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Possibility Of Trump Vs. Clinton Looms; Fiorina: Ted Cruz Only Candidate With A Path; GOP On Possible Road To Contested Convention; What's Next For Supreme Court Nominee?; Democratic Candidates' Path Forward; American Student Sentenced In North Korea; Critics To Clinton: Shout Less, Smile More. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 16, 2016 - 21:00   ET


[21:00:01] ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 ANCHOR: After last night's big victory, the two frontrunners already making November noises giving us an early preview of the kind of race they might run against one another.

Details tonight, from Brianna Keilar.



HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is another Super Tuesday for our campaign.

KEILAR: The Democratic frontrunner bringing home victories in four states adding to her delegate lead over Bernie Sanders.

CLINTON: We are moving closer to securing the Democratic Party nomination and winning this election in November.

KEILAR: With the math and the momentum in her favor, Clinton is looking to the general election.

CLINTON: Our commander-in-chief has to be able to defend our country, not embarrass it.

KEILAR: She's taking aim at GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, treating him as the presumptive Republican nominee.

CLINTON: Our next President has to bring our country together so we can all share in the promise of America. We should be breaking down barriers, not building walls.

KEILAR: Trump firing back at Clinton on CNN Today.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Is she's under federal investigation. She is -- she doesn't have the strength or stamina to be President. She talks about defeating our enemies. Where has she been for the last year? We can't even beat ISIS? She not defeating our enemies, she wouldn't know how to defeat the enemies. It's ridiculous. So I think she's an embarrassment and we'll see what happens.

KEILAR: He followed up with a video post slamming Clinton as incapable of taking on leaders like Russia's Vladimir Putin. The back and forth, a preview of a potential general election match up, even as Sanders presses on with his campaign.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Next week, Arizona has a very important election. We will win if the voter turnout is high. Let's make it high.


COOPER: Brianna Keilar joins us now. Brianna and you know always quiet to the two frontrunners stay, are the campaigns expected to ramp up again before we get to week's end?

KEILAR: We are expecting it to ramp up kind of going into next week because, of course, Tuesday is another big day. You have Idaho, Utah and Arizona. So what we're expecting certainly from Donald Trump and from Hillary Clinton, although the details are not finalized, is that they are going to head out west and try to court those voters. But, you know, it's also very expensive to have a primary battle, which these candidates, though the frontrunners still have.

So Hillary Clinton is going to be focusing on fundraising here at the end of the week, kind of taking a break off the campaign trail that she needs to build up for us.

COOPER: Brianna Keilar, thanks very much. Back now with our panel Margaret, what do you think of these two a match up between them is going to be like?

MARGARET HOOVER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Look, I think it's going to be bloody in this figure in term sense, not literary. I think -- OK here's the challenge they are both quite unlikeable to general electorate and to key constituencies that they have to win.

Trump is unlikeable to minority. Since they unfavorability is, are incredibly high with African-Americans unfavorable the number as 76 percent with African-American 40 plus percent with Latinos. You have to win more than just white voters if you're Republican in these days, you have to win some minority votes.

Likewise, Hillary Clinton has to win -- she has to win minorities, she has to win millennial, she has to win women. And frankly the turnout for minorities in this primary is don't -- doesn't even begin to rival 2008, I mean she's going to have to win over the youth that are going for Bernie Sanders.

So both of them have uphill battles to win over people who ...

COOPER: But Jeffrey both ... HOOVER: ... to get their ...


COOPER: ... could be use by the other side to get out votes, I mean just as there maybe, you know, not beloved by large numbers of people or percentages. They're also hated by people who will come out to vote against them.

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, yeah. That's absolutely right. Now I've often said that Donald -- the thing that makes Donald Trump interesting is that he's a cultural figure, but he's always been a cultural figure. Now he's becoming a politician.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, began as a politician but, you know, like share, she's got the one-name recognition like Donald Trump. And I really think that these in genders a certain animosity as it does for Donald Trump. In her case, though, the question is, Donald Trump has a lot of enthusiastic supporters, I honestly don't know that she has enthusiastic supporters, people that will just do and die for Hillary Clinton.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: What is your animosity to share?

LORD: I love to share.

COOPER: By the way, she watches this program, so I don't want to hear that words about share.

TOOBIN: Thumbs up.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: To hear Donald Trump talk about Hillary Clinton already is not having the strength and stamina, reminds me of what he did to Jeb Bush.

LORD: Yeah.

BORGER: Where last summer he was -- he called Jeb Bush a low-energy candidate ...

LORD: Right.

BORGER: ... and by the way, that stuck with Jeb Bush's, it got in Jeb Bush's head and what he's doing here is either referring to her feminity, she doesn't have the strength to be president, stamina, the fact that she was ill at the end of her tenure as Secretary of State.

