CNN Special Program CNN March 11, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PST
and we're back with the republican presidential debate, just five days before the next primary elections, it is time now for closing statements. candidates, you will each have one minute. and we'll start with governor kasich. >> i'd like to say to all of you, the american people, i have run an unwavering positive campaign for president of the united states. i have tried to be positive in such a way as to show my record, my accomplishments, my vision. and i wanted to raise the bar in presidential politics so our kids can take a look at the way you can run for president and you will someday maybe be president of the united states. sometimes being positive isn't all that interesting but it's very interesting to my family,
my children, and so many supporters that i meet all across the country. i will continue to run a positive campaign. i can fix the problems in washington, i've done it before. and, in fact, i want to turn power, money and influence back to you, the american people, so that you can be in the schools and on the streets fighting drugs and dealing with the issues of poverty. we can do this together. allow me to take care of the federal issues when i send the power back and the money and the influence to you and you can strengthen our neighborhoods and our families. that's where the spirit and strength of america is. ask my friends in illinois and my beloved buckeyes to consider me on tuesday and, please, let me have your vote. god bless. >> senator rubio. >> it's great to be back in miami. it's hard to believe that just two decades ago my father was just a bartender working in this city. 6 and now his son stands here work
for the highest in the land. my parents never wanted me to go into politics in particular or anything else. they just want node have the opportunity to live out all the dreams they once had for themselves. and that was possible because america is a special country. but that was not an accident. america is great because each generation before us did what needed to be done. they solved their problems. they confronted their challenges. they embraced their opportunities. and for over two century, each generation has left the next better off. now the moment has arrived for our generation to do our part. and i'm telling you tonight, if you vote for me here in florida and everywhere else across the country, when i'm elected president, this generation will do its part. we will do whatever we can to make sure our children inherit from us what we inherited from our parents, the single greatest nation in the history of all of mankind.
. >> senator cruz? >> what an incredible nation that we have that the son of a bartender and the son of a mailman and the son of a successful businessman can all stand on this stage competing and ask for your support. in a few months one of us will be standing on the stage with hillary clinton. who will best defend our values. who will best defend your values and fight for you. i have to tell you, i cannot wait to stand on that stage with hillary clinton and stay madam secretary, you were asking for a third term of a failed administration. you are asking for millions more to remain in stagnant jobs, for millions more steelworkers to be out of work, for wages to remain low, for young people not to have a future. we can do better. we can instead repeal obama care, abolish the irs. unleash millions of jobs. defend the bill of rights.
defend the second amendment, religious liberty. stand with our cops and our firefighters and our soldiers. and we can keep america safe. that's the choice i will put to her this fall. >> mr. trump? >> thank you very much. the republican party has a great chance to embrace millions of people that it's never known before. they're coming by the millions. we should seize that opportunity. these are great people. these are fantastic people. these are people that love our country. these are people that will win us the election and win it easily. these are people that once the election is won, will be able to put supreme court justices up that will do a fabulous job because let me tell you, if we lose this election, we're going have three, four, or maybe even five justices.
and this country will never, ever recover. it will take centuries to recover. so i just say embrace these millions of people that now for the first time ever love the republican party. unify. be smart and unify. >> and that concludes this 12th republican presidential debate. we want to thank the candidates, the republican national committee, the university of miami, and of course each of you for watching. i'm jake tapper. our coverage continues right now with anderson cooper. anderson? >> jake, thanks very much. good evening again from the university of miami where the final republican debate before a very big super tuesday just wrapped up. the candidates, two of whom may have to make some very tough choices next week have faced off 11 times before tonight. never quite this way. this was a very different debate than we've seen so far.
we're expecting to speak shortly with the two front-runners in this race, donald trump and ted cruz. joining us tonight cnn inside politics anchor john king. let's go to chris cuomo on the stage. chris? >> all right, anderson. thank you very much. mr. trump, we're hearing from everybody, including party officials that it was a very different debate tonight. again from officials saying they think it was probably the most substantive, the least sniping, what was your take? >> i thought it was a very elegant debate. i thought it was very substantive and i thought it was a really -- i think your folks did a great job. i thought it was very fair and we needed this kind of a debate. we needed this kind of a tone and i'm glad it took place tonight. >> do you think it played to your advantage? >> i think so. i mean, the other is the other. if somebody hits, you hit back. and i think that's true in life. that's true in running countries, true in running businesses. i just found this to be a very elegant evening and everybody did a very good job.
