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Clinton Wins Big Over Sanders in South Carolina; GOP Stumps Across Super Tuesday States. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired February 28, 2016 - 07:00   ET

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


[07:00:05] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Very profound moments coming up here. You can hear that part of my interview with Russell Simmons in the next hour of NEW DAY.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And keep it here on the hours leading up to the big show for the Oscars red carpet coverage. Don Lemon and Michaela Pereira will be on the red carpet for Hollywood's biggest night tonight, starting at 6:00 p.m. Eastern.

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

BLACKWELL: We've got a lot coming up in the next hour of your NEW DAY. It starts right now.

PAUL: Hillary Clinton winning big in South Carolina, gaining momentum ahead of Super Tuesday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Despite what you hear, we don't need to make America great again. America has never stopped being great. But we do need to make America whole again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: And shifting her focus from Sanders to Trump.

BLACKWELL: And the stakes are high for the Republican candidates too. Rubio and Trump turn up the volume on their attacks on one another. But does either of them come out this unscathed?

Your NEW DAY starts right now.

PAUL: You know, it is always good to have your company with us. I'm Christi Paul. Good morning.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to have you this Sunday morning.

We're starting with Hillary Clinton and that thumping victory in South Carolina, dealing Bernie Sanders a huge blow to his campaign, sweeping on to Super Tuesday. She's hoping to win big.

And let's look at the map here, Alabama, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia.

PAUL: All right. Her speeches are beginning to sound a little more like general election verbiage. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Tomorrow, this campaign goes national. We are going to compete for every vote in every state. We are not taking anything and we are not taking anyone for granted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Now, today, Bernie Sanders by the way campaigning in Oklahoma and Colorado, as he looks forward to Super Tuesday. He does concede he's down, but insists he's not out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Tonight, we lost. I congratulate Secretary Clinton on her very strong victory. Tuesday, over 800 delegates are at stake, and we intend to win many, many of them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Well, beyond winning by 47 points, the exit polls show that Hillary Clinton won over Bernie Sanders in some very specific and important categories, the parameters for top candidate quality.

Let's bring in CNN senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns.

And, Joe, big night for Clinton in South Carolina. But the narratives that will carry her into Super Tuesday are really about these four categories and one of them she struggled in leading up to South Carolina.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think that's right, Victor. And when you look at the exit polls coming from all of those other states we've been to, particularly the earliest voting states, there were big problems for her on that question of trustworthiness, the honesty question. People who were looking they said for an honest candidate tended to go for Bernie Sanders in a big way, people who were looking for experience would go to with Hillary Clinton in the earliest voting states.

But here in South Carolina, not so much. When you look at the exit polls, it is essentially a tie really. Hillary Clinton ahead by two percentage points on that question of the honest candidate. So, she's had problems with that partially no question because of her issues with e-mail over the past several months.

Still, there were some other questions, too, I think that would play big in the coming states. Electability, she scored huge in those numbers. The caring candidate, she scored very well. It was all around a good night for Hillary Clinton in the exit polls, Victor. BLACKWELL: Let's talk about African-American voters because there was

an acknowledgment on behalf of the Sanders campaign that he had work to do with African-American voters, specifically with the contest in South Carolina. But the numbers inside the final count show that there was a larger percentage of African-Americans who supported or rather turned out in South Carolina than they did in 2008.

JOHNS: Right.

BLACKWELL: What's that mean for the Clinton campaign moving forward?

JOHNS: That is a fascinating dynamic, because in 2008, of course, she was running against then Senator-Barack Obama, about five in ten African American voters went to the polls in the primaries. This time six in ten African American voters go to the polls, overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton, about 82 percent.

So, she pushed hard to get the African American vote to make a statement here. Not only in South Carolina. But in many of those other southern states where there are large African American voting populations.

[07:05:00] And it definitely paid off for her, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Certainly did. Joe Johns from the campus of University of South Carolina in Columbia -- Joe, thank you so much.

JOHNS: Thank you.

PAUL: All right. Let's talk about what this weekend's blowout shall we call it, means for the critical vote on Super Tuesday.

Sanders issued a statement warning that his, quote, "grassroots political revolution" has only just begun. The Vermont senator went on to say, quote, "Let me be clear on one thing tonight. This campaign is just beginning. We won a decisive victory in New Hampshire. She won a decisive victory in South Carolina."

