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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) Was Interviewed About How She is Different from Other Democratic Contenders; Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D- MA) Was Interviewed After the Debate About How She Performed in the Debate Stage; The Democratic Presidential Candidates Meet for New Hampshire Debate Ahead of State's Primary; Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D- MA) is Interviewed About the Final Debate Before New Hampshire Primary and Michael Bloomberg; Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang is Interviewed About the Final Debate Before New Hampshire Primary, Race, and Economy. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired February 7, 2020 - 23:00   ET

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


[23:00:00]

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: -- Senator Sanders even though we get along I have different views. I don't want to blow up the Affordable Care Act and kick a 149 million people off their current healthcare in four years.

And no, I don't want to grow the debt to the point, especially for voters here in New Hampshire that focus on this a lot, that we're going to be leaving it on the shoulders of our kids.

And so, I've been willing to take him on those things and also willing to take on Mayor Buttigieg when it comes to his experience. Because while he is a beautiful speaker, and he has profound experience with the military on behalf of our country, I just think you don't need another newcomer in the White House, that having someone with that experience of passing over 100 bills, actually winning in those red congressional districts, instead of just talking about it, matters.

And one of my big points here was I may not have the biggest bank account in the room, that's why I've asked everyone to help me at amyklobuchar.com, and I may not have the biggest name I.D. but I still think that the people of America want a solid person leading the ticket who's not going to just eke by victory but is going to win big.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: So you mentioned that you very much -- disagree with Senator Sanders on a lot of things, especially the notion of Democratic socialism and everything that comes with that but there was another moment, there were a lot of moments where the two of you were kind of, you know, doing a little bit of a comedy routine and part of that was seemed to be an allusion to what Secretary Clinton has said recently about his likability. I want to play that for our viewers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Democratic Party's last presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, has criticized Senator Bernie Sanders' record in the Senate saying nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done.

Senator Klobuchar, you served with Senator Sanders in the Senate, is he going to be able to get the support -- not if you like him, but is he going to be able to get the support he needs from Republicans?

(APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: OK. I like Bernie just fine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: First of all, I'm not sure if I like Bernie just fine is this a ringing endorsement, even though I do know that the two of you are genuine friends. But what are you trying to do there?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, I want to make the case I do work with him. And we've actually -- my husband and I, when we were in Vermont, had dinner with them years ago. And I've traveled with him, actually. But that doesn't mean I agree with him or want him to lead our ticket.

And I think one of those points is, whether it's dealing with Republicans as the one that's passed the most bills in the Senate, with Republican support, I -- you don't have to agree with everything everyone says.

I think courage right now in a candidate is not are you going to go and stand by yourself and throw a bunch of punches. Courage is whether or not you're willing to stand next to someone you don't always agree with for the betterment of this country, that includes Bernie Sanders and that includes my Republican colleagues.

BASH: Pete Buttigieg he was definitely on everybody's kind of -- in everybody's line of fire, including yours. That moment when you really went after him about comments that you said he made about the impeachment trial, that he'd rather watch cartoons, or something to that effect, that was -- that was a moment, definitely in the debate.

But, you know, you were trying to get at the fact that he is an outsider and that you thought he was denigrating the notion of being a senator. But do you think that really is going to fly with people who really are looking for an outsider?

KLOBUCHAR: You know, my point was I am a fresh face, 59 is now the new 38 on that debate stage. And my other point is, it really did bother me what he said. I'm not just making it up for some debate. He spends a lot of time attacking Washington. That's a real popular thing to do. I get that, you know, more power to him.

But when he went so far and he did it as to say watching those impeachment hearings is exhausting, I'd like to flip the channel and watch cartoons, I just -- it literally is a gut punch for those of us -- we know it's not popular everything we do there. We know it's not hard.

But when you're president, you have got to do things you don't want to do. You've got to make tough decisions; you can't just say what's popular in a room.

And when I think of the courage of Mitt Romney and the courage of Doug Jones and the courage of Lieutenant Colonel Vindman who got escorted out of the White House today because he was willing to tell the truth, I don't think, no, I think that's not leadership to just suck up to a room and make a joke so everyone laughs at it, about switching to watch cartoons. I think that's degrading of the work that people do.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: You used the word cartoon, obviously though. I mean, and as you said he used it. But it -- it did bring an age thing into it. It did bring an age thing and you keep --

(CROSSTALK)

KLOBUCHAR: I just quoted him.

BURNETT: No. I know. But use -- you keep using the word newcomer, I mean, you are being very pointed at going at his, what you say, is his lack of experience.

[23:05:02]

KLOBUCHAR: Yes, I am, I have been for debate after debate after debate. And I think it is that, and then it is also -- and again, his military experience, that's so important for our country to have people running for office.

I think he deserves to be on the debate stage. I think he'd be a better president than Donald Trump. But what a primary is about is going to lead our ticket. And I bring the receipts. He talked about it but I have won with Republicans and independents. I have won in Michele Bachmann's district, never lost it once and that is because I'm able to bring people with me and have a record of accomplishment.

