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CNN/WMUR Poll: Trump Has Commanding Lead in New Hampshire; Source: Bill Clinton Concerned About Campaign Strategy; Donald Trump Steps Up His Ground Game; Young Women Flocking to Sanders Campaign; Former NYC Mayor Bloomberg Considering 2016 Run. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired February 8, 2016 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:12] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Next, down to the wire just hours before the first votes in New Hampshire are cast. It is anybody's race in this state, plus sources telling CNN there's concern in the Clinton camp tonight. What Bill Clinton says is wrong with his wife's campaign.

And is Michael Bloomberg ready to jump into the race for real this time? The billionaire breaking his silence tonight. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett live in Manchester, New Hampshire tonight. OUTFRONT the breaking news, Donald Trump speaking live to supporters here in Manchester. His final pitch to voters before the nation's first primary tomorrow. The first votes cast at midnight tonight. And with a third of Republican voters still undecided, it's anybody's race. And that's why it's so exciting. We'll show you some live pictures here out of Manchester. Trump leading in the CNN daily tracking poll that came out late today at 31 percent, down just two points from a few day ago after just a few days ago. So, there's been a bit of a drop there. Marco Rubio second at 17 percent. Ted Cruz next with 14.

Jim Acosta is OUTFRONT with the Trump campaign. And Jim, you know, we're seeing a little bit of a drop in that tracking poll, but you know, I drove by that event where you are couple of hours ago and there are already hundreds of people in line outside waiting in the frigid temperature trying to get into where you are.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Erin. Thousands of Donald Trump supporters have packed inside this arena here in Manchester. And he should have seen this coming. For months, top Republicans have urged Jeb Bush to step up his attacks on Donald Trump. Not has been this story all day long. That day has finally come as Bush and Trump are locked in a vicious street fight from the town halls to twitter.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to get rid of the bushes of the world.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Just one day before the New Hampshire primary, the battle for the Republican nomination has descended into name calling and taunts between Donald Trump and his favorite target Jeb Bush.

TRUMP: And then he should see, I'm the only one taking on Donald Trump. I'm not afraid of Donald Trump. He's like a child. He's like a spoiled child.

ACOSTA: But the former Florida governor is no longer ignoring the attacks.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump, you're the loser.

ACOSTA: Bush is throwing counterpunches in what may be a last-ditch effort to slam the brakes on Trump's fast-moving campaign and save his own.

BUSH: It's a long list of things that Donald Trump says that disparages people. I find it remarkable that as a candidate for president he would think that that's evidence that he's a strong person. He's not.

ACOSTA: The two men are at war on Twitter. Trump tweeting everybody is laughing at Jeb Bush. Spent $100 million as a bottom of pack, a pathetic figure. And Bush swinging back, reminding voters of Trump's attacks on John McCain, a former New Hampshire winner. Bush tweeted, "You aren't just a loser. You're a liar and a whiner." Trump told Wolf Blitzer, Bush is losing his nerve.

TRUMP: He's a sad person who has gone absolutely crazy. I mean, this guy is a nervous wreck. I've never seen anything like it.

ACOSTA: Their brawl comes as a new CNN/WMUR poll shows Trump still way out in front. One key question heading into the primary is how much damage was done to Marco Rubio after his shaky debate performance over the weekend.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Here's the bottom- line, this notion that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing is just not true.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There it is. There it is. To memorize 25 seconds speech. There it is, everybody.

ACOSTA: Chris Christie says it proves that Rubio is not ready for primetime.

CHRISTIE: When the lights get that bright, you shine or you melt. We cannot afford to have a president who melts.

ACOSTA: Rubio had no regrets.

RUBIO: People keep, you know, there's in the present where, you know, why do you keep saying the same thing about Obama trying to change America? I'm going to keep saying it a million times because I believe it's true. ACOSTA: Also unclear is how well John Kasich and Ted Cruz will do.

They are also fighting for second place and Cruz appears to be downplaying expectations.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We never viewed any of these states as a must win. We're here in New Hampshire competing for the votes. And at this point, it's a turnout game.


ACOSTA: Now the Trump campaign is sounding much more confident about New Hampshire than about Iowa. Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski tells CNN Iowa is about informing voters about the caucus process whereas New Hampshire is about getting people from the polls. Lewandowski noted, you're not hearing Ted Cruz boast about his ground game here. And Erin, while it was a disappointing finish for Donald Trump in Iowa, things are shaping up here in New Hampshire for a very different night with Donald Trump -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jim Acosta. And OUTFRONT now, Sam Clovis, Donald Trump campaign co-chair and policy adviser. Andy Card from a White House chief of staff for President George W. Bush and a Jeb Bush supporter. And Alice Stewart, the senior communications adviser for Ted Cruz.

