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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  February 22, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PST

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years in prison if convicted. that's it requefor "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i turn you over to wolf blitzer who's in a place called "the situation room." happening now, fake video fallout. ted cruz fires his campaign spokesman for spreading a false claim that marco rubio had bad mouthed the bible. as his two main rivals accuse each other of dirty dealing, donald trump looks to be holding all the aces heading into the nevada caucuses. burned rate. trailing hillary clinton before the south carolina primary, bernie sanders goes on the offensive. but with super tuesday looming, is he spending his campaign money faster than it's coming up? and un-willing. kim jong-un refuses to discuss his nuclear program as the north korean leader inspects his war machine. is there anything left to talk about? i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the
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situation room." on the eve of the nevada caucuses, donald trump may have a good reason to feel lucky. after another big win in south carolina, his stack of chips is growing while his rivals rip each other apart. ted cruz has just fired his campaign spokesman for spreading a false story about marco rubio supposedly disparaging the bible. rubio is emerging as the leading mainstream republican contender, inheriting some of jeb bush's big supporters and donors, but right now his nasty battle with ted cruz is for second place. and john kasich is making it clear he's still going after the gop's middle ground, although he tripped himself up today with a clumsy comment about women voters. i'll ask him about that. that's coming up next hour. on the democratic side, bernie sanders is going on the attack and spending heavily in a
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bid to slow hillary clinton's momentum. polls show clinton with a big lead in south carolina just ahead of saturday's primary. with super tuesday following right after that, the heat is on. i'll speak with senator james rich, a rubio supporter and our analysts and guests will have full coverage of the top stories. let's begin with the disarray with donald trump's opponents. can anyone, jim, stop trump? >> that is the question, wolf. donald trump looks like a safe bet in tomorrow's gop caucuses here in nevada. the latest polls show trump is way out in front of his main rivals, marco rubio and ted cruz who are at war with each other with a major political casualty to show for it, the resignation of cruz's top spokesman. riding high into nevada, donald trump is holding the best hand in the battle for the gop
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nomination. for starters, his two main rivals, marco rubio and ted cruz, are busy attacking each other. >> every single day something comes out of the cruz campaign that's deceptive and untrue. >> reporter: rubio began the day demanding cruz fire somebody over a video distributed by the texas senator's campaign that falsely accused of florida republican of dismissing the bible. the video misquotes rubio as saying about the bible, got a good book there. not many answers in it. but actually rubio says all of the answers are in it. a blatant fabrication. top cruz spokesman, rick tyler, who circulated the video apologized to rubio on facebook for, quote, posting an inaccurate story about him. but rubio snapped that's not good enough. >> at some point there has to be some level of accountability. otherwise you're running an operation where you're sending a message to the people who work for you, go out and do anything you want and if you get caught, we'll just apologize but keep doing it. >> reporter: hours later he
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stubb stunned the campaign world saying that he asked for tyler to step down. >> this morning i asked for rick tyler's resignation. i had made clear in this campaign that we will conduct this campaign with the very highest standards of integrity. >> reporter: the bogus attack on rubio was the latest incident raising questions about how cruz has conducted his campaign. trump seized on the flap tweeting, more dirty tricks. trump is also getting help in the form of an unforced error from john kasich, whose awkward remark about the women backing his first state senate campaign in the late 1970s annoyed one supporter. >> we just got an army of people and many women who left their kitchens to go outdoor to door. >> first off i want to say your comment earlier about the women came out of the kitchen to support you, i'll come to support you, but i won't be coming out of the kitchen. >> i gotcha. >> reporter: kasich later explained it was just an off-the-cuff remark. >> i'm real and maybe i'll say
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something that isn't artfully said as it should be. >> reporter: trump who holds a lead in the delegate count and is poised to rack up another big victory in nevada boasts that his support comes in all shapes an sizes. >> we won with highly educated, pretty well educated and poorly educated, but we won with everything. tall people, short people, fat people, skinny people, just won. >> reporter: but rubio, who spent part of his childhood in nevada and his supporters are getting aggressive. a pro-rubio super pac started airing this attack ad, pounding trump and cruz. >> trump, erratic, unreliable. cruz, calculated, underhanded. >> reporter: and rubio is attracting more establishment support, picking up new gop endorsements. >> this is a three-way race. it's between rubio, cruz and trump. there's some others in the race but i don't think they'll be in the race that much longer. >> reporter: some want kasich to drop out to funnel his support to rubio.
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kasich laughed off that idea. >> i think it's funny. i think it's funny. i think it's ridiculous. >> reporter: now, rubio is touting a slew of new endorsements he picked up from bob dole to jeff flake and orrin hatch. as for the trump campaign, it is confident about its chances in nevada but this is a caucus state, wolf. they remember what happened last time and as for those endorsements and rubio, it's about delegates at this point, not endorsements. >> thanks very much. i want to dig deeper into the troubles that forced ted cruz to dump one of his campaign's top staffers today. cnn's sunlen serfaty is following senator cruz for us in nevada. senator cruz says this is all about maintaining high standards. what else is going on over there? >> reporter: well, wolf, senator cruz moved very, very quickly on this. it's very clear that he wanted to get out front of this and to send the message that his campaign has zero tolerance when it comes to people spreading lies and falsehoods. senator cruz spent the morning investigating this personally
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himself and after that is when he decided to call for rick tyler, his communications director's resignation. here's more of what he said at this remarkable press conference here moments ago. >> if other candidates choose to go into the gutter, we will not do the same. rick tyler is a good man. this was a grave error of judgment. it turned out the news story he sent around was false. but i tell you, even if it was true, we are not a campaign that is going to question the faith of another candidate. >> now, the rubio campaign has already responded to senator cruz. the coaxmspokesman for rubio sa rick is a really good spokesman who had the unenviable task of working for a candidate willing to do or say anything to get elected. there is a culture from top to bottom in the cruz campaign that no lie is too big and no trick to dirty. rick did the right thing apologizing to mark oh it's high time for ted cruz to do the
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right thing and stop these lies. i was struck by how short of a life span this controversy had. it was only about 24 hours. rake tyler posted his apology late last night overnight and i think this speaks to the sensitivity and nervousness within the cruz campaign right now about this narrative that's growing around their campaign that their campaign is one of lies. wolf. >> thanks very much for that report. joining us now in the situation room, james rish of idaho. thanks for coming in. what's your reaction to the decision to fire the campaign spokesman on the cruz side? >> rick tyler wasn't the problem. isn't the problem. this thing has gone on for some time. look, i was there in iowa on the ground when the rumors started flying that ben carson was going to drop out and people should consolidate with cruz. i was astonished. i asked where is it coming from? they said it's coming from the cruz campaign.
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so it started then and then there was the apology. then the photo shopped picture of marco rubio shaking hands with president obama. this is a cultural problem within this campaign. and it's not just good enough to say, okay, we're going to fire one guy. everything is fine, everybody forget about what happened. you can't forget about what happened. this is something that if a person is going to be president of the united states, they're going to have to run a campaign that is credible and that is honest. >> so the buck stops with senator cruz you're saying, not rick tyler, who was fired? >> always. >> and he personally, do you believe, knew about the phony photo stop ad, the phone calls, the robo calls and this latest development suggesting that marco rubio is not a bible-loving christian, if you will? >> well, you don't know what he knew. all i know is that campaign has consistently put out falsehoods that are not good.
