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tv   Anderson Cooper 360 Post Debate Special  CNN  February 26, 2016 12:30am-2:01am PST

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is at your control is the tax returns. mitt romney during the debate was bringing it up again. you could show them in a second if you want to. >> mitt is a guy who was a horrible candidate. he lost a race that should have been won and should have been won easily. i don't know what happened. he like disappeared the last race. but when mitt gave his tax returns, it was like six months from now in 2012. it was exactly september 21st. and that's when he gave his tax return. we're in a different world. so, you know, mitt is just trying to remain relevant. nobody's talking to him much anymore. he got some publicity today. but the one problem i have is i'm always audited by the irs. which i think is very unfair. i don't know, maybe because of religion, maybe because of something else, maybe because i'm doing this. >> what do you mean religion? >> maybe because the fact that i'm a strong christian and i feel strongly about it and maybe there's a bias. >> you think you get audited for being a strong person? >> you have many religious
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groups complaining about it. >> it seems like an easy answer for you. >> i can't do that. we have to put it together in a unified way. they relate to each other. i don't know if you've seen the picture. i have thousands of pieces of paper. it doesn't make sense unless they're all released -- >> you know what would you do with this issue if it was somebody else. >> nobody that's under a regular audit. almost, i think for 12 years, ten years, i get audited. nobody would ever put out their returnsaudit. it's very unfair that i'm audited every time. i always pass the audit. >> why don't you put it out? >> of course you don't put it out. you're in the midst of talking to the irs. your lawyers would never allow you to do that. it's a very simple audit. i think perhaps it will fast and
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pran perhaps it won't. until that order is done, you wouldn't do that. >> do you think people tonight got the chance to see the best that those senator ke eors coul to you? >> i don't think they were very effective. i think i handled it i have well. i knew it was going to happen. here i am standing in the middle. i knew it was going to happen. i just enjoyed it. i thought it was a great debate. >> did you anticipate both of them coming at you that way? >> i was prepared for it. i thought it would happen. they're desperate. they're losing by massive amounts. rubio hasn't won anything. ted won iowa, and that's under suspicion because of what he did to ben carson, so i mean, and he's lost very badly since then. ted has, i am leading with evangelicals, with men, with women, i'm leading with everything. so he's under a lot of pressure. hey, look. they're politicians. they're under a great dial of pressure. >> have you heard anything from former mexican president vicente
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fox? >> i think he should apologize for his disgusting mouth. i wouldn't use that word. if i did use that word i wouldn't be allowed on the stage tonight. >> you do realize there's a touch of irony about using foul language. >> i think he should apologize to a lot of people who heard that word. i couldn't believe it. >> how do you feel after tonight? >> i feel great. i think we're doing so well. i think the debate was one of the best debates considering the fact that i was being hit from all sides. >> it's best to be tested, though, right? >> it was a good test. i enjoyed it. and now i go down and i guess i speak it other people other than you. >> thank you very much. good luck mr. trump. >> there is no one other than chris cuomo as far as i'm concerned. chris cuomo talking to donald trump immediately after the debate. kevin madden, what did you make of what you saw tonight? >> i think rubio clearly came out with a very aggressive
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strategy. he looked like a boxer hitting a speed bag. and he tried to hold donald trump accountable for what he believes is hypocrisy. and the fact that donald trump, when pressed for details doesn't have any. those are vulnerabilities that marco rubio had to go after. >> beyond kind of two sentences he wasn't able to go into great detail. >> one of the questions, john alluded to this earlier is whether or not you can, whether or not one debate is enough. i think marco rubio that was here tonight, he's going to have to do this 24/7 from here on out. >> i want to go to jake tapper who has senator cruz with him. >> i'm here with senator ted cruz. is it nooit niicer to be in you to state than to be in other places? >> it is great to be at home.
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this is the first time i've slept in my bed in a month. it was great to have my girls jump into bed, it's a great alarm clock. >> donald trump said that he thought he had a good debate, especially considering the fact that both you and senator rubio were coming at him. i'm sure you disagree. how do you think it went? >> look, i think this debate provided a lot of clarity. it became very clear that donald trump is not a good candidate to face hillary clinton, and he's not a good candidate to face hillary clinton because he's agreed with her on far too many issues. donald trump ran away for decades, he's argued for socialized medicine, basically the same government control of your health care bernie sanders advocates. tonight on the debate stage he ran away from it. and when i pointed it out, he did what donald always does, called me a liar. he's literally for 20 years had that position. that was astonishing to see him runaway from it.
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and we saw that over and over again whether it was on obamacare, amnesty and citizenship or libya or israel, where he said he wouldn't stand for israel. instead, he agrees with hillary clinton, that the united states should be neutral between israel and the palestinians. those are positions that would fit well in the democratic party, but i think if he's our nominee, in all likelihood, hillary wins, that's a very bad outcome for the country. >> he called you a liar. he also called you a basket case at one point i think. since you won iowa, he has been going at you. >> yeah. >> really hard. before iowa, he went after you on issues like your opposition to ethanol subsidies. it's been very personal since then. and since then you've come in third three times in a row and lost evangelical voters where they are a sizable population, are you afraid at all that his branding powers are sticking on you? >> jake, we're going to have a very strong super tuesday in
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five days. here in the state of texas i was really honored this week to be endorsed by the governor of texas, greg abbott, a strong governor and dear friend. there's a reason donald is attacking me so hard, because he recognizes i'm the only candidate in the field that can beat him. >> because you won iowa. >> i'm the only candidate who has beaten him. and you look for example at texas. i have a large lead in my state of texas. marco rubio is down to donald 15 points in his home state of florida. if you can't win your home state, that's a problem. so donald's approach, he can't respond on substance, so what he just does is attacks and goes nasty, personal, he throws insults. you know, it was amazing seeing him criticizing vicente fox for using profaniy, this is a man who curses like a sailor as a presidential candidate. at the end of the day, listen, this has been funny with donald in the race. it's been entertaining.
