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Obama Nominates Merrick Garland To U.S. Supreme Court; Senate Republicans Don't Want A Hearing For Nominee; Trump, Clinton Claim Big Wins On Super Tuesday; Undercover In Syria: Civic Institutions Under Fire; Belgian Police Hunt For Escaped Terror Suspects; Supreme Court Nominee Introduced; Presidential Nomination Process; Chinese Media and Trump. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired March 16, 2016 - 16:00:00   ET




HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. We are live at CNN London. Thanks for being with us this hour. This is


We begin tonight in the United States, in an already fractious race to be the next president has one more reason to become explosive. Barack Obama

has made what he calls one of the most important decisions of his tenure, nominating Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

Now, that sets up a titanic battle with Republicans in the Senate on this election year. They don't want a new justice confirmed during this

process. Pamela Brown has the latest from Washington.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Today I am nominating Chief Judge Merrick Brian Garland to join the Supreme Court.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Obama today made his case for why 63-year-old Merrick Garland, chief judge for

the D.C. Appeals Court should be the next justice for the Supreme Court.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The selected 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, even handedness, and excellence.

BROWN: An emotional Judge Garland officially introduced him to the country.

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 tells Judge Garland as having more federal judicial experience than any other Supreme Court nominee in history, serving more

than 18 years on the bench.

The president considers the Chicago native and Harvard Law graduate a consensus nominee, who has previously garnered praise from both Democrats

and Republicans.

Judge Garland was appointed to the D.C. Appeals Court by President Bill Clinton in 1997 and confirmed by a 76-23 Senate vote with support from both

sides of the aisle.

He clerked for the late Justice William Brennan and also served at the Justice Department where he prosecuted Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City


Now the battle begins to whether a divided Congress will confirm Garland to fill the open seat on the Supreme Court.

GARLAND: Mr. President it's a great privilege to be nominated by a fellow Chicagoan. I'm grateful beyond words for the honor you have bestowed upon



GORANI: Merrick Garland at the White House today. Is it all futile, though, that Republicans are already saying they won't consider this


Let's get the latest from Washington. Manu Raju joins me now. We are getting already strong and very swift reaction from the top Republicans in

Congress -- Manu.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right. By and large Republicans are saying we'll wait until next year to consider a nomination.

That means they are actually not going to go forward with hearings before the committee that considers Supreme Court nominations.

That will be the first time actually in history that a nominee has not been even given confirmation hearings. Typically, if someone is not given

confirmation hearings it's because they have withdrawn themselves.

But the reason why is that Republicans say that we are now in an election season and voters should have a say and that is a position that Senate

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made very clearly on the Senate floor earlier today.


MITCH MCCONNELL, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: The next justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound

impact on our country. So of course -- of course, the American people should have a say in the court's direction. It is the president's

constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice and it's the Senate's constitutional right to act as a check on a president and withhold

its consent.


RAJU: Now, Democrats are trying to make -- put a lot of pressure on senators who are up for re-election in difficult races. They believe that

is the key to changing the dynamic, by pressuring some of those senators who actually believe that they should be more open to the president's


They think that they can actually change the dynamic. You are going to see a lot of protests back home over the next two weeks when lawmakers return

back for a congressional break or work period back home.

[15:05:05]There is going to be an effort to try to force them to break from McConnell's party line position. I'm not so sure they will have much

success because Republican senators right now believe they are in a good political position.

They think they can be the fire wall against a liberal justice. That's the debate we will hear on the campaign trail this year -- Hala.

GORANI: Certainly plays right into the campaign. Thanks very much, Manu Raju in Washington on Capitol Hill.

Now speaking of the campaign, the Clinton and Trump campaigns are riding high today just one day after claiming some major wins on the third Super


Here's how the contests shook out. Donald Trump took the delegate-rich state of Florida as well as North Carolina and Illinois. John Kasich

pulled out a big win in his home state of Ohio. So basically, Donald Trump riding high in Florida and two other states but losing Ohio.

On the Democratic side pretty much a clean sweep for Hillary Clinton. She won Ohio, Illinois, Florida, and North Carolina. Those victories saw her

pull well ahead of Democratic challenger, Bernie Sanders.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are moving closer to securing the Democratic Party nomination and winning this election in

November. You know, because of all of you and our supporters across the country, our campaign has earned more votes than any other candidate,

Democrat or Republican.


GORANI: Well, she's well ahead in the delegate count. On the Republican side, we are down to three. That race for president is tightening up.

