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Laura Coates Live

Supreme Court Unanimously Rules To Keep Trump On Ballot; Court Of Public Opinion Weighs In On SCOTUS Ruling; Voters Across The U.S. Head To The Polls Tomorrow; Caitlin Clark Breaks NCAA Scoring Record; Jason Kelce Is Retiring. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired March 04, 2024 - 23:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Yep, the Supreme Court has spoken, tomorrow it's the voters turn to do the talking, tonight on "Laura Coates Live."

So, there you have it, don't get out the white out. Yes, I know I'm dating myself with that reference. Those who are younger than I am, Google that. We needed it for a period of time.

But Trump is on the ballot. He is still on the ballot. The Supreme Court unanimously ruling today that he cannot be removed from the ballot in Colorado or really any other state for that matter.

And really, with the ballots already printed up and Colorado voters along with 15 other states heading to the polls in a few hours from even now on Super Tuesday, there was really no time to waste. All nine justices agreed. Is it a judicial love story in the making?


RENEE ZELLWEGER, ACTRESS: You had me at hello.


COATES: God, I love that movie. Well, three Supreme Court justices must have had that movie on the brain today, only it wasn't much of a love story and there was no one screaming about Kwan or showing them the money.

Nope. This time, the so-called liberal justices, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson, in a concurring opinion, basically told their colleagues, quit while you're ahead, you had them at patchwork.

See what I did there? You were waiting to see what I was going to do, weren't you? You were all trying to -- you were leaning into your TVs going, how is Laura Coates going to bring Jerry Maguire back to the Supreme Court? You're welcome, America.

Well, they agreed that there was going to be some chaos if every state gets to decide whether Trump can be on the ballot. They got to have consistency. That's going to come from Congress, they said, not the states. Otherwise, you've got this, well, not a hello, but patchwork, and that was as far as they wanted the court to go.

But I mean, tell a baby not to cry. The rest of them, all but Amy Coney Barrett, that is, said, you know what, I see your patchwork, and I raise you -- instructions for Congress on what they ought to do next.

Now, we call that legislation, but forgetting for being a little bit cynical here, show me the money, figuratively speaking. We've seen what happens in the Supreme Court, puns to Congress, right? Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act comes to mind as exhibit number A. We're waiting for that new preclearance formula, right? Are you?

Well, conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a Donald Trump's third nominee, agreeing that the court went too far, maybe wanting to stop also at the hello patchwork, but also taking time in an issue with her liberal colleagues -- quote -- saying, "In my judgment, this is not the time to amplify disagreement with stridency. Writings on the court should turn the national temperature down, not up." That's interesting. But now is the time to take the temperature down in a politically charged environment. I wonder why now of all times. What other cases were decided during politically-charged times? Bush v. Gore? No. Roe v. Wade? Overturning Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs decision? How about Heller, Second Amendment case? Citizens United? Hmm. I guess you had me at a little bit of whoosah for a second, a different one we got to focus on.





COATES: Whoosah. That's the part, right? I'm going to rub your ears for a moment here.

I want to bring in former law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Tiffany Wright, and former investigative counsel for the House January 6th Committee, Marcus Childress.

Okay, it's Super Tuesday. You can whoosah or not, rub the ears or not. I happen to love a good movie reference, so I got to tell you, it's always going to be in there.

I want to begin with you, Tiffany, because I have got to go behind the scenes with you for a second. And your eyes are already telling me that you've already gone behind the scenes in your mind thinking about this. Tell me what you think was happening over this past month to get to this place where you've got Amy Coney Barrett having a concurring opinion, Sotomayor, Kagan, Jackson saying, here's the rest of it. What was going on, you think? TIFFANY R. WRIGHT, FORMER LAW CLERK FOR JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR: I think this is another example of a poison pill created by John Roberts snuck into the sweetness of a supposed compromise that turns out to be nothing more than restricting constitutional rights. And you have three liberal justices who called him out on that and said, you went much further than you had to.

And then Amy Coney Barrett is wagging her finger and chastising a woman of color, Justice Sotomayor, for speaking her mind and essentially telling her now is the time where you should sit down and be quiet and turn down the national temperature as if Justice Barrett's entire existence on the Supreme Court isn't a reason for the national temperature being elevated in the first instance.


COATES: Hmm. Let me pause for a second. Let me take all that in. Marcus?

