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tv   Wolf  CNN  February 23, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PST

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voila. remotes, come out from the cushions, you are back. the x1 voice remote is here. hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. wolf blitzer is on assignment getting ready for the big debate. wherever you're watching from around the world, thank you for joining us. we want to start right now with the next round for republicans in the presidential race. it is caucus day in nevada, where the candidates are making their final pitch before the voters decide tonight. donald trump is angling for his third straight victory following big wins in south carolina and new hampshire. ted cruz and marco rubio are
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again battling for second, and john kasich says he's not going anywhere. national political reporter mave reston is live where trump will be holding his final rally ahead of the caucuses there. trump has held a healthy lead in the polls in nevada, but it is important to reenforce to our viewers that nevada is notoriously hard to predict. >> reporter: absolutely. traveling nevada over the last week, talking to many republican voters, there is no question that this is trump country. if ted cruz or marco rubio were able to pull off some kind of surprise here tonight, it would be a huge feat that we'd be talking about for months. we know the polling is unreliable here in nevada, but we also know that trump has actually been organized here. he's been doing caucus training since last year. and they're not expecting the turnout to be have a big here in nevada. it was only 33,000 people in 2012. and all the experts here are saying that might be something close to 40,000 this time.
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>> so talking about -- i mean, we'll see where turnout lands. i mean, it's amazing where you think of what turnout is and the actual number of eligible voters. not a lot of people turn out in nevada. let's talk about for the race for number two. ted cruz. he's had a tough go of it this week. i mean, he fired a top aid effectively after the aid sent around that false video of marco rubio looking as if he was putting down the bible. trump was so eager saying cruz used that aid as a scapegoat fired like a dog, ted panicked. this isn't the first time he's been accused of dirty tricks. so how does ted cruz turn this around now? what are you hearing on the ground? >> well, it's really interesting. we were with ted cruz in nevada yesterday in the rural areas. he had a really, really strong crowd. and glenn beck actually introduced him at that rally, talking about how trump is a bully who's been piling on, and how that's un-american.
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so it's going to be interesting to watch whether ted cruz tries to come back at trump with this bullying narrative. but i will say that he does have a lot of fans here in nevada, but he's getting it clearly from both sides, from marco rubio and donald trump. at the same time, it really has a huge opportunity in the next couple of weeks in some of these big super tuesday primary days. he's doing well among southern voters. and we'll have to see whether or not he can make up the difference with evangelical voters who trump did better with in south carolina. there aren't that many of them here. but what ted cruz has been doing is really making an appeal to the libertarian voters here. so if he comes in a strong second tonight, that could go a long way for him. >> you look at the travel schedules, you can see that super tuesday is so there on the front of their minds even though they have the caucuses in nevada first. they'll be starting in just a couple hours. thanks so much for keeping an eye on this rally for all of you. she mentioned florida senator marco rubio. he is battling for a surprise finish in nevada tonight.
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his main target remains not really the frontrunner donald trump, but rather senator ted cruz. and also at the very same time, rubio's list of big name endorsements continues to grow. former jeb bush supporters like bob dole, influential senator. orin hatch. jason, rubio wrapped up his final rally in that state just a short time ago. what is the rubio campaign saying today? how confident are they? where are their heads? >> rubio said something very interesting during his rally today. he told the crowd, look, i know i wasn't your first choice, but i am the best choice at this point. i think that speaks to a number of endorsements that he's been getting lately. the gop party surrounding him, the establishment surrounding him. perhaps that's why we're now
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seeing so many of these endorsements coming out. every time i look at my iphone, i'm getting another announcement from the rubio camp that here's another endorsement, and another endorsement. but will it at all help? will it translate to big votes? that's the big question. will he have a good showing? i think what they're hoping for at this point is a respectable showing. this rally that we attended here today, this is going to be the last event that rubio will be attending here in nevada. he's actually taking off, heading for minnesota, heading for michigan. he won't even be here tonight for the watch party. so perhaps that's some indication of how they think they're going to do here in the state of nevada. >> their travel schedules do always tell you a little more than maybe their press releases. so as we were talking about with mave, rubio is at the center of this latest dust-up with ted cruz. rubio accusing him of dirty tricks. a top aid for cruz is now gone because of it. what is the rubio campaign saying about that today? >> right. you guys were talking about it
