tv Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans CNN February 25, 2016 2:00am-3:01am PST
costco, nordstrom and amazon and wegman's. 59 minutes past the hour. "early start" continues right now. in hours, republicans running for president take the debate stage. five competitors remaining. frontrunner donald trump has a big target on his back. good morning. welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans in new york. >> and i'm john berman live in houston, texas. this is the site of the cnn republican debate. it is thursday, february 25th. 5:00 a.m. in the east. i'm standing at the university of houston. a beautiful campus. a quiet campus at 4:00 a.m. local time. hours from now, it will be noisy. the five remaining candidates face-off in the debate. all four candidates not named
donald trump know this could be their last chance. could be their only chance left to knock donald trump off his perch and slow his momentum. three wins in a row. now a national polls, donald trump ahead of ted cruz and marco rubio with john kasich and ben carson in single digits. it is not the national polls that matter. it is the state contests. trump has won three in a row. won nevada big. he is polling ahead in the states that vote on tuesday. next tuesday. super tuesday. so many delegates available there. all of the other candidates swear they can win this thing. they swear they can beat trump. they just need to get him one-on-one. >> donald is formidable. people are ticked off. they are furious with politicians in both parties that have been lying to them. i think donald's support is a manifestation of that. what the polling data shows is that head-to-head, donald against me, we beat donald
handily. we beat him by 16 points. 56 to 40. >> our tactics will not dramatically change. the biggest change is when the people not named donald trump, the choices begin to narrow and we give the republican voters a choice who they want to get behind. >> with fewer candidates, i think maybe a possibility, i'm not sure it will has been, but possibly people may start getting interested in the solutions to the real problems. >> for those that wonder about donald trump. if i go head-to-head with him in ohio, i beat him by 18 points. >> that's everyone now running against donald trump. right now, donald trump is not just dealing with them. he is also dealing with mitt romney. more on that in a moment. right now, donald trump also looking behind the primaries a bit. some talk about the general election now. cnn's phil mattingly was with donald trump in virginia. >> reporter: good morning.
donald trump taking a bit of a victory lap after the nevada caucuses and now looking ahead to the general election with hillary clinton. >> she has become a marshmallow. it is wonderful. man, i tell you, her life could not be so easy. what she's done is so wrong and unfair. it looks like she'll be the nominee and it looks like nothing will happen. it will be something that will be discussed. it will be discussed often. >> reporter: now donald trump will be traveling across the deep south in the days ahead. the nod to the super tuesday s.e.c. primary where 25% of available delegates will be up for grabs. if you talk to gop operatives across the different campaigns, there is a concern that donald trump has momentum that can't be halted. the s.e.c. primary coming up, but winner take all events on
march 15th. ohio. governor kasich of ohio and then florida, where senator marco rubio can strike. and one thing to keep an eye on is the cnn debate in houston tonight. full frontal attacks on donald trump. look toward cruz and rubio. the two battling it out for second place trying to make a statement tonight. very wary donors and supporters wanting that move to happen quickly. john and christine. >> tonight is a big night. thanks to phil mattingly for that. a lot of talk about donald trump versus mitt romney after the last republican nominee calling on donald trump to release his taxes. trump has a new stance on the issue. the billionaire businessman leaving open the possibility he will not release his taxes. he told anderson cooper he will make a determination over the next couple months. this came in response to
speculation from mitt romney that donald trump might have something to hide. >> frankly, we have good reason to believe there is a bombshell in donald trump's taxes. i think there is something there. either he is not as wealthy as he says he is or hasn't been paying the taxes we expect him to pay or perhaps he hasn't been giving money to the vets or to the disabled like he has been telling us he has been doing. and i think the reason that i think there's a bombshell in there is because every time he is asked about his taxes, he dodges and delays and says we're working on it. >> my returns are complex. i'm new orleao no rush to do it. tax returns are complicated. i have many companies. i have tremendously -- a very
complex system of taxes. frankly, i get audited every year. so, you know, unlike everybody else who never gets audited, i get audited every year which is not fair. we will make a determination over the next couple of months. it is very complicated. >> donald trump versus mitt romney. all of it prologue to the debate tonight. all roads lead to the university of houston. the site of the cnn presidential debate. let's bring in steven sloan. he joins me here. it is not texas warm. it is texas cold. >> it is chilly. >> the big things you are watching for tonight? >> cruz and rubio. how do they take on trump. this is pivotal. it will come down to whether anybody can come down to the
stage over donald trump. just with so much momentum and now he is going into super tuesday as the undisputed frontrunner. >> and marco rubio and ted cruz. >> ted cruz is not even coming in a close second to donald trump. that is raising questions if somebody can emerge as the alternative to donald trump. >> what about marco rubio? he has been so hesitant to go after donald trump to engage him really in any way. it is as if he is ignoring the trump cana trump candidacy. >> he is trying. he is looking at jeb bush, who was the most vocal in taking on donald trump. he is no longer in the race.
