Return to Transcripts main page


Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders in Virtual Tie in Iowa; Trump to Speak after Senate Impeachment Acquittal; Romney Joins Dems to Vote to Convict on Abuse of Power. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired February 6, 2020 - 06:00   ET





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The damage done to Joe Biden is being undersold here.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We took a gut punch in Iowa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As these results roll in, if Pete Buttigieg is No. 1, that could mean a lot for his fundraising.

CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS, U.S. SUPREME COURT: Donald John Trump be, and he is hereby, acquitted of the charges in said articles.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): He was acquitted without facts. It means that his acquittal is virtually valueless.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): We voted. It's in the rearview mirror.

SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I was among the senators who determined what the president did was wrong.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Thursday, February 6. It's 6 a.m. here in New York.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, it is, last time I checked.

BERMAN: And in Iowa breaking overnight, we keep getting new numbers, and they just keep creating new controversy. With 97 percent of the precincts now reporting, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Bernie Sanders running neck and neck. Just one tenth of one percent separating them. Sanders does hold an edge in what you might call the popular vote. But if you're keeping score at home, right? First there were no results from Iowa, probably robbing Pete Buttigieg of a big election- night momentum swing. Then, there were partial results so Buttigieg could brag for about a day about leading. But now, with nearly complete results, Sanders has serious reason to gripe.

Iowa claims they'll have all the numbers by later this morning.

Breaking news just seconds ago. The Sanders campaign announced another number they love this morning. They say they raised $25 million in January alone. We'll put that number in context, but I have my ideas about why they're releasing it this morning.

As for Vice President Joe Biden, he addressed his disappointing performance in Iowa at a CNN town hall last night in New Hampshire. We'll play for you the moment that people are talking about this morning.

CAMEROTA: Meanwhile, President Trump plans to make a statement today, now that the Republican-controlled Senate has acquitted him on both impeachment charges.

The president is already attacking Senator Mitt Romney, the lone Republicans who voted with Democrats to convict the president. Romney is now the only senator in American history to vote to remove a president from his own party.

Allies of the president are attacking Mitt Romney, who got emotional himself on the Senate floor as he explained his vote and invoked his faith.

But let's begin with breaking news from Iowa, and joining us now, we have CNN political commentator Jess McIntosh.

BERMAN: Yes. I think she's going to be here in a second. I see her offset. She's the former director of communications for the Hillary Clinton campaign.

CAMEROTA: Are we really seating her right now? This is -- this is an interesting system that we have.

BERMAN: No one told the chairs that she was going to be here.

CAMEROTA: Welcome.


CAMEROTA: This is live television.

BERMAN: Dramatic entrance.

Also joining us, perhaps chairless, CNN Washington correspondent Jessica Dean. Are you there, Jessica? Yes!


BERMAN: And Krystal Ball -- Fantastic. You're going to need to sit down for this. And Krystal Ball, the co-host of "Rising" on Hill TV.

CAMEROTA: OK. Hi, everybody.

Jess, this -- this, as John just pointed out, continues to be a mess. And -- you know, in Iowa. And it's just robbing all of these candidates of what the narrative is, of what their story line can be.

MCINTOSH: Yes. Yes, and to be perfectly fair, the narrative is the thing that matters coming out of Iowa. The number of delegates is actually not that great. What we get from Iowa is an understanding of where the race could be.

You think about Bill Clinton's shocking third place, even. It wasn't about the number of delegates he got. It was about the fact that he might have been a viable candidate. Barack Obama's win was about the fact that white voters were willing to vote for him, and it propelled him to the nomination overall in the country.

Now we're not able to take any of those threads and see what's going to happen in New Hampshire. I spent two days thinking Pete Buttigieg really got robbed of a major moment and a lot of fundraising. And now, it looks like Bernie Sanders has spent two days in a news cycle that he didn't deserve.

So I can't tell you how excited I am to get onto New Hampshire, where it's a primary. And we're going to have results from a vote.

CAMEROTA: With tallied votes.

MCINTOSH: Knock on wood.

BERMAN: All right, Krystal Ball, the moment you've been waiting for.


BERMAN: You were right. You were way right. You were wicked right yesterday when you sat here on TV and said, Look, we need to wait until all the results are in. You said you thought that Bernie Sanders would make up that gap. He all but has. It's basically tied with 97 percent of the precincts reporting. Your take on what this means?

BALL: Well, I want you to think about this from the perspective of Sanders supporters, who do not have a lot of faith in this process or the Democratic Party to start with.

All of this enabled Pete to basically claim a fake victory for days, enabled by the Iowa Democratic Party, the maker of this app, and the media that ran with headlines that were, you know, "Pete's in the lead."

