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Legal View with Ashleigh Banfield

Democratic Debate; Republican GOP Race; Ohio Deli Attack. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired February 12, 2016 - 12:00   ET


[12:00:22] ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. And welcome to LEGAL VIEW.

The next votes are cast one week from tomorrow in the presidential nominating races. Republicans vote next in South Carolina. And the caucus in Nevada is three days later. Democrats caucus in Nevada on the 20th and they vote in South Carolina one week after that. I know, it's complicated, but it's all going to happen and thing are really going to pick up. By the next debate, a CNN event in Flint, Michigan, yes, that Flint, Michigan, on March 6th, 16 more states will have cast their vote. So, for Hillary Clinton, who ever so slightly prevailed in the Iowa caucuses, and Bernie Sanders, who scored a landslide for the ages in New Hampshire, the pressure was on in last night's PBS "News Hour" debate simulcast on CNN. And boy did it show. You doubt it? Here's CNN's Jeff Zeleny to show you the real thing.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Secretary Clinton, you're not in the White House yet.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: A civil but contentious night for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, side by side on stage for the first time since Sanders' commanding New Hampshire victory up ended the Democratic primary fight. Again and again, Clinton tried making one thing clear, she is the rightful heir to President Obama.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today Senator Sanders said that President Obama failed the presidential leadership test. And this is not the first time that he has criticized President Obama. In the past he's called him weak, he's called him a disappointment.

ZELENY: It was a message for Democratic voters of South Carolina, more than half of whom are African-American and widely adore the president.

CLINTON: The kind of criticism that we heard from Senator Sanders about our president, I expect from Republicans. I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama.

SANDERS: That is - Madam Secretary, that is a low blow.

Last I heard, a United States senator had the right to disagree with a president, including a president who's done such an extraordinary job. One of us ran against Barack Obama. I was not that candidate.

ZELENY: Sanders had the final word, but it opened a new chapter in the Democratic duel that may be just beginning. The PBS debate exposed deeper lines in their policy and political differences. On health care, immigration and Wall Street reform, Clinton presented herself as the keeper of the Obama legacy.

CLINTON: Before it was called Obamacare, it was called Hillarycare.

ZELENY: If elected, Sanders said race relations would be better in his administration.

SANDERS: Absolutely, because what we will do is say, instead of giving tax breaks to billionaires, we are going to create millions of jobs for low income kids so they're not hanging out on street corners.

ZELENY: Another flash point, money and politics. Clinton again tied herself to Obama and rejected the suggestion she would be swayed by campaign donations.

CLINTON: So let's not in any way imply here that either President Obama or myself would in any way not take on any vested interest, whether it's Wall Street or drug companies or insurance companies or, frankly, the gun lobby.

SANDERS: Let's not insult the intelligence of the American people. People aren't dumb. Why in God's name does Wall Street make huge campaign contributions? I guess just for the fun of it. They want to throw money around.

ZELENY: Sanders ran strong among women in New Hampshire. Clinton was asked why.

CLINTON: I am not asking people to support me because I'm a woman. I'm asking people to support me because I think I'm the most qualified, experienced and ready person to be the president and the commander in chief.

ZELENY: On foreign policy, Sanders took a new approach in questioning Clinton's judgment, calling out her admiration for Henry Kissinger.

SANDERS: I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend. I will not take advice from Henry Kissinger.

CLINTON: Well, I know journalists have asked who you do listen to on foreign policy and we have yet to know who that is.

SANDERS: Well, it ain't Henry Kissinger, that's for sure.

CLINTON: I - that's fine. That's fine.


BANFIELD: Wow. And that was good watching, honestly. Who knew? Jeff Zeleny doing the reporting for us. And my panel just can't wait to jump in on it, so let's just jump,

shall we? Robert Zimmerman is a Democrat strategist who supports Hillary Clinton, and Jonathan Tasini wrote "The Essential Bernie Sanders and his Vision for America." And I think you can probably tell he supports the Vermont senator for president.

Gentlemen, welcome.

Is it my imagination or year after year, contest after contest, effort after effort, adversity after adversity, Hillary Clinton seems to do much, much better when she's on the ropes or after a low blow. What do you think?

[12:05:02] ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Look, one of the great reasons that Hillary Clinton galvanizes support and generates such support is people love the fact that she's (INAUDIBLE). If someone knocks her down, she's going to step back up and she's going to continue to fight and move forward. And it's that kind of leadership I think that people respect and look for. And so I think that's what really defines her and separates her very frankly I think from Bernie Sanders.