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so who's responsible? always the person at the top. >> rubio said of the cruz campaign, it's willing to say or do anything in order to win. donald trump immediately tweeted out ted cruz has been playing an ad about me that is so ridiculously false, no basis in fact. take ad down, ted. biggest liar in politics. do you believe ted cruz is the biggest liar in politics? >> look, wolf, i don't want to go there with you on that, but i can tell you this. this campaign has been full of falsehoods starting when i was there on the ground in iowa. and it's disgusting really. >> you're a member of the senate. >> i am. >> cruz is a senator, rubio is a senator. what's the difference between rubio and cruz. i know you like rubio. >> that's a really good question, wolf. i tell you how you judge this. there are several senators who are supporting marco rubio, including myself, the most conservative, including orrin hatch, the most senior member on our side, and including a bulk
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of what i call the young discontents, the recent people who have come in. great senators. all of those people are supporting marco rubio. they know him, they work with him, just like myself that have spent hundreds of hours with marco rubio, working on intelligence matters. not one senator is supporting ted cruz. >> why? >> i think that we'll let the people who are watching this make their own judgment. >> you tell me what you think. i mean you've worked with cruz. why -- north pole ne of his col like him, apparently. >> there is no comparison between ted cruz and marco rubio. when i met him, i said there's something unique about this person, something where he carries the right stuff. this is a man who can be president of the united states and should be president of the united states. >> you like marco rubio, obviously, even though he's only 44 years old. is that too young? some people say -- some republicans say the american people elected a first-term
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mid-40 president seven years ago. that would be president obama, and they don't think the country needs another first-term senator. >> well, you know, the remarkable thing about that is the fact that he and ted cruz are essentially the same age. nobody ever says this about -- >> a few months older than marco rubio. >> marco rubio always says he feels like he's 45. but in any event, as marco rubio has pointed out on a number of occasions, it isn't the age. excuse me, it isn't necessarily the age. barack obama is no better today than he was seven years ago when he took office. it is the individual, it is the experience they have, it is the judgment that they have. marco rubio has had an outstanding career. you recall it started with the establishment not wanting him to run for the united states senate and yet he beat an incumbent governor. >> i just want to be precise. as far as i know, not one u.s. senator has endorsed cruz, but do you have any other information? has one u.s. senator endorsed
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cruz? >> none, zero. and i suspect that it's going to stay that way. >> why do you think that? >> again, it's the comparison between the two. there is a vast difference between ted cruz and marco rubio. it's no different than in your church or somewhere elsewhere people are looking for a leader, for someone that they want to be in charge of things. people coalesce -- peers coalesce around someone based upon their experience and their knowledge. >> we have more to discuss but very quickly, he did the right thing, cruz, in firing rick tyler, do you believe that? >> clearly. but this is too little too late. this is a culture that's developed in this campaign. >> stand by, senator, we've got more to discuss. we'll take a quick break and be right back. when they thought they should westart saving for retirement.le then we asked some older people when they actually did start saving. this gap between when we should start saving
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we're following the breaking political news in the race for the white house. senator ted cruz has fired one of his campaign's top staffers earlier today for distributing a video that falsely depicts senator marco rubio of dismissing the bible. cruz says it's about maintaining the very highest standards and integrity for his campaign but the news brought a new flurry of tweets from donald trump denouncing cruz as a world class liar. we're back with the republican senator james risch who has endorsed marco rubio. assuming you like rubio but let's say rubio can't get it. who would be a better republican nominee, trump or cruz? >> i'm not going to take that. i can't answer that question. i don't know. >> who's more qualified to be commander in chief? >> i can't answer that. marco rubio clearly. and not by a little bit but by a long shot. look, i've spent hundreds of hours with this guy working on
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national security issues, fighting with the administration, working with the administration to craft policy on national security issues, on foreign relations issues. the other two guys aren't even close to where rubio is. >> he's doing amazingly well. >> he is. >> if he gets the nomination, you'll support him, right? >> i have always voted for republicans, so i will vote for republicans from now probably until i die. >> so if it's trump versus hillary clinton, you would vote for -- >> i will vote for republicans. >> trump. it's hard for you to utter those words. >> well, look, this fight has a long ways to go. >> not necessarily. if he does really well, trump, on super tuesday, march 8th, march 15th, this thing could close up pretty quickly. >> wolf, you and i have been doing this a long time. i've been 34 years in this business. i've never seen anything like this. this is very, very different from what we've seen before. >> becaus in the past whatever republican candidate won in new hampshire, then won south carolina, that republican candidate gets the nomination.
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>> and i think something that trump supporters are saying is legitimate and that is what's all this about. if it was anybody other than donald trump, this thing would be over. the coronation would be on, but it's not. >> we'd be talking about the vice presidential running mate. >> they're not measuring the drapes. they're also not talking about the running mate other than on the side. this is a for real race. it's a three-person race from here on and it's going to be a knockdown dragout race as we go forward. >> let me shift gears dramatically. you're on the intelligence committee. the cease-fire that was announced today by the secretary of state, the russians, is it going to work? is it going to end the fighting in syria? over the past four years hundreds of thousands of people have died in that civil war. millions have been displaced and made into refugees. >> the simple answer is no. this was an agreement between russia and the united states. russia has accomplished its goals. it came in there to prop up the assad regime. to diminish the people who we
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supported, that is the rebels who were trying to undo him. they have gotten what they wanted, so now they sat down with the united states and said, okay, we're going to have a cease-fire. isis wasn't at the table. al nusra wasn't at the table, al qaeda wasn't at the table and they're the most vicious fighters doing horrible things. they're going to go on. there's nobody talking about that ending. so it's fine to talk about russia and the united states, but identify it for what it is. >> so what you're saying is the cease-fire effectively has solidified the russian, the iranian support for the bashar al assad regime and it's going to stay in power? >> absolutely clearly. you couldn't have said it better. >> james risch, senator from idaho, thanks for coming in. we're getting some breaking news about the marco rubio campaign working behind the scenes to get more republicans to join him. we'll update you on that when we come back. i'm hillary clinton and i approve this message. her life's work has been about breaking barriers.
