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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  February 24, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PST

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home in texas and invoking the alamo, embattled senator ted cruz turns up the rhetoric, telling voters the time for clowns is past. supreme fight. president obama jabs back at senators for refusing to consider anyone that he nominates to the supreme court. tonight an intriguing new twist. could he nominate a republican? plus, nuclear nightmare. pentagon planners consider the deadly possibility of kim jong-un lashing out with nuclear weapons if he feels threatened. could he hit the u.s.? wolf blitzer is on assignment preparing for thursday night's presidential debate. i'm brianna keeilar and you're n "the situation room." as we count down to cnn's rip debate here in houston, texas, donald trump is looking ahead to super tuesday. his chance to deliver a series of knockout blows to his remaining rivals. now, trump is also starting to answer questions about who he
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might pick as a running mate. the biggest hint so far, trump says he's looking for a political insider, pretty interesting. as for trump's opponents, well, they're scattered across the country. they're attacking one another and they're trying to convince republican voters they have the best chance of taking trump down. our correspondents, analysts and guests, including senator tim scott, who is backing marco rubio, have full coverage of the day's top stories. ad we begin with cnn's jim acosta. jim, can donald trump make the case that three straight wins makes him the inevitable nominee? >> well, that is a question everybody is asking, and the answer is quickly becoming possibly yes. donald trump is savoring his big victory in nevada and predicting more wins next week on super tuesday even though he only has a fraction of the delegates needed to capture the gop nomination. trump is sounding like he's already measuring the drapes in the oval office.
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donald trump's first campaign event after his win in nevada says it all. >> thank you, everybody. >> reporter: eyeing the bible belt states up for grabs on super tuesday next week, trump appealed to christian conservatives by sitting down with pat robertson. >> you inspire us all. >> trump talked about forgiveness, perhaps even for his arch rival ted cruz. maybe. >> i can forgive. every once in a while there will be somebody who went too far over the last few weeks things were said that were lies, but i've got to be a good person today, at least for the next hour, i'm sorry. >> but trump isn't spending much time talking about his opponents, he's busy envisioning his days in the white house. the ultimate political outsider saying he would likely want a political insider as his vice president. >> i do want somebody that's political because i want to get lots of great legislation that we all want passed. >> and strong conservatives for the supreme court. >> pro-life. starts with that. starts with that. very conservative, very, very
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smart. i mean like judge scalia. he was a perfect representative. >> on day one of the trump administration, the gop front-runner vows he'll scrap obamacare, improve veterans health care and end the president's executive actions to slow deportations of the undocumented. >> especially one on the border where people are allowed to pour into our country like swiss cheese. >> reporter: trump is heading into super tuesday with a lead that is ballooning quickly, with five times the number of delegates as his nearest rivals. >> the establishment, the media, the special interests, the lobbyists, the donors, they're all against me. >> reporter: trump is also warning a new ad warning the d.c. establishment is out to get him and he's making the case republicans should consider how he's expanding the party and get on board. >> we won the evangelicals, we won with young, we won with old, we won with highly educated, we won with poorly educated. i love the poorly educated.
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we're the smartest people, wee the most loyal people, and you know what i really am happy about because i've been saying it for a long time. 46% with the hispanics, 46%. number one with hispanics. >> reporter: the contenders vying to be the anti-trump insist the race is far from over. >> we can't get this wrong. we can't be fooled by p.t. barnum. the time for the clowns and the acrobats and the dancing bears has passed. >> reporter: cruz went back to delegate-rich texas to secure the endorsement of that state's popular governor. >> ted is a constitutionalist whose judgment i trust to appoint the right judges to the united states supreme court. >> reporter: marco rubio is urging supporters to pick a candidate who can actually win in november. >> we can't just elect someone that's angry. >> reporter: and john kasich said maybe a fight at the gop convention won't be so bad. >> if we end up at a brokered
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convention, i can't think of a better city to have one in than cleveland, ohio, so we'll see. >> reporter: now, he may be way ahead, but donald trump is not slowing down. he's got a bunch of events lined up through the south and southwest to set the table for super tuesday next week. all of the early polls indicate that trump has the potential to clean up on super tuesday and force some of these other rivals to drop out of the race. >> all right, jim acosta for us in las vegas. thank you. as jim mentioned, senator ted cruz is campaigning in his home state of texas. it is the biggest single prize among next tuesday's super states. sunlen serfaty is covering the cruz campaign for us. the senator is predicting that he's going to have a very good night next tuesday. what do you think? >> reporter: well, he absolutely could, brianna. the stakes are incredibly high for him. he has done nothing to tamp down expectations and it is going to be a tough slog for him and i think that's part of the reason
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why we've really seen senator cruz ratchet up the rhetoric of how pivotal a week this is for him, saying things like this will be the most important day of the election, referencing super tuesday, of course. today the cruz campaign, they rolled out a big endorsement, that of texas governor greg abbott. his support will have an incredible boost of momentum going forward here on the ground for cruz in texas as they inch towards voting on tuesday. of course a lot of delegates here in texas on the table, something that senator cruz referenced here earlier today. >> texas has 155 delegates. it is the crown jewel of super tuesday. texas has alone almost 15% of the delegates you need to be the republican nominee. and as the men and women know here, texas has a history of standing and leading the fight.
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>> reporter: and senator cruz had something of a combative press conference with reporters afterwards, where he was peppered with questions over what his path would be forward if he doesn't perform on super tuesday. here's how he responded. >> i believe we are going to do well. >> better than 50%? >> i believe we are going to do well. that is going to be up to the voters. you know, i would note, i'm curious how many reporters ask marco rubio after losing four states in a row, so when do you drop out when you haven't won a state? to win, you've got to win states. you've got to win delegates. >> reporter: and it can't be overstated how much the cruz campaign strategy hinges on doing well on super tuesday. senator cruz today says that he will campaign hard, he will campaign aggressive low this week going forward. >>
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>> i think he will be very effective and convincing voters in this cross country. the key for us is to keepaccumu delegates, especially when you look at where we've come from, where we are and where we're going. we're excited about the future, we're excited about this race. the longer it goes, the better it is for marco rubio and i think it's going to be a cross-country run. we'll have to continue to do well and we will. >> he comes into this obviously with a record as a freshman senator. let's talk about that. i know you two have worked together. he says he understands the national security challenges that our country faces more than any of the other gop candidates in this race. can you name something that really stands out to you that he has done in his time as senator
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that you think will make him the best prepared, as he says that he is? >> i think if you look at his service on the foreign affairs committee or the intel committee, his knowledge on our challenges in the middle east, his understanding and appreciation of the challenge with north korea, his understanding and appreciation for china. i also look at some of the accomplishments. he's led the way for reform at the va. he's been very successful in getting sanctions done on hezbollah. you look at the impact of eliminating the slush fund or bailout fund for insurance companies and obamacare. here are three clear examples of where marco has taken the lead and done very well for the country. that's good to have those legislative victories. what's more important is he inspires a new generation of voters to take a look at the conservative principles that have undergirded the success of this nation. as long as we continue to campaign on the conservative principles that have made us successful, i look forward to another american century. >> it seems that some of the
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things you need are the experience he has serving on committees, not to say that isn't important, that certainly is, but you named the va, for instance, which a lot of people look at congress and they say on the va issue, you know, a lot of senators, this is even a criticism leveled at senator sanders, that they sort of missed this crisis. you know, i guess specifically is there something to you that really sort of stands out as the primary legislative accomplishment for him or even just really leading the way on a certain issue? >> he was one of the first folks who said that the president's characterization of isis as a jv team was inconsistent with the reality that was coming our way. he was one of the first to start voicing the concerns that isis was more than a jv team, that it was actually perhaps the greatest threat that we have from a militant jihadist perspective in the last five to ten years. he proved to be right there. but let's think about the va reform that was passed.
