tv At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan CNN February 25, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST
>> reporter: to the donald, love is blind. >> i don't know who is in this room. but whoever it is, i love you. >> reporter: cnn, new york. >> everybody loves me. >> oh, thank you for joining me today. i'm carol costello. at this hour with berman and bolduan starts now. the time for the clowns and the acrobats and the dancing bears has passed. >> the vast and overwhelming majority of republicans don't want donald trump to be our nominee. >> we're going to get greedy for the united states. we're going to grab. >> we're not elected class president. it's the president of the united states. >> i believe that things are starting to happen here. >> we weren't expected to win too much, and now we're winning, winning, winning the country. and soon the country is going to start winning. hello, everyone.
i'm kate bolduan. we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. why? because it is debate day in america. >> i'm john berman live at the university of houston. the site of tonight's crucial cnn republican presidential debate, the last gop debate before super tuesday. it is no overstatement to say that this is easily the most important debate yet. maybe even the most important moment in this campaign yet for candidates not named donald trump to halt the growing momentum of the candidate that is named donald trump. he will be center stage tonight. surrounded by cruz, rubio, kasich, and carson. for cruz and rubio in particular, this is a time for choosing. do they ban together and hit trump or do they continue to hit each other? this morning there's a shocking proposal who says one of them should drop out and agree to be the running mate of the other.
we'll speak to him live. for the establishment, this is serious. serious because the head of next week's super tuesday contest, trump shows no signs of slowing. cnn politics executor mark preston is inside the debate hall. mark, before we talk about tonight's big event, let me talk about big news just in, a big poll, perhaps a surprising poll from rubio's home state of florida that shows donald trump way ahead. >> reporter: no question about that. right now, john, the wind is at the back of donald trump. and the republican establishment is very concerned that he is going to walk away with the nomination. bad news for rubio. this new poll shows that donald trump has a clear lead in florida. let's take a look at these numbers right now. donald trump at 44%. marco rubio at 28%. cruz at 12 %.
what's more disturbing if you're the rubio campaign is 5% of the voters, according to this poll, say they're undecided. another 30% said they may change his mind. at this point, as we're talking the long game right now in the republican establishment looking for wins and victories to try to knock donald trump off his perch. looking ahead to florida, it doesn't look good. florida is worth 99 delegate votes. whoever wins florida on march 15th walks away with nearly 100 delegate votes. in this game of math, that is a huge treasure-trove. as you said, it's going to happen here on this stage at the university of houston. center stage, donald trump right here flanked on each side by marco rubio and ted cruz. now, as you said, what is going to happen tonight? will marco rubio and ted cruz put their fire inward directly at donald trump or will they do it at themselves? it's unclear at this point, but
they need to do something. there's been a lot of pressure on them, as you said. there's been pressure that they consolidate into one ticket. right now if you have any money to put on the race, you would want to put it on donald trump. >> mark preston inside that beautiful debate hall where it all takes place at 8:30 tonight p.m. eastern time. thank you so much, mark. i want to bring in sean spicer. he is shehere with me. i don't think it's a shock to you that donald trump is the front runner in this campaign right now in the republican side. i also don't think i'll be the first one to tell you that the rnc has had a complicated relationship with donald trump over time. there's been a lot of give and take. there's an article in politico this morning which suggests that the rnc chair is saying that donald trump needs the rnc. the rnc is going to have some influence on donald trump going forward because the rnc is,
frankly, necessary, and you are recorded in this article saying the bottom line is no nominee can win without the party. what do you mean? >> well, no nominee can win without the party. reince priebus has put four years of data and field staff out there building the party, making relationships, ensuring whoever the nominee is prepared to go. the candidates are out there fighting a primary battle. they're focussed on winning the early states, the 11 states on march 1st. the job of the rnc is to think down the road, what to do to get the electoral votes necessary to recapture the white house. that means the rnc is the only entity that's been building the ground game in communities, building up the data that we have, the relationships, so when that nominee gets decided by the voters, we're ready to go and help him secure a victory in november. >> if that's trump, he will need you and you will be there?
