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MH 370 Flight Mystery; GOP and Donald Trump; Supreme Court Abortion Case; Black Voters and 2016 Election. Aired 11:30a-Noon ET

Aired March 2, 2016 - 11:30   ET


[11:30:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: -- you know in the ocean where they are looking for.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm glad you asked because I only this morning I got the e-mail from the ATSP, the Australian Transportation Safety Board, there were organizing, there are and have been for the last two years, three to four ships everyday that weather allows, plowing up and down the ocean still searching. They've found nothing on the bottom of the ocean. They found old ships they didn't even know existed. They found bits of wreckage, they found mountains, they lost a piece of the search equipment on the mad volcano. They lost it and when it got snagged but nothing of the plane.

They're three-quarters of the way through this search area. If they don't find it in this search area, they can't expand it, they'll have to wait for better data, better understanding of how to find it

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, do you believe on the possibility that the true fate of what happened, where the rest of the plane is, where the bodies of all of these passengers and crew are, they will go unknown (ph)?

QUEST: I continue to say that they will find it. As a result of this search, maybe not. Maybe they will need more years, better data, better search equipment. But with 1,200 of these planes, more everyday, they have to find it. And it's not just being Pollyanna. You can't have this sort of mystery of one of the world greatest air crash unsolved.

BERMAN: And this piece of it, what kind of piece is it?

QUEST: Back of the plane we believe, so you've got the wing, and then at back of the plane you got a horizontal -- the bit that looks like little wings coming out the back of the tail. They're the horizontal stabilizers that basically makes sure the plane doesn't turn circles and they got elevators on. You know it's either parts of the wing or the horizontal stabilizers because it says no step (ph), it's exactly the sort of place that engineers and mechanics would step on while they are repairing the aircraft.

BOLDUAN: I do love it when Richard doesn't have his models like they like to bring on -- you act as if you yourself are the plane. The wings actually (ph)?

QUEST: The wings -- the horizontal stabilizer, so you got the tail fin, the horizontal stabilizer, the fuselage ...


BOLDUAN: Just lay it on the desk next time, and we'll do a diagram.

BERMAN: If nothing else, this whole thing was worth it. Richard Quest, thanks foe being with us.

BOLDUAN: Thanks Richard. Congratulation on the book, it was a hard, hard long process.

BERMAN: And we do have a program, you know, in that front too, this Friday night at 10:00 eastern time, a CNN Special Report, "Vanished: The Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370" that is this Friday, 10:00 p.m. eastern only in CNN.

BOLDUAN: Ted Cruz, he is now calling on the Republican Party to unite behind him and his effort to take on Donald Trump, but it is too late for anyone to try to stop the Trump train at this point post Super Tuesday? We're going to talk to a top Cruz supporter about his strategy going forward.

BERMAN: Plus, no parades, no RNC celebration, no big unity press conference today after Donald Trump wins yesterday. Instead, a whole big chunk of the Republican Party refuses to accept Trump as the presumptive nominee. So, why did Donald Trump now face what could be his biggest fight yet over the next two weeks? Stay with us




TED CRUZ, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are blessed with a deep talented, honorable team. For the candidates who have not yet won a state, who have not racked up significant delegates, I ask you to prayerfully consider our coming together, uniting.


BOLDUAN: Prayerfully consider uniting, coming together, that was Ted Cruz last night calling on the other Republican candidates still in the race, to unite behind him of course.

BEMAN: Yes, in other words, drop out. Let's bring on Ron Nehring, California State Chairman of the Ted Cruz campaign. Ron, thanks so much for joining, I like the smile on your face, great to see you this morning, at least one of us got a good night sleep. My question to you, Ted Cruz saying he wants the other candidates to prayerfully consider uniting, he wants them to drop out. What's your case to Macro Rubio that he should get out of the race?