>> one of the questions is what would happen if it were you versus ted cruz one-on-one? when you're up there on the debate stage listening to him make the case, you making your own, who was your confidence level in terms of how it would go, you versus him? >> i think it would go very well. we're doing very well against ted right now. we have a lot more people voting for trump than voting for ted. but i like ted and i think we all did a very good job tonight. i thought it was all very good and very different, because it has been really harsh. i like that also but we were ready for this kind of an evening. >> there were a couple of points of contrast on the stage tonight. one was i guess you could call it the all versus some argument about islam. as you remember, spoke to anderson and you said there's a hatred coming from islam towards the united states. >> no doubt about it. >> the criticism is, but not from all muslims, but from some.
and you understand the sensitivity to it. you call it political correctness. counters that it's just correctness. what do you want to say now? >> i don't want to say anything now. i've answered the question, i've answered it many times. there is a great hatred and we have to get to the bottom of it. >> the concern is you painted with too broad a brush. you said in the past you hire muslims. you have muslim friends. >> i do. >> you're not saying they're part of the hatred, right? >> i do. but you look at the mosques and you go to various places and look at what's going on there and it's virtually 100%. certainly you can say radical islam is a disaster right now. it's causing tremendous problems worldwide, not just here. but the question was asked about islam. and there is a great hatred there is no question about it. >> one of the people on the stage with you tonight said it makes an environment around the world where muslims feel that the united states has antipathy towards them. >> well, we're just going to have to run our own place. we have a country with a lot of debt, weakened military, we have
so many different problems right now, we're just going to have to do our thing. the question was asked to me and i'll tell you what, you probably heard the audience. and i don't do it for the audience and i'm not doing it to be incorrect politically, but there is animosity like i've never seen before and hopefully we can straighten it out. >> you weren't allowed to tweet while you were up there, because you were busy. i want to let you know that hillary clinton during the debate put out a tweet saying condoning any kind of violence in any way it happens is wrong essentially. you can read it for yourself. what is your response to that, basically? she is referring to what was mentioned during the debate. >> sure. she's a political person doing the best she can. she will be defeated. this is not what our country needs. if we have four years of hillary clinton, our country will go so low, it never will recover. >> what do you think should happen next? >> well, i don't know. someone said they want to do more debates. i think we've had enough
debates. wouldn't you say? >>, no we love them. >> you love them. >> more and more and more. >> anderson got very good ratings. we're very happy for anderson. i don't know if it helps me. but he certain got very good ratings. no. i think they want to do two more debates. i guess i'm pretty much okay with it. >> what happens in florida? >> it's going to be a race. i have a very great stake in florida. have i thousands of employees in florida. i love the state. it's my second home. i think we're going to do very well in florida. >> there's a bunch of people people behind you right now. >> they love florida too. >> they want your attention. appreciate your time. anderson, back to you to you. >> all right, chris. donald trump, thank you very much. we're waiting to hear shortly from ted cruz, who is going to be talking to our wolf blitzer. we're back with michael smerconish and amanda carpenter, jeffrey lord, s.e. cupp.
and a conservative columnist. let's start right to left, john king, what did you make of tonight? very substantive. not a lot of sniping. >> every candidate tried to do what they think is their job. number one, donald trump gets the moment. like him or not, he understands if he has a big day tuesday, the math is heavily in his favor. he is trying to tell the republican establishment, stop fighting me and join me. kasich playing straight to ohio, an economic message, an optimistic message. ted cruz talking to the republican base, saying you better rally around me or you're going to get him. and marco rubio taking a big step tonight to restoring his reputation as a young upcoming leader in the party who talks generationally about the next generation. and is that enough to win florida? who knows. >> gloria borger. >> i think the argument that has resonance trump made over and over again tonight is i know the system and i'm the only one who can fix it because i was a part of it. i was an insider and now i'm an outsider. that was a key message we heard over and over again. it clearly is something he knows is working for him.
i also wondered who is this guy. >> right. >> this guy on the stage tonight was very different. and it's clear that someone's gotten to him and said, okay, you need to start acting presidential and the questions were substantive and he responded that way as did the other candidates. >> he may also feel a left of confidence that he doesn't need to directly even engage. he can kind of let them try to swat them and he'll stick with his lines. >> cruz was engaging most directly. >> read his book "the art of the deal." esort of bullied his way to the deal, he's walked away, come back, walked away, come back. now he thinks he is on the verge of the deal, he is going to be gentle and close it. now who is the shaking hand moment. >> that's the impression i got from donald trump tonight. he think he's got this thing won. the status quo is satisfactory to him.
