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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Severe Storms Hit Parts Of The South; Super Tuesday Coverage

Aired February 6, 2008 - 04:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: This is always the case for tornadoes often coming in the middle of the night and you see that damage but you really don't get a full grasp of what's happened until you see it in the daylight.
So we are expecting to really get a better idea of the scope of this damage when sun begins to come up on the next few hours. But 27 dead, we can now confirm, in tornadoes that have struck Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky. At least 13 of those fatalities happened in Arkansas, another 11 at least in Tennessee. At least, three in Kentucky as well.

But here are some of the latest pictures we have been getting in this evening. Another big story we are following this evening, of course, being the storms. We didn't expect that to be the story that we've been talking on all politics this evening, but these storms came up pretty much out of nowhere for a lot of folks. And now we have several fatalities to tell you about. So we do have our eyes on that story. But we are continuing to keep our eye on Super Tuesday. All that coverage.

Still something to call, waiting to call, a state this evening. Would you believe it or not? New Mexico. The votes are still out. Too close to call right now. We will continue our coverage of Super Tuesday. Also of the severe storms that have hit parts of the South. Stay here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We're still waiting to call one race. New Mexico with 54 percent. Senator Hillary Clinton holds the lead in New Mexico's Democratic primary. But those numbers could change and we're trying to keep you informed on all that. Anything could still happen.

HOLMES: Oh, yes, still.

WHITFIELD: Even though, it's no longer really Super Tuesday. It's the day after, right?

HOLMES: It's the day after Super Tuesday.

WHITFIELD: It's one long day.

HOLMES: Yes. That's why they call it Super Tuesday. It's just a long day. All right, folks. And now, part of that long day was in California. Of course, Hillary Clinton -- it turns out, pulled out a pretty big win over in California, 441 of the total Democratic delegates available out there. We don't know how many of those she is going to get.

However, we can tell you that she at least got the most votes. At least, in voting out there in California -- 53 percent to Barack Obama's 40 percent. So a big victory bragging right she claims. She won California. Again, we don't know about the delegates yet.

WHITFIELD: And speaking of who appears to be a winner in California for the Republicans. John McCain winning the majority of the support in that delegate-rich state. 173 delegates for the Republicans there. And you see a very close second with Mitt Romney and then far behind, Mike Huckabee.

HOLMES: And speaking of Mr. Huckabee.

WHITFIELD: Surprise, maybe. What do you think?

HOLMES: Coming with surprise of the evening.

WHITFIELD: I think so.

HOLMES: If you talk to him, he wouldn't say that. He's been called the spoiler. And in fact this evening, after we called him a spoiler, I got an e-mail from somebody from his campaign.

WHITFIELD: Well, it wasn't we.

HOLMES: Well, we. Here -- yes, we have. We called him a spoiler.

WHITFIELD: We were using someone else's words.

HOLMES: Someone else's words -- calling him a spoiler. Yes and they didn't take too kind to being called a spoiler. I will have you know. Well, he's actually, certainly, in a position now that he is a contender. He's talking to some very enthusiastic supporters these days in Little Rock, Arkansas. He talked to them this evening after racking up a string of wins in the south.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Over the past few days, a lot of people have been trying to say that this is a two-man race. Well, you know what? It is. And we're in it.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: Tonight, we are making sure America understands that sometimes one small, smooth stone is even more effective than a whole lot of armor.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: And we've also seen that "The Widow's Might" has more effectiveness than all the gold in the world. (APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: Janet and I and our family and team want to begin by saying thanks, first of all, to the wonderful of people of Arkansas, where it all started and where tonight we have a wonderful, wonderful victory here at home.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: We love this state, always have and always will. And tonight we're reminded again why -- because of the incredible people who believed in us early and stayed with us through all of the times when so many people said you can't get there. And tonight, we're proving that we're still on our feet and much to the amazement of many, we're getting there, folks. We're getting there.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: We have been standing for small business owners who know that government has for way too long had its foot on their neck, with taxes that were too high, regulations that were too onerous. The threat of litigation made it impossible for many small business owners to survive. And our party once stood to make sure that we helped clear the way so that the free market system really worked. And we're going do it again, because one of these days when I get to be president -- and it won't be very long, about a year from now.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: I really do look forward to nailing the "going out of business" sign on the front door of the IRS.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: And when we have the fair tax, a lot of small business owners and individuals will finally have a fair shot of getting a part of the American dream.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: We are here tonight and winning states across the South because we've stood for the idea that mothers and fathers raise better kids than governments do. And government ought to undergird a family, not undermine a basic family's rights to raise their own kids. And that's one of the reasons we're here tonight.

