tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN January 25, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm PST
thank you for joining us. we're counting down to that town hall. want to go to anderson live from the democratic town hall site in des moines. anderson, take it away. >> erin, thanks very much. the crowd is already in place. good evening from drake university in des moines, iowa. just an hour from now, hillary clinton, bernie sanders and martin o'malley will take to the stage for a cnn town hall conversation with voters here and with potential voters nationwide. this is really their last big chance to reach both groups before the caucuses here a week from today. on top of that, there are signs the national race is tightening somewhat. there's no cnn/orc polling. breaking news showing senator sanders narrowing the gap slightly with secretary clinton. how each candidate does tonight and next week almost certain to move those numbers even more. in addition, there's practically hand-to-hand combat on the republican side and the possibility another well-known
manhattan billionaire may enter the race, michael bloomberg. first jeff zeleny on the democrats. >> i know some of you are already supporting me, and i thank you. and i know some of you are still shopping. i like to shop, too. >> reporter: but the shopping season is running short. and the democratic race between hillary clinton and bernie sanders in iowa is deadlocked. she continues presenting herself as a realist, taking aim at sanders' proposals, starting with free college tuition. >> i disagree with my esteemed opponent senator sanders. i don't think it's right to give me and my husband free college for our child. i think that if you can afford to pay, you should pay. >> reporter: sanders rallied voters all weekend and today asking them to join what he's calling a revolution. a political movement to bring real change. >> now nothing that i have
described to you today is utopian. it is not pie in the sky. in fact, much of what i've talked to you about today exists today in other countries on earth. >> reporter: the stakes of the election are high, and emotional. >> and it's so hard to do anything to pay your bills. >> reporter: as sanders saw firsthand today. >> it is not easy for people to stand up and say that. so i thank you for saying and for telling us what's going on in your lives because the truth is, you can't make it on $12,000. you can't live in dignity on $10,000 or less. >> reporter: sanders and clinton have been trailing one another across iowa trying to win over undecided voters and mobilize their supporters. but today, clinton's voice showing the strain. >> you do talk a lot in this campaign. >> reporter: iowa is a test of campaign organization. and the real activity is taking place behind the scenes in offices across the state.
>> see you on february 1st, iowa. >> reporter: the caucuses are no traditional election. it's a series of galleries across the state next monday night. the candidates are telling voters how to take part. the implications stretch far beyond iowa. sue sorden supported clinton last time and will again. but sees sanders big crowds and worries. >> i came and listened to bernie. i loved his ideas, but i don't know that they are very practical. i don't know that they could be implemented. i just think hillary has been around the political block a few times, and i feel more comfortable with her. >> reporter: how does this feel versus that? >> i'm always nervous. i'm always nervous when my candidates on a little shaky ground. i was very confident hillary was going to win eight years ago. >> jeff zeleny joins us now. you spent a lot of time covering things back here in 2008. how do things feel the same or
different? >> hillary clinton has learned her lessons, or they say they have, from 2008. spent almost all year building an organization and they won't be surprised again. and bernie sanders is not barack obama. no question about it. but one thing that's changed is the power of social media. bernie sanders' big crowds are because he puts something on facebook and people come. the question is will the power of social media, these young supporters, actually turn out for this arcane process one week from tonight. >> a process many may have not have participated in until now. >> they are a key demographic age 17 to 25. all of whom could not vote some eight years ago. >> all right. jeff zeleny, thanks. there's a lot to talk about. jeff will stay with us. i want to bring in cnn political commentator donna brazile, top dnc official and katrina vandenhoevel. at the top of the program, we mentioned cnn's new polling showing bernie sanders gaining a bit of ground nationally.