>> if it's anybody. the political story is false in the idea that we're leveraging anybody. it's a relationship. you don't tell anybody you'll do this or that. that's false. what i believe is important is we need the nominee. the nominee needs us, and we're going to be proud participants in helping them win back the white house. >> the last nominee on the republican said is mitt romney. he ran in 2012. he says that donald trump should release his taxes. all the candidates should release their taxes. that type of transparency?on - >> i think generally all candidates release their taxes. it's up to each one of them to decide when and where and how. >> you think transparency is a good thing? >> it's like medical records. at some point they all get released. it's up to them to decide when the right time is to do that. >> let me ask you about "the washington post." "the washington post" seems to have a bone to pick with the rnc. they wrote their second editorial in a few days that
think think the leaders need to stand up to trump. history will not look kindly on gop leadered who failed to do everything in their power to prevent a bullying demagogue from becoming their standard bearer. >> i think "the washington post" completely misunderstands that's going on in america. the rnc's job is to be neutral in the race to ensure we have the resources necessary to help the nominee win in november. not to pick winners and losers. under the chairman, we've consolidated the calendar to make sure more voters have their voice heard. "the washington post" doesn't understand with people in washington don't agree with what the voters decided, we should undermine that. that's false. the voters choose. that's what's wrong with this country. too many people in washington are telling voters they're wrong, washington knows best, and what we have right now is a process where more people are helping decide our nominee.
that's supposed to happen. for the washington post to sit here and criticize our side when you have a self-described socialist as a leading candidate for the democratic party. think about that. we're a capitalistic society. we're the most amazing country on earth, and they sit back and say, oh, it's no big deal that you have a socialist that wants to take this country in a vastly different direction. i don't really put too much stock in what the washington post editorial page has to say. >> you talked about the consolidated calendar. the rnc is doing it a little bit differently this time. how hard does it make it for candidates to come back if they fall behind early? after next tuesday they could be behind by a lot. it's hard to come back after that. >> with the rnc did this cycle is ensure proportionality. when you win a state right now, the phase up until march 15th is proportion proportional. it's only 10 of the 56 that are winner take all states. you can't just rack up states
and run away. you have to earn it state by state. i think that process ensures that more voters have their voice heard, have their vote county. i think there's a difference between accumulating the delegates necessary to win the nomination and getting to a point where you become the nominee where you've amassed such a lead that others probably can't catch you. >> do you think we're soon to that point? >> we have 11 states on march 1st. 595 delegates at state, and then another 963 delegates. i think the voters will make that decision. if they award them to one candidate, then, yeah. if they don't, then i think we're going to go a little bit longer probably into april. >> john, great to have you here. thanks for your public work. >> hopefully, i don't know why at the warm places kate is stuck in new york. we need to make sure she's in mia miami.
>> i can guaranty that. tonight is the night the candidates meet head to head on the stage here at the university of houston. wolf blitzer is the moderator for this big event. it begins at 8:30 p.m. eastern time. it's only on cnn. you heard us talking about it. mitt romney warns there's a bomb shell lurking somewhetrump's ri kwe against him tonight? >> i'll be there. we'll speak live with republican congressman who is now calling on rubio and cruz to team up for the good of the party. the problem is, one of them, he says, needs to drop out of the race for president now. and an uncomfortable moment when a protester confronts hillary clinton durin >> listen to what i say. >> you called black people predators. >> you're being rude. >> super predators. that's rude. >> you want to hear the facts?