We're here tonight because people want to know that the president is going to secure our borders and make it so it's not more difficult to get on an airplane in your hometown than it is to cross the international border. And then, we're going to fix an issue that the Federal government has allowed to go unchallenged for a long, long time. We're here tonight because a lot of people in the South and across America know that the Second Amendment is to be respected as much as the First Amendment. And they know that there's only one candidate who has a consistent record of making sure we do that.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: And one of the reasons that we're here tonight is because there's no candidate who has been more consistent and clear about the fact that we should honor the words of our forefathers who said all of us are created equal. And that means, that every single person has intrinsic worth and value. And we should uphold the sanctity of human life because it is a cornerstone of our culture of life.

And Ladies and Gentlemen, tonight, I believe that one of the things you're saying across the nation is that people are saying the conservatives do have a choice because the conservatives have a voice. And tonight, they're getting a chance to express that. And from here, they'll get to continue expressing that choice and that voice.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: Now, it's tough for this old razorback to say things like roll, tide roll, but I'm doing it tonight.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: And it's tough for this old razorback to look over there to the state, just to the east of us, and anticipate being able to say that we're too volunteers. I think before the night is over, I'll even be singing "Rocky Top."

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: This old razorback may even catch some bulldog fever before the night is over. And we're going to forget all about the Cotton Bowl and even be grateful for our friends to the north before tonight night is over. I'm fully believing.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: But tonight is far more important than contests between the rivalry of some of our states in athletics. Starting today with the wonderful people of West Virginia who gave us a surprising, stunning, and wonderful victory.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: Today has been a day when the people have spoken. And today people across this country are saying that, yes, we heard what the pundits said. But this is our vote, not theirs. This is our election, not theirs. This is our presidency, not theirs.

(APPLAUSE)

HUCKABEE: And for all those people who have made sacrifices to help us be here, I want to say thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right. And we'll be hearing from the other two Republicans in this race. We mentioned the big win for McCain while -- take a look at this, Romney gets Massachusetts, Utah and the others -- right there. Very far away in that screen. We'll hear from both candidates coming up. There's a close up right there. Alaska, Massachusetts, Montana, Utah, Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota. Mitt Romney, taking all those states. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: We're going to continue to update you on the Super Tuesday results. Meantime, some pretty severe weather that has been sweeping through parts of the South overnight. We want to bring you some of the latest images as well as news. We're understanding, according to the Associated Press, that the death toll involving many of these tornadoes that have swept through many states is now more than 25. Remarkable numbers.

Meantime, in Tennessee, just northeast of Nashville, by about 40 miles or so. At the natural gas pumping gas station there, in Macon County, an explosion -- right there, those images, taking place. It's unclear exactly how this explosion took place. How the weather may have been a factor here. But on the line with this now, Kelly Merritt of the Columbia Gulf, a natural gas transmission center there.

Kelly, give me an idea. What do you know about how this happened and what you did to try to control this?

KELLY MERRITT, COLUMBIA GULF TRANSMISSION: It looks like a tornado touched directly, went through our compressor station yard there in Hartsville, Tennessee. That's in Columbia Gulf Transmission Company -- Hartsville, compressor station.

Compressor station is a series of engines that boost the power of natural gas -- boost the pressure of natural gas flowing through your interstate natural gas pipeline system. And with this damage that blew away evidently some of the buildings caused some failure, in which opened up the pipeline or blew away some engines and caused the gas to release because of failure.

WHITFIELD: Wow, remarkable images here. And what an alarming event to take place here. We understand from initial reports that it did cause death.