we should also point out there was a fox news poll in iowa showing hillary clinton leading sanders 48% to 42%. if she can pull off a win here, that's would be a big change in momentum for her, would it not? >> look at the poll cnn just released. it shows bernie sanders has essentially re-created the obama coalition. extraordinary support, 74% among 18 to 29-year-olds. very strong support among independents. and also what struck me was the democrats say they are happy, comfortable with both candidates. anderson, i think what bernie sanders needs to do tonight is speak forcefully about why he is a realist and a doer. his ideas are practical. they are in the mainstream of american political ideas, and he needs to say that the new realism is that we must dismantle a rigged, corrupted political economic system if we're going to have the
transformational changes this country desperately needed. that's why he has such enthusiasm. will he get them out, the younger voters, to a byzantine process jeff spoke of? that remains to be seen. >> donna, do you really believe that sanders has re-created the obama coalition? among african-americans, although senator obama didn't really have huge african-american support early on. senator sanders is lacking compared to senator clinton. >> the comparisons at this point don't exist in large part because we don't know exactly what the electorate will look like next monday night. president obama did several things quite well. he energized the electorate, brought in new voters. he was like one of the first candidates to really, truly expand the electorate. i didn't see that kind of enthusiasm for years on the democratic trail. he was also able to capture independents. remember, independents can go
and caucus with democrats, as long as they register that night as a democrat. so i think tonight is very important because hillary clinton and bernie sanders and martin o'malley because even with 2%, 5%, they don't reach viability. martin o'malley supporters can, if it's a close caucus, they can rally with secretary clinton, or senator sanders' voters. you have a lot of people who are still uncommitted. they are still shornp, as hilla clinton said earlier. are they shopping for the revolution? are they shopping for the candidate who will be able to implemts many of the policies that both senator sanders and secretary clinton agrees on. this is a very key moment tonight. this town hall will not only help galvanize the race in the closing days of the campaign but might energize more voters to turn out. >> i think when donna speaks -- >> let me just bring in jeff here. as much as the clinton/sanders race nationally may be close and
on a state-by-state basis, when you look -- let's put these numbers up. you look at some of these polls, a lot of democrats still say by a wide margin they expect hillary clinton will be the nominee. >> no doubt. she has all the attributes of the establishment. she has, you know, the support of the establishment. right now, yes, most people believe she'll be the nominee. if bernie sanders beats her, that's could change that calculus. it's important to step back and show how strong she is. he is still an independent. he calls himself now a democrat, self-avowed socialist. how will that play out once people actually start going after that? >> even in south carolina and the next steps beyond here. >> he does not have the support from the diverse coalition of african-american voters and others, but he does have support in all those caucus states that barack obama won some eight years ago. minnesota, montana. this race could go on for a long time, particularly if he wins here in iowa. >> i think -- >> there's this argument that
bernie sanders will somehow plateau, that after iowa, new hampshire, which are largely white, rural states, he can't surpass hillary clinton. >> i was talking about bernie sanders re-creating the obama coalition in iowa. listen, bernie sanders is still introducing himself to millions of americans who like what they are hearing. jeff is right. they are shopping. but the media, let's be honest. bernie sanders tonight could remind people that nine months ago he was at about 3%. he's at 38%. the media lavishes so much attention on donald trump they forgot about the huge rallies bernie was holding last summer. he's come a long way. the poll released tonight shows he is one-third support, pretty good support among non-whites, minorities, a coalition he needs to speak to carefully. he's just introducing himself. it's possible. the other factor tonight on hillary clinton, she wrapped herself, made herself out to be a candidate of continuity in
this moment of change. jeff spoke of the establishment candidate. i think that's a tough position to be in at this moment of such volatility. people seeking change. >> well, iowa is famous for putting it in front of a -- when you talk about the establishment, she has lots of labor union activists on board supporting her. planned parenthood, women activists, civil rights activists. a lot of activists who are bringing the energy and enthusiasm that i think bernie sanders is also getting from the grassroots. this is a good moment for democrats and great for america, and i'm glad we have two candidates and three candidates, really, who are out there fighting for every vote. >> it's in stark contrast to the gop. >> katrina raises a good point. has hillary clinton boxed herself in by listeninging herself to -- so closely to president obama? >> you want my opinion on that? look, i support my president.