BURNETT: Can I ask you one question on this issue of socialism, back to the point of, you know, you said your words here, and you don't think people on the stage want to piss each other off. But why is it that you think people don't want to raise their hand and say they're not a socialist?

KLOBUCHAR: I -- you know, I think most of them have said they're not a socialist, so I'm not going to say they haven't. In my case I have spent time in the private sector. I was there for 14 years. A lot of people in New Hampshire work in the private sector, as well as all over America.

So, what I think we need to do is have a better check on some excesses in the private sector. We need to reverse aspects of the Trump tax bill that don't help regular people. There's all kinds of things that we can do without resorting to socialism, which I don't think is good for this country.

BASH: I want to ask you about the state of the race. You placed -- well, as far as we know, we don't know what's going to happen, if there's a recanvassing or whatever going to happen in Iowa. But right now, the snapshot is you placed fifth in Iowa, which you

call a victory, given the fact that you came -- you started out without a lot of name I.D. but here we are in New Hampshire. What, in all candor, what do you need to do here in New Hampshire, how do you need to place to have a viable position to keep going?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, I'll let you guys decide that.

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: But what do you think? You're the one with the money.

KLOBUCHAR: And the CNN analysts --

BASH: You have the money and you're looking at the books and the budgets and the staff.

KLOBUCHAR: Right, exactly. But I am someone, as you know I've beaten out now 19 people that have been in and out of that debate stage. And I've done it by being frugal, a nice quality for a president and I've also done it by basically making every single benchmark.

And we are growing our list at amyklobuchar.com, we have raised more money after every debate, more and more each time, that helps me and I have to get people to get to know me. That is my goal. I've already made the debate stage in Nevada. And I'm looking very forward to going there.

But right now, I'm focused on New Hampshire. It's not a caucus. It's a primary. I'm not bolted to my Senate desk for two weeks like I was bolted last time. I'm not --

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: Do you think that really hurt you?

KLOBUCHAR: I'm not -- I was glad to do my constitutional duty. It's what I had to do. But our competitors were there going from town to town to town and it is just what it is. And now I'm going to be able to be out there reaching out to the people of New Hampshire understanding their issues because I have a state that has significant rural areas, I have a lot of small towns and that's why I've been able to get those endorsements.

And so, I've got four days to go for broke where I'm not going back to the Senate and that's what I'm going to do.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Senator Klobuchar.

KLOBUCHAR: All right. Thank you.

BURNETT: We appreciate your time.

BASH: Thank you, Senator.

BURNETT: Thank you. CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right, thank you very much. So, there she

is, Amy Klobuchar. Not surprised by her success tonight. She said it was memorable. What you said. You know, that she had both tools, you know, she was being nice when she needed to, she brought out the blade when she had to.

So, let's look at it this way. Structurally, what needs to happen for Klobuchar to take a next big step if she deserves the conversation after the performance, let's give her due, what needs to happen for her Gloria?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think she needs to beat Biden in New Hampshire.

JESS MCINTOSH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.

BORGER: Which is a possibility that they were very --

(CROSSTALK)

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, based on what he said.

BORGER: Right. And I think, you know, look at what occurred in Iowa.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Does that mean if she's four and Biden is five or you have to be top three?

BORGER: No. It depends, again, it depends on the numbers. Look --

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If she beats Biden that's a big deal.

MCINTOSH: Yes.

BORGER: Biden -- Biden -- the Biden campaign is running out of money. He needs money. And the only way he's going to get money is if he does well in New Hampshire. He's got to -- you know, they thought South Carolina was the firewall. They have to get to South Carolina now. I think that's the problem.

For Amy Klobuchar, who is an underdog, that's a little bit of an advantage. And she's got to continue to raise money. So, I think doing well in New Hampshire will certainly help her.

MCINTOSH: She was the one who is the hurt -- who was hurt the most by the impeachment --

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: Without question.

MCINTOSH: -- by having to be in jury duty.

BORGER: Absolutely.

MCINTOSH: She was the least known quantity, she really needed that like final week where everybody in Iowa was trying to see every candidate, and she wasn't able to be there.

JONES: And --

MCINTOSH: So maybe that retail politicking can work in New Hampshire for her.

JONES: But think about what you just said, that's true and she still came within this much of beating Biden.

BORGER: Right.

JONES; Be clear. Amy Klobuchar, who's not a household name, who's never been a vice president, who is literally stuck in Washington, D.C., almost beat Biden.

[23:10:04]

AXELROD: Yes.

JONES: This week.

AXELROD: I mean, she pitched her candidacy to being from the neighboring state for -- and she -- you know, so she had some advantages there but there's no doubt that had she had the opportunity to campaign there she may have well done better --

MCINSTOSH: She might have --

AXELROD: -- but she has to -- she has to do -- just beating Biden would be -- would probably keep her -- keep her in the mix. She's on the stage already in the Nevada debate so she's got impetus to hang around.

BORGER: Right.

