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Contested Convention for Democrats; Millions of Americans Face Threat of Severe Weather; U.S. Economy Creates 225,000 Jobs; Biden Connects with New Hampshire Teen; More Coronavirus Cases on a Cruise Ships in Japan. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired February 7, 2020 - 08:30   ET

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


[08:30:00]

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER AND ANALYST: The Iowa results.

And take a look at how many candidates finished with 15 percent of the vote or more. It was ludicrous. It was four candidates. Four candidates. That is more than in any other Iowa caucus ever. More than ever. Four finished above 15 percent.

And even if you go back since 1992 on the Democratic side, what do we see? We see since 1992, in all primaries, in all caucuses, it is the first time ever that four finished above 15 percent.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So there are two things going on here. Number one, as you see from this polling, if this were to bear out throughout the primaries, you would have no one who gets a majority of pledge delegates. Well, people who have got a sense of history over the last 20 years would say, well, what about the super delegates? What about the super delegates?

ENTEN: They are not involved in the first ballot. Those are new rules.

BERMAN: This time.

ENTEN: This -- this --

BERMAN: New rules.

ENTEN: New rules. They are not involved in the first ballot. And they do come into play on the second ballot. And at the same time, most pledge delegates on the second ballot become unpledged. They become unbound. And that essentially means that they can vote for whom they please.

And given all of that, and given the results in Iowa, given -- we -- I think it is much more likely this time around than any time since 1992 anyway, that we could be heading towards a contested convention.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Talk about this again. You mentioned 1952. But talk about this in terms of the number of candidates in this race still being high at this point when you -- when you compare it to historically. ENTEN: Yes, I mean, it's very high compared to where we are

historically. And it's not clear at all to me that anyone is running away with it, right? If you look at the -- if you look right here, like, look at this, 11 candidates, 11 active candidates running right now, since 1992, the highest number before that was seven. Was Seven.

HARLOW: Yes.

ENTEN: You have all of these candidates who are splitting all of the vote here and so, to me, this becomes a much more likely proposition, especially -- and take a look at the national polling if we can pull that slide up. What do you see in the national polling there? You see that there's no runaway right now. You see that Joe Biden is at 27 percent, even if you were essentially to allocate all of the people who were undecided proportionately, and that is the lowest percentage -- that is the lowest percentage for anybody at this point -- that is the lowest percentage for anyone at this point for any of the leaders since 1992, the -- and that --

HARLOW: To be at the 27 --

ENTEN: To be at that 27.

HARLOW: Interesting.

BERMAN: Again, I think we have a slide, if we can find it, that discusses how the polling has shifted since Iowa.

ENTEN: Right. And what that poll -- what we have seen so far since Iowa is it doesn't seem to me that anybody is gaining that much momentum, right? It would be one thing if, since Iowa, we were looking across the polls and someone was gaining, you know, and they were getting up to 35, 40 percent.

But if you look at the polls since Iowa, there hasn't been that large shift across the -- across all these different polls, which to me suggests, again, we have someone, a frontrunner, who really isn't a big frontrunner.

BERMAN: And just to be clear about one thing here, Michael Bloomberg, getting in this race, and the way he's getting in this race, might actually increase the chances of a contested convention. Explain why.

ENTEN: Yes, there are multiple reasons why.

Number one, again, it could keep the frontrunner from getting that many delegates, even if they -- you know, again, it's all proportional, 15 percent. If he starts hitting 15, 20 percent in these primaries, it could keep, in fact, some people from running away.

But, more than that, look at the money. I think this is so important. Money, when you have a lack of money, that's what kills presidential campaigns. And right now we're looking at four candidates, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Sanders and Steyer. Either they're self-funders or they've shown an ability to raise a lot of money in the last few months or in the last month, in the case of Bernie Sanders. And with all of these people in the race, that, in fact, increases the chance for a contested convention.

HARLOW: We should note, in terms of what it says to raise money, Bloomberg's not raising money. He's got a lot of money.

ENTEN: Right. He's -- he's just got money.

BERMAN: He wakes up in the morning, opens his eyes and has collected $100 million.

HARLOW: I know.

ENTEN: I wish I were him, you know, then I could buy a lot more Popeye's.

BERMAN: All right, Harry, thank you.

HARLOW: Good job, Harry, thank you.

ENTEN: Thank you.

HARLOW: More than 100 million Americans are under winter weather floods and wind alerts this morning.

Let's go to our meteorologist, Chad Myers, with the forecast this morning.

Good morning.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Poppy.

The same storm that made all the rain, flooding and even tornadoes across the southeast yesterday, now getting up toward the northeast. Eighty million of you under some type of wind advisory.

This weather is brought to you by Celebrity Cruises. Go to celebrity.com to book your award-winning vacation today.

