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Super Tuesday Review; Engaged Couple Loses Home in Tornado; Coronavirus Outbreak in Washington State; Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) is Interviewed about the Presidential Race. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired March 4, 2020 - 06:30   ET

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


[06:30:00]

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: 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. So her voters are Joe Biden voters. They're Amy Klobuchar voters. They're Pete Buttigieg voters.

And I think, at the end of the day, what voters said last night was, we want this race to be among fewer candidates. We like you, Elizabeth Warren. We want fewer candidates. And I think that is one of the reasons why we did not see her doing as well because she -- I mean the polls actually showed her potentially performing a little bit better than she did last night and it seems that she may have lost support. And maybe some of that support went back to Sanders, but I wouldn't be surprised if most of it actually ended up going to Biden.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN COMMENTATOR: I want to be critical of Elizabeth Warren's campaign for one second because Elizabeth Warren only campaigned where there was an airport and a Marriott, right? Her campaign was this high flying campaign that did extremely well with social media influencers and journalists. It never penetrated the base. It never -- I -- she doesn't have a -- she hasn't finished anywhere higher than third after Super Tuesday.

And I just think that her campaign had a critical flaw from the beginning, which is, it was not built to permeate and actually get down to the base and get down to the voters and actually touch voters and meet voters where they are. Be in AME churches or be at cookouts or be at fish fries and HBCU football games, et cetera. It just wasn't that type of campaign. But it did really well with black influencers on social media.

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: But it was also just too left and, you know, it was -- it was too -- too progressive to gain (ph) any Democratic voters.

PHILLIP: I mean, to be fair -- to be fair, she --

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Bernie Sanders --

GREGORY: Too specific. BERMAN: How do you explain Bernie Sanders then?

PHILLIP: But to be --

GREGORY: Well, because -- because she was more -- she tried to get to the left of Bernie Sanders and she was much more specific on some of the policies, even where she agreed with him that I think freaked people out.

PHILLIP: I mean I think, to be fair to Warren, Warren had one of the biggest campaign organizations in this race. The -- and one of the most widespread. She had organizers everywhere.

The problem is that is not enough if the message is not -- it's not matching up with the voters. And I think that that's where she -- Bernie Sanders took her progressive support pretty early on in the fall and in the early winter. And when that bottom came out from under her, she was then fighting for moderates with a lot of other candidates. And she essentially lost that battle.

BERMAN: All right --

PHILLIP: And I think that's why we are where we are.

BERMAN: Hang on. We want to end this segment with one thing that happened last night. In case you went to sleep early, you missed this. This was during Joe Biden's speech in California.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: This is how committed his senior staff is to Joe Biden. Watch this.

GREGORY: And his wife.

SELLERS: And his wife.

PHILLIP: And his wife.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And his wife, Jill.

GREGORY: Look at --

CAMEROTA: Watch this. It's the next one that gets even more amazing.

BERMAN: There are protesters who took the stage and tried to get near Joe Biden.

CAMEROTA: OK, now watch when the second protester goes up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Symone Sanders.

CAMEROTA: That's Symone Sanders, his senior adviser, dragging the protester off stage. She's really working overtime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She lost a nail.

CAMEROTA: She lost a nail she tweeted -- she tweeted afterwards. GREGORY: Anybody --

SELLERS: Listen, this is -- that's indicative of what this primary is. It's black women saving the day again. So, I mean, if we could get a better image, that was it. So congratulations.

CAMEROTA: Joe Biden.

GREGORY: Anybody who knows Symone Sanders wasn't surprised a bit.

CAMEROTA: No, but he needs some security.

(CROSS TALK)

SELLERS: I guarantee that Symone --

PHILLIP: Whatever they're paying Symone, they need to pay her some more.

SELLERS: Yes, they need to pay her. And this morning I guarantee you that she and -- that Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden need Secret Service this morning.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely.

BERMAN: That's right.

CAMEROTA: Guys, thank you all very much. Great conversation.

SELLERS: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Gripping stories of survival are emerging from the deadly tornado in Nashville. Up next, a young couple who lost their first home talk about what they called the longest 30 seconds of their lives.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:37:33]

CAMEROTA: Twenty-four people are dead and dozens more are missing in the Nashville area after a powerful tornado caused catastrophic damage, as you can see on your screen.