That's because Florida Senator Marco Rubio called it quits yesterday evening after failing to win his own state of Florida. With a recap here

is Sara Murray.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to win, win, win.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER (voice-over): Donald Trump celebrating another big primary night.

TRUMP: I'm having a very nice time, but you know what, I'm working very hard and there is great anger. Believe me. There is great anger.

MURRAY: The Republican frontrunner racking up victories in three more states bringing his total now to 18. Now Cruz insisting the race is down

to him and Trump.

SENATOR TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Only two campaigns have a plausible path to the nomination.

MURRAY: But Ohio Governor John Kasich is still keeping hope alive, clinching his first win of the race in the winner take all state of Ohio.

JOHN KASICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have to thank the people of the great state of Ohio. I love you is all I can tell you. I love you.

MURRAY: In Florida, Trump putting a nail in the coffin of establishment darling Senator Marco Rubio.

TRUMP: I want to congratulate Marco Rubio on having run a really tough campaign. He's tough. He's smart and he's got a great future.

MURRAY: Rubio ending his presidential ambitions after a bruising double digit loss to Trump in his home state.

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: While it is not God's plan that I be president in 2016 or maybe ever, and as of today my

campaign is suspended, the fact that I've even come this far is evidence of how special America truly is.

MURRAY: Now down to a three-man race Trump continues to call for unity.

TRUMP: We have to bring our party together. We have to bring it together.

MURRAY: While Kasich and Cruz make a pitch to Rubio's supporters, both pledging to take this fight all the way to the convention.

CRUZ: To those who supported Marco, who worked so hard, we welcome you with open arms.

KASICH: Thank you from the bottom of my heart, but I want you to know something. We're going to go all the way to Cleveland and secure the

Republican nomination.


GORANI: CNN's Sara Murray reporting. We mentioned all the states except Missouri. That's because they are still counting votes there. Both the

Republican and Democratic contests in Missouri remain too close to call.

So the magic number for the Republicans is 1,237. That's how many delegates any candidate needs to secure the nomination. If Donald Trump

fails to reach that threshold, we could see what's called a contested convention in which no candidate has a majority of delegates going in.

Now, Trump says that scenario could lead to chaos. Listen to the words he used.


TRUMP (via telephone): Before getting to the convention, but I can tell you if we didn't and if we're 20 votes short or if we're -- if we're you

know, 100 short and we're at 1,100 and somebody sells at 500 or 400 -- because we're way ahead of everybody -- I don't think you can say that we

don't get it automatically. I think you would have riots.


GORANI: Let's bring in Ron Brownstein. He is a senior political analyst for CNN. Ron, let's talk about the Kasich win in Ohio. Everybody was

looking at that very important swing state and saying if Kasich wins it could change the calculus for the race. What does that do to Trump's race

for the nomination?

[15:10:06]RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it keeps Kasich alive, but until reinforced by more evidence, it doesn't really do

more than that.

Donald Trump has a difficult but not unachievable path to get to that absolute majority of delegates on the first ballot, 1,237.

But as he points out, if he is very close and no one else is within sight of him, it is going to be practically difficult to deny him the nomination.

The problem John Kasich and Ted Cruz have mirror image versions of the same problem. They are each narrow casting. Kasich is overly dependent on

moderate voters in a party in which moderate voters are the clear minority.

And Kasich is overly dependent on Evangelicals voters and now is moving to states where there are many fewer Dems after not winning enough of the

states where they dominated.

So each of them I think have limits in terms of challenging Trump who is himself a plurality frontrunner. It's really an incredible situation.

GORANI: What could at this point stop Donald Trump?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think the only thing that could stop him would really be a kind of tag team effect. I mean, you could imagine, Hala, a world

where John Kasich being the more moderate, white collar candidate, more secular candidate could challenge Trump effectively in the blue states that

are voting.

The states along the coast like Delaware, and Maryland, and Connecticut, whereas Ted Cruz, who is more of an Evangelical and very conservative

voters are his bread and butter, he could be more effective in states like West Virginia, Nebraska and Indiana that are more heartland and more


And together they might be able to bleed away enough delegates to keep Trump below that magic number for majority, but I think it is unequivocal

at this point that Trump is going to get there with many more delegates than anybody else.

GORANI: Even if he doesn't get there and he is somehow deny the nomination, he still represents in all these primary contests, 40, 50,

sometimes 60 percent of the Republican vote. Those voters have to be represented somehow. Is this leading to a major fracture within the

Republican Party? Is this what we are witnessing?

