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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  February 16, 2016 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

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at wolf twitter. tweet the show. join us again tomorrow in "the situation room." i'm wolf blitzer. thank you very much for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. president obama going after [ bleep donald trump. the nasty war of words with ted cruz hit a whole new level. the president's challenge to congress tonight. let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm erin burnett. the breaking news, the president versus donald trump. president obama in the strongest language yet, that the presidency is not a reality tv show. >> i continue to believe mr. trump will not be president. and the reason is because i have
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a lot of faith in the american people. and i think they recognize that being president is a serious job. it's not hosting a talk show, or a reality show, it's not promotion, it's not marketing. it's hard. and a lot of people count on us getting it right. and it's not a matter of pandering and doing whatever will get you in the in us on a given day. and sometimes it requires you to make hard decisions even when people don't like it. >> trump never letting an attack go unanswered already has fired back. >> this man has done such a bad job. he's set us back so far. for him to say is actually a great compliment, if you want to know the truth. you're lucky i didn't run last time when romney ran, because you would be a one-term
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president. >> michelle, you know, the president not holding back. his strongest words, wading into a republican primary, talking about the front-runner. >> yeah, this is definitely unexpected. and such a withering criticism, specifically of donald trump. but remember, he was asked about trump directly. so he used trump as a kind of springboard to kind of lump everybody in, to criticize all of the republican candidates. he said some of the things that trump has said on muslims, immigration, even on climate change, that others of the republican candidates believe the same thing. listen, here's some of what he said. >> it requires being able to work with leaders around the world in a way that reflects the importance of the office. and gives people confidence that
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you know the facts. and you know their names. and you know where they are on a map. and you know something about their history. and you're not just going to play to the crowd back home. >> the president lately has seemed to not miss any opportunities to criticize republicans. but he never mentions any names. rarely does he do so, so specifically as he did here. again, remember, he was asked about trump directly. but he chose his words carefully. he used the words reality show, obviously referring to trump there. and the president said, you know, the presidency is such a serious job, this is the person that has the nuclear codes, and sends people to war. erin? >> michelle, thank you very much. "outfront" now, david gergen, adviser to four presidents. and john king. david, the president weighing in, talking about donald trump so specifically. you could see the anger and tension in his face, in his language. should he be talking about
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donald trump? he's not even the nominee yet. >> president obama was certainly justified in slamming back against donald trump. trump has hurled odious and many insults against him. one can understand why the president's frustrated, angry and wants to lash back. the hard question is, was it wise. and i must tell you, on that one, it's a hard question. but i think on this particular week, when the republicans, he's got the republicans looking very partisan on the question of replacing scalia. and he was the north korean above the fray trying to follow the constitution, do the right thing by the country. i think i would have counseled patience, get beyond the supreme court issue. but don't get down in the muck with donald trump right now. >> john king, you heard donald trump responding. it's a compliment. does the sitting president talking about donald trump elevate donald trump? >> sure. especially right now, days away from the south carolina primary. donald trump is under attack by all of his rivals.
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who's after him? maybe hillary clinton's a close second. president obama can be a mobilizing force. he said thanks, mr. president. remember this, and michelle touched on this a little bit, a deep history between these two. president obama would not have been forced to release his birth certificate if it were not for donald trump. there's a long history here. the president don't like donald trump. i'm told in private conversations as he watches this campaign, he thinks he's a dangerous force in american politics. >> what does a slam by the president do for people right now in the primary process, for people who are possibly thinking about voting for donald trump? does it mobilize them, not matter? what do you say? >> oh, i think it mobilizes them. i think john king is absolutely right. they will now feel they will stand up for their guy, that the president's come out swinging
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against them. everything they see obama do is tox toxic. i think they'll come out in bigger numbers. i think the bigger issue is, will he get off his pedestal when he has so many issues going on and get down in the muck of these primaries. i think he will come back up and get back up on the high ground and let the republicans fight it out. >> thank you both very much. the executive vice president for development and acquisitions for the trump organization, eric trump. let me just play what president obama had to say about your father. here he is. >> i continue to believe mr. trump will not be president. and the reason is because i have a lot of faith in the american people. and i think they recognize that being president is a serious job. it's not hosting a talk show, or a reality show.