RON NEHRING, TED CRUZ CAMPAIGN: Well, it's clear that only Ted Cruz has the pathway necessary in order to defeat Donald Trump and become the Republican nominee. I mean this nomination process is critical and now is time when people have to make serious decisions about whether we can unite as a Republican Party behind Ted Cruz who does have a pathway to defeat Donald Trump of to become that nominee. We have twice as many delegates as Marco Rubio does at this point, Marco Rubio as well behind at his own State of Florida, he's not likely to win there, that looks very, very bad for him. So this is decision time and we really think it would be terrific for the Republican Party and for the nation to have people come together behind Ted Cruz, he's doing so well right now and picking up four states last night. And put this party on the position for win in November.

BOLDUAN: You mentioned Florida. How far do you guys going to fight in Florida? Are you guys on the ground, are you going to fight to win?

NEHRING: We have campaign organization in Florida, we're excited about that. Marco Rubio obviously has a big problem in his home State when he can't even lock the support of those Republicans who's nominated him in the past. His biggest challenge right now in the State of Florida is Donald Trump, but we're active in terms of our campaign there and we'll continue to fund (ph) moving forward. We're not in Florida today we're in Kansas today because we have another round of states coming up before that.

BERMAN: I am curios, you know, Ted Cruz seem to pivot in his campaign, he had been talking a lot about Marco Rubio in the debates, you know, on the trail talking about what he calls amnesty on Marco Rubio's position on the gang of eight.

And he sort of stopped in the last debate and really went exclusively after Donald Trump, do you expected Ted Cruz now that he maybe smells blood in the water or senses it to go after Marco Rubio again?

NEHRING: Well I think that -- we're making the case all the way around.

[11:40:03] I mean Marco Rubio has a problem with the base of the Republican Party, you can see that now reflected in the delegate council, you can see that, you know, just yesterday the Rubio campaign was telling people that they can win up to four states yesterday, they only won one, they only won, you know, in Minnesota, and they made a big, big play for the State of Virginia.

So Marco Rubio has a challenge. But Donald Trump has a challenge in this party as well. He refuses to releases to release his tax returns. That's an important thing because the nomination process is as much about vetting our candidates as it is about racking up delegates and becoming the nominee. So Donald Trump has real challenges and Marco Rubio does as well.

But now is the time for Republicans to come together behind Ted Cruz who is in that position to become the Republican nominee and put this party in a great position to win in November.

BOLDUAN: If you look at what happened last night, there is definite signs that Ted Cruz has some challenges going forward as well. I mean, you talk a couple of months ago, Ted Cruz, the campaign and all of his supporters would say he was expected to do a lot better through the south, his southern firewall, he did not last night, and the map doesn't get easier from here.

NEHRING: Well it's been very interesting having Donald Trump in this race. I mean, Donald Trump has been able to convince a certain number of people that he's not who he really is and that's part of the reason why we have been talking about his record.

You know, that Tim Russert, that very candid interview that he did with Tim Russert where he talked about the support of partial birth abortion or keeping that legal and so on. It's been really revealing. By the way, that's also a reason why we've called on Donald Trump to authorize "The New York Times" to release this secret tape with his candid remarks on immigration because voters deserve to know where he really stands there as well.

So we're going to continue to move forward. We're going to continue to challenge both Donald Trump on these issues as well as make the case that it's only Ted Cruz who has that pathway to become the nominee. And Marco Rubio just doesn't have it, he had an opportunity, he's missed that opportunity and now we have to unite.

BERMAN: You know, you sound like Donald Trump's campaign is in trouble, he just won seven states on Super Tuesday and won three states before that. I mean, the goal he is winning here, wouldn't you rather be ahead right now in the delegate count, which Donald Trump is, by a fair amount?

NEHRING: Well of course everyone would rather be ahead, just like you'd rather be ahead in every single, you know, quarter of a, you know, of a basketball game. So you'd rather be ahead all of the time.

But the reality is, this is a 19-week process. We are in just the very, very beginning of that. We're coming to the beginning of the -- the end of the beginning of that process now. Now, there are many more states yet to go. So now, we look forward to March 5th, with March 8th, March 15th and alike.

And if Donald Trump is so secure, then why does he keep saying such weird and bizarre things about his opponents? That's not a sign of a secure candidate, that's a sign of an insecure candidate and he knows that he has problem there. If he was secure he would release his tax returns. He refuses to do that. If he was secure, he would authorize the release of that secret tape with "The New York Times.'' He refuses to do that. This is not a candidate who acts like, you know, he is secure, if you judge him by his actions.

