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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Epic Snowstorm May Bring Two Feet of Snow, 60 MPH Winds; Seventy Five Million People in Path of Perilous Snowstorm; GOP Piles on Cruz Amid Tight Race with Trump; Graham: Trump-Cruz Choice "Like Being Shot Or Poisoned"; CNN Poll: Sanders Overtakes Clinton in Iowa. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired January 21, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:19] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Next, breaking news, a massive blizzard closing in. Seventy five million in its path. Thousands of flights canceled. Panic in the cities about to get pummeled. We have the latest for you tonight.
Plus, piling on, more Republican leaders say they would go with Donald Trump over Ted Cruz.
And two Corinthians versus second Corinthians. Whoever thought? My guess tonight, the man Trump blames for his love. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with the breaking news. Monster storm. The first major blizzard of the winter with record-breaking snowfall, treacherous ice, 60-mile-an-hour winds, the possibility of tornadoes. All of this bearing down on 75 million Americans from Oklahoma to the mid-Atlantic, all the way up the east coast. Tonight, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania as well as Washington, D.C., all declaring states of emergency.
Deadly winter weather already claiming three lives. President Obama's helicopter was grounded because the snow was too heavy last night, forcing his motorcade, that you see here, to slip and slide through the icy streets of Washington just to get back to the White House last night. You can see that ride. Tonight, over 2,000 flights are already canceled. Amtrak has been cutting service on its heavily traveled northeast corridor and all of this is coming in preparation for much worse weather to come. We are covering all angles of this massive storm.
We begin with our meteorologist Chad Myers who is here with me. And so, Chad, what is the forecast? I mean, it's big and it's strong.
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: If I'm in New York, it's big and it's strong. You bring me up here and something bad is happening. That's why they say, why don't you ever talk about San Diego? Because when I talk about your town, something bad is about to happen and we have a massive winter storm here. Seventy five million people in the way. Winter storm warnings, ice storm warnings. I mean, it's going to be a blizzard like couple of days here for many, many people. Something else, Erin, we're going to notice. Somebody is going to be surprised. I know these models have been acting perfectly for days and days and days.
But something is going to happen that we're not aware off. That we just didn't expect. We're going to look at it on Tuesday and go, wow, didn't see that one coming. So, we have all of these models, these computer weather models and they are basically -- that's our window to the world of what we think is coming up. Take a look at the American model. They've been doing a fantastic job, if it all comes true. It's been doing a fantastic job because it's been looking the same now for days and days. We'll go now to the European model. It looks very similar. A slightly different bulls-eye but I've kept that circle right where it was. Still a different bullseye here. But very, very similar.
Now we're getting to because it's not 72 or 120 hours away anymore, we're getting to our closer-in typically more accurate models. Notice this. New York City, a little bit more snow up there. Now you're talking about eight to ten inches of snow there. A little bit less around D.C. and now we take a look at our scary model because all of a sudden this local, typically accurate model when it comes to a short term saying big snow, that's almost two feet of snow. Still, somewhere in the cat skills in the Adirondacks. That's not the forecast but it's certainly possible here across some of these areas of New York, Pennsylvania, D.C.
Something else you're going to notice is almost like a tornado where one side of the street gets hit and the other side doesn't, this is going to be a storm where you may see 36 inches in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and a 30-mile drive away in Bowie, in Annapolis or over the Bay Bridge in Washington, D.C., you might get six or eight. It's going to be that big -- it's going to be a fine line between bad and not so bad. Richmond, Virginia, I think you're going to get it as well. Probably 20 inches of snow around there. And then we talk about the wind, we talk about waves, we talk about storm surge.
There will be coastal erosion, there will be flooding. And then all of a sudden, and I've put this together, put 24 inches of snow with a 60-mile-per-hour wind gusts, what are you going to get? You're going to get four inches of snow in one spot and in the back of your house it's going to be eight feet tall, because it's going to be a big drift. And that's what people are expecting up and down the east coast. The good news is, it's a Saturday. You can just take a deep breath and hopefully you can stay home because this is the biggest storm of the year. Certainly and maybe the biggest storm in many, many years -- Erin.
BURNETT: It's pretty incredible. Get your sled out.
MYERS: I'm ready. That's why I'm here.
BURNETT: First sled, he's ready to go. It better not be the two inch model. I don't know how I would break it to him.
All right. The threat of the storm though is sending shoppers streaming into stores to stock up. They're stocking up not just on food, generators as well.
Chris Frates is OUTFRONT with more.
[19:05:01] CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cities up and down the east coast are scrambling to prepare for some are calling a storm of his historic proportions. With some 75 million Americans in the storm's path, governors along the east coast are declaring States of Emergency, with Virginia and North Carolina already deploying the National Guard.
