freed in a swap with iran. that is opening up that prisoner, opening up for the first time about years in captivity and the nerve-racking hours before he reached freedom. iran's biggest rival in the region voicing major doubts whether tehran can be trusted. will saudi arabia seek a nuclear weapon? i'll speak with the saudi foreign minister, and our correspondents, analysts and guests, they will have full coverage of the day's top stories? let's begin with breaking political news. sarah palin endorsing donald trump for president. we're expecting to hear from both soon at a rally in iowa. that's where our political reporter, sara murray, is now standing by. sarah, trump has been dropping hinted about it all day but it's now official. >> reporter: now it is official, right. this is something of a coup for donald trump. previously sarah palin said she
liked cruz, liked trump, torn between the two. the fact that she went with trump is a big deal. it could potentially move voters are in iowa. here's why. if you are on the fence about donald trump's values, if you are maybe on the fence about how conservative he is, sarah palin burnishes is his chops on that front. they appeal to the same set of voters. they have cast themselves as outsiders and they have really worked to tap into these blue chloroformer democrats who turned to the -- they don't look at republican as people who reflect them. donald trump could not help but twist the knife a little bit. he dredged up an old quote from ted cruz talking about sarah palin saying she can pick winners. let's not forget this could all be pretty good news for sarah palin, too. she was a republican standard bearer in 2008. she shook up that campaign. there's no doubt about it. but since then her star power has faded a bit. last year, fox news canceled her
contract and she sort of faded into the background a little bit. she's going to be on the campaign trail tonight with donald trump tomorrow. and that's sure to get plenty of attention. >> that's where we expect to hear from her, where you are. she said in the statement released by the trump campaign, quote, i am proud to endorse donald j. trump for president of the united states. the event is a rally. i assume another huge crowd, right? >> reporter: i think that's a safe assumption. people are still trickling in. it very cold outside. you know how donald trump rolls in iowa, tends to make any other candidate extremely jealous. trump's schedule, he's had three stops. he has know another one tomorrow. this is a heavy campaign schedule for a guy who flies in on his jet and flies out the same night. that's not the case today. >> we'll stand by. live coverage of that joint appearance by donald trump and sarah palin in iowa. we'll get back to you, sara.
thank you, sarah palin's endorsement of donald trump, one more blow on a rather bad day for senator ted cruz. sunlen serfaty following the senator in new hampshire right now. he's getting more bad news as well. how's he reacting to all of this? >> reporter: well, wolf, he's really trying to downplay the significance of both this one-two unabout. not only from the sarah palin endorsement but big words from iowa's governor today. first, on sarah palin's endorsement, trying to downplay that significance, tweeting out, quote, i love sarah palin, without her support i wouldn't be in the senate, regardless of what she does 2016, i will always be a big fan. it not only rallies tea party supporters in a mutt-win state, iowa, that he said he will win but sarah palin endorsed himts in 2012 senate run. cruz today responding to these punches on the iowa governor. today saying that ted cruz should be defeated in iowa.
this is a significant charge because normally the governors there, remain neutral. that is tradition. they don't take a stance. ted cruz, again today, wolf, casting this as just establishment part of the party being in full panic. >> sounded windy in new hampshire, as we can tell. we'll stay on top of this story. more on the bombshell announcement. joining us in "the situation room," cnn senior political reporter, nia-malika henderson, gloria borger, s.e. cupp. david, we got new cnn/wmur poll number on the democratic side. we'll talk about that in a moment. a huge, huge development for donald trump. >> huge. >> channel in donald trump right now. >> huge development for him. a setback for the other republicans. >> it is. reporters are overstate what al- endorsements mean. but i do think that this one is
a big impact endorsement for one key reason. ted cruz had all of the momentum. it a moment of pause. talking about a rough day for ted cruz. but having a validater like sarah palin from the cruz wing, he wouldn't be in the senate without her, we know in republican primary fights, sarah palin has proven to have some muscle. she can get some folks energized. and i think it's not about how many votes sarah palin brings donald trump. i don't think that's what it's about. it's about a validater coming in and saying this is not just a cruz momentum ride to february 1st. >> particularly cruz talking about trump's new york values and saying he's not a real conservative. suddenly, as the validaters, you put it, you've got sarah palin saying, wait a minute, i'm the original tea party person, here i am, and i'm giving him the seal of approval.
also, it gives trump even more tension, if that's possible, than he is already getting because you've got two reality tv stars, probably going through the state of eye i. and the state of new hampshire together. crowds will be huge, and i think it takes away a lot of the oxygen from ted cruz who, by the way, was very smart, when he tweeted that he wouldn't be a senator if it weren't for sarah palin. he's not attacking her in any sense. >> the liberal establishment, liberal media will make fun of this but she's a factor in republican circles, sarah palin. >> she is a factor. she's a brilliant political performer. she's going to bring headlines. she's going to have quips and soundbytes that you know are dominate the twitter verse and cable news in the conservative blog sphere. she was donald trump before donald trump was donald trump. 2008, she was the -- she was the one who was out there connecting
with audiences, connecting with blue collar whites, mastering facebook and twitter, even before donald trump had done that. so i think this is really huge. really sort of doubles down on trump it trumpism. you will hear democrats, they've been sending out memosing talk about it as a dream ticket not really a dream ticket. >> senator cruz, before the official announcement from the trump campaign, he tweeted this, i love sarah palin. without her support i wouldn't be in the senate. regardless of what she does in 2016, i will always be a big fan. >> yeah. yeah. and sarah palin, to ted cruz as well, i was at an event with jake tapper in las vegas where he was interviewing sarah palin and she said, donald trump and ted cruz are both of her favorites. she loves ted cruz. so i'm sure this is deeply disappointing and i think ted cruz is on the losing end of this. i'm not sure, though, as much influence as she has with the tea party her influence among
mainstream republicans has gone down considerably. 538 did a profile last last year where she's gone. she lost 55 points among mainstream republican voters. so, i'm not sure what secret box she unlocks for donald trump that was previously, you know, unattainable for him in terms of voters. but you know, it will certainly be nice to have her with him in iowa. >> other major developments in iowa. jeff zeleny, out in iowa for us right now. i want to talk later about the iowa republican governor, terry brandstad. he made a major announcement saying to the republicans in iowa, don't vote for senator cruz, that would be -- he didn't endorse anyone, he didn't endorse donald trump, but he did say cruz is not the guy for iowa. quick reactionen this is likely to help donald trump in iowa now, this sarah palin endorsement. >> reporter: wolf, no question about it.
sarah palin is still popular here among caucusgoers. remember who attends these republican caucuses. party events and she is very popular, you know, among conservatives who listen to talk radio, watch fox news and other things. i believe this will help donald trump. it's another seal of approval here. i mean iowans make their own decisions -- i agree with david -- endorsements have a limited value. look at how it helped joni ernst. she's not endorsing anyone but sarah palin helped her. she can do the same with donald trump. it does hurt the other republican establishment. every single one of the republican candidates in the field so many of them would have taken this endorsement, no question. donald trump got it, of course. i think it helps him on margins, definitely. >> david, it comes on this day the iowa governor terry brandstad said it would be a big mistake for iowa to support ted cruz. that's a major setback for him
as well. >> it is. that's all about -- listen, that i think will rally ted cruz supporters because terry brandstad represents the very establishment that a lot of cruz supporters -- he's a popular governor, no doubt. and you'd rather have him stay out of the race than actively campaign against him. again, not a good day for ted cruz. if you looking at local news in iowa, the a double whammy against ted cruz in a state that means a ton for him. the two endorsements are different. and i think that palin has more impact. you were saying you're not where she might bring them. in the home schooler community, in some of the evangelical community, which are some voters that are parked with ted cruz right now, she may be able to have a conversation with some of those voters and warm then to trump if some reason they've been put off by trump. >> trump talking directly to evangelical lately, he
understands -- >> trying. >> liberty university we saw. >> but he understands that he's got some deficits there when it comes to the question of whether he's had a campaign conversion or not, right? i think she does help him there. i also want to say that this helps sarah palin, too. >> goodness yes. >> this is good for sarah palin, suddenly she's back in the game. she's back in the spotlight. crowds are ready-made for her. donald trump is larger than life. she gets to be on that stage with him. and it doesn't hurt her personally, by going forward or hurt her celebrity. >> what's so fascinating, i followed sarah palin day one. the sarah palin i knew in 2008 was mercilessly, sexist attacks on men, women. endorsed a guy who calls women slobs and bimbos. the sarah palin i know from 2008 was attacked mercilessly on her faith and had to defend her
christian conservative pen costal religion. this is a guy she endorsed who had been attacking ben carson on his christian conservative itch and ted cruz on his christian conservatism. it's a remarkable marriage of two people who you're right, are -- who you're right, similar in terms of the reality tv kind of persona but so -- are so different in so many way ways. i don't recognize her anymore. >> transcended politics, right? celebrities i think somebody coined a phrase, celebrities and politicians. she's so credible in going after ted cruz on some of these issues in a way that donald trump has not been. >> what kind of endorse mchinist this? the famous quote from joe mcquaid in new hampshire, when the paper endorses we don't just endorse once, we endorse every
damn day. is she out on the stump every day. >> it only 13 days. >> she's going to be an active participant in the campaign with donald trump in some way. >> ted cruz after being so polite. >> you can be pro-trump and not attack ted cruz and i would -- >> helpful. >> but she could be helpful in getting people out. she can be helpful in energizing a base of support to actually go out on caucus night. you know, we have heard differing reports about trump's organization in state of iowa. shoo he can energize. >> sarah palin became famous when john mccain was the republican presidential nominee. she was picked to be his running mate. recently, donald trump has had some negative words about john mccain and vice versa, yet sarah palin, john mccain's running mate, endorses donald trump. >> that will be question number one, if anybody gets a question to sarah palin about the
process, question number one, get her response to the john mccain comment. john mccain and sarah palin, they have had very different views about issues since they've been on the ticket together -- even on the ticket different views -- but they've had a policy nonaggression pact, they don't usually take that bait. so i don't think sarah palin's out there sort of bashing john mccain in any way. >> sara murray getting ready for the donald trump rally in iowa. hear from trump and sarah palin. you've been covering trump for a while. how is this likely to play? >> well, it interesting. we've been talking to people on the ground here, the ones who already like donald trump say it might hurt him a little bit, the ones who -- might help him a bit and ones who aren't voting for ted cruz say maybe it will hurt him a little bit. folks undecided are saying this is not going to move their vote one way or another. i do think, as you were saying that sarah palin does help in terms of enner guiding a base and could help with continuing to turn out big crowds for trump
if she campaigns with him. she's going to be here today, tomorrow. we're at a point where perception matters, appearance of momentum matters. he has two weeks to look like he's the front-runner in this state in iowa where he's actually tied. sarah palin is the kind of person who could help contine to fuel that perception. >> gloria, the number of endorsements from major political players for donald trump not a huge number. >> not huge. >> no. >> zero. >> and you know, staying away from him. when you think of establishment, the establishment run more to jeb bush but that hasn't gotten jeb bush anywhere. to david's point, endosments don't matter as much. this isn't about an endorsement per se as it is about adding energy, enthusiasm, credibility on the conservative side to donald trump. this is just the kind of endorsement he wants.
