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Biden Scores Stunning Wins On Super Tuesday; 24 Dead, Dozens Missing After Tornado Rips Through Nashville; Federal Reserve Makes Emergency Rate Cut Over Coronavirus. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired March 4, 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]

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Would they really go where they were being told to go? And I think we got the answer to that question -- but they went. And that's a consolidation in the voting population; it's not just a consolidation among the candidates or among the Democratic operatives.

Voters are saying we want this thing to start narrowing down, and that's why you saw Elizabeth Warren not performing the way that even she expected to perform because frankly, a lot of Democrats like Elizabeth Warren.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.

PHILLIP: They would like to vote for her.

AVLON: Yes.

PHILLIP: But what they know is that at this stage in the game they -- there needs to be some choices being made. And I think that that is what we saw in the electorate, basically saying we like you but at the end of the day, we want to see this race narrowing down.

MITCH LANDRIEU, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, (D) FORMER NEW ORLEANS MAYOR: I think it's clear that the mission here is to beat Trump --

WAJAHAT ALI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, CONTRIBUTING OP-ED WRITER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Right.

LANDRIEU: -- and I think Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg got in the race because of that. I think both of them will reassess at this point. If they think they are best used to beat Donald Trump they will make decisions accordingly to that.

And I think last night was very clarifying. I mean, it was rolling thunder across the entire country. So everything you needed to see you were able to see last night.

There's nothing that's going to happen in the next couple of weeks that won't indicate the underlying voting patterns more than last night was. And so I expect them to really kind of look at where they are and ask themselves how they can best help going forward. JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, just two pieces of reporting people should know.

Number one, Kevin Sheekey, who runs Michael Bloomberg's campaign, late last night was saying we're going to talk. We're going to get together and talk and we'll let you know tomorrow where we are without hinting one way or the other which way they were leaning.

Elizabeth Warren indicated yesterday at a rally in Michigan that she's going on. Will that change today?

LANDRIEU: Yes, but --

BERMAN: I know, things change.

LANDRIEU: Mike Bloomberg's team is really sophisticated and they're really smart, and the one thing that they always do is they behave based on data and they look at stuff realistically and with a cold eye. And Mike said that he's going to help every way that he can and he'll assess what the best way is forward.

AVLON: Sure.

BERMAN: I can tell there's a stat that appears on all Bloomberg terminals, I'm sure, across the country, which is ROI (Return on Investment) and it's very low for Michael Bloomberg this morning. The ROI on his $500 million is low.

Waj, I do want to talk a little bit more about Bernie Sanders --

ALI: Yes.

BERMAN: -- because he's still very much in this race, right?

ALI: Right.

BERMAN: California is still counting. He's going to be close in delegates to Joe Biden one way or the other after tonight.

I was struck by how he chose to address the moment last night, so let's play that.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, we don't have that.

BERMAN: We don't have the sound.

CAMEROTA: But you can do --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You cannot beat Trump with the same old-same old kind of politics. What we need is a new politics that brings working-class people into our political movement, which brings young people into our political movement.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: What is the evidence that Bernie Sanders has a path to grow his numbers?

ALI: I'm going to give you the strength and weakness of Bernie, right -- an alternative headline. People thought Biden would walk away with this, right, before it started -- it's going to be his.

BERMAN: A year ago.

ALI: A year ago.

BERMAN: Not today.

ALI: Yes, but a year ago.

BERMAN: Yes.

ALI: Bernie now might by the end of the day be neck-and-neck. Bernie has the Latino vote you have to respect in California and in Texas, he has the young vote, and he's got everything west of Oklahoma.

All right. Now, he says he's going to bring out this groundswell -- the young folks. What happened in Massachusetts? What happened in Maine, a neighboring state? He might lose Oklahoma that he once lost.

CAMEROTA: So young people didn't show up?

ALI: Young people didn't show up. They usually don't show up.

But this is my concern and this is also a moment of hope. I said this before yesterday and I'm going to say it again today. I was at the DNC in 2016.

You need a marriage between Bernie's base and Biden's base. The establishment, without pejorative. You need this marriage to beat Trump.

I want someone behind the scenes. I want Oprah to take Bernie, Clinton, and Biden to like a bodega, buy them like an Egg McMuffin, and give everyone a car because this is going to be --

CAMEROTA: You're using a lot of metaphors.

