tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN March 10, 2016 11:00am-1:01pm PST
and here we go, you're watching cnn, i'm brooke baldwin. special live coverage here in beautiful miami, florida. tonight's cnn republican debate. the candidates will have their very final chance to face off before tuesday's massive winner take all primaries both here in florida and of course in all important ohio. this could be perhaps, perhaps, their final debate together. could donald trump deliver his knockout punch?
will his rivals convince voters they should survive? for kasich and rubio, this could be do or die for them. they've called their home state primaries coming up must wins. all told here, got to do some math, 367 critical delegates at stake. today, another development adding to the drama. look at this with me. john kasich. pulling ahead of donald trump in his home state of ohio. which means there is even more at stake when they stand all four of those podiums tonight. let's kick things off with my colleague jim acosta, inside that cnn debate hall, where i know, jim, some of the walk throughs will begin. i was in the space yesterday. it is gorgeous, it is massive. did we just lose him? and we lost him. we'll go back to him, i promise you. i've been in there. it's a stunning space. that will be where all of it will go down later this evening. president obama, by the way, here's another thread, today
weighing in on this republican race during his news conference today with the canadian prime minister justin trudeau. the president said he found the fact that some republicans are blaming him, president obama, for the party's chaotic primaries as, quote, novel. >> the republican base for the last seven years, a notion that everything i do is to be opposed. what you're seeing within the republican party is to some degree all those efforts over a course of time creating an environment where somebody like a donald trump can thrive. >> that was president obama. we'll talk about him with our panel here in just a second. but second time in a charm, here he is, jim akocosta is back inse
that debate arena. show me those four podiums. >> that's right, remember when we had 17 candidates in this race, brooke, now we're down to four, donald trump, kasich, rubio, cruz. those are the four podiums for those candidates behind me. we're going to see them later on tonight. you know, we heard donald trump saying he's expecting a softer debate tonight. i wouldn't buy into that just yet. there are indications coming from all sides this could be a lively debate. i talked to a senior rubio adviser in the last couple of hours who said yes, marco rubio is not going to go personal when it companies to attacking trump. he's not going to go after the spray tanning or small hands or whatever you heard him say. marco rubio says he now regrets those kinds of attacks. he is going to go after trump university. he is going to go after donald trump's business enterprises that he's had over the years. we should expect those types of things coming up during the debate. even though he was saying to anderson cooper maybe it will be a softer debate, last night, he
was saying marco rubio's basically out of the -- he's already out of this race. and so donald trump is really almost counting marco rubio out of this race coming up on this big super tuesday next week. even before this debate even starts. and ted cruz earlier, you know, this morning, it came out on christian broadcasting, ted cruz was saying to cbn that donald trump is taking advantage of, quote, poorly informed voters, and so there's a lot of fur flying at this point. my guess is that this will be an intense aggressive debate tonight and we'll see it unfold in just a few hours from now. the clock is ticking down not only for this debate but for all of these candidates. you mentioned ohio, we should mention, brooke, last night, you don't hear this very much, donald trump going after john kasich. he called him an absentee governor out in ohio. i think that has something to do with those poll numbers you just indicated, showing john kasich perhaps moving past donald trump in his home state. so just saying it could get a
little intense later on tonight, brooke. >> it definitely could. a softer intent. name your adjective. we shall see. thank you so much. a lot to talk about here on this debate day. joining me now, the author of what america needs, the case for trump. jeffrey lord who was the political director for ronald reagan. also political commentator amend ka carpenter who used to serve as the common cations directioner for cruz. and david cattany, senior reporter for world report. david, with you talking about president obama's comments, so we're hearing bits and pieces from him recently, you know, marinating on this republican race. the fact he said it was the republican party that created trump, and he was saying all of these candidates are essentially the same. you think that's right?
>> well, i don't think it's right that all the candidates are essentially the same. trump is a totally different candidate in our lifetime. we've never seen anything like him. i do think he has a report that the republican party in part created donald trump. i was at a rubio rally yesterday. even people that supported rubio and are going to go vote for him understood trunlp and understood why he was appealing to people. so i think this has been sort of a long festering problem in the republican party. that it's now coming back at them. i think it's most interesting that president's finding himself weighing in to the republican primary at all. >> listen, he wants to remain obviously pertinent to what's happening in his final year in office. you, turning to you, you want to respond to any of this? >> you know, i have to mused at. nominees or respective nominees have won the party frequently, as my friend david axelrod, our
colleague, are the opposite of whoever the president is. you can really say that george w. bush was responsible for the rise of barack obama. and you can really say that bill clinton was responsible for the election of george w. bush. what people are looking for quite frequently is all the way to the other side. this goes all the way back to john quincy adams and andrew jackson so i think president obama is just the latest. >> when you look at the state of the republican party, the tea party, more recently, i'm curious with that sort of revolution over last four, eight years, if that created an opening for someone such as donald trump. >> every presidential nominee is a reaction to the previous president. certainly the vacuum of strong relationship leadership created an opening for donald trump. the reason why many conservative people like donald trump is because they think he will do what obama said. then say, okay, we don't have a problem with executive action, we just want our guy to do it.
when trump talks about a lot of strength, i'm going to do this, which i think is impossible, that's the reaction to president obama, having such a big view of government and doing things unilaterally himself. >> let me stay on donald trump because he definitely made news in the conversation he had with anderson cooper specifically in what he said about islam and, as we play the sound, let me just tell all of you in a couple of hours, c.a.r.e., the council of american islamic relations, they're holding a news conference demanding he apologize for this. >> do you think islam at war with the west? >> i think islam hates us. there's something -- there's something there that's a tremendous hatred there. we have to get to the bottom of it. there's an unbelievable hatred of us -- >> in islam itself? >> you're going to have to figure that out. >> so, calley, as a trump supporter, i want to ask you this. even trump supporters, the trump
national campaign chair, was only specific on radical islam here. but it was mr. trump who said islam hates us. >> sure, but the next question in that clip, anderson came back to him and said, do you mean radical islam or do you mean islam? and trump immediately said radical islam. however, sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. so trump is against radical islam, a consistent narrative we've seen from his campaign. he says, i have many muslim friends. i respect islam. i don't respect radical islam. go to the guardian and you can read about a muslim supporter of trump who says i understand donald trump. he's standing against radical wahhabism. he's protecting me as a moderate muslim. this muslim individual explains very well how he can tell the difference between trumpance opposition to wahhabiism but support for islam in general. >> do you buy that? >> trump is the king of
imprecise language. if he added "radical" we wouldn't be talking about this. look, this doesn't hurt him in a republican primary, frankly. i mean, he speaks in a raw language. he speakings in a primal language. this is why people are drawn to him. because every voter you talk to, they're sick of the political correctness. you hear that around the country. and that's -- that trump is -- >> it resonates. >> he doesn't tip tow around that answer. he just says it. >> it's a huge contrast to our president who has preetedly refused to say islamic radicalism. he'll call it workplace violence. americans at their dinner table recognize this is terrorism by and large is a problem within this radical sect of the islamic faith. >> radical sect, not islam as a whole. >> but the president has failed to acknowledge that. donald trump has. it's radical islam but it's important to say that word. >> move on. marco rubio, we were talking yesterday, will we see a mean marco or a nicer marco today.
