tv Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans CNN February 26, 2016 2:00am-3:01am PST
>> it was like john kasich was the last guy standing. the nice guy. the default option if all else fails. marco rubio was talking about taking it to the convention. it is like everyone keeps trying to extend their firewall more and more. no one can really believe that donald trump will be the nominee. they are all setting up scenarios where maybe i'll get it this way or that way. no one can come to terms with the fact that donald trump might roll through super tuesday. they all kind of have a strategy that they think is somewhat plausible. >> it is the second stage of grief. it's called denial. >> none of those strategies include actual wins. that's the problem. >> the problem is when you get into a room with donors, which is where this brokered convention idea was brought up, the first question out of their
mouth is what is your path to victory? if you get to march 15th without a win in a single state, you have to come out of the box. you talked about cruz in texas and kasich in ohio, marco in florida. the timing is important. for cruz, it comes on tuesday. he will get a bump on that. kasich and marco have to wait another 15 days. >> if they win their home states, how does it fundamentally or does it and can it and will it change the dynamics of the race? >> if think don't win it. >> let's say tuesday, cruz wins, has a healthy margin. it is proportional. donald trump will still get delegates. so then if rubio and kasich both win on the 15th, trump wins the
rest. >> they get to stand on a podium and actually give a victory speech associated with a victory. >> i think you saw the beginning of the dump trump movement in realtime on the stage. marco rubio and ted cruz teaming up. let's say cruz wins texas. a lot of people on the stop trump at any cost train will say, you know what? maybe ted cruz is our guy. this is going on. we have to remember how fast this primary calendar has been designed. things change fast in the environment. >> they designed it in hopes of getting an early nominee. here is the question for you. where's the big money? if you thought that cruz and rubio effectively presented the arguments tonight and on a consistent basis, you can stop trump. where's the republican super pacs to go after donald trump? >> the thing i thought was
interesting in the last 48 hours is mitt romney pushing the attacks out there. i don't know what the donors will do. a lot of them are scared and in the press talking about it. there's a lot of people on the sidelines. governor perry, chris christie. people who were in the race, if they decided to start throwing bombs in the press forcing trump to answer questions, it could have an effect. >> if you are marco rubio or ted cruz, do you start to have press conferences with some of the polish workers? do you have people from trump university who are suing trump at a press conference? do you do -- >> there are two tracks right now. fundament fundamentals and atmospherics. i think marco rubio had a fantastic night. he was aggressive. this is the marco rubio people wanted to see for so long. how do you change the fundamentals? the way you do that is marco
rubio has to have the night he had tonight every day, 24/7, until donald trump is knocked down to size. then it becomes a two-man race. or ted cruz does the same by coming out of texas with a big giant win. that is the problem is every day it doesn't happen is a wasted day. >> the republican party is fundamentally changing here. the era of bush. this was no small when this web bush defeat and withdrawal. this is the party of trump. you have all of these people out here who are terrified. at the same time, the oldest rule in politics, they want to be with a winner. they are standing there freezing on the sidelines. they will not do what amanda is saying because they are terrified if they make the wrong decision, he'll remember. >> let's take a quick break. more with our panel ahead. also tonight, we will get a reality check. this time on claims the candidates made on stage. the question is did they tell
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how factual those facts were. he joins us with a reality check. >> anderson, i'm sure people did not know they would hear so much about polish workers tonight. it started with marco rubio and donald trump. >> are you the only person on the stage fined for working on projects illegally. >> i am the only one on the stage that hired. >> he had to pay $1 million for the judgment. >> wrong, wrong, wrong. >> what are they talking about? they are talking about what you have seen when you have gone to new york. trump tower on fifth avenue. to put the building up, they had to tear the old building down. trump hired a subcontractor whom this lawsuit says brought in undocumented workers from poland and then 200 polish aliens on the job. the polish brigade whom the
company paid less than union workers. less than half what union workers made. 12 hour days on top of which the lawsuit and new york times and other media outlets found inadequate insurance and pension payments for the workers. when the company went bankrupt, some missed paychecks all together and didn't get paid. trump said he did not know all about this. he said it was handled by the subcontractor and didn't know about the undocumented workers. nonetheless, trump was found part of the conspiracy to withhold wages. $325,000. the prosecutor said it may have been millions. we will never know because the lawsuit was after many years settled with undisclosed terms. we don't know where rubio got his $1 million claim here. what he said about trump here was mostly true. and trump's response to all of it was false.