GOV. PAT MCCRORY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: I have activated the state emergency operation center.
FRATES: The nation's capital is in the bulls-eye of the storm. Heaters, shovels and sleds were flying off the shelves. Grocery stores are being cleaned up as people begin to prepare.
GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R), MARYLAND: Take action now and prepare before the severe weather strikes. Make sure you have food and supplies at home. Not just to last for the weekend but enough to last up to an entire week.
FRATES: In Washington, the mayor is already under fire just an inch of snow last night crippled the area making some wonder if the city is ready up to 30 inches that could fall.
MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER, WASHINGTON, DC: We are very sorry for an adequate response. We should have been out earlier with more resources.
FRATES: As the snow began to stick, untreated roads quickly turned to ice. Some drivers were stuck behind the wheel for hours.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was pretty rough driving home. And it took him an hour to get four miles.
FRATES: Others just abandoned their cars and pedestrians were not spared from the hellish conditions either. President Obama's motorcade didn't fare much better either. Slipping and sliding on snowy streets.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's a reminder of how much the President is going to miss having access to Marine One a year from now.
FRATES: Now, officials in Maryland, Virginian, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and D.C. have all declared a State of Emergency. That qualifies them for federal assistance, including the National Guard, if necessary. And in the city itself, schools will be closed all day tomorrow and the city government will be leaving early. That's all in an effort to keep cars off the road so that they can start to get those roads salted, to treat the roads and avoid a repeat of the disaster that we had yesterday. Back to you in that warm, warm studio -- Erin. BURNETT: Oh, yes. It's going to be amazing seeing those pictures.
Everyone, as you could see, that was a little baby storm ahead of this massive storm coming. As you're getting ready, you heard Chris talking about it but now the major airlines have already canceled more than 2,000 flights. The largest airline in the country, American, going to be suspending flights up and down the east coast starting tomorrow.
Rene Marsh is OUTFRONT live at Reagan National Airport in Washington. And Rene, so, they are going to be canceling all of these flights. What are they trying -- they are trying to get people out ahead of time? How are they actually doing this?
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: They want to but the bottom- line is, Erin, everyone is not going to get out ahead of this storm. Because we just have too many flights that are affected. Here's the reality, though. I'm at Reagan National Airport, just outside of Washington, D.C., and at some point on Saturday, airport operations here will come to a complete stop. Same situation at Dulles Airport in Virginia here in the Washington, D.C. area. We have a situation between tomorrow, Saturday as well as into Sunday where will you see some east coast airports where operations will either be limited or stop completely.
So, here's the question. If you're flying, what you need to know is, act this hour, we are still seeing flights go in and out. So, that's the good news. But tomorrow is when things are going to start to get dicey. That's when the problems begin. We've seen that many of the majors have already canceled over 2,000 flights and as the day goes on tomorrow, we're going to see even more cancellations.
BURNETT: All right. Massive, massive storm. Thank you, Rene.
And I want to go straight now OUTFRONT to the governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe. And Governor, thank you for taking the time to be with me. I know, you've already declared a State of Emergency. You've authorized the National Guard. You had a smaller storm ahead of the massive one come through. Now you could be looking at 20 inches of snow, deadly ice. Do you have everything you need, the equipment to handle this type of storm?
GOV. TERRY MCAULIFFE (D), VIRGINIA: Well, I went out this morning to declare a State of Emergency at 8:00 this morning. What that allows you to do Erin is be able to get rid of the weight restrictions on your roads, so you can re-deploy, reposition all of your heavy equipment. We send 500 trucks out yesterday to Northern Virginia to get ready for the first incident we had yesterday. Now we've authorized 13,000 pieces of equipment. We have 2500 personnel on the streets. We have 650,000 tons of salt, about two million gallons of liquid salt.
So we have the materials that we need. We have the personnel. I've just activated 500 national guardsmen and women. We're ready. This could be one feet to three feet in Virginia. We're prepared. We have got everybody in place and I've just said for the state government there will be no state government operations tomorrow. So I've closed the state government. Let's keep folks off the road so our personnel can do their work.
[19:10:04] BURNETT: Pretty stunning numbers you're putting out there.
BURNETT: Washington, D.C. of course is suspending the metro service during the blizzard, as you know Governor. And last year, you know, I'll never forget driving when the roads were closed. Several northeast states used to major storms bans travel last winter. We were only on the road because we were covering it here at CNN.
BURNETT: How far are you prepared to go? Are you going to be shutting down the roads?