you laugh. it's a valid question. he's even commented on how he regrets some of the language he's used. here's marco rubio. >> in terms of things that have to do with personal stuff, yes, at the end of the day, it's not something i'm entirely proud of. my kids were embarrassed by it. and i, you know, if i had to do it again, i wouldn't. this is a guy who's basically offended everyone for a year. literally has mocked a disabled journalist, a female journalist, every minority group imaginable. on a daily basis. you use profanity from the stage. that said, yeah, i don't want to be that. if that's what it takes, then i don't want to be president. >> so he took it there, multiple times. he's now sort of coming back. will we see a more toned down version of him tonight? >> i think it will be very hard for him to change course. listen, marco rubio has gone on the attack. we've seen it several tyimes against ted cruz and donald trump.
>> but we didn't see it in the beginning. >> like i'm memorizing all these attacks, i shake out my folder and let it fly. he has that one mode. i think it's very hard to adapt this late in the game. also, he has to go all out. this is his last chance. super tuesday is on tuesday. this isn't a time to tone it down. i think this makes him look really week when you're saying, oh, i did all that, now regret it. you have to own it. he does not. >> it's nothing personal, again. i watched him last night. he's back on his opposition message. >> he says this embarrassed his kids and his wife. i bet an adviser told him to go dirty on trump to get media coverage when he needed it most. it just was a backlash. i think you will see hopeful optimistic marco. >> trump university is going to be -- it's going to be all the -- >> that's a fair game, spray tans -- >> the attacks are coming. >> what this says -- what this says is somebody whose message was "i can win."
that isn't a reason to elect somebody president. this is mitt romney's message, i'm a winner, and of course romney lost. marco rubio was on the same kind of line of attack. when you run on empty, you start to do this. >> i have so much more. pause. do not move. the panel will be with me. we have to take a quick break and a reminder, so much at stake in tonight's cnn presidential debate. pregame starts at 8:30 eastern tonight. opening statements, 9:00. of course that is only here live on cnn. ted cruz, dissing donald trump supporters, calling them ill informed, ill engaged. he is also saying trump is taking advantage of them. how might trump respond? plus, hillary clinton makes an interesting admission about how she is not like her husband, she's not like president obama. does the revelation feel authentic or could it make her more vulnerable? and we'll speak live with a man by the name of luther campbell, rap icon and unofficial mayor of
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we're back here live at the university of miami, ahead of tonight's all-important republican debate. we're going to talk about something now we actually hadn't planned on talking about until we got this bit of news. a 78-year-old man has just been charged with assault after alley hitting a protester at a donald trump rally in north carolina. that protester apparently was being led out of this event and that's when said sucker punching occurred. yes, there is video. and here it is. ouch. all right.
so as the video continues, the protester is pulled to the ground by police. again, the man there in the hat who looks to have punched him has now been charged with assault. we have reached out to the trump campaign for a response to what you're looking at. as soon as we hear from them, we will of course pass that along to you. but to the panel, again, this is something we're planning on talking about. in terms of behavior at some of these rallies, 78-year-old -- >> trump isn't directly responsible but i do think -- >> i'm not blaming him at all. >> when you drag that person out, don't give their coat back, that gets up the crowd. there's been a lot of fights. this is what happens at these rallies. they now come for the fight. i'm curious to see what -- >> most people aren't pulling in rallies with 35,000 people. that's a huge crowd. donald trump can't see what's going upon his speech last week was interrupted 13 times by protesters. each and every time, he said get them out and left it there and
left it to security to do that. i don't presume that because black panther pulled up at his polling location that obama somehow likes the black panthers. this is not indicative of what they believes. >> it's about the anger, the feeling. >> it doesn't matter though, he's the candidate. if he wants to be president of the united states, he should stand up and denounce violence. it's getting out of control. >> this is only happening at trump rallies. >> you know whether it's the black panthers -- >> the photographer -- >> david. >> that's what leaders do. >> david. >> because that is -- >> david, number one, there's no place for violence. unfortunately, the american left has a very long and detailed history of doing exactly this -- >> why are we -- but that's not what we're talking -- >> no, no, no, that is what we're talking about -- >> that's fine -- >> but shouldn't mr. trump say stop -- >> they are in search of violence, that's what their -- >> that's fine, but what do you --
>> the 1968 democratic convention -- >> why are you bringing up -- >> it's history, david, it counts. >> -- why can't trump say we can't hit anyone at rallies -- >> trump shouldn't bring up -- >> shouldn't he do that? >> he had. >> after decades of seeing -- >> decades? >> decade, decades. >> but that does not condone violence. >> were you calling on barack obama to down the black panthers? >> show me an instance of that video of someone getting sucker punched -- >> -- at polling places and i don't recall -- >> at polling places they're not getting in anyone's face -- >> polling, okay -- >> that not the same thing as getting cold socked. >> that video is shocking. >> that's a terrible video. >> of course, of course, but what i'm saying is there are people who go to these rallies with a deliberate attempt of provoking people -- >> that doesn't matter -- >> that's fine. >> no, it's not fine, david, and therein lies the problem. that is why that guy -- >> so it's okay to hit protesters who may disagree -- >> it's okay to have that --
>> it's okay to hit protesters -- >> it is not okay to provoke somebody to violence -- >> okay, okay, okay, okay. >> -- easy argument -- >> okay, we'll come back to that. i appreciate the passion. let's move on to ted cruz. he had some words for trump supporters. >> you know donald gave a press conference where he said to quote him i love the poorly educated. part of it is, i think donald is taking advantage of voters. if you're angry at the corruption of washington, you don't solve it by supporting someone who has been emeshed in the washington corruption for 40 years. donald does well with voters who have relatively low information who are not that engaged and who are angry and they see him as an angry voice. where we're beating him is when voters get more engaged. when they inform themselves, they realize his record.
he's what they're angry at. >> so amanda, turning to you, this is your former boss, should he not be courting these voters? >> i think we've seen that donald trump supporters aren't going anywhere. it's very hard to peel those people off. easier to get a rubio supporter or someone else. listen, think he's dead right. if donald trump voters were concerned about his policy inconsistencies, they wouldn't be donald trump supporters so i think he's got it dead right. >> i can only say i like vice president cruz a lot, i really do, but i just think he made a bit of a misstep here, and all these folks -- a lot of folks he's describing there voted for ted cruz in texas so i think he made a bit a mistake. >> lightning round time. what is the number one thing that will surprise you tonight, kaylie? >> i want them to mention flint, i think it transcends party lines and i want them to point that out.