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before. rick tyler now out of a job after that controversial ad, which showed marco rubio not saying something about the bible. this is something that rubio has been saying about cruz for quite some time. saying that he's not trustworthy, that he doesn't tell the truth. he did speak about that when he spoke to reporters. but he also took an opportunity to take a swipe at donald trump as well. take a listen. >> i don't think we spent any money attacking other republicans. it's not going to change now. donald has the base support. but the majority of our party doesn't want him as our nominee and we'll continue to work towards consolidating that. right now, ted cruz is in charge of his campaign. he is the head of his campaign. his campaign has created a culture of misleading people and saying things that aren't true and lies. he's responsible for that. >> and once again, rubio saying
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what he is seeing out of the cruz campaign is a pattern of deceit that starts at the top. that this is not a candidate who can be trusted. as for trump, he's saying that in telling voters look, you cannot vote for the loudest person in the room. that doesn't necessarily mean that's a person who can get the job done. trump's voters clearly not listening. >> not at least to this point. jason carroll at where marco rubio was. marco rubio now off to minnesota with an eye towards super tuesday, as the voters will be heading to caucus sites in nevada very soon. jason, thanks so much. let's talk much more about the state of the race and the cruz campaign especially, and the attacks that are coming at ted cruz from both donald trump and marco rubio. joining me now, the executive president of the family leader and a ted cruz supporter. bob, it's great to see you. it's been a while. >> it has been. good to see you, kate. >> good to see you, too. give me your thoughts here. you know politics, you know the cruz campaign. did ted cruz do the right thing
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by effectively firing his aid, rick tyler? >> well, i think he did. i mean, everybody likes rick tyler. rick tyler is a true professional. in a lack of judgment, he retweeted something that shouldn't have been retweeted. it was false. it violated a core value of the campaign, and that's the integrity piece of it. so i think ted cruz had to do that. to show that he would fire rick tyler over violating the integrity issue. when i hear the things about misleading, those things, kate, if ted cruz was misleading anybody, i would no longer be part of this campaign. his campaign is run with a great deal of integrity. when you want to talk about misleading, campaign as a tea party conservative like marco rubio, and then lead with schumer and mccain and obama and the gang of eight. or donald trump, who's misleading a lot of conservatives when you look at his private property record, his planned parenthood issues and a host of other issues that just
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aren't conservative. so i think ted cruz is well-positioned to finish strong here and become our nominee. >> bob, let me ask you about that. because you said, if you didn't basically like the man or trust the man or believe in his values, you would not be part of this campaign. you would not be supporting him. this is not the first time in the last few weeks that ted cruz and his campaign have been accused of dirty tricks. some of them starting in your state in iowa. a lot of folks say the culture of a campaign starts at the top. does the buck stop with ted cruz? shouldn't it? >> of course it stops with ted cruz, and that's why i'm with ted cruz. he is a man of great integrity. when you talk about our state of iowa, i'm still waiting for the first person to say that they switched their vote from dr. ben carson to any other candidate based on that information. i ask the carson campaign, did you fire the person, the staff person that went to cnn 45 minutes before our caucus to let them know that you were not going to new hampshire? that is relevant news. that's not a campaign of deceit.
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that's a campaign of relevant news. so ted cruz is a principled conservative. he's been consistent. i think people are going to see that. that's why they're rallying around him. i think there's going to be a clear choice. as this field narrows, all of our polls show that ted cruz does exceptionally well. so we're looking forward and optimistic about this race. >> let's look forward, but not too much. let's just look forward to tonight. what's a win in nevada tonight for ted cruz? >> i think a win in nevada is top three. he said all along, when he was outlining his strategy to me, he said listen, the first four states, we just need to show up and probably place and do well. we don't even need to win the first four, although he won iowa. let's get this thing to a national campaign. he's got the resources. he's got the infrastructure. he's got the message. and i think the more people -- i do agree with marco rubio. there is a large segment of the republican party who do not want donald trump to be their nominee. >> but do you really think three is the new first place?
