tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN February 17, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PST
happening now, sue me. senator ted cruz dares donald trump to follow through on threats to file a defamation lawsuit because of ads cruz is running in south carolina. we're standing by for a trump rally. we expect to hear directly from him. he will return fire, no doubt. senator cruz gets his own chance to fire back during tonight's cnn republican presidential town hall. haley's comet. we're standing by for what could be a major turning point in the 2016 campaign. senator marco rubio about to pick up the endorsement of south carolina's very popular republican governor, nikki haley. will that be rubio's ticket to the republican establishment's inside lane? nevada's dead heat. our brand new cnn poll shows hillary clinton's once big lead has evaporated. is senator bernie sanders about to punch a hole in clinton's firewall with minority voters. and apple cipher.
a judge orders apple to break into an encrypted iphone used by one of the san bernardino terrorists. apple says no. a bigger is now at stake. should the government have access to the private information on anyone's phone, including yours. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we're following multiple breaking stories in the presidential race. any moment now we expect donald trump to respond to today's extraordinary attack from senator ted cruz. they're fighting over cruz ads using trump's own words against him. trump is threatening to sue. today cruz said go ahead. you'll lose. we're also waiting for south carolina governor nikki haley to announce she's endorsing senator marco rubio for the republican presidential nomination. it's a huge blow to jeb bush. an it makes tonight's cnn
republican presidential town hall even more important. senators cruz and rubio along with dr. ben carson will be taking voters' questions. our correspondents, analysts and guests will have full coverage of all the day's top stories. let's begin with today's dramatic breaking news in the republican presidential race. cnn's sara murray is covering donald trump who's about to begin a campaign event there. so what is the trump campaign, sara, saying about the senator's defiant news conference today? >> reporter: well, time will tell, teddy, that's the message the trump campaign is sending to ted cruz. all of this as the fight for the republican nomination is starting to look more and more like a court battle. today donald trump upped the ante in a pitched battle with ted cruz. >> really cruz does lie. i've never seen anything quite like it. >> reporter: and cruz was ready. >> donald's lawyer sent our campaign a cease and desist letter.
you have been threatening frivolous lawsuits for your entire adult life. if you want to file a lawsuit challenging this ad claiming it is defamation, file the lawsuit. >> campaigning in military rich south carolina today, trump defended the use of torture. >> torture works, okay, folks? i have these guys -- torture doesn't work. believe me it works. and waterboarding is your minor form. >> reporter: and spent even more time tearing into cruz. >> i'm pro life and he'll say i'm pro choice. and i got a call from a reporter. i hear you're pro choice. i said who told you that? cruz. cruz? how can a guy be so dishonest. >> reporter: while cruz made it clear he has no plans to drop his attacks, highlighting trump's shifting positions. >> one of the things i look forward to most of all is deposing donald trump. i may take the deposition myself. getting donald trump under oath, under penalty of perjury,
answering these questions, i'll point out it didn't work out very well for bill clinton. >> reporter: all of this as the latest polls show trump with a double-digit lead in the next two nominating states, south carolina and nevada. cruz is also hitting marco rubio. >> whenever anyone points to their actual record, the response of both donald trump and marco rubio is to yell the word "liar." marco rubio is behaving like donald trump with a smile. >> reporter: as rubio dismisses cruz's jabs. >> what we've seen in the last few weeks is very disturbing. ted, unfortunately, has proven that he is willing to say or do anything to get elected. >> reporter: rubio today is getting a big boost to his south carolina hopes, picking up a coveted endorsement from the state's republican governor, nikki haley. meanwhile, jeb bush is searching for an opening to revive his campaign, making the case that his experience trumps rubio's in a fight to be the next commander in chief. >> with all due respect, senator
rubio, your four years or five years or whatever it is as senator does not match up to my capabilities of understanding how the world works. >> reporter: now, even though donald trump is far ahead here in south carolina, he wants to ensure a victory and he's talking about now the senator tells fibs, tells lies. trump just says politicians are bad people, summing up his outsider status right there, wolf. >> thanks very much. we can hear donald trump speaking right behind you. we're monitoring what he's saying. once he gets to the substance and starts responding to senator ted cruz, we're going to go there live. so stand by. right now he's talking about other campaign issues. let's get some more, though, right now on the breaking news that sara just mentioned. senator marco rubio about to receive a huge endorsement from south carolina's very popular republican governor, nikki haley. our chief political correspondent dana bash is on the scene for us. dana, what are you hearing?
why did nikki haley all of a sudden decide to endorse rubio? >> reporter: well, it's actually unclear whether it's all of a sudden in terms of her decision but obviously this is pretty close to the primary day when it comes to the announcement and the potential impact. first of all, on why. they are very similar in terms of their heritage. she is a daughter of immigrants, he is a son of immigrants so they have similar stories rather than heritage, i could say. they're both 44 years old and they have similar sensibilities in terms of their conservatism and their approach to the party, the need for and desire for the next generation to take over. and the other interesting part of this is that nikki haley is incredibly, incredibly popular in south carolina, so you may think, wait a minute, if she knows she has a lot of power, knows she has potential impact
with her constituents, with republican voters, why wait so long. well, wolf, by south carolina standards, even though we're just a couple of days away from the primary, it actually is not that unusual because the campaigns want to do this when you have maximum impact. they believe that marco rubio is on the rise, that he's got momentum here in south carolina and so they're hoping that this gives him a boost at a time when actually a lot of south carolina republicans are still making up their mind, even though we're just days away from the primary, wolf. >> and as you know, she had made it clear she was not going to endorse donald trump. she has been quite critical of trump. but i know that her fellow former governor jeb bush was anxious to get her endorsement. it must be a huge disappointment for all of the other candidates, those not named trump. >> reporter: that's right. in fact jeb bush has already spoken about this, even before nikki haley has formally
endorsed. let's listen to what jeb bush said just a short while ago on the trail. >> she's a great person. i'm disappointed she didn't endorse me. >> what do you think that means -- >> we'll find out. >> thanks so much. >> so you see there he said he's disappointed. and that's probably the biggest understatement of the day, wolf. when it comes to south carolina and the goals for these republican candidates coming out of south carolina, there is such a battle royale between jeb bush and marco rubio in particular. if jeb bush doesn't best rubio, doesn't come in ahead of him, it's going to be a big blow to him in south carolina for a whole host of reasons. but that's why the haley endorsement was something he was coveting as well hoping that it would help. but haley is going to be on the campaign trail starting at 6:00 tonight. in about an hour is when she'll make the formal endorsement of rubio. i'm told by a source familiar with the plans that she is going to be on the trail with him by
his side pretty much from then until primary day, wolf. >> she's often been mentioned as a potential republican vice presidential running mate. she's very popular indeed among republicans out there. all right, dana, we'll have live coverage of her announcement and that's a big event for marco rubio, so we'll stand by for that. dana, thank you. we're only hours away now from hearing more from senators ted cruz and marco rubio along with dr. ben carson. they'll be taking questions directly from south carolina voters at a cnn republican presidential town hall moderated by our own anderson cooper. joining us now here in the situation room, the republican national committee's communications director sean spicer. sean, thanks very much for coming in. nikki haley is very popular. >> she is. >> this is going to really -- i assume you agree, this endorsement will really help marco rubio. >> i think it's big for senator rubio, there's no question. i understand why governor bush would be disappointed. she's very popular among republicans in her state, very popular overall, but also the breadth of her support is up and
