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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  February 17, 2016 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

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>> they do suspect isis, but no confirmation. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." good evening. i'm erin burnett. welcome to a very special edition of "outfront tonight." i am live in greenville, south carolina. cnn is hosting an exclusive gop town hall. it is an event that is so big we're going to split it over two nights answering the questions directly from voters. marco rubio topping donald trump by two points. >> for the first time in many months, there's a new national frontrunner on the republican
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side. >> so far though that poll an outlier because also today a new poll showed trump with a big lead with rubio in second place at night and cruz in third with 18. the candidates taking the stage behind me in less than an hour here in greenville, south carolina. one of those candidates marco rubio, winning a major endorsement just moments ago from south carolina's wildly popular governor nikki haley. donald trump speaking live right now in south carolina. that is where we begin with sara murray, who is traveling with trump today in walter borough. it's reached a whole new level of negativity between these two. >> reporter: you're absolutely
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right. the campaign has taken on a different tenure. today, donald trump threatening not one, but two lawsuits. tonight, donald trump is raising the stakes in his battle against ted cruz. >> this is a guy who raises the bible and yet he tells fibs, he tells lies. >> reporter: threatening to that take t -- take the fight for the gop nomination straight to court. >> mr. trump, you have been threatening frivolous lawsuits for your entire adult life. donald, i would encourage you if you want to file a lawsuit challenging this ad, claiming it is defamation, file the lawsuit. >> reporter: the battle brewing over this cruz campaign ad. >> i'm very capable of changing over to anything i want to change to. >> i am pro-choice in every
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respect. >> but you would not ban it? >> no. >> reporter: that's put trump on watch with his evangelical voters. >> i got a call from a reporter. i hear you're pro-choice. who told you that? cruz, cruz. it's unbelievable. no, i'm pro-life. how can a guy be so dishonest? >> reporter: it's not the first time he's had to explain his change of heart. >> in 1999 you said you were very pro-choice, even supporting partial birth abortions. >> i've evolved on many issues. >> reporter: for trump, a lawsuit could be a tough sell since cruz's ad uses trump's own words against him. in a statement, trump said if i want to bring a lawsuit, it would be legitimate. likewise if i want to bring a lawsuit against cruz being a
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natural born canadian, i will do. time will tell. >> i will note one of the things i look forward to most of all is deposing donald trump. for that particular endeavor, i may not use outside counsel. i make the deposition myself. >> reporter: even though donald trump holds a wide lead in south carolina, he's not taking any of these political attacks lightly. he went after ted cruz for telling fibs and lies. we'll see if he brings more of that to his last campaign event tonight in south carolina. erin? >> thank you very much, sara. that event beginning any moment in terms of donald trump taking the stage. i want to go live to jason carol. he is live in sumter, south carolina. what is the message tonight?
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what are you hearing from the campaign? >> reporter: well, actually, donald trump has already taken the stage. erin, one of the first things out of his mouth that he said was he was encouraging people out here to get out and vote. he says no matter what the polls say, always assume in a poll we're running even. he didn't specify which poll he was referring to. he is running ahead in the state, but in the new national poll that's out cruz is ahead 28% to trump's 26%. when i was talking to a number of people here in the audience about what they were expecting to hear from trump tonight, a number of them said, look, we're here to support this man, but we're at the point where we want to hear something different. we want to hear something new. we don't want to hear attacks on bush. we don't want to hear attacks on cruz. we want to hear more about policy. at this point, he is just starting up, but it's going to interesting to see how the rest of his speech goes. >> thank you very much.
