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Chris Christie Endorses Trump; Rubio Increases Attacks On Trump; Ceasefire In Syria To Begin; High Voter Turnout In Iranian Elections; Gianni Infantino Elected New FIFA President; Apple Lawyer Says Losing To The FBI Will Result In "Police State"; Gianni Infantino Elected FIFA President; Iranian Election; US Election Update; Visiting Calcutta, India. Aired 2:30-4p ET

Aired February 26, 2016 - 14:30:00   ET


[14:30:29] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. A special edition of THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. We're following the race for the

White House and a big bombshell endorsement by Chris Christie in favor of Donald Trump, just in the last few hours. Also, we'll be looking at U.S.

Republican presidential candidates trading insults in a feisty debate. All of this coming ahead of Super Tuesday next week. Also this half hour, we

will look at world football's governing body, picking a new president for FIFA, and it wasn't the expected front-runner. And the clock is ticking

down to a partial cease-fire in Syria, expected in a few hours' time. Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. We're live at CNN London. Welcome to

this extended edition of THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.

Well, we begin with the latest surprising development that has to be said from the U.S. presidential race. Former candidate Chris Christie, the

governor of New Jersey, walked out on a stage today in Texas and threw his support behind front-runner Donald Trump. Listen.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: The one person that Hillary and Bill Clinton do not want to see on that stage come next September is Donald

Trump. They know how to run the standard political playbook against junior senators and run them around the block. They do not know the playbook with

Donald Trump because he is rewriting the playbook. He is rewriting the playbook of American politics because he's providing strong leadership

that's not dependent upon the status quo. And so the best person to beat Hillary Clinton in November on that stage last night is undoubtedly Donald



GORANI: Let's bring in CNN senior political reporter, Stephen Collinson. This is happening, of course, as we mentioned, after that fiery debate

yesterday. You're seeing the lineup of the remaining Republican presidential candidates. Let's bring in Stephen Collinson, there he is.

He's in Washington D.C. Did anyone see this coming, Stephen?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: No, it was a big surprise. Even the journalists that were down in Texas waiting for Donald

Trump to do a press conference didn't expect Chris Christie to walk out. It's been a real momentous day, I think, in this election, which has

already been wild and turbulent before this. I think what's happening is Marco Rubio, who did very well in the debate against Donald Trump last

night, is learning what happens when you hurt Donald Trump. You get punched back twice as hard. Donald Trump didn't just unveil the

endorsement of Chris Christie, he went on an extended mocking tirade of the young Florida senator, suggesting that he wasn't ready to negotiate with

Vladimir Putin, for example, and calling him sweaty. An incredible personal attack on Marco Rubio. This all was precipitated, as well, by

Rubio's first rally this morning. It was a victory lap after the debate when he mocked Donald Trump's spelling on Twitter in front of his crowd in

Texas as well. So it's really heating up and I think it shows the raised stakes ahead of the big Super Tuesday swing through 11 states we're going

to get next week, Hala.

GORANI: Yes. And when he mocked him on Twitter, by the way, for spelling mistakes and typos, he used a favorite Republican issue which is

immigration and foreigners saying, he's probably hired a foreigner to type up his Tweets. Let me ask you, though, about whether or not Rubio's new,

sort of feistiness, he's on the attack, clearly. We saw during the debate, we saw it again today during a campaign appearance -- whether or not that's

going to sort of create a more level playing field between him and Donald Trump, or is it too little, too late from Rubio here?

COLLINSON: I think that a lot of people are saying it is too little, too late. If you look at the Super Tuesday contests, Trump is leading the

polls in nine or ten of them, of the 11 states, at least. He could really swing from Super Tuesday next week. What I think Rubio is trying to do is

to solidify his position in the states after that. The states up on Tuesday award delegates proportionately. After that, we get to march 15,

the big states like Ohio and Rubio's own state in Florida, are winner take all. So it's conceivable that even if Trump wins a big swing of states on

Tuesday, Rubio could catch up by winning winner-take-all states. So it's not necessarily a play for the short-term, It's a play for the medium term

in this campaign and a show of how desperate Rubio is to stop the Trump momentum, I think.

GORANI: But what's in it for -- let me go back to the Chris Christie endorsement, because what's in it for Chris Christie now to attack Rubio,

to attack the other candidates and side with Donald Trump? He says he hasn't been offered anything for it, but could he be angling for something


[14:34:46] COLLINSON: Certainly. I think Chris Christie -- a number of things are going on. Chris Christie has concluded that Donald Trump's

going to win this nomination. From a personal point of view, he's obviously looking at a possible job in the administration, possibly as

attorney general or even a spot on the ticket as a vice presidential nominee. I think he's trying forestall the establishment move towards

Rubio and against Trump, and he believes, I think, simply, that Rubio is not qualified to be president. He has a visceral dislike of Rubio and he

believes that Donald Trump would be a much more effective candidate to go up against Hillary Clinton in the fall.

GORANI: All right. Chris Christie said, no, my term as governor ends in January of 2018. After that, I will enter the private sector. This is

what he said. We'll see what comes out of it in the coming weeks and months. Stephen Collinson, thanks very much, joining us from Washington

D.C. Let's analyze the debate, let's analyze this bombshell endorsement, as well, with Olivia Nuzzi. She's a reporter with "The Daily Beast", who

co-authored a story with the headline, "Rubio Goes From Robot to Terminator Against Donald Trump". And Donald Trump looks like he's gone terminator

right back to Rubio today. He really just spent a long time up on that stage, tearing into Rubio. What do you make of what's happened today?

OLIVIA NUZZI, JOURNALIST, THE DAILY BEAST: He's retaliating, clearly. Last night, Marco Rubio really embarrassed Donald Trump on stage and if

there's one thing we know about Donald Trump, is that he does not like to feel like he's mocked or like he's being made to feel like a small person,

and that is precisely what Rubio did last night. So this is clearly retaliation for that.

GORANI: OK, and what impact will that have? Because now, that's it. We're now in a game where the insults are flying, where on the one hand,

Donald Trump has done very well in the polls by using colorful language against his opponents. Rubio seems to have figured out that it will help

him as well if he does the same. What is this race going to start looking like from now on?

NUZZI: It's just going to get uglier and uglier as it goes on. And I think it will be a total bloodbath until Tuesday. I think we'll see Donald

Trump continuing to insult Marco Rubio, Marco Rubio retaliating right back. I don't think either one is ready to let up.

GORANI: Right, and some of the -- I have to say, some of the imagery, even, has been difficult to stomach, Marco Rubio saying that Donald Trump

was sweating, that he had a sweaty upper lip, that he requested a full- length mirror, because maybe his pants were wet. I mean, these are the types of things you wouldn't expect to hear on the campaign trail.

NUZZI: No, it's schoolyard bullying from both sides. And I think Donald Trump has sort of -- I mean, he was the one to do it first. He's been

doing that for eight months, since he announced his campaign. But I think now we're seeing Marco Rubio getting really frustrated that he's not having

an easier time in this primary, as the quote unquote establishment candidate, and he's sinking to that as well. Now whether or not that will

work, I guess we'll have to wait until Tuesday to find out.

GORANI: Yes. And Chris Christie, can we talk about that? So that was a big surprise. I saw it on my TV screen. I was on the phone talking about

something completely different and I saw my team's faces, all their jaws dropping. Chris Christie is endorsing Donald Trump. How is that going to

change things, do you think?

NUZZI: I'm not sure it really will. Chris Christie didn't have a lot of support, so I don't think it's likely that Donald Trump's support is really

going to increase by a great amount because of it. But it is interesting that another establishment candidate decided to throw his weight behind

Donald Trump. That really hasn't happened yet. I don't think we'll see Jeb Bush follow suit. But Chris Christie and Donald Trump have known each

other for a long time. Donald Trump had casinos in Atlantic City when Chris Christie was the United States Attorney. They've been friends for a

long time personally. When I interviewed Donald Trump in 2014 about the Atlantic City casinos, he refused to insult Chris Christie on the record.