i don't think he's courting -- >> not at all. >> ---ance dorsmentes at all. he's doing the opposite one would argue, in fact. he does not want mitt romney's endorsement nor is mitt romney going to offer his endorsement. >> this is almost like a veep pick, right? using sarah palin to address deficiencies. >> there you go. >> on his campaign. not saying she will be the veep pick. >> she has experience. >> double down on the brand. >> yes. >> right. that happens with a vp pick also. >> and to use her as a surrogate, in ways that where she's more convincing. >> with women? against the establishment. we'll have to see, who does she go after? cruz? rubio? you know, it a force multiplier i think for donald trump. >> i think she goes after political correctness. against political correctness, that's what donald trump -- >> let not forget she will be very useful against hillary in ways that donald trump cannot talk about hillary clinton.
she really can. she can get away with a lot more than he can, i think. and do it in a way that isn't offensive to women potentially. >> you seem to be implying that maybe there's a possibility, like john mccain pick the sarah palin as his running mate, donald trump may think about picking sarah palin as his running mate if he gets the nomination. >> it's not who he will pick, it's who he would do it. >> just raised her hand. who knows, who knows. we could have 2008 all over again. >> it's no accident that this happened just as some conservative talk radio hosts started sort of backing ted cruz and then having comments to make about donald trump. these -- these -- this comes -- the timing of this, i think -- >> masterful. >> for donald trump -- >> historically, last 13 days, before the iowa caucuses, a lot of undecided people are making up their minds. >> right. people are starting to pay attention in the most intense way and thinking about this
every day. part of the kitchen table conversation and to have this come just as some questions were being raised on the conservative side i think is good a timing of endorsement. >> we'll be listening carefully. we'll hear from sarah palin, donald trump at this rally in iowa. jeff zeleny, you've been covering this for a long time. look beyond iowa. the paymeimpact of sarah palin' endorsement of donald trump in new hampshire, south carolina, nevada, early states. >> reporter: wolf, i think the impact is pretty significant. i'm not sure about new hampshire as much but going beyond that. if you look at the geography of the stated here, certainly sarah palin has a good and big following in south carolina, in some of the so-called s.e.c. primary stated. as think moves into march, which it's going to, sarah palin is a good ambassador for donald trump into some areas where she's more relatable in a cultural sense, on hunting, guns, other things. donald trump is still, you know, convincing some of these voters
that he is, in fact, on their side. so i think that she is good in that respect. and i am told by a close friend of governor palin who lives in iowa, spoken with her today, that sarah palin and her husband, todd, will campaign in iowa again for donald trump in the next 13 days they say they are at his disposal as much as he wants. we'll see how much he wants. it significant here in iowa as well as beyond as this campaign is going into who knows how long as it becomes a delegate fight into march. sara murray at the event wir sarah palin will formally endorse, publicly endorse the republican presidential front-runner, donald trump. do we know the format? will she introduce donald trump, will he introduce her? have they given you any guidance on the step by step, what's about to happen? >> reporter: they haven't given us a lot of guidance on this schedule. it possible they'll come out together. it possible that donald trump
will call her up. and you know what's interesting here, wolf, people are still filing in. we're about a half hour from when this event is supposed to start. it's still not a full room. i have to man that is going to change rapidly in the next 30 minutes or in true trump fashion wait until this room is filled to bring sarah palin out. like i said, it not just today that shooe's going to be on the campaign trail. in tulsa as well. it not just iowa and new hampshire, it's how sarah palin can rally the base when you get into southern states. we might get our first real taste tomorrow in tulsa. >> i assume that a lot of people in ames, iowa, where you are, want to see and hear donald trump. but now getting word that sarah palin's going to be there as well. that's going to bring in more people to listen to this event, i assume, right? >> reporter: i think that's definitely possible. as you know, the news just broke officially within the last hour, but we've been talking about
this all day. people have been speculating about it all day. and so i'm sure if you're someone thinking about going to this event, the fact that you're getting two celebrities for the price of one got you off the couch on a very cold day here in iowa to come out tonight. we'll have to see how big this crowd is, as things get rolling in the next half hour. >> david chali. an, polls in iowa have shown a very tight race between ted cruz and donald trump basically in iowa two-man race. >> it is right now, though we'll be paying attention who the third person is. we'll be looking at that establishment lane. but its a two-man race in iowa. you were right, it's close. i think what we see in the polls in iowa now is that the big question hanging over this is, are reliable, regular caucusgoers who have done this year after year after year just this universe of people that show up or does donald trump as he has brought something new to the presidential campaign bring a whole swath of new voters, new
caucusgoers to turn up on the cold february night? if that's the case, which would not surprise i think any of us sitting here donald trump has ignited something that is new, if those new voters show up, donald trump is going to be in a really strong position on caucus night. >> every campaign -- i was talking with dr. carson, dr. carson believes he's going to bring out new voters we haven't counted in the iowa caucuses. donald trump says he's going to do it. ted cruz says he's going to bring out a different voter. rubio believes he's going to bring the some establishment folks who probably haven't participated as much before. >> is more than the traditional makeup of the republican electorate. >> exactly. 57% of iowa caucusgoers in 2012, self-identify the as evangelical or born-again. and this is what trump has been trying for over the last couple of days and i think palin may
help him. >> rubio, you hope that maybe all of that is split up between all of these figures, carson, getting some share of that, donald trump getting some share of it and ted cruz. and you can eke in at least third or second or first. >> it's so frustrating for us because really the only metrics we are have polled to determine where iowa where we are nationally with candidates. . it a self selecting group of people who answer landline phones from pollsters. iowa and new hampshire will give us a first accurate indication of where republican voters are in ways that i think you know, we haven't really got our finger on thus far. and i think if you're cruz, iowa is much more important to you than it is to trump. he has to win iowa, which is why you see people like brandstad trying to block his path and trump as well. >> trump doesn't like to lose.
>> don't go away. new cnn/wmur poll numbers in new hampshire surprising numbers, i must say, on the democratic front. scotty hughes standing by. a major donald trump supporter. much more coming up. your path to retirement... may not always be clear. but at t. rowe price, we can help guide your retirement savings. for over 75 years, investors have relied on our disciplined approach to find long term value. so wherever your retirement journey takes you, we can help you reach your goals. call a t. rowe price retirement specialist or your advisor ...to see how we can help make the most of your retirement savings. t. rowe price. invest with confidence.