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record this. voila. remotes, come out from the cushions, you are back. the x1 voice remote is here. more breaking news in the presidential race. we're getting new details about how marco rubio's campaign is trying to unite establishment republicans and get them behind his campaign. our special korncorrespondent j gangel is joining us with new information. what are you learning, jamie? >> apparently all is fair in love, war and political fund-raising. marco rubio has put out a new fund-raising letter, but if you look at the very bottom, it says it was sent by chris christie. this is because chris christie, who has not endorsed rubio, has
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sold him his fund-raising list. so you have to look very closely at the fine print, but he's going after christie's people. >> we're showing the e-mail on screen. so what you're saying is that they basically sold their fund-raising list to the rubio campaign. is that what you're saying? >> right. this is done all the time. it was done for money. chris christie, i am told, is nowhere near ready to endorse marco rubio. he is still very angry. about those negative ads rubio ran in january. he's also friends with kasich and friends with trump, so this is not an endorsement, but it was sold. >> jeb bush dropped out, as we all know. his supporters, his money, his endorsement. what are you hearing about that? >> the scramble for his donors is quite remarkable. and some people immediately have gone to rubio. others are taking their time. some are considering kasich and
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others. but what's interesting is a lot of them are calling each other, trying to find out what are you going to do, what are you going to do? because jeb has not given a signal yet about what he's going to do. and many of these donors are long-time bush donors, they're very loyal to the family from bush 41, bush 43, so they're sitting on the sidelines waiting to see if there's a signal from the campaign. >> if there's a signal from jeb bush or george w. bush or barbara bush or one member of the bush family. david swerdlick is with us as is dana bash. what are you hearing about all of this, the possibility that some of the jeb bush team could eventually go towards marco rubio or maybe some of the other republican candidates? >> well, exactly what jamie is hearing and that is that there already are some who are going onto team rubio, but there is a -- it's going to take a little while for some of these wounds to heal, because a lot of people
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who loved jeb bush, who loved the bush family are still smarting about the fact that marco rubio ran in the first place, because they thought he should wait his turn. he's younger and that he should respect his mentor. but i just want to say that your reporting on the chris christie selling his fund-raising list to marco rubio is -- when you take a step back and remember the two of them going at it, i mean it's kind of unbelievable. people out there are cynical about politics, there's a good example of why, right? that chris christie, who clearly was so annoyed with marco rubio that he tried to take him out in the last debate that chris christie participated in, it's kind of remarkable. >> and he really hurt him in new hampshire as you all know where he came in fifth because of that misstep during the debate. but a lot of the jeb bush supporters, david, i assume you'll agree will feel most comfortable with a fellow
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floridian and fellow establishment. >> the fact that bush got out when he did is a de facto endorsement of rubio because rubio had the most to gain. even though there is not a statement of endorsement and even though there is this bad blood between the campaigns, he basically is helping rubio the most by removing himself. >> we heard from kevin mccarthy, the house majority leader, on television today saying he could work with donald trump if he were the republican nominee. are more establishment republican leaders beginning to assume that donald trump might in fact get the republican nomination? >> i just spoke to kevin mccarthy to try to see exactly what he meant by that and he said that his point was simply that he can work with anybody. not that he was saying that he necessarily wants trump to be the nominee. what i read from that and he insisted this wasn't what he was suggesting but certainly other republicans in the house and senate have said this is they certainly would rather have donald trump than ted cruz because they don't think that he -- a, they don't think he's somebody they would like to work
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with but more importantly they don't think he's somebody that could appeal broadly enough that he can win the white house. >> i'm going to be speaking soon with john kasich, the ohio governor who's a republican presidential candidate. you're hearing new information about him as well. >> so right before we came on the air just as dana was saying, i spoke to a major gop bundler who says there is panic about donald trump. everyone finally seems to have their heads wrapped around the fact that donald trump could be the nominee and as a result they say, and this was from someone connected to the bush family, so this is not rubio, that they are actually going to make an effort, they're going out to speak to kasich to see whether they can pressure him. >> pressure him to do what? >> to get out and to get behind rubio. i reached out to the kasich campaign. they said ha!
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no! that was the quote. >> he was laughing. we saw him on tape a little while ago. i'll ask him about that when i speak with him live. that's coming up soon. but he presumably wants to stay in at least until ohio and michigan, some of these midwestern states where he thinks he can do well. >> he's got a second place finish to show and some midwestern states coming up, as you say, wolf. as long as kasich stays in, that's probably helping donald trump. if you look at what trump was able to do in south carolina, it wasn't that people voted for him because he was conservative, it wasn't because he was so much in line with their values, it was because people felt like he was the most forceful republican candidate. right now the establishment republicans aren't sure what to do with that information i don't think. >> donald trump -- rudy giuliani, all of a sudden his name has surfaced as well, suggestions that maybe he's consulting or helping a little bit donald trump. what are you hearing about that?
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>> i think this is a fascinating story because what it says is, is that rudy giuliani is advising trump, that he went to meet with him a couple of times. i think the question now is are other people doing that. is trump beginning to understand that he needs to put together a kitchen cabinet, some more establishment people who have been around the block before and not only is he going to put them together, is he going to listen to them. >> what are you hearing about that? >> or the flip side of what you just said, which is are more people who would never have dreamed that they would at all advise never mind support a trump republican candidacy are realizing if that ship is sailing, we better make sure that it's got all the proper gear on it, right? so i do think, though, that unclear how specific the advising is, because rudy giuliani does have experience in presidential politics, didn't go so well, so maybe just generally
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about what it's like to be a politician. >> as trump has said, he's putting together a national security team of advisers. maybe he'll be on that list, we'll see. >> that would make more sense. >> we invited rudy giuliani to join us. hopefully he'll join us during the next few days and we'll discuss all of this. were you surprised at rick tyler, the top campaign spokesman for senator cruz's campaign was dumped by senator cruz? >> no, i wasn't for the reasons sunlen gave earlier. there's in narrative building about cruz and his, quote unquote, dirty tricks. if this had been the first instance people were accusing him of something like this, he probably could have apologized and the campaign could have salvaged him. with the issues that came up in iowa with dr. carson, with some of the other things that happened in south carolina, i just feel like it was probably strategically impossible not to. >> cruz won in iowa. he's the only one that has beaten donald trump so far. didn't do great in new hampshire. in south carolina he came in third just behind marco rubio.
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he's got to get some wins, though. >> they all do. ted cruz has to get some wins. the next big primary day, march 1st, that is going to be so, so, so key for ted cruz because it's a lot of southern states. he has been campaigning hard there. he was there in august when everybody was looking at him going what are you doing in tennessee and states like that. that's the reason why, he was trying to build a long-term insurance policy. and now it's time for him to try to get it to pay off. >> your assumption is tomorrow night in the republican caucuses in nevada, trump will win that as well, right? >> that is the assumption right now. but -- we assume that's going to happen. caucuses are unpredictable, but the same thing goes for marco rubio. he hasn't won anything -- at least ted cruz has won something. marco rubio hasn't won anything yet. >> stand by, we have more to assess. an important programming note for all of our viewers, 8:30 p.m. eastern thursday night, the five remaining republican candidates will meet head to head in the next gop presidential debate. i'll be moderating that debate from houston, texas, only here
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on cnn 8:30 p.m. thursday night. coming up, bernie sanders goes on the offensive against hillary clinton, trailing badly in the south carolina polls and with super tuesday just around the corner, can he slow her momentum. hello! thank you. yes, thank you. now that we represent the bud light party, we need a little security. so we found the toughest person that we know. blam! ronda rousey you were all expecting a man, weren't you? typical. amy, amy will you read my screenplay? no questions! seth why don't you make better movies? hey, i said no questions! you're very good at this. when are you going to fight again? didn't i just say no questions? alright! alright! do something! get on the floor! oh i'm not a security guard, i'm a security monitor. i only notify people if there is a robbery. there's a robbery. why monitor a problem if you don't fix it?
