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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Trump, Emboldened By Acquittal, Attacks: "It Was All Bulls***"; Trump Gets Personal During Impeachment Rant, Attacks Romney For Invoking Faith In Vote: "Used Religion As A Crutch"; Trump Takes Victory Lap By Targeting Rivals In Vindictive Rant: "Evil," "Corrupt," "Dirty Cops," "Leakers And Liars"; WH Issues Talking Points To Attack Romney's Credibility; Sanders Declares "Strong Victory" In Iowa, Citing Popular Vote, As Dem Party Struggles To Verify The Results; DNC Chair Calls For A "Recanvass" In Iowa: "Enough Is Enough". Aired 7-8p ET

Aired February 6, 2020 - 19:00   ET

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


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: That was CNN's Lucy Kafanov reporting. What a horrible development all of this has been. And to our viewers, thanks very much for following us. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the President celebrates his impeachment acquittal by unloading on his political enemies and allies. Republicans claim he's learned his lesson, but he had something to tell them.

Plus, the White House ramping up its attacks against Mitt Romney. They have just sent out a whole slew of talking points slamming him.

And Pete Buttigieg hits Joe Biden on his biggest talking point. Will it work?

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, exalting, unrepentant and vengeful. That's Trump today talking, and talking and talking. His victory lap starting this morning at a prayer breakfast with this scene. He was holding up newspapers with the headline acquitted.

Funny how he hates that newspaper until he likes it. That simple celebratory moment, though, did not last long. In front of a crowd of ardent supporters in the East Room of the White House, Trump took dead aim and Mitt Romney for his vote to convict Trump and vote for his to be removed on abuse of power.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have some that used religion as a crutch. They never used it before.

(END VIDEO CLIP) Trump attacking Mitt Romney's faith which is wrong and if there is one

thing that is true, it is that when Mitt Romney said this, there is no doubt he meant it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: And Trump's maligning did not stop today with Mitt Romney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We've been going through this now for over three years. It was evil. It was corrupt.

They are vicious and mean. Vicious. These people are vicious. Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person. Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person. She said, "I pray for the President." But I doubt she prays at all.

People are very angry that Nancy Pelosi and all of these guys - I mean, Nadler - I know him much of my life.

These people have gone stone-cold crazy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: So Mitt Romney uses religion as a crutch and Nancy Pelosi doubt she prays at all. Trump lashing out his enemies tonight, but then he humiliated his allies. The same people who tried to say that his actions were wrong with Ukraine, but not worthy of ending his presidency.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Think of it. A phone call. A very good phone call.

I had some that said, "Oh, I wish he didn't make the call." And that's OK, if they need that. It's incorrect. It's totally incorrect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: It's OK, if they need that. But they are totally wrong because shocker, Trump says his actions were perfect. So who is this they? They. The Republicans who justified their votes to acquit, that's who they are because they said Trump learned his lesson.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Are you confident that the President is not going to simply ask another foreign power to investigate a political rival again? SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD): Yes. I think there are lessons that everybody

can learn from it.

SEN. ROBERT PORTMAN (R-OH): I think the message has been delivered.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): The President has been impeached. That's a pretty big lesson.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: To not learn. Trump clearly did not learned his lesson. I mean, just listen to him today talking about the infamous call.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I mean, it worked out. We went through hell unfairly, did nothing wrong. Did nothing wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Nothing wrong. John Harwood is OUTFRONT live outside the White House. So, John, what is the President's mood tonight?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, as we saw in that rambling soliloquy he delivered in the East Room today, the President's mood is distressed, he's wounded, he's angry and he's lashing out. We got none of the grace notes that Bill Clinton delivered after his acquittal in an impeachment trial in 1999 when he came to - in front of the American people, apologize to them, apologize to the Republican Congress for putting them through the agony.

President Trump thinks he himself is the victim here and so he's lashing out. You made the appropriate point about him mocking Mitt Romney's faith. By all signs, Donald Trump doesn't understand faith. He does not seem to be a person of faith. He does not recognize the values that faith teaches us distinctions between right and wrong.

[19:05:04]

And so for him, this is a primal reaction to people who have hurt him and he wants to hurt them. He made that clear. And what is alarming about it, as you mentioned in the intro, is that Republicans in his audience today we're laughing and cheering along with him, even though as brilliant reporting by our CNN colleagues has shown, Ted Cruz told White House lawyers that 100 percent of senators believe there was a quid pro quo.