MERRITT: Actually, our understanding is that, as far as I know, the actual event itself did not. There may have been some related to the tornado -- the same tornado that caused damage. But the information I have is that no one was injured as a result of our compressor station.

WHITFIELD: All right. Well, that's good news because initial information I'm reading here is that there may have been some fatalities. So good to hear and to straighten that out -- that, indeed, it does not appear that any fatalities resulted from this explosion taking place. How about injuries?

MERRITT: No. The station was not manned at that time and so, as far as we know, there's no injuries or deaths related to that facility failure. And what happened, once the tornado came through, our automatic shut-off files kicked in. And we're able to shut the flow of natural gas and then isolate the section. What I'm sure, the fire is out. It has been out for some time now.

WHITFIELD: Wow. Kelly Merritt, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate it and hopefully everyone there weathers the rest of the storm, which is pretty nasty. A few warning still in effect for parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and also Tennessee. Thanks so much.

All right, we're going to move on to T.J. now with some results now. Let's carry on the baton with our Super Tuesday coverage.

HOLMES: With the Super Tuesday coverage, yes. And now his critics say he's not conservative enough, but it didn't stop Senator John McCain from walking away on Super Tuesday as the Republican Party's frontrunner. And as for the senator, he's taking nothing for granted. Instead, he was looking ahead in his victory speech -- if you will, he gave this evening.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If I am the nominee of our party, I will not let anyone take this country backward to the days when government felt empowered to take from us, some of our freedom, to decide for ourselves, the course and quality of our lives -- or when we turned away from threats to our security -- when we turned away from threats to our security that were so plainly gathering strength abroad.

I have lived my adult life with one purpose greater than all others: to keep America safe from all enemies foreign and domestic. And I will never tire of the honor.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCAIN: I am a Republican because, like you, I want to relieve the American people of the heavy hand of a government that spends too much of your money on things you neither want nor need.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCAIN: While failing to do as well as we should the things none of us can do individually. I am a Republican because, like you, I believe government must defend our nation's security wisely and effectively, because the cost of our defense is measured in losses so hard to bear and in the heartbreak of so many families. I am a Republican because, like you, I believe government must respect our values because they are the true source of our strength and enforce the rule of law, which is the first defense of freedom.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCAIN: I am a Republican because I believe the judges we appoint to the Federal bench must understand that enforcing our laws, not making them, is their only responsibility. I am a Republican because I believe, like you, that government should tax us no more than necessary, spend no more than necessary, and keep out of the way of the most industrious, ingenious, and optimistic people in the history of the world.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCAIN: I am a Republican because I believe, like you, that it is the strength, courage, wisdom and patriotism of free people -- not the government -- who have made this country the extraordinarily successful place it is.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCAIN: My friends, my purpose is to preserve and strengthen our freedom. The freedom I have defended all my adult life and I will not let anyone or anything deter me. My friends, nothing in America is inevitable. We are the captains of our fate. We can overcome any challenge as long as we keep our courage and stand by our principles. I intend to make my stand on those principles and trust in the judgment of the American people I serve.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCAIN: So stand up with me, my friends. Stand up together and let us put America, her strength, her ideals, her future -- before all else.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCAIN: It is an honor greater than all others to serve this country, the love of my life, and I thank you from the bottom of heart for helping me serve her a little while longer.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right, that's John McCain. How about Hillary Clinton now? She may have taken Super Tuesday's biggest prize by winning California, but there's Barack Obama who posted some pretty impressive wins as well. Take a look at Missouri. Right here, 88 delegates up for grabs. He says, that's more evident that voters are looking for what he has offered.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D-IL) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I'm president, we will put an end to the politics of fear. A politics that uses 9/11 as a way to scare up votes. We're going to start seeing 9/11 as a challenge that should unite America and the world against the common threats of the 21st century, terrorism and nuclear weapons, climate change and poverty, genocide and disease. We can do this. We can do this.

CROWD: Yes, we can.