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hillary clinton. our senior washington correspondent, joe johns, is following the democrats. joe, can sanders slow clinton's momentum ahead of super tuesday? >> reporter: wolf, i'm at u-mass amherst waiting for bernie sanders to make his appearance. his campaign is showing it's got a lot of life left in it after that loss in nevada. he's ramped up the rhetoric today, added multiple stops to his campaign schedule, and he's also hitting hillary clinton for appropriating many of his ideas on the campaign trail. >> bernie, bernie, bernie. >> reporter: bernie sanders is going on offense today after his loss to hillary clinton in nevada. >> what the american people have got to determine is which candidate, whose life work is about standing up to the billionaire class, standing up to wall street, standing up to
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corporate interests and who does not. >> reporter: and tweeting about the lack of transcripts for clinton's paid speeches. it's been 17 days, 6 hours and 32 minutes since @hillary clinton said she would look into releasing her paid speeches to wall street. he spent the weekend in south carolina, even stopping by a fried chicken dinner after church to court a key demographic, african-american voters. >> i'm asking for your help, to help lead this country in the political revolution. >> reporter: but clinton is riding high after her weekend win. >> some may have doubted us, but we never doubted each other and this one's for you. >> reporter: polling shows clinton has the advantage in south carolina in part thanks to her strong showing among african-american voters there. >> she says their names, trayvon martin. >> reporter: she's out with a new ad voiced by morgan freeman that invokes trayvon martin and the flint water crisis. >> she speaks for a city
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poisoned by indifference. >> we need action now. >> reporter: in the battle between the two candidates is sharpening. clinton hit sanders hard over the weekend for overpromising. >> you shouldn't say that unless you can really deliver it. if the numbers don't add up, it's wrong to make those promises. >> reporter: and sanders accused clinton of copying his message. >> i think our message is resonating and obviously the proof of that is that hillary clinton is more or less echoing much of what we are saying. i think that indicates the success that we are having. >> reporter: even with her nevada win, clinton still faces doubts about her trustworthiness from some voters. >> i understand that voters have questions. i'm going to do my very best to answer those questions. i think there's an underlying question that maybe is really in the back of people's minds and that is, you know, is she in it for us or is she in it for herself. that's a question people are trying to sort through. >> reporter: the latest disclosures show what we already
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knew, that bernie sanders is raising a lot of money but he's also spending a lot of money as well, bringing in in january around $21 million. spending about $35 million. that is what you might call a very high burn rate for the bern. wolf. >> all right, joe, thanks very much. joe johns reporting for us. the two democrats, hillary clinton and bernie sanders, will come face to face with the voters of south carolina for the final time right here on cnn tomorrow night. the final time before the next contest. the democratic town hall moderated by our own chris cuomo, live from columbia, south carolina, 8:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow night only here on cnn. coming up, donald trump is holding the best cards on the eve of the nevada primary as his main rivals accuse each other of dirty dealing. it's a caucus in nevada, i should point out. can anyone stop the front-runner? and it's a job that's more likely to end with a firing squad than a pink slip.
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kim jong-un has a new army chief, but for how long? a military shakeup in north korea. we'll update you. we ed a group of young people when they thought they should start saving for retirement. then we asked some older people when they actually did start saving. this gap between when we should start saving and when we actually do is one of the reasons why too many of us aren't prepared for retirement. just start as early as you can. it's going to pay off in the future. if we all start saving a little more today, we'll all be better prepared tomorrow. prudential. bring your challenges.
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north korea gets a new army chief, but there's not much job security in that position. and it could end with a firing squad instead of a pink slip. cnn's brian todd has been looking into all of this for us. what are you hearing about the latest shake-up by kim jong-un. >> a lot of goings on. this is the front page of "rodong sinmun." it's announced this man, general
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reem young su got a big promotion and is one of the most powerful people in the country. the problem is he's working for a vicious young dictator who has already taken out several top generals before him. north korea's grueling elites are as nervous as ever. kim jong-un pays a, quote, surprise visit to his air force. looks confident in a fedora as he inspects the combat readiness of his fighter pilots. the man next to him has been promoted to one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. he's the new chief of the north korea's general staff. during kim jong-un's bloody high-stakes military shake-up, three of the past four top generals are believed to have been executed or disappeared. >> it starts to look like ancient rome or other authoritarian regimes where getting these top jobs is almost a death sentence. >> reporter: one of general ri's predecessors was reportedly executed by being blown apart with an anti-aircraft gun in
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front of hundreds of people. his apparent infractions, pushing back on kim's orders and falling asleep at meetings. for the impulsive, violent young leader, general ri may be a safe choice. he's in his 80s, started his year in the korean war, was a close confidante of kim jong-il and appeared with the father so many times he's on a north korean postage stamp. even the trusted general ri has run afoul of the young kim. >> he has been disafeared on occasion as have other leaders. because he's so old, he probably doesn't have the ambition to take over the army. >> reporter: a steady nonthreatening hand right under kim could be a stabilizing influence at a time when tensions along the dmz are feverishly high. within just 6 1/2 weeks, north korea tested a nuclear bomb, test fired a long-range rocket. south korea set down the kaesong
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center they both share. and now north korea's leading party newspaper called south korean president park geun-hye a tailless, crazy old female dog. one u.s. official who tracks korea says it's worth watching north korea's elites to see how unsettled they may be by kim's behavior and if they fear for their own safety and mount a challenge to him. >> when you change the chief of the north korean people's army, the coercive state with this rapidity, something is wrong in pyongyang. ra >> reporter: analysts say if kim is challenged internally, maybe the army is able to diminish his power, keep him there as a figure has to preserve the kim family blood line. or possibly one top general becomes so fearful for his own safety that he takes matters into his own hands and assassinates kim himself. an increasingly likely
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possibility given the bloody purge of all these top generals. >> you're also hearing an organized coup by several top generals would be unlikely. why? >> north korean generals are the most surveilled top officials. they are constantly videotaped, wiretapped. if someone talks about a coup, he'd be busted instantly. diplomats, when they leave the country, their families are basically held hostage until they return. >> brian todd reporting for us. let's bring our global affairs correspondent in, elise labott. we're hearing by some of the efforts to start some sort of dialogue, peace talks. what are you hearing? >> this goes back to october when south korean president park was here meeting with president obama. president obama was asked at a press conference why you wouldn't be willing to give north korea a deal along with what the u.s. had with iran, that nuclear deal. and president obama said actually, we would be willing to have such nuclear discussions,
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possibly leading to a deal and other things, but the north koreans had shown no interest in that. and the very next day, the north koreans went on state television and said these nuclear talks have failed. the only thing we can do is have negotiations on a formal peace treaty which would end the korean war. right now they are operating under this armistice from 1953 and they said that's all we'd be willing to discuss. a couple days later they went to the u.s. passed the same message through diplomatic channels and after a lot of consideration within the administration the u.s. came back and said we could be willing to talk about a peace treaty. aid, security guarantees for kim jong-un, but only if you are willing to talk about the nuclear subject as well and the north koreans said, no. they're not even willing to broach the nuclear issue. >> as a result, limited, if any, hope that some sort of dialogue talks between the u.s. and north korea which have happened in the past could be resumed? >> the u.s. still says it's
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ready to talk. let's face it. after that nuclear test north korea took last month, the obama administration was criticized for not giving -- offering a similar nuclear deal like it had with iran which seems to have some success. and here they did do that. and this is actually a concession for the u.s. when president obama took office, he was originally looking for north korea to actually take steps before having peace talks. now they are saying they would be willing. but north korea doesn't even want to broach the nuclear issue. so until they are willing to meet the u.s. halfway we'll see a lot more confrontation. >> north korea is not going to give up its nuclear program, nuclear arsenal. they think that's the only thing that prevents south korea or japan or the u.s. from moving in. i wouldn't hold my breath for that. thanks, elise, for that report. as his two main rivals accused each other of dirty dealing, donald trump looks to be holding all the aces as they head to the nevada caucuses.