In other words, they know that he did something wrong, yet they have made clear they're not willing to constrain him. So I think the question going forward is, to what extent is he going to try to use the power of his office to lash out against people, Romney, Biden, anybody else that he might target and will Republicans put any constraint on him, they haven't so far.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, John Harwood. Of course, what they've said is that he's learned the lesson which, at least verbally, he is saying loud and clear he has not learned, because he says there is no lesson to learn other than it was all perfect.

OUTFRONT now Tim Naftali, Presidential Historian, former Director of the Nixon Presidential Library, Kirsten Powers, our Political Analyst and USA Today Columnist and Scott Jennings, the former Senior Adviser to the now Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Tim, so you heard what John was talking about Ted Cruz saying a hundred percent of the Republican senators know that there was a quid pro quo. But all of these Republicans who came out and said that the President has learned a lesson from this whole process, that he's not going to do it again, they were wrong. I mean, he is saying ...

TIM NAFTALI, FORMER DIRECTOR, NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY: Yes. He's saying he hasn't learned a lesson. And one of the reasons why people were so concerned by the argument that the President's defenders made in the Senate trial about abuse of power was that if the President is given the impression he has a permission slip to abuse power, there's no reason to expect that Donald Trump won't abuse power again, and again and again.

And today in two different speeches, he's made it clear that he's learned nothing from the impeachment crisis and that he is more than willing to do what he did before again.

BURNETT: And so, Scott, look, as I described the way he spoke, he was exultant, he was vengeful, all of those words would describe him at various times today as he went on and on. So at one point he said, he doubts Nancy Pelosi prays at all, obviously, an insult among others. He called her vicious and mean and other things.

Then he doubled down when he was asked about what he said about her and here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I had Nancy Pelosi sitting four seats away, and I'm saying things that a lot of people wouldn't have said, but I met every word of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: What do you make of that, Scott?

SCOTT JENNINGS, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, I don't know if you've noticed or not, but Nancy Pelosi has been trying to literally throw him out of office for the last several months and her entire conference has been trying to prematurely in this presidency since it started. So I get the President's little attitude today to punch back.

And by the way, we're now in the heat of the election, voting has started, the impeachment is over and this is an electoral political battle. And so if this made anybody squeamish today, I'd advise you to look away because the election has just getting started. My suspicion is that this kind of tit for tat between Trump and Pelosi is only going to get worse.

BURNETT: Kirsten?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I mean, let's also remember where he was saying these things. First of all, let me just say, I think it's childish the way he was talking about how he behaved at the National Prayer Breakfast. He's actually bragging to people about talking badly about another person at the National Prayer Breakfast.

And the idea that because Nancy Pelosi tried to impeach him that somehow he's justified in the way he behaved at the National Prayer Breakfast, I just strongly disagree with. Bill Clinton, of course, was at the National Prayer Breakfast after Republicans tried to have him thrown out of office and he was contrite and spoke about how he had sinned and he asked for forgiveness. So you don't have to behave the way that Donald Trump behaved.

I am a Christian. I'm somebody who takes my faith seriously and the National Prayer Breakfast is supposed to be a place where people from both sides of the aisle can come together and it can be a non- political event and people of faith can sit there together, and what do we have?

We have the President of the United States actually attacking the faith of Nancy Pelosi, claiming that she doesn't pray, making quite clear he doesn't understand the Catholic faith. He doesn't understand that in the Catholic faith every week at mass you pray for your leaders, what the Bible says that you're supposed to pray for those who persecute you and bless your enemies, all of these things. And this is the person, Scott, that the Christian right has thrown their support behind.

[19:10:02]

BURNETT: Scott, can I just play what Pelosi has said she prays for the President. She was very angry if anyone question that. She obviously has been a lifelong and very devoted Catholic. I want to play, again, what he said about that today. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: She doesn't pray. She may pray, but she prays for the opposite. But I doubt she prays at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: You're OK with that, Scott?

JENNINGS: Look, I don't know what you want me to say. I mean, if you want Donald Trump to go on television after what just happened to him, after what's happened to him for the last three years and say nice things about Nancy Pelosi.