OBAMA: But it will not be easy. It will require struggle and it will require sacrifice. There will be setbacks and we will make mistakes. And that is why we need all the help we can get. So tonight, I want to speak directly to all those Americans who have yet to join this movement but still hunger for change. They know it in their gut. They know we can do better than we're doing. They know that we can take our politics to a higher level. But they're afraid. They've been taught to be cynical. They're doubtful that it can be done. But I'm here to say tonight, to all of you, who still harbor those doubts, we need you.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: We need you to stand with us.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: We need you to work with us.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: We need you to help us prove that together, ordinary people can still do extraordinary things in the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: I am blessed to be standing in the city where my own extraordinary journey of service began.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: You know, just a few miles from here, down on the south side, in the shadow of a shuttered steel plant, it was there that I learned what it takes to make change happen. I was a young organizer then. In fact, there are some folks here who I organized with. A young organizer intends on fighting joblessness and poverty on the south side. And I still remember one of the very first meetings I put together. We have worked on it for days. We've made phone calls, we've knocked on doors, we've put out flyers. But on that night, nobody showed up.

Our volunteers would work so hard, felt so defeated that they wanted to quit. And to be honest, so did I. But at that moment, I happened to look outside and I saw some young boys tossing stones at a boarded up apartment building across the street. They were like the boys in so many cities across the country. Little boys but without prospects, without guidance, without hope for the future. And I turned to the volunteers and I asked them, before you quit, before you give up, I want you to answer one question. What will happen to those boys if we don't stand up for them?

And those volunteers, they looked out that window and they saw those boys and they decided that night to keep going, to keep organizing, keep fighting for better schools, fighting for better jobs, fighting for better health care. And I did too. And slowly but surely, in the weeks and months to come, the community began to change. You see, the challenges we face will not be solved with one meeting in one night. It will not be resolved on even a Super Duper Tuesday. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: We are the change that we seek. We are the hope of those boys who have so little. Who have been told that they cannot have what they dreamed. That they cannot be what they imagine. Yes, they can. We are the hope of the father who goes to work before dawn and lies awake with doubt that tells him he cannot give his children the same opportunities that someone gave him. Yes, he can.

We are the hope of the woman who hears that her city will not be rebuilt, that she cannot somehow claim the life that was swept away in a terrible storm. Yes, she can.

We are the hope of the future, the answer to the cynics who tell us our house must stand divided, that we cannot come together, that we cannot remake this world as it should be. We know that we have seen something happen over the last several weeks, over the past several months. We know that what began as a whisper has now swelled to a chorus that cannot be ignored, that will not be deterred, that will ring out across this land as a hymn that will heal this nation, repair this world, make this time different than all the rest.

Yes, we can. Let's go to work. Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Thank you, Chicago. Let's go get to work. I love you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: And Barack Obama from earlier in the evening speaking in the Chicago, giving his speech for the evening. Not quite a victory speech for them all, because not quite a victory can be claimed in some of these elections just yet. But that familiar cadence, "Yes, we can," that we're starting to hear from so many of his speeches.

We've been covering, of course, the Super Tuesday contest throughout the day and throughout the evening. But also something we're covering here.

Breaking news over night. Deadly storms that have hit parts of the south, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, in particular, we can confirm now at least 27 people have been killed in tornadoes, severe storms that have struck. This is some of the latest video we've been getting in the past couple of hours here.

Also, we have someone that we have gotten on the ground now. Ed Lavandera who has made his way to Jackson, Tennessee to see some of the damage, an area that was hit pretty hard. Also a college campus there hit pretty good.

Ed on the line with us. Ed, what have you been able to see there? ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, T.J. Well, we are on the campus of Union University, as you mentioned, in Jackson, Tennessee which is essentially about half way between Nashville and Memphis. And this is one of these areas that was completely devastated by the storms that roared through here last night. We are standing just about a hundred feet away from the student dorms, which at this point, the entire campus is essentially locked down. The campus here will be closed for at least two weeks, we're told.

There are search teams going through the demolished buildings, making sure that there were no other students that still might be trapped inside these dorm rooms.

In all, no one killed here amazingly but there were nine students injured that have been taken to a local hospital to be treated. And as search dogs and other rescue crews continue to go through the rubble here to make sure that there might not be anyone else who was killed or still might be trapped inside of these buildings. University officials say they don't believe that that is the case but they are taking every precaution.