and he hopes this is the way it ends. dare i see he was deliberately low energy. i have to say among the four of them, i thought the individual who had the best night, i don't know that it matters much is marco rubio. i agree with john, he's playing for legacy, not for victory. but if he ekes out a victory here in florida, it does upset donald trump's trajectory to 1,237. >> and marco rubio focusing on florida as much as possible, the story about the man in florida who sits outside with the sign for rubio. other stories from florida. >> marco rubio was playing it very safe tonight. i think he is in legacy mode at this point. the thing that is really interesting to me, yes, donald trump was low energy. what happens to his supporters when he's not provocative anymore? this is what they love about him. what happens if donald trump becomes boring? >> there's always tomorrow. >> there's always tomorrow, that's right. >> i've got this wrapped up. i don't need to campaign anymore. meanwhile ted cruz was using every question to turn it and say look at me and donald trump, how they're different and he's just like hillary clinton and i'm the only one that can beat them both. >> it was interesting to hear marco rubio saying the numbers
don't add up, the numbers don't add up, which is something the moderators were also pointing out. i don't know how effective that really was and it may be too little too late. >> yeah, i think it is. i think we've reached that point. what he's doing here is, as they say in baseball, batting clean-up. he talked about the supreme court. he sounded like ted cruz. he also said, quote unquote, i like ted. the whole tone was different. he specifically said, you know, i'm not condoning violence at the rallies, et cetera. he went out of his way to say these things. he is different -- not different. i think this is always there with him. but now having gotten his way to the top, now it's time for unity. >> it was interesting when jake tapper followed up about the violence at rallies with specific things that donald trump himself have said, that incites or encourages it or gives license to it, he switched the topic to supporting police
and the importance of being respectful of police and supporting police. >> yeah, he totally ignored that question. completely pivoted off of it. i think it's fascinating that a day after a trump supporter punches a protester at one of his rallies, he at the end of this debate calls for unity. just amazing. and you saw the other candidates playing to this unspoken new rule where they're going to be polite. there was a moment where marco rubio was talking about donald trump's position on israel. and he said, "i don't think this is what you intended, donald, but here's what this sounds --." i mean, that is -- it doesn't get any nicer than that. >> we're a long way from small hands. >> yes. it doesn't get any nicer. so clearly they've all decided, they all agree that after the detroit debate debacle, they need -- it's better for all of them and the party and, you know, the entire election to take a more grown-up tone. >> that's the moment, though.
jeffrey said we're at this point. nobody knows if we're at that point. i get we could be at that point. but we're not going to know that until midnight tuesday, and they all know that. if rubio wins florida and kasich wins ohio, we're in a brave new world. and then we might be going to an open convention. they don't know that. they know the gop broadly. all of them took a beating after the last couple of debates. they wanted a let's restore the brand, then we'll decide if we have to go back to the gutter again. >> and by the way, trump also said the person who is ahead, as you head into the convention ought to be the person who gets the nomination. i think he made that very clear. >> interesting tonight to warm up the crowd before your cameras were turned on, reince priebus came out and did his standard speech. the first thing he said is i want to assure this crowd we are 100% behind whoever emerges. >> let's go to wolf blitzer. standing by with senator ted cruz. wolf? >> thanks, anderson. senator cruz, thanks for joining
us. >> good to be with you. >> much more respectful, much more peaceful. no interrupting tonight. what happened? >> i thought we had a great debate tonight. i was glad to see there wasn't the personal insults and attacks that have been at the previous debates. i think voters are at a point where they're making serious decisions and they want to see real contrast between the candidates, contrast in terms of policy, contrast in terms of vision, contrast in terms of solutions, and i think tonight gave those contrasts. >> were will sort of instructions going in, don't interrupt each other, don't get into fights, be much more respectful, let the other guy make his point and you'll have a chance? >> the last couple of debates we saw two of the candidates on stage really getting nasty and insulting each other, getting into each other's body parts, things that frankly had no business on the debate stage. and i think everyone got weary of it. that's something i've tried to stay out of from the beginning. i was glad to see instead of talking about the insult of the day, we were talking about
foreign policy, talking about economic policy, talking about the things we should be talking about. >> what's biggest issues that emerged from this debate tonight that differentiates you from donald trump? >> i think we heard donald say a number of times that nobody knows the system than he does. he's right. donald trump is the system. he is washington. he is big business. and my focus is very different. my focus is on the little the guy. my focus is on small businesses. my focus is on the single moms and the students and the steel workers and the people who are getting hammered right now. it was really striking in the whole back and forth, donald talked all the time about how he would cut deals, he would abuse the immigration laws and hire people illegally or bring in foreign workers because it helped him. he would talk about supporting liberal democrats supporting the washington establishment because it helped him and helped big business. i think what people are looking for is someone that stand with people against washington and fights for jobs and economic growth.
