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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Candidates Making Final Pitch To Iowa Voters; State Department Won't Release 22 "Top Secret" Clinton E-mails; Cruz, Rubio Race For Second Place In Iowa; One Fugitive Captured, Two Still Loose; Trump Forgoes Traditional Iowa Campaign Stops; Countdown to Iowa Caucus; Nightmare Continues in Flint. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired January 30, 2016 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[06:01;33] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Just a couple of days and counting. Good morning, everybody. I'm Christi Paul. Victor Blackwell is in Iowa covering the big weekend ahead this the final push before the Iowa caucuses. Good morning, Victor.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. Good morning to you at home. I'm here in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a critical weekend in the race for the White House. Two days until the Iowa caucuses, the first votes of the election year will be cast.
Now, the candidates, of course, are sprinting across the state today making their final pitch to voters. The state is really saturated with political events today.
Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump is holding three rallies in Eastern Iowa. Look at this map. His rivals, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio will be hitting multiple stops too.
Now let's go to the Democratic side. In a few hours from now, Hillary Clinton will rally with former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly in Aims, Iowa. Both have endorsed Clinton's campaign.
Bernie Sanders holding a series of canvassing kickoff events on Saturday with a rally and rock concert in Iowa City. For all of these White House contenders, time is running out. Of course, the race to Monday night.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): Now just two days before the voters head out to caucus as the nation's true electoral test hovers above Iowa. And the final weekend push for candidates to get out their message.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'd rather underpromise and overdeliver than the opposite. I want you to know what I intend to do and have you help me do it. BLACKWELL: Democrat Hillary Clinton closed day with a rally featuring her two biggest supporters, husband and former President Bill Clinton and daughter, Chelsea.
FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: We need a president who can restore broad-based prosperity and take us all along for the ride.
BLACKWELL: Senator Bernie Sanders holds a series of rallies before a concert in Iowa City at night.
BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I hope you come out. I hope that you will give thought to supporting my candidacy. The eyes of the country are going to be on Iowa.
BLACKWELL: On the other side, Republicans Donald Trump and Ted Cruz continue their epic battle.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ted Cruz may not be a U.S. citizen, right? But he's an anchor baby. He's an anchor baby in Canada.
BLACKWELL: Headlines this week still impacting the race.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mrs. Clinton, what's your reaction?
BLACKWELL: Clinton's e-mail controversy continues to haunt her on the campaign trail. The State Department said Friday it will not release 22 e-mails because they contain top secret information.
Meanwhile, Ted Cruz is coming off a rough battle, one that Donald Trump boycotting. Despite recent polls, other GOP candidates are hoping to pull off a win.
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's a reason why Hillary Clinton spent so much time and money and effort attacking me, because she doesn't want to run against me.
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Jeb! Exclamation point, proud to be a Bush.
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know I'm serious about Iowa because of one very, very important factor. I have brought with me the first lady of the state of New Jersey. My wife Mary Pat is with me tonight.
BLACKWELL: All right, rush to the finish line here. Joining me now is CNN Politics executive editor, Mark Preston. Turnout is everything.
Let's start with the Republicans COZ because Donald Trump is expected or at least his campaign says they're going to turn out voters who typically do not participate in the caucus process.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Right, and that remains to be seen if he can actually do so. So we see these crazy rallies. On television, he's calling into question several.
If you look at the polls, many of the people at these rallies, many of these voters would be first-time process-goers who have never done it. Will they decide to come out Monday and support him? If they do, he wins, if they don't, clearly he won't.
[06:05:07]BLACKWELL: Have we seen some of the ground game here? I mean, some of the scuttle here is that there isn't.
PRESTON: Right. The question is does he have the ground game in place in order to get these voters out now remains to be seen because his operation while he has some very good people here, you know, running this state, we haven't necessarily seen that operation in place.
Now, you go to Ted Cruz folks, they say they have the ground game in place absolutely and that's what's going to propel them. You talk about all these events all across the state right now. This is why it's so important about what the message is today and tomorrow.
