the olympics. you're thinking do you want to bring everybody in the world to rio. >> scary. thank you, everyone, for watching. my colleague jim sciutto is sitting in for wolf. he starts right now. >> hello, i'm jim sciutto. wolf blitzer is on assignment. wherever you are watching from around the world, thank you for joining us. we begin with presidential politics and the fight for the democratic nomination. democrats get back on the campaign trail today after sparring o in thespar ing in their latest debate last night. bernie sanders kept hammering away on his issue, the influence of wall street donations in politics and in american's lives. >> 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. >> well, hillary clinton says she is the only one who is ready to deal with the problems facing the country, including wall street. >> we agree that we've got to get unaccountable money out of politics. we agree that wall street should never be allowe to wreck main street again. 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. >> on the trail today, bill clinton attends an event in cincinnati. bernie sanders has stops in minneapolis and st. paul, minnesota. hillary clinton also traveling to st. paul after a town hall today in denmark, south carolina. that is where we find joe johns. joe, big night last night, another one for the democratic campaign. does the clinton campaign belief she accomplished her goals last
night? >> reporter: they're pretty happy about it. hillary clinton aligning herself with the policies of the popular first african-american president, barack obama. and the focus here in south carolina is so much about minority voters. she was taking on bernie sanders on a variety of issues, including the notion that had been suggested by sapd nders th the president had let down the progressive wing of the party. this plays very well in a place like south carolina as the demographics expand in the presidential races. and i think the hillary clinton campaign is very happy about that. >> how important is south carolina? you hear the phrase all the time that that is her fire wall. how important is that? >> it's critical, i think for her, because as you know she got blown out in new hampshire.
and now she needs a big win here in south carolina to try to restore her momentum. and what she's doing here in south carolina is essentially reaching out to african-american voters who are concerned about education. she's visiting a school, having a town hall here. and this school is located in what has been known as the corridor of shame, an area of schools where it's very poor and they need a lot of money and they haven't been able to get it. so she's going to come in and talk about her commitment to this issue over the years, pointing out that she was working for the children's defense fund right out of law school and that she's been very committed to this cause for a long time. so you're getting specifics from hillary clinton, here reaching out to african-american voters at a time, of course, when bernie sanders just happens to
be over in minnesota. he too is talking about race and economics in a town hall at a public school there as well. so a lot more to say about that. bernie sanders still expected to come here to south carolina, but the question is whether bernie sanders will be able to make up some of the differences that we're seeing in the polls right now. >> and south carolina very different state from both new hampshire and iowa. joe johns, thank you so much. well, the republican presidential candidates are out in full force today as well. john kasich has three events across south carolina. you're looking at live pictures, this from the faith and family forum in greenville, south carolina, four of the candidates speaking there today. y tomorrow, the republican candidates have a much lighter campaign schedule. they'll be preparing for their debate in greenville.
that's where we find sean spicer. she's the chief strategist for the republican national committee. you look at the race in these 24 hours, taking a particularly vicious turn. i just want to draw your attention to one of the latest tweets from donald trump direcd at ted cruz. he says how can ted cruz be an evangelical christian when he lies so much and is so dishonest. we know the central role of evangelicals in the south carolina. is this kind of vicious back and forth good for the republican party? >> well, jim, i think you've probably heard me say before i would appreciate our candidates talking positively about their vision and focusing their attacks on hillary clinton and bernie sanders. fortunately the choice is between our guys taking some punches at each other or being a
party with a candidate under fbi investigation, i'll take our candidates any day of the week. that's really the contrast. if you look at what's going to be discussed tomorrow night -- >> sean i hear you on that. a deaf turn to the challenges on the democratic side. this is a real challenge within the republican party, the tone of the race. you have trump and rubio campaigns also complaining about robocalls in south carolina negative about their candidates. they're pointing fingers at the cruz campaign. we know about the allegationings of di of dirty pool, so to speak. is the rnc looking into these calls? >> no. i would love for oerch running a positive campaign, talking about why they want to be president and focusing their attacks on hillary clinton. it it's no secret that politics is
tough. this is part of the game. south carolina has seen this before. we recognize this is part of the cycle. it prepares them for a general. it makes them better candidates. again, i would rather take some of these tough accusations on our side than either of the two candidates that were featured last night on the democratic stage. you have a candidate, a leading ka candidate in the field that is under investigation by the fbi. i think it wfound it appalling one of the moderators during the two-hour debate asked a single question regarding a just revealed, just confirmed fbi investigation. that is appalling that that never came up. >> let me ask you this. because when you look inside the race, really both races, you have now the prospect of a long, drawn-out contest, certainly on the democratic side, more than many expected, but also
certainly on the republican side, which allows for the prospect of the kind of back and forth you're talking about here, some of which is potentially danieling f in damaging for some of the candidates when they go to a general election. you ever marco rubio saying he doesn't think the uncertainty of not having a candidate go to the convention is necessarily a bad thing. but you see this bitter back and forth here. >> look, here's the situation. under chairman prereince priebu leadership, we shortened the cycle by a total of 68 days. it will be shorter. many people will be involved. so on march 1st, you're going to have 11 states go. more voters will be involved in this process than ever before.