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following breaking news of the presidential race. sarah palin formally, publicly, endorsing donald trump for the republican presidential nomination. we're standing by to hear from both of them in a rally in iowa. we will have live coverage here in "the situation room." let's get more on the race right now. donald trump support somewhere tea party leader, scotty hughes joining us, chief political correspondent for usa radio
networks. thanks very much. will sarah palin, she'll be announcing this shortly. how much of a difference do you believe this is going to make? >> well, i think honestly, wolf, it's huge, to be honest with you. because right now, what donald trump needed was to have a bump with evangelicals within iowa and nobody speaks better to that base than sarah palin. she's not necessarily as dominant as she but was when she first came out but people trust her. i love your panel correct as this being a positive thing. but this is something that was going to be obvious. this was going to happen. nobody has been beaten up, taken to the woodshed more than sarah palin by what she considers to be the mainstream media and the establishment in washington, d.c. nobody else is willing to stand up to them like mr. trump. so this was an obvious match that was going to be made. the question was the timing. and the timing could not be more perfect for sarah palin and donald trump both.
>> comes on the same day the governor of iowa, the republican, tear ray brandstad, basically said flatly, i should say, don't vote for ted cruz. he didn't endorse donald trump, didn't endorse nins but said ted cruz should not be the republican presidential nominee. were you surprised by that? >> i was surprised but i don't think that's the way to be handling that within the comfort base. you are seeing a big divide happen between the people who support both candidates. and i think we need to be taking the token now instead of making our candidate rise up by pushing the other one down, maybe talking about what's best about our candidate without destroying the other. here's the other thing people don't realize, this not about the principles and policies this is about the people involved. people who are surprised sarah palin went with trump shouldn't be. glassner was chief of stuff for sarah pac in 2011. long ties between the staffs between the two campaigns. this is not something that might
have happened overnight or last-minute attempt to get iowa voters out to polls for mr. trump. this is something developing probably even before mr. trump made his formal announcement becoming the nominee for the gop nomination. >> having said that, scotty, you make good points but remember sarah palin was elevated to the main stage eight years ago by the very man donald trump said was not a war hero, referring to john mccain. trump said he's not a war hero, he was a war hero because he was captured. i like people who weren't captured. mccain does not have a good relationship with donald trump. they clearly don't like each other but mccain's vice presidential running mate now endorses donald trump. that was a little bit surprising. >> not necessarily. i think sarah palin -- miss palin's been very, very loyal to senator mccain through all of this. in fact her biggest loyalty majority of conservatives would like to see her run against senator mccain in arizona where she resides. but she's not going to do that. she stayed out of the race in
2012. she didn't endorse conservatives. now it's time she said, i think i'm going to see a winner from my house and that winner looks like mr. trump. >> scottie hughes, thanks for joining us. thank you. reporting, helping us, appreciate the enormity of what's going on in the race in iowa now. a quick break. much more after this. ♪
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that's coming up soon from aims, iowa. but other important news we're following as well. one of the americans freed in the deal with iran is now speaking out about his years of captivity and the harrowing hours leading up to his release. jim sciutto behind the scenes details how this came together, prisoner swap. >> our first firsthand account of this deal today of course from amir hekmati, but bret mcguirk, u.s. diplomat who negotiated the americans as release over 14 difficult months. he told us he was ready to call the whole thing off in final hours as iran blocked two crucial passengers from the flight to freedom. >> reporter: jason rezaian and the first video since his release seen laughing with his wife. >> happy. >> reporter: still amir hekmati, first of the freed americans to speak, says their detention ended only after one final night of fear and uncertainty.
>> up until the last second we were all worried and concerned. we were put in a very small room and we had no telephone or access to any information, we kept being told we're be taking off in two hours and two became six, became ten. total of 2 1/2 days. >> reporter: bret mcguirk, the diplomat who negotiated the release over 14 months of secret talks the first sign of tubl, he and his team could not locate rezaian's wife and mother. >> concerning. we stopped the whole thing. >> reporter: they were being held on their own without any communication in a part of tehran's airport controlled by the military. >> they said, no, the entire thing is off unless they're on the airplane. >> reporter: would have killed the deal if jason's mother and wife were not on the plane. >> part of the deal, i mean, in the deal, that's part of the deal. period. >> reporter: do you think the
iranians were trying to change the terms? what were they trying to do. >> it's unclear. i think there's a lot -- there's a lot of people in the iranian system and the people who hold the keys to prison cells that never wanted this to happen. >> reporter: mcgurk not convinced the deal was back on until the swiss ambassador narrated the scene second by second by telephone. >> he was on the tarmac and described the van approaching, the airplane, couldn't see in the windows, and you know the doors opened and one by one he explained that it was jason's wife, his mother, jason, amir, and saeed and described one by one getting in the plane, which was the key moment for us, and that was kind of the trigger for us. i'll never forget his voice in my ear. >> reporter: the talks almost fell apart several times including october when mcgurk,
whose public role including the war on isis, showed up unexpected on talks in vienna. but hope disappeared. >> we did make a lot of progress but when i got back together with my counterparts they went back to square one. >> i've spoken to other diplomats involved in the negotiations who describe the urgency of the americans' cases including this, fears that jason rezaian faced punishments not just of a long prison sentence but also, a alarming, the possibility of a death sentence. wolf? >> joining us now, the foreign minister of saudi arabia, foreign minister, thank you very much for joining us. the iran nuclear deal, as you know, has been implemented. we spoke last year. you told me, saudi arabia would not necessarily rule out the possibility of acquiring nuclear bomb for whatever reason given the concerns from iran. is saudi arabia now pursuing that nuclear option? >> wolf, i think there has been
a lot of disinformation spread by the iranian foreign minister when they said saudi arabia is actively lobbying against the deal and we're against it. we will support any deal that prevents iran from acquiring nuclear cap ability, that -- we were assured by president obama this was in fact the case. as a consequence we supported the deal. the concern we have is what iran will do with the windfall in terms of additional revenue it generates as a result of the lifting of some sanctions. our concern is that that will be used to support terrorism and to spread instability in the region. our concern is it will not be used to develop the country and improve the iranian people who desperately need to develop their country. >> is saudi arabia abandoning any possibility of a nuclear option? >> wolf, i would not discuss these things in a public forum, certainly not on television. the kingdom of saudi arabia is
committed to two things. i always say two things we do not negotiate over, our faith and our security. saudi arabia will do whatever it takes in order to protect our nation and our people from any harm. and i will leave it at that. >> when i spoke with secretary kerry, we discussed the possibility -- the reports out there, saudi arabia potentially could go shopping for a bomb, maybe in pakistan. you were just in pakistan. did you discuss nuclear cooperation with the pakistanis? >>, i discussed bilateral relationship with pakistan, which is a strategy irk one. we discussed the regional situation. we discussed ways to promote security and stability in the region. and we discussed the negative and aggressive iranian interference and the affairs of the region. >> the issue of pakistan potentially providing nuclear technology to saudi arabia did not come up? >> i will not go into details of discussions we have with foreign governments and certainly not allied governments, wolf, i'm
sure you understand. >> there are a lot of suggestions that many friendly countries to the united states, sunni arab countries like saudi arabia, united arab emirates, egypt, others have lost confidence in the united states. have you lost confidence in the united states? >> we have not -- we don't have confidence in iran. we have confidence in the united states. >> what do you need -- what do you want iran to do to restore diplomatic relations? >> very simple. iran should seize interfering in the affairs of the countries of the region. iran should cease to support terror up. iran should cease to blow up embassies. iran should cease to support militias whose objective to destabilize regions in the country. other than that, things should be fine with iran. >> are you okay with the billions of dollars that iran is about to get as a result of the nuclear deal?
>> wolf, i think most countries in the world are not okay with it. i think most countries in the world are concerned that iran will use these funds in order to fund its nef far yus activities rather than use them to develop its country and improve living standards of the people. i hope i'm wrong. >> we have a lot more to discuss. we're only just getting started. please stand by. we'll take a quick break. much more with the foreign minister of saudi arabia right after this.
