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Voters Head to Polls in the First-in-the-Nation Primary; Voting Underway in New Hampshire Presidential Primary; Bernie Sanders Leads Polls in New Hampshire Primary; Supporters of Joe Biden Interviewed in New Hampshire. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired February 11, 2020 - 08:00   ET

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


[08:00:00]

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going to win this nomination, I really do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We've got all the candidates and major campaigns on NEW DAY this morning. Thank you to our international viewers for watching. For you CNN Newsroom is next. For our U.S. viewers, more of our special live coverage of the New Hampshire primary continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The 202 New Hampshire primary is under way.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If we win here, I think we have 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 frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, (D-IN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator 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-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Democrats cannot do a repeat of 2016. We can't go into a general election divided.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, (D-MN) 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)

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

BERMAN: Good morning, and welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, February 11th. It is 8:00 here in New Hampshire, the first in the nation primary. I'm live at St. Anselm college in Manchester. Alisyn is out of doors at a polling location in the cold. The votes are now being cast, as you can see. Here's a live look. This is a polling place down south in Nashua. Moments ago, former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg arrived at a polling location in Hopkinton. We have pictures of that. Armed with a box of Dunkin Donuts because this is, after all, New England. He was greeted with an enthusiastic crowd and then broke campaign protocol by raising the roof with some voters. There are paid campaign advisers who will tell you that's risky.

JONATHAN MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: And there is video of it now. It will never die.

BERMAN: There is video of that.

I had a chance to speak with the former South Bend mayor at a campaign stop as he's been crisscrossing the state. We'll have that for you a little later. And in just minutes we're also going to speak live with campaign manager of the Bernie Sanders campaign to talk about their expectations for the day. Alisyn?

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: John, I'm very glad that you recognize that you got the cushy assignment this morning. But it is up to 29 degrees out here at this polling place at this elementary school. So we will be talking to voters, none of whom seem troubled by the weather here. This is considered balmy.

Moments ago, we spotted another candidate meeting with voters, and that's Senator Amy Klobuchar. She popped off her bus there and greeted supporters at a polling place not far from where I am standing here in Manchester. And I had a chance to speak with Senator Klobuchar aboard that very bus yesterday, and we will bring you that interview as well.

So we are also expecting to see Senator Elizabeth Warren at some point this hour. And here we have been talking to voters about who they are voting for today and why and when they made up their decision, and what they think about this entire crowded field. So we'll bring you all of that in just a few moments, John.

BERMAN: Excellent, looking forward to hearing from the voters and your interview from the Klobo-van in just one second.

Joining us now, CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip and CNN political analyst Jonathan Martin. He is a national political correspondent for "The New York Times." And you can tell it's an important day because you're wearing your game-day sweater.

MARTIN: Yes. I'm not raising the roof on the air, though, and I've got a watch on. So no raising the roof on air.

BERMAN: Everyone laughs. Mayor Buttigieg has been crisscrossing the state. He's been everywhere the last two days. That is typically the type of thing you don't see candidates do, but he's out there trying to win last-second votes.

Jonathan, the stakes here in New Hampshire. Normally New Hampshire winnows the field. You note this morning in an article in "The New York Times," maybe not the case this time.

MARTIN: I think because of the volatility of this race, each of the five major candidates is determined to go forward, because they say, why not? If I have got the money to fill up the gas tank, I'm going to keep going forward, because you don't know what's going to happen in Nevada and South Carolina, and Super Tuesday immediately following. So if you can sustain some kind of a candidacy, you may as well give it a go.

The downside of that is you risk coming in fourth, fifth place, so you see your candidacy can implode. But there's no clear frontrunner right now. And I think all of these candidates, John, are convinced that the other is fatally flawed, so they're all saying, why not me?

BERMAN: Bernie Sanders got 60 percent of the vote four years ago in 2016 in the Democratic primary here. Jimmy Carter in a primary without an incumbent got about 29 percent. That is the lowest number for a winner with a nonincumbent primary in New Hampshire. We will see if the winner here even gets that high.

But, Abby, let's talk about Bernie Sanders now, because we're going to have his campaign manager on in a little bit, and I think the Sanders campaign to an extent feels disrespected. They say we basically tie in Iowa.