down, the type of republicans from the tea party, the quote unquote mainstream republicans. she's done a great job in south carolina and there's no wonder that a lot of people coveted that endorsement. >> tim scott has endorsed marco rubio. trey gowdy has endorsed marco rubio. lindsey graham has endorsed jeb bush. so there's a bit of a split but it looks like it's going to be quite intense on saturday. >> right. and again, remember there's always that question of how much do endorsements matter. i think that if you're senator rubio, you've got all the right people lined up behind you. obviously governor bush has got senator graham but he also had his brother come in, the former president, who continues to be very popular. you've got mr. trump out there who's done very, very well with the grassroots in south carolina, so you've got a lot of folks that are doing well. other folks still competing. dr. carson and governor kasich are still making a play for it as well. >> have you seen this exchange today between ted cruz and donald trump threatening
lawsuits on various issues, including where he was born in canada, cruz, on the whole issue that he's defaming donald trump with some of these anti-trump ads the cruz campaign is running? have you ever seen it get this ugly this quickly? >> well, i think 2008 between hillary clinton and barack obama -- >> it wasn't this ugly. >> there were accusations of racism. i think bill clinton mocked jesse jackson. so there has been clearly a point in the past where this is a point in the cycle where people really start to throw some elbows. >> you work for the republican national committee. a lot of us remember all of these republican candidates signed a pledge to the rnc saying they would support whoever the nominee is. they wouldn't run independently if they didn't get the nomination. but given the fact that donald trump says ted cruz is the biggest liar he's ever met and ted cruz says that donald trump is not really fit to be commander in chief, could you see these respective candidates eventually closing in and
supporting each other? >> if you go back to 2008, some of the nastyist things were said by barack obama and hillary clinton. when they came out of it, they got together, unified and took the white house in november. so look, if the name calling and the tweets is the extent to what it goes, i'll take that because when you look at the other side, you've got the fbi talking about an investigation of hillary clinton, a potential indictment. or bernie sanders, a 74-year-old socialist that i think most mainstream democrats would agree is not the direction that that party would ever really want to go. so if the worst that's happening on the republican side is tweets back and forth and some name calling, i think we can live with that. >> it's not just tweets. they're making major speeches. you saw ted cruz today for half an hour really railing, bring it on, talking about the lawsuit and donald trump really railing against ted cruz. i mean i covered 2008, i remember that exchange between hillary clinton and senator barack obama. i don't remember any threats of lawsuits and i don't remember either one of them calling each other liars. >> they called each other some
pretty bad names. >> they didn't say they were unfit to be president of the united states. >> look, again, at the end of the day i'll take our guys trading some barbs back and forth versus having the fbi look into our leading candidate. that's a no-brainer to us. >> stand by. we've more to discuss. sean spicer is with us. we'll take a quick break. once again, donald trump is speaking right now. we're monitoring what he's saying. once he gets into the chunk where he's talking about ted cruz or some of the other republican candidates, we'll go there. stay with us, we'll be right back. >> i couldn't help but do this. china is doing that times 100. pet moments are beautiful, unless you have allergies.
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marco rubio along with dr. ben carson will be taking questions at a cnn town hall moderated by our own anderson cooper. we have another town hall tomorrow night featuring governor john kasich, jeb bush and donald trump. we're back with the republican national committee's communications director, sean spicer. sean, donald trump keeps complaining that at these republican presidential debates you, the republican party, you've stacked the audience, put in a lot of pro-bush people, pro-rubio people or whatever and he gets booed sometimes and he says you don't allow any of his supporters in. your reaction. >> well, it's not a reaction. i think we've gotten out there and put the facts out. in the case of charleston -- excuse me, greenville, south carolina, where the last debate was, every candidate got 107 tickets. the party had just over 300 and we had ten donors there. the numbers are what they are. i know in the case of that particular debate, look, the campaigns wanted more tickets. we gave them more tickets to get their supporters in before this important primary. if you think about it, just the
math alone, that meant there were 500 people that were not with you and 100 that were with you. just if you look at what the other candidates' allotment were. so by virtue of how that plays out, there's going to be more volatility in the audience, more applause for other candidates that aren't the leading one. >> are you confident that all the republican presidential candidates who signed that pledge to the republican party including donald trump will honor that pledge and support whoever gets the nomination and won't run as an independent third party candidate? >> i am. >> totally confident? >> 100%. >> look, at the end of the day, and this is both parties, you come together. our party understands what's at stake, especially after the unfortunate passing of justice ska a. there are supreme court justices that alter the trajectory if we don't have a republican in the white house. if we allow hillary clinton or god forbid bernie sanders to take over the white house, that's a supreme court that will live on a generation. the economic consequences, the
foreign policy consequences, our party knows what's at stake if hillary clinton or bernie sanders takes over. we will unify, come together and take over. >> you say god forbid if bernie sanders takes over? >> this isn't a liberal democrat. when someone is an avowed socialist, that's a major problem. this is -- we prided ourselves on how this country was formed in terms of a capitalist society where people could come here and do better for themselves, grow individually, grow a family, grow a small business. for someone to come in and take over the presidency of the united states as a socialist, that's, that's unfathomable to me and i think millions of americans. >> he says he's a democratic socialist and he would pattern his policies on denmark or sweden, some of the scandinavian countries. >> that's great. i think for most americans whether you call it democratic socialism or socialism or whatever way you want to dress it up, i don't think it takes a band-aid to find out what's
underneath there. >> do you think he really has a chance to beat hillary clinton because i know the republican leadership has assumed all along it was a lock for hillary clinton. >> i think with the recent revelations that the fbi is investigating her and vice president biden's decision to sit it out, there is a possibility that he becomes the de facto nominee. i think he beat her squarely 60-38 in new hampshire. the polls right now are even in nevada. i think when you look back at 2008, no one thought a first-term senator with a funny name to quote the president could beat hillary clinton. barack obama came out, ran a better campaign and beat her. i think for all of the people who are dismissing bernie sanders now, this is a similar situation to 2008. she better watch her back. >> do you think michael bloomberg, the former mayor of new york, will run as a third party independent? >> i hope he does. one of the things you've heard chairman priebus talk about, that brings in states that we haven't had in play before. connecticut, probably new york, a lot of the other -- >> you think he'll take more democratic votes than
republicans? >> mike bloomberg is a democrat, a very liberal democrat which is great for us. we would rather run against two democrats any day of the week. >> sean spicer, thank you very much for coming in. >> thanks for having me. >> let's take a quick break. we're watching other breaking developments right now. lots more coming up right after this. ♪ ♪ those who define sophistication stand out. those who dare to redefine it stand apart. the all-new lexus rx and rx hybrid. never has luxury been this expressive. this is the pursuit of perfection.
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we're following breaking news in the race for the white house. south carolina's popular governor, nikki haley, she's very popular, especially among republicans in the state, about to endorse senator marco rubio for the republican presidential nomination. we're joined now by our chief political analyst, gloria
borger, she's in south carolina, ana navarro, chris moody and david swerdlick, an assistant editor at "the washington post." nikki haley is going to endorse rubio in an event about to begin. this is a very big deal for rubio. >> yeah, it's a very big deal for rubio. i think lots of people, particularly jeb bush, really were after her endorsement. she is somebody with an over 80% approval rating, 84% within the tea party, wolf. i think what this does for marco rubio is not really change anyone's mind who's really for donald trump or really for cruz, but you've got about 50% of the people here who really haven't solidly decided yet, wolf. for those people, this will make them give rubio a look and it also gives him some momentum. and you can't underestimate the importance of momentum in days
before a vote. >> certainly can't. ana, you're friends with marco rubio, you support jeb bush. we know his brother, president bush, was down there, met with nikki haley. the bush family, they really wanted an endorsement for jeb bush. they must be so distressed. >> everybody wanted nikki haley's endorsement. you've got a very popular governor who knows south carolina very well, who has exhibited great leadership skills. everybody was vying for this endorsement. you know, i respect her for having been very deliberative about what she was going to do and when she was going to do it. i think doing it now carries a lot of oomph. certainly jeb has the endorsement and active support of lindsey graham, who's been out there day and night for him. marco rubio, i almost see like a generational shift between one and the other. i see that marco has trey gowdy and nikki haley. you've got ted cruz who had -- who got very nice words from jim
de mint today. so i think the leadership in south carolina is divided as is the republican party. >> does jeb need to come in at least third in order to continue effectively? >> i don't know if it's third, if it's fourth, but he certainly has got to have a strong showing. he's put a lot into it. you know, he's put a lot of resources and time into it, brought in some major surrogates for him, and so i think he does need a strong showing. >> because he didn't get it in iowa, a little depressed in new hampshire. he really needs to do well. >> he had a fairly good showing in new hampshire. >> but a state not far from his home state of florida, he needs to do well in south carolina. >> we have to hold on about writing narratives and writing obituaries. let's remember that just a couple of weeks ago we were writing marco rubio's obituary after the new hampshire primary, so i think we have to let the process play out. i know that in the media we love the predictions game. but these guys are going to fight it out and duke it out until they have the will and the
resources to do it. >> we've already seen it by ten republican candidates drop out because they didn't do well. that's what happened. >> they were penniless. jeb bush ain't. >> that's a good point. ted cruz really ripped into donald trump today. they're going back and forth. a lot of people say they don't remember a time when it's gotten this ugly. you've done some research into this. >> compared to past cycles, this has not been nearly as dirty quite yet in south carolina as we've seen before. south carolina has this reputation for this land of mysterious dirty tricks. i think the reason for that is because every time you go through a different state, the stakes get higher, the money becomes less and everyone gets a little more nervous about their future in the race. in this case we've seen pretty conventional attacks so far. there have been a couple of mysterious facebook posts that have come up but ted cruz has gone after rubio for his immigration past and he's gone after donald trump for his past comments on abortion, which he has since recantinged.
this is a time when they cannot let attacks slide. so you've got people going back and forth a lot faster than you would in the past. >> who's winning all the name calling between cruz and trump? >> i think cruz is actually winning this current round. here's why. i think a lot of the other candidates, whether it's cruz, rubio, bush, have for too long played by these marquee of queensbury rules against donald trump trying to be gentlemanly and it doesn't work against donald trump. so now that cruz is hitting back and saying, hey, you're going to sue me? sue me. that is showing the kind of strength that trump has been accusing him and other candidates of not having. >> gloria, you're down there in south carolina right now talking to a lot of folks. how is it playing down there? >> well, i think cruz did a very smart thing today, wolf. he got this threatened legal action, this cease and desist order and instead of tossing it aside, he decided to make a huge issue of it because he's making a play for those evangelical voters that he's losing by 20
points to donald trump. and sitting in that room today with him, wolf, it was as if he was saying i can't believe i'm losing with these social issue voters. so what he was trying to do was say, wait a minute, he once called himself very pro-choice. can i point this out to you, voters? can i also point out to you that at the last debate he expressed some support for the work that planned parenthood is doing? that's another red flag he was sending up. he wants to go kind of mano y mano with donald trump and make this a two-man race. i don't know if he's going to succeed, but i thought he was very clever in drawing this attention to himself in his spat with donald trump today. >> the south carolina polls, as you know, ana, show trump way, way ahead right now, looking forward to saturday's primary in south carolina. but two national polls just came out showing very different assessments. there's a bloomberg poll which
shows trump way ahead, but look at this wall street journal/nbc poll which some are suggesting may be an outlier. cruz 28, trump 26, rubio 17, kasich 11. cruz already citing the nbc news/wall street journal poll. i'll play a little clip. >> for the first time in many months, there's a new national front-runner on the republican side. [ applause ] >> so there you see he's obviously very happy. according to this nbc news/wall street journal poll. he's at 28, trump is at 26.
trump loves to talk about polls all the time. i'm sure trump will talk about the bloomberg poll, but what do you think? >> i think everybody likes to talk about polls when they come out as the winner. this poll and ted cruz talking about being up is a much better look than the ted cruz that we saw in that press conference today. i disagree with gloria some. i thought he looked whiney today, adolescent. he was complaining about facebook posts, he was complaining about tweets. >> you're talking about cruz. >> about cruz and the press conference he had. i think that when he projects strength -- though i will tell you he did say he would love to depose donald trump and i would love to buy a big vat of popcorn, a big coca-cola and sit there and watch that deposition. but, you know, this complaining i just don't think -- whiners aren't winners and i think they have to be very careful on how they handle this, though it did get him a lot of free press. >> i think what we saw was the debate team ted cruz today, a
place where he was really in his element laying out a case point by point. he had his papers across. he also, however, did risk looking like trial lawyer cruz a little bit. i saw some people talking about that. but i think laying out that case against donald trump and marco rubio and setting the stage for the primary coming up was some of his best moments so far. >> we'll see, david, if trump goes forward with not one but two potential lawsuits, one a defamation lawsuit because he says the campaign ads against him are lying and distorting his positions. the other one on the constitutionality of ted cruz, who was born in canada actually running for president of the united states. hold your thought for a moment. we've got a lot more, including what's going on on the democratic side of the race for the white house. we'll take a quick break and we'll be right back.
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a brand new cnn poem shows the democratic race in nevada is a dead heat. hillary clinton once viewed the state as a western firewall filled with latino and other minority voters the campaign is certainly counting on but bernie sanders is riding a wave of momentum after an overwhelming victory in new hampshire. jeff zeleny is following the democratic race for the white house. jeff, what is the latest out there? >> reporter: wolf, the clinton campaign thought nevada would be the beginning of a rebound following that split decision in iowa and new hampshire. but now this race is tighter than ever here and bernie sanders' message offin k income inequality seems to be
resonating in a state that's still recovering economically. a nail-biter in nevada. >> come and caucus for me on saturday. >> reporter: three days before the democratic caucuses, bernie sanders and hillary clinton are suddenly running neck in neck. a new cnn/orc poll shows the clinton-sanders race at 48-47. a jump ball in a contest clinton once expected to easily win. sanders sweeping new hampshire victory has earned him a fresh look in nevada. >> everything in my political gut tells me that we have the momentum here in this state if people come out in large numbers on caucus day, we're going to win here in nevada. >> reporter: it's the party's first contest showcasing a diverse electorate, where four in ten democrats are non-white. the outcome here and next week in south carolina where clinton has a commanding lead will help settle the split decision between her win in iowa and sanders' in new hampshire. she's campaigned from coffee
shops to casinos. even posing for pictures with cocktail waitresses. >> thank you so much. >> reporter: both sides are working hard to get out the vote. one wild card, same-day voter registration, which many democrats here believe could help sanders among younger and first-time caucus goers. >> we surprised a lot of people in iowa, we surprised a lot of people in new hampshire, we're going to surprise a lot of people here in nevada. >> reporter: sanders won big with young women in iowa and new hampshire. planned parenthood is trying to prevent that from happening in nevada, launching an ad today for clinton. >> hillary clinton is a champion for women's health care. >> reporter: a top sanders supporter, the rapper killer mike is under fire for a comment he made at an atlanta rally tuesday night. he said he was citing a conversation with a feminist. >> michael, a uterus doesn't qualify you to be president of the united states.
>> if the suggestion is hillary clinton is asking anyone to vote for her because of her gender, that's completely off base. >> reporter: in nevada clinton still holds strong advantages across the board the new cnn poll finds. on foreign policy, immigration and health care she holds double-digit lead over sanders. but on the economy, sanders and clinton are nearly tied. >> we're going out and convince people to caucus on saturday. then we're going on to south carolina, then we're going to the march states, then we're going to wrap up the nomination and win this election. >> reporter: now, wolf, it may take longer than that to wrap up the nomination, particularly if sanders has a victory or even a draw here in nevada. this could draw this out even farther. a couple of interesting things about the nevada caucuses. they take place on saturday at 11:00 a.m. the big question is who turns out for this? who comes during the day to caucus? both sides are working intensively to try and draw voters out, particularly those
casino workers, and that is an open question here, who actually turns out on saturday at that appointed hour. >> we'll have full coverage all day saturday on the democratic caucuses in nevada. the republican primary is also this saturday so stay with cnn for all of that. thanks very much. all of a sudden hillary clinton was way ahead in nevada and now it's neck in neck. >> you know, the old saying is nothing succeeds like success. bernie sanders had a lot of momentum, i think, coming out of new hampshire. he's also got passionate supporters, wolf, and when you're trying to get people to a caucus site, it's a little bit different from a primary. passion helps, commitment helps, and i think the one number that jeff just pointed out is also very important, that on the issue of the economy, which is how people usually vote, wolf, bernie sanders beats hillary clinton on people who care about the economy the most and i think when you see people who go out
to caucus in the democratic party, the economy, their pocketbook really matters. and that's why this is so neck in neck. >> and, david, certainly nevada, in terms of the population, is more diverse than, let's say, iowa or new hampshire. >> yeah. and up to this point the conventional wisdom has been that clinton is doing better among latinos and latin americas but sanders is not conceding the latino and african-american vote. what's also helping him in nevada is it's a heavily labor state. it's a state where organized labor has a lot of pull and his message is resonating with unions, although a lot of unions early on endorsed secretary clinton. >> you heard sean spicer really rail against bernie sanders. you just went to denmark to look at what democratic socialism is all about. let me play a little clip on what you posted today on cnn.com. watch this. >> i think we really need to
start learning about democratic socialism. what do you think about me going to denmark? >> you do you. go ahead. >> okay. you got a toothbrush? we're going to copenhagen. >> it's really a great piece and i want our viewers to go to cnn.com and watch it. what did you learn about democratic socialism as practiced in denmark? >> first of all, i was surprised that the danish are following our election very, very closely. they know about super tuesday, about the iowa caucuses, about the new hampshire primaries. but what i learned is that bernie sanders talks about democratic socialism and he's right as far as the danish model having free access to health care, to education and to other services. but they also have very high taxes. what might not fit into bernie sanders' policy platform is denmark also has very low corporate taxes, minimal tariffs and things like that. they also have no minimum wage,
although the danes are paid very well. also there's major differences, of course, between denmark and our country. we talked to a lot of people about whether denmark, the danish system could work in the united states, but it's a very homogeneous country, very small, 5.6 million versus our 300 million very diverse population. >> so did you find out who would win the denmark primary if one was held? >> definitely not donald trump. >> well, there's one place i might seek exile. >> very good report, guys. don't go too far away. to our viewers, you can read all about chris's trip to denmark, you can watch the video, what he learned about bernie sanders and democratic socialism. go to cnnpolitics.com. you will enjoy. coming up, we're standing by for an endorsement that could shake up the race for the republican nomination in south carolina. three days before that critical primary contest, the popular south carolina governor, nikki haley, she is about to lend her support to senator marco rubio.