>> will he go after marco rubio? we know trump is the target but cruz wants to go after rubio in florida. i wonder how much of the aggression will be targeted at rubio versus trump. >> the question that has to be asked if you're a senator or governor and you win your home state, why is that a big deal? >> what do you mean? >> if marco rubio wins florida, shouldn't he win it? he's the senator from florida. if kasich is leading in ohio, he's the governor of ohio, so he wins, and what? i mean the question is can you win elsewhere. that's the question. >> by the way, pause, let me follow up on that. the latest poll says case sick beating trumgp but trump says if he does take ohio and he does take florida, the others should be out and he should be in it to win it. is that true? >> no, no. i mean, you've got to go compete around the country. you're running for president of the united states, not president of ohio, not president of florida. you've got to go around to all these different places that you may never have been and spend
time and talk to them. these are your fellow americans. i might add this means in the case of republicans you should be going into black communities, going into latino communities and appeal to these people directly and not about race. talk about economics. talk about, you know, the environment. talk about whatever you want. but appeal to them as americans. >> what would surprise you most? >> the ohio poll, kasich is performing well. donald trump obsesses about the polls. i think donald trump is going to blow kasich up. you can't stay hands off. >> all right, david, amanda, jeff, kaylie, thank you. a raw and candid moment. hillary clinton, asked why voters just don't trust her, despite years and years in the public eye, why her answer is generating so much buzz today, next. [woodworker] i live in the fine details.
and we're going to come up on live pictures here. our beautiful set, thank you cnn crew, here outside of the campus here in miami, florida, just a couple hours away from the big debate tonight. four men remain here in the republican race for president for the nomination for president. but on the democratic side, hillary clinton is admitting to a huge political short coming, especially for someone aiming to be the next president of the united states. secretary clinton admitting last night during the debate that she is not a natural politician. that moment happened during the debate here in miami. here she was.
>> i am not a natural politician in case you haven't noticed like my husband or president obama. so i have a view that i just have to do the best i can, get results i can, make a difference in people's lives, and hope that people see that i'm fighting for them. >> and her candor echoes another moment she had on the eve of the 2008 new hampshire primary when she ran against obama. >> this is very personal for me. it's not just political. it's not just public. i see what's happening. we have to reverse it. and some people think elections are a game. they think it's like who's up or who's down. but it's about our country. it's about our kid's future. >> and it was that moment when you talked to, you know, clinton supporters who say it was that sort of dropping of the veil,
helping propel her to victory in the new hampshire primary. will what she said in miami perhaps help her when at the comes to the florida primary. joining me, miami herald political reporter patricia masai is with us. you wrote about, and a lot of people have, on her moment where she said she's not a natural politician. was that just a real true glimmer of authenticity that really resonated in a way that we don't often see in most politicians? >> i think what you want in a debate is catch a candidate in a moment where they look like a real person and not just spouting there -- >> talking points. >> yes, that sounded like a genuine answer. it wasn't emotional. she wasn't crying. it was not that level of perm. but it really seemed like something that people have said about her that she knows, and she was asked a tough question, right, about how she's not
considered honest and trustworthy in polls and she said that was painful as opposed to saying of course i'm honest and trustworthy. >> a question she's been asked a lot. >> she hadn't really answered in that way, which is to compare herself to her husband. which i'm sure she doesn't like to do on a regular basis and to the current president. >> sure. what about immigration coming up? here we are in florida. it was univision, a lot of spanish being spoken. a lot of hispanic people in the audience. and how she really has -- she, hillary clinton has moved further left. broke within president obama on the issue of deportation. maybe this is a result of her rival being bernie sanders but i marvel at really the far spectrum when you look at the democrats and republicans and the crevasse in between is immigration. >> well, and to me it was interesting, you know, with univision they always ask you to really get specific on
immigration. obama went through that experience of, like, making a promise and breaking a promise that he made on univision and here they were being asked to make another promise about not deporting children and they made it. it wasn't even a contentious subject. you know that's going to come back to whoever the nominee is if they win the presidency. that if they don't follow through this is going to be reverberating for them for years to come. >> 30 seconds, what most surprised you, what one moment? >> well, i was surprised the audience was so into sanders. it was a college, miami-dade college, so maybe there's a lot of students there. he got a pretty warm reception. i thought clinton got the tougher questions. >> patricia mazzai, thank you. coming up next, senator rubio in his own words. what he says is his biggest regret of his campaign, something he says actually embarrassed his own children. plus, the unofficial mayor here in miami about his experiences with donald trump including a visit to his mansion with mike
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welcome back here. we are in miami. we are hours away from a republican debate that could very well be the last. at the very least, this is the final debate for the four men left standing before next tuesday's winner take all crucial primaries here in the state of florida and in the state of ohio. of course right where marco rubio is really vetting on, promising tonight, you will not see rubio of the past two weeks. that means no more personal digs at trump's spray tan, the size
of his hands. >> in terms of things that have to do with personal stuff, yes, you know, at the end of the day that's not something i'm entirely proud of. my kids were embarrassed by it. if i had to do it again, i wouldn't. >> joining me now, jamie weinstein, senior editor of "the daily caller." did you write -- what did you say, a crowd of fatalism? where do you think it started going wrong? >> i think the last debate where he started taunting trump. you saw over the course of four days, he raised questions about his spray tan, his hair, his business practices. he started reading the mean tweets jimmy kimmel-style to crowds of supporters across the country. >> where did that come from? >> well, our understanding they sort of presented the senator with some sense of trump's
background, especially when it comes to trump university. he himself was upset by it all and said we need to start going after him. i think they also wanted to prove a point which is perhaps somewhat valid. if they started using trump-like tactics, they would get more attention. if you look back over those four or five days, suddenly all of the rallies were being broadcast start to finish. >> he got attention. >> he did. >> maybe not the good kind of attention he really perhaps wanted. >> i have a little bit different view of it. i think that might have hurt him. especially some of the attacks went a little too far. you can make fun of his stubby fingers without tying it to something else. >> totally went there. >> but the truth is, he wasn't doing very well before then. he wasn't on the path to winning the nomination. there might have been a strategic calculation that i might as well go out on my sword. at least try that, try something new. >> you say it's time for rubio to stand down? >> i think at this point they
should go to ted cruz. >> what do you mean go to ted cruz? >> i mean after tonight's debate, they should go to prime 101, that famous steakhouse, sit in the back room and say our chance is over. we don't think donald trump is good for this country. do you want us to stay in this race until florida to try to deny trump the delegates? would you prefer us to get out now so you have a shot? we put it in your hands. now, this probably won't happen. >> i don't see that happening. >> this is what you should do if you really want to stop trump getting the nomination. >> that's not going to happen. >> we'll wait until results tuesday night and we'll see. >> i'm reminded of the most recent republican debate where it was, you know, one after the other, kind of ganging up on donald trump. they were fighting to be that anti-trump candidate. do you think we'll see those personal attacks against one another and trump will watch the whole ping pong match? >> you have to be careful tonight because if you're of the establishment and you want this
to go to at least slow trump over the next few weeks. you need rubio to win here. you need cruz to be accruing delegates -- >> so you're saying play nicely tonight? >> play nice and gang up on trump. there's also the risk of what he might do. >> there's the argument if trump wins ohio and florida. that would force kasich and rubio out of the race. according to the delegate map, then we'll test the preposition whether trump can get over 50% in states going forward. if he can, he'll be not nominee. if he can't, the math shows he can go to the convention with a delegate lead and then maybe win it on the second ballot. it all depends on whether trump can get over 50% in a one-on-one race in the number of states against cruz. >> just sitting here in miami, sitting in florida, i'm so mindful of marco rubio, the all-important winner take all primary next week. here he is now admitting regretting saying what he did. saying he embarrassed his own children. do you think he will take on more of a moderate tone this
evening? >> i think he has to. >> why? >> he's heard from supporters or donors that have flown in for meetings that was sort of unbecoming of him, it was totally against the image and the sort of tone he was trying to set not only with his persona but his vision of what the country should be. i think you're right, he has to pull back to some extent tonight. because for this simple fact, the other method didn't work. >> yes. now the poll in ohio, and how kasich is apparently this most recent poll, kasich beating trump. if kasich remains, you know, standing as the final adult in the room or if he does a little of this. ed o'keefe, jamie weinstein, thank you. so much at stake in tonight's cnn republican presidential debate. you can watch jake tapper moderate this massive event. 9:00 eastern. pregame starts at 8:30 p.m.