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jason carol. outfront now, king and barry. you just heard jason say the first words of donald trump's mouth is assume we're running even in the polls to get the vote out. the headline here, first to show ted cruz on top at the national level. a month ago in this same poll trump was ahead by 13. now he's down by two. >> you have to look at that poll deeper. conservatives were oversampled by nine points. the nbc poll here in south carolina was 700 sampled. we'll see if that holds up, but i don't think it's going to. >> do you think it's going to stay an outlier? congressman king, i'm sure you're thrilled about the national poll, but it's the
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states that math matter. trump has a massive lead here in south carolina and i believe it is 26 in nevada. what do you say to that? >> i think 16 points is just about right. donald trump went into the iowa caucus with an 11 point lead and he lost by five points. 11 plus 5 is 16. it's a very intense race here in south carolina. i have never seen politics devolvehe depths they are here. this is the lowest i've ever seen it. >> lowest you've ever seen it or no, barry? >> south carolina has perfected a lot of these dirty tricks over the years. saturday is still a couple days away. >> every day you think it can't get worse and it does. trump has been easy scalating h
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rhetoric against ted cruz. he said something about lindsey graham today. he is donald trump just today. >> this guy lindsey graham, he's one of the dumbest human beings i've ever seen. graham is a disgrace. you have one of the worst reppivre representatives of any of the representatives in the united states. >> dumbest people he's ever seen? >> these guys have been going at it for about a year. they're all tired and they're ratcheting it up, but you know it's not the worst thing that's been said in south carolina today, let alone this week. >> do you think it's going to help ted cruz? do you think people are going to change their vote to donald trump because of that? >> i think we've already seen it. we'll see what happens here on saturday in south carolina, but it looks to me like donald trump reaches a saturation point where
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people have finally seen enough and they've decided they've had too much and they move on. so that's a dynamic i saw in iowa. i think that's a dynamic we're seeing here in south carolina, but time will tell. >> it is a fair point when you add up the leanings, you get by far the biggest percentage. you get 51 ahead of the 38 that support donald trump. right now, a lot of the war of words between these two is coming down to abortion. very few people are only single issue voters on this. ted cruz is taking part of what donald trump said in the past. let me just play what the ad is that ted cruz put out about donald trump and what donald trump really said. here it is. >> planned parenthood treats the unborn like another form of currency and yet some
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politicians still defend them. >> planned parenthood plays a good function. >> i've had many republican conservative women say planned parenthood serves a good function other than that one aspect. >> the ad is implying that trump is pro-choice, that he likes planned parenthood. that's not what he said. >> it's not what he said most recently, but donald trump has contradicted everything almost he once said. donald trump would like to say that george w. bush is to blame for september 11th 2001, but he's not to blame for the positions he took in 1999. the question is what are his core convictions. it is hard to find them, let alone identify them. >> he had a personal event in his life, a friend. he changed his mind. >> he's going to win here and it is going to be an easy win. then we're going to go on to the
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nevada. >> you're confident it's going to be an easy win? >> confident. >> i think we're going to see south carolinians come to the polls and they're going to think about the donald trump who is hurling these accusations of liar and threatening lawsuits. they're going to think of that vision in their mind's eye with donald trump standing behind a podium with the great seal of the united states of america. a president does not conduct himself that way. i think the people of south carolina will understand that when they go to the polls on saturday. >> i think these attacks are desperate. some of the mail pieces i've seen out of the cruz campaign really desperate and not factual and kind of lowering the debate even lower than it has been. i hope it can stop. >> the issue is this. when you have political opponents, they identify your strength and attack you at your
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strength. ted cruz's strength is his honesty and constitutionality. that's political. but they know this. his strength is he's an honest man and a straight shooter. these allegations are completely false. that's why donald trump will not sue ted cruz. if so, i want to buy a ticket to the deposition. >> ted cruz said he would conduct himself. thank you very much. we appreciate it. we've got someone coming up next. a senator who knows ted cruz, did not endorse him. why is ted cruz comparing marco rubio to donald trump? we're counting you down to cnn's town hall 30 minutes away.