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the federal government is clashing with apple after a judge ordered the tech giant to help the fbi unlock an iphone belonging to one of the san bernardino terrorists. apple is refusing to cooperate calling it unprecedented and vowing to protect thoue privacyf all of its customers. >> this is shaping up to be a nasty fine between america's richest company and the federal government. it say battle that could affect our phones and the sensitive information we all store on them. at the center of them all, the
notorious san bernardino shooter saeed farook and the iphone they've been desperately trying to crack. a devastating terror attack and a key question still unanswered. did saeed farook communicate with terrorists overseas? >> we still have one of those killer's phones we've not been able to open. it's been over two months now. we're still working on it. >> reporter: tonight the fbi could be closer to unlocking farook's iphone. a federal judge ordered aple to help the bureau break into his phone. worth it to try to find out what that terrorist was doing? >> well, certainly, if you want to know. you can't -- the old saying of connect the dots. you can't connect the dots if you can't collect them. >> reporter: apple doesn't hold the key to unlock farook's iphone. the only way to do that is with his pass code. the fbi could have tried to guess his pass code but there
are 10,000 possible four-digit pin numbers. if agents guess wrong ten times all the data, all the content could be permanently erased from his phone. potential evidence lost. tonight the fbi wants apple to design software that would allow them to guess a password as many times as possible to get in. they are trying to prevent the fbi from accessing phones like farook's but also phones like your. apple's ceo says, the government is asking aple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers. a top private advocate says there are all kinds of vulnerabilities once the fbi can unlock encrypted phones. >> once you build in this back doorks it's not necessarily the fbi agent acting pursuant to the warrant. it could be a hacker, an
adversary. >> reporter: customers like us put our credit card numbers, health information and all kinds of personal data on our phones because of the fact they're encrypted and no one, not even apple can touch them. apple is expected to appeal the order and this could go all the way to the supreme court. >> unlocking the pass code is often just one piece of the puzzle, right? >> law enforcement experts say even if apple helps the fbi unlock phones, investigators may still not be able to read the content some of texts. especially if they use encrypted third party apps like this one. the messages on those apps are so well programmed they can be programmed to self-destruct in five seconds. we're standing by for an endorsement that could shake up the race for the republican nomination. the governor there nikki haley is about to endorse marco rubio. l be there.
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happening now, breaking news. bring it on. ted cruz encouraging donald trump to make good on his threat and sue over a campaign ad trump says is defaming. the leading two candidates in south carolina now locked in open political warfare as the candidates prepare to take voters questions in cnn's republican town hall tonight. carolina crush. marco rubio scores one of the biggest political endorsements of his campaign. w're standing by to hear governor nikki haley throw her support behind rubio. will her backing bring rubio the
votes he needs to stay in the race. holy sea. a stunning display of anger as the porshipper nearly pulls him to the ground. tonight the pontiff is in a symbolic and politically charged visit. we're standing by to go there live. what will pope francis say? deadly bombing. dozens kills in a massive explosion in though major city of a u.s. ally. targeting military vehicles. now being called an attack. who was responsible? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking news. dramatic developments, unarguably, the most contentious day of this, the republican presidential campaign. donald trump and ted cruz
trading vicious attacks and legal threats three days before the south carolina primary. and just hours ahead of tonight's cnn republican town hall featuring cruz, marco rubio and dr. ben carson. upping the stakes for all the candidates, a major endorsement for rubio. nikki haley about to announce her support for the florida senator. we're also standing by to hear pope francis. he's celebrating mass this hour in mexico near the u.s. border. this is a live picture of the popemobile in mexico in transit in a politically charged move, the pontiff will offer a blessing to jerefugees and victs of violence standing on the u.s. side of the border. we're covering all that and much more with our correspondents, guests and expert analysts. they're all standing by live. the bitter clashes rocking the republican race for the white house.
cnn's sunlen serfaty is in south carolina where it's all unfolding. donald trump and ted cruz are really tearing into each other. >> they are, wolf. we really saw ted cruz go on offense today in an unprecedented way, channeling his old days as a lawyer, almost as if he was in a courtroom arguing the case point by point against donald trump. even bringing file folders of evidence and props with him. tonight donald trump not taking this attack on him lightly. >> you can't lie about people like that. it's just incredible. >> reporter: it's a dramatic escalation. the fight boiling over. their war of words being dominated by legal threat. >> one of the things i look forward to most of all is deposing donald trump. >> reporter: cruz outright daring donald trump today saying, go ahead. sue me. >> so, donald, i would encourage you, if you want to file a lawsuit challenging this ad
claiming it is defamation, file a lawsuit. >> reporter: at issue, this ad from the cruz campaign which attempts to paint trump as being supportive of abortion rights using a tv interview of trump's from 1999. >> i am pro-choice in every respect. >> we cannot trust donald trump with these serious decisions. >> reporter: trump has said he has evolved on the issue and is opposed to abortion rights now. he's trying to stop his rival from running the ad. >> i have to say, mr. trump, you have been threatening frivolous lawsuits for your entire adult life. even in the annals of frivolous lawsuits, this takes the cake. >> reporter: trump not backing down. >> i got a call from a reporter. i hear you're pro-choice.
who told you that? >> cruz. cruz? it's unbelievable. no. i'm pro-life. and i say to myself, how can a guy be so dishonest. >> reporter: echoing the accusations against cruz -- >> what we've seen is very disturbing. >> also calling cruz a liar. >> ted has proven he's willing to say or do anything to get elected. >> marco rubio is behaving like donald trump. >> reporter: the infighting within the top tier comes as a new cnn/orc poll out today shows trump with a commanding lead in nevada. 26 points ahead of any other candidate. >> beyond belief, actually. maybe i don't even have to go there and campaign. >> reporter: jeb bush is still fighting for traction, feeling energized with his family's help, sharpening his attacks. >> with all due respects, senator rubio, your four years or five years or whatever it is
as senator does not match up to my capabilities of understanding how the world works. >> reporter: but receiving a big blow today. losing out on the endorsement of south carolina governor nikki haley to marco rubio. >> she's a great person. i'm disappointed she didn't endorse me. >> nikki haley is speaking right now endorsing marco rubio. let's listen in. >> they made us strong in a way they knew we had fight. they made us strong in a way we knew we had grace and compassion, and we had acceptance. and more than anything, we have the ability to be better when tested. so when it was time to look at this presidential race, i thought from a different perspective that this is serious. that this matters. so i thought first and foremost as a mom who wants her children to be safe in our country, who
wants her children to have the education and the opportunities so that they can be better than we were, which is what my parents wanted for us. i'm a military wife of a combat veteran. [ applause ] i want a president who is going to have the backs of our military veterans and those in active duty. i want a president that knows that when we fight wars, we win wars. i want a president that understands we have to stop the federal mandates that have been pushed on the states like obamacare and the epa. but i want a president who understands that they have to go
back to washington, d.c., and bring a conscience back to our republicans. our republicans need to remember what we are about, which is about balanced budgets, cutting debt, building reserves and making sure that they understand that this guy, he's all about term limits in d.c. and that's what we want to see in a president. we have good people in this race. we have good people running for president, and i thank them today for their sacrifice and their willing to serve to honor this great honor and to make her better. but my job was to find the person i thought could do it the best. so i wanted somebody with fight. i wanted somebody with fashion. i wanted somebody that had conviction to do the right thing. but i wanted somebody humble
enough that remembers that you work for all the people. and i wanted somebody that was going to go and show my parents that the best decision they ever made for their children was coming to america. we say that every day is a great day in south carolina. ladies and gentlemen, if we elect marco rubio, every day will be a great day in america. help me welcome the next president of the united states. let's go to the polls on saturday and move that down the way. marco rubio! >> thank you. first of all, i can't tell you how honored i am to have the
support of your governor. there's a lot of good people. we have a good field of candidates. none of our candidates is a socialist. none of our candidates is under fbi investigation. but i'm so honored that she chose to join our team. and because she embodies for me everything that i want the republican party and the conservative movement to be about. everything that it is about. and i've enjoyed so much being here in south carolina over the last ten days. we spent a lot of time here, my family, just as tourists because south carolina, we drive up every summer to washington, and it's about the halfway point of that drive. we always stop and spend a lot of time here and a little bit of money here, too. and we love being here. you've -- i've learned a lot about south carolina. i've learned very quickly, do not pick sides between usc and clemson. i've learned that the citadel is the finest military college in the world.