> welcome back. we are live here. beautiful university of miami. thank you so much for being with me. we're hours away from the cnn republican debate. my next guest, fair to call you a legend, he says it's okay. the unpredictability of florida politics actually better than most. he ran for mayor here in miami in 2011, finished fourth, but back in the '90s he was best known for this. ♪ it's your birthday ♪ go go go
so miami, 2 live crew frontman luther campbell, uncle luke, luke skywalker. famously invented the parental advisory label after fighting tipper gore in his censorship battle. he won a copyright case that went to the supreme court. he has been a leader in the miami-dade community. he also writes a column for the miami new times. luke, so nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you too. >> thanks for having me in this beautiful city. my mom's from here, feel at home. >> really, okay. >> so before you became who you became 2 live crew and everything like that, when you were a kid, you weren't allowed to watch cartoons? >> no, we had to look at the news. >> you had to look at the news? >> when your dad is jamaican and your mom is bahamain, it's all politics in the house consistently all day.
>> did that begin an interest in you with, you know, politics, civil events, what's going on in the world? >> yes, it did because, you know, my mom when she named me luther, i was like, why you name me luther? great name, martin luther king. so between being named luther and named after martin luther king and at the same time, going over to my uncle's house and him telling me about politics, you need to know the news, because they'll put invisible chains on your legs. that's what they used to tell us. i got heavily involved in politics. >> you ran for as a celebrity ran for the mayor of miami. looking at the 20,000 view celebrity donald trump running for office, can you relate in any way? >> no doubt about it. >> how. >> because me being entertainer, you know, i didn't have to spend
a lot of money, you know, on creating this image of me. people already knew who i was. you know, saying what people already knew who donald trump is. he doesn't have to spend millions of millions of dollars, you know, okay promoting himself. as an individual. so, you know, automatically, you know, people already know who he is. so it makes it easier for him. >> and you know hip, you met him. let's keep it pg, pg 13, whatever. you've been to his mega mansion in palm beach. who were you rolling with? >> that night, it was mike tyson. >> that nice. >> eddie murphy. we didn't see you in there. >> yeah, i missed that night. i probably was -- i don't know, 10 years old. anyway, but no, tell me stories. >> i mean, the pg version of the stories? >> i don't know. >> yes, that was a wild night. we got escorted in by these cars that picked us up. it was all kind of models.
the girls that were in the pageant. it was a lot of different things. a lot of different rooms. at a certain point, i said, i got to go, because it's a little too heavy for me. >> like everything above board, it was just like having a good time? >> yeah, yeah, it was too much of a good time. >> oh, my goodness, you had to turn around and leave. >> some things i don't indulge in. >> what do you remember about mr. trump in those times? >> i remember him being a cool guy, you know, and most hip-hop artists wanted to be like trump. trump kind of framed up new york hip-hop where people don't, you know -- >> how? >> how? i mean, you know, those guys wanted to be like trump. trump was big time, flying on a jets. it was about trump towers, things like that. people want to be on that trump level. but not me. all the other guys, the russell simmons and the puff daddies and all them the world. i just wanted to be me. >> now fast forward to today,
you're coaching high school football. >> yes. >> miami-dade. and i'm wondering, you know, beginning where we started with your uncle making you watch news, this isn't just about plays on the football field? >> no. >> you're making these young men be aware of what's happening currently. >> exactly. i mean, that's the whole thing. it's about teaching them accountability and responsibility, you know, and i know 99.1% of those kids are not going to make it to the nfl but at the end of the day, they're going to be young men and they're going to have to grow up. they're going to have to have families and they're going to have to be responsible. i tell them, you got to get a voter registration card. that is important. >> good for you. >> it's about life challenges, you know, and that's why i life working with the kids. >> what do they think of this presidential race? >> oh, man, they talk about it all the time. you know, like hey. they find trump funny. they find hillary interesting. a lot of -- we talked about it because, you know, there are times like last week, i had to deal with two kids.
one brother had got shot and one brother got murdered. at the same time, on the same football team. these kids are like they don't talk about that in these debates, you know, and it's the same thing going on with this miami, chicago, any place else. i always say, you know, i told them the other day, my absentee ballot, i did not turn it in yet because i'm still confused as to who i should vote for. >> wow. i have more for you but we'll take that after a commercial break. >> i have to fan you really quick. >> seriously this is happening. this is my life. thank you, luther campbell. as he's fanning me, okay. coming up next, okay, i love you, thank you. coming up next, backlash after donald trump says -- how could i have a straight face? donald trump says islam hates america. do you see this with anderson cooper? as he gets ready to step up on the stage tonight and try to deliver a knockout punch to his rivals.