[08:05:03]

There's Amy Klobuchar live arriving at another polling location in Manchester, and we've been out with her, and Alisyn has an interview with her we will air in just one moment. But Bernie Sanders, as I was saying, emerged from Iowa basically tied, a little bit behind Pete Buttigieg there. They are leading in the polls here. That campaign feels like, hey, we're in the driver's seat. We're the national frontrunner. Is there a good argument to be made?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: As good as any. I do think there are two ways of looking at this. On the one hand, the other national frontrunner finished in fourth in Iowa and is struggling to get the top three here in New Hampshire. So I don't necessarily think that we should be calling Joe Biden the national frontrunner and not also considering Bernie Sanders potentially to be that, too.

But at the same time, as we've pointed out, he won here by a lot four years ago. He had an enormous amount of support in this state. If he just ekes out a win here, it's going to be a problem for him. It's not going to be easy to command leadership in the rest of the race if you are just eking it out in a place where you dominated Hillary Clinton four years ago. And then on top of that, there's a real turn turnout question for Bernie Sanders. Can he actually do what he says he can do, which is his electability case, which is bring out more voters? He did not do that in Iowa. Is he going to be able to do that in New Hampshire? I think if the answer is no, it really raises real questions about the whole rationale for his campaign, which is that he's bringing new people into the process, and that because of that, he'll be able to beat Donald Trump in November.

BAIER: I hear grunts of affirmation.

MARTIN: There's nobody scaring off anybody in this race. And I think even if Bernie was to get 30 percent and beat his nearest competitor by four or five points, I just don't think that that is going to be enough to radically alter the shape of this race. I do think it would give Bernie a nice early start, basically popular wins back-to-back. You're effectively two and O. That's a really enviable start for any candidate. I think it would put him in as good a spot as any other hopeful.

But his challenge, as you guys know, is that half the party is still pretty dead set against his candidacy and is looking for an alternative to him. What helps Bernie is they haven't found the alternative yet. And it's actually more muddled today than it was the day before because now you have got Amy Klobuchar showing real signs of growth here. Joe Biden obviously still has some structural advantages, and then you got Michael Bloomberg waiting on Super Tuesday. And you can't forget Pete Buttigieg. So the more the so- called moderate lane becomes confused, the better it is for Bernie.

BERMAN: It is interesting that for a long time in this campaign it was Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren splitting the progressive vote. That's going to be split, and Joe Biden had a stranglehold on the moderates. That seems to be completely reversed as we sit here this morning.

PHILLIP: Now it's the moderates who are, frankly, a little bit of a mess. They've really split it three ways plus Bloomberg down the road.

I do think, though, we need to be careful not to distinguish people who are staying in the race from people who actually have a rationale for running the rest of the primary and actually winning the primary. There's a real divergence here between people who will stick around and people who actually have a chance to win based on their ability to actually win in the states that come later.

Even the person who looks to be in second place, Pete Buttigieg, here in New Hampshire is going to have to really make a case for himself as we go down the road. This is where the rubber meets the road for him. And if he cannot do that, even with Joe Biden being as weak as he is, Joe Biden still has a stronger case that when it comes to actually collecting delegates, which is how we win this thing, he can actually do that.

MARTIN: Nobody needs a boost out of New Hampshire more than Buttigieg and Klobuchar. It gives them new life going forward. They are so reliant on momentum in a way that Sanders is not, that Bloomberg is not, obviously, that they need this state more than the rest of the field.

BERMAN: I talked to Pete Buttigieg yesterday, and one of the questions I asked him is, look, you won the most delegates, at least as of now, in Iowa. Even if you win New Hampshire, where is the next big state for you, Pete Buttigieg. And he won't answer the question. And I think one of the reasons is because it's not an obvious answer. It's not an obvious answer.

I do want to talk about Elizabeth Warren for a second here, because we're in New Hampshire. How many miles are we from the Massachusetts border, not even 30 miles from the Massachusetts border? This was supposed to be one of her best states. What happens after today?

MARTIN: I think it spells real trouble for her candidacy that she finish third in Iowa after putting the effort that she did in there, and it wasn't a terribly close third to the top two candidates, and now she's here in New Hampshire next door, which she also put a huge effort in, has enormous name I.D. because of the Boston media market, obviously, John, and she could come in fourth place here.

And so I think for her, it's going to create financial problems going forward. She has a huge organization in March and April states, retain that overhead. You're coming in third, and third or fourth is very difficult.

BERMAN: Ten seconds left. The one thing that you are watching for tonight?

[08:10:00]

PHILLIP: How close are Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders? Critical question. But I think for Elizabeth Warren, can she survive here? She survived for a lot of 2019 flying under the radar, and she had her little bump. I think she actually does really well when she's flying under the radar. So if she can survive long enough, who knows? I think the race is still volatile.