If you go back to 2012, 46 percent of Iowan Republicans had not made up their mind in the final three days and on the final day, 18 percent did. When you get a race that is close right now, it's all about message and it's really all about not messing up.
BLACKWELL: OK, so let's talk now about the Democrats, Bernie Sanders has said for some time that if the numbers show that there is an increased turnout, a heavy turnout for the Democrats on caucus night, that's good news for him.
He doesn't expect he said that he's going to be able to replicate the Obama coalition that we saw back in 2008, but are we seeing evidence that he is getting people into place.
PRESTON: Well, again, he said that the other day because there have been so many comparisons to the Obama coalition, which was young people. Obama also won women, you know, at that did very well.
But Bernie Sanders needs kids and he needs kids at these college universities. What's interesting about this is when Obama ran back in 2008 it was at a time when the universities were out so all the kids were home.
They were able to draw all those kids back to come in and caucus and that was very helpful and of course, that's why he won Iowa. Moving on Bernie Sanders has these universities in place right now and the kids are here.
The question is will these kids come out again on a Monday night. He is very similar to Trump. If he has the enthusiasm and enthusiasm translates into votes then Bernie Sanders has a good chance winning Iowa.
BLACKWELL: All right, let's stay with the Democrats. The e-mail controversy that's haunted Hillary Clinton for months is growing. Yesterday, the State Department said that it's not going to release 22 e-mails Clinton sent when she was secretary of state because they contain top secret information.
I should say that there are 22 e-mails. The question is if she sent them. That was answered by Dianne Feinstein said she did not initiate any of these seven e-mail chains.
CNN chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, has more on how the Clinton campaign is now responding.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Victor, Hillary Clinton spoke in Davenport, Iowa, about the things that she wants to drive voters to the caucuses on Monday night things like health care, things like climate change and affordable college.
What she did not talk about was the issue that has been plaguing her campaign and really blew up in a they did not need Friday night which is, of course, the fact that the State Department is now with holding almost two dozen e-mails because they say that they are classified in nature.
Now, the Clinton campaign has said that they want everything out in the open, that there's no reason to keep these classified. The ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said that none of these e-mails originated from Hillary Clinton.
And that the fact that Republicans are making a big deal out of this means it's just politicized. But at the end of the day, this is not something that the Clinton campaign wants to talk about.
In fact, I tried to talk to Hillary Clinton when she was in the crowd with people here. I tried to ask her about her reaction to this. She clearly heard me, she didn't say anything.
I also spoke to her husband who really rallied the crowd here beforehand, Bill Clinton. He also wanted to kind of take a step back. They realize that the more they talk about it, the more it feeds the story, the more it kind of keeps the news cycle go as opposed to other issues.
I should also mention that Bernie Sanders who, by the way, was having a rally not too far from here literally blocks where Hillary Clinton was speaking. He put out a statement saying that what he said in the CNN debate a couple of months ago stands.
He thinks that this should not be an issue for voters, but he also said that it's something that the legal process should take care of, a not so subtle suggestion and reminder that there is a legal issue going on right now for Hillary Clinton. So that was a little bit of a different tact for Bernie Sanders -- Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right, Dana, you're right. This is not something the Clinton campaign wants to talk about. But Secretary Clinton did speak about this late Friday with Lester Holt of NBC. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY HOLT, NBC: Why shouldn't people, as they weigh the electability question, worry about this as it's hanging over your head as they march forward?
CLINTON: Because the facts have remain the same. There was never any information sent or received that was marked classified to me.
HOLT: For people who are watching this play out and know the Republicans will come at you on this with an open investigation, shouldn't people have some concern?
CLINTON: No, they shouldn't, Lester. I just don't see it as anything that will in any way cause any voter to -- a voter with an open mind to have any concerns.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[06:10:12]BLACKWELL: The polls have shown that this is something that voters are concerned about. Now, we'll speak about the polls in a moment. You know one person who's going to talk about it, Donald Trump. This tweet late Friday from him.
"The new e-mail release is a disaster for Hillary Clinton. At a minimum, how can someone with such bad judgment be our next president?"