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joining us again, foreign minister of saudi arabia, adel al jubeir. foreign minister, you write in "the new york times" about how iran is promoting terrorism, but for you this is also very personal. you mentioned this in the article. you -- the iranians, through an agent in washington, tried to kill you. do you have confidence that this iran deal now will work and that you no longer will be on their hit list? >> wolf, i've said before when you asked me about this question, this is not personal. this is not about me. this is about my nation, this is about my region. this is about a country that is aggressive in its policies that has -- had no ambitions in using terrorism. this is a country that occupied the american embassy in iran for 444 days, including taking american diplomats hostage. this is a country that has blown up the american embassy in
beirut, killed the u.s. marines at beirut international airport, killed french soldiers in lebanon. this is a country that country n up embassies that has assassinated diplomats, including three saudi diplomats in thailand. this is a country that's implicated in the khobar tower bombings. in fact, it planned it and its officials directed it, and the people who perpetrated this crime moved to iran and have been sheltered by iran for the past 20 years. this is a country that harbors the leadership of al qaeda, including one of osama bin laden's sons. this is a country that has no inhibitions about engaging or supporting terrorism, death and destruction. this is a country that has provided troops and recruited troops in a sectarian war in syria that has allowed bashar al assad to murder more than 250,000 of his people and to render 12 million of them refugees or displaced persons. so, if you put all this
together, that's where the problem is, that's where the lack of confidence is. it's not about me. >> minister, let's talk about the shiite cleric who was executed, beheaded, shake mihmr el nimr on the eve of the nuclear deal. the suspicion is that this was partly to undermine that deal. was it? >> absolutely not. nimr al nimr is not a religious scholar, he's a terrorist. he's as much a religious scholar as bin laden was. he recruited, he justified, he funded, he equipped, he plotted and he engaged in terrorist attacks that left a number of security personnel dead. he was caught in the middle of a raid, and so, he was jailed. he was sent to court. the decision went from the courts to the appellate court to the supreme court. he was found guilty and he was pirn punished, and that's the
end of it. >> the criticism of saudi arabia, as you know, foreign minister, is that the saudi arabia beheadings is what isis does. they behead individuals as well. and there's been a negative light shined on your country as a result. any second thoughts? >> well, wolf, i think people tend to be too superficial. we have the death penalty. so does the united states. if we were to use the same methods that the united states uses and then tomorrow isis decides to use those same methods, does that mean they got it from us? does this mean we have to change our method again? the death penalty is part of our legal system, and people who commit crimes that lead to the death of the innocent are punished. and this is something that the world has to respect just like we respect the laws of other countries, including countries that do not have the death penalty. with regards to the numbers, the 47 people who are put to death, i think that if a united states
air force had bombed 47 isis members, including those who decapitated and killed the americans in one day, i think people would be cheering on the streets. >> the price of oil is now, what, under $30 a barrel. there are concerns this has to do with saudi arabia's manipulation of the oil markets. how low are you willing to let the price of oil go? >> well, first of all, wolf, i think i want to clarify that the oil price is determined by supply and demand in the market, and there was an oversupply in the market because of production or overproduction in a number of countries that led to a drop in the price. and saudi arabia refused to cut its production in order to support high-price producers because this would have just set the stage for a drop in both prices and volumes down the road. and so, we let the market determine where the equilibrium should be, and what we're seeing now is the market price. >> the allegation against saudi
arabia with the prices going down, "a," you want to hurt iran, which is clearly an adversary of yours, also to stop the development of alternative energy sources. your reaction to that? >> i think that people should go back to adam smith and basic economics. it's about supply and demand. you cannot manipulate the market and be able to do so consistently. and so, if you let market forces play out, then the equilibrium is set naturally. but if you try to manipulate it one way or another, eventually, you overshoot or you undershoot and you pay a tremendous price for it. i think there is a lot of speculation and a lot of theorizing about why something is happening, and it reminds me of the conspiracy theories in the middle east, and those have to do with what the great powers are doing. in the west, the conspiracy theories have to do with what the oil powers are doing.
>> foreign minister of saudi arabia, adel al jubeir, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. always a pleasure, wolf. >> he is joining us from riyadh in saudi arabia. coming up, we'll get back to what's happening in the world of politics. we're standing by for donald trump's rally in iowa. he'll have a special guest with him, sarah palin. there she is. she's getting ready to publicly endorse donald trump for president. and we also have steady, new poll numbers in the race for the democratic presidential nomination. senator bernie sanders is surging ahead of hillary clinton, surging, in new hampshire. every day you read headlines about businesses being hacked and intellectual property being stolen. that is cyber-crime and it affects each and every one of us. microsoft created the digital crimes unit to fight cyber-crime. we use the microsoft cloud to visualize information so we can track down the criminals. when it comes to the cloud, trust and security are paramount.
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happening now, breaking news, bombshell endorsement. the former vice presidential nominee and tea party favorite, sarah palin, endorsing donald trump for president of the united states just hours after trump rival ted cruz gets slammed by the republican governor of iowa. trump and palin appearing tonight together in a rally that's about to get under way. we'll have live coverage. will sarah palin's backing for trump over the top in the iowa
caucuses? we welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com we're following breaking news, donald trump picking up one of the most coveted republican endorsements tonight, sarah palin. the former vice president ial nominee is throwing her conservative clout behind donald trump. she'll appear with him in a rally in iowa that is about to begin. we'll have live coverage. we're also covering that much more with our correspondents, expert analysts and our guests, all standing by live. let's go straight to iowa first. our political reporter sarah murray is in ames, iowa, for us tonight at that rally. sarah, the palin endorsement potentially could help trump a lot in iowa. >> reporter: that's right. well, donald trump has said he's not one for big endorsements, but this is a little bit different.
sarah palin is a lot like donald trump, part politician and part entertainer, and this will be one of the rare times where donald trump is actually willing to share the stage. tonight donald trump is sharing the spotlight, picking up an endorsement from sarah palin. >> i am a big fan of sarah palin, but i'm not saying who it is. >> reporter: trump spent the day teasing a big endorsement in iowa and taking questions about whether that mystery guest will be palin. >> i think you'll be very impressed. >> reporter: cruz promising his unwavering affection for palin. >> sarah palin is fantastic. without her friendship and support, i wouldn't be in the senate today. so, regardless of what sarah decides to do in 2016, i will always remain a big, big fan of sarah palin's. >> reporter: meanwhile, iowa's governor, terry branstead, unloaded on cruz, saying he wants to see the texas senator defeated. >> he hasn't supported renewable fuels, and i believe that would be a big mistake for iowa to
support him. >> reporter: trump and cruz spent the day tangling over who has the disposition to be commander in chief. >> when you talk about temperament, ted has got a rough temperament. >> reporter: cruz arguing americans aren't ready for a president trump and his frequent twitter wars. >> they don't want to wake up every day wondering if the latest polls might set off the commander in chief into a frenzy of tweets. >> reporter: the two leaders in iowa escalating their attacks just weeks before the caucuses. >> this race nationally is coming more and more down to a two-man race between me and donald trump. >> reporter: as cruz tries out a new tactic -- preemptive strikes against trump. >> mr. trump enthusiastically supported president obama's stimulus plan and said the only problem was it should have been bigger. i don't think we should have a massive payoff to lobbyists from taxpayers. >> reporter: while trump tries to peel away at cruz's evangelical supporters. >> i'll be much stronger in
protecting the evangelicals, i'll be much, much stronger in protecting our country, and i think i'll be a much better person for evangelicals, but also everybody else. >> reporter: now, it's hard to say how much endorsement like sarah palin's will move the needle here in iowa, but with cruz and trump in a dead heat, i think everyone's trying to pull out all the stops to get whatever edge they can. trump is already here. we're just waiting for him to show up on stage with sarah palin. but wolf, they want to pack this room, and there are a lot of people waiting outside in the snow still trying to get in j. s >> is it a big room? how many people are they anticipating could fit in the room behind you there, sara? >> reporter: it is a pretty big room. it could certainly fit thousands. there's a tractor in the corner. this is a very iowa setting, but now that donald trump has secret service, there are growing pains. everyone's used to going through security and getting swept, and as you can imagine, that's particularly sensitive on a night like tonight with donald
trump and sarah palin at the site tonight. but they're trying to get people in as fast as possible. i can attest, it is very cold outside today. >> it will get pretty warm inside as soon as donald trump and sarah palin show up, i am sure. sara, don't go far away. i want to get more on the race as we await the arrival of donald trump and sarah palin. big day for donald trump. i have a tea party leader and chief correspondent with "usa today radio network," a donald trump supporter. when you heard the news, i on assume -- you like sarah palin -- you were pretty enthused. >> absolutely enthused. this is another collection -- it's almost like a snowball of conservative endorsements behind mr. trump, and don't think it's coincidence. it's absolute tragedy. last week, we had phyllis shafly of the eagle forum and now we have sarah palin. last night we had jerry falwell jr. who did not endorse but had pretty praising words of mr. trump. and i have a feeling that as the week goes on, we'll see more and more endorsements in a snowball,
and this is all strategy laid out by mr. trump and his team. here's the thing, wolf. for a candidate who's been number one at the top of the ratings so long, he has a relatively small team. but for those people who criticized, who are you listening to, he's picking some of the best people. his iowa state director, chuck laudner, was behind the santorum victory for yaurzing where he came from almost from the bottom all the way to the top. so, he's picking probably some of the best people to help him put out this strategy for the campaign, and it's obviously working, according to the polls. >> eight years ago, john mccain, the republican presidential nominee, he asked sarah palin to be his vice presidential running mate. that's when she became really famous, the former alaska governor. do you think donald trump would do that? >> i don't know necessarily about that. i think mr. trump has -- i was one of those advocating for maybe somebody else who is already running for president to be his vp. i think we're too far from that decision being made, but i guarantee he'll use the same
