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CNN NEWSROOM

Pete Buttigieg Suspending Presidential Bid; Joe Biden Campaign Could Benefit From Buttigieg Dropping Out; Celebrities Rallying Up Sanders Campaign In California; Michael Bloomberg's First Time To Be On The Ballot On Super Tuesday; Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) On 55th Anniversary Of Bloody Sunday In Selma, Alabama; The Windsors: Inside the Royal Dynasty. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired March 1, 2020 - 19:00   ET

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


[19:00:13]

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thank you for staying with us.

Our breaking news right now on CNN, multiple sources and campaign aides confirming Pete Buttigieg, Democratic candidate for president and former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is suspending his campaign.

And joining us now is CNN Political Correspondent, Abby Phillip and senior political commentator and former senior adviser to President Obama, David Axelrod.

So, Abby, someone senior in the Buttigieg campaign telling CNN today, quote, "He studied the math." Bring our viewers up to speed on what we have learned since this initial announcement was made unofficially from the campaign.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. It is all about the math tonight for -- not just for Pete Buttigieg, for a lot of these campaigns as they look forward to Super Tuesday when about a third of the delegates are at stake. And sources inside the campaign and close to the campaign tell me they looked at the situation and believed there was no path forward for Pete Buttigieg.

He was not going to be able to compete in a way that would make him more likely to be the Democratic nominee and one of the big concerns that he had, according to a source I spoke to, is that he would stand in the way of a potential stronger candidate being able to cut into any kind of delegate lead that Senator Bernie Sanders would be able to accumulate on Super Tuesday.

Right now the way that the situation stands is that Bernie Sanders stands to really accumulate a huge haul. And what Buttigieg had been saying on the campaign trail for some time, for several days now, has been that the goal -- that his goal and the goal of all the other candidates ought to be to limit that delegate haul as much as possible. Buttigieg still believes that Sanders' approach, what they call a sort

of inflexible approach is not the right one. And at the end of the day that is what it came down to. On Saturday aides talked to reporters and said they believe that in order to be successful on Super Tuesday they needed to be able to compete everywhere. They needed to be able to get that 50 percent -- 15 percent delegate threshold in as many places as possible.

But the problem is, when they really looked at the situation, they knew that that was not going to be likely. And then particularly when they looked at what happened in South Carolina, they saw that Buttigieg underperformed his polling in a way that would not bode well for him on Super Tuesday. So all of that played a role. He made that decision today as he was in Alabama and in Georgia. He was in Georgia meeting with former president Jimmy Carter and his wife.

CABRERA: Right.

PHILLIP: And then redirected his plane from Texas going to South Bend now tonight to, we are hearing, suspend his campaign for president.

CABRERA: David, are you surprised?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. I think this was inevitable. Look, Pete Buttigieg, if nothing else, what people have learned about him is that he is a guy who thinks with great clarity and he knows how to read a spreadsheet. And the fact of the matter is that it wasn't there for him.

His campaign has been quite remarkable in the sense that he began as an obscure young mayor from a small Midwestern city, openly gay -- the first openly gay candidate to run for president. And very few people gave him much of a chance and he became a top tier candidate, but he had a plan and that plan was to win the Iowa caucuses and then to leverage that into perhaps winning the New Hampshire primary, and hoping that that would give him a good look in Nevada and South Carolina.

Well, he did win the delegates in Iowa but didn't get the boost off of it because the Iowa results got reported days late. So he didn't get the kind of propulsion he hoped. And in New Hampshire, Amy Klobuchar had a great debate going into New Hampshire. Had a little mini surge that deprived him of the ability to beat Bernie Sanders there and he ran a very close second there. So really when those two things happen, there are a lot of air went out of Pete Buttigieg's balloon. And of course, the great challenge has always been, could he attract minority voters.

CABRERA: Right.