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forces to take on donald trump. meaning one of them needs to drop out of the race. now, one says a combined presidential ticket of the two senators is the best shot at winning the white house in nv. that means they need to decide among themselves which continues to run for president and which then becomes the number two, the running mate. joining me now, republican congressman, trent franks of arizona. congressman, thank you for coming on. this letter you've pen second down getting a lot of attention. you have said they can either unite or stay apart and lose. but do you really expect at this point that these two campaigns are going to come together and reach some sort of gentleman's agreement of who is going to run for president, who is going to be the running mate, especially after how nasty it's gotten? >> it depends. thank you for having me on. it depends on whether or not they look at this for the mathematical reality that it is, and if they look at it as
statesmen rather then a opponents. i understand the differences that they have. certainly i've run in those kinds of primaries too. we have a mathematical issue here rather than a political one. i pray both of them will consider the alternative and the fact that the window is closing. there's a moment many times in history when there is an opportunity that is big enough to be seen and understood and still accessible to be seized. and this is that moment. and just for the record, i did not call for either one of the candidates to drop out. i know that sounds like a play on words, but that would not work if just one of them drops out, then sometimes the remainder of the vote goes in different directions. if they unite and choose among themselves, and i have not suggested which one should be at the top of the ticket, but they have to do that. otherwise, both of them, unfortunately, i'm afraid, will be not on the ticket at all. it's just simply a mathematical issue. sometimes we have to let reality
prevail prevail. all the political analysis and wishful thinking and trying to say these things under high minded political analysis does not change the fact that mathematics will not be repealed in this election cycle. >> congressman, how, though, do you suggest these men decide in i'm not trying to be cute here. do you think this comes down to rock, paper scissors or something. >> ironically, there could be worse ways. i think they should have their own criteria and get together and say whoever comes out with, you know, take a look at their voting analyses, talk a look at some of the polling and things like that, and i don't want to suggest how they should do it. it's not a matter of running from the fact, but yes, if it comes down to flipping a coin, flip a coin for the sake of the future. otherwise the alternative is pretty clear. >> have you heard from either
campaign about your proposal? >> i have. i'm not going to characterize that in any way. >> can you hint at all if they were at all receptive to this in. >> i think both of these candidates realize that the numbers will not ignored, and we are in a situation now where potentially a minority of our party could nominate a candidate that the majority of our party is in strong -- not in support of. >> congressman, have you heard from both campaigns on this? >> again, i'm not going to characterize that at all. but i will say this. if donald trump is our nominee, i don't think that he represents the best our party has to offer either in temperament or qualification, and i think he's the weakest candidate that is in the race at this point in terms of the general election, and that to nominate him is to give hillary clinton a much better chance of being president, and if that happens, i'm afraid the
constitution would be vitiated and my children could walk in a different future. >> those are strong words. speaking of donald trump, i can hear it now. trump supporters are going to say once again we have the republican establishment trying to control the process, work the system, and decide themselves who they think should be the nominee. what do you say to those thousands of people registered republicans who have come out and already voted for donald trump? >> two things. i'm as far from the republican establishment from most people are. that's a false narrative, but the second thing is the people still make the choice. right now the conservatives are divided. the people still get to choose whether they want to support conserve tifatives or if they wo support mr. trump. his record is not conservativco. he does many things that are good. i appreciate some of the ways he's addressed certain issues, but nevertheless, i believe that
he remits a danger, a strong danger of us elected hillary clinton for president and for the sake of my children and for the sake of the future of this country, i must do what i can a, and i pray these men look at the reality and do what's necessary to see that this country continues for future generations. >> thank you for coming on. >> thank you so much. >> speaking of rubio, he's directly calling out trump by name, taking him on aggressively for the first time. what does that mean for tonight in the cnn debate? mr. donald trump now attack marr marco rubio. and our next guest lays out how donald trump could still lose the nomination. a trump advisory will also join us to respond. drop me off right here. oh no, i'll take you up to the front of the school. that's where your friends are. seriously, it's, it's really fine.
