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"the situation room." for international viewers "amanpour" is next. for north america, "newsroom" with poppy harlow and erin burnett starts right now. all right, top of the hour. i'm poppy harlow. this is cnn special live coverage of a critical moment in the race for the white house. i'm joined by erin burnett in columbia, south carolina. hi, erin. >> hi, poppy. in columbia it is night two. tonight, kasich, bush and trump. if you woke up wondering who trump would fight with today, you probably did not bet on the pope. but on the way home to rome from his historic trip to mexico, the catholic leader had some incredibly strong words, frankly surprising many, aimed squarely at the republican front-runner. so let me play it for you.
>> translator: thank god he said i was a politician because aristotle defined the human person as animal politicus. so at least i'm a human person. as to whether i'm a pawn, maybe, i don't know. i'll leave that up to your judgment and the people. and a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be located, and not building bridges, is not a christian. this is not in the gospel. as far as what you said about whether i would advise to vote or not vote, i am not going to get involved in that. i say only that that man is not a christian if he has said things like that. >> pretty amazing. the person who wants to build walls is not a christian. just moments ago, donald trump, the republican front-runner, responded. >> if and when the vatican is attacked by isis, which as everyone knows is isis' ultimate
trophy, i can promise you that the pope would have only wished and prayed that donald trump would have been president, because -- [ cheers and applause ] it's true, it's true. because this would not have happened -- isis would have been eradicated, unlike what is happening now with our all talk no action politicians. for a religious leader to question a person's faith is disgraceful. i'm proud to be a christian and, as president, i will not allow christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened. unlike what is happening now with our current president, okay, believe me. [ applause ] no leader -- very important, this has just been given out to the press two seconds ago. no leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another
man's religion or faith, especially when they feed all sorts of information into him. they're using the pope as a pawn and they should be ashamed of themselves. that's the mexican government. they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so. especially when so many lives are involved. and when illegal immigration is so rampant and so dangerous and so bad for the united states, okay, period. that's it. period. >> all right, well, this is coming just a day after the pope held a cross-border mass. he stood in mexico and blessed 400 people on the american side of the border , many of them illegal immigrants. our chief political correspondent dana bash. you're at a jeb bush rally where trump's comments couldn't be ignored, but certainly not the response maybe people might have expected. >> that's right, well, first, let me just echo what you were saying coming into this program which is that when we woke up this morning, if we thought
donald trump was going to be fighting with the pope, you know, we would have probably told everybody they were nuts, but that is exactly what is happening, and because it is so unbelievable, it is immediately overshadowing everything else out here on the campaign trail, even especially for people like jeb bush. it's now an empty room but he was speaking here. he had a town hall in columbia, south carolina. but as soon as he was done, reporters went to talk to him to ask him about his feelings about what the pope had said on two levels. one of which is the fact that jeb bush has been the most outspoken critic of donald trump but two, jeb bush is a devout catholic. so listen to what he said. >> mr. trump -- how about mr. trump going at it with the pope? as a devout catholic, what do you make of that? >> think the pope said apparently he might not be christian. think his christianity is between him and his creator.
i don't thing we need to discuss that. as relates to his policies, related to isis, he's not the right guy to be commander in chief. the swiss army guard is probably taking pretty good care of the pope. so i'm not worried about him. >> you think the pope was wrong to question his christianity? >> i don't question anybody's christianity because i honestly believe that's a relationship you have with your creator and it only enables bad behavior when someone from outside our country talks about trump. >> you heard hip talking about the swiss army guard, that was of course a reference to the fact that donald trump warned if isis targeted the vatican ever that everybody would wish, as you heard donald trump say earlier, there were a president trump to stop it. you mentioned perhaps it was surprising that jeb bush effectively came to donald trump's defense there, perhaps on the issue of a person's faith, that is the one step that
is a bridge too far, even for jeb bush, who has no, there's no love lost between him and trump. the pope questions donald trump's spirituality, not something he wants to subscribe to. >> all right, dana bash, thank you. a significant thing for jeb bush to say there, to say no, that's between a person and his or her creator and not for the pope to decide. >> let me bring in father edwin beck to weigh in on that, cnn religious commentator, host of the sunday mass. you disagree with him. why? >> i do, because it's not just about a person and the creator. maybe it's about a person and jesus. christianity is about jesus. but christianity is a humanitarian religion. it's not an isolationist religion. for the pope to say you're not a christian means you're not following in the foot steps of jesus. what jesus did was welcome the oppressed, healed the sick. extended himself to the poor.
if you're not doing those actions, how do you say you're following the one who did? >> how surprised are you to hear the pope directly calling out donald trump and saying he doesn't sound like a christian? the pope and american politics. >> i was a little surprised. the pope said, i'm a human being. if i'm speaking about justice, about human dignity, i'm going to wade into political waters. if a politician who says to represent the people is talking about banning whole groups of people from entering the united states carte blanche, talking about building walls for people who are oppressed, people who are fleeing political oppression, to not be able to enter a country. this is not what the pope -- the pope cannot say that is acceptable. >> does this sway catholics? does it -- obviously, you have 1.2 billion catholics in the world. you have a broad range. but does what the pope said today sway any catholic voters
in your mind away from trump? >> remember, the catholic vote is about 20% of the electorate. he's alienating catholics on the right and the left. his vague views on abortion are alienatie ining those on the ri. his views about immigration are alienating those on the left. i think catholics have to look at donald trump and say how can we vote for somebody who is alienating -- again they can make their decision of course, but i think he's having trouble with catholics because he's both sides of the fence. >> in his remarks responding to the pope today trump said no leader, especially a religious leader should have the right to question another man's religion or faith. he tweeted on the 12th of this month, how can ted cruz be an evangelical christian when he lies so much and is so dishonest. >> that's the first time i've seen trump read his comments so
obviously someone helped him with this. there's still a lot of bluster in the comments. basically think you have to look at them and say, if the pope is saying, look you're a bad person donald. he even said in the comment, i'm going to give him the benefit the doubt. if he did say these comments about immigrants and immigration, then he cannot call himself a christian. it's clear. >> we're heading into south carolina where the evangelical vote is huge so we'll be watching. erin, back to you in columbia. >> joining me now, our political commentator s.e.cupp. and gary bennett, now one of trump's advisers. this is a pretty amazing thing to happen. >> amazing. >> when you heard jeb bush who came to trump's defense and said don't question a man's faith or relationship with god. but the look is sort of, wait, what is happening, right? >> it was all faces, right. i mean, where are we what year is it. look, i think jeb had an opportunity to really slam trump
here and he didn't take it. i think it was the right one. i think most people think this was not a good look for the pope. you know, questioning someone's faith. which by the way, trump himself has done to cruz, to carson. not a good look for the pope. frankly, i think this is all win for donald trump. we're here in south carolina, of states that are the most catholic, it is 49th on the list. not a lot of catholics here. largely evangelical. i don't think it hurts him in a state like south carolina. and, you know, writ large, republicans have a deep distrust of the pope. i think this is a big win for trump. >> there's no more oxygen left in carolina. all we'll talk about between now and saturday. >> take a step back here i mean, stunning remark, that the pope who has, you know, crowds and yous of people to touch him because he is so sacred is in so many ways, to wade into donald trump running for president. >> and so casually on the plane
responding to a question. >> i felt the vatican lost this bag pretty fast. i mean, they'll fix this. or they'll try. >> is this something that could help him in south carolina? s.e. raises the point evangelicals a significant part of the vote here catholics not. first of all, everyone's an individual and faith not be relevant. we all know. but still, they are not the same. not anything close to it. >> no, there is the same grading, right, everyone is a different flavor of catholic. to people that, you know, go to church four, five times a week, going to mass every day, holy father's views mean a lot. to the guy who goes on sunday when it's convenient, it means less. so they're not monolithic. >> s.e., what do you think about the fact that trump read his statement? i mean, he sort of -- it seemed to me, i don't know, but it seemed he didn't -- usually he
just puts a statement out there and says whatever he wants. he didn't want to weigh in on the pope. >> when he was going to announce his presidency, i got a copy of the address he was supposed to give. it looked nothing like that. you're right, he usually goes out. he's spontaneous. i think he read this because he really does understand the momentum, the momentous event that happened today. when the pope calls you out. he wanted to get it right. he wanted to say exactly what was in his mind. what was on the paper. and seize this moment. i mean, just check twitter today if you want to know how some evangelicals and some republicans feel about the pope. there's a lot of distrust, i would even say some disdain. a lot of people i think are rallying to trump and he knows that. >> this is like an 80% issue in the republican primary, right? everybody wants to secure the border. and now because we believe that we're all not christian, it's not going to sit very well. he's going to win this issue.
