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EARLY START

Bernie Sanders Faces Pivotal Clash As Democratic Establishment Joins Forces Against Him; At Least Two Dead As Huge Tornado Rips Through Nashville; Migrant Camps Overflowing On Turkey-Greece Border. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired March 3, 2020 - 05:30   ET

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


[05:30:00]

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

Researchers are Harvard Medical School found changing sleep-wake times by 90 minutes in either direction more than doubles heart disease and heart attack risk over a five-year period. That's compared to people on a regular sleep schedule that doesn't change by more than a half- hour across seven nights. Researchers now say day-to-day sleep may be a novel and independent cardiovascular risk factor.

EARLY START continues right now.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: It's here -- 14 states; a third of the delegates. Bernie Sanders hoping to run away from the field this Super Tuesday, but Joe Biden and his new supporters have other plans.

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

Good morning, this is EARLY START. I'm Alison Kosik. Good morning, Christine.

ROMANS: Good morning, nice to see you here this morning.

KOSIK: Nice to be here.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It is 31 minutes past the hour this Super Tuesday.

It is the biggest day in the race for the Democratic nomination -- Super Tuesday. Fourteen states going to the polls this morning; 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 behind-the-scenes maneuvering. One important question -- could establishment support for Biden backfire and rile up Sanders' supporters who disdain the powers that be?

Sanders remains the front-runner in many of the big states voting today, like California. He's fond of denouncing the one percent, but the big number today is 15 percent. Candidates must reach a threshold vote of 15 percent to win any delegates.

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 on the trail with Biden in Dallas.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, 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 three 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 race 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 was part of my campaign to join me because we have found that leader in vice president and 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.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: 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 a 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 on 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. Thanks very much.

Today, Bernie Sanders is determined to parlay antiestablishment anger into a commanding delegate lead.

Ryan Nobles in on the campaign trail in St. Paul, Minnesota.

[05:35:00]

(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.

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 (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's not just the corporate establishment that's getting nervous; the political establishment is getting nervous.

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

NOBLES: So it turns out Minnesota is going to be an interesting part of this story in 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.

Let's send it back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right, Ryan. Thank you so much for that in St. Paul.

Update in our breaking weather news. At least two people have died in this huge tornado that ripped through parts of Nashville overnight. The Nashville Fire Department responding to about 40 structure collapses. Nearly 45,000 Nashville customers are without power right now. Search and rescue teams have been deployed.

Schools in metro Nashville will be closed today. Importantly, election polling sites at those schools will be open unless otherwise noted. Tennessee one of 14 states voting today.

KOSIK: And we're going to have more ahead on Super Tuesday. Plus, another humanitarian disaster. Thousands of migrants caught in a dispute between Turkey and Greece. CNN is live at the border.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:41:43]

KOSIK: Fourteen states, 1,344 delegates. Welcome to Super Tuesday.

No doubt, Joe Biden is heading into the big day with some newfound momentum, but he's also understaffed and underfunded. Will Biden's revival, Bloomberg's big-spending, and a newly-consolidated Democratic field slow the front-runner, Bernie Sanders?

ROMANS: It's here -- game on, folks.

Let's ask "New York Times" political reporter and birthday girl, Elaina Plott. She is a CNN political analyst. Good morning, happy birthday. It's nice to have your birthday on Super Tuesday, right?

KOSIK: Good morning, happy birthday.

ELAINA PLOTT, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I know, I know.

ROMANS: I mean, if you're a political reporter --

PLOTT: So much action.

ROMANS: -- it's like a gift, already.

PLOTT: Yes.

ROMANS: Look, there has been no question heading in Super Tuesday, momentum for Joe Biden. He's got the establishment Democrats starting to coalesce around him. And this is exactly what Bernie Sanders has been saying was going to happen for months.

PLOTT: Yes.

ROMANS: He's been saying look out, we're going to have a fight against the evil old establishment -- and this is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: It is no secret -- I mean, "The Washington Post" had 16 articles a day on this -- that there is a massive effort trying to stop Bernie Sanders. That's not a secret to anybody in this room. The corporate establishment is coming together, the political establishment is coming together, and they will do everything. They are really getting nervous that working people are standing up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: He's going to say the word establishment as much as he can, isn't he?

But, Democratic officials are nervous about the potential for Bernie and Bernie -- what it means down-ballot.

How important is today for who has got momentum here?

PLOTT: I think it's so important because the similarities with 2016, at this point, are pretty uncanny. I mean, I'm even remembering on the eve of the South Carolina primary when everybody was anxiously awaiting Nikki Haley's --

ROMANS: Yes.

PLOTT: -- endorsement, thinking that could change everything. She endorsed Marco Rubio. Of course, it meant nothing.

ROMANS: Right.

PLOTT: And I think Super Tuesday was really when Donald Trump proved that he could actually see this nomination through. I think if Bernie Sanders can rack up the delegates that he needs we could very well come to the same conclusion.