Joining us now, a young couple whose first home was completely destroyed by the deadly tornados. They are set to get married at the end of this month.

Meg Selby and Mac Warren, thank you both very much for joining us. I know this has just been -- these hours have been horrible and frightening for you guys and you still don't know the status.

Meg, can you just tell us what happened, where you were when you heard the sirens start to go off?

MEG SELBY, LOST HOME IN TENNESSEE TORNADO: Yes. So we were both sleeping. It was a little after 12:30 in the middle of the night. And both of our phones ended up going off first. And we hear that. And then we -- when we wake up, we hear the tornado sirens outside as well. We got up and grabbed our dogs and we didn't really grab anything else, we just went straight downstairs to our storm cellar in our garage.

CAMEROTA: And how many seconds warning would you say you had?

SELBY: Well, it was a little bit actually longer than that. We had about five, maybe eight minutes until the storm actually hit us. You know, we luckily have really good coverage -- news coverage here in Nashville as far as our meteorologist goes. And she was so thorough and just very serious about what was happening. And, you know, it's very easy to, you know, feel like this couldn't happen to you and so to not take it as seriously and move as quickly as you should. And, you know, we got downstairs kind of expecting to just be able to go back upstairs in about 15 minutes. And, you know, listening to her talk about the path this storm was on, tornado was on, it went from, you know, being kind of a precautionary thing to living through something very catastrophic.

CAMEROTA: Yes. You realized, oh, my gosh, as you heard those reports, we are in the path of the tornado.

SELBY: Yes.

CAMEROTA: And so, Mac, what was it like as the tornado blew over your house?

MAC WARREN, LOST HOME IN TENNESSEE TORNADO: Yes, so, I mean, it was honestly really quiet. We could hear -- and we had it, you know, on our phones so we could see they were talking about the path and they said it was just moving very fast. And, honestly, probably about five miles away from us they said it's coming over areas that we're very familiar with. And they said, Donaldson's right in the path. And we're like, oh, OK.

[06:40:00]

So we're just hunkering down. It got quiet. And you could hear this sort of slow roar. And then it just got gradually louder and louder. And, you know, we talk about maybe it was -- it just sounds like there's a jet engine just in our backyard and the house was shaking and the pressure dropped or the pressure intensified and the temperature dropped, our ears started popping. And it was -- it was just terrifying.

CAMEROTA: It sounds really terrifying. We're -- the video that we're seeing is of your house. You've provided us video and pictures of your house. And I know this was your first house. You're engaged.

WARREN: Yes.

SELBY: Yes.

CAMEROTA: This is your, you know, I guess we still call it a starter home and you guys were fixing it up.

SELBY: Yes.

WARREN: Yes.

CAMEROTA: And is it gone?

SELBY: Uh-huh.

WARREN: Yes, it's --

SELBY: Yes, we -- we bought it last September and, you know, it's very common, especially, I think, for people our age, we like a -- we like a challenge. We like, you know, a project. And, you know, it's been something that we've bonded over and we've learned a lot about each other. And it's been such a wonderful experience up until this point. And it kind of felt -- feels like that's all been taken from you.

And, I mean, we'll get back on our feet, but it's just -- it's such --

WARREN: Yes.

SELBY: It was such a -- you know, we always talk about this time in our lives of getting to just invent something together and create something.

WARREN: Yes.

SELBY: And to not really have anything to show for it now is hard. And I retrospectively wish I had more pictures. But, you know, it's something that we'll always have in our -- you know, as a memory and, you know, now we're just going to have our new project.

CAMEROTA: You guys are supposed to be building a life together and having this physical structure be destroyed is really devastating.

And what's happening, Mac, with your wedding? You're supposed to be getting married on March 28th at the end of this month. What's going to happen?

WARREN: Yes. So, I mean, we're still -- we're still pushing for that. That's still on the books. And as far as we're concerned, the venue is probably OK. So that's good. We will end up canceling our honeymoon, though. So that's obviously right after that. Just don't have the time to do that. Got to get everything sorted out with where we're staying and how all this is going to play out and the rebuild process. So --

CAMEROTA: Where were you guys going to go on your honeymoon?

