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Biden Wins 9 States, Sanders Wins 3 States, 2 Too Close to Call. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired March 4, 2020 - 06:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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

[05:59:33]

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

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There 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 (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT: 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 VIDEOTAPE)

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

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, everyone. It is NEW DAY. it is Wednesday, March 4, 6 a.m. now in New York. And Joe Biden has pulled off a stunning comeback in his bid for the Democratic nomination.

The biggest headline of the night: CNN projects the former vice president has won Texas. That is the second richest delegate state on Super Tuesday. He did it despite being outspent and having little to no ground game there. Biden has captured, at the moment, 33.4 percent of that vote.

He won a total of nine states, including, as you can see, Massachusetts which is Elizabeth Warren's home state, and Minnesota, which is senator Amy Klobuchar's home state, John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Bernie Sanders did pick up some key victories, including Colorado, Utah, and his home state of Vermont. One thing I do want to note, though. Joe Biden will get delegates in Vermont, which is a surprise. Senator Sanders is also leading by a healthy margin in California.

We've been watching these numbers come in all night. A little bit tighter now than it was a couple of hours ago, but this will go up and down. California is the biggest delegate prize of the entire campaign, 415 delegates. It takes a long, long time to count there. So the final margins might not be known for days.

They're also still counting in Maine. Let's take a look there. At this hour, Joe Biden is still ahead by one percentage point. They've been counting throughout the night. What's notable here is that Maine was a state that Bernie Sanders won in 2016.

As of right now, let's take a look at the delegate race. And this is an outcome that, really, very few people would have predicted. Even in the Biden campaign, in their most optimistic projects, I don't think they thought they would be here. They may have hoped it, but they didn't necessarily think they would be leading in delegates the morning after Super Tuesday.

Still, a heap of delegates to be assigned for the elections yesterday. We're watching it very closely.

Let's begin our coverage with Phil Mattingly on what propelled Joe Biden to so many of these surprising victories.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John. I'd see your very few people would believe how last night would have ended up and actually raise you to nobody would believe it. And I want to lay out exactly why.

There are a couple of wow moments that transpired throughout the course of Super Tuesday. I'm going to start with some of the smaller ones, move to bigger ones.

Let's start with Minnesota. You talked about Maine to some degree, and how Bernie Sanders won that handily back in 2016. He won Minnesota, as well. It was a caucus state back then, but guys, I was speaking to people leading up to Super Tuesday who were wondering if Joe Biden was even going to hit the 15 percent threshold to get statewide delegates.

Well, Joe Biden won the state handily by more than 64,000 votes.

You mentioned Maine. Still counting votes there. We haven't actually projected the win yet, but Joe Biden in the lead. Another state, Bernie Sanders, northeastern senator, has cleaned up throughout the northeast. Joe Biden leading in that state as it currently stands.

Move down just a little bit more in the northeast, Massachusetts, the home state of Elizabeth Warren, once a top contender in the race, right next door to Vermont for Bernie Sanders.

Joe Biden winning Massachusetts handily, almost 90,000 votes. Elizabeth Warren coming in third.

Now, let's go to the biggest prize up to this point for Joe Biden. And that was Texas. Throughout the course of the night, Bernie Sanders held a lead. But once the election-day vote came in -- not the early vote, the election-day vote, the vote that was coming in after the blowout win in South Carolina, after the big endorsements that took place in Dallas, Texas. Joe Biden, we have projected he will win the state of Texas, up by 70,000 votes.

And guys, you can't talk about Joe Biden's night without talking about his run through the south. Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma. Guys, basically running straight through here. Huge wins throughout the course of those states, taking advantage of demographics that had a lot of non-white voters, all of whom went very heavily towards Joe Biden. That was the story of Joe Biden's big night.

But I do want to point out, Bernie Sanders, obviously, three state wins and one state still outstanding. That is one of the biggest prize of them all, 415 delegates. John, you noted 239,000 votes is what Bernie Sanders is leading by right now. We are going to see this change throughout the course of the next couple of days as they continue to count.

One thing to keep in mind: when Super Tuesday ended in 2016, Hillary Clinton was up by 21 points. By the time the vote was actually counted in its entirety, she only won by seven. So things are going to shift here. But this is the place where Sanders has a big ground operation, has spent big, is expecting to do well. Right now, he's doing that, and to be frank, he needs it based on the performance Joe Biden had on Super Tuesday, John.

