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Clinton & Sanders Clash on Immigration in Debate; Republican Rivals to Square Off in CNN Debate; Trump on Islam. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired March 10, 2016 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am not a natural politician in case you haven't noticed.
[05:58:35] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He wanted to be Don Rickles, and he's not Don Rickles.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: At the end of the day, it's not something I'm trying to be proud of.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Madam Secretary, I will match all of my record against yours any day of the week.
TRUMP: We are seriously going to make America great again.
CLINTON: You don't make America great by getting rid of everything that made America great.
SANDERS: One of the major political upsets in modern American history.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are the only campaign in the position to beat Donald Trump.
TRUMP: If Ted Cruz became president, Washington would be a total piece of stone.
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Don't be thinking it's over yet.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Alisyn Camerota and Michaela Pereira.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Thursday, March 10, 6 a.m. in the east. Mick is in New York. Alisyn and I are live at...
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: The U!
CUOMO: The U, University of Miami.
CAMEROTA: I'm not doing it. You're got me doing it.
CUOMO: Got to do it. The U s my (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
All right. It is now a slug fest in the Democratic race. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders trading blows on immigration, appealing to Latino voters here in Miami in the big debate last night. The biggest hay maker of the night, one could argue, came from the moderator, not one of the candidates, asking Clinton if she would drop out of the race if she was indicted over the email controversy.
CAMEROTA: All right. So meanwhile, over on the Republican side, the Republican hopefuls face off tonight in their final debate before Tuesday's -- next Tuesday's critical winner-take-all primaries in Florida here and in Ohio.
This, as Jeb Bush meets with all of the remaining GOP candidates except for Trump.
So we have this race covered from every angle the only way CNN can. Let's begin with John Berman on last night's fiery Democratic debate.
John, tell us everything.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You know, we're here in Florida, but it was like the shadow of Michigan looming over all of us, right? Bernie Sanders' big upset win there changed everything. Up until this point, Hillary Clinton has been trying to pivot to the general election. Well, pivot no more.
SANDERS: Madam Secretary, I will match my record against yours any day of the year.
BERMAN (voice-over): A new confidence from Bernie Sanders in this new campaign reality. After the huge Sanders upset in Michigan, this could go on for a while.
CLINTON: I've won some; I've lost some.
BERMAN: The debate in Florida, sponsored by Univision, with sections in Spanish, was full of questions on immigration and full of attempted contrasts.
CLINTON: In 2007 one of the first things you did was vote against Ted Kennedy's immigration reform.
SANDERS: I worked very hard in improving the guest worker provisions so that, in 2013, people who were in the guest worker program in America would not be treated like slaves.
CLINTON: In 2006, Senator Sanders supported indefinite detection for people facing deportation, and stood with the Minutemen vigilantes.
SANDERS: What the secretary is doing tonight, and has done very often, is take large pieces of legislation and take pieces out of it.
BERMAN: Sanders continued to hit Clinton on what he called her ties to Wall Street.
SANDERS: There is a reason why Wall Street has provided $15 million just at the last reporting period for the secretary's super PAC.
CLINTON: I do have the most comprehensive plan to go after Wall Street.
SANDERS: Clearly the secretary's words to Wall Street has really intimidated them, and that's why they have given her $15 million in campaign contributions.
BERMAN: And Clinton continued to hit Sanders for being what she considers unrealistic.
CLINTON: Senator Sanders has talked about free college for everybody. He's talked about universal single-payer health care for everybody. And yet, when you ask questions, as many of us have and, more importantly, independent experts, it's very hard to get answers. And a lot of the answers say that, you know, this is going to be much more expensive than anything Senator Sanders is admitting to.
My dad used to say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
SANDERS: I think, if the rest of the world can do it, we can.
BERMAN: Though most of the focus was on each other, there was some looking beyond to Donald Trump.
CLINTON: He's talking about a very tall wall. The most beautiful tall wall, better than the great wall of China. It's just fantasy.
