Return to Transcripts main page


Trump vs. GOP Debate; Greeks in Forefront of European Migrant Crisis; Viewing a Syrian Ghost Town; Zika Virus Concerns Rising; Reviewing GOP Debate; Iowa Caucuses Discussed; Sarah Palin and Tina Fey. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired January 29, 2016 - 15:00:00   ET


[15:00:27] HALA GORANI, CNN ACNHOR: Tonight, the aftermath of the ratings war, we'll tell you if Donald Trump's rouge rally took a chunk out of Fox's

debate audience.

Also coming the tower we focus on the super PAC supporting the frontrunner, I'll discuss some of Trump's campaign promises with the cofounder of


Also, is Europe closing its door as one country proposes pending all new migrants back to Turkey.

And later, ground zero of the Zika virus, we'll take you to a Brazilian lab that is working frantically to deal with the outbreak.

Hello, everyone, I'm Halo Gorani, good Friday to you all. We're going to too live from CNN London, and this is The World Right Now.

Well, there was a big political showdown in Iowa last night, and that state's caucuses haven't even begun. Donald Trump skipped the Fox News

Republican Candidates Debate in favor of his own rival parallel event. And while the frontrunner dominated headlines for his bold move, Fox did win

the ratings war. Here's a round up with Brianna Keilar in Iowa.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Inside of (inaudible) auditorium at Drake University in Des Moines.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look at all the cameras like the academy awards. This is like the academy awards.

KEILAR: Donald Trump boasting about the big turn out for his veterans event, and the millions of dollars he says he raise.

TRUMP: This is a special night for me and I had no idea this was going to happen. We started out literally 24 hours ago, maybe less. We had no idea

and we went out. We set up the website, I call some friends and we just crack, the sign was just given. We just crack $6 million, right, $6


KEILAR: Just a few miles away, GOP candidates on stage squaring off at Fox's prime time debate with Trump out of sight but not out of mind.

JEB BUSH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I kind of miss Donald Trump, he was a little teddy bear to me.

KEILAR: The businessman was Fox's on the brain too (ph) addressing the feud before the crowd.

TRUMP: When you treated badly you have to stick up to lost. Fox has been extremely nice in the last number of hours actually. And they've wanted me

there and they said, "How about now?" They called a few minutes ago, "How about now? "Can you come over?" I said, "I already started." They want

me to go and apologize and everything else. And they did apologize and they could not have been.

But once this started, it's for out best. There was nothing I could do. Will I get more votes, will I get less votes, nobody knows.

KEILAR: Trump largely holding back jobs at the debating candidates, instead taunting his own poll numbers and speaking about the problems

veteran's face.

TRUMP: Now, that's being mistreated. Illegal immigrants are treated better in many cases than our vets, and it's not going to happen anymore.

It's not going to happen anymore.

KEILAR: But earlier that night Trump knocking his biggest rival, Senator Ted Cruz, in an interview with me.

Ted Cruz has been hit, not just Ted Cruz but also those who support him have been hammering you when it comes to your previous views on late term


TRUMP: Well, I'm hammering him on his views where he was born.

KEILAR: They have been ...

TRUMP: And he is weak by the way. He's very week on illegal immigration.

KEILAR: But you said to my colleague just recently down a bash, you said I don't want to talk about that and you were ask about your previous support

for late term abortion.

TRUMP: He did a big commercial. He said I rip down a person's house.

KEILAR: So what does that has to do with you not wanting talk about this issue of late term abortion?

TRUMP: Excuse me. It has a lot to do with it because he is very dishonest in what he is doing.

KEILAR: Two other rivals, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee actually showed up at Trump event.

RICK SANTORUM, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Not to be offense but I'll stand a little bit over here so I'm not photograph with the Trump sign.

KEILAR: The two former Iowa caucus winners standing along side the current frontrunner.

MIKE HUCKABEE, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Rick Santorum, Donald Trump and I maybe competitors in a presidential race. But tonight we are colleagues

in unison standing here for the people who let us breathe every breath of free air we breathe, the veteran of the United States of America.

KEILAR: Trump's competing event was meant for veterans but it's playing out amid in all out war for the attention of voters and viewers.

TRUMP: Isn't that better than this debate that's going on (inaudible), right? They're all sleeping. They're all sleeping, everybody.


[15:05:03] GORANI: All right. Again, a remarkable turn of events. Trump may have slammed the Fox's debate as sleepy, but it seems that viewers at

least those who watched it certainly. We're very much awake.

The Fox's News drew 12.5 million viewers last night. 2.7 million people though watched Trump's event on both CNN and MSNBC. Has Republican debate

have drawn many more viewers, was it the Trump affect 18 million for instance, watch CNN's last Republican debate back in December

Fox's debate in August drew a record 25 million viewers. It was the first one and people first opportunity to see Trump on stage, so that might

explain the much higher figure. Last night's debate did spear better than a recent debate on the Fox's Business News Channel.

Let's go straight to our Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter. He is live in New York at this hour.