And the people who are real victims here are who is putting Sanders over the top right now or close to the top right now? It's the immigrant workers and the Latino working-class people that that campaign painstakingly organized. And their voices were erased from this for days, which in my mind, is downright criminal. So Pete is not a victim here. Pete got three days of saying he was the

winner. There's a new tracking poll out that has him up nine points in New Hampshire.

So all of this completely goes to show you that Sanders supporters are going to be absolutely mistrustful of this process. And rightfully so. Why were these votes released in this way? Why were there, even after they came out, so many errors? How can anyone even have confidence that the numbers are right at this point? It's absolutely outrageous. And the fact that those immigrant workers had their voices robbed for so long is so wrong to me.


CAMEROTA: Yes. We hear you, Krystal. I mean, obviously, nobody can be happy with what has happened there. And obviously, everybody is taking a long look at how Iowa conducts all of this.

And Iowa -- Iowans have been robbed, as well. I mean, they take this seriously. They turn out to go to the caucuses. They stand in an auditorium for hours. They were robbed also.

But in terms of money, if I can run with the robbed analogy, Bernie Sanders is raking it in. So he has just released, Jessica, these new fundraising numbers for January 2020: $25 million that he raised in January; 1.3 million donations, about 650,000 donors. I mean, those are, you know, astronomical numbers, Jessica.

DEAN: Yes. These are just staggering numbers that we're hearing this morning. And they're important to hear on this day. We are now, to Jess's point, in the point of the race where this is about momentum. This is about what is happening, what is the narrative as we come out of Iowa and look to New Hampshire.

And look, he gets to -- to end this week in New Hampshire and say, Look at this powerhouse fundraising I did in January.

And to give some context around that, $25 million in one month is more -- markedly more -- than some candidates, including Joe Biden, raised in all of the fourth quarter of last year. So think about the comparison of those two.

And 1.3 million donations in total is just incredible numbers.

So Alisyn, this really gives him a chance -- and John -- to really say, Look, not only am I -- am I going to come in at least very, very close to the top, if not on the top in Iowa -- we'll see how that all shakes out -- but look at the powerhouse fundraising and the grassroots fundraising that I have behind this. And that has been something that he's been able to go back to and go back to and go back to.

BERMAN: Just to put it in a historical context, Bernie Sanders raised 20 million in January of 2016. So this is more than that. Barack Obama raised $36 million. Thirty-six million. My voice cracked, it's so much. CAMEROTA: I saw that. You just hit puberty on that.

BERMAN: In January of 2008. It was a little different. The calendar was a little different. Iowa happened at the beginning of the month. But $25 million is super strong.

Now, what I think this number is, Jess, is yesterday we learned that the Warren campaign was paring back advertising in Nevada and South Carolina. So while they are announcing they're having to spend less, Bernie Sanders is saying, I have more. And not only that, he's saying to the world, I'm in this for good.


BERMAN: Bernie Sanders is never going to run out of money.

MCINTOSH: Yes. I mean, let's be clear, Bernie Sanders seems like he is on track to be one -- he's one of the top frontrunners for the nominee absolutely. There's nobody in the race, I think, that you could make a case is more likely to.

CAMEROTA: Why don't we call him the frontrunner at this point?

MCINTOSH: I'm not sure. Because we're still three days after waiting for these votes to come in. But yes, Bernie Sanders, sure. Bernie Sanders is the frontrunner.

He's going to be -- even if he weren't, though, he could be in this race for as long as he wanted to be because of the enthusiasm of his base. And I think that this enthusiasm -- I've said this before in the show -- is a thing that we have discounted in 2020 as we talk about electability.

We want -- I think progressives want a nominee who can really excite people, who is really going to turn people out. We want people who are going to wait in line, who are going to help organize to get people in line. That matters just as much as, you know, how much money you can raise for major donors or, you know, how safe your candidacy looks. So if Bernie Sanders can -- can take that enthusiasm and translate it to turnout, I think people are going to get really, really excited about this candidacy in the Democratic Party.

CAMEROTA: And as of this morning, it looks like he did translate it to turnout in Iowa. Here are the numbers one more time. Pete Buttigieg is -- as again, we still have a little bit left to go in terms of results. But he got 26.2 percent at the moment. Sanders got 26.1 percent. But as you point out, John, that in terms of people turning out, Sanders turned out more people.

BERMAN: He did. He did. Again, historically, the winner is declared in Iowa based on the state delegate equivalent.

CAMEROTA: I get it.

BERMAN: That's the number.

CAMEROTA: Believe it or not, I understand that.

BERMAN: And we'll get more in Iowa. But -- but Bernie Sanders has more people who voted for him first. Again, a tie. We don't know. And we're waiting on Iowa still. That seems to be a consistent theme.