during the month of february, 5% of the republican delegates will be selected. during the month of march just about 60% of the delegates will be selected. so the notion of trying to handicap how this race is going to end up is like predicting who's going to be in the world series after opening day of major league baseball. it's a little premature for that to happen. i'm excited by the level of intensity and enthusiasm on our side. there was one tweet from a reporter that focus group attendees were falling asleep during the democratic debate. we offer high quality candidates. we offer a level of vision and solutions that america is yearning for right now. >> let me ask you this as we look ahead to this prospect of the race lasting longer than the gop expected. are you confident you'll have a candidate by the time of the
convention? >> yes. >> no brokered convention? >> well, first of all, i think that term gets thrown around pretty loosely. a brokered convention was back in the '50s. that's frankly not the way the process would work. >> beyond the se manmanticsema t ultimate question is do you believe you'll have a candidate by the time of the convention? >> i do believe that. we need 1,237 to take our nomination. more voters are going to have an opportunity to be involved in this process than ever before. come the end of march, you'll hopefully start to see the emergence of a presumptive nominee. >> we'll come back in mid april and test your prediction there. thanks for taking the time today. and coming up, who likes president obama more?
hillary clinton and bernie sanders made their cases tonight. is clinging to president obama a winning strategy? and the pope is on his way to cuba. we'll tell you how he's making history there once again. [cough, cough] mike? janet? cough if you can hear me. don't even think about it. i took mucinex dm for my phlegmy cough. yeah...but what about mike? he has that dry scratchy thing going on. guess what? it works on his cough too. cough! guess what? it works on his cough too. what? stop! don't pull me! spoiler alert! she doesn't make it! only mucinex dm relieves both wet and dry coughs for 12 hours with two medicines in one pill. start the relief. ditch the misery. let's end this. just prepping for my boss' party in a couple weeks.
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. last night's democratic debate was between hillary clinton and bernie sanders. but president obama's presence certainly also loomed large. clinton embraced the obama legacy and questioned sanders' support for the president. >> the kind of criticism that we've heard from senator sanders about our president, i expect from republicans, i do not expect from someone running from the democratic nomination to succeed president obama. >> that is -- madam secretary, that is a low blow. >> blow blow. s.e. cupp. jamal, if i could start with you, key here for the hillary clinton campaign is increasing
her appeal among african-americans. does that work? >> yes. it will work with older african-american voters who have an extraordinary attachment to the president and really want to be supportive. the place it gets a little bit dodgy is with younger african-american voters who look back and say we thought we were going to move the ball more. now these issues of criminal justice are on the table. bernie sanders is speaking to them in a much more emotional way about the problems. hillary clinton has to figure out a way to capture that. >> he's winning those younger voters among whites as well. >> more broadly, i think that's also because younger voters and nonestablishment voters don't really care about preserving a president's legacy. that's not what moves them. i think going for a change candidate like bernie feels more authentic and exciting to a young person. >> what 20-year-old wants to do what their parents are doing? >> the exact opposite.
you saw the candidates falling over each other to attach themselves to the obama legacy. we now how that plays on the other side of the aisle. as a republican, were you relishing this? >> there were some fascinating acrobatics last flighnight. to see hillary clinton defending the insurance system was really remarkable. say what you want about what's going on on my side of the aisle. i think the democrats campaign has devolved a bit as well. i don't think this is the kind of stuff that voters in either the primary or the general really care about. >> to be fair, and we'll talk about that later with both of you, the royal palm wepublicaoe >> i admitted it.