So, Brian, 12.5 million people watch last night's debate on Fox. Did Trump's absence hurt ratings?

BRIAN STELTER, SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I think there's no doubt that more people would have tuned in if Trump have been on stage. Some of his

loyal fans did not turn in to the debate. And some casual observers, people that don't love politics but do love watching an entertaining

debate, they also decided not to watch because Trump was not center stage.

I was expecting 14 million viewers, and I thought it could actually ended up being much higher based on my conversation with experts and now this is

how the ratings usually work. 12.5 is not a sneeze out of this, impressive. But clearly, some of Trump's fans tuned out.

We have mentioned the 2.7 million that watch on CNN, MSNBC. CNN, for example, only showed a little bit of Trump speech. There were -- if you

wanted to watch in full in honor of the glory.

They had it to go online, to some streaming websites or watch it on (inaudible). The ratings are - there's not ratings available for those

services. I think we can safely though that Trump did not draw as large audience even on the internet as this debate did. But you know what he did

draw, the most conversation.


STELTER: When you look at the share of conversation on Twitter about candidates, Trump was number one by far.

GORANI: I keep seeing Trump trending, Trump trending. Trump trending. I mean, he knows it because each time you find, he is very cleaver on his

part in many ways because each time, you find that Trick that gets the attention, deflected from the other candidates back on to him. Is this

going to be a new normal that candidates still like they're in the lead, if they don't like it, the moderator if they don't like the way a debate sort

of being organized, how many podiums, how the questions are being asked et cetera, that still pew up into their own thing.

STELTER: Always candidates are looking for more leverage, looking to change the rules or tweet the rules of the so called games, these debates.

But, again, candidate has the kind of power Trump has. Trump is both willing and able to take these kinds of risk. He is willing because he is

(inaudible). He is not a typical politician. He has a wind to his for the - went to sales. He is also able because he has loyal follower, they'll

follow him wherever he goes.

So he's willing and able to take risk, the other candidates are not able to do. But there is another debate next week and I think Trump has no choice

but to be on stage and here's why. If he skips two debates in a row, every commentator on these networks are going to say, "Wait a second, you're just

afraid to debate."

So there's no doubt, he'll have to be at the ABC debate next week and see how it fairs there.

GORANI: All right. Thanks very much, our senior media correspondent Brian Stelter joining us ...

STELTER: Thank you.

GORANI: ... on CNN, on the program. Thank you.

And let's bring in Amy Kremer. She is the Chairperson and Cofounder of TrumpPAC, a super PAC supporting Donald Trump for president, and she's at

CNN Center. Thanks for being with us.


GORANI: I have to ask something -- yes. I have to ask you something about the super PAC because back in October, Donald Trump can self said, I don't

want super PAC support. So anybody who is donated to a super PAC that supports me should just get their money back. So are you not going against

his wishes here?

KREMER: Well, this is the thing, is that we operate completely independent of the campaign. We don't coordinate. We didn't have anything to do with


And there's a movement going on. People want some place to go, they want to rally behind, Donald Trump. And at the end of the day, when you have

all these super PACs on the other side, or with all these other candidates attacking, we want to level the playing field. And that's one of the

things going into the general election.

Hillary Clinton is certainly going to have a super PAC. And we want to level the playing field and not to get her the advantage.

GORANI: But she hasn't said she doesn't want one. Amy, she hasn't said she doesn't want one. I can quote Trump back to you, "I'm self-funding my

campaign, and therefore I will not be controlled by donors". This is what he is telling his supporters.

KREMER: These are - he has not asked us to shutdown. I mean, he has not but we are operate completely free and independent of the campaign. What

we're doing, we're doing on our own. And we're positive. We're not going out there attacking other candidates.

We have a positive message. We are trying to bring people together. And there was a movement here. It's not like we started this to get people to,

you know, support Trump. There's a movement with people supporting Trump already and this gives similar place to go. Not just the grassroots but

donors as well.

[15:10:01] GORANI: Now, you are, of course, one of the champions of the tea party and tea party is supports physical conservatism, less spending,

smaller government. By all accounts, the proposals of Donald Trump would cost a whole lot of money.

So I want to ask you how that squares with your belief that government should be smaller? Here, they - a conservative - let me just ask you the

question, there's conservative think tank, the American Action Forum that said, "His immigration proposals alone would $500 trillion, is that

something that concerns?

KREMER: Well, I am never for growing government but this is what I do know. I do know that I don't another doctor or lawyer or pastor in the

White House. I need a businessman that knows how to pay down debt and deficit, and make a profit. That's what we need.

We need somebody on Washington that is going to rain this government and get our debt and spending under control because we cannot continue down

this path, $19 trillion in debt. We're passing it on to our kids and grand kids in our future generations.

Donald Trump has proven that he knows how to negotiate deals. He is not going let China and other countries take advantage of us anymore. And

that's exactly what we need. And we need to secure our border.