MARCUS CHILDRESS, FORMER JANUARY 6 COMMITTEE INVESTIGATIVE COUNSEL: It's hard to follow that. What I will say, and I want to give Justice Jackson, Sotomayor, and Kagan credit for at least the concurring opinion, I thought that was notable in light of the D.C. Circuit opinion a few weeks ago, right, where we have a per curiam unanimous decision.

And I thought that it was notable that they agree with the outcome and they still shared their philosophy of how this case should have been ruled. Um, I thought in this dynamic of the election year, I thought that was really important having heard what you just said as well. That was my big takeaway.

COATES: Well, the finger wagging part of it, I found it very interesting, of course, to think about take the temperature down.


COATES: Essentially, she was saying, listen, it's great we are unanimous. Roberts, I'm sure, wanted that, did not want to wade into political territory although they have in the past before. He's well aware, Tiffany, about the impression people have that they're carrying water for Donald Trump. Whether that's true genuinely or not, the impression can sometimes be king.

When you look at that, um, the Supreme Court is supposed to resolve an issue to make people finally have consistency and calm. Could that be what she was saying?

WRIGHT: That could be what she was saying, but the crisis of the court's legitimacy is one of their own making. Right? You have a unanimous judgment by the Supreme Court of the United States, and we would love to think that this is a legal judgment. It's not influenced by politics, but we can't think that because the Supreme Court has so bankrupted its legitimacy that there is really nothing left.

And so, Americans are wondering, is this a political judgment under the guise of a legal opinion? There's no way to really be sure, given the controversy that the court itself has created. And so, I would love to think that this is a unanimous, purely legal opinion, but I don't think that we can have that confidence based on what we've seen from the Supreme Court.

COATES: That's very dangerous as a proposition, right? And the idea of legitimacy of the court -- I mean, precedent exists in a way to influence our choices and conduct if you believe in the value of that precedent. That was a concern, of course, pre-Dobbs decision down in Texas at one point in time about sort of thumbing their nose at the court and saying, no, I'm not going to do that. That was a very real risk then. But now, is this the case that means that there is a legitimacy? What do you think?

CHILDRESS: Well, I mean, whether -- I think that's going to be for the American people to really decide, is the legitimacy of this decision here today. But one thing is for sure, is that Colorado won't be able to disqualify the former president from the ballot.

And I think that's important as we head into this election season, that there is some law now on this issue of whether states can disqualify presidential, uh, candidates from the ballot.

I think now requiring Congress to have to act to be able to do so, that's something that we thought about on the committee. It was in our recommendation --

COATES: The impeachment committee.

CHILDRESS: -- on the January 6th, right, the committee. It was part of our recommendation, was that committees of jurisdiction in Congress should look at ways, mechanisms that we can enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

I think we believed that former President Trump was an insurrectionist and should be disqualified from the ballot. But we also considered the environment that we're in and that there should be some type of uniformity or it might be better if there is some uniformity around the country with how these processes are brought and the procedures that are used to carry forth this action.

COATES: So, here's why I'm uncomfortable at the idea that we would have an illegitimate Supreme Court, because if you follow this thread and only their decisions that you agree with makes you think, okay, they got that right, they must be legitimate, invariably, there'll come a time when other will call the decision from the Supreme Court on the other side illegitimate, and then we've got chaos in different way.

Tiffany, when you hear about the consistency aspect of it, the court, they seem to agree on this principle alone about that patchwork aspect of it, right? You know, you had me at hello, you had me at the patchwork because chaos could reign. You're talking about the chaos of the court being illegitimate, but what about the chaos of there really being those different states able to do different things and decide who's on the ballot? WRIGHT: I absolutely think that that is a legitimate concern. And had the court stopped there, I think it would have been a decision that could gather some legal consensus. The problem is they went further. And what they did was restrict the 14th Amendment. And let's be clear, the Supreme Court has for 150 years been acting to restrict the 14th Amendment, which was passed after the Civil War.

The people who drafted Section 3 lived through something horrific. They watched people who were willing to burn this country down so long as they could rule over the ashes and so long as Black people were not treated as political equals. And that's exactly what happened on January 6th.

The insurrectionist's urge to burn this country down, to take your country back so that we are not in an interracial, multiracial democracy is something that has been with us from the beginning, and it is exactly what Section 3 was intended to combat.