And across the region from Arkansas to much of Tennessee and into Kentucky as well, crews have been working throughout the night, cleaning up debris, trying to get roadways cleared. It is a mess in many, many parts of this area - T.J.?

HOLMES: Do they expect - like you said, they're still searching, want to make sure no one's in there. But we don't exactly have missing persons or reports like that out there, do we? They're just checking to make sure right now. Is that right, Ed?

LAVANDERA: Well, I think a lot of this is still very fluid. I would not be surprised if maybe something like that comes in. I think, you know, it's - all of this - it quickly became dark. It is very hard to kind of get a sense and a grasp of just, you know, the magnitude of the destruction that has been here. It is hard to see here. The only light that there is, is with the - the lights that the emergency crews have brought it. But with that light, we can see that, you know, there are several academic buildings where rooftops have been ripped apart.

We're in a parking lot where there are dozens of cars that are flipped over. So we imagined that they, you know, a lot of students, we're told, that were able to get to shelters, that there was enough warning to move a lot of students to a safer place. So perhaps that is a little bit of good news here in this situation but I imagine that there's still, you know, people trying to get in touch with loved ones and that's where things - if that changes here in the next couple of hours, I wouldn't be surprised.

HOLMES: All right. And Ed, we want - I want you to tell us, as well. We understand you flew in to Memphis then had to make a couple- hour drive over to where you are now in Jackson. Now I'm not sure how much you were able to see on that drive but we know, pretty much, that that path you took is kind of along the path of the storms that were making their way. They certainly hit through Memphis and made their way east.

So were you able to see much? I guess, just in your travels, in your journey, did you see that, I guess, debris and things have been left throughout that state really, several towns hit by that - by the storm system?

LAVANDERA: Well, Long Interstate-40 was, you know, kind of a treacherous drive at some point. That was an area of interstate that we saw a number of overturned 18-wheelers.

HOLMES: Wow.

LAVANDERA: You know, cars that were stuck in the storm as they quickly approached. They were quick moving storms. And you know, you can kind of tell when you're driving and we haven't even seen daylight here since we've been in Tennessee on the ground here.

But you can tell when you're driving through certain parts there's a certain amount of darkness. You can tell the power has been knocked out. And you know, a kind of a good sign that even though you can't see any damage that might be out there, that you know -- you know, if it's completely pitch black out there, you can tell that this is an area that was probably pretty - hit pretty hard.

HOLMES: All right. Our Ed Lavandera for us, has made his way to Jackson, Tennessee where a university has been hit there and several parts of that state hit pretty well, as well as in Arkansas, as well as Kentucky. Ed, we appreciate you. We know we're going to see you again.

Coming up shortly, Ed is going to be live reporting from the scene for "AMERICAN MORNING." He continues to get his information, got a video as well, and we'll have the very latest for us with the updates. Twenty-seven people we know are dead, killed in storms that have hit Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky on this evening. So a lot more to come and certainly a lot more we're going to see (INAUDIBLE) once the daylight hits. It will give us a whole new perspective of just how bad it was.

WHITFIELD: That's right. And Still tornado warnings in effect for parts of Alabama as well. So we'll continue to watch the situation there in those southern states.

Meantime, CNN's ongoing coverage of Super Tuesday results.

There you see the maps. You see the warnings in place. Just back to the weather a bit there for Alabama, Huntsville, the central part of that warning, taking place right now, and other parts of the south as well. We'll continue to watch the developments there and keep you posted on those warnings.

Meantime, we also have much more straight ahead on Super Tuesday results when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HOLMES: Hillary Clinton, of course, won the biggest prize in the Super Tuesday contest, California, and also pretty big take-that win in Massachusetts, where both Senators Kennedy and Kerry had endorsed her rival Barack Obama. Well, she's gearing up for a tough and historic fight ahead. And here's what she told her supporters in New York City.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Politics isn't a game. It's not about who's up or who's down. It's about your lives, your families, your futures.