But it seems as though Hillary Clinton already has her eye on Donald Trump and the GOP. Listen to what she said again after last night's blowout.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Despite what you hear, we don't need to make America great again. America has never stopped being great. But we do need to make America whole again. Instead of building walls, we need to be tearing down barriers. We need to show by everything we do that we really are in this together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: All righty. We are going to talk here in a couple of seconds but I want to bring this poll back up, if we could please. In terms of what was happening in the exit polls and what was being said, because there is something as you were talking about with Joe that is very specific here. Obviously, Clinton's electability and her experience is not anything that is surprising. It is that honesty. It is that caring that really takes possibly some people by surprise.

She beat -- not only did she beat Bernie Sanders but her honesty and her empathy is something that's been heavily criticized. And what many people said would take her down. She seems to be building that back up.

Tameika Isaac Devine, Clinton supporter and city councilwoman in South Carolina with us now, as well as Symone Sanders, Bernie Sanders national press secretary.

Good morning both of you. Thank you for being here.

Tameika, I wanted to ask you, when we look at those numbers, what did she do? And what is she prepared to do moving forward to keep those numbers where they are?

TAMEIKA ISAAC DEVINE, COLUMBIA CITY COUNCIL AT LARGE: Well, good morning. I think that Secretary Clinton has really gotten to the point where she's gotten in and met with voters. She has surrogates who have been meeting with voters.

And, you know, if you think about South Carolina we have a long history with Secretary Clinton from her early days at working here with the Children's Defense Fund. She has a lot of inroads. She has a lot of friends here in South Carolina.

So, I think for voters here in South Carolina, she was a familiar candidate and I think that's trustworthiness and knowing her as the person really resonated and then hearing her story and - understanding what she wants to do to break down barriers resonated with residents. So, I think she has a lot of momentum going into Super Tuesday and we'll just planning to keep that going on and I think that empathy and her goals for this country I think will resonate with a lot of voters into Super Tuesday states.

PAUL: All right. So, Symone, I need to ask you, as we hear from Bernie Sanders, that his political revolution has just what does he have up his sleeves to turn this around for him?

SYMONE SANDERS, NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY, BERNIE 2016: Well, what we have up our sleeve is a message, and it's a wining message. You know, when we talk about economic inequality, when we talk about raising the minimum wage, investing in the middle class, rebuilding the middle class. Those are issues that Americans care about. So, you win some, you lose some in this contest.

Last night, Secretary Clinton did have that decisive victory here in South Carolina. We had one in New Hampshire. And now, the fight rolls on into Super Tuesday and beyond.

This is a delegate game. We are in this for the long haul, and this is a contest that will definitely go well into the summer, right up into the convention. So, we're not worried. Momentum has not blunted us. We were yesterday afternoon we were in Austin Texas where we had

10,000 people at our really. In Dallas later on that afternoon, we had over almost 8,000 people. So, the political revolution is alive and well. We do, of course, you know, we have some work to do with African American voters and that is work that we are committed to doing. But we're in this for the long haul.

PAUL: OK. So, how -- you're talking about the numbers you had Symone at some of the these rallies in Austin yesterday. How do you secure and insure those people showing up at the rallies are also showing up at the polls?

SANDERS: Well, you know, you have to do the work of the ground game. And so, we are proud of the campaign we ran here in South Carolina. And we have a stock ground game in other states, Super Tuesday states, all the way up through March 15th and beyond.

We had state directors in each of the March 1 states early. We had organizations early. So, again, we -- this is more than just the big rallies. The big rallies show the momentum, show Senator Sanders ability to attract a crowd, people that are interested in criminal justice reform, you know, raising the minimum wage, people who care about education for their kids, people who want universal healthcare.

[07:10:00] But it also demonstrates that we're ready to put these people to work. So, those folks are also out there canvassing, they're phone banking, they're talking to voters, spreading the message of the political revolution, asking people to stand up on Election Day vote for Bernie Sanders.

PAUL: OK. So, Tameika, Mrs. Clinton, Secretary Clinton said that she is focusing n the future and really seeming to target yesterday Donald Trump. Is she writing off Senator Sanders all together? And how is she going to evolve to take on Donald Trump, as that is very -- it is proving to be a very unorthodox fight, something that we've never seen before?

DEVINE: Well, no, she is not brushing off Bernie Sanders. I mean, we are in this for the long haul. And Secretary Clinton has said from day one that she is going to work to earn every single vote. We're not taking any vote for granted.