All right. We're in the final hours. And you know, it's nice. It's nice when they provide the entertainment that they provided today. I'm talking about Jeb Bush and Donald Trump. But why is Donald Trump spending time saying I'm fighting with Jeb Bush? Donald Trump at the striking poll, is at 31 percent. Jeb is at seven. Is it worth Donald Trump's time?

[19:05:14] SAM CLOVIS, NATIONAL CO-CHAIR, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Well, I think maybe he thinks it is or he wouldn't do it. I think the issue is that he never has gone after anybody that hasn't gone after him first. He defends himself and he defends himself very well. And so, we have -- you know, we're within, you know, the time for people to start voting here in just a few hours here in New Hampshire. And I think the only poll that counts and the only thing that matters is what's going to happen when the polls close tomorrow night and then we count the votes.

BURNETT: So, Andy, here's Jeb Bush talking to Dana Bash earlier today as part of this battle was going on. Let me play it.


BUSH: He is a whiner. And I'm defending the honor of people that I really respect. I'm the only one taking him on. Everybody else runs away.


BUSH: Because they don't want to be attacked by the bully.


BURNETT: Jeb has said, you know, he would never talk like this. But in the final hours, he sounds exactly like Donald Trump. Will it work?

ANDREW CARD, JEB BUSH SUPPORTER: Well, first of all, Jeb Bush understands, this is about picking a president of the United States. It's not about sending a message. It's not about responding to frustration. We're actually picking a president of the United States. None of the candidates know this better than Jeb Bush. He knows what it means from having seen his dad serve and his brother serve as president the burdens of being president. And you have to have the courage to make tough decisions. You have to be a leader to lead people to do things.

BURNETT: But you don't think it's a bad thing that he's now using the same words that Donald Trump is using, that he's making it personal.

CARD: Well, I think that he's afraid for our country. I think he is afraid for our party. We want to see leadership that can make a difference for the world. And America is in a position where it has to command respect around the world. It had to earn admiration from our allies and we expect from our allies and admirations from the neutrals and it must introduce fear to our enemies. This is not the way to do it. The way Donald Trump is doing is not about leading America. And this is about leading America in a very troubled world. I think Jeb understands that.

BURNETT: Andy is sounding a little bit more like Alice, Jeb Bush has sounded a few weeks ago. Obviously he has changed his tone. Today Jeb Bush is saying, Donald Trump is a whiner and a loser, Donald Trump is saying, Jeb Bush is a pathetic person who is an embarrassment to his family. These are quotes. I'm not making this up. I asked you as Ted Cruz's communications director, who is right?

ALICE STEWART, SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS ADVISER, TED CRUZ CAMPAIGN: Well, I will say one thing emphatically is that, we are more than happy to sit back and watch them duke it out, and insult injury, insult at each other. Ted Cruz has never done that. He's not responding insults when they assaulted him. He's not going to respond when the two of them are doing it to each other. And if you'll notice, when he was attacked and when, you know, insults were thrown at him, he never responded in kind. He would respond on policies.

And when someone would misrepresent his record on the policies, he would respond in that fashion, but he's never going to do personal attacks on someone, he is not going to get down to that level. Because quite frankly, talk about earning the respect and admiration, Andy, Ted is out there looking to earn the respect and the support of the people of New Hampshire and that's what he's been doing. He's busy out there shaking hands and talking with voters. And that's really what this is about. It's much more than criticizing your opponent.

BURNETT: Sam, sir, you were jumping in there. CLOVIS: Well, I was going to jump in. I think the issue here -- and

that I don't want to push back. And I have a great deal of respect for Secretary Card and Alice is a dear friend, we've been friends for a long time. But we're not picking the President. The people of New Hampshire are going to pick the president. The people of the United States are going to pick the president. So, it's really up to the people to decide what temperament they want, what they're looking for in a president. And frankly, not very many candidates have tapped into what's going on in this country. It is the establishment of the party right now that is running scared because of the fact that they have an insurgency going on. We have several candidates that are leading that insurgency and we're appealing to the people. And so, what a concept, appeal to the people of the United States rather than to what goes on inside the beltway?

BURNETT: What's your bottom-line this time? How concerned are you? You know, coming in Iowa, you were in the lead in the polls.

CLOVIS: Well, yes.

BURNETT: Sense of confidence obviously, you know --

CLOVIS: Right.

BURNETT: It didn't turn out that way. Are you worried now? You've got a big lead. Do you think it's for real?

CLOVIS: Well, I think it's for real here because it's been consistent. I mean, we were not a consistent leader in Iowa. We were, you know, you have to remember that Ben Carson led for a while in Iowa. Ted pulled ahead for a while. And I have a great deal of respect for Senator Cruz, as you know. And so, you know, there I think, here we've been a lot more consistent with what's going on. And I think what we're going to see though is we're going to see who is going to come in second. I think that's going to be the fascinating aspect of the race.