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happening now -- breaking news. cruz campaign communications director rick tyler forced to resign over a false ad targeting marco rubio. cruz and rubio in a bitter race for second as donald trump heads into nevada's caucuses with a strong lead. out of the kitchen. john kasich stumbles and gets caught out on a tone deaf remark. has the damage already been done to his struggling campaign? shooting spree.
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an uber driver on a rampage killing six people, taking fares in between. now he's charged with murder as investigators comb his past for clues. what was his motive? cease-fire failing? the u.s. and russia announce a plan to reduce the bloodshed in syria but there's growing skepticism about the deal, even before it goes into effect. with isis on the offensive and not part of the agreement is there any real hope for the thousands of civilians whose lives now hang in the balance? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. >> we're following the breaking news. republican presidential candidate ted cruz firing his communications director on the eve of nevada's republican caucuses. rick tyler forced to resign after tweeting a false story
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about -- a false story about cruz rival marco rubio insulting the bible. with cruz and rubio at war with each other, donald trump heads into tomorrow's caucuses the odds-on favorite following his overwhelming win in the south carolina primary. he picked up all 50 of the state's gop delegates. we're also following the shooting spree in michigan. an uber driver charged with six counts of murder, accused of targeting random victims in multiple locations and driving customers in between the killing. we're covering all that and much more with our guests, including republican presidential candidate, the ohio governor, john kasich. and our correspondents and expert analysts are also standing by live. let's begin with the surprise developments in the republican race for the white house. cnn's sunlen serfaty is in las vegas for us. some political drama, this on the eve of the caucuses there. what's the latest? >> that's right, wolf. this is a huge shake-up within
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the cruz campaign. senator cruz just fired his communications director. someone who is one of his top allies in his inner circle of his campaign. fired over spreading false video about marco rubio over twitter. the cruz campaign tonight very much in the middle of a storm. >> this was a grave error of judgment. >> reporter: ted cruz is in cleanup mode, demanding the resignation of his communications director rick tyler after he distributed a video that falsely depicted marco rubio dismissing the bible. >> it turned out the news story was false but even if it was true, we are not a campaign that is going to question the faith of another candidate. >> earlier today, rubio called foul for what he said were dirty tricks. >> every single day something comes out of the cruz campaign that's deceptive and untrue and goes after my faith. and no one is ever held accountable. >> reporter: trump is seizing on this staff shake-up to slam his
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rival tweet, quote, wow, ted cruz falsely suggested marco rubio mocked the bible and was just forced to fire his communications director. more dirty tricks as he takes a south carolina victory lap. >> we won with everything. tall people, short people, fat people, skinny people. just won. >> reporter: despite saying last month that rubio is eligible for the presidency -- >> he was born here. he was born on the land. >> reporter: trump is now raise something doubts retweeting a message suggesting otherwise. >> i'm not really that familiar with marco's circumstance. >> reporter: rubio is brushing it off. >> i'm going to spend zero time on his interpretation of the constitution. >> reporter: john kasich is in virginia taking a shot at rubio. >> i didn't have a script or a teleprompter. >> reporter: but that's getting him into hot water over comments about his support among women during his first run for state senate in the late 1970s. >> we just got an army of
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people, and many women, who left their kitchens to go out and go door to door and put yard signs up for me all the way back when, you know, things were different. now you call homes and everybody is out working. >> reporter: earning him a rebuke from one supporter. >> first off, i want to say your comment earlier about the women came out of the kitchen to support you. i'll come to support you, but i won't be coming out of the kitchen. >> reporter: at his next stop kasich attempted to clean up his remarks. >> i don't run around with all these notes as lots of people do. i'm real, and maybe sometimes i might say something that is inartfully said as well as it should be. >> reporter: back on that shake-up with the cruz campaign. the rubio campaign clear they want to push this even forward after that firing was announced. they came out with a new statement. this from the spokesman for the rubio campaign saying, quote, there's a culture in the cruz campaign from top to bottom that no lie is too big and no trick too dirty.
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high time for ted cruz to do the right thing and stop the lies. >> strong words from alex conant. thanks, sunlen. with ted cruz and marco rubio fighting for second place in nevada, donald trump heads into tomorrow's caucuses the clear gop favorite. jim acosta is in las vegas for us. the trump campaign expecting another victory tomorrow night. what are you hearing? >> that's right, wolf. we had a first here today. for once the story of the day is not all about donald trump. one day before the nevada caucuses, frump is milking this feud between marco rubio and ted cruz. it says, just saw the phony ad by cruz. totally false. more dirty tricks. he got caught in so many lies. is this man crazy? why is that important to donald trump? he's been harping on this since iowa when ted cruz was accused of dirty tricks against ben
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carson. the latest polls show he's way out in front of his nearest rivals. he's conducteding an abbreviated campaign, only holding two rallies, including one here in las vegas. another one in sparks, nevada, tomorrow before the results start rolling in tomorrow night. his campaign is confident about its chances but this is a caucus. and his advisers are well aware that trump did not perform as well as the polls were indicating in iowa. they still have to get out the vote, get out those caucusgoers. >> a lot of work to do before tomorrow night. thanks for that. we're waiting to speak live with john kasich. he's going to be joining us momentarily. we'll get to that interview as soon as he is there. in the meantime, i want to bring in gloria borger, the washington correspondent for the new yorker magazine, ryan lizza, nia mallika henderson and ana navarro. ana, you were a bush supporter.
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he's dropped out. you are friends with marco rubio. can we say you are now a marco rubio supporter? >> i think what you can say is i'm licking my wounds. i was incredibly emotionally invested in the jeb bush campaign. he wasn't just a candidate to me. he's been my friend my entire adult life. i want to wait and see what he does and, look, give me a couple of days to rebound. it's not as easy going from one spouse to another. never a good idea to go into another relationship right after a divorce. >> gloria, you've interviewed john kasich -- >> family counsel from ana navarro. >> good words. you spent some time with john kasi kasich. we're going to be speaking with him live very soon. he says it's a four-man race right now. he eliminates dr. ben carson. there's still five republicans running. is it a three-man or four-man race? >> i talk to a lot of
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republicans. there are some who would just wish that john kasich would get out of the way so that they could consolidate behind marco rubio. the establishment is running to marco rubio. but as one republican said to me today, he said, look. john kasich has a strategy here. and he's said you cannot have a conversation with john kasich without understanding he has a plan, and this campaign to him is a crusade. it's a crusade about the kind of politics he wants to see in this country and he can go down a plan. he's not ben carson. ben carson is hanging around. we don't know why. maybe it's to stick it to ted cruz with those evangelical voters. we don't know. kasich is saying it's a four-man race. his plan is i'm going to win in michigan. a handful of super tuesday states i might be able to win. going to get to ohio, winner take all, the governor.
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we'll have to see. so i think there is a plan there. not everyone is convinced it will work, however, except john kasich still is. >> we were all convinced rick tyler was fired by senator cruz as communications director for this false story about marco rubio supposedly not believing in the bible. you must have stunned by that. >> i was stunned by him actually having to resign. we're in the political season where these kind of things have not been as big a deal for the front-runner donald trump. if this happened to donald trump he would have given the person a raise rather than asking him to resign. i think it's a sign that cruz's campaign is a little rattled by trump. and rubio constantly calling him a liar. that word used to be a red line in politics. marco rubio couldn't call ted cruz a liar on the senate floor. his remarks would have to be taken down. and there they are accusing him of the "l" word.