COATES: You know, you're talking, of course, about the Civil War, and it hasn't been used, I guess, since the 1800s to try to get Confederates not to be a part of the government. But on that point, I mean, just to take it back to the point you were raising, Marcus, on what Congress can do, because, obviously, the Supreme Court has said so far, look, Congress, you have to deal with this issue. It's one of your own making. Deal with it. What do you want this law to be, this section to be interpreted as?

Look, the bureaucracy is slow as molasses. And you have already seen what happens when Congress has things punted to them. There's a lot of work to be done to get unity and unanimity in Congress. When you guys looked at Congress doing more, were you at all optimistic?

CHILDRESS: I was optimistic that we had a bipartisan committee that even looked into these facts. I know some people might dispute the fact that it wasn't bipartisan. Ms. Cheney and Mr. Kinzinger, I think, would argue with you about their conservative roots.

And so, the fact that you had folks like Mr. Thompson, Mr. Raskin, Ms. Cheney and Mr. Kinzinger coming into this committee and trying to prevent another insurrection from happening in the future through a legislative purpose, that was something that actually inspired me to go into work every day on the committee.

And I think that's a great start for establishing the facts for Congress to now pass legislation based upon the work that we've already done and the work that every court that has actually looked into these issues has agreed with. Everyone that has looked into the facts of January 6th has agreed that it was an insurrection and that the former president engaged in it.

And so, now, it has punted back to Congress and just like -- it was probably not predictable that our committee would come together and produce the type of investigation that we did. I'm hoping that we're wrong about maybe Congress now taking an action on this moving forward.

COATES: Let me ask you really quick, Tiffany. Why do you think the Supreme Court did not delve into the insurrectionist claim? Obviously, they're not a fact-based trial court. They're not in the business of trying to decide whether or not that has happened.

But at some point, they know they're going to have to evaluate in the immunity case whether official acts entail some of the things that are going to be overlapping facts of insurrectionist claims. Why do you think they were so cautious to steer clear here?

WRIGHT: I think it's because of exactly what you said, is that they are trying not to act as a fact-finding body. I will note that courts that have looked at the facts have concluded that he is an insurrectionist.

COATES: Colorado, for example.

WRIGHT: Yes. Right. But the court didn't want to go there. Now, you're right, they may have to go there when they get to the immunity case, and we'll see what they say there. But I think, for now, they wanted to steer clear of that, and that's frankly what we expected them to do given that they like to stay away from factual disputes.

CHILDRESS: It'll be tough to get to that outer perimeter analysis without looking at what he actually did, former President Trump did, leading up to January 6th. I don't see how the court can say that it's within his outer perimeter of duties --

COATES: Uh-hmm.

CHILDRESS: -- while trying to find 11,700 votes in Georgia, right? So, they're going to have to either do a very blanket decision about presidential immunity or get into the facts when trying to distinguish what type of conduct is actually permissible.

COATES: Stop. You had me at hello.


Tiffany, Marcus --


-- thank you, both of you, so much.

Next, the woman who voted for Donald Trump then tried to get him off Colorado's ballot. Why she says today's Supreme Court ruling could be dangerous.



COATES: As you know, there was a unanimous nine to nothing decision, although there were concurring opinions. It ruled that Donald Trump could not be removed from the ballot in Colorado or frankly any other state for that matter, and others have tried.

So, who better to talk to them about this than one of the plaintiffs in the Colorado 14th Amendment case. Krista Kafer joins me now. Krista, so good to see you again. We last spoke when they had the oral argument about this very case about a month ago. We were at that point skeptical about how they would rule. Now you know how they've ruled today. How do you feel about it?

KRISTA KAFER, PLAINTIFF IN COLORADO 14TH AMENDMENT CASE: Well, as you can imagine, I'm feeling disappointed. I think there was a bit of a silver -- silver lining in that the court did not dispute the finding of the Colorado Supreme Court or the trial court that Trump engaged in insurrection. I think that's important.

They -- I think what let us down as a country is that they now are now saying that Congress or at least the majority said Congress must make this decision. That is -- that's not in the Constitution. It's kind of an extra constitutional finding. But I tend to agree with the minority in this case that with it being in the hands of Congress, no future insurrectionist is going to be held accountable.

COATES: Sotomayor, Kagan, and Jackson all talked about the idea of self-executing provisions of the 14th Amendment, and now wanting to add another layer on behalf of the -- quote, unquote -- "majority ruling was not a part of it." They follow your precise logic on that point.