[21:05:06] I mean this are, you know, these are things that I believe are going to come back in this race.

COOPER: Do you think both know how to run against the -- I mean they have both been able to watch the primary battles, do you think both have learned how to run against each other?

TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well I think Donald Trump feels emboldened running against Hillary because what he did when they started to come after him and then she -- he nailed the Clintons on the sex scandals and reminded people of that sordid history which tamped down some of the Clinton attacks on him for a time.

I don't know if we talked about this earlier, I don't know that the Clinton world knows exactly what to do but I can tell you this, they have an uphill research book that's probably about five feet high on Donald Trump.

Let's not forget that they are both in New York, Donald Trump has a checkered past and they will use those things against him. They may not resonate with the Republican voters in the primary, but when you get into a general election and you start trotting out the people, the small business owners that have been screwed over by him and his bankruptcies, the women that he spoke to like that, the ad that came out recently that showed women speaking his own language and saying that's our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, those kinds of images are very powerful in a general election. That's just ...

TOOBIN: What's interesting about from -- the only thing that seems to bother him is when people talk about his business record.



TOOBIN: I think she's going to stay away from his hands as a subject but, you know, the Trump University being this really shabby organization. You know, the fact that he's licensed his businesses to so many see the operations ...


COOPER: In the Las Vegas bankruptcies. But that is something that certainly seems to bother him I don't know if it moves many votes.

HOOVER: In the general, I think it will have an impact.

PETER BEINART, THE ATLANTIC CONTRIBUTOR: Hillary Clinton is not the inspiring figure for a lot of Democrats that Barack Obama was, but she doesn't have Democrats who loathe her. She has the united party ...

COOPER: Right, on running Democrats ...


BEINART: Right, the Bernie Sanders people will get behind Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump is presiding over a broken party and historically if you look historically in American elections, parties that are divided do not win Presidential elections.

COOPER: Although.


HOOVER: I means that in print -- in practice.

BEINART: The what.

LORD: Go ahead, go ahead.

HOOVER: The way, I mean -- the Clinton campaign has leaked exactly how they are going to run against him. I mean they have said they're going to pay him as a heartless businessman, they're going to go after in his record with women and they're going pay him a erratic. And those are all three premises that are not hard to prove, right, I mean his got an ample sample, to even other Republicans for that.

LORD: I've spoke to him about this topic a couple of years ago when I interviewed him for the American Spectator and I say that one of the complaints that Republicans had about Mitt Romney, John McCain, modern Republican nominees in general is that they don't fight back and I -- as this specifically, if you ran for President, what would you do?

And he said, in essence, oh, yeah, it has we can now see, I will fight back if to Tara's -- to Tara's point here about the sexism charge from Hillary Clinton, he not only didn't take it, he went right after her. So any of these charges that we're talking about here, believe me, he'll come after -- he'll hit them hard.


BORGER: Hillary Clinton is a fighter, too. I mean, she's been through a lot we've all watched it over the last 30 years, right? I mean Hillary Clinton knows how to fight back, also. And so she will be able to take it to him, oddly enough I think, in ways that some of those other men on the stage couldn't in a way that maybe Carly Fiorina did quite well.

BEINART: And remember, had her defining moment in her Senate race against Rick last, remember that. Where Rick last year wanted to be really aggressive, walked over into her space to get this a sign of with this thing about Super -- about PAC donations? That was a disaster for Rick Lazio.

The dynamics in a race against a woman and different, there are many disadvantage to being a female candidate, but we'll see how all this stuff works once you enter a general election against a female.

SETMAYER: But a lot of people look at Hillary Clinton and they don't necessarily see the, oh she's a woman be respectful. I think that they played that out at this point remember she started off as, I'm a grandmother and, you know, I'm just said she was going to play the woman card and then that's gone out the window. I think people ...


HOOVER: I think the general election is different.

SETMAYER: I don't know Hillary Clinton is as tough as nails and I don't think anybody wants to hear though, I'm a woman victim thing coming out of that.

(CROSSTALK) TOOBIN: I don't think that's over. You know, it's also worth remembering that Hillary Clinton is the most famous and admired woman in the world. She has a lot of people who don't like her but the fact that she is a grandmother, that she would be the first woman President that is none issue that has gone away. And there are people who out there who will be impressed by that.

SETMAYER: I think in this election climate that is less important than it would have been. Barack Obama has taken the historical value thing to that reached critical mass in 2008 I don't know. If you look at millennials that are supporting Bernie Sanders, and you ask them about, well how do you feel about the first woman President they don't care.

COOPER: But isn't the truth, does in history show is we rarely know how a general election campaign is going do ...


[21:10:05] COOPER: ... and what we think is going to happen ...

SETMAYER: That's right.


COOPER: Who could predict it, except for you Jeffrey Lord where Donald Trump is in?

LORD: Thanks.