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it's not promotion. it's not marketing. it's hard. and a lot of people count on us getting it right. >> what's your response to that? >> at this point, when i hear that, first of all, it does come as a great compliment. my father built one of the greatest real estate empires of the world. he worked incredibly hard. he built an amazing business. he employed tens of thousands of people all over the country. now he comes into the race for the presidency of the united states. not taking a penny from anybody. he thinks the system is broken. you have lobbyists and super pacs and everything. he's funding his own campaign. because of the many problems created under this administration. right now we have $19 trillion in debt. our educational system is broken. our military is broken. we're not winning any wars. we're doing stupid deals with iran. there are so many problems. here the president wastes time and goes and speaks about a
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presidential race of which he's not a part of. it's a very sad thing. >> you heard john king talk about sources he's close to, that have told him that president obama thinks your father is a bigot, is racist, perhaps about the birth certificate issue, also of course for -- >> nothing is further from the truth. he is an amazing guy. he would give you the shirt off his back. >> a new poll out has your father in first place. you heard david and john both say it may mobilize people to vote for donald trump. is your father confident of a win in south carolina? >> i think you can never be confident about anything, you've got to keep your fingers crossed and be humble and work very hard. my father works very hard. i think he's worked harder at this race than anything he's done in his life. that's what the man does. listen, i think we're going to win. the polls show -- cnn had a great poll today that had us up by about 20 points. i think we'll win south carolina and win the nevada caucuses
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going into that. you have to keep your fingers crossed. >> the cruz campaign said your father is too erratic to be president, and, quote, lost it on several occasions. and the war of words by ted cruz and your father. that your father is too erratic. >> what else can he say? he's down by 20 points in the polls. we're going into the final stretch. if they don't break away from the pack right now, they're not going to win. how could he not go after him in some way. you can't sit back and be passive. i think he saw that the other night. everybody had to gang up and go after my father. my father had to fight back against those people because they're all struggling, they're all drowning. we have one more opportunity to go into south carolina, nevada and super tuesday. that's going to be the natural reaction. >> as you point out, though, they all hit him at the debate, every single one of them. it was a fight all night long. who is the biggest threat to your father right now? >> i think my father has to fight the war. that's what this process is.
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you need to prove you're the best person. i think my father has to be steadfast, keep doing a good job and keep working as hard as he is. i think he'll ultimately prevail if he does that. he leads beyond these people right now. i think he needs to pay attention to his own race and not look back. his whole career he's always looked forward, what he's going to achieve next. you don't look back when you're in the lead. he's going to look forward and i really think he's going to win this. i'm very proud of him. the new cnn poll we just mentioned showing donald trump with an overwhelming lead in south carolina. if he wins there, does he run the table? the president challenging republicans to give him a reason, one reason for refusing to even consider a supreme court candidate. the sudden death of justice scalia fueling wild conspiracy theories. our report. when my doctor told me i have
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has the upper hand in the south carolina primary, with just four days to go until decision day. donald trump holds a 16-point lead with republicans. 38% compared to 22% for ted cruz, who's in second. over 50% in republicans in south carolina say trump is the best option for the economy, for illegal immigration, and to win the general election. the host of inside politics, john king is back. john, this is incredible coming out of new hampshire. we saw it in the polls, donald trump winning in every group as you broke it down. in south carolina, evangelical voters so crucial. who's ahead? >> you don't find many evangelicals in new hampshire but likely to be a majority of the electorate among republicans there. 19-point lead over ted cruz in south carolina. this despite constant cruz attacks in recent days,