But how about this? I mean, if Donald Trump is not successful in Colorado and he's on that ballot, it's because of the voters, right? Not the court at that point. So, is this a good or a bad thing in terms of this notion of political martyrdom for him to say, well, you took me off the ballot, that's why I may have lost or otherwise?

KAFER: Well, I think he's going to call himself a martyr no matter what we do. And my concern is that because the court has said, in effect, hey, you can be an insurrectionist, you can decide you don't like the vote, you can decide to push a lie and push that lie to the point of fomenting violence, people can attack our Capitol.

And even if we're not successful in overturning the will of the people, we can run again. Who's to say what's going to happen in this primary?


Even if he were to lose in the primary, my guess is that he's going to say he won. Who knows what's going to happen in the general? If he wins, he's going to say he won. If he loses, he's probably going to say he won. And there's really no downside to it.

COATES: What about the concern that the Supreme Court was ruling on to suggest, look, it can't just be Colorado or one state in particular? We've got obvious electoral college map. We've got a United States of America. What one state does impacts another, which, frankly, is true for every race. As we're watching, say, the general election, you're waiting to see what one state will do in terms of either their delegate count, electoral counts and votes, and what happens for the rest of the nation.

But what do you make of that argument after a month of really reflection now, which they raised in the oral argument about Colorado trying to get ahead of the nation's skis?

KAFER: Well, you know, I understand that it would be disruptive. I understand that it wouldn't be practical. But the idea that somehow a patchwork of conflicting laws is problematic, it's not when you think about the fact that each case -- each state has different laws when it comes to mail-in voting, when it comes to -- when you can register, when it comes to other things with regard to voting.

There is a patchwork. And in the past, these same conservative judges have not had a problem with patchworks of the laws, even if they're conflicting, whether it has to do with gay marriage, whether it has to do with abortion. They seem to be okay with a patchwork until they're not.

COATES: Very important point because certainly, we've had many consequential decisions in recent years from the Supreme Court. And I guess the interpretations in the eye of the judicial beholder, this time, they have said he remains on the ballot tomorrow. Certainly, voters will decide whether he should, in fact, win on that ballot.

Krista Kafer, thank you so much for joining us.

KAFER: Thanks. Thanks for having me on, and let's hope the voters take seriously what he did on January 6th when they cast their vote.

COATES: Thank you.

Up next, how will this decision by the Supreme Court play out in the court of public opinion. Four people who appeared on this show last month for our court of public opinion on this very notion that Trump should not be on the ballot, they're back tonight. Find out what they think now.



COATES: We're back in our court of public opinion, our virtual courtroom where jurors hear legal arguments and weigh in on the big questions of the day. And nothing is bigger tonight than the Supreme Court's ruling that Donald Trump can, in fact, stay on Colorado's primary ballot. Voters in that state going to the polls in a matter of now hours from now.

Well, tonight, it was a little bit different, bringing back the jurors who just about a month ago weighed in on Trump's ballot battle.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COATES: Do you think that Trump should be on the ballot? Yes or no?




QUARDRICOS DRISKELL, JUROR, LAURA'S COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION (voice- over): No. COATES: Oh, well, that seems hesitant when you talked about it. Maybe

you wanted a maybe option as well.


COATES: Well, now, I want to ask those jurors how they feel about the court unanimously ruling to keep Trump on the Colorado ballot. So, welcome back to all of you today. A lot has changed since last time we were together. In fact, there has now been a Supreme Court decision. He remains on the ballot. You all thought that he should be removed after hearing today's decision. What do you think, jury number one?

JAMES: Well, I don't think that he should be on the ballot. I feel that Colorado made a good decision in starting this in the first place. I commend them for their efforts, even though they have not won.

Um, but I feel that them taking him, having him be kept on this, that is maybe what is maybe in down the line maybe best. I don't know because we don't know how many other states would then follow suit and then where that would have gone.

I don't know that we should be allowing the states to just decide, you know, who's going to be on a ballot, who remains on a ballot, who comes off, because then what happens when the people who oppose Joe Biden decide that maybe, you know, he had those documents and so we can take him off of our ballot?

COATES: Interesting because the court really followed your logic in the sense of not wanting the patchwork. They thought every state might do things differently. Some may be able to have the avenue of going to secretary of state's office and asking for this relief. Others may have a different thing.