BURNETT: And you think Ted Cruz can come in second? I know he's saying he doesn't need to win but seconds going to be crucial for you, Alice.

STEWART: Look, we've never been a single state strategy campaign. We have a national strategy. And while we're thrilled to have won the support by winning the Iowa Caucus a week ago this evening, we never expected to place number one here in New Hampshire. We expect, you know, certainly Donald Trump is faring well, but we have a multistate strategy. We're working out and connecting with the people here in New Hampshire, but we're going to hit a plane to South Carolina right after this. And what we're looking forward to is getting his consistent conservative message out there to the people of South Carolina and also expected to do well and as he speaks states as we get to March 1st and certainly March 15th. And that's been one of the successes of our campaign. People realize he's a consistent conservative in this race. Not a deal maker in Washington insider. And we have a long-term multistate strategy and the resources to execute that. [19:10:51] BURNETT: Right. Well, thank you all very much. It's

going to be an exciting 24 hours as we hear what the voters of New Hampshire do indeed have to say.

OUTFRONT next, Hillary Clinton trailing Bernie Sanders here in New Hampshire by a very big margin. This is people close to the campaign say Bill Clinton is not happy.

Plus, is former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg jumping into the race? He's speaking on the record about this for the first time tonight.

And should women vote for Hillary Clinton because she's a woman? We went to the ground today to talk to them.


[19:15:08] BURNETT: All right. We are back in New Hampshire live at The Foundry Restaurant in Manchester. Several people close to the Clinton campaign acknowledge that Bill Clinton has not been happy with his wife's campaign. A democratic source familiar with the Clintons telling CNN that the former president has been concern that the campaign has shown a quote, "Lack of imagination and hasn't been forward looking enough." Now, this comes before an expected loss in the New Hampshire primary here tomorrow. The latest CNN daily tracking poll shows Bernie Sanders with a commanding lead of 26 points over Clinton. And that has actually increased. It is three points higher than it was just a few days ago. And the frustration from the former president has been visible on the campaign trail. He's attacked Bernie Sanders calling him the champion of quote, "All things small and the enemy of all things big." A tactic that even he admits is a risky strategy.


FMR. PRES. BILL CLINTON (D), UNITED STATES: The hotter this election gets, the more I wish I were just a former president and just for a few months not the spouse of the next one because, you know, I have to be careful what I say.


BURNETT: Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT with me tonight. And Jeff, what is going on inside the Clinton campaign?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: I think first and foremost there is a sense that they miscalculated the energy behind Bernie Sanders. Months ago they thought he was, you know, kind of an interesting candidate who had the energy of the party behind him, but they did not he have the energy of real fundraising dollars behind him. Now he is a serious component, a serious challenger, largely because his tank is full of gas in terms of money. He's raising more money online than anyone ever has in terms of a candidate more than Barack Obama did.

So, he is using all the tools and that is making the campaign afraid. So, they're not quite sure how to deal with him. And on the verge of a potential loss here, they're wondering, you know, what should be done. So, there's always some things in Clinton world that, you know, some discontent, I think. And most of it I'm told is coming from Bill Clinton's side. She is happy with her team. But there is going to be some messaging shifting fear after New Hampshire I'm told.

BURNETT: Because he's starting to speak up it sounds like.


BURNETT: And sort of a reference to it that we just saw in the Trump's --

ZELENY: He's trying to draw people's attention to Bernie Sanders. I'm told that he does not believe that enough scrutiny, enough attention has been given to Bernie Sanders. He thinks he's gotten a free hall pass. And he sort of, he's taken things on himself to trying to slow that yesterday.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Jeff Zeleny is going to stay with me.

And our chief political correspondent Dana Bash joins us as well as Matthew Dowd, ABC News analyst and special correspondent. And Donna Brazile, a democratic strategist also with me.

OK. Thanks to all. So, Matthew, you were the chief strategist for the Bush/Cheney campaign during that race in 2004 then Senator John Kerry had a campaign overhaul that he went through. How significant is some of this reporting about discontent in the Clinton campaign?

MATTHEW DOWD, CHIEF STRATEGIST, 2004 BUSH-CHENEY PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Well, and they were -- it was discussed in 2004 after a bad summer he had. John Kerry had had a bad summer, came into September, he was behind. And I think there were some changes that they made. I think it's never a good sign when this happens. I remember here in New Hampshire in 2000 about the same exact time as we're here now when after George Bush lost by 18 points to John McCain, there was all kinds of conversations from the establishment that said he needed to fire his team and change his team. He had just suffered a huge loss.