BURNETT: Well, I'm just saying you gave him some latitude. I'm trying to understand is that in your 1910 [00:00:39] latitude? JENNINGS: I don't know why anyone would expect - I'm sorry, what?

BURNETT: I'm saying when you said you gave him latitude today, did you mean that it's OK to say things like that or not?

JENNINGS: Look, I'm just saying I don't know who in the world would anticipate or expect Donald Trump to go out today and bend the knee to Nancy Pelosi or say anything nice at all after what she has done to him, what the Democrats have done to him.

POWERS: How about say nothing?

JENNINGS: It's not just the impeachment. You listen to what Adam Schiff has said, you listen to what these folks have said, they have called him everything but a good milk cow for three straight years.

NAFTALI: Yes, but ...

JENNINGS: And you want him to go out and make nice.

POWERS: And that's exactly what Republicans did to Bill Clinton.

JENNINGS: I mean, I don't understand.

NAFTALI: I was just going to ...

POWERS: It's exactly what Republicans did to Bill Clinton and Bill Clinton was able to stand up there at the National Prayer Breakfast and act like a decent human being. So I don't understand why ...

BURNETT: So can I play for that - to your point ...

POWERS: ... you think that Donald Trump shouldn't be required to be decent.

BURNETT: .. for your point, Kirsten, I want to play, as I said, the President went to the prayer breakfast, he said these things. Then he came and spoke for over an hour, an hour plus and said more of these things. Here's what Bill Clinton said after he was acquitted in 1999. He spoke for two minutes. Here he is in his key part.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to say, again, to the American people how profoundly sorry I am for what I said and did to trigger these events and the great burden they have imposed on the Congress and on the American people. I also am humbled and very grateful for the support and the prayers I have received from millions of Americans over this past year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: There are many, Tim, who would never forgive him for what he did or the dishonor he brought to the office and yet how he handled it on the other side is night and day from what we saw today. NAFTALI: Well, it's night and day, and I would like to say that there

is no excuse for a politician weaponizing faith under no circumstance. I don't care how angry they might be about how they were treated, there is no excuse. This president at the moment seems to want a cultural cold war.

I'm not saying that one exists, but he seems to be feeding anger and to test people's faith on the basis of whether they support them and not, that's horrific. What we're going through now will be remembered as some kind of McCarthy iconic period. We are going to be so angry at the ugliness later when we look back at it.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much.

And next, the White House is launching an all out assault against Mitt Romney. CNN just obtaining their new talking points and it is all aimed at taking down the Republican Senator.

Plus, the Head of the DNC saying enough is enough when it comes to the Iowa debacle. Will the candidates accept the final outcome?

And Joe Biden making a difference in one child's life by opening up about his lifelong struggle with stuttering?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I felt like I have really like a close vibe between us, because he had like that same thing going on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:17:21]

BURNETT: Tonight, the White House ramping up its attacks on Senator Mitt Romney. CNN has obtained tonight these talking points. They were just sent out by the White House and they're all about targeting Romney, enemy number one.

It comes as Republicans are split on how to deal with Romney's vote to convict and remove President Trump on abuse of power. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy telling reporters, "I don't think Romney's effective in any shape or form." But Politico reports Congressman Liz Cheney says Romney 'is a real value for us to have in the Senate'.

OUTFRONT now Brendan Buck who served as Spokesperson for Romney's presidential campaign and former Utah Republican Congresswoman Mia Love.

Congresswoman, let me start with you. You are from the State of Utah and you know Senator Romney.

FORMER REP. MIA LOVE (R-UT): Yes.

BURNETT: Did he make the wrong call? LOVE: Well, I like Mitt. Mitt is a good friend of mine. We're not

always going to agree and I think on this issue, this is an area where we don't agree. The majority of Utahns - actually, a poll just came out yesterday that showed that 53 percent approve of the job that the President's doing and 45 percent do not approve.

I don't think he has to worry about what the President is saying about him. Any of the talking points that they're putting out, he really has a lot of work to do in the State of Utah. There have been a lot of people that are calling. I talked to the executive director of the state party, she said that they had over 2,000 calls in queue just when they got into the building this morning.

So, I mean, he's a big boy. He's out here. He's talking to constituents and I think that that's exactly what he needs to do.