You have a patchwork. But still, do you think they should have done something different? What are your thoughts today?

MADISON: Well, before, I didn't think he should be on the ballot, but that was probably wishful thinking on my part. And it's hard to argue with a nine-nothing decision. I mean, that's pretty definitive.

Um, but you have to question, this is supposed to be a very conservative court. Well, did this really follow judicial restraint and strict constructionism in terms of the going beyond actually just ruling on the Colorado case and going into basically what has to happen to enforce the 14th Amendment?

COATES: A good point because that was what the concurring opinion of Justices Kagan, Sotomayor -- of course, Sonia Sotomayor, excuse me, and also Katanji Brown Jackson thought that they could have stopped at the argument I just said, a patchwork. But they went beyond to say what the Congress could do to now enforce Section 3, being too much, too expansive in that point. What do you think, juror number three?

CORNWALL: Um, I agree with the other jurors.


I do think that it's disappointing that the decision didn't go another way, but I also understand why, because it's not the place of Colorado to, um, try to do this on a federal level. But also, the Congress is not doing it.

And so, we're still in this very precarious position on he's clearly an insurrectionist. They were very clear on not saying that he wasn't an insurrectionist. But we still have to deal with him on the ballot, which I think is unfortunate.

COATES: Interesting, because you see them not addressing the insurrectionist aspect as, well, they did not say he was. There could be some room for interpretation there. But on that point, juror number four, they did say, listen, if it was a state issue, then you could have weighed in. This is a federal office and that seemed to be part of the difference. What do you think?

DRISKELL: Absolutely. I think that the justices, though I, like the majority of the jurors, disagree politically with the fact that he should be on the ballot, I think they did a good job outlining, particularly Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, saying that for federal office holders, it is a federal issue and not necessarily incumbent upon the states to make that decision.

If it was a state's issue, well, then certainly they would have that right and authority. But it is not. And so, I think they did a good job, again, outlining Section 3 of that particular part of the 14th Amendment.

COATES: Did it change for you all? I mean, I've heard a lot of commentary today, and we were touching on it in prior discussions as well about this notion of Teflon Don, the use of navigating the legal system to try to get a particular result and fending off various attacks.

There seems to be a thought that is murmuring, that people believe that the court is somehow assisting in his efforts to be slippery. Do you see this decision as a reflection of the courts wanting to help Trump or is it separate for you? Juror number two?

MADISON: I hope they're not trying to help him. But I worry about it, and I think the immunity decision and when it comes down, even if it comes down and says he doesn't have immunity, if they wait till the very end, a lot of people are going to look at it and say, you know, they're helping him. I think there's a real danger of the court losing its legitimacy among an awful lot of Americans if they haven't already lost it.

COATES: Do any of you feel less confident in the Supreme Court's nonpartisan nature than you used to? Juror number three?

CORNWALL: Yes, absolutely. I think that, especially with all the different cases or the instances with Clarence Thomas and other Supreme Court justices. And it feels like pay for play and it feels like a very political office.

And that's not what it was the intention of, from what I understand, the founding fathers, what the Supreme Court is supposed to be, and this decision and other decisions over the last few years, definitely, and even how more recently justices have been appointed or not appointed, has been very concerning.

COATES: Juror number four, you seem to agree?

DRISKELL: Yes, absolutely. I mean, the court itself is a political institution. And if you look at most recent polls, even as recent as last year, when you rank sort of political and civic institutions, the Supreme Court is ranked amongst the top as least institutions that the American people now trust.

And I think that over time, given the frankly conservative wing of the court and how it has now been stacked, I mean, this is a very Catholic, very evangelical based court, people see that regardless of one's political ideology, and they begin to thus have less trust in the institution that is ideally supposed to remain unbiased and impartial.

COATES: Juror number one, I see you nodding along. I'd love to hear your take on this. And also, the fact that Justice Amy Coney Barrett seemed to think, in an opinion that she wrote as a concurrence separate from the other concurring opinion yet to today, to suggest the Supreme Court's job is sort of to lower the temperature --

JAMES: Uh-hmm.

COATES: -- to cool things down, that the fact that there had been unanimity should have been enough for people to feel confident. Doesn't sound like here, maybe the temperature has been lowered. But if it has not, why?