and last year, the country learned what an inspiration south carolina is for all of us. as the governor said, you had a tough year between floods and two incredible tragedies that were any other state, any other communities in the country react very differently to these things. but this state came together in a way that served as an example to the nation. i want you to understand for someone that didn't live here, that doesn't live here, how moved and inspired the nation was when the families of people who had lost their loved ones in a horrible tragedy went on national television and said they forgave those killers. they forgave the killer. it was not just -- it was about living out our faith. it was about living out our values. south carolina taught that to the country this year. and so for me, it's been so rewarding to be here and spend the last ten straight days here working alongside so many wonderful people on our team. governor haley talked about the
decision her parents made to come here. like the decision my parents made in 1956. when they came to the united states, they arrived with nothing. they didn't know anyone. didn't have any money. the first words my father learned in english were, i'm looking for a job, or i'm looking for word. it was hard for them when they got here. my father stopped going to school when he was 9 because his mother passed away. he never went back to school and would work for the next 70 years of his life. they struggled the first few years of his life. here's what's so amazing. less than ten years after my parents came here with nothing, they owned a home. they owned a home in a safe and stable neighborhood. they retired with dignity and security and lived to see all four of their children have a life better than their own. that's my story. the truth sis as americans, that's our story. that's your governor's story. that's the story of millions
across two centuries. one of the things i feel safe saying. i haven't met most of you in person. i don't know your stories individually and yet i know your story because i promise you that among us here, the vast majority of you have a story not unlike that one. yours is the story of parents who gave up everything so you could have a life they could never have. you remember the sacrifices your father made for you and your mother. or maybe it was the ones your grandparents made for your parents. this is who we are as a nation. this is our identity as a people. we are a nation where every generation leaves the next better off than themselves. both in their families and as a country. >> we're going to continue to watch marco rubio at this event. nikki haley, the governor of succe south carolina, endorsed him. but there's other breaking news. pope francis, you see the popemobile along the u.s./mexico border. he just said mass along that
border. he's now being taken to the border fence and is getting ready to offer a very, very special blessing. this is a moment that will have great significance along the u.s./mexico border for pope francis as he walked over there. you see the cross. i want to bring in father edward beck, our cnn religious commentator, the host of the sunday mass. explain the significance of this moment in the pope's trip to mexico. >> well, it kind of is the hallmark of his whole papacy thus far. welcoming the stranger, the refugee. here on this border of the rio grande where so many lives have been lost, mexican lives, of those fleeing to the united states, this pope is offering a blessing for those on both sides of that border. and it is symbolic because he is standing there in prayer right now saying, we have to do
better. it's not about chastizing and punishing people for fleeing to something more prosperous. something more safe. so he is saying that by being here right now and offering this blessing that we are all strangers. remember when he came and spoke before congress he said, i am the son of immigrants. we were all once foreigners in a strange land. this pope thinks we need to welcome those who flee political and social oppression. >> he's right on the border of el paso. a lot -- thousands and thousands of people have gathered on the u.s. side as well. you see them waving to the pontiff right now. this is taking on also, father beck, added political significance given the statements of donald trump, for example, saying he wants to build a wall along the u.s./mexico border. and the pope is not shy in being critical of that. >> no, and, of course, donald
trump criticized the pope for being political as donald trump said. but for the pope, this is not merely politics. for him, this is a gospel issue. it's a gospel value. he must wade into these waters if in the political realm decisions are made that affect people who are oppressed, the pope has to speak there. that's why the pope brokered a deal between the u.s. and cuba. was instrumental in that. political, yes. but it's about gospel values. that's why he meets with the president of iran. political, yes? spoke before congress. some say too political. but he is speaking about issues that affect the lives of people. he said a good catholic needs to meddle in politics. some say, well, we need to keep politics and religion separate. this pope does not believe you can do that and be a messenger of the gospel. >> he'll now get to the border over there to the fence and direct his prayers, we're told,
father beck, to the thousands of people watching from el paso on the u.s. side. this is an emotional moment for the people who have gathered, the thousands who have gathered in mexico. also in el paso. it's a unique moment. you see that's fence over there. go ahead and explain why the pope decided this is the moment to do this. >> remember, wolf, juarez was once known as the murder capital of the world. this is where the coyotes are who do human trafficking. this is where the sweat shops are. this was one of the most dangerous and porous parts in all of mexico. and this is, of course, where they cross the border into the united states. many illegally. and so you have about several hundred immigrants just 65 yards away on the other side. a little strip of land that this pope is blessing. and then also you have thousands in el paso at the sun bowl
stadium watching a live feed of the mass. so he's extending himself to those on both sides of the border saying we kacan't be abo borders, about divisions. for this pope it's about serving humanity as one. and so that is what this blessing is so symbolic of saying we need to find a better way to be in service of human people seeking a better way of life. >> have we seen something like this before along the u.s./mexico border by a visiting pope? >> not to my recollection, wolf, no. pope john paul ii went to mexico five times. but he never went to juarez as far as i know. this pope visited four diacies. the poorest, the most dangerous. the one where drug traffickers and human trafficking is
occurring. so it's very symbolic for him here at this place, his final day. you may say he saved the best for last to be here in juarez because it is so symbolic of this hallmark issue of his papacy, namely, immigration. the first thing this pope did after being elected to travel outside of rome was to go to lampa dusa, the island off italy where migrants were fleeing to. he went there to say this is one of the hallmark issues of his papacy. this is an issue as catholics, as christians, as a world community we need to be attentive to. >> ed lavandera is in el paso for us. tell us what's you are seeing there. what's the mood like there? >> it's fascinating, wolf. from our vantage point we're on the southern edge of el paso, texas. just beyond this fence here is the rio grande and then into mexico. that's where you saw just moments ago, pope francis make his way up that platform and
pause there briefly, offered a prayer and then looked over this way toward where we're standing. it's over here just beyond the border wall fence where some nearly 400 people have been gathered here for this special moment. for that moment of seeing that blessing. pope francis look over this way. the symbolism very intense. a lot of these people here in the crowd undocumented migrants, refugees, a large group of unaccompanied minors who made their way and came here into the united states from central america. obviously the message from pope francis delivering here is he hopes these people will be treated with dignity and respect. that's a theme that pope francis not only continues around the world but it is really one of the main reasons he came here to the city of juarez on the border with the united states to continue that message of the way migrants and refugees are treated with mercy, he hopes, around the world. that's a theme. and it's meant so much to the people here. we did a story over the last
couple of days with one of the gentlemen in this crowd. carlos gutierrez who was attacked savagely five years ago. had his legs chopped off by extortionists who were demanding money for him for several years. he arrives with his family in the united states, sought asylum and is in the process of winning that asylum case over the next couple of months. or his family is hopeful that will finally happen. people like that are in this crowd. in that brief moment where you saw pope francis make his way up that platform and look over here and offer his blessing meant a great deal to the people just on the other side of this border fence from the city of juarez. wolf? >> ed lavander awe'lavandera, w to you. the pope wadesing into the immigration debate in the united states on this his final day on his visit to mexico. we're watching all the other breaking news, including the dramatic developments in the race for the white house.