GORANI: But, Amy, his critics would say he's making very lusty promises that even if you believe that 11 million illegal immigrants should be

deported over night, even if you believe of 1,400 mile wall should be built between Mexico and the United States, all of that stuff cost a lot of money

that he is promises and what he is saying he'll do with taxes just don't add up. Is that something you disagree with?

KREMER: Well, this is what I'll say, is that I don't think he is going to not dot it. I believe he is passionate about this, he believes it. and I

believe that he is more qualified to do it than anybody else on that debate stage. And that's what important here.

Look, it's not going to be easy. I mean, it is definitely not going to be easy and it's going to fetch all Americans. But at the end of the day, we

have to deal with the illegal immigration, we have to deal with that. And first and foremost, we have to secure our borders, and I completely agree

with him on that.


KREMER: And so, we - if he wants - if he says Mexico is going to pay for the wall, then I'm sure he's going to find a way for Mexico to pay for that


GORANI: All right. Let me, I'm sure you've read over the past several days, some of Donald Trump's tweets, and then New York Times compiled some

of his most insulting ones. They said essentially 8 out of every 10 tweets that he puts out are personal attacks on individuals.

For instance, he called Megyn Kelly once a bimbo, then said I refuse to call her a bimbo, would be politically in correct, et cetera. His

supporters who are attacking Megyn Kelly, the Fox News Anchor, he's had personal stut with, have use the word "bitch" and "bimbo" more times than

any other word. Is this something as a supporter of Donald Trump that concerns you? That this is - there's a lot of personal attack here going

on, and sometimes very sexist rhetoric quoting around.

KREMER: You know, this is what I believe. I don't think that there should ever personal attack on anyone. I'm concerned about it because it's coming

from activist on both sides. I personally will not attack anybody personally because I don't believe that that's the right path.

We're not going to agree on every candidate on every issue. But this is a time where we should fight for the candidate that we believe is a right

choice. And then, in the end, we can all unite. But there's never a time for personal attacks.

And it's not just Republicans, it's Democrats too. I don't think it accomplishes any thing and I do think it needs to be toned down.

GORANI: All right. Amy Kremer of TrumPAC, you have a radio add out. I believe you also have a T.V. commercial out in Iowa, is that correct?

KREMER: Well, it's going to up on the air shortly, yes, ma'am.

GORANI: All right. Amy Kremer, thanks very much, joining us from CNN Center.

KREMER: Thanks for having me.

GORANI: We appreciate your time this evening.

KREMER: Thank you.

GORANI: All right. So we've talked a lot about the Iowa caucuses, so what tis the caucus exactly, how does the rocky road to the White House actually

starts, that's the first big test.

CNN' one political man would explain the logistics that have many of us scratching our head. Jonathan Mann will join me in about 20 minutes time

with that.

Now, also ahead, E.U. nations are slamming one of their own for not doing more to stop the floor of refugees, but it security challenges are not like

theirs and it simply cannot close these borders. We'll be right back.


GORANI: The window of opportunity for thousands of desperate migrants and refugees maybe closing, because governments in Europe are now stricter


Dutch officials are floating a new plan send all migrants arriving in Greece back to Turkey. In return, E.U. countries would take in 250,000

people living in Turkey's refugee camps.

At the forefront of the refugee crisis is Greece, of course. Arwa Damon has this report from the Greek island of Lesbos.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The sun rises over Turkey is held silhouetted in the distance. The expanse of water between them and the

Greek island of Lesbos cross by more than half a million people last year.

This is the main gate way to Europe.

MAYOR GALINOS SPYROS, LESBOS, GREECE: The flood of migrants burst suddenly, no one was prepared, not us, not Europe.

DAMON: Mayor Galinos Spyros says, the island of Lesbos decided to put humanity first.

Islanders rallied. NGOs finally arrived and the Greek government found ring after years of economic crisis pleaded for help in handling the influx.

But instead, a financial support, the European Union is now slamming Greece over Schengen (ph) failures, improper background checks for migrants and

inadequate protection of the external border of the passport freezone. And that has people here viewing.

SPYROS (through translation): The Schengen countries are just watching this crime happening in the world, and they didn't take catch in when it

was happening. And they think is responsible for this when we are the victims too.

DAMON: Unlike other European nations, Greece does not have the luxury of closing a land border, and islanders would rather take on the humanitarian

burden, to let people to parch in the water.

The winter months has slowed but not stop the refugees and migrants from coming. January of last year, saw around 750 people land here. So far,

this January, 25,000 have arrived on this island. Among them, Hiba (ph) and her family. Her 7-year-old describe the explosion that wounded him

back home in (inaudible).

They survived but it killed the small tread of hope Hiba and her husband Acmad (ph) still had, that the war would end so they decided to take their


Acmad and his son really and the entire family want to thank the Greece coast guard for saving them. The water are pretty treacherous when they

came over. And when they got to Greece, so this is the process for everyone who does arrived on these shores. They then went to register,

what does mean?