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the greatest library of oscar moments, simply by using your voice. live oscar sunday, february 28th on abc." it all happens here at the university of houston, and it all happens in just a few hours. the cnn republican presidential debate, the last republican debate before super tuesday, 8:30 p.m. tonight eastern time. five will enter. one will leave. they all will leave, but someone will go with bragging rights, either laying a meaningful blow on donald trump, or if it is donald trump who is bragging, extending his already lead. here with me to discuss, our cnn politic
political commentator, ben ferguson. matt lewis, you get the first questions. one of the biggest questions up until this point is when will rubio take on donald trump directly? now i think finally at last we have the answer. the answer is it already happened. listen to what mar dco rubio sa last night. >> donald trump said he's not going to take sides on israel versus is palestinian because he wants to be an honest broker. there's no such thing as an honest broker in that. the palestinian authority who has strong links to terror teach little kids it's a glorious thing to kill jews. >> rubio named names. he named donald trump by name. it happened last night. does this mean this is now the first day of the rest of marco rub rubio's life. >> i think it is. if you go on the stump and listen to politicians, a lot of part-time debate prep comes out
before the debate. this might be an example of rubio honing his messaging in preparation for what he's going to say tonight at the debate. it's high risk, high reward. i don't think rubio likes to go head to head or wants to go head to head. i think he has to. if you look at the polls in florida, it's do or die time. rubio has to go after him. and it's not going to be an easy chore. >> the polls in florida and texas. there's a new poll out of texas just released. it shows cruz with a sizable lead, 38%. trump with 23% and 21 for rubio. that's a good news for cruz. but then a call saying cruz supporters are going to jump ship if he doesn't do well on tuesday. talk to me about what he needs to do font. >> he needs to stay focussed on making it clear he can beat donald trump. he should say i'm the only one who has beaten donald trump.
you look at the map and you look at how well he's doing in texas, i've been saying all along, i don't see it on the ground. people in texas love cruz. he was an outsider when they elected him. he had outsiders that came to rally behind him. he basically was donald trump in texas before donald trump was what he is nationally. and they love him here. i think he's going to do well. i think he needs to go after donald trump specifically on foreign policies and specifics of his plans. grand ideas of i'm building a wall or i'm going to do this or have the wiggebiggest military how are you going to pay with it? how are you saying you wouldn't pick one side over the other. israel is a side many conservatives say you should be in favor of them. i think that's where he has a chance to have headway today. >> and rubio tipped his hand that he's going to talk about that. ed, you're a texas insider.
what about this new texas poll that shows cruz in front, what are his strengths and potential weaknesses here? he has the endorsement of greg and former governor rick perry on his side? >> not just as an outsider, also as the loyal opposition. i feel an obligation to point out cruz may seem popular. 28 38% means there are many not going for him. all the major papers have not endorsed cruz. they're endorsed other candidates. what cruz needs to do now is demonstrate that he's the conservative in the race. the problem is it hasn't been getting him a lot of mileage in this campaign. republican voters are gravita gravitating toward the alpha male, and the authoritarian is donald trump. and he is writing his own rules. it seems like no matter what the candidates do, cruz or rubio, to
derail trump, get hit by a wave. >> let's talk about that al ma male. you're a democrat. i'm going to ask you to give advice. what do you think the smart move is for trump? not the move he'll make. we never what he'll do. would it be smart to play it safe tonight or be above the fray? >> i think he just needs to show up. donald trump doesn't have a whole lot to gain from tonight. he really doesn't have a whole lot to lose because there's no one on stage that has proven themselves worthy enough to engage in him. the last time rubio engaged it was with chris christie. it didn't go well. rubio has a problem. no one can point to a state that rubio can win. >> that's his biggest issue. >> including florida. >> right. i think he goes after cruz. he's branded cruz as a liar. and that has stuck. i think he goes and needles
cruz. i think he'll lay off of the bushes a little bit because 41 is in the building tonight. i expect a good -- >> that's a good point. >> i think he does have some honor and dignity. >> we have 45 seconds left. i want one question about mitt romney. he on a phone call says he thinks there's a bomb shell inside donald trump's taxes. is this forgetl ground for going after donald trump and is mitt romney the right messenger? >> no, no, no. >> three nos to one question. >> mitt romney shelters income and carried a lower rate interest. if that comes out that donald trump did the same thing, he's like yeah, of course i did. i'm a smart businessman. i don't think see how anything in the taxes could hurt donald trump. >> i disagree for one reason. he says his tax returns are complex. they're already done, though, so all we care about is the bottom
line. this is not complex to make a copy of your tax returns. there is, obviously, something in there that i think donald trump does not want people to say. -- >> here's one thing. he. >> he could have lied about how much money he made. for him to say his tax returns are complex, they're already filed and done. there's nothing complex about making copies. >> right. >> i'm sure he has someone that can make copies. >> we'll wrap it up there. this was fun having you there. we'll all be enjoying the debate tonight. thank you to you all. he has slammed his rivals. he's gone after protesters. he's even thaalked about the po in not flattering ways. right now he's the front runner by a lot. is there something, is there anything that could hurt donald trump? we're going to speak to a man who says there are some things that could knock him off his game. plus he's a former trump rival
who is standing beside mitt romney on the issue of trump's tax returns. we just spoke about them. senator lindsey graham, a man who does not mince words, will be with us live. ♪ every auto insurance policy has a number. but not every insurance company understands the life behind it. ♪ those who have served our nation have earned the very best service in return. ♪ usaa. we know what it means to serve. get an auto insurance quote and see why 92% of our members plan to stay for life.