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, I think we are. First of all, he has not reached 50 percent of the total vote anywhere. That's part of the story here.

Normally a candidate who has won the races he has won would see the party consolidating around him to that extent.

Where he has gotten up that high into the 50 percent range consistently is among white voters without a college education. The blue collar

Republicans who usually play second fiddle in the party to kind of the more white collar managerial class.

If you think about who powered Mitt Romney and John McCain, it was more those college educated suburban voters. This time Trump has won white

voters without a college degree in 17 of the 20 states with exit polls.

They provided a majority of his votes in 3/4 of the states. And if in fact you deny him the nomination somehow through maneuvers at the end that is

where you could see the fracture in the party.

On the other hand if they nominate him, you are going to see a fracture in the party in the other direction among mainstream conservative Republicans

elected officials, former national security officials who say they can't support him.

So either way, they are heading towards a divisive outcome in Cleveland.

GORANI: Let me bring our viewers up to date with already the shots that each one of these frontrunner candidates, Trump and Hillary Clinton on the

Democratic side are taking at each other.

First Donald Trump on his Instagram account put out this anti-Hillary ad. Let's run it for our viewers and then I'll get your take on it, Ron.


GORANI: All right. So I didn't understand how that made sense even.


GORANI: What's going on here?

BROWNSTEIN: Can you imagine eight months of this? I mean, look, it is going to be extraordinary. Donald Trump has proven he will say and do

things that no one else will do. Running against him will be miserable experience in that sense for Hillary Clinton.

But I believe in politics the old song, the fundamental things apply. The challenge Donald Trump has is that his blue collar white foundation where

he could be enormously strong has shrunk as a share of electorate in every election since 1980 except one.

They maybe only a third of voters in 2016. On the other hand, if you look at the groups that are growing in the electorate, millineals, minorities,

socially liberal college educated white women, they are all growing as a share of voters.

With all of those groups, Donald Trump today is facing an unfavorable rating of 70 percent or above, 80 percent in some cases. So given that

resistance he faces among the growing groups, what I've called the coalition of the ascendant, he will have to reach a vote among white that

equals if not exceeds Ronald Reagan's vote.

It is 49 state landslide in 1984. That's asking a lot in an open seat election. So he has structural challenges. He is an enormously talented

candidate. He has shown he can communicate effectively and may be able to sand away some of those negatives.

But the things he has said and done in the primary that has kind of deepened this hole on his base particularly these blue Republicans have dug

a hole for him with other elements of the electorate that's going to be difficult to overcome if he is the nominee.

[15:15:13]GORANI: All right, always a pleasure, Ron Brownstein, thanks very much for joining us from Washington here on CNN.

Still to come tonight --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This is our country. We can't dessert it.


GORANI: Well, you can hear the desperation in his voice. A Syrian doctor explains why he stays behind even when hospitals are being bombed to

rubble. That CNN exclusive report is next.


GORANI: Welcome back. Now you will remember we've heard a lot about ISIS kidnapping, enslaving raping Yazidi women. We are just now getting word of

a dramatic rescue in Iraq. A member of parliament is telling CNN that Iraqi military intelligence troops just rescued dozen of Yazidi women and

children from ISIS.

She said ISIS had held the captives since 2014. The women and children did not know where they were held and were moved several times, we understand.

We don't have more details than that, to be perfectly transparent.

We are expecting more from these sources in Iraq in the coming hours on where this operation took place, how many women and children are involved,

and hopefully more details to bring to you.

Let's stay in the region. Five years into the conflict in Syria, hundreds of thousands of people are dead and millions more have fled. A catastrophe

created of course by unrelenting violence as well as siege and starvation tactics that have been quite deliberate.

CNN's Clarissa Ward made a rare and dangerous journey into northwest Syria just before the cessation of hostilities and before Russia announced that

it would be withdrawing its forces. She shows us how daily bombardments have decimated civilian infrastructure there. A warning some of the images

are graphic.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is an all too common sight in rebel held parts of Syria, the moments after an

air strike. These survivors stagger from the rubble. Those still trapped call out for help. The target this time, the courthouse in Idlib city.

Activists say the bombs were Russian.

(on camera): When rebels took the provincial capital of Idlib, they saw it as a crucial opportunity to demonstrate that they could build their own

state. And they believe that's exactly why the Russians bombed this courthouse, to undermine that effort.

(voice-over): Any civilian infrastructure is a potential target, including hospitals. Last month, four were hit in a single day. One in the city of

(inaudible) was supported by Doctors Without Borders.