It means that the adults have their fingerprints scanned. They show identification. In this case, the children were registered to the mother,

to Hiba (ph), and these are examples of the travel documents that they received that basically authorized them to stay in Greece for a period of

six months.

The authorities say they are doing the best they can with what they have, to process and manage the influx. An islander say, "The rest of Europe

should come up with a real solution, rather than doling out criticism."

Arwa Damon. CNN, Lesbos, Greece.


[15:20:05] GORANI: Well, of course, so much of this migration is due to the war in Syria. People are running away, they don't have opportunity at

home. They try to make a life in Turkey or other countries, they realize they just can't.

And in Syria, there are town that have just become ghost towns. One example is Al Hal was liberated from ISIS. It once had 3000 inhabitants.

Now it has only one.

Kurdish fighters patrol the streets with the specter of the terrorist group hangs heavy. Our own Clarissa Ward has this exclusive look.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kurdish fighter Reno Shamo (ph) showed us the hastily abandoned bomb factory. One room is stack with land mines

and cruely (ph) fashion homemade bombs.


RENO SHAMO (ph) (through translation): In another building barrels packed with explosives are still ready to be detonated.

WARD: All of these are filled with hundreds of pounds of TNT, he says, they load seven or eight of them onto a truck and then make suicide attack.

They can cause us massive devastation.


GORANI: Well, that's a little dispic (ph) into one town that was liberated from ISIS and devastation that is left behind.

Syrians maybe fleeing ISIS and their own government attacks and grows, but some find themselves in the awful predicament, of needing to return to ISIS

controlled territory, for various reasons. Some have no choice but to take a dangerous bus trip from Beirut to Raqqa, ISIS' de facto capital. It is a

ticket with no return, no matter what reason they have for going.

Here's Nick Paton Walsh with a remarkable report.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Central Beirut bus station and this is what travelers, and I'm not really exaggerating, a one way ticker to

death. The bus to Raqqa, a Syrian city, ISIS called their capital.

They sold 9 tickets for the 24-hour trip the regime-held capital Damascus and onwards yet nobody wants to show their face. A part from this man, the

manager, because he isn't actually going and explains the rules.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): A woman that's not dress right will be sent to Islamic training, she of course needs a male relative to

escort her. Men need to live to beards grown long their natural state with mustache is trimmed.

Trousers should not be tight in a certain height over shoes, but ISIS realize when people travel and can't always look like that so it's OK.

PATON WALSH: Most who fill these seats seems sure somehow ISIS will let them in, they won't say why.

Why is it remarkable that a bus still goes from Beirut to Raqqa but his is what it looks like on the return journey, absolutely empty. Those getting

onboard do not expect to come back.

Tonight's cargo is on its final journey. A man who died of a heart attack were told headed to his hometown for a family funeral. Sadness at his lost

here but also nervous last cigarets, not because the trip ahead where fighter jets off and fly low causing the couch, but because smoking and

music are banned on the ISIS medieval rules. Nicotine fingers will later be soaked in perfume, racy pictures of music deleted from phones.

Snipers, air strikes on the way, the matter of fact world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): A plane might strikes in distance from the bus. It's normal. No one can really pin down where the sniper

fires coming from. That's when the passengers get afraid.

PATON WALSH: Tonight's hurdle arises, they don't have a paper work to take the body out of Lebanon. We learn that the bus did leave 24 hours later,

one man telling us Raqqa used to be his heaven but ISIS, the war, poverty and even the trash have now made it hell.

Nick Patin Walsh, CNN, Beirut.


GORANI: All right. Difficult to believe but there you have it, a bus from Beirut to Raqqa.

Well, crucial Syrian peace talks are finally underway in Geneva, Switzerland. Not all parties have arrived yet, and some are taking part at

all. We're going to keep you, of course, as updated on those developments with our reporter in Switzerland.

Coming up, should they stay or should they go? David Cameron is in Brussels, he's negotiating reforms ahead of Britain's referendum on E.U.

membership. We'll he get what he wants?


[15:26:15] GORANI: Well, we're seeing a bit of a rally today on Wall Street. The Dow Jones have 2 percent, that's about 320 points or so.

Here's to look at the NASDAQ, the tech heavy index and the S&P is also a positive for those two indexes. And European markets cross the board on

this last trading day of the week and it was also a positive picture.

While Europe is focus right now is on solving the migrant crisis. There's another growing. Britain's future is the E.U. is going to be put to a

public referendum, it's promised by the prime minister, potentially as early as this June.

The British Prime Minister David Cameron is in Brussels, he is trying to negotiate a better deal ahead of that vote and Max Foster has been

following. Max, we'll see you in Quest Means Business.

But in the meantime, let's talk about David Cameron in Brussels. What does he want for the U.K.?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you remember during the election when we covering that, he gave this big promise. He is basically got

(inaudible) problem. It's been, the problem is (inaudible) for decades, that firmly spits. But pro-Europeans and anti-Europeans, want to sort out

once and for all, and his to make this offer this referendum but the end of 2017, to say, "Actually, Brits you decide once and for all whether we going

to be in or out."