WARREN: Kauai in Hawaii. Just for -- yes, about five days. So --

CAMEROTA: Well, we hope that on the other end of all of this trauma, you will be able to go for longer than that. But you think that you will still be getting married one way or another at the end of this month?

WARREN: Yes, ma'am.

SELBY: Yes.

WARREN: Yes. That's -- that's still the plan.

SELBY: Absolutely.

CAMEROTA: We're thinking of you, Meg and Mac. We're wishing you the best. You guys -- your spirit is really inspiring for the rest of us and we'll -- we'll follow your progress on rebuilding.

SELBY: Thank you. Appreciate that.

WARREN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Thank you so much for being with us.

BERMAN: Oh, look, the blessing is they have each other.

CAMEROTA: I know.

BERMAN: You know, Hawaii's not going anywhere.

CAMEROTA: I hope not.

BERMAN: They'll get there. They'll get -- they'll get there, but they have each other and that's what's important this morning.

CAMEROTA: I mean what a strong couple. That was beautiful to hear from them.

BERMAN: All right, the number of coronavirus deaths in the United States now stands at nine. All of them in Washington state. We have a live report from there, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:47:26]

BERMAN: Developing overnight, the number of coronavirus cases is continuing to rise in the United States. There are now 126 cases across 13 states. You can see it right there on the map. Nine people have now died in the United States, all of them in Washington state.

CNN's Stephanie Elam is live in Kirkland, Washington, with the very latest.

Stephanie.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, and when you take a look at those nine deaths, five of them are related back to this Life Care Center of Kirkland nursing facility, which is obviously why this is such a concern here in the state, what is happening here.

What we've also learned too is that there is one person who actually traveled here to visit someone at the center who then traveled back to North Carolina, and that person has now also tested positive for the coronavirus.

But all in all there are 27 cases in Washington state. And CNN was able to speak to one woman whose mother is here, has been here off and on for seven years. She says the people that work here, the care is great, but right now there are serious frustrations about getting the testing done.

Take a listen to what Pat Herrick had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAT HERRICK, DAUGHTER OF A LIFE CARE CENTER RESIDENT: We don't know exactly what's happening. Why aren't they testing our families? And that's the big one. And also having been there with our families, are we at risk?

There's a lot of people that are very frightened. There's becoming more anger and fear and frustration.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ELAM: And what we've also learned is that there was a patient who was admitted to Harbor View in Seattle at the end of February. That person then died on February 26th. Well, they've now confirmed that that person also had the coronavirus. And that person also was transferred there from here at Life Care Center. So that's why we've seen the number go up to five deaths related to this one place.

All in all, though, across Washington state, people are making changes and even going down to how they're doing their prayer. The Seattle Catholic Archdiocese saying that they are now asking people if you're sick to not come to mass and that they're asking people to be a little bit more diligent about making sure their hands don't touch during Our Father and during the sign -- making the sign of the peace. All very big things that they're staying to stay away, Alisyn. If you're sick, stay home.

CAMEROTA: Yes, one of my best friends lives in Seattle and she is stockpiling groceries as are so many people around the country.

Stephanie, thank you very much for that update.

Joe Biden pulled off a stunning comeback last night. Will his Super Tuesday surge continue? How will he do it?

[06:49:58]

We talk to one of his biggest supporters in the Senate from his home state, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: 6:53 a.m. in the East and they're still counting votes in Maine and California.

Let's get a live look at where the delegate race stands right now. Joe Biden is on top, 345 delegates. Bernie Sanders in second at 269. Once again, this is an outcome that few people would have predicted weeks ago, let alone days ago. Joe Biden won states he didn't really spend any money in and he barely even campaigned in.

Joining us now is Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, a friend of Joe Biden, who endorsed Joe Biden even before Biden got in the race.

Senator Coons, thanks so much for being with us.

If I can get personal for a moment here, I'm just wondering, you've been with Joe Biden and a supporter of his for decades, right? You supported his presidential campaigns before he even won a county, let alone a state, which happened in South Carolina. So I'm just wondering, for you, what was it like overnight to watch these returns come in?