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and rick tyler had to fall on his sword. >> calls ted cruz a world class liar. the worst liar he says he's ever seen. those are strong words. >> even ben carson hasn't used the "l" word but also was questioning ted cruz's believability and his honor and integrity. ted cruz's banner says "trust ted." it's done some real damage and he here in throwing rick tyler overboard is trying to tamp down on that. they have been calling for someone to get fired. they say a day late, a dollar short. it wasn't over them, but -- >> the rubio campaign says that as well. >> look. the calling card that ted cruz has is, i'm the values candidate. if you look at the exit polls, it shows that that is the area in which ted cruz excels better than any other candidate. but a close second is marco
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rubio. and if he loses that with voters who vote on ethics and values and social issues, then where is he? he's nowhere. he has to stop the bleeding. >> it's interesting, ana, that's donald trump, as we all know earlier raised questions about senator cruz's eligibility to be president. he was actually born in canada. but now he's turning his sights on marco rubio's eligibility potentially because he was born in the united states but both of his parents remember cuban immigrants to the united states. did not have u.s. citizenship at the time. he was born in 1971. what do you think of this latest development? >> oh, i think donald trump is on very thin ice. it's not going to work. marco rubio was born in miami. i know there's a lot of people in the united states who might think miami is the closest latin american country to the united states, but, no, we're actually part of the united states. marco rubio was born american. and i will tell you, nobody can
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speak as pretty as marco rubio about being an american, the american inspiration story, american exceptionalism. so if donald trump challenges him on being an american, marco rubio, who is incredibly articulate, incredibly poetic, i think is going to respond in a vigorous way. if i were donald trump, donald, don't go there. don't give marco an opening because he's going to shut you down and shut you down very well. had a debate on that. >> he retweeted sunlen's tweet on that. marco rubio is picking up a lot of endorsements from republican establishment. more members in the u.s. senate and others as well. presumably this is going to help him. >> and former members of the u.s. senate like bob dole. that's worth, what's, a vote. but look. i think it's not the endorsements. we've learned in this campaign endorsements don't matter. follow the money. and some of the money will no doubt go to marco rubio.
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but jeb bush, i'm told, has not given a signal yet as to who he's going to endorse. i'm told there are a lot of hard feelings still between the rubio and bush camps because of their shakespearean fight. that they have had. some money could go potentially to kasich. kasich is looking for some bush money. in texas, cruz could get some bush money. but it's the money that rubio is looking for. >> hold on -- ana, hold it. it's interesting that's money is important but jeb bush and his superpac had more than $100 million and it didn't exactly work out for them. >> money is not everything. donald trump has proved if you can keep your face on the media full-time that you don't need to buy television ads. this race is simple. either the republican party rallies around marco rubio as their last chance to defeat donald trump, or donald trump will be the nominee. and kasich will have to make a decision very soon about whether
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he wants to be the person that allowed donald trump to be the nominee or the person that fell on the sword and got out of the race. >> everybody stand by. we're standing by to speak with ohio governor john kasich. we're going to get his thoughts on what's going on. he's a republican presidential candidate. much more right after this. ♪virgin islands nice ♪ ♪so nice ♪so nice, so nice ♪ spend a few days in the u.s. virgin islands and return with a lifetime of experiences. that's virgin islands nice. ♪so nice, so nice
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once again, standing by to speak with john kasich, the republican presidential candidate. we're standing by for that. hopefully he'll show up soon. in the meantime, let's go back to our panel. let's talk about rudy giuliani right now. there's some word he's been advising or helping, consulting donald trump right now. the former new york city mayor.
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longtime new york city real estate magnate. >> it looks like they're been sharing phone calls. rudy has been advising him on what he should say, if he's gone too far on some of the things he said. rudy didn't have a great presidential campaign when he ran. he was sort of a new york conservative that always stuck a thumb in the eye of liberals, and that in some ways is what trump is doing as well. i think it also sort of sends a signal that trump is running a serious campaign. it doesn't necessarily, i think, signal that to voters. i don't think voters care what sort of establishment and political, the chattering class. he's doing things that normal politicians -- >> conservatives don't like rudy
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giuliani. >> he approves abortion rights. >> if your conservative bona fides are being questioned and you are being advised by giuliani, the question is on what? foreign policy and 9/11 stuff -- >> ana, the kasich supporters, rubio supporters. you are friendly with marco rubio. are they appealing to the same group out there. >> i think some are going to go immediately with marco rubio. i think some maybe in the midwest who have more skin in the game when it comes to ohio are looking at john kasich. i think some of the texas folks may be going for ted cruz. at the end of the day, a lot of politics. all politics is local. but also i think there's donors. there's a lot of jeb bush donors and supporters and backers who are waiting to see and hear a
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path to victory from either -- any of these three guys. it is smautd unclear right now what the kasich path to victory is what the rubio path to victory is. donald trump coming out of south carolina looks strong. so i think that after you've been burned once you want to make sure when you put your chips in again, it's for a winner. and folks are taking a good look at this. not everybody rushes out the next day and changes course. some people, i think, are keeping their powder dry until they see who might emerge out of the three nontrump alternatives. >> let me ask ryan. rubio has to win florida, right? if he doesn't win his home state of florida, is it over for him? >> ana is right. so far we've been gradesing marco rubio on a curve, right? and there's a reason for that. it's legitimate because the entire republican party establishment does not want donald trump to be the nominee.
