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EARLY START

Democrats Take On Trump Ahead Of Today's New Hampshire Primary; Deadliest Day In China Amid Coronavirus; Reinvestigating Malcolm X Murder. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired February 11, 2020 - 05:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:31:00]

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The first-in-the-nation primary today in New Hampshire. Candidates redirecting their fire at the eleventh hour and the first votes already cast. Who has the most to gain and the most to lose?

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: The deadliest day in Mainland China from the coronavirus. Another case confirmed in the U.S. Wait until you hear about the mix-up that sent the patient home from the hospital -- yikes.

Good morning, this is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is 31 minutes past the hour.

And it is primary day in New Hampshire, a pivotal vote in a wide-open contest that could reshape the 2020 race. Democratic candidates made final appeals across the state Monday, largely pivoting from attacking each other and turning their fire on President Trump.

JARRETT: Keeping with tradition, the first votes were cast overnight in three small towns. Taking an early lead in this very small sampling, Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Big endorsements and strong debate performances have not, so far, vaulted her to the top nationally.

Here was her closing argument last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know we are searching at kind of an interesting time. Time and time again, New Hampshire has surprised the nation by giving us incredible precedence. New Hampshire has surprised the nation by not always going with the most famous person or the person with the biggest bank account.

What New Hampshire has done is given us leaders. So I'm asking you to do that for me today.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: Also noteworthy in the early voting, Michael Bloomberg. He wasn't on the ballot but got two write-ins from Democrats and a Republican write-in as well, a twist likely to get President Trump's attention this morning.

CNN has full coverage of New Hampshire primary day and we are starting with Brian Todd. He is live for us in one of those three first-voting villages, Dixville Notch -- Brian.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine, a dramatic evening and morning here in Dixville Notch. The vote was cast about 5 1/2 hours ago and as you mentioned, Michael Bloomberg was the surprise write-in winner here in Dixville Notch.

It was dramatic also in the weeks leading up to this vote here in Dixville Notch because they almost didn't get a chance to even hold the vote because under state rules you cannot have a vote in a precinct unless you have at least five voters present. And up until late December they had only four people here.

A gentleman named Les Otten, who is a developer here -- he had moved away. He had been kind of in and out of Dixville Notch over the years and he had had projects elsewhere. They told him late in 2019 that if he didn't come back they wouldn't be able to hold the vote. So he did get back by December and he established his residency.

I had a chance to speak to him just after the vote was cast just after midnight and he talked about the importance of voter turnout to him and to the other people here in Dixville.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LES OTTEN, DIXVILLE NOTCH VOTER: I made my vote count and I did it with my fellow citizens, and 100 percent of us voted tonight and we are a democracy in action. I think as a country, we need to come to grips with the fact that in major elections, 50 percent or so of our population doesn't get involved and we can't expect to solve the country's problems without the involvement of our citizenry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: And, Les Otten did cast his vote, he told me, for Michael Bloomberg on the Republican side. Michael Bloomberg also got two write-in votes on the Democratic side for a total of three out of the five votes here in Dixville Notch. Pete Buttigieg got one and Bernie Sanders got one.

So, a dramatic evening here as Michael Bloomberg surges to the win here in Dixville Notch. Amy Klobuchar, as you guys have mentioned, has the overall lead after the three precincts.

And the big story of the day is going to be the undeclared voters in New Hampshire. They outnumber both Democrats and Republicans about two to one each. So the undeclared voters here in the coming hours are going to play a big role --

[05:35:00]

ROMANS: Absolutely.

TODD: -- in the outcome on the Democratic side.

ROMANS: Yes, and the undecideds so interesting. All right, thanks so much for that. Nice to see you, Brian Todd.

JARRETT: Well, Bernie Sanders working late into the night to get the vote out today.

CNN's Ryan Nobles on the trail with Sanders in Durham, New Hampshire.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Laura, it's a little ironic that we are with the 78-year-old candidate for president, Bernie Sanders, and we're on a college campus with a very popular band playing behind us and a very young crowd. But that has consistently shown to be the strongest base of support for Bernie Sanders.

A new Quinnipiac poll that shows Bernie Sanders now in the lead nationally, shows that he overwhelmingly has the most support of people under the age of 35. And when you think about the issues that Sanders cares the most about -- Medicare for All, fighting climate change, eliminating college debt, making college tuition-free -- these are all issues that appeal to younger voters much more than they might appeal to older voters, and that's Sanders' strength.

But the issue for Sanders is that often, younger voters are very unreliable, so he is hoping that they come out for him on Tuesday here in New Hampshire.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This turnout tells me why we're going to win here in New Hampshire, why we're going to win the Democratic nomination, and why we are going to defeat the most dangerous president in the modern history of America, Donald Trump.