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it's like going to the circus. you have acrobats and clowns and dancing bears. but the stakes are serious, jake. if we get this wrong, you and i both have little kids. this election is about what kind of country our kids inherit. and if donald trump is our nominee, the last ten polls. eight out of the ten he loses to hillary clinton. the last ten polls eight out of the ten i tie or beat hillary clinton. we saw two examples going toet ibs. one on tax returns. the fact that donald refuses to hand over his tax returns. his excuse is, i'm being audited. if the audits are going to show that he committed tax frauds, we need to know this in the primary and not let hillary clinton and the media go to town on him in the general. the clinton foundation and the corruption there is going to be a major issue in the general election, and if donald is our nominee, he can't raise that issue, because hillary will
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laugh at him and say, well, gosh, donald, why did you donate to the clinton foundation. >> marco rubio has got and lot of good mashrks. >> i'm shocked. because that has never happened that the pundits give marco rubio strong marks. >> glen beck has tweeted that he thought marco rubio had a good debate performance. another supporter of yours. what did you think of marco rubio's performance? >> i agree he did a good job. he did something tonight which he's never done. he actually for the first time took on donald trump, and i'm glad he did. marco is not my enemy. we are friends. we would both make a much better candidate and a much better president than would donald. i like donald personally, he's a charming guy, although he can turn on you in an instant. >> as you learned first hand. >> you know, one minute he says he's my friend. he's terrific, i love him. then he comes back and starts hurtling personal insults at
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you. it depends on what side of bed he woke up or his poll numbers. if he's up he's happy. if his poll numbers dip, he really has a hard time with that. >> you were very strong against donald trump this evening. i would say it's fair to say you were more forceful against him. marco rubio was especially more forceful. >> it was the first time i was grad to see marco doing that. it's important to have that clear distinction and that was worth while. >> both of you were stronger than you've ever been. a lot of the questions that republicans might have, people who don't want trump to have the nomination is why wait until the tenth debate to draw these distinctions? why not earlier? >> let's be clear. i've been drawing disdrink with donald for weeks if not months while the rest of the field has been unwilling to do so. the only one else in the field who was willing to take on donald was jeb bush. when i chatted with him a few days ago i said it was a shame he wouldn't be on the stage
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because he's the only one other than me to show backbone to take on donald. i was glad to welcome marco to the debate stage, that should have happened earlier. >> to be fair to the other candidates, there's an elephant's graveyard of those who took him on. lindsey graham, jeb bush. bobby jindal. you have survived. >> i would say not only survived, beaten him. if folks at home, if you're one of the 65% of republicans who think donald trump is the wrong candidate to face hillary clinton, super tuesday is the best opportunity to stop that. the only candidate who has beaten donald trump or is in a position to do that on super tuesday is us. so i would encourage everyone who doesn't want to see donald as the nominee stand with us. if you vote for someone else, that's what donald wants is those votes splintered. if conservatives continue uniting behind us we will have a very strong day on super
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tuesday. we will beat donald trump for the nomination and go on to beat hillary clinton or bernie sanders or whatever socialist the democrats nominate. >> all right, senator. we'll see you out there on the campaign trail. anderson, back to you. >> jake thanks very much. we'll have more from our panel shortly. but in case you didn't watch the debate, i want to welcome our u.s. and international viewers and give everyone a sample of what we have been talking about and are going to talk go over the next two hours. this explosive, final republican debate before super tuesday. take a look. >> you're the only person on this stage that aefrs been fined for hiring people to work on your projects illegally. you hired some workers from poland. >> i am's only one on the stage who's hired people. you haven't hired anybody. [cheers and applause] >> by the way -- >> i hired, and by the way, i've hired tens of thousands of people. you've hired >> you've hired 1,000 people from another country. >> credit cards, et cetera. don't tell me. >> let me finish. this is important. >> you haven't hired one person in your life.
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>> he hired workers from poland and had to pay $1 million in a judgment. >> wrong, wrong. >> i'm sure people are googling it right now. >> trump, you'll see he hired illegal workers on one of his projects. [cheers and applause] that happened. >> i've hired tens of thousands of people over my lifetime. >> many from other countries, instead of hiring americans. >> the former president of mexic mexico, vicente fox. he said i'm not going to pay for that, quote, f-ing wall. so if you don't get an actual check from the mexican government for $8 billion or $10 billion or $12 billion, whatever it will cost, how are you going to make them pay for the wall? >> i will, and the wall just got 10 feet taller. believe me. >> in 2013, when i was leading the fight against the gang of
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eight amnesty bill, where was donald? he was firing dennis rodman on celebrity apprentice. and if you look at the gang of eight. [ applause ] one individual or this stage broke his promise to the men and women who elected him and wrote the amnesty bill. but donald funded the gang of eight. >> i can only say this, and i've said it loud and clear, and i've said it for years. and many of these people are sitting right in the audience right now. you're lobbyists and special interests and donors, because the audience is packed with them, and they're packed with you. i had an amazing relationship with politicians, with politicians, both democrat, republican, because i was a businessman. this one magazine said, he's a world class businessman. he was friendly with everybody. i got along with everybody. you get along with nobody. you don't have one republican, you don't have one republican senator. and you work with them every
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day, and you skipped a lot of time, those are minor details. you don't have the endorsement of one republican senator and you work with these people. >> senator cruz. >> you should be ashamed of yourself. >> if he builds the wall the way he built trump towers, he'll be using illegal immigrant labor to do it. [cheers and applause] >> such a cute sound bite. >> not a sound bite. it's an fact. go online and google it, polish workers, you'll see it. the clothes and tie you wear are made in china. >> you know why? because they devalue their currency. >> make them in america! >> well, you never think about business. >> make them in america. >> let me just tell you. they devalue their currencies, china, mexico, japan, with the cards. they devalue their currencies to such an extent that our businesses cannot compete with them. our workers lose their jobs. >> and so you make the tie in --
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i don't know about bankrupting four companies. [cheers and applause] >> you know what? >> a university. >> a fake university. a fake university. >> that's called -- >> there are people who paid $36,000 to trump university. it's a fake school. think got a picture of donald trump. that's what they got for their $36,000. >> and they actually did a very good job. and i've won most of the lawsuits. >> senator rubio, you accused senator cruz in a previous debate of lying when he said that you said one thing in spanish and another one in english. so in what sense did he lie? >> because it is not true that i'm not going to get rid of daka. you read out the transcript in spanish. i said it will have to end. that point will be when i eliminate the executive order. those people will not be allowed
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to renew those orders. i don't think we should be taking new enrollees in the program now. that is how the program ends and how you wind it down. you allow the people who are on it, when the program expires they cannot renew it and it goes' way, but i will cancel the executive order as soon as i step foot in the office. >> he lied 100%. >> you lied about the polish workers. you lied to students of trump university. he lied 38 years ago. i guess there's a statute of limitation on lies. >> some of the remarkable exchanges we witnessed over the last several hours. s.e. cupp, marco rubio clearly came ready to score points against donald trump. was he effective? did he land punches? >> i thought so. and i got lots of texts from friends and other strategists like this marco is legit. i got one text saying welcome to
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the campaign, marco rubio. i thought he was great tonight. the problem as john has identified and everyone else has, why did it take so long? and you have to wonder. there's two answers to this. one is, well, they were waiting, because, as jake alluded, this graveyard of former candidates who attempted to do this kind of scared them off, or did they wait just long enough? right? where they got through the tough part. waited till sort of the finish line to pull all of this stuff out. i mean, the stuff on trump university, that's been out there, but nobody's really brought it up, pointing out how trump's uncomfortable relationship with hillary makes him a tough matchup against her. that's been out there. maybe they waited strategically long enough. we won't know until super tuesday, but i don't know that waiting as long as they did is going to be fatal. >> it's like spotting the other team five touchdowns, like we're not going to try to score until the end.