(CROSSTALK)

ALI: This is going to be exploited -- this is going to be exploited by Russians, it's going to be exploited by Trump. You need a marriage.

AVLON: Of course, but -- sorry, but look, this is -- this is also about politics of addition rather than division. That's what Donald Trump's good at. It's what Bernie hasn't really made an effort to do.

And in 2016, he didn't really rally around Hillary Clinton. You talk to Hillary's people --

ALI: Right. AVLON: -- they'll say that all day long.

So this is going to be a test for the party and also the candidacies. Joe Biden showed, really, an ability to reach out. That's his intention, that's his instinct. It hasn't been Bernie's.

Also, Bernie's people have got to look at something like the fact they got a lower percentage of the vote in Vermont --

ALI: Right.

BERMAN: Right.

AVLON: -- than they did four years ago, and ask themselves why.

PHILLIP: And --

LANDRIEU: But you think -- you think about both of these candidates. They now -- if it, in fact, turns out to be a two-person race after today, Bernie Sanders has to reach out to the other side and bring them in.

ALI: That's right.

LANDRIEU: But, Joe Biden has to show more empathy and more understanding for the pain, the agony, and the frustration --

ALI: Millennials.

[05:35:00]

LANDRIEU: -- of the voters that want massive institutional change and demonstrate to them that he hears that. The person that does that the best is going to wind up having a leg up as we go forward.

But at the end of the day, the point is to beat Trump. Which one of these guys can actually make that happen?

PHILLIP: The one thing that Democrats should be heartened by -- and maybe Bernie Sanders might be a little bit less heartened by -- he keeps saying if turnout is up, I will win. If we look at what happened last night, that did not happen. In Virginia, turnout was up 70 percent -- he lost. Texas, 40 percent -- he lost.

For Joe Biden, that is very good news. It means that Democrats are engaged. They're out there -- they're voting and he's winning when they vote. So, you know, that's the lesson as we go forward.

BERMAN: That's exactly right. In the states where turnout did get boosted a lot --

PHILLIP: Yes.

BERMAN: -- Biden won. In Virginia, in and of itself, up nearly 70 percent --

PHILLIP: Yes.

BERMAN: -- as you said.

It's going to be -- again, we have these numbers.

PHILLIP: It's a stunning number.

BERMAN: What they all mean or how it happened we're still trying to understand it this morning because they're staggering.

CAMEROTA: But you guys have helped us. Thank you very much for this great conversation.

BERMAN: All right.

Around-the-clock search and rescue in tornado-ravaged Tennessee. Dozens of people still missing. We have a live report for you, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:40:40]

CAMEROTA: Twenty-four people are dead and dozens more missing at this hour after a powerful tornado tore through the Nashville area. Just look at the aftermath on your screen.

CNN's Nick Valencia is live in Tennessee with more. What's the status this morning, Nick?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.

It really is sobering to see these images up close and I know it's hard to translate because it's dark and it might now show exactly what we're seeing here on camera. But if it's any indication, just look at this twisted stop sign. That's how powerful this tornado was. I want to show you these downed power lines and behind me, homes just damaged.

Eighteen of the 24 people that were killed by this tornado, it happened right here in Putnam County where we are. There are still more than 30 people unaccounted for.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GOV. BILL LEE (R-TN): The devastation is heartbreaking.

VALENCIA (voice-over): From above, entire neighborhoods across central Tennessee unrecognizable --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There it is -- go -- inside -- go! No, get inside.

VALENCIA (voice-over): -- after at least one tornado ripped through the Nashville area while most people were sleeping.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just ran downstairs and we all huddled together and just started praying, and it went by so fast. VALENCIA (voice-over): The sunrise revealing a harsh reality for many residents waking up to homes and businesses completely destroyed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just had no idea. I mean, when I finally pulled up and got to looking, I mean -- I mean, it's like a bomb went off.

VALENCIA (voice-over): In this Nashville suburb, initial surveys indicating an EF-3 tornado with wind speeds potentially up to 165 miles per hour.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not what we expected when we -- when we woke up and it was daylight. We knew it was going to be damage but we had no idea it was going to be like this.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Despite the destruction, people still showed up to vote on Super Tuesday, with some facing long lines.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it takes two hours, I'll wait because I remember times when I couldn't vote.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Election officials scrambled to add alternative polling places because some, like this elementary school, were damaged.

