tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN December 14, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm PST
x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. top of the hour i'm brooke baldwin live in a chilly, windy monday morning here. it's about to be hot inside that debate hall come tomorrow night. we are here live in las vegas at the beautiful venetian hotel. it's the last debate of the year. the first time the front runner donald trump has a a lead like this. check the numbers with me folks. he's crossed that 40% mark in this new national poll. this is released minutes ago. you can see that 41 number. this is huge for him.
the fact that he's now 41%. this poll was taken -- this started last thursday three days after trump announced his plan to temporarily ban muslims from u.s. entry. another debate first here when you look at the line up we talk about the podiums. the lay of the land e ted cruz has stepped into the spotlight as republicans second choice for a nominee. on his other side you have ted cruz. polls suggest the senator from texas has taken over support nationally and in the state with the first caucus february 1st in iowa. cruz is pretty much neck and neck with trump, 28% to 27%. another poll released earlier
put cruz 10 points aheed of trump in iowa. so before we dig into all these numbers and hopefully don't fly away with all this wind here in las vegas, let's go first inside to our senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny who is there in the debate hall. jeff walk me through what you're seeing. here we are 27 hours away. >> that's right, brooke. just a lult more than a day away. . you can see the stage behind me. all the podiums are set. donald trump will be center stage, but ted cruz will be next to him. donald trump is soaring in national polls, 41% in that latest poll. certainly the envy of any candidate, certainly leading in every measure across the board except possibly in the state of iowa. it's the first contest on february 1st. so the campaign is going to go
into a holiday high ya it is a and the match is going to go from there. that's why this debate tomorrow night is so important. so many candidates have so much they need to do and are trying to do. marco rubio is is a prime example. he's trying to also challenge the ted cruz to jump into the top three spot. back in the main debate stage. so we always say the stakes are high but this time it's truer than ever before. donald trump is holding a rally here in las vegas. the rest of the candidates are laying a bit low. marco rubio has a smaller event. the rest of the candidates are
preparing here for that all important evening. >> ahead of the national security debate since i have you, i know. donald trump's dl sent out a statement about his health and i understand there are all kinds of adjectives. do tell. >> he's 69 years old and said he would release his medical records and medical report. this comes something a a little short of that. it's a a statement from husband own doctor. a doctor who has been treating him since 1980 or so. it's fill ued with all kinds of trumpisms. i was struck by this. the doctor closed with the
healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency. so not exactly sure how this one doctor in new york city knows he would be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency. there have been a few that have gone before him. but that's the statement from the medical doctor. we'll see that tomorrow night on this debate stage. >> good for him. hopefully we all have doctors who speak so highly of our individual health. jeff zeleny thank you so much. as we mentioned a second ago, trump will be standing inches away from senator ted cruz. but you may see the aggression going only one way on the stage. trump went after cruz last week after cruz was overheard at that private fundraiser questioning trump's judgment as a commander-in-chief. that was a big headline last friday. fast forward to the weekend, trump told fox news.
even to the point of a government shutdown to which cruz tweeted this. ♪ she's a maniac ♪ >> wonder what she feels about having this play on loop all morning for this back and forth. this is a classic song from "flash dance" with cruz saying in honor of donald trump and good-hearted maniacs everywhere. so a lot to talk about. let me bring in my panel sitting with me here in las vegas. i have gloria borger commentator amanda carpenter and cnn political commentator van jones, former adviser to the obama administration. so awesome to be here with all of you. i'm curious to see from all of you, when we see this national
poll trump is above. the 40% mark. this is after he said what he did about banning muzslims in the country. your response? >> it's terrifying. as a democrat, you say good. because it shows the republican party is really chasing itself off a cliff when it comes to the fear monger.ing. but as an american i feel terrible that someone could accuse a whole group of people and say you're not fit to come into the united states and benefit from it. that's scary to me. >> with trump, the broader the stage, the better he seems to do. the narrower the stage now, we see these polls in iowa. for example, suddenly he's got somebody either beating him or right on his rear. so this is the challenge for donald trump, which is he may have this broad appeal on the republican party, but can he bring those people who have not been involved in the political
process before and those are his supporters can he get them to the iowa caucus and in new hampshire. he's been doing his homework. so you can punch at him but he has some solid supporters out there. >> what about how he's done so well in iowa but the news today that the chief director for mike huckabee is now day of the debate the last republican debate out. >> that's never good news. so many republican candidates this is a game of nomination elimination. not only are we talking about the big trump face-off that may happen, but where is jeb bush? >> hold on, back to huckabee. >> you don't leave unless you're going somewhere or fed up. i don't want to speak to her ambitions, but this is not good news for mike huckabee.
>> back to ted cruz here he was elected 2012 freshman senator from texas, reading all the way back to his debate skills at princeton. he knows how to be so eloquent on the stage, but also of green eggs and ham and the 21-hour filibuster. so in a general election what would his pitfalls be? >> honestly, for all the tough stances he's taken, he's taken on a lot of negativity. i read a column about his personality problem. people made him seem like a nasty guy. that's not him. i can tell you that that is classic ted cruz. he loves a good. joke. he's playful and light hearted. e he has a lot of personality to showcase showcase. >> she sounds like hillary clinton's supporters.
. something strange has happened here. we have the insider and the outsider. so what's happening now is you have the outsider race is now cruz can versus trump. rubio has to knock out everybody else for him to compete. but the labeling helps him. i would say extremism versus moderate. the very fact -- i would say trump and cruz are extremist and rubio and jeb are moderates. we have fallen into their framing of outsider and insider. >> but right now these candidates and we're going to see tomorrow night. they have moved beyond the audition stage. everybody has had their audition on that stage. people are starting to hone in because now particularly given san bernardino paris, people are looking for a command er commander-in-chief. and some people -- for some
people trump's tough talk works because it sounds good and makes you feel like we're going to get them. but republicans are also thinking about commander-in-chief who can win, who can beat hillary clinton if she becomes the nominee or bernie sanders. >> i keep thinking about marco rubio and the matchup everyone is focused on trump and cruz. i think it's cruz and rubio. >> this is where the national security aspect comes into play. he wants to have a debate about surveillance with ted cruz. marco rubio wants to paint himself as being more aggressive more in the camp of john mccain. ted cruz is somewhere in the middle. >> and defense spending. >> they want to have this debate. this would be a wonderful debate for the republican party to have because there are different approaches among republicans for foreign policy. they should have that and trump will be left out of the discussion because e he can't hang with it. >> what are you saying on timing?
