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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) is Interviewed About the Iowa Caucuses and the Bernie Sanders Campaign; Biden Speaks For First Time Since Iowa Results Released. Aired on 7-8p ET
Aired February 4, 2020 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, the first results from the chaotic Iowa caucuses finally starting to come in tonight and we're standing by for more results. So we have 62 percent of the vote in, so obviously more to go. But right now Pete Buttigieg is in the lead with 26.9 percent of the state's delegates so far. Bernie Sanders in second and it's a close second, 25.1, Elizabeth Warren 18.3 and Joe Biden coming in fourth, 15.6 percent of the vote.
Just moments ago, Buttigieg reacted to the news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We don't know all of the numbers, but we know this much, a campaign that started a year ago with four staff members, no name recognition, no money, just a big idea. A campaign that some said should have no business even making this attempt has taken its place at the front of this race to replace the current president with a better vision for the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. So that's his victory speech. Of course, as we said, and he said more numbers are still to come in. We're only at 62 percent. And the Sanders campaign is not giving an inch, a senior official telling CNN, "We will be in first when it's all counted." And, of course, on the popular vote, he is slightly ahead right now, Buttigieg, but it is delegates that matter and on that front Pete Buttigieg currently the winner.
Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT in Des Moines, Iowa. So Jeff, 62 percent reporting so far. So give us a sense of what that means. What is the significance of what's left? How much could this move and do we have any idea when we will find out who really has won Iowa?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORREPONDENT: Erin, that is a central question. I'm told that it's not likely to happen this evening, but they're not being very specific on when these other votes and records will come in. But look, I mean, there is a sense of release here and at least among Democratic officials that the counting has started.
It was no question that the last night was essentially viewed as a disaster. The chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party stood before reporters today and apologized. They said they didn't get it right and then they went on to the accounting. So I think we will set that story aside for a second and stay on to this story here.
The thing that's striking about Pete Buttigieg is his strength across the counties. They released 62 percent, but it was from an array of 99 counties. All 99 counties in Iowa. So that is showing his depth of support. Bernie Sanders, of course, right behind him.
But even if Bernie Sanders would happen to eclipse him, he's run for president before and this is a former mayor South Bend, Indiana, a small town who clearly has done something. He clearly has been able to win over Iowans.
Now, it's the beginning of the road for him in some respects as a top tier candidate. So we'll see how this goes on in New Hampshire. But we are still watching the numbers this evening to see Joe Biden in particular. He's having a rough go of it in most parts of the state. His advisors have sort of raised some questions about these, but tonight they're pretty silent, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jeff Zeleny.
And I want to go to John King at the magic wall. Because when you break this down, John, county by county and I know you're looking at a delegate count and you're also looking at a popular vote count. But when you look at the map and the counties, it is incredibly telling and really distills this. So show us what you know so far.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very, very important, Erin, to emphasize as Jeff just noted 62 percent, so the colors you're seeing could change. But this light green is Pete Buttigieg. This is the 38-year-old mayor of a relatively - former now of a relatively small city, openly gay, military veteran who is that at the moment leading a senator who's run for president before, a senator who was a national liberal icon, and a former Vice President and senator who served for eight years in the White House with Barack Obama.
So if you're Pete Buttigieg, all this green at the moment gives you pretty powerful bragging rights that you've come out of the starting gate. Jeff just noted, it's the depth and the breadth of this when you look at it. Ninety-nine counties in Iowa, in 63 of them, Pete Buttigieg is either leading or these white counties here or places where he is tied. That is an impressive organization across the state.
Now, the other way to look at it is remember 31 counties in Iowa voted twice for Barack Obama and then flipped, Erin, for Donald Trump. They're called pivot counties. Mayor Buttigieg said I can win those counties. You want a guy from the midwest who can appeal to centrist voters.
You see them now. Look at all of these. There's 31 of them. Sanders won some of them. Klobuchar won two of them, but a lot of strength for Pete Buttigieg to just to make the case as he's now trying to make in New Hampshire. Biden is not the electable guy, I'm the electable guy.
So we're going to watch this play out. We'll watch the final results come in, but this is pretty broad depth of support. Senator Sanders running second. His campaign says they can make this up right now, we'll see. Big questions going into New Hampshire, how many tickets out of Iowa, especially when we get the results a day late, if you will.
Senator Warren says she's in the fight in neighboring New Hampshire, the former Vice President. Senator Klobuchar, pretty strong performance but not enough just yet. We'll see when the final votes come in. But Mayor Buttigieg without a doubt, Erin, gets a bounce into New Hampshire. Senator Sanders currently leads in New Hampshire. We got a fun week ahead.