I think the plus point for Biden though is that there was some fear, especially in his campaign, that losing Iowa, losing New Hampshire, even though that was expected, would give the impression that he couldn't go all the way on this. And that would be detrimental to South Carolina for him, ultimately, because you have voters saying I want to put my vote for somebody who could actually see this all the way through.

ROMANS: Right.

PLOTT: The fact that he still performed there as was expected, I do think it's a promising sign for his campaign. KOSIK: And Biden's resurgence has only come in the past several days.

PLOTT: Exactly.

KOSIK: That he's racked up, you know, a million and one endorsements.

But before that, of course, we've seen these states -- these early ballots come in for six -- for at least six primaries, we've seen three million Democratic ballots have already been cast. You know, California, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee.

What does this mean for a Bernie versus Biden scenario?

PLOTT: I mean, I think what matters, in this case, is that people who voted early, say for Amy Klobuchar or Pete Buttigieg -- if those candidates are able to ultimately get delegates in those states, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg could convince them to throw their support --

KOSIK: Right.

PLOTT: -- to Biden.

But, you know, ultimately, it's interesting that there's no rhyme or reason as to which states allow one to do voting do-overs. Michigan is one that does let somebody who voted early for a candidate that ultimately dropped out have a do-over vote. California, I believe -- you know, you're just out of luck.

[05:45:05]

So -- but that's where we are --

ROMANS: Right.

PLOTT: -- in this primary. It's exactly what happened in 2016 when we had 20 or so candidates start out and everyone started dropping like flies when the reality of Trump's momentum became clear.

ROMANS: Yes, absolutely.

What about this 15 percent threshold? How could that reshape the race for the Democrats tonight?

PLOTT: I mean, I think a 15 percent threshold would show that Bernie Sanders was right in predicting that Michael Bloomberg could be a spoiler for this, in a way, for the moderate bloc of the Democratic primary. I mean, this is his $500 million gamble, right -- not so much for Bloomberg that he could spoil this and give more consolidated support for Bernie, but that he could actually emerge from this as the clear victor, and that all rides on today.

KOSIK: Do you think that Bloomberg's investment is going to be paying off for him?

ROMANS: Yes, look at the ad spending. We should put this on. KOSIK: It's incredible.

ROMANS: It's amazing when you look at this graphic --

PLOTT: Yes.

ROMANS: -- the numbers -- of the ad-spend numbers.

KOSIK: Do you think it will pay off? If you look at Tom Steyer it didn't pay off -- not one delegate.

PLOTT: You know, I think as a reporter I often forget, myself, the potency of television ads. I mean, I was just at a Bloomberg rally in Detroit and I can't tell you how many voters I spoke to there who knew nothing really about Bloomberg until they saw his television ads.

ROMANS: Yes.

PLOTT: And when you think about the time and effort it takes to say --

ROMANS: Yes.

PLOTT: -- OK, you know what, I'm going to get out there and go to a rally just because you've been bombarded with enough ads that you think I might as well check this guy out. How that translates to votes, I'm going to be interested to see.

ROMANS: I mean, he's in people's living rooms. I mean, around the entry. He's in your kitchen.

PLOTT: Around the clock, too.

ROMANS: I mean, he is there. So it will be interesting to see how that shakes out.

Elaina Plott, nice to see you. Happy birthday.

KOSIK: Happy birthday.

PLOTT: Thanks, guys. So good to see you all.

ROMANS: "New York Times" for us this morning.

All right. There are now more than 100 cases of the 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. to 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, a nursing facility in Kirkland, a Seattle suburb. Four other cases are also linked to the facility.

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 a legal fight to help -- 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, the frustration, it's beginning to boil over.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHERYL MOLESKY, EVACUEE FROM DIAMOND PRINCESS CRUISE SHIP: You can't take a drive if you feel like it. You can't talk to your friends very easily, you know. It's 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.

And we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:52:55]

KOSIK: Migrant camps along the border between Turkey and Greece are overflowing after Turkey announced it will no longer stop migrants from crossing into Europe. Yesterday, a child died when a makeshift boat carrying dozens of migrants capsized.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is live for us on Turkey's border with Greece. Jomana, good morning to you. I understand that Greece's prime minister spoke with President Trump on the phone on Monday about the situation. Did you hear anything about this call? Did anything come out of it? JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, Alison, we know that there are very high-level talks taking place, whether it is the Greeks reaching out to the United States. You've also got President Erdogan speaking to President Trump a couple of days ago about the situation. We know that the E.U. foreign policy chief is going to be in Turkey today to meet with officials here to try and get a resolution for this situation.

As you know, this started back on Friday -- Turkey basically saying it's had enough. They have about four million refugees in this country, 3 1/2 or so of them -- a million of them are Syrians. And they say they just can't take it anymore. They say that the E.U. needs to help them with the burden this is causing for their country. They've got another million refugees on their doorstep, considering the military operations in Idlib that have pushed refugees there.