i think he's done a fantastic job. he hasn't been right on all the issues but he's been really good for the country. the fact she says she's going to continue to protect health care, she's going to continue to create jobs like president obama. she has said a lot of things that is consistent with what democrats believe and i think a lot of independents and republicans, if they can get the tape off their mouth. hillary clinton will be able to come up with a message that says president obama has done x, y and z very well and we're going to continue that. we have to continue to create jobs, make college more affordable. here are ways that i think i can do a better job. there's no reason why she should be boxed in just because she is supporting the president on those key issues. >> and -- >> donna brazile, katrina vanden heuvel. speaking of president obama, he weighs in on the two leading democrats. even though he's not officially endorsing anyone, some think he gave more than a little boost to
headquart hillary clinton. donald trump's final push for voters here. and every time someone gets close, someone gets hit. we'll talk about that with a cnn democratic town hall less than an hour away. stay tuned. if you have high blood pressure many cold medicines may raise your blood pressure. that's why there's coricidin® hbp. it relieves cold symptoms
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out about hourly these days. high stakes this week and tonight. joining us is town hall moderator and "new day" co-anchor chris cuomo. how is this going to work? >> i have the best seat in the house. >> yours is pretty good. >> anderson doesn't like compliments but it's the truth. town hall is different. this is the opportunity for the voters to directly bring the concerns of their heart and head to the candidates. >> they are coming out one at a time. >> one at a time. they'll never be on the stage together, which i think is helpful for this. because if they won't get into that typical, well, forget about me. here's why anderson is not the right guy. instead of that, they'll have to address this directly. i think there will be a different dynamic. you sit across from big shots all the time. if they don't like your question they say, let me tell you what matters. you can't do that to a voter. this is someone talking to you about their life and what matters to them. >> you are asking the questions
or is it all people in the audience? follow-ups? >> off the top, just a little scene setting there, get into some news of day, highlight points with each of them that are relevant from a news perspective. then right into the voters. my job is, less is more. so if something isn't addressed, when the question specifically is asked for, then we get into it. if there's a necessary follow, we'll get in. the incentive is to move it along and get as many voters at possible. >> clinton and sanders have been highlighting the differences between them than the first debate that we did so many months ago. >> they call it contrast now. it's not negativity. it's not criticism. it's contrast. >> sanders then o'malley and then clinton? >> yes. >> that's the order? >> yes. they'll all get equal time. >> have you been working on this -- obviously, you've been working on this a while. what are you expecting tonight? are you expecting them to go after each other or because they're not on the same stage to
more interact with the audience? >> ordinarily, i feel like i know what we're going to get. i don't know how they'll deal with questions they don't like coming from the audience. i do expect them to try to go outside the lines a bit. that's why we're here. >> all right. we'll look forward to it. chris cuomo. we'll also talk to chris right after the town hall is over as well. president obama made such a big impression here eight years ago. getting plenty of buzz. the reason, a 40-minute interview he did with politico. listen to how he assesses the two front-runners and judge for yourself. >> i think bernie came in with the luxury of being a complete long shot, and just letting loose. as i've said before, i think that, like any candidate, her strengths can be her weaknesses. her strengths, which are the fact that she's extraordinarily experienced and wicked smart and
knows every policy inside and out, sometimes could make her more cautious and campaign more in prose than poetry. but those are also her strengths. it means she can govern, and she can start here day one more experienced than any non-vice president has ever been, who aspires to this office. >> well, let's talk about the obama factor. cnn political analyst and "new york times" presidential campaign correspondent maggie haberman joins me. also cnn senior political reporter nia mallika henderson joins me as well. it's interesting hearing president obama talk about these two candidates. what jumped out to you in his remarks? >> he was very clear. he was asked by our former colleague, do you see an analog between now in 2008 and bernie sanders now? he said, i don't think so. that's a ream message to bernie
sanders supporters. the other thing that struck me was that he basically absolved hillary clinton of attacks on him in 2008. you've seen various democrats and some republicans point to the attacks she leveled against him in that fight. this inoculated her. i took some things too seriously. they weren't that big a deal. that gives her a real line going into tonight. >> i think that's right. we don't know sort of privately that obama as well as his top aides favored hillary clinton. but i think this was as close as he's come so far. i do think there was that absolution that he gave her from 2008. so i think that was important. and one of the things i wonder if hillary clinton will almost -- just the audio of him praising her and really making the point she wants to make about her campaign, which is that she is the one who can deliver. >> she's been making that more
