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Joe Biden Scores Stunning Super Tuesday Victories. Aired 7- 7:30a ET

Aired March 4, 2020 - 07:00   ET

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


JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY: Thanks for being with us this morning.

[07:00:02]

New Day continues right now.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN NEW DAY: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is New Day. What a morning it is here.

It is now a two-man race for the Democratic nomination between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. But it is the former vice president who had a huge unexpected Super Tuesday. CNN projects Biden will win Texas. As you can see there with 33.4 percent of the vote. Bernie Sanders is close behind in second with 29.9 percent.

Biden also captured Virginia and every other southern primary state along with surprising wins in Massachusetts and Minnesota, of course the home of Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.

Sanders won three states. He is leading at this hour in California as well. That's the biggest prize of all. Votes there, John, are still being counted.

BERMAN: Yes. They'll accept ballots from there in the mail. You can mail them by yesterday if they get in by Friday, they will be counted.

Let's take a closer look at California. Senator Bernie Sanders is leading with 33 percent of the vote, nearly 33 percent of there. Joe Biden is in second. Then you see Michael Bloomberg, another race where it's extremely close is Maine. And Joe Biden has a slight edge, but it's still neck and neck.

This is the current delegate count as we sit here this morning with some still to be awarded. Biden is on top with 345. Bernie Sanders in second at 269. We have this story covered from coast to coast for you this morning. Let's begin with Phil Mattingly, who has the keys to Joe Biden's the Super Tuesday victories.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Let's start with the number one key. If anybody told you the morning after Super Tuesday Joe Biden would be 76 delegates ahead of Bernie Sanders, they would be lying through their teeth at this point in time. That's how big of a night Tuesday night was. Let's me start with a couple of wow moments, wow moments starting with something like Minnesota. Minnesota, Joe Biden won by 65,000 votes, 38.6 percent. Bernie Sanders at 29.9 percent. John, going into Minnesota, there were questions whether or not Joe Biden would actually hit the 15 percent mark that would make him viable for statewide delegates. Obviously, got a major boost from Amy Klobuchar's endorsement the night before Super Tuesday. Joe Biden in a state that Bernie Sanders won in 2016 in a caucus back then ended up crushing in Minnesota.

Move over to the northeast. Bernie Sanders country, another state that Bernie Sanders won in a caucus in 2016. Joe Biden still not called yet but leading Bernie Sanders in the State of Maine by 1,700 votes with 91 percent reporting. Again, there are real questions whether Joe Biden would be viable in this state, let alone have a chance to win this state.

Move down a little bit to John Berman's home state, Massachusetts. This is Elizabeth Warren's home state. This is a place that's right next door to where Bernie Sanders is from in Vermont. Who won? Joe Biden won by almost 89,000 votes. Elizabeth Warren coming in third place.

There were some wow moments earlier in the night. Here's the big moment for the Biden campaign. The State of Texas, the state where Bernie Sanders was organized, the state where Bernie Sanders had a ton of money, a ton of organization, Joe Biden, over the course of the night, trailing then pulling even then taking the lead as the election day vote, not the early vote, the election day vote started to roll in in the suburbs. And right now, 93 percent reporting up by 71,000 votes. CNN has projected Joe Biden will win Texas.

The other key, and I think this is what some expected but maybe not to this degree, the mid-Atlantic and the south. Joe Biden just blowing out through these states exactly what his campaign's kind of best case scenario would be. He did it, whether it was Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma. Then you include Texas in that. That's how you get to where Joe Biden had the night that he had.

But I do want to point out one key thing that's outstanding or one of the biggest things that's still outstanding, and that is the largest pot of delegates at play. 415 delegates in the State of California, and look at this map right now. Almost all light blue. Light blue is Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders, about 240,000 votes ahead with 48 percent reporting.