[15:20:07]This is what remains of it now. At least 25 people were killed. Dr. was the general manager. He told us that Russian and regime forces

target hospitals cynically and deliberately.

DR. MAZ AL-SOUAD, GENERAL MANAGER OF HOSPITAL (through translator): They want to kill the maximum number of people. Also they want to forbid the

area from having medical service. If there is no doctor, no nurse, no hospital, then there is no health care for the people and the people will


WARD (on camera): Is it possible that they did not know that this was a hospital?

AL-SOUAD (through translator): Everyone knows this is a hospital. There was even a sign that said this is a hospital. But if they didn't know,

this is an even bigger disaster because if you were bombing a building like this without knowing it is a hospital, it means you were hitting totally


WARD (voice-over): Against the backdrop of this vicious war, Islamist factions have gained the upper hand here among them al Qaeda affiliate, al-

Nusra. The landscape is peppered with signs shunning western democracy and urging all men to join the Jihad.

One encourages women to cover up completely. Dr. Furas al-Jundi works at the only hospital still standing in (inaudible). He is no militant but

sees this conflict in black and white.

DR. FURAS AL-JUNDI, HOSPITAL DOCTOR (through translator): The whole of the Syrian people is against ISIS and against extremism. But we see that the

Russians are bombing far from ISIS and they are focused on civilian areas.

WARD: I asked him why he doesn't leave Syria.

AL-JUNDI (through translator): If I did that, I would abandon my conscience. This is our country. We can't dessert it. If we left, then

we have sold our morals. Who would treat the people? I can very easily leave, but we will remain steadfast. I am prepared to die rather than to

leave and I will carry on no matter what.

WARD: Carry on in the faint hope that for the next generation of Syrians it will be better.


GORANI: And Clarissa joins me now from CNN, New York with more. Really heart breaking to hear from that doctor and he's -- you mentioned one

particular hospital in that area that you visited that was bombed. But eight organizations are saying this is a deliberate war tactic of targeting

these medical facilities. What are the numbers?

WARD: They do have the numbers to back it up. Russia and the regime repeatedly, Hala, have said we have never targeted hospitals. We do not

target civilian infrastructure.

But Doctors Without Borders who actually supported one of the hospitals that you saw in our piece put out a report saying that in 2015 alone, 82

medical facilities were bombed, 82 medical facilities in rebel-held areas.

And of those 82, 12 of them were destroyed completely. That's just in the space of one year. So it's very difficult to believe that this could

somehow just be happen stance or an accident.

And you heard the doctor also in the piece say to be honest with you it's even worse if they didn't know there is a hospital because there is a big

sign on the door saying it is a hospital.

So it indicates that the bombardment is completely random and completely arbitrary. A couple of other numbers, Hala, from this report that was put

out. They said in one area in the northwest where we were, in that rebel- held area, 462 children under the age of 5 died last year.

And just in and around Damascus in those rebel-held areas more than 1,400 women and children died. So it's been said over and over again. Really,

from what we saw on the ground from reading these reports, it is civilians who are bearing the brunt here -- Hala.

GORANI: And one of the things that the president told me is these coordinates are given out to everyone of where the hospitals are. She is

not pointing fingers, they don't do that and saying we believe it's the Russians or the regime, but people know where they are.

And what's interesting is one of the things the doctor said, which is the civilians -- it's not just those who die, it's those who don't have

infrastructure to turn to who are then forced to flee. That's a by-product of targeting the facilities.

[15:25:07]WARD: Exactly. The way it was described to me again and again by these doctors is, it feels like a war on everyday life. They are not

just trying to destroy one hospital specifically or kill one doctor specifically.

They are trying to destroy any semblance of a health care system that would allow people to try to continue to live in these rebel-held areas -- Hala.

GORANI: Yes and nothing to come back to as well. Clarissa, thanks very much. Great report. We'll have more of your reporting tomorrow.

Clarissa will give us an exclusive look at the dangers that aid workers face in Syria and the daily struggle to get aid into cities like Aleppo,

part of our exclusive coverage inside Syria, "Behind Rebel Lines" on CNN. We'll be right back.


GORANI: Well, there is a manhunt that continues in Belgium for two suspects who escaped after a furious shootout with police. Investigators

combed the Brussels apartment where gunmen on Tuesday opened fired on officers who arrived thinking that the apartment was empty.

They recovered a Kalashnikov rifle, an ISIS flag, ammunition and a book about radical Islam. A police sniper killed one gunman a 35-year-old


But as Nema Elbagir shows us the two suspects who escaped is raising questions about how prepared the police really were here.


NEMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was through this window that a police sniper managed to neutralize one of the two men holding offices in

(inaudible) with Kalashnikovs.

It was only once they entered the premises that they realized that two of the men that they were searching for had managed to escape.

And you can see coming round the back of the building how easy it was. You can see more broken windows and what is presumed to be the suspect's escape


As the manhunt continues of course so, too, does the fear and the information as residents not just here but all over the Belgian capital

struggle to come to terms with exactly what is happening again in their midst.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Working with different kinds of hard equipment from 3:00 until 6:00 in the night.

ELBAGIR: What is clear is that Belgian police were unprepared for what unfolded here at this premises. They were, as they describe it, carrying

out an ongoing manhunt only to find themselves caught in a fire fight.

This will only of course increase the scrutiny on Belgium's handling of its terror threat and the impact that that has and is having not just here in

Belgium but across Europe. Nema Elbagir, CNN, Brussels.


GORANI: Coming up, we go back to the race for the White House where we might see the first brokered convention since 1952. What is a brokered

convention, you ask? And what would this mean for Trump in 2016? We have all your answers after this.



HALA GORANI: Welcome back. A look at our top stories. The American President, Barack Obama, has nominated a candidate to fill a vacancy in the

supreme court.


GORANI: His name is Merrick Garland. There he is to the left of the President. Garland would fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

But senate Republicans say they will not give Mr. Obama's nominee a confirmation hearing even. They want Scalia's replacement to be chosen by

the next President.


GORANI: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are leading the pack in their respective races for the White House.


GORANI: Clinton took big wins in a number of Super Tuesday states including Ohio and Illinois. Republican candidate, Donald Trump came out on top in

Florida knocking Marco Rubio out of the race.


GORANI: Also among our top stories, Paris police say they've arrested three men and one woman on suspicion of planning an imminent terror attack on the

French capital.


GORANI: A source tells CNN the arrests came after the four were overhead discussing a possible attack. But the source says there is no evidence

right now that the attack was in the works in an imminent way.


GORANI: The U.S. is urging the immediate release of an American college student imprisoned in North Korea. Otto Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years

of hard labor after he traveled to North Korea as a tourist. The 21-year- old is accused of stealing a political banner from his hotel in Pyongyang. Warmbier, made a tearful confession last month. Now it's unclear though if

he spoke under duress.

OTTO WARMBIER, AMERICAN DETAINED IN NORTH KOREA: I entirely beg you people and government of the DPR Korea for your forgiveness. Please - I've made

the worst mistake of my life.


GORANI: Back to the U.S. Presidential campaigns. Well of course all the candidates are fighting it out for delegates to lock up enough support the

get their party's nomination. Here's a look at where it all stands on the Democratic side.


GORANI: Hillary Clinton is enjoying, as you see in terms of delegates she needs 2383, a comfortable lead over Bernie Sanders. It's much more

competitive for Republicans. Although Donald Trump is in the lead he still faces a challenge in getting enough delegates to win. And he needs 1237.


GORANI: If Trump does not get 1237 delegates, that's the magic number, we may see that rare American political event called a contested convention.


GORANI: Now, in a contested convention, the candidates can fight for support among delegates not already committed to a specific campaign. So

they go in without the 1237 and they try to rally as many people as they can. They hope the winner will emerge in the first round of voting. That's

how Gerald Ford defeated Ronald Reagan back in 1976.


GORANI: Now, if after round one there is still no winner that's when he goes from being a contested convention to a brokered convention. At that

point many delegates who had been committed to a particular candidate become free agents. That's when you're going to see a lot of wheeling and

dealing to try to get them on side. The brokered convention can see multiple rounds of voting until a winner emerges.


GORANI: Let's go to Washington, someone who studies this, a professor, Allan Lichtman, a Presidential Historian and a Distinguished Professor of

American History at American University. Thanks you for joining us.


GORANI: So do you think looking at the field now that we are headed for a contested, possibly a brokered convention on the Republican side with

Donald Trump not achieving the 1237 magic number of delegates?

LICHTMAN: I think that's certainly likely. Although not certain. Donald Trump has to win a fairly substantial majority of the remaining delegates

which are actually fewer than a lot of the folks would indicate to get an outright majority. And if he doesn't get an outright majority at a minimum,

you are going to have a contested convention. And perhaps the first brokered convention in America in more than 60 years.


GORANI: Let's talk about the ones -- so when was the last brokered convention, in 195 - correct me if I'm wrong -- in 1952?

