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Joe Biden Wins 9 States, Sanders Wins 3 States, 2 States Remain Too Close to Call; Sanders Plans Michigan Rallies Ahead of Next Primary; Joe Biden Scores Stunning Wins on Super Tuesday; Third Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in New York. Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired March 4, 2020 - 09:00   ET

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


[09:00:01]

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Poppy Harlow. We're so glad you're with us.

What a night. Call it a campaign resurrection. It took Joe Biden 33 years and three tries to become president to finally win his first state primary. Of course that's the one. And now he is making up for lost time winning nine states on Super Tuesday. Five of those he didn't even spend time in.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. You can't underestimate how much this has changed the race and what seems to be emerging there, clearly a two-candidate race. So far Bernie Sanders has locked in three states. And this is key. He's leading in California. Of course, the biggest delegate haul, though the votes there are still being counted there and will be for a number of days. But even as he loses his delegate lead to Joe Biden, he is promising to fight all the way to the convention.

We're following the campaigns this morning. Let's begin in California with CNN correspondent Jessica Dean in Los Angeles.

Jessica, you know, California is an interesting state, right? Because people vote over time. They count over time. I mean, really too early to call the final, final results there.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. We're still going to wait and wait for a while. Probably days before we get those final tallies in the biggest prize of Super Tuesday, California, which, obviously, has the most delegates.

So we're waiting to see how that plays out. But if you zoom out, this was an unprecedented comeback for former vice president Joe Biden. His team said they had hoped to use South Carolina as a springboard into Super Tuesday. That was their plan.

They had hoped that they could rely on key endorsements and congressional districts that they knew were delegate rich and really focus on those areas in these Super Tuesday states. And then, of course, those big endorsements from Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Beto O'Rourke. And they hoped that all of that was going to move the needle, and it certainly did. You saw Joe Biden last night winning across the southern United States, winning in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren's home state, and next door, Senator Bernie Sanders.

You saw him winning in Texas. And really pulling African-American voters, moderate voters from the suburbs, which is a coalition the Biden campaign really, really likes to see. And interesting, guys, you mentioned this. Not any real paid media. I mean, in a lot of these states, he wasn't even advertising. He wasn't able to visit. It was all media that he got through the news and through the news media that they weren't paying for. They weren't on the air.

Things are about to change. They're already up with $1.5 million TV buy in the next three states. So things are changing in Joe Biden's world.

SCIUTTO: We were just talking yesterday about lack of organization, ground game. A lot of the states didn't seem to matter.

HARLOW: Yes. They know him. They know him.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

HARLOW: And I guess money can't always buy you love.

Jess, thank you.

Let's go inside the Sanders camp. CNN's Ryan Nobles in Burlington, Vermont, this morning.

Good morning, Ryan. What is the mind-set of the Sanders campaign this morning?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, I think it's pretty difficult to find any good news out of what happened last night on Super Tuesday for the Sanders campaign, especially when you look back at their expectations for the day. They thought that he would be at a rally in Vermont, you know, basically taking control of the Democratic primary. And it just didn't turn out that way.

But the message from the Sanders campaign is, listen, this is basically a 50-50 race right now. We do not know the final results in California. That was the biggest prize. That is going to be Sanders' biggest victory of the night. And there is a scenario where, when all the dust settles, he has the delegate lead. Now we don't know exactly if that's going to turn out to be true but they do know that it's going to be a close race and that now it will ultimately become a battle between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

And they are already up on the air in some of the states on the next couple of contests, and the next two Tuesdays, knocking Joe Biden's record on Social Security. So they're ready for this fight and they aren't going anywhere.

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you this, why isn't Sanders calling for Elizabeth Warren to drop out given that they appeal to the same category of voters, and especially after she lost to Biden in her home state yesterday?

NOBLES: Yes, I mean, that's a great question, Jim. I mean, I think the one thing you look at last night is that you saw a moderate lane coalescing and you haven't seen the progressive lane coalesce yet. And I actually talked to the campaign about that extensively yesterday and campaign manager Faiz Shakir told me that they simply are not going to pressure Elizabeth Warren to get out because she's run a hard campaign. She's raised a lot of money. She's earned a lot of votes and she should have the time and space to do that on her own.