>> sanders is trying to cut into support among african-american voters as well. here's how he responded to a question about race relations. >> so race relations would be better under a sanders presidency than they've been? >> absolutely. 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. we're going to make sure these kids stay in school, are able to get a college education. >> so that's a fairly bold step to say that he would do better on these issues than the nation's first african-american president. >> and he got it precisely half wrong. every time you ask him a question it's about billionaires. secondly, the thing about race relations is not about african-american kids getting jobs. that's going to be good for the african-american economy. the thing about race relations the economy will help is is s if
more white americans feel like they have an economic future. as people feel like the economy is not taking off as much, they're much more protective of what they have. so every new person added to the pie is you're taking something away from me versus i have something i'm willing to share. >> i want you both to stay here because we're going to come back and talk about the other side of the race. still to come in the meantime -- syria, a country wrecked, devastated by war. thousands of civilians in desperate need of help. under a new agreement, some relief could be underway. enough pressure in here for ya? ugh. my sinuses are killing me. yeah...just wait 'til we hit ten thousand feet. i'm gonna take mucinex sinus-max. too late, we're about to take off.
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by visiting xfinty.com/voiceremote. four gop presidential candidates are expected to speak at the faith and family forum in greenville, south carolina today. ben car seasson is speaking the right now. we're going to listen in. >> i believe that we the people will be the one who is will make that determination, not they the media and not they the pundits and not they the political class. if we continue to listen to them, we will continue to go down the same path. they all they do is change it a little bit, they tweak it a little bit. but the fact of the matter is they're all connected by all the special interest groups and the billionaires. it's one of the reasons why i absolutely refuse to take money
from special interest groups and billionaire who is want to influence the process, because it is corrupting everything. i've looked under the hood of what runs this nation. your first impression is to close it and run away. but the fact of the matter is i have to think about those who are coming after us. >> you've been listening to ben carson he's speaking at the faith and family forum in greenville, south carolina. four gop candidates will be there today. looking now to overseas news, it is a deal that looks good, at least on paper. now the question remains is the cessation of hostilities in syria, will that work on the ground? here's what the us, russia and other members of the syria support group agreed to. in one week, a nationwide pause crucially in the fighting.
principle goal here is to bring bashar al assad's government and the rebels back to the table. this does not apply to isis and the al qaeda tied front. also the rare strikes will continue. so, fred, let's talk about the syrian reaction to this. what's their reaction to this agreed upon cessation and is it your feeling or your belief they will abide by this agreement? >> reporter: well, that's going to be the big question. that's certainly at this point in time, the syrian government feels that in the north that they are winning, that they are pushing the rebels back very close to the turkish border. we were so close to the turkish
space that we were actually getting turkish cell phone networks. the syrian president bashar al assad gave an interview toods where he said that his goal still is to take back all of syria. let's have a listen. . >>translator: we have fully believed in negotiations and in political action since the beginning of the crisis. however, if we negotiate, it does not mean that we stop fighting terrorism. the two tracks are syria, first through negotiations and second through fighting terrorism. and the two tracks are separate from each other. >> reporter: at this point the big question is what sort of incentives does bashar al assad himself have to go to the negotiating table and put this so-called cessation of hostilities in place. certainly speaking to syrian
soldiers on the front lines, they say that are very confident. but they also acknowledge they wouldn't have gotten to where they are right now without those russian air strikes. they say that's something that's made a gbig difference. and being in damascus today, we did see a lot of air strikes take place here in the syrian capital on this day as well. >> you've been to some of these besieged cities. tell us just how dire the circumstances are there. that's really what's been driving this. aid age aide agencies describe a horrible situation on the ground. >> reporter: yes. i was in two areas just two days ago that were progovernment areas that had been besieged for
years. they had to get goods dropped in by by regime helicopters. on the other side you dough h h things happening as well. a town really close theory damascus a siege has been going on for a very long time. many people have died of starvation and that is really just in bad need of any sort of aide coming in. and th and then you have an isis siege where people don't have access to even the basic goods. certainly, this is a big problem. it's a problem that persists on all sides of the conflict where the united nations have said it holds the syrian government and also isis responsible for what is going on here on the ground. it certainly was one of the main