Mark Preston, polls show that Democratic voters do not see this as a major issue, but this does play into this narrative questions of trustworthiness and honesty.
PRESTON: Correct. And it was very smart of Bernie Sanders to again reinforce the fact that he doesn't think this is a big issue because right now it's not a big issue in the Democratic primary.
If you look at these polls, it's the Republicans and some independents now who are saying that Hillary Clinton's e-mail problems are a real problem. Where this could potentially be a problem is when you get into general election.
If she were to become the nominee, we're talking into the summer now, I don't necessarily care what Donald Trump has to say or Marco Rubio has to say or what Ted Cruz has to say because it's going to be very political, of course.
What's going to be important is when we see the Senate and they try to bring her up to Capitol Hill again on this. That's when things could become explosive.
BLACKWELL: All right, we'll talk more about this throughout morning. Mark, thanks.
Of course, after all the campaigning and the debates, it's time for the first votes, Monday night comes down to this, the Iowa caucuses here and we're all over it. We'll have complete coverage of the Iowa caucuses all day Monday on CNN.
Now again, we showed you the map at the top of the show. It's going to be hard to go anywhere in Iowa today without seeing a presidential candidate, especially for the Republicans who are battling for those votes at the last minute. Up next we'll take a look at the strategies the GOP will be using to pull out those last-minute voters.
Also, he didn't do a lot of handshaking or kissing babies, you didn't see him in many coffee shops. Did Donald Trump's lack of that pavement pounding, the retail politicking that Iowans treasure, has that change the way that candidates will approach campaigns in Iowa in the future?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've seen Bernie. I've heard that Hillary's come through. I wasn't here when she was here. I know Chris Christie was around. Santorum has been walking around. I've seen him a couple of times actually.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Beautiful state of Iowa and the countdown is on. Take a look at the numbers here, Donald Trump, the frontrunner according to the latest CNN/ORC poll, the likely Iowa caucus-goers. The race is on who comes in second.
Ted Cruz is trying to meet as many voters as possible as are all candidates. Holding five campaign events across the state today alone. Here's his map.
Meanwhile take a look at Marco Rubio's stops. Renewing his attacks on Hillary Clinton and yesterday's revelation that some Clinton's e-mails will not be released because they contain top secret information.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: Hillary Clinton put some of the most highest and sensitive intelligence information on her private server because maybe she thinks she's above the law or maybe she wants the convenience of being able to read this stuff on her Blackberry.
This is unacceptable. This is a disqualifier. If someone on my staff did that, you know what I would do? They would be fired and prosecuted. She should be disqualified just because of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: All right, to discuss now I'm joined by CNN senior political analyst, Ron Brownstein and back with us, CNN Politics executive editor, Mark Preston. Ron, I'm going to start with you since you're just joining us.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.
BLACKWELL: We discussed last block that Bernie Sanders likely will not discuss the e-mail controversy because he says there's a legal process. He doesn't have to because the Republicans are going to do it. BROWNSTEN: The Republicans will do it and in fact, you know, people know about it. Look. By itself it is not, contrary to Marco Rubio, it's not a disqualifier. It's clearly had an effect on Hillary Clinton.
Not only the specifics, but the sense among Democrats, some of them at least, do they want to go down the road of experiencing the '90s, the seemingly endless series of ethical controversies.
Hillary has a lot of assets as a candidate, but that sense of a cloud that is always there does give some Democratic voters pause.
BLACKWELL: OK. So we've talked about Rubio v Clinton here. Let's talk Rubio v Cruz. This was at least by the Cruz campaign cast as a two-man race. That's not the case anymore.
PRESTON: No, I think for two reasons. One, I think that Ted Cruz looks at Marco Rubio creeping up here in Iowa, which he didn't think it was going to happen. You know, the Rubio campaign had been criticized, Victor, for not really running a robust strong operation here in Iowa and also in New Hampshire.
What we've seen in the past few days is quietly we see a little momentum behind Marco Rubio. He had a pretty good debate the other night and that's certainly helped him. Now I think what you're seeing is Ted Cruz is hoping that Donald Trump really is flash in the pan.