AXELROD: The question about her is, she has been a very, very deft debater on the stage and there's no doubt about that. She's also had an advantage, which is, she hasn't broken through yet. I mean, that's her -- that's her problem and her advantage.

CUOMO: No target on her back.

AXELROD: Exactly. The minute you -- and Pete Buttigieg learned that tonight, that, you know, the good thing about winning is you're ahead. The bad thing about winning is everybody is after you. And you saw it on that stage tonight.

So, we haven't yet seen how she would deal with that aspect of this, which is the hard part of running for president.

CUOMO: So, help me answer the question that I asked before we went to break, which is, have we ever seen before where the presumptive, I guess that's the only word we can use at this point, right, because the polls are all tight. You had the first elections and you're supposed leader was in fourth place.

Joe Biden is supposed to be the best chance and he is starving for cash. Joe, have you ever heard of that before?

JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I haven't. He still polls better, narrowly, than the other people in the field.

AXELROD: Nationally.

LOCKHART: Nationally against Trump and in the battleground states against Trump. But I don't think we've ever seen something like this.

I think you see the opposite. I think you see people who have resources who artificially are pushed further into the process than they naturally should be. But this is very -- this is a very different race. There's -- it's very hard to compare this, 2020, that's exact like 1988 or 1984.

CUOMO: Right. It got to be something that you've never seen before though.

LOCKHART: But I certainly have been doing these since 1980, and there's never been a situation where the front runner was having this kind of trouble.

MCINTOSH: I think Biden needed to make a different rationale for his candidacy based on who Biden is. All the great things that we were saying about him, the things that we love about him, the things that are different than Trump could not be more polar opposite than Trump.

And instead, he staked it on this I'm the safe candidate, I'm the electable candidate, he didn't do a ton of interviews, he wasn't as accessible as the other candidates and people were supposed to buy him because he might not have the policies you love but beating Trump is what matters and he's the guy who can do it.

Now that he's not putting up the numbers and now that he's not -- he doesn't have the money behind him to make that case anymore, the rationale for Joe Biden isn't there. And it could be because he has such a strong record of personality.

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: Well, this is his -- this issue, the empathy we were talking about in the break the other night, that town hall meeting where he was asked about his stutter.

CUOMO: Yes. I'll ask Vaughn as the E.P., if you can find that piece of sound about when he's talking to the woman whose child stutters and what it was like for him. But that second part where he's telling her where the line is and what's decent and what isn't. If you can find that --

(CROSSTALK) AXELROD: And that is -- that is -- that is the greatest strength of

Joe Biden, empathy, decency. His ability to connect with people and comfort people. You know, his -- the interesting thing about his events on the road is they don't draw many people but many of them line up afterwards to share with him stories of their own struggles and he is very -- and this is not new.

CUOMO: That's the point, the contrast.

AXELROD: Yes.

CUOMO: The contrast. If you want to show well, why are you better than Trump?

AXELROD: With Trump. Right.

CUOMO: One thing the president has shown, just today, you know with the Friday night massacre, is vengeance, self-interest and being mean is seen as power to him. Joe Biden doesn't agree with any of that, Gloria.

AXELROD: Right.

BORGER: No, Joe Biden is not a mean person. I mean, those of us who have known Joe Biden over the years, I've covered him for --

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: Even if he yells at us in debates.

BORDER: Even if he yells, yes. But in debates only. But even if he -- whatever. I think Biden, you know, I think there might have been a movement, remember when all of these stories are coming -- Joe Biden is too handsy at the beginning of the campaign, and my God, he touches women too much and, et cetera, et cetera.

And I think there was a real effort, and rightly so, to get him to curtail that. However, I think he's not a young guy and it's hard to take the Joe out of Joe Biden and I think they were trying to do that and maybe he was trying to figure that out. I just don't know. Now --

LOCKHART: Yes. I think there's been a lot of conflicting voices in his campaign.

BORGER: Yes. In his ear.

LOCKHART: He's really been hurt by that. The one thing I will say, going back to previous campaigns, is making the argument that you're inevitably -- you're going to -- inevitably going to win the nominee.

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: That's never work.

BORGER: It doesn't work.

LOCKHART: It never works. It didn't work for Mondale in '84. Gloria, we remember that. It didn't work for Hillary in 2008.

BORGER: I remember.

[23:15:01]

LOCKHART: It made -- it made life harder for Hillary and gave Bernie a, you know, a life raft in 2016.

BORGER: You never want to be that person.

LOCKHART: You never want to be that. You want to be the person who's earning it every day.

AXELROD: The thing about inevitability is, once you lose you don't look as inevitable.

LOCKHART: Exactly, yes.

AXELROD: And that --

LOCKHART: That's pretty deep.

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: You want deep, call me in the morning. But he -- but you know, a friend of mine, a Democratic politics said that you get the feeling from the Biden campaign that their argument is, yes, he's got deficiencies, maybe he doesn't perform well but he can beat Trump and he said it's like the AT&T ads, just OK is not OK.

LOCKHART: Yes.

BORGER: Right.