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we were talking about the fact that we gave the new secretary of the va the power to fire employees. now, what you need is a chief executive, a president who will make sure that his secretary actually uses the power of the legislation that was given to him. when that happens, when marco rubio is our president, we'll see more accountability in the va because he helped lead that legislation past the finish line and then we'll have a commander in chief that will actually use that legislation, and that's good news for our veterans. we owe so much to our veterans, and yet the va has been a broken, fragmented system that has not successfully taken care of our vets. we can change that and the legislation that we passed that he led on actually gets that accomplished. >> looking at his strategy, for instance, when it comes to foreign policy, as he is touting his creds here, when you look at his proposal combatting isis, senator, do you see something that is different from what the
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obama administration is pushing as the solution to combatting isis? >> well, the obama administration really has not had a plan to combat isis. it really has not had a plan for us to not just reduce or destroy, but to eliminate isis as we know it. the fact of the matter is that having a specific plan that encourages the military leaders to be a part of that plan and part of the process, to understand and delineate those necessary steps for success, we haven't seen that out of president obama. we would see that clearly under president rubio. >> all right, senator tim scott, stay with me. we have many more questions for you as you back senator marco rubio in this race for the gop presidential nomination. we'll be right back.
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we are counting down to cnn's republican debate where the rivals will try to make the case they are the only alternative to trump for the 2016 ticket. we are back with republican senator tim scott from south carolina, who is a marco rubio supporter. i want to play something that you said. this is from september of last year. you hosted a town hall with donald trump in south carolina and here's what you said. >> young people are being attracted to the political conversation because of the quality and the strength of our candidates and donald trump is bringing a lot of folks. here's a guy who started in
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middle america and who worked his way through his family business, took it over and added a little steroids to it. i know that we have some amazing folks running for president, but here's a person who understands business. would you agree? here's a guy that brings an independent perspective to the political process. would you agree? so why don't we welcome to the stage, donald trump! >> now, clearly, senator, i will say looking at that, marco rubio is very lucky to have you in his cornerbacking him up, but you're talking about donald trump there and you're describing this appeal that he has. >> absolutely. >> you're for marco rubio now. how does your guy get past this appeal that even you described in september? >> there's no doubt that if anyone were to deny the fact
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that donald trump has been successful in business, please let me know who you are and how you came to that conclusion. donald trump has been very successful in business and frankly his trajectory in politics has been outstanding. here's the question. who is best prepared to lead this country to the next american century? that answer is clearly marco rubio. and i say that for a couple of reasons. i've had the opportunity to host 12 of our presidential candidates in individual forums like you just saw. i went through the analysis of each candidate and came to the conclusion that it was not worth me endorsing unless i had one person who was head and shoulders above the rest in three specific categories. the first category was commander in chief on day one. i have a brother who just retired from the army, command sergeant major. another brother who serves as a colonel in the air force. i want someone who's prepared on day one to lead the world's best military. that person at the end of my analysis is marco rubio.
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his work on the intelligence committee as well as his time on the foreign relations -- foreign affairs committee will serve our country really well. the second ingredient i was looking for for the next president of the united states would be someone who understands for the middle class.omy work - middle income america has not seen the type of returns that we've seen on wall street or in the stock market. they have seen stagnant wages throughout the country and specifically at home in south carolina. i wanted someone who understands how to revive middle america's income, starting day one. that person who's lived the american dream is in fact marco rubio. and finally, i wanted someone who would use conservative principles, not republican principles, but conservative principles to attract a new generation of voters. that person who does that better than any other candidate we have is marco rubio. we have a very strong field and i like our field. anyone on our side would do a
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better job than bernie sanders or secretary clinton. so i would be happy -- >> okay. well let me ask you about this. >> yes, ma'am. >> because the senator, he needs a pathway forward to victory. he so far has not won a state. what states can he win? >> here's what i will tell you. i think as we look over the next several weeks, we'll see that marco rubio will win states. what we are trying to do right now and i think we've started doing it very successfully is winning -- >> which states do you think he has -- >> i'm going to finish my own statement if you don't mind. >> please. >> the fact of the matter is that we'll continue to accumulate delegates and that's what this is about. at the end of the day we're talking about what you guys are suggesting is a presumpive nominee and we're in the fourth or fifth state. we'll learn a lot on s.e.c. tuesday and we'll learn more throughout march, but the truth is that this is a cross-country run. we will make our stake and we will be successful in a number of states. as long as we continue to
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accumulate delegates, that's how you get to the nominee. >> can he win florida, do you think? that's so important to win your home state. >> it certainly will be a battle in florida. i'm looking forward to the competition. i'm looking forward to getting down to florida myself and being as helpful for mosarco as possible. the truth of the matter is that's yet to be determined. i think he has a clear path. in his lane he had a lot of competition. now that governor bush is out of the race, it gives him a better position. the polling information suggests that the race is tightening. we have a long way to go. i'm not going to pretend to have a crystal ball to see what's going to happen next, but i am excited about where we're going. >> it really is a fight ahead. senator tim scott, we certainly appreciate you being so generous with your time for us today. thanks for being on. coming up, donald trump is really basking in the glow of his victory in the nevada caucuses and he is touting entrance polls that show him winning the latino vote. we'll dig into this surprising statistic, next. thousands of people
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♪ 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 are in houston, texas. it's the site of tomorrow's cnn republican presidential debate and what may be his rivals' last hope for stopping his momentum. we have s.e. cupp, ana navarro and hilary rosen. you say the name of the game is to stop trump. how do these candidates do it? >> i really think it's important that cruz and/or rubio win a state. i think it's important that they win their home state, but i also think that come super tuesday, it's important for marco to win
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one state, any state, pick a state, move there for the next week and win it. you know, because you can't keep having victory speeches after winning number two or winning number three. you need to actually win something and then i think he really needs to concentrate on florida. i think that with jeb bush out, it makes a big difference and marco can be very competitive in florida. if donald trump beats ted cruz in texas and donald trump beats marco rubio in florida, make that five-alarm hair fire for the establishment, which i am a card-carrying member of. >> s.e., to that point, we just had senator tim scott on. he's someone who has so much enthusiasm, i think that he really is a very good surrogate for marco rubio. >> yeah. >> and yet i asked him what states can he win? he just said basically he's going to rack up delegates. i said can he win florida? and he didn't say yes. >> no one wants to set expectations because donald trump just defies all of them and throws a big wrench into,