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>> now you move forward to march 1, we've got a long ways to go. trump has got 67. people are going to start looking at his 9/11 conspiracy, how he says george w. bush lied. there's a lot of issues that people do not line up with donald trump and they're going to be looking elsewhere. >> bob, thanks so much. >> thank you, kate. >> and a reminder to all of you, you can follow the results every moment of it in nevada tonight, right here on cnn, all night. doing it only the way that cnn can. four days until democrats head to the polls in south carolina. seven days until super tuesday. bernie sanders and hillary clinton are making their final pitch tonight right here on cnn. but it's not just about the votes. it's also about the delegates. clinton has a solid advantage there, but that can change and
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change very fast. the details coming up next. pl plus, it was one of his first promises after taking office. more than seven years later, president obama has rolled out his plan to close the guantanamo bay detention facility. how will it work, and will congress go along with it? we stop arthritis pain, so you don't have to stop. tylenol® 8hr arthritis pain has two layers of pain relief. the first is fast. the second lasts all day. we give you your day back. what you do with it is up to you. tylenol®. you premium like clockwork. month after month. year after year. then one night, you hydroplane into a ditch. yeah... surprise... your insurance company tells you to pay up again.
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it's a big day in the race for the white house. just hours from now, a pbig moment for the democrats. you're looking at live pictures of columbia, south carolina, where our town hall will be held. hillary clinton and bernie sanders will be taking the stage, talking right to the voters of south carolina, just four days before the primary there. just a week before super tuesday. and one super important thing to remember, it's not just the vote count. it is the delegate count that matters as well. after the first three contests, here's where the candidates stand. add in the super delegates who have already pledged. hillary clinton currently has a very big advantage, but that can change. let's bring in cnn's political director for this. our guru on all things.
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but let's look toward tonight. >> let's start with what's immediately in front of them. it's taking place in columbia, south carolina. that primary is saturday, and as you know kate, that is a majority african-american electorate. more than half the democratic vote who are will go to the polls on saturday are african-americans. that puts the african-american vote front and center in a way that it wasn't in iowa and new hampshire, obviously. we saw hillary clinton with a big african-american advantage in nevada. she clearly has been polling with that big advantage in south carolina, but this is now bernie sanders' mission to show that he can make some inroads there. because it's not just important in south carolina. the african-american vote is actually quite critical throughout the entire democratic nomination process from here on out. >> that obviously is definitely going to be a focus tonight in the town hall. i mean, you really lay it out perfectly. that sanders has an uphill climb when it comes to that key electorate. that key voting block. but sanders has picked up a new
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endorsement that could potentially help. director spike lee. he cut a radio ad for bernie sanders. i think we have a little bit of it. listen here. >> bernie takes no money from corporations. nada. which means he is not on the tape. and when bernie gets in the white house, he will do the right thing. >> so with the uphill climb that sanders has when it comes to african-american voters, how can spike lee help? how does bernie sanders chip away at that? >> you love the use of "do the right thing," right? in the spike lee ad. >> exactly. >> these endorsements are important as validating moments for bernie sanders. i don't think spike lee delivers a treasure-trove of voters with his endorsement or danny glover, or some other folks that bernie sanders has put out front and center right now. but they do help validate that bernie sanders economic message is one that speaks directly to the african-american community. this is the argument that bernie sanders has been making for the better part of the last year.
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it's just that bernie sanders obviously has been spending most of his political career in very white vermont. hasn't had to sort of court the african-american vote the way that he does now in the presidential race for the democratic nomination. and so he's going to have to just continue to show that he can make steady progress. having spike lee onboard certainly doesn't hurt, but i don't think it delivers voters his way necessarily. >> and bernie sanders supporters, they say it's also because he doesn't have high name i.d., they argue, when it comes to the african-american community. exactly to your point. but hillary clinton's campaign, they said that's not good enough. you can be sure. david, it's great to see you. thanks, man. >> my pleasure. >> let's talk more about this with hillary rosen, she is also a democratic strategy and a hillary clinton supporter. hillary, it's great to see you. let's start counterintuitively, if we can. what is, in your mind, a win for bernie sanders tonight when it comes to this town hall? >> look, you know, bernie
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sanders i think just has -- he's ignited a lot of excitement, and i think he has to now convince people that as we go through this very delegate-heavy march, that he actually can win. i think the way he does that is by convincing democrats, that he's not just a candidate of principle. that he's actually also going to be a candidate of progress. and i think that's where hillary clinton has really put her emphasis. i think it's a little bit of a shortcoming of his. and i think that he needs to be much more concrete. you know, she probably needs to be a little airier. and he needs to be much more concrete. >> and that's exactly what i was going to ask you. what does hillary clinton need to bring tonight on the stage? >> i think the last couple of days, she's come into her own in terms of a few new things, which is she's got to run her own race. and i don't think it's only my opinion that for the last, you
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know, six weeks or so, she was really in some respects following bernie sanders around the democratic left. but coming into her own means talking about jobs, not just -- you know, it's not enough to break up the banks. it's about giving america a raise. it's not enough to talk about getting money out of the political is. it's about getting more money in people's pocketbooks. i think she actually really excels when she's talking about some of those kind of nuts and boelts issues. s she needs to talk about it more in the context of how it affects people, not just what the policy is. >> you start hearing the we element. when you say she's coming into her own, interesting that you put it that way. that is kind of the new line of criticism coming from sanders toward hillary clinton. he said when he hears her ad, he thinks, that's me! listen.