BERMAN: Ron Neghring, great to have you with us. Thanks so much.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Ron.

NEHRING: Thank you.

BERMAN: So just days after Donald Trump blames the whole KKK controversy, the David Duke controversy in a bad earpiece, a leading African-American voice says, "Don't count Trump out when it comes to the support of the African-American community." Hear the reasons ahead.

BOLDUAN: Plus, we have breaking news from the Supreme Court. Protests erupting in what is -- could be one of the biggest cases of the year on one of the most contentious issues of our time and the possibility hanging over the court now of a potential 4-4 split following Justice Scalia's death. Oral arguments just wrapped up. Details are coming in.



BOLDUAN: Happening right now, the Supreme Court has just wrapped up oral arguments in its fist major abortion case in two decades. It's a challenge to a 2013 Texas law that the Supreme Court justices are considering.

This is a law that requires doctors performing abortions in the state to be able to admit patients to hospitals. It's a new standard. And also sets new standards for the abortion clinics themselves in the state of Texas.

BERMAN: As you can imagine a demonstration outside of the Supreme Court from both sides. CNN's Justice Correspondent Pamela Brown was inside the courtroom for these arguments. Pamela joins us now. What happened?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'll tell you, the stakes are so high for this case because as you mention, it's the most important abortion case in more than two decades. And you could feel that inside the courtroom during oral arguments.

In fact, the Texas lawyer endured sustained attacks from the three women on the bench and Justice Breyer. They raised questions about the medical necessity of these two provisions requiring doctors to have admitting privileges and requiring abortion clinics to have to be ambulatory surgicals centers.

The nurse say, there are much riskier procedure in abortion that don't have the same requirements. They talked about the impact that this would have on poor women because they say these provisions will cause the closure of 75 percent of the clinics in Texas and, therefore, poor women will not be able to access the abortion clinics.

And at one point, Justice Kennedy, who we expect to be the swing vote in this case, seemed to side with the liberals a bit, raising the question of the risk this might cause, poor women seeking abortion. But on the other hand, he seemed to side with the conservatives, even raising the question of whether they should be sit down to the lower courts for more evidence on whether these provisions really cause these clinics to close in Texas.

That was what they were really focused on, the conservative justices focused on the evidence. Do these provisions really cause these clinics to close? I will point out that Justice Thomas, who spoke for the first time in a decade this week did not raise any questions during today's oral arguments. Back to you, John and Kate.

BOLDUAN: It's not just Texas. Whether -- how the justices do decide in this case, it could affect a dozen other states with similar laws on the books and that's why so many people are obviously focusing on this.

And you can hear the passionate crowds behind Pamela as she is speaking. And Pamela, thanks so much, a big day at the Supreme Court.

[11:50:07] Of course the justices will not consider in will expect, I think they can get the decision by sometime in June.

BERMAN: Interestingly Clarence Thomas didn't asked question. And you're wondering if this is a beginning of the new Clarence Thomas, maybe not, maybe with a one on (ph).

All right, back to politics. The image that has everyone talking this morning, I just saw some tweets about this from antitrust people right now. They look at Chris Christie. They look at his face. They think Christie was not happy and they are just ridiculing him. We'll discuss.



HILLARY CLINTON, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Instead of building walls, we're going to break down barriers ...

It's not to make America great again. America never stop being great.

TRUMP: Our country is going to help and people don't understand that, and Hillary Clinton doesn't have a clue, she's been there for so long. I mean, if she hasn't straightened it out by now, she's not going to straighten it out in the next four years, it's just going to get worse and worse.


[11:55:10] BERMAN: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump turning their focus, you might say their ire toward each other after they each picked up seven wins on Super Tuesday, putting her ahead of their rivals, perhaps putting them one step closer to a general election showdown.

BOLDUAN: Joining us to discuss Michael Eric Dyson, public radio host, and author of the "Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America". Also joining us is former DNC, super delegate, Edward Espinosa, the Executive Director of Progress Texas, and former presidential campaign field director for Phil Richardson.