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this is not like previous races where you'd say second place in iowa, first place in new hampshire and first place in south carolina you are the nominee. well, that's true if you are john mccain or mitt romney. if you are donald trump when the entire establishment of a party doesn't want you, they'll hold out as long as they can and they'll accept rubio not winning yet and pushing him forward -- >> the point is he's got to win florida just like cruz has to win texas. >> right. >> if he can't win his own state, it's over for him presumably. >> he has to win somewhere soon. it's not only florida. he just has to win somewhere. remember the original strategy we all heard was that he'd come in third and -- >> you are talking about cruz. >> i'm talking about rubio. >> now it's 5, 2, 1. >> the way the delegates are proportional up until march 15th, there's not going to be any final winner for a very long time, even up until the
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convention. who knows. you may have an open convention. i don't want to call it brokered. i don't believe there's anyone to broker things anymore. but rubio has to show some strength. and that may be why ana is talking about these donors who have -- are sitting on their pocketbooks right now because they want to know they're not going to back a horse that can't go anywhere. >> i hear from rubio supporters, from trump supporters, people who don't like ted cruz that cruz is going to end up like mike huckabee. won iowa, didn't get the nomination. like santorum. cruz, won iowa, might not get the nomination. he's another huckabee or santorum. >> the pushback was, he's got a lot of money so he can go the distance. at this point he may not end up like santorum or huckabee who won many states because he has trump to deal with in those southern states that are all going to vote, a lot of them othat s.e.c. primary day march
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1st. he may come in second instead of looking like the regional evangelical candidate. >> you can't be the evangelical candidate and the candidate of the south and not win a state in the south. those are real red flags. >> trump won one-third of the evangelical. >> cruz has this narrow line of conservative republicans. he's being squeezed on the other side by trump. john kasich, the republican presidential candidate is now there. you are looking at a live picture. we'll talk to him about the race for the white house as soon as we come back. nds of people came out today to run the race for retirement. so we asked them... are you completely prepared for retirement? okay, mostly prepared? could you save 1% more of your income? it doesn't sound like much, but saving an additional 1% now,
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republican presidential candidate john kasich is face something criticism for a remark he made today. here's what he said at a campaign event about women who backed him when he first ran for state senate back in the late '70s. >> i went to washington following my mother's advice. i'd been in the legislature before that. how did i get elected? i didn't have anybody for me. we just got an army of people who -- and many women who left their kitchens to go out and go door to door and put yard signs up for me all the way back when, you know, things were different. >> that's remark earned kasich a rebuke from one of his current
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female supporters. >> i want to say your comment earlier about the women came out of the kitchen to support you. i'll come to support you but i won't be coming out of the kitchen. >> and the republican presidential candidate john kasich is joining us live. you says that comment was not artful. do you think you want to apologize to women out there for saying they left their kitchens to campaign for you? >> well, you know, look, wolf. anybody would be offended, of course. sometimes when you operate on the high wire without a net you'll fall off and not say things exactly the way you want to. the beginning of my campaign for public office, i did town halls, except they were in people's homes at breakfast tables, at evening when we had coffee and i recruited people. i want to be clear. we had a lot of women that played a major role in my political campaign, political life, and they still do. in fact, wolf, my chief of
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staff, first one to go in for a new governor, was a woman. she's now running my campaign for president. my lieutenant governor is a woman. the first person and only person i appointed to the ohio supreme court is a woman. and the fact of the matter is, i have a lot of women that are in the cabinet holding roles in my cabinet. so, look. at the end of the day, people are going to jump on me now. i take orders from nobody. not from wall street, not from k street, not from special interests and my campaigns have been good because they've been basically staffed and energized by regular folks. >> a lot of women think it was insulting. why not say, i made a mistake. i'm sorry. >> sure, i'm sorry. anybody that's offended. of course. i'm more than happy to say i'm sorry if i offended somebody out there, but it wasn't intended to be offensive. if you hear the whole thing, you'll understand the context of it. but all i'm saying to you, wolf, is that without the power of the women who helped me out early in
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my career to give me a chance to hold public office, i wouldn't have made it, and i'm very grateful to all the work they put in for me and many of them still do. >> you signed a bill defunding planned parenthood. and here's the criticism you are getting. you talk about helping the poor, the most vulnerable. planned parenthood does provide poor women with hiv testing, health screenings, prevention of violence against women, and the accusation is we're pandering to the most conservative wing of the republican party. even donald trump says planned parenthood does some, quote, wonderful things. explain your decision. >> well, i'm not a panderer. i think that planned parenthood did discredit itself. we're robust funders of women's health. we think it's critical. in the area of infant mortality we've picked out the hot spots in our state. one of the toughest areas is the
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one we find in some of our minority communities which we're redoubling our effort. i believe in early childhood education. these are all critical. even though i don't fund planned pare parenthood we're going to spend a lot of money on women's health at the federal health centers and hospitals they'll be able to get what they need and i feel they ought to be able to have the aid and support and i've always stood up for them. think about expanding medicaid where i've made more dollars available for people who really have a struggle, particularly people, you know, who are the working poor. i believe in women's health. i just didn't believe in doing it through planned parenthood. >> where do you stand on abortion rights in terms of exceptions. >> the rape, incest and life of the mother. >> because marco rubio only says he supports an xexception for te life of the mother. you report it for rape and incest, as well. >> yeah, sure. yes, i do. >> ted cruz's communications
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director rick tyler resigning due to tweeting a false story about marco rubio supposedly not believing in the bible. donald trump has called cruz a world class liar. do you agree? >> i'm not going to be calling anybody a world class liar. i've had a positive message, wolf, and i'm not really interested in going negtiative people. i've had millions of dollars of negative ads spent against me by a number of people and i've remained above that fray. i'm going to continue to be above that fray talking about creating jobs and helping wamgi go up. economic growth is so critical and not leaving anybody in the shadows once we achieve economic growth like we've done in ohio and washington. i'm not interested in going down the rabbit hole of negative name calling, liars and all that other stuff. i'm going to sell myself the best i can. and for the first time in this campaign, people are starting to
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pay attention. for most of the time, nobody heard me. the press didn't give me any coverage. now all of a sudden, and i thank you today, you are giving me an opportunity to be on the air and my messages fundamentally lift everybody. get everybody to work together. we're americans before we're republicans and democrats. i'm not interested in commenting on all these scuffles ghat on in these campaigns or the name calling. >> kevin mccarthy the house majority leader said this is for all practical purposes a two-person race between donald trump and marco rubio. you have five delegates so far. you saw an article, maybe you didn't see it, "the washington post" writer jennifer rubin wrote ten reasons john kasich is not a contender. here's the question. where can you win in a state? >> we think we can perform well, vermont, massachusetts. we're here in virginia. we're getting great response. we're going into the deep south. places like mississippi. you don't have to win.
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you have to be competitive. then go north to places like illinois, michigan, ohio, new jersey, new york. the calendar goes north. then, wolf, here's the thing. nobody thought i'd get in the race. nobody thought i'd raise the money or get in the debates. nobody thought i'd do well in new hampshire. i finished second in new hampshire and the people she's writing about finished well below me. i never expected to do well in south carolina other than show respect and probably did better than people thought. we're in it. we're signing people up today, raising more money. we're fine. always been doubts are. i've always been underestimated. people came up to me today and say you stay in there and hang in there. as people begin to hear my message, you'll be able to see, i believe, a chance for me to be able to climb. if you take a look at the exit polls out of south carolina for the late deciders who finally found out who i was with about three or four days to go we did pretty well. >> we have more to discuss. we'll continue this conversation
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right after this very quick break. we'll be right back. does a freshly printed presentation fill you with optimism? then you might be gearcentric. ♪ right now, get 25% back in rewards on hp ink, toner, and paper! office depot officemax. gear up for great ®.
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♪ no, you're not ♪ yogonna watch it! ♪tch it! ♪ ♪ we can't let you download on the goooooo! ♪ ♪ you'll just have to miss it! ♪ yeah, you'll just have to miss it! ♪ ♪ we can't let you download... uh, no thanks. i have x1 from xfinity so... don't fall for directv. xfinity lets you download your shows from anywhere. i used to like that song. we're back with the republican presidential candidate, the ohio governor john kasich. sources are telling cnn's jamie gangel that some major republican donors deeply concerned about a potential donald trump early win. they are looking to try to clear the field for marco rubio because they think he has the
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best chance to prevent trump from being the nominee and are privately urging you to drop out. are they doing that? are they privately urging you to drop out? >> no, i haven't heard from any of the special interests to get me to drop out. in fact, we're signing people up. we're signing up some significant republican fund-raisers and our political organization is expanding as well. and i guess i don't understand this. i've spent about $5 million. they've spent about $50 million and we're about the same in delegates. when we're picking a president of the united states, we better pick somebody who knows how to do the job. somebody that's had the experience, somebody that's can bring people together. and, you know, if you ask people who are republicans, who is the most experienced, who has the best results, the most accomplishments, most of the time, i win that. last week there was a cbs poll that came out and said i was the most qualified, beating everybody else.