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we're following breaking news in the race for the republican presidential nomination. donald trump and ted cruz trading legal threats as they jostle for position just three days out ahead of a critical pry in south carolina. sara murray is in south carolina for us. you're at the site where donald trump has been responding to ted cruz. what is the very latest? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. donald trump spoke for a relatively brief amount of time for him. only about 20 minutes, but he
still managed to get in a jab at ted cruz going after him for being a liar. >> what this guy cruz did with ben carson was an absolute disgrace. what he did -- he stole. it was theft. then they come out with a voter violation form which is a fraud as far as i'm concerned. it was a disgrace. we're not going to let that happen anymore. why will not let it happen. we're all watching. keep your eyes wide open. he raises the bible and yet he tells fibs, lies. >> you see donald trump certainly not backing away from this idea that ted cruz not only uses dirty campaign tactics but is misrepresenting trump the record. it's only escalated today. >> sara, the republican front-runner donald trump threatened not one but two lawsuits against ted cruz. one for defamation because of an ad critical of donald trump and
trump basically says he's defaming him. you can file a lawsuit on that. the second lawsuit, raising the questions of the constitutionality of ted cruz even running for president of the united states because he was born in canada. in a statement cruz put out, he said, if i want to bring the lawsuit regarding senator cruz being a natural born canadian, i will do so. time will tell, teddy. that was the statement. part of a statement donald trump released. are you getting any insight from some of his aides if he'll file one or both of these lawsuits? >> they have not said one way or another if they're going to file these lawsuits. they seem content to let the threat hang out there. >> even though the campaign says it would be legitimate, either lawsuit would be legitimate, it's very tough to see in a political climate how you file a cease and desist letter and take someone to task over a negative ad where it's using your own
words against you. it's interesting to see donald trump. he's a billionaire, a businessman, new to the political realm adapt to these attack ads. it's clear he's not just going to take them quietly. >> sara, stand by. i also want to bring in -- talk a little more about all of this with republican strategist and cnn political commentator ana navarro. a good friend of marco rubio, a supporter of jeb bush. also mark preston and sara murray is still with us as well. mark, the nikki haley endorsement is going to be a powerful moment for marco rubio getting ready for saturday's primary. >> it is. the bottom line is it shows momentum for marco rubio at a moment in the campaign where he needs it. in addition to that, it's not so much about him getting the endorsement. it's about who didn't get the endorsement. we didn't see it go to jeb bush
who really tried hard to get that. nikki haley is very well beloved here amongst republicans here in south carolina. so it's a good moment for marco rubio. >> ana, you agree, this is a major step for marco rubio. a huge setback for jeb bush who wanted her endorsement. >> i think jeb has been honest about it. i think he's disappointed and i think he did the right thing trying to get this endorsement. last time she endorsed romney and newt gingrich won in south carolina. i was shocked by watching the endorsement with nikki haley and marco rubio how much they have in common. both 44 years old. both children of immigrants. i expect they found a lot of commonality and theme in their lives and experiences that they can share together and was part of her decision making in coming down with this endorsement. >> the endorsements clearly have been lining up for marco rubio in south carolina.
senator tim scott, trey gowdy, lindsey graham endorsed jeb bush. donald trump has gotten a few endorsements. all the polls in south carolina show he's still way ahead, right? >> that's right. dodged tru donald trump is not the kind of guy trying to run around and pick up the traditional political endorsements. he holds these up as an example of him as the outsider candidate. when i've been talking to voters, this is not something on their radar. i was talking to some who were undecided between donald trump and marco rubio. and nikki haley never came up. they wanted to see both of them live and got a much better sense of their personalities and what they might be like as president. when people go and finally cast that ballot, it's a personal feeling. when you have -- when you are a voter and have the opportunity to see these candidates up close, that makes a big difference. >> nikki haley said since donald
trump said he wanted a temporary ban on all muslims coming to the united states until the u.s. government can figure out what's going on as far as terrorism is concerned, nikki haley has been critical of donald trump. today, mark preston, donald trump said bring it on on the threat to sue him. >> no question that donald trump is trying to rattle ted cruz. but what we saw ted cruz do today, wolf, is try to use it to his political advantage. tried to challenge donald trump to say come on. bring it on. i want you to sue me. but the bottom line is we don't know, wolf, where it's going to go. donald trump has threatened a throughout about his citizenship. he's threatening a lawsuit over the ad. but the fact is right now ted cruz is at a point where he's
not doing so well or as well with evangelical voters as he needs to. donald trump has a substantial lead on that. we saw that happen in iowa. we'll see if ted cruz on election day is able to make up that ground. but it's clearly now a fisticuff fight between donald trump and ted cruz. >> no holds barred. ana, i don't remember anything getting this angry with lawsuits, liar, all this kind of stuff. it's pretty brutal right now. >> i find it horrific. i find it sad. it's a deterioration of the process and of the system. i think it's not dignified and not presidential. and i urge south carolina voters to think about this. i find this entire cage match that's developed between teddy and donny a little interesting. look. today we saw ted cruz say to donald trump, you've spent your entire life trying to have
frivolous lawsuits. ted cruz was going over to visit donald trump and curry favor with him. at that point, donald trump husband already suing univision. we can go on and on about the lawsuits he had gone on. and donald trump received him with open arms and gave him a big embrace. he'd already been born in canada, ted cruz back then. they've gone from being blood brothers to being engaged in a blood path. it's bad for the party, bad for the process and a sad, sad statement of what's happening in today's america. >> stand by for a moment. donald trump certainly has made building a border wall a cornerstone of his presidential campaign. what would that entail? is it even possible. jason carroll has a reality check. >> reporter: what would it take to build a wall on the border between the united states and mexico? you're talking about an area 1,954 miles stretching across california, arizona, new mexico
and right here in texas. just about 100 yards away from mexico. we spoke to civil engineers, architects and academics. they all say the wall can be built. it can be done. the question is, how? the first big thing is before you go up, you have to go down and build a foundation. this will help build support for the wall. in order to prevent people from tunnelling under it, it should be at least five feet deep. the second thing is what do you use? what materials do you go after? how about cinderblock. it's strong, secure and readily available. it's labor intensive to have to stack every single brick in order to build the wall. our experts say that option doesn't work. there's another option. using poured concrete on site. that's what they did with the hoover dam. when you poor concrete in warmer climates like along many of these border states, what you
could end up with is a weaker wall because the concrete may not dry directly. a wall that could end up crumbling. what could be the answer here? the way to go is precasted cement wall panels. those panels will be lined side by side, sort of like what you might see on a highway. each panel would be about 20 feet high. five feet below ground. about ten feet wide and eight inches thick. that wall would be stretching some 2,000 miles and our expert says it would require 339 million cubic feet of concrete. and that's just for the panels. you're also going to need reinforced steel. at least 5 billion bounds. what about the estimated cost? let's use those highway panels as an example. they cost about $40 a square foot. that would cost about $10.5 billion. sounds like a lot of money, is a lot of money but remember,
donald trump says the u.s. government wouldn't end up footing the bill on this one. it would be mexico. what about the timing? how long would it take to build? according to our expert if you are ambitious you could get it done within a presidential term, four yirs. >> jason carroll with an excellent report there. i learned something. it's fascinating the whole notion of a wall. obviously, it can be done, but it could be four years, $10 billion. >> the good news is that donald trump says he's worth $10 billion. if he'd like to build that wall now, he can go ahead. >> he says mexico is going to pay for that. >> good luck with that. maybe he can get a contribution from el chapo for a good deal. >> the only down side of that wall, it goes down five feet and you could easily build tunnels and still have people sneaking in through tunnels into the united states, right? >> look, wolf, when they are fleeing desperation and political oppression, build a wall, they will find a way to cross it.