Even right now, severe weather heading into Baltimore and D.C. We had damage from Leesburg up to about Germantown an hour ago. So this storm isn't over. Even today in New York City, the winds are going to gust to 50. Think about that, through the canyons of Manhattan, those winds could be higher than that. And even later on today, we're going to have a lot of airplanes delayed. Maybe even some cancellations because you can't take them on -- all off here at 45 miles per hour. It just isn't going to happen.

There's the snow to the west, into the Allegheny's. Pittsburgh picking up snow all the way up even towards Jamestown, New York, and into the northeast and northern New England.

We'll play in that snow later on this weekend, but for now it is a nuisance, John.

[08:35:04]

BERMAN: Indeed.

All right, Chad, thank you very much.

We do have some breaking news. New jobs numbers just out. We'll give you those numbers, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: All right, breaking news, the Labor Department just released the first jobs report of 2020.

CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans joins us now with the brand-new numbers.

Romans.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And this job machine just keeps churning, you guys.

[08:40:00]

It's so fascinating, 225,000 net new jobs created in the month, 225,000. It's so big that it broke my machine.

But let me tell you, 225,000 is more than economists had been expecting. And, really, you had construction job gains, outdoor job gains and that's in part because you had some -- good weather. Dry, good weather. But 225,000 net new jobs there.

The unemployment rate went up to 3.6 percent. But it went up for a good reason, because half a million people came into the labor market. Half a million people who had not been looking for work, who had been sidelined for whatever reason, decided to come back into the labor market and look for work because they've been hearing what we've been telling you for ten years now that the job market has been recovering. So this mighty jobs machine keeps going.

Here are the sectors, construction, weather related. Health care, again, you guys, health care continues to churn out very good job creation. Transportation and warehousing. When I look through the report, strong there. Leisure and hospitality, another 36,000 jobs there. Over the past six months, that -- bars and restaurants have added 288,000 jobs.

However, manufacturing continues to be a sore point here. Another 12,000 jobs lost there.

The trend here, I think, is what's so important. I want to show you one more time. This has been a remarkable ten years. After the great recession, the unemployment rate was 10 percent in 2010. And slowly but surely, Americans are starting to believe again that the job market is OK, the economy is OK, and they are out there looking for work again, guys.

BERMAN: Wages. Very quickly you want to talk about wages? ROMANS: Yes, 3.1 percent wage growth. I would have thought we would have had wages, bigger paychecks the last few years. We haven't. That has been a mystery. But 3.1 percent is OK.

HARLOW: All right. Romans, thank you very much.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

HARLOW: You can bet candidates will be asked about this strong economy tonight on the debate stage.

ROMANS: Oh, yes.

HARLOW: We appreciate it.

Meantime, former Vice President Joe Biden, you saw this week opening up about his life-long struggle with stuttering. His message resonating with a 12-year-old New Hampshire boy and others who deal with exactly that.

Our Arlette Saenz is live in Manchester, New Hampshire, with more.

Good morning.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Poppy.

You know, this is a side of Joe Biden that we see over and over on the campaign trail. The former vice president face to face with voters, trying to find connections with them.

And I caught up with a young 12-year-old boy who got a little extra facetime with Biden to talk about a common link they share.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAENZ (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, SHARED HIS STORY OF STUTTERING WITH JOE BIDEN: I felt like I really, like, close vibe between us because he had like the same thing going on.

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

OWEN HARRINGTON, BRAYDEN'S FATHER: 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 for them not to judge themselves by their speech. That -- 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 his stutter 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a stutter myself. So I find (INAUDIBLE).

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I know, I saw you (INAUDIBLE).

BIDEN: And I've spoken a lot about it and involved with the National Organization as well. Don't -- it does not define you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

BIDEN: It cannot define you.

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

B. HARRINGTON: It was shocking to shake somebody's hand who, like, has the same trait as me and has like 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 like the words to like pause, take no breaths and just pause to like chill out a little bit.

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

BIDEN: So what I do, if I say, the Democratic presidential town hall is tonight on CNN, I'll say, 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 think in terms of not rushing.

[08:45:02]

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 -- that's a really kind act.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAENZ: Now Brayden isn't of voting age just yet, but his parents are. His father tells me he's an independent. He walked into that event with Joe Biden undecided. But now both he and his wife will be supporting Joe Biden in the primary on Tuesday. That moment impacting their family in a very big way.

John.

BERMAN: I've got to say, Brayden saying I shake a dude's hand, the dude is the former vice president of the United States and a presidential candidate.

SAENZ: Yes.

BERMAN: Arlette Saenz, great report. Thanks so much for being with us this morning.

Here's what else to watch today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ON SCREEN TEXT: 9:30 a.m. ET, Sen. Bernie Sanders event in New Hampshire.

1:20 p.m. ET, President Trump speaks in North Carolina.

8:00 p.m. ET, Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: All right, the coronavirus is growing in a pretty alarming way. Dozens infected on a cruise ship in Japan and now a situation unfolding right near New York City. Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta is with us next to talk about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:50:35]

BERMAN: Breaking news.