They really are friends. Now, that said, Chris Christie spent a lot of time in the last few weeks before he dropped out of the race insulting

Donald Trump, doing an impersonation of him on the campaign trail, saying some really nasty things about him. He even went as far as to say that

Donald Trump's campaign is make believe. And so now this is a total flip- flop for Chris Christie to now come out and say, he's the best person for the job.

GORANI: Right. And one of the other things he said about Donald Trump is, essentially, he's been running a real estate firm, this is old Chris

Christie, before today's endorsement -- but he's never really had to really deal with a government job. He doesn't know how to negotiate his way

around the political structures of Washington D.C. So again, he's coming back with a message that's the polar opposite of what he's been saying for

the last several weeks.

NUZZI: Totally. He's completely flip-flopped on this. And he went as far as to say that it was make believe and also, there's not really a board

room in New York where you look at someone and you say, you're fired. He really hit him for being a reality TV star, for not having any government

credentials, for not knowing how to cut deals in the real world, for not knowing the first thing about building a wall. He really hit him hard for

wanting to build a wall in the first place. He said it wouldn't work, even if he could manage to do it, it would never work. And so this is a total,

huge, shocking turn of events in this campaign. I don't know whether or not it really is going to make a difference at the end of the day, in terms

of the polls, but it certainly will have us talking for the next few days.

GORANI: Right, exactly, and it's turned the attention away from Marco Rubio as well. Olivia Nuzzi, thanks very much, of the daily beast, we

really appreciate it. In about 20 minutes, I'll be speaking to Wolf Blitzer. He, of course, moderated that Republican debate, and I'll ask him

for his thoughts on this Chris Christie endorsement, as well. You won't want to miss it, top of the hour on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.

[14:39:58] Now, the South Carolina Democratic primary is this Saturday. Voters will cast ballots for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, because,

yes, there is a whole another nomination process going on in the Democratic party. Because we talk a lot about the Republicans, but this is crucial.

Clinton is leading the South Carolina polls by a wide margin and she campaigned there Friday morning before heading to Georgia, one of the Super

Tuesday states. Sanders, for his part, left South Carolina to move on to Michigan, which holds its primary a week after Super Tuesday. He visited

Flint, that's where that contaminated water scandal has been going on, and he attended a community forum on the crisis, on that particular crisis.

All right. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back. After this, some of the fighting and killing could stop, at least temporarily in

Syria. In just a few hours, a cease-fire is set to begin, but there is skepticism all around. Also after a quick break, Iranians head to the

polls in a crucial vote. Why many believe the results will be a referendum on boosting ties with the west. Stay with us.


GORANI: Well, there is a little glimmer of hope that things might change for the better in Syria. There's a partial cease-fire that's set to begin

in that country in just over two hours. It is meant to be a break, a reprieve from five years of fighting. Time, perhaps, to restart talks of

some kind and to get humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of civilians that are trapped in many war zones there. But, skepticism is running very

high. Our Nick Paton Walsh joins me now. He's live in Beirut with a look at what to expect on the ground. So we're about 2.5 hours away here.

What's the expectation?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think on paper, things look potentially good, but that was never really going to be

the testing ground for this deal. On paper, yes, we have the Syrian government saying that they'll go along with it, Russia telling them, they

frankly, have to. and at the same time, too, the political wing of the Syrian, the high negotiating committee has said they'll go along with it,

too, and said they have 97 separate opposition groups, many of them armed, who are going along with it, as well. One of them is Jaysh al-Islam, a

really big group in the South and around Damascus as well, but there are questions about Ahrar ash-Sham, a very important part of the rebel movement

here, who the state department have increasingly called radical. In fact, for their part, they just released a video message with a bunch of

supporters saying they weren't entirely sure the truce was a good idea. Now, moving forward, there are concerns about how this is applied

geographically. There's been a remarkable map that the Russian state media agency, RIA Novosti, put out about a few hours ago, which basically showed

a series of bright yellow areas surrounded by red boundaries. You can probably see them here, which is where they believe the cease-fire should

be applied.

[14:44:54] Now, I've been suggested by various Western diplomats, this may not be how they view it tactically, but if you look at that, very little of

Syria is not considered potentially fair game in terms of reprisals against what Russia might consider to be terrorist groups in the future. Now, that

does also mark out areas, too, which even the Russians accept have got Free Syrian Army, i.e., moderate opposition in them, but could still be attacked

or not part of the cease-fire. So a lot of confusion here, and then, of course, the people who are not part of the deal, ISIS and the face of al-

Qaeda in Syria, the al-Nusra Front, trying to make as much out of this chaos as they possibly can. The al-Nusra Front's leader releasing a

message in which he says, don't be fooled, Syrians, this is part of West and America's plan to get you to become under the control of the regime

again, feeding the conspiracy that Washington and Moscow are effectively working together to try and push what are quite considered terrorists by

them out of the picture and get state control from Damascus back over most of Syria again. So a lot that could really go wrong in the two hours

ahead, because I have to say, at this stage, there's so much that's technically, potentially right, but so much that's practically wrong, Hala.

GORANI: But there's one significant difference, and that is Vladimir Putin, apparently involving himself personally. He asked to speak to

President Obama on Monday. I spoke with President Obama's top ISIS adviser. So if he's personally invested, will that mean, essentially, that

his pressure on the Assad government might make a difference, at least in that regard? At least in terms of how the regime itself is bombing

civilian and rebel areas?

WALSH: Yes, you could say that. But then if you look at the conduct of the Moscow government during the quoted Ukraine cease-fire, that didn't

really slow the bombs down when they had a strategic town they wanted to take called Debaltseve. So many cynics look at that. And then, too,

there's the stagecraft in this. Vladimir Putin, a man who called the collapse of the Soviet Union, the greatest geopolitical catastrophe in

history. He wants to put Russia back on equal footing with the United States. When he addressed the Russian public, he constantly referred to

Russia and the U.S., Russia and the U.S., throughout how he explained how this deal will come about. I think for many people who observe Moscow's

conduct, it's about their place in the world rather than actually what happens on the ground. And I think there are many concerns in Western

capitals that perhaps they may find the Russians continuing with what they want to do here rather than honoring the spirit of the cease-fire. We have

to see what happens ahead. That map they put out is troubling, I have to confess. So little of Syria part of the deal in their minds and so much

animosity on the ground from opposition parts of the Syrian armed opposition against Moscow and the regime. It's a tough ask, frankly, for

the West to ask them to lay down their arms, given the level of air strikes we're seeing over the past 24 to 48 hours, Hala.

GORANI: All right, Nick Paton Walsh live in Beirut with the very latest on this cessation of hostilities deal, due to go into effect at midnight Syria

time, 2 hours, 13 minutes from now. We'll keep our eye on that.

Staying in the region, and it's been, by the way, a big campaign issue, I'm talking about Iran, of course. There's been high voter turnout in polling

stations across Iran. They will be staying open well into the night in some cases, closing time has just been put off for a fifth time, with some

results expected tomorrow. Now, ballots are being cast for parliament and for the assembly that chooses the country's supreme leader. Together,

these two elections, these two processes are viewed as a referendum on closer ties with the West. With that story, here's Fred Pleitgen in



FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Many stood in line for hours, waiting to get into the polling stations, looking to cast

their ballot in what both supporters of Iran's moderates and conservatives say is a key election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As soon as the sanctions are lifted, everything is going to be changed. Of course, we cannot expect the whole country changes

overnight, but I believe that we are going to have very good future.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I like the conservatives, this man says. They have proven themselves when they were in power and we really

like what they do.