guys, it's great to see you. alex, you wrote a great piece in the times lying out where donald trump can be hurt, where he can lose still even though he has all of this momentum. one of the things you point out is if debates like tonight turn against him, that could be part of his town fall. explain. >> there's this idea across the party that donald trump is this invincible figure that nothing hurts him. we actually saw in south carolina that's not the case. he won the state comfortably, but after that final debate where he was sort of red faced and shouting, going at bush, talking about 9/11 in terms of really turning off conservatives, there was a drop in his support. you saw among voters who decided late in the race, they tended to support other candidates rather than trump. the final debate including, especially, maybe the one tonight are opportunities for trump's rivals who have shied away to strip the bark off.
>> in your thinking, do you think it's more going to be a misstep on trump's part or somebody landing a punch. >> it might have to be both. he's built a commanding position. it might not be enough for rubio to really go at him finally. he might have to trip himself up as well. >> what do you think, barry? >> i don't think the debate format lends itself to moving numbers much at all. >> come on. >> what have we seen? >> what duke happened to rubio? ? did it last? six days later it was gone. carly fiorina did really well in cleveland and got a big bump. six days later it was gone. it affects the news cycle but not the polling. >> but donald trump rules the news cycle. there's where a lot of his rivals say he's doing so well. can it be both? >> you know, i mean, some people buy into the notion that people are voting for donald trump. i think they're aligning with donald trump. they want to burn washington to the ground, and they're sure he's going to do it. they're not buying into he's the
most handsome or most elegant. they don't care. they want somebody to go to washington and burn it down. >> i want to get your take on the two latest polls. we have a poll out of florida 245 lo that looked good for rubio, and then the poll out of texas, cruz leading with 38%, and then the fight for second. do you think trump could pull it out in texas? cruz is confident of his operation there. >> i don't know. we'll find out. the difference is this tuesday it's kind of a complete absence of television advertising for the first time. we're all just living off the news cycle. tell me what's been on the news every night, and i can tell you where i think the electorate decided. i don't see anything that's going to reverse an 18 point lead in florida. texas, some polls have cruz up.