Well, it's amazing when you look at that map did you see, as you point out, the breadth of Mayor Buttigieg as opposed to Joe Biden, certainly, even fewer when you look at that map of counties that you see with Amy Klobuchar. Now, when you look at what's still missing, John, nearly 40 percent of the results. So tell us where those are, how significant they are, what do we need to look for in those to figure out how much this could move.
KING: Right. And so when the Sanders campaign says, just wait. We think we have a strong organization. We have people on the ground last night. We're going to get better. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt. Again, at the moment, Mayor Buttigieg leading and delegates. Senator Sanders, as you noted, I can Just show you with the final vote so far, Senator Sanders is 1,190 votes ahead.
This is bragging, right, but we view this, the real winner is based on delegates. So let's always remember that as we go forward. But to the point the Sanders campaign makes, let's pull out Dubuque County, for example. Mayor Buttigieg is leading here over senator Sanders by a bit, but we're at 51 percent here. Let's move back down.
And just let me give you a one point of reference before we do this, why am I looking in the eastern part of the state, let's go back to 2016. This light blue is Bernie Sanders. This, Erin, is the progressive part of the state where he ran strongest. If you look now, there's a lot of Buttigieg there.
Buttigieg made inroads not only in moderate rural areas, but in these progressive counties here. But let's give the Sanders campaign, let's see what happens here. In Scott County which is Davenport, it's close, Buttigieg on top. But still, we're only at about half the vote so we have to wait and see where this plays out.
So the Sanders campaign says, "Wait, we will." But at the moment, that's a Buttigieg map.
BURNETT: All right. John King, thank you very much.
And I want to go now to our Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash, David Gergen who advised four presidents, Mark Preston, our Senior Political Analyst, the former Democratic Mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum, former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush, Scott Jennings and Karen Finney who was the Communications Director for the DNC and Senior Spokesperson for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.
So, Dana, looks 62 percent and we have keep emphasizing that, as John said that map, the colors could change as well as fill in. So we have a lot we don't yet know, but when he shows, you look at Pete Buttigieg, as you heard the Mayor say himself, four employees, that's a marginal exaggeration or not, but it's pretty much in line with where he was a year ago. And here he is making inroads as John points out in both progressive and moderate parts of the state.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: No question. Look, you have to take a step back and give him his due. And he has bragging rights that we should give him. The fact that he was nobody from, I'm not saying South Bend is nowhere but it's the middle of the country and it's a very small town, certainly compared to where the other candidates who he is competing against are from.
The name brand candidates, including and especially a two-term Vice President of the United States who's the guy at the top of the ticket, Barack Obama was incredibly popular in the state of Iowa. Not only did he make his name in the caucuses by beating Hillary Clinton, he also won in the general election twice. A state that Donald Trump won last time by a large margin.
So that gives Pete Buttigieg a lot of - he should get kudos for that. The question is where does he take that and it's a big open question that I'll let a lot of you talk about who have done this for a living. The Democrats, particularly when you look at the road ahead, maybe not so much New Hampshire, but South Carolina and other southern states where he has to widen the demographic base of his support.
BURNETT: And Mark, I think it's important when people understand Iowa is giving more data than they gave before.
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
BURNETT: Maybe chaotic and late and disastrous, but nonetheless more. And when I say that, what I mean is not just the winner, the delegate count, but also the popular vote.
BURNETT: So that is what Sanders is seizing on right now, saying we're going to come out first. I know they mean overall, but they're looking at the popular vote and saying, well, look, we're winning there. So this is not yet over. They're contesting it at this point.
PRESTON: They're contesting it and wow, just go back four years when Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, much to the chagrin of President Donald Trump. This is an interesting situation where it just goes to show you how antiquated system really that the caucuses are.
I mean, as much as that I love going to Iowa, as much as I do think that the people in Iowa really try hard to get it right and they understand the issues and they understand the candidates, running it as a caucus, it's a disaster, it brings out to be a disaster. And I feel bad, actually, for all of the folks that were involved because they're all good, folks.
I mean, these chairman of these state parties, they're not making money. I mean, they don't get paid very well.
PRESTON: All of the people that are running these caucuses are volunteers. But the fact of the matter is, Iowa is certainly in jeopardy now because of it.
BURNETT: And what, David, stands out to you, obviously, Pete Buttigieg coming out at the current time with 62 percent on top, but then what stands out to you? Amy Klobuchar gets more counties than Joe Biden.