As for Joe Biden, who needs to raise more money, there's no question about that.

Oh, by the way, Pete Buttigieg was not in New Hampshire after yesterday morning. Pete Buttigieg went to a fundraiser in Summit, New Jersey. So that's a difference between the Bernie Sanders campaign and everyone else, too. I think that distinction matters.

But back to Joe Biden, the CNN town hall last night. There was an emotional moment. Joe Biden, who had a stutter when he was a child, hasn't really talked about it all that much publicly. And I think America heard him speak last night to this issue more than they have before. Listen.



JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Things that people cannot control, it's not their fault, no one has a right -- no one has a right to mock it and make fun of it. No matter who they are.

I probably got in trouble for saying I empathize with Rush Limbaugh dying of cancer. I don't like him at all, but he's going through hell right now. He's a human being. We just have to -- we just have to reach out a little more for people, man. We don't do it enough. We've got to heal this country. We didn't used to do -- we didn't used to be like this. Somewhere where we weren't as a nation, we weren't like this. Anyway, I'm sorry.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to take a short break. We'll be right back with Vice President Biden.


BERMAN: So Jessica, as often happens when someone has an electoral disappointment, people say, Where was that Joe Biden in Iowa? That was the candidate that we were hoping we would see there.

DEAN: Right.

BERMAN: That was the retail politician connecting with voters in the audience.

DEAN: Yes. And I think what was interesting, we saw the two sides of the Joe Biden that people were like where was that Joe Biden yesterday? We saw him in an event here, going directly and naming going directly after Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg. And then turning and going the other direction and really showing who he is.

And his -- his very personal story about having a stutter as a child and what he went through to overcome that. And how others can do the same.

And John, this is the Joe Biden that people really connect with. And I've watched it happen. He squares up to them. He looks them right in the eye when he's working that rope line. They connect with him.

And we are in New Hampshire, which historical context, look back at 2008 with Hillary Clinton and that moment in the diner when you kind of saw her voice break and tears in her eyes. 1992, Bill Clinton. I mean, there can be moments here. His campaign definitely hoping for a moment. Was it that last night? Well, we'll see.

BERMAN: All right. Jessica Dean, Jess McIntosh, Krystal Ball.

Once again, Krystal, you were right yesterday.

CAMEROTA: I hope you put money on that.

BERMAN: Thank you, all, for being with us this morning.

BALL: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right. We have another series of CNN presidential town halls in New Hampshire tonight. And they include the co-winners or at least the people who are tied out of Iowa this morning. Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Bernie Sanders. Both tonight. Tune in starting at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

CAMEROTA: And Senator Mitt Romney knew he would face backlash for his guilty vote for President Trump, and it did not take long for the attacks to begin. We discuss that and President Trump's acquittal next.



CAMEROTA: President Trump will make a statement for the first time since being acquitted by the Senate on both impeachment charges. But the president and his allies are already attacking Republican Senator Mitt Romney after he voted to convict the president on abuse of power.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is live on Capitol Hill with more.

Good morning, Suzanne.


Well, this is a four-month journey. It started in the House. It ended with that historic vote in the Senate yesterday. And lawmakers who I spoke to, a wide range of emotions. People expressing anger, relief, mostly just exhaustion.

The main question, of course, moving forward is how is this going to impact President Trump's legacy and the country in the 2020 election?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MALVEAUX (voice-over): An expected ending to the impeachment trial.

ROBERTS: Donald John Trump be, and he is hereby, acquitted of the charges in said articles.

MALVEAUX: With an unexpected twist: Republican Senator Mitt Romney voting with Democrats to convict President Trump on the first article of impeachment for abuse of power. Romney's vote stunning his GOP colleagues and the White House.

ROMNEY: The president asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival. The president's purpose was personal and political. Accordingly, the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.

MALVEAUX: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declaring victory.

MCCONNELL: This is a political loser for them. They initiated it. They thought this was a great idea.

MALVEAUX: Romney becomes the only senator in American history voting to remove his party's president from office. The former Republican presidential nominee says his faith guided his decision.

ROMNEY: I take an oath before God as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own party, would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong.

MALVEAUX: Romney joined with all Republicans to acquit the president on the second charge, obstruction of Congress, including these three Republicans whom Democrats had hoped to sway.


ROMNEY: Not guilty.


MALVEAUX: But the damage was already done. Romney, who was endorsed by Trump when he ran for president in 2012, is now receiving an avalanche of attacks from the president's closest allies.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO DONALD TRUMP: He wanted to be president. He's not. I'm shrugging my shoulders, because it really doesn't matter. In other words, he wasn't the swing vote. They were 20 votes shy.

DONALD TRUMP JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: He's not brave. He's a coward.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): You vote your conscience, but you've got to use common sense.