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including a new video today, urging evangelicals to look at donald trump's past support of abortion rights. mr. trump said he opposes abortion rights, but has a long history of favoring abortion rights. erin, look at that number, 42%, if this holds up until saturday, mr. trump will win. >> does the poll reveal new support? any kind of new people coming to support donald trump at this time? >> yes. let me show you one piece of it. mr. trump's support is getting broader. we found a lot of polls where we saw the foundation of trump support people without college degrees, people with high school degrees but maybe a little bit of college, but not a college degree. look at this in south carolina. nearly 4 in 10 republicans who have a college degree say they support mr. trump, too. he's getting evangelical support, tea party support, rural support, and now higher educated republicans as well. he is broadening his coalition. it is not shrinking. >> significant with the college degrees. now, so it looks like a big lead
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for donald trump, obviously. is there anything he should be concerned about, any kind of harbinger of pain in this poll or not? >> that's a great way to put it. if you split it up -- the debate may have had an impact. pre-debate, donald trump was getting 40% of the south carolina republicans. there is an indication that the debate could have cost him some support. now, the beneficiaries were ben carson and john kasich. there is some indication that he was going down. so we'll see if someone can seize the momentum in the final days. that's important, erin, because half of south carolina republicans tell us they've decided. 20% are leaning toward him. 31% still deciding. if trump was in a slide coming out of the debate, there is an opening for his rivals. but they don't have that much time to seize it. >> when you say leaning one way deciding, is it common in your experience of covering this so many times, to see that many people undecided this close to
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the vote? >> the volatility in this race, the crowded field, i do think it is not common that you see this many undecided just days away in an establishment state like south carolina. but this is a wacky republican race. >> exciting to watch. john king, thank you very much. "outfront" tonight, rick tyler, and donald trump supporter who served as political director for president ronald reagan. i want to talk about the polls. but rick, first, donald trump talked about ted cruz, and i want to play for you what he said. >> if you remember the debate from just before the last one, where they were talking about por tur, and they were talking about water boarding, and they asked ted cruz who i think is totally unfit to be president, but these are minor details -- [ applause ] >> i really mean that. a senator just came out today, a senator from oklahoma who's a very highly respected senator and said he's one of the most dishonest people he's ever worked with.
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that's a hell of a statement. i've never heard of a statement like that, and one of the most respected senators. >> rick, dishonest, but trump saying cruz is totally unfit to be president. >> you know that the statement from the oklahoma senator was not true, right? we've reported that. that that is not true. that was false. he reported it. he's repeating it. it's not true. let's be clear about that. donald trump starts out making a statement about a senator who made a comment about senator cruz. that senator has said that that is not true. so he's making a point about senator cruz lying when he's lying. it's absolutely unbelievable. >> jeff, what do you say to that? >> wait a minute. rick, i mean, i've had united states senators tell me personally that they don't trust him. that they think he doesn't tell the truth. said to me directly face to face. >> when you go publicly and say that a senator said something publicly, and put it on your
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twitter feed and announce it on television just now, and cnn is not going to correct that, because that's been withdrawn, it needs to be withdrawn. that was a lie. he never said that. the senator from oklahoma never criticized ted cruz. >> rick, rick, look, i admire senator cruz for what he does. but it's patently obvious that members of the united states senate don't like him. i mean, they can't stand him. this is a problem if you're going to be president of the united states. >> just for the record, i will say, rick, you're correct, it was not true. i understand, jeff, others have told you that to their face that they agree. in this specific case in oklahoma, not true. the point is here, though, between cruz and trump, you're a liar, you're a liar, you're a liar. yesterday cruz said trump was insulting him because he was rattled by internal polling. cruz said that was perhaps because trump was falling in
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south carolina. trump 16 points better than ted cruz. it doesn't seem at least from that particular data point that the numbers were dropping. >> well, it would be helpful if it actually had been reported that he lied. here we have donald trump lying, and it gets reported, and no one challenges on it. and so, you know, let's start with that. so donald trump says ted cruz lies. when in fact, in the very debate where he said you lied, he's referring to the support for planned parenthood. then said they do wonderful things. donald trump says one thing that ted cruz is lying and then says the very same thing -- >> wait. are you saying -- >> hold on. just to be clear on the planned parenthood thing. donald trump said he didn't support the abortion aspect of the planned parenthood. >> right. it's like saying i like the