BERMAN: Everyone wants to know why California takes so long. Phil, correct me if I'm wrong, but if your mail-in ballot is postmarked on Super Tuesday, it will count. So they wait for a few days for that to come in and still count it. Correct?

MATTINGLY: Not just Super Tuesday, postmarked by Friday of this week. So one of the things to keep an eye on is some people were wondering if some Democratic voters are actually holding onto their ballots to see how the night went on, to see how the last couple of days went on.

[06:05:03]

So keep an eye on that as it comes in. It's going to take some time, but it could be dictated by what we've seen over the course of the last 24 hours. Late breakers who broke hard towards Joe Biden. We'll see. Because as I noted, Bernie Sanders, great organization, a lot of money, and obviously, doing well, at least at this point, guys.

BERMAN: Thank you so much for explaining that, Phil. I think a lot of people had that question. That is why it will take a long time for California to count. Great to have you with us this morning.

So again, anyone who tells you they saw this coming for Joe Biden, like two weeks ago, if they said that, they were lying.

CAMEROTA: Or two days ago.

BERMAN: Right. Or two days ago. Really, Biden has come on strong at the very end here.

Let's go to the Biden campaign. Jessica Dean has been covering them for months at this point. Live in Los Angeles this morning. We saw Joe Biden on that stage. How are they feeling this morning, Jessica?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes. John, Alisyn, I have been covering Joe Biden's campaign since it started. And look, they just turned on the afterburners after South Carolina and just went after this thing.

They were hoping South Carolina would springboard their campaign, Joe Biden into this sort of situation.

But to your point, even in their wildest dreams, this is -- this is really exceeding that with just incredible victories all across the south, in the Midwest, on the East Coast, and then in Texas. And then, of course, waiting to hear about California.

But they focused in on endorsements. They focused in on endorsements in these very specific delegate-rich congressional districts. Because you just saw Phil outlining how these delegates are allocated.

Well, the Biden campaign specifically went in in these states and found where these delegate-rich congressional districts were. They worked very hard to turn out the vote there. They worked very hard for those endorsements. And look, it really came through for them.

But they've taken to calling this Joe-mentum. They're very, very pleased with how things went. And Joe Biden himself is very, very pleased. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: Just a few days ago, the press and the pundits had declared the campaign dead! And then came South Carolina, and they had something to say about it. And we were told when it got to Super Tuesday, it'd be over. Well, it may be over for the other guy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN: Of course, we're still waiting to hear about California, Alisyn. One interesting thing to know -- you guys touched on it. Paid media versus earned media. Joe Biden and his campaign not spending very much money in advertising leading up to this. Michael Bloomberg spending a lot of money, and look at what the results are.

BERMAN: It wasn't by choice for Joe Biden, though. Let's just make it clear. It wasn't like they were being frugal.

DEAN: Right. No, that's true.

BERMAN: They were broke.

DEAN: Yes.

BERMAN: They couldn't raise any money. And that was a real weakness. One of the questions will be can they change that now with this kind of momentum?

CAMEROTA: Yes. I mean, I'm just not sure what the playbook is that people can follow after this in terms of paid versus earned. But we'll get into all of that. Because it's a whole new race this morning after Joe Biden's stunning comeback. We discuss what this all means next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:12:04]

CAMEROTA: Joe Biden is the Democratic frontrunner this morning. After pulling off a stunning turnaround on Super Tuesday. Biden won in nine states including Texas, while Bernie Sanders leads in California at this hour. He won in three other states. Maine is still too close to call. So a lot's happening this morning.

BERMAN: They're still counting votes in Maine at this moment.

CAMEROTA: And California.

BERMAN: Yes.

CAMEROTA: OK. So joining us now, we have CNN political analyst David Gregory; CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip; CNN contributor Wajahat Ali. He's a contributing op-ed writer for "The New York Times"; and CNN commentator Bakari Sellers. He's a former Democratic South Carolina House member.

Bakari, I want to start with you. How do you explain what we saw last night?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: God bless South Carolina, of course. Everything comes back home.

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right, right, right.

SELLERS: It wasn't a firewall, it was a spring board. We went in -- we went through, and I kept saying that you cannot judge this primary until the base of the party gets an opportunity to vote. And what you saw last night were black voters just carried Joe Biden. Whether or not it was Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Virginia. Just propelled him to these victories we didn't think would happen.