And this even tracks back to 2016, Jim. You know, the -- Bernie Sanders was downright annoyed when people were asking him to get out of the race when he felt that he still had a constituency that he had to respond to. And he's not going to do that to Elizabeth Warren. We'll see what happens today.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

NOBLES: If she decides to get out on her own, expect them to aggressively court her support but that just hasn't happened yet.

SCIUTTO: Sure. Candidates going to make that decision on their own.

Ryan Nobles, thanks so much.

Joining us now to discuss all this, CNN political commentator, Angela Rye, former executive director and general counsel for the Congressional Black Caucus, and CNN political commentator David Swerdlick, he's assistant editor at "The Washington Post."

Thanks to both of you.

Angela, you look at that map and where Biden won and you are seeing the emergence of what you might call a Biden coalition, particularly the African-Americans in the southern states but also, you know, with wins like Massachusetts and Minnesota, older voters, that's key.

[09:05:14]

White suburbanites, that's key. Is that the most likely winning coalition for Democrats in November?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. I think that a winning coalition is one that has to involve everyone in the big tent, and just like we talked about last week I think while he's in South Carolina, which is the reason why you see this changing of the tide, Congressman Clyburn's support, the number of black voters who have not only been a loyal Democratic base but also a very loyal Obama-Biden supporters which of course is the reason why I think he did so well in so many states where there was no ground game, as you stated, where there was no ad buys because they could not afford them.

So in so many ways I would say, thanks, Obama coalition, right, and I think that that is a very important one. There was a long time ago in ancient history, Howard Dean talked about something called a 50-state strategy for Democrats. And I think it's time for folks to not only look at the ways in which you engage multiple states, but also the ways in which you engage voters at multiple ages.

There is a winning coalition, but I think the most important way that a Democrat can win is to engage a larger share of the voter population, which we also didn't see as much as we'd like to.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Smart.

HARLOW: Yes. And also a question of what happened to the youth vote where we thought turnout would be higher.

RYE: Exactly.

HARLOW: And building on that, David Swerdlick, I thought David Axelrod made a good point last night when he said Sanders' base of support, when you look at the early contests and now Super Tuesday, has shrunk rather than expanded since 2016. Why is that?

SCIUTTO: That's remarkable.

HARLOW: Yes.

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Good morning, Poppy. No, I think that's the question that the Sanders campaign has to be asking themselves this morning. To Angela's point, you have to expand, not contract your coalition at this stage of the race. African- American voters, older voters were going more towards Biden. Younger voters, Latino voters were going more toward Sanders.

If you like single payer, you were going toward Sanders. If your top line issue was beating Donald Trump, you were going slightly more toward Biden. And if you look at a couple of states where Biden overperformed, Texas and Massachusetts, you saw just as you mentioned, Poppy, a situation where the youth vote was in the 20s, teens for Sanders, and the older voter vote was in the 30s, 40s for Biden. And I think that made the difference in some key states.

SCIUTTO: So, Angela, you might say one loser on Super Tuesday was big money, right?

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Look at Michael Bloomberg spent --

HARLOW: Good point.

SCIUTTO: -- $560 million from January through March 2020. Compare that to Bernie Sanders. Less than one-tenth of that. Joe Biden, 1/30 if -- no, less than that. 1/50 almost of that kind of money. What does that tell you going forward? Have we overestimated the influence of just gigantic ad buys?

RYE: Well, I think here's the thing that we do know. There are several states where Michael Bloomberg placed third and you don't see Elizabeth Warren showing up in the top three at all. So not only is a big loser for yesterday big money, it's also Elizabeth Warren. And I would add women, right? There's an interesting point to be made

here when Bernie Sanders was head-to-head against Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton performed better but when there were multiple candidates that people could choose from, a woman did not perform --

HARLOW: Yes. I'm so intrigued by that. Do you have any sense of why that is?

RYE: I have been asking myself why all night, Poppy.

HARLOW: Yes.

RYE: And I think what's frustrating to me is, on one hand, they say, you know, Bernie Sanders didn't perform as well because voters were practical. They wanted someone who had a proven track record of performing and making things happen, of passing legislation. Elizabeth Warren has a plan for how I tie my shoes. Like she has a plan for everything.