That these huge rallies will not turn into votes, but what will happen then is that where will voters go. If they're not voting for Jeb Bush or John Kasich or Chris Christie, who are they going to vote for? Will they go to Rubio? And I think that's what their concern about their flank.
BROWNSTEIN: The chess game is so unbelievably complicated. The Rubio team has said they prefer Donald Trump to win Iowa because they think that would essentially hobble Cruz and allow the consolidation (inaudible) where they would get into a one-on-one kind of race.
Now there's a kind of beware of what you wish for kind of quality because there are many people who think that the best way to take down Donald Trump would be to have a two-front war with someone to his right and one to his center.
To make it even more complicated the lane that is open, unfilled in the Republican race is this center right lane, but it is a lane that Rubio doesn't really want to fill.
He does not really want to be seen as an equivalent to Jeb Bush or John Kasich. He wants to be several clicks to the right. So how this all of this sorts out is going to be fascinating in the next few weeks.
PRESTON: Does this remind you that, Ron, is if you go back to Rubio is if you back to Rubio in his Senate race, you know, he was the Tea Party darling, right. He was the one who took an incoming governor, who by the way, was almost fit to be a vice presidential running mate. He took on Charlie Christie. He wasn't supposed to win. He came in as the Tea Party. Once he got the nomination, he started to morph into this establishment. He's walking a fine line.
[06:20:00]BLACKWELL: So what is sticking for Cruz? I mean, is it the Trump lines of this Canadian birth? Is it the questions about ethanol? Is it the, you know, he believes he is, you know, better than the rest of us? What is sticking?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, first of all, Cruz is more narrow casting to begin with. I mean, he is candidate whose goal is to consolidate the most conservative elements of the party. Principally but exclusively Evangelical Christians.
So to begin with there's a kind of more moderate centrist block that is difficult for him to access. But then you add on to that, the ethanol issues with all of these various establishment leaders in the state.
Charles Brasley, the governor, Terry Brandstad, governor for live, he's been here since the 1980s, criticizing him, and then you have Donald Trump, kind of raising this kind of is he really one of us questions.
And the last point, Victor, and it's true here and it's going to matter a lot in the south and in the Midwest, Donald Trump's blue collar appeal extends across the Evangelical boundary.
He's winning blue collar Evangelicals in the state and that's preventing Ted Cruz from getting numbers he needs among Evangelicals overall.
SAVIDGE: All right, Ron, Mark stay with us all morning. We'll be with you to talk more about the Republican Rubio v Cruz fight, and let's turn it back to Christi in Atlanta -- Christi.
PAUL: All right, thank you so much, Victor and the gentlemen there. Listen, we are following two other big stories this morning. First of all in California, one of three inmates who escaped from a California jail is captured.
The two others are still on the loose. What is that captured man saying? We have some details too on where officials think the other two might be headed.
Also, the Flint water crisis, even with filters, new testing shows dangerous levels of lead may still be seeping into people's homes this morning. How hard is it going to be to make Flint's water safe to drink again and what's it going to take.
PAUL: It's 25 minutes past the hour. So glad to have you with us. Listen. We have developing story that we're following. Essentially one down, two more to go this hour this morning.
Authorities could be closer to having all three fugitives back behind bars in California. One of them turned himself in. We're talking about 43-year-old Bac Duong. He was arrested in Santa Ana yesterday.
A day after a woman who taught English as a second language at the jail was arrested for possibly helping the three escape. The three escaped from jail last week after cutting through bars and repelling off a four-story wall using tied together bed sheets.
Nick Valencia is joining us now. The big question this morning, let's face it is, the man who surrendered, is he cooperating with police to help find the other two?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So far investigators say he is cooperating and he could give key information that leads to the other two's arrest. The three of them were apparently altogether as recently as Thursday.
But Bac Duong traveled back down to Santa Ana in the same county, the prison where he escaped from earlier last week. Duong as I mentioned cooperating with authorities. They believed that the three may have stolen a white 2008 GMC van. More details on that in just a minute.