BANFIELD: John, you've got to admit, she had a great night. She really had a great night. It was reality versus the revolution, if you want to say so, on the stage last night. I want to show this one sound bite where she effectively put Bernie Sanders' great ideas to the ultimate test. Let's have a look.


CLINTON: Last week in a CNN town hall, the senator told a questioner that the questioner would spend about $500 in taxes to get about $5,000 in health care. Every progressive economist who has analyzed that says that the numbers don't add up. And that's a promise that cannot be kept.


BANFIELD: And not just that promise. She's also talked about not just college, but health care. She's talked about the size of government would be 40 percent bigger.

JONATHAN TASINI, AUTHOR, "THE ESSENTIAL BERNIE SANDERS": But that - that statement she made was absolutely false. It's not true. And many, many progressive economists have rated Bernie's proposal for health care as a sound thing for the economy. And I brought this along with me since people keep pushing this out, both media people and the Clinton campaign. I'll give this to Robert to pass out (ph). Apparently people don't know how to use the Internet because if you go to this website, to Bernie Sanders.

BANFIELD: Oh, would that be, because that's way too hard for people to read.

TASINI: Yes. Well, how - hold on, how Bernie pays for his - and I actually brought a copy and I'm going to give this to Robert and to Ashleigh of every single -


TASINI: Every single proposal that Bernie puts out and how he's going to pay for it. It says - it says -

ZIMMERMAN: Jonathan, that's very valiant of you, but why didn't Bernie Sanders say that last night?

TASINI: It's just - it's just fraudulent to say that Bernie doesn't explain how -

ZIMMERMAN: Well, let's see -

BANFIELD: But he makes a good point, though.

TASINI: But let me - let me -


BANFIELD: He makes a good point. You have to be able to tell people in a nutshell. You can't expect them to do all the research.

TASINI: He said - he absolutely said it's a single payer Medicare for all system. Everybody -

ZIMMERMAN: That would lower (ph) the government by 40 percent.

TASINI: Everybody -

ZIMMERMAN: But he didn't put a price tag on it.

TASINI: Everybody knows how that is done, in the same way you do it in Australia, in every other advanced - advanced country.

ZIMMERMAN: Jonathan - Jonathan -

TASINI: Which is - hold on, Bob. Which is when you look at your paycheck, just like you pay Social Security, you will see a 2.3 percent tax on your income, on your paycheck. And in return what you get for that is thousands of dollars -

ZIMMERMAN: Excuse me, Jonathan.

TASINI: Thousands of dollars of savings. That's just a fact. Now, every other -

ZIMMERMAN: But, Jonathan, the fact is (INAUDIBLE) -

TASINI: Every -

ZIMMERMAN: Let's - let's -

TASINI: Every other country -

ZIMMERMAN: The filibuster's terrific but - TASINI: Every other country -

BANFIELD: Let - let - let, Robert - real quick.

TASINI: Every other country has done this -


TASINI: And every other country has saved money and every other country has reduced the cost of health care. That's the fact.


ZIMMERMAN: The only - Jonathan - Jonathan, you get - you get points for filibustering -

TASINI: But it's a fact.

ZIMMERMAN: But you don't get points for making the case because Bernie Sanders had the opportunity last night repeatedly -

BANFIELD: You guys can look at each other, by the way, when you're talking. You don't need to look ahead. You can look at each other.

ZIMMERMAN: OK. OK. But (INAUDIBLE). The people's simply that Bernie - excuse me. Bernie Sanders had the chance repeatedly in that debate last night and in past debates to layout what the cost of his plans would be. He's never specified it. He's never, in fact, talked about what it would mean to the growth of government. But here's the real issue. Now that he's moved from being an insurgent candidate after his big win in New Hampshire, he has to be held to the same standard Hillary Clinton is and the same standard. And the fact of the matter is, it's not about revolution versus reality. It's about rhetoric versus reality.

TASINI: No, it's actually -

ZIMMERMAN: And I think the problem with Bernie Sanders is -

TASINI: OK, and the fact is, you just want to ignore the fact that there are absolutely concrete proposals that are in there.

ZIMMERMAN: No. No, Jonathan -

BANFIELD: Let me - let me bring it back - let me bring it back to the -

TASINI: All the - let me give - let me give this to you. Let me leave this for you and say concretely, these proposals are all paid for.