AXELROD: And particularly black voters in South Carolina, which was always going to be a big test for him when he didn't get the escape velocity that he needed from Iowa and New Hampshire, I think this day was inevitable.

But the real question to me now is, will he endorse a candidate? Will he endorse Vice President Biden tonight?

CABRERA: Right.

AXELROD: I think that's what I'll be listening for in these remarks. Clearly, his getting out is meant to aid Biden. And as Abby pointed out, that was apparently the intent. The reason that's important is there are districts in this country where Joe Biden is straddling viability where Bernie Sanders may be strong but Joe Biden could get delegates if he gets over 15 percent of the vote.

[19:05:07]

With Buttigieg out of the race, he should be able to breach that goal in several of these districts where he might not have had Buttigieg not gotten out. But will he take the extra step and endorse him? We'll have to wait and see.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIP: Well, Ana, just to --

CABRERA: There is still -- go ahead, Abby.

PHILLIP: Just to jump in here. You know, some reporting to the point that David is making, you know, a source told me today that there has been some staff level contact between the Biden and Buttigieg campaigns today, but that we should not expect an endorsement tonight but clearly as David has said, things are sort of -- seeming to sort of lean in this direction where the candidate that seems the most likely to put up the strongest fight against Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday would be a Joe Biden.

And another source tells our Arlette Saenz that Biden and Buttigieg have sort of traded voicemails after this news broke tonight. They have not been able to connect. But that is definitely something that we are keeping an ear to the ground on because as David says, we're getting to the point now where all of these candidates need to decide, do they put their weight behind one person and I think that that's going to be a key moment if that -- if or when, perhaps, that happens between now and Super Tuesday.

CABRERA: David, as Abby has been reporting, it sounds like Buttigieg was concerned about Sanders' candidacy specifically, but given so many states have early voting, especially on Super Tuesday, states like California, millions have already voted, do you think this is going to hurt Sanders in a couple of days from now?

AXELROD: Well, you're right that California in particular started voting on February 3rd. Some of the other states have early voting as well. And so that distorts the picture a little and may reduce the bounce that Biden gets somewhat. But what's interesting is that in a state like California, the number of -- the percentage of absentee ballots, of mail-in ballots that have been actually returned is much lower than it has traditionally been.

And that suggests that people are waiting to make a judgment about who they're going to vote for. They want to see -- they wanted to see how this race played out. And you know, I expect that you're going to see a lot of late ballots come in, and certainly at the polling place you're going to see people factoring in Buttigieg's exit, factoring in what happened in South Carolina.

And the reason this is so important, Ana, is that it may be that there will be no majority for any candidate going into the Democratic convention in 2020 in July. And so, the issue here is, can you hold down Sanders' number as the frontrunner if you're opposed to him and keep -- and can Biden stay close to him? And so a decision like this may make that more possible.

CABRERA: David, it's interesting, though, because the president seems to be suggesting that, you know, this is the establishment against an anti-establishment candidate like Bernie Sanders. He's already tweeting about his reaction to Pete Buttigieg leaving the race, saying, 'Pete Buttigieg is out, all of his Super Tuesday votes will go to sleepy Joe Biden. Great timing. This is the real beginning of the Dems taking Bernie out of play. No nomination again."

AXELROD: Yes.

CABRERA: What's your reaction?

AXELROD: My reaction is, this is a big project of the Trump campaign and the president himself. They want to drive a rift between Democrats and speak to those very devoted Sanders supporters and suggest to them that the process was somehow rigged against him.

The rules are pretty clear that you have to have a majority. Four years ago Bernie Sanders argued against the notion that if you just had a plurality but didn't get a majority that you should still be the nominee. But he's in a different position now. And so, Trump is trying to stir that pot.

Believe me, if Sanders were nominated, his solicitude for Bernie Sanders would disappear pretty quickly. But, you know, it's clear what they're trying to achieve. And I do think there's a danger for Joe Biden here. If he allows himself to become merely a status quo candidate. There are a lot of young idealists who are supporting Bernie Sanders because they feel very strongly about climate change, about income inequality and some of the things that demand attention in this country.

And just saying, I'm here to stop Bernie Sanders is not a compelling message. Biden was very good last night talking about the absence of decency and humanity and empathy, which are his strengths. And I think those are value-laden arguments, not tactical arguments. He should stick to those arguments if he's going to get to where he wants to go. People respond to idealistic value-laden arguments, not to tactical arguments.

CABRERA: We are learning that Biden and Buttigieg have traded voicemails today. They haven't spoken as you mentioned, Abby Phillip.

[19:10:00] Abby, I do wonder, though, about the Bloomberg factor in all of this.

PHILLIP: Yes.

CABRERA: Because while Buttigieg steps out, Bloomberg is still there. He hasn't even been on the ballot yet. And, you know, there's this conventional thinking that he and Biden will be also taking votes from sort of the same pool out there. How does this, I guess, impact that?

PHILLIP: It has impacted the calculus. And a source told me that it did impact Pete Buttigieg's decision because it changed the map for him in a lot of ways. The Bloomberg factor has sort of just added yet another candidate into this race siphoning votes away from the sort of non-Bernie Sanders category, which has made it much more difficult for him and for other candidates to get a sort of minimum of 15 percent in a lot of these states.

And on top of -- and that's not even -- you know, that is in part because he has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in all of these states, drowning out any other messages that could possibly exist. So I think what it does at this moment is it creates a sense of urgency for a lot of these other candidates. They have to make some really tough decisions about whether or not there is value in remaining in this race.

You know, our Jeff Zeleny over the weekend reported that there is an argument to be made, for example, for an Amy Klobuchar to remain on the Minnesota ballot, for example. If she -- that is her home state. She is potentially poised to do very well there. And if she does do well there, she could take a majority of delegates or a large portion of delegates such that it would cut in to Bernie Sanders' delegate lead.

So there are some of these tactical decisions that people are making about what value can I add in terms of the delegate map and where am I subtracting? And I think a lot of these other states, Pete Buttigieg's home state is not on the Super Tuesday calendar. And when we're looking at the big delegate hauls in Texas and in California, it becomes a real big problem I think for a lot of these candidates if there are, you know, four or five of them accumulating votes but not accumulating any delegates.

And what that will mean is that whoever does accumulate more than 15 percent or, you know, if Bernie Sanders is at 30 percent, he could get a lion's share of the delegates and then he can run away with this nomination. That is the concern that some of these other candidates have on a strategic level right now.

CABRERA: You mentioned Klobuchar, and while she might stay in this race in order to win Minnesota, perhaps, Bernie Sanders won Minnesota last time around, 2016 when he was up against Hillary Clinton. We also have Elizabeth Warren and Massachusetts, sort of in that same boat, right, where she'll be competing in her home state come Super Tuesday.

I do wonder, David, about her candidacy because we've talked about in the past how, when you look at the demographics and the polling, some of the same demographics who are supporting Pete Buttigieg also, you know, were the same people that were splitting, you know, that level of support with Elizabeth Warren. So do you think she, too, would see a boost out of this?

AXELROD: Yes. They were competing for college -- particularly college educated white voters.

CABRERA: Right. Right.

AXELROD: And she might -- she might pick up a point or two here. Look, both she and Amy Klobuchar are faced with a reality that they have not finished higher than third in any of these contests. They did poorly yesterday. Elizabeth Warren has more encouragement from some of the national polling but not enough to suggest that she would be really competitive moving forward.

And I think a lot of people are going to have to make some very, very tough assessments come Wednesday morning, not the least of which is Michael Bloomberg. He's invested $500,000 in this race. Much of it into Super Tuesday. But with the boost that Biden got in South Carolina, it's very possible that Bloomberg will finish a distant third on Super Tuesday. And he pronounced himself as a candidate who is running to provide a center-left kind of alternative to the Sanders candidacy.

And it was based on a belief that Biden would fail coming out of the first four contests. Now that that hasn't happened, he's going to have to sit down on Wednesday morning, see where he's at. And if he finishes well behind Biden, whether it's worth investing further in his campaign or whether he might throw in with Biden in this campaign. So a lot of very, very tough decisions are going to be made, I suspect, in the next few days. Pete Buttigieg is leading the way here but others are going to have to make similar decisions.

CABRERA: Well, of course Tom Steyer also ended his campaign just last night.

AXELROD: Yes. Exactly.

CABRERA: David Axelrod and Abby Phillip, really appreciate both of you being here. Thank you.

AXELROD: Good to be with you, Ana.

CABRERA: So, Pete Buttigieg out, how are other campaigns responding? We have reaction next. Plus, Buttigieg is expected to speak live in the next hour from South Bend, Indiana. We will bring that to you live right here in the CNN NEWSROOM. Don't go anywhere.

[19:15:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: Our breaking news tonight, Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is now out of the 2020 presidential race. Expected to make an announcement in the next hour. I want to get to CNN's Rebecca Buck in Norfolk, Virginia. She is where

Joe Biden is rallying his supporters this evening there in Norfolk.

Now, Rebecca, what might this news mean for Biden's camp? We know the two men exchanged voicemails today.

REBECCA BUCK, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. So you would expect that this is going to be good news for Joe Biden, who has been struggling to consolidate what you might call the anti-Bernie Sanders vote in the Democratic primary. And this will help clarify for Democratic voters who maybe don't want to support Bernie Sanders, who is going to be the strongest option for them and obviously this could not come at a better time for Joe Biden as he rides this wave after his victory yesterday in South Carolina. A victory much larger than many people predicted, and certainly most of the polling predicted.

[19:20:04]

I don't know if you can hear behind me, but the crowd of supporters who are awaiting Biden here in Norfolk, Virginia, are singing along, singing, "Ain't No Stopping Us Now." It gives you a sense of the buoyant feeling among Biden supporters at this moment, that they sort of feel like they have a second lease on life and on this campaign.

The question of course is, can they close the deal with voters on Super Tuesday. They now have this opportunity to appeal to people who maybe were looking at former mayor Pete Buttigieg and now have this opening to choose someone else. It's an open question as to whether Buttigieg will endorse Biden. Of course, as you mentioned, they have traded voicemails. And Buttigieg has been outspoken that he believes Sanders is not the right choice in this campaign.

Our CNN reporting also suggesting that that was a consideration for him, that he did not want to help Sanders on Super Tuesday consolidate delegates in those contests. And so, we'll see if he is explicit about coming out and supporting Biden or maybe just vouching his support for a more modern diction for the party. But certainly a very upbeat mood here as we await the former vice president.

We'll see if he comments on the former mayor of South Bend, Pete Buttigieg's decision. We are waiting that comment. And of course we'll keep you updated from here in Norfolk, Virginia.

CABRERA: OK. Rebecca Buck, we'll check back. Thank you.

I want to take you now to CNN's Paul Vercammen in Los Angeles.

And Paul, you're standing by at an upcoming Sanders event. What are you hearing about all of this from the Sanders campaign?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'll tell you right now, Ana, they are ramping up for a next level rally here at the convention center. In a little while here, we will have Public Enemy, without Flavor Flav, but we will have Chuck D and others here. We'll hear from Sarah Silverman and we'll also hear from Dick Van Dyke. More on that in just one second. The Sanders campaign blanketing California right now. They say they've

knocked on a million doors. They say they've made five million phone calls. Now this effort to get a bigger cross-cut of voters, they believe if they can do that here in California, they could deliver a heavy blow to their rivals.

So, Dick Van Dyke, a very (INAUDIBLE), has gone to Twitter, he's 94 years old and he's telling older voters why they should vote for Sanders.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DICK VAN DYKE, FORMER ACTOR: I don't think age really is a matter except for experience. And the years he's put in. I can't understand why, according to the polls, he's having problems with older citizens, like me. Why wouldn't an older citizen vote for somebody with that kind of a record and with that kind of experience and honesty and trust? It just doesn't make sense to me that he's not getting my generation. And I want to urge my generation to get out and vote for him, please.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VERCAMMEN: And we're going to hear from Van Dyke and others in just a little while here. They expect that they could have as many as 15,000 people pour into here. And if we're talking about older voters, something to think about, Chuck D of Public Enemy, will turn 60 later this year -- Ana.

CABRERA: Paul Vercammen in Los Angeles. Thank you.

And as we go to break, here was Pete Buttigieg announcing on a plane a change of travel plans this evening to go to South Bend for a speech to announce he is suspending his campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A little bit of news for you about our flight. We're making a change in our travel plans and traveling to South Bend rather than to Texas. Going to be making an announcement there about the future of the campaign. And look forward to sharing with our supporters and with the country where we're going from here. So that is why you will find we are headed in a different direction here than we originally planned on.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you getting out of the campaign?

BUTTIGIEG: I'm looking forward to making an announcement tonight to the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:28:23] CABRERA: Pete Buttigieg's decision to end his presidential bid only fueling Joe Biden's momentum following his big South Carolina victory. That's got to be weighing on Michael Bloomberg's campaign tonight.

CNN Business and Politics Reporter, Cristina Alesci joins us now.

Cristina, talk to us about Bloomberg's strategy now with just two days until Super Tuesday. And do you suspect the Buttigieg announcement changes anything?

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: I think it may help the Bloomberg campaign, or that's the way at least they'll spin it. But as far as Michael Bloomberg going forward, look, now the pressure is on. Super Tuesday is the first time that Michael Bloomberg is going to be on the ballot. It is a huge test for him. And to your point, it's an even bigger test given the fact that Joe Biden had a very strong finish in South Carolina.

As you'll remember, Mike Bloomberg's whole case for running is because Joe Biden was weak, he was struggling in debates, he was struggling for fundraising. That argument has been undermined now. And let's keep in mind, if Michael Bloomberg doesn't perform well on Super Tuesday, he himself will face pressure to step aside and let support coalesce around a moderate candidate.

I asked Michael Bloomberg about that on Friday. He said he has no intention of stepping back even if Super Tuesday doesn't produce the kind of results he wants and I also asked him if he's worried about fracturing the moderate vote. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALESCI: Super Tuesday.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes.

ALESCI: if you lag behind Joe Biden, what are you going to do? If you lag significantly --

BLOOMBERG: Well, I'm heading out to a campaign in a whole bunch of cities. There's an election seven days later. That's what I'm going to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[19:30:01]

ALESCI: So you heard it from the horse's mouth there, Michael Bloomberg does not think about -- at this point is not thinking about stepping aside, even if expectations -- if he doesn't meet his expectations on Super Tuesday -- Ana.

CABRERA: All right, Cristina Alesci on the trail with Bloomberg campaign. Thank you.

Joining us now is CNN Senior Washington Correspondent, Jeff Zeleny. And, Jeff, you're learning new details about Pete Buttigiegs speech tonight. What can you tell us?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Ana, good evening. We are expecting to hear the former Mayor of South Bend Indiana really give a big valedictory, he believes that he, you know, was in this race for the right reasons, but we are told that he is not going to, at least not expected to endorse a candidate in this race.

He has, of course, kept his eye on the ball and we talked with him on Friday, actually, and I asked him, you know what his thought process is going forward here and he said, look, it's clear that the majority of Democrats want someone other than Senator Sanders. But it's clear that Democrats need to coalesce behind him.

So clearly, his camp has been in sort of loose conversations with the Biden campaign, but the two men themselves have not spoken. So we do not expect an endorsement this evening. That could come, of course down the road. But that is essentially where this is heading.

Look, I think when you sort of take stock of this entire campaign over the last year or so, what an improbable rise he had. You know, building that campaign in Iowa and then getting, you know, something he could not have expected was that, you know, complicating bump with the Iowa Caucuses, not getting the full launch out of Iowa, because of the delay in counting the votes.

So that is something that impacted his candidacy. But he was very clear eyed in assessing his way forward. I'm told that he has been thinking about this for several days, made the decision today that this simply was not going to be mathematically possible.

He has a huge future ahead of him and that's what his speech tonight, of course will focus on as well, but Ana, the headline, not expecting to endorse a candidate heading into Super Tuesday. We'll see if he does going forward.

But we should put a point on this. I mean, this is someone who, you know outlasted many senators who had huge name recognition coming into this campaign. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, many governors.

So certainly, he has a lot to be proud of here as he ends this campaign, and he wanted to make the decision before Super Tuesday. It should not be viewed as any type of a spoiler here, but we are not expecting an endorsement -- Ana.

CABRERA: That is really interesting and surreal, really, to think that the winner of the Iowa Caucuses didn't make it to Super Tuesday.

ZELENY: Right.

CABRERA: Is that more proof Iowa isn't a great barometer?

ZELENY: You know, it's complicated because Iowa was so muddled this year. It was such a mess this year in terms of not getting a clean win out of there. But look, this is a very crowded field. A lot of ifs here, and you

know, his campaign will be asking this for a long time, his advisers already have been.

If he had gotten a clean launch out of Iowa, could he have won the New Hampshire primary? Would that have given him a bigger sense here? But the reality is, he was unable to expand his base of supporters, unable to expand into diverse voters and things.

So I think it's hard to say that Iowa wasn't important. I think it's pretty likely to say that I will not play this role four and eight years from now here.

But Pete Buttigieg's campaign, of course, planted a lot of their efforts on Iowa, but tonight, this campaign comes to an end -- Ana.

CABRERA: And quickly if you will, Jeff, do you have a sense of where his supporters will go even though he's not endorsing somebody?

ZELENY: It's a great question. I think it's sort of anyone, but Sanders campaign. He has been arguing the Medicare-for-All is not possible, arguing, you know, certainly a more moderate position.

So I think at this point, would likely to go to Joe Biden, but these are individual decisions.

Though we should point out, thousands and millions of early votes have already been made here. So that is something also a factor -- Ana.

CABRERA: Yes. All right, Jeff Zeleny, thank you very much.

ZELENY: Sure.

CABRERA: Remembering a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement on this 55th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. My conversation with Congressman John Lewis.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:38:10]

CABRERA: These words today from Civil Rights icon, John Lewis, "We must go out and vote like we have never ever voted before."

Congressman Lewis spoke those words in Selma, Alabama today, the place where an enormous American turning point happened 55 years ago this week on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Lewis, witness to and victim of the violence in Selma that day in 1965. He stood on that bridge today despite his recent diagnosis of stage four pancreatic cancer and he urged people to be part of the political process unfolding right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN LEWIS (D-GA): Fifty five years ago, a few of God's children attempted to march from Brown Chapel AME Church approached this bridge.

We were beaten, we were teargassed. I thought I was going to die on this bridge.

But somehow in some way, God Almighty help me here.

We cannot give up now. We cannot give in. We must keep the faith, keep our eyes on the prize. We must go out and vote like we never ever voted before.

AUDIENCE: Yes.

[CHEERING]

LEWIS: Some people gave more than a little blood, some gave their very lives, so I say to each and every one of you, especially you young people, the fraternities and sororities, you look good. You look colorful. Go out there. Speak up. Speak out. Get in the way. Get in good trouble.

AUDIENCE: Good trouble.

LEWIS: Necessary trouble and help redeem the soul of America. I thank each and every one of you. I am not going to give up. I am not going to give in.

AUDIENCE: No.

[19:40:10]

LEWIS: I am going to continue to fight. We need your prayers now more than ever before. Let's do it.

[CHEERING]

LEWIS: Selma is a different place. America is a different place, but we can make it much better. We must use the vote as a non-violent instrument and tool to redeem the soul of America. Thank you very much. Good to see you.

[CHEERING]

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Shortly after those remarks, John Lewis spoke those words on that iconic bridge in Selma and I had a chance to speak to him by phone. I wanted to know why, given his illness, so much happening in his life right now, he felt it was so important to be there today.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LEWIS (via phone): I'm doing well. I'm feeling good, stronger and stronger every day.

CABRERA: That is wonderful to hear. Tell us why it was so important for you to be on that bridge today. LEWIS: Well, fifty five years ago, I gave a little blood on that

bridge. And I felt that I should come back and be here with the people. But there's still hundreds thousands and millions of people in America that have been left out and left behind.

People's voting rights have been abused or denied, people are still standing in long line when they come to register and when they come to vote, and we make it -- we must make it simple and easy for people to participate in the democratic process.

CABRERA: In your memoir, you wrote about your experience in 1965, "If there was ever a time in my life for me to panic, it should have been then, but I didn't. I remember how strangely calm I felt as I thought this is it. People are going to die here. I'm going to die here." What was it like to be back on that bridge in Selma today?

LEWIS: It was very moving to be back on the bridge today, to see hundreds and thousands of young people, with their mothers, their fathers, their grandparents, great grandparents; to see black and white people, Hispanics and others standing together, marching together, walking together to not forget what happened and how it happened.

CABRERA: In your remarks, you talked about the importance of voting you said, "Vote like you've never voted before." What did you mean by that?

LEWIS: As simple as that that we have the power to change things. And the vote is the most powerful, nonviolent instrument or tool we have in a democratic society and we must use it. If we fail to use it, we will lose it.

CABRERA: You also spoke about redeeming the soul of America. What does that look like?

LEWIS: We've got to make America better, for all of the people, so no one is left out or left behind because of their race, their color, because of where they grew up or where they were born. We are one people, we are one family. We all live in the same house. That's the American house.

LEWIS: But what do you see as the next step? Because you spoke on the bridge about how times are different today than they were in 1965, thank goodness, and yet the there's more progress to be made, right? What do you see as the next step?

LEWIS: We've got to continue to see that all about young people, all of our children receive the best possible education. They've got to see that people are able to move up and not stay down.

We must continue to -- so we must respect the dignity and the worst of all of our citizens. We live in a strange period. I lived and grew up during the days of different Presidents and I've met with Presidents.

I got to know President Kennedy, I met with him twice. There was a greater sense of hope, a greater sense of optimism, and we must find a way to inject into the very vein of America, essence of hope, essence of optimism for all of our citizens.

CABRERA: What gives you hope today?

[19:45:00]

LEWIS: I am very hopeful and very optimistic that we're going to work everything out. It is the feeling that the change that I continue to witness in so many different parts of America and the American people want us to be hopeful, to be optimistic and to lead them to a better place, to a better time and that's what we must do.

CABRERA: Finally, what is your message to any young potential John Lewis out there today trying to make whatever it is they do count and make a better and more equal, and more just life for those that are in the future generations?

LEWIS: I would say to our young people, to be bold, be brave, be courageous. Never become bitter or hostile. Never hate. Whereas Martin Luther King, Jr. said on so many occasions, hate is too heavy a burden to bear; the way of love is a much better way.

CABRERA: That was a beautiful message. Congressman John Lewis, thank you very much for taking the time. We all wish you the very, very best in your continued health battle with cancer. Sending you lots of thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your strength with us today.