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER ADVISER TO FOUR PRESIDENTS: I think the big story tonight is Joe Biden. The fact that he did as poorly as he did, he has to come back now in New Hampshire, at least be in the top two or three. At a minimum being the top two or three. They're going to set up South Carolina as a firewall, but I think he's been hurt by that.
This was a test about how well he's going to - he worked hard to try to win Iowa, so I think that's a big story. But I want to go back to Pete Buttigieg, there is a quality about this which I think Dana is probably right, see where this goes now, but there are at least two cases that I remember of unknown who got struck those early sparks. And one was Jimmy Carter in 1980 and the other was Barack Obama. In both cases, they brought an idealism to the table in a time when people were really angry with Washington, really fed up in all sorts of ways.
And their idealism sparked a big rallying behind them and I don't know whether Buttigieg can do that or not, but I can tell you, if he makes that happen, he is going to be very, very strong.
BURNETT: And Mayor, what do you make? I mean, there are a lot of people who, obviously - it was expected he would do well on that.
ANDREW GILLUM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.
BURNETT: Well, but if he really does come out on top and in a sense even if he comes in a close second, he's now gotten this initial he won moment, right?
BURNETT: And that is something. Just in and of itself, that is something. So people are going to look at him again and what does that mean to this race. GILLUM: Yes. Well, first of all, he is owed what is due to him.
That's a pretty incredible, not just come back, but just come up story that he's got to tell. And I don't want to take anything from Bernie Sanders as well. He's got probably one of the most resilient, consistent bases that we've seen in politics but to the point that both Professor Gergen as well - that Dana made, I was a Harvard fellow, so I - Professor Gergen.
But to the points that they made, the reason why Joe Biden is not dead in the water based off of his performance yesterday is that the trajectory down the line still frankly bodes well for him. Diverse populations, diverse constituencies still have the opportunity to present him a win later on. What we are not sure of right now based off of last night's performance, given the absence of diversity in a state like Iowa, is whether or not Pete Buttigieg has what it takes to bring together the diversity, the full diversity of the Democratic Party.
It's hard to call him a frontrunner with single digit (inaudible) ...
BURNETT: And I want to talk a lot more about Biden and his role in this in a few minutes, because I think it is worthy of an entire conversation. Karen, but when it comes to Bernie Sanders, what does he do here? Because Pete Buttigieg is just now going to make the argument, OK, I can take away from Joe Biden. People expect that. People put us in the same breadth in terms of policy and substance.
But he also has shown on this map that he can take from the progressives. So that's something he can also say, although I suppose you can look at those numbers from Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and do what some people will do, which is add them together and say, "You got it."
KAREN FINNEY, FORMER SENIOR SPOKESWOMAN, HILLARY FOR AMERICA: Right. But if I'm Senator Sanders, I'm looking ahead to New Hampshire where I know I have a home field advantage, right?
FINNEY: He's already kind of declaring a win out of Iowa, anyway, with the popular vote. And then the other piece of this is so many Democrats now and this was always the intention when we change the calendar to add Nevada and South Carolina to what the Mayor just said. You have to look at it on the whole. What voters are going to look at is who can win in the west, in the south, in the northeast, in the midwest.
And so Buttigieg has to show that he can turn this into momentum that could actually help him in Nevada, could help him in South Carolina. Will he be able to organize the way he was able to do in Iowa. And for Senator Sanders, he can point to successes in Nevada and South Carolina to help continue his momentum and I suspect you'll have a good day in New Hampshire.
BURNETT: And Scott, we saw a lot of last night and through the day today from some of the President's allies was trying to use the word rigged and play in on that and get into the whole thing about what's going on in Iowa. But now, what could come out of this, as David just said, is someone with a spark, not who they might have expected or were preparing perhaps, for whether that's Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders, two very well known figures, but perhaps someone very different.
SCOTT JENNINGS, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, I think the Democratic primary is in for a very long and divisive fight here. I mean, the idea that Buttigieg, I think, would be able to sort of end this early with some kind of a spark. I mean, the Sanders people are not going away, Biden is obviously going to stay in, Warren feels like she - Warren got robbed of the comeback kid storyline because of the mishaps out there.
So I think you're still looking for a lot of fragmentation here just like it was in 2016. And you know what Fragmentation in the 2016 Republican primary gave us? Donald Trump. And you know who's the most Trump-like candidate in this race? Bernie Sanders, because he has an immovable base, unaffected by the news, small dollar donors.
And as long as the Democrats do not coalesce around an anti-Sanders candidacy, he, to me, remains the most dangerous person to get the nomination.
BURNETT: All right. All of you stay with me, because I did say I want to talk about Joe Biden. And Joe Biden just came in, in fourth place. These are the first results. But then at the first look here, fourth place for the former vice president. So what is his campaign saying and his donors, because that matters a whole lot to him, those big donors about the path forward.