BANFIELD: Guys, honestly, listen, this - there was a two hour debate on TV last night.


BANFIELD: Which is what most voters will get their information from. They will not be Googling proposals and getting into the wonk. They don't do that, for the most part. We all do. They do not. So it behooves the candidates to make their case in a nutshell. To that point, I just want to play this other sound bite from Hillary last night where she took what is her Achilles heel, the Wall Street donations, and she turned that around, what looked like a pretty solid argument. Let's have a look.


CLINTON: We agree that we've got to get unaccountable money out of politics. We agree that Wall Street should never be allowed to wreck main street again. But here's the point I want to make tonight. I am not a single issue candidate and I do not believe we live in a single issue country.


BANFIELD: Single issue country, that's - that's strong. That is a strong argument because she's making it in a nutshell and it's powerful to say that.

ZIMMERMAN: And the reality is, every time Bernie Sanders was asked a question, be it on foreign policy or on drug addiction or about domestic issues, he came back to the same millionaire-billionaire sound bite. He made Marco Rubio look natural and unscripted.

TASINI: Well, that's not - that's not a good talking point, but it's not true.

ZIMMERMAN: And I think - and I think in this situation - I think there's -

BANFIELD: Thirty seconds.

TASINI: So, thank you. So when Hillary Clinton brought up the Wall Street connection, Bernie said, come on, let's be honest, and every single American knows the corruption in politics is brought about by lobbyists and by the payments to people, either in speaking fees or other methods, has corrupted the government. He actually said to the TV and to the people saying, no one believes that our country has not been corrupted by this process. Now, Hillary Clinton did - and I understand why she was saying that, because she did win the Goldman Sachs level of income in the New Hampshire primary. It's the only level of income she won, above $250,000. So - so she -

[12:10:22] ZIMMERMAN: Let's just stay away from the personal smearing and talk about the issues.

BANFIELD: Hey, guys.

TASINI: No, it's not - no, that's - it's real. It's real.

ZIMMERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) What's real is she has stood up to (INAUDIBLE). She stood -

TASINI: It's not personal - it's exactly because - because - because Hillary Clinton has gotten huge amounts of money from not only Goldman Sachs -

ZIMMERMAN: And she's taken on Wall Street and every major issue put before the Senate.

TASINI: Pharmaceutical companies and other companies. And I think that's what the American people are very concerned about.

BANFIELD: Again, you - you can look at each other.

ZIMMERMAN: OK, where's the vote, Jonathan. Name the vote, Jonathan -

BANFIELD: And I want you to get - no, no, guys.

ZIMMERMAN: That she cast. Bernie Sanders voted to repeal Glass- Steagall.

TASINI: I - I - so if you go -

ZIMMERMAN: Hillary Clinton has stood up to the biggest industry in her sleep (ph) (INAUDIBLE) up to Wall Street.

TASINI: I'll give you - no, no -

BANFIELD: By the way it's on -

TASINI: I'll give you an example, to Elizabeth -

BANFIELD: I'm going to say this about Bernie Sanders last night, he was able to at least come down on Secretary Clinton's strongest argument that she stands with President Obama, she claims Bernie does, and he said, I did not run against.

TASINI: And - but let me go - let me -

ZIMMERMAN: No, but he advocated - he advocated someone run against President Obama for re-election.

TASINI: Here - here's a - here's a - here's a better example. I was shocked, and I don't think we would have imagined, that in a Democratic debate someone would say that Henry Kissinger's an advisor to - a war criminal. Someone who should have been indicted, should have been impeached, should have been in prison. A man who conducted an illegal war against Cambodia. It was one of, actually, the articles of impeachment -

ZIMMERMAN: And what's your point, Jonathan? What's your point?

TASINI: So - so my point is twofold. One is that I think last night we finally got the answer that Hillary Clinton is not the progressive she wants to pretend to be. No progressive I'm -

ZIMMERMAN: Jonathan - TASINI: No progressive -

BANFIELD: Last comment. I've got to wrap it.

TASINI: No progressive I know -

ZIMMERMAN: OK. Jonathan -

TASINI: Would actually cite Henry Kissinger as an advisor.

BANFIELD: Final thoughts.

ZIMMERMAN: Here's the bottom -


TASINI: This man was a war criminal.

