. it is 10:00 a.m. in simi valley, california. wherever you are watching us from around the world, thank you for joining us. the funeral for former first lady nancy reagan begins in one hour. ahead of the service the republican presidential candidates took part in a moment of silence at the presidential
debate. sara sidner is joining me from ronald reagan presidential library in simi valley. an incredible list of dignitaries on hand. is it right, relatives of every president going back to kennedy there today? >> it is. we have quite a few former first lady and the current first lady expected to be here. we are expecting to see laura bush, rosalynn carter, as well as michelle obama and of course hillary clinton, who's a former first lady and of course a presidential candidate. we have been seeing people stream in the last couple of hours. we saw tom selleck. you have hollywood stars here, as well. melissa rivers is here, bo derek is here. a lot of people here including the former prime minister of canada brian mor roney. we saw him come in. he is particularly special because he will be reading a letter written from one of the reagans to the other reagan, ronald and nancy and these love
letters, everyone is familiar with the love story between the husband and wife who happened to be the president and first lady. we are expecting not dry 0 eye in the house because the letters are touching and he will be reading one of those. we spoke of how it made him feel reading it himself and he expects people to have an emotional reaction to that. we are expecting a lo of heavyweights here. her children will eulogize her and former "nbc nightly news" anchor tom brokaw. he will be here an james baker is going to eulogize her, as well. a lot of people here. 1,000 guests, they are all streaming in, many coming early to pay respects and give respects to nancy reagan. >> hollywood and washington coming together there. we understand that nancy reagan planned today's events herself? >> she to the letter was involved in every decision. wo was going to be here. even the peonies, her favorite
flower were placed on the casket. every detail she was involved with. six to nine months ago, we were talking to officials at the library, she went over the plan to make sure it was exact. we have to mention at the end of all of this she wanted to be buried next to the man she loved so fiercely and dearly and that's going to happen. she will be inches away from president reagan. >> sara sidner will be on the scene all day and we will have coverage of the funeral at the bottom of the hour, 1:30 eastern with cnn's brooke baldwin. surprising comments on the campaign trail. the campaign of rubio suggested their supporters vote for kasich in ohio. here's what marco rubio's communications director told cnn
earlier today. >> you are going to urge all rubio voters in ohio you want to vote for john kasich? >> i'm just stating the obvious. that john kasich is the one person that can beat donald trump in ohio, like rubio is the one person to beat donald trump in florida. if rub grow is not your first choice and you like kasich or ted cruz and you are in florida vote for rubio. he's the only one that can deprive donald trump of the 99 delegates. >> asked about the comments at a campaign stop a short time later, senator rubio himself appeared to embrace those remarks. >>. >> the voter in ohio is
motivated by stopping donald trump and comes to the conclusion that donald trump is the only one that can beat him i suspect that is the decision they will make. i will tell you in florida i'm the only one that can stop for donald trump. if a voter reaches the same conclusion in ohio that's what they will do as well. >> are you joining forces with john kasich. >> i have never -- clearly he has a better chance of winning. if a voter in ohio concludes that voting for john kasich gives us the better chance to stop donald trump i anticipate that is what they will do. >> donald trump for hi part kept momentum going picking up an endorsement from former republican rival d ben carson. you are looking at pictures from st. louis, missouri where he will hold a rally any moment now. earlier today, carson, retired neuro surgeon through his support behind the republican
front runner. he said the two of them buried the hatchet and said trump has a plan to make america great again. >> there are two different donald trumps. there's the one you see on the stage and there's the one who's very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully. you can have a very good conversation with him. that's the donald trump that you are going to start to see more and more of right now. >> ben said it very well. perhaps there are two donald trumps. well, you know, somebody that is a thinker. i'm a big thinker. i have my ideas and they are strong. typically they have worked out. >> cnn chief political correspondent dana bash was at the trump-carson news conference. he is joining us live. you were there. dr. carson also had a message for the anti-trump movement.