And we also saw the power of cable news. I truly believe that. Because between -- everyone was saying that how can you carry this momentum from Saturday to Tuesday. It's not enough time. But we know that Joe Biden got so much free earned media out of that victory in South Carolina, because he was able to win places like Massachusetts. He won Minnesota. I don't know anybody who thought that was going to happen Saturday, let alone yesterday.

BERMAN: Can I just say one thing, Bakari? We've been saying the last, you know, six hours that no one saw these results coming. I think you sort of did. As much as anybody else, you've been warning us that, until they vote in the south, until African-Americans show up, keep the powder dry. You just don't know. And I remember you telling me way back in Detroit at the CNN

Democratic debate that you thought the Democratic primaries would be decided -- you called them the SEC states. Last night was sort of a mixture of ACC and SEC.

But let's run through the African-American vote that Bakari was just taking about. Texas first, then North Carolina, then Virginia.

First in Texas, the African-American vote, Joe Biden won 58 percent. Fifty-eight percent of the black vote in Texas. And they made up, I should say, 20 percent of the electorate.

In North Carolina, Joe Biden won 62 percent of the black vote. They made up 27 percent of the electorate. And in Virginia, he won 71 percent. Seventy-one percent. This says 69 percent of the black vote. Around 70. And they made up 28 percent of the vote there.

Abby, African-Americans have spoken in this election loudly now.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And it made a huge difference for Joe Biden, because what black voters do is they use their political power in a way that they -- it's not that they vote unanimously. But they vote -- they vote in a bloc in a way that can power someone who actually appeals to -- to their needs as voters.

And what you also saw was Bernie Sanders trying. I mean, he tried really hard. I mean, wouldn't you agree, Bakari, that Bernie Sanders actually worked on this more this cycle than he did, certainly, last cycle? It didn't really make a whole -- very much difference.

[06:15:15]

Because black voters basically looked at the situation, and they said, We -- this is who we think is going to end up being the best shot against Donald Trump. That is the No. 1 priority for black voters. They know Joe Biden.

And from the very beginning, all -- what Joe Biden needed to do was hold onto that vote. And he was able to do it. But he was also able to do it, because Congressman Jim Clyburn came through and really -- I mean, I think honestly, had Clyburn not come through and given that endorsement and given it the way that he did, I think we would be talking about a very different story today. He said to black voters, he -- as Joe Biden said, he took Joe Biden and his campaign on his shoulders, carried him through to, really, a tsunami of a victory in South Carolina.

CAMEROTA: We're going to be speaking to Clyburn later in the program. Stick around for that, to how much credit he's taking for this, this morning.

(CROSSTALK)

GREGORY: Secretary of state.

WAJAHAT ALI, CNN COMMENTATOR: Take a lot of it. CAMEROTA: Exactly.

GREGORY: You know, the thing is when you like the results, you don't like the results, the amazing thing about a big election night like this is that voters have spoken. And I think Democratic voters said, OK, enough already. Like, let's stop the madness. Let's clear the field. Let's have two frontrunners. Let's -- let's get this on. Let's get this debate on.

Because this is not a clear path. This is an amazing night for Joe Biden that he has done what he's done. But Bernie Sanders is likely to have more delegates at the end of this contest going into --

BERMAN: I don't know that we know that.

GREGORY: You don't think so after California? We don't know. We don't know.

BERMAN: We just don't know. Right now, Biden is ahead.

GREGORY: It'll be close. It'll be close. So regardless, it'll be close, which means there's a lot of work, a lot of debating to be done and a lot of sorting out yet to be done.

But voters said, Let's clear this up. Let's get down to two people.

And there was a sense -- there was the pragmatism of a lot of African- American voters. Although there's still a lot of young African- American voters who are still with Bernie. And I think -- and it's not just suburban voters, women who said, Look, we know Joe. He may not be perfect. There may be flaws, but we know him. There's a decency there.

And as you were saying earlier this morning, who can beat Trump? We can't forget how important that sentiment is.

CAMEROTA: Another important deciding factor that I know David Gregory will appreciate, procrastinators. And those are late-deciding --

ALI: That's called throwing shade.

GREGORY: Wow. Friends like this.