JAMES: I agree with the other jurors in that the temperature has not been lowered. I think that it rises with every time we have to hear from the court. And so -- and I think the reason why is because a lot of the reasons that were already stated is that, you know, the Supreme Court in itself is political.

COATES: Really quick down the line, I'm going to ask you, juror number four and beginning, is it a -- do you think it's a good or a bad thing that the former president is now on the ballot for the purposes of democracy? DRISKELL: For the purposes of democracy, for our federal public, it is only a good thing that states cannot necessarily do the patchwork, to use a quote from the from the case today, to make their own decisions about who federally is on the ballot.


COATES: Good or bad?

JAMES: Good.

COATES: Good or bad?

MADISON: Good for the immediate term. But depending on the election results in November, we'll see if it's good for -- or bad for the long-term future of democracy.

COATES: Good or bad?

CORNWALL: Um, I guess I'm going with the good. But I commended the states because, you know, this is something that probably should have been handled at a different level at the congressional level or in the courts itself. I mean, with him even being able to run in the first place.

COATES: So, all of you have a future in Congress because there was a good or bad option. We all had a good but and an explanation. Thank you so much for all of you, though. A special thanks to our jury tonight.

If you want to be a juror on the next court of public opinion, get in touch with us by filling out the form. You can access by scanning the QR code on your screen or email lauracoatesjury at

Voters in 15 states are heading to the polls in just a few hours from now. We'll talk Super Tuesday next.



COATES: Oh, there's the music. It's Super Tuesday eve. We're just a few hours away from the biggest primary day of this entire election cycle. Voters in more than a dozen states will cast their ballot along with -- go a long way in shaping the November election.

More than a third of the GOP's delegates are at stake and it could be the last stand for one Nikki Haley. So far, has only won one primary, the D.C. contest this past week. And that's not really enough to get you close to Donald Trump, who is all but certain to clinch the republican nomination.

Let's talk about now with CNN contributor and "New York Times" journalist Lulu Garcia-Navarro, along with Republican strategist Shermichael Singleton, who is deputy chief of staff of Housing and Urban Development under Donald Trump. Let's begin with Nikki Haley because we know she has decided to stay in it. Everyone is waiting for this moment in time and what would happen after tomorrow. So, I guess Wednesday morning, a big thing. Listen to what she has said about staying in the race now.


NIKKI HALEY, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, we've said as long as we're competitive. We have been in 10 states just in the past week. I just finished a rally here in Houston, Texas. We had well over a thousand people show up. And these are people -- this isn't an anti-Trump movement. This is a pro-America movement.


COATES: So, that's interesting, as long as they're competitive, number one. But what I heard at the end there, not an anti-Trump movement.


COATES: That's interesting.

SINGLETON: It is interesting because a lot of the never-Trumpers are embracing her, but she's making it clear, my movement, my candidacy is not about being anti-Trump. She has made it clear that she believes that President Biden is a bigger threat than Donald Trump, which is why I believe Lulu, at some point, she's going to endorse him.

But it's interesting that she said as long as she's competitive. I mean, are we redefining what the word competitiveness means? I mean, Lulu, you're a writer, please tell me if I'm missing something here.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I don't think you're missing something here. I think Nikki Haley is trying to thread a needle, which is to say, hey, you all, who want, you know, Trump, who like Trump, I am also a viable candidate, you can come to me, I still think that the Democrats are the real problem here, and President Joe Biden is the real problem here.

She is making this dance, and she has been making this dance since the beginning. And it's a dance that, frankly, isn't going to go to Broadway. I mean, this is the -- this is the -- this is the --


-- I hate to break it to everyone --

SINGLETON: (INAUDIBLE) Broadway out there. Right?


GARCIA-NAVARRO: (INAUDIBLE) Broadway out there, but it's not going to -- it's not going to hit the big time.

COATES: I mean, he calls her birdbrain. Either she says this at this point in time. Are those voters who are supporting Trump going to hear her say now it's not a never-Trumper campaign, and then say, oh, I hadn't realized that? Leave vote for you.

SINGLETON: Well, you know, it's interesting. An NPR/Marist poll showcased that 85% of her voters said that they would vote for Trump against Biden. So, my thought process is, okay, granted, she's getting 30, 40 percent, you're talking about the majority of those folks who are going to go back to Trump, and then maybe 12% of the never- Trumpers go to Biden, those aren't substantial numbers.