>> thank you both very much. barry and s.e. are going to stick around. absolutely lovely day here. nice and green. tonight here in columbia, donald trump win be taking questions directly from voters here in south carolina. jeb bush and john kasich also on the stage. in cnn's town hall at 8:00 p.m. eastern. only on cnn. another strange twist on the campaign trail coming up today over a picture, a picture. this one on a web side backed by ted cruz, so this is ostensibly president obama and marco rubio apparently shaking hands. the problem is, the problem is this doesn't add up. you might laugh, you might cry when you hear why. plus, america may not be ready for a female president. so says hillary clinton. the only woman running for president. now, hillary clinton's candid admission ahead.
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voters get a rare and unique chance to see the candidates in a different way. speak at length individually to voters during a town hall moderated by anderson cooper. it will be a stark contrast to what has become another day of potshots and low blows. one day after trump set cruz a cease and desist letter over a political ad, cruz is accused of another dirty trick. it's over this picture. it's featured on the website the real rubio record.com which we understood is funded by the cruz campaign. cruz's camp does not deny the picture is photo shopped. this is not a real picture. photo shop. it gets better. the image used to criticize rubio for backing a bill on trade that cruz voted against. they're trying to basically imply that he and obama are shaking hands. okay, so on the left, take a look at the stock photo from getty images. we typed in a search for
"handshake." and that's what came up. so as you can see, the men's stances, the creases in their jackets, are exactly the same as what you see on the right. it looks like there was just some head swapping that went on. they put marco rubio on his -- saying this is just dishonesty top to bottom in the cruz campaign. back with me now, political commentator s.e. cupp and barry bennett. okay, so it's silly season. when everyone's yelling at you for being dishonest, very loudly from marco rubio and donald trump, s.est, it's not good when something like this happens. >> it's not, it's a little sleazy and now it's sort of one of a few examples. i got to be honest, i mean, this is nothing. i mean, remember back to 2008 when the hillary campaign was accused of calling obama a muslim to voters. i think this current hillary
clinton campaign where she's smearing bernie sanders as sexist and lying about his record, i think that's much worse than these sort of, you know, i mean this is like college kind of pranks, right. >> barry it seems like i mean this is something probably some junior staffer went, obviously googled getty images, did the head swap. we all laugh but that's pretty much got to be what happened. >> it's a great example of how 22-year-olds can get you in a lot of trouble in a campaign. >> what do you make about the timing of this? >> horrible timing. >> we all laugh about it but -- >> horrible time. if rubio had done this to cruz, it probably would be less effective, less about it than the other way around, because cruz does hold himself out to an audience that doesn't like dirty tricks. every time they do, it's sort of shooting himself in the foot. >> people see the image and they say, oh, wait, that's right, they're trying to say he worked with him on a trade bill or he worked on the gang of eight.
do people have this image of them connected? >> i don't think that resonates. you know how you watch an annoying commercial and you don't remember what it's for, you just remember the hook or the jingle. i think you'll remember the photo shop and not really connect it to the trade deal or anything like that. i don't think there's a republican in the country who would align marco rubio and president obama together on anything so no. >> barry, would they though? >> i think it hurts obama more than it hurts rubio. >> really? >> it's like, it was laughable when i first saw it before i knew it was photo shopped. i'm like that's weird, why are they shaking with the left hand? it was fake. >> you saw something was wrong with it. all right, well, thank you both very much. it's amazing, poppy, it really is silly season. these little things, right, they can mean nothing, they can mean something, you just don't know. >> absolutely, it keeps us all employed, erin, and keeps everyone on their toes, that's for sure. erin burnett in columbia where we have that town hall tonight
at 8:00 p.m. next, some african-american voters suggesting racism is at the heart of this, the fight over appointing the next supreme court justice. who will replace scalia? we'll talk about that next. also, more on our breaking news, donald trump respond to the pope after the pope suggests the front-runner is not a christian. stay with us.
delay on a scalia successor." it notes some of the african-americans that the writer spoke with say they believe these attacks are directly against president obama and are racially motivated. after republican leaders in congress vowed to not even consider the president's nominee, whomever it is, to fill scalia's seat. political strategist, former executive director of the congressional black caucus angela rye. also, commentator, ben ferguson. thank you so much for being here. let me begin with you. i want to read some of the quotes that stood out to me. one resident in south carolina, african-american, told "the times" they've been fighting that man since he's been there. another said that president obama, quote, has been disrespected from day one. it's because of his skin color. so that's one argument. the other side of the argument, angela, this has happened to presidents forever regardless of their skin color.