>> it goes to show how timing is everything. if this were two years ago with edward snowden, rand paul would be the person saying i'm going to protect your privacy and keep you out of dumb wars overseas. unfortunately, he's 18 months too late. rand paul, an afterthought and rubio who was getting baelt up for his pro surveillance. >> ted cruz is lucky that rand paul is on that it stage with him tonight. because then if you're going to attack someone for being an isolationist, rubio can point to rand paul. >> thank you all so much. see you around. in the meantime, you can watch and we will be all be encouraging you to do so the final republican debate of 2015 only here on cnn. it starts tomorrow night at 6:00 eastern, live here from las vegas. coming up next president obama making a rare visit to the
pentagon this morning. he reveals something the u.s. had not yet confirmed. we'll share that with you. also cnn reports that jeb bush donors are doubting that he is in it for the long haul. what they are saying versus the candidate himself. and breaking news involving bill cosby, the actor accused in dozens of rape cases is now suing several of his accusers. we have that for you. stay with me. i'm brooke baldwin live in las vegas. you're watching cnn's special live coverage ahead of the big cnn debate. the great beauty of owning a property is that you can create wealth through capital appreciation and this has been denied to many south africans for generations. this is an opportunity to right that wrong. the idea was to bring capital into the affordable housing space in south
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we're back here outside the venetian hotel here in las vegas on this monday afternoon. i'm brooke baldwin thank you for being with us. watching cnn on a special day as republicans get ready for the last huge debate of the year here in las vegas. they will have to address the issue that is isis. this will be the very first debate since the attacks in paris and in san bernardino, california. just a short time ago, president obama told reporters that his administration strategy against the terror group is moving forward, but the fight to destroy isis is a tough one. the president spoke after meeting with his national security team. he was at the pentagon. >> we are hitting isil harder
than ever. coalition aircraft, fighters, bombers and drones have been increasing the pace of airstrikes. nearly 9,000 as of today. last month in november we dropped more bombs than any other month since the campaign started. we're also taking out isil leaders, commanders and killers, one by one. the point is isil leaders cannot hide and our next message to them is simple. you are next. >> want to bring in our senior reporter steven collins, who joins us from washington. what did you hear from the president? he went and spoke from the pentagon and also akcknowledging that one of the headlines to me the fact that jihadi john was taken out. but beyond that what more did you hear? >> i think it's significant that we have this appearance from the president on the eve of the republican presidential debate in which his strategy in isis is
going to get a lot of criticism. and just the tone of the president's remarks, he was talking about going after isis leaders and warning the ones still alive they are next. he reeled off a long list of leaders the u.s. has taken out. i think the palpable frustration in the white house that what they see as an intensified effort over the last few months is not get. ing through to the american people and the president is getting a lot of criticism. the white house believes they have a communications problem on isis as much as a strategy problem that many of its opponents see as really the issue here. >> as you point of the the day before this debate this is also the first debate in the wake of paris. when you imagine the main stage, who has the advantage when it comes to really debating
national security? i think one of the things we have seen in the last few weeks is the strength that donald trump projects on terrorism and isis. even the fact e he doesn't come out with details about what he would do about this, this is one of the keys to his success. you have marco rubio -- >> don't americans need details? >> ultimately they do but donald trump has been aconstitute into playing into this it rising fear of the threat from terrorism. he's given voice to that fear and that's one of the keys to his success in the campaign. and i think marco rubio has starred himself as a foreign policy expert. i think tomorrow we could see marco rubio perhaps go on the attack against ted cruz. he's been saying ted cruz is smacks of isolationism and not tough enough on terrorism and doesn't recognize the threat. that's one of the ways marco rubio thinks that perhaps he can start to sort of chip away at ted cruz's advantage over him in places like iowa and elsewhere in the country.
>> i agree with rubio. don't count out chris christie in the wake of 9/11 in new jersey. thank you very much. coming up next this will be the very first debate we will see the candidates face donald trump since the fire storm over his proposed muslim ban. didn't seem to hurt him when you check the numbers in the polls. who might choose to take him on. we'll explore that. also bill cosby now suing seven of his sexual assault accusers. suing them. hear his reasons and whether he has a case. our special coverage continues here live from las vegas on this monday.
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hours. we have a lot more of that coverage. two items of breaking news. the first involving news with regard it to bill cosby. you know the story. he's been accused by more than 50 different women of sexual assault. now bill cosby is suing seven of his accusers. let's go to joey jackson with more on this. joey according to this press release from his attorney he's suing them for, and i'm quoting, malicious, opportunist and false accusations of sexual misconduct against him. explain please. >> that's right, so what ended up happening is remember he was sued bill cosby, by a number of accusers and the suit was predicated upon defamation that you are calling us a liar based upon you going out there and saying things about our e
credibility. then there were other women who ended up entering. into that lawsuit that was filed last december. as part of the lawsuits you're allowed to answer those claims in addition to pose counterclaims. i'm not the liar here all of you are lying about me. so hitz claims are based on defamation defamation. and so many bad things have happened to me i have been taken off tv lost honorary degrees and i want damages as a result. briefly, now we have to get to the underlying facts. because an absolute defense o to defamation is truth. he will be deposed. the other women will be deposed as well and the truth may or may not come out because it was such a long time ago. >> that's a big deal today. another piece of breaking news related to sergeant bergdahl.
and at the hearing witnesses i really don't think it's that serious. and as a result of it we should really end this here. the general went against that recommendation and as a result of that because of the full blown trial he's now exposed to and because of the nature of the charges desertion and potentially exposing his comrades.