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you know, common wisdom, common sense, conventional wisdom. but that's what the rubio campaign has been saying. their plan is to win delegates. that is a way. that is a path. but look, i think as long as there are four other people running against donald trump, donald trump is going to be the nominee. when you're splitting up the rest, the majority of the republican electorate amongst four other people, there's no one to coalesce around except donald trump. >> and you know, so it's almost amusing, right? if you hear ted cruz, he says to you this is a two-man race. i'm the only other person besides donald trump who wins a state. you hear marco talk and he says this is a three-man race, it's between donald trump, marco rubio and ted cruz. carson says i'm the only outsider and kasich says i'm the only governor. >> hilary, these other candidates need to take on donald trump but we're sort of seeing maybe they're not doing
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that as much as they -- you might think that they would to really take aim at this front-runner who has so much momentum. >> look, presidential politics is about two things and two things only. it's about math, getting the delegates, and the story you're telling. and right now, you know, marco rubio and ted cruz are caught up in a story that people do not care about. like who's number two or who's number three or which one is fighting who. donald trump has created a narrative for himself that people in the republican party like, at least a plurality likes, but he's vulnerable. i'm just shocked that none of these republicans are going after any of his vulnerabilities. you know, jeb bush really actually nicked him in that debate when he talked about taking away that lady's house. people don't understand eminent domain but they understand an old lady losing her house. when he has made these business deals, he has actually hurt real people. if either marco rubio or ted cruz could take on donald trump where it would hurt, which is he
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is not the savior of people, he's actually hurt real people, they might have a better shot. instead they're so obsessed with each other that they're just giving him a free ride. >> so it sort of reminds me what you're saying, hilary, i think back to 2012 and the super pac that supported president obama took on mitt romney over a steel worker's wife and health insurance that had gone away from her. in the end it didn't even really hold -- it didn't even really stand up to a fact check, but it was certainly damaging to romney. you think that's what these candidates should be doing? >> look, you know, the republicans have gotten so deep into the weeds thinking that this country wants to be really right wing on immigration or really right wing on abortion or, you know, building a wall and keeping out people. really what this country wants, the reason they like donald trump i think is not necessarily because of, you know, his most aggressive rhetoric, they like him because he's saying -- he
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embodies something that they appreciate. and that has to happen for marco rubio and ted cruz. they have to take down the very thing that they appreciate about donald trump. that he is this kind of guy who was on their side. he's not. >> listen, in fairness to ted cruz, and i think s.e. would agree, he has been taking on donald trump very strongly, particularly in recent weeks. the problem has been timing. six months ago, he was sucking up to donald trump and you see -- and it was -- and timing matters because ted cruz does have conservative bona fides. if six months ago he tried to nip it in the bud and reveal donald trump for not being a conservative, it would have been much more effective after doing it now after four early states. >> but the other side of that argument is, well maybe then he would have been a rick perry or a scott walker. people who did try to take him on very early, did not last in this election.
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>> at their own peril. >> they did not last as long as they should have. so dealing with donald trump is very, very difficult. very few people who take a swing live to tell the story. and frankly, and frankly, peeling away trump voters is an impossible task. they are so committed to him. you're not going to have this moment where you open their eyes and they realize that he's a charlatan. the best that you can hope for is to consolidate the rest of the republican electorate around a nontrump candidate. >> so what do you say to that, hilary? >> well, i think in an ideal world, that's true, except you can't keep doing that by destroying each other. and so that mutual destruction means that that strategy, while in theory is the right strategy, in practice is the wrong strategy because it's not going to work. he will keep racking up a majority of delegates and keep racking up wins, so you have to change course, knowing that the other guy isn't getting out.
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so the only way to do that is to look for his vulnerabilities, which i think that people -- you're right, the road is littered with people who have tried to take down donald trump, but i think that they have really tried to take him down on things like he's not a real republican. you know, he supported hillary clinton. things that they thought would appeal to republican primary voters but really don't. the only thing that voters care about is the story of who these guys are, and right now the only story that cruz and rubio are telling is that they're not trump. that's just not enough. >> hilary, telling any other republican that they supported hillary clinton or citing some of the other incidents would have been disqualified. donald trump is in a class by himself. >> i love this conversation, i wish we could keep going. >> this is a girl power panel. >> ana, s. echtle, hilary, thank you so much. hillary clinton isn't taking her big lead in south carolina for granted. how is the democratic
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front-runner protecting her position just three days before the crucial primary. plus senator harry reid is making waves today. he is endorsing hillary clinton and reacting to donald trump's victory in his home state of nevada. we'll have the details. went to ancestry, i put in the names of my grandparents first. i got a leaf right away. a leaf is a hint that is connected to each person in your family tree. i learned that my ten times great grandmother is george washington's aunt. within a few days i went from knowing almost nothing
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state. hillary clinton has a substantial lead in the polls. she's hoping that a big victory there is going to be a sign of good things to come as several more southern states prepare to vote next week on super tuesday and our senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny is following the democratic campaign. give us the latest, jeff. >> reporter: well, hillary clinton campaigned this morning in charleston, around noon in columbia. just a few moments ago she took the stage here at morris college in sumter, not because she's behind but because she wants to stay ahead. now, bernie sanders left town today, he said he's not writing off south carolina. that was the impression left here. but there were some 7,000 people waiting for him in missouri. that's a sign that many democrats think this race should go on. three days before the south carolina primary, hillary clinton is not letting her foot off the gas. >> i want an election about real change. >> reporter: she's keeping her eyes squarely on south carolina ra and sanders, despite her
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commanding lead here. >> i believe every election and caucus has to be taken seriously. i'm taking no vote, no place for granted. >> reporter: facing an uphill battle in the first southern primary, sanders headed west for missouri and oklahoma, super tuesday contests that could offer friendlier terrain. >> we're going to win some states, we're going to lose some states. we're going to have good days, we're going to have bad days. >> reporter: the fight for delegates is just getting started. clinton and sanders are gearing up for a long road to the nomination. but clinton is racking up advantages, including an endorsement today from harry reid. he told cnn it's time for the party to get behind clinton. >> i think the middle class would be better served by hillary. >> reporter: wall street is a central issue in the race and sanders made clear at cnn's presidential town hall he has no indention of giving clinton a pass on paid speeches she's made to big banks like goldman sacks. >> i am very happy to release all of my paid speeches to wall street.