It's about the people who have shared their problems with me, looking for solutions. The mother whose insurance company won't pay for her child's treatment, the couple so determined to send their daughter to college they're willing to mortgage their home with a subprime second mortgage. The man who asked me what he was supposed to do after training the person who will take his job in another country. The veterans who've come home, only to find they don't have the health care, the compensation and the services they need.

It's also about the people who want to seize America's opportunities. It's about the unions and businesses who are training people for green collar jobs. It's about the auto companies and the auto workers who want higher gas mileage cars so we can compete with the rest of the world. It's about -- it's about our scientists and researchers who want to be able to do stem cell research right here in the United States of America. It's about our contractors and our construction workers, who want to get to work to rebuild America, from the bridges in Minnesota to the levees in New Orleans.

Now for seven years we have seen President Bush's answer. They don't know what's at stake in this election, but we do. We know what we need is someone ready on day one to solve our problems and seize those opportunities. Because when the bright lights are off and the cameras are gone, who can you count on to listen to you, to stand up for you, to deliver solutions for you?

Well, the Republicans want eight more years of the same. They see -- they see tax cuts for the wealthy, and they say why not more? They see $9 trillion in debt, say why not trillions more? They see five years in Iraq and say why not a hundred more?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boo!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Boo!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boo!

CLINTON: Well, they've got until January 20th, 2009, and not one day more.

Now, we know the Republicans won't give up the White House without a fight. Well, let me be clear. I won't let anyone swift boat this country's future. Together, we're going to take back America, because I see an America where our economy works for everyone, not just those at the top, where prosperity is shared, and we create good jobs that stay right here in America. I see an America where we stand up to the oil companies and the oil-producing countries, where we launch a clean energy revolution and finally confront the climate crisis.

I see an America where we don't just provide health care for some people or most people, but for every single man, woman and child. There's no one left uninsured. I see an America where when a young man or woman signs up to serve our country, we sign up to serve them, too. An America with a 21st century G.I. bill of rights to help veterans go to college, buy a home or start their own businesses.

I see an America respected around the world again, that reaches out to our allies, and confronts our shared challenges from global terrorism to global warming to global epidemics. That's the America I see.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Hillary Clinton there in New York in her speech of inspiration. She is neck and neck with Barack Obama right now in the pursuit of the nomination for the Democratic Party.

Meantime, it's not over until it's over, the message from Mitt Romney. Despite a string of major Super Tuesday wins by his GOP rival John McCain and a stronger-than-expected showing from Mike Huckabee, here's what Romney told supporters after getting these results you see here.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One thing that's clear tonight is that nothing's clear. But I think she's wrong. One thing that's clear is, this campaign is going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes! Mitt, Mitt, Mitt!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes! Mitt, Mitt, Mitt!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes! Mitt, Mitt, Mitt!

ROMNEY: I think -- I think there's some people who thought it was all going to be done tonight, but it's not all done tonight. We're going to keep on battling. We're going to go all the way to the convention. We're going to win this thing, and we're going to get into the White House.

Now, I don't know. At this stage it's really hard to tell how many delegates we're going to get, because a lot of states, of course, we haven't even heard from, the western states. We know that it's going to be close and interesting in states like Colorado and Montana and California and all over the west. And so we're going to see what kind of numbers come in. We'll add those numbers up and have them bright and early in the morning. My guess is at our home we'll be staying up a little bit later than most of you will. We'll be looking at those numbers. But I have to tell you, there was a special feeling in my heart when I realized that the three places Ann and I have lived have all voted for us, Michigan, Massachusetts and Utah. And -- and we expect -- and we expect a lot more delegates to come from a lot of other states, as well.

But, you know, this is -- this is fun and exciting to be part of an election scene like this, to have all of you here cheering us on. It is just remarkable to know how much work you've done, how much money you've raised, how many doors you've knocked on, how many calls you've made.

But -- but you know why we're doing it. We're all doing it for the same reason. That is, we care very deeply about, well, in my case, these folks up here, and in your case, the folks at your home, your kids. For me, I'm very concerned about the kind of America they're going to inherit. I want to make sure that the kind of prosperity we've known, the peace that we've always experienced, the safety that we've always felt, that is part of my kids' life and their kids' life and theirs, indeed, as well.