>> want to get back to our special debate coverage. joining me is media correspondent from sources. >> let's begin with how did this debate in terms of behind the scenes the debate hall is pretty incredible. >> it's majestic. i understand this is it's all politics tomorrow night. wolf blitzer has not been in touch or interviewing any of these candidates. >> he's not been interviewing candidates. he wants to stay above the fray until he's on the stage tomorrow night. he said he wants to get
specifics tr if these candidates about national security and other issues as well. >> this is the most important debate so far. >> in the wake of donald trump's call for a ban on muslims in the united states this debate has gone above and beyond politics. these debates have been important and all of these have drun record audiences. david i guess nashs wrote something very important in "the washington post." e said historical reputations among the candidates will be made or lost over the course of the next few weeks. there's no moment when all of those candidates are going to be on stage and are going to be forced to come down on one side or the other of this issue, waffle or not waffle on this it issue, other than the debate tomorrow night. so what we're looking at is not
just the usual political maneuvering. we're looking at a historical moment when these candidates say where they stand. >> it will be interesting to see where they do that and thread the needle. . it was in the 40s or low 50s. so they have those republican voters in mind as they are speaking in front of millions of people tomorrow night on television but also laying down the line with regard to trump. >> it's a primary debate. it is for the republican primary voting. is and how do you play to the primary audience and also for some of these candidates who certainly do not agree with where donald trump came out of this. how do you get to the general election as the nominee it you weren't willing to go up against donald trump when that was something you would have done in the general election. i think there's a lot on the line and it's going to be interesting to see how all nine of the candidates on the stage address that issue. >> it was before the paris attacks the last time we a had a debate. it's been a long time in this
primary season. >> there's another important thing to remember which is that in addition to this whole question of the muslim ban, we're about to enter a holiday period when everything is going to come down. >> we're about to blink and it's going to be february 1st. >> then we're going to have two debates in january. but this is the last chance that these candidates have to make their case before you have your christmas dinners and holiday dinners and coming together and forming opinions in states like iowa and new hampshire about who you may want to vote for. >> this is always fun to host the show the dab of the debate because it's right around our hours when the candidates come through. they get the tour of the stage and the lay of the land. some choose to chat. we ask them things about what they have been up to for the day. are you finding anything about? >> some are already here in vegas. i went on the stage this morning. i have never been to a cnn debate before. what surprised me is how close the podiums are together.
i had seen it on tv but i guess they get friendly up there. >> this is one thing we bring up every single debate. it's important for the audience to understand it's different being in there. playing to an auditorium and an audience how close you're standing to your competitors on stage. it's one thing to go after someone in a public campaign speech. it's another thing to do right next to them on the podium in front of a live audience. >> can't wait. i feel the excitement. thank you both very much. make sure you watch brian sunday mornings at 11:00 eastern. coming up next here donald trump is calling ted cruz a maniac. george w. bush said he did not like cruz. we'll speak with someone who covered cruz his entire career. why some call him a genius. plus from the theater to the substance, we will give you the top four things to watch for during tomorrow night's debate.
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there's only one invokana®. ask your doctor about it by name. here we are a day away from the final republican debate of 2015 and the stage is set for a massive showdown between the front runners donald trump and ted cruz and everyone else who will be on the stage. it's also the last chance in 2015 for the straglers to make an impression in a crowded republican field. so let me. bring in cnn political reporter maeve rest tin, who has for us the top four things we're watching for tomorrow night. good to see you. >> i think, first of all, what's
been so fascinating is the ted cruz and donald trump dynamic. >> this is really the first debate we're talking about that. >> you have these wild shake ups in the polls in iowa with ted cruz surging ahead. donald trump has been trying to go after ted cruz on temperament. it will be interesting to see that dynamic with ted cruz trying to play nice with donald trump as he's saying he's a little bit of a maniac. >> it's interesting how most of the time trump doesn't directly go out first after someone, but he will be quick to respond. and ted cruz has said his strategy is going to be to play nice. >> that's what they all say. >> over seven weeks. it will also be fascinating to see what donald trump does on national security issues. >> let's keep reminding everyone in the wake of san bernardino and paris, this is huge. >> it's totally changed the dynamic of the race. he really has to show people
like his strength but he has to show he has the policy chops. >> how does he do that? >> i think he has to speak more in specifics this time. he's going to be up there with marco rubio who has been studying up on these issues for a long time. jeb bush is going to make a splash. also ben carson what is his move going to be? >> he's been traveling overseas he's been criticized for not having those chops. he has to prove that as well. >> he's really slid in the polls with ted cruz rising. he has to show he has command of these issues and can actually talk about them. and the fourth thing it will be interesting to see if chris christie can have a breakout moment here. he made it to the main stage and he's hanging on and pushing up in new hampshire. he may try to have a breakout moment in that establishment lane.
>> when you look at what he went through after 9/11 he reminds everyone. but his role then and how he can bring that and how that would be germane to a national security debate. >> that was a very strong astute for giuliani. and chris christie really can grip a crowd with talking about those kinds of issues. he obviously has been studying these issues for some time and it will be interesting. >> the top four things thank you so much maeve. make sure you watch the final republican debate of 2015 only here on cnn. let me remind you it starts tomorrow night at 6:00 eastern live here from las vegas. next we heard from maeve and what she's watching for. we'll have more from vegas as far as the debate is concerned. first a couple from pennsylvania dedicated their lives from keeping children healthy.
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welcome back a live look inside the debate hall here in las vegas. i'm brooke baldwin, you're watching cnn's special coverage ahead of the debate. the cnn debate donald trump and ted cruz really the two star standouts right now. jeb bush on the decline now in single digits in polls. jeff zeleny has been reporting that jeb bush donors are doubtful he will be in it for the long haul. let me talk about this with ana navarro, who is a friend of marco rubio and supporter of jeb bush. and also with me is patti doyle, who is a former hillary clinton
presidential campaign manager. great to be back in vegas with you. let me begin with jeb bush. i feel like we're not talking a lot about jeb bush and i wanted to begin with you with that that now we're hearing zeleny is reporting that the donors are say inging i don't know if he's in this for the long haul. they are saying this week is make it or break it. jeb bush is saying i'm great. >> frankly, i am one of those jeb bush donors. i have heard and seen no indication that there is a lack of commitment in that campaign to go on. >> you haven't heard that? >> i talked to jeb bush fairly regularly. what i see is the commitment the perseverance and he keeps putting one foot in front of the other and is focused ongoing through and going on with this. it would be fool hardy to get out now. he has the commitment. >> he doesn't have the support.