Plus, the Bloomberg campaign about to double its ad spending after Iowa. His campaign manager will be my guest.
And President Trump taking advantage of the chaos surrounding the caucus results. What he is saying as he prepares to deliver his State of the Union here in Washington tonight?
BURNETT: Let's listen to Bernie Sanders. He's speaking in Milford, New Hampshire right now. Currently running in second in Iowa. Here he is.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We received more votes on the first and second round than any other candidate. Now, that is with 62 percent of the vote in.
For some reason in Iowa, they're having a little bit of trouble counting votes. But I am confident that here in New Hampshire, I know they'd be able to count your votes on election night.
And when you count those votes, I look forward to winning here in New Hampshire. But I do want to take this opportunity, just having flown back from Iowa, to thank our grassroots supporters. Just as the case here in New Hampshire, they have knocked on hundreds of thousands of doors and that is how you win elections.
So to our friends in Iowa, thank you, and to the extraordinary volunteer team we have here in New Hampshire, thank you. That's why we're going to win here.
Tomorrow, I fly back to Washington to cast a vote for the impeachment of Donald J. Trump.
BURNETT: And that is Bernie Sanders speaking in Milford, New Hampshire, where, as he said, he's getting ready to come back to Washington. But, obviously, right now, running in second in Iowa, we do still have nearly 40 percent of the vote. Those still to come in.
Here's a big question, though, about Iowa and that question is what about Joe Biden. A long time Democratic fundraiser who supports Joe Biden calls the first Iowa results disappointing. The donor telling CNN, "You sit there wondering how can the totals be this low for a former Vice President." And here are the totals currently, Biden right now in fourth place, which is more than 10 points behind Pete Buttigieg, 62 percent as we said of the precincts are currently reporting.
Arlette Saenz is OUTFRONT. She's been covering the Biden campaign. And Arlette, what are they saying about these currently disappointing results?
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Erin, I spoke to a Biden advisor just a short while ago who told me they had hoped that they would have more, but that they're not entirely surprised by the results of these caucuses that are just starting to come in. They argue that they always thought Iowa was going to be difficult for Joe Biden in part based on the demographics of the state and that they're not concerned because of what they see that lies ahead, specifically pointing to states like Nevada and South Carolina, which have a much more diverse demographic as well as Super Tuesdays days.
The Biden campaign has long said that Iowa was not a must win for them in order to win the nomination, but they did invest a lot of time and resources in the state, particularly in the past two months because they needed to have a strong finish. They're falling a bit short from where they wanted to be. And you point to that comment from that donor and that's something that Biden is going to have to grapple with in the coming weeks as he gets closer to each of these contests.
One; ensuring that his donors are still supportive of him and also that argument about electability. That has been at the center of his message here throughout the presidential campaign and that's something that he's likely going to be stressing over and over. Now, he is here in New Hampshire, will actually be speaking in just a few minutes. I'm told that much of his message will remain the same during this New
Hampshire swing. There may be some more uptick in his criticism of Medicare for All which is espoused by Bernie Sanders and they see health care as being a winning issue for that.
But Erin, I have to tell you, I talked to a few voters here who were undecided and they told me that they weren't necessarily swayed by those Iowa caucuses results, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Arlette, thank you very much, an interesting anecdote there from the voters. All right. Everyone back with me.
Mark, Arlette points out something very important with Joe Biden and that is Joe Biden is different than others running, not all, but then certainly Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, even Mayor Pete in some ways. Mayor Pete has a lot of big donors, but Joe Biden has a lot of big donors. So for him, you got to keep getting that big money coming in and that big money needs big results. So how much does this hurt him?
PRESTON: Well, it does. And look, it certainly doesn't help him. I mean, I think we can all agree to that. But I'll be the contrarian on the panel just because it's my way.
BURNETT: That's who you are. That's who you are.
PRESTON: Well, I just think that sometimes we need to look at things a little bit differently. So obviously, he did not do very well in Iowa. He does need to do well in New Hampshire. Look, if he doesn't win South Carolina and win it convincingly ...
GERGEN: It's over.
PRESTON: ... OK, then it's over. However though, and I think, Mr. Mayor, you and I were talking about this at three or four o'clock in the morning ...
GILLUM: Three o'clock this morning, yes.
PRESTON: ... as we're going through all of this, there are states ahead that he is going to do well in. He can do well in. And I also wonder if there's going to be this centrist business Democratic class that is going to look and say, oh, my, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, 10 alarm fire, we better do something about it. Get into Biden, because you know what, we like Buttigieg ...