HARLOW: Right. And Amy Klobuchar had that record of getting things done.

RYE: Amy Klobuchar also has a different record that I think hurt her in a lot of ways.

HARLOW: I hear you. Yes. Yes.

RYE: That hurt Kamala earlier. But I think it's fascinating that someone who had the most plans, a diverse group of people that I probably knew the best on her campaign, and she didn't perform. It's astonishing to me.

SCIUTTO: Yes. I'm just going to quick correct my math, 1/40 is what the Biden --

HARLOW: I mean, I give you credit --

RYE: You were close.

(CROSSTALK)

HARLOW: For doing math like that on live television, Sciutto. I couldn't even come in to save you.

SCIUTTO: I spent a lot of time in school on basic division.

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: David Swerdlick, before we go.

SWERDLICK: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Can you give Sanders or Biden an upper hand going forward from here?

SWERDLICK: So I think what we're seeing right now is that both campaigns should be -- appreciate where they are but realize they have some lessons to learn. The Sanders campaign, they were caught up by the Biden campaign, and they have to realize that now they're in a fight and they are the insurgent campaign.

[09:10:07]

The establishment is coalescing against them, and they shouldn't take the approach of, you know, sort of hunkering down. They have to do what we were saying before which is to figure out how to expand. You can't be resentful of the fact that the establishment, surprise, is for the establishment candidate.

On the other hand, in the Biden campaign, now they're not sneaking up on anybody. Vice President Biden had that huge win in South Carolina over the weekend. He overperformed last night. But now, they have to know that they're going to take, you know, a lot of heat from Senator Sanders. He attacked Vice President Biden's Iraq war vote in his speech last night in prime time. And he's also going to get more attention now from --

SCIUTTO: Yes.

SWERDLICK: From the president of the United States who is worried about both of these candidates.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Are we going to hear about Ukraine again? The president has been quiet on that for some time.

SWERDLICK: Yes, we will.

SCIUTTO: Keep your ears open.

HARLOW: For sure. So nice to have you both, Angela, David.

SWERDLICK: Thanks.

HARLOW: Come back soon. Thanks.

Still to come, a lot ahead for us this hour. Former 2020 Democratic candidate who is endorsing Joe Biden. Can the former vice president keep up this momentum?

SCIUTTO: Plus, just moments ago, we learned a third case of coronavirus confirmed in New York. This is happening at communities around the country now. And there is growing confusion about testing for the virus. Vice President Pence says any American can be tested, but how?

And dozens of people still missing in the state of Tennessee after deadly tornadoes tore through the state. I mean, just devastating there. We're going to have the latest.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:15:00] HARLOW: Bernie Sanders is not letting Joe Biden's big night slow him down right now. Sanders is pressing forward in the Midwest where he says key battleground states like Michigan will help him retake the delegate lead. Joining me now is Ohio congressman and former Democratic presidential candidate Tim Ryan. He's been endorsing --

REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH): Hi --

HARLOW: Joe Biden since November. Congressman Ryan, always good to have you.

RYAN: Thank you.

HARLOW: Let's talk about the big night. It was a big night for Biden for sure. A night you guys needed. It was not a bad night for Bernie Sanders. Let's see how California shakes out. How does team Biden move forward in a way that embraces and can overtake the left-wing populism that Bernie Sanders is benefiting from.

RYAN: Well, I think you saw it last night. I think you saw increased turnout in places like Virginia. You saw Vice President Biden put together a real coalition in places like Texas. And now --

HARLOW: Yes --

RYAN: You know, as the field starts to thin out, who knows what Michael Bloomberg is going to do now. I mean, the question really is, imagine what Joe Biden would have done yesterday if Michael Bloomberg wasn't in the race.

HARLOW: Well --

RYAN: So, as we continue --

HARLOW: Key to be on there --

RYAN: To move -- yes, but as we continue to move forward, I think, you know, clearly Joe Biden has the momentum, and I think people feel really good about him, and we're just going to keep it going. And he's moving into some states that I think he can do really well in.