MARTIN: Financially, that's the question.

BERMAN: That is hard. There is no under the radar when you get to Super Tuesday. Jonathan Martin, Abby Philip, great to have you on this morning on primary day.

MARTIN: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: OK, John, voting is under way in the first in the nation primary, of course, here in New Hampshire. I am live in Manchester catching up with voters after they have cast their ballots. Joining me are two Democratic voters Lynn and Richard Fitzpatrick. Great to see both of you guys. I'm just getting a hunch. I'm just getting a feeling of who you guys voted for since you're emblazoned with the Biden stamp. So what do you like about Joe Biden?

LYNN FITZPATRICK, NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTER: He's true to his word. Very conscientious of every single voter across the country. And I just think he's a genuine all-around candidate that's going to bring us back to normalcy in the White House. CAMEROTA: Since you seem to be all in for Biden, how long have you

felt this way? Did you go and talk and see other voters during this process, or have you always been all in on Biden?

RICHARD FITZPATRICK, NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTER: We've looked at the other candidates, and we have seen them a little bit in person. But we've looked at their issues and all. And just the experience that the vice president has. He's always supported the firefighters, so --

CAMEROTA: You're a firefighter? And the firefighter's union is supporting Biden. And so wouldn't it have been awkward for you not to support Biden?

RICHARD FITZPATRICK: Not really. We are all one union and all, and we always look at all the candidates.

CAMEROTA: You still have free will to choose whoever you want?

RICHARD FITZPATRICK: Absolutely. And we agree with the leadership in the national that Joe -- the vice president is the right choice.

CAMEROTA: I hear you calling him Joe, and I'm sure he wouldn't mind to be known as Joe. And so when you go to his events, is there the enthusiasm for him? because we hear that there are lots of people checking out some of the newcomers, lots of enthusiasm for Bernie. Are you sensing that here for Joe Biden here?

LYNN FITZPATRICK: Most definitely. I've seen him past years when he was here with Obama doing the same thing. And every rally that I've been to so far has the enthusiasm, the get up and go, cheering for everyone that comes out onto the podium to speak.

CAMEROTA: He was disappointed by his showing in Iowa. It wasn't as strong as he wanted. If he somehow is disappointed by what happens in Iowa, do you -- have you both considered what would happen if Joe Biden doesn't become the -- somehow drops off other people, and who would be your second choice? Have you thought about that?

LYNN FITZPATRICK: We'll support whatever candidate is there because we are Democrats. Well, we're independents here thinking here in New Hampshire. But I think the Democratic side is the way to go.

CAMEROTA: But do you have any second choices?

RICHARD FITZPATRICK: We're constantly looking at that and seeing who is coming up and everything. And I think you always rate, this one -- I didn't know that about this one. But in the end and right down to the Election Day here in New Hampshire, we're supporting Biden.

CAMEROTA: How do you think he's going to do today?

LYNN FITZPATRICK: Fantastic. We're going to see him in the White House in January. Can't wait. Cannot wait. Go Joe!

(LAUGHTER)

CAMEROTA: I hear your enthusiasm. Lynn, Richard, thank you, both, very much. We really appreciate it.

LYNN FITZPATRICK: Thank you. Stay warm.

CAMEROTA: Thank you. Will do.

So CNN will be on the ground covering the New Hampshire primary all day, of course, and there is special live coverage beginning at 4:00 p.m. eastern, so stick around for that. John?

BERMAN: I have to say, the most New Hampshire thing ever, the yellow firefighter shirt matching with the pink Red Sox hat. It is perfect, perfect New England wear. All right, Alisyn, we'll come back to you in just a second.

Senator Bernie Sanders rallied with thousands of supporters here in New Hampshire last night along with the Strokes and Cynthia Nixon. His campaign manager joins me, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:18:00]

BERMAN: Voters lined up across the state of New Hampshire to cast their ballots. The line not very long there at the polling location you're looking at right now. You see big lines right when they opened from 6:00 to 7:00 a.m. now people are getting to work. They'll slow down for a little bit and then get really fast this afternoon and this evening.

Last night, thousands of supporters of Bernie Sanders packed an arena to hear the Vermont senator speak. This is what he told the crowd.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: And joining me is the campaign manager for Senator Bernie Sanders, Faiz Shakir.

Great to have you with us.

FAIZ SHAKIR, CAMPAIGN MANAGER, BERNIE SANDERS 2020: Hey, John. How are you?