BURNETT: Well, they got Bloomberg too.
PRESTON: ... well, sure, and then Bloomberg is going to come in. But all of that spending that Bloomberg has positioned yourself very well, I think all of the money he's throwing at it though is turning off some Democrats, because they do think he's buying the election in many ways. But I do wonder if Biden because people don't know Buttigieg as well, they don't know Klobuchar, but Biden is somebody who's known. I think he has fuel.
BASH: Mark, I agree with you in a lot of those points. But one thing I will tell you, I was in Iowa, went to the last if not the last Biden event before the caucuses. And he had every Democratic poobah you can imagine, great endorsements, not all of the endorsements, but really good ones and they spoke, and they spoke, they spoke.
And it's not always telling and you guys know this because you've worked for a lot of candidates. You've been a candidate to feel the energy in the room, but it wasn't really there for him. And so that ended up being a precursor for what we saw. But what we did hear from him there and at every turn that he makes is I'm the guy who can beat Donald Trump. I'm the guy who can beat Donald Trump.
And if the question now genuinely, and we don't know the answer to this, is whether people in New Hampshire who sometimes turn their noses up at what happens or doesn't happen in Iowa, are going to say, OK, we're still going to listen to that. Or if they're going to say, really, you can't even do well in Iowa? Are you the guy who could beat Donald Trump?
We don't know the answer to that and that is up to the Biden campaign to ...
GERGEN: Yes. You don't know whether, in fact, this is going to puncture, the story he's trying to tell. And if he starts - I think his message has been too limited, I'm the guy can beat him. Because if he falls behind Trump, what's his argument?
GILLUM: It's very hard to get excited about it.
BURNETT: Right. And, of course, I understand Dana's point, it's very well taken that sometimes you might have one state and say, well, we're going to thumb our nose and ...
BURNETT: ... but, yet I do wonder how much momentum matters.
GILLUM: Yes, if that is (inaudible) ...
BURNETT: And when you put momentum against, OK, an incredibly non- diverse state, I'll give you that. but yet you have momentum and you have a number on the board, does that sway voters who are in states down the line?
GILLUM: Well, this is why you can't undercut what an early state means. That's why we're all debating whether or not Iowa should come first. It has the power to be a winnowing state. It says out what's real and what isn't.
And to David's point, it matters that if your argument that is that you're the one that can beat Donald Trump, you actually have to win some races in order for that to be true. And the question is will people demonstrate the patients week after week, primary after primary, up into the point that we get to South Carolina that the vice president is the best suited to beat Donald Trump. If you lose three consecutive races on the way to getting there ...
BURNETT: You got several weeks there before you get there.
GILLUM: For sure.
BURNETT: Two debates.
FINNEY: But also true ...
BURNETT: Lots of town halls, two other states.
FINNEY: But let's also remember the first four early states is between 5 percent and 10 percent of the total delegates you need to win the nomination.
BURNETT: Yes, right.
FINNEY: So as much as we're putting into this, I think voters are taking a step back. They're taking their time. I think we're going to see very similar to what we saw in 2008 where it was Hillary was up and then Obama was up, where voters are going to say, do we want Warren? Do we want Bloomberg? No. Do we want Biden?
I think we could very well see several contests where we get a mixed bag and certainly on Super Tuesday where you have, I think it's 57 percent of the delegates that are actually up for grabs. Some very big states that are very expensive states that do favor the people who have the money to run the ads, not just the ground game.
JENNINGS: This Biden electability argument, I'm the one that can beat Trump, the rubber hits the road this week, because he has a bad showing in Iowa and then what happened today. You've got the Democrats are in disarray in Iowa and in Washington, you've got the Gallup poll showing Donald Trump at his highest number of his presidency, a 63 percent approval rating on the economy, the best for an American president since George W. Bush in the months after 9/11.
And he's about to get an acquittal, maybe a bipartisan acquittal. And the impeachment is upside down in both the Wall Street Journal poll and the Gallup poll. If you're a Democrat trying to figure out who can beat Trump and Joe Biden looks weak right now and Donald Trump looks strong, you are definitely looking around.
GILLUM: My advice would simply be is be inspirational. People don't want to vote on inevitability. They want to vote on this idea that you're the one who can beat Trump.
BURNETT: People want - they want an idea and they want an inspiration.
GILLUM: That's right, inspire.
BURNETT: All right. All stay with me. And next, we're standing by because we are hoping for more results out of Iowa at any time. As we said 38 percent of the votes still outstanding. The Sanders campaign insisting that he will end as number one. The
actual winner of the delegates in Iowa, once all of the precincts are reported. Are they right?