MCAULIFFE: Well, we're going to look at everything. We're very good at this. We've taken all of the precautions, as I say, yesterday before anything that occurred, I'd already sent 500 trucks out to do the pretreatment on the Northern Virginia roads that we had. Thirteen pieces of equipment now deployed. So our folks are out there laying down the materials that we need to be ready. We feel very comfortable about where we are. But as I say, I worry about parts of Virginia, Southwest Virginia, many of our rural communities, very difficult when you get one to two to three feet of snow.
They need medical supplies, elderly individuals. That's why we've deployed and activated the National Guard. But as you know, we're in Northern Virginia with all of those cars, I'm just really imploring people, if you don't have to go out tomorrow, just don't go out. It's going to get warmer later on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Let the crews go out and do what they need to do and we can get back to normalcy as soon as possible. Most of the schools in Virginia are closed tomorrow as I say. I shut down the state government. So, you know, I feel we're on top of this. It's important we do it. It's my job to keep these communities safe and we're on top of these situations.
BURNETT: All right. Governor McAuliffe, thank you very much. Good luck.
MCAULIFFE: Thanks, Erin. You bet. Thank you.
BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, breaking news, a new CNN poll showing the race in Iowa has shifted and I mean, dramatically, these are stunning numbers coming up after the break and the Ted Cruz pile on tonight. More and more Republican leaders are saying, vote Trump, not Cruz.
And Sarah Palin back in the spotlight pitching Donald Trump and selling a lot of sweaters.
[19:15:40] BURNETT: Breaking news tonight, a new CNN poll showing a breakout in Iowa. All right. Here's the numbers. Donald Trump with an 11-point lead over Ted Cruz. Our poll comes just a week and a half off of the caucuses. That's a pretty stunning development there. Again, Donald Trump are crushing Ted Cruz 11 points. And Bernie Sanders on the democratic side surging ahead of Hillary Clinton, leading Clinton now by eight points. Now, just to give you context, he's leading by eight points in the poll today. He was trailing by 18 in our same poll just one month ago.
All right. That's why we use the word "stunning." Dana Bash is OUTFRONT. And Dana, when you look at the poll, Trump and Sanders, it looks like they are running away with it. But there is one major caveat. Right?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Major caveat. And that is, that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders will bring in the new caucus goers that they say that they will because I want to show our viewers what the numbers would look like if it was just the caucus goers -- the democratic side who went to the polls or to the caucuses back in 2008 the last time there was a democratic contest. In that scenario, Hillary Clinton is still crashing Bernie Sanders. She is still 55 to 38. That again is based on the people who went to the caucuses eight years ago. Ironic, since she lost, she actually came in third in those caucuses.
But let's look at the Republican side. Very similar dynamic for Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. If it were the same people caucusing in 11 days that went in 2012 four years ago, it would be a dead heat, a statistical high. Ted Cruz is a sledge edge there but it is basically a dead heat. So, what does this tell us? It tells us that that all cliche, about turnout, it really matters. Even more so in these Iowa caucuses. Because Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, to make those big leads that you started with a reality, they are going to have to convince the people who have been lining up for them in the rallies and telling pollsters that they are going to go for them, have to commend them to go to these caucuses, many of whom have not gone before.
BURNETT: And many of them have not gone before, such really all about turnout --
BURNETT: -- and what about evangelicals? Are they settling in and getting convinced who they are going to vote for?
BASH: That is a place where, on the Republican side, Ted Cruz still has a slight edge. We'll show you that. He now has a 33 percent support among evangelicals, up from 26 percent just last month. Donald Trump isn't that far behind, though. He's at 31 percent, up from 24 percent. So they both have more of a share, of the evangelical electorate in Iowa. But if so, very close, perhaps surprising since Ted Cruz is so fluent in sort of talking the talk of the evangelicals and now Donald Trump now famously earlier this week at Liberty University kind of fumbled the bible verse that he was quoting. It doesn't seem to matter to evangelicals who really are an important, a key part of the caucus electorate in the state of Iowa -- Erin. BURNETT: All right. Dana, thank you very much. And as Dana says,
nearly 60 percent of the caucus goers on the Republican side are evangelicals in Iowa.
Let's get to our political director David Chalian and our editorial director of the National Journal Ron Brownstein. Ron, you know, you have been covering elections -- presidential elections at the nitty gritty levels who votes and when and why for years. Right? Is it reasonable to count on turnout increasing as much as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders need it to?