And I recognize that that doesn't just happen. You see, those that brought this to us paid a very heavy price to buy our peace. They built a strong military that was, without question, the most capable in the world. They built a strong economy that surpassed anybody's in the world. And they also gave to us values that are enduring, like believing in hard work and education and willingness to sacrifice for the future, and love of our families, and love of our faith and love of our country. And because of these great values and this great economy and our great military, we've emerged as the greatest nation on earth. And now it's our turn to decide what we're going to give to our kids and to their kids.

We face extraordinary challenges. I'm convinced -- and I mean this very sincerely. I'm convinced that, if Washington continues on its same course, America will emerge, not as the great nation of the 21st century by the end, but as a second-tier power. You know...

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: And there listening to Mitt Romney give his speech, not quite a concession speech actually. He's not there yet. Everybody else is trying to write him off but he is not there just yet.

But our Josh Levs keeping an eye on things for the - keeping an eye on the Web. You know, we always talk about our reporters helping us tell a story.

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right.

HOLMES: Super Tuesday no different. They're helping us with this one as well.

LEVS: Yes, and you know, we get caught - we get caught in the horserace, you know? We always want to know who's winning, who's losing. But part of the story here really is America's stopping to take part of what is the crux of our democracy, which is voting. I mean - we're reporting on another country doing this, we will be showing people out there go into the polls and what a big deal it is. And this is the closest thing to a national primary we've ever had.

And because of CNN.com, you have the opportunity to share your stories with us. I want to go to one right now. We received this video from Christopher Penn who tell us about his experience today when he - and actually I think (INAUDIBLE) this to a little bit of music. He was at the polls in Framingham, Massachusetts when they opened at 7:00 a.m. And you can see this in CNN.com. He talked about his story and what it was like to get there and then when he does get there it's already super crowded -- well, somewhat crowded - even before - he was in line before they open at 7:00 a.m. That line was already there. He said throughout the day he knows lots of people showing up.

So we got that. Let me also show you a couple of other I-Reports we've received. This one comes to us from Jerry Donovan, talking about the huge turnout at Metro Denver caucuses. They were standing- room-only. You can see that right there. I mean, it's really amazing. He took part in one of the caucuses right there. And he said there were a lot of first-timers there who had never taken part in anything like this before. Really energized this year. I mean this is what America went through yesterday. Yes, it is yesterday now. Huge numbers of people at polls and caucuses everywhere.

One final one before we go back. I want to show this one. This comes to us from Diane Campbell, who was talking about how much she wanted to get out there and vote for her candidate Mitt Romney. And this was in Fox Creek in southern Colorado. And she said she ended up trudging through that. She, at a normal day, would never have made it out, but she trudged through that in order to have her voice heard in this election.

Also if you want to show your story, your views, I want to have - I want to show you our Web page right here where you can just - anytime you can let us know what it is that you want to say about the election. Go to really any of our major political stories, click on sound off right there, you can't miss it. Your opportunity to share stories, your ideas, photos, videos, whatever it is you want to do, through I-Report or through sound off. It's your chance to go in.

And as we were talking about here, historic opportunity here for people to talk about what they did yesterday and how it impacted them, how they feel about it, we'd love to hear those stories and to archive them.

HOLMES: That's outstanding.

LEVS: Yes.

HOLMES: And Mitt Romney ought to send that lady something. She made it out...

LEVS: I think he will.

HOLMES: ...to go vote for him. She believes in Mitt Romney.

All right, folks. And our coverage, 40 hours of it, we promised you 40 hours of Super Tuesday coverage. We're not done. Haven't quite got it for you. We're going to take a quick break. Be right back and put a wrap on things here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Did it all seem to happen so fast?

HOLMES: It did.

WHITFIELD: Yes. State by state the results came rolling in and my goodness, what a night it was. John McCain emerged as the Republican Party frontrunner?