MALVEAUX: And Trump himself slamming Romney in a late-night tweet mocking his failed presidential run.



MALVEAUX: All Democrats, including three red-state senators who were undecided, united in voting to convict Trump on both articles. Democratic leader Chuck Schumer blasting Republicans for their handling of the trial.


SCHUMER: The Republican majority has placed a giant asterisk, the asterisk of a sham trial, next to the acquittal of President Trump written in permanent ink.

MALVEAUX: Even without a conviction, lead House impeachment manager Adam Schiff says he's leaving the process optimistic.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): What Mitt Romney did, what a number of very courageous Democratic senators did, really justified the faith the founders put in their system of self-governance that people would have sufficient virtue to stand up for what was right.


MALVEAUX: Twenty-one years ago, when I covered the impeachment and acquittal of President Clinton, he ended the whole ordeal by apologizing to the nation. While nobody in this building is expecting Trump to apologize, we will be hearing from the president at noon, and he will be making a statement about impeachment.

And at the same time, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler, saying very likely, Democrats will subpoena John Bolton and continue their investigations. Senate Republicans also vowing that they will continue their investigations of the Bidens -- John.

BERMAN: There seems to be roughly a zero percent chance that the president will apologize when he speaks in just hours.

CAMEROTA: I don't think he's going to follow the Bill Clinton model.

BERMAN: No, I don't, about the impeachment.

So Mitt Romney knew he would be attacked for his vote to remove the president from office. But the response overnight from folks close to the president, downright shocking. That's next.



CAMEROTA: President Trump and his allies wasting no time attacking Senator Mitt Romney after he voted with Democrats to find President Trump guilty of abuse of power. Senator Romney became emotional on the Senate floor before the vote.

(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. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own party, would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong.

The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did.


CAMEROTA: Joining us now we have CNN senior political analyst John Avlon and CNN political analyst Rachael Bade. She's a congressional reporter for "The Washington Post."

John, it's really striking to watch Senator Romney there. Because there's no way to argue that he did anything but vote his conscience. The political consequences for him are so steep, that of course there's a man right there, just voting his conscience. And to watch it is stirring.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. Also, we don't see things like that much anymore. That was a classic profile in courage speech. He did what he thought was right, even though it was unpopular, particularly within his political party.

And he's going to feel the heat from all the trolls and the bots and team Trump. And he knows that.

But a lot of senators were dissuaded from doing their oath to fulfill impartial justice because of that fear of political consequence and personal consequence. Mitt Romney wasn't. But that's what we should expect from our senators.

BERMAN: Look, instagram InstagramI don't know what kind of political backlash he'll have. He's not up until 2024. He's still enormously popular in Utah. He's in a different political place.

But I don't think there's any question that he could expect anything other than incredible, personal vitriol. But even then, what I'm about to put on the screen exceeds what he might have expected.

This is from the son of the president of the United States, Donald Trump Jr., one of the president's key surrogates. If we can drop the banner here, I just think people need to see this.

Donald Trump Jr. posted on Instagram this picture of Mitt Romney, and it said, "Mom jeans" -- I guess I can't say the word. "Mom jeans because you're a 'p.'" Now, it's a word that I won't say on television now.

The person I've heard use this word before is Donald Trump's father when describing where he likes to grab women who will do anything when they meet him, he says. It's appalling that Donald Trump Jr. put out that Instagram last night.

And Mitt Romney knew he was going to face this. Period, full stop.

Rachael, from your seat covering Congress, though, what was notable was that we've been looking at the idea of a bipartisan acquittal. Right? That didn't happen, actually. The Democrats -- Doug Jones, you know, Kyrsten Sinema, Joe Manchin -- they all voted to convict, and it was actually a bipartisan vote to convict the president.

How much does that sting? I know the president was acquitted. That's a huge story. But how much you think this stings in the White House this morning?

RACHAEL BADE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, you can just look at the president's Twitter account last night around midnight. He was tweeting about Mitt Romney. He wasn't tweeting about a victory lap. He was tweeting about, you know, Mitt Romney and that vote. So clearly, this stings for him.

I do think that Democrats, you know, considering they've had a pretty rough week -- I mean, between Iowa being sort of indecisive and not getting those results, the president's poll numbers reaching a record high for him with the Gallup poll coming out at 49 percent for the president on the final day of this impeachment saga.

And then, you know, the president being acquitted of these charges after they had spent six months trying to sort of build this case. It was a tough day for Democrats.

And you could really feel that on Capitol Hill with a lot of frustration. Pelosi getting mad and going after Trump in a private meeting yesterday morning about -- and talking about ripping up her speech.

But this was sort of the one good thing for them. And that was that they were able to stick together in the Senate.