>> you heard him announce that donald trump ben carson will endorse him tomorrow morning. were you trying to get his endorsement? >> ben carson is someone i like and respect, he's a very good man. i congratulate donald on getting that support. this is now an election being decided by the voters. aye i'll tell you. the last couple of days i was very pleased to get the support of carly fiorina and senator mike lee and mark levin, all in the last 24 hours have endorsed our campaign. and so as it is becoming more and more a two-man race and i think for the voters, for anyone who has a path to the nomination, it is effectively a two-man race, you are going to see people dividing it up, and it's going to be the voters who decide. >> on the issue of destroying isis, you heard donald trump say he's open to send 20,000 troops to kill isis. are you ready to send 20,000 troops in there to destroy isis?
>> we should do whatever is needed to destroy isis, but there are a lot of tools we haven't used. we haven't used overwhelming air power and haven't armed the kurds. typically, when you're engaging in it, you use the tools you have. boots on the ground are the last steps but that needs to be driven by the military expertise, not by politicians trying to act tough or not. >> if the military says you as commander in chief, 20,000 troops, you send them to raqqah, you send them to mosul. you got to go out there, and on the ground air power alone won't do it. will you send those troops in? >> absolutely yes, but here are the principles we follow. if we need to use military force, and with isis we do, we should use overwhelming force, we should kill the enemy, and then we should get the heck out. we shouldn't be staying for decades and trying to turn iraq into switzerland. of but we need to do everything necessary to utterly destroy isis. as commander in chief, that's what i would do. >> i want you to clarify one comment you made that's generating a lot of commotion out there, you told this to david brody of the christian broadcasting network. you said donald trump does well with voters who have relatively low information.
a lot of those voters out there think that is an insult. what did you mean by at that? >> well, look, maybe i should have used a different term. donald himself brags about, i think his words are that he loves the poorly educated. he talked that he could go on fifth avenue and shoot someone and it wouldn't lose him any support. the point i'm making the people who support donald are angry. they're angry at corruption in washington. they're angry at politicians who have been supporting the big money interests over the workingmen and women of this country. but what we've seen is when they learn more about donald's records, they discover that he has been doing everything they're angry about, that he is washington. donald is the system. so what we see -- let's take, for example, the state of louisiana. it was a good example. donald won the early vote in louisiana. but as we did a better job of
record and my record, we won on election day with those same voters because they realized if you want someone to take on washington, you got to ask who has taken on washington. and i've done that over and over again. donald has never once shown the courage to take on the special interest. i think the people who are supporting him when they discover that, they don't end up staying and supporting him. >> are you going to win any of these five states on tuesday? >> i hope so. we're compete until all of them. what we are seeing happen is we're seeing republicans uniting behind our campaign. those who don't want to see donald as the nominee, because if we nominate donald, hillary wins. so we're seeing supporters who have been with marco rubio, had been with john kasich, had been with ben carson or carly fiorina or others coming together and uniting with us. we are welcoming them to our team. and it's one of the reasons we have had eight big victories already. we look forward to hopefully a lot more. >> senator cruz, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> anderson, back to you.
>> wolf, thanks very much. thanks, senator cruz as well. we're here back with our panel in the spin room where the candidates are starting to filter in after this debate. i want to play one of the important moments in the last debate that we just saw. donald trump asked about the convention, about basically what will happen, about it being in his opinion a two-person race heading toward the convention. let's watch. >> first of all, i think i'm going to have the delegates, okay? i think. let's see what happens. let's see. but if somebody doesn't have the delegates and i guess there's two of us here that can and two of us that cannot at this moment, but -- no, by the way, that is not meant to be a criticism. that's just a mathematical fact, okay? if two of us get up there, i would say this -- if marco, if the governor, if ted had more votes than me in the form of delegates, i think whoever gets to the top position as opposed to solving that artificial number that was set by somebody,
which is a very random number, i think that whoever gets the most delegates should win. that's what i think. >> if there are only two of us that have a path to winning the nomination, donald and myself. at this point i have roughly 360 delegates. he has about 100 more than i have. we have at this point beaten donald in eight separate states all over the country, geographically from maine to alaska, from kansas to texas. all over this country we have beaten him. and so for the people at home, if you're one of the 65%, 70% of republicans who recognizes that if we nominate donald trump, hillary wins. that's why the media wants him to be the nominee so much. if you recognize that, then i want to invite you if you've supported other candidates, come and join us. >> i listen and i watch ted on television when he speaks and he's always saying i'm the only one that beat donald in six