LICHTMAN: '52. Now remember, in 1952, the system for picking delegates was quite different. Today delegates are primarily picked in open primaries and

caucuses. Back then, although there were primaries, the majority of delegates were picked by the party bosses. So you really had a party

establishment, party bosses that actually controlled delegates.


LICHTMAN: Today the so-called republican establishment is smoke in mirrors. Back in the old days when party bosses picked most of the party delegates

brokered conventions were quite common. And you had an extraordinary situation in 1952 on the Democratic side that was very similar to what's

happening the Republicans today.

You had a Democratic maverick. He was a senator, but he was not part of the party mainstream. His name was Estes Kefauver of Tennessee and he swept

through the primaries. But President Harry Truman who was not running for re-election, and the party leaders didn't want Kefauver because he was a

maverick. So they turned to someone who hadn't competed in the primaries at all, the Governor of Illinois, Adlai Stevenson and on the third ballot

engineered his nomination. Of course he was then crushed in the general election by the Republican Dwight Eisenhower.

GORANI: Now, that was 1952. But in 1976 -- so this wasn't too long ago here, 40 years ago, it was the last time we came close to a brokered

convention. And here we had Ford beating Reagan out at the Republican Convention in 1976.


GORANI: At that point, were delegates chosen in open primaries or was it still back room deals within party establishment officials?

LICHTMAN: That was at the very beginning of the modern era when most delegates were now being chosen in open primaries and open caucuses. And

the sitting although appointed President, he hadn't been elected, Gerald Ford was being contested by the very popular former Governor of California,

Ronald Reagan.


LICHTMAN: And they fought essentially to a tie going into the '76 convention. And nobody knew who was going to win until they finally took a

delegate vote and by the narrowest of margins Gerald Ford squeaked by. So it wasn't a brokered convention. It didn't go to a second ballot. But it

was a convention in which the nominee was not clear until the delegates voted.

GORANI: Let's go farther - further I should say back in history. In 1928 a Democratic Convention took the longest to get a result going through 103

rounds of voting. Now we're not expecting that this time around are we?

LICHTMAN: No. That was absolutely extraordinary.

GORANI: Although I think Cable News - Cable News would love it. Let's put it that way but 103 rounds --

LICHTMAN: It went on for weeks, in the sweltering Madison Square Garden, fist fights, arguments. And guess what? The two front-runners who fought it

out, Senator Mcadoo from California and Governor Al Smith from New York, first catholic to seriously contest for a major party nomination, they

basically killed each other off and the convention finally after 103 ballots turned to a relative unknown, John W. Davis, who really hadn't been

in contention at all. So anything can happen if the balloting goes on long enough.


GORANI: Let me ask you something about Trump specifically. Even if he doesn't reach 1237, there is still a substantial percentage of Republican

primary and caucus voters who have chosen him.


GORANI: So if he is close to that magic number but doesn't pass the post, what happens? Because then you have a whole -- if you have the

establishment for instance supporting whoever ends up being second with a smaller percentage of the Republican vote, then there's going to be an

outcry among Republicans who chose Trump.

LICHTMAN: That's a real nightmare for the Republican Party. Say Trump goes in 100, 200 votes short of a majority. Either they give him the nomination

and the Republican mainstream is stuck with a nominee they don't really want and they don't think that nominee can win. Or they deny him the

nomination and in effect they are opening themselves up to charges of manipulating the process, being undemocratic, denying the voice of the

people. In which case you may see a lot of defection of Trump supporters whose you know commitment to the Republican Party in general isn't all that

strong anyway -

GORANI: -- Well he's predicting a riot.

LICHTMAN: -- and you might even see Trump running a third party campaign.


GORANI: Yes, well we'll see what that does to the party. Allan Lichtman, thanks very much. Really appreciate your time on CNN this evening. That was

very enlightening, thank you.

Let's return to our top story now though. President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court and the upcoming political fight

sure to ensue. Republicans are adamant that the next President, not President Obama, should be the one to decide Antonin Scalia's replacement.

But speaking at the White House earlier Mr. Obama had some choice words on that particular matter.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tomorrow Judge Garland will travel to the hill to begin meeting with senators win on one. I simply ask

Republicans in the senate to give him a fair hearing. And then an up or down vote. If you don't, then it will not only be an abdication of the

senate's constitutional duty, It will indicate a process for nominating and confirming judges that is beyond repair.


GORANI: All right. Let's get more on how this could all play out I'm joined by CNN senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, he's written books on the

supreme court including "The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court,: and he joins me now live from New York.

