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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Republicans Court Evangelical Vote In South Carolina; Clinton Picks Up Big Endorsement in South Carolina; Tight Race For Tomorrow's Democratic Caucus in Nevada; The African American Vote; Remembering Justice Sacalia; Antonin Scalia Honored At Supreme Court; Remembering Harper Lee. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired February 19, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:21] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.
In just a few hours, South Carolina Republicans go to the polls as the state party likes to say, we pick presidents. And you can bet the candidates know that. They know this is where Ronald Reagan stopped George H. W. Bush in 1980 and went on to the White House. They know this is where George W. Bush stopped John McCain in 2000. And they understand how they do tomorrow could take them all the way or could stop them cold, which is why they are stumping late into the night tonight. That's they have been making headlines all day. We will be monitoring their events in case they make some more news tonight.
We will also show you what to look out for tomorrow night in South Carolina and with the Democratic caucus in Nevada so you can get an early read on the final outcome. And, of course, a team of correspondents out in the field. Sara Murray on the Trump campaign. Sunlen Serfaty covering Ted Cruz. Phil Mattingly with Rubio effort and Athena Jones covering Jeb Bush.
First, Sara Murray on Donald Trump, also joins us from North Charleston.
So what is Trump doing in the final hours before voters head to the polls?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, Anderson, I think you are seeing a Donald Trump and a campaign that is confident but really sprinting to the finish. Trump just stuck around his event for 30 minutes after it wrapped and shake hands of voters, to talk to voters here. They are cramming in as many stops at possible because they don't want to take anything for granted. Yes, they had a big win in New Hampshire. Yes, things look solid in South Carolina but they remember Iowa where the polls had them ahead and where they did not come out on top. And they are trying to do everything they can not to repeat a similar scenario here in South Carolina.
COOPER: Donald Trump called for a boycott of all apple products today, right?
MURRAY: Yes, you would think that his number one rival today would be one of the Republicans he is running against. But in fact, Donald Trump was taking aim at one of the leading tech companies. Take a listen to what he had to say at his earlier event.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I think you ought to do is boycott Apple until such time as they give that security number. How do you like? I just thought -- boycott Apple. We ought to get to the bottom of it. And you are not going to get to the bottom of it unless we use common sense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: Now, the reason he is so mad at Apple is because the company is still refusing to unlock one of the iPhones that belong to one of the San Bernardino killers. To Trump that is unacceptable. But, if you heard him there, this was a hastily called boycott. He seemed to have just come up with that today. And that was evident at his event here tonight. There were still volunteers who were selling Trump merchandise and they are using iPads to do it, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Sara Murray, I guess the message didn't filter down.
Now, Ted Cruz who won Iowa on the strength of evangelical voters and he is counting on them again this time. He has got a late event tonight in Greenville using every hour possible to narrow the polling advantage that Trump has had for weeks now. Hitting him today for saying he would be quote "sort of a neutral guy in negotiating an end to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Sunlen Serfaty joins us now with all the latest.
Cruz is in an interesting spot here. I mean, he is trying to fend off Trump and Rubio. How does the camp feel they're doing?
SUNLEN SERFATY, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I don't think they view it as definitely too hurdled, both Trump and Rubio. The quick campaign really see this as a package deal that Rubio and Trump face writ large to Ted Cruz. And this is really the crack of what the challenge for Ted Cruz here in South Carolina has always been. That he has had to try to keep both Trump and Rubio at bay. And this week we really saw him almost do gymnastics, wiggling between, arguing his multi-front battle between two very different candidates.
The Cruz campaign's goal coming out of South Carolina, they want to make sure that Donald Trump does not blow everyone out of the water, but also make sure they do much better than Marco Rubio. They want to be able to argue leaving the state, going on to other states that Marco Rubio has marginalized, that he is now the alternative to Trump and to make sure they are within striking distance of Trump for the races going forward.
COOPER: Is Cruz doing anything different in the final hours?
SERFATY: Well, he is definitely bringing a new urgent tone to his final closing message. He just wrapping up a few rallies here tonight. He has one more left. And really, almost offering up a much more blunt assessment of the race. I'm seeing point blank to voters, really laying out what the world in his opinion would look like if they choose the wrong Republican. That phrase wrong Republican was something we heard from Cruz many times during the day.
He is also at every turn really laying into his opponents looking for any opening. Tonight really taking a big jab at Donald Trump on the core part of Trump's campaign. His campaign slogan saying, you know, anyone can put a make America great on a baseball cap but asking voters do you understand what makes America great in the first place.
COOPER: Sunlen, thanks very much.
As for Marco Rubio, we have seen his momentum rise and fall and rise again. Tomorrow, obviously, is crucial. He too, making his final push and making it late, holding his final event tonight at 10:00 p.m. For more on what his campaign believes that needs to do, let's go now to Phil Mattingly in Charleston.
