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EARLY START

Bernie Sanders With The Win In New Hampshire; Biden Bolts New Hampshire Before Final Results; Roger Stone Prosecutors Withdraw From Case. Aired 3:30-4a ET

Aired February 12, 2020 - 03:30   ET

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


[03:03:07]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A great victory tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Bernie Sanders with the win in New Hampshire, but it was razor thin. Who was right behind him and who's on life support in a crowded, crowded field?

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christine Romans. It is 33 minutes past the hour. Okay, there's an established front runner now, in the Democratic race.

CNN projects Bernie Sanders winning the New Hampshire primary on the heels of a win in the popular vote in Iowa.

The win for Sanders surprisingly tight in a state where he cleaned up four years ago.

JARRETT: Moderates advancing as they try to slow the party's move to the left. Pete Buttigieg coming in a very close second and Amy Klobuchar surging into third. Elizabeth Warren, a distant fourth, even though she's from neighboring Massachusetts.

ROMANS: Joe Biden wasn't in New Hampshire for election returns. He came in fifth. CNN projects, neither Warren nor Biden will even make the threshold to win delegates.

Since 1968, every single Democratic presidential nominee took first or second in New Hampshire.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: This victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump.

[CHEERING] SANDERS: We are taking on billionaires and we're taking on candidates

funded by billionaires. We're going to Nevada. We're going to South Carolina. We're going to win those state as well.

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I admired Senator Sanders when I was a high school student. I respect him greatly to this day. And I congratulate him on his strong showing tonight.

And thanks to you, a campaign that some said shouldn't be here at all has shown that we are here to stay.

[CHEERING]

BUTTIGIEG: And a politics of my way or the highway is a road to reelecting Donald Trump.

If today's Washington were serving America well, a guy like Donald Trump would never have come within cheating distance of the Oval Office in the first place.

[CHEERING]

[03:35:06]

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Amy Klobuchar, and I will beat Donald Trump.

[CHEERING]

KLOBUCHAR: We have beaten the odds every step of the way.

[CHEERING]

KLOBUCHAR: We have done it on the merits. We have done it with ideas, and we have done it with hard work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: The biggest change for the candidates going forward, the demographic map. The state now moves from mostly white Iowa and New Hampshire to far more diverse data in South Carolina.

CNN's Phil Mattingly, Man of Steel up at 3:35 at the magic wall. Phil, what sticks out to you overnight?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I'm just trying to match up with you guys at this point.

Look, let's focus on Bernie Sanders first, because he won. He won nine delegates. He won by about 4,000 votes and for the second consecutive cycle, he can say he won the New Hampshire primary and there's a couple reasons why and I'm going to circle them here.

If you look at the major population centers in the state: Manchester, Nashua. If you look at the major public universities in the state as well, Durham, Keene, these are the types of places that Bernie Sanders needed to win and these are the types of places that Bernie Sanders did win.

When you're winning in big population areas, that's usually a pretty good sign for your campaign. However, this is what gets really interesting.

Take a look at this map. You see a lot of light green and some dark green here as well. That's light green, Pete Buttigieg; dark green, Amy Klobuchar.

Let's take a look at the 2016 map. Hillary Clinton was the dark blue. You don't see a lot of dark blue here. This was a wipeout back in 2016. More than 23 points, Bernie Sanders winning. So why was it different this time around?

For Pete Buttigieg's perspective, here's why. When you go into the New Hampshire border right about here, what's it bordering? Vermont. That's Bernie Sanders' home state. This is an area where he cleaned up in 2016.

And yet, you see light green in that area. Pete Buttigieg made gains there. If you go down to these areas. Yes, not the biggest cities, the biggest townships but most of the population is in the south, southeast corner of the state. A lot of light green there as well.

And if you're Amy Klobuchar, you see the dark green here, a lot of townships that traditionally lean Republican that started to come out for her as well.

That's what made this race so tight -- 25.9 percent, 24.4 percent and Amy Klobuchar, surprising pretty much everybody with 19.8 percent.

Here's the other surprise, or maybe it's not a surprise, considering Joe Biden wasn't even in the state on Tuesday night.