some people have it very close. i don't know which is correct. >> what do you think of the one thing that cruz and rubio need to do tonight? >> cruz needs to play to his strengths and make sure trump doesn't undercut his basic level of support with evangelicals and conservative activists in fact if he come out of super tuesday, the republican establishment is trying to push cruz out. he's won texas and one or two others, it's hard to get him out of the race. >> absolutely. on this issue, mitt romney says there is now, in his words, good reason to believe there's a bomb shell in donald trump's taxes. trump has rejected that. he's taken to twitter calling romney a dope. will donald trump release his tax returns? >> i have no idea. >> should he? >> it's up to him. i think that it is a little bit disingenuous for mitt romney who was harry reided on his own tax
returns. >> focus on the here and now. even if mitt romney is the wrong messenger, does it look like donald trump has something to hide if he doesn't release the tax returns? it's become the standard among republican accountcandidates. >> i think he's very wealthy and they don't like to show their numbers. >> it's a practice to release them. whether or not romney is making this criticism late enough for it to make a difference. this is a tiny preview of what the democrats would do to donald trump. they would raise questions about his business dealings and character. >> americans have become accustomed to having this amount of transparency with presidential candidates. we'll see if it matters tonight. i think it does. coming up for us, no question donald trump is the target in tonight's cnn gop debate. how is the front runner prepa
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from the cnn republican debate here at the university of houston in houston, texas. this is really the last chance for cruz, rubio, kasich, and carson to face off with donald trump before super important super tuesday. donald trump riding a surge of momentum into the debate tonight. i want to show you a live look inside the debate hall. that's the stage where all the magic happens, or perhaps the mayhem happens. joining me now, former white house political director, jeffrey lor. i want to know what you think donald trump should do tonight. what is a successful debate for him? the answer cannot be just do what he's always done. i want to know if you think it makes sense for him to try to play it a little bit safe. maybe not have that demolition derby we had at south carolina. >> you looked at my notes ahead of time, didn't you.
that's what i was going to say. really, at this point, honestly, john, we've had so many debates. there's only a hand full of these people left. he's undented. i mean, since we began this process, he's now come in a close second in iowa, won new hampshire and south carolina and nevada in blowouts. i mean, this is the last gasp for the other guys on the stage. the question is going to be are they going to try and savage him. i don't think at this point it's productive. i don't think it works. and a subtle game that's going on, and it's called can i be your vice president. you have to do this very fine dance here between holding your own as a presidential candidate or perhaps positioning yourself to be his running mate. >> is he constitutionally capable of restraining himself if someone comes after him? >> sure, but i think he'll choose his spots carefully. you know, i mean, if they're going to come after him, he'll do his deal. i'm sure of that. i'm sure of that.
at this stage, i mean, the american people have watched donald trump for 30 or 40 years, something like that. they know who he is. >> let's talk about his tax returns. donald trump has been very active on twitter now for the last 40 minuteser so sending out at least five tweets about the issue that mitt romney brought up yesterday, the fact that he thinks donald trump should release his taxes. donald trump put out a picture of him where he says he's signing a recent tax returns that looks to be three feet high. he says isn't this ridiculous. you're laughing. he appears to be having fun. is there any risk here for donald trump? >> i don't think so. people know him. they know in case you haven't heard, he's rich. >> what if he's not as rich as he says? >> are the american people really going to care? i don't think they care. they know who he is and he's wealthy. that picture right there, that image with that stack, i mean, how many americans are going through their own version of that every year and they're really not happy about it? really not happy about it.
>> if they're going through a stack that high, god bless them. great to have you with us. enjoy the debate tonight. mitt romney is not the only one calling on donald trump to release his tax returns. one of donald trump's fiercest critics, a former presidential rival joins us next. senator lindsey graham who throws a lot of trump bombs, just ahead. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis like me, and you're talking to your rheumatologist about a biologic... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage. this is humira giving me new perspective. doctors have been prescribing humira for ten years. humira works for many adults. it targets and helps to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions,
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this morning, donald trump is not happy with mitt romney. and in true donald trump style, here's how trump responded. he said, "mitt romney is one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of republican politics and is now pushing me on tax returns." and trump then calls him a dope. and then this just moments ago. a picture of donald trump. he says signing a recent tax return next to, as you can see a
