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Iowa Caucuses Results Delayed; Candidates Arrive in New Hampshire for Final Push. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired February 4, 2020 - 06:00   ET

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


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

[05:59:02]

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, February 4. It's 6 a.m. in the east. Alisyn is in New York, and I'm in New Hampshire this morning, because this was supposed to be the next contest in the Democratic nominating process. The question is, will we know who wins here in New Hampshire before we ever find out who won in Iowa last night?

The candidates have already started arriving here, even though the results there are not yet known. Nothing yet out of Iowa, zilch. This really is something of a political debacle and, according to the Iowa Democratic Party, there won't be any results until later today, at the earliest.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TROY PRICE, IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR: We want to emphasize that this is a reporting issue, not a hack or an intrusion. And it's exactly why we have a paper trail and systems in place to uphold the integrity of our process. We are validating every piece of data we have against our paper trail. That system is taking longer than expected, but it's in place to ensure we are eventually able to report results with full confidence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So what exactly happened? County chairs from across Iowa were reporting problems with the new app they were supposed to use to report results. After the app didn't work, many of them tried to call in the actual result numbers, but they say they were kept on hold for hours, some of them right here on CNN. You could see it happening.

In Polk County, which is a huge county, the party says it has actually been knocking on the doors of precinct chairs who have not reported their results yet, Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: John, as you know, several of the candidates are not waiting for the results before putting their spin on them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We know there's delays, but we know one thing: we are punching above our weight.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, it looks like it's going to be a long night, but I'm feeling good.

Warning you in case it's going to be close.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is too close to call, so I'm just going to tell you what I do know --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You won!

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When those results are announced, I have a good feeling we're going to be doing very, very well here in Iowa.

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CAMEROTA: Well, President Trump and his campaign are already seizing on the Iowa chaos. Chances are this may even make its way into the State of the Union address tonight, John.

BERMAN: You know, one correction, when Elizabeth Warren said the issue isn't that it's too close to call. We don't know anything about the results. We don't know if it's close or not. At this point, there have been no results reported from the precincts yet.

So let's get right to Jeff Zeleny. He is live at the Iowa Democratic Party headquarters in Des Moines with all the breaking details.

And Jeff, you know Iowa better than anybody, and none of us have ever seen anything like this.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: John, we haven't, and the reality here is that, even when this is all investigated and unspooled, the tarnish that this has put on the Iowa caucuses almost certainly threatens its future.

But let's talk about the here and now. What led to this, you know, series of confusing events throughout the evening into the early morning hours and to that phone call, where the state party chairman was saying that they're trying to uphold the integrity of this, was apparently a reporting error through a new app.

The state party had an app for the county officials in all of these 1,700 spots across Iowa. And we were hearing throughout the day yesterday that it just simply wasn't working for some people.

So there was a phone number where they could call in the results. Well, that was simply overwhelmed. So the -- the frustration from the top campaign leaders really boiled

over overnight. There was a call around 1 a.m. or so. And they were really questioning the transparency of all of this.

So the state party officials that we spoke to early this morning said they do expect some results to come out today, but they also talked about discrepancies. So we do not know the scope of all of this.

But I was at a precinct last night, and there is a physical paper trail. Each voter came in and wrote their preference on a card. So there is something to actually physically look at here. So we'll see if there's a manual count of all this or not.

It certainly has shades of that Florida recount from 2000, of course, much different in this case.

But the question here is each campaign now is trying to spin this as a win, but there was a loser to the Iowa caucus. We don't know who that is. And that potentially is the most significant thing here. Perhaps someone dodged a bullet going into New Hampshire.

But John, the voting there one week from today. At some point we'll find out the actual strength and scope of this Democratic field -- John.

BERMAN: Yes. No one here in New Hampshire asking any candidates if they need to drop out or they need to reconsider, because we don't know who did well or not well, not yet at least. Jeff Zeleny, Iowa.

Four of the candidates, at least, have arrived here in New Hampshire already. Just a short time ago, I caught up with Senator Amy Klobuchar as she landed at the Manchester Airport. And I asked her what she thought about all the chaos in Iowa.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Senator Klobuchar, welcome to New Hampshire.