George Bush actually at that moment said, I'm not going to change the team. They brought me here. They're going to take me there. This is who we are. And I think every campaign that has been successful, if you look back at the Clintons, at Barack Obama, at many of the campaigns, they've had a team that's been with them from day one, it's consistent with them throughout the campaign. This to me, I mean, in 2008, Hillary Clinton did this in 2008. She started shifting her team around in the aftermath of that. It's never a good sign. I think ultimately campaigns are reflection of candidates. And if you have a flawed campaign, you have a flawed candidate.

BURNETT: Which is just a powerful thing to say. I mean, Dana, you know former Obama aide David Axelrod actually tweeted about something sort of, it sounds like exactly what Matthew is saying. He said, "When the exact same problems crop up in separate campaigns with different staff, at what point did the principals say, hey, maybe it's us." Again, referring back to the Clinton campaign last time around and here we are. Is there a larger problem here?

BASH: There could be. Look, there's a saying that you guys know very well because you've been in politics for a long time. Fish rot from the head. And that is something that I think David Axelrod is trying to say. Let me just put this in context. He was a formidable opponent of Hillary Clinton in 2008. You know, and then they, of course, worked together at the White House and the Obama White House and so forth. But he is referring back to what Matthew was just talking about, what happened in 2008 when the Clinton campaign had to shake things up the last time.

It feels different this time that it's, you know, she went into the campaign saying, she's not going to have her kind of typical insular inner circle. And she did change things up a bit. But there's no question that Bill Clinton, it's obvious from your reporting and from what he's saying, who is still I think Republicans and Democrats agree the smartest political strategist out there --


BASH: He thinks that it's gone the wrong direction. So he's taking it into his own hands.

[19:20:29] BURNETT: And Donna, on that front, you know, Bill Clinton not happy. So, a source close to the Clintons tells CNN today that he is concerned about the campaign. That he's quoting, lack of imagination. And has not been forward looking enough. That's a pretty damning thing to say if it's true coming from him.

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, as you all know, I'm a former campaign manager. So, I want to tell those staffs, people working for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Go out there and bust, you know, bust your butts. Work hard. Forget all these process stories. You know, there's nothing more discouraging than the night before a big primary to see a bunch of pundits, to press people, to see the newspapers telling you you're not doing your damn job. These kids have been working their butts off. They have a strategy to win. They may not be able to come in first place.

Bernie may come in first place, but for those of us who are grown-ups, to start criticizing them, to start finger pointing, no. I think it's a bad strategy. And I hope, I hope these stories go away. John Podesta has tweeted out also. And he said it's not happening. Now, whether their strategy needs to change, we have 55 more contests. We've got New Hampshire and then of course South Carolina, Nevada, Super Tuesday, and beyond. But I hope those kids go out there and I say kids because, you know, I'm a kid, too, at heart. But go out there and knock on doors, drag them out, and get them out to vote and then we'll fear it out.

BASH: But Donna, it's not, you know, it's not the kids. It's not the people who are knocking on doors. And it's not us. It's not the point of a circular firing squad, but this is coming from within the camp.

BRAZILE: Yes, of course. I mean, I was managing campaigns and people kept telling me, I'm going to get fired, I'm going to get fired. I'm like, you know, I'm going to do my job. And guess what, Al Gore won every contest. Every contest. And every time I went out there, people doubted my ability to carry on my work. And it's unfair to the people who are doing this. Those democratic officials, those campaign officials who have backed Biden and hitting these kids, they're the ones who should be fired.

ZELENY: And Hillary Clinton said it herself today. It's time to take stock of things after New Hampshire. So, I think that is going to happen, I'm told no one will be fired, but a message person in the weeks to come, they're going to add to it which is normal. That's not that unusual.

DOWD: If she wants to take stock, I think the first thing she should do is go buy a mirror and look in it because the problem isn't the campaign officials. The problem isn't all the workers as Donna mentions. The problem isn't some tactical problem. The problem isn't some strategy to mess up. And the problem is, they have a candidate that has been a flawed candidate from the very beginning. Will she ultimately win? Probably, but she is a flowed candidate. And when you look at the landscape of this, and we've set all, we've talked about this all along, this is a 74-year-old democratic socialist who now looks like he's going to beat Hillary Clinton in the state she beat Barack Obama in eight years ago.

And when you look forward, even if she gets through this problem, she goes into a general election as unpopular as Donald Trump is. And all of these questions we keep asking about is, are the Republicans going to elect an unelectable candidate, the Democrats should be asking the same question in their primary.

