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Jane Sanders Interview; Christie Continues Hits on Rubio; CNN Money Now; Interview with Hillary for America Advisor. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired February 09, 2016 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] JANE SANDERS, WIFE OF SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: An honorary woman and was very supportive of him. I understand that people might want to see a woman in the White House, but especially the older women. I don't think they know his record of how - how effective he's been on women's issues, on Social Security, on retirement, on healthcare, on prescription drugs. So, sure, I'd like to see a woman in the White House some day, but I think Bernie's the best candidate right now. And I would say that very objectively, Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, I know. I know you are nothing if not impartial, Jane -

SANDERS: I am totally impartial.

CAMEROTA: I know. Jane, it's great to have you here. Thanks so much. We'll be watching, obviously, what happens as it unfolds throughout the day.

SANDERS: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Thanks for talking to NEW DAY.


CAMEROTA: All right, so this Thursday night, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders face off in their next debate, this one in Wisconsin. The "PBS News Hour" Democratic debate will be simulcast right here on CNN. That's at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on Thursday night. Tune in to that.

Also turning to the Republicans. Marco Rubio catapulted into New Hampshire after his strong third place finish in Iowa, but then came that shaky debate performance. Could it cost him some votes today? Rubio's campaign responds, next.


[08:35:15] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And Senator Rubio is being who he is, which is very a programmed, superficial candidate. And I was being who I was, someone who's been a federal prosecutor, someone who's been the governor of a big, tough state to govern. I'm prepared and ready to take on Hillary Clinton and, based on what you just saw, Senator Rubio is not. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Governor Chris Christie just moments ago on NEW DAY. It is the latest attack from Christie, who says he changed the race Saturday night in the debate when he went after Senator Rubio for giving a performance that he called "robotic."

So, let's talk with Marco Rubio's communication director Alex Conant. He's here now.

Alex, good to have you here.


CUOMO: So the case against Senator Rubio from Chris Christie is, I looked him in the eye and exposed his weakness.


CUOMO: He's a nice guy but he's not ready. Your take?

CONANT: I mean that's just not happened. I mean we had a very good night on Saturday night according to ever metric that we care about. We raised more money during the first hour of the debate than we have during any other debate. And we've seen our crowds surge in the last 48 hours. The CNN poll that came out last night, it was the best poll, the last poll, the only poll after the debate, it showed that Marco actually went up over the last couple days. So we come into tonight's primary with some momentum. We feel really good about where we're at. Of course the other candidates are attacking Marco because they know he's the guy to beat right now.

CUOMO: How do you interpret the repeating? Did he - was he nervous? Was it Chris Christie staring at him like that? What was it?

CONANT: No, it's - it's what Marco believes. I mean Marco believes, as do most Republican primary voters, that Barack Obama is fundamentally trying to change America. That's why Marco's running for president, because he wants to keep America special. That's what he said at the debate. And he's going to keep saying it on the campaign trail. And you've seen conservatives rally around Marco since the debate. You saw Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Erik Erikson all saying, yes, Marco is right. This is what this debate is about. Why won't Chris Christie say it? Why won't Jeb Bush say it? That - do they - don't they agree that Barack Obama's fundamentally trying to change America and that's why we need to elect a Republican in - in 2016.

CUOMO: Right. You make a lot of interesting points. Let's unpack them. The first one would be, it's a style challenge. That, yes, he believes - Senator Rubio believes what he does about Barack Obama by repeating it the way he was showed some type of nervous. That, you know, Chris Christie would describe it as an affliction -


CUOMO: That he was having there. He may believe it, but why did he keep repeating it? Did Christie throw him? It can happen in a debate.

CONANT: Simply - it's simple, because it's what he believes. And he was on TV yesterday saying it again. Marco Rubio fundamentally believes, as do most Republicans, that Barack Obama is trying to change America. And that's why we need to win back the White House in 2016. Marco is best positioned to unite conservatives, to bring more people into the conservative movement and defeat Hillary Clinton. That same CNN poll I just referenced, Marco's the only candidate who beats Hillary Clinton. If Republicans want to win, they should nominate - they should vote - they should go to the polls here in New Hampshire today, vote for Marco, make him the Republican nominee because he will beat Hillary Clinton and we will turn this country around.

CUOMO: So the senator really believes that President Obama is intentionally trying to destroy the country?

CONANT: Absolutely. And I - and I - all - all evidence points - all evidence confirms that. He -

CUOMO: That he's intentionally trying to destroy the country?

CONANT: Absolutely. He intentionally passed Obamacare. He intentionally passed Dodd-Frank. He intentionally went into this crazy deal with Iran, the nuclear deal. He's absolutely trying to make America more like the rest of the world. Marco is running for president because he believes America is a special place and we need to keep it a special place.

CUOMO: He wants to play the role of the uniter. Your party needs it.


CUOMO: But with such a divisive message, does that leave him in a position, if successful, where it's hard to join forces with the other side?