type of strategy. i will say this, this announcement does show, because mr. trump is very loyal to those who are loyal to him, it shows that somewhere, ms. palin, if she wants to, would probably be part of the administration. just a guess. >> all of this on the same day that governor terry branstead announced he opposes ted cruz as the republican presidential nominee, says don't vote for ted cruz, presumably because his position on ethanol, which is an important issue in an agriculture state like iowa. were you surprised to hear that? >> i was surprised to hear that, i'll be honest with you, except that issue is very, very important. what he should have probably toppled that with, though, was okay, maybe not senator cruz, but how about these other candidates, and it might have been establishment candidates if he had said that. i think there are more issues in iowa than just one topic, the ethanol issue. it's very important, but there are other important issues that maybe senator cruz is stronger on. but this one issue, obviously, is a linchpin for the governor. >> is it a two-man race now, do
you believe? >> no, i still think we could see potentially a third or fourth, three or four-man race. going into new hampshire today, the big surprise was kasich actually appearing second in a lot of polls, out of nowhere, compared to the amount of time and effort that people like chris christie and jeb bush have put in. yesterday we had a poll come out that saw jeb bush rising in south carolina, surprisingly. so, i think you're still seeing this race by the establishment just trying to figure out who's going to be the power player. now, for us conservatives, go on, guys, keep it up, keep the battle going. you distracting amongst the four or five of you is much better while we're down to two or three candidates in our category. >> what do you anticipate hearing from sarah palin in the next few minutes? >> i think we're going to hear absolute strength. something that sarah palin is known for is she has those lines. listen, i'm sitting here with my "make america great again" big gulp, which sarah palin made big gulps famous during her speech. she has great catch lines and
hashtags that trend. that's something that mr. trump is good at as well, taking a large issue and putting it down to a key phrase that people repeat days after the statement is made. >> why do you prefer donald trump over ted cruz? >> ooh, that's a fun question. it's not that i necessarily prefer trump over cruz. i think both men would make great presidents. they both represent good conservative values. i, however, think at this point in time, i think donald trump -- we need somebody who's going to go in there and not be afraid to be a wrecking ball to wreck up this bureaucracy made by the current administration. mr. trump has shown time and time again he cannot be bought, he will not cow tower. he shows the strength in leadership that not only the conservative movement, but americans need to see from their leadership. >> can we anticipate, scottie, that you'll be a big force out there on the campaign trail? >> you never know where i'm going to show up, mr. blitzer. >> i assume the answer is yes, right? >> yeah, that's my political spin answer. i'm trying to get ready to be a
politician, maybe. >> scottie, thanks very much. scottie hughes helping us appreciate the support she has for donald trump. once again, we're standing by to hear from donald trump and sarah palin. they'll be speaking momentarily out there in ames, iowa. we'll have live coverage of all of that. i want to get some analysis right now. joining us, chief political correspondent dana bash, chief political analyst gloria borger and senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny. also, senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin. gloria, it's a good day for donald trump. >> yeah, it's a very good day for donald trump and terrible, horrible, not-so-good day for ted cruz. look, this endorsement by sarah palin gives donald trump certain credibility, certain conservative credentials that ted cruz has been attacking him on recently, saying you know, you're not really conservative, you've got so-called new york values. what does that mean? you're a little bit more liberal than we think. it also gives trump the
attention he seeks. and sarah palin, while she has not been active in iowa, can certainly help him energize the base to get those people to the iowa caucuses. i don't think she's going to change anybody's mind, per se, but i do think she kind of solidifies certain people who are thinking about trump. perhaps she will put them over the line and get them out to the caucuses on a cold winter night. >> what's the reaction you've been getting, dana? >> well, i can actually report to you something that our congressional producer, deirdre walsh just got from john mccain, who, of course, was the one who put sarah palin on his ticket and on the political map. he wouldn't go there on this endorsement, just saying "respect her views," of palin. and when asked whether or not she is going to help donald trump's candidacy, he just said, "i have no idea." this isn't surprising to me as somebody who covered the mccain
campaign and then mccain/plin's campaign and all of the years since mccain has been very tight-lipped, very circumspect about choosing sarah palin and about some of the ways that he has differed with her since then. but it is noteworthy, not just because of that, but because one of the earliest and first controversial things that donald trump said on the campaign trail was, of course, questioning whether john mccain is an actual war hero because he was captured, and of course, held as a prisoner of war for many, many years. so, this, i'm sure, has a little bit of a punch in the gut for john mccain, but knowing him like i do, he's not going to say that publicly. >> i want to play that clip. this is donald trump speaking not that long booing john mccain. >> he's not a war hero. >> he's a war hero. 5 1/2 years as a p.o.w. -- >> he's a war hero because he was captured. i like people who weren't captured, okay? i hate to tell you. he's a war hero because he was
captured, okay? >> so, how awkward does that statement make potentially sarah palin feel since she was elevated to the vice presidential running mate spot by john mccain? >> i don't necessarily think it makes her awkward, feel awkward. i think it's john mccain that might feel a little bit awkward. look, i think for sarah palin, this is the best of both worlds. this puts her on the map again. we're talking about sarah palin, which hasn't happened in a very long time. she is relevant again. so, i think that all things considered, this is as good for sarah palin as it is for donald trump, maybe even better. >> jeffrey, how much does the sarah palin endorsement -- does she really fit into the donald trump brand of being a republican? >> no, she doesn't, but i think that makes her endorsement more valuable, not less, because she comes from a different part of the party.
you know, another thing to think about when we're talking about endorsements is we are now clearly in a republican race where two candidates are leading, cruz and trump. the number of sitting governors and senators who have endorsed either one of the front-runners is zero. neither one of them has a single endorsement from a governor or a senator, and i think that just shows you what a crazy, unusual race this is and how the establishment-elected officials are almost irrelevant in this story, because the sarah palins, the phyllis schlapplys, the reverend falwells, they're the endorsements everybody's coveted. and the people who usually matter, the senators and governors, are just not part of the race so far. >> jeff zeleny, you've been talking to your sources. what are you learning about sarah palin's expected role on the campaign trail, especially the next 13 days before the iowa caucuses? >> well, wolf, i'm told that sarah palin will be as available as donald trump wants her to be.
and again, as dana pointed out, this is very good for sarah palin as well. i mean, you know, this kind of revives her brand among conservatives, helps her sell books and other things. i've talked to a couple top operatives from rival republicans' campaigns, and they both believe that it's an opportunistic move from sarah palin. but look, every candidate would want this endorsement, whether they like sarah palin necessarily or her policies or not. this is for the iowa republican caucuses. these are the activists of activists here, and most of whom like sarah palin. i agree, it won't necessarily change any minds here. i think actually the bigger effect is after iowa, in those states after iowa. this puts a conservative blanket around donald trump. i was with mr. trump in pensacola, florida, last week, was struck by how much he talked about his second amendment support and guns, but voters do have concerns about, you know, so-called new york values. this erases that. sarah palin is as real as it gets to hunters and outdoorsmen and women.
so, i think that he will take her everywhere he needs. but look how busy the calendar is in march, wolf. super tuesday goes through so many red states. oklahoma, tomorrow she'll be campaigning there with him. so, if anyone has any lingering doubts about whether donald trump is a city slicker, or sort of the other american, you know, from the rural heartland, i think sarah palin will rough off those gold-plated edges pretty carefully here. so, look, it's a good endorsement. endorsements are what they are. they don't necessarily mean you're going to win. but going into a race, it's a pretty good thing to have. >> that's john wayne's daughter speaking now. she has endorsed donald trump as well. so, they're getting ready for donald trump and sarah palin. i guess sarah palin, gloria, doesn't have a problem with new york values, if you will, as ted cruz seemed to have. >> right. look, i don't think she's going to be out there actively saying ted cruz is a bad guy. i think she's going to be out there bolstering donald trump. and so, you know, ted cruz was
very smart today when he said he wouldn't have been elected to the senate if it weren't for sarah palin, that he likes and respects sarah palin, and she just picked a different candidate. one other thing about the mccain/palin point which dana raised, which is so interesting -- i recall an e-mail that sarah palin sent to our own jake tapper during this whole "war hero" controversy in which she called both john mccain and donald trump heroes, but heroes in different ways. and in a way, that kind of foreshadows what she's doing tonight. >> dana, the announcement by the republican governor, four times elected republican governor of iowa, terry branstead, not to vote for ted cruz, telling the people of iowa, don't vote for ted cruz. he didn't endorse donald trump or anyone else, but he slammed ted cruz. that could have an impact 13 days before the iowa caucuses as well. >> it absolutely could.
look, ted cruz is trying to blow it off as the fact that terry branstad he says is just part of the republican establishment, but it's hard to argue that a very popular republican governor in the heartland in the first caucus state of iowa is part of the washington cartel, as cruz calls it. and i think what's even more devastating than an endorsement is what branstad did. he didn't endorse anyone. he just said, please, don't vote for ted cruz, which is almost unprecedented. i mean, in any way, but also especially for someone like terry branstad who has tried to stay off the battlefield in the iowa caucuses for so long. and in primaries in general, you know, he's a very powerful force in that state. and the reason why he gave also is powerful for a lot of iowans, which is he's not good for us on ethanol.