>> let's just remember 50% of new hampshire voters make up their mind the last week. so to go this far and knowing you're dealing with very fluid polls, you're dealing with an electorate in iowa and new hampshire and early states that traditionally make up their minds at the very last minute and leave now, that would be insane. >> glad i asked. there you go. we're fickle people. patti, in the head to heads, when you look at hillary clinton she handedly beats jeb bush and ted cruz but not rubio or carson. how do you read that and who between perhaps a rubio or carson i feel like i keep hearing from camp hillary is formidable. they see rubio as formidable. >> it's very difficult to look at national polls in a head to head contest for the general election right now. it's just too early. >> chuck the polls. if you were with camp hillary,
who would you worry want most? >> let's turn the clock back to 2012 when mitt romney lost to barack obama in large measure because of that coalition that barack obama built of women, hispanics, african-americans, young people. the rnc's response to that loss was let's make be more appealing to women, let's be more appealing to hispanics. donald trump has single handedly blown that strategy to smithereens. so right now hillary clinton sort of has the edge on all of them. she has successfully painted the donald trump brush broadly in that field. >> i read about the super pac so i'm sure they have a good chuckle out of that but still the question remains here in 2015 -- i'm going to make you pick. >> of all of them marco rubio probably.
he's from florida, he's his panic. of all of them he probably has the best shot but it's probably a slim shot. >> we have heard now from donald trump's doctor. his health records are most excellent, if i may, few don't have everything blown away here. the line from the doctor is if elected donald trump unequivocally will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency. you like that? >> i love that. i want to know what the doctor's phone number is so i can call him for my insurance checkup which i have to do at the begin beginning of the year. >> great for donald trump that he's so healthy. >> please "saturday night live" can we get an opening skit featuring donald trump's doctor because this is just -- you can't make this stuff up. >> thank you both so much here in las vegas. and breaking news here.
the jury now kazhas the case of the baltimore police officer. this is the first trial in the case. deliberations are underway. we'll keep you posted. we are covering the latest there from inside the courtroom. next we'll talk to someone who says do not be fooled by donald trump. he's really deep down a democrat.
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today flags across the country are flying at half staffs a the nation marks three years since the massacre of 20 first graders and teachers at sandy hook. protesters gather outside the nra headquarters this afternoon in virginia just as they have every 14th day of the month since sandy hook. front and center at today's rally, the parents of allison parker who was murdered on live television last august. back in newton, the police chief in charge at the time of the killings is retiring after nearly four decades on the job. he spoke with deborah feyerick about his mission to reshape his
legacy from one defied by tragedy to one focused on change. >> they are on the battlefields in the cities and in the hands of law enforcement across america. firearms millions of them. >> you know the biggest purchaser of guns in the united states is? we are! >> guns are $13.5 billion a year industry with 26% of all guns bought by america's military and 38% bought by federal, state and local law enforcement and civilians. that's 64% of total sales. using that kind of buying power as leverage could be key to forcing gun makers to make. safer guns says police chief michael kehope. >> if we can have that message sent to those that have a voice, we can start that conversation and shift that needle in a
positive direction. >> if he looks familiar, it's because he was police chief when the sandy hook shootings happened in 2012. 20 children and 6 educateors gunned down inside their elementary school. a tragedy that turned into a powerful soul searching debate on gun control. >>. everybody said it when could you make changes? you have to take another approach. this seemed to be a common sense approach. >> the approach was created by the campaign do not stand idle ly by. using tax dollars to force gun makers to make safer guns through things like safe technology. >> we can't be satisfied with the status quo on the amount of deaths we have with guns each year. >> in october he tried to persuade others to join him traveling to the largest police chiefs conference in the nation
where gun makers show off their latest products. thousands attending he says only a handful of chiefs seemed interest interested in the idea of leveraging their gun buying power. >> why do you think there's pushback? >> because there's fear that we're going to take away guns as opposed to just let it being smarter about what we're doing and how we manufacture guns. >> we contacted several police chiefs who said the idea was unlikely to make a dent because police need the latest firearms when going up against criminals. still he is not giving up. >> this is a great turnout. that's what we need. >> and says america has to start somewhere. >> i think we have to come together. i think that's going to make significant changes rather than just try to separate the haves and have notes. >> changes he hopes that could
unify all sides and ultimately make a dent in ending gun violence. breaking news now, we are getting word that a maryland man has been charged with trying to support isis. we want to go straight to washington to evan perez. a maryland man, evan, tell me what you know. >> that's right, he's 30 years old and according to the fbi and the justice department he received at least $3,500 over the last year or so from people he knew or believed were members of isis. the purpose of this money was in order to carry out a terrorist attack here in this country. he is charged edd right now with material support of a terrorist group, which is isis. and according to this affidavit
that was filed today in court by. the fbi, he was working or communicating with members of his family and others who he knew were connecting him with isis operatives who wanted to carry out an attack here in this country. that's what the fbi charges him with. when the fbi contacted him and interviewed him, he lied about the source of this money. he said that he was being given money by a friend or cousin to buy an iphone. he also said he got the money from his mom. all of these it turns out were not true and the fbi is also charging him with making false statements to investigators. we're still going over the documents that the fbi and justice department filed and we'll give you more information as we get it. >> we'll stay in close contact as you go through all of that. thank you for that breaking news on this maryland man, thank you.
hour two here i'm brooke baldwin live in las vegas. a beautiful shot inside the venetian hotel. that's where it goes down tomorrow night. 26 hours, 59 minutes, 4 seconds here ahead of the final republican debate of this year of 2015. and this is the first time that the front runner donald trump has a lead quite like this. check these numbers with me. he's now officially crossed the 40% mark in this new national poll. this is released minutes ago. the number is 41% outdoing his next competitor's support combined. when this poll was taken, this started last thursday. three days after trump announced his plan to temporarily ban muslims from coming into the united states and i'm just going to throw more numbers at you. this abc news "washington post" poll says that ban is what many republican voters want.