HARLOW: You bring up Texas, which winning that, clinching that for Biden was huge. But I --

RYAN: Yes --

HARLOW: The Latino vote is so important. And in Texas, in California, et cetera, all of the exit polling showed us that he did not do nearly as well as Bernie Sanders did with the Latino vote. Why are more Latino voters choosing Sanders over Biden?

RYAN: I don't know. I mean, that's to be determined, but you know, the fact that we're winning, I think Joe Biden could very easily get Latinos back into our camp as we continue to move forward and move on --

HARLOW: How?

RYAN: To run against --

HARLOW: I mean --

RYAN: Donald Trump. Well, I mean, look, Joe Biden believes in immigration reform. Joe Biden knows that what's happening at our border is a human rights issue, and Joe Biden --

HARLOW: Yes --

RYAN: Is someone who has respect for people. He's Catholic, you know, he's going to move into the Latino community and he's going to do very well --

HARLOW: OK --

RYAN: Come the general election.

HARLOW: I know you're referring to Bernie Sanders vote back in 2007 on immigration reform. But he also pushes immigration reform now. Let me just ask you this, because when you talk about the diversity of this country, right? The beautiful diversity of America, you said something last year that is striking. And you said, I don't think we need another white guy for president. What changed?

RYAN: Well, the key for me and the key for everybody else is how do we beat Donald Trump? And I think the way Donald Trump has reacted to Joe Biden, how he tried to muddy him up. He tried to get a foreign government --

HARLOW: And I know, congressman, that's not what I'm asking. I'm saying --

RYAN: Well --

HARLOW: You were being candid, saying, I don't think America necessarily needs another white guy.

RYAN: Well, we don't necessarily --

HARLOW: And that's --

RYAN: We don't necessarily need one, but we need somebody who can beat Donald Trump. I think whether you are white, black, brown, gay, straight, I think most people in this country are ready to dislodge Donald Trump. And if Joe Biden, in my estimation, is the person who can build the coalition --

HARLOW: Yes --

RYAN: Help us win the Senate, and that's what we're going to do.

HARLOW: Some of the things that Bernie Sanders said last night, Joe Biden has billionaires support, Super PAC support, he supported NAFTA, he voted for the Iraq war, et cetera. Do you think that there's a responsibility now for the Biden camp to really focus on an even broader tent, an even more inclusive vision, one where you can hope to try to bring in those Sanders supporters rather than make them, you know, stay at home if Biden is the nominee?

RYAN: Well, we're in the middle of a competition, right? I mean, we're all, you know, adults. There's going to be some conflict as to sharpening the points on particular issues. But let's be clear. No one will sharpen the minds of progressives and Democrats like Donald Trump will, come the general election.

And Joe Biden believes that health care is a right. Joe Biden believes that in immigration reform. Joe Biden believes that we need to dominate the economy of the future. These are things that, you know, a woman's right to choose. Who is going to appoint people to the Supreme Court?

[09:20:00]

I mean, Joe Biden has been consistent. An assault weapons ban. Violence Against Women's Act. I mean, come on, helping get universal health care for everybody in the United States.

HARLOW: OK --

RYAN: That's not an insignificant act. And so those folks are going to come around and they're going to be very welcome in our campaign.

HARLOW: I have one more question, and I have 30 seconds --

RYAN: OK --

HARLOW: But you've got a lot of heat when you were running for saying, quote, "I just think Joe Biden is declining. I don't think he has the energy", you question whether he had the clarity to beat the president. Have those fundamental things changed in Joe Biden?

RYAN: I don't think any question. I think he, like a good athlete, he's getting better as the campaign went on. And I think you saw him have a great performance in South Carolina. A great debate performance. He gave a phenomenal speech after the South Carolina election. Did well in South Carolina.

He's getting better every single day, and I think we all start our campaigns kind of stumbling, trying to get our legs underneath us. And he now has a very clear, precise, articulation of what he wants to do for the American people. And I'm all on board. We're going to take this to Michigan and Missouri --

HARLOW: Yes --

RYAN: And Georgia. And then on to Ohio, and we're going to turn Ohio blue come the general election, so Donald Trump better look out.