The problem is, he doesn't want to leave the European Union but he doesn't want to necessarily upset the people that do within his party. So he's

come up with this compromise idea.

Four points would he wants to compromise on, but really controversial one is this one about those scaling back benefits for other in the European

Union coming to the U.K.

Because for many other countries that's a read line, it undermines a fundamental principle of European Union. The people can travel freely and

be treated equally in each country that they go to.

GORANI: That's the point of the labor market being open and available, and open to any E.U. resident, their citizen. Yeah.

FOSTER: So he's asking for this compromise and now he's asking for compromise and the compromised because they weren't moved on it. And what

they discussed here at the moment is something has been around about a week. It's been around longer but then I'll seriously discuss it and it's

a bit, well, they're calling an emergency break on those benefits.

So Britain can prove to the European Union that they're under (inaudible) pressure because it always benefit and they're paying out to this people

moving around the European Union. Then, they can say, I think temporarily whether they stop making these pay outs, every country in the European

Union benefit on that. But, again, their country is objecting to it, they'll have to apply for it when it does want to, and they probably say

"no". So he's not happy with the current deal on the table.

GORANI: So still every very complicated negotiations. But before I let you go, I'm sure many of our viewers are wondering, really, is there a

chance that the U.K. will exit the E.U. what are the full say ahead of this referendum ...

FOSTER: Well, the term is splits and the campaign are only just getting going in the country. Members of the cabinet are not sure enough which way

they're going, all of them. So it depends how the campaign, the branding around both of those campaigns going.

GORANI: Wow, it would certainly be a big event if indeed that happen.

Max Foster, we'll see you in about half an hour in Quest Means Business.

This is The World Right Now. Coming up, Republican candidates minus one start on the debate stage, will Donald Trump actions change anything? I'll

speak to a Republican consultant coming up.

Plus, we'll take you to a lab in Brazil where researchers are racing to learn more about the Zika virus.




HALA GORANI, HOST: Welcome back. A look at our top stories. 12.5 million people tuned into Fox News Republican debate yesterday.


GORANI: Citing unfair treatment by Fox the Republican front-runner Donald Trump skipped the debate, the final one before the key Iowa caucuses. Trump

instead held his own parallel event at the same time.


GORANI: Also among our top stories Dutch officials have a new plan to solve the European refugee crisis.


GORANI: They are proposing that all new refugees arriving in Greece be ferried back to Turkey immediately. In return E.U. countries could take

about 250,000 people living in Turkey's refugee camps. That's the latest idea.


GORANI: Also among our top stories. After a month trapped underground four workers have been rescued from a mine in Eastern China.


GORANI: They were brought up one by one. We don't know what condition they are in after that whole month trapped. One miner is confirmed dead in the

Christmas day collapse and 13 others are still missing.


GORANI: Five cases of the mosquito borne Zika born virus is confirmed in Germany.


GORANI: Meanwhile researchers in Brazil are trying to determine if common mosquitoes could be a carrier of the quickly spreading disease.

CNN's Shasta Darlington has more from Brazil.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in the state of Pernambuco, we are the very center of the Zika virus pandemic sweeping

across the Americas.

More babies have been born with birth defects than anywhere else in Brazil and the only mosquito that's known to transmit the virus the Aedes aegypti

is abundant. Well now another research center, (FIOCruz) right here in Recife is investigating whether a much more common mosquito could also be

transmitting the virus. In fact it's 20 times more common. We had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Constancia Ayres, at the research center.

Take a listen to what she told us.

DR. CONSTANCIA AYRES, SENIOR RESEARCHER: So here we have both species. This is the Zika (vector) Aedes aegypti, the known vector, and this Culex

quinquefasciatus the most common mosquito in America.

DARLINGTON: Including the United States and Canada?

AYRES: Including the United States and Canada. And Culex is also a vector of many other virus like West Nile virus, (inaudible) so --

DARLINGTON: So this wouldn't be the first time that it was transmitting a disease to humans.

AYRES: Yes, exactly. So it's known vector of all the virus. So why not Zika?

DARLINGTON: Now if the Dr. Ayres research shows that the Culex mosquito can indeed carry the virus the potential is huge for it to spread much more

quickly and much further than initially anticipated. But even the Dr. herself admits that there are no conclusions reached yet. That the initial

findings will only be in in about a month and even then she will require months of field work.

Shasta Darlington, CNN Recife, Brazil.


GORANI: Let's return now to our top story the race for the Republican nomination in the United States. Thursday's Fox news debate minus one very

notable candidate, of course gave some of the lesser ranked one as chance to shine. Did they take their chance? Did it change anything? John Berman

has the story.



JOHN BERMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For a debate stage absent of Donald Trump it was hardly a debate absent of Donald Trump. From the

very first question --

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Before we get to the issues let's address the elephant not in the room tonight.

BERMAN: To the very first joke.