AXELROD: And they better find something real and genuine that people can grab onto. You know what happened here in New Hampshire in 2008 when Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton in Iowa, Obama -- and I was part of this, we came to New Hampshire like a conquering army coming to dictate the terms of surrender, and she all of the sudden was humbled and vulnerable in a way that people had never seen her be.

And she campaigned very close to the ground and an 11-point lead, disappeared very quickly and she won that primary by two or three points. You know, there was a chance, there may be a chance for Biden to do something like that. I didn't exactly see anything on the stage tonight that would trigger that. I saw something on that town hall stage that might trigger that.

BORGER: Right.

LOCKHART: Yes.

JONES: Yes. I hope they do find it because it was a beautiful moment. And you know, I do think that we're at a point where people are hurting, you know, all these economic numbers look great but when you talk to people nobody feels great. CUOMO: Yes. Look, we're all out on the ground a lot, right, and one

of the things, you know, one of the blessings of this that I have is that I have been weaponized by the president so I have a lot of people who support him come up to me angry, and they want to talk about it.

And I'm telling you, one thing I do know is that this country is not its politics.

JONES: That's right.

CUOMO: And that you are literally a sentence and a half from people who are so sure that the president is right, that you want to destroy this country, you hate this country, and you are a sentence and a half from talking to them about anything that really matters in anybody's life, how's your kids doing, what's it like traveling --

AXELROD: Right.

CUOMO: -- where it's gone.

JONES: Gone.

CUOMO: And that is a humanity.

AXELROD: Yes.

CUOMO: That is the greatest strength in politics. And it's being ignored, largely --

AXELROD: Yes.

CUOMO: -- because of the infighting, Joe Biden does have an advantage in that. We have the moment, which has nothing to do with what I was just saying. But the --

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: What you said wasn't important.

MCINTOSH: It was.

CUOMO: -- this is Joe Biden -- thank you. This was Joe Biden during this town hall. OK. And Anderson, as only Anderson can, asked this really insightfully and empathic question about, hey, how did you deal with your stuttering and he talked about how he dealt with the stuttering. And it was really impressive.

But he was speaking to a mother whose kid had a stuttering issue and he then started to talk to her about how we treat people and what matters and what she needs to know and pivoting that understanding even into cancer. Here's the moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How many of you lost someone to cancer? Raise your hand. Husband. OK. When someone comes up that person you lost, you say I know how you feel and they have no idea if they haven't lost somebody but if they have, you know, you look at them and you say intuitively, I guess there's a way through, I guess I can make this, I guess I can make it.

My mom had an expression, she said Joey, you're defined by your courage and redeemed by your loyalty. You're defined by your courage and redeemed by your loyalty. It's about -- it really is about reaching out. And don't want to mean -- I'm not making this political. But that's what I find so reprehensible about what's going on now.

Making -- when -- in my household, and in mine with my children as well, no one is -- no matter how bitter the fight is with a friend or anyone else you can never say something about them that was true. I mean, you could never say something -- if they were ugly you couldn't say you ugly so and so. You could say you're a jerk. No, I really mean it.

Because 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[23:20:01]

AXELROD: Where was that guy tonight?

MCINTOSH: Yes.

AXELROD: Where was that guy tonight?

CUOMO: He was in a debate.

MCINTOSH: You're right.

AXELROD: Yes, I understand that, but part of -- part of being in a debate is to take a moment and steer it in the way that you think it should be taken, and rising above. And, you know, it's -- he's not good at it but that is a very powerful, powerful message.

JONES: Look, I think that's important. I think that's important. We don't hear that enough and we're starting to adapt to absurdity, we're starting to become what we're fighting. We're starting to feed what we're fighting by us saying, well, you know, we can't go high anymore, we're going to go low, we're going to try to out divide the dividers and you almost are afraid to show your heart. It's almost like you're a sucker if you show your heart. But the power, what he did, cannot be denied. And that -- if we're going to win there's going to be a whole lot of that. MCINTOSH: So, we need that and not the push up contest and not

putting his finger in people's faces.

BORGER: Well --

MCINTOSH: And not saying I want to take Trump behind the bleachers. Like, I believe that that Joe Biden is the guy that I was so excited when Barack Obama picked him as his V.P. I remember that. But so much on the trail we have seen this sort of like, I can out alpha male Donald Trump and Joe Biden. That really turns me off and makes me think I don't want to watch these too old guys fight it.

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: Then you're like --

MCINTOSH: I don't want to watch this.

BORGER: Right. Then you're like Trump.

MCINTOSH: Exactly.

BORGER: And honestly watching Biden like that as a woman, you say, you know, this is the kind of person I want my kids to know.

MCINTOSH: Yes.

BORGER: And this is the kind of person I want my kids to think like because he's saying things that I would say to my own children. And that's the Biden I don't know that you see a lot of. He's very good at the town hall because everybody comes up to him after the town hall when they have --

AXELROD: Right.

BORGER: -- an issue or a problem or they come to him and say, you know, my child just died of cancer. Can you help me? I know you went through that with Beau. And that is when he is mostly -- the most Joe Biden you will ever see. And you don't get to see it enough.