carson criticized trump for his outramous statements in the campaign up until now. what was his message to the anti-trump movement. >>? >> his message was they are wrong. that people are not understanding what's going on out there. that donald trump, after ben carson said he got to know him was different. it was striking. i see that ben carson had said in the morning on a radio show that he believes there are two donald trumps, the entertainer in public and somebody who's quite different in private. the fact that ben carson brought it up again on this stage with donald trump was striking. so during that press conference, i asked trump about that. >> i want to go back to the, about what dr. carson said on the radio and here about two
donald trumps. so many people know and like you because of your public persona. is that the real donald trump or something we don't see? >> well, it's an interesting question. i don't like to overanalyze myself. but i will tell you that i try to be, you know, who i am. i want to be honest. certain questions are asked of me and i give a straight answer opposed to the politically correct answer. i know the political business better than anyone. >> i answer truthfully. we have to be truthful with our country. like the question on islam. i know the exact answer. i could have given an answer that no one would have talked about it and it would have been fine but there is a problem and we have to find out what the problem is and solve the problem and you are not going to solve it unless you know there's is a problem. i want to answer honestly and
forthrightly and even if i'm on a stage with tremendous number of cameras around. >>. >> what ben carson was trying to say is the donald trump you see in public, the bombastic guy is not the same in private. however, this is politics. it i is likely donald trump's opponents now or in the future will use that idea that concept of two donald trumps against him since already they are calling him a conman and somebody who is not a true conservative. that he is pretending to be so to get the nomination. i should mention i'm in west palm beach not far away and this is where rubio had his press conference that you played a while ago a. this is at a synagogue where he talked about his support for israel. jim? >> some of the criticisms maybe
harder to flip flop on than others. joining me is mark preston. during last night's republican debate here on cnn, you'll remember, donald trump was asked about the recent violence at his campaign events. he said he doesn't condone it but seemed to justify it to some degree claiming the protesters themselves are looking for trouble. let's have a listen. >> we have had some violent people as protesters. they are not just people saying -- these are people that punch. these are people that violent people and the particular one, where i said, that i'd like to bang him. that was a very vicious -- a guy swinging, very loud and started to swing at the audience. and the audience swung back. i thought it was very, very appropriate. >>.
>> a man attending the trump rally has been charged with assault for punching a protester we learning of an arrest outside of a trump rally. we will stay on that. details unclear. did trump give a straight answer on whether he in effect sees this violence at his statements. >> he gave an answer you would expect from donald trump. not taking responsibility. he said he hoped the incendiary language he uses at his language he hopes it doesn't incite people but then pivoted and said the there's a lot of anger in the country and understood why it is happening in some ways. donald trump could have done himself good by saying, listen, that shouldn't happen. the protesters are disruptive, i suppose but we don't want to see violence. donald trump, i mean true to his word, he says what's on his mind. for him he thinks when the
protesters come in and interrupt rallies there's a price to pay. >> the narrative on the debate it was kinder and softer. but on the positions it is not like he backed off or made it more general comments saying it should not happen or on the islam comments on the positions themselves, was it really softer and gentler? >>. >> no doubt that donald trump says what's on his mind. what he said last night about violence made a lot of republicans cringe. that's not good for the republican brand and not acceptable for us as human beings. when it got to the issue of islam, when he said that islam is terrible and he was critical of islam as a religion, he took a hit from mar doe rubio who said words have consequences.
just because you are the president doesn't mean you can say things that don't have consequences. the consequences are you have to have relations, jim, with world leaders around the world. you have to be able to have open dialogue. when donald trump says things like that, it makes diplomates and those who have to deal with trying to bridge gaps in and cause some kind of pulling together of nations against terror it makes it a lot more difficult. >> senator rubio noted there are a lot of muslim veterans who gave their lives in american wars and muslim allies. now we have this idea of strategic voting in effect. marco rubio made sense for his supporters in ohio to vote for kasich in the primary on tuesday if they want to stop trump. in your experience, you have covered a lot of elections, is in the kind of thing voters may follow through on in numbers? >> it's a great question.