pile of papers that looks at least three feet high. this started after mitt romney, the 2012 republican nominee, who trump endorsed back then, called on trump and all of the candidates in the race to release their tax returns. romney says that there could be a bombshell hidden in those returns for trump, since trump has resisted releasing his returns to this point. let me bring in right now senator lindsay graham, a former republican presidential candidate. a man who has no love lost with donald trump, as we well now. senator, it's great to see you. >> i think donald trump will be the gold standard for stupid republican candidates. i just want to be on the record for that. >> you are on the record saying that, senator. so to the issue at hand right now. mitt romney says there is reason to believe there could be a bombshell in these returns. what do you know? >> well, i know that he's not going to turn them over, and in 2015, february, he said he would turn over his tax returns. we're not asking him to prepare a new tax return. we're asking him to give the
american people and the republican voter his tax returns, because i find it highly unusual that you can get more information about buying a house or the homeowner than you can for donald trump. he claims to be worth $10 billion. "forbes" says he's worth 4.8. that's still a lot of money, but is he exaggerated. share with the american people your tax returns. how hard is that? >> now, to be clear, i mean, donald trump has said it's complicated. that's how he's described it. he says he has a team of accountants working on it. but to be clear, i think it's kind of obvious for all of us who file their taxes every year, it's only complicated maybe on the front end. not on the back end. you guys -- you're talking about, of course, releasing tax returns. there doesn't seem to be much complicated about that. is it just the simple fact that is there a delay, if you will, or the fact that he has resisted that's raising suspicion in your mind? >> i think he's probably hiding something. he would be embarrassed by what
he showed us. have you filed taxes for the last five years? >> yes, sir, i have. >> could you find your tax returns in a couple of days? it's in the filing cabinet. >> i think he could too. and the reason he's not doing this is clear to me, he doesn't want to show us his financial situation. he's either exaggerated his wealth or there is some transaction in there that he may be embarrassed about. i don't know. but we should not as republicans accept this from a man who has such a tainted past and background when it comes to finances. a man who has filed bankruptcy four times. we should not accept him at his word. i would not accept hillary clinton at her word about her e-mails. why should we accept donald trump at his word about his taxes, given his financial past? >> now, senator, maybe folks do want to see, and it has become kind of the -- it has become a standard for, and expected of presidential candidates to
release their tax returns, but mitt romney, he was hurt pi a similar line of attack back then. is he the right messenger for this? >> well, he eventually released his tax returns. >> that's absolutely right. and that was the right thing to do. but we're talking about a man who has been bankrupt four times. who inherited 50 to $100 million from his dad. that if he invested it in the stock market, he would have more money than he claims today. so his whole image is some great successful business guy. well, show us your tax returns. because why should we vote for somebody who won't show us their tax returns after they have been bankrupt for times? that makes no sense for any voter to feel comfortable doing that. give us the information we need to make an informed decision. maybe your tax returns help you. but at the end of the day, it's something we should see. >> now, i just talked earlier this hour with congressman trent franks. he's pushing for either marco rubio or ted cruz, one of them to basically drop out so they can join forces, one would run as president, the would run as a
running mate to narrow the field and more successfully in frank's mind, take on trump. do you support that idea? >> well, consolidation of the field, kasich-rubio would be the most winning ticket, i think. rubio/kasich second. it would be problematic, but would probably work. the one thing that's going to happen, if you don't do something like trend suggested, is that trump is going to win the republican nomination. he's going to get creamed in the general election. there's a poll out today of 80% disapproval among hispanics for mr. trump's candidacy. and my question is, who are the 20% and what do they like? >> senator, you -- after ending your candidacy, you supported jeb bush. he has since left the race. are you going to throw your support behind another candidate? >> maybe what i should do is support trump. that seems to be the kiss of death. no, i haven't made that
decision. the bottom line is, what mr. -- what mitt romney is asking should be asked by everybody on the stage tonight. the republican party should not accept a candidate to be their nominee that won't release their tax returns, given his shady financial past. mr. trump. it should come from every corner of the party, not just me and mitt romney. you're buying a pig and a poke if you don't do this. >> senator lindsay graham and his turn of a phrase. appreciate your time, senator. >> adios. >> thank you. and thank you all so much for joining us at this hour. >> eight and a half hours to go until debate time. don't miss a single minute. "legal view" with ashleigh banfield starts right now. live pictures for you from the university of houston. we've got them coming for you. it is the scene of tonight's republican