nearly 60% of republicans support trump's proposal. another debate first here. texas senator ted cruz has stepped into the spotlight as republicans' second choice for the nominee. as we talk so much about podium positioning on the debate stage because that's so key as well if you're looking at it trump in the middle and there you see ted cruz just next to him. polls suggest that senator ted cruz has taken over much of ben carson's support nationally and in the state with the first caucus in iowa on february 1st. ted cruz is neck and neck with donald trump there. you see trump at the top with 28% and cruz just behind him with 27%. before we dig into all these numbers, let's get the lay of the land with washington correspondent jeff celzeleny who was inside the debate hall. but let's lead with this statement that's just been released by donald trump's
doctor where he is apparently the most healthy person who would be elected president, or something like that. am i right? >> that's right, brooke. donald trump is 69 years old and there have been questions about his health. so his doctor released a medical statement a short time ago right before. the debate. it was dated december 4th but they are releasing it now, that gives him a clean bill of health. he says actually his blood pressure 110 over 65 and laboratory test results were astonishingly excellent. he has no history of using alcohol or tobacco products. i can say unequivocally would be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency. so even donald trump's physician speaks in superlatives like he does. he is giving him a clean bill of health. if he would become the nominee and wins the nomgination, i
expect he will be called upon specific records. but for right now, this puts him in line with all of the others. but i can tell you anticipation is building so much for this debate. you can see behind me here it's actually a set up for the undercard debate. that's mike huckabee hindlindsey graham and rick santorum. but the main event has the nine other candidates. it you take a look around here thsz an amazing hall. it was designed specifically for the phantom of the opera. if you look at the top, that's the amazing chandelier that comes crashing down in the middle of the phantom of the opera. it stopped its run in 2012 so no worry that would happen during the debate at all, but this is the most ornate of settings of all of the debates so far. it's certainly one of the most important ones politically speaking as well here because those iowa caucuses are just a
few weeks away to kick off this whole campaign. >> i have said it before i'll say it again. we're going to blink and it's going to be iowa time. thank you so much. let's dig deeper with michael smerconish. also here with us is conservative blogger krystal heath, author of "god and government." great to have both of you with me. let me begin with you. looking at the polling, the national poll you have seen it. donald trump is above the 40% mark. he's officially up in the iowa poll though cruz is nipping at his heels. he's doing really well. this is in the wake of what he said about banning muslims. >> he is doing well nationally, but this isn't going to be decided in a national election
right now. so if we look at the state by state polls with the primaries where this is going to be settled, cruz is rising and doing really well. we have a couple polls where cruz is winning in iowa. we're seeing either a new hampshire poll where chris christie overtakes donald trump potentially. it's just incredible. >> in your heart, does this irk you? >> it does a little bit, yes. i think he's not the best representation of conservative values and the gop as a whole. i think there's an excitement that people like and people like that he speaks his mind. i think there's some decorum that's lacking that others would do a better job presenting on a national stage. >> with trump and his comments on this ban of muslims in the united states this is what i have for you. this new poll saying three of five republicans back his plan. how when you're looking at the other candidates and i realize we're talking primaries still,
how do you thread the needle if republicans are wanting to draw a line in the sand with trump, but the majority of those early voters agree with trump on muslims. >> there's a tendency for us to say donald trump continues to lead the national polls in spite of these things he's said. but we're looking at it in reverse. he's leading the national polls because of these things he has said. i completely agree with crystal saying we're all fixated on the national numbers, but it's not a national process. politically speaking today, i'd rather be ted cruz. >> why? >> because the momentum is on his side. iowa is going to reshuffle the cards of what's going on. i'm also thinking about jeb bush having said two years ago that sometimes you need to be prepared to lose a primary to win a general. when i look at those numbers, they are a reflection of what the republican party has become.
don't forget two-thirds of americans don't agree with that sentiment. you may escape the primary process and set yourself up for a fall in the general election if you buy into what trump has said on that issue. >> but i'm wondering about the general election and specifically with regard to senator cruz. he's doing really well in iowa when you look at the breakdown. he's up at least 10% over donald trump. but in terms of a general election, there are pitfalls for him. >> there definitely are. because of what people like is and the way he says anything he's thinking that could lead him to trouble. like we saw with the muslim comment. i think his unabashed way of saying everything even his doctor doctor. >> are we calling cruz moderate when you put him next to donald trump? a lot of people would not say that. >> i don't think so. people say the gop is split
between conservatives and establishment. cruz could be someone that the gop can coalesce around as an alternative to donald trump. the gop says we don't want donald trump and if cruz is our way to not have trump, let's go with cruz. >> i still see this as a matchup of the maverick candidates and i put cruz in that category with carson and trump and the establishment types. i'm absolutely not surprised that as carson has fallen ted cruz has picked up that support. and tomorrow night as you watch, there are two debates playing themselves out on that stage. i'm curious to see are the establishment types going to go after one another. they are not going to pick up from trump or carson or cruz. they are locked in their own world. sooner or later, somebody needs to come. >> thank you for having us in your town. ted cruz is emerging as really a formidable foe.
but before his rise in the polls, before the grass roots donations really began pouring into his campaign cruz was a lesser known junior senator. initially he was at princeton, harvard law, an attorney expansive knowledge of constitutional law and a fierce opponent of bamobamacare. when the threat of a federal government shutdown loomed a couple years ago, cruz engaged in a now infamous 21-hour filibuster that had more than a few obscure moments. green eggs and ham, anyone? here's a look back. >> i will credit my father. he invented -- this wasn't for the restaurant. he invented green eggs and ham. some time ago i tweeted a speech that ashton kutcher gave. i'm a big fan of eating white castle burgers. i took the coward's way out and
purchased black tennis shoes. so i'm not in my argument boots. i want to read two bedtime stories to my girls. i do so like green eggs and ham. thank you, thank you sam i am. i want to point out a few words of wisdom from duck dynasty. five red necks on a mower, it's going to be epic. rule number one, most things can be fixed with duct tape and extension cords. >> where did chinese gooseberries come from? >> they actually come from new zealand zealand. >> a camel's hair brush, what's it made of? >> squirrel fur. happy, happy, happy. >> let's stay on ted cruz. joining me to talk about the texas senator is todd gillman, the washington burr ree chief
for the dallas morning news. wrote a piece saying he's planning to win. thank you for sitting down with me onset. talking about the iowa polls and how ted cruz is doing well among evangelicals and has been for a little while, how does he hang on to that and take it past iowa? >> he has no problem hanging on to evangelicals. that's his lane. santorum and huckabee are old news. they are not making a lot of traction. trump has trying. carrson is a brilliant neurosurgeon but not a lot of knowledge about foreign policy. i don't think cruz has a problem hanging on. building off o of that is more of a challenge but it could be that the anti-trump sentiment in the republican party is so