So Rubio has been a lot of this week battling obviously with Ted Cruz. But his message has shifted a bit today. What is he saying?
[20:05:20] PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, his final pitch, his really final argument, Anderson, is twofold. The first is he is the unity candidate. He is the one candidate that can take this fractious party and such a fractious debate and really bring all of the various factions together behind him. He is the one candidate that everybody can coalesce behind.
The second, the future is now. And the campaign is not being very subtle as they try to get that message across. As they end each of their rallies on stage joining Marco Rubio is South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley. The young rising star with an 80 percent approval rating who many think is a vice presidential contender. Also of Indian- American descent. Tim Scott joining him as well, the lone African- American senator in the U.S. Senate and Trey Gowdy, another rising star, all joining together on stage for the perfect photo op moment. The Rubio campaign really trying to drive home, Anderson, that the future is now and he is the candidate to bring that forward.
COOPER: What's the best case and worst case scenario for Rubio tomorrow?
MATTINGLY: They really are very drastically different. The best case scenario perhaps is that he catches Ted Cruz and takes second place. Rides that Nikki Haley endorsement from earlier in the week to a big performance here that really sends him shooting off into Super Tuesday. A place he's not expected to rack up a lot of wins but possibly some delegates and put him in place to succeed come March 8th, March 15th. And as they move in to winner take-all states, the opposite of that is him falling behind somebody like former Florida governor Jeb Bush or even Ohio governor John Kasich.
Anderson, of that occurs, it is beyond the worst case scenario for Marco Rubio. It could be potentially campaign ending. His campaign advisers don't believe they are in that position right now. The former is the much likelier situation. But still something to keep a very close eye on tomorrow night in South Carolina, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. Particularly we'll watch how that Nikki Haley endorsement made a difference if it did.
Phil, thanks very much.
Believe it or not, the South Carolina Republican primary only dates back to 1980. Back then, as we said, the name Bush was on the ballot, 36 years later it still is. Barbara Bush who is there at the beginning and still fighting hard for the family name.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY: What's left for me to say is that Jeb has been a great son, great father, great husband, married well and is one of my four favorite sons.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That is her closing argument.
Joining us, Athena Jones in Columbia.
I mean, Bush is really pushing to boost his campaign with a win in South Carolina. What's his final message to voters tonight?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He is, Anderson. Bush is doing everything he can to have a strong finish here. Ideally, third place or better. He has already brought out his father. Now his mother is campaigning with him. Of course, the idea is to remind South Carolina voters how much they like the Bush family and to hopefully make that translate into votes.
He is arguing he has a steady hand, a proven record, the executive experience to lead. Things he says his rivals don't have. When it comes to Senator Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, he says they are gifted speakers but don't have the record of accomplishment that can compare to his record as the governor of Florida. And when it comes to Trump, he says that he is unstable. That he is selling himself as a conservative when he isn't a conservative. He says he' has changed his stance on issues like partial birth abortion and now on the Iraq war having said all along he was against it. We now find out at one point he said he was for it. He said that you can't trust Donald Trump. He is going to morph and morph n morph and mirror whatever the current thinking is. So that is the latest version of an argument he has been making pretty much all along. The question is, is it connecting?
COOPER: And I assume his campaign will try to say a third place finish would be a win for Bush?
JONES: Absolutely a third place finish would be a win. Coming out of New Hampshire, remember, in his speech on primary night he said to New Hampshire voters, you have given me the chance to move on to South Carolina where we are going to do very well. His campaign, and now talking points about how this was his best early state. He had the strongest organization. So in many ways they raised the bar for themselves here.
And I asked what does it look like to do well here? And they argued that beating the non-Trump, non-Cruz candidates would be doing well. That's third place. The question now is can he do that? Most polls show him in fourth place behind Marco Rubio. An aide told me earlier this week that if he were to finish maybe a close fourth, they might be able to make an argument for continuing. But certainly tomorrow night, it is going to play a big role in whatever decision they make.
COOPER: Athena, thanks for the reporting.
Joining us now, someone who knows the lay of the political land better than almost anyone in South Carolina, Katon Dawson, former chairman of the South Carolina Republican party. Also Hogan Gidley, who advised the Huckabee campaign and served the 2012 national communications director to Rick Santorum. And of course, chief national correspondent and anchor of "INSIDE POLITICS," John King.
Katon, what is your sense on how this is going to play out tomorrow because I mean, we have been talking every day. And every day seems to be changing a little bit and there is a lot of undecided voters. How is it looking?
[20:10:12] KATON DAWSON, FORMER CHAIRMAN, SOUTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN PARTY: The undecided voters started moving after last night, Anderson. I mean, I watched people solidifying today. I myself went and voted. Huge crowds. The largest numbers we've ever seen coming in to do our version of early vote is absentee voting in person. So there's a big ground swell of voters coming. They started making their minds up today, you know.