KLOBUCHAR: I'm -- it's great to be here. I'm so excited. I'm wearing my gold coat from the blizzard announcement, just to, you know, commemorate it.

BERMAN: Senator, what happened in Iowa?

KLOBUCHAR: They had -- apparently, they had a problem with the computer system and getting the numbers on. I think they'll be able to count them by hand, just like people used to, and then they'll get them in.

BERMAN: Has the state told your campaign anything about when they might expect it or what exactly happened?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, coming from a state that's had to count a few ballots, as in recounts in Minnesota, I'm an expert on this; and they can get it done. I'm sure they can get it done by tomorrow. I would hope so. BERMAN: I was at a rally of yours. I've lost track of time. I think it

was two nights ago in Des Moines in Beaverdale in a junior high, and you -- one of the lines that you used that got the most applause was, "We better not screw this up."

KLOBUCHAR: I didn't mean the numbers. I meant --

BERMAN: Well, but --

KLOBUCHAR: I meant --

BERMAN: But -- but is Iowa screwing it up?

KLOBUCHAR: No, you know what I meant by that. I meant that we need to have a candidate that can lead the ticket, that can bring people with her instead of shutting them out. And I made the argument that night that I make every day in New Hampshire, that you want a candidate that can bring a fired-up Democratic base with her, along with independents -- there's a lot of them in this state -- and moderate Republicans so that we can win big and not just eke by a victory. And I think that's really important.

If we want to get things done on climate change and prescription drugs and add -- and finally get some decency back into the White House, then we're going to have to bring people with us. And my argument is that I'm the one to do that. And my argument to our friends out here in New Hampshire and across the country is we know we can win in Kentucky. We just did. In Louisiana, in states like Kansas and Michigan, where we won the governor's race. So, yes, we better not screw this up.

BERMAN: But you're not including actually counting the ballots in this case in that category?

KLOBUCHAR: No. That -- I believe they'll count the ballots. I'm sure they're working hard. It must have been devastating to them, and they're getting it done. And we'll get the numbers.

I just know that we are doing well. And I think a lot of people, just like they didn't think I would get through that speech in the middle of the snow, they didn't think I'd get through the summer. They didn't think I'd get through debates, and I've been on every debate stage and shown that I have the toughness and I'm nimble enough to take on Donald Trump. And I bet I'm the most -- I bet that I'm the most energetic -- what time is it, you guys, here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four a.m.

BERMAN: It's 5 of 4 right now. Right now.

KLOBUCHAR: I'm the most energetic candidate at the moment with no sleep.

BERMAN: We don't have official results yet, obviously. Obviously, we have no results yet. But what have you heard from your precinct captains around Iowa? KLOBUCHAR: Yes. We heard that we've done very well. There were a number of places where we won. We did well in some of the rural areas that I don't think people have focused on as much. We got some really good numbers out of Cedar Rapids and the Quad Cities area. So we're just waiting on the final results like everyone else.

I think there's some numbers that show that we -- we did a lot better than people thought we were.

BERMAN: Just the last couple questions here. Some of the campaigns are questioning whether this throws into doubt the legitimacy of the whole process. There are people who are upset.

KLOBUCHAR: No. They just had a problem with a computer glitch. They can count them by hand. That is not hard to do. There are witnesses at every precinct. Every campaign had people there. There's precinct chairs. They're going to be able to get the numbers. Now, you know there's going to be a number of -- the total number of people that were there, as well as the delegates, but that's not that strange.

BERMAN: One Senate business question. Your colleague Joe Manchin of West Virginia was on the floor yesterday while you were in Iowa or on your way to Iowa suggesting that maybe there should be a censure vote in the Senate. Would you support that?

KLOBUCHAR: Right now I am focused on the impeachment vote. I hope, after the moving statements by the House managers at the end, my colleagues will listen on the Republican side.