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>> a fourth quarter team. >> there are 11 states that vote for the republicans on super tuesday. donald trump is ahead in ten of them. there are 595 delegates at stake. donald trump is going to get a couple 00, maybe 300 or more, unless everything changes from one debate. and the campaign pros can tell may more. rubio and cruz peeled his skin off, they questioned his conservatism and personal character, the lawsuits, the hiring the illegal workers. so it was both character questions and conservative questions. but i get that he's tough. i get that he's a chain saw when you attack him. but his support is very solid. once the cement starts to harden, it's hard to peel away. he doesn't have to get new people. if he keeps what he has, he's going to be a huge day on tuesday and be 300, 400 delegates ahead of them. >> i think one of the most effective things that emerged today was donald trump ripping
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off the little guy. and they did that by talking about trump university, and rubio most effectively by saying he has looked over american workers and went to hire illegal immigrants. we know that is trump's brand. it goes against the brand that he's trying to set aside. >> also referencing these 200 undocumented polish workers. >> a lawsuit. >> a lawsuit that's been going on for decades. >> he says i'm the grand protector of americans. i'm going to make it great again. marco rubio had that line that's effective. if you build the wall, who's going to do it? it's going to be illegal immigrants if we look at your record. if they carry that through, we know that part of the base of donald trump's support is pissed off, working class, white workers. and i think this gets, this starts to kind of peel these folks away and starts raising questions in their minds about who donald trump -- >> a trump supporter, was your
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candidate damaged? >> let me say something about trump university. i looked into this about three years ago before i knew donald trump, because it struck me as curious, why would a billionaire many, many times over be trying to defraud people of a few thousand dollars. this made no sense to me on its face. what i discovered, number one, the attorney general of new york had been going to donald trump himself, to his family members, asking for campaign contributions and wanted more and didn't get it. number two, a state senator from new york, democrat, who was convicted, was working with the fbi, wearing a wire, she accused the attorney general, the former state senator of corruption. so in other words, there was a whole another side to this trump university thing. >> but it is more than just a few thousand dollars. there's people who spent as much as $35,000 for courses. >> but if you're a billionaire ten times over, this is my point, this is not -- >> you could also make the
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argument, why having vodka or a tie line. currently, donald trump is interested in businesses as much as possible. >> i looked into it and found a whole another side to it about the attorney general. >> this is what he does. he licenses his name to a whole slough. >> we talked about trump university longer than any one of these candidates have until now. and that is mind-boggling. >> you formerly worked for ted cruz. did they wait too long? let's be honest, months ago, he said i'm not going to be pulled out into a fight against donald trump. >> better late than never. there were a lot of good specific attacks that exposed donald trump on many vulnerabilities. but there's two things that are going to stick. one in cruz and one from rubio. the way they painted trump as a washington deal maker that you can't trust because he will compromise with democrats and not stand up for republican values is a big deal.
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but then also marco rubio, he kind of mocked him on the state lines, and really, i think got cruz, or excuse me, trump on the personality issue, that was another great moment. so i think those kinds of things are sticky. the taxes, the fact that donald trump has donated lots to liberal democrats. those things will add up. the can question is, do they pa enough of a question mark to those supporting trump who say hey, maybe this guy cannot beat hillary. >> to john's point, his support has solidified. i mean, the people who support him, support him. do you see any signs that any of those people were peeled away tonight? >> no. one of the sort of subtextual messages there was you had cruz on stage other than dr. carson who's effectively not in this, dealing with a couple of
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politicians. and at the very end when he summed it up saying here they are again and this is what they do. and we're in this situation precisely because of conduct like this. >> let's check in with jake tapper and dana bash. jake? >> thanks, anderson. i'm sitting here with two from the stage who are not running for president, not anyway, yet, although a blitzer-bash ticket i could get behind. was there anything that really stuck out for you as a moderator, having done the republicans once before from the cheap seats, looked like rubio and cruz really ate their wheaties this morning. >> they really both came out swinging. i always knew that cruz and trump would get into it. but i didn't expect rubio to come in as sharply, as tough as he did from the opening bell, if you will. he came out swinging, and it was two-on-one. it's what you have to do as the moderator. when one goes after trump you have to let trump respond.