and more. we've seen both from clinton and sanders, whether it's contrasting their policies with each other. they have been getting more aggressive. you compare the last debate, very interesting to see what happens tonight on this stage compared to the first democratic debate where bernie said enough of the damn e-mails. >> literally some of the exact same lines are being used by hillary clinton against bernie sanders that she used against barack obama and some of the same lines he is using that barack obama used against her. you are seeing it appeal to types of voters as opposed to a heart/head contrast. the race has tightened. in iowa in particular, it's gotten very close. and the clinton case is going to be made on getting out the vote. the sanders case will be made on enthusiasm. >> you broke this story about mike bloomberg. how real is this? >> he's really thinking about it. this is real. it's not consultant driven. this is something he is interested in. he's said for as long as i've
covered him, which goes back to his 2001 mayors race, that president was one of the top three jobs he'd ever want. >> he's done testing and polling to see what the metrics of it. >> we don't know what that polling showed. there are different theories to who this would hurt if he did it. i'd not bet overwhelming weight on him doing it but it's much more real now than in 2008. >> if trump is -- gets the nomination, if sanders does better than anticipated? >> it's the likeliest in a sanders versus trump or cruz nomination fight. but mike bloomberg is not suicidal. he's not going to do this to make a point. he's going to do it if he thinks he can win. >> the "des moines register." how important is it nominating hillary clinton and marco rubio? >> i think it's good for her that they endorsed her. i think for rubio, a bit of a mixed bag. he's trying to straddle two
sides. on the one hand, he wants to be the conservative. he wants to be an establishment figure. this, i think, gives him that establishment imprint in iowa at a time when 70% of the caucus voters want somebody who is from the outside. if you add up cruz, trump and carson, it gets about to 70%. in that way, it's not great. but i think in the long term, as he wants to be the establishment figure who is the alternative to everybody else. it's good in that way for him. >> do we know the timeline of when bloomberg would actually have to throw his hat in the ring? >> he set a deadline of march for himself which is when you'd have to start circulating petitions for an independent position. it's not clear that it will be that settled, especially on the republican side. >> fascinating stuff. thanks very much. there is a lot ahead in this hour as we are awaiting the start of this town hall. what donald trump is saying about his comment over the weekend that he could shoot somebody and not lose votes. more on that ahead.
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plenty of eyes on the republican campaign as well. that's because it is tight at the top of the race. just five points separating donald trump from ted cruz in iowa in the latest cnn poll of polls. five points and plenty of harsh talk with trump calling cruz a nasty guy. a new ad slamming trump's so-called new york values. trump saying the attacks won't stick even suggesting nothing will sway his voters, including him committing a felony in broad daylight. >> the people -- my people are so smart. you know what else they say about my people? the polls. i have the most loyal people. i could stand in the middle of fifth avenue and shoot somebody and i wouldn't lose any voters. it's like incredible. >> well, he said that over the weekend. today talking to wolf blitzer, he kind of toned it down. >> you don't think i was joking. you know i was joking and the whole room was laughing and i was laughing when i said it. >> you got some criticism.
>> from dishonest press. when they show me i'm laughing,erb everybody is laughing and having a good time. i'm joking. you know that's. >> of course. >> the purpose is to say the people want to stay with me. they're loyal. they're tired of seeing our country pushed around and led by people that are stupid people. they're tired of it, wolf. >> he also told wolf he thinks michael bloomberg isn't worth as much as "forbes" magazine says he is and says he'd beat him if he does enter the race. joining us is anna navarro, amanda carpenter and jeffrey lord. amanda is a former communications director for senator cruz and jeffrey say trump supporter who made has bones as white house political director during the reagan years. the point is that his supporters are loyal. he can do or say almost anything and they'd still support him. what we've seen, he has a point. he does have a very loyal following. seemed to ignore or, you know, embrace pretty much anything he
says. >> absolutely. i think he's completely right. he has gone after megyn kelly, he's gone after p.o.w.s. he has said he's never gone, you know, asked god for forgiveness. he's called iowans stupid, in their state to their face. he has mimicked a reporter. and you know what happens? his numbers keep going up. donald trump is completely right. he's got very loyal supporters for whom these things don't mean anything, who think it is aed myia media experience against him. donald trump could be caught on video clubbing baby seals that are being held by the madonna incarnate and probably his numbers would go up, not down. and he's right. if he shot somebody on fifth avenue, depending on who he shot, i think his numbers would go up. >> jeff over the weekend in iowa, trump went to a church and stayed in a holiday inn express, remarking that it was clean and the mattress was good.