HARLOW: We'll see what happens in Ohio, Michigan is going to be a really easy test -- really interesting test to see what happens between -- RYAN: Yes --

HARLOW: Biden and Sanders there. Appreciate your time Congressman Ryan --

RYAN: No doubt --

HARLOW: Thank you --

RYAN: Thanks, Poppy.

SCIUTTO: Good questions for him. Other story, we're following. The coronavirus spreading. How can you be tested? We're going to be on top of it, give you all the information we have. And we're just moments away from the opening bell on Wall Street, the Dow set to jump at the open. This -- well, about politics after Joe Biden scores some big primary wins.

HARLOW: Look at that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:25:00]

SCIUTTO: This just in to CNN. New York State has now confirmed its third case of coronavirus. That makes 127 confirmed cases across the U.S., nine deaths so far, all of those deaths in Washington State.

HARLOW: Also this morning, the Trump administration is now saying that any American who wants to be tested can be tested, but is that actually possible right now? Do all doctors' offices have these kits? The answer at this point is no. Joining us is CNN Brynn Gingras. Let's begin Brynn with referred patients in New York. What do we know?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, what we know is, this is getting confirmed from Yeshiva University, which is a private college here in New York City. One of their students is now the third positive case here in New York City. Now, I want to keep in mind that we don't know the identity of this person as of yet. However, we know from health officials, both at the state and local level that they're -- the son of a 50-year-old man who was the second case.

So, we knew he attended Yeshiva University, and that he was symptomatic and was being held isolated with his family in West Chester County. That 50-year-old man we know is in the hospital here in New York City in critical condition. So, we're still trying to confirm who this third person is. Is it his son? We don't know that just of yet, but of course, we're going to stay on top of that for you.

But looking at the broader picture of this, guys, let's keep in mind this is New York City. The health officials we know are still trying to go back and forth --

SCIUTTO: Yes -- GINGRAS: Where this came from because that second man, the 50-year-

old was the first case of community spread here in New York City. So, there's a lot of detective work that has to be done in order to identify where he went, where this virus could have come from since he didn't travel abroad.

SCIUTTO: Yes --

GINGRAS: All those questions still trying to get answered at this point.

SCIUTTO: What trains do they ride, how often? How many kids they came into contact with at school? I mean, this is the kind of science that's going on around the country right now. Brynn Gingras, thanks very much. Joining us now, CNN's Stephanie Elam, she's in Kirkland, Washington, and that this is a nursing care facility there where there's been a big concentration of these cases. What are we learning?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jim. We know that there are nine deaths that have happened here in Washington State. Five of those deaths traced back to this life care center of Kirkland that we're standing in front of. We also know that there are three other cases in Washington State that are also related to this one location.

Overall, though, in Washington State, you've got 27 cases. This is the focal point. One woman who has her mother here in this facility, telling CNN that the CDC has been on site here for a few days, that they were here. But there's still a lot of frustration about information as far as who is being tested inside. It seems, according to these family members that we've spoken with, that they're not all getting tested, even though they have this close proximity, and the fact that this is the center of the outbreak.

So, there's concerns and frustrations about that. And then also, figuring out how to get the testing done for perhaps family members that were constantly in there, visiting family that is staying here, residents that are here. So, that is part of the concern, is how they're dealing with that, and some of the frustration there. But each day, we have seen these numbers continue to rise here in Washington State. We should have an update here within a few hours. Jim and Poppy --

SCIUTTO: Listen, and the fact is, the more you test, the more you're going to find, and it's just --

HARLOW: Right --

SCIUTTO: The nature of this. Stephanie Elam, thanks very much. Joining us now to discuss, Mike Leavitt; he's former Health and Human Services Secretary as well as the former governor of Utah. Great to have you on, we're doing our best to focus here on the experts and what they can tell us and our viewers about what's coming next.

Question for you about the response. Vice President says anyone who wants to get tested can get tested. That's nice, but what's the system? What's the systematic response here? How should it be decided who gets tested? How far should those tests go? Because it's a -- that's a big question as cases pop up in so many communities.

MIKE LEAVITT, FORMER HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: There's been a fair amount of confusion around testing. CDC developed the first test. There were some back-and-forth between them and FDA as to its accuracy. They resolved that now.