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money my hotels make on room service -- >> it's safe to say -- rick -- >> everybody understands that one of the reasons -- >> hold on one second. one second. on this issue, though, you've got a majority of republicans still supporting planned parenthood. planned parenthood does abortions, and republicans don't like that. it also does screening exams, things like that. that's what donald trump said he's supporting. >> there are lots of organizations that do that for free and don't provide abortions. planned parenthood is incompatible. >> one of the reasons i suspect senator cruz is having a problem with evangelicals in south carolina by such a large margin is that as both donald trump and governor huckabee pointed out, is that he's in theory, in public, opposed to gay marriage yet meeting with people who
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support gay marriage and funded by people who support gay marriage. that's a big issue with the evangelicals. and there's a double -- clearly there's a double standard here. i'm sorry, what? >> no, there isn't, jeffrey. if you read the piece -- >> it's okay to take their money? >> no. he has met with gay people. they sent the money. they asked for it back. and we sent it back. when they asked him in a meeting what they thought about gay marriage -- >> wait a minute. go ahead, rick, finish. >> he said -- he told them, they talked about gay marriage. they said are you for or against? he said i believe marriage is between one man and one woman. and they still sent the money. then they wanted it back because they got boycotted by their own cliente cliente clientele. jeffrey, is that your mailer that's out there? i read the report on that today. there's a smear campaign going
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on to ted cruz. is that the trump mailer you're talking about? >> i have no idea. i don't know. >> well, you do. >> i have no idea what you're talking about. jeffrey, you mentioned exactly what was in the mailer. that's really funny. >> i have no -- i have not seen any mailer. nobody's told me about a mailer. >> the battle of the mailers goes back and forth. i know that this is something that charges have been levied both ways. thank you both very much. a unique two-night town hall event, you'll see both of these candidates as well as the other gop candidates, all six of them will answer questions from the voters of south carolina. john kasich jeb bush and donald trump on thursday night. both events live at 8:00 eastern. and next, a republican senator breaking ranks on a supreme court nomination. why he's saying give president obama a chance. and hillary clinton with a big lead over bernie sanders.
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battle to replace justice scalia on the supreme court. just a short time ago, president obama sending a warning to republicans not to block any nominee until he leaves office. >> it's the one court where we would expect elected officials to rise above day-to-day politics. and this would be the opportunity for senators to do their job. i intend to do my job between now and january 20th of 2017. i expect them to do their job as well. >> is the gop united in its opposition? well, maybe not. michelle kosinski is "outfront." >> that's not how the system is supposed to work. >> reporter: president obama taking questions for the first time on the supreme court vacancy, wasted no time hitting back at defiant republicans who vowed to not even bring his nominee up for a vote. >> we've almost gotten
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accustomed to how obstructionist the senate's become when it comes to nominations. there's no unwritten law that says that it can only be done on off years. the ran kor in washington has kept us from getting work done. we're going to find somebody who is an outstanding legal mind, somebody who cares deeply about our democracy, and cares about rule of law. any fair-minded person, even somebody who disagreed with my politics, would say, would serve with honor and integrity on the court. >> reporter: an interesting diverse group, a federal judge born in india, served in both the obama and bgss. worked on indications that supported gay marriage, but also big oil and mining companies. congress approved him to the federal bench unanimously two years ago. you can see how such choices
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could put republican opponents in a tough spot. and that may well be the strategy. choose a moderate that could spark a storm of criticism if republicans refuse to even take it up. or if a liberal choice helped rally democrats to get out and vote. today in a "washington post" op-ed, harry reid blasted republicans' vows to shut a nominee out. it will ensure the republican majority is remembered as the most nakedly partisan, obstructionist and irresponsible majority in history. other potential choices, more federal judges. paul wattford, african-american, jacqueline noi en, born in vietnam. and mexican-born california supreme court judge florentino. attorney general loretta lynch, confirmed by the senate just last year, after a record delay that infuriated the white house. now, though, some republicans are intimating that stonewalling could be the wrong choice.