JONES: The two people I like the most, Joe Biden and Andrew Yang.

BORGER: I knew you were going to say Andrew Yang.

JONES: As we talk about everybody else. But we'll talk about my guy. But I like -- I like Joe because you don't have to hate anybody to be on Joe's team, right? Other people, you've got to hate billionaires, you've got liberal, you've got hate immigrants, you've got to hate somebody to be on each other's team.

On his team you don't have to hate anybody to be on Joe's team. And I have to say the same thing about Andrew Yang. He got rare attention tonight but he has a positive populism. You know, he's going after the actual problems that we have, and, you know, if he's mad at anybody, he's mad at the robots. You can be with him without being mad at anybody. I think we need more of that. He's trying to get out of these old debates, he's trying to get out of

these old kind of log jams and I think from a decade point of view he may be one of the most consequential voices because he's introducing all these new ideas this new language. I just wish he had a better night tonight.

CUOMO: Let's take a break. When we come back let's talk about what tonight means heading into New Hampshire. Right? Because as you've gotten to see with just one contest what happens in New Hampshire is going to drive the discussion all the way until Nevada. There's a lot of time between those two, relatively. Stay with us.

[23:25:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: All right, we're talking about who did well tonight, what does it mean going into the all-important New Hampshire. Why? Well, it's the first real primary.

So, Elizabeth Warren did very well tonight by the account of everyone on either side of me, she joins Erin Burnett and Dana Bash right now in New Hampshire.

BURNETT: All right, and you just heard the summary there, our panel, they think you did very well. How did you feel about tonight?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I felt good about tonight. You know, look, any chance to be able to get out and talk with people about how it is that in America we've got a country that's working better and better for those at the top, it's just not working for everyone else.

But this is our chance to change it and I got real plans to do that. This is very exciting for me. This is my whole life's work.

BURNETT: So, one thing that we were noticing, we were watching, there were times, we said where is Elizabeth Warren? OK, top three in the polls. Bottom three tonight in terms of talk time.

WARREN: I know.

BURNETT: So, what happened?

WARREN: Look, I had my hand up. But I know, every candidate always wants more air time. But there are things I wanted to talk about.

By the way, you know what I wanted to talk about, do you know what today is? It is the three-year anniversary exactly of when Mitch McConnell threw me off the Senate floor for reading Coretta Scott King's letter to try to stop the nomination of a racist attorney general, and it's when Mitch McConnell uttered those words that have now been put on t-shirts, and people have been embroidered on pillows and had tattooed on their bodies.

Nevertheless, she persisted. And it feels like a right moment for that. Here I am running for president. And people are saying, can a woman win, how's this going to work?

And you know, the way I feel about this, I've been fighting these unwinnable fights forever, to get the consumer agency to hold corporate CEOs accountable, to win a Senate race against an incumbent Republican. I kind of feel like at this time where nobody believes it until you watch a woman jump in the fight, persist, and win. And then they'll know it can happen.

BASH: One of the more interesting moments was when Mayor Buttigieg was asked about criminal justice reform and about marijuana in his home city of South Bend, and at the end of his answer you were asked whether or not that was substantive enough or whether you were satisfied and you said, flatly, no. Explain that.

WARREN: Well, he was asked about specific numbers. How it was that the number of arrests of African-Americans went up.

BURNETT: That's right.

WARREN: And he talked generally about race, but didn't answer that question. And, look, the way I see this, race is an issue we need to talk about more in America and not just in connection with criminal justice.

We need to be talking about it in connection with education, in connection with housing, in connection with health care because every time we start to study, we see disparities everywhere.

We have to remember it's not just the legacy of slavery. It's also the legacy of Jim Crow that in 1965 it was still the official law of the United States to support buying homes for white people and to discriminate against African-Americans and that produced a wealth gap that persists even to this day.

So, part of what I believe we have to do as a country is, we have to consider race more aggressively and take race counter steps in many of the policies that we put together.

BASH: Senator, real talk here.

WARREN: Yes.

BASH: We are in New Hampshire. It's your neighboring state. You maybe didn't do as well as you'd hoped in Iowa. You can tell me if that's true or false.

[23:30:00]

But how important is New Hampshire to do extremely well? What do you have to do here? How do you have to place in order to continue on when it comes to fundraising, when it comes to support and everything that goes along with it?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I appreciate the question, but understand, maybe it's because I've been a politician for such a short period of time, I just don't think of it that way. I've spent my whole life looking at why America's middle class is being hollowed out, why working families are getting the short end of the stick, why poor people are getting crushed.

And this presidential campaign has been a chance to talk about the solutions, the things we can change in this country. So it's not just working for people born into privilege, it's working for everyone. I made it through Iowa, finished in the top three. I'm here in New Hampshire. I get to talk to big town halls about this.

And because I didn't fund my campaign by sucking up to billionaires and spending 70 percent of my time on fundraising, I've already been to 31 states and Puerto Rico. We now have offices in 30 states and are bringing in volunteers. This is a campaign that's built for the long haul because it's a campaign from the heart.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: So, billionaires, you brought it up obviously with Mayor Pete and specifically the cracks and everything else.