Now, it's worth noting it's going to take some time, John, as you noted. The vote is going to come in over the course of days. But this is where Bernie Sanders thought he could pick up a lot of delegates. He still very much has that opportunity in the days ahead. Guys?

CAMEROTA: Phil, thank you very much for breaking down those maps for us. Really interesting to see where we are at this hour.

[07:05:01] Things are changing. But Joe Biden's stunning Super Tuesday turnaround makes him the frontrunner this morning after those nine big wins last night.

CNN's Jessica Dean is live in Los Angeles covering the Biden campaign. What's the mood there, Jessica?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, you can guess. They're pretty happy. They went to bed pretty happy. They're going to wake up today very, very encouraged and pretty thrilled how last night went.

Phil just broke it all down for you. You saw how he won in all these different states, different regions across the country. And the Biden campaign, it worked out exactly like they had hoped it to, really best, best, best case scenario. They had hoped that the win in South Carolina would act as a spring board, that they would be able to use that momentum, use the money that was coming in, and really maximize that moment. And, boy, did they. It really turned out that way. They were very pleased. They've been using the word Joementum.

But, listen, Joe Biden has the momentum right now. He knows it. Take a listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To those who have been knocked down, counted out, left behind, this is your campaign.

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN: And two ways they really maximized that bump from South Carolina, they really focused on specific congressional districts they knew were delegate-rich in these states. They zeroed in on that, tried to get endorsements, key endorsements there, really turn out the voters they knew would be supporting Joe Biden. And the other thing, John and Alisyn, that they really used to their advantage was the ability to get all of this free air time through the media, using the media to get on the airwaves because they simply could not compete with what Michael Bloomberg and others were putting up on the airwaves in these Super Tuesday states.

CAMEROTA: Jessica, thank you very much for all of that.

Let's talk about it. We are joined now by CNN Political Analyst David Gregory, CNN Political Correspondent, Abby Phillip, CNN Contributor and New York Times Contributing Op-Ed Writer, Wajahat Ali, and CNN Political Commentator and former New Orleans mayor, Mitch Landrieu.

Mayor, you've run some races. What lessons can we learn from Joe Biden's turnaround, a big night, last night? MITCH LANDRIEU, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the Biden team, they're going to be gracious about this, but they could say, I told you so. Everybody had the foot on his neck. And they were saying, if you're going to be a frontrunner, you have to win something. And they kept saying wait until South Carolina, wait until diversity kicks in, wait until we get a chance to talk to our people.

And last night turned out better than anybody expected. And, you know, they should be very proud of themselves in how they conducted themselves yesterday in the win they had, because nobody predicted it and then nobody expected it.

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: We are living in this unconventional world where all the political norms have been thrown out and Joe Biden said, hey, wait a minute. Actually, there are some old rules that apply, which is momentum matters, key endorsements matter, and then something very organic which is the Democratic voters saying, look, we get a chance to actually say something. And what we want to say is stop the madness. Let us narrow down this race. We have real concerns as a broad electorate about Bernie Sanders. let's get some clarity here.

And there is a big caveat. There is a new frontrunner this morning. It's a big story.

BERMAN: Can I say, we don't need to declare a frontrunner all of a sudden this morning, because one thing that we've learned this election so far is that the voters will tell us what they think. If things change --

GREGORY: But the other part of what I was going to say, the big caveat is that even though he has pulled this off, Bernie Sanders is more than formidable. There is a real split in this party between what the Democratic Party is, between the liberals and the moderates. And now, there's some clarity around that debate.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, here is the counterpoint to that. If you're Joe Biden and you're looking at the exit polls coming out of this election, you see Joe Biden winning in virtually every single category. He won liberals. He won moderates. He won conservatives. He won first-time voters. He won people who had voted in the past. He ran rural. He won urban, won suburban.

So this is the reason why, I think, there are some problems here for Bernie Sanders. Yes, there is a divide in the Democratic Party, but you have to wonder where are Sanders' voters and why are they not showing up for him?