this is politics, not race. what do you say? >> this is what i would say to you. i would use some of the language that was used when the president ran in 2008. the language that was used was he was a kenyan, he was a muslim, he was a socialist it all these things about who he is and what he represents, none of that being true. of course he's half kenyan but he's an american citizen. he has to prove through birther efforts led by now presidential candidate trump. he was told you lie by a united states house of representatives member joe wilson. he has been repeatedly disrespected and it's hard not to call this a racially motivated -- or these attacks racially motivated, these challenges racially motivated, when we have something like the rise of the tea party in 2010 when folks got frustrated and tired of president trying to move an agenda that was not popular to them. >> let's talk specifically --
want to talk specifically about this, whomover this nominee is, because if you'll remember, look, yes, you have republican leadership saying we're not even going to hear it. we don't even think he should nominate someone. but back in 2006, it was then senator obama who supported the filibuster of a supreme court justice nominee samuel alito, so just your take on that, was he doing the same thing? >> no, i don't think it was the same thing. i think you cannot isolate this one incident and say this one time it's not racially motivated when there's been rachel tendencies throughout his tendency -- >> angela -- >> i'm just finishing my sbs, b sentence, ben, that's what folks in south carolina are saying, you cannot isolate this incident. >> welcome first of all to politics to act as if this is somehow rationally -- >> i'm not new to politics -- >> let me finish. >> don't say that to me. >> i can say welcome to
politics. i just said it. >> you're not saying it to me. >> when chuck schumer came out and wanted to filibuster, you weren't screaming racism because it was your side who was saying it. >> >> you don't know what i said, ben, you don't think know, because you think i'm new to politics -- >> okay, let me finish what i was going to say. >> then say facts -- >> -- -- ted cruz, no one played the race card, no one said, oh, that's a race card, of course not, this is what happens in politics, when people get their feelings hurt, they try to claim things. what this is, you have people that are trying to incite, inspire african-american voters to come out and vote because president obama president obama is not on the ticket. it is the easiest card to play in politics. throw up the race card. everyone gets fired up about it -- >> ben, let me jump in there. >> sure. >> don't we want everyone to vote? isn't that what is at the foundation of our country? >> but not -- >> not if you're on the republican side of the aisle, they're the folks that are -- >> no, no, if you're trying --
>> -- they don't want -- >> it's not suppress, first of all -- >> let me hear from ben -- >> -- for someone to show their i.d. when voting -- >> it's suppress when you cut down early voting days and absentee -- >> are you saying republicans have an advantage to go vote in early voting that democrats wouldn't have? that's absurd -- >> are you telling me that you haven't seen the data behind who votes in early voting days, you come on, look at the facts. >> all right, we're going to move on. i need one voice at a time because you both have important points but no one can hear them when you talk over each other. ben, to you, here's one point. it's the bigger picture. phrases like it's time to take our country back or the silent majority. >> yes. >> some will point to those, ben, and say that is part of -- >> yes. >> -- the bigger issue here. do you see merit in that? >> yeah, no, i don't, i think it's accusing issues to then try to turn into a racial issue.
i have seen republicans run against other republicans saying when the tea party, it's time to take our country back. it's conservative against conservative, hispanic against hispanic. this is cherry-picking on purpose trying to ignite a race war in this campaign. i think it's the cheapest form of politics out there. i think all of these things that have been said have been said in other context and no one claimed the race card. when schumer was saying we're going to filibuster, no one claims it was race because they knew it wasn't race. but now it's convenient to then say let's call the race card. it gets everybody excited. the jesses and the al sharptons come out and start screaming raci racism. >> wow, wow. >> -- and they think that's getting voters out there -- >> let me point out one thing, a lot of quotes are from average folk in south carolina, they're not from political pundits. so your point, i hear, saying -- >> no, and this --
>> -- this is how these people feel. >> and people -- look, they knew there was going to be a reaction. the same way hillary clinton is throwing down this new card she did. it's the same exact play, saying well, women, you must support women and women need not be afraid to back another woman. it was a week and a half ago if a woman doesn't support a one, there's a special place in hell for you. the same card, just with a different context. a sex card, a race card. it's a way to motivate voters and it does work on some. >> angela, every president gets a lot of heat. george w. bush, president clinton, a white southerner was impeached. why is it race this time? >> for all of the reasons i said at the beginning of this segment, poppy, for all of the reasons that ben said were not racial. because the tea party was talking from new conservative wing of the party, ultraconservative wing of the party to the establishment. i don't agree with any of that. this is dog whistle politics. terms familiar to many of us.
it means something very different. i'm not heard this refuted. there's racism in and through the gop side of this race. we are seeing race used as a -- >> that's the race card. >> i'm not finished. we're seeing race used on the democratic side of this. this is a biparty challenge and problem. both parties have to deal with this. while i'm so glad that marco rubio acknowledged that racism exists, the fact he's willing to say there's no political solution to it, last night during your town hall, is a problem. i hope he at least understands there are policy solutions. we have race issues in this country. if we didn't, there wouldn't be white folks who are polled saying they wish things -- >> poppy. >> -- i'm not finished. wishing they could go back to 1950s when things were better. that was before desegregation. we wouldn't hear people saying things like race relations have worsened under president obama. he's not a race baiter.
that's not him. >> i have to leave it there. you will both be back, i promise. thank you very much. next, more on our breaking news. donald trump in a war of words with this man, the pope. why the pope suggested trump is not a christian. you'll hear from him. also ted cruz sings. to his wife heidi. he admits he doesn't have a very good voice but he sang last night on that stage. ben carson reveals why he -- what he does to relax and marco rubio admits if he's ever been to a rave. more personal moments next. 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? it works on his cough too. cough! it works on his cough too. mucinex dm relieves wet and dry coughs for 12 hours.
i'm erin burnett live in columbia, south carolina. donald trump, something happened today you thought would never happen, and that is an altercation with pope francis. going so far as to suggest trump is not a christian. the pope was taking questions from reporters on a flight to roam after a visit to the u.s./mexican border. responding to trump's plan to build a wall along that border and the accusations the pope is political. >> a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be located, and not building bridges, is not a christian. this is not in the gospel. as far as what you said about whether i would advise to vote or not vote, i am not going to get involved in that. i say only this man is not a christian if he has said things like that. >> i want to bring in our cnn political contributor david chalian. we were talking, no one could
believe this morning this is what we would be talking about. but it is a pretty incredible thing that the pope would actually wade in, not just on u.s. presidential politics, but to call an individual not a christian. >> listen this proof has proven to be remork markably political. he's gotten involved from climate change to the economy to isis. no matter what the political issue of the day is, this pope has not shied away from getting involved. shouldn't surprise any of us he would wade in to a presidential race. watch how donald trump's owe opponents are reacting to this. they're not looking to get into sort of disagreement between donald trump and the pope. most saying, listen, donald trump's faith is between him and god and his immigration plans are a separate thing and i don't think they're looking to pile on with the pope and try to egg on trump either. >> a pretty being shoulding thing in one sense. it appears from' l a lot of the
conversation that a lot of people don't really agree with the pope saying who is or who is not a christian. >> that is a tricky terrain, no doubt. religion and politics. i mean, these things are obviously not the norm of of what we expect to see two days before the south carolina primary. but i don't think it surprises anyone, if you've followed along, how this pope has handle his papacy that he would go there. this issue of immigration has been important to him. trump says he put immigration front and center in this campaign. so i can't imagine he'd be too surprised this would come up. >> when you first saw the pope, say, that can't be right, let me look at what he said. okay. when we get ready for this town hall tonight, of course done and in trump is going to be here. one of the things that stood out to me last night was those personal moments. we see so much of the scripted or the hateful.