WARREN: Yes.

BURNETT: You know Mayor Bloomberg obviously is out there now, right? He is spending a lot of money.

WARREN: Yes.

BURNETT: And he has said that if he's not the nominee, he's willing to support whoever is.

WARREN: Good.

BURNETT: If that's you, would you take his money?

WARREN: Sure. Because look, what I believe is that we should not be selling access to our time. You know, this isn't for special meetings and listening to my little issue. This is about how hour democracy should work. I get it, rich people can own more shoes than the rest of us, more cars than the rest of us, maybe more houses than the rest of us, but by golly, they shouldn't own a bigger share of our democracy.

And that is why, for me, I think we should not be doing these campaigns either letting billionaires finance themselves or using unlimited spending through Super PACs which everybody on that stage was using except Amy and me. I funded my campaign grassroots. That is why every chance I get, I say, if you think that's the right way to do it, go to elizabethwarren.com and pitch in $5 because our democracy is at stake here.

If we're going to be a country, if we're going to be a Democratic Party, where the only way you get the nomination is you either are a billionaire or you suck up to billionaires, then buckle up because we're going to have a country that's just going to work better and better for billionaires and leave working people and everyone else behind.

BURNETT: Thank you very much. Appreciate your time, Senator Warren.

WARREN: Thank you so much.

BURNETT: Thank you.

WARREN: Good to see you.

BASH: Thanks, Senator.

BURNETT: Good to see you, too. Chris, back to you.

CUOMO: All right, Erin, thank you very much. Elizabeth Warren once again tonight showed the ability to have consistent command of issues. Now, how does that play into the vagaries of circumstance, that she didn't have a big finish in Iowa, so what needs to happen in New Hampshire for her to be seen as someone who can be at the top again?

So, Van, is it as simple as, well, if you finish near the top, then you're good. Otherwise, it's another week plus because Nevada is farther down the road of not being in the main dialogue?

JONES: Yes, it's hard to know. What's interesting is you have Bernie Sanders who also did really well tonight and is going to probably do very, very well in New Hampshire. He has transformed this party. He has transformed American politics. He is not ashamed to say that he is a socialist and his issue set is now the issue set for most of the people in the party.

Elizabeth Warren has always bet that somehow Bernie would fade and that she would be standing there with a different kind of command and a different sort of way of getting at the same thing. It just turned out to be a bad bet because Bernie Sanders is made of indistractable stuff and he's just standing there.

However, at some point, it begins to look like he's got a very high floor but a very low ceiling. I think she's got the biggest ceiling of anybody. She can get around him. She also has the breadth. When she speaks about some of these issues, whether it's women's issues, racial issues or whatever, she speaks with a real integrity and authenticity that resonates. She's got the potential.

MCINTOSH: She's one of the most trusted voices on economic issues. I think the people who watch her remember that they have seen her say the same thing about how our economy is set up for --

JONES: Traps and tricks.

MCINTOSH: -- over a decade. And now she's talking about unity. As long as she keeps coming back to that corruption message which works everywhere, the anti-corruption message and the need to unify, that is a unifying message, I think she's going to be strong.

[23:34:54]

MCINTOSH: She has a unique thing about her base, which is that it bridges one of the biggest divides in the Democratic Party right now which isn't really between the candidates that we saw on stage tonight. It's the Bernie-Hillary divide that just won't die. Elizabeth Warren's supporters are 50 percent from the Bernie camp and 50 percent from the Hillary camp, according to her campaign. That's a very unique position to be in going into finding a nominee.

BORGER: I also think she's had some problems because she hasn't really run a consistent campaign. She has talked at the very beginning it was all "Medicare for All" but I'm not going to tell you how are we going to pay for it. She got kind of pinned down on that and that became a problem.

And the she made a turn in her campaign to start talking about how she's electable, how she can take on Donald Trump, the corruption notion, the anti-corruption notion. She talks about it all the time. But when you look at it, it's a very different campaign from the one she started with. You might say that's because she's a good politician --

MCINTOSH: The anti-corruption message was the first one she put out in January.

BORGER: Right.

MCINTOSH: It's not like it's brand new.

BORGER: "Medicare for All" really pinned her down --

MCINTOSH: Absolutely.

BORGER: -- and was really a problem for her. The thing about Bernie Sanders is he's been the same Bernie Sanders for the last 40 years. You can go back and look at every video, you can go back and look at everything, and you're not going to find an inconsistency there --

MCINTOSH: Unless you're talking about guns.

BORGER: -- unless you're talking about guns. That's right. But this is in a shorter period --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

BORGER: No, no, but I know.

(LAUGHTER)

BORGER: I just didn't want to interrupt.

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: Yes.

BORGER: And thank you, thank you, but this is in a shorter time frame. And so I think she's lost a lot to Bernie, and I don't know that she can get that --

CUOMO: Anecdotally for what it's worth other than the big macro aspects of the campaign, she got outplayed on the ground in Iowa. And the Buttigieg campaign anecdotally was known to be better and more sophisticated, more active in dealing with this very complex system of viability versus realignment, and there was talk about that.