BRAZILE: I agree that everyone needs to take a look in the mirror every now and then. Because after all you might see things you didn't noticed before. But I also believe that she has not only the experience, but the values to lead. And when people -- people who are in line with Bernie and not necessarily against Hillary -- her favorability in a democratic primary is still 86, 87 percent match. I don't see this as being flawed. I see it on different electorate, people who want to move beyond what I call the piece that we have not. They want a fighter. They want somebody who can imagine a different future and that's why Bernie is so attracted to them. But we're going to get to the general election, I just think right now the Clinton campaign needs to focus on job number one.


BRAZILE: That is getting out there and vote.

BURNETT: Final word, Jeff.

ZELENY: I think the final word is, we'll see what the outcome is here tomorrow. That is going to tell us how urgently any of these changes will be. If it's a big loss for her, I think there will be pressure from donors, from the outside to do something. If it's not so bad, I think she'll be able to do it for. But the big challenge still is raising money. Bernie Sanders is been, his average contribution of $27, he mentioned it all the time. That is real. They can give and give and give and give again. So that's real.

BRAZILE: That's real.

BURNETT: And he talked about it today, you know, very passionately as we all saw at another rally in Manchester. Thanks so much to all of you.

And OUTFRONT next, we'll show you where Donald Trump is right now about to speak live to supporters right here in Manchester, New Hampshire. He says he's stepped up his ground game. Will it deliver, though, the big win that he must have tomorrow? And Hillary Clinton trailing badly among younger women voters. Why are they picking Sanders over here? We talked to some today.


[19:28:58] BURNETT: And we're back live in Manchester, New Hampshire. You are looking at live pictures where Donald Trump will be speaking to supporters at a rally not far from here. We actually drove by two hours ago and saw a line of at least 100 people already waiting to get in and it was snowing heavily and it is cold here, it is frigid. And they were all waiting to see the Republican frontrunner. On the eve of the primary tonight, Trump is making a major effort trying to improve his ground game making multiple campaign stuffs today. But will it be enough to get him his first win, because it needs to be a win and it needs to be a resounding one.

Sara Murray is OUTFRONT.


SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's Donald Trump lands his first victory of 2016 in New Hampshire Tuesday, even he says it won't be because of his ground game.

TRUMP: You know, personally I think the debate tonight is more important than the ground game because in New Hampshire, the people, they like you. And they're going to go out and they're going to vote and they're going to go back. You know, there's not so much of a ground game.

MURRAY: That's not stopping Trump's team from putting it on display.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you mind if we ask your supporter, Mr. Trump?

MURRAY: After barring reporters from campaign offices in Iowa --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been told to --


[19:30:01] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no comment on any matter.

MURRAY (voice-over): Trump shifted stances in the wake of his second place finish, allowing reporters to tag along with volunteers. JAMES RADCLIFFE, TRUMP CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER: By far, we have the most

organized, the most passionate team. The fire is lit in our bellies, and we're going for it every day.

MURRAY: The team is led by campaign manager and long time New Hampshire operative Corey Lewandowski. He has experience in the nitty-gritty of voter registration. But his efforts to ramp up Trump's ground game appear to rest on a flimsy foundation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're Donald Trump volunteers and we're going around.

MURRAY: According to campaign finance reports, Trump has spent little on data or voter targeting, a cornerstone of rival campaigns.

For eight months, Marco Rubio's camp has been knocking on doors and making phone calls, laying the ground work for late breaking voters.

KATHY BOVE, RUBIO CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER: New Hampshire listens and they wait and wait to make up their mind.

MURRAY (on camera): Is it driving you crazy the number of people still undecided?

MARTY BOVE, RUBIO CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER: Well, not really because I'm used to it.

MURRAY (voice-over): Just days before the primary, Trump was still soliciting volunteers.

Meanwhile, John Kasich's campaign brought in several out of state helpers, putting them up in farm houses and supporters living room and dispatching them daily.

SUSAN O'BRIEN, KASICH CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER: By the end of the day, I was really tired.

MURRAY: All to persuade New Hampshire's coveted independents to vote for Kasich.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope you will join me of supporting John Kasich for president on February 9th.

MURRAY: As other camps put their trust and turnout efforts. Trump is still betting on celebrity, adding the kinds of retail stops he regularly skipped in Iowa, and pressing voters to show up for him or not at all.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A lot of these politicians say, it's not important who you vote for, but you have to go through the process. I feel differently. If you're not going to vote for me, do not vote.


MURRAY: Now, despite Donald Trump's ground game challenges, the ease of the New Hampshire primary process and a large of number of independent voters here could still work to his advantage. And I talk to a number of rival campaign who say they still expect Donald Trump to win here in New Hampshire on primary night, even if his ground game is not as strong as some of his competitors -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Sara, thanks so much.

And back with me now, ABC News analyst and special correspondent Matthew Dowd and chief political correspondent Dana Bash.