RON BROWNSTEIN, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, NATIONAL JOURNAL: With the scars to prove it, Erin. Look, yes. I think that is obviously the big question. You know, many more candidates have talked about expanding the electorate that have actually succeeded at expanding the electorate. But certainly we saw in 2008 when democratic turnout in the caucus was doubled the previous high over the 40 year -- over the 36 years before that going back the 1972. Barack Obama clearly was able to do that. I think there's no question, that at least on the Republican side, there has got to be some Trump effect. People are not going to stand out in the cold for hours and then all of them not show up. The question is how big an effect.
BROWNSTEIN: Because as you know, Dana pointed out, you're looking at a very stark difference as well as on the democratic side. Will these young people who were flocking in particular to Sanders on that side and a more blue collar evangelical disaffected voters, will they show up? That is the challenge each campaign faced. That's why this polls are better -- this poll is better for the outsider candidates than many of the others that we're seeing and it pinpoints the real question, what does the electorate look like and how many of them are new?
[19:20:08] BURNETT: So, David, I mean, that is the question, right? And Ron just brings it up. About Obama in 2008 and how he won Iowa because of turnout, right? You're talking about a doubling in numbers. I mean, when you look at it, David. Do Trump and Sanders need a similar jump to win or, you know, what is the smallest amount that they can get away with and still pull that victory off?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Right. So, if you go back to 2004 and you look at what the Democratic turnout was then, it was about 125,000 or so that showed up in that Kerry-Dean race, you remember.
CHALIAN: You remember, 2008 as Ron was just saying on the democratic side, it explodes to some 240,000 members. Caucus goers. If you are modeling, as the Clinton folks are perhaps, a little bit closer to looking like '04 than '08, that's a universe of dedicated, tried and true caucus goers and that clearly benefits Clinton. But it doesn't necessarily need to be at Obama levels for the Sanders surge to materialize. It just needs to be a lot closer to 2008 than it was 2004.
CHALIAN: And that game of numbers is what exactly every campaign, Erin, is going to look for, as everyone shows up to these caucus sites, the first thing they are going to do is, hey, are there a lot more people that have been here before? And if there are, let's say on the Republican side, they are going to call back to Trump's headquarters and say, we have not seen numbers like this at this caucus location before. This may bode to be a very good night for us.
BURNETT: Right. So, Ron, you know, this issue of turnout is one Donald Trump is very, very worried about.
BURNETT: He's talked about it. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You've got to get out and vote. And if you don't get out and vote, it's all going to go away. They didn't vote for Romney. He didn't inspire them. I hope I'm going to inspire you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Aside from begging people to go caucus, alright? Which is what he's doing there and everyone else who is running is doing, how do you get turn out up? I mean, do you send hot meals to people? You rent cars? I mean, what do you do?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, you know, it's an extraordinarily labor-intensive process usually. The Trump campaign is going at it in a very different way. They have not built that kind of county by county, community by community, precinct by precinct, organization to the same depth that we have seen and the past for example, Obama and Clinton both did in 2008 and even Ted Cruz this time is following a much more conventional model of organizing through churches, visiting small communities, you know, campaigning everywhere and trying to kind of beat the bushes to get voter out.
What we're going to see with Trump, is whether this national media campaign can translate -- but one quick point, Sanders and Trump both in Iowa are playing with the house's money because they are both in a very strong position in New Hampshire. They don't have to win Iowa, either one of them.
BROWNSTEIN: And certainly there's more risk for the other candidates and if they do so, then there is a downside for them if they fail to do so.
BURNETT: And David, before we go, Sanders, I mean, this is pretty incredible, surging. I mean, it was an 18-point deficit that is now an 18-point lead. I mean, that is a stunning turnaround in one month. What do you make of that?
CHALIAN: Listen, I look at these polls not so much for the very specific numbers and that is the jump but just for the direction and there is no doubt that Sanders is on a momentum surge right now. What is so curious, Erin, though, is when you ask those same caucus goers likely Democrats, caucus goers who is going to win the nomination in this poll, 60 percent of them say Hillary Clinton. So although Sanders is clearly sort of piercing that sense of a coronation about to happen on the democratic side, he is still not a race to the notion of inevitably because even this caucus going electorate that supports him in this poll --
CHALIAN: Six out of 10 say, she's going to be the nominee.
BURNETT: Their hearts are with Sanders and their heads maybe with Clinton. All right. Thanks both of you very much.
And next, prominent Republicans lining up to slam Ted Cruz. This has been a pretty incredible pile-on. Is Donald Trump now the candidate of insiders?
And OUTFRONT tonight, Donald Trump saying, evangelical leader Tony Perkins made him say these words, Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Two Corinthians, right? Two Corinthians, 3: 17. That's the whole ball game.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Tony Perkins on the backstory.