CAMEROTA: Hispanics.

PHILLIP: Exactly. Hispanics are showing up for him, particularly younger Hispanics. But it's the breadth and the depth of Biden support that should be a concern to the Sanders campaign. They've staked everything on being able to turn up the temperature on turnout, bringing out their voters. That did not happen. And, in fact, it actually benefitted Joe Biden. BERMAN: One thing David said was that the old rules still apply.

[07:10:01]

And I get your point. I think you're right in some cases. The one thing that the old rules used to say though is you need to spend money in states. You can actually try it to win in states, to win.

LANDRIEU: And he won Massachusetts.

BERMAN: And Joe Biden won Massachusetts. I don't know that he stepped foot there.

LANDRIEU: But Donald Trump got a huge amount ton of free media when he ran last time as well. So it's not something that's never happened before. But, finally, we also have to think about the general election. And the challenge that I think we're thinking about is whichever one of these folks goes on to win the nomination, the party has to unify to still beat Trump. And I think we have some work to do on both sides of the party, which is now kind of clarified about is it going to be one way or is it going to be another, how do you bring them together so that we can actually win a general election for folks that are not, quote, unquote, part of the Democratic Party.

BERMAN: Waj, can you explain something for us now? Because I want to talk about one of the big phenomenons and one of the big reasons why Joe Biden did as well as he did which was late deciders. So let's try this in Virginia. Let's try to throw up the people who decided late.

CAMEROTA: When did you decide who you were going to support? 49 percent say in just the last few days, okay? So it's split there.

BERMAN: And of those who decided in the last few days --

CAMEROTA: 59 percent of them went for Biden.

BERMAN: So, why, Waj? What happened in the last few days that helps explain this movement?

WAJAHAT ALI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: So I think the hot take is that people aren't really enthused about Joe Biden as much as they're enthused about beating Trump. Who will beat Trump? Black voters saved the Democratic Party. Black voters saved America. Black voters saved Joe Biden and black voters are pragmatic. They looked at it and said, it's down to Bernie or Biden or Warren. Okay. Who will white America unite for to beat Donald Trump in 2020? Biden.

And so the fact that you saw that number, 49 percent of people decided in Virginia in the last two days, fluid. They weren't really passionate about Biden or Warren or Sanders or Tulsi. We've got mention Tulsi. But they said, all right, we got the base, we got South Carolina, we got Kingmaker Clyburn, we've got the moderate avengers, we've got Beto, we've got Buttigieg, we've got Klobuchar. We have momentum here with Biden. I think Biden is the one that can beat Trump. And he won something.

GREGORY: He won big in South Carolina.

ALI: And he won big in Virginia. He came out huge. Look at the voter turnout. And this is why I think this is a good win for Democrats. If you're a Democrat today, let's -- the doom gloom for a second about uniting the party, I would feel good, record turnout. Despite voter suppression, people waited five to seven hours to vote in this country, which is absurd but they voted. A whole bunch people came out for Biden, not just the black but also -- you saw -- who would have guessed who would have won Massachusetts? Nobody. Nobody. Anyone who said, they're lying.

GREGORY: And is there a cap for Bernie Sanders? There's a lot of fears about Bernie Sanders. Can he win? Just fears about his policies, in general. He's not growing his vote. The surge of voters were for Biden. That means a lot.

LANDRIEU: Well, putting the policies aside, if you just look at the numbers, Bernie has not actually grown as he says he's supposed to in a couple of the other takes he made. I'm not gloomy about whether or not we're going to come together. I think we will. And you're right about African-Americans in the south. If you ask them, if you talk to them about what they thought, they said we're going to pick the person that we know, that we like, that we're comfortable with and who can win. And we think Biden has the best chance of winning across America. So they were helping us and they were thinking through it for us and they made a really wise decision.

ALI: And Simone Sanders literally saved him.