So Jeffrey, is this a futile process? The Republicans really just a few minutes after this announcement came out and said we're not even going to

consider this nominee.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It's pretty close to futile. The Republicans have made clear in every possible way that Merrick Garland, as

fine a judge as he may be, is simply not going to get a vote and there does not appear to be a crack in that position.


TOOBIN: Certainly not one that would get him the 60 votes he needs to close debate and then have an up or down vote on his nomination.

GORANI: I mean, I wonder if Merrick Garland -- he must be looking at this process that's going to unfold ahead of him and think -- I mean, he is

going to either not be considered, or if he is considered, what happens?

TOOBIN: Well you know the question for his friends is do they offer congratulations or condolences in light of the peculiar circumstances of

this nomination. Look, Merrick Garland is a very savvy person. He understands the politics here. And he understands what a difficult task it

will be to get it confirmed.

But they have -- his nomination has at least crystallized the issue because his qualifications are beyond reproach. There is no question that he is

qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice. So the only argument against him is that the senators -- is a process argument. The Republican senators say

it's too late in Obama's presidency to have a vote so we're going to wait until the next President.

That's not a very popular argument with ordinary people in the United States. So the hope that the Democrats have is that as this issue

crystallizes on the campaign trail enough Republicans will begin to weaken.


TOOBIN: First they will give him a hearing. Then they will give him a vote in the hearing. Then there will be a vote to close the debates. Then there

will be an up or down vote. That's the theory. It seems pretty unlikely to me.

GORANI: But Jeffrey, President Obama picked an older, a centrist, he's 63 years old, he's a centrist, he's gotten bipartisan support in the past. And

looking back, of course, in history, there have been confirmation hearings during election years. President Reagan in 1987 with Anthony Kennedy after

his first choice Robert Bjork was rejected. So it has happened before.


TOOBIN: It has. But the important point to keep in mind about the Supreme Court and about the U.S. Senate is that it's always more about power than

it is about politics this. This vacancy is so important. With just Scalia's death there are four Republican appointees on the court and four Democratic

appointees. So this seat, the holder of this seat will control the balance of four. Democrats, liberals, have not had a majority on the Supreme Court

in two generations. Republicans are willing to take a great deal of political heat to prevent that from happening. That's why they are so

adamant about not confirming anyone. Now, the risk to the Republicans is that they know that Hillary Clinton is looking pretty good to be the next

President of the United States.

GORANI: -- It is a gamble.

TOOBIN: -- So they would get a younger and more liberal nominee next year. But that's next year's problem.


GORANI: But that's what I want to ask you about something you tweeted. "I was right, Sri is still the nominee in waiting." What did you --

TOOBIN: That was a joke.

GORANI: Oh OK well tell me about the joke. Do you think - do you think he still has a shot coming up? I mean if this process unfolds in the way you

predict that it will he still has potentially a shot here.

TOOBIN: Of course he does. The joke was that my -- I had written an article for the New Yorker calling Sri Srinivasan, who is also a judge on the D.C.

Circuit Court of Appeals the Supreme Court nominee in waiting. And my point in the tweet after this choice was, well, he's still waiting. He hasn't

been nominated yet. But, the - so let's be clear. I was wrong. I thought this nominee - I thought the nominee was going to be Sri Srinivasan.


TOOBIN: But I think because he is only in his late 40s he certainly has many more opportunities to be considered by a Democratic President to be

appointed. He certainly would be considered by Hillary Clinton if she's elected later this year. But we now know this time is not his turn.

GORANI: Well, and you and I both joked what is great about covering the Supreme Court or talking about the Supreme Court is when you are in your

late 40s you're still just a young thing.

TOOBIN: It's beautiful - it's beautiful.

GORANI: Which is always very -- It's always wonderful. Thanks Jeffrey Toobin. And don't forget you can go to our Facebook page, you can find all

of our interviews and our reports there. We will have more after a quick break, this is "The World Right Now."


GORANI: Still the come, two very different views of U.S. Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump from two world powers. Russia gives him

a thumbs-up. We'll tell you about that. While China gives him an emphatic thumbs down. We'll be right back.




