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Democrats Spar In Final Debate Before Super Tuesday; U.S. Stock Futures Down Amid Coronavirus Fears. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired February 26, 2020 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Simultaneously.
That's what pandemic means, essentially involving the entire world.
So right now, today, we have bad epidemic in China and we have countries that are starting to have community spread, which is essentially getting us closer and closer to what you would consider the definition of a pandemic.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY: We don't have time for much more, but I'm learning so much here. I do want to ask you one more question, which was one of the things the president yesterday, is that we're very close to a vaccine. Now, I know this is something you know a lot about. This is your job. How close are we to a vaccine? Are we very close?
FAUCI: Well, I mean, the confusion is we're close to starting a phase one trial to determine safety. We're going to do that in about one- and-a-half to two months. But that doesn't mean you have a vaccine. In order to get a vaccine that's practically deployable for people to use, it's going to be at least a year to a year-and-a-half at best.
BERMAN: Dr. Anthony Fauci, we thank you for coming on and helping us understand this and we wish you the best of luck today and going forward as you brief the president on these important matters. I appreciate your time, sir.
FAUCI: Thank you.
BERMAN: New Day continues right now.
Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is New Day.
It was the final Democratic debate before the South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday. And man, oh, man, did a lot happen on that stage. It was the first debate where, really, Bernie Sanders, who is now the national frontrunner, was at the center of all the action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But I think I would make a better president than Bernie.
PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Imagine spending the better part of 2020 with Bernie Sanders versus Donald Trump. Think about what that will be like for this country.
TOM STEYER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Bernie Sanders' analysis is right. The difference is I don't like his solutions.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Bernie, in fact, hasn't passed much of anything.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do not think that this is the best person to lead the ticket.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Should you keep on going, we will elect Bernie. Bernie will lose to Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right. Sanders' opponents also questioned his praise of Fidel Castro and his regime in Cuba, his partial praise, and other policies from Sanders that have been branded as socialist or radical. We're going to speak to two of the candidates who were on that stage, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer, in just minutes.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN NEW DAY: Former Vice President Joe Biden needs a big win in South Carolina on Saturday to resurrect his campaign. He has strong support from the state's black voters. Bernie Sanders has made inroads in the polls.
We're also keeping a very close eye on the markets this morning. U.S. stock futures have been up and down all morning after a monster two- day slide. They are currently down about 85 there. It looks like Wall Street is in for another wild ride as coronavirus fears grip the global markets.
Joining us now to talk about all of this, we have Krystal Ball, co- Host of Rising on Hill T.V., and Paul Begala, CNN Political Commentator and Democratic strategist. Good morning to both of you.
Paul, as our newcomer this morning, Krystal has been paying her dues for many hours already. Paul, your takeaway from last night? What did you think of the debate?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, thanks for letting me sleep in.
A couple of things. First off, it reminded me of my old days hosting Crossfire. And I hated those days with Crossfire. It was awful. And last night's debate was awful. If you sort through the chaos and the confusion, I do think there're two big stories. Joe Biden showed some fire. He showed real passion. He looked like a guy who wanted to win and expects to win. I have no idea if he will. But I thought that was a terrific performance by Joe, the best he's had in a campaign.
And second, you're right, obviously, Bernie took fire. He's the frontrunner. I thought it was instructed that there were two different lines of attack against Bernie. One, from Senator Warren and from Joe Biden, which is you won't be effective. I'll be a better president. You haven't been specific enough. You can't get things done. I think that attack is lame. I think the far more effective attack was brought by Steyer, who you're about to interview, Senator Klobuchar, who you're about to interview, Bloomberg, Mayor Pete, which is you're going to lose to Donald Trump.
I was in South Florida yesterday. Can you imagine going to South Florida with a candidate who has praised Fidel Castro? Can you imagine winning Pennsylvania with a candidate who wants to ban all fracking? Can you imagine winning Michigan with a candidate that wants to take away their union health insurance? Can you imagine winning Wisconsin with a candidate that wants to give free healthcare to undocs? This is just, I think, a far more effective attack on Bernie is not that you won't get it done but that you won't beat Trump.
BERMAN: All right. Let's break this down into pieces. Krystal, I'm going to you on this, and, no, we are not done with you. We're never done with you.