intense that they would even hold their nose and swallow a vote for cruz. i'm not convinced yet that's going to happen. i think a lot of people think that trump is going to collapse all by himself. maybe they can find a different alternative to ted cruz. >> a lot of people from iowa, what about personal? i was talking to amanda carpenter, who used to work for him. you heard from donald trump. he doesn't play well with others. does he? what do you know having covered it for so long? >> he's a very nice human being to the people who work for him. they love him and adore him. he's a nice person. he does not play well with other others. he went to the senate and instantly antagonized all but three of his colleagues. he came out and called the leader of his own party a liar. he devoted the first chapter of his campaign buy yogiography to making
the case there was so much men das itty in the senate that it was important for him to expose that and people don't like that. he does not play well with others. he's somebody who doesn't just want to shake up washington but wants to play against it. who wants to show that those people are so evil and mendacious that you need a savior like him to come in and mop it up. it's hard to see the establishment overcoming that level of antagonism that he has created. >> to be able to embrace him. i was rereading the new yorker piece from two summers ago on ted cruz. fascinating details reading back to his princeton days. you have two different kinds of debaters. ted cruz was the parliamentary debate err. that's when you are not handed the topics a ahead of time u. you have to think on your feet and know a vast array of subjects and kill it and he did. he was the number one debater in the country and went on to
harvard law. >> i have to confess i debated on that circuit too. debating in the senate and debating on a presidential stage, there's a lot of overlap. there's the presentation thinking on your feet but there is much more substance at this level. those of us who have done college debate recognize he has distinguished himself. he has moved beyond that. there's a lot of silliness and saying the most extreme thing. >> he looks at the camera and speaks from the heart. >> he does have a tendency college debaters say the most extreme thing. the argument to the extreme point and he does that. but so does obama. taking the strong hand and knocking that down. he has a lot of skills that he
developed very well that serve him well at this level. a one-on-one debate with donald trump would be fascinating. one-on-one with obama or clinton would be fascinating. >> i had no idea i was sitting in such the presence of a college debater. nice to see you in person. thank you very much. i appreciate it. make sure to watch the final republican debate of 2015 only here on cnn starting tomorrow night at 6:00 eastern live here from the venetian hotel in las vegas. . next president obama today making a rare visit to the pentagon revealing a a fact that the u.s. had not yet officially confirm eded about a key isis fighter. also ahead i'll speak live with a conservative writer who says donald trump is really, really a democrat and would win if he would run as one. a a trump supporter disagrees. and breaking news involving sergeant bowe bergdahl. days after e we hear his own version of events in his own words, a huge development
involving the charges levied against him. i'm brooke baldwin and you're watching cnn's special coverage of the cnn debate live from las vegas. with my moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, the possibility of a flare was almost always on my mind. thinking about what to avoid where to go... and how to deal with my uc. to me, that was normal. until i talked to my doctor. she told me that humira helps people like me get uc under control and keep it under control when certain medications haven't worked well enough. humira can lower your ability to fight infections including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common,
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and center here on stage at the venetian hotel in las vegas when he faces eight republican rivals in the final debate of 20 is a. the republican front runner has pulled ahead of his opponents when and you look at the poll 41% support in the poll is huge. his highest number to date. but imagine if you will for a moment if trump had run as a democrat. my next guest says that's not so hard to do considering his support for democratic candidates in the past number of years. jamie weinstein, we'll chat with him about that. i'm also joined by s.e. cupp and jeffrey lord. great to see ul ofall of you. and let's just begin with you, hot seat in the middle. i read your piece twice this morning. you point out how he was a registered democrat for a number
of years. had supported a numb of democratic candidates. >> it's more than that really. i think it's much easier for trump to convince democratic electorate that he's a social conservative. on foreign policy he's against the iraq war. he wants to bring -- let's bomb isis but he wants to bring america back from the world. he could run as the bernie sanders trader to his class. he's had a wealth tax. all these things appeal more to a democratic primary electorate. my simple thesis is had he made the decision in 2009 and not gone birther, he could have had a better chance to win the democratic primary than perhaps the republican primary, which is not an insignificant chance as it is. >> jeffrey lord i'm looking at you. and he laughs.
what are you thinking? >> if you went to youtube this minute there's a wonderful audio tape of ronald reagan campaigning for harry truman and humphrey. this would be 1948 he was a registered democrat until four years before he ran for governor of california. he called himself a bleeding heem feelic liberal. so i believe that donald trump has gone past and people are out there. a lot of this is about the supporters. it's not just donald trump. it's people when you see this 41% number this is a big deal here. the people are rallying to donald trump because they feel strongly about this. they are not a bunch of bigot racists. >> people are reling behind donald trump and he is at that 41%. this is also in the wake of what he said about muslims and banning them in the united states.
he has a higher support number. >> look donald trump's bombast, his emotional position on foreign policy is affirmed almost daily by world events. and by a very lackluster foreign policy coming out of the white house. and failing strategy on isis coming out of the white house. so the language that he's speaking while it's divisive and at least 60% conservatives disagree with it has definitely captivated not just the republican base but i think a lot of people in the middle too who finally see someone up there seeming to take isis and terrorism a lot more seriously than the white house has seemed to in the past. >> the significance, this is the first debate in the wake of san bernardino and paris. this is a national security debate. i'm curious who has the most to gain given the fact that that's
really front and center as the issue. >> one of the things that donald trump is known for is that he's competent competent. we found out in the last couple days that the government of the united states didn't even have the wit to check this woman's facebook and social immediatemedia things. they weren't e competent enough to do this. there are people dead because of this. so his argument about you need to have competence that's a big deal in this kind of situation. >> who else beyond trump? >> obviously, marco rubio, this is right to his forte. he's shown an expertise on foreign policy. he predicted russia going into syria two weeks before it happened. that's kind of to his strength and the weakness of ben carson who has to prove he has the foreign policy bone if ieds which he has not done. >> final debate of the year. nine people on stage here. the associated press was telling
john king that perhaps it will take a romney or speaker ryan to come out to have a come to jesus with some of these candidates to whittle down the pack. have you heard that? >> i have and i don't think that's appropriate. it doesn't look very good for party elders to tell other republicans to bow out. >> you don't think something like that would happen? >> i just don't think it's an appropriate role for someone like paul ryan or mitt romney to play. i think the field is going to be set until the first votes are cast. that's probably right. there are candidates who know they have no chance and maybe this is a vanity campaign and it would benefit someone like jb jeb or marco rubio or ted cruz to when i had lild l down the field, but these national polls are silly and i don't think a good indication of where the polls are at.