PLEITGEN: Many of the polling stations are inside mosques, where voters fill out forms to register and then cast their ballots. In many ways, this

election is seen as a referendum on President Hassan Rouhani's course of opening Iran up to the west and on the recent nuclear agreement. One of

Rouhani's vice presidents tells me, a strong turnout for the Rouhani camp would help them continue their course.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very important, because the parliament has both oversight and legislation authority, so they play an important role in

providing the necessary laws that we need to implement in the executive branch.

[14:49:44] PLEITGEN: But conservative forces around Iran's powerful clergy accuse the moderates of opening the door for what they believe is

dangerous western, and especially, U.S. influence in the Islamic republic. Iran's supreme leader warned of alleged American infiltration into Iranian

affairs when he cast his own ballot. Despite all the controversy and the fierce rhetoric between the political factions, Iran's supreme leader has

defined these elections as decisive ones and has called on all Iranians to come out and cast their votes. And authorities say turnout is high, as

many people in this country see the vote they cast this Friday as one that could do a lot to shape the future of their nation. Fred Pleitgen, CNN,



GORANI: A lot more coming up. FIFA finally has a new president. It took two rounds of voting to elect the successor to Sepp Blatter. Find out who

it is after the break. And Apple's attorney tells CNN, helping the U.S. government break into one iPhone could lead to a police state. All that

and more when we come back.


GORANI: FIFA has elected a new president after all of that scandal, Gianni Infantino, won world football's top post after two rounds of voting in

Zurich. World Sport's Alex Thomas watched it all unfold and he joins me now, live from Zurich. Who is Gianni Infantino and how will things change

at FIFA?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Gianni Infantino used to be the general secretary of U.A. for Europe's governing body, Hala, but as

recently as five months ago, no one was mentioning him as a potential FIFA president because he wasn't even in the running. And when he announced his

candidacy last October, he was seen as a token candidate, a backup, if you like, because his boss at U.A., Michel Platini, had been suspended from

football. But Infantino worked tirelessly to prove he was his own man, using an expert and experienced PR team, he really gained momentum. He put

aside a fear of flying to rack up several round-the-world trips worth of campaign air miles. And although we went into this week and even the day

of the election itself with Sheik Salmon of Bahrain as the bookmakers' favorite, Infantino really nailed his speech before the election, promising

more money to the more than 200 national association football bosses here. They elected him in the second round of voting ahead of Salmon. It was a

bit of a surprise, even to Infantino, in his acceptance speech.


GIANNI INFANTINO: I want to work with all of you together, with all of you, in order to restore and rebuild a new era in FIFA, a new era in FIFA

where we can put again football in the center of the stage.


THOMAS: And we've been digging around, Hala, for to get a bit of a glimpse behind that sort of corporate facade. I mean, he's a multi-linguist

trained lawyer, but he's a married man with four daughters. He's got Italian parents, which might explain why he loves home-cooked Italian food.

We talked about the fear of flying. He has a photographic memory. Loves (ph) interviande football club. Still plays, himself, at the age of 45 in

the U.A. for staff games. I guess it now will have to be the FIFA staff games.

GORANI: Well, 45's not that old to play football in a staff game. But anyway, that's our Adam Thomas in Zurich with the latest on that. And

let's end this half hour with Apple. Apple has officially responded to what it calls an unprecedented request by the U.S. government. The company

is refusing to comply with the court order to unblock one iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers. I want to bring in CNN money's Laurie

Segall who joins me now live from New York with more. So what is Apple's defense here, Laurie?

[14:55:13] LAURIE SEGALL, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: They're saying, actually, their constitutional rights have been violated, the first and

fifth amendment. It's pretty interesting. I actually had the opportunity to speak to Apple's lawyer, Ted Olson, this is a high-profile attorney.

He's got a pretty good track record. And he talked to me about what would happen in this scenario. He says Apple is being forced to build an

Achilles heel onto the product. And he said this -- he painted a pretty scary picture of what he believes would happen if Apple lost to the FBI.

Listen to what he told me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TED OLSON, ATTORNEY, GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER: Where the government is headed appears to be limitless. It appears to believe,

the government appears to believe that it can require with a court order from a magistrate someplace, and ask anybody to stop what they're doing, to

devote their intellectual property and their services to create something that would invade your privacy and invade your secrecy. You could put

something someplace and the government would say, well, create a system where we can find where you are. Find where you've traveled. Listen in on

your conversations. There's got to be a stopping point.


SEGALL: Hala, he went on to tell me that this decision would stifle innovation in Silicon Valley. The Department of Justice shot back, after

Apple's filing yesterday. They said, we're not doing anything different. This is how we've always investigated. What's different is Apple has just

stopped cooperating. Ted Olson said earlier, he said, well this is different because they're asking us to build a product we don't have in

order to cooperate and that's what this comes down to. He says it would be unprecedented if this actually, if they uphold this ruling. Hala --

GORANI: And coincidentally, Ted Olson is a very prominent lawyer, but his wife actually died on 9/11. So he's been personally affected by terrorism

and he's defending the company's right not to build an alternate operating system in order to make, you know, to allow the FBI to access that

particular phone.

SEGALL: Yes, it's interesting. He has more of a personal -- he has such a personal connection to this because, as you said, his wife did die, and she

was in one of the planes that crashed into the pentagon on September 11. She was actually coming home to be with him on his birthday on September 11

so it's a very touching story. And when you take a step back and you look at what he fights for, it's pretty interesting, when you actually really

look at his personal association with the story, Hala.

GORANI: Yes. Laurie Segall in New York, thanks very much. We've been bringing you that bombshell announcement by Chris Christie that he is

endorsing Donald Trump. Donald Trump went on a rampage against Marco Rubio onstage after that endorsement came in, and after a very testy exchange

between the two men at a debate yesterday. He's taking questions. Let's listen to Marco Rubio.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: -- the conservative movement to be taken over by a con man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you still support him if he's the nominee?

RUBIO: He's not going to be the nominee. The Republican Party would be split apart if he became the nominee. Because, we cannot allow the party

of Reagan to be taken over by a con man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, you really relished going after him --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- is that your key group you're that trying to reach out to? Do you think that's enough to get you to where you need to be?

RUBIO: Well, obviously, it's an important group because the election is so much about them. What we're debating here is, what is America going to be

like when they start their businesses or their families or perhaps they're in the middle of trying to do that now. So they have as much at stake in

this election, if not more so, than any other group in this country. That's one of the things we're excited. One of the things I say, I won't

just unify the Republican party, I'll grow it. And part of it will be to take our message to people that perhaps, in the past, have not voted for


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you concerned about the (inaudible)?

RUBIO: As compared to Donald Trump? No, I'm not concerned about not looking presidential. I think being presidential, as much as anything

else, means the ability to answer serious questions about important topics, and Donald again proved last night he has no plan for healthcare and no

idea on how to balance the budget. I wish Wolf Blitzer and the moderators would have pressed him more on that, and everyone, for that matter. The

guy doesn't know what the nuclear triad is, has no idea that South Korea contributes significantly to the defense agreement that we have with them,

and he wants to be in charge of the nuclear arsenal of the United States and have the power to send young men and women off to war. So we're going

to unmask him for the con man he is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about -- time and money left for March 1 to slow or stop Donald Trump, with this attack?

RUBIO: Look, he's the front-runner, there's no doubt about it. That's why there's the sense of urgency about it because the Republican party and the

conservative movement could fall into the hands of someone who basically has conned a significant number of Americans into believing he's something

that he's not and this is important. This is the party of Reagan. It's a party built on optimism and limited government and last night, you had the

frontrunner in the Republican debate defending Planned Parenthood. You have the frontrunner in the Republican debate saying he's not going to take

sides between Israel and the Palestinians. would be a stunning shift for this party, and quite frankly we'll make us indistinguishable from the


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, your campaign --

RUBIO: We're going to do it --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, your campaign has guaranteed you'll win Florida.

RUBIO: We will win Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happens if you don't?

RUBIO: We'll win Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you comfortable with the phrase anti-Trump as the anti-Trump candidate?