it was false when he said he was the only one who hired anybody. they all had to hire people on their staffs for various reasons. another big talking point here for the republicans is obamacare. cruz and rubio both went after. listen. >> i want to end it because it goes too far. killed millions of jobs and hurting health care. >> it is a law to force companies to lay people off and move people to part-time. it is not just a health care law, it is a job killing law. we will replace it with somebody better for all americans. >> republicans have enjoyed saying this. the kaiser family foundation released information last fall. 4% of employers had moved workers to part-time to try to not pay health care benefits for them. and 4% also had reduced staff to deal with this. it does not suggest the
cataclism. on top of the employment situation is slowly improving. it is the cause and effect with obamacare and the jobs. we will have to say the claims about this is false. if you want to know more about all of these decisions and many other things that are wonderful reality check team looked at go to cnn.com/realitycheck. anderson. >> thank you. do you think the knock on donald trump about hiring undocumented polish workers is in the weeds? trump's response is this is 30 something years ago. >> i find it hard to believe polish workers is the rallying cry to defeat trump. >> it is not the polish workers. it is the hypocrisy. tonight is not the be all end up. if they want to be effective,
they need to have ads in the next four or five days surrounding that issue. very effective ads as kevin was saying in the break, we have not seen any memorable ads in the election. >> there was a lot of material to work with on hiring illegal aliens. one issue was how he talked about how he could not find good american help in palm beach. how elitist. those are rich people problems. those are things that regular people struggle with. that is exclusively to donald trump and palm beach. >> i think it is donald trump sticking it to the little guy. whether trump university or polish workers or not able to find good help. >> do they continue those attacks? do you start to see those students showing up in ads? >> to the campaigns, do they get
those people to show up and participate? that is good to personalize it. do they have the resources? these candidates now still in the race, they have money, but cruz has more than rubio who has more than kasich. it is hard when you are running 12 states at a time. that money goes fast. do you have the resources or does the super pac stand up? you have to look past tuesday. >> it is interesting because these issues, i asked trump about the polish workers. my first interview with him was months ago. he said this is something you are bringing up from 30 years ago. is that all there is. it is interesting that nobody has run commercials on it previously. >> they left him alone for nine debates. bush went after him a bit. a couple of spars. all of the people that run campaigns, it is all repetition. >> it has to be done when voters are beginning to form opinions about a candidate.
one of the problems with waiting this long is that people's opinions about donald trump, particularly by supporters. they have dug in. they hear one attack in one debate about polish workers and what they heard is i'm going to build a wall on the issue of immigration. which is a bigger impact on their perception of donald trump? i would argue over the longer period of time of the wall will probably win. >> i want to play another exchange. >> somewhere when the campaign is over, we will find out when the opposition campaigns started oppo research on trump. i bet they did not do a lot because they did not take him seriously. >> and it looked like the manhattan phone book and didn't know where to start. >> let's play another exchange with rubio and trump. >> if he builds the wall the way he builds trump towers, he will use illegal immigrant labor to
do it. >> such a cute sound bite. >> not a fact. go online. google it. the second thing about the trade war. i don't understand. the ties and the clothes you make are made in china. why not make them in america? >> they devalue their currency. it makes them -- >> make them in america. >> you don't know anything about business. >> make them in america. >> they devalue their currency. china, mexico, japan. they devalue currency to such an extent that our businesses cannot compete. our workers lose their jobs. >> i don't know anything about bankrupting four companies. >> you know what? >> and the fake university. >> that's called -- >> there are 36,000 at trump university and suing him now. $36,000 at a trump university.
it is a fake school. you get a cardboard cutout of donald trump. that is what you get for $36,000. >> here's a guy that buys a house for $179,000. he sells it to a lobbyist who is probably here for $380,000 and legislation is passed. you tell me about this guy. this is what we're going to have as president? >> if he hadn't inherited $200 million, you know what he would be doing right now? selling watches in manhattan. >> that is so wrong. we're work on that. i took $1 million and i turned it into $10 billion. i borrowed $1 million. >> let's see his tax returns. >> i borrowed $1 million. i turned it into $10 billion. >> so that happened.