BERMAN: And some looking within.
CLINTON: I am not a natural politician, in case you haven't noticed, like my husband, or President Obama, and I have a view that I just have to do the best I can.
BERMAN: There were few softballs. Clinton was flat-out asked if she would drop out of the race if indicted because of her e-mails.
CLINTON: Oh, for goodness, it's not going to happen. I'm not even answering that question.
CAMEROTA: All right. Here to discuss all of this, let's bring in our panel. We have our journalist and author David Gregory; CNN national political reporter Maeve Reston; and CNN senior political analyst and senior editor of "The Atlantic," Ron Brownstein. So much substance and style to talk about from last night. Ron, what jumped out at you?
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I was struck by a number of points. Hillary Clinton kind of reverted a little bit to movie to movie to Bernie Sanders' center. To me, the single most memorable moment of the night was that -- the exchange on Cuba. You know, when he talked about -- when they played the tape of him praising, basically, Castro, and Clinton really jumped on that in a way that -- it kind of crystallized the idea that Sanders is someone who is -- was really pushing the left edge of the political debate.
In a way, I think she's had trouble finding a -- you know, a single point at the debate. That was one where you, especially here in Florida...
CAMEROTA: We have that moment. The moderators played this 1985 interview with Bernie Sanders, where he spoke positively about Castro. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Way back in -- what was it? -- 1961, they invaded Cuba, and everybody was totally convinced that Castro was the worst guy in the world. All the Cuban people are going to rise up in rebellion against Fidel Castro. They forgot that he educated the kids, gave them health care, totally transformed the society.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: OK. Now, last night when he was asked about this moment, he once again, said, you know, "Look, Cuba, I was trying to say that they had great advances in medicine and education."
[06:05:10] And she said, "You're not answering the question. Do you still feel that way about Castro?" But he sort of demurred.
BROWNSTEIN: Well, she pounced on it from the right, right? I mean, she said, "These are not the values." She talked about -- she talks about political repression. And again, it was somewhat of a piece with her arguments about the costs of his agenda. It was a moment where, in the Flint debate, every criticism of each other came from the left. They all kept maneuvering to try to -- it was like a boxer kind of maneuvering to hit someone from one side, you know. And they kept going to the left. Here, on at least these two occasions, she was trying to paint him as someone who was somewhat unrealistic or out of the political mainstream.
RESTON: That is the fringe candidate. That seems to be one of the best straws that she has here, is to try to paint him as being way too far over on the left, someone who would get destroyed by Republicans in a general election. When you talk to voters who truly are still undecided, that's their - you know, their last hesitation and reservation with Bernie Sanders. And I think moments like that are actually really strong ones for her.
GREGORY: Also trying to make sure that her coalition turns out. So she's really speaking to Hispanic voters, saying you can't trust this guy. You can't trust him on something that you care a lot about, which is immigration reform. He voted against the reform measure that she supported back in 2007.
She wants to make sure that one of the things that happened in Michigan, that African-American voters turned out in higher numbers for him, and that kind of thing doesn't happen here in Florida or in Illinois or in Ohio where there's a bigger Hispanic population.
CUOMO: Hold on. Let's get to the other big moment of the night. Because you had -- it came from the moderator, Jorge Ramos, asking the question about not e-mails, not the investigation or the eventuality of an indictment and what would mean for Hillary Clinton's campaign.
Let's play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JORGE RAMOS, DEBATE MODERATOR, UNIVISION: The question was do you get permission (UNINTELLIGIBLE) President Obama?
CLINTON: There was no permission to be asked. It had been done by my predecessors. It was permitted. I didn't have to ask anyone.
RAMOS: If you get indicted, would you drop out?
CLINTON: Oh, for goodness -- that's not going to happen. I'm not even answering that question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: So, first question, as we're all journalists: fair? Fair question?
DAVID GREGORY, JOURNALIST/AUTHOR: I think it was a little too heavy. I think there's no reason to suspect that she's even a target.