LEWIS: Thank you very much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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[19:50:54]

CABRERA: Long before the world drama surrounding Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, there was another Royals scandal. one involving Queen Elizabeth's younger sister, Princess Margaret, and a married man. Princess Margaret scandal rocking the British tabloids for years.

And Queen Elizabeth's sister wasn't the only Royal problem among the Windsor family, soon a second scandal was brewing behind closed doors involving the Queen's husband, Prince Philip.

Here's a preview of tonight's new episode of "The Windsors: Inside the Royal Dynasty."

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Philip is struggling with living in the shadow of his powerful wife.

GYLES BRANDRETH, WRITHER AND ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: The idea was that she would wear the crown, but he would wear the trousers. You know he organized the home. He decided where the children should go to school. All the domestic matters were decided by Prince Philip. Here is a young spirited man, huge energy, his whole world become

circumscribed. And of course, he does itch for a bit of freedom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He let off steam by going to -- it was known as the Thursday Club in Soho, which is more -- it's the red light district of London.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Thursday Club is predominantly sort of a male lunching club.

It was a place where Prince Philip felt he could sort of escape and let his hair down in private.

PIERS BRENDON, HISTORIAN: And there was a lot of drink drunk and a lot of dirty jokes told and a general sort of air of dissoluteness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Joining us now is CNN Royal Commentator, Victoria Arbiter. OK, Victoria, historically, the British press has always been really deferential to the Royal Family, right? Quashing rumors and other unflattering stories.

But then these two scandals hit, right? Queen Elizabeth's sister, her husband. How did that change the relationship?

VICTORIA ARBITER, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: It did change it, but still they were living in an era in which we didn't have 24-hour news. We didn't have social media. We didn't have online media, so it wasn't competitive in quite the same way.

But you're right. This was the first time where the press started to dip their toe into being slightly less reverential towards the Royal Family, not protecting them in the way that they previously had.

But it was actually later in 1968, the Queen let cameras behind Palace walls for the very first time. The idea was to open up the family to really try and appeal to the British public.

That film that was aired was massively successful, but then the Palace withdrew it and it's never been seen again since.

And they said that that really was the tipping point in terms of press interest because suddenly the Queen had let the light in. Some of the magic had been removed and then people got an appetite. They were like, well we know this. We want to know more on the personal side.

CABRERA: Oh, that's so interesting. It was that BBC documentary and as you mentioned, it aired once. It got rave reviews. Why not what it air again?

ARBITER: I think the Queen after seeing how well it was received, she also will have watched it thinking, I've let too much light in on this because the Monarchy really is going to function and survive as long as there's an air of mystique. You don't want everyone to know your dirty. You're all supposed to be

the very best version of the British public. But of course, they're a real family, too. They are not perfect.

So I think by letting cameras in, it almost revealed too much. And then once you let them in, it's very difficult to let them out again.

She was the first Monarch to televise the coronation, and since the coronation, every major Royal event has been televised, but it's done so with balance. It's like, we'll give you a little bit, but then back off, but of course, we live in an era now where there's just an insatiable appetite.

CABRERA: And of course, I have more questions because of that reason, but we're short on time tonight. Victoria, thank you so much --

ARBITER: Thank you.

CABRERA: -- for coming in. And please watch a brand new episode of the CNN original series, "The Windsors: Inside The Royal Dynasty." It airs tonight at 10:00 right here on CNN.

We are continuing to follow the breaking news this evening, Pete buttigieg, dropping out of the 2020 race just two days ahead of Super Tuesday. We have new details about his decision, as we await his remarks live in the next hour of CNN NEWSROOM.

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[19:59:36]

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CABRERA: I want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

And breaking news right now on CNN, the field of Democrats running for the White House shrinking yet again. Multiple sources and multiple campaign aides now confirming Pete Buttigieg, the former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana is suspending his campaign tonight.

We are standing by right now for his formal announcement in South Bend tonight. CNN will bring you that announcement.

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