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here it is, chris. there ain't none. >> reporter: asked by cnn's chris cuomo if she'll turn over these speech transcripts, clinton said yes, but only if republican rivals do the same. >> why is there one standard for me and not for everybody else, chris? >> reporter: sanders had the last word. sending out a tweet saying, hillary clinton believes republicans should set the standard for disclosure of her wall street speeches. aren't we better than that? a majority of the democratic electorate in south carolina is black. >> thank you, thank you. >> reporter: and both sanders and clinton spoke directly to the concerns of african-american voters. sanders said the republican criticism and obstruction facing president obama is at least partially rooted in racism. >> and this is on top of the birther issue, which we heard from donald trump and others, a racist effort to try to delegitimatize the president of the united states. guess what, nobody has asked for my birth certificate. maybe it's the color of my skin,
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i don't know. >> i think it's important for people, and particularly for white people, to be honest about those and to recognize that our experiences may not equip us to understand what a lot of our african-american fellow citizens go through every single day. >> reporter: for months clinton has been building an organization here. this restaurant she visited on her first south carolina trip last year is now a campaign volunteer call center, busy getting out the vote for saturday's primary. and saturday's primary is a key time for the clinton campaign to regain that confidence, continue that confidence they gained in nevada. brianna, there was a finance call for top donors today and i many atold that that was the most optimistic they have been in weeks, if not months. so the clinton campaign thinks good things will come here in south carolina. brianna. >> yeah, this is the time they are certainly enjoying. jeff zeleny with hillary clinton, thank you so much. i want to get more now on
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the new developments in the democratic race. senate minority leader harry reid endorsing hillary clinton today during an interview with cnn. manu raju conducted that interview. manu, why do you think senator reid waited until now to make this endorsement? why not endorse before the caucuses in his home state of nevada when it was really kind of up in the air whether or not she would succeed there? >> harry reid wanted it to look that he was being as neutral as possible. he didn't want it to look like he was being unfairly tilted to hillary clinton. what we know is that during the nevada caucuses, harry reid was on the phone with casino executives saying they should let their casino workers come into the caucus sites, also with the powerful culinary workers union, he urged them to get more involved in the caucuses and both of those things were viewed as helping hillary clinton. but i asked him specifically about that and he said he was not doing that to help hillary clinton. he said he wanted to be neutral in this race.
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he also told me he had a phone conversation with bernie sanders right before he made his announcement. >> i talked to bernie sanders yesterday. it was a really wonderful call, he was so magnanimous. he was kind and courteous to me. i explained the reasons and he's understood. bernie has been a great senator and i've enjoyed my relationship with him very much. i think the middle class would be better served by hillary. i also think that she is the woman to be the first president of the united states that's a female. >> reporter: now, clearly harry reid wants the party leadership to start to consolidate behind hillary and becomes the highest ranking democrat to support hillary clinton. now, when i asked him how long he thinks this race could go on, he still thinks it could take a very long time. he told me in a separate interview a couple of weeks back that this could potentially go to the democratic convention in july, but clearly they hope that they can get this race settled well before then and that
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hillary clinton will start to separate herself from bernie sanders in south carolina this weekend. >> even separating herself, she still needs to do all that work to get these delegates. i know that you asked senator reid about how donald trump just dominated in nevada. what did he say about that? >> clearly there's nothing that harry reid would like more than seeing donald trump becoming the republican nominee. if he doesn't, he wants to tie donald trump to the rest of the republicans running for president. >> well, i've said on the floor the last week or ten days, the party of lincoln has become the party of trump and that says it all. >> now, we'll see exactly what happens from here on out, but clearly there's a sense of confidence that if donald trump becomes the nominee, it will help hillary clinton. i asked harry reid if he's worried about the e-mail issue hurting hillary, the trustworthiness factor hurting hillary, he said look at what's happening on the republican side. i think we'll be fine at the end of the day. >> all right, we'll see, great
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interview, thank you so much. coming up, donald trump is on a roll, as we've been talking about. he's won three out of the first four republican contests and he continues to dominate in the national polls. can he be stopped? but first, we're receiving disturbing analysis on north korea from a top american general. is kim jong-un prepared to use a nuclear weapon against the united states if he feels threatened?
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north korean dictator kim jau jong unhas always made provoking the united states a part of his
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policy but an assessment indicates kim is serious about following through on his threats. elise lavitt has been tracking this story. what are you learning? >> top u.s. commanders in asia warn kim jong-un is working aggressively to develop a nuclear weapon that could reach the united states and would use it if he had to save his regime. with tensions on the korean peninsula at their highest level in decades, they fear the erratic young dictator will spark an escalation that could lead to an armed conflict, akin to world war ii. it's a nice mayor scenario. north korea launches a nuclear-tipped missile at the west coast of the united states, and tonight it's being taken seriously by the pentagon. a top u.s. military commander warning kim jong-un would be will to order the ultimate attack if he felt threatened and had the capability. >> do you think if he had a missile that could reach the united states he would actually use it against us?
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>> i think that his stated purpose is to protect his regime. if he thought his regime were challenged, he states that he would use wmd. >> a dire prediction on the heels of north korea's long-range missile launch earlier this month and what is believed to have been a test of components related to a hiydrogn bomb in january. the head of u.s. forces in the pacific echoing the concern. >> they pose a real threat to hawaii and to the west coast of the mainland of the united states and soon to the entire u.s. >> with tensions along the dmz at an all-time high, the american military is flexing its muscle, flying stealth fighter jets over south korea and deploying the missile defense system capable of shooting down long-range rockets. the display of military might has kim vowing revenge, warning the u.s. and south korea not to go ahead with their annual joint military drill next month. the pentagon is focused on
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deterring what top intelligence officials call the world's greatest nuclear threat, but military commanders are bracing for the worst. armed ground combat with north korea, the likes of which the u.s. hasn't seen since world war ii. >> given the size of the forces and the weaponry involved, this would be more akin to the korean war and world war ii. very complex, probably high casualty. >> and military commanders warn eventually the u.s. may have to make a tough decision to use military force to stop a north korean missile from hitting the homeland. the increase military posture is not just angering north korea but china, which is staunch leo posed to the deployment of the thad missile system. that could target its own systems and compromise its security. the u.s. calls those concerns preposterous but chinese officials are warning it could spark an escalation that could spark a potential arms race in asia.