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chuck grassley now says -- >> i would wait until the nominee is made before i would make any decision. >> and this from senator tom tillas. >> i think we fall in the trap if we say sight unseen, we fall into the trap of being obstructionist. >> democrats, of course, say there may be cracks in what appears to be an immediate republican refusal to even hold a hearing on a potential nominee. today the president reiterated he's going to do his job. he expects the senate to do its job. erin? >> michelle, thank you. "outfront" now, bill crystal, and from the 2008 obama campaign, hare sevogan. the president asked to come up with a plausible rationale to not even hold a hearing to honor
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his nominee? >> it's up to the senate. they have the absolute power to advise and consent in any way they wish, which might include not proceeding on the nomination. i don't think voters elected a republican senate to check president obama. they're well within their rights to not let president obama make such a crucial appointment in his last year in office. the supreme court functions fine with eight justices. the decision in the lower court is upheld. there's no need to confirm anyone right now. >> hari? >> i would like to see if the supreme court had only eight juss when they -- >> they would have upheld the lower court decision. >> it would have been unprecedented. it's not unprecedented for a president to act in his fourth year in office. in fact, this idea of -- in fact, there have been 24 nominations by presidents of the
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united states in the course of our history in their last ten months in office, of supreme court, to fill supreme court vacancies. the american people elected this president to a four-year term. this notion that we need to have a new election for a new president for the american people to weigh in is utterly false. they've weighed in twice and they voted for barack obama to make those choices. >> president obama should nominate someone and put pressure on the senate and make his case to the american public. incidentally, i don't think it's a political matter. it will be a challenge to the republican senators to explain what they're doing, why they don't want the constitution to be interpreted in a way that an obama appointee would do. i have no problem with president obama making a nomination, and he has every right to go to the public to make his case. >> not all republicans are against the president's right to move ahead with the nomination. tom tillettes is one of them. >> no one is against the right to make the nomination. what the republican senators are saying they're not inclined to confirm someone president obama
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nominated. >> they're also in some cases, they don't even want to have a hearing if they don't like what he puts forward. which is somewhat of a strained argument. if we like it, we'll have a hearing, if we don't, we won't. let me play senator tom tillets again. >> we fall into the trap if we simply say sight unseen. we fall into the trap of being obstructionist. >> obstructionist, said from a republican, though. >> he can say that. he was elected in part to obstruct president obama from moving the constitutional law further in the direction, which president obama sincerely believed it should move in. justice sotomayor and justice kagan have moved in. so one could be cute and say, i'm going to withhold judgment. i think what mitch mcconnell said is basically correct. if you are a republican senator who believes in the constitution, you probably cwil
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not be inclined to confirm president obama's nominee. >> and as chuck schumer indicated, when the shoe was on the other foot, they would -- >> sure, here's the point. i agree with bill. it is cute to say that, you know, you shouldn't do this sight unseen. just a fig leaf on obstructionism. if they've already made up their mind they're not going to vote for them, that's their prerogative. but that's something i think they will pay a political price for. i look forward to senator johnson, or senator kirk explain to voters why they voted to obstruct. and their governing strategy isn't about small governance, it is about no governance. >> thank you both very much. a debate to be continued. conspiracy theorists following the death of justice scalia. we've got a report. and hillary clinton with a
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today the supreme court honored justice antonin scalia by draping a black court over his chair and a bench in front of it. flags were flown half staff. there are questions surrounding the circumstances of his death. while law enforcement official tells cnn there are no signs of foul play, that's not stopping conspiracy theorists. >> reporter: donald trump heating up the latest south carolina polls, fanned flames of conspiracy on a talk radio show. the savage nation. >> we needed an immediate autopsy before the body is disposed of. what do you think about that? >> they say they found the pillow in his face, which is an unusual place to find a pillow. >> reporter: the pillow wasn't found on justice scalia's face, it was over his head. a u.s. law enforcement official tells cnn the pillow question is absolutely ridiculous. still, other details surrounding
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the death of scalia haven't stopped conspiracy theories. being fueled on social media by guys like this. the so-called nature hacker. mispronounces the late justice's name. >> antonio scalia. >> reporter: as he wonders if scalia was poisoned. many of the theories begin with questions about the procedures after the justice's death. the u.s. marshal's service provided security for u.s. supreme court justices, but scalia declined security detail for his vacation. deputy u.s. marshals from texas responded to the death. they saw nothing out of the ordinary. and given his age, 79 and his chronic health issues, a county judge declared his death from natural causes over the telephone after consulting with scalia's doctor, according to the "washington post." scalia's family asked for no autopsy. texas law doesn't demand one. a friend of scalia's tells cnn they had been on multiple
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hunting and fishing trips together and did not appear to have a serious health problem. all of this leads a former d.c. homicide investigator to say more should have been done. >> this is a sitting justice on the supreme court. and we cannot have any questions about cause and manner of his death. >> richie says a death investigator should and still could be called in to end any questions. >> one of the things that a trained investigator, death investigator looks for is any signs of petechial hemorrhaging in the eyelids, in the lips, which would be a sign of possible suffocation. also, to smell the breath to see whether there are any unusual odors, such like the smell of almonds that might suggest cyanide or some other type of poison. >> but here's something important to remember. we live in an internet age that questions of validity of every single major news event. so even if an independent
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investigation were done, even if it were completely transparent, erin, it might still not satisfy the conspiracy theorists. >> nothing ever seems to satisfy people in that camp. thank you very much. breaking news, a new poll in south carolina showing a double-digit lead for hillary clinton, with four days away. why it may not be a sure win. the zika virus, now in more than 20 states. dr. sanjay gupta's remarkable story is ahead. was engineered... ...to help sense danger before you do. because when you live to innovate, you innovate to live. the all-new audi q7. a higher form of intelligence has arrived. we'll be with you shortly..