contests. and i beat him. but i beat him in 13 contests. he never mentions that. >> just one of the moments. i mean, clearly donald trump -- go ahead. >> smart on his part because if it goes to a convention and someone doesn't have 1,237, he's not the one coming out with the endorsement of the party with the nomination. so he's conceded absolutely nothing and appeared fair all at the same time. >> you know, smart of cruz tonight also in wolf's interview because he just wants to make this a two-man race period. he's not paying attention to anybody else on that stage. for cruz and rubio, who were battling it out for such a long time, it was as if rubio did not exist for ted cruz on that stage tonight. he only had eyes for donald trump. if he's talking to the stop trump movement saying you need to coalesce around me and he's telling donald trump i'm not going away any time soon and it's clear trump gets that. >> he's right. ted cruz has a powerful argument
to make right now that it's a two-man race. because trump has his delegates. cruz is about 100 behind, and marco rubio is way back. however, we have five states that vote on tuesday. where is ted cruz going to win? he's not going win florida. he's not going to win ohio. is he going to win missouri, north carolina or illinois? if he doesn't, let's say if trump runs the board, game over conversations are going to start. i don't know where the never trump math goes then. maybe neverland. if rubio wins and kasich wins or one of them wins and cruz wins nothing, he will still be second in the delegates but he will just have gotten spanked in some pretty big important states and have no cruz wins in the places where evangelical and tea party voters are. so his argument gets very weakened tuesday if the other guys win and he doesn't. >> the question is did marco rubio do enough on the stage tonight to reverse the collapse we have seen from him. we're going to be speaking to senator marco rubio after the break. we'll be right back.
wolf blitzer. let's go to wolf. >> anderson, thank you. senator rubio, thanks very much for joining us. first of all, it's a credit to cnn. you asked policy questions. a lot of the attacks come from when so and so said this, how do you respond? i think there is a loft credit to cnn that goes into that, number one. i think number two, the voters deserve that kind of debate. we haven't had a substantive debate in quite a while. it's important to dig deep on the issues. there were contrasts on the stage, but they were policy contrasts. i thought that was a real service to the voters and viewers watching. >> you were blunt in acknowledging you shouldn't have gone down to that personal level in that last debate. and you said your kids were even embarrassed. >> they were. trump university is fair game. i don't back off that at all. but when it comes to some of the
personal stuff, i regret doing that very much, and i'll never do that again. >> do you think that hurt you? >> it doesn't matter politically. i can tell you, i don't think it was a good reflection of my faith and what it teaches me and how i need to live. and it's not the kind of candidate i want to be. more importantly, my kids and my wife were not happy about it either. and rightfully so. >> what did they say to you? >> they were just embarrassed by it. >> whose idea was it to do that? >> i don't think it was an idea. i think it was me responding to insults that he made. look, i'm never going back into that gutter again. from now on, our campaign is going to be about what i've always wanted it to be, what it's been about the whole time. but for one day, i guess. >> this is really substantive, important debate. on the critically most important issues. i think all of us were pleased by that. what was the biggest issue from your perspective that makes you more qualified to be president than the three others? >> first of all, i think on the issue of social security, have you heard the question that was asked? donald's numbers just don't add up. you can't just say i'm going to save social security by going
against fraud and abuse and foreign aid. the numbers aren't there. finger you're running for president, you're the front-runner of the party, by the way, you have a real obligation to have an answer than question. the democrats will make mince meat out you have if you don't. and of course the country deserves better. that in of itself is an important question and one that was answered tonight on my part that he did not. so i thought that was a real moment. i hope voters will focus in on. >> do you think he is qualified, donald trump, to be commander in chief? >> i don't believe he is at this moment. obviously anyone can learn and change over time. i don't think he is qualified to be commander in chief on day number one. i think you saw that tonight as well on issues of foreign policy. he is talking about a deal with cuba as if it was some sort of real estate deal they're going to sue us on, or on israel, where i don't think he realizes that his position is anti-israel. it is my sincere and deep belief, and i know this to be true, that if we in fact pressure israel to a negotiating table, it weakens them in the region and emboldens their enemies. i thought though thiz thinings
true lack of foreign policy understanding. you're commander in chief on day one. you can always reverse domestic policies. you make a mistake in foreign policy, the consequences are grave. >> i suspect you could still win in your home state. >> we're going win in florida. i think one of the reasons why is for example, growing number of voters record, there are people in florida that like john kasich and they like ted cruz. but i'm the only one that can beat donald trump in florida. even people that like ted cruz or john kasich, if you vote for them in florida, you're voting for donald trump. the majority of floridians do not want donald trump to be our nominee. we have a lot of supporters ourselves. they all have to come out and vote. but the you're a supporter of john kasich or ted cruz, a vote for them in florida is going to be in effect a vote for donald trump. >> john kasich says if he loses his home state of ohio on tuesday he is out of this race. if you lose florida, are you out of this race? >> i won't put that it way. i believe the republican nominee needs to win florida. i believe the winner of florida will be the republican nominee.