AXELROD: She really concentrated on the top. She had what everybody felt was the best organization from early on. She concentrated on the largest counties and surrendered a lot of territory, and Buttigieg scooped up a lot of these smaller counties.

What Van said and what Gloria said, you put them together. She started this campaign thinking she could grab the progressive banner and that Bernie would fade away. And then she got backed into a corner because she didn't want to take a position on health care --

CUOMO: Right.

AXELROD: -- until Bernie went away. And she finally had to take a position on "Medicare for All," put details. She had a plan on everything but that and it looked to the sort of progressive left as a hedge.

MCINTOSH: Which it was.

AXELROD: All of the sudden, she looked like a politician, which she didn't look like before.

BORGER: Right.

CUOMO: There was a time when Bernie Sanders was saying, when she seemed to be eating into his support, he said, well, I guess people think she is more electable than I am. What do they think now? What is the state of play?

All right, let's take a quick break. When we come back, Andrew Yang, head of the "Yang Gang," is in New Hampshire ready to be interviewed, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:40:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: Robust, a night of debate, people trying to fight their way in from the outside, for the all-important and first real primary in New Hampshire. Andrew Yang, how does he feel, he did tonight. You got Erin Burnett and Dana Bash with Andrew Yang.

BURNETT: How do you feel?

ANDREW YANG, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I feel great. We feel like we hammered the core message, which is that we have to humanize this economy and make it work for the people and families right here in New Hampshire and around the country. I've been campaigning here for the last number of months really and too many families here in New Hampshire feel like it is not working for them and that they're getting left behind. That's what we need to change.

BASH: I was watching you and wondering when or if you were going to get into the conversation when it turned to the subject of race, because now, except company excluded, it's a white stage. What did you think about how that conversation went and what would you have wanted to add there that you can adhere?

YANG: Well, I did feel a bit of responsibility because I knew I was the lone candidate, and I responded to Elizabeth where I just don't think you can legislate away racism, that you need to actually try and balance these economic inequities that are unfortunately just huge, have persisted for generations, and we know how to change them.

I mean, if we have the popular will to say, look, we should start evening out the economy by putting money into people's hands. We could actually address many of the inequities in our communities of color, and that's what Dr. King championed in the '60s. That's what I'm championing right now.

BURNETT: There were a couple moments when race came up but there was one moment that -- you know, we were sitting there and watching, and it felt slightly awkward because you had people up there talking about black voters in South Carolina and sort of kind of talking about who did black voters like more, and you had a bunch of white people up there talking about black voters.

Did you notice that? Did that feel awkward to you, that you're looking at a stage that -- in terms of that moment and that conversation, was a bunch of white people talking about it?

YANG: You know what? I did miss Cory and Kamala --

(LAUGHTER)

YANG: -- at that moment. I also did feel some degree of responsibility to make sure I hit the -- really the core of the issue is just that, look, black families are 10 percent the net worth of white families in this country which ends up having this whole cascade of negative social impact.

And yes, putting money into people's hands does not alleviate structural racism at all of its forms and levels, but at least it pushes us in the right direction and provides a foundation or a floor that we can keep building on top of.

BASH: Just kind of big picture, you campaigned really hard in Iowa. You --

YANG: Thanks for noticing.

(LAUGHTER)

BASH: You didn't -- you didn't fair to say you didn't, you know, come up the way that you thought you would. Why do you think New Hampshire will be different?

YANG: New Hampshire has always been the most natural home for this campaign.

BASH: Why is that?

YANG: The people here are very, very independent-minded and the primary is a much better fit for us because you can have independents and libertarians and even Republicans vote in a way that they would not in caucus in Iowa, that they can show up at any point Tuesday.

[23:45:02]

YANG: I've been joking they're going to vote on Tuesday. You know when we're going to be able to count the votes? Also Tuesday! So it's going to be great on that level, too. New Hampshire has consistently been the state that we've been the strongest.

BURNETT: So Tom Steyer was -- there were a couple of moments he was, you know, I think expressing himself pretty aggressively. He was angry about the economy saying, look, we all need to focus on that, that's what we need to defeat President Trump. That was the point he was making.

President Trump said at the State of the Union this week, jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, poverty is plummeting, I'm thrilled to report to you tonight that our economy is the best it's ever been.

OK, his economic growth numbers this week were weaker than he wanted them to be, but unemployment is pretty amazing. It's hard to argue that. It's near historic lows for group after group after group, wages are growing. How do you make that argument to people that the economy is a problem for them right now as opposed to strength?

YANG: Well, if you remember Donald Trump when he was running for president four years ago, he said that the headline on unemployment number was fake news because it masked the fact that millions of Americans have dropped out of the workforce and stopped looking.