the fact that what rubio an his campaign are effectively doing is releasing their voters in ohio saying don't worry about me, vote for kasich. that's good for me and i us as the antitrust movement. certainly it's been done before. unclear how successful it maybe. in today's day and age with social media and with information at people's fingertips if they want it, it is possible. i will tell you, jim, separate and apart from the campaign's playing a game of political chest, some voters have already been doing that. i have experienced going to rallies and talking to voters at a particular candidate's rally saying are you going to vote for that candidate and the voter saying i'm thinking that he really doesn't have a chance and then i'm going to vote for this person so that will stop that person. there are sophisticated voters out there.
it has already been happening without the campaigns endorsing it. the fact that they are is incredibly interesting. fascinating to see, talking to voters that are going to the polls whether or not that has been successful. >> you heard dana mention that you already have some republicans who previously criticized donald trump starting to talk about whether two trumps, kinder, gentler and so on. there are senators who are ready to endorse him. is the anti-trump movement in the republican party -- >> never trump. it is basically the same. i think what you will see is you will see folks within the republican party that see donald trump as the inevitable nominee and they have to get behind him. i think you are going to see a strengthening of the anti-trump or never trump movement the next couple of days. a lot has to do with tuesday
night. if he can be stopped in ohio or flr florida that is key if that happens i think you will see more money against donald trump. whether in the way of super pacs, establishment republicans who do not like ted cruz are getting behind ted cruz because they see him as the only way to stop donald trump. it really is a game of mathematics. donald trump needs to win 55% of the remaining delegates in order to win the nomination. not an easy fete. >> always great to have you on the race. this sunday, hillary clinton and bernie sanders will appear together in columbus, ohio in a democratic presidential town hall. cnn teaming up with tv one to do this. jake tapper and roland martin will moderate it. it is this sunday at 8 p.m. here on cnn. coming up, donald trump lays out the number of american troops he would be willing to send to fight isis. we will talk to a former member
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that just tastes better. with more vitamins. and less saturated fat. only eggland's best. better taste. better nutrition. better eggs. you are looking at live pictures from the reagan presidential library in simi valley, california. guests are arriving for the funeral of former first lady nancy reagan. he will be laid to rest next to her husband. special live coverage beginning just under ten minutes here on cnn. first new developments in the race for the white house. for the first time donald trump is offering some specifics of how he would fight isis including deploying a potentially massive u.s. ground force both in iraq and syria. here's how he responded to a question about it at last night's debate. >> mr. trump, more troops?
>> we really have no choice. we have to knock out isis. we have to knock the hell out of them. we have to get rid of it and come back and rebuild our country which is falling apart? >> how many? >> would listen to the generals but i'm hearing numbers of 20 to 30,000. we have to knock them out. >> retired air force colonel is joining me right now. you hear donald trump saying 20 to 30,000 ground troops. does that make sense to you? >> i think it depends on the tactics employed here. what donald trump is going to find, if president obama's strategy is successful, or his actions are successful in iraq and syria, especially against isis, they are going to -- this rhetoric will look like it is overblown. the problem you have run in to is what exactly do you want to do there? >> and for how long. >> exactly. if you are going in to iraq and syria and your goal is to eliminate isis then you have to ask that question, what comes
next? and if you don't ask that question, then there's going to be a significant issue with the number of troops, what they are doing and the length of the deployment actually is. >> i don't want you to speak for the entire military field, but as a former commander, when you heard donald trump's statements like this -- because on the flip side he's been critical of the iraq war and jeb bush and george wachlt bush. do you hear consistency there? do you hear a commander in chief who has a plan? >> to be frank, no. here's the problem. when you have these pronouncements, it is easy to say the troop level 20 u 30,000, whatever it is to be. if you tout that idea that you are going to spend 20 to 30 thousand troops in to iraq to fight isis you have to have a strategy that does it. the types of things he's talked about when it comes to iraqing and the iraq war indicate more
of an idea he wants to get out of that region entirely. in the past he said he wants to leave it to the russians, to let putin take care of it in essence. that's not consistent with the statement of putting this many troops in there. >> how many casualties are you willing as a country, your supporters are you willing to tolerate. >> absolutely. >> another thing trump say last said last night we don't fight like we used to fight. we're not as tough. our military is not as tough as it was. i speak to current service members who bristle at that comment. >> sure. when you look at the brave men and women, some who have received medal of honor, it is a completely different picture of the military that you get at that point in time. i think what donald trump is looking at is the quality of the leadership and he perceives basically a lack of the patton-type figure in today's
military. quite frankly we have -- since world war ii. that behavior, that brashness that is not really part of the military ethos anymore and the persona out there. there are tough people in the military that are willing to fight and die for the issue. they want clear direction, good strategy and to be able to integrate that with a plan that allows for future developments, what do we do after we are done with isis? what do we do with other things that happen, what about assad. >> what happens after the fighting stops, if it stops. >> exactly. >> thank you so much. appreciate i want. >> that's it for me. wolf will be back on monday for. for our viewers in north america, special doench of nancy reagan's funeral anchored by brooke baldwin will start after this break.