CONANT: Well, I don't think that saying America's a special place in the world is a divisive message. That is a - that's -

CUOMO: No, saying the president's trying to destroy it is what I'm referring to.

CONANT: Well, he is, and I think that most Republicans - I think all Republicans would agree with that. I mean Barack Obama's been an incredibly divisive president precisely because of this, because he goes around the world apologizing for American and because he passes policies that are trying to change our country. That's why he's so unpopular. That's why he's a failed president. It's why we have to elect a Republican in 2016.

CUOMO: One of the sources of appeal with Senator Rubio for the GOP is that he can coalesce the right and the middle.


CUOMO: He could bring them together. Is that going to be trickier for him against a Bush or a Kasich, maybe a Christie, when the debate turns to where he is on global warming, where he is on abortion, that those are not moderate positions?

CONANT: Yes, well I think the best moment of the debate for Marco was - and for any of the candidates in terms of the Google metrics - was when he talked about life. And Marco talked - Marco is passionately pro-life, as everybody who watched the debate and everyone who knows him knows. He talked - and as views of this show know, he's passionately pro-life. But he talks about it in a way that I don't - that I think people, you know, understand. He understands the other side. He doesn't judge other people. And I think it's an inclusive message and people know where he stands on it.

CUOMO: But do you think you get the moderates with, you know, no rape, no incest, there is no global warming, is that a concern?

[08:40:06] CONANT: No, it's not a concern. Look, he's not going to change his position just to try to win some more votes. He lets people know where they are. And as of now, he's the only Republican that beats Hillary Clinton. So and I can tell you this, today Marco is traveling around, visiting polls sites. American Bridge (ph), Hillary's super PAC, is at every stop protesting him. They're not doing that to the other Democrats. Hillary Clinton is afraid of Marco Rubio. She knows that if he is the nominee, we are going - we are going to unite the Republican Party, we're going to bring more people into the conservative movement and we're going to win the White House.

CUOMO: Well, here's the nice thing about politics -


CUOMO: And I know it's something you're looking forward to. You can talk all you want. We only know what they show at the polls. And that's going happen today. And if Marco Rubio's up there again, he will march on.

Alex Conant, thank you very much for being with.

CONANT: Hey, thanks, Chris. Thank you.

CUOMO: Good luck today.

CONANT: Thanks.

CUOMO: All right, $100 million, not in Super Bowl ads, attack ads, right here in New Hampshire. That's the price tag of the current state of politics. And who's spending the most in the granite state? It may be a surprise. We'll tell you, next.


[08:45:06] MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, it's time for "CNN Money Now." Chief business correspondent Christine Romans in the Money Center.

Money and politics seem to go hand in hand these days. CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Oh, they sure do.

They sure do. And as the competition gets fierce for president, so do the negative ads, Michaela. Money is pouring into New Hampshire. Of the $100 million spent on TV advertising in New Hampshire, an estimated $30 million has been on negative ads.

Now the turn happening after Iowa. Ted Cruz, who won Iowa, coming under the heaviest attack now in New Hampshire. But for the longest time, Trump and Cruz were quite friendly with each other. That has all changed since Iowa. Trump's focused all of his negative advertising budget on Cruz. Marco Rubio also coming under heavy attack after his showing in Iowa. His rivals spending at least $4 million on negative ads against him. The biggest spender by far, Jeb Bush and the Super PAC, really, that supports him. More than $17 million in the granite state, Michaela.

PEREIRA: Incredible the amount of money spent. All right, Christine. Thanks so much.

Here we go with the five things to know for your NEW DAY.

No. 1, the New Hampshire primary is underway. Overnight ballots giving an early boost to Republicans Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Donald Trump. Meanwhile on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders getting an overnight boost. He's heavily favored in New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton is hoping for a strong showing to give her some momentum heading into the next primary contest in South Carolina.

At least nine people are dead after two commuter trains in Germany collided head on. Officials say up to 150 people were injured. There's no word yet on what caused that crash.

The widow of a top ISIS operative charged by the Justice Department in the death of American aid worker Kayla Mueller. Right now Umm Sayyaf is in the custody of the Kurdish government in Iraq.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder declining to testify before Congress on the Flint water contamination crisis. He says he can't attend tomorrow's hearing because he's delivering a budget presentation to the state.

You can always get more on the five things by visiting

So Hillary Clinton taking a fresh look at her campaign. Are the changes in the works after today's New Hampshire primary? Clinton's senior advisor will join us next on NEW DAY.


[08:51:04] CAMEROTA: Hillary Clinton hoping for a strong showing, of course, here in New Hampshire as rival Bernie Sanders poses a growing threat. Clinton now know says that she's taking stock of her campaign amid rumbles of a shake up.

So joining us now to talk about all of this, senior advisor and senior spokesperson for Hillary for America, Karen Finney. Hey Karen, great to have you here with us at the cafe.


CAMEROTA: So -- Taking stock of the campaign. What does that mean?