KRYSTAL BALL, CO-HOST, RISING ON HILL T.V.: Thank you. I appreciate that. Paul brought up Joe Biden in a more lively performance than we've seen in debates from him, and this is just a sample of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Bernie, in fact, hasn't passed much of anything. The fact of the matter is -- no, no. Look, the fact is -- here is the deal. I'm not out of time. You spoke over time and I'm going to talk. Here is the deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So, big picture, and this is the question I like to ask after every debate. Did anything change for Bernie Sanders' national frontrunner status? But the flipside of that, did anything change for Joe Biden's frontrunner status in South Carolina, anything that improve Bernie Sanders' chances to beat him there?
BALL: I don't really think so. I mean, Paul's analysis I think is fairly good. It was a mess, right? And I don't think anyone came out of it with a major edge. I also don't think anyone came out of it really being hurt. So, you know, the frontrunner benefits when you have a status quo kind of situation.
That debate between Biden and Bernie and between Warren and Bernie about how you get things done in Washington, I think, is actually really interesting if we zoom out from this one debate moment. Because what you've had is basically voters saying the old way of doing business in Washington and pulling those levers of power is broken. That's why -- look, in some ways, that's why they picked Barack Obama an outsider, that's why they picked Donald Trump an outsider, and that's why Bernie Sanders is the frontrunner in this race.
And so I think Paul is right when he says it's a lame attack to say, look, when you're not playing well by the rules of Washington, level him from other politicians, voters don't care. That's why they like Bernie Sanders. And his theory of the case is much different, right? He takes it to the people. He pressured Amazon to raise their wages. It's the theory of the case that AOC has when she takes it to the people with the Green New Deal and puts pressure from the outside in.
So I actually think that debate is really important. And thus far, the voters have sided with Sanders and the outsiders on it.
CAMEROTA: Well, Michael Bloomberg says that will never work. And so last night, he talked about how nominating Bernie Sanders would be a catastrophe. So listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLOOMBERG: If you keep on going, we will elect Bernie. Bernie will lose to Donald Trump. And Donald Trump and the House and the Senate and some of the state Houses will all go red and then between gerrymandering and appointing judges for the next 20 or 30 years, we're going to live with this catastrophe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: You're going to have to raise your hand for the rest of the show. That's the only way I'll recognize you.
BERMAN: It's an unbelievable picture. When you see it again and again, these people who spent their careers in public service --
CAMEROTA: I don't know what could have been done differently. This is an aside. But in terms of the format, when you have seven people who are feisty and want to get their points across, I don't what could have been done differently. But table that for a second. What about that argument, Paul? I mean, that is obviously the establishment versus Bernie argument that he won't bring people along with him if he does become the nominee.
BEGALA: Right. I don't think it's establishment versus Bernie. I think it's the new Democrats who gave Nancy Pelosi the gavel, the women and men who made Nancy, the speaker who made Adam Schiff the chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Those front line Democrats, they won in places that had voted for Donald Trump. They're not looking for a revolution. And they're certainly not looking for somebody who's praising Fidel Castro or some of these other things that they're digging out of Bernie's opposition research file.
I think that's the problem that a lot of Democrats are going to have. South Carolinians, I think, at the forefront of this. You saw those folks you interviewed in that focus group, Alisyn. They don't want to lose. They don't want to waste their vote. They don't want to re-elect Trump. I don't think anybody is sure of the best way to beat Trump.
But I think a lot of people who are on the front lines in the places that Democrats have to win to beat Trump, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, they're really worried that somebody coming at you with a revolution is just going to scare off the very voters who switched from Trump to the Democrats in the last election.
BERMAN: So Bernie Sanders did face, I think, the most incoming he has had to from the other people on the stage. And it was, I think, not the friendliest audience he has had yet. So let's listen to one of the moment where is the issue of Fidel Castro and things that Bernie Sanders has said about Cuba did come up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I said is what Barack Obama said in terms of Cuba, that Cuba made progress on education. Yes, I think -- really? Really?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: We have a special guest star now appearing in this panel, and that's Jonathan Martin from The New York Times.
CAMEROTA: Parachuting in.
BERMAN: Parachuting in to save us from ourselves. J. Mart, great to see you.
JONATHAN MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I've been here for ten minutes.
BERMAN: Bakari sellers said that, for Bernie Sanders, this was his first away game. It was his first away game on a debate stage. How did he do? And is there a different framework now? Is there more of a chance for another candidate to knock him off that frontrunner status?
MARTIN: Well, there was definitely some home cooking in Charleston last night for Joe Biden. It was a friendly, live audience he had which I think did help him, and certainly made it a little bit more uncomfortable for Bernie Sanders. I counted at least two different times where it was striking to hear the boos for Bernie Sanders. You just don't hear that typically at debates. And talking to his campaign afterwards, they were a little bit surprised. One of his staffers noted to me, you know, some of those lines we have are guaranteed applause lines and they didn't hit here. So it was very much noted in the room.