We can all pontificate about what's going on. Certainly all the camps have given it their best. Some hadn't been taken well by the voters. This is the season, as you said Anderson, that experience doesn't matter. If it did, then Rick Perry 14 years, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, this is one like I don't think we'll see again anytime soon. But I do think that the top three are going to be able to punch tickets out here and maybe Kasich who could be a fourth place ticket will move on. But I think there are going to be some people seriously exiting the race sometime early next week would be my opinion.
COOPER: John King, I mean, if Donald Trump wins South Carolina, a lot of polls, obviously, have shown him out in front for a long time now. That would be two key states in a row. How tough would it be for anyone else to stop him after that?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tough, but not impossible, Anderson. But very tough.
I want to give you a little piece of history. No one in the Republican side has ever won New Hampshire and won South Carolina and not been the Republican nominee. So if Donald Trump wins tomorrow night after winning New Hampshire, you would have to rewrite history for him not to be the Republican nominee.
Now, this is a year in which we are rewriting a lot of the rules. So it guarantees nothing but it would propel him into the south into those March 1 states and beyond with a lot of momentum. And it would also puncture the strategic framework, strategic premise of the Ted Cruz candidacy. That he could win with evangelicals in Iowa, come into an evangelical state like South Carolina and unlike Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee before him, prove that he has money, a deeper organization and a slightly broader message and take it south with some wins.
So a Donald Trump win would be dramatically big for him. Again send him on. Not impossible to stop as the race winnows down, as Katon said, but with a lot of win at his back.
COOPER: And Hogan, certainly, you know, the battle for, whether it's second or third or fourth, but the battle for that establish -- so- called establishment lane, that's something to watch for as well.
HOGAN GIDLEY, FORMER SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS ADVISER, HUCKABEE FOR PRESIDENT: Absolutely. I mean, that's where Marco Rubio is. That's where he wants to live. He wants to do better than Bush here so he kind of push Bush out of the race and hopefully coalesce a lot of the establishment both behind him.
But Katon made an interesting point. Experience doesn't seem to matter in this for whatever reason. I mean, voters want somebody to cut taxes, balance budgets, protect life. None of these senators has even been able to come close to doing that. In fact, Ted Cruz's spokesman the other day made a comment he voted for a continuing resolution on life and that was important.
Continuing resolution, well, color me appeased. And that doesn't mean anything to anybody. These governors have been able to do these things, actually get accomplishments done and it seems like voters don't care at all. It's an amazing election cycle. But to pay attention to the governors -- to dismiss the governors and pay attention to folks who promise things they have absolutely no record of actually accomplishing is amazing. And that's what we're going to see tomorrow. Will they go with Trump? Will they go with Cruz? Will they go with Rubio? It looks like that's how they'll finish, one, two and three, and it's going to shake things up for the states to come for sure.
COOPER: Yes. Well, we will watch as the vote comes in.
We are going to take a quick break. We are going to have more with our panelists when we come back.
As candidates make their final push, John King will show us the keys to victory in South Carolina and, of course, in Nevada and the signs that we can all keep an eye on tomorrow night.
And later, remembering two giants in their respective fields, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia and author Harper Lee.
[20:17:34] COOPER: Less than 11 hours to go until polls open in South Carolina. Big day for Republicans there. Big day tomorrow as well for Democrats in Nevada where they are holding caucuses. Each contest for each party vastly different than the ones in New Hampshire and Iowa, obviously. And unlike those two states who have seen less polling in the run-up to South Carolina and nearly none until recently in Nevada. So the question is, what's can viewers look for tomorrow in both states which is why it makes sense to ask chief national correspondent John King what he's looking for by the numbers.
John, I mean, we discussed in the past how Latinos, African-Americans are critical in Nevada. What else are you going to be looking for?
KING: Let's go out and look at the map, Anderson, as we raised those questions. As you know, African-Americans and Latinos, the first diverse democratic electorate. Here is the couple of other things to look at. I want to go back to the 2008 math as we do.
Hillary Clinton won the state over then senator Obama. But senator Obama got more delegates. We want to score this two ways tomorrow, who wins the popular vote, but who gets the most delegates because we expect this race to go on for a while.
A couple of things to look, number one, the hugging Obama strategy. There has been Hillary Clinton, does it work in a state that by most economic indicators is way below the national average. Remember Nevada was so punished in the recession. Its unemployment rate is still 6.4 percent. Way above the national average, housing statistics, median income statistics. This is a place the economy is still hurting. Can Bernie Sanders take advantage of that?
One more question for you, where does the union vote go? The most powerful union in the state, the culinary workers are not endorsing this time. They endorsed Obama last time. There has been a lot of split between national unions and local unions and the Clinton family's race. It was 29 percent of the vote last time. Pretty evenly split between Clinton and Obama. Does labor break one way or the other? That would impact the outcome tomorrow, Anderson.
COOPER: Also, let's talk about South Carolina for the Republicans? What are the key clues to look for?
KING: Let's move it over to the Republican race and let's stay in 2008 and bring out the race here. On to your guests, our other guests, Hogan and Katon remember this very well. What am I looking for tomorrow? You see the gold here? This is Mike Huckabee in 2008. This should be Ted Cruz territory tomorrow night. If Donald Trump is winning up in Greenville, you just know that Ted Cruz's final rally tonight up in Greenville. This is the evangelical belt of South Carolina. If Donald Trump is winning up here, Ted Cruz is in trouble.
Then the other key thing, if you look -- clear the map a little bit and look at this part here, you see the red from Columbia then you come down along the coast and you come this way. The retirees, the military base, transplants down here. Main stream establishment vote. Is Trump winning over here as well as he did in New Hampshire when he won just about everywhere or do you start to see Marco Rubio, do you see Governor Kasich, do you see Jeb Bush? This is where the mainstream establishment vote will be fought out in what is now a slugfest.
One last point, you see Fred Thompson in 2008. Watch Dr. Carson tomorrow night. If Ben Carson has a decent showing, we don't expect him to be in the top three or the top four, but if Carson has a big decent showing it could affect Ted Cruz just like Fred Thompson probably stole the race from Mike Huckabee back in 2008.
COOPER: John, stay with us. I want to bring the panel back.
Katon, you heard what John just laid out. Who do you think holds the key to the election tomorrow in South Carolina? Evangelical voters, military voters? Or establishment types? Who has the potential to swing this?
DAWSON: I think we've got 100,000 new voters coming. John is right. I want you to watch the upstate of South Carolina. That's where the heavy vote is. That's where we win all of our elections in South Carolina.
And Anderson, those votes are going to come in late. Greenville is one of the latest counties coming in. Going to be a later night than some think as these votes come in, these pockets of votes come in. But the upstate to South Carolina is going to be important. Greenville county, (INAUDIBLE). The midlands has a decent vote. But you know, I think right now that the emotion and the passion and the excitement has been for 24 hours, Marco Rubio. Big endorsement, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Trey Gowdy.
Cruz pulled all the guns out today. Phil Robertson with "Duck Dynasty" is a huge star inside the evangelical community. So everybody has been moving. I voted today and Hillary Clinton's folks were moving today. Her get out the vote started. She was not going to let what happened to her in 2008 happen in South Carolina. So started seeing a lot of her voters today.
So there is a lot of activity. I suspect that tomorrow we are looking for Trump's vote to tighten up. I think that I'll predict that Rubio jumps over Cruz. And Cruz will be third. And then we are going to have some distant numbers after that. That's what's I think.
COOPER: You really believe Rubio will come in second?
DAWSON: I think he can, yes, sir. I mean, momentum matters. And the last 24 hours with the undecided votes, much like nobody saw Newt Gingrich coming. They just didn't see it. He was in a distant third place, and the news the last couple of days, we had the Pope, we had some distractions, I think Donald Trump helped himself the last 48 hours and I think Marco Rubio did. And I think Ted Cruz did fine, but I saw the momentum move toward those two today.
COOPER: Interesting. Hogan, I mean, we hear a lot, obviously, in every state about the
importance of ground game. South Carolina is in a caucus state. People need to show up and cast their vote as Katon did today and they are done. And there is the early voting. Much different from a state like Iowa or Nevada where you have to actually get your supporters to show up, and you know, in a complex caucus process. What do you think that means for tomorrow?
GIDLEY: Well, you're right. I mean, I have been to all 99 counties now in Iowa twice. Once with Rick Santorum and once with Mike Huckabee. It is very complicated. But I will tell you this. People stood outside of Donald Trump events for two-and-a-half hours in negative 22 degree weather and they didn't even know if they were going to get in. And they waited that long to get it. They got in, and they came out -- even though he finished second, 45,000 people voted for him, plus in Iowa.
I think the same thing happens here. You need turnout apparatus in South Carolina. There is no question. It's very important to get your folks out to the polls. But look, when you show up to a place like Walterboro yesterday or day before yesterday for Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich who won this state had 450 people there, when he won, and Donald Trump had over 5,000, that tells you your turnout apparatus is excitement for the candidate.
And people are excited about Donald Trump for whatever reason. Good, bad, indifferent. They are excited about a man who stands up to Hillary Clinton, who tells it like it is, and is politically incorrect. And people like that. And so I think Katon is right. Marco Rubio is making some moves in this state. Cruz is taking some incoming. Both Marco and now Jeb and also Donald Trump calling him a liar, showing how he's lied in the past in Iowa. Showing how he's lied to evangelicals. That's a problem for Ted Cruz here in this state. And it's causing some of those evangelicals to kind of slough off him toward the end and look somewhere else. And I think that does directly help Marco Rubio and some of those evangelicals are actually going to Donald Trump. And that I think might propel him to victory tomorrow.
COOPER: John, I mean, is tomorrow in any way a referendum on campaign tactics? You know, we have seen Trump and Cruz and Rubio calling each other liars for one reason or another. We have seen Bush try to knock down Trump. Kasich trying to take the high road. It will be interesting - I mean, do you think that really matters?
KING: Well, it has seemed sort of like a fifth grade class election in the last few days. But Katon and Hogan who both been through South Carolina rodeos before would tell that you as rock them sock them South Carolina robot style goes. This is actually been pretty tame. They are name calling, but you don't have the nasty personal robocals we have seen in the past. The nasty, personal direct mail pieces. I'm not saying there aren't some, but you done have them on the scale we have seen in the past.
GIDLEY: That's not true. KING: So there's (INAUDIBLE), there is a lot of back and forth going
on. But I have seen nastier races in the past than this one. There is no question all of the candidates understand the stakes in this state. They understand how valuable that momentum is as we leave the one state at a time phase and about to head into the super Tuesdays and then the mini super Tuesdays after that. So that is why it's so personal and that is why it is increasingly nasty. Katon could tell you South Carolina in the past has been rougher than this.
[20:25:18] COOPER: Yes. Definitely. Katon Dawson, we got to leave it there. Hogan Gidley as well. Always great to have you on. John King, thank you.
Just ahead, you heard all the talk about Republicans courting the evangelical vote in South Carolina. We are going to go there to hear which way some of those voters are leaning right now.
Also late word on Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in what has John King said could be a very tight race in Nevada.
[20:29:32] COOPER: As we've been talking, about evangelicals could be the key to victory IN South Carolina. In 2012, 65 percent in a GOP primary voters in the state described themselves as born again or evangelical Christians.
Randi Kaye spoke with some to find out which way they are now leaning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How many of you are still undecided? Four out of the six. OK.
With the evangelical vote still up for grabs in South Carolina, this group of evangelical Christians is split, though most favor Marco Rubio.
[20:30:00] This Spartanburg resident likes Ben Carson, too.
EMILY SCHAEFER, EVANGELICAL VOTER: I feel like he has a spirit about him that makes me feel like a spiritual kinship. He's got humility and kindness and grace.
KAYE: These voters want a president who is pro-life but say for them pro-life is more than just politics. It's a set of values they treasure.
MEGHAN SMITH, EVANGELICAL VOTER, FAVORS RUBIO AND KASICH: Are we pro-life in education, are we pro-life when were talking about refugees or undocumented immigrants. Are we pro-life when we talk about the environment and our duty to be a steward of it. So, to me, that's extends not just beyond this one little checked box of a political topic.
KAYE: Trump was pro-choice once. Does that bother you? JOSEPH HOWELL, YOUTH MINISTRY LEADER, JOURNEY CHUCRH: Very close to not being on this earth. I was adopted when I was 3.I grew up in a group home. So like being pro-choice for me is a huge aversion. And I think there's just other alternatives.
KAYE: The group is also passionate about immigration reform. Favoring a path to citizenship. Meghan Smith from Spartanburg says Trump has made this campaign about anger and fear which don't coincide with her Christian beliefs.
SMITH: As Christians, we're not called to act on our fear or our anger. We're call to act on our love. The Bible tells us that's love casts out all fear. So we need to look for candidates who are going to, I think, encourage us to do betters and be better and love others.
KAYE: For these voters, it's not about electing a president to restore Christian America.
ALEX FORREST, EVANGELICAL VOTER, FAVORS RUBIO: I don't think we're looking for a pastor in chief. I don't think we're looking for somebody to restore a certain set of spiritual values in a president. I think we just want somebody who will respect, who would respect our faith and allow us to practice it freely.
KAYE: And for this group, that's someone isn't Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.
Is anybody here supporting Donald Trump? Raise your hand. None of you. Are there any Ted Cruz fans? Nobody.
They think Cruz is running a dirty campaign and say despite his evangelical roots, he's against the teachings of Jesus on poverty, war and how to treat strangers.
WILL MCCORKLO, EVANGELICAL VOTER: His foreign policy is very militant. He's not embodying Christian values because this extreme nationalism and xenophobia are against the teachings of Jesus.
KAYE: Some here have the same problem with Trump and question more than his policies.
When he holds his bible up and says it's his favorite book, I mean do any of you buy that about Donald Trump?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. He knows he has to do that to win the Republican nomination.
SCHAFER: One I know I don't want the white house is somebody who appears to be a misogynist, somebody who is a serial monogamist who said he would date his own daughter if she wasn't his daughter. He owns casinos, has strip clubs in his casinos like they're just so much about his lifestyle and the choices he's made over the years, that just as a woman particularly, and then also as a person of faith, make me feel very uncomfortable to say the least.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Randi joins me from Greenville, South Carolina. It sounds like that Cruz and Trump are leading in the polls but they haven't won over many of these evangelical voters.
KAYE: Absolutely not, Anderson. Our group really sees a generational divide happening among the evangelicals. They see Ted Cruz as sort of the old warrior-style evangelical, the kind that would appeal to Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. Its not the kind of evangelical that appeals to the group of evangelicals that we spoke.
Well, they are looking for someone who is compassionate, who has great acceptance for others, who has self-control and great discipline which is why many of them are considering voting for Ben Carson. They also want someone in the oval office, Anderson, who will work hard to carry the burdens of others. They think that is the Christian way, and they don't think that that is what they would find with Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.
COOPER: Jerry Falwell's son Jerry Falwell Jr is also a pastor and head of Liberty University and is endorsing Donald Trump. Randi, let's see what happens tomorrow.
Coming up is Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders get ready for what looks like it's shaping up to be a close call in tomorrow's Nevada caucuses. Clinton picks up a big an endorsement in South Carolina. We'll have the latest on that next.
[20:38:10] COOPER: With the Democratic Caucuses in Nevada coming up tomorrow, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are in a virtual dead heat according to the latest polling. Meantime today Secretary Clinton picked up a big endorsement in South Carolina headed that states Democratic Primary. Our Senior Political correspondent Brianna Keilar reports on all the latest developments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Show the world that democracy is alive and well here in Nevada.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Today Bernie Sanders is making a final pitch to Nevada voters before Saturday's caucuses.
SANDERS: The issue is not just who wins the democratic nomination. The issue is whether Nevada will play a leading role in moving this country toward a political revolution which transforms this country.
KAILAR: As Hillary Clinton tries to tighten her grip on South Carolina eight days before the first in the south primary scoring a big palmetto state endorsement from Jim Clyburn, a former civil rights activist and the highest ranking African-American in congress.
REP. JAMES CLYBURN, (D) SOUTH CAROLINA: My heart has always been with Hillary Clinton. KEILAR: Clinton is also running a new biographical television ad featuring the iconic voice of actor Morgan Freeman.
MORGAN FREEMAN, ACTOR: Hillary's work has been about breaking barriers, and so with her presidency.
KEILAR: One day before Nevada Democrats Caucus, Clinton is still in search of potential supporters. Courting all-important union support in the silver state.
SEC. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am no Johnny or Janie come lately to this. I did not just discover that unions were under pressure from the Republicans and the right.
KEILAR: Suggesting that Sanders is unrealistic in his promises.
[20:40:00] CLINTON: So I'm not just making speeches. I'm not just promising free this and free that and free everything.
KEILAR: Clinton and Sanders both facing fresh scrutiny at the Nevada town hall last night. Clinton on whether she would release transcripts of speeches she's given to financial institutions.
CLINTON: I am happy to release anything I have when everybody else does the same because every other candidate in this race has given speeches to private groups, including Senator Sanders.
KEILAR: Sanders was pressed to respond to comments he made in 2011 praising the possibility of progressive primary challenge to Obama's reelection.
SANDERS: Overall, I think the president has done an outstanding job. And the idea that there can be a primary where different ideas get floated and debated, I don't think that is terrible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And Brianna joins us from Las Vegas and according to polls on Nevada is now virtual dead heat between Clinton and Sanders. How concerned is the Clinton campaign?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIORPOLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: They are concerned. You look at the polls Anderson, you see Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton neck and neck but the Clinton campaign worries that those polls don't reveal how unpredictable caucuses can be. Look at Iowa, Bernie Sanders very close to Hillary Clinton polls showed it close, not that close.
COOPER: Also just quickly, you mentioned big endorsement that Clinton picked up in South Carolina assuming they feel better about their chances there than Nevada.
KEILAR: She has a huge lead. They basically think it would be impossible for her to lose that and just look at her travel schedule for the caucuses tomorrow. She actually ends the night at a historically black college in Houston. So this is sort of the way I think looking forward to South Carolina where she really has the African-American vote locked up, a way for her to look forward even if she is to lose the caucuses.
COOPER: All right. Brianna Keilar. Brianna, thanks. And with that primary fast approaching both candidates have been trying to secure the African-American vote. A new NBC News "Wall Street Journal" Marist poll shows how it's breaking down in there right now among white voters have secretary Clinton is slightly trailing Sanders. 46 percent for her, 51 for him among African-American voters though Clinton enjoys size for lead she has 68 percent, he 21.
Joining me now is CNN contributor former South Carolina State House Representative, Bakari Sellers and the South Carolina State House Representative Justin Bamberg. So Justin, Secretary Clinton had obviously a commanding lead with African-American voters. What's can sanders do to try to bridge that gap a week out from the democratic primary in South Carolina?
JUSTIN BAMBERG, SOUTH CALORINA STATE HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE: And thank you A.C. for having me. What Bernie has to do is continue what he's been doing and that is work the grassroots, get out the vote. Or you know there's this misconception that Bernie Sanders has to win South Carolina and fortunately for him, he does not have to win South Carolina. Hillary Clinton does.
Bernie just has to cut that margin down. You know, if you look a couple months back, the Clinton campaign was seen as the titanic of the Democratic Party. Well, guess what? Bernie Sanders campaigned as the iceberg and you're seeing that that ship is starting to take on water. And so if he just continues on, I think he'll do just fine.
COOPER: Bakari, I mean when you break down the support, there is an age divide for African-American voters, 45 and older. They break for Clinton 78 to 12 but African-American voters under 45, the lead tightens, 52 to 35 that Sanders picks up these undecided the race could be tighter than expected.
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well with those numbers you just picked up, put up, Anderson, what you see is that this myth has been perpetrated from Iowa and New Hampshire that somehow Hillary Clinton has this young voter problem it's simply not true. It doesn't translate when you get to South Carolina and throughout the rest of the south.
Hillary Clinton is doing very well with two groups. And those two groups are going to catapult her not just in South Carolina but they going to catapult her throughout the south. The first, a young black millennia's where she's actually winning two to one over Bernie Sanders contrary to the beliefs of what comes out of Iowa and New Hampshire.
And the other, I've been saying this until I'm blue in the face. My mama and her friends will be the one that dictates the winner of this primary and in South Carolina. African-American women are the driving force in this race and Hillary Clinton is doing exceptionally well. COOPER: Justin, Sanders did an interview with BET and accused of Hillary Clinton essentially pandering to African-American voters saying in part "Hillary Clinton now is trying to embrace the president as closely as she possibly can and we know what that's about that's trying to win support from the African-American community where the president is enormously popular." Is that fair? And she was his Secretary of State.
BAMBERG: Yes, I do believe that is fair. You know truth, honesty and integrity, those are traits you'll see in Bernie Sanders, you know, he's often criticized for some of his statements. But Bernie Sanders is not afraid to stand up and say, "Yes, I respect President Obama but there are times I disagree with him, you know what I wish Ms. Clinton would do is stand up and acknowledge the truth."
And the truth of the matter is that in 2008, you know, she didn't agree with Obama in fact she fought with him. And we all remember what her husband Bill Clinton says with regard to Obama's presidency, that's it was a fairy tale.
[20:45:01] You know rather than taking this approach and saying, you know I evolve and all of a sudden her and President Obama are best friends, she should do what I did which is just to stand up and say, "Hey I changed my mind".
COOPER: Bakari, what about that and what's your take? If Clinton playing up her allegiance to the president to shore up African- American votes?
SELLERS: Absolutely not, I thought Bernie Sanders' comments they were infuriating. They were based on this asinine premise that apparently Barack Obama is only popular with black Democrats. Barack Obama's popular with all Democrats, he's popular with 83 percent of the Democratic Party. The fact to the matter is Bernie Sanders, this is his first race that he's actually run as a Democrat so he may not be aware of the emotions and the feelings we have for our president.
But just to go to Justin's point a little further, Representative Bamberg's point, excuse me a little bit further, Bernie Sanders is the one who attempted that the primary the president in 2011. Bernie Sanders is the one who call the president weak. Bernie Sanders is the one who actually win and wrote on a book call "Buyers Remorse by Bill Press that Obama Let Progressives Down".
This race in South Carolina is fundamentally about the person who is in the best position to build on and protect the legacy of Barack Obama. And that person is not Bernie Sanders.
COOPER: Justin, Clinton got a big endorsement say as you know were from Congressman Clyburn, one I'm sure is Sanders would have loved to get. You don't see it making much of a difference in the primary. Or do you?
BAMBERG: No, I don't. No, I don't see it making much of a difference in the primary. But real quick I want to go back to something that Bakari mentioned is that, you know, it's not just the role of the next president to only build on Obama's legacy. You are running for president. You are running to be the leader of the free world. And I believe that Bernie Sanders will do an amazing job at that.
With regard to Clyburn, Congressman Clyburn excuse me has endorsement today, I have nothing but love and respect for the congressman. He's done a lot for South Carolina and at this late in the game, I don't see it making that much of a difference. I don't think people are sitting around saying, "Hey I wonder what's ex politician is going to say and who they are going to pick".
If anything, I think it is going to motivate and put some fire under Bernie Sanders supporters and they'll work even harder than they have been.
COOPER: We've got to leave it there. Justin Bamberg and Bakari Sellers, I appreciate both of you perspective, than you for being with us.
Quick programing note. Next week we'll host another South Carolina Town Hall. Democrats, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Our Chris Cuomo is going to be moderating Tuesday night, 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
Just ahead tonight, remembering Justice Antonin Scalia who made his final journey to the Supreme Court where his body will lie in repose throughout the night, hundreds of mourner streamed past the casket to pay their final respect.
[20:51:25] COOPER: Inside the Supreme Court, hundreds of mourners, including President Obama and the first lady paid their respects. The late Justice Antonin Scalia, turns out are large visiting hours have been extended an extra hour. The doors will stay open until 9 p.m. Eastern.
Justice Scalia's funeral service is tomorrow.
He served on the nation's highest court for 30 years and during that tenure, left an indelible mark. His sudden death has sparked obviously political battle.
That's President Obama carrying a binder full of information of potential candidates. He's going to spend the weekend reviewing their dossiers.
Today though, was a day to put politics aside -- there's President Obama with the binder, put politics aside in honor of Justice Scalia's service and his life.
Here's our Pamela Brown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: A somber day at the highest court in the land. President Obama and the first lady arrived to pay their respects to Justice Antonin Scalia. The first couple paused at the flag-draped casket as Scalia's former clerks stood guard. They'll be taking turns through the day and night.
One of his clerks, Jameson Jones.
JAMESON JONES, JUSTICE SCALIA'S CLERK: It is a really touching ceremony this morning. Justice Scalia was both a brilliant mentor but also just a warm and kind and generous person.
BROWN: This morning, Supreme Court police officers carried the conservative legal icon on his final journey to the high court. Behind the casket, some of Scalia's favorite former law clerks.
Dozens more lined the marble steps. Waiting at the massive bronze doors of the court, Scalia's children and grandchildren and his son, a Catholic priest.
Father Paul Scalia led the casket into the great hall where the eight remaining justices said goodbye to their colleague and friend.
FATHER PAUL SCALIA, JUSTICE SCALIA'S SON: My brothers and sisters, Jesus says, "Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest."
BROWN: When the private ceremony ended, the high court opened its doors to the public. Two people of particular note, Patty Millett and Sri Srinivasan, considered top contenders to be the President's nominee to replace Scalia.
And another striking moment, the actor who portrayed Scalia in the play "The Originalist" teared up as he stood at the casket.
Outside, members of the public braved the cold for their opportunity to say goodbye.
JEFF DALEY, ATTORNEY: As attorneys, you know, as often the court, I think we have an obligation to come pay our respects.
BROWN: At a memorial outside, a tribute to the Justice's sense of humor on the bench, a jar of apple sauce and broccoli, referencing Scalia's colorful metaphor during the Affordable Care Act case.
JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: "Could you define the market? Everybody has to buy food, sooner or later. So you define the market as food. Therefore everybody's in the market. Therefore, you can make people buy broccoli.''
JONES: It's a sad time for me personally and for the country. And it's tough to imagine this court without him, without him sitting up there for the next argument.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Pamela joins us now. Scalia and liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a -- or legendary friendship, I mean, an odd couple they were called. What more do we know about it? BROWN: That's right. They were polar opposites on the bench, Anderson. Scalia was a conservative. Ginsburg was a liberal. But they were able to bridge their differences and build a long lasting, deep friendship over the last several years.
In fact, they traveled the world together. There's a picture in Justice Ginsburg's office showing them riding an elephant together and she once joked that she was sitting behind Scalia to more evenly distribute the weight. And so, they like to give each other a hard time.
Another fun story was that they went parasailing together. And Justice Scalia talked about how he admired her courage but was also worried she was going to float away.
[20:55:03] And so, they would make appearances together in public, talk about their friendship, the fact they spent New Year's Eve together. So often, there was even an opera that was named after them. And so they really shared a lot of interest and had a deep respect, despite the fact they had different ideologies.
COOPER: Well, Pamela Brown, thank you very much.
Just ahead, remembering Harper Lee, an author who cherished her privacy while making an indelible mark on the word with her beloved novel "To Kill a Mockingbird."
COOPER: The story of the author of one America's best loved books has ended the same way it began.
Quietly in a small town in Alabama, Harper Lee has died at the age of 89. She was born in Monroeville, Alabama in 1926. 34 years later after taking two years to write it, her novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" was published.
The story of a precautious little girl named Scout and her father Atticus Finch, who defends a falsely accused black man in a racist courtroom, became an immediate best seller.
In a rare interview from 1964, Lee said she never expected the book to sell at all. "To Kill a Mockingbird" won the Pulitzer Prize.
The hearts of countless readers and was made into a movie of course in 1962.
Gregory Peck there won an Oscar for best actor in the role of Atticus Finch. He and Lee became lifelong friends.
In a statement of her family says, "Nelle Harper Lee died in her sleep early this morning and there will be a private funeral service as she requested.
[21:00:00] That does it for us. Thanks very much for watching.
If you missed our town halls with the Republican candidate this week, you can see both tonight starting at 10:00 Eastern.
Right now, "CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon.