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Moderate Democrats Not Sure How to Stop Sanders Surge; Bloomberg under Scrutiny; China Reports Spike in Cases. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired February 13, 2020 - 06:30   ET



WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More than tripled. That will happen just at the very end of the cruise ship quarantine. Some are worried, John, that might be too little too late.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Will, thank you very much for your reporting. We've going to have much more on this throughout the show.

Again, when you hear about the dramatic rise in numbers, yes, it can be explained by accounting and reporting methods, but still --

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: But it doesn't make you feel better.

BERMAN: No. And there's something -- why only now do they have these new reporting methods that add 15,000 more cases to it? Why only now are there 250 more deaths? We have to ask these questions. We don't know what the answer is.

CAMEROTA: I'm interested in the reporting. I'm also interested in what they're doing behind the scenes as a fix, as a solution for all of it.


So, new developments this morning in the race for the Democratic nomination. Which candidate making the most surprising move overnight? That's next.


CAMEROTA: Senator Bernie Sanders heading into next week's Nevada caucuses with momentum from his win in New Hampshire, while centrist Democrats struggle to unite around a single, moderate alternative.

The candidates are fanning out across the country on the campaign trail this week. As you can see from their heads on that map.

Joining us now we have CNN senior political analyst John Avlon and CNN political commentator Jess McIntosh, who was the director of communications outreach for the Hillary Clinton campaign.

[06:35:07] CAMEROTA: OK, Jess, give us a snapshot of where you think we are today with the Democratic candidates.

JESS MCINTOSH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think we have a new frontrunner. I think Bernie Sanders is -- is -- has taken over Joe Biden as the de facto frontrunner for the race. Obviously, there are a ton of caveats to that. Pete Buttigieg is actually slightly ahead in the delegate count.

But the most important thing that's about to happen is that black and brown voters are about to get a say. They have not had one yet. And they are the most vibrant enthusiastic part of our base. So it is impossible to say who's ahead until we know who our base is really excited about. And that starts in Nevada, then moves on to South Carolina. So the race is about to change dramatically.

BERMAN: You know what's interesting, and it tees up to what I'm about to get into here, is that African-American and Latino voters can be more moderate and centrist than other parts of the party. And that's often misinterpreted.

MCINTOSH: It's true.

BERMAN: Which brings me to what I think is the other big storyline here, which is Bernie Sanders versus the centrists or the centrists or everyone else versus Bernie Sanders. And this is encapsulated in a back and forth with none other than James Carville that has happened over various airwaves in the last few hours.

So listen to this back and forth.


JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Some people in this country want a revolution. They want disruption. You know, I don't know what -- you know, they scream at people. They go and bully people. And, I don't know how you want to elect that 78 years old standing up and screaming in a microphone about the revolution.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: James, in all due respect, is a political hack who said very terrible things when he was working for Clinton against Barack Obama. I think he said some of the same things.





BERMAN: Colorful, but this is what the discussion is in the Democratic Party this morning.

AVLON: Yes. And, look, there are deep divides in the Democratic Party. I think what's significant is while the far left has had a lot of energy behind it, and Bernie Sanders deserves credit for moving the debate inside the Democratic Party to the left.

Let's take a look at what actually happened in New Hampshire. Compared to four years before, the percent of folks who could describe themselves as very liberal declined to around a fifth. The folks who describe themselves as moderate, increased.

So while he is ahead, he's the lowest percentage of a total win in, like, New Hampshire history. And we've got three candidates who are all around 20 percent, Klobuchar at the bottom, Buttigieg and Sanders. So, yes, the centrists are getting concerned because of socialists. Most polls show -- Gallup poll in particular -- that the socialists have a really hard time winning in America. Sometimes hard to understand that outside the echo chamber. That's what -- that's what James Carville is trying to get at.

He's got the energy. The center is currently split. My guess is, this is going to shake out a lot, particularly when Bloomberg starts getting involved in (INAUDIBLE).

MCINTOSH: To be fair, yes, it was a lower vote total in New Hampshire, certainly than he got in 2016.

AVLON: Absolutely.