i think you have to get through a iowa and new hampshire to really know where these candidates stand. i mean i couldn't justify getting out before any votes are cast especially since these polls are just really unre unreliable. >> trump said something like if i win iowa, i run the table. meaning i will take them all. where is he -- is he reading something? does he have numbers i haven't seen? >> if iowa is seen as a potential difficulty for him, if he wins that, then i can see what he's saying because he is ahead in the polls in some of the these other places. once donald trump begins to gain a certain amount of momentum if they win two or three or four of these, it becomes difficult for anyone else to overtake them. >> thank you all so much. so much to get through in these final hours before tomorrow night. but meantime, next shocking new
details about how the paris terror attacks played out. what a witness said she saw the ring looeder doing as the shots rang out. plus isis front and center not only at the debate tomorrow night, but as president obama meets today with leaders at the pentagon. what he says the u.s. coalition is doing to hit the terror group, quote, harder than ever. i'm brooke baldwin, this is cnn. in panama, which is a city of roughly 2 million people we are having 5,000 new cars being sold every month.
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president obama is now confirm inging what had been suspected all along here. that isis executioner jihadi john was killed in a u.s.-led airstrike last month. jihadi john is the british national seen on camera wielding that knife beheading western hostage hostages including americans. president obama made the announcement at the pentagon earlier today after meeting with his national security team with regard to isis. the president says his administration's strategy to de destroy isis is, quote, unquote, moving forward.
>> we are hitting isil harder than ever. coalition aircraft our fighters and drones have increasing the pace of airstrikes. nearly 9,000 as of today. last month in november we dropped more bombs than any other month since this campaign started. we're also taking out isil leaders, commanders and killers one by one. the point is isil leaders cannot hide and our next message to them is simple. you are next. >> let's go to our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto, live in washington who watched the president earlier today. hitting isis harder than ever. will that be enough to satisfy his critics? >> in a word no. his critics you hear in washington some of them frankly in both parties are looking for more assertive military moves. disagreement among what that is from a large ground force to perhaps more greater use of u.s.
special forces. but what you heard today is almost a defense and a progress report on his current strategy. the one concession he made is progress has to come faster than it already is, but then e he made the case that progress is coming. isis is losing ground in iraq. it's losing thousands of square miles in syria and then he listed as you heard him there, the number of isis leaders who have been killed or senior figures, another leader in libya to say in effect the strategy is working. now that's an argument that's not satisfying to a lot of folks in washington but that was a message today. >> that was the president there. let me pivot you to bowe bergdahl. we were just talking last week how we were hearing for the first time that the podcast right with regard to bowe bergdahl and the reason to leave his post.
now today we're learning about how he is being referred to the general court-martial. >> so in effect his case is going to trial. and he's going to go. to court-martial on two charges. ones we heard about for some time on desertion. that carries a a maximum sentence of five years. the other one more serious and that is putting his unit in danger, putting his fellow service members in danger. that carries a life sentence. it doesn't mean he's going to be charged with both of those or get that sentence, but that's the outer limit. and clearly they have decided they have to go to court to decide if there's substance there. you may remember that a few weeks ago the chief military investigator in this case he doesn't really argue for one side but he did make the case that bergdahl was being honest and doesn't believe he has ne farirhouse intentions. that said there are others who believe differently. it was interesting as we heard that podcast last week, he was
giving his public defense perhaps of what you might hear in ha that courtroom if you were there to say he went out and wanted to e expose wrong doing, bad, dangerous leadership in his unit there. that's his case and his judge and peers are going to have to decide what they believe. >> going to trial, jim sciutto, thank you so much. want to turn our attention to the investigation into the paris terror attacks. stunning new details out today suggesting the ring leader apparently directed the theater attacks by phone blocks away in realtime. this is according to a french terrorism expert. a witness told investigators they saw him standing on this doorway screaming on his phone for about an hour and appearing in a word,age ageitateagitated. let me bring in our
correspondent ste fon defrees. first it was the bomb shell he had gone back to the theater as investigators were still there and it was this gruesome scene. now to learn that he was this close proximity calling the attacks over a cell phone. >> absolutely that's what this magazine today published. allegedly, he was in front of the theater basically conducting the attacks while they were going on. it was already known he within the to a western suburb parked his car and took the subway to the area of the theater. so he may have been give. ing instructions while the terrorists were acting out the massacre inside the music venue. a source told french media this is not sure. it is sure he was in the surroundings. another detail is that france's president was at the same spot while maybe at the same time as the terrorist, which is incredible information.
it's not clear whether abdelhamid abaaoud was giving instructions directly, but he must have been in the direct neighborhood of the music venue. >> as we talk about paris and what happened there, sitting here in las vegas this is a day ahead of our final debate among republican candidates. i'm just wondering from more of a global perspective there from your perch in paris, how this race thus far is being perceived from your point of view. >> of course in europe we have been following donald trump and all his remarks about muslims last week. actually we make the comparison with a lot of european politicians like the leader of the right wing party here in france but also in the netherlands.
there are people that can be compared to donald trump. very harsh talk very anti-immigrant. no nonsense rhetoric something that pleases with the electorate. we have here yesterday in france regional elections. but nevertheless she got 30% of the votes and that's something completely new. france was a bipartisan country with socialists and now basically it's a country of three parties and brings the traditional parties huge difficulties because they want to become france's next president. in 18 months from now, there will be a presidential election in may 2017 and she has very good. chances. there are two rounds of what a presidential election and will most likely win the first round very easy but it will be difficult to become. the next president. but everywhere in europe just like in the u.s. pop list politicians are gaining ground
and they can have a lot of success. >> it also goes to show what happens here on the stage in las vegas tomorrow night. the world will be watching. thank you very much. the world watches who is most likely to succeed tomorrow night here in las vegas on that debate stage. how about who is most likely to fail or surprise us? we will have our predictions live from las vegas, we'll be right back.
waiting. cnn senior political reporter nia henderson is joining me. it's a a windy las vegas. we wanted to play a little political game. we remember in high school the senior superlatives. so we wanted to go through some of these candidates. for example, who would be most likely to succeed. if everyone on that stage tomorrow night. >> i think it's going to be ted cruz, who is probably the best just pure debater on that stage. here's a guy who is arguing cases before the supreme court. and actually was a a champion debater. so i think he's going to know not only how to take incoming but also turn it around. that's the trick when somebody comes after you. can you take the blow, absorb it and turn it into an upper cut.