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♪ hi there. i'm brook bald wichbl you are watching cnn's special coverage of the final good-bye to former first lady nancy reagan who passed away in her home at the age of 94. her service will begin at the reagan presidential library in simi valley, california. this is a service the former first lady planned for herself down to the last detail.
you are seeing all of the faces here. i can tell you, 1,000 people are expected to attend ib including immediate family, current and former first ladies. a who's who of celebrities. we are a half hour away from the start of the service. the guest list includes first lady michelle obama, george w. bush, lawyer bra bush, r-- laur rosalynn carter and the list goes on and on. everyone from first ladies to actors, actresses, everyone tell me about the service. >> we have been seeing people stream in as well. we have seen some of the people you mentioned. tom selleck is here. we have seen the honorable ryan moroney, the former p.m. prime
minister of canada who will be reading a love letter that i'm sure will have the crowd crying. it's a beautiful letter and he said himself he will be surprised if there is not a huge emotional response to that. also we know that george w. bush is here with his wife laura. they have arrived. a lot of the celebrities arriving. what you are hearing is the choir. every detail was picked out, was put in place by mrs. reagan herself. she went over it six to nine months ago with the folks at the library who said she was clear on what she wanted and not a single detail is anything out of what he put on paper or agreed to. it is a funeral she planned. she planned it with her husband until he passed away and she added some things herself. this is going to be a poignant ceremony. if you look at who's speaking, her children will eulogize her. so are folks like former "nbc
nightly news" anchor tom brokaw. he's here, as well. diane sawyer is here. she will be reading from a gospel. a lot of political heavyweights are here. ing inning in shown up. it is a ceremony planned by her. some beautiful touches like the peonies that are her favorite flower. they are on the casket as well. she was clear on where she wanted to be buried. you know the love story that everyone talks about. she will be just inches away, buried just inches from her husband. >> you talk about the love story. i'm sure people will be in tears. reading so much about the relationship between the two, i was nearly in tears just preparing to talk about this extraordinary woman. sara sidner, thank you so much. i have an incredible panel here as we anticipate the funeral beginning 25 minutes from now. with me here in new york the author of soon to be released "first women." the grace and power of america's
first ladies and david gergen, adviser to president reagan. also with us, cnn political commentator and pulitzer prize winning journalist, dr. stacey, professor of history at monmouth college and bibliographer for the first lady's library in canton, ohio. bill novak who worked with nancy reagan on her memoir "my turn." welcome to all of you. as we stay on these pictures, let me defer to you first, david gergen. we are looking at the list, michelle obama, rosalynn carter, tom brokaw, larry king, wayne newton, tina sinatra. what does that tell you about who nancy reagan was? >> nancy reagan was enormously active socially. she had a great many friends in private. she believed -- not only did she welcome that, but she believed
it was a way to change our politics. for example, when she came to washington she struck up a relationship with catherine grant, "washington post" had been an opposition newspaper to previous republicans but they became fast friends and it was a nourishing relationship and she saw the social as a way to advance the political. it worked out very well. it was natural to her. that's what she liked. she liked good company. they gave more state dinners, like three times as many as president bush did george w. in his eight years. >> we will get in to the glamour of the white house and the china and redogging of the executive mansion. on the service itself, beginning with the civil war era, battle hymn of the republic and the reading of proverbs and the letter from the former president
to his wife, in terms of the details in how she planned this, reading about this, i know she wanted to be buried inches from her husband as though they were holding hands. >> she paid attention to every detail. in the first lady i had a butler tell me she would sit at the west hall at the rose garden to see if the president's blazer was the right blazer. if it one the right one she would grab the right blazer and say bring him this one. she wanted to make sure the white house was as lovely as any european palace. i talked to a white house usher and he said at night he would bring the president his schedule for the next day. he would go up to the residence and the two would be sitting there holding hands in floral dh chairs watching a sitcom together. and holding hands and no one
else would have seen that, that private moment. >> the notes that you read about, the letters exchanged on their anniversary of their wedding every year. i want to take a break as we keep our eyes on these live pictures, arnold schwarzenegger there. we are watching for the arrivals of the first lady michelle obama, watching for hillary clinton, former president bush. stay with me. complete coverage here of the funeral of former first lady nancy reagan.