You don't even see Joe Biden -- I have to scroll for you to be able to see Joe Biden and you get a sense of just how rough a night it was for Joe Biden.

Let's take a look and pull out where Joe Biden came in first. You don't see anything, where he came in second, you see one, and that's the township of about 35 people where he came in third.

None of these are big votes, none of these equal delegates for Joe Biden. It's a similar story to some degree with Elizabeth Warren, a little bit of a better showing, but also a neighboring state senator that simply did not pull any delegates and did not have a very good night which I think was a surprise given where she stood in New Hampshire earlier on in the year.

So what does this actually mean going forward? Well, if you look at the overall delegate math right now, you see Pete Buttigieg in a lead by two delegates, Bernie Sanders right up there as well. But the big question now is what comes next?

Obviously, Iowa and New Hampshire, majority white by a major, major margin. Here's where they're going next and this is why Joe Biden is in South Carolina right now.

Nevada, 20 percent Hispanic-Latino; 10 percent black; South Carolina, 26.5 percent African-American and only 67 percent white. That's what candidates are pushing for. They understand the Democratic Party is a more diverse set of circumstances than what you saw in those first two states. That's what candidates are pointing to because there's no question about it.

When you look at the results right now, when you look at the results tonight, a very good night for Amy Klobuchar, a very good night for Pete Buttigieg, and once again, Bernie Sanders being able to claim victory, guys, the second consecutive night, where Bernie Sanders took the popular vote.

JARRETT: Yes. Phil, thanks so much for breaking it all down for us.

ROMANS: All right, so Joe Biden has 17 days before the South Carolina primary, the former Vice President led the Democratic polls for the better part of a year, but he left New Hampshire before most people even voted.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We just heard from the first two of 50 states, two of them -- not all the nation, not half the nation, not a quarter of the nation, not 10 percent. Two. Two.

Where I come from, that's the opening bell.

We need to hear from Nevada and South Carolina and Super Tuesday states and beyond.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Jessica Dean covers the Biden campaign. She's live on the ground in Manchester, New Hampshire. What's the campaign saying about that performance last night?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christine. Yes, on the ground in Manchester, New Hampshire where the candidate is not, you know, just hours after the polls closed in New Hampshire and you talked about that.

He went to South Carolina before the polls closed after kind of stopping by to several different polling locations.

Look, the campaign is very much looking forward to turning the focus to Nevada to South Carolina, to Super Tuesday states.

You saw Phil kind of break out the data there. They believe that those numbers, those demographics are much, much better for them that Joe Biden is going to take his overwhelming support from African- Americans, his support among the Hispanic community. That all of this is going to boost him and really give him a chance to start collecting delegates as we continue through this nominating process. But look, there's no doubt about it. They've certainly leaned on South

Carolina considering it their firewall all along. Earlier this summer, they were saying they didn't have to win Iowa, they didn't have to win New Hampshire on their path to the nomination.

Of course, that kind of defies history. But we're in kind of times that are defying history. So it is possible that they now turn their way toward these more diverse states and pick up some steam. They're certainly hoping so.

But if they don't, then the path for Joe Biden gets very, very narrow, very quick. So the pressure is on for him. Not just to perform solidly in Nevada and South Carolina in Super Tuesday, but to really make a statement there.

And then you also think about Elizabeth Warren, another senator, another candidate that we saw last night that over the summer was really riding high. She's a neighboring senator from Massachusetts, well known to voters here. And like Joe Biden not going to be taking home any delegates from this.

She, in her speech last night, talked about Amy Klobuchar and so that's what it looks like when a woman wins.

She also talked about Donald Trump and how important it is that the party comes together to beat him and notably talking about that Roger Stone news, which you guys were talking about earlier in the show, as well.

So we saw Elizabeth Warren, talking about that. She now of course turns her focus to Nevada, South Carolina and Super Tuesday. It'll be interesting to see kind of how they, what their path forward is.

And then Christine, also of note, we did see the field start to winnow last night. Andrew Yang and Senator Michael Bennet ending their campaigns for the Democratic nomination.