CAMEROTA: But all the Republicans, Donald Trump says she's going to be -- she's not even going to be able to finish this race.
GREGORY: But just because Donald Trump says it doesn't mean that it's a good basis to -- as a journalist to ask the question. I thought it was a big pointed as a question. And I think it was fair for her to not answer it.
MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Considering how much Republicans are talking about this constantly on the stump, particularly Donald Trump, it is, you know, an opportunity for her to address it. And she seems totally taken back by the question, you know, almost angry about it. And it was just sort of a...
CUOMO: But it wound up playing against the questioner, which is sometimes the risk of an evocative question, or so I've heard.
BROWNSTEIN: Jorge is not shying from provocative phrasing of questions.
CUOMO: She was strong...
BROWNSTEIN: That is not his style.
CUOMO: She was strong when challenged.
CUOMO: So what's the plus minus on it?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, look, I think -- I'm more with Maeve. I think, you know, it was reasonable for her not to answer, but I also thought it was not completely unreasonable for him to ask.
CUOMO: She did not answer. She said it's not going to happen is what she said.
BROWNSTEIN: No, look, it gave her an opportunity to kind of make that case, and on balance, you know, and she said the hall certainly turned against the questioner.
CAMEROTA: So Maeve, I mean, what do you think were the -- who won, if there is such a thing in this?
RESTON: That's a difficult question. I do think that they -- they both had really strong moments last night, but you did really feel that Sanders was coming off that Michigan win with a lot of momentum. One of the puzzling moments that we were talking about in the night earlier was how Clinton double downed on her auto bailout attack on Bernie Sanders, which did not seems to work in Michigan at all. That was sort of a questionable moment.
But I did think also that, you know, she came back at him so many times, the idea that his proposals are unreasonable, too expensive, that he hasn't explained enough. Those were strong moments for her. And that is the case that she will have to go back going forward again and again, if she's going to pull this off.
GREGORY: But he had a good moment against her. He said, "Look, that auto bailout question was misrepresenting my position, even misrepresenting what the bill was," that she does this time and time again. I thought it exploited what a lot of voters feel about her, which is she'll say anything, that she's not trustworthy. That's the gap that she faces. I thought on points, he did a good job of really kind of exploiting that.
RESTON: That's a huge advantage for them, that she was -- she came under attack from so many people, like Politifacts, that it really gets at her honest and trustworthy factor.
BROWNSTEIN: Bringing up the auto just reflects the fact that Ohio and Missouri are kind of Michigan plus. I mean, the electorate -- Bernie Sanders pulls together the coalition that he did in Michigan and wins Missouri and Ohio, even more white. And if he can hold the blue collar white vote and hold down her -- it's not that he won African-Americans, but he held her to 65 percent, as opposed to the 90 percent one at the same time in the city, that's a formula that can win Ohio and Missouri.
[06:10:05] On the other hand, Illinois, North Carolina and even here in Florida, he's going to have to do even better among non-white voters than he did in Michigan.
CUOMO: The flag they wanted to wave the most last night, though, was on immigration, and they wanted that community to know that we are going to be fundamentally different than anyone that comes out of the GOP side on that. That's one of their best ways of getting motivated turnout.
GREGORY: Yes, and we keep talking about let's not forget how important it is. You know, Ron writes so much about the coalition of the ascendant: younger people, minorities and women, that she, in a general election, needs to get them to come out in very, very big numbers, in ways close to what Obama did four years ago. And this is all part of that on issues, like you said, on immigration.
CAMEROTA: OK. Ron, Maeve, David, thank you so much. Great to get your analysis.
CUOMO: And again, we just have big moment after big moment coming at us in this election. Tonight the GOP turn to take the debate stage right here in Miami. Now, before they do, former Florida governor, presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, is going to meet with all the Republican candidates -- wait for it -- not named Trump.