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all right, and we continue on. top of the hour. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. we're in miami. as the state is set for tonight's cnn republican debate. this is the last chance for the final four to shape up the race before voters in florida and ohio hit the polls. possibly this could be the last debate for all four of these men period. both of those states, ohio and florida, they're pivotal because they're winner take all contests. donald trump says, quote/unquote, it's over if he wins both of them. as it stands right now, john
kasich, the governor of ohio, is actually leading in ohio. this is according to this new fox poll. you see the numbers here, top of your screen. kasich with 34% to donald trump's 29, ted cruz with 19 and marco rubio with 7. now, things are not so bad for rubio in florida, but for u.s. senator in his home state, they should be better. let's just be real. so far, it sees floridians are not rallying behind their senator. let's begin with jason carroll who is inside the debate hall. four podiums. some candidates are starting to roll through, get the lay of the land. >> they have already done some of the walk-throughs. here are the podiums. starting with kasich here, cruz, trump, followed by rubio. over here, that is where jame tapper's going to be sitting at that desk. right now, you have kate sitting
there. she is with our special events team. she has said quite accurately it takes a village to put on a show like this, really takes a city. some 2,000 people now just hours away, will be sitting out there, getting ready for this debate. probably not likely to hear senator rubio go after trump in the way we've heard him in the past in terms of personal attacks, going after, talking about his hair, talking about the makeup that he wears, the size of his hands. he already admitted that wasn't me as a candidate, that wasn't me as a person. probably not likely to see folks like rubio go after trump that way. we're likely to see him go after trump in terms of specifics, trying to get him to get specifics, in terms of his po is, where he stands on particular issues. so look for that. rubio says he believe he's going to be able to stop trump here in florida, despite what those
polls say, just as case sikasic able to stop him in ohio. brooke. >> jason carroll, thank you. inside the arena. donald trump not mentioning words during his interview with cnn, spelling out his problem with islam. >> do you think islam is at war with the west? >> i think islam hates us. there's something -- there's something there that's a tremendous hatred there. there's a tremendous hatred. we have to get to the bottom of it. there's an unbelievable hatred of us. >> in islam itself? >> you're going to have to figure that out. >> those words drawing little distinction between the religion and radical islamic terrorism. obviously angering a lot of muslims. let me bring in our panel here. trump supporter andy dean. tim miller, former communications director for the bush campaign and communications devisor for the our principles
pac. and s.e. cupp, and cnn political analyst gloria borger. let's begin with what we heard mr. trump talking to anderson about islam, islam hates us. we know c.a.r.e. is holding a news conference, they're demanding an apology. >> i'm proud of what donald trump is doing. i really want to get into this so no yelling until -- i know people are going to freak out. what donald trump is mostly talking about is the culture of islam. culture means a value system. if you look at the culture of islam in the united states, these are wonderful people. they're 3 million americans. they're engineers, they're doctors. they love america and they love american culture. what does that mean for muslims in america? it means if you're in the muslim religion in america, you can get a divorce as a woman without being killed. you can be gay without being thrown off a building. you can leave the religion without being executed. in the middle east, if you're gay, you do get thrown off a building. if you try to get a divorce as a
woman, you do get murdered. what we won't tolerate is the hatred of cult of ur in the middle east to come into the united states and preach their hatred here, trump will not allow this. >> is that fair? >> i think andy sounds could s whereas cdonald trump has no ida what he's talking about. there's this sense of donald trump that he tells it like it is. no, he thinks what people want him to say. when it comes to this issue, donald trump has no respect for the constitution, no respect for freedom of religion and when you are opening up the door to banning citizens of this country from re-entering the country because they're of one religion, that is a very dangerous and slippery slope. that does not share the values of the country it was founded on. it's kind of verbal nonsense he
gave to anderson last night. >> you have to remember where tim is coming from. i understand where tim is coming from. he has millions of dollars from the family that is supporting his superpac. tim is financially incentivized. he's probably doing well financially. there's these very wealthy families who hate donald trump. these guys take a commission. i want to negotiation your commission. >> that has nothing to do with what i was talking about, that is complete nonsense. >> this is superpac. >> i have no superpac. i think the argument that you lay out, andy, is the corrupt argument and those distinctions matter. donald trump doesn't make those distinctions -- >> that's not accurate -- >> just let me finfinish. >> you got it. >> i think when tim says donald trump basically doesn't know what he's talking about, i think that's wrong. i think he knows exactly what he's doing. rather than make those
distinctions which a leader should make he's being vague. a scream to this corner of the country who thinks everyone who doesn't look like them is responsible for their problems. and we've seen him do this before. i think it's absolutely on purpose. and i think it's really cowardly. have the courage, donald trump, to make those distinctions. >> he does actually. >> make an argument that makes sense. charge that's not fair. >> and that doesn't intentionally offend a huge portion of the segment. not just engineers but muslims who fight for this country who put on our uniform and go overseas and fight and die for this country. that would be courageous. >> i think it's strange when a presidential candidate makes a blanket statement that says islam hates us. presidential candidates, particularly at this point in the campaign, you're getting kind of towards the end of the primary, he's the front-runner. there needs to be more nuance and explanation. when anderson tried to follow
up, he said, you figure it out. that's not what a presidential candidate at this point needs to be doing. if you ask me, i'm not saying any of his supporters will be upset by this, they won't, but we are at a certain stage in the campaign where you need to put some meat on the bones and you can't say to a journalist, okay, you figure it out -- >> you know who will be upset is republicans who care about religious freedom. a lot our supporters, we just had ken blackwell come out today, a strong conservative from ohio who cares about religious freedom. these candidates are going to say know to donald trump -- >> yeah, he's winning. >> his support is waning among the very conservatives, against people who go to church every week. now, this is the thing. the donald trump guys try to seem tough. >> we are tough, we're winning -- >> that's why he's sitting in a booster seat now because he wants to hit tall and strong --
>> get your hands out of my face. >> it is not strong to insult people of a certain religion. it is insecure. >> you want to talk about islam and you say is donald trump politically nuanced to make muslmus pundits happy. >> absolutely correct -- >> it's about having the strength and courage to say the right things -- >> can i give you -- i gave you your chance, can you have the same respect? muslim countries in the middle east and south asia. i ask you to look at that poll and see how they feel about women about israel. the majority want to see the destruction of israel. so when donald trump says -- >> you know what, you're right -- >> so why didn't he say that? >> why didn't he say radical islam -- >> he's given the opportunity to make that extinct -- >> we hear one clip from one interview. i talk to donald trump all the time. we feel similarly about this. >> he should say that --
>> we'll say it. >> okay, the president. let's talk about him. he weighed in on the race to be the next president. actually, senator mike lee, we're going to go to senator mike lee. >> he promised that he would stand up for them. he promised he would stand up to a growing overbearing federal that taxes us too much. that knows no bounds. he promised he would fight against obamacare. he promised he would resist efforts to undermine our second amendment rights. he promised he would oppose any efforts to undermine celebrity. ted has kept those promises and every other promise he has made to the people of texas. it's with that trust that he has earned. that he's going to move forward and unite our party. you see, too many people throughout this country have been told over and over again by the political establishment in washington, d.c. that our best
days are behind us. that we have to settle for the status quo. which we have to settle for more of the same, business as usual in washington. ted doesn't believe you have to settle. ted doesn't believe you should settle. there was a big difference between confusion and confidence and ted is that difference. there is a big difference between platitudes and a plan. ted is that difference. there is a big difference between slogans and substance. and ted is that difference. so it's time for us to recognize we don't have to settle anymore. don't settle. don't settle for slogans that can fit on a bumper sticker. expect substance. don't settle for a federal government that is overbearing at home and projects weakness
abroad. expect a federal government that will protect you and respect your rights. it's time, my fellow americans, to respect more. it's time to expect freedom. it's time to elect ted cruz as the next president of the united states. you know, when we look at this presidential election cycle, one of the many things that comes to mind is the fact that with the recent death of the late justice anthony scalia, a lot of people wonder who will fill that vacancy. that's one of the great things about ted cruz is that americans can proceed with great confidence that ted cruz will pick an absolutely outstanding person to fill scalia's position on the supreme court.