That said, John, I'm just not sure that Bernie took that big of a hit last night, because for all the efforts to sort of take him down, the debate was so chaotic and there was so much cross talk, that it's not like there was a sort of really painful five-minute stretch for him where he took the brunt of the attacks. That would happen, then somebody else would jump in, there would be a back and forth. It was hard to keep the plot together. So not a great night for Bernie Sanders, exposed some of his vulnerabilities, I thought, and gave his opponents fodder certainly going forward. But it could have been a lot worse. And I think he was helped by the fact that this debate stage, guys, remarkably in the fourth state is still at seven people big.
CAMEROTA: You know, because you guys have all brought up the format so much and talked about how much you didn't like it, and I do not want to cast any aspersions on our friends and colleagues over at CBS. I mean, I think it's hard to wrangle --
MARTIN: Well, I'm not saying it's not hard, but the candidates did what they did and created an unruly, chaotic debate last night. That's not necessarily the fault of moderators. The candidates chose to sort of create that kind of environment given their comments and raising their hands, interrupting, going over their time. That was the candidates' choice, I thought.
CAMEROTA: There you go. All right, on that note, thank you all very much for the analysis.
Tom Steyer got into a heated exchange with former Vice President Joe Biden last night. So watch this moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: You knew when you bought it, they had done that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: All right. Tom Steyer joins us live next.
BERMAN: Here is him walking in.
CAMEROTA: And there I am and there you are.
BERMAN: And there's me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEYER: We are looking at a party that has decided we're either going to support someone who's a Democratic socialist or somebody who has a long history of being a Republican.
Now, I am scared. If we cannot pull this party together, if we go to one of those extremes, we take a terrible risk of re-electing Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: That was Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer making his case to voters last night before the South Carolina primary this weekend. And Tom Steyer joins us now. Good morning, Mr. Steyer.
STEYER: Alisyn, how are you?
CAMEROTA: I'm well. You had a late night. So tell us what you thought of the debate last night and what grade you'd give yourself.
STEYER: Look, I thought last night was a little chaotic. I think everybody figured that out. But I think a lot of information came out. And I think that the clip you played of me talking was part of what people came to realize. Which is if, in fact, we nominate someone like Bernie Sanders who believes the government should take over big parts of the private sector, that that's something that his analysis about problems is right but that's not a solution that works for working Americans. That's not something that actually has ever worked. In fact, we need a vibrant competitive private sector.
And it's true that unchecked capitalism has failed. But the answer is not for the government to take over big parts of the private sector. The answer is to break the corporate strangle hold on our government to get back to government of by and for the people so that we can deliver the services and the -- meet the needs of the American people.
STEYER: And I think on the other hand, it also was clear last night that Mr. Bloomberg has a long history as a Republican of doing things that don't square with the values of the Democratic Party. And we really need someone who can pull the party together in November so that we all show up at the polls and beat Donald Trump. That was the point I was trying to make. I think it was made during the night. And I think that information like that did come out last night, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: I mean, Vice President Biden says he's that person.
STEYER: Yes. I think the point is this. I think what we need is somebody who's a progressive, not somebody who wants to pretty much keep the status quo, which I think that's really what Joe Biden wants, a kind of status quo person. I think we have a real crisis in the United States. I was trying to say it last night. We have a huge racial equity issue that we don't discuss that we need to resolve and deal with. We have a climate crisis that I would declare a state of emergency on day one. And we have an economy that's failed the American people, working families for 40 years.
So the idea that the status quo with a little tweak is the right thing is not the answer right now. We need to turn the page on a failed 40- year Republican experiment that doesn't work for working people. We need progressive ideas. That's the truth. We need a progressive like me who really believes in change.
CAMEROTA: I guess my point is that I hear other people saying that on the stage as well. So I said Vice President Biden. You hear Pete Buttigieg saying that. Amy Klobuchar is saying that. They all see themselves as unifiers and bringing people together. And I guess my larger question is, is that are you of the thinking that at some point soon it begins to hurt whoever the Democrat is, that there are so many people on that stage vying for attention, arguing with each other?
Is it soon, and I mean in the next few days after South Carolina, time to come together in the moderate lane you're talking about, the progressive moderate lane, call it whatever you want, and coalesce around one person?