COOPER: You know, and ...

BORGER: And very often there's foreign policy in that, you know, it get inserted. The October surprise, we always talk about. And you never know what's going to happen those last three months and how they react as potential presidents to ...

COOPER: Right, which is why there are these long races why it is a marathon ...

BORGER: Exactly.

COOPER: ... because things change over time that you can never predict. I mean had it been prediction well with all be talking about Jeb Bush.

SETMAYER: Well look what happened with John McCain in 2008. I mean, he was doing fairly well until the financial crisis and the way he handled that destroyed his campaign after that. And most people don't -- well I guess maybe this time around but different -- it may be different, but those people really don't pay attention until after Labor Day, right? That's usually the way it's been.

And so, that's why they call it the October Surprise, people are now focused on the election going into it and who knows, six months away from now. COOPER: A lot more to talk about, including what a contested convention might look like and Donald Trump's warning there could be violence if he's denied the nomination.

Also my conversation with former candidate Carly Fiorina, who's now backing Ted Cruz. Her thoughts on Cruz's chances.

And later, reaction to a court in North Korea sentencing this American student of 15 years of hard labor and accusations he stole a political banner from his hotel.


COOPER: As we've been reporting, another big night for Donald Trump last night as he picked up wins in three more state but he did lose to John Kasich in Ohio. Ted Cruz though is warning that it's impossible for Kasich to become the nominee, pointing out that only he himself has defeated Trump multiple times.

[21:15:11] Cruz also said it was a good night for him despite not winning any state. Earlier today I spoke with former President Candidate Carly Fiorina who's endorsed him.


COOPER: Ms. Fiorina, thank you very much for joining us. I know your candidate Senator Cruz and he had a good night last night. How do you think he had a good night, because I mean he lost Florida, Ohio, Illinois and North Carolina it appears have narrowly lost Missouri, which is every state they voted yesterday.

CARLY FIORINA, FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well I don't think anyone expected him to win Florida or Ohio. He did pick up delegates and he is the only candidate with a path.

COOPER: How do you see Ted Cruz's path, though? Because, I mean other than a contested convention.

FIORINA: Here's the thing. Donald Trump has been winning in open primary that is where Democrats and the Independence can also vote. He is been losing in close primaries or caucuses. And the contests that are coming up are close which means only Republicans can vote for their nominee and I actually think Republicans should vote for their nominee as oppose to Democrats and Independents some of whom haven't voted before.

Sot it's not that, it's not a good thing that they are voting perhaps. But I just think realistically Ted Cruz has never been in a situation, until today, where we are down to so few candidates and to closed primaries favor him. We know that and we also know from the data that people who are late deciders, generally speaking, break away from Donald Trump not towards him.

COOPER: Do you think Ted Cruz and other candidates, yourself included, underestimated Donald Trump in terms of, I mean did Cruz and others, yourself included, think that he would maybe just implode or drop out before going after him?

FIORINA: Oh, I think we all underestimated Donald Trump. I mean, I'll just say, I was surprised that Donald Trump entered the race in the first place. I frankly have been shocked by the unparalleled amount of media attention that he has gotten. So, yes, I think we underestimated the role the media would play. I think we underestimated the fact that he got in this thing and is in it to win it, apparently, not just for a lark, absolutely yes.

And as I've said from the moment he got into this race, Donald Trump does not represent me and he does not represent my party. And I think it is critical that we beat him and I think it's critical that we beat him at the ballot box and that is why I've endorsed Ted Cruz, among other reasons and why I'm working so hard to help him win the nomination.

COOPER: You point to the media as being responsible for giving a lot of attention to Donald Trump. Something Ted Cruz does as well. And certainly Donald Trump returned phone calls and was willing to do interviews which is something your campaign frankly often wasn't willing to do nor Ted Cruz's campaign.

Well CNN repeatedly reached out to you to do -- to follow you along on the campaign trail, to do specials and were rebuffed time and time again, the same with Ted Cruz. Is it really fair ...


COOPER: ... to just point the finger at the media because Donald Trump was actually willing to do interviews?

FIORINA: Well, first of all, I think that your characterization of the campaign is inaccurate. It is also true that candidates ...

COOPER: You did turn down repeated requests from CNN?

FIORINA: I went on CNN many times. That's also fair to say that CNN excuse me, if I could answer the question. CNN always had a very particular schedule. And believe it or not, when you're running for office, sometimes a more important item is to actually meet with voters.

But I would say this. Every objective assessment of the media coverage that Donald Trump has received, including by your own reporters and media analysts, every objective assessment, concludes the same thing. That Donald Trump has gotten far more coverage than all the other candidates combined.

So, I think, is it fair to say that Donald Trump has hit a nerve with voters? Of course. Is it also fair to say that the media has played a role in his midaortic rise and his ability to stay on top of the polls no matter what he says and does? Of course.