they can also stand with great confidence. this is a man who believes in his own family. who has stood with his own family. i have enjoyed getting to know ted and his wife and their daughters. i've seen ted stand with them and for them. i've seen him stand with and for his father. and for and with his mother. and you know he will stand for you. he will stand for every mother and father and son and daughter in america. he will do what he said. he will speak the truth, just as he has in the united states senate. and so today i call on all within the sound of my voice to join me in this cause. to look forward to the first 100 days of a ted cruz presidency. a reform that will restore the greatness of our economic mobility society. we've seen in recent years our economic mobility society's been
in danger. we see the poor and the middle class being held back. we see economic opportunity in america fading as there are more and more back room deals that serve only to enrich and further empower those incumbents who are already enriched and already empowered. ted cruz will work to undo that and to restore the greatness of the american people. to put the power back where it belongs, which is with the people. it's time, my fellow americans, and, in particular today, my fellow republicans, to unite behind one candidate. that candidate is ted cruz. >> so here you go, this is the first time we had had a current senator endorsing ted cruz to be the next president of the united states. we were watching him noting -- as he was vacillating whether it would be rubio, cruz.
>> i talked to him at the beginning of this campaign for cnn. it was rand paul, marco rubio and ted cruz, all three of the friends, right. then after rand got out, i talked to him again. so i know this was a tough decision. i'm sure he's 100% in. i know this was a tough decision. he has a genuine friendship with these senators. for him to make a decision while marco rubio is in i think probably suggests that he just doesn't think the fate of the rubio campaign is strong enough and he can do more good. >> here's the question though, why do it if you're so close to marco rubio? why do it here on his own turf? or right before the primary? it's kind of tough and i understand the political
reasoning for it internally. like i'm just jumping on the cruz bandwagon so i might as well do it early. still, doesn't look great either way. >> if you're looking at donald trump as such a weak front-runner right now, historically, the front-runner of the party, which it was w. bush or mccain or romney. at this point in the east, past super tuesday, they're getting greater and greater percentage of support. they're getting above 50%. that's not true. ted cruz is beating trump in a head to head. and the endorsers like mike lee who's like a bat signal for the conservatives. mike lee is telling you go vote for cruz. those are blows to donald trump. he should be getting those endorsements now and he's not. >> endorsements really honestly this cycle have mattered about -- >> that's true. it goes to the -- if you look at the electorate. he got about 34% in the first
four states. he got about 30% of the support over the weekend. so trump's going the wrong direction. eventually, he's going to have to get over 50. >> cruz has been getting establishment republicans. >> he got 34% in michigan and mississippi -- >> but not an average -- >> counting hawaii, okay, and he won hawaii. your theory, the problem with it, coalescing ended up with, what, both losers that the establishment picked. the fact he can carry two states, they're as different as michigan and mississippi, shows his strength. the fact you spend tens of millions of dollars against him. on march 15th, 16th, whether we wake up and trump has won florida and ohio, there will be a coming together because your people have a choice between trump which is reality which the voters have chosen and hillary clinton. >> number two, he is doing something totally different, that is, he's historically
unpopular at this point in the race. there have been no front-runner on either side who's ever been a front-runner at this point who over half the party say i would not be happy if he was the nominee. 67% of general election voters say they don't like donald trump. >> i just feel like i'm going insane because i look at the vote count -- >> look, the field is still large, so he hasn't gotten over 50% because the field's -- >> close. >> but the field is so large. he's winning and i was just looking at these numbers. donald trump is winning among republican women. and that's kind of stunning -- >> -- a great piece about how he's winning also. they say trump doesn't do well with educated voters. a great piece, in michigan, in oakland county, a highly educated place, trump is dominating. so he's winning with all sorts of voters. this media myth it's like nascar people that are only voting for myth -- >> no, no, that's not the myth,
we've all admitted we're surprised but we admitted he shouldn't be winning with evangelicals, he is, shouldn't be winning with women, he is, shouldn't be winning with affluent educated people, and he is. there's no myth. we're admitting this. it's baffling though. >> okay -- >> commercial break though -- >> thank you very much, we're going to hit pause. we're not finished. i want you to hear from the president of the united states who today was meeting with the canadian pm, weighed in on the current state of the race, was talking about some of these republican candidates for president. what obama thinks coming up next.
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seeking the republican nomination here, the debate, 9:00 p.m. eastern. let me remind you who's sitting next to me here. what i just teed up before the break, president obama, right, just recently we've been seeing bits and pieces of him weighing in on the current race to be the next president. here is what he thinks about trump and these other candidates. >> the republican base for the last seven years, a notion that everything i do is to be opposed. what you're seeing within the republican party is to some degree all those efforts over a course of time. creating an environment where somebody like a donald trump can thrive. >> they can thrive. gloria, i defer to you on this. the fact he is saying, you know,
the republican party essentially created trump and all these republican candidates are the same. is that -- >> well, he rereacting to a question about whether he had created the donald trump phenomenon. you've had eight years of a democratic president. you have a very frustrated base that's not only -- feels betrayed by the republican party as well as people who feel they haven't gotten a raise in 15 years. who were still worried about their health care. you have republicans who naturally want to win back the white house and it's not just trump, it's every republican candidate. in the democratic field, hillary clinton hugging barack obama as tight as she can and republicans saying, you know, he caused all the problems you are now facing. republican voters are saying you know what, it's not just obama actually. it is our own republican establishment that didn't take on this president when they
could have. >> let me move off this. i want to get to ted cruz. he spoke out specifically on trump reporters. here is senator cruz. >> donald gave a press conference where he said, to quote him, i love the poorly educated. listen, part of it is i think donald is taking advantage of his voters. i understand what they're angry about. but donald, if you're angry at the corruption of washington, you don't solve it by supporting someone who has been enmeshed in the washington corruption for 40 years. donald does well for voters who have relatively low information who are not that engaged and who are angry and they see him as an angry voice. where we are beating him is when voters get more engaged and they get more -- when they inform themselves, they realize his record. he's what they're angry at. >> andy, what do you think? >> i think what cruz is doing is very, very dangerous. he's saying that the voters are
dumb and that these cave dwelling types are the ones going for donald. if you look at the actual vote count, trump is winning among people who are educated and people who are very educated. i find it very, very arrogant that, oh, people aren't voting for me because they're not smart enough. it's a weird thing to do and i don't think it works. >> look, here's where cruz can be successful. that is voters do need to be educated about donald's record and voters need to know the trump ties and the trump shoes and the trump shirts, they're all made in bangladesh. when trump tried to hire people, he went and found foreign workers for cheaper. if voters are looking for somebody who's going to help the american worker get jobs, as donald trump claims, donald trump is not the answer. i think if ted cruz makes those arguments, he's going to be successful. >> a few years ago, a guy wrote
a book called "what's the matter with kansas." it basically was this argument that, like, oh, if only the rubes in the square states knew more they'd stop voting republican and start voting democrat. that's the kind of attitude that i think comes out of the ted cruz scrutiny of trump voters. i tonigdon't think that's ever smart idea. >> it's the jimmy carter -- >> well, it's not just smart. but he should in addition to what tim says, he should also point out that all the things they like about trump are for many reasons, constitutionally, snatch', things that he cannot deliver . if they like those things, no judgment, if they like those things, they should invest in a president who can get them done. and he can't. so i would go along those lines rather than saying they don't know any better. >> it's just never a good idea to insult the voters, particularly when you believe and hope you're going to be in a one on one against donald trump
and you'd like to win. >> for a general, eventually, right? >> or a general, right. you want to encourage them to come out in a general, you want to win them over -- >> -- insult voters, you mean like calling mexicans rapists -- >> that too. >> they're not mutually exclusive. >> talk about illegal immigrants, he says some of them are rapists -- >> a statement that he wants to freeze immigration, legal immigration. he wants to freeze -- >> except for his hotels and -- >> i guess except for the good ones, i don't know. >> let me show you a piece of video. this north carolina rally. trump rally from last night. >> wake me up, brooke, wake me up when it's over. >> we talk about the behavior at some of these rallies, s.e., you know, this 78-year-old apparently sucker punched a protester who was being brought out of a trump rally and he's now charged with assault. there's video.