ZIMMERMAN: Jonathan -

BANFIELD: Thirty seconds.

ZIMMERMAN: Here's the bottom line. Hillary Clinton, to her credit, takes input from a number of different people and she -

TASINI: Like Henry Kissinger, a war criminal.

ZIMMERMAN: She's proven she has the chops to be in the leader - to be a commander in chief.

TASINI: She's -

ZIMMERMAN: Bernie Sanders - Bernie Sanders won't even tell us -

TASINI: No progressive I know would take advice from Henry Kissinger.

ZIMMERMAN: Excuse me, Jonathan.

BANFIELD: All right.

ZIMMERMAN: Bernie Sanders won't even tell us who his foreign policy advisor is.

BANFIELD: I have to wrap it there.

TASINI: No progressive I know -

BANFIELD: He needed his 30 seconds and I've got to wrap it there.

ZIMMERMAN: Thank you very much, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: But I think I know where you both stand. Thank you for your passion, guys. Robert Zimmerman and Jonathan Tasini, appreciate it.

ZIMMERMAN: Good to be with you. (INAUDIBLE).

BANFIELD: Come back again. You guys are great. Ah, I'm nervous.

Coming up next, the state -

TASINI: It's a long campaign.

BANFIELD: It is a long campaign. Save your energy.

You know that state that's known for the dirty tricks and the low blows in the presidential primaries. Guess what? It's coming up. It is next, folks. The Republicans candidates are facing off right now. They are there in South Carolina at a Faith and Family Forum. Got a live picture for you in Greenville, South Carolina. We're going to talk a little religion, we're going to talk a little South Carolina politics. We're going to talk a little South Carolina dirty politics of the past. Are they going to repeat themselves now?


[12:16:47] BANFIELD: I want to give you a live look right now in South Carolina at the Faith and Family Presidential Forum. This is for most of the Republican candidates. They make this stop. It's in Greenville. And it's on the campus of the ultra-conservative Christian Bob Jones University. You are going to see and in this order I believe, Ben Carson, and then Jeb Bush, followed by Marco Rubio and then Ted Cruz on their one on ones. They'll be speaking there throughout the later morning and afternoon. It will take some time.

Got a map for you. Governor John Kasich hitting a number of different events today than the others. And who don't you see on this map? Eight days before the South Carolina primary, you got it, it is Donald Trump, the frontrunner. Where is he? Not in South Carolina. He's in Florida. He has a rally planned at the University of South Florida Campus in Tampa. Got to show you this moment from a Trump campaign stop yesterday in Louisiana. The baby - what a cute, crazy looking baby. Look at that hair. Adorable. Oh, my God, he's actually signing the baby's hand with a sharpie. Oh my Lord, the baby got a "T" autograph on his hand. The boy's parents crowd surfed the baby up to Trump, got the, "T." There you go. I like the - I like the soother. I think it's a Trump soother. It is. That is not going to wash off for a long time.

CNN's Sunlen Serfaty and Ryan Nobles, both in Greenville, live in South Carolina right now, trying to keep it together after seeing that image.

Sunlen, so this is - you're at Bob Jones University. This is a favorite place for Republicans. And they usually make a stop there at some point during the Republican season, or the primary season anyway. So why is Donald Trump in Florida instead?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he really, Ashleigh, seems to be focusing, at least for the last 48 hours, on looking ahead, looking forward on the primary calendar, you know, focusing on those states that vote in March. As you said, he was in Louisiana yesterday and is in Florida today. But we will hear from the candidates who are here, Jeb Bush, Marco

Rubio, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz. They'll really be making the big pitch here to evangelical voters. This is such a coveted voting bloc here in South Carolina. And for Ted Cruz, he's really trying to recreate his Iowa tragic, which heavily leaned on the support of evangelicals. So he really has been laying into his rivals here on the ground in South Carolina, really casting himself as the most conservative of the candidates, calling his rivals campaign conservatives in contrast. And last night here in South Carolina at Rock Hill (ph), Ted Cruz specifically brought up the supreme court case legalizing same-sex marriage to draw distinctions with is rivals, specifically going after Donald Trump and Marco Rubio and casting them as more in line with Barack Obama than the conservative base over this issue. Here's what he had to say.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Seeing my two leading competitors in the Republican primary both publicly say following that decision that the decision is the settled law of the land, we must accept it, surrender and move on. I've got to say, those are word for word, the talking points of Barack Obama.