Gentleman, it's great to see you. Ed, first to you, I got to ask you about some of the exits that we saw, especially on the Democratic side. Take a look, just at your state, in terms of exit polling in Texas. Hillary Clinton won everything, when you look at the demographic, she won amongst white, she won amongst African-America, she won amongst Latinos, is there any hope when you see just this example, is there any hope for Bernie Sanders going forward if he can't make en route here?

EDWARD ESPINOSA, FORMER DNC SUPERDELEGATE: Yes, and Clinton also did well amongst young people, which I think is important things to bring up, because so many people talk about that being Bernie's strength. But Bernie has put together a strong campaign, but let's face it, Clinton is going to be the nominee, it might not be right away, but it's going to happen sometime probably in the month of March. She has nearly a 50 percent of the delegates she needs to claim the nomination.

Bernie has less than a third of that, so he's got to way to go. However, Bernie can stay in the race because unlike Republicans, Democrats have a proportional delegate allocation system all the way until the end of the race. So, if he stays until June, he certainly has the money to stay until June, he can keep taking his message of income equality to the people, and he can -- so long as he gets somewhere between 15 to 20 percent in this elections, he'll get delegates that he can take to the convention and have supporters in the room who continue carrying that message.

So, Clinton is going to be the nominee, she is winning by a wide margin, she has large support, progressives will come back to her and I think that's the way the story is going to go.

BERMAN: And Michael, I think it's safe to say that the subject of race will come up not just in the primary but in the general election as well. And Tavis Smiley, just wrote an op-ed in "U.S. Today," this thing is pretty interesting. He said, "Black America could get on the Trump train" and if you read this there's a whole lot inside here, but among other things, he says that he's talked to a lot of African- Americans who say, they're not as outraged over the Trump KKK controversy and David Duke controversy over the weekend as you might think. Do you buy that? Do you buy that the Trump train may include a lot of African-Americans?

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, AMERICAN ACADEMIC, CRITIC AND PUBLIC RADIO HOST: Well Travis Smiley is my dear friend and he's a smart guy, you take seriously what he says. And in that article he talks about, though he's abhorred by many of the things that Trump does, that some African-Americans are not.

There's always going to be a small percentage of people who don't find that offensive, who find the charisma of Trump, an ongoing appeal and attraction to them, but broadly speaking, I think most black people are safely and squarely in the camp of Hillary Clinton, and those of course who expresses support for Senator Sanders. But I think Secretary Clinton, as our guest indicated has a lot on that, she continues to be inspiring to many of those members of African-American and other interest groups and communities because of her willingness to speak directly to their issues.

Donald Trump has indicated that he will, you know, be great for black America because Barack Obama has been horrible and he's going to bring them jobs. But the public policy recommendations that Hillary Clinton puts forth, as well as the fact that she is willing to distance herself from any indication of racial animus, the likes of which we haven't seen for a while in this country resurging under a black presidency, and Donald Trump has had trouble even disavowing the KKK. So I think in the long run most African-American people are going to understand what the Democratic in general and what Hillary Clinton in particular offer to them.

BOLDUAN: Look ahead to the general real quick, it's fascinating -- one of the big fascinating stories out of the last night is turnout, where there were increases and where there were drop. Just take Texas where you -- field director as an example, Democratic turnout dropped significantly down from '08 and Republicans up in a very big way, 74 percent, how big of a problem is that?

ESPINOSA: I don't think it's a huge problem, one of the reasons you saw turnout drop is because '08 was a transformative year with a super contested election that actually came down to Texas. I don't people expect it to be as competitive here, the polls show that Clinton was up anywhere between 25 to 30 points heading into Election Day, people still wanted to go and show that their support for Clinton. But they knew that she was going to run away with this.

Now, heading into the general election, will that turnout be different in swing states? I think so, if people are going to be motivated for Clinton, that's one thing, but they may also be motivated against a Donald Trump or a Ted Cruz, or whoever they end up with, I think the motivation to participate in this election is going to be very high.

BERMAN: All right, Michael Eric Dyson, Edward Espinosa, thanks so much for being with us, I appreciate it guys.

BOLDUAN: Thanks guys.