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>> i am delighted that secretary clinton month after month after month seems to be adopting more and more of the positions that we have advocated. that's good. and is beginning to use a lot of the language and phraseology. i saw her tv ad, i thought it was me. but it turned out it was secretary clinton's picture in the ad. >> is club moving closer to him politically? is she using his phraseology? >> if you just look at their policies, they're very similar and have been for this entire campaign. so i think he's trying to create more distance around that, but i don't think that's successful. what is true, though, is that he has been better at her in creating empathy around the problems, and around the heartfelt frustration that democrats were feeling.
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so is she thinking about that more differently, how she phrases it differently? i think she probably is. but let's not -- you know, it works both ways. i mean, he has -- he never talked about criminal justice reform before. he never talked about race issues before. i mean, they're both kind of seeing what's working and trying to figure out how it fits with their own assets and putting it their way. >> a long race still ahead, that's for darn sure. great to see you. thank you. >> take care, kate. >> thanks. ahead for us, hillary clinton and bernie sanders, they will come face to face with the voters of south carolina tonight. it is part of a live cnn town hall from columbia, south carolina. remember, it begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. also ahead, backlash is already rolling in against the president's plan to close guantanamo bay, the detention facility there. a plan that could include bringing detainees to the united states. we're going to talk it over, next. e to stop. tylenol® 8hr arthritis pain
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just hours ago, president obama laid out his strategy for closing the guantanamo bay detention facility and transfer up to 60 terror suspects to u.s. prisons. this was one of the president's first pledges, you'll remember, after taking office in january of 2009. today, a last-ditch effort to fulfill that promise. listen here to the president. >> guantanamo harms our partnerships with allies in other countries whose cooperation we need against terrorism. when i talk to other world leaders, they bring up the fact that guantanamo's not resolved. moreover, keeping this facility
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open is contrary to our values. it undermines our standing in the world. it is viewed as a stain on our broader record of upholding the highest standards of rule of law. >> joining me now to discuss is republican congresswoman from indiana. she sits on the armed services committee. it's great to see you again, thank you so much for joining me. >> thanks so much, kate, appreciate it. >> you oppose the president's plan to close guantanamo. what is your reaction then to what you heard from the president today? >> well, this is not a great surprise. you know, he's been talking about this for quite a few years now. i think all he's really done today is do kind of like a press release saying here's my shot across the bow. i want to send terrorists who have killed americans into american soil, and it's in writing. and that's really the only difference today from what he's been talking about. and from what we've seen on the armed services committee as well. >> i don't think it's a surprise that maybe what the president
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said today isn't going to be changing any opinions on capitol hill. but i do want to talk about one part of the plan that is getting a lot of the focus. it would likely bring detainees to prisons here in the united states. you have fought very hard against just that. but there are already terror suspects in prisons here in the united states. are you concerned that the prisons here -- are you concerned that they can keep them secure? what are your concerns? >> number one, let's talk about who we're looking at. these are not your run of the my criminals or prisoners. these are mastermind terrorists who still have a desire to kill americans. these are the folks that killed our fellow americans in iraq and the middle east and places like that. let's not forget some of these terrorists have already gone back into the field and they've become great commanders to continue to lead the fight against our country. and i'm concerned about that. i'm definitely concerned about how in the world would we hold them in a u.s. prison.