But the key of this investigation, the center of this investigation is focused in the Northern California area 400 miles away from where the trio escaped. They believed the apparent ring leader of this escape may have connections there. Police talked about that at a press conference on Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. JEFF HALLOCK, ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: We believed there may be some associations of one of the suspects in the Fresno area so we think there's a possibility they may be destined for that area. Again, nothing specific. We're really concerned about the San Jose area at this point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: So that white van was spotted outside a motel in the Northern California area. Duong telling authorities that they have tinted the windows, removed decals, and put on a temporary license plate.
They believed the two outstanding fugitives, Christi, may be living in this van and using it as the getaway vehicle.
PAUL: Yes, all right. Nick, thank you so much.
Up next, CNN live in Des Moines, what candidate is trying to sway as many voters as possible. We're taking a look at how the campaign season has changed, the way politicians might campaign in Iowa in the future and it's all because of the guy you saw right there, Donald Trump.
Also, really, how does the caucus work? We're going to break down the process for you.
[06:31:32] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Bottom of the hour and the candidates, both Democratic and the Republican are all across the state today. Dozens of events to get that last-minute support. The dash around the state, we're going to show you the map here. You've got Christie, Rubio, Bush, Sanders, Trump, Clinton. But one candidate is taking a very different route, a different approach here.
We've seen, of course, the retail politicking that Iowa is known for. Hand-to-hand, face-to-face, small coffee shops, living rooms. Fresh in the flesh here in person. But Donald Trump, he likes the big speech. He likes to fill the auditoriums instead of the coffee shops, middle school gyms that other candidates are in. And now many are asking, will the Iowa campaign ever be the same after Trump.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Davenport.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What a great crowd. Thank you very much.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): In the final days before the Iowa caucuses, the presidential candidates are pouring into coffee shops, like Smokey Row in Des Moines.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're coming here all the time. It's awesome to have them here.
BLACKWELL: Shaking hands, asking for support. It's the small-scale face-to-face familiarity Iowans treasure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You get to actually engage them one-on-one or in a community forum where you can really see how they really respond to individual communities and you get an actual feel of their realness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've seen Bernie, I've seen -- heard that Hillary has come through. I wasn't here when she was here. I know Chris Christie was around. Santorum has been walking around. I've seen him a couple of times actually.
BLACKWELL: Many have visited, but not all.
BLACKWELL (on-camera): Is there anyone notably who has not been here, who hasn't come through?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I haven't seen Trump.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): It's not just Smokey Row that G.O.P. frontrunner Donald Trump has skipped. Trump's campaign has focused very little on the retail politicking.
TRUMP: What a crowd.
BLACKWELL: Instead, the Trump campaign has focused primarily on huge rallies across Iowa, making the case to voters thousands at a time.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Donald Trump has totally thrown everything on his head. The fact is he has had this fly in and fly out campaign. He's rarely spent any time in a primary or caucus state.
BLACKWELL: This week during an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, the billionaire businessman was very complimentary of a Holiday Inn Express in Sioux City after a rare overnight stay.
TRUMP: It was actually two nights. I thought it was terrific. It was clean, it was nice, and the bed was good.
BLACKWELL: In the closing hours before Caucus night, some are wondering if a Trump win will jeopardize the intimacy of campaigning here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His message seems to be coming out above everyone else's for good or bad and that will have an impact.
PRESTON: The bottom line is Donald Trump has changed politics as we know it. Now, we could go back to the idea of this retail politics, the idea of shaking hands or what have you, but it will give people pause about how they will actually start campaigning.
BLACKWELL: All right. Here with me is Ron Brownstein, again CNN senior political analyst and editorial director for the "National Journal."
Let's talk first about the strategy there. He's got a big personality. He fills the room with thousands of people, but that's not typically the Iowa way.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, you know, Victor, there was a classic "Saturday Night Live" sketch all the way back in 1980 that showed Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy folding the laundry and cooking breakfast for a farm family. And that in effect is what Iowa voters have been accustomed too since the caucuses began in the 1907s.