>> i just felt such pity for whoever is does the simultaneous translation for telemundo. >> what is interesting is what does trump do now with marco rubio? he has been so great at branding other opponents. ted cruz. he talked about jeb bush. you know, marco rubio will be branded by donald trump at a time he needs to start winning. >> and choking. he made that point. we are starting to hear that word a lot. i sense we will hear it in the days ahead. >> i think what we learned from that exchange is marco rubio is aggressive. i tried to use the analogy of he is trying to look like a boxer working the speed bag. he doesn't have the experience which is someone relentlessly attacking him and coming back.
he hates that. i think he had tough moments there. when you actually challenged him. >> the one thing i thought was interesting is how marco rubio brought up the issue of trump university. they went to court and did that. he charged students $36,000. it probably wasn't a quality education. look at what is going on with the democratic side of the aisle. student loans is a huge deal. a lot of people want automatic loan forgiveness. to go against a guy who profited. >> we have to take a quick break. more with our panel. more of tonight's remarkable moments. we'll be right back.
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the top of the hour, we showed you the key moments from tonight's rather heated debate. now the heat, as much as you can pack into one minute. take a look. >> i don't know anything about bankrupting four companies. >> where was donald? he was firing dennis rodman on "apprentice." >> you will use illegal
immigrant labor to do it. >> he lied 100%. >> if he hadn't inherited $200 million, you know where he would be right now? selling watches in manhattan. >> a lot of the positions he is now taking are new to him. >> when you say crazy zealot, are you talking about you? >> you may not be aware of this donald. >> i know you are embarrassed. keep swinging. >> i watched him meltdown. it was one of the saddest things i have seen. >> you are a lot of fun tonight. thank you for the book. i appreciate it. >> donald, relax. >> i'm relaxed. you're a basket case. >> when it is all truncated like that, it is like a "housewives" episode. it didn't feel like that in realtime. moving forward, what happens tomorrow? do we see that marco rubio on the campaign trail? >> you have to see rubio on a
consistent basis. if he wakes up and thinks he did not have a good day, changing the race. >> wake up. he will be up in the middle of the night. >> if he doesn't like the dynam dynamic, he has a history of pulling the pin and rolling the grenade. >> former who? >> former president of mexico. >> vicente fox. >> that is the question. what does trump do? we know what he's going to do. he will go nuclear on marco rubio going forward. then i think the problem that marco rubio has, he had a fantastic night tonight. he showed up in a way he hadn't shown up before. on tuesday, the debate will be in the rear-view mirror. if he can't win two or three for four contests and the data is not there. >> he is right. the rubio campaign, if they are effective, they have to take this debate atmosphere and start using it and executing upon this
strategy they have at going right at donald trump here through the march 1 and march 15 contest. >> the play going into super tuesday is you can't trust donald trump because he wants to be a washington deal maker. that is also a sleght to marco rubio. he did the gang of eight. it looks like he is going frontally at trump. >> i think the gang of eight will come back to him. i think the vicente fox thing. this was not a small thing. this is trump's hot button issue. this guy has stirred it. this is poking a hornet's nest for the american people. i'm sure insulting him. saying we have the right to flood your border and we don't care. >> that's not what he was saying, but okay.