CAMEROTA: When David ambles into the studio --

GREGORY: I just found out you guys started at 5 a.m. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) should be on then. Would have been there.

BERMAN: He's the Dick Martin of this group.

CAMEROTA: He really is.

OK. So the people who decided in the last day or two, let's put some of these up. Texas -- let's go to Virginia first. Fifty-nine percent of those decided for in the last few days.

GREGORY: Forty-nine percent. BERMAN: When did you decide -- It's 49 percent.

CAMEROTA: I'm going to stick with my screen instead of my notes.

GREGORY: Just keep going insulting me. It's fine.

BERMAN: Forty-nine percent decided in the last few days.

CAMEROTA: OK. And of those, 59 percent of them went for Biden. OK.

If we look at -- well, let's just go with that.

ALI: Stunning number. Who would have thought that? That means that it was a fluid race. It's still a fluid race. And what's the No. 1 thing that Democratic voters are looking at? Who's going to beat Trump? Who's electable?

They had a choice. They had Warren. They have Mayor Bloomberg, who spent $500 million to buy American Samoa and not the cookie. He had -- you had Biden, and you had Bernie. And they said, "OK, Biden's going to be the guy."

And there's one thing. If you're a Republican, you should be worried, because people voted for five to seven hours, right? Despite voter suppression done by Republicans, they voted in line. They said, We're going to be heard. Virginia, record turnout. And who becomes the Democratic nominee? Who's the base? Black voters. Right? And if you're Bernie Sanders right now, you should worried. Because you won Hispanics. You won the youth, but if you don't get the black bloc to support you, you're not becoming the nominee.

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: We also have -- I was going to say, we do have turnout figures, because Waj just brought it up. Turnout figures, this is P- 109. In Virginia, turnout was up 69 percent.

ALI: Stunning.

BERMAN: In Texas, turnout was up 41 percent. And Tennessee, turnout was up 38 percent. What do these three states have in common?

SELLERS: They all voted for Joe Biden.

Let me just -- let me just comment on that. Because in South Carolina, we also eclipsed 2008 turnout. In New Hampshire, they broke. And who would have thought that the person driving turnout in this race would be Joe Biden and not Bernie Sanders? That is the biggest knock.

And this is -- I was thinking about this last night, analyzing this on the Acela with Governor Granholm and Mitch Landrieu up here last night. I think that what we're seeing is Bernie Sanders really tried very hard with Nina Turner, Killer Mike, Philip Agnew. I mean, just trying the barbershop tours. They put forth a lot of effort in the African-American community. It didn't pay off. And I'm starting to think that not only is he underperforming from

2016, but I think a lot of the success that Bernie Sanders had in 2016 when we look back on this race was just that he was not Hillary Clinton.

GREGORY: And I think --

SELLERS: And I think that's an undervalued proposition, that now people have alternatives. And they're saying, Hmm, that might not be what we want.

GREGORY: And also getting a closer look at him. I don't think in 2016 we had as close of a look at what a Bernie Sanders presidency would look like. He's campaigned on some of these issues before. You know, the Democratic socialism, I think, created enough of a fear factor among enough voters that they said, We need to go another direction. We don't want to be that bold (ph).

BERMAN: I want to wait one more second, talk much more about this. Do want to note, Bernie Sanders leading right now in California by a substantial margin, which will tighten, at a minimum tighten the margin in the delegate race.

Still so much more to discuss this morning as we're counting votes.

Also, when we get past Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, what happens to Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren today? We're watching them very closely. Will they decide to stay in the race? And if so, how? More on that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:25:15]

BERMAN: It is 6:25 a.m. in the East Coast. Do you know where your delegates are?

Let's take a look at the board right now. Joe Biden is leading in the delegate race with 345. You can see Bernie Sanders in second at 269. They're still counting; they're still assigning delegates from Super Tuesday. This will take some time to stort [SIC] out -- sort out.

If nothing else, I think a lot of people thought Sanders would be leading definitively after Super Tuesday. It does not look like that will happen.

Back with us, David Gregory, Abby Phillip, Wajahat Ali and Bakari Sellers.

And then, after Biden and Sanders, there's the issue of Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren. What are we going to see today? They both picked up some delegates, Waj, but certainly not $500 million worth if you're Michael Bloomberg. And certainly not a win in Massachusetts if you're Elizabeth Warren.