COOPER: Carly Fiorina, it's good to talk to you again. Thank you very much.

FIORINA: Thanks.


COOPER: As we've been reporting, it's looking more and more like the Republicans could be on the road to a contested convention, the convention set for July in Cleveland. And the magic number to clinch the nomination is 1,237 delegates. Still, a lot of questions to be answered between now and July.

Trump says even if he, falls short of the magic number, that he should get the nomination, for instance, and predicts there will be riots if there's a contested convention. Riot, threats aside, though, we wanted to take a look at what a contested convention would actually look like.

Tom Foreman joins us to explain. Tom.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson, you just mentioned the magic number. What that means is that is the number of delegates that anyone of these guys has to get to clinch the nomination. And this is the delegate count right now.

[21:20:04] So you see, they still have some way to go. If anyone gets to it, it's all over. If not, if you get to July in the convention and nobody has that number you already have what's called a contested convention.

And that what that means is that the first vote on the floor of all of these delegates won't just be for show, it will count.

Now, obviously, if Trump, for example, had a big lead going into that, there's a good chance he can win on the first ballot and that would be all over. But if he doesn't, everything changes, because at that point, some of these delegates become unbound.

They no longer have to reflect the voting in their states. So you could see the candidates for making deals trying to draw people off from this camp to another one. The delegates could be changing their allegiances and the outcome of all of this becomes much more uncertain, Anderson.

COOPER: Tom, Trump says if he doesn't get a nomination, there could be riots. I mean, if he has a big lead, is it really possible the nomination could be taken away from him?

FOREMAN: It could be in the sense that they could start fiddling with the rules and basically saying we're going to throw out all of the states where there's any question about his win but it's not really that likely for several reasons.

First of all, the popular vote. No party wants to go out and have millions of Americans tell them their preference and then just shove that out of window because the party doesn't like it.

Secondly, the rules. Right now, there's a rule on the Republican side that says you can't even be considered for the nomination unless you've won eight states. That could further constrict their options other than Trump if he's the guy out front.

And lastly, Anderson, it all comes down to the Democrats. The Republican bosses know, as upset as they may be about many things happening in their party right now, if they lose enthusiasm, if they lose momentum through a really nasty, dirty convention, that could split their constituencies so badly it would effectively just hand the victory over to the opposing party. Anderson?

COOPER: All right Tom Foreman, Tom thanks.

Well, just ahead tonight, President Obama makes his Supreme Court pick with the Republicans vowing to block consideration of any nominee. So what happens next? We'll look into that, when we continue.


[21:26:04] COOPER: It's a battlefield reporting now with two branches of government practically a war over the third. President Obama picking the Supreme Court nominee, the party in control of the Senate saying, "Flat out no, not holding hearings."

Many Republican Senators refusing even meet with the nominee, who in this case, happens to already be a long serving and highly regarded member of the federal bench. Senate Republicans invoking president and principle, the President trying to expose what he hopes will be seeing as their political motivations, neither side budgeting.

The latest now from CNN Justice Correspondent, Pamela Brown.


BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: Today I am nominating Chief Judge Merrick Bryan Garland to join the Supreme Court.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: President Obama today made his case for 63-year-old, Merrick Garland, Chief Judge for the D.C. Appeals Court.

OBAMA: I have selected a nominee who is widely recognized not only as one of America's sharpest legal minds, but someone who brings to his work a spirit of decency, modesty, integrity, evenhandedness and excellence.

BROWN: An emotional Judge Garland with his family looking on introduced himself to the nation.

JUDGE MERRICK GARLAND, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: This is the greatest honor of my life, other than Lynn agreeing to marry me 28 years ago.

BROWN: The White House Touts Judge Garland is having more federal judicial experience than any nominee in history, serving nearly two decades on the bench.

Before that, he prosecuted Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City bombing case.

GARLAND: A rider truck was seen there.

BROWN: The president considers the Chicago native and Harvard Law graduate, a consensus nominee. He was appointed to the D.C. Appeals Court by President Bill Clinton in 1997 and confirmed by a 76-23 Senate vote with bipartisan supporters, including Republican Orrin Hatch.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH, (R) UTAH: They saw him on his qualifications. I support the nomination of Mr. Garland and I encourage my colleagues to do the same.

BROWN: The ball now was in the Republican's court, but they continue to vow there'll be no hearing for a nominee until a new president is elected.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) MAJORITY LEADER: Give the people a voice in filling this vacancy.

BROWN: And they're using Vice President Joe Biden's own words against him from his days as a Senate judiciary committee chairman.

MCCONNELL: Here's what he said. It would be our pragmatic conclusion.

That once the political season is under way, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over.

BROWN: McConnell went on to dub it, "The Biden Rule", a term getting lots of support among Republicans on Capitol Hill, including House Speaker Paul Ryan.

REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: The Senate which they take co- equal branch of government has every right not to act on that nomination.

BROWN: Biden shot back on Twitter saying, "There is only one Biden rule I followed while in the Senate. Every SCOTUS nominee gets a hearing, committee vote and floor vote, period."

And Senate Democrats are joining that battle crime.

SEN CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK: We hope to see their heads in the Republican Party will prevail on Chuck Grassley and on Mitch McConnell to do their job.

BROWN: For Garland, this day is especially poignant, having been passed over twice before for a seat on the high court.

GARLAND: Mr. President, it's a great privilege to be nominated by a fellow Chicagoan.

I am grateful beyond words for the honor you have bestowed upon me.

OBAMA: Thank you.


COOPER: Pamela Brown joins us now. We hear the White House and Democrats make their case regardless -- is the judge himself going to meet with skeptical Republicans or can he?

BROWN: Well, there certainly a divide, Anderson in the Republican Party with the senators, who is going to meet with Garland and who isn't.

So, the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell spoke to him on the phone, but said he will not meet with him in person. Chuck Grassley, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, seems to be non committal and then there are other Republican senators who said they'd be happy to meet with him in person, such as Senator Collins.

But what's clear here is that most of the Republicans are sticking to the party line that they will not hold a hearing. They are sticking to that and the White House, though, is holding out hope that with all the public pressure on them, that they will change course and end upholding the hearing.

[21:30:15] So, we'll have to see how it plays out.

COOPER: Pamela Brown. Pamela, thanks very much.

More now, what went into the President's decision to pick Judge Garland, and the Harvard Politics surrounding it? CNN Michelle Kosinski joining us from the White House.

We just heard from Pam Brown saying that Republicans have been critical of the President's push to nominate Garland. What are members of his own party saying about his choice?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson. Well, for most prominent Democrats, what they've been doing in they're reaction is framing it in terms of the Republican obstruction, saying that this is bad for America, that this would be unprecedented and that this needs to move forward.

But there are some liberal groups out there who have some issues with the candidate himself saying, you know, this could have been a more progressive choice, the nominee could have represented diversity much better and some people are worried that Garland could be bad for criminal justice reform because of the way he's ruled in several cases, often ruling for the government. Anderson?

COOPER: Is the White House actually optimistic that the judge will ultimately sit on the Supreme Court?

KOSINSKI: I mean, that's a good question. I mean they don't want to slide out say, we don't think this is ever going to happen and they don't want to say that they think it will. So they've been doing is expressing some optimism, especially when there is a little bit of movement. I mean, we've seen a handful of Republicans say they may be willing to meet with Garland even though that doesn't mean that they're going to give him a shot at even a hearing. But the White House sees that as some reason for optimism, I mean they seen Republicans change their tune in the past. We've seen that recently with the budget, remember with raising the federal debt limit.

And so the White House says, this could happen that some Republicans could change their minds. They don't want to say that this is going all the way. But, you know, the White House wants to frame Garland as really the ultimate consensus nominee. Somebody so moderate with such stellar credentials, that if Republicans don't give him a chance, that they will look as bad as possible and will ultimately inflict the maximum political damage right before the election. Anderson?

COOPER: Michelle Kosinski. Thanks very much Michelle.

Back with our panel, Jeff, I mean is there anyone to know how this actually will play out?

TOOBIN: Well, I think, you know, what we don't do often enough is just listen to what the politicians say. The Republicans are saying, we are not giving him a hearing. We are not giving him a vote. I don't think they're going to give him a hearing or a vote.

COOPER: So the idea of public pressure could somehow change that?

TOOBIN: You know, this seat is too important to the Republicans. They know that there are four Democratic appointees now and four Republican appointees. This could be the first liberal majority on the Supreme Court since the late 1960s.

COOPER: You're saying this is the most important decision for -- I'm sorry, in what?

TOOBIN: In more than a generation. Because virtually all the vacancies that have taken place, you have had conservatives replacing conservatives, liberals replacing liberals. This is the potential for a liberal to replace a conservative or a moderate to replace a conservative with the court divided 4 to 4.

So the Republicans are willing to do whatever it takes, including take a little heat for being obstructionists to stop this from happening. Now, the risk, of course they take is that instead of getting a 63- year-old moderate from Barack Obama, they get a 45-year-old liberal from Hillary Clinton next year. But, you know, that's also ...

COOPER: But there's also I guess the sort of the political way to look at this from the Democratic side is which is that if the Republicans are obstructionists, that could motivate people to go to the polls.


COOPER: If enough people are upset about it.

BORGER: That's right. And that's why you're going to hear Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, you know, and talk about the fact that they believe Congress is not fulfilling its constitutional obligation. I will tell you, though, that Mitch McConnell knows an awful lot about the constitution and they believe that there are no limits on how the Senate discharges its authority to advice and consent, which means that they don't have to do anything and they -- and that's their interpretation of the constitution.