BURNETT: Brendan, what do you say, right call or wrong call?

BRENDAN BUCK, ROMNEY 2012 CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON: Well, it's clearly tough politics as Mia outline, whether it's national politics, whether it's politics inside his conference in the Senate, there's really no political upside. But I think that's why it was so remarkable and commendable that he was able to do that. You never see anybody do that anymore.

He's going to have trouble back home, but he is the type of person who's going to be able to go back home and explain himself. But Mitt Romney, he has nothing to really fear. Mitt Romney has basically had the worst political death that he could have. He ran for president and lost.

So I don't think he's afraid of what people are going to say about him on Twitter. I don't think he's afraid of the President. I think the decision he made was one of conviction and clearly one affected by his faith. And so I think he's going to be comfortable with that and whatever comes he's going to be ready for.

BURNETT: So Congresswoman, to this point in an editorial today, The Salt Lake Tribune praise Romney and they wrote, "Romney could have said, to us and to history, that he did what he did, and having honorably failed at that, was prepared to vote with the rest of his party to acquit the President and move on. But when it was crunch time, Romney just could not avert his eyes from the fact that the President had, without a shadow of a doubt, abused his power as commander and chief."

[19:20:08]

Do you think that that is how Utah voters may end up seeing this?

LOVE: I think it's a long road, I really do. I think it's going to be a tough - it's probably the toughest vote. And I honestly - I agree, I think that Mitt believes that he was doing the right thing. Sometimes you have to weigh what you feel is the right thing versus what the majority of the people in your state believe it's the right thing and sometimes they don't go hand in hand. And so at the end of the day, you have to do everything you can to get

your message out there and let people know that you voted on their behalf or you voted for what you believed was not just right for himself, but right for everybody else. So there's an uphill battle.

I know that The Salt Lake Tribune put out statements, but there are a lot of state legislators that put out statements talking about being disappointed. I know there are a lot of people that just feel as if the one Republican from the State of Utah voted for removing the President on the one article was a step a little too far for them.

BURNETT: I mean, it's interesting, Brendan, though as one of the talking points of the White House, they've put a whole list of talking points out about Mitt Romney. Look, some of them may stick so I don't want to laugh at them, but some of them are funny.

I mean, this one says that Romney's decision was unsurprising because political expediency has come to define his career. And obviously, if he was picking the politically expedient path he wouldn't have done what he did. But nonetheless, they're trying to get to portray him as a flip flopper and a guy who is unprincipled. I mean, is there any chance that will work?

BUCK: I mean, first of all, it could work because the President has a megaphone and whatever he says people tend to repeat a lot or half of the country. But like, again, there is no political upside. There is no political expediency in doing this. And again, I think that's why it's remarkable.

The idea that this is some plot to run for president is laughable because the President controls the party at this point. There's no constituency for this kind of thing. In my previous job, I also worked for Paul Ryan. I understand that when you cross the President, there's not a welcome arms from the middle or from the left that welcome you and bring you in.

You get attacked from the left and the right. So there's not a lot of safe ground for him, so there was no upside to do it. And again, I think that's why it was so remarkable.

BURNETT: And Congresswoman yet we see this issue here on the issue of faith, which I found pretty stunning today, honestly, even for a president who, of course, is unashamed to slam people on any basis. Mitt Romney said yesterday, I'm going to play that and then I want to play what the President said about him today. Here they are.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential.

TRUMP: Then you have some that used religion as a crutch. They never used it before.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: That was one of his royal base. There was only one, it was

Mitt Romney. So that's what Mitt Romney said as he is trying to control himself from crying and that's what the President of the United States said. What's your reaction to that?

LOVE: Well, I share the same faith that Mitt Romney shares and when you are trying to make a decision that you feel is morally correct and to have somebody make fun of that is always disappointing. I don't think that the President making fun of that is actually going to hurt Mitt Romney. I really don't.

I think that the best thing that the President can do is let it go and let the constituents take care of the things that he feels like he needs to take care of. One of the things that you brought up that I thought was really interesting is a lot of Republicans asking whether they - saying that they believe that the President learned their lesson.

And I actually believe that we, as Americans and Republicans, actually need to ask the same question. Have you learned your lesson? I think the reason why we are here to begin with is because too few people pushed back, which emboldened the President to be able to do all of the things that he felt like he was OK with.