>> oh, man. one argument is mr. trump has offered to pay legal fees. he he said bring in the stretchers. should mr. trump denounce the violence? >> that guy's 78 and throwing a bun punch like that. we must say that is very interesting. >> i'm not giving him credit for throwing a punch. >> why is it the trump rallies liberals come and create chaos, interrupting 10 or 15 times? when you don't see conservatives go into hillary clinton and freak out at her rally. it's a lack of respect that liberals have for freedom of speech. and if a 78-year-old guy, which donald trump is not in control of, he can't control a 78-year-old man -- >> so you're saying -- >> at that age, looks like good exercise -- >> this is the trump culture
though. >> what culture? 78, that's somewhat impressive. >> corey lewin do ski the campaign manager for trump physically grabbed -- >> that is a lie. >> let's not -- >> 100 cameras did not capture that, that is an outright lie. soon to be president trump, the secret service, there's like a mosh going and i've been there and i've been hit, i don't take it personally. they have to protect the president and that is defamation. >> a thought from one of my ladies please? >> i want to go to sleep and wake up when it's over. this is so disappointing. this is what we're talking about. there are real issues that the american people have to confront and we're talking about whether a protester should be applauded -- a trump supporter should be applauded for punching a protester. this is absurd. it's disgusting. it's embarrassing. >> no one likes violence. >> well, donald trump always talks about back in the good old days we would have knocked that
guy out. he does. he encourages it. >> but he'll also say we shouldn't do that. >> can i just say -- >> okay, final thought. >> very quickly, i hope that our debate tonight is substantive, full of nuance, about policy and detail and we're not going to talk about anything -- i think after all of this, the american public -- >> a policy discussion -- >> this is where we agree. >> andy, jim, s.e., gloria, thank you. thank you so much. coming up next, let's talk about the democrats. hillary clinton. hillary clinton admitting she's not a natural politician, one of the more revealing moments in that democratic debate here in miami. moderator who asked the question joins me live to break down how both candidates performed. to prove to you that the better choice for him is aleve. he's agreed to give it up. ok, but i have 30 acres to cover by sundown.
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perhaps the most candid moment of the democratic debate here in miami was when hillary clinton admitted she is not a natural politician. my next guest asks all the important questions, especially this one that triggered secretary clinton's revealing answer, here she was. >> a "washington post" poll, just yesterday, found that only 37% of americans consider you honest and trustworthy. now, when you've been asked about this in the past, you have said this is the result of many, many years of republican attacks upon you. but americans have also had 25
more than that years to get to know you for themselves. is there anything in your own actions and the decisions that you yourself have made that would foster this kind of mistrust? >> i am not a natural politician, in case you haven't noticed, like my husband or president obama. so i have a view that i just have to do the best i can, get results i can, make a difference in people's lives and hope that people see i was fighting for them. >> "washington post" national correspondent karen temelty joins me now. congratulations, it was a great piece. what was that like sitting in there, your reaction to her i'm not a natural politician? >> you know, as we're all fi finding out, so many debates, it's always a challenge to get politicians off of their stump speeches. >> he's been asking that
question a lot of times. >> i framed it in, okay, let's stipulate that the republicans have been beating up on you for a lot of years, and i was surprised to see, too, she engaged it. it was a pretty -- especially for hillary clinton, who has this stuff down, it was a pretty introspective moment i think. >> it was a moment. there was a moment before the 2008 new hampshire primary. it was another moment that is being compared to. >> this is very personal for me. it's not just political, it's not just public. i see what's happening. we have to reverse it. and some people think elections are a game, it's like who's up, who's down. it's about our country, it's about our kid's future. >> do you think, though, all this talk about authenticity and natural, does she have a higher standard because she's a woman, or do you think it's because
she's a clinton and she's been in the public specter for so long? >> i think she got to a really interesting spot there, because when you think of the years of her life where she's been on the national stage, it has always been alongside some of the most gifted politicians of, you know, modern history. first her husband and then president obama. and, you know, again, i found it interesting, she, you know, said i think i'm really doing work here to help people's lives, but i understand that i am going to be, you know, viewed as being sort of next to these shining, you know, naturally gifted politicians. you know, she doesn't quite -- and has never sort of lit up an audience the way either her husband or the president can. >> on substance, she went back to -- first we heard the auto
bailout bit, the debate, she brought it back last night, and critics said she cherry picked pieces of what happened since that time. she lost michigan. no one anticipated that. i'm not saying the two are correlated. were you surprised she brought that back up? >> i sort of was. first of all it obviously didn't work in michigan. her message that bernie sanders -- her message judged inaccurate or misleading that bernie sanders had been against the bailout could not overcome his message that she is too much in favor of free trade agreements. i was a little surprised she brought it back. look at the calendar. maybe they're seeing something in their data -- >> ohio ahead -- >> yes, maybe this makes ohio -- you know, challenges the calculation there. >> on immigration, final question, hillary clinton has moved even further left. perhaps it's because she's got bernie sanders, you know, with her as her rival, but when you look at the massive differences now, between the democrats and
the republicans, on this specifically, it is like two different atmospheres. >> they basically -- she and bernie sanders both went way further last night than they have in the past. >> breaking from obama, deportation. >> exactly, saying if we're president, nobody who doesn't have a criminal record is going to be deported. so basically, you know, now the gulf between democrats and republicans on that issue is huge. >> general election debate. want to do that one? with "the washington post," thank you so much for coming by, i really appreciate it, nice to meet you. >> thanks for having me. coming up next, it could be the final time these four republican candidates take to the same stage here at the university of miami tonight. what does each candidate need to do to really stay viable after this evening? i call him our political guru. our political director here at cnn david chalian. he will have four things to watch for. you're watching cnn. we're live in miami. [vet] two yearly physicals down.