the fact that that happened and it made news, it tells you really everything you need to know about how unorthodox they are. of course, that's really, most nights, he's jetting back to new york where he spends the night. >> that's right. and i understand there's a shipment of baby seals on their way to iowa right now. i just think -- you're right. it's unorthodox. he's trying something new and it works. it's working for him. whether it would work for someone else, i don't know. donald trump has been a presence on the american stage for about 40 years, which is about the time that ronald reagan was on the stage before he ran for public office. people feel that they know him. in this case, for the good, they like him. he's a pretty established personality. once you think you know somebody, it's pretty hard to persuade people that he's somebody that he's not. i think he's got a good
advantage doing that. >> i want to play amanda, another part of wolf's interview with trump where he asks him why he says the establishment is actually against him. let's listen. >> well, i think the establishment actually is against me, but really coming online because they see me as opposed to cruz who is a nasty guy who can't get along with anybody. you know, look. at a certain point, you have to make deals. we can't have a guy that stands in the center floor and every other senator thinks is a whack job. you have to make deals. >> what about that? we've seen a thaw when it comes to certain members of the republican establishment and trump. how much of that is based on the fact if the choice is between cruz and somebody else, they'll choose whoever is not cruz, even some of the people in the national review start -- to michael on friday who wrote against donald trump but said if it's between cruz and trump, i'll go for trump.
>> here's the thing. the term establishment has gotten thrown around a lot these days. i encourage people interested in this fight to look at a piece jonathan martin wroete for "the new york times" in which a number of establishment figures like bob dole and consultants connected to the republican national committee and other republican organizations that have been in power a long time said if it came down to cruz or trump they'd support for the reason donald trump explained in that interview. he's a dealmaker. they feel they can wheeled influence over a donald trump presidency, whereas with ted cruz, they know what's they're going to get. he has a long record of standing up for principles and he'll not be influenced by the lobbyists. people feel like who live off washington, who to get the big consulting contracts and keep things propped up like the export/import bank, they can get donald trump to do that. it's weird because donald trump is saying, oh, the establishment doesn't like me while laying out the case for his candidacy based on why they would like him.
so it's just really confusing to hear him explain it that way. >> jeff, to trump supporters, they'd say that ultimately, if you are president, to actually get anything done in washington, there does have to be some compromise. there does have to be some give and take. >> the difference -- ronald raugraug reagan was a dealmaker. which direction do you make the deals in? ronald reagan steered the country right and it took the country in a conservative direction. making deals in and of itself, there's nothing wrong with it. trump critics are saying he's authoritarian. on the other hand they are saying he wants to make deals. there's nothing wrong with making deals. deals get made all the time. the question is what direction do you take the country when you make them? that is the issue. >> given donald trump's record on the bailout and stimulus, he leans towards liberal policies when it comes to economic
matters. but the thing that i thought was most interesting in that wolf interview was where wolf was pressing him about his outrageous comments and he said i'm going to be a different person when i'm president. trust me. and that is what should cause conservative voters most concern when it comes to trump. you have no idea what you're going to get. donald trump was different in the policies two years ago than he is today. no telling where he'd be two years from now. too big of a risk to take with the presidency. >> you guys are all argue -- >> do you believe donald trump can be different? >> yes. but so is ted cruz. ted cruz was different on immigration when working for george w. bush than he is now. the truth is, donald trump has changed his views and so has ted cruz. and i heard jeff and amanda arguing about how the establishment feels. as a resident establishment on this panel, let me just tell you, we can't stand either of them, and we are in a deep state
of panic about the notion of either -- no, hold on, amanda. a deep state of panic about either donald trump or ted cruz who would be very hurtful to the republican party, the republican ticket. a lot of governors and senators running statewide in places like ohio, like new hampshire. the difference is, anderson, we've known donald trump is a celebrity. we've known donald trump as the host of "the apprentice" as a businessman for all these years. we've known him in a political spectrum the last six, seven months. ted cruz, pretty much has hated the establishment and we've hated him from the moment he's got elected. nothing but the thorn on the side of somebody that obstructs any kind of progress legislati e legislatively. >> amand afinal thought. >> -- lectured by the establishment donor class and say when it comes to supporting the republican nominee, you just have to swallow. get drunk and vote for john mccain or whatever you have to do. there's -- >> a lot of us did it sober.