[19:28:00] BURNETT: And tonight, a major pile-on. The Republican Party piling on Ted Cruz, Republican senators warning of a revolt if Cruz becomes the party's nominee for president. Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, the latest establishment Republican to admit he'd prefer Donald Trump over Cruz in the White House. Have Republican leaders concluded that Trump is the lesser of two evils to them?
Sara Murray is OUTFRONT.
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, Donald Trump making a new case to Republican voters as a unifier.
TRUMP: Let's get to the establishment. There is total gridlock. Guys like Ted Cruz will never make a deal. Because he's a striking guide. No, you cannot have that.
MURRAY: All while Ted Cruz, a Texas senator.
TRUMP: Thank you, everybody.
MURRAY: Passed Trump as the Washington Insider.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's a bunch of big money in this race, the Washington establishment right now, they are abandoning Marco Rubio and they are rushing to Donald Trump.
TRUMP: Thank you.
MURRAY: The latest war of words as more Republican leaders distance themselves from Cruz. Senator Orrin Hatch, a Bush supporter telling CNN, "I think we'll lose if he's our nominee." His concern echoed by other senators including Dan Coats who says Republicans are still sore about Cruz accusing them of being part of a Washington cartel.
CRUZ: And I think they're dismayed they do --
MURRAY: This week, the governor of the Hawkeye State even calling for Cruz's defeat.
GOV. TERRY BRANSTAD (R), IOWA: He is heavily financed by big oil. So we think that once Iowans realize that fact, they might find other things about him attractive but I think it would be very damaging to our state.
MURRAY: And former Republican nominee for president Bob Dole recently said a Cruz nomination would almost certainly mean Republicans losing seats in Congress. And a shot at the White House.
(on camera): Could you support Ted Cruz if he ends up with the nomination?
BOB DOLE (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well, I might oversleep that day.
[19:30:00] MURRAY (voice-over): Tonight, Trump's reveling in the establishment backlash against Cruz.
TRUMP: But here's a United States senator, Republican, doesn't have support of one other Republican senator. There's something wrong there.
MURRAY: Something Cruz is hoping to use to his advantage as he calls himself a true conservative.
CRUZ: I'm a Christian first, I'm an American second, I'm a conservative third, and I'm a Republican fourth.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Hello! Hello, everybody.
MURRAY: Leaving former presidential hopeful Lindsey Graham sounding the alarm, saying either Cruz or Trump spell defeat for the GOP.
GRAHAM: If you nominate Trump and Cruz, I think you get the same outcome. Whether it's death by being shot or poisoning, does it really matter?
MURRAY: Now, not everyone is convinced that Trump is the better option. Rand Paul said he thinks Trump would be a little worse than Ted Cruz, and a conservative magazine "National Review" is putting out a special issue dedicated to why Trump should not be president -- Erin.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Sara, thank you very much in Las Vegas. Donald Trump was out there of course today.
And OUTFRONT now, the national co-chair for Ted Cruz's campaign, Bob Vander Plaats, and the former Reagan White House political director, Jeffrey Lord, he's a Donald Trump supporter.
All right. Thanks to both.
He's also the author of "What America Needs: The Case for Trump", coming out now, right as that "National Review" article comes. So, those will be dueling.
Bob, so many people, including people who know him well in Congress and even people who know him well back to when he was a college student are saying negative things about Ted Cruz.
Are you worried this is going to stick?
BOB VANDER PLAATS, NATIONAL CO-CHAIR FOR TED CRUZ CAMPAIGN: Well, I hope it does stick because it's going to benefit Ted Cruz. As a matter of fact, Ted Cruz has been very open. Hey, if you want things to be the same way they are, if you want to keep deal making and growing government and have less services to the people and keep the power in Washington versus we the people, then he's not your guy. But if you want real change, if you want principled conservative leadership for the benefit of this country, then Ted Cruz is your guy.
So I think that now that Donald Trump is embracing he's the art of the deal guy, people like him, the establishment is liking him, I think that's going to benefit Ted Cruz. The environment today is not about deal making with Washington, D.C.
BURNETT: Jeff, what do you say to that? Could this pile-on with Ted Cruz hurt Donald Trump? Donald Trump has spent seven months running as an outsider. How much of an outsider can you be when you have these people of the establishment, including two former majority leaders, one who is the Republican nominee for president, prefer him.
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think the answer to this problem is the Trump/Cruz ticket and that would make both Bob and I very happy.
You know, these folks are trying to paint Donald Trump as an establishment figure. I mean, I have to say, with all due respect, that's a joke. Everybody knows it. The reason Donald Trump is where he is, is precisely because he's not an establishment candidate. And you heard Lindsey Graham, his view of Trump or Cruz is that it's a choice between shock or poison.