RUBIO: He's the frontrunner and I think the only way he'll be stopped is if voters coalesce around someone to stop him. A significant majority of

Republicans don't want Donald Trump. Right now they are all divided up among all these other people that are running.

I think it's time to coalesce around someone that can beat him and stop him, but also around someone that can unite the party and grow it. That's

the argument I'm making.

RUBIO: Donald Trump is the frontrunner. He's now leading in the polls like he likes to remind us every day. So time for action is now. Again,

it goes back to what I said, it's not about winning or losing, it's about the idea of party of Reagan and the conservative movement can fall into the

hands of someone who's a conman, pulling the ultimate con job on the American public.

This is a guy who claims to stand for the working class when in fact his entire business career he's been sticking it to working class Americans.

This is a guy who claims he's the strongest anti-immigration person in the race and yet, uses illegal immigrants to build Trump towers and has

imported foreign workers to take away jobs from Americans and my home state.

This is a guy who portrays himself as a tough guy. He's not a tough guy. This is a guy who inherited $200 million, and had it not been for that,

he'd be selling watches in Times Square.

So my point to you is that we're not going to let someone like that take over the conservative movement after everything that this party has gone

through and this country has gone through, the last thing we need is a conman as president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think you can win?

RUBIO: I'm sorry, I've got to get out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your plan to tackle this issue?

RUBIO: Well, the way to grow our economy is to make this country the easiest and best place in the world to start a new business or grow an

existing one. Right now, we are not have that because we have the highest combined corporate tax in the world.

Not only lower the tax rate, but allow businesses to immediately expand their investment. We need to roll back the growth of regulation. I have a

plan to do that through our regulatory budget.

We need to deal with Social Security and Medicare so we can save those programs and bring our debt under control without finding a plan to do


We need to fully utilize our energy resources, which is pretty important to Oklahoma and also to manufacturing all across this country. And we need to

repeal and replace Obamacare.

And that involves a lot more than Donald Trump's plans to get around the states. The important plan to help all Americans have access to quality

health care in a way that allows them to control the places, not the government.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do you think about Chris Christie endorsing Trump?

GORANI: All right. There you have it. Marco Rubio reacting to what has been just a remarkable several hours in U.S. politics, the Florida senator

responding to Donald Trump, who just received a surprising endorsement from a former Republican candidate, Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor

saying we cannot allow the party of Reagan to be taken over by Trump.

He used the word either conman or con to describe Donald Trump, four times. Chris Christie as I mentioned was in the race himself up until earlier this

month, but now he says Trump is the man for the job. Let's listen to Chris Christie.


CHRISTIE: America must have a strong leader again that could restore American jobs, that can restore American confidence and Donald Trump is

just the man to do it.

America needs someone who's going to make sure that Hillary Clinton doesn't get within ten miles of the White House. Donald Trump can do it!


GORANI: If you've been watching CNN over the last several hours, your head is probably spinning. What impact will Christie's surprise move have on

the race?

For more, CNN's Wolf Blitzer, who are moderated yesterday's Republican debate, joins me now live back in Washington. So Wolf, let's first talk

about Chris Christie's endorsement. What should we make of it?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Well, it's an important endorsement for Donald Trump. It gives him a lot more credibility with an

element of the Republican Party. Chris Christie did not do well in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination.

But he is the sitting governor of New Jersey, and he does have some support out there, and I'm sure it will help Donald Trump. It will also put Donald

Trump today in the news, big time, once that not that he has a lot of trouble of getting in the news, but certainly that's a dominant story here

in the United States right now.

The Chris Christie endorsement of Donald Trump, this on the day after tumultuous, very rowdy debate last night. And this very, very nasty back

and forth that's been going on all day between Donald Trump and Marco Rubio.

[15:05:04]Chris Christie had his own dust-up with Marco Rubio at another debate as all of us remember and it's now just continuing. It's getting

lively here in the political world in the United States -- Hala.

GORANI: Absolutely. We just heard from Marco Rubio just seconds ago, but I want to play a portion of the debate that you moderated this Republican

debate in Texas for our viewers, and then ask you a question off the back of that. Let's listen for a moment.


RUBIO: He's the only person on this stage that's been fined for hiring people to work on your projects illegally.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm the only one in the stage that's hired people, you haven't hired anyone.

RUBIO: If he builds a wall, the way he built Trump Towers, he'll be using illegal immigrant labor to do it.

TRUMP: I watched him melt down and I'll tell you it was one of the saddest things I've ever seen.

RUBIO: Here's a guy that inherited $200 million. If he hadn't inherited $200 million, you know where Donald Trump would be right now, selling

watches in Manhattan.

TRUMP: I know you're embarrassed, but keep fighting, keep swinging. Swing for the fences.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I was leading the fight against the Gang of Eight amnesty bill, where was Donald? He was firing

Dennis Rodman on "Celebrity Apprentice."

TRUMP: But you don't have one Republican senator backing you, not one. You don't have the endorsement of one Republican senator, and you work with

these people.

BLITZER: Senator Cruz --

TRUMP: You should be ashamed of yourself.

CRUZ: Donald, if you want to be liked in Washington, that's not a good attribute for a president.

TRUMP: You are all talk and no action. What I've seen up here, I mean, first of all, this guy's a choke artist and this guy's a liar.


GORANI: All right. Insults flying back and forth. Wolf, being there, what was it like? Have you ever seen anything like this in terms of

presidential debates?

BLITZER: No. I've never seen a debate as rowdy and as angry as this one. And you know, when you're the moderator of a debate like this, Hala, you

have to realize there's a delicate balance, you want to see them discuss and debate and argue that will help the voters presumably get better

information about who these men are.

At the same time, you want to the try to control it as best as you can and it wasn't all that will easy controlling it. Given the passions, the

anger, the vitriol that you could see there.

GORANI: OK. So we saw Marco Rubio and also Ted Cruz, essentially gang up on the frontrunner, Donald Trump. We even saw them, there was a shot of

them shaking hands I think behind Donald Trump sort of banding together. Is it Super Tuesday -- is this going to have a difference? Will this put a

dent in the lead that Donald Trump is still enjoying in so many of those states?

BLITZER: Well, the polls show that going into the 11 contests next Tuesday, Republican contests, he's doing well in almost all of those

states. Cruz is slightly, according to a couple polls in Texas, his home state, but Donald, Donald Trump is doing really well.

And this is seen as really the last chance for example for Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz to show up and do something to dent that, otherwise that

Republican establishment is going to find itself with Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee.

GORANI: All right. The old cliche, time will tell, but certainly it's become very interesting and very surprising this race. Thank you, Wolf

Blitzer in Washington. We look forward to --

BLITZER: Tuesday -- Tuesday's going to be a huge, huge day.

GORANI: Absolutely. And we'll watch your coverage of it, thank you.

Now, Rubio and Trump's feud may have begun on that debate stage, but the insults and personal attacks showed no sign of letting up today. Take a



RUBIO: Last night in the debate during one of the breaks, two of the breaks, he went backstage, he was having a meltdown. First he had this

little make-up thing applying make-up around his mustache, he had a sweat mustache, then he asked for a full length mirror, I don't know why because

the podium goes up to here, but he wanted a full length mirror. Maybe to make sure his pants weren't wet, I don't know. Then --


GORANI: Well, there's no -- OK.


TRUMP: It's guys like that and he's a nasty guy. I called him a nasty little guy, but I wouldn't say that because, he's a nasty guy, and we don't

need nasty. We don't need nasty. Honestly, there's no place for it.


GORANI: Donald Trump, there's no doubt the debate made for great television, but could all the petty insults be harming the Republican Party


Let's bring in Katie Packer. She's a former deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney. She also runs an anti-Trump super PAC, and is a Marco Rubio

supporter. Thanks, Katie Packer for being with us.