>> i hope we can all come together because there's too much at stake. >> anna navarro, amanda carpenter and jeffrey. we're approaching the start of the democratic town hall here. you heard donald trump suggest that ted cruz is, in his words, a whack job. we'll hear more about his blistering attacks on rivals. do they stem from a hot temper, thin skin or well thought out strategy by trump. plus the democratic town hall coming up. i'm going to check in with the sanders and clinton campaigns about what their candidates hope to do tonight to close the deal with iowa's voters. ing as well and everywhere i look... i'm reminded to stick to my plan. including preservision areds 2. my doctor said preservision areds 2 has the exact nutrient formula that the national eye institute recommends to help reduce the risk of progression of moderate to advanced amd...
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hewlett-packard, a disastrous ceo. >> you have this clown marco rubio. i've been so nice to him. he goes down in the polls and all of a sudden starts changing his tone. ted has to solve his problem. he's got a big problem. is he natural born? and a lot of people think that means you have to be born on the land, not born in canada. and he was born in canada. >> this country needs help. it need leadership, don, and it needs it fast. and ted is not the right guy. hasn't got the temperament. look, everybody dislikes him. he's a nasty guy. th that everybody dislikes. >> no matter how tough his attacks have been, donald trump's poll numbers not only do not suffer, they often spike. his attacks can seem random at times and seem off the cuff until you look at them closely. monica langley has done just that. in her latest article "behind donald trump's attack strategy." i read the article. a fascinating piece. you spent a lot of time with
trump. what did you find out about these attacks? are they random? are they improvised? and who is coming up with them? something coming out of donald trump on his own? >> yeah, and the segment you just played has a lot of him sounding very angry, very hostile and off the cuff. but i spent three days with him hosplane, which is now dubbed trump force one and in the motorcade. and i'll tell you, anderson, he is very -- a solitary fig purp he's very calm. very measured. he thinks through everything. and unlike most politicians who have message gurus or people telling them what to say, he does it all himself in a very calculated fashion. >> it's really interesting. his ability to read a crowd and maybe read a moment in time is really extraordinary. i think we've seen that over the last several months. you were with him when he made the decision it was time to go after cruz. can you describe that moment?
>> here's what he did. he said ted has been at the top too long. let's take him -- i'm going to take him down. and then he got off in new hampshire and the first thing he did was start raising questions about whether he's eligible to be president because he was born in canada. a week later he brought up the fact that he was challenging his new york values. and he got a loan from goldman sachs that he didn't disclose. then he was calling him a nasty guy. you can see immediately ted cruz, who had the edge in iowa, started getting behind donald trump in the polls in iowa. and now donald trump has the edge in iowa. so donald trump has done this methodically. and he's very strategic in how he goes after each person by finding a weakness and then doing it. and the interesting thing is, even though you mentioned how he was in the holiday inn this weekend, and i stayed at another des moines hotel where he stayed last week, he does it all from -- all his strategic thinking is done in the comfort
of his beautiful jet where he sits at a -- in a leather club chair, a wood table with 24 karat gold trim. and that's where i watched him work for hours thinking for what he wants to be for his attack and then also as you say he improvises a crowd. that's where he read the news and polls to decide what he's going to focus on that day. >> and his speeches, which seem improvised, i understand you saw some of his notes when you went with him to new hampshire. because we've seen him take out pages before he starts to speak. are they bullet points? what is it like? >> that's exactly right. he takes out one single page from his breast pocket. so we were about to land in new hampshire. ten minutes before landing in concord, he gets out a single sheet of paper and jots down 15 words. fine points. and then that's all it is. and he goes and talks about
those issues. and he seems to be rambling. he'll go here. he goes there. but he goes back to those points. he was hitting hillary clinton hard. you'll see he has the second amendment. what he did on that is on the second amendment, he brings the crowd in. he said, if we had you and you and you, pointing to some big strong men in the crowd, we would have had a different result in paris. so the crowd is like yelling, oh, yeah, we could do it, if we had arms. if you all had weapons you would have stopped all this death. >> it's really generated from trump, it's not him sitting around in meetings and somebody saying, let's go after cruz on the canadian issue or let's hit this. you are saying from what you saw, a lot of this is just trump thinking this through and going with his instincts? >> he sits alone on his plane at his own club chair in his own desk. behind him at a conference table sit the three top national