and i'm in this race to be the republican nominee. i intend to win florida. and then we'll make decisions after that. my intention is to win in florida. we already have events moving forward into utah and arizona. we have great teams on the ground. and we're going win florida. it's going to be tough. it's going to be close. it's going to be a lot of hard work. but this state, this state believed in me five years ago. and i'm asking them to believe in me again. we're turn this country around. and they will. they will vote for me. >> senator rubio, thanks very much for joining us. you have a beautiful state here. miami is a great city too. >> it is. >> sunlen serfaty is joining us. you have john kasich with you. >> that's right. i'm here with the ohio governor. we're interested to know your impressions about the tone. do you feel other candidates are taking a page from your playbook? >> it sort of looked that way. thank goodness. i think it was very good to have a long policy discussion. and it's something that i've been trying to do the entire campaign. and maybe we nudged them over that. it just worked out in a for
positive way than the back and forths and the negatives. >> much has been said that you need a real breakout momentum. did you make that happen and is it enough? >> i don't know who would say. nobody looks at these debates as a do or die kind of thing. i did really well. we're going win ohio and rising across the country. everything is working in the right direction. i think those comments are just hyperbole by people who get paid to speak a lot on the air. i didn't have to have any breakout moment. every time we have a debate, it's got to be a breakout moment. i'm doing really, really well. and we're gaining and growing. and it's exciting. >> the math, though, not on your side. we spoke on the debate stage about the math that is an important dynamic to this going forward. what happens next? >> well, look, half the delegates are yet to be selected, period. half of them. and by the time we get to is the convention, and by the time we leave, i'll have enough delegates to be the nominee of the republican party. why? experience, record, vision, and,
you know, the ability to articulate all that and understand people's challenges and help them to overcome them. >> if you don't win ohio, i know you have predicted that you will win in ohio. but if you have not, have you given serious thought what comes next? >> i'm going win ohio. so there is no reason to give serious thought. i'll see you on tuesday night out there. >> what is your mind-set of this week? how pivotal is to it your campaign? >> ohio? it's absolutely critical. ohio is critical. we're rising everywhere. we're getting good crowds. fundraising is up. people are endorsing. it's really, really great. it's been happening now for the last couple of weeks. and guess what? i'm finally starting to get some time on the debate stage. i don't have to fight for every second i get, and it's working out great. >> you met with governor jeb bush. tell me about the meeting. >> we had a nice conversation. we talked about golf. we talked about family and politics. and the rest i'm not going 20 tell you. >> did you ask for his endorsement. >> i'm not going to get into that. we had a nice meeting.
that's all i'm saying. >> going forward, no matter what happens in ohio you will inevitably be asked about vice presidential -- >> you have too negative of an attitude here tonight. i'm going to be the nominee. are you available for vice president? what state are you from? everything is do or die. tonight is do or die. everything isn't do or die. the fact of the matter is we're doing fine. i'm going to win ohio, it going on a whole new ball game, and we'll be traveling all across the country. and at the end of the day, i'll have the delegates to be the nominee. >> thank you, governor. >> thank you. >> so big predictions from him there, anderson. back to you. >> o. >> all right, sunlen, thanks very much for that. let's talk more with our panel. john king, it was very interesting to hear marco rubio saying he wouldn't drop out if he didn't win florida but he said the person who wins florida will be the republican nominee. >> we'll see if he takes it back monday morning if he doesn't win florida. implicit in what he was saying is if i win i'm the nominee, if donald trump wins, he's the nominee.
there is no other way to take that sentence. every now and then politicians ask to revise and extend, if you will. >> is that true? >> he gets it. there may be pressure on marco rubio. if donald trump wins here and wins in ohio, or wins four of the five, plus the mariana islands vote, the never trump math gets really hard. even if ted cruz is in a one-on-one with donald trump, if donald trump has a big delegate lead and sweeps the board on tuesday, he'll be delos close to 700 delegates if he runs it up on tuesday. then in a one-on-one race, they're not all winner take all. ted cruz might beat donald trump somewhere, donald trump will still get delegates. there will be some people saying we need a third or fourth candidate. if you just lost your home state and you're third and fourth and way behind in the delegate chase, pride and smarts probably tells you to pack it in and go home and prepare for the next chapter. but there might be some pressure on these guys to please stay in. i suspect they'll say no but we'll see.