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welcome back from greenville, south carolina. in less than an hour republican candidates are going to appear in an exclusive cnn republican presidential town hall. they'll be standing right behind me on stage tonight. ted cruz on top of the latest national poll tonight for the first time. and marco rubio winning a major and hotly contested endorsement just an hour ago from the popular south carolina governor nikki haley. >> ladies and gentlemen, if we elect marco rubio, every day
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will be a great day in america. [ cheering and applause ] >> cruz and rubio, the two men are a lot alike in a lot of ways, but they're duelling to the political death. dana bash is outfront. >> reporter: it's hard to believe both of these candidates promised positive campaigns. >> marco rubio is behaving like donald trump with a smile. >> ted has proven he's willing to say or do anything to get elected. >> reporter: tension has been simmering between ted cruz and marco rubio's since cnn's debate in december. >> metadata was a valuable tool that we no longer have at our disposal. >> he's lied about my record on planned parenthood. he's lied about my position on marriage. >> it is a very odd reaction
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when somebody points to their record, points to the words that came out of their own mouth, by yelling and screaming liar, liar, liar. >> that's a pretty tough charge and the rhetoric is really escalating. >> well, there's no other way to describe it. when you say something that's not true, it's a lie. >> reporter: perhaps this bloodbath was inevitable since there are so many similarities between them. cruz is 45, just six months older than the 44-year-old rubio. both are freshman senators and sons of cuban immigrants. >> i don't know how he knows what i said on univision because he doesn't speak spanish. [ speaking spanish ] >> though cruz and rubio rode the tea party wave into the
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senate, they have different styles. rubio is more mainstream. >> start paying taxes. >> reporter: in this cruz ad, the ultimate gop insult. comparing rubio to obama. >> marco rubio burned us once. he shouldn't get the chance to sell us out again. >> reporter: will all the mud slinging work with voters? >> are you drawn to the candidates not calling somebody else a liar? >> it is hard to find those in this race. >> it is amazing to hear the word liar. liar has a different tone to it. you just came from a ted cruz rally. >> i did. look at this, erin. this is the only thing you can find on the ground. this was put on every single car in the parking lot, if you can see it, in the cruz rally. it was placed by marco rubio's campaign. it says paid for by marco rubio
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for president. i just stopped counting how many times the word lie is used here. it says cruz busted on lies. it goes on to talk about how many times rubio says he lied about a whole host of things. this is where the political race is right now. this is a political season, especially because the stakes are so high here in south carolina. >> you have rubio staffers at a cruz rally and putting them on every single vehicle. thank you very much. let's talk about someone who is deeply popular here in south carolina who endorsed marco rubio. that's senator tim scott, who joins me now. senator, let's just start with the big question here. you've endorsed marco rubio. you heard dana's piece. it has gotten nasty.
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why did you choose rubio? >> well, i had the good fortunafortune of hosting two presidential forums. one was head and shoulders above the rest. that was marco rubio. he has more experience on foreign policy than any other candidate. he has lived the american dream. he uses conservative principles to attract a new generation of voters. he uses those conservative principles to attract a new generation of voters. without question, it was an easy decision to go with marco rubio. >> an easy decision, but you have worked alongside ted cruz. they both came into the senate as tea partiers, just like you did. why not ted cruz? >> for me, it's more about why marco rubio than why not another candidate. i like to focus on the decision making process.
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i had literally those 12 presidential forums. then i took pen and put it on paper. i went through the analysis of each candidate. i analyzed their strengths and weaknesses and how that would fare for the country and then the party. i have a brother who just retired in october from 32 years as a command sergeant major in the army. i wanted to know who on day one would be commander and chief ready to take charge. that was an easy decision with his experience on the intel committee and foreign affairs. he has more experience than anyone else running. understanding the needs to reengineer our economy. marco rubio understands that journey personally. >> you've got marco rubio just calling ted cruz a liar. you didn't see the flier, but no doubt you've seen them around
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the state that dana bash was just holding up. the word liar was on it more times than i can count in the 20s seconds i was looking at it. here's how ted cruz responded today. >> marco rubio is behaving like donald trump with a smile. >> so is ted cruz right that rubio just copying trump or is rubio right that ted cruz is dishonest? >> there is an easy way of understanding what marco rubio is doing right now. i have not seen the fliers. i will not speak to a flier i have not seen. when it is about the record, i don't think of it as a negative attack. when it gets personal and name calling, that's a problem. creating a contrast and defending your own record is what candidates do. this is for the highest job in politics in the world. we want to make sure that we
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understand each candidate, their strengths, their weaknesses, and where the contrast is. when there's false information placed out there, you have to rebuke that information. we're seeing marco rubio do that in his campaign. >> the bottom line is would you support donald trump if he's the nominee wholeheartedly and vocally? >> there's no doubt that any of our candidates on the right would do a better job as president of the united states than hillary clinton or bernie sanders. >> all right. i'll take that the bottom line is yes, but i understand the way you phrased it was slightly different. >> i expect marco rubio to win. yes, ma'am. >> that's right. yes. thank you very much. i want to go straight now to gloria borger who is here with me in greenville at our town hall.