i don't think marco rubio wants to be in his shoes. >> what about the idea? you hear from a lot of pundits who say ted cruz, stop talking about marco rubio. focus your attention on trump. can he just ignore marco rubio? can he say i will not pay attention to marco rubio and amnesty? >> i think you can't just ignore marco rubio to get to trump. at this point, you have to resolve this fight between ted cruz and marco rubio. focusing on trump is great, but if you don't resolve the question of who will emerge as the alternative, cruz versus rubio, you can't get there. >> we are sitting in houston, in texas at the university of houston. texas is a super tuesday state. you know, next week. next tuesday. five days from now. the single biggest day in the primary season. more delegates at stake than any other day in the primary season. >> this will be ground zero in
many ways on super tuesday. it is crucial for ted cruz. he has to win this state. it is the state he represents in the senate. you know, he is favored to win here. trump and rubio will give him a challenge and squeeze him out of the race. if he loses this state, it will be devastated. >> he has a lot of campaign events over the next few days in his home state. if he plotted this out months ago, he would like to campaign in other states. >> he spent months plotting the southern strategy and georgia and alabama and oklahoma. i'm sure he would rather campaign there shoring up those states than spend time in his state. he has to win here. >> when they on the stage tonight, do you think the candidates talk beyond? john kasich. he has a second place finish in new hampshire. he says he is staying in it.
how does he approach the stage tonight? can he continue to be above the fray and focus on his state primary on march 15th or does he need to engage? >> this strategy is working for him. he stays above it and taking a different approach than cruz and rubio and trump. i think he will try to continue that to see if he can get to later states. michigan is a big state for him. >> and the last time we saw the republicans on stage together. you heard demolition derby. do you think it goes that way? >> i think we will see fireworks tonight. we have a lot of pent up energy in the gop. everybody is looking to super tuesday. it will be all on stage. >> all on stage. all right here at the university of houston. steven sloan. thank you. wolf blitzer will moderate.
five candidates on the stage. will there be five candidates tomorrow? the cnn republican presidential debate 8:30 p.m. here on cnn. you know, debate matching parties all over campus planned, christine. you can see the signs all about here. the excitement is building. they know that they lucked into a very big deal in the nominating season. >> absolutely. you look at the field. ted cruz, the only other candidate to win a state. we are talking about the candidates to win their home states to stay alive. when has this been the thing, the only thing you have that can keep you going? >> you have to go back generations. it used to be a thing. nominate their governor to send them to the convention. that has not happened in 50 years. now all of a sudden it is possible that that is the only way to block donald trump. margaret hoover says it is not
about beating donald trump, it is all about blocking donald trump. >> donald trump has disrupted the playbook making it so important and interesting every single moment of the next week. john berman in houston for us. thank you. go get a cup of coffee. new information this morning. president obama's pick to fill the supreme court vacancy could be someone the republicans will have a tough time refusing. that's next. pure is big, bold and just better. pure is mccormick.
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i know if he were picked, he is a great person and has a great record. >> gop leaders in the senate have said they will not consider any election year nominee to replace justice antonin scalia on the supreme court. apple ceo tim cook speaking out on the privacy fight with the fbi. cook telling abc news apple has helped investigators, but apple stopped short of creating a so-called back door with the potential of unlocking any iphone. cook calls it a matter of public safety. >> this case is not about one phone. this case is about the future. what is at stake here is can the government compel apple to write software that we believe would make hundreds of millions of customers vulnerable around the world, including the u.s. and you have to write that system in
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tying the nba record making a three-pointer in his 127th consecutive regular season game. he had 42 points. klay thompson was red hot in the fourth. scoring 15 straight points. he finished with 33. warriors beat the heat, 118-112. now 51-5 on the season. the nfl combine is under way in indianapolis. surprise early entrant in the draft is running back peyton barber. he decided to forego his last two years of eligible because his mother is currently homeless. >> there are things i'm going through with my family. she is staying with my sister with her and her three kids. staying in an apartment back home. >> barber is projected to be a middle round pick in april's draft. earlier this week, it was reported that tiger woods was struggling in his recovery from
back surgery. to debunk the reports, tiger posted this video of him in the simulator progressing. rory mcilroy tweeted while you're on your feet, would you do a few calf raises? poking fun at his skinny legs. if you are tiger woods, you can't skip leg day. >> never skip leg day. thanks, andy. could tonight cement donald trump's frontrunner status in the race? five taking the stage in the cnn debate in hours. that's a big target on his back. we will tell you the new attack strategies next.