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you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for being with me on what is the most important debate day here for the republican race for president. the last one before the critical winner take all florida and ohio primaries. and cnn is hosting it in a little under five hours. i love these, you know, sped-up videos to see how we created this amazing set at the university of miami. will this be the last time we see marco rubio or john kasich perhaps on a presidential debate stage, you know, the stakes are so high what should we expect? let me turn now to the man i defer to all things politics, david chalian, our cnn political
director. nice to see you. >> thanks, good to be here. >> the four things you guru are looking for. starting with number one. >> first one is donald trump's tone. i'm so curious to see if he comes in this debate with what we've been hearing from him in the last couple, look, i'm a unifier, tone is softer, presidential. i think that's what he's looking to do. can he actually execute on that? >> when everyone's attacking him on all sides. >> i think nobody walked out of the last republican debate, that fox debate in detroit, feeling good about either their debate performance or a good reflection on the republican party overall. so i think everyone's looking to calculate how do we not emerge from the debate this time looking so chaotic and i think trump will want to change the tone a little bit. i'm curious to see if he can do that. >> number one, according to david chalian, trump's tone. number two?
>> rubio's plan c. because that's what we're on now. plan a was first place, second place, become the establishment alternative. didn't work. plan b kicked off in our houston debate where he wanted to go after trump really hard and really start to take him down. that didn't work so well. rubio just said last night that hegretted that and it was a little embarrassing. so now what's plan c because marco rubio's in a do or die moment now. the florida primary is a do or die thing for him on tuesday. if he can't win here, he'll most likely have to get out of the race. tonight is the biggest shot he's got between now and the primary to turn his ship around. i'm curious to see what that plan is on the stage tonight. >> rubio >> what's number three? >> the main event, cruz versus trump. this is where this race is headed right now and i think we're going to get a preview of what that looks like, what a true two-man race will look like. assume for a moment -- and john
kasich may win his home state of ohio. marco rubio will clearly make a strong run here in florida. but in the intro we are down to two guys after tuesday, i think we'll have a preview of what that looks like tonight from the two of them and how they square off against each other. >> trump and cruz. >> mm-hmm. >> what's your fourth? >> the ohio factor, the buckeye brawl. john kasich and donald trump are in a very competitive contest in ohio. and kasich has just quadrupled down on this notion of not getting involved. you start to see donald trump needling him a little bit but very soft touch for donald trump. i'm curious to see if donald trump tries to throw some kind of -- >> something. >> -- attack his way to keep him at bay because i think kasich is really in a very competitive position in ohio. >> are you excited? >> i can't wait. it's going to be awesome. this is a good moment in the campaign. >> depending what happens, ohio, florida, it could be down to too. thank you very much. and a reminder, so much at stake as he perfectly lined out for
you. tonight's cnn republican presidential debate, the pregame starts at 8:30 tonight eastern time. opening statements here at the university of miami, 9:00 sharp, definitely tune in only here on cnn. coming up next, to say something on the campaign trail is one thing. but to make the decision as president is quite another. in this incredible interview, president obama with "the atlantic" is reviewing his decisions about the syrian red line and why he says he is proud he didn't enforce it. that and several new pieces of information from this fascinating interview. we'll break that down for you, next.
last seven years, a notion that everything i do is to be opposed. what you're seeing within the republican party is to some degree all those efforts over a course of time. >> while presidential candidates on both sides are continuing to argue exactly about how they would make america safer, president barack obama is revealing exactly how difficult the role of commander in chief has been over the past seven years. in this extraordinarily candid interview with "atlantic" magazine the president said he is proud that he did not take out or strike syria, syrian president bashar al assad in 2015. he resents benjamin netanyahu's lectures.
freida, great to see you again. >> hi, brooke, it's great to be with you. >> beginning with this note that the president says he is proud of not enforcing the syrian red line, you know, the red line saying if chemical weapons were found he would strike, didn't, how did he explain that to jeffrey goldberg? >> he says that he's proud of the fact that he resisted pressure from the establishment, from the washington foreign policy establishment to strike assad after he broke through obama's red line. and that's really absurd because the red line was drawn by obama himself and the truth is that if we look at what's happening in syria, there is nothing for anyone to be proud of in what's gone on in syria. half a million people dead. the biggest refugee crisis since world war ii. all kinds of problems, instability in the region, so there's really no reason for anyone, much less the president of the united states, to find any reason for pride there.
>> well, let's just be precise in what the president said. he said a lot but part of it was he was about to pull back from the immediate pressures and think through in my own mind what was in america's best interests. you know, obviously since the u.s. didn't strike, he believed that that choice was in america's best interests. it's also the first time we've ever heard the president comment on this, the move that stunned u.s. allies. secretary of state john kerry learned of the decision and apparently the secretary told a friend i just got f'ed over. what do you make of that? >> it's the kind of revelation that is very titilating. obama -- this is obama's own plan that he's proud of not following through on. he changed his mind. he backed off the threat to attack syria. so he's proud that he didn't make what he now thinks was a mistake or what he at that point
decided had been the wrong course of action that he drawn for himself. the larger picture in syria is that it has been a catastrophe. so i don't think syria is a place where obama should look to find -- to promote his foreign policy views. >> what about the president comparing isis to the joker in that 2008 batman movie "the dark knight." what do you make of that comparison? >> it's interesting, obama -- this is a very interesting interview and we have a lot of insights into his way of thinking. he's not terribly introspective. one of the things he says he has failed at doing is communicating his way of thinking. so maybe this is a way for him to popularize his frame of mind, to explain how he views isis. on terrorism in general he says that he finds it very frustrating to see the level of fear in the united states be out of proportion to the threat that isis and that terrorism actually
poses to the united states. he thinks terrorism is not as grave of a threat as people think. >> these are just some of the pieces to come out of this extraordinary interview, jeffrey goldberg and "the atlantic." thank you for being with me. special coverage with erin burnett continues right now. welcome to a special edition of "the lead." i'm erin burnett in for jake tapper tonight. we are live from the university of miami where the stage is set and it's going to be a full crowd. a lot of people here, i can tell you. this is going to be a big one. we're four and a half hours away from the final republican debate before next tuesday's winner-take-all primaries in florida and ohio, those game-changer states. the stakes could not be higher. in fact