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our chief political analyst. what do you say? obviously, he wants to keep it positive about marco rubio, but there is no love lost between marco rubio and ted cruz, who have so much in common. >> first term senators, young, conservative. i was at this press conference today where ted cruz took on donald trump, but he didn't only take on donald trump, erin. he had some zingers for marco rubio because he says marco rubio has supported amnesty and that he is lying about it. again the word lie, lie, lie comes up. it is just the way it is between these two fellows now because they have to fight each other in order to fight donald trump. >> it doesn't seem deeply personal. i understand that this is politics. >> politics is personal though. >> it feels very personal. you don't use the word liar when you like someone and you think they're not being fully honest. you see dishonest or not telling
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the truth. you don't say you're a liar. >> or he's stretching the truth or that's not what i said. the stakes are really high right now. these two men know that only one of them will survive to fight trump. and south carolina is so important to both of them, and they're both trying to appeal to a very conservative block of the republican electorate. now, rubio is trying to straddle that, some moderates, some conservative conservativ conservatives. cruz is all conservative and evangelicals. they're going to fight to the death because that's how important it is to their campaign for the presidency. each one of them wants to come out of this state with momentum. they need it, takand they're no going to get it unless they knock the other one day. >> we get to watch a death
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match. it is enjoyable television, but depressing for people around the country in the political process. donald trump with a huge lead among evangelicals in south carolina. will they show up to vote for him on saturday? and the sanders surge. it's a dead heat in nevada. a few months ago it was anything but. he has truly surged. can he score another major win? we'll be back in just a few moments from the greenville town hall here in south carolina. (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything,
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welcome back to a special edition of outfront. i'm live in greenville, south carolina tonight. behind me is the stage that you are looking at where cnn's presidential town hall will begin. we are less than 30 minutes away from the beginning. all preparing to make direct pitches to republican voters. one of their main targets here in south carolina will be evangelical voters who made up more than half of all republican primary voters in 2012.
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outfront now, the former executive director of the republican party. pastor mark burns is a donald trump supporter along with our political commentator ben ferguson and another commentator. pastor burns, you're next to me. donald trump has a real lead among evangelical voters here in south carolina. he wasn't able to get those voters to come to his side in iowa. why would evangelicals vote for him? you are. why? >> number one, i believe that what you see with donald trump is what you get. that's resonating with the evangelicals. we're tired of the current political establishment. we're tired of the polished
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politician that says one thing and does another. i don >> you don't care about the divorce and the change of views on abortion? >> that's the whole grace of jesus. he said while we were yet sinners, he still died for us. there's the redemption story. donald trump was one thing, but he received a new message. now he's something else. >> ben? >> yeah, look. here's my problem. i don't trust a man who says he never asks god for forgiveness. i don't trust a man who opens up casinos. i also have a problem with a guy that says planned parenthood -- if you want to talk about evangelical christians, says planned parenthood does great work when they're the number one abortion provider in the united
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states of america. you add that up and i don't how you can look at that resume and say god wants that. >> what do you say, hogan? is this going to resonate or not? >> look, i think the debate he had the other night, i don't think it helped donald trump much, but i don't know how much it hurt him either. evangelicals in this state are very interesting. it's not like you have to believe with them. you just can't lie to them. there are some candidates in this race like ted cruz -- you mentioned evangelicals. he won in iowa. i'm pointing out the fact in this state evangelicals want someone who came out and who tithes and parades himself as the christian virtue and then
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didn't tithe. he blamed cnn. >> how do you think ted cruz is going to do among evangelicals here? is he going to be able to pull out a win like he did in iowa? he kind of has to. >> everyone is describing south carolina evangelicals as a monolith and they're not. ted cruz is appealing to the old-school church evangelicals. donald trump is appealing more to the pastor's kind of new evangelicalism. think mega churches and prosperity theology, which the pastor might be familiar with. that's where donald trump is really leaning. that is more open-minded ev
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evangelicism. i don't expect either candidate to get all of them. >> i agree. there's two different people in the evangelical community. one is saying does he tithe enough. the other one is saying which one supported abortion, which one supported planned parenthood, which one opened up casinos and said they were a great thing. there are two different levels here. some are looking at the big picture and the past of donald trump. others are saying i don't care about his past. i like his presence. i like his anger and frustrat n frustration. >> which is why i think he's connecting with the new age of evangelicals. you would think about the divide. the more established evangelicals has made it difficult for some christians to escape their past, but the new age, the mega church, people who
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in my circles who say, listen, i was once lost, but now i'm found. i was once blind, but now i see. donald trump is making that appeal to that younger, the more mega church evangelical. >> there's one thing that happen happened. ted cruz had an ad that featured a soft core porn star. when he found out, he pulled the ad. >> grace is the epitome of christianity. evangelicals in the south get that. for ted cruz to come across as the man of the people, the man of evangelicals, and to destroy this young woman's character based off her past and not giving her an opportunity to say that's who i used to be, let's embarrass her. let's pull the ad.