NOBLES: His campaign is a very robust get out the vote effort, specifically targeted at those young voters, part of the reason that he ended his campaign here on a college campus with a very big concert. All part of that momentum that he hopes pushes him to the finish line and provides for him his first full win of the Democratic primary season -- Laura and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right, Ryan for us. Thank you, Ryan.

Bernie Sanders' closest competitor in New Hampshire is Pete Buttigieg. The former South Bend mayor making multiple stops across the Granite State yesterday.

Now, he says Sanders is not being clear about the cost of his plans which includes, of course, Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, universal childcare, and eliminating public college tuition. Buttigieg says Sanders' all or nothing approach is not what most Americans want.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's proposed income over $29,000 being taxed to pay for health care plans. But on that, at least let's credit where credit is due because he's being honest about it. But here's the problem. There's $50 trillion worth of spending, so about half of it is unaccounted for and there's no explanation for where the other $25 trillion is supposed to come for.

I'm concerned that the idea that you've got to either be for a revolution or you must be for the status quo paints a picture where most of us can't see ourselves -- where most of us don't know where we fit in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Even if Buttigieg does well in New Hampshire tonight, the future is still murky in this race. He may have a hard time drawing minority support in upcoming states.

And then there's billionaire Michael Bloomberg with big ad buys ahead of Super Tuesday.

JARRETT: Yes. Bloomberg not even on the ballot in New Hampshire but as we saw, at least in --

ROMANS: Right.

JARRETT: -- Dixville Notch, doing OK.

ROMANS: And he wasn't in Iowa. He didn't spend any money in Iowa. I was in Iowa this weekend and I saw a couple of --

JARRETT: Signs.

ROMANS: -- yard signs --

JARRETT: Yes.

ROMANS: -- for Bloomberg, which surprised me.

JARRETT: Yes, it's really interesting.

All right, more ahead on all of this. Plus, why the assassination of Malcolm X is being reinvestigated.

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[05:42:52]

JARRETT: The first-in-the-nation primary today in New Hampshire. Overnight, three small villages got a jump on democracy with midnight voting. Sen. Amy Klobuchar came out well ahead in this very, very small sample.

So, who needs a big night? Who can survive a bad one?

ROMANS: "Wall Street Journal" national politics reporter Sabrina Siddiqui joins us live from Manchester, New Hampshire. She's a CNN political analyst. And, good morning -- big day today.

And it feels as though the -- I guess, the Democratic slate is all shuffled up here, right? You've got Sanders on the rise, Buttigieg trying to maintain his momentum out of Iowa. Bloomberg emerges here, right? And, Klobuchar, with that strong debate performance on Friday, got some early votes in this small sampling.

Where do we stand?

SABRINA SIDDIQUI, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, I think that the New Hampshire primary has really taken on heightened importance in the wake of the chaotic Iowa caucuses which, of course, failed to really produce a definitive winner. Buttigieg and Sanders, in effect, tying in the state of Iowa.

And so, this very crowded and competitive Democratic field is now looking to the first-in-the-nation primary here in New Hampshire tonight for some sense of clarity about the trajectory --

JARRETT: Sure.

SIDDIQUI: -- of the race.

And it really does come down to what you said. Can both Sanders and Buttigieg build on that momentum coming out of Iowa and try to quickly frame this as a two-person race?

Is there really any momentum behind Amy Klobuchar, who had a strong debate performance and seeing a lot of her fundraising numbers go up over the past couple of days?

It's really do or die, perhaps, for some people like Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, who struggled to break through.

And then there's the Bloomberg factor which is probably more symbolic since he's not on the ballot here, but perhaps signaling that Democratic voters are not necessarily satisfied with their choices.

JARRETT: Sabrina, let's talk about that Bloomberg factor since you're on the ground there. You know, some might attribute his surge to Biden not doing so well. He's obviously spending a ton of cash even though, as you say, he hasn't been campaigning there and he's not the ballot. But he's certainly been, at least --

[05:45:03]

ROMANS: Yes.

JARRETT: -- one write-in in Dixville Notch.

What are you hearing from folks? You know, obviously, the undecided factor is a big issue there. What are you hearing about Bloomberg on the ground?

SIDDIQUI: Well, I think that despite the fact that he's not on the ballot, in some ways, he's been able to make his presence felt.

JARRETT: Yes.

SIDDIQUI: You talked about the cash that he has -- the inherent advantages of being a billionaire. He has poured more than $250 million into both television and radio advertising, which far exceeds the amount spent by President Trump and all of the other Democratic candidates combined. So that does speak to, I think, the ways in which he's been able to play catch-up despite a somewhat last-minute entry into the race.