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and i don't want them in the state of indiana in our super max facility. i don't think anybody in this country wants them here. we want them detained in a safe place where they will never harm an american again. and i would throw this to you as well, kate. in the future, as we continue to get deeper and deeper into syria, we've sent forces now, we've sent operational forces and special ops now into syria, and we continue in the middle east with this developing situation in iraq. what are we going to do with future detainees? where are we going to put them for the purpose of interrogation, to get information to stop attacks in our own country. all that is wrapped up right now in guantanamo bay. i'm going to fight and make sure that the president doesn't break the law, which is sending them here. i'm going to make sure i do what i can, and i have been fighting this for four years. i'm passionate about this. >> you clearly are, but on the point of bringing detainees to the united states. the president points out, there are already accused terrorists sitting in our prisons.
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musawi is in a super max in colorado. the shoe bomber is in a prison in the united states. there are prisons that are holding terrorists already. the pentagon has said that it believes that it can keep them secure. why do you not believe the pentagon? >> well, i would tell you because we're not talking, again, just about a couple of hardcore terrorists. that core that we're talking about to be released into this country, because nothing else can be done with them, are the masterminds that mastermind attacks. they've masterminded the murder of our fighting forces that are overseas. and no, i do not believe an american prison can hold them. i guess the greater question is why do you want to expose american citizens to these people right on our own soil? they're safe where they're at. they cannot escape where they're at. it's been proven true. and it's a facility for future detainees as well. i am not going to expose our american citizens on our soil to
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folks who continue to carry the threat and continue to want to kill americans. i absolutely do not trust our u.s. prison systems, no. >> to your point, you say the best place for them to be is in guantanamo bay. but the president pointed out today, john mccain agrees with him on this point, that guantanamo has been used for recruiting purposes, propaganda purposes for terror organizations. isis uses -- puts their hostages in orange jump suits in their beheading videos. do you not believe that they're being used, that gitmo is used as a propaganda tool? >> you know, one of the issues that we've learned on the house armed services committee the past four years is that there may have been a minimal amount of that recruiting, when this first opened, when this first happened. but as time has rolled on, let's not forget, there is a balance between what's the cost of keeping americans safe, and i want to err on the side of keeping americans safe, both in the homeland and even the guards that protect them in guantanamo
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today. i don't think the tradeoff is worth it. i don't think i want to hedge my bet on what the pentagon says they think would work. i'm going to err on the side of the safety of americans. >> it's always great to have you on. thank you so much for your time. >> thank you, kate. >> appreciate it. coming up next for us, it's a race to super tuesday, one week and counting to the biggest delegate day so far. 11 states voting. we'll take a look, a closer look at the contests and the strategy. and give her the strength and energy to stay healthy. who's with me?! yay! the complete balanced nutrition of great tasting ensure. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. ensure. take life in! information about how philips lifeline medical alert system saved my father's life. daddy is invincible. that's how we want to think about our parents. knowing that dad lives alone, we worry. that's why was so hard for all of us when he had his heart attack. the heart attack hit me, i felt to the floor.
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senator ted cruz is speaking to voters in nevada. this is his first event of the day, not his last. let's listen in. >> the same naive foreign policy.
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in fact, the exact same countries, russia and iran, openly laughing at and mocking the president of the united states. now why is it that that analogy gives me so much hope and optimism? because we remember how that story ended. all across this country, millions of men and women rose up and became the reagan revolution. and it didn't come from washington. washington despised ronald reagan. by the way, every candidate says they're going to stand up to washington. you want to know who really will? just ask the simple question, who is washington attacking?