It's perfectly valid. There's another valid interpretation of the constitution because it is not written in the constitution. And Mitch McConnell made it very clear to Democrats that it's their fault because back in 2006, Barack Obama, when he was a senator and other senators decided that they could filibuster justice -- now Justice Alito and he is effectively saying to them you started it. Right, but this is his argument to them. You guys started it.

BEINART: You know, it's one thing to not vote for the guy, right? Even to demand -- even to filibuster and demand that they win 60 votes. It's another thing not even to give them a hearing right?

BORGER: Right.

BEINART: Not even allow the guy to come to your office. That seems to me where the kind of political cowardice is here.

If you don't like this guy, you don't want a Democrat, you don't want about -- then go through the motions and vote against him. But to not even allow him to make his case seems to me to be stretching the boundaries of what's exactly ...

BORGER: But they know him, they like him.

[21:35:03] COOPER: Is it cowardice?

LORD: Well ...

BEINART: Right, that's the problem right, you know, he wouldn't be as objectionable ...

BORGER: They like him.

LORD: Here's the plan, I worked on five nomination, is a court nominations while I was in the White House Political office and a couple Appeals Court one after that in the Bush era, and for Chief Justice Roberts. I can only tell you the politics of this stuff stinks. This stuff is so bad.

TOOBIN: What is that mean?

LORD: What it means is that burp (ph) situation and frankly I think you go back to Nixon era, with Haynsworth and Carswell when Nixon nominated for -- both of them for the same vacancy that I think was Justice Powell and he round up


LORD: Right. And the politics of it has become so bad, because what began with Democrats saying, you know, we're not go to do this, we're not going to do this, we're not going to do this, then switch to Republicans and then they basically said the same thing.

So now got this just an ocean of mistrust here. On top of which you've got in the base of each party people are saying, we want this seat, more or less, as Jeff has indicated. So it's terrible. And I just don't see any way out of this.

HOOVER: I mean the politics of this actually don't make any sense at all. I mean the Republicans and conservatives had really bad luck to Justice Scalia died. Now this is unforeseen events ...

TOOBIN: You saying nothing to Justice Scalia's luck?

HOOVER: First I am devising because the court does thing in the balance probably for a generation. OK. But we are not going to get a better nominee under a Hillary Clinton presidency. We are just simply not. And if you look at this election the way its going, I mean conservatives don't even like Donald Trump. They don't trust that he would put up a strict obstruct as strict originalist to be a nominee anyway.

COOPER: Very quick, because we are now going to go.

SETMAYER: Yeah. But this is where the challenge becomes really important for Republicans. They've doubled down on we will not do this. And part of the reason why we're even, we even have a Donald Trump situation is because of how many times they said they would fight and wouldn't do it. So if they rescind on this now, you are going to see another revolt from Republicans ...


COOPER: Yeah, we going to take a break here.

SETMAYER: ... and they have to be able to explain why its justice equal to them if they don't want to bring them up as for Obama to nominate.

COOPER: We got a lot more to talk about.

Just ahead we're going to take you a closer look at who will be the Democratic nominee first on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders saying he still sees a path to the nomination. The question is, can he actually make it work?

John King breaks it down by the numbers.


[21:41:21]:COOPER: We've been talking about the new political landscape that Super Tuesday three has carved out in the Democratic race, Hillary Clinton won four, possibly five in the five states and play yesterdays sweeping up a big pile of delegates widening for already substantial lead.

The question is, where does that leave Bernie Sanders does he still have a viable path forward? John King is back to break it down by the numbers. So the word inevitable is back after the strong night that Clinton had last night. Map out, if you can, a possible Sanders comeback.

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: I can map up possible, Sanders victories, the come back is a big question because with inevitable becomes a lot of talk that Hillary Clinton's lead is insurmountable. Let's look at the next couple of weeks, Anderson in the Democratic race.

Three contests next Tuesday, you see them there in Arizona as Idaho and Utah and then you come up forward to Saturday the 26th, Hawaii, Alaska and Washington State, all good territory for Bernie Sanders and then the big Wisconsin primary on April 5th.

Now, let's come over here and make play, we have 359 delegates over the course of those primaries -- excuse me. Here's our state of play today. Hillary Clinton starting to pull away, almost at the halfway point in the nomination chase and right now she's on the path to convince, a path to clinch, excuse me, if she keeps winning at the race she's winning.

Let's say Bernie Sanders wins them all, next week, but Clinton thinks she's going to win in Arizona but for the sake of argument, I'm going to give them all to Bernie Sanders. Let's say Bernie Sanders then wins Alaska, Hawaii, Washington State, right, let's say when he's winning 55-45 in all the states, let's say, they even wins Wisconsin. Now, the Clinton campaign doesn't think that's going to happen.

