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EARLY START

Super Tuesday: Biden Needs Two-Person Race Against Sanders; Coronavirus Cases Top 100 in the U.S.; Netanyahu Claims Victory, But Can He Form A Government?; NBA Issues Coronavirus Guidance to Players. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired March 3, 2020 - 05:00   ET

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


[05:00:00]

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Twenty-five bucks. Paperwork. That's the thing. There is so many of these rebates.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Everybody will do it anyway. They'll go get that 25 bucks. Including me, I think you bought that phone before 2017.

EARLY START continues right now.

(MUSIC)

ROMANS: Fourteen states, a third of the delegates. Bernie Sanders hoping to run away from the field this Super Tuesday. Joe Biden and his new supporters have other plans.

KOSIK: And Wall Street with a huge rally, bouncing back after an awful week. Can -- can stocks keep the moment up going as coronavirus cases in the U.S. top 100?

ROMANS: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

Good morning.

KOSIK: Good morning.

I'm Alison Kosik. It is Super Tuesday, March 3rd. It's 5:00 a.m. in the East.

ROMANS: All right. It is the biggest day for the race for the Democratic nomination, Super Tuesday. Fourteen states going to the polls this morning with one-third of all delegates up for grabs. In just the last few days, the field has narrowed with moderates beginning to coalesce behind Joe Biden. The former vice president, winning several new endorsements including from former rivals.

KOSIK: Coordinated efforts to stop Bernie Sanders, now thrust into public view after months of the behind-the-scenes maneuvering. One important question, could establishment support for Biden backfire and rile up Sanders' supporters, who disdain the powers that be? ROMANS: Sanders remains the front-runner in many big states voting

today, like California. He is fond of denouncing the 1 percent. But the big number today, 15 percent. Candidates must -- must reach a threshold vote of 15 percent to win any delegate.

To see why that is important, think back to Nevada when other candidates failed to reach 15 percent, they were excluded and Sanders won two-thirds of the delegates with only 41 percent of the popular vote.

Arlette Saenz begins our coverage this morning on the trail with Biden in Dallas.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: On the eve of Super Tuesday, Joe Biden here in Texas trying to project a message of strength and unity, as three of his former rivals met with him here and officially endorsed his presidential campaign.

It's been quite the turn of events for Joe Biden over the course of the past few days, starting with that decisive victory in South Carolina. And now, Biden is trying to coalesce the moderate support in this race. Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Beto O'Rourke, who dropped out of the raise months ago, joined him in Dallas to offer their endorsements.

Take a listen to the events.

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm looking for a leader. I'm looking for a president who will draw out what is best in each of us. And I'm encouraging everybody who is part of my campaign to join me because we have found that leader in vice president, soon to be president, Joe Biden.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I look over at Pete during the debates. And I think -- I think, you know, that's a Beau, because he has such enormous character, such intellectual capacity, and such a commitment to other people.

(CHANTING)

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): Joe Biden has dedicated his life to fighting for people. Not for the rich and the powerful, but for the mom, for the farmer, for the Dreamer, for the builder, for the veteran.

BETO O'ROURKE (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The man in the White House today poses an existential threat to this country, to our democracy, to free and fair elections.

And we need somebody who can beat him. And, in Joe Biden, we have that man.

BIDEN: Most Americans don't want the promise of a revolution. They want results. They want revival of decency, honor, and character. SAENZ: Now, Biden is hoping to, soon, turn this into a two-person

race between himself and Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders is the current leader in delegates, and he is looking to amass an insurmountable lead when it comes to delegates on Super Tuesday.

Now, Super Tuesday is the biggest night on the Democratic primary calendar with more than 1,300 delegates up for grabs across 14 states including delegate-rich California, and right here in Texas where Joe Biden was campaigning Monday.

Biden will spend Tuesday in California, at an event in Oakland, before rallying with supporters in Los Angeles where he hopes to have a successful Super Tuesday night.

Back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KOSIK: OK. Arlette Saenz, thank you.

Today, Bernie Sanders is determined to parlay anti-establishment anger into a commanding delegate lead.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Bernie Sanders finished his sprint to Super Tuesday with a massive rally here in Minnesota. And this turned out to be a significant stop for Sanders because, on the same day that he was in this state, the state's senator, Amy Klobuchar, announced that she was getting out of the race for president and backing one of his rivals Joe Biden.

[05:05:11]

Now, Sanders has for some time been preparing for this moderate wing of the party to coalesce in opposition of his campaign. That, now, seems like it's starting to happen. Sanders talked about the moderates coming after him. The establishment, as he calls it, coming after him and he said he was prepared.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's not just the corporate establish. That's getting nervous. The political establishment is getting nervous.