GORANI: How does the world look at this U.S. Presidential race? Other world powers, how do they view U.S. Republican front-runner Donald Trump for

instance? We begin with our Matthew Chance in Moscow. He found the controversial candidate getting some pretty good reviews.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Russian state television appears to be thrown its support behind Donald Trump. Russia's

top T.V. news anchor haling him as an antiestablishment candidate who would be ready to cooperate with Moscow over various issues. Trump has of course

made several complimentary remarks about Russia and its lead of Vladimir Putin over the course of his campaign. Asking supporters for instance,

wouldn't it be nice if we could get along with Russia and suggesting the U.S. forces leave Syria to let Russia fight ISIS, or similar to the

Kremlin's position than to Washington's.

Well the Kremlin's loyal media is now responding in kind heaping praise on the tycoon turned Republican hopeful. During a 2 and a half hour flagship

news show at the weekend on state television here, anchor Dmitry Kiselyov said that Trump stood apart from the hierarchy of the Republican Party in

wanting to forge good relations with Putin.

And when you speak to ordinary Russians many also see Trump as the most favorable candidate. He is a business man, one man told us recently, who

would build a relationship with Russia and who understands that Russia is an important player.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


GORANI: But things in China are rather different when it comes to Trump. The candidate has criticized China throughout his campaign even threatening

to raise tariffs on Chinese goods. And now both the Chinese media and the ordinary people in Beijing are returning the sentiments. Here's Matt



MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in China people were waking up this morning watching the U.S. election results roll in in what

turned out to be a very good night for Donald Trump. So we thought we'd come to this alleyway and ask ordinary Chinese people what they think of

the Republican front-runner. Even though we brought along a picture with us most people had absolutely no idea who he was but that doesn't mean they

didn't have strong opinions on his policies.

For example, Trump says China has stolen jobs from the U.S. hurting American businesses by keeping its currency too low. We described that view

to this woman. She did not agree. He's wrong, she said. China just has cheaper labor than the U.S. She says it has benefitted both sides and that

anyone who doesn't understand that might not make a good President. This man says he's suspicious of Trump and wonders when he is going to face

reality. He was referring to another talking point where the front-runner argues he'd solve the North Korean nuclear crisis by getting China to make

leader Kim Jong-un "disappear one way or another."

China just needs to enforce the newly adopted U.N. sanctions he says. And though nearly everyone we asked had never seen the real estate mogul before

one woman had.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is quite recognizable. See his face he is really - -

RIVERS: You're one of the few people that we've talked to on the street that knows who he is. To her, Trump's rhetoric is just a way to get


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of the people in the U.S. They cannot get jobs. So they need to hate Chinese people, that's why he said Chinese people is

cheating U.S.

RIVERS: Chinese stayed media also piled on Trump this week. An editorial in the Global Times disparaged Trump reading "at the beginning of the

election, Trump a rich narcissist and inflammatory candidate was only treated as an underdog. His job was basically to act as a clown to attract

more voters' attention to the GOP." It went on to say that his front runner status could harm U.S. standing in the world.

Compared to that editorial the official position of the Chinese government is much more muted.

LI KEQIANG, CHINESE PREMIER: (As translated) I believe that in the end whoever gets into the White House, the underlying trend of China-U.S. ties

will not change.

RIVERS: Trump says he doesn't like China's policies, but as for its people.

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They love China. I love the Chinese people.

RIVERS: So far, though, the affection does not appear to be mutual.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Beijing.


GORANI: Coming up next, the quest to circle the world on cut rate airlines lands in Singapore.


GORANI: We'll have an update on Richard Quest's global journey all on budget carriers. We'll be right back.



[16:56:10] Following the rising sun around the world all on budget airlines. Not my idea of fun. But my colleague Richard Quest certainly is

enjoying it it seems. It's the latest quest by CNN's money editor at large. And now, flying cut rate airlines all the way from London he has made to it



RICHARD QUEST, CNN MONEY: It is day five, and we are in Asia in Singapore. That's the Merlion, the famous landmark. And the Marine Bay Sands on the

harbor. We have now flown five airlines. So we're halfway through the number of carriers that we're going to take. But things start to get really

difficult from now on in.

All the flights so far have been between three, four hours long. Now they get much longer, from Singapore down to Sydney, eight hours plus. Then from

Sydney up to Honolulu and to Los Angeles.

So far, we are managing on about one and a half hours sleep per night. But that's not in a bed. That of course is in some economy seat. All is going

well. A few delays. But we push on. Next is Australia.

Richard Quest, CNN, where am I?



GORANI: Oh, my goodness. You can follow Richard's progress using an interactive guide on line and on twitter. And you can get regular updates

with the #flywithquest. I'm Hala Gorani and "Quest Means Business" is up next. Thanks for being with us. Same time same place tomorrow. I'll see you

then on CNN.