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that's not christlike. >> she embarrassed them by not disclosing all the information about her being in pornography. >> when donald trump has tried to otherize other candidates' religion and question the authenticity of others religion, this hasn't worked among evangelicals. they think it is unseemly. i don't think it comes off to evangelicals as real and righteous. i don't think that's the path that donald trump and his supporters should be taking. >> big picture. when donald trump put moroccans crossing a fence in his ad, he said i absolutely did it. this is ted cruz pulling the ad and apologizing. you see donald trump capturing that anger.
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you better believe what i did. he leans into it and owns up to what he does. >> thank you. next, the dead heat between clinton and sanders in nevada. it was anything but a dead heat a couple months ago. we are live at the old cigar warehouse right here in greenville, south carolina. we're about 20 minutes away from the cnn town hall. i mean, really ready. are you ready to open? ready to compete? ready to welcome? the floors, mats, spotless. the uniforms clean and crisp. do your people have the right safety gear? are they protected? i'm ready! you think your customers can't tell the difference between who's ready and who's not? of course they do. everybody wants a piece of ready.
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we are live tonight in greenville, south carolina. anderson cooper is getting ready to moderate the first of two cnn town halls with the gop candidates. while republicans battle for south carolina, the democrats are focused on nevada. nevada for democrats is saturday. we're in the final hours before those votes are cast in the caucuses. the latest poll out today in nevada has the race in a statistical tie. hillary clinton with a one-point edge over bernie sanders. he has surged in the past few months from being way, way
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behind to this dead heat. joining me now my guests. in this new poll you see a dead heat. this has got to be a disappointment for hillary clinton. there's no other way to put it. bernie sanders was not even on the map and now it's even. >> i wouldn't call it a disappointment, but we have a race on our hands. this is where we get to see where hillary clinton's strength is. we have voters of color. one thing that we're starting to test is the theory you cannot just parachute in while you're running for president and be a champion for these issues. bernie sanders is going to have to deal with this 2007 vote against comprehensive immigration reform. i believe hillary clinton is in a good position. >> how do you feel? you've got to see this poll and say this is a real vindication. some were saying he won new
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hampshire because he's from a neighboring state. but in nevada, it's a dead heat again. >> yes, absolutely. i agree we have a race here in the democratic primary. bernie sanders is making ground. he has strong grass roots support. i'm excited on the democratic side of things we've been able to so far avoid the game of whack-a-mole that republicans have been playing in tearing each other down instead of building up the american citizens. >> i want to talk about black voters here in south carolina. not a game of whack-a-mole. you've got two now. it's a little more gentile, although it has gotten tougher. when we look at the black vote here in south carolina, which is
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crucial, right now hillary clinton is 65%. sanders only at 28%. he needs to change that. why is he not gaining traction with black voters? >> i disagree. i think bernie sanders is gaining traction with black voters. what you're going to see is that he has far more support than the numbers indicate. bernie sanders is working. his supporters are working. you have to keep in mind that a lot of these poll numbers are generated via landline. we're from an area where not many people have landlines anymore. a lot of people have cell phones. we're going to see that number be a lot closer. the other thing i want to throw out here is there's this misconception. bernie sanders does not need to win all of the african-american vote here in south carolina to perform well. he just needs to cut into that margin enough to keep this race tight. i think that's what we're going to see.
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>> well, i think one thing that we'll see here in south carolina is i like to say my momma and her friends are going to win this election here in south carolina. it's going to be african-american women who push the tide forward. hillary clinton does extremely well among those voters. this myth has been perpetrated that bernie sanders is running away with the millennial vote. african-american millennials are trending to hillary clinton in nearly 2 to 1. those are things to watch out for. bernie sanders has a lot of work to do here in south carolina and not a lot of time to do it. i think hillary clinton gets a resounding victory here, squeaks by in nevada, and then we're off to super tuesday. outfront next, we're counting you down to cnn's town hall in greenville, south carolina. it is a neat place. we'll be right back.