CNN politics reporter Sara Murray joins us now with more. Sara, what do we know?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: This is really the closing argument tonight on the debate stage before we hit these pivotal winner-take-all states on the 15th, places like Ohio, places like Florida.
And remember, the last debate was rowdy; it was vulgar. And this time Donald Trump is predicting a softer debate. And Ted Cruz is going to come in with his own ideas. He wants to turn this into a two-man fight with Trump.
As for Trump, he hasn't been sounding particularly kinder or gentler on the campaign trail. Take a listen to what he had to say about Ohio governor, John Kasich, last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We, as you know, we have Ohio, where you have an absentee governor. Absentee. And we're going to have -- I think we're going to do great in Ohio. We'll do great, great, great in Ohio.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MURRAY: Now, so far Trump has sort of avoided attacking John
Kasich. I think this change in tone is reflective of Kasich's rising poll numbers. So he's going to have -- potentially face more heat on that debate stage tonight.
And of course, the other person that we have our eyes on is Marco Rubio. Florida is just do-or-die for him, and he expressed a little bit of regret about the way he's been handling Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In terms of things that have to do with personal stuff, yes, you know, at the end of the day, you know, it's not something I am entirely proud of. And my kids were embarrassed by it; and if I had to do it again, I wouldn't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: All the candidates coming onstage tonight with something to prove. As you mentioned, a number of them are going to be meeting with Jeb Bush. It will be interesting to see if any of them are able to secure their endorsement.
But I would say, at this point, their performance on this debate stage matters more than anything, especially if you are John Kasich or Marco Rubio. You need to prove to voters that you are a viable candidate, that they're not just wasting votes on you before we get to their home states, Ohio and Florida.
Back to you, Chris.
CUOMO: Sara Murray, thank you very much.
Marco Rubio, heavy with regret. He says mostly because it didn't work. That's his big regret.
Tonight, must-see TV: Donald Trump and his rivals facing off in the final debate before the huge states of Florida and Ohio. Those primaries next week winner-take-all. Jake Tapper will moderate the CNN Republican debate tonight at 8:30 Eastern, right here, of course, on CNN.
CAMEROTA: OK. CNN goes one-on-one with Donald Trump. The Republican front-runner pulling no punches, spelling out his plans for combating radical Islam, though that's not what he called it, and the use of torture. So this is an interview you don't want to miss. Hear what he had to say, next on NEW DAY.
CUOMO: I like when you question what you said.
[06:17:57] CAMEROTA: The Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, is predicting primary victories for himself next week in Ohio and Florida, and he predicts it will knock out his rivals and lock up the nomination. Trump sat down with CNN's Anderson Cooper about those presidential prospects and his thoughts on Islam.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Do you think Islam is at war with the West?
TRUMP: I think Islam hates us. There's something -- there's something there that -- there's a tremendous hatred there. There's a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There is an unbelievable hatred of us.
COOPER: In Islam itself?
TRUMP: You're going to have to figure that out, OK? You'll get another Pulitzer, right, but you're going to have to figure that out. But there is a tremendous hatred. And we have to be very vigilant. We have to be very careful. We can't allow people coming into the country, who have this hatred of the United States and of people that are not Muslim.
COOPER: I guess the question is, is their war between the west and radical Islam, or is there war between west and Islam?
TRUMP: It's radical, but it's very hard to define. It's very hard to separate, because you don't know who is who.
COOPER: You talked about going after the families of terrorists. You now reversed that, essentially.
TRUMP: I didn't reverse anything. I clarified, very simply, we have laws. We have to obey the laws. Now...
COOPER: Killing the families of terrorists would be against the law?
TRUMP: I didn't say kill. We have to go after them, though. The family knows -- look...
COOPER: Kidnapping them?
TRUMP: ... you have a terrorist. You have -- we're going to have to do something, and it's the only way you're going to stop it.
COOPER: You said the other day we have to play the game...
TRUMP: We can't water board.
COOPER: You said we've got to play the game the way they play the game?