Plus, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg sees an opening in the Iowa chaos, doubling his ad spending. So will it pay off? His campaign manager is OUTFRONT.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Breaking news, as we wait, Joe Biden's first remarks since we received early results from Iowa, Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign says it's optimistic that rival Pete Buttigieg will not be declared the winner of the state. A senior Sanders campaign official telling CNN, quote: We'll be in first when it's all counted. The campaign also touting Sanders' lead in the raw vote total.
OUTFRONT now, Democratic Congressman Pramila Jayapal. She's endorsed Bernie Sanders for president.
And I appreciate your time as always.
So, right now, the numbers we have, 62 percent in. So, obviously, 38 percent still to go. Sanders is in second at 25.1 percent of the vote.
Will you accept the results, if the margin remains this tight? Buttigieg right now only at 26.9. Well, that is incredibly tight. Will you accept those results if that's how tight it is, with Buttigieg as winner?
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Well, I think, all I know is what I saw in Iowa and what I see in the numbers which is that Bernie Sanders is incredibly popular. He is winning the raw vote. I saw across Iowa, I kind of barnstormed Iowa. I was in some parts of rural Iowa, you know, in a little rural town and there's 100 people down in a dark basement ready to go campaign for him. The enthusiasm from young voters, from folks of color, people who traditionally have not participated in democracy, I think, was really encouraging.
And so I remain confident that Bernie Sanders will pull it out in the end.
And I just think it's a real shame that we are still waiting because, obviously, the momentum from Iowa matters to New Hampshire.
BURNETT: And, you know, on this issue of how well Sanders is doing in the popular vote, obviously, up there, I mean, delegates is what determines the winner of the state. But he is up on popular vote right now. I want to look at the map, again, though, Congresswoman, just to get your reaction to this.
When you see the counties Buttigieg is winning, you can see now in the pale green which dominates the state of Iowa, then let's look at the ones Sanders is winning in blue. Obviously, you got a lot of people in those. But when you lock at breadth across the state, Buttigieg so far is dominating. I mean, there's no other way to put it when you look at those colors.
JAYAPAL: Well, I think one of the things we have to remember, and I love Iowa, but Iowa doesn't necessarily represent everywhere else in the country. We have an enormous number of base voters, young voters, folks of color, who I think this is a turning point for the Democratic Party.
We have to decide if we are going to engage and inspire those people so that we can bring them into the system and make the kinds of structural reforms that Bernie Sanders is pushing. And I think that it is very important that we don't forget that at the end of the day, the Democratic Party base is critically important. We cannot take them for granted. We have to expand the electorate, if we are going to make this country work for people again, Erin.
BURNETT: So, I want to ask you. I know, obviously, you're hoping he comes out on top. You're a very measured person. But the president's team has been trying to push a narrative that the caucus is rigged, right?
Eric Trump tweeted, "mark my words, they're rigging this thing. What a mess."
And Senator Sanders, himself, as used that word many times, "rigged," in reference to the 2016 primary being rigged against him. Just the other day, his senior adviser, Jeff Weaver, was complaining about a rules change -- you know, the change that allows Bloomberg to be on the Democratic debate stage in Nevada and Weaver said in part, quote, that's a definition of a rigged system.
Do you agree or do you think that that word is being thrown around way too much? The Sanders campaign should back off it as well because it's hurting faith in the system?
JAYAPAL: Well, I think the economy is rigged. I have thought that for a long time. When you have three people in the country, Erin, who have the same combined wealth as 160 million Americans, that's a rigged economy.
Now, I think the DNC, and I said this publicly, the DNC changed the rules in this situation, but how come the DNC didn't change the rules in order to get Cory Booker or Julian Castro to be on the stage, so that we would have a diversity of presidential candidates?
And I think these are the kinds of decisions that matter.
BURNETT: But do you think that is really based on race, that they rigged that on race? Is that what you're implying?
JAYAPAL: I'm not -- I'm saying that if rules are changed for a billionaire, then I don't know why they can't be changed to ensure that we have diversity that represents the breadth and depth of the Democratic Party. I don't know if that's rigged or not.
BURNETT: They said it was changed because they went off of polls which, of course, Tom Perez was very open about, right? That they went off of polls. So, they didn't look at the color of someone's skin, he looked at how they were doing in the polls.
Do you not buy that argument?
JAYAPAL: Well, I just think -- look, Tom Perez is a good friend. I think he's done a great job in many levels. But I think these are the kinds of things that reinforce distrust of the Democratic Party. We are trying to do everything we can to unify the Democratic Party.