CAMEROTA: She really did. We'll show you the video later. Simone Sanders, one of his top advisers, actually had to tackle someone who tried to rush the stage, a protester. But Bernie Sanders at the moment is leading in California. And it looks like that he will win there and that, of course, will really tighten the delegate count.

Sanders said something last night that I thought was interesting. And I don't know it to be true. He said, you know, voters don't want the same old, same old. Yes, they do. Democratic voters last night said they want something familiar, something that they know. They know that Joe Biden isn't perfect. They've worked their way around during this whole time to testing and flirting and dating with all sorts of people and they've come back.

LANDRIEU: People of America clearly have said we need stability. We need to restore some sense of balance in our country. And Joe Biden actually represents that. So Bernie says they want a revolution, Joe Biden says, no, let's have some stability first. And the country, in some measure, is going to respond or at least choose which of those they want.

BERMAN: Let me ask this in a different way, because something I said to Chris Coons a few minutes ago, the Joe Biden on the Wednesday after Super Tuesday is actually the same Joe Biden that he was on the Friday before South Carolina that wasn't doing that great, that hot. So if you are the Biden campaign, Abby, and you've been out there on the trail, what does he need to do now to capitalize on this? If he wants to be the nominee, how does he bring this home?

PHILLIP: I do think that Biden needs to continue with his core message, which is about his ability to beat Trump. I mean, I think that that -- from the perspective of winning the primary is going to be the number one. But there is this feeling, this groundswell of anti-establishment support. Bernie Sanders didn't have a great night last night, but there are a lot of people in this country who voted for him and who supports what he stands for.

[07:15:03]

And Joe Biden needs to tap into that.

One of the reasons people think Joe Biden might be able to do well against Trump is because he talks about speaking to the same kind of forgotten voter that Trump did. Well, that's usually when we're talking about white men in the Midwest and Western Pennsylvania, in places where Trump did well. But that's a message that has to be bridged over to the Democratic coalition. It has to be bridged to Hispanic voters. It has to be bridged to black voters. Because there are a lot of young people in this country who want someone to vote for and they need Biden to start speaking to that kind of anxiety and that anti-establishment feeling.

He's never going to be an anti-establishment candidate but he cannot ignore 30 percent of the Democratic electorate.

BERMAN: And he can. He wants them. He wants them last week.

GREGORY: Right. But there's something more fundamental, which is a lot of voters look up at Joe Biden and they say, yes, we know this guy. We may not love him in a lot of respects but we know him. And here's what really matters today in our environment. Can he do the job? I think a lot of people look at him and say, yes, he can do the job. I think there's a lot of people who won't vote for him who could say, yes, but he can do the job. He'd be competitive (ph).

We are in the middle of a global health crisis that is likely to get much, much worse, with tremendous, at least short-term economic ramifications. Voters want to look up and say, do I have a president who can handle something that's unexpected and will he or she be surrounded by the right people who can -- to your point, it's not only kind of stability in terms of decency, but it's also, can we have basic competency in the government? I think going forward --

LANDRIEU: These voters do not go into the booth thinking just about who the candidates are running. What's happening in my life today? In Nashville, we had a tragedy, we have the coronavirus, we have the stock market that's crashing. People are saying who is the person that can lead us into a new place? And I think that kind of argues in favor of people that have experience.

BERMAN: Stand by for one moment, because there are a couple other major questions today. And, honestly, we're waiting to see what happens today with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senator Elizabeth Warren. We are waiting to hear from them. Will they stay in the race? They are being asked that question.

Our live coverage continues right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:20:00]

BERMAN: This morning, they are still counting votes in California. Frankly, they will be for some days. Bernie Sanders is maintaining a healthy lead there. This is where he's going to pick up the most delegates on Super Tuesday. That state has 415 delegates. He's doing very well there.

At this moment, Joe Biden leads the overall delegate count, which honestly is an outcome that really no one expected heading into Super Tuesday.