TRUMP: We have to play the game at a much tougher level than we're playing.
COOPER: What does that mean, though?
TRUMP: We have to expand those laws. COOPER: Does that mean cutting off heads?
TRUMP: No, it doesn't mean that. But it means we have to expand the laws.
COOPER: What does expand the laws mean?
TRUMP: Anderson, let me explain something. We are playing at this level and they don't care. They have no rules, and we have these rules that -- they're very onerous. I mean, our military is -- brought in because...
COOPER: The Geneva Conventions, and there are rules...
[06:20:04] TRUMP: Yes, it's very interesting what happens with the Geneva Convention. Everybody believes in the Geneva Convention until they start losing. And then they say, "Oh, let's take out the bomb," OK? When they start losing.
COOPER: What you say increase the laws, though, and do more than waterboarding, what does that...
TRUMP: We'll work on that with the generals. I'll work on that with the generals.
COOPER: I talked to General Michael Hayden.
TRUMP: Well, sure, he says it's terrible that we talk that way. And you know what? That's why he's been fighting this war for many years.
COOPER: He's a four-star general, the former head of the CIA, the former head of the NSA. He says your foreign policy ideas frighten him.
TRUMP: I know. Well, his -- he frightens me, because we've been fighting ISIS for many years, and this shouldn't have taken -- this should have been over with quickly. So that's the problem. We have these people that -- they're frightened because I'm protecting the terrorists.
COOPER: The problem with fighting ISIS is that we're not using the same tactics that they are?
TRUMP: We're not fighting it strongly enough. We have to end it, and we have to get back to rebuilding our country.
COOPER: So are you still in support of waterboarding and more?
TRUMP: I am in total support of waterboarding. It's got to be within the law, but I have to expand the law, because a lot of people think it's not within the law now because of this administration. So they're allowed to chop off heads, and we're not allowed to waterboard. Somehow we're at a big disadvantage.
(END VIDEOTAPE) CUOMO: All right. Let's discuss Donald Trump and tonight's big
GOP debate. Back with us, David Gregory, Maeve Reston; and joining us now is CNN political commentator and senior contributor for "The Daily Caller," Matt Lewis.
So important interview, because he has time to be tested back and forth. But also, it sets the stage about for what we're going to hear about tonight?
GREGORY: There's a few things there that are really striking. First of all, the lack of what Donald Trump understands about religion and about radical Islam he showed in that interview. The nature of Islam itself is a religion. Now, he's not even making this argument, but religiously, of course, there are fundamentalist Muslims who do believe that the west, the infidels should be fought, that apostates should be fought, should be countered. And there are radical Islamists who want to make religious identity and religious law the centerpiece of society in the Middle East. That is what ISIS is, a return to the caliphate...
CUOMO: He didn't qualify.
GREGORY: He didn't qualify, and he said Islam. Right, but he's saying, "I don't even know." There's 1.6 billion Muslims in the world.
CUOMO: I think he's talking about all of them, by the way. He said...
GREGORY: That's my point. He betrayed such a lack of understanding, and for a potential commander in chief to frame it that way, I think is incredibly dangerous. So he's not even specifying radical Islamists, who indeed want to make religion central and do want to target the west on religious grounds. That's who he's talking about.
CUOMO: He would say that's PC talk.
GREGORY: But it's not PC talk. It's actually fact-based about who Islamists are, as opposed to peace-loving Muslims in this country and all around the world.
And by the way, this authoritarian streak where he talks about torturing people and ordering the military to do certain things and killing family members of terrorists, and he said, "Well, no, no, no, I said we're going to go after them," that is something that really needs to be unpacked. And I credit Anderson in the interview for really getting to what exactly he means. And are voters going to take a chance that, well, maybe he'll kill family members of terrorists, but maybe he won't. I'm just going to go after him.