[06:55:04]

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): John, this was a great night for Joe Biden, for the Democratic Party, and for the future of our country. Folks in Delaware never stopped believing in Joe. And I got to tell you, as I was out in Iowa or up in New Hampshire campaigning in what were tough days and difficult turnouts, there were dozens of Delawareans who had driven out there or who had driven up there and who were going door to door to tell people what we know about Joe Biden in Delaware.

We know his heart. We know that he's been standing up to bullies his whole life. We know that he's never forgotten where he's from. Joe Biden is as comfortable in a union hall as a church hall. He's as comfortable on the factory floor as he is in a volunteer fire company. He knows America's forgotten middle class. He cares about all of us. And he's got the ability to take down Donald Trump and make him a one- term president.

And so, frankly, last night was an enormous relief as America came home. And as millions of voters who know Joe Biden decided late, decided after South Carolina, and those remarkable endorsements in Texas by Senator Klobuchar and by Mayor Pete Buttigieg and by former Congressman Beto O'Rourke, they decided that after Jim Clyburn's slingshot of him forward and those endorsements brought him home, that he's the guy who can win in November.

BERMAN: I'm interested in the choice of words from you, relief. Why was it a relief?

COONS: There were lots of pundits who were predicting against what I thought in my gut that last night would be a big win for Bernie Sanders. That the hundreds of millions of dollars that Mike Bloomberg spent all across the country were going to make a big difference. That the ground game and the organization that Senator Warren had built in a number of states would make a big difference. There were lots of prognosticators and predictors saying that last night was going to be very disappointing for those of us who believe deeply in Joe Biden.

Instead, he won in Minnesota. He won in Alabama. He won in Texas and he won in Massachusetts. And that really says something about his electability.

Donald Trump is right to be afraid of Joe Biden as his opponent in November because he's going to beat him.

BERMAN: He has a long way to go if he wants to be Donald Trump's opponent in November.

COONS: It is.

BERMAN: Because Bernie Sanders, who did well in his own way last night, he's leading in California, he won three states, is very much still in this race. And I want you to listen to what Senator Sanders said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), 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: Now, that doesn't sound like a coming together of the Democratic Party this morning, does it?

COONS: No. No, and that's one of our big challenges going forward is figuring out how to build on the coalition of folks who are supporting Joe Biden and bring in and work with closely the folk who are supporting other candidates, whether it's Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Mike Bloomberg, or others.

Here's the reality, though, about those few sentences from Senator Sanders, the math just isn't there. The candidate who brought lots more voters into our coalition and brought them out to vote last night was Joe Biden. If you look at his numbers, he has far exceeded, not just projections, but the vote turnout in 2016. In the suburbs of Virginia, for example, increasing by three quarters, a huge increase in turnout and turnout for Joe.

BERMAN: What about -- what about younger voters?

COONS: The folks who have come home to vote for Joe in these early primaries are the most reliable voters in the Democratic coalition.

BERMAN: OK. Most reliable voters often means older voters.

I do want to ask about younger voters whom Bernie Sanders is still doing very well with and Vice President Biden still is struggling with.

So, Joe Biden is the same guy he is on Wednesday after Super Tuesday that he was on the Friday before South Carolina.

COONS: That's right.

BERMAN: So how can he get those younger voters who have been resistant?

COONS: Well, one of the challenges here is looking clearly at the numbers because young voter turnout is not going up from 2016 to 2020. And Joe Biden has plans, has values and has a record that actually addresses the things that I hear from young voters, not just from my own kids, from our own community here in Delaware, but across the country as I've gone to seven states for Joe. They care deeply about climate change. They care deeply about LGBTQ rights and inclusion. They care deeply about immigration and immigration justice. And they care about labor rights. These are things Joe's been fighting for, not for weeks or months, but for years and where he's got a record of actually passing laws and getting things done.

BERMAN: Senator Chris Coons from Delaware, thanks for being with us this morning.

[07:00:01]

NEW DAY continues right now.

COONS: Thank you, John.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a good night that seems to be getting even better.

[07:00:00]