Back with us, David Gregory, Abby Phillip, Wajahat Ali and Mitch Landrieu.

We were talking about Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. But I got to say, there are two other big stories this morning, and that's Elizabeth Warren and Michael Bloomberg. We've been talking about Bloomberg's millions and millions, but let's talk about Elizabeth Warren first, Waj. She lost Massachusetts. I mean, if we could put up the Massachusetts numbers, I'm from there so I care a lot about this, I can't believe that it ended up the way it did there with Elizabeth Warren finishing third and Joe Biden coming out of nowhere.

ALI: So I think it goes back to the main story being people want to unseat Trump. That's the main story. And they looked at it and we saw the numbers, and most people made up their minds literally 30 minutes before voting. And they said, you know what, I think America is going to go for Biden. I'm going to go for Biden. Elizabeth Warren made some mistakes. This is what I think she went wrong.

Three months ago, she should have elbowed Bernie and said, hey, I'm this candidate between Biden and Bernie. I'm the pragmatic progressive. She didn't do that. She also didn't have the grassroots support, which she ran as a progressive. Bernie had that lane tied up for the past five years. But when you lose your own home state, you don't even get second, you get third, that's a sign that maybe you should bow out.

And I think she's a formidable candidate. I think she's brilliant. I think there were double standards there. You know I was a big Warren fan, I still am. Either Biden or Bernie would be wise to say, Elizabeth Warren, can we please have your policy proposals. Thank you so much. All hail Elizabeth Warren. But the fact she didn't make it, I will say this. To Elizabeth Warren, she did her job. She gutted Michael Bloomberg on the debate stage. And I think cutting him and exposing him and making a billionaire lose like that, bravo.

PHILLIP: That was the greatest gift to Joe Biden that she could have ever given him, was taking Michael Bloomberg down at a pivotal time. I mean, I think we could have been looking at -- we've been talking all morning about how Joe Biden has -- it's about the fundamentals. But this was not a foregone conclusion. When Bloomberg was looking to be spending over a hundred million dollars in Super Tuesday states, hadn't been touched by ay of the candidates because he hadn't been on the debate stage, had he come into Super Tuesday that way, this would have been a very different race, I think.

And so Biden benefitted from Warren really doing that work on the debate stage and taking Bloomberg down. And he also benefitted from Jim Clyburn deciding at a certain point, I'm going to weigh in before voters vote in my state and giving that crucial endorsement. I think had those two things not happened, we would have been -- we would be talking about a different Super Tuesday than we are today.

GREGORY: I do think we've seen key moments, right? That debate moment really, really mattered. And for Biden who -- Biden had the benefit of being the early frontrunner because of name recognition. He actually suffered with this, a little bit of that sense of inevitability and I'm the only one who can beat Trump.

So then he fell hard and then has come back, to your point, Waj, because a lot of Americans felt like, okay, he won something and he won it big, and we've seen that. We have a lot of people falling in line. We're scared about Bernie. We're focused really on Trump. And so, you know, he seems like the guy despite our reservations.

And if you look forward on the calendar, that's also pretty favorable territory for him based on 2016. These are states -- a lot of these states coming up next week that Hillary Clinton actually won. So if you're Mike Bloomberg this morning, you have to say, look, if my theory of the case goes, I'm in it to win it because Biden has faltered, you've got to be rethinking that. No traction whatsoever this morning.

[07:25:00]

He can do a lot of good to Joe Biden and the Democratic Party if he falls in line.

LANDRIEU: Well, a couple of comments. First of all, Elizabeth Warren is a warrior and a superstar. And Mike Bloomberg has demonstrated the capacity to do great things when he was mayor of New York. But both of these folks are sophisticated players and they're going to look at these numbers and ask themselves, do I have a pathway forward? And am I hurting or helping the cause, which is to unseat Trump?