we rarely see the personal. we did a little bit last night. let me just play a clip. >> what do you do to relax? >> play pool. >> play pool. >> i love to play pool. >> are you competitive when you play pool? >> i like to win. >> your wife mentioned that you occasionally when you call her on the phone you sing to her, you sing musicals, is that true? >> well, embarrassingly enough, yes. i just called to say i love you. ♪ i just called to say i care >> you like edm. >> i do. >> electronic dance music. >> maybe people thought it was something else. >> have youer been to a rave? >> no, i've never been to a rave, no. >> i don't know. >> one of my favorite moments of the whole thing was when marco rubio said edm, people probably thought it was something else, right. and he said what do you mean, i've never been to a rave.
it was funny, a sense humor. >> these personal questions have been fantastic. we saw it on the democratic side too with our town halls there. it's an opportunity in a more intimate setting for voters to learn a little something different. i've never heard ted cruz sing. i've never heard him sing a few bars of a song before. >> you may never want to again. >> exactly. >> as you're coming up and talking about what are the questions going to be tonight, you're in a tough spot. the team coming in tonight, you don't want them to be ready for their personal question. do you ask the same question? do you try to come up with something different? >> i think this realm of town hall is endless. there are endless opportunities to sort of peel the layers the be onion back of who these people are that are seeking the presidency. there are tons of questions you can get at that with. you don't have to ask the same questions. >> david chalian, our political director. what are they going to ask? he is the guy who knows. coming up, hillary clinton
says in a new interview maybe the united states isn't ready for a woman president. which they took this picture of her. stunning in many ways. plus, my next guest says she dreads the moment america elects a female president but not for the reasons you might expect, that's next. thanks. ♪ [ male announcer ] fedex® has solutions to enable global commerce that can help your company grow steadily and quickly. great job. (mandarin) ♪ cut it out. >>see you tomorrow. ♪ unless you have allergies., then your eyes may see it differently. only flonase is approved to relieve both itchy, watery eyes and congestion. no other nasal allergy spray can say that. when we breathe in allergens our bodies react by
is this country really ready for a female president? that is a question being asked on the campaign trail now. the person it is coming from, that may surprise you. it comes from the only woman still in the race to be the next commander in chief. in a fascinating very revealing interview with vogue, hillary clinton says, quote, people are very convinced they want to vote for the right person. and then you get little hints maybe they're not as comfortable with a woman being in an executive position. in just two days, we'll know
from voters in nevada how they feel, will they support clinton. take a look at this poll. just four months ago, she had a strong lead, a 16-point lead over sanders. to date, they are neck and neck statistically, a dead heat. brianna keilar in las vegas, also marissa rosenberg, a culture columnist for "the washington post" and a supporter of clinton. bri, let me begin with you. inch nevada, a very different electorate. we saw how the polls changed in the past few months. what's she doing on the trail to get those votes? >> this is a more diverse state, mainly due to a sizable hispanic majority which hillary clinton does pretty well with. from the get-go, coming out here last spring, for her first campaign event in nevada, she focused very much on immigration. we're seeing that today with a new ad she's out with airing here in nevada. where she's talking about the fear of deportations.
here's part of
it. >> my parents, they have a letter of deportation. i'm scared for them because they might be deported. >> come here. [ applause ] i'm going to do everything i can so you don't have to be scared. >> that was an event that happened here in nevada last weekend. you also see bernie sanders trying to cut into hillary clinton's support with hispanic voters. talking about how he in favor of a pathway to citizenship like the one that hillary clinton supports, but he's also really getting some very favorable reaction here from white voters. and that's also going to be very key during the caucuses. not to mention the caucuses are
pretty unpredictable. so it really
is a naturallil bi here in nevada. >> you had this fascinating piece entitled i drug what will happen when america elects a woman president. this coming from you, an opinion piece. you are a clinton supporter. take me beyond the headline here. >> sure, i mean, i think that there's this stereotype, or a stereotypical joke almost of people who worry about women and leadership, you know, what will happen when they have their periods. what will happen if they have y, you know, something bad happen in their families. what i'm scared of is when the first woman becomes president, i think we'll have this enormous sexist backlash. it will be lovely to believe when we hit that historic milestone, that america will enter a new era. that voting for the first woman president will indicate a kind of, you know, true war of the sexes and maybe we can move forward. we're coming off eight years that demonstrates how naive that
optimism really is. it was incredibly easy for americans to feel self-congratulatory about electing barack obama but i think the last eight years have proved that his election brought so many of america's lingering racial fishers to the surface in a really blunt way. you know, having grown up dreaming of the day when a woman would be president of the united states, i now see that as a period in our history to sort of be got through and to be endured rather than necessarily something that's going to feel cleansing. >> you note at the end of the piece, well, if it's her then at least she'll be able to deal with it, you say, and another woman won't have to go through it. if that's the case. beyawn that, the fact she has endured all these attacks sort of embodies this what doesn't kill me makes me stronger thing going on. do you think that that helps her? >> yes, and guess what one of her campaign songs is, it's
kelly clarkson's "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." so i think that's part of the sentiment she feels. is think for hillary clinton and those around her, they look back to 2008. where i think they were really sort of surprised by what they thought was sexism that they saw leveled at her. i think this time you don't see that quite as much. i think more the sentiment that's prevailing. they feel that bernie sanders for instance now in this primary battle a little more unvetted and is being given more of a pass than she is. and that's the criticism more than you're hearing coming from her campaign. >> fascinating to see what's happening with young female voters who aren't necessarily backing her. who are saying we'll see a female president in our lifetime, doesn't have to be this one. i wish we had more time. alisa, we'll have you back on. bri, thank you, alisa, thank you very much. i point you to her piece as well on all of this. another bizarre twist on the campaign trail over this
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a neuro scientist by trade, he's also a professor hmeritus f physiology. when he was diagnosed with parkinson's disease in 2010, he thought he would have to give up what he loved. >> i saw all the beauty being taken away from me. >> reporter: parkinson's disease is a progressive motor system disorder that can cause a gradual loss of movement. symptoms are mild at first. sometimes it's a hand tremor.
but eventually balance and coordination can also start to deteriorate. treatments can slow the progression but as things stand now, there is no cure. richard refuses to let the disease stop him. the 70-year-old still plays piano several times a week. >> it improves my coordination pretty dramatically. >> reporter: and performs magic. he says his shows have actually gotten better. >> it changed my focus to people, poetry and artistry are things that drive magic, not fast hands. >> reporter: he's encouraging others not to give up, just like him. >> for the moment, i'm motivated to keep going. it will get harder. that isn't necessarily going to stop me. >> dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, reporting. top of the hour, 3:00 p.m. eastern. this is cnn special coverage of a critical moment in the race for the white house.