and for farmers -- and there are a lot of them, because i spoke to several of them who are not so sure about ted cruz because they're worried he will end subsidies for ethanol, which is their bread and butter, their livelihood -- it might make them think twice, even more than they were. >> jeffrey toobin, donald trump indicated that he would love, his word, love having sarah palin as part of the trump administration. he said this in a radio interview this past summer. listen to this. >> if there is a trump administration, could you see maybe picking up the phone, giving the governor a call, picking her brain on some things, or perhaps having her along in some official capacity? >> i would love that, because she really is somebody that knows what's happening, and she's a special person. she's really a special person. and i think people know that. >> do you think statements like that, jeffrey, helped woo sarah palin to donald trump's corner? >> absolutely. you know, they have been seen in public for a long time. there was a hilarious episode in 2011 when they went for pizza together.
and those of us who have new york values all noticed that he ate his pizza with a knife and fork, which is very much contrary to new york values. so, there is an existing relationship there. and you know, this is a good day for both of them. >> you know, jeff zeleny, let me play another clip for you. this is what she told -- sarah palin told jake tapper about the opportunity she might have to serve in a trump administration. listen to this. >> donald trump says that he would love to have someone of your strength in his administration. when you take a look at the cabinet, is there a particular area you think would line up best with your strengths, a position you would want to serve in? >> that's a great question. i think a lot about the department of energy because energy is my baby. oil and gas and minerals, those things that god has dumped on this part of the earth for mankind's use, instead of us relying on unfriendly, foreign nations for us to import their
resources? i think a lot about department of energy. and if i were head of that, i'd get rid of it. >> jeff zeleny that was vintage sarah palin. i must say, she's always been very blunt. secretary of energy. maybe she would be the last secretary of energy. >> no question. you don't see many politicians or people in public life saying they want to be a job, you know to basically shut the lights out. but look, i think she does have a future in the republican party, if it's a trump republican party. i mean, it all depends on who would be asking her to join here. i think what it does do, if donald trump would become the republican nominee -- and of course, he's leading the way here -- it doesn't necessarily take her off the short list, but i think this is something that, you know, having her as an endorser on the side, you know, might remove her a touch here. donald trump is a business guy. he's a nonpolitical guy. so, you have to wonder if sarah palin is almost, you know, has
too much of a political record for donald trump to appoint. she's been a governor, of course. she was a vice presidential nominee at the time here, but look, we have to see how all of this plays out to see what her role would be in the future here, but i think she is going to return to all of our lives in a big way for the next weeks, maybe months to come. >> we're standing by to hear from donald trump and sarah palin at this rally. you can see live pictures from ames, iowa. we'll have live coverage. we'll hear what she says, what he says. much more right after this. performance... ...reimagined. style... ...reinvented. sophistication... ...redefined. introducing the all-new lexus rx and rx hybrid. agile handling. available 12.3-inch navigation screen and panorama glass roof. never has luxury been this expressive.
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front-runner donald trump picking up a huge endorsement today, sarah palin. she's appearing with him at a rally in iowa, ames, iowa, that's about to get under way and will campaign with him tomorrow in iowa and then on to oklahoma as well. we'll have live coverage of that endorsement when they both show up there. we're told it's momentarily. we'll be able to hear what she has to say, what he has to say. we're following all of this as well as a rare and pretty stunning move by the iowa governor today, just 13 days ahead of the state's close last watched caucuses. terry branstad told a reporter he wants to see senator ted cruz defeated, saying his victory would be "very damaging to iowa." all of our political experts are here in "the situation room," but i want to go to ames, iowa, mr. s . sara murray is there. set the stage for our viewers around the world about what is about to happen over there, sara. >> reporter: well, wolf, you can see the venue is still filling in behind me and donald trump is
expected to take the stage any moment now and announce his big, special guest, his big endorsement. of course, we now know that is going to be sarah palin. and look, this might not be the kind of thing that moves big numbers for donald trump, but when you are locked in a dead heat in iowa like he is with ted cruz, every little bit helps, and sarah palin is the kind of person who can still energize the republican base, not just in iowa, but also in those southern states that are going to be very important coming down the calend calendar. and look, there are some ties behind the scenes between donald trump and sarah palin. one of her close aides left to go to the trump campaign and is their political director now. so, there has been a little bit of back-channeling going on to make this happen. and there is no doubt that this is a blow for ted cruz. sarah palin helped him out in his senate race, and she said previously that she was divided between whether to support trump, whether to support cruz. the fact that she's now coming out here for iowa and trump is a big deal for a kanth date who has mostly steered clear of
endorsements. and a lot of republicans have steered clear of endorsing him, wolf. >> stand by. we're going to get back to you, sara. i want to bring in our cnn commentator anna navorro. >> i'm still their friends. >> what about this sarah palin endorsement, baig deal, not such a big deal? what do you think? >> i think it's a big deal. the attack on donald trump that ted cruz has been honing on is that he's got new york values. if anybody does not represent new york values in the republican party, it's certainly sarah palin. she is the mama grizzly. she is all about alaska, outdoors, pro-life, pro guns. i think this is, you know, very good for sarah palin, whose star had been diminishing and is now going to be all over the press, and i think it's very good for donald trump. >> will it really help, though, 13 days before iowa, for him to go ahead and defeat ted cruz in iowa? >> yes. i mean, i think it does make a difference. if we have seen anything, it is
that donald trump is very adept at handling the media. and here we are, you know, talking about this. this is a very big event. it's going to be talked about for days now, and i think he's got in sarah palin a very good surrogate. i traveled with sarah palin in the mccain campaign in 2008. she is a draw. i saw thousands and thousands and thousands of people show up in the middle of nowhere to hear her speak and she's very good on the stump. now a very good opening act. f - >> and he draws a lot of people, she'll draw a lot of people if they go out together or separately. that would be, to use his favorite word, huge. >> huge. >> yeah, it would be a big deal. i assume you agree, gloria. >> i do. look, i think he's got to do two things, which is he's got to convince people that he is a real conservative, and he's got to convince evangelicals that he understands them and is one of them. and i think she helps him to do both things in the state of iowa. she remains a popula figure in
iowa. she can draw a crowd. you have two reality tv stars now together on the stage, and they will draw crowds. and she can energize the base to get those people actually to caucus sites. so, i think that while the cruz campaign clearly wants to downplay this, and i don't blame them, she has a certain affection for cruz and she campaigned for him and he said he wouldn't be in the senate without her, and that's probably true. i think, you know, this is a blow for cruz along with the governor giving, what do you call it, a "d" endorsement or an antiendorsement? he didn't endorse anybody -- >> the iowa governor. >> yes. he didn't say i endorse anybody, but he said i don't endorse ted cruz. those two things coming together today are not a good day. >> he says he wants cruz defeated, which indirectly will help donald trump. >> sure. and the iowa governor's not just an iowa governor. he's been the governor of iowa for decades.