RESTON: This is so much of -- of Donald Trump's campaign, which, he leaves open this idea that he is just preying on peoples' fears, preying on ignorance in this country, and about religion and fear about the terrorist attacks that we faced here. And I just think that, you know, we keep seeing, in a lot of
these elections, the late deciders going to other candidates, to Cruz, to Rubio; and it's just -- it's interviews like this that underscore the fact that he has given so little specificity or even, like, just a general idea of what his policies would mean. And it's just been so frustrating. And I think that there are some undecided voters, Republicans, particularly independents, who are just not going to buy that, and they're going to watch that interview and say, "What is he talking about?"
CAMEROTA: So Matt, let's talk about what is incumbent upon the rivals tonight? Their tone. And will they go -- are they again going to go after Trump and try to point some of these things out? Or do they tout what they can do?
LEWIS: I think it's going to be a different dynamic tonight than we've seen in the two last two debates. The last two debates you had Cruz and Rubio sort of teaming up to try to take down Donald Trump. I think that changes, primarily because this is do or die time for Marco Rubio.
And I think Rubio has a sense that this may be his last -- his last moment. He has to have a moment. And I think he wants to either win or go out with the more positive optimistic Marco Rubio that we've seen in the past.
CUOMO: Do you think that's basically based on lack of success after attacking Trump?
LEWIS: Yes. Look, you know, Rubio has sort of said he regrets stooping down and getting down on Donald Trump's level and doing the hands, talking about the hands and all that stuff. I don't -- I don't fault him for that. I feel like Rubio felt like something -- he had to try something. Don't hate the player, hate the game, right? Trump has sort of lowered the discourse. Let's go see if it works to mix it up. But clearly it failed. I mean, Rubio...
CUOMO: It failed because he didn't follow the advice you just laid out. Maeve, he didn't -- he did hate the player. He didn't go at the game. He didn't give an alternative vision. He didn't do what you need to do to counter how you feel about torture, how you feel about Islam. And the question is why not?
[06:25:14] RESTON: And well, I mean, I think that, you know, to be fair, a lot of networks started taking his rallies live after he starting doing that back and forth of Donald Trump. The campaign really felt like they had to get into that game to get some attention and oxygen in the race, and it really hurt him.
I mean, talking to some of, you know, older Republicans who just could not stand that tone, that was not what they expected from Marco Rubio. And you know, that's where he fell down.
It's also odd that in the last couple of days he's been constantly talking about these process issues, you know, whether he went too far there or whether, you know, a vote for John Kasich is a vote for Donald Trump. It's like he's losing the argument by not talking about these real substantive policy issues.
GREGORY: He's not going to out-vulgar Donald Trump.
GREGORY: And that's what he's finding.
To your point that you've been making for a couple of days, which is what is the vision? Disqualifying Trump is not yet working. Now, I would argue they did it -- they started too late, and they have to try to sustain it on very substantive areas, that even maybe not hard- core supporters but softer supporters of Trump might say, "Really?"
CAMEROTA: Such as? I mean, business deals?
GREGORY: Business deals or even elements of what we're talking about here about have we been fighting ISIS for years? In fact, we have not. And when you get into torture issues, that had to do with other stuff.
So I think in that way, what's his vision for why he can consolidate the party, because I think what Trump told you is he wants a softer tone tonight. He wants to try to look more presidential.
RESTON: And have the attacks really sunk in on Trump? Has there been enough time to sink in on this?
CAMEROTA: It's going to be, tonight, very fascinating. Panel, thanks so much for all of that.
CUOMO: This is a big night. And I'll tell you what: for Donald Trump, if he comes off tonight as the one who is changing the tone in a direction that people want, wow.
If it winds up being the man who started it winds up ending it that way, that could be a real game changer in this race.
All right. So that's why we're talking about it, right, because tonight is a really big night. We're also going to talk about the possibilities with former presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina. She just endorsed Ted Cruz.
CAMEROTA: All right. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton clashing again on the debate stage last night. So who had the best moments? Who was most effective? We'll ask Florida voters what they think. That's straight ahead.