Let me get your thoughts as a supporter of Marco Rubio, right now, what do you make of in feud between the two, the front runner, Donald Trump's still

very much in the lead in many of the polls on Super Tuesday's states for next week, and Marco Rubio?

KATIE PACKER, FORMER DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER, MITT ROMNEY: Well, I think it was important for Marco last night to demonstrate that he had the fight

and strength to take on Donald Trump. That's something that the non-Trump supporters are looking for and you know right now there's an overwhelming

number of Republican primary voters that are not for Trump.

[15:10:04]And so they're looking to coalesce behind somebody, and I think that Marco proved that he had the grit and the determination to do that.

And most of our party is looking for an opportunity to stop Donald Trump and so, you know, maybe we found our guy in Marco Rubio, and he's taking it

to Trump the same way Trump takes it to others.

GORANI: He's not even leading in his own state of Florida and Florida primary is not next Tuesday, it's in a few weeks, but still, if the Florida

senator can't lead in the polls --

PACKER: I don't know about that.

GORANI: -- in Florida, but it's the latest poll. We have it here, Florida likely Republican primary voters, it's --

PACKER: Yes, that's one, that's one poll. You know, I've seen polls that show the race very tight and all of those polls were taken prior to the

debate last night. I think we're likely to see a different situation moving forward without a doubt.

GORANI: And you don't think it should be a slam dunk in your own state. There should be no question like Cruz in Texas, Rubio in Florida should be

way ahead?

PACKER: Well, no, Donald Trump is a, you know, part-time resident of Florida and owns probably more property in Florida than Marco Rubio so he

should be able to lay claim to the same thing. And they also were sharing space with Jeb Bush, that's his home state. It's Ben Carson's home state.

It's a little bit more divided territory there.

GORANI: What about Chris Christie? I mean, he is considered a, quote, "establishment candidate," right? He threw his weight behind Donald Trump.

What do you make of that? You've been tweeting about it.

PACKER: I have been tweeting about it. I mean, Chris Christie has shown himself time and time again to be somebody that puts his own self-interests

ahead of both the party and the country. You know, I think it's not surprising.

He has a lot of disdain for Marco Rubio. He went after him hard and Marco Rubio prevailed over him in New Hampshire and continues to be in this race.

So I'm not surprised.

You know, we're seeing establishment New Yorkers like Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump, I don't that that reflects the Republican Party.

And I do think that the Republican Party is a more conservative party than will ultimately make a different choice.

GORANI: And as a Republican, do you -- is there a bit of a mea culpa that needs to happen here with the party where essentially Donald Trump is doing

very well because some of the things he's saying about his opponents are essentially true.

You know, that they are big donor, big donor dependent that their establishment candidates, who really don't work for ordinary people. Do

you think that the Republican Party needs to change somewhat?

PACKER: Well, I think it's laughable for Donald Trump to pretend that he works for ordinary people. You know, it was brought up last night how he's

defrauded people out of thousands and thousands of dollars at Trump University.

He has shown time and time again his willingness to steam roll over ordinary people for his own self-interests. I mean, this is a guy that

has, you know, been driving around and chauffeur driven limousines his whole life.

He's so establishment that he's pretending not to be. I like to know how he plans to fund his campaign in the general election. It's going to cost

about a billion dollars to launch that, and I don't know if he's planning to spend a billion of his own money.

We haven't seen that yet. This is a guy that is so in bed with the special interests that will make your head spin.

GORANI: All right. Katie Packer, thanks very much for joining with us your take on the race and these really remarkable developments over the

last several hours. We appreciate it.

A lot more to come this evening. We take you to the Middle East counting down to that partial truce in Syria. Is there really reason for any

optimism at all after five years of brutal violence? We'll look at the odds of success.

Also, FIFA has a new president finally and has passed a raft of new reforms, but is it enough to change the scandal ridden organization? Stay

with us.



GORANI: Well, it's 10:15 in Syria, 10:15 p.m., less than two hours before the partial ceasefire is set to take place there. Now most opposition

groups say they are on board with a deal brokered by the U.S. and Russia, but the skies over Syrian cities were anything but calm earlier today.

Look at these images. Syrian and Russian government war planes staged more strikes from the air, fighting against ISIS, other jihadist groups, but

also rebels against the Assad regime. And also part of the deal involves excluding ISIS and other jihadists groups from the truce.

Syria has been torn by brutal violence for five years and more than a quarter million people have died. What are the chances of this temporary

truce succeeding?

Let's bring in our Nick Paton Walsh once again, he's live in Beirut. So based on what happened today, what is the outlook for the next 24 hours,


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, less than 100 minutes, Hala, really for some very key questions to be answered. Yes,

we know that the Syrian government said yes to this deal, backed up by Moscow.

We know that the high negotiating committee currently in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has said politically, yes, they'll go along with it, as will 97

opposition groups, many whom are armed including a big rebel group in the south of Syria.

We don't know the position of some other very important rebel groups too. And one of them put out a video in which supporters said maybe the truce

wasn't a particularly good idea.

We do know clearly that ISIS was never part of this deal in the first place and the Nusra Front, the face of al Qaeda in Syria had their day come

forward and say Syrians do not be deceived by this trick by America and the west.

It's a way of trying to get you on the regime control again. Then putting themselves forward as being the defenders of the Syrian Sunnis who are at

the brunt of repression of a regime effectively prepressing a Sunni insurgency over the past five years or so.

One big important issue, Hala, very hard to bridge is basic idea of the geography where the ceasefire may apply. You may see just now a map

released by Russian state media they said was sourced from the Russian Ministry of Defense and the kremlin.

Those tiny areas of bright yellow with a red border around them, the six areas where they believe the ceasefire actually will be applied.

Now that is staggeringly small territory compared to what you may imagine if a broad cessation of facilities comes across an entire country. It's

just those areas according to this map.

Now that may not be what occurs tactically on the ground, but it's feeding suspicion that perhaps the Russians have a clearer goal with the regime of

where they wish targets and they have a broader definition of who have they considered to be terrorists in the hours ahead.

But all of this coupled with the possibility that some rebel groups don't want to go along with it is leading to uncertainty in the closing hours.

We understand that the U.N. Security Council was supposed to about 20 minutes ago sit down and begin debating endorsing this ceasefire. There

are reports may be a delay there. We're down to the closing minutes, Hala, and this should have been decided by noon today. It isn't looking good.

GORANI: All right. Nick Paton Walsh, thanks very much live in Beirut.

Now moving on to another story entirely. It's been a huge day for the future of world football, FIFA. That organization has been mired in a

corruption scandal. Finally has a new president.

His name is Gianni Infantino. He's the former general secretary of European football's governing body. He was elected to replace the

disgraced, Sepp Blatter.

Earlier FIFA voted in a whole raft of new reforms which it hopes will repair its reputation. Let's go to Alex Thomas he is live in Zurich with


So, Gianni Infantino -- I'm going to have to get used to saying this man's name more and more often. I hadn't heard of him before. I don't follow

sort of world governing body news this closely as you do. He wasn't want expected winner, is he?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yes, and you're good with your foreign names, Hala, there are harder ones out there. You are right, he's almost

comes from nowhere to win the top job involved and some people know him as the bald headed guy as the champion's league draws, and yet, he's been the

governing body for many, many years.

But just five months ago, no one was mentioning Gianni Infantino as a future FIFA president because he wasn't even in the running. He only

declared in October because his boss at (inaudible) was suspended from football.

And people saw Infantino as a token candidate only that he worked tirelessly to change that image, flying around the world, campaigning, even

though he doesn't like flying we've been told.

And he gained some momentum, although going into this election day, but he really found favor with the congress members, the 207 National Association

Football bosses who voted by saying he wants to give them more money.