All right, Dana, so this whole question about ground game, and, you know, he got slammed for that in Iowa and he paid a price for that. But by the time he got to New Hampshire, it's too late to suddenly put in place a deep ground game. So, is he still going to be able to win?

BASH: Well, that's the big question, right? I talked to Donald Trump yesterday backstage before his big rally in Plymouth, New Hampshire, and talked to him about the ground game and about where things are. I thought he had a very interesting answer. Take a listen.


TRUMP: I've given them the product, the product is me in a sense. But you can have all of that in the world. If you don't have the right person, it's not going to matter, OK? So, up here, we've done well.

BASH: But are you like the CEO of your campaign?


BASH: What's the phone operation?

TRUMP: Yes, but I still believe the most important thing is the person doing the talking and the message. I think that's more important than people knocking on doors.


BASH: So, it's kind of an extension of what we were talking about in the last segment about it all stemming from the candidate. That is true.

But, Matthew, you know. I remember covering the campaign that you helped run in 2004, the Bush campaign. I mean, it is also very, very much a science. You do need an organization to really do it for the long haul.


BASH: In a place like New Hampshire where he does apparently have passion and excitement and enthusiasm for him, it might not matter.

The other thing I just want to underscore that Sara had in her piece, he does have a campaign manager who knows New Hampshire. He's from here. He gets it. He's worked here before in politics. That also matters.

BURNETT: So, I know you think he's going to be able to pull it out. But how big does the margin need to be for everyone to once again say, it's Trump's race?

DOWD: Well, I agree with Donald Trump in what he said, which is it's the candidate and the message that's more important. I would add momentum is another important thing in ground game. I think the ground game matters very little here in New Hampshire, much less in Iowa. But I think the ground game is going to matter in who finishes second, third, fourth, and fifth.

I think Donald Trump, if he had a great ground game, could take him from 29 to 30, or 30 to 31. That's the only difference it's going to make. If he loses here, it's not going to be because of ground game. It's because there was a Three-Mile Island incident and there was a nuclear incident and it all fell apart. I think --

BURNETT: The undecideds seem to be even greater than his support. I mean, I guess that seems to be the big question, could that swing dramatically against him?

DOWD: Well, I think what usually happens in undecideds is undecideds split all over, or they go with the latest person getting momentum. I think the undecideds are more have to go today after the debate on Saturday night to somebody like John Kasich than somebody else. And I think what it does is causes a convergence of the path beneath Donald Trump. And I think that's where the ground game I think will be most determinative of who finishes in what place.

[19:35:04] BURNETT: So, how many people come out of New Hampshire? And I ask this to both of you. I mean, how many people come out of New Hampshire viable, able to win the nomination? That's just not how well you place here. It's what kind of a ground game you have in the next state already in place and money.

BASH: Well, the question how many people come out of here and how many people come out of here viable are two really different questions because there are certainly some candidates who will limp out of New Hampshire and limp south to South Carolina without dropping out, but may be dead men walking.

DOWD: I agree with Dana on this. I would say right now, there's three tickets already punched out of New Hampshire. Those three tickets are Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio. They're going to go on and they're viable in the remaining states going that come forward.

I think the next question, depending on what happens, is there's either one more ticket punched or two more ticket punched. I think that's what the fight is over. It's, can John Kasich, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush give that extra ticket or add a new one to it. So, I think it's at most five, but probably four.

BASH: And on that note, a smart Republican here told me today that they really think that of the three governors you were just talking about, Kasich, Christie, and Bush, one gets out. Again, they might not actually formally say, I'm out of the race. They might make their way to South Carolina, but they will really be --

BURNETT: It will be clear. The writing will be on the wall.

BASH: Yes.

DOWD: Three are coming out.

BURNETT: For sure.

DOWD: It's just a question of whether it's one or two more, and I agree with that.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both very much.

And OUTFRONT next, Hillary Clinton with feminist icons from Gloria Steinem to Katy Perry on her side. Feminist icon, we just anointed you Katy Perry.

Why isn't she doing better with women voters? It's a serious question.

And a move that would dramatically shake up the 2016 race. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is he running for president? Today he breaks his silence. We'll tell you what he said.


[19:40:43] BURNETT: We are back live in Manchester, New Hampshire, and the snow is coming down, coming down pretty heavily as it has been throughout the day.

But there were still rallies. We were at the Bernie Sanders rally. I saw hundreds of people lined up at a Donald Trump rally that is beginning now. People are out.

There's a little emergency light that flashes above the lights when they say the city of Manchester is a snow emergency. It is flashing everywhere and yet the streets are still packed. They are used to it here, but the weather is definitely tough right now with the snow.