pry or t priorities to make sure the denial of food and medicine cannot be used as a woep eapon this war any longer. >> the signal has been difficult there, but he's one of the closest reporters to the front lines. coming up, pope francis is on the move. the pontiff heading to cuba to meet the head of the russian orthodox church. where do you think you're going? to work, with you. it's taco tuesday. you're not coming. i took mucinex to help get rid of my mucusy congestion. oh, right then i'll swing by in like 4 hours. forget the tacos! one pill lasts 12 hours. i'm good all day. wait! your loss. i was going to wear a sombrero. only mucinex has a bi-layer tablet that starts fast, and keeps working. not 4, not 6, but 12 full hours. start the relief. ditch the misery. let's end this.
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it is an historic meeting, nearly a thousand years in the making. the church looking to heal a rift between the two churches, the eastern and western factions of christianity. then the pope's next stop will be mexico. the pontiff getting into the spirit of the trip, donning a sombrero there. patrick, tell us what the pope intends to accomplish in this stop in cuba. >> you know, >> reporter: we're used to pope francis making news, but not quite like this. this is a meeting that's been hundreds of years in the making. many other popes and patriarchs -- that's what the head of the russian orthodox church is called -- have tried doing this and there wasn't enough common ground. there is enough common ground apparently now. and that common ground is the
treatment of christians in the middle east and africa. of course, we've seen the horrific videos issued by isis and others showing the mass executions of christians throughout the middle east and africa. this is an issue that not only the pope and the patriarch feel is something worth coming together for. but also we should mention the russian orthodox churches close ally, the kremlin. vladimir putin, of course leading an effort to save president bashar al assad in syria. there's some interesting common ground here. the pope will land shortly, we believe. he'll have about a two hour meeting with the patriarch and speak before he goes on to mexico. somewhat ironic they're holding this meeting in cuba, a country that not too long ago was an officially atheist country.
raoul castro will be there as well for this history-making day. they will be finding some common ground at long last, jim. >> i want to turn now to one of our big international stories. major world powers agreeing to a deal that would pause the fighting between the syrian government and rebels on the ground there. this cessation of hostilities in syria, will it work on the ground. joining us now is john kirby, spokesman for the state department. he is in munich traveling with secretary of state john kerry. thanks very much for joining us today. >> good to be with you. >> you look at this cease fire. and what jumps out to me and others are the parties who are not a party to this deal. it does not cease russian air strikes there, which have been deadly. secretary of state john kerry has angry criticized the
russians for this campaign which has killed many civilians. isis, of course the primary target of the u.s. and the coalition. how can you have a cease fire when so many parties are not ceasing fire? >> well, it's never been designed to stop -- to put the pressure that needs to be continually put on groups like daish and al nusra. we would want to see them do exactly that. what this is designed to do is get the forces that are primarily involved in the syrian civil war to stop the killing and stop the violence so that we can try to get the political process on track. that's what it's always been designed to do. believe it, the coalition is not going to stop the pressure that they continue to put every day
on groups. >> is the trouble here that it's become more than a civil war? it's in effect become an international proxy war, because you have the russians, the iranian fighters, hezbollah fighters on the ground. then you have the u.s. of course arming the cia, the secret program that everybody knows about, arming some of the rebels on the other side who are turning their attention from isis to the regime forces. it just racises what seems to b a very reasonable question. you may make some progress stopping this civil war, but you still have this international proxy war underway. >> it's not a small civil war. >> you still have very big players firing at each other in this fight. >> which is why this agreement is so important. it's a cessation of hostilities so we can get some humanitarian
assistance to all the people in need in syria. th they're meeting in geneva today to help foster a climate where we can get the political process moving, where the opposition can sit down with the regime and we can start to get some real traction with the political process. it is exactly because it is so complicated and so vast as you describe this this agreement is so important. >> there are reports that some of the iraqi militias that previously had fought on the side of the u.s. and the coalition have in fact switched sides, those militias are now fighting to support the regime of bashar al assad. so you in effect have forces that are backed, trained, armed, supported by the u.s. on the other side of the conflict. can you confirm that's happening on the ground? >> no. i've seen those reports, jim.
can't confirm that. one of the reasons why this agreement is so important is we'll know when we can get to a cessation of hostilities. and we hope within a week's time we can actually put it in place. you'll know shortly thereafter who's going to be a party to that and who isn't, who's going to be on the side of terrorism and who isn't. if you're on the side of terrorism, then the pressure is going to be continued to be applied to you. >> i want you to respond a criticism that i know you're familiar with here in washington, that is with the russians on the ground here, the u.s. has creeded a lot of influence. that russian air force has helped assad gain ground. how do you answer that skriccrim
that the russians now have the upper hand in terms of influence in this? >> well, first of all, i don't think we -- we believe that the assad regime or the russians have the upper hand. all they're doing, the russians in particular, by continuing to bolster and support the assad regime is prolonging the conflict. the more successful the assad regime is in perpetrating their own, the more successful they will be in propagating the conflict and attracting fighters to syria. >> that may be true. >> this isn't a successful strategy by any sense. . >> by u.s. objectives. but by russian objectives, which is to rescue the assad regime, they have gained ground. and because of those gains you now have u.s. allies on the ground that were fighting isis being drawn into this other
conflict to fight the regime. that's having a direct effect on the u.s. strategy there. >> there's no question. and i'm not going to refute a bit that assad is feeling more support now and he's been emboldened but russia's activities. that's not the answer to the long-term solutions here in syria which has got to be achieved but peaceful means. while it is certainly true that the regime has benefitted from russian support, russian support is not going to be to the benefit of syria writ large. that's why we continue to pursue a political solution. i would remind you that the russians themselves, including last night, agreed that a political solution needs to be found. what we want is for russian and everybody else to meet the commitments they've signed up to four times kn s now that we've o
get to a political solution. supporting assad is not going to work in the long-term. >> thanks for taking the hard questions. >> my pleasure. still to come, name calling, accusations of lying and cheating. but one republican candidate says he is going to keep his message positive. that's coming up right after .
four gop presidential candidates are scheduled to speak at the faith and family forum in greenville, south carolina today. let's listen in. >> i was asked -- this is not really as relevant to the bigger question. i was asked what book are you reading? if they said i'm reading robert bourke's biography, i'm thinking, come on man, you're just saying what you think i want to hear. people are either trying to appeal to you. if they do that consistently, that's a bad sign for me.