But when there are things like this that happen, when there are, you know, big mistakes like using an app in Iowa that apparently was never tested for the kind of turnout that we were expecting, and then you have a mess that doesn't provide us with a winner six days before the next primary election, and these states understand -- I come from Washington state, we're not until the middle of March, but these states determine so much about the future of the election.
And so, I just think we have to be incredibly careful about making sure we are really doing everything possible to show that we appreciate our base, that we appreciate the diversity and that we are committed to making sure everyone is a part of our democracy.
BURNETT: Congresswoman Jayapal, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you very much.
Again, she, of course, supports Bernie Sanders.
Next, Michael Bloomberg is jumping in taking advantage of the chaos in Iowa, doubling his campaign ad spending. Will it work? His campaign manager is OUTFRONT.
And we're standing by for Joe Biden's first comments since the Iowa results started coming in, coming up live in just a couple of moments.
BURNETT: All right. Tonight, as we are awaiting more results, Mike Bloomberg doubling down, you see him speaking there in Philadelphia. He's seizing an opening amid the Iowa chaos. A state he chose not to compete in. He's now doubling his ad dollars. Already they top $300 million.
His opponents are now in New Hampshire, but he, of course, is focusing on those battleground states including Pennsylvania. He's focused on the general election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm here in Michigan because this is a state we have -- look, we have to win this state in November if we're going to beat Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg's campaign manager, longtime political aide.
And, Kevin, great to have you with me. So, top three finishers in Iowa as of now, progressives, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg currently leading.
"Bloomberg News," ironically, wrote an article as you all released an economic plan this weekend and they said that the plan adopts several of the policy ideas that Bloomberg's moderate competitors including Biden and Buttigieg have touted.
Buttigieg coming out on top in Iowa. How big of a challenge is that for you?
KEVIN SHEEKEY, MICHAEL BLOOMBERG CAMPAIGN MANAGER: How big a challenge is it, I think, I've always said, I said last week, I think there are two tickets out of Iowa. I think Mayor Pete has one of them.
I think we've all -- I said -- but it's the history of this country since 1976, if you don't win either Iowa or New Hampshire, you do not get to go on to be the nominee of either party, Democrat or Republican.
Pete and I think Bernie are essentially in a tie.
And we'll see what happens in New Hampshire next.
BURNETT: So the Trump campaign was very active in Iowa in the past week. They sent in Vice President Pence. They sent in six cabinet secretaries, six cabinet secretaries to Iowa. Several congressional Republicans, essentially, testing their field program in Iowa. There was a Republican caucus last night. Trump got more total votes than Obama got as an incumbent when he ran in 2012.
Lot of people didn't even realize Trump had anything going on there last night. But he did and he had six cabinet secretaries campaigning for him. How concerning should that be to Democrats, you know, a state you all, you know, aren't even at this point contesting?
SHEEKEY: Listen, I think it's concerning on a lot of levels. One, we as a party, Democratic Party, have invested two years and every dollar we can race in the state of Iowa, which the president is likely to win, we're not likely to contest it at all.
And, listen, you and I talked about it before. This president is extraordinarily formidable. I think he's going to be very tough to beat. That's why Mike Bloomberg is running the campaign he is.
It's going to be fought in six states. Iowa will not be one of those in November. Mike was in Detroit this morning. Michigan will be one. And he's in front of 1,700 people in Philadelphia tonight because Philadelphia will be -- Pennsylvania will be another.
But this president is very tough and has worked very hard in battleground states to position himself. I think he's going to be very difficult to dislodge. I think we as Democrats are going to have to work very hard and together to do that.
BURNETT: So you're doubling your ad spending. I don't know if you heard Congresswoman Jayapal who supports Bernie Sanders, you know, was -- just talking about you getting on the debate stage in Nevada and she said, essentially, just bought your way in. And that she considers that to be unfair.
SHEEKEY: I think what I think is unfair is the Biden camp would use disinformation as freely as the president would. Simple Google search --
BURNETT: Sanders, sorry. She supports Sanders.
SHEEKEY: OK. Well, she's wrong. And it's important she would use disinformation like that. Mike Bloomberg is not on the debate stage. What the Democratic party said, if you have 10 percent support in qualifying polls or 15 percent or 20 percent or 30 percent, you should be on the debate stage so people can hear you.
It's the first time you can be on the debate stage without running around raising millions of dollars from special interests, but Mike Bloomberg or anyone else that has the support of one in ten voters in this country polled by CNN and other networks should be on that stage and certainly Mike Bloomberg hopes to and expects to be one of those people.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Kevin Sheekey, I appreciate your time.