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before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. raise your expectations. ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, control is possible. welcome back to greenville, south carolina. we're just moments from cnn's exclusive republican presidential town hall. a crucial opportunity for the candidates to break out from donald trump's shadow and get face-to-face with south carolina's voters. anderson cooper is hosting the town hall. he joins me now with dana bash and david chalian. so this is such a neat experience. sometimes with our shots we show people, these rooms look big. they're not. it's small. it's intimate. it's you, the candidate and the
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voters. >> a lot of these voters here are undecided. they plan to vote in the republican primary but they have not made up their minds. and a lot of polls indicate there's a lot of people in south carolina who have not made up their minds. people could be convinced tonight. we did this with the democrats several weeks ago. the candidates liked it. the people in the room like it. these are unique, intimate venues that show different sides of the candidates. >> you can get some emotion. a candidate will have an emotional moment with a voter. >> after your democratic town hall, i met some voters who said they went one way or another because they saw the way the candidate handled themselves there. >> you are right about the undecided voter. i came from a rubio and cruz event here in south carolina. so many people who are going really have no -- at least they say they have no idea who they are going for. this is the time they make up
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their mind. from here up until saturday. >> it's pretty exciting. how unusual is it? 72 hours, votes are going to be cast. when you add up in our latest poll, more than 50% of people are undecided or leaning towards a candidate. for context, donald trump, the front-runner in terms of individuals is only at 38%. >> exactly. what's key to watch is how the candidates, specifically rubio and cruz, use this intimate setting. it's gotten rough out there on the campaign trail. you've seen the back and forth. are they going to try to draw sharp contrasts with each other even though they aren't on stage together or seize in this moment to say hey, this is what i'm about and sell their wares. i think watching them make that strategic decision is one of the key factors to tonight. >> dana, we keep hearing south carolina is a tough state in terms of nasty politics. they are used to it. this has been nasty lately.
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donald trump saying lindsey graham that he was one of the dumbest people he's ever known. the word liar has been thrown about. >> by just about everybody. >> does that bother people here or just sort of, whatever, that's the way it is. >> it's so hard. people say it bothers them. the voters i spoke to today said they just wish the candidates would stop using these words, throwing the mud and talk about the issues. you hear that, though, in every single campaign, and the reason why they continue to do it is because it works. >> also people here do talk about being sick of candidates complaining and some use the word whining about how tough it is. and they say, look. this is the context for it. you are running for the highest office in the land. if you can't stand the heat, get out of it. >> you hear that from people saying i wish they'd just focus on the issues. the party needs to heal after
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all of this in order to beat the democratic candidate. >> of course, people always say that. we want substance, we want substance. of course, substance is not quite as fun as what we are watching now. >> right. and they do want substance, clearly from the questions we've gotten in. this san electorate hungry to find all sorts of things out from these candidates. but we shouldn't forget the voters tune in to the fight as well. lots of negative ads on the air. those ads will work and push voters one way or another, despite the fact they bemoan all that negative advertising. >> it's amazing those ads work when everybody says they know they're lies. >> they are inundated with ads all the time. the sheer number and volume is huge. tonight you'll see in the questions and the people in this hall have submitted the questions so we could make sure there weren't duplications. you don't want the same people
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asking the same question over and over. that's our only involvement. they are smart and interesting questions covering a wide range of topics. >> it's going to be fantastic. a big night tonight and tomorrow night. thanks to all three of you. up next our republican presidential town hall where for the fist time ben carson, marco rubio and ted cruz will answer questions from the voters. from the voters of south carolina. this is how lenders saw me. in my 20s, i was super irresponsible with credit cards. it was time for experian. they gave me tools so i could finally get serious about my credit. now lenders see me for who i really am... go to experian.com and start your credit tracker trial membership today. i thione second it's there.day.
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and a good evening from the historic old cigar warehouse in greenville, south carolina. i'm anderson cooper. about 15 minutes from now, the first two of cnn republican town hall events. tonight, dr. ben carson, marco rubio and ted cruz. they'll answer your questions, addressing concerns they have as they get ready to make their choice here saturday. to say it's been a busy and bruising day does not begin to describe it. tonight's three candidates have been criss-crossing the state making nearly a dozen stops between them. senator rubio picked up a key endorsement from nikki haley. and senator rubio slammed ted cruz for he says mischaracterizing his senate record. then cruz slammed

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