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when another goes after trump you have to get trump respond. he's on the defensive, responding, but these guys are really going after him. and as you know and dana knows, when you hit trump, he hits you right back, and then you have to let cruz respond, you have to let rubio respond, that's the nature of this debate. and the hard thing is to try to keep them from talking over each other. that's not that easy when they're as passionate and excited and as angry as they are. >> and there's obviously a line you have to walk. you want to have them engage with one another, but you also have to move along the proceedings. at some point you have to cut it off. >> they're not happy. if you cut them off. >> and they're going to keep invoking each other. you could go like that all night. of want to bring in kasich. you want to bring in carson. dana, what was very interesting i thought was it wasn't just that rubio hit back. he came with a box of opposition research. >> sure did. >> i mean, he was talking about the "new york times" investigation and decades old story about trump and polish
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workers and trump university and the fraud lawsuit. he was ready to go. >> he was absolutely ready to go. the hid of opposition research should probably get a bonus because of all that information. going in, we weren't sure where marco rubio was going to go with this. he was getting a lot of pressure from the so-called establishment to say this is your moment, you've got to do it. you've got to hit him, or it's game over. unclear if that's going to help him or not, but to your point, wolf, look, you know you've done this as well, you have a lot of questions ready to go. there were many that we didn't get to, because we didn't actually realize, but i guess we should have, that they were going to be so determined to engage with one another. >> right. >> because the stakes are so high. >> no, and some of the topics, i'm sure you had plenty of topics that you wanted to get into, but at the same it's good for the debate and
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candidates to engage with one another although it did get a little heated with mr. trump on stage calls cruz a basket case and liar and referring to marco rubio as a choke artist. we got some new terms in the branding in this campaign. >> i thought what was really good is we focused on the most important issues. the domestic, economic issues and future of the economy. the future of obamacare. the national security issues. yes, they were fighting and it got ugly at times, but they were discussing and fighting over the most important issues. the immigration. the wall along the u.s./mexico border. they got into that. what will you do with the 11 million undocumented immigrants. what do you do with the children that were born in the united states. they wanted to fight it out. >> that is a good point, wolf. he called each other names and
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he had his box office research, but what we came at them with were substantive questions. >> you tried to get steer them to those questions. >> and marco rubio got in on that too. it was substantive. >> one of the questions and we will see this on super tuesday with the results from the states, was it too little too late? it was a strong performance by marco rubio and by ted cruz. donald trump, i think, as always, held his own. is it enough to knock trump off his feet. will it matter? marco rubio made the case that there is not a lot of there there when it comes to donald trump's position on health care and what he would replace obamacare with. does that matter? >> we will find out tuesday.
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11 republican contests on tuesday. they will be critical. >> i imagine you get a week off now? >> no, i'll be back in washington tomorrow. >> i know. like mules. >> it's our busy season. >> wolf blitzer, dana bash, thank you. back to you. >> thank you. coming up next, more conversations with more candidates and the reality check with one of the claims made on stage. we'll be right back.
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we're back in the debate hall that looked more like a ballroom blitz. we are joined by donald trump. they really came after you. ted cruz and marco rubio. how did it feel? >> it felt fine. i expected it. i was told by watching you and everybody else, in particular, i was told it would happen. i expected it.
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based on every poll, i hear i did very well. i felt comfortable. >> how do you prepare? >> it's very interesting. i never debated before professionally. i'm against these politicians. they talk. they do a lot of talking. the first debate was good. i think we did very well in the debating. according to every single poll. the more important polls are the polls we have now. bloomberg came out with a poll a couple hours ago. double digit leads practically everywhere. we are happy. i love to do well in texas. in theory -- i think he is vulnerable. i'm even with him. i would love to win texas. i love texas. i have so many friends here. i guess we are pretty much even. >> you clearly knew that mitt romney comments were going to come up whether it was the moderators or opponents.
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mitt romney took a page out of your book tweeting. saying your reason for not releasing taxes doesn't make sense. you could release it although you are being audited. you could release returns that having into to do with auditing. >> i have been audited for years. i have friends who are very rich and never audited whatsoever. until your audit is complete, you don't do anything. i'm under audit which is standard and many people. >> you have old returns? >> no, they all mesh. they inter relate. i don't know if you saw the picture of when signing the tax return. it is a fairly famous picture. it tells you how ridiculous the system is. when you have to go that much apparent milli and millions of dollars of legal fees. >> once this audit is done, you
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will guarantee releasing them? >> oh, sure. 100%. >> before the general election? >> i don't know. you have to find out when the audit is done. anderson, i have been under audit for years. many years. beyond this administration. it is unfair. i am always audited. i do very well. why aren't they going after other people? i have friends that are rich people and they are never audited. i said how often are you audited? i'm audited every year. >> you suggested to chris cuomo because perhaps in your words it is you are a strong christian. do you really believe that? >> they had a lot of problems. if you look at what is happening over the years. i don't think it applies, but i can tell you one thing, i'm audited when i shouldn't be audited. i don't know. i tell my people every year i'm
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audited whereas other people that are very rich people are never audited. >> so i'm clear, it sounded like you were backing away from the idea of perhaps ever releasing returns? >> i'm not backing away. i would release them, but i have to get the audits done. only a fool would release in the midst of an audit. >> let's start with the supreme court pick. what would be your criteria? two or three things? >> john, i would like to take scalia and use him as my templa template. my sister is a high ranking judge on the court of appeals. she signed a decision with judge alito who i think is a terrific judge. i think if i was really going to look at somebody, the man that so shockingly all of a sudden is
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gone -- this was not in the ball game. i think he would be the perfect person. we will get a conservative judge who is very good and scholar. who is pro life. i think we're going to pick somebody people like. diane sikes. i don't know she is being considered, but a highly respected judge. >> would you ask specific questions so you don't get a david suter? >> what would you ask to make sure? you know you are a good judge. >> if you noticed i said to cruz tonight, i said john roberts, i'm not blaming you for it, but if you look at the articles he published, he was pushing hard for john roberts. for no other reason, obamacare.