BERMAN: Senator Sanders set the expectation, so it's fair for me to ask you about this. He says looking at this turnout, this is why we're going to win here in New Hampshire and why we're going to win big. In 2016, 60 percent of the vote, 150,000 Sanders voters there. Just two candidates.

SHAKIR: Yes.

BERMAN: I understand it's different this time. But what is the margin you're looking for?

SHAKIR: We're looking to win. As long as we can get out of here with a win, we feel we're on our way. We'll have been on the backs of 6,000-plus win in Iowa. If we get two victories in a row that puts us on the way for the nomination and on our way after New Hampshire.

BERMAN: Just the Buttigieg campaign and Iowa Democratic campaign would note that it's possible that Buttigieg campaign emerged with the most delegates from Iowa.

SHAKIR: Yes.

BERMAN: Two very different measurement there.

And I do understand, you want to make the case that a win is a win, but if enthusiasm is part of the argument for Bernie Sanders, and the argument Senator Sanders just made there, what kind of a message do you need to send in this state that borders the senator's own state in the state that's performed very well in the past.

[08:20:06]

SHAKIR: Well, that rally that you saw last night attracted 7,500 people. That's more than any event we did in New Hampshire last time for Bernie Sanders in 2016. So we are generating enthusiasm and excitement. We're hoping they turn out and vote. That's a different question. Check us later today on that one.

But in addition to that, I think, you know, we are building a campaign that in order to beat Donald Trump, we have to have a large turnout and a lot of youth turnout. And under the age of 30, this campaign is attracting a large number, even in the Iowa caucus. The one shining light of that turnout was young people.

They participate at the highest rates and hopefully that's true here in New Hampshire. If it's true across the country, that's how you beat Trump. In Iowa, the turnout was barely higher than 2016.

SHAKIR: Yes, it was a little bit higher. However, what I'm telling you as a percentage of that electorate, young people turning out was great for us. And, obviously, as we get into a general election, we'll have to unify this party, grow this party and Bernie Sanders' appeal is to a lot of independents, working class people who feel like the current system is probably (ph) corrupt and rigged against them. They know that.

And they are looking for somebody who will be a true fighter for them. They know Donald Trump betrayed them. He said he was going to fight for the working class, drain the swamp, all that nonsense.

And so, who's going to execute this argument that they can believe in and say, hey, that one, that individual stands up to corporate interest that I feel have wronged the working class. BERMAN: I was at an event with Senator Sanders in Hudson, New

Hampshire, yesterday. He was speaking from a loading dock. In the first few minutes it was almost as if he was leading with the message that Mayor Pete Buttigieg takes money from billionaire donors.

SHAKIR: Right.

BERMAN: Why is that important? Why should that matter to a voter? Why is that the leading message for Senator Sanders?

SHAKIR: So, first of all, you have to start with the fact that Sanders runs a campaign different from any other candidate in the field. It's entirely grassroots funded, over $7 million contribution in this campaign from 1.5 million people-plus. That's a record for a presidential campaign. We're proud of it.

And what does that mean? When he gets into the Oval Office, he's not beholden to a bunch of corporate donors who have given him money.

What I would argue about Pete Buttigieg is when he got this money from corporate donors, he's walked away from Medicare for All. He used to be for Medicare for All, now he's not. What do you think that happens? Because you get pressure from drug companies and pharmaceutical companies across the board which he has taken their money and surprisingly, or not surprisingly, he walks off --

BERMAN: Is that an endorsement for Michael Bloomberg who is self- funding? He's beholden to nobody.

SHAKIR: We've seen that with the current president, I'm a billionaire, I can't be bought. Put me on the Oval Office, I'll fight for you. And guess what happened? He stacks his cabinet full of billionaires, more billionaires in our cabinet never before, cuts the corporate tax rate -- tax cuts for the top 1 percent.

I don't think we need to beat one bad billionaire with a nicer billionaire. It's kind of ironic that Bernie Sanders has been warning of the billionaire class, influence over politics and he's got two billionaires in his way. One in the Democratic nomination and one on the Republican side.

BERMAN: Pete Buttigieg responded, Bernie Sanders probably has more money than the mayor. He'd accept Bernie Sanders donation. He isn't a poor guy.

SHAKIR: Sure. But he's also somebody who stood up to the working class -- or stood up for the working class his entire life and Buttigieg is somebody who's cozied up to the billionaire class. He has over 40 billionaires contributing to his campaign.