We typically see that starting in Iowa because there were no results for days and days. It didn't really happen that way. But we are starting to see the field kind of thin out -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Jessica Dean for us, following the Biden campaign. Thank you so much.

All right. Joining us live from Washington, CNN Political Reporter, Rebecca Buck. Good morning, Rebecca.

REBECCA BUCK, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Good morning.

ROMANS: So, you know, I think there are three candidates who feel good this morning. You know, Bernie Sanders can say he won New Hampshire. Pete Buttigieg can say, hey, he's still right up there challenging the front runner and Amy Klobuchar had a good night.

BUCK: She really did, not only coming in third, but beating Elizabeth Warren on her own turf, obviously from the neighboring state of Massachusetts, but some major hurdles ahead if you are Pete Buttigieg and particularly Amy Klobuchar.

First of all, these states coming up as you all have mentioned, Nevada, South Carolina, much more diverse states than Iowa and New Hampshire.

You're going to have Latino voters in Nevada highly influential, and black voters in South Carolina really leading the way for the Democratic electorate.

And Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, to this point, just have not had a pulse with minority voters. They are really strong among these white Democratic voters that we've seen go to the polls so far.

But the question is, how can they harness this momentum that they have in this race and start to expand their base to include some of those voters and move on to Super Tuesday?

That's really going to be the challenge, in particular for Amy Klobuchar because she does not have the sort of organization that Pete Buttigieg has. She doesn't have the fundraising machine that he has developed throughout this race.

And so she is making up for lost time here in terms of her organization, and of course, in terms of appealing to those minority voters. So that I think has advantaged Bernie Sanders. Those states coming up in the immediate weeks before Super Tuesday, Nevada and South Carolina are much more favorable to him.

So the question for Pete Buttigieg and for Amy Klobuchar, and, of course, for Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, how do you make it to Super Tuesday? And can you go into Super Tuesday with momentum, not limping from these Nevada and South Carolina contests.

JARRETT: So speaking of Joe Biden, Rebecca, he has always sort of made the case that South Carolina provides this firewall, if you will, for his campaign, given how well he does among African-Americans, and the population there.

But can he recover from a loss coming in five -- I mean, in the fifth position. I mean, it's just -- there's never been a Democratic candidate who has come in fifth in New Hampshire and forth in Iowa and gone on to win the nomination.

BUCK: Right, Laura, the firewall is not impenetrable and it might be crumbling right now. What's interesting is that we don't know. We haven't seen at any recent polling out of South Carolina to suggest how the race is changing there in light of Joe Biden's results -- disappointing results in Iowa and New Hampshire.

[03:45:04]

BUCK: And so we just have to wait and see how this develops. He really does need something in this race to change, however.

If you look, I mean, there is no reason a former Vice President should be coming in fifth place in New Hampshire, fourth place in Iowa. I mean, there's just no way to spin that as something positive. And

Joe Biden knows that and his campaign knows that. And it's just not a sustainable position for him at this point.

ROMANS: If we know anything, the last few years have shown us all the old political rules, they are out the window.

So you know, we'll have to see what happens.

BUCK: And we've seen how fluid this race is as well. I mean, part of the reason Amy Klobuchar did is while she did in New Hampshire is because of one debate performance prior to the primary and so if Joe Biden has a good night, you never know what can happen.

ROMANS: You know, it's interesting. I want to real quickly talk about Nevada where the culinary -- very powerful culinary union, you know, no sooner had Bernie Sanders has been announced the winner. The culinary union was very clear, put out a statement that it does not support his Medicare-for-All.

What do you make about that? And what kind of hurdle that could be for the front runner in Nevada?

BUCK: Well, that matters. It matters. The caucus is something that is going to be a favorable format for Bernie Sanders. He is polling well there.

So he has some advantages, but the culinary union is incredibly powerful. The only sort of silver lining for him in all of this is, is that they haven't endorsed one of his rivals.

So there's no clear alternative to Bernie Sanders and that's what's been helping him so far is that there hasn't been sort of a clear anti-Bernie Sanders vote. Moderate voters are not coalescing yet. They are looking at Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, or even still Joe Biden.