>> but gloria, to hear marco rubio also saying to the people in florida look, even if you like ted cruz, even if you like john kasich, don't vote for them this time. vote for them later on. but don't vote for them this time because that's a vote for donald trump. vote for me and i'll keep it all going. >> he was basically saying for people you're voting for trump if you do that. if you don't like donald trump -- >> it's an interesting argument he's making. >> well, it's his last argument. >> or his only argument. >> it's the last best argument that he has and he just made it. i thought he had a great debate tonight. >> a strong night. >> he said i don't believe in political correctness, i believe in being correct. that was a great line for him. and he's substantive. i think all of the folks on the stage decided finally after you saw candidate after candidate drop trying to attack donald trump that it really -- it's about time to give it up because it was only hurting them. and even when donald trump said and i circled it and wrote it down that he used this visa, the
h1-b visa for foreign workers, he said i used it. i shouldn't be allowed to use it. it's very bad for workers, but i use it. and nobody jumped down his throat. >> in the same way you had marco rubio saying this is why you need to vote for me, even if you're ted cruz. i've been really interested to see how often callers to my radio program in this psych really strategically engaged in voting. they're not necessarily voting for the candidate of their choice -- they're being very methodical. it's like a chess match. >> strategic voting, i don't think it ever works. if you're trying to get voters to buy into this convoluted process, you are losing. >> let's go back to wolf, who has the moderators from tonight. wolf? >> anderson, thanks very much. the moderator jake tapper is with us along with questioner hugh hewitt and dana bash. all three of you did an excellent, excellent job. jake, it was a really
substantive, important debate. they didn't interrupt each other. i think they listened to your warning when you said don't talk over each other. what happened? how come they were so, quote, nice? >> clearly they were afraid of me, clearly they were terrified. >> why do you think i'm sitting on this side of the chair. >> they knew i would bring down the hammer. i think we're at a point in the presidential race where the candidates realize after the fox news debate where they were comparing the size of their manhoods and such and interrupting each other quite a bit that perhaps what they were doing on the stage was not good for the republican party and not good for themselves as potential presidential candidates or presidential nominees. i think all of them came ready for a more substantive debate. we brought up areas of disagreement around there were areas where they were criticizing each other but they were generally more civil. as a general note, we came wanting to get into some issues and talk about some of the
substantive issues that the american people want to us ask about. >> and you really did. were you surprised that they were so polite? what were you expecting in other words? >> i didn't know what to expect. but i'll tell you, and you know this. because when we prepare for these debates, we do mock debates with our amazing cnn political team playing the roles of different candidates and going through all the questions, figuring out what works, what doesn't work. we mocked -- every mock debate we had the candidates were much more energetic, let's say. and they were much more substantive and civil than we prepared for, which was nice, which was a pleasant surprise. >> donald trump did not back away from the comments he made about islam to anderson cooper. i thought he might revise them a little bit but he did not seem to. >> he did not seem to. >> he didn't at all. >> no, he doubled down if anything. and there was some applause for him here.
the other three republican candidates disagreed with him and expressed their strong disagreement. >> dana, you spoke to all of the candidates about social security, especially here in florida where social security so important to so many of the people who live in florida. there were nuances. there were significant differences that came through. it was a very substantive discussion. your thoughts. >> there were big differences, especially between donald trump and marco rubio, for example, on whether or not benefits need to be cut and whether or not the retirement age needs to be raised. you heard donald trump, even though in the past he has actually said that the retirement age should go up to 70, he wrote that in his book in 2000, he doesn't anymore. those are substantive differences. that's a great example of they got it. they saw the reaction to the last couple of times they've been together on the stage and, as you said, it's not just on the party, it clearly did not reflect well on people like marco rubio and to a lesser extent ted cruz.