He didn't want at mortgage his future and lost the vote there. This is what Infantino said in his victory speech off the winning in the second



GIANNI INFANTINO, NEW FIFA PRESIDENT: I want to be the president of all of you, of all 209 national association. I traveled through the globe, and I

will continue to do this. I want to work with all of you together with all of you in order to restore and rebuild a new era in FIFA and new era in

FIFA where we can play again football in the center of the stage.


THOMAS: So for the first time in 18 years, we have a new president of the FIFA, Sepp Blatter is gone, he wasn't even here because he was banned from

football. We have another bald-headed Swiss who speaks several languages - - Hala.

GORANI: All right, substantially younger. We'll see how things change with him. Thank you, Alex Thomas. We have much more ahead, stay with us.


GORANI: The U.S. is a popular destination for international job seekers. Just last year a record number of people applied for a visa with a success

rate of only one in three. To beat the odds, some are praying at a special temple. Praying for their visas. Alexandria Field reports on that.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every dawn, every day, they come by the hundreds. Thousands will pass through. They're so close,

they can almost touch it. They can practically taste it. It's a dream worth going the distance for and they'll try everything.

(on camera): So you want to come to America?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that's right.

FIELD (voice-over): In Southern India, a place where people pray to get there, but passports in hand.

(on camera): How many friends have come here and prayed for a visa and gotten it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn't have the number, but my sister, my own sister.

FIELD: So it worked?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it does work.

FIELD (voice-over): This is not science, just have some faith, follow a few steps, all for your prayer and take 11 laps around the temple. When

the wish comes true, take 108 laps to say, thank you.

(on camera): I went inside and I made a wish and if you see me back here, you'll know it came true.

[15:25:10]UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will be happy.

FIELD: Me too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our Lord is answering the prayer for different types of prayers.

FIELD: For children, success, health, visas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you a flag and then you put (inaudible), the wire is in between.

FIELD: This is the wire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) of this transmission line.

FIELD (voice-over): This little temple has a big reputation for connecting Indians to the rest of the world. It started decades ago. Mostly with

students praying to get to the U.S., they would make the rounds in seemingly get luckier in visa lotteries.

(on camera): This is voice of temples and they've got testimonials in here. Visa rejected, visa granted, my friend tried for a visa four times

and got rejected. I brought him here, this time the visa was granted without any hindrance.

(voice-over): It was word of mouth, now word has spread. Among thousands of people still dreaming of getting to America.

(on camera): We're on the fourth lap, are you feeling luckier?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I don't know. Let's hope I do.

FIELD: And you're prepared to come back here and do how many laps if you get a visa?


FIELD: All right. Well, I'll do a few with you maybe.

(voice-over): Alexandria Field, CNN.


GORANI: I guess it can't hurt. We'll return to U.S. politics in just a moment. New Jersey's governor has endorsed Donald Trump during a rally in

Texas, but Chris Christie was not always so excited about the Republican billionaire and we have the audio to prove it.

And Iranians have been casting their votes in pivotal elections, CNN is live in Tehran. We'll have a lot in a few minutes. Stay with us.


GORANI: Welcome back. Look at our top stories, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has endorsed Donald Trump's presidential bid. Chris Christie

dropped his own presidential bid earlier this month. The governor says Trump is the best person to beat, Democrat, Hillary Clinton. Bomb shell

announcement a couple hours ago.

Also among the other stories we are following, we are counting down around 90 minutes to when a partial ceasefire is supposed to take effect in Syria.

Most Syrian opposition groups say they will honor this deal that was brokered by the U.S. and Russia. There is, of course, skepticism about

whether it'll succeed some armed factions are not part of the agreement.

Gianni Infantino is the new president of FIFA. He won the top post after two rounds of voting in Zurich, Switzerland today. Infantino served has

general secretary of UAEFA and he succeeds Sepp Blatter who was suspended in the wake of the corruption scandal at FIFA.


GORANI: And another big story today, Iranians have been voting in what is seen as a crucial election in the country.


GORANI: Ballots were cast for parliament as well as the assembly of experts which chooses the successor to Iran's supreme leader. Both are currently

controlled by hard liners, so this election is seen as a referendum on closer ties with the West after the Iran deal. Fred Pleitgen is live in

Tehran and has been following both elections for us today. Hi Fred.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi Hala, yes, the Iranians have been voting and they actually are still voting. The voting

has now been extended for a fifth time to go for about another half an hour that's because the Iranian's say so many people have come to the polls.

President Hassan Rouhani earlier today when he cast his ballots said that the early indications were that many, many people had been going which

obviously indicates that people really do feel that this election is very, very significant.

We went to several polling places here across Tehran today, and we also saw long lines in front of those polling places. Here's how that played out.


PLEITGEN: Many stood in line for hours waiting to get into the polling stations looking to cast their ballot in what both supporters of Iran's

Moderates and Conservatives say is this is a key election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As soon as the sanctions are lifted, everything is going to be changed. Of course, we cannot expect the whole country changes

overnight, but I believe that we are going to have very good feature.

PLEITGEN: "I like the conservatives," this man says "they have proven themselves when they were in power, and we really like what they do."

Many of the polling stations are inside mosques where voters fill out forms to register and then cast their ballots. In many ways, this election is

seen as a referendum on President Hassan Rouhani's course of opening Iran up to the West and on the recent nuclear agreement. One of Rouhani's Vice

President's tells me a strong turnout for the Rouhani camp would help them continue their course.

MASOUMEH EBTEKAR, IRANIAN VICE PRESIDENT: It's very important because the parliament has both oversight and legislation authorities so they play an

important role in providing the necessary laws that we need to implement in the executed branch.

PLEITGEN: But Conservative forces around Iran's powerful clergy accuse the moderates of opening the door for what they believe is dangerous western,

and especially U.S. influence in the Islamic Republic.

Iran's supreme leader warned of alleged American infiltration into Iranian affairs when he cast his own ballot. Despite all the controversy and the

fierce rhetoric between the political factions, Iran's supreme leader has defined these elections as decisive ones, and he's called on all Iranians

to come out and cast their votes.

And authorities say, turnout is high as many people in this country see the vote they cast this Friday as one that could do a lot to shape the future

of their nation.


PLEITGEN: And of course, the big question is Hala, when are we going to expect results and what could those results be at this point. At this

point that is still very much unclear. However the authorities here are telling us that they believe that the first results will happen sometime

around noon, maybe early afternoon tomorrow. However they do believe that for instance, Teheran, which of course is very big and has very many people

in, the results could take a little longer especially if the turnout really is as big as the people here expect that this point in time and certainly

if you look at the fact that the polling stations are still open, that could very well be the case that it could take until Sunday until we have

the final results of these elections.

GORANI: OK. Thanks, Fred Pleitgen live, in Tehran.

In just five days, there could be a very decisive night in the race for the White House, Super Tuesday, the candidates challenging front runner Donald

Trump has nothing less to lose it seems, and that became clear in last night's CNN debate where Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz sent insults flying in a

bid to unseat trump. Did they succeed? Here's CNN Sunlen Serfaty.


SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An all-out war of insults and putdowns, breaking out in the final GOP debate before Super Tuesday.

MARCO RUBIO, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But you're the only person on this stage that's ever been fined for hiring people to work on

projects illegally, you hired some workers from Poland.

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, no, I'm the only one on the stage that's hired people. You haven't hired anybody.

SERFATY: Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz worried about Donald Trump's trifecta of wins in the last three Republican contests. Unleashing an onslaught of

attacks against the front runner. From illegal immigration --

TED CRUZ, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I was leading the fight against the Gang of Eight Amnesty, where was Donald? He was firing

Dennis Rodman on Celebrity Apprentice.


RUBIO: If he builds the wall the way he built Trump Towers, he'll be using illegal immigrant labor to do it.

SERFATY: To U.S. trade relations with China and Mexico .

RUBIO: The second thing about the trade war, I don't understand because your ties and the clothes you make is made in Mexico and in China. So

you're going to be starting a trade war against your own ties and your own suits.