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1981 mashing their wedding anniversary was he said if you would look at the west sitting hall and skooch down in his chair to make sure she was there. it made him feel good to know she was there. another person said she saw the two of them standing there, after an event and the president was get ing ready to go to work and the elevator doors opened and held her hand and said i wish i didn't have to go to the office today. there was something real not put on for the family. >> let me go to you. i think reading about the night's meeting, assassination attempt on the life of a president at the time that rattled her to the core and profoundly changed i think perhaps leading to a more forceful first lady. she peppered the doctors with questions after she learned, of course, her husband nearly lost his life. how profound was that on her? >> it was more profound of an
event than we, the public realized at the time. he was he could easily have died and that was kept from us to some extent and we didn't know it until a few years later. this led, as far as we know, to her interest in astrology. something she hoped not to talk about in the book. i said i think we're going to have to. donald ri don donald regan had blown her cover on that issue. it is not something she was proud to announce to the world. the nancy reagan i met was a vulnerable woman with who was grieving after the loss of both of her parents during the white house years. was almost the loss of her husband. i don't think she ever got over that. >> she talked about the famous quip at the time her hon husband
said honey, i forgot to duck. the bullet an inch from his heart. they removed the bullet and from there on out how did that change her and her role at the white house? >> i don't know that it changed her. i think rather she assumed she had to be his are protector not physically but from those around him that did not want to do what he wanted to do as president and were reluctant to follow his orders. famously alexander haig, the white house chief of staff, donald regan, who she was response for getting rid of. i think the really important thing that we need to remember about nancy reagan was her ability to reach out to those who were not of the same political beliefs as a she or her husband. she had a great relationship
with the wife of speaker tip o'neill and of course president reagan also had a good relationship with oneil o'neill. there were reporters she really liked. mike wallace was a great, life-long friend of hers. i had a friendship with her that was much more distant but it was real, i think. i didn't see her that often. but we talked about things that concerned her that had nothing to do with politics most of the time. she was very warm, gracious and she brought that to the white house. but i think in terms of being ronald reagan's protector and famously it has been written there would have been no reagan presidency without her. she fashioned the presidency to
some extent by enabling reagan to be reagan. let reagan be reagan became a very popular cry among conservatives but it meant something else to her and it meant keeping from her husband people who she thought would do him ill and there were a lot of them an they were banished. >> she told her daughter, who recently recounted a story that she wasn't afraid of dying. she just didn't want it to hurt because then she would be able to be with her his ban again. you are looking at live pictures as we watch the arrivals. you can see journalists are arriving at the reagan presidential library. we are waiting for the arrival of first lady michelle obama, first lady mc lady hillary clin. our coverage continues.