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>> what would president trump do to make sure? >> i think more than my asking, i would go on references of people i respect. that is not necessarily my world. i'm in the world of legal and legality. that is not my world. i would go to people that have great respect for and say who do you recommend. >> what would you say to the average american worker who may have been watching the debate and hear about the polish workers lawsuit for the first time and hiring illegal immigrants. it sounds like you are part of the problem of wages driven down and unemployment high. >> the polish worker thing was 35 years ago. i had the most beautiful head of hair you have ever seen. it's still not bad. i'm hanging in pretty good. that was many years ago. that was 35 years ago, i guess. to bring something like that up when i had deal after deal is pathetic. they have to go back that far to find something. it was a negotiation.
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we settled. >> your opponents will bring that up. if you were a guy, even 30 years ago, hired illegal. >> it was many years ago. number two, it was a settlement. i hadn't heard about that case for years. it was just brought up tonight. that's all right. pretty sad when you have to go back that many years. may have been longer than that. on the palm beach thing. it is very hard. you know palm beach. you my know palm beach. it is hot as a pistol. you cannot get help during the season. the season from october until march. it is almost impossible to get help. part of the reason you can't get american people, they want full-time jobs. this is a four-month or five-month job. they want long term jobs. we do hire some people, but we have to bring people in because it is the season and you can't get people. it is simple. i do it legally. it is done through a process.
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we sign documents and all sorts of papers. they come in legally and from different parts of the world. we have no choice. >> another thing senator rubio is doing is where's the beef on health care. every time donald trump is asked about this, eliminate the barriers. keep the one thing you like in the obamacare. you can't ban somebody with a pre-existing condition. >> look, look, i know more about health care. he never employed one person. the guy is a disaster in so many ways. look at what he took out of the republican party. take a look the fact he bought a house for $176,000 or so and sold it for $380,000 to a lobbyist and the lobbyist got legislation passed through him from florida. >> you say the same two things over and over again. >> it's not the same thing. when you get rid of the lines, you have companies coming in
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with all different plans. it is competitively broken. you have almost a monopoly. they would rather go all over the country and negotiate. anderson, when you do what i say, get rid of the lines, they almost did it around the time of obamacare and failed because the insurance companies took care of the politicians. when you do that, you have so many plans. that's the beauty of it. >> the final question. some people say for strategy, maybe you don't compete that hard in texas. ted cruz wins in texas and stays in the race. that benefits you. >> no, texas is very important to me. i want to beat him in texas if i can. i should. look, jeb bush actually said donald trump is a gifted politician. i was surprised he said that. he said it a number of times. let's assume i'm a gifted politician. i know it might be advantageous
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for him to win here, i want to win. if i don't win, you will say this is a terrible defeat. i love texas. i have so many friends in texas. i have a good chance of winning and i want to win it. >> donald trump, thank you for your time. always good to talk to you. jake tapper. >> thanks, anderson. let's get more debate analysis with michael smerconish and gloria borger. a lot of pundits think rubio had a good night. >> i thought he was aggressive in the way we have not seen him in the first nine. >> the first nine. >> i'm not sure he is the beneficially of a good night. i'm not sure rubio is necessarily the person to whom those voters would gravitate. it seems ted cruz is the more likely individual if you were the trump supporter, you would go to. i think the trump core c
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constituents is the way to go. >> so, i agree with you. i think if you are a trump supporter and watch this, you say he was tag-teamed by rubio and cruz and won't change your mind. i think marco rubio in particular had a great night tonight. he basically called trump a huckster. he seemed to enjoy himself for the first time in a debate. he seemed to enjoy poking fun at trump the way we have not seen before. whether rubio would go on the attack, we don't have to wonder about that anyway. will it make a difference on super tuesday? i'm not sure. cruz certainly came out also. this is his home state of texas. won't hurt him here. i think that the big question
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raised came from mitt romney who wasn't on the debate stage. he kept tweeting during the debate about this audit question. we learned tonight for the first time seemed to be a new excuse from donald trump he is being audited. he says he cannot release his income taxes because one audit depends on another and past years. romney, a wealthy man, says that's not true. he can release whatever he wants. he should do so quickly. >> that is interesting. obviously we saw after the new hampshire debate when chris christie took a shiv to marco rubio and carved him up like a pumpkin. we learned from exit polls a lot of people defected. some people went could john kasich and others to trump. i guess with a dozen states, is it too big a playing field?
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are there too many states? arkansas or texas or whatever. is it too big for a debate like this even if one had a star night just hypothetically, is it too big a playing field to have that impact that we saw in new hampshire with the negative impact? >> when you look at the states we covered that have already voted in a primary or caucus, you notice and gloria made reference that the late deciders don't go in trump's direction. we know all there is no know about him despite the negative issues raised tonight. you are either buying it or not buying it. if you have not yet decided in all likelihood, you will not go for trump. whomever out there is undecided is in play for the other candidates, but not necessarily for trump. >> if you are jeb bush and sitting and watching this debate, you are saying where were they? cruz was out there.
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>> where was he? he waited too. >> they all waited too long. >> that was out there early hitting back. >> he was out there. the other candidates who tried were all out of the race. i ran into rick perry earlier. he was the first one. cruz had a bromance with trump. that wasn't on the stage. and then rubio had basically not attacked trump or not dealt with trump because he thought jeb bush was going to do it for him. if i'm jeb and watching the debate, i'm thinking, guys where were you? >> i worked and proud of the fact i worked for president george herbert walker bush. he was here this evening. i worry about for the republican party the long term injury they have done to their brand. you know the autopsy post 2012 as we needed to rein in the
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debates. whomever emerge, you have to wonder who is going to be there in the fall. >> all right. anderson, back to you. >> just ahead, the most important critics of all. the voters. we will go to the debate watch party in el paso. it will be fascinatinfascinatin. i'm curious to learn what they had to say. we will have that in a moment.