TED CRUZ, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me say I'm a maniac. And everyone on this stage is stupid, fat and ugly. And Ben, you're a

terrible surgeon. Now that we've gotten the Donald Trump portion out of the way --

BERMAN: To a completely changed dynamic where with no Trump lightning rod other candidates had to dodge bullets.

CRUZ: So I would note that the last four questions have been Rand please attack Ted, Marco please attack Ted, Chris please attack Ted, Jeb please

attack Ted. Let me just say this --

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): It is a debate, sir.

CRUZ: Well no, no, a debate actually is a policy issue but I will say this, gosh, if you guys ask one more mean question I may have to leave the


BERMAN: And some candidates got flat out more attention. This was Rand Paul questioning Hillary Clinton's values relative to her husband's


RAND PAUL, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do think that her position as promoting women's rights and fairness to women in the workplace, that if

what Bill Clinton did any CEO in our country did with an intern, with a 22- year-old, 21-year-old intern in their office they would be fired. They would never be hired again. [applause]

BERMAN: The most extraordinary moment of the night even came on an issue Donald Trump put front and center, immigration. It led to an all-out melee.

Jeb Bush versus Marco Rubio.

JEB BUSH, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm kind of confused because he was the sponsor of the gang of eight bill that did require a

bunch of thresholds but it ultimately allowed for citizenship over an extended period of time. I mean that's a fact. And he asked me to support

that. And I supported him because I think people when you're elected you need to do things.

RUBIO: It's interesting that Jeb mentions the book. That is the book where you changed your position on immigration because you used to support a path

to citizenship.

BUSH: So did you.

RUBIO: Well but you changed the path and book -

BUSH: So did you Marco.

RUBIO: You wrote a book where you changed your position from - no, you wrote a book where you changed your position from a path to citizenship to

a path to legalization.

BERMAN: Rand Paul versus Ted Cruz.

PAUL: I was there and I saw the debate, I saw Ted Cruz say we'll take citizenship off the table and then the bill will pass and I'm for the bill.

But it's a falseness and that's an authenticity problem. That everybody he knows is not as perfect as him because we're all for amnesty.

BERMAN: Ted Cruz versus Marco Rubio.

CRUZ: You know John Adams famously said facts are stubborn things. The facts are very, very simple. When that battle was waged, my friend senator

Rubio chose to stand with Barack Obama and Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer and support amnesty and I stood aside Jeff Sessions and Steve King and we led

the fight against amnesty.

RUBIO: This is the lie that Ted's campaign is built and Rand touched upon it. That he's the most conservative guy and everyone else is a - you know

everyone else is a rhino. The truth is Ted throughout this campaign you've been willing to say or do anything in order to get votes.

BERMAN: Chris Christie versus everyone.

CHRIS CHRISTIE, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I feel like -- I feel like I need -- I feel like I need a Washington to English dictionary



GORANI: John Berman reporting there. Let's go live to Iowa and speak to Margaret Hoover, she is a CNN political commentator also Republican

consultant. She's in Des Moines. Margaret, good to see you.


GORANI: First explain to the world here, we have our international viewers and they are just from the outside looking in, looking at this race and

wondering is this - I mean these are unprecedented events, right a candidate sort of saying I'm not happy with the moderator I'm going to have

my parallel event. Others you know sort of debating these big issues alone without the front-runner. What's going on here?

HOOVER: I mean - Hala you've touched on the crux of the issue here in this Presidential campaign. Nobody has ever in politics or outside of politics

seen anything like what we're seeing in 2016.


HOOVER: I've been here on the ground in Iowa for 24 hours and local Iowans running caucuses for years nothing like this has happened on either side

but especially on the Republican side. And really what's happened is as you know Donald Trump left the debate last night didn't participate, went and

did a parallel event, raised $6 million for American veterans and the rest of the Republican candidates spent the entire time beating up on one


Ted Cruz who was in second is now firmly in second, frankly Marco Rubio, what we're hearing on the ground is on the rise now as a result of last



HOOVER: The person who won the debate last night was Donald Trump by not showing up he allowed everybody else to really go at Ted Cruz his primary

opponent and at this point it looks like it's Donald Trump's to lose.

GORANI: So Donald Trump wins when he shows up and he wins when he doesn't show up. I mean what is going to hurt him, if anything, politically right


HOOVER: Well, this is - this is - this is nothing. I mean that is the question. I mean nothing is hurting Donald Trump. Everything he does is

helping him. What's happened is nothing short of a total paradigm shift in American politics and especially in Republican politics and politics of the

center right and American electorate.

The Conservative movement is essentially on its death bed thanks to Donald Trump. I mean he is for things that the Conservative movement and the base

of the Republican Party has said that they're against for 30 years.


HOOVER: He's anti-trade, he's anti-immigration, he's anti-entitlement reform. The mainstream of the Republican party is for all of those things

and he is very likely going to be the nominee of the Republican Party at least more than a 50% chance as I stand on the ground here today.