He was actually right four years ago. The labor force participation rate has fallen to 63 percent, close to a multi-decade low in the same levels as Costa Rica and El Salvador, some international comparisons that you do not want in the United States. So, the headline on employment number is masking a ton of weakness. It's also masking underemployment. It's masking the fact that 40 to 44 --

BURNETT: People forced to work part-time and stuff like that?

YANG: Yes because you still show, like, if you're an underemployed college graduate who's a barista, check, employed. If you're doing two jobs because you can't meet ends meet with the one job, check, employed. Ninety-four percent on the new jobs that are getting created are contract jobs that don't have a meaningful path forward and can disappear at any moment.

Financial insecurity is still as high as it has ever been where 78 percent of Americans say they are living paycheck to paycheck. Half say they can't afford unexpected $500 bill. So there's a lot of structural weakness that's not showing up in some of the numbers the president is citing.

BASH: You made a joke about the fact that New Hampshire is going to actually vote on Tuesday and you'll see the votes on Tuesday. But in all seriousness, especially as somebody who comes from the business world and understand organization, how concerned are you about the stain that would happen in Iowa will leave on the Democratic Party and the ability to lead, the ability to, you know, get it together, to win, never mind govern?

YANG: I think it's much harder to make the argument that we can manage very complex systems if we can't count votes the same night in a way that's --

BASH: Do you think it hurts your party?

YANG: I think it's bad for the Democratic Party. I think it's bad for the country. You can't look at it any other way where it is just yet another way to diminish public trust that we can get things right in a way that will serve the public interest. It's something that never should have happened. And as someone who has run organizations, I can see how it happened and it was completely preventable.

BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Andrew Yang.

YANG: Thanks all.

BASH: Thank you. Appreciate it.

BURNETT: And we'll be right back after this with our continuing coverage.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:50:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: All right. So this debate was the last moment to see them all on stage laying out their ideas before the all-important New Hampshire primary because it's the first primary. So, Ax, where is your money in terms of, at this point, should be first in New Hampshire?

AXELROD: I think Bernie Sanders should be first. He won it overwhelmingly four years ago and he has been leading in the polls. I think you're going to see a tightening in Buttigieg's, I think, has moved up, and then you're going to see competition for that third spot that is going to be very significant.

CUOMO: Does Bernie pull away in first or do you think he is in a dog fight second and third?

BORGER: Well, I think Bernie may pull away because of Vermont and New Hampshire, as David was saying, won it before. I think the thing we ought to be looking at is where Biden ends up. Does he end up in a race with Klobuchar? Does Klobuchar beat Biden? It is because that could really be a big, big trouble. And what -- you know, after Biden sort of gave it away at the top of this debate, his spokesman was out there saying, no, no, no, we're really going to compete in New Hampshire.

CUOMO: Who are you watching for finish? Quick it up because --

JONES: I think Bernie is going to do very, very well. I think that Klobuchar could beat Biden.

CUOMO: All right, I'll take that. What do you think?

MCINTOSH: I think Bernie pulls it away if he can bring out those new people that he promised in Iowa that didn't show. If they show in New Hampshire, I think he's first.

CUOMO: Who's the surprise finish?

LOCKHART: I think the winner of New Hampshire will be who comes in third because whoever it is, whether it is Klobuchar, whether it is Biden, we will look at Elizabeth Warren, we will look at them and say, OK, there's an alternative. It's not going to be a two-person race. Whoever gets that spot, I think, will have won the expectation game.

CUOMO: Fair point that the person who needs to finish second the most is Elizabeth Warren. She needs the second place finish the most. Yes, no? Feel free to disagree. It happens with stunning --

(LAUGHTER)

MCINTOSH: I think if she beats Pete Buttigieg, that's going to be enormous story.

JONES: If Warren surpassed either Bernie or Pete, that's a big, big deal.

CUOMO: Right. But even if Bernie is first --

AXELROD: Remember she is from the neighboring state as well, so there are expectations here.

CUOMO: We talk about one and two. It's just the nature of the beast. Let's take a break here. We're going to come back. It will be the top of the hour. Tom Steyer got a lot of time. Maybe the most time he has had in any debate tonight. Why? What does that mean about going forward? What is the state of play? Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:55:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: All right, the Iowa of -- the debacle of Iowa is mostly behind us. New Hampshire is going to matter. It's a little bit of a funky state also. It's a small state. It has interesting dynamics. You just saw the last debate where all the candidates are there before this very important contest, because each contest controls money flow, state of play, state of media narrative. Who is getting talked about and how? It is very important.

We had several of the candidates interviewed tonight about how they did. Amy Klobuchar is getting a lot of attention for being able to show a balance, attack, and also a play to unity. Elizabeth Warren, same thing, another strong play.

But there was a little bit of a different dynamic. As I said, when you do well, it's what Ax calls the downside of the upside. Pete Buttigieg did well in Iowa. So now, he had a target on his back. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Buttigieg is a great guy and a real patriot. He's a mayor of a small city who has done some good things but has not demonstrated he has ability to -- and we will soon find out -- to get a broad scope of support across the spectrum including African-Americans and Latinos.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have a newcomer in the White House and look where it got us. I think having some experience is a good thing.