And so, as we go into -- we do believe we have momentum going into the Super Tuesday and we're going to continue that momentum to resonate with voters, to connect with voters so with can have as many votes as we can. And it is -- Symone is right, it's a delegate game. We are in it for the long haul to make sure we secure enough delegates to get the nomination.

And then once we get the nomination, no matter who the Republican nominee is, we're ready for that. I think that Secretary Clinton's experience, as well as her plan on how to move this country forward will certainly resonate with voters. As she said last night, it's not about making America great again. America has always been great but it is about making America whole again. And she is a candidate that can do that no matter who the Republican nominee is. PAUL: Yes, I think the modification of that line gives us an indication of maybe where she's going in that fight possibly against Mr. Trump, as we head into Super Tuesday.

Thank you so much, Tameika Isaac Devine and Symone Sanders. Good to have you here.

DEVINE: Thank you.

SANDERS: Thank you.

PAUL: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: And the Democratic contest moves to the Midwest. And the next debate is live from Flint, Michigan. Watch the CNN Democratic presidential debate next Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, only on CNN.

PAUL: Ahead on NEW DAY, everybody is looking towards Super Tuesday, the biggest day of the primary season. How will the Republican candidates fair in the southern states? What are they doing to get out there? Surrogates and supporters for Cruz, Rubio, Trump campaigns all weigh in.

BLACKWELL: And later, this morning's other big talker, the Oscars. And we'll talk about this year's lack of diversity.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:15:33] BLACKWELL: All right. It is about to be make or break time for the GOP.

Right now, the Republican presidential contenders are sprinting across Super Tuesday states. Take a look at the map. Donald Trump trying to hold on to his lead. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz doing their best to take away that front runner status of course.

We're joined by senior advisors of the Marco Rubio campaign, Jason Roe, along with Ted Cruz's foreign policy advisor, Victoria Coates, and the Donald Trump supporters and CNN political commentator, Jeffrey Lord.

Welcome all.

Jeffrey, I want to start with you by checking Twitter, which this cycle brings us news occasionally.

So, just a couple of minutes ago, actually five minutes ago, Donald Trump, your guy, tweeted this, "The Republican establishment has been pushing for lightweight Senator Marco Rubio to say anything to hit Trump. I signed the pledge. Careful."

Now the pledge, of course, that he would run as the Republican, not go third party, and support the nominee. Is he introducing again the possibility he'll run as an independent?

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, apparently he is, if you look at that. What I actually think is going on here is he's just setting up a warning signal here to the GOP establishment -- stay out of this. You know, let Senator Rubio, Senator Cruz, Governor Kasich do their own thing.

But to bring the establishment to bear against a potential Republican presidential nominee who has the support so far of voters in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada and we'll see some more I think on Tuesday. That's not a good place to be for the GOP establishment.

BLACKWELL: Victoria, does Donald Trump have essentially the party hostage? If every time somebody says something he doesn't like he's going to threaten to, I guess, revoke or renege on his pledge?

VICTORIA COATES, FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER TO TED CRUZ: Well, I don't want to speak for the party. But I mean, I don't think we should be taking our directive from Twitter. So, I think that Mr. Trump signed the pledge. I think he's running as a Republican and I think that's how it's going to work out.

BLACKWELL: Jason, let me come to you. There is this reporting in "The New York Times" about the party establishment trying to coalesce around a single candidate, an anti-Trump candidate. And I wonder, is Marco Rubio the establishment's choice?

JASON ROE, SENIOR ADVISER TO SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Well, I would start from commenting on the tweet there about him implying that maybe there is a third party candidacy at risk if the Republican Party opposes Trump. This just goes to reinforce the whirling dervish of chaos that Donald Trump is. If he's the Republican nominee, I think he's going to rip the party apart. And apparently if he doesn't get his way and win the nomination, he's going to try to destroy that party by running as an independent candidate.

I would say far if from being the establishment candidate, I believe that the conservative movement, conservative grassroots leaders around the country are recognizing the threat that Trump is to our movement and our party. This is not a conservative. This is a guy facing three lawsuits right now. This is a guy who hired illegal immigrants --

BLACKWELL: Jason, let me push back on that. Let me push back on that. When you say you are not the establishment's choice, FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver's blog says that your candidate has more endorsements from members of the Congress, more senators, more governors than any other candidate. And when we look at the Nevada entrance polls, 95 percent of the Republicans are either dissatisfied or angry with the federal government.

It seems like the establishment is lining up behind Marco Rubio. Is he willing to take on that mantle of being the establishment candidate?