TRUMP: They devalue their currencies to such an extent that our businesses cannot compete with them. Our workers lose their jobs.

RUBIO: And so you make them in China and in Russia -

TRUMP: -- But you wouldn't know anything about it because you're a lousy businessman --

RUBIO: Well I don't know anything about bankrupting four companies, you bankrupt four companies.

You lied about the Polish worker.

TRUMP: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

RUBIO: You lied to the students of Trump University.

TRUMP: 38 years ago - 38 years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let Senator Cruz jump in here.

RUBIO: Oh he lied 38 years ago, all right I guess there's a statute of limitation on lies.

SERFATY: To Obama Care.

TRUMP: You have many different plans, you'll have competition. You'll have so many different plans.

RUBIO: But now he's repeating himself.

TRUMP: No, I'm not repeating, no, no, no.

I watched him repeat himself five times four weeks ago -

RUBIO: I saw you repeat yourself five seconds ago -

TRUMP: -- It was of a meltdown. I watched it. I watched him meltdown on the stage like I've never seen anybody --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's stay focused on the subject.

TRUMP: -- I thought he came out of the swimming pool.

RUBIO: I said -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's talk - let's talk about the your plans.

RUBIO: He says five things, everyone's dumb -


RUBIO: He's going to make America great again, we're going to win, win, win -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- Senator Rubio - Senator Rubio, please.

RUBIO: He's winning the polls -



SERFATY: And Hillary Clinton.

CRUZ: Mr. Trump --

TRUMP: First of all he's talking about the polls. I'm beating him awfully badly in the polls.

CRUZ: But you're not beating Hillary.

TRUMP: So I don't know.

CRUZ: But you're not beating Hillary.

TRUMP: Well then if I can't -- hey, if I can't beat her, you're really going to get killed, aren't you? So let me ask you this, because you're

really getting beaten badly. I know you're embarrassed - I know you're embarrassed. Keep fighting. Keep swinging men, swing for the fences.

SERFATY: Trump lashing out at both of the freshman senators at the same time.

TRUMP: You are all talk and no action. What I've seen up here, I mean first of all, this guy's a choke artist and this guy's a liar. You have a

combination --


TRUMP: You have a combination of factors. He can't do it for the obvious reason, and he can't do it because he doesn't know how to tell the truth -

RUBIO: -- but here's the typical thing he does -

TRUMP: -- I know politicians, believe it or not better than you do. And it's not good.

CRUZ: Oh, I believe it will. No, no, I believe you know politicians much better than I do because for 40 years you've been funding liberal

democratic politicians. And by the way --

TRUMP: I funded you. I funded him. I funded this guy.

CRUZ: The reason - you're welcome to have a -

TRUMP: I funded this guy -

CRUZ: -- because let's get it the clear. Donald, relax, go ahead.

TRUMP: I'm relaxed. You're a basket case. Go ahead.

CRUZ: Donald -

TRUMP: Don't get nervous.


GORANI: That was CNN's Sunlen Serfaty and the insults have not stopped at the debate. Marco Rubio has been hitting Trump hard again today.


GORANI: He's holding a rally in Oklahoma City right now that has been full of anti-Trump rhetoric so they've been slugging it out those two.

As I mentioned, CNN's Sunlen Serfaty had our debate round-up. And we've been monitoring Trump just earned a major endorsement from New Jersey

Governor Chris Christie.


GORANI: Let's talk about everything that's happened over the last several hours. I'm joined from Washington by Jackie Kucinich, senior politics

editor for the Daily Beast, and, Doug Heye. Doug served as Deputy Chief of Staff for former house majority leader Eric Cantor, he's also directed

communications for the Republican National Committee. Jackie, Doug, thanks for being with us.


GORANI: Doug, I've got to ask you, what's happening with the Republican Party here? I mean it is unrecognizable from just one election ago. What's

going on?

HEYE: Well, obviously there are a lot of voters in both parties who on both parties - in both parties who are angry with the direction that the

country's going in and angry at their party's leadership. And it's certainly something I saw when I worked in the capital. But what we've also

seen obviously is the total celebrity takeover of this election by Donald Trump where he's dominated media, dominated the discussion, and I would

argue that it's been for the detriment, not just of the Republican Party and not just for civil discourse, but I think for the detriment of the

United States of America and what it means globally.


GORANI: But, Doug, he's speaking to a portion of the Republican Party of Americans who describe themselves as conservative. Isn't it because on some

level, he is responding to their frustration, that their politicians are, you know, in the pocket of special interest groups, that they're not

working for them, but they're working for donors. He's seen as independent and independent wealthy and a straight talker. In a way, is he not saying -

- part of what he's saying is true about his rivals?

HEYE: Sure. I think he's definitely tapped into something that's very real throughout this country. Jackie and I have been through several states over

the past few months, and we've seen it firsthand. Voters are angry and they're responding to something. But at the same time you've also had

Donald Trump dominating all media coverage, he gets more media time than all the other candidates combined. And at the same time, Republicans and I

think unfortunately, have really been reluctant to attack him. We finally saw that last night, and while it might be - might not be on the level of

the Lincoln Douglas debates or something that we'd hear from Winston Churchill, I think a lot of Republicans are relieved that finally,

hopefully not too late, finally Republicans are going after Donald Trump the way he's going after so many other candidates.


GORANI: But Jackie, finally they're going after him, but with things like maybe he had wet pants, and if your daddy hadn't given you $200 million,

you'd be selling watches in New York, et cetera, et cetera. Has the level of discourse just not just sunk to the lowest common denominator level



JACKIE KUCINICH, SENIOR POLITICS EDITOR, DAILY BEAST: No, I think there's a lot - there's a long way to go. Particularly because I mean Trump started

out this cycle --

GORANI: Long way to go down or?

KUCINICH: Well right. I mean because - I mean, when you have the front runner talking about bans on Muslims and calling Mexicans rapists, it does

seem like there's quite a low floor. And I don't think the debate last night really, really got there.


KUCINICH: Now, is it juvenile? Is it a little bit, you know, does it bring down the political discourse, a little bit lower than we're used to? Yeah,

but that's 2016. It's the -- this election is just -- it is what it is at this. Point. Because -- yeah, go ahead.

GORANI: No, I was going ask you about the Democrats because you know with all this fanfare and spectacle and basically showbiz jaw dropping

announcing like the Chris Christie endorsement, we're not talking as much about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. What do you think is going

through their minds as they watch this unfold in the Republican party, Jackie?

KUCINICH: Hoorah. I think, I think they're loving the -- I mean, they have to be loving watching this show. Right? Democrats have already been mining

for opposites in research on Donald Trump. He's someone they would love to run against. Because of his long record, his bankruptcies, his lawsuits,

and not to mention, probably his personal life. They would love to devil into that. And you know, he's someone they think they can beat. But you

know when you talk to the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton campaigns, they also are focused on that race. And you know, Hillary Clinton has been

in South Carolina trying to run up the totals there, as Bernie Sanders covers the Midwest.

So there is a race on the Democratic side at this point. So, they are probably focusing on that while kind of enduring the show on the other


GORANI: And Doug, what happens if Trump is the nominee? I mean, and you have Republicans who've said, I will refuse to support him. Does this --


HEYE: Yes, I actually --

GORANI: -- What will happen at the convention?

HEYE: Yes, I actually wrote that same thing last month. Look, we'll see what happens at the convention. We don't know, it could be a brokered

convention, there's talk of that. That's also highly unlikely. But I think if Donald Trump is our nominee, it could spell doom for the Republican

Party. Doom in the house and the senate where we have vulnerable seats that I think Trump could really take away, down ballot races, governors' races

as well. State houses.


HEYE: But also, spell doom because it will tell minority voters that the Republican Party isn't interested in them, doesn't care, and it reflects a

Republican Party - would reflect a Republican Party that seeks to shrink amongst itself, then expand and grow. It's the exact opposite of what

Republicans need. And Democrats very smartly will do what Republicans haven't done until last night.