HOLMES: Yes. Democratic race, just as exciting but not as clear, of course. And we, of course, followed it all right here and here are some of the highlights.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: An incredible night in which we're going to see 1,020 Republican delegates sat as a result of the caucuses and primaries held on this Super Tuesday. 1,681 Democratic delegates settled.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And based on our exit polls, CNN can now project that Barack Obama will win the Georgia primary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looks strong especially among young voters, 18 to 39 made up 37 percent of the voters. He destroyed her on those category.

BLITZER: John McCain winner-take-all, we project he will win in Connecticut.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It's kind of the theme of the evening. If the McCain voters continue along this path of voting for him because of who he is, not necessarily because of what he believes on the issues.

BLITZER: In his home state of Illinois, Barack Obama, this is not a great surprise, he represents Illinois in the United States Senate, we project he will carry Illinois.

New Jersey, on the Republican side, will go to John McCain.

JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The question for John McCain is: can he sustain it as the count moves out of the more moderate, some would say, even liberal Republican northeast, to the south and then into the Midwest and now into California.

BLITZER: Hillary Clinton will carry Oklahoma. We projected that Hillary Clinton will carry Tennessee.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it has a lot to do with the Clinton influence, the Clinton name, and that reached into the country. It's having an overlap effect, it seems to me in Tennessee.

BLITZER: We can project another win for John McCain right now in Delaware. There was a fight underway in that state. McCain was expected to do well with a large number of moderate Republicans in Delaware. But there was a serious fight there.

CNN projects that Hillary Clinton will carry her home state of New York.

BORGER: What was really just jumped out at me is the Latino vote. New York is an interesting test of the Latino vote. Hillary Clinton got 64 percent of the Latino vote in Nevada. Tonight in New York, she got 74 percent of the Latino vote to Obama's 25 percent.

BLITZER: John McCain, our projected winner in New York state.

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It's extraordinary. I mean that was Giuliani. It was Giuliani central. John McCain wins that primary tonight.

BLITZER: CNN now projects that Mike Huckabee will carry the state of Georgia.

J. KING: He's winning in the rural areas. He's winning among the evangelicals. He's selling his economic message in the rural conservative areas.

BLITZER: CNN can now project that Hillary Clinton will carry the state of California and John McCain will carry the state of California on the Republican side. Two huge victories for John McCain and for Hillary Clinton in the biggest state in the union, the biggest prize in the union.

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And he's already come out, and he's already declared himself even before this big wins in Missouri and California. He declared himself the frontrunner which until now he has been reluctant to do.

PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: We haven't seen the likes of this kind of talent squaring off against each other in the Democratic Party since I can't remember when.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right. Well, take a look right now. This is just kind of a little synopses of the numbers, the states that came in for the -- Republicans. Take a look right here. Some surprises here and then some which were kind of natural progression state. For example, Huckabee, you know, winning Georgia. It was expected that Huckabee just might do pretty well in the south.

HOLMES: In the south there.

WHITFIELD: Particularly in Arkansas, which he did clinch. Some of the big surprises. The delegate rich state of New York, California. Who gets that? John McCain.

HOLMES: John McCain.

WHITFIELD: Yes. So that helps put him in the position that he's in as the frontrunner in terms of, you know, the Republican candidates right now.

HOLMES: Right now. And here's the Democrats right now. As we see here, I guess not that many surprises, if you will, on the Democratic side even though suddenly a few things that they can call to - they still claim they have bragging rights. Of course, California was a very big - we don't know how the delegates are going to match up but Hillary Clinton kind of holding her own.

In some of the Northeast states, Barack Obama doing well. Of course, Georgia was a big one for him. Picked up Minnesota. Did well on a lot of the caucus states, saying he had a really good organization on the ground since a lot of those caucus states, you really got to have your people together so...

WHITFIELD: Yes.

HOLMES: ...just an idea here of how the evening shaped out, a Super Tuesday.

WHITFIELD: That's right. And just with that map seeing what a neck and neck race we're talking about at least on the Democratic side. Much more of the Super Tuesday results here on this day after.

HOLMES: Yes. Super Wednesday now with "AMERICAN MORNING" coming your way folks with - "AMERICAN MORNING" with John Roberts and Kiran Chetry.

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