GORANI: OK, so right now it seems like he's an unstoppable force. But there's one candidate who is polling. Marco Rubio and he's appealing, I'm

going to one of his sound bytes from yesterday, he's saying don't forget me, I can - in a general election, I can do this. Let's listen to what he



RUBIO: If you're here today and you've been thinking about some of the other candidates that you know you really like but you know, maybe they're

not going to have a chance to win or whatever. I respect that, I really do. But I would ask you to reconsider. We need your vote. I need you to caucus

for me Monday night because if I'm your nominee we are going to win.


GORANI: So there you have it. I mean - and he was endorsed by the Des Moines Register and he's been sort of the candidate of choice for those who

are anti-Trump, anti- Cruz. Does Rubio have a shot?


HOOVER: Look, in any other year, Rubio, it would - this would be a neck and neck case between Rubio and Ted Cruz. In Iowa the caucus demographics

are such you have a cohort that is extremely conservative and Evangelical Christian conservative. And then you have sort of a mainstream brand. And

frankly they basically tied the vote last time. Mitt Romney was determined to be the winner and then it turned out actually Rick Santorum had won.

Essentially those are the two cohorts of the Iowa caucuses and Rubio and Cruz would split those. But Trump is the disrupter.


HOOVER: And look it does seem as though Rubio is getting traction and has some momentum building in his direction especially because Ted Cruz had a

very bad debate last night. Look, he's incredibly well organized, he's got representatives in all 1600 precincts here - 1600 + precincts here in Iowa.

So his 30% or so of caucus, you know, supporters are going to turn out, they're going to turn out strongly for him. The question is how well does

Marco do? Marco needs to get third if he's going to have a fighting shot in the rest of the nomination fight. But nothing seems to be able to stop

Donald Trump.

GORANI: So can we look a little bit beyond the caucuses in Iowa, beyond the primaries in other states if Donald Trump is the nominee for the Republican

Party. What are his chances nationally here?

HOOVER: You know, it depends a lot on what happens on the democratic side of course. If it turns out its Bernie Sanders or its Hillary Clinton. And

there's just too many ifs, frankly. There's too many ifs.

But what it looks like is you know the electorate is sort of 36-36-28. You know, 36% white educated voters. 36% white non-educated voters. 28%

minority. You know it will be a tough fight. Donald trump will actually have a shot at the Presidency and it depends who the Democrats put up and

frankly whether we see an independent candidacy from somebody like Michael Bloomberg who decides that because of Trump's nomination he may have an

opening to come up through the middle. These are very interesting times.

GORANI: And who would take votes from: I've been curious about that. Who would Bloomberg take votes from, from the Republicans or the Democrats or


HOOVER: We don't know yet. We simply don't know yet. I mean he does - his risk takes him away from Hillary Clinton, if she's the Democrat. But he

also risks taking some away from the Republican nominee. So it's anybody's game here, Hala.

GORANI: All right. Well, at least it's interesting. Margaret Hoover thanks very much in Des Moines, Iowa, appreciate your time this evening.

HOOVER: Thanks so much.

GORANI: And don't forget you can get all the latest news, the analysis on our Facebook page,

Coming up; do you know your caucuses from your primaries.


GORANI: We'll breakdown the complex U.S. electoral system for you ahead of the Iowa caucuses, Jonathan Mann is up after the break.


GORANI: Monday's Iowa caucuses will see the first concrete steps taken on the long road to the White House. Democrats and Republicans across the

state will gather to vote for their preferred nominee. It's a very colorful American political event. Very unique. Republicans voted a traditional way,

Democrats do it very differently.

CNN's Jonathan Mann has this look at how the Democratic caucuses work.


JONATHAN MANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: First the caucus goers gather in a public space like a high school gym each candidate has a

representative who speaks on their behalf trying to sway undecided voters, and everyone else too. It looks like the speeches are done now the voters

are headed for their respective candidate corners.

George Washington has the most support with seven of our faceless little people. But the caucus isn't over. It's time now for community discussion

and persuasion.

Jefferson supporters are headed for the Washington corner with cupcakes and every reason they can imagine for their rival supporters to join them and

they have succeed in convincing one Washington supporter to move over to the Jefferson camp.

They don't have eyes but Lincoln supporters see opportune and one of them is headed over to Jefferson's camp armed with evidence of Lincoln's

achievements in every argument he can summon up.

But no, the Washington supporter who defected to Jefferson is going back to the First President's corner and he's taking a Lincoln supporter with him.

So the tally is now 8 for Washington, 4 for Jefferson and just 3 for Abraham Lincoln.

Does anybody want to change their votes? No. So it looks like the caucus is over and George Washington will have his cupcake and eat it too. If they

had mouths they'd be smiling.


GORANI: I think they'd also be smiling Jonathan Mann if they were able to observe today's campaign because it's so incredibly remarkable.

Let me ask you, how does this all make sense in terms of the state deciding what it's delegates I suppose to support one or another.