i think what you will see tomorrow is you are going to see donald trump focus his cannons straight at marco rubio. until tonight, you had not seen that. for the last few weeks, donald trump has been focused on ted cruz. building up the liar narrative that he is not worthy. he doesn't live up to his social values. you will see a shift on that. he will have a new target. that target is marco rubio. marco has a new target. >> we will have more ahead. stay with us. but you shouldn't forget yoforget this. c. hep c is a serious disease. left untreated it can lead to liver damage and potentially liver cancer. but you haven't been forgotten. there's never been a better time to rethink your hep c because people like you may benefit from scientific advances that could help cure your hep c. visit hepchope.com or call a hep c educator to help prepare you
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that does it for us here at 360. thanks for watching. cnn's "new day" starts now. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> good morning. welcome to your "new day." it is friday, february 26th. 5:30 a.m. in the east. alisyn in new york. we are at the site of the main event. houston. the final republican debate before super tuesday. what a night. it turned into an old fashioned no holds barred street brawl. marco rubio and ted cruz giving the malachi crunch to donald trump. hammering him on foreign policy,
health care and even his hiring practices. the story of the night may have been his way to take it. >> malachi crunch, chris, i didn't know that is where were you going. rubio suggesting trump would be a watch salesman if not for his inheritance. and cruz a basket case. we have this raucous debate covered the way only cnn can. let's start with sunlen serfaty with the highs and lows in houston. >> reporter: good morning, alisyn. it turned into a war of insults and putdowns. a lot of the candidates, marco rubio aggressive on the stage. also this dynamic of rubio and cruz pushing and going for broke over donald trump. here are the best moments. >> you are the only person on the stage who has been fined for
hiring people to work on your projects illegally. >> you haven't hired anybody. >> if you build the wall you built trump towers, you will use illegal immigrants to do it. >> here is the guy who hired ind $200 million. if you hadn't, you would be selling watches in manhattan. >> when i was leading the fight against the gang of eight amnesty bill, where was donald? he was firing dennis rodman on celebrity apprentice. >> you don't have one republican senator backing you. not one. you don't have the endorsement of one republican senator and you work with these people. you should be ashamed of yourself. >> reporter: as the dust is settling, the question is how will this change the dynamic of the race going forward? of course, all of this four days before super tuesday.
alisyn. >> i'll take it. i'm sitting here next to you. let's bring in our commentators here. we have matt lewis. we have political reporter maeve reston. we also have mark preston. too good for a tie? >> i'm following in your footsteps. >> all right. let's look at last night. we knew it had to be a big event. i know i didn't expect what we saw on stage last night. what do you see as the plus/minus for the big three? kasich and carson will be a separate discussion. >> first of all, i think the big moment of the night was the big issue from marco rubio. he said he would not go after donald trump. first thing he does is catches trump off guard. we saw that in the clip. when we are talking about the consolidation of the establishment or you know at least some way to stop donald trump, i think marco rubio came out on top. having said that, i think donald
trump still did fine. if you support donald trump, then you will continue to support donald trump. i don't think ted cruz had a great night. i think a lot will weigh on whether he wins texas. >> there's no question, maeve, you have to give trump question for having two guys going at him and balancing attacks. >> he took it. >> we saw handshakes from cruz and rubio behind trump during breaks. could it have been concerted? >> i don't know it was concerted. it seemed like ted cruz was going after rubio really for the first half of the debate. then pivoted. >> you think it was a change of play. he saw what rubio was doing. >> and decided to hit trump from both sides. rubio did signal he would attack donald trump the night before at a rally talking about donald trump's position on israel and
obamacare. what he did which was effective, jeb was never able to do, was just keep coming at him. come at him and not let up. >> good example. the watches. i don't know where he got it. it was a great line. let's play what he said about the watches last night. >> if he builds the wall the way he built trump towers, he will use illegal immigrants to do it. >> such a cute sound bite. >> it's a fact. i don't understand. your ties and clothes are made this china. if he hadn't inherited $200 million, you know where he would be right now? selling watches in manhattan. >> he lies this time. he lied. 100%. 100%. >> you lied about the polish workers. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. 38 years ago. >> 38 years ago. i guess there's a statute of
limitation on lies. >> trump is a successful businessman. what marco rubio was making an argument is he inherited all that money and did not deserve credit for that success. it was an effective moment. >> matt, you have a different take on the night. it did focus on the three men. you saw a different apportionment of the plus/minus. >> you are right. rubio reminded me of sugar ray leonard. i think the comment about donald trump the implicit point is trump did not earn his wealth. i have a counterintuitive take. i felt that ted cruz probably won the debate. the reason for that is marco rubio did what he had to do. he showed he can stand up to donald trump and fight him. he did a good job of that. that tells donors that rubio's tough. the problem is if rubio's fighting, then rubio is not being rubio. it is like going to an eagles
concert and they refuse to play "hotel california." what rubio does is the eloquent rhetoric. he did not get to that. >> it did he establish it as a two-man race? trump stayed away from the personal invective he likes and talked about the best guy for the job. is a two-man race enough? >> i think in the eyes of the donors for rubio, it looked like a two hi-man race. i think ted cruz did fine. for the performance he needed, he did well. >> he was teaming up. maeve reston is to young to know the malachi crunch.