LEE: Of course, we want people to exercise caution but we also want folks to exercise their rights and get out there and vote.

TAMBRA WILLIAMS (ph), TORNADO VICTIM: Everything is gone. Most of our bedroom looks like it's across the street.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Charles and Tambra Williams lost their home in the storm.

CHARLES WILLIAMS, TORNADO VICTIM: The next thing I know, it felt like a big rush of air pulling us up and everything just started going away.

VALENCIA (voice-over): But they say they don't feel alone as the long process of piecing their lives back together begins.

C. WILLIAMS: Everybody's coming together. We've got the community coming through here. The greatest commandment is love. We all love each other and it shows today when it comes down to it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VALENCIA: Search and rescue cues -- search and rescue crews, I should say, will be back at it again this morning as soon as the sun comes up. They're going to have a lot of work to do. I mentioned more than 30 people still unaccounted for.

President Trump -- he's mentioned that he expects to visit here sometime on Friday -- John.

BERMAN: All right, Nick Valencia. Thanks so much for being there for us. This was a devastating event there and I know the people there are suffering, so we appreciate you shining a light on it for us.

It is the morning after Super Tuesday and there are so many questions about what fueled this stunning result. Behind the numbers for Joe Biden. Harry Enten breaks it all down, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:48:13]

BERMAN: All right, welcome back.

It is the morning after Super Tuesday and as for the delegate race right now, Joe Biden is in the lead. This is an outcome that really very few people saw coming, especially after finishing fourth and fifth in New Hampshire and Iowa. But this is where he is.

Now, why did few people see this coming? One reason is because voters decided really, really late.

CNN senior politics writer and analyst Harry Enten joins us now with those numbers. When they decided really played a factor here, Harry.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICS WRITER AND ANALYST: It absolutely did, John. And, you know, it's so nice that we can still talk to each other even though we're not in the same room.

Look at this. The support by the time of decision in the median Super Tuesday state, I think this is so important because if they decide in the last few days, look at Biden's margin among those voters. He beat Bernie Sanders by 31 percentage points.

If you decided earlier than that, Sanders actually beat Biden by seven in the median state. But there were those about a quarter to about a third, depending on the state, of voters who decided in the last few days and Biden simply crushed with them.

CAMEROTA: What about the age of voters? What did you learn, Harry?

ENTEN: Yes. This, I think, is another key factor, right. You know, this is not a huge surprise if you look at this. Biden does considerably better among those older voters 45-64, 42 percent; 65- plus, 48 percent. Just 17 percent in the 18-29.

The exact opposite for Sanders here. Sixty-one percent among 18 to 29- year-olds. Just 15 percent among those over the age of 65.

But what's so important is that those voters 45 years and older made up the vast majority of the electorate across all of these states. And so, essentially, this reverse age curve really worked for Joe Biden and it really hurt Bernie Sanders.

BERMAN: You know, Bernie Sanders has claimed he was going to grow those numbers of younger voters but we're just not seeing the evidence that has happened just yet.

[05:50:05] ENTEN: No.

BERMAN: Another major factor, Harry -- obviously, race.

ENTEN: Yes. You know, I think this is another key thing.

In South Carolina, of course, Joe Biden's victory there was driven by African-Americans. And if we look across the median Super Tuesday state, look at the black vote. Joe Biden winning that by 40 percentage points.

Now, Bernie Sanders did actually win Hispanics. He won them by even a larger margin than this in the median -- in California than the median Super Tuesday state. But I think here, this 11-point margin across the Super Tuesday states perhaps was not as large as Bernie Sanders wanted it to be. In Texas, he only won them by 13 and that's part of the reason Joe Biden won in the state of Texas.

But white voters, who were sort of the tie-breaker -- look at that. Joe Biden leading there by seven percentage points. So overall, at this point, it seems in terms of racial groups, Biden's putting together the coalition he needs to win.

CAMEROTA: Harry, correct me if I'm wrong, but the thinking before yesterday was that Biden would do well geographically in the south and that Sanders would do well in Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine -- the north.