So I think that that question really has to be asked not just of the President but of everybody, who's pushing back.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. That's a crucial question, who is pushing back.

And next, new confusion in Iowa tonight. New confusion in Iowa? What? The state still scrambling to declare a winner. And in just over 30 minutes, the current top finisher Sanders and Buttigieg will take the stage at CNN's town halls.

Plus, Joe Biden's biggest selling point. His electability coming under attack tonight.

[19:24:56]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:28:52]

BURNETT: Tonight, Bernie Sanders declaring victory in Iowa in the popular vote as we await the final results.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So what I want to do today, three days late, is to thank the people of Iowa for the very strong victory they gave us at the Iowa caucuses on Monday night.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Confused? You're certainly not the only one because, look, there's the whole situation, plus there's this, 97 percent of the precincts have now reported such that they have. And in that tally, Pete Buttigieg is still leading Sanders by one-tenth of a point on state delegates and that is the measure by which a winner is declared in Iowa. So if you win on that, you are the winner of Iowa.

Bernie Sanders is pointing to the popular vote, which is not how they determine the actual winner and this comes as the overall context as the Iowa Democratic Party is still struggling to actually report full results. DNC Chairman Tom Perez is tweeting, "Enough is enough." Calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to 'immediately begin a recanvass.

Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT. Jeff, what are you hearing and what might happen here?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORREPONDENT: Erin, good evening. As we stand here tonight in Des Moines, again, the reality is we do not know if there will be a recanvass or not. For all of the unity inside the Democratic Party, there is not unity between the Iowa Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee.

[19:30:00]

The Iowa Democratic Party was blindsided I'm told when Tom Perez, the chairman o the national party, has said, enough is enough, it's time for a recanvas. Well, the rules do not allow for him to call for a recanvas. That has to be done by a candidate or campaign specifically.

And so far, no campaign has done that. They technically have until noon tomorrow to do that. They possibly could get an extension because, of course, the results aren't in yet.

But, Erin, when you sort away all these discussions about the rules and whatnot, we do know one thing, this is going to be incredibly tight between Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders. Essentially, it's a wash. They're going to split the number of delegates.

Pete Buttigieg, he won about 59 of Iowa's 99 counties. His people say had that been happening in real time on election night on Monday, what a story that would have been. Bernie Sanders people said, look, he got more in the popular vote. And it's the satellite caucuses, Erin, that Bernie Sanders pushed after four years ago that allowed people to come in early that apparently at the center of all this controversy. The math has complicated this formula.

So, we will see what happens here as the day goes on. Unclear if there will be a recanvas or not. So far no campaign has said they want that.

Bernie Sanders is declaring victory and moving on. If he doesn't call for it, only Pete Buttigieg can call for it. His campaign hasn't indicated they will either, Erin.

So, at the end of the day, a little messy, no doubt, but election officials always say, close elections are always messy. The key here is Buttigieg and Sanders nearly won this. That doesn't say what direction the party is going for though. Talk about different bookends here, Sanders and Buttigieg -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jeff.

Let me go OUTFRONT now to Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna of California. He is one of the national co-chairs for Bernie Sanders' campaign.

OK. So, Congressman, it's a mess. I guess no matter where you stand you can acknowledge it's not been easy here in Iowa.

CNN analysis shows counting errors reported by the state party, you know, talking about things like state delegate counts, they don't match up in multiple counties, caucus rules could have been violated in multiple precincts. I mean, this is a lot of little things when you're look at a razor thin margin in terms of that overall delegate percentage that determines the formal winner.

Do you trust the current results?

REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): Absolutely I do. And I think we need to praise people in Iowa. I mean, there are thousands of volunteers.

Sure, the app failed. That's the problem. But they've been working all night. I don't believe the people in Iowa cheat. I think they're honest people and they've been doing their best to get a clear result. They're 97 percent counted.

In my home state of California where we have all this technology, often it takes two weeks to count results after absentee ballots. So, let's actually acknowledge what they're doing and praise them instead of piling on.

BURNETT: OK. So, when the DNC comes out, the head of the DNC, Tom Perez, today says it's time for a recanvas, immediately begin to recanvas, enough is enough -- obviously, you all would be the ones to call for a recanvas. You just heard the reporting. He can't formally cause it to happen.