MCINTOSH: But in 2016 he was running against a single candidate. This year there were five more or less viable candidates splitting that vote. And it looks like we're in for a record turnout in New Hampshire.


MCINTOSH: We don't have those numbers in yet.

AVLON: It appears that way.

MCINTOSH: But it appears like we are -- we're going to be close to or breaking 2008 levels, which is a very exciting thing for Democrats right now.

AVLON: That's great news for Democrats, but Bernie Sanders got fewer votes. So, meaning, he didn't hold on to all of his votes. And, actually, first-time voters who people thought Bernie would bring in actually seemed to have gone for Pete Buttigieg.

CAMEROTA: OK, enter Michael Bloomberg. And so now after New Hampshire --

BERMAN: What's his walk in music? What do you think, enter Michael Bloomberg.

CAMEROTA: It has to be some -- oh, um, back in the New York groove.

BERMAN: It's whatever he wants it to be.

CAMEROTA: It's -- really.

MCINTOSH: Yes, it is.

BERMAN: It's whatever he wants it to be.


BERMAN: Because he can afford --

AVLON: (INAUDIBLE) the ace for -- the obligatory ace for (INAUDIBLE).

CAMEROTA: Yes, exactly.

So people are talking about him now after New Hampshire because he is apparently blanketing the country with ads. And so, inevitably, past comments of his are being scrutinized.


CAMEROTA: So I think we should just play for everybody something that he said in 2015 that's getting a lot of attention and his reaction.

Listen to this.


MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Yes, that's true. Why do we do it? Because that's where all the crime is. And the way you get the guns out of the kids' hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them.


CAMEROTA: OK, in case you couldn't hear that, he was basically saying all the crime is in minority neighborhoods. That's why we do stop and frisk.

He was confronted about that yesterday. Here's what he says now.


BLOOMBERG: I don't think those words reflect what -- how I led the most diverse city in the nation. And I apologized for the practice and the pain that it caused.

QUESTION: But why did you say it?

BLOOMBERG: It was five years ago. And, you know, it's just not the way that I think.


CAMEROTA: Jess, is that good enough? And will Democrats forgive him for that? Or at least overlook it because in the age of Donald Trump, the president says worse things, let -- more insensitive hurtful things akin to that. MCINTOSH: Of course.

CAMEROTA: And so is it time for Democrats to overlook that?

MCINTOSH: I don't think it's time for that yet. I think ultimately Democrats are going to -- we want Donald Trump to not be president for the next four years. I think that's an existential crisis to our country and most Democrats agree with me.


I think New York has a problem sometimes where we assume that the rest of the country is as in our business as we are. We thought that everybody knew who Rudy Giuliani was. We thought that everybody knew who Donald Trump was. But the rest of the country saw America's mayor and "The Apprentice."

So Mike Bloomberg has this issue now where the rest of the country is seeing his campaign ads, which are really great and they are presenting a different version of Michael Bloomberg than I think New Yorkers might realize are -- is in there.

AVLON: He was a highly successful three term mayor. These comments are not good. It's not credible for him to say I'm a different guy than I was then.

But that said, it's compared to what proposition with Donald Trump and he just got three notable African-American endorsements after that came out, including Lucy McBath. And his work on guns and the environment I think will carry a lot of weight.

BERMAN: According to "Politico," Ted Deutch from Florida, not African- American but another significant congressional endorsement. They just keep on coming for Michael Bloomberg.

CAMEROTA: A huge fighter on gun violence.

OK, Jess, John, thank you, both, very much.

Anyone surprised that President Trump is exacting revenge on people he thinks have wronged him has not been paying attention. The long history behind Donald Trump's enemies list. A must-see "Reality Check" is next, John Avlon, so I'm told.



CAMEROTA: President Trump's hunger for revenge appears bottomless and it turns out so is his personal list of enemies.

John Avlon has been looking at this in our "Reality Check."

Hi, John.

AVLON: Hey, guys. So, look, once upon a time Senator Lamar Alexander was really worried

about enemies list.


SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN): I want to make what I hope will be a friendly suggestion to president Obama in his White House, and it is this, don't create an enemies list.


AVLON: That was good advice. Rooted as an experience working for Richard Nixon. But it seems kind of quaint in hindsight because now we've got something to work with.