if it takes catapulting over that wall. we see desperate people take desperate measures. that decision of leaving your country is not an easy one. it's based on desperation for most people. and you can try to build a wall but the likelihood is they'll find a way through it. >> trump said his wall would cost about $7 billion and he's still confident given mexico's interest in maintaining a strong trade relationship, a business relationship with the united states, the mexican government will write the check. >> okay. >> thanks very, very much. more breaking news we're following. an apparent terror attack killing dozens in the kacht a major u.s. ally. who is behind this latest terror? ♪virgin islands nice ♪ ♪so nice ♪so nice, so nice ♪
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the race between hillary clinton and bernie sanders now tighter than ever in nevada. our senior washington correspondent joe johns has the latest on the democratic race. according to our latest poll, it's neck and neck in nevada. >> it is, neck and neck, and, wolf, we've seen some signs of that over the last several days. the hillary clinton campaign started redoubling their efforts in nevada over the weekend. now what we're hearing from the campaign is they do expect it to go down to the wire. nonetheless, they say they believe that their organization is the thing that's going to put them over the top. tonight, a democratic dead heat
in nevada. >> when we stand together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. >> reporter: bernie sanders and hillary clinton suddenly locked in a close battle with just three days to go until saturday's caucuses. a new cnn/orc poll shows clinton and sanders with a 48% to 47% split. >> thank you, new hampshire. >> reporter: sanders is trying to build on his momentum following a big win in last week's new hampshire primary. >> everything in my political gut tells me that we have the momentum here in this state. that if people come out in large numbers on caucus day, we're going to win here in nevada. >> reporter: but clinton remains confident. >> we're going to go out, and we're going to convince people to caucus on saturday. then we're going on to south carolina. then we're going on to the march
states. then we're going to wrap up the nomination and then we're going to win this election. >> reporter: the primary fight is shifting. states with more diverse electorates. in nevada, 4 in 10 democrats are non-white and it's also home to a heavy union presence. both groups are crucial when it comes to winning the nomination and in the general election battle this november. clinton still commands a strong lead in south carolina. clinton is keeping up her outreach to african-american voters, campaigning in chicago with the mother of sandra bland, the texas woman found dead in a jail cell last year. >> my emphasis is knock down the barriers that knock down african-americans. >> reporter: the rapper killer mike has stirred controversy over comments made at an atlanta rally tuesday night repeating what he said was a quote from a woman speaking about her support for sanders. >> a few weeks ago saying, michael, a uterus doesn't
qualify you to be president of the united states. >> reporter: the clinton campaign called it disappointing. >> if the suggestion is that hillary clinton is asking anyone to vote for her baseod her gender, that's completely off base. >> reporter: hillary clinton has three fund raisers here in chicago. then back to nevada for closing arguments. wolf? >> very, very tight race in nevada. thanks, joe, for that report. other breaking news we're following. we're just learning some new information about a deadly car bombing today now being labeled a terror attack.
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we're seeing what may, repeat, maybe the first cracks in the republican wall of opposition to president obama's nominating a new supreme court justice. some republican senators are now less adamant. pamela brown is working the story for us. the president, meanwhile, is going forward with trying to select someone. >> the nomination process is ramping up as well as the political fight. special interest groups joined forces to push the president's message that a vote needs to happen. back at the white house for the first time since justice scalia's death, president obama
is meeting with his legal team to decide who will replace the conservative giant. white house press secretary john earnest admitted today that obama regrets joining fellow democrats in the senate in 2006 in trying to block a confirmation hearing from samuel aledo. >> the president believes he should have made a strong public case on the merits about his opposition to the nomination that president bush put forward. >> reporter: senate republicans are taking a softer approach saying it is too soon to make such decisions. senator thom tillis is warning fellow republicans not to look like obstructionists. that didn't stop senator chuck schumer from blasting republicans who are threatening to block any nominee. >> the level of obstruction we've seen since saturday is
mind boggling. the grass root voices are going to be the key in getting senator mcconnell to back off and let the senate do his job. >> the question re is political to a candidate's qualifications that are in question. >> reporter: court watchers say any announcement on a replacement will wait until after the justice is laid to rest this weekend. >> as soon as the white house believes the mourning period is over, i think they're going to move as quickly as they can. >> reporter: on that note, press secretary josh earnest says president obama and the first lady will pay their respects on friday. >> the funeral will be on saturday. the president apparently will not be attending the funeral.
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been claimed by isis, but at this point they don't have a responsible party. 28 dead. 61 injured in an attack right at the heart of the turkish capital, targeting military vehicles as they stopped at a stoplight. what's believed to have been a car bomb erupting in a ball of flames with all these deaths there. just to remind our view ersview was only a few weeks ago when a bombing occurred. >> presumably, they're worried this is going to go on and on and on. >> they are. for turkey, it's been a shame. you've seen the war in syria in effect spill over the border and isis now targeting the turkish state for its military action inside syria. >> there's been some fear maybe kurdish terrorists, but most suspect isis given the history.
>> they do suspect isis, but no confirmation. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." good evening. i'm erin burnett. welcome to a very special edition of "outfront tonight." i am live in greenville, south carolina. cnn is hosting an exclusive gop town hall. it is an event that is so big we're going to split it over two nights answering the questions directly from voters. marco rubio topping donald trump by two points. >> for the first time in many months, there's a new national frtr