What's your response to Tom Perez?

KHANNA: I don't know what he's thinking. I mean, he's not doing the hard work of counting. I think it was not fair to the volunteers in Iowa doing that. No campaign has called for it. We haven't called for it. I don't think any other candidate has called for it.

We've been respecting the process. And the reality is that you're right. I mean, Bernie Sanders is ahead in the popular vote. The state delegate is close. It's neck and neck between Senator Sanders and Mayor Buttigieg. And let's see who will emerge, but we should respect the progress.

BURNETT: So, today, Sanders held a press conference declaring victory in Iowa. I know you saw it, but I want to play what he said for viewers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And what certainly is not going to change is the fact that in terms of the popular vote, we won a decisive victory.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Now, look, politics is all about your adjectives. Pete Buttigieg has been doing this for days. Here he is on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are going on to New Hampshire victorious. We had a victorious night in Iowa. On the heel of a win in Iowa that put us in a strong position.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: You know, look, technically they're very close. Technically on the delegate count it is Buttigieg who is ahead right now in terms of the that top line winner.

But a lot of this is who talks first and loudest. You wish Sanders was talking like Buttigieg earlier and day after day?

KHANNA: I don't. I think Senator Sanders was precise. He said we were ahead in the popular vote but has not declared victory for the caucus. I think it's premature for anyone to declare victory on the caucus. I would never do that. Senator Sanders would never do that.

And I wish no one had done that on Monday night. Let's wait until the results are counted and whoever is ahead in the state delegate equivalent technically wins the caucus.

[19:35:06]

Senator Sanders would acknowledge that.

BURNETT: Yes.

KHANNA: But he's just pointing out that he's ahead in the popular vote.

But it's irresponsible to be saying that you're winning the state delegate equivalent when the difference right now is 0.1 percent and the "A.P." isn't willing to call it.

BURNETT: One quick thing before go. Beto O'Rourke, who obviously was running for president, isn't anymore, but he says he's worried about the results in Iowa because of turnout. He said it barely kept pace with 2016 levels, well below the historic levels of 2008. Are you worried about that, that the headline may be that people weren't passionate?

KHANNA: I'm not because we had more youth turnout than ever before. The satellites had Muslim-Americans, Latino-Americans, African- Americans, labor turning out. And the reality, this was one day after the Super Bowl. It was during the impeachment. Many candidates couldn't be there in Iowa. All of those things I think contributed to a lower turnout.

But you look at the people we're exciting. And here's the point, the base that voted for Hillary Clinton, they're going to come out. I don't know a single person who didn't come out in 2016 who's not going to come out in 2020. But what Iowa shows a lot of other new voters are going to come out too. And whoever our nominee is, is going to beat Donald Trump.

BURNETT: Congressman Khanna, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

KHANNA: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, Joe Biden opening up about his struggles with stuttering.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was shocking to shake somebody's hand who like has the same trait as me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: And Jeanne Moos on the fight that just won't end.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF TEH UNITED STATES: Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I pray hard for him because he's so off the track.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:40:43]

BURNETT: Tonight, Pete Buttigieg punching at Joe Biden who says it's too risky to nominate an untested mayor against Donald Trump. Well, Buttigieg begs to differ, pointing to his lead in Iowa, responded to the vice president with this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUTTIGIEG: If that argument is about electability and the ability to win, we just had the first election of the 2020 process. I think that's my answer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: OUTFRONT, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, former presidential candidate and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. A job I'm sure you're glad you don't have right now, looking at Iowa.

And Maria Cardona, former DNC communications director. Ditto, Maria.

OK. Thanks to both of you.

Maria, let me start with you. Buttigieg, you know, I mean, pretty clear here, I'm the guy who was able to put a number on the board. You're the guy who wasn't.

Does this, though, make questions about his electability go away?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is for me?

BURNETT: Yes, sorry.

CARDONA: Sorry, sorry.

Well, no, it doesn't make it go away and I'll tell you why. There's no question that Pete Buttigieg, if he does end up winning in Iowa that it is an incredibly impressive win. Absolutely. Let's take nothing away from that.

But you can't call yourself the candidate who is the most electable after only one state that is completely not representative of what this country looks like and only represents 1 percent of the delegates needed to gain the nomination of the Democratic Party. Let's wait until New Hampshire.