>> i'm erin burnett here in south carolina. cnn's second town hall with the republican presidential candidates will happen right here where i'm standing and what a day it is to hear from them encluding trump who will be here with us in a few hours. we're going to get to the first question voters may ask tonight, which is how and why he took on the leader of catholics worldwide. not even the holy father was spared trump's counterpunch today. the pope was taking questions from reporters. he he was asked about donald trump, about trump plan to build a wall along the southern border of the u.s. and trump's accusation that mexico was using the wall as a political pawn. >> translator: thank god he said i was a politician, because aristotle defined the human
person as animal politicus so at least i'm a human person. as to whether i'm a pawn, well, maybe, i don't know. i'll leave that up to your judgment and that of the people. and then a person who thinks only about billiuilding walls, wherever they may be located, and not building bridges, not a christian. as far as what you said about whether i would advise to vote or not vote, i am not going to get involved in that. i say only that this man is not a christian if he has said things like that. >> not a christian. well, joining me now, cnn's sara murray who is live in gaffney, south carolina, where trump set to speak before coming here to our town hall. nobody really expected the pope to come out and say this, to suggest that donald trump is not a christian. how did trump respond to him? >> erin, at his first event today, donald trump said it was
unbelievable to have the pope questioning his christianity. certainly a rare moment in politics. as donald trump is want to do, he took it a step further and said the vatican could use a president trump to protect it against isis. >> if and when the vatican is attacked by isis. i can promise you that the pope would have only wished and prayed that donald trump would have been present because -- it's true, it's true. because this would not have happened. isis would have been eradicated. unlike what is happening now with our all talk no action politicians. >> now, erin, a lot of bizarre things happen in south carolina politics. the fact you have the pope coming out and saying the republican front-runner doesn't
seem to be a christian, just days before the south carolina pry merck which of course has a big evangelical populationpy have to say this is certainly an incredible moment in politics, even for south carolina, erin. >> it certainly is, all right, jeb bush is catholic, okay, if anyone's not aware of it, and he was asked today directly on what's going on now between donald trump and the pope, and, you know, he did not jump in and take the pope's side, in fact, the opposite, it actually sounded pretty clear that he was defending donald trump, at least on one part of this. here's jeb bush. >> i don't question anybody's christianity because i honestly believe that's a relationship you have with your creator. it only enabled bad behavior when someone from outside our country talks about donald trump. >> pope francis said it was a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not christian. >> i don't know what that means. >> you don't support a wall?
>> i support walls and fencing where it's appropriate for sure. i also believe we ought to have other parts of this. the border patrol. using drone technology. using gps technology. a strategy to protect our border. that is clear. but that is not -- that's not an unchristian thing to do, to make sure people don't come across our border illegally. that's a just thing to do. >> tough spot for a lot of republican candidates including jeb bush. you know, they all support wall-type structures in one form or another. he respects the pope and wants to avoid any back and forth with him. joining us now, our chief political analyst gloria borger. this is a pretty stunning thing, mark, but it is tough because you have jeb bush essentially defending bush.
on the issue of being a christian is between you and your creator. and also these -- the wall is something we all sort of want. >> the pope is weighing in on the presidential race, that in itself is amazing, the fact that he is actually weighing in. he represents a lot of catholics but he has been a controversial pope when it compaes to conservatives. they think maybe he's going too far when it companiy comes to issues. to your point, though, about the wall, yes, that is one of the bedrocks for many of theserunni right now. they believe a wall needs to be built along the u.s./mexican border. it also does bring religion into the race where we haven't seen it yet thus far. when there's such a big
evangelical vote. not all evangelicals like catholics. there a rift there too. jeb bush walking a fine line. >> i would have to say this is the first time in the last few weeks that jeb bush hasn't taken the opportunity to take a whack at donald trump. and it was kind of teed up for him. >> he clearly did not want to. >> i think it was smart not to. because republicans, as mark was saying, all share some form of immigration policy that the pope probably wouldn't like. i don't think jeb bush wanted to question someone else's christianity. i think he kind of backed off of it. was to say after trump spoke about isis, he said he's not qualified to be commander in chief, so he took him on, on that, but stayed back on this. >> sort of like you could see him saying, i cannot believe the pope just legitimized donald
trump. >> emboldened trump. >> and i can't fight trump on this -- >> right, and the pope -- >> most republicans, is what i'm saying -- >> taking a stand on. >> exactly. >> the other fight going on today is between marco rubio and ted cruz. now it seems like there's no pope involved but this is a good one. >> he could come in, the day's still early. >> on the photo shopping issue. this flyer comes around that ted cruz is putting out about marco rubio. on a website funded by the cruz campaign. basically look at rubio and obama. rubio is working with obama on a trade deal. rubio looks so young and eager. i don't know, something looks a little strange about him, like a little stockier. our team googled handshake on getty images where as you all know you can buy an image to reflect what you want. all they did was swap the heads.
>> strange. >> i was there this morning at the rubio rally. was that just this morning? like 9:00. when the rubio people were pointing this out. and said that this was totally photo shopped. in fact that wasn't even marco rubio's watch. rubio said, i don't even own a watch that looks like that. >> before they even googled handshake, they said it's not the suit, not his watch. >> not his body is what they say. would one of his senior advisers said, you know, this is desperate, this is desperate. he said this is just another in a pattern of kind of lies and deception by the cruz campaign. the cruz campaign sort of admitted it. >> what's interesting, in is being is south carolina, we tal about dirty tricks. usually the dirty tricks are hidden. we don't necessarily know who's doing it. it's all out in the open now. they put it on a website. >> they couldn't hide it.