[06:35:07] I think we've been moving away from that anyway even before Donald Trump. I think Barack Obama was in 2008 a step into direction that we're seeing. And really what's happening is that the nationalization of the race, the intensity of the media coverage is so suffusing everywhere, that all voters, really in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina are consuming the same.
And one thing that's really striking and makes up points, if you look at the polls that came out last week, the "NBC/Wall Street Journal/ Marist" polls, Donald Trump's support among the various key components of Republican coalition was virtually identical in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, it's almost imprinted in each state, it's changing. The races are being nationalized and the states are more and more back up. Having said that, organization still matters in a caucus state. BLACKWELL: Is this going to be a permanent change? Or are you going to see a larger rallies moving forward in future campaigns.
BROWNSTEIN: I'm not sure it will probably be a change. That everybody can fill a room the same way President Obama did in '08 or, you know, Donald Trump did in this campaign. But I do think the idea of these states as islands immune to what's happening nationally, that's gone.
We've gone from what used to be called the invisible primary to what I call the national audition. Everyone, everywhere, 25 million people watching a debate that washes over every state.
Now in a caucus state, you do need an organization. And there are voters who expect to see this. But I think the race is basically being push and pulled by the same national tides affecting it everywhere.
BLACKWELL: All right, let's talk about this national tide. You focused on in your latest piece, in the "National Journal," this frustration with the government because that is the result. I mean, we're seeing rather the result of that frustration with government. The truth here is that many of the plans that are being lauded on the campaign or proposed really have no chance because of deadlock.
BROWNSTEIN: Right. You don't have to go very far in Iowa to run as a Democrat, who are frustrated that President Obama didn't achieve more. They appreciate what he's done, they like what he's done, but they wish more had been done.
And in the Republican race, by far the dominant emotion is frustration that the Republicans in Congress didn't achieve more in undoing what President Obama did. And you basically have a parallel set of discontent that is rooted in the same reality.
We have had unified control of government. One party controlling the House, the Senate and the White House, for only 12 of the last 48 years. We had it for 58 of the 72 years before that. Divided government is now routine and in kind of a default position where divided government is routine. It is difficult to see how many of the ideas, for example, single payer universal health care from Bernie Sanders or the funding to deport 12 million people from Donald Trumping. It's difficult to see how you can push that through the existing system.
And, of course, that is the core argument that Hillary Clinton is making against Bernie Sanders. Yes, you're promising a revolution. I can work within this clog system that we have to get more of our goals done in fact.
BLACKWELL: Now let me talk about the flip side of that. From the Sanders supporters although the Sanders campaign would kind of quibble with what the description is from the Clinton campaign with their plan. However, the same thing could have been said back in 2008 of a plan that was proposed by Barack Obama. BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think, first of all, Obama's plans did push the boundary, but they were well within, I think. They were not as far out or kind of contemporary political possibility as Bernie Sander's ideas particularly on the single-payer universal healthcare.
Don't forget, also Democrats at that point ended up with 60 Senate seats. They had 59 to start. This year, the best possible outcome is 51 or 52.
BLACKWELL: Very different landscape.
BROWNSTEIN: And even Bernie Sanders when he talks about his political revolution over what he expects is going to come from it, even he doesn't say taking over the House. So, I mean, the reality is the next president if it is a Democrat almost certainly is going to face divided government. Republicans have a chance at having unified government, but a narrow one. And I think that means that they're going to have to be compromises across party lines that things are going to get done, that it's not really a big applause line here among the partisans in Iowa.
BLACKWELL: All right. We'll see what the movement is on the last couple of days because we know, historically, this is when a lot of those undecided make their last minute shift.
Ron Brownstein, thanks for being with us all morning.
And, of course, don't miss "State of the Union with Jake Tapper," coming up tomorrow. You'll hear from the candidates one more time before caucus voting begins. That's Monday night. Jake has Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Bernie Sanders on the show.
"State of the Union with Jake Tapper" tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
All right. So there are so many questions from people who live outside of Iowa, outside of a caucus state. What happens in that room? Do the Democrats do the same thing the Republicans do? Well, no, they don't. And we'll explain the caucus process in just a moment.