And I think that you're going to see some pretty dramatic decisions. I don't know if it's going to be today. I think they're entitled to a little bit of time to really think about it.

BERMAN: Tonight?

LANDRIEU: Well, whenever. It's going to be sooner rather than later. The interesting question for me is what is Elizabeth Warren going to do. If she decides to drop out, who is she going to support?

CAMEROTA: Right. But is that part of the -- I hear some people who are not in politics, who are from the country, who think that that would be a great ticket, because it's Biden who is the moderate and then Elizabeth Warren who brings this --

LANDRIEU: This is a numbers game. This is not going to be an emotional connection. All of the teams are going to get together and say, who's the best team to beat Trump. And that's what it's going to wind up being. I don't think we can guess yet, but that's how it's going to -- that decision is going to be made.

ALI: I like that ticket, by the way. But the risk is do you expose losing a Senate seat in Massachusetts with a Republican runner (ph), right?

PHILLIP: I think Democrats would be wise to focus on the top of the ticket. I mean, I think there are actually some voters who maybe think about that. But it would be -- you know, if it's a ticket that can win, that's the ticket the Democrats are going to go for.

And, I mean, even to your point about this not being an emotional thing, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, their personal relationship, there are a lot of question marks about that. But at the end of the day, you know, I think that this is going to be about addition, it's going to be about cobbling together a coalition, and they're going to do it by any means necessary.

LANDRIEU: What I'd say that Ronald Reagan and George Bush did not like each other at the moment that Ronald Reagan asked him to be his vice presidential candidate. That's what I'd say, but it's not emotional.

BERMAN: There's a long way to go if we're talking about tickets.

GREGORY: Yes. I would say this is premature because I think that the ultimate nominee is ultimately going to look to shore up some of his deficiencies. And it goes beyond the coalition piece. There's no question she's a doer, she's a warrior and she could be that in office, but she has a lot of downsides too. And to the extent that she's the unifier for the progressives, I don't know that we can say that yet. So, again, --

BERMAN: I will tell you, before we pick a running mate, you've got to figure out a way to heal the party. You've got to win, okay?

And Bernie Sanders last night, I want to play this sound because I think it's telling. This is why this race is far from over yet. There is still a fight and Bernie Sanders made clear there's a fight last night on the State of Vermont. Listen.

(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: For the rest of the progressives, what's this going to -- you have residency here. You've got a chair. What's this going to look like for the next few weeks given that Bernie Sanders told us what he's going to do?

ALI: This is going to be a fight. And if you're Bernie or on Bernie's team, listen, I was the underdog a year ago, delegates, I'm pretty close there. Everything west of Oklahoma, I won. Latino voters in Nevada, in Texas, in California, they went to me, I worked at it. This is a generational divide. The young people, they want change.

And, Abby, I think the last segment we were talking about you cannot discount the fact they are not just young people but many disaffected Americans who feel that the establishment, whatever you want to call that, has failed them. And Bernie Sanders does rile up his base saying, I will actually bring change.

And I don't want to go back to 2016. I want to move us forward. And now, you have the next debate is March 15th. We saw in three days a lot can happen in this race.

GREGORY: And he may very well be right that the same old, same old will not work. He may actually be right. But what I think is clear is that Bernie Sanders is -- he is what he is. And he says what he believes. And he's been the same guy for a long time, which is why he's not a deal maker in Congress all the time he's been there. He's less likely to be accommodating in the Hill.

Joe Biden is a classic old time politician. He will accommodate to try to bring people in. It may not work, but he is certainly a lot more accommodating than Bernie Sanders.

CAMEROTA: Guys, thank you, all, very much. Great to spend this morning with you and try to figure out what we're seeing unfold before us. Great to have you.

Now, to this story. There is devastation in Tennessee this morning from the deadliest tornado there in years. Dozens of people are still unaccounted for at this hour. A live report from our team in the hardest hit towns near Nashville, next.

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[07:30:00]

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