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we will have more political analysis from the cnn contributors. when you can get voters who will cast ballots here in texas, that is what really matters. gary tuchman is joining me now in el paso. gary, what do they think of the fiery debate? >> they were entertained and informed. you thought it was a good debate? [ applause ] >> they were watching for two and a half hours. this is el paso county, texas. most voters here are democrats. this a roomful of republicans at the republican party headquarters. we want to tell them about what they do. they literally do a straw poll. the winner in this room was ted
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cruz. [ applause ] >> now i'll pick this up. this shows you the straw poll results. ted cruz came in first with 30. all right. coming in second place, marco rubio with 12. donald trump with 10. ben carson with 4 and john kasich with 2. all right. you can see one of the two right there. i want to ask a quick question. how many of you, if you don't mind me asking, where you are in a border county. how many are hispanic dissent? were you insulted by donald trump that he wants to send anyone here back to mexico here illegally? anyone insulted by it? who is not insulted by it?
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most of you are not insulted by it. let me ask you, who did you vote for? >> i voted for ted cruz. i'm mike. >> why did you like cruz? >> i like he is a consistent conservative. he has a good track record of being conservative. with the supreme court nomination, that is an important consideration. >> i think trump is non specific on most of his answers on the iss issues. it was good cruz pressed him on that. >> who here is of hispanic heritage and voted for trump? >> your name? you supported? >> cruz. >> does that insult you? >> absolutely not. if they are here illegally, they should be sent back. i feel he has more feeling than most candidates.
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he has the passion that seems to rub off on you and makes you feel this is the greatest country in the world. >> we all have that feeling. this is the greatest country in the world. an enthusiastic crowd in el paso county, texas. a stone's throw away. you can literally jog to mexico from here. >> thank you, gary. thank everybody in the room for participating with us. you hear that time and time again from trump supporters. the positive enthusiasm to make america great. that marketing and constant refrain really sticks. >> pride, passion, leadership, winning. he branded himself well and the blue collar stuff on trade. i do think donald trump because of his experience in business and television, understands branding. he has built himself a strong brand now in the race.
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we saw in nevada a 40 something percent brand. and five candidates in the race, that's a lot of wins. he has strengthened that brand. it stuns me they waited for ten debates to make an effort. speed bag as kevin said earlier to try to defeat him. >> do you think that was because they kind of assumed and they did not consider him to be here this long? >> they expected he would fall on his own or many of them individually, the campaigns believe it is not our fight to have. that is a crucial mistake. in the campaign, one element to winning is taking control of the environment. they didn't control the environment. they left it to the atmospherics. we saw the rise of donald trump happen. >> and donald trump did take control of the environment.
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>> absolutely. >> two different things. months ago when jeb bush was about to get in the race. he was doing a television interview with sean hannity. he was asked about donald trump. he rolled his eyes with evident disdain on his face. you think this is not a good place to be going here. >> we have a lot more ahead in the hour. more highlights from here in houston. the dust now beginning to settle. a lot of heat on that stage. we will show you more moments when we come back.
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welcome back. we are here in houston. site of the most important republican debate before the most important day of the campaign so far, super tuesday. donald trump went in to tonight with three straight victories and prospect of more. his rivals know this is the chance to try to stop him. here is a quick look at some of the fireworks. >> you have many different plans. you have competition. you have so many different
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plans. >> now he's repeating himself. >> no, no, no. [ applause ] >> i don't repeat myself. i don't repeat myself. >> you don't repeat yourself? >> here's the guy that repeats himself. >> you repeat yourself every day. >> talking about repeating. i watched him repeat himself five times four weeks ago. it was a meltdown. i watched him meltdown on the stage. i thought he came out of a swimming pool. >> let's talk about your plan. >> he says five things. everyone's dumb. he will make america great again. we will win, win, win. he is winning in the polls. and the lines are down the street. every night. same thing. >> are you talking about getting rid of kim jong-un? >> when i say regime change, i
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don't have to talk about what that means. i have been involved in this for a long time. you need to do what you need to do to solve that in north korea and put the pressure on the chinese. what we are doing is working against them. they are the key to settle this situation. >> i'm a negotiator. it is important we do that. in all fairness, marco is not a negotiator. i watched him meltdown. >> he thinks the palestinians are a real estate deal. the palestinians are not a real estate deal. >> a deal is a deal. >> not when you are dealing with terrorists. >> this guy's a choke artist and liar. >> this guy -- >> you have a combination of factors. >> this is so typical. here's the typical thing he
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does. >> you don't know how to tell the truth. other than that, i rest my case. >> this is the typical thing he does. he goes right for the outrageous statement. >> you will have a response, but i promised governor kasich. >> can somebody attack me, please? [ applause ] >> first of all, he is talking about the polls. i'm beating him awfully badly in the polls. >> you are not beating hillary. >> if i can't beat her, you're really going to get killed, aren't you? i know your embarrassed, but keep swinging. swing for the fences. i know politicians, believe it or not, better than you do and it's not good. >> i believe it. for 40 years, you have been funding liberal democratic politicians. >> i funded you. i funded you. >> you can have the check back.
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>> i gave him a check. >> he gave me $5,000. by the way -- >> he never funded me. >> by the way, donald claims to care about -- donald, i understand rules are hard for you. they are confusing. >> thank you for the book. go ahead. >> donald, you can get back on your -- >> it's a lot of fun up here. thank you for the book. i really appreciate it. >> donald, relax. >> i'm relaxed. you're a basket case. >> some of the moments that voters will be weighing perhaps and looking closer at tonight as we also look ahead to super tuesday. i want to bring in the panel with a couple of faces. conservative radio host hugh hewitt and anna navarro and john
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king. hugh, it is hard to get a sense of the ebb and flow of things. >> i'm here to drag down your ratings. >> a comment that trump made. >> i felt like i walked into a scene from "dead wood." all credit to wolf blitzer. he kept it moving forward. he got a lot of ground covered. it was substantive. i can't tell who won, but i can tell most of the incoming was at donald trump. it was a fuselage. i don't know if he withstood it and grows stronge. it was incoming after incoming. >> we have seen, anna, in nevada, those who made up their minds closer to election day that there was movement from marco rubio. does tonight change anything? >> i think we will know in four or five days with super tuesday. i think marco rubio had a good
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debate. he did what he had not done until tonight. he finally took off the gloves. he finally took on donald trump. it was a great idea. i'm happy he did it because he has been fighting for number two with ted cruz for a long time. it is exhausting and small. he needs to elevate himself and it needs to take on the frontrunner. he came in today with the intent of getting under donald trump's skin. one thing i noticed is he did not follow the rules. we saw jeb bush was not effective in landing blows on trump because he kept following the rules. marco interrupted. marco would not let himself be shutdown from trump. i'm from miami. i have a lot of experience with fast talking shouting matches. i had a hard time following. >> one exchange that rubio had with trump. let's listen in. >> senator rubio, you accused
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senator cruz in a previous debate of lying when he said that you said one thing in spanish and another one in english. so in what sense did he lie? >> because it is not true that i'm not going to get rid of doca. i said it will have to end. that point will be when i eliminate the executive order and the people with the permits will not be allowed to renew it and new people will not be allowed to apply. we should not take new enrollees in the program now. that is how you wind it down. you allow the people on it, when the program expires, they cannot renew it and it goes away. i will cancel the executive order as soon as i step foot in the oval office. >> he lied this time. 100%. 100%. >> you lied about the polish workers. >> yeah, yeah. 38 years ago. >> oh, he lied 38 years ago. i guess there is a statute of limitation on lies.