ENTEN: You know what, this, I think, is the thing that blew me away more than anything else -- Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont. Maine, too close to call. Sanders crushed there last time. Granted, it was a caucus.

Massachusetts -- Joe Biden comes from nowhere to win in Massachusetts. Minnesota, where Amy Klobuchar got out and endorsed Biden, he won there. Vermont -- Sanders did win but Biden still won delegates.

And in all those states, look at the black percentage of the vote, all seven percent or less. So, Joe Biden expanding upon that coalition, not just relying upon African-Americans. A big thing in the contest coming up.

BERMAN: So, I've covered every election since 1996 -- since before either of you were born, Harry.

ENTEN: Yes.

BERMAN: I can't remember anything really like this happening -- Joe Biden able to come back the way he has with the strength that he has. You see some potential parallels to what, 1992?

ENTEN: Yes, I do see some potential parallels. The "Comeback Kids" as we're titling it here.

Look, both Biden and Clinton lost in Iowa and New Hampshire. It took them over three weeks to win their first primary. Both of those primary wins occurred in the Deep South.

For Clinton, it was in Georgia. He won by 33. For Biden, he won in South Carolina by 29. And you know what, they carried that on to Super Tuesday, which is exactly what we saw last night for Joe Biden.

CAMEROTA: Harry, wherever you're located in the morning, you are the best. Thank you very much for showing up --

ENTEN: My heart goes out to you.

CAMEROTA: Thank you. I think he means you. Thank you very much, Harry.

All right. So, the Federal Reserve making an emergency rate cut to try to calm the markets that have been shaken by coronavirus. Did it work? It doesn't seem to have.

Christine Romans is going to tell us what's going on, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:57:16]

CAMEROTA: Time now for CNN Business. In an emergency move, the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates, hoping to protect the economy in the face of the coronavirus.

Chief business correspondent Christine Romans joins us with whether that worked -- Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR, "EARLY START": Yes. Well, the fact that it was an emergency rate cut simply failed to calm investors -- just the opposite. The Dow tanked 786 points -- nearly three percent. That gives up almost all of Monday's strong rally.

So what happened? Well, this emergency rate cut actually spooked investors. It telegraphed that the Fed is worried about real trouble in the economy. This was the first emergency cut since the financial crisis right after Lehman Brothers collapsed. That's the perspective here.

The target short-term rate now only one to 1 1/2 percent. It took U.S. stock markets down sharply across the board. All three major averages are now back in that correction territory.

So here's the concern, you guys. Lower rates -- lower interest rates don't kill the virus. Lower interest rates don't improve confidence in the government's response. Also, rates have been falling for a decade, already so low they just don't pack the punch they once did.

But this morning, a different surprise move is underpinning the stock market -- Joe Biden's strong showing on Super Tuesday. Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to break up big banks, tax the superrich, roll back corporate tax cuts, take over health care. Those are not investor- friendly policies. This is Wall Street -- investors around the world saying we could live with Joe Biden.

Looking at markets around the world you can see that European shares up a little bit. U.S. futures are up, although you can see there's still some concerns in Asia markets -- John.

BERMAN: I've got to say, Romans, you saying investors want Joe Biden and don't like Bernie Sanders could end up in a Bernie Sanders ad in the next few days.

CAMEROTA: Prepare yourself.

BERMAN: The other thing I will say --

ROMANS: Right.

BERMAN: -- while no one predicted the victories for Joe Biden last night or quite the margin, you predicted if there was an emergency rate cut to try to shore up the markets, the markets weren't going to like it. You were right. You called it, Christine.

ROMANS: John Berman, I told you so.

BERMAN: Exactly.

CAMEROTA: There you go. We've been waiting for that moment for a long time.

BERMAN: Oh, please. That's like the 100th time I've heard that this week.

All right. Super Tuesday results still rolling in. NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We were told -- well, when we got to Super Tuesday it'd be over. Well, it may be over for the other guy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Biden's getting so much attention because it was unexpected. He's changed the shape of the race.

BIDEN: People are talking about a revolution. We started a movement.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's was a lot of talk about consolidating the moderate lane. It happened around Joe Biden in a way that is blowing people's minds.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have one candidate who is standing up for the working class. Another candidate who has received contributions from 60 billionaires. In America, you cannot buy elections.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

CAMEROTA: And good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY.

END