>> he's done it in previous debates. rubio has accomplished his goals for each debate he's participated in which is sort of getting his biography out there. he's not trying to make splashes, jump in. he's just trying to plot along until we get closer to the voting which is looking to get hot at the end. he's probably likely to succeed in this format because it's also a little more so national security focus in his wheelhouse wheelhouse. >> who is most likely to brawl to fight it out? >> i think trump first, but also rand paul as well. rand paul, he's the one kind of going after trump. he's gone after everyone at some point. certainly has gone after marco rubio and we'll have to see. the thing about trump is that he's often brawled off stage. when it comes to doing it on stage, he didn't do that with carson and even though on the way away from the stage he was aggressive. >> i think you're right around
rand paul. that is the whole reason he's there. he made it to the main stage. skin of his teeth. and i think he's there to agitate the rest of the field. >> who is most likely to surprise? >> i find chris christie always has a moment where after each of these debates i didn't expect him to have one of the lasting moments of the debate and then he did. i think maybe we should be surprised, but he is the one that's like wow, he really got in there despite being towards the end of the stage. >> he always looks like he's enjoying himself on the stage. he shows parts of his personality and also often played the adult on stage. so i think he will be a surprise tonight. >> who is most likely to fail? >> most likely to fail i got to say ben carson who is on such a slide right now. opposite of rubio, this is not ben carson's wheelhouse.
this environment of post-paris post san bernardino, a commander-in-chief kind of debate i just don't think plays to ben carson's strengths. >> the tables have turned. just yesterday we were sitting talking about ben carson. >> i think that's right. i will talk to his advisers who say he's going to be great and going to be in the weeds in policy. has never lived up to those expectations. this isn't his issue. he has another trip overseas planned coming up after christmas. went to jordan as well. but he hasn't been able to bring it in national security in seeming like a forceful commander-in-chief. >> he comes with that credential of traveling overseas but it doesn't expand into a policy debate with others on the stage. >> this is your college gameday. are you stoked? thank you both so much. coming up next live from las vegas, mitt romney may not be on
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with just a little bit more than 24 hours now until the republican candidates will be taking that stage, obviously you see four podiums on the stage getting set for the undercard debate which is followed by the big debate on stage tomorrow night there at the venetian here in las vegas. there's a lot on the line we keep saying that over and over but this is the big one, final of the year. we're going to talk so much more about that i've seen republican strategist worked with the mitt romney campaign and cnn political commentator dan pfeiffer perfect conditions to discuss this. good to see you all by the way. >> good to see you. >> beginning with donald trump as he is front and center and everyone's talking about this monmouth poll and this laltest poll he says he would run the table if he wins iowa meaning
he's got it all if he can win that first caucus february 1st. how does one do that? >> it's extremely difficult. dan knows these things are not easy. particularly trying to run the table and thinking sweep. i know donald trump probably thinks he can do that in the business world and done it previously in everything else he's faced in life in presidential primary politics it's very difficult in iowa. they're very different electorates. the electorate in iowa is very highly evangelical. the one in new hampshire has a little bit more of an independent streak. and when you go down to south carolina it's much more focused on issues like national security. the idea that donald trump is going to bring together all those different types of republican voters and sweeping the table is somewhat farfetched. >> i think iowa is the hardest state for trump of the first four but there's a history here that when you start to get momentum one of those four state wills give you a come uppaens, and hillary clinton comes from far
behind to beat us in new hampshire, unlikely i think. >> lesson learned. here we are the day before the final debate of the year and we've just learned a while ago that the chief communications director for the mike huckabee campaign she's out. she's out. what is that -- that can't -- i don't know. that can't bode well for that campaign. >> we don't know the circumstances here. >> no we don't. >> there could be individual circumstances totally separate apart frft direction of the campaign but it's usually a pretty bad sign. and huckabee has struggled throughout this entire time to ever gain traction which is amazing for someone who won the iowa caucuses eight years ago. we need to learn more but not a good sign. >> and i would say first alice stewart is probably one of the better folks in the business highly talented. the other thing on a day like this or the day before a big debate that is when your team your campaign team is supposed to come together. they're supposed to be highly functioning. a lot of like a game day atmosphere we always say. so to have this type of internal
turmoil inside a campaign terrible sign right now. >> looking at you because i'm thinking of mitt romney and i was just talking to someone about this julie pace with the associated press reporting talking to john king that apparently because there are so many sort of candidates still in this as we are coming up upon iowa in february and the fact that it would be perhaps speaker ryan and mitt romney who would have this, and i'm quoting, come to jesus conversation with some of these candidates to say, hey, it's time we wentcall if i may, bs do you see that something could happen? >> i think two things. i don't think governor romney or speaker ryan see that as their place. i think they firmly believe in the will of the voters and letting this process play out before something like that would happen. i think a lot of party elders a lot of folks that are inside the leadership of the republican party, i think they are increasingly going to look to leaders -- other elders in the party like a mitt romney or paul ryan to start trying to have more of an influence on this
race. >> those would be two names that you would think of who would play that sort of role. >> yes. you also have to remember when governor romney was the nominee, i don't think he took it very well when folks from the outside were trying to have an impact on him. or there was talk about somebody coming from the outside to start making decisions for the party. >> yeah. >> the will of the voters i think is important and that was something he articulated in 2012. and i think he'd be very reluctant to get too involved. >> okay. dan pfeiffer kevin madden thank you so much. as we are 26 hours away from the big night tomorrow i'm brooke baldwin here live in las vegas. thank you so much for being here with me on this monday. we'll be back tomorrow. in the meantime "the lead" with jake tapper starts in a moment from right here in front of the venetian hotel in las vegas. it's easy to buy insurance and forget about it. but the more you learn about your coverage,
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it is a scarier world since the last time we were on the strip. "the lead" live from vegas starts right now. it is the final debate of 2015. and just 48 days away from the first votes cast in iowa. the lineup for the event is set with senator ted cruz of texas moving within striking distance of donald trump. and trump already striking at cruz on twitter and elsewhere. terror and the fight to destroy isis will be taking center stage here at the venetian hotel.