MANN: Let me cut you off, it doesn't make any sense at all. This is a process that dates back into 1800s when communities would come together and

basically talk about how they should solve their problems. But we're in the 21st century and this is essentially the way we described it with cartoon

character avatars the very opposite of a secret ballot.


MANN: You don't go in, make up your mine quietly and private and then vote. You go in within your neighbors. Maybe your boss is there. Maybe the people

you go church or temple or mosque with. Your neighbors not only watch you decide they have an opportunity to get you to change your mind and if

you're supporting a very unpopular candidate, a candidate with very few numbers you'll actually be forced by the system to choose another


So the whole system is bizarre in the extreme, very few people turn out, the people who do can swing their precinct with tiny number of votes.


MANN: It just makes you scratch your head that it survived into the 21st century.

GORANI: And what about the Republicans. This is how the Democratic caucuses work.

MANN: Crucial point. The Republicans do it like a traditional vote. They have the secret ballot. They also though have to gather for these lengthy

meetings. Keep in mind everyone in Iowa has to be at a meeting Monday night I think the exact time is 7:00 p.m.


MANN: Now there are no absentee ballots. If you work at night, if you have children and can't get a babysitter it's not like voting, you can't go at

one portion of the day or another portion of the day that's more convenient. Even the Republicans who simply have to come and sit through a

meeting and cast a ballot. Those meetings can drag on. But that's the way they do it in Iowa and that's why organization is so important because

people really, really have to be convinced to brave the snow and the weather and the bad babysitting to get themselves into those meetings.

GORANI: And remind us about the importance of Iowa here because you have candidates who win Iowa and then absolutely do not go on to win the

nomination, right?

MANN: Well, traditionally the idea is that there are three tickets out of Iowa. The top three candidates have a good chance and on the Democratic

side, it does tend to predict who is going to win but you can lose Iowa and win in New Hampshire.


MANN: The bottom line though in this year's race is that if Bernie Sanders doesn't win in Iowa he's not expected to win in New Hampshire, after that

there are races in Nevada and South Carolina where there are big minority representation and he's not expected to win.

If Bernie Sanders can win in Iowa he's still alive. If Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders split Iowa and New Hampshire they are both still alive. But

if Sanders loses in Iowa and New Hampshire his campaign will essentially be limping or it will be entirely over.


MANN: Keep in mind on the other side for Donald Trump he's never run for anything in his whole life. He's never run for dog catcher, students

council President. This is his first electoral test ever. And so this is his opportunity to demonstrate that an unconventional candidate, and

Margaret Hoover was describing it brilliantly, a man who breaks all of the rules really can succeed. If he doesn't win and show that he can actually

turn his fans into voters, he will also be wounded in a way he has not yet been so far in this race.

GORANI: It's what you call the ground game. We'll see if his fans turn into voters. Jonathan Mann thanks very much.

Political Mann has the U.S. Presidential race covered from the candidates from their positions to their (inaudible). Join Jonathan Mann it's 8:30

a.m. London time on Saturday and he will guide you through the world's wildest and most expensive exercise in democracy.

GORANI: Still to come you're not my real mom.


GORANI: Sarah Palin's daughter isn't buying these impressions and now she's kicking up a fuss. The full story just ahead.





GORANI: She's not a candidate, she's not even a public servant at the moment. Still Sarah Palin is a force majeure in the world of politics and a

lightning rod on the comedy circuit. But while audiences may get a kick out of her most famous impersonator, Palin's daughter says Tina Fey has it all

wrong -- or does she? Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You may think Tina Fey has nailed her Sarah Palin impersonation.

TINA FEY: Heads are spinning, media heads are spinning.

MOOS: But there is one critic who sounds a little bitter.

FEY: Right-wing and bear, pulling in, right wing and bitter cling, and proud clingers of our guns.

MOOS: Sarah Palin's daughter is clinging proudly to her mother writing on her log that Tina Fey sounds nothing like my mom.


MOOS: Bristol compared what she called Tina Fey's fake accents to nails on a chalkboard. Bristol thinks SNL has been slurping off the Palin gravy

train writing "Saturday Night Live" and Tina Fey have been clinging to this impersonation a little too long. It's getting pathetic.

And then there's the glitzy sweater. Bristol said she thought it was funny SNL couldn't get its hands on the same top her mom wore because it sold

out. The costume department had to recreate it which it did in less than a week. SNL proudly trumpeted

But when Bristol took a poll, who wore it better, Sarah or Tina, it was Fey all the way, 87%.

That sounds like what Bristol would like to do to Tina. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


GORANI: OK, that's hilarious. Finally a swimming star, his gold medals and his speedo made a crowd go crazy.


GORANI: Michael Phelps shocked fans at a college basketball game. The 18 time Olympic gold medalist was Arizona state's secret weapon. His special

appearance distracted a rival player enough to miss two free throws. The crowd went wild seeing Phelps and his abs dancing around in his speedo.

Phelps is training at Arizona state for the Olympics.


GORANI: Goodbye, have a great weekend, I'm Hala Gorani, "Quest Means Business" is up next.