The Hillary Clinton campaign is pushing the historic nature of her campaign. They've been doing it here in New Hampshire and around the country on the campaign website. At least one of the reasons Clinton should win the election, because little girls should grow up in an America where TV can be anything they want to be, including president of the United States.

But is that really a reason? Is the message getting through to women voters or not?

Brianna Keilar is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And, yes, let's imagine, finally, making sure women finally get equal pay for equal work in America.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hillary Clinton fighting for every vote on the last day before the crucial New Hampshire primary, including a crucial voting bloc, young women.

Madeleine Albright addressing the issue this weekend.

MADELEINE ALBIRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other.

KEILAR: But Albright's rallying cry angered a lot of young women, for whom gender isn't a driving issue in this election.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My response is there's a special place in hell for women who vote for women just because they are women.

KEILAR: And feminist icon Gloria Steinem tried to explain why polls showed young women going heavily for Bernie Sanders.

GLORIA STEINEM, JOURNALIST: First of all, women get more radical as we get older. When you're young, you're thinking, you know, where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie.

KEILAR: According to the latest "Wall Street Journal"/NBC News poll in New Hampshire, 64 percent of Democratic women under 45 support Sanders. Clinton does better among women over 45, leading Sanders by nine points.

In Sunday, Clinton addressed the issue, reminding voters that the playing field isn't level for women.

H. CLINTON: We are still living with a double standard. I don't know anything other than to do than to just keep forging through it and just taking the slings and arrows that come with being a woman in the arena.

KEILAR: Bill Clinton has been making the case, calling out young males Sanders supporter so-called "Bernie bros" for online attacks against his wife.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: She and other people who have gone online to defend Hillary and explain -- just explain -- why they supported her have been subject to vicious trolling and attacks that are literally too profane often, not to mention sexist to repeat.

KEILAR: Sanders has rejected that tactic.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Anybody who is supporting me as doing sexist things is -- we don't want them. I don't want them. That is not what this campaign is about.

KEILAR: But in a state that she won in 2008, Clinton has acknowledged that this time around, a comeback in New Hampshire may not be in the cards.

H. CLINTON: I know I've got an uphill climb.


KEILAR: And this issue really erupting onto the campaign trail here today, Erin. Behind me is Emily Ratajkowski. She's a Bernie Sanders surrogate. She's a model and actress.

And she riled up this crowd a short time ago asking, "Why am I here? I'm not here for the boys."

I actually spoke with her just a moment ago, and she said, look, what many young women who are Bernie Sanders supporters have been feeling. They look up to Gloria Steinem, but they felt her comments were off base -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Brianna.

So, you know, Hillary Clinton needs these young female voters. She needs them because, you know, you need women to win. The women are an important part of the electorate. You can't win without them.

Governor Jennifer Granholm joins me, senior adviser to Correct the Record, the pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC.

So, I went to a Bernie Sanders rally today. There were a lot of young people there, young women. Emily Johnson was one of them, 23 years old. She's voting for Bernie Sanders because of his energy policy. The only other person she looked at was Hillary Clinton.

So, I asked her about Madeleine Albright and that line about there's a special place in hell for women who don't support other women, or don't vote for a woman. Here's her response to that.


EMILY JOHNSON, BERNIE SANDRES SUPPORTER: I think that's pretty ridiculous.

[19:45:00] I think, you know, sexism is about or being a feminist is about just seeing everyone as equal. I'm going to vote for Hillary because she's a woman. I'm going to vote for the candidate, man or woman, who aligns with my views.


BURNETT: And what do you have to say to that? There was another young woman I spoke to off camera who said the same thing. She said men and women are equal. Why does it matter whether I vote for a woman?

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CORRECT THE RECORD: I mean, this is such a profound generational issue. So, Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem are people whose pictures I have on my walls because they're like figures in that next generation that I looked up to and I worked my whole life to be able to get to this moment where I can pull the lever for the most qualified person who shares my values and she happens to be a woman, which is like the trifecta for me. That is so awesome.

She would say, Hillary Clinton would say, we don't want anybody to vote for this campaign because I'm a woman. Vote because I have policies that I have been working on and care about and can get done that will better your life.

We understand young women don't want to vote for a symbol. They want to vote for policies and somebody they believe in and I think you have to respect where they are. These young women who see they believe choosing because of gender is wrong. I think that choosing because of somebody who has prioritized your issues is a really good thing and she has. Universal pre-K and paid maternity live --

BURNETT: What about one of the reasons to vote for her is so your daughter can be anything she wants? I mean, perhaps we're already. These young women think they can --

GRANHOLM: Well, all right, if we were there, there's 227 years that we've had a man in charge of this country. We're not there yet.

They are only 5 percent of the corporate CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies. Only 10 percent of the women who -- of the governors are women. We are not there. We've got a long way to go.