>> paid for bied y ted cruz for president. shows how aggressive this campaign has been with these candidates coming at one another which means coming into tonight when you have john kasich who's going to lead off this town hall tonight but then you'll have jeb bush and then you'll have donald trump in the hall right after one another. so i can just imagine what jeb bush is going to say to, you know, try to protect his family's honor, as he has done over the past couple weeks. and what is donald trump going to say at the back end. >> these town halls have been -- they're so different from the debates. they're less contentious. that's one of the great things about them. luckily, we're going to have more of them? >> well, we hope to. because -- so while we are focusing on tonight -- yes, as we're focusing on tonight as we all should, we'll be back here in the same location on tuesday night where we're going to have bernie sanders and hillary clinton. we're going to have another town hall with cnn. now, we did it in iowa and we did it in new hampshire to rave reviews. both candidates actually liked
it. you don't normally have campaigns that are on the same page about this. but just since last night, the candidates were very happy about it because they can talk about the issues a little bit more but we'll see bernie sanders, hillary clinton here, next tuesday night, 8:00. >> if you're in a campaign the opportunity for your candidate to connect with voters on a very different level, other than these 30-second sound bites, is really important, and i was texting with a bunch of campaigns last night, who were saying, you know, now voters get to see what we see every day on the stump what people here in south carolina or new hampshire or iowa get to see, you get to see it. >> they get to be a part of the town hall that the early states are so lucky. >> lucky to have. >> i think it seemed to work. yes, they are privileged. they may not always feel that way by the end of it. gloria borger and mark preston. tonight, the brand-new cnn town hall. bush, kasich, trump.
on cnn. some african-american voters suggesting racism is at play in the partisan fight to replace justice scalia. is that taking it too far? plus, as trump threatens to sue ted cruz and cruz dares him to go ahead, we're going to talk about trump's history of legal fights. it's fascinating. stay here. when i lay in my tempur-pedic contour- the next thing i know it's morning. with tempur-flex you've got the spring and bounce of a traditional mattress. my cloud feels like somebody's hugging you. (vo) there's a tempur-pedic for everyone. and now through february 28th, save up to $300 on one of our most popular tempur-breeze mattress sets.
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is the united states ready for a woman in the oval office? it is not me who is asking that question. it is being asked right now by the only woman still in the race for the white house. hillary clinton. just released interview in "vogue." is fascinating, revealing, and in it clinton speaks about this, saying there's nothing overt in most instances. people are very convinced they want to vote for the right person and then, you know, you get little hints maybe they're not as comfortable with a woman being in an executive position especially in a big rough and tumble setting like new york city or the united states but i think it's changing. i've noticed a big improvement between now and the last time i ran. of course comparing now to 2008. it's interesting, she brings up christine quinn, the former speaker for new york city who ran against de blasio for mayor.
you edited this piece. she said how much do you think it was a woman thing. i just think it's fascinating. what surprised you the most about her revelation, posing this big question? >> i was stuck in particular editing this story with how relaxed and at ease she was with the whole process. she's clearly in a reflective moment and reflecting on the electorate and happy to talk openly and revealingly with us about it. hillary clinton has this reputation of being very wary of the media but i have to say this experience -- >> you didn't feel that? >> not at all. she was very personal. very calm. she's a formidable candidate. >> i was so excited to get to you i didn't even introduce you. this is taylor antrim, senior editor of "vogue," he does all the political pieces. what really stood out to us is she admitted she basically doesn't know -- she knows there's a group of people who she will never win over. >> right. >> what was that moment like when you were editing that and
talking to the report better it? it seep seems like a vulnerabi most politicians wouldn't put out there. >> she's been through this before many times. i think her experience and her, you know, candor was really striking to me editing this story. jonathan van meter is the writer who spent a lot of time with her. it was a behind the scenes look at, you know, a candidate in full flight. i mean, the campaign is a grueling place. and she really -- her spirits were up and her sort of confidence was high. i think that really comes through in the story. >> it's important to note most of this interview took place around christmastime. things have certainly changed. bernie sanders got a bit of momentum since then. it does point to all these. it describes these moments at the photo shoot, et cetera, where she's very comfortable. she tells the photographer, do whatever you want. that's not the hillary clinton i think some people see. and there's a question about who is she. is she the clinton from 2008?
is she the clinton who we're seeing now? what defines her? >> i think that's the value of a story like this. hillary clinton is somebody we feel like we know. we've seen in the public eye for years. and yet when you spend, you know, 5,000 words on her in a profile like this, you see new sides. you're struck by different aspects of her personality. i was really struck by how calm and at ease she was with the photographer who did the shoot. she just says i'm good, anything you want, you know, and it was that confidence that i think comes through in the story. and yeah, you reference a time frame, but it's been a really brutal campaign for months now. and her spirits just seem to be up in the story and she just seems very calm and on top of things. >> biggest surprise? >> well, i guess the biggest surprise for me was that moment with mario sustino. you would think someone as media savvy as she is would really
want to be on top of how she's photographed but she just wanted to make him to make the decisions. >> a lesson for all of us, chill out a little bit. a very fascinating piece. the great writer who spent countless weeks on this, no question. >> it was a long haul. >> nice to have you on. next, republican leadership in congress vowing to block any nominee president obama tries to send to the supreme court but a "new york times" article points to some saying race is behind the pushback. live in south carolina with both sides on that debate. (bear growls) (burke) smash and grub. seen it. covered it. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
justice o'connor is throwing her weight behind president obama. she says he should name scalia's replacement while he's in office. as "the new york times" has a piece exploring why there's so much opposition to having obama make the pick. you may think it's because republicans don't want him to pick someone with a liberal view, but some voters are say the reason is because he is black. it's a notion hillary clinton seems to agree with. saying, quote, many republicans talk in coded racial language and speak as if somehow he's not a real president. joining me now, bacari sellers, attorney, former member of the south carolina house of representatives, as well as ben ferguson, our political commentator, and host of "the ben ferguson show." becari, you are quoted, it's a powerful quote. you actually likened what's happening now to the
three-fifths compromise. three-fifths compromise is you're three-fifths of a person. your quote was, i guess many of them are using in the strikist construction that obama is three-fifths of a human being. it's infuriating. one of the most horrific things of slavery. >> a lot of blowback the president is getting is because there's an african-american in the white house. i'm sure ben will defer from that. from the very beginning, majority leader mcconnell even came out and said he didn't want this president to succeed. many other roadblocks he's going through most democrats and republicans have not gone through. for all those people who absolutely appreciate the fact, who cried the night he got elected because here we'd broken that glass ceiling, it's infuria infuriating. the supreme court was an issue that riled up the gop base. now this is an issue that's going to the heart of the
democratic base. i'm glad we're having this discussion. >> i think it's the race card. when people are going after bill clinton and impeaching hi ining one claimed it was race. >> literally apples and pears. >> when people say they want to delay this, it is the same exact reason why schumer and other democrats say they wanted a delay when george bush was doing it. no one claimed racism. now because barack obama is african-american and you want to inspire the african-american voters to get back involved. and many democrats are worried that african-americans are going to stay home because barack obama's on the ballot. this is no different, it's just now playing the race card to get people riled up about a race. >> do you think, to be face the republicans wouldn't want anybody that a democrat would pick in the final year, whether the democrat was white or black. >> that's a new phenomenal. >> no, it's not. >> it's very new because people
in their final year of office to actually get -- ronald reagan for example actually get somebody -- >> what did kennedy say during that time? he didn't like it. >> but they didn't obstruct it. since bobama's gotten elected, it's been the height of obstructionism. anyone who says this isn't the most obstructive congress that there's been, it's just not truthful. >> explain to me why, mean this sincerely, why it was not the same thing when chuck schumer, nancy pelosi and harry reid were all trying to stop george bush's agenda? no one said it was racial, they said it was political. how is this different? >> this goes beyond the peale. the language used now as we have conversations about the first black president of it the tone that is used. the rise of donald trump. these things are not mutually exclusive. all these things combined, all these things combined speak to a larger narrative. >> let me try and understand. you're not saying that mitch
mcconnell is doing this over this apointee because president obama's black, it's part of a larger picture where he is disrespected because he is black. >> i think this is really about a agenda, the same way hillary clinton played it last week, if you're a woman, you must support a woman. >> when did they say that? >> on stage, she said literally -- >> madeleine albright -- >> madeleine albright said it. >> i thought you said hillary clinton said that, okay. >> -- obvious her campaign wasn't backing away from that, there's a special place in hell. it was the race card. it was the sex card. this is very simple. >> i'm not play a card that is me, that is me. i'm not a card. that is me. i am african-american. it's infuriating the fact we have made so much progress in this country but still have yet a ways to go. all the president wants to do is the aabobility to do his job.