President Trump is on a revenge bender one week after his impeachment trial acquittal with no witnesses that Senator Alexander helped secure. Hoping that Trump would be chasten (ph) was willful blindness, because Donald Trump loves obsessing over his enemies.

Now, in his book, "Team of Vipers," former Trump aid Cliff Sims captured one of the president's early purges. Quote, give me their names, he said Trump quote said. I want these people out of here. We're going to get rid of all these snakes, even the bottom feeders.

Sounds like a stable work environment, right? Well, Trump talks a big game about loyalty, but it's always been a one-way street.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (November 6, 1992): I would have wiped the floor with the guys that weren't loyal, which I will now do, which is great. You know, I love getting even with people.


AVLON: So let's take a look at some of the people who have been in his crosshairs lately. But Trump's playbook is simple, a source told Gabe Sherman from "Vanity Fair," go after people who crossed him during impeachment. Chief among these are usual suspects, Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Nadler, Mitt Romney, and, of course, even his former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

But then some of his biggest enemies were once his biggest boosters, like one-time fixer Michael Cohen, the first senator who ever endorsed him and first AG Jeff Sessions, chief strategist and fri-enamy Steve Bannon, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Sec. Def. Jim Mattis, even rails against current appointees like Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

But for a guy who campaigns as a law and order candidate, but also loves targeting law enforcement and the intelligence communities, like fired FBI Director Jim Comey, Obama-era CIA Director John Brennan, former DNI Jim Clapper, the FBI's Andrew McCabe, Peter Stzork and Lisa Page and Justice Department's Sally Yates and, of course, Robert Mueller. It's no secret that Trump can't quit hating on Democrats like Hillary

Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden. They're in the top tier of his negative Twitter mentions according to Factbase. But it's not like Republicans have been spared his wrath, like former Senators Jeff Flake and Dean Heller, both replaced by Democrats, incidentally. Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, now independent Congressman Justin Amash and the past three GOPs nominees, including, of course, John McCain.

Now, some former Trump critics, like Lindsey Graham --


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): He's a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.


AVLON: Have worked their way into Trump's good graces by doggedly defended the president. But taken together, this list of enemies is exhausting. Evidence that Trump targets anyone who dares question him for the right or the left. And that's why it's strange that so many Republican senators live in fear of the president and try so hard to appease him.

Winston Churchill famously defined an appeaser as one who feeds a crocodile hoping he will eat him last. Which is why another public servant, targeted by Trump, former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, deserves the last word from a speech she gave last night. An amoral, keep 'em guessing, foreign policy that substitutes threats, fear and confusion for trust cannot work over the long haul, she said. Truth matters.

And that's your "Reality Check."

CAMEROTA: John, thank you for that. That is really important. I always appreciate when you go back and look at the history of all of this.

BERMAN: So the late night comics, imagine this, having some fun with the Westminster Dog Show.

CAMEROTA: I feel like they stole your joke.

BERMAN: Here are your "Late Night Laughs."


JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": Let's have another look at Siba. Slow motion here. This is -- I don't know about you, but this is easily one of the scariest things I've ever seen in my life. I am going to have nightmares about Siba all night tonight.

JAMES CORDEN, HOST, "THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN": Here is the dog that Daniel lost to, Siba the standard poodle. And, I'm sorry, this is bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Siba looks like she would send a waiter over to my table during brunch to tell me and my friends to quiet down.

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": I'm not -- I'm not surprised that she won. I mean, look at that grooming. I am telling you, if he is serious about his run, Tom Steyer ought to steal her look.


BERMAN: So, based on my experience, these people are in for it because I have --

CAMEROTA: Did Twitter unleash on you?

BERMAN: I have never received as much hate as I received yesterday when suggesting --


CAMEROTA: Strongly.

BERMAN: That, you know, labs and retrievers are overlooked at the dog show and that, frankly, mutts in general, mixed breeds, are a more noble cause than dogs like that. I just want you to know, if you are a dog like Siba, I'm not speaking about you personally. I'm sure you're lovely. I don't want to offend any of the dogs out there who might be purebred or standard poodles. They seem lovely. Just --

CAMEROTA: I heard the dog paws typing right now at you.