FINNEY: Actually she was asked this question last night and she said she's happy with everything. So, where --

CAMEROTA: She's the person who said -- Somebody said is there a shake up and she said no, but I am taking stock of the campaign.

FINNEY: Well you're always looking ahead to we've got Nevada, South Carolina, we've got the March states. Do we need to tweak things? Obviously those states different than Iowa and New Hampshire. You know, a lot of different issues that we're going to be dealing with. Taking a look at what do we need to do, what we need to tweak.

CUOMO: So you got the reality of whether or not you are actually going to swap personnel. You're saying that's not where you are headed right now. The other aspect of this is the perception of disappointment. Is that a fair reflection of where the campaign is in terms of its mentality right now, that you should be doing better?

FINNEY: No. And I'll tell you why. And having been at the DNC when we added South Carolina and Nevada to the early states, the whole concept was it wouldn't -- Iowa and New Hampshire, obviously first in the nation, very important but the idea was you want to have a diverse early process where you have candidates competing in different parts of the country with different parts of the electorate. So it is more sort of looking at, okay, what's next, where are we going from here.

CAMEROTA: Our political team has an article, a piece on, that goes further than what you are saying in terms of the feeling about the campaign. In fact, they have a source that quotes Bill Clinton as saying that he's worried that Hillary's campaign is, quote, "playing it too safe."

So and, you know, let's dive into that. Is there something? Should she be taking a page from Donald Trump and sort of radical candor? You know, being more spontaneous, being looser, any of that sort of stuff?

FINNEY: I can say with all confidence we will never take a page from Donald Trump. You knew I was going say that. I mean --

CUOMO: That question was over as soon as you said that.


CAMEROTA: Really? But you know, playing it too safe. Is there something to that?

FINNEY: Well but you know what, here's the thing. She's going to be who she is and I think one of the things that you've seen on this campaign is she's not afraid to say -- when she's been asked certain questions, would you do x or y. If the answer is no, she'll say it. I'm not going stand here and make promises I can't keep. I'm not going tell you I'm going to do something if I'm not going to do it.

You know, some people thought it was risky to go to Flint on Sunday, to leave New Hampshire for the day. She certainly thought it was the right thing to do and people of Flint were very grateful that we were there and it was wonderful to be there.

So no, we're running this campaign in a way that reflects who she is, what's important to her in terms of letting her talk about the issues that are important to her. You know, initially in this campaign we didn't think we'd be talking about heroin and opiate addiction. Huge issue here in New Hampshire and in Iowa and in other parts of the country. We didn't think we would be talking about Alzheimer's. But she kind of said, you know what, these are important issues. This is what people are talking about. So I'm going talk about those issues and I think we're going to keep doing that.

CUOMO: Democrats need the young vote to come out. That is how they win elections. Bernie Sanders is getting more of that energy right now than Secretary Clinton. How do you change that?

FINNEY: So two things. One, I don't know if I agree with the premise because --

CUOMO: That you need it or that he has it?

FINNEY: That's he's got all -- That he has it.

CUOMO: Iowa and New Hampshire I'm basing it on.

FINNEY: Well I'm basing it on my Twitter feed which, you know, it's not exactly --

CUOMO: Well Karen, that's almost as bad as the Trump premise in terms of where to start from.

FINNEY: But I do hear from a lot of young people who are saying hey, we're out here. Why do people think we're not supporting Hillary? How do we, you know -- One young woman tweeted at me and said we want to start a millennial for Hillary. How do we do that? So I actually think there are more young people supporting her -- We have a lot of young people in our campaign.

[08:55:10] But here is the bottom line. I go back to what she says. She's going to be for them even if they are not for her right now. And what's important is we got to just keep making our case and trying to earn their vote. And what I hope is that is young people get to know more about her and her life and the things that she did when she was young. I mean, you know, as a young lawyer going down to Alabama by yourself in the '70s to go investigate segregated schools? That was a pretty risky thing to do.

So I hope the more they learn about her and her values and the things that she's done to fight for children and family, they will find common cause. CAMEROTA: And is that her plan to talk more about that -- tell her own

story more?

FINNEY: Absolutely. And you know, she has been doing that. I think we'll continue to do that because I do think that is part of how people get to know who she is, but also the (inaudible) in her life is this issue of children and families and solving problems. How do we make things better for people and I think that the more that she's talking about them and the more people see that that is something that she's not only done throughout her life, but done very effectively, then I think the more they will say that is the person I can trust for me and my family.

CUOMO: Well tell the secretary nobody likes to get into it deeper and more extensively than we do right here right here. The invitation stands as always.


CUOMO: Not that we don't want you here, Finney.

FINNEY: It's okay.

CUOMO: It's a both. Not --

FINNEY: I got it. I got it. You know, she's kind of popular. I get that.

CAMEROTA: That's great. Karen Finney, great to see you. Watching what happens today, of course, very closely.

"NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello begins right after this break. We'll see you tomorrow.