These folks, I have to say -- and I listen to my friends over there at "National Review," these folks urged Mitt Romney upon us and insisted he was a winner. And they're also the folks who went after Newt Gingrich four years ago and tried to say that he was anti-Reagan. And I was in the White House at the time, and I know there was no more a staunch supporter of Reagan than Newt Gingrich.
So, I just have to say that I am surprised but not surprised by "National Review".
BUIRNETT: Bob, you're making a good argument. Those guys like you, you're really bad, OK? But it's not just the establishment passing over Ted Cruz, right? It's the anti-establishment. Sarah Palin, of course, right, endorsing Donald Trump. Even Ted Nugent today saying, I'll quote him, "Donald Trump is as close to Ted Nugent as you're going to get in politics."
Those are two people that the establishment despised. They are also picking Donald Trump.
VANDER PLAATS: I think the difference here, though, Erin, is that Sarah Palin is an outlier to all the endorsements that Ted Cruz has, and I think Sarah Palin is actually providing cover for the values that a lot of people have questions about with Donald Trump, while guys like Dr. Dobson, myself, Brian Brown, National Organization for Marriage, others are embracing because we celebrate Ted Cruz's values and we know he's a champion for those values.
Those are the issues that are going to play well on caucus night. Starting to say, I'll be willing to make a deal because I'm not as consistent as conservative as you might think I am. That's not going to sell. I think Ted Cruz stays in that lane. He keeps uniting conservatives and he's going to have a good February 1st.
BURNETT: And, of course, I should note, Ted Nugent said he would love it if Ted Cruz were president right now. So, he obviously likes them both.
Jeff, let me say to you, though, Ted Cruz hit Trump on this issue today. Let me play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you think of the last time we beat the Washington cartel, it was the 1980, it was the Reagan revolution, where millions of Americans rose up and I would note that Mr. Dole then opposed Reagan and said we need someone who can go to Washington and cut a deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:35:06] BURNETT: So, Jeff, you worked for Ronald Reagan, as you just said. Should voters listen to a Republican who once ran against Reagan?
LORD: Well, you know, Bob Dole --
LORD: Yes. Bob Dole is for Jeb bush. He's not for Donald Trump. He's for Jeb Bush.
I have enormous respect for Bob Dole but, you know, in fact, he is the ultimate establishment insider. He had his crack at the presidency. He did it his way and he lost and I might add, he did it the way that establishment Republicans that run for president always lose.
I mean, he's not alone in this. It was Senator McCain, Governor Romney, Gerald Ford. You can go back to the 1940s. They'd always say the same thing. We have to sound more like moderates and Democrats to get elected and then they get their way and they lose.
Ronald Reagan was opposed to that. Trump is opposed to that and I would say Ted Cruz is opposed to that.
BURNETT: All right. I will note Bob Dole, he did say Donald Trump would be better than Ted Cruz who he described as an extremist, but not an endorsement for Donald Trump.
Thanks to both of you.
And OUTFRONT next, Donald Trump's problem with 2 Corinthians. My guest tonight, the man Trump says is behind the mistake.
And Hillary Clinton on whether Republicans are really ready to vote for a socialist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know a number of Democrats, people who I highly respect are concerned and are expressing that concern.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And Sarah Palin and the sweater. Is that what it is? I didn't know what it was but it is a sweater and everyone is talking about it and buying it.
[19:40:35] BURNETT: And some rough news for Hillary Clinton tonight. A new CNN poll showing her falling behind Bernie Sanders in Iowa. And this is a major shift, 51 percent to 43 percent among likely Democratic caucus-goers. A month ago, he was behind by a huge margin.
This is a first time Bernie Sanders has take answer clear lead in Iowa. Democrats there saying they trust Sanders over Clinton on the economy by 22 points.
Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Iowa tonight, Hillary Clinton is focused, above all, on one thing.
CLINTON: Senator Sanders --
ZELENY: After months of looking beyond Senator Sanders, Clinton gave the policy as close look and real scrutiny.
CLINTON: I tell you, I'm not interested on ideas that sound good on paper but will never make it in the real world.
ZELENY: But the real politics show she's now running behind Sanders in Iowa and New Hampshire. She told CNN's Wolf Blitzer today Sanders can't own the mantel of change.
CLINTON: I think I'm the candidate of real change in people's real lives that will make a difference.
ZELENY: She said Sanders is hardly anti-establishment.
CLINTON: He's been in Congress. He's been elected to office a lot longer than I have. I was in the Senate for eight wonderful years representing New York. He's been in the Congress for 25.
ZELENY: Sanders turned optimistic today, launching a new television ad featuring the old Simon and Garfunkel anthem "America."