SHEEKEY: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, Joe Biden making his first comments since the Iowa results started coming in. Hear what he's saying right after this.
BURNETT: Breaking news, Joe Biden, the vice president, is just speaking right now, and he's making his first comments since the numbers started to roll in from Iowa, saying he's trying to figure out what just happened.
Mayor, that's -- look, it's honest. He's trying -- just have to remind anyone just joining right now, in fourth place with 62 percent of the precincts reporting.
ANDREW GILLUM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, what would you say? Of course, he'd say, what might just happen? This is why people don't pay attention. It's so confusing. I mean, if you came that far back, you would find a way to try to justify what just happened.
And unfortunately, it's a bit unjustifiable. This is a difficult place for him to be in. And as we all talked about earlier, the vice president is really going to have to get it together for New Hampshire. As we go into Nevada, which should be a state that is much more open and available to him, especially given the labor support that exists there and then into South Carolina.
But if any of that starts to crumble, honestly, I fear for what this means and think what we just saw with Bloomberg's campaign adviser's interview, we'll see a lot more regularly. There will be a case to be made.
BURNETT: And he's saying, you know, Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg's campaign manager, saying they see two tickets out of Iowa, two tickets out of the first two states, you've got to win one of them.
KAREN FINNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.
BURNETT: And, look, this is their spin on it. He's setting it up as if Joe Biden doesn't win New Hampshire --
FINNEY: Which I thing that's a little bit fatalistic. I think Joe Biden can make it all the way through South Carolina, think he needs to do fairly well in New Hampshire knowing he's going to do well in South Carolina.
I think Nevada's probably going to be a little bit more of a tossup because we've seen that younger labor voters support Bernie Sanders. And potentially older labor I think will potentially go for Biden. So there may be a split.
But part of this is expectation setting. Everybody's got their spin about why last night was the most important thing that ever happened. And why it doesn't really matter. And, unfortunately, because of what actually happened with the app, it does create a bit of a cloudy, murky situation.
BURNETT: And, of course, it does, but you're going to say, OK, which way do you people want to spin this? Do you see Pete Buttigieg as Rick Santorum or do you see him as Barack Obama?
BURNETT: But I'm saying very different stories out of Iowa, right? You can win Iowa and have your big moment. And it does not mean you're the nominee. Who knows?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, let me help the vice president, what just -- he's been on this earth long enough to recognize a butt whooping when one occurs.
(LAUGHTER) JENNINGS: He got beat last night. Not only did he finish down the list, he got beat by someone else who's in his zone of the party, Pete Buttigieg.
And so to me, you go to New Hampshire, and you don't win or you don't do well over there, it's a long way to go and a long time to get to South Carolina. I don't know how you raise enough money to keep it afloat, that long and then it's Super Tuesday.
BURNETT: I have to say, he put in the time. You've been in Iowa many times. I was out with Joe Biden in Iowa in November. He did a town hall. He sat there the whole hour. Every commercial break, he's in the audience arguing with the professors. It was Grinnell College on health care, stayed for hours afterward.
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
BURNETT: The guy put the time in in Iowa, Mark Preston.
PRESTON: Generational. I mean, specifically where we were when we saw him, you know, that time, he has a generational issue right now. And that's understandable. I mean, he's not going to be able to relate the same way that a Mayor Pete Buttigieg would resonate.
GILLUM: Yes, the message, I just don't think you can say, you know, about the past, elections are about the future. He's already going against the fact that he's been in politics so long.
Then give us something we can hold on to.
Paint a picture. I can see myself and my family in for the future. Not the past.
BURNETT: Although, there is an irony sometimes that message is not always correlated with age. You take Donald Trump who is just a couple years younger than Joe Biden.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure. He has a message out about the future, so does Elizabeth Warren.
GERGEN: Biden's remarkably blank on that in terms of what's in people's minds. I do wonder if he had been hurt by the whole attack on his son. All the stuff he's gone through. And he looked tired this weekend. He looked a little bit out of sorts.
But I will tell you this, Bloomberg looks at this and sees the other three tickets out of Iowa right now are three people that by most conventional wisdom cannot beat Donald Trump or will not beat Donald Trump. So, Bloomberg looks at that, Iowa's -- Biden is wounded and you got three other people who can't win, that's the recipe for him coming in big.
That's why he's --
BURNETT: Which is what he's doing.
PRESTON: He's coming in really big.
BURNETT: He is. He's coming in hot. Coming in hot as they say.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you, all, so very much.
And thanks for joining us. As we await more results from Iowa, President Trump preparing to give his State of the Union in an hour.
Our special coverage continues right after this short break.