But even if Bernie Sanders swept the next three nights of contests, look what would happen. If the contests around 55-45, yes, he would narrow the gap a little bit, but Secretary Clinton would still start to pull out, 1,280 or so and remember she has super delegates in her back pocket.

Now that is a dream scenario for Sanders where at least it could say, I have momentum and I'm closing the gap, but if Anderson if you talk to the Clinton campaign, that they think they are going to win Arizona and is rough split of the delegates if it's 55-45, they think they're going to win Arizona and they think they have a pretty good shot at Wisconsin, this one I'll give to her and show you just what the map will look like.

If this happens, then she's started to pull away even more she keeps her lead. That's 300 plus delegates right there. Now for the sake of argument, this one was probably a little more favorable to Sanders, so you can give him this one a bit.

Even if Hillary Clinton only wins one of the next three big nights, she's still going to stretch the map, so Sanders can claim he has momentum but because of the Democratic proportional rules, it is almost impossible to catch up.

COOPER: I mean, despite her dominance, so Clinton needs a higher percentage of the remaining delegates to clinch than Trump needs on the GOP side, right? KING: That's interesting, because of those Democratic rules, Donald Trump needs about 54 percent. It's probably little bit lower than that when we get done allocating all to Missouri and Illinois delegates on the Republican side, but Donald Trump needs about 54, 55 percent, maybe a little bit lower from here or out.

Hillary Clinton needs 59 percent even though she's dominating and winning many more states than Bernie Sanders because of the proportional Democratic rules, she needs about 59, so six in Tennessee essentially Democratic delegates, which means she can't stumble but it also means to beat her, Bernie Sanders has to start winning states 65/35 or 70/30 to start to get close in the map, even if Hillary Clinton is losing, even if she's losing some states if she's losing some, you know, 52/48 and then winning some, 55/45, she'll continue to March.

COOPER: John King, John thanks.

KING: Thank you.

COOPER: Back with our panel, now Gloria Borger, is there's every reason that Bernie Sanders would just stay ...


COOPER: ... in the race through the nomination even if he's not going to get.

BORGER: I think Bernie Sanders is already had a huge impact on this race ...


BORGER: ... and he's got a lot of money. So what's the reason for him to get out? As long as they are not name calling like on the Republican side, you know, that Democrats are happier voters, that each candidate is acceptable, that if Hillary Clinton were to become the nominee as you we're saying earlier, the Sanders voters ...

[21:45:00] COOPER: Do you think so, it be continue to be Democratic debates? Because if you're Hillary Clinton, do you really want to be on a stage, you know, in are argument with Bernie Sanders?

BORGER: I would say town halls, how about that, I just said. You know, I would say that they are getting very big audiences and that if you're a presidential candidate, you don't want to turn down an audience like that if it's not going to be contentious.

TOOBIN: Hillary Clinton is a different candidate with different views on the issues, because Bernie Sanders is right and that's a tremendous influence, even if you don't win. You know, free trade used to be, you know, something that, you know, the Clintons were very much associated with, NAFTA and the like.

LORD: Right.

TOOBIN: Donald Trump is also contributed to this new skepticism of free trade.

Again, Bernie Sanders has had that impact income inequality is a, you know, a core issue now that every Democrat has to address.

BEINART: I think beyond that, I think that the next Democratic presidential nominee after Hillary Clinton will look more like Bernie Sanders ideologically than like the way Hillary Clinton was. The party demographically, because of the influence of millennials, is moving left and her presidency, if she wins, will be different.

She will not be able to nominate the same kind of people to the Treasury Department that Bill Clinton did. When she tries to nominate people from Wall Street Journal, there will be a revolt from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

STEMAYER: This is the risk that the, if Bernie Sanders staying in the race, poses for Hillary Clinton. We've already seen that she's been pulled to the left, pulled to the left. She's made some pretty extreme comments on immigration and other things and that can hurt her. It will come back to haunt her ...

COOPER: In a general election.

SETMAYER: ... in a general election, I'm sure they don't want that.

COOPER: I want to thank all of our panelists tonight.

Coming up next, a true nightmare playing out right now for the American student in North Korea, 21 years old sentenced to 15 years hard labor in North Korea for what almost anywhere else would barely merit are mention, even if it weren't true, details next on the effort now on the way to free him.


[21:50:34] COOPER: State Department is asking North Korea to release a 21 year old student who's been sentenced to 15 years hard labor for utmost and if true, in minor offense.

Now, if this is what appears to be, we have seen this harsh show before. Brian Todd reports tonight.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In a trial reported to have lasted only one hour. North Korean officials present finger prints, photos of a political banner allegedly stolen, surveillance images. They claim this is proof that American student, Otto Frederick Warmbier committed crimes against the regime.