But Clinton reminded voters they are not just electing a president.
CLINTON: We're also choosing a commander in chief.
ZELENY: She said Sanders is wrong to suggest normalizing relations with Iran.
CLINTON: We can't rush into normalizing relations. The president doesn't believe that. I don't believe that. And I think that Senator Sanders is wrong about that.
ZELENY: As many party leaders worry about the political fallout of Sanders self-identifying as a Democratic socialist, Clinton left the door open for concern.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Do you believe the American people are ready to elect a socialist as president of the United States?
CLINTON: I know a number of Democrats, people who I highly respect, are concerned and are expressing that concern to me, to journalists and others. I'm just going to repeat what I believe, which is, I am the best choice to be the next president and commander in chief.
(END VIDEOTAPE) ZELENY: Now, as for the Democratic socialist, a label that Senator Sanders proudly embraces, he was far quieter in New Hampshire today. He barely mentioned Secretary Clinton at all.
So, a change of campaign strategies here. But a Clinton adviser told me, they are trying to sort of contain any growth of Sanders in Iowa. They are trying to sort of shake loose Iowa Democrats who might be considering him.
But I can tell you, Erin, it was an aggressive speech. It's only going to continue to escalate as time goes forward. Time is running out for Hillary Clinton to make her argument to Iowans -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you, Jeff.
And joining me now from Davos, Switzerland, where world leaders are talking a lot about U.S. politics, our senior political analyst, David Gergen.
And, David, I know that everyone there is talking about this issue and now, you've got this new poll. More bad news for the Clinton campaign today. Bernie Sanders is now ahead in Iowa, ahead in New Hampshire. If she loses both of those states, is it possibly over for her?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No. No. She has a fall back position as the campaign turns south after New Hampshire, she'll be in much better shape. She'll still be considered the likely nominee.
But losses -- back to back losses in Iowa and New Hampshire would badly wound her. They would bring a lot of finger pointing within the party. We already know that Bill Clinton has been telling the campaign, why didn't you build a bigger firewall in the South, why have you allowed expectations to go up so high in Iowa?
She could still pull it off in Iowa. She's got a good organization there. If she does a good job getting people to the polls, she could still win. But if she loses both, she's going to be a damaged candidate and there's going to be a sense of, oh, my goodness, here we go again.
BURNETT: And that's what happened, you know, in 2008 when she had that loss. I mean, would you think, given that, her campaign would know both states would have been tough, no matter who the person she was running against was, happened to be Bernie Sanders who has energized so many.
[19:45:00] But did she make a mistake not managing expectations?
GERGEN: Well, they certainly underestimated Bernie Sanders and what is going on to the left of the party. And it makes her look like a candidate more of the past, as some have said, and not understanding today's environment, political environment, how much happiness there is on the left side of the Democratic Party that is fuel the Sanders' surge. They let New Hampshire get -- they should be doing much better than
they are in New Hampshire. That is a real surprise. I mean, even though Sanders is next door in Vermont, they should be doing better.
And all of this, Erin, I think is going to give a sense of the country. You know, maybe she's not going to make it. Do we need to look to Joe Biden? Do we need to look to somewhere else? Can Bernie Sanders going to be the nominee of the party? A lot of people for Bernie Sanders more than anybody thought.
BURNETT: Sounds like there is pessimism and real soul searching?
GERGEN: Well, I think -- just secondhand, I talk to people who have been talking to people inside the Clinton team who are growing pessimistic. They are very, very worried about Iowa now. But I do think there's going to be soul searching and there's going to be a sense that maybe she's not a very good candidate.
The argument they're going to make is, she may not be a very good candidate, but she'll be a better president and that may hold some sway. But I don't think there's any question that something is going on here that they don't get, we don't entirely get that is fueling Bernie Sanders and making her a weaker candidate than anybody imagined at this point.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, David Gergen.
And OUTFRONT next, Donald Trump tripping on a bible reference. My guest tonight is the man that Trump says gave him the exact line.
And Jeanne Moos on Sarah Palin's famous endorsement sweater which is flying off the shelves.
[19:50:24] BURNETT: Tonight, Donald Trump explaining his gaffe. Trump said Two Corinthians when quoting a Bible verse to students a Christian university, and apparently the correct way to say it is Second Corinthians.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (via telephone): Tony Perkins wrote that out for me and Tony Perkins is a very, very good guy and he actually wrote out two, he wrote out the number 2 Corinthians, which I could show you very nicely if you'd like. And I said, Tony has to know better than anybody, and that's the way it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. OUTFRONT now, Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council.
So, Tony, what happened?
TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL PRESIDENT (via telephone): Well, Erin, trust me, I know my Bible -- books of the Bible. What happened is that, you know, I have had a conversation with Donald Trump. He mentioned that he was going to be going to my alma mater, which is Liberty University, and asked if I could give him some suggestions, one of which was the Second Corinthians 3:17, which is theme verse for Liberty University and the other issue is talk about religious freedom and how that's under assault both here domestically and abroad and that's what he did. He talked about those issues and I thought he did quite well.
BURNETT: So you thought he did well and this whole issue of two, second, I mean, does it matter? I mean, some people say this mistake was a big deal. Others say it doesn't matter. Here is how Trump said it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It's a very small deal, but a lot of people in different sections of the world say two and my mother, as you know, was from Scotland and they would have said two.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So is Donald Trump right? Is this just not a big deal, Tony?
PERKINS: Well, I mean, look, it shows that he's not familiar with the Bible, that, you know, that's the way it's written in the New Testament of Second Corinthians.
Look, Donald Trump is an interesting guy and there are things I find fascinating about him and like about him as well as other evangelicals. This is a conversation that I had with him as I've had with other presidential candidates. We're an advocacy position. We advocate for issues that pertain to faith, family and freedom.
And, you know, I offer to all candidates to talk about those issues and I have spoken to most of them. And if they ask for suggestions, I give it to them. That's not an equated endorsement. It's the fact we want to help them understand the issues, how to talk about those issues and the fact he's gone to Liberty and I'm a graduate, Dr. Jerry Falwell was a mentor of mine and I spoke to Jerry Junior about it, the visit that Donald Trump had there earlier this week.
And, look, there are things that people like about Donald Trump, even in the evangelical world.
BURNETT: So, you say even in the evangelical world, I guess just to be clear here, do you his side of the story that you wrote the letter two, the number two?
PERKINS: No, I don't dispute it all. I wrote the Scripture reference, which is 2 Corinthians 3:17, which is how it's written, and I'm guilty as charged. That's exactly what I did as I sent him a couple suggestions of things he could talk about as a connection point.
BURNETT: Right, right.
Do you think this key issue that he's a man of character, a man of faith? Would you possibly endorse him? I know you haven't endorsed anyone yet.
PERKINS: Well, look, there is a lot more to consider in -- as I said that I like about Donald Trump, very interesting man. I'm looking for someone as I look at the candidates and I got some really good friends in this race who I share a deep faith with in terms of our evangelical roots. That's the factor for me as I look through this but doesn't keep me from having conversations with other candidates and even friendships in helping them understand the issues in this community, which is in very significant portion of the Republican voting base.
I think it's helpful for them to understand them.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Tony Perkins, thank you very much. Good to talk to you as always, sir. I appreciate it.
And next, Sarah Palin and her sweater.
[19:58:05] BURNETT: Sarah Palin stealing the spotlight. Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sarah Palin didn't just appear. She razzle-dazzled.
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No more pussyfooting around.
MOOS: There is definitely no pussyfooting around that bolero sweater jacket by Milly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is she wearing? And it looks like she killed a disco porcupine. What the hell is going on there?
MOOS: Go ahead and laugh, but that disco porcupine sells for 695 bucks and is now sold out everywhere we looked.
We call it the endorsement sweater but it hasn't exactly been endorsed --
PHILIP BLOCH, CELEBRITY STYLIST: What were she thinking?
MOOS: -- by the fashion police.
BLOCH: A little tassels. I could have seen Ginger wearing that on Gilligan's Island before Sarah Palin wearing it at a campaign rally.
"The Washington Post" suggested it was intentionally inappropriate for a political event. Did you notice Sarah Palin's sweater? Good, you were supposed to. BLOCH: I am here to sparkle and shine.
MOOS: But what do you call those shimmering shining things?
Descriptions range from a spangle-laded shrug to glistening stalactites. Is that chain mail on Sarah Palin?
But a defender wrote, "The sweater is delightful, more power to her."
She wore the same woven silk sweater a couple of months ago for a network TV interview.
MOOS: Palin started shimmering long ago. Check out her gown the time she came in third for Miss Alaska when she was 20.
Some may say, "Seems sexist to me, never discuss men's suits". But we did pick on Marco Rubio's high heeled booties.
Last year, Sarah wore what seemed to be her daughter's Bristol dress to SNL's 40th anniversary, joking prophetically --
PALIN: What if I were to choose Donald Trump as my running mate?
TINA FEY, COMEDIAN: And I can see Russia from my house.
MOOS: And I can see the "SNL" folks desperately trying to track down one of these sold out sweaters for Tina Fey.
PALIN: You betcha.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: Thank you so much for joining us.
"AC360" starts now.