And by the way, after New Hampshire, you still don't have a state that is representative of what this country looks like. Let's wait until Nevada. Let's wait until South Carolina where you have the backbone of the Democratic Party, African voters, and a huge incredibly important and growing coalition Latino voters who are going to be the largest ethnic minority voting in 2020.

Let's give them a say before anybody calls themselves the most electable candidate.

BURNETT: Governor Dean, you know, what he said, look, there are a lot of people who are pointing arrows at Pete Buttigieg right now, right? Can't get this group, can't get that group, but that's what happens when you get a number on the board. You're going to get a lot of things pointed at you.

What do you say about his electability?

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN: I say this is about politics and I've been through this. When you do well, which he did in Iowa, people are going to point the fingers and try to take him down. And they'll use whatever they can.

So, frankly, I'd much rather have rhetoric about electability than I would about Trump's craziness, you know, on morality and whether people are religious enough. I'm actually fairly proud of our Democratic candidates. They haven't gotten into the gutter which Trump is always in. And they are -- whoever wins is going to present a real difference

between us and a guy who's basically morally bankrupt and running a criminal enterprise out of the White House.

BURNETT: So, Maria, here's the thing, though, when you look at how this race is shaping up, right? You know, a few months ago there was this front runner Joe Biden. There were others who were strong, but Joe Biden was the front runner. When you look at national polls, still is.

But national polls, ultimately, what matters is state by state and we're now seeing that. OK?

So, here we are in New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders leading in New Hampshire with 24 percent. This is the last poll we're going to be able to report on before the primary there. Buttigieg 20, Biden 17, Warren at 13. Biden coming in, we'll see, probably fourth in Iowa. If he does come in third in New Hampshire, how big of a deal is that for him?

CARDONA: Well, I think that it would be disappointing for him and his campaign for sure. But let's remember that they have banked everything on how they're going to do in Nevada and in South Carolina.

And they, I think, purposefully have lowered expectations for how they were going to do in Iowa, even though they admitted that that was a lot more disappointing than they thought it was going to turn out.

BURNETT: Yes.

CARDONA: And they've also lowered expectations with what is going to happen in New Hampshire. So, that tells me that they are banking everything on Nevada and in South Carolina. If he does come in third in New Hampshire, I do think it weakens him going into those two must- have states.

So, let's see what happens in New Hampshire. But then more importantly, South Carolina and Nevada.

BURNETT: And, Governor Dean, what about Elizabeth Warren?

[19:45:02]

At one point, also, everyone was saying, wow, the surge, the surge, the surge of Warren, she's going to be the nominee? Everybody was saying it. Now they're not saying it.

She's still a top tier candidate. But, obviously, as she could, according to this poll she's coming in in fourth. How much would that hurt her? I mean, she's from nearby -- from Massachusetts.

DEAN: Yes. I mean, look, we're getting a little breathless over there. There are four states up front before we hit Super Tuesday. And we really need to look at the picture in all four of them.

So, there are five candidates still in this race, plus Mike Bloomberg. And we're going to -- something is going to happen in the next four states -- there are not going to be five candidate that is go to California. I think to start to discount any of these people now is too early. We've got three more states and they're all very different and they all look pretty tough and pretty interesting and they all have good campaigns.

BURNETT: Well, I have to say, it's pretty exciting to say we don't know. To have it be unsettled is, look, depends on how you see it, but certainly exciting to watch.

Thank you both very much.

And next, Joe Biden, inspiring people across the country who suffer from stuttering.

And Jeanne Moos on Pelosi and Trump, and a feud that is now seeming to spiral out of control.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:50:20]

BURNETT: Tonight, Joe Biden opening up about a life-long struggle that's inspiring others of all ages to speak out.

Arlette Saenz is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER (voice-over): Brayden Harrington is like any other 12-year-old kid. He likes drawing and basketball, and now he shares a personal connection with Joe Biden.

BRAYDEN HARRINGTON, 12-YEAR-OLD: I felt like a really close vibe between us because he had the same thing going on.

SAENZ: Brayden's father Owen look his son to watch Biden this week in New Hampshire, knowing he too grapples with stuttering.