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>> all right, thank you so much. coming up, we have more on donald trump's crushing victory in the nevada caucuses. his rivals are scrambling to stop his momentum ahead of a massive delegate battle on super tuesday. can marco rubio and ted cruz stop the republican front-runner? . type 2 diabetes doesn't care who you are. man woman or where you're from. city country we're just everyday people fighting high blood sugar. ♪i am everyday people.
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also setting his sights on other contests in his home state of ohio. >> trump starting in virginia today, then moving on to a swing through the deep south. rubio and cruz targeting their own must-win states. >> i didn't just become a conservative like a year and a half ago when i decided to run for president. >> the only campaign that has beaten donald trump and the only campaign that can beat donald trump is this campaign. >> amiss new suggestions the race may already be over. >> the reality is there is still an opening for another candidate to walk through. super tuesday, 25% of the delegates available for republicans are up for grabs. then move on into winner take all states like ohio, governor
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john kasich or senator marco rubio but something has to change in the current dynamic for anybody else to step out. you know as well as anybody, as long as four other candidates are fighting for that slot to fight donald trump one on one, there are big problems for the rest of the field. >> phil mautsingly, thank you. the super tuesday states are especially high for ted cruz. he desperately needs to win his home state. sunlen serfaty is here in houston. this battle for texas is on. >> reporter: it certainly is and senator ted cruz knows it's going to be a tough slog for him. the stakes for him are so high. we've seen him ratchet up the rhetoric and claiming how pivotal a week it is. he says this will be the most important day of the entire election in reference to super tuesday. the cruz campaign rolling out that big and key endorsement here in texas of the governor.
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governor abbott. his endorsement goes a long way here on the ground. this state is rich with delegates, something that senator cruz noted earlier today. >> texas has 155 delegates. it is the crown jewel of super tuesday. texas has alone almost 50% of the delegates you need to be the republican nominee. and as the men and women know here, texas has a history of standing and leading the fight. >> cruz had something of a combative press conference with reporters here earlier today. peppered with questions over what his path forward is if he doesn't do well on super tuesday. here's how he responded. >> i believe we're going to do well. >> better than 50%? >> i believe we're going to do well. that is going to be up to the voters. i would note, i'm curious how
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mean reporters ask marco rubio after losing four states in a row, so when do you drop out when you haven't won a state? to win, you've got to win states. you've got to win delegates. >> it can't be overstated how much the cruz campaign strategy really does hinge on the outcome of tuesday. senator cruz says he will campaign hard. he will campaign aggressively going forward. brianna? >> sunlen serfaty, thanks. i want to talk about all of this with scottie hughes, a tea party activist and key donald trump supporter. thanks for being with us. certainly a great day for you and all of those supporting donald trump. coming off three big wins. does he have a target on his back? what does he need to do to prepare for tomorrow's debate? >> he's always had a target on his back. going into tomorrow night i compare him to secretariat.
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he's in the final stretch of this run. if he just puts his blinders on and focuses on the questions from wolf blitzer and ignore the riffraff from the other campaigns. focus on wolf and the audience and the american people. i guarantee we'll continue to see the real mr. trump who we see in these town halls like the one we saw with anderson cooper, the one we saw today with pat robertson. the town halls that make people fall in love with who they want to see as president of the united states. >> what does he do if ted cruz continues on stage with some of the attacks he's had on donald trump on his christian values oh, on his record on abaortioaborti. how does trump fight back? >> you shall know a man by his fruits. if you look at his fruits, he has five very accomplished, very respectful children out there on the campaign trail working for him. professionally, we know this
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election is coming down to jobs. the trump organization employs 22,000-plus employees. gives them health benefits, chances for people to go to school and have education. and those points right there, it's better than any billboard or slick commercial or any painful attack they try to hurl at him. that is exactly why his message is resonating with the american people because his actions speak louder than his words unlike some of the other candidates up there on the stage. >> scottie, something you said really sticks out. he should be diplomatic. and it sort of strikes me -- i don't know if this is what donald trump prides himself on. not having a diplomatic bone in his body. you really think he's going to go that direction? >> he's said, obviously, when you have 17 people on a stage like we started off with, you have to find a way to grab the attention and grab the headlines. now that we're narrowing it down we've seen him at different
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points in different debates where he's risen above the fray. we watched the children squabble between rubio and cruz knocking each other out on their senate records. chris christie, jeb bush at some point have all had a temper tantrum and trump has smiled or rolled his eyes and stayed above it and answered his questions back to the american people. the closer we get to the final nominee, he knows his job is to unify the gop and the american people behind him as they start to get ready to go against the democratic party. >> i want to ask you about a donald trump in a general election because i do think it's worth talking about now that he has put these string of wins together here i talk to a lot of establishment republicans who say they'd stay home and not vote for donald trump, not voting at all if he were to be the nominee. that would mean he'd need to get some support, perhaps even across the aisle, perhaps in the middle of the political
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spectrum. how does he moderate in a general election environment to pull in that kind of support? >> i have some sympathy for those establishment republicans because i've been in their shoes for the last two election cycles. we can talk about the different divisions that the republican party didn't go after is the reason we lost. we disenfranchised our gop base. now we're going to see the opposite and see who is the bigger number. the base of conservatives or these establishment folks. and the people that are saying that, i'm very disappointed. these are folks in leadership. they are supposed to be setting the example for the republican party and yet they are acting like the children in the back seat of the car. the car needs to be pulled over and they need to be spanked at this point. mr. trump, when you go to his rallies you don't see one demographic. you see a diversity. with the majority of these people as these numbers are coming back in, are people who have never been engaged before.
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they haven't been involved. as we saw last night in nevada, we saw that he won with hispanics even out of the two hispanic names on the ballot. so i don't think we know exactly the power that he's been able to have his message. in the end it comes down to the economy and security. i think that is what the american people, regardless of what party you're in, that's what you care for. >> do you think he makes a play and how could he do this successfully, for sanders' supporters of whom many do not like hillary clinton? >> oh, absolutely. when you sit there -- if i was a sanders supporter right now, i'd be so angry at this idea of super delegates. today we saw harry reid come out and endorse hillary clinton. harry reid served next to bernie sanders for 20 years. when you see people are behind the democratic party are behind bernie sanders for whatever reason, it's hard to sit there and slap their opinion across the face by this idea of super delegates who are more of the
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establishment, getting to choose a candidate over the people. of course, he goes to their play. the difference between the two of them, for bernie sanders, he wants to give the people the fish. mr. trump wants to teach them how so they can continue. and i think once he can start to resonate that message with them, i think you'll see a lot of those folks who it's their natural desire to stand on their own two feet and not be in play to the government and possibly come over and join the trump camp. >> scottie hughes, stay with me. many more questions ahead. donald trump is feeling pretty confident. how do we know? he's talking about who he might pick for a vice presidential running mate. we'll have more on that ahead.