In court, Warmbier pleads for mercy.


I beg you, if you see for I am only human. How I had made the worst mistake of my life.

TODD: It didn't work. Tonight, Warmbier is sentenced to 15 years hard labor. That's according to a North Korean official who spoke with CNN.

What are the conditions he'll be facing?

GREG SCARLATOIU, COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA: He may be forced to work in agriculture as it happened with other American prisoners. He may spend his days planting apple trees, for example.

It will be fairly grueling forced labor. It is very likely that he will be interrogated by agents of the State Security Department. This is the North Korean Gestapo, the Internal Security Agency, if you will.

TODD: Human rights group say similar conditions were experienced by American Missionary, Kenneth Bay, who was held in North Korea for about two years. Tonight, Otto Warmbier's family is not commenting on his sentence.

U.S. officials tell CNN, they're working to secure his release in our urging Kim Jong Un's regime to pardon the young America.

MARK TONER, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: The Department believes that the sentence is unduly harsh for the actions Mr. Warmbier allegedly took.

TODD: Warmbier was on an organized tour when he was detained by the North Koreans on January 2nd.

In a bizarre twist, the regime claimed he was encouraged to steal the banner by his church, by a secret of organization at his school, the University of Virginia and by the CIA.

A U.S. official tell CNN, that's absurd says its propaganda.

Kenneth Bae and another American, Matthew Todd Miller had also been accused of perpetrating hostile acts against Kim's regime.

They were given long sentences of hard labor, but released much earlier.

SCARLATOIU: Based on previous such instances, I would say that Otto Warmbier would stand a fair chance of being released after about six month since his arrest.


COOPER: So, Brian, how do U.S. official see this playing out. I mean, does North Korea trying to use this American prisoner for some kind of leverage?

TODD: Very likely they are, Anderson. U.S. officials and others were telling us that it's likely that in this case, the North Koreans, as they've done before will use this young man as leverage to try to get an important American to come over to North Korea and make a political show out of getting him out.

James Clapper, the Director of U.S. National Intelligence went to North Korea in 2014 to get Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller out of North Korean custody.

That was a big political show in North Korea. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter have made similar mission there.

So, we're being told that could be in the cards that may what the North Koreans are trying to aim for by holding this young man right now.

COOPER: All right. Brian, thanks very much.

TODD: Sure.

COOPER: A warning to anyone else, thinking of traveling in North Korea. We'll be right back.


[21:57:42] COOPER: Ever wonder of which presidential candidate yells the loudest, who is the grumpiest? No matter who came into mind just now is the only woman in the race Hillary Clinton, gets taken to task for things that man do not certainly not on the same way, whether of which she wears or the emotions she shows on her face or in her voice. What passes for fair game sometimes isn't necessarily fair.

Jeanne Moos, reports.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She's used to getting shutouts, as well as shouting of here audience.

CLINTON: Thank you, Florida.

MOOS: Shouting everything from her gratitude to her website.


MOOS: But between her hoarse voice and her volume, critics cover their ears, Hillary shouting her speech tweeted media critic Howard Kurtz. What she mad at? Wondered Fox's Brit Hume.

CLINTON: Without borrowing a dime.

MOOS: Last month Journalist Bob Woodruff declared

BOB WOODRUFF, JOURNALIST: She shouts. There is something unrelaxed about the way she is communicating.

MOOS: But when Joe Scarborough advised smile, you just had a big night, he got an earful from Hillary supporters crying sexist. Comedian Kate Spencer tweeted a photo with fangs captioned, me when Joe tells woman to smile.] The #smile for Joe inspired women to post their unsmiling faces. The Liberal political blog one can ask. You want to see a smile? Here's a smile. Oh, you want a bigger smile? Here's a bigger smile.

And in a cameo on the show "Broad City Wednesday", well, you don't get smiles much bigger than this.

The male candidates sure aren't above raising their voices.

TRUMP: And then as soon as we left, they knocked the (inaudible) of everybody.

CLINTON: You know

SANDERS: ... through -- excuse me, I'm talking.

TRUMP: No, no, no, no!


MOOS: Hillary, herself is aware of the shouting critique.

CLINTON: I'm always being told when I talk to you, I should talk in a very calm.

MOOS: And sometimes she catches herself.

CLINTON: And above all, above all.

MOOS: Think softly and carry a big stick. So you can use the stick in anyone in who says your rough speaking softly enough.

JIMMY FALLON, NBC THE TONIGHT SHOW HOST: You want to win, here's what you going to do. First, yell.

[22:00:00] MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN ...

FALLON: In fact, this phone isn't even plugged in, I'm just ...

MOOS: ... New York.


COOPER: You see, I'm smiling. That does for us, thanks for watching. We'll see you again at midnight eastern for another edition "360".

"CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts now.