I want to open the door to Amy's supporters, to Pete's supporters.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

I know that there are political differences. But I also know that, virtually, all of Amy's support and Pete's support understand that we have got to move toward a government, which believes in justice, not greed.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

NOBLES: So, it turns out Minnesota's going to be an interesting part of this story and this crazy day in the campaign because while there's no doubt a long-term advantage to Joe Biden and the moderate wing of the party, with Amy Klobuchar getting out of this race, there is absolutely a short-term advantage to Bernie Sanders. With Klobuchar not competing here in her home state, that increases Sanders' chances of winning here on Super Tuesday and it is something his campaign believes can happen. And the evidence of the big crowd here today looks like it is certainly possible.

We'll send it back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KOSIK: OK. Ryan Nobles, thank you.

Updating our breaking news now. At least two people have died in this huge tornado that ripped through parts of Nashville over night. The Nashville fire department is responding to about 40 structure collapses. Almost 45,000 Nashville customers are currently without power. Schools in metro Nashville will be closed today.

An important note here: election polling sites at the schools, they will be open, unless otherwise noted. Tennessee is one of 14 states voting today.

ROMANS: All right. Six minutes, almost seven minutes past the hour this Tuesday morning.

Benjamin Netanyahu is projected to win the Israeli election. So can he form a coalition to govern? Or does gridlock prevail? CNN is live in Jerusalem.

(COMMERIAL BREAK)

[05:11:14]

ROMANS: There are now more than 100 cases of coronavirus in the United States. That includes the first two cases in Georgia. One of them traveled to Milan, Italy, the epicenter of the European outbreak. That person returned to the U.S. through Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson Airport, the busiest in the nation.

Six people have now died in Washington state. Four were residents at the Life Care Center nursing facility in Kirkland. That's a suburb of Seattle. Four other cases are also linked to that facility. Twenty-six firefighters and two police officers from Kirkland are now quarantined because they were exposed to infected patients.

KOSIK: Schools in several districts remain closed today to prevent the spread of the virus. Be sure to check your local websites before heading out.

In San Antonio, officials lost the legal fight to keep evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined. Concerns were raised after one woman was released, then later found to have coronavirus. For those still isolated at Lackland Air Force Base, the anger and the frustration, it's all beginning to boil over. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHERYL MOLESKY, EVACUEE FROM THE DIAMOND PRINCESS: You can't take a drive if you feel like it. You can't talk to your friends very easily. You know, just all those things that -- all the little freedoms that you take so for granted, we just don't have here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The U.S. surgeon general saying caution is appropriate. Preparedness is appropriate. Panic is not.

President Trump meeting with pharmaceutical executives and members of his coronavirus task force. At one point, he suggested a standard flu shot may be enough.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But the same vaccine could not work. You take a solid flu vaccine, you don't think that would have an impact or much of an impact on corona?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Federal officials are pressing airlines to collect and share more data on international travelers. That would help health officials follow up with potential carriers of the virus or fellow passengers who may have come into contact with an infected person.

ROMANS: All right. Thirteen minutes after the hour.

This Tuesday after a terrible, terrible run last week, stocks kicked off this week with a rebound, a strong one. The Dow closed up nearly 1,300 points. That is the biggest point gain in history. On a percentage basis, the 5 percent gain was the best day since March 2009 when the stock market was bouncing back after a crash. The S&P 500, the Nasdaq, both closed 4 percent higher.

Let's take a look at futures right now. You can see stock index futures continuing the optimism this morning. Global markets, you have European shares opening higher, following that lead from the U.S. but Asia markets closed mixed.

Headlines about the coronavirus are pushing and pulling investors. The OECD warned the outbreak could slow down global growth. The global economy, it said, is already reeling from trade and political tensions. There is hope the world's central banks will come to the rescue. There's optimism inside the White House the Fed will cut interest rates again.

Officials believe the central bank could cut rates before its next meeting, an emergency rate cut, rare, which sends a signal that this is, indeed, a big crisis. Meanwhile, more companies are limiting travel and urging people to work from home. Twitter has suspended all noncritical travel and events. It's urging all of its employees to work from home.

Facebook backed out of South by Southwest in Austin. Warner Brothers cancelled the New York premiere of its new anime film. British Airways cancelling several flights including 12 roundtrips from Heathrow to JFK. People just aren't buying tickets. Those cancellations begin March 16th.

All right. Fourteen minutes past the hour.

The NBA issuing new guidance for its players to avoid potential exposure to coronavirus. Andy Scholes has details in the "Bleacher Report".

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:19:27]

KOSIK: Welcome back.

Nothing official yet, but initial exit polls are projecting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party as the winner of Israel's latest election but he still needs to find partners to form a coalition government.

CNN's Oren Liebermann is live in Jerusalem.

Oren, good morning. Is there any real clarity at this point after the third vote in just under a year? Or is this just a situation of gridlock?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alison, it's very possible Israel's political future may be just as uncertain now as it was before this election.