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be able to take him down? welcome back to "early start." i'm christine romans in new york. big day in politics. >> indeed. i'm john berman live in houston. 31 minutes past the hour right now. this is the university of houston where just hours from now the five remaining presidential candidates face-off in the cnn town hall debate. what a moment this will be. what a beautiful campus this is. you can see the calm, the still over this campus right now. it will not be that way tonight. not at all. expect fireworks. all four candidates not named donald trump know this could be their last chance to knock trump off his perch. the last chance to slow him momentum. in the national polls, ted cruz and marco rubio are running second and third and john kasich and ben carson behind. trump has won three state contests in a row. he has momentum and he's leading
in a lot of polls heading into next tuesday. super tuesday as we like to call it. all the other candidates know they have a lot of of work to do. they say they can do it. they can beat donald trump if only they can get him one-on-one. >> donald is formidable. people are furious with washington and politicians and people lying to them. donald's support is manifestation of that. what the polls show head-to-head, donald against me, we beat donald handily. we beat him 56 to 40. >> our tactics will not dramatically change. the changes will be when people not named donald trump and choices narrow and we give the voters a clearer choice who they want to get behind. >> with fewer candidates, i think maybe there's a possibility, i'm not sure it will happen, but a possibility that people will actually start
getting interested in the real solutions to the problems. >> by the way, for those that wonder about donald trump, if i go head-to-head with him in ohio, i beat him by 18 points. >> all four current candidates want their chance to take a swing at donald trump. and a former candidate taking a swing at donald trump. mitt romney. more on that in a minute. we have cnn's phil mattingly with donald trump. >> reporter: good morning, john. the victory lap for donald trump after the nevada caucuses and looking ahead to hillary clinton. >> boy, oh, boy. she has become a marshmallow. everything the president does is wonderf wonderful. what she has done is so wrong
and unfair. it looks like she will be the nominee and it looks like nothing will happen. it will be discussed. it will be discussed often, often. >> reporter: donald trump will be traveling across the deep south in the days ahead in the nod to super tuesday s.e.c. primary where 25% of available delegates will be up for grabs. if you talk to gop operatives across the campaigns, donald trump has momentum that cannot be halted. and the winner take all states like ohio and florida and governor kasich of ohio. guys, there is an urgency coming about the campaign. one thing to keep an eye on is the cnn debate in houston tonight. full frontal attacks on trump. look toward ted cruz and marco rubio. the two battling it out for second place trying to make a
statement tonight. wary supporters wanting to make that move quickly. tonight may be the night. john and christine. >> tonight is the night where we will see a lot on that stage here at the university of houston. this morning, a lot of talk about donald trump versus mitt romney after the last republican nominee called on the current frontrunner to be the next republican nominee called on donald trump to release his taxes. this morning, donald trump as seems to be a new stance on that issue. the billionaire businessman leading off the possibility he will not release his taxes. he told anderson cooper he will consider it in next couple months. this leads to the issue of trump may have something to hide. >> frankly, we have reason to believe there is a bombshell in trump's taxes. either he is not as wealthy as he says he is or he hasn't been paying the kind of taxes we
expect him to pay or perhaps he hasn't been giving money to the vets or to the disabled like he has been telling us he has been doing. that is the reason i think there is a bombshell. every time he is asked about his taxes, he dodges and delays and says we're working on it. >> my returns are complex. i'll make a determination at the right time. nobody is bringing it up except mitt romney. the reason he is bringing it up is he lost in the last election and lost badly. tax returns are complicated. i have many companies. i have, you know, tremendously -- i have a very complex system of taxes. frankly, i get audited every year. so, you know, mine, unlike everybody else who never gets audited, i get audited every year which i think is unfair. i go through large audits. we will make a determination over the next couple of months.
it is very complicatecomplicate. >> the new tax battle. will it come up in the debate here at the university of houston? let's talk about that and more. let's bring in managing editor steven sloan. do you think this is an opportunity for the other candidates? one they might seize on? >> it is one that will come up. a new line of attack that is developing over the last 24 hours. for donald trump, you know, he has no reason to change his position. this is a great opportunity for him to go up against the establishment. you know, romney personifies the establishment for many republicans. by rejecting romney's appeal, any countering romney, trump builds the anti-establishment cred. >> it took two seconds to respond. mitt romney was so awkward when i came to get an endorsement four years ago.
i think trump is eager to take that swing. >> i'm looking at how cruz and rubio will behave on the stage and go after trump. trump is the one with the bull's-eye on his back. everybody wants to see if they can dent his armor. it comes down to cruz and rubio as to whether they can become the alternative to trump. they are vying for that. they finish closely to each other in the past several contests. they are desperate to take the other out and become that alternative to trump. >> it is interesting. donald trump has literally been front and center. he skipped one debate. he has been leading in the polls. he has been at the center of the stage every time. there have been some debates where he was able to drift in the background because there were most candidates. tonight, there are five. there is no background. can he withstand a full debate of pounding in.