They'll go after Donald Trump on his record, on everything that he's said, on everything that he's done in his personal life and in business. And

whatever policy platform or prescriptions that he's offered, which aren't many by the way, which is one of the things that Marco Rubio pointed out

last night.


HEYE: They'll go after him with everything that Republicans haven't done so far.

GORANI: But Jackie, will that matter? I mean, it doesn't really seem to matter what Donald Trump says or does or what his record is or whether or

not he contradicts himself, it appears as though his supporters are going to keep supporting him regardless.

KUCINICH: His supporters right now at the high level are 40% of the Republican party. The general election is so -- it's such a broader swath

of people not only racially, but, you know, men, women, young, old, it's going to be very hard for Donald Trump to appeal to say African American

voters, to Latinos. Yes, he won Latinos in Nevada, but it was a very small group of people that were voting in that caucus.

So, it will matter in a general election some of these issues that have sort of gone by the wayside in the Republican primary.

GORANI: OK. And Chris Christie, by the way, Chris Christie is now very enthusiastically supporting and endorsing Donald Trump, but not so long

ago, he was saying things like this, listen.


CHRIS CHRISTIE, NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: And then you have my old friend, Donald Trump. Who has been running a real estate firm. A real estate firm

which, you know, has been successful. But doesn't have a congress he has to deal with. Doesn't have a bureaucracy he has to deal with. He's been doing

that and never once, never once has had any position in government where he had to negotiate with anyone, deal with anyone, work with the political

system. At all.


GORANI: Not exactly a ringing endorsement, what is in it here for Chris Christie, Doug?

HEYE: Well, I agree with Chris Christie on February 5, not February 25. Look, he's obviously going to be on the short list for the VP nomination or

Attorney General. But, everything that I've seen from Chris Christie as a Governor suggests that what he has done today just defies logic. I think

it's an unfortunate decision that he's made. But it also comes with some real consequences. Maybe not a lot of voters obviously Christie's campaign

didn't go well, but it coalesces some establishment support behind Christie. It also sends a message to New York donors that they should maybe

stay on the sidelines.


GORANI: But I was going to say Jackie, lastly, does Trump need sort of establishment endorsements? His whole campaign is about being


KUCINICH: You know what Trump needed today, to change the narrative. He needed for people to stop talking about Marco Rubio and what a great

performance he had and how he sort of put Trump in a corner last night. He needed to change it, and he did it. He's been very good about that this

entire campaign of kind of holding up a shiny object so we all start talking about something else. Chris Christie was that shiny object, and my,

isn't he shiny.

GORANI: All right, Jackie Kucinich, and Doug Heye, thanks to both of you for joining us on CNN, we really appreciate it -

HEYE: Thank you.

GORANI: -- and we briefly mentioned the Democrats there. Tune in to CNN all day Saturday for extensive coverage of the Democratic primary in South

Carolina, the Republicans of course had theirs.

This is "The World Right Now."


GORANI: Still ahead we will revisit the Syrian city of Aleppo. It was known for its rich history and diverse culture. Today it is almost

unrecognizable. Stay with us.



GORANI: An update now on the war in Syria as we wait for that partial ceasefire to officially go into effect, it's supposed to happen in a little

over an hour.


GORANI: The stakes could not be higher for all sides, especially for the Syrian people. Who've seen their homes and lives destroyed by fighting like

this for the past five years. We're expecting to hear from the U.N. Syria envoy in the next hour. You'll want to stay with CNN for the latest



GORANI: We want to show you the impact of the violence on Aleppo. After five years of war, it's hard to recognize a place steeped in rich history

and culture. And we decided to dig back into the CNN archives to paint a picture of how Aleppo has changed. This report contains some amateur video.


GORANI: Caught in the cross fire of Syria's civil war, Aleppo is being destroyed. It's not until you look back at what this ancient city used to

be, that you realize what is being lost here. Before the war, this is what the city center looked like, narrow allies and covered souks, UNESCO world

heritage sites.

We've been coming to Aleppo since long before the civil war started. And in just the past few weeks, we got access to see what is left of the old city.

The ancient souk once such a central part of Aleppo life when we came here before where craftsman work their goods, and stalls bustled. Today, looks

like this, empty, much of it reduced to rubble.


GORANI: People would often sit atop the Citadel for a drink in the afternoon sun, and today, though the structure's iconic ramparts are in

most part still standing, makeshift military posts now look out across this the city.

To the south of the Citadel, the satellite pictures show how the urban landscape has been virtually flattened. The swimming pool you see here

belonged to the luxury Carlton Hotel. The hotel then became a makeshift base for government forces. It was leveled in 2014 after rebels dug a

tunnel underneath it and packed it with explosives.

Satellite pictures also show the damage done to Aleppo's Umayyad Mosque. It's 11th century minaret demolished. It was a thousand-year-old tower, an

imposing feature visible from across the city. But in the end, it was taken down by shelling in 2013.

Aleppo has always been known for its (inaudible) architecture. Its large mansions and courtyards. (inaudible) A seventh century inn, now lies

abandoned. A nearby mosque in ruins. As hopes for the latest Syrian ceasefire are eroded, so too are the remains of hundreds of years, even

millennia of history in Aleppo.


GORANI: Well, we'll be posting that story among others on our Facebook page and don't forget, you can check out all the latest news and our interviews

as well on We'll be right back.



GORANI: The latest now in our "On the Road Series in India" takes us to Calcutta, rich in art and history. It's where we find a teacher inspiring a

new generation to break some cultural barriers through dance. Here's Paula Newton.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It can be a down right dizzying place, Calcutta has a vibe all its own, and the rhythm that is the life blood here

seems to harness an artistic legacy, lavishing the world with an impressive endowment of art and culture. The more we learned, the more we were

intrigued. How could we not come? We listen, we watched, and then we understood. More than anything, we felt the emotion that inspires a special

brand of Indian dance. The (Shankar) technique, fluid, graceful, each movement composed as if to touch the spirit. Tanusree Shankar is its

passionate champion.

TANUSREE SHANKAR: Our body is just like an instrument. So if we train the body in a fashion, where the body can, you know, take in any other form of



NEWTON: These are commanding performances and while modern, they are profoundly influenced by Indian dance, that's something that can be tough

to explain to those whose cultural reference point is Bollywood.

SHANKAR: Whenever I've gone to do a workshop they would say what are you going to do a workshop? You're going to do Bollywood? I said no, I won't be

doing Bollywood.

NEWTON: Like these children, Tanusree herself was once a young student. She met her late husband learning these very steps from his parents. What still

drives her is carrying on their legacy and inspiring a new generation.

(Inaudible) started dancing here six years ago at the age of ten.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Dance from your heart.

NEWTON: Dance from your heart?

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): I just to want dance. Because I feel wonderful in dancing.

NEWTON: For the little ones, this dance combines the modern energy they so love with the Indian identity their parents so want to preserve. Do you

worry sometimes that the finer arts in India will be left behind?

SHANKAR: Yes and no. Yes because if a child wants to take up dance as a profession, they will not encourage them in the first place. If you're a

doctor, you're a lawyer, I'm a dancer. So that dignity has to be brought in by the dancer him or herself.

NEWTON: The Shankar technique has played to audiences all over the world as its influence extends throughout India and beyond. Tanusree Shankar's dream

is that it helps break cultural barriers not just outside of India, but within.

Paula Newton, CNN, Calcutta.


GORANI: Before we go, a police chase with a fairy tale twist.


GORANI: Officers in California went on a three-hour hunt after someone called to report a unicorn on the loose. Turns out it was a white pony

supporting some accessories and with the help of a helicopter, police returned the pony to her owner. And everyone lived happily ever after.


GORANI: And I hope you have a great weekend. This is been "The World Right Now," I'm Hala Gorani. Thanks for watching, "Quest Means Business" is next.