And I really believe, when you look at some of the support that I got in Iowa, Republicans who changed parties, including Andy -- Andy, the legislator who had literally -- Andy McKean, who had been a Republican until last spring and changed to a Democrat. We've got two former legislators who were Republican who joined our team. People in the country are not like the ones in the Senate.

It seems to me a lot of the Republicans in the Senate, with the exception of two when it came to the witnesses, basically, Donald Trump says jump, and they say how high. There's a lot of moderate Republicans out there that don't agree. They see this election as a patriotism check, as a decency check; and they want to have a president that understands that the heart of America is much bigger than the heart of the guy of the White House.

BERMAN: Senator Klobuchar, it's about 30 degrees here, which I know is warm for you.

KLOBUCHAR: Are you kidding? Why -- like you know, this is not even hat weather. This is not even mitten weather, although we do have some good hats, a display of the kind of hat that you wear when you go door knocking in New Hampshire like we will be doing in the next week.

BERMAN: I'll let you catch some sleep. Thank you very much. Nice to see you, Senator.

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. (END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: You know, pretty smart for Senator Klobuchar to do that interview and have that small rally at the airport. Those are the kind of pictures that, generally speaking, candidates want to have when they arrive here in New Hampshire for the next stage of the nominating process, but some chose to forego it, I think perhaps because of all the uncertainty coming out of Iowa.

Jeff Zeleny is back with us, also joining us, CNN correspondent Ryan Nobles, who has been covering the Bernie Sanders campaign.

[06:10:01]

And it's interesting, Ryan, because Amy Klobuchar declaring a type of victory. Pete Buttigieg last night, in a speech in Iowa, basically declared a full victory. But no candidate was counting on an Iowa victory more than Bernie Sanders, and I have to believe it particularly frustrates the Sanders campaign that they were not able to come out of Iowa with something clear.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right about that, John. You know, I'm struck by, you know, our reporting on this all this morning. And I think back to all these planning meetings we had at CNN, where we went over every possible scenario that could come out of the Iowa caucuses, and this was not one of them.

You know, we thought that these campaigns were going to be perhaps spinning the results, because they were going to have three different types of results that came through, the popular vote, the first round vote and then the delegate count, as well, and that perhaps that they would be trying to declare victory on all different levels.

I never imagined we'd be in a position where they'd be declaring victory with no results in front of them. But that's exactly the situation we find ourselves in here this morning.

You know, last night when Bernie Sanders finally made it to the stage, you know, he certainly alluded to his supporters that, from their campaign's perspective, what their precinct chairs were telling them in all these various places, that it was going to be a good night for them. They certainly felt like they were in a good position, that they were ultimately going to be in a position to declare victory; and then that victory was going to start the momentum they feel was necessary, in these early states to push them into Super Tuesday and beyond.

They're not going to have that opportunity right now, and so there is that level of frustration. You know, publicly, they're not being very critical of the Iowa Democratic Party and their process, because I think it's very important for them that, once these results come out, that they stand; and there's something that everyone can accept. They don't want any kind of taint associated with the results, because they feel that they're going to do very well.

So it will be very interesting to see, when these results come out, how the Sanders campaign responds to them, how they tout them and then what it means for them going into New Hampshire, where they're also, John, in a very strong position, and you know, aides telling me late last night that they do believe that they can win New Hampshire, as well. So a lot of that will play out today.

BERMAN: Obviously, he won big here in 2016. I'm also very curious as to where these candidates will be physically, if and when these results do come out. Imagine them at a New Hampshire rally when the results come back, if they're good or bad for them.

Jeff Zeleny, I'm struck by something that we keep hearing Elizabeth Warren saying. She said it last night in Iowa, and she said it when Leyla Santiago caught up here with her at the airport here in New Hampshire, which is that it's still too close to call. No. No. That's not the issue. We don't know whether it's too close to call. There are no results that have been reported yet at this point. They're still processing the results, but for her, it's an interesting spin, saying too close to call. Why do you think she's going with that?

ZELENY: Well, there's no doubt that she had signs of strength in many precincts across the state of Iowa, so there are results that have been counted. They just have not been, essentially, authorized or made official by the Iowa Democratic Party.