And when you look at how close the race is and how fractured the president's base is, you do see a potential path for the former president. Now, it's early. Anything could change. But despite all of the negative baggage, the fact that that persists is very telling.

COATES: Let me tell you this poll that came out, "The New York Times"/ Siena College poll. It actually shows Nikki Haley defeating Biden by 10 points among registered voters nationally. But no Republican, as you know, since 1988, has actually become the Republican nominee without winning a majority of the states on Super Tuesday.

Look at this little beautiful yearbook photo, Lulu. You look at all that's going on. I have to squint my eyes, too. Am I getting old? Hold on. Can you see anything there? I see big numbers. I see yellow, whatever.

When you look at this more broadly, Lulu, she doesn't really have, I mean, the path yet.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: She doesn't have the path.

COATES: If at all --

GARCIA-NAVARRO: No, she doesn't have the path. I mean, I love that everyone is very excited about making Nikki Haley happen. Democrats want her to continue. Obviously, it's good for them if she continues to pummel the president and we continue to talk about the fact that there are these people who don't want Donald Trump.

But I agree. They are a small part of the party and they are going to come home. This is a highly-polarized, you know, election. People are going to come home. The problem that the president has, which is a different problem, I mean, people might stay home. People are -- that is the problem that I see here.

It's not whether people are going to vote Republican or vote Democrat. It's that people are going to say, actually, you know what? I would rather sit this election out. The -- quote, unquote -- "uncommitted vote" might just be the vote that says, I just am not interested in coming out and voting for Joe Biden.


COATES: There may be those two aside from the couch who are wondering about Biden, about his age, his acuity, and all of the seeds that have been planted over the last several years about him. Listen to what The New Yorker's Evan Osnos, though, had to say in an interview he had with President Biden on CNN earlier tonight.


EVAN OSNOS, STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORKER: Look, on a physical level, he is slower in his movements and his gestures. No question about it. His mind seemed unchanged to me. He didn't bungle a date or a name or anything like that. I was looking to see any signs of that.


COATES: So, this is a common discussion point that people have. Obviously, Trump and Biden are around the same age when it comes to age and acuity. The stench is on Biden based on the narratives that have been out there and largely generated in part by Donald Trump. That seed was planted. And of course, Biden has had moments when maybe he has watered that seed a little bit.

SINGLETON: Yeah, yeah.

COATES: But you hear from people like Osnos, for example, who are saying, I'm looking for it, I'm hearing the narrative, I'm not seeing it.

Does it make a difference?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I think it's important that people come out and say, I've interviewed him, he seems well, but this was an article in "The New Yorker." We didn't hear it, we didn't see it, we didn't have the video of it.

And Joe Biden isn't going and taking that message to the people, which is why I think, obviously, this week is going to be a very important week when he gives the State of the Union. People are going to have the opportunity to see him.

But the problem, I think, is the more people see Joe Biden, the more they think that he is showing his age. I mean, he has a gait that is slow. He has always had a manner of speaking that is halting. And so, you know, people are kind of making their decision.

And there is this embedded narrative, which has been seeded in the right, that somehow, he's sitting there gaga while people are sort of making decisions for him and he isn't in control. And it's constant there. It's being persistently said.

And I have to tell you, I don't see it either. I mean, this has been a successful presidency for many people. He has managed to do many, many things. He is clearly in control of his faculties. And so, what this is actually about, I'm not clear because it doesn't speak to what I am seeing.

COATES: It's interesting, though, when you mentioned we haven't actually seen the interview. We didn't see the special counsel, hers, interview. Right. Yet people were able to make conclusions, which tells you a lot about this Rorschach test that continues to happen about who your candidate is, who you want. And when -- you know, Johnny Appleseed is a successful man.

SINGLETON: It's coming up. That testimony is coming up soon before Congress. I mean, Jon Stewart made a good point a couple of weeks back. He said everyone talks about how great the president is and meetings and he's innovative and he's motivated and he's energetic. Show us. No one sees this stuff. When we see the president speaking, it's like, God, we love him, he's doing a good job, but man, he appears to be beyond this problem.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But he is not Trump. And he does -- and he talks all the time and he does sound unhinged at times.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: He does not make sense. He makes tons of mistakes.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: But because he projects this very orange glow of vitality, apparently, people think that that equates to mental acuity.