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but the reagan revolution came from the american people who rose up, and it turned this country around. why am i so optimistic? because the same thing is happening again. we're here today, election day, this whole crazy year of an election cycle, millions in attack ads and mud slung this way and that way and the other way. i don't like your face. [ laughter ] it's been a strange cycle. >> it has been a strange cycle. and you can guess what someone is going to say very soon. i don't like your face. ted cruz speaking there in fernley, nevada. he's making his final pitch before voters head to the caucuses this evening, and then he will be heading on to super
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tuesday. let's talk about that, if we can, as we look towards super tuesday. we are one week away from super tuesday. here is how it all lays out. 12 states will take part on both the republican and democratic side combined. and here is what is really at stake. 595 delegates for the republicans. 865 delegates for the democrats. so what did the contest look like? what is the strategy? what is it going to look like in the week beforehand? messy, i'm guessing. joining me now from washington is cnn political commentator esse cupp and jamal simmons. it's great to see you. the two contests this week, nevada for the republicans, south carolina for the democrats. esse, what do you think those results -- what impact do they have on super tuesday? >> you know, it's interesting. donald trump looks to be in good shape going into nevada tonight. and i expect him to be in good shape going into super tuesday
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as long as there are four other people in the race. i think he benefits tremendously by just needing a plurality. and it would be going into super tuesday with a great head of steam, coming off of a nevada win, a south carolina win, a new hampshire win. that looks pretty good. and as far as hillary is concerned, i think she just needs to sort of double stamp her last win and say i was electable in nevada. it was close. it was close. but here it is again. i'm the electable candidate. south carolina now clinches it. you know, two very different parts of the country. i'm the frontrunner. i am, you know, your nominee going into super tuesday. >> s.e., do you really think when you say trump is lining himself up for super tuesday, if there are still all these candidates in the race, do you think really there's any
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possibility any of the guys that are hurting in the polls, ben carson or john kasich are really going to drop out before tuesday? >> probably not. almost inexnexplicably in some cases. i think it's very clearly become a three-person race at this point. you know, just looking at polls between ted cruz, donald trump, and marco rubio. and those are three very different candidates. those are not three guys vying for the same kinds of voters. it's not like having those three candidates doesn't give republicans enough, you know, choice. i don't think john kasich can really pull ahead. i think ben carson has been out of this for a while. >> jamal, one of the bigges prizes for democrats up for grabs on tuesday is virginia. bernie sanders, he was stumping there in just the last hour. but i think everyone will very much remember a very close friend of the clintons, terry mcauliffe, is now the governor there. how is it going to play out do you think? >> not only is terry mcauliffe
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the governor, but rodney mook ran the campaign for governor, so he understands that state really well. he's also the one who won nevada, because he ran that state in 2008 for then senator clinton. so he's got a pretty strong hand to play. i think it's going to be a good contest. it also has a lot of african-american voters. they're in small pockets around the state. my family is actually from a little town just east of charlottesville, so there are all these little pockets of people who are in virginia you're got to get to. a week ago, i was down in south carolina and i saw bernie sanders investing a lot of time, a lot of resources and people down there. but i've got to say, i think clay middleton, who runs a clinton campaign in south carolina, they've done a good job of matching them and pushing them back. so now you're not seeing bernie sanders spend as much time down there. i think secretary clinton's numbers, it looks like they're going to hold in south carolina, which is going to be bad for bernie sanders going forward. he's got to beat her somewhere
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decisively if he hopes to shake loose dell gots. -- delegates. >> and on the republican side. everybody says this. for anyone to beat donald trump, they need to get a win. they need to get a win. second and third place is not a win. i mean, it can only be a win for so long in these early states. ted cruz's campaign, they told me that texas is a must-win for them. what do you think the state of the race is there? >> yeah. for sure. i mean, ted cruz has i think previously considered iowa a must-win. but texas would certainly be his wheelhouse, obviously, being a senator from texas. and spent a lot of time on ground game there. a lot of his staff is based in texas. so that would be a must-win. but back to virginia, i've been looking at some state polling. that's incidentally where i will primary on super tuesday. i've been looking at some state polling. while hillary's lead over bernie sanders is about 12 points,
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pretty solid, marco rubio is actually pretty close behind donald trump. sort of nipping at his heels. so the whole like northern virginia, southern virginia dynamic will really come into play in that republican primary. >> jamal, s.e., it's great to see you guys. thanks so much. >> good to see you. >> so many more states to discuss and so many di daays to discuss them. it's so good. >> it will be fun. >> it always is. the five republican candidates will be battling it out in a debate in texas, and cnn's wolf blitzer will be moderating that debate this thursday, 8:30 p.m. eastern, only on cnn. coming up still for us, the battle over the supreme court. we've just learned that according to some top republican senators, there will be no confirmation hearings on any supreme court nominee coming from president obama. we're going to go live to capitol hill for those details after a quick break. be right back. thousands of people came out today to run the race for retirement. so we asked them... are you completely prepared for retirement?