Brand-new fears in the coronavirus situation involving Americans on two cruise ships. First, a Royal Caribbean ship is docked off the coast of New Jersey. There are a number of passengers on board who recently travelled to China, and now they are now being monitored, we are told, for coronavirus. And then there's another cruise ship quarantined in Japan. This has 61

confirmed cases of coronavirus, including 11 Americans. And that number has jumped substantially overnight.

So we want to bring in CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Sanjay, these are two different cases I think really that raise two different questions.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

BERMAN: Number one, what does it tell you in Japan? That number jumped substantially overnight, the people with coronavirus. And then, number two, why do you think that they are being so careful in New Jersey?

GUPTA: Yes. So with regard to the -- to the first ship, the Diamond Cruise Line, you know, you have a situation where someone who had been on this ship, subsequently left the ship last month at one of the docks, and then tested positive for coronavirus. There's what sort of set the initial alert.

So there was a specific event with regard to that cruise ship. They started testing people, you know, and going through the procedure of isolating people within their own rooms to try and prevent this from spreading. But as you point out, 61 people tested positive. The way that they're handling this, John, is then to take people who have tested positive for the coronavirus off the ship. They're going to hospitals. Other people are staying on the ship and just staying in quarantine for up to two weeks. So this is, you know, I mean just imagine the scenario there for those people.

With regard to the Royal Caribbean, which is now docked in -- here in the United States, it's unclear whether there was concern that there were people on the ship that were sick. There were clearly people who had visited that area of China that was of concern. And that was -- when that was discovered, I think that's what sort of put this situation on alert. And the way they decided to handle this then is to screen and possibly test people who need to be screened that are coming off the ship.

It is, I think, to your point, a bit uneven in terms of how this is being handled. And I think we're seeing that because this is a novel virus, a brand-new virus, and the policies towards how they're going to handle this.

There's another cruise ship out there, we've just been told, that is also circling around as they're figuring out exactly what to do with the passengers on that ship. This is going to be an ongoing concern, I think, for the next several weeks.

HARLOW: Sanjay, for anyone tuning in right now and seeing these headlines, can we just step back and go to the basics of, what do we know? And I think equally as important, what do we not know about how it is spread and how it is not spread?

GUPTA: Yes. I -- well, so, because this is so new, Poppy --

HARLOW: Yes.

GUPTA: I mean it's, I think, the right answer would be that there's still a lot that we don't know. There's several things we can talk about. What we're looking for -- specifically at how contagious is this, the exact source of the virus, the fatality rate, these are all things that we're still not clear on.

But I will tell you that the numbers of people infected obviously continue to go up. In the tens of thousands now. Far more than SARS. That is bad news when you hear that, but also in a way good news in the sense that there may be lots and lots of people, Poppy, who have this viral infection who either have no or minimal symptoms. That's the denominator number. The numerator number we know. So if the numerator stays the same, the denominator continues to go up, the fatality ratio drops.

We know that it's really spread through close contact. It's not something that seems to spread through the ventilation system of a building, for example.

HARLOW: OK.

GUPTA: That was a concern with SARS in the past. Close contacts. Two people in the United States have gotten this human-to-human. They were both spouses, people who lived in close contact with an infected person. So the risk to the general population still low. Even the risk to people on that cruise ship, overall, still low. But you can -- you know, that's a confined space. I think that's why they're taking such great --

BERMAN: Well, that was my question. You know, cruise ship is pretty close quarters right there. But if you stay in your room, you're don't going to get it from a person in the next room? Do we know that?

GUPTA: I think that that's -- that's pretty -- that's a pretty good thing to say. We can't conclude that for sure now. When we talk about close contact, you're talking three to six feet away. It's coming -- you know people coughing into the air, these large respiratory droplets. They don't last long, unlike with measles or something like that which appears to stay contagious for a long period of time. That doesn't seem to be the case here.

[08:55:02]

Even if it's on surfaces, it appears to dissipate, you know, fairly quickly.

It is possible. I think that's why people are staying in their rooms. That's why they're starting the process of disinfecting these areas. But the idea that I'm in one room on a cruise ship and someone in another room is infected gives it to me is still very low.

HARLOW: Sanjay, thank you. Thank you very, very --

GUPTA: We'll be talking more, I have a feeling.

HARLOW: Very, very much. I think I just have so many questions. Every American has so many questions.

BERMAN: Look, and one of the reasons we have questions is because this is based and China and we do not trust the level of transparency, I think, at this point, we're getting from the Chinese government from the very beginning.

HARLOW: From the -- from the -- yes, from the get-go.

BERMAN: Look, this is a developing story. There is this cruise ship now off New Jersey. They are monitoring people on it. Obviously there is this new concern. CNN's going to have more on this breaking story after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:00:04]

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: A very good Friday morning to you. I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington.

And we're following breaking news this morning.