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donald trump is solidly leading the republican presidential field after his victory in nevada. it's his third straight win. now he's talking openly about a possible running mate. we're back with trump supporter and tea party activist scottie hughes to talk about this. this is probably one of the most interesting stories of the day. trump talking about this today, possible vp picks. let's listen. >> i do want somebody that's political because i want to get lots of great legislation that we all want passed that's just sitting there for years and years and years we have things sitting there that would be so good, including proper health care and other things. we're going to probably choose someone that's somewhat political. >> so political which i think, you know, maybe we read to be someone more of a political insider, has a little more washington institutional knowledge. let me know if i'm wrong on that. but he didn't name names here. you thinking of anyone he may be evaluating? >> i have a couple of my
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favorites. don't take this the wrong way. the vp slot was really meant for somebody who was kind of pretty. we never really knew what the vp did. always there to be the nice guy of the group. in this case with mr. trump knowing he's going to have to go in there and be miley cyrus on a wrecking ball to destroy all the bureaucracy and all the -- i know. take that image. >> i've got it. >> i'm sorry. but take out all of this riffraff that's been built up for the last eight years. he's going to revoke president obama's executive order, as many as he can. the vp slot is somebody we don't also need to think of as a vice president but somebody since it's going to be a long-term process that will eventually run into being president, will take over when mr. trump is done with his administration. so i think -- >> okay, but, scottie, i cannot let you -- okay, go, go, go. you were -- tell us what you think.
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>> i know how to work with you. you know, personally, i can see him looking to former presidential candidates. ones he worked with on stage. mike huckabee was not just wearing a trump tie to be nice. i think mike huckabee would be a good choice for evangelicals. i think senator marco rubio. the one issue he disagrees about with him oimmigration, mr. trump is pretty smart. i wish cruz would still be in the running but i think the bromance has gone into a full divorce. you'd also look at giuliani, gingrich. he'll look to his cabinet for some of those folks as well. >> what about, you know, some of the female candidates. is nikki haley out because she endorsed marco rubio? do you think sarah palin would be out? perhaps maybe she's run before but maybe she's not enough of a washington inside er. >> i don't think it's going to be a sarah palin. i think it could be a governor like a nikki haley. the problem is -- she gave her
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endorsement to marco rubio in south carolina and look what it did. absolutely nothing. i have a lot of respect for her. i would love to see a female candidate emerge. suzanna martinez's name. a couple -- joni ernst would be phenomenal to through out there. my own marsha blackburn in tennessee, a good friend of all of ours. there's a lot of great females as well. he's got lots of options. >> yeah, and joni ernst from iowa could be key. let me play something else. this is the sound of something else donald trump had too to say. >> we won the evangelicals. we won with young. we won with old. we won with highly educated. we won with poorly educated. i love the poorly educated. >> okay. so i think we know what he's saying. people who do not have a college education, he's performing better with them.
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do you think he could have chosen his words better than calling this group poorly educated? >> no. people have taken that's as an insult. i consider that to be absolutely to a certain extent a praise because those are the people on main street. those are the people who the decisions made by politicians in the beltway are affecting day-to-day. these are people losing their jobs as industries like carrier decide to go across the border. i don't think this is meant to be an insult. this is meant to show that everyday people are the ones hurting the most and these are people hurt by politicians like senator cruz, senator rubio who have been in d.c. and have done nothing to help them. some take it as an insult. i take it as a compliment that those are the people mr. trump is here to help. >> i wrote down those names you picked. we'll see if donald trump is the nominee. we'll revisit this and see how well you did and what you think your picks were for the vp. >> i feel like i'm back in
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school again. >> i know, right? it's a quiz. just ahead, more on trump. he's going to be center stage in tomorrow night's cnn republican presidential debate. under attack very likely from many sides. what is as stake for the gop front-runner. plus hillary clinton and bernie sanders. now she has the momentum. what can he do to slow her down in these final days of their fight for south carolina. you can't predict... the market. but at t. rowe price, we can help guide your investments through good times and bad. for over 75 years, our clients have relied on us to bring our best thinking to their investments so in a variety of market conditions... you can feel confident... ...in our experience. call a t. rowe price retirement specialist or your advisor ...to see how we can help make the most of your retirement savings. t. rowe price. invest with confidence.
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donald trump now leading the delegate count, more than 4-1 ahead of his closest rivals ted cruz and marco rubio after trump's overwhelming win in the nevada caucuses. i want to get more with cnn chief political analyst gloria borger, nia mallika henderson, mark preston and cnn senior political analyst and senior editor of the atlantic, ron brownstein. just a bonanza here are political insight. i'm so excited about this. we look at trump, this big win in nevada. is he unbeatable now, gloria? >> he's won three golds and a silver. >> not bad. >> at some point you have to say -- >> you are like the michael phelps of the -- is that what you say? >> that's right. and he's got his two chief opponents going after each other, which is also really good for him. right?
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and if this were any other candidate other than donald trump we'd be picking his vice president for him right now. maybe we'll do that anyway, but, you know, i think you have to say donald trump is on his way to this nomination. >> we are going to do a little exercise of picking his vp. but i want to ask you first, nia, looking at marco rubio. he'll have his chance in the debate to take aim at donald trump if he wants to. does he have it in him to go after him? >> that is the question about mrk. he spent a lot of his time going after ted cruz to some success. they are both kind of stuck in those 20s in vote they are getting but can he on stage do what a lot of the establishment wants the last establishment man standing man to do and that is take on donald trump. so far his theory of the case has been something will happen to donald trump. he'll implode on his own. >> that's worked. >> yeah, that's worked. >> but he's got to get those
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moderate and suburban voters trump is doing so well with. he has to present his case. he said he's not interested in doing that. i don't want to be the republican to tear down another republican, but he's clearly doing it with ted cruz. spotlight on him tomorrow. >> mark, what do you think? >> brianna, this campaign has been all about moments. everyone seems to have had a moment so far. quite frankly tomorrow night will be the biggest moment. as gloria said, right now donald trump appears to be on the fast track to the nomination. you have to go back to saturday where he had the clean kill in the south carolina primary. last night he just had such a big victory in nevada. republicans right now in washington are very worried but they are starting to come around to the fact that donald trump may become their nominee. i was talking to a republican earlier today who just said, we don't know what to do. it's really up to marco rubio and ted cruz right now to try to stop donald trump. and as nia says, we just don't
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know if marco rubio has it in him. he did go after donald trump at one point and that's when donald trump said that george w. bush was responsible for 9/11. marco rubio spoke up and said donald trump was wrong but that's really the only time. i expect tomorrow night, ted cruz, though, needs to go after donald trump. if he is not successful tomorrow night, then ted cruz is in deep, deep trouble. >> i agree. >> ron, i want to talk about this potentially who a running mate would be for donald trump. he's talking about it. and you have a very good sense of who he appeals to. and even who he doesn't. and i wonder if in a general election, where do you think -- especially i'm hearing from a lot of establishment republicans who say i would stay home. i'm not voting for donald trump. they are saying that in all seriousness. donald trump is going to be looking in other places for votes than i think someone else. some other republican who would be the nominee would be looking for votes. how do you see that playing out. which vp pick do you think would
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help him? >> it's a little early to be thinking about donald trump's vp picks. >> come on. come on. >> there's still another round of compition to go. but, look, i'm -- some are starting to wonder whether marco rubio is running for president with one eye on possibly being donald trump's vice president. it is striking that he has chosen not to make a stronger case against the front-runner at a moment of maximum vulnerability. you look at what's coming occupy march 1st. one set of contests in the south, arkansas, alabama, tennessee, oklahoma, texas. you have big evangelical and blue collar populations and that's a killing field for ted cruz. he has to do well there or it's hard to see him being viable. then more white collar and secular. minnesota, massachusetts, vermont, virginia. which really are do or die, i think, for john kasich and marco rubio. and then georgia. so there's an urgency here.