>> you look at george bush when he was in office. how many people did he try to get on courts that were stalled and delayed -- >> even barack obama who came out and said he apologized to -- >> ben, do you think to his point that this is maybe in and of itself not specifically his race but more broadly stopping anything the president tried to do? >> no, this is politics. one's republican, one's a democrat. they don't like each other. they fight to stop one another. that's exactly what elections are about. that's what happens in congress. we see it with republicans in the white house or democrats in the white house. you look at what harry reid said about george bush. you look at what nancy pelosi said. when you try and stop a judge. when you try and stop an appointment. no one said it was race now. because a race card's convenient. >> i'll end it there. >> that's fine, i love ben. we got a whole week of this.
attacked by isis which as everyone knows is isis ultimate trophy, i can promise you that the pope would have only wished and prayed that donald trump would have been president because -- it's true. it's true. because this would not have happened. isis would have been eradicated. unlike what is happening now with our all talk no action politician. >> let me bring in bill donahue. he is president of the catholic lead. what a day as our dana bash said. i don't think you would have woken up this morning and thought this fight might break out but, hay, anything happens in politics. this is not the first time that a leader of the catholic church has delved into a political issue, this may be the most direct. what do you make of the back and forth? >> first, i want to commend cnn for accurately reporting on this story unlike some of your competitors. you say the pope suggests he may
not be a christian. quite frankly, the pope was set up by the reporter because the question that was the lead up to the question to the pope was, what about somebody wants to deport 11 million illegal aliens, separating families. well, on august 16, 2015, chuck todd, of "meet the press," explicitly said to trump, you're going to separate families. he said no, not at all. we want to keep the families together. >> to be clear for our viewers, trump wants to deport 11 million parents and kids. on that same meet the press show, he said, speaking of undocumented workers, they have to go, they're having a baby, then the baby's here. you have to have a deportation force. and then he also said, speaking about the children, they're illegal. >> well, certainly if you're in the country illegal', you're in the country illegally. but you don't want to break up families. also, what the pope said is this, he said if and only if
somebody is in favor of just borders. if you take a look at trump's positions. he talks about other kinds of principles such as serving your own citizens and the like which is not reported. the pope was fairer to trump than the media. he's saying if he said this, i'll give him the benefit of the doubt. he's lied about what trump has said, and then he's asked about a comment when he gets incomplete analysis. >> let's listen to what some of voters, what they said today on q island in carolina after trump spoke. >> a religious leader shouldn't be making those kind of comments. >> i think the church and politicians should be separated. he's doing too much in politics. >> personally, i think the pope should stay out of politics, just like politics should be divorced from religion. i thought we had separation of religion and, you know, state. so i don't put that much stock into it one way or the other.
>> all three of those people are supporting trump in this. you agree. i mean, you think this is actually going to help trump in south carolina. >> well, first of all, people have to find out how the pope conditioned his response on if what i'm being told is true. that changes the dynamics of everything. >> why do you think this helps trumpp in carolina? >> any time you have a religious figure, particularly a catholic figure, speaking out on matters in a presidential year, the people who don't like what he's saying are going to say separation of church and state. as soon as they like what he says, they want him to speak up more. look what the reporter said to him. i don't know if it was a man or woman. but the reporter said, can a catholic vote for somebody like this? now some in the media want the pope to tell us like to line up single file and who to vote for. the bias is on left against trump and the bias is on the right against those people.
>> you're a man of deep faith. >> but i know the pope. >> i know the pope. does this hurt the pope at all? >> i think in certain quarters, it may. but i think again if people read what he said, he was very conditional in his response. outside of cnn, most of the media have been unfair to what the pope said and therefore unfair even to trump. >> do you -- what do you make of the fact we've seen these much more human moments from this pope arguably than any other, certainly in recent history? we saw him get angry in the crowd in mexico yesterday when his hand was being pulled and he was sort of falling over that person and then we saw this moment. it just seems like we're seeing many more human sides of this pope. do you agree? >> i agree. while the pope and pump may not agree on everything, they have something in common. it's called authenticity. they're not handled and measured and try to think about what's politically correct. what you see is what you get which is why a lot of people
love them both . >> that's a really interesting comparison. the pope and donald trump have pretty high ratings no matter what poll you look at now. i appreciate it. hillary clinton releases a new campaign ad featuring the daughter of an undocumented immigrant. could it sway the latino vote in what has now become the neck and neck race in nevada? that's next.
hillary clinton and bernie sanders in a dead heat in nevada. in a last ditch effort to sway voters, they will hold events tonight in las vegas. clinton's campaign released a new ad. it makes an emotional
appeal to the hispanic voters. >> my parents, they have a letter of deportation. i'm scared for them because of deportation.
