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Bush Suspends Campaign After 4th Place Finish; Clinton Wins Nevada in Close Race with Sanders; Gunman Kills Six in Shooting Spree. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired February 21, 2016 - 07:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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[07:32:51] JEB BUSH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But the people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken and I really respect their decision. So, tonight, I am suspending my campaign.

CROWD MEMBER: No.

BUSH: Yes, yes.

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Cheers there for Jeb Bush who's choking back tears last night after a disappointing fourth place finish in South Carolina. Once considered the front runner for the GOP nomination, it's now over. He's now stepped off the stage.

CNN's Athena Jones joins us with more from Columbia, South Carolina.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor.

It was an emotional moment. You could hear -- I don't know if you could hear the gasps in the crowd. People were very surprised to hear Governor Bush make that announcement.

But his campaign wanted him to do much better. In fact, they were hoping that he could beat his former protege, Marco Rubio. In the end, Rubio bested him by more than a dozen points.

Take a listen to what else he told that crowd gathered in a hotel bar room last night.

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BUSH: In this campaign, I have stood my ground, refusing to bend to the political winds. We put forward detailed, innovative conservative plans to address the mounting challenges that we face, because despite what you might have heard, ideas matter, policy matters.

I firmly believe the American must entrust this office to someone who understands that whoever holds is the servant, not the master, someone who will commit to that service with honor and decency.

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JONES: Now, both of those comments were not so veiled references to Donald Trump. We've heard Governor Bush say over and over on the campaign trail that Donald Trump does not see himself as the man of service. He's not thinking of this as the career of service.

In the end as you mentioned, Governor Bush about this time last year was the presumptive front runner but no one predicted the entry in the race and the impact on the race that Donald Trump would have. And so he is bowing out heading home after having fought a tough campaign -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Athena Jones for us in Columbia this morning -- thank you so much.

[07:35:02] Let's turn now to Senator Cruz, who was once boasted he was the ultraconservative, ultrareligious southern states that vote on March 1st were his firewall. But the question now, what's next for the Texas senator after his loss to Donald Trump in South Carolina, a state that seemed to have been tailor-made for the Cruz campaign? Could this be a signal that more defeats are down the road for the senator on Super Tuesday?

Joining me now to discuss, Rick Tyler, the national spokesperson for the Cruz campaign.

Rick, good to have you back on NEW DAY.

RICK TYLER, NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON FOR THE CRUZ CAMPAIGN: Good morning.

BLACKWELL: So, I want to start by going inside the numbers here. Ted Cruz says he's the Christian conservative in the race who wants to break up the Washington cartel.

But when we look at the numbers -- and let's put these numbers up on the screen for our viewers -- 72 percent of those who responded to our exit polls describe themselves as evangelical or born again Christians. Trump won them over Cruz, 33-27; 76 percent said it mattered the candidate that the candidates shared their religious belief, Trump won with them as well, 31-37. He lost with those who believe -- who angry the federal government. Those are dissatisfied with the federal government.

I mean, this is not just a defeat. But is this not a defeat that jeopardizes Cruz's strongest rationale for being in the race?

TYLER: Not at all. We're very comfortable where we are. We won Iowa decisively despite everything coming after us, including the establishment, including ethanol, including the sitting governor. In South Carolina, again we had the sitting governor against us, the sitting senator against us and a very popular congressman.

So, the establishment rallied and they got behind Marco Rubio and we virtually tied him. Now the question is going to be who can actually defeat Donald Trump. And the only candidate who's beaten Donald Trump is Ted Cruz. So as we go forward, the dynamic will be changing. And March 1 states that especially the southern states are a little different than South Carolina.

South Carolina has a liberal coast, that's where Marco Rubio did very well. They have a very liberal capital city, that's where Marco Rubio did very well.

But as we go forward, a lot of the states, including Texas, the senator's home state, and Oklahoma and Arkansas, they are different from South Carolina. We have spent a lot of time in those states. We have the resources and we have the organization. We've got a candidate and we've got a message.

So, we've left with a deal maker. That's Donald Trump. He wants to be the deal maker and then we have someone who already makes deals. And that's what people are tired of in Washington.

Ted Cruz is not a deal maker.

BLACKWELL: Rick, let me ask about your characterization that Marco Rubio -- it's correct. He had Nikki Haley. He had Tim Scott. He had Trey Gowdy.

But that is how to Cruz campaign is structured is it not that he is going in to break up the establishment. So, if he is the outsider, you'd expect that in every state. Isn't that supposed to be baked into the bread here of your campaign? Shouldn't you have expected other candidates would get that endorsement and Ted Cruz would not?