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new information just in to cnn. top republican senators now say they will not hold any
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confirmation hearings for any nominee this year. for more, cnn's political reporter manuroju on capitol hill. this is the strongest statement yet coming from republicans, what are you hearing? >> absolutely, it started off today with mitch mcconnell saying the senate would withhold its consent on any nominee, the furthest he has gone. he met with senate republicans who serve on the judiciary committee and that committee of course is the first line of defense and that's the nominee. the republicans came out of that meeting and said they were prepared to deny any hearings whatsoever to whoever the president sends up. even people like lindsey graham, who voted for elena kagan, he said there's a widespread consensus against any nominees in this election environment, citing joe biden's own comments, similar comments he made,
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against a perspective george h.w. bush nominee. he said he wouldn't even meet the nominee. typically would do courtesy calls to members. republicans are lunching right now discussing this as a full conference. i'm told by republican senators in that lunch there is unity behind this idea of denying a supreme court nominee any sort of proceedings whatsoever. only two republicans so far have broken ranks, martin cork of illinois and susan collins of maine. democrats hope those fissures will widen once there's a nominee, kate. >> we'll have to see if the pressure builds, if there is a nominee, if there is any movement. from what you're saying and what you're hearing, sure does not sound like it now. still ahead, syria is only days away from a proposed truce, but there's one potentially big problem. not everyone has agreed to it.
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welcome back. the syrian government is now signing on to a cease-fire agreement due to take effect in just a few days. a main opposition group also backs the truce brokered by russia and the united states. sounds great, right? two of the most powerful forces on the ground on the battlefield, isis and al nusra front, they aren't part of the deal. that means attacks by them and against them could continue. raising a whole lot of questions and concerns over what this deal really means. senior international correspondent nick paton walsh who's following the situation from beirut. they've been trying to hammer this truce out for several weeks. without agreement from the terror groups, what does it really mean? >> depends what point of view you have. if you are john kerry, who just told the senate this is a good chance potentially to unite in the fight against isis, to focus the fight inside syria against
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isis. then potentially things are going according to plan so far. we've just heard the syrian government say yes, they'll go along with this truce. they won't expect it to include isis or al qaeda in syria, the al nusra front. also a little room there, saying they also think they can target al qaeda-linked groups. that isn't really part of the deal but it might be a loose interpretation of what some of the parts of the deal actually say. that's going along with the deal so far. we've heard from the political representatives of the syrian opposition, they're on track. we haven't heard from the syrian armed opposition. they've often been the stumbling block in deals like this in the past. so the potential error there. that could, john kerry says, provide a potential moment of opportunity for a lull in violence, for a focus against isis. and the other side of the coin here too, deep suspicion held by some western governments. i think a lot really by the united kingdom who look at this as a chance for russia to repeat
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what they accuse of doing in the past. moscow always says we're going after isis but been accused and actually in reality been hitting syrian opposition rebels, often the moderates. many are concerned they'll use this truce to continue doing that. and at the end of the day, you'll actually see russia and the regime solidifying their military positions rather than causing a lull in the violence. but we are going to have to go through a week of tremendous transformation. this week end had one of the bloodyiest incidents of the entire war. now we have to go through midnight and saturday for a lull in the fighting. with that extraordinary caveat, isis and nusri still being able to be targeted by both u.s. jets, the regime and russian air strikes potentially as well, kate. >> as you follow this, the back and forth and the many weeks this has been going on. the one thing that is very clear in how you lay this out is just how immensely complicated this
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horrific situation is in syria and how those alliances are not alliances. how to get them all together. it just almost seems impossible as they continue to work this out. it's great to see you, nick, thanks so much. thank you, all, for joining us. for our international viewers, "amanpour" is coming up next. for viewers in north america, "newsroom" with poppy harlow starts now. all right, top of the hour, 2:00 p.m. eastern, i'm poppy harlow in for brooke baldwin. we're just hours away from the start of the nevada caucuses to select the republican nominee for president. the stakes are high but the suspension is likely even higher. will nevada play out as the polls show with donald trump earning a third win in a row, or will the silver state fulfill its reputation as a tough state to read, and deliver a surprise ni