SINGLETON: Orange glow.

COATES: Well, first of all, all I --


I think I use orange glow on my car, actually on the tires. That's the thing. But all I heard Michael say was he watched Jon Stewart. That's 11:00 on Monday nights. "Laura Coates" is on. I don't know what you're --

SINGLETON: I mean, I do go back and forth, Laura. Okay? Back and forth.

COATES: Okay. All right. Stop there. Thank you so much. Lulu, Shermichael -- Lulu, come back any time. Shermichael --


SINGLETON: I'm getting a side eye.

COATES: Ahead, University of Iowa's Caitlin Clark breaking a 54-year- old scoring record. What's next for the basketball star? Plus, what about that tearful retirement announcement from Jason Kelce? We've got the sports roundup in just a moment.




UNKNOWN (voice-over): This for college basketball history.

(APPLAUSE) COATES: Caitlin Clark needed 18 points to beat Pete Maravich's NCAA scoring records. And all the way back in 1970, she got 35. That puts her total career points at 3,685. Now, she wasn't aware she got to break the record when she got up to the free throw line, but she knew after everyone screamed.

I want to bring in sports analyst Christine Brennan. I'm so glad you're here. What a huge moment. She has already declared for the WNBA draft. What a future ahead of her?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Oh, without a doubt, already selling out arenas in the WNBA season tickets. I mean, this is -- this is the future for women's basketball. And what a great gift for the WNBA because they need it.

You know, the WNBA has been around for a while, but had women's pro leagues. It takes some time to get them going, as we understand. The men have been around a lot longer. And this is exactly what the WNBA needs.

But first, Caitlin Clark in Iowa, of course, will be in the Big Ten tournament in your hometown of Minneapolis. I don't know why we're not going to be there.

COATES: I don't know why we're not there.

BRENNAN: Seriously, we missed an opportunity. And then -- and then the NCAA tournament. And, you know, this is going to be probably the most -- in fact, forget the probably, Laura, the most watched women's college basketball tournament ever. March Madness for the women. In fact, I think more people will be doing women's brackets than ever before. They'll still do the men's because that's kind of tradition.

But most -- I talk to people who have no idea who the male players are. You know, the college, it's the one and done. So, a lot of these -- you don't get to know those players as well.


But with the women's game right now, when you look at, obviously, South Carolina, with Caitlin Clark in Iowa, of course, LSU, the defending --

COATES: Angel Reese.

BRENNAN: Angel Reese, who is a compelling figure, will she go to the WNBA? I think she probably will.

COATES: She won't say yet.

BRENNAN: She hasn't said yet, unlike Clark, who wanted to get it done before senior day so that she wasn't the focus of senior day. She wanted everyone to get the spotlight. But for Angel Reese, I think the -- same question. She's got that fifth COVID year, that rare opportunity. But my sense would be it is time for Angel Reese. And wouldn't that be fun to have both of them, Reese and Clark, as rookies in the WNBA this spring and summer?

COATES: Oh, it'd be thrilling to have both of them. They're often named in the same breath. I do wonder, though, what's ahead of both women, because a lot of people might not like the attention that's coming down from either of the potential rookies and might want to, I don't know, put someone in their place.

BRENNAN: Absolutely.

COATES: Every now and then, you have a very competitive league and that can often follow. But you know who is in a different place right now, one that's a little bit more emotional? Jason Kelce.

BRENNAN: Exactly.

COATES: He's retiring.




JASON KELCE, FORMER NFL OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: So, this all brings us here to today, where I announce that I am retiring.


Where I announce I'm retiring from the NFL after 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.


COATES: Wow. He obviously loves the game.

BRENNAN: You know, his brother was there, his mom was there. It was that family atmosphere and it was a beautiful speech. People have a chance to go and look online, watch it, read it. It was lovely. And there's a lot yet to come for him because he is such a popular character now, of course, with his brother and with Taylor Swift and his wife, Kylie, who's also -- the Kelces, we've gotten to know them. We'll see a lot more of them.

COATES: Well, I'm sure at some point in time, once all this attention dies down, I bet the two brothers will converse on the podcast and clown him for crying. That's what brothers do, right? Christine Brennan, thank you so much.

BRENNAN: Thank you.

COATES: Thank you all for watching. I'll be on Instagram live @thelauracoates in a few minutes. Be sure to tune in there. Our coverage continues.