ALI: Yes, $500 million can't buy you delegates. It can't buy you love. And it can't protect you from Elizabeth Warren, who came like Arya Stark and ended Mike Bloomberg's life both in Nevada and South Carolina. I think we should, like, raise our glass to Elizabeth Warren for saving us from a billionaire.

But look, if you're Michael Bloomberg, your entire case was, I'm the moderate. I can the moderate that can beat Trump. I'm the guy who's not Bernie.

And lo and behold, people had a choice yesterday, and they said, Nope, I want Joe Biden.

And so, like we were talking about during the break, if it was Bernie up there, I think he'd stay in this race. But want him to spend that $500 million to save -- I don't know -- Flint, and I want him to spend that $500 million to have Democrats win the Senate. And I want to have that $500 million to help beat Trump.

CAMEROTA: And he does. I mean, he does.

ALI: But what's the excuse? What justification does he have to stay in this race?

SELLERS: I have to admit --

PHILLIP: Just -- you know, I think one of the big considerations here is Bernie Sanders has said he will not take Mike Bloomberg's money.

SELLERS: Right. It's silly.

PHILLIP: They've said it point blank; it is not going to be accepted. That Mike Bloomberg, if he ends his campaign, will take his operation and use it to aid a Bernie Sanders nominee. So that's a big consideration.

With Joe Biden now seeming to do very well, better -- way better than expected, I think it makes it easier for Bloomberg to say, even if I end my candidacy today, that operation gets turned around to support a Democratic nominee who has a shot. You know, if he wants -- if beating Trump is why he's spending $500 million, that would be, from the Democratic perspective, a good use of that money.

SELLERS: Let me apologize. Because I'm going to do something that the pundit class doesn't do enough of. I got it wrong. I actually thought that Michael Bloomberg would not win any states last night. But he did win American Samoa. And I think that I have to admit and know where I was wrong. So that's where I want to start.

PHILLIP: Humility is great.

BERMAN: It is.

SELLERS: Did it come off? OK.

But I do think that Michael Bloomberg is going to -- because I don't believe in unilateral disarmament. Bernie Sanders does, I do not. I want to overturn Citizens United, but while we're overturning Citizens United, I think we need all the resources possible to reform and reframe our government.

I believe Michael Bloomberg today will reassess. He's a smart man. He uses data. He will reassess where he is in this campaign. And I think -- I believe he'll become a super PAC for Joe Biden.

CAMEROTA: You think today he gets out of the race?

SELLERS: I don't see why he wastes any more money. I think that -- and one of the things he did do -- I'm very critical of Michael Bloomberg. Because he thought -- he thought -- he learned a critical political lesson last night. He thought that raining down money in ads was going to help him build trust in black communities. And they just laughed at that. I mean, they literally laughed at that: We don't know you, Michael Bloomberg. So I mean, just because you started to come to Arkansas and Virginia when you're running for president, we don't have that trust.

And so I do believe that -- that now he can turn his attention to doing things like voter protection, helping African -- helping the Democratic Party build this data infrastructure that Trump is running circles around, and he can actually be an asset going forward.

GREGORY: But let's just remember that before this morning, Joe Biden was in a very different place. And our assessment of him was quite different. In terms of his strength as a candidate, his viability as somebody who could beat President Trump.

And in this unconventional atmosphere, I don't think it was wrong for Michael Bloomberg to say, Hey, let's do something quite different. Let's spend a lot of money, and I can be there if Biden is not who we thought he would be.

That has proven to be a miscalculation. And I think that Bloomberg, even having spent so much, I do think he's likely to see it and say, Look, let's put all my resources behind Biden and make sure that he's the guy. And even if he's not, perhaps there's other ways I can be helpful to Bernie Sanders, even if he doesn't want my help.

But I do think he's got to assess and say, you know, that Biden has proven to be something that perhaps he thought he wouldn't be.

CAMEROTA: In terms of -- I mean, it's probably too early to figure out all of the miscalculations or to write the playbook of what worked or didn't work. But Elizabeth Warren, she didn't win Massachusetts last night. What -- what happened?

PHILLIP: Her voting base has been eroding for a long time. And one of the problems for Warren is that she is painting herself as a progressive. But if you look at her supporters, the amount of progressives in her coalition is actually very small right now.

END