I don't necessarily think you're going to see a big surge though for Bloomberg given he is not on the ballot here in New Hampshire. But it does speak to potential strength going into the March third so-called Super Tuesday primaries.

ROMANS: Yes.

SIDDIQUI: Delegate-rich states like California and Texas where he's really pouring a lot of his resources and counting on the fact that if Joe Biden, once again, were to finish fourth, if not fifth here in New Hampshire -- he was a distant fourth, of course, in Iowa -- then Biden is really going to face some real questions about the durability of his campaign. And perhaps there is room for an alternative to the liberal wing of the party which, right now, is occupied by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

JARRETT: Yes.

ROMANS: Yes, and who takes that middle lane, you know? I mean, is that -- is that Bloomberg, is that -- is that Buttigieg?

JARRETT: Right.

ROMANS: Is it Biden? Who takes that middle -- is it Klobuchar? Who takes that middle lane?

You know, it seems like last week, they really had trained their fire on each other. And then over the weekend, something changed and they trained their fire on President Trump. Is that significant?

SIDDIQUI: Well, I think there were some concerns within the Democratic Party that the candidates were really getting to that point in the race where you're starting to see some mudslinging. They are trying to get a competitive edge over their rivals.

And so you saw some of those more pointed attacks, for example, by Joe Biden last week against Bernie Sanders, saying if you were the nominee every Democrat would have to carry the label of a socialist. Questioning Mayor Pete Buttigieg's experience -- if he's equipped to be president. And you saw Biden -- sorry, Sanders and Pete give it back.

I think that they don't really -- Democrats don't really want to see the candidates --

ROMANS: Sure.

SIDDIQUI: -- essentially providing a playbook for Republicans when you go into the general because we really don't know who the nominee is going to be. And those kinds of attacks will feature in any ads that Republicans run against the eventual nominee, for example, to beat someone like Sanders or someone like Buttigieg.

I think they do recognize now that Democrat -- the -- I think the number one priority for the Democratic electorate in all polling that's been done over the course of the last year is defeating President Trump. And so they do better when they kind of unify around that message and not go after each other.

JARRETT: Yes.

ROMANS: All right.

JARRETT: All right. Sabrina, thanks so much for waking up for us this morning. Have a good time in New Hampshire.

ROMANS: It's going to be a long day.

SIDDIQUI: Thank you so much.

JARRETT: Definitely, a long day -- a long day.

ROMANS: Thanks, Sabrina. Take care.

SIDDIQUI: Bye-bye.

JARRETT: All right.

Well, a new U.S. case of coronavirus has been confirmed in California, bringing the number of U.S. cases to 13.

That new patient was one of the first evacuees from China and in a bizarre twist, the patient was mistakenly released from the hospital in San Diego. An initial test showed no infection but further testing confirmed the diagnosis. The person has now returned to the hospital and is in isolation.

The death toll in Mainland China alone now surpassing 1,000. At least 108 of those deaths reported yesterday, the deadliest day so far.

CNN's Steven Jiang is live for us in Beijing with the latest -- Steven.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, Laura, heads began to roll as the situation at the epicenter continued to look grimmer by the day. Now, two senior provincial officials in charge of the health department in Hubei -- that's the epicenter -- got sacked on Tuesday.

This happened not long after President Xi Jinping reemerged in state media after not being seen for some two weeks, raising a lot of speculations about his role in the government's containment effort of this virus.

Now, he reappeared in state media on Monday wearing a surgical mask, talking to local residents in Beijing, and touring a hospital. Videoconferencing with medical workers from the front line, very much trying to put to rest these questions about his involvement in the government's response and by reassuring the nation that he is determined and the confidence in overcoming this outbreak. He definitely tried to reinforce the notion that he's firmly in control and cares about the people.

But the thing is until he shows up in Wuhan, the epicenter that's 600 miles away from Beijing, there are still going to be a lot of skeptics when it comes to how bad things really have gotten at the epicenter, Laura.

JARRETT: Yes. And meanwhile, President Trump keeps saying the warmer spring weather will help slow the spread of the virus, but the science behind that is not clear. The SARS virus did slow down in warmer weather. So, we will just have to wait and see.

[05:50:04]

Steven, thank you so much.

ROMANS: All right.

President Trump and Vice President Pence attending a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base last night for two U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan. The transfer took place in a light rain, mostly in silence except for the crying of family members.

Twenty-eight-year-old Sgt. Javier Gutierrez and 28-year-old Sgt. Antonio Rey Rodriguez were killed on Saturday when a soldier dressed in an Afghan army uniform opened fire with a machine gun. Six other American soldiers were wounded.

We'll be right back.