>> jeb bush speaking at the faith and family forum in greenville, south carolina. also speaking there today, marco rubio, ben carson, ted cruz. john kasich not there today, but still espousing his positive message, saying it resonated with voters in new hampshire and helped propel him to his second place finish there. take a look at a snippet from a new kasich ad in south carolina. >> my father was a postman who told me, johnny, you stand on your own two feet. you go out there and change the world. i believe the lord put us on the earth to use the gifts weave been given. >> let's bring back our all star panel. so perhaps i could begin with you talking about republicans, that kasich message that his strategy. you've got cruz and trump
so does that message work for him? >> i'm not sure it's soup for the soul, you know, when you've got so much oxygen being eaten up by donald trump alone, then you add into that the fireworks jab and cruz and i would love to thing a high-minded happy warrior campaign really could cut through but i'm not sure with that. >> maybe not on either side. not high-minded part of the republican race. they're complaining now about robo calls in south carolina. is being south carolina is a loy of dirty trick, going back years. i had ron spicer from the rnc on earlier and he said campaigns always have this back and forth, but this is damaging, is it not, potentially for the candidates down the road? >> it's not rubbing, it's just
racing, you know, this is -- they didn't hit you, they're just -- this is kind of just how it goes. so people in campaigns are going to get beaten up, going to get hit. they have to learn how to take the punches. we as voters want to see candidates get punched. we want to see what their response is like. we want to see if they can stand up to an attack. if you want to get in the big chair, you cab make a whole lot of decisions even under duress. >> the thing is you have on both sides now, you look at hillary clinton. hillary clinton, might do a bit of old school, more experienced one, i can get things done, that kind thing, but, you know, in that party, it's sort of out of touch with the zitgist, right, people on the republican side, is it necessary, i'm curious if both of you agree with this, you got to abandon that, really drag people out? >> that's one way to do that. certainly what donald trump is trying to do. the other way is the way bernie
sanders is doing and that's appeal to activists. bernie sanders is a cause. hillary clinton is a corporation. and so that's why he's getting so many more young people and so many women i think. i think, you know, sanders and trump have the same problems in this election and they have similar opportunities. i think they're just taking very different tactics. >> they also have unexpected success. isn't that anger they're appealing to, trump and sanders kind of two sides of the same coin? >> i think absolutely, two sides of the same coin. i think a lot of people in america think they want to get the economy to get bigger and faster and include more people. what happens if not sanders and not trump get the nominations and are they able to capture the energy and anger and offer something positive to those voters who may not feel as inspired by the more pragmatic candidates. >> jamal simmons, s.e. cupp,
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a new pentagon report out today washes about the growing threat poised by north korea. the report describes north korea's special forces as, quote, highly trained and well equipped. cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr joins us now live. barbara, tell us what the biggest headlines are from this new assessment from the basics, it sounds alarming. >> well, one of the more interesting things they say about those north korean special forces, they are the best fed in the north korean military. we know north korea suffers from food shortages. keeping those troops well fed with their job of protecting the country against attack, protecting the government, may
be a real indicator of kim jong-un's priorities right now, but the report focuses a good deal of course on north korea's long-range ballistic missile program. underscoring yet one more time that the u.s. intelligence view is that north korea is trying to develop a long-range missile that can hit the united states and put a nuclear warhead on it. this is language we've been hearing in recent days from the cia director, the defense secretary, the director of national intelligence, as they have testified on capitol hill about their concerns. we just saw in the last several days the launch of a satellite on top of one of those long-range missile bodies, but the north koreans want to put a nuclear warhead on that, and that may become one very serious national security problem of course for the next president of the united states. jim. >> barbara, i have to ask you a question, it's top of my own mind, but i imagine many of our
viewers, there's a lot of talk about missile defense, south korea now requesting this system to come out there and protect them. based on what we know about u.s. anti-missile capabilities, is there confidence in the u.s. military that if north korea does get that capability to put a nuke on the top of a missile, that the u.s. has the ability to shoot it down? >> well, they hope they do. one of the problems of course with the north koreans is the inaccuracy of their weapons. they are notoriously inaccurate and the big concern is going to be if they were ever able to do this, where would that missile exactly go. there was an even bigger problem looming. the north koreans working on a mobile launcher for one of those missiles. they put a long-range missile on a truck, drive it around the country. u.s. satellites may not be able to track it, may not be able until the last minute to see it coming, jim. >> goodness. frightening prospect. cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr. that's it for me.
wolf is back on monday. for our international viewers, "amanpour" is next. for viewers in north america, "newsroom" with brooke baldwin starts right now. top of the hour. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. here we go to the race for the next president. the current president was at center stage at the democratic debate between sanders and clinton. coming off her thumping, we'll call it, in new hampshire earlier this week. clinton used barack obama to boost her first prime-time shot at a comeback. >> i think president obama has set a great example. i think he has addressed a lot of these issues that have been quite difficult. but he has gone forward. president obama succeeded in doing was to build on the health care system we have. i think under president obama, we have seen a