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>> sometimes when you are on the stage, you catch things that don't come out on camera. obviously it felt like it must have been tense up there on the stage. it felt like bristling. >> it was extremely hot. much hotter than i expect in march. i do think marco rubio looked like he swallowed the canary. i think he got exactly what he thought he would get. the red wedding from "game of thrones." ted cruz got what he wanted. donald trump is a master at this stuff. i defer to the people who watched it. he was under fire. he had to go back and forth. praise to him as well. >> the thing that is interesting is we talked about donald trump's brand is all about winning. all about winning. this is the first night i think you see him get rattled by a number of questions that threaten his ability to win in a general election. cruz went deliberately at that question. he said hey you donated money to
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the clinton foundation. we want to make an issue in a general election. donald trump hurts your ability. he did that systematically. if the combination of attacks from rubio and cruz can put that question mark in people's minds. republicans want nothing more than to win after losing the white house for two cycles. that is the beginning of donald trump going down. >> i think one of the things that is interesting. we keep talking about the branding job. what is marco rubio's brand? he had not made a case for his candidacy. you hear him talk about being the consensus candidate or expand the party. is that enough to peel voters away from donald trump and peel voters away from ted cruz? i think there are questions about how he makes the case how
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he should be president and it is not enough he is able to take on trump. >> you take the drama of tonight of where we are in the race. no question, donald trump came under aggressive sustained debate. whether he was rattled or surprised. in past debates, a few exchanges and off to something else. the question is what is the impact? right now, ted cruz is leading in texas. donald trump is leading in 10 of the other 11 states that vote for republicans on tuesday. most of them by margins significantly. if he loses ground tonight -- my question is rubio has to win florida, which we have to wait for. kasich has to win ohio which we have to wait for. on tuesday, rubio is hoping to come in second. that is probably the best rubio can hope for. >> move to one of those that is most winnable. he needs to spend the next four
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days there. i don't know how you get to march 15th with 15 contests and you have nothing to show by silver and bronze medals. >> rubio ahad in the exit polls. is momentum limited in nevada or does that transfer to other states when you have closing momentum? >> there is no question that rubio's standing has improved in the national polls. the problem with rubio is we are out of the single state campaign. you can camp out in iowa or new hampshire. now to ana's point, if he wants to win one, he has to pick one. i don't know if any of them are within reach. >> which one should he pick? >> you could make an argument for virginia or one of the smaller states. >> marco, are you listening to this? >> i do think the one thing rubio did tonight is if you have skeptical donors, can you wait
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until the middle of march to get a win? going aggressively after trump will calm the donor class down a bit to say if he gets an opening, he seems better prepared to get it. trump is prohibitively ahead in all of the states and he has an early start. >> if he wins one or two states on tuesday, is that even really enough? you have to sweep from trump or split with cruz. if he wins georgia or virginia, is that enough? >> we have to toss it back to jake tapper and come back. jake. >> thanks, anderson. let's stay here with cnn political commenter michael smerconish and gloria borger. one interesting issue of the night came when dana bash tried to get ted cruz and his position
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on health care. here is a previous excerpt. >> on obamacare, we want to end it for two reasons. donald wants to end it because it doesn't go far enough. what is amazing in the exchange that was missing, for decades, donald has been advocating socialized medicine. he said government should pay for everyone's health care. he said if you don't support socialized health care. >> i do not want socialized medicine. >> donald, true or false, you said the government should pay for everyone's health care. >> that's false. i said it worked in a couple of count countries. >> did you say if you want people to die on the streets, if
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you don't support socialized health care, you have no heart. >> i did not say that. excuse me. let me talk. >> talk away. explain your plan, please. >> my plan is simple. i will not -- we will have private health care. i will not allow people to die on the sidewalks and streets of our country if i'm president. you may let it and you may be fine with it, i'm not fine with it. we are going to take those people -- >> answer the question. >> excuse me. you will take those people and those people will be serviced by doctors and hospitals. we will make great deals on it. we will not let people die in the streets. >> it seems to me the trump health care plan is removing state barriers so insurance companies can compete within states. some sort of minimum of medicaid that already exists so people don't die in the streets. he would expand it.