staffers. and then behind that are the secret service in their own compartment. and i can tell you, he sits most of the time by himself. he'll watch the news. he watches cnn and other news shows. and then he'll start writing notes and reads all the newspapers and polls and then makes his decisions. as he made the decision, it's time to take ted down, meaning ted cruz. that is the way he works. and he does it himself. >> fascinating. it's a fascinating article in "the wall street journal." monica langley, appreciate it. what a great inside look from that. amazing. just minutes away from the cnn democratic presidential town hall in des moines, iowa. the race could not be getting tighter. various announcements are being made to the crowd. hillary clinton, bernie sanders are deadlocked. the caucuses just one week away. what do they need to do tonight to close the deal? i'll talk to both campaigns ahead. we can help guide your retirement savings. for over 75 years, investors have relied
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welcome back to breaking news tonight. a new nationwide cnn/orc poll just out shows hillary clinton with a wide but tightening lead over bernie sanders. ahead 52 to 38. that's nationally. the democratic presidential candidates will be taking part in a cnn town hall. the last time they'll face each other before next monday's caucus. a final chance to win over iowa voters in this kind of a forum.
joining me is jeff weaver, bernie sanders' campaign manager. what does senator sanders need to try to do tonight and in this final week to close the deal in iowa? >> it's going to be an extension of what he's been trying to do all week. connect with voters. talk with voters help hear what they have to say. talk about his agenda to improve their lives. this format where he just talks to voters. this is a familiar format. >> this plays to his strength. his authenticity and ability to communicate. >> his ability to talk one on one with a voter who has a question is very powerful. this is a very good format for him. >> the -- how important -- obviously iowa and new hampshire are critical for senator sanders. how important particularly is iowa and right now, they are just practicing applauding essentially. but how important is iowa for your candidate in is this a must win for him? >> we've always says we have to do well here. you'll remember back in the
spring we started out 55 points down. so all the polls now, there's some variance, all of them show the race is very close. if it ends very close, up a few or down a few, we've already won. >> a lot has been made about what happens after new hampshire. the first stop being south carolina. the criticism or concern amongst sanders supporters is he doesn't have the level of support among african-americans that hillary clinton has. do you feel that if he's close in iowa, if he's close or wins in new hampshire that will make a huge difference? >> we've seen historically that early success translates into success in later states. and in south carolina, we've seen public polls a few months ago, he was 40 points down. now two polls last week, both showed him 20 points down. he's moving in south carolina as well. we had a high-profile endorsement today out of south carolina. i think that the whole like firewall narrative we've heard from the other side is just, it doesn't really hold any water. >> the statements made by
president obama too politico in an interview, some are interpreting it as a nod to hillary clinton? what's your take? >> i think the president has been even-handed in this whole process. he's really stayed out of it. he said some nice things about the secretary today. said nice things in the past about senator sanders. i'm sure he will again. we're very happy with president obama. a lot of -- at this time in a presidential race, serve trying to parse every single word. i think the president was just talking to a reporter, and i think a lot of people are reading more into it. >> for the next week, what does the week look like? is it nonstop -- >> yeah, well, you know, we're going to go to -- take a small detour tomorrow and go up to minnesota for a couple of visits. we'll be doing events every day in iowa between now and the caucuses. he's on the road. a big bus driving around. the big bernie bus. he's going to towns big and small all around the state. >> is the itinerary set or do you look at polls and figure out where you need to bolster --
>> we obviously look at data. where the delegates are, where we think we can add more de delega delegates. he's doing it in such an intensive way, three, four, five events a day. >> how concerned are you that a lot of the young supporters you've had, remarkably, the turnout has been huge, that they are first-time caucusgoers. will they go out and know how to do it? >> they come out to the bernie rallies. that's an hour and a half long wonkish presentation on economics and his agenda. >> and they love it. >> so why they'll not come out -- people say they'll not come out for a 45-minute or hour caucus. i don't think that's right. >> jeff, an exciting week. jeff weaver from the sanders campaign. what does hillary clinton need to do? joining me is joel, the chief strategist for the clinton campaign. thanks for being with us. what does your candidate hope to do tonight and in this final week? >> i think close out a strong campaign in iowa, which has been