[06:43:14] BLACKWELL: All right. It's the final Saturday before the Iowa caucuses. All of the months of campaigning and town halls and meetings with voters here comes down to Monday night. Of course, the multiple debates, they've shifted the debates several times, even that no-show at the last Republican debate by Donald Trump.
The Iowa caucuses start at 7:00 p.m. here on Monday night, officially launching the 2016 White House race. But how do the caucuses work? Well, Tom Foreman is here to explain.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): The Iowa caucuses, this is what we've been leading up to all this time. And for the Republicans, it's a fairly simple matter. They show up on caucus night and they cast their ballots, and then they count them.
For the Democrats, though, this is a process. What that means is that hundreds of precincts all across the state, they will physically gather and divide up based on which candidates they support.
So, for example, if we had 100 Democrats in one place and they divided among four different candidates, it might break out like this. Now, if any candidate does not have at least 15 percent of the support in that room, that candidate is basically declared out of it.
The voters, however, can either go home or they can start going to some of the other candidates out there, and that's when you get a lot of talk and a lot of horse trading and a lot of wheeling and dealing because everyone wants to walk away with the most support for his or her candidate.
Once it's settled for the night, though, that precinct will report as do hundreds of others to the state level, where a lot of math will be done. And when that math is complete, we will have from both parities the first real indication of how the delegates will be divided and who is actually leading the pack on both sides in the race for the White House.
[06:45:03] BLACKWELL: All right, Tom, thank you so much. The final hours of campaigning happening this weekend. And, of course, Monday, again, the big day. It all comes down to Monday night.
And CNN is the place for caucus coverage. We will be here all day with complete coverage until the final vote is cast. Be with us all day Monday.
Let's toss it back now to Christi in Atlanta.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Hey, thank you, Viktor. A great job there.
Listen, the nightmare is continuing in Flint, Michigan. Residents there have just found out the filters that they've been using to protect them from lead poisoning may not be working and the reason why is just astonishing.
Also, the latest developments on the Zika virus spreading around the world. Will experts be able to develop a vaccine in time to cure for what experts now calling an epidemic?
PAUL: Forty-nine minutes pass the hour right now. And the nightmare is continuing in Flint this morning despite all of the outrage, all of the media attention and millions of dollars worth of aid. People are still being exposed to dangerous levels of lead as they wake up this morning. Last night, officials reported that water test showed levels of lead above 150 parts per billion. Those water filters that they gave out only remove lead up to 150 parts per billion.
So in other words, the water is still not safe for the men and the women and the children of that city.
Congressman Dan Kildee joining us now. He represents Flint, Michigan.
Congressman, thank you so much for being with us.
REP. DAN KILDEE (R), MICHIGAN: Thank you.
PAUL: Now if the filters aren't working, what is the plan at this stage?
[06:50:00] KILDEE: Well, people need to understand this is an ongoing public health crisis and it will take time before the pipes are healed through this process of corrosion control.
Folks need to make sure that they get their water tested before using it. If the test shows rates higher than 150 parts per billion, they need to continue to use bottled water for all their uses. But it's really important that people understand that this is still a health crisis. This is still an emergency.
Just because the water has been switched back to the Detroit water sources, it does not mean that we're out of the woods on this at all. It is refreshing, though, with the federal government now on the ground in Flint that this information came out right away.
It's a stark contrast from what we saw during those many months that the state of Michigan was in the lead where they had information that they refused to share with the public. At least in this way, the people in Flint are armed with information that they can use to protect themselves.
PAUL: Well, and you just mentioned -- I mean you said something very key there, until the pipes are healed. What does -- what is the remedy? Do those pipes all need to be upgraded and what is the timeline or cost for something like that?
KILDEE: Some of them clearly will need to be replaced. The lead service lines, for example, that goes from the water main to the home, those are -- many of those are lead in Flint. Those will have to be replaced. That will take some time.