So what happened was Turkey saying they've had enough. Until the E.U. helps them, they're opening up their borders, going back on a deal they made in 2016 to stop the migrant and refugee flow.

Now, at the official border crossing where we were earlier, Greece has beefed up security there. We know that there are thousands of migrants and refugees who are crammed against that border and we're not able to get access to it.

We know that the Greeks used tear gas a few days ago. They've also been accused of using force. President Erdogan saying Greek soldiers killed two refugees -- something that Greek -- Greece denies.

[05:55:00]

So what's happened is you've got all these refugees now that are moving around in groups. They're moving to all these crossing points with Greece, here where we are right now. We've got families that are camped out, waiting to cross that river -- the Evros River -- into Greece.

If you take a look here, people have started to prepare makeshift shelters because it gets really cold at night -- below freezing at some point over the past few days.

And we've spoken to families here, some of them from Syria, who say that they are taking a risk. They know that they are being used as leverage for political negotiations but they just don't care. They say they've had enough, they want a better life, and they're ready to take the risk, whatever it may be, Alison.

KOSIK: Such a desperate situation. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh live for us at the border -- thanks.

ROMANS: All right.

MSNBC's Chris Matthews stepping down from "HARDBALL" effective immediately after 20 years. Claims of inappropriate conduct have dogged him for years and resurfaced last week. "GQ" columnist Laura Bassett accused him of making sexist remarks when she was a guest on his show in 2016.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, MSNBC "HARDBALL": Compliments on a woman's appearance that some men, including me, might have once incorrectly thought were OK were never OK -- not then and certainly not today. And for making such comments in the past, I'm sorry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Matthews has also been criticized for comparing the Bernie Sanders campaign to Nazis and for misidentifying an African-American politician.

A replacement for Matthews has not been announced.

KOSIK: Half of the world's beaches could be gone by the end of the century because of climate change. According to a new study in the scientific journal "Nature Climate Change," some coastlines could be unrecognizable as soon as 2050. Researchers say many densely populated areas like the east coast of the United States, South Asia, and Central Europe could see shorelines retreat inland by almost 330 feet.

ROMANS: All right. After a failed implosion and two weeks of whacking with a wrecking ball, the leaning tower or Dallas finally fell in a cloud of dust. The tower was the concrete core of an 11-story office building that was left standing after the demolition last month. It quickly became a really popular Dallas tour attraction with people eager to take selfies with this leaning tower.

KOSIK: That's great.

Pay phones are about to become a footnote in the history of New York City. According to the City Council Speaker's Office, only 30 or so pay phones remain and they are all scheduled to be removed by the end of the month. Cell phones rendered them obsolete and they were no longer profitable.

ROMANS: That's really the end of an era for New Yorkers.

KOSIK: It is.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on CNN Business this morning.

First, a look at markets around the world. You can see Asian shares closed mixed. European markets have opened higher following the lead from a U.S. rally yesterday.

On Wall Street, right now, you can see futures are leaning higher again here. Look, stocks kicked off the week with a strong rebound. The Dow closed up nearly 1,300 points. You have never seen a point gain like that ever in history. But when you look at it on a percentage basis, it was a five percent gain and that was the best day going back until March 2009.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both closed up four percent. All three averages are now less than 10 percent from their highs.

There are -- there are investment opportunities as Americans go into bunker mode and stay indoors. It's a nesting and prepping trend that you're seeing.

Shares of Netflix are up slightly over the past five days. Movie theater chains AMC and Cinemark -- that stock has dropped. Live Nation -- that's a concert people -- that has also declined. People are worried about group activities.

Apple will pay a hefty fine to settle a lawsuit over slowing down older iPhones. It requires -- the settlement requires Apple to pay owners of certain models $25.00 per device, totaling a maximum of $500 million.

In December 2017, Apple admitted it used software updates to slow down iPhones and some customers claimed Apple did that so people would buy new phones.

iPhone users in the U.S. can file settlement claims if they bought certain iPhone models before December 21st, 2017. No comment yet from Apple.

KOSIK: I am on it.

ROMANS: Is that you?

KOSIK: I am going to be on it. That is me.

ROMANS: It is you?

All right, thanks for joining us this Super Tuesday. I'm Christine Romans.

KOSIK: And I'm Alison Kosik. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KLOBUCHAR: I am ending my campaign and endorsing Joe Biden for president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joe Biden picking up a trio of endorsements from his former rivals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the momentum happen in time to reach voters to make Joe Biden ultracompetitive with Bernie Sanders?

SANDERS: From day one, we have been taking on the establishment. They do not want me to become president.

ROMANS: Over 100 cases of coronavirus now confirmed in the United States.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let's be clear. The risk to the American people remains low.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The degree of risk has the potential to change quickly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's March third. It's 6:00 here in New York.

END