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if they cannot find a stronger argument against trump or a broader coalition against trump they'll be sitting there march second looking at a situation where he is i think, virtually impossible to stop. then you're talking about someone like rubio. the other name is one you mentioned before. joni ernst. especially if hillary clinton is the nominee. she is someone very popular with the insurgent parts of the republican party. the first woman elected statewide to senator or governor in iowa and could be an attractive choice. the more immediate problem is whether any of these candidates can find an argument or coalition that can slow down trump before march 1st. he may be able to win both fronts of this war. the plu front evangelical and white collar more secular outside of the south. >> if i were donald trump, i'd want these guys to keep staying in the race. >> yeah. >> i know trump talks about -- >> fighting for the same territory. >> destroying rubio in florida and cruz in texas.
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if i'm trump, let those guys continue in the race because -- he doesn't need to get to 50%. then he's fine. then the fight is easier for him in many ways. the question about rubio is, if he can't win florida and early, early polling shows trump ahead there, one day he may want to be governor of the state, it is -- >> it looks like maybe he is playing that long game. he's 44, 45 years old. he's got 10, 15 years ahead of him to be governor, maybe vice president, maybe to be president one day. if he sort of comes in second in this race, you know, that doesn't hurt him. maybe he wants to avoid trump because trump may bring some things out that may be damaging to him. >> we have more ahead. bernie sanders is trying to court african-american voters. so important in south carolina this saturday. and also looking ahead to southern states who will be going to the polls on super tuesday. we'll be talking about that.
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south carolina is the next big battleground for hillary clinton and bernie sanders. with the former secretary of state enjoying a double-digit lead and a big one at that in the polls ahead of saturday's primary. cnn's senior washington correspondent joe johns is in south carolina for us tonight. joe, clinton and sanders are
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making their case there to voters. they certainly did last night as well in the cnn town hall. >> that's very true, brianna. new line of attack for bernie sanders today accusing hillary clinton essentially of actively backing the 1996 welfare reform law that her husband, the president, signed into law. some activists have said that bill removed the social safety net for young children. the clinton campaign has said it reduced the child poverty rate. tonight another big endorsement for hillary clinton. >> i think the middle class would be better served by hillary. >> reporter: harry reid telling manu raju he's all in for the former secretary of state. >> she's a person who is a very quick learner. all you need to do is look what happened after 9/11. she did a good job. she fought for new york like i've never seen anyone fight.
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>> reporter: reid's announcement comes after clinton's victory in saturday's nevada caucuses and could give the democratic front-runner a boot heading into next week's super tuesday contest when demkratss vote in 1 1 states. looking to blunt clinton's momentum, bernie sanders is hitting the road. while clinton is keeping her focus on the next state up, south carolina, where she holds a big lead in the polls. >> it's a special treat for me to have this opportunity to spend some time with all of you. >> reporter: democrats in the palmetto state will cast their ballots on saturday. while sanders splits his focus with other states, he says he's not conceding the first in the south primary to his rival. >> we're not writing off south carolina. you all know on march 1st there are a dozen states holding elections. and the nature of the world is that we've got to go out.
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>> reporter: south carolina played host to cnn's town hall tuesday night providing both candidates an opportunity to make their case to african-american voters who account for over half the democratic electorate there. >> our experiences may not equip us to understand what a lot of our african-american fellow citizens go through every single day. >> when youths unemployment in the african-american community for high school graduates is 51%, 51% unemployed or underemployed, we've got a plan to invest in jobs and education, not jails and incarceration. >> reporter: sanders again attacking clinton for not releasing transcripts of her paid speeches to goldman sachs. >> i am happy to release all of my paid speeches to wall street. here it is, chris. there ain't none. >> reporter: clinton stating she would comply if republicans agree to do the same but
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countering that she's being held to a higher standard. >> will you agree to release these transcripts. they've become an issue. >> sure, if everybody does it, and that includes the republicans. why is there one standard for me and not for everybody else. i mean -- >> reporter: bernie sanders continues on his road tour tomorrow to ohio, michigan, minnesota and illinois. the clinton campaign announcing former president bill clinton will join the get out the vote effort here in south carolina on thursday. brianna? >> thank you, joe johns. and a sudden change of tone by president obama now offering sympathy for republican lawmakers vowing to ignore any supreme court nomination he makes. tonight we're learning a gop governor is among those on the president's short list to replace the late justice antonin scalia. michelle kosinski has the latest on this. how is the president's rhetoric on this changing? >> just about a week ago we heard the president slamming
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republicans for their stance on this, the venom, the rancor in the politics. today he took nearly ten minutes while sitting there with the king of jordan to carefully make his case. this time using phrases like he understands the political pressures involved. he recognizes that. even that he's sympathetic. one day after top senate republicans insisted they will not hold hearings or even meet with the president's nominee -- >> this decision ought to be made by the next president. >> reporter: president obama launched into a nearly ten-minute impromptu speech on why this should happen. >> i think it will be very difficult for mr. mcconnell to explain how if the public concludes this person is very well qualified that the senate should stand in the way simply for political reasons. >> reporter: the president expressed frustration just days ago. >> we've almost gotten accustomed to how obstructionist
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the senate's become when it comes to nominations. >> reporter: today a strikingly different tone. >> i understand the posture that they are taking right now. i am sure they are under enormous pressure. i'm simp thetsic. i recognize the politics are hard for them. >> reporter: the president himself joining a filibuster against now justice samuel alito in 2006. something the white house says he now regrets. president obama also postod scotus blog, optimistically added, as senators prepare to fulfill their constitutional responsibility to consider the person i appoint, i hope they'll move quickly. now comes word that one of those potential nominees currently being vetted in that big black binder is republican governor ryan sandoval. >> i know if he were picked, i would support the man. he's a good person. >> governor sandoval's office
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says he's not been in touch with the white house on this although that doesn't mean he's not being vetted. the white house is trying to set up a meeting with leadership in the senate judiciary committee but it's unclear if and when that meeting will happen or if people would be willing to show up other than a democrat senator leahy. brianna? >> michelle kosinski, thank you for that report. we're back with our experts. i have to acknowledge. did you see that binder? the binder full of justices. he's walking down near the c collenade there. this report that michelle put out, is the president serious about nominating a republican governor? and there's -- i mean, there's a lot of calculus here. he's saying to republicans, you won't even have a hearing for one of your own. >> i think harry reid, first of all, in raising this publicly is kind of tweaking the republicans -- >> it's somewhat like him to do