But what's on the website is it's a reason. She doesn't want people to vote for her for that being the sole reason. She is -- I mean, because otherwise, you know, she would say, vote for Sarah Palin, nobody is saying that.

Vote for somebody who shares your values, who can get plans done, which is what she is saying, and who can prioritize what's important for you. So, she's going to work really hard to earn these women's vote. She's going to work really hard to try to win them back. But even if she doesn't, she's still prioritizing those issues.

Let me just take another thing here. I mean, for -- I'm a mother of millennials, two millennial daughters. For those of us women like me who have fought and who broke a lot of glass ceilings, I'm still brushing the shards of glass from my hair from the ceilings that I've been able to break through and it's been hard, we've done so that our daughters can say, oh, my God, anything is possible for me.

And for us, we just hope that our daughters see this as an opportunity to pull the lever for somebody who shares their values and who happens to be a woman.

BURNETT: All right. Jennifer Granholm, thank you very much.


BURNETT: The passionate defense there of Hillary Clinton.

And next, will the former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg run for president? Well, there's been speculation about it. And now, he's speaking for the first time. That's next.

And then, Jeanne Moos on the Republican candidates' less than grand entrance.


[19:51:58] BURNETT: All right. Breaking news: for the first time, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg admits he is considering a run for the White House. In an interview with "The Financial Times", the billionaire said he was, quote, "looking at all of the options" and he finds with both Republicans and Democrats, quote, "the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters."

Phil Mattingly has been covering the stories since we first started hearing rumblings about a possible run.

But this is the first time he's weighed in and spoken about it, Phil, which takes it to a whole new level.


What he has said basically, according to people familiar with the Bloomberg political operation is essentially he's said on the record what he's been saying behind closed doors for the last couple of weeks, Erin. The dynamics of this race are still very intriguing to him and he still believes there's a possibility of an open door. Right now he's waiting to get back some polling and he also wants to see what happens here in New Hampshire over the next 24 hours. That could play a huge role into whether or not he decides to make that jump -- Erin.

BURNETT: And, you know, a few weeks ago, we were hearing, he'd only get in if it looked like Trump and Sanders would be in the general election. I mean, there was this sort of, you know, math that he had done, that's the way it had to be in order for it to make sense for him to run.

Obviously, we don't know if that's going to be the case but he's indicating that he's serious about this possibility. Has his thinking shifted that he might get in any scenario?

MATTINGLY: I think he's thinking is more or less in the same place, but I think the timeline is shifting right now. Look, what he said on the record in that interview is what I have heard from a number of people from behind the scenes. He has to make the decision by early March to get on the ballot. One of the key components in New Hampshire is watching what happens with the Republican race where Donald Trump has a double-digit lead and the Democratic race where Bernie Sanders has the double-digit lead.

As you noted, Erin, those are the two candidates he's been pointing to that will help move that decision along, depending on how they do. And if they succeed, like polling looks like they're going to at this point, that could help boost him into the rest. But, Erin, it's the timeline that's the biggest issue right now. He only has until early March, likely.

BURNETT: All right. Phil Mattingly, thank you.

That would just make this race even more exciting which is, of course, hard to imagine for all of us.

OUTFRONT next, confusion for the GOP candidates. Jeanne Moos with how their debate got off to a roaring stop.


[19:58:00] BURNETT: One takeaway from the most recent GOP debate is this one: even the best-laid plans often go astray. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The desperate gestures of a backstage handler told a story of one website called "a chain reaction of cringe".

Sure, it could have been worse. No one fell like Miss America. No one got a concussion like Conan did or trip over a red carpet while signing their national anthem on skates.

Nope, the debate -- was just incredibly awkward, starting when Ben Carson didn't respond to his name -- for the obvious reason.


MOOS: And just when Carson is seen ready to advance --

ANNOUNCER: Texas Senator Ted Cruz --

MOOS: Ted Cruz cruised by and Donald Trump seemed to miss his name and brushed by with a tap and a "see you later guys" expression.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is something that you will never see again, Jeb Bush passing Donald Trump.

MOOS: When the moderators finally introduced only four were there, Chris Christie volunteered.


ANNOUNCER: Yes, yes.

MOOS: "What a mess", tweeted Wendy Williams, which prompted a Carson defender to bring up a dramatic entrance Wendy made on stage.

Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib wanted to celebrate on the Super Bowl post game show but he more or less tackled himself, crashing the set.


MOOS: Sometimes your entrance can go just fine and then it's time for your exit.

Remember when President Bush had trouble handling the locked door handles in China.

On "The View," the hosts created a Republican snafu. They made their entrance.

But when it comes to hailing these chiefs, better hail them louder.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


MOOS: Thanks for joining us live from New Hampshire tonight.

"AC360" starts now.