BERMAN: Just not for me. Just -- just not for me.

CAMEROTA: All right, thank you for clarifying all of that.

BERMAN: All right, the coronavirus this morning is being called a grave threat. And overnight the number of reported cases skyrocketed. We'll speak with the World Health Organization, next.


BERMAN: This morning, China is reporting a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases and countries around the world continue to work to stop the outbreak.

Joining us now from Geneva is Tarik Jasarevic, spokesperson for the World Health Organization.

Tarik, thank you so much for being with us.


Overnight, China reported 15,000 new cases of coronavirus. Fifteen thousand. Why the change?

TARIK JASAREVIC, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Well, we have to understand that as we progress in our understanding of the virus and of the disease, there are changes in a case definition and reporting itself. We are trying to understand exactly what changes have happened in this case definition and reporting, but everything that it's just casting a wider net. So now not only people who are confirmed by laboratory testing are being reported, but also people who are -- who presented clinical symptoms and have been diagnosed clinically without going true testing. This, obviously, allows patients to get same treatments as those who have been confirmed. So this is something that it's usual in a practice to change case definition.

What is really important is to work on a -- on solutions and being able really to provide to people care they need.

BERMAN: Does it indicate, though, if there are 15,000 cases now being classified as coronavirus that were not before, does it indicate that the scope of this is bigger than was previously known?

: Well, we have been always saying that more studies are needed to actually understand the spread of the virus and the population. There could be asymptomatic cases. But for that you need to do (INAUDIBLE) studies into population. And these studies cannot be done overnight.

So normally at any disease you have at the beginning people who have symptoms, who prevent themselves to health care, they will be -- they will be looked at, they will be tested. But there may be more of the milder cases, people who do not see the doctor or people who see a doctor but are not necessarily tested.

So it is -- it is really important to know that what we've seen so far, that there is a bigger number of -- a large number of mild cases that only about 15 percent of cases we have -- we have been reported so far progress to severe illness and pneumonia. And then we know that mortality rates of the cases that have been confirmed so far was about 2 percent.

But, obviously, everything of this can change. This is a -- this is a new disease. This is a virus that we still don't know everything about. And this is why it is important that these data are regularly looked, the definitions are regularly looked at and that, with time, hopefully the gap, the knowledge will -- will be filled. And this is why we organized here at WHO in past two days meeting with over 400 leading world scientists who exactly looked into what needs to be done so we get better understanding of the virus but also to get some solutions and products, such as treatments and vaccines.

BERMAN: We should note -- and while you are -- you're absolutely right, the number of mild cases has grown. The number of deaths reported overnight grew as well. About a 20 percent increase, 250 more deaths reported from China overnight. So the number of fatal cases is going up as well.

Look, when do you think -- when will the WHO feel as if this has been contained? When will you know? Some people are pointing to warmer weather, that it is more or less over.

JASAREVIC: Well, it's really too early for us to make any predictions. So we don't know exactly where this outbreak will go. It can go either way. And we have seen with the outbreaks of other disease in the past that

the epidemiological curve can go up and down and they can be period of -- of more quiet transmission and then a jump in cases. So it's very difficult to predict and (ph) what we know.

And one of the reasons why it's difficult to predict is because we still don't know much about the virus. We still don't know exactly the source of the virus. We are still looking in transmissibility, in clinical picture.

What we know, on the other hand, is that we need to put in place measures that will reduce the risk of a transmission and we need to have strong systems around the world be ready to quickly detect such cases, test them, and provide medical care. So, on one hand, we need strong health systems not only China but everywhere in the world, but we also need to work on a science. Now this is exactly what we are doing.

BERMAN: So this week --

JASAREVIC: What is really important for everyone to understand -- let me just finish this -- is that 99 percent of cases so far are in China. So only 1 percent of reported cases of Covid-19 virus have been reported from outside China. This tells you also that measures that China has put in place are probably getting some results.

BERMAN: Tarik Jasarevic, thank you very much for being with us this morning and helping us understand the spread of this virus.


JASAREVIC: Thank you very much.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to thank the Justice Department.