>> i think that is one of the interesting things. there can be more of a conversation and more attack lines, if you will, coming at trump. you know, when he is attacked, he likes to attack back. he has done that with jeb bush on the stage. jeb bush perhaps the leading candidate going after trump. he is no longer in the race. when he is attacked, he loves to fight back. >> one question people are asking what about marco rubio? he has ignored donald trump in the campaign. does marco rubio have to start engaging with the man running away with the nomination? if he does, how does trump respond? >> if you are marco rubio and you are looking around at the others going after trump, they are no longer in the race. it wasn't a fun experience for him. he doesn't see incentive to do
that. >> what about ted cruz? where we are is at the university of houston in texas. texas part of super tuesday. most delegates at stake here on super tuesday. ted cruz needs to win here. he has endorsement of the governor and the former governor rick perry. >> you know, he is doing a lot of campaigning here. i'm sure he would like to campaign broadly across the south. he staked super tuesday on winning georgia and oklahoma and alabama. he is campaigning here. texas is going to be crucial to him. if he loses texas, it is not only the place with the most delegates, but it is his state. >> five seconds left. if he this don't shake donald trump tonight in a substantial way, does this mean he ends up the nominee? >> i think he is the undisputed frontrunner. >> thank you, steven sloan.
those five remaining presidential candidates, donald trump, plus the other four, they meet on the stage here in houston, texas tonight at the university of houston. wolf blitzer moderating the debate at 8:30 p.m. tonight here on cnn. christine. >> to use a "star wars" analogy. it is like donald trump is the death star. which candidate is luke skywalker to take him down or can they? >> that's a great analogy. they have to stay on target. for marco rubio, staying on target is meaning not going after the target. he has not taken any swings at donald trump. i'm not sure he can do that for much longer. on a stage with five people, it is as if he will be forced. whether it be in the questions or from trump or from ted cruz. he will be forced into some exchange with donald trump where i'm not sure he can dodge it. it will be very interesting to
see that dynamic among all the others. >> john, may the force be with you tonight as you stay up and watch that and find out what will happen. the republican establishment at least hopes one of those jedi fighters can take him down. donald trump and his supporters, they say they are the good guys. so interesting. john, thank you so much. new information. the president obama's pick to fill the supreme court vacancy could be someone the republicans will have a tough time refusing. that's next. and here. and here. here. and here. uh, here. also in here. back there. behind here. even next to these guys, here. in the nation's largest, independent study, rootmetrics just named verizon number one network for the fifth time in a row, here. so when the other guys claim they're the best, remember: there's only one, number one. and now we'll pay up to $650 to switch to the best network. this one right here.
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cnn learned one vetted is republican brian sandoval. harry reid knows him well. >> i don't pick the justices. i know if he were picked, i would support the man. he's a good person. he has a great record and he has been a tremendously good governor. >> gop leaders in senate said they will not consider any election year nominee to replace justice antonin scalia on the supreme court. apple's ceo tim cook speaking out on the privacy fight with the fbi. cook telling abc news that apple helped investigators, but stopped short of creating a so-called back door with the potential to unlock any iphone. not just the one that belonged to the san bernardino terrorist. cook calls it a matter of public safety. >> this case is not about one phone. this case is about the future. what is at stake here is can the government compel apple to write
software that we believe would make hundreds of millions of customers vulnerable around the world including the u.s. >> and you have to write that system in order to unlock that phone? >> yes. the only way we know would be to write a piece of software that we view as the software equivalent of cancer. we think it is bad news to write. we would never write it. we have never written it. that is what is as stake here. >> new details emerging about the uber driver charged with killing six in kalamazoo, michigan. police removed 15 firearms from jason dalton's home. a friend of dalton's says he is a staunch supporter of the second amendment. he said he was concerned recent mass shootings could lead to gun control. the deadly storm system that hit the south is slamming the east coast. killing several in virginia, including a 2-year-old boy.
this is the destruction 50 miles south of richmond. a mobile home torn away and hitting a church. >> i was seeing my garage was gone. my camper was gone. my mother's garage was gone. i caught this in the corner of my eye when i ran to her house to make sure she was okay. her roof is gone. i stepped up in what was left of the house. i same mom, are you okay. i said, oh, my gosh. i'm okay. >> major storm damage in lancaster county, pennsylvania. tornado tearing off rooftops. if you are flying today, check with your carrier. the storm system caused thousands of cancellations with more than 300 flights canceled this morning. let's look at what is coming up on "new day." chris cuomo joins me. >> i'm cold. i'm cold, christine.