they were not in agreement. they were definitely disagreeing but they were doing so in a way that kind of allowed their positions to get out there and not be lost in the yelling and screaming and interrupting each other. >> hugh, you had a discussion on donald trump's very controversial comment he wants to be neutral in order to achieve an israeli palestinian peace agreement. if we were president of the united states. a very sensitive issue. you heard the other three candidates go after him on that. >> taylor force came up, an american graduate of west point who was murdered in tel aviv on money. that sparked a conversation among the candidates. i want to go back to something jake said. i'm not a cnner, so i can say this and you guys can pat yourselves on the backs. the amount of preparation that's gone into these debates, your political team is
extraordinarily fair and well prepared. and it showed tonight in the depth of the questions, the backup. no one challenged a fact. they did not want to come in for a food fight, they wanted that. every one of them have said thank you for a substantive discussion. >> that's right. >> and i bet you tim russert is smiling because of dana's conversation about social security and i think it's a model of how a little bit more time, 75 seconds, i think made a huge difference here to the candidate so they were not in fact rushing. and actually a couple of them added a couple of things going forward. i actually don't have any idea who won. it the best seat and the house and the worst seat in the house to judge. >> you're in such a bubble, you have no idea how it's going, how it being received. >> i think it's being received very, very well. it was an excellent debate, very substantive. you're a conservative radio talk show host. >> correct. >> how you colleagues, conservative radio talk show hosts you think are going to react to this debate? >> very well. i think they'll go right into the depths of the distinctions
that were carved out on social security, on israel, on global warming, where jake asked about the mayor of miami specifically and followed up to john kasich, on common core where jake pressed on that. there were some disagreements among them. conservatives who don't know who they're going to vote for can actually watch this debate and make a decision. amen! >> can i just say one thing? i was with you on the debate stage. i'm losing track of time. two weeks ago when marco rubio surprised all of us by going, you know, pretty bonkers on donald trump two weeks ago. >> he has apologized. you heard him. he apologized. >> two weeks ago. right. but he continued to do that after the debate. it was full force, not just on substance but of course with some pretty personal attacks to say the least, and the way that he went off brand because he was the optimistic candidate, the policy candidate, the i'm not going to get into this personal attack situation candidate so
much and the way that he has gone all the way kind of back full circle in just two weeks. because it didn't work. it did not work because he wasn't being true to the kind of candidate he has been and the way people perceived him. and so he didn't do well last election day and he didn't get any delegates and the time before that. it just shows how candidates when they try to be somebody that they're not, it doesn't always work. >> i think that marco rubio helped himself in florida tonight, john kasich helped himself in ohio, ted cruz helped himself in missouri and north carolina. and donald trump's people are happy with donald trump. i don't know who won. >> probably all four of them emerged relatively happy. >> i think that they were happy about a substantive debate. and one that had a civil tone. i think they were.
now, they should be thanking themselves to a degree because they're the ones that brought the civil tone. >> you did an excellent job. all of you did an excellent job. >> you did an excellent, excellent job. >> let's leave it at excellent. two excellents. guys, thanks very much. anderson, back to you. >> all right. a double excellent from wolf. that's high praise indeed. just ahead, we're going to check in not only with our panelist here, we'll check in with randi kaye who watched the debate with a group of voters. some of them undecided in tampa, florida. find out what they thought, ahead.
we are back after a debate at the university of miami. there was light on march madness and heavy on southern civility. donald trump with the call for republican unity. let's listen to that. >> first of all, ted was in favor of amnesty so there's no question about that. and sheriff joe arpaio recently endorsed me and there's nobody tougher on the border than sheriff joe. and jeff sessions, an incredible man also endorsed me. there's nobody than knows more about the borders than senator
jeff sessions. i would say this, we're all in this together, we're going to come up with solutions and find the answers to things and so far i cannot believe how civil it's been up here. >> back now with our panel. s.e., it was interesting. how he basically batted a way any semi attacks anybody made on him. he batted a way and stuck to -- he could have gone into depth on that. he chose not to. instead talked about his endorsements and moved forward. >> you can tell if you've been covering him for a long time, you can tell he wanted to. but a really interesting moment, sometimes they're not always captured on camera. during one of our last breaks tonight, donald trump swept through the spin room we're in. he took questions.
he and i have known each other for a long time and needless to say is not pleased with a lot of the things i've been saying of his campaign and he came up and shook me my hand and said, "did you like that, it was time." i think he's of the mind that because of the detroit debate or where we are at this campaign, it is time for a new tone. i think he's really pleased with his performance, his ability to show that presidential tone. >> it's very easy to be magnanimous once you're in the lead and everyone is running after you. >> this is typical behavior for lots of winning politicians once they knocked the living stuffing out of the other guys. then they say, hey, why don't you come on over and we'll have a drink and talk. >> it's literally from "the art of the deal." you make outrageous remarks and
come back and shake hands. but a lot of people don't like him. we're in the early or middle chapter. if he has a good day on tuesday, the math is in his favor. the republicans are trying to stop him. there are governors across the country who are now saying should i get on board? especially house members. in your district, if donald trump is winning your district, why don't you want to get on board with donald trump? it does not hurt you at home. he understands this debate, should we pour money in, hold people back from endorsing him? he saying i'm on your side, this is great, we're winning, we're going to unite the country and beat hillary clinton. it's a smart negotiating tactic. >> and his final statement wasn't selling himself. he was essentially saying millions of people, which is an arguable fact at this point in the primary, you can argue over the numbers, however many it is,