strong from the start, by framing up this choice very clearly that what we need going forward is a candidate who can do all parts of the job of president. keep us safe. improve people's economic lives. and what we need is someone like secretary clinton who brings progressive values to the table and a real tenacity to get things done that will make a difference in people's lives. that's what i think voters want in the next president. that's what she brings to the table. i think president obama today very graciously made some nice comments about her that reflected that. >> the idea that bernie sanders is somehow less electable in a general election than hillary clinton was certainly something that folks in your campaign would like to push that message. when you ask voters in new hampshire, which is obviously a key swing state in the fall whom they'd support in a head-to-head matchup, bernie sanders does better. >> new hampshire if you look at
it, in presidential primaries if you are a new englander, it's like a favorite son state for you. new englanders have done well any time there isn't an incumbent president or incumbent vice president on the ballot there. we've always thought that would be a very close place. we always thought it would be a very strong state for senator sanders. we've got a long view here of how we're doing. we look at where democratic voters are nationally and beyond iowa, new hampshire, looking at nevada, south carolina. we've got a very strong lead that we've got to fight to keep every vote and earn every vote going forward. we'll not let up or take our foot off the gas at all. secretary clinton is going to be campaigning in all these states. we know this is a marathon, not a sprint. we believe that she's the strongest candidate to keep the country strong and to keep it safe and keep our economy growing. and create the kind of jobs that will raise people's increase. that's what we think voters in the democratic primary and in a general election are going to
want. that's why we believe she's on a good path here for the nomination and towards november and becoming the next president. >> as you know, the nation magazine endorsed senator sanders. katrina vanden heuvel was on this broadcast earlier tonight saying she believes bernie sanders has re-created the obama coalition in iowa at this stage of the race, that he had back in 2008. do you believe that? >> well, i actually don't, anderson. i think that i was part of the obama campaign in 2008. i believe when you look at iowa and beyond, there are parts of this coalition that are strong and in secretary clinton's camp, including latino voters, african-american voters. she's got very broad support here and it's why in national polls among democrats, also in the majority of states, she's right now running very strongly. there's no question that senator sanders has created some
excitement on this stump. no one will deny that. now the rubber hits the road in iowa where 30% of the voters in 2008 made up their minds in the last week. we think we've got the field operation to get our voters to those caucuses, have the impact we want on caucus night, and we're looking forward to a good night in iowa next week. >> you think your grond game -- you have no doubt your ground game is better than sanders in iowa? >> i believe it is. right now, i've talked to the field people. i spoke to some of them this afternoon. a few of them. we talked about it on the campaign all the time. i think we're very savvy about it with a combination of people who have been through this on both sides in 2008. we know what works. we know what it takes to be dogged and getting your people to the caucuses. it's not just enough to have big crowds. you have to have a diligent, steady, long-term operation that is in contact with these voters all the way through.
you can't -- >> i've got to wrap. >> thank you, anderson. >> i've got to wrap you. we're about to start. thank you to the clinton campaign. thanks for watching. time to hand it over to my friend chris cuomo who is the moderator of tonight's democratic presidential town hall at drake university in des moines, iowa. chris? >> all right, thank you, anders anderson. weer here in iowa. the voters who are ready to question the three democratic candidates for president of the united states. >> tonight, the democratic candidates on one stage in iowa. >> help me make it happen. >> everybody ready to make a political revolution? >> the final forum before the first presidential votes, just one week away. >> are you excited about the future? >> hillary clinton, bernie sanders and martin o'malley taking tough questions from voters on the hottest issues within their party and across the heartland. >> i am not going to let the