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ROMANS: Let's take a look at global markets right now. Mostly higher around the world here -- a bit of a rebound -- still trying to process what the coronavirus is going to mean to global business.

On Wall Street right now, also a little bit higher here. Look, stocks bounced back Monday. Some businesses in China reopened after extended shutdowns because of the coronavirus.

And the Dow closed up 174 points. The Nasdaq hit a record high. The S&P 500 also closed at an all-time high.

[05:55:00]

Sprint's stock soaring almost 70 percent after hours after reports a judge will rule in favor of its merger with T-Mobile. An interesting note about the S&P 500 and its record. The five largest

companies in the S&P are all these big tech names and they account for nearly 20 percent of the market value for the entire index.

JARRETT: Well, the Justice Department is filing a trio of lawsuits claiming officials are making it more difficult to enforce federal immigration laws. Attorney General Bill Barr is targeting New Jersey, California, and King County, Washington, which includes Seattle. The suits are widely viewed as retaliation against communities with sanctuary cities.

ROMANS: Last week, giving a similar explanation, the Trump administration barred New Yorkers from registering for Trusted Traveler programs. Now, the State of New York is suing the administration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LETITIA JAMES, NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL: The president's crusade against New York is not only an inconvenience to New Yorkers but also poses a direct threat to one of the world's largest economies and the nation's third-largest economy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: New York State's Green Light Law prevents federal agencies from accessing Department of Motor Vehicle databases. The acting DHS chief said last week access is needed to vet applicants for the traveler programs.

JARRETT: The assassination of Malcolm X is being reinvestigated more than five decades later. The civil rights activist was shot and killed in a New York ballroom in 1965. Three men were convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1966.

But days after the release of the Netflix docuseries "WHO KILLED MALCOLM X", the Manhattan D.A.'s office agreed there was enough new information to reexamine the case. One of the alleged killers, 81- year-old Muhammad Abdul Aziz, was released on parole back in 1985 but is still trying to clear his name.

ROMANS: A woman and her boss making each other's dreams come true. Chet Bennett had been on dialysis for about a year and was desperate for a new kidney. Bennett owns a beauty college and several salons in D.C., one of them managed by Acia Williams, who resolved to give Bennett one of her kidneys.

JARRETT: Well, she was a perfect match and the surgery a great success. As they recuperated together, Bennett decided to fulfill Williams' dream of owning her own salon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ACIA WILLIAMS, DONATED KIDNEY TO HER LONGTIME BOSS: He just over from the couch. He said OK, you better get ready because I'm about to give you the shop. And I was like -- CHET BENNETT, SALON CHAIN OWNER WHO NEEDED KIDNEY: This is -- I can't begin to thank you enough for you giving me life, but we can't start with you making your dream a reality by having your own salon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Great. Williams's salon, Acia -- Image by Acia, had its grand opening yesterday. So nice for them.

Well, while you were sleeping, Stephen Colbert was gearing up for today's New Hampshire primary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, CBS "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": To make sure there's not a repeat of Iowa, Democrats have hired a new election consultant to tabulate the votes.

COUNT VON COUNT, VAMPIRE MUPPET, "SESAME STREET": One, two, three.

COLBERT: One poll in New Hampshire said New Hampshire Democrats would prefer an extinction-causing meteor over Trump reelection. This explains why they've changed the state motto from 'Live Free or Die' to 'Please Let Us Die.'

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: All right, for -- if you're Count Dracula, you've got to count up to three -- 3:00 a.m. eastern time tomorrow -- that's us -- for the full results, we hope, of the New Hampshire primary. We're going to be on early tomorrow. Polls open any moment.

Thanks for joining us, everyone. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: We know you're going to be up early and just waiting with bated breath.

I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY," live from New Hampshire, starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The 2020 New Hampshire primary is underway.

SANDERS: If we win here, I think we've got a path to the Democratic nomination.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You want to run with the top of the ticket defining the Democratic Party as a socialist?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Sanders does win here he will be the front runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

BUTTIGIEG: Sen. Sanders' ideals are certainly ideals that I think most Americans share. At the end of the day, we have to explain how we're supposed to get from here to there. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Democrats cannot do a repeat of 2016. We can't go into a general election divided.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've always told people that if you are tired of the noise and the nonsense, you have a home with me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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 Tuesday, February 11th. It's 6:00 here in New Hampshire where it is primary day -- first-in-the-nation primary day.

I'm coming to you live from St. Anselm College in Manchester. Alisyn's at a local polling location out of doors, where the doors are just opening so people can go in and vote as of this second. Twenty-four delegates up for grabs here in New Hampshire.

We've been chasing the candidates across the state as they make their case to voters one last time. And this morning, we have interviews with Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden. The campaign manager for Bernie Sanders, he will join us as well.

END