>> they didn't crunch him. >> they tried. they tried. maeve was right. donald trump wasn't taken down last night. >> he wasn't taken down. we will have to see what happens with the headlines today and what others think of it. ted cruz, i don't think he had a great night. i don't think he had a terrible night. to maeve's point. if you are a dondeedoner and yo to put your money behind. >> the best you can hope for is fight to a draw. if you can fight him to have a draw, you have a win. >> on social media, he was getting better praise than that. not from the typical trumpets. for him to take on two guys is impressi impressive. it is worth looking at what john kasich said. in terms of who is laying out ideas for america. maybe because he wasn't getting attacked. rubio and cruz were coming at
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you know, we often tell you these debates and town halls become major pivot moments. last night was an example. the tenth republican debate was like the previous nine. donald trump at the center of every fight. even when he wasn't talking. so after the debate, it is a really important time to get people. they are coming out of the moment. how do they feel about it? they haven't been coached yet. we talked to donald trump about what he thought happened on the stage and issue of his tax returns. >> they are politicians and they want to get elected. they are doing badly. i think cnn did a good job.
they had focus on the three in the middle. i was happy. i thought it was great. i thought it was great and exciti exciting. >> what did you think of the dynamic of having to take both of them on? >> it was fine. i have dealt with much tougher. i think it was fun. i enjoyed the debating process. >> during that debate, as it was going on, marco rubio started on his web site selling watches as a pretend gimmick to say they were watches that would have been yours. they were donations for him. what do you make of that move? >> the problem with marco is he is a choke artist. he chokes. i was standing next to him. i asked if he was okay. he looked like he came out of a swimming pool he was so wet. he repeated himself. >> he tried to use that on you. >> i didn't do any repeating. i say what's needed. i didn't do that.
he really -- we can't have a choke artist. one thing i learned from sports. i was a really good athlete. we cannot have a choke artist. >> how long before we get the votes in and you are at the top, do you think people should start thinking about leaving this race? >> i think so. it is not for me to say. i think a few of them should. marco, i'm 20 points up on him in florida. with cruz, i'm even. it seems the ls polls i'm even in texas and winning in every other state. i think it will be over quickly. >> it seems marco rubio was intent on going after you more intently than cruz. >> i was surprised by it. i liked it. i thought it was fine. >> did he show you the toughness you did not see against christie? >> i am looking at him. he is pouring sweat. he is just pouring down sweat. i don't know what the problem
is. we need somebody that doesn't sweat. when they walk into putin's office or putin walks into our office or the chinese come to deal with us, we know what we're doing. >> they came at you don't about something in the news right now that really is at your control. the tax returns. mitt romney during the debate was bringing it up again. you can show them if you want to. >> mitt was a horrible candidate. he disappeared the last few months. when mitt gave his tax returns, it was six months from now in 2012. it was exactly september 21st. that is when he gave his tax returns. we're in a different world. mitt is just trying to remain relevant. i'm always audited by the irs. maybe because of religion or
something else. >> what do you mean religion? >> maybe because i'm a strong christian and a bias. >> you think you are audited? >> they have been complaining about it for a long time. >> what about the ones that are not audited? it seems like an easy answer. >> we can't dohat. we have to put it together in a unified way. i don't know if you saw the picture with a stack of pages. the ones previous relate to the ones later. >> you know what you would do if it was somebody else. >> nobody that's under a regular audit. for 12 years, i get audited. nobody would ever put out their returns that's under an audit. >> okay. so let's talk more about this issue of trump taxes and how he handled it during the debate. let's bring the panel back.