ROE: My point is that Marco Rubio is not the establishment candidate. Do people within the establishment prefer him over Donald Trump? Yes. Do conservatives around the country prefer him over Donald Trump? Yes. So, I mean, if you look back at Marco's history, this is a guy who ran

against the establishment when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2010. The establishment and Washington, D.C. had anointed Governor Charlie Crist and Marco beat him so badly that he turned him into a Democrat. He's got a 98 percent conservative rating from the American conservative union.

That doesn't smell like establishment to me. I think this guy's been the tip of the spear of the conservative movement in Washington.

And I understand the anger towards Washington. But that anger should be directed at the Obama administration, their willingness to ignore the law, to do whatever they want by fiat. That is really where this fight needs to go is against the Obama administration.

[07:20:03] And if we nominate Donald Trump, we are effectively continuing the Obama administration in the face of Hillary Clinton.

BLACKWELL: Victor, let me come back to you. And of course there's been this call for Donald Trump to release his taxes. We heard that from Ted Cruz while he was in Georgia. But we heard something else. Let's play that sound bite from Perry, Georgia, a rally yesterday from Ted Cruz.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, in the civil war, you couldn't fight for the South and the North at the same time. It didn't work that way. They didn't make a musket wit a barrel on both ends. Pick a side.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: So, Ted Cruz invoking the imagery of the civil war right in the Deep South to make a political point. Of course, that brings up a myriad offensive and painful images and associations for people. Why is Ted Cruz invoking the civil war, Victoria?

COATES: Oh, I don't think he was doing it in that context at all. I mean, I think he was just saying that you can't fight on both sides. And certainly to hear Senator Rubio portrayed as somehow not of the establishment I think points to the fact that some of this is getting quite muddy?

BLACKWELL: I need to bring you back to the question, Victoria. Why is he invoking a civil war?

COATES: I think he's invoking a major conflict our nation's history. I don't think he was invoking the civil war in any particular context. He was saying, this is a major battle. I mean, you can't fight on both sides.

So, if you are going to be a conservative and you want to vote for conservative principles, I think he was much more talking about Mr. Trump not being a conservative. And if you wish to elect a conservative president in 2016, this is the moment to choose. BLACKWELL: Is that the barometer by which one is determined to be a

conservative? I mean, it seems as if there could have been many conflicts he could have chosen. But he comes to Deep South Georgia and invokes the civil war in front of a crowd.

COATES: I disagree with the premise of your question. I don't think he was doing it in kind of a broader context. I think he was simply referring to a major conflict in our nation's history.

BLACKWELL: All right. Victoria Coates, Jason Roe, Jeffrey Lord, thank you all. We have unfortunately run out of time. But I appreciate the conversation.

LORD: Thanks, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

PAUL: And by the way, "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER" coming up at 9:00 Eastern. He's talking with presidential candidate, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, John Kasich at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: Ahead on NEW DAY, a day after being sworn in, a Virginia police officer is shot and killed while responding to a domestic call. She's been on the job one day.

Also ahead, violence breaking out at a rally between KKK demonstrators and counter-protesters. Let's see it play out and who police are searching for this morning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:26:25] PAUL: Top stories this hour.

In Anaheim, California, three counter-protesters stabbed by suspected KKK members after a violent confrontation at that planned rally for the hate group. Two members of the white supremacist group were stumped on the ground and 12 people were arrested on both sides of the fight here. Police say four were released after investigation and review of some of the video evidence. Police in Anaheim, California, though, are still looking -- if you'll take a look at your screen here, they're looking for this man.

BLACKWELL: A police officer in Virginia shot and killed just one day after being sworn in. Her name was Ashley Guindon and she was responding to a domestic violence call last night. She and two others were shot. Guindon died from her injuries. The other two officers are in the hospital that. Suspected shooter has been arrested.

PAUL: And Steph Curry and the Golden State Warrior breaks two NBA records in one night, broke his own single season three-pointer record, now at 288, tied the mark for most three pointers in a game, with 12, in last night's win against the Oklahoma City Thunder. And he did all of that after rolling his ankle in the third quarter and sitting out for five minutes.

BLACKWELL: And next on NEW DAY, back to this GOP race and the candidates taking the campaign to a new level and we're not talking about policy here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Friends do not let friends vote for con artists.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's Rubio!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Name calling, tag teaming, the water bottle tossing. How the candidates are playing the media.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)