[05:20:01]

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu certainly has reason to claim some victory. His Likud Party appearing to have a strong showing and a big lead relative to Israeli politics over his rival Benny Gantz's Blue and White Party.

With 90 percent of the votes counted, Channel 12 here predicts that Netanyahu will have 36 seats with his Likud and Gantz will have 32 seats. Of course, this remains a close race and we will have to see the rest of the votes counted today, as well as what are known the double envelopes throughout the end of the week. That's diplomats, soldiers, and others.

But that's only half of the story because you need, in this country, a governing coalition of 61 seats to win made up of your party and the smaller parties. The problem is, Netanyahu, according to the projections at this point, isn't there yet. The first round of exit polls had him at 60 and for him he is not moving in the right direction.

Now he stands at 59 based on exit polls, which is two seats away from where he needs to be with no clear path towards forming a coalition. Meaning that Israel may have more political deadlock in the future. Netanyahu, in his victory speech last night, may have claimed victory prematurely, again.

There is one other piece of news worth mentioning certainly coming out of this election and that is the joint list of Arab parties had a very strong showing. Their voter turnout, the Arab Street, galvanized not only by anti-Arab rhetoric in the campaign, but also their hatred of the Trump administration's Middle East peace plan. They went from 13 to 15 seats, a very strong show, and one they're celebrating and hoping to try to use that showing to stop Netanyahu from forming a government.

Alison, we'll keep you posted on this how develops.

KOSIK: Yes, Netanyahu, two seats shy of a majority.

CNN's Oren Liebermann, thanks.

ROMANS: All right. The NBA sending a memo to players to strict contact with fans due to coronavirus.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report".

No more high fives, no more crashing in the stands, huh?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, for the time being, Christine. Good morning to you.

The league sending out a memo yesterday informing players about the coronavirus and measures they can take to limit potential exposure. The NBA says they're monitoring the outbreak and working with the CDC.

And for the time being, the league says players should fist bump fans instead of giving high fives and then also telling players right now to avoid taking pens, markers, jerseys, balls, and other items to sign autographs.

Just a few days ago, Portland Trailblazers star CJ McCollum tweeted: The coronavirus has officially hit Oregon. Make sure y'all are washing with hands for 20 or more seconds and covering cover your mouth when cough. I am officially taking a break from signing autographs. Sincerely, CJ.

Now, in the NBA last night, we saw something rare. The Milwaukee Bucks losing a game. The Bucks were in Miami taking on the Heat. Giannis scoring just 13 points in this one. The Bucks were held to their lowest output of the season as the Heat will get to win 105-89. Bucks have now lost just nine games this season, two of them to Miami.

Meanwhile, Arizona spring trading rolling on. The Astros sign stealing scheme still on players' minds, including the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo who was mic'd up while batting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY RIZZO, CUBS FIRST BASEMAN: I'm doing some math in my head about where he is going to throw.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you got?

RIZZO: I have no idea.

(LAUGHTER)

RIZZO: I wish I knew. Someone bang for me. Feeling a heater right here because I've only season one today from him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh.

RIZZO: I'm going to go two here -- no, I'm not.

Wow. That's good math.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Yes. Someone bang for me. Good stuff there from Rizzo.

Meanwhile, the Reds Trevor Bauer who had been very outspoken about the Astros, he was tipping his pitches, on purpose, against the Dodgers. His teammate Derek Dietrich joked afterwards that Bauer wasn't too fond of what happened in the offseason and was going to try something new this season and tell the batters what was coming.

Now, Christine, that's all fun and good in spring training. I highly doubt Bauer is going to take that to the regular season.

ROMANS: I would say so.

All right. Andy Scholes, thank you so much, Andy. Nice to see you this Tuesday morning, Super Tuesday.

Alison, what's coming up?

KOSIK: Today will offer the most clarity yet, Christine, on the 2020 Democratic race. A third of pledged delegates are up for grabs. Can Joe Biden's momentum and Mike Bloomberg's millions slow Bernie Sanders?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:29:01]

ROMANS: James Lipton, the beloved longtime host of "Inside the Actors Studio" has died. He's being remembered as every actor's dream interview. He had an uncanny ability to get the biggest stars in show business to bear their souls.

For example, discussing Robert Downey, Jr.'s early rise and fall in Hollywood.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES LIPTON, HOST, "INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO": You ever get in the way on the set?

ROBERT DOWNEY, JR., ACTOR: Oh, sure. I find in the last dozen or so movies that I've done, you just -- you know how much easier it is to just work when you're in good shape? Oh, my God.

To say it got in the way would be to say that what I was expressing didn't have validity for what I chose to put myself through. If it's all for nothing, then it's a tragedy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: James Lipton racked up 21 Emmy nominations before finally winning in 2013. He was 93.

KOSIK: A new study says people who keep irregular sleep schedules, significantly increase their chances of heart attack or heart disease.

END