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breaking news. hillary clinton holding a double-digit lead over bernie sanders in south carolina. the latest poll has clinton at 56%, and sanders at 38%. black voters, she is courting aggressively. brianna keeler is outfront. >> reporter: hillary clinton in harlem, speaking at a black cultural center about racial injusti injustice. >> we have to begin by facing up to the reality of systemic racism. because these are not only problems of economic inequality. these are problems of racial inequality. >> reporter: she met earlier with leaders of nine historic civil rights organizations, including the national urban league. the naacp and reverend al
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sharpton. >> my campaign is really about breaking every barrier, because i believe absolutely that america can't live up to its potential unless every single person has a chance to live up to theirs. >> reporter: a number of the organizations don't endorse candidates, but clinton was looking to send a message. that she hears the concerns of african-americans. their votes are key to a democratic win in south carolina, where she leads bernie sanders by 18 points in a new cnn orc poll. >> i think we're going to surprise people here. on election day. >> reporter: sanders is trying to cut into clinton's support with black voters in the palmetto state, which holds its democratic primary later this month. he's investing valuable time in south carolina this week, attending a prayer breakfast this morning. >> when we talk about what's going on in this country, and the fact that virtually the entire nation suffers terribly as a result of the greed and recklessness and illegal behavior of wall street, which
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drove this economy into a terrible recession, the african-american community suffered more, and has recovered in a much less significant way. >> reporter: he's also come paining with erica garner, the daughter of eric garner who died in 2014 after a new york city police officer put him in a chokehold during an arrest. >> i believe he is the best candidate. >> reporter: garner appeared last week in a powerful campaign video. >> i think we need to believe in bernie sanders. >> reporter: she endorsed sanders in january, shortly after garner's mother endorsed clinton. president obama still isn't taking sides. but at his california press conference today, he noted his close relationship with clinton. >> i know hillary better than i know bernie because she served in my administration and she was an outstanding secretary of state. and i suspect that on certain issues, she agrees with me more
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than bernie does. on the other hand, there may be a couple issues where bernie agrees with me more. >> as bernie sanders and hillary clinton, erin, focus on african-americ you're seeing this generational divide play out there as well. hillary clinton may be leading by almost 40 points over bernie sanders when it comes to black voters in south carolina but he is actually gaining a little bit on her. and that's really because of young african-american voters, it's part of the reason you see him like today here's at moore hoous college as a tour. >> can he move them over quickly enough into his camp? >> it would be quite a heavy lift. >> brianna, thank you so much. david gergen is back with me. you hear brianna's reporting. there are interesting numbers on the poll, particularly on race, asked who would be best on the economy, whites say sanders, blacks say clinton. whites say sanders, blacks say clinton, democratic values. more than half the democrats in
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south carolina are black. you hear brianna saying he's trying now to win them over. does he have a shot of winning enough of them over before the primary? >> almost no shot. hillary clinton has a commanding lead now in south carolina. and there's a little more time, of course, before the south carolinian vote in the democratic primary. the gop is this saturday. but, you know, and she also got a commanding lead among blacks. even with the generational split. the surprise to me was the white vote. and the white vote, bernie sanders is beating her 54-40 in south carolina. that's in a democratic party in south carolina. you got a lot of moderates. you think there are not that many sanders-type liberals you would think, so that may be a warning sign for their campaign as they go forward. but she's very, very likely to win south carolina, be stunning if he pulls off an upset there. >> the bottom line is you're saying south carolina probably almost certainly hers, but given
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the split you're seeing, he remains competitive down the line? >> i think he may be more competitive in other states that are much more pro coedominantly white. i don't know how he's going to break with the latino community. we'll have to see how nevada comes out. white voters, she needs to build bigger bridges there. >> nevada crucial for the democrats this weekend. thank you so much, david gergen. next the deadly zika virus spread eing like wildfire. could an american infected with the disease eight years ago unlock to how it's spreading? dr. sanjay gupta talks to that patient zero, next. great caesar salad! ♪ and now the name your price tool shows people policy options to help fit their budget. is that a true story? yeah!