TYLER: He is the proven outside and Marco Rubio is the proven insider. The question mark is Donald Trump. He's neither proven to be an insider or outsider in Washington. What we do know is he's been the pay master for the establishment and not even the Republicans establishment. He's been the paymaster for the Democratic establishment.

So, look, we're going to carry our message forward. We're well- positioned. We feel good about the March 1 states, because March 1 states are a lot of states, I think eleven going at the same time. And we're prepared to compete on all those states because we've got the resources, the money and the message to do it.

And we believe that Marco Rubio does not have the money or the message. His candidacy -- remember what he's talking about in South Carolina. You know, he didn't really have a message. All he could do was whine about other campaigns. So, we believe we're well positioned to do that, do well on March 1. BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about Dr. Ben Carson who said last night

he's not going anywhere, coming in last place here. The expectation would be some of those votes would go to Ted Cruz. At least that was your pitch in Iowa.

How does that complicate things moving forward for you if Dr. Carson continues to take 6, 7, 8 percent moving through the next few states?

TYLER: Well, he did take 7 percent and despite that, we still virtually tied for second. So, Dr. Carson will have to make up his mind about his own campaign, whether he wants to be -- to go on and take votes from the conservatives, or whether he would like to get out of race. But that is up to him.

I do -- we'll work very hard to win over not only his supporters but the supporter of other campaigns. That is what this is all about. The dynamic is the going to change. And again, we've got the resources and the money, and we're prepared to compete and we'll compete hard.

BLACKWELL: You know, something stood out to me last night from Senator Cruz's speech. He gave this lofty victorious speech after coming in third place and I thought back to Marco Rubio's speech after coming in third place in Iowa. And I want you to listen to what Senator Cruz said after Rubio's speech in Iowa.

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[07:40:03] SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I mean, I was laughing watching some of the media coverage, some of the interviews afterwards where everyone was saying, what do you think about the amazing third place finish of Marco? And I just kind of laughed and said, gosh, is the media giving the tell there when the first thing you want to talk about is the amazing third place finish. You know, we've been joking that in media world, bronze is the new gold.

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BLACKWELL: There seems to be a goose and gander cliche here. Did Ted Cruz not give last night the best third place speech since Marco Rubio? It seems to be a similarity there.

TYLER: I think he did a very good speech. He was rallying and thankful for his supporters, in South Carolina.

But remember, Marco Rubio does not -- he has not won a state. We won Iowa. We came in third in a blue state, where Marco should have done well. He came in fifth, and we're virtually tied in South Carolina, where you do have a liberal contingent that helped, and we had other people in the race.

So, we're in good shape. No one would have predicted we'd be in this position, even months and weeks ago, that we would have won Iowa. We would have cone done so well in a blue state. That we would come in the top three and almost virtually tied for the first three states. So, look, we're excited and we're ready to go forward.

BLACKWELL: All right. Rick Tyler, I know you had a long a night. We appreciate you waking up early to be with us on NEW DAY.

TYLER: You, too. All right. Good. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Rick.

Now, this Thursday, it's the last debate before Super Tuesday. The narrowed field will be on stage together with Wolf Blitzer live from Texas for the CNN Republican presidential debate./ That's Thursday at 8:30 p.m. right here on CNN.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: All right. When we come back to NEW DAY, Trump and Hillary are the big winners this weekend. So, where does that leave their rivals? Rubio and Cruz in a virtual tie, and Sanders putting all of his focus on Super Tuesday. We'll discuss the takeaways when we return.

Also, a gunman going on a shooting spree in Kalamazoo, killing at least six people including children. We're getting new details on who the suspect is. We will have a live report when we come back.

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[07:45:32] WALKER: Welcome back, everyone.

Donald Trump ran away with South Carolina and Hillary Clinton slowed Bernie Sanders' momentum by holding him off in a close race in Nevada.

So, what are the other key takeaways from this weekend's presidential contest?

Joining me to discuss, CNN politics digital reporter, Eric Bradner.

Eric, great to have you.

Let's start with the Democrats and Clinton. I mean, this was a crucial victory for her. They were neck and neck. Bernie Sanders and Clinton in the polls and now, this is going to become an uphill battle for Bernie Sanders.

ERIC BRADNER, CNN POLITICS DIGITAL REPORTER: Absolutely.

So, this win for Clinton really had the effect of slowing Bernie Sanders momentum. Headed into what's going to be a really tough month for him. He's headed into the Super Tuesday, which includes a swath of southern states that Hillary Clinton will likely wrack up a big delegate lead on because they sort of mirror South Carolina, where there are a lot of African-American voters, which Bernie Sanders all but conceded in his speech last night.