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who was i talking to this morning? somebody. we're talking about marriage. i can't imagine marriage being any other way. >> something in the gods brought you together. >> fortunately. >> the nation is honoring former first lady nancy reagan. the room, as you can see, jam packed. about 1,000 attendees from journalists, politicians. first ladies. former first ladies. former president in attendance to honor nancy reagan who will be laid to rest inches from her husband there. what we're remembering her life and as we do so we're talking
about what she brought to the white house. stacy, let me go to you. she truly brought -- she got a little bit of grief for this. but brought glamour, really, to the white house. >> she did. >> glamour that we haven't seen in the past presidency. i think this goes right back to her childhood when she grew up with a mother who was always the star of every show because her mother was an actress and nancy really enjoyed that magical world of the theater. >> she redecorated the white house. she ordered a massively expensive full set of china, which she got criticism for, but later down the road, you say hillary clinton was grateful for that. >> it was the only full set of china available.
she understood that she was one of the least popular first ladies but, you know, she -- for her it was about bringing glamour back. jackie kennedy had a lot of appreciation for her, bringing a sense of glamour back that someone like jackie kennedy didn't see with rosalynn carter. when the gorbachevs came, nancy went to the florist and told the florist to blow her socks off. >> changing the flowers three times a day. >> incredible. >> hard to understand how much reverence they both had for the presidency as an office. skwlou do you mean? >> reagan would never go into the office without a coat and tie on. he saw that as -- when he was shot he got it's the car and had to to the surgeons, first thing he did when he got out of the car was button his jacket, straighten up and he walked
across as the cameras were watching and collapsed into the surgeons but they cared about -- >> the jacket with the bullet in it that's extraordinary. >> the classy quality they wanted to bring there was associated, was all of the piece about how you look at that office. they put it up on a pedestal. i think she would be appalled by the kind of politicses we see today. >> carl bernstein, after reagan wrote the letter announcing he had alzheimers, passed away in 2004, you know, she really protected his image in those final years. she wanted to cure always heimer's disease.
>> i think that's what all of us are getting at here. when she saw alzheimer's was doing to this man that she loved, who was her life, she instantly understood what it meant to others as well who were going through this. she talked about it with friends. the fact it was a republican right wing -- that stem cell research was off limits for religious reasons. she just said to hell with that, that we need to save people from this terrible strurj. she was a private person in some ways but on this she wanted to get out in front.
i'm thinking the first time i met her, i was on an eastern shuttle plane from new york to washington. i'm surprised she was on the plane, she had the front bulk head seat with secret service agents. she was tired. her feet were up against the bulk head. but i being a reporter decided to try to start a conversation from a couple seats away. she invited me up. and she wanted to know about washington. she said that they were unfamiliar, she was unfamiliar, with washington. she was kind of trepiditious, almost girlish trepidation about the city itself. she got a handle on it quickly. but she was a stranger to washington. and thereafter, you could see her ability to master a system in some ways better than he did
because she understood the dangers that in some ways, david gergen can talk to this, he had a kind of naive side in some ways in which he believed there was not much ill in people in terms of what they wanted to do to him. and this -- even after the shooting, she had -- >> let me jump in, carl, because we're watching some extraordinary pictures. here is the first lady, michelle obama. she was followed in by former president george w. bush, his wife laura bush, behind them, hillary clinton, all being seated here at the front row of nancy reagan's funeral, which will start in just a couple minutes from now. bill novak, i wanted to get to you, because i think it's important to talk about the significance of the reagan family, the children. they will be reading here at the funeral. can you just tell me their relationship, patty and ron specifically with their parents? >> that's a complicated story,
but i wanted to follow up on something carl bernstein said. he more or less made this point. i want to make it explicitly. she was not a very ideological person. she was a pragmatist. she had many friends who were liberals. she moved him especially with the gorbachevs and making some kind of settlement with the soviet union. i think she was a big influence in that way. but in all the hours we spent together, she barely discussed politics with me. i was struck by that. her relationship with her kids was -- is probably i think best discussed at another occasion. it didn't always bring a lot of joy -- >> let me jump in because i think this picture -- thank you, bill. david gergen, can you just comment as we're looking at this row. caroline kennedy on down. this picture. >> well, it's a remarkable set of people who