And so if that vote is split, he can win that contest potentially as he has won these previous contest with a third of the vote.

JARRETT: All right, Rebecca, thanks so much for staying very, very late.

BUCK: Thanks you, guys. It's a pleasure.

JARRETT: All right, more ahead on the primary results.

Plus, the President of the United States is reshaping the enforcement of justice with a tweet.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:51:17]

JARRETT: A truly stunning 24 hours at the Justice Department raising serious questions about DOJ's independence from the White House. All four prosecutors in the case against Roger Stone withdrawing after

top officials at the DOJ intervened to press for a more lenient sentence for the long time Trump confidante.

The sudden reversal happening just hours after the President criticized the original seven to nine year sentence recommendation from prosecutors, calling it a miscarriage of justice.

Prosecutors on the Stone case withdrew one by one over the course of several hours Tuesday, one resigning from the Justice Department all together as the top brass at DOJ now recommend some unspecified a term of incarceration for Stone.

What's crystal clear here is how the President sees it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I didn't speak to the judge, I'd be able to do it if I wanted. I have the absolute right to do it. I stay out of things to a degree that people wouldn't believe. But I didn't speak to him.

I thought the recommendation was ridiculous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: He says he stays out of things. That's just not true. He is still tweeting about the Stone case. Prosecutors on the case and even the judge on the case.

Last night, a senior Justice Department official tried to downplay the Department's reversal as a breakdown between prosecutors in the field and leadership at Main Justice, but the presiding judge will have the final say on Stone's sentence.

Meanwhile, President Trump has also suddenly withdrawn Jessie Liu's nomination to serve as the Treasury Department's Undersecretary for Financial Crimes. Liu led the U.S. Attorney's Office in D.C. that headed up the Stone prosecution and a source tells CNN, it wouldn't dismiss the idea that withdrawing Liu's nomination was connected to the Stone case.

It's all just the latest in a series of examples of President Trump and his administration taking extreme measures, clearly emboldened by the Senate impeachment trial.

ROMANS: All right, the first group of Americans evacuated from Wuhan and quarantined over the coronavirus had been released, a graduation- like moment with some of the people tossing their face masks in celebration.

One hundred ninety-five people's been 14 days under mandatory quarantine at a California military base. None tested positive for the virus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JARRED EVANS, QUARANTINED AMERICAN: It's been a long journey, 14 days,

but we're just glad that we are healthy. We're clean, ready to go home to our communities and family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Overnight, 40 new coronavirus cases confirmed on a quarantined ship off the coast of Japan including one so-called quarantine officer.

It brings the total number of cases on board the ship to 175.

ROMANS: The Federal Reserve is warning the coronavirus could hurt the global economy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEROME POWELL, U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: Some of the uncertainties around trade have diminished recently, but risks to the outlook remain.

In particular, we are closely monitoring the emergence of the coronavirus, which could lead to disruptions in China that spill over to the rest of the global economy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Powell didn't speculate how much it would hurt the global economy, but said the U.S. would feel it.

The outbreak is the X factor in a strong U.S. economy. Companies have closed plants and shifted supply chains, travel and tourism has been disrupted. Shipping has been disrupted also.

Businesses in China are slowly getting back to work with restrictions.

Goldman Sachs estimates the virus could slow first quarter growth in the U.S.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:59:06]

JARRETT: Closing arguments in the Harvey Weinstein's sex crimes trial will begin tomorrow. The defense rested Tuesday deciding not to have Weinstein testify.

Lawyers for the disgraced movie producer believe prosecutors have not proved their case. Weinstein is charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another.

He faces life in prison if convicted on all counts.

ROMANS: A mystery in space. Astronomers have detected radio signals from Deep Space that appear to reach Earth in a repeating 16-day pattern.

Canadian scientists say one of their telescopes picked up these fast radio bursts from a source half a billion light years from Earth. The cause and the exact origin are still unknown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: The Best in Show goes to the standard poodle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: She may be a standard poodle, but Siba is dressed for success.

She took home the top prize, Best in Show at the 144th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York on Tuesday.

[04:00:09]