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that the government would pay for. and in addition, the government would cut better deal with pharmaceutical companies. what am i missing? >> no, that is what dana was talking about. trump's solution is getting rid of the lines around the states. allowing health insurance to be sold across state lines. when you push and when cruz tried to push about socialized medicine beyond what we have now medicaid, he didn't get specific. what he did was he turned it around which trump is good at doing and said i don't want people dying in the street. nobody can be against that. nobody touched on him on it. although it did, to me, leave you wondering where are the specifics in this? everybody else has a six-point
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plan and trump's message is i'll make it work better. obamacare is a failure. it is not working. your premiums are going up. i'll fix it and privatize it. >> he is saying contradictory things about the individual mandate. jake, i couldn't help but think as i watched them on the stage talking about their desire to end the individual mandate. these are five candidates in every other circumstance trumpeting personal responsibility. when it comes to your health insurance, we will relieve you of the responsibility of making sure you cover yourself. i find to be a major contradiction and one that will be attenuated in the fall. >> i believe when kasich was a member of congress when it was the heritage foundation behind it. this was the time when bill and
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hillary clinton were pushing employer mandate. the individual mandate and personal responsibility. he did agree with it at the time. >> absolutely. the origin many would say of the affordable care act going back to romney care and before that, the heritage foundation when it rose out of the conservative think tank for conservative principle. that is people should take care of them selves so they are not showing up in an er. that is lost on this stage. >> i think it would be a republican principle because it is against free loaders. people can afford health care. >> you didn't hear that. >> you don't hear it among republicans at all. i know you are somebody who thinks that governor kasich doesn't get enough attention from the media. so why don't you tell me what you thought his strongest moments were. >> great. i think he distinguished himself, the uglier it got in the center of stage, the better he looks because he doesn't play that game.
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you can say that about ben carson. strong moments for kasich would include his response pertaining to apple. the idea of what a commander and chief should do in a circumstance like that. the words of the effect lock everybody in the room and are you not coming out until you iron out a solution. i thought when he was pressed on the religious liberty questions and he said, jake, bake the cupcake. i'm for religious liberty and protecting religious liberty with religious institutions. if you are commerce, you have to do your job. >> i was talking to kasich people today and some of them urged him to actually take on donald trump a little bit this evening. >> he won't do it. >> he won't go near it. i think in just texting with a bunch of republicans tonight, there were some sense among republicans, why did you let those guys out there alone. you wimped out on us. you needed to take on trump
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because you are running, by the way, in super tuesday. and there was a sense from republicans that kasich didn't really perform the way he should have like rubio and like cruz and take an opportunity to actually take on trump. >> it distinguishes him. it sets him apart. >> i will say having been in washington a long time. congress member kasich, not governor, if he had been asked is waste, fraud and abuse enough to solve the debt problem, he would have unloaded with a string of epithets how that is nonsense. that is 20 years ago. >> prides himself on balancing the budget. >> i get it. anderson, back to you. >> jake, we'll continue the discussion here. take a quick break. coming up next, we will hear from governor kasich as our special cnn debate coverage continues.
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we're back now here at the university of houston opera house. there was a lot of sound and furry. two exceptions, ben carson and john kasich. sara murray spoke with john kasich earlier. she joins us now.
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>> that is right. kasich did not go after donald trump tonight. he doesn't look poised to get a state on march 1st. nonetheless, he still looks confident. >> it was a demolition derby? >> i am happy with what happened. i have the experience and plan to take it to washington and get the economy moving again and the ability to express what is a clear policy on foreign affairs. whether it was libya or north korea or syria or if we are talking about apple in the back door and president's responsibility. i felt today i was able to project what it means to be an executive across the board. health care. i'm happy about it. >> you did not go after donald trump don't, but senators cruz and rubio did. is that a gift for you to be able to hit the frontrunner? >> it is a campaign strategy on
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their part. they went in wanting to do that. look, i promised people i will stay positive. at some point this race will head north. it is probably the field will shrink. i'm not worried about any of that now. look, no one thought i would be on the stage at this point. we are growing. we are getting stronger. our polls are rising across the country. we are raising more money. we're in a really good position and i'm thrilled. >> when we head into the march 1st states, what are the strong states for syou? >> nobody's going to win but trump. >> you think cruz is going to lose texas? >> i do know know that, okay? it is very close. i will come out of vermont, massachusetts, spending a lot of time in virginia. we hope those are productive for us. we will move from that though
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michigan and mississippi where we think we have a good shot. mississippi will be our strongest southern state. when it goes north and trends to illinois, ohio, pennsylvania, you know, michigan and over to the new york and new jersey and connecticut. who do you think will come north and be able to beat me there? >> you don't think donald trump can win new york? >> as it gets closer to a two-person race, i think i will be in a good position to be a nominee. >> what is it like feeling you do have a couple of states? you sound like you think you can win michigan. >> i have to perform. it is about accumulating delegates. we have not spent that much money. we have more people raising money for us. we spent little money. i'm almost even with everybody except for trump. i'm not going out to predict victories. i'm saying we're going to be in in thing for the long haul. >> how does it feel to have
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people like marco rubio's campaign saying john kasich should drop out to make way for us? >> maybe they should drop out. we will have to see. when people talk about me dropping out, they are washington types whom i beat 25 years ago. i'm going to beat them again now. >> thank you, governor. >> you saw a defiant john kasich there. march 1st and march 15th are not far off the calendar. the challenge is to keep up momentum until you get to the states where his team feels confident. anderson. >> thank you. john king, you hear about states being productive for him. doesn't mean he wins those states. >> fourth is the new first, anderson. these guys are all in a bind. i don't mean to beat them up.
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these guys have healthy egos. they all have been doing a good job raising money. you see, not in john kasich's case, but rubio and cruz, but one last chance before trump pulls away. if you are kasich, i understand the rationale. a lot of people are saying get out. his answer is rubio hasn't won a state. why are you telling me to get out? if he starts winning, that pressure might work. right now, rubio says he will wait until florida. kasich will wait until ohio. cruz is waiting until texas. the longer all those guys stay in, the longer trump racks up the delegate leads and pulls ahead. he is not at point to where he will be stopped. >> there were opportunities for governor kasich to, i'm not saying go after donald trump, he was asked about getting rid of waste, fraud and abuse. he totally punched it on that.
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>> it was like john kasich was the last guy standing. the nice guy. the default option if all else fails. marco rubio was talking about taking it to the convention. it is like everyone keeps trying to extend their firewall more and more. no one can really believe that donald trump will be the nominee. they are all setting up scenarios where maybe i'll get it this way or that way. no one can come to terms with the fact that donald trump might roll through super tuesday. they all kind of have a strategy that they think is somewhat plausible. >> it is the second stage of grief. it's called denial. >> none of those strategies include actual wins. that's the problem. >> the problem is when you get into a room with donors, which is where this brokered convention idea was brought up, the first question out


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