>> borrow berman's sweater. >> this is berman's jacket. it is cold in houston. it's like under 50 degrees here right now. >> you can barely move your mouth. >> it is very interesting. i was also eating an apple. you know the metaphor? this place is easily underrated. it seems like hype. everything's big. everything is high stakes. sometimes it is hype. this is not hype. why? decisions must be made tonight on the debate stage. will marco rubio make a decision to go at donald trump? you can easily analyze that either way. we will do that for you this morning. what will ted cruz do? he will go after rubio. they are very tight. will he? we will make the case for why and why not on his front as well. we will have preview and analysis of everything that can
happen tonight and the mascinations. we have a issue on two fronts. what mitt romney suggested about donald trump's taxes. ironic with romney. nothing illegal, but hurt him politically. and then what is going on the weather events you were just talking about, christine. the country needs to pay attention. >> all right. chris cuomo, warm up. you will share berman's stadium blanket and get ready for your show. >> smells like cheese. >> apples and cheese. stocks taken on a big ride over the past week. it pays to stay in the market. i'll tell you why next. in a lot. like look at a site without going to it. or watch a video without opening it. you can do pretty much everything faster. shooting stuff. music stuff.
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is set to start saturday. it is still not clear how it will be implemented or what happens next if it does not take hold. the u.s. and russia trying to hammer out details by friday. it is a complicated agreement. inside the pentagon, a lot of mistrust when it comes to moscow motives. senior correspondent nick paton walsh has the latest from beirut. >> reporter: under 24 hours until everybody to say yes and the guns to fall silent between friday and saturday night. we hope the guns drawn in the last few days will come silent. there are serious questions. some of the syrian groups said they will not sign on to this. the political opposition said and they will sign on to it, too, but some have said the towns in which rebels are al qaeda, which means they can
technically target al qaeda rebels. a lot can still could wrong. a lot about the showmanship of washington and al qaeda trying to fix a world problem. the key issue here is if isis and face of al qaeda in syria, the nusra front, are not part of the deal, does that give enough last taug latitude, is that enough to attack the syrian regime groups? there is where it could fall apart. >> five years of civil war. people want aid. thank you. let's get an early start on your money. dow futures are down. oil is down. prices seem to have stabilized a bit. decent gains in europe stock market, but drop in shanghai. oil prices with the dow in two
slim losses and a rally and more gains yesterday. put that all together, the net change for the dow is plus 32 points. basically right where we started. stocks essentially in recovery mode. some analysts say the worst is over. real important point. if you sell and get out on big down day, you miss the run-up on the other side. possibly some discounted deals on stock prices. reminder in the volatility, stay the course. have a long term strategy. you will never out smart the market. we are hours from the cnn republican presidential debate. "new day" picks up coverage of that right now. >> it is everything. churches are gone. >> my truck went up in the air. >> all i can do is hold on tight. >> initially the debates look
like the phone book. >> people have not done very well against me. >> we need to elect someone prepared to be president. >> they are all coping me. he is nervous. >> the time for the clowns and acrobats and dancing bears has passed. >> there's a lot at stake in the election. all you have to do is listen to the other side. >> what this campaign is about is telling you the truth. >> we have to tackle systemic racism. >> we will not tolerate raisism and bigotry. >> i will do everything i can to good morning and welcome to your "new day." it's thursday, february 25th, 6:00 in the east. we are in houston where it is cold, but tonight it will be hot at the cnn republican debate, the final chance for the men chasing trump to make a play
ahead of super tuesday, but there's something much more important than politics going on, and let's get to alisyn in new york. tornados carving the path of destruction from florida to pennsylvania, leaving dozens of homes damaged and destroyed and four people, including a 2-year-old boy, were killed in virginia. this morning, more than 100,000 homes without power. let's get to cnn meteorologist, chad meyers, with breaking details. what are you seeing today, chad? >> it's better today, yesterday and the day before, a lot like april and may, certainly not february. another deadly round of storms pummeling states up and down the east coast. >> he opened the front door and when he did, he says, mama,