he's got an incredible machinery in iowa. he is have i respected. he's crossed that deity status in the party in iowa, so it's a big deal. >> sarah palin has been successful over the past several years of helping get republicans elected in key races. you've covered a lot of those, and she presumably will help donald trump a lot right now. >> oh, sure, there's no question that this is going to help donald trump. the question is how much. but you're right, right in that very state of iowa, jeff zeleny mentioned this earlier, she was one of the first people to be on joni ernst's team. she is now the first female senator from the statement of iowa. and ted cruz even said today that sarah palin endorsing him against the person who was then the establishment senate candidate in texas, mr. dewhurst, he wouldn't have gotten as far as he did, he says, without sarah palin's
endorsement a few years ago. so, across the board she's got a mixed bag in terms of results, but she certainly has done very well by a lot of candidates, particularly those who are kind of her ilk or her kind of republican, who weren't very well known. that's obviously not the case with donald trump. it's a very different dynamic right now, but she has a very wide social media network, and despite the fact that, as i said earlier, she's not that much of a present, she's not that much a part of the national conversation as she once was, or at least until tonight, she still kind of keeps under the radar with the conservative movement. >> there he is, donald trump. he's just walking into that room in ames, iowa, right now. the crowd, obviously, getting excited. he's not walking out with sarah palin. i assume he's going to introduce sarah palin at one point. she'll walk out separately. they'll have a little joint appearance. we'll hear what they both have to say. donald trump getting over to the
microphones right now. it's a pretty packed crowd, according to our own sara murray, who's inside. usually he'll pause a little bit before speaking, but let's listen in. >> thank you very much, everybody. such an honor. with the snow coming down, and it's a little cold outside, and you have hundreds of people still outside trying to get in, but you know, we won't wait. we'll go ahead, right? huh? we'll go ahead. first of all, congratulations to the iowa state basketball team. you had a -- what was that all about? i turned on the game. i said, wow, this shouldn't be that good a game. and then at the end of the game, i said, who won? yes. that was great. that was great. and that's a great achievement. i want to also pay my respects. ben carson, they had a really bad accident, some of his staffers were hurt pretty bad, so i just want to pay my respects to ben. he's a good guy, a really good guy, and his staffers, and hopefully, they get better. say a prayer for them, okay? we've had an amazing time today. we've been all over iowa and
we're going to be here tomorrow. we're going to be here so much, you're going to get so sick of me. you're going to say, please, tell him to get out of here, tell him to leave, tell him to go. but we've had an incredible time. and you know, it started really, we've had really a pretty good week. the debate last week. everybody watched the debate. and who knew about these debates? i didn't know anything about the debates. and it's been fun and it's been interesting. and i've been treated semi-fairly by the moderators, not 100%. some have been very fair, actually, and some have been not so fair, but a lot of the press hasn't been very fair. boy, look at all the press back there. they must think there's a big event going to happen today. wow. this is like the academy awards. but we've had an amazing -- it's been an amazing experience, and it started really on june 16th, when we came down the escalator. we came down that escalator, and it was -- i said, let's go, to my wife, who's been so supportive and so wonderful. i said, "let's go," we're going
to make america great again. that's what we're going to do. and you know, it was -- it's hard to do this because when you think of it, i've never done it before. i've never been a politician, thank goodness, but i've never been a politician. i've always done jobs and put a lot of people to work, tens of thousands of people over the years. and you know i have thousands of hispanics that love me. the nevada poll just came out where i'm leading with hispanics, which i knew. i knew. and we came out, and at that particular opening when i opened and said i'm going to run for president, i gave up a lot, you know, gave up a lot of different things, including telling our friends at nbc no more "apprentice." that's horde to do. you have a top show and you say i'm not doing it anymore. i'm sorry. they wanted to do it so badly. and steve burke, who's a fantastic executive, came up to my office, and he said, come on, donald, come on, do it. you're not going to run. do it. do it. i said, steve, i'm going to run. i was pretty sure. that was about two months before. i was pretty sure. it really is a tough thing to do. all my life i've heard, if
you're a very successful person, you'll never run for president, you'll never really run for politics, but never, ever for president. and i built a great company, and it's tremendous numbers. you saw the filings, and the press was going to look so closely, it was like d-day when we put those papers in. you know, first thing i did, i announced. they said, oh, he's actually going to do it, because most of them said he'll never do it. then when i signed form "a," that's when you sign your life away, and i signed that. they said, whoa, he signed that. well, he'll never file the financials because maybe he's not as rich as everybody thinks. and i filed the financials, and they saw an unbelievable -- you didn't hear a thing about it. oh, boy, were they looking. i mean, were they looking. and almost 100 pages, the biggest report ever filed with the s.e.c. in terms of that, and it showed a company that's a phenomenal company with so many assets, very little debt, tremendous cash flow, you know, the way it's supposed to be. it was great. and the reason i tell you that
is because that is the kind of thinking we need now in the united states. we need that kind of thinking. we need that whatever it is. we need a mentality that's going to, you know, we're $19 trillion in debt, going to be up to $21 trillion. you saw that horrible, horrible budget that was approved two weeks ago, and that's going to lift it. and so, we went along, and a lot of things have happened. and then the polls came out, which i loved, and new ones came out today, by the way, i'll tell you right now, you know, now that we're at it. and they came out, some brand-new ones, some beauties. one's coming out, i guess a big one's coming out. i don't know exactly what it is, but it's got to be pretty good, because i see the response. even this, with all the people still trying to come into this building, somebody said it's a barn. this is a very nice barn, actually. but with all of the people still trying to come in, you see what it is. and we do have something special in a couple of minutes, really special. to me, it's really special, because it's a person that i think is a spectacular person.
so, it's very special to me. but then the polls came out and some of them, as an example, national polls, 38% for trump, 20% for second. i won't even mention names, right? right, i won't even mention. i'm going to be nonconfrontational today for a change. 21% for the second, 11%, and then they're all down. then some of them are actually at like 0% and 1%. i don't know. jeb. jeb. well, you know, jeb's got one problem, he loves common core, meaning he wants your kids educated from washington, which is immediately no good. and his second problem is he's very, you know, very weak on illegal immigration. remember he said they come as an act of love. i said, what? they come as an act of love. so, i think those are two very bad points, frankly. but -- [ inaudible ] yeah.
never fails. all right, thank you. thank you, darling. maybe you could be quiet a little bit while they take you out. you know, i have to be careful. if i'm too rough, they say, he was too rough. then when i'm moderate and nice, they were saying, what happened to trump? he's not tough enough. so, you can't win with these people. the one good thing is they always show the crowd. that's the only way they show how big our crowds are. so, all right, get them out. get them out of here. all right. so, south carolina just came out, and that's 32% for trump, 18% for second, 11% for third. great. florida leading by a lot, 31%, 19%, 13%, and then all down in the dumps. georgia just came out. i have 33%. don't forget, that's 33% -- it's
hard to believe -- that's with 14 people, 15 people? i don't know when they took it, but it was recent. 33%. connecticut. now, tom brady loves me, and that's sort of like, you know -- and i love tom brady, by the way. 35% to 18% to 9% to 2%, you know, to nothing. maryland just came out. maryland, great place, 32% to 15% to 11% to 9%, and then you know, they sort of phase out. you ever hear of a place called iowa? oh, i love this. we're doing actually great. first of all, i have to tell you, you know, they never report it. even cnn doesn't report it. cnn does a poll, probably spends millions. they never report their poll. the cnn poll was 33% for trump, 20% for cruz. nobody talks about it. nobody talks -- they don't talk about it. they talk about -- cnn is
reporting other people's polls. so, i call up. i say, wait a minute, you're cnn, you spent a fortune on polls, and you don't report your own poll because i'm winning by a lot. and they have no excuse, but they keep reporting other polls. but we're doing well. i think we're doing a lot better than anyone knows. gravs just came out, 34% for trump, 24% for cruz. bpp, 34% for trump, 28 for cruz. quinnipi quinnipiac, 31% for trump. and cnn, 33-20. so, i think we're doing better in the polls. i could say, well, i just want to do well in iowa. i want to win iowa, folks, because look, i love the people. the evangelicals have been phenomenal. i'm doing great with evangelicals, but nationwide, i'm winning with evangelicals, i don't know if you know that, by a lot, nationwide. in iowa, we're doing very well have evangelicals, doing well
with the tea party. we're doing well. you hear the numbers. these are the numbers. but i actually think we're doing even better than the polls. and there's a thing that a lot of people say, well, they call up, are you going to vote for trump? he's got very, very tough immigration policies. he wants to destroy obamacare and replace it with something a lot better. i'm going to do that, okay? but you know, a lot of people, they'll pick up the phone, they'll hear different things and they'll say, no, i'll vote for -- then they get in the booth, they'll say trump is my man! there are a lot of people saying we're going do a lot better. well, we'll see, because february 1st, you have to get to caucus, you have to go out, you've got to do it. it's so -- otherwise, we've all wasted our time. you know, one of the groups in maine, and it was like incredible, we were in different places up in new england recently, and new hampshire was amazing, and the people are standing -- it was so cold. it was one little group of -- despite global warming. you hear about, it was so cold. it was the windchill below zero, and people are standing outside for hours trying to get in, and
then you hear the announcers, well, will they show up to vote? and i don't know much, but i say, if people are going to stand out for four hours in the cold or the heat -- because believe me, they stood out in heat during the summer and during the fall like you wouldn't believe in tennessee, in texas, we had 21,000 people. no matter where we go, we have these big crowds, but they'll stand for hours and hours to get in. why aren't they going to go and vote, or in your case, caucus? why aren't they going to go and vote? srt of an amazing thing. so, we think they're going to really be -- why would somebody wait for four hours and then we're not going to take two minutes to vote? boom. now, yours is a little more complicated because the caucus system is a little bit different. it's a very interesting system, but it is different. here's what i have to say about iowa. it's very important. so, you know there's a movement to move iowa to the back of the pack, okay? you know that. you'll still see me, but you won't see other people, believe me. i'm loyal. to a fault, i'm loyal. but you're going to see. i give you my word.
i win, they're not touching iowa. this is an amazing tradition. no, seriously. this is an amazing tradition. they're not moving iowa back. they're not moving -- and they're not moving new hampshire, either, because they're talking about iowa and new hampshire. they're not touching new hampshire. so, we're going to just keep it the way it is. it really is, it's an amazing -- first of all, you're amazing people, but all over the country, it's a movement all over the country. the people are incredible. they want to make america great again. they're going to do something that's special. and you know, we used to talk silent majority. i say it's the noisy majority, because it's actually a noisy majority. it's not a silent majority. but people are fed up. so, i started on june 16th, and we did well, right practically from the beginning. we went up, and if you remember, we started at nothing. we started at nothing, because nobody believed i was going to vote. so, my wife said, you know if you run, you're going to win. i said, what do you mean?
she said, people don't believe you're going to run. so, the polls, you know, because i was getting these little polls -- i felt like some of the guys now that are senators and governors, they get these little polls. i was like, they can't get this guy -- he goes, jeb again. boy, he's taking a lot of abuse. i told him, you know what, you should use the name bush. what's wrong? use the name bush. maybe it's not working, but it's better than jeb, right? you know, i really do. get rid of the exclamation point and just put jeb bush. it's your name. don't be ashamed of your name. so, anyway, i wish him the best. but you know, so, i started and i started at, like, 2% or 3%, and then it went to 6% and then it went to 9%. and each time, the pundits, these geniuses back here, some of them are sitting back there. these geniuses like george will with the little glasses -- take away the glasses, he looks like a dumb guy, i'm telling you.