And, ultimately, the question is, do you have the courage to fight these people in the moments that this most difficult?

BERMAN: I understand that's the argument. The donation maximum is what at this point, $2,400?

SHAKIR: Twenty-eight hundred.

BERMAN: Twenty-eight hundred dollars, so it's not like they're donating billions. They're donating $2,000 --

SHAKIR: However, they are also donating to outside groups that supporting super PACs that are supporting Joe Biden and supporting Pete Buttigieg and obviously billionaire Bloomberg is self-funding. So, all of this outside money is also playing a role.

BERMAN: I do want to ask you about something we heard from the vice president just last night in an interview with Don Lemon. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Bernie is a great guy, but it's his self-definition. So the question is, who can help us win back the Senate most?

He talks about me having baggage? You walk in. Would you -- I know you know the South. You walk into any of those states, we have to win like Florida and other places that we're going to win, and Georgia and North Carolina and say, by the way, my president describes himself as a Democratic socialist.

What do you think Trump will do to that?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So when Donald Trump says Democratic socialist, the Bernie Sanders campaign will say --

SHAKIR: Donald Trump is a corporate socialist. That's what we'll say. If the argument is about who are you going to fight for? You have Donald Trump who says, oh, yes, I'm going to get into the Oval Office, I'm going to benefit the top 1 percent. I'm going to deregulate things to benefit my large multinational corporation friends.

And then you have to say, well, why is government so often fighting for the top 1 percent? What is wrong? We are going to transform this so we actually provide, you know, a trillion dollars not for the 1 percent in a corporate tax cut but for better education, better housing in America? Better health care in America?

This is a fight to transform our political and economic system so that it fights for the working class?

[08:25:02]

That's what Democratic socialism is all about?

BERMAN: To what extent do you think you need to explain that people as this campaign visits other states around the country?

SHAKIR: Well, I would argue to you that, you know, Bernie Sanders ran for president before in 2016. And a lot of people know who he is. In fact, you go out there and ask anybody, do you know Bernie Sanders? The answer is yes. And the question is, what do you know about Bernie Sanders? Oh, he fights for Medicare for all and he fights against corporate interest.

They know that about him. And then you see this in head-to-head polls. He's doing quite well against Donald Trump. So, that tells me that we've built this argument on a spine -- on a very strong spine. They know who he is. They know what he's about and they like it because they know fundamentally, the economy is not working for the working class, and they trust Bernie Sanders' lifetime of consistency of getting to know what he's about.

BERMAN: Normally, New Hampshire winnows the field a little bit in the presidential process. Do you think there are candidates that need to consider, depending on what happens here today, getting out of the race. Do you think it would be better for the Democratic process?

SHAKIR: I'm a campaign manager for Bernie Sanders. I'm not the campaign manager for anybody else. I'll let them make their decisions how they want to run it.

I hope that some point in time, of course, that we want to unify this party and we want to help grow it. And I think, you know, one thing I would say to all of our competitors in the field is we've got to work on our messaging against Donald Trump. And while we may have different approaches to what are the proactive solutions we want to fight for and present to the American public, we can all agree we've got to deliver a consistent, strong message against Trump and everyone in the field can be --

BERMAN: You said you want to unify the party. I'm out of time. But last question, you criticize the 40 billionaires you say who donated to Pete Buttigieg.

SHAKIR: Yes.

BERMAN: Presumably they support a Democrat. Do you want their support? Does Bernie Sanders want their support?

SHAKIR: Oh, I'm very comfortable with the support we've got right now. It's the working class --

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: A Democrat with a billion dollars that says I want to support Bernie Sanders, what would you say?

SHAKIR: It's a free country. Give to whoever you want. We don't need billionaires supporting this campaign.

I think the trust and credibility that we have with the working class will remain what we've got all the way throughout this campaign. It is the reason why you can trust him in the White House because he hasn't taken that money.

BERMAN: Faiz Shakir, great to have you here in New Hampshire. Thanks so much for spending the time with us. We'll see you --

SHAKIR: All right.

BERMAN: -- in Nevada, South Carolina --

SHAKIR: Thanks a lot.

BERMAN: -- and on and on.

All right. Let's go to Alisyn outside a polling location.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, John.

Voters are headed to the polls as we speak here in Manchester. Perhaps you can see all the activity behind me. This is happening all over the state of New Hampshire. But what do voters in New Hampshire want?

We have a Democratic senator who has won a number of elections here. She's from here. She joins us, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END