STEYER: look, I think there is a big difference between being a progressive and a moderate, Alisyn. I really do. Because I think one is about transformational change and one is about modest improvement. I think that's actually a dramatic difference. But I agree with you. We are going to have to come together around somebody. We're going to have to do it around someone who can pull the party together at the polls and show that, and that's what I'm trying to do in South Carolina.
CAMEROTA: But when? What's the date?
STEYER: On Saturday, so we can pull the party together.
CAMEROTA: Well, let's talk about that. So you are doing well. You've spent a lot of money in South Carolina. It has worked at least in terms of the voters we've spoken to. You are certainly on their radar. Many of them like you best. You are number three at the moment in terms of polling in South Carolina. The latest polling has Joe Biden, 27, Bernie Sanders, 23, you at 15 percent.
And so what is the path forward for you after South Carolina? Let's say you come in third there, what is your plan?
STEYER: Let's just be -- Alisyn, I'm trying to do a lot better than that. I'm actually trying -- I think I'm trying to move up in the polls and show that I am pulling those people together. And that's literally what I'm trying to do right now. So I don't want to prejudge what happens on Saturday. I want to show that, in fact, I can do that on Saturday.
CAMEROTA: Well, I guess my point is at what date. At what date does it become more harmful for whoever the Democrat is that there continues to be so many people vying for -- call that lane whatever you want. At what date would you like -- even if it's not you, at what date do you think it's time for other people to get out?
STEYER: Look, I think that the make or break time here will be Super Tuesday. I think that after that, but that's not the point. I mean, I'm not in this race to be a pundit. I'm in this race because there are things I really, really care about, Alisyn. I really, really care about climate. I really, really care about racial justice. I really, really believe that the Democrat has to make this economy work for working people again, that the inequities in this economy are so gross and so painful that it's absolutely essential that turn the page and start splitting up the money much differently. That's what I'm proposing. I'm proposing for working people to make much more money and keep much more money. CAMEROTA: Let me ask you something that is on everyone's minds this morning, and that's the coronavirus. What would President Steyer do this morning about coronavirus?
STEYER: Well, let me say this, Alisyn. Mr. Trump is late. He has not understood how dramatic an impact this virus is going to have on the world. It's not a question of what I should be doing this morning. It's a question of what I should have been doing a month or two ago. When, in fact, it became clear that this was the kind of thing where we needed to send our experts to China to start working on this, that we needed -- he just requested money for medical research. That's months late. In fact, we should have been over in China helping them. We should have been doing research to get a vaccine.
In fact, this is a question where his having decimated government, taking money away from Center for Disease Controls has put us at a horrible disadvantage. And we can see that this is going to have a dramatic impact in terms of health around the world. I think at a level people haven't realized yet. And that the response to that health crisis is going to be an economic crisis that we're not sure how big it's going to be. But I can assure you, this is why this president is so incompetent.
I mean, I did start the need to impeach movement because he's a corrupt criminal. But he's also deeply incompetent in his response to this health situation. It's dramatically inadequate. He doesn't know what he's doing. I don't think he's aware of the extent of what's happening. And his response has been pathetic.
CAMEROTA: We'll see what happens today. Tom Steyer, we really appreciate you taking time to be on New Day this morning. We will be watching closely this weekend.
STEYER: Thank you, Alisyn. Nice to talk to you.
CAMEROTA: You as well.
Coming up, in just minutes, Senator Amy Klobuchar joins us to talk about her debate performance and her path ahead. John?
BERMAN: So, top CDC officials warning Americans that they expect coronavirus to spread here in the United States. It's not a question of if but when. Dr. Sanjay Gupta answers so many of our answers, next.
BERMAN: So this morning, the CDC officials are warning that it's not a question of if the coronavirus will spread to the United States but when.
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now.
And, Sanjay, this was really interested yesterday when a senior CDC official said it's going to happen, it's coming and she told us that she's already called her kids' school to figure out what contingency planning they're doing. So let's break this down.
She said community spread is likely. What is that and what does that look like?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, that really, obviously, made it very real for people. If you listen to what public health officials have been saying, they've been sort of beating the drum on this for some time, John, basically saying, look, this is a virus, it doesn't respect borders, it doesn't respect boundaries. All these measures that are in place are important, not to stop the virus necessarily but to at least delay it.
I'm going to tell you what it's going to mean specifically for communities. But listen to how Dr. Redfield, who's the head of the CDC, I interviewed him last week. This is how he put it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL: This virus is probably with us beyond this season or beyond this year.
And I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we will get community-based transmission.