>> i'm going to do everything i can so you don't have to be scared. >> this is going to be such a crucial day for the democrats according to our latest cnn poll. clinton has 48% of the caucus vote to sanders 47. that's a dead heat. sanders has surged from pretty much nothing to this dead heat. how important is the latino vote? is that what this comes down to? >> it's important. there's no question. i mean, the 2014 census estimate here show that some 28% of the electorate overall in nevada is hispanic. that definitely one thing both campaigns are going
after on a windy day in nevada. one thing that ad is showing, what's so interesting, for all the planning and scripting that goes into these commercials, that was a real moment. that was a real moment that happened on sunday when she was having a meeting with some dreamers. that is a very powerful message here.
on the democratic side of things, both campaigns basically have the same position. both are going after latino voters. everything is written in spanish of course as well as english here. that is one element of this electorate they're going after in the final 48 hours or so before these caucuses. >> quickly, what about turnout? caucuses, often it's hard to get turnout. it's a crucial state. >> it's crucial, but they're not expecting huge turnout. this is why. the nevada caucuses are still very new to this process. this is only the second time around in the presidential canal pa campaign. it first started in 2008. harry reid, the powerful democratic leader, fought hard to get nevada included in the early states. it's the first sort of slice of opinion from the west. so that's one of the reasons nevada is included. people still don't know how to caucus yet. we think this will be the lowest
turnout of all those first states. it's important because nevada's an important general election state, important battleground state for the fall. that's why both parties want to be here to get started on organizing here. there's no question not many people in nevada, certainly not many people in las vegas, even know this is going on, erin. millions of dollars in television ads, et cetera. most people have other things on their mind today in las vegas. >> pretty scary because obviously so much is at stake when you're counting up these delegates. jeff zell lenny, thank you. tonight, i'll be back with a special edition of "outfront." that's at 7:00 eastern. but next, trump threatening to sue ted cruz over an ad that features trump's own words. now cruz says, guess what, i'm going to play that ad even more. we'll ask an attorney if trump has a shot in court and dig into his history of lawsuits. at's ri. i'm talking full time delivery of 7 grams of protein
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ted cruz shruging off attacks from donald trump including a cease and desist letter trump sent his rival after cruz ran an ad of donald trump from 1999 discussing abortion rights and saying he was pro choice. cruz's message to trump, go ahead and sue me. so will he, and is there any legal precedent to bring a lawsuit? first, here's a clip of the ad. >> would president trump ban partial birth abortions? >> i'm very pro choice. >> but
you do not ban it. >> no. >> or ban partial birth abortions? >> no. i am pro choice in every respect. >> we also think it's very important that you see the entire section of that "meet the press" interview from 1999, so here it is. >> partial birth abortion, the eliminating of abortion in the third trimester, big issue in
washington. would president trump ban partial birth abortion? >> look, i'm
very pro choice. i hate the concept of abortion. i hate it. i hate everything it stands for. i cringe when i listen to people debating the subject. but you still -- i just believe in choice. and again it may be a little bit of a new york background because there is some different attitude in different parts of the country. i was raised in new york and crew up and work and everything else in new york city, but i am strongly for choice and yet i hate the concept of abortion. >> but you would not ban it? >> no. >> or ban partial birth abortion? >> no. i am pro choice in every respect. >> rachel stockman is with me, danny cevelas also with me. the part that was cut out where all the times he said i hate abortion, i hate everything it stands for, i hate everything it stands for, but the words that were used are his.
danny, is there any defamation case to be brought here? >> well, defamation is a publication, which we have, and it has to be a false statement and something that actually injures the plaintiff. we have the first thing, we have publication. i don't know that we have a false statement and any injury to a plaintiff in this case. now, on the plaintiff's side, on trump's side, he may be making the argument that my splicing up my words you sent a different message. >> and cutting out every part where he said he hates abortion. >> right. but if the underlying message is still true, truth is a defense to a defamation claim so that seems to me to be the initial bar to a lawsuit. >> that there isn't really a case here? >> it doesn't seem very powerful. even if there is one, he has to show some damages so the burden of proof is higher. >> it would be hard to say i fell in the polls because of that. you've done a lot of investigative reporting into lawsuits associated with trump and the history of lawsuits. what did you find? >> with all this talk of all the
lawsuits he wants to file against cruz and various other entities, we started to wonder how many lawsuits has he been involved in. we took a look at the federal docket. now, we couldn't look, because it would take just too long in the limited amount of time that we had, we couldn't look at all of the state cases but just in the federal docket we founding that he's been named in 169 federal lawsuits. that means in some of them he's sued people, other times he's been sued. everything from securities fraud, violations of contracts, we've had liabbel lawsuits. so he's no nau ovice. >> he's got quite a team of lawyers that runs his big business but is there any difference between past versus present? what i mean by that is with ted cruz saying you are pro choice versus you were pro choice. trump says i evolved on this, i
am now pro life. is there any legal issue with mincing of words if trump says, well, cruz is saying i am this way but it was that i was that way. >> defamation cases are like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike because the facts are always different. but when you think about it, go pack to truth being a defense, this is a videotape. a videotape that we can ascertain when it was made. all that statement says is when that videotape was made at one particular year, point in time, that was his opinion. and that looks to be the truth because it's on the tape. so if that was his belief at that time, that's all that videotape tends to show. just sort of spitballing for the defense here. >> and you agree. any legal reason cruz should pull this ad? >> no, i absolutely agree with danny. he definitely maybe has an argument that his words were mischaracterized but that's not a legal argument. what he said, he said it, it was cut up in this ad. i don't think he has any kind of defamation claim whatsoever in
this one. >> one quick thing that stood out to you from the lawsuits you looked at, anything? >> what is interesting is that all the lawsuits started way back when he really started in business, back in 1983 was his first lawsuit filed by some union workers against him saying that he had used some nonunion workers. it goes on and on and on of people filing lawsuits against him and him using the courtroom really to his advantage and disadvantage in some times. >> keep in mind, her searching through federal cases, and federal courts are courts of limited jurisdictions so that doesn't tell us all the other state court cases that could be out there. >> danny, rachel, thank you very much. i appreciate it. now this. ♪ yeah, love is sweeter than wild ♪ ♪ i bet the boys at home can't leave you alone ♪ ♪ honey, honey, honey you're so money ♪ ♪ you've got a country road
>> that is a clip from darius rucker's latest country album, "southern style." he also copes a very close eye on politics. he sat down this week with brooke baldwin to talk about how donald trump became the gop front-runner in his home state. >> he's the outsider coming in and really shaking things up. a lot of people i think at the beginning were waiting for mr. trump to crash and burn. it doesn't seem like he's going to do that. it seems like he's going to be there until the end. you know, for me as a guy who loves entertainment, this is all so entertaining and he's made it more entertaining. if he wins the nomination, i mean that's going to be something to watch. >> something to watch. rucker has not endorsed anyone yet but maybe he'll do that on stage. he just announced plans for his good for a good time tour. that kicks off in june. thank you all for joining me and erin today. "the lead with jake tapper" begins right now.
thanks, poppy. hope the pope has a good lawyer. "the lead" starts right now. just two days until the critical south carolina republican primary and donald trump going off on his holiness. after pope francis suggests that he's not christian. but could this only help trump in the bible belt? senator marco rubio taking his new big-time endorsement out for a spin today as he responds to another trick, he says, by the ted cruz campaign. what did rubio tell me about this terrible photo shop? plus, it's nuclear, unpredictable and unstable and now intelligence officials are warning that north korea is plotting terrorist attacks. good afternoon, everyone, welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. it feels like every day i come