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i beat hillary clinton by more than any other republican candidate in the latest "usa today" report. we're going to keep going. when i travel places, people beg me. they say, stay in. you represent hope for me and for my family. this is all sort of political mumbo-jumbo from people who i don't even know who they are. and the fact is, we're just going to keep going and at some point when we get the consolidation, i'm very hopeful it's going to be towards me. >> do you have the money to stay the course? >> yeah, we're raising money and doing fine. i'm not sure the other people have all the money. we'll have enough money to hang in here and keep going. of course we are. we've seen a significant increase in the number of people helping us raise money and also a significant increase in the number of political people who were skilled. tom loeffler, very close to the bush family. he's come out and is joining our
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team. tom ridge today, former homeland security adviser to president bush. and you should talk to him about why he's done it. the fact is that we've got to have somebody that can straighten the country out, somebody that has the experience and, you know, i think people feel very good about that. and, frankly, i've got to tell you. this is the first time since i've been running for president that i'm starting to get people to hear my message. and it's really good and it's working. so it was a long road to get here. we're going to keep on going. and, you know, we'll see what happens down the road. going to keep giving it my best and being positive nfd talking about growing the economy and leaving nobody behind. >> you are trying to get some of those jeb bush supporters. he's dropped out. some of that money as well. if they call you and say, why should i support you? what are you going to say if they may be leaning towards marco rubio? why should they support you? >> most of them don't say that,
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wolf. most of them when i call them and talk to them they say, yeah, i know about you. i'm positive. i had one man say i was with some significant people in the bush campaign, and we all to a person thought we should support you. you are the person who is the most qualified. because, you know, some people look at this is who is going to be the president of the united states. we're not electing someone to be senior class president. so no hit on marco or anybody else. let's just get the media to put up our experience, our background and our accomplishments and then let people decide. most of these campaigns spent their time beating me up in all these states. and, frankly, when you look at the poll numbers, i was tied for third in the national campaign. a lot of these people are washington insiders. they are the establishment. i've never been with them. they've never been with me, and it's okay. we'll continue to just plug forward. >> governor kasich, thanks very much for joining us.
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>> all right, wolf. always good to be with you. tell everybody i said hello. >> we'll see you at the debate thursday night. this important programmi in for our viewers. 8:30 p.m. eastern thursday night, the remaining five republican presidential candidates will be head-to-head in the next gop debate. i'll be moderating that debate from houftstexas, right here on cnn. senator bernie sanders is trying to put the brakes on hillary clinton's momentum. brianna keilar joins us with the details. >> reporter: bernie sanders in massachusetts today, a reflection of the campaign is realist buck his slim chances in south carolina and hillary clinton fund-raising in california. perhaps a reflection of the confidence she has in her performance in the polls there. bernie sanders is trying to regain his momentum, fresh off a loss to hillary clinton in the nevada caucuses.
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>> i am delighted that secretary clinton month after month after month seems to be adopting more and more of the positions that we have advocated. that's good. and, in fact, is beginning to use a lot of the language and phraseology that we have used. in fact, i think i saw her tv ad and thought it was me. >> reporter: sanders is going on the offensive today tweetsing about the lack of transcripts for clinton's paid speeches saying it's been 17 days, 16 hours and 32 minutes since hillary clinton said she'd look into releasing her paid speeches to wall street. hillary clinton is riding high after her rebound win in nevada and hoping for another victory in saturday's south carolina primary. clinton has an 18-point lead over sanders, buoyed by her 37-point lead among black voters. she's getting a little star power in her bid for support with a new television ad voiced by actor morgan freeman.
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>> she says their names. >> trayvon martin. dontre hamilton. sandra bland. >> and makes their mothers' fight for justice her own. she speaks for a city poisoned by indifference. >> we need action now. >> reporter: questions linger about perceptions from some voters that she's not honest and trustworthy. an area she indicated she needed to improve upon on "state of the union" this weekend. >> there's an underlying question that maybe is really in the back of people's minds, and that is, is she in it for us or in it for herself? that's a question that people are trying to sort through. >> reporter: sanders and clinton also have their eyes on super tuesday next week when 11 states will hold democratic nominating contests. >> please do not come to me state by state and say, is this the end of the world? we are in this campaign to the
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end. we have gone much faster, much further than any -- many people would have believed possible. and with organizations like the ones behind me, we are going to do >> reporter: bernie sanders talking about that all important black vote in south carolina and also in these southern states that are part of the super tuesday contest. he said that african-americans learn more about his proposals, wolf, he thinks they will be more on board with them, but hillary clinton continuing to hammer him as a one-issue candidate. >> and is the sense out there the exchanges between hillary clinton and bernie sanders going
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to be more intense? >> i think so. an indication that he really is not going to give her a pass on some of these things. >> hillary clinton and bernie sanders, by the way, they will face the voters of south carolina during a town hall 8:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow night right here on cnn. it is the last chance for south carolinians to question the candidates before the primary. a cease-fire is taking shape in syria, but isis and other terror groups are on the offensive. is there any real hope for ending the misery?
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president obama spoke with russian president vladimir putin today hoping to solidify a new cease-fire in the syrian civil war. civilians are living under constant bombardment and suffering from starvation. barbara starr is tracking the latest developments. >> a cease-fire may be the works, but it's a long way to go. some of the scenes you're about to see are very graphic. >> reporter: suicide bombers striking in damascus. a massive bomb attack in homes where the assad regime is supposed to be in control.
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isis claimed responsibility for the devastation. now the u.s. and russia announcing a plan for a cease-fire, but not with isis. president obama and russian president vladimir putin spoke on the telephone about the agreement scheduled to go into effect this weekend. questions already about how secure the deal is. the u.s. warning it may be tough to get all sides to adhere to the agreement. >> you can't just flip a switch, it is going to take a little bit of time for us to actually implement it. >> reporter: the u.s. will keep tabs on the agreement by watching aid groups. >> there's not going to be any monitors on the ground to look at this other than where we get information from in terms of tension and ngos reporting on the ground and journalists who get feedback as to who is being hit by whom. >> reporter: at stake, the
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immediate fate of tens of thousands of syrian civilians bombed by russia and the syrian regime starving and lacking medical care. russia is dropping about 100 bombs a day claiming it's bombing isis. the u.s. says moscow is bombing civilians and bashar al assad's opposition forces with help from iran and the regime. >> russia has to talk with iran and the syrian regime and we have to talk with the opposition. >> reporter: putin saying he will get his side on board. >> we'll do whatever is necessary with damascus with the legitimate syrian authorities. >> reporter: assad told the spanish newspaper he definitely supports the deal, but warns that could change if others try to improve their battlefield positions. isis and al qaeda are not party to the agreement. nobody expects isis to stop its
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attacks. while all of this is going on, the u.s. still keeping a very sharp eye on libya in north africa. the estimate there now in terms of isis' strength, wolf, the u.s. believes there could be somewhere between 5,000 and 6500 isis fighters in libya. they are tracking isis craamps across that country. >> what else are you learning about these isis fighters in lib libya? >> they believe isis is recruiting inside libya. they are recruiting fighters from other places in africa. they are recruiting fighters essentially who have tried to go into syria through turkey, but can't get into syria so they're diverting them to libya. libya very much a new front for isis, a big worry for the obama
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administration, wolf. >> clearly, it looks like it has become for all practical purposes a failed state. barbara, thanks very much for that. thanks for watching. outfront next, breaking news ted cruz firing a top staffer for spreading a story about marco rubio and the bible. turns out it wasn't true. hillary clinton looking for another win in south carolina as bernie sanders steps up the attacks big time. let's go "outfront." >> good evening. i'm erin burnett. outfront tonight, breaking news. a major shakeup for ted cruz's campaign on the eve of the nevada caucuses. his communications director fired. cruz says he personally asked rick tyler to

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