OWEN HARRINGTON, BRAYDEN'S DAD: We wanted to show Brayden that stuttering is not a limit in life, and it didn't stand in the way for Joe Biden. And it hasn't stood in the way for him.

SAENZ: In a CNN town hall, the former vice president opened up about his life-long struggle and the message he gives to kids coping with the same issue.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I still occasionally when I find myself really tired catch myself, saying something like that. It has nothing to do with your intelligence quotient. It has nothing to do with your intellectual makeup. It's critically important not to judge themselves by their speech, not let that define them.

SAENZ: It's a moment that highlights one of Biden's key attributes as he runs for president, empathy. He often mentions stuttering on the campaign trail, and in some interviews, including a recent in-depth sit-down with "The Atlantic".

Biden says he personally keeps in touch with more than a dozen people who stutter, some even approaching him at campaign events to mention that bond.

BIDEN: By the way, you know I used to be a very bad stutterer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I know. I saw you.

BIDEN: And I've spoken a lot about it and involved in the national organization as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

BIDEN: It does not define you, cannot define you.

SAENZ: Brayden Harrington had that chance, too, when he met Biden after his speech this week.

B. HARRINGTON: It's shocking to shake somebody's home who has the same trait as me and has the same thing going on.

BIDEN: I met him. I could tell when I met him, you see the face, you can see the anxiety in their faces.

SAENZ: Biden then invited Brayden backstage, even explaining how he prepares for his speeches.

B. HARRINGTON: He showed me how he put like, like, diagonal lines through the words to like pause, take a breath and pause and chill out a little bit.

SAENZ: The former vice president discussing that technique in his CNN town hall.

BIDEN: So, what I do is if I say the Democratic presidential town hall is tonight on CNN. The presidential town hall, slash, is on CNN tonight, slash. It's going to have the following people, slash. Anderson Cooper is going to speak, slash.

It forces me to speak in terms of not rushing.

SAENZ: Biden ultimately asked for Brayden's number, telling him he'll check in from time to time to talk through their mutual challenge in life.

O. HARRINGTON: He took the time to say I want you to go out back. I know this isn't easy for us to talk right now, and I want to take some time just you and me, one-on-one. And that's a really kind act.

B. HARRINGTON: It's kind of cool to shake a dude's hand and have, like -- in having him call me like -- and other kids.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAENZ: Now, Brayden's parents were undecided before this event, but they told me it had such a big impact on them, they'll be voting for Joe Biden in the primary here in New Hampshire -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Arlette.

And OUTFRONT next, Jeanne on the escalating battle between Trump and Pelosi.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:57:46]

BURNETT: Here's Jeanne.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Round two, in the post-State of the Union slugfest.

In this corner, Donald "hail to the chief" Trump.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person.

MOOS: And in this corner, Nancy "the ripper" Pelosi.

The two started fighting about prayer at, yep, a prayer breakfast, amen.

TRUMP: Nor do I like people who say "I pray for you" when they know that that's not so.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I pray hard for him because he's so off the track.

TRUMP: I pray for the -- she doesn't pray. She may pray, but she prays for the opposite. But I doubt she prays at all.

MOOS: They tear into each other. She tears up his speech, and now Pelosi is being ripped for allegedly pre-ripping that speech.

The theory being it would be easier to dramatically tear it up at the end of the president's address. Critics pointed out little notches on the pages as they sat on the speaker's desk. The Trump war room tweeted this moment when Pelosi appeared to take pages behind the desk and fiddle with them.

TRUMP: Here tonight is a special man.

MOOS: Trump supporters erupted. She pre-tore them. Nancy, really? Your antics are done, missy. Premeditated political theater.

But Pelosi's spokesman said it was not preplanned. The speaker notched several pages in order to denote falsehoods in the speech as she went along.

Didn't she have a pen, we wondered? I do not believe she did was the response, and we didn't see one on the desk. REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): She disgraced the House of Representatives.

MOOS: Florida Republican Matt Gaetz filed an ethics complaint against Speaker Pelosi, which won't go far in the Democratically-controlled House. And talk about notches. You can count on these two to keep on taking each other down more than a notch.

TRUMP: She's a horrible person.

PELOSI: He is so off the track.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Ah, OK.

Thank you for joining us.

CNN's Democratic presidential town hall with Bernie Sanders live from New Hampshire begins right now.

END