But in the precinct I was at last night, for example, Elizabeth Warren won that precinct. It was very close between her and Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders. It was actually a district that Bernie Sanders had won four years ago, but Elizabeth Warren won it and is going to get the most delegates.

But anecdotally, of course, most of these top campaigns have observers and officials in all of the precincts across Iowa. So she, you know, is certainly seizing on what was perhaps a victory or almost a victory or just a strong showing. So she knows she is in the hunt here.

But look, the reality here is, going forward, everyone is going to declare a victory and move on. And I think the autopsy here of the Iowa caucuses is going to be a long time coming for all the money spent here, for all the time spent here. It just -- just simply didn't work out.

But the Biden campaign was the only campaign that was questioning the results. They're saying we don't know the legitimacy of the results. So John, that may tell us something here. You see a lot of campaigns declaring victory. One is saying we can't trust these results. The Biden campaign, at least anecdotally from the precincts we saw last night, was not doing well at all, John.

BERMAN: And we will have a representative from the Biden campaign on with us a little bit later. We'll also talk to Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, a little bit later also.

Ryan, Jeff, thank you very much.

The chaos in Iowa, the dust still settling where Ryan and Jeff are, how will it follow the candidates here in New Hampshire? How will they choose to move forward as they try to win the votes? Much more next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:18:42]

BERMAN: All right. Welcome back. John Berman here live in Manchester, New Hampshire. This is the sight of the next 2020 nominating contest one week from today. The question is -- and I'm not even being that glib -- will this be the first state to actually report any results, because we have heard nothing yet from Iowa? We are told they expect to deliver some results at some point today. We are waiting after what really was a giant political debacle last night.

Joining us now, CNN political reporter Rebecca Buck; CNN senior political writer and analyst Harry Enten; and CNN political analyst David Gregory joins us from Washington.

I want to talk about what happened last night. The now. And then I want to talk about the bigger picture first. Harry, we actually do know something about the Iowa caucuses from our entrance polls.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER AND ANALYST: We do. You know, we ask these questions before people go into those caucuses, these sample precincts. And what do we know?

I think let's talk about age, right? There was this big question: Would those under the age of 45 make up a larger share of the electorate than they did four years ago? According to our entrance poll, the answer to that is yes, they did. In fact, they made up a somewhat significantly larger portion, 45 percent now versus 36 percent in 2016.

Why is that significant? Because Bernie Sanders was hoping to get that larger share of those under 45 making up a percentage of the electorate.

[06:20:02]

The other thing that we know, take a look at this: the ideology of those who voted. What we see there is it's the same as it was four years ago. That is not necessarily a good sign for Bernie Sanders. It may, in fact, be a good sign for Pete Buttigieg, because he is not someone like Joe Biden who's overly dependent on those older voters, but he also does well among those moderate and conservative voters.

BERMAN: So Rebecca Buck, you've done something very interesting, also. You paid very close attention to the word choice in the candidates last night when they gave their -- not acceptance or not victory or defeat speeches -- but the actual words they said out loud. What do you take away?

REBECCA BUCK, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well, John, it's true that we don't have the results officially from the Iowa Democratic Party, but all of these campaigns had volunteers on the ground, had trained staff looking at the results in key precincts, so they do have an idea of how they did. And if you listen to what they had to say last night, from Joe Biden

and Elizabeth Warren, we heard things like there's a long road ahead, we're built for the long haul. That says to me they didn't have a great night in Iowa, or at least underperformed what they wanted to do in that state.

Meanwhile, you see Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders saying, We think we did really well. Pete Buttigieg declaring victory, even. And so we can take from that that they probably had a good night. The question of course, how good?

BERMAN: How good?

BUCK: Who won the Iowa caucuses? And that's a key question.

BERMAN: And we are waiting to find that out.