But the initial fix is to have corrosion control applied to the water so that they provide a coating to the inner portion of the pipe that prevents lead from leeching into the water. And that was really the failure at the very outset that the state did not, for whatever reason, did not initiate corrosion control when they switched Flint from the Lake Huron water to the highly corrosive Flint River water. That was the real fundamental mistake that the State of Michigan made despite warnings from the EPA and others. They just failed to do so. And almost inexplicably, since this has been a crisis since last summer, the state did not initiate corrosion control until December 8.
KILDEE: So some of the data that we're seeing right now, which dates back to December is a result of the fact that the process of using corrosion control which should have started at the very outset...
KILDEE: Even after this crisis became public, the state didn't ensure that it was taking place until the 8th of December. So it will be some time before that corrosion control is fully optimized and the water would be safe to drink.
PAUL: And I want to ask you about, you know, who is at fault here and who most likely maintain the price. But I do want to talk about something that really is of utmost importance.
Governor Snyder telling CNN, Poppy Harlow, that he wants to do whatever is possible to help the children of this crisis. Let's listen to what he said here for a second.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Talk directly to the parents of Flint right now who have a child that is going to live with this.
GOV. RICK SNYDER (R), MICHIGAN: Yes, this is awful. And, again, our goal is to do whatever possible to minimize the damage, to help support them through that. This should happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: So, listen, we have heard from doctors who have said this kind of lead exposure in young children cognitively is irreversible. We know the state is getting $80 million in emergency funding from the federal government according to President Obama who has freed that up.
What -- how prepared is the state to take care of these children and their needs for what could be a lifetime for them?
KILDEE: If I can be blunt, the state's response has not even come close to the need so far. The $80 million that the federal government has supplied is for infrastructure support. The $28 million that the State of Michigan has provided in part pays for the National Guard that they've already deployed for temporary water.
The State of Michigan has a $575 million dollars budget surplus right now. They have a rainy day fund that they could reach into right now. We need a commitment from the state to provide wrap around services for these kids. Early childhood education, nutritional support, smaller class sizes in the elementary years, enrichment opportunity. All the things that any parent would do for their child if they had developmental challenge is what the State of Michigan is morally obligated to provide to the kids in Flint. Not just this year, not just next year, but for a number of years to come.
Flint is a strong community and we can overcome this. We've been through a lot. But we need the resources from the people who did this to us in order to overcome it. And that's really what the State of Michigan is morally obligated to do.
PAUL: And I guess we'll wait and see, legally, exactly what that's going to mean. Congressman Dan Kildee, we appreciate you being with us. Thank you so much.
KILDEE: Thanks, Christi.
PAUL: Of course.
And coming up after the break, the Zika virus, of course, that's spreading rapidly around the world. We have some details now on the push to stop the epidemic.
[06:58:22] PAUL: We want to take a look at some of the stories that we're following this morning.
First of all, the Zika virus continues spreading around the world. The relatively new mosquito-borne virus has now been reported in 24 countries, prompting travel warnings for pregnant women because of course of its links to a dangerous neurological birth disorder in newborns. And no vaccine or treatments available for Zika. And experts say it could be an awfully long time before the vaccine is even developed.
Bond was denied for Ammon Bundy and members of a group that occupied a federal wildlife facility in Oregon. So far 11 people had been arrested. 10 in Oregon, one in Arizona, over the nearly month-long occupation. Four members of the protest group are still inside that refuge though.
And the U.S. Navy has sent a guided missile destroyer near an island in the South China Sea. The waters are home to messy territorial claims with China, Taiwan and Vietnam, all disputing sovereignty over this island chain. The Defense Department said they sent the ship to challenge attempts to restrict to navigation rights and freedom of the United States as well as others. The U.S. conducted a similar operation in October, by the way.
And Angelique Kerber stunned Serena Williams this morning in the Australian Open. You might be thinking how rare is it for Williams to lose a Grand Slam final. Well, guess what, she'd won her last eight, was 21-4 overall. The men's final, meanwhile, kicks off tomorrow when Novak Djokovic plays Andy Murray for the second straight year.
And the next hour of your NEW DAY starts right now. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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