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a winning smile. and no chance of getting an athletic scholarship. and that is why you invest. the best returns aren't just measured in dollars. new evidence tonight that the zika virus is deadlier than anyone thought. in brazil, venezuela, six zika patients died including one young woman who had no history of chronic diseases. this comes as the virus is spreading rapidly, 30 countries battling outbreaks. in the u.s., at least 50 local cases in more than 20 states. could america's first patient discovered years ago actually
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help us figure out how the virus is spread? here's sanjay gupta with tonight's "idea." >> reporter: just looking at the images, it isn't hard to understand why professor brian foy became so sick. the year was 2008. brian was in senegal studying an insect most of us would rather avoid. mosquitos. i hear mosquitos killed more than any other animal on the planet. >> by far, yes. >> reporter: it wasn't unusual to feel a little miserable when you got home. this time was different. >> it really hit me. i think was driving in the car and i couldn't keep my eyes open. >> reporter: tests came back negative for just about everything. the only thing brian was fairly certain about, this virus was from mosquitos and hit him hard. ankle pain, hip pain, wrists and thumbs. a rash here on the chest and back. mild fever.
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brian's wife, joy, who hadn't been to africa, in fact, hadn't even left northern colorado in more than a year, also got sick. >> she got worse than i did by far. she -- it was stronger an lasted a lot longer. she couldn't really open cans and things like that for quite a long time. >> reporter: so at this point you knew she had what you had. >> i felt very confident, yes. >> reporter: brian and joy were convinced the virus had been transmitted by sex. >> we had just saw each other, you know, do what husband and wives do. >> reporter: what many don't know is the testicles are an area of the body known as immune privilege, an area where the immune system won't attack probably because it could affect the man's ability to have children in the future but means viruses can hide more safely here and be sexually transmitted. buy wrrian decided to freeze hi joy's blood in the hopes they would one day find the answer
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and by the time zika hitchhiked its way around the world to the americas, they knew the virus had already made its way to the united states nearly a decade earlier. even if no one else had listened to them. >> they wanted to see more evidence. now unfortunately we have more evidence. >> reporter: and consider this. if we had paid attention back in 2008, maybe today we would have a therapy or even a vaccine for zika virus. all right. this is it, huh? >> insectary. >> reporter: today brian is giving some of the mosquitos he studies the treat they need more than any other, human blood. it helps him better understand how they transmit the virus. this mosquito which typically only lives 30 days takes 14 days before it can spread the virus, so a solution may not be to eradicate the deadliest animal on the planet, but just to shorten its life span. dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, ft. collins, colorado. >> pretty fascinating. thank you all so much for joining us. be sure to set your dvr to
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record "outfront" to watch us any time. see you back here tomorrow night. "a.c. 360" starts right now. thanks for joining us tonight. with primary politics reaching a boiling point in stk zk, new poll numbers predicting a win for donald trump, president obama went on the cameras and went on the offensive, spoke out on trump as well as the threat of gop obstruction if he names a supreme court successor to antonin scalia. today he made it plain. he said the constitution is clear on what he'll do next which is nominate someone election year or no next year. >> there's no unwritten law that says that it can only be done on off years. that's not in the constitutional text. i'm amused when i hear people who claim to be strict interpreters of the constitution

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