[12:20:06] SERFATY: And Donald Trump, of course, chiming in over Twitter, saying, quote, "how can Ted Cruz be an evangelical Christian when he lies so much and is so dishonest?" This was just a small preview, Ashleigh, of the debate tomorrow night here in South Carolina.

BANFIELD: All right, Sunlen, hold that thought for a minute. I want to go to Ryan Nobles now, also in Greenville. I still can't believe there's snow on the ground where you are. It's a pretty remarkable sight.

Ryan, talk to me a bit about Marco Rubio because the Florida senator not only is expected to run a really rough and tumble campaign against his challengers there, but he's also, at the same time, going to try to reach out for all those social conservatives in South Carolina. That's tough to do at the same time, isn't it?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN NEWSOURCE NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it definitely is. But you can see a marked change in the way that Rubio is talking about a lot of these socially conservative issues here in South Carolina. We caught up with him yesterday. He was at a town hall at one of the largest Christian schools in the entire state of South Carolina. And he made a point to talk about these issues that social conservatives care about. He talked about abortion. He talked about religious freedom. And he also talked about how his faith informs his politics. And listen to the answer that he gave the student body president of this Christian school when he asked him about how God will play a role in his presidency.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And a lot of people ask me, you know, you know, shouldn't that - shouldn't you separate your faith from politics? And the answer is, you better hope that I don't. Because my faith teaches me, for example - my faith commands me - my faith commands me to care for people who have fallen on hard times. My faith commands me to love my neighbor. My faith commands me to forgive my enemies. My faith commands me to do these things and I - and you're truly - so faith is not just what you believe. Your - faith is - is a verb. It's not just a noun.


NOBLES: And to your point, Ashleigh, they're also trying to just drum up enthusiasm for his campaign. They'll hold a pre-debate rally here at this airplane hangar behind me, setting those expectations high for his performance in the debate here tomorrow night.


BANFIELD: Stay warm, Ryan, thank you. Same to you, Sunlen. Thank you to you both. Appreciate it.

Coming up next, a man swinging a machete goes wild, attacking customers at a deli in Ohio. We're going to tell you everything we know about this attack, next.


[12:26:54] BANFIELD: The FBI is helping police in Columbus, Ohio, investigating a machete attack in a restaurant last night right at the dinner hour. Four people were hurt. The suspect was killed. And CNN's Evan Perez joins me now with the details as to what happened.

I'm sure people are wondering about terror, but what do we know, Evan?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: That's right, Ashleigh, the FBI is involved in helping the Columbus police investigate this attack at the Nazareth restaurant. It's a Mediterranean restaurant there. And one of the reasons for that is because the - there are some indications of perhaps a terrorism link to this and so the FBI is helping them do that. They're going to look at the suspect's background. He is of Somali decent. He has a criminal background, including some drug arrests. And we're told that they have not made any determination yet that this is terrorism, but it is something that they're - that they're investigating.

This all started, as you mentioned, around 6:00 p.m. yesterday. And what they did - what witnesses described is an attacker who simply walked in and started slashing people with a machete, people who were dining right near the door. The owner of the restaurant is an Israeli of Christian background - Arab-Christian background, and he thinks that perhaps the attacker was targeting the restaurant because of his background. He's not sure, but here's what he told "The Columbus Dispatch" of what he saw.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HANY BARANSKI, OWNER, NAZARETH RESTAURANT: Somebody who has come in, checked out the place, asked about me and I was told that he left, came back 30 minutes later and attacked a person and then start slicing up people down the booths. And he got to one person that he hurt badly.


PEREZ: And, Ashleigh, this all ended just about five miles away from the restaurant. The police were able to confront the attacker. They say he lunged at them with a machete and a knife and they shot and killed him. Four people were injured there at the restaurant, one of them very seriously, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: You know, it's funny, I'm just reading the details on what some of those restaurant patrons did, Evan, and it just smacks of the advice that people are getting now.

PEREZ: Right.

BANFIELD: They fought back. They threw chairs. They engaged in a physical altercation. When we know more about this, definitely come back and update us, Evan.

PEREZ: Absolutely. Thank you.

BANFIELD: All right, Evan Perez reporting live for us. Thank you for that.

Up next, name calling, accusations of lying and of cheating. A controversy over a soft core porn actress. Of course we're talking politics for crying out loud. Find out the details about this one, next.