David, I waited for you, because we don't know who the winner is yet, but it is safe to say there was a clear loser, and those were the Iowa caucuses themselves. Let me just play some sound for you of Terry McAuliffe last night on our air.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TERRY MCAULIFFE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I would get rid of all the caucuses, first of all. They're undemocratic processes. People don't have time to go spend the time like you heard here today. Go vote, pull the curtain, close it, vote and then leave. That is the democratic way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Were these just the last Democratic Iowa caucuses, first in the nation, that we will have seen, David?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, very well may be. This is a devastating result for Iowa, for the caucuses. And the impact I'll get to in just a second.

But, you know, I remember being at a caucus site in 2008, and that line between democracy in action and utter chaos, and kind of, you know, a junior-league way to perform an election in a democracy is -- is pretty thin. And we saw the down side of it so far in these results.

Now you have a muddle. So they're going to have to contend with a bad app and the fact that they had a call-in system that didn't work. And the campaigns are furious.

And they're furious because, if you look at a couple streams: one, the caucuses are meant to test early organizing strength of these campaigns. Again, you don't really have a result to that. If you don't know or if you have muddled results for time to come, if you think back to Bernie and Hillary in 2016, or you think back to Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney back in 2012, these have the impact of not having an impact, where you don't have an immediate result, and maybe the winner is only figured out later on.

The muddle then creates just a longer road for Democrats in already a large field, where the debates seem to be looming much larger than these early nominating contests. Good for President Trump, who's able to just, you know, look down his nose at Democrats and at the process.

And it just becomes more difficult for Democrats to winnow the field, which is what they need, particularly in a year when there is a big split between progressives and the moderate wing of the party, and when you have the specter of somebody like Michael Bloomberg down the road, who wants to emerge later in the process.

BERMAN: Another metric, Harry Enten, that could be of concern to Democrats is the turnout. What do you know about that?

ENTEN: Yes. You know, the Democratic Party released a statement, saying it was basically the same as it was in 2016. Of course, the record turnout, well over 200,000, was back in 2008.

And this to me is concerning, because if you look at other metrics across the road, right, look at special elections in 2019 and to 2020, you see that Democrats aren't quite overperforming in the same way they were in 2017 and 2018, versus the 2016 baseline.

So when you put -- start putting a picture together, right, maybe the Democratic enthusiasm isn't as strong as it once was as we head into 2020 general.

BUCK: Although I don't think we can necessarily draw the conclusion that the enthusiasm isn't there for a general election. I think what it might be is that the enthusiasm isn't necessarily there for this Democratic field or for making a particular choice in this Democratic field. What we hear often from Democratic voters is that they're very hard-pressed to make a decision, but they can't wait to vote against whoever is running against Donald Trump.

BERMAN: And David Gregory, you bring up a good point, which was Iowa was supposed to be the first place where we saw some clarity between what Democrats wanted, whether they wanted the moderate or the progressive. We certainly don't have any clarity, at least not at 6 a.m. on the morning.

GREGORY: No. It's so true, and it puts more pressure on New Hampshire and in the contests ahead.

[06:25:04]

And I think the lack of clarity is important for one of a couple reasons. The obvious one is that you have somebody who is an early indicator of who could help winnow the field and who could emerge.

The other piece of it is perhaps just as important. Let's say it's Bernie Sanders who does really well, ultimately, in Iowa. Is that a wake-up call to other Democrats who might question his ultimate electability and say, Hey, you know, I've got to really start paying attention. I'm worried about the course the Democrats are on. The opposite could be true, as well. He could be consolidating support

among progressives. We might be saying, hey, maybe Biden is less likely, although there was built-in expectation that certain candidates wouldn't do that well.

So again, you have a muddle. You move on to New Hampshire. We have such short attention spans, John. I wonder how -- how long we're even going to wait for the results in Iowa and not just move on to the next contest.

BERMAN: Someone has got to win eventually.

GREGORY: Somebody.

BERMAN: Someone has got to win in Iowa. And I intend to be here to hear it.

All right. David, Harry, Rebecca, thank you all very much.

The president of the United States, in addition to all of this, will deliver the State of the Union address tonight. Will he talk about the electoral chaos? Will he talk about impeachment? Much more on that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END