but each time these geniuses would say, well, he's reached his plateau, he's plateaued at 6%, right? then it goes to 11%. well, you know, this is surprising, but he's reached his plateau. and then it goes to 18%, then it went to 22%, 24%, 28%, then it went to 32%, then it went actually to 42% in the gravis poll, and in reuters, we got to 42% and even a little above that. and all of a sudden, you didn't hear so much about the plateau. i want to plateau at 42%. 42% with like 14 people, that's pretty good. but they kept saying he's plateaued, that's all he'll get. he's got these followers. we have the smartest followers there are, number one. we have the smartest p.m. and the hardest working followers. we have people that love the country more than anybody and they want to take back what's happened because our country is going to hell. we can be nice about it, we can say it nice and soft. our country is going to hell. when you look at this crazy iran
deal where we're paying $150 billion, and they give us five back, but they don't know where the fifth is, and you understand what that means. that's not a good sign. but they give us five people, but they get seven and they get 14 off the interpol list. these are bad dudes. they get 14 plus 7, so they're getting 21 people, and they have the right to do whatever they want from an enterprise standpoint, right to do oil, right to do whatever they want. but why do they also get out of that deal? first of all, they're going to get nuclear -- they don't have to develop missiles, they can buy them. for the kind of money we gave them, they're going to buy them. why are they going to develop? remember the day? they have 24 days for inspection period. they also have self-inspection, right? but we paid $150 billion. and i always say the persians are great negotiators, what a great deal that is. and two weeks ago i started. i said wait a minute, that's not a good deal compared to the other deal. they took over iraq.
we gave them iraq. we knocked the hell out of iraq. we decimated their armed forces, and you know, for years they would fight. for many, many years, for decades they'd fight, fight, fight, nobody would win, they'd fight, they'd rest and then go back to fight. then they're the same. now we gave them the second largest oil reserves in the world, which is iraq. we gave it to them. now they're going into yemen. and if you look at yemen, take a look, they're going to get syria, they're going to get yemen, unless -- trust me, a lot of good things are going to happen if i get in, but let's leave it the way it is. they get syria. they get yemen. now, they didn't want yemen, but did you ever see the border between yemen and saudi arabia? they want saudi arabia. so, what are they going to have? they're going to have iraq, they're going to have iran, they're going to have iraq, yemen, syria, they're going to have everything. they're going to be a monster. we've created this with stupid leadership, really stupid leadership. so, when i started, i said we have to do something about it.
it's not something i wanted to do, it's something we have to do, because we're going to make -- i'm representing you. i'm not taking any money. i'm not -- you know, like some of these guys where they're getting millions and millions of dollars from people i know, and they're nice people and some are very bad people, but they have no interest in the country. some are bad people. they have no interest in the accompany. these politicians are going to do what they're told. me, i'm going to do the right thing. when ford moves to mexico, i'm going to talk them out of it. when nabisco moves from chicago to mexico i'm going to talk them out of it. it's going to be easy. so i started and i talked about the boarder, very strong on immigration and illegal immigration, took a lot of heat. you wouldn't be talking about that subject if i didn't bring it up. and i talked about again, isis,
what really happened is after paris we had 130 people killed. i told you common core is dead and second amendment is that way. wonderful fiance, she was radicalized and maybe he was already that way. we got to start thinking. we have to start using our head. bad stuff is happening. we have to find out what's going on. we have a president who won't even talk about the term. you can't solve the problem if you don't talk about it. very, very strongly we started talking about that. by the way, if we had a couple of you and you and we had three
or four people in that room in paris, as an example where they have the toughest gun lords in the world and walked in and said boom, boom, boom, you move over and killed 130 more to follow because they're people that are so badly wounded. if we had a couple of few of the people i pointed at, i could pick plenty in this audience, if they had guns around their waist and guns around their ankle and the bullets went the opposite direction, it would been a whole different story, folks. very, very big on second amendment. what happened is after paris and to an extent and to a big extent in california what happened in these polls started coming in where everybody liked trump more. i don't want to do it for that reason. i want to go up. people want strength just like having the family of john wayne
who is great. i love john wayne from iowa. out of nowhere, i got the most beautiful letter from his daughter i just met and she said we would like to endorse you. john wayne was a strong guy and we need strength in this country. we're witherring away with political correctness. nonsense, okay. nonsense. you think of it. you can't say merry christmas anymore. we're going to say merry christmas again. you go to the department stores and they don't have christmas displays. even people that aren't christian say merry christmas. let us say merry christmas, happy holidays. people like to see it. stores tonight put it up anymore. we're witherring away and going in the wrong direction. i said we're going to do this. i had no idea it was going to work this way. i figured i would be in the pack. i had no idea i would have 21 point leads.
nationally we're up so much. i want to keep it that way. when you think and one thing before i introduce our incredible person, guest, one thing i've spent to this point almost nothing and i'm in first place by a lot. i tell this story. i'm not brags. i'm just saying. i'm telling a story. i have spent almost nothing. i'm in first place by some polls have me 21 points. that's a lot, okay. some people have two. i have a lead of 20. but i'm in first place by a lot. jeb has spent now $77 million. i wouldn't bring him up but he spends a fortune in adds against me. i was a world class businessman and now i'm a politician. i hate to say it. you go along with everybody and want everybody to love you. everybody knows the story but so much money has been spent on me. he spent $79 million.
i spent nothing. i'm in first by a lot. he's down toward the bottom of the pack. i said to myself it's amazing. wouldn't it be great if there were a country doing this. an example is education. we're number 28 in the world. we have third world countries ahead of us. education is very important to me. 28 in the world. world, countries that you wouldn't believe are ahead of us. you wouldn't believe it if you heard the names of some of these countries. we're 28 but we're number one in spending per pupil by far. wouldn't it be nice if you had this election process where we spent the least thand had the bt education. so sweden and norway and china and others are the best. we're nowhere near them and yet we spend far more per pupil. we're going to change that and get it localized. we're going to change that.
watch. you just watch how. i can tell you we are and i will tell you this. you can't educate your children through bureaucrats in washington and that's what happens with common core. when the parents take over and i really mean this because i've seen it. when the parents surround those schools and love those kids and love those pupils and even when their kids graduate, they are committed to those schools and education and you can do so much better in iowa than they can possibly do telling you what to do in washington and not all of them but most of them are just interested in where's my check, how much do i get, let's make the process complicated and some of the things that your kids are made to study are an outrage, okay. so we're going to bring that back locally and it's going to be great. okay. so what happened essentially is i started looking and all the sudden things changed and people are now looking. they know i'll do great with
china. i'm going to do great with japan and mexico whose killing us in trade and at the boarder. we will build a wall and you know whose going to pay for the wall, mexico. they're going to pay for it because they make a fortune and all those things but now we're really focussed on security and i'm honored because i will tell you all the polls and the cnn polls that said trump is not by a little bit but by many, many percentage points winning on isis, the military, our vets, we're going to take care of our vets big league, by the way. big league and we're really going to take care of our military. it's going to be big and strong and powerful and nobody's going to mess with us and it's the cheapest thing we can do, i can tell you that right now. it's been a real focus. i want to just now say a couple of words about a very special person. this is a person who i've known for a long time and respected for so long. an incredible husband, incredible family and somebody
that when i heard that she was going to endorse me, i was so honored. you have no idea how honored. i would like to bring up, if i might, governor sarah palin. special, special person. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you so much. it's so great to be in iowa. we're here just thawing out. todd and i and a couple of friends here from alaska lending support for the next great president for our united states mr. trump. mr. trump, you're right. look back there in the press box. heads are spinning. media heads are spinning. this is going to be so much fun. are you ready to make america
great again? we all have a part in this and have a responsibility looking around at all of you. you hardworking iowa families, you farm families and teachers and teamsters and cops and cooks. you rock and rollers. and holly rollers. all of you who work so hard, you full time moms, you with the hands that rock the cradle, you all make the world go round and now our cause is one. when asked why i would jump in into a primary, kind of stirring it up a little bit maybe and choosing one over some friends who are running and i've endorsed a couple of others in their races before they decided to run for president, i was told, warned left and right you're going to get so clobbered in the press and get beat up and chewed up and spit out and you know, i'm thinking and.
yeah. like you guys haven't tried to do that every day since that night in 08 when i was on stage nominated for vp and i got to say yeah, i'll go. send me. you bet cha, i'll serve. and like you all i'm still standing. so those of us who have gone through the ringer as mr. trump has makes me respect you even more that you're here and you're putting your efforts and you're putting reputations, you are putting relationships on the line to do the right thing for this country because you are ready to make america great again. well, i am here because like you, i know that it is now or never. i'm in it to win it because we believe in america and we love our freedom and if you love your freedom,