commentator matt lewis and political reporter maeve reston and political reporter mark preston. let's talk about the issue of the taxes when it came up. >> i will absolutely give my returns, but i'm being audited now for two or three years. i can't do it until the audit is finished. i think people would understand that. >> mitt romney brought up this issue, then tweeted, no legit reason why donald trump can't release returns while audited. matt, how do you think he handled this kerfuffle yesterday? >> i thought the tax thing was interesting because i keep trying to figure out what is mitt romney trying to get at here? is it going to hurt trump if he
is sheltering money? he said he will pay as little taxes as possible. a couple of things came up that made me think what could be in the taxes. one could be perhaps a donation to a group like planned parenthood. that came up. donald trump defended planned parenthood. saying they do all this great work. maybe that's something that he might be hiding. the other thing that i think is leaving it hanging out there is problematic than just getting it out. this is an area where trump may not be immune to the normal rules of politics. ted cruz said something about the trump university and trump has to be on trial this summer. sort of raising the sector of doubt and what it is like to have a nominee going against hillary clinton and having things come out after they are selected as nominee. >> maybe he is embarrassed he
donated to the wrong cause or not enough to charity? >> i think that is what mitt romney is trying to convey. i do think that matt is right. the longer this issue now hangs over donald trump, we saw it really hurt mitt romney over and over again during the campaign when he waited to release his tax returns. it sounds like donald trump is not planning to release anything anytime soon. i don't know if that is the best strategy for him. >> let's be careful not to go down the wormhole. several reasons why. he ain't romney. romney is trying to paint himself as a regular guy. then it came out he was not paying regular taxes. very damning and harry reid came after him. the idea it is the contributions. possible, but not probable. why? high net worth people donate through corporations. the idea through the tax return,
you see an item of who he gave to. maybe it shows he is not worth money. this is not a net asset. this is a tax return. you see one year of filing of income and capital gains. you will not say he is worth less money. so what if he is worth $1 billion versus $8 billion? the only asset, why didn't you let go of the e-mails? what is she hiding? now he's created a bit of that for himself. do you think that is the major impact? >> i think that there is a standard for politicians and the trump standard. through the campaign, he lived by the trump standard and gotten away with it. i have to tell you in a debate full of moments, we could sit here for hours talking about them. the interview where afterwards and he said he was targeted by the irs because he is a christian may be the big moment. >> straight face.
>> it will be the headlines throughout today. >> does that help him or is that a quick clever line? >> it will help him with supporters. that is the trump standard. everyone else will be like did he just say that? >> and the taxes issue, chris, does, as matt said, create this sort of thinking that will start happening among undecided republicans. is this the strongest nominee to go up against hillary clinton? there are things hanging out there? we have not gotten to this point in the race. it wasn't until they attacked him and we saw the beginnings of the hesitation. >> i get that. you and matt are making a constructive point. it could be an ingredient in the stew of doubt. no question. the problem is then timing. did they wait too long on this? on the issue of timing, we will take a quick break. matt and maeve and mark, thank you. you have to remember, mark
preston has such a heavy hand in making these events happen at cnn it has been driving our coverage. that is why we have to take him down. thank you very much for the insight this morning. everything is bigger here in texas. that's not just a cliche. it includes the stakes in last night's blockbuster gop debate. we will have much more on the much-see moments as mark preston was saying, you can talk about it for hours. what happened last night could very well be predictive of what is to come. stay with us. rhid ais like me, and you're talking to a rheumatologist about a biologic... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage. this is humira helping me reach for more. doctors have been prescribing humira for more than ten years. humira works for many adults. it targets and helps to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers,
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this guy's a choke artist and this guy's a liar. >> if he builds the wall the way he builds i got along with everybody. you get along with nobody. >> when i was leading the bite against the gang of eight amnesty bill, he was firing dennis rodman on "celebrity apprentice." >> i know you're fighting. i know you're embarrassed. keep swinging. swing for the fences. >> no, no, no, no, no. >> selling watches. >> i'm having a lot of fun up here tonight, i have to say. >> donald, relax. >> i am relaxed. you're the basket case. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good morning, and what a night. welcome to your "new day." it is friday, february 26th, 6:00 a.m. in new york. we're in houston after a blockbuster gop last night.
four days before super tuesday, everybody came to play. a real fight for the republican nomination escalating into an all-out street brawl basically. you had feisty marco rubio getting high praise for his performance which was basically trying to go against donald trump. the attacks also nasty around more personal, though, surprisingly, alisyn, not so much from trump. >> yeah, there was a lot of feistiness, chris. trump became the target. rubio and ted cruz bashing the millionaire at every turn. we have the raucous debate covered the way only cnn can. give us the highs and lows. >> good morning to you. this really did devolve into an all-out war pushed by newly