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that. >> i don't think harry reid is really advising the president on whom to nominate for the supreme court. but, you know, and i think the president is going to nominate the person he thinks he wants on the court who, by the way, is willing to take the nomination, okay? because it's kind of a nonstarter. so that's a whole other ball of wax there. so sandoval is not popular with republicans. he's raised taxes. >> he's for abortion. >> that's huge. >> he is latino, though, right? and -- >> oh, that will do it. >> in the midst of this campaign where latinos are going to be so important and then you have the republicans kind of stonewalling against somebody who is not only one of their own but also latino. the politics in that way could work for this white house. but we'll see. >> it's a base motivator for both sides. >> it is a base motivator for either side. it's historically been a challenge for democrats to get
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their voters to really be into this idea of, you know, their vote matters when it comes to supreme court nominees. you think this is something that is really going to get them going to the polls? >> well, it's interesting. this is more tangible than it's ever been. it's always been an abtract idea. justices could step down, could pass away. there could be openings. you have the balance of a court possibly for the next 10 or 15 years at stake, clearly, in this election. and i do think that particularly with the polarizing nature of both candidacies, donald trump and hillary clinton, that really adds something. if they are the nominees. if you are kelly ayotte or pat toomey in pennsylvania, one of these swing states, you really want to answer the question of are you going to be the decisive vote to allow donald trump or ted cruz to set the balance on the court. and some of the more conservative leaning states, that's a difficult question for
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democratic candidates. this will be more tangible than it has been in the past assuming they don't confirm anyone. you have eight justices. the next president gets to appoint what could be the decisive voice at a time the supreme court is becoming more importent because of the frequent stalemates between the president and congress. >> it's going to motivate voters when it comes to these senate races. also this idea, there's no doubt a sandoval nomination would put senate republicans in a tough spot because several of them are up for re-election in bluer states. is there anyone you think might consider break with gop leadership and saying, hey, let's give him a hearing? >> well, listen. if governor sandoval is nominated by president obama, it really puts republicans in a tough position for a couple of reasons. he is a republican, despite the fact that some of his positions are not embraced by many in the
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party. he is hispanic. he is an accomplished legislator. and as well as a jurist as well. and the fact is, if he gets offered up, republicans in many ways are going to have to give him a hearing and give him a vote. here's the reason why as well. what if hillary clinton what if hillary clinton wins? what if hillary clinton becomes the nominee? what if she wins? who is she going to put on the court at point? it's certainly someone who is going to be more liberal than sandoval. in many ways if that happens, then it is going to put republicans in a quandary, but i will tell you democrats right now, certainly liberals, are starting to raise red flags against sandoval. this is going to be interesting. >> carving out support on either side, which would doom him as well. let's talk about south carolina and super tuesday for democrats because the name of the game
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here is attracting support from black voters. bernie sanders, he is so far behind hillary clinton on this. digging into her margins. >> i think that's what it is. we saw him try to do that last night at that town hall, coming out and embracing barack obama. saying one of the reasons people are stone walling on the supreme court issue with barack obama is because he is african-american. killer mike is out there. spike lee has a radio ad that he cut in south carolina. if he can cut into the margins and attract younger african-americans who are twice as likely to become sanders than hillary clinton, then he might be able to make some noise in south carolina. it'll probably still be -- it's still going to be a bit of a divide down there, but he's got
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to not get blown out first on saturday and then super tuesday. >> if he doesn't do better with black voters and hispanic voters -- >> he had 22%, i think, in nevada. >> in entrance polls, i won. but you had the hillary clinton campaign saying when you look at hispanic precincts, it went for hillary. >> he has to appeal to a more diverse electorate. he's got young people, which is great. he's just got to make it much more diverse if he's going to run a national campaign because that's the democratic constituency in urban america. >> thank you guys so much. really appreciate you being on the panel tonight. just ahead, growing skepticism of russia's intentions of a cease-fire in syria. does the u.s. have a plan b?
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a partial cease-fire in syria set to take effect in just three days, but the u.s. is growing increasingly skeptical about russia's intentions and is now being forced to consider a plan b. barbara starr is working the latest for us. >> reporter: the pentagon is increasingly worried that the russian military is rewriting the map of syria. heavy air strikes and syrian forces try to take a key town in the northwest after isis moved in. fighting isis is still fair game
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under a cease-fire that is just days away from going into effect. but russian and regime forces are dramatically reshaping the battlefield before the agreed stop in fighting with the rebels. the british foreign secretary making it all public. >> what we have seen over the last weeks is very disturbing evidence of coordination between syrian kurdish forces, the syrian regime, and the russian air force. >> reporter: u.s. intelligence indicates kurds in the west are working with the russians to attack moderates the u.s. supports. it's all putting russian influence potentially in control of the border area next to turkey, a nato ally. tonight, u.s. uncertainty about moscow's compliance runs high. >> there's a significant discussion taking place now about plan b in the effect that
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we don't succeed. >> reporter: the pentagon also doubtful. >> i think there's a certain dose of skepticism. >> reporter: russia says it will comply with the cease-fire, but if it does not, what is plan b? several u.s. officials say there could be more sanctions on russia or pressure on russia to stop what washington says is indiscriminate bombing of civilians, but for now plan b stops short of any u.s. military action. the u.s. already flies under the eye of russian radars across syria a u.s. official tells cnn. that would be a dramatic escalation and risk isis getting its hands on them as well. the next thing the pentagon is watching is russian maneuvering around raqqah, the capital of
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isis in syria. brianna. >> thank you so much. thank you so much for spending time with us here in "the situation room." outfront next, donald trump on a major victory lap, even talking about his vp pick. plus sanders accusing trump of racism against obama. new details tonight about the uber driver charged with killing six strangers. what he is saying to investigators behind closed doors tonight. let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm erin burnett. outfont tonight, a quote, bombshell, in trump's taxes. that's what

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