Then the race moves on to some bigger states on March 15th. Places like Florida, Ohio, Illinois and it is going to be a real challenge for him to compete in those states. Michigan on March 8th is going to be a phenomenal test of whether he's going to be able to do it. So, right now, for Bernie Sanders, he went from having the momentum in this race to really needed to survive, until March 16th. If he can wake up that morning, still within striking distance then the race moves west to state where is he's going to do a lot better or should do a lot better.

But it is going to be rough road from now to then.

WALKER: Yes. Well, on the Republican side, it was obviously a big night for Trump and Rubio. Rubio meeting those high expectations set for him to come in this close second.

Where does this leave Ted Cruz? I mean, coming in I guess a tight, close third but again he's third in a state that evangelicals dominate the GOP.

BRADNER: Right, right. Yes. I mean, Donald Trump has proven something now. He's gone to New Hampshire and won among moderates, and then he's gone to South Carolina and won among evangelicals.

Ted Cruz at some point is going to have to prove he can actually win states. The Republican race on March 15th becomes winner-take-all. So a good second place or a good third place showing doesn't really do much more you at that point.

For Marco Rubio, the situation is a little less dire because he's watching Jeb Bush drop out and hoping to consolidate some establishment support, some donors, that kind of thing. But for Cruz, he's going to have to start winning states other than Texas which is on March 1st.

WALKER: Yes, he's obviously under a lot of pressure now. Eric Bradner, great having you. Thanks so much for that.

BRADNER: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: A deadly shooting spree in Michigan. Six people killed, a suspect in custody. We will have the latest on this breaking story from Kalamazoo, next.

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[07:52:04] BLACKWELL: We're getting new details about the breaking news in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A 14-year-old girl, we know now, is fighting for her life. Also, the mother of three.

WALKER: The only two survivors of a shooting spree in Kalamazoo, Michigan, last night, a suspect has been taken into custody and police say 45-year-old Jason Dalton will face murder charges tomorrow. He's accused of shooting eight people, killing six.

CNN's Ryan Young has been following this story. He's on the phone with more.

Ryan, officials held a news conference about an hour ago. What are you learning? RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, they

did hold that news conference just a short time ago and they did update the numbers from seven dead to six. We're now told a 14-year- old girl, who was shot in a parking lot along with some other women, has actually survived for right now. We're told she's in critical condition at the hospital. First it was reported she was dead but now we're being told she's alive, so that is a positive development in this case.

We've actually made our way over to the suspect's house. We're looking at probably six or seven police cars out in front right now, as they're doing their evidence investigation. You have to think now they have four scenes involved in this. That 45-year-old, of course, taken into custody, Jason Dalton.

And what we do now right now is they have his phone. They do believe he was talking with somebody during the shooting. We also know that there was video from two of the scenes that helped track him down.

Because, obviously, there was a space of time between that first shooting and the last shooting. The first shooting was at 6:00. There was a woman walking with several kids coming in a parking lot when all of a sudden he walked up and started shooting, using a semi- automatic handgun. They wouldn't tell us what kind of handgun but semi-automatic handgun before doing the two other shootings.

We will continue to follow developments and we'll do a live shot in front of his house as politician tell us more about this man who went on this violent shooting spree.

WALKER: Just a horrible, horrific situation. Ryan Young, thank you for that.

All right. When we come back to NEW DAY, an undecided voter waits until the last minute to decide who she will vote for. So, who was it? We'll tell you next.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which way do you think you're leaning, head or heart?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll probably go with my head. I'm more of a logical person than I am an emotional person.

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[07:58:04] BLACKWELL: So, the race in Nevada, it was decided in several precincts by those last-minute voters. We know people can be persuaded in caucusing.

So, last hour, we introduced Vanessa. She could not make up her mind whether to vote for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

WALKER: Let's find out who she finally went with.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm eating your hair.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN REPORTER: Nonetheless, let's go over what's going to happen here. In this race, the candidates --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know.

(INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's wearing sunglasses. Don't want them to see me. But I do believe if anybody can get stuff done, it would be Hillary more so than Bernie, so --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much, Vanessa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

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WALKER: Wow. Talk about really last-minute, last-second decision, right? Well, like we just saw, Clinton took 51 percent of last-minute decision-makers while Sanders got 37 percent.

All right. Coming up at 9:00 Eastern, don't miss a very special commercial-free "STATE OF THE UNION". The lineup: Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. That's today at 9:00 a.m. Eastern only on CNN.

BLACKWELL: Big